Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Are you Disconnected from Your Heart?

"Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in our lives and fruitlessly search out there for the answers. What's often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic self."  -Emily Hancock

Years ago when my kids were babies I was lost. So sad and lost and so lonely. I spent everyday with my kids (which I loved) but had nothing just for me. I remember the moment when things began to change...my fog began to lift and my sense of self emerged...I was sitting on the couch talking with my husband. It had been a long day of changing diapers, feeding children and cleaning house...all of which had to be done again tomorrow. I was restless to DO something...anything but be in that house. As I sat whining to Dave he just looked at me and said "Babe, what you need is a hobby. Something you can do when you put the kids down for a nap or something you can do on a Saturday afternoon with friends." 

Well, yes I knew he was right..."I KNOW that Dave...but what??! What do I do. You have your hunting...what do I have? I don't know what to do!" I remember saying this in utter despair. I honestly didn't know what to DO. I didn't sew or paint or draw or do ceramics.


But then I was at the grocery store waiting on a prescription. As I looked at magazines to pass the time I ran across "Creating Keepsakes" magazine.

Do you remember this magazine? I LOVED it and miss it so much!! It's this magazine that changed my life in SO MANY ways! That day in the store I KNEW I had found my new hobby..."scrapbooking". I had always kept one in high school and I loved taking photos of my family....plus playing with stickers and glue...all of it just spoke to me. I jumped in with both feet, bought every scrapbook supply out at that time (crinkle cut scissors and stickers...lol) and became obsessed.

Soon wonderful things were happening...Not only was I spending a few Saturdays a month scrapbooking with new friends but my creativity was growing by leaps and bounds...my writing was improving and I was itchy to get published and start my own scrapbooking business (which I did). 

I never dreamed that less than 10 years later I would not only meet the founding editor of Creating Keepsakes, but would become lifelong friends with her and her lovely family.

This is us from 2009 in her front yard.

Lisa continues to inspire me in so many ways!!

As the years went by I continued to scrapbook, grow my business, teach classes and even get published....my hobby had grown into a passion!

As much as I LOVED to scrapbook...I longed to branch out creatively and try my hand at a thing I found while surfing the web one night...mixed media. It was the AMAZING Melody Ross and Brave Girls Club that launched my NEED for art journaling, paint and Mod Podge nearly 5 years ago!! You can read a bit about my Brave Girl journey here and see some of my early pieces.

In the past five years I have learned more about myself and found my TRUE calling all through my art, your blogs and my wonderful Facebook groups and friends. I have taught locally and was honored to teach in South Carolina last October at my first art retreat...(Thanks, Sherri!) This winter/spring I continue my passion for teaching with three classes "Art Journaling Basics", "With All My Heart" and "Do Brave Things". All available to my local friends:)

Girls...as I continue on my art journey I am SO grateful for my husband who loved me enough to tell me to listen to my heart. I am grateful for his love and support throughout our marriage...he inspires me to be my best! What he did for me was set me on my path to becoming my AUTHENTIC SELF. Finding Words and paint and images, putting them in books and on canvas...feeds my soul. teaching and inspiring you is my LOVE. 

I encourage YOU to find your Authentic Self...if you haven't already. REALLY listen to your Heart. What is it saying? Are you bored or tired or uninspired? DO SOMETHING!! Join an on-line group, start walking or just type in something you want to know more about and start learning about it on the Web!!

I am so grateful for this art journey of mine and I am grateful to have you here to learn and grow with me.

Here's to a passionate and inspiring 2015!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Goals and Intentions

"Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead...You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin."  -Kathleen Norris

2015 is nearly here and I am READY!! I am ready to keep MOVING (Move was my Word this year) forward and COMMIT (my 2015 Word) myself to living my dream life!!

This year I participated in several on-line challenges including the Documented Life Project, Index Card a Day Challenge and His Kingdom Come. I also kept up with my FB group Mind.Body.Soul and met many wonderful artists willing to share their joy and love of art journaling. We are nearly 950 strong and keep on growing. I have many creative ideas for our group this year and hope you will join us!!

This year I invested in a 2015 Creative Planner from Lisa Jacobs...money well spent!! She asks you all sorts of questions to help you pinpoint what it is your heart is yearning for. Things like What Worked in 2014? What are your biggest time wasters? What do you want MORE of in 2015? What HAS to happen by the end of 2015 for you to feel like you reached your goals? She also has you write down 25 goals for 2015 then has you pinpoint 5 of them to focus on. Here are my Goals for 2015...

1) Be pain free. Very little migraines and neck pain. Move my body and eat healthy. Cut sugar OUT!
2) NO MORE DRAMA! I will not tolerate people that take away my joy anymore!!!
3) Make more connections to travel and teach at art retreats.
4) Get my work EVERYWHERE!! Facebook, magazines, design teams, shows.
5) Teach my classes locally
6) Continue making my leather cuffs and selling in  my new Etsy shop.
7) Paint Happy! Explore and learn many painting techniques!!

Then there is a section in the planner to break down your goals one month at a time...GENIUS!

