A positive decision can change your life.

Hello you marvelous mind-blowing mondo cool go go dancing angels!  I hope you have had a splendid weekend.  I’ve been doing some redesigning and some painting this weekend.  I have decided to revamp Peachbutter’s logo.  One would think that my being an artist and all that I would have such an easy time with this task.  Not so I’m afraid.  I’m vacillating back and forth between three different designs.  I’ve been getting feedback from some friends and, par for the course, their feedback is all over the board.  LOL  I’m almost at the point of putting all three designs on the blog and Facebook and asking for feedback. 

Tonight I want to share a couple of things with you.  The first thing I would like to talk about is the feeling of hopelessness and general malaise that so many people are dealing with right now.  While, it’s true that the US economy is struggling right now, it is not true that the end of the world has come.  I know people are hurting and many people are struggling right now.  I just want to reach out to all of you and tell you that it’s going to get better.  We are not a nation of quitters.  We are a nation of overcomers and champions!  Sometimes we get so caught up in focusing on what is wrong around us that we forget to step back and focus on what is fabulous. 

I had dinner with a friend the other night and we were discussing things that we can do to make life better for those people we come into contact with.  There were the usual ideas of sharing food, clothes etc.  I made the comment that sometimes it’s the little things in life that people remember the most.  My friend looked at me and said, “Yeah it is.  It’s amazing what a touch can convey.  A warm hug or a sincere smile and compliment.  What it really boils down to is love.  It’s all about giving love.”  And you know what?  He’s exactly right. 

I was doing a bit of reading today and I ran across this quote from Alistair Cooke……I think it’s something worth sharing and something I definitely want to remind myself of. 

“In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway.  So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly, that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good works, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball and to bounce a baby.” 

With these things in mind I wanted to show you some cool stuff.  Remember my joy at finding that little box of pastels the other day?  Well I have more funky groovy kinda news.  I cleaned out the rest of that trolly and not only did I find another box of the oil pastels but I found a box of chalk pastels as well as a small box of water based oil paints!  I think I need to reorganize and clean more often.  Just sayin.  Here is a pic of the newly found booty.

New found pastels

Aqua Oils

 What is really funny about me finding all of these things is that I discovered them after I made a trip to the art supply store to purchase some new oil pastels.  I tried my sweet babies.  I tried with all my might to resist them.  I did!  I did!  I lusted after them online and closed the window and did some sketching.  I went back and lusted some more, closed the window and did some more sketching.  But, it was too late.  It was like some sort of art porn had possessed me and I had to have these oil pastels.  As I entered the doors the air conditioner hit my face, wafting me in with a gentle caress.  Yes, this was going to happen, there was no use fighting it anymore.  After a few minutes of letting my fingers dance over several different boxes, my choice was made.  I eagerly walked up to the register and purchased this box of deeply colored beauties.  They were mine.  I loved them and they loved me back.  And here they are in all of their colorful glory….

New Oil Pastels

 I used oil pastels to complete J122.  Do you remember it?  This was the initial sketch…..

Initial Cactus J Sketch

 And here is the finished painting.  I decided to go whimsical with this piece.  I know I know….what a surprise. Heh.  I titled this J122 Hot Snack.

J122 Hot Snack

 Here is a close up of the Lizard.  I had to put some pink cowgirl boots on her.  I mean seriously, a girl needs to be stylish when she’s munchin on hot chili peppers! 

Hot Snack Close Up

 So there you have it my angels.  I hope you found a smile or two here tonight.  You make me smile every time you visit, leave comments or email me.  I cherish it when you share with me and allow me to share in your joys.  I’m making the decision to look for the positive in my life and in those around me.  Won’t you join me in this?  Perhaps we will be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  I love you.  You’re spectacular and brilliant.  I’m blessed to know you!

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Die fear die!

Hello my galactic gladiators!  You look marvelous in your love armour!  Just sayin.

Tonight I wanted to share some things with you about my struggles with some fears.  You know, there are many different types of strength.  There is the physical strength that we as humans admire.  The stamina that we witness as athletes work through their pain in order to reach the finish line.  They are often rewarded with tangible things such as medals, trophies and even t-shirts when they finish a race. 

