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Words

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Words can do so much. Often times people don’t realize just how powerful words are. They can heal and they can hurt. I know I am guilty of not thinking before I speak. I have been playing in my art journal and words came to mind and I made two entries about them. One is of uplifting words and words that have made me feel good. This was hard for me because I am not a very confident person. IMG_3030

I had a hard time thinking of positive words that I have heard used to describe me so I included words that I could use to describe others or would like to hear. Like I said, I am not a very confident person. I also included some of my favorite words like “dream” and “believe”.  I hear my daughter put herself down a lot and it breaks my heart every time she does. I find it hard to find ways to uplift her spirits and self-esteem when mine own is so low. How do you do that? I try to encourage her but I admit I do not set a good example of confidence for her. I do not put myself down in front of her or put her down but kids pick up on so much! My children are very sensitive and pick up on the slightest changes in my moods. Anyway, I hope to learn how to help her build her confidence and encourage her to be herself and be proud of who she is.

The next page is of words that have and do still hurt me. These words run through my mind a lot. They are like a constant echo in my mind. I could have easily filled the page with so much more, who knows, maybe even the rest of the book. However, I only put down the ones that were loudest in my mind. IMG_3031

I am not shy about my mental illness and have come to accept it as a part of who I am. It does not define me, but is a part of me. Yes, I am a bi-polar schizophrenic but you do not need to call me psycho or crazy in a derogatory manner! Words hurt! I may make light of my illness at times but to put me down or anyone battling mental illness when you have no idea what it is like to go through the horrors of your own mind, please take a moment to think before you speak and at least attempt to be understanding. Sorry, rant over. My point is, words are so powerful. They can make a person’s day and they can also destroy it. Please be kind, and think before you speak and remember everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Please be kind and encourage one another. Have a good day and remember you are all BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING and STRONG!

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Sanity and an Art Journal

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I took the advice of an artist friend and started an art journal. WOW! Is it ever fun and liberating! I highly recommend one. I haven’t drawn in over 20 years and still haven’t but I will get there. The last thing I ever drew was the heart on my home page. That was just my emotions at the time. It isn’t very good but it is my favorite picture that I have ever drew. (Is that even proper English? If not, sorry. ) Anyway, I have been in and out of funks lately and stressed out over things and life in general. I was telling my friend how I don’t draw anymore but I journal a lot and she suggested an art journal.

After some thought and giving myself a million reasons not to, I went against all of them and decided to start one. I don’t have a lot of money and have no idea what goes in an art journal so I just decided to go to the local Dollar Tree and see if I could find something with blank pages. Low and behold I found a random journal with blank pages. Half were craft paper and the other half just plain white paper. I didn’t like the cover so I used some scraps I had and changed the cover to this…IMG_3017

I’ll probably change it again later but I like it for now. So far all that I have been doing in my art journal is stamping and trying out different inks. the first page is a tribute to my crazy family which is so crazy they make me feel like I am the sane one at times. Then I filled a couple of pages with things I love and that inspire me, followed by words to hang in there and try to help me be more positive about myself.

On the “positivity” page I just die cut out a bunch of pretty things and colored them with different inks. I had loads of fun with chalk inks, which I have had for years but never used. Boy, have I been missing out! I don’t have a lot of colors but I had fun with the ones I had. I used the different kinds of Dew Drop inks I have. I only have pigment and chalk inks, I don’t know if they make others, but the big thing is I had fun!

I am loving how there are no rules to an art journal. I can do what I want and play with stuff and don’t have to worry about it making sense or being pretty. If you can tell by “Positivity” pages I have this urge to make sure that everything makes sense. In my next page I just try to let go and see what happened.IMG_3022

This is the result and I love it. To me it reminds me to find the pretty things and simple things through the chaos and tangled webs of my mind. I am loving how my butterfly looks for some reason. It’s like it breaking free from the webs that are behind it. That’s how I see it today anyway. I don’t know what else is going to happen in my art journal but I am pretty sure it’s going to involve fun! I love how it’s different from my card making or other crafts because it doesn’t have to make sense and there are no rules. I am trying to learn to relax and wooh-sah so I hope this is someplace I can let my hair down and be free. Do any of you have an art journal? Do you have rules for it? Are there supposed to be rules for one? I honestly have no idea. I am just using mine as a place to tryout different medias and see what happens with them. Wish me luck! Until next time, enjoy life’s sweet moments and have fun!

