Friday, January 30, 2009

My Latest Find...

Good Morning! Today I am up early making pies that have been promised to a dear lady we attend worship with. Today is her birthday and she and my hubby both are diabetic so I volunteered to happy them up by making them each one of my soon-to-be-famous diabetic pies. They're not too shabby, if I may say so myself. Sugar-free foods have come a long way in the past twenty years.

While I'm up I figured it would be a great time to share with you my new find...My much loved, (yes, already!), Art Journal Bag. Drum roll please...

CIMG6692 Taa Daa!!! Front view.

CIMG6698 And equally delightful rear view.

I found this little beauty made by ArtBin at our local art supply house. It was on sale AND I had a coupon. I practically stole it from them. Since I am always a sucker for organizational finds, this one really just took the cake! It was love at first sight. Being the diva I frequently am I ran this thing up to my local embroidery shop and took up way too much of the dear shop owner's time trying to decide how to personalize it. What you see here is the end result. I chose a cutesy/artsy 'G', (the initial of my surname) and she convinced me to add something to the back. I requested dandelions and she came up what you see in photo numero dos. There is some black stitching that doesn't show up too well but overall I am pleased with the end result. I just love this little bag. And it does so much more. Look:

CIMG6699 It came with the two plastic containers you see pictured here.

CIMG6701  CIMG6702 CIMG6703 The smaller of the two fits neatly into the front compartment of the bag. I have my pens, pencil, glue stick, markers, water brush, etc. tucked neatly inside. But wait, that's not all...

CIMG6708 There is a zippered compartment in the back side of the bag where I have things like my Colour shapers, scissors, dry adhesive, scraper, eraser, etc. stashed - with room for lots more. And there is more...

CIMG6706 CIMG6705 My journal fits perfectly in the larger container that came with this bag. Now there is no worry about it being banged about in my purse and there is room for growth when my journal swells from all the schtuff I typically cram it with. And I made an addition of my own...

CIMG6709 There is also a small slit pocket on the back of the bag and being the organizational guru I am - it looked lonely. I got it a friend.

CIMG6710 This gadget was originally intended to house photos.

CIMG6711 CIMG6712 Instead of photos I stuck a number of alphabet stencils in it and left room for things like magazine images or a photo or two or maybe even some ephemera I might just happen upon.  (You just never know - we have to be prepared for these sort of occurrences!)

CIMG6713 And this slips neatly into aforementioned little slit pocket.

CIMG6715 Top view. What a terrific find! These come in lots of different sizes, (I purchased the smallest version), and were on sale online, (by half!), at JoAnn' when I last looked. Now I feel as though I can take my art journaling anywhere, anytime. I'm big on that ya' know?!

Also, depending on what I am currently working on I can always remove a few markers and make room for my watercolor pencils or water-soluble oil pastels or just whatever suits my fancy at the time. Note: I typically do my backgrounds and add images, (mostly), while at home. This is why it works for me to carry mostly just writing/drawing tools with me - the other is done ahead of time. Using this setup I have even worked on my journal while out shopping or yard sale-ing, (never fear - I had hubby doing the driving!). Go ahead - take your journaling on the road - I told you you were gonna love this! (For those of you who are less enthused, please note, I did warn you of how it is the simple things that really bring me pleasure.)


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Get Your Thing-A-Ma-Bob Here

Just thought I would share with all you dear folks in Blog Land my latest brain storm. Some may consider this to be just a light Spring drizzle, but don't tell me. I am easily pleased and this little idea thrilled me when it occurred.

While visiting one of my sisters recently she was planning to throw a few things out that she had tired of shuffling around her house. I treat a visit to this particular sis as a shopping trip to the local Goodwill, minus the dust, smell & cost. Well, to be honest sometimes there is dust, sorry Loni. But the fact is just because she has decided to part with something in no way speaks to the value of said item(s).

Case in point:

CIMG6690 This little gem was destined for the garbage bin when I arrived. I could not allow that to occur. When I rescued this sweet, pink photo holder thingy it was still in the original box with its ribbons and tags intact as well as wrapped in a cellophane like envelope. Brand new I tell you and free! I just knew it had possibility.

So I thunk & I thunk and then the illumination finally made it over the horizon. This unassuming photo holder has now morphed into my very own handy dandy Portable Anytime Anywhere Enlightener/Reminder/Encourager Thing-A-Ma-Bob.

