Monday, March 12, 2007

Resurrected from the black hole

OK, I know every thinks I fell down a black hole... and maybe I did, of sorts. Anyway, I've crawled out! I'm trying to think where I left off! I think it was just about when our church's 24/7 week of prayer was starting! Well, The time of prayer was so amazing and affected so many in such an indescribable way, that instead of it being a week of non-stop prayer, it turned into TWO!!!! We had 14 days of prayer going on 24 hours a day! It was a powerful time. Out of the 14 days, I was there 12 of the 14 days either setting up, tearing down after it was over, making coffee and setting up refreshments during the second week, replacing candles, straightening things up at various interactive stations, or just having my own prayer time. The response from our body has been overwhelming and I've heard God specifically telling me to "get the prayer room ready". See, we have a very small room off of the sanctuary designated as the "prayer room" but up until this point, it wasn't really being utilized for it's purpose and besides that, it needs help! It's ...well... how do I say this? In a couple of words, ugly and uninviting. The atmosphere in the room feels more like an office rather than a safe haven to sit in God's presence. But that will be changing pretty quickly. And it was so encouraging yesterday at church when another girl from the prayer team came to me and said, "I'm getting a strong sense of God saying we need to get the prayer room ready."! I squealed,"Me too!!!!" So, the ball will start rolling. First, and foremost, there needs to be a paint party with a warm color to create a calm feel. Right now, white just isn't cutting it. Bleh! I've been asked to help with Vacation Bible School for the 5th/6th graders again this year and gosh, it was soooo fun last year. But I've prayed about it and am still not getting a clear answer from God so I think I just need to wait. I won't commit until I'm sure. I jsut know that right now, I need to take some leadership and responsibility to get the prayer room ready for people to really use it for prayer!

Chuck is leaving for Texas tonight on business and will be gone a few days. I'm always incredibly productive with projects when he's gone! I don't know why that is. More than anything, I'm so very thankful that he's finally got a good deal going with work. God always takes care of us but going over 6 months with no income has had us, let's say, a little nervous.

I've been doing a MAJOR studio clean out over the past couple of weeks. I mean MAJOR!!! I"m being very brave and posting my "before" pictures. Scary huh? I'm going through every single drawer, box, basket of stuff. I'm handling every single piece of paper, testing every pen for ink, etc... I can't believe how much stuff I have accumulated over the past few years! I'm having to really look at what I have and take into account whether or not each thing will fit into the direction which I see my art going. If not, it goes. My best bud, Fran, gave me sets of clear plastic drawers, sort of like iris carts. I have organized all my paper stuff into drawers by color families and type. Fran came over last Monday and helped me go through all my fabric. You guys, I had 9, yes, that's NINE 12 gal. plastic bins of nothing but fabric!!!!! With Fran's help and direction... and believe me, I needed it, I weeded out a couple of large trash bags full of fabric I don't think I will use, Fran took some, and I'm still trying to pawn the rest off on someone! What was left was organized by types of fabric. My obsession with small scraps is scary. I think I scared Fran! :) I organized those by color families and put them into ziplock bags. However, I know myself way too well to know there's no way on earth I'll keep them that way. I love plundering through them. So, I got some plastic shoe boxes that will fit down into the plastic bin. I'll put each color family into it's own little box. That way, they are still separated but I'm not having to dig through a stupid plastic bag!

Since I share my studio space with my boys play area, I rearranged and organized their side too. I know I have gotten a ton of stuff done out here but I swear my stuff is breeding at night and has babies by morning! It seems I'll never finish. I WILL finish this week! I am DYING to do art again! I feel art starved!

Over the weekend, I literally sat down and went through a huge stack of books I had purchased at a thrift store. They are called American Heritage books published back in the 70's. They are only about an inch thick and on the larger size. The pages in the book are at least 8-1/2 x 11, maybe bigger. Anyway, I had purchased these strictly to cut apart because they are full of great images. However, they were literally taking up an entire drawer in a filing cabinet when stood on end! So, I thought that realistically, I won't be using these so I sat down and gutted every book. The covers of many looked like they'd never been handled. They are in great condition. I love reconstructing books so I'll use the covers to make new books. AS for the contents, I went through and took out the pages with images and put the text pages in the recycle bin. I will be donating boxes of ephemera, 3-d embellishment stuff, assemblage stuff, etc... to the Unraveling room at Art Unraveled. For those of you who don't know about ArtUnraveled, it is an art retreat held here in Phoenix every year. This year it starts August 5. Artists from around the country come to teach as well as learn! You simply MUST check out the classes offered this year! Here's the website: . I'll be taking 2 all day classes with Katie Kendrick. I can't wait to meet her! We have become friends online over the past couple of years and I own a few pieces of her art. She mades the most fabulous art dolls on the planet! I'm happy to have one sitting on my shelf! I'll also be taking an assemblage class with Michael De Meng. I took a class with him 2 years ago and really, really enjoyed it. He's a fantastic teacher and just all around nice guy.

