Monday, December 1, 2014

In Flight

I guess by now you know I have a thing for birds and other things that fly.  This is another page in my latest altered book.  I used the Art Is stencil by The Crafter's Workshop  for the background.  The page is sectioned off with strips of Black Ink paper someone gave me. The sections are colored with Inktense Pencils and craft paints.  I love how vibrant those pencils are.  

All of the things that fly are cut from Gelli Prints and book pages.  The small birds and butterflies are punched with a Stampin' Up punches.  The large bird is a Sizzix die.  The dragonflies are an old EK Success paper sharper punch.

I used Pitt pens to outline some of the images to make them pop.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wise Words

This is my page for the Journal 52 challenge... Wise Words.

I found this on facebook a while back and knew it was perfect for the Wise Words page.  

I printed the quote with a copy machine so the ink wouldn't run when I use wet mediums on it.

The pinky purple background is a gelli print. The tiny butterflies and the leaves are both Stampin' Up punches.

Link to: Journal 52

Monday, October 13, 2014

Perhaps they are not stars

The prompt this week in The Documented Life Project is Stars.  

The background is painted with Payne's Gray by Golden. I think Payne's Gray may be my new favorite color.  

I stamped the stars with Brilliance Starlight Silver Ink and then embossed with clear embossing powder.  If you are new to Brilliance Ink, I have to tell you, it is wonderful. It's shimmers, dries on glossy card stock and it's permanent. 

After I did the background I took a pen and I wrote the names of people who I care about who have died. You can't see them but I know they are there.

The words are one of my all time favorite stamps and is made by River City Rubber WorksI love the idea that my loved ones are shining down from heaven letting me know that they are happy.  

The words were stamped in white and embossed in clear powder on a piece of deli paper. I put purple paint on the backside of the deli paper so the words would show on the dark background.

This is a very simple page but one that touches my heart.

Link to: The Documented Life Project , Paint Party Friday

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cut Up Your Stencil?????

I love Carolyn Dube. I may have said that before. I really think Carolyn and I might be Art Soul Sisters who have never met. I love her laid back philosophy about art.  There are so many times I watch one of her videos and I hear her say something that I've thought or done.  

In her latest video, she actually takes a pair of scissors to one of her stencils. I confess I have also done this.  

Then she gives herself permission to leave a page unfinished.  I have recently given myself permission to do that as well.  I was thinking about some of my unfinished pages as I prepared for my day.  Lo and behold, I look online an hour later and here is Carolyn doing a video about that very subject.  Check out her video here.  I love that tree.

Here is a page I started before my hand surgery...

It is made from scraps of gelli prints and paint. When I'm not sure what I want to create, I often start by throw some paint on the page and then gluing leftovers on the page.

I don't know if it's finished or not... What do you think? 

Link to: Carolyn Dube

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cross Stitched Advent Calendar by Janice

I'm sharing other artist's work while my hand is healing.

Isn't this a wonderful gift?  My co-worker, Janice Kelly, made it.  It is backed with foam board so you can add a piece of candy to each day with a push pin.  Some little boy is going to be very happy when he receives this. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sore Paw

I had Hand surgery on Friday so I won't be typing for a week or two.

I'll be back soon!!!

Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Math in Art? Sure Why Not?

I am a very blessed person. I can name 8 friends who would be there for me if I was really in need.  These are people who have given me emotional support through some really hard times. I didn't realize there were so many until I started to write this blog. I am honored and amazed to be loved by these wonderful people.

I made this card for one of them. She will know it's for her because of the background. I made that background just for her.  She has a thing for numbers and Halloween.  
I made the background in MS Publisher.  It is the part of the endless number of Pi.  Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.. Its a transcendental number. Its decimal representation never terminates nor repeats. It is my friend's favorite number.  

The trees are a Crafter's Workshop stencil and Archival Sepia Ink.  I used Archival Library Green and Manganese Blue and Adirondack Terracotta on the background.  The pumpkins and witch are cut from cotton fabric. The grass is two shades green Distressed Stickles. It is so fun to make something for someone when you know they will really like it.


 This is how I feel about my blog right now!!!
Picture from Kid's Guide

If you look at my past posts on this blog you will find a lot of gray triangles with exclamation points in them.  Wellllll, here's what happened, I think.

