25 June 2015

Health, Hair, Art, and Whatever Else Comes To Mind

I've been super slow with my art. I'm sorry.

I had a health setback. I have thyroid problems. I treat them myself. I mistakenly stopped taking a product for another one that ended up being inadequate. I take 2 tsp. of maca root from the Maca Team every day. It had me so fixed. I was doing great. My ankles weren't swelling, my hair wasn't dry, my mood was great, etc, etc, etc.

Anyway, I also purchase supplements from Vitacost. Normally their items are great. But I thought that I was being smart by switching from Maca Team's maca root to Vitacost maca in capsule form. I don't like having to mix it, the capsules seemed more convenient. So, I took the Vitacost capsuled brand for 6 months? it was about that long. It seemed to be doing fine.......and then BOOOOM!

I woke up with my period all out of whack, my hair (overnight, mind you) went NUTS. I couldn't even get my brush through it. My ankles started swelling, I bloated 15 lbs overnight, my joints went nuts, my allergies kicked in overtime, my skin went dry, and I had. to. get. all. of. my. hair. cut. off. To my shoulders.
I'm not happy about this. It was to the middle of my back. And now it's gone.

Overnight my hair went from silky, wonderful hair to this dry lump of baked barbie doll hair. When I say that I couldn't get my brush through it, I mean, it was this giant nest of a knot and the brush would not go through it.

When all of this happened to me, I'm not going to lie, it took me a little while to figure out WHY? Why was this happening? I mean, I was still taking the maca, my diet was basically the same (partial-paleo), still doing the same old stuff.

While I was trying to figure out what was wrong, I was also getting all my hair cut off. And still trying not to lose the rest of it. I really needed to be shaved. I really fought with the rest of my hair.

When I ordered the Maca team maca root, I took 2 tsp. mixed in apple juice immediately. On the 4th day, it felt like my thyroid was swollen and it actually ached a bit, especially when I turned my head. The 5th day my mood was improving. My period straightened itself up. I'm not even going to tell you what was going on with it, let's just say it was BAD. By the 6th day I had my energy back. My hair had a few small changes. It wasn't as bad as it had been, but it was still a fight.

I've now been on this maca for a little over a month and I'm finally feeling much better. My hair is also much, much better.

But all of this made me realize, I've got some healing to do. I know I have leaky gut. I still have food allergies. I'm out of shape again. I was just spending too much time with the art. I'm going to have to make a schedule and stick to it. So there are going to be changes. I'm putting myself on the GAPS diet and I'll be working out EVERY day. I'm not going to sit with my art for long periods anymore. I can't. This last setback was so hard on my joints. I was to the point of not being able to squat down and get back up, of going up my steps, of just moving. I'm also getting more of the chemicals out of the home. I had let some things creep back in. Body wash, laundry products, etc. Convenience. So, I've ordered the soapnuts, the wool balls for the dryer, the Dr. Bronners and I'm not looking back.

I've got to take control of this. It will not win. For now, my art will be added slowly, But, when I get my schedule and eating and working out controlled, I'll be doing more.

I want to work on some vintage Halloween items. I have one that I want to add to my shop (see the pic above), but I'm working on another right now. When I finish it, I'll be adding both.

Brightest Blessings,

14 June 2015

Litha Whimsical Plaque

Hi ho all! Bright blessings of Litha be upon you! 

I wanted to make a fun, sunshiny craft for this day. So, I have created an easy, whimsical plaque for you to make. My moon looks like it is totally in love with my sun.

I had fun creating this little craft and I hope you enjoy it. I created a little summer poem to go with this, but you can use any favorite poem for this plaque. Or don’t use one at all. It’s all up to you because it’s your plaque.

For this craft you will need:

Some cardboard
A variety of acrylic paints, your color choices
Plain polymer clay
A wooden plaque
E-6000 glue or shoe goo (same stuff)

The first thing to do is decide what shapes you would like to make your sun and moon to be and cut out that shape from the cardboard. My sun cutout is approximately 6 ½ inches from point to point and my moon is around 3 ½ inches. You will be covering these with clay so keep that in mind when sizing for your plaque. I think the clay added around a ½ inch thickness to them.

I did not wrap in aluminum foil before covering in clay. I just covered them with the clay and they did fine during baking. I baked at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.

I didn't make them super smooth when I added the clay. I left them a bit rough looking to keep some character to their whimsical looks. I made the points a bit longer on the sun and gave the some curve so make them look like flames shooting out. I gave the moon a half face, while I didn't give the sun one at all. I’m just going to paint the face on the sun.

After they have baked and cooled, decide how you want to paint. I am painting a yellow base on the sun before adding the sun. Let it dry.

When it has dried, you can draw out a face. I want a full face for the sun, so I will use circles to make the face.

Now, I’ll just paint it in. I’m going with an orange and red coloring with white highlighting. Add black to define. I drybrushed most of the colors on.

Keep filling in the cheeks to your satisfaction. Add black to the lip and nose to define. Add some white around the eyes and on top of cheeks.

Add orange to the eyelid and red to the eyes.

Add black to the pupils, yellow around the pupils, a white highlight down the nose.  Define the eyes with black, drybrush some black shading. Drybrush the pupils with white for highlighting and add eyelashes and eyebrows. Highlight the chin.

Finally, drybrush some dark orange on the points and around the face to give it some flamy definition. Your sun is done.

Now for the moon. You only have to draw the eye really for the moon. Paint your moon with a base of white, let dry, and draw out your eye.

Fill in the eye with a dark blue, fill in the pupil with black. While that dries, drybrush black to define the nose. Add some drybrushed blue to the cheeks to define. Blue on eyelid. Go back to the eye and add some light blue around the pupil. Line the eyes with black, put a bit of white on the lid to highlight, also add white to the cheek to create a roundness. Paint the mouth with a black line. Define with bottom lip with a bit of black. 

For the plaque, use the colors that you want for a sky.  Decide on your placement for the sun and moon.

After you see where they will be placed you can paint your clouds and poem on it. I made a simple little poem for the plaque.

"I will honor the day, and dance with the fae,
beneath the sun, the moon, and the stars"

Of course you don't have to use mine. Use something that makes you think of this time of year.

When you have painted your poem add some watery clouds by dipping your paintbrush in water and then into the white. Let this drip into cloud shapes. Put the clouds where your moon and sun will sit on the plaque. When your poem and clouds have dried and splatter some "stars" on the plaque. 

Place the sun and moon back on the and glue down with either e-6000 glue or Shoe goo. Shoe goo is the same thing plus you get twice as much for a fraction of the cost of e-6000. 
If you plan on hanging this outside put a couple of coats of outdoor polyurethane on the entire plaque.

I hope you enjoyed this craft!

Brightest blessings,