Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Are you neglecting yourself? Where is the Love? 10 tips to get back on track

Are you neglecting yourself?

How many times have you neglected yourself in the past month, have you stopped treating yourself with kindness?
I have been there, it creeps up on you, and you have to make some decisions about how to get yourself out of the heaviness. 

When I have lots of different things going on it can be easy to forget about self-care and nurturing, and when caring for my mother who is living with dementia I found that turning to creativity, my art journal and a few other tips help me put things into perspective.  This last few months for me have been a challenge, some good and some bad.

Mixed media art Journal
The journal page says 
"The gentle breeze, the birdsong, the still small voice reminded her to step out of the self imposed barriers......she was enough"  

You are enough, have value, are absolutely brilliant and more!  We often put up those comparison charts, the "Not good enough Chart", "Self sabotage Chart " and "the 'Throw away' negative comments made by other people that hurt" chart and we put the breaks on our moving forward.  Which one have you used on yourself?

We forget ourselves don't we? and before you know it you have this ache....When I am out of balance and without routine or any scheduled 'Me Time',then things that I would normally brush off get on top of me. I find that comments that people say play like a theme tune in my mind, I try to put out fires and it is almost like a bottle that gets full to the brim and then overflows (well that's how it sometimes feels).

The Neglect Effect

Neglect effect can showcase itself in different ways:
- lack of exercise, 
- not allowing yourself to have a break, 
- taking too much of a break, 
- not eating right, 
- not spending quality time with loved ones, 
- sabotaging your work, 
- comparing yourself to others, 
- feeling stuck
-  self doubt, 
TV series binge, 
-followed by the cake and ice cream you wouldn't normally eat, 
- self loathing that follows and then beating yourself up for the work you didn't get done while you were watching back-to-back series of something you really weren't at all interested in before.

I am sure that you can think of other ways - the list goes on.  The knock-on effect is that it impacts on our commitments and relationships.

Admit you have a problem

The First step is admitting that you have a problem and that the pain of staying how you are is worse than the pain that comes from change!

My name is Amanda, a Mixed media Artist, and I have been neglecting myself.  For one reason or the next I allowed things to slide, became overwhelmed at the amount of work that I needed to get done around my art, commitments, my blog and to top it all I am in the process of moving again!

New Temporary Studio space

The move itself had stresses of its own, but then I started to stress about where I would put every thing, this is the new temporary studio space which is half the size of my current studio.

Current Studio space

This is my current studio space. minus the strapping young man (I will do a post-move studio tour on my YouTube channel in the next couple of weeks), just where would I put every thing, stay on top of things I needed to get done and I found myself becoming inactive while continuing to internally stress-out, secretly hoping somehow someone else would sought everything out.  

At the end of the day you have to realize your worth and value and what really matters and make the move, make a decision and take action, shine your light and be good to yourself.  

Here are also some quick and easy solutions for you to try and to get back on track, there are obviously loads more, but these helped for me and I hope you find them useful if you need them.

Here are 10 Tips to tackle the self-neglect and give yourself more love

  1. Admit you have a problem - realizing that this neglect will be a problem if you allow it to continue you have to put in the right ingredients to ensure that you can turn things around. 
  2. You have a choice - If you do nothing you are still making a choice, you can choose to start making the most of the situation, what are the ways you can see the good things that you have going. 
  3. Take small regular actions - What small actions can you make that will eventually create the big change.  
  4. Acknowledge your achievements - keeping an achievements book is a way of looking back at how far you have come, and celebrating those achievements, and the impact that you may have made on another persons life.
  5. Eat right - Make sure that you are getting the right nutrition from your foods, and take supplements were necessary.  I firmly believe that food has an impact on our health and well-being, and it might be some small changes that you have to make.  Check out my Smoothie Recipes
  6. Clear up your mess - Tidy up, and declutter, start with a clean room - sometimes being around mess will hamper your productivity.
  7. Get Fit - When was the last time you got some exercise? Go for a walk - get out in nature, this helps refresh your ideas, and keeps you fit.
  8. Creative Challenge - I usually kick off with a creative challenge, that helps me focus on what I really want to have in my life, and creativity impacts on our health and well-being as well.
  9. Share/Give -  Think of the needs of someone else, what could you do to help their situation? why not see how you can give of your time or other resource to be a blessing to others.
  10. Love yourself - show some self love, think about the things that you enjoy, going for a walk, beach, swim, visit a gallery, work in a journal, learn a new skill, read a book, achieve a life long goal

Feed your mind - listen to encouraging and positive messages feed your mind and get a shift in perspective.

