Category Archives: Mixed Media

Surrounded by Cardinals

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I love birds. I especially love cardinals. When I see a cardinal I know its my mom visiting me in spirit. I don’t know why but I just know its her. An instant calm comes over me and I feel her there with me. For almost 2 yrs now I have seen a cardinal almost every single day.

So…some of you know my father has been sick on and off since his back surgery April 11, 2013. Every month without fail my father has come down with the most intense shivers, chills, fever (101+) and sweats. Weakness, low blood pressure, faint, rash on face and dry skin, sick to his stomach, and some throwing up out of both ends. He has been in the hospital a total of 3 times not including the surgery hospital stay. So, 4 x in 4 months. Its been very tough on him. Every single time he’s admitted, they do extensive blood tests, MRI’s, Aspirations, never finding any infection or any cause of this fever. VERY FRUSTRATING. Imagine actually begging God for something to show up wrong so he could be “cured.” No one ever wants to pray for a disease or infection but it got to that point. We needed an answer for these crazy symptoms that came on once a month towards the 17th of each month. He will go through about 4-5 days of these symptoms (intense) and then low grade fever and then he’s better again but weak. It takes him a while to get back up to speed. Before this time he was doing so well. Out and about, grocery shopping and running errands. I was so happy for him.

BUT, It happened again this past weekend. We decided to take him to another hospital. In the ER an older, southern “good ole’ boy” took care of him. We all thought he was a doctor. He wasn’t – he was a Physician’s Assistant but he was as smart as they come. He had a great dry sense of humor, immediately put my dad at ease and he was really funny. We started chatting about what has been going on with dad these past months and offhandedly one of us said he’d gone Thursday to get his “EPO” (Procrit to help him make red blood cells as he’s anemic) shot and had chills that night and then full out sick Friday night etc. etc. You could just see the light bulb go off in this guy’s head. He said “this is presenting to me like serum sickness.” Never heard of “Serum Sickness” before and I’m not braggin’ – I know a lot of medical stuff. (through years of research with my mom.) He explained that he thought the Procrit shot was making him sick.

I have been fully convinced that the titanium that had been put in his back was the culprit. I thought my dad’s body was rejecting it. No one would listen to me though – they all though I was wacko. I didn’t care. The next step was going to be a special blood test and I was going to have it sent to the Melissa Organization for metal allergy testing.

Even though this is very uncommon, the doctors have agreed. The Procrit has to be the culprit….so what does all this have to do with Cardinals?

Dad was released from the hospital Wednesday night. I prayed all day Thursday for a sign that this was the answer. I prayed to see cardinals. I took my dog out several times Thursday and did not see one stinkin’ cardinal. I was devastated. BUT, throughout the day I did see my artwork “Pursue” right in front of me. I told God that just wasn’t enough.

Cardinal 1

Then in my hypersensitivity to cardinal spotting he showed me this one.

Cardinal 2

And this one…Cardinal 3 And this Cardinal 4one.

Cardinal 5Then I saw these two…

And then these.

Cardinal 6 Cardinal 7

And once again, I’m like…”Lord. These are all right in front of me. But if this is all you got, I’m going to trust you.”

Then around 7pm I got a phone call. “Michelle, what are you doing Saturday? Do you want to go to the Braves and Cardinals game? You need a break.” I said ABSOLUTELY and then a few minutes later…it hit me and it hit me hard. CARDINAL. CARDINAL!!!!! AHHHHHH holy crap! I was stunned.

I knew I had my signs. But our Lord just gives and gives and gives…He knows you have to “SHOW ME” many times. So today, after the doctor and visiting my mom at the cemetery, I took Jackson out. Wasn’t really looking for cardinals because I was bought in that I had my signs. Low and behold, 3 REAL ones were on the fence just staring at me. Not moving, making sure I saw them. Tears. Can you stand it???!!! True story. THE END.

Until next time…GO BRAVES (but I love my Cards too) Big weekend here in the ATL!!

