Gypsy Girls Survive at all costs, and help others survive. We live, which is what we were meant to do. Our lives might not look the same; you might be living a little larger or happier than me, but that is okay. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to one other. Each one of us is given different battles at different times. It is so easy to say, "Unfair! They have it so easy!" But we should remember that it is equally easy to find someone who is worse off than we.
Even if your day today is crazy hard, even if you have to face the unfaceable, do it. Go through it. Do what you need to do in order to get through this day. Find small joys. Hold on to your thoughts. It is only an illusion that any one of us has it all together. That our loved ones will be here forever. If, at this moment there is no tragedy in your life, consider yourself temporarily lucky. Your life, too, will eventually change. We all are affected by illness at some point, either our own or someone we love, and those facing serious illness can not be swept aside and treated like they are not our problem. Those of us who are ill are Buddhas. They are facing what we think we don't have to, but will. Life as we count on it, is an illusion. What one of us faces, we will all face.
Survive or help someone else survive, and thrive - that is what Gypsy Girls do.
A friend's daughter is battling ovarian cancer, so this Valentine’s Day she is dealing with chemo, hospitals and such. Because of that, I felt driven to make something as beautiful as she is to cheer her up.
Fight Like A Girl means girls are strong. Maybe we don't have the muscle strength that men have, but we have emotional and mental strength times a thousand. Whatever we are facing, we can stand up to. Anything. Period.
Fight Like A Girl also means that as women we face devastating challenges in our own way. Dealing with trauma and grave illness, if we lose our hair or other body parts as part of our treatment, we may be tempted to feel that we’re no longer pretty, but we are, in fact, BEAUTIFUL. All girls are pretty all of the time, and if you are going through an illness, you are a Buddha. Look at this beautiful Buddha Girl Head! In the past, if a woman had cancer it was looked upon as something almost to be ashamed of, like if we lost our hair or our breasts, we lost what made us feminine. But those things have nothing whatsoever to do with femininity.
Being a woman lies in our eyes, our words, our personalities. No matter what is going on in your life, no matter what you look like at this moment, no matter how you feel, you are a gorgeous, sexy, feminine woman. Period. Yes, I know, it’s pretty easy to write. But it is true. And the more we remind each other of this truth, the more we will believe it.
You are strong.
You can face anything, and come through it.
You are beautiful exactly as you are in this moment.
Here is how I did my week. I want you to notice my nifty menu planner.
These are new recipes I wanted to try this week and I did most of them. I can move this to my Food section and keep making new lists.
When you turn it over I list the deserts to make. I also attached the shopping list to it so when I went shopping BOOM it was there. On the right is a bit of scrapbooking. I cannot figure out what brand this clear page protector came from, it is not project life because the rings fit perfectly in my Kikki-K. Carol thinks she got in from an online office supply shop. We are still looking into it.
I like having photos from the week right there, not in a seperate album. That picture top right is of gigi the day the rescue woman, Suzanne, took her from the shelter. Gigi looks pissed! On the left is gigi now. Look how happy!
This is my last part of the week. So much fun to just do a little every day.
Look at this fabulous little box I got at Michaels today. It was $5.00. It gets even better when you open it up.
Way cute for little holding stickers and planner things!
In my studio I have stations. One for dry media, one for wet, and one for sewing, (if i ever get around to setting up the machine.) To sucessfully work, you need to have the items you will need near and available. I have wasted too much time in search for things I needed. Here is my dry table set up.
For Day Planning it is lovely. The white drawers to the left have what I need most all in one place. Along with my cart, which I'll show you in a moment, there is nothing else I need to work each day in my book.
Labeling it helps me not have to think, which I love. My brain speeds about all day long, any help I can get to not think and just act, the better.
I don't have all my stamps here, just the ones I will use most often to document a day. I am more likely to play in my planner if things are already set up and close.
Investing in Journal Stamps is the way to go.
Sticker words are a must. Even for paintings and art journal pages. I use them all the time.
Oh, can't you stop PLANNING for a minute?
Stickers are my obsession.
I also have two carts: one for day planning, and one for painting. They roll around so nice and I like having my supplies off the table so I have more space to work.
Besides obvious To Do list and appointment reminders, how do we 'work' in our planners? Your planner needn't be a boring line up of responsibilities, but a place to document your days. Just like an art journal, just like a scrapbook, it can be all of that and more. This is an example of working in my planner mid week. For each rectangle space your planner givse with a date for each day, I work in that space all day long. STOP IT, I can hear you. It doesn't take long to doodle and sketch, often only 5 minutes. At the very least you can spend five minutes doodling in your daily space. Ideas To Get You Playing in your Planner
1) Completely blank on what to doodle or write? Read a short passage from an inspirational book first. I keep several of them near my planner space. My favorite is The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky. It is daily prompts to get you creatively thinking. You could put a quote from what you read into your space so you can later remember to journal longer about it.
2)There are also books that prompt you to make lists- of your favorite foods, movies, turn ons, you could answer one of these every day, each day including a different random fact about yourself. I have a book called The Secret Me. Very fun. What I like to do is write in my writing notebook, then put snippets into my Daily Pages from my planner. You can put in the highlights and best parts that way.
3) RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW- at a random moment in your day, write a verbal snapshot id descriptive sentences about what is going on around you.
4) Document. What was the last thing you ate? What are you reading? What was your last facebook status? Your last tweet? If you get into the habit of keeping your journal open next to you throughout the day it is easier to report what is going on while you remember it.
5) Night-time check ins. At night you may have more time to meander and doodle and think about your day. Write 1-3 positive things about the day. It's like a gratitude list without the heavy responsibility of feeling things deeply. I liked when I got the washi tape in the mail today. I had the best cup of hot cocoa. These are little things and may seem unimportant, but they made you happy. When it comes down to it, we have so many more little happy things happen then big giant things. It is a simple way to document joys.
Night time check ins are a good time to set up what you have to do tomorrow (which I put in a post it note near my day, not on it, because who wants to keep to do lists forever as documentation of your life?) When I'm done with the list I can chuck it, or move it to another day in the week if I don't finish.
Night time check ins are also good for setting your intention for the next day. On Feb 5th Health was number one. I just have been getting over the flu so I needed to remember that eating well and taking care of myself was important even though I had so much to do.
The note-card is from Project life and I punched holes in it. The list is of the vitamins I need to remember to take everyday that I keep forgetting. I'll remember one but not others, so I need this list around. I have it right there with my Day of the Week and can move it on to the next week when it's time. You can put anything you really need to remember on a card like this, like affirmations and new ways of thinking. I put a few pieces of paper from another journal in my week so I can write longer things.
Now on Sunday morning I plan to print out all the photos from the week, make them small, and put a scrapbook page right in the center of the week. This way when I am all done with this month I will have a complete package of what it was like to live my daily life. I love this! I just started working this way so I will get better at it the more I do it. And so will you.
Next post I will talk about making our own journal cards. I leave you with this little Gypsy Wagon Pillow my friend Lisa Shahabadi made for me.
Here is the first crop of student work from my online workshop Mixed media Alchemy Workshop#1
In this class you will learn how to: 1) Shade a face using Colored Pencils (template is provided so you don't have to draw) 2) Compose a torso onto a canvas and integrate the figure into a Bohemian Abstract Mulit-Layered background!
Whether you are a beginning artist following along to make the exact painting I do, or an intermediate who needs more help loosening up to create layers, Mixed Media Alchemy is for you!
You will have access to the workshop and facegroup group which includes my feedback on your work, until the end of 2014, so plenty of time left to join!
Cute stuff alert. The $1.00 bins at target have a bunch of cute things you can use inside your planner. And the tray and heart box came from the seasonal section where they have kitchen supplies. Valentines things are on sale and the tray was super cheap. The hot pink looks so good against baby teal. Pick what they have up now because it will be gone forever. Even what they had for last valentines day they didn't repeat. Items like this make storing your craft items fun to look at.
I bought this container to hold all my craft paints. They also have dark Teal but I need more accent and light colors now. It is in the scrapbooking section in a center isle. I also got this vinyl table cover for 1.00. It is not heavy like the covers I like, but they are hard to find. I need to get to the local dollar store and see what they have there. I want pink table cloths.
If you have to look at something, why not make it pretty? Just because its storage doesn't mean it has to be clear or white, and putting things away is important in maintaining Studio Bliss. The eye rests easily if there is not chaos, giving you mental space to create. Which, is relative, my mom would think the pink bin was chaotic. But I'd rather see the pink bucket then open supplies everywhere.
This is the picture of my dad I've kept on my desk lately. I'm pretty sure he was hung over. Look how happy I was. I don't think my eyes have been that relaxed since I was ten years old. I hated that elf in the background. It's fingers were spindley long. And we could never sit on the couches because they were white, family and living room. White.
Tomorrow I will have a post about how I am working in my planner this week.
Also, we have started a new book in Bookclub. Read with me and make art! Learn more here.
If you would like to join us for next months book club, and be inspired to make art from what we read, join my GoodReads group. It is free. I do this to force myself to finish books.
There was a lot of imagery to choose from but I went with the Japanese school girl and her jaded outlook on life, contrasted with her attraction to kawaii culture. I too am drawn to the bright colors of Japan's Manga culture, and also the happy faces of kawaii, but I am not ignorant of why they are so appealing. I, like the main character, and like the hostesses in the Lovely Apron Cafe, have seen a lot of dark in my life. I now need frills and girly stuff and sweet images to help me get through the day.
The books underlying message is repeated often through the subtle teachings of a Buddhist nun. The "Time Being," is a play on words. We are all Time, beings. We exist in time, and then we do not exist. And the point of the Time Being is to Live. Not to contemplate death, but live our lives, in each moment, fully. To be fully present. To take our time, to slow down, and be there. And if our present moments are truly horrible, like some moments for Nao in the book, then we learn how to cultivate compassion for ourselves and activate our SUPAPOWA! Which is to meditate and be at peace no matter what is going on.
The book also talks about how everything is the same. Like, there is no difference between a surfer and a wave. The wave exists, it peaks, and it crashes and disappears. The surfer is born our ot nothing, lives his life, and then dies and disappears. Anything can be looked upon in this way until you see there is no difference between you and anything, between you and a mountain, between you and Hello Kitty, between you and what is going on around you. We are born, we live, and we recede.