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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all 🙂  Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just had a few little treats?  Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?  Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.  I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.  It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.  I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.  I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!  If only people didn’t have eyes!  It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.  It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!  Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow – just dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued and finished on the plaque itself.  I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.  I adhered her with gel medium and then added flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage books.  The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!  I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.  I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s features – I was using a very fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.  I will do better next time! I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the “me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.  I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.  Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist 🙂  I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.  I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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Learn to Fly

Hello everyone!  Hope you’re having a lovely day 🙂  I had a very productive and pro-active weekend, tidying up and getting things sorted out.  I finally finished cleaning up my outdoor area (I have a sort of closed-in patio) so it is actually fit for human habitation and I moved my outdoor setting over so I could now sit and have a cup of tea and look at my plants and not battle spiders, cobwebs and general disorder.

I took a load of stuff to the op-shop (clothes I never wear and shoes I fall down in) and made plans for further de-cluttering and sorting.  It feels good to get some stuff done and not waste my weekend.  I have fallen in to a bit of a rut, not just creatively, but in all aspects of life, and things have gotten on top of me.  So I need to have a plan of action for each day.  That way, I can whittle away at all the big jobs, and they won’t seem so overwhelming.  I also need to stop being lazy 🙂

After tidying up and doing some housework (just a bit – let’s not crazy here!), I got stuck into some craft.  I have been so down in the dumps about my lack of creative ability that I really needed something to spur me on and get me fired up again.  I recently subscribed to Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted video series and it’s been just the kick in the pants I needed.  She is such an inspiration – not just because her work is beautiful, but because she just goes with the flow and creates from the heart and doesn’t let mistakes and bad days get in her way.  If she makes a boo-boo, she either paints over it or makes it part of the design.  She creates for no one else but herself, and that’s what I need to do – stop thinking about what everyone else thinks.  I’m so glad I subscribed – I really had to think about spending the money, but I can cancel at any time and, if it makes me start creating and making art again, it is totally worth it.

I don’t want to copy Kelly Rae, but at the moment I am just drawing from her art and ideas to get me started again.  Sometimes you need to imitate before you instigate I guess!

So, with all of that in mind, I created this piece.  I am kinda happy with it.  I love the colours and the text and it all came together pretty easily (albeit with a lot of false starts and paint-overs!).  I tried not to overthink it, and just CREATE.  Afterwards, I sat up late, sketching out rough plans and ideas for more collages and pictures.  I feel like I am ready to start making stuff again.  My mojo might be returning at last!  This piece isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m so glad I got it done (and that it didn’t end up in the bin, which happens sometimes!).  I’m learning to fly again 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

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Little Monsters

Lots of little monsters in my head at the moment.  The doubt and fear monsters, the “am I doing the right thing?” monsters, the “what am I doing with my life?” monsters and all the other noisy little beasties that plague my brain. To be honest, I am feeling completely lost and anxious and unsure about everything. I don’t know what the heck I am doing or what I SHOULD be doing or if anything I am doing is right or a waste of time.  I feel like I am not being a good friend or daughter or sister or employee or ANYTHING right now.

The drama with the house purchase continues and is threatening to drive me completely crackers.  It’s been such a long, drawn-out process, with no one on either side seeming in the least bit competent or able to do their job efficiently.  I am trying to keep it together – the last few weeks I have done exactly the opposite and have had several meltdowns and hissy fits – and am attempting to be assertive and in control of the situation.  My natural tendency is to run around, trying to fix everything and do everyone’s job for them.  But not this time – I have to do what is required of me and no more.

So, with house dramas and a sick Mum (my fault – I gave her my lurgy; I’m a terrible daughter), work stress and a general feeling of just wanting to stay in bed forever, the little monsters are running amok.  I haven’t been doing any crafting at all (just can’t settle my brain to it, plus I am packing and culling) and that isn’t good for me either.  So I did some doodling.  The idea of the monsters was on my mind, so that’s what I drew.

If only all worries and scary thoughts could be put on to paper and made less frightening…  I think I could take on this little guy and win.

Hope your day is free from monsters x

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Everything Was Fine

Another attempt at watercolours and a different design.  I’ve been really inspired by Danielle Donaldson‘s work lately (when I say inspired, I mean I’ve been drooling enviously over her work) and have wanted to do something a bit “lighter” in colour and maybe just different to what I usually do, using her beautiful “art girls” as inspiration. I’m not saying mine is anything like Danielle’s, in composition or execution, but hey, it’s alright.

I’ve got a long way to go.  But I’m not totally unhappy with this, if only because I kept going and tried hard to complete it.  I am loving my new white Posca paint pen – as you can see (went a bit overboard with the white dots…) and enjoyed working on this picture, including the funny little balloons, which look a bit like lollipops but never mind!

Everything is not fine right now.  It’s very much meh to be honest.  Work is very stressful and distressing and I am worrying about a million things, most of which are out of my control, which makes worrying somewhat pointless, but there you are.  Mostly I am just very tired and a bit soul sick.  But I am hoping things will be ok again soon, or at least show signs of getting there eventually, so I can hang on a bit longer and not be so whingy and party-pooping.  Especially on my blog.  Nobody likes a whingy, party-pooping blogger!

