Everyday brings its own set of challenges that defines us. Some of these challenges can make us strong, make us wiser, and teach us to be okay with ourselves. Some days we are awesome at conquering these challenges, while other challenges can tear us down. Yet even though we can be brought down, we can rise again stronger than ever because we have learned that by falling, we can still survive.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am having one of those challenging weeks. Yet I am still here. I am surviving. I have learned this week that even though someone can pass from your life onto the next, that the loved ones that are left behind can come together to remember them, to share in grief, sorrow and memories. What comes from these times is knowledge that we affect the people in our lives in such a way that we can never truly understand until their gone or about to leave.
This week brought me the news that my great aunt Mae passed away in the night. She was a bright spot in this world and I was so saddened to hear her light is no longer shining in this life. I will miss her dearly and wish I had a chance to tell her so. But this sad news was accompanied by even sadder news that our beloved Grandma Noe’s health is failing and that it may be a matter of days before she leaves us too.
My mind and heart have been slow to come to grips with these heartbreaking events. I wasn’t even sure if I would post this entry today. The cheery little bird I drew last year seemed to be mocking me. Yet here I am writing this post, still breathing, still surviving in the only way I know how – being myself. So today’s life lesson is this: “Be true to yourself, sing your own song and live life to it’s fullest.” If you do, the legacy you leave behind will be the thing that binds your loved ones together in the face of sadness.
I dedicate this in loving tribute to my great aunt Mae who left a wonderful legacy in this life by the family and friends her life touched. And to grandma Jean Noe, though while her song has yet to end I hope and pray she finds peace in her final hours.
Here we are with only 7 days until Christmas and not a snowflake in sight – at least here in the Midwest. While I do not treasure shoveling snow like most folks, I do enjoy the beauty and wonder those crystalline flakes add to the season. They especially look most wondrous against the ‘twinkling of lights and a thousand other delights’ that only take place around the holidays. (quote is inspired from John Denver Muppet Christmas song…)
While we are practically devoid of snow so far this December, this was NOT the case last year (or the year before for that matter). On December 14th 2014 I experienced our time-honored tradition of driving to-and-fro looking at all the glorious Christmas light displays that happened last year. My husband is quite dedicated to finding all the best the Chicago suburbs have to offer in their lighted holiday displays. We saw many jaw-dropping sights as we cruised the suburbs that night. To document our journey I tried to capture the essence of the evening in my journal. Here is the results:
Materials used: Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks, Derwent Graphik Line Painters, Derwent Inktense Pencil, Sakura Gelly Roll White Pen, Niji Waterbrush
The process: I had the most fun working on this entry. I loved the way the inks blended together that made up the night sky. To start, I lightly sketched out what I wanted this page to look like. Next, using my Distress inks, starting with the lightest colors I began blending them together one layer at a time (first with yellow, then light blue, working my way to the deeper shades like purple and black). With my Derwent Graphik Line Painters, I started outlining the penciled details and ornaments. For a final touch, I used my Derwent Inktense pencils to color in the houses and added blue shadows under the snowbanks; I used a Niji waterbrush to activate the pencil colors.
That first brisk chill in the air, to the first puff of frosty breath, to the first flake that hits the ground are all signs that winter is just around the corner. Depending on who you ask, winter has already begun. Meteorological winter starts on December 1st while our traditional almanac states that winter begins during the winter solstice which for this year is December 21st.
No matter what source you follow there is no denying that winter is upon us. It’s not all bad though. There is the upcoming holiday festivities to look forward to and winter fun to be had outdoors. You are never to old to go sledding – what fun!
So here is my journal entry from last year which was my little”hello” to this chilly but fun season.
Materials used: Tombow markers, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Sakura Micron Pen.
The process: This page utilized a very simple design based on the humble name tag style bubble. I started with my usual light pencil sketch to layout the design elements. Next I swirled on the the page light blue distress ink in the background using a makeup sponge applicator. Moving on, I used my dark blue Tombow marker to outline the words and snowflakes. As a final touch I dated this entry with my micron pen. All in all, this was a fun and easy journal entry that was a nice break from my more complicated layouts.