Thursday, November 24, 2011


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On this Thanksgiving Day - I'm grateful for so many things.  Please indulge me while I count the ways...

  • My family - I love you all so much.
  • My Diva Kitty otherwise known as Tonks Nymphadora. Like how I inverted the name?
  • My Friends - I love them so much.  They understand my dark, wicked, sarcastic humor.  They invite me to Thanksgiving dinners when I'm away from my family.  They're outstanding.
  • My New Workplace - I never thought I'd be so happy at this new place. I love all the people.  They are hysterical and encouraging.  I love it so much.  It's restored my faith in my chosen profession.  Love it. Love it.  Love it to little pieces.  Not to say that it's not the hardest thing I've done and the days can be wild - it's just a good place to do good things.  So happy.
  • My iPad - or should I say the iPad my mother gifted me.  I gave her my Nook, which has gotten some of my family telling her she was hoodwinked and bamboozled.  However, she offered.  I took.  I offered my Nook without even being asked.  Give me some credit for that at least.  The best thing - I can finally shop around for the cheapest books and use the Kindle app when applicable.  I've saved $20.00 since installing this little app.
  • Coffee - I live by Quiktrip or Starbucks.  I love my coffee.  As my long-time readers know - I have been banned from coffee for quite some time (over a year).  I go through phases where I drink it once a week or give it up or daily.  All I can say is life's a work in progress.
  • Breaking Dawn - Part One - It's cheesy and watching paint dry is infinitely more exciting than seeing Bella or hearing her whiny-ass voice.  However, everyone else is a delight.  I feel like walking the streets and looking for Rob Patt - although I doubt he's in the Midwest.
  • Crafty Goodness - get ready this is going to be a long one...For Christy Tomlinson's She Art Classes, Ali Edwards and her overall scrappy goodness, Big Picture Classes, Masterful Scrapbook Design, Get it Scrapped, Crafty Blogs, Creating Keepsakes, Stampington Magazines (Somerset Studio, Somerset, Memories, etc.), Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesdays and Collage Mondays, Stephanie Howell, Kal Barteski, Kim Watson, Shimelle Laine and her many online classes - all great material by the way, Pinterest,  Cathy Zielske, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Jennifer McGuire, Karen Grunberg, Paperclipping Roundtable, and so much more.  I love how the internet brings us closer in some way.  I love that people share their lives and teach so much for almost nothing in return.
  • Great Movies - I've seen so many this year.  Let me give you a quick list...50/50, Friends with Benefits, Crazy Stupid Love, Horrible Bosses, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers 3 (total guilty pleasure), Fast Five, and the list goes on - I hope.
  • Great Music - particularly from Adele and James Morrison.
  • Great Books - I will not go into the list - it's too long and frankly my brain is way too tired to come up with the list of outstanding books I've read this year.  If you're aching for some recommendations, check out the Reading Corner category on my blog.  

Anyhoo... I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving - for those of you celebrating.  Until then...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Background Love

I've continued to dip into the world of mixed-media this week with a wonderful product by Faber-Castell.  By the way, this is NOT an advertisement.  I purchased these beauties in August and just gave them a try for the first time in the last month.  This is how my mind and process works.  I read about it A LOT.  I buy it.  I look at it.  It sits.  I use it and hate it.  I put it away for awhile.  I use it again and I start to accept it.  Notice I didn't say love it - I'm working on learning to concentrate on the journey - not the destination.  And you know what...this was fun!  I finished both of these in 10 minutes before work on Monday morning.  They took almost 24 hours to dry - I got a little too ambitious with the water - and I'm ready for the next step which I'm saving for this weekend.  So without further ado...the product responsible for shaping my new perspective...

I love these little things - they make my world a little brighter.  So simple and easy to use for a high strung girl like me.  And now to the backgrounds...

These pictures were taken immediately following my quick painting session.  I'm not sure where they're going next or what image I'll use to get to my "destination" - I just know it felt good to do something quick with one product and a little water and that's a beautiful thing.  

If you're like me at all or just looking for something new - definitely give these babies a try.  I love them.  I love the backgrounds and am ready for the next step.  Ready for craft weekend to begin.  I sit here with a smile on my face.  Happy to be writing words - happy to be making art.  Trying really hard not to judge anything I'm doing or have done.  It's the journey not the destination.  Souza was a very wise man.  I'm trying to be mindful of the journey to make it part of my practice.  It will happen.  I believe that.  I hope everyone has had a great Thursday.  I'm off to clean to prepare for the impending arrival of one my dearest friends.  Double arm pump and I'm off.  Until then...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twisted Tuesday - I painted and I liked it!

