Saturday, April 26, 2014

4 Months Later...

My last post was December 17, 2013.  That was before I tore my MCL and blew out my knee on Christmas Eve while STANDING AND DOING NOTHING.  My orthopedic surgeon told me "sometimes those things happen."  Umm, thank you?  It was also prior to weeks of physical therapy (with no improvement), surgery on my arm for a ruptured tendon (totally unrelated to my knee), and seven days in the hospital with bacterial pneumonia (also unrelated), all while enduring the worst winter Chicago has seen in years.  Since the pain and mobility wasn't improving, my insurance company finally decided to approve an MRI, which showed fraying around the meniscus.  SO I'm having knee surgery next week and I have high hopes that it will fix the problem and allow me to live my life again with some semblance of normal...normal for me, that is.  It's been 4 months of immobility, pain, depression, stress, bed rest, and CRAP, not exactly a picnic over here, 'ya know? I haven't even felt like being in the studio, which is not like me at all.  I've piddled around a bit and worked on some digital collages that I plan to turn into cards, but I was just too sick and way too tired for any creative spark to light the way.  But then a few of my art friends turned me on to The Documented Life Project.  Wow. My heart began to beat a bit quicker.  I fell in love with the idea of combining a planner with an art journal.  I knew it was something I could work on in bed.  I could use my stash but lord knows I also found a few new goodies I just HAD to have - I love the internet!  And so I began. Drawing and doodling and painting and coloring.  It's like kindergarden but without being taken to the nurse's office in a wheel chair because I couldn't stop laughing.  True story. Anyway, I try to do a little each day but there's no stress because hey, it's MY planner.  The videos from the Art to the 5th girls are fun and fabulous and so informative that I've watched them again and again.  Best of all I have a work of art planner and it's only the end of April!  For now I may be filling my datebook with doctor appointments and surgeries, but at least it's pretty and I'm a happy documenter. Here are a few photos of my planner:

On a different note, I bought a pair of shoes at Payless, clogs identical to a pair I own that cost WAY more that the PL $25 sale price.  I bought them even though they were white and ever so ugly because I had a vision, oh yes I did.  They went from blah to wa-LAH with some imagination and a few colors of alcohol ink. Now they are me and I love 'em, I love 'em, I love 'em (nod to the PL Easter commercial). 
Close up of the wonderfulness.
Just one more...sigh.

Well, that's all I've got right now.  If you're the praying or positive energy type, I'd sure appreciate sending some my way for an easy and successful surgery.  I hope to post again before another four months go by...Peace.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Tags

Hello everyone.  It's been a while, I know.  I've been busy like everyone else this time of year, blah, blah, blah, but I decided I'd better post something before we ring in 2014.  I was sharing photos of some of my journal pages and I received positive feed back from a lot of folks.  I plan to continue doing that, but today I decided instead to show you a few of the goodies I've been making using shipping tags and digital collage.  I've been playing around with digital collage for a while now, "learning" this skill on my own.  More like figuring stuff out by trial and error, but that's my usual learning process.  No matter, it's been so much fun to sit and play with NO CLEAN-UP!  Some of the images are my own, but I'm also a fan of Deviant Scrap, especially Tumble Fish Studio and Hidden Vintage Studios. After I create the digital collage, I color the tags, add some trim, sew it all together, and finish it off with vintage silk ribbon and a jingle bell. I'm using these tags as cards, enclosed with gifts or given just because

I hope you're having a blessed holiday season with family and friends and eggnog, too.  I need to get my jingle bells in gear  and wrap some presents, but I leave you today with this wish: 
Peace on Earth.

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years

50 years ago today the world changed in an instant.  

It's impossible to believe it's been 50 years. 

I decided to republish a post I wrote a few years ago because 

it says it all and I have no words to share right now.

50 years from today, my hope is that the world knows peace 

and cannot comprehend such violence and destruction of life.   

Please hope along with me?

