Thursday, June 30, 2011

All I Have I Give To You

Yesterday was not so good of a day, but today is much better. I have been blessed with such amazing wonderful readers that have truly encouraged me... thank you... everyone... seriously... thank you.
I woke up today with great strength, I even went for a walk at 6:30AM before work and listened to my praise music... what a fabulous way to start my day...
Then, to open up my emails and find such love in the comments of my blog post yesterday... WOW! You are all so amazing! My piece today is on a much more positive note.
Thank you all, I am so very blessed by all of you.
Many hugs and many blessings.
Happy Long Weekend everyone!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

God Grows Me Even When I'm Sleeping

Honesty is always best right? Well, to be honest... today has not been a great day. I'm just a little bit cranky (a lot!) and irritable (a ton!) and a wee tiny bit lost (a whole bunches!)
It has been a couple days really, since I got my first rejection letter from the publisher regarding publishing the AKOA Healing Expressions Book. Apparently there are so many Art Journaling books on the market and/or are coming out very soon that there isn't a great need for my book! The Editor that emailed me also said that the "Healing" aspects of journaling is really not selling very well! Hmmmm.... okay...
God, what are you doing?
She also said that the type of book I am proposing might sell better in the self-help area. Hmmmm... okay again...
My whole purpose for this book was to help others find their healing by being inspired by the pages of other artists who found their healing in art journaling, maybe it should be a self-help book?
If you have been reading my blog from the beginning you will know my story, but for those who have not... (in short/blunt form) here it is;

Abused as a child by Grandfather, alcoholic Father, Abusive Boyfriend in high school, Stalked and raped, highly dysfunctional family, Married (couldn't trust Hubby because of my past) Father dies at 23, had first baby at 24, bedridden for 8 months of second pregnancy, second son born, he gets sick and hospitalized at 6 weeks old, and basically I have Mental Break Down. Right away I'm hospitalized in the Psych Ward for 3 Months with Post-Partum Depression. 4 years of complete memory loss and literally in my bedroom during the beginning of my depression...

7 years later... introduced to Art Journaling and the healing begins, it was a slow process but well worth it. God has done such an amazing miracle in me through His Word and through Art Journaling. The journey that He has taken me on is nothing short of pure mercy, forgiveness, letting go and most of all LOVE. There is a lot more to my story but this is just the basics to show you that I needed healing and the Lord has given me HEALING!

14 and 1/2 years later... still on medication for depression and sleep disorder, but stable and feel that I have completely healed from depression (I just have to take meds to keep me stable and I am finally okay with that).

Sure, I have Fibromyalgia, but God has brought me healing for that through my journaling too! I am not healed physically, but emotionally I am doing much better!

I believe that Art Journaling was used as a tool to my healing and continues to be used as a tool for my healing every day. I want others to find this release and I know that God wants to give that release to others too!

So that's it, in a nutshell... now God needs to show me the rest! Where to go from here...

Well, here's to life's many adventures!
Happy week to all of you ~ HAPPY LONG WEEKEND!
Hugs and many blessings


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Julie Nutting Page ~ Take 3... and... ACTION!!!

I do not claim this page as MY work, but it is more of a COPY of Julie Nutting's work out of her book. I traced one of her gals on tracing paper and then switched it up a bit. Julie's gal had a fuller dress and straight hair, I gave her less layers and waves or curled hair. I know, "Way to switch things up right?" However, I am just learning Julie's style and then I will let loose with my own style.

For now, this lil' missy was a great page to vent on, LOL! I LOVE my venting pages as they are so releasing! This gal makes me think of a 1950's wife who wears high heel shoes and a dress to clean the house! I could personally never do that! For one thing... I can't wear high heel shoes and for another I married a man who takes care of me and hopefully I take care of him too, but I don't serve him as a waitress every night and bring him his paper and slippers! LOL!

I hope you all had a wonderful week filled abundantly with creativity, love and good things!

Hugs and blessings to you all!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fun in Setting Goals

What does a girl blowing kisses have to do with me setting goals???

Well... I am sooooo glad you asked! LOL!

I have had to set goals twice this week, once for the Chronic Pain Clinic and second for the Rheumatoid Specialist and what I learned through the group session and the phone calls with the nurse etc., is that me setting goals is a GIFT to myself, kind of like me blowing myself a kiss!

The more goals I set for myself the better/healthier I will become. I am starting off slow... for example, one goal I have is to walk on the treadmill for twenty minutes three times per week. Another goal is to learn how to breathe, so I am listening to some wonderful relaxation cd's from the clinic that help me to breathe, visualize and relax all my muscles. There are so many goals I have it has been somewhat overwhelming so I decided to make a FUN journal page capturing my feelings in text and a fun picture reminding myself that it is a GIFT. Sometimes you just have to make things fun ~ especially when life isn't at times! This page helps me to see things in a positive way and not to concentrate on negative thoughts!

