Tag Archives: painting

Change of season, change of pace


As the leaves start to turn and the air gets cooler I am feeling a change in myself as well.  I find myself wanting to stay indoors snuggled up in a warm blanket with a good book or drawing, painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing or tatting.  I wish the yard would clean itself up.  I’ve been so tired lately.

I have already read a few books and I even organized my bookshelf somewhat.  It still needs some work but I went through and found some duplicates and purged some books so they at least all fit on the shelves.  I had stacks of books and patterns on the floor and I didn’t want them to get wet once people started tracking in snow.  I actually added all of my books to goodreads.com (well, not counting the books in the garage) so I could be sure of what I had and what I was looking for.   Now I have decided to read some of my precious books instead of just hording them.  There are certain books I know I really wanted to read because I had multiple copies of them.  Right now though, I really want to re-read the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber.  I read several of the books a few years ago and then I realized I had them out of order and that there were a few side stories that tie in with the series that I’d missed.  So I stopped reading and went looking for the rest of the books.  I really hate to read books out of order.  I have re-read the first 3 or 4 and I’m now reading a Christmas story that tied in with the series.  So far I’m not loving it but we will see…. could be that it just isn’t Christmas yet.  I also read the first book in the Fablehaven series and it was REALLY good.  It’s written for kids aged 9-12 but I loved it.  My husband read it too.  Now I can’t wait to read the next one.

Today is Riley’s 1st day of high school.  I know he’s excited because he’s taking Japanese.  He’s been waiting all summer.  I can’t wait until he gets home and tells me how his day went.

Yesterday was the first day of a diet I’m doing.  When I was going through my books I found one for a 10 week weight loss plan.  It’s called Kathy Smith’s Fitness Makeover.  It has pages for writing in what you eat and for noting the exercises you do.  Each week focuses on something specific and this week is fat and abs.  So now my fat on my abs is sore.  I am very weak so hopefully this will help me build up some strength.  The information in the book does not seem outdated at all.  The toning pages tell you what exercises to do and in the back it explains how with a picture.  This book was published in 1997.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t had it that long but I think it’s funny that it is coming in really handy for me now.

Okay, I’m going to take a short nap before I have to wake Riley up for school.

Determination can carry you through


I wasn’t feeling very well today.  Manly I was tired and slow moving.  I didn’t sleep all day but I laid around reading.  I just didn’t have any energy but I made myself do a little time on the stationary  bike.  I figure I have to push myself to steadily improve or I’ll end up never getting anywhere.  I was determined to go to my watercolor class that I’ve been missing for several months.  This class meets every Wednesday at 3pm and I just got to where I couldn’t do it anymore.  The cold weather makes it especially hard but recently it has been warmer.  My husband went in to work early today so he could get home in time to give me a ride but he got stuck at work.  It isn’t that far so I just grabbed my coat and walked.  I didn’t bundle up in my crazy, down parka with the fur lined hood because I was already sweating.  I checked my temperature and I was 99.7 degrees.  I think my medication is making my temperature go haywire.  99 isn’t that bad though so I went and I’m glad I did.  I had a great time and I have really been missing my friends that take the class with me.

My painting didn’t turn out that great, mostly because my colors were too light, but I’m going to try it again.  I’ll try to touch up that one a bit and then I’ll do a few more attempts at it.  It is a barn scene taken from a book.  It has a barn and a silo and the middle of the painting is fog.  There is a fence post in the foreground and as the fence posts continue into the fog they fade away and disappear.  It is a neat painting.  The pencil lines on the paper were too dark and I didn’t think about trying to erase it a bit until after I’d already wet the paper.  Then it is too late.  So I will just work with it and try again.  It was so wonderful to paint again.  I had a little pain in my wrist at one point but it faded so I was glad.

My husband showed up to pick me up and he got to meet everyone.  I love him so much because of how great he is with people.  I forget sometimes because I don’t often see him interact with people that much but when he walks in the room he seems to bring this light with him.  Everyone naturally loves him.  His laugh is infectious and he always ends up in the center of everyone.  He’s the one that makes everyone laugh.  He’s the big guy with broad shoulders that could handle himself well in a fight but wont.  He’s a big guy with a soft heart.  I just love that about him.

