Just Put Yourself Out There

So these past four months have been a little difficult for me health wise.  I have been taking a lot of steroids.  I have been pretty much homebound with my only outings being the local emergency rooms and dr. appts.  

We have gone to two funerals in the past three weeks and at each, we ran into old friends we hadn't seen in a few years.  Comments were made about how I looked 'so different' or ' oh my, I didn't recognize you."  OUCH....One friend, upon hearing I had been sick, pointed and even said.
"prednisone cheeks, how ugly."

I felt like she had slapped me and I know that sounds trite.  I usually am the first one to not care but I have been looking at me in the mirror several times a day and even I can see the real me is NOT there.  The fat cheeks bother me even though I know I am weaning off the dreaded drug.

I came home and told John I did NOT want to go ANYWHERE at all.  NO WHERE you here?
He tells me every day how beautiful I am.  Our dog and cats still love me and when our kids and kidlets call from far away I know they love me too.  But still..........that nagging little ugly voice that gets in our head sometimes....no matter what you do you can't push it entirely out the door and throw the key away.

I kept telling myself....it is not healthy to hole up in the house because you might run  into someone you know........

And then, there in my email came an invitation to take one of those VanGogh/Merlot painting classes at my favorite Nursery a few blocks away.  I usually take some kind of planting/potting class there so this is different.  I don't know how to paint actually.  I do other media.   But I WANT to paint.

I hesitated.......thought ' what about my face'?............WHAT ABOUT IT?  So before I could start arguing with myself I hit reply and accept and paid for it online and it was done in less than two minutes.

I showed up for the class yesterday not knowing what to expect.  There were 19 women and 1 husband.
                            The instructor told us we were painting this picture.   Sure we are.

 She talked  about priming the canvas and outlining where the flowers go. That was easy.

 I found myself starting to relax.  I met lots of new people and not one said anything about my fat cheeks.  We all just painted and laughed a lot with tea and appetizers.

 I learned about blending wet on wet paint and waiting for other paint to dry.  This is acrylics.
This is my final picture.  I spent three hours learning paint techniques I knew nothing about before.
I laughed and talked.  I made new acquaintances.  It was EASY it was FUN.  I got out of my own way and got out of the house.  I Want to paint MORE.


Grow Your Blog Party

I'd like to welcome all of you who are stopping by for the Grow Your Blog Party and say Hello to
friends who have been around for a while.  My name is CatieAn.  I am married for 43 years to John
and we have a beautiful family of four married children and 7 precious grandchildren.

                                    We live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
                                                We are both retired and love the leisure of our lives.
                                               I was a Pediatric Oncology and Intensive care Nurse
                                           John was a Cardiovascular technician in the Heart Cath Lab.

I originally started blogging in 2007 when I had to retire early for medical purposes.  I was looking for kindred spirits that shared values and similar interests.  It is also a way to chronicle my life from time to time and share with others. We all have so much to give to each other through common interests and just life in general. I cherish the friends I have made through blogging and hold them dear in my heart.

                              I hope you find something that draws you in and brings you back. 

                 I love to decorate my house, inside and out.  I repurpose, upcycle, love collecting junk and stuff.  I am into buttons and fabric, mannequin heads, Victorian arts and crafts, hearts, hands and crafting in general.
                                                                   I love to make art:

(water color)


                                                                        portrait drawing
(pencil, charcoal, pastel)


                                                               I also love photography:

We put in an in ground pool last year and love to share it with our family and friends and all the neighbor children.  I love decorating  and making our yard a fun place to hang out.

For the past 8 years, I host 10-15 children once a week.  We cook, sew, create art, learn manners and have a great time hanging out.  John and I see it as a personal ministry to give back to those in our community.  There is no fee.  We provide all the supplies needed and parents take turns sharing snacks.  The first group of kids I started with are now graduating seniors.  They bless are lives in many ways.

I am going to give away two gifts to two visitors.  I will draw the names randomly on Feb. 15th.  You do not have to have a blog to participate and you can live any where in the world.  I just need a physical address when I draw your name so please make sure I have a way to contact you, should you win.   I have repurposed these vintage tins and vintage doll parts:

Please stay awhile, look around, enjoy yourself. Hopefully you will find something that interests you  and you will  come back soon.

             If you see something you want to pin, you have my permission as long as you give   me credit.  If you have any questions about anything please email me and I will be happy to       answer  them. catiean@aol.com.

To follow the Blog Party Hosted by Vicki @ 2 Bagsful click the banner.  There are over 400 international blogs participating. Vicki has spent countless hours putting this event together once again.  She is an amazing artist and philanthropist and her fiber art is just too delicious.
                                                                        Have FUN.
2 Bags Full


Using Up My Stash

When January first arrived, I was down and out sick.  I had no thoughts of upcoming resolutions much less any projects.  I have had lots of projects on the back burner...but you know how that seems to go.
"I'll do that when I have some free time."
For many weeks now I have been on steroids and they keep me up for long hours with no sleep and give me this energy I have to just go with.

 I have had this dress form for more than a few years now.  I paid $10 for it at a garage sale. It was the guardian at the laundry room door, serving no purpose but to take up space and let me know it was still "undone."
                                                        So I hauled her in the studio.

  I took some cream house paint I had on hand and gave it a coat of paint to even out the color.

                                                  I pulled out my lace and fabric stash

  my jars of buttons...................and draped her with a beige plain tablecloth....then started hot gluing lace doilies here and there.................then added buttons...

                                                       and here she is completely transformed.

                 This lamp shade was lying around waiting to be noticed on a shelf................


So I added some extra wide open weave ribbon I had on hand.....with some fabric flowers....

                              ....and here she is truly elevated to a lamp in our dining room....

              The only thing I had to go out and buy was the fixture to transform her into the light.

                                   May this new year find you using up some of your stash..............


Art Therapy

So the past few months I have been in a flare with my auto immune disorder and have been spending my spare time in the area hospital Emergency Room.

After several trips that kept me there for about four hours with nothing to do but try to not be BORED...SCARED.....or bitchy.....

I put all my sharpie markers in a large Ziploc baggie and keep it with my latest art journal


So when I go and have to wait for the treatment and exams I can now draw out what is happening....

and can stay focused on remaining calm, keeping my mind off advancing symptoms...

and keeping my composure. I am also getting my feelings down on paper
and that makes me not keep it in.
So I keep hoping that there won't be any more 'quick runs' out the door for fast help but
if there is.........I am using my art as my therapy in the scariest of situations.
I hope you are using your art for less frantic events and that it is helping you find your inner peace.



Grow Your Blog!! Party This Month

This is just to remind everyone that the annual Grow Your Blog Party is coming up later this month.
Vicki over at 2 Bags Full is the beautiful, gracious host for this event.  This is a wonderful way to meet new friends with similar interests.  Please check it out.