Posted in Friend mail, Uncategorized

Friend mail Friday

IMG_0476Okay, so I don’t know if someone else thought of “friend mail Friday” but I think that is what I am going to do on Fridays from now on. I’m going to share my friend mail. Why? Why not? I love my friend mail and it always seems to come when I need a distraction or some cheering up.

This week I received mail from my friends in Washington State and Canada and a pc friend from Illinois. It’s so much fun “meeting” people from other parts of the world, even my own country since I don’t get out or travel much. My Washington friend sent stuff themed for my favorite holiday…Halloween! It was fun to open an envelope with lots of Halloween stuff in May. Halloween is tied with Christmas for favorite holidays. They are just so much fun!

My Canadian friend sent me a packet of my favorite Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee. Oh how I love it! She is a fantastic artist and even sent a water color of cute little mushrooms. I don’t know why I think mushrooms are cute… maybe because they remind me of the Smurfs. IMG_0477

You should check her out on instagram @JenniferShepit. I love her art and how it is simple and different. I love seeing how people can see the same thing in different ways from different perspectives. Okay, so that’s it for this post. Just wangted to share my friend mail for this week. There wasn’t much this week but  treasure it just the same. Take care and enjoy life’s sweet moments!

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Crafting Again…and it feels GOOD!

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Hello out there! I think I am out of my slump and it feels GOOD! So what I’ve been making aren’t original but at least I am back in my craft room working again. My creations may not be original concepts but that’s okay. It’s a start. I still feel like there is a bit of a creative block but I honestly think that is from the psych meds and that’s okay. The world needs me on my meds. Okay,maybe not the world, but trust me, I’m a nightmare when I am not on my meds. Anyway, some creative blocking is an acceptable price to pay versus the alternative I suppose.

So, as you can see from the pic above, one of the things I’ve been making is paper purses which I intend to fill with handmade cards and a little covered notebook pad with a mini pen and sell on my Etsy store.  The one above was my very first one so it isn’t perfect, but then again, none of them are. They are handmade and they are flawed like me. I am not a machine or Hallmark so there are going to be imperfections and I am okay with that. I think imperfections make us who we are and I wear mine proudly. Is that wrong? I hope not, if so, oh well. IMG_0474

Anyway, I am happy to be crafting again because it is my therapy and my happy place. Whether it’s cardmaking, sewing or trying something  new like these purses, it helps me deal with life. Sounds kinda funny huh? But sometimes I need to lock myself away and just focus on a project to stop the thoughts from racing or the anxiety from overwhelming me. Yes, sometimes I have an anxiety attack even while crafting. Those pesky buggers just pop up out of nowhere. Sometimes I can tell when I am going to have an attack and others they hit like a freight train outta nowhere. But it’s okay, today I am thinking positive and happy thoughts and taking it one second at a time and am happy to be in my happy place for now. Oh, here is a pic of the cute little covered note pads I made, I just need to buy the pens to match. What do you think? I think they are cute! But then, I have a stationary obsession.

The point of this post is, I am having fun for the moment and I have learned to appreciate those moments and not take them for granted and I am happy to be out of my creative fizzle. If anyone out there is reading this and is in a fizzle or a funk, hold on. It will pass and stay strong. Don’t let it beat you. I know it is frustrating as all hell and annoying but you can get through it. Inspiration can come from anywhere and so can a smile. Keep your head up!

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Make Your Own Planner

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These are my planners. Yes, I have three of them. As much as I love the Erin Condrens and the Happy Planners they are just too expensive for me. So, I went to the Target Dollar Spot and made my own, well until they raised the price from $3 to $5. The two pink ones are from Target and the floral one is from Wal-Mart which I bought for $3.88. Hey, it beat $5. The pages on the inside come in a pack that you can find at the Target dollar spot for $3, if you can find one that is. It comes with weekly pages, monthly pages, 5 dividers and pages for notes. Not a bad deal for $3. These are what some of the pages look like.image

Of course, there are printable planner pages out there but I had two problems with that: #1 I couldn’t figure out how to print double sided for this size. I am not tech savvy and I have a very cheap printer and couldn’t figure out how to get both sides of the printed page to line up. #2 I thought about the extra ink and decided $3 was more economical considering all that I got for the price.  I homeschool both of my children so I use a lot of ink for their assignments and other pages I add in my planners.

