A-Z Disability Challenge | L : Life Lately

Hello!

It has been a while since my last post. Thankfully we are at the letter “L” on my A-Z Disability Challenge because instead of doing what I had planned I am going to change it to a Life Lately post. I hope you are all good right now so let’s get into this!


As you may know back in June, I talked about the fact that both July and August were fast approaching and I had begin to worry about how I would respond to them since I went through a huge depression spell last year and was basically miserable. I felt like I really needed to keep myself busy with blogging, in hopes that my brain wouldn’t be reminded of that time. I had lots of cool topics I was talking about on here and then one day I just got really bored and decided that I didn’t want to write anything. I just wanted to enjoy myself for a few days–which slowly turned into weeks–and I think I realized how happy I have become lately!

Since we’ve moved into this house I have been getting out of my room a LOT compared to the other house. It was a pretty small home with tiny hallways and caved-in floors. When I officially moved in at the beginning of January, I just thought I would continue my routine of staying in my room majority of the time, but my mom had other plans. She was given this nice kitchen table and wanted all of us to use it, but I thought we would only use it for holidays, so the fact we actually sit together and enjoy our meals as one, is pretty surreal!

One of the things that I have really enjoyed is when my mom is home from work. She’ll put me in my wheelchair and let me have breakfast or lunch at the table. If she has to cook or has something else going on while I’m in there with her, I’m usually looking out the back patio doors and counting our cats. I’ve figured out that both Tavis and Felix are the ones who are out there the most in the mornings. However, if nobody is there I try to find ChiChi on the couch. She likes to cover herself with many blankets and try to get some extra Zzz’s but sometimes when I see her peeking through the blankets, I can’t help myself I like to boop her on the nose and if she gets out of her little cave, I crunch down to attempt to get a kiss, trying not to hurt myself in the process, but even if that happens I will still do it because I like getting kisses from the animals.

I like to stay in my chair for as long as possible and even keep my mom company if dad is still in bed. We have some great chats and there are times where she’ll put me to work, and I’ll mop the floors or break up boxes to put them in the trash. I can be very handy at times, just let me pour pasta inside a bowl, apparently I have lost my touch.

She likes to read Closer Weekly magazines, and honestly I enjoy some of their articles too, but in the back of it they have an entertainment inspired Word Search you can complete, and I absolutely love working on these puzzles! My papaw loved Crosswords but I always found them to be a little difficult – to be perfectly honest he also had issues as well especially if they were about a lot of the recent pop culture stuff. It was interesting because there were times where he would ask my mom or us kids if we knew what the answer was; unfortunately there was hardly ever one I knew on the spot! So, that’s why Word Searches are my thing, but they weren’t always though, I have had trouble finding the ones going vertical or backwards in the past, but I have gotten better at them now!

I have found out that I am at the perfect height to reach my foam box while I’m sitting in my push chair. At the beginning of the summer, I went back to coloring again. Before my nana moved away she gave me these crayons that you can twist to keep them sharp, everytime I use one I immediately think “where were these things when I was in school?!” They’re very handy! After two days, I grew out of that because I tend to grip them too hard, I was literally causing my toes pain as I continued so that sucked!

After Nolan had his birthday party in June, he was given a lot of new toys, and there were so much that we were given a chunk of them to keep in his room. He has a new love of Hot Wheels now so I am even more happy that I purchased that city rug for him, because he can really put it to good use with these little cars! What is funny though is that Brandon and I, we were perfectly fine without it. They move better on the wood floors and since there is so much space in the living room, they can go pretty far; Nolan gets a big kick of it. Every time I ask for a car, he’ll give me one and put it in between my toes so he loves it whenever I play with them too!

One day I got the idea about playing with these little cars in his room. At least, that was my original plan, but I ended up changing my mind when I figured I could play basketball instead. They also left this large bag of these brightly colored plastic balls, and since he has like two baskets I thought this would be kind of cool, and I was right! I love being active and the fact that I am using both of my legs to do this makes me happy and I enjoy having fun with playing again, it has become a blessing in disguise. I wasn’t doing too good at throwing them in the basket at first, but I am slowly getting better at it as time goes on! Practice makes perfect.

