Saturday, November 28, 2015

Perfectionism and Me

I struggle against perfectionism tendencies all the time. Lines must be straight and clean. Everything must be symmetrical and balanced. Everything must be 'perfect'.

Yes, in my intellectual mind, I know that there can be balance and beauty in asymmetry too, but I really have to work hard at it. It makes my brain hurt and my hair turn grey.

A friend of mine, who knows about this struggle, challenged me to make an ATC with TORN PAPER only!! I was not allowed to use scissors at all.

Not only that, I had to incorporate both words and flowers on it. Oh my gosh, I was getting edgy just thinking about it. I wasn't sure that I could do it.

But, I decided to give it a try. I used paper from an old magazine that was lying around. I selected the background, ripped the paper, and applied it to a pre-cut ATC chipboard base. Here is the front and back of the ATC.


Then, I thought that the background could use a bit of colour. I tore a narrow strip with bright autumn colours and pasted it diagonally near the bottom.

Next, came the vase of flowers and the two words torn from pages of the same magazine.

And I survived the experience! How amazing is that? The world did not fall apart because I ripped paper, instead of cutting it. I'm not sure that I 'like' the end result but I did take the challenge and succeed at it.

I cannot tell you how tempting it was to use a paper trimmer or rotary cutter during this process. After all, they are not 'scissors', right? That did not seem to be in the spirit of the original challenge, however, so I did not use them. *smile*

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Home By The Moon ATCs

I watched a video on YouTube last night that has inspired me to create a set of ATCs similar to the ones shown above. The video was originally posted online in May 2015 by createART1. You can check out her YouTube channel here.

You don't really see how she created the initial background for her ATCs so I'm just going in my own direction with this. I started with a background experiment on cardstock that was less than successful in my eyes.

I added some black paint, just a bit, and spread it all over the page with a baby wipe. I was not sure that improved it at all, but what the heck, I'm committed now.

In for a penny, in for a pound...I decided to apply antique white paint with a piece of bubble wrap next. Now it is starting to look usable. I'm fairly pleased with the result.

Time to cut it down into ATC size units and adhere them to the pre-cut chipboard bases so I can continue working on them. I ended up with ten ATCs, the nine you see below and one other to practice on.

Time to head to my scrap paper box and start cutting out narrow strips of various sizes for the houses. I'm not going to add the extra layers of torn paper and tissue to the background as she did. I won't be creating the moons the same way either. I'm not really sure what product she was using.

So, here is the prototype/practice 'Home By The Moon' ATC...

I've decided that I definitely want to invest in a REALLY good fine line marker before going much further with the rest of the ATCs. The dollar store one that I used, while inexpensive, was not working well for me. Live and learn, right? 

I will punch the moons out of cardstock, instead of paper too. You can see the background through the paper and I don't like that. I will also make the houses shorter so that more of the background will be visible.

Now comes the fun part...I challenge all of my artistic friends to watch the tutorial and create your own set of three 'Home By The Moon' ATCs. Send me photos of them when you are finished and I will post them on a future blog entry, along with mine. Who wants to join in the fun?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Peggy Sue Got Married

Peggy Sue Got Married is a 1986 comedy-drama film starring Kathleen Turner as a woman on the verge of a divorce, who finds herself transported back to the days of her senior year in high school in 1960. The main question that this movie poses is, "If you could do it all over again, knowing what you know now, would you change anything?" This is a question that I've often asked myself.

Ultimately, Peggy Sue makes the same choices and for the same reasons she did originally. Upon reflection, I'm not sure that I would change much either. Not all of my choices have turned out as well as expected or hoped, but with each unique experience I've learned something new about myself or the world around me. I've become a stronger, more determined person, wiser than before.

The culmination of all those experiences makes me the person I am today; well rounded, tolerant, accepting, generous, kind, etc. Who would I be if I had not been through everything that I have been? I don't know. Do you?

Pondering this makes me grateful for both the good and the bad that has been in my life. And I'm not afraid to face whatever is ahead because I know, good or bad, I will come out on top as a better person.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Grass Is Greener

'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.' This Old English idiom typifies the way we tend to look at other people's lives and the 'things' that we don't have.

In our eyes, their 'grass' is better looking, healthier and greener than our own. We are, in fact, only picking out the 'good' in their situation and comparing it to the 'bad' in ours. Our narrow line of vision keeps us from seeing the whole picture.

The funny thing is, once we take the leap to the other side, to that place we thought we'd be happier, we discover that it is not as wonderful as we imagined it would be. And then we start looking over other fences.

This cycle of being preoccupied searching for a better life, a different life, or another life undermines our mental health. Trouble comes when we are taken over by envy, believing that other people have all the good stuff and we have nothing. We become depressed and anxious and allowing our greed to want more and more and more intensifies those feelings.

Our main focus should be to make the most of what we do have. Don't waste your time making yourself miserable fretting over things that you don't have. Be mindful of what is around you and find happiness where you are, with what you are doing, with what you have and who is in your circle.

Take each day as it comes, embrace every opportunity that presents itself to you and stop thinking that the grass is greener on the other side because it never really is.