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30 Drawings of Mandalas

Drawing Challenge

This challenge is to doodle 30 mandalas. Why, you ask? Just for fun, and to get myself focused on art and creativity again.

I am working out of a hardback sketch book, 8″ x 11″ using a black pen and crayons, color pencils or gel pens. This is something I can do before I go to sleep. Resting my legs under my weighted blanket after a long day. With my work schedule, taking care of my pets and resting my body, I won’t be able to finish these in 30 days. The outcome will be having 30 doodle mandalas.

I started drawing this evening. Here is my rheumatoid arthritis hand. Swollen, puffy and joints are in pain from all the drawing.

The completed drawing will be posted later…

Happy Day

Caroline

art studio · art therapy · autoimmune · etsy · gluten free · rheumatoid arthritis

Where am I? What am I drinking?

If you have been following this blog, you would know I have had some intense times living in my townhouse community.

I was ready to move 2 weeks ago, then it hit me, the financial issue of another 30 year loan as I am wanting to quit counseling in the near future. So I decided to stay at my house and update the bathroom and kitchen.

Those hostile neighbors need to just get over it.

Anyway, the tension, fatigue, uneaseness about life caused a huge amount of swelling from rheumatoid arthritis. But my eating habits have been anything less desired.

When I first found out I had a gluten intolerance and dairy and soy intolerance, my diet change over night. Seriously, over night.

I was told to drink bone broth daily. And eat anti-inflammatory foods.

You know where I’m going…

The stress of being on the HOA board and my job got to my mental health…I wasn’t eating healthy. I was just eating.

I went to the kitchen tonight and got bone broth out, warmed it and poured it in a cup. As I write this blog, I am sipping it. It’s really not that bad it’s kind of tasty.

Afterwards I’m going to have some watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew with water. My acupuncturist who I haven’t seen in a several months, told me to eat foods that release water retention.

This evening I have been knitting the shawl which is really an oversized scarf.

Tomorrow my plan is to drink bone broth in the morning as I did in the past. It filled me up in the morning where I was not hungry. I will then bring green tea to work.

If I snack I’m going to be bringing one of my gluten-free snacks or dried fruits with me to work. And since I might not be able to get lunch tomorrow as my car will finally get work done I will have a salad with vegetables and fruit for late lunch/dinner.

I think being back on this diet with bone broth everyday will help decrease the swelling from the rheumatoid arthritis. It will help the swelling from edema and it most likely will help me not feel so tired. Lately the chronic fatigue has been the worst since I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance dairy intolerance and soy intolerance.

It has been proven by scientists and medical providers that stress causes autoimmune to flare. I have no doubt about the proof of that as I live with it daily. I am hoping getting back on track with my diet and lifestyle change will put me in a better mood and help me lose the water retention.

And then maybe I will feel ready to get back into making more art and doing yoga daily. I want to feel happy about my life.

Happy day

Caroline

Etsy shop https://4pawsartstudio.etsy.com

autoimmune · etsy · rheumatoid arthritis

Gluten free chicken meatballs

Something new to post A new recipe at 4pawsartstudio….

Since I began the gluten free, dairy free, and soy free lifestyle it’s been slightly challenging to make some changes.

For instance, dairy free sour cream yuck, but Kite Hill is the best one.

Dairy free cream cheese, I’m still looking.

Bread? Everyone on gluten free diet knows bread is irreplaceable. Canyon is the best and can be found at target and whole foods. But there’s others that can be bought through their website which I have not tried. But heard they have less sugar and more healthier and actually tastes like bread.

Back to the gluten free, dairy free chicken meatballs..

I used a recipe from Pinterest and converted it to gluten free and dairy free products.

Here’s the recipe

1 pound ground chicken-or turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

1/2 cup dairy free parmesan

2 tablestoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

additional seasoning-Italian seasoning

combine all ingredients and mix together. Roll into small balls. I made this in a crockpot. Put the setting on high, spray crockpot with olive oil, add dairy free butter to the bottom of the pan-a few small slices, add about 1 tablespoon of water to the crockpot before placing the meatballs in it. Cook for about 3 hours. stir halfway through to prevent from burning and sticking, may need to add additional water to the crockpot.

I made a salad with these meatballs. I do not care for gluten free pasta. Having an Autoimmune illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis, I need to eat mostly anything that will help flush out the fluid my body retains.

Salad recipe:

green leaf lettuce

mixed salad greens

dandelion

green onion

apple cut in cubes

lemon salad dressing

mix together and enjoy

Reminder: 4pawsartstudio has art and knitting products for sale on Etsy.

https://4pawsartstudio.etsy.com

Happy Day

Caroline

art · art journal · art studio · art therapy · meditation · yoga

A Day of Rest

Today is my day off of work. I’m in need of a little rest. Unfortunately, the late afternoon I will need to go to the store. Have to look for sheds and a tree to plant.