I had no idea how easily negative thoughts can creep into our minds and create so much strife within us until a Dr. once pointed out what was actually happening in my thought process, this was many years ago when I had post-partum depression. The brain is such a complex thing, it baffles me just trying to think about how it works. Apparently negative thoughts come because our mind is actually distorting our thoughts, what's happening in our mind may not be reality! At least that's what was happening when I was depressed. I think much clearer these days and am able to recognize the basis behind negative thinking, for example I could choose to be negative in my thoughts towards my Fibromyalgia but instead I choose to be positive and create positive lovely things to combat it! I think it's all a matter of attitude!

I know that God has healed me tremendously, He has taken me under His wing and given me guidance, nurtured, taught and protected me and now I am able to fly. He can do that for you too!

Happy Week to you all. Hugs and many blessings.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day and a Princess

Hello and happy weekend to all of you! I hope you are all having great weekends! We are! I entered my husband in a Fathers Day contest with our local radio station and HE WON! We all can't believe it... so this weekend we are moving all of our furniture around, from one floor to another to make room for two brand new leather theatre recliners!! I am so excited because not only does it bless my wonderful hubby and father of our sons, but it also blesses me too because I will have a relaxing place to lay, sit while watching movies or listening to my new relaxation tapes from the Chronic Pain Clinic! Thank you God!!

He also won some "Extreme Dad" prizes like throwing the first pitch for the local Vipers Baseball game (he's a little nervous about that one thinking he's going to hit the batter! LOL), some golf games, scuba lessons, river kayaking, zip line (which should be interesting considering his fear of heights! LOL! I may give that one a try!) Our summer is planned out for us with all these fabulous activities, again, thank you God.

So... now onto my art. I was able to work on my second piece from Julie Nuttings awesome book "Collage Couture" and this lil' gal is what I came up with. First of all her cute little face...

I had a little trouble with her hair and am not quite sure that I am fully satisfied with the results! Julie uses higher end Acrylic paint for her girls hair, I did not have that on hand... so I used Adirondack brown paint from their paint dabbers, then went over with a redish copic marker and then some gold highlights. I really love drawing the face over the typing of the magazine text, it gives the face such a different look than what I am used to.

Next I want to show you a REALLY fun aspect of Julie's designs that she shows in her book... the lace bottom of her dresses, or crinolines I guess is what it's called. I love the final look that transpires as you place the lace on the bottom! This is so feminine and what girls are all about right???

Julie suggests adding embellishments as butterflies or other feminine items as flowers and bling. It really does fit in well with fashion!

And here she is... "PRINCESS"

As you can see, I added bling and butterflies to her. I am enjoying this process so much by the time I am done I am going to have a whole book of these cute lil'ladies. I would love to see the designs you come up with, so please do share them if you get a chance!

Have a great Fathers Day Weekend... please wish all your Fathers many Father's Day blessings!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Girlie Girl - I Love Julie Nutting!!!!!

I received my new order yesterday!!! What might you ask was my order????? The lovely new book by Julie Nutting called "Collage Couture: Techniques for Creating Fashionable Art". This book is as tasty as its title!

I prepared myself for work today by taking some of my scrapbook paper and my new book. Since it was super slow today I was able to create this lovely little darlin'. Isn't she fabulous???? I am in love with Julie Nutting's work and she explains all of the how-to's in her book!

What a fabulously fun project this was!

I ordered my book the second I discovered her book was coming out! It is now available on Amazon or at Chapters. I ordered mine from Chapters (as I live in Canada) and it arrived just a few days later! Fabulous! I have since devoured her book from cover to cover and can't wait to create more of these babies! TRUST ME, YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK JUST AS MUCH AS I DO!!!!

So now, I must wish you a wonderful week full of color, fun and creativity!
With much love and many blessings


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thankful For Being A Mom

This page took a long time coming, I drew this out in 2009 and just today I finished it! I have a few pages that I could go back to and finish up, I can't quite remember the reason for not finishing it but today it just took on a life of its own until the very end! I love it when a page takes over and I get caught up in it, even the doodles swept me up in memories of my boys as they were growing up, remembering how I always would measure how big the boys were by the size of their hands on mine... aaaaaahhhhhh the memories. I am going to miss their little hands, now they are almost the size of mine and one day I know they will be bigger!
Motherhood is such an amazing gift whether your children are biologically yours or adopted... once you take on that roll of Motherhood you have truly become a "Mama" to a precious life and will forever be their "Mama".
When my youngest was born I was very sick with Post-partum depression and I was unable to bond with the little guy. Then one day (he was about two years old) he was coming down the stairs and I was going up and he looked at me with such a beautiful smile and said, "MAMA" for the first time! I think it was that very moment that the darkness of my depression began to melt away from me. He called me Mama even when I was too sick to really acknowledge him. He called me Mama even though at the time being a Mama was the last thing that I thought I was... (meaning that I was consumed with horrible guilty feelings of what an awful Mama I really was). Obviously my precious child thought otherwise ~ by the look on his tiny face, the light in his sparkling eyes and his beautiful outstretched arms that were reaching for ME, his Mama... obviously I was good enough to be his Mama that day! I will forever cherish that memory.
It reminds me of how God views us... even though we sin, even though we have put other things before Him, even though we cannot possibly think that God would ever forgive us of our sins... even though... even though... even though... HE DOES. He does love us, He does think that we are enough, that we are beautiful and precious in His sight even with all our sin surrounding us. He loves us regardless of our circumstances... even if we have been horrible Mothers at one time in our lives! He says "Come, come... just as you are COME! Let ME take your burdens from you, Let ME wash you clean as snow, Let ME love you just for who you are!" His grace is sufficient for us!
Thank you God, thank you for your deep love for your children. We are so blessed to serve you, to love you, to be forgiven by you. I love YOU God.
I pray that your day is filled with God's love and know that YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Hugs and many blessings to you.


