One True Friend

One True Friend
One True Friend

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A New Beginning

     I haven't touched this blog in over two years. I guess I got busy and it just wasn't something I really wanted to devote my time to anymore. Recently, I started mulling around ideas of how to make this blog more meaningful, important, relevant. And like The Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz once said, I really "had the power all along" to make this blog better! I have shared some of my family's journey here, speaking about our struggles with mental illness. I've mainly shared it with you through some of my art, which was inspired by my daughter, who has Borderline Personality Disorder. I've also talked about my childhood and how I believe my mother has BPD, also. Recently, my sons were diagnosed with anxiety. Without going through these challenges, I don't think I would have been as inspired to be the artist I am today. So what better way to take these life events, that are shared by many-1 in 4 adults in the US have a mental health issue at some point in their life-than incorporating mental health awareness into my art blog.

      I was also inspired to do this after I began reading a book titled, "Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter's Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder" by Bea Tusiani, Pamela Tusiani and Paula Tusiani-Eng. The mother and sister wrote a book about their daughter/sister, using excerpts from her journals, since she is no longer with us. The book was so powerful and raw, I could relate to it so much. It was painful, I'm sure, for them to write, but they felt it necessary to share their journey, much like I feel the need to share mine. Thankfully my daughter is on the path to recovery, as are my sons, but there are still challenges along the way. Recovering from mental illness is never easy. But I want people to know they are not alone on their journey and that recovery is possible. I have had many people email me or make comments on how my art has touched them, due to the fact that they themselves or someone they know has a mental illness. Statistically speaking, we all know someone with a mental illness whether we realize it or could be your neighbor,someone at your church or work place. The more mental illness is talked about, the less difficult it will become for people to get help without fear. That is my share my art, my journey and to make this blog a place where people can discuss mental health issues freely. I hope you join me on this journey!

Hidden~18" x 24" acrylic~ by Juli Cady Ryan
One should not feel they have to hide their mental illness. The beautiful surroundings in this painting contrast with the little girl who is fearful and hiding with her stuffed bunny. A lot like real mental illness, where many suffer without getting help, pretending they are fine as the world moves around them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year, New Art

Happy New Year!
I took about 3 weeks off from painting, which I do at the end of the year to give myself a break. We all need a break, even from the things we love most! I tend to do other creative things during this time, fun things I just don't have the time for usually...decorating topiary is what I did this year. Using yarn and other embellishments. Found out I really love doing it and may do it on the weekends and try to sell them on Etsy. I already have the name picked out for the shop...A Path in the Forest.

I always get nervous doing my first painting of the new year. Somehow I think it's suppose to set the tone for the year. Or something. But this year it seemed worse. Almost like I was afraid to begin. Weird, I know. But when I did, it just flowed from me like I had never taken a break.

I was inspired by my daughter, Ashley.

The Outpouring Of Love

This painting may feel a little darker than some I have done, but it's really not meant to be. It's more a reflection on the mental illness my daughter faces. She has Borderline Personality Disorder. To sum it up in a few words, it's an emotional disturbance. Every emotion she feels is 100 times more intense....which can be good for the positive emotions, but very bad for the not so wonderful ones, especially guilt. More borderlines kill themselves because of the guilt they feel than anything else. The problem is, once a borderline is well enough mentally to be self aware, the guilt kicks in and has to be overcome. They feel no one could ever really love them becasue they have done so many things wrong in the past when they were very ill.

The hearts near the cottage represent our love as a family poured out on Ashley, over and over. Even though she is on the darker side of the painting, you see her begin to accept that love and understand she deserves it. She is on the road to recovery, but recently I saw just how hard it is for her. When she says she doesn't understand why I love her. It hurts to hear, but it is how she feels. How many ways can you tell a child you love them? I don't know, but I say an infinite amount:)

Even if you haven't faced or know someone with mental illness, I think everyone can relate to the feeling of guilt and just wanting to be loved. It's what we all want.

Here are two other paintings I have finished this year:)

Freeing My Heart

Freeing My Heart is a painting that speaks to the heart...if you don't put yourself out there and love fully, you won't really ever receive it. Guarding your heart may protect you from getting you hurt, but it will likely never lead you down the path of love.