Back when I was 18 my parents thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life.  Man were they mistaken.

Even at my lowest he has been there for me.  He’s encouraged me to keep my chin up when I didn’t think I could.  He goes with me to doctor appointments when needed and shows up out of the blue with flowers to cheer me up.  I am so lucky he picked me out.  Even if, I really picked him out first.



I am going journal crazy right now.  I already had an Art Journal but I wasn’t using it much.  I signed up for the Art, Heart & Healing class at http://www.willowing.ning.com/ which just happens to be a free class that can be taken at any time.  I will be painting a self portrait or something that represents me in my art journal in the next few days.  The class has video’s that teach you how to draw a face and what I’ve seen so far looks great.  I’m also doing a SOAR journal at at site called Just Be Yourself.  I can’t wait to get going on that one.  That is not really an art journal but it’s a way to make the most out of your year.  They have a lot of nice graphics that you can print up and paste into your journal.  Mine will definitely have some art in it though since I can’t help but doodle all over everything.

Well, today I was out for my doctor’s appointment and I wanted to go to Michael’s to look for some paint brushes.  I ended up buying a bunch more journals.  I bought a SMASH Journal by K & Company and some goodies to go with it.  They have a lot of neat accessories to go with their journals.

Source: michaels.com via Donna on Pinterest


They have neat tabs, pockets to add to whatever pages you want, decorative tape, brads, paperclips, sticky note type markers…. etc.   They also have these small tablets with tear out pages that you can add… like say a to do list or a quote.  It depends on which ones you get.  The journal comes with a black pen with a glue stick on the other end but you can buy more of the pens with blue or pink ink.  I really wanted purple though so I bought a La Pen in Amethyst.   I bought the pink journal that you can see above.  I had actually planned on buying the blue journal since I really liked the design on the front but I didn’t like the designs on the inside pages as much as the pink one.  There are several different styles and I just assumed the inside pages would be the same but they actually revolve around a theme.  I bought some of the fabric tabs and some pockets for loose things.  I also bought these red & blue smash stickers that are like those sticky flags that I usually use for marking pages.  I also bought these pads of papers that you can use to add lists or whatever to your pages… I got the Blank smash pad for adding To-do lists or random thoughts I want to remember and the word of mouth smash pad for adding quotes.

My pink journal - The color is off. It really does look the same as the one pictured above.

I also bought a bunch of other smaller journals just for writing, some magnetic list pads for the frig, some note cards and some paint brushes which was the original reason for going LOL

Six smaller journals





More goodies :O)

I almost forgot about the Monogram D rubber stamp!

Lots of paint brushes!

I’m glad I didn’t forget the thing I actually went here for.  These were on sale.  I like buying things that have containers to keep them in.

My husband swung by and picked up McDonald’s for me so I could eat at home.  I didn’t want to get out of the car again since it was so cold.  I’m not sure I like those new chicken things.  They are like popcorn chicken but they are hard.  I think they are just overcooked but it seems like you get more batter than chicken.  The honey mustard sauce makes everything better though.  The best part is the fries though. Yum.

This was the second time I saw this new doctor since my old one suddenly changed where he worked and then was strangely never heard from again.  My husband went with me since he had some questions too.  He’s been very worried about me lately. She is going to change my medications around a bit and hopefully it will help the Fibromyalgia pain!  I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that it does.  She also wants me to see some sort of therapist that supposedly can help with pain management.  Mmmmmmmm I’ve never heard of that.  I’ll have to do some research.  She ordered some labs and they only stuck me 4 times.  I had bandages all over me.  I actually felt bad for them because I know it’s me and not them.  I can tell when they are competent and they were.  The first girl was really kicking herself for sticking me twice so she called someone else.  The second lady is their super sticker queen and she even had to stick me twice.  They are going to test some vitamin levels and other stuff.  The doctor looked at my old labs and said my B12 levels have been low but that’s the first I’ve heard of that.  How annoying.  She is also testing Vitamin D levels this time around.  She is taking me off the narcotics that  I was on and having me try some muscle relaxants.  I’m also going to try raising the Cymbalta dose to 60mg again.  The first time I tried that it made me a zombie.  She said it does make you feel tired in the beginning and I should have been started gradually on it instead of taking 60mg right from the beginning.  So, I wonder if she knows her stuff…  I guess I’ll find out.  Hopefully I won’t end up in crazy pain or I’ll lost my mind.