Michelle

A Peek Into My Studio/Office

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I always wonder what people’s houses look like on the inside.  I am very curious by nature.  Don’t you ever wonder?  Do you ever want to just knock on someone’s door and ask if you can have a tour?  …Or am I the only one? LOL!  I love to see how people live.

I wonder what color schemes they use or what their furniture looks like.  I wonder if they are messy or organized.  I wonder if they leave their clothes on the floor and make their bed.  I love walking or driving by looking at homes.  I try so hard to get a glimpse inside without looking obnoxious or like a peeping Tammy.   Another thing I’ve started liking since I became an artist is looking at artist’s creative spaces…so, I thought I’d give you a little peek into my space.  Warning! It is what it is…messy, busy, busy, busy and comfy!  Just like my art.

My studio/office space is upstairs in a spare bedroom that has a cool shape to it.  The room is above the garage.  It has decent amount of light coming through one window.  Jackson my watch dog sits right in front of that window on my mom’s old chair.  I use the space to do my artwork and it is also where I work my full time job.  I am blessed to be able to work out of my home.  One side of the office is for my work (J.O.B.) and the other is for my personal art business…also a job!  I really enjoy this room!

Looking in from the door, this left hand side is my Full Time job space.  There's Jackson in his chair guarding our house!

Looking in from the door, this left hand side is my Full Time job space. There’s Jackson in his chair guarding our house!

And this is the right hand side of the room where my personal computer is.. (was watching a Mindy Lacefield video) and my art table is.

And this is the right hand side of the room where my personal computer is.. (was watching a Mindy Lacefield video) and my art table is.

I have both sides of the walls covered with nails.  I hang inspirational work above my art table and then I hang things I’m working on everywhere else to dry etc.

I am a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts!  I also have a sweet print from "Vintage Girl Design's" (Michelle gave it to me when we met.) and I have my Logo plaque I made...Its my inspiration wall.

I am a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts! I also have a sweet print from “Vintage Girl Design’s” (Michelle gave it to me when we met.) and I have my Logo plaque I made…Its my inspiration wall.

More inspiration.  The little plaque says "Just Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Get Over It!"  Love it!

More inspiration. The little plaque says “Just Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Get Over It.” I read that thing every day…over and over and over again!  Notice the line of cheaters on my monitor.  Gotta have my specs!

This little red dress ribbon picture board is where I put cool business cards or greeting cards that come from some of the art and jewelry I buy.

This little red dress ribbon picture board is where I put cool business cards or greeting cards that come from some of the art and jewelry I buy.  And I have a huge collection of rosaries. To the right you see a glimpse of just some of them hanging off of a wall shelf on a spindle.

And this is my dad's part of the room.  Here is where he photographs my work for printing purposes.  My dad Rocks!

And this is my dad’s part of the room. Here is where he photographs my work for printing purposes.  He updates my websites, packs and ships orders, makes sure we have everything we need (supplies) to ship artwork out and he also comes up with a lot of ideas for me.  And…he provides constructive criticism for the most part. haha! He’s cracking me up lately by calling my new stuff aliens and pigs!  Dad also attends all of my shows.  He’s a great salesman!  My dad is a huge help to me!

Well, there you have it!  My studio!  I hope you enjoyed this little tour…until next time,  Blessings…Michelle

Metamorphosis – A short Story

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The internet is an amazing thing.  I met an sweet friend here through my blog.  Her name is Patti and she is an aspiring writer.  Her blog is called

“Pish’s Blog of Loveliness”

She wrote a short story that I just had to share with you all!   She’s so very talented!  Click below to read “Metamorphosis” – Read it to your kids and let us know what they thought!  Enjoy!

Metamorphosis.

TeaBags And Gardenias 300+ Contest

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TeaBags And Gardenias

Facebook page has reached

300+ Likes!  Woot Woot!

