Category Archives: Activities for Healing With Art

Creative Wellness Program for Survivors

programpromoCollage9.26.17
This detailed video gives in depth information about what is included in the program.

Arachnoiditis Survivors registered at the Art For Arachnoiditis Project receive this Independent Study Program at no cost. CONTACT the Studio with the message, “I am an arachnoiditis survivor in ( your state/province, country), please send me the Creative Wellness Independent Study Program” to sign up now and add my location to the Map of Arachnoiditis Survivors registered at the project.
[Module FIVE Includes the 2018 I Stand For Love Calendar on orders placed BEFORE July 1, 2018. 2019 Calendar Options TBA.]

IF YOU ARE NOT AN ARACHNOIDITIS SURVIVOR BUT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE THIS PROGRAM ($35); YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THAT HERE. Individual Modules also sold separately.

Creative Wellness Independent Study Program Description

Since you will receive all of the content at once; you have the option to schedule it into your calendar as you choose. For best results; I recommend completing these activities in consecutive order and allowing yourself at least two to three weeks to fully explore the topics introduced in each module. For planning purposes, Scheduling suggestions are included.

CREATIVE WELLNESS PROGRAM CURRICULUM OUTLINE

In the First Module (suggested schedule: one-two weeks)

We will work to establish your safe space. This space will Shelter you as you do this important work. Transformation is an on-going process. There is no “end-game”… You have the power to designate a safe place to allow your own transformation to occur. Topics, Re-usuable Worksheets and activities include:

Fortress for a Naked Thing Recap and Reference from the Art For Arachnoiditis Project
Tools to Build Your Own Shelter
If You Build it You Can Go There

In the Second Module (suggested schedule: one-two weeks)

We find out more about the Power of Joy, finding it, naming it, and knowing it. Re-usuable Worksheets and activities include:

Joy Is Powerful with printable worksheet
Grace Happens ~ Your Assignment Should You Choose To Accept It
Quick DIY art journal instructions

In the Third Module (suggested schedule: two-three weeks)

We explore individual Adaptability. Here you will find tools that will help you Assess and Improvise to Overcome your obstacles to Wellness. Topics, Re-usuable Worksheets and activities include:

The Adapt-Around Art Activity and Metamorphosis Mandala
Adaptability Assessment and Time Management Tool
Adapting for YOUR body Guidelines
Your Assignment Should You Choose to Accept It ~Cuts Like a Knife (48 Hour Challenge also pertains to Module Five)

In the Fourth Module (suggested schedule: three weeks)

We go deep into finding out what is stopping you from being sovereign over the shape of your life. You will have the opportunity to work through tasks and activities that will help you to establish your Autonomy. Topics, Re-usuable Worksheets and activities include:

Sovereignty Over the Shape of Your Life
Un-masking the Naked Truth~Mask-making Art Activity with printable templates
Your Vision of Autonomy
Let’s Talk About Control
Shape-Shifters Creative Focus Art Activity with link to demo video

In the Fifth Module (suggested schedule: three-four weeks)

We ask and answer the important question, “How do you nourish your Wellness?” Quality input, communication, and connections are equally important Sustenance for Independent Wellness. Topics, Re-usuable Worksheets and activities include:

Cuts Like a Knife ~ Revisiting the 48 Hour Challenge
Quality Input ~ Creating the Right Tools to Feed YOUR Wellness
FIVE Steps to Create the Tools:
ONE Shed the Crap~Fertilize Your Transformation w/printable activity sheet and Cut-out template
TWO Replacing the Crock of Crap~Lessons in Love-based choices and Vessels for Wellness for Body, Mind, and Spirit~printable worksheet and Extension Activity, Ingredients List for Anti-inflammatory menu
THREE Connecting the Dots ~ Cultivating an Appropriate Habitat
FOUR Your “Right” Cluster ~ How to establish your Cluster. cluster Cards for Creative Guidance Includes Message Guide and Cluster Cards printable templates to color and cut, instructions for Cluster Cards Mobile (extension art activity), Creating your Own Cluster
FIVE Clustered Communication ~Expectations and Connections

UPON CONFIRMATION OF YOUR REGISTRATION

You will receive ALL FIVE modules of the content with links to references and resources as well as, printable worksheets and activities that are yours to keep. This is NOT an automated delivery system. Please allow 2-5 business days for manual e-delivery of your pdf. 

The Art For Arachnoiditis Project is FREE to all registered Arachnoiditis Survivors.

If you know a survivor and would like to support this project, Use the donation button at the top right corner to support the continued maintenance of this valued online resource for Arachnoiditis Survivors or support via check made payable to The New York Foundation for the Arts, MEMO: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project; MAILED TO: SheilaLynnK Art Studio 345 South Main Street Wellsville, NY 14895. Contributions of $2500 or more must be accompanied by a Contribution Letter. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. 

