Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week Nine: Reflection

"Well-being is attained little by littel, and is no little thing itself."  -Zeno of Citium

This journey we are on is no little thing. It is about changing your week, one day, one choice at a time. We have been working together now for 8 weeks! Can you believe it?? I seriously can't. Looking back I realize there are several areas that still need this whole taking quiet time for me and my morning routine...ACK! Where does the time go??

I know when I take the time to work on myself...that is when my life falls into place. It's when I am happiest and most ME!!!

This week I want you to reflect. Look back at your journal pages...especially your Mission Statement. How are you doing?? Are you where you want to be??

I know when things don't go as planned we can be so hard on ourselves. Many of your comments in our FB group have been about how far behind you are. Trust me...I understand!! True Confession time girls...I have been signed up for Life Book 2013 and have yet to complete ANY of the's been going on for over 6 months!! Everytime I think I will...something seems to pop up and I don't make the time. Talk about GUILT! When I go on the Life Book FB page I feel simple awful...the girls are getting so much out of it and here I am dozens of assignments BEHIND!!

But you know what I HAVE been doing?? Spending time with my family, working in our Kool Kats ice shack, reading, resting and just playing. Sometimes I just sit outside on the patio, art magazine in hand, barefoot and just let the sun shine on my face. I love it!!

We do the best we can , girls. We really do. And we MuSt remember that!!

"One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows slowly endures."  -J.G. Hubbard

Girls, you are NEVER, EVER behind!! My goal with this 52 Week journal class is for you to take each week and really learn and GROW. Really become who you are meant to be. For you 52 weeks may look like 80 weeks. And that's ok.

This week is the week of REFLECTION. Look back, read your words, see how far you've come. Look for areas you need to work on. Like I said above...I know I need to find more solitude and work on my Morning Routine. Those are on my Absolute Yes List. When I practice those thiings...the rest of my life falls into place.

"Life is a great bundle of Little Things."  -Oliver Wendell Holmes

What areas do YOU need to work on?? Please share in the comment section...I would really love to hear how you are doing!!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Fresh Fridays: Just Stamp it!

"Creativity is not a driving force. It happens. It creates itself and you have to be open."  -Mayumi Oda, Artist and Writer

Welcome to Fresh Fridays! I absolutely LOVE my tip for today and need to remember to use it in my artwork more...especially my art journals.

So many times when we journal it's easy to stuck repeating the same old techniques over and over...especially when it comes to writing down our thoughts, a quote or a word. Either we use our own handwriting or print it out on the computer. I like to mix it up a bit and use my stamps...but instead of stamping directly on the page I do this...

I take my letter stamps, put paint on them then stamp the letter onto a piece of cardstock. After it dries I use my papercutter to cut each letter, ink around the letters then Mod Podge to my page.  I LovE this look! It's also fun to outline each letter in either black or white paint. This gives a real hand-drawn feel.

When journaling or using a quote just stamp it onto cardstock...cut out each word, ink the edges and doodle lines or dots around each word. Finally Mod Podge to your page.

Super simple yet so different. Try it the next time you journal!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week Eight: Finding Solitude {is not easy}

"Only when one is connected to one's inner core is one connected to others. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude."  Annie Morrow Lindbergh, Writer

We ALL have interruptions. Whether it's from our children, the dog, a knock on the door or our other half...interruptions are always going to happen. And I don't know about you...but nothing can make me lose my creative mojo more than unwanted noise or having to get up to do something when I am right in the middle of writing or painting.

Unfortunately this is a way of life for many of us creative types. Why?? Because we work from home. And while working from home is pretty great and I wouldn't want it any other way...I long for uninterrupted time all to myself!

"Solitude is mandatory for staying connected to one's own soul." -Gail Jones

I know that I am not getting enough solitude in my life and I am allowing all the interruptions to push my dreams to the  back burner. I find myself saying "when things aren't so hectic...then I'll create." Ha! Well guess what?? I don't see my life slowing down anytime soon!! I KNOW I must take full advantage of the time I DO have. I need more creative discipline in my life!!

What does creative discipline look like?? After all...just those two words don't sound right together do they??


Here is some life-changing advice from my favorite author on this subject Gail McMeekin...

"Creative thoughts percolate in silence, in an atmosphere where we can escape the noise and the needs of others. We must dialogue with ourselves and then review the content. We must be still enough to listen and cultivate our creative impulses. Successful creative women value their time enough not to be seduced into doing things that they don't really want to do...unless they choose to. In order to succeed, you MUST create a space, commit the time, value it, and fight for it. And yes, give some things up."

Wow! I don't know about you but that paragraph really speaks to me. Gail is telling us that if we want to live this creative life we dream about...then we must make the time for it. We ARE valuable. What we wish for is ENOUGH. I love that!

This week, girls I want you to think about all the interruptions in your day. Think about the last time you set time aside for yourself to many interruptions did you have? Are some of them {or all of them} self-imposed? I know for me I am the WORST at self-imposed interruptions. I am always thinking of what is on my To-Do list and getting up to do those things.

