Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mixed-Media Art Journaling, My Journey

I have kept a journal or a diary for pretty much my whole life. Sometimes my entries consist of a quick list to jog my memory later, while others are 2 or 3 pages of my innermost thoughts. A close friend gave me the gift of a "Grief Journal" after my father died in August of 2008. It was a 'prompted' journal that helped me to organize my thoughts, which were all over the place. I journaled daily. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. It was too painful to talk about, but yet I came to a point in my grieving that I had to get it out. I wrote about everything. My memories of him and the days leading up to his death. I detailed our last conversation, word for word, so I would never, ever forget our last words to each other. I wrote about the night my daddy died in my arms, and about how I felt, and it was therapy in a way. Even though it's been over a year since he died, I'm still not thru the "5 Stages of Grief". No where near in fact, and I continue to journal. Sometimes it's too painful to write about my dad, but the journal helps me remember things, a task that has become extrememly difficult since my thoughts are so jumbled these days, and my brain never stops thinking.

I recently became interested, well obsessed is probably a better word for it, with mixed-media Art Journaling. In addition to always keeping a journal, I've always been fairly creative and 'artsy', but I never thought of combining the two. I spent hours searching the internet and visiting the websites of some extremely talented artists and I was so inspired by their work as well as the idea of an Art Journal as therapy. As I read more I discovered that Art Therapy is often used for people dealing with grief or trauma and decided I just had to give it a try. I felt as if all I had read about it was true, not only was it therapeutic, I began to learn so much about myself, so I could add personl growth to my list of positve effects of making an art journal. Not only was it a healthy way to express myself, it kept my mind focused and busy. I've decided to take it one step further by documenting my Art Journaling experience here on my blog. So here is my very first 'spread'. It isn't finished yet, but I am quite pleased with how it's coming a long.

On my first and second pages I had such a fear of the "blank" white page staring back at me, it seemed a very daunting task, but my desire to do this made me push forward. I was reluctant to draw, write or sketch on the page so I cut pictures out of magazines and glued them on. Once I took that first "plunge" my fear subsided and I jumped in with both feet! I'm not finished with the first spread, but having hit a "creative road block" I decided to move on to the next page and come back to the first one later.

Have you ever used art journaling for therapy? If so, what were the positive effects for you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love Shabby Chic decor. I love its romantic appeal, the vintage linens, vintage chandeliers, the roses, and the colors. I love the casual comfort it provides, so feminine and inviting. It's relaxing, like a soft touch. And it's imperfect, like me. How wonderful that all the little flaws and imperfections in a shabby chic piece are considered positive rather than negative qualities. Most of all, I like its ability to lift my spirits, calm me and make me feel at peace. I've had many personal tragedies over the past 2 years, the most heartbreaking being the loss of my precious father. I've also recently become single and am facing the task of starting over. I set out to make my home my sanctuary. Shabby chic combined with my love of pink fit this description perfectly. Here is the first journal entry in my quest to make my space my own, and it can be anything I want it to be. Just like my life now.

This corset is soooo Shabby Chic! I added the antique necklace and brooch for a splash of color.

Fresh flowers also add to the Shabby Chic "feel" and I try to keep a vase full of them around as often as possible.

The bedroom is a work in progress, as is most of my "Pink Retreat". I wanted something romantic and cozy, comfortable and light. I started with the canopy over the bed. The bedspread has to be replaced. It just doesn't fit. So far I haven't found anything that I love and can't live without. So I will be patient and wait for just the right "one", and I can live with this one for now.

I recently found, and fell in love with "wall words". In fact, I love them so much I could easily over-do it with them! This one seemed simple and pretty, just what I wanted over my bed. It does a good job of filling up the space behind the bed since I don't have a headboard yet. It wasn't enough though, so I hung the floral swag above it and that completed a look I can live with until I find that perfect headboard.

The top of a wonderful trunk I found and couldn't live without! It fits perfect in the bedroom and is also practical for extra storage.

A simple picture behind my "Willow Tree" collection.

Antique look clock, without the antique price tag.

Last but not least, a wine alcove mural in the kitchen. It fits the Tuscan decor.

It's all coming together nicely, I think. It's starting to feel like home.

There's so much more to be done, but I'm off to a good start. Most importantly I'm accomplishing what I set out to do, which is make a place that's me, and a place that makes me happy.

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