Blogmas | Christmas Tree Projects

Hello!

This season I was inspired to do something a little bit different.

In September, when I was able to decorate my bedroom for autumn, I went on YouTube to find tutorials on how to make my moon phase garland together easier on my mom and I. As you now know, this still didn’t really help, all it really did was my parents wish we had done it all homemade like in the video. Anyways, as I continued to look for other helpful ways, I came across four DIYers that just seemed fun and genuine with their personalities. I watched all of them for basically a least a week and afterwards, I became inspired to do a little project myself.

I’m still shocked that I came up with this so quickly, because usually it happens within two days (or nights) to finally figure out how I want everything, but not for this one. I instantly knew what I wanted to do but asking for it proved to me a little scary, because I haven’t done anything as grand as this since I was a senior in high school! I still don’t think what I did was at the same scale considering the fact back then, I made six similar portraits on larger canvases within a week apart from each other. For these projects, there were only three items on slightly smaller surfaces, but the biggest difference is that instead of drawing with pencil, pen, and pastels. I only used pencil to start and eventually acrylic paint.

I am not a painter. I’ve never thought of myself as a painter but since the videos I was watching online were in that media, and that’s how my vision was coming to me, I thought I would take a crack at it.

There was something that my mom told me on the second day that stayed with me throughout the process and made me feel at ease once I started on it again. I wanted to share it here in case anyone reading this is like me, and needs some type of encouragement.

You’re not Picasso, and we don’t expect you to be.

If you want to copy what I did or make something similar, here are the materials you will need:

  • Canvas – ours are 12×6
  • Acrylic paint – we purchased the prime colors: red, blue & yellow
  • Assortment of paintbrushes – I used both thin brushes, one a little bigger than the other
  • Paper plates or handy palette
  • Ruler
  • Water

When I officially started on them, I forgot that I never told my dad about what everything was for, and after I asked where the ruler was, he showed me how to actually use one. Honestly, I’m thankful he did it because I’ve never really used them, I usually just estimate and go from there. And after he showed me where the middle was on the first canvas, you could still see my remints on the first time I made my lines and I was off by a couple of inches! My dad was pretty impressed by it and so was I!

So, we measured the border first, and with all of my patience, I did miss the mark a couple of times, but in order to make it more about fun, I had to tell my ego to shut up to make myself keep going, especially when I got to doing the measurements for the big item that all three will have and that was a large triangle or Christmas tree in the center of the canvas. Once I figured out everybody’s shapes, I took pictures for both proof and to show you the process as I continued on this artistic journey.

The next day, I went back to it and was utterly excited to get my toes dirty!

Despite knowing I’m not a painter, I still freaking love it! It’s like glitter but more liquid-y…

Anyways, I thought the best decision would be painting all three trees first and then move on. My mom poured out my blue and yellow onto my plate and I started mixing it with the end of the brush I was going to use first and I wasn’t necessarily happy with the color that appeared first, it was more blue-green and as pretty as it was, it obviously wasn’t the shade I was going for, so I grabbed the yellow again and undid the cap and put the container on its side and squeezed with all of the strength in my feet to get a small amount of paint. Once I got what I wanted, I mixed it all again and I ended up with a very green color and it still had a little blue but it wasn’t as noticeable as the first color, so that was good for me!

I got to painting the sides of the first, I used my homemade desk that my dad made for me back in October. However, everytime I went to turn it around I would end up with more paint on my toes than I liked because that meant, it wasn’t sticking and I would have to go back over it with a second coat. Well, as I let that one dry, I looked around my room to see if I had anything to help fix this problem. So, I have another, older foam box that I have used in previous DIYs and I really needed an easel and my thought was I could prop each one up so I could see everything and allow it to dry a little bit before turning it over. The only issue was, I didn’t have anything to put underneath the canvases to make sure I don’t make a bigger mess than I was, and I grabbed my sunflower rug and flipped it upside down so that I wasn’t ruining the pretty side and this turned out to the second best idea I had that day.

Once I got everybody arranged, I was moving pretty quickly but I have found my absolute weakness with painting: borders. It wasn’t the paint this time; since I made “proper” measurements with a pencil, staying within that area was a bit difficult, but I refused to let it get to me in the end. After all of the borders were a royal blue, I got to work on giving each tree a decoration of some sort with using ideas I found on both YouTube and Instagram.

