2020 Word of the Year: Focus

Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year.

Do you start out your year with a word of the year? I have been doing this for a few years now. Last year my word was determination. I was determined to get certain things accomplished. I did get some things finished and/or started some I did not. But that is not going to stop me. I think almost everyone fails to accomplish all the resolutions that they set out to do. The trick is to just begin again and focus. Hence my word for 2020, FOCUS.

I have been attempting to brainstorm how I wanted this post to go. Particularity since it is the first post of the year and what I hope is a new start to this blog.

One of the blogs I regularly follow is Pretty Neat Living. A couple of days ago I received an email from Jen that was explaining her new youtube video entitled New Years Goals and Reflections/2020. She talked about her word of the year, her past words, and the areas in which her word would be applied and how it would help her grow in the these areas. Her video gave me the inspiration I was looking for in reference to my own word of the year and the areas of my life I am going to focus on.

I have chosen 7 areas in which to focus on; creative, memories, writing/reading, finances, relationships, spiritual, and home. I chose 7 because I perceive 7 to be the perfect number. God created the earth and man in 6 days and rested on the 7th day thus creating the number 7. These areas are not in any special order.

AREAS

  1. Creative: In this area I want to focus more on this blog and my various art projects. As far as the blog goes I want to post at least twice a week this year. I also need to add some pages and work on some of the legal aspects of the blog. Many of my readers are aware of the many art and craft projects that I am continuously working on. My goal in this area is to participate in a vendor’s fair. This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
  2. Memories: Are you into paper of digital scrap booking? I used to scrapbook a lot. I have made paper scrapbooks for 2 of my children for presents as they got older. Maybe you are more into digital scrap booking. I have done these also for various family trips, granddaughter’s birthday, and grandchildren. I want to begin doing yearly photo books with the pictures I take throughout the year. My husband is always complaining that he never sees the pictures I take any more. It all takes planning and focus to stay on top of this goal.
  3. Reading/writing: I used to be an avid reader. I have never lost my love for reading; I just lost the time while I was working. Now that I have retired I have begun reading again. You will see the book reviews of the books I have been reading. I have also joined an online book club that my sister started. I not only like to the feel of the paper book, I enjoy reading books on my Kindle app and listening to books on Audible while commuting. One of the biggest goals I have had forever is to write a book. I have a partial story line, the first few pages and the title done. Now all I have to do is focus on getting it written. In order to help with this endeavor I have joined a writer’s guild at our local library.
  4. Finances: I recently retired so my income has dropped by 50%. This has made money a little tight, but not unmanageable. In order to help in this area I use several couponing apps and am constantly looking for sales. I have cut out all impulse buying.
  5. Relationships: I want to be more focused in fostering good relationships with those around me. My sister and I along with our husbands are planning on taking a cruise together. I am planning on patching a broken relationship with my brother.
  6. Spiritual: Currently my husband and I are attending a small country church on Sunday evenings. Although we feel very welcome there, neither of us are really involved in the church. I have not been involved in extra-curricular church activities, which I really miss. I need to begin my own daily devotions again also.
  7. Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year. I am currently decluttering and then I plan on organizing cabinets, closets, and my craft room/office. I have just today donated a trunk and back seat load of things. I have found a few more things that didn’t quite make it to the boxes.

These are the various areas I plan to focus on this year. A couple of years I composed a list of 101 thing to do in 1001 days. This was my 2nd list. I don’t get everything done on these lists but it has proven to offer a guide for life goals. Click here to read the entire list.

Acrylic Pours

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Acrylic Pours

I found this art technique on Pinterest when I was searching for art projects for my Special Education students. When I found these I then went to the various You Tube channels to watch various artists making their art. My next step before introducing it in the classroom was to attempt one of the paintings myself. I was hooked. These are such fun to make and I recently discovered a new product that can be made with the leftover paint. I will briefly touch on that at the end of this post.

I have learned a new art technique that I am totally in love with doing. It’s fun, messy, and most of the time, very pretty. It can be customized with any colors you like. And best of all, it’s hard to make a mistake.

