Friday, December 19, 2014

"The Wire Zombie" - An Update on Me and My Health - AGAIN... Lol! =0)

Haha, oh man, I know I keep saying I'm going to try to start painting or drawing more consistently, but I this year has just been absolutely brutal for me. I recently had some HUGE updates on my health, so if you missed any of them, here they are: I found out that as far as people with Fibromyalgia go, not pain scale, but seriousness scale, I'm as bad as it ever can get. I also found out the same goes for my Myofascial Pain, and that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that is out of this world to boot. But, on a weirdly positive note, if you can see it this way, as I'm choosing to do, I found out something today that might change everything, and that explains so very, very much as far as all of my health is concerned!!!

We did a miserable sleep study a week and a half ago - miserable for me in that they woke me up at 6am (I DO NOT DO 6AM!) and then had me sleep for 2 hours and then stay awake for 2 hours back and forth. Problem was, they couldn't even try to keep me awake - and it was as if they had never seen anyone like that before. The nurse would come in and tell me to find an activity I could do that would keep me awake for the full 2 hours, but my problem was, that's exactly WHY I was there. There is nothing I can do that CAN keep me awake. She was so perplexed, like I was some oddity, and I couldn't figure it out.

...That is, until the specialist called today. She immediately said the words I've come so accustomed to hearing, "Your test restults were absolutely astounding in a number of ways!" (Gee, aren't I the "if it can happen it will happen to you" girl? Haha!) Anyways, she went on to tell me that I have quite the intense case of obstructive sleep apnea - so much so that they weren't even able to test me for Narcolepsy because of it. Apparently it's severe enough that I'm waking up EVERY 3 MINUTES ALL NIGHT LONG!!! That's absolutely INSANE!

So if you can, I would love for some prayer, because the next few months could get a little interesting. I have to go back for at least one other sleep study to be fitted for a CPAP machine to wear at night. It's the same breathing machine poor little Levi had to wear when he was born prematurely, because his lungs weren't developed all the way. So I'm a little scared due to PTSD, to be honest, and could use prayer to calm the anxiety, and yet at the same time I'm also sooo very thankful that God is faithfully providing sooo many answers for us right now. So now we know why I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so badly, and potentially may be able to help fix some of my pain issues if we can get me even an ounce of Restorative Sleep.

So if you will, will you pray with me, and praise God for the answers, the validation, the new avenues to follow, and for the peace and trust in Him to give it all up to Him to handle, without anxiety or worries of my own? Thank you all so much - you have no idea how much you all mean to me - I thank God for you and your powerful prayers that have helped keep this family together each and every day! Thank you and God bless!!! =D

Oh, and just so you can get a good laugh, here you go. A chilling glimpse at the scarcely seen "Wire Zombie", and her better side, seen only on good days. Hope you get a good laugh out of this, because I'm sure this is going to bite me in the bootie sometime in the future:
I felt so terribly miserable that night, can you tell. But then again, that's how I feel just about most of the time... =P
A much happier version of me and my super hot hunk of a husband. Oh man, he's crazy gorgeous, right!?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Flowers for the Broken" - A Pen and Colored Pencil Floral Drawing

"Flowers For the Broken"     4" x 4"     Pen & Colored Pencil on Coaster
Gifted to A Sick Girl in the ER

Wow, I just can't believe it - for the first time in years I got to experience true and absolutely blissful 100% pain relief thanks to a visit to the ER after feeling pain so intense that it honestly felt like deep active back labor, with rolling contractions, stabbing pains, and a whole body ache like I had the flu as well. It was awful. But praise the Lord I got a compassionate Dr. and an amazing nursing and admitting staff - it was like I was in a dream, and not at all like at the ER. Everyone was so sweet and compassionate - perhaps because I was literally walking as slow as a 90 year old, covered in a blanket, shaking pretty intensely from the pain and having to hold on to anything close enough to me to keep from passing out from it. Or perhaps God was just being insanely gracious to me, I don't know, but I do know that I was so flooded with love while I was there that it just felt like God's presence was filling that place, it was so powerful!

While I was there, before being fully admitted, while sitting in the waiting room, there was such a poor sick girl in her late teens just violently coughing into her mothers arms. I felt so bad for her that my heart as a mom, no, just as a person of this earth and especially as the salt and light of the world, just felt broken for her and I felt so helpless - I wanted to help cheer her up in what was obviously such a painful and horrible time for her. I wanted to give her flowers, but having none, yet always carrying my drawing stuff with me, I remembered I had this little semi-tangle/pen and colored pencil drawing on me, and I just hoped and prayed that perhaps just this small, miniscule gesture might brighten her spirit even if only for a moment.