If you would like to make a Tax-deductible contribution to support OTHER Charitable Art Projects and Events at SheilaLynnK Art Studio you can find out more about that HERE.

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Art Every Day Month~Day 25~Edible Art

Evening Primrose plant on cotton fabric
“Organic Moonscape” Evening Primrose Plant on cotton fabric.

This edible Moonscape, in honor of the full moon today,  is made of Fresh Evening Primrose Roots and Leaves and some dried Evening Primrose flowers that I gathered from my garden at the studio.

I selected Evening Primrose as my Wild Plant Ally for 2015. This is a gentle plant with many health benefits relevant to my own personal needs. [I am not a physician. Be sure to verify the plant ID and consult a trusted physician prior to adding it to your own diet or treatment plan.]

My current mood and condition warranted a late fall harvest of first year EPR growing in my garden. The fresh clean root has  a mild pleasant flavor and produces a somewhat calming effect with a bit of relief from hormonal mood swings.  Edible as a fresh vegetable; I will be putting it in some breakfast fritters. I am also setting some of the root aside as a tincture for later use this Winter when the ground will be too frozen to obtain the fresh roots.

The seeds I harvested earlier this fall are also said to be beneficial to treatment of my “mild hormonal depression” …for lack of a better description. I will be crushing them to release the valuable oils and then adding them to my lambsquarters bread as is done with poppy seeds in poppy seed muffins.

OUTCOME: TBD

RELATED LINKS:

Another Evening Primrose Post

Foraging Evening Primrose

Herbs for Health:Benefits of Evening Primrose

The Rest of the Art Every Day Month Series of Posts are  Here and have been brought to the public via the support of my patrons. 

digital collage of creative learning with plastic bottle caps

Art Every Day Month ~ Day 22

digital collage of creative learning with plastic bottle caps
Easy Art Activity ~ Also Great for on the floor with toddlers when compelled to be horizontal!

Today my A.G. (he is 5) and I created some Examples AND TOOK SOME PICTURES of Creative Learning Activities that my nephew’s daughter (age 2) can use with some of the items in her “My Busy Bucket”. This digital collage will be inserted inside the bucket with the other busy items. 

The Rest of the Art Every Day Month Series of Posts are  Here and have been brought to the public via the support of my patrons. 

NOTES FROM AEDM 2015 DAY 1

I have decided to participate in Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month Challenge atCreative Every Day during the Month of November. For the first time, as I do this 30 day challenge, I will be posting my progress HERE for arachnoiditis survivors and advocates.

I hope you will join me for this creative journey. If you are an Arachnoiditis Survivor creating any art during the series that you would like to share with The Art For Arachnoiditis Project feel free to do so in the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Facebook page, share links in the comments below, or submit the work for use in YEAR 2 of the Survivors’ Art Exhibit. (Accepting Entries until Feb 15, 2016.) Although the Art By Survivors’ exhibit is open only to the Survivors; other creative minded individuals are invited to share in all of the other places.

SUBSCRIBE to get the quarterly Art For Arachnoiditis Project Newsletter

WATCH VIDEO FROM OUR 2015 SURVIVORS’ ART EXHIBIT HERE

SHOP Awareness Art,Your purchase will benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Projects at the studio. These fair market prices are not tax-deductible purchases.or Make a tax-deductible contribution via our Fiscal Sponsor,  NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] Or by check payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Memo: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project mailed to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio, 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.

To submit original art to this catalog to benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Awareness Efforts. Send submissions with your signed Art In-Kind Form to sheilalynnk@yahoo.com subject line: Add My Art

This is the first time I will be doing daily art for The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. If you have never seen these posts before; you can get a better idea of what this is all about by checking out a A Few of my Similar Month-long Projects/Posts/Series from the Past.

My 30.30.30 [30 Days, 30 Pieces/posts, 30 minutes each] activities have previously been posted on my blog and on my facebook page. The most recent one I did in September 2015 is available HERE, April 2015 started HERE: 
 
April 2014 I alternated between painting and drawing HERE andHERE
January 2014 ~ 30 Day Art Journal Project HERE
September 2013 was a daily Mandala Project (which grew and ended up in my 2013 Show, “A Round Now In A Square Time” with artist & friend, Allison Midgley) That project startsHERE
The Show is HERE

Art Every Day Month ~ Day 13 ~ “Human, Naturally”

Ostrich Cot set up in office
Reasonable Accommodations for Writing Important Words

Today the words are my creative genre of choice. Survivors are encouraged to submit written entries, including but not limited to Survivors’ Stories for YEAR 2 of the Art For Arachnoiditis Project. Entry Deadline Feb. 15, 2016.

