Saturday, July 25, 2015

If Fifty Is The New Forty.....

My friend and I were discussing the subject of how no matter what age we are, we aren't.
All the magazines tell us, "Fifty is the NEW Forty!!!!" 
"Seventy is the NEW Sixty!!!!"
As if.

art journal page done using mixed acrylics, stamps, uni-ball signo in white and chalk paint.
cause that's what was in front of me....

Let's just unravel this a bit, shall we?
If Fifty really was the "new" Forty, does that mean I would have more smarts because I have all ready lived that decade?
If I had more smarts, then, when left alone with a table full of broken cake pops I would swipe them directly into the trash, right?
Instead, I'm well into my Fifties, but I'm TOLD I'm still like 40, and when I was 40, I wasn't gluten-free. 
So I EAT the broken bits of cake pop like a meth addict while no one is watching because I've completely forgotten that I'm gluten-free now and I have apparently embraced my new 40 year old self with crumbled up box mix cake, canned frosting and hardened chocolate coating.

So much for smarts.

oh! and a Sharpie, oil based paint pen in white for all the little dots.

IF Fifty is the new Forty, shouldn't practicing Yoga With Adrienne on Youtube come easier?
Shouldn't doing a one armed side plank not be a big deal?
Oh, wait. 
But aren't I really 40? I had killer shoulders at age 40. And darn it, they're pretty good now.

IF Fifty is the new Forty, why did I have a used spoon in my purse for over a month?
A new forty year old me would have taken it out of her purse immediately and put it in the dishwasher. That new Forty year old would have been appalled at dirty silverware in her purse and would not have just shrugged at it and thought, "Gee. I wonder how that got there?" and then immediately forget it was in her purse.

And in that fifty-is-the-new-forty-year-old's-purse WHY in heaven's name do I find my child's sports bra in there? 
Because Twenty is the new Ten and they leave stuff absolutely everywhere?
Someone throw me a life jacket made out of common sense.

For the record, IF Fifty is the new Forty,
Why. Why. Why are my eyes needing corrective lenses whenever they are open?
So I can wear cool frames that make me look like I'm 40?

You can have your new Forty.
I'll take Fifty three just as it is.
Even when it's sleep deprived, lacking in hormones, forgetful and wrinkled.
I might gripe about these things once in a while, but I griped about stuff when I was 40, so what's new?

But here's the good part:

At Fifty three, I've been married to my husband for 30 years and I wouldn't trade a day of any of those years.
At fifty three, I get a lot of chances to look back and say, "Oh! Of course. THAT'S what that situation was all about!"
 I realize what I really, really like, I pursue it, and I'm blessed to be able to share it.
I learn that I like learning from twenty-somethings, and that I'm never to old to learn.
At fifty three, I don't have to do a one armed plank. I improvise because I know my limitations and I'm not embarrassed by them. I would be more embarrassed to be back in a shoulder sling because I didn't heed those limitations. 

Trying to be a "new" 40 when I'm definitely 53 implies that I'm not where I should be. That where I am in life isn't acceptable and I have to continually ignore the path I have traveled and look back to be something else.

Here's the deal. 
I don't want to re-travel any decade, thank you very much.
I want to live in the present moment, soak up all that I can and continue on-forge ahead for those who are coming up in the ranks. I want to be able to tell Forty year olds that life doesn't end at Fifty and you don't have to act like any other age, person or anything other than your beautiful self.

Happy Friday, my friends.
I hope your enjoying yourself wherever you are in life.

linking to Paint Party Friday

Friday, July 17, 2015

Coming Back To Center With Paint

I might not be painting canvases so much right now, but I haven't stopped painting, which is the important part.
I'm finding that in the process of painting furniture, I come back to center.
It's in the repetitive motions, the back and forth, back and forth that my mind quiets.
No thoughts, just motion. Nothing has to have composition, nothing has to be added just yet. 
Only paint.
Back and forth, back and forth.

I took this circa 1985 console table from our church foyer to bring it up to date with chalk paint.
 I began with Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Everlasting.  (FYI: I don't get paid for mentioning any products.)
It took two coats to cover it, and I put three coats on the very top.

if I'm working at the Summit House, I always have help.

I wanted to use the dry brush effect and began experimenting on the underside of the table with Americana Decor paint in Relic.

Thank goodness I experimented on the underside.
By the time I googled dry brush, watched Youtube videos on the process at midnight and then looked up a hundred different directions on Pinterest I had slightly lost my center again.
Small disasters tend to do this to me.

Definitely NOT the look I was going for.