The smile on her face and her mother's was priceless - I can't put into words what it felt like to see the impact of such a seemingly small gesture to a complete stranger. I don't know why on earth it made them so happy - it was strange to see someone so moved by something so small, but it definitely moved me in return. It was such a strange sensation - I wish I could explain it better - but somehow that feeling must have shown on my face for the rest of the night, even amidst the pain before the doctor was able to help me, because somehow it gave me the confidence to actually start showing my art to strangers again, which while that may sound silly to some people, it's huge for an artist. Without confidence in your art and the confidence to show it off without being shy or embarrassed but being brave and outgoing is the only way I can think of that people can actually make a business out of it, and even though this last year has made me feel like there's no way on earth that there's ever going to be a chance for me to have a career in art happen for me because of my health, I sooo don't want to give up on me quite yet. I just had such high hopes and dreams for myself, and my momentum was building up so much until, WHAM!!!! It was just gone in an instant because of my searing pain and it feels like my doctors have just kind of given up on me already, because my case is sooo complex and so severe and they just don't know what to do or where to go. So where does that leave me? I've always felt that one should dream big or go home. And I want to dream big again, but the question is, can I?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps," "J & J's Wedding Tree," and an Update on my Health and Life

ATTENTION: DUE TO MAJOR HEALTH ISSUES I'VE BEEN GONE FOR QUITE SOME TIME, AND I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT LETTING YOU KNOW SOONER.  I HOPE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THE ONLY REASON I DIDN'T POST THIS SOONER WAS LITERALLY OUT OF SHEER PAIN, WEAKNESS, AND EXHAUSTION. I SOOO WANT TO TRY TO GET BACK INTO THE DISCIPLINE OF PAINTING AND CREATING DAILY, THOUGH I DOUBT I'LL BE ABLE TO DO IT EVERY DAY, BUT PERHAPS WITH SOME LUCK AND AN INSANE AMOUNT OF DISCIPLINE I MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET BACK TO POSTING MORE REGULARLY, DESPITE MY SILLY PAIN.

"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps"     3.5" x 5"     Oil Pastel on Paper
Hi there, if there is anyone out there who still might possibly follow my blog anymore or check it from time to time. I am so sorry for my straight up abandonment of my little artistic oasis here - I can't even begin to tell you how horribly sick I've been this year, nor do I want to bore you with all my complaining. So if you're interested in reading an update on what's going on with my health - a TON has changed unfortunately - then read on through to the bottom of the post. If not, I'm just going to post my paintings up top for those more interested in the art and not so much an expose on my health.

I've gone through such feelings of loss, and then feelings of guilt because I think of those people out there who have things worse off than I do. But I still can't shake that feeling. I'm not really making art anymore - it takes so much effort to do so - it just hurts way too much most of the time, though I have had some blissful moments to create. Plus, when I feel even a tiny bit good, I want to try to love on my kids and family, because I miss them sooo! But like I said, I have had some chances to create, and so here are some of the things I did this year, but up until now I just didn't quite feel up to posting them by the time I was done.

PROJECT #1

"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps" in my Awesome Mini Art Journal - I LOVE that thing!!!
So I'm not quite finished with this one yet - and honestly, it really was just supposed to be a simple sketch to see if I wanted to make a painting of it and OH YES, I DO!!! There's something about the combination of the colors that is soothing and riveting for me - I'm not at all trying to toot my own horn, trust me - I've been feeling like a terrible artist lately, but for some reason this piece really speaks to me, even though I made it. I always feel a little guilty when I'm proud of my own work - any other artists out there struggle with that? 

By the way, this idea for this pastel painting was taken from one of my sister's beautiful picture's that she had taken while up in the mountains. So thank you sis for letting me use that!!!  

PROJECT #2

This is a Wedding Tree, done in collaboration with the mother of the groom, Paula, and the groom himself, Jeremy, who wanted a very specific layout being an artist himself as well. The space that was left blank on the left side was done so on purpose so that they could put the bride and groom's thumbprints there standing up together, in paint, and make them into little love birds, adding a veil and sparkling diamond to the bride and a hat and bow-tie to the groom. Isn't that sweet?


"J & J's Cherry Blossom Wedding Tree"     11" x 14"     Acrylic on Belgium Linen Hardboard (which was like absolutely to work with!)
I'm not sure if you can see it anywhere on the tree above, but I hide my signature leaf insignia and a heart in the branches as well. Also, there's a few Dandelions (can you find them all?), a Snail, and Two Mushrooms. I added the Dandelion with floating wisps to signify the dreams they have that they are sharing with each other as they start this new journey together. The two Mushrooms, one big, one small, was to represent the groom shielding her from the storms that will rage ahead, as he is her protector now, and you can see the little one moving in, seeking that protection, cuddling close to her love. As for the Snail, well, he's just kinda gonna be my trademark. I think you'll be seeing him and little Inch-Worm a lot more often in my paintings from here on out... =0)

Detail with Branches



I'm not sure why the photo above is so pink - I kept trying to change the color balance and hue on it but it just wouldn't give, so you'll just have to imagine it like the picture below. The background was completely white with a little bit of texture so that there would be texture in the people's thumbprints as they were using paint.
Close-Up Detail of the Bottom of the Tree

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN AN UPDATE ON MY HEALTH:

This last year has been quite a doozy, let me tell ya!

So over this year my symptoms have been widening and my pain has been worsening and unrelenting, meaning I haven't had a break this entire year for more than 5-6 days tops, whereas last year I would get my pain down to a tolerable level (say in the 3-5 range or the 5-7 range) for weeks and months, but this year it's been a steady 8-10, and if I'm lucky I get the 6-7 range instead for a bit. But that's not all - my Myofascial Pain, Fibro, and other disorders have made a new and very perplexing friend.