Right now, I am thinking and so… WRITING ABOUT VANITY and LIVING AND WORKING WITH ARACHNOIDITIS

In the past, as I got ready to go to work or out to dinner or some other socially exposed activity, I would say, “I am going to go get a little less human before I go out.” This meant, the usual shower, hair, make-up routine was going to monopolize the bathroom for about an hour. Doing the things that “enhance our natural beauty” so that we blend in with the rest of the people doing the same is an expected, if not required, prerequisite for mingling in “civilized society.”

In high school, I remember this ritual being as much about masking the real me as it was about “creative individual expression”.  Military service and parenting reduced my interest, compulsion and dependence upon it. Gradually, it just evolved into my morning routine without much fanfare of creative input.

Survival and recovery impact the individual sense of vanity. Be it the superficial cliche concept of “beauty” or a long-lived appreciation of our “inner beauty”, our self-image seldom escapes the experience unscathed. For all time but, especially, in modern culture; the pressure to conform to the concepts of beauty and grooming of the status quo is directly linked to our ability to be taken seriously by the influential populations of society.

Not only must Survivors overcome the physical limitations imposed upon them but, we must also find a balance within ourselves which allows us to reconcile the alterations in our physical appearance which result from that struggle. Sampson I am not, but I have to admit to a certain deep depression when the immune response associated with Spinal Arachnoiditis caused much of my hair to break and fall off. I kept telling myself, “It’s just hair. It’s not that big of an issue. You have bigger problems to worry about right now.” All of which were true statements that did little to alleviate an increased sense of injury to my person and my own perceptions of my place in society at that time.

Because it is a habit that is an intrinsic part of our culture which we grow into and except, until or unless, it is threatened or the ability to “conform to the norm” becomes complicated, we don’t realize that, “Hair is an object of intense elaboration and preoccupation in almost all societies. Hairstyles and rituals surrounding hair care andadornment convey powerful messages about a person’s beliefs, lifestyles, and commitments. Inferences and judgments about a person’s morality, sexual orientation, political persuasion, religious sentiments and, in some cultures, socio-economic status can sometimes be surmised by seeing a particular hairstyle.” The Social Meaning of Hair ~ Chicago Kent Law Review

For whatever genetic/environmental reasons, I began getting grey hair when I was 23 years old. I was okay with that until my son came home from school one day and said, without any malicious intent, “You know Mom, you kind of look like that bag lady that hangs out in front of the grocery store. I think it’s because of your hair.” So, I began coloring my hair.

For some of us Living with Arachnoiditis, increased chemical sensitivities are a consequential outcome. In addition to the adverse reactions to medication trials for “treatment” of Arachnoiditis; several years ago, I began to notice a remarkable increase in my pain and inflammatory symptoms after I took the time to color my hair. Keep in mind this was NOT a routine occurrence. At that point I was only doing it every three months or so. The correlation was difficult not to notice. So, I cut back on it even more and changed the use to only the color that washes out in 28 days. Still, I only used it every few months. Gradually, I decreased it to only using half the product at a time to streak a color similar to my natural color into my hair.  I was okay with a white streak here or there that reminded my of my mother but was not ready to be “openly grey” just yet.

The reasons for this effort? I have been brain- washed. Yep. Also known as, accepting the cultural norm, I had come to associate my OWN impression of my health and wellness with my physical appearance and was painfully aware that the people around me did, too. When my hair color was all washed out and faded I didn’t look “vibrant, young and energetic” but more importantly, IN MY OWN EYES; I didn’t LOOK “healthy”. Since then, I have, in many ways, re-defined that word “healthy” as it pertains to my self awareness.

As I write this, I am still struck by how frivolous this topic feels but, I KNOW that women AND men depend on how others see them as a means to social connection and “success” in society. The reality is, that our appearance can condemn us to a marginal existence. Subconsciously, we fight against that. We think nothing of using the convenient products available to us to allow us to prevent that from happening.

After the damage, I found shampoos and strengtheners for my hair that allowed it to grow and “recover” from the inflammatory phase of my illness. I began searching for more natural ways to add a little color to my hair but, I continued using the 28 day partial hair color treatments in moderation about every 3 months. Looking “healthy” is,after all, directly linked to feeling “healthy” …isn’t it?

senior photo
Back In The Day When Mousse was new and thick eyebrows were cool.
Profile Pictures
Profile Picture 2012
Profile Picture 2015
Profile Picture 2015

I was cool with that. UNTIL… I found out about all of the neurotoxins and carcinogens these products contain. Considering my first hand knowledge of my post- arachnoiditis -onset sensitivities to polyethylene glycol in Miralax…a frequently prescribed “safe” treatment for issues associated with spinal cord injury…I came to the logical conclusion that perhaps the contents of these commercial products may NOT be the safest thing for me or for anyone already dealing with extensive nerve damage from OTHER causes.

I QUIT. August 8, 2015, I quit commercial hair care products cold turkey.

