Monday, March 2, 2015

I Make Things

I really do. I can sit for hours and carve rubber stamps to use in my art journal or to make coloring books for the kiddos. I am good at it, too. The only part of the process I can't really handle is drawing the images I want to carve. For now, I find my images online, such as stamp sets for purchase but I only want one or two of them, so I will just carve my own. I also carve cartoon characters, famous people faces, animals, and even alphabets and numbers. I find inspiration from other artists and stamp-carvers, and sometimes my kids will draw something for me to carve. Being creative and productive makes me happy, but I don't really have the energy to do much moving around, so carving and stamping are great for me.
As for art journaling, I had been focusing too much on making the perfect book and not really on using them, so I quit it for a long time. Now I find myself drawn to them again, but mostly for writing.
Studying scriptures is something I struggle to make time for. I had an epiphany the other day, though: If I really want scripture journaling to be a part of my everyday life, why do I always do it in a separate journal instead of my everyday journal? The answer is: No good reason. {So you may see some religious journaling from time to time. I don't want to get into any debates about what I believe in, though, so if you don't mind, any readers who dislike it can please just skip over it without commenting. I am sure everyone knows how to be kind, and will realize that I am not "preaching" to anyone other than myself in my artwork.}
Today, the things that are helping me cope with stress are: chocolate, napping, sunshine, kids getting to play outside, anticipation of a shopping trip tomorrow with some possible letterboxing on the side, pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup for breakfast (if you haven't tried, YUM!), receiving a much needed tax refund check from the state, watching Coraline with the children, Mr has been at a working job interview all evening at a restaurant downtown, eating pasta with chopsticks, my dog, loungewear, excitement over an upcoming project, and getting my kids excited about participating in said project. Oh, also the upcoming Conference for my church, always falling right around my birthday. I thank God for so many blessings, and these are just the little ones!
Are any of you excited about something in the near future that has you bouncing a little lighter today?
I will post again soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Real. Real. Real.

If y'all are wondering if I am still alive, I am sorry. I guess I should start by telling what has been keeping me from the blogging world.

Almost two years ago I was diagnosed with depression aggravated by anxiety. Physically this presents with fatigue, hypertension, high blood pressure, irritability, migraines, lack of interest, inability to make decisions, and Vitamin D deficiency. I struggle with a lot of the same issues that most women/mothers do, including self-worth, body image, and feelings of guilt, not to mention stress. All this is overwhelming on its own, but throw in some physical repercussions related to brain chemicals not doing their job, and suddenly it is crippling.

There are good days. Lots of them. Relatively good. I count a day with no migraines a good day, even if I still feel like I should be sleeping most of the time. There are people and things and activities in my life that are such great blessings to me. I try to mentally list the ones that have helped me each day.

Creatively, I have still been working on lots of things, things I enjoy doing. Mostly they are things that can keep my hands busy throughout the day while my kids are schooling, while my husband is working online, while Netflix is playing whatever show I am working through season by season. Mostly with my chihuahua on my lap. Our favorite way to sit together is on the couch criss-cross applesauce, her in my lap nest-style, and a bed pillow or two lying over her to serve as her cozy cave and my flexible "table" as I work.

I try to remember to make myself comfortable as I really do enjoy comfort. I prefer cozy, so I will be wearing yoga pants with a t-shirt, a zippered sweater within reach, fuzzy colorful socks, and perhaps a fleece throw nearby. I prefer to keep my hair short because it is one less thing to hassle with if I just need to brush and put on a headband, and I can't stand to have it down on my neck. Right now it is currently too long, and I can just put it in a pony, but I really just need to get it cut again.

This blog has been on my mind for awhile, and I have been feeling guilty about dropping off of it. I know it isn't a big deal to most people, and it is something I am working on, but it isn't too hard for me to come on here and chat a little. I don't think it will be just about crafting anymore. I need a place to be real.

Are any of my readers still out there? Are any of you familiar with depression? Do y'all think I'm just bonkers by now? I'll blog again soon.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

AEDM, Day 3

Adding Gesso to a few pages at a time.
I think the reasons for my slow progress are:

1) I have only been working on it after the kids are in bed.
2) Drying time. I allow the pages to dry fully, because heat drying tends to leave the gel medium a bit tacky, and then the gesso flakes off later.
3) I want the whole book to be prepped because I wasn't sure until today what I was going to do with it. I decided to go with a theme.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2 - AEDM

More of the same.
Today I just didn't feel colorful. I stressed about budgeting, got the whole family involved in cleaning up the living room, and then just focused on prepping another page in the file folder journal. Still, it's progress.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Art Every Day Month

My blog has been so neglected lately. I decided, since November is a month of adjustments and schedules and budgets for me, to add in some daily fun with Art Every Day Month. Hopefully that will keep me posting through the month as I have a whole new art journal to work in.
It started out as a pack of 10 file folders.
Three stitched signatures through some neon yellow duct tape.
Phone book pages get ripped and gelled on for durability and texture.
First inside spread gets the same treatment.

I made it to the second spread before I had to switch gears.
A quick coat of gesso means I can start the colorful part tomorrow!
Make time for ART today!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

OWHVCMP2013

Hey all! I have moved, and finally got unpacked, and have been working really hard to make some card kits for an OWH Card Making Event in Portland, Oregon on September 14th. While in the midst of making all these card kits, Operation Write Home hosted their annual Labor Day Virtual Card Making Party, complete with 10 challenges:

Challenge #1: Winter theme with a sketch challenge.

Challenge #2: "O"- circle, one. "W"- witch, "wicked". "H"- Halloween theme. OWH Sketch #14.

Challenge #3: Triple Die Cutting Technique.
Challenge #4: OWH Sketch #29, Love theme.

Challenge #5: Masking Tape Block Stamping Technique.

Challenge #6: Regularly scheduled OWH Sunday Sketch, #188.

Challenge #7: This one is based on a tic tac toe board. I chose stamping/coloring, punny sentiment, and things with 4 legs. OWH Sketch #41.

Challenge #8: Leaf motif with fall colors.

Challenge #9: One or more bees with bee sentiment. OWH Sketch #15.

Challenge #10: Negative from a die or punch. See the spiders punched out of the black strip. OWH Sketch #35.
And there you go! Each of these is the prototype for a set of ten cards to be assembled at the card making event next Saturday. All except for #3, which is just 1 card. I will be back to post more of my cards soon, now that I am back into a rhythm.

If you want to see more of the awesome cards from the VCMP, visit operationwritehome.org

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Color Challenge Over at SMB!

Hey there! I know my attendance has been pretty sketchy lately, but the upside is that I have been keeping up with my creative time. I am two weeks away from completely finishing a daily journal (this will be my 2nd completed journal ever, 2011 December Daily being the first).

I just wanted to pop in to let concerned readers know that I am still alive, still making art, and that my project is the inspiration piece for the color challenge on the Social [Media] Butterflies blog. Here is a sneak peek:

Until next time!