Sunday, 23 February 2014

"You Need No More Than 33 Items In Your Closet"....

...and those 33 items include clothes, coats, boots, shoes, purses, accessories, sunglasses and any jewellery you don't wear every single day.  Luckily, the 33!items don't include underwear or exercise clothes.

I read this article (see blog post title) today in "O" Magazine.  Although it nearly caused me an anxiety attack, I immediately set to work in my bedroom.  But first I skipped over to author Courtney Carver's Project 333 website.   I also check out her website, Be More With Less, which is filled with great information on simplifying our lives.  In addition, her home site, Courtney is another good source of information.  I'm working my way through the archives at Be More With Less right now.  There's a lot of really good stuff in there that's motivating me to make some positive changes in my world.

I was like a whirling dervish in my bedroom this afternoon.  After two hours I had eight (8) clear blue recycle bags (the big ones) to donate and two green ones for the garbage bin.  I swear I could have given a nice scarf or wrap to everyone on my street! I haven't narrowed things down to 33 yet (not even close), but it's a huge start.  And I didn't just do my closet - I did my dresser and my jewellery box as well!  Phase II will get me closer to the 33 things.  Hopefully I'll get to Phase II sooner rather than later.

Next stop - linen/medicine/toiletries/ tools closet (over-stuffed shelf for each).  Scary thought.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Crazy Hair Ladies

Book of Days has two awesome spreads posted for us to tackle, but my sister and I haven't been able to synchronize our schedules this past week, so it'll be a while before we can get together and do the next one.

Life Book has a new lesson out this week that looks like fun, too, by Alena Hennessy.  I'm not familiar with her, but will check out the link myself.

In the meantime, I was salivating over Natasha May's online workshop "Crazy Hair Ladies", and remembered that I did a spread a while back with my own crazy hair lady in it. I think she might have been for a swap group I did at the Glitterhood last year.  I'm not sure.

I like her - and I hope at some point I'll get a chance to do Natasha's workshop.  It would be a blast!

The sources for learning amazing mixed media art and art journaling online are endless and exciting beyond words.  There's something for everyone, no matter what your ability or experience and, trust me, if you have, or think you have, no ability at all, you'll surprise yourself in no time - seriously!  I'm not kidding.   A lot of my stuff is still pretty sad looking to me, but some of it surprises the hell out of me.  As I've said many times, I couldn't draw a decent stick figure or a proper happy face when I started this, so I've come a long way.  And even if I hadn't, I'm having so much fun, and it makes me so happy, that I'd do it anyway.

Just pick something and try'll see!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Why Rumblestrip?

Rumble strip - noun - a set of grooves along the edge of a highway or across a road that cause noise and shaking when they are driven over and that are used to warn drivers that they need to slow down or are too close to the edge of the road

In case anyone should find my blog and wonder why I named it Rumblestrip, the definition above may help.  I read an article by Martha Beck a while back, in "O" magazine, where she referred to hitting a rough patch in life as a rumble strip, and it struck a chord with me that has remained since.   I've hit the rumble strip more times than I can count.  The important thing is to get back on the road and not end up in the ditch...or worse.  Hence the name of my blog.  For me it's a perfect fit.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Today's Rumblings and the Latest Book of Days Spread/s

I'm actually getting my "studio" to come's just a little room at the back of my house, but it's my space and I've missed it.  Condensing two spaces into one has been challenging, but I'm slowly getting there.  Here's a photo of my little art journaling'll be undergoing changes in the next few weeks, but this is it for now.

Book of Days

My sister and I have been doing our best to keep up with Book of Days, but it's challenging because we're 525 miles apart and doing it together over Facetime.  She works full time nights, so we are limited as to when we can work together on our spreads.  We are, however, managing to keep up fairly well, and it's SO much fun being able to do this with her.

Week One was our word for the year, which I posted previously.

Week Two included a simile with reference to winter.  I like the way the spread turned out, but as much as I like the colours, they certainly don't bring winter to mind.  I am happy with my progress, though, which is good because I'm usually never happy with anything I do.  However, I'm coming to terms with the fact that I can't expect to get good at anything without constant practice.  Since I don't get constant practice I have to settle for gradual progress.  So - I'm ok with that now.  Here it is.