At first I swore it was MS (Multiple Sclerosis), because I would wake up completely paralyzed for hours, unable to speak beyond the tiniest whisper. Then I started having spells where I would fall asleep or pass out in the middle of doing things - whether talking to someone, walking across the room, instantly after sitting down - it was terrifying! Even this week I walked into the middle of the room, stopped and just stood there. I heard Ty talking to me and saw the room but he said my head was down and my eyes were shut - I fell asleep standing in the middle of the room at 8pm - and I'm a night owl!!! It was kinda creepy! He guided me to the couch, laid me down and I woke up the next morning - so weird!!! Anyways, so we got the testing done, saw a Neurologist, did multiple sleep studies and MRI's (in fact, I still have one more sleep study coming up - the 24 hour one inside a monitored room - that's gonna be interesting!) and I was happy to find out that at least I don't have MS!

And of course, as all things go, the Neurologist asked if during the sleep spells I had ever fallen - I had said, "Nope, not yet." Then, of course, as Murphy's Law would have it, the next night after seeing him I had my first fall and it would have been even worse if we hadn't already been scheduled for acupuncture the following morning (Praise the LORD for that!!!). I hit my shoulder blade hard againt the tub, as well as my hip and my head, screamed in agony, then screamed repeatedly for Ty who was asleep in the attached room, but couldn't wake him in the end and ended up passing out again from the sheer pain of it all. I woke up about 5 hours later in screaming pain as the sun was peaking it's sleepy head over the horizon. From then on I've fallen quite a few more times (it's quite terrifying) - and even though Ty is super quick to spot me when I look like I'm going to pass out now, we still miss a few and I white out and end up passed out in strange places. As you can see, it's been straight-up crazy over here!

So this year's been quite a drastic and scary shift from last year for me and my family, and frankly I'm having a hard time trying not to be terrified about this coming fall and winter since they are always sooo much harder than the rest of the year, but I know deep down in my heart that I should just have faith in Jesus and know that He is in control no matter what, because it's true. However, sometimes those truths, though comforting at times and at other times the pure air that you breathe, well, sometimes they can also feel so foreign and underwhelming - even though you want them to give you comfort and rest and ease, for some odd reason, it can feel like reading a book where all the words are out of order and nothing makes sense. These last 4 years have most definitely challenged my faith - but I am grateful to say that I will ALWAYS hold fast to my creator, my counselor, my almighty King, my Joy, my Life, and my Lord, JESUS CHRIST. Without Him, there is no way on earth I would be here this day with all of you. But I would love some prayer that I would be passionate in my walk with Him each day, and that I would fully trust in this Word:

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, 
I am he who will sustain you.
 I have made you and I will carry you;
 I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

It's hard to believe at times that God will sustain me and carry me and rescue me when honestly for most of my life I've felt abandoned. It's one thing to say that you believe and you trust and it's a whole different thing to live in pain every single day (pschological, emotional, physical) and try to believe that the upcoming hard months are going to be easier, and then despite that TO CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT because you KNOW GOD IS LOVE. For I know that God is pushing me to learn to truly trust in Him with all my heart, pushing me to grow, to change, to become more like him, to polish off all the rough edges (boy are there a lot of those!). But I need to trust Him to sustain me, carry me, and most of all RESCUE ME with ALL OF MY HEART. May God's will be done and not my own.

I pray God blesses you today/tonight - that he carries you when you are weary, that he sustains you when you feel broken and when you feel like you can't possibly go on , that He would provide for you in your times of need in amazing and miraculous ways, and that if YOU need to be rescued, that HE WOULD RESCUE YOU! All you have to do is ask. The Lord says, "Come near to [Me]* and [I]* will come near to you." James 4:8a NIV  (*Me was substituted for God and *I was substituted for He in the brackets within the verse). That's seriously one of my favorite verses of all time. And there's so much weight to it. No matter what you've done, or how far away you feel from God, all you have to do is draw closer to Him, pray, get out your Bible, dust it off and flip open the cover and read - perhaps the Psalms, or Matthew or Philippians, and start a conversation with God. That verse has helped me soooo many times when I felt my soul running dry. I pray it helps you too. So I hope your day/night is going well and I truly hope to see you more often now. Man, I sure miss this place (if you can't tell be the ridiculously long posts - don't worry - the posts will be WAAAYYY shorter here on out! And I most of all I miss all my internet friends and buddies!!! May God bless you and keep you. HAPPY CREATING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Sister Kirsten - Portrait Photography



***Oh, and by the way, I did these all off the size of an image that at 300 pixels/inch was only 3.2" x 1.8", just so you know why the image isn't super duper high-def in certain areas. =)

I don't know what came over me tonight, but I saw this beautiful picture of my sister that she posted last night on Facebook(which I did NOT take by the way) and I just HAD to play around with it! I hope you don't mind sis, but you are absolutely gorgeous, and not to mention you look like you're still in your teens even though you're three years older than me - no fair! Lol! =D

But  I hope you like what I did with these Kirsten, and anyone else who cared to venture out here to my blog today. Here's the original one that she had posted earlier yesterday, pre-edit (By the way, I totally did NOT take the original picture, remember, I only edited the picture below):


So my sister and I had the most amazing relationship as little ones. Like the stuff dreams are made of, because she had such an amazing imagination and I was so lucky to be blessed with a sister like her who made everyday play feel more real than the real world did at times. We'd spend hours playing dinosaurs - she had named every single one, I helped of course on a minimal basis with silly names, but she went so far as to make up little cards for each one that spoke of each dinosaurs favorite foods, hobbies, occupations and more. It was amazing! When we played, the dinosaurs weren't just little toys on the ground, they stomped and towered above us, with deafening roars and the excitement gripped us as if we were on the edge of our seats - it was thrilling to play with her, and the memories I have with her will never die - they are some of my most treasured memories of my entire life!!!

