There are many sides to being a victim of abuse. Some days I feel like I have no sides, I am just a black mass, bouncing around the walls of life –gravity working against me, for I have endured emotional, physical, mental, and sexual abuse that spanned more than half my age. It’s easy to let those experiences define me. It’s human nature. I have self-pity too. But I’m blessed that the majority of the time I am strong in the face of adversity. Hell, if I wasn’t going to get myself out of these abusive situations, well mainly my domestic situation, why would anyone ever want to extend a lending hand? “She deserves it…she won’t leave him.” When you allow a sadistic human being to have an inch of you at your weakest, they will continue to break you down…daily, hourly, minute after minute…even when they are silent. I WAS a victim. Today, I AM a survivor.
As I mentioned earlier, there are countless sides to being a victim –each one just as complex as the previous. Today I’m writing about survival…the feat of coming out on the other side. For some it is liberating and empowering, however others don’t recover long enough to function in any type of normalcy and they quickly fall back into the pattern of being abused. I am thankful that I have been able to love myself again and I don’t have a problem sharing my own experiences with others. I get it; some people don’t want to share the hurt that they have endured in life. Quite the contrary for me, scrapping the hurt (clever, I know) is therapeutic. So this weekend I scrapped the hurt and poured my scarred heart into this mini canvas album. This mini is a celebration of breaking the silence. I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to fuse my various forms of art together to make one cohesive piece. In this post I will walk you through the aesthetics of the book as well as touch on some of the emotion through my images, my own words, quotes, and song lyrics. Oh, one important note –you can see, feel, and hold this book at this year’s Great American Scrapbook Convention! Just stop by the the Crafty Scrapper’s booth and they will point you in the right direction. I hope this speaks to your heart…
***CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW****
Oh, and please excuse any typos and grammatical errors --I wrote a lot and don't use spellcheck.
This is the cover of the mini canvas book. It’s actually a chipboard album covered in canvas and it’s made by Maya Road. I stamped the foliage on the upper right hand corner using black archival ink. The stamp is by Tim Holtz. The rose flowers are by Prima but I’m not sure who the other flowers are by. Sorry. More detail about this cover in a bit.
I also stamped the spine with a Tim Holtz stamp using black archival ink. I then fastened these kraft hearts using a large pin and then tied the ribbon directly on the pin. These ribbons will be changed out when the book arrives at the store. I want them to be purple because that is the color of domestic and family violence awareness.
And we’re back to the cover to look at this little trinket box. This little box is by Maya Road and actually housed buttons when I purchased it but you can do all sorts of awesomeness with it. I decided to make a little shadow box. I first changed the color of the silver box to antique gold by using gold, latte, and butterscotch alcohol inks by Ranger. I then cut a piece of scrapbook paper and journaled the words “Live to Tell”. I then alcohol inked a little doll –this one by Tim Holtz. I used gold and currant on the doll. I then added a Prima rose and a Prima heart-shaped button. Pretty neat, huh? Come to think of it…I’m not sure that button is by Prima Marketing…but I’m about 80% sure that it is. I’m not known for my attention to product detail. I don’t know what’s hot and what’s not in scrapbooking –I just create!
I love, love, love this heart! I have used it several times in other art and I can’t get enough of it. This is one of Tim’s first releases. Oh heck, I will call him Tim if I want too –everyone knows who Tim is. What better way to express a healing heart then stapling down the middle! And this heart wouldn’t be complete without the purple ribbon for DV awareness.
Yep, we’re still on the cover of this monster! I wanted to highlight this handmade prize ribbon inspired embellishment that I made. I used burlap trim by Maya Road, a wooden banner by Prima (I think), alphabet stickers by Creative Imaginations (I think), a journaling piece by Maya Road, and a flower by…well…it looks like Prima but I’m not certain. Remember, hot glue is your friend…until you accidentally stick your finger in a glob of it and then the gloves come off! Anyway, I glued the wooden banner to the burlap, put the stickers on the banner and distressed them with a sander, mounted the journaling piece at the top of the banner and then glued the flower over the journaling piece. TA DA! Okay, I promise…you can now see the inside of the book!
First up is this beautiful chipboard frame which gives you an almost full view of the second image in my book. This chipboard frame is by Maya Road (surprise, surprise). I misted it with Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions spray mist –whatever her purple color is called. I then stamped some leaves on the edge also using Dyan’s stamps and bird is ALSO by Dyan. I stamped that little fell on kraft paper, cut him out and then glued him to the corner of the frame. Turn the
“Here’s the weight of the world on my shoulders…” from the song “Fly from the Inside” by Shinedown...in the backround a self pic with a broken heart. I added this image when I was completely done with the project because I did not like the chipboard showing in the background when looking at the album from this position. On the right is the now second image of the book. Yep, that’s Ms. Ruin –a domestic violence SURVIVOR. “She’s picking ghostflowers from her soul” is from the song “Ghostflowers” by OTEP. It reminds me that I can recover from the trauma but I’ll always have little remnants of the past inside of me. You just don’t forget. Ever.