This week I am making myself a Creative Schedule and allowing myself some much needed and well-deserved uninterrupted creative time. I am also going to think about those things I truly don't need or want in my life right now and set about finding ways I can eliminate them. I encourage you to do the same.
Remember our Absolute Yes list from Week Three??

"When you come to a roadblock, take a detour."  -Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

**By the way...during the hour that it took to write this post here are all the interruptions I experienced...

*non-stop barking from my dog Gizmo
*my kids getting ready to work at Kool Kats...they all needed me for something!!
*my son Jackson came in and needed his laptop for a few minutes before I even got the first paragraph written {we share computers}
*the dryer buzzed two times
*my mom stopped by

Have YOU started your 52 Week journey yet?? Go here to begin!
Stop by our FB group and share your blogs, photos, etc.

How do you handle iinterruptions??

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fresh Fridays: Adding Flair to your Canvas projects

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” 
― George Bernard Sha

How many times do you create something, look at it, get frustrated and tell yourself that YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST??

When I first began this journey nearly three years ago I did that with almost everthing I created. My very first painting was just awful!! {someday I will share here...i just don't have the courage quite}

Now, most times when I sit down to create I am either trying something totally new or art journaling...this has taught me to be patient with take art all in. To experiment, learn and grow. Instead of getting ready for another craft show I am just creating for the joy of it. What a difference that has made!!

Today is Friday!! Welcome to our second week of Fresh Fridays!!

Today's tip is super easy yet adds an artsy flair to your canvas projects.

The next time you paint a canvas why not add a favorite word or shape to the sides of it??

This particular canvas was created with the word Courage in mind.

Once it was finished I realized I hadn't used the word Courage anywhere on the canvas!! I understood what "hello There" meant but knew others may not. After several minutes I took a small paintbrush, white paint and wrote Courage on one side. I added the heart to remind myself to always be True:)

What kinds of things do YOU put on the edges of your canvas's?? Please share!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week Seven: Happiness is....

"All times are beautiful for those who maintain joy within them; but there is no happy or favorable time for those with disconsolate or orphaned souls."  -Rosalia Castro

Here it is Week 7. We have come a long ways don't you think??

Week One we started our Routines...whether they are morning or night by now all of us should be in full-swing. I will tell you though...I have to make myself do my routine many times!! These summer late night hours make it hard to wake up!!!

In Week Two we wrote our Mission Statements.

I encourage you to look through your Mission Statements often and tweaking them as you grow and change.

Week Three we made our Absolute Yes List. Do you remember what is in yours?? If not take time this week to review it!! And is OK to say NO to things that truly don't speak to your heart:)

In Week Four I encouraged you to get more sleep. So far this has been the hardest one for me to follow. I love late night movies in the summer time!!!

Week five I told you to MOVE!! Walk, whatever you want...just get out and move your body!! I am still working on moving more. This week I intend on walking at least 6 days.

Week Six was one I desperately needed and have taken seriously...Postitive Self Talk. It is SO IMPORTANT that we fill our head with NICE things about ourselves. Negative talk only breeds self-hatred and squashes our dreams. Start being NICE to YOU!!

Now here we are in Week 7. Are you READY??

"To live happily is an inward power of the Soul."  -Marcus Aureleis

This week is an easy least I think it is. Not a lot of pressure...I just want you to LIGHTEN Up and BE HapPPY!!!

Take this week to RADIATE your Light. Smile, sing your favorite song, do what you LOVE!!!

Make a list this week of EVERYTHING that makes YOU HAPPY! That makes YOU have butterflies in your tummy! Every. Little. Thing. that makes your heart flutter!

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."  -Gandhi

What makes you happy???

Please play along with us!! Catch up here

 Here is MY FAVORITE song from Katrina and the Waves...Enjoy!!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fresh Fridays: Finding just the RiGHt Words

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

I tend to do the same things over and over again. Whether it's what I eat, what I wear, how I clean my home or creating...there is something comforting about routine. 

Now don't get me wrong...routine can be the best thing but when it comes to creating...I like to shake it up a bit. Branch out, try new techniques, find quotes and questions that inspire me to think deeper and use products in new and challenging ways. 

Welcome to Fresh Fridays!! Join me every Friday for a short and sweet tip, prompt, product or photo to spark your creativity and freshen up your art journals or other mixed media projects. I am super excited about this and hope you can use my ideas to spark ideas of your own. Feel free to grab a button (right click on image, save, copy my blog address then put on your blog...easy!)I would be so happy if you passed the word on:)


I am a Word junkie. Every piece of my art has a phrase, quote or Word on it!!

In fact I rarely create a canvas or journal page without first looking for the perfect Word or quote first...nothing falls into place without using those as  my foundation!

A few years ago when my art journey began I realized it would not only be easier but FUN to have dozens of Words and quotes already available to use in my work.

