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Awhile ago I did an encaustic mixed media piece created with Crayola and acrylic paint. Though I liked the way it turned out I thought it might be even better toned down a bit. I decided to go back and make it less abstract. The first step was to gather all my tools.

DIY Encaustic Art Tools

Here are easy to acquire, household tools I used to melt wax and crayons for encaustic art. Since these are household used in encaustic painting, you will have to be careful to monitor the heat.

  1. Small glass jar or empty aluminum tea candle
  2. Coffee mug warmer or tea candle oil warmer
  3. Crafting iron
  4. Toothpick or small scraper such as clay tools
  5. Wax paper or Parchment paper

With those basics I was able to warm blues and greens then smooth them over the crafted canvas.

.Dollar Tree oil/wax burner .Small glass bottle of Crayola melted crayon

I mentioned in the original entry that the painting is on Viva Paper towels. Let me explain; the paper towels were layered with wax then gesso and Mod Podge until I had a nice surface. ...continue reading

Maybe a year ago I began to update my emergency go bag. What I included was according to my personal needs which means according to chronic illness.  One of the most important things will be to secure medical information in an easy to get to location. I have a small book that includes meds and doctor's names with plenty of paper to add more notes.

While packing, I kept in mind the purpose of the bag. The purpose of the bag is for immediate needs at a shelter for the displaced. One of the hardest things to remember is that I'm not packing to survive an Apocalypse. I'm not packing in case I'm alone in the wilderness, isolated from civilization with nothing but a volleyball to talk to. The bag is packed to take with me in case I'm displaced in a shelter...a shelter...for a few days. I have a different kit for being stuck in my apartment with or without electricity. Those supplies and quantities are vastly different. I think it's good to be prepared for both. An online search for basic items to include helped quite a bit.

Ok so, if I'm displaced and my cellphone goes out then that means no flashlight app, no digital numbers, addresses or books. With this in mind, I included a small LED flashlight, good batteries and hard copy contact information and basic clothing items.

For me, there's going to be more attention paid to medical needs so in addition to a pair of medical compression socks I have quality socks and a lightweight, air tight container. I included one of my long scarves, my good watch, secured reading glasses and quality antibacterial. I chose oregano oil because it's vastly superior to Neosporin. ...continue reading

Well, Facebook is going to close the account I've been using for quite some time because I won't upload ID to them, however, I've had a second FB account since around 2015 that has been unused for months. I went ahead and transferred friends and groups to the 2015 account. Lets hope this is enough to satisfy FB because I don't have a 3rd account. If FB decides to close down the 2015 account then I'm off FB for good. As I changed things over, a copyright issue came up.

I made a girl mad because I told her she can't put my art on her blog without written permission and a small user fee. She said she gave proper credit. I said, the art says All Rights Reserved. She thought I was upset with her and said it's not like we're talking about Monet. I ignored her snark. She told me it was exposure. She used that word exposure as if somehow that word makes everything better. My eye is twitching right now. lol

Question. Would you be okay if a random company took your FB photo or a photo of your kid you put on your FB page and put it in their ads without telling you? You let them know that you're in business and that using your image for free is against your long stated policies. They say they can use it because they found it on the internet. ...continue reading

So you have a room divider meant for family photos but you'd rather do something artsy with it, try filling the spaces with original art. In my room divider I've added such original works as the encaustic mixed media painting called "Fall Tree". Beautiful blues are displayed acrylic painting in "Abstract Waves". I've also showcased original watercolor paintings such as"Rich" and "Hush Be Still".

Living room 2017

Can you spot "Bruised Reed II" or the painting "She Flows"?

Room Divider Art Display
Room Divider Art Display

I've fallen in love with "Blue Wonder" and "Altered #7" so I framed them until they find a permanent place to live. Also on the wall is "Landfall II" , "Purple Tree" and my favorite painting of all time, "Little White Dress." Little White Dress is digital art created forever ago with my computer mouse.

The below gallery shows a few paintings up close. In a different entry I'll discuss and show better images of the painting "Nesting Place," a beautiful orange, gold and turquoise painting of birds and flowers. You can spot it here on top of "Nesting Place II"  ...continue reading

This entry sparking from a comment on the entry Managing My Raynaud’s Symptoms. The purple ribbon is a symbol for Lupus so I tend to refer kits and such as a purple kit or purple pack. Orange is the ribbon for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

For years I've been treated for chronic pain as well as the depression and despair that comes with a chronic illness. I may not have known the correct name of the chronic illness but I knew I needed a safety plan.

Pain levels
At the time my pain rises too high, the world stops right then and there and I go into safety mode because I run a real risk of killing myself. First off, my baseline is an eight. I can manage a level 8 without losing my mind but an 8.5 or higher puts my life at risk. I want to avoid that. I want to handle things before I reach that point.

...continue reading

Part Two

Gradual Pain Increase
This pain is different and it's going to last for awhile and I know it. Immediately I'm angry because I'm about to hit a 9 and stay for a long time, hours to days. It's going to be a very long time. This safety plan is a bit different. For one thing, my attitude is different, I'm angry! I'm about to do this AGAIN! This is crap. I'm slamming stuff, just mad....but I realize I have to act faster than the pain level rises or I'm in real trouble.