I had to change my email address.  When I did, I realized that my blog, my facebook and a bazillion other things were attached that address.  It took me over a week to get things switched and I'm still not sure I got them all.

I thought all was going well until someone told me I had a missing link on my blogs. After a little research I believe that all those pictures were some how attached to that email address and stored in something called Picasa. Being ignorant to how blogs work I had no clue my photos on my blog were stored somewhere else.  When I deleted the old email address all those photos went with it.  Sigh.

I find this to be a real issue since this is an art blog and what I write describes how I made the art. Grrrrrr.  This whole change my email address is getting on my last nerve.  I will slowly add the photos for the last two years back into the blog.  I'm not sure where the really old photos are at this point.  

Years ago my sister, who was married to an artist, was complaining about her husband not being able to fix something... my grandmother was laying in a hospital bed and gave my sister these words, "A Painter is not a Plumber."  My grandmother was dying and no one knew she was even listening to my sister talk to my mother.  Those words have great meaning in my family... And today I'll just say... A fledgling artist is not a computer guru, please be patient with me and this silly blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Workspace

I would like to tell you that my work area doesn't always look like this but the truth is, it very often does. I usually work in about 12 inches square.  I have a tendency to toss things when I'm creating. I always need one more piece of paper or another brush or some doo dad.

What is odd is at my day job my desk is neat and tidy more often than not.  There is something about creating that frees me to be as messy and playful as I want. This use to concern me but not anymore. This is the creative me. The happiest me and I'm embracing every messy inch of her.

Seth Apter is hosting a honest look at our workspaces over on his blog this week so I'm linking to his blog. Thanks to Seth Apter for this idea and for allowing me to play along.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Mail and Swaps

 Happy Mail!!  
"What is Happy Mail?" you ask? Artists send happy mail to each other. It may be a card, a drawing or a small gift. It often includes little bits of things we, mixed media artists, think would be fun to use in a project.

I recently participated in a one for one swap.  We used the Hot Air Balloon from Stampington's Tempting Templates.  If you have never visited their page.. check it out. They have very cool templates.   

When my Hot Air Balloon arrived from Scotland it came loaded with other goodies.  Wee Man sent me a personalize ICAD with a dog on it.  He knows dogs are my favorite animals.

Mo included a whole passel of Mixed Media goodies: die cuts, book pages, a page from her newspaper with my birth date on it, feathers and ribbons.  I will have a great time playing with all this ephemera.  

Isn't this balloon just darling? I've hung it from my living room curtain so I can see it every time I sit down.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I'm feeling like a Renegade

The Documented Life Project theme this week was Black and White. I had a really hard time with this one. I thought and thought about it and nothing came to mind. I finally decided that I could doodle on birds. I like the contrast of the white on the black and black and the white.

The birds are cut with a Taylored Expression die I borrowed from Ann. I tore the edges of the black paper to give it a bit more texture.  Three birds in black and white complete with doodled bodies as well as background. I wasn't thrilled with the page but had no clue what else to do with it so I went to bed.

I woke the next day still bothered by all that black and white.  It was just too dull for me.  Then I remembered I still had the cutout of one of the birds and I went looking for the sharpies. I made marks all over a piece of white card using lots of different colored markers.  I began to feel better.  

I glued the bird cutout to the speckled paper and attached it to my book as a tag size inclusion. I love knowing that bit of color is behind the polka dots. 
Yep, I'm a renegrade,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

How Are Your Feeling?

The prompt for The Documented Life Project this week was draw a face or alter one from a magazine. 

I tried drawing faces about a year ago. I found it to be extremely frustrating. I wasn't having fun and it was irritating the crap out of me. That gave me pause because the point of my art journal is to express myself and enjoy it. It's my time to escape the real world full of rules, problems and pressure.  I gave up drawing faces that day. I have artistic talents but that's not one of them.

I decided when I began this project that I was documenting my life and my art life so I would do my own thing and use the prompts as a guide. When I looked at this post card from my friend, Wee Man, in Scotland I knew I had to use that face.What an interesting face a Rhino has!   

The Feelings checklist (the page of faces) was on my desk.  I found it when I was cleaning a file cabinet a couple of months ago.  I thought it was perfect for this page. Lots of faces and each one of them depicting different feeling. 

