Reflections on Life and in the Mirror

Templeton seems to be doing better. The past week, I was worried about him. Praying the medication is going to work to heal his intestines so he will recover completely. Hoping I’ll be able to sleep better as my mind begins to ease.

As for coloring, I completed 3 pictures this week. My mindset is changing from quantity (wanting to finish books completely) to quality. I want to take more time working on each picture so as to do justice to the artist who used their talent to draw the pictures. I’ve been working for the past three days on a picture and though I have no idea when it will be finished, it’s okay!

I’m also gearing up to do cardmaking. I ordered a new small manual die cutting machine which should arrive on tomorrow. I’m watching various card making tutorials and feeling excited to expand on this hobby. Nothing elaborate, like those who sell their creations, but just something handmade to send to friends and family.

As for the puzzle, I sit for about an hour a day and had a great day Saturday when I placed 5 pieces together. Woo hoo! It’s truly a difficult puzzle compared to any other I’ve ever worked.

Looking back over the week, I’ve spent most of my days at home. The weather has been hot, with a couple of days nice enough to be outside. I’ve done a lot of thinking, reflecting on life, and praying. Growing older can sometimes smack you in the face…especially when you look in a mirror! What happened to the young woman I used to be? I can see her in my mind’s eye and in pictures from long ago, but that’s not the image in the mirror. I’ve been avoiding exercise and my clothes are the telltale sign I need to get out of the chair and move more. I should stand at the breakfast bar and work on hobbies. Maybe that’s where I’ll do my card-making. It’s worth a thought! I’m not 80 yet, and my dear friend, who is 80 now, still mows her humongous yard, pulls weeds, and rakes leaves! She’s an inspiration and I need to start taking better care of myself instead of disappearing into hobbies to avoid the truth of how I’ve let myself go over the past years.

Reflections over, it is time to share my finished pictures from the week. The first was colored in Johanna Basford’s Christmas book. It is my contribution to the Christmas in July theme. The second was done with markers in the Love4Flowers book by Prachi Dewan Sachdeva. The third was colored in Christine Karron’s Fairy and Fantasy 2 book. On this one, I used my newest set of colored pencils from Star Joy. I love these pencils. They are oil based pencils and are at the top of my list of favorites.

I am hoping for a better week ahead. Planning on doing at least 20 minutes of exercise per day on the elliptical trainer machine I have. No excuses that it’s too hot or humid. No excuses that impact hurts my back and ankles. This machine eliminates that. I want to finish the picture I’ve been working on, add some pieces to the puzzle, and make a few cards, too. Of course, my plans are always flexible, especially when God has another plan! Lifting my cup of tea and wishing each of you a glorious week full of God’s blessings. Until next time…


Card Making, Tweets, and More

I read an internet news headline about Clint Eastwood. He tweeted: “I think being able to age gracefully is a very important talent. It is too late for me,” the 91-year-old actor said.” I’m not sure what he meant.

Of course this resonated with me because of the title of my blog. For me, aging gracefully isn’t a talent, but accepting the limitations that come with age, the wrinkles, the sagging skin, the slowing down of the body, and not wasting time regretting the loss of youth. It means taking time to appreciate what God has given me and finding peace with the acceptance.

This past week I rearranged my office and crafting closet. Just minor things to make more room and provide better efficiency. Little changes make me happy. Stems from my years in supportive roles within the corporate world. Thank goodness, I’m not missing the “dress for success” habit. I’m much more comfortable in my PJ’s and slippers or barefoot in t-shirt and capris!

I spent more time watching crafting videos on You Tube than I did working on hobbies. I’m getting excited about card making again. I want to start making cards for Christmas and a set of “all occasion” cards, too. I’ve neglected this hobby long enough. More about that next week.

Now it is time to show the few pictures I finished. I have a work in progress that I had hoped to finish yesterday, but didn’t. I did purchase a new set of oil pencils and spent time organizing them in a pencil case and swatching them. Looking forward to using them this week. I love working with oil pencils. I finished a picture using pastels, but can’t show it until after the end of the month when my daughters and I reveal our finished pictures to each other. Here’s what I can show. The first picture was done in glitter gel pens. The second with colored pencils and liquid pearls, the third with markers as I practiced blending and last is a color by number done with markers.

Lifting my cup of tea with a smile as I watch the swallows doing their flight maneuvers. Wishing you all a beautiful week. Remember to be kind to yourself, have fun, and be thankful. Until next time…


But…Then God Sent Sunshine

What a week…is all I can say about the first full week of January. It’s been a week where I’ve been really happy to stay at home and away from the news and social media as much as possible. Though most of the week was heavily overcast, God did send sunshine! The last days of the week and most of the weekend, though cold, were filled with beautiful rays of warmth from the sun. Sunshine makes me smile and lifts my spirits.

It has been a week of prayer and tears for our country and for several of my loved ones. My granddaughter’s dog had to have surgery and has been severely ill. He was given a 50/50 chance to pull through. However, he seems to be doing good and should be coming home today. When I heard about the surgery, I cried and couldn’t stop until I turned and saw that God had sent fingers of sunlight to warm and paint my front porch. God gave me a heart for animals and for the connection their family has with them. I don’t understand why, but I accept it. I seem to feel for them very deeply, and I pray for them. When God directs our hearts in a certain direction, we should accept and do what we can. Prayer is powerful!

For me, I tried to fill this week with positivity and color. I love looking at an array of colored pencils or markers! Seeing them makes me smile. I open a book and find a picture that is speaking to me and begin to add color to the blank page. Watching the picture come to life, gives me pleasure. My work isn’t up to par with so many accomplished colorists, but for me it is all about bringing joy and having fun. And, shouldn’t we all have these things in our life? No matter what hobby you might have, I hope you find joy and fun in the creating.

I’ve been working on the “buddy color” picture with two of my daughters. I’ll save the “disaster” story about this picture for the end of the month when I can share the finished product. LOL! As for now, here are the pictures I completed this past week.

Creative Haven Rose Windows book, Illustrated by Joel S. Avren. Colored with Caliart Alcohol markers.

Illustration purchased on Etsy at Leanasanjoseart. Printed on tan paper and colored with Prismacolor Premier pencils.

Jade Summer Chibi Girls grayscale. Colored with Beileza alcohol markers.

Sheri Baldy My Besties Fluffy Girls. Colored with Castle Arts colored pencils.

And that is all from me for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Stay safe, and may God bless you and yours. Until next time…