Friday, February 27, 2009

My Christmas present arrived!

Drum Roll please...............................................................

My new Kindle has arrived. Whoo hoo!!! This is my Christmas present and I have been waiting for it to arrive since December and it showed up today.

This was the tab on the outside of the box. I slowly pulled the tab and then...

The inside was sooooo cool. Black with letters all over in a Star Wars kind of look. Then I lifted the lid and shazam there it was in all it's beautiful white loveliness.

I downloaded my first book and I am taking it to the beach with me this weekend. That reminds me. I won't be posting for four days while I am gone. Just veggin out, watching movies working on the fabric journal and hoping that my sore throat that I woke with will not develope into anything. OK, just had to share the excitement.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fabric Journal

I am so excited about this. Sorry about the shadows but you get the idea. I took some fabric I found on the discount table and painted on it for a fabric journal. I have been wanting to try it for weeks now and thanks to my friend Karin, who found some tutorials for me, I finally found some time last night to whip it together. The fabric was off white with bulky threads every so often woven in and I put gesso on it and then put paint over that with my brayer. I added some extra texture with rubber stamps and then sewed it together into a journal cover. I only had a couple of hours to put this together from start to finish so I used my Rosie drawing for the front. I am going to put together the inside pages this weekend when I am relaxing at the beach. I have been buying all kinds of embellishments in pink, black and cream and I'm really excited to get going on the inside signatures. I want to try and use fabric and paper together on the pages which will be different than what I have done in the past with my journals. This particular journal you can add signatures as you go. I took Donna Downey's inspiration journal class on this technique and it is really simple and quick too. I am still working in my other journal and have some pages to share but I think it will have to wait until next week when I get back from the beach. Have a great weekend everyone and happy journaling!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Void

Just as our lives go through seasons so do our creative lives. Part of the that process is what chapter four in 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women calls, THE VOID. It sounds ominous and scary and it can be, I suppose. The place where you come to that is empty of ideas. This is where you take a step back and reevaluate, wait, let go and redesign. By doing this we will be slowly prompted to take a new direction. To figure this all out and make it through this time we need to take a time out and listen to our hearts and the gentle voice whispering new dreams into existence. For me it is when things are about to change and the Lord is telling me ever so slowly which way to turn. It is when things happen unexpected that point in a different direction than I thought I was heading. I hear the promptings so much more when I am quiet and take time to listen. This is not an easy thing to do. Slowing down and just being instead of doing goes against the norm and takes courage to wait for the answers to come. Then, when the ideas come and you start moving again it is like a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon. A beautiful thing is born. I have been reading some blogs lately of artists going through this time. They feel the need to take long walks or sit and enjoy a sunset or spend time with friends without the frantic need to create. Not knowing what to say about the lack of product being created. I think by understanding this cycle of birth, death and rebirth will help us all support each other through it. How encouraging it would be to have artists share their stories of how they made it through each of these cycles. Please feel free to share here if you like. I think I am in the birth stage and don't have much to share yet but would love to hear your stories.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Journal Swap reminder

Just a quick reminder that I am still looking for a few more people to join our circle journal swap. We will each send a journal around the group of participants one month at a time and eventually your journal will get back to you. It will be a lot of fun and so send me a note if you want to join or if you have more questions, I would be glad to send you the instructions. Don't miss out on all the fun! Let me know right away.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Be Creative

This is a huge concept for me. I keep hearing the interviews that Jamie Riddler is doing over at Next Chapter and the artists keep saying the same thing. Don't wait until you are in the mood to create, just do something and your muse will show up. My life is so full of chaos that I find that I am more tired than inspired. The one thing that helps me to come out of this dismal place is to just open up my journal and look at the colors, feel the textures, smell the paint and start making marks on the page. My inner self gets quiet and peaceful and soon I find that ideas start to flow. That is about all I can ask for right now.

