Giveaway winner and finished bottle.

Hello my little dewdrops!  I hope you all are managing to stay cool in this heatwave.  It was 102 here today!  It’s gotten so hot so early this year.  I’m wondering what August is going to be like in the south.  LOL

First things first tonight.  We have a winner for the soap and perfume giveaway.  Congratulations Ricky!  For those of you who didn’t win this time, don’t give up.  There will be another giveaway next month as well. 

Today I finished the stamp bottle.  I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  What do y’all think?  I found a brass button and glued it to the top.  I love the way the dome of the button gives it a finished look.  I also used some of my bohemian fibers to wrap around the top.  It really gives the bottle some more color and ties it all together with the color of the stamps.  Finally I added her necklace back after sealing her stamps and then tied a little key from the top as well.  The key is a reminder that we all have the key to find our “message in a bottle”.  We simply have to open our hearts to possibilities.

Stamp Bottle

Completed Stamp Bottle

This bottle will be on sale in my Etsy shop tomorrow afternoon.  I hope she finds a good home.  🙂   This is one of those pieces that I kinda fell in love with while making it. 

I want you to know that you are making me smile right now.  Mostly because you are visiting but also because I’m sort of picturing you rollerskating in your pj’s over roads made out of rainbow candy.  Looks like lots of fun.  I wonder if I can attach skates to my pink bunny slippers?  I’ll get back to you on that.  Sleep sweet tonight and dream wonderful dreams.  You just might see them come true!  Much love always.

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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.

The time has come…

Hello my beautiful love buggins!  Yes, that’s right.  The time has come for me to announce this months giveaway.  I have been working diligently on a recipe for a solid perfume that won’t melt in the summer heat. Well I finally perfected it!  I tested this by leaving it in my car during a 98 degree day here in Ga.  And while it did get a bit softer than it was, it wasn’t even close to melting.  YAY!  Can we all say SUCCESS??!! 

In case you didn’t notice, I’m a bit stoked about this.  My first few attempts were good but definitely too soft to survive shipping during the summer months.  I am in love with solid perfumes for several reasons.  The main reason being I can put them in my purse and take them anywhere.  They are small and don’t take up much room and they won’t ever leak out of a bottle all over my purse and the contents therein. 

I was going to post a picture of it, but my camera has dead batteries.  I guess it’s all the pictures I took yesterday.  So I’ll have to give you a visual tomorrow.  So on to the giveaway info.  This months giveaway is a bar of my summer citrus soap and a solid perfume. 

The rules to play the game are the same as always.  Leave a comment on the blog within the next week.  On July 22nd I’ll pick a winner.  If you don’t have a link in your signature for me to get in touch with you, please feel free to email me and let me know you entered.  If you win I’ll email you.  If you have a link in your siggy I’ll post there to let you know.  I’ll also post the winner here. 

Good Luck to everyone and let the game begin!  🙂 

P.S.  In case nobody told you today, you are a strikingly beautiful and magnificently made creature.  I’m also digging the orange/hot pink aura thing you have goin on tonight.  Groovy!

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!

After a long day…..

Hello beautiful people!  I hope you have had a most splendid day today.  Today was a mix of weirdness for me.  I woke up full of energy, caught up on all my housework and with no errands to run.  I was super excited because I was going to spend the day making soap and solid perfumes.  I have some of the most amazing and delicious scents to work with right now! 

I had some breakfast.  The wonderdog and I took a walk up to the mail box gazebos at our apt. complex.  I checked my email, answered the ones that required answers and got out all of my supplies.  I was looking through my notes when the storm arrived.  Within the next ten minutes, the wind rose to an almost frightening speed, there were loud claps of thunder and lightning was lighting up the sky.  The next thing you know, I’m sitting here with no power. 

