GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life

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Ready for Fall

The last month has been busy, a lot of ups and downs for me emotionally.   After a minor … okay, more of a major… meltdown regarding finances I decided I’d take a 2nd job.  I decided to apply for a retail job with the upcoming holidays and was emailed to set up an interview.   After contemplating working 40 hours a week at my normal job, and then 20+ hours at a 2nd job, holiday hours and weekends, Black Friday and the rush of Christmas shoppers, I cancelled the scheduled interview.

I’ve re-discovered geocaching and have picked up a few on my way to & from work.   There are upcoming events, on the weekends, that I would have to opt out of if I were working on weekends.   I’m 3 caches away from hitting my 200 mark.

I’m also planning on attending some Sketch Meets.   The Oklahoma Arts Guild group meets on one Saturday a month and the OKC Urban Sketchers group meets on one Sunday a month.

Then there is the once a month art journalling group ladies I meet.  I so could not give up that time. It’s a recharger for me, able to get with like-minded people, and journal.  Sharing ideas and inspiration when I feel worn thin from daily life.

So with my creativity boosted, I’ll be listing my paintings for sale to make some extra money.  I’m getting photos and will calculate prices.  I’m not sure yet on how to ship them but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

On the Puppy front, Vision was 6 months old last week and is scheduled to be neutered tomorrow.   He’s getting a bit of an attitude when playing with Jarvis and there’s been a couple of times when Vision got a bit snarly.   Jarvis is 14 months old and has mellowed out quite a bit.  He is good at tattling on Vision though.  If Vision is into something he shouldn’t be, Jarvis will bark until I go check to see what’s going on.

Spiritually, I’m back into the “I can’t deal with church” mode.   I attended one church consistently until I broke my foot.  David took me a couple of weeks but once I was able to drive, he didn’t go back with me and I couldn’t muster the incentive to go on my own.  I went back today and I was bored.  The sermon didn’t do anything to me.  I played on my phone and gazed out the window.  I thought of going back to another church I had attended in 2012 but had a bad experience.  Then I thought “Why!?”  I’ve tried, it just doesn’t click.   I would love a small group to study spiritually with, but without the baggage I’ve experienced in “organized religion”.

I’m still craving community, but perhaps I can find that with the sketch groups and geo-cachers.

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since I fractured my foot.   I think it’s healing very quickly, and I’m going to try to drive tomorrow with my husband as a passenger, in case it gets to be too much.  I’m walking with less limping and I can curl my toes under without pain.

I’ve tried to do as little as possible in the last fortnight.  I’m not patient when I want something done and I can’t do it myself.   A lot of normal household maintenance was neglected while I sat with ice on my foot.   Now I’m ready to catch up.

This morning I weeded the front garden.  The gladioli are beginning to bloom but the grass in the flowerbed was obscuring them from view.   I weeded the brickwork and edged the walkway.  I really want to mow, but I’m waiting.   It’s the hottest days of summer so far, with temps hitting 104 deg F (40 deg C for my Postcrossing friends).

The easement needs mowing the most.   With erosion from flooding, the ground is full of ruts and dips so I’m not keen on doing it myself. There are other yard chores in the backyard I can do. Cutting down trees growing up on the fence line and trimming the hedges. Mostly stationary work.

In the evenings, as I’m laying in bed, I visualize all the errant healing energy in the air gathering to me.  Those prayers for healing and the sick that are non-specific.  I visualize them coalescing into a blue and gold swirling ball that engulfs and permeates my foot.  The bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Every cell, molecule, and atom.  I visualize quick and complete healing, walking normally barefoot or in my flats, heels, or boots.  I fall asleep with these images in my mind. It’s a nice way to drift off and if it helps my healing faster, great.  If not and energy work is a bunch of woowoo hokum, I really haven’t lost anything anyway.


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After my last post I put my small laptop away and walking back to the living room I tripped and fell. Fractured my 2nd metatarsal.  I’m in an aircast now, with a knee cart and spent yesterday laying in bed. Crutches were difficult and awkward to navigate on so I didn’t move anymore than necessary. 

It’s made me appreciate my mobility more and how many other things have I taken for granted. 


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Last weekend was wonderful.  Art, spirit, cleaning up my art area and hanging paintings that have been stacked up.  It caught up with me though and Tuesday I was exhausted.   I wanted to keep up the momentum but I’m learning that I need to honor those cycles of energy and rest.

Luckily it was a short work week but I can’t take days off every 3 days in order to rest and recover from activity.  I’m hoping to find more balance where I take times daily for rest, but not idleness.  My phone doesn’t help.  I waste so much time browsing social media.  I’ve debated uninstalling those bothersome apps but then I feel so disconnected.  As an introvert, most of my interactions are online and I don’t want to cut of my nose to spite my phone.  But true connections and conversations are different than checking pictures on IG of people I barely know, if I know them at all.

I did finish up my 2nd moleskine sketchbook this week, and I thought of starting my 3rd one, still freshly wrapped in the plastic covering.  As I was going through my cabinet, I found many partly filled sketchbooks, visual journals, altered books.  Those books I started for a specific reasons then neglected.   I’m setting a goal to complete as many as I can before the end of the year, and before I open and start a new journal.  I keep a small 3×5 sketchbook in my purse I’d like to finish up as well.

I feel like I need to work on completions.  I’ve posted on my previous blog that I’m good about starting projects, but finishing has never been my strong point.