As we grew, like most kids, we grew apart as she grew into adolescense while I was left behind wanting so desperately for her to still just play with me. I found out only a few years ago that it hurt her just as much as it hurt me that she no longer wanted to play dinosaurs or barbies anymore - but that time had passed for her, and she just couldn't force it, she was growing up, and I just didn't understand. It took years and years for our relationship to heal - mostly due to lots of dysfunction and abuse in the home that sent us all reeling for years, that still has me reeling in fact - that pain runs deep and doesn't die easily.

But as we both became Christians again, and yes, I mean again, because we both fully walked away and then fully recommitted our hearts to God after some very painful years later - my story of childhood and adolescence is riddled with deep, searing pain, it's hard to even want to talk about it on here, honestly - but when we both recommitted our lives, we were able to reconnect and grow close once again, with little hiccups here and there as all relationships seem to have that are worth having.  She is one of my best friends, someone I highly respect not only for the way she raises her girls as a Godly woman and how she tirelessly homeschools all three of them, one who's in elementary school, one who's in middle school, and one who just started high school - it's crazy!!! But she is such a blessing to our family and I love her so much! I love you sis, and I hope you like what I did with your picture - I just couldn't help myself - I've been on bedrest all week with this wretched flare and this totally made my night to play around with (and hope you don't mind that I did this either...!)! =0)

So yeah, sorry I haven't been around much everybody! I guess you can tell why now - I got slammed on Easter with another wretched (and boy do I ever mean wretched!) flair because of the impending weather change. I sobbed my way to church because it was so hard to get myself to go because I felt so miserable, and normally I'd just stay home, but I like to try to at least make the holiday services if I can. But oh man, my body has been literally freaking out for an entire week before the storms hit, so I guess I can tell there's a storm coming a whole entire week before one comes - it's insane!!! So we've been miserable over here and could totally use some prayer, as usual. What's the saying...? Happy wife, happy life? I'm pretty sure that's about as accurate as it gets, and I'm downright miserable! Super weak, super uncomfortable, been on bedrest for almost a whole week, sleeping like crazy because the pain and weakness is so intense - it's just ALL BAD! Oh well, we need the rain, so I'll just have to suck it up and get over it. I hope you all are having better weeks out there than me. Hey, at least the Easter Bunny brought me a very yummy Dove Chocolate Bunny - Oh Yum-Yum!!! =D

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day today and that God blesses your day! Take care! =)

Friday, April 4, 2014

"The Pear-fect Pair" - A Still Life Painting of Pears

"The Pear-fect Pair"     4" x 5"     Acrylic on Canvas with Paint Wrapped Edges
 $50 - Email Me To Purchase This "Pear-fect" Painting! =0)

I'm sooo energized this week by the upcoming show on Saturday!!! I wish I had been feeling better for weeks beforehand - oh how I could have had an awesome amount of stock to sell! But it is what it is and I'm trying to do the best I can with what I got - and so here is one more painting that I did just this week in hopes of selling it at the show. =0) I hope you like it - I'm really diggin' painting pears - they're quite a fun subject to paint! I hope you're having a great day and if you end up wanting to buy this pretty little painting today and snatching it up before the show, that's fine by me - just email me and let me know! =D Have a great day my friends and God bless!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Owl Only Have Eyes For You" and "Too Cold to Give a Hoot" - Two Miniature Owl Paintings

"Owl Only Have Eyes For You"     2" x 2"     Acrylic on Canvas

 I can't believe I finally got the chance to paint this week!!!  =D I started on Tuesday, on this sweet little painting of an owl up close, on a 2 inch square canvas. I mostly got to paint in little bits and pieces here and there, intertwined with loves, cuddles, and random spurts of playtime with my boys that were full of awesomeness (and of course Nanny "Mommo" was there – which is what the boys lovingly call Miss Bri – or I wouldn't have even had the chance to paint at all, but I have the Big Spring Boutique on Saturday and I thought I better get my little bootie back in shape and knock out a few small paintings or I won't have much to sell at all so Tuesday ended up being a work day for me). But man oh man, it was so totally amazing!  =0) And boy, can I ever tell you it's been WAY, WAY,   WAAAAYYY TOO LONG! I missed it exceedingly more than ever even realized I would, which rather a shock to my system, and I noticed that after spending forever painting a 2" x 2" I'm still not sure if the reason it took so long was because of the sheer amount of detail or because I made quite a few little rookie mistakes and had to go back and fix them. Still, it was so worth it! 