November 22, 1963

I was 8 years old and in third grade.  In 1963, grammar schools in our area didn't have lunchrooms; you had one hour to go home, eat, and get back to school.  Since I lived only two blocks from school, my usual M.O. was to race home, eat, watch Bozo's Circus until after the grand prize game, race back to school, and still have plenty of time to play a rousing game of 4 square before afternoon class.  Eight year olds have a LOT of energy.  On this particular Friday afternoon, Bozo was interrupted with an emergency bulletin.  I knew it must be big to break in on Bozo.  The newscaster said that the President had been shot in Dallas, and that the situation was very grave.  I asked my mom what grave meant and she didn't answer, so I turned and looked at her; she was staring at the T.V. and finally said it was "very bad news."  I prayed as I ran back to school; I prayed for the man who was a father, I prayed for his two young children, and I prayed for his pretty wife.  My own father was a police officer and I had never once worried about his safety.  He was strong and he protected others so who would want to hurt him?  I began to realize that if someone could hurt the President, someone could hurt my dad, too. I quickly pushed that thought away and went into class. The teachers seemed upset and I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. A little after 1PM, our principle came on the intercom and announced that President Kennedy had died.  What happened next will be forever etched on my heart.  Dan C. sat in the desk in front of me and the instant we heard the news, he dropped to his knees, crossed himself, and began praying.  We went to public school.  Even in 1963 you didn't pray in public school, but Dan did, and his genuine, heartfelt response is the image that comes to mind when I remember that awful day.  We were dismissed early and I cried as I walked home from school.  I cried for his children, I cried for his pretty wife, and I cried for myself, too.  A Dallas police officer was shot and died while trying to catch the man who killed the president. That was the day I started praying for my dad's safety.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Here's another completed journal page.  I think it's completed but then again, I never really know for sure.  It's about finding your strength when strength is doing it's best to hide. Specifically, it's about the strength required to go on and make a new life after a loved one takes their life, or in my case, after two loved ones leave this earth through suicide.  You may not understand this type of pain (I hope you do not) but we all have pain in our life and times when it seems that STRONG is hiding, when STRONG has disappeared, when STRONG is not an option. Please remember, strong is the only option.  You may not believe in your own strength, but you're still here.  And that, my friend, it the first step.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I never struggled with insomnia, never understood the concept. I would be asleep before my head hit the pillow and stayed blissfully asleep throughout the night.  Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1993, and that's pretty much when the wonders of restorative sleep became a vague memory.  There are many nights when it seems impossible to get "comfortable enough" to even fall asleep, let alone stay sleeping.  These past several years have been especially difficult due to family issues and unemployment woes.  My head whirls and twirls and rarely shuts down.  So yeah, I now get the whole insomnia thing.  Unfortunately.  Here's a page I completed a few months ago which gives a hint of the crazy stuff running through my brain while I'm trying to sleep.  Take a peek and then crack open your journal and create a work of art!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Another journal page, one that makes me quite happy.  This two page spread has to do with past memories,  specifically from when I was 4 years old.  I had quite a few adventures that year!  Yes, I vividly remember being 4; my earliest memory goes back to when I was about 18 months old. I used to think everyone remembered like me but I realize now that's not the case.  I've been told I have a photographic memory and I think that must be true.  I'm the one family and friends come to for all those tricky questions that begin "remember that person who..." Yes, I remember them.  I remember their birthday, I remember where they lived, I remember the maiden name of their mother, and I remember how their eyes looked on a sunny day. Anyway, 1959 was such a full year that I decided to journal about my many exploits.  I hope you enjoy this peek and maybe get a great idea for a page of your own!
1959 - journal spread with tags folded  
1959 - journal spread with tags open

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh, Hello.

Ooops.  It's been awhile since I've posted, and for no good reason.  Or maybe for many good reasons?  I've been busy with things too boring to discuss but important none the less. My art journal has become my new best friend, giving me needed escape and helping to keep me somewhat sane.  I can't imagine where I'd be without art.  I'm grateful to grab some time drawing and cutting and glueing and creating something that makes sense to me, all in the confines of my journal.  I've decided to TRY to post regular photos of some of the completed (are they ever really completed?) pages, as a few of my loyal followers have requested.  
Falling into Place.