I KNOW 2015 will be amazing...I know it! I am willing to work hard to continue making my DREAMS a part of my day to day living. Last year I said YES to teaching in South Carolina at the ARTBEACH RETREAT. I met lifelong friends and have been invited back in 2015. All I keep thinking is...what if I would have said NO? What if I never would have responded to Sherri because of FEAR? I am SO GRATEFUL I listened to my HEART, said yes and WENT FOR IT!!

Girls, where do YOU see yourself this year? What dreams are YOU willing to work hard for?? Please share!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Documented Life Journal

"You have to erect a fence and say, "Okay, scale this."  -Linda Ronstadt

This time last year I was making plans for my Word for 2014, losing weight by working out at Curves and promising myself that I would add more ART to my life. Looking back on the year...I have done pretty well at keeping true to my Word (MOVE) and really putting myself out there with my art. (still working on the losing weight thing...that's a whole other post).

One of my favorite groups I participated in this year was the Documented Life Project...LOVE IT!!

This is my journal...made from a simple 50 cent composition notebook. I take this planner everywhere with me and always get someone asking me what it is and how can they get one...lol. This year the girls over at Art to the 5th are planning something different...this year we are working with the Dylusions Journal. Have you ever worked with one of these?

Oh gosh...it is AMAZING!! The quality of it is excellent...I know it will hold up to all the paint, ink and other stuff I will put it through:)

Here is what MY journal looks like...

This is the cover. Lots of bright paints, spray ink and words that speak to my heart.

This is the back of my journal...more paint, inks, and WORDS!

You can go here to find out all about 2015's Documented Life Journal.

This year I am REALLY going to stretch myself and continue to grow by putting myself out there even more. One of the areas that needs work is my painting skills. I love painting...messy painting, mostly. This year I am challenging myself to Paint Happy and have put together a fun FB group so YOU can join me! Read all about it here.

Have a Beautiful and Blessed Thanksgiving friends!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paint Happy: 52 Prompts Challenge

"If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."  -Edward Hopper

This is the year I paint!

And I want YOU to join me!!

Starting Monday, January 12th join me for "Paint Happy: 52 Prompts".

Here's how it works...

1. Purchase the book "The Painting Workbook". No, you don't HAVE TO but I HIGHLY suggest you do. It's a fantastic book and under $11.00 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Workbook-Started-Stay-Inspired/dp/1454708700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416336874&sr=8-1&keywords=the+painting+workbook

2. Each week I will post a prompt then show you MY work.

3. You will also be able to read and see more of my work on my blog...Words of Me Project. http://wordsofmeproject.blogspot.com/

4. You will have that week to work on the prompt.

5. Once you are finished you can post your work in our Paint Happy group.

**My hopes are that we become a community of women that uplift and encourage one another as we work on our painting skills. 

Girls, this is REALLY gonna be awesome!! Alena's book is soooo dang FUN! Seriously...lots of bright, happy colors and oodles of inspiration. I mainly work with collage...painting intimidates me...but NO MORE. I am DETERMINED to PAINT every week in 2015. I want to GROW as an artist and would LOVE for YOU to join me!! This is FREE (except for the book cost) and oh so fun!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

78 Days of Progress and "The Painting Workbook"

"A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it."  -Carlos Casteneda

For the past 78 days I have been growing...more than I ever thought possible. I have traveled, read books, taught at an art retreat, made many new friends, started an Etsy shop with my daughter, danced in a drum circle on the beach, dared to create something and send it in to my favorite art magazine, spend quality time with my Mom who has breast cancer, created my perfect art studio, learned how to make leather cuffs and found a new love...Native American art and history. It has been one, amazing journey...one that is just beginning!

"Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle."  -Annie Besant

When I set out on my 100 Day Flying Free journey I had no idea where it would take me...I just knew I had to take it. I had to begin living the way I wanted...the way that would make my heart happy. I knew I wanted more art in life, more love in my home. I wanted to say Goodbye to Fear and Hello to Courage.

In the next 22 days and beyond I have so many art projects and adventures planned...I can feel my artistic life really begin to take flight.

Last month I had the privilege to teach in Folly Beach, South Carolina at ArtBeach Retreat. Not only did I get to teach all my favorite mixed media techniques...I met my Art Tribe there!! An incredible experience and one I am proud to say I get to repeat next year!! Sherri has invited me back for three more classes!!  Go here to learn more about it and sign up!!!

Teaching truly is a passion of mine...so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to teach right in my hometown!! Tomorrow morning I meet with Lori so we can talk about my classes! So grateful to offer an art journaling class and Soul House class to local ladies this winter!!!

"Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face and then reach for the stars."  -Joan L. Cureio

2015 brings so many opportunities for me to grow and be inspired like never before! Not only will I be participating in the Documented Life Project (again) using this cool journal...

And Document my Faith with the talented and inspiring Stephanie Ackerman but I have also set a goal for myself to paint through this book this year...

Oh how I LOVE this book!! I bought it a few months ago and really, really wanted to start on it sooner. However, time just got away from me and I knew I wanted to share it with YOU...so my intention is to begin January 1st. AND I want to invite YOU to join me!!

