Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Life is Meant to be Lived

I often wonder how other people live. I mean, I know what it’s like to live in my house, in my life, with my family…I just wonder about other peoples lives.

IMG_0071So many of you have thanked me for being honest and real…for showing that I, like everyone else on earth, has problems and struggles and that nothing is perfect. That made me start thinking as I looked around at the other blogs I read. Way too many folks only show us the perfect, good, shiny parts of their lives, and none of the ick that we all live with from time to time.

All that seems to do is make the rest of us feel like we are less-than, that we are broken and tarnished in comparison but we’re not. We are normal and, contrary to what they show us, they aren’t perfect, their lives aren’t perfect either. No one has a perfect life…not Oprah or Kim Kardashian or your favorite artist. None of us. None of them.

But, and this is a huge BUT, life is beautiful anyway. Even when it’s far from perfect and the days are dreary and the bills are past due and nothing seems to be going right, life is still damn beautiful.

I know I haven’t mentioned #CarveDecember today and it’s been a few days since I posted but this just seemed more important to me today. Also, today is my mother/sister, Donne’s, birthday so I’ve been busy doing for her and I still have to cook her Birthday dinner (fried catfish, hushpuppies, french fries, cole slaw, rolls and key lime pie for dessert.)

I do have stamps to share and I’ll be back with those in a day or two. You know how busy things get with the holidays so it might take a couple but you guys have my word, I’m not disappearing again.

Much Peace & Love to you all,
Barb

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Buddha–Day 20 of #CarveDecember

A few days of little scrappy stamps while IMG_0088I am feeling a bit low and then BAM!, I come back full force with a doozy of a stamp…

I am absolutely in love with this Buddha I carved today.

I know, I know…probably shouldn’t brag but dang! I can’t help but be a little proud cause he’s pretty awesome. lol

Guess I better hush since I really need to get busy doing some Christmas baking.

And thank you all again for your sweet comments, kind thoughts and your ideas to help us make it until my hubs gets back to work. You guys are the best. We are and will continue to be fine.

See y’all tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 19, 2014

Scraps–Day 19 of #CarveDecember

Just using up some scraps today since my scrap bowl is getting a little full.

Besides, not only do we all need a little joy (I know I do,) but my precious bees all need a little honeycomb, too. lol

IMG_0085

I hope you’ve got a great weekend planned. For me, a little Christmas baking, more stamp carving, gift wrapping, some art journaling, and finishing up a couple of handmade gifts.

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!

Noah (the grandboy) has gone to Arkansas for a few days to have some holiday time with his father and his father’s family. We’re not having our Christmas until the Saturday after Christmas so it’s good he can see that part of his family, too. As long as they have him back home on time.

Time for me to go stalk y’all all on Instagram so I can see what great stamps you’ve all done today.

Have a great night!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 18 of #CarveDecember

Thank you all…for understanding and your kind words and just for being so dang cool.

*muah*

Onward:

Here are today’s little stamps:

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Nothing big or intricate today…but some days, just showing up and putting in a little effort is enough.

Today was one of those days.

Much love to you all…remember to be gentle and kind to yourself, always.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tendrils–Day 17 of #CarveDecember

I despise days when I ache bad all over and have the icky stomach and my head feels like it’s going to explode and the whole days is just YUK!

Yeah, today was one of those days.

But, keeping to my word (to myself), I carved anyway. In fact, that’s probably why my head has felt like a million screaming 4 year olds were playing inside it all day. But I digress…

IMG_0079Day 17 of this wonderful stamp carving adventure brings Tendrils…just a something I drew up and worked all day at carving, a little here and a little there, until it was done.

Don’t go looking too close or you’ll see all the little oopsies of mine. They add character, though, right? lol

I do like doing these repeating stamps, I just wish I was better at lining them up. Does anyone have any tricks they want to share with me on this?

I have no idea what I’ll end up using this baby for but I’m sure I’ll find some use for it. We all know I love my art journals so I bet it pops up here and there in those.

