Sunday, February 27, 2011

Throwing Up The Red Flag

I have part of the day alone today. Wow. How nice is this? And at such a much needed time, too.

Today is a bit of a celebration. Last tuesday at my doctor appointment my blood pressure was high to begin with. After my news, it shot up over 200 (not sure what the bottom number was-cannot remember-but I do know it was over 100 something). Two days later when I visited again, still very high. She started me on my meds and this is my third day on them-I am now happy to report as of this morning my BP is 121/84. YES!!!!! I feel REALLY good. I feel calm and happy. Even though the other news I received was bad, my first priority is getting my blood pressure down. I didn't know it could cause so much damage. My husband told me last night to NOT get myself stressed out over my blood pressure now-it will make it worse!LOL I realized yesterday that I hyperventilate constantly-apparently that increases anxiety. I am the type that runs constantly-I rarely sit down. Always going going going. When I was at the library, I picked up a book about anxiety. It talked about these relaxation techniques and one of them is breathing deeply-3 secs in and 3 secs out. I tried it and WOW what a difference. Seriously. I never realized I hadn't been breathing deeply. So now I am training myself to do that. I have to train myself to do alot, actually. Lots of things outside my comfort zone ( like asking for help). Today I am so thankful I have a wonderful doctor who cared about me enough to call me back into her office just to tell me that I NEED to take better care of myself, or else! Thinking today of the things I HAVE to do inspired me to do a piece of art today-sort of like a mini journal page. I want to put this in a place where I can look at it each day and REMEMBER these things.

Here is my list :

BREATHE deeply

Go for a walk

Let things go

Ask for Help

Watch a funny movie

Go to the Library ( a place that I love)

Imperfection is okay

Call a friend

When I thought of these things, I realized, ya know, someone else may need this too. Don't we all need these reminders sometimes? I need these every day.

My goals for this week is to learn to ask for help (thats the hard part-I don't know who to ask, really) and to accept imperfection. To walk past the sink of dishes, or the rug that is out of place (two of my very big peeves).

Ingredients used here:
Acrylic paints, patterned paper, stabilo pencil, Prismacolor pencil, and a sharpie :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Made a tag and a vent

I had to get in and do something artsy-its been since Monday since I have done anything creative and I need this more than ever. I got some new Copic Markers and had to give them a whirl. This stamp was the first one I grabbed, so I decided to give it a go.

I pretty much went with the flow today-I loved Shelly's Gesso AI technique so wanted to do that one again. Oh, and the adorable stamp is from I Brake For Stamps, from the Winged Whimsy stamp sheet that I can proudly say I designed, many years ago :)

I told myself I would not blog about this. But, Its like a journal right? I think it would be therapeutic to blog about it, and I can also mark my progress so that I can look back at it later on. On tuesday I went in for a routine exam. First off, my blood pressure was moderately high. My stress level has been through the roof lately-coupled with anxiety attacks. In the middle of the exam I was notified that doctor had found a LUMP. Yes, A LUMP. I don't need to say where. I FREAKED out. REALLY. My blood pressure shot up over 200 after they informed me of it. She gave me something to calm my nerves (absolutely necessary). They were so concerned that hours later after the visit the nurse called me and said that she wanted to see me again to check my blood pressure. It was still very high, so they had to put me on BP meds. I am 40! 40!!!! I have never met anyone 40 years old on BP meds. She also sat me down and told me I need to make changes-I have kids, a house, etc. She knows I have mega stress in my life. To say it was a wake up call is mild. I am scared stiff. So now, I am trying to enjoy life a little more. Trying not to get stressed. Doctor said alot of my stress has to do with my personality (I am a perfectionist and everything has to be just right). I need to let things go, and in a BIG way. I hate being a perfectionist! But now I have no choice.

As for the lump, I am trying to be positive. I know it could be nothing at all. But, the scary thing is, my Mother in Law died of this (gulp, the "C" word)10 years ago. Recently, I have had a friend (also 40) who just went through treatments for that "C" word.

