Author: designsbymistyblue

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

Growing up, I struggled with severe stomach pain. Doctors would say that I needed more fiber. Nothing seemed to help. It was miserable for me. I’d often go to the nurse’s office at school where she’d let me eat crackers and lay down. She just thought I was hungry. My mom even took me to the emergency room once and they had no idea what was causing my suffering.

Fast forward to my teen years when I was told I had endometriosis and cystic ovaries. I was told I’d probably never be able to have children. And again, more debilitating pain and suffering. Going up and down stairs at school became intolerable. Holding down a job became equally challenging when once a month I’d be in so much pain I couldn’t move and was bedridden. I also became intolerant to cleaning chemicals at work. I started coughing up blood.

I remember one teacher at school telling me I basically had to suck it up and carry on, that no one would help me. I know she was trying to help, in her own way, but it wasn’t helpful. It just made me realize that my illnesses were invisible. No one could see or feel them for themselves, so they couldn’t understand or believe me. It made me feel small and completely alone. There are days I still feel alone with it.

After having an ectopic pregnancy, that almost killed me, as a young adult, things snowballed. I was diagnosed with anemia. I started having dry mouth, heavy periods that would last a month or more, severe pain in my feet and hands, my hair started falling out, and more. It got so bad that I couldn’t lift a gallon of milk! I started to gain weight for no apparent reason. My diet hadn’t changed. Despite my pain, I was still trying to keep active.

Doctor’s had no clue as to what was happening. Medicines they prescribed did nothing to heal me or take away the pain. I learned to just suffer through and do my best every day. It’s all I could do.

One doctor, at the time, said I had fibromyalgia. But fibromyalgia was so new back then and after the medication she gave me did nothing for me, I thought she was full of it. I was in my early twenties. I didn’t get another opinion on that diagnosis. I just carried on the best I could.

Around the age of twenty five, I became pregnant with my son. I was so happy. My husband was worried the whole duration of the pregnancy. He thought we’d lose another child and that it could possibly even kill me. I developed toxemia and pulmonary edema (water on my lungs that was crushing my heart). I was extremely swollen and I couldn’t breathe and the hospital I went to said I had asthma. But, I didn’t. I was dying, but because it was the weekend, my doctor didn’t show up to the hospital and I languished for days, until he had me transferred to a different hospital on Monday. I was there a day before they decided to take my son early by cesarean. I recuperated in the hospital for a week after and my son stayed in NICU for two weeks.

Years and more suffering later, I had my thyroid removed because I had two lemon sized tumors on it that were causing me a great deal of pain. They found small traces of cancer, after it was all removed. I didn’t need chemo, though. I continued to gain weight and suffer from extreme fatigue and other odd symptoms, despite all my best efforts. And getting help with this was a long drawn out nightmare in of itself. Synthetic thyroid hormone replacement made me more sick. I had to demand/beg for natural thyroid hormone replacement and it helped. My energy went up and I stopped having chronic bronchitis.

A couple of years ago, I lost fifteen pounds right out of the blue. No idea why and doctors didn’t try to find out. They just congratulated me on the weight loss. During this time, I started to have heart fluttering and pains in my legs, numbness and tingling all over, and pains in my back. Then, my primary care doc told me I’d leave my son “motherless”, if I didn’t lose weight. By then, I’d lost thirty pounds, and despite feeling stronger and lighter, I started to feel worse. But, his support consisted only of him telling me to do a lapband surgery and to dismiss me completely. His comment kicked off my bought with medical PTSD. I started to believe everything I did was wrong and I was going to die and leave my son motherless. Eating healthy, weight training, cycling, and walking all weren’t good enough. That’s the message the doctor gave me. He placed the blame solely on me and didn’t care to investigate further. And while all this is happening, I got diagnosed with macular degeneration and was told I’ll go blind in ten years.

Then, last year, just before the pandemic hit, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist I had to schedule an appointment with myself because at this point, I was willing to try all sorts of specialists to get answers. My doctor should’ve recommended a rheumatologist years ago, but didn’t. He’d lose his cash cow, for lack of a better term, in my opinion. Maybe, I dunno. I can’t even begin to understand what drives a doctor to be so careless and abusive to his patients.