Week Three was Titled "What Lies Beneath," which I really enjoyed because it involved a tree.  A lot of introspection came with this one, as is the intent with all of Effy's lessons.  I thought about all the times I didn't think I could cope with something happening in my life, but yet I've always seemed to find the strength to get through whatever comes my way.

That was probably my favourite so far.  It bugs me a bit that in the photos it's hard to see all the different layers to the spreads, but I can see them in my journal, so that will have to do.

Week Four was called Be In and asked why we don't treat ourselves as well as we treat others.  I did my spread with the definition of radical self care.  It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, and it involved the first "selfie" I've ever used in my art journal, but I liked the concept, as it made me think about taking care of myself, which I rarely do.  I finally have time for myself, but am still not doing anything to heal and renew from the past few years of so much stress and heartache.  Time is helping, but I need to do a lot more inner work, and a hell of a lot more "outer" work.  These years have taken an awful toll on my body and it'll take a lot to heal it and get it into a healthier state.  In the meantime, this is the spread - not my favourite by any stretch, but it'll have to do for now.

Week Five was "What Feeds Your Soul," which I did last Friday.  The background is entirely a paper towel I'd used to blot up paint from the page.  It looked better than the page, so I put it down with gel medium and went from there.  Even with a coat of gel on the top, it wasn't easy to work on, but considering that, it turned out ok.  I keep reminding myself that a year and a half ago I couldn't draw a decent stick figure.  That keeps me from being too hard on myself and expecting perfection when there's no such thing, and when I'm still a beginner.

A couple of weeks ago I finished a spread that was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe.  I'd have never dreamed I would do something like that, but I read an article containing some of her diary entries and was blown away by her awareness.  She wrote well and was very introspective in a lot of ways, which was surprising to me.  I felt sad after I read the article....sad that she died, for whatever reason, and didn't get to meet her potential and find what she needed to feed her soul.

Well, now that I'm just about caught up on Book of Days, hopefully I can post more regular, perhaps shorter, missives on what's happening here on the Rumblestrip.

Friday, 31 January 2014

ADHD, Keeping Up A Blog, and More Moonshine Boot Camp Sketches

Keeping current with a blog takes discipline and work, although it doesn't really feel like work when I'm doing it.  My ADHD mind, however, likes to jump from thought to thought, idea to idea, task to task - oh look, there's a squirrel! - and distraction to distraction like a monkey swings through branches in a jungle.  That makes it even more important to keep a blog, so that I can record what's going on in my head before I "see another squirrel."

Art journaling is such a blessing to me because it allows me to indulge so many ideas, thoughts and interests at the same time and in the same place.  It's a godsend for me!  YAY whoever invented art journaling!  The variety is endless, as are my thoughts.

I have more sketches and I must say I'm getting quite a kick out of them.  Since they aren't supposed to look like actual people, it's fun watching who emerges each time I put the pencil to the page, and to see how/if I'm progressing in my ability to actually create these faces. Some of them make me want to hide my head, they're so bad, some of them make me laugh, and some of them surprise me.  This is a never-ending source of amusement because while I'm learning I am not yet able to plan how a face is going to look.  I'm not even sure if that ever happens.   I just follow the instructions as I remember them and see who shows up.

When I first started practicing these faces - back when I signed up for Tamara Laporte's Fabulous Faces course - and again when I started Moonshine Boot Camp, I had mixed feelings about drawing all these sketches in a book and still having to create faces in my art journals.  I was afraid of messing up my art journal pages if I didn't like the face I made.  But eventually, I was thrilled to realize that the ones I like, I can actually photocopy or scan, print them out and paste them onto a background in my art journal. Then I can paint and embellish them to my heart's cool is that!?  Now I'm doing even more faces (see below).  Nothing jaw-droppingly awesome, by any stretch, but as I've said before, before I took these courses,I couldn't draw a happy face or stick figure without messing it up.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Moonshine Boot Camp - Sketching Practice

Hi, all.  I know the previous entry shows it was posted today, but it was actually done a few days ago.  I just forgot to hit "Publish" bad.  Sorry about that.

The Week 2 Book of Days lesson is out, but I saw that there was a portrait on it, so I've decided to do some sketching practice before tackling this one.   Both Book of Days Boot Camp and Moonshine have face-drawing lessons to help us learn to draw stylized (not the same as sketching a real person) portraits for our purposes as art journalers and/or mixed media artists.  Tamara Laporte of Willowing (.ning) also offers an awesome class called Fabulous Faces, which is very helpful and fun.