So why three planners? One is for home and everyday planning, one is for my crafty business/social media adventure I am trying to get going and the other is for my pen pals. I tried having everything in one planner but it was just so full of stuff and so many sections. For example, with my pen pals I have a separate section for each site I joined, like swap bot, postcrossing and geek girls pen pals so I can keep track of what and where I send things, especially with swap-bot which I am the most active on.

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Okay, so back to the point of this post. I was trying to say that you don’t need a fancy planner to have fun planning and decorating your planner. The planner clips I made myself, the planner pages were $3 complete with 5 dividers and 3 pocket dividers, but I am sure you can even make these things yourself with old folders and a printer. I was wishing and wanting and drooling over the fancy Happy Planners and thought that I would only be happy if I had one. But reality hit me and even with coupons, it’s just not in my budget, especially with all the add-ons. I decorate my pages with washi tape from Tuesday Morning or the Dollar Tree and buy cute etsy stickers if I find a coupon like free shipping or good deal but I mostly look online for free planner printables and just cut them out and glue them on. I don’t have a silhouette cutting machine so I can’t have them print and cut for me. But if you do you can always just print it on sticker paper and have it all cut out for you. I’ll get one one day. For now I just print it out on regular printer paper and cut the images out myself and glue it on my planner pages since sticker paper is out of my budget too. My planners cost me a total of $6 each which I don’t think is a bad deal. I got 3 for the price of one Happy Planner with a 50% off coupon. Like I said you can always make a planner on your own for just the cost of the binder. I guess my point is…there are ways to have a planner and stick to a budget and still have fun with your planner. Just have fun and think outside the box. Happy planning!

 

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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Okay, some of you know that I have been in a bit of a creative slump. That is until I received some happy mail which inspired me to make some bookmarks. But then that was it. Well, until I remembered a comment by  Juliascreativeyear where she thought perhaps I could try making something similar to what someone else made just so that I can make something at least. So I took that idea and went with it after I decided I was not going to let this slump get the best of me. I spent hours on youtube and Pinterest looking for inspiration and saw lots of great ideas but I don’t have the supplies needed or the budget to go on a shopping spree. Then I noticed a package of Doodle Bug odds and ends die cuts on my desk. So I opened that sucker up and went to work.

I had no idea what I was doing, I was just slapping die cuts on cards, faking it ’til I made it. Before I knew it I was having fun and I even liked the way some of them turned out. What do you think?

I just want to say Thank You to JuliasCreativeYear for the encouragement to get in there and at least attempt to make something, and to my dear friend Shawna for reminding me to “Fake it til I make it”. Even though I didn’t have more inspiration to do anything other than make the bookmarks at first, I faked it ’til I made it and even got inspired to make a card for my penpal in Canada.IMG_2912 I tried something new with this card and just went with it and had fun and like how it turned out. It’s simple but that’s what I like about it. Anyway, for those of you in a slump, I encourage you to fake it til you make it! You never know where it will take you or what will come of it.

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Pen Pal Love and Inspiration

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Last week was a rough week for me but thanks to some love from my pen pals I think I am coming out of my slump. It is such a great feeling to open your mail box and get mail that isn’t a bill. It doesn’t have to be a package or anything fancy, a simple post card does the trick to put a smile on my face. Even my kids love to go check the mail to see what if I got a new cool postcard or package.

Last week, as some of you may have read, I was in a bit of a creative slump which lead to a small depression. Then, da-ta-dah….the mail person came! From Wednesday through Saturday I received a smile in the mail box in the form of post cards and two special packages from swaps. One was a wonderful Halloween swap (one of my favorite holidays, tied with Christmas) and the other was a candy swap. Boy were my kids happy with those!