I am still trying to get Nolan into basketball. So, I am plainly trying to get better at my shots so that maybe it’ll inspire him to play along with me! He does know how to dunk because he has a basket at his house that he pushes a basketball, soccer, and whatever stuffed animal is nearby into it. At least he gets the idea so that’s a plus! Maybe when he comes over on Christmas, he can watch an NBA game with me? It’ll only happen if I can get him to crawl (or walk as he is trying to do it!) into my room without anybody knowing he’s gone. I doubt that’ll happen as Blondie and papaw freaks out about everything he does!

What helps you relax or get you out of a funk? Have you learned anything new about yourself or a hobby this summer?

A-Z Disability Challenge | H : Asking For Help

Yes, I am going to try to get back to my A-Z Disability Challenge! I have been kicking myself for not doing it for so long but I think I am finally ready to start on it again. If you have missed any of the other letters, I have them at the bottom of this post so you can check them out afterwards.

This week I will be talking about the notion of asking for help. Although it is a fairly popular topic of other disability bloggers and YouTubers out there, I think it’s a good idea to have many pieces out there for people of different generations in multiple point of views to help people learn more about what they should do if they ever found themselves in a situation where they want to help, but are not sure on what to say or do at the time.

I will be firstly talking about why a disabled person will probably never ask for help. It’s honestly a mixture of things, I think the most important reason is because we don’t want to look weak. We actually love doing things for ourselves. Every ounce of independence we get, we relish in it for as long as possible. However, the day it runs out, it is a heartbreaking day. For example, after I had my back surgeries in 2002, I wasn’t able to jump back into my regular physical therapy, we did a lot of moving around and my body wasn’t used to all of that yet. Our main objective for me to learn consisted of how to transfer from wheelchair to couch, chairs and toilet. I finally re-learned how to transfer again two years after I recovered. Unfortunately I never learned how to get on my bed by myself, which was probably the biggest blow out of the whole thing. I can scoot down off, but I do not have the strength to pull myself back up anymore.

If you were raised like me, you basically had full rein on what you could do, and it made you feel “normal” for once. We love to challenge ourselves in our daily lives. and being able to learn something new is the biggest drug we can seek out. Unfortunately, some of these challenges can be more complicated with some of our limited movements. So, we can sometimes be slower than not only we would like, but for other people too. I’ve realized in the recent years is that our families are usually the ones that have the lowest points of patience of the bunch for some odd reason! They don’t like to see us struggling, especially our fathers, so they want to “help” us. What they don’t know is that they’re doing more harm, as it is better for us to learn how to complete a task than leaving it for someone else.

I do understand the reason why people feel like they should help us. Even though you should always ask that person if you can lend a hand, we will try our hardest to make sure to let you know we don’t need you. Something you may not know is that we have a huge sense of pride within ourselves. Giving up on anything that lets us be like everybody else is the worst thing possible ever. So, when we can’t finish what we started, we will reluctantly ask for help. We will not be very happy with ourselves, but at that time it will be something that needed to happen.

I have always had a difficult time accepting help. One thing that I despise is when someone close to me will automatically do something for me, when they know I can clearly do it. I love trying to find new things to do with my feet, nothing really makes more happy in life than discovering new ways to do ordinary tasks around the house or out in public, but it does make people nervous, they think I’m going to get hurt, so they try to dodge that obstacle as fast as they can and yes, it is very annoying but you have to let it go and hope for the next time. You have to realize your patience is not the same as others so in a way, I think both sides need to keep that in mind when it comes to these things. It also ultimately depends on them on if they can learn to grow to trust you with the various tasks you know or learn later in life..

Here are previous letters and their links if you want to check them out now!

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita | Building Trust | Be Truthful To Your Children | Dear Disability Community | Events | Treat Your Friends The Way You’d Want To Be Treated | Long Term Goals

Life Lately | Hello Spring!

Howdy!

Since this is the last full week of April, I thought it was only right to blog about life.

Last week I mentioned that it’s been a whole month since I had blogged at all, and I don’t really know why I decided to do take such a long break but it happened. This year I manged to come up with three separate series, two of them are on here and the other on my blog’s Facebook page. I did a lot of work to get everything organized that I think I started to expect a lot of myself that the pressure mounted so much that I began to feel overwhelmed by everything, but once I stopped blogging for a couple of days, I just all of a sudden felt better about things and I didn’t look back.

I’d like to say I got a lot of other things done while I was on my hiatus, but I didn’t. I think the only real thing I worked on the whole time was my “name pairings” Pinterest board! I didn’t take advantage of the time off to read or anything so that’s one thing that makes me angry, because that would have been a perfect hobby to do! I didn’t even watch that very many movies or TV shows either. I was pretty much consumed by Pinterest! It’s so sad to say out loud and of course read it on here too!