Real quick post here...I made my first She Art girl.  She's not quite finished - but I did it.  It's important.  It's remarkable...not the actual art - but my willingness to finally plant my ass in that chair and be vulnerable.  No matter how you define it - paint is a vulnerable medium or at least it is for me.  I have to let go of the reins and open myself up to the idea of ugly, imperfect.  I did it and I'm so proud.  So without further ado - my first Imperfect Girl...

I have a hard time with some of the "stuff" here.  She has pantaloons on with maybe the ugliest shoes ever.  I believe she is most likely color blind or from some alternate universe where wood grain shirts are in (or maybe that's just the 70's).  I made the messy bun and almost liked it - I just don't know how to detail black hair or how to do skin tones so my girls are a reflection of me and my family.  I just need to remember first attempts aren't perfect.  They weren't meant to be.  I'm going to keep on working on her until I have something I like better or I screw it up beyond repair.  The most important thing to remember is to have fun and let go.  It's the journey...not the destination.  Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday.  Lots of love and smiles all around.  Until then....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Continuum - Am I Spelling That Right?

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Hello My Pretties!

Okay...I'm in a weird mood today. Happy to be here though. Part of my new job includes being more acquainted with what they call the expressive therapies. It's been a huge learning process for me - and I've learned one huge thing. I love to learn - it feeds into my reading love and so much more.  Hands down one of my favorite activities - learning new stuff.  It turns out there is an expressive therapy continuum. I'm smack dab in the middle of the cognitive area. Shocker...I know.  Anyhoo...there's this entire theory behind working with people (both young and older) based on their developmental level, issue/concern, and their place on the continuum - which to be honest isn't all that important to what we're doing right now but it's some background.

So this new knowledge has gotten me thinking about where I'm at developmentally in terms of my "art." And you guessed it...I'm in the cognitive space. So...what the eff does that mean? It means I concentrate on the outcome not the process. I am wound way too tightly to enjoy the playing part of the artistic process. I don't enjoy the putting things together. I don't get lost in the making of the art just the end result. How does a girl like me - who is not a control freak in any other single, solitary way - become more focused on the end result than the fun of the process?  Well, I guess it starts with being an over thinker and just a little insecure about my artistic abilities and the ball keeps on rolling; until you have little old me without almost any ability to let go and have fun with art mediums out of my control in the most minuscule form.   Wow that's a run-on sentence if I've ever seen one.

This is a lot of information - I know- without much of a point - except this.  Let go.  Have fun.  Enjoy the process.  Eff the outcome.  I found a great example this morning from one of the best crafty gals while lying in bed with my new favorite buddy - my iPad (the original not the second version).  Who could it be?  Why it's Mrs. Donna Downey in all of her artsy goodness talking about the process and letting go.  So good.  So worth it - and my only real point for today's post.  Check it out here as soon as you can.  Also - take a look at two of her series with FREE VIDEOS - Collage Monday and Inspiration Wednesdays.  Have a great Saturday.  Until then...

Oh...and just for good measure and because this post feels so random....I leave you with a picture of one of the sexiest men on the planet - in my humble opinion.  If I had a DH - he would definitely be on my laminated list.  Smiles all around.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011


Okay - so I decided to get a grip and get on with it...which just means I finally found the right journaling spot and the will to finish an effing page.  Let's show the sketch shall we...

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It goes without saying how much I love Shimelle's sketches.  They are a true inspiration.  So this was my first  pass at the sketch.

As I said before - I could not decide on a journaling spot and really hated the bunting in the upper right corner.  In a moment of complete rashness, I tore off the bunting - ripping the paper in process.  Not my finest hour to say the least.  After writing my previous post and getting my thoughts out - can't recommend that enough - I went on and found a journaling spot and a fix for my torn paper faux paus.

I love these two more than anything (the babies).  Love them.  I still have that blasted seven days under the LAX sticker from American Crafts.  One of my many attempts at journaling straight on the paper.  Needless to say - it didn't work out.  In some ways I feel like it looks like I threw random embellishments on the page - but they all are symbolic of my weekend.  The title is from a song by Adele. I think the layout's busy and doesn't tell the whole story - but I think everything's a little too raw right now to get down in one shot.  So this is the layout's latest manifestation.  Can you say - all over the place.  Sheesh.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Until then...

