Making jewelry to sell

I will be vending my jewelry at Goth Night on Easter March 31 2013
Here is some of what I made…

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And some journals I am covering

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Busting my stash to help a friend

Last night while at a volunteer group meeting I was talking to a lady I know who has a lot of serious health issues and she was mentioning that their little trailer was hell to heat and she only had 2 small blankets.
I thought about how just the day before I had been wondering what I would do with a thick white duvet I had been given as a gift and didn’t need, one I don’t really like white and 2 I have a lovely Gothic themed collection of wonderful comforters.
Well I could cover it for a quilt? Probably never as my one quilting experience was not all that great. 
Of course i could take the filling out for pillows. But then I have a few space bags full of old pillow filler and brand new pillows cost $3.
So I had just stuffed a 13 gallon bag full of the duvet and threw it in the garage for future uses and there it sat waiting to be of use so I told them to follow us home and I gave her the duvet and a small bag of inexpensive fuzzy socks I was thinking of making sock animals or rice bags with (even though I really disliked the colors)
Here I am busting my hump to organize my art room and art supplies and I have things I have no likely use for or real affinity with but it has always been hard for me to let go of things because of “I might need it some day” syndrome.  So finally I am making an effort, I gave away most of the clothes I had when I was bigger even though it is hard for me at times to not want to do something crafty with all of them so I chose just ones I had altered too much already and gave the rest away.
For me it was just really stash busting unneeded stuff, for her it was the first warm night she has had in a while she told me.
Sometimes I hold on to stuff just to have it, so now it is time to be more honest with myself about whether an item will be used or whether it could do someone else more good that it is doing me.

More unfucking of the art room

I have all the storage stuff ready to go in the art room and tons of stuff basically sorted in the front room.
The problem is that it seems so overwhelming at times knowing I have large card table totally covered with plastic shoe boxes full of loosely sorted random items, not to mention the entire area under the table is packed with only slightly better sorted paper and that I still have so many boxes to go through stored in the garage.  There are times I look at it and want to cry or give up and just haul it all back in boxes in the freezing cold garage.
If I am to meet my February 9th self imposed deadline I need to stop getting stalled by both health issues and self doubt.  So I am taking a page out of UfYH at  http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/ and every time I pass through the front room to get to the back of the house (our room, art room and bathroom) I grab one or 2 things off of the sort table, take them in to the art room and put stuff where it goes.
This will work for about half of the stuff on the table and make space for further sorting and space to bag and box stuff up which will then go into the art room the exact same way. Then I can bring in more stuff and begin sorting that.
Progress is a great motivator!

Wire rack paint holder, disaster and triumph

My first disastrous attempt to hang the paint hanger with ribbon, 1 cupboard hook and staples at 3 am…took an hour before I gave up and began cutting it down (this pic is halfway through the cut down)

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This lead to giving up, going back to bed and waking up in a horrible mood (that and other things lead to a melt down of epic proportions where the thought of burning every craft supply came to mind as I am feeling horribly overwhelmed)
Finally the Alex calmed me down and made me just shut the door on it for a bit.  I scraped up $10 and my mom and I went to Michael’s because in some weird logic getting more craft supplies made sense and it mellowed me out.  
Part of the stress has been the big 30 piece art project and feeling excited but stalled and trying to think of ways I can do it in time.  So what do we find for $0.25 each? 5″x5″ stretched canvases with some fruit printed on them that will be perfect for altering.  Yes I bought 30 of them but in my defense they immediately were put away in the hall closet.
So this cheered me up enough to try again with the rack.
I used 2 cupboard hooks spaced far enough to actually hook the bottom grid onto them then another cupboard hook above it with a ribbon to hold the outside grid up a pinch higher than the bottom grid so stuff would not fall out and a small ribbon stapled to the wall to hold the bottom grid flat to it so it doesn’t push away from the wall.
The results!

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These are my puffy paints, glitter paints, screen painting paints and a couple of mediums.

Art room in progress, huge strides

I have a project I am working on that will involve 30-35 small (4″x4″ to 5″x7″ and random sizes in between) art pieces, mostly mixed media “paintings” that I need done by April 1st

I am determined that I will not start any of these pieces until the art room is finished and so I am setting my goal for the art room to be finished by Feb 9th (one month from now) which will give me about 7 weeks to finish them.

Today mom came over and we brought in and emptied all these old rolling (and some that dont roll) plastic dressers some of which were mine and some were given to me by a friend who had left a few random art supplies in them.

We stripped them down and mom washed the drawers and the frames of them and we tossed the frame to one 3 drawer wide dresser that was broken though we are keeping the drawers to use in the garage and for the sorting of art supplies.

Now I have empty drawers to put things in (the wooden dresser is empty) and I will be putting medium sized clear plastic bins on the shelf in the closet and getting some small 3 drawer sets for pens and pencils to go on top of the plastic dressers in the closet

I also went through 2 huge bins of plastic food storage containers and lids and disposed of some and found lids for the rest, the reason I mention it is I had been using 2 boxes made out of those wire storage cubes and I now have 2/3rds of one full of tiny little storage containers ranging from 2 oz to 6 oz as well as a couple entree/sandwich size ones that are not air tight. I plan to use them in some of my drawer units for things like beads and random findings. Also I now have those wire racks for sorting stuff into.

Right now about 90% of my art supplies are in the garage waiting to come in box by box to be sorted one at a time so they dont over whelm me which was the problem before.

I still need to put up a few plastic shoe bags to put things in but now there are actual places for things to go.

