Arizona Green Tea Bedroom

My daughter wanted her room painted differently. We moved in about 5 years ago and I painstakingly painted each kids room exactly how they wanted. They are really cool rooms! But she was in the third grade then, and now she’s 13 in the eighth. Even I have to admit the room was too young and princessy for her. Jazz's Old Room

But, for the past three years, I had a crappier paying job than I had when we moved in and I couldn’t afford our bills, let alone to re-do her room. But now I have the best job ever, and I have more time and money to do things, so I asked her how she wanted her room done. All I could say to her response was:

Not ImpressedReally?

 

Arizona Green Tea. That. Was her answer.

And so it began.

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And the finale!!! At least for the mural part…

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As if that wasn’t enough, we decided that the carpet in her room needs to go! So we did this!

 

This is some serious girl power! Tomorrow we lay down the laminate and we will feel like the baddest bitches in town! Please hit me up if you want to commission a mural of your own! Maybe a giant Sun Rise Sushi Logo or your favorite sports team logo in the living room! Er, uhhh, I mean the man cave?  Go to my Murals page for pricing. Updates on the floor soon to come!

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Broken Chrysalis

I woke up this morning…different. Consciousness rose to the surface somewhere around 4am-ish. I don’t know because I didn’t reach for my phone, for once. Oh, all the familiar aches and pains were still there. So many days of being bent over the bench, using my hands as tiny vices, pushing down prongs, sawing, torching, searching for that thing I just had in my hand, eyes always in the microscope, everything pushing toward the center and never having my chest and arms opened up. I can feel it every morning when I wake up on my stomach with my arms out under my pillow. My hands and arms involuntarily push into the bed and my back burns all the way down the middle, my spine clearly out of alignment, muscles tight, hands clenched, throbbing and aching. But, today, even with the aches and pains, was…different. My head wasn’t so heavy. I didn’t feel dread for the day or the future or the heaviness of life’s burdens. I felt, maybe not energized physically, but certainly a new kind of energy, positive energy and the absence of negativity. I was actually able to pull my body out of bed at 5:45. No, it was better than that. I couldn’t KEEP my body in bed, when, for the past…at least three years I have had to willfully and grudgingly drag myself out of sleep wishing I never had to wake up again.

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It occurs to me that I’ve been in a very dark, confined space, not free to move at all, or to see or to feel. Nothing about my surroundings or situation has changed drastically…yet. But this morning, I felt like the cocoon is beginning to give. No wings are out, they are still bound, my legs still can only barely wiggle, but my antennae are out, feeling around, tasting the air, proboscis unwinding, ready to partake of life’s nectar, and my eyes are almost uncovered. I can almost see my way out of confinement. Every day I will wiggle a bit more, search a bit more, seek a bit more, till my bonds break free. I want to fly.

I won’t think about darkness anymore. I will push those thoughts from me and concentrate on the light. I will keep dark people at arms length and seek out the people who’s light is contagious. I will let their flame ignite my own. Then, when I’m a full fiery blaze, and those who’s lights have gone dim are drawn to mine, I will use my light to ignite theirs. I will learn a new way of thinking, a new way of speaking, a new way of existing. I will free myself. I will move my body, wake with the sun, and consume only that which will heal and nurture. I will grow strong. Someday very soon, I will love myself again.

Choices Part 3

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Image taken from the artforadults Instagram page. Not my work.

Several previous posts have outlined the events that have lead up to the mess my life is in right now. None of it is pretty, lots of it makes me ashamed. I am stagnant and depressed. I keep saying I have no hope, but if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be writing this, I wouldn’t even try to get up in the morning and the dreams I have would go away and leave me alone. It’s been brought to my attention that I have choices. I CAN change my life no matter how impossible it seems. I NEED to change my life, or at least my outlook on the life I have. I have always gone where the wind blew me, until it blew me into pregnancy and marriage, which seem like a dark corner where the gusts can’t reach and so I stay here damp and rotting till someone comes with a broom and sweeps me out. The thing is, I don’t want to depend on anyone with a broom! I want to sweep myself out! Maybe not even out of marriage, and certainly not out of motherhood, but out of this stagnant depression, this groundhog day like existence of doing the same things day in and day out. Get up, take kids to school, go to work, come home, eat, help with homework, go to bed and do it five days a week and then clean and prepare all weekend for the next week to be exactly the same. My life isn’t horrible. I have three beautiful kids who love me, a husband who cares deeply for me, a job that pays the bills and feeds us all even if just barely, a car, clean running water, this computer, all things that most of the world doesn’t have and many yearn for. It’s absolutely unfulfilling, boring and enslaving. I have no time or money to LIVE. I only exist and I MUST do something about that. So here I plan to list my dreams, plans to make them happen, obstacles to overcome, pros and cons of each including the effects they may have on my family, in the hopes of being able to choose a pathway to freedom and happiness, or at least less depression. getting them all in order is going to be tough, so please bear with me as I struggle.