The backgrounds are gelli prints.  The tip ins are attached with a combination of clear packing tape and washi tape.  

Link to: The Documented Life Project

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Act of Creating is the True Gift

Thoughts:  I am finding that I am called more and more to create with paint and paper.  I feel more in tune with myself when I'm at my art table. I feel free of the restraints of the world when sitting at the cluttered little table surrounded by bits of paper and glue. I truly believe that whatever creative talents I have are a gift from God. The gift is how I feel when I'm creating. I'm content. The stress of the day slides away and I am at peace. The finished piece is secondary to the calmness and serenity the act of creating gives to me. That is the true gift from God.  

The Art: I used a heavy coat of thick gesso to create some texture. I used a pallet knife to make swirls in the thick gesso. I started by trying to drip orange paint but it was too thick so I used a brush and a spray bottle. I was working towards getting puddles of color in the ridges but was not too successful. I turned the page sideways to get a few green drips and used a paint brush for the blue. I wiped most of the blue off with a baby wipe. The birds are a Stencil Girl stencil that I traced and cut out in different pieces of background paper. I went back and stenciled on the legs. The words have no hidden meaning....they are just the words that came to mind when I looked at the piece.  I'm still not sure if I really like this piece. The background is "so-so."  I can tell you that when I finished this page I was feeling much better than when I started it, so for me, it is a true success.  How does creating make you feel?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mixed Media Madness

The Summer of Color Challenge  is coming to an end. This is the last week of the challenge. I really enjoy this challenge and I'd like to thank Kristin Van Valkenburgh for hosting the challenge once again.  
I was out of town last week so I am a little behind in my challenges. I combined the SOC and my Journal 52 (Technology was the theme).

I used acrylic paint and Silks for this page. I'm not sure I love the Silks because they ran when I used matte medium on top of them. The sun burst was made with a Tim Holtz stencil. The dots were made with a rubber stamp I found in my drawer.  My art drawers are always fun because they are like a treasure chest.  I forget I have something so when I find it, I feel like I've gotten something new.

I've heard a lot of pros and cons about the internet. I would just like to say that I've made many new friends in the last three years.  This page represents where the members of one group of friends live.  We share art and our lives with each other through the internet. We also trade mail art. I've received a lot of international mail in the last three years.  I feel like I have 20 plus pen pals. These friends have taught me a lot and have helped me gain confidence in my artwork.  I love the ladies of Mixed Media Madness. This page is for you. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I started this page because the challenge this week at Journal 52 is Nostalgia.  I mulled several ideas over in my head and then I saw this picture in an old Child Craft Encyclopedia.  It reminded me of my one and only train trip.  My grandmother wanted me to experience traveling by train before they were phased out in the area where we lived. We traveled from Memphis to New Orleans to Houston.  I wish I could do it again.

I am really missing my grandmother right now.  I think part of that might be because I'm watching my friend, Mo, spend so much time with her grandson.  Logan will have so many wonderful memories of his grandmother because she spends so many quality hours with him.  I would not give all the money in the world for the many, many hours I spend with my grandmother.  This one's for you, Mamaw New Orleans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Artist... Wee Man

If you've been reading my blog you know that I've made friends who a wonderful lady and her grandson who live in Scotland.

The Wee Man and Mo, his grandmother, really liked my journal page using a Word Search.  I decided that I would make Wee Man one on his favorite subject... Transportation.. especially Trains and Buses.  

You see the results on the left.  He found those so fast I made the next one longer.  I also figured out how to make the next one shaped like a train.  

I am having so much fun sending things to Wee Man and his grandmother.  I have a feeling he is smarter than I am and I'm going to run out of words for the searches soon.

Again, I'm amazed that I'm making friends with people who lives across the ocean through art and word puzzles.  I am also very careful to send Wee Man's email to his grandmother because I want him to be safe. Children can meet dangerous people on the internet and so we must be very careful.  He is too young for an adult to contact directly. His grandmother is very good at keeping him safe. He is very lucky to have such a great grandmother.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mixed Media Word Search

This page is doing double duty.  The challenge last week for The Documented Life Project was a puzzle and the Summer of Color challenge for this week is red, blue and bit of light blue. I think this covers all my bases.  This page brought several things to mind for me. 