Gratitude's - what are you grateful for in your life that you have been taking for granted?

OK, now what are you waiting for, you don't have to wait until your feeling off to put some things in place, but start something today!

Stay blessed and be a blessing

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Celebrating Your Achievements - Filling your Well

Picking up my Art Awards

How often do you celebrate your achievements or do you brush them under the carpet?

It is important to regularly celebrate the achievements and accomplishments that you make, it doesn't have to be anything big or lavish, but needs to be noted, so that in those times of doubt you have something to look back on, or you can as it were 'dip into the well' to remind yourself.

Do you quietly allow those momentous occasions to pass you by with other people getting more excited than you?  Do you hope your achievements will gain the approval of others, not valuing the importance of stepping out and knowing your worth?

When I talk about celebrating your achievements there are so many different ways in which you can do it, and the important thing is that you do celebrate in some way to mark the occasion acknowledging the work that you put in to get to where you got.

We can get in the mode of achieving things but not acknowledging them because other people feel insecure,  or are you the sort of person who waits for affirmation from others, and don't recognize what you have done as an achievement.  

Blow your own trumpet!

Not everyone grows up being told how great they are, how much talent they have or that the world is indeed their oyster which means they can have anything their hearts desire.
You can't wait for someone to see your value you have to see it first within yourself.  Why not make something of the hard work that you have put in there are others who would be happy to celebrate alongside you and would be inspired.

I shared some of the recent success I had with some of my work in Barbados.

Angles Walk Among Us - Silver Award 

I received 3 awards (2 Bronze and 1 Silver) in the The National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Barbados for 3 Sculptures I created. I shared my successes HERE.  It was great to be part of the exhibition and there were many beautiful pieces of work on display, both professional, and emerging. 

Mixed media art Sculpture - The Dancer - Bronze Award
The Dancer, which received the NIFCA Bronze award was snapped up and made its way to a home in the UK.  I shared my achievements, wrote down the date and how I felt about it in my journal.

The Dancer - in her new UK home
 My work is available for viewing and sale on my website -  

So why not blow your own trumpet, even for a moment, look at what you have achieved, write it down and give thanks for a new day to achieve something else, and the fuel that keeps you going in those times of doubt when you look back and see how far you have come.  

What about you?  what have you done in your life that you have brushed under the carpet?  what can you celebrate be it big or small? And without knowing it you could be that spark and motivation that someone else needs to celebrate their achievements. 

Stay blessed and be a blessing!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

BADASS Art Journal Course - The Women they Became

This was a lovely class taught by Sharon Harkness-Dobler, and she showed us how she uses vintage photographs in some of her work.

I found these three images of children that I had and thought that I would use them.

I had applied some color to the page and added the images, then started to think about what the girls would be like all grown up.

They then began to share their story 

If you have time, perhaps one day I will share it with you

As they grew up they blossomed into beautiful women with a tale to tell, inspiring and successful, and they remained sisters and friends.

Remember if you would like to take an online class with me and a group of other artists then sign up in the side bar for some of the sessions.

Monday, 29 May 2017

BADASS Art Journal Course - Bloom

The session that Tiare did as part of the online Course BADASS Art Journal was great fun.  It is so amazing how you can add just a few simple colors, allow your imagination to run away and you can be so surprised by the results.

After adding the color I embellished mine with doodling.  It is such a relaxing pastime you have to try it if you haven't already.

When your involved in creative play there is so much power that comes from the activity.  It is a healing one that can be done at any time, not just with the arts but any other activity that allows you to let your creative sparks fly.

The sentiment used 'Bloom' for me is about not being afraid to shine your light, and grow in your creative pursuits, so go ahead and Bloom!

