Thursday, April 18, 2013

Delayed by life...again

You know the happens!
I had high hopes of rolling right along with the Living Canvas class to finish it up by the end of May when it expires, but life stepped in the way & not in a very NICE way!

Patsy Ruth Voth

Last Thursday, on 4/11, at the age of 86, my mother-in-law passed away. She'd been battling heart disease & Type 2 Diabetes for many years. She passed peacefully sitting up in bed reading a magazine with her beloved "Honey" (dog) beside her.

As mother-in-laws go, she was a pretty good one. She was kind & generous, but also had her quirks. But who doesn't? Although she could be negative about things & she was definitely a bit of a hoarder! (Not nearly as bad as those on tv!) She was the first to send you a care package whether you needed it or not! She loved to sit & visit with her kids & grandkids every chance she got (she leaves behind 3 sons & their families which consist of 3 daughters-in-law & 6 grandchildren from the ages of 7-32!). She will be missed, that's for sure.

We will be heading out for the funeral soon & then back again sometime at the beginning of summer to go through her house with the other 2 brothers & their families.

Hopefully I will be able to start up again on the first & just wiz through it! HA! I can only hope!
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Journey Continues...Finding Balance

Because I am trying to finish up this Living Canvas class before it expires, I am working through the journaling rather quickly! So, even though the class is set up with weekly journaling exercises & then translations in our art journals, I have done most of the writing already & am just ready to play with my artistic translations! That said, my post yesterday was all of week 1 & I have begun week 2 today! YAY!

Our journey for this week is all about Balance in our lives & the 6 F's: Fitness, Friends, Finance, Fun, Family & Faith. We did an exercise to rate how balanced we feel in the 6 areas on a wheel & boy was my wheel wonky! No driving on this baby! Lots of areas are out of balance for me! After we figured out the highs & lows, Art asked us to make a list of goals for each area to reach a more even balance among the 6.

Today, I followed along with Christy's video for the most part, but added a little bit of my own spin to it. She also began with "Finance", where as I began with Friends since the page just spoke to me in that way. I only got one done today though...5 more to go!
The background was first covered with tissue paper for texture & then modeling paste was applied with 2 circle stencils & more circles stamped on top of that. 
I made the flowers from some doilies & the stems are tissue paper; with a couple of brads & a bingo piece for the centers of the flowers.
Then I added little boxes of text with some goals for balancing the friends area in my life. 

To me, the flowers represent the growth in friendships & that if you don't nurture them, they'll die. {Of course, it takes two to keep a friendship alive, but we already touched a little on that yesterday!! But I did handwrite on this page - "Friendships should grow, not die"}

I promise I won't share EVERYthing I write in my journal, as it IS a super personal process! But it is also very therapeutic to write things here as well! So I hope you'll forgive me if I rant or go on about one topic or another!
Maybe I'll share a little more next time! LOL!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And so the journey begins - Week 1

I have FINALLY begun a class I signed up for almost a year ago & am thoroughly enjoying it! I have forgotten how much fun it is to play & learn at the same time!!!

The class is called Your Living Canvas & it's being taught by Christy Tomlinson in conjuction with a life coach, Art McCracken (Link to his Facebook page). Each week we journal with prompts from Art & then Christy gives us her interpretation of the prompts as well as a "freebie" project to try a new technique.

I signed up for the class shortly after another of Christy's classes. It was at a time when I was feeling very lost & vulnerable in my life. My circle of friends was shrinking; my hubby & I weren't communicating & I needed more in my creative life & didn't know what that was. I thought this class was going to be my saving grace! Fast forward almost a year later & things have changed quite a bit! My friendship circles are still not large, but I've come to terms with that (mostly); hubby & I are in a much better place these days & my artistic self is much more content! Fixed? Nah, but working at it! Even though I am not in the same place I was almost a year ago, I know there is still room for improvement! So I am diving head first in to this class!

This week we were to explore 3 trials/heartaches/mistakes; 3 accomplishments/moments of joy/clarity; 3 relationships that shifted your life; 3 experiences that brought change...I only scratched the surface with these pages & hope to add more in the coming days, but I only have until June to finish this class before it expires! So I am trying to work through it rather quickly! :)

I'm not a journaler! When I was younger & tried to keep a diary, I was too afraid of someone finding it & what they might think when they read it! So I would inevitably rip out any pages I wrote & finally gave up altogether! But, the nice thing about art journaling is that you can always COVER up what you write & no one is the wiser! :) On the following pages, I pretty much followed along with what Christy did in class (except the emotions & writing are my own thoughts). I hope that as I work through the class, the pages become more my own process!

Here's a peek...
Page 1 - Loss
This page was my first because it bears a lot of meaning for me. We've all had loss in our lives, from family to relationships to jobs & more. I've had my share too, but my focus was on a friendship I lost over the past few years. This woman was the first friend I'd had outside of family that shared a love of art & scrapbooking. We became very fast friends. When she was going through some tough times, I may have been a little too blunt with my advice & consequently, pushed her away. We had talked in one form or another every day until that fateful "unwanted advice" day...then it became more infrequent & I started to get insecure & began questioning things. It hurt me deeply that she would just pull away without talking things through & because of that, I have become guarded in my friendships & constantly second guess myself or feelings. I tend to hold back or simply not put myself out there with new people & stick with what I know, mainly my sister, who has been nothing short of amazing! I don't know what I would do without her! She's my rock! What I believe I have learned from this experience? To just listen & keep my mouth shut for the most part & enjoy the moment, I suppose, cuz nothing lasts forever. Kinda sad, I know, because if you can't be honest with your friends, what's the point in having them? Why can I have friends that I have known forever, but as an adult, it's so hard to connect? Have to keep contemplating on that one!
Page 2 - Love
This page is pretty straight forward...the love lessons I have learned from being married for almost 15 yrs & the love for my 7 yo daughter. As many know, marriage is not always easy & raising a child can be tough at times too. I am grateful for my relationship with both my hubby & daughter & cannot even imagine my life without either! Trust in your heart...a good motto to live by!
Page 3 - Art
My third page is simply about the freedom, fulfillment & joy that making art gives me! From sharing images here & other ways, to learning new things, fulfilling dreams of being published or gaining recognition for my makes me happy! I am more content on the days that I get to be creative & I know that to keep my life balanced, there has to be some form of art in my days!
Page 4 - "Do what makes you come ALIVE!"
The final page I did today was not a planned one & of course, it's my favorite! Art McCracken left us with a quote from Harold Whitman at the end of this week's journey:

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive,
and then go do that,
because what the world needs
is people who have come alive."
So, I paraphrased it onto my last page..."Do what makes you come alive." That definitely speaks to me right now! As you can see, some of the class will be raw & soul searching while other parts will just flow. Sorry if I made anyone uncomfortable with my revelations. It's the nature of things to come...I can't wait to see where this journey takes me...I hope you'll stop back in to find out as well!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

She Was a Nurturing Soul

Thanks for stopping by today!

This month for the Altered Pages Challenge (Starts on Monday, 4/8) we were to work with some of the great Bird Collages Jean has. Here are some pictures of the canvas board I did.
(You can read a little bit about the products I used on the Scrap-a-Teeny Blog where the official "challenge" post is located!)
I've been reading & playing around with Suzi Blu's "Mixed Media Girls" book & decided to give one a try...I'm really proud of how she turned out!
"She was a nurturing soul"

As you can see, she's very dimensional with lots of texture!
I even decided to list her in my Etsy shop...I plan to make more! Many, many more! In all shapes & sizes!
She was too much fun to create!