Shabby Miss Jenn

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Turning a Corner and Climbing Out of that Rut

Sometimes you don't even notice you have fallen into the rut
 until you are just walking along and continuously bumping into it.
 It tends to happen to me every now and then and 
I've learned little tricks to ease myself out of them.

Creative people tend to surround themselves
 with other creative people.
They understand things a little better. 
Less confused looks and high arching eyebrows.
No nagging questions of:
Why would you carry little scraps of paper in your purse
 with a pencil sketch and a word hen-scratched over it in ink?
 What do you mean you lay on your pillow at night and over
 30 painting ideas flash thru your thoughts 
while drifting off to sleep?
 They can look at the multiple cut out doll pattern pieces
 and scraps of fabric thumb tacked to the wall
 and not even blink in confusion. 

Luckily for me, social media forums like Facebook
 have made it even easier to surround myself with other artists. 
You start chatting, talking and sharing photos of your work.
You discuss your art background.
 What medium you like to work in.
 You begin to open up further with each other.
You share what art courses you have taken and
 that you fell madly in love with. 
The courses that left you shaking your head
 in confusion get talked about as well.

By far my best loved aspect of having artistic friends is
 when they share OTHER artistic friends with me.

Have you seen the work of so and so? 
I've been listening to you and think you would really 
enjoy the work of this person I know.
Let me show you this painting that I just bought. 
You are going to be amazed.

Two such artists have been the ones 
pulling me out of my creative rut
 and I can't thank them enough.
They don't even know they have
been working magic within my soul.
I am feeling energized and excited 
like a bolt of lightning has struck me.

A good friend of mine contacted me and
 said you have to see this painting.

I was blown away.
It was a life changing moment for me.

The artist is Misty Mawn.
I had never heard of her work until that painting was shared 
with me and a link to her blog.
Within days, I devoured everything possible I could find on her.
 I read her blog from start to now.
I looked at her Etsy shop.
I was over the moon with happiness when I learned she offered online courses.
Fighting the demons in my head saying we didn't have 
extra money to spend on frivolous self indulging whims,
 I signed up for one of her courses. 
Within days of the first few lessons,
 I signed up for another she offered. 
It's like she has awakened something that
 I didn't even know existed within me.
A side of my creative soul that is so different from
 how I have been creating and yet still very much me.
She also has a book so I ordered that and
 was blessed with 5 prints of her work.
 I can hardly wait to frame and 
hang them in my art studio.

 The little message 
she signed to me inside
 was icing to my cake! ;)

 Then I was in the midst of a totally different art course and 
one of the teachers struck such a cord within me.
 Her work makes my jaw drop to the floor.

The artist is Danielle Donaldson.
Once again I found myself consuming every bit of 
information I was able to find on her.
Her website was like no other eye candy I'd discovered.
She too had an Etsy Shop

I found myself sitting at my art table 
surrounded with stacks of watercolor papers
 and tubes of paint. 
Brushes dipped in every 
color of the rainbow.
These two amazing artists have opened my
creative soul to new thought processes.
Art mediums that I haven't touched in years
are being dusted off.
I am painting.
I am taking photos.
Poetry is being written.
I have not been this energized about my creative work
in a very long time and I wanted to
say thank you.
so very much
 for being artists
who share their
 heart and soul
with others.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Finding New Ways to Love my Body Again

 Recently I wrote about my weight loss.
I heard from many people/ friends/family and I thank you.
The continued support while I'm making this life changing
 journey is always appreciated.
It can get a bit crazy at times.

Many times I hear
 "...oh wow, you must just LOVE how you look now..." 
and it tends to stop me in my tracks. 
The answer has been rolling around
 my head and so I thought I'd do this post for 
all to read.
I can't even begin to tell you how shocked I was 
when I went downstairs this evening
 with my camera and when my husband asked 
what I was going to take a photo of....

I said belly!


What was I thinking?
Why would I record that image forever 
in a photograph and then
 POST that on the web?

I bought myself some clothes today 
then posted them on Facebook.

 That inevitable comment occurred. 

Which brings me to these next photos.

In all it's new formed glory ;)
Stretch marks
Saggy skin.
and yet also

So to answer if I "just love how I look now"...

the truth?!

Not really.
But I'm learning to.

Don't get me wrong.
There are aspects that
 I most certainly do LOVE.

I love :

that I breath better;
that my hard work paid off;
that I am stubborn enough to have not given up;
 in moments of struggling I didn't toss in the towel;
when I see a "S" or a "M" on a tag;
when I climb stairs, my knees no longer scream obscenities at me.

I love opening my email and reading messages
 that I've inspired someone.
That reading my posts and seeing my photos
made something click for them and
they are ready to start making changes in their own life.

I love being healthier.
I love being happier.
I love looking back and seeing just
 how far I've managed to bring myself.

Finding new ways to
 love my body again
 is my new goal.

I see my saggy belly.
I see the skin on my arms and legs.
It took me just over two years to lose
the weight. It may take me that long to love
my body again.

I'm willing to take the time.
I'm willing to put in the effort.
I am going to start toning.
Working on building muscle that
winks at me from just below that saggy skin.

This journey is far from over for me.
I will struggle.
I will falter.
I will never give up.