Profile Pictures after all natural hair care switch
Chemical Free Profile Pictures

Suffice it to say, my hair went “cray-cray!”

There is a period of adjustment in which our body must rediscover the ways to balance our natural oils after we stop using the products which have created an artificial rhythm for them. It was summer, I washed and rinsed using the “no-poo” method, put my hair up and went on with my day.   It took a little time for me to find out what my hair type really is without all of the artificial additives coating it. I discovered the baking soda wash option wasn’t the best thing for me.

Economic Hardship is not a rare consequential condition of Spinal Arachnoiditis. The COST of organic hygiene and hair care products is exorbitant. As I have been exploring the nutrition value of the naturally occurring plants here, I decided to find out which ones can be used to better feed my hair, too. This is what I found …and for me, it works!

All Natural Shampoo Making Collage
Making all natural shampoo
Natural Hair dye collage
Making all natural hair dye from Black Walnut husks.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I have as many bad days AND bad hair days as anyone else. Some days my hair is just so fragile and breaks off in piles or just looks so ridiculous that I am tempted to go back to the commercial method. But, I am determined to see this experiment through.

I REALLY want to know if leaving these chemicals behind will reduce the amount of pain I experience. Winter will be the true test.  I am coming to truly believe that the use of these and other chemicals is directly proportionate to the extent of my “Recovery” and the frequency of my “Flares.”  I now make my own shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant for personal use. Because of my increasing exploration of Ancient Wisdom and the Wild Edibles and resources available in my own back yard, this experiment is exactly in my price range.

Additionally, this experiment is having a residual positive outcome that I did not expect. I feel more empowered and in control of what happens to my body because I KNOW exactly what is going into it. This feeling is PRICELESS.

And well, we absorb so much from the environment through our skin, how can it possibly make sense to intentionally ADD the harmful things?

I have to admit that I feel a bit conspicuous on my cray-cray hair days if/when I have to go out in public but, I am starting to understand that my hair actually has cycles which relate to the rest of my body in a way that was hidden by commercial products. It really was only NATURAL that it fell apart when my body did.

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET, OR IS IT? 

On the bad days, I don’t want to feel what you see any more than YOU want to see what I feel. It’s human nature to want to avoid the negative and to “fit in” with those around us…to want to be accepted by those who reside in the social circles we wish to engage. However, it is too easy to lose track of what really matters when we only focus on that instead of who we really are….

For Arachnoiditis Survivors and others Surviving with “Invisible Illness” the craving for connection can be quite harmful when we let it interfere with what our bodies really need. I am still learning to listen to my body and to take action to DO the things that support its strengths and acknowledge or possibly repair its weaknesses.

NEW DISCOVERIES (November 24, 2015) As my hair continues to break off because of its naturally fragile state, I kept looking for organic methods to strengthen it. The challenge is to find the ones that grow locally. Egg whites are also reported to help, however, I have a difficult time rinsing them out with organic shampoo. In any case, I just came across a line of organic products by Shear Miracles (not an affiliate link) which contains many of the plants that I have been unable to find here.

I don’t expect to find them this year. Snow is falling as I write this. I am going to try the Tuff ‘N Up Shampoo. It is a little pricey for me. However, after removing all of the chemical-based ingredients from my hair, it really doesn’t take much to clean it. I definitely don’t need to wash it every day anymore. About a dime-sized dab of the purchased ‘poo twice a week should be enough. In between, I can continue to use the healthy home made mix that I have here…if I need it.  

Today, THIS Resonates with my thoughts about Struggling to Change My Way of Life…”It is about gaining perspective and consciously choosing a way of life. “~ slk 11.27.15

Sample Arachnoiditis Survivor Portrait
Self-Portrait : Sample Survivor Portrait from “Arachnoiditis Survivor: A Portrait of Resilience Against Patient Harm”

RELATED LINKS

“What Your Hair Really Says About You” ~Psychology Today

“Accessory or Identity, What Does Your Hair Mean to You”

“My Hair, My Identity, My Security” 

“Harmful or Carcinogenic Ingredients in Our Skin Care”

“12 Toxins in Personal Care Products”

“Contaminating Our Bodies With Everyday Products” ~ New York Times

The Rest of the Art Every Day Month Series of Posts are  Here 

NOTES FROM AEDM 2015 DAY 1

I have decided to participate in Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month Challenge atCreative Every Day during the Month of November. For the first time, as I do this 30 day challenge, I will be posting my progress HERE for arachnoiditis survivors and advocates.

I hope you will join me for this creative journey. If you are an Arachnoiditis Survivor creating any art during the series that you would like to share with The Art For Arachnoiditis Project feel free to do so in the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Facebook page, share links in the comments below, or submit the work for use in YEAR 2 of the Survivors’ Art Exhibit. (Accepting Entries until Feb 15, 2016.) Although the Art By Survivors’ exhibit is open only to the Survivors; other creative minded individuals are invited to share in all of the other places.

