250th Post – Some of my Artwork

This is my 250th post as a blogger! Wow! I can’t believe I’ve made that many posts and that people actually read them!

I’ve had a couple of people asking me to post some of my artwork, so I thought it’d be a great way to celebrate 250 posts! When I make art, sometimes I simply color adult coloring book pages. Sometimes, I make crazy shapes, color them in, and as I’m making these shapes, the artwork just speaks to me on what it should be so then I choose colors accordingly. Sometimes I do decoupage or paint ceramics. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my decoupage or my ceramics, but I do of my coloring/drawing.

Here’s a couple of my recent coloring pages:

 

Both of these coloring pages are artworks by Selina Fenech, an Australian artist whom I absolutely love. The one on the left is titled Within the Coffin and is from Selina’s Gothic coloring book. The one on the right is called Her Special Place and is from Selina’s Magical Minis coloring book. Selina has many coloring books available including one that’s just ponds and flowers which I really enjoy.

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I’ve also found a coloring book group to be a part of on Facebook. Joanna Campbell Slan, an author I like, set it up and it can be found here. Below are two of the pictures I’ve done from there.

I’m actually in the process of coloring a few more of the “Breathe” picture so I can give them to important people in my life who need the reminder to “breathe” from time to time.

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Now to share some of my “original” artwork. I’ve never been real good at drawing. If I practice for hours and hours a day, I’d get to the point where I was good, but never great. So, instead, for probably 20 years or more, I’ve made my own type of abstract art. Sometimes, I have a set palette of colors in mind when I start; a set concept for what I want it to represent. Sometimes I don’t know until I get started with it and then I will get a sense and tailor my color choices around that sense. All of these, I already had the concept in my head for what I wanted it to represent. Even still, the shape of the various shapes and the colors aren’t chosen ahead of time. That all happens in the moment.

This first one is all about anger and rage. This one I did as I was processing my feelings from our annual Staff Day. We had a speaker from the police department and at he was talking about gun laws and things like the open-carry laws in Michigan and how libraries aren’t considered protected spaces like schools are. I was doing okay with all that. Then all of a sudden he switched over to active shooters, including videos. There was a complete lack of warning about content of videos. I made it out of the room and didn’t see any of them, but I didn’t make it to the lounge quick enough and I heard the whole first video. I was livid that no warnings had been given about it. There was no “if you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t have to sit here” warning like there was the first time we had active shooter training. It seriously triggered me (and I later learned that it also triggered some others with PTSD). This artwork came out of processing those feelings and triggers.

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The blue is due to the fact that often when I’m angry and raging, I cry. Messy, ugly crying. Thank god for great co-workers and friends. Also, thankfully, the speaker AFTER the police department was incredibly funny and that help break up some of the tension that was still there after all the ugly crying and breathing to stay grounded.

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© Graphic Garden

The first of the following two I did at Staff Day as well. I had actually started it before the active shooter surprise. It’s simply supposed to represent fall and all the brilliant colors we see in fall.  The second one I decided to do after fall. It’s winter, but I’m not that pleased with how it turned out so I’ll probably do another one soon.

The white I have currently isn’t real great. I need a new Prismacolor white. A few months ago, for one of my programs at work, I used my white pencils to trace shapes on black paper. Most of my white pencils were pretty much obliterated during that, including my Prismacolor white.

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Thanks for joining me a special 250th post! I’ve got a couple of reviews coming up this week for you and other stops on blog tours as well.

Small Victories

Things on this end have been so-so lately. Apparently, mid-October is a rough time mentally/emotionally for me. I never realized this, but my therapist and my best friend both say that every year this time is difficult so I trust them!

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Given that, I’ve been focusing on small victories lately.

  • Over the weekend, I got a bookshelf moved by myself (it’s a tall skinny one, easy to move alone), I cleared off another so my dad and I can take it to the basement (hopefully this weekend), and cleaned out my entertainment center so it’ll be easier to move.
  • This week I’ve also pre-wrote and scheduled some of my blog tour posts in advance. I’ve had a hard time lately – forgetting them or having life get in the way and they ended up posted late. Now I don’t have to worry about the next 3 posts. They’re already written and scheduled to post. That makes me feel good.
  • In the past, I had a real problem with self-harm. I still have urges now and again since it’s somewhat of an addiction, just instead of drowning my sorrows in alcohol, I did it with cutting. It’s just easier to say no to the urges now than it was in the past. The other night, the urge was pretty strong, but I did not give in, so I’m proud of that.
  • I’m diabetic and I’m doing better at not eating so many sweets. I’m never going to be someone who doesn’t eat any at all – ice cream is my vice. BUT, knowing I was going to have ice cream after work last night, I said no to a cupcake. Yay!

