Sunday Signs

Living here in the southeastern U.S., there is no shortage of churches. “Marketing” signs are often seen, and these 2 are from churches, one liberal, the other conservative, that are a half mile from each other in a residential neighborhood.

I’ve cropped out the identifiers, and based on the sermons for this Sunday, July 13, if you had to pick one, which church would you be more likely to attend?

Can you tell which one is conservative and which one is liberal?

Or would you rather come to the church that I attend, where you would be hearing the sermon entitled “Birthright”?

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Or none at all. Let’s talk.

Happy Sunday! Have a great week!

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Changing Perspective

 

The Forest
The Forest

Can’t see the forest for the trees. This little saying was my inspiration for the painting above. I’ve been wanting to try painting some abstracts, but really, abstracts confuse me. I’m more of a literal kind of girl, hence my first foray into abstract is a fairly literal interpretation. You know, green background = forest; black, lumpy tree shapes = the trees. Yep.

But then Roland came in and turned my world (erm, my painting) upside down. Do you see them? The dancers?

The Dancers
The Dancers

Going from a negative feeling to a positive, joyous feeling? I love it!

It just all depends on your perspective.

The Socks

Before my last 2 most recent posts, it had been about 3 months of non-blogging. Life and some fairly serious anxiety happened, and I wanted to follow up with a report on my semi-anxiety-reducing sock project.*

Socks
Socks

I finished the socks! Yay! They aren’t perfect, far from it, but I don’t care about that. And they fit. In fact, there are some fairly serious issues with them, though the issues aren’t readily noticeable to, at least, a non-knitter. I haven’t worn them too much (or even with shoes yet), but mostly because it’s summer here in Georgia, and the only socks I wear this time of year are athletic socks with my running shoes (um, not that I’m running in these shoes).

And I do have another pair planned. These should be easier and better looking now that I have the hang of it (more or less).

If you are interested in knitting your own pair of socks and don’t know where to start, this is a good place. Kristin hosted a “knit along” last year, supplying the pattern for the above pictured socks, and instructions that really walked you through the process step by step, allowing you to produce an awesome pair of socks, just like mine!

*I say semi-anxiety reducing, because while knitting can be an anxiety reliever (and addictive, but not the kind of addiction where you need to go to rehab), occasionally in the last 3 months xanax had to be my xanax.

 

Sunday Signs

Living here in the southeastern U.S., there is no shortage of churches. “Marketing” signs are often seen, and these 2 are from churches, one liberal, the other conservative, that are a half mile from each other in a residential neighborhood.

I’ve cropped out the identifiers, and based on the sermons for this Sunday, July 6, if you had to pick one, which church would you be more likely to attend?

Can you tell which one is conservative and which one is liberal?

 

Or would you rather come to the church that I attend, where you would be hearing the sermon entitled “Whose Yoke are You Wearing?”?

IMG_1656 IMG_1657

Or none at all. Let’s talk.

Happy Sunday! Have a great week!

Blog for Mental Health 2014 – The Time Has Come

I have been meaning to write this post since, well, since the beginning of this year when I first discovered the A Canvas of the Minds. It’s not hard to be a part of the Blog for Mental Health, but I was “what if I don’t do it right” kind of person which has stopped me all of my life from trying things that I was not 100% sure I could do. More on that later (as in, a different post, not yet written).

Without further adieu, here is my pledge:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Why am I doing this? While I do not have a diagnosable mental illness, perfectionist tendencies aside (see above), I have spent my life around those that do. Of course, through childhood and young adulthood, I was not fully cognizant of the mental illness that was swirling around me. I am certain by adolescence, I was at least marginally aware that there were some irregularities going on with my family. But we didn’t talk about it. We were taught at a very early age that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

And talking about something being mentally wrong with anyone in the family definitely fell into that “not nice” category. Shame. Stigma. How it thrived.

And how we’ve all suffered for the silence.

The time has come to speak up.

If you want to join me, and learn more about the Blog for Mental Health 2014 project and A Canvas of the Minds, please click here or on the picture above.