SUBSCRIBE to get the quarterly Art For Arachnoiditis Project Newsletter

WATCH VIDEO FROM OUR 2015 SURVIVORS’ ART EXHIBIT HERE

SHOP Awareness Art,Your purchase will benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Projects at the studio. These fair market prices are not tax-deductible purchases.or Make a tax-deductible contribution via our Fiscal Sponsor,  NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] Or by check payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Memo: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project mailed to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio, 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.

To submit original art to this catalog to benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Awareness Efforts. Send submissions with your signed Art In-Kind Form to sheilalynnk@yahoo.com subject line: Add My Art

This is the first time I will be doing daily art for The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. If you have never seen these posts before; you can get a better idea of what this is all about by checking out a A Few of my Similar Month-long Projects/Posts/Series from the Past.

My 30.30.30 [30 Days, 30 Pieces/posts, 30 minutes each] activities have previously been posted on my blog and on my facebook page. The most recent one I did in September 2015 is available HERE, April 2015 started HERE: 
 
April 2014 I alternated between painting and drawing HERE andHERE
January 2014 ~ 30 Day Art Journal Project HERE
September 2013 was a daily Mandala Project (which grew and ended up in my 2013 Show, “A Round Now In A Square Time” with artist & friend, Allison Midgley) That project startsHERE
The Show is HERE

November is Art Every Day Month ~ Day 3

Colored Pencil drawing Medicine Ball
Allow 4 the Pain, Live for the Beauty, Love Every Day ~ from the Medicine Ball Series

I have come to count on the Arts as a key component in my coping tool kit. 

I started this series of small colored pencils drawing during some of the colder days in late spring and early summer. These are a great diversion for me. They are also guilt-free because I can get horizontal on my Ostrich Cot to make them. At only 4″x 4″ to 6″ x 6″ these little projects are easy to transport and make me look a little less like a lazy person when I am remembering NOT to be vertical too long.

I am planning to eventually include the Medicine Ball series in the Print Your Own Collection available for sale in my studio shop. These are small pieces of my original art that patrons can print and use for their own DIY home projects. For now, YOU can get a FREE easy to embellish version of this little doodle in the attachment on my Patreon page here.

The colors and message seemed appropriate to acknowledge that not only is November Art Every Day Month at Creative Every Day but, it is also Nervember  at the Power of Pain Foundation.  #NERVEmber is International Nerve Pain Awareness Month (including RSD, CRPS, Diabetes, and more). Each day during the month of NERVEmber the @PowerofPain Foundation will present an awareness task that we can all perform!”

The Rest of the Art Every Day Month Series of Posts are  Here 

NOTES FROM AEDM 2015 DAY 1

I have decided to participate in Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month Challenge during the Month of November. For the first time, as I do this 30 day challenge, I will be posting my progress HERE for arachnoiditis survivors and advocates.

I hope you will join me for this creative journey. If you are an Arachnoiditis Survivor creating any art during the series that you would like to share with The Art For Arachnoiditis Project feel free to do so in the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Facebook page, share links in the comments below, or submit the work for use in YEAR 2 of the Survivors’ Art Exhibit. (Accepting Entries until Feb 15, 2016.) Although the Art By Survivors’ exhibit is open only to the Survivors; other creative minded individuals are invited to share in all of the other places.

SUBSCRIBE to get the quarterly Art For Arachnoiditis Project Newsletter

WATCH VIDEO FROM OUR 2015 SURVIVORS’ ART EXHIBIT HERE

SHOP Awareness Art,Your purchase will benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Projects at the studio. These fair market prices are not tax-deductible purchases.or Make a tax-deductible contribution via our Fiscal Sponsor,  NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] Or by check payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Memo: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project mailed to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio, 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.

To submit original art to this catalog to benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Awareness Efforts. Send submissions with your signed Art In-Kind Form to sheilalynnk@yahoo.com subject line: Add My Art

This is the first time I will be doing daily art for The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. If you have never seen these posts before; you can get a better idea of what this is all about by checking out a A Few of my Similar Month-long Projects/Posts/Series from the Past.

My 30.30.30 [30 Days, 30 Pieces/posts, 30 minutes each] activities have previously been posted on my blog and on my facebook page. The most recent one I did in September 2015 is available HERE, April 2015 started HERE: 
 
April 2014 I alternated between painting and drawing HERE andHERE
January 2014 ~ 30 Day Art Journal Project HERE
September 2013 was a daily Mandala Project (which grew and ended up in my 2013 Show, “A Round Now In A Square Time” with artist & friend, Allison Midgley) That project startsHERE
The Show is HERE

Day 2~ November is Art Every Day Month

Hand made paper & skeleton leaf collage
Found these with my bonzai maples when I was getting ready to tuck them in for winter.

