My Heart and I Are Back…

You may have noticed the lack of blog posts lately. Well, I have a cardiologist doctors note for that.

I went into the hospital on Wednesday last week having chest pain. It was scary and sudden and I was dreading to possibly have to go through open heart surgery again. Went from ER to Advanced Care Unit at Holy Family Hospital on IV’s managing the pain for two days, trying to avoid a massive heart attack. It seems there was a waiting line for beds at Sacred Hospital, so we had to wait. If you know me then you know that patience is not my best trait, so this was not good.

Transferred to Sacred Heart Hospital on Friday when the chest pain worsened, and the surgical team met us at the door and took me right in. I got a stent put in my heart.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stent

When I woke up I felt much better right away and was able to come home on Saturday afternoon. Way better than the open heart surgery I had in 2012 which took quite a while to recover from. Dr Katz gave me a picture of what they did and I thought you might like to see what a stent looks like. The “Pre” picture shows shat the vein looks like with a only 10% flow. The “Post Stent” picture shows the vessel opened up and flowing like a trooper.

Radiology image of heart stent

I never knew much about hearts or heart procedures until I became a heart patient. Am very thankful that the medical field is making so many advances, or I may not be posting this message today. The people in medical professions are so talented, caring and wonderful, thank you to you all!

Memo

My thoughts regarding the time I spend on FB.

“More is not better”.

I have changed what I share on FB by taking a more private stance on what info and images I will be sharing in the future. This is strictly a family and friends page from here on. I will only share posts that I believe my friends and family would enjoy here.

I will not be sharing each and every little thing.

LESS is better!

If you want to know something, give me a call or lets get together and visit without a blue screen.

I absolutely refuse to debate politics, which I believe is simply a waste of time.

If you want me to debate about anything, you will have to do that in-person “face-to-face”… and even then it is highly unlikely I will engage in that. My having my own (different) opinions and urgently expressing them to you, will most likely NOT result in changing your opinion or the world.

If you have enjoyed seeing posts about my profession, hobbies and crafts;
• Art
• Needlework
• Gardening
• Outdoor Activities
They are available on my artist page for people who follow and ”like” the page at
https://www.facebook.com/ValerieWoelkartist/

If you signup and follow my artist page you can see the “How-to’s”, about art projects with images that show the processes and procedures I follow along with explaination while creating art.

Just in case you ever wondered what an artist does in her spare time. This artist page is also whatever else I do in my spare time that is sharable, like embroidery tablecloths, sewing, hiking, dog antics, photography, walking, gardening, skiing.

Dogs Wanna Have FUN…

When my family visits, they usually bring their dogs along.  Luckily, as a family most of us do love dogs! Here are Hilti (Sam and Jess’s) and Max (Pete and Val’s) playing in the kitchen while we visit and play cards. The other voice you hear is my cousin Jeannie (Sam’s Mom) on the speaker phone in Colorado as we watch the 2 “cousin dogs” play.

Art Collectors are a blessing

Last Friday night (4/6/2018) I was downtown Spokane WA for First Friday at the Spokane Watercolor Society Membership Show 2018 opening receptionThe host of our show is the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps willing landowners place conservation easements on their properties to protect land in watershed areas. The show location is their Community Building lobby, at 35 West Main Avenue, (corner Browne and Main) all hanging art will be on display from April 6th through April 27th 2018.

During the reception I was helping teach watercolor techniques at a table we had there. A great thing for me as I find it difficult to mingle with large crowds of people I don’t know, exchanging meaningless pleasantries. Public events can make me feel down, hearing careless comments about “starving artists” and the general low rumblings from fellow artists about low sales and other struggles of the industry.

There was a bin setup on the side that I had placed some small pieces of unframed art (I did not want to keep anymore).  They were not marked with a price, and I was fine with them being free giveaways.  I am trying to clear out excess inventory in the studio with a goal being to find a nice home for my art children if possible.

A beautiful lady went through the pictures and prints that were in the bin, Quickly picking up a small watercolor that I had entitled, “Chocolate Delight”.  She asked how much it was and who painted it at the front desk so they came over to me asking if it was me, and how much etc.

When I saw the absolute love on her face as she held the piece close to her chest I felt instant joy all over . I said, “Yes, it was me,” and asked her “You like it?”

“Definitely, it is emotion and…”

I shared with her that I remembered painting it as a testimony to how I feel when eating a piece of Dove chocolate. She absolutely got it, loving the way that the facial features showed the rapture of chocolate flavor almost to the pint of having tears come from her eyes.

In my mind I thought, “The illusion of the tears on the piece were more a watercolor lucky imperfection than a planned process by me. I love how watercolors give me those surprises.” A comforting envelope of relief came over me as I signed the back and endorsed it with her name, Darlene. Next I was telling her the price was free, and she immediately replied, “No, I insist to pay for it.” It is funny that I was worried about not making sales and should I keep making art earlier and her love of my work just blew that worry away. The emotional connection is what is important, not the money. I collected the funds she offered, thanking her with another hug. An angel just when I needed it. She and her husband enjoyed the rest of the show and left shortly after.

