Monday, February 28, 2011

Tank the bulldog

susan's tank

I’m interrupting the presentation of my altered book for a short time.   I was up all night dealing with two pups who are terrified of thunderstorms so I got just about no sleep.  Then this morning I had an appointment with a neuro-opthalmologist that lasted over 3 hours.  I’m feeling raw and tired and not like sharing those personal pages. 

I am excited to share today’s project.  I am doing a pay-it-forward through facebook.  I met up with one of the friends on my list and finally got to share what I made for her.  It was a good time just to see some friends, but it was so much fun to be able to give her something I think is special.  She has a great dog and she spoils him rotten (as any dog owner should!)  I love seeing her photography that he stars in.  As soon as she signed up, I knew I wanted to try and paint her “Tank”.  I wasn’t sure it would turn out, but I was going to try.  I “stole” one of her pics to use as my reference (you can see she is a superb photographer as she took the photo you’re seeing.

I started with prismacolor pencils and was really happy with it, but it seemed really faint (I had started this on a piece of wood and the color of the wood just wasn’t allowing the pencils to really show well enough, so I started painting.  I used acrylics, mostly golden, and just took my time and enjoyed the process.  I had a great friend who I emailed my progress to so I could get some constructive feedback and that was really helpful.  She saw things that my eye just passed over and really helped me get it to the final stage.  P1240093

Anyways, I am very happy with how he turned out and I really think that my friend loves it which makes me feel good.  It is such a pleasure to make something special for someone.  My favorite projects are the ones I start off intending to gift away to someone in particular.  What are your favorite projects?  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 25, 2011

More altered book of Me

P2210259 This is the second spread in my altered book made for the Art, Heart & Healing class.  As you can see I had a terrible time with doing transfers.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.  These are “fuzzy” and I left them at this stage because they were starting to rub completely off the page.  I don’t really mind the rough effect of them, but would like to be able to figure out how to do the process properly.  Guess I’ll play with that technique some more.


For my third spread I didn’t use any photo’s.  I simply painted a girl with her mother and talked about unconditional love.  Every child should feel support and love from her home.  I was fortunate to grow up in a loving family.  That doesn’t mean things were perfect, but I knew my parents were there when I needed them. 


We are having yet more winter weather today.  Everything is closed and I’ll be calling to reschedule the appointments I had for the day.  I have everything I need for the painting I want to start today and I’ll be moving down to the art palace to get started after enjoying a little more coffee.  My hubby called and made it to his office safely so I’m free from worry til he calls to say he’s on his way home.  I’m hoping for a productive, enjoyable day.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Altered book spread “advice”

P2210251As promised, I’m showing more of the pages from my altered book of me, made as part of the Art, Heart and Healing class done by Willow.

P2210254This page spread is full of advice and positive comments that I think every child needs to hear repeatedly.  I didn’t grow up with a lot of confidence and felt awkward in my body so I focused on sentiments that would help ease those pains.

P2210255    I still struggle with body image on a daily basis.  I was underweight until after I was married.  So that is the norm that I associate with my body.  After settling into our married routine, I gained and was in a “normal” weight zone, but I felt fat.  Its stupid, ,I know, but that is how I felt.  A few years at this weight and I had a major stress with my dad getting very ill, very suddenly and some food allergies/intolerances that I now realize I had had all my life, kicked into overdrive and I got sick.  I couldn’t eat anything without spending hours in the bathroom.  I spent about 2 years eating very little and going to many specialists who couldn’t help me.  I was back to “underweight” but very sick most of every day.

I finally tried a natural treatment that combines energy medicine with accupressure and got my reactions to food back to a manageable level.  That meant that I could once again eat foods I loved and not get sick.  And that is just what I did.  I ate.  Everything.  And I gained lots of weight and actually tipped out at an “obese” (don’t you just love the terms for weight) level.  I have to say that I enjoyed every bite that got me there.  It was wonderful to eat and rarely get sick and I took pleasure in tasting things I hadn’t been able to have for a long time.

Of course, I did not take pleasure in my body.  It led to my depression flaring and lots of self-worth issues.  It was a very rough time where it seemed my only pleasure was in eating (kinda a double edged sword huh?).  I stayed at this extra large size for about 2-3 years.  Then I took action.

I worked hard.  I did daily workouts (many times 2 a day), and I ate very carefully.  The weight came off and I returned to the “normal” weight zone (which I still sometimes feel fat in) and have remained there for the past 5 years.  Most days my body image is ok now, but their are days I look in the mirror and see all the faults instead of the strong able body that I have.  I am still a work in progress.

