Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Journal - Lady Gaga


The Prompt:  Dive In (which I ignored)
The Song:  Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga
Technique:  shape layering

If it weren't for my Art Journal and the blog I follow called A Year In The Life of an Art Journal, I would seldom take a break from being a Mom, a Wife, a Transportation Specialist, a Maid, and the over all tasks of being the CEO of Porter Inc. to just be Sherry.

With that said, I love this page.  I pat myself on the back every time I look at it.  It is not especially eye catching but it is the creative process that draws me back to it.  I was inspired by a paper bag that my peaches came in from the farmer's market.  I saved the bag for a couple of weeks knowing that it had a greater purpose than tricking me into buying a bag of peaches that were beautiful on top and starting to rot on the bottom.  Yes, I was tricked by surface beauty. 

When I read that the challenge for this page involved the song Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga and the technique was shape layering I grabbed my peach bag and went to work.  You can't tell by the picture but the entire background is strips of paper (peach bag) in a basket weave.  It is all layered pieces of paper with a touch of irony.  Gene thought it had a touch of "bitter stay-at-home Mom" in the message but I just think it is funny.  I wonder if Lady Gaga pictured me when she created this song... the comparison just makes me laugh. 

There is a bit of truth.  We all have our ideals in our mind that we will never reach.  I often find myself defending the choice to be a SAHM just like I am sure she defends her choice to wear a meat dress.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Little Bird Builds Her Nest - mixed media painting

I have been enjoying the slower rural life.  Since my sewing machine died I focused on painting... and cleaning this rental house we call home which was so gross when we moved in.  When I say gross, I mean disgusting.  I scraped 1/4 of an inch of mold out of the window sills this week.  But I'm not holding a grudge - just a butter knife and toothbrush.  Anyhoo...back to the fun topic - painting and art.

A friend with a heart of gold experienced a life changing moment recently.  As a result, she has to redefine her life and rebuild her joy for herself and her children.  My heart aches for her but I stumble over words and typically say the wrong thing.  I learned in my social work classes to "do no harm."  Plus, she lives 8 hours away and I am not there to help so the only thing I could do was make her a picture.  Hopefully, every time she looks at it she will know that I am thinking about her and praying for her and her family.

The mixed media painting is simple but hopefully expresses my thoughts.  I am often in awe of the little birds who seem so small and frail but can fly through a storm, build and rebuild their nests, and raise their chicks.  That is what my friend will be doing now - weathering a storm, rebuilding, and lovingly raising her babies.  She may feel broken at times but I know that she is amazingly strong.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrating Fall with Homemade Licorice Carmels

It must be the refreshing fall weather that inspired me to make licorice flavored carmel.  I saw the recipe on Eighteen 25, a crafting blog, that linked to How Does She. 

This was the first time I ever made candy. 
It was surprisingly easy and am I ever glad that we didn't toss the candy thermometer when we moved. It barely escaped the chopping block.

These have just a hint of licorice.  Gene loves licorice and the rest of us tolerate it.  However, I have managed to tolerate about four of them already!!!  They are yummy.  Plus, I like to make special things for Gene every once in a while... it keeps him happy. 

How could I not love them? -sugar in every form and lots of butter-  The wrapping of each individual candy is sort of a pain but I am planning on bribing rewarding the girls when they get home from school.  If they help wrap the carmel then they can have one or two extra.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adventures at Ft. Lost In The Woods

It's chilly and rainy today, my chores are finished, and I am working on a painting but a layer needs to dry so it is the perfect time to share some of our adventures at Ft. Leonard Wood.  Over the past couple of weeks we explored the Big Piney River and Miller Cave. ( I need a distraction since it is raining and our dog was sprayed by a skunk last night.  Nothing smells better than a wet skunky dog.)

Gene and the girls swam in the Big Piney River while I took pictures and ran from horse flies!  I think Gigi must be swatting at one in this picture.

 Gigi found a little fishing net that someone left behind.  She was determined to catch some of the tiny fish nibbling on her toes.

 Greta spent most of her time swimming up stream and them floating back down.  Just like that girl... going against the current.

