And the Winner is…

First of all, I want to thank you all for your wonderful, kind, touching, supportive comments!!!!!!! I am beyond grateful!!!!! You all made me feel I am not alone in this. You gave me so much good energy and I am thankful to all of you for that. I wish you all happiness and good health. Thank you.

For some reason (unknown to me) the video of me picking a winner doesn’t want to upload here, so I uploaded it on FB in a JJJunkies group. Those of you who don’t belong to that group will just have to trust me 🙂 about the name drawn, and it is Connie Monroe! Congratulations Connie! Please send me your address as soon as you can.

Thank you all for participating, and once again, thank you for your kindness. I really really appreciate it.

 

Tough Stuff

Hi all! How are you? I hope you are all ok and having a great time.

I have been trying to write a blog post for ages and I just didn’t know what to say (write). And to be honest, I still don’t. But I missed my blog and I missed being in contact with you all this way. So, here I am.

I am doing ok physically. I finished the treatments, it was rough but it’s finished. I am slowly getting strong again, I feel less and less tired, and even though there are many things still not quite all right, I hope they will be with the time passing. I am waiting for a first checkup at the end of the month to see if I’m Cancer free or not.

Mentally, I am also ok. Most of the time. When I don’t think. When I do think about my situation, I get scared. I get confused. And angry. I am not scared of death, I am scared of the possibility to not be with my husband. I want to live this life with him a bit longer. There are so many things we would love to do together. I am confused because I don’t know how to act. I don’t know how to deal with all this. I used to be a control freak, I used to try to plan everything in advance, and now I am facing a life without any possible planning or any certainty. Well, hello me! There ARE NO certainties in life! Let it go! Live in the moment!

It’s hard. But I am trying to change my way of living and thinking.

And the ‘angry’ part, well I am not sure who I’m angry with. It’s not God, I trust God. But my best friend told me that I sound angry and I trust her too. I guess I am angry with Cancer.

Sometimes I wonder if all this has some purpose. Maybe there is something I have to learn out of all this? I hope it’s not a punishment because I truly try and always have tried to be a good person. Yes I’ve made mistakes, but honestly I never did anything with bad intentions. So a lesson maybe? Or is it just a coincidence? Just a random thing?

I just don’t know!

To tell you the truth, I’m still not trying very hard to figure everything out. Most of the time I try not to think about it. My husband is my rock, he supports me, he understands why I have to escape to my studio day and night. That is what makes me sane. My art. I spend hours and hours working, thinking about what to make, how to make it, what materials to use, and that’s my sanctuary.

I don’t have children, and after the Radiation therapy I never will. The hormonal therapies for infertility I’ve received throughout the years have probably added if not caused this crap I’m dealing with right now, and I often wonder what my legacy will be? What will I leave behind after I’m gone? But one wise woman told me that it is not children or material things that matter the most when we go, it’s who we made happy. I do hope I have made (some) people happy and I hope I will make (some) people happy.

And if nothing else, there will be a ton of journals left when I’m gone. 🙂

So, I am giving away this journal:

It has different papers inside, mostly my textured handmade paper.

It is a gift from a heart.

Thank you. Thank you for reading this, thank you for being a part of my life. Even if we’ve never met or never will, it doesn’t matter. You are all part of my life and we are all connected. And I am thankful for that.

And the Winner Is…

Hello friends!

First I would like to thank you all for your lovely comments about my work, both here and on my FB profile. You guys are the best!

But I don’t want to keep you waiting, so to announce the winner of my giveaway:

all of the names went into this lovely little bowl that I made and I will explain that to you also (later) 🙂

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then my husband randomly chose one

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and it was

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Congratulations Julka! 🙂 Please email me your address and I will send the journal to you. Yay!

So, about the bowl. You know how I love to recycle. Actually, with the years passing, more and more of my work is inspired (at least partially) by recycling. Our planet is suffering. We are polluting it and destroying it and I feel horrible knowing that I am part of that. Well, some things are almost impossible to avoid, like using AC or buying products that contribute to pollution because there is no product in the grocery store that in some way does not contribute to pollution. But I try to do as much as I can to minimize that. And one of the ways is to recycle as much as possible.

We all get junk mail, receipts of all kinds, bills etc. And I have already shown you my handmade papers (which I love). 🙂 So as with making paper from newspapers and junk mail, you start with tearing them into small bits and soaking them in water for at least several hours but preferably over night.

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After that, you put them in the food processor and blend them.

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Then take a sieve or colander and if the holes are a bit big, add some thin fabric or a cloth or what ever you have on hand, and strain the mixture.

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You don’t want it to be too dry but also it shouldn’t be too wet. I know it sounds like crap when I say it like that, but there is no way for me to explain it better. The thing is, you will know if it’s dry enough because if it is too wet than you won’t be able to stick it to the bowl. And if it’s too dry, you will have hard time shaping it over your mold.

Here is mine nicely stuck to the bowl, which serves as a mold for my paper bowl.