Hope everything is fine with you.  Thank you for stopping by x

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Believe Me : You ARE Enough

I did some very crappy crafting on the weekend.  As I said in my previous post, nothing worked out and I was feeling very defeated and useless.  I spent hours on one watercolour picture and it was so horrible I wanted to throw it in the bin.  I hated it and hated myself.  Which is not very conducive to creativity.  So, I spent a couple of minutes stamping over the whole damn thing, just to snap myself out of it and get me back on track.

Now I’m not showing you this as an example of excellent craftsmanship or talent – far from it.  It’s horrible.  But it is an example of picking yourself up and getting your butt back in to gear.  Your whiny, self-defeating butt.  The one that tells you you’re not good enough and will never amount to anything and that your should never pick up a paintbrush or pen again lest you scare people with your hideous creations.

I’m feeling that awful “time is running out” feeling again at the moment, hence my panic and meltdowns when things don’t go to plan.  I want to be good NOW.  I want to be able to make a living, or at least part of a living, with my craft. I want to be proud of the things I make, instead of feeling everything is sub-par and not good enough.  That I’m not good enough, which is probably more at the core of things.

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I saw this on Facebook this weekend and it seemed fitting, given the way I am feeling about myself, right now :

“At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made
The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.
Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.
Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.
Never tell yourself you missed your chance.
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.
You can do it. Whatever it is.”

So, maybe, it’s not too late yet.  I hope not, anyway.  I can only keep trying and not give up.  I have to believe that, right now and every other moment, I am enough.  I probably need to tattoo that on my forehead, so that I have no choice but to remember it every waking moment.  Better to stick with the rubber stamped version for now…

Thank you for stopping by – may your day bring you happiness and success x

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Fiddle Faffing

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(fĭd′l-făf′l)
n. Nonsense.
To fritter away one’s time; dally.

Nothing sums up what I did on the weekend better than the term “fiddle-faffing”. Whilst it is true that I was quite busy over Easter, catching up with friends and family every day, it does not excuse the amount of time-wasting I also did.  And I hate wasting time.  My whole life at the moment is focused on NOT WASTING TIME, due to the fact I feel I am rapidly running out of it.  My new therapist said to me last week “Oh I hear that a lot!  Everyone is so obsessed with time running out, these days.  We make our own time!”  I didn’t tell her I thought she was a crazy person (it’s best not to insult your therapist the first time they meet you – leave that for a few months in).  Time is always running away from us, from the minute we are born, dammit!  Time seems to be escaping from my needy clutches at a rate of knots and I am panicking slightly (ie a lot).
Needless to say, when I am worrying about wasting time, it does not facilitate creativity to any great degree.  In fact, without question, it hinders it.  Like a big, fat, hindery thing.  It sits in your brain, all squat and lumpy, and squishes all the creativity and artistic inspiration out of you.  It is evil.
This weekend gone I tried to create and get my craft on, but I was thwarted at every turn.  What I mean by that is I just made a lot of crap.  Everything I drew or collaged or attempted to paint/colour/glue turned out to be a horrible pile of blah.  This is partly my own fault – I am in such a mess, and instead of tidying up and giving myself a clean slate to work from, I attempted to just work around the mess and add to it.  Not a good idea. I also ate too much bad food.  I’m not supposed to eat chocolate but, being Easter, I was bombarded with the stuff, and decided to just eat it with abandon.  Which is idiotic and not very good for me.  I was basically in a food coma for four days, unable to form complex sentences or think very clearly at all.  Eating badly DOES affect me physically and mentally, slows me right down and makes me feel icky.  Too many carbs has me feeling like I am moving in slow motion.
So, in the end, I just gave up.  I stopped trying to create anything new, and just worked on some little doodles I had lying around that had never been finished.  I used my watercolour paints (ugh – my technique is terrible) to finish off a birdy and some flowers and some dainty I-guess-they’re-dandelion-thingies.  They’re better than nothing, and will have to do for now.  If nothing else, I can add them to plain card blanks and use them for standby cards for myself.  And I least I didn’t completely waste the whole weekend.  It just feels that way 😦   Next weekend I am attending a print-making class so perhaps I will find new inspiration and learn some new skills that will help me get my creative mojo back.
Hope you had a happy Easter and used your time wisely! 🙂
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Joy

A quickie post to show you a little collage my Mum has just finished.  It’s gorgeous – very Kelly Rae Roberts-inspired (we love her).  I’m so jealous that Mum can do eyes and faces – try as I might, I CANNOT GET THEM RIGHT.  I’m glad she is working on some things for herself (she normally paints and sews items that always end up being for someone else) and just enjoying the process of creating again.  I’m hoping she starts to finally get some things, that she has made, on her walls (at the moment they’re kinda blank, waiting for just the right painting or artwork) so she can fill her home with beautiful things to be proud of and treasured.

She’s working on some collaged wooden eggs now as well as some other canvases.

Love this piece – it does indeed bring me Joy to see my Mum happy and making art again, just for her and no one else  🙂

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