Then there is the strength of a soldier and that soldiers family.  ( I use soldier as a generic term here because this really applies to every branch of the military. )  The soldier has to overcome a fear that runs through their veins like electricity when they are in battle.  The family back home has to overcome this same sort of electrified fear every time they hear of a battle close to where their loved one is stationed.  There are thousands of people doing this on a daily basis and very few of them ever see a medal.  That doesn’t make their service or their strength any less meaningful.  And to any of you who are military or family of military, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There is the strength we see when someone is dealing with a terminal illness.  Often the person with the disease handles things much better than those around them.  These people look death right in the face and find the courage to live their lives to the fullest while they can.  This was the case with my family when my sister was dying of cancer. 

Then there is the everyday person like me.  I don’t have a spouse in service who I worry about every night before I sleep.  I am not dealing with any major medical issues.  And yet, I have fears.  I have a fear that I won’t be accepted because of my size.  I have fears about my age, my art, my business and whether or not I’m the absolute best mommy I can be to my dog Maddison. 

Today was really hard for me.  I was really missing my sister today.  I mean really missing her.  I spent the better part of the day trying to stop crying and wondering why it was so strong today.  My sister has been gone since 2004.  Most of the time, I’m okay.  Most of the time I remember her fondly and tell her I love her and move on with my day.  Then there are days like today that feel like I can’t quite catch my breath. 

I realized today that there are certain aspects of my life that I’m unhappy with.  Mainly I’m unhappy with myself because I let my fears stop me from living my life to the fullest sometimes.  Well you know what?  I’m SICK of it.  I read recently that we are all just one decision away from changing our lives.  Today I made a decision.  I’m not going to live in fear anymore.  I know I will still have fears but I refuse to let them stop me from living a full and happy life.  There  is a strength in allowing others to see your vulnerabilites.  This is why I’m sharing mine with you tonight. 

A friend who is on a forum I frequent said the other day, “I want memories, not regrets.”  That really hit home with me.  I love people.  I really do love them.  I try to live my life in such a way as to never intentionally hurt others.  Now it’s time for me to start giving myself that same love and respect.  I’ve decided that I’m pretty groovy and I deserve good things in life.  There will be no medals awared, but oh the rewards will be magnificent!

So if you are dealing with fears too then I invite you to join me in my new mantra.  Die fear die!  I have a passion for life and the courage to live it!  Blessings and love to you all.

You are more.

I heard a song while I was sitting in the drive through at my bank today.  The lyrics are beautiful and it touched me so deeply that I cried.  I didn’t even care who saw me.  The song is titled You are More by Tenth Avenue North.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly encourage you to toddle on over to You Tube and check it out.  Here are the lyrics. 

There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

But don’t you know who you are,
What’s been done for you?
Yeah don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you too

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

God has really been showing me his love this week.  I’m so grateful for this.  I hope your day was most magnificent.  I hope you are feeling the love today too.  Sweet dreams you fantastic creature of love and life!

Summer Citrus on a beautiful day.

Hello my most fabulous friends!  I hope things are wonderful in your part of the world today.  Things here have returned to normal and that’s fantastic.  My mother is recovering slowly but surely.  She’s minding her doctors and has a new neurosurgeon who she adores. 

My hours at the shop have calmed down and I’ve had more time to create again.  It feels so very good to be back in the studio and getting lost in art.   I also discovered several projects I had begun before all of this happened that I had forgotten about.  I’m anxious to finish them and post pics.  I’m also working on getting caught up on the J’s so those pics will be posted soon as well.

Last night I decided I wanted to make a new batch of soap.  I’ve had some scents that I’ve wanted to work with for a while now and last night I did.  The result was this summer citrus soap.  I made this with the hot process method in the crock pot.  I absolutely love the way the colors turned out.  It’s a lovely yellow soap with pink embeds.  It has a bright sparkly citrus fruity scent that is heavenly! 

Summer Citrus Soap

Summer Citrus Soap

It was so much fun making this soap.  I had to laugh this morning when I woke up and couldn’t wait to cut it.  I can’t really explain why I was so happy and excited about this batch, but honestly I felt like I was a kid on Christmas morning.  After I trimmed the bars and made the soap balls I washed my hands.  The lather was amazing.  This was a new recipe and I’m really really happy with it. 

And just a heads up, it’s almost time for another giveaway.  WOO HOO!  I love giveaways.  They are so much fun and I always make new friends in the process. 

