Sunday, September 16, 2012

Next Month Is Going To Be Crazy...

But the growth should be worth it.

Normally, September isn't a busy month for me. This year, I have watched as Summer went by, all of the Olympic excitement, everyone going on vacation with their kids, posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram (I'm late getting on board that train, please forgive me), kids getting ready to go back to school in the fall, and I've already done those types of family activities, but there wasn't any social media or digital cameras back then. Yes, I'm dating myself, but I don't really care. People like me or they don't. Even the Olympic excitement is old hat for me. I am old enough to have watched Nadia Comaneci get the first 10 in gymnastics at the Summer 1976 Olympics in Montreal and old enough to have seen Dorothy Hamill skate her way to a Gold Medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Austria. Dorothy won the long and short programs. Her only downfall was figures (which have been done away with completely, due to the dismay of some fans, but not many) for which she got a Silver Medal.

My son, below, was born in 1984. I was a very young and immature, 19 year old single mother and had no idea what I had gotten myself into. It was and still is one of the most rewarding and growth provoking things that ever happened to me so far in life.

I am 47 years old, 14 years married, and my 28 year old son got married last December and is expecting his first son in October. I feel like I have wasted a lot of years though, mostly being ill. My mid 30's to mid 40's seem to be a blur of medical appointments, surgeries and medical incidents/accidents. Quite an unfortunate switch when your career is working in hospitals as a Respiratory Therapist. I finally had to quit work, but I wasn't happy about it for long. The day can get long and old.

I have health issues which on any day, at any time, can make me have to lay in bed all day and pretty much not move around much. It isn't always to that extreme, but it can be at not a moment's notice. My husband is very busy with work and even works from home after he gets home from work. I have a lot of time on my hands. I live in California which isn't my home state, and it befuddles me that after living here since late '99, although I have some acquaintances, I have not made one real friend that I can call and count on for anything. I am from Texas, and no offense to California, but people are much more friendly in Texas, and are more apt to want to try and be real friends with a person and not just an acquaintance. But, I've gotten off the topic as I normally will do, and the fact is, I think/hope that next month will change the way I have been living my life for at least the last 20 years.

My life is normally pretty boring. I watch television, mostly In Session, throughout the first part of the day, because I love trials. They fascinate me, the two opponents, the Defendant and the Prosecution, battling it out in court to see who will be the victor. I lived in the jurisdiction of one very famous trial at one time, the Scott Peterson trial. I was petrified that I would be called to jury duty and I knew that I wouldn't be able to sit for those long hours, but prayed if I did get called the judge would have pity on me. I didn't get called. I told you my life is boring. My health issues really have really prevented me from making any real long term or short term plans or life goals at the moment, which makes life very frustrating and lonely, and creatively stifling. Most often, I stay at home and if I have the energy, I might go and work on my artwork, which is happening more often as of late. My medical issues are still around and I've even had more diagnosis concerning my eyes and possibly an autoimmune disorder, but I feel like I'm getting tired of wasting my time and not accomplishing my goals in life, including the ones that have to do with my crafting and artwork.

I want to be a person that has friends like I did back in my early 30's, and before to an extent (which only confirms to me that you need to work and/or have at least one young child to make good friends these days because I had both then) and go out to places with them and hang out at each other's homes. I miss that. I haven't had that for at least 15 years, if not a bit more. I want to have a business and be able to run it. I want to go places everyday that stimulate me and motivate me and inspire me to become a better version of me.  I want to work on this blog more and my YouTube Channel and get my artwork out there more. I want to have the energy to make more art than I am already making. I want to become more proficient at Photoshop. I want to continue my photography studies. I have LOTS of wants. Sometimes it's hard to narrow down what I have the energy to do on any given day just due to the unimaginable "brain fog" I go through from one of my health issues, fibromyalgia. It's getting harder and harder to look at a computer all day long because my eyes are getting worse and one of the eye issues I was recently diagnosed with was glaucoma. I don't dare wonder what's next.

Which brings me to the point of all of this I suppose. I still want to change. No matter the barrier, be they physical, mental or sociological, I still want to make my life better. So, I am doing two things next month that I am pretty sure will help me get off to the right start. First, my husband and I are going on a much needed trip down the coast to Santa Barbara and are taking our little "girls" with us.

Spending a week on the beach is right up my alley so I will be in heaven that week. The "girls" are pictured above; Bayleigh on the left and Gabby on the right and I know that they will love getting to "go", especially Gabby.  (That part has now been accomplished.)

Then to top the month off, I am taking off for parts unknown in Idaho for Brave Girl's Camp! I am so excited and I can't wait to get there and meet Melody and Kathy and her entire family, and all the other girls that will be going in September. I have taken Soul Restoration I and Soul Restoration 2 and I have really been looking forward to going to the actual "camp" for a really long time. I've been a long-time admirer of Melody Ross and her designs, her artwork, *and* her life philosophy. I wish there had been a BGC around when I was a young woman, and so unsure of myself, what I wanted, not even knowing if anyone loved me for who I really am. Now I feel totally blessed that they are around because I totally don't know about a lot of those same things even now, at my age! Oh sure, deep down, I know I'm loved by some people, but sometimes they seem so few, it just doesn't feel adequate for some reason. I'm sure those reasons are deeply rooted in my childhood with my mother, and that's another long story for probably not another day, but one reason I probably do need to go to Brave Girl's Camp so badly, so I can learn to put some things behind me and to rest for good.

I'm ready to come into my own as a woman and as an artist and finally not be afraid to fail anymore and to take some chances in life so that I won't regret it in the future. I hope that going to BGC will be one of the things that helps me learn how to create a concrete plan to achieve my short and long term goals. It's never been one of my stronger points, but we all have something we're not great at until we have a great teacher!