People wonder why I kept silent about my domestic abuse for so long. I knew that they knew…so why didn’t I open my mouth? I had shame that I had put myself in such a situation and I thought that at all costs I was going to turn it around. Little did I know that my silence was killing my loved ones. I will never forget the day my mom shared how upset and anxious my father would get when he would try calling me and I wouldn’t answer the phone. Keep in mind, I was 20 hours from home. She told me that he would say “For all we know, he’s gone off and killed her…” That crushes me every time I think about it, just as it pierced my heart when I typed it for you to read. :*(
The cool thing about this little canvas book is that it also comes with two canvas pockets! This is the first pocket. I used some Dyan’s stamps and another journaling thingie by Maya Road with a picture of me strategically placed inside…so now it’s also a picture frame! Brilliant, I know. :p
The chipboard and journaling thingy are by Maya Road. I really need to quit calling it journaling thingy…I don’t know the official name…heck, I don’t even know if they are for journaling but that’s what I would use them for! Again, I misted the chipboard using Dyan’s spray mist. As for the quote on the right side of the book –well, it’s a fancy way of saying “everything happens for a reason”. But I do like to think that everything I endured was purposeful…I can’t imagine my life without all of the events that brought me to this point in time. The good, the bad, and the horrible.
The words “Coming out of the dark” remind me of the days we spent on the road between Tennessee and Texas. I sat in a U-Haul nestled between my mother and father who had come to rescue me and take me home. I can remember being so happy…we laughed and sang and told jokes all the way home. I don’t think I had smiled so much in a very long time. I was slowly emerging and for the first time in a long time I didn’t have to pretend to be happy –I was TRULY happy. I shared with my father that I loved that trip home and he told me that he enjoyed it too but didn’t really want to ever do it again. ::big smile::
This is a large chipboard piece by Maya Road. I put a couple of my pictures on it and then sanded the edges and also ran the sanding block all over the surface of the photos to give them a distressed look. I then stamped the word journey using one of Dyan Reaveley’s stamps and then placed a raw piece of chipboard over it and outlined it with a black pen. I finished off this piece by journaling a quote from the book “The Shack”. I absolutely love this quote and it has resonated with me since the day I read it….”Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly, and if left unresolved you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.”
On the backside I used Maya Road, Maya Road, and oh yeah, Maya Road. I misted the chipboard piece with Dyan’s purple spray mist. I then positioned chipboard letters spelling the word “NOTES”, essentially using them as stencils. I then misted over the entire chipboard using Maya Mist –I think it might have been the Iridescent Pearl Mist but I’m not 100% certain. Once it dried I outlined the letters and the chipboard with a black pen and then proceeded to do my journaling. These are lyrics from the song “Fly from the Inside” by Shinedown. Also, I wanted to mention that this didn’t photograph very well, but this piece is very sparkly and rich…very pretty.
We have reached the other canvas pocket in this mini. Let me say that I don’t know that I would ever speak to my ex-husband again…even if I had the opportunity. He is now a perfect stranger to me. But here is some insight to what I WOULD say to him if I just had too. “Dear Abuser, You left me shattered and broken. You said I was unlovable. Boy, were you wrong! You will know me by the scars I bear…the only way I would ever allow you to know me again. YOU are not worthy of my good life.” Bravo to Dyan Reaveley for making that awesome stamp that says “I don’t like you. You’re very ugly and have no manners at all.” Perfection! See that big burlap button at the top? I made that. I cut up a burlap sack and wrapped it around an oversized bingo chip and then added the white trim to it. I like it. I took advantage of the pocket and made a tag that can be pulled out. These words were inspired by the song “You Love Me” by Kelly Clarkson. The tag reads: “You said I wasn’t good enough but what you really meant was you’re not good enough.” You couldn’t deliver so you turned it around and opened my eyes while breaking my heart.” ::EXHALE:: True story. The tag was misted with Dyan’s purple spray mist. The bird on the tag is also from Dyan’s stamp collection and the burlap is trim by Maya Road.
On the back side of the second canvas pocket adhered brown roses that are actually really beautiful and frilly trim by Maya Road. I then misted the Maya chipboard and glued it directly over the trim with picture intact. The journaling is from the song “Fine Again” by Seether. It reads “I am aware that everything is gonna be fine.”
I love this sentiment…the thought that I’m perfect even with all of my flaws. I wasn’t perfect for him, but I am perfect for so many other people in my life that can love me even with all of my imperfections and in fact, I am VERY okay with that.
My book closes with this lyric by the beautiful Kelly Clarkson: “In the end, the day I left was my beginning.” Fortunately for me, I have been surrounded by so much love and support…I didn’t ever feel the need to be in his life again. I am truly blessed.
If you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship, please get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Live to tell…Y