And…I’m having a contest to celebrate!  Shimmy on over HERE and enter!  Must LIKE TeaBags And Gardenias Fan Page, Must SHARE the contest status page and also comment answering the question in #3.

Thank you so much!  Feeling oh so blessed!

Prints:  I Love You to the Moon And Back, Pursue, Our Lady of Everyone, Brave Heart and Embrace

contest

Confessions of an eccentric child

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Soooo, Lately I’ve been very captivated by “primitive/folk/raw” art.

Art that looks like a child did it.  Art that is creepy cute and very rough/messy.  Art that you really don’t have to be able to draw to do.  RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!   So, in my quest to teach myself how to draw, I happened upon some really talented, colorful, “primitive” artists.

You saw a piece in my last post from one of my favorites Mindy Lacefield.

Here are a few more of her prints I have in my home…

Mindy

I plan to sign up to take her online course called “Paint Your Story” in a few days.  I am very excited about that!  She seems to be an amazing teacher.  I believe that we all have a story inside that is dying to make it onto paper, either by writing or through art. (or a combo of both) – So, I’m excited to start getting mine out!

So…then in following and watching Mindy I come across Juliette.  Juliette Crane.  She’s another amazing artist who has inspired me.  Check her out HERE

I got a sketch book for Christmas, have been playing around a little.  Came up with this sketch when i was looking at Juliette’s stuff.  Just playing…being free…scribbling…

First Sketch

Then I went to Michaels and bought some cheap oil pastels (like crayons) and decided to color – just like a child coloring in a coloring book.  Too FUN!

Colored sketch

Then…someone said that this would be great on a canvas.  So…I decided to make a “proper” art piece out of my bizarre bear.  By the way, his name is “Brave Heart”

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final

Things learned through this piece:

1.  I am still a child at heart and I love letting that child out.  I need to be brave and not fear being child like.  Life is so serious most of the time and I don’t like it.  Not one little bit.

2.  I love coloring and coloring boldly.  Color makes my heart leap.  I used to wear only black.  What in the world was I thinking?  I’m embracing color…the more color the better.  Such a mood changer.

3.  So glad that ART (like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder! Somewhere out there someone…somewhere thinks you are simply beautiful and your art is too!

And…P.S.  I’m really not getting all new agey, touchy, feeley, yoga, granola eating, metaphysical, creepy, or anything like that.  Promise.  hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time…blessings,

Michelle

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CLICK HERE!!!

Mommy and Me – Reflections on an amazing year

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The art journey that I started a year ago through Smash-booking has been the most amazing, healing, exciting, scary, out of the box, uncomfortable and crazy experience!  It has been a huge life changer and quite simply a miracle metamorphosis that I am still amazed by and thank God for every day.

I have learned so much, I have been given new eyes to see more beauty than ever before,  a new perspective and a renewed sense of wonder and dreaming.  It has been such an emotional and spiritual walk for me.

Along the journey I have mourned my mom and I continue to do so yet not so intensely.  I have been drawn to things I’ve never been drawn to before.  I have made a whole new group of artsy friends through cyberspace.  I have gained a new sense of self worth.  I have become more self-confident.  I have embraced the fear and did it anyway many times over.  I have taken chances.  I have listened to my gut.  I have walked through open doors.

At age 46, my life has not taken the path that most women’s lives have taken.  I have always been a late bloomer, but now I know God’s timing is perfect.   I feel as if I am becoming who I was born to be.  I feel at peace.  (Better late than never!)

A large part of the journey has been a renewed love and thirst for art – OTHER PEOPLE’S ART – now being able to admire pieces through a different lens…those new eyes of a fellow artist.  I am starting to be a collector of artwork featuring Mothers and Daughters. They bring me so much joy where a year ago they would have brought only sadness.

Take a peek at the start of my new collection of “Mommy And Me” artwork!

