Thoughtful Thursday

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Gratitude

Gratitude is defined in the dictionary as:

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Since I was little I always gave thanks for everything that came my way. I even gave thanks when things didn’t go according to plan or when things really went sideways for me. It was in these situations that I assumed there was a lesson to be learned, so I was grateful for that.

A few years ago I read an article where the writer practiced the art of daily gratitude by writing in a journal. I thought this was a really nice idea, so I started my daily journaling practice of gratitude. The idea is to write down 2-3 things everyday that you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as seeing the sun rise or something more personal and deep, it’s up to you.

You don’t need expensive supplies to start, just a pen and a notebook. I normally practice my gratitude journaling at the end of the day. It helps to ground and center my mind after a long hectic day.

If you want to add a little pizazz to your gratitude journal, you can add art to your pages. It doesn’t have to be anything super detailed, fun doodles work great and it’s just plain fun. It’s a good way to unwind.

Another idea is to start a gratitude jar. Same concept as the journal but instead of writing in a notebook, you cut pieces of paper into 1″ – 2″ squares, write what your grateful for on the paper and drop it into the jar. This is a fun way to involve the whole family, especially the kids. It’s a beautiful practice to do everyday.

What are you grateful for today?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanks for stopping by.

Share the Happy!

Princess Rosalia – Watercolor Journal Page

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This is my second whimsical girl that I created in my Jane Davenport’s 6″ x 9″ Mixed Media Journal. I created Princess Rosalia using primarily watercolor paints, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons.

To make this painting, start with a light pencil sketch. Once you’re happy with your girl, you can start painting her with the watercolors. Always remember that when using watercolors, begin with a light wash and go darker by adding more layers. After the paint has dried, use colored pencils that are slightly darker than your paint colors to outline your girl.

Using a Sakura Micron 005 pen, outline her eyes, nose, earrings and necklace. With a Gel pen, outline the rose crown in her hair. Add a few highlights with a Posca pen and a little more detailing and shading with colored pencils. Last, add stickles to her hair, earrings and sleeves for a little bling.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy creating your journal page!!

Share the Happy!!!

Thoughtful Thursday

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The Rabbit Hole of Negativity

Life today seems crazier than ever. There’s a lot making us unhappy and even a bit snarky. Sadly, the snarkiness tends to run downhill and hit our family and friends right in the face. It’s easier to be angry, afraid and unhappy. It’s kind of how our brains are wired.

But I find it hard to believe that we would rather feel these negative emotions on a daily basis versus being positive. Life has been throwing a lot us curve balls lately and nothing is going according to plan. But when you find yourself going down that rabbit hole of negativity, what do you do?

I recently came across a quote by a great life coach Brendon Burchard: “We can all have a bad day. But if we choose to live there, we’ll have a bad life.” This is so very true. Years ago I would fall into that rabbit’s hole, and honestly, I would be there for a while. It wasn’t until I started reading life changing books about letting negativity go that I got better at stopping these thoughts in my mind and changing my perspective.

Even with all the years of practice and the knowledge I’ve acquired, I still fall down that rabbit hole every now and again. But when I catch myself, I quickly climb out. I no longer hang out there. When you’re filled with negative thoughts, you can’t go forward and take in the happiness waiting for you on the outside.

One of my practices is to put a spin on a bad situation and get something good out of it. You know, find that silver lining in the cloud. It’s always there, but sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it. You can also go outside for a few minutes and soak up some sunshine, meditate or create art. There are lots of things you can do to change your mindset and “Choose” to be positive.

So, how do you get out of that rabbit hole of negativity?

Photo by Emre Kuzu on Pexels.com

Amelia Movie Star – Watercolor Journal Page

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I bought one of Jane Davenport’s 6″ x 9″ Mixed Media Journals a little while ago and thought it would be fun to fill it with whimsical girls. I created Amelia, my little movie star using watercolor crayons and watercolor pencils. Since DickBlick.com is still accepting submissions for their Watercolor Art Challenge until 7/31 I thought I would enter her. There are a lot of beautiful paintings that have been submitted, but you never know.

To create this whimsical girl, start with a light pencil sketch. Once you’re happy and she resonates with you, start painting her. With watercolor paints, you always want to start with a light color wash and build up layers as you go. The more layers you build, the darker your color will be. When she is completely painted and dry, you can outline her with a Sakura Micron 005 pen.

I created highlights with a white Posca pen and added a little more detailing with colored pencils. I finished her off with a little bling on her collar with Stickles.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy creating your journal page!!

Share the Happy!!!

Thoughtful Thursday

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The Art of Feng Shui – Declutter Your Home

With a little more extra time at home these days I’m paying attention to my surroundings more. I’m really noticing how looking at certain things can make you feel.

A few years ago a good friend introduced me to Feng Shui and I thought it was interesting but was very skeptical. The more I looked into it, the more it caught my attention. There are many books on the subject. But a lot of them get too technical and I just wanted a simple place to start. I have a few favorites that I’ll share at the bottom of this post. The main idea is to have good energy flow in your home. “Yes, this is a real thing.”