Dry Brush.
Teeny tiny amount of paint.

What's a girl to do to get back to center?
Take the teeny, tiny amount of paint on the brush, dunk it in water and dab onto the drop cloth.
Sweep it over the table in long motions.
That's better!!!!

 This is the first go:

Crazy, huh?
I continued putting SMALL, SMALL, SMALL amounts of paint on the tip of the brush and then dunking it quickly into a jar of water, then dabbing onto the drop cloth. 
The great part about this is that if you get too much gray paint on your surface, you can dip the brush back into the water, dab, and work the paint out into a nice, even, light  layer.
Small bubbles might come onto the surface, but you can get rid of those by continuing to brush.
Back and forth, back and forth.

Because the paint is so wet, it settles nicely into the crevices.
I did this twice over the whole table and then after the second layer dried, I sanded some of the edges.

Next comes the wax.
So, I don't know if this is a kosher chalk-paint move to have your paint super diluted and then after it dries, put the wax on it. Nor do I know if it's a kosher chalk-paint move to add gray paint to the wax for one more layer of loveliness.
But oh, well. I did it anyway and it seemed fine.

I put the wax on the inside of the lid and added a small amount of gray paint and mixed it all up.

Again, working with SMALL amounts of paint and wax, I brushed it over the surface in small sections and then went over it with a soft, white rag.
Lots of rubbing on this step. 
If you have too much gray or it has spattered or there is just a chunk of gray, just use a bit of clear wax and rub it out until it's even.

(NOTE: when you grab a rag to use for the wax and it's an old maroon colored pillow case? DON'T. It will bleed and turn your project into the strangest color of pink. However, this will come out when you add plain wax and rub it out. I just learned this yesterday on a different project I'm working on.)

Pre- rubbing:

Finished product:

Personally, I love it.
I'm not fond of gray, but this is warm and pretty.

All though....
Everyone has their opinion. Which I discovered as I was delivering the table back to church and someone asked why it was just painted with primer.

That's o.k.
I got in my car, worked it out-rather loudly by myself, and when I see the tables (there are two) each Sunday, I smile to myself.

Maybe this week you will find yourself in the midst of a project.
Remember to breathe through it and hopefully find yourself back at center.
Just don't do it at midnight. Center is hard to find at midnight and the project always takes a wrong turn. And don't forget- no maroon rags.
Have a lovely weekend!

linking to Paint Party Friday

Friday, July 10, 2015

Finding The Sweetness of Summer

This summer, I'm having to look just a bit harder to find the sweetness of the season.
Admittedly, it's thrown me for a little bit of a loop.
There's been a lot of soul searching and decision making, which sounds quite dramatic, but for a mamma's heart it has been.
There's been a a bit of a steep self-learning curve going on.

It's all sounding cryptic, which I hate. 
But honestly. I can't seem to put it all into words.
But I seem to keep coming back to words like
open hands

Then there's always 
no way, huh-uh, nope 
and yes, even some scowling

And then I get to focus on a project for a wedding, such as centerpieces and lettering-which brings great satisfaction and even a little tiny sense of balance.

I've been able to sit a bit under the twinkle lights, read voraciously, (i.e. escape through reading)

One morning, I blasted out a small piece for my living room wall.
Just "Love Lives Here" with high fluid black acrylic on some glass. 
It felt like normal and it felt good.

And this DOG.
Oh, she makes me laugh almost every day.


And these three make my heart squeeze a little tighter all the time.

So while figuring out which set of train tracks I'm on at any given time, (scowling or open hands) I'm thankful to find the sweetness of summer in many ways.

linking to Paint Party Friday

Thursday, June 18, 2015

More Messy

This life.
It's just messy, huh?
But amazing.
How the heck does a person straddle the two and stay sane?
I have had many conversations played out in my head to blog about this, only to be interrupted, confused, busy, sick or just wiped out.

available in my etsy shop HERE

For instance, the messy bits: 
Between Brenna and myself, the month has held 12 doctor appointments (Yes. I counted.)
Shingles last a long time and nine Extra-Strength Tylenol every day for several weeks is too much.
Graduations are SO full of emotion.

The amazing bits:
Having coffee with someone who LISTENS to all the messy.
Summer sunsets.
My husband telling me, "I like you" before he falls asleep.

Messy Reality:
Realizing this is Brenna's last "summer vacation" from school and next June she will age out of public education and the great unknown looms ahead.
A second oral surgery and bone graft for Brenna because the dental implant didn't work.
Tri-annual IEP's suck. Especially when they are the day after the oral surgery.
 It's never easy to be told what age level your child does or does not measure up to by a school psychologist, no matter how kind they are in their presentation.