Stay blessed and be a blessing

Saturday, 27 May 2017

BADASS Art Journal Course - My Session on the Course

I am really pleased to share with you my lesson on the BADASS Art Journal course, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I wanted to show how you could use a surface that you may have not thought of using to create a piece that can be an encouragement while you do it.

I worked on a large playing card and wanted to create cards that you could use and write something that when you look at it on a later date you can be inspired and reminded of what you wanted to achieve.

I also wanted to use words that you could see that would provide instant encouragement.  You also have the different layers and textures that go to show us the many different areas of our lives that we work on.

It was also great to see what the students came up with, each beautiful in their own way and so unique.  

Here is a small selection of the students work, I will be sharing more at a later date.

 It is always great to see how students develop, grow and step out of their comfort zone to find that place where they will allow their creativity to fly.

I have another course that I will be teaching on called Hacking the Color Wheel.  It is split into two sessions and I will be teaching on the 2nd session.  You can purchase the sessions individually or buy a bundle, which is more economical, and you get to see all 14 teachers on the rest of the course.

Such a great line up of teachers!  

Click Here to find out more details

Thursday, 25 May 2017

London Calling - So much to do, so little time!

We are getting ready to see family and friends in London

We were visited by quite a few people over the past few months.  We started to get really home sick amidst the usual running around.

Mothers day treat with sister-in-law

quality time by the sea

Chilling out and connecting

Anyway I won't be taking my computer with me but phone so will be sharing on social media.  I will be sharing more on the blog when I get back.  I will be sharing some of the Art Journal Pages that I have been doing and hope that it gets you all creatively fired up to take some classes with me.  

There will be a lot going on over the next few months, new opportunities that I am bursting to share with you and some great connections to come.  

Check out my Realityarts Facebook page, or my Instagram page to see some of the stories of our trip to the UK coming up, and remember to keep on creating, stay blessed and be a blessing

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

BADASS Art Journal Page - All of Me....

Embracing all parts of me and surrounded by miracles - Art Journal Page

I found a couple of passports photos of myself recently and I was criticizing them because I felt that the man who took the picture could have done better.

I don't like throwing photos away unless they are blurry, so decided that I would incorporate them into a journal page.

As I began to think about what I didn't like about the photographs I realized that it wasn't the photo but my criticism was aimed at myself.  I decided that I needed to show myself some love.

What I started to remind myself was that I needed to embrace all the parts of me and focus on all the great parts, no one is perfect, we all have something we feel needs working on.

 Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the sessions that I have done, as we come to the end of the teaching.  

No one is perfect and we learn as we grow older that we have to give and take and apply a bit of grace in all circumstances.  Each one of us has a unique superpower, not one that may be recognized by the world but one that in a crisis comes into action for a friend in need.

When was the last time you showed up as a super hero in your own life and save yourself, and stop focusing on things you feel are not right?

Stay blessed and be a blessing.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Hacking the Color Wheel - I'm Teaching


I am so excited to share this with you, but I will be teaching on this course Hacking the Color Wheel, hosted by Kiala Givehand

There is an early bird discount and a two bundle offer.  The course is split into two sessions and I will be teaching in Session 2, coming out later this year.

I have shared more on my Mixed media Art site so mosey on over there if you would like to know a bit more.  Over the coming months I will be giving you some tasters, hints and tips how you can get your creative juices flowing and get the most out of my class.  I will also be doing a giveaway for those who are signed up to my mailing list for one spot in session 2, and loads of other goodies if your on the mailing list.

As ever looking forward to working with you and sharing some more exciting things that are in the pipeline.

Stay blessed and be a blessing!

Friday, 21 April 2017

One BADASS Art Journal Course - Week 6 - Your BADASS Sisterhood

Sisterhood, Joy, Hope, Grace and Faith

Welcome to today's Art Journal page for the One BADASS Art Journal Course. One of the things that I really like about the course is that despite being one of the teachers I can play along as well like one of the students.  Each teacher is bringing their own style and it is great to try out the techniques they use and see what elements of it that you might incorporate into your own way of creating.  Tiare brought this lesson, and I took elements of the session and added my own spice.

I like the simplicity of creating these characters, and I kept the colors simple as well, playing about with the background before finding the characters that wanted to be represented on the page.