Last week was a very interesting and exhausting week. I went over to my mom's house after Bible Study on Tuesday and about 15 minutes before I had to leave to pick my boys up from school, my mom started acting strange. She was very confused. Her memory wasn't right. I got very concerned and got my step-dad and had him come talk to her. We both quickly became alarmed. When I left to get my boys, he dragged her into the car and took her to ER. Once I got my boys home, Chuck happened to be home so I ran back out the door to the hospital. My mom completely lost her short term memory... and I mean, from one minute to the next. She spent the next 8 hours asking the same EXACT questions over and over and over and over and over.... with no memory whatsoever that she had just asked the question or gotten an answer. And she had no memory of anything earlier that day or the day before. It was very weird, scary, and frustrating. By the next day, she was "back to normal" however, Tuesday just got completely erased from her memory. She still doesn't remember my being at her house that day, nothing we talked about... not a thing. Anyway, she was in the hospital all week having every test done that was imaginable. I dropped kids off at school every morning and spent all my free time at the hospital until it was time to pick up kids. I'd then run errands, take care of kids, try to keep up with my house, which I failed at completely, and then passed out from exhaustion by 8:30 every night. I don't remember when I have been so tired. And gosh, how much coffee can a person drink a day before it becomes lethal? After a while, it just didn't work anyway. Dealing with the Dr.'s was incredibly frustrating because the first one was a blankety-blank-blank... you can fill it in with the worst words available that aren't in my vocabulary. He was quickly "disposed of". Dr. #2 was ok but then his opinions weren't exactly in line with those of the neurologist. It just got frustrating trying to figure out who to believe. The overall diagnosis, however, was unanimous. My suffered from something called Transient Global Amnesia. I'd never heard of it but there's lots of info with a Google search. The doctors had differing opinions as to whether some of her medications may have played a part or not. I was not at the hospital on Friday when the Dr. came in so I could badger him further before he released mom. I still don't quite understand their thoughts behind some things that transpired and I think mom just didn't care what they said at that point other than, "you are free to go home." That may not be true but some very pertinant questions didn't get addressed... but that's just my opinion. Anyway, I get frustrated every time I think about it. I pray it never happens again. It scares me most to think of it happening when she's out alone or when my boys are with her. I think that for quite a while, at least, they can only be at her house when Fred is with them too. So, the weekend was spent trying to catch up on my house, time with my boys, and sleep.

OK, time to stop writing and get back to my studio cleaning. I'll post my after photos hopefully by the end of the week!!!!


Joanne Huffman said...

Oh my goodness, Angie. When you catch up, you really catch up. Your messy studio is still tidier than mine. The week into two weeks of prayer sounds like a very rewarding experience. Good luck to your mother in her recovery.

Lorri Scott said...

Thank you for posting the pics. I admit my room is worse but I had visions of most people being a lot tidier and this makes me feel a little better about my mess.

christygrant said...

Hey, Ang, each thing you get rid of or each small section you organize is a step in the right direction. Edison had hundreds if not thousands of attemps before he found the right thing to make a filament for the light bulb that worked and he didn't give up.

I'm right there with ya. I need to re-organize. I'm also clearing out things I've decided I won't use and sharing with my niece, a brand new altered artist so it's not being wasted.

That's cool about the prayer room message. I'm sure the room will be great. I want to hear how it turns out.

linda t said...

Wow! Your Mom has been in my thoughts and prayers... wondered what they found out... how scarey!
What a week! Girl, you take care of yourself and get some time to relax and create!
Really enjoyed reading your post.
Btw, my craft room looks just as bad... I am going to do what you have been doing TODAY! PURGE! Wish me luck!
I am sooo easily overwhelmed... so I pray I press on to the end!

Susan C. said...

Oh my! It looks almost as messy as mine did before I cleaned it up. Doesn't it feel good to have everything all neat and in order again?