Monday, July 19, 2010

Last Week

Last week was a really weird week.
Well, not weird, really.
It's just that it was filled with so many feelings.
Last Wednesday was my birthday and even though everyone made me feel wonderful, it did not feel wonderful to know I was getting older.
At one point, when we were having lunch with my son and his girlfriend, my husband said, "This is great! We'll have to do it again on your next birthday!"
"Yuk!" I said. "I don't want another birthday."
"Why not?"
"I don't want to have any more birthdays. I don't want to get older."
"You have to," he said.
"No I don't," I said.
And then I realized what I was saying.
If I didn't have another birthday and I didn't get any older, that meant I would be dead.
On second thought...
As simple as that was, I realized that, although I am not crazy about getting older in the sense that you look older and your body starts to not work as good as it used to, still, day after day that you are here means that you are still alive, as opposed to being dead.
I am watching "Deadliest Catch," a reality show about the deadliest occupation there is, which is crab fishing. It's a great show, but the main event that people have been watching the past few weeks, and especially last Tuesday and tomorrow night is the death of one of the most popular captains, Phil Harris. It is heartbreaking, but one of the most heartbreaking things to watch was Phil on last Tuesday night's episode. It showed this super tough, gruff fisherman in his hospital bed, weak and disabled, with this look on his face where you can tell that he now knows he is going to die. It is almost a look of panic as he desperately tries to interact with his son, trying to touch him and tell him how much he loves him.
And I realized that yes, Carol, you are getting older, with all that is involved with getting older, but look what it would mean to not get older.
Captain Phil had just turned 53 years old. To a young person that might seem old, but believe me, it is not. It is way too young to die.
I know that we cannot tell when our last day will be. But I will try to no longer bemoan getting older.
I am sure Captain Phil would have given anything to have another birthday.
I had my birthday.
And to tell you the truth, I hope I am blessed with many more.
Carol B.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Final Image

And so here is the final image from that painting I showed you in my last post (you can compare by scrolling down).
Isn't it gorgeous?
I thought so. (If you click on the image you can enlarge it and see it even closer).
The only bummer is that I painted this in my sketchbook. Now I wished I had painted it on canvas!
I originally thought this was just going to be a practice painting, something where I would be playing with different techniques, and wouldn't you know it turned out good!
Oh well.
There is that matter of trust again.
Trusting that I can take out a canvas and work without fear and judgement and believe in myself enough to know that what comes out of me will be beautiful.
And knowing that if it doesn't, there's always gesso!
I was also really happy because I have not had much success with scanning my work, so I just photograph it, which means the image is not going to come out as good as if you scanned it. I don't know why my scanner never works properly. I don't know if it's me or the scanner. I really didn't think this was going to come out but I decided to give it a try. I didn't do anything differently than I usually do and this time it worked, just like that. Maybe because I moved my printer/scanner to a different, less cluttered room and it felt happier! ;p
Who knows. I'm just happy it worked.
Well, tomorrow is my birthday, and no, I'm not going to tell you how old I will be! :D
Tonight my son and his girlfriend are making me dinner! YeeHaw! We'll just be a small little group, my hubby and my kids, hanging out. We've found out that we have a much better time doing that than going to a restaurant like we used to. In a restaurant it's more formal and if you're not sitting next to someone you might not get to talk with them the whole time, so it's not as intimate. Not to mention that, of course, it's more expensive eating out. So not only does this save money, but we truly have a more wonderful time of sharing. If my husband or I take pictures, I'll try to post them.
So this is the last time I post at this age, so next time I'll be older. Ha Ha! Actually, I have a lot to say on this aspect and how the one great thing about the age thing is that I'm finally getting it into my head about the absolute necessity of self respect and self love, and how that is creating a turning point in my life.
Later on that.
For now, hope you have a great day and I'll save you some cake and ice cream!
(I won't really, but I thought it would be nice to say!)
Carol B.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who has to keep tweaking my life, over and over, 'til I get it right.
I am sure this is not true, and yet I wonder if the powers that be are looking at their watches and saying, "ARE YOU THERE YET?"
I started a painting in my sketchbook a while back and then, later, coming back to it, I thought, this isn't so great after all.
So I decided to do what I would never do back in the day, and that is paint over it.
It was a wonderful thing to get to that point. Another hesitancy I got over.
I wish I had taken a picture of that painting, and how I painted over it, and all the layers of paint I did. That is my next thing I am learning, to keep my camera in my studio and take pictures of my work as I go. After all, if I really don't want to use them, I can just delete. I need to keep telling myself this until I remember.
So I painted over this painting and I did several layers, and I even went out of my comfort zone by using colors I don't usually use. I have been wanting to do that because I have found myself in a rut, not venturing out of my color zone, so I did and I really liked the results.
Then I got a Sharpie marker and quickly sketched out a face, because that's what I like to do.

Here's more of a close up. You can see all the multi-layers of colors underneath.

Then I put a foundation of color for the face.

And started to put in a little shading.

A little color to the lips (a girl's gotta have some juicy lipstick!) and the hair.

Finished filling in the hair.