I almost got mad but then I remembered that sometimes in life we just have to roll with the punches.  Especially when it’s something we can’t control like the weather or the power company.  I began to try to look for the humor in the situation but frankly I was stumped.  So, I decided to pass the time by calling the power company to report the outage.  Now, I know that God has a sense of humor.  I’ve known this for years, but today He really proved it to me.  My call to the power company couldn’t go through because the power company was without power.  LOL!  I am still laughing about that one. 

Three hours later the power came back on and I was ready to go again.  Then the phone began ringing.  I kid you not, I got five phone calls one right after the other.  Each call from various friends with different problems or issues today.  My friends are awesome people and they are always there for me, so when they are in need or distress I do my very best to be there for them.  Today was my opportunity to give back.  🙂 

By the time the phone calls were done, it was late and time to eat and feed the wonderdog.  We had dinner and then it started storming again.  This time we didn’t lose power, but I was too afraid to get halfway through a batch of soap and lose power again so I just gave up. 

I am working at the flower shop for the rest of the week and again on monday.  This means that Tuesday is going to be my first opportunity to make soap and perfume again.  I’m trying to be patient but I’ve got a serious need to make soap.  🙂  

So after a long day with many ups and downs I am just about ready to crash in my bed.  My bed is soft and warm and wonderful.  It’s a happy place.  The wonderdog has gotten a head start. 

Sleepy Girl

It’s not the greatest picture but you get the idea.  Sometimes after a long day we just need to decompress and relax.  This is my plan for tonight.  May you all sleep peacefully and wake up rested and refreshed in the morning.  I’m sending nothing but love your way! 

 
 

There is comfort in consistency.

Hello you rad rainbow surfer!  How is your most spectacular self today?  Things are good here in Atlanta.  The sun was out today and it was pretty hot.  I had lunch with a friend and then came home to make some soap.  I realized that I didn’t have enough distilled water to make soap so I had to run back to the store.  As I was driving I was thinking about how much I love my life.  I was thinking about how I have certain routines and that I find a bit of comfort in that. 

I returned home, distilled water in hand and got a phone call.  After the call I got busy.  There is something so soothing to me about making soap.  It sounds a bit crazy because making handmade soap requires working with lye.  If people tell you that you can make soap without lye, you have my permission to laugh at them.  You can’t.  Nope.  It can’t be done.  Anyway, I get lost in the process.  I love watching the soap batter come to trace.  I love adding the scent and I love molding the soap.  I love coloring the soap and I will often spend as much time planning a soaps design as I spend on the recipe itself. 

This is consistent with the joy I feel when I’m creating art.  For me it’s all about the process and seeing how close to the idea I have in my head that I can come too in reality.  Sometimes it’s very close and sometimes I end up on a totally different track.  What never changes is how happy it makes me to create. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J119 All balled up J”.  I named it this because I was just going for a different look around the J and it sort of resembles a ball of yarn to me.  This is a little 2 inch x 2 inch square.  I like the colors.  This next week is going to be very challenging for me because I won’t have a day off for six days straight.  I will be making a J everyday though.  I’m committed!  WOOT!

J119 All balled up J

 And just to make you smile tonight, a picture of Maddison the wonderdog with her toy.  She is so sassy!  I love her to pieces.  🙂

Sassy Wonderdog

 Be kind to yourself.  Find your joy.  Follow your bliss and love, love love!

Greatness requires attention.

Hello you spiritual lightning bugs!  Tonight I want to share some things with you that have been on my mind lately.  As many of you know, I’ve been doing a good bit of work not only on my art, but also on myself.  I’ve been studying and reading and trying to practice what I preach.  The last part isn’t really that hard most of the time for me.  I mean I love people automatically so it’s rarely a challenge for me.  Once in a blue moon someone comes along who challenges me in this area though.  Today was one of those days.

