Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Art Journal Page

I've been MIA a bit while I prepared to take my son to college.  We successfully moved him in last Tuesday into a tiny, over occupied dorm room on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, he started classes yesterday, and I am now able to breathe just a little bit before my daughter starts high school.  Sigh, it never ends.

I decided to play around with Journal 52's week 35 prompt - Keys.  I picked out this awesome quote that says:

    "Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart."  

Then I rummaged through my stamp sets since I knew I had a smiley face stamp.  I also found the key stamp and a great background stamp with lots of "happy" words on it.  Yes, I did stamp the "c" upside down in the word lock but I wasn't about to play with it to fix it.  I guess it just adds character!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


I am excited to share my third art journal page.  I used the Wings prompt from week 22 of Journal 52. There was no question what I would do for this one, but first, let me tell you a story (you may want to grab a tissue and be warned, it's long).

Back in March of 2014 my mother became ill and bedridden.  She had little to no strength and she spent her hours confined to her bedroom, scared and depressed.  The only thing that she found comfort in was watching the birds that were in the bushes outside her bedroom window.  We set up a bird feeder right outside her window so she could see all the different birds that would visit.  She particularly loved watching the Cardinals, and there were many!  I don't think there was a time when I was there that there wasn't a Cardinal in her feeder.  It was one of the few things that made her smile.

On June 27, 2014 my mother passed.  It was the darkest day of my life.  I began praying everyday that she would send me a sign that she was o.k.  The sign I asked for was a Cardinal in my own bird feeder since I never saw any in my feeder.  I figured if a Cardinal would just show up in my feeder I would know she was fine.  I watched my feeder constantly, but as the days turned into months, not a Cardinal was to be found.  I gave up hope.

The months went by and all the "firsts" came and went, I struggled through the first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, and my birthday, all without my mother.  My mom's birthday came up on February 28th and I was having a really tough time.  A very good friend of mine invited me to her house for some crafting and card making to keep my mind off things.  She had a beautiful craft room with lots of windows and a bird feeder that was attracting lots of turkeys that day.  At one point while I sat playing with some markers my friend said to me "is that a Robin?"  I turned around, and there it was, a beautiful red Cardinal staring at me through the window.  My heart swelled and I knew it was her, finally letting me know she was o.k.  The Cardinal only stayed for a brief moment.  But that was all I needed.

The months continued to fly by and I continued to get more and more depressed.  Going on with life without my mom was more difficult that I could have imagine.  She was the one person in the world I knew truly loved me.  I could tell her anything and she just had a way of listening, of caring, of commiserating.  Without her I felt alone and unloved.  In early May I had one of my darkest days. My friends rallied around me, trying to be supportive, but it was all I could do to stay afloat.  I sat on my couch, crying, wishing so bad to that I could talk to my mom.  And that's when I saw it.  The most beautiful red Cardinal, sitting in a branch near my bird feeder.  It was the first time I had EVER seen a Cardinal near my feeder.  I could almost feel her with me, telling me it would be o.k.  

So I pulled myself together and kept at it. Still missing her, but trying harder to move on.  I had some good distraction as my son graduated from high school in late May.  Of course the thought of sending him to college didn't help my all ready depressed state.  The anniversary of my mom's death came on a Saturday.  The day was  blur as I tried to keep myself busy.  I struggled through the day and looked forward to going to bed so I could ease the pain.

The next morning I sat in my recliner, being my usual depressed self.  My husband was sitting on the couch across from me when he mentioned a red bird was sitting in the tree.  I turned around and there it was, the Cardinal.  This time it stuck around for a bit, and had a friend with it.  They eventually flew off together.  I have a suspicion who the other one was, but that's a story for another time.

So that's my story.  Three dark days, three Cardinal sightings.  I believe in my heart that each time it was her, trying to reach out to me, trying to let me know it would be o.k.  I'm trying as best I can to do just that.

I'm impressed by anyone who's read this whole post.  So now you know the inspiration behind my journal page.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Trying Something New!

I have a confession to make.  I am a closet YouTube junkie.  I don't watch TV, but I watch lots of YouTube videos!  Whether it be about cardmaking, scrapbooking, cooking, or just for fun, I'm watching it.

Some of my favorite videos to watch are those on art journaling.  I never really considered myself an "artist" per se, just as someone who liked to play with paper!  So, I've been watching these art journaling videos for over a year, always saying to myself "you should try that one day", but then reminding myself I"m not an "artist", so why bother.

This past summer there was a #lovesummerart at YouTube and while viewing the videos I happened across Mike Deakin's video.  I loved it, watched some more of his videos, and then subscribed to his channel.  One night, while binge watching, I watched his Q&A video.  He talked about how he got into art journaling.  I guess he was like me, a binge watcher, until his partner gave him an art journal and told him to stop watching and start doing.

So, that night I told myself I was going to get myself an art journal and start playing.  Why not? A journal is something very personal.  If I dind't like what I did, I didn't have to share it, I could just shut the book and no one would know but me!

Off to ACMoore I went and purchased some supplies.  I already had my first entry in mind and I couldn't wait to get at it. It was fun getting messing, experimenting, and learning what worked and what didn't.  It was very therapeutic, which is just what I needed considering the hard time I am having coming to grips with my son leaving for college in just a few weeks. It should be no surprise then that my journal page would look like this:

So happy I stopped watching and DID!  Thanks Mike Deakin for giving me the inspiration.