Lots of new things that I have made

So by now you are all aware that I am, at best, a slacker blogger, right? That’s why I know you’ll forgive me for not posting regularly, and sometimes not at all. That’s also why I know you’ll be forgiving of the fact that I’m about to show you a bunch of pictures of things I have made recently, without including a lot of information about the things I have made recently! I’m trying to get to bed early tonight (read: before 2) so I want to make this as quick and easy as possible. If you are interested in more details about any particular project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know, I will be so excited to get a comment that I will probably go to great lengths to describe the thing you’re asking about!

Okay, enough. On with the show.

This is my ‘new’ lampshade, which I put fake flowers all over on a whim. I am not sold on this yet, but my friends have all tried to steal it or convince me to make one for them, so I guess it’s okay.
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This is a thread and scissor organizer for my kitchen wall. It’s hanging above a cabinet I’m getting ready to refinish, and a small mirror that I use to fix my hair/makeup when we are crowded for space in the bathroom. I love this area of my kitchen because it’s all mine!
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This is something I just made tonight, the main reason I had to sit down and upload pictures to the computer, so make sure you say thank you to it. (lol). It’s a free motion embroidery piece (which means I basically sketched it on fabric with my sewing machine, just my regular old sewing machine, not one of those fancy embroidery ones) and it’s a panel for a bag I’m planning. Although, I may just do a whole quilt of these, because it was actually really fun and I love the way it feels.
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Now we are moving on to my Sketchbook Project 2011 pages. This first one, the monster, is a collaboration between my eight year old and I. The rest are sketches. Please ignore the glare from the flash! I have not taken the time to scan these yet, when I do I will change these pictures out so that they look better.
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Some new art journal pages from my new, huge, altered art journal:

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A charm square, quilted messenger bag for the kiddo. FYI, this was made exactly to her specs, NOT mine, so it’s not quite up to par with my standards. However, she loves it, so it’s a success.

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My new wallet, also made from charm squares.

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Two new books, one for a travel padfolio, the other a three ring binder in a customized size.

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And lastly, just for fun, and because I am always hiding on this side of the computer…some summer pics of me! Be kind. You know you love me. 🙂
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Art Journaling Week – Another link!

In the spirit of my Art Journaling week, I’m here to show you one of my secret addictions.  Don’t judge, just read. (lol, it’s not that bad, I promise.)
Craftster is the best crafting place online. Hands down. It’s got something for everyone there, from interior decorating projects and ideas to knitting to sewing to painting to a miscellaneous board for those little crafty projects that don’t really belong in one spot. I spend a LOT of time here when I am looking for new projects, tutorials, etc…oh, who am I kidding? I spend a lot of time here even when I’m not looking! But one of my favorite things about Craftster is that they have craftalongs. What’s that? It’s when a bunch of people all join in to work on the same type of project and post pictures and encouragement to help each other get and stay motivated to work on the project. I was recently brave (foolish? ambitions?) enough to join the best craftalong ever…

The Ongoing Altered Journal-a-long! Go check it out! I can’t post a picture here without stealing someone’s, which I won’t do, but seriously, go check out this link. You won’t be sorry. There are ideas, tutorials, amazing art work, and tons of fun just waiting to be discovered…so quit reading this and get over there.

🙂

Art Journaling Week!!

I’ve made a command decision that will change your life! Or at least mine! Or maybe just provide a little direction for my blogging plans for the next 7 days, whichever’s easiest…lol. ANYWAY…

Art is such an amazing concept and so much fun to learn to do. It’s especially great because you can do it anywhere – in a notebook, on a wall, on fabric, on wood, on trash….the possibility are endless. The only thing that limits you in your creative pursuits of art journaling is whether or not the object you want to journal on will hold still long enough for you to go to work on it!

This first post is going to be fairly short but I just want to share two links that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Just make sure you check back every day, because I have at least four more posts planned for this week (shocking, I know, but miracles can happen) and you don’t want to miss anything. Or at least I hope you don’t.

Caspiana is an amazing wealth of inspiration and knowledge. Drool over her amazing photograph skills, and oh yeah, the STUNNING artwork as well! The most important thing to do here though is to scroll down the page and click the picture under the words ‘Soul Journaling Prompts!”. Then check out the day by day journaling prompts and instructions she’s put together. It’s so amazing! I can’t wait to get started. In fact, I may have to do this Art Journaling Week a few times, just to make sure I get to do each of these prompts and take pictures and blog about it here.

