Root Canal

I had an emergency root canal yesterday.  Not fun, but way better than any dental appointments I’ve had in the past.  First, this oral surgeon took the time to actually numb me completely.  Which was made more difficult because my roots run- not down from the teeth like normal people but – up and around.  So on the roof of my mouth and under my tongue.  He used 5 different sets of injections over an hour long time period to get me completely numb.

He asked if I was cold, because I was shaking like a wet Chihuahua.  I have had hideous experiences with dentists and my anxiety is well founded.  I was not cold, but waiting for the excruciating pain I always feel when they work on my teeth, because they never get it numb.  It is always quite numb on the surface, but the second they start to drill, BAM!  They hit nerves that are as wide awake as they come. Which causes me to suffer and try to hold still, because every one of them have told me I am completely numb and I am not feeling anything.  (Yeah, right.  I know when I can feel you drilling in my teeth-I don’t care how much of that crap you’ve shot in my mouth.  It IS NOT NUMB!)  We now have a reason for this-my teeth have roots that grow in the wrong way leading to injecting through tendons.  Thank the Lord this guy knew that and actually did numb me.  I was so thankful there was no pain, I actually cried with relief.  I’m sure they think I’m the biggest wimp they’ve ever had in their office, but who cares.  I know what I’ve been through and I know how much pain I endure each and every day.

I have been creating things non-stop!  Last week I thought I’d try creating my own fabric from paper.  Here’s the link to that tutorial:  Construction Paper Fabric .

I found the process to be somewhat lengthy and the end results less than satisfying for the amount of money spent on the supplies needed to create the fabric.  I have other, much more frugal, ways to create a “fabric” to use in my art journals.  I did, however, create several sheets of construction paper designs I had planned to make into the fabric.  Since I only turned one of the many construction paper sheets into fabric before deciding the effort was not worth the results, I have many, many colored/painted/sprayed/whatever sheets of construction paper which are for the most part unusable in other projects.

Until something occurred to me this morning!  Cut up these sheets of paper into strips and make paper beads out of them.

They are lovely!  And so quick and easy to create.  I have Dollar Tree containers filled with my handcrafted paper beads.

Because I used oil pastels on the paper they will be more difficult to use in other applications, unless you seal them.  Which is why paper beads are so wonderful because they are sealed anyway.  The resulting beads have delighted me.  I will post pictures of them once they’ve dried.

I also made an affirmation tree from clay.  Here’s the link to that tutorial:  Affirmation Tree.

This is a Jenniebellie tutorial, and she’s one of my favorite you-tubers.  I just love her channels and I am on her site often.  I encourage you to check her out.  Another of my favorite on-line people is Lindsay, the Frugal Crafter. 

I have taken her watercolor lessons and ran with them.  I had never tried watercolor until this past January, following Jeff’s passing.  I found Lindsay online during one of my I-can’t-sleep-no-matter-what-I-do nights.  I have been going through her tutorials and have developed a love of all things watercolor!  I hope to sell some of my paintings and cards for our Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research.

So I am continuing my work on art journals, paintings, organization and anything else I think might sell.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress.






Things created so far today:



Well, so far I’ve finished an art journal, did a background page in my bible journal (for the class I teach), made 10 multi-media tags, finished an art journal cover, fought with my computer over printing my class materials for tomorrow night’s class, made a jar to hold an abundance of wood beads, and made a small storage unit from a recycled cardboard box and foam core.

The welcome signs are waiting for me to sell later on.  Each was made with recycled materials found around the house.  I have made several painted pages for art journals as well as a very interesting cover made from tissue paper.  These are drying and I will post pictures later.

Hopefully you are joining me in the “Bust My Stash” challenge and have been using up things you have around your house.  Please feel free to add your own ideas and suggestions to the challenge.  We are going to make so much stuff it will boggle our minds!  I am anxious to have plenty of space to work and the only way that will happen is if I clear out my stash of stuff.

