A Photography Win From The American Art Awards!

I am jazzed to say that one of my pieces of photography won 3rd place in the American Art Awards! This is a great honor since artists from 59 countries enter. Not only that but the winning pieces of work are juried by 25 of the best museums and art galleries in America! So this is a wonderful honor!

When great things happen in life, be sure to rejoice!  It’s wonderful to have good news between the curveballs that life throws at us.  If you don’t celebrate the ‘wins’,  you’ll feel inundated by the harder things that come to call.

Last year I was pleasantly surprised that I won three times in the digital art category as well, so this is a very sweet reward! If you’d like to check out my winning art from last year, you can find it at the link below. The pieces that won in 2017 are Taken, Angel Of Light and Of One Accord.

Art site:  https://diamante-lavendar.pixels.com

Thanks for visiting!

Why I Wrote Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief

Some of you may be familiar with my story by now.  But many  of you aren’t.  It’s my hope that the books I write will help my readers emerge from hardship and trauma with valiant trust that things will get better again.  That life will even out and be okay.  That is the core reason why I write.

Over the course of fifty plus years of living, I have experienced quite a bit.  My life has been difficult.  For the first thirty years I felt like I had been pummelled by the hands of fate.  I was disconcerted, angry, heartbroken and depressed.  I had been molested from the age of two to twelve.  From there I became an alcoholic and drug addict.  During those years I got pregnant, not realizing it, and drank and did drugs up until I realized I was pregnant.  My doctor counselled me to have an abortion.  I did.  Now I deeply regret my actions.  Then I quit doing so many drugs but continued in alcoholism.  I found myself pregnant again.  I went into preterm labor and my baby girl died.  That nearly decimated me.  But somehow I walked out of the rubble, though I was stunned and ashamed.  For twenty years I mourned my actions.  It was during those twenty years that I got married and had two more children.  My youngest was born with a rare syndrome.  I lived in fear for the first ten years of her life.  Her doctors told me that she would be fine.  They said she’d lead a full, healthy life.  I finally began to feel as though everything would work out.  Eight years later (nearly two years ago now), she died.  At the tender age of eighteen.  That was the icing on the cake.  I literally threw myself to the winds of fate and felt I knew nothing about life.   After digging myself out of the ashes once again I wrote Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief.

I wish I could say life was easy but I know it isn’t.  Every day I watch the news with one eye closed (I really dislike negativity now-I strive to stay very positive) as my husband watches TV.  So much trauma.   So much pain.  I realize I’m not the only one suffering.  Everyone suffers at least some time in their lives.  That is why I wrote Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief.  And my other two books:  Breaking The Silence and Poetry and Ponderings.  I wanted to help others by letting them know they’re not alone.  I wanted to pass on the things that I’ve learned so that my work could be a place of refuge to my readers.

It’s been rough.  “The hard way” is a statement I can attest to.  Over the years I’ve developed a deep faith in God (Spirit).  My books are packed with spiritual insight and wisdom that I have gleaned over the past fifty plus years.  Without my faith I would have sunk under the pressure that I’ve been confronted with time and time again.

If you’re suffering, or know someone who is, please take a look at my work.  I truly wish to be of help.  I’d love to hear stories from my readers that attest to what my writing meant to them.  Feel free to contact me.  I’m all over the internet-facebook, twitter, instagram and google plus is where I hang out the most.  But you can also find me on pinterest and linkedin.

Now that you know my motives for writing, I’d love to hear from you!

5 Ways To Feel Happier

1. Try meditation. Think about what you’re grateful for. Be thankful for the things and people in your life that bring you joy. Remember that each day is a gift as are the loved ones around you. You can’t feel bleak for too long with a grateful mindset!

2. Decorate with fresh flowers. There’s just something about the bright beauty and intoxicating smell of flowers that will always be uplifting. I believe flowers are a gift from spirit made just for that purpose! Even a single flower in a vase will go a long way in bringing on a sense of goodwill and appreciation!

3.  Buy a new perfume or cologne. Smells make a big difference in how you feel.  When you smell a skunk, not so happy! But a spritz of cologne or perfume immediately tells the brain that there is something pretty amazing in your vicinity! Certain people enjoy different smells, so pick one you love!

4. Take a walk and enjoy the fresh air. There’s nothing like Mother Nature to lift your spirits. Just breathing fresh air can change your thought processes. When you realize that the earth is your sustenance, not only do you want to enhance and protect it  but you are thankful to have such an amazing ecosystem to be a part of!

5.  Redecorate your home. Changing your living space is a very influential way to feel happier. You don’t have to do anything drastic. Simply move your furniture around. Maybe invest in some furniture throws or new rugs. A little bit of money can go a long way in making your home feel fresh and inviting!

Don’t Take It Personally

 

 

Everybody has good days and bad days. Sometimes we have bad months or years. It is at these times that we need to remember not to take hardship personally.

We’d all love to believe that life will be good for the most part. Many times we don’t want to admit that life can be horrible and that difficulty can plague us for long periods of time. But I believe it is better to realize and admit that life can be harsh. Why? Because being realistic helps us to handle pain better. If we continue to look at life through rose colored glasses, hardships can shatter us to the core. When we see life in realistic circumstances we no longer need to pretend that everything should be perfect. We realize perfection is an unattainable and frustrating goal.

No matter who we are or what we do, there will always be people who don’t empathize. And there will eventually be unforeseen circumstances that will come to call. A healthy attitude accepts those truths. When we learn not to take life personally, we will be much more balanced mentally, spiritually and physically.