Pringle Hill Studio is so luscious, so gorgeous, I literally want to crawl inside her pictures and live there. In fact, it’s so great that it sucks you in even on her header! If you are into art journaling or altered art of any kind, you will be thrilled and inspired by this site. Go. Look. Stay awhile, you won’t be able to help it!

And there you go – there’s your introduction to Art Journaling Week here at Messymama’s blog. Can’t wait to show you the rest of what I have planned for this week!

Okay! I lied!

You didn’t really think I was gone for good, did you? 🙂 I just needed a break…and still feel like I need a break from the break! But, I have lots of new things going on and some new pictures to post so I thought I’d start there.

This is what I have been up to:

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Lots and lots of art journaling! It is so therapeutic and fun. I have been asked (or told, whichever sounds more polite, ha ha) to put together an art journaling workshop and share some of my ideas and techniques. That was two weeks ago. So far, I haven’t gotten any cemented plans down, but I have got lots and lots of notes and ideas so we shall see how long it takes to get it all pulled together.

I have been fighting the WORST allergies and dealing with a lot of new diagnosis (E.D.N.O.S – which is Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified – and celiac disease being the top two that we are trying to fix right now) but I have been having lots of fun cleaning and decluttering and making new things.

Making scrapbooks has become my newest obsession and soon I will have a youtube video up of some of the things I’ve made, I’m so excited!

And of course, I can’t leave without posting a site, it’s impossible. So I thought I would share my newest favorite site of ALL TIME. Seriously. This girl is adorable, creative, hilarious, in love with her cat…what more could you ask for in a website? Oh, yeah, I know. She’s a professional photographer so the pictures are like shiny eye candy! It’s drugging, I’m telling ya…so go check out Color Me Katie. Go. Seriously!

XOXO,

BB

Two phrases

Tonight I’ve been working on my art journal. And realizing that I am not quite the artist I would like to be, and also that my perfectionism is really holding me back in a lot of places in life, but that’s beside the point of this blog, at least for tonight.

I just wanted to post two of the phrases I am currently working on, both in my art journal and in real life. It’s hard to believe the first one and even harder to hold on to the second.

#1:
Love turns impossible dreams into reality

#2:
The peace can be fleeting, but it tastes so good in your mouth.

After I wrote them both I stared at them for a while.

Is it true that love turns impossible dreams into reality? Or does it just begin to whittle away and shape the dreams you once had to fit the reality you are in? For instance, in my childhood I pictured myself as a starving writer living in some tiny studio apartment with lots of easels and lots of sunlight. Slowly I have realized that my husband won’t let me starve and I’ll probably never have the hardwood floors and bright windows of my youthful dreams. And more importantly, the writing isn’t as important to me as I thought it would always be. The truth is, besides what I post here, there are very few remnants of that writer left in my life. Not because I lost the talent or ability – if anything, those things have only grown with the life and experiences I have had, and when I do sit down with pen and paper the hard part is stopping, because I have so much to say – but because the drive isn’t there anymore. Why write when I can teach and sing and love and cook and clean instead? So did the dream of becoming that accomplished and independent writer change, or did I force it to change to fit the life I have found? I once told a friend I would write ‘our’ story; now I have realized that all of my stories can’t add up to the happiness and fulfillment of my life, and they aren’t worth making someone else sad over.

And another dream I had was having no kids. I used to say I would never get married either. I wanted to be free of everything except the obligations that I wanted to have. I didn’t want to answer to anyone or be responsible for anything other than myself. Love did change that dream, into the exact opposite of what I thought I’d always wanted. So I guess…the answer is the quote can be true…Love really can change impossible dreams into reality by stomping them into oblivion and handing you something completely different.

And as for peace…the hardest part is enjoying it while it’s here rather than focusing on how soon it will be gone. It’s like eating your favorite, most decadent, top secret comfort food – every bite sends thrills of total joy up and down your spine, but on the other hand, every bite is one step closer to the end of the treat.

Well I suppose that’s enough of my deep thinking and awesome questioning skills. Although, it’s been awhile since anyone’s commented the blog. While I love the personal emails, it would be nice for visitors here to see that I actually do have readers!! So, if you want, share your thoughts about these two phrases…or any other quotes you like…or even what you put in your journal, art or otherwise.

I’m giving you free reign to post whatever you want people. Go ahead. You know you want to. 😉

Two very important things!

In my last post, I mentioned my art journal. What I forgot to mention was that I have found some wonderful new favorite sites for art journaling inspiration, tips and just plain fun!