Every few months or so I sit at my computer with quotes I have collected, phrases that inspire and Words that are on my mind. I LOVE this part of the creative process as I type each Word, decide on a font and size. After I print them out they go in a folder. I also keep a tin full of phrases and Words already cut out...this makes journaling and other projects that more fun!

I also use images of vintage girls in my work...several times throughout the year I am fortunate enough to find old magazines with tons of these photos. I always cut them out, paste onto cardstock then take to my local printer. They can print dozens of images for me for around 3 bucks!

The next time you are in a creative funk...why not sit down, type out some Words and quotes that speak to you and see what happens! I have no doubt if you try won't ever stop.

How do you find just the right thing to say in your work?? Please share!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week Six: Be Nice!

"He who would be useful, strong and happy must cease to be a passive receptacle for the negative, beggarly, and impure streams of thought; and as a wise householder commands his servants and invites his quests, so must he learn to command his thoughts he shall admit into the mansion of his soul."  - James Allen  

How do you talk to YOU?? Last winter it dawned on me that half of my problem was all the negative self talk I was doing. Sure, we were stressed out with all the bad stuff going on...but honestly...I know I would have felt better if I would have been nicer to ME!

When I really stopped to think about how I "talked" to myself...I realized that it had been a VERY LONG time since I had given myself a break. I was constantly putting myself down about the food I ate, the weight I had gained, the clothes I wore, the way I kept house, created, wrote in my blog, talked to was really getting out of hand!

One morning I decided to do an experiment. Instead of bashing myself I decided to find all my positive attributes. So my pants were getting tighter...but my hair and make-up looked really nice that day. I even sat down with my journal and made a list of what I loved about myself. It was amazing how different I felt. On days I was constantly chastising myself I could literally feel the energy being drained from my body. It did nothing to help with my stress level either.

However on those days I made an effort to be nice...those days weren't so stressful. Those days I actually felt light-hearted and smiled more. I knew I was on to something.

This week I want you to BE KIND to yourself. NO negative self-talk allowed!! When you find yourself putting you down...just stop. Think about what it is you are saying. I think by the end of the week you will be AMAZED at how GOOD you feel about YOU!!!!

Just a bit of homework...along with your journal page...keep track of all the bad things you say to yourself. Keep a running list in your journal or even just a piece of scrap paper. The point to really SEE where it is you are self-sabotaging yourself the most. For me I am AWFUL to myself when it comes to my body and my body image. I can be so MEAN to me!!!!
Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.
-- Charlotte Bronte

I challenge you to CHANGE yourself from within this week by being kind to yourself. We can do this, girls!! And when we do...that is when our dreams really do start coming true!!How is the Challenge going so far?? I LOVE seeing your work!!52 Weeks
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Monday, July 1, 2013

SHaKe, shAkE, ShAKE yOur BoDy

"If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking." -Buddhist Proverb

Have you ever been on a walk feeling one way and came back from it feeling totally different? I discovered the true treasure walking is back in the early 1990's. I had just gotten married and was looking at losing 20 pounds. In the past I had been a HuGE step aerobic girl...but was bored with it and craved being outside. 

I had never given walking chance...

I honestly didn't think their was much benefit in it. Boy was I WRONG!!

One day in the grocery store I found a magazine called Fit Walking. I picked it up, flipped through it and bought it. The next day I found the perfect pair of shoes, laced them up and headed out the door with out black lab Rocky. We lived in the country which added to my walks...I LOVEd hearing the birds, seeing the long stretches of cornfields and feeling the breeze on my face. Walking became my PASSION!! I walked EVERYWHERE!!!!

"For the diligent, a week has seven days. For the slothful, a week has seven tomorrows."  -Anon.

Creative writer and artist Julia Cameron believes in the power and connection between walking and creativity and encourages her students who are going through her book "The Artists Way" to take daily walks.

“When we walk, the two halves of our brains converse.”

Ever since the day I discovered walking I have been hooked. Not only has it helped me keep my weight down {although I am twenty pounds over my limit now} and relieved my stress...walking brings me great joy!

This week's assignment is to MOVE! 

If you don't walk now...BEGIN!! Seriously...just put on some comfy shoes, open your door and walk around the block. That's it. Just around the block. If you want to go farther...then go. The choice is yours. I promise you once you start making a habit of just getting out their and moving your body you WILL feel better!! I promise! And one of the BEST benefits of walking is all the creative ideas I get while on the trail!!

Creative a journal page about your thoughts on walking, the way you feel...whatever you are inspired to do. And as always...KEEP ON SHARING!! Your pages are all so inspiring me!!!!!

Oh I almost are a few tips to get you PUMPED up this week for your walks!!

*Remind yourself how GOOD you will feel after you walk
*DO NOT guilt yourself if you miss a walk...PROMISE!!!!
*If you can't walk far at first...that is OK!! One block turns into 2 blocks then 4 blocks then 10. Before long you will reach a mile!!
*Just MOVE. If you can't walk or it doesn't sound like fun to you...put on your fave tunes and dance! Just do something!!

Good luck this week Girls...

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