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Welcome back to  Art Journal Express!  It’s been awhile hasn’t it?   A lot has happened in my life since I posted the last art journal express: Art Journal Express #13: “Life Is A Marathon Not A Sprint” . Nothing earth shattering per se – rather, it was as though the physical setbacks that I experienced in early February became the pebbles that started an avalanche.

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It started with my leg muscle which I pulled when I slipped on the ice , a couple partial tears in my rotator cuff tendons of my right shoulder and the worsening of my prolapse (which I blogged about in my last post).  I began going to shoulder physio twice a week and pelvic physio once a week.  Two separate physiotherapists from two separate clinics – each told me that perhaps I was pushing myself too hard –  not just in exercise.  “Perhaps” was my response.   While one part of me wanted to scoff, another part of me wondered whether they were right.  Of course I ignored that little voice.

Not long after, I began waking up every day with my limbs and my joints aching.  My headaches started increasing in frequency again.  My energy levels started plummeting.  I was having trouble concentrating on work for prolonged periods of time….  I knew I was stressed so I decided to start seeing a Registered Massage Therapist in the hopes that would help me to relax.  Her assessment?  My body was one big “trigger point” (which is how they refer to knots in your muscles).  She said I had so many trigger points all over my body that it was hard to tell where one ended and the next began.  And they were stubborn.  She would work on them and work on them but they were so resistant. So many times she would tell me that she had to stop working on a trigger point for that session or it would lead to bruising.  When I asked her what could possibly cause that – her speculation was prolonged stress (as in over a really long time).

All of that started me thinking again about my life. As an intense and driven perfectionist I live my life at full speed.  Have you heard the expression “go hard or go home”?  I go hard – all the time. I’ve always been like that.  My mother always used to say to me that you can’t be everything and do everything and still do it well.  While on one level I believed her, at the same time that didn’t stop me from trying LOL.  I tried so hard to juggle all the various aspects of my life and keep all the “balls in the air”.  I never wanted to admit the toll it was taking on me until I felt as though my body was suddenly starting to fall apart.  And that’s when I finally admitted to myself that I couldn’t keep going as is….things needed to change.

The more I though about it, the more I realized that (if I’m completely honest with myself) – on some level I’ve know for a long time that my life needs a serious overhaul. But truthfully I was afraid of what change would mean. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of what I would I have to give up and whether I would be able to give it up.  And that’s where my heart is behind today’s art journal page.

There is so much symbolism in the butterfly. Think about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.  A caterpillar lives it’s life eating as much as it possibly can.  When it’s finally grown as much as it possibly can and reached it’s full length and weight – it creates it’s chrysalis (i.e. cocoon) and eventually transforms into a butterfly.

I see myself as the caterpillar.  I have grown as much as I can possibly grow the way I am currently living – and it’s time to change. As much as the thought of the work and uncertainly involved in change scares me – I’ve come to accept that change is a part of life, and that when all is said and done, my life will become something much more beautiful than what it was.

So that is the story behind today’s page. I’ve already started this process of change – and I already feel so much better for it.  But more about that later. I’ll be sharing a lot more about the changes I have been making in the weeks and months to come as it’s too much for one blog post.

So here’s a close up of the page:

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I’m still working in is my Dylusions journal which you can see pictured below – and it’s the large Dylusions journal. This is the journal I’ve used in every one of my Art Journal Express Video tutorials – and this is my current go-to journal or what I call my “working” journal.

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Below is a photo of the supplies I used for this page.

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Here are the exact supplies I used for this page: Gesso, Regular Gel Medium Matte, Heavy Bodied Teal and Turquoise (Pthalo) Acrylic Paint, Pyrrole Red, Quinacridone Magenta and Indian Yellow Hue Fluid Acrylic Paint (Golden);  Bickrylic Titanium White acrylic paint (Dick Blick); Bombay Black India Ink (Dr. Ph Martin); Carbon Black Professional Spray paint (Liquitex); alphabet stencil (office supply store); canvas alpha stickers (Prima); Jet Black Archival Ink (Ranger); Butterfly stamp (Stampin’ Up!); cosmetic sponge (pharmacy); palette knife (art supply store); Permaball Pilot Pen (Purchased from Scarlet Lime store).

Here’s the video tutorial on how I made this page:

And here’s what the two page “spread” looks like in my art journal. My preference has become to use the right page for my art journaling because I know that the pages are flat underneath as they are still untouched so anything I stamp will stamp pretty clear. The other side of the 2 page “spread” – typically the left page – I use to list the supplies I used and for any directions/notes I want to remember about my page or the creative process or the supplies.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s video tutorial. If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to the  You Tube Channel I’ve created specifically for the Art of Simple blog HERE.