One thing that I’ve been really enjoying lately is our weather. Well, technically we had a few strange days where it was producing late spring weather, where the temperatures were like in the 60-70’s and unfortunately, our new house does not have an air conditioner yet. So, for a large number of days we had to rely on opening our windows and leaving our fans on all day long just to cool down. For 4 days alone, my room’s temperature was around 78-80 degrees! At night, it was miserable because when I have my fan pointed one way, but if I wanted to lay on the other side I was hot as hell! I actually spent one day completely in a short sleeve shirt with a pair of very tight shorts. On the day I wrote this post, the temperature had calmed down so much that it was 39 degrees outside! It was also very comfortable in my room too!

A feature about our house that I am starting to really enjoy is I get to see the morning sun. I’m such a nature girl at heart, so the morning sun makes me extremely happy! Now there is one bad thing about my room. Since it’s placed so far back, I am around a lot of trees so whenever it storms, I am in a constant state of paranoia because we have some very tall trees in our backyard and we have had some limbs crash down in various places in the past. One large branch was responsible for tearing a hole in our trampoline! So, being surrounded by trees has its bad notes too.

I have been spending a lot of my time hanging out with my nephew Nolan. He’s grown so much since my last update. I have thought about creating another one, but it’ll be his birthday in about two months so I have decided to hold off until then, but I doesn’t mean I can’t share anything with you though.

Do you remember when he was like three or four months old and he was obsessed with my hands? Well, now he’s starting to fall in love with my feet! When he was around two months and he used to sit in this seat, and he would watch me get a drink and put on my blanket – I literally told him once that I would treat him how I do that. At seven months old, the little goofball learned how to put on his own blanket with his feet! He’s such a smart cookie. He loves grabbing things with his feet, and I’m surprised with myself because I figured I would be offended by the fact he was using his feet to do stuff, but I’m not. I’m just proud to see him paying that much attention to what I do because I think it’s just part of my daily life, I don’t like to think of it as a special thing, but he’s made me think about it differently now.

Whenever he was really little though, I was often upset that I wasn’t able to hold my cutie pie (my nickname for him!) the only way I was allowed to be up close with him was when mom or Blondie would bring him into my room, to take a nap on my bed. We would wrap up in fleece blankets and while he got to sleep next to me, I was making mental images of my little buddy. Now he’s somewhat mobile, since he can army crawl around I haven’t had that one-on-one time with him. Well, he recently exchanged that with giving Auntie Meggie many, many hugs! Yes, he is a big hugger! I love it. In a way, I think that makes up for the fact that I couldn’t physically hold him as a itty-bitty baby too.

Well I think I’m done for now. What is your favorite thing about spring? What is your favorite activity out of your normal routine that you like to do?

A-Z Disability Challenge | A : Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita

Howdy!

So, last week I basically announced to the world that I was starting my own challenge. I have created this challenge to talk about disability topics in alphabetical order. Some will have a personal touch, like today’s post will discus my condition: Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The others will be educational and/or opinion pieces. I wanted to give you a good mixture of different themes that everybody, whether you have a disability or not, would understand a little better.


Honestly, I just wanted to write this for people who are really curious about my condition, and who are maybe a little embarrassed or shy to ask me questions up front. This will hopefully help you understand a little more about what it is, what areas it affects, and some of the stuff I’ve had to learn to do, to adapt to my surroundings.

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita is simply as a joint condition that can affect many areas of the body, but it is formed in the womb. Since my joints of my arms and legs are limited to movement, the muscles never really developed, thus why they are really skinny. My arms have always been bent at the elbow, I’ve had many therapy sessions to help lessen the tension in my arms. My elbows will never unlock and I’m okay with that. I’ve always had insecurities with the fact that my hands just lie there. I was never able to use my fingers, but there are a lot of people and young kids whose hands like mine and they can actually write and draw with them. I don’t know what actually possessed me to use my feet, but it was definitely a day to remember for my parents that’s for sure!

