Monday, August 25, 2014

Pouring Out My Heart

"I believe there's an inner power that makes winners and losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts."  -Sylvester.


The Truth is...my heart hurts.
And I didn't really realize just how much it hurt until I read one of my favorite artist's blog last night...Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club. As I read her story, her struggles all I kept thinking was how in the world she had gone on for as long as she had without help. But then I realized...heck, I have had FOUR YEARS of non-stop stress and sadness and anger and loss in my life, yet I am always trying to "be happy" and act like all is well.

The plain Truth is this....

It's not.

In Melody's case all of her stress's were manifesting themselves in big, ugly hives all over her body and face. Not only were they painful physically but emotionally. Can you imagine having your eyes swell on any given day and you already feel yucky and out of sorts but now you look that way, too? How awful!

But as I was reading her story I began to think of MY story and how MY story is affecting me...and I KNEW it was TIME to tell MY story...to get it all out there...so I can start fresh... so MY heart is full of joy again. Full of Truth and Love.

So I can start at Day One.



My story starts three years ago. That's when we made the decision to close our Domino's Pizza Franchise down. I could never have imagined how that one thing would change my life (both good and bad). I also never could have NEVER, EVER imagined how complicated and sorrowful my life would become...or how STRONG and BRAVE I could be.

My dear, sweet family right in the middle of our mayhem. 


In order for me to heal I decided to write every, little thing I could think of...anything that's been weighing on my heart these past three years. I want it on paper, tucked away in my drawer and OUT of my heart!! No matter how big or how little, I just wanted all the stresses out where I could SEE them and not FEEL them.

 I am going to share some of them with you...not so you can feel sorry for me or judge me or whatever, but I am hoping if any of you are going through these things...that maybe you will read this and say to yourself "I am NOT alone...someone else has felt this way, had this happen to them and they are healing...they are making it through."

So many, many hard, painful things my dear sweet family has been through...the hardest has been watching one of the dearest, sweetest souls I have ever known go through so much pain. This loved one has been broken...her heart, she thought beyond repair. Consumed with sadness and darkness our hearts have been ripped to shreds. Worry and grief overtake me at times but then I turn to my Father in Heaven and KNOW she WILL be whole again.

These kids of mine...I don't know what I would do without them. They bring me joy and my heart is full of love for each one of them...their unique talents, the way they make me laugh...they way they make our family complete.

My cuties 14 years ago

There have been times when a gallon of milk was too expensive and a shake from Sonic was a real treat. I have watched my husband put in long, hard hours making sure we could pay our bills and put food on the table. I have also watched all the stress take a toll on his body. I worry about him and pray everyday for his stress to be taken away.

We have been through cancer with his Dad...stage 4 pancreatic...and my Mom with stage 2 breast cancer.

My heart is so many places...with my children, my husband, my Mom, his Dad, friends going through struggles...it is being stretched so thin...so very thin. At times it hurts. At times I am numb to all of it.

I sit in front of the TV and eat. I eat to console myself...to forget about the stress of the day.

Throughout the past 3 years my migraines have become unbearable at times. I keep a pain journal and my headaches and body pain always is present during a stressful day/week/time.

Sometimes I am so unhappy that I withdraw from the world. I tend to wrap myself up in a cocoon not wanting to see anyone...afraid I will I have to put my happy face on and pretend.

So this amazing woman Melody Ross from Brave Girl's Club...she has taught me so much about myself...about how BRAVE I really am.

And
I
AM.

I am brave.



I AM BRAVE!

But I am tired.

And I am tired of not being me.
Of not choosing things authentically.

I need to rest from the stress.

I need to surround myself with what TRULY makes MY HEART sing. What fills me up. Oh yes, I am quote aware that there will still be stress in our lives...no getting out of that...but I need to RESTORE my soul.

To pray more.
Read my Scriptures daily.
Create.
Walk.
Rest.

And be OK when I am not perfect. Gosh, I am so hard on myself at times (most times)



I am a Beautiful Soul.
And so are You.
We all are.
We all have unique gifts and talents.
We all have stress and grief.
But we need REST. We need to KNOW that we are OK exactly where we are at on our journey.