"Too Cold to Give a Hoot"     2" x 2"     Acrylic on Canvas

 Plus, I got to go back and FINALLY finish up this sweet little winter gem, and given all these crazy storms the last few weeks, it just felt fitting, even if we only ever get rain and no snow in our area. But for those of you in colder climates, I'm sure this feels like home to you right now! I guess I just was in a total owl mood. I really DO like other animals, trust me, I do! My other favorites are Octopus, Frogs, Snails, Inch Worms, Sea Cucumbers, Jellyfish, Frogs, and Moose. I could keep going - I kinda just want to add any animal that lives in the Ocean or the Woodlands, but that kinda defeats the purpose of picking "favorites" I suppose. Ohhhh, I dooo so LOVE Sea Dragons, Black and White Spotted Eagle Rays, and Spotted Bamboo Sharks and Spotted Wobbegong Sharks (also known as Carpet Sharks). Those last few one's are pretty cool - you should look them up if you're bored. 

Anyways, if you live in the area and want to come on down to the Boutique and find some AMAZING handmade, handcrafted goods by many of my good friends and local artisans, especially with Mother's Day and Easter right around the corner, come on down. It's on this SATURDAY the 5th from 9am - 5pm on Atherton Boulevard in Brentwood - trust me, you won't miss it - it will be VERY WELL MARKED!!! So come on down, support some local "starving artists" (hahaha, I'm just joking on that part!), but seriously, come on down and you will have an absolute blast! I'll post the link later for the Boutique so you can see some of the other things people are selling, but for now I have to run. Have an awesome day, my friends, and God bless!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

"The Hunt is On..." – Tangle #05

"The Hunt is On..." – Tangle #05     4" x 4"      Ink & Graphite on Pulp Board Coaster

I was just asked to join in on the Spring Boutique, the Spring version of what my friends throw in the Fall which is an amazing gathering of all my very talented artistic friends who get together for good times but most of all to sell their crafts! It's a time of merriment, laughter, and good cheer, and I wouldn't miss out on it for the world, and even last time, in the midst of a flare, with the help of the sweetest woman ever, she helped me in my wheelchair to set up and tear down my little table full of artistic goodies. It was awesome!

So you can imagine that this time around I'm super stoked to go back, and now that I know what to expect (I was SUPER disorganized last time just because of the sheer lack of experience at running a booth like that - I'm used to doing henna or facepainting, not selling art, so it was really different for me!) but yeah, now that I know what to expect I imagine that I can plan ahead much better and therefore have things run MUCH more smoothly in my booth. For instance, I was stuffing prints and taping them to their backings the whole time, which I could have done at home the entire week or month before, so I can avoid that at the next event and be able to focus more on my customers this time around and not feel so hectic or embarrased by my disorderliness. I'm sure everyone has their own stories of things they weren't quite ready for, and this was one of those, but I'm so excited to be able to go back and do it again with a fresh eye and some experience under my belt - and RECEIPTS too, even if just for my own records!

But in all the thoughts of this, it's really gotten me in the feeling of spring and Easter already, and I'm already starting to decorate eggs apparently. I made another similar drawing along with this one that I can't wait to share - but I love spacing them out so I have more posts, can ya blame me? =0)  Anyways, this one was a total blast and seriously is making me get the itch for illustration... I'm thinking of taking out a large clayboard and start a bigger work on there, but I don't know – if I did I'll have to share each different section I worked on with you as I go along each day, which could be really fun. And I could do one that's realistic-ish like this, or rather playful like I suppose, and one that's more pattern, texture, and henna in styling. Oooh, I think I just came up with a new project!!!

Whelp, first it's off to bed and then hopefully I'll be seeing you soon! Take care my friends! I love you and God bless! =D

Friday, March 7, 2014

"Night Owl" - Tangle #4 and a Whole New Series in the Works!!! =0)

"Night Owl" - Tangle #04    2.5" x 3.5"      Graphite, Colored Pencil and Ink on Acrylic Paper (ACEO)
$25 - Email me if Interested

This little Owl stole my heart as soon as he made his appearance. And I knew that I immediately wanted to make a series of woodland creatures in this style, so as of now I am currently working on work #02 in the series, a playful little bear cub, who's trying so hard to climb over a tree that's a mite bit taller than he is. As for this Owl though, he's got a wild side - a little bit of mischeviousness to him that I just adore. It's as if as soon as the sun sets his playful side comes out and little mousies beware!

I hope you are having fun being your own little playful selves as well! And oh how I'm loving this newfound LOVE for pen and ink - I think it rather suits me, especially when color is involved. =0) I'd love to know what you think or what woodland animals you would like to see from me next. And thanks for not giving up on me - you have no idea what that means to this weary soul - it's like the elixir of LOVE and LIFE and JOY all mixed up into one sweet tonic, and I thank you heartily for that. Have a wonderful day, my friends, and stay inspired! You have no idea how much you have helped keep me inspired yourselves!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Metamorphosis" - Tangles #03 And a MAJOR CHANGE of HEART

"Metamorphosis" - Tangle #03     2.75" x 2.75"     Ink and Graphite on Illustration Board
Lately, God has been making some MAJOR changes in my heart and in my life. I didn't realize how incredibly selfish I had become in my PAIN because of my fibromyalgia and myofascial pain conditions and more. I had adopted these terrible habits and ways of thinking over these last two years, more so like an attitude of "I'm in pain, and I'm dealing with more than you can possibly even imagine, so you need to figure out all the rest and just DEAL WITH IT" kind of thing with my husband and my mom, and just about everyone else I love, without even seeing how disgusting that sounds. It's easy looking at it now to see how gross it is, I mean, HOW SELFISH OF ME!!! But at the time, I had no idea what it looked like from the outside. I was so consumed by pain, I dare say I didn't even care how it looked at the time, which is just awful!