As we go through life, we collect lots of “stuff.” Whether it’s gifted to us, purchased as I’ll get to it some day, or a memory from a special time in our lives it really starts to accumulate. When too much “stuff” accumulates in our home, energy can stagnate. The funny part is most of this “stuff” we never even use or remember having because it’s simply put in some corner of the house and forgotten.

As I’m walking through my home, I see certain areas where the “stuff” has accumulated and I don’t like how it looks, much less how it feels. So to get the energy flowing again I’m decluttering those areas. I’m working on either giving away the “stuff” in good condition that some one else can use or tossing it. I only keep the what makes me happy.

You can easily get overwhelmed when starting this process, but take small steps. Divide a room into sections. Do one part of a room, then move to the next part and so on. If you have more time, keep going and knock more of it out. But by breaking it down into sections, it makes it more manageable and thereby more doable.

The most important key is to keep things decluttered and organized once you finish a section. It makes you feel good and keeps the positive energy flowing through your home and ultimately through your life.

Where is the energy stagnating in your home?

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

A few of my favorite books:

  • “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
  • “Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston
  • “Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day” by Cassandra Aarssen

Words of Wisdom Bookmarks

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I created a handful of original watercolor bookmarks with positive quotes for my Etsy shop:

FlowingWatersArtShop

Each one is unique, no two are alike. They are available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to the ASPCA.

Thoughtful Thursday

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THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Power of the Mind

I was on my walk/run the other day and completed my best time ever for 2 miles: 24 minutes, 34 seconds. I was ecstatic and amazed at what I accomplished.

When I was little, I suffered from respiratory illness. The word “running” was not in my vocabulary since my lungs could not handle it. I was constantly told “you can’t do it.” I eventually adopted this mindset and when things would get a little tough, I’d give up because I believed everyone was right.

Fast forward to now, I just read the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One”  by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He talked about rewiring your brain to change your body. An idea that sounded impossible but I’ve come to realize is very possible. 

I loved what Dr. Dispenza wrote so much that I’m continuing to read another one of his books titled “Becoming Super Natural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon.”

I also started meditating this year. I have to say, it seemed odd at first, but the more I practiced, the more I grew to love it. It truly is a wonderful reset!

This morning I went on a walk, and I noticed something. The running segments that I had been doing  were getting longer and easier each time. I also noticed that when I start my running segment my mind switches gears. I go into a kind of meditative state and instead of saying to myself “Oh this is hard, I just have to get to my marker and I can stop.” I now say “This is easy; I got this; no problem.” My focus is no longer on making it from one marker to another, but rather the act of running and the ease of it. This helped me to break my negative thoughts and now I end up running past my markers without realizing it!

I made a decision to silence these negative thoughts because if I can reprogram my mind to make my body stronger (something I was told my whole life wasn’t possible) what else can I achieve? The possibilities are are endless!

What I’ve learned from Dr Dispenza has been mind blowing. I highly recommend you check out his website: drjoedispenza.com and his books. They’re amazing!

What would you like to achieve or change in your life? 

Photo by Maria / Cherry Blossoms, Washington DC

Essential Oils to Help You Relax/Sleep

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I love how certain scents can take you away to another place or time because of how they make you feel when you smell them. There are many aromatherapy diffusers on the market but you don’t need to spend money on these to enjoy the healing benefits of essential oils. The easiest way is to simply put a few drops (a little goes a long way) on a tissue and slip it inside your pillowcase. This is a sure way to relax and drift off into a blissful night of sleep.

I have to say that Lavender is my all time favorite with Chamomile as a second runner up. However, you may find these scents don’t necessarily appeal to you. I would suggest going to a health food store and test a few scents to see which ones you like best. You can also create blends, but for starters I would recommend going with 1 or 2 oils and see how they make you feel.

Oils that help you relax/sleep:

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

i believe in magic – Mixed Media

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I created this piece from an online class called Paper Pretty Girls, by Cathy Michaels. The class had been hosted on Creative Workshops which unfortunately has been closed down. So I’m working on getting the last of my classes done while I still have access. 

Cathy Michaels is a very talented artist in Montreal Canada. I’ve taken a few of her online classes over years and have always enjoyed them immensely. She’s awesome! I encourage you to hop over and check out her site at: https://www.cathymichaels.online/.

Thanks for stopping by!

12 Ways to Unwind and Relax

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Life can get rather hectic at times and we all need to a way to unwind and relax. When too much stress builds up it can cause an imbalance in our minds and bodies. Below are 12 ways to help you improve your overall well being. One size doesn’t fit all, so try different things to find what works best for you.

1.   Create art.

2.   Quiet your mind and meditate.

3.   Try an exercise routine like yoga.

4.   Read your favorite book.

5.   Enjoy watching the sunrise or sunset.

6.   Listen to calming music like nature tracks by Solitudes, Dan Gibson.

7.   Enjoy a cup of herbal tea.

8.   Create your own home spa and soak everything away in a warm bath.

9.   Indulge in a bite of chocolate.

10. Enjoy the great outdoors and go for a walk.

11. Watch your favorite movie.

12. Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and put it inside of your pillowcase as you drift off into sleep.