In other news…

Have you finished Christmas shopping? I have 2 more gifts to buy and I’m done. Thankfully.

I haven’t said anything about it but this has been a tough Christmas to get ready for this year. My husband has gone through some job changes the past couple of months and is now going back to his original employer…but won’t start until the end of January.

It’s been 2 1/2 months since he got a regular check and our savings is wiped out…not to mention that we have no insurance and my meds alone are over $500 a month without it. Why does it always come down to money? I hate that!!!

*sigh*

I am the one that keeps everyone UP and I try to be optimistic about everything but this has really pushed me to the edge. I have tried to just stay quiet about things and keep the smile on my face, reminding him (and myself) that everything will be fine.

And it will.

It’s just hard to not let it get to me sometimes.

*shrug*

Sorry ‘bout that. Sometimes ya just have to unload and whine a little. At least I do.

Like I always say, though, tomorrow will be better.

Peace & Love to you all,
Barb

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feather / Bee–Days 15 & 16 of #CarveDecember

Would someone please send me a new brain…mine is on the fritz big time! I can’t seem to remember anything these days. And don’t even go to thinking it’s because I’m getting old…I refuse to believe that! lol

Anyway, I just plain forgot to post yesterday so, once again, y’all get a two-fer today. Woo hoo!!!, right? Ha!

IMG_0064Moving right along, I love boxes and I’ve had this one for years but the lid was about to fall apart. Duct Tape to the rescue and all is well.IMG_0065

I put together all of my stamp carving gear into my lovely box so now I have it all together for when I get ready to carve.

Pretty dang sweet, wouldn’t ya say?

Anyway, on to the carving…

Day 15 – Today’s stamp is inspired by the stamps created by Alisa Burke. I absolutely love all of her stamp line but her feathers are so awesome that I just IMG_0066had to attempt a similar one myself.

One thing  she does that I love is incorporating circles into her feathers so I did plenty of those here.

I know that I have made it pretty impossible to tell the size of most of my stamps that I’ve carved during #CarveDecember but this one is almost 6 inches tall.

I can’t say that mine is nearly as beautiful as Alisa’s but I’m pretty pleased with it, nonetheless.

I also think I’ll get lots of good use out of it in my art journals, too.

Day 16 – Today’s stamp is all about my latest obsession, bees.

I love bees.

My nickname from my Daddy was B-B-Doll so maybe that’s part of it. But really, bees seem to have been a theme for my life for as long as I can remember, showing up in so many ways…my first car was a Datsun B210 Honeybee; as a kid they’d just land on me for no reason and never stinging me, either; and more.

I don’t know exactly why but I LOVE them.

So, in honor of my love affair with the bees, I present:IMG_0076This may be my very favorite stamp I’ve ever carved.

Hope everyone is doing great and carving your hearts out!

Peace & Love,
~Barb~ 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Numbers & Hamsa–Days 13 & 14 of #CarveDecember

**NOTE: I wrote the first half of this post yesterday and, being the airhead that I can be lately, I thought I posted it but obviously, I didn’t. So I thought I’d just combine Days 13 & 14 into one post.

Day 13: I’ve thought about carving an entire alphabet before but I admit that the idea really intimidated me. Today I thought I’d inch closer to that eventual goal by starting with a set of numbers.

IMG_0061Crazy enough, these turned out to be much easier than I expected…until I decided to throw in a little punctuation to use the bits I had left after carving my numbers. The exclamation point is fine, the question mark is, forgive me, questionable…and that damn ampersand is HIDEOUS!! lol

Oh well, it happens! Who cares, right?!?

I do think I’m going to try to do the whole alphabet thing a little later in the month, after I improve a little more. I mean, practice does make perfect…er, well, practice makes improvement. Yeah, I’ll go with that one.

Day 14: I spend wayyyyyy too much time on the internet. This is no secret to anyone that knows me and I am trying to work on this addiction of mine.