The first being that when I taught school in the dark ages (ie before the Personal Computer was invented) I would not have been able to make this puzzle for my students without hours of work. I made this with the puzzle maker at A to Z Teacher Stuff in about 10 minutes. 

Second, it reminded me that if I was in school today, I would probably be diagnosed with a slight learning disability. I have comprehension issues and I can't remember more than 3 numbers in a row.  Sometimes remembering 3 is difficult for me.  As an adult I went to Occupational Therapy for a while and Word Search was one on the things I was told to use to improve my memory skills. I do pretty well with the Word Search puzzles.  If you want to torture me, give me a number search puzzle.  Coming from a teaching background, I can see where using Word Search would be a great way to reinforce vocabulary and spelling skills.

Third, I didn't teach for long. I was a good teacher but had no patience for discipline. I'd still be teaching today if I could have found someone to take care of behavior issues while I made learning fun. 

I'm here to tell you, teacher don't get enough credit for what they do on a daily basis.  A good teacher is worth more than gold.  Do you have a teacher that comes to mind, when I ask, "Who was your favorite teacher?"  I have a few: Sister Mary Gabriele, Mrs Barrasso, Dr. Woodard and Dr. Stedman come to mind for me.  What did all these teachers had is common? They all cared about us and wanted us to succeed. They made learning interesting. They all presented the material in more than one way.  I've been out of school for over 30 years and I can still name those four teachers.

* When I went to the Summer of Color page to copy the url I realized that once again, my comprehension is not up to par.  I thought the challenge was red and blue... it was red and royal blue.  Sigh... I used denim blue.  As you can see, I still have a little trouble on occasion.  This is why I did not become a brain surgeon... can't have an ooops in brain surgery.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Unexpected Gift and Long Distance Love

This piece was inspired by the orange envelope that was included in my birthday gift from my friend, Mo and her grandson, Logan.  We call him the Wee Man.  I love that name. It sounds so Scottish.. which is exactly what he is.  A Wee Scottish Man.

This page was done with all recycled and left pieces of paper. The half smile was on a Amazon gift envelope.  The houses are Dylusion stamps that were my actual gift of Wee Man and Mo.  This page is busier than some of my work.  I really like that about it.  It conveys my excitement about my totally unexpected gift from my Scottish friends.

I was having a very hard day when I found this package on my porch. It was a complete surprise and it brought tears to my eyes. This unexpected gift comforted me more than I can ever say.  Our world is filled with wonderful caring people.  I know many people say that the internet is keeping people from interacting with others. That may be true in many cases.  I just know that I met a lady from Scotland through an art blog and twice now, she has come to my aid when I was having a hard time. The first time she talked to me online in the middle of the night when I was missing my mom and now she and her wee man cheer me with a very unexpected birthday gift. Maybe I'm the exception but I'm finding very personal relationships online.

Link to: Twinkle Twaddle , Madarin Orange Monday

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Live Your Life From Your Heart

The ART  This quote is by Melody Beattie.  She wrote the book, Co-Dependent No More and several other really great books.  I recommend her books.  They have helped many, many people with Codependent issues.

I typed the words in MS Publisher and printed them on a copy machine. The font is one of the free ones from Dafont. Then I used a tape transfer to make them transparent.  This method is packing tape over the words. Burnish the paper really well and then soak the taped pieces in warm water.  The warm water is the key.  The paper just peels off with a little light rubbing.

The hearts are pages from an encyclopedia. They are hanging from some of my stash of fiber.

The background was painted with green paint and then stenciled with yellow, orange and violet paint using a Tim Holtz stencil.  The white streaks were made with a credit card and gesso.

Link to:  The Documented Life Project Art Journal Everyday

FEELINGS In the past 15 years, I have met many people who lived their lives from their hearts. Their stories and their truth did touch my life and help heal my soul. When I was at my lowest, most depressed and anxious, they were there for me.  The showed up and they told their stories sharing their experience, strength and hope.  They showed me that if I just would follow the program and do the work my life would get better.  They were correct.  I thank God for them.

Learning to: act instead of react, mind my own business, love myself and most of all give it to God were the hardest things I've ever done. I'm so grateful that I persevered.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


 What is that saying about art imitating life? I think this page does that.  

