Done? Oh No!

Done? Oh No!

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

So after you’ve been fired from a job you thought you could count on, what do you do?

First, cry your head off. Rejection hurts.

Second, write in your journal and sketch your jumbled thoughts and emotions on paper. Get it out of your system as soon as possible so the pain feels a little less painful each time you remember what happened.

Third, accept that you are on your own. You will always be self-employed even if you work for someone else. You can not depend on working for someone else to keep you earning money. If you are on disability and are allowed to earn money then this is very important to keep in mind. Give yourself a chance to have some independence even if you are living with your family, your significant other, or on your own.

Fourth, work on a project that you would sell as a self-employed person. If you are an artist, writer, musician or any other creative type of soul, do that. If you start new projects and drop them to finish old projects, then you have more ideas and some finished projects. It’s all right not to finish everything you start. Sometimes it takes awhile to finish something, and sometimes, it’s time to let a project go.

Fifth, share your work with people who like you and your work. And make sure they give you constructive criticism as well as praise on your work. It’s helpful to either find a group of like minded people in your field, or start a group. Being with other people who like you and who you like goes a long way to making the creative journey more joyful. It can be lonely sometimes, if you work from home.

Sixth, open up shop with quality items to sell. Don’t rush this! Start out with something good that is well made, well written, well sung and/or played. People will appreciate your hard work.

Seventh, promote your shop by telling your story and staying on the tight rope of hitting universal points that everyone lives and everything you think or feel is important that you’ve experienced. If you’ve been able to stay strong despite how uncomfortable you are, people want to know how you made mistakes and how you made your way to the place you are now, and would like to come to their own conclusions about how to live without too much editorializing. That’s resonance, a very important connection point for artists and patrons, writer’s and readers, and musicians and listeners.

I hope this helps you on your creative journey to self-employment. I have done all of these things. I even have made sales over the years when I first started working for myself years ago. Crafts, Art, and Writing. I’ve even written songs and people liked the lyrics, have not sold those yet...

The world does not owe you a thing, however if you create, then you make for the world, not just take from the world.

Wishing you good vibes,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Done? Oh No!
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Hello everyone,

I am writing a series of posts about Mixed Media. If you want to read my fresh take on Mixed Media you can go to my Tumblr Blog for extra insight on my Mixed Media Series. Fresh Reads about my mixed media art post Thursdayish on Tumblr.

This post is about the technique of how to combine Watercolor Pencil and Crayon to form an abstract work of art that has depth and meaning.

Materials used: Crayola Crayons, Fantasia Watercolor Pencils, Thin Small Paint Brush, Elmer's Purple Disappearing Glue Stick, Water, Cup for Water, Stylus, Mixed Media Paper.

To the right is a picture showing the two mediums on their own and combined. In my opinion, mixed media adds depth to a piece of art. Watercolor Pencil and Crayon on their own are not bad, but together they are dynamic...

Techniques for to make this study:

-Hold Pencil like a knife to color areas. Color Down the page Vertically.

- Lay each color next to one another, then use paint brush dipped in water to wash over the pencil. 

 Let paper dry completely before adding Crayon.

Add Crayon once paper is dry. 

Crayon can be layered upon itself by coloring one on top of another. Crayon can burnish crayons, A stylus can burnish crayons by rubbing the ballpoint on the crayon and smudging the colors together. Glue can be applied with the stick, then a brush dipped in water can wash over the glue and crayon. It lets the crayon run a little bit like watercolor, yet leaves thick and thin marks behind. I like the disappearing purple glue because you can see where the glue is placed so you don't put too much glue on the art work. In fact, water can even be used alone for some outline effects. 

When all the crayons you would like to use are added, seal the art with glue, Then wash over the piece with the brush.

Now it's time to decide what this art is...

Turned sideways, to me, it looks like an landscape of ocean under a sky with some grass and sand.
I call it "The Islands Ahead" I've signed it in Watercolor Pencil. I signed my name as the glue was drying on part of the paper.

I'm curious to know what you think of combining these two media together.
Do you find combining these media together add depth and meaning to art work?

Until next time on Art Beat wishing you some peace and joy,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Watercolor Pencil and Crayon: Abstract Mixed Media Study
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Pig-Out And Portion: Triple Your Take-Out!

Pig-Out and Portion: Triple Your Take-Out

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

If you are committed to losing weight to get healthier like I am, you may have some things that you do that are habits that block you from losing weight. They can also keep you from saving money and splurging with the rest.

Ordering Take-Out from a Chinese Restaurant is something that I enjoy doing with my family. We sit and watch TV, usually MSNBC, and eat our meal.

Sure, there are times where I will order something with lots of vegetables, such as chicken with broccoli, beef with string beans, or a rainbow dish, Chicken or Beef mixed with a blend of different vegetables. I enjoy those dishes, sometimes though, I want something really indulgent. Something with Meat that has a sweet sauce, like Boneless BBQ Ribs.