IMG_0063Anyway, in my internet travels I come across things that I just fall in love with…today’s carving is based on a photo I came across on the net.

The Hamsa (also known as Hand of Fatima) is all over the place on the internet these days but, for clarity, it isn’t something that is a religious symbol for me personally. I just love the idea behind it (Hamsa is an icon used by man as a defense, in his struggle against the forces of evil or the evil eye.) Wouldn’t that be cool…that just wearing this beautiful symbol would protect the wearer?

Anyway, just letting you guys know from where today’s stamp idea came.

In other news, weekends are something around my house right now. My husband is between jobs (yeah, right at Christmas! Eek!!) and I haven’t even started any Christmas baking…this week I will, though, I swear! lol

Hope your weekend is going great.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sun (repeating pattern) Day 12 of #carvedecember


Another short but sweet post for today. I’m just not feeling well…at all.

It happens.

IMG_0060Just a sweet little repeating pattern that forms a sun in the center (or at least it would if I felt well enough to take the time to line things up correctly.)

Do you ever have days that everything hurts, physically and emotionally, and you just can’t seem to find any thing or any where or any one that makes any of it feel better for you?

Well, yeah…that’s kinda what I’m dealing with today. Tomorrow will be better, I’m sure, but for tonight I’m going to just lose myself in my art journal while listening to some mind numbing TV for a while.

Happy weekend, y’all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brave–Day 11 of #CarveDecember

I got the sweetest note yesterday about how great my stamp carving is coming along. But sweet thang, you know who you are, don’t say that you can’t do it, too…I promise that you can. And no, you wouldn’t “just mess it all up.” Messing up is part of it…it’s part of any creative endeavor.

Proof (I hope you’re ready to laugh)…today I decided to do another word stamp since that’s something I know I am not very good at and practice makes perfect, right? My word is Brave.

Here’s my first stamp…

IMG_0058I was cruising right along and then, BAM!, I realized that I had carved the whole dang thing backwards!!

OMG! *hanging head in shame*

Not really. Accidents and mistakes are just all part of it….it being life.

So, I inked this backward baby up and stamped it directly onto another piece of Speedy-Carve and went about the business of re-carving in reverse the way I should have carved it to begin with. No harm, no foul.

IMG_0057So here is the finished stamp, done correctly (or, at least as correctly as it gets with me)…

So, you see, nothing and no one is perfect in the least. Most especially not me!

So, sweet blog reader, dig down deep and find your bravest self and just go for it! What do you have to lose? A little bit of rubber and a few minutes out of your day is all.

As with all creativity, it’s about the process and how it makes you feel to do these things. It’s about having fun so go for it!

I had fun with this one…mistake and all.

Peace & Love to all,
Barb

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Line work–Day 10 of #CarveDecember

Just a quickie for today…lots going on in life around here, you know how it is, right?

IMG_0055Today’s stamp is just some straight line work…in a repeating triangle pattern.

I imagine I’ll use it in backgrounds, for the most part. Who knows?

It’s fun and it was relatively easy…just what I needed on a busy day like today.

Happy humpday!

Back tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Peace/Flower - Day 9 of #CarveDecember

I managed to get my stamp carving done early this morning and even IMG_0053managed to get them posted to Instagram and Twitter but putting up the Christmas tree, which looks pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself, and cleaning the house a little pushed my blog posting until now. Sorry about that.

Better late than never, though, right?

IMG_0050And look at this precious little elf that helped me put the tree up and decorate…

This is my grandboy, Noah, for those of you that didn’t know. He is my heart. I adore this kid so much. He’s lived with us for the past 13 months and it’s been a rollercoaster ride, for sure…but I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in the world. Most days. LOL

Anyway….

I’m still slowly working on my stamp “masterpiece” carving here and there (I am shooting for New Years Eve) but IMG_0049for today I went with two of my favorite things in the world…Peace and flowers. I really do believe I was meant to be a flower child but I was born about 10 years too late to be a true “Flower Child.”