I have learned SO much from my sweet soul going through so much. She has taught me to enjoy the little moments. That it's ok to drop what I am doing and just HAVE FUN. To take time to be with loved ones...and to take time to just BE with myself...to chill, to REST. She has also taught me to TRUST and RELY on the Lord...for He is ALWAYS there to REST in.

Melody took the beginning of summer and went on a 100 Day journey of REST. I want to do the same...adding my own ideas to the challenge. Beginning this Monday, September 1st I am going on MY OWN 100 Day Journey. Fall is my very favorite part of the year...the weather, the cooking, the craft shows and fall festivals. Thanksgiving, Christmas...they all make my heart happy. On my 100 day journey I intend to spend more time laughing, contemplating, writing, spending time with my art, my girl, my husband. Connecting with my Mom and helping her on her journey as she faces cancer with grace and dignity. I am going to rest in Him. I am going to read my scriptures and take long walks. I am going to organize and let go of all the STUFF weighing on my heart.

I would love for you to join me on your OWN journey. Girls, we really are in this all together.

Thanks so much for letting me share my story...my heart. xoxo


Friday, August 1, 2014

August Challenge: With all my Heart

"But if you have nothing else to create, then perhaps you create yourself."  -Carl Jung


Here it is a BRAND NEW month...August 1st. This is my very favorite time of year...when summer is winding down and cooler days and nights are on their way. We have 31 days...to live and breath and create before the busy season begins...school starting, kids activities and the holidays.

I was so inspired by Tammy Garcia's Index Card a Day Challenge this summer that I am just not ready for it to end!!







 I am in the groove and determined to keep on painting, stenciling, doodling and creating.






Soooo I was thinking about doing my OWN end of summer Challenge and wanted to share it with YOU!! And since I LOVE using Hearts in most of my artwork......




I am calling our end of summer Challenge..."With all my Heart".

Here's how it works....

Starting Monday, August 4th I challenge you to create ONE Heart a day...you can draw it, paint it, stamp it, use canvas, your art journals, index cards, playing cards....whatever you have.

I plan on using one 4x6 index card a day along with various mixed media supplies. I will be posting a "Heart Prompt" in our Face Book group Mind.Body. Soul. every morning as well as sharing my work with you. 

"With all my Heart" ends August 31st.

I encourage you to play along with me and post your work in our Facebook group!!

So take this weekend to gather your supplies in one area to make it easier to create your hearts. Remember you don't need to make this hard...a simple index card and doodling pens would work fine.

I can't wait to see the Hearts you create!!!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Lots of Creating!! {photos}

Live a Joyful Life


This month I have been so busy CREATING! 
I thought it would be fun to share some of my creations with you.

Have you heard about the Documented Life Project?? It has become my VERY FAVORITE thing to work on!!


My pages from a few weeks ago


It's part planner, part art journal.

My pages from last week...not quite finished

5 amazing and very different artists have combined their talents to bring us this very addicting project!!

Click here to meet each one and join in the fun.

This project has inspired me so much that last week I created a notebook just for my spiritual thoughts, favorite scriptures and prayers.



And speaking of inspiration...Stephanie Ackerman has been motivating me to not only create, but to study my scriptures and document my faith. So between the two...this book was meant to be:)


Another project I've had a blast with this summer is Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day.




Since June 1st I have been painting, collaging and doodling on 4x6 index cards.



Tammy provides prompts for each day...however I have put my own spin on the challenge and LOVE it!!



Each week I pick my own theme...one week I used vintage girls, words and acrylic only. (see above cards)


The week of the 4th I only used red and blue spray ink, a few stencils, vintage images and a set of K&Co. die-cuts.




I really love how these turned out!





I make sure and date each card. I have been using lined notebook paper and a Sharpie.


The week of July 7th I used various images, acrylic paint, rub-ons and doodles.



This is one of my favorites from the entire challenge!




I LOVE this card!! There is is just something about that little girl's expression.