I’ll see what I can finish this week.





The Muse is Back

Today I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind.  I woke up later than normal since I have the day off work.  If you can call 7am late.  I fed the puppies, made coffee and my breakfast, and began my day like normal, checking social media and getting my 3 Duolingo lessons in.  [I’m working on learning Dutch currently. A lot of my artist friends are Dutch.  I want to be Dutch in my next life.]

I shared a post on my FB artist page that Chris Zydel had posted about not feeling guilty for not making art.  After I stopped bawling [sseriously ugly cry bawling] went to my studio to do half-ass something with paint.   My puppy Vision was under my feet the whole time, so I slowed down instead of the frantic paint flinging I so often get into.  That slowing down made me really look and think about my process.

I’ve taken so many workshops. Painting Big with Connie at Dirty Footprint Studios, Visual Quest with Pixie Lighthorse, Bloom True with Flora Bowley.  I’d love to take (and a bit scared to) an in person class with Chris.  I have a feeling I’d do a lot of [good healing \crying there. Plus a lot of little 2-6 week sketchbook workshops.  Art on a smaller scale than the big canvases favored by Connie and Flora. But with all these workshops with various artists, I feel like I’ve never found my own style.   I was constantly stuck on the Image portion of Flora’s technique.  I’m not overly fond of painting faces or figures.

But oh, mixing colors. Seeing how they blend, and contact, and complement.  For me it’s the most incredible experience. I’ve loved painting backgrounds, mixing and smearing, blending and scrubbing.  Then I tried to add some images and boom – STUCK.  I hate this, this painting sucks, why am I bothering, I suck.


I become mesmerized by the blending of these colors

I get the ‘ugly teenage phase’ of a painting, but it seemed I lived there.  I would become discouraged, seeing the finish products of friends and think if I just show up, that’s an important thing is seems no matter show shitty my art was, I’d get through it.

So today I showed up.  I don’t HAVE to paint images.  I can paint the cool or warm backgrounds, and leave it at that.  I can paint my feelings with colors and blending, not faces, or pods, or leaves, or feathers.   Looking around at other paintings I have, which I’m not fond of, I’m getting ideas of how to rework them, and I’m excited about painting for the first time in months, if not years!


This ugly painting is getting a do-over

I want to finish one canvas today before I start reworking one with an idea I have.  I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.





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Art Journaling with Kindred Spirits

As an introvert, it’s hard for me to socialize.  It’s gets overwhelming and I have to retreat.

Yesterday I had two very different social situations.

The first was a quick geocaching get-together for celebrate Canada Day and earn the Where’s Signal Canada badge.  It was a fairly large turnout. Not what I could consider a crowd though.  I haven’t kept up with the geocaching community, but there were a few people I recognized.  They either didn’t recognize me, didn’t notice me, or didn’t bother me with.  I spoke to a couple of unfamilar people and it was all very friendly.  However, I felt like an outsider, watching this group of people with an common interest interact.

I do that a lot.  Just watch other people’s interactions.

The second get together was a time to art journal with a group of lades, two I know from previous art journaling and online groups, while the other two I had just met.  It was a much smaller group.  At first, again I felt a bit like an outsider, as the other 4 knew each other and had broken off into their own conversations, but soon we were all chatting, laughing, sharing stories and responding “OMG I feel that same way!”  The 2 1/2 hours we ‘hung out’ went by so quickly.    I think this is going to become a monthly thing, at least I hope it is!

I haven’t worked in an art journal in so long.  I’ve concentrated on painting and sketching (when I do get around to my little art nook) but there’s something free about journaling.  Much like a visual sketchbook, I don’t have to share  what I do.  I can have a public and private journal.   I can collage, sketch, paint, scribble, write words, glue found text.   It’s a way to dump everything out of my head, and I’ve been away from it far too long.

I have online art friends who I adore, but nothing takes the place of real people in your life.  I forgotten how special that feels.



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Honest Review: The Dirt Toothpowder

The opinion expressed in my reviews are my own.  I purchased The Dirt Toothpower with my own funds and I am not being compensated in any way.

I don’t recall where I first saw an ad for The Dirth toothpower but I’m alway keen to try natural products.  I purchased a 3 month jar on Amazon, and while it’s a bit pricey for the amount received, I didn’t feel bad about ‘wasting’ money since it’s a product that will be used and not purchased and left sitting in a drawer for months afterwards.   The 3 month jar was $19.99.

Figuring 3 month is roughly 90 days and if brushing twice a day,  it comes out to .11c per brush for a whooping .22c a day.   Still more expensive that a tube of Colgate from Target, but hey, it’s all natural.

First Impression:  My first brush with The Dirt, I wasn’t surprised it didn’t foam up but I was surprised that my mouth was nice and brown.  The flavor was interesting.  It’s very cinnamon’y, which I’m not a fan of, but it’s not horrible.  It’s evened out by the myrrh and cardamon.  I love cardamon!  The flavor reminds me of the mukhwas after an Indian meal.

After a Week:  I can’t really tell that my teeth are any whiter having used this product exclusively for a week.  My teeth do feel more polished, but I can get that same experience using baking soda with my regular toothpaste.

Final Thoughts:  I would continue to use The Dirt, but in conjunction with my regular toothpaste.    I do love the taste but the price prevents me from using this exclusively.