I had no idea how much of a toll an attitude like that would have on my marriage, my friendships, my family, and every relationship I had - I was horrified once it was brought to my attention that a change had taken place in my heart and that this once happy go lucky girl was consumed by bitterness and anger, by pain and hurt, and I immediately knew that what I just said above was what was at the heart of the matter. Anger, bitterness, and pain in my soul over all I had lost in my life, after having had such a difficult childhood, everything just seemed so unfair. Life seemed so unfair. It's like every time Tyler and I turned our backs and got through one difficulty, like having a Preemie, and then our second pregnancy being more painful and difficult than the first, and each thing carrying with it a 95% chance of ending in divorce, and each new challenge with the same statistics being dropped in our laps - I just couldn't handle it anymore - and clearly didn't handle it in a Godly way. I'm sure you could read it in the tone of my posts, and for that I apologize greatly! I truly, sincerely do!

The good news is that God has taken hold of me, given me a good shake up, and gotten my attention once again to start working on the tender spots and dark places in me once again. After all, we're never a finished work of art - the potter is never quite finished working on us for we are always works in progress until the day we die. And as for me, I just needed some good SOLID direction for me to start working on the right parts of me to get this metamorphosis of the heart to really get started. And I praise God He's set my feet back on solid ground; back on the right track, though the journey is a LONG one and I'm going to fall flat on my face plenty of times along the way and have to pick myself back up again, wipe myself off, and get started all over again. But praise God that He is a merciful and forgiving God, because I know that so long as I draw near to Him during this arduous journey, this journey that is going to be full of pain, and heartache, and where I'm going to find out things about myself that I don't want to see, at least I know that if I draw near to HIM, HE will ALWAYS draw near to ME too. Praise God for that!!! And let the Metamorphosis begin!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Broken Hearted" - Tangle #02

"Broken Hearted"  - Tangle #02     2.75" x 2.75"     Ink and Graphite on Illustration Board
Already I'm starting to get the hang of this Zentangle® thing. On Day #01, I noticed that I made FAR too many teeny, tiny spaces with all my lines, which, had I been working on a larger scale, would have made for an absolutely fantastic and interesting piece. However, when it's the size of a mere ACEO, yeah, not so much... So for Tangle #02 I decided to create larger spaces to work within, to allow myself enough area to really get in there and create some fabulous patterns and you know what? I liked it - A LOT! It was so much more fun this way to create each individual space, as they each really had the chance to be able to get developed instead of just barely getting started before having to move on to a new beat because the lines had already changed. So I guess I already learned something new, and it's only just the beginning... I can't wait to see where this takes me in the future!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Totally Tangled Over Here and Loving It!

"Burnt To A Crisp" - Tangle #01     3.5" x 5"     Ink & Graphite on Acrylic Paper (ACEO)
The last two weeks have been nothing short of a nightmare. Thank God before that He gave me grace sufficient to get me through what was to come! Before these last two weeks I had the most wonderful, love-filled birthday party of my life (YA-HOOO - I'M OFFICIALLY 30 YEARS OLD!!! I'M SO EXCITED!)  =D  where I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people who not only just showed up to shower their affections and care on me, but who took time out of their own hectic schedules to spend time celebrating a very special day with me. My 30th birthday is something I've been happily awaiting for quite some time now, and it meant so much more to me to be able to spend it with so many people who I hold so dear and close to my heart. It was nothing short of miraculous and terribly humbling at the same time, to be quite honest! After having been literally holed up in my own home in what feels like an iron-clad cage for almost 2 years now, save for my hundreds of Drs. visits and an occassional visit to Costco, Target or the $ Store in my wheelchair,  it was actually a bit overwhelming. My senses aren't really quite used to being around so many people in such a small space anymore, which to be totally honest I was NOT expecting such a great turnout, though I was HUGELY BLESSED by it (I mean, come on, how amazing is that? I was so overcome by emotions that I had planned to thank everyone for coming and instead totally retreated inside myself instead out of sheer shock), and I kept getting asked if I was alright, so I'm fairly positive that the emotion showed loud and clear on my face, like a poor little deer caught in the headlights. But the LOVE I felt in our house shook the walls for me, and it was a birthday I will NEVER forget, at least, not until dementia sets in which is hopefully a ways away. Now, now, I am just 30, mind you!  =0)




What's been so interesting to me is that I've been looking forward to turning 30 for so long, and now that I have, apparently NOW'S the time that everything possible that I thought couldn't possibly get any worse has skyrocketed to new dimensions of horrible that I never even fathomed were possible. Family life has been treacherous for everyone over here, apparently because I've changed so much and I'm no longer who I used to be, and we aren't sure if it's the anti-seizure meds or not (which I'm so praying it's not because they are what's giving me the ability to play with my boys and interact with them and without those I'll go back to being in a virtual untouchable coma, my body wracked with pain, my heart wracked with sobs, it's just awful to think of having to go back there. It's like choosing paralysis over time to laugh and play and enjoy your children. Which would you pick?