I have some friends in the medical field who are checking with me on a regular basis and I am checking my blood pressure several times a day (yes, I am very paranoid). I am trying to relax. I need to LAUGH more (doctors orders, literally). I have been so tensed up the past couple months I have not even truly been able to enjoy life. I have honestly tried to, but apparently but not enough to bring the BP down I guess). Not to be a downer-really. I am just venting. But this has opened my eyes so much. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am given this challenge for some reason, I don't know why. Maybe someday I will have to help someone overcome the same challenge (s)? I don't know. But I am determined to get through this. I look back at all my other challenges, and I survived those. I can do this too. But I know I really need to take this seriously.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun With ATC's-Bottlecaps

Its been a looooooooooong time since I have done anything with bottlecaps!

I ran across the Fun With ATC's challenge today and decided to play. I feel like I am on a roll today :)

Main image is from IBFS and can be found on this wonderful Faux Postage Sheet . I LOVE these images for small items :) The image is stamped onto patterned paper (My Minds Eye).

I embossed an atc with HVAC metal tape using two Tim Holtz embossing folders then I applied some alcohol inks. I also applied alcohol inks to the flattened bottle cap. :)

CCC#33:Altered Metal Alcohol Inks

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Got to dig into the ole Assemblage junk bins for this fun challenge!

For this I decided to make a small assemblage.

I The image is stamped in black india ink, then I added some Sepia Accents to attach it to a Fragment piece. It was not discolored enough for me, so I added a little bit of Caramel alcohol ink to the fragment piece to add just a little bit more "age". The center frame thingy is something I had gotten years ago at the dollar store. I cut out the center to make more of a frame for the main image that it was originally. It was originally supposed to have a place to just inset something into it-didn't work for me so I did it my way :)
the focal image is a stamp image from I Brake For Stamps and can be located here
And just an FYI (in case you are visiting and aren't participating in the CCC challenges)-If you don't own Tim's book I think you SHOULD!!! Its amazing-all the pics are amazing and the techniques are all so fun!
IBFS has it on clearance here

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blogger's Challenge-Embossing

After seeing this tutorial by my friend Shelly Hickox I knew I had to participate in the Bloggers Challenge of Embossing. I used both kinds of embossing for this and we were supposed to use either :)

Stamps are from I Brake For Stamps, the Photo Booth Plate from the Time to Stamp line :) Its always been one of my favorites :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Compendum of Curiosities #32

This weeks Challenge at the CCC is page 59 of Tim's book-Masking. Oh how I love masking :)

The charm is done also using one of Tim's Techniques, Chipped Enamel. And there's a little bit of water stamping too :)

Stamps are from I Brake For Stamps:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Intertwining Hearts

I made this valentine today using an image called "Intertwining Hearts" from I Brake For Stamps. I knew I needed to color this image in to make it really pop so I did something new today-I used Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol. The Hearts were stamped out separately and I used foam tape to make them pop out.

Valentine Suitcase

So for Valentine's Day today my daughter and I have been doing allllll Valentines Day stuff today. We joined a homeschool group and on thursday is the Valentines Day Party.

They wanted everyone to make some sort of "Mailbox" to put their valentines in.

So this is what Gillian and I did today-we made a "Suitcase" mailbox out of a cereal box :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Treat Bags

I wanted to make something to give a few friends of mine for Valentines Day-so I grabbed my Grand Nestabilities Labels One to use for bag toppers. Everyone loves chocolate right? Of course! So I figured that would be a fun giftie for my friends.

Here are the stamps (from I Brake For Stamps ) I used:

Lace background from the With Love Sheet

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sneak Peeks

These are some images coming this week from I Brake For Stamps :) Aren't they gorgeous?
The Rose is actually pieced with a piece of magazine page that I liked. The card shape is cut out using the Grand Nestabilities Labels One. The lacy image is from the With Love Sheet from the Time To Stamp line. the bottom layer is printed paper (7 gypsies I believe, but have had that for quite some time).
The Pillow box is a template I got from here and I just cut it out of plain white cardstock and inked it all up with Distress ink in Tea Dye. The Large Leaf Flourish was stamped in Weathered Wood. Behind the focal image is a piece of grunge paper that has been painted with Gesso then inked in Weathered wood.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


As you probably noticed, I don't do asian much. I admire it greatly but it's generally just not my thing. But over the years, I have acquired ALOT of gorgeous washi papers and asian embellishments-they are at the back of my storage area so they get overlooked.

I was looking for a stamp to use today, to try out a few copic markers and this image just stood out to me. I colored her face with Copics and the rest of her is pieced .

Image is from I Brake For Stamps in the Time To Stamp Collection and can be found here