The Art: I started by using a square piece of foam that was used as filler in a Tim Holtz Texture Fades package. I stamped squares on three sides of the page in gray, green, purple and hot pink.  The next layer was the piece of paper towel at the top of the page. I added a bit of orange to it.  Then I added the purple text that I stamped on tissue paper using a Hero Arts stamps.  There is a small piece of numbers from an old book I have.  The text at the bottom is an advertisement for paper and the very tiny text is a stamp I got at Michael's and stamped on tissue paper.I love stamping on tissue paper because it lets the other layers show through.  

The final layer is a napkin with a flower on it. I use a water color paint brush and a bit of water to "cut" around the flower.  I used sharpie paint markers for the writing and the outlines of the flower.

Thoughts: I know that I am made of many layers.  When I was young I was often a different person depending on who I was with at the time. I wanted people to like me so I tried to be what others wanted me to be.  It's taken 60 years for me to learn that I am who I am.  I've grown and changed a lot from age 40 to age 60.  I am more free and open.  It took a while to learn that I don't have to tell every thought to every person I meet.  I've learned to trust my instincts and now I find it a bit easier to know who it's ok to let see all of my layers.  

It's a fine line.... being myself and protecting myself from those who might hurt me. It's all about boundaries, trusting my instincts and learning from my mistakes.

Link to: Paint Party Friday, The Documented Life Project 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eccentric Old Art Lady

Most of the images on this page were done as Packing Tape Transfers.  I found the tutorial for the transfers on the Journal Artista  Youtube channel. I thought I'd try a regular transfer before I used a stencil and it was so easy I got carried away.  I've tried this before and had no success. I think the difference is that Paula suggested using warm water and that made all the different.  

All the images are from the June 2014 issue of Oprah magazine. The images come from several different articles.  The reason I began the page is because of the two ladies floating in the inner tubes having so much fun. They seem so happy and content with their age and their bodies. That is what I'm striving for in my life.

I'm not thin like they are but that's OK. I spent years on diets. I felt deprived and unhappy and guess what? I gained all those pounds I lost back several times. I am no longer trying to impress anyone with the way I look. I'm me and you either like me for who I am or you don't have to be part of my life. I will admit I could eat healthier. I'm not advocating being unhealthy at all. All I'm saying is that for me I've decided to be me and I'm short and pudgy.  I'm not in the shape to climb a mountain or bike 10 miles.  Guess what?  Both of those things sound like NO fun at all to me.  If I found my weight was stopping me from doing what I love I'd probably drop a few pounds and kept them off. 

I love that quote by Margaret Atwood. I very seldom feel that age I am. I'll be 60 years old next month.  My hair has grey in it. I earned everyone of my grey hairs. I don't mind them being grey... I just wish they weren't quite so wild.  Oh well, they are what they are.  My truth is I'm way more interested in Art Journaling and Collage than I am in my hair or my clothes. The best thing about 60 is that I'm a year closer to retirement when I can create all day every day if I want to. I plan on being the Eccentric Old Art Lady.. the one with paint in her hair wearing the odd clothes. Until then I have a day job to pay for my art supplies and Scooter's kibble and I create nights and weekends.  I cannot begin to tell you how freeing it is to accept myself as I am at this moment. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cards and Stamps

Mother's Day was a little difficult this year.  I miss my mom. It was odd not to be getting together with my family this weekend. We are scattered around this country this weekend instead. I guess we each had our own way of dealing with being without my mom today.

I visited my friend, Ann, at Studio 901 (also known as the Art House). Ann has a plethora of stamps and supplies and generously shares them with me when I visit. I decided that since I didn't need to make a card for my mom, I'd make one for her 93 year old mom. The background stripes are made with a Tim Holtz stencil. The Thinking of You is from one of those dollar sets at Michaels or JoAnn's.  I did not get the name of the company that made the flower.  It was a two sided stamp. One side was a solid block which I stamped off on a paper towel before stamping the paper. That is how I got the cool textured background on the squares. That is the pattern from the paper towel. I used Dried Marigold and Spiced Marmalade Distressed Ink. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I am spending the weekend with two of my art friends. It is so great to spend time with people who really "get" my love for art journaling and all thing painty. They think being up to our elbows in glue, paper and paint is a fine way to spend the day.  