Dreams At Sunset is just a fun and whimsical painting that let's one's imagination run away, as in a dream:)

Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and creative 2012:)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Remembering Christmases Past

My kids are all close to being grown (my youngest is almost 16), so I have been thinking back to Christmases from our past, when they were little. Creativity, in it's many forms, has always been a part of our family traditions. From creating our own crafts to watching the creativity of others through movies, to cooking up some delicious food, creativity was and is always present in our home.

My son Keegan getting creative in the kitchen. This is the year we made fudge!

One of my favorite memories is coming down at 6am and finding my son, Keegan (who is now 18 and in college) laying on the couch on Christmas morning. He was watching the 24 hours of "The Christmas Story" on TV. How long have you been up, I asked him. Oh, I don't know, he said, enough to watch this show several times. Several times? We would tell the kids not to wake us until 7am, but if they wanted to come down and watch TV, they could. I don't remember exactly how old he was, but I remember how cute he was about it. He was always the one that would make sure we had plenty of milk and cookies for Santa. Little did he know Santa was lactose intolerant and Mrs. Clause had to drink it. I seem to remember being the one eating the reindeer's carrots, too.

Ever since my sister introduced us to the wonderful film, "The Christmas Story," it has been the one constant Christmas entertainment for us, even when the kids refuse to watch Rudolph anymore! I think somehow we all can relate to this somewhat dysfunctional yet loving family of yesteryear. It's A Wonderful Life is also a favorite! Christmas Eve is when we watch them both.

Decorating sugar cookies is another tradition. Watching all three of my children letting their artistic creativity take over as they piled frosting several inches high on each cookie with sprinkles fluttering down the sides was amazing to watch! Even funnier to see those stained red and green cheeks and tongue! And the mess could be enormous! But I would not of changed a thing!

We also for many years would make cinnamon gingerbread ornaments (the ones you made with applesauce, cinnamon and glue) that the kids would decorate. I loved the way our house would smell after making them. We would put little velvet clothes on them and lots of glitter! I still have some of those ornaments today.

It takes a good eye to decorate a tree, but when they were young, it didn't matter. Somehow they got such joy out of cramming as many ornaments in one spot as they could. Why DO they do that? Their eyes would sparkle with pride when they were done! Many of the ornaments were ones they made at school. Most of those years I was a room mom for each of the kids. Having those holiday parties was so much fun! I would always be the one volunteering to bring in the craft:)

Lucas' kindergarten ornament.

So our Christmases do include many forms of creativity. This year we are making candy as a family and we will welcome my sons' girlfriends to join us. The more the merrier, I say:)

Happy Holidays from my house to yours! XX

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Being Thankful

Holding on To Happiness By Juli Cady Ryan

I find that I am at my happiest when I take the time to be thankful...not just at Thanksgiving, but every day. Sometimes we overlook those little pleasures that comfort us each day. I am always thankful for the big things (family, friends, health), but I also try and appreciate the small: a good cup of coffee, a cat on my lap, a good book. It's in these little treasures that we can find daily happiness.

Another thing that I am thankful for-a good poem:) Have a good poem about being thankful and happy? Please share!

Be thankful that you don’t already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be
to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes,
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
Because it means you’ve made an effort.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they will become your blessings.

Submitted by: Wynne

Wishing you a wonderful holiday with family and friends:)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Cat Lady: The importance of cats in my art

Me on our farm getting ready to feed the cats!

I admit it. I will eventually be that "Cat Lady" down the street. It's hard for me to resist a stray. But they know from the moment they set their eyes on me that I am a sucker for them. And I am doomed.

Just a few of the many cats we owned!

It all started when I was young living on a farm. People would drop strays off near our home or one would just show up. So after years of this, we literally had to buy cheap feed bags of food for them from a feed store.

From the painting, Autumn Tea By Juli Cady Ryan

They all had names and unique personalities. They all were special to me. My favorite part of the day would be feeding time. They would follow me from our front door down the concrete steps toward the barn like a cat parade. Tails in the air they knew it was feeding time!

Me holding on of our kitties!

The real story is that these cats gave me so much more than I gave them. When I was sad or lonely, they would sit on my lap and just listen. They would comfort me like no human could. Living in a dysfunctional family where mental illness was ever-present, I needed to escape to the barn for some cat solace. They helped me heal.

