It’s Time for another Artist Feature

Hi Friends today I would like to Introduce you all to a wonderful Artist I admire Meg Smiley.  I met Meg Smiley on Instagram when I saw her beautiful and adorable animal paintings and was drawn in by her infectious positive attitude and smiling personality.

Please share little about yourself:

Hello! My name is Meg Smiley yes, “Smiley” is my real name, courtesy of my husband!  I lived in southern California until I was 18 ,but have since lived in three different states: Iowa, Pennsylvania, currently New York). I got started in art at a very young age– I honestly can’t remember when because I haven’t stopped drawing since I could hold a pencil. I never really considered that art could lead to a job growing up, so my first actual “art class” was a beginner’s course in high school. Thanks to my teacher’s encouragement, I decided to major in Graphic Design in college. I worked as a full-time Graphic Designer up until a year ago, when I had to quit my job due to an increasingly painful chronic health condition (called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS). A few months after that is when I finally self-published my first children’s book. It’s been a wild ride but a very rewarding one as well.

What got you started in children’s books

About three years ago now, while I was still working full-time, I decided to participate in a side project to take my mind off work. This project was an Instagram challenge called the “The 100 Days Project,” and is still hosted yearly (I believe) by “The Great Discontent.” It encourages creatives of all kinds to make something (anything) for 100 days, and post their daily progress using #The100DaysProject. I wanted to teach myself how to use acrylic paint, so I decided to go for it, and almost immediately fell in love with the medium. My favorite subjects to paint, I discovered, were whimsical, colorful animals! I painted a peacock first, then a friendly but magnificent lion with a fiery, curly mane, and I just didn’t want to stop. I didn’t have an “art” or “business” account in Instagram, but I gained followers who were also participating in the project, and they started cheering me on every day!

After I had painted 10 animals, I knew I wanted to make a book. I had dreamt of writing and illustrating my own children’s book since I was a child because I love to write silly stories as well! A couple of years passed before I could finish the book because of stressful life circumstances. My husband and I moved to New York for his doctorate program, and I was just trying to keep up with work while my EDS symptoms grew worse. After I quit my job a year ago, however, I finally finished and self-published “Animals Under the Bed!” It has easily been the most rewarding personal project I’ve ever done and inspired me to start a business as well called:  Phigment Design Studio.

Please share 2 of your favorite pieces of art and tell us a little about them:

This is the mom and baby elephant painting from my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” This is one of my favorite paintings, partially because it took me the longest to paint! However, I also love the sentiment behind this piece. Growing up, I was blessed with parents who encouraged my love for art and my free-spirited nature. They celebrated the fact that I colored my trees purple, drew my flowers taller than my people, and gave my people heart-shaped heads! The elephants spread in “Animals Under the Bed!” is all about the joy, silliness, and fun that parents share with their kids, which is something from my childhood that I will always be thankful for.

This painting also from my book, was originally painted for my husband in 2017 as a Valentine’s Day gift. This piece is significant to me for a few reasons. Only a few months after we got married, my husband was in a job interview and they asked him what animal he would be and why. He thought it was a strange question, but he immediately said: “Definitely a penguin. -Because i just got married and they mate for life.” I thought it was so funny that he came up with that on the fly! And then I thought it was adorable, of course, so we’ve been “penguins” ever since.  This might sound silly, but I also love this painting because penguins endure a lot of hardship to take care of their mates. Since my husband and I have been married, almost 6 years, we have moved across the country twice and been through some hugely stressful circumstances including grad school programs, chronic illness, job loss, and more). However, we have still managed to take care of each other through it all and I have never been more thankful.

I would love for you to share your website with all of us:

At my website, www.animalsunderthebed.com, you can learn more about the making of my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” and purchase signed copies of the book, painting prints, mugs, and greeting cards. I also JUST started a blog all about my self-publishing process there! Several of my followers have asked me for self-publishing tips, so I am gladly sharing what I have learned.