Morning, I take my time getting up. Feed the cats and dog. Take the dog for a little walk. Have my hot tea with Goji berries in it (helps immune system and fights inflammation). Sometimes a few knitting stitches might get done. Sometimes I’ll lay down again.

Then off to my studio where I have my yoga mat. Usually a 15 minute yoga practice for the morning is my choice. Just enough to wake my body up.

After a walk with my dog, I’ll make a smoothie.

This morning a fruit smoothie sounded delicious.

When I buy fresh fruits, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and bananas, sometimes I’ll put them in the freezer to save before they spoil.

(bananas need to be cut in small slices, set on a cookie sheet and put in freezer for a few hours or overnight. Then transfer to a freezer bag.)

Fruit smoothie

  • 2/3 cup of frozen berries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1/2 cup or more pineapple juice

Put all in the blender. Pour in a glass. Enjoy.

Today is the start of me using a water bottle with times on it. It helps to remember to drink water throughout the day and ensures you get the amount you need.

I have Edema in my legs. The swelling and inflammation is causing it. The blood tests do not show it’s from other organs complicating anything. Unfortunately I hold onto water fluid especially in the summer. But it’s the entire year I have this. I wear compression socks in the fall and winter. But it’s too hot in the spring and summer to wear them. Part of the problem with Edema is water fluid is from actually not having enough water, so the body holds onto it. (Unless you have congested heart disease etc) please I’m not a doctor so follow what your doctor’s recommends.

Here’s my water bottle.

I spent some time in the studio this morning. All the 8″x8″ canvases has the first coat of paint on it.

It’s lunch time… I’m not very hungry. Lunch will consist of rice cakes-salt free, peanut butter, banana , and water

I ended up with a headache. Could be a sign of a storm coming.

I’m now on the sofa, going to take a nap. And do some knitting for the remainder of the day.

I took out frozen gluten free barbeque chicken I made a few weeks ago…that will be dinner with a salad.

Just never know when chronic illness and rheumatoid arthritis changes things on you.

Happy Day

Caroline

art · art journal · art studio · art therapy

Wednesday Night by the Light

Oh my! Was today a long tedious emotional day! These are the days I do not like as a counselor. The needs are growing, especially with a panic of uncertainty with covid. Stress and the unknown of what will come in our mid-west town. As a counselor I have understanding of their fears and worries about another year of covid concerns and worries of a lockdown. As me, a person, I just don’t know what to say anymore to anyone. I feel desensitized to Everything!

I finished the documentation for today’s sessions. Answered a few questions and closed my computer and said no more of work until Friday.

After feeding the pets, as I call the 4paws, I ate dinner and honestly it had no taste…not the no taste covid gives. But the no taste as I’m exhausted and burned out. Then I thought, oh no what would happen if we have another lockdown!? Last year I was beyond busy. I certainly cannot take another year of that. I don’t mind working from home, in fact that’s what I eventually want to do. But it’s the amount of needs and the exhaustion it caused me. By the way counselors are the unspoken heros during covid or any crisis…we hear and see it all, and we tend to be forgotten in how we are taking care of everyone during covid.

At this point I was done for the day, in my PJs and in the studio. I finished my paintings and they should be ready to be posted on Etsy soon.

I started two paintings, put the first layer. As I was painting it hit me my back started hurting and my hand wasn’t able to do what I wanted. That means my energy is low and my fingers are tired. I had to finish up for the night.

Before I closed up the studio, I prepared a few canvases to be painted.

Now I’m laying down with the weighted blanket and might do some knitting. But I’m thinking sleep might be better.

Stress from my job, rheumatoid arthritis flared and edema becomes too much for me…I accomplished enough for tonight.

Happy evening

Caroline

art · art journal · art studio · knitting

Flower #9 Underwater Bloom

Today was a day of seeing clients by video, making a good meal and starting a new knitting project… I’ll post that later.

Yesterday I finished the headband. It looks amazing. There’s a matching scarf. (Not pictured)

This evening I spent time outside. I have a brick wall around my home that needs to be repaired. My gate is rusty too. It is a project on my list. So much for earlier retirement… wouldn’t that be a dream?!

I decided this evening to do yoga, the weather cooled and my upstairs is decent to be in. (My air conditioner guy never came yesterday to inspect my air conditioner-I’m not happy) It was nice to relax and stretch my legs. They get swollen when walking and standing. I was on my feet for over an hour, then walked my dog. My feet hurt and it was difficult to finish the mini walk. Having edema and rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue really is harder than people realize.

So after yoga, which I did floor stretches, I spent an hour painting. My hand is unsteady. Not sure why, might be the fatigue. My accupuncturist does a finger test and pull on my fingers and I have no strength to keep my fingers touching. He says that’s a sign of low energy.

Look at my new cat…he likes to get on the yoga mat with me. He’s a good cat.

Hope you enjoy this painting. I might add more to it later.

Happy day

Caroline