Art, Heart, & Healing


A while back I signed up for this free class at http://willowing.ning.com called Art, Heart, & Healing.  And yes, you did hear me correctly, this class is free and you can sign up any time.  All you have to do is join Willowing and then you can sign up.  The classes are recorded and you just have to watch them and work in your journal.  I really like that I can do them when I can and not have to worry about missing a session because I don’t feel well.  There is a link for posting your work and if sweet Tam (who just had a new baby) has the time she gives great feedback!   She actually uses a graphics program to digitally adjust your work to show you what she thinks would help…. like if the eyes are too close together or the nose too long.   I myself, am great at making mile long snouts!

Anyway, it sounded rather easy and I thought it might help me and even be fun.  I love painting and one of the things I really want to work on this year is branching out with my art.  I tend to draw just what I see.  I’m always trying to paint a photograph and get caught up in details.  It never even occurred to me until this past year that I could interprete the picture however I wanted.  I could leave out things or put things in different places!  I want to be more imaginative and creative in my art.  I love to look at other art and see what other artists do differently and try to learn from that.

I started taking watercolor lessons last fall from a local man by the name of Tom Nixon and I have really learned a lot.  Only problem is the cold keeps me grounded to my house.  I deal with a lot of pain from Fibromyalgia and even though I try not to let it slow me down the truth is it does.  The cold during winter causes the pain to intensify and then I can’t concentrate on art…. or anything.  Even if I bundle up and my car is in my warm garage… once I get out of my car I’m done.  I haven’t been able to get out for an art lesson or for anything for a long time and my spirits are way, WAY down.  So I thought this would be the perfect way for me to learn some things about art, especially more imaginative things, and to help myself heal on the inside at the same time.

I started to watch the first video and got stuck.  I followed her instructions and got my journal and wrote out all of my negative thoughts.  I was so surprised because they came pouring out like a flood and I started to cry.  I realized I’ve been holding in a lot of painful feelings…. trying to not let them show because I don’t want to burden others with them.  I especially try to keep my husband from worrying because he already worries enough about work and making enough money to pay the bills.  So, I suddenly realized that I have been carrying around a bunch of emotional junk and that is really stressful.

The next step in the program is to forgive yourself and then to write some positive things on another piece of paper.  I’m not very good at explaining this part.  It really helps to listen to Tam explain it.  After you have your piece of paper of positive things the negative words get covered up with layers of paint for the background of your artwork.

I never got past the negative words….. it is still very disheartening to look at it.   I did realize something though….  ALL of these things on my list are caused by the fibromyalgia and other health problems that go along with it.  Maybe I felt fat before but now I’ve gained much more weight and exercising hurts.   Even when I do exercise it isn’t enough to lose weight.  I just do what I can and eat healthy.  I also feel helpless sometimes.  It is really hard to have to rely on others so much.  I have always been very independent and suddenly I always need to ask for help.  It really is hard to ask my son to open my medication for me because my hands are hurting too bad.  I am only 40.  That is something I have to come to terms with though.  Reality can be so hard sometimes.  Put that on TV.

You know, it’s funny that I can’t seem to help myself until I think about helping others.  I remembered when I worked at the hospital and thought of a few of the people I worked with.  I remembered some of the conversations I had with them and thought, “Wait a minute!  Why did I know what to say to them then but now can’t help myself?”  I guess I was just designed to help others.   So I thought about what I would tell someone else in my position and all of these positive things came to mind.  It made me realize that telling someone those things may not have helped as much a I thought at the time BUT just knowing someone cares helps.   Just talking and listening to them helped.  I went back to thinking about what I would tell myself.  I ended up learning a lot.   I wrote it out and it was funny to me that I kept having to go back and edit the pronouns because I would always switch to talking to someone else and using “you” instead of “I”.

Anyone who has health problems that hold them back should read this too.  There are a lot of people out there that deal with other invisible illnesses or are stuck in wheel chairs, are limited by crutches, canes or walkers, deal with arthritis, MS….. I could go on and on and on….


