Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Own Personal Journey...

"This is the first day of the rest of your life." 

An almost historic quote overshadowed by the barrage of affirmations found daily on Facebook, blogs and coffee mugs. But for me, that quote is a reality. On Oct 10, 2012, I had gastric bypass surgery....roux en y to be exact. This was not a snap decision. 

I have been researching this surgery for almost six years. Readily available to the wealthy and a select few for quite some time now, the procedure has been touted as a weight loss miracle... an easy way out. Far from it. I decided to keep a journal of my journey... as I feel it is not a miracle cure, and definitely not the “easy way out”.

I just had major surgery. My innards have been assaulted in the worst way and are screaming in protest. Not just pain, of which there is plenty, but of all things foreign being forced upon my body.  Everything has been rearranged and altered both physically and with drugs... including my brain so as not to register the agony. Nausea and all wonderful things associated with surgery are ever present.  And this is the easy part. 

I am a poster girl for the diets don’t work statistics. Thirty years ago, I was a fashionable size three... a tiny, small-boned business woman. As a very active youth, teen and young adult, I had broken many bones. In later years, that translates as arthritis. By age thirty, as the joints began to rebel, I quit some activities and promptly gained twenty pounds. I wasn't concerned. Joined a gym and Weight Watchers. Fitness became my new focus and it wasn't long before I had shed the extra pounds.  Imagine my surprise about a year later to realize that, not only had I gained back the original twenty pounds, but had added an additional ten! Thus began the cycle. Any attempt to diet, exercise – successful or not – would result in weight gain.  There is so much I could write about the various stages of weight and the progress of my personal and business life during these past 30 years – however, that could be an entire book on its own merit.  I am going to make short journal notes about this procedure. 

I was in the hospital 4 days and probably should have stayed at least one day longer. My surgery was laproscopic. I have six small incisions on my stomach – closed not with staples or stitches – but super glue.  Well, I don’t really know if its super glue – but it’s something like that – how perfect is that for an artist?!  Glue.  

I vacillate from being excited about this new venture in my life to being horrified at what I have done. The procedure is permanent. Yes, many people do gain the weight back eventually. That statistic frightens me.  How COULD they? This is hell, and it’s only the beginning. For the next two weeks, I have nothing but liquid and tons of protein. Seems simple. I am home from the hospital, all medications and “food” lined up on the counter – ready to go. 

Currently, I am taking it easy. I have no choice, nor would I want to jeopardize this long-awaited procedure. I will keep you updated as to my progress – the good and the bad – on this blog as I begin my recovery... and my new life!

Glenny xoxo 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Christine Mason Miller: Desire to Inspire, Oct 22nd

Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Barbara-based writer and artist who has been creating, writing and exploring ever since she was a little girl.  Her mission to inspire has provided the foundation for all of her creative work. The desire to encourage others to pursue their passions and create a meaningful life is the common thread throughout an expansive body of work that includes mixed media collage, commercial illustration, photography, writing, teaching and speaking. 

I discovered Christine years ago through her self-published book, Ordinary Sparkling Moments and she is now celebrating her latest book Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Christine Mason Miller

with Lesley Riley
Monday, October 22nd
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Sweet Virginia!

Someone once said that "Home is Where the Art As"... oh wait... that was me! But we mixed media artists seem to adore the imagery that comes to mind when we think of home. Nesting, comfort, family, a soft place to fall. And so it seems to turn up in the things we create. And speaking of creating... I was perusing through our workshops for the Virginia 2013 Art & Soul and noticed what a diverse array of classes we had with a home theme. There's still spots open, so check out our awesome offerings...

Take this mini Birdhouse Pendant class by Jen Crossley for example (no, really... I mean take the class!) where you'll learn how to make this unique mini etched bird house using the technique of metal etching in a very simple way as you create a mini bird house pendant with a hinged door! Adorbs.

Check out this Enamel Book Pendant workshop taught by Jean VanBrederode and Lynne Supprock! The sweetest little home-sweet-home-turned-pendant you've ever seen! You'll create your very own brightly colored enamel book, amply stacked with plenty of pages. You'll learn how to use templates on copper, then saw, punch, sand, and add some rich colored enamel inside and out! Your necklace will be the talk of the town(house)!

Come and spend a day with Stephanie Rubiano creating your own dimensional “homebody” made from fabric panels and encaustic wax medium on a cradled hardboard. You will learn some new techniques in creating your own fabrics and ways to use photographs in your encaustic work. Also covered will be some basic principles in working in wax, including layering, fusing, carving, and back-filling to name a few.

...or you can take Stephanie's innovative Encaustic Light Houses workshop where you'll oversee the marriage of textiles and encaustic wax medium. Learn how to create fabric with your favorite images and form stiff wall panels, ready to be adorned with stitch work and your best bits and baubles to create a wonderful little house to set on a shelf or mantelpiece. The best part is placing an electric votive inside the house …sit back and watch the light glow and flicker through the waxed walls!

What a lovely, homey selection of workshops if I may say so. I hope you enjoyed our little "house tour" and have been inspired by the classes we have to offer. There are so many to choose from in such different categories... we hope it's not too difficult to make your selections. March just can't get here soon enough!

For more information and to register for our Virginia Beach Art & Soul event... visit our website at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Introducing Our 2013 Theme...

You better believe it's a mixed-media jungle out there... and this coming year will be no exception! So I'd like to introduce our theme for Art & Soul 2013 —Art & Soul On Safari — and this adorably whimsical logo that was designed by mixed-media artist and long-time A&S attendee Michelle Bernard. I just love how she used different types of papers and fabrics for the animals and the tree. And the giraffe munching on the "&" is just too cute.

So put on your thinking caps (or your safari hats) and let's get wild! I know you'll all come up with some amazing ideas for trades, book swaps, decorating your thingamajigs, patterned clothing to adorn yourselves with and more. We'll have some fun, themed events at our retreats next year and look forward to seeing where you take this On Safari theme!

Michelle also made it just a little easier for you to have fun with her logo design, by creating a clip art sheet of all the components that went into the logo (and a couple bonus sayings). You can download both the logo and the clip art images by right-clicking on the photos (or control-click for macintosh users) and then Save As to your computer. Or, you can grab them off our Yahoo Group in the photos section... an Album Titled... Art & Soul On Safari 2013. So have fun and get your Safari On!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Melanie Testa: Dreaming The Journal, Oct 8th

Melanie Testa's quest as an artist is to ensure that her mind, eyes and hands convey the same visual thought.  This takes practice and skills that she is committed to obtaining and maintaining every single day and with each new idea. She uses her skills and builds upon them whether she's working in cloth, paper or any other medium. Hey, the way Melanie sees it... this is the job of an artist!

Melanie graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology in Textile/Surface Design in 1999, and has written two books, Dreaming from the Journal Page and Inspired to Quilt, as well as producing a DVD entitled Print, Collage, Quilt. She teaches in person workshops, does informative lectures and has even branched out to teaching online. She's a modern-day Renaissance artist!

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Melanie Testa
with Lesley Riley
Monday, October 8th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!