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Earn Your Stripes (Collage)

Wasn’t too sure about this one.  Possibly because I was working on it at midnight and was half asleep.  It’s only a little collage – another 4 x 4 ” box canvas – but had lots of bits and pieces plus the lettering, which went a bit off course and smudged in places (a bit like me at midnight – wonky and smudgy!).  I was watching Wife Swap for some unknown reason and there was a crazy religious lady who kept screaming “She’s not a Christian – aaaghghghghgghg!!!” in a voice that suggested she was, in fact, in dire need of an exorcist herself.  This may have caused me to craft a bit haphazardly.  Who knows?  I was just determined to get it done and worry it about it in the morning.  This is my new plan – just get it done and stop procrastinating!!!

And, if all else fails, stick a flower or a hat or some wings on it!

Hope you are all well and that life is being kind.

🙂

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Quote for the Day : Stronger and Stranger

“…My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day.  I told them this story:

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day…”

-― Tom Waits

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That’s That

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say “Everything is ok and that’s all there is to it…” and then everything would just miraculously be fine and dandy?  If only!

This little birdie is standing defiant and saying “No, I will not let things get to me – everything’s ok and I won’t hear any negativity today!”  She’s even pulled her crown down over her earholes, just in case.  Might as well block out the naysayers and the party-poopers (there are lots of party poopers in the bird world, I’ve heard), and anyone who starts their conversations with “You can’t” or “Yes, but..” will be summarily banished from the nesting box.  It’s that simple.

Hope your world is full of positive people today and that your mind is free from worries.  If not, just pull your crown on tighter and ignore the heck out of anyone or anything that threatens to rain on your parade.

Take care of yourselves 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

Onwards and Upwards (or, The Fight Against the Downward Spiral)

Onwards and Upwards (or, The Fight Against the Downward Spiral)

I have had a rough couple of years.  Actually make that three years.  Then add on a decade or two.  Whilst being blessed with an amazing (albeit slightly insane) family and the most wonderful and loyal friends imaginable, I have always had trouble being happy.  To tell the truth, I don’t really know what happiness feels like, which is very sad and quite the annoying little conundrum.  This unhappiness is not due to a terrible upbringing (mine was normal and loving and safe) or a precarious political or economic climate (Australia – it’s pretty chilled).  I wasn’t born deformed, I don’t have a speech impediment or a brain disfunction (well…not a diagnosed one anyway) and I didn’t grow up in a cult (although I did love Bros in my teens and probably would have given up my life for them if they asked.  Which they didn’t.  Probably a good thing in retrospect).  We weren’t rich but we had enough – I never went hungry, I never went to sleep at night not knowing where I would sleep the next – I wasn’t picked on in school (well, no more than anyone else) and I wasn’t abused or neglected by my parents.

So why so glum, chum? You may well ask (or not – you probably have your own problems) as you try to see what the heck I have to complain about and make me so sad.  The answer is SELF ESTEEM, or, rather, the lack of it.  I never had any.  I don’t know where to get it.  I don’t know how to hang on to it once you have it.  I don’t know what it feels like and how you know you have it when you get it.  It’s a complete mystery to me.  Just like I will never wake up one morning knowing anything about physics or chemistry, I am also unlikely to wake up feeling good about myself.  

I often think it is a gene that I just didn’t inherit.  Some people get long legs or red hair or a big nose – I got low self esteem.  So low as to be nonexistent or at least very very hard to locate.  I do not possess the ability to say good things about myself or think them or accept nice words and compliments from other people.  I don’t know why, but I am trying to do something about it.

Counselling.  Sigh.  I have gone down this route before and it has helped some but I don’t think I really gave it my best and proper attention.  I think I did a lot of eye-rolling and agreeing with whatever the counsellor said.  I think I zoned out constantly.  I cried (a lot) and deflected ( a lot).  I didn’t use the time wisely.  Which is dumb but also a direct result of having low self esteem (don’t deserve help, don’t accept it and work with it).  But I am going to try it again.  I have to.  Next year I will be 40 and that scares me.  Not the age but the fact that I am the same person I was when I was 4 and 14 and 24.  Scared and sad and hating myself.  Which is a crummy way to be.  And now it is directly affecting my relationships and my marriage and my life in general.  And that’s not cool.  It’s time to put a stop to it

So, I am about to start down the counselling path once more.  I don’t look forward to it but I have to go there and make the effort and make myself a better me.  Not just for me, but for those around me that have been affected by my self-doubt and unhappiness.  Maybe one day soon I will be able to look in the mirror and say “You know what?  You’re ok kid!”  

I promise not to drag you down the mental health street.  It is littered with whining and complaining and excuse-making.  It’s not a great place to visit and you have no need to go there with me.  I am writing this because I need to make a statement to myself and kinda have it witnessed.  I am going to try my very best to get better.  No.  I am going to get better.  At liking myself, at being myself and at forgiving and accepting myself. And possibly at ironing because I am RUBBISH at ironing 🙂

Thanks for indulging me.  This has nothing to do with craft or cooking or anything even remotely arty or thrifty or creative.  It’s just about me.  And that me needs to change, for my sake and the sake of the people around me.

So here’s to a new me.  By this time next year I may be so big-headed that I go around wearing a t-shirt that says “I am awesome!” and actually believing it.  It seems unlikely (and possibly not really what I’m aiming for here) so I will settle for a little inner voice that tells me I’m alright and can achieve anything and have a right to be here.  That’ll do.

 

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