Saturday, June 17, 2017

Unfinished: A Masterpiece

I participated in my first ever paint party, and I created an amazing painting. I am not an artist, but by following the instructions of my teacher, I created a beautiful piece. Each member of my class had the same materials and the same instructions. But each picture is unique. Scroll down, and you will see some of the steps I took to create this piece. But first some thoughts...

The final product. But it didn't start out this way.

I heard a song on the radio the other day. It reminds me, not  only of my faith journey, but of my journey to become Half a Julie.  It also made me think of the painting I had done. There were times when my picture did not look like it would ever be a masterpiece. But I trusted the one who was guiding me, and I kept going. If I had given up in the middle of the class, the painting would have been incomplete.

Here are some of the words (followed by a video with the lyrics).

No, my God's not done
Making me a masterpiece
He's still working on me
He started something good and I'm gonna believe it
He started something good and He's gonna complete it
So I'll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain't through
I'm just unfinished

"Unfinished" by Mandisa

The song is based on Phillipians 1:6.

Another verse I thought of was Ephesians 2:10. Last week my pastor spoke about this verse, and how we are God's masterpiece.  He had an empty picture frame, and he asked for volunteers to see themselves as God sees them. I stood and held the empty frame and declared, "I am His masterpiece."

Found this beautiful masterpiece at Art by Erin Leigh
Steps to creating a masterpiece:

1. Start with a  teacher who knows how to create a masterpiece.
My teacher (who started painting at 47--my age!)
2. Start with a blank canvas.
My friends and I all started with the same blank page.

3. Divide the canvas into manageable sections.
We "cut off" the corners first.

4. Begin adding details.
After drawing the stars, we outlined them in paint.

Then we filled in the sections around the stars.
5. Don't be afraid to start over.
I drew and erased the jar several times until I was happy with the design.
6. Use guide lines and boundaries.

I added the outlines for the bouquet and the red stripes.
7. Sometimes there will be places you can't see the line, but stay on the path.
Our teacher encouraged us to follow a strip all the way across, rather than complete the left side
and then go to the right side because it is too easy to get mixed up on the stripes.
8. You are not limited by the colors you start with--mix things up a bit!

For the jar, we mixed turquoise and white and used texturing. We used the edge of the brush to outline the  jar.
9. Sometimes the instructions will be unexpected and won't make sense. Just obey and wait.
When it was time to create the flowers we started with yellow circles.

Next we began outlining the flowers.
10. Sometimes the colors blend more than you expected, but it's okay.
Yellow + Blue = green. I didn't like it. But I kept going.
11. Fill in gaps.
We added extra flowers where there were holes.
12. Contrast helps with perspective.
We outlined stripes and the jar in black--and the stars in silver glitter.
14. Add extra details.
I added glittery stars and gold sparklers to the flowers.
15. Learn from people around you.
I didn't like how dark the flowers were, and I noticed a neighbor adding silver glitter to the flowers.
It was just the lightener I needed.
16. Realize that your masterpiece will be different than everyone else's, but it will be beautiful!
My co-workers and I with our unique masterpieces. All similar, but different. All beautiful!
17. Display your masterpiece!
I moved things around on my patriotic wall at work to fit the new painting in.

Onderland is a Beautiful Place!

Just over a month ago, I announced that I could see Onderland.  The last 4 weeks have been torture. I was about ready to throw out my scale. I was down to 201. Then I went up and down and up and down. As high as 207 and as low as 200.4. But I just could not cross that line. Until yesterday.  And today too. (I was afraid after all of the ups and downs I would be back over the line this morning.  But I wasn't!!)  And I was not just barely into Onderland (although I would have taken that!!) I was at 198.6! I made it with a pound to spare. I am now about 45 pounds away from my tentative goal of 153.2 (half a Julie).  As I get closer, I'll figure out where I want to stop.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I was a Middle Aged Volley Llama

Do something.  Anything. Just start moving and have fun.  That's what I did.

It all started with a question:
If I signed up for a team for the adult volleyball league, would any of you join me?

I responded,
If you'd like a middle aged Mama who hasn't played in 30 years--Sure! Sign me up! 
So she did!  We debated names, and a one point, I thing we were going to be the Volley Mamas, but we found out the teams are required to be co-ed.  So we became the Volley Llamas.  We were going to get cool shirts, but that didn't work out.  We were even going to color coordinate, but that didn't happen either.

We signed up a bunch of people, because we knew with our busy schedules, not everybody would make it the same night.  The first night, we had enough people to rotate (6 at a time). Tonight (final game) we had only 4 people. 

If you look closely at the group photo, you might notice some things.  (If you can't find me, I'm in yellow near the back left side).  
  • I am much older than the other players.  In fact, I'm old enough to be most of their moms.  It's true. I've been married 30 years. Most of them are under 30, and the others aren't much over 30.
  • I'm much bigger than (and more out of shape) than the others.  One of these Mamas even has a very young baby!! But I'm 100 pounds lighter than I was 4 years ago.
  • They are all really good players. (Okay, you can't see that from this picture).  I was never a very good player.  I was on the junior high school team, but I was never great. I enjoyed it though.
These guys are good. I mean really good!!

One night, I came home from the game and told my husband I was thinking about quitting.  I was feeling bad for dragging the team down. But I decided to follow through on my commitment.  My team members were encouraging and they never griped (at least out loud!) when I missed the ball. They cheered me on the few times I helped the ball get over the net.  One night I was feeling self-conscious because the workout pants I packed to change after work were a little more form-fitting than I realized.  One of my teammates complimented me on my pants.

Tonight was our final game. We only had 4 players.  Three really good players--and me.  Honestly, they might have won if I had stayed home. But I was part of the team.  I served a few times that we scored.  I even got a few balls over the net in rallies.  I missed a few (but so did some of the really good players).  We encouraged each other, and we had fun. And now the season is over.

I'm not sure if I will sign up next year. But I might sign up for something else.  I hear Roswell has a Roller Derby!?!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Some Before and After Pictures

Here is a collection of then and now shots.  

The first two are my starting picture (January 2013--306 pounds) and last week. Wearing the same pants and shirt.

These two use the same starting picture, but clothes that fit now.

I've had this Old Navy workout top for a while. I ran a race or two in it. Now I have more room.

The first picture was the tea in March and this past Monday night. More room in 2 months.

The first time I bought a workout shirt that is clings. It says, "Fearfully and wonderfully made". First picture was about 2 years ago.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Test: Setting up

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

100 pounds

I have some exciting news to share!!!

January 1, 2013, 306.4 pounds
May 2017, 206.2 pounds
100.2 pounds gone!

Can you tell? I'm just a little bit excited!! Onederland here I come!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Approaching some milestones

I'm getting close to some milestones. My weight this morning was 209.6 pounds.  That is 96.8 pounds less than where I started four year ago. When I started my BMI was 48, and I was morbidly obese. Now my BMI is 32.8, and I am obese. Fast approaching milestones:

Less than 20 pounds away!!

1. 100 pounds lost. --- 3.2 pounds away.

2. OnederLand---9.7 pounds away

3. Overweight (not obese) BMI--18.6 pounds away

A little further down the road, but getting closer:

4. Normal (not overweight) BMI--50.6 pounds away

5. Goal weight*: Half a Julie--56.4 pounds away.

* Honestly, I have no idea what my "final" weight will be. I have never been under 175 as an adult. I selected half of my starting weight. When I get closer, I will work with my doctor (and my body) to determine where I need to settle.