 

When I think of the ultimate happy life for myself from this point on, this is what it looks like:

I could somehow magically quit my job and still pay my bills, no, pay them completely off except maybe the mortgage and I could stay home while my husband worked at whatever amazing job has magically presented itself.

I would still have to wake up Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00am to take my daughter to school, but once I got home and saw my boy off, I could start laundry, do dishes, clean the downstairs and then the upstairs. In the summer, I’d tend my garden before cleaning the house, before things got too hot. That all should take maybe two hours. Then I would shower and dress and shop for the week. I’d get home, unpack groceries and head upstairs to Blog for the remaining two hours before it was time to pick up my daughter from school. We’d come home and I’d help kids with homework before starting dinner. We would eat, and clean up together, then I’d either hang out with them or go upstairs and read articles and watch vlogs on how to homestead, permaculture, how to raise animals for food, how to build treehouses, how to navigate the art business…

Tuesdays, up at 6:00am, off to school, home, garden, clean, shower, then go to some art studio like The Generator for four hours to work on some massive project till it was time to pick up my girl. Then home, homework, dinner, clean up, and hang with kids or watch more vlogs and read more articles on beekeeping and woodworking and outdoor survival…

Wednesdays, 6:00am, school, home, garden, clean, shower, Generator for art, school, home…well, you get the idea. All that till I could accumulate a big enough body of work to show my art at as many events, galleries and contests as possible up to and including Burning Man. Hopefully that would allow me to make more money and connect with people who could actually show me how to do all the things I have been trying to learn about through blogs, vlogs and articles. I would be able to keep up with housework and homework as well as having my own time to do the art, building and gardening work I’m passionate about. I would have time to plan the healthy meals which I love to find and prepare for my family. I would make meals and snacks that I know would help heal their minds, bodies and spirits as well as my own. We would use essential oils and other 100% natural products to clean our home and treat ailments and keep us healthy. I would have the TIME and money and energy to decorate and prepare for holidays and vacations. I would have TIME to clean up after our adventures and get the home back in order. On weekends I could afford to take the time and money to go on adventures with the family and bring them to my shows and exhibitions.

With the money I’d make from my art I would continue to fix this house up. I’d be able to put new floors in, update to energy saving appliances, make the murals and decorate the rooms the way I envisioned them. I could finish the ocean mural in my friend’s home and all the other projects I’ve started for friends but haven’t had the time or energy to finish. Once it was all done, I’d stay for two years enjoying it, making art, making connections and getting the kids through school as happy and healthy as we can be within this system and within this marriage.

Then we would sell this house and buy unimproved land somewhere and build ourselves a homestead where we could get EVERYTHING we need from our own land and be independent of the system except for property taxes, insurance, and the smallest necessities needed from town or other homesteaders. We’d go to music festivals and sell our wears and grow our own meat and veggies. I KNOW it’s not impossible! I can SEE people out there DOING it!

 

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Again, not my image. Taken from Instagram username wendyortizart.

 

All of that is how I WISH things could go from now till then. But where is the money going to come from? I have to face the fact that my husband is probably never going to get a job that could support us all and provide enough money to actually live life like that. No one is going to just GIVE us money to make that happen, and I’m not sure I’d even want them to. I hate feeling DEPENDENT on anyone. I hate being dependent on my husband for his half of the contribution to everything right now. I don’t want to ever feel obligated to anyone except those less fortunate than me. Maybe this hang-up with obligation is why I have a hard time opening up to my husband physically. I hate that I feel obligated and that it’s not my own not passionate choice in that moment, especially since there is only a small window of time between other obligations to get it done. I also HATE going to work outside my home and having to bend my family’s life around it. My kids are alone far too much of the time. I just don’t see any way around it. I make art whenever there are no other obligations and there is time before bed or I can afford to stay up and work when the inspiration is there. That happens maybe once a month, if even that. But I still do it and I will hopefully be able to come up with a consistent body of work at some point. Right now it feels like it’ll never happen. I’m struggling to come up with any kind of plan to make even small parts of this lifestyle come to be. Here are things I think I should do:

Meal plan on weekends and give a list of groceries to my husband. I don’t do the shopping, but maybe I should start doing that on weekends. He would scream about the bill, but maybe I can get him to trade the mortgage bill I pay, for the grocery bill he pays and then I wouldn’t have to answer to him for the amount of money it takes to feed a family of five an abundantly healthy diet. I’m not sure I’d even have the money or energy to pull that off, but I can look into it. I don’t get home till almost 7:00pm and I still have to help kids with homework, so he does most of the cooking and I’d have to depend on him to stick to the meal plan. Sometimes he’s not home till late either and then it’s even harder, but I enjoy cooking, and if we are eating right, the kids might not have as much trouble in school and I might be able to spend less time having to help them. I have no idea when we’d have time to fix up healthy snacks that so often require putting together instead of just opening a plastic package, but we can try…

I need to make a budget. How much we make vs. how much goes out. I already know it’s pathetic. I’ve done it before and got scared, so I put it out of my mind and hoped for the best. I need a PLAN for paying off all this debt that wasn’t a problem when I was getting paid a lot more. I can’t ignore it anymore. I MUST put in more effort to stay on top of my bills. I must get my money organized. I need to accept the possibility of bankruptcy or at least call the creditors and ask  for options to lessen the burden. When I think about this I get terrified. I’m no good on the phone even with friends and family. Seriously, the phone SCARES me. I know it’s irrational and after I do take care of something like that I feel better, but I’m literally terrified of paperwork and legal stuff and talking to people on the phone, or asking for help, or accepting defeat and fault. But it’s time to suck it up and act like the adult/parent that I am.

I need to stop complaining and be grateful. My kids aren’t sick, my husband isn’t sick. I am sick, but it’s fatigue and depression, not some life threatening, expensive hospitalizing disease. I CAN still get up in the morning and I CAN still go to work, I CAN still help the kids with homework and let them vent and talk to me about whatever they need. No matter how much I want change and adventure, no matter how much I resent my life as it is now, I DO have a lot of things to be grateful about.

Lastly, I guess I need to ask for help. I don’t know who to ask or how to ask or even really what to ask FOR. Anyway, enough for now. Thanks for reading. Really just typical American woman lifestyle stuff I guess. Advice and encouragement welcome.

 

 

Please Pray

I have to share! I’ve been worried and wondering how on earth I’m going to get my bills payed and how I’m going to get me and my girls to K-Con this year. I PROMISED them I’d do whatever I could to get us there, but then I lost my job. I’ve been struggling hard. My new job barely covers the bills and I’m behind from being unemployed for two weeks. But PRAISE GOD, a friend just called and said she needs a muralist here in town for the month of June and I can do it after work and on my weekends! If the business owner accepts her bid it’ll be a $10,000 job! I don’t know what my share will be but I bet it’ll get us to K-Con so I won’t have to break my kid’s hearts! Please pray he accepts the bid and that I can get it done in a timely and professional manner without burning myself out? Thanks! Love you all!!!!!

Bubble Bath Reflections

Forgive me please, writing is not my first art, I am a visual artist. Please take a few moments to browse through my work and comment whenever you like?

Taking a bath, listening to Yoruma Radio on Pandora. Staring at my completely bare bathroom walls with candle light dancing off them. Smelling the incredible scent of both candles and essential oils. I’m dreaming of what could be there on those bare walls staring back at me. I want a play of mirrors and fine art there for the candles to dance with. I’m in a particularly bitter and depressed mood for various reasons. The bath and candles help. The music is so incredibly soothing. It occurs to me that I could make music like that if I applied myself for years. But I don’t really want to. I’d rather apply paint or clay. Instrumental music is one art I would just want to appreciate and admire. That thought leads me to be disturbed. I DO appreciate music. It helps me relax, to think. This particular type helps me feel luxurious, rich and relaxed. But I’m none of those things. I’m not classy, I am starting a new job tomorrow that pays half of what I’m used to. I’m only hoping I can keep these walls that I have so many hopes for. Here I am soaking in clean water with beautiful light dancing around me listening to music that just a short time ago was reserved for only the most noble. Am I grateful? Oh YES! I am in clean hot water with bubbles and scents and can crawl into a nice bed within these many walls! But also, as I mentioned, I’m disturbed. You see, I’m an artist too. I know what it takes to acquire such skill, and how that skill is such a part of you that it’s impossible to separate the individual from the art. Here I am knowing that if I had to pay for the privilege, it’s not that I wouldn’t, but I COULDN’T. As an artist, and a good one I think, I can’t even afford to MAKE my OWN art without a full time job, much less support other artists. And with a full time job I must sacrifice family to make art.