Where can we find and connect with you on social media:

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram (www.instagram.com/phigment_design_studio/) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PhigmentDesignStudio/)! Here’s what you can expect from my posts:

Honest, heartfelt sharing: there is too much “fake” on social media, so one of my goals is to be real, vulnerable, and “human” so that I can genuinely connect with and encourage others. – Art inspiration and new paintings: Most of my inspiration comes from my faith, my marriage, or my honest life struggles!

Share something that many may not know about you:

I live in a 250 sq. ft. apartment with my husband and dog, which is certainly an adventure lol!

Any last words or advice for my readers:

Here is my “in-a-nutshell” advice to you, inspired by my life experience so far:

Never underestimate what you can learn, accomplish, and get through in life with God’s help, motivation, and willingness to learn! You are never “stuck” where you are in life. There are always new opportunities for change around the corner, even when you can’t see them yet. – Meg Smiley

Thank you so very much Meg for sharing your art and your heart with myself and my readers today!

Thank you friends for joining me for another Artist Who Inspires me feature!

xxoo – Sherry

Is your soul seeking change? -Vlog

Hi Friends,

What a beautiful day we have been having here in NY.  The sun is finally shining – it’s still damn cold but that sun makes it so much more bearable!!  It’s days like these that I just am in total love with my art room – I have 5 windows across the front that just lets the sun beam in and it makes me feel so alive and happy!

So today I come to you with a Vlog instead of a long blog post.  The Vlog talks about the changes I am making to our Facebook Group The Empowered Creative Woman .  If you haven’t joined yet and you want to just click on the group name and it will take you to the FB group.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and come chat with me for a few minutes 🙂

Below is the video I created on how to make vintage scrolls and I talk about this in my Vlog above for our first challenge and creating our love alter / sacred space.

Sharing an Oracle Card reading with all of you:

I want to share with you 2 cards that I drew today.  These come from the Sacred Vision Oracle Card deck.  I love the art on these cards as well as the deep meanings that they share.

The first card I drew today was power.  The card says:  You are a spirit warrior who sings your song line – your agreement to live.  From the moment of your birth into the restrictive physical world, you must call upon the mysterious language of intuition to remember the world from which you came – the world of your dreams and spiritual relationships.  It is from here that you feel true power. – (click on the photo to read the second paragraph on the card) –    How True it is that when we are unrestricted and allowed to be the people we want to be, when we are allowed to feel deeply as women, cry hard and laugh hard that is when we feel the most powerful and whole.  If this is how you want to feel then I recommend you join my Facebook group because this my dear friends is what my group is all about.  Join Here

The second card I drew is Worthiness:  All water birds are medicine:  if followed, they lead you to water – the essence of life.  The kingfisher, in particular represents healing.  One would wish any wound, physical or psychological, would med as quickly as the water’s surface after a kingfisher’s dive. – click on the photo to read the second para on the card.   –   wow another very powerful deep meaning card that truly resonates with me and all the healing I have been working on.

So I will leave you with these thoughts my dear friends.  

I would love to have you join me in community in our facebook group, to join in a supportive, loving and uplifting environment unlike any others.  Let’s grow a wonderful Empowered sisterhood together.        The Empowered Creative Woman Facebook Group

 

Thank you my friends for spending your time with me today, I cherish each and everyone of you!  Have an amazing day!!

xxoo – Sherry

Where the hell have I been? +New Video

Hi Friends,

I know I have been away from all of you for awhile now.  After getting sick in January things have been a bit hectic but even more so I have felt it really time for me to take sometime to myself.  During this time a lot has happened to me.  It has really been an intense time of grieving and healing for me.  I do still have a long way to go but many things have healed for me which has made me feel a bit lighter and happier.  I know that grieving is a process and I am trying to allow myself kindness, patience and love while I go through this process.

