Author: designsbymistyblue

How To Stop Cricut Sticker Paper Jams Video

How To Stop Cricut Sticker Paper Jams Video

The cost of having someone manufacture stickers for you is expensive. So, it can be appealing to print and cut stickers for yourself. 

Awhile back, I purchased a Cricut Maker. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a fancy piece of machinery that’s capable of cutting all sorts of materials. It can also engrave, draw/write, and so much more.

I’ve got this machine and I’d like to cut stickers with it. Cricut sells all sorts of materials to use with their machines. Including, printable sticker paper. I purchased some, when it went on sale.

The issue I’ve come across and I’ve seen loads of comments online lamenting the same thing, is the sheets jam up in printers. I ruined a few sheets before I figured out why it was happening and I’ve come up with a simple solution. That way, no more ink or paper go to waste.

Seeing that I’m not the only one with this problem, I want to share my hack. I made a short how to video, detailing what you’ll need and how to avoid jamming your printer.

Not a flattering photo, but it cracks me up!

The beginning of the video is pretty funny and if you’ve experienced these jams, you’ll definitely be able to relate! Check the video out here on my YouTube channel. Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe. Thank you so much for your support and for reading my blog! I hope you’ll subscribe to it also!

*I’m not affiliated with Cricut. Nor do they sponsor me.*

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

Artist: You Better Reorganize!

Artist: You Better Reorganize!

I’ve been busy reorganizing my office, trying to make it more conducive for filling orders. My husband and I put in a new closet system, so now I have better storage for my canvases and other art supplies. We also put in a dresser to hold my printer and Cricut Maker. And lastly, we put in a cubby with cloth bins to hold more art supplies and shipping materials.

This is how I first set up the space years ago, after we had moved in

When we bought our home, the room was baby pink. We all called it “The Pink Room” for a long time, even after I repainted it. Lol! To make it my own, I painted it in my favorite color.

I didn’t have furniture to fit the small space, so I temporarily set up a folding table. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.

An upgraded desk, a roll around, and some drawers helped with some of my storage issues

I wound up getting a desk from a friend of a friend for cheap and it fit the space so much better and it looked nice too! I also added roll around carts from Michael’s and some drawers.

Eventually, the room became an overflow for storing things, though. And so I moved into our dining room to create my art. There was much better light there anyway.

After a year of not being able to use my office, I’d gotten pretty frustrated with the situation, so we went to Ikea to get an idea of what we could do with the small space. There we found the cubby and I was able to figure out a dresser and a closet system would also help. Those had to be ordered and I had to wait over a month for delivery!

It’s getting there!

It took me awhile, but I’ve got the room mostly sorted out now. The dresser has plenty of storage for my printer and Cricut supplies, so I’m really happy with that!

The closet system is larger than I expected. I even measured it three times before purchasing and thought it would be a good fit. But once we started installing it, we saw the space on the sides are almost unusable, which is disappointing. Now, I have to figure out where to store my sewing machine and other things I’d planned on putting back in the closet. Other than that, I’m pleased with how the room has turned out. I have a place for almost everything now, so it’s way better than what I had before! Despite the closet situation!

I added better lighting in there also and have already been using the space to create livestreams and videos for my YouTube channel and my socials! I hope you’ll check them out and subscribe! My son and I have been working together to create videos for my YouTube. It’s a lot of hard work, but we’re silly and are having fun with it as we learn! I’m embarrassing myself for the sake of art and entertainment! Lol! So, please, enjoy!

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

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, after becoming an adult, 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 nervous system 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.

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit:

Thank you for reading my blog and for supporting me and my artwork. I’m eternally grateful.

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

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

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 on the statue. I love how the piece turned out, but it fought me every step of the way. Lol! 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 so much 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. I can relate to having difficult and traumatic times in my life also. And though hard times suck, they can enrich the soul and your art. It can make you a more passionate, empathetic person.

The statue stands almost one and a half feet tall. My friend wound up giving me the piece to do what I wish with it. 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! Lol!)

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! A rocks surface can present several challenges! From size, texture, surface, porousness, and more! I love painting rocks!

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”.

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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, paintings, and eventually, art 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 especially 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, chronically ill, 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. Please, subscribe!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit:

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

Love Sets Us Free Mural

Love Sets Us Free Mural

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, holes, 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.

Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate your support and hope you’ll subscribe!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit:

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

Goodbye 2020: An Artist’s Reflection

Goodbye 2020: An Artist’s Reflection

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!

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Copyrights to ALL images displayed here on this blog 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. All thoughts expressed are opinions and not subject to legal action, as such. 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 art 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 art work! Thank you!

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

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! Check out my Ultimate Llama Guide!

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! But I assure you, it’s super cute and silly! Well worth the watch!

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

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!

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