An explanation is in order here, I think. I take my journal everywhere with me and because of the bulk of it I have a carrier especially for this purpose. It stays in my car while I am out, ready for some impromptu journaling when I can squeeze it in. (See my next post-you're gonna love this! Keep in mind however the 'easily pleased' clause that applies to me.) I also have set a goal for myself this year for which I sometimes need a reminder or two or three. Some of the most helpful reminders available to me are entries in my journal.

Now we're getting somewhere:

CIMG6680  So I began by photographing some of my journal entries - just the ones that applied directly to the goals I am currently striving toward. I sent them to the Local WalMart photo lab for processing. I also included on the same side of my thingy my Anyway poem (see previous blog entry), my current contract with myself which clarifies why my goal is important, my Vision Board, my journal entry pertaining to my word for the year, a couple of encouraging images from the internet & my Daily Commandments.

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CIMG6686 I can carry this everywhere I go and always have my reminders at the ready when I am feeling weak or needy or just want a pick-me-up, (one that doesn't involve the word 'cappuccino').

CIMG6681 On the flip side I have photographic evidence of many of the reasons my goals matter, my life is worthwhile, and I am grateful to God.

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My most recent Karley photos, (being a Grammy is the best!), my dear husband Wayne & my precious daughter Jessie w/her hubby and my favorite son-in-law, William.

Now can you imagine anyone wanting to throw such a magnificent gadget into the trash? Not as long as I'm around and have an empty WalMart bag to carry it away in! Need some on the go inspiration? Go get you one! Fill it up with the encouragement you need to reach your goals. I've seen these things everywhere - I just didn't know I needed one at the time.

OOH, OOH more ideas - I can also see me including in this handy thingy a 4x6 of the current months calendar, my work schedule - maybe on the calendar, duh!, blank 4x6 index cards to write on for any reason that may present itself, OR I could journal on the index cards while on a lunch break and either include the cards in my bound journal later or store them separately in a file box, the cards could also be used as my daily food journal and stored in a file box later. Oh just take it and run with it...this was fun and useful. Maybe it will work for you too.

Until next time...Love.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Today I located a copy of a poem that I had carried with me for many years and used as a teaching tool on numerous occasions. Yeah! I thought it lost or thrown out never to be found again until recently. Perusing one of our local Goodwill shops for books and magazines about two weeks ago I happened upon a book that immediately grabbed my attention. This book was written based on my poem! The poem I found approximately 10-12 years prior was considered anonymously written and I accepted that to be the case, until now. And then tonight I stumbled upon a copy I had stashed in my studio and long ago forgotten. Serendipity!!! Granted, the poem is somewhat different than the information contained in the book but it is too close to be mere coincidence. I would like to share with you this poem that has remained close to my heart for a quarter of my life...



People are often unreasonable, illogical & self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends & some true enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest & frank, people may cheat you. Be honest & frank anyway.

What you spend years building someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.

If you find serenity & happiness they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have & it may never be enough. Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you & God. It never was between you & them Anyway.

This is my motto, mantra, walking orders - whatever label you place on it - this is what I live by. Always give your best & love. I am directly answerable to God for my behavior and being good just plain feels good.

Should you be interested in reading the book for yourself it is entitled "Anyway - The Paradoxical Commandments" by Kent M. Keith.

Good Night and Love to All...

I've been tagged...

Amy Long "tagged" me on Facebook but I am having terrible issues trying to get Facebook to cooperate recently. So in the spirit of keeping this going I gave up on Facebook and decided to respond here to Amy's tagging...

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (Part of the original instructions have been removed because they so not apply here in Blog Land.)

Here goes:

25 Random Things About Mikel Ann Goforth: (there's a good chance this could get real boring before I am through!) Read on oh faithful pilgrim, read on...

1. I LOVE people. Any people, weird people, fancy people, rich people, poor people, backward and country people, it matters not. In my heart I believe we are all very much alike and all need love. I almost never get through a store or outing without striking up a conversation with some soul just because...they might just need me and I might just need them.

2. Pink is my favorite color. Not hot, flamingo pink, (though that's a fun one, too), but baby girl, soft and beautiful pink. Something about this color reaches deep inside me.

3. My daughter and granddaughter have my heart in their hands. I love these girls beyond measure and beyond any measure of reason. They are my gifts directly from God.

4. My favorite beverage is tea. Hot Irish Breakfast tea in the morning with Splenda & cream, sipped from a fine china cup w/saucer. Iced tea any other time of day. In a tall glass, (no plastic, thank you), with lemon and Splenda.