I am not able to walk like everybody else. I have two very different feet, and neither one are able to lay flat on the ground, so whenever I did experiment with walking, I usually walked on my tippy toes instead. I grew up rolling and eventually scooting around on my bottom. The only way I can explain for the rolling is because since I wasn’t able to move my arms on my own to get them out of the way, I think my family was afraid I’d get rug burn, so I just started rolling around. Thankfully, I was so small that I could fit through most doors and hallways. I can’t give you a definite age when I switched to scooting but it had been before I was four years old, because I was going to a special school and honestly I needed a better way to get around. I was pretty slow, but I didn’t care one bit. I use to chase my sister and cousins around my grandparent’s house all the time! Of course, for long distances, I was usually carried around but when I was four years of age, I got my first wheelchair and then the roles were reversed and everybody had to chase me!

As I continue to get older, I am in more and more pain. The majority of it is around my back, but the rest of it is in my hips and knees. I was very active as a child, but as an adult, I’m a pretty-stay-in-one-place for a long time. I can sit in the same position for close to three hours and power through the pain in the sides of my hips in order to get work done. Don’t worry, I was not in any pain while writing this post! I feel like I should be considered lucky with the pain in my knees, because I have family members with different types of arthritis, so I always know it could be worse. My nana goes old school and just rubs Vicks on the affected area, I’ve tried talking to my mom about going that route but I agree with her of the overwhelming smell, so I take painkillers to ease the pain away.

If you have any other questions, I will be doing a Q&A later on in the challenge, so just leave your questions below if you’re curious about anything.

How Do I Stay Organized?

dance

Howdy!

Originally I wanted this post to go before both my seven year blogging milestone and how to become a music blogger posts, but I could not figure out how I wanted everything arranged so I’m going a bit backwards, but I hope you’ll enjoy it just the same!

This post will go over everything I use to keep my thoughts about future blog posts and information for other articles, such as for my pieces for History Of Royal Women in line!

33598362_10204311982957799_6148243210322837504_n

Electrical or manual daily planner?

As a blogger, there are many ways on how to keep things neat and organized, funnily enough I’m just now finding out how good it is to do this. When I was in school, we were given little daily planners (we had bigger ones while in middle school!) and I never used them for myself, my aide(s) mostly wrote in them. So I was never really taught how to follow up on a planner like everybody else, but this also goes for taking notes in classes too, because since I was so slow at writing and typing, my aide or the teachers would provide the notes for me!

I know a lot of people will use planner apps on their phones or Google’s spreadsheets to keep everything on track, which is perfectly fine, but I have become the type of person who needs something right in front of them to organize posts on a monthly calendar. Personally, I figured I’d prefer a larger print calendar, that you can fit multiple things inside the boxes, but then I realized how much space it would take up around my bookshelf, so my mom bought me one in 2015. I was actually really excited to use it, because honestly I needed one, I’d always forget when I’d schedule my blog posts during the week or a few weeks in advance, so I knew I’d eventually have to break down and get one.

It’s a medium sized book, it has enough room to write out multiple things on each day, and at the start of a new month, it gave a two page mini calendar of that month, and then the next page starts it off. I figured I’d use it a lot more, but honestly I think I used the “notes” sections in it than I did anything else! One of the main issues I had been the fact that it was so bulky! Since it had a lot of pages in it, plus the first six months of 2016, it just wasn’t very practical for me, and of course, I felt horrible about it.

33830132_10204311988437936_4957651496750546944_n

By February of 2017, my mom went to our favorite meat place and she saw that they were giving away free daily planners. I don’t know why a place like this would be giving out planners, but okay. She came back with one for me and again, I was excited but also a little worried, I didn’t really use the last one, I thought what would be different about this one? Well, for one, it’s lightweight and had nothing but an actual calendar of the whole month, no individual spots for each day, just a medium sized box that you could fill up.

Unfortunately, again I didn’t really use it all that much in the beginning. It wasn’t until September, when my WordPress calendar went away and I wasn’t allowed to see what all was taken already and that really bugged me, so I remembered the green planner and that’s when I started using the crap out of it! It was really handy and I didn’t dread getting it out all the time either. So, when I went to my mom’s work in October and I was given another one for 2018, I knew that I was set! It had the same layout as the other one, except this is definitely more sharper looking and it has a little bit of a larger print compared to the other one! I also don’t feel like it’s going to tire and/or break on me either!

My trustee black notebook

This is extremely important to me, because I’ve realized that I do get some of my great ideas late at night. It’s not the best of times for it to happen, but if I am wide awake around midnight or three in the morning and a thought comes to me, I’ll write out.