I'm still going to play around with it some more.
Yes after all these layers, it's still not finished so I'm going to tweak it some more.
And yes, that's ok.
So I am thinking how that is one of the most wonderful things about art.
If art is where your heart is, then it most certainly speaks to you and gives you the messages you need, in so many ways.
And that is, after all the layers and layers of my life, all the times I have started over and wiped out things and started again, is that ok?
Can I keep working on it?
Will I one day have something I love?
And then I can start again.
And that's ok.
It's called Living Life.
Do the Colors of your Life continue to change?
Is it difficult because you fight it?
Or are you one of those people who can go with the flow?
Hoping you have a wonderful weekend!
Carol B.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Healing the Back, etc.

My lower back had been out for quite a few days. I had been OD 'ing on ibuprofen but it still wasn't going away. I was getting that panicked feeling of "what if this never goes away?" A scary feeling.
Finally, I brought out my yoga CD that I have that is specifically for the back.

This is Rodney Yee, and it is the BEST CD ever.
My husband and I got it a few years ago when I was having a real problem. After aspirin and ibuprofen and my husband giving me massages that usually work, nothing was working. I got this CD and it worked miracles.
Usually just doing it one time does the trick, although this time I did it on Monday, felt some relief, stayed on my feet too long yesterday, and all the pain was back. I did the tape again this morning and bingo, I am fine again. I am just making sure that today I take it easy and treat myself with tender, loving care, which I found really does make a difference as opposed to being too hard on yourself. The mind really does take things out on your body.
Besides being the best CD ever for healing your back pain, Rodney Yee is one cutie patootie to look at!

The backdrop is the beautiful beaches of Maui which makes the CD an overall pleasure.
I don't know if you can find this at any store nowadays. If anything, try Amazon, but I do highly recommend this CD if you have back problems.
And if you have never done yoga or if you have done yoga and found it sorta weird, don't worry about this CD. It is not weird at all. I have bought other yoga CDs and some of them are really weird and out there. Not this one. It is very beautiful and he does the stretches very slowly so that you don't further irritate your back.
But the most healing medicine I took for myself was a big batch of these!

Yes, they are my famous chocolate chip cookies! And are they ever delish! Not that they do much good for my hips and thighs, but they do wonders to put a smile on my face!
Hoping you are treating yourself with love!
'Til later,
Carol B.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Designed Journal

I'm finally posting my daughter's journal!
On one of my last posts I talked about how my daughter had this journal and she wanted me to decorate it with my art.
I wish I had taken a "before" picture but I forgot. Actually, I think the reason is because in the back of my mind I was a little nervous and I was wondering if I would actually do this, so I didn't bother to take a picture. This must stop! We must be confident of our work! I know. Easier said than done (I'm working on it!).
Just picture a journal made of plain, brown cardboard bound with a sort of black tape. That's the best way I can describe it.
I was thinking of various designs, and one came to mind, but I wanted something more personal. Then I remembered this picture I had of my daughter. Someone took it of her when she was at the Monterey Aquarium, up San Francisco way. This is it:

Isn't it awesome? I thought it was fantastic. I saw it on her Facebook, so I swiped it and put it with my pictures. I knew it was just perfect for what I had in mind. The journal itself is for something she is doing at her church where she is studying passages of the Bible and then writing her thoughts on them everyday. When I thought of this picture, it had that heavenly spiritual kind of look.
I loved the whole picture, but I knew I had to cut it down to this:

I knew I was going to paste it on the front, but then what was I going to do? Would I leave it alone? Would I paint over it like a collaged art journal?
I got another piece of cardboard I had hanging around and experimented with another photo. I decided to just paint over it a bit with a roller, then had fun painting around it.

On the back, I knew I wanted to paint a heart (because I love my BB!) and I was going to be incorporating Proverbs 3:6 where it says "Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He shall direct thy paths." I love that scripture, and to me it had to do with the purpose of that journal. I wanted to tear out the scripture from the Bible and put a real page on the heart, but I didn't have a Bible I felt I could cut up. I had wanted to get a Bible from the used book store that I did not have an attachment to so I wouldn't feel so bad cutting it up, but I hadn't got one yet. Then I remembered this little Bible I had first gotten when I was around 16. I used to carry it around everywhere and read it back then. It was very special to me, but I knew I hadn't used it in forever. Did I dare cut it up? At first I hesitated, but then I thought, why not? It would make it all the more special.
So I did and I pasted it on the heart with my daughter's name, so that it said, "Dionna..." and then it had the whole passage of Proverbs 3 from around one to ten, so it looked like it was talking to her personally. It looks like this:

On the front of the journal I incorporated the verse from Proverbs 3:6 so it looks like this:

Even though I was originally nervous about doing this project, I have to say I was so pleased with it! I rock, boy! ;p
I really enjoyed taking an actual photo and playing with it to get another effect. I'll have to try it more often!
Now, if you want to see an expert do this, take a look at Maria-Therese's beautiful work at afiori. Her work is gorgeous! And she is having this great give-away that you have to take a look at. Just look up the posting for Saturday, June 26, 2010. I wish I had posted this sooner because the give-away ends tomorrow morning, but since I took a while at getting this post up, you'll have to hurry up and get on over there. You late-night people should be fine.
She does beautiful photographic work. You need to get over there. You won't regret it!
Well, thanks for coming by.
I hope you are having a great week.
'Til later,
Carol B.