So, I've done three sketches so far, which I'm posting here to record my progress.  Keep in mind that before I started art journaling with Effy and eventually took Fabulous Faces with Tam,  I couldn't draw a 'happy face' properly (you know, the little yellow, moon-faced guy, now of Emoticon fame), so these aren't perfect, but they sure are better than what I started with.  I love them.

I'm pretty happy with them, all in all, because I know if I keep practicing they'll get better, and the more of them I do, the more I'll have to use in future art journal spreads.  It's nice to know they can be used that way.

Thanks for dropping by. ()

My Word for the Year - Book of Days - Week 1

My word for 2014 is "space."  I need space - space to grow, space to move, space in my home, my head and my heart for the things most sacred to me.  I'll carry my word with me throughout the year and make the space I require for growth and freedom to do what I love....and to learn more about what I do love - what makes me happy....what fills my heart and soul with joy.  For me, learning requires space.

My first Book of Days spread of the year is nothing like I pictured, but I like it a lot.  It's a bit of a mixture of Effy's first BOD lesson and the first Wildly Inspired video that she's recorded.  I loved them both and my spread incorporated parts of both of them as well as my word.  I'm happy with it, considering I've not been able to do much in the way of art journaling, except in my head, since October.

Now I'm working on a spread for WildlyInspired Wednesday, but I'm stuck on it right now.  It's something that my muse seems to be playing with, because I understand what the intent is, but have no clue how it got where it is or where it's going.  I'll just have to go with it and see what happens.

One of the coolest  things about BOD this year is that my sister and I, 600 miles apart, can do it together, thanks to Facetime on our iPads.  I got an iPad Air for Xmas from MH, and he now has my original iPad (which he also gave me) that has no camera.  My sister and I are having a blast working out all the things we need to art journal together online.

Comments and/or questions are welcome.  I'll attempt to respond as quickly as possible.  I'll be back sooon.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Winter Sunshine, My Bed and Good Reads

The morning sun is streaming into my bedroom and I'm settled on the down duvet on my beautiful,  big king-size bed, with my iPad, my journal, my pen/pencil case, The Complete Artist's Way, and the book I'm currently reading, "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer.  I know a book is special to me if, when I'm reading it, I feel like it was written with me in mind.  I feel that way with this one, but also vividly realize how it applies to everyone.   Zoom in on the back cover and get an idea of what it's all about.  If you should read it, or have already read it, please share your thoughts with me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy New Year 2014! Am I Enough?

It's been months since I last posted, and here we are in a brand new year.  How do I sum up 2013?  Much of it was difficult & frustrating, but at the same time, I learned a lot, made some wonderful new friends, had some memorable times, and discovered that sometimes when life seems overwhelming, support comes from the most unexpected places and helps me overcome the guilt I feel for not being "enough,"  or not doing "enough."  It's not always successful, but it sure has made a huge difference in my life after the past couple of years.

Practically at every turn as I venture into the world of art journaling, I see the phrase "I am enough," which tells me I'm not alone in my feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.  To see it in so many places, by so many women, feels comforting but at the same time disturbing that so many of us seem to have had these feelings bred into us.  Why?  Why do so many of us grow up feeling like we aren't good enough?  Why do we constantly have to be reminded or told that we are?  I guess we all have our own stories of how it came to be, and we have our own methods of dealing with it.

My way of dealing with these feelings is to dig deep, to excavate my soul, find the things that made me this way and then learn to overcome them to the best of my ability.  I don't do these things all the time, but I choose NOT to leave the feelings to fester; otherwise it'll just infect my whole being and I'll be left empty at the core.  I don't like feeling empty. It's a lonely feeling.

Art journaling and similar activities help get the questions answered and fill the void. It's also a lot of  fun.  Who doesn't like fun?  The sisterhood is a big part of it.  The feeling of being a part of something and knowing that other women, and even some men "get" the things you're working on, with no pressure, no expectations, no judging of what you share - just encouragement and support.  This inspires motivation & inspiration, massive reduction in fear of failure, freedom to create your butt off, and most of all  it goes a long way to making me believe...really believe....that I AM enough. I am, at the beginning of a new year, ready to get on with it.  There's a lot I'll be involved in, and a lot to share. ..starting with my next post.

Thanks for stopping by.  There'll be photos next time!