An avid nature lover, hiker, and  gardener when Arachnoiditis entered my life; I had to find a way to keep those healing practices around me. So, I created my own indigenous Bonzai Garden.

See [Downsizing to Bonzai.]

This year as I prepared the roots for the winter season, I came across these two perfectly tiny fully intact miniature leaves that struck me being so charming I must find some way to preserve them.  I decided they would be quite lovely mounted on some of my own home made paper. Here is a photo of them drying on my art table.

Digital Collage of Indigenous Bonzai Roots
Indigenous Bonzai Roots ~ A Photo from my garden

Saying goodbye to the shining days of summer; I often battle with melancholy as winter approaches. It is a great comfort to know that each season this is a manageable and enjoyable task that allows me to get my hands into the earth before the ground freezes. This process helps me remember the beauty of the closing season with gratitude and to feel prepared for whatever winter will bring.

NOTES FROM AEDM 2015 DAY 1

I have decided to participate in Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month Challenge during the Month of November. For the first time, as I do this 30 day challenge, I will be posting my progress HERE for arachnoiditis survivors and advocates.

I hope you will join me for this creative journey. If you are an Arachnoiditis Survivor creating any art during the series that you would like to share with The Art For Arachnoiditis Project feel free to do so in the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Facebook page, share links in the comments below, or submit the work for use in YEAR 2 of the Survivors’ Art Exhibit. (Accepting Entries until Feb 15, 2016.) Although the Art By Survivors’ exhibit is open only to the Survivors; other creative minded individuals are invited to share in all of the other places.

SUBSCRIBE to get the quarterly Art For Arachnoiditis Project Newsletter

WATCH VIDEO FROM OUR 2015 SURVIVORS’ ART EXHIBIT HERE

SHOP Awareness Art,Your purchase will benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Projects at the studio. These fair market prices are not tax-deductible purchases.or Make a tax-deductible contribution via our Fiscal Sponsor,  NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] Or by check payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Memo: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project mailed to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio, 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.

To submit original art to this catalog to benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Awareness Efforts. Send submissions with your signed Art In-Kind Form to sheilalynnk@yahoo.com subject line: Add My Art

This is the first time I will be doing daily art for The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. If you have never seen these posts before; you can get a better idea of what this is all about by checking out a A Few of my Similar Month-long Projects/Posts/Series from the Past.

My 30.30.30 [30 Days, 30 Pieces/posts, 30 minutes each] activities have previously been posted on my blog and on my facebook page. The most recent one I did in September 2015 is available HERE, April 2015 started HERE: 
 
April 2014 I alternated between painting and drawing HERE andHERE
January 2014 ~ 30 Day Art Journal Project HERE
September 2013 was a daily Mandala Project (which grew and ended up in my 2013 Show, “A Round Now In A Square Time” with artist & friend, Allison Midgley) That project startsHERE
The Show is HERE
October Snow

FALLING INTO WINTER

October Snow
October Snow; First Snow 2015 [Watch Video]
Although this first week of November is predicted to be somewhat warmer than the midweeks of October, even supposed to reach 70 on Tuesday; I KNOW that winter is fast approaching. Like other arachnoiditis survivors, my hibernal descent is likely to occur sooner rather than later.

I have learned from experience that making art can expand the confines of the interior space.

SO…drum roll please…..

I have decided to participate in Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month Challenge during the Month of November. For the first time, as I do this 30 day challenge, I will be posting my progress HERE for arachnoiditis survivors and advocates.

I hope you will join me for this creative journey. If you are an Arachnoiditis Survivor creating any art during the series that you would like to share with The Art For Arachnoiditis Project feel free to do so in the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Facebook page, share links in the comments below, or submit the work for use in YEAR 2 of the Survivors’ Art Exhibit. (Accepting Entries until Feb 15, 2016.) Although the Art By Survivors’ exhibit is open only to the Survivors; other creative minded individuals are invited to share in all of the other places.

SUBSCRIBE to get the quarterly Art For Arachnoiditis Project Newsletter

WATCH VIDEO FROM OUR 2015 SURVIVORS’ ART EXHIBIT HERE

SHOP Awareness Art,Your purchase will benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Projects at the studio. These fair market prices are not tax-deductible purchases.or Make a tax-deductible contribution via our Fiscal Sponsor,  NYFA [New York Foundation for the Arts] Or by check payable to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Memo: The Art For Arachnoiditis Project mailed to: SheilaLynnK Art Studio, 345 South Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.

To submit original art to this catalog to benefit the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Awareness Efforts. Send submissions with your signed Art In-Kind Form to sheilalynnk@yahoo.com subject line: Add My Art

This is the first time I will be doing daily art for The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. If you have never seen these posts before; you can get a better idea of what this is all about by checking out a A Few of my Similar Month-long Projects/Posts/Series from the Past.