I am currently working on finding my animal spirit guides to help me though this process and to have beside me in my life.  I have taken on a Spiritual Mentor which has been such an eye opening experience and so very helpful to me on this journey.  My heart has called for me to take this journey to heal, not just current wounds but many from the past as well.  And while doing all of this “internal” work is not glorious and beautiful the end result has been a happier more peaceful life.

The swan is one of my spirit animals.  On a chilly afternoon walking at the park with Luna I saw one of the swans that I usually only see in the fall, out there swimming in the lake

I have also had such a strong pull to create.  I have been creating from my heart and what it desires and craves.  I realized that although I enjoyed my time on various creative teams it was not allowing me to create for me, to create because my heart and soul are yearning for it, create for none other than the pleasure or to get my feelings & emotions down on paper.  This year I have choose not to re-sign up for the teams that I was on or to try out for any new teams.  This year I will be strictly creating what comes from my heart.

I created a bunch of these soul cards made with magazine snippets and a bit of watercolor and ink

I was thinking of creating a youtube video on how I created my soul cards – let me know in the comments if this is something that you would be interested in seeing a tutorial on. 🙂

Some of my art work created during my spiritual journey:  Earth Goddess, Feather, Spirit Owl and Spirit Deer.  The owl and the Goddess came from a class with Micki Wilde, although if you go back and look at her samples mine are quite different as I like to create my own take on my paintings even if it’s coming from a class.

Along with Animal Spirit Guides I have been learning to work with the Goddesses as well.  Below I created this art tag of Kali – it was inspired by a Goddess Deck that I own.  She is the destroyer of all things that are no longer serving you.  She is strong and bad ass and doesn’t take any crap from anyone.  She is someone I need in my corner as I’m not all that great at times at standing up for myself.  She has been walking with me on this journey and given me strength when I feel weak.

Below meet the Goddess of Darkness.  She is my latest work and right now the one I am most in love with and drawn to.  It took me a couple weeks to finish her.  She appeared to me in a dream.  At the time I started to create her I was not sure who she was, as she slowly unfolded and I finished her I then realized that She was the Goddess of Darkness.  She is a healer of the darkness inside of you.  She will be your strength when you feel that the darkness may swallow you up.  It is so amazing to me that when you open  yourself up to this intuitive nature and allow the light in that there are so many ways the universe has to offer you strength and guidance.

There was a period of time in the middle of last year that I thought the darkness might swallow me up.  I felt it slowly creeping up inside of me consuming me a little bit at at time. The Goddess of Darkness has come to pull me out of the darkness and has shined her light on my heart and is helping me restore myself back to the loving person I have always been.  For that I am forever grateful!

I realize this was quite a deep post but one thing I have to always be is honest to myself and to all of you.  My art comes from my heart and I may not always be on the same journey year after year but one thing with remain constant with me and that is my integrity and honesty and my belief that art heals and brings people into your life that you need.

I do have a video I created for some fun inspiration that I wanted to share with all of you.  This video will show you how I used some ephemera in my stash from Tiare Smith Designs to create this 2 page art journal spread.

Hope you all enjoy and thank you dear friends for sharing you time with me today!! xxoo – Sherry

 

Have you ever been thankful for….

I woke up the other morning with this crazy thought after being sick for a week – I was thankful for getting sick.

Now I know you are thinking totally crazy right? I mean who is thankful for being sick!  The thing is getting sick allowed me not just to slow down but it allowed me to STOP!  You heard that right I was almost completely off of social media, I didn’t do any work for my art business, I did very minimal work at home (just things like taking care of the dogs and such).  It gave me permission to just stop – regroup – restore.

I needed this so badly!  I realized that I had been neglecting my needs since my dad got sick and passed almost 2 years ago.  Honestly I can’t believe it took me this long to actually get sick but way back then at that time I was in extremely good health.  Feeling so awful made me realize I have been feeling not all that great for awhile but it took getting sick to force me to make the changes that I should have long ago.

It actually takes me back to the Gratitude Junk Journal Online Workshop that I taught in last November where I did a lesson in Gratitude for Loss and Sadness.  That is still available to take and you receive lifetime access if you are interested in checking it out go here.