The main objective to these projects was to make them as different as possible. So, the first one looked absolutely gorgeous! There were no mistakes at all, but the other two: well, the second has one side bigger than the other and the third actually looks like a tree with branches as I was running out of green paint and it turned out better than I expected it to be. This one is actually my mom’s favorite, so go figure! I left everybody to dry for the day before I moved on to the decorations!

For the most part, I used the pencil to create the star on the first project in the way I know how and even though the yellow we had was light, after splashing two coats in that small space, it covered up the guide. I pushed it to the side to dry before doing the trucks, and I did the next with ornaments. Now in my original idea, I was only going to put three in different sizes but once I grabbed the pencil, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The first trick I found was using the back of a pencil (I got really creative and used the back of my red colored pencil!) or small lid and just coat the flat surface in whatever paint you’re using and pressing it like a stamp on your designated area. Well, if you know me, once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. I meant to do the tree but was having so much with this trick that I kept going all around the tree. Technically, everytime I look at it, it makes me think of an apple tree because of how many dots I laid on the tree.

For the second, I had my mom grab two Q-Tips from the bathroom and I took both in between my toes and held on tightly to both and just did the same motion with the pencil, expect for having individual dots, I took the gold color paint and dotted in a line from one side to the other to the paint where it looks like you wrapped tinsel all around the tree. After I was done, I told my mom that it was my favorite because it looked like what I was initially wanted and I think the lopsided part helped a lot because it meant I could make the tinsel look long and thicker like regular garland.

The final addition that was put on all three projects was some sort of truck; in my head, I just wanted something minimalist and for the most part I stuck to that idea and two of them ended up with a L shape at the bottom of each decorated tree. I used the last bit of brown that we had for it too. As for the third, I was going to put two little vertical lines showing you the outline of a trunk but never connecting the two, but I didn’t like what I had painted on the canvas so I just gave it a full trunk and leave it to me, to place it on the tree that has an odd shape already, so the trunk isn’t necessarily in the middle as the other two but by the time we figured it out, the paint had dried up and I just waved it off.

After they were all dried, I told my mom where I wanted to hang them. There is a mini hallway in between the spare bathroom, my room and Nolan’s playroom. There is a medium sized of wall space that has always looked dull and I thought these would be perfect to hang them and make the house a little more Christmassy! My parents are not the type to decorate every space in the house like I would, especially being that this house is still “brand new” to us and I feel like it needs that sort of vibe going on. So, my mom hung all three in the order I had already picked out and since they are all unique, I thought my last wish for them are three have the same meaning but it is translated in three different languages: the top is the star and this one is called, “Merry Christmas”. the middle is the gold tinsel and full trunk and it’s name is, “Feliz Navidad” for Spanish and the third with the pretty red ornaments is German’s way “Fröhliche Weihnachten”.

Overall, the projects were a success and I am very proud of myself for not only being strong throughout the whole process, but for being committed to doing something different and definitely out of my comfortable zone. Here are the rest of the photos I took of the whole thing.

When was the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone, but that was bigger than you would normally do? If you create your own Christmas décor, what is your absolute favorite you have made for 2020?

snowflake

Photo Diary | Spring/Summer

Hello!

The last time I did a photo diary was in 2017, so three years of no cat pictures, which is really sad considering these cats are very well loved by almost everyone.

In that time, my nana had just moved up north so my ability to upload any photos at all from my camera(s) was pretty much over. A part of me was okay with it, I thought I could just live with creating and reusing old pictures for my banners. If I did want to take a picture of something, I would have my mom and/or sister do it for me, but as time went on, I really began to get the itch to do it myself again. For most people they can whip out their phones and take as many photos as they want, but for me, it can be a bit of a production in itself. I have a system and it’s just easier for me to do it then to depend on others.

Lots of things have happened since the last post. I became an aunt for the first time and we got a new house, this spring, we finally got our side porch and ramp put together. I love being outside again. I’m pretty sure the cats are very happy to see my smiling face too! Unfortunately, the ramp isn’t quite finished yet so I still haven’t use my “rocket” chair to sit outside, which is fine with me because while I sit in the blue chair, I am able to read my books out there and be at a comfortable level with our cats at the same time.

Another good thing about the porch itself is that, we get to do pumpkins again! I tried my best to bring them back last year, but my mom wasn’t having it! For some odd reason, she thinks we will mess up the floors… The last time we did them, my sister was in the early stages of her pregnancy so this will be the first year with Nolan! Hopefully it will become an annual tradition, especially since next month the three of them (plus their animals!) will be moving into the neighborhood. Whoohoo! I have collected a lot of fun DIY/craft stuff on Pinterest for Nolan and I to do together and I think we will be able to form a closer bond and we will be able to unleash our creativity too!