I first locate the written safety plan print out which outlines what I need to get through this time. The list is altered a bit right here. It looks long but keep in mind this is primarily a check list, because most of these things are already in the same area.

  1. Get your purple pack out - hat, compression socks, arm compressions, wrist braces, neck brace, hat, small heating pads, aromatherapy items, etc
  2. Telephone - get the phone and the charger. You need to look at the numbers in the Purple category, these are the people you can call 24 hours a day when you're in this state.
  3. Start up heated blanket set to low with gradual heat increase. The blanket automatically goes off after 10 hours.
  4. Locate smaller pillows to help elevate pressure point pain.
  5. Get drinking water and get hot tea in your spill proof cups.
  6. Pull the small trash can over.
  7. Tablet -  get tablet with charger and readily available music videos and movies
  8. Locate your sand bag which goes over your legs to decrease pain.
  9. Grabber - get the grabber, you're gonna drop something and it's gonna roll.
  10. Art supplies - these supplies are smaller but work well for my bed desk.

...continue reading

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I hate Raynaud's. Raynaud's is one of those tag along syndromes of chronic illnesses such as Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CRSD, and Fibromyalgia. My hands and toes get so cold it feels as though they're frost bitten. The day I knew my life sucked was when I had a hot flash during a Raynaud's flare. My hands and feet were so cold but the rest of me was hot. I was like, kill me now! lol

I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of this syndrome, I want to focus on the outlook I was given and the one I currently hold. What I've been told is there's nothing I can do but wait it out. I've been told it's something I must endure and accept. I hate it when doctors tell me that. There is something I can do. There are things to help me through the flare, but I had to look for them. The tips I have are from others with this issue. I tried them at my own risk. A doctor didn't instruct me to do these things. But desperation makes people take risks, doesn't it? The risks I took were slight and they work for me. That's what this entry is about, what works for me.

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One might say this gift benefits my friends and me because if they're healthy then they can visit, if not they must say far, far away. I don't go as far as to take temperatures, or listen to their lungs or do a culture sample before they enter the apartment, but, I do take one preventative measure that benefits all.

You know how you give your friends a health tip and they agree it works but they never do it? This little gift does most of the work for them. It's easy. I filled a few glass baby food jars with raw honey, a lemon slice and a little bit of distilled water.  It's a pretty little gift jar to put in their fridge that will help their immune system, help break up phlegm and sooth their throat. I called the gift, "Everything but the Whiskey" because once you add a little bit of whiskey to a cup, warm up a bit of honey and lemon then you've got a hot toddy.

The must have in a hot toddy
Raw organic honey and fresh lemon

Optional herbs and spices
fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg

Alcohol options for hot toddy
Whiskey, rum, scotch or brandy

Tea
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Her head and body will be sculpted to appear more life like. Of all the dolls I've made, this is the first time someone has allowed me to write publicly about how it feels to make these dolls.  The first feeling is one of pressure followed by fear I may fail. It takes me a good week to get my head around the project.

The first step is the easiest, sew the body size. Now, I never use a pattern, never. The dolls body size for arms, legs, torso and head are not cut from a pattern. When the person tells me what they want, I visualize it and then draw the doll on the material that will best fit the creation. She's the size requested but she is cut from her own cloth, not a pattern.

After sewing all the parts (and a few back up parts) I begin working on the facial features. This step gives me the most anxiety and the most emotional satisfaction. For me, the artist, it's all about the expression on the doll's face and the expression in her eyes. Some have said that my dolls eyes look like the doll itself is an old soul. I hope that's a good thing because as I begin to paint the entire doll, features, flesh tone from head to toe, I don't feel as if I'm painting a doll. Things change quickly from doll making to having to deal with my own trauma issues as a child and adult.

I NEVER use the doll as a pin cushion. I NEVER hold the doll by the hair or have her in positions that are troubling. I start to see the doll as a child that will be adopted by someone who needs to love it, and will. Ah, my issues come up really strong in having respect for the creation. I'm making something that hopefully will aide someone in their recovery process.

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What if you like a painting but you don't want it mounted on the board or you wish to remove an embellishment on an art piece? Well, let me tell you how.

Blues GardenLet's start with this painting as an example. This is called Blues Garden. The painting is an emotional art therapy piece created in blue, gray and rose, with a wash. I've drawn a young woman with her head to the side and several flowers around her. I do like this painting, especially framed, but I have mixed feelings concerning the largest sunflower at the bottom. First of all, I put it there because to hide the words "No Peace" written in white crayon.

Lets say a buyer likes the art, but too has reservations about the sunflower. Well, lets show how to remove it.

Before you begin, you must figure out if the embellishment has been given a permanent seal or is raw such as the sunflower in the painting Blues Garden. Some embellishments, dye cuts, stickers and additions look best without a seal and are on the final art piece in their raw, natural form. Other additions have an obvious finish. You should not attempt to remove these as it will tear the image.  ...continue reading