These weekends feed my soul. I know I'll learn something new. I'm away from all the "stuff" at home.  No guilt about cooking or cleaning. I'm on a mini vacation. I'm spending time with people who enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs.  Today... I have way more than enough.

The Art
I love spiral bound journals. I like how they lay flat when I work in them. I find it a bit easier to protect my previous pages in them. This is a recycled book that was originally some kind of investment manual.  The background is painted with Bella Acrylic paint. Ann said she bought a whole set of these paints at Lowe's back in the winter. I really like them because they are nice and thick. The birds are Eggplant Adirondack paint and a Dina Wakley stencil.  The circles are gesso and a Tim Holtz stencil.  

Now to the part I love about this page.  All those lines. I love, love, love those lines. If I wasn't such a good friend I'd pack that Tim Holtz stencil in my bag when I leave tomorrow. The stencil belongs to Ann and I'm having stencil envy at the moment. I used the Bella paints again and stenciled with the Stripes by Tim randomly on the page.

The page is called Enough because I didn't want to do anything else to it. I kept thinking I should add a focal point but I didn't want to. I just couldn't cover up those yummy lines. I decided it's enough exactly the way it is.  That's a good thought to remember about myself too. I hope you will do the same today. You are enough just the way you are.  Happy Creating!!

What have you been working on these days?  I would love to see your work. Feel free to post it on the Art Journal Feel Facebook page

Link to Paint Party Friday, Artist Playroom, Art Journal Everyday

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Put It Out There... aka Vulnerability

Thoughts (if you just want to know how the art was done,feel free to skip this section)
I've been reading, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. It's about what we have to do to be our true authentic selves. It's also about shame and vulnerability which we have to understand in order to dare to be great.  This book is really getting to me.  I think I need to hear what she is saying but I'm finding it a bit painful.  I'm only a few chapters in and I already see how not being able to be the real me hurt my past relationships.  

Part of me wants to crawl in a hole and hide because I feel ashamed that I was not brave enough to stand up for myself and say,"THIS IS THE REAL ME!"  For years I felt like I was not enough or I was too much. I felt like the emotional equivalent of Goldilocks. I wanted to feel just right.

I tried to be what I thought I was suppose to be or what I thought other people wanted me to be... and it didn't work.  I spend years being unhappy and depressed. My worse fear was that I would be alone. After years of trying to be what I thought I was suppose to be in order not to be alone... I ended up alone anyway.  The worse thing that I thought could happened to me did happen and guess what? 

I didn't die.  I didn't curl in a ball and die. I found out that under that scared little girl was a strong big girl. I not only survived but I'm thriving!  Today, as I listen the Brene Brown, I'm saddened because I hide for so many years. It's ok for me to feel sad for a little bit. I can have regrets so long as I don't let them rule my life. I'm hoping that this book will teach me new skills about learning to be the real me and to take chances. 

The Art
The background is yellow because I wanted to finish that bottle of paint sitting on my table. The flowers are made with background paper I bought from The Angel Company years ago. Yea! I used some of my stash.  I used my new favorite stencil (a piece of plastic canvas) and a stencil by Dyan Reaveley. The title was written with a Liquitex paint marker. I really like the angle tip on this marker. 

I used that quote because of Daring Greatly. Brene talks about how innovation and creativity don't grow if we don't take chances.  In my opinion, this is not my best work. That's ok because I tried something a little different. This page has given me experience with using background paper in a different way. I have learned things from doing this page. It is part of my art journey so I'm putting it out there. I won't grow if I don't try new things and have a few pieces that I feel "meh" about. It's important that I tried something different and that I'm brave enough to show it to the world.

Art Journal Everyday

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Circles of Thoughts

How the Art Was Done.
Gesso the page and follow with a coat of blue paint.  I used a couple of different stencils and a baby wipe to remove part of the blue paint. Doing that gives it a soft look.

I've been seeing people on The Documented Life blog doing circles so I gave them a try.  They are simply circles of paint on two different backgrounds and then black circles drawn around the color. 

When a person is in recovery..( whether that recovery is from co-dependence,depression, drugs, alcohol, eating disorder, physical/emotional abuse or anxiety to name a few) we meet people walking along that same path.  We help and support each other on our journey.  Sometimes we find people who we can finally trust enough to be who we really are.

