Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blessings in Disguise

It's so easy for me to be grateful and count my blessings when things are going well - namely when I'm not having a flare of my lupus.  But I'm now learning and practicing that I have to be grateful even when things aren't exactly going my way.  This is when I REALLY need to count my blessings. 
Over a month ago our dishwasher leaked and ruined part of our wood floor and base cabinets...at first I was pretty upset of course because of the major inconvenience and because of the $1000 deductible we have for insurance.  Still not happy about that because I work VERY part-time.  However, I realized we've wanted new cabinets and a new wood floor for quite a while.  Of course, we wanted to get them when we could afford them and not because of water damage, but looking on the bright side, we are getting some updates to the kitchen.  A few years ago this would have sent me into so much anger and frustration, but this time, I quickly got to the mindset of "what good is coming from this?" ...Well--new cabinets and a new wood floor-yay!  Oh, and practicing acceptance and letting go of things that typically throw me in a tailspin.

"Happiness is a function of accepting what is."

This quote by Werner Erhard often helps me remember how important it is to accept things as they are, even when they aren't what I want at the time.  Typically, like the kitchen, they turn out to be blessings in disguise.  No they don't always come in the form of something physical like kitchen cabinets--they may be a new way of being or living, like enjoying the little things and realizing something that's RIGHT for us is somewhere on the horizon, even if we don't see it right away!  

I'm curious, what "bad" things have happened in your life that have turned out to be blessings in disguise?  











Thursday, October 9, 2014

Art Journal Inspiration



I've talked before about my hesitance to create in an art journal.  But I also added that it's something I grew to love pretty quickly.  It's healing for me and some of the pages are meant to inspire and encourage those whom I share them with, like you!  Here are a few that are inspiring reminders that you are amazing and even though you (me too) may not like where things are in your life, you are right where you are supposed to be.  When I see that phrase, I feel so much better about the struggles I'm dealing with.  It helps me to accept or surrender and not fight "what is" when I read those words. So helpful, because fighting "what is" and not accepting where I'm at right now causes so much anxiety and stress in my life.  



I'm also sending you wishes...for strength to handle what comes your way and peace which can be hard to come by, at least for me when I'm not accepting my life as it is.

Do you have any quotes or phrases or just words, that help you put your mind at ease?  Do you ever forget that you have them there to help you live your day-to-day life?  I know sometimes I really need these reminders, hence creating art with them.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thankful for this Fall


Though the carefree days of flip flops, shorts and longer days are slowly coming to a sad close, there is so much beauty in the fall we're having right now.  I feel so grateful for the vibrant changing trees and the dreamy blue skies. Windows are still open and I can't seem to stop inhaling the fresh air as deeply as I can. Maybe I'm really trying to keep this beauty with me, deep down, as long as possible before the windows will close for the season.

I'm thankful for a new little niece who is starting to smile, making us all smile and laugh with joy.
...for homegrown flowers still blooming and brightening up my counters, my stove, my painting desk and my kitchen window sill












...for breathtaking morning sunrises
















...for fun family pictures outside in this great weather with my sweet daughter and her cousin who have been friends since they were babies
...for glorious blue skies, white clouds and amazing changing trees...



I know pretty soon, some of these things will be just a memory, so for now I'm going to soak them in every chance I get. Do you have some things you just love about fall?  I'd love to hear about them...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Art Journal Inspiration

I've been literally in a painting frenzy these past two days.  It's almost like I don't know what's gotten into me.  I can't get enough of my art journal and I'm painting very freely in it and not thinking whatsoever about the marks I'm making or the colors I'm using.  It's so freeing.  Using my fingers too has been a big part of it...just getting messy and really putting all of myself into it.  


Here are a few pages I want to share that I created during this recent frenzy.  I hope you take a little inspiration from them!  

Do you ever paint in an art journal?  If so is it to practice your skills, just for fun or does it go even deeper than that?  Do you feel it helps you in some way?  I truly believe it helps me in so many ways.

Friday, September 19, 2014

My REAL Studio Table

Seth Apter of The Altered Page wants artists to share their our REAL work spaces, our studio table. Not ones that are professionally decorated to appear in issues of published magazines, but the messy, cluttered, so-many-different-projects-going-on studios.

During the warm weather months typically May through September I luckily paint in my sunroom.  It has tons of windows and the birds are singing and flying right outside.  I love it.  Since we had a quick drop in temperature here in Wisconsin, I moved back into our office earlier than normal. Here's my studio/home office where I create.

Working in a small art journal here...no big canvases going on right now.


It's not a big space because the other half of the room has a huge IKEA desk with my scanner, printer and the area where we pay bills, etc.  But I am lucky that I have this amount of space and I sit right in front of the window.  I'll be honest it doesn't get much light which I really need, but at least it does have a window, right?  Thanks for visiting and taking a peek into my studio!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Tribe, My Cre8ive Klatch


I first met these girls a few years ago when we got to work together on Flying Lessons, a creative business course sponsored by artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  We called each other "flyers" and now we are part of a "klatch." Never did I expect to call them my friends. Now that's what they've become to me.  Not only do we bounce art biz ideas off of each other but we celebrate and share the good and bad times of our personal lives as well.  I know that at just about anytime I can pop over to our Facebook group and find one of these supportive friends there to talk, listen or laugh with.  I can count on them. We've been through births, deaths, surgeries, new pets, moves across country and much more.  

Cre8ive Klatch
Being part of this creative group has enriched my life personally and creatively. We are now venturing on a new journey called the Cre8ive Klatch and it's pretty exciting. Stop over at our group blog to meet the creative members. Today is my day to be introduced there so I'd love it if you'd stop over there and get to know me a little better. Come and see the great things we have in store for you, including quick projects you can do to stretch your creative muscles, EVEN if you think you don't have any.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strength - Art Journal Inspiration

Some of you who know me are aware that I have lupus and have been living with this illness for 13 years.  I've been through chemotherapy to help kidney disease which is now in remission (yay!).  Early menopause from the chemo unfortunately took away my chance of having a second child a few years ago.  I've had to quit my full-time teaching job as well, something I worked really hard on in college and in my graduate program.  Often I'm in lots of pain and moving my hands, neck, feet, legs, etc. can be really really hard some days.  I cannot handle being in the sun or heat.  Let's just say, my life has changed drastically.  Sometimes I give into a personal pity-party - it's hard not to some days. But through all this I am learning that I am a strong person. And, yes, I occasionally have to remind myself of that in my art journal.  An affirmation, a reminder that I can handle this.  I'm surviving everyday, sometimes even thriving I guess. Though I wish I were cured, I still do feel so much joy about life and the gifts I have been given.  This is the only way for me to deal with struggles daily.



I'm hoping that even though you too may  have some major or even minor obstacles or stressors, that you know you really are strong and can handle them.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, maybe walk away, even whisper gently to myself "it's okay" and these things help put me back in a strong, capable and hopefully calm frame of mind.

When you are struggling and think you just can't handle one more thing, what do you do to help yourself?  Are you good at reminding yourself how strong you are?  Think of all the challenges you have faced in your life - you are strong.
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