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Yup, I’m painting!

Well, I am proving to myself that I am still capable of getting myself in gear if I want to!

I have 4 Inspiration Decks to do before we leave on our trip in just a few days. And you’re not going to believe this, but I procrastinated on doing them. Okay, so you not only believe it, but you aren’t surprised. I know. Me, too. And it isn’t even that I didn’t want to do them (my usual reason for procrastinating!) I just committed to doing them MONTHS ago, and it seemed so far away, then life got busy, and here we are.

So. Last week I got all 4 decks gessoed and the words printed up and cut out.

Now I have 4 days to get them done. Well. PARTS of 4 days. I still have all my usual stuff to do, too. But I have everything I need for the trip, and I AM practically all packed, so really, I am in good shape time-wise, so I have NEARLY 4 days.

Today I have rocked. I got the base coat of paint onto both sides of all 4 decks. Don’t judge just yet, they are works in progress, and not too exciting at this point. I just thought I’d give you a peek at my process!

I did 2 decks using the gelli plate to do the 1st coat on the back sides. This will be where my blog into will be. The flip side will have the words.

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The red ones I just painted solid, scuffed and will add a few accents…

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The last set will be very simple, kinda chalk boardy, I think, with some white pen doodling.

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I still have LOTS to do, and it’s the finish work that makes them little works of art!

So, stay tuned…

Happy Cake Day!

Josh’s REAL birthday isn’t for nearly another month, but when he heard I wouldn’t be here to make his birthday cake this year, he was sad. Well, Gaga can’t have sad grandbabies if she can help it, so I suggested we throw a mini party before we leave, complete with a Gaga cake.

He went with me to Michael’s to select his cake pan. I told him he had plenty of time to think about it, and we could wait until closer to the date to make a final decision. But this little man knows his own mind, and opted to get an airplane cake pan. And he never wavered!

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A few days before I was to make the cake we discussed decorating options. He had initially wanted camo. It would require a little improvising on my part, but I was game to try. But, when he saw the cake on the instruction sheet that had m&m decorations, he thought that looked like more fun (and if you can add candy to your cake, well, duh!)

THEN he decided he wanted a yellow cake. SACRILEGE! This is a chocolate cake family, but he was adamant. I don’t know if it was the horrified look on my face that made him determined, but I couldn’t get him to change his mind. He just laughed and laughed, and couldn’t be swayed. Daddy was no help at all, ‘cuz for him, the cake flavor is irrelevant – he’s all about the frosting! AND, it’s Josh’s birthday, so he gets to choose. Yuck.

So I did what any self-respecting chocolate cake lover would do, and made cupcakes, too! Chocolate, of course – no decorating required.

He and Daddy bicycled over to our house this morning and caught me in the middle of decorating. The look on his face was precious. He seemed so surprised! I don’t know if it looked better than he thought it would, or didn’t think I would REALLY use the m&ms, but I had a happy boy!

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A few candles (6 to be exact!) and we’re good to go!

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Mommy is going to make him a Darth Vadar cake for his real birthday, so I’m taking my supplies over (including a sleeve of extra frosting for her to practice with) and will give her a little mini class. Both Josh and Lexi’s birthdays come at a time of year when we’ll probably be traveling most years, so if I can’t make their cakes, it will be nice that Mommy can!

Seriously, Janet?

In what parallel universe am I living that I really think I am going to make 3 pairs of earrings, 3 necklaces and 3 bracelets before we leave on our trip? Or even 3 pairs of earrings? Or even 1? Yet somehow I just NEEDED to buy these beads. I even paid full price, so it’s not like there was a sale I’d miss.

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I embarrass myself. (But aren’t they pretty???)

I need to be put on restriction. I wonder if I called the credit card company and begged them,  they could put a block on my credit card so it doesn’t work at craft stores? Since I obviously am unable to police myself…

On a positive note, when I was babysitting the other day I had a bit of an epiphany about the state of slugfullness I’ve allowed myself to slide into. (I know, it’s not a real word, but it describes my state of being better than ANY real words!)

I used to be able to do things in 5-10 minute spurts. LOTS of things. At once. No matter how busy I was, I had either a list or a pile of stuff I could work on for just a few minutes at a time. No more. Now if I have 30 seconds, I’m checking Facebook. No kidding. And if I don’t have my phone handy so I can do that, I practically break into a cold sweat.

That REALLY needs to stop. One of the good things about Facebook is that my newsfeed will still be there, full of all the important stuff I just NEED to know, along with all the superfluous k-r-a-p when I get to it later in the evening, or in the morning. There are very few people in my cyber world who need to know within the next 5 minutes whether I “like” what they posted, or need an opinion on what they should do about “fill-in-the-blank. If they do, most of them know how to reach me in the real world.