My 30.30.30 [30 Days, 30 Pieces/posts, 30 minutes each] activities have previously been posted on my blog and on my facebook page. The most recent one I did in September 2015 is available HERE, April 2015 started HERE: 
April 2014 I alternated between painting and drawing HERE andHERE
January 2014 ~ 30 Day Art Journal Project HERE
September 2013 was a daily Mandala Project (which grew and ended up in my 2013 Show, “A Round Now In A Square Time” with artist & friend, Allison Midgley) That project starts HERE
The Show is HERE

Healing Art Activity #20~ Fortress for a Naked Thing

Very few things compare to the naked vulnerability which develops after that sense of violation that comes from being harmed by somebody we trust.  Arachnoiditis blows our  soul-fortress away.

“It’s … difficult to explain. It’s … it’s like … I think it’s as though everyone has a small place inside themselves, maybe, a private bit that they keep to themselves. It’s like a little fortress, where the most private part of you lives—maybe it’s your soul, maybe just that bit that makes you yourself and not anyone else.” His tongue probed his swollen lip unconsciously as he thought. “You don’t show that bit of yourself to anyone, usually, unless sometimes to someone that ye love greatly.” The hand relaxed, curling around my knee. Jamie’s eyes were closed again, lids sealed against the light. “Now it’s like….like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder—there’s nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree, and the little naked thing that lived there once is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear, tryin’ to hide itself under a blade of grass or a bit o’ leaf, but….but not….not makin’ m-much of a job of it.”~Diana Gabaldon  via her character, James Fraser, in Outlander, Chapter 36: MacRannoch – Page 760

Design for Frame 4 of Still Standing
Design for Frame 4 of Still Standing

Later, to Claire.… 
      “Yes?”
      “Ye know the fortress I told ye of, the one inside me?”
      “I remember.”
      He smiled without opening his eyes, and reached out a hand for me.
      “Well, I’ve a lean-to built, at least. And a roof to keep out the rain.” ~Diana Gabaldon via her character, James Fraser, in OutlanderChapter 62: Absolution – Page 832

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the photography & paper sculpture shadow box project that eventually became Still Standing  was the lean-to I was building for my naked soul.  ” Surrounded by these grief-ridden walls and painfully fettered to my limitations, each frame inside of that box is a pane of glass belonging to the window that the world tried to close against me. It is my window. Window to this soul and window to the world, I decide when it opens and when it closes. In the infamous words of G.W., “I am the decider.” ~Sheila L. Kalkbrenner, in Today is Friday, from Still Standing, Sometimes; the Art For Arachnoiditis Project Book.

Ask yourself, “What will give me shelter?” and while you are thinking about it remember, We, the community of Survivors, at the Art For Arachnoiditis Project will be your shelter because we KNOW and we are Right Beside You as you become your own comforting Angel. We will not go quietly.

For additional inspiration check out: Shelter Me ~ Joe Cocker, Shelter Me Lord~Tab Benoit,  Shelter Me ~Cinderella, Gimme Shelter~The Rolling Stones

I believe ART is the best Coping Mechanism

HEALING ART ACTIVITY #20 ~ in 3D, create a safe place for that naked, vulnerable version of yourself that was exposed when arachnoiditis became a part of your daily existence. A blade of grass, a bit of leaf, the materials are up to you.

Here are some suggestions, remember~ It doesn’t have to be a house. Your shelter can take on any form that feels appropriate to you made from materials that suit your creative comfort zone, physical abilities and resources.

Some Ideas and Materials you might try: Play-Doh, Salt Clay , Sculpey Clay, Try Paper: How to make an easy paper house, Make a house out of paper, Origami House , Pop-up House Try  Ginger Bread or Repurpose some Cardboard, Magazines or Phonebooks, Old Books

The individual definition of shelter and safety has an infinite variety of visual representations and imagery. What does YOUR safe place look like? I often have to remind myself that there is a fine line between confinement and shelter. So, in doing this activity in my mind I try to remember to create an opening, a crack for a window or a door with a latch that I can unlock to get out and open to permit others to come in.

Mixed Media drawing completed for the winner of the Multi-media house contest on the studio face book page. 2013
Mixed Media drawing completed for the winner of the Multi-media house contest on the studio face book page. 2013  The offer was to award the winner a mixed media drawing of his/her favorite architectural structure. The winner chose this one. It is a birdhouse built on family land in memory of her father.

After you complete your project, Submit your Registration Form if you would like to submit it for the Art For Arachnoiditis Project on-line Gallery. Updates on Calls for Entries by Arachnoiditis Survivors will be posted on Sheila Kalkbrenner’s Patreon Page.