You know they always say in an airplane put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else get theirs on – there is good reason for this.  If you are not ok, if you are not taking care of yourself you can not help others as effectively.  Or you might help others for awhile until you burn out.

Nourishing my body

Since getting sick I have gone back to my better eating habits.  Eating at home and eating clean organic homemade foods.  It’s crazy that I was eating out so much when I absolutely love to cook.  I have actually stopped drinking coffee and that’s a big one for me.  I am a total coffee nut but I have actually stopped before.  I may go back to it but for now it feels good not to have the caffeine and other things in coffee that might not be so great for me.  This in turn has also gotten me off using the Creamor which I use to use in my coffee.  I have now switched to using a little coconut milk creamer if I feel I want a cup that has a bit of cream.  Here are 3 teas with links to where you can purchase them that I have been crushing on that have become my favorite right now Turmeric GingerChocolate Cinnamonblueberry green tea .  I am fortunate that I am able to purchase these all from my local Wegmans – which is how I found them 🙂

I have been cooking delicious hardy soups with the freshest veggies I can find during the winter, using lots of greens and colorful veggies that just feel so good to work with when cooking and are so yummy to eat.  I have been going to bed earlier to get an extra hour of rest at night and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to wake up rested the morning.  It was so silly of me to be staying up later to watch a show that I can watch the next evening on demand.

Using Essential Oils

Because of all the clean eating and drinking my mind feels so fresh and alive.  I feel like for the longest time I have been in such fog.  Like I’m going through the motions but not really feeling things and not really being aware of what is going on.  The clarity that has come is so amazing !  I have also been using my essential oils a lot.  I have gone back to wearing frankincense on my wrists, I dab some Joy over my heart and I have been doing steam inhalations with peppermint.  To boost my immune system and cut down on the acid in my system and to make my body more alkaline I have been taking a capsule of Thieves Oil blend with lemon in the morning – 3 drops of each.

Now that I’m feeling better I am back to walking Luna about 2-3 miles a day depending on what we have going on.

Nourishing my mind

I have also been nourishing my mind and soul with books such as Healing with the Angles by Doreen Virtue and Warrior Goddess Training by Heatherash Amara.

I have committed myself to learning and using my Tarot Cards and Continue working with my oracle cards – in the online class Pull Pen Paint which I have been really enjoying learning so much here.  So many people hear the word Tarot and they get freaked out and I honestly never new exactly what they were all about but since working with them and learning about them have found that they are a wonderful tool.  They can give you the guidance just like Oracle Cards in things in life that are a challenge.  They help make sense of things that just otherwise have kinda been a mystery in my life.  They can jump start your creativity and are just really eye opening!  And I have been journaling I mean hand writing journaling like a crazy person because of using these cards and I love it.  It’s so releasing and refreshing.  I used to journal a lot and add art journaling in with it but then when I started showing a lot of my stuff online I cut out the journaling part and it feels so good to get back into it!

I also came across a couple other books that I wanted to share that are interactive – I am thinking about getting both of them I really like the description and what they are used for.  You can choose either the hard copy or an instant download so they are fairly inexpensive if you go with the download.  They are both by Jeanne Oliver and one is called Listening  and the second one is called Salt and Light

First Full Moon Ritual Practice

This Wednesday January 31st we will have the 2nd full moon of the month also known as a Blue Moon – it is also a super moon or aka blood moon.  I plan to do a moon ritual of letting go of things that I want to rid myself of you can check that out here.

Nourishing my creativity

Below is my latest Art Journaling Video – I am using elements from this month’s newsletter download – if you missed it you can purchase the download here

As always friends thanks for sharing your time with me and I’d love to hear how you are providing yourself with Love and self care this winter!

xxoo- Sherry

 

 

Looking for a boost of inspiration?

 

Hi Creative Friends and Happy Friday!