Laughing with my eldest until I cry.
Rubbing noses with my youngest.
Having the singular best son-in-law in the history of son-in-laws.

repurposed wood framed arrow available HERE

Somewhere in the bronchitis episode, driving down the freeway with Brenna and Doug, Brenna got sick to her stomach.
 In the car. 
Driving down the freeway. 
Not near an exit.
We had two empty cups in the car and, God Bless her, Brenna rotated hurling into each one, handing them back to me, where I then chucked the contents out the window of our moving car, looking desperately into the side mirror to make sure no one was close enough behind us to end up with barf on their windshield and then handing back the empty cup to Brenna to repeat the whole awful process.
I think it was three times, and yes. I was again counting. It's o.k. to do when you are horrified.

I didn't hurl after chucking six cups of vomit out the window of a moving vehicle.

My brain trying to fathom how I find art in the midst of the last month, which turns into numerous questions of how I'm even supposed to DO art, what I'm to do with the art IF I can create, which I haven't been doing, and what the HECK happened to the path I thought I was on and how does everyone else do this and why can't I get anything done and and and...enter pity party, confusion, doubt, green eyes, snarky thoughts in my head and various other forms of mess.

Turning off my phone and computer.
My husband saying, "I totally get why you feel the way you do."
Art in different forms.
Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
Waking up and deciding to spend the day in the present moment.
Jumping into the swimming pool without reservation.
Movies on the grass.
Seeing a shooting star.
Texts with my sisters.
Cooking with my children and sharing meals.
Leaving my hands open.
Choosing to walk away from doubt and fear, knowing full well it will be there whenever I decide to pick it back up, cause I will. 
But maybe each time I do, I'll walk away sooner.

linking to:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Messy But Beautiful

When I first thought of the sentence for this print, it was during a week of chaos.
It was totally fun chaos, but chaos nonetheless. 
You know the kind: throwing yourself into a project that you can sink your teeth into and enjoying every moment of it.
Inevitably, the rest of life goes by the wayside and can be an absolute mess in a matter of minutes: dishes, bills, papers to sign for school, and for some reason, people still need to eat dinner and the laundry fairy never EVER shows up.

The other part of messy comes in the form of
art shows and bronchitis for your child and more bronchitis and another art show and then....
shingles on your face. 
Yeah. So messy.
The beautiful part is thankfulness in the midst of the mess. Not exactly FOR the mess,
but IN the messiness, finding a reason to say thank you:

a well-timed doctor visit
my couch
my family

Now I'm finished with shows, Brenna's bronchitis has cleared, my shingles have healed and I'm only left with either a stabbing feeling in my head or itching like I want to scratch my face off.
Some beautiful, some messy.

You can find this print in my ETSY shop.
Just in case you or someone you know needs a reminder that even though the laundry fairy never shows up when you need her and you haven't done dishes for four days or you want to put a bag over your face, somehow, somewhere along the way, it ends up being okay.

linking to Paint Party Friday

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Highs and Lows

After a wildly successful show at Red Dirt, I was pretty excited to continue on my merry way and get ready for the next show in Balboa. (this is known as a high)

As life would have it, after a sweet weekend and a massive clean up my in art room, Brenna came home from school and said her "whole body hurt". (this would be considered a low)

Available: Various stages of flight, each 8x10 framed.

 I thought this would be a sick where I could get lots done while she laid around watching movies.(looking for a high in a low)

But, as it turns out, she is fever-sick and it's no fun. (low)
But the sister and brother-in-law hung out with her and watched movies. (high)

Available: "Having Fun" mixed media, 9x12, framed.

And I made soup. (high)
And lost a lot of sleep. (low)
But it rained, so it was nice to hunker down. (high)

no, it doesn't say "hop", it says "hope" 6x6 small truths canvases available

But I'm beginning to feel the slight edge of panic (low) for the Balboa Art Walk, for which I'm so excited. (high)
So, when I get a good night's sleep, (high) I will realize that even if I didn't do anything else, (possibly a low) I could practice what I paint, (low or high-take your pick by now) go to the next show, and have a great time. (high)

Available: 8x10 matted print

But I'll eventually get more done cause there is still a week. (high)
Aaaanndd.. no matter what, Sunday the 17th will roll around and  I'll be on Opal street on Balboa Island. (high)
Which is more than a week away. (high)
And I'm really not making any sense (low-for you) so I'll stop. (back up to high for you)

Happy Friday!

linking to Paint Party Friday