I never realized just how much daily practice carving these stamps would improve my skills…not that I’m some expert by any stretch of the imagination but I can tell that I’m getting better, bit by bit.

I suppose the same is true for any of our artsy endeavors. When I art journal daily, I know that I feel better emotionally and artfully, not to mention that my art journal pages are better, too.

In fact, I’m thinking that January may have to be an #ArtJournalJanuary for me. One page a day, each of the 31 days of January. Just a little something to help my art journaling practice and skills. No pressure but I would love to have any and all of you join me. But hey, we’ll talk more about it when it gets closer to January.

For now, it’s all about stamp carving for me. I hope you’re joining in and carving your little hearts out this month. Let me know where I can check out your awesome stamps! I’d love to see them.

Y’all have a good night. See you tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, December 8, 2014

Frame- Day 8 of #CarveDecember

I am really loving carving these stamps. It’s the one part of my day that I can forget the rest of the world and all the “stuff” going on in life and just relax. It’s so good to just go off into myself and just enjoy creating something.

Today I started work on what will probably wind up being the most complex and time consuming stamp I’ve ever done. I do know it’s not going to be one done in a day, that’s for sure.

I stopped work on my masterpiece (HA!) to have a stamp completed for 015a2a147f3d7861a9f0ceac78148c6ade24030b66today.

I decided to do a little something I’ve been wanting for a while...a frame for journaling or whatever.

Instead of using my trusty Speedy-Carve, I used a large eraser I bought ages ago for a dollar at Target. It carves super easy so I had to be super careful...I did make a mistake here and there but hey, it adds to the originality of it, right? lol

I like that I can turn it either way and I can also see using it to frame a key word or even a picture in my art journals.

On another note, I’m wanting start doing some online classes again and would love input from y’all on what kind of classes you’d be interested in. If you have ideas or if there are things you want to learn or know more about, please let me know...I love to share what I know. Just leave your ideas in a comment or feel free to drop me a quick email (craft4therapy@gmail.com) and I will be forever grateful!

OH, I’ve started work on a new video of a journal flip-through of one of my art journals that I’ve finished. It’s been way too long since I posted a video...I really shouldn’t let so much time go by without doing these kind of things. Depression can do some freaky things to your brain and, especially, to your creativity.

Hopefully, that is behind me...at least, for a while.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Days 6 & 7 of #CarveDecember

I ended up having to carve these past two days of our #carvedecember stamps while traveling in the car.

IMG_0036My husband’s father fell in the shower (he’s 83) and broke some ribs and was bruised up pretty bad so we felt like we needed to make the drive back to NW Alabama and check on them. The trip is about 6 hours each way and we only stayed overnight but that 24 hour period has worn me completely out!

Anyway, trying to carve while riding in the car proved to be pretty challenging so I had to go for simple and relatively easy for these two days stamps. I’m still thinking that I might want to cut the circle and lines stamp down to a rectangle or square instead of the sloping sides.

Yea, come to think of it, I think I’d like that better so I’ll do that. Gimme a sec…

IMG_0037Yes, that is much better, don’t you think.

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend.

Back tomorrow with something a little more complex. I’ve got something in mind and, if it works out, it should be awesome. We shall see.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Out of Town

I tried hard to have a post ready for today since I knew we'd be traveling but that just didn't quite work out.

I did manage to carve a stamp as we were speeding down the highway but no ink pad so I'm just going to wait and show y'all tomorrow when we get home.

See y'all then.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 5, 2014

Printing Block - Day 5 of #CarveDecember

I have carved stamps for a few years but I never felt very good at it. My lines were never thin enough or straight enough, my circles and curved lines were bumpy and lopsided, and I just never felt like the stamps I carved were “good enough.”

I think I have changed the way I think and feel about my carved stamps. Not because I think I’m any better now than I was before but more because I realize that those bumpy circles and wavy lines are part of what makes each stamp I carve unique…individual.

