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Friend mail Friday and art journal 

This is some of wonderful mail I received this week from my wonderful pen pal Victoria. She always has a theme for her letters and this time it was one of my favorite holidays,  Halloween. In the mail this week I received wonderful letters from Julia from Julia’s Creative Year and another from my pen pal Ana. It always feels so great to get a letter in the mail. They always happen to show up when I am having a rough day. I also received these wonderful postcards, thank you very much Julia and Konstantin. I love both of them and they have a special place on my desk for me to look at everyday.The one from Julia I love because it has encouraging words to remind me to be myself and the one from Konstantin of the Babaduk reminds me of how I feel everyday and seeing it makes me want to face the monster.

I was encouraged to encourage myself so I played in my art journal for the first time in weeks. I was trying to be self encouging, especially in my role as a homemaker where I have serious insecurities and feel I fall terribly short. I have not worked in some time but still have not gotten the feel for homemaking. I have worked all my life so it still feels alien to me not to work. I tried to find encouraging words and although I do not call myself a domestic goddess, I was trying to tell myself what I do is good enough and it is okay not to be perfect and have a Martha Stewart home or to be a Martha Stewart. So I did a little art therapy and this is what turned out….I love how it turned out. I especially like the “mirror” that says “your happiness is my happiness” which reminds me to be happy with myself. I also love the woman because she seems tired to me and it’s ok. I’m working on not trying to be perfect and to accept myself as I am, tired and all. 

Oh! And I went crazy buying postcards to send out. See…

I can’t wait to send them!

Anyway, that was my week. Any of you do anything exciting? Get any cool friend mail? Have a great weekend and remember to enjoy the little things!

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Messy Monday: Tackling the Craft Room

This weekend was a busy one. My hubby had to work long hours so we are celebrating Father’s Day next weekend. Anyone else ever have to do that? Celebrate a holiday or birthday or something on a different day because of work schedules? We do that a lot in our house. So, with him gone all weekend and my kids beginning their Summer session of homeschool today, I decided to tackle my craft room. Above are a glimpse of the mess that it was. Actually, the pics are old as the mess was quite worse than shown.

It took all day yesterday and a lit of this morning but I think I am liking the result a lot better. It all started when I was trying to figure out where to sew. I had a project to work on for a friend and ended up having to sew on the dining room table and use the kitchen island as my measuring table. Well, that’s not always going to work as we had no place to eat while I worked on my project. So, once I finished my project (my first ever weighted blanket), I decided I needed to make some changes to my craft room. The result?

IMG_3149IMG_3150IMG_3151IMG_3152 I still have some work to do but I am liking how it is turning out. I need to build some shelves, or rather have my hubby build some shelves, in my storage closet so I can fit some more stuff  in there and make more space in my craft room and make it look tidier because it is the first room when you walk into the house. My closet is one of those closets where I am afraid to open the door because everything will fall out. Anyone else have one of those? As for my blanket, I think it came out nice. What do you think?

 

I hope the little guy likes it and he finds comfort with it. I don’t think it turned out half bad for my first attempt. Okay, well that’s all for this morning. Gotta get back to work. Have a good day and enjoy the little things!

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A Little Getaway

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Yes, these are pics I got from the Yahoo Images of Williams, AZ where we went to escape the heat. My iphone pics just didn’t come out right and I was too distracted by the shops to take good photos. We have been to Williams several times but I still love all the shops and walking down a little piece of Route 66. It was 108 degrees where I live so it was nice to head up North when the high there was only 68 degrees. It definitely felt good. It was COLD when we arrived in the morning though. Well, for this desert dweller anyway. It was only 50 degrees when we arrived and super windy!

I had fun on our little outing and bought some cool signs for my craft room and front door.

I am not sure I am going to put the no soliciting sign on my front door but I love it. We live in a new development so we constantly have solicitors at our door. I used to find these signs a bit rude, but now I see their appeal. I don’t know. If anything it will be another piece to go with the rest in my craft room. I love the Nut House sign especially since it has a squirrel. I absolutely LOVE squirrels! Every time we go to Williams I get a new one. Well, almost every time. My son even got me one.IMG_3109

It’s something I say a lot in joking so he picked one for me to put on my desk. I love it. He even got one for his dad for Father’s Day but which says a line he always says when people do dumb things. IMG_3135

I guess some of my signs can be seen as mean and I am sorry if anyone was offended. I do like them though. As for the solicitors signs, chances are it will just go on my wall. After all, I understand that they are just doing their job. But when you have at least 4 different solicitors coming to your door every single day, including Sunday, it gets a little old. Especially when you get 3 different solar companies on the same day. I just love the sign because it expresses how I feel, I will always accept Girl Scout cookies since my daughter sells them too!

Okay, well that was my little excursion. I wish we could take another trip up North this coming Monday and Tuesday. It’s supposed to be 119 on Monday and 120 on Tuesday. YIKES!IMG_3134

Have fun and enjoy the little things!