The newest diagnoses have been extremely difficult to deal with. I wanted to believe I had hope at a cure and returning back to a healthier, happier me. But now I know, there is no cure coming. And the medications to treat are as bad or worse than the condition itself. That’s the choice I have to make now. My first biologic injection (that I had to give myself at home) helped. I felt normal, until I didn’t. It caused my insides to feel like they were on fire and it caused me to be severely constipated. TMI, I know. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So, I had to stop it and now I’m waiting for approval of another biologic. I don’t have health insurance, so it makes fighting these illnesses that much harder. I’ve been waiting a couple of months now.

The rollercoaster of emotions has been almost as unbearable as the illness. This past year I’ve really had to take stock of what’s important to me and I’ve had a lot of time to think. So, I decided to put in the hard work of dealing with childhood trauma and the medical trauma I’ve suffered with most of my life and especially now as an adult.

I’ve done most of the research into trauma and how to heal on my own. Pinterest is a great place to find helpful articles, by the way! And I’ve been journaling. But I got to a point where I needed help from an outside source. And an art friend of mine who does therapy offered to help and her timing was perfect. With her guidance and knowledge, she’s helped given me the tools I need going forward. I’m incredibly grateful for her generosity and insight.

I honestly thought that when I left the abusive environment of my parent’s house, I’d be okay. And I thought I was. I was safe and I didn’t have to think about the bad things that happened to me anymore. But the truth is, your body remembers. Your subconscious remembers. And trauma can be linked to chronic illness, so I want to help myself as much as I can. That way, I can feel better. I figure the mental and emotional aspect would help the physical. And here I am. I know I’m doing the best I can. And I forgive the doctor. Not for him, but for me. The pain and anger were only hurting me and holding me down, so it was time to let it go.

The entire year in quarantine put a lot into perspective and I’m glad I’m putting in this inner work. It’s okay to feel emotions. Emotions are passing and they are trying to tell us something. We just have to listen and love them. We have to love ourselves and be kind and patient with ourselves. Creating my art helped me through this past year a great deal also. It was the best outlet for me. And it will continue to be, moving forward. As long as my body will allow.

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”

Here I am standing with a large 3d statue of a hand reaching out. I painstakingly hand painted it in an homage to Van Gogh. It’s named “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

A friend purchased this large statuette at Ross with the hopes of doing something special with it. She never got around to painting it, so she asked me to work some magic and my first thought was Van Gogh’s Starry Night. What could be more magical?!

Detail Photo Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by artist Misty Lemons of Designs By Misty Blue

I liked the idea of the design swirling around the length of the arm and stars kissing the fingertips. I love how the piece turned out, but it fought me every step of the way. Van Gogh was a genius who created flowing, passionate works of art. To try to recreate such a unique style was difficult, but well worth the effort and I had fun with it.

Detail Photos Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by Misty Lemons

One of my all time favorite artists is Van Gogh. He had a tumultuous life and yet still created brilliant emotionally charged pieces in vibrant colors. You can almost feel the flow of energy radiating from his pieces.

The statue stands almost one and a half feet tall. My friend wound up giving me the piece to do what I wish with. I don’t think I’ll part with it anytime soon. I love how it turned out and I want to keep it in my personal collection for the time being. Despite how large the piece is, it’s fairly lightweight, which helps with carrying it. Right now, I have it on display in my office.

Size Reference (Please, Excuse My Dry Hand)

I painted the hand with acrylics and thoroughly sealed it in a semi gloss finish, so it has a nice sheen to it.

I love how painting odd shapes presents a challenge. It was a lot of fun trying to feel out the piece and place the artwork in a pleasing manner. Painting rocks prepared me well for this challenge!

Large Rock I Painted (This Piece Is Also A Part Of My Personal Collection)

I hope the name of the piece resonates. Despite hardships and disadvantages, it’s important to hang on to hope. Please, remember to “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Soul Searching & A New Website

Soul Searching & A New Website

Hi! I hope you are well. My apologies for being an inconsistent blogger. Life and all, you know. I am over 40 now and with the arrival of the pandemic and being newly diagnosed with a serious health condition, I’ve been taking stock of my life. I’ve also been working on healing childhood trauma. I’ve been learning a lot and doing quite a bit of soul searching. And I’m trying to take what control I can over my health, but it’s not easy with and especially without health insurance. It’s been a lot to take in and it’s been exhausting.