I ordered a dish a couple weeks back and here is the strategy I used so that it lasts longer, and I don’t feel deprived.

Below is a sketch Infographic that I drew to explain how I was able to Save and Splurge on Chinese Take-Out. I will go over the steps here in the article.

Step 1: Order food from your favorite Chinese Restaurant.

Step 2: Take out your main dish, side dish, I had pork fried rice, and appetizer and place as much as you like on the plate. I usually take half of what is there in each take out container. It’s a personal choice, take as much or as little as you’d like, but take enough that you know you won’t feel deprived after eating.

Step 3: You may have an appetizer that just had one piece. In this example, I’ve got an Egg Roll. If you’ve got just one, eat it at the meal! If you’ve got more then one, take one, and save the rest in a separate container from the main and side dishes and eat them as a snack at another time. Be sure to put the container in the fridge!

Step 4: After you finish eating, take the main dish and split it in 2 parts, and take the side dish and split it into 2 parts.

Step 5: If there is sauce, drain the sauce from the meat. Only save the meat. The sauce has lots of calories that are fun to splurge on once in awhile, but if you are committed to losing weight, then let the sauce go.

Step 6: Grab two containers to place the food in. I use Ball Jars and Plastic Lids made for Ball Jars. Place the rice in first and then place the meat without the sauce in on top of the rice. Close each jar with a plastic Lid.

Step 7: This is important. Place one jar in the freezer and one in the Fridge. This way if you’re short of money and you want take out, you have Chinese food in the Freezer. Eat the one in the Fridge sooner, within 3 days after being placed there.

Suggestion: If you want to make your leftover portions bigger, open up a can of vegetables and take some out and mix it in with the leftover food when you are about to heat it up again. Don’t put the vegetables in the containers uncooked, The are better fresh out of the can. You can also buy frozen vegetables and cook them and add them to the dish. Either way works.

And remember, you don’t want to forget desert! A Fortune Cookie is a great way to end the meal.
I hope this helps you save and splurge on one of your favorite indulgences. And remember, the example I used is a once in a while dish that I used as an example. Even if the dish you order is healthier, you can still use the same method to save the food. Drain the sauce then too.

Until next time my friends,
Wishing you health and happiness,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Pig-Out and Portion: Triple Your Take-Out
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

What’s your favorite Indulgent Chinese Take Out Dish? What healthier Chinese Take Out Dishes do you like?

When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

Copyright 2017 by Jessica B. Hensley 

And The Hook Flew Away From The Needles.
Crayon on Mixed Media Paper.
6.5"x 8.5" (this file is a .png file to load better on the web).
 Jessica B. Hensley aka Sketchwriterjess

There are days when I believe the people in my life who tell me, "You'll be fine." And there are days I think back to when I was first diagnosed Bipolar and even my doctor said, "Don't worry you won't be in Section 8 Housing." I think sure...and then I think of the day I met someone at a Crochet meetup who said "Oh you're not so bad, my Grandson has Bipolar and (Another condition I don't remember)." What is this? A contest to see who has "Serious Bipolar" and "Bipolar Light"?

I doubt all of them. Surely they are missing some information about me. 

'I may be fine now, but one day I may not'. I think this many times now as I recover from my mental illness.

When I started blogging years ago, I wasn't diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the time and I held myself together on the outside, but then inside I broke and I wrote during this break so lots of things only made sense to me. Only I loved too deep. Only I got hurt. And the only way I would survive was by my becoming undone.

It wasn't until I first got diagnosed that I began to see past myself. My parents helped me. Doctor's helped me. I opened my heart again. Sure, there were some obstacles, however recovery has always been where I've gone when I felt I could take no more beating from living and taking and thinking. I gave so much, yet it was never enough. Even at my worst I had inner peace deep inside me though.

Recovery is a term that is used in different ways, yet one that stands out to me is addiction. I was addicted to challenge and still am. I make things harder on myself, it's my nature. 

I'm uncomfortable. It's the best way to describe how I feel everyday. So, I make myself comfortable in some way, everyday. Sometimes I make myself some coffee and I sit down and draw with Crayons on Mixed Media Paper.

When I draw with crayons I reach a place that feels like I'm in another dimension. There is no time, there is just the sun and the moon.

A friend showed me a surreal collage she did and it got me thinking. Surrealism is a great way to safely break from reality.

So now, when doubt creeps in, when I think I'm not good enough or when I just feel like I want things to change, I do something that isn't guided by fixed times or days. I do something to do something. Also known as Art for Art's Sake.

One more note:

Mental Illness is not an easy thing to talk about or explain. It's something people think will magically go away if people choose never to talk about it.