IMG_0028I have been checking out everyone’s stamps from this little December challenge and I am in awe of so many. I love Julie (Fei-fan Balzer) and her carved printing blocks for repeated patterns always amaze me so today I decided to try my hand at something similar.

I didn’t plan it out from the get go the way I do most stamps I carve. I’d draw a bit and carve those lines, then draw a bit more and carve, and on and on, so it just kinda grew.

I have to say, I’m pretty darn pleased with how this one turned out. I love it. I also love that the look changes depending on which corner is used as the middle of the printed piece. So cool.

I think I’m going to have to do some more of these type of stamps. Way fun to carve (think meditative) and I think they’ll be a blast to use in my art journals and in my art in general.

Keep on carving, y’all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Partridge - Day 4 of #CarveDecember

It’s been a long day of running my mother all over town so I’m just now getting time to post my stamp for today…

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I saw a wood carved stamp of a cute little partridge this morning and had to carve my own.

I don’t know if I’ll use it a ton but I do think it’s cute as heck…especially that little plume on her head.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I am working on Christmas presents and today’s running around has put me behind for today so I better get back at it.

Hope you’re all doing great and carving some awesome stamps. See you tomorrow!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Borders - Day 3 of #carvedecember

I am an art journaling fanatic. At any given time I have at least 3 and sometimes as many as 5 art journals in various stages of completion. I love my art journals.

Although I don’t always follow it, I believe in the rule that everything looks better when framed…that includes my art journal pages. I like to have borders or frames around my pages and spreads but I don’t like to always fall back on washi tape, magazine images, or various papers.

That is where some IMG_0023great border stamps can really come in handy. I don’t have a ton so today is the day I decided to come up with a few more.

Nothing major as far as complexity but geographic patterns always create interest, in my opinion. And hey, everyone loves the swooped banner kind of border, too. I know I do.

I can tell that these will get some good use in my art journals, for sure.

I didn’t sleep well last night so a nap is in order for this afternoon…after I make a few balls of t-shirt yarn for a Christmas present I’m making. Yes, nothing like waiting until the last minute to start creating homemade presents, is there? LOL Yep, that’s how I roll.

See y’all tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Circles: Day 2 #carvedecember

I haven’t made any sort of plan of what I’m going to carve over the next month but I do have some ideas of things I need to practice in my carving. Circles are one of those things that I always seem to mess up so they are what I focused on today.

IMG_0018

Here is my carved stamp for this 2nd day of carving…definitely not perfect but a huge improvement from circles I’ve carved in the past. I do see some spots that I should really go back and clean up but imperfection is really the name of the game in stamp carving so I think I will just leave this one as is.

I like having stamps to use in my art journals so shapes, borders, flowers, and the like tend to be ones that I get the most use out of (instead of animals or words, etc.) and I can see this one being used pretty frequently.

Anyway, my sister/mother (she lives with us) is coming home today from her 10 day Thanksgiving visit with family in Arkansas. Her plane will be here shortly so I’m out the door for the airport.

Y’all have a great Tuesday.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 1 of #CarveDecember

Hi y’all.

I know, I know…pick your jaws up off the floor…I told you guys that I would be posting daily to show my #CarveDecember stamps. Didn’t believe me, did you? And 3 new blog posts in 3 days? Serious wow factor, huh?

Well, get used to seeing more of me around these parts…I’m feeling my need to share and blog coming back with a force. YAY!

Anyway, daily posts for #CarveDecember will mostly be short and sweet, just to document my stamps and share them with y’all.

Here’s todays stamps by yours truly:

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A little egg and a small leaf. Nothing big today…I’m just getting my stamp carving skills warmed back up after a pretty long haitus.

I hope that you’re taking part and honing up on your stamp carving skills with the rest of us. Let me know if you are in a comment so I can check out your rubber stamp goodness.

I think I’ll be trying something a little more complex tomorrow. Maybe.

Back soon!

Peace & Love,
Barb

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