With all the inner work I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for anything else. I was creating sporadically, but my zest was lacking. I’ve only just started to feel more like myself and have been creating more consistently and happily.

My son has been a great springboard for ideas and advice. I’ve got a plan now and he’s helping me where he can. I’ve built a website and it includes an online shop. I’m going to be focusing on stickers, pins, and eventually, prints. I’m super excited and am having so much fun along the way! Website/Shop

My son and I have also been working hard and having fun adding videos to my YouTube channel.

Reorganizing my office to make it a more workable efficient space has been a top priority. I’m adding shelving, a cubby with cloth bins, and a dresser to hold my printer and Cricut Maker.

I set up an account with a shipping company and have designed proof of purchase receipts and an inventory list. It’s been a lot of work and I love it! It gives me purpose and a path forward.

My son is almost an adult now and before too long will leave the nest. That’s been hard for me. All I’ve ever wanted was a family. Raising him has been my purpose and my privilege. Now, I need to focus on myself and give myself a new purpose. My art is my purpose. I’ve always been an artist. I’ve always loved creating. It only makes sense to pursue it.

I’m a bit of an underdog. I’m a plus sized, middle aged, introverted woman. The odds are against me, but I’m strong-willed and driven. I’m full of passion and heart. I believe in myself and I believe in making a positive difference in the world with my art and heart. I hope you’ll join me on my journey and I hope to count on your support. Thank you for reading my blog. It means a great deal to me.

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Love Sets Us Free

Love Sets Us Free

Mansfield Commission For The Arts wanted volunteers to paint murals that would be used as selfie stations at marathons, festivals, and other events. They asked that artists use a love or music theme. I jumped at the chance to create a mural with a love theme. In the future, they will budget for artists to create murals and be paid for their work, so that’s exciting news as well.

For my mural, I wanted to relay a heartfelt message. I toyed with “Give Love”, “Choose Love”, and finally came up with “Love Sets Us Free”, which was inspired by a song I was listening to while painting the mural. It was “Set You Free” by Sam Ryder. He’s an amazing vocalist and this is my favorite song of his. I hope you’ll check it out.

Here I am with my finished mural “Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

This is my largest painting to date. It stands 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I rolled the base color on it while it was laying flat on the floor, but stood the piece up in order to paint the rest of the design. I used a ladder to paint where I couldn’t reach. I’m a shorty, so a ladder was essential!

The surface wasn’t perfectly smooth, which makes it challenging to paint a smooth seamless design. Painting on rocks has helped me learn how to deal with such challenges, though, as rocks aren’t always smooth and often have cracks and jagged bits.

For this particular piece, I wanted clouds in the background. I decided to try spray painting them, something I’ve never done before. I watched some tutorials on YouTube from graffiti artists. I wound up just winging it, though, as I couldn’t achieve the look I was going for. In the end, I have a greater respect for artists who use spray paint as their main medium. It’s not as easy to work with as they make it look. I imagine it takes a lot of practice. But, I was able to create a misty, wispy, dreamy sort of cloud accumulation that I’m pleased with. I finished the mural by spraying silver and gold glitter all over it. It’s going to really sparkle in sunlight!

“Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

The first event the mural will be displayed at is a virtual marathon, Run With HeART on February 27th and 28th in Mansfield Texas. Participants will be eligible for prizes and selfie station murals add to the fun!

“Love Sets Us Free” Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Given how difficult this past year has been for so many, I’m excited that I was able to do this and I hope, even in some small way, that I was able to help people feel better.

Goodbye 2020

Goodbye 2020

As the year comes to a close, I’m wont to reflect upon the highs and lows of the year. I’m sure so many are doing the same all over the world.