I have a number of notebooks on my mini bookshelf, but nothing compares to my black notebook though. I kind of made a vow to myself that I needed to at least try to finish a notebook in my lifetime. Even when I was in school, I never filled in a whole booklet, and I always felt as though I wasted it! So when I found this perfectly unused notebook, I knew this would become my trustee sidekick!

33574407_10204311980837746_6471848332988776448_n

In the beginning, it was purely just for blogging but once I started thinking and looking up information for my story, it kind of switched to having sections of notes in the middle. Honestly, the whole thing has a lot of stuff stored inside of it, and I’ve only just started to write out my ideas for my future blog posts in like a bullet point format, it’s actually helpful branching everything out like that. Unfortunately, as you can see, it is really beat up! I’d say I have about 30-40 pages left in it, but the wiring is coming undone and papers are starting to slide out-of-place, so I will have to invest in a sturdier notebook soon!

Other things that are handy to have nearby

Whenever I don’t want to shuffle through my bottom shelf for my notebook in the middle of the night, I have a stack of different notepads to use that are very easily to get to in the dark!

My mom got me this red, white and gold love-y notepad for Christmas and every two months, I have to switch out the sheets because I literally have no more room to write on the front. I don’t write out my plans in a bullet point, because of the limited space so I usually try to write the thoughts and ideas, because I don’t look at my phone enough in the day and I know I’m liable to forget about it after a while, so that’s when I started using that hardcore! It’s become very handy for me.

How do you keep yourself organized? Have any tricks up your sleeve?

snowflake

Feet | Fetish vs. Phobia

13879338_1178175082246820_6554742477112940352_n

Hi 🙂

Before I start on this post, I’d like to point out to anyone reading this that I wasn’t trying to make anyone feel bad, I just felt the need to talk about a couple of experiences I had, that I thought went along with the article you’ll be hearing about in a second. It does lighten up with the second section but I wanted to give everybody a warning before you went on ahead, so with that being said, let’s get onto the post for Monday!

Last year, I read this very enlightening article on Push Living. It’s a digital magazine dedicated to people who use wheelchairs and they focus on various topics but mostly lifestyle and travel.

The piece Gina wrote was about devotees. I’ve known about the term a long time and but she explained about the different types of devotees, as she put it “the creeps and awkward turtles”. I’m glad she went on to discuss both sides because if anybody has ever had to deal with a devotee in their lifetime, you just think they’re all sickos, but no, they’re not!

So what is a devotee?

A devotee is somebody attracted to a person with a disability, mostly who use braces and wheelchairs. This is actually a real fetish. In her article she talks about how devotees, the ones that see it purely for their sexual desires and the “admirers” who are basically perfect gentlemen and ladies as they’re a little more shy but want to actually establish a good friendship with you whether than creep you out with weird questions and pictures. This was the best example I could give you to help show you the differences between them. If you want to read the rest of Gina’s article, go here!

I think I’ve had an experience with a devotee before, the reason why I say “I think” is because back in the day I didn’t know what the term actually meant, but the more I think about it and remember how many other women he had as friends on his profiles is still shocking! I met this guy on MySpace (I know, that probably should have been my warning right there!) and he was very nice. The guy was the reason why I basically looked forward to going home after school! I had issues talking to guys my own age and the fact that he was cool with my disability and let me talk about my day I grew to really like him and I generally wanted to know how his day went as well! It was a nice friendship while it lasted!

By the time I went on Facebook, I basically lost contact with him. Two years ago, I actually found him on there but instead of having a totally different picture of himself, he used the exact same one he had on MySpace. Now I don’t know about you guys, but in the years that passed I would change my profile picture a few dozen times! Why did he keep this one? And then to top it all off, he was apart of multiple disability groups and pages and at that time, I actually figured out the definition for “devotee” and I began to feel really cautious. I literally wanted to smack myself up the head because there were signs that something wasn’t right when I was talking to him on MySpace years ago!

Nevertheless, I was really sad to have to give up on that friendship. I just thought it all looked too fishy to continue on with it. No, I didn’t confront him because I still had all of the messages we passed back and forth to each other running around in my head. I just unfriended him, and I had even debated if I should have blocked him but I couldn’t get myself to do it. The one time you start to not only feel beautiful in your skin but you feel like you could’ve been catfished at the same time!

13872851_1178175072246821_1444550659690195253_n

As far this next part, we switch topics completely and talk about how feet can make people really uncomfortable. Apparently, there’s no in between, you either love feet so much that you end up having a fetish for them or you actually despise them.