Those who know me and have taken my class in Hacking the ColorWheel Session 1 (which is still available and you can check it out here )know that I just love MOOD BOARDS.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated to just mood boards here , I am not sure why I am so drawn to them but when I start looking at them it’s like I can’t stop.  I guess it’s because they do “create” a mood and feeling that stirs inside of me and it’s almost euphoric!  So In December I shared the first Mood Board that I actually created and you can see that in my post here– it had all the makings of feeling cozy, festive and holiday-ish with a little bit of a romantic feel.  – at least when I was putting it together those are some of the moods / feelings that came up for me.

So today for a bit of inspiration I have created another “mood board” that I want to share with all of you.  But first I would like you to just grab a piece of paper and a pen.  Now when you see the mood board don’t over think it just write down the first things that come to your mind. Itcan be anything from a feeling, to a texture, to a memory – it doesn’t matter anything and everything that you put down is RIGHT!

Okay are you ready?

you sure?

haha just teasing here it is 🙂

Once you have all those thoughts and ideas down on your paper now you can use them to jump start your creativity – to create in your art journal or a piece of art.

Using mood boards is a great way to get out of that “creative rut” – to try on new textures or “moods”, even to experiment with new color combinations.

This mood board gives me lots of ideas and I decided to create a watercolor wreath using the color palette from it.  

I loved the berries in the top photo so incorporated those into my painting.  I also added a quote that I found, as the white roses with the book pages left me with bit of a romantic feel and the birds gave me a feeling of being free.

I would love to have you share anything you might create using this mood board.  If you have a blog then please link back to here.  If you are posting on IG or FB please tag me.

One of the greatest pleasures I get as an artist is when I inspire someone.  Thank you my friends for stopping by and choosing to share some of your time with me today!

Due to the ongoing construction at my house making it impossible to do a voice over for my video I will be sharing the video I have for this month’s free download tomorrow.  I thought I could get it done for today but it’s just not going to happen with all the noise that’s going on.

Here is a sneak peek at this months freebie that will go out in my newsletter, I will also be holding off and sending out my newsletter tomorrow as well.  So if you aren’t signed up for my newsletter you have one more day to do so and still receive this months free download.  You can do that here.   And a little sneak peek below…

 

What’s coming up on my blog in the next few weeks?…

January’s Artist who Inspires me

January Watercolor Wreath tutorial 

My Must have art supplies 

What am I currently crushing on

One last reminder – the BadAss Art journal Workshop starts February 5Th so be sure to grab your spot here .  This workshop is truly amazing!  Just check out some of the stunning artists who have contributed classes, this is one you don’t want to miss.  And the best part is that it’s self paced and you have lifetime access –  Woo Hoo – lets make some BadAss Art together my friends!! xxoo Sherry

What’s In your heart?

Hi Friends,

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in my heart.  It’s been awhile since I did a post on what’s in your heart and I think with the New Year underway it’s time.  I have been pondering how we put so much emphasis on the New Year and not only do we feel it’s a fresh start but we feel that just because we have changed the calendar that it will actually change our lives.

Well yes in fact our lives are constantly changing – as a matter of fact your life will have changed from the time you started reading this post to the end, but that is inevitable – The Change that just naturally takes place.  But what about change that takes place because we take action???  Now that’s something to ponder.

 

What if this year instead of just hoping that the change of the calendar will make things better or more the way that we want – what if we were do put things into action that will cause change – change that we want for your life.

That’s exactly what I have been doing.  At the end of last year I thought back about the year and all of the things that I “did”.  And I did A LOT.  But is that what life is really about?  All the doing?  Is all the doing really living?  These are questions only you can answer for yourself and what you feel in your heart.

