Monday, July 29, 2013

A Love Affair With Books

I love books. I always have. My mother said that we pass it down in our family. While she was pregnant, she read. While she nursed, she read. She said she taught me to read at an early age to help slow me down. I did all of the above with my daughter as well.

I read everyday. In the mornings I read the Bible and generally some type of book that will help me grow in my faith or that will aide in Bible study for Creative Team or just my personal interest. I'm usually reading a few of these types of books at the same time. Every night before I go to sleep I read fiction for 30-60 minutes ... to slow me down. It still works after all these years!

I rarely take naps, but laying down and reading for an hour or so can have the same effect on me that a nap would!

Now, I have incorporated my love for books and reading and text and words into my art journaling. I love to alter books and make them into art journals. I love to use book pages as art backgrounds so that the words and the text peak through the gesso and the paint.

Some current pages in my altered book art journal:
A few based on our study in 1 John ~

Some misc pages ~

I found an old book with a character named Mary and have found some great lines to clip and use on art journal pages. This line is so true of me!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Currently...A Winner

The results off the random drawing form comments on my blog post from July 15 is Kathy, Paper Pumpkin! A package of ephemera goodies is coming your way! Thank you to everyone who let me know what they are currently into.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I'm studying 1 John, along with the other members of our Creative Team, for our Sunday morning worship services. We have entered the heart of John's letter, chapter 4, where John will dive fully into the theme of love. I really love it when we go through a book of the Bible together as a church. It causes us to really slow down and hear what God has for us in the book. We may see passages in a different way then we did before. We see passages more in the context of the full book then we may have before in studying topically or just looking at a verse or passage by itself. Every time our church has studied a book together God has transformed us. Now, in 1 John, we look at love. I find already that I am being transformed; that I am seeing Biblical love in a different light. It challenges me as I try to look at it in practical ways. It brings about so many questions on what love really looks like when it is lived out, and on what it is not.

And so, as I study, I make art journal pages.

I am reading "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art" by Madeleine L'Engle with a group of artists online. A quote from the book on an art journal page:

I'm loving the slower pace of summer. I'm playing with art supplies, taking online art journaling classes, helping the hubby remodel our living room and dining room, cleaning out closets and the basement. Hmmm, doesn't sound like a slower pace, but it is. I'm just focused on different things than I do for most of the year. The pace will pick up the closer we get to the start of the school year. Already this past week we have started our school supply drive for our ministry to Keyser School. A few art journal pages:

The lens for my Nikon DSLR camera is broken and needs to be replaced so I'm exploring the world of Smartphone photography. The pictures are not quite as crisp as with my Nikon but I'm pretty pleased with how well my LG Lucid takes pictures. I'm also trying to figure out how to use Instagram, but I can't figure out how to embed a photo here. I'll keep plugging on.

That's my life currently.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Little Mixed Media Lesson

I learned a few tips for making mixed media art background pages from the wonderfully talented Roben-Marie Smith. (She can be found here: I have long admired her art journal pages and had an opportunity to take an online workshop from her as a part of a larger course called 21 Secrets.
My background pages from the workshop cut down to 7x9 for my current art journal:

Roben-Marie's next tip was to scan the full pages on your printer in order to cut up and

use for elements on future projects. Such a simple tip, but it was so cool! My scanned pages below:

We'll see what I create with the background pages and the scanned pages in the weeks ahead! On a side note, my lenses on my DSLR camera is broken so I am taking pictures of my art on my phone and then processing them in Photoshop Elements. Their not quite as good as the pictures from my camera, but it is amazing how well the Smartphone cameras take pictures. Amazing technology!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Your True Self

I like true self/false self language. It is the language of spiritual transformation. It is the language of Jesus and of the apostle Paul:
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self (the false self), which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self (the true self), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22--24 emphasis mine.
"...since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Colossians 3:9b-10
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may  live a new life.....For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin" Romans 6:4, 6
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.' Luke 9:23-24

The more we embrace who we are in Christ and live out of that, the more we become our true the self. The person we were created to be. The person God breathed into existence and formed in Christ. There is such a freedom in becoming this person, though the road is rough, we must go through death ~ death of our false self. Yet that false self feels so much like who we really are that it is often confused with "the real me". Each time I get a new pair of glasses with a new prescription I realize that I have not really been seeing clearly. I thought I was, but then that new set of lenses which makes what I see much clearer, reminds me that I had not been seeing as clear after-all. So it is with our false self. We think this is who we are, but then as we grow in Christ-likeness we begin to become the person we were really created by God to be. And the true self emerges and grows and we begin to see clearly that what we thought was real, was actually false. Our false self is made up of the lies we we believed about ourselves; it is made up of the person we thought we were supposed to be in order to be loved, to be liked, to be valued, to cope. It is made up of the coping mechanisms and defenses we created in order to survive. But all those things do not make up who we are in Christ. They do not make up who we are as a child of God, fully loved and valued for who we are ~ His beloved child. We are called in Scripture to live more and more out of our true self. Spiritual transformation comes as we yield to God and position ourselves in His presence to be changed. Positioning is experimenting with and finding those spiritual disciplines or practices which help us draw close to God and allow our hearts to be examined and reformed by Him. Art journaling as become one of those practices for me, along with Bible study, writing in my journal, reading, solitude, and connecting with kids and nature.

Well, this is not the post I had intended to write today, but it is the one that was revealed as I