Worse yet, unless I have a whole empty day stretching out ahead of me, I am almost physically incapable of working on ANYTHING. That also has to stop. There is no reason why I can’t have several things going at the same time that I can work on for awhile (be it it an hour or two, or 10 minutes!) Even most big projects can be broken into small bites.

My epiphany came because I knew I would have a bit of free time here and there during the day while I was babysitting and I wanted to make that time at least mildly productive. I needed to get the words cut out for the inspiration decks I need to have completed in a few days, so I packed the full sheets of printed words along with a pair of scissors and a box to put the cut up words in to.

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While the baby was napping, I pulled them out and got all 16 pages done. As I was working on them, I wondered why I can do it while I’m away from home, but not while I’m at home. I had both my phone and my computer – I could have gotten on-line. But I didn’t. THAT part I don’t understand. But, at least I was productive, and it made me think about being MORE productive, and both are good things.

Another issue that crossed my mind is that I am accountable to no one but myself these days, and I have let myself off way to easy. I shouldn’t be allowing myself to wait until I am at a crisis point to get done what needs to be done. And that goes for every day stuff that no one sees but me, as well as the big things that have actual deadlines.

I don’t feel the need to be superwoman anymore. But I really don’t want to be a slug, either.

So, today I’ve started a list of quick things I can work on for a few minutes at a time, and set up a couple of them on a table where I can see them, and I’m going to try to have a kick booty weekend with LOTS to show for my efforts.

I’ve already gone to 2 grocery stores, got a cake and 24 cupcakes baked, 2 loads of laundry done (COMPLETELY DONE, not just washed and dried and thrown on the bed!) made a list of stuff that needs to go into the suitcase and packed most of it, and made a very short list of things that still need to be purchased for the trip, and there’s still HOURS left in the day.

See, I can do it if I put my mind to it. I just need to put my mind to it!

Who knows, maybe I’ll get those earrings made after all?

 

Even BETTER Than Art!

Some things are just more important than art!

Today I got the opportunity to babysit my grandson and granddaughter for the first time in quite awhile. Their mama has been off on maternity leave, so the times they’ve needed help have been few and far between.

Now she is returning to the workforce, but will be able to work from home most of the time – the best of both worlds. Then when she has to in to meet with a client, I’ll be able to back her up.

Today was one of those days.

Daddy had Josh ready for school when I arrived, so all I had to do was comb hair and supervise teeth-brushing, load the baby into the stroller (thank goodness Josh was there to help me – it had a little trick I would NEVER had figured out to get the straps locked!) and walk him a short distance to his classroom.

Lexi was enjoying the ride, so we took a little detour – good for both of us – got her out in the fresh air and me off my behind!

Then it was bottle time – NOT her favorite! She decided she didn’t want it, so we switched to cereal.

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Then it was off to bed. Seemed like the blink of an eye and she was up again. We played and played. I enjoyed getting to know what she likes and what she doesn’t like, and before we knew it it was time to head off to pick Josh up again.

Back home we tried another bottle. Turns out she likes it better when she gets to hold it by herself! She’s not even 6 months old yet. I was pretty impressed.

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Da’ came over to visit for a little bit (yeah, I had my boyfriend over while I was babysitting!) and we all played some more.

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Going down for second nap was even easier. Guess she realized everything was going to be okay with Gaga doing it.

Then it was Josh and Gawgs time. Well, mostly. He’s been itching to get on his ipad and Daddy said it was okay, so we got that out of the way 1st.

Then it was reading and little Suduko. I don’t know where the time went.

Lexi will be up soon and we’ll play some more, then head out to Josh’s soccer scrimmage. By the time Mommy and Daddy get home we’ll be tired, but it will be a good tired.

Nope, I didn’t get any art done today, but who cares? I got to bond with my darlings, and that was WAAAAAAAY more fun!

I’m Happy

One of the things I like about me is that I don’t sit around waiting for “happy” to find me. I go out and look for it. Every. Single. Day. And when I find even a little bit of it, I grab on and embrace it and feel grateful for it.

Gisland3-wSunflowers are such happy flowers. I never see one without smiling!

 

I admit, I’ve been very fortunate. We’ve gone through some rough times and we’ve had a terrible thing or two come our way. But many, many people have it a lot worse.

I’ve never in my life had to wonder where my next meal was coming from, or had to chose between medicine and food for my children, or paying the rent or the electric bill. I’ve never been COMPLETELY alone. I’ve never been dependent on drugs. I’ve never had to watch a child self-destruct to the point of losing their life. I’ve never had to fend for myself. I’ve always had a roof over my head, enough to eat, and someone to love and have them love me back.

So, I can see that I don’t have a reason to NOT be happy.

That’s not to say I don’t get depressed from time to time, but it is mostly short-lived. Even on my worst days, I can usually find a reason to smile. I refuse to let life and all the crap it can throw at you get the better of me.

