The most important thing I have learned about myself is that I cannot control everything. Part of coping with PTSD is the desire to control everything, your environment, your family and the people around you. In doing so, you can develop unfavorable ways of manipulation and often, the result is the opposite. The outcomes are viewed as failure.
Failure is a word or idea that no one wants to have around. It can destroy your self esteem and lock you into a dark place.
To be successful, we must learn to let go. Things will not always be perfect or foster self growth.
My favorite way to simply ” let go ” is through watercolor. Think about it for a second. The water flows without bounderies on paper. You can set a few bounderies by using more or less water or maybe the size of the brush or paper. Many times, the creation of simple embossed edges can keep the color from going ascew.
Usually I begin with a little story but this one doesn’t have one. Well, not really.
You see, we all lose loved ones and memories come sneaking back to us at times that leave us with a smile.
Inspired by the memory of my Mother. This would have been something I made her, had she been still with us. It’s her style through and through. A little sweet but not too obvious.
Enough mush, here is the nitty gritty of this card. I was inspired by the washi tape that I had purchased on sale at Altenew. I knew I wanted to do something with it because it really caught my eye. I decided to try and add a little watercolor to the tape to give it a sweet muted look. I used Altenew woodless watercolor pencils. I chose these because the color is very soft and I didn’t want to tear the washi. I applied the color after adhering to white cardstock.
I then ran the entire panel tucked into the wood planks 3D embossing folder through my platinum. This came out gorgeous!
The edges of the card base were dredged across the embossing ink pad. Then the antique rose embossing powder was poured on and heat set.
Lastly the panel was adhered with foam tape to the base. This is important because tape runner generally doesn’t stick to washi when it’s tucked around the back.
Sentiment taken from the vintage roses stamp set and also embossed to match.
Finished off with some sweet acrylic white pearl dots. Try using washi on your next project and tag me because I love inspiration! 💕
Remember…. Be Still and Create Something Beautiful ❤️🥰
It has happened to every one of us when we least expect it. Later, the timing was proven to be right. This happened to me years ago. I rescued a very large cat from a family that was ready to give him up to a shelter because they couldn’t care for him.
Recently we celebrated his birthday. He is now well over 10 years old. He is my best friend and he has been through so much. He chose me.
Continuing on with my papercrafting, I recently completed a class teaching me how to build scenes. This project portrays my kitty and his playful nature. I began by using the graffiti scribble stencil by Altenew for the background. Inked with distress ink in “salty ocean” color.
The images were cut and stamped from Altenew “modern cats” stamp and die set. I used honey drizzle and caramel toffee crisp dye inks layered on top of each other for the perfect color. Fine details were added with black fine liner pen. My favorite Nuvo drops were added to complete the scene.
Who is your best friend? Was it planned or just kind of happened?
Thanks to everyone that has emailed and left kind messages. I appreciate each and every one of you. Remember to drop me a comment and follow my blog for more stories and creative gems.
As always, all my creations are donated back to the IAFF Center of Excellence for firefighters recovering from PTSD or to someone that just needs to know they are important.
Remember, Be still and create something beautiful. 💘
When was the last time you took some time for yourself? You did something to feed your soul? Something that helped your grow as a person?
For me, being a first responder, that concept is considered selfish. As a firefighter, we go to work, save lives and go home to our families. Many times, we do not think about the stress we place on ourselves or our families. The sacrifices we make to save others are huge.
Since my diagnosis of work related PTSD was given to me, I have learned that I am important. Important enough to take time for me. I took time off to feed my soul and enjoy life again. Its been tough but so enriching.
This card is dedicated to those afraid to let go and enjoy life. Do what makes you happy.
I intended this card to have calm and muted shades of yellow, greens and blues. I accomplished this by ink blending my card stock with tumbled glass and shabby shutters Distress Oxide ink. The paper was embossed with a technique using Altenew’s Geo Cover Die B. The paper was misted with water to prevent cracking because of the intricate pattern.
The muted flowers were cut from Altenew’s Wild and Free stamp set. I used my favorite shade of Blue Lagoon Crisp ink with Mango Smoothie and evergreen. The special 3D butterfly was a stamp cut from vellum and embossed with nuvo navy metallic powder. Dimension was created with foam tape.
Finally the sentiment from the same stamp set was embossed with the same navy powder to match and handwritten “be” was added with fineliner pen. Topped off with yellow and blue nuvo drops.
Its a simple reminder to take time for yourself. Wake up just a little earlier each day and enjoy the calm.
Thank you to everyone for all the comments and support.
Tell me what you think.
As always, Be still and create something beautiful. 💘
Perhaps, you still don’t know what makes you happy. When was the last time you tried something new? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of what people will think? Who cares,
because at the end of the day, only YOU can make YOU happy.
I recently tried watercoloring. I was attracted to the forgiving nature of the ink and the bright colors. Coping with PTSD can be very challenging from day to day.
As most of you that follow me know, I have been exploring art as a coping mechanism. I have been searching for ways to learn and reach out to others in recovery.