As I walked into the drug store to buy some dish soap, there was a woman sitting on the sidewalk.  I noticed she was surrounded by stuffed animals and other dirty toys.  It was obvious that she was on some kind of drug or she was mentally ill.  As I approached the door she went into a rant about parking spaces and cigarettes and birds stealing her butts.  I smiled and walked inside.  As I was checking out she entered the store.  She was very loud in her expression of disdain at the world.  She also reaked.  I had to gather all of my composure as she stood next to me and spoke in gibberish for several minutes.  I spoke to her and asked her if she needed anything.  She simply responded with “The birds keep stealing my butts!”  She then went outside and began walking along the grass median between the store and the street.  I noticed as I got into my car that I was struggling with my feelings.  On the one hand, I felt very sorry for her.  On the other hand, I wanted somebody to do something with her.  Take her somewhere where she could get some help.  But who?  Where?  

As I pulled out of my parking spot I looked over at her things that she had lined up by the wall of the store.   I put on my brakes and looked closer.  She had two of everything.  The things that stood out to me were the two little plastic dolls high heel shoes and then the two grape purple monkeys.  There was a method to this womans madness.  Whatever else was going on inside her mind, she was able to line up two of everything that she owned.  Just before pulling off I heard her say to this bird, “You keep singing.  Greatness requires attention.”   Then she was off on another gibberish rant.

As I drove home, I thought about this.  Greatness DOES require attention.  This is true for art, cooking, writing, sports, computer games and even love.  I read a quote recently that said, “We spend so much time looking for the perfect lover, when we should be creating the perfect love.”   This is what I am trying to create in my life and the lives of others.  I believe the perfect love is the love that we are able to give to others without expectation of reciprocation.  That’s the hard part sometimes.  It’s also the most rewarding when we are able to pull it off.  I am finding that the more I practice it, the more attention I pay to it, the easier it becomes.  It’s very satisfying and always leaves me wanting more.  And sometimes, my reminders come from the most unlikely places.

Today I checked my P.O. box and my friend Gaby had sent me a huge bag of stamps from all over the world.  THANK YOU GABY!  *HUGS*  She put a note in with them that said, “Go nuts!”  That made me giggle.  I have so many ideas in my head for how I want to use these.  And of course I had to create a J out of them.  This J simply flowed out of me tonight.  It was easy and natural and it made me smile because I had already decided what I was going to blog about tonight when I found the LOVE stamp.  That synched it.  Tonight’s J is titled “J116 Journey of Love Stamp J”.  I just love the way it turned out. 

J116 Journey of Love Stamp J

 I hope you like this piece.  I feel very connected to it.  I would love to hear any of your stories about how you’ve either been loved or been able to love someone unexpectedly.  Feel free to share here.  I really enjoy the dialogue and I learn so much from you all.  Thank you again for being the loving beings that you are.  Thank you for sending out positive energy into the universe.  I feel it.  I need it and I love it!

Beauty in delicate things.

Hello my little fluffy poof. How is your gorgeous self today? I hope your day has been most wonderful. Tonight I want to talk about the beauty in delicate things.

For many years when I created art, I discounted anything having to do with a medium that wasn’t going to stand the test of time. In other words, if I didn’t feel like it was going to last for decades, I didn’t want to create it. I was very proud of this fact. In fact, I was so proud that I bordered on snobbery.

This changed for me recently when I began to notice how drawn I am to beautiful little paper cards, altered art boxes and bottles. Now these things may not last for decades but they most certainly bring pure joy and happiness while they are here.

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we want to bring happiness and joy to others? Don’t we want them to see our value and our worth? Don’t we just want to be who we really are and have people love us and accept us for this? I know this is true for me.  I’ll tell you another truism about me.  I want to let the delicate soft side of myself take over more and more.  I spent a lot of time in my younger days being tough.  I felt I had to do this because of some circumstances in my life.  What I have come to realize over the years is that who I really am is who I really want to be.  And who I really am is who I want to show the world. 