From the painting, No Place Like Home By Juli Cady Ryan

Then later in my life when my own daughter was facing mental illness, my cat Fran would still comfort me. He'd know when I was sad and come and sit by me while I painted. Such a good friend. But I did not realize how good of a friend he would be until a few years ago. He helped save my daughter's life by waking me up after she overdosed. If he hadn't came scratching at my door, I would not of heard my daughter cry out and would not have got her to the ER in time.

Black Cat and Flowers By Juli Ryan

Cats have always played a very important role in my life. So they will continue to be sprinkled throughout my paintings and sometimes as the main subject. Some say a dog is man's best friend, but to me, a cat is a woman's!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Etsy Shops

There are so many wonderful artists and crafters on Etsy, I find myself browsing and loving everything! So I decided to share some of my recent favorite shops with you! Check them out, you won't be sorry:)

What is Etsy, some of you may ask? It's a wonderful community of artists that sell mostly handmade and unique items!

Schmooks By Claire
Canberra, australian capital territory,

Stars In Jars:
One pink elephant,
Lucy and Ted.
Two very naughty children,
Not in their bed!
Off to catch twinkles
Or so they said!
There's no stopping
Lucy and Ted.

High in the night sky,
Away they were led.
All snuggly and cuddled,
Lucy and Ted.
Jars at the ready,
Net baited with bread.
Watch out little twinkles,
For Lucy and Ted!

Llamas in Pyjamas:
Llamas in pyjamas
ready for a trip.
Soft bushy koalas
looking for a lift.

Pink woollen pouch
knitted for the ride.
Teddy and Koala
tucked safely inside.

Flitter flutter finches
twinkle in the night.
Wibble wobble llama
Hold on tight!

Beluga Gumballs:
Sailing by balloon
softly lapping sea
Teddy casts line below
waiting patiently

Water gently ripples
brown eye twinkles through
up pops three pink heads
all in Teddy's view

A little smile is given
as colours fill the sky
raining beluga gumballs
as they drift through the night

Cranberrymak-Linens Southern Shores, NC,
United States

Gyspy Paisley Napkins

Floral Table Runner

Cotton Table Runners- Red and Blue Gypsy Bandanas

Nicole Hanna Jewelry

Garden Full of Tear Drops Swarovski Vitrail Pendant Wire Wrapped Gunmetal Copper

I have been creating with wire for more than five years, though have had a passion for beading which extends a decade. I love to write contemporary poetry and create fantasy art and feel my jewelry can best be described as a wearable combination of the two.

I enjoy the use of metals and stones that are both beautiful and affordable, stemming from a deep-rooted belief that any financial class should be allowed the benefits of enjoying art in all its mediums. Copper is a passion of mine, as I find its color complimentary to most stones, and its purpose conducive to positive energies and all-around physical enjoyment.

I am heavily influenced by the ebb and flow of organic movement but also harbor a stern fascination with the presentation of a polished, clean and quality piece of wearable art.

Black Copper Wire Wrapped Red Crystal Pendant Yellow Crystal Accents

Tanzanite Swarovski Crystal Purple Wire Wrapped Pendant in Copper Silver Color Wire


Birds Of Norway

I'm a Mommy to one precious little girl Michelle!
I love it design and handcrafted accessories for my Family and friends.Design and craft are my passion and I love sharing my creations with other people.
As a Fashion designer All my items are designer and hand crafted by me of course.
Oxford, Ohio,
United States


Retro Birds Misha Bag in White

MantaWave by Gregory Bryant, Norfolk, VA

Maelstrom. Wall Clock

I'm a self-taught artist from Norfolk, Virginia. I've been working with clay for 15 years.
I got my name, "MantaWave" from mantarays and ocean waves -- two things I find very inspiring.
You may also notice from my work that I am very interested the the spiral -- especially the spiral as it exists in Nature. It is omnipresent, from the tiniest (dna) to the grandest (spiral galaxies) and this fascinates me.
Also high on my list of influences are sea creatures (...

Ocean Eden . necklace

Candle Holder or Flower Vase with Spiral Eyes

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blog Update

Due to some commissions I am working on and sales finally picking up, I am going to start doing a monthly blog instead of weekly. Hope you will stick around and join me:)

PS Would love for you to send in anything you want to share that has to do with any type of art: painting, sculpting, jewelry-making, music, books, poetry, photographs, etc. Have something original you want to share? Email me at!