Photo by Maria / Naples, Florida

SillierThanSally – Mushroom Tutorial

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I wanted to share a quick post with today. Sally Walsh at SillierThanSally is a super talented artist who creates gorgeous art!!! Sally was kind enough to create a FREE watercolor painting tutorial that you can view on Instagram or Facebook.  Just look her up.

This is the painting I created from her tutorial over the weekend. I had lots of fun. 

Thanks Sally!!!

Attitude Journal Pages

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I am a collector of quotes and really love this one. As with a lot of things these days, your attitude is everything. How you choose to deal with and handle a situation is entirely up to you.

I created these pages in my Strathmore Mixed Media 5.5″ x 8.0″ Visual Journal. I like the pages because they are fairly thick and can handle the paints and pastes well. I started by coating each page with white gesso. Once dry, I lightly painted the background with the Jane Davenport Mermaid Ink Pens and distressed the edges.

Next, I used a wave stencil and applied Golden Fiber Paste. While the paste was drying, I traced and cut a sand dollar using a wooden stencil I found in the craft store. The paper for the sand dollar was made from a piece of background paper I created a few weeks ago and kept in my stash. I glued a piece of vellum to the back of the sand dollar to cover all of the openings in the center. I added detailing to the sand dollar using a white Posca Pen (these are by far, the best white pens I found).

After the paste dried, I used more of the Mermaid Ink Pens to paint the waves but I made the colors bolder on this layer. I couldn’t resist adding Star Dust Stickles to a few of the waves for a little bling.

Last I printed my quote on the computer and glued it to the page. I drew a few birds on the other page, glued my sand dollar in the journal and that was it. These pages are bright and fun and full of texture!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy creating your journal pages!!

I am what I choose to be

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I’ve been collecting inspiring quotes for some time now. I needed to find a use for them so I thought it would be fun to create journal pages with them. I made these two pages in my 8.5″ x 11″ Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal

To start, prep your pages with a coat of white gesso and let it dry.  Pick 3-4 colors of acrylic paint and paint your pages. I painted the background first. Once it was dry I distressed the edges. Next I used a few of the lighter colors of paint to add some fun shapes to background using a bottle cap and a pencil with an eraser. 

When this layer was dry, I used a white Posca pen to draw a few organic doodles. I’ve gone through a lot of white pens trying to find one that worked on various surfaces. Needless to say, the vast majority didn’t work well or just stopped working altogether. The white Posca pen has become my favorite. I’ve had this one for a little over a year and it’s still working great!

The next step in creating these pages was to choose a quote. I chose this quote by Carl Jung, “I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to be.” It resonated with me so I printed it on the computer and glued it into the journal. I then outlined each part of the quote with a dark marker. The last step was to add dark green Stickles for a little bling and that was it!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have lots of fun creating your journal pages!!

Thoughtful Thursday

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I thought I would write a post, once a week about something other than art. I love creating with my whole heart, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not happy, it’s a lot harder to get creative. 

One of my New Year’s Goals was to get in better shape so I decided I would go on a 2 mile walk every other day. I knew there would be times when this wouldn’t go according to plan so I promised I wouldn’t be too hard on myself. But I really wanted to stick with this plan as best as I could. 

When I first started going on these walks, my time was about 45 minutes for 2 miles. I was okay with that at first, but it didn’t take long and I wanted more. Over time I’ve become more and more competitive with myself, a part of me that I didn’t even know was there. I kept pushing myself and was able to get my 2 mile walk down to 27 minutes. Sometimes I’d even get into the 26-minute range. But that was it, I hit a plateau. 

To break the barrier, I added a few minutes of running and I was able to get my best time down to 24 minutes, 43 seconds so far. I don’t do a lot of running; it’s primarily walking because I’m so not a runner. Nevertheless, I feel victorious when I beat my best time, even if it’s only by 1 second! It still feels like I accomplished something extraordinary and I’m ready to shout it from the roof tops for all to hear!!! 

Bottom line is, to feel good about yourself or anything for that fact, you don’t need a big win. Sometimes it’s the smallest victories that feel like the biggest and have the most impact on your well being and state of mind. You are your own biggest fan when it comes to personal accomplishments.  So, what is your victory worth celebrating today?

Photo by Maria / Sunset in Key West, Florida

WHOLE HEARTED MIXED MEDIA

Laly Mille – Whole Hearted Tutorial

This is a quick post I wanted to share you. Laly Mille at LalyMille.com is a vary talented artist in France who creates beautiful art that’s very romantic and dreamy!!! Laly was kind enough to create a FREE mixed media tutorial for her birthday celebration s few weels ago. I encourage you to hop over to her site to and check it out!

This is the painting I created from her tutorial. I had lots of fun. 

Thanks Laly!!!