Before Art room closet

Before Art room closet

Art room closet in progress

Art room closet in progress

 

Bookcase wall with drafting table over whelmed by STUFF

Bookcase wall with drafting table over whelmed by STUFF

Bookcase wall with rolling carts ready for supplies

Bookcase wall with rolling carts ready for supplies

 

Library desk area with tons of stuff (now waiting in the garage)

Library desk area with tons of stuff (now waiting in the garage)

Library table area waiting for supplies

Library table area waiting for supplies

 

 

 

 

 

Crafting for my sanity

Tonight was so hard, I was having serious neuropathy problems in my legs (nerves that shoot random messages causing pain and spasms) on top of being so tired I thought I was going to fall asleep during the game but I didn’t want to ruin it for everyone so we played extra long and I tried to distract myself by working on a very simple quote art journal page (working on lettering) 6×6″ black card stock mounted in a small scrapbook cover (no sleeves) Prismacolor pencils and gel pen markers.

I think it came out good for how out of it I was.
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After that hell night and with the depression and rage fits I have been going through I did some thinking about why it is so important I get my art room organized.

[b]Here is something about why I NEED art to stay ahead of pain and stay sane[/b]

I live with chronic pain, sometimes it is a mild nagging in the background, that little itch or ache that mildly distracts you from everything just enough to qualify as annoying, other times it is front and center, taking away my enjoyment of life, washing out the colors, drowning out the sound of joy, flooding my senses with currents of agony.
Thankfully my issues are no where near as bad as many chronic pain sufferers who ate in the second state of pain where it takes central focus 24/7.
And more to the point is the fact that I have a few outs that save me from drowning in the pain, from losing sight of what is good in life and what is still worth fighting for.
It is strange because while I suffer from chemically based bi-polar depression I am blessed with a nature that is overall happy. I know people with no health issues, no mental or physical issues that simply go through life perpetually irritated and mildly unhappy or seriously angry everyday. And here I am, physically and mentally broken by most anyone’s standards, and yet I make an effort to see something beautiful in just about everything. I don’t claim it makes me a better person, I believe it is as much a combination of genetics that allows me to feel joy and be happy as it is a matter of genetics that causes my bouts of depression. It is also upbringing, I was taught to see humor in even annoying things and to find 1 beautiful thing a day.
I also have a drive to do art. I think I would be dead 100 times over by now if I did not have art to lose myself into.
The thing is art and crafting, and especially art journaling where I can easily do a little bit or a lot, where I can work 1 page when i have a single focus or prep 10 when I am so distracted I can’t focus on one thing, gives me a way to stay separate from my pain, to stay out ahead of it a bit. One of the reasons I tend to work on multiple projects at a time is a mix of AdultADD and pain management, being able to change my focus, not having to break off and stop working while something dries, allows me to keep a bit more focus which distracts me from my pain.
I don’t know how chronic pain sufferers who don’t or cant craft, or even read, survive. Without a distraction, without an outlet for both my pain and my joy I would break into a thousand pieces.
I often write about pain on line, but you will not find a lot of pages about it in my art journals. There have been times when all I wrote about, all I created was ruled by my mental and physical problems,. I glorified the pain by putting the problems down then found that i could not stand to look at them later because while it freed something in me at the time it kept bringing it back into my life over and over again afterwards, this was especially true of the things I did to express my mental issues of depression, anxiety and self loathing.
And so a lot of art was destroyed and some of the paintings gessoed over and the canvases reused, it wasn’t until I ran out of gesso and decided to incorporate a bit of the original images in the new more positive piece of art that I hit on a way to vent artistically and not allow my art to be eaten alive by pain.
Obviously I am not afraid to discuss my illnesses but I do not want it consuming my art work, I learned to use it as part of my art but not the final focus.
A good example of this is art journalling, I will pour out the pain, the thoughts that are eating at me, the moments of agony and then I will rework the page it was written on to make it something new, something not about the suffering underneath.
Sometimes I will write in pencil on dark paper then draw over it, I will print out blog posts or fb statuses about my pain, run all the sentences together so that it is line after line of solid text then draw or collage at random over it and then when I have “Broken it’s back” (its continuity) I pick words out and make found word poetry that has nothing to do with pain.
I can’t always control the pain, I have issues meds do nothing for except give me a badly disjointed sleep, but I can control how I express it. This is not to say there is no value in work about pain, work where suffering is the focus, but for me, well I have been there and I am moving on.

Really, damn my knees

Frustrated!
I had been in a lot of pain this last week and have been having a medium bad flare up of arthritis brought on by over doing it for the last month and by wrenching my left knee from stepping wrong and finally it was beginning to lessen so just this morning after cleaning up after the party I started organizing the art room and moving my rolling (and non rolling) plastic dressers around to get the best usage of space.
I figured out where my drafting table can go best and where to move the bookcases, then moved them around til they fit.
I bought 4 cardboard bankers boxes and 8 clear shoe boxes and 2 clear plastic bins that are about twice that size of the shoe boxes and was all ready to bring in the remaining dressers, empty them of random junk, clean them and figure out where to put them…
And so of course I fell on the ice and have wrenched my other knee to the point where every movement makes me want to cry
I have all of this motivation to get stuff done and just walking from room to room or laying down or shifting in a chair is agony.
I have end stage (bone on bone) arthritis and I am half way between cortisone shots and cant have another for 2 months so there is no point going to the dr, I just have to wait it out and hope the pain goes away soon and my motivation hangs on.