I love this line by Minnie Richard Smith:
Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs, you see.
Lately I have felt like a lump of coal but who knows what I will end up being if I just stick to the process of creating art.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Time to breathe

Life has been very stressful this week and I'm still staying positive but sometimes you just need space. I was taking care of so much yesterday that I decided to take a few hours to myself today.

I met an artist friend for coffee and it was so thrilling to talk art. She told me about DecoColor paint markers and so when we were done I went straight to the craft store and bought a black one. They are smelly pens but look shiny on the page, very cool. While I was wandering around, not wanting to go home yet, I found the butterfly engraving art picture in my page above. You use the engraving tool to scrape away the black paint to reveal the color underneath. Then, down the next isle I found small cans of spray paint. I have been wanting to try using this kind of paint in my art and so the small cans help me to try it out without too much of an investment. Finally, I decided to start adding ribbon to my stash. I never buy any and found some really cheap that I loved. I want to make a fabric journal and will add the ribbon in there. You can bet I will be posting pictures if it works out. One of my new favorite artists is DJ Pettit who makes fabric journals. I hope to take a class from her one of these days. For now, I will just play around and hopefully have a lot of fun.

After I got done there, I drove over to paperdoll. I bought the new Artful Blogging magazine and had a great time talking with the owner. It was a great morning, driving in the beautiful sunshine with the music playing and letting my mind relax and plan so many new art projects. Now, I just need some time to use all my cool supplies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Altered book

Yesterday a friend of mine came over and helped me to alter this book. I found some old books at a garage sale and decided that I wanted to make them into journals. I always get these great ideas when I don't have a clue how to do it. Fortunately for me, Jaron was willing to come to my house and teach me how to rip out the existing pages and replace them with drawing paper for a great little journal. Thanks Jaron!!! I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them. The other books are so cute with fun titles on the front but I wanted to start with the plain one first in case I messed it up. I don't know what I am going to do with a bunch of journals, maybe I will have to have a give-a-way. I'll see how it goes with the rest. The inside cover of this one has a cute mini floral print in green and the pink beads just set it of so well. I guess, you normally cover the outside too but I just love the feel and look of old books and so I decided to leave it the way it was. It felt like I was destroying the book enough to rip it's insides out, I just couldn't do that to the outside too. Well, I am off for the day of meetings. Hope you have a good one!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Be positive

I have been thinking quite a bit lately that my perspective has a lot to do with my attitude or maybe it is the other way around. Kind of the chicken or the egg dilemma. Anyway, when I focus on the good in a situation it just makes life seem better. I am reading a book with some women called, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. It really has some good insights into this way of positive thinking and finding contentment. Not that you are in denial of reality just that you choose to focus on the good and not the bad. This journal page was created with that in mind. There was a line in the book that has impacted me in a big way. I hope this will impact you like it did me.
Two women looked through prison bars
one saw mud
the other saw stars
I think I would like to look at stars for a while and see if it agrees with me because the mud will always be there and stars are so much more beautiful to look at.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. We went out last night instead because we have had long waits when we have gone out on Valentine's Day before and wanted to beat the rush. We had the best time and it was even more enjoyable because we went with friends. We started by going to the hospital to see our friends who had just delivered a baby boy. He was so beautiful and I got to hold him for a bit. Then we met some other friends for dinner at Stanfords. They had a Valentine special and it was fabulous. I had bread, deviled eggs with shrimp and bacon, tarragon grilled chicken breast with potatoes and asparagus, then creme brulee for desert. Whew, makes me full just talking about all that food. This whole weekend was about food. Today I fixed waffles and bacon for breakfast and New York steak with grilled vegetables and fries for dinner. I should have taken pictures but I was too busy eating and enjoying it all to remember to get my camera out. Just take my word on this, it was really really good. Now, I will have to be careful for a month to make up for all those calories. Then my DH sent me a pajamagram in pink of course and a painting I ordered from Cindy showed up today. Check out her etsy shop. She even sent along a beautiful card with a mini-canvas painting as an added surprise. It has been a pretty good weekend and it is not even over yet.

I got to play in my art room today and painted an abstract painting and worked on this journal page. I am loving Saturdays. I'm still working on the painting but I will show you when I finish.