5. I am a bibliophile. I have books everywhere. I read constantly. Nearly any topic, a lot of self-help, (I need all the help I can get!), fiction and anything in between.

6. I despise, (because my mother said we should never use the word 'hate'), television. It is beyond me to sit in front of a box and have someone, anyone instruct me on how or what I should think or even think about. Even when Hubby coerces me to watch a movie with him-I bring my current project or book into the room and work/read it while he pretends we are watching television together.

7. Art journaling is my new drug. It gives me a vent and fulfills a need to express myself that no other medium has come close to reaching.

8. I want to learn to draw. This is a lifelong quest. Until recently I believed it was an impossibility. My mind has been changed but I still lack the nerve to share my art with others-but I'm getting there-be on the look out, it's just a matter of time.

9. My weight has been a lifelong struggle that continues to this very day. A struggle that will end this year. I have a plan and am taking action to see it to fruition. This year I will reach and begin to maintain my healthy goal weight. Just wait and see.

10. I have a passion for words and their etymologies. You would be surprised at how our language has evolved and continues to evolve daily. Many of the words we use today hardly have the same meaning they did just a few years back. It intrigues me.

11. I enjoy photography but refuse to learn Photoshopping or any such program. I want it raw just as I saw it. Cropping is fine but altering just isn't for me. Call me a purist.

12. Nature always makes me happy. The beauty is everywhere-just look.

13. I have been blessed to be a missionary, in country, to the people of Rose Hall, Corentyne, Berbice, Guyana in South America, twice. It was a life altering experience and I plan to go back. Soon.

14. I never wear polish on my fingernails. I normally keep them trimmed short to keep them out of my way but I love having pedicures and leaving with hot pink, (remember the aforementioned flamingo color?) toenails. All is right with the world when the toenails are polished.

15. I am of German and Native American Indian descent and my bone structure makes this quite evident. There is no chance that I will ever resemble Twiggy or Barbie. It literally is not in my genes.

16. I have never colored my hair. This does not appeal to me.

17. I have a green thumb. I can grow nearly anything I set my mind to.

18. Organization thrills me though I never seem to quite get "there".

19. The telephone is a nightmare for me. For one, I 'talk' with my hands-try getting your point across over the phone, (or just holding on to the phone, for that matter), when you know they can't possibly understand you without seeing you. Secondly, I am a very visual person and not being able to see the face of the person with whom I am speaking, in effect, limits my ability to comprehend their meaning fully. Horror!

20. I enjoy planning and organizing and preparing to do projects more than the actual doing of it. I am process oriented, not so much outcome oriented.

21. My husband and I are both quite quirky and quaint. (And yes, these words have actually been used to describe us along with weird a time or three.) We don't mind. We like ourselves and our simple little life just fine. It's O.K. if you don't 'get' us - just love us!

22. Politics is beyond me. I am certain that our system made sense at one time but I fear we have strayed completely off course.

23. I dislike, (see Mother's admonition in #6 above), rainy, cold & overcast days. My soul needs sunshine-regularly. Winter is an awful time for me emotionally. I can conquer the world during the Spring and Summer months, though!

24. I spend too much time on the computer.  No, really...

25. I know God is in control and all things happen for a reason. It matters not that I usually cannot readily see the reasoning. God does and he is handling it.

Thank you Amy for a way to distract myself from housework for a time today and if anyone actually reads this, have a bit of mercy on me. Saying this was a struggle is an understatement - but it is what it is. Thanks for your support, lol! Until next time...Love.

From the Soul

On our Soul Journaling group dearest Kathryn Antyr keeps us supplied weekly with the most thought provoking prompts. First, let me admit to never being "caught up". I pick and choose and skip all over her great prompts intermingling them with my own stuff.  Applying them to my life and specific situations. Secondly, let me add that I always seem to re-interpret her wonderful ideas and interject my own - it's just my way.

Recently she has mentioned Vision Boards. This is a concept I began reading up on a few months ago but had yet to act on it. Kathryn and I were not reading the same books just books on the same subject matter. This is not a new concept-my book was printed nearly ten years ago. I cannot give an in depth view of the concept having not read the entire book but basically the idea is a matter of positive thinking combined with living with intent. (That is what I got from the portion of the book I actually read.)

You begin making your vision board by perusing magazines and such collecting images that speak to the future you would like to create for yourself. Once collected, you collage these images together and place the collage somewhere that you will view it often. If the law of attraction is on your side, you, by intentionally thinking about your goals and entertaining positive thinking toward that end draw into your life the stuff necessary to make your dreams come true.