When I was in middle school, I had a boy in my science class basically come clean about one of his dislikes. Apparently he was afraid of feet. He said it out loud to two other of our classmates and I was in front of him with a very confused look on my face I guess. I knew people have different phobias, some can be afraid of spiders, clowns, heights and even goats! It just puzzled me to think he was scared of feet! For a person who does everything with my feet, this kind of felt like an insult in a way! I can’t explain it any better for you!

What makes it even worse for me though, is that I dared to ask what he thought about mine. I think he was a bit hesitant with his answer. I don’t think he ever gave me a straight answer, you could tell on his face he was conflicted about it. I mean, he was asking a girl that drove an electric wheelchair and had a knack of running over innocent feet throughout her life, he had every right to be scared! I’m just kidding. I’m not that big of a bitch. I would never run over somebody’s feet for a reason like that.

I could understand the reason why he or anyone else would have a phobia of feet. I have my days where I see my dad’s feet and they instantly make my stomach upset. Sorry dad! And honestly, that just made be a guy thing! They have no problem of itching and picking all areas of their feet anyways, so I actually stay away from men’s feet in general. So if somebody came up to me and said they didn’t like feet, I wouldn’t pay them any mind about it.

The older I get, the less chances of my feet going back to their former glory. It’s bad enough that my footwriting has gotten worse! The only thing I have left to do to make my feet seem prettified is to paint my nails different colors. We’ve learned not to use the straight clear glitter because for one you need like four coats for it to show up at all and then scrub until you basically take the nail off to remove it. You guys seem to like my nails paint, don’t ya? I actually need a fresh coat on them. I still have the pink and silver that mom put on for Blondie’s wedding chipping away.

So what are your thoughts about devotees and their fetishes? Are you afraid of feet? If so, how did it come about in your life?

snowflake

NYE Shenanigans!

Untitled

Hi 🙂

Before I was hit by the flu in early January, I actually had a mini getaway. I stayed with a friend of mine. Afterwards I had lot of plans to get back into blogging right away. Well, not at the moment I arrived home because even I know I need to let my body rest for a couple of days before I actually got started on anything! I just didn’t know my body needed three whole weeks to get settled back into my normal routine.

Over the NYE celebrations, I went to hang out with my friend Brittany. You might remember her as she and my family, plus a few close friends knew of the surprise of a lifetime. She’s the one who took me to see Shinedown and Five Finger Death Pinch in 2016. She invited me over to her house for the weekend, to hang out with her and her Great Dane Lizzy Lou and cat Gravy!

We did a lot in those two days. We went out to eat twice–both places we love! And we went to Lowe’s, which was absolutely hilarious! We started out with her pushing my wheelchair while I had a hold of the cart. We realized this wasn’t really working so she went on to pull the cart from the front and I grabbed the bottom rail that connects the wheels together. The only way I can explain to you what I was feeling was like surfing, just without water! It was fun, I almost hit a couple of displays but I didn’t fall out or break anything in the store!

26177221_10215236146314791_1821325551_n

She knows I’m always looking for a good time, so she found an opening at Painting With A Twist that was $25 for one person, unfortunately it was too expensive for the both of us, and she said she didn’t want to do it, but honestly we cheated a bit because she had to help me a few times so I feel she participated too! I had never done this before, but I’ve seen it on TV and seen the many, many pictures on their Facebook page. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a place where you go to paint and drink wine. So if you go to these “parties” you have to over the age of 21, but the one we went to was providing coffee instead so we had younger girls in our group. One of the nice things about it is that everything is already there for you to use, you can wear an apron to protect your clothes, and they provide you with canvas, paint and brushes.

After we left Lowe’s, she called them to make sure they can accompany to my needs, because we were both worried about the height of the tables. I was very short in my wheelchair and I didn’t want to have her get me out of my chair and onto the floor–I didn’t feel like breaking her back! To say I was worried is a bit of an understatement. When we got there, they let me try out the smaller easels that they have laid out on the tables already, and this was too low to the ground for my foot. Luckily they had another option and brought over a bigger easel and this was a good fit. I felt like Goldilocks in a way, because I was trying many ways to be able to get this to work.

Our instructor was Ryan, he’s also the one who helped the two of us in the beginning. He was very nice and easy to mesh with because I used to go round and round with my old art teacher in high school, we hardly ever agreed on things. I liked him, he was one of my favorite teachers but I think even he would say I didn’t listen very well! Anyways, he explained the different hand motions we should be making to be able to cover the canvas with the paint. He said it didn’t matter if it was too dark or light, and to take a few steps back to make sure everything is to your liking.