 

First Lines | The Interestings: A Novel

“On a warm night in early July of that long-evaporated year, the Interestings gathered for the first time. They were only fifteen, sixteen, and they began to call themselves the name with tentative irony. Julie Jacobson, an outsider and possibly even a freak, had been invited in for obscure reasons, and now she sat in a corner on the unswept floor and attempted to position herself so she would appear unobtusive yet not pathetic, which was a difficult balance.”

~The Interestings: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer

Eso Si Que Es

I learned that way back when, in 7th grade Spanish, and I think it may just be my aha moment for knitting. But I’ll come back to this thought in a minute. For now, a sock, in progress:

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I’m belatedly participating in a Knit Along (KAL) that was hosted by Kristin who beautifully writes about knitting, as well as sewing, yoga, and life in general on her blog K-Line.

I’m using sock yarn from knitpicks which feels nice and soft. There are mistakes galore, and while Kristin says you can knit a pair of socks in one week. I’m laughing hysterically at that!!! Really. It is taking me for-effing-ever! Or at least it feels that way.

But what I’m thinking will be priceless about knitting socks is that I wear socks year round (at least in the house), and handknit socks seem cozy. Plus, these could be much appreciated gifts, I’m thinking, that need minimal fit. And, having multiple pairs of socks isn’t a burden like, say, too many handknit scarves in a warm climate.

This could be the ultimate anxiety controlling project!

Like the title says (roughly translated)… this is it!

S-O-C-K-S!!

Knitting is My Xanax

IMG_1342

I’m an anxiety prone kinda person. I just am, and I’ve had to find some useful coping mechanisms to keep it in check. Plus, I just can’t sit and watch TV in the evening without doing something else. I learned how to knit decades ago when I made a scarf for my then boyfriend (now husband) for Christmas. Only I didn’t finish it until his birthday. The next July. And we lived in Texas. Yeah, not really scarf weather. Whatev. I finished it.

I decided then that knitting was just not for me, until about 3 years ago. Right around that time, Kyle (son) was diagnosed with bipolar I and, yep, I was pretty much a nervous wreck. But when I was knitting, the anxiety just flowed out through my fingertips as I knit.

The problem is just finding the right project. I discovered knitted toys, and they’re a lot of fun. My favorite resource is the book Itty, Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson. This is my latest creation, Mercer Bear. I made him for Kyle, who is a student at Mercer. (If you fall the NCAA March Madness basketball extravaganza then you know Mercer.)

The best thing about knitting toys is that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, and they don’t have to fit. Also, there are tons of mistakes, (at least when I knit them) but yeah, who cares.

Tomorrow. Socks.

Look at that cute tail!
Look at that cute tail!

Craftsy Teaches Flower Painting: A Review

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I’ve mentioned Craftsy before, back in this post, where I revealed the rose painting, that was created taking the Painting Flowers in Acrylics. Before I get too far away from that experience, I wanted to sum it all up with a little review.

I have no connection with Craftsy whatsoever. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.

If you haven’t heard about Craftsy before, it is basically a website where you can take crafting classes online. Some are free, and some you pay for, but there are topics for anyone who has even the slightest creative bent. The free classes are a great way to give it a try, and that is exactly what the Flower Painting class is. Free.

But free does not mean second rate. The main difference, as I am experiencing it, is that with the free classes you do not get any additional interaction with the instructor, as you do with the paid classes. I’m currently taking another acrylic painting class that I did pay for, so I’ll let you know how that one goes, and if there are other differences.

Back to the flower painting. This “class” had approximately 100 minutes of instruction, just a little over 1-1/2 hours. Once enrolled, it’s yours until, I suppose, Craftsy doesn’t exist anymore, so you can repeat it over and over if you want (that’s true of any of their classes).

The instructor, Micah Ganske, goes over the underpainting, blocking in the colors and layering the colors, and finally, adding the highlights. That’s really a lot of ground to cover, and you are not going to learn more nuanced techniques of mixing your colors, or how to draw the flowers. Painting 101 it is not. In my blog post linked above, I documented my progress, which basically followed the course.