It isn’t my fault that I have these limitations.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  I am not being punished by God.  I may be heavier than I want to be but I don’t need to be a model.  I can only do what I can do and be what I can be.  I have to be happy in my own skin, happy with who I am now.  It isn’t bad to ask for help.  Good people will love me for who I am and not who I was or could have been.  I am not a bad wife just because it hurts to be touched.  I am not a bad mother because I am sometimes too tired to make dinner.  I am not broken…. I am limited but I have to keep moving forward and work around my limitations.  There are no time machines so I can’t sit around waiting for things to go back to how they where before.  I have to be who I am right now.   There is always something that I can do!


I don’t know if that is what Tam with Willowing had in mind but I sure feel better.  I think I can cover up those words now and move on to painting.

Before I go though I found this article that was very inspirational for me.  It is about a man that climbed mount Everest and he has a great limitation – he has no legs.  This is a great example of working around limitations and finding out just what you CAN do!

A Day to Smile


My husband got off work early today since he had to work on Sunday.  He left at noon to come pick me up and take me to pick up my prescription.  I was right about that too.  They now require all narcotic prescriptions to be picked up in person and you have to show ID.  She said some prescriptions are not as easy as mine.  Mine is a patch but for some drugs she said the nurse has to come out and give it to you and you might have to do a random UA.  GREAT.  I guess too many people are just selling the drugs so they have to make sure it’s in your system.  My doctor said at my next visit I have to have labs drawn so that is probably how they’ll check me.  I really detest needles.  As soon as I see the needle I squint my eyes and get all tense and the nurse usually barks “relax”…like yelling at me is going to help.  Yeah, give me a big knife or a GUN and I’ll relax.  That way I can retaliate when they hurt me.  Especially with IV’s.  Some of the nurses are REALLY bad and stick me multiple times.  Anyway, I got a patch on as soon as I could and I’m STILL waiting for it to take effect.  I have been without it for 5 days!  At least it wasn’t that cold out but I still feel achy from the cold.

We had a great lunch at the Thai House.  We both order the same thing every time.  I don’t go as often anymore but my husband goes pretty often with people from work.  They don’t even ask him what he wants anymore.  They took my order and then said “spicy or no spicy?” and then to my husband, “Heineken, or you work?  I thought that was cute.  Those ladies have been there for a long time.  They are the same ladies that worked there when I worked at the bank nearby.

Thai Food on 365 Project

When I got home I was really aching so I couldn’t concentrate enough to read.  I decided to make another ladybug card since the stuff was still stacked on the counter.  That is the nice thing about painting……  you can just play and that doesn’t take much concentration. I have been looking at various styles of art lately and I saw some pointillism and I saw a watercolor painting where they sprayed it with water to blur the colors and make it look like it was raining.  I really liked that last one because it did look like it was raining AND it actually blurred parts of the picture which, if you think about it, is actually how it is.  You can’t see as well when clouded over and pouring rain.  So I made my “Rainy Day Ladybug” by using a little of both techniques.  It was fun to relax and just play.  I used my inktense pencils and the rate I’m going I’m going to use them up pretty fast.  I really love the rich colors.

So now I have three ladybug cards and the swap was for two.  Then my husband told me I had some mail.  I figured it was just junk mail but there was actually some goodies!  I got a newsletter from Debbie Macomber.  Even if I don’t read all of her books I just love seeing her cheerful face and reading what she’s up to.  I also got a new catalog/newsletter from Handy Hands which is where I buy my tatting threads.  The newsletter comes with a free pattern.  And then I saw this bright pink envelope.  It was the ATC cards from my swap partner!  I opened it up and there was this cute card and 3 ATC cards!  So that means I can send her three too!  Now I’m really anxious to get mine in the mail to her.  These are really cute!  The last one has a little patch of fabric sewn on and the ladybug is painted on the fabric.

Well the NaBloPoMo Prompt for today is

What have you recently started that you know you’ll finish?

That would be my crocheted Wool-eater blanket.  I’ve added a few more rows and I’m trying to get it finished by the end of the month so I can have it ready to be donated to a child in the Pediatric Department of the hospital.   It’s a Project Linus blanket.  I haven’t worked on it much today but I’ll be feeling better tomorrow.  Hopefully I’ll get a lot done in the next few days.