But a lot of people who are in the same situation I am, are not happy. They can’t see how fortunate they are. They want more, and more, and more, and are incapable of enjoying what they have. They have an attitude of “I’ll be happy when…”

For those people, “happy” will never come, because “happy” is not dependent on what you have, it’s a way of living your life. Not a destination, but a means of travel.

So how do you find “happy?” It is not a passive thing. It’s an active endeavor. You have to go out and look for it. It rarely walks up and smacks you in the face. Sometimes you have to look hard – under bushes and in the shadows to find it. It’s looking for the silver-linings in the storm clouds, learning to dance in the rain. It’s accepting that there is no one or no thing that can make you happy. It has to come from within.

Now, I’m not going to lie. I feel happy when I eat a scoop of ice cream. That’s easy. But I am also happy in the middle of a huge blow up with Mr. Tattered. IF I remember to be grateful that I have have someone I love enough to fight with instead of just walking away from them. I’m happy when I get my feelings hurt and am crying. IF I remember to be grateful that I have someone in my life that CAN hurt my feelings because I care enough about them to care what they think of me. I’m even happy when I am the most depressed. IF I remember to be grateful that I’m only going to feel like that for a short time, and then I’m going to pull myself up by bootstraps and come up with a plan to correct whatever it is that’s dragging me down.

I have learned that happiness follows gratitude.

So I make a point of thinking about what I’m grateful for every day. It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

I hope you are having a life full of happy. If you’re not, don’t waste another minute; get out there and find it. Life is too short to live without it.

 

 

 

 

Finally Working on the Decks

There’s nothing like time constraints to make me get my tush in gear.

I have under 2 weeks to get my 4 Inspiration Decks done and in the mail. The soft deadline is September 1, but if history is any judge, not everyone will make it, and it will be extended. My hard deadline is September 3, the day before we leave for Europe. I suppose the possibility exists I MAY get them out sooner. Heeheehee!

I don’t know why I’ve let so much time go without getting started. I really do love making them. But, I guess I’m just in such a habit of waiting until the last minute, it comes naturally. But then again, with nearly 2 weeks left, it isn’t QUITE the last minute! I’ve cut it closer on many projects, I’ll tell you!

So, today I got the gesso onto both sides of 2 decks (104 out of 208 cards!)

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Only 2 more decks to go.

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AND, I got fonts selected for the sayings and printed them out.

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I’m getting excited!

Are you getting tired of vacation photos yet? I hope not!

vancouverfromgrouse-wVancouver from the top of Grouse Mountain

I KNOW – I Said I Wouldn’t

But it just isn’t that easy.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I keep telling myself I need to be ready, just in case something amazing falls into my lap.

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I’m not going to actively search out another creative business, but it’s only prudent to have all the information in hand in case of need, right? I mean, look how different my life looks now than I thought it would 5 years ago. Things happen. Ideas pop up. Resolve goes away. Not to mention I can’t stand the idea that I might miss out on something. Heeheehee!

An then there are these little treasures. Daphne’s Diary. They are so stinkin’ cute.

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I can’t really explain why I seem to NEED them so badly. But I do. When the latest edition wasn’t available at Barnes and Noble, I got on the internet and discovered that only did I miss the first two issues, but there are 4 (yep, FOUR!) that have come out since the last one I bought. But, thanks to the WWW, they were only a mouse click away, and soon the six issues I’ve missed will be in my hot little hands. Well, waiting for me when we get home, anyway.

I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. They are too pretty to cut up and I need more magazines stacking up like I need another hole in my head. But it’s done.

And if THAT isn’t bad enough, there’s this.

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Yes. Stampington has yet ANOTHER publication that I’m not going to be able to resist. I tried. Really I did. When the presale was announced, I closed my eyes and stuck my fingers in my ears and yelled “LALALALALALALALALA!” The urge passed and I went on my merry way. But then there it was mocking me at the bookstore (you’d think I’d know better than to go anywhere’s NEAR the periodicals by now!) and I caved. It wasn’t even a close call.

I double dog dare you to walk away without one. It is GORGEOUS! The photography is insanely good, and the whole premise of the magazine is to see the amazing in the ordinary. Who wouldn’t be a sucker for that?

I HAVE to stop this. Yeah right. We’ve been down this road before.

Your laugh for the day? (At my expense, of course!)

I have been less than thrilled with the performance of the camera on my iphone 5 ever since I got it. Inside, outside, didn’t matter, the photos just aren’t as crisp as I’d like them to be. Well, today we went to get new sim cards from from T-mobile for their international plan in preparation for out next trip. So, I had to take the phone out of its case to access the existing sim card and happened to notice that I never took the film off the back of the phone. So all this time, I’ve been taking pictures with a plastic film over the lens! Yikers!

AND……yet another photo from Alaska:

canadianwaters-wThe waterway north of Vancouver

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