Sunday Suck Day

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It feels a little sacrilegious to have the words Sunday and Suck Day in the same title - but that's how I'm feeling today.  I had big plans to do Shimelle's sketch and starting points challenges and have hit a wall.  And I'm pissed and frustrated and ready to scream.  But the truth is hard right now.  The small act of placing an embellishment in the "right" place is just too much.  Trying to complete a layout about my niece and nephew right now is too much.  Not when I was reading my sweet girl to sleep and getting big hugs from her baby brother just a week ago.  Not when our family is in a time of huge transition - I'm not sure how to express how it's been.  So somehow - a layout just isn't what I needed today.  I wish it was...

I've been thinking a lot lately about choices.  Sometimes I'm still that sixteen-year old girl with the attitude that 34 is so old - like my life should be static, established at this point.  It's not - and as hard as I try, I don't feel 34.  Over the weekend, my cousin was talking to me about how young I still was - and how many choices I had.  I don't have kids or any romantic entanglements.  I'm my own person, with one gnarly ass cat.  I have choices - so what am I going to do now?

This happens every time I return from LA.  I miss my family terribly - especially at a time like this.  And I wonder what in the eff I'm doing 2/3 of the country away from the people I've known my whole life.  The people I've known their whole lives.  I'm finally in a job I love in a place where I have very few ties.  I have friends that I love.  I have things that I do - but is that a good enough reason to be living away from my family?  These are the questions that plague me - and at a moment like this - who the eff has the time, inclination, or willingness to worry about finding the perfect journaling spot?  I certainly DO NOT.

So that's why it's Sunday Suck Day.  No layout.  Just questions.  I had a good friend once that helped me when I was going through a really hard time.  It was my senior year in high school and I was trying to decide whether going to a secular university was the right thing for me.  I feared losing the close relationship I had with God.  I worried I would lose touch with my friends.  I worried that this one decision would alter my life for the worse.  And you know what this amazing friend said...she told me there were some people that believed there was only one right choice in life and there were others that believed that God worked in your life despite the choices or trajectory your life takes.  I decided I liked the latter answer better and headed off to what I assumed could be a life of depravity and loss of all faith.  It wasn't.  It was just a choice.  I'm not sure I would do it again - but life is just like that sometimes.

I feel like it's choice time again.  Time to decide what I really want from the next few years of my life.  I know I'm being way too hard on myself.  I know I'm spending a lot of energy worrying about the future.  I just wish I could grab a life line.  I wish someone would give me the answers.  I wish life were easier.  I wish my family could be healthy, happy, and close.  I wish I could get one of those tight hugs and hear the words I love you from my nephew.  I wish I could hear my niece laugh and give me one of her looks that reminds me so much of myself.   I wish I could craft without the need for perfection or the fear of it being wrong in some small way.  I wish and I hope.  And that's all I have energy for right now...and that's okay.  I hope to be back with some crafty related project in the near future.  Here's hoping.  Until then...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Back in Business

I'm baaack!  I'm so happy to be back - actually.  I've missed this space. The last few weeks have defied words - but at times have been shot through with such beauty and laughter it almost brought me to my knees.  It seems like tough times are like that - you keep on wondering why the hits keep coming - and somehow you're still you and the people you love are still the people you love - and you start to pull through.  It's a beautiful, yet heartbreaking, thing.

Let's be honest - in the past few weeks I have not had the energy or motivation to create.  It's been gone from me.  Fortunately - I always have the will to spend.  So...I just wanted to share a few classes catching my eye around the world wide web (I wonder why no one calls it that anymore?).

Patterned Paper Party by Shimelle Laine (already started - still wonderful) ~ I love her classes.

She Art 2 Workshop by Christy Tomlinson ~ I'm currently taking the first workshop and am shocked at the amount of video in the class.  It's an amazing amount of time for the cost.

Reclaiming My Time by Karen Grunberg ~ I'm a devout follower of all things KG.  I've loved her classes and highly recommend participating in ANYTHING she is doing - she's amazing.  She's changed the way I scrapbook - the way I shop.  Or - I think this needs a reframe...she's given me the tools to take control of my scrapbooking style and the way I shop.  A-MAZ-ing!

Move More Eat Well 2012 by Cathy Zielske ~ I'm wanting to make healthy changes in the next year...I'm hoping CZ and the BPC community can help me with that journey.

I have my eye on one more class...but will talk about that later.  I hope everyone is doing well and has a very happy Friday!  Finally it's Friday!  Until then...
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