I’m prepping for a show next week in Lafayette Louisiana. Now for some of you that do not know me, you will learn I am a girl who LOVES FOOD! My best friend is from Louisiana and taught me all about the southern loooove of crawfish… beighnets… spice… and of course let’s not forget the LOOOOZZZIANA music! My first trip there was 6 years ago. I stayed at a bed and breakfast while attending a show. This wasn’t just any ordinary B&B, this was THE B&B to BE! The LaBelle Riviere Bed and Breakfast in Belle River Louisiana. I stayed with my bestie and was in awwww of how beautiful it was. Nestled right on the banks of the Belle River. The hosts Carol and Jeff were the best and made quite the impression on me with their accents and speaking french. I was given a tour of the river by Jeff and was completely taken back by the majestic beauty of the swamps. To my surprise there were MANY gators all over! YIKES! In the evening Jeff would fry up some catfish he caught himself, and if we were lucky we’d get to have a crawfish boil ! This place left a sweet spot on my heart! Although, I will not be able to head back to LaBelle Riviere this time during my travels, I am hoping my stay in Lafayette will be just as memorable. If you are in the neighborhood, come by and see me at the Festival International (Booth 41)! I’ll be there with my art and selling all weekend! In honor of the upcoming show… here’s a little mudbug I created!
Well, it’s been a while since I really have written a true blog post. I guess for those of you that still follow I should maybe go ahead and let you know a little of why I sort of stopped blogging, filming and perhaps became sort of anti-social.
In the last three years I have dealt with quite a bit of change, more than I of course wanted to. Three years ago my youngest daughter ( as some of you may know) was diagnosed with two inoperable brain tumors. She was born with a neurological disorder called Neurofibromatosis (NF1). This disease does cause tumors to grow anywhere inside or outside the body along or intertwined with in the nerves. As a mother who approaches most of any health condition as natural as possible, I opted out of chemo, as chemo does not really help NF tumors. It would basically have been “let’s poison your child but we aren’t really sure if it will work”. SOOOO… I did my research and became proactive, and raised money to move to Colorado to try the cannabis oil for her, along with all organic diet with whole real foods ( this included lots of salads and smoothies) and herbal vitamins. We were there for 7 months and Mavia’s results were great, her tumors were shrinking and she was doing amazing. However, she along with myself could not adjust to the altitude. She also became very stressed being away from her daddy. He had plans to move to Colorado too, but soon found out his mother was dying of cancer. It was a horrible time for all of us. On top of that, one day, I woke up and my face blew up so bad I was unrecognizable. I was very ill, bedridden, fever, pain…the works. No one could help me other than antibiotics. Once my face got better and I seem to heal…I suffered from severe spinal pain. It never went away. It all became too much and I couldn’t stay in Colorado any longer. We ended up moving back home and followed up with another MRI for Mavia. She was in AWESOME shape! Two tumors gone and one regressed so much it was barely noticeable! Hooray for cannabis oil! Hooray for organic living! However, I did not get better. I became very ill and I continued to go downhill. I would have some intermittent days of being ok or “looking healthy and ok”, but more and more I declined. Some days it was so bad I could not even walk through the grocery store without sitting down. After seeing several doctors, I found one who wasn’t so baffled. Lots of blood work showing my liver enzymes were high, my blood pressure low. She asked if I had ever been bitten by a tick and my reply was ” Of course I have, I live in the woods, I have grown up with ticks my whole life”. She then said ” But was there one that stood out the most” and then it hit me. I was bitten on the back of my head a while back, it swelled and was red and really never went away. The doctor seemed to believe I had chronic lyme disease. Too make a long story short. After three years of battling this disease and blood work to confirm, these are some of the things I faced: hair loss ( a lot of it), dramatic weight loss (28lbs in a month), brain fog, word loss , some days I could not form sentences or even speak, joint pain and swelling, chronic pain… I mean so bad some days I could not get out of bed, muscle pain, spinal pain, migraines, hearing loss, vision loss, memory loss,seeing spots all over, loss of appetite, muscle twitching, could not regulate body temp and became withdrawn. However, out of all those symptoms, I’d have to say the pain and the inability to speak articulately was the hardest for me to face. I have always been an independent woman and I was now having to be carried to the bathroom, helped up the stairs, helped to wash my hair, or even take care of my children. My doctor was set on antibiotics in which I tried but only worsened. So much research was done and I began a natural approach. It was no easy task and called for 50 herbal supplements a day plus an herbal tincture that tasted like motor oil. I also had to switch my diet around. There were times I wanted to give up or I’d give in and miss my supplements or eat bad because I was just tired of the battle, but I quickly learned I’d pay the price and the price wasn’t worth it. Much time went on and blood work was coming back bad which lyme can do… but I pushed forward and I didn’t give up no matter how hard I wanted to. I had a wonderful partner who was there by my side every step of the way and somehow because of her, I am alive and here today. One year ago I would have never been able to even type this much let alone sit this long at a computer. I am on the final days of recovery I believe and I am working hard to stay strong and continue to keep my health in check, for me and for my family. My little girl continues to be my hero , she is a reminder of how precious life is and how we should not take it for granted. So with all of that being said, life has changed for me. I do not film tutorials anymore because I still sometimes find it hard to remember all the things I need to teach. I can do them myself and put them to task in my own work, but to convey it to my students is a different story. My art has changed too, I create a lot of happy animals, even when I felt like dying. These little animals made me smile and feel like a kid again. They were inspirational to me and got me through some really tough times. Man, where would I be without my art? If there was anything that kept me from truly going insane and further into depression, it was knowing I could still create.
I am now on a new quest. I am now in the process of trying to find myself again. The woman who helped to empower others, who created fearlessly and never held back, the woman who danced while she painted. I know that I have a long way to go, but I hope you will continue to stay on this journey with me and share your stories of inspiration. Never lose sight of the creative path you are on… I didn’t… even on the days I didn’t remember a paint color… I just created, some days it was all I could do, even if it was on the floor sitting in a bean bag. I am grateful to be here, and more than that, I am so blessed to continue on as a mother to my children.
Let life give you wings and no matter how hard life gets… use those wings to lift you up and continue to soar.
Thank you all for being amazing supporters, for being my artist family.
“When the winds blow, I glide along
I glide, I dance, I sway to their song
The winds sing to me, I listen as they say
Dance my darling, dance dance away
The winds lift me up, there my spirit soars free
Breath of life in my soul,they awaken me.”
I am proud to announce that my artwork is back at Iris at Basin Park Gallery in Eureka Springs Arkansas! I just love this gallery so very much! If you have not been there, it is an absolute must see if you travel to Eureka! The owners Rick and Iris Feutz are two of the most kind and endearing people I know. They love Eureka and they love art! I hope you will take a peek in next time you are there and tell them Karrie said hello!
If you are in Florida , then we will hope to see you at the two shows I will be in for January!
Cape Coral Festival of the Arts
Jan 14-15, 2017 • 10 am – 5 pm
Suncoast Arts Festival
January 21, 2017 | 10am-6pm & January 22, 2017 | 11am-6pm
The Shops at Wiregrass | Wesley Chapel, FL
Artigras Fine Arts Festival February 18-20, 2017
Abacoa, Jupiter Florida
March 31,2017- April 2,2017
Summerville , South Carolina
May 6-7, 2017
Artfest on Walnut Street
Tulsa International Mayfest
War Eagle Fair
War Eagle Arkansas
Welcome to my new website! A more user friendly, simple, less complicated site!
If you are looking for my online workshops to purchase or to buy art, please click on the “Shop” tab.
Stay tuned !