Having a close circle of friends that you can call on is important and the next journal page brought to mind a friend who sadly passed away, and we had known each other from our teenage years.

Friendships in Time

We thought we would grow old seeing each others grandchildren, we were there for each other over the years - Barbara was a dear friend who told it like it is and always had your back.

She became the friend she wanted to have......

In loving my sisters I am reminded to love myself equally.  We can often forget ourselves in the mix of taking care of others, but we have to show ourselves love, understanding and patience.

We have to remember to listen and not break our promises to ourselves. It all starts and ends with love.

 She became the friend she wanted to have in her life and started to love herself.  Come back next week to see what I have done

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Being More Mindful - You can make a change


  • 1.the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something:"their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
  • 2.a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I see Me - Mixed media Art Journal Page - Amanda Trought

It is funny how the simple small things we do can get us taking action, and I had reached what felt like a slump - I knew what I wanted to do, but couldn't seem to move myself into taking action.  The feeling seem to linger and no matter what I tried nothing seem to work long term.

It only takes a slice of cake

After eating a slice of fruit cake one evening, I was met with the usual feelings of aching joints and lethargy which quickly followed by irritated skin.  I vowed not to eat anymore cake, I was done!  I thought of the pain I was feeling and I didn't want to feel it anymore, I wanted to finally take my decisions and life into my own hands.  My family looked at me with amusement as they had heard it all before, they said they would believe it when the see it, but this felt different.  I went further and told my son that if he were to see me eating cake he should rip it out of my hands, and then after thinking about how messy it would be I offered to pay him. My husband decided that he wanted to get in on what he saw as free money and they both rubbed their hands with glee mentally calculating how much they would make off me as I succumbed to the cake.  

I listened to their voices telling me that I couldn't do it and made a decision that I was going to do it, this time would be different!

Making the decision

They laughed and joked about it, but the way I was feeling I felt for sure that I would stick to it.  The more and more I thought about it I felt if I could give up cake then there were other habits that I wanted to address, it was more than just about the cake, and I was up for this challenge!  

After thinking about it for a while I realized that by paying them I was putting the responsibility of not eating cake onto them catching me.  Rather than punish myself for doing wrong I needed to celebrate looking after my body and getting on with the things I wanted to do.  I reasoned that if I really wanted to give up cake then I could, equally whatever other changes that I wanted to make I could put these in place as well.  It all had to do with a mindset change that I needed to just go for it!

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage - Anais Nin

Flipping the switch

A switch flipped and I immediately felt different about how I wanted to treat myself.  If I could change my mind about eating things that were physically affecting me then what else could I do.  I decided that I needed to really look after 'me' rather than just talking about it, but I also had to support myself by gaining wisdom from others who had achieved their goals, and also create a little cheer leading team for myself. 

Wisdom is like the baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it ...

When you are not feeling yourself other things are impacted as well, my creativity suffered the ideas that I would normally work on in my studio couldn't find me as I was dulled by inactivity and I really didn't feel like getting on with the very things that made me feel good or needed to get done.  

As I thought of all these things I knew that change and taking care of myself meant that I needed to really see who I was, wanted to be, do, and all the rest of it.

I SEE ME - Mixed media art
So my mindful acts are a way of getting to know myself, what I want to do, spend time doing the things that nurture and encourage, and included the following:

  • Daily morning walks
  • Getting to bed by 11.30pm - or as close to
  • Daily reading 15 mins minimum
  • Improve Diet -Wheat and dairy free diet, lots of fruit and veg and whole foods, no processed foods
  • Daily Art & Journal writing
  • Listening to motivational and inspiring daily recordings
  • Daily family time
  • End of day review and scheduling work and goals 
All of these things on the list are to get me kick started to change, and to achieve the things that I have been saying I don't have time for, and get me back to the me that I wanted.  When I focus on these things I am reminding myself that I do matter, that showing up for myself reaffirms my own value.

Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them - Hugh Miller

Making a Commitment

When I am feeling tired I remind myself that I made a commitment and that seems to propel me into action, I get my walking gear and within minutes I am out the door.  I have been constantly reminding myself that each action is about showing up for me, and the time is much better spent.  Even reading and committing to doing some reading every day means all the books that I have promising to read I can make time for them now because they are part of my schedule.