How I deal with life is due to having caring people around me who I love dearly. What people with mental illness need is love and support and a safe way to deal with life when it gets too pressured. I'm very lucky I have art and supportive friends and family who allow me to be there for them too.

I hope that anyone who is having a day where they feel extreme stress reads this. If it's not coffee and crayons, then it's something else safe to make you comfortable. 

There is nothing wrong with comfort. Life isn't supposed to be easy, however life isn't supposed to be oppressive either.

Wishing the my country, the United States of America, and the world, peace and thoughtful reflection,


When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

 Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Just Two Coupons Can Help You Save On A Month's Worth Of Groceries!

Just Two Coupons Can Help You Save On A Month's Worth of Groceries! 

by Jessica B. Hensley, Jess aka Sketchwriterjess for "Savings and Splurges"

All graphics are pictures I have taken and have varied the colors and shapes in a photo editing program. I hope I did justice to the brands in the photos. I love the brands discussed in this post and I wanted to infuse my artistic vibe into them...

If you are in a situation where you need to budget your money because if you don't you may not have much money buy anything at the end of the month. I have a solution that might just make budgeting a little easier to stick too.

For this week's post about how I saved and splurged, this time at the grocery store, I am writing about shopping with coupons.

This is the first time I've ever shopped with coupons with purpose. In the past, I just cut out coupons once and awhile, saved a little money and thought nothing of it. Now, I need to think about how I spend my money. There are lots of things going on right now that are going to throw me off my game if I don't keep my eye on the prize, i.e. being self-employed.

So without further ado, let me tell you my solution for saving money on one of my favorite snacks. 

I have been making some changes in my eating habits due to health reasons and knew that I couldn't stay on a healthy eating plan if I didn't have some snacks to eat. The one snack that I absolutely love is cereal. I like the healthier versions. Some have a little sugar, however many times I just buy the original flavors.

So I found a couple of coupons for two brands that I enjoy buying for my snacks. They each had a buy x number of boxes, get one for y dollars off.

I had other coupons for other things, but I felt that this was the best purchase at the time. These were manufacturers coupons so they could be used anywhere that had these products.
What I found was that the coupons said that I could buy whatever size I wanted and still save money on my purchase.

I realized that if I buy in bulk, even though I'm paying more for the amount of products, I'm saving money because I am buying the biggest sizes and it's something that I eat all the time. I felt like the purchase was right for me.

Though I saved money, I still wanted something extra, something else that felt indulgent.

Enter the soda fixin's. I bought some syrups that are usually put in alcoholic drinks. Plus one for water. Who says that any of these need to go into an alcoholic drink! Yes I still drink, not often, but it's not something I should be doing too much so I've got the next best thing. Custom soda.  Mix syrup/sweetener with seltzer or club soda!

I don't use the serving amount listed on the bottle because some of them do contain sugar. If you are a type 1 diabetic, artificial water flavoring is best, even type 2 should use sparingly. So, as a type 2 diabetic, I use about a 1/2 tsp total of each part I put in. Some have more calories then others. I usually only use one or two parts.

I'm going to build up my stock of artificial sweeteners for flavoring water so I don't drink sugary drinks every day. Right now I've got one water flavoring.

So, buying these extra soda fixin's did bring my total up, however I didn't buy them all at once. I already had some purchased. Yet they will last at least a month if not more.

I may even make some into ice cubes so they are extra fresh, the sugar syrups, not the water flavoring. The water flavoring does not need to be refrigerated.

Yes, I splurged a bit, but I saved by buying something that I know won't go to waste. In fact there are so many times I've bought something on sale only to have it sit in the cabinet or fridge to expire barely used. To me, that is where so much money is lost these days.

I hope this article gave you something to chew on and drink up. For the record, I eat cereal dry with my hands. People think its funny, I don't know why they think it's so funny, it can be eaten dry like pretzels or potato chips.

Here is one last photo that I altered to really bring this home...

I was so excited when I got these that I bagged up my first box into plastic zip bags and had eaten a big bowl already. All this budgeting stuff makes me hungry.

Until the next time I write about my Savings and Splurges. Have a good one!

Jess aka "Sketchwriterjess".

P.S. If you learned something from this article, I'd appreciate it if you go to any of my social media pages and share this article. It's not just about me, I think this can help many people.

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Jessica B. Hensley

Jessica B. Hensley
I've got Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Psychic Abilities:

Hello everyone,

This blog is a place to read about one person's experience with Bipolar Life and it's obstacles. It is also a place to get information about surviving and thriving with a mental illness.

Not only do I make art and craft, I write and do Tarot Readings for the General Audience.
I discovered I have psychic abilities once I stopped drinking alcohol. Champagne? Not just yet ; ).

My hope is that you get inspired to put yourself out there into the world. It's scary to do so. It always is, but it's the only way to make progress towards having any quality of life.

Take Care and Blessings.