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Sometimes, the way the world eats at us and gets us down, we’ve gotta find the small things that will lift those spirits. Most of the time it’s my adorable niece and sweet nephew who lift my spirits, but this week, I found some other victories.

What kind of small things have you been grateful for lately? Any victories you want to share?

Rosie the Riveter – World Record Event!

On Saturday, October 14th, I was part of a group of women who came together to set the record for the most women dressed as Rosie the Riveter in one place.

To give a little background, there’s a friendly competition between my group of Rosies here in Ypsilanti/Willow Run and a group in Richmond, California.

You see, the original Rosie the Riveter, Rose Monroe, worked at the Willow Run Bomber Planet located here in Ypsilanti. The Yankee Air Museum has saved a portion of that old bomber plant from being torn down and is now in the process of renovating it into a new space for the museum. My group of Rosies wants the world record to stay here in Ypsilanti because that’s where Rose Monroe worked.

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California, on the other hand, has the “Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historical Park”, so their group wants to keep the world record there for that reason. It’s been a completely friendly competition back and forth for the last few years.

It all started in 2014 when the group that I’m now a part of set a world record of 760+ women. In the summer of 2015, California took that record away with their gathering of almost 1100 women. Their record didn’t last long. In October 2015, myself and the group I’m a part of took back the record with 2096 Rosies, including 21 Original Rosies (women who actually worked in the factories in WWII)! California took our record away in 2016 with just over 2200 Rosies.

We took it back on Saturday the 14th. The new record is 3755 Rosies!! AND we set a record for the number of original Rosies in one place with 55. It was so much fun! Our youngest Rosie was 6 weeks old and our oldest Rosie was 110! We even sent a video to the group in Richmond saying “Willow Run loves Richmond but Willow Run WINS!”

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I volunteered to work one of the clothing tables during the beginning of the event. Because this is going in the Guinness Book of World Records there are some very specific requirements.  The biggest thing people had trouble with were finding red socks and finding bandannas with the right size white dots (dots much be bigger than a dime). I was selling socks and bandannas along with a few other ladies.

It was fun to watch ladies of all different ages and races come in dressed as Rosie the Riveter. Every time an original Rosie would come through the crowd, everyone would cheer for them.  These were the women who kept our servicemen supplied with bombers and tanks and guns during World War II. They were just as integral to winning the war as the men and women serving in the armed forces during the war.

I even got myself a pair of boots to use (last time I used my dad’s boots and just darkened ’em with shoe polish) so that I can join the Tribute Rosies and do things like be at the air show, do parades, etc. as Rosie. 🙂

I didn’t get to take a LOT of pictures since I was volunteering, but enjoy the ones I did take! Forgive me for the quality of some of these, my tremor was acting up that day and my phone doesn’t have the stabilization that my good camera has.

It was a great day, though VERY tiring!  It took me about 3-4 days to recover! On one hand, I hope it takes California a long time to beat our record, but on the other hand, it’s so much fun, that I kind of hope that it doesn’t. hehe.

We even had Uncle Sam & Waldo visiting with us!!

 

END OF THE MONTH REVIEW – September 2017

Since I had a blog tour yesterday, I decided to wait until today to do my end of the month review until today.

Personal Life

September has gone well personally. I’m settling into my job more. I learned a bit about how the finance department works, which helps me know how to prepare my invoices and get them up to the finance department on time so when they go to pay the check, they have my invoices there to verify. It’s also been busier. More shipments of books are coming in so I’m pretty busy most days (NOT complaining. I’d rather be busy than bored).

Work on my room continues. If you read my post a few days ago, you’ll know that this weekend didn’t quite go as planned, so it’s not quite done the way I’d hoped it’d be at the end of the weekend, but oh well. Extra time with my adorable niece and sweet nephew is not a hardship really.

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©Cute Colors

Things I Read/Reviewed During September

I read quite a bit during the month of September, but I didn’t review a lot. A lot of what I read were things that I’ve read before. There were little pockets of stress within the month and when that happens, I want my favorite books so there’s no surprises.  But here’s what I read and reviewed and how many stars they received.

