Friday, February 18, 2011

Kinda Ironic....

that I'm making a DreamWheel on the Full Snow Moon when it's 70 degrees outside, eh?

Love the glitter, don't you? Especially on Buddha's nipples ;)

I was having so much fun that my nephews decided they needed to get in on the action.

And here are their finished DreamWheels---
Logan, age 3  

Dawson, age 6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Messy Valentines

So my friend Connie is having a Valentine Art Journal Love party through Friday over at Dirty Footprints Studio.
I haven't had time to do any art journaling this week, but I did take the time to create some fun Valentines for my Dearest Loves on Sunday. I thought I'd share them with y'all.

I have five kids.
Have I mentioned that before?
Five---count 'em---5.
Five kids.

And when Mama's an artist, it just wouldn't do to give them store-bought Valentines, no matter how lovely, or how thoughtful the sentiment.
Mama wouldn't do that anyway.
Mama rarely buys anything that she can make!

So for YOU, my Loves, I thought I'd share a quick little Valentine-Lovie tutorial, and show you all how I made five Valentines in a hurry (because Mama also does most everything by the seat of her pants.... oops!).

I started with some adorable little 4x6" canvas boards, some old book pages, a little sheet music and checkerboard paper, paints, bubble wrap, and good ol' Mod Podge (have I mentioned that my Secret Love is really Mod Podge ;) ??).

         Supplies for this project:

  • canvas boards
  • sheet music
  • black and white paper
  • old book pages
  • paint: red, yellow, white, black, metallic gold
  • Mod Podge
  • Harlequin (diamond) rubber stamp
  • old credit card
  • bubble wrap
  • assorted paint brushes
  • paper towels
  • water
  • Pitt Pen, black, optional

I slathered those canvases but good with Mod Podge, ripped up the book pages and plastered them onto the canvas using an old credit card to press out any bubbles and make sure everything adhered properly.
Then I dry-brushed red paint over them messily, followed by scraps of the sheet music and the black and white paper, again with the Mod Podge and the credit card.

The next phase---bubble wrap (gosh I love bubble wrap!).
First I used the bubble wrap and a little black paint sponged on randomly. 
When the black dried (and I'm extremely impatient, so I use a heat gun or a blow dryer to speed things up), I followed it with some white paint on bubble wrap.

No idea why this photo is sideways; it was correct when I loaded it :-/

Over the bubble-imprints, I slathered on a coat of yellow paint, on which I immediately dripped water.
I waited for a minute or so (I hate to wait! But this step doesn't work well if you try to rush it with a dryer), then blotted up the water and a great deal of the paint, until I was satisfied with the look of it. This step is tricky, and it sometimes has to be repeated.

And this photo is upside down....*sigh*

Here, I've used a bit of black paint on the edges, dragging it over the edge of the front a bit to "grunge it up" a little.
Next I used the gold metallic paint on the harlequin stamp to make random, partially-stamped images at the sides of the top and opposite bottom, again wiping off bits of the paint until I was happy (and you know what they say, if Mama ain't happy......).

The finished product---
For the finishing touch, I painted on a wonky red heart, highlighted a bit with the metallic gold.
The hearts seemed a bit flat to me, so I shadowed just a tiny bit on the right-hand sides with a black Pitt Pen.

Below is a variation for a daughter---
I added a layer of splattered blue paint after the yellow splatter, mostly wiped it off, then used purple and red for the heart.
I also used a touch of paper with French script instead of sheet music, and a scrap of pink paisley paper on the upper side edge. Looks a little more...ummm...girlified.

It Shouldn't Be So Difficult....

Not a great photo, but this is the Valentine I made for my daughter Bonnie

One would think as much as I've been through in my day, both emotionally and physically, that compassion would come easily for me.
But it doesn't always, and I spend a great deal of time feeling ashamed, and punishing myself, doubting my sincerity.

I know that I feel Love...not just mushy Valentine-type love, but 
real LOVE.

I truly wish that compassion was easier for me to express. Truly.

