The prompt for Week 3 is You Make Me Smile. I really didn’t use art to express what I wanted to. Instead I spent a bit of time writing about the things that made me smile. I could seriously sit there and write pages and pages of things that make me smile. Life can be very difficult at times. But, there are still things that I can smile about.
Work has been crazy lately. I’ve been working long hours and it seems as though it’s been non-stop for months. In thinking about it in more detail, I honestly haven’t slowed down since November 2013. I’m really hoping that after this cycle the long hours will lessen.
I started working on an art journal and I added a photography class to my list. And you would think that this is just adding on to my work. It might actually be adding work. But, the art journal and focusing on things that I like or enjoy, almost makes it feel as though it’s not work. It’s more relaxing. I find myself not thinking about the stresses and allow myself to take my focus elsewhere. Which helps a great deal.
I have a stabilized decoction and a salve to make over the weekend. My eye started to develop eczema. So, I’ll be making a salve to help with that issue. The decoction is to continue my allergy treatment. I’m working with my nutritionist / master herbalist on my congestion. In conjunction with my allergist. This right now is priority for my health. Progress has been really good. But, I still have a lot to work through. I definitely wasn’t expecting that I would feel any relief from the congestion, especially considering how long I’ve dealt with my allergies and asthma. I knew it would take sometime and wasn’t expecting quick results. But, after a week, my congestion started to go away. I am still congested, just not as bad. It took about 3 years to get myself better with asthma and allergies in general, I know this too will take some time. I’m in no rush. My body is healing.
The journal prompt for Week 2 is Somewhere, Some Place Simple. I had thought about what that means. And I may have taken it slightly out of context, but for me, I had to think as to what this place would be. I have a few places that I like to go venture to. A place where I will go. But, those places aren’t always so easily accessible. So, where is the simple place that I always go to. And it’s my heart. The past several years I’ve done a lot of reflecting. Part of that reflection was learning to love and accept myself. To do this, I had to turn within. I had to find my truth, to listen to what my spirit was saying. To hear without judgement, to accept. There is no other place, than my heart, where I can find simplicity in truth.
I’m still working on the not being so critical. And I’m finding myself adjusting to what I make. It’s definitely not as filled as my other artwork from before. It’s coming out with very little embellishment. I’m not sure if I like it completely. But, it’s me settling in to find my hand again. To find how I work with the mediums and relearn how I want to express myself. I’m not using or doing the same things I’ve done in the past. Those felt a bit uncomfortable. Trying to see who I am now and how I express that through art. A little choppy, not as clean, not as refined or complete. But, I’m happy I’m learning a new way of expressing me.
I was wandering around the web and I stumbled upon Journal 52. It’s a free workshop hosted by Chelle Stein. Lucky me I finally found something to participate in that’s currently active. There will be 52 prompts for the year, which is about once a week. Or for me starting late and they’re already into the 21st week, it’s about 2 a week. I’ve been looking to getting myself back to working on some art. And this time, just allow myself to let go. Not be so critical. I’m not trying to be featured anywhere so I don’t need to try and be perfect. I’m not being judged in anyway. Well you can judge me, but I’m not putting myself in any type of competition where there’s pressure. I’m just going to allow this time to be fun. If you want to read more about the workshop you can go to “About” Journal 52.
Week 1 Prompt is called Up, Up and Away. For me the first thing that came to mind were bubbles. I love bubbles. And when I’m stressed I actually go blow bubbles instead of having a smoke. I’ve never smoked, but I think of this a way for me to release negativity, stress and anything that’s on my mind.
I have been a crazy coffee addict for a long time. I love coffee. Before Starbucks opened I could always be found at a local coffee shop. Equator in Pasadena, Ground Zero in Burbank (which no longer exists) or that one place in Melrose, which I can’t remember. But, coffee, I love it. When Starbucks started popping up all over the place, it was a love hate relationship. I loved that I could go to almost any corner and get a Starbucks coffee. Hated it cause I could go to almost any corner and get a Starbucks coffee. The little small coffee shops were starting to disappear. And honestly, as much as people love Starbucks, I’m not a fan of their coffee. It has a very burnt taste to it. I’ll take it if there’s nothing else around. But, I’ll prefer a little coffee shop compared to Starbucks any day. I have a higher possibility of getting coffee with a nice rich smooth flavor.
Because of Starbucks I have learned to love Mochas, Lattes and anything and everything sweet filled to mask the their coffee taste, but still get the coffee that helps me function. The past several years I’ve become more sensitive to milk. I don’t purchase coffee as often because of it. I almost completely forgot about drip coffee. So, I started purchasing that recently and it’s been a nice nostalgic trip. Reminds me of the coffee shop days, filled with time and spoken word.
But, then recently, a friend suggested an Americano. What’s an Americano, you say? Well that’s a few shots of espresso with hot water. Almost like a brewed cup of coffee, except richer in flavor. And you can add the amount of milk to your liking. Which is a perfect alternative for me and a new addiction. It’s now my go to. It’s left me wondering, why I never knew about this before?
There are a few great places in the Pasadena area to get a good cup of coffee. But, only a few places with better milk alternatives, other than soy.
Places that carry Almond Milk. (Would be nice if more coffee shops offered this option.)
- Amara Chocolate – Coffee + Chocolate = Heaven (updated to add that they have Almond Milk 11/22)
- The Market On Holly
- Espress Yourself Coffee Bar (in the Library try their Butternut Mocha!)
Other great Coffee Shops in Old Town Pasadena Area
- Equator (They have remade themselves into an Asian Fusion Restaurant. But, you can still get an awesome cup of coffee from them as well. Happy Hour is also great!)
- Copa Vida (They’re new and I’m still on the fence about them. I went there on Tuesday and got a mocha. Unfortunately, my cup had lots of coffee grounds in it along with something else that tasted really strange. It was all good till those little pieces of chewable strange bits were found. I’m hoping it was a bad day and I will try again)