I think it is now time to share some pictures with you, now that I have given you a “mini” life lately update so let’s bring on the cats!

Wow!

I may have to bring this series back, especially if I continue to take as many pictures as I did, but the funny part about this is that, this is just a fraction of what I took at the end of April to early June!

So, I wanted to come up and explain who everyone is, because I might have a few more people that visit my blog and they may not know anybody’s names. We have a total of nine cats, but the ones that are camera friendly are: Oscar, Bootsie, Tavis, Bear-Bear, Grumpy, and Felix aka Fifi. For the most part, when I go outside, Oscar and Botsie are the most excited, because they generally love the attention. Bear-Bear and Tavis are just starting to open up to me and hang out so that’s been a fun accomplishment! Grumpy is still very much a lovebug but it took him a lot longer to accept being touched by anyone that isn’t mom.

I wanted to tell you something absolutely hilarious before I go! My mom got the idea of me bringing out my books so if the cats were to leave me and beg at our back door, I could stay outside longer and not have to depend on anyone’s company. This was the greatest idea ever! I think it is the reason why I was able to finish my reading challenge sooner than we expected to! Now onto the funny part of this story. In the beginning, my mom would bring out this bench so I could see the book better, but everytime I didn’t go into my position fast enough, our cat Felix would literally make himself comfortable and get on top of the bench and book itself, and take a little nap!

Do you need proof? Well, this is him sitting on and without the bench itself and just hanging out on my book. Thank god he’s adorable or else, this would be really annoying! I guess this is the joy of having cats… Oh, one good thing, he’s the only one who does it!

Okay, I think I am officially done with this post. If you think I should do a post like this every month, please let me know because I can definitely get back into a routine with it. And once I am able to get around with the “rocket” chair, I will be able to take pictures of other things than the cats so that could be something to look forward to in the future.

Do you have any cats? If you do, how many and what are their names? I would love to know more about them!

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | W : Wheelchairs

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It is extremely difficult for me to talk about wheelchairs. Last year, the big contervesory was about the death of Stephan Hawking was announced, an artist made this beautiful drawing of him coming out of his wheelchair and basically walking up to heaven. As a disabled woman, I was very conflicted with this, but it wasn’t for the picture per se. It was because I felt like I had to choose between what I’ve always been taught and agreeing with the rest of the disability community.

The big deal wasn’t necessarily about the drawing itself, it was more about how a disabled person relies on their wheelchair to do things, like simple tasks around the house and/or getting out and having drinks with friends. However, everything just exploded into this chaotic thing that I really did not want to be part of at that time. Honestly, I still didn’t want to talk about it again on here, but I am on the letter “W” and there wasn’t anything else I could talk about other than this.

So, I’ll just say that my wheelchair doesn’t give me freedom. There it’s out and I can separate myself from the crap I’ve been feeling all this time.

I do think it allows me to do tasks better but I still feel stuck whenever I am in it. I really feel I am limited in both varieties of wheelchairs, as I’m either too short or too bulky! I have yet to find the perfect fit. Maybe this is what regular woman deal with picking out new heels! The second point I would like to get across is, it’s also all about your state of mind. I think after so long, you adapt to every different setting, and wheelchairs are a part of this too. You might get to do new or lose some beloved challenges while figuring out your surroundings.

Again, I have conflicting feelings about my freedom. I know I can never get away from my limitations. I say this not a sad note though, I like being able to test them anyways. I think this is really healthy! My family might not always agree with that statement, but you know. Honestly I would lastly like to say, I will believe what I want to. I have been doing pretty good on several other subjects throughout the years, I can add this onto the never ending list too! Even if that means keeping it in for a year and a half until I can find a clean way to discuss it on here, that’s what I’ll do.

If you’re in a wheelchair, whether that is full or part time, what are your thoughts on your freedom to be able do all the things you want to do? 

snowflake

Top 11 Life Mottos To Live By

lifemotto

Howdy!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while. It wasn’t until I saw fellow blogger, Lisa put up a post about her favorite life mottos that made me get my butt in gear to publish this!

Back in 2014, I really wanted to learn how to deal with life. I didn’t want to get started on anti-depressants, and still don’t honestly! I knew what I was doing, wasn’t the best. I had two big depression spells first was in 2010 and the other was late 2011 into early 2012 and at this point at my life, I was fine, but I always felt on edge. I remember being on the website Your Zen Life created by actress Teresa Palmer a lot. I read some of their self-love articles and they really helped me deal with some of my inner demons. I started to learn more about daily affirmations and somehow I managed how to control my patience, which still freaks out a number of my family members!