For me, the year has been an emotional rollercoaster. I bet you can relate. It was getting to a point where it was effecting my health, so I was put on an anti-anxiety medication. Which, has taken the edge off. You may be thinking I’m oversharing and I might be, but if you are going through some things, just know you aren’t alone. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people and it’s okay to seek help. You don’t have to shoulder the burden alone.

That said, there’s been a bunch of good too! People coming together (but staying apart, if that makes sense), people trying to help others stay calm or find peace and comfort, artists trying their level best to make a positive difference. Myself included!

Earlier this year, right after the pandemic hit, I decided to create a project with other artists, all while in lockdown/quarantine. I came up with the Artists Give Love Project. We each created a painting of a message we wanted to convey to our communities and the world. I did “Give Love”, but there was also “Give Kindness”, “Give Thanks”, “Give Hope”, and more. In the end, we created a video challenging others to give messages and then ultimately, our pieces were hung in an exhibit at the Farr Best Theater in Mansfield Texas. The project was even featured in an Art News article circulated online for Texas artists to read and be a part of.

I’m proud that I could curate such a fine endeavor with a group of highly talented artists with kind, beautiful souls. And from that project grew friendships and strong art connections. I love my arty friends!

Project Artists Give Love (Top left by Sang Ratu Adil, Bottom left by Heidi Tournoux-Hanshaw, Top middle by Heather Schroeder Harbaugh, Middle by me, Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue, Bottom middle by Keerthana Naresh/Kiki.artful, Top right by Dallas Williams Art & Bottom right by Wendy-Wayne Caldwell/Artsundefined By Wendy Moniqué)
My Painting, “Give Love”

During quarantine, I wanted to help artists keep busy during an extremely difficult time and create hope for others who were struggling. To combat anxiety, I drew a lot and I do mean A LOT! My iPad was a constant and welcome companion. Each illustration was meant to shine a light into the darkness, not only for others, but for myself. I’m so thankful I had such an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. And it is my deepest hope that I was able to help others.

Here’s a screenshot of one such image that I posted to Instagram. This year cast light onto evil and apathy. I wanted people to know that they can choose kindness.
This illustration was inspired by the senseless, heartbreaking murder of Elijah McClain. Please, if you don’t know about it, Google it. His family still needs justice. You can also go to their Justice For Elijah page on Instagram.

People are trying to find some sense of normalcy and comfort during these exceedingly difficult times and so people are trying to move on. That said, art/music festivals are trying to find ways to be safe and create opportunities for artists to work. Mansfield had Music Alley this year and though it was less capacity and people had to wear masks, it was a success. I didn’t have a booth set up, but my art was present. I entered into the art contest and the photography contest. I won first place in the photography contest. I actually cried when I found out. It meant so much to me, after the year I’ve had. It was a bucket list item of mine, to win a photography contest. Before I started Designs By Misty Blue, I did photography with Misty Expressions Photography, a hobby that I loved for many years. So photography holds a very special place in my heart.

My Photo That Won First Place In Mansfield’s Music Alley Photo Contest

When I took the photo, we were still in quarantine basically, the tail end of it really. I found out about a huge sunflower field about an hour from our home. It was a welcomed outing for my family. When we got to the field, it was breathtaking! I was so excited that I didn’t look where I was stepping and evidently I trounced through an anthill. I still have the scars on my ankle where they tore into me. But getting this image and especially winning first place made it worth it.

So yeah, it’s been tough. Tougher than most years. But there’s been so much good too. I feel closer to my husband and son. I’ve gained some pretty amazing art friends, and so much passionate art has come from these trying times. I’m counting my blessings, for sure. Keep hope alive. That’s the least we can do. G*d bless and here’s to better days! Cheers!

Copyrights to all images displayed here are the sole property to Misty Lemons of Designs By Misty Blue and Misty Expressions Photography. Do Not Copy Or Distribute Without Permission Or Credit. Permission must be approved first. The same goes for any quotes from my blog. Thank you.

The Arts Attack In Mansfield Texas

The Arts Attack In Mansfield Texas

Mansfield Commission For The Arts invited me to set up a booth at a Halloween art event they put on for the town. It was my first booth of the year. I have been extremely leery of doing any events this year, due to the pandemic, but this event would be outside and all artists would be safely spaced out along a walking trail.