I hope that you have those you love close to you and can show them how much they mean to you. Don't take them for granted for one minute. Spend as much time with them as you can and cherish each second.

Lastly, I want to send a little blog love out to you all that stopped by today.
Consider yourself hugged :)

Lemonade award

Kim over at Lilacs and Daffodils gave me this award. This award is given to those bloggers who "show great attitude and/or gratitude." She is such a sweetie, I hope you will go over to her blog and leave a comment and encourage her. She is an art student and I love to hear all that she is doing in school because I would be there if I could. I think I could be the perpetual student if I could afford the time and money. Right now I am so wishing that I could take Photoshop, acrylic painting and photography classes. Maybe next year.

Thanks Kim for giving me this award, I really appreciate it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I've been tagged

Ok, I was tagged by Karin who used to be a dear friend of mine. I'm just joking, she still is but I hate playing games or being tagged or anything else that makes me do something I don't want to do. I am playing along so you can give me credit for that. This picture was taken on my property during one of our snowstorms in January of 2007. I think it is quite beautiful. For some unknown reason I love photos that lead you somewhere like pictures of roads or paths or river beds. I have a lot of those kinds in my photo files. This is the picture that came up when I followed the rules she sent me. So I won't tag anyone but if you want to play along here is what you do and you can pretend that I tagged you.

So what you are supposed to do is:
Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
1. Pick the 6th Folder, then select the the 6th picture in that folder.
2. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
3. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know, to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Look Within

There is a song out right now by Matthew West that reaches right down into my soul and pounds my heart. I connect with what he is singing about because it speaks the thoughts I have had. I wrote out the words on this journal page and I hope this song will inspire you too. I don't want to just go through life having not truly lived, just going through the motions. I want my existence in this world to have made a difference. I want to live life passionately and to have that passion come from the Lord. I want to know that I am right where I should be, doing what I should be doing and feeling the joy and peace that can only come from being in that sweet spot. Not that everything would be perfect because life is very messy. I'm talking about fulfilling my purpose in a way that brings glory to God and inspires others to live life purposefully too. Here are the words to the song:
This might hurt
it's not safe
but I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break
at least I'll be feeling something
cause just OK is not enough
help fight through the nothingness of life
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without your all consuming
passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking
what if I had given everything
instead of going through the motions
No regrets
not this time
gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
Take me all the way!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Building your sanctuary

I am going through the book, "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" by Gail McMeekin. There are a whole bunch of women going through the book together over at Jamie Riddler's blog. I am so far behind, oh well. I just went through chapter two today on Honoring Your Inspirations. One of the challenges that is suggested is similar to the daily book in the Creative Call and that is to take time everyday to sit quietly, listen to your thoughts and write down inspirations or whatever else comes out. I have been resistant to this process but I decided today that I should give it a go. So I made a new journal out of a composition notebook and have started doing some of the exercises suggested and will journal for a few minutes everyday and sit in silence and listen for creative thoughts to emerge. The other idea that intrigued me was that we can get inspiration from our surroundings. Birds that fly by our window, a flower on a bush, colors in nature, lines and shapes in anything around us. Just being aware of everything may provide new sparks for the creative process. Part of our surroundings is the place where we create. We need to make our creative spaces welcoming and a true sanctuary. I have some ideas for my art room. Simple changes that will make it more inviting and less inhibiting. I am enjoying the book so far because it really has some good insights into getting in tune to your personal creativity and how to encourage it. Take a wander over to Jamie's blog and check it out. She is interviewing a different creative woman every Friday and those have been very interesting.