First off, iHannah is just amazing. She does the coolest layouts and shows them off, and she also does neat stuff like new book reviews, cool blog links to other blogs, and posts lots of inspiring and thought provoking blogs. I am always motivated to break out my journal when I leave her site.

And then, tonight, just after I wrote that last post, I found the most amazing and cool and simple and duh! perfect tutorial on how to make your own 30/31 day journal with tape and a water color pad. Now, since I don’t have a water color pad and also will not have any money until this weekend, and am impatient, I will be making one of these tomorrow with some cardboard I have been saving and regular computer paper. It has responded well to my paints so far so I am pretty confident I won’t have any problems. I am so excited! I am picturing twelve full, fat art journals sitting on my top book shelf…art journaling my way through life for a whole year…wouldn’t that be awesome??!!??

Okay, this time I am really am going to bed instead of blog hunting. I will return one day. I promise. 🙂

Things…

Are good and busy around my world lately. Unfortunately, the desire to blog has shriveled up and blown away like dead leaves in a hurricane, and guess why? Because I don’t have a camera anymore. And to me, blog posts without pictures are like food without smell…only half the goodness that could be had, and a sense of dusty crumbs in your throat that you kind of detest.

That being said…I do have some things to share. Here is a scan (yes, I can scan, yay!) of my latest art journal page:

Under that yellow and blue flap it says, Everything deserves a chance to be part of something imperfectly beautiful. Even You.

I made this out of recycled papers from magazines and books. The background is an acrylic painting on plain old computer paper. It’s a mixed media piece – there is pen work, painting, collage, and pencil as well as crayon and even a bit of eyeliner! I had a lot of fun putting it together, and I did it to remind myself that even I am worth another chance. It was really relaxing and I plan on doing more pages like this in my art journal. Some of the techniques I used came from this blog, and more specifically, the videos in her Youtube playlist. While I don’t have all of the fancy paint markers and stuff, the overall effect I got with regular Sharpies and felt tipped markers was still really fun and pleasing.

I find that a lot of times, the hardest part of being true to the intention of my art journal – which is to capture my thoughts in any way outside of the box of just writing black text on white paper – is to let myself go and just be intuitive and not second guess each and every choice. The second hardest part is remembering that this is my journal, not an art gallery display for everyone else to see – it only has to please me! It is really strange to craft in that frame of mind but I am working at it a little bit at a time.

Here is another piece I did last weekend while I was sick. It’s black ink and white paper and that’s it. I call it Alice’s Garden, but since it’s still laying on my desk instead of matted and framed like I’d planned, maybe it doesn’t deserve a real name, lol.

I don’t know if I already posted this, but even if I did, I love it so much I don’t mind talking about it: My wonderful rainbow quilt. This is the first piece I actually finished the ‘right’ way, by handstitching the binding, and I love it. I can’t wait to get started on another quilt, and in fact, just bought a bunch of fabric for that exact purpose.

There has also been a mini art quilt…

…that is the basis of a collection of potholders I am designing for my kitchen.

And a cupcake embroidery that is handing on my wall…

And my first ever knitted project: a hat.

I have been busy, it just hasn’t shown up here on my poor neglected little blog! I am finding out that posting things on Craftster is a lot of fun and very rewarding but it makes it hard to want to repost stuff here. If that makes sense anyway!

On the home front, we have been busy moving people out and in and around. One sister moved out, the youngest and her husband moved in, but not before I came up with the brilliant idea of switching my bedroom out for the quietest and darkest one. The house has been in a mild state of controlled chaos but it is now officially under control – my last load of laundry is in the machines and every room has been scrubbed and organized, except the kitchen, which is tomorrow. I’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff (dropped it off at the local thrift store and made new friends, lol) and feel like I am finally getting my life in order! It is pretty amazing to make it through a whole day and do the things I’m supposed to do and not cry or throw up or freak out even once. I feel like a new person, honestly. I’ve also been losing weight pretty fast again, I don’t know if it’s the weather or the fact that I am so busy, but at least this time my hair isn’t falling out and my skin isn’t turning gray!

Oh, and I am now ‘working’ again – taking care of a 2 year old from 6 AM until about 4 PM, and also picking another little girl up from school at 2 and watching her until about 6. It has been busy, and I hate getting up so early, but it’s really good for Grace to have a friend over in the afternoons, and it has really sharpened my teaching skills to have two 8 year olds who need help with their work. It’s also made more of a schedule for my days, and as much as I resisted it, it’s actually helping a ton. Just don’t tell anyone I admitted that. 😉

On that note, it is now officially 3:00 AM and I officially have to be up and out of here in three short hours, so it’s time to turn this computer off and crawl in bed. Have a great Tuesday!!