Aside from being windy, it was a beautiful night!

I packed up my little car and headed out. When I got there, they put me at the bottom of a hill/driveway. People would be able to walk by me on their way to the trail with other artists and performers. At the top of the hill and next to me was a singer dressed like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. She sang several songs by Imagine Dragons and my favorite Cranberries song “Zombie”. Across from us were actors dressed in Victorian costumes doing a play about murder and every now and then we’d see an actor amble around in character as a zombie. He had the walk down and everything. He was very good!

The zombie almost got us, until he realized we didn’t have any brains for him! 😉

We saw so many great costumes on patrons! We saw the Mandalorian with baby Yoda, we saw Mary Poppins and her chimney sweep, a great big purple dragon, a princess kitty, and a homemade turkey costume, to name a few!

It was nice to see so many smiling faces, especially since times have been so tough on everyone. It was good to just get out of the house too! Overall, I felt pretty safe and we had a good time! We made some sales and passed out some cards also!

Thank you to all my wonderful customers! Your support of my art means a great deal to me! Thank you and have a safe and happy Halloween!

I went with a Day Of The Dead sugarskull themed costume. I wanted to keep the makeup simple because of my vibrant mask and the flowers in my hair.

To learn more about me, future events, and to support my work, please visit my Link Tree! And be sure to subscribe to my blog for all the latest news on my work! Thank you!

#designsbymistyblue #artist #visualarts #visualartist #halloween #artbooth #artsattack #artattack #2020 #mansfieldtexas #mistylemons #painting #digitalillustration #dayofthedead #diodelosmuertos

Ultimate Llama Guide On My New YouTube Channel

Ultimate Llama Guide On My New YouTube Channel

Hi, friends! It’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize. I’m sure you understand though, given the circumstance of the world right now.

My family and I have been going through some things, just like so many others are. Job loss, health concerns, worries of the world, etc., etc.

In between the not so good, we count our blessings and do our best to push through. It’s important to find or make the good during these terrible, strange, frightening times.

I’m creating again. It was sporadic at best at the beginning of the pandemic. Like so many, I was scared, worried sick, and unsure of what the future holds. To be honest, I still am. But I’m trying to be careful and I’m still trying to be hopeful. All I can do is take it a day at a time and try my best to spread love, kindness, and hope.

I have acrylic pins available now! Ask me how to order or visit my Instagram!

My son has been encouraging me to start a YouTube channel, so I finally agreed yesterday. We worked all day to create videos for it and posted one already too!

It may be a little rough around the edges, but it’s a learning process and we’ll grow and get better as we go!

I’ve also created two 2021 calendars! One is an Ode To 2020 and the other is Llama Llove! Ask me how to order or visit my Instagram for more details!

In our first video, I explain the different parts of one of my llama illustrations. We tried to inject some humor and of course it’s full of color and joy!

I hope you’ll like, comment, subscribe, and share! This is going to be fun!

For more info about me and my art, please visit my Link Tree! Thank you!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#llama #youtube #vlog #family #artist #art #painting #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Art: Chronically Creative

Art: Chronically Creative

My life as a chronically ill person is something I’ve kept relatively quiet about. I just don’t like to talk a lot about my health. I think mostly because I am forced to think about it so much and these days it’s on my mind every waking moment and it also effects my sleep.

I don’t really have good days anymore. I’m reduced to good moments. How I physically feel changes every minute, it seems.

I’m sick of thinking about it and having to deal with it. It’s so stressful and exhausting (not to mention, expensive!) to live with. But I’m starting to think it’s important to talk about. Not just to teach awareness, but because it’s good to get things off your chest every once in awhile.

I’ve been soldiering on the best I can and suffer mostly in silence. But my illnesses are requiring me to need more support from others these days. I’m fiercely independent, so when I ask for help, it’s because I’m really struggling. Mind you, I’m only 40. But chronic illness doesn’t care what your age is. It’ll come for you at any age and make you feel old. It’ll take any pride you have and humble you right down real quick.

One of my designs on a face mask. How quickly the world has changed and this is the new normal! Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see over 100 of my designs on facemasks!