If you don't know about this incredibly inspirational book you should go here to find out!! I have been mostly a collage artist...but I truly want to PAINT...and paint a lot!! When I saw this book and Alena's work...I knew this was the one to really get me excited about painting!! If you want to join me on my journey...buy the book and let me know you have it. You can let me know either here or in my FB group Mind.Body. Soul. My intention is to do all 52 prompts in order and in less than a year. Some weeks I may do 2 or 3 prompts...I will share each prompt here along with my painting. I do have many more ideas with this and will be posting more details later in the week!!

"Actions speak louder than words."  

Girls, in my 100 Days of Flying Free I have learned that getting up and DOING something...anything is better than just sitting and thinking about it. Get out there and LIVE. If an opportunity presents itself to teach or create or do what you have been wanting to do...then say YES!! Magic happens when you say Get out of my way FEAR!! and say YES to what you truly want! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Short and Sweet

"When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go."  -Carol Burnett

I can't believe how I have been neglecting my blog. Writing is one of my first love's yet I haven't done it on a regular basis in months. Life has been busy that's for sure and quite the roller coaster...lots of ugly/emotional stuff but so MUCH amazing/happy stuff, too. We take the good with the bad and just be grateful we are here, right?


The past 6 months my migraine headaches have taken over...I have more bad days than good (when it comes to pain). This morning I took the first step in getting well again by visiting with my Doctor. I also scheduled a mammogram (my first) and had x-rays done on my neck. Turns out I have an old injury where my neck may have been broken and that's what's causing all my pain. I pray I will find out something so I can get to the root of this pain and get it to STOP!

There are so many ideas I want to pursue, goals I have set, etc....and I want to share all those things here...

And I will.

But today, I must keep this short. I have a date with my Curves Coach (yes, I am striving to get my health back again, sigh) and am hoping my daughter and I can go to a thrift shop or two. I will leave you with this quote and hope you have an amazing, inspirational day!

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."  -Beverly Sills

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ArtBeach Retreat: Amazing Experience

"It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living."  -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Last January I answered a call...both to my heart and to my on-line artist friend Sherri Welser. She was hosting her second annual ArtBeach Retreat in Folly Beach, South Carolina and needed teachers. I KNEW in my HEART I wanted to say YES!!! Pick me, pick me!! But in my head???...well that was a different story. In the end my heart won out and what a FABULOUS time I had!!!

One of our teachers was Denise Baldwin. Have you ever seen any of her work?? WOW!! So dang CUTE!!! Here is her Etsy shop in case you are interested...she makes these AWESOME face stencils...

A canvas I created using Denise's face stencil and wings technique

Yes...that face started out as a stencil...I did make it my own with colors, lashes, hair, etc. But if you are like me and just can't seem to get the whole face thing down...her stencils will help you a BUNCH and make it FUN!!

Thursday night we had a night out on the town..my 48th Birthday was in just a few days so I decided to celebrate a bit early with these lovelies...

That's the Retreat's founder Sherri...she is AMAZING!! Denise is on the right. What a FUN time we all had...enjoying drinks, delicious food and one another's company. There is a photo of all of us somewhere but I can't seem to find it today...lol.

Sherri was such a gracious host and let me have the first day of the retreat to create! Yay! I was so nervous and just wanted to get to know everyone. By the second day we were all best friends and very comfortable with one another. This is me teaching my first class Thursday morning...Soul House.

See that darling little denim apron I am wearing?? I won that from Miss Angie!! LOVE it:)

Honestly, being here was like a dream...THIS was our view throughout the retreat!!!

Right our our backdoor...there is nothing like the sound, the smell and sight of the ocean.

By Friday we couldn't stay inside any longer...we all moved outside for my Stencil Class...talk about Heaven!

These wonderful girls are all so TALENTED!! We had a blast playing with stencils!!

Another photo of my Tribe creating. These girls are thoughtful, sweet, creative and inspiring. What I learned from each of them is that I AM OK. I AM CREATIVE. It is OK to be ME. And most importantly these BEAUTIFUL women taught me to LOVE myself again and say GOODBYE to FEAR!!

Hee, Hee...another photo of me being a dork...HA!

Me and my Soul Houses

Sherri taught us how to create the CuTEST Beach Houses...this is how mine turned out...I LOVE it so much and hung it in my bathroom! There is even a real seashell from the beach:)

This is sweet Sandy...she flew all the way from Queensland Australia to play with us!! Her art was so much like mine...we really connected!! This was her piece she created in my Stencil class...love it!

Awwww....these girls all have my heart....

Cute Lucinda...she picked me up from the Airport...we bonded right away...she calls me Precious Buns....:)

 I can't tell you HOW GRATEFUL I am that I DID NOT LET FEAR stop me from saying YES to this retreat!! This was LIFE CHANGING for me in SO MANY WAYS!!! Oh my heck!! 

Saying goodbye to Folly Beach until next year....

"She allowed herself the space to believe in her beauty and strength..."
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