Today

was a fail in many ways. I slept a total of three hours last night so I was NOT good company this morning. We went to Wal Mart and somehow spent $100 after we just spent twice that last night, and then we WONDER where all our money goes! lol.

I didn’t work on my quilt, I didn’t do house work (beyond the dishes, making my bed and clearing the table off a few times and doing laundry, but that’s cause I have to do those things every day), and I spent an unholy amount of time playing the Wii.

On the flip side, today was a success in many ways. I took a nap in the afternoon, and that in and of itself is a total rarity these days. I am back to the land of no sleep, in case I haven’t mentioned that here yet. Nightmares and chest pains and extreme insomnia do not add up to a good night’s rest. I’m in the stages now where I stay up all night until I just can’t hold my eyes open anymore, and even then I can’t really sleep. So to be able to lay down and take a long nap is a total gift.

I also worked on my altered book journal for about an hour tonight. I haven’t posted pics of it, but it’s a fun project and it helps me work through what I’m feeling and thinking. It helps to have to slow down and put things into words. Maybe I’ll be able to post some pics here soon. I am back to using Keri Smith’s 100 ideas for prompts and ideas. I’d forgotten I’d pasted it in my journal until tonight, so it was a happy surprise.

And finally, I was able to make a little progress on my life plan/map. It’s a really visual thing so far. I used to know someone, well a few someones, who keep these perfectly neat and organized lists and everything is easy to read and aligned and orderly. I am not one of those people and personally, I don’t see how those rigid lists do any good any way. I need messiness and creativity and room to move around without lines fencing me in, and that’s what my life map looks like right now. I’m having a good time with it. Do a google search on Life Map, some of the links are amazingly inspirational.

That’s it for tonight folks, I am off to toss and turn and cry and sweat and mourn…and eventually, I may even sleep! lol.

Significance Journaling For Anxiety

In my quest to have a fulfilling life, I usually find myself crafting in one way or another. I sew, I quilt, I write, I make things. A project that’s been hovering around the edges of my brain lately is making a recycled journal to write in daily. I was thinking about using a lot of unlined paper and a lot of white space to make the journal; I’ve found that it’s easier for me to take notes on totally blank paper then it is to use lined paper (I’m not sure why, this is just a personal preference. I’m not trying to dog lined paper by any means, lol.) It seems more freeing and less restrictive, and I like to doodle all over so it looks a little better without those blue lines behind everything.

Anyway, I was on youtube this morning looking at different ways to make journals, different book binding techniques, etc. I came across this video about Significance Journaling that really sparked my interest. It’s something I’ve never heard of before, but it instantly made sense.

The gist of it is that every day, you write down something significant that you accomplished during that day. It doesn’t have to be a world changing event. But it’s also not just a regular diary entry where you gripe about how much work you had to do and how the day made you feel. It’s just a simple list of important things that you did that day that you want to remember.

How does this tie in with anxiety?

All too often, those of us who suffer with anxiety beat ourselves up one side and down the other about all the ways we’ve failed in the past, are failing right now, and will fail in the future. We are never good enough for ourselves. Nothing we do is valuable, because we are so busy worrying about what we used to do wrong, are doing wrong, or may do wrong in the future, that our present moment loses any value that it deserves.

Forcing yourself to step back and look at your day from an outsider’s point of view and search for the important task(s) you accomplished will change your point of view about yourself.

It’s another twist on the whole idea of talking positively to yourself and being your own best friend. And when you take the time to sit and think about it, then write it out, then reread it later, you are being kind and loving to yourself.

In my journal (which I will be making today at some point if all goes as plans) I intend to have a Significant Accomplishment section, a Gratitude section and a diary section. I think it will help me to be more organized with my thoughts and more aware of what I’m feeling, which can only make life better, right?

Here’s an example of what my entry for today will look like:

Gratitude Journal – I am so grateful for the sunshine outside my window! After a week of rain, it is refreshing to see the blue sky and hear the birds. My garden has even begun to grow again, so I am grateful for the fresh rain as well. Also, I am grateful that my sisters trust me with their babies. Baby laughs are contagious. They make me smile.

Significance Journal – Today I hugged my daughter and told her I loved her when she crawled out of bed. This is significant to me because it never happened during my childhood. I am being the kind of mom I want to be.

So, what about you? What are you grateful for today? What Significant things did you accomplish today?