Blondie and I have adopted a similar way of using life quotes to our advantage. After she got out of a very abusive relationship, one of the things she did to help her find some comfort, was she wrote out different quotes in this small notebook she got after attending a college campus tour. We’ve decorated the back of our doors with quotes and song lyrics that really mean a lot to us in the past, and with doing this, it helped a lot because I was able to see the phrases in front of me on a daily basis and I constantly had them on my mind.

If you follow my blog’s Facebook page and been seeing the quotes I’ve posted on there for the past couple of weeks, this is the reason. Here are eleven different quotes and the stories of why I like to use them on a daily basis. Maybe some of them will inspire you to adopt them into your life.

Train your mind to see the good in every situation.

A few years ago, I found this thing on Pinterest that I was thinking about doing, and I mentioned it to my nana and somehow by the end of our visit, we ended making a promise we’d do it together. So instead of looking at your whole day and knit-picking at the negative stuff first, you’re suppose to select three good things that happened within your day and if you can find three things then you have an excuse to say it was a “good day” compared to what you usually say.

This is how I ended up finding this quote, because it was similar to the activity. After a while, you do start seeing the good in your day that maybe you didn’t before. I mean, you’re going to have bad days, but you don’t want to feel stuck in that pattern for days on end, so this is a good way to start anew.

Sometimes the best reaction, is no reaction at all.

It’s funny, this was the quote that inspired this post because as much as I like to use it on a daily basis, the one thing that it doesn’t work on is apparently basketball. Maybe it’s the papaw in me or something, but I have trained myself to not react to everything, except that!

I think the one thing that I still need to work on, is how to deal with my dad. Whenever my mom goes to work, I spend close to six hours with him and we know how to get on each other’s nerves pretty easily. And whenever he says something that I feel like I don’t need to reply back to, he will ask it anyways. So I’ve learned to select my battles and I try my best to not give him any kind of reaction at all.

Everything happens for a reason.

To a lot of a people, this will seem like a cliche quote to use, but I think it’s one of the most popular quotes ever.

Honestly I use it for probably the most random things ever! This actually comes in handy whenever I watch Jeopardy.  I’ve had a lot of things that I’ve watched on TV, mostly about art, books, food, history become categories on the show within a week later. I always find it both cool and weird whenever it happens.

Prove them wrong.

This one is just embed into my brain. I started using this one when I was very young, before it was a just a simple phrase I heard other people say out loud to me and somehow I ended up becoming that phrase. I like to prove people wrong with everything I do, it’s part of my disability vocabulary, and I still use on a daily basis.

Strive for progress than perfection.

I wish I knew about this one in school, especially when I was in elementary. As the “prove them wrong” was meant as a positive quote to say around, it also had a drawback to it. When I would take art classes, I would become this “amazement” to my teachers and the rest of the class. I was never teased for it, but I feel like I was my biggest bully to myself because as I got older, I started to really hate wanting to be perfect in whatever I did. It took many, many years to get myself out of that mindset, especially when it came to art.

You’ll do it when you’re ready.

This is a like a timeline on what’s going on throughout my life without even trying!

I think this can be taken in many ways. Right now I have a lot of ideas relating to my writer side. I want to branch out and share some of my knowledge and pieces to other websites, but I have a lot of self-doubt that comes with it. I can talk myself up to it only so far before my confidence fades. So a part of me has been writing, writing, writing as I’m trying to follow the advice of Lucy and have a different array of articles in my drafts, so when I do decide I’m truly ready, I can just pick and chose which ones to give out!

Be open to whatever happens next.

I found this quote, prior to the death of my papaw. I don’t know if this was my sign that something was coming, but I have been increasingly embracing this lesson. I think it’s a good idea, because I know you can’t prepare yourself for everything, even though I’ve become pretty good at attempting this. I usually try to say it in the mornings, and it’s been very helpful!

Perspective is everything.

Perspective really is everything to me, it keeps me grounded I think. I’m not as quick to judge things and people, thanks to this quote. I also like to use it when it comes to art too! I like trying to figure out what the artist was thinking about as they were doing the design in the first place. That’s why I usually like big canvases and abstract art!

You can’t change what’s going on around you, until you start changing what’s going on within you.

Oh, this was a new addition to my life and to this post. I found it back in mid-April, as I was scrolling through my dashboard on Pinterest! I thought it worked well with how I was dealing with life in general.