For those that are interested, the "other blog" I mentioned is now up and running! Visit Gut Wrenching here

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My New Blog Debuts!

Well, I did it!
It's not perfect (of course it's not perfect....I mean-- it's not exactly what I meant for it to be!), but if I keep waiting for my fingers to type exactly the right words, it ain't never gonna happen!

I feel such a need to share my journey through the hell of multiple chronic illnesses, including some deadly food allergies, in the hopes of helping someone else who is suffering as I have, at the very least providing them with some hope in the knowledge that they are not alone.

At Gut Wrenching I plan to share the ups and downs of this crazy, messy life, links to useful information, tips on resources, what has worked for me, and, of course, reaching my dream, my goal---HEALTH!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Double Dare You!

Wishful thinking... wont' be long; it's almost time!  Photo by Timothy Schildknecht                                                                                                                                                               

Every morning that I wake up and choose to do what's best for my body and spirit, choose to welcome change and growth no matter what that means, choose what's right in spite of what the world says, I feel like I'm living a tremendous dare.
It's frightening and exhilarating all in the same moment.

I've made several commitments to myself over the past few months, all leading toward better health in body and mind.
Have I made mis-steps along the way? Of course I have.
Have I felt my spirit lagging throughout these trials and changes? Most certainly.
But every day, I get up and start all over again.
In every moment, I try to choose what's best.

I wish to continue to dare to commit to this quest...every moment of every day.
Who's with me?

As many of you may know, I have suffered for years with several ailments, including lupus, multiple food allergies, diabetes, fibromyalgia and depression. The latest---strange digestive anomalies that have defied diagnoses.
Realizing that I had to take responsibility for my own healing, I've made many changes in diet and lifestyle, and have committed to 6 months with the lovely Kristi Skiles-Hyllen of Kitchen Witch Coaching
I'm in the process of setting up a second blog devoted to sharing useful information with others in similar circumstances, while documenting my progress.
Watch here for an announcement when it's ready to publish.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Whole Lotta Love

So I'm feeling a little frustrated today.
OK, a LOT frustrated! 
There's so much to get done, and it seems like everything is going of those days!

I finally decided that I can sit here, frustrated, and accomplish nothing.
OR..... I can spread a little love around and change it all!
I can make a few other folk feel happy and make myself feel all better, with a coupla clicks.
So why not?!

I think I'll give away some love by giving my sweet, sweet readers some Valentine gifties---

I think I'll start with a box of my homemade chocolate covered cherries for you to indulge in...
And then I'll give away a little velveteen pouch filled with love you can spread around your neighborhood....
 Then I'll throw out a mini-version of my Message in a Bottle, so you can share the love with your Love!

To clarify, this is three separate gifts, to three separate readers.
And all you gotta do is share some love with me here!
Your comments so often make my day...
You guys rock!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Weight of the World

 ~ Queen Bonnie ~
a page from the book I made for her
in honor of her college graduation last summer

It's Wishcasting Wednesday again, and our friend Jamie asks a pointed question--- What burden do you wish to put down?

Oh baby! Are you kidding??
There are so many!

I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders (as I'm sure many women do...don't you?), to the point that it manifested physically---
Carrying everyone else's burdens as well as my own, has left me with arthritis in my neck and shoulders, unexplained pain in my arms, and fibromyalgia pain over my entire body.

Of course, as a wife and a mother, I'm bound to carry a certain amount of responsibility for those that I love.
But there is a line between what's mine and what's theirs. I'm learning to recognize that line and step back from it, allowing them to take responsibility.

A natural consequence of learning to live more fully in the present is realizing that it's not necessary for me to hobble around, all stooped over with the crippling weight of all of my own worries and fears. 
More and more, each day, I'm learning to stand up straight, recognize and step into the power that belongs to me...that has always belonged to me. 
Funny how we forget, and become blind to that power that we all possess. 

I'm ready to lay it all down, stand upright and face the sun.
That's my wish for lay that burden down and move on, to hold the world in my hand instead of on my back.
another page from Bonnie's book, 
reminding her that she holds the world in the palm of her hand