Holding things in isn’t good for your mental health and it can even hurt your physical health, especially when you’re immune compromised. So I’ve got to release it because it’s not helping me keeping it to myself.

To summarize my lengthy health woes: I’ve been ill most of my life. It got worse in my teens and even worse as an adult. I have hypothyroidism because my thyroid had to be removed years ago. I was just diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a heart issue, fibromyalgia (again), and macular degeneration. These things have embarrassed me. I was bullied as a teen for having psoriasis. It’s a devastating illness. But I have no control over these things happening to me. It’s not my fault and it doesn’t make me less valuable as a human being. I’m still a very hard worker and am capable of offering so much to the world. Besides, Cyndi Lauper has psoriasis and she’s an amazing person! She’s been my hero, since I was a little girl. I dressed like her and everything!

My symptoms change from minute to minute and there’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis or macular degeneration. Hope has gotten me this far. I just hope for a cure or better treatments in my lifetime.

I love to garden! It gives me great peace and joy. Here’s a hibiscus I’ve grown. The blooms are huge!

The treatments for psoriatic arthritis are as bad or worse than the illness itself. And it’s an illness that will savagely ravage your body, so that’s really saying something.

I’m suffering and I feel like I’m trapped in a defective body. Please, don’t see this as whining or think that I’m playing a victim for attention. I don’t want pity and I certainly don’t want to be put under a microscope. I’d just like others to come away with some sort of understanding of the anxiety, pain, and fear associated with these illnesses. The amount of sheer will power it takes to deal with them is also something people should know about. And maybe if someone can relate, that would be good too!

This banner was a boring beige, before I painted it and made it a pin display. What a great way to store and show off my pin collection!

Art has been a positive outlet for me my whole life, but even more so these past couple of years. It helps me redirect my focus to something other than my health. Sometimes a distraction is just the ticket to feel better mentally and emotionally, which can have positive effects physically.

Here I am! Enjoying myself and embarrassing my family!

I’m trying to enjoy positive things. Like these sunflowers and time with my family. God bless the farmer that planted them! Sunflowers have got to be the cheeriest out of all the flowers. They’re like drops of sunshine! I love them so much, I actually hung the picture below in my dining room!

Couldn’t resist sharing my sunglasses with this beauty!

I don’t have power or control over a lot of things in my life, but I’m doing my best to enjoy the good things in my life and count my blessings, even in the midst of a pandemic and health woes. Stay safe friends and may you and yours be blessed!

Shop My Facemask Designs Here!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#sunflowers #heart #sunflowerfield #farmer #chronicillness #chronicillnesswarrior #hope #asthma #psoriaticarthritis #maculardegeneration #fibromyalgia #hypothyroidism #thyroidcancer #artist #art #designsbymistyblue

How To Stay Optimistic In The Face Of Difficult Times

How To Stay Optimistic In The Face Of Difficult Times

Trying to stay positive or find positives to focus on can be extremely difficult in the face of a crisis and adversity, but it is also important for our mental and physical health.

I’m no expert, but I can offer my thoughts and experiences thus far. I’ve been in quarantine at home for two months now. Two months may sound like no time at all, but in quarantine time, it feels like a year has gone by. We haven’t been visiting relatives or friends. We haven’t gone out to grocery shop. I’ve only left to go to the doctor and to pick groceries or prescriptions through the drive-through. My son and I also just go drive around in the country to get out of the house for a bit.

Being a stay at home mom with chronic illness, I’ve gotten used to a certain level of isolation. But before I could at least get out and see familiar faces at the grocery store when I shopped and would also visit relatives. My family and I would also visit museums and go out to eat. All things I miss! Not to mention all the (art) festivals I was starting to participate in! And I had a schedule I had to keep to because my son had school to attend. And who knew how great a schedule could really be?!

The things that have helped me get through this crazy experience so far are inexpensive and easily accessible. At least, I hope so.

Aside from having my son with me, which gives me great peace of mind, I’d say that sunshine, creating art, gardening, and finding a purpose are the things that have helped me the most.

I covered my patio in colorful chalk hearts! It was fun and cheery!

