Saturday, November 2, 2013

Willowing lifebook 2013 lesson week 44

This week I used a headshot to create a mixed media piece to represent myself.  The message was to follow the yellow brick road because you never know where the path will take you...... I'm Glenda, the good witch :-)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lifebook 2013 Willowing Week 40 with Rachelle Panagerry

Playing Catch-up on my Lifebook lessons.  October is hectic for me with sewing costumes and all so my art usually gets put on the back burner.  

Week 40 lesson was about keeping somethings inside of you..... and that's, OK :-)

I fully intend to add things to the inside of the hands that I keep inside.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

monthly beauty boxes FREE

So  I just signed up for this monthly beauty box and am very excited!  In fact, my first one was FREE!

If you join swagbucks (free) you can earn points for free gift cards and such. They also have a code for the free monthly beauty box!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Willowing Lifebook 2013 Lesson Week 41: Celebrating Earth with Printmaking

The focus of this piece was printmaking.

First, I used lino and chisel to carve my leaves.  It's very simple to make your own stamps :-)

Next, I used my Gelli Plate to create mono prints with acrylic paints on deli paper in fall colors.

After that, I used matte medium to glue down my mono prints onto my piece of mixed media art paper.

Then, I used black acrylic paint (because my stazon ink pad ran out) to stamp random leaves along most of the border of my piece.

After drying a bit, I used my Luminart shimmering watercolors to add a little sparkly fall color (persimmon, alfalfa, and autumn butternut) around the page and leaves.

Next, I used my black china marker to create a border around the page.

Then, having found a suitable poem about fall, I printed it out on regular printer paper and used matte medium to attach it to my page.

Finishing touches:  Ok, so I can't just leave it without a little bling ;-) so I added a little embellishment to my piece in the form of fine glitter and jewels!

And here is my finished piece :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Artist Trading Cards

October is one of my favorite months... I love fall.... I love Halloween.... I love the crisp air....

Every month, I try to participate in the ATC swap at
This month's theme was "Orange" or "Halloween", so I combined both.  These were very simple ATC's but I thought that they turned out cute.  I did not have a ton of time as October is also costume season for me.  I create and sell pirate costumes on ETSY!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Poetry/Musings on Vulnerability and Daring Greatly

Confusing, Heart-wrenching.... Amazing????
Necessary to live and be alive.
To be a person, to be human.
To be vulnerable is to blindly trust.
To connect, to love.
To be naked.

Necessary evil.  Not evil.
Cannot numb, shield, or run.
I have a shield but should not use it.
A test. False. Coping mechanism.
To disconnect is my default.
To disconnect is to give up on life.

Hurts to be vulnerable.
But necessary to life.
Working on it- slowly.
New to me.

Who to trust?
Who deserves my trust?  My vulnerability?
My marbles jar.... put some in and take some out.
Never smash the jar...... unless......

Choose to be vulnerable.
Choose to live, to be alive, to be human.
Trust.  Vulnerability.  Connection.  Love.
Blind and Naked.
Put marbles in the jar.

Daring Greatly

The past week I have been reading a wonderful book by Brene Brown called "Daring Greatly:  How Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead".

It is a most wonderful book that I highly recommend and is available for the Kindle :-)

The basic idea of the book is that people are hard-wired for connection... it's why we are here on the planet.  Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.  It is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.  But, it is a necessary part of being human, being alive.  Without these connections and vulnerability, we become disconnected and this leads to depression and suicide and destructive behaviors.  We use this strategy (at least I know that I do) to keep from being too vulnerable..... Keep everyone at a safe distance and always have an exit strategy.

In order to be more connected and vulnerable, based on extensive research, she has come up with the idea of "Whole Hearted Living".  It basically boils down to this....

Let go of:
What people think of you
Numbing and powerlessness
Scarcity and fear of the dark
Need for Certainty
Exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
Anxiety as a lifestyle
Self-doubt and "Supposed to"
Being cool and always in control

The book explains each of these in detail and I am grateful to have found this book as it explains a lot about our culture and personal connections and what we can do to fix them before it is too late.  It is never too late for our selves.  Society is screwed ;-)

I will probably be writing more about this book as I have more to share.  Hopefully at least a few people can take something from this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lifebook 2013 Radical Compassion/Radical Forgiveness

This Lifebook 2013 Lesson was one in which I was in need of (thank you Tamara LaPorte xoxox)
I think that most people chose a lesser issue to practice with and as a piece of public artwork.  However, I had already done much of the internal work for this and was ready to move on and let it out!

Tam uses "Non-violent Communication" or "Compassionate Communication" in this lesson..... so, here goes the process

First comes Self-Empathy....

Observation- Cause of distress is failed marriage/relationship
I know all of the why's and how's of this.... spent the past two years on this so identifying the cause of my distress was the easy part.

My Feeling- hurt, betrayed, enraged, depressed, disappointed, exhausted, worn out, embarrassed, ashamed, hate, animosity

My Needs-  understanding, shelter, love, connection, safety, stability, harmony, peace, honesty, authenticity, joy, communication, closeness, security, TRUST

My Requests- to take time for myself and to seek out and keep company with only genuine people who can meet my needs and not make me feel like this again.

Second comes Finding the Compassion to Forgive

I am wanting to forgive the person who made me feel this way- my former husband

He brought havoc and distress and terrible things into my life and my home after falsely leading me to believe otherwise.

I believe he was attempting to create a safe and normal place for himself but didn't take into consideration the reasons he needed this and used me and hurt me in the process.

I wish those things  had not happened to him as a child and that he would have let me help him or would have sought more help as an adult.

I give him the gift of acceptance- of what has happened in the past and of the idea that it is ok to get help.

Last comes processing through theraputic art
See above pics

Monday, August 5, 2013

You Will Fly Again

Blogalong with Effy the Wild and the Glitterhood

"The Root of My Evil"
"The Thorn in My Side"
"The Bane of My Existence"

Whichever of these titles fits..... take your pick.

I have recently, this past week, attempted to do two things.... Effy's Lesson in Lifebook 2013 about Heart Sight/ Heart Light and the "Inner Excavation" chapter 6 "I Open My Heart".  Now for those of you familiar with my art it is mostly cheerful and happy.  However, if I could pinpoint one issue that I have, it would be this.

Somethings I have come to understand about myself more in depth over the past week:
1.  I feel like I cannot share my heart and soul with anyone.
2.  This is due to trust issues.
3.  I feel like I shall burst open if I cannot do this.
4.  I feel like no one loves me even though I know my family does.
5.  This is of my own doing.

To think of trusting someone with my heart, body, and soul brings tears to my eyes and invokes a panic attack.  I know that I want this, need this, desire this.  But, at the same time, I don't know how.

It makes me depressed and lonely sometimes not to be able to do this or to have someone with which to share with.  I really wish I could trust someone that much.  But people are fickle.

I want someone to love me for who I am and not only because I make them feel good.  I need that too. 

A therapist told me a long time ago --- I give so much of myself to others and it seems there is no one to give anything back to me.  My cup is empty and needs to be refilled- but who can I trust to fill it when needed?

People just take and take and don't give anything back.  Why are people so selfish? 

Maybe I have become self-absorbed due to trying to fill my own cup for so long.  I feel like a sinking ship and panic because the hole keeps getting bigger and I'm trying to keep it from flooding.  I welcome help but, in the end, the helpers were just passing through with no thoughts of actually helping- just there to say hi.

I really and truly believe this is my issue.  I have made a life for myself, am generally happy with the person I am.  Love my little homestead with all of its beauty, enjoy being able to create art whenever I feel like it.  I have my family all around.  I can pretty much do whatever I want.

But I still feel this hole, the missing part of me...

If I could put this all into a poem I would but not today :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Willowing Lifebook 2013 Week 27-Embracing All Of You

As I sat and thought about all of my wishes and dreams for this lesson, I noticed that they all had to do with being happy- me, my family, my situation, etc.  So the theme for my piece is "Take a Voyage to your Happy Place".

I love the background because I used lots of modeling paste and sparkle watercolors and spray inks and such.  Hope you like it !  Oh, and the Hula girl is me..... someday..... when I make it to Hawaii.... that would make me happy :-)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Willowing LifeBook 2013 Week 26 with Joann Loftus

Well, with crappy internet and a messed up computer, here is what I came up with for my lesson this week....

First, I used one color sharpie to write down my my fears, another for my worries, and another for things that make me angry.

Then, I used a layer of gesso to cover those bad boys up :-)

Next, I collaged the sillouette of the strong woman with images that represented me.

After that I used watercolor crayons, stencils and sprays to create the background.

Last, I typed out the words and used gel medium to put the piece all together.
The words that I chose were from a journaling prompt from Effy the Wild's class "Moonshine Summer".
I wrote a love letter to myself and I thought that would be great to cover up the worries, doubts and anger issues I had :-)

Anyway, here it is..... taaadaa!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Inner Excavation Chapter 2 "Home"

Chapter 2 still looks at photos to tell a story but we look in the past.  The writing focused on the senses.  I chose my favorite photo of myself as a child and wrote about what I imagine using all of my 5 senses plus the 6th sense of "knowing" to write my piece of poetry.

I will try to post close up photos of the pic and the poem when my computer and internet decide to behave

Inner Excavation Project "The Artist Interview" art journal spread

The overall question is "Who are you?"  The first thing I did was answer the questions on paper.  Then I started thinking about my art journal spread......hmmmmm
The first thing that popped into my mind was Horton who is listening for the answers......

So here is my spread :-)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Inner Excavation Project

currently at Effy has a wonderful FREE art journaling project that she is doing with anyone who wants to participate.  It is based on the book "Inner Excavation" and you can find out more about that here

The first journaling prompts were about using pictures to document your daily life, writing a poem about "I am...", and other things that you can read up on if you are interested.  The book is available for download on Amazon (that's what I did for my Kindle Fire).

Here is my cover and my first art journal page.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Willowing Summer Girls Class Painting

This class was fun to do with my 7 year old step daughter.  She is learning soooooo much and loves art!  She also thinks it's neat that you can learn from people on the computer from the other side of the world :-)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Willowing Lifebook 2013 Week 25 with Mitsi B

OMG!  I lurve Mitsi B!!!!  She is so cool! Anyway, check her out at
This lesson was about honoring your emotions and expressing the true you.  Here is my take...... this is the outside of my piece...

And I'm not quite done with the inside but here is what I got so far....

On second thought, I think I will just wait until it's done :-)  My piece shows that it's ok to feel blue sometimes as long as you can see the bright side as well.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Willowing Lifebook 2013 Week 24 Kelley Hoerning

This is my unfinished piece.  I still need to add details and eyelashes and stuff but I am a little scared that I will mess it up LOL Maybe I will seal it with gel medium and then work on it some more :-)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Approachable Art by Judi Hurwitt: Summer Gelli Fun

Approachable Art by Judi Hurwitt: Summer Gelli Fun: This video by Joan, over at GelliArts, fascinated me! I had to give it a shot. It explains how to use clear packing tape to pull prints of...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Willowing Week 20 with Effy the Wild

Willowing Week 19 Messages from "The Muse" with Shiloh Sophia

The original lesson was what inspired me to do this canvas for my wall as inspiration.  I think she turned out pretty well, don't you think?  LOL

Willowing Week 22: "Stardust" ATC

Here are my cards from the 22nd week in which we did Artist Trading Cards with the theme of "Star Dust". I thought they turned out cute.  I really like the angel one :-)  Anyway, I go the images from a free vintage online clipart website

Willowing Lesson Week 23: Honouring Your Feelings With Tam

My little Step-Daughter is LOVING the mixed media art lessons I have been giving her.  She is AMAZED that water color crayons are paint and the amazing qualities they possess :-)  By the way, she is 7 years old :-)  Here is a picture of my page from the lesson.

I think I'll start with ATC's I've been working on

Here is a picture of the ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) I've been working on for the Willowing June Swap.  The theme was travel/ summer/ maps, etc.

I'm Alive!!!!!!!!!!!! Yee Haw!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, let me say first, that creating your own homestead from scratch may be hard..... but cleaning up someone else's mess and THEN creating your own homestead from scratch is REALLY hard :-)

I've been out here in the woods with my cabin, buff orpington chicks who grow bigger everyday, homeschooling Noah, my tiny garden, my very own art studio, and NO INTERNET!!!!

It's really not that bad.  I grew up in the country and small town in Arkansas so no biggie.  I just really missed high speed internet.  After a few months of consideration, I decided to go with satellite internet service.  Now someone had told me that it is crappy but after several days of it, I am happy.  Of course, it is expensive but it is one of my forms of entertainment and helps me with my art and art classes and to stay in touch with the world.

With that said, my dilemma is now phone service.  I have a great phone with great service..... in the city.  However I can't use it where I live.  So basically, I could only use it when I drove two miles down the road into town LOL.  I could text, however :-)  So, I have been thinking about just ditching the whole good phone with internet and special stuff and just going with a prepaid minutes phone for emergencies only.  That way the phone is very cheap, almost free, and I just load a few minutes on there every now and then.
I spend most of my time at home and would only need the phone to make phone calls to make appts and in emergency situations.  Any thoughts?

Now that I have internet, I can post pictures of my homestead and my art.  So stay posted.  See you later, Jess

Thursday, April 11, 2013