I know many women struggle with body image and I wish that our society would lend itself to celebrating the diversity of our bodies instead of idealizing those few and far between perfect ones.  So, my spread focuses on the words that I wish I had heard more growing up (I did hear them, but I think every little girl should be able to hear them ALL the time).  I try to say these things to my nieces so that they hopefully they can celebrate their individuality rather than struggle with it.  And I try to be a positive, healthy role model for my students.  I celebrate their uniqueness with them and I hope they grow into strong, beautiful women.

So, dear readers if you’ve made it this far in my lengthy post I hope you’ll respond with compassion.  I’ve bared a part of me that is raw.  I’m hoping that by doing so I’ll reach a better level of acceptance of my body and be stronger overall.  Thanks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Altered book of Me


I’ve slowly been working through the projects from Willow’s awesome Art, Heart, and Healing class from last fall.  (You can see my empathy monsters here.)  I finished my altered board book over the weekend.  This was a great project for me.  I was able to come to terms with some things from my childhood that sometimes still bothered me.  I was able to do this in a loving, constructive, and unforced manner and I feel good better about these things now.  I’m sure they’ll reappear when life gets to me, but I think I’ve found a way to deal with them in a more positive manner now.  That should allow me to get through these feelings to a more positive place when they do bother me.

P2210250The photo I scratched up and used for the cover of my book was taken by my hubby on our last trip to Key West.  He had run something back to the car while I waited at the bar and he tried to sneak taking some pictures but I turned and spotted him.  I was so relaxed and happy and just living in the moment when that was taken.  I want to live in the moment more often and I hope seeing this picture will remind me to do that.

I’ll share more of the book in the coming days.  We’re still covered in ice here with all the schools on their 3rd day of closings.  That means that I haven’t been teaching either.  A forced break.  Good for catching up on some things that needed to be done, but bad for the pocketbook.  I know what I want to work on today, just trying to find the one thing necessary to execute my plan.  I’m not sure I have it in the house.  I’m hoping I do so I can get moving on this fun project.   I hope all of you have time today to play.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

P2210232 We got our typical late winter ice storm.  It usually happens right after we have a few spring-like days and this year was no exception.  Friday our temps were in the 50’s and this storm came in Sunday afternoon and continued overnight.

P2210233  I’m not sure exactly when it stopped, but it was noisy to listen to as it came down.  Some places even had snow thunder, but I cant say I heard it with this storm. 

P2210247 We are lucky as we haven’t lost power and I am very thankful for that!  I’m also thankful that my hubby could and did work from home today and I was able to reschedule my things and neither of us has had to go out and try to drive on the still very icy roads.

P2210228  So, for us, this storm has delivered a bit of peace and quiet and I’ve quite enjoyed it!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Don’t you just love socks, and the OWOH Winner!


I made these socks for a magazine challenge entry about 2 years ago.  I actually assumed they were lost because they had been gone so long and then early this week a package arrived in the mail with them inside.  The package also contained a rejection letter from the magazine, but that was brushed aside because my socks were back!

P2160200 P2160201 I love wearing crazy, often mismatched socks and these were hard to mail away right after I made them.  I finally got to wear them for the first time and they kept a smile on my face for the entire day. 

And, now for my drawing…

P2170203I’m happy to announce that the name I drew from my bowl of entries wasP2170205 

of the beautifully creative blog ArtsyFartsyMe.  Congratulations Jaime.  I’ll be emailing you shortly so I can get your prize shipped your way!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Toilet Pater Tube Art


I cant remember where I saw someone making these cute journals/art pieces, but I know I wanted to make one as soon as I saw them.  I actually started hoarding our empty toilet paper rolls and for the first time in our marriage I was thankful that my hubby seldom throws the empty tube away!


This piece is not a journal-although I have 2 of those in the works-its just a little pretty with an inspirational quote tucked inside.  I started making it with the intention of mailing it off to someone.  I don’t know who I’ll mail it to, but I’m sure that will fall into place when the time is right.

P2040158                                                                                                    It was fun to play with paper and glue again.  I found it kinda soothing to sit and pick out coordinating papers and then the ribbons to trim it out with.  I always love adding the embellishing fibers and the cute little charms and sparklies at the end!  Its like the finishing touch and then I can sit back and smile.  As I’m typing this I’ve thought of one more thing I want to do to this piece.  I’m going to go back and take an ink pad to the edges of the tag and create a border.  Its just to white and plain right now. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a lovely weekend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...