The rest of today is going to be spent creating.  I love you all and I mean that sincerely.  🙂  Now hug your most beautiful self and go out and have a jazzy kinda day!  I’ll see you tomorrow. 

 

 

Beauty in light and laughter

Hello you dancing stars of awesomeness!  I hope you have had a wonderful day today.  My day was gloriously beautiful.  The sun was out, the flowers are blooming and the colors just seemed more vivid to me today.  It wasn’t too long ago that I prayed and asked God to put people in my life who could love me where I am while still helping me to get where I want to go.  I also ask Him daily to help me to be an instrument of His light and love. 

I got to spend some time today with my mentor.  I always enjoy this time because I am always reminded of my good qualities and then given suggestions on how to improve.  Today he told me that I have a responsibility to myself as well as other people in my life to be the absolute best I can be.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t fall down or make mistakes.  This means that I need to always put my best foot forward, even in the times I don’t feel like it.  He reminded me that when I do these things, the rewards are great and powerful in my life.  And you know what?  The really are. 

I was so aware of all the beauty around me today.  It’s kind of amazing to me sometimes how that happens.  We open our minds and our spirits and then our eyes are open to all sorts of things.  I put a new light in my light sculpture tonight and I wanted to share it with you.  This is a piece my mother gave me a few years back.  I absolutely love it. 

Light sculpture

Blue light beauty

She has one just like this except the colors in hers are a golden yellow.  Hers is beautiful too.  I have this on the floor instead of hanging because I think it looks groovy that way.  That’s the wonderdog’s toy basket right next to it.  Also a very important object in this house. 

And speaking of the wonderdog.  Tonight we were playing and she was just being a silly clown.  I was laughing at her and at one point she just plopped down in front of me and wagged her tail.  I had to snap a photog of her because it was like she was laughing with me.  Can you see the happy tail?  LOL  I love this picture of her.

Happy Tail

Laughing Wonderdog

So this is my post to you tonight.  There is beauty in everything if you will only see it.  It’s all around us.  It covers us like a warm blanket in the winter.  It comforts us like a cool breeze in the summer.   Beauty is everywhere and I can prove it.  Just go look in the mirror.  See!  I told you.  Much love coming your way tonight and always.  Thanks for coming by.  I have missed you!

Just enough

Hello you wonderful ray of love!  I’m having power issues tonight.  Not sure why since it’s not storming.  Gonna make this fast before we lose power again!

Tonight’s J is titled J104 Just Enough J.  I’m working on several things and I had to make a decision about time and priorities.  So tonight I created Just enough J to make a post.  *grins*  Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!  This doesn’t mean I love you any less.  It means I am one person with only so many hours in a day.  LOL!  Enjoy and I’ll see you all tomorrow.  Love and smooches and hugs and squeezes.

J104 Just Enough J

Beauty in the abstract.

Hello you beautiful love visionaries!  Today I have been doing a lot of thinking about beauty in the abstract.  I’ve been thinking about this today because of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  We were discussing how different people view beauty.  We talked about how some people can’t see past the surface beauty.  This led to a discussion of how our physical bodies age and change and how most of us learn to see the true beauty in life which is the magic on the inside. 

This got me to thinking of all the different types of beauty in the world.  Some things that I find beautiful others do not and vice versa.  I see beauty everywhere.  I see beauty in the elderly couple walking hand in hand together.  I see beauty in the lines on my face and the faces of my friends.  They are laugh lines and crows feet.  They were all earned through lives well lived.  There is beauty in wisdom.  There is beauty in acceptance of oneself.  There is also beauty in the abstract.  Take the time to notice something beautiful today.  Then take the time to notice something beautiful about you.  Is it your laugh, your eyes or maybe even your toes?  Find something you like about yourself and acknowledge it. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J95 Abstract  Button J”.  It’s different and I think it’s beautiful. 

J95 Abstract Button J

Tonight I’m going to show you some signs that are almost ready to go into my etsy shop and on the website.  I hope you like them.  I had fun painting them. 

All about meow orange

All about meow with roses

Daddy's girl sign

All I have to do is find the right ribbons for them and take pics.  I hope I have time tomorrow when I get home from work.  I’m anxious to get things restocked.  Sometimes I feel frustrated because I’m a one girl show but then I remind myself I’m giving my very best and that’s all I can do.  🙂

Now I want to share something with you because it made me giggle and I always like to pass along a great giggle.  Zip on over to Jaclyn’s blog at The Polka dot Teapot.   I promise you will be glad you did!  Sleep sweet when you go!  http://polkadotteapot.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/absolutely-ridiculous/

When you think you have nothing left, change your thinking.