Last week Dina Wakely's Scribbly Bird stamp set came in the mail...so you know what I did:)




Some of the birds I stamped directly on the cards...while others I stamped on book paper and cut out.



Each cards background is one color...I used my gelato's and water for that.
  

I am so into stars!!






My favorite one



If you have been thinking about purchasing these bird stamps...DO IT!! I had thought about it for months then just did it!! There are so many uses for these darling stamps!! I bought mine here and was impressed with their fast service:) 

This week my sweet family and I are headed to Las Vegas!! Dave and I have been 12 times and always said once our kids were old enough we would take them, too. So THIS Wednesday, bright and early we are OFF!! Looking forward to getting away and having FUN!!

What have you been creating this summer?? Are you going anywhere on vacation?? I would love to hear!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy Me

"A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days....a schedule is a mock-up of reason and order...willed, faked, and so brought into being."  -Annie Dillard


Since I put it out there that I was going to take steps each day to follow my dream....I have. I have been creating and dreaming and living my life with intention.



What dreams are you working on??

Monday, July 7, 2014

Making Time for My Dreams

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts....it's what you do with what you have left."  -Hubert H. Humphrey after his cancer surgery



Last week I posted this....


Ok so TODAY is the day I stop looking at everyone else living their art dreams and TODAY I am SHOWING UP to MY dreams. MY art!!


I was just so tired of reading about everyone else, seeing there art, watching what they are doing and not doing anything myself. I realized I spend most my days LOOKING rather than DOING.

I
decided
to 
stop
that.


page from my art journal

Last week I made a schedule that I can follow. One that will allow me to get what I need to get done around here and leave plenty of room to CREATE. To write and let the ideas flow.

I haven't been this excited in a very long time!!

a piece of my Brave Art

I am still enjoying the Index Card a Day Challenge with Tammy from Daisy Yellow and am in love with the Documented Life Project from the Art to the 5th gals. I even signed up for their fun mini class and LOVE IT!!!

I was soooo inspired by all my creative energy that I am working on my next completely FREE art journaling class..."Happiness Is..." This class will be filled with lots of technique ideas/photos, prompts, and even a few prizes thrown in!! Look for "Happiness Is..." THIS FALL. 

Just  a few more photos before I head out the door for my walk...


This is my beautiful daughter...Emma. She painted this self-portrait last year. I LOVE IT!! So much that it sits on my mantle:)


How CUTE is that??!


Girls, I hope you are taking time for you. Time to create and fill yourselves up. Please let me know what projects you are working on!! I would love to know!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Time to Be True

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."  -Swami Sivandanda


I am struggling in so many areas of my life right now. Since last November I have been trying to lose weight and just be healthy. Here it is almost 8 months later and I have only lost 10 pounds. I keep playing with the same 5 pounds. One week I am up one week down. It is driving me crazy. And what's worse than the lack of my weight loss is the fact I haven't reached ONE goal in MONTHS. Not even the simplest thing like getting my steps or water in daily.

I am a mess.
And it shows.

In my daily life, my artwork, my spirit.

My headaches are coming back with a vengeance. I am not sleeping well and my moods are up and down. Somethings got to change. It's time for me to be TRUE to me again.

A Brave Art piece I created a few years ago.

This morning I met with my Curves Coach and I admitted something to her and to myself...I don't think I am worth all the effort it takes to be healthy. I have been at my current weight and situation for so long that I just don't think I can ever break through to the next level.

How sad is that?

I am constantly thinking of others and taking time for them but when it comes to me...I just put myself on the back burner. And guess what?? It is taking it's toll.

So today, with the help of my Curves Coach Renee...we came up with goals to help me get back on track...all I gotta do is show up and BE BRAVE.

A page from my art journal

So here I am today, all my papers and planner spread out in front of me planning my week. I KNOW that when I plan...magic happens.

A page from my art journal

I am inspired to create a Quote journal...full of my favorite quotes that motivate me to STAY TRUE. I love it when I can combine art with my goals!!