Supplies needed:

  • Canvas: The size is optional. Just remember, the bigger the canvas, the more ingredients and paint you will need.
  • Sargent Art 22-8827 Pouring Medium Acrylic, 128 oz
  • Acrylic paint in your choice of colors.
  • Silicone (Click here): Acrylic Pour Oil for Art – 100% Pure Silicone – Large 6 oz. Size – Highest Grade – Magical Cell Forming Silicone Oil – Great Value
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic or rubber gloves: I used disposable gloves.
  • Craft sticks: You can use anything you have available to stir the paint. Just remember that whatever it is, it will be unusable after you finish your acrylic pour.
  • Measuring cup
  • Large thumb tacks or
    Hyde Tools 43510 Painters Pyramid (10 Pack), 1, Yellow
  • heat gun or kitchen torch

Measurements:

To accomplish this step, I use clear plastic cups although you could use type of small cup. I also use craft sticks to stir the paint after I have put in all ingredients. I use 2 oz. of the pouring medium, 2 oz. of paint color, and a few drops of the silicone pouring oil per color of paint that I will be using per canvas. I incorporate 3 to 4 colors into a painting within a single painting. This will adequately be enough paint to complete an 8 x 10 canvas. (With some left over paint for another project that I will explain later post.)

Directions:

Before beginning to pour the paint, you need to place your canvas on something that will elevate the canvas. At first I used extra large thumb tacks. The were just a little hard to remove from the canvas frame. Then I discovered the painters pyramids. These are available on Amazon.

After all paint has been mixed, I began this pour by pouring a little of the white onto the canvas. Then I chose the next color and poured it slowly into the middle of the white. It does not mix together, but layers the paint. I continued this pattern until I have used all of the colors.

You are now left with a colorful glob of paint on your canvas. At this point you can use the heat gun or kitchen torch to heat up the paint slightly. Be careful not to burn your paint or canvas. Only do this for a few minutes at the most. This will bring out “cells” throughout your painting.

Laying your heat source to the side, at this point it is advisable to wear some disposable gloves. You are going to get very messy. Take your canvas in your hands slowly tipping it back and forth to move the paint around the canvas. Make sure to let it drip over the edges creating a border. It is perfectly acceptable to pour more paint around the canvas in places that need more paint to cover the entire canvas.

It became obvious as I was maneuvering the paint around the canvas that I needed to add more paint.

As you maneuver the paint around the canvas make sure to cover the sides also. This is why it is advisable to wear disposable gloves. It does get very messy.

After the canvas is covered with the pattern you have coaxed it into making, place the canvas back onto the pyramids to dry. This may take 24 to 48 hours.

Have fun with your pours. I hope you will share yours with us.

Meet My Family

Boy, I have really been slacking. No posts since October. 2019 WILL be a better year for my blog and for me personally. Although I truly love my job as an Intervention Specialist (special ed teacher), I have just started on the last 5 months of my career. I will be retiring on Sept. 1 after having spent 25+ years in the classroom. I am really ready for this next phase of my life.

That being said, let’s get on with the topic at hand. As my readers my know I have previously introduced them to my oldest daughter, Amanda, and her family. I have also written about my youngest, the only son, Kelsey, in a two part introduction. First I introduced his family and then filled in readers about the chronic foot problems that Kelsey suffers from. I began with the introduction of my youngest daughter, Hilary, and her family.

I saved the introduction of my second child and second daughter until last because she has been in the midst of some major life changes. At last, the changes have been made and I am proud to introduce Breanna Lyne and her family. Breanna’s name takes on parts of my mother’s middle name Ann and her father’s name Lyne.

Breanna Lyne

Breanna lives the farthest away from us, but it is only a little over an hour’s drive. She resides with her long time boyfriend, Kevin.

Brea, as we call her, is finishing her training as an esthetician. You can view her work on her Instagram page at breanna.lyne.esthetics.

I now have a person in the family that can wax my eyebrows for free. A frugal win for me. She has also worked on her sister’s eyelash extensions. Brea is fantastic at her job.

This is the perfect career for her due to her background in art. She is a fabulous artist and is very creative. You can view some of her art on her Instagram at breanna_lyne.

Kevin is also very artistic. He owns and works at his own tattoo shop. You can see some of his work on Instagram also.

Breanna has one daughter who is currently working at an IHop. Savannah is a lovely, young lady with a bubbly personality. She graduated from high school a couple of years ago and is still trying to find a career path that fits her unique abilities and interests.

Both Brea and Savannah are animal lovers and have adopted three rescue dogs between them.

Savannah and Breanna

This completes the introduction of my large extended family. My husband and I currently have 4 children, 4 bonus children (spouses and boyfriends), 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-children. We get together frequently and it is always a blast.

Thank you for letting me introduce my family to you. I would love to meet your family.

I hope to see you back to hear more about the antics of my large, loving, and lunatic family.

My life verse.