Every day that passes I am being shown new insights and ideas and I am learning to value the time that I do have and make the most of the things that I want to do, and celebrating my achievements!  We are all given the same amount of time it depends how we use it, and the value that we place on on our lives.  There is no replay button or do over, so we need to be getting on with these things today!

Walking in your blessings.....

I would love to hear about any changes that you have decided to make in your day to day activities, 
What is it that you have always wanted to do but convinced yourself that you don't have time?
What ways are you going to nurture yourself today?

Friday, 14 April 2017

One BADASS Art Journal Course - Week 5 - Late Night Conversations

Welcome to my interpretation of the class led by Cristin Stephenson in the BADASS Art Journal Class.  For this class as with the others I did 3 pages, one double spread and then two that came after that could either follow the same theme that I had worked with in the main page or be totally different.

Magic at midnight
For my main page below I started out with random shapes on the page, then as I thought about the late night conversations the song 'Dancing in the Moonlight' by Thin Lizzy came to mind

That connection with the moon, the music, and the sea also came in as well.  My characters that came out on the page seem to want to go on an adventure, perhaps a Thelma and Louise type of adventure in a car on a raft on the ocean with the music blazing...and free.... who knows

Adventure awaits

Some times you have to take that leap of faith, not knowing how everything is going to work out.  Some times we prevent ourselves from doing things because of fear. It is either we fear failing or we fear changing and things working out so we don't fit in our neat little boxes.  Fear to laugh and be yourself, fear to say yes to something or no.

Follow your dreams

Listening to a speaker called Lisa Nicols she was talking about her life and saying that fear can paralyze you and that you should use it instead as your fuel to get you to where you want to go.  We can sometimes fear using a particular art material, or fear that creative play because of what might reveal about you.  You can put anything in there that you might be feeling fearful about, and think about what the worse that could happen.

It is time to let go, step out, step into but make that change!  This page then came out of all of that, she chose to step out and be who she knew she could be, she stepped out and is 'Dancing' as well, not worried who might be looking or that 'its always been done this way' or about anything else that could get in the way.

Come join me next Friday and see how I interpreted the next lesson

Friday, 7 April 2017

One BADASS Art Journal Workshop Week 4 - Creating and Using Painted Papers

In week 4 of the course we looked at creating and using your own painted pages which was led by Effy Wild.  I love creating pages and find that they don't normally last long in my studio, as I always find faces emerging out of them and end up painting them.  I decided to do my own thing for this lesson.  You can see last weeks session HERE

I treated the page as if I were creating a background page with different elements, shapes and colors.  I then kept adding different layers which sometimes covered up the layer below or allowed them to show through.  This is a technique that you can get using tissue paper on a page, the underlying image will come through.

The more layers added the more it began to mimic my feeling of being surrounded by things that needed to find a home. I had to force myself to stop as I kept adding doodling and crowding it out, then covering it with paint and then going again.

Sometimes my mind be like.....and then I need to tidy up
On the first side of the main page I then drew a group of 4 simple figures.  It was almost as a way of  clearing up, and expressing aspects of my creative process, purposely not going into any detail but keeping it as plain as possible.

The many sides - keeping it simple
It then became more about an expression of the me I wanted to see.  How is it that you see yourself within your journal, do you express yourself freely or are you hiding something even from yourself.  The art journal for me can hold answers, but you got to let go of your perception of what you think others will want to see.

I see You Me

All of the pages for me are all linked and are about expression and the different forms it can take.  The way I create using many different mediums and styles seems to feed my desire to create.  I find working with different mediums suits me and the impatience I sometimes feel, there doesn't have to be the one thing there is always something I want to create, or try, and Mixed media art enables me to explore as many as I choose.

Again the style is kept very simple, but the textures and the colors ones that I find interesting.  If you are following along with the lessons, perhaps you can try putting changing something and seeing where it takes you.  You don't have to do each lesson just once, you can do it as many times as you wish and with different mediums.  Come back next week Friday to see how I worked with the next lesson.

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