I am the one that everybody comes to for advice, or they did, and I’ve been used as distractions in the past. I’m fairly good at doing both, but it’s when people don’t want to be bothered with either situation, is when it can get a bit difficult. Now when it comes to help for myself, I’m scared to ask for it. I like my independence and hate the fact that I need extra guidance to get through life, so a part of me knows that if I want to get better, I’m going to have to accept this obstacle and basically hitch a ride and hope to God, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Everything is a choice.

I think this is somewhat similar to “when you’re ready” and “perspective” quotes. They all go together with the same outlook, I mostly use them for my articles. I need to remind myself that everything I do is a choice, I don’t have to conform to what other people expect me to do, and if they don’t like it, I can take that piece and send it to another person or site and hopefully they’ll be more open to allow it.

Even the nicest people have their limits.

At first, I wasn’t going to add this quote, because I didn’t think it was like the others, but the more I thought about it and I realized why I wanted to write up this post in the first place, I figured out this was one of the most perfect quote/lesson to keep in mind.

I’m a fairly nice person, I don’t have any drama with people, I get along with most of the population. I’m not racist, homophobic, or anything of that nature. I’ll never really talk about these any subjects but I do have an issue with keeping other things, like serious topics locked up and they can swirl around in my head for many, many years without being discussed and I’m very been worried that one day, I’m just going to explode because somebody’s said the wrong thing to me and I’m going say something that’ll sound insulting and that’ll just break my heart.

So, in the future you might see some very brave posts that I feel need to be talked about on here, and hopefully I won’t sound too much like an asshole. I’m just tired of keeping my opinions to myself. This is your warning I guess to what could come on this blog in the next seven and a half months!

Are there any quotes that you love and keep nearby to remind you to keep going in life? What is your favorite quote ever?

Blogs That I Love #25

blogs

Hi 🙂

I’ve been noticing that I am following a lot of different artists and art blogs lately. I do have a weakness for it, because I still know a good amount of knowledge about art. I took as many classes for it as my sister did for weightlifting in high school! For this post, I only wanted to highlight the ones who draw or paint by hand. I don’t have anything against the ones who use the computer softwares, I just wanted to take it back old school, to what I used to be good at back in the day.

coolpeppermint – I’ve been following Lu for a year or so now. I don’t really comment on her posts, but I do read and browse around on her blog at her lovely drawings and photography every other day! I love the “Daily Art” series she has, most of the posts only have a few sentences but the real attraction is whatever she’s finished and releases to us. I often forget that photography is part of the “art” mediums, so it’s nice to be reminded that even I don’t draw or paint as much anymore, I still have a knack for getting the right and unique look to my subjects–which would be my cats! Trust me, when my nephew arrives, he’ll probably become my next guinea pig!

Favorite posts: Jar Of Hearts, City Dreaming, Rose All Day, Walkway, Let It Snow, and Rainy Daze.

Art We Wonderful – Marion has become one of my favorites! I found her or she found me, I still get confused! Somebody found the other first let’s just go with that! I want to say she’s the one who really inspired me to start painting. I’ve never liked painting! You needed a lot of patience to be able to do and enjoy it, and I didn’t have any of that while I was in school. Now as an adult, I’ve matured and gained a lot of patience in the last five or six years. I’m more into painting small things compared to what she does! Marion has a lot of cityscapes and buildings. I love all of the details she puts in them, they look so lifelike that I kind of get jealous of them!

Favorite posts: Lunchtime In The South Of France, Going Door-Crazy For The First Time, A Complete Mini Vacation To Italy’s Cinque Terre, and Where Art Thou, Internet Guy?

Holly Hearts Art – So I didn’t want to only talk about bloggers, even though this is what the series is all about, but it’s mine and I want to add Holly onto the post! Holly is very unique as I actually found her Booktuber channel first. She has a really great quality bookshelf tour she did last year that I think everyone should check out! I think I watched three book hauls before I found she had an art channel too! And every once in a while when I need a little push to doodle or like the other day attempt a perspective drawing–I haven’t done one those in probably seven years–she has all kinds of videos, like subscription boxes, drawing prompts, and testing out other art products! I just love her to pieces!

Favorite videos: Favorite Places To Draw, Quick and Easy Drawings To Do When You’re Bored, and 500 Drawing Prompts #11

With all of the beauty, fashion, lifestyle and mommy bloggers out there, what is your definition of a “unique” blogger? Do you follow many artists or art blogs? If not, why don’t you?

snowflake