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On a Busy Bee Crafting Spree

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Phew! This weekend has been such a busy one! I have been a busy bee on a crafting spree and it feels awesome! I haven’t been making anything lately because the stuff I have been making, like cards, have been piling up with no place to go. But, with Father’s day coming up I wanted to make a different kind of card. I took to Pinterest and YouTube for some inspiration and came across this “wallet” card. I thought it was perfect! It is based off of MayMay Made It Craft’s design. Here is the link to her video if you want to make one too! MayMay Made it Crafts.  I’d give you the measurements but I kinda just went along with her basic idea then went from there. I don’t have distress inks but I had some copper dew drop inks and just used that around the edges and I think the effect is pretty similar. The point was just to make it look a little aged. I think i might sand the edges to make it look more worn. I’ve never done it before but I am curious to see what the effect is. I love the pockets for a gift card and photo. I just put two gift cards in it for the photo. When I present it it will have a family photo and a Lowe’s gift card or something. We are not sure yet. He doesn’t like coffee so Starbucks and the Coffee Bean are out. These are actually my gift cards. I LOVE coffee!

I have also been busy with a request from my dear friend April who has requested a Trolls hat similar to this one…IMG_3097

Cute, huh? My crocheting skills aren’t the greatest so I am going to cheat and make it my own. But the idea will be the same. This one is from the Little Ducky Boutique on Etsy but she no longer has them available and there are no patterns for it. So I am going to see what I come up with.

My friend also requested a weighted blanket so I have been busy working on that too. It feels so good to be busy and feel useful. I love making stuff for people and that will be used. I haven’t sewn in ages but it feels good to be back at it. It has been so long I nearly had to pull out my owner’s manual to thread the machine. True story! But I figured it out. Good thing too, because I have no idea where I put the manual when we moved here nearly a year ago. Anyway, this is what I have so far, I just started last night.

I hope it comes out well. I haven’t made one before. I made a heavy blanket for my daughter but not a weighted one. I’m up for the challenge though. Wish me luck! Oh it feels so good to be back making stuff! I LOVE it!

Have a good day and enjoy the little things!

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Friend Mail Friday

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This week was such a great week to get friend mail. I have been feeling a bit uninspired creatively and a bit blah but each day this week I received a smile in the mail box. It has been such a great blessing to get have such great pen pals.

Since I am not good around people in person it is great to interact with others through the mail. I feel snail mail is so much more personal than email pals which I have as well. But there is something that feels more personal to me when a letter is hand written. My email pals and I do both, snail mail and emails which is kinda cool. I love to send little things in the letters I write and you can’t do that with an email.

Here are some of the things I received in the mail this week. I love these little thoughtful things and how they reflect a bit of the sender’s personality.

I even received some fun new scrapbook paper I can have fun making stuff with. I have fun with everything I get and try to make use of it all. For me having pen pals helps me get out of my head and interact with people without having to deal with the social anxiety or stress of having to interact in person. I find interacting with people in person terrifying and so stressful. I always feel as if I am being judged. By what I have no idea. But I always feel that way. I know I shouldn’t but I do. I know it stems from my insecurities, but well, I have to work on that. I am slowly trying to be comfortable with myself and in my own skin and accept myself for who I am, as I am. But, boy is it hard!

Anyway, I just to share the bit of sunshine I received in my mailbox. If anyone out there is reading this and is looking for a pen pal, I am always looking for more.

Take care and have fun!

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The Magic of Friend Mail and an Art Journal

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Yesterday I received this awesome postcard from a pen pal in Germany. I don’t know what it is but there is something about geometric art that makes me smile. Maybe because it is so different. This particular picture reminds me of how I see people sometimes, especially when not medicated. They are sometimes fuzzy and distorted.

Anyway, I LOVE this postcard. My depression hits me in waves and I was starting to feel low but the mail came with this postcard and all the sudden the world wasn’t so blue. It put a smile on my face anyway. That’s the thing I love about pen pals and snail mail. It always seems to arrive when I need to remember to smile or when the world seems dark and gray. It’s like getting a ray of sunshine in the mail box. Sometimes my depression seems like there is a switch that gets flicked and all the sudden in mess than a second I am depressed or crying or angry for some unknown reason. I don’t know, it drives me nuts!

I only got friend mail twice this week and that is okay because they came when I needed them. My second friend mail was a package from my friend in Brasil who sent me a wonderful care package full of candy and fun stuff from her country.

She even sent a cute kitty in a basket. I know my daughter will be sure to try to claim it for herself though. When I get low I try to force myself out of it and that is hard as hell. But I still try. I have been playing a lot in my art journal and it has been helping. Journaling in general has been helpful. At least it helps to shh the voices in my mind a bit. I even put my first piece of mixed media work in my art journal. I never did really painted or did anything mixed media, I barely know what it is, but I was having a rough day and the beach was calling my name. Living in the desert, well, the only beach I could find was in my mind. So I put it on paper.IMG_3033I had no idea what i was doing but I had fun. It made me feel better anyway. It quieted my thoughts and calmed me down. Sometimes journaling gets me more upset while I write but I have noticed, so far anyway, that with an art journal it can be ugly or messy and it can be angry or whatever and it’s okay. I noticed I thought less when I played with my art stuff than when I write in my regular journal. I just let whatever happen happen and didn’t have to think about neatness or spelling.

Anyway, that was my week. Full of ups and downs. I did manage to send out lots of snail mail too. Hopefully, the mail I sent puts a smile on their face. Do any of you have a hobby or something that you do to make you feel better when feeling blah and blue? img_3015.jpg

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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!

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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!