Hello you sonic super cuties!  You are looking major cool today.  Just sayin.  Tonight I want to talk about digging deeper.  I had a glorious day today.  I thought I was going to work but it turns out I didn’t have too.  It was sunny and in the 70’s here.  A beautiful breeze was blowing all day and I felt like the universe was just hugging me.  I got a phone call from a friend and went for coffee.  A couple of hours later I was driving home and smiling wide.  I was in love with the world and I felt like the world was in love with me.  I was, as they say, in the zone.

I came home and I was in such a good mood that I didn’t want to buckle down and paint or create.  I know this sounds strange, but I just wanted to enjoy the feeling and not change my focus.  As the day wore on I began to think of what I could create for a J tonight.  I had nothing.  I picked up the copic markers.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I looked at the buttons.  Nope, not feeling that either.  I thought about doing a zen tangle J but honestly I knew I wouldn’t make a good one because I wasn’t feeling that either. 

Then I opened my mouth and actually said, “I am empty.  I have nothing to give to this tonight.”  The minute I said that it felt wrong.  Not wrong as in you’re going to hell if you don’t do this, but wrong in the sense that I know I’m never empty.  Why did I say that?  As I tried to figure out why those words had come out of my mouth I realized that it really didn’t matter why I said it.  What mattered was changing that thought process.  I immediately said aloud, “I am NOT empty.  I am never without some sort of creative spark.  I have so much artistic energy in me that I can’t help but create!” 

I got up and walked back into my studio.  There on the bottom shelf was a picture frame that I had base coated ages ago.  I had intended to decorate it with mixed media in a shabby chic style but nothing ever came together with that.  Suddenly tonight I saw an opportunity to paint a shabby chic look instead of creating it with lace and buttons etc. 

I picked it up and began to paint.  I purposely used a very soft color scheme.  It’s uber soft and very feminine.  I love it!  Tomorrow when it’s really dry I’ll seal it with a high gloss sealer and tuck it away for the art show/auction.  A combination of positive thinking and positive action will always produce good results.  Here it is.

J94 Picture Frame J

Have you been feeling like you have nothing left lately?  Does it seem like the world is a hard place and you’re empty inside?  If so I’m here to tell you that it’s a lie.  You may be tired, but you are FULL of wonderful and magical gifts.  You are magnificently created!  You are a gift to the world and we need you!  Take time for you.  Love yourself and let others love you.  We all need to be re-energized at times.  There is a huge difference between tired and empty.  You are way to full of magic and light to ever be empty.  Tell yourself that you have much to give and let your ideas flow.  Peace and love to you always.

When life is demanding.

Hello dream catchers!  I hope your weekend has been wonderful.  I have had an excellent weekend, albeit a bit demanding.  Mostly it’s been other people who have been demanding but I must confess that the wonder dog has been a contributor too.  You see, the wonder dog is a rescue.  When she was a puppy she was very very sick for a very long time.  Due to her health issues, I couldn’t have her spayed as a puppy.  Now she is three years old and I still haven’t gotten her spayed because of issues in my life.  Mainly financial ones.  She never goes outside off lead because I live in an apt. and not a house with a back yard.  Well, she is in heat right now and she is miserable.  She is so miserable that she has decided that she is going to let me know just how miserable she is by staring and trilling at me.  I have proof that she is doing this. 

Demanding Wonder Dog

I know she is miserable.  I know none of us females enjoy the female issues, but honestly, can you see the face?  She’s like, I’m miserable so I just want you to know it.  LOL  I love her.  She sounds like those tribbles on that episode of Star Trek. 

Because my time has been crunched today I had to settle for a little illustration J tonight.  It is titled “J93 Lavender & Tulips J”

J93 Lavender and tulips J

It’s a little 3 X 3 inch art squared piece.  Speaking of tiny art, here are a couple of the little inchies I’m including in G’s box.  They are so much fun to do but challenging because you are so limited in the space you have to create on.  I’m thinking of plucking some of my hair to use as brushes and try a detailed piece.  These two are one inch squares.  