On another Sunday we all hiked to Miller Cave.  I am not a fan of caves but this one was amazing.  It boggles my mind that American Indians used to climb up and down the bluff and live in these caves.  They didn't even have any safety rails or warning signs!

Hazardous Cliff!! Don't go beyond the danger sign. Gene scoffs at danger.

 The picture below is the opening in the cave that you climb through to get to the large open area of the cave that over looks the bluff.

After you climb through the opening the cave opens up to this beautiful view.

Gigi found a snake skin in the cave.  We had to tell her over and over that she couldn't bring it home.

Nature is incredible.  Just look at how this tree grew out of the cave to reach the sunlight.  Now that's how you make lemonade when life gives you lemons.


by Brooke Totty Miller on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 12:28pm
Letter to a military spouse
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart.
I, as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.
I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for.
I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband.
I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.
I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand.
I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.
I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.
And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.
For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.
What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - - I will never have to walk in your shoes.
I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.
You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.
I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.
Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.
Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.
Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.
You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.
I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.
I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.
You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.
May God Bless You!
(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finding a New Church #3

This isn't the church but this makes me chuckle.

We may have found the one!  The girls went to children's church... and loved it.   At first we had that quiet "whispering/yelling" argument with Gigi outside of her classroom door.  She refused (arms crossed and feet planted) to go into her room because last weeks adventure was such a bad experience for her.  After a not so gentle nudge she went in and plopped down in the first empty chair - refusing to sit beside the girls who were getting a chair for her.  At the end of service I peeked in on her and she was having a great time. 

We went to the contemporary service... in our pants. (better than going without pants ;)and sat on little folding chairs in a gym. Yes, my behind was creeping over onto Gene's chair.  It was almost like we snuggled through service.  The worship music was familiar and had a nice sound.  I found myself rocking a bit while I was singing. 

The message was lively and easy to understand.  The pastor did kinda beat his message into the ground but I can look past that.  However, if he hadn't repeated his point over and over I wouldn't have walked out of there knowing what he was trying to say and most importantly, I wouldn't have spotted this lady that dressed so COOL!  I love the slightly bohemian layered look.  My friend Kim does it effortlessly.  It says to me that the person who chose those clothes is creative and pays attention to the little beautiful details in life.  Yes, I want to look like Kim.  I want to notice the beautiful details in life.

I think we will be going back for another visit... after we try church #1 one more time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Art Journal Catch Up

 Prompt:  Control
Song Only Girl
Technique:  Lipstick

 Prompt:  What's the Deal?
Song:  Running Up That Hill
Technique:  Playing Cards

 Prompt:  Vertigo
The Song:  Right Round
Technique:  Circles

 Prompt:  Really?!
The Song:  Tell Me Something I Don't Know
Technique:  Speech Bubbles

The Prompt:  Love
The Song:  Not Broken by The Goo goo Dolls
Technique:  Silhouettes

Prompt:  Promises
The Song:  Run Devil Run by Kesha
Technique:  The poison symbol

Prompt:  Broken
The Song:  Mama's Arms
Technique:  Kisses

Sometimes I get lazy and let my creativity fall to the wayside.  A Year In The Life of an Art Journal helps keep me on my toes.  It provides art journal assignments twice a month.  They include a prompt, a song, and a technique to help inspire the picture.  You can use one or all three and interpret them any way you like.  I like doing mixed media art so most of my pages are made with craft paint, watercolor paint, paper, pictures, sharpies and anything else I can find in my art box.  I'll paint with a brush, my fingers, q-tips, cardboard, bubble wrap, etc. Nothing I ever make is very precise, just a lot of confusing layers.  I recently purchased some water-based inks so I am looking forward to making a mess with them.

The move put me so far behind... almost two - three months behind. I have more free time living in a small town so I finally caught up.  Here are a few of them.  Some I just couldn't  to post because, well, they were ugly and you may want to poke your eyes out if you see them I didn't like them.  The pics that I am posting are mostly fun but all are  personal.  That's what an art journal is all about... expression.