Thank you so much to my wonderful swap partners for the fabulous treats! One of which I am doing another swap with and is now a wonderful pen pal which I am loving! I joined some pen pal sights like geek girls pen pals, post crossing and swap-bot but have not have been having much luck with the assigned pen pals. But that’s okay. I am loving the connections that I am making none the less and just having fun.

If you see the pic from the Halloween swap, my partner sent me some very cool holographic stickers (they are black and gold and old looking). Those stickers were so cool I knew I had to do something with them and not put them out of sight. So, since I am obsessed with planners, I made planner clips out of them!IMG_2875

Aren’t they cool? I love them! They made me extra happy because they actually got me to make something, even if it was something as simple as a bookmark. Do you guys have pen pals? Ever get anything that inspired you to create with it?

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Agoraphobia and Me

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Agoraphobia is a real thing. I remember the three years of Hell when I was a prisoner in my own house. Not because anyone made me be but because of my own mind. Before I get into that, I am going to apologize for the content. I know it’s a serious subject but in my “about” section I did warn that this blog will not only be about my crafting adventures but will also be about my battle with schizophrenia and mental illness. I am writing about this today because, although it has been a couple of years since I have been able to go back outside and start interacting with people, the fear of returning to being a prisoner in my own home is very real. I don’t think there is a magic cure for agoraphobia and even though I can walk out of my house now, I can’t do it every day. There are days when the anxiety is so bad I am parylized and can’t move or speak or think. I just freeze. It’s so embarrassing! The joys of social anxiety. In an instant I become….IMG_0456

True story. Anyway, during my self-imprisonment I lost a lot of connections with people. They either thought I was faking it, what I was going through didn’t really exist or I was just being dramatic. My favorite was that it was all in my head. Of course it’s all in my head! I knew that but at the same time I couldn’t help it or control the anxiety or the panicky thoughts or millions of things that ran through my mind. I would try o rationalize my fears and tell myself it’s not real but in the moment it is all too real and terrifying! How do you get out of your own head? That’s the million dollar question. How do you explain to people that think that you are faking it what it’s like to be a prisoner of your own mind? Or how the though of going outside and seeing people is so terrifying that you would rather eat your own leg off than have to go to the grocery store because you are out of food. (Fortunately I have an understanding hubby who went to the store for us.) However, not everyone has one of those and even my hubby’s patience wore thin after three years. Finally he started forcing me out of the house little by little. IMG_2888

Did I freak out?? Hell yes I did! I remember the first time I went to the store by myself after 3 years I was gone for over 2 hours for something that should have taken 10 minutes because I freaked out in the middle of the store and had a massive panic attack. Needless to say, when I got home I yelled and cursed at him, yelled some more then didn’t talk to him for a couple of days I was so mad and embarrassed. I rarely go out alone to this day and if I do it’s briefly, less than 30 minutes usually, and every time I do it begins with anger and frustration for fear of another panic attack. I don’t drive far because I even have them while driving. They just come out of the blue and hit like a mac truck.

Do I miss how life was before these attacks? Yes! I miss driving just to drive and long road trips and shopping alone. Now I have to be accompanied by someone I feel comfortable with, like my kids or my hubby or a good friend. Friends….that’s another hint that went away. Most people didn’t know what to do or say so they just stopped trying altogether. Now I am weary when I make connections with people, not like meeting people is easy anyway, but I’m grateful for the people in my life now who accept me for me and accept my madness and quirks and understand if I break plans at the last minute because I’m having a freak out. I am so blessed to have people like that in my life now. I love my pen pals and they are a welcome distraction from my own mind. It’s a good way to interact with people without having to interact with them directly and it gets me back into talking to people.

so why am I writing this? To let people know agoraphobia is real and all those who may know someone who is dealing with it or panic attacks, just to tell them to please be patient and don’t give up on their friend/loved one. And to those that think it is fake or try to downplay it, well I hope it never happens to you.IMG_2887yep! People really think this way.

Anyway, my attacks are becoming more frequent again and I’m terrified I will be locked in my house again but I am also determined to keep my freedom. I’d love to use my dog as a service dog but she’s as skittish as I am. Oh well, I can do this and if anyone reading this is dealing with similar issues, you can do it. You can overcome it or at least live with it. It’s hard but you can do it!