 

 

 

 

Easy Art Activity #19 Fight, Flee, or FLOW

As I was working through Day 21 and Day 22 of  FLOW #30dayjournal project I accepted that Living Well with Arachnoiditis means developing a delicate balance between the decision to Fight or Flee.  My natural inclination is to FIGHT! against the injustice that allows arachnoiditis to occur…to FIGHT! against any threat to those I love…to FIGHT! against the arachnoiditis-related threats to my independence…

FIRST GENERAL ORDER OF THE U.S. ARMY:  “I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.” I am pretty sure that I believed this mantra even BEFORE I joined the Army. Active duty just made it stronger.

“Adjust to the object and you will find your way around or through it.”

Artwork by Zenpencils.com by artist Gavin Aung Than
Artwork by Zenpencils.com by artist Gavin Aung Than from Day 22

As I mature, I am beginning to realize that there are ways to “guard” the intangible valuables of our lives without active, physically and emotionally exhausting aggression. To Survive and Live Well we must choose our battles carefully. Save our resources for the battles that matter and fight at a pace that will NOT conquer our inner strength.

Apathy is the enemy of progress but, being geared toward constant combat will be the death of me. I can’t/won’t be the doormat under the boots of corruption but ammo explodes to its demise after its launched into the fray. The Happy Place lies somewhere in the middle.

Fighting for and maintaining my happiness and the happiness of those around me  must always be my priority. The other battles, although very important, are secondary and require a support team.

if you struggle with feeling good (~Lisa Sonora)
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”—  Elizabeth Gilbertfrom Eat, Pray, Love
Don’t give up. For the sake of happiness, be selective. Perhaps it is best to avoid the lonely fights that trap and bind us at the bottom of the ocean. Unite the forces which breathe life into our efforts. ~slk

“Ferdinand ran to the middle of the ring and everyone shouted and clapped because they thought he was going to fight fiercely and butt and snort and stick his horns around. But not Ferdinand. When he got to the middle of the ring he saw the flowers in all the lovely ladies’ hair and he just sat down quietly and smelled.”

Ferdinand Flowing in Flowers
Ferdinand Flowing in Flowers

ART ACTIVITY #19

Expanding on the FLOW suggestions from the Day 22 post,

Step 1: Reflect on the most difficult battle you are fighting today, this week, this month, this year.

Step 2: In your journal or on another surface, cut, paste, draw, paint a representation of this battle.

Step 3: Find the music that comforts you during this struggle.

Step 4: Listen to this music as you draw a symbol of yourself flowing peacefully in and around the structures and obstacles of this combat zone to come out the other side in one piece.

Fight, Flee, or FLOW
Fight, Flee, or FLOW (sample collage) ~ fighting from the Prone Position

The Playlist that FLOWS me through the battlefield today: 

Roll The Bones ~ Shakey Graves, Wildewoman ~ Lucius, In My Mind ~ Amanda Palmer, Little By Little ~ Fritz Kalkbrenner, Write Your Story ~ Francesca Battistelli, Garden ~ Mikaela Davis, 46 and 2 Tool Cover ~by School Kids, Wildlife ~ The Prickers, and the Original Music at SheilaLynnK Art Studio by Brian Decker.

No explanations. Just sharing. Wishing you all a low pain week.

Feel free to share your resulting images (without any explanations) here. Use the Registration Form if you would like an image of your work today to be included in the FIRST Art For Arachnoiditis Project Public Exhibit. CALL FOR ENTRIES ENDS Feb. 15, 2015.

Resources for Your Well-Being

COUNTING DOWN TO LIFT OFF! The Wellness Universe Website Launches Today!
Directory of Resources to Expand Your Well-Being

WELCOME TO THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE LAUNCH!

Efforts at the studio to contribute

to a better world have been recognized. 

Dedicated to the Wellness and Empowerment of Arachnoiditis Survivors, the Art For Arachnoiditis Project at SheilaLynnK Art Studio is an official Member of this Directory. 

At no cost to this charitable project, this directory makes the Art For Arachnoiditis Project and other valuable Wellness resources for Arachnoiditis Survivors available to survivors not currently subscribed to Facebook. 

The Wellness Universe.com website launches TODAY! 



What seems like a brilliant, keyword searchable catalog of pages in this online directory are far more than that. The actual people creating these pages come together to better the world through their individual efforts, as a whole….TheWellnessUniverse.com is a natural solution to search for content people want to see.” ~BBC Record London Soul Ventures Corps Launches Directory of Facebook Pages


“The Wellness Universe answers the need for an organized resource where the public can reference any topic related to wellness,” states Michelle Gould



Launching Today

Resources for your Well-Being,

www.TheWellnessUniverse.com 

Join us! Find Love, Support, Hope, Inspiration, Education from the BEST PAGES of Facebook. 

Wishing you Wellness in the year to come!