For me, all the doing was fine, but it was more of a coping mechanism that I used to channel the energy that I had from hurt and pain into something productive.  Not because I had to but because I needed to.  It was a means to and end and for the time being it worked and it got me through.  But if I’m being honest with myself I really don’t care to live that way.  I much prefer to select projects that have heartfelt meaning to me pour more of myself into them and simply do more of less.  I know I talked about this earlier on but I have been – taking action on these things.  So the first thing I decided to do for me was take an online class called Pull Pen Paint.  I saw this class advertised last year and because I already had so much “doing” going on I couldn’t spare the time to take it.  This year I vowed to make the time for myself to take some classes that Inspire me and allow me to grow as a person and an artist.  This class is based around Oracle and Tarot cards and is very intuitive.  It’s not about learning art techniques or even how to paint, draw or do art in a specific form it’s more about growing your inner self and intuition as well as using art and journaling along the way to express yourself using the Oracle and Tarot Cards.  I already have learned so much about myself and I know I will continue to learn more – and I am proud of putting my needs out there and jumping in feet first into something I needed.

Below are a couple photos of some art journal pages that I created during my working with the tarot and oracle cards in this class.

This art journal page came about when studying my shadow card which is the Tower.  You can read the quote that I have written on this page on my instagram post here

This spread is about the Star card which is my card for the year.  You can read more on this here

I have been also working on a special project that is near and dear to my heart and hope to be able to share in the next couple of weeks.  I am hoping to have it ready for release in the next week or so – I thought I would have it sooner but I continue to add little bits and tweak it.  I want it to be just right I know that you will all love it.

So now I bring the question to all of you my friends – what’s in your heart for the New Year?  What do you feel you need more of?  What do you feel you need less of?  And what actions will take to create the change you are looking for?

Thank you my friends for sharing your time with me today!  I am a bit late in getting out January’s newsletter it will be going out later this week with your free monthly download.

Don’t forget there is still time to sign up for the BadAss Art Journal Workshop we start on February 5th so be sure to check out all the details and get signed up here .

Have an amazing evening my friends !!

A little Luna Puppy love for all of you!!! xxoo – Sherry

 

StencilGirl & Inspiration Deck Blog Hop

Good Morning Friends today I have a quick tutorial for you on how I used the Mixed Media Inspiration Deck created by Kiala Givehand as a prompt to get me started in my art journal.

Starting out with just shuffling my cards and then I selected one at random

I decided to start out with 2 pages in my art journal that I really didn’t like it had kinda just been for doodling and so I never did anything with the pages. And these are the paints I used for this art journal spread

love the way it looks over the text papers!!

I needed to come up with a quote for my page.  When I created my girl I was thinking of how I can empower myself this year, thinking of how I want to be emulating that in my art.  So I came up with this quote that I thought fit perfect and I typed it & printed it out then cut it out and glued it to my page.  Added some watercolor drips under it to tie it into my page.

Thank you Kiala for allowing us to have so much fun with your Empowerment Deck!!  Now on to some giveaway fun!

 Giveaway Details

One lucky winner will receive both a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products
AND a Mixed Media Inspiration Deck™ Empowerment Edition
 !

Just leave a comment here on my blog for a chance to win then hop on over to the blogs list below and leave a comment for more chances to win!

If you are looking for an amazing class to kick start your creativity this year.  Check out the BadAss Art Journal Workshop

This workshop is filled with technique videos to get you pumped up and creating in your art journal in 2018.  Check out the link here to see all the amazing teachers in this years workshop so many talented artist all teaching in one workshop that you will have life time access to!  Use Coupon Code:  SOBADASS to get $10 off but hurry it goes up to regular price after the 13th!

Visit these blogs for more Inspiration Deck tutorials and leave a comment for more chances to win the StencilGirl Give Away.
January 11
Mary C. Nasser

Sherry Canino (you are here)

Louise Nelson

Torrie Gass

January 10
Mary Beth Shaw

Kiala Givehand

Tina Walker

Belen Sotelo
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
(One comment per blog please.)

You have until Sunday, January 14th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.

Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl’s Facebook page on Monday, January 15th.

Stencils Used in this art journal spread:  Starlight Mini by Leslie Riley and Journal Text Me #4 by Pam Carriker.

