Come Back As A Flower

Come Back As A Flower
Mixed Media Self-Portrait (Sculpted clay mask, fabric & digital illustration)


Dreams are important to me.  And my dream for me in 2012 is to get healthy and make pottery.  I want to get healthy to make pottery, and making pottery will help me get healthy.  My inability to handle stress is a big part of my problem.  I know what works but haven't always done it because I put circumstances above my need to be creative.  Then I get caught up in the time consuming drama of the circumstances.  This leaves no time and energy for my own creative endeavors.  I get frustrated, over-whelmed and restless, which causes me to pack up and move to some where else.  Not having a sense of belonging makes it difficult for me to feel settled and grounded.

Of all the places I've lived, I now find myself living in the one place on planet earth that I dislike the most.  It's like I've danced around the circle to get back to the beginning.  To the place where it all went wrong and my life got derailed.  God is giving me a second change to begin anew.  It's up to me to demonstrate my faith where the rubber meets the road.  It's up to me to show that I truly believe that God is in control even though it looks like my life is a complete failure.  It's up to me to have a heart full of joy, happiness and enthusiasm while living in social isolation -- cut off from everything that stimulates me.

I'm completely helpless, and broken like the dry shards of unfired pottery that's been tossed about in a violent storm.  I'm thankful for the warm refreshing rain of salvation, grace and mercy abundantly available through Jesus Christ.  With Gods help, the extra ordinary is possible.  I can get rid of diabetes and be restored to a healthy weight in spite of the pain and heart ache that got me to this place.

Dream Page Background
PROCESS: Journal pages 2 and 3 are two pages glued together using PVA with Methyl Cellulose.  Waxed paper was used in front of and behind to keep glue from spreading in journal.  Pages were smoothed with a bone folder.  Pages were allowed to dry overnight.  In stage one, tissue paper was torn and attached to pages using matte medium.  Why tissue paper and why these colors?  Because I dream of the view of the blue waters on the Outer Banks and the changing sky over the blue mountains at Penland.

Who Am I? The Beginning

Pictures of Me on Music
Starting over is never easy.  It's the hardest part of the transformation process because it requires that I let go of yesterday and thoughts of "could of, should of".  Knowing that I've done my best under the circumstances.  I'm not perfect, and yes, I've made mistakes.  Letting go of my mistakes and forgiving myself is hard but necessary if I want to shed the pain that caused me to get fat. 

I'm standing on the promise that no matter how it looks God is in control.  Not me and not the circumstances of my life.  And definitely not the people who have hurt me or been mean to me for no reason other than they could.  The world is a cruel place, and my suffering makes me a better human being -- more caring, more compassionate, more loving, more understanding, more passionate, more appreciative...  It's not my failures that define me, but my ability to keep trying.

PROCESS: Today's journal page is two pages glued together using PVA with Methyl Cellulose.  After pages dried overnight, copes of music were attached with same glue.  Waxed paper was used in front of and behind facing pages.  Taped pages to table to keep glue from spreading.  Smoothed image with a bone folder.  Let page dry overnight.  Printed my pictures on coated paper using laser printer.  Picture glued and music coated using matte medium. I'm using a bound journal.

Change Is Coming

Journal Inside Cover
HOW IT ALL BEGAN:   At the beginning of this academic year, I started teaching visual journaling to middle school art majors as an arts integrated unit combining art and language arts.  It was a way for my students to explore personal expression using mixed media and writing in a two-dimensional journal format.  They would you verbs and adjectives to describe their personality and feelings, both good and bad, along with dreams, goals and hopes.  My goal was to provide a vehicle for students to learn how to give visual descriptions to life experiences, even painful ones.  Well the rest is history … my students and I are now visually journaling our journey.

MY JOURNEY:  2012 is a year of change for me!  This year brings the outward transformation that started in a rocking chair on the porch of the Craft House at Penland School of Crafts on July 18, 2008.  A star had just peaked through to herald the night.  As I watched the moon rise in it's fullness, the transformation of my life was about to begin.  Oh! What a journey it has become!


This blog will chronicle my outward transformation to change my life through Bariatric Surgery.  I’m leaving “bread crumbs” for myself to remember where and how it all began through the process of visual journaling.  I’m also leaving “bread crumbs” for others, the way I wish someone had left for me by sharing this blog.  The decision to have Bariatric Surgery is not an easy one.  I’ve struggled for years asking if it is right for me. 

I know beyond a shadow of doubt that all things are possible in the name of my Friend, Lord, Savior and Christ, Jesus.  I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me clear directions as to what to do, and to give me the strength of character to walk it out in obedience.  I’m finding the courage to reach out for help at Southern Surgical in Greenville, NC.  It’s ironic because I lost control of my weight from circumstances while living in Greenville.    It’s not going to be an easy trek, for me this is like preparing to climb Mt. Everest.  But with God all things are possible, and my goal is to climb my mountain and to reach its summit healthier and wiser that I am today.  Welcome to my visual journal showing how art can transform a life!