Posted on Leave a comment

Just Breathe

I have been in therapy for a little over a year now. It is the best/worst thing I have ever done. And for every 2 steps forward I take, I feel like I take at least 10 backwards. Just when I gain insight on how to handle a certain situation, another, bigger one comes my way. Life is going smoothly…hmmmm…well let’s throw monkey wrenches all over that!!

My therapist has encouraged meditation. But you can’t exactly start meditating every time you may need to. In traffic? At work? In a crowd? In the middle of a fight? It doesn’t work.

Amongst all the chaos in our lives, it is incredibly important to Just Breathe. Worked up? Slow down your heart rate. Just Breathe. Anxious? Just Breathe. Mad? Just Breathe. You can breathe anywhere. It doesn’t require closing your eyes. It doesn’t require a lot of concentration. Just Breathe.

I wanted to create a chaotic clock with a calm center. The clock represents our lives and the center is our center. It is our inner peace. To create inner peace, Just Breathe.

This was my Christmas gift for my therapist, as well.

Posted on Leave a comment

Broken But Beautiful

I was ready to turn 30. I was ready to leave my insecurities behind. I was ready to stop trying to impress everyone. I was ready to be a “real adult.” My body, however, had something else in mind!

I will spare everyone (ok, mainly the men!) all the details, but after a year and a half of blood tests, MRIs, Cat scans, etc, I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroid, P.C.O.S., and borderline anxiety disorder. I was/am a hot mess!

I thought having a diagnoses would solve all of my problems. I was actually really excited when I found out I had cysts. Finally! I had an answer! I was sick. I wasn’t crazy…

But that excitement was quickly taken over by insecurities and a lot of  fear. What do I have to offer the world? Am I a good person? My friends are surely tired of hearing me cry/complain all the time. Will they care that there is a medical reason behind it? Will I over-come that? Will I find a man after gaining so much weight? Will he want to stay after hearing all my medical issues? I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m worthless…..etc

Thankfully I started seeing a therapist. And, as you can imagine, the main focus was self love.

As I continued through therapy, my therapist and I started thinking of clever sayings to help me remember “rules” to live by. For example “moods don’t lead to food” I created a board to hang in my room with my rules. I looked at it when I got dressed in the morning to help me have a good day.

Slowly and slowly I started to feel better. I wanted to create a clock for myself. I wanted the clock to represent my journey. I wanted it to be inspirational.

I started looking at the sand dollars I had left over from Pismo Beach. I had collected a lot of broken sand dollars. Some were cracked. Some had holes in them. Some had barnacles I had to remove from them, but the circles were still there. That never stopped me from picking them up because they were still a sand dollar. And I still found them beautiful….

They were Broken but Beautiful!!! And that became my new “rule” I was (still am) very broken. But I was (still am) beautiful. I was determined to remember that every day. And what better way to remember, than to see it every time I look at the time?

I learned how to make paint crack. I brought stencils with a specific font that looked “broken” Unlike the original clock, I wanted this clock to be flawed. It wasn’t enough for just the shells to be broke. I needed something that really represented me and the way I felt. This clock needed to be powerful. It needed to be inspirational. It needed to be perfectly imperfect.

The clock is on my dresser next to my “rules” board. I smile every time I look at it. I see the sand dollars and remember my vacation. I remember how much fun I had on the beach. I remember the gifts I made. I’m an artist. I’m talented. I have something to offer this world. Despite my medical issues and being completely broken, I am beautiful!

Posted on Leave a comment

The Original Clock

In March 2017 my roommate (Mike) and I went to Pismo Beach for vacation. On the way down we were talking in the car and I said that while I had never been much into collecting seashells on the beach, I had always wanted to find a sand dollar. Mike, a certified diver, said “fun fact, did you know sand dollars are purple when they are alive?” We spent much of the drive down to Pismo discussing sand dollars and other sea creatures– having no idea that Pismo Beach is actually known for sand dollars!!

We were only in Pismo for a few days, but in that short amount of time I fell in love with combing the beach for sand dollars!! I left the live ones that were partially buried alone. If I saw a live one that was high on the beach, I would take it back down by the water, hoping to save it. I bent down to look at all circular objects–I even accidentally tried to pick up bird poop!! I collected broken sand dollars and perfect ones. Big ones and small ones. I was so excited every time I came back up to the room!

The last day of the trip I said I was going to put all the sand dollars back on the beach. Mike was stunned! He asked me why and my very practical answer was “We have enough things sitting on shelves collecting dust” And then he said “Well you really like to make things for your friends. Jessica is watching your dog. Sam is retiring. Why don’t you use the sand dollars and make them gifts?”

I kept the sand dollars. I researched how to take care of / preserve them. I searched for ideas of gifts to make. I bounced a lot of ideas off Mike. And then I came up with a shadow box. One sand dollar in a very simple frame. Not too big and very eloquent. A perfect gift for my friends.

But that wasn’t enough. I still had sand dollars left over and a new passion in my heart. And Mike also loved combing the beach with me and had a fun time on vacation. It was he who encouraged me to keep the sand dollars in the first place. It was he who inspired me to create art. I had to make him something.

I was back online searching for the perfect idea. It took me awhile, but it finally hit me! I wanted to make him a clock. I asked him what colors he liked and asked him to pick out his favorite sand dollars. I searched and searched Etsy for the perfect clock face. I researched what adhesive to use on sand dollars. I wanted every. single. detail to be perfect. I wanted a perfect memento for our vacation. Once I finally had everything I needed, I very nervously got to work.

The blue striped clock was born. I presented it to Mike and he loved it!! And the first seed for my business was planted…

Since our vacation, Mike has moved back home. The original clock is hanging in his kitchen in Denver, CO.