Have a fabulous day my friends and thanks for hanging with me today it mean so much!!

xxoo – Sherry

New Year – New Possibilities

Happy New Year my Amazing, Beautiful and Creative Friends!

I would like to start out with saying I feel so blessed to have all of you sweet beautiful people in my life – those who follow me – leave comments – take my classes – support me – show me love and are there for me.  I can’t express the gratitude that I feel towards all of you in words the way that I wish I could.  But PLEASE know that each and everyone of you is a blessing to me and I am genuinely thankful to have you you by my side and sharing my journey and yours as we enter and go through 2018 together.  

What Lies Ahead… and New Years Resolutions

I don’t know about all of you but I’m not so much for New Years Resolutions.  I have seen those who are all about it – Pack the gym for the month of January and by February 1st are burnt out.  Or the influx in students into the yoga studio only to have all those who said they were committed never sign back up for the next months session.  Does that mean that I don’t believe in goals or those who want to try New Year Resolutions?  Of course not they just aren’t for me.  I just feel real true goals come from within.  They are ones in your heart, ones that get followed because it’s what you WANT to do not what others are doing so you follow or what someone says you should do or even what you think others say you should do.

All that being said do I set goals for the New Year?  Well not so much or at least I don’t really like to call them goals.  I like to focus my self more on Positive Intentions for the New Year.  I take some time and ask myself what do I really want to get out of 2018?  And what do I hope to give back.  Then I make a more detailed list to mull over and answer the following questions to myself about each one of them.

  1. Does it serve a purpose for me – the purpose could simply be pleasure but it still needs a purpose.
  2. Is it something that is truly in my heart that I want to do or pursue or is it something I think I should do or that I think others expect me to do?
  3. Does it have meaning – will it make a different to me or someone or the world if I choose to move forward on an idea or goal?
  4. Will it make me a better person and help me grow in some way?
  5. Is it in my best interest?  This is extremely important because sometimes we put too much emphasis on things that are in others best interests and forget that we need to put ourself first.  It’s kind of like – in an airplane they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others – well most of us know that if we pass out first or right after putting on another persons first we won’t be of help to anyone.  But we forget that it’s true in most things in life as well.

One of my intentions in 2018 is to make choices to include things in my life that have more meaning, to share in ways to help others and be a positive force in this universe.

I’m not looking to do “more” for the sake of more  – I want to do less but what I do I want to do with more meaning & positivity

I didn’t do a recap of 2017 prior to this post because I wanted to include it here.  I spent a lot of December really thinking about 2017 and all the things that happened, all the people I met, and all the things I was involved.  Over all it was a very turmoiled year for me – much of December I spent feeling “off” and “tired”.  Not really knowing what was going on and perhaps it had something to do with Mercury being in “retrograde”.  But I knew that I had to slow down.  I needed to really think about things and meditate on what I wanted for 2018.  Sometimes in order to move forward we have to look back and where we were.

I started 2017 out with a Bang and came up with “Stencil Crush Tuesday’s” for my youtube channel.  I wanted to do something unique and weekly on my channel I also wanted to practice creating videos.  Well as the spring progressed and I became a member of the StencilGirl Team and the Roben_Marie Team along with my mom getting ill, it soon became almost impossible to keep up with it so I let it go.  I was disappointed in myself in feeling like I didn’t complete it for a whole year but by June I was on 3 creative teams and my time was thin as well as some personal things that transpired with my family that I just couldn’t do it all anymore.

It was an honor to be a part of all these teams don’t get me wrong.  But looking back now I realized that I was in some senses trying to “keep busy” to avoid all the feelings I was having.  September rolled around and I lost my heart and soul pug.  I had already had so much heartache this year I just couldn’t understand why she had to leave me.  I wanted to give up on everything at that point.  I felt so broken it was unreal.