 

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Creative Slump or Medication?

It’s a while since I have made anything or had any kind of creative inspiration. This makes me wonder if it’s something normal or if it’s because of my medication. I understand that writer’s block happens and there are times when the creative juices just don’t flow. But sometimes I feel like if I wasn’t on my psych meds I would be creating so much more and have so many more ideas. I know it’s a good thing that I am on my psych meds, especially since I get on my own nerves when I am manic, but it S does make me wonder. I try to think what I was like when I wasn’t on my meds and I look at the art I created them and how it reflects my mood. (The picture of the heart on my home page was from one of my depressive episodes.) I am by far no Picasso but it is one of my favorite drawings. I haven’t drawn in over 20 years, in fact that is the last thing I ever drew, but I have other creative outlets like sewing and card making and other hobbies. The last things I made were these bookmarks.

Although they were fun to make, I haven’t even had the umph or desire to make more. Am I going into a depression? I am full of so many psych meds I’d certainly hope not. Is there anyone else out there who takes psych meds and feels that they sometimes inhibit their creativity? That they don’t have the same creative drive they once had before all the meds? Some days I want to go off my meds, but then I remind myself about there manias, and the voices , the hallucinations, the psychotic tendencies and all the bad things that come with it and tell myself it’s not worth it. But still, there is that voice inside that tells me to get off of them and it will be ok. I know from past experiences that it won’t be okay. Does anyone else struggle with this internal debate and this circle? If this is a creative slump, do they last long? Creating things is my therapy. When pi am overwhelmed or my anxieties and fears overwhelm me or my thoughts are racing I can usually go into my craft room and make at least one thing. Lately I walk in there and my mind is blank and I am stuck with frustration. any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for stopping by. 😁

Posted in bookreview, Uncategorized

Book Review: My Story: A Dragon’s Tale

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So this is a bit of a different post. It’s my first book review. My Story: A Dragon’s Tale isn’t the type of book I normally read. I am usually reading Stephen King or books that are thrillers and suspense or full of the supernatural. For some reason I wanted to read something different and was looking for a new author. I came across this book by Gordan R Heat and the cover drew me in because it reminded me of Toothless from Dreamworks “How to Train Your Dragon”. I liked the cover and the picture had me interested to see what the characters on it were about.

Before I go further, I do want to let you know that this is a digital book only available for download through Amazon. I know, I love holding a book in my hands and turning the pages too. But to be 100% honest, I have donated almost my complete book collection to the local libraries because I have moved too many times to count and there were just so many books it was just too much. Also, after thinking about it, the decision to donate them made the most sense as i am not a re-reader and they just sat there collecting dust after I finished reading them. I held on to a few though, some of my favorites. My H.P. Lovecraft collection and classics like Bram Stoker I held onto. I also donated my collection of over 1,200 books because of health reasons. My son has terrible asthma and the dust was a bit much, and well still is. (Living in AZ dust is just an issue you live with.) Anyway, if you are okay with digital books I recommend this one.

It’s a great story that took me to a faraway place with fantastic creatures, magic and a dragon. The book kept me entertained and was a welcome escape from my own mind. I don’t know how you rate books, but I decide whether or not I like a book dependent on whether or not it can get me out of my head. If a book sucks me into the story then it’s a good book by my standards. That is exactly what Gordan R Heat did. He took to me someplace else and I forgot about my anxieties, and my stresses, and my depression and my bad days and my pain and the fact that I just couldn’t drag my butt out of bed that day.

Now, this is my first book review so  I don’t know how these are supposed to be done. But I will tell you that I recommend this book. It is only $2.99 on Amazon and at that price I figured it was worth a shot and I am glad that I bought it. The story is about a dragon who is haunted by vivid dreams that call to her and who goes on a journey with a young wizard and his little companion named Twitch to discover the meaning of her dreams and what has happened to all the dragons. There are a few mishaps on their adventure and they meet another member of their misfit crew on the way to find answers. The end of the story leaves you wanting to know what happens next and those are the books I love because they keep you thinking about them. Okay, so this is long enough. If you are looking for a new read, like dragons, or just want something different, check this book out! Then please tell me what you think. Happy reading!