If I could give my own two cents, personally I just think I'm different because I'M DIFFERENT. You don't go through as many trials and tribulations as I have and come out the other side unscathed unless you're a robot or not being honest with yourself. BUT, and this is a BIIIIIGGG BUT, it doesn't mean I can treat other's like garbage or hurt them just because I'm hurting. Right now I feel like an injured mother bear trying desperately to protect her cubs from being taken away from her by angry and yet proud huntsmen. I want to lash out in my anger, and then pull back and protect my injuries, hovering over my boys trying to protect them from any fallout that might negatively affect them later on in life, and especially anything that might hurt their precious little hearts now.

I'm learning the value of keeping my own anger reigned in - I found this AMAZING workbook on Amazon for helping with anger management, and even though I've only done one chapter I can SEE and FEEL the changes taking place inside me, as if God is gently taking out the badly woven strings and re-knitting them so that He can complete the work He started in me so many years ago, and so He can carry it on to completion until the day of His Son, Jesus Christ, returns to this earth to save us all who've been faithful to Him! I am so thankful every day that I serve a God like Him, one who truly knows the meaning of being and having:

PATIENCE, PEACE, HOPE, LONG-SUFFERING, ENDURANCE, TENDERNESS, COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING, KINDNESS and above all, 

 LOVE!!!

And so you see, with the walls of my life continually crashing in around my shoulders, when I started noticing more and more of my artist friends coming out with these lovely, vibrantly patterned works of art called Zentangle (R), I started to become intrigued. They were simple and yet so complex. I loved how they looked and especially how they feeled and most of all how they MADE me feel. But what finally got me hooked was when the walls collapsed in around us and we were forced to get a nanny (one of THE best decisions we have EVER made!!!). We finally got the boys back at home where they belonged all along - not at anyone else's house, no matter who it was, the best place for my boys is to be with their momma! Especially now that we have a new nanny to help out, (she's the one who got me into Zentangles® without even knowing what it was, quite to her surprise) but she has been a major help to me already. And like I said, as soon as she showed me her own work I just knew I had to give it a shot. After all, it's basically a mix between Henna, doodling, meditation, shading, pattern-working, and whatever else you want to do to make it your own, so it was a dead-ringer for me!!!

I looked it up too, and apparently they've done studies on it and it's been proven to help with anger management, anxiety, stress reduction, creativity, improved memory retention, pain reduction and so much more like even just the simple fact of helping to improve your mood. Gee, I think I could handle that, couldn't you? So not only is this an art form that is done on a miniature scale (ahem... sound like something I might like, right? Lol!), but it's something I can do in a hospital bed or on major bedrest when the real heavy full-bodied or just partial yet temporary paralysis sets in, which is HUGE to me, since it's times like those that I struggle with wanting to do art the most but I can't do anything feasible because it's WAY too involved. So with how small this is coupled with the fact that you also only need to use tiny strokes means I can do this just about anywhere in just about any situation. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I finally found something I can take with me that doesn't take up huge amounts of space and that I can pack on the fly. I'm such a happy camper right now!!!

Unfortunately, with the artistic passion comes the STRONG, rather overbearing and for me quite tormenting emotions, which at times seem like they could just swallow me whole. At least I'm not the only artist to have ever felt this way - I'm pretty sure it's like a right of passage if you want to be a fine artist for some odd reason. It must just be like I said - with great passion comes great torment as well - and either one of them, if left untamed, can swallow you up. My prayer is that God continues to enrich my passions rather than continue my torment, for it surely does get exhausting after a long time,  as many of my overwhelmed friends would agree with. Thank God He's a God who cares! Well, I really should try to at least clean up a little before the boys wake up - and turn up the heater or restart a fire because it's freezing in here today! I hope you have a wonderful vacation day filled with rest and laughter and much joy, and that God blesses you day immeasurably! So long for now!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Meet Me By the Bridge Tonight" - A Work in Progress and


"Meet Me By the Bridge Tonight"     9" x 12"      Acrylic on Canvas

Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much I have missed you all! I've missed writing, blogging, painting, reading up on all of your own blogs and updates and all the other things that we bloggers have to do to maintain any sort of readership (of which I'm sure my own is practically gone by now!) and that any of us bloggers or non-bloggers alike have to do to just keep ourselves entertained if we aren't incredibly overwhelmed with stuff to do. Anyways, I truly do greatly apologize for my absence and hope there aren't any hurt feelings out there - I know I need to send out some prints and paintings and that I am more than just a bit behind in all this -  but unfortunately such is the life of one in my condition, with Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, SRI Joint Problems and more (the list is steadily growing - uh-oh!) - and it's already hard enough to even get out of bed each day let alone try to order and mail out all my free little prizes. But I will get them done one by one, because I'm a girl of my word, even if it may take more time than I had originally hoped for.  But hey, at least they're free, right?! That's gotta help count for something! ;0)