The design that I did was a peace sign on a pink background. I was asked if I wanted to stick to the original background or if I wanted another color, I don’t know why I chose to stay with the pink but I did! There were like seven of us in the room and only two of us kept the pink, while most went with both turquoise and purple. We had only one yellow!

As we waited for the paint to dry after we put on our background color. We took a short break and played a game of guessing how many corks were in this giant wine glass! We were given a paper plate and I had said 36 because it looked less than it was, and Brittany suggested it could be like over 300 of them. Well, it ended up being around 600+ wine corks in this glass! We were all shocked and depressed at our math skills! The winner was allowed to pick out a painting from the display on the outside of the room. After she came back in with the one she liked out, we started on our actual peace sign.

I’m one of those people who have to go bigger than the normal person apparently. I can never do anything small and delicate. We put the random yellow swishes on the left side corner and apparently I had a little bit too much fun. One of the things that Ryan had mentioned before we started was this is an easier design because you’re freeforming it rather than painting in the lines of the subject as we were told were how the other paintings were created, which makes sense considering I’ve seen a LOT of good ones and its easy to forget that the people who were doing them could had a lot of wine at the same time.  I can’t use alcohol to my advantage for my craziness!

Once we drew the peace sign on there with our pieces of chalk, we started painting various dashes around our outline. Another example of my “go big or go home” mentality I had that day! After this, we left it to dry and then we moved on to the splattering effect and he told us to put our canvases down on the floor. He said to get the paint brush really wet with water and then put it into the black paint and constantly go back and forth until you get this runny paint on the bristles, and he said to tap on the handle of the brush on the areas where you want the splatters to go, but while I was trying to do this, my wheels kept moving at the same and I was close to running over my canvas three times! Brittany actually had to help me a bit because I was having a hard time staying straight in my wheelchair. I will be happy when I get my new chair! I will say her splatters were the bomb and everybody agreed too!

Brittany had to do the drying parts for me, because I bet I’d probably break a blow dryer! I’d either run over it or drop it on accident, either way I would have like crap. After she came in, we had another break and we played a new game too.

26234834_10215236147714826_1148270273_nThis one was interesting because we used the paper plates we were given before and we were asked to close our eyes and draw out different things that go with NYE like a party hat, wine bottle and a glass. I could reach the top of the stools that everybody sat on, so I put my plate up there so I could participate in the game. Next time when somebody suggests to help you hold things there, just do it! Don’t pull a Meghan and mess up. However, I did a decent wine glass! Ryan said once we were finished, that he tends to give out two prizes for this game: if you can tell what it is and the hot mess. We had a couple of hot messes, even the girl who won that category agreed with him, but I won the other one. Brittany and I had went around the whole place beforehand and she had already expressed which one she had liked and lucky for the both of us, I used my “winnings” to her advantage and she got to take it home! It goes great with her color scheme of her living room.

Once we were finished with the whole thing, the canvases got one last blow dry and we washed our hands of the acrylic paint. I didn’t make a big mess of myself or the floor! My nana would have been shocked about that! We were given these giant brown paper bags to pack our canvases into as we left, but first there was picture time! We had the group photo and then Brittany put me into between the two designs that had Ryan already did for the class.

Now every artist has to name their project. My Linkin Park drawings I did in 2010 are called “The 6” because it was six portraits with close to six different mediums. So I named mine a little bit later, after Brittany and I realized something different about mine, and I was going to share that part with you, but I think I’m just going to post the pictures and let you see it for yourselves.

Since we had so much fun that day and our hopes of taking a nap that afternoon never happened, we didn’t make it up to midnight. We were sort of dragging that Monday morning when she dropped me off, but we’re both in agreement though that we’re waiting until it gets a little warmer but we had a freaking blast! Hope you enjoyed this post!

26234142_10215236150474895_2043389452_n26177280_10215236148674850_2072402414_n26177263_10215236148314841_261097891_n26196697_10215236148074835_728521220_n26235196_10215236148114836_424864440_n26196866_10215236147234814_1683581067_n26167729_1615610691831537_4634012054093920070_n

Have you ever done anything like Painting With A Twist? Even if you’re not a “painter” I still recommend that you go and check it out anyways!

snowflake