Picking up a dropped ball

My dear art friend Theresa has had to step back from running the Colour Me Positive FB group for a bit, due to internet issues. Rather than see it die, I’ve agreed to take over for a bit, putting up the weekly challenges, and generally watching over things. I don’t believe in always picking up the ball when someone else drops it, but this time felt right. There are plenty of opportunities I say no to. 

This week’s quote is from Frida Kahlo, one of my favourite artists, and an incredibly strong woman. I suggested of people want extra challenge they use hot Mexican orange and Kahlo style lush foliage. I used Dylusion’s paints and stencils for this one, and Distress Ink to edge the word strips.

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Acts of love

I know if I’m to stay as healthy as possible, with all the challenges I have, taking care of myself properly is an act of love. Hating my body won’t work. I need to eat well, exercise as much as my disability allows, sleep enough and take time out to rest.
Dylusions supplies: small journal. Paint: Black marble, Pomegranate seed, Cherry pie. Stencils: Small stars & Star struck. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet.
Other: Tim Holtz tall letter stamps, Pitt big brush pen, white gel pen, Distress ink, Ranger Distress collage medium.

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Picking up the ball

I often tell myself, and remind my staff, that “just because someone dropped the ball, you don’t have to pick it up”. But there are times when picking it up is the right thing; this is one of those times. 

I’ve been doing the Colour Me Positive weekly art challenge for 3 or 4 years and, in that time, it’s been through a few group admin. The current one, Theresa, lives very remotely in Australia. Her internet connection has got to the point where she’s having to step back. I suggested, instead of giving up completely & the group dying, I look after it while she decides what to do.

This was my first week as admin. I found a quote and suggested if people wanted extra challenge, they use green and a supply they don’t normally use. This got me rattling through my supplies for things I don’t often use – it’s amazing what I have tucked away!

Supplies: Shiva artist’s paintstiks, Derwent Inktense water soluble pencils, Washi tape, Golden heavy body paints and Dylusions paints.

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Skin, again … and self acceptance

Warning: weight loss, plastic surgery, half dressed photos (you’ve been warned…)

 

I seem destined to be honest about skin post weight loss surgery. I had the conversation again yesterday with someone who has been very successful post WLS, had some work done, and is considering more. I think she looks sporty normal, but her reality is different to mine. My question was “when will you be ok with who you are?” –  “when will it be enough” or words to that effect. We had a good talk and it helped both of us. I’m so grateful for her honesty.

I wrote about my skin at the beginning of last year here, and my opinion is essentially the same now. I posted a photo on a private WLS FaceBook page this morning and commented that “My thighs are less droppy than they were, but very loose skin. Same with arms. Neck is turkey-ish & boobs are basically empty socks with a rock in the bottom. My stomach is the bad bit. Because of past botched surgery it’s very uneven – the apron is heavy and low. It’s encased in strong undies in this photo. (and of course my poor damaged knees mean bandy legs!) But it’s ok enough for me. My body works despite the shit I handed it over decades. Sure I use a walking stick a lot of the time, but I do 4000-6000 steps most days, work fulltime and have a good life. Fully dressed I look normal. Anyway who seems me not fully dressed is aware what lurks beneath and doesn’t mind (well, my sister has never said she minds lol)”

I’m heavier than last year, so less floppy skin, and my middle is fatter. I think overall I’m better off for it. I’d like to lose 5kg again, but it’s not a ditch I need to die in.

I think the message is – be ok with who you are. We are so often kinder to others than we are to ourselves.

As with last year’s post I have been hesitating to hit the publish button – but then I think of bikinis, Walmart shoppers, and the fact some people need to know this. If you don’t like seeing the photos, stop reading…

 

 

Don’t assume

This is one of my “pouring out the feelings” pages, done in my Dina Wakley mixed media journal. I can get very frustrated when people make assumptions about me, my life, my abilities etc. Don’t assume…

I used a Tim Holtz diecut, Ranger Distress Collage medium, DecoArt paints, Distress Oxides, Tim Holtz stencils and various pens.

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Gerbera cards

These card fronts were made with the Simon Says Stamp (SSS) gerbera daisy background and the SSS daisy bouquet. I used white, copper and black embossing powder and a combination of Zig Clean markers, Ecoline pens and Distress Oxides with an aquawash brush. I’ll mount them onto cards and add embossed greetings. Card making is one of my relaxations, which I have needed this week.

 

Music of my life

I have music on most of the time – at home, in my car, in my office… music keeps my brain busy so that I can concentrate on whatever I’m doing. I know that sounds odd – but it’s common with addicts, including food addicts like myself.

I listen to a wide range of music from opera to rock and hip hop. Favourites include HIM, Queen, P!nk, Meatloaf, Kiss and Nickelback. I often record the lyrics in my art journals. Why? Because my journals are about the things in my life and in my head – and music is a big part of that.

Dylusions – Paint: After midnight, Calypso teal, Mushy peas. Stencils: Diamonds in the rough, Shutters, Squares. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other – Pitt big brush pen, Ranger collage medium, Distress black soot ink, black Archival ink, white gel pen.

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Fat stigma

This page tells the story but there’s also a lot of back story. Those of you who follow me know it already. My body has changed but my attitude hasn’t – all bodies deserve to be loved and respected regardless of weight, shape, sexuality and so on. Everyone deserves good medical care, free of bias. I am grateful to people like Izzy who are changing the medical landscape, one brave move at a time.

Dylusions – Paints: Bubblegum pink, Crushed grape, Lemon Zest. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Stencils: Stencil It, Sugar Lumps, Teardrops.
Other: Archival Ink, Distress ink, white gel pen, Pitt big brush pen, Ranger Collage medium.   fat stigma

Star Struck!

This week’s quote speaks to me – I’m a firm believer in the power of gratitude, and this is a timely reminder not to whine! I’ve got a friend who is struggling to make the changes they say they want. I’ve suggested more than once their lack of clarity, and gratitude, is getting in the way of the Universe providing for them.

The challenge was to use acrylic paint, and stars. I have plenty of star stencils from Tim Holtz & Dyan Reaveley, so used dark blue paint, silver and copper Nuvo mousse and Golden Fibre paste for the stars. The background is Dylusions paints because I love their intense colours.

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Art classes in Greymouth went well

I taught an art journal class on Thursday night and a gelli print class on Saturday in Greymouth, through Left Bank Art Gallery. The classes were held at CoRe, a fantastic community facility run by Cassandra Struve, one of those people who has so much passion for community development and can see the possibilities then act on them.

Some of the people who attended didn’t want to be photographed, which is fine, so these photos are entirely representative. People seemed to get a lot out of it and enjoy the processes. I had brunch with Penny Kirk yesterday and spotted a women who had attended the gelli class. I said hi and she told me she’s already turning her gelli prints into cards and will be buying her own gelli plate.

I’m already talking with Cassandra about running more classes in the new year, taking people to the next level with art journals and printing. As I said to Tony this morning, it’s funny that when you travel away you quite often get more support than at home. Perhaps when you’re local people assume you don’t have much to offer, or figure they can catch you any time?

Here’s a few photos of the classes and what people created. Enjoy!