This week was my oldest's 19th birthday. I hate to admit it, but birthdays in our family are typically pretty stress-filled. We've got a lot of tough issues to deal with at home, and for some reason tensions usually flair around birthdays and holidays. And this week was no different. After much much much (way too much) tears and drama with Princess and coping with her bipolar disorder, I came to the conclusion that I just need to move on, quit talking about 'getting creative' and 'finding my mojo' and just do it.
Scrapbooking, or anything that involves photos, stopped being therapy for me (there's a lot of heartache in looking back at the way things used to be), so instead I decided to reorganize my work space and make it a little bit easier to get back into playing with my art journal. (Wow, I just went back and flipped through some of those posts from 2007. And I thought my life was one giant heart-break then. Note: never, NEVER say "things couldn't get any worse." Trust me on this one.)
All my artsy craftsy supplies were stored neatly away in drawers, so I made a list of the things I wanted to have out on my desk to make it easier to do some quick painting and sketching and collaging, reorganized my work space to have more things within reach, and then spent about an hour taking a look at some new art journaling tutorials and inspiration that have been posted since I played several years ago.
One of the coolest resources I found was on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog. WOW! This gal really has a lot of great info here, especially for those new to art journaling. Well worth your time to browse all the posts and tutorials she has nicely listed in her Art Journal Every Day project in 2011. And I love the way she's included inspiration and tips from other artists.
So, I've been playing, trying some new ideas, and it feels good. I feel like I've accomplished something, and expressed some thoughts on paper which always helps.
Here's two I did this week. I don't look at them as being good or bad, they just are what they are, a result of me exercising an under-used muscle.
For this second piece, I was inspired by Jingle's "Desert Island Crafters Challenge" and used #6, #7, #8, and #9 of her ingredients list.
I've always been kind of a boy-scout parent -- ready for any emergency, prepared with the right tools, the right words of comfort and support, ready to help heal the wounds, dust the knees off and set the child off in the right direction. But now that Princess is 19 and bipolar on top of that, it's just not that easy anymore. I'm kind of floundering, standing by just watching. Waiting. Hoping. Praying.
It's her story, not mine.
It's her journey now, no longer mine.