A daily art creation routine is really a creative venture or experiment where the artist tries to share their innermost soul with the world, our feelings and emotions that touch us so very very deeply. It is always my hope that my art will be able to give the same depth of feelings to any collector feeling drawn to purchase it.

I was given a gift from Darlene worth more than money. She gave me undeniable assurance that my work does touch hearts and is worthwhile. I may need to offer it up for discounted amounts to clear the inventory in my studio, but that does not mean that it then becomes worthless art to the people that receive the gift.

An absolute must read

This book is instrumental in my success at pursuing a profession I love  in art,

Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want

by Barbara Sher and Annie Gottlieb published in 1979.

  • It is hilarious how many people want to judge this book by it’s title or cover, which is truely a mistake. If you read the first page of the Intro you would know that it has absolutely nothing to do with that very similar word of “Witchcraft”. Yet, I don’t know how many people I have told about it, who refused to even take a look assuming it has something to do with witches and black magic. LOL.

I have read it myself (more than once). It is probably the most profound and helpful “self get-to-knower” I have ever ran into. It is easy to read and leads you onto an investigative journey of the truths within yourself, with easy questions. Showing simple logical paths to take to be able to proceed wherever it is that you find that you really want to go. The little tests and the explanations are quite revealing to find out what things are important. Often I was discovering dreams I that I had ignored because I assumed they were totally impossible, ridiculous, or childish but they were actually very very important to my soul.
I was getting the book out of the bookcase to loan to my son-in-law to read because they are starting a new business venture. But, I read the first page of the introduction again which made my interest get piqued so….

Unfortunately he’ll have to wait till I actually read it again before I take it to their house for them to borrow. Sorry.

I’mmmmm Backkkk!

Am all healed now and will be starting to paint again. Yay!

I have a favorite little one’s picture to make into a watercolor portrait RLportrait.

 

I also have a beautiful female Great Dane portrait that is truely touching from the photographs I have received so far. She has a ton of personality and it shows in her expressions. I’ll show you the steps on that after I finish with the first portrait.

 

Flowers don’t need a holiday to liftspirits

img_20170214_043134963A couple of weeks ago I broke my collarbone while sledding. Tensions were raising and healing was becoming unsurmountable. I know my words became snappy and unkind as I became overwhelmed with frustration and pain.

My love did not throw his hands up in the air and give up. He went grocery shopping on the way home from work. He got home and I heard him putting things away when downstairs he comes, placing these right in front of where I’ve been camped out in our recliner in a sling with pillows propped around.

This thoughtful hunk of man provided undeniable proof of beauty from God’s hand. Immediately transforming negative perspectives to a feeling of gratitude and awe. Everytime I look at the rich colors, touch the soft petals or breath in the wonderful scents this upward lift occurs.

I am fully blessed with possibly the best man on the planet who knows a gift of flowers will lift spirits any day of the year. His love actions pop up right when most needed. No holiday is required.

Scary Weather Prediction

We just had a hundred year storm with 70 mph sustained winds. It wiped our electricity, phones etc for over 100,000 homes and business’s causing quite a bit of damage and a few deaths in our Inland North West Region (Washington). We had no utilities for 8 days here in Elk, some locations waited 2 weeks.

I drove a backroad route through the farms and suburbs to town and am surprised at how many homes are still missing roof shingles and quite a few homes with trees laying on them. The contractor and roofers are sure busy and investing in stock for the hand warmers they must be going through. Gotta get repairs done before the real cold sets in and the snow pack arrives.

Guess what? It has been raining a lot and now another storm is heading our way (60 MPH winds). It is truly scary when you know how many trees are around with nice soft ground.  Arrrgh!

When we went to town shopping last week, the stores had not even been able to restock yet what was wiped out in emergency stuff. Supplies like batteries, candles, stove fuel, oil lantern fuel/parts, propane tanks, gas cans. Bet the generators are running short too. They told me maybe next week so I better head in to town in the am to get what we will need, if we have to dance the same dance again.

Elk WA footwear fashion capital

left foot in clog, right foot in ankle brace sock and sandal.

Here is a picture of my great footwear fashion in Elk. I have spent the last 5 weeks on crutches nursing a broken fibia. I broke it while walking out to the compost pile.  The prior week was spent with grandkids doing Silverwood, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking but I break my leg walking through the yard to the compost pile. Really. Oh yeah!

Those of you who see us in “real life” know that in our home this crutch thing has been a real ordeal (stairs to the max). Having to spend the majority of time in the basement for 4 weeks, has been difficult but now I am able to do stairs and work in my studio on the main floor and …cook again. I even rode in with Pete to town and went grocery shopping and walked down to the garden this Sunday. Woo Hoo!

Kudos for Pete who is always there when I need him, working all day and cooking and cleaning for us when he gets home. He has always been an absolute angel in my life. I am truly a lucky woman. Anyhow I CELEBRATE! Not having to use crutches and just walking in the cast on uneven ground outside for two more weeks. My hands are free to carry stuff. On flat ground I am allowed to use a ankle brace to keep it from twisting – I just don’t tell them that in our house the “flat ground” involves two 16 step staircases. FYI I am not winning any races. I should be able to start driving again soon though. Hope so, I wouldn’t want to miss ski season. Yep. LOL