July Check In

I feel like I need to post an update for my millions of readers ten readers. It has been a super busy month so far.  

I envisioned July being quiet and progress filled, with me locked in the bedroom studio completing projects, updating my blog, and workin' the social media  - instead I'm driving kids around, working on one big project, celebrating friends, and cleaning out bedrooms that have accumulated layers of junk and gunk. 




Yard Sale

I am getting stuff done in July, at least.  And I love that.  

How is your July going?  What is keeping you busy?  Are you finding time to get stuff done?


Eating Healthy and Making a Fresh Start

One of the things that happens as a blogger is every now and then I get to try free stuff and then tell you all about it.  I signed up with Influenster to receive a free package of Radar Farms Fresh Start Sunrise Refresh Fusion Frozen Fruit and Vegetables. 

Now friends (and my doctor)  have been telling me how healthy, quick and easy it is to make smoothies and home made juices.  A few of them have said, "You just add frozen fruit and some kale and spinach.  It's so good."

Have ya'all ever tried raw kale?  To me it smells and tastes like a whole field of ripe alfalfa.  In just one little bite.  The flavor overwhelms everything else, a green, work -n-the-fields-till-you-can-taste it, unpleasant flavor taking over all my senses. 

But I was excited use my coupon at the local WalMart for a free bag and try this stuff out.  I checked the ingredients, and it's just fruit and veggies.  Nothing else.  No salt and no sugar!  (I wasn't sure I would survive it.)  I popped it in the blender with a couple of cups of cold water and got a cold, fresh, and clean tasting smoothie.

 I  asked my daughter if clean tasting sounded like a recipe for soap, she said, kinda, but I can't think of a better way to describe the taste.  No alfalfa field in your mouth. 

If your a lover of "clean" eating this would be right up your alley.  It tastes healthy because it is healthy - but if you really need to, you can add all kind of things to make it sweeter. 

The bag has enough for more than one serving.  So the second time I made it I added some honey.  It brought out the sweet of the berry fruits just enough to make my husband willing to drink something healthy too. 

And I liked it.  I liked it so much that it deserved it's own photo shoot.

And then my daughter had to try some...

I had to stop her from drinking the whole thing. 

Now if you give this stuff a try, let me know.  Or if you are a regular eater of clean foods and have a recipe that makes kale tasty,  and husband friendly, I 'd love to hear from you.  I'd  also love to hear how folks are having a great summer, so you can leave a comment about that too.  


How To Be Creative By Letting Go Of Comparisons

Creating Fearlessly 

Letting Go Of Comparisons

I'm sure you have heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and sometimes we ladies behold ourselves and the stuff we do AND all we can do is self criticize.

We do it so much and so well there are ad-companies who sell products based on on letting go of that inner critic and accepting who we are.

I actually congratulate myself  when I  find the flaws.  Give me a gold star, because, look, I'm honest about my shortcomings.  If you're not sure what they are, I will voluntarily provide you with a complete list! Just ask.  Or don't ask.  I am likely to hand you the list anyway.

It's not just that I don't like what I see, what I am, or the stuff I create, it's that I am comparing it to some other ideal. Even if I never saw a commercial, never saw how big the Smith's house was, never experienced someone else's art - gee what would I be judging myself against?

If there is no yard stick - how can I measure?

It's not just that I have trouble looking in the mirror and not comparing myself to other women.  I mean, come on!  Julianna Margulies and I are about the same age.  Shouldn't I look like her? Shouldn't all middle aged women get to wake up in the morning and look like her?  That smooth dark hair.  That flawless skin and bright smile.

My hair is dark.  Hey, we practically look like sisters.  If she had a shorter, triangle shaped sister with frizzy hair and a smile badly in need of a Cadillac dental plan....It's not just this famous woman (who has a team of people to make her look beautiful and whose job requires being well put together) I have this horrible tendency to compare myself to the women all around me, it's like a filter I wear over my brain!  Look at me I am wearing a giant coffee filter on my head!   I have to consciously take that thing off to even see a little bit clearly.

Creating Fearlessly

To create fearlessly, to explore crafts, art and even scrapbooking, I have to make myself stop comparing and just Do.  I have to quiet my inner editor, just move forward, letting every project become a learning experience.  I write a story, bake a cake, and or even invite people over into my home, I have to take off that ugly filter and just rest in who I am.

For me, it's a Faith thing.  I have help removing that filter, and I have help resting - sometimes I can't do it on my own. Okay, Usually I can't do it on my own.

In the last year I have been very aware of this critical side of me.  Not just because I wear my own ridiculous, useless filter, but  because I see other's through it. And I don't want to do that.  I don't want to be a critical-comparing person.  I really don't.  In 2015 I've worked harder on being more encouraging and empowering to everyone. I choose to encourage my husband, my children, my friends.  Even myself.

I honestly believe, the only way I am going to be able to continue to create anything fearlessly in 2015 is by Letting Go of Comparisons, and just accepting that - This is Me.  I was created to be Me, not Julianna Margulies, not anyone else.  And me is not only okay, Me is uniquely gifted, specially different, and wonderfully made.

My word for 2015 is fearless.  

I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists & paints to for the colors on this large tag. On the girl I used High Impact Paints and did a tiny bit of detailing with metallic Pitt pens. I used a little bit of glitter glue, but didn't like it and scrapped most of it off.  The flowers all started out white, as did those little strands of burlap.  The little frame is an old K & Company epoxy and metal frame I have had for ages and ages.  I painted it with gesso and  used a Tattered Angels Naturally Aged Paint System to change it completely.  I love how it turned out.  The little metal findings are from 7 Gypsies.  The background papers are from the 7 Gypsies, Gypsy Moments line.  The tissue paper is French Scrip from Canvas Corp brands that I painted with Tattered Angels Paints.