“Like Mother, Like Daughter”- I love her primitive style!  This is the very first print I purchased to start my collection.  I painted the mats.  Artist: Mindy Lacefield

You can find Mindy here:  Tim’s Sally

Tim's Sally

This beauty is called “Moi et Maman” – Mama and me. Words on the right hand side are in French also. Translated “I love you Mama, I will love you forever!” Artist is the lovely Danielle Daniel. I painted and “Michelle’d up” the mat. Check out Danielle here: HER PAINTED WORD

Danielle Daniel

And this is entitled “Being There” – painted by talented artist Paula McDonough.  This print is part of a series called Lucky 7 and chronicles her journey through breast cancer treatment.  You can visit Paula on Etsy

Paula McDonough

Keep your eyes open for me!  Would love to add to my collection!

Until next time…Blessings,

Michelle

Our Lady of Everyone

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Hello, Hello!  …it’s been a while since my last post. Lots going on here, my dad had back surgery on April 11 and then I had two back to back weekend art shows. And in between all of this my father has been sick. Mysteriously sick. Fever, chills, sweats, weakness, faint, and at one point being hospitalized for a few days. I have been hearing of several people who are mysteriously sick these days.  What is going on???  They never found out what was wrong with my father. Test after test after test. It was pretty scary at one point. They had to use a cooling blanket to get his temp down from 103.   On Sunday, Deacon Joe brought him Communion and Fr. Jack gave him sacrament of the sick.  It was beautiful and both times there was someone in the room observing – they wouldn’t leave.  It was like they had to see what we were doing…One was a doctor who said “We don’t get much religion in here.  That was nice.”  The other was an aid who was changing the bed very quietly as dad was being prayed over and anointed.  She did not say a word.

He had 3 rounds of strong antibiotics, got bad on Friday night and then he started to get better.  Everything was doubly distressing because we were at “THAT HOSPITAL.”  That hospital where my mom was.  I really do not like that place. Way too much history there.  There are only two good things I can say about that hospital…#1 They have a great gift shop and #2 their chicken salad sandwich is AWESOME!  Dad is home now.  Thank you Lord!  And hopefully will be regaining his strength and getting back to his normal self.  I am sick of that pit in my stomach feeling  that I always had with my mom.  Go away already!

My two art shows went very well. I just love doing them!!!  Even though they are very stressful before hand with preparations and set up, I truly get pure joy from being a part of these festivals.  I enjoy talking to the people that come into my booth, telling my story, seeing their eyes light up when they connect with one of my pieces or with the words. People just stand there and read the words.  Some tear up, some smile.  Some no reaction….but I know they are touched in some way.  One of the best things about the whole experience is hearing their stories.  One amazing woman stopped by Suwanee Art in the Park and bought my very first creation in print.  She told me her story.  She’s sick.  They don’t know what is wrong with her.  She’s disabled.  Her body is failing her. She reminded me of my mom.  She bought my “PEACE” print so she could look at it to calm her and take her fear away.  I cried.  I don’t think I will ever get used to people buying my artwork, giving them as gifts and displaying my creations in their homes.  This is such a surreal time in my life.  I am so humbled.

Suwanee Arts In Park 2

I have donated a giclee of my “I love you to the moon and back” piece.  Its to help the people in Moore, OK after this horrific tornado.  Check out the auction…lots of amazing stuff from some very talented artists!  So proud to be a part of it! Hurry!  Auction over Friday!  https://www.facebook.com/hopeforok

I have also finished my very first piece with a “face” on it!  A very simple face, but a face none the less.  I am pretty proud of her!  I stepped way out of my box for this one.  I think she looks very peaceful.  I call her “Our Lady of Everyone.”  She’s going to live at “Dynamic Catholic”, Matthew Kelly’s organization!  What a privilege and blessing to do a piece for Matthew.  He was the high bidder on my “I Love You To The Moon and Back” piece and instead of me giving money to his charity, he asked me to create a painting of Our Lady to hang at his Dynamic Catholic offices.  Pinch ME!!!

Our Lady of EveryoneUntil next time…Blessings,

Michelle