I do believe our thoughts have a tremendous impact on our daily lives. The Bible states, "As a man thinketh, so is he." Phillipians 4:8 says, "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, any virtue, any praise...think on these things." I shortened this verse for the sake of time but the essence is there. God also expects us to plan well. He declares this principle in the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7 and in Matthew 25 in the parable of the ten virgins. Prepare and plan.

My reason for making clear my reasoning behind what I do is simple. I am a Christian and while many of the teachings of the day can steer us down the New Age/Metaphysical path, if you are willing to take the good and leave that which does not coincide with your beliefs - then you may learn a bit along the way.  The key is to be certain of what it is you have put your faith in and remain true to that. We obviously will not get to heaven by accident so living intentionally makes perfect sense as well. Plan the work and work the plan. Tried and true.

Here is my Vision Board:

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I sealed these pages and glittered them up so the glare made photographing these pages nearly impossible-sorry about how dark they turned out. I chose to put this into my journal, rather than on a separate board, so that I could have it with me regularly. In case you cannot read them, my goals on my vision board are thus: 1. See the beauty in the ordinary. 2. Grow closer everyday-to my mate. 3. Become my best self. Naturally. 4. Move toward mission work with God's help. 5. Appreciate nature. It is God's handiwork. 6. Strengthen female relationships. I wilt without them. 7. Create art. Now. And to do all this in such a way that it is elevated from the mundane to the sacred.

A recent prompt, also from Kathryn, with my 'spin' on it:

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I had to renew my driver's license earlier this month and was mildly shocked when I compared the two photos taken just four years apart. I did not like the changes. The extra weight I now carry changes my appearance so drastically that I do not even look like myself. Therefore, that has become the focus of this prompt for me. My journaling reads as follows:

RELEASE: I hereby release myself from the bondage of overeating, fast food, diet gimmicks, diet soda, inactivity, food as solace and negative thinking. These can no longer hold me back.

RECEIVE: I hereby receive unto myself authenticity, health, objective thinking, natural foods, daily exercise, food as sustenance, joy, peace and love. These shall make me the person I want to be.

More journal pages:

CIMG6668 CIMG6669

An unfinished entry:

CIMG6671 Just needs some journaling.

If you've made it this far...Thank you. My art is not always pretty and is sometimes too heavy for most but it is what is in my heart. My honesty, authenticity & love are really all I have to offer. It just doesn't fit into the mainstream of our society today, unfortunately. Until next time...Love.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sharing the Karley Love

Yesterday after running a few errands I decided to drive to the home of my daughter & son-in-law. They have been going through some big and exciting changes recently as well as making big plans for the future. Therefore hubby & I, haven't seen as much of them as we would like lately. I simply cannot go for very long without my Karley Anne fix! This child has a smile that absolutely lights up a room!!! Yes, without doubt I am as proud as a Grammy can get! Just thought I would share my beautiful little chickie...

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CIMG6632  CIMG6631 Karley is now walking very well and in constant motion, chattering happily all the while. Good, clear, posed photos are a thing of the past. But she is the most adorable, happy and loving child ever! She has our hearts wrapped tightly around her little fingers and chances are that will only worsen with time. Oh how we love this child! Isn't she beautiful?!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Journal Entry


January 20th, 2009 Inauguration Day for our new president...he has a tremendous job ahead of him!

CIMG6609 A layout to remind me of the affirmation I have chosen for this year. LOve, LovE, LoVe...always & in all ways, Love.

My New Glue Examples

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CIMG6599 So excited was I with the attributes of my new found glue, (see previous post), that I put together a few pages to share with you how wonderful it works. The top two photos are pages covered with napkins that were torn apart and glued down. The third is parts of a Bible I recovered from the Goodwill, tea stained and use in my art. The fourth is done using tissue paper and the fifth using an old sewing pattern. How cool is that? None of these pages show any signs of stickiness once dried and that makes for  perfect glue in my humble opinion!

Note: It is also a breeze to write over the glued pages. I tend to prefer permanent markers for their good writing quality and availability. They all write perfectly over my wonderful Elmer's Washable Clear School Glue.

More Art-In-A-Carton

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This is simply a teaser for Betsy, the dear lady who has sweetly agreed to be the recipient of my final Art-In-A-Carton box. I have recently completed the carton decoration. It was painted, decoupaged and then rubber stamped. Colored with markers for a bit of 'umph'. Very soon I will fill this carton and send it on with lots of love to Pennsylvania. Look out, Betsy!