I CAN’T pay for it, this beautiful music, and neither can many others, save the uber rich, or upper middle class at the least. Now instead of relaxing, I feel guilty. I want to give these AMAZING artists who bring me such joy and help and comfort, their due, just like my loyal fans who always profess to LOVE my work, but never buy any. I get SO bitter that I can’t get PAID to do the thing that brings me, and seems to bring others, so much joy. That means I CANNOT do it and feed my children too. And who does pay artists now days anyway? Advertising agencies I guess. But that leads to a whole other bag if worms….

I just can’t wait for the Kingdom to come! A day when I and everyone else can do what they are called to do and still have enough for themselves and their young!

And then I think how selfish I must be! I MUST be grateful for the job that will keep food in their mouths even if if won’t provide a vacation or art materials. Oh Lord help my selfishness? Help my worldly desires? Please bless the artists of the world whom you have called to make beautiful things for your sake and not for the pleasures of this world? Please help us be strong enough to deny ourselves while continuing to use the gifts you have given us for YOUR glory?

So blissful, and so melancholy at the same time,

Jeanette
A.K.A. JETTE

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Landed Three Jobs!

Well, I landed all three of the jobs I interviewed for! Any of them would be fun jobs. So fun I’m not sure which ones to take! All are part time and all start at roughly half of my previous hourly wage. Truly I wish I could just take one and work as an artist the rest of the time, but Hubby doesn’t think that’s a good idea. See, art is never a sure thing. I have faith, but I need to honor him. So I will pray on it and see where the Lord leads me. If He wants me to use the talent He blessed me with He will bring me enough clients and commissions to appease my husband. I’m putting everything out there and doing everything I can to promote myself as an artist. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God to build the ground under my feet. If the answer is “no” or “not yet” to an art career, then I have to suck it up and do what needs to be done to get the Hubs through school and the kids fed. Sigh…such is life and we make the best of it that we can!

Anyway, if you happen to stumble on this post, please feel free to browse my site to see my art share if you feel led and leave any comments you wish! I would love to create something uniquely beautiful for you! If you would like to book me for a mural, portrait, paint party or face painting, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

In Him,

Jeanette

A.K.A. Jeanette

I fall at His feet

The Beginning

I’m a woman of few words. I need time to think that I just don’t have right now. So I’ll keep my first post short and to the point. I’ll probably delete it later.

I just want to express my excitement and complete terror for the new…whatever this is in my life. I feel like all these options have been tossed up in the air and they are still sorta flying up and getting ready to fall back down. I’m not sure how any of them will land or if they will end up in one piece once they do. In case you haven’t noticed, all I want to do is make art. Art, art, art all day long and I want to have openings and go to shows and get commissions for portraits and murals and sculptures for businesses and people! I just don’t have enough bookings yet.

I had an interview at a jewelry store for a jewelers position, and I have one at Home Depot and a local garden center in he next two days. I also am going to learn how to do some painting on fondant (wonderfully delicious clay like frosting) for a friend who owns a baking business and wants to offer that service. I think I will like doing any or all of these things. I’m pretty sure all of them are part time positions and, of course they don’t pay much.

Part time is good though so I can work on my art. I have all kinds of people saying they want murals and some saying they will help me make this art thing a career. I even had a sweet friend help me set up this web page. It’s just a matter of if and when the ones who said they want to and others will actually book me. I’m more scared now of NOT putting my whole self into BEING an artist and having to work toward someone else’s dream than I am of failing while pursuing my own. The problem is, I have three kids that I can’t just let down. I can’t just not take the steady pay for my own selfishness. We just bought a house. I can’t just not pay for it. In other words, it’s do or die. So if you see this and you’re the praying type, please say a little one for me?

The octopus is the last mural I worked on. I’ll go back later and add bunches of colorful sea life to the reef below him. I’m good. I know I’m good. Can my family hang on till enough people who can afford my services know I’m good too? Stay tuned to find out!