Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Challenge

Hello everyone, where has the month of May gone? It has been far too long since my last posting, that won't happen again. I've allowed too many things to get in my way, silence me, and distract me from what's really important in my life...

It's been a busy, busy past several weeks, with lots of healing, treatments, hospital visits, infections, rashes and too much down time. I always seem to be in catch-up mode... I do try to do something everyday that's artistic, it helps me to stay focused on the good in my life, and it also helps me to see all the love and beauty around me. Sort of picking myself up when my spirits and body are down.

One of the good things about the style of art I do is that I can do it in bed when I'm not feeling well, or while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, while getting my treatments sitting in a recliner at the hospital or just about any place I find myself with a small block of time. I always have my art bag ready to go, and when I'm home, its right by my side. My hubby teases me; he calls me "His wife the cutter." Because I always have a pair of scissors in hand and garbage can on my side. Some days it's all I do, cutting up magazines helps me to keep the focus off my pain and on the page. I tend to get lost in the art of cutting. I had to remind my hubby that he shouldn't say that too loudly, they might get the wrong When ever you hear "cutter" we all think of a person with a razor blade, knife, and scarred up skin. I can assure you, I am a good cutter, no skin is involved. One time I even had to show my doctor my arms and legs because when she asked both my hubby and I what I do to distract myself when I'm having a really bad day, my husband said...."She's a cutter... “Not thinking about the consequences of his statement. Most people wouldn't understand unless they too were a collage artist... We know who we are; we can be closet cutters together.

Here are some of my projects that I've been working on over the past two months when my body wouldn't allow me to do much of anything else. I did for a Challenge on willowing.ning for the Bunny challenge last Easter and then again for the Friendship Challenge in May because it fit both and they were back to back so I kind of got two done for the price of one...  It was also a gift to my son Jake for his 21st Birthday. It really meant a lot to paint my son's childhood best friends for him for his 21st birthday. I hope you enjoy it.

The Story of Hopper and Friends

I'd like to introduce Snowball, Hopper, Mousier and Maui... Hopper was a gift to my son Jacob the day he was born by his Papa. Snowball came when Jake started kindergarten; he didn't want Hopper to be alone so we went on a search for another friend. Mouser entered our family when Jake was in grade school, Mousier was so small he could go to school with Jake and hide in his school bag. Maui came to us 9 years ago; Jake became Maui's segregate Papa. He and Maui became inseparable...I think it was harder for Jake to leave Maui then it was for him to leave his Papa and

When Jake went away to school he decided that he needed to leave his friends in our care until they could be reunited when Jacob finishes college. So this was my way of reuniting them all until Jacob returns home to get his friends...
I was worried that my gift to Jake would embarrass him on his right of passage (21st) birthday, but he actually really loved it, not embarrassed at all by his mom's creation. It always feels so good when you can do something for someone and they love and appreciate you and your efforts.

For me, I've always loved receiving gifts that were made from the heart rather then something someone ran out and bought. It just has so much more meaning and thought behind it. Not that I didn't appreciate each and every gift I've ever received, but my home made ones are truly treasured. I still have a music box that I received in the 10th grade by one of my dear friends Janie, she hand painted the box with a poem she wrote just for me. I still wind up the music box whenever I'm down, it's sure to put a smile on my face each and every time.

I used watercolor on a wooden frame with marker out line and then sealed it a matte spay finish. I also made him a matching card.

  I've also recently worked on a few post card swaps, ATC's and Tag art swaps that I've mailed 
out to my friends around the world from Roses On My Table Here are a few that I've recently made:

Do you remember a time when you loved getting mail? When I was young I'd be the first out to the mail box to see what surprise awaited me, I'd even go as far as sit outside and wait for our mail man "Larry" to come walking down the street, I'd run up to him and almost beg for a letter from someone, somewhere in the world.
Then computers, emails and cell phones became our form of chosen worldwide communication and the art of letter writing and cards stopped coming, becoming more and more obsolete... only holidays or birthdays or a rare special occasion would warrant a real card. I wish all my bills would become obsolete, but they seem to continue to find their way to me no matter where I am.There's nothing more heartwarming then to receive a precious card in the mail.

In order to get some nice mail for a change, I  joined a couple different mail art groups, One is an ATC's  (Artist Trading Card) group, another is a Postcard Art group, and the last a Tag Art Swap group... Now... every month I get at least ten-twelve real cards, postcards, homemade cards or small little pay it forward gifts and treasures. It's so much better than the constant droves of bills and junk mail we normally get.

 I'd also like to share some of the wonderful cards I have received in return from my many different art groups. Almost daily I'm receiving a wonderful gift in the mail. It is so wonderful to have a postcard in the mail that is meant to cheer you up, inspire you, or just say hello from a friend from around the world. Normally these days I dread getting the mail with the mountains of medical bills I have piling up. But now knowing that there may be a wonderful gift waiting to brighten even the darkest of days, I'm excited once again.

If you’re tired of just receiving bills and junk mail in your mail box, I highly recommend joining an ATC group or Postcard swap group. It only takes you a few hours each month to make your cards to mail out, and in no time, you too will be receiving little bundles of joy.

 If you’re interested in getting started, drop me a line and I'll hook you up with the groups I'm in, or I'm sure you can put "mail art swap" into goggle where you'll find several.
I have met so many wonderful women from around the world who I now call my friends. We have started to learn about each other the old fashion way... in the form of a dying art ... the written word/letter writing. Let's get back to the basics and start writing letters again. Even if you only do one exchange per month, that's one more letter of inspiration than you're receiving now... give it a try, I'm sure you'll be hooked just like I am. I can't wait for my next set of postcards or tags to arrive; they should start trickling in any day now. If you'd like to be added to my list, send me a note.
This is what I've received so far

Until next time... and I promise it won't take me as long as it did to post this blog. 
Time just has a way of slipping away from me; some days I have to ask myself.... "Where did the time go?"

I hope spring has been good to you, and summer will bring you loads of warm healing sunshine filled with flower, and the gift of relaxation so you can work on some art, write some letters, mail a card or take some time for yourself and enjoy life.
Blessings to all, 
{{{{{{Love and hugs}}}}}}

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