Coming fast was the StencilGirl and Friends Retreat in Kentucky at the end September which brought it all to a head for me.  It forced me to slow down and actually take time to art journal for me – I was surrounded by friends and love and tears when we started our first class.  Things just hit me like a damn hammer in the head and emotions all came flowing.  But shortly after I returned it was like most retreats when you are all there you are going to keep in touch and when you get back well I did have a couple who we call each other and chat.  But it was then that I realized that I miss the in-person “teaching”.

It was then that I realized that was going to be one of the things I would focus on in 2018 – creating personal – touching – in person retreats that are heartfelt and have meaning.  I was craving the “girl time” and the real true heartfelt connections that should be had with art.

 A huge focus for me this year is teaching in person workshops and retreats

I am thankful for all the amazing creative teams I have been on and am on – they have given me so much experience and the wonderful people I’ve met through being on them has been priceless.  My term for Roben Marie ended in December and Tiare Smith has decided to not continue the team as she it focusing in a different direction – although we do have plans to continue to work collaboratively together which I’m excited about!!  And of course I have the StencilGirl team which I am still proudly a part of.

  I am looking at the changes as positive.  Closing doors that no longer serve a purpose and opening new doors to new opportunities and exciting paths.

I feel so good about 2018 and excited about the possibilities and new endeavors that it holds for me and my art – I feel like being that fire work I posted above and I want to shoot into the night sky with an open heart and mind to what the universe has in store for me!  And I wish the same for all of you!  Lets shoot into the night sky together a bunch of beautiful blazing stars Shining Bright!

My Word of the Year = LOVE 

you can read all about it here in this post I did at the end of 2017 for StencilGirl

I have a beautiful new project I’ve been working on that will be ready I hope by the end of the week to launch and share with all of you.  But for now I will share a little sneak peek.

Don’t forget that you can still sign up for the BadAss Art Journal Class and get a $10 discount using the code : SOBADASS time is running out to save with this code so be sure to sign up today right here.  I want to share this class with all you BadAss Creatives out there.  So let’s get our Paint and Journals out and Share some creative time together.  Sign up today right here.  A list of products used in my project will be going out before the end of the month in my newsletter.  Below catch a sneak peek of the project you will be creating with me in this class.

Friends thank you for sharing some of your time with me today!!  I cherish all of you!!  Enjoy your First day of the New Year!!

This is what you get when you keep a puppy up till Midnight lol – Happy New Year My friends xxoo – Sherry

 

Merry Christmas My Friends

Hello my dear friends and Happy Holidays to all of you.

With Christmas just a little more than a day away I wanted to just pop in and share sometime with all of you.  I have been really just taking time to be in the present and have hardly been on social media or on my blog for the past few weeks.  I have to say that it has been really nice.

I’ve had a chance to really spend some quality time with my husband which you all know I truly adore and we both have been taking it a bit easy.

Our morning routine after getting the pugs and frenchie all fed consists of sitting on our sun porch which is all decked out for the holidays with 2 small trees and a couple special holiday sets – one is a skating rink where the people move around on the “ice” and the little village lights up, the other is a little village scene with a Christmas tree and Santa and his reindeer that move and light up.  We sit sip our coffee, chat and just enjoy each others company.  We talk about past Christmases and holidays from our childhood.  We have been chatting about the new year and things we hope to do and trips we hope to take.  This time has been so heartfelt and enjoyable and if you are allotted the chance to take some time to just enjoy life and your loved ones I highly recommend it.

That’s not to say that I haven’t missed all of you and my art, I truly have, but I have needed this time to just be.

I have so many things that I want to do and share with all of you in this up coming year.  I need this time to really hone in on my plans and figure out a real course of action.

I want to give a shout out and HUGE CONGRATS to the winner of the free spot in the BadAss Art Journal Workshop – Janis Graham!  I want to thank everyone that took the time to stop by and leave a comment and enter the giveaway!

This is truly going to be a wonderful workshop – with so many talented artists if you are looking for that one workshop that you can keep going back to this would be it.  You can check out all the details as well as sign up here .

What I have been crushing on lately: Continue reading