On sunny days, we go out in the backyard. We’ve been tossing a football around and kicking a soccer ball to each other. I also ordered a cornhole set online, so we’ve all been playing that too. We’ve also been playing with our dogs more. They love all the free time we have at home now! I’ll even go out in the yard by myself. I putter around my little garden. I set out birdseed on a little table and watch all the birds that come by to eat. My favorite are the cardinals. I found some bubbles I bought several years ago and have been blowing bubbles outside too. Simple joys!

Calla Lillies, Gerbera Daisies, Geraniums, Echinacea, Ferns, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Irises, Passionflowers, Zinnias, English Ivy, Foxtail Fern, Strawberries, and California Poppies are just some of the things in my garden.

As for finding a purpose… I created a project that incorporated art and messages of love and hope together. I enlisted the help of six other artists to be a part of it with me. I met them at the art reception/last event I did before the quarantine. Just a great group of ladies! And so talented!

All of our work combined in a digital collage for the Artists Give Love Project I put together. (Top left by Sang Ratu Adil, Bottom left by Heidi Tournoux-Hanshaw, Top middle by Heather Schroeder Harbaugh, Middle by me, Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue, Bottom middle by Keerthana Naresh/Kiki.artful, Top right by Dallas Williams Art & Bottom right by Wendy-Wayne Caldwell/Artsundefined By Wendy Moniqué)

I was inspired by a Pass The Brush Challenge another artist friend participated in. I wanted to figure out a way to do it that made sense for artists and I wanted to have a positive message behind it. I wanted people to be inspired by it and to feel hope and love when those things may be difficult to come by right now. People need to see that those things are still in the world.

We called our project video the Pass The Paintbrush Challenge

It was a lot of hard work, but well worth the effort. It kept our minds busy and focused us all on something positive. It gave us much needed purpose and we all had fun! And we’ve now been featured on the Mansfield Commission for the Arts Facebook page, featured by Michael’s on their website, and featured by ArtNewsDFW on their Facebook, website, and newsletter!

“Give Love” by Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue

Other artists and celebrities have shared videos of themselves reading children’s books or sonnets. Some have even done tutorials, sung, and shown themselves creating. So I decided to join in! I read “Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish” and have also done a couple of tutorials, which you can see on my Facebook.

I hope you can find beauty, love, hope, peace, and purpose during this extremely trying time and I hope that this little blog of mine has helped you in some way. Take care, be safe, and please remember to give love!

#passthebrushchallenge #passthepaintbrushchallenge #artistsgivelove #givelove #mistylemons #hope #artist #art #texasartist #designsbymistyblue

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Keeping Hope Alive

Keeping Hope Alive

Adding a little levity during this difficult time to help others stay hopeful

As so many Americans are being confronted with coronavirus, there is a feeling of panic. I myself am not immune to this feeling. I suffer from chronic illness, as do several members of my family. We weren’t blessed with good health. And that’s just what good health is. A blessing! Whether you choose to believe in a god or not, good health is a gift to cherish. Some people are genetically predisposed for good health, while others aren’t so fortunate. I’m not fortunate in that department, sadly. So, I can’t help but feel frightened and anxious over this illness. I’m at risk. My family is at risk. But sitting around waiting for something bad to happen is also not healthy. In fact, just this past Friday, I had read so much terrible news that day, I literally felt sick that night and couldn’t sleep. So, I prayed and decided to do what I can do to feel more in control. Worrying will make me sick and not help matters. So, I will keep my house clean, eat as healthy as I can, not hoard when I shop, keep my hands clean, only leave my home when it’s necessary, spend quality time with my son, and create art to give others hope and peace. I’m already seeing so many artists doing just that on their social media, as well. We’re all going to do our part to keep up hope, to entertain, and be good humans. So, please if you’re feeling anxious and like the world is spinning out of control, find positive things you can control. Focus on the good. And whether you are an artist or not, you can post positive things on social media to help others. May you and your loved ones stay safe and well. We can get through this together. We can help save lives.

If you feel inclined, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook. And if you choose to follow my blog, I appreciate that too! Thank you so much!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#coronavirus #hope #pray #washyourhands #stayhome #dogood #givelove #artist #art #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue #maker