I want to give you an encouraging word tonight.  If you are feeling that life or people or a job or whatever is being demanding on you, remember that you are stronger than you think and you can handle more than you realize.  Step back and take a deep breath.  Assess the situation and if you can, step away from it for a while.  We forget to find our balance sometimes.  If you can’t, remind yourself that it’s only temporary.  You are so loved and you bring so much wonderment to the world.  Never forget your value.  I won’t!   

Inchies

I believe in love.

Hello you cosmic jelly beans!  I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.  I woke up today expecting an adventure and I wasn’t disappointed.  I told you yesterday that I was going to have to go buy a new blending pen or some blending solution today in order to finish the seahorse J.  This is where the fun began.  I woke up this morning to an email from Michaels.  This email included a 40% off coupon for all artists pens and markers.  SCORE!  I called the store, they said they had them and off I went.  I was smiling and singing as I drove to Michaels.  Soon, oh so very soon I would have my coveted blending pen AND it’s going to be 40% off!  I arrive on the scene only to discover that not only do they not have the blending solution but they don’t even carry the copic markers.  Apparently the employee I spoke too either guessed or just said they had them in order to get off the phone.  Thirty minutes, two employees and one manager later, it was indeed confirmed that I was out of luck. 

No worries!  I hopped in my car and dashed over to Hobby Lobby.  Ahhhh Hobby Lobby.  They have a definite soft spot in my heart.  Not only do they carry everything under the sun but they also have the best customer service in my experience.  I turn the corner and see the light at the entrance to the shopping center.  I’m so excited I can barely stand it.  I am going to come home and finish my little seahorse and then start on tonight’s J.  Then it happened.  I made my turn and saw an empty parking lot.  Initially I panicked.  Surely by beloved Hobby Lobby hasn’t gone out of business?!!  I drive slowly up to the door, almost afraid to see an empty building.  Then I see the sign.  Sunday hours….CLOSED.   I simultaneously felt the following things.  Oh thank God they are still open!  Rats I can’t get my pen today!  That’s so cool that they are closed on Sundays and their employees get that day off every week!  I have a newfound respect for Hobby Lobby.  I love them.  Seriously, I do.

I came home and decided to do a bit of coloring on the seahorse anyway.  I decided not to finish because I was not getting the blending that I wanted.  However, I promised you yesterday that you would see some color on the seahorse today so here she is so far.

Seahorse J partial color

After working on her for a bit I tried to think of something to create for tonight’s J.  Blank.  Absolute and total blank.  We’re talkin, the kinda blank the first time you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar as a kid.  The kinda blank when the good-looking guy smiles at you in high school.  Blank I tell ya, nada, nothing.  I sat down and painted the background of a canvas.  Very pretty pink, lavender and blues mixed.  It’s nice but it’s not speaking to me today.  Then I pondered a zen J.  Not in the mood for that and one must be in the mood to create an effective zentangle. 

So, I did what I always do when I’m stuck.  I move on to something else and work on that.  I allow my mind to release what I was so tense about and allow it to focus on the new project.  This worked out well for me today because I was able to finish my friends box that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks a few minutes at a time.  Here is the finished box.

G's box

I am going to fill this box with tiny 3 X 3 inch cards in envelopes with silly jokes, inspirational quotes and art by the inch pieces for her to discover each day.  I hope it helps her to smile a bit as she goes through the radiation treatments.  I’ll post some pics of the contents in a few days after I mail it to her. 

After I finished the box I began to look around for something to create my J on.  Then I saw it.  It was a canvas that I had already prepped the background in browns.  I had pasted the word LOVE along the bottom and stamped a heart with wings.  I had also glued two blank pieces of cardstock on the left.  I had intended to create a very elaborate mixed media piece.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the J tonight.  This canvas told me it wanted to be a forest.  So I give you tonight’s J.  A forest of love trees.  J86 Believe in Love J.

J86 Believe in Love J

I do believe in love.  I believe that love is always the answer, even when it’s the hardest answer.  I believe that YOU are a walking, talking, disco dancin love machine!  Or you know, there is a possibility that you are a two-step line dancing machine, but really people aren’t as interested in the type of dance as much as the fact that you do the dance.  WOO HOO look at those moves!  Oh yeah.  Oh yeah.  Rock on.  Rock on with your fabulous self!