Toasted, Roasted and Ready to Serve

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It occurred to me tonight that I haven't really posted that many of my art journal pages here. It's rather odd, because I'm so used to posting them in other places, but not here. Well regardless, I've been bitten by the art journal bug and I'm loving it. It's really helping me lately with stuff in my life that I just need to express in one way or another. I've never been one to write stuff in a journal. Oh I did as a kid, and kept it up for about a week each time, but that's it.

No, as an adult, working out emotion has never been about putting pen to paper. But boy does putting brush to paper work for me. I'm learning a lot, and many of my pages look like a hot mess, but they are mine. And they are art. And I never in a million years thought that I would ever create art without an undo button, but here it is. I now have three journals on the go. One smash-like journal for actual writing, scribbling, notes, etc. And two art journals where I'm using acrylic, watercolour paints and anything else that I can glue down. And it feels good. Real good.

See the last few weeks have been hard. After over six years of unexplained illness and pain, and beginning to even question if I was going a little crazy or becoming a hypochondriac, I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia by my rheumatologist. All these crazy weak spells and pains, injuries that I've been experiencing, which I thought might be mostly from a thyroid problem, well....they are from my fibro. Including my brain fog, which probably concerned me the most, because I've always been known as someone who is fairly articulate, and to have trouble finding the words for the last few years, I began to think I was losing my mind.

Nice to finally have a diagnosis. But not so nice knowing that there isn't a cure. It's a life long thing now, and one I have to get used to living with. I can adjust so that I won't have as many flair ups. But it's here. Permanently. Hence the frustration and anxiety that needed a voice, one I found I could express in an art journal. My pages might not show the anxiety and frustration. I don't know that I'm ready to put that out on paper yet but the act of putting paint on paper and "getting through the uglies" to produce something that I love, something I'm proud of, well that's been very therapeutic. And I'm only getting started.





So I hope you enjoy my pages. I'd love some feedback if you have any to give. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. I teach. I have a thick skin, so give it to me. I want to grow in this art form, so I'd love to hear your opinions. And thanks for reading and staying with me.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Haul from DeSerres

How have I NOT known about this store in Ottawa? Here I've been torturing myself by going to Michaels and constantly walking away missing something I came for. Not any more.

This afternoon, Paul and I went to DeSerres to escape the 36C heat (and of course now the air conditioning decides to quit). I needed a few things like some stencils, stamps, soft gel medium and of course, Neocolors. I had to have them. I've been watching videos using these buttery watercolor pastels and I needed them. Badly.

So here's my haul from DeSerres today. I had to make sure to get a Multi-Media journal because my small Visual Journal from Strathmore was just too small for what I've wanted to do. I'm happy with it, don't get me wrong, but at 5X8 does limit the creativity with stamps and stencils. I also got some Golden Soft Gel Medium in Matte, a 10 pack of Neocolor watercolour crayons, three individual Neocolors, a tube of Golden Titan Buff, a white gel pen for journalling, two sets of stamps with a France/Paris theme, and a variety of stencils, and one roll of washi tape in blue polka dots.







Now all I need is a loyalty program so that I can actually earn products. And here's the kicker too. It's actually much less expensive than Michaels for most things I found. So here's to a good haul and I'll be getting arting again this evening.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Photoshop Elements tutorials

This weekend, while watching a UStream video by Rach0113 someone mentioned that they'd like to learn more about Photoshop Elements. So I thought I'd link up to some of my fave sites where I got started with Photoshop.

My former store, Scrapbook-Elements.com has a huge list of tutorials for PSE.
Another huge list of tutorials is available from Designer Digitals
Digital Scrapbook Place also has very good PSE tutorials.
Scrap Girls is a great resource for ebooks and tutorials.
Hummie's World also has some great links for PSE users.

I hope you find some of these links helpful. Please let me know if you did.

Have a great weekend!