  1. World of the Innocent – Nadine C. Keels – 5 stars
  2. A Christmas PerilJ.A. Hennrikus – 4.5 stars
  3. Body on Baker Street – Vicki Delany – 4 stars
  4. Cat Got Your Secrets – Julie Chase – 4.5 stars
  5. Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort – Stan Schatt – 4 stars
  6. Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard – R.L. Syme – 4 stars
  7. Beware the Orchids – Cynthia Hickey – 4 stars (Read in September, but reviewed Oct. 1)

I also read J.D. Robb’s newest book, “Secrets in Death” but work was busy at the time and I didn’t get a chance to review it. I had other types of posts as well, several book spotlights and a couple of life in general posts.

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©Graphic Garden

Site Metrics

I didn’t have quite as many visitors this month as I have had in the past, but I think that’s more because I didn’t post a whole lot in September. When work is busy, I don’t have time to post there and then since I’ve been working on my room so hard, I haven’t posted much on the weekends. Total visitors for September was 210. August 2017 was my biggest month of visitors with 263. I did gain quite a few new followers in September. Welcome to all of you new members! 🙂

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Looking Forward to October

October’s going to be busy for me both in blogging terms and in life terms. I’m not a huge Halloween fan so I don’t generally go all out for that, but I’m a big fall fan so I do the cider mills and pumpkin patches. Second, I’m possibly participating in the attempt to break the world record for the number of women dressed as Rosie the Riveter in one place on the 14th of October. I participated 2 years ago and had a great time, but I don’t really want to go by myself again so I may skip it this time. It’s not as fun when you’re alone. The original Rosie the Riveter worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant which is here in Ypsilanti, part of which is currently being restored to be a museum. That’s why the record is important around here. Then, the Detroit Institute of Arts is opening two new exhibits. One on Monet who is my favorite painter overall and the reason I have a water garden with a water lily. The second is on Frederic Edwin Church who is my favorite American painter. I’m super excited about those. Finally, I always like to go to the zoo when they give the animals pumpkins to play with. There’s usually treats inside the pumpkins for them and it’s fun to watch them explore and pounce and rip things open.

Blogging-wise

Blogging-wise, I have 6 author interviews, 1 spotlight post, 2 Book Blast posts, 1 Guest Post, and 7 reviews already lined up. Most are part of blog tours, but there are a few that are not.

As you can see, October will be filled with fun and lots of blog posts. Plus, somewhere in there I have to find a way to get the furniture moved that didn’t get moved last weekend! But, I’m looking forward to it all!

 

Life’s Way of Interrupting Things

As some of you know, I took a 5-day weekend this weekend to try and get furniture moved around in my bedroom and start working on putting things away in an organized fashion. Life had other plans for me.

Thursday night, my sister-in-law had a bit of a medical emergency. They went to the ER and she will be fine, but they had to admit her for a few days. Consequently, yesterday, instead of moving furniture that was coming out of my room, we all spent the day playing with my adorable niece and sweet nephew. Now, it’s not a hardship to spend time with the munchkins. At 4 and 2, they’re just a joy to be around. They’re inquisitive and smart and always wanting to know “What does that spell?” or “What does this go to?”

I noticed through all this that with my new job and the work I’ve done in therapy, I do much better at “going with the flow” and adapting as the situation needs.  Even a few months ago, I would’ve been upset that my plans were being messed with, even though it certainly wasn’t my sister-in-law’s fault. Yesterday, I just rolled with the changes and wasn’t upset. Maybe a little twinge of “Welp, there goes that plan”, but I wasn’t upset like I used to be. So yay for that!

The kiddos slept here at Grammy & Papa’s last night. It worked fairly well, though there were a few tears. My brother picked them up a little while ago and will spend the day with them and they’ll sleep in their own beds tonight. We may very well have them tomorrow too, which is again, not a hardship to play with them. 🙂

My dad and I did go get my new bookshelves from my co-worker’s house today, so they’re in the garage when we do get a chance to move things around, but that will be some other time. Maybe Monday, maybe not since we might have the sweet munchkins then too. If not Monday, then maybe next weekend.

Even though it means my room isn’t getting completed this weekend as planned, it’s still been a pretty good first 2.5 days of my 5 day weekend. 🙂 I hope the rest of you are having a good Saturday!