Initially, I tried to paint along with the videos. Um. Yeah, that doesn’t really work. For one thing, duh, they are edited, so he isn’t painting in real time. What I found worked the best was to watch the video lesson all the way through, and then work on my painting going back to review in places that I needed the repetition.

There are questions posted alongside each video that deal with the topic being discussed at the time. In a free lesson, the questions are answered by other students, and I did, in fact, learn quite a bit from my fellow students.

Best tip from a student… use chalk to draw your outline. That technique worked better for me, than the one that Micah was teaching. Which doesn’t his bad, I just didn’t have success with it.

I would rate this course advanced beginner, and I would definitely recommend it. It was great for trying out a online craft class platform, without making a huge investment or either time or money.

Keeping in mind that it is free, if you only learn one thing (and I definitely think you will learn more), it is worth a try.

 

 

Looking Skyward

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Dropping off today’s artistic accomplishment. More of a palate cleanser after the rose picture which took more than several days. This one just took an afternoon. Of course, it shows, but sometimes you just gotta paint. When I was in the backyard the other day, I took picture, looking up into the trees, and wondered if I could recreate it.

And I did semi-successfully. Perfecting painting techniques from mixing colors to figuring out the best brush to use takes some practice, so I’m chalking this one up to practice, and the odds are, I’ll just paint over it one of these day.

So here it will live on, in all its glory.

I hope your skies are sunny and blue.

Art. Life. Always, never maybe.

Mentally Detoured

...finding yourself on the path of mental illness

end the stigma

Share your story. Educate. Speak up. Challenge perceptions. Be brave. You are not alone! End the stigma of mental health.

W.T.F.

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Arden Ruth

word nerd

Daryn Kagan

A late blossoming wife becomes a mom and finds life after TV News

Intown Quilters

Fun, funky fabric!

A Thing for Words

Writer Joseph Hesch's second-chance journey to a literary life.

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Lunch Sketch

"Drawing is not an exercise of particular dexterity, but above all a means of expressing intimate feelings and moods." (Henri Matisse)

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I'm a single dad documenting his journey. A guy trying to walk a higher path. And messing up. A lot.

The Official Blog For Mental Health Project

Making mental health everyone's concern

Jottings and Writings

Thoughts, Opinions, & Random Jottings

Lauren Kells

Writing stuff down since 1986.

Rob's Surf Report

Where the closest ocean is all in my mind . . .

A Canvas Of The Minds

A unique collaboration of different perspectives on mental health and life

Mouse Tales - Travel and photography

Travel, Disney, and photography

artgland

the secretion of art by Rhian Ferrer

Claire Manning

be inspired

Damsel in a Dress

A Funny Blog About Some Not So Funny Things

Mentally Detoured

...finding yourself on the path of mental illness

end the stigma

Share your story. Educate. Speak up. Challenge perceptions. Be brave. You are not alone! End the stigma of mental health.

W.T.F.

words thoughts feelings

Arden Ruth

word nerd

Daryn Kagan

A late blossoming wife becomes a mom and finds life after TV News

Intown Quilters

Fun, funky fabric!

A Thing for Words

Writer Joseph Hesch's second-chance journey to a literary life.

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Lunch Sketch

"Drawing is not an exercise of particular dexterity, but above all a means of expressing intimate feelings and moods." (Henri Matisse)

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I'm a single dad documenting his journey. A guy trying to walk a higher path. And messing up. A lot.

The Official Blog For Mental Health Project

Making mental health everyone's concern

Jottings and Writings

Thoughts, Opinions, & Random Jottings

Lauren Kells

Writing stuff down since 1986.

Rob's Surf Report

Where the closest ocean is all in my mind . . .

A Canvas Of The Minds

A unique collaboration of different perspectives on mental health and life

Mouse Tales - Travel and photography

Travel, Disney, and photography

artgland

the secretion of art by Rhian Ferrer

Claire Manning

be inspired

Damsel in a Dress

A Funny Blog About Some Not So Funny Things