Welp, here is latest project and very first watercolor design. I love this!
I started this with a teal layered card stock background on a 4×4 square card. I was looking for something a bit outside the box so I used shades of blue and green watercolor pens from Altenew. I sprayed adhesive onto the Altenew flowing hearts stencil and attached it to white watercolor paper. I wet the paper and filled the stencil with shades of blue and green watercolor.
Then, I let the paper dry before die cutting it with a scalloped heart die from my stash. I adhered it to blue card stock and cut a second heart base. Lastly, I taped the entire heart to my base card using 3D foam tape. I topped it off with matching sentiment from Altenew “A crafty life” stamp set.
Drop a comment below and follow me for more inspiration. Interested in art therapy? Reach out because your not alone.
Remember, Be still and create something beautiful 💘
I couldn’t pass up sharing this pretty little piece of art with everyone. A simple reminder to continue to explore healthy ways to release stress. Grow where you are planted. Learn to play again. Dance in the rain. Love relentlessly.
The weekend is nearly here. Get out and go hiking, explore your backyard. Sunshine truly keeps the clouds away.
Aa always, that you for the tons of support I have recieved. If just one person benefits, my time is worth it.
Until next time, be still, create something beautiful 💘
Its just 3 words. But, it has Proven difficult for some people to say.
I know because I grew up in a home like that. I never heard those words growing up.
I know, its just words. Sometimes you need to hear it, for a little reassurance that you are indeed, loved by someone.
My mothers last words before she passed away was, ‘I love you”. I had never heard them from her so, as you can imagine, it was a bit shocking.
As a result, I also find those words difficult to say. It is just something I never learned or practiced.
It was a major milestone, in recovery to learn to express myself better. I cant change the past. I can only move forward and shape my future.
There it is, the inspiration for my next project. This is pretty much “Me”. Straight forward, not too mushy but flexible.
A simple reminder that we all need to tell our loved ones how we feel and express our true selves every damn day!
This project showcases the ink blending technique which is typically a background. I added a fun twist by blending ink onto a doily and using that as my focal point.
This project started with card stock from my stash. Two layers were cut and the second one was covered in beautiful Altenew washi tape to create the background. A paper doily was then ink blended with oxide ink in hues of red. While that was drying, I fussy cut flower bouquets from the washi tape. It is time consuming but worth it.
I cut 3 layers of “hello” from the Altenew “Waterbrush Hello Die” from red card stock. I glued each one together to add dimension and stability to the “Hello” word phrase. The word was layered on top of the paper inked doily. The washi flowers that I carefully cut earlier were added around the center. The sentiment strip was added at the bottom from the “All the Hearts” Altenew stamp set to finish this project.
We all should say “I love you” a little more and remain silent a little less. Drop a comment and share this with someone who needs this today.
Remember, be still and create something beautiful. 💘
I don’t know about you but, I have been doing a lot of thinking the past few days. How far I have come and how far I have yet to go.
I have accomplished so much and many things that I never thought I would. My dream job as a firefighter, raising 5 beautiful children as a single parent, a healthy lifestyle, two college degrees, adorable grandbabies and at some point it seemed impossible. I worked hard and made more sacrifices than people know.
I have been physically sick, felt helpless, became homeless, abused and lonely.
I have been a teacher, a mother, a caregiver, a paramedic, a daughter, a secretary, a wife, a firefighter, a coach, a mentor and an actor.
Keep dreaming because it gives you something to work for. You will get there but you have to work hard. There will be sacrifices, heartache and frustration but, you will get there.
This was my inspiration for creating this card as my class project. This class “Clean and Simple Boutique Cards” by the Altenew Academy.
I started this card by using specialty teal mirror paper, watercolor paper and a black card base from my stash
The mirror paper was trimmed and mounted on the black card base. The watercolor paper was stamped with the Altenew “Happy Dreams” stamp set and altenew permanent black ink. The stamped image was then painted with Altenew “Lagoon” and “Persian blue” watercolor markers.
Once dried, gold gel pen highlights were added to the feathers for some detail. Gold splatter was scattered for some extra sparkle. The watercolor panel was then cut with a scallop edge and mounted with foam tape for dimension.
The sentement from the same stamp set was stamped on matching white card stock and added with more foam tape. Gold Nuvo glitter drops were added for more interest. That completes my creation.
While working on this project, I used several techniques taught in the class. I used watercolor for the first time ever and some gorgeous colors! I played with specialty paper and gold accents. I am very happy with the outcome.
I hope that you find some joy and inspiration in your life as much as I do. This past year has been very difficult for many of us. Keep looking forward and let your accomplishments guide you….. Not your failures.
Drop me a comment below. I cant thank you enough for all the love and support that I have been given. 💘
As always, all my creations will be donated back to the IAFF Center of Excellence for Firefighters experiencing PTSD, addiction and mental illness.
If you are a firefighter in need of help, reach out because your never alone.