For example, those of you who know my story know that I have lost several children. After my first child passed away, I felt I had been betrayed by spirit. I was angry and hurt. Bitterness grew inside me like bushes of thorns. I couldn’t believe spirit would do something so heinous. I wrestled with guilt, pain and remorse for years upon years. Eventually I came to a place of acceptance. Though it was hard, I realized that there are no laws in life which prevent pain and anguish from striking. And striking hard. In fact, I came to understand that disasters happen. I found my way through only to lose another child twenty years later. When my second child passed, I wanted to give up. I thought I had failed in some way. But I came to understand that life was never promised to be perfect. In fact, the only promise we have in life is that we are born, we live to the best of our abilities in the days were are given and then we leave. I don’t believe in death. I believe what we call death is simply a transformation similar to a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. I learned not to take it personally.

Maturation means growing up. Not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Through the turmoil I’ve dealt with during my lifetime, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are here to learn lessons and to improve our responses to those lessons, however harsh they may be. I consider our time on planet earth as a classroom. The bigger the lesson, the more blessed the experience will make things for us beyond our time here. We aren’t here to have fun, laugh and party 24/7. Sometimes, yes. Other times, no. We are here to learn more important things such as patience, love, redemption, forgiveness and compassion. If we are able to transform our scars into art forms upon our souls, we have succeeded in our time here. We have succeeded in learning depth, character and making beauty from the ashes that plague us.

If you are hurting or you know someone who is, inspire them to find hope and truth in the midst of their trauma. With compassion and understanding, they will arise from the ashes of their situation stronger, wiser and knowing not to take hardship personally.

Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief Is A Double Award Winner!

I am excited and pleased to say that Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief just won another award from the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!

This book of art, poetry and prose was written to give readers faith and hope that it is possible to have a life after a consuming loss. Death, divorce, illness and tragedy all threaten to stop us in our tracks. And for a while it does. But in my book, I embrace the concepts of spirituality and strength to bring hope and renewal into the heart and soul.

When we are weak and feel that we can’t recover from the blows life throws at us, that is the time to find strength in our weakness and regeneration in our spirits.

Art and writing can help so much to garner much needed strength in our lives. And empathy and compassion gird us up with the understanding that we’re not alone.

If you or someone you know needs encouragement, please consider this book as a help.

Basic Humanity

 

Instead of selfishness
Consider your brother;
God put us on earth
To help each other.

Instead of anger
Be willing to discover
How we can inspire
And respect each other.

What is the truth
That we live to uncover?
To extend a hand
And uplift each other!

Why are there millions
Of us living together?
To see we’re all part
Of Spirit’s creations and treasures.

We are all different
Yet the same in vast numbers;
We’re playing life’s game
In our hopes to remember:

We search for a purpose,
We yearn to recover
The reason we’re here-
To love one another!

Fairy Houses

Ever since I was a little kid I have loved fantasy. From epic adventures to gnomes and fairies, my mind was always in the clouds.
As a preteen I created notes for my siblings from gnomes who (supposedly)  lived in the walls of our house. I loved to pretend that creatures of fantasy were near at all times, just out of sight of the naked eye. I still enjoy thinking about these wonderful creatures. And I still talk about them-now to my grandchild.
Who knows if they aren’t just hiding in the flowers of our yards, waiting to cast beautiful nature spells amidst the stars of night? As part of my fantasy wonder, I have started to create fairy houses. Here are a few for you to enjoy:

I can just imagine tiny fairies with colorful hair and clothes moving in, their tinkling laughter riding on the wind as they bless the yard with flowers and dappled rays of sunshine.  Oh, what a wonderful dream!  Maybe that’s one thing the old nursery rhyme song meant:  “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily-life is but a dream.”

 

Mom’s Choice Awards

I recently won a gold medal for Poetry and Ponderings from Mom’s Choice Awards and a silver medal for Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief. I am deeply honored to be part of the Mom’s Choice Awards family which is recognized in fifty five countries for excellence in products. Both of my books join my book Breaking The Silence in the Mom’s Choice family, which also won a gold medal.
Please find links below to all three award winning books:

Finding Hope In The Darkness Of Grief:  https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Hope-Darkness-Grief-Spiritual/dp/1982205687/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533615942&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+hope+in+the+darkness+of+grief

Poetry and Ponderings:  https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Ponderings-Journey-Healing-Through/dp/0998167398/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533617824&sr=8-1&keywords=poetry+and+ponderings+diamante+lavendar

Breaking The Silence:  https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Silence-Diamante-Lavendar/dp/1502381257/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533617913&sr=8-1&keywords=breaking+the+silence+diamante+lavendar

Fun Artistic Decor

I love creating all types of art from paintings to photography to digital art. I’ve created some posters with pieces of my creations in fun decor ideas.

There are so many creative things available to add spice and love to your home or office!  It is so much fun to design these items!  Literally popping with every color under the sun!

From mild and mellow to hello colorful fellows!  🙂  Check out more than one hundred pieces of work at http://www.diamante-lavendar.pixels.com!

Review of Things Can Grow Between Your Toes by Laurie Bolanos

I was given a paperback copy of this book to review and I read it to my four year old grandbaby. She loved it! Her five year old cousin loved it too!
This book has cute, colorful illustrations and a very well written rhyming verse. The kids have already requested it to be read to them numerous times!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has children or takes care of children. It is fun, interesting and helps kids use their imaginations.  I give it a five diamond rating!  <> <> <> <> <>

You can find Laurie Bolanos’ book at:

https://www.amazon.com/Things-Grow-Between-Your-Toes/dp/1938125479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532852232&sr=8-1&keywords=laurie+bolanos

You can find Laurie at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-L-Bolanos-535601639912587/

Amazon:  amazon.com/author/lauriebolanos

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13781882.Laurie_L_Bolanos

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/greengables32