This can be scarey at times because when we take a risk and reveal ourselves to others, there is always the chance of rejection or judgement.  The most important lesson that I have learned in this regard is that just because someone is unable to love me or accept me does not mean I am unlovable and can’t be accepted.  It just means that particular person has chosen to deprive themselves of the joy of knowing me.  It’s a shame really because I love to love people.  I love to encourage others and remind them of their beauty and value.  I’ve had to accept the fact that some people aren’t ready for that.  Some people are more scared than I used to be.  I’m patient and I believe they will gain courage as they grow. 

J110 Delicate Beauty J

Tonight’s J is titled J110 Delicate Beauty J.  This J is created on thick watercolor paper.  I basecoated the background with a combination of white, taupe and cream paint.  Then I painted a bunch of little paper flowers.  They started out solid white.  I almost left them in their natural state but I wanted just a dash of color.  Finally I finished it off with two strips of a delicate peach satin ribbon.  I love the way it turned out.  It’s soft and feminine and delicate in it’s beauty.  I think it’s going to look beautiful in a white frame or a shadow box.

Rest well tonight. Dream a beautiful dream. Remember that you possess delicate beauty that is remarkably attractive. Find someone you feel safe with and show them. Then take a risk and show someone you don’t even know. You will find strengh and joy in this. I promise! 🙂 Thank you for bringing your exceptionally beautiful self to visit me. You make me smile.

I am a human prism

J103 Prism J

Hello you awesome love machines!  I hope you had a most wonderful wednesday.  Mine was extraordinarily fabulous.  I did a lot of thinking today about what my path in life is.  I think about that a lot actually.  Sometimes I get lost in the business of everyday living and I forget that the reason I’m here is to be an encourager and to love people.  Seems so simple doesn’t it?  Most of the time it is. 

I looked up the definition of a prism tonight.  This is what Webster’s says; a transparent solid body, often having triangular bases, used for dispersing light into a spectrum or for reflecting rays of light.

I think I am a human prism.  I think that I am here on this earth to spread the light and love of the universe.  To teach people that they have value and worth that far supersedes these physical bodies that we all live in.  For years I was miserable because I was fat.  This misery came because I was focused on what other people thought or what other people said.  I never stopped long enough to ask me what I wanted or what I thought.  Once I did that my life changed exponentially. 

What I think is that I’m a really good person.  I’m a woman of worth.  I have a passion for life and I am finding the courage to live it.  There have been several people in the last couple of years who have been there for me.  I mean really been there for me.  They have helped me to see my value and my worth.  They have also helped me find my own voice.  It feels really good to be able to stand up for myself and do so in a way that doesn’t injure anyone involved in the conversation. 

So I have decided that I like this prism business.  I’m on board for this spreading love and light program.  I believe the answer is always love.  It doesn’t matter what the problem or the situation.  The answer is always love.  And just in case nobody told you today, you are loved bigger than the sky.  It’s true I swear.  You add so much beauty to the world with your own light.  How could people not love that?  See what I mean?  Look how cool you are!  🙂

Tonight’s J is titled J103 Prism J.  It’s a 3 x 3 art squared piece done with copic markers on watercolor paper.

Beauty in the unexpected.

Hello my darlings!  This is going to be another short post.  I worked a long day today and I have to be up and at it early again tomorrow.  My back is feeling much better today and that is a huge blessing.  Thank you all for the prayers and love.  They worked! 

Tonight’s J is titled “J97 Unexpected J”.  Today as I was working I was thinking of all the different places that I see beauty in the world.  I was thinking of some of the art I’ve seen recently and how what made it beautiful to me was the fact that it was unexpected.  I remember seeing a pair of shoes recently that were completely covered in buttons.  They were high heels and they were lovely to me.  I also recently saw some mondo groovy sneakers that had been altered with sharpies.  Also beautiful to me.  Google sharpie shoes.  You will be amazed. 

Tonight I just want to remind you to look for the beauty in the unexpected.  If something takes your breath away, steal a bit of time just to bathe in that feeling of awe.  It’s a connection with the Universe I believe.  Thank you for being you.  You make me smile with your unexpected beauty.  🙂

J97 Unexpected J