Monday, June 13, 2011

New Piece - "Handful"

I drew this piece last year and it has sat in my book of sketches for a long time. I don't know why I never got to finishing it, it might be because I drew the hands incorrectly from what I had originally intended... they were supposed to be her hands, but if you think about it the thumbs would not be in front if they were hers, so now it's someone else holding her face and I'm okay with that... that kind of makes it into a story, a mystery.

Today I added all the color and doodles and it looks much different than when I first began. I unfortunately didn't take a picture of the before, so I hope you like the after! One of my favorite colors is salmon pink so I wanted it to be a little different so I 'pinked-up' her hairdo!

On Thursday I had my first "Goal Setting" group at the Chronic Pain Clinic. Some of you might be asking what kind of goals can you set in regards to pain, right? Well, I had the same questions really, then the session opened up my eyes. There are many goals that I need to set and some of them I didn't relate to my pain before; things like relaxation... I mean I knew stress causes me to hurt more but I didn't really think about true relaxation and what I do to achieve it. There is actually a relaxation class at the Clinic and one of my goals is to sign up for it!

I guess I should have taken the hint about my 'not' breathing when I went in for surgery in January and the nurse had to continually tell me to breathe, apparently I do not breathe enough! (My hubbub has been telling me that for years really, I just didn't listen... me being a stubborn Norwegian and all! LOL) Anyway, the relaxation classes will also teach me how to breathe - BONUS! Do any of you have this issue?

Other goals I can set are things such as, I want to work on my moodiness (apparently I get moody when I am constantly in pain ~ weird right? Y'no! It's true though... so one of my goals is going to be working on my moods, which comes with calming down the pain, which comes with a hole whack of other goals that can be reached by attending the resource classes at the clinic. So I am rather excited about the rest of this year... I know the beginning hasn't been stellar and all... but hey, there's a whole other half of the year to go so I'm not counting 2011 out quite yet! LOL! Positivity is a huge factor... I am learning so much! YAY! Well, I shall keep you updated with my progress, I am expecting great things!

I really hope that all of you had a wonderful and creative weekend.
Big hugs and many blessings


Friday, June 10, 2011

Redone Doodle Gone Wrong

A fellow artist and one of my blog friends contacted me with some awesome advice for my "Doodle Gone Wrong" piece. So, I took her advice and added some color, warm colors to below her cheeks and cool colors above her cheeks. I think it has made a huge difference and I really like the effects of her advice. She also suggested I use copic markers. What do you think?
Thank you Mary for your wonderful advice!
Happy weekend to all of you.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Doodle Gone Wrong!

I am not one for morbid skeletal pictures, seriously! I don't know how this doodle turned out this way but it freaked out my kids! My hubbub thought it looked like a robot, and here I was just trying to play around with some different doodles on a face! Yikes! It is very skeletal looking isn't it?
I had a few hours to kill at work yesturday and that is where this doodle took me, before I knew it I was looking at a skeleton. EW!
Oh well, they can't all turn out beautiful right?

I hope you are all having a fabulous week! I'm off to my last day of work this week (YAY) so this is the beginning of my weekend. Hubbub is having a birthday tomorrow and we are celebrating by going out for breakfast as a family on Saturday (that's what he wants to do!) I know that it will be lovely.

Happy weekend to all of you with many hugs and blessings.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working Out What's Going On

Working out my thoughts with God.

Hugs and many blessings.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Remember My Word Of The Year?

Do you remember my word(s) for the year? They were 'Health' and 'Healing'... well all I can say is that I have been doing a whole lot of healing this year! I am really beginning to question my intelligence when it comes to choosing my word(s).
So far this year I have had an emergency Appendectomy, a sinus infection, and two urinary tract infections (possibly caused from my surger in January). That's five rounds of antibiotics this year and it's only June! I'm not complaining really! I just find it interesting that my word(s) for the year are what they are and this has been the kind of year it has been. I'm going to be choosing my words much more carefully next year. LOL!

Hugs and Blessings To You!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Doodle Time Today

I had some time with my pen and journal today which makes me a very happy camper!

Happy Weekend everyone!