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As you can probably see, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap before putting my paper over it.  Oh! I almost forgot to mention! You should add a little bit of glue to the paper paste after draining the water. For example, I would add about a tea spoon of glue to every cup of paper paste. But you could add more or less, I don’t have a recipe for that. In fact, it would probably be good to check out on Youtube how people do that, more professionally, but I was just playing and having fun.

Anyway, that’s how I did it, and I pressed it pretty well that paste.

After it is a bit dry, but not completely, which you will also be able to see because if it’s not dry enough it won’t be able to come off that bowl in one piece, you can take it off and put it somewhere to dry completely.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of my bowls right now, but I will photograph them and show them to you in the next post. Hopefully this was enough explanation on how to make them, or at least to try and just have fun making a mess. 🙂 But you can make some really beautiful bowls this way, and after adding paint and varnish to them, they make lovely decorative pieces and also great gifts. Especially if you fill them with sweets! 🙂

Have a great day / night everyone!

Good News and a Giveaway

Hello lovely people!

I have some great news to share with you – my Etsy shop is finally working again! I am slowly adding more things to it, but there are some lovely journals there already. You can take a look and tell me what you think. 🙂

So to celebrate that, I would like to give this lovely little journal to one of you!

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It is a small journal, about 4,5 x 5,5 “, but it is quite fat and it has hard cover, very textural and lovely, and a lot of pages inside, as well as pockets and tuck spots. There is also a clay piece on the cover as a decoration and a focal point.

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Do you like it? If you do, just leave me a comment and I will be back very soon (probably in about 5 days) to draw a winner. Also, if you wish you could leave a comment on my FB profile and that way you’re also in a game(although that will still count as one entry). 🙂

Good luck!

Treasures

Hello lovely people!

I just wanted to share with you a new and wonderful collection of treasures. It is so great to have friends who are willing to let you rummage through their old stuff and take all kinds of bits and pieces. 🙂 My dear friend took me to her late aunt’s house and told me to take whatever small thing I like! Imagine that! After screaming and going all “Ooohhh and aaahhhh” and almost peeing in my pants, I started collecting. Luckily we only had about half an hour to be there, because I would need a suitcase at least to put all the stuff in! 🙂

Here is what I found:

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The box above is kind of a piggy bank I guess. It’s leather and metal but has no key. Hmmm… How will I open it? 🙂

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All those keys and metal tags, light bulbs, rusty old things, also some not that old but perfect for altering and all just perfect for incorporating into my work! I was so happy when I found them and I still am! I also found this texture tool which is to die for! 🙂

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I also couldn’t resist taking home this dusty old box filled with papers and receipts from 1920’s till 1930’s!

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The paper is very delicate, damaged and brittle, but it’s history! It’s time preserved! It’s someone’s piece of life captured, and now that I came to the rescue 🙂 it’s going to be saved and loved.

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I can only imagine how old this rosemary is. 🙂

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I have to clean them all and prepare for another life in my books and journals. I feel as it will be a way to preserve them and most importantly to honor someone’s life. Even though I have never met that person, we have a connection now.

I Painted Something!

I don’t paint. I don’t think I know how to do that. The mess I make in my Art Journal is (I think) just a mess, my way to feel free and to do what ever I want. But for some reason, about a month ago I felt the need to paint and I knew exactly what I wanted. Texture, color, and more texture.

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Texture

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These look lovely on the wall. 🙂

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And there is one more!

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I just had to paint these. It felt like they had to come out of my head, and now  that they did, I feel great!

Still think I can’t paint though.

But I am happy with these paintings.

Crazy.

My Messy Heaven

As promised, here are the photos of my studio! It’s clean and tidy and will probably never look this nice again. 🙂

My studio

This is my Heaven, my space to weave, make books, paint, drill and glue and repair things, sew; also add an office to that and you get the idea. 🙂 That’s why I can’t organize it any better than this.

On the other side of the room is my sewing and office space. Office space is shared with hubby, but he is getting slowly pushed out of the room completely, LOL! He works on his laptop computer anyway, so he doesn’t need this desk anymore. 🙂 My computer is terribly out of date, but I don’t care.

My studio

As you can see in the first photo, I keep an old T shirt at hand to clean my brushes on it. And I managed to turn a computer desk into something more functional. You can’t see it on the right (the chair is in the way, sorry), but the CD rack now holds sanding papers. Very useful!

I also have a “primitive” but functional pressing station 🙂 in one corner, by the bags filled with recycling materials.

My studio

Some of the gifts I received from dear friends are always with me to inspire me and to warm my heart. I wish I could have everything I received over the years on display, but unfortunately it’s not possible.

My studio

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My studio

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A poem I love…

My studio

My art and travel journals, completed:

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And the ones I’m currently working in:

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Boxes with beads:

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My jewelry nicely displayed and not entangled in the bowl anymore. 🙂

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And my old friend, the one who opened the door of the art world to me, the loom!

My studio

I am so happy with the studio! It’s not the prettiest studio in the world, and yes I do need to change that curtain :), but it’s mine and I am having so much fun here!

Now you know where I do what I do. 🙂

Have a wonderful day!