Melody, asked us the other day what type of flower we were in Brave Girl Art School and I still really don't have an exact answer for that question yet, but I've always liked sunflowers and I grew a really awesome sunflower garden a few summers ago of all different varieties of colors and heights. It was beautiful but had one downfall. It attracted a much larger than normal population of bees in the front of my house that summer and I have had a few bad reactions in the past  to wasp and bee stings so I had to be extra careful going to my car. I still loved those flowers. I watered them faithfully. I took pictures of them at 3am. They are so brave and stood so tall even when their stems were loaded with flowers and it didn't seem like they would stand if one more blossom opened, but they did. The beautiful colors were so different that the normal sunflowers that I'd seen growing since I was a child. I was skeptical when I bought the seeds that the flowers would actually grow in the colors they claimed but they really did!
Some of the flowers were a delicate yellow and 2 inches tall and some were a giant 16 feet tall with a diameter of almost a foot across on a few flowers if you counted to the tips of the petals. I seemed to be almost obsessed with those sunflowers and at times wondered why I cared about them so much. So, maybe my flower is the sunflower, because I'm so different and there are so many different kinds of sunflowers. My journey has already started, but maybe I'm finally catching up.

The Distressed Crafter

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This is the 2nd LO I have completed taking Jessica Sprague's Up and Running version 2, digital scrapbooking class. Jessica Sprague has so many excellent classes, both digital and hybrid, and I'm currently taking several of them. They are online and self-paced (unless you take a class when it is first offered or if it is offered several times a year, then the instructor goes along with you, week by week), and you can do them on your own time, anytime. That is the beauty of it. Most of the classes are just that, self-paced. You can access them anytime, forever. Jessica even has several free classes you can take too.
I never thought that I would be bit by the digi bug but it seems to be getting a little easier every time I try it. I've always wanted to do some hybrid work so this will be great if I can keep getting the hang of it. I haven't really given the choice of pictures a lot of thought while taking this class since I just want to learn the ropes, but I can't wait to get down to making some really great stuff with the pictures I love the most. I do plan on doing Project Life with hybrid work and that should be really fun.
Everyone have a great week coming up!

Kellye Kimmel
The Distressed Crafter

Monday, August 6, 2012

I never thought I would....

I've always considered myself to be the hands on type of artist. I like to get my hands all inky and dirty. However, when my art started sending me on digital quests to make my hands-on art better, I got bit a little by the technology bug. I'm no stranger to computers. I've had one since 1994, when my son's stupid neurologist said I should buy him one to do educational things on. He obviously underestimated the intelligence of said child to find games and gaming communities at the tender age of 9 before the kind of online gaming we have now even existed. So my son basically taught me a lot of what I know. That was 18 years ago and I've learned a lot about computers, both pc and macs, though I prefer a mac any day of the week. But sitting and learning about digital memory keeping was not something I ever thought I'd think was interesting. Recently though, because of my desire to learn Photoshop, I signed up for Jessica Sprague's "Up and Running v.02" and I finished my first LO last night with a quick page and I must say though I did encounter some issues here and there I was able to finish it. It makes me happy to look at it too. It is two pictures of my son that are a couple of my favorites of him when he was little. He is a man now expecting his own son in October and I'm really looking forward to documenting that little guy's life. So, if you think you won't like the digital scrapbooking, give it some time. You might just get bit too!
Here's my LO. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
Kellye Kimmel
The Distressed Crafter

Monday, March 5, 2012

Soul Restoration 1 The beginning of my Journey

I finally signed up for Soul Restoration 1 to get me ready for when I actually GO to BGC and I am so grateful that I did. I feel like I will have a head start when I do finally get to Camp. It is looking like that is going to be 2013. I have all the cash socked back and ready to go, on all the wait lists, and ready to sign up the first day they post the dates for 2013 for the camp of my wishes!!! I want to go to one of the Summer Camps that they actually have the classes for in Melody's Art Studio at her home. You stay at a Hilton close by and I think that would just be AWESOME!

Soul Restoration 1 has so far been one of the most real experiences I have ever been through in just two short weeks of 8 weeks in an online class. It is much more than an online class, but I suppose that may be true of almost any online get what you put into it. However, Soul Restoration 1 is more than your average, everyday, normal, online class. The curriculum is very well thought out and leads you on a journey of letting things go, forgiving yourself, and loving yourself and others.

Soul Restoration 1 also combines Art Therapy as an aid to help you on your journey by journaling and using different art techniques as a jump start to get you going. There are different journal prompts, collage sheets, videos and other resources to help you along and a forum where you can talk to other Brave Girls as well. You can also sign up to get the BGC Daily Truth at

Here are a few pictures of my album from class so far...

I am really looking forward to Week 3 which starts tomorrow. Thanks so much Melody for making this available to all of us who either could not go to BGC or have to wait our turn!  :-) We all love you very much! I hope all of you enjoy my photos of my project. This is where it really is NOT supposed to be about the art and what is more important is the thought and work that you put into each lesson. Letting go of lies that we have believed all of our lives can be a difficult thing but it CAN be done! Thanks Melody!

Kellye Kimmel
The Distressed Crafter

Friday, February 17, 2012

Loving My ZIG Pens!!!

ZIG Pens Are One of the BEST
Pens Around....

These are just a few of mine that I pulled out to get some pictures of. I use them to doodle, journal, make line drawings, and many other types of  fanzigulous fun!!!
Do you own any ZIG pens and how do YOU use them? 

My ZIG Pens!!!

I was going through all of my journaling pens the other day, organizing them and got all of my ZIG pens in one place and the colors are so pretty!! I love using these pens for journaling, doodling and tons of other things in my crafting endeavors. If you don't have any of these wonderful pens, you should definitely invest in some, including a Black one! They are the greatest pens for journaling out there.