Moment by moment

I was looking through some quotes the other day and ran across this one. This sums up what I have been trying to live the last year. Living in the moment and enjoying each moment for what it is. Part of that authentic moment by moment life is feeling each emotion and dealing with it. I think that is one of the reasons why people keep running the fast-paced life. You moved too fast to deal with anything and we all know that dealing with our stuff and owning it can be painful. Most of my art pages are meant for encouragement but in trying to be authentic I thought I would create one about owning my anger. I am a pretty patient, reasonable and even keel kind of person but there are times when I think steam could be seen coming out my ears and unwriteable words come popping into my head. Shocking, I know. I have to put myself in time-out and talk myself down from the ledge and tell myself to let it go. Usually that process is worked out in my journal and a lot of prayer. It is a good thing that these moments are few. I hate it when I get pushed that far. But the good thing is, I usually learn a lot about myself through it and hopefully grow from the experience. Letting go in the moment is so much better than stuffing it and carrying it with you through life.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Connect the Dots

I woke up this morning and things seemed like it had possibilities. It is amazing what a good nights sleep can do to your attitude on the day. Anyway, I was thinking about how there are a lot of good things to do in the course of a day, week or year but what is the best thing? Our choices can be so many that we get overwhelmed with what to do. I have done just about every kind of craft and type of art there is but a few years ago I felt that I needed to focus and limit my creativity to three areas. Now I am feeling the need to revise that again. I was reading in chapter two of The Creative Call and the idea was expressed that God, the Creator, creates through us. If we listen carefully we can hear what He wants us to express through our art. I like that idea. I like it a lot. I don't have to worry about what to do, I just need stay connected to the Creator and let the creativity flow. The book encourages writing regularly in a journal to let the flow come out on paper. I love to work in my art journal but I find just writing in a journal harder to do. Hm, maybe I should give it a try. Something to consider anyway.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

White Butterflies

Can I just say that this is one of my favorite pages I have done lately. Purple is not my color at all but it fits here somehow. I came up with the white butterfly theme and thought what a great way to describe a miracle. Something out of the ordinary that gives hope and inspires your heart to believe that unexpected surprises are out there. This week I have been working on letting anxiety go and focusing on what is true and honorable and right. Thinking about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Those things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Here are some of those thoughts that have brought hope and peace out of the chaos of life.
  • Having my grandson kiss me on both cheeks with loud smacks and a little snot mixed in
  • Getting a call from my son, just because
  • Seeing my daughters face when she found out she got a 99% on her psychology test
  • Watching Groundhog's Day movie with the family
  • Laughing at my husbands song he made up about the groundhog blues
  • Getting a day in my art room
  • Reading a book for fun and finishing it in one week
  • Meeting a friend for coffee and brainstorming about doing an art fair
  • Reaching the goal of 50lbs. lost.
  • Having my other daughter tell me she really appreciates me
  • Drinking hot coffee in the quiet morning before everyone gets up

Monday, February 2, 2009

Be Brave

I worked in my art journal over the weekend and it was so wonderful. My thoughtful husband noticed that I have not been able to get out to my art room in weeks and so he took everyone out of the house for the day and gave me orders to get in there. You don't have to tell me twice to go and play and so I was able to get some pages prepped for working on in the evenings this week. I used to do my whole page in one sitting but with limited time these days I am finding that I have to work in stages. This page I finished on Saturday.

I have felt the need to start making some goals concerning my art but as I sit down to make them I just don't know what to write. There is a fear that comes over me. Would it be too arrogant to write down some big goals or should I stick with just one small goal at a time? Do I test the waters or do a blaze ahead boldly? I am stuck with indecison and we know nothing will get accomplished in that place so I have decided that I will take one week at a time and write down some specific goals that stretch me but that I can accomplish.

Goals I decided on:
1. I am going to read The Creative Call ( once chapter a month)
2. I am going to read 12 Secrets of Highly creative Women ( one chapter a week).
3. I am going to work through my art journal and when it is finished I will submit it to Somerset's Art Journal magazine (with fear and trembling) and see what happens.
4. I will attend one art retreat this year.
5. I will organize a journal swap.

That is all I am going to do for now. I am torturing myself with this whole goal thing and so for now that is my plan. I will continue to pray about it and see if God points me in another direction or makes things happen within the goals I have set. Now I am going to make out my week's schedule based on those goals. I am actually excited to get going on this.