A page from my art journal

So this week I re-commit to ME. I re-commit to loving myself enough to stay focused and REACH my goals. I know I can do this. I know that when I put my HEART into something...things get done!

"I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."  -Vincent Van Gogh

What are ways that YOU get back on track when you feel like you have lost your way? I would love to know!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Creative process, Style, etc.

“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.” ~Terri Guillemets


The amazing and fabulous Leanne with  From Chaos Comes Happiness has asked me to answer a few artsy questions about myself. This has been a VERY enlightening experience to say the least....I had never given these questions much thought until now. Thanks so much Leanne for this challenge!

What am I working on? Currently I am obsessed with stencils, spray ink and creating backgrounds.

Background in my Documented Life Planner...also playing along in the Color of Summer Challenge using turquoise, yellow and hot pink.
I find when I am knee deep in watercolor paper, art journals, paint, inks, stencils, stamps, vintage images and letters my creative spirit is unleashed and I get lost in my art. It is the best feeling ever!!

Some of my favorite images to use are vintage girls. I use them in most of my work.

I am also playing along with Tammy from Daisy Yellow...her ICAD Challenge is the BEST! The above image is one of my index cards from last week. The Summer of Color Challenge and Documented Life Challenge are also keeping me busy this summer. And I am finishing up The Walk with Brave Girls Club. LOVE their classes!!


Another ICAD from last week. The prompt was camera.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  The Words and images I use are what's in my heart. Yes, I am aware that so many people use vintage images and birds and butterflies, etc...but what I am saying...what I am creating comes from ME. It's what speaks to me. We all have a different story to tell...my art is MY story.

A page from my art journal

3. Why do I create what I do? To encourage, uplift and inspire. Seriously...those words are in my heart...and when I create I want what's in my heart to be revealed in my art. 

One of my fave pieces of my Brave Art

I was at an art show one time...with all my art laid out on display. It was my first show and I was scared no one would like my work. I will never, ever forget this woman that came up to me, clutching one of my business cards to her chest. (my biz cards have my art on them) She looked at me and said "What can I give you for this?" I replied with a puzzled look..."Ma'am that is by business card...those are free." She answered..."Sweetie, your work is beautiful and it is speaking to my heart. Please never quit doing what you do." Then she handed me a dollar. She told me she couldn't afford to buy anything but she wanted to have something so she took my card. Oh my goodness!! I will NEVER forget that. If I never sold a piece of my work again...her words were enough. They filled my soul up that day and continue to do so!

Another favorite of mine to create are sweet, little houses.

4. How does my creative process work? I rarely go into creating something with an idea. I think that's why I love making backgrounds so much. I have no agenda...just my supplies, my favorite tunes and time. Once I get to spraying and inking and painting an idea will come. It so often depends on my mood, what's going on in my life at the moment. Quotes are a big motivation for me. Also images...I love working with these!!



To create pages like this...



Nowhere near finished but it's an awesome start!

I am a VERY visual person so I LOVE looking at Pinterest, Somerset Magazines and other blogs for inspiration!! My FAVORITE magazine is by Somerset Studios.



I didn't start creating until I was in my early 40's. When I was in 8th grade my art teacher told me I had no chance of ever being an artist...all because I couldn't draw. Ha! I have learned art is so MUCH MORE than whether or not I can DRAW. It is so sad to me that I let what she told me keep me away from my creativity for so long. I know that's why NOW, today I LOVE teaching mixed media classes to other women. I never, ever want a person to think she is not creative. We are ALL creative beings and have something to share with the world!!:)

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about me and my creative process. Please be sure and stop by these creative ladies blogs to learn all about them, too. They will have their post up next week!!

Jodene Shaw...one of my FAVORITE mixed media artists ever!! LOVE her work and her sweet spirit. Her faith appears in ALL her work!!

Joanna Grant....I "found" Joanne through my FB group Mind.Body.Soul.  Her backgrounds with the Gelli Plate are AMAZING!! Love her work and I can't wait to hear about her creative process!!!

Thanks again for sharing my creative process with me...be sure and stop by Jodene and Joanna's blogs next week for more inspiration!!
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