One of the most magnificent things I've ever experienced is being loved and accepted by someone who knows all my warts and quirts. Being accepted when I'm being selfish, controlling or just wacky as a bed bug.  Having friends who look at me and see all the good in me as well as all of my baggage and love me. I have meet people that I love that way too.  It's amazing to see I can be that accepting and loving toward others.

It's amazing to have someone love me until I can love myself.  I have done that for others too.  I know people I love and I will love until they can love themselves. It's difficult to watch those people struggle along their path.  The co-dependent part of me wants to help them or "fix it" for them.  That doesn't really help them and it feeds my belief that I can "fix" everything.  That is one of my defects of character.  My belief that I know what is best for other people... I don't really. I just think I do because if I believe that, I feel less helpless when someone I care about is hurting.  "Fixing It" is usually a huge control flag for me.  If I'm all about fixing something for someone else than I am feeling the need to be in control.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hands of Love

The hands you see here belong to my dad. My whole life those hands have worked hard to take care of me and my family.

My dad likes to work with wood.  I have so many memories of things I've seen his hands do. They painted our house.  They helped me learn to swim. They made kites for all the kids in the neighborhood. They made so many sets of blocks for small children that we've lost count. They helped me make a science project about magnets and they helped me letter posters for school projects. They taught me how to make neatly wrapped Christmas packages. They made many, many cool gifts to sell at craft fairs.  

The last huge project they did with me was help me put quarter round down in my home. They taught me how to use a compressor and nail gun.

The hands are older now but they still makes things.  They make craft kits for all the children at Plant Camp every year.  They grow vegetables.  In these pictures they helped me make a bulletin board out of recycled wood and chicken wire.  They are ture hands of love.

The background is wine colored craft paint and a stencil someone gave me.  I printed the photos on a laser copy machine..  All my artsy, crafty talents I get from my dad.  

Link to:  Journal 52 hands prompt.  Artist Play Room

Friday, May 2, 2014

Feelings is Not A Dirty Word

Welcome to my new blog. This blog will be part art and part thought.. I will endeavor to explain how I made my art and what I was feeling. I hope you'll want to play along with me on this journey in how we feel and express those feelings through art.  

This is the first page in my new feelings art journal. The background is a coat of heavy body Liquitex blue paint. I used a bar-b-q rack as a stencil.  The white was made by removing some of the blue paint with a baby wipe.  The other colors were stenciled on using a child's paint brush as a stipple brush.

The blocks are pieces of background paper and the person was drawn with a black sharpie and cut out.

Off Center is how I've felt emotionally at different times in my life. Yesterday I actually felt off center physically.  I woke up ... almost dizzy, almost queasy... physically off center. Food and caffeine didn't help so I stayed at home and it took all day before it passed. I don't know what caused it. Maybe vertigo..maybe I was just tired and needed a day at home. The why is not as important to me as the fact that I listened to my body and spent a day doing nothing but reading and sleeping.  I let myself rest and today I'm feeling much better.

Why This Blog?
Many people think feelings is a dirty word. Ignore how I feel. Pretend I'm not sad or lonely. Pretend I'm someone I'm not. Don't be too happy or too unhappy... that makes me too much or not enough.  I did that for many years and now I say NO MORE. I'm not saying I tell everyone I meet exactly how I feel because I don't. I have learned to choose safe, caring people to talk to when I have something I really need to sort out.

I won't tell you I have all the answers because I don't.  I am not a therapist. I have gone to therapy and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I do know that acknowledging my feelings has helped me become healthier physically, mentally and spiritually. 

Feeling my feelings is very important. Stuffing my feelings in the past has lead to me being sad, depressed and very down on myself. Stuffed feelings are like a festering wound. Ignore them and they grow and get ugly inside of me. I have read that depression is anger turned inward. I found that to be true for me. Finding constructive ways to express my feelings has been a tremendous help.

One of ways I've learned to express myself is through Art Journaling. I have gained confidence in myself as a person and as an artist.The purpose of this blog will be to express and explore how we are feeling through visual art. That art might be painting, art journaling,water color, sculpture etc. I hope that you will share your art and your thoughts with me as we go along. 

Please feel free to post your art and thoughts on our Facebook page: Art Journal Feel