I've been thinking lately about whether or not I can really do this considering my condition, and for now at least I just really want to focus on getting as much caught up as I can on all my projects this year so that I can get myself and this sweet little business of mine off to a good clean start this year with a nice clean slate! I'd love to not "owe" any prizes to anyone anymore, and I hate having that feeling hanging over my head constantly, especially the guilt. So for those of you who are waiting on prints if you don't mind waiting a little longer that would be absolutely wonderful to me - and don't worry - I have in no way forgotten about you! In fact it's quite the opposite, I think of you all the time, and I feel so bad that I haven't been able to get your prints to you sooner. I'm so sorry if I've frustrating anyone with the wait, but things have been just a bit hectic around here if you can imagine it. Please just try to be patient - or rather, I should say please just try to continue to be patient - you already have been spectacularly patient as it is, and I feel awful asking you to wait even longer, but this is my life and I'm getting hit hard with the realities of my weaknesses and my disabilities left and right right now and it's just not pretty. In fact, it downright hurts. But just so you know, I'm trying to add in a little extra something to anyone who's gifts or prizes are late right now just to try to make it up to you - I know it's not much but it's the best I can do at the moment. I just want everyone to be happy and pleased in the end and at the very least when all's said and done the one thing I need to remind myself of is that I truly AM very sick and these really ARE free prizes, so as long as I get them to you as soon as I possibly can we should be good in the end. But the sooner the better, right?!  =D

And once they're all done, I'll hold my FINAL CONTEST, the one that was supposed to be held in December but had to be postponed for personal reasons. Since I didn't do it in the 12 months time that I had aimed for (oh man, I was sooo, sooo close!), I figured I'd like to do it once all the others were accounted for first, so as not to add extra stress so that it could be perhaps a bigger or better prize in the end that way. Who knows - we'll have to see what happens, but I can't wait for the day to come up with and then announce that one!!!

Speaking on the subject of contests and prizes, the painting above is one of the paintings that was a prize a long while back in February - it was back in the beginning before people other than just my friends read my blog, so of course one of my friends won the prize (go figure, right?! Haha!). =D  Anyways, I had sooo hoped to finish it much earlier in the year for them, but was really surprised by the difficulty of certain aspects of it, especially when it came down to laying down the bridge. I hadn't anticipated the architecture of it to get the better of me, or at least not to that degree, but oh how wrong I had been! It literally took me weeks, perhaps even months, for me to realize that I had painted in the base columns incorrectly, putting them in at an angle exactly similar to the shadows that follow alongside them, which was ALL wrong. You see, in real life they would run parallel to the horizon, not diagonal to it, which was a shocker to me for some reason though it makes perfect sense logically speaking once you really think about it.

Already I feel like I've spent so much time on this piece and yet I still have what feels like so far to go on it -  I mean, if you look, you can see I've only just begun to lay in the cherry blossoms, and they're all floating in mid-air as of yet, so pretty soon they'll be getting some branches to hang from but even then they still have more layers they need to make them look full and complete like a true flower in bloom. This painting has definitely been an adventure for me, and a great learning experience as well - now here's to hoping my friends like my interpretation of what they were wanting and that they can see it with eyes wide open as it still has a ways to go before she'll be done. Haha, I guess it's a "she" after all - funny, I didn't realize I thought of my paintings in that way before but I guess I really do!  =0)

I really have been dying to get back to the easel on this one but I haven't quite been able to get back into painting yet - I don't know if it's purely emotional or if it's because my body just doesn't quite feel good enough yet to really get the job done - I mostly need to lay around and do simple exercises during the day and after seeing my Physical Therapist he reassured me that it wasn't just in my head, which did me a world of good! Apparently, my body is so weak that it can't even truly support the weight of my own head coming even a fraction of an inch off of my pillow (that's how truly bad it is), at least, not without causing itself intense and agonizing pain. That explains A LOT!!! It's always nice to know that you aren't imagining things, that's for sure!  =0)  But I'm so happy to be working with him and I hope and know that in time if I follow his advice he'll get me back on track - he's done it before and he can do it again. As for right now though, even just getting this post up on here feels like a such a huge victory - one that I can hardly describe, but it's just absolutely fulfilling to say the least!

Well, I hope you are all doing well and I can't wait to go visit you on your own sites and see what you all have been up to while I've been away. Hopefully there will be more posts on my end and much more frequently too - going that long without a post was sooo not cool and I deeply apologize again, and I mean it. I always hate it when I would follow someone and they would just drop off the grid for months and months at a time, with no explanation ever given. I would check back and they'd put up a single post or maybe two and then off they'd go again, not to be seen for almost a year if at all. That's not what I want for this blog and not what I want you to feel when you come here. So I will try my hardest to work harder for you. It might mean more photography and less painting, or perhaps just more works in progress than paintings completed in a day, especially since we've yet to see any rain and rain is my absolute arch nemesis and my best friend at the same time since we so desperately need it to not go into a drought. I just wish I could find somewhere more permanent that I could stay during the rainy season over here that would be perfect - unfortunately living somewhere outside of the rainy season to stay warm during the storms with my boys is a bit unrealistic - but, oh how awesome that would be! Oh well, I got some really awesome days this winter with all three of my boys that I'll treasure forever, and I'll just have to try harder to be up on here on my blog more often, as much as I can, but in the meantime, I hope and pray you have a wonderful day. Take care and God bless, my friend!
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