I’ll post more creations tomorrow!  Happy creating everybody!


Mother’s Day!

Today is a rough one, the first Mother’s Day since Jeff’s passing.  Made worse since I thought Mother’s Day was NEXT Sunday rather than this Sunday.  I suppose that is because we’ve had two very busy weekends in a row with college graduations and it slipped my mind.  Nevertheless, I was unprepared for Mother’s Day being today.

I always get my MIL a hanging plant.  Every single year.  I don’t know why, but that’s what we do.  This year we gave her a hanging Bleeding Hearts basket.  Lovely.

When my parents built their new house on the water, I bought Mom a beautiful flowering Cherry tree.  It was truly spectacular.  Then it was struck by lightening.  Now it is coming back, but it is a bit less impressive than it had been.  They have sold that home and have purchased another one in town.  (They had been planning to sell it before Jeff’s passing, this isn’t a surprise or anything.)  Since they are moving-they have both homes inspected tomorrow-I will be giving her another flowering Cherry tree for their new yard.  In the mean time I created a welcome sign for their new entry way.  Here it is:Mom's Mother's Day Ceiling Fan Welcome Sign. 2

I’m making a few more to sell, but this one is for Mom.  It turned out cute, and I’m quite pleased with it.  I wish I were a better photographer, but it is what it is.

Hope all the Mom’s out there are having a great Mother’s Day.  Enjoy yourselves and don’t forget to let the family wait upon you hand and foot!




Graduation Weekend

Last weekend our daughter Katie graduated from GVSU and this weekend our son Evan graduated from Owens in Ohio.  Katie was on the Dean’s List, Evan graduated summa cum laude!  I am a proud mama!!

We went to Ohio with all of us and the grandparents.  So there were 12 of us.  DH and Evan attended the honors breakfast on Friday morning, my Dad, DH, Evan and I attended the class-specific awards luncheon at noon and then we all went on a tour of the buildings and shop where he’s spent so many hours of his life.  What an amazing operation that place is!  I had no idea!!

I am also amazing at picking out the best seats in the house!  I picked out the seats closest to both kids for each ceremony.  We were so close we could glance over and they were sitting right there.  It was a lovely thing.  The ceremonies were lovely, but they were both long. 

Extremely LONG.

One had 1500 students graduating, the other had 1100.


Another Challenge-if You’re Up To It…

So, after thinking about my no-spending/use up my stash challenge I thought of another one which might be interesting.

Post what you create.  Everyday.  By the end of the year there should be as huge list, don’t you think?  Are you up to this one?

So far today-5/3/16-I have made recycled buttons, 13 sheets of paper, two art journal covers, one small art journal, and I am still going strong…My papers are drying.  Once they are dry I will be making signatures for a couple of the art journal covers…

Use up what you have, create art and beauty with whatever you find.  Enjoy the journey and let’s see what great stuff we can come up with this year!  Are you with me??



Frugality and A Challenge!

As I mentioned, I have become a working artist-creating all sorts of things.  Which leads me to my challenge:  Use up what I have before I purchase more!

My challenge, and yours too should you choose to accept it, is to spend nothing on supplies to create my artwork.

This obviously wouldn’t include things like adhesives, etc.  Those things are used in nearly all my work and will have to be replaced as I use them up.  I’m talking about other non-essentials like new stamps, markers, pastels, fabrics, stencils, paper packages, etc.  My goal is to use everything in my workroom stash before I go out and purchase more.

The reason for this is two-fold:

1.  I have way to much stuff and have to use it up simply to clear space in my workroom.  Things are so bad in here I have a small pathway from the door to my work desk where I can walk, otherwise I have totes filled with stuff stacked everywhere.  ENOUGH!  Use it up or donate it.  I have to have space to create and I will have it, one way or the other.

2.  Cost.  The cost of my stash boggles my mind.  I have jewelry making stuff, puppet making stuff, art journal making stuff, painting stuff, scrapbook stuff, miniature stuff, bead making stuff, Bible journaling stuff, stamps, fabric, patterns, buttons, sewing machines, ribbon, flower making stuff, inks and dyes, etc.  That’s just some of the stuff I can see while sitting here typing this post.  There is so much more in the other room…

And I won’t use it up unless I make a serious decision to do just that.  So, here is my challenge to me and to you:


Purchase nothing-except essentials like adhesives-until the first of the year.  This won’t be easy.  Especially since I ordered from Dick Blick last night and have so much more on my wish list…but it’s a challenge worth doing.  If I can create and sell my artwork using what I already have on hand, I will:

1.  Become a better artist by using my creativity and ingenuity.

2.  Save money for those things that I really want or need.

3.  Create space in which to work.  Freedom from clutter will enhance my work space, my mental health and my artistic pursuits.

4.  Prove to myself I have the internal strength and fortitude to stop buying art supplies!  This is my weakness.  I love the rush I get from a delivery of new art supplies!  It’s so great to open the packages and caress the pencils, paints, brushes, papers, etc.  My current love is pan pastels, but I will resist the urge to purchase them!!! I have soft pastels galore, so there is no need for pan pastels right now.  But I want them!!!

If you are interested in joining me in this challenge, let me know!  I will be posting many DIY’s for creating your own art supplies, ideas on how to use what you have, recommendations for cheap art supplies, and my creations using what I have.  I will post tutorials as well, just so we can do these things together.

Now your stash won’t have everything mine does, and that’s alright.  We will make do and substitute supplies where needed.  Don’t stress!  This challenge will be fun and a wonderful way to stretch our creativity!  And I have every intention of banking the money I would have spent on supplies to use for something spectacular!

Let’s get started!

Evaluation and a New Direction

Many things have changed in my life this past winter.  Changes that I did not want or that I saw coming…But with change there is opportunity for growth and greater understanding of our fellow human beings.  Most of which are just doing the best they can in their life circumstance.

Some of the insights I have gleaned from this journey:

1.  Serve a higher power than yourself.  In my case it is Jesus Christ.  When we focus on the big picture, when we serve Christ with love and grace, when we act in ways that are selfless and giving, we become better people.  Happier people.  And we make our corner of the world a better place to be.  Find something that takes you out of your own little world and invest yourself in it.  A favorite charity, the arts, mentor kids, do something which brings you out of your comfort zone and into the world where life is happening.  You will be glad you did.

2.  Once you have your priorities in place (mine:  God, family and friends, everything else) then you can make decisions based on those priorities.  For example:  I have made the decision to become a working artist.  I have been creating things to sell at various venues and on line.  Once I made the decision, the pressure was removed.  It’s like I have already succeeded simply because I made the choice to invest myself fully in my art.

While this may sound silly to some, this was a huge breakthrough for me.  Because I have never quite found my niche’.  All of a sudden, when I made the choice, I have found where I belong.  Pressure is gone and creativity is overflowing.  It’s a beautiful thing.

3.  Figure out who you are.  This has been surprisingly difficult for me.  I am a people-pleaser and to think of myself is rather a foreign concept.  I have taken personality tests, aptitude tests, interest tests, etc. trying to get a handle on who I am and what I’m all about.  Journaling has become one of my ways to sort out some of these things.

4.  If I please God first, the next person in line should be myself.  I don’t have to be a self-centered ass, but it’s alright for me to say NO.  I should be as much a priority in my life as anyone else.  I don’t have to be a doormat or a martyr.  I don’t have to accept verbal abuse and insults.  I don’t have to be the person others laugh at and put down, just because they always have.  I am a person of great value and in God’s eyes I am exactly the person He wants me to be.  I am enough and worthy of respect.

These are just a few of the insights I have gathered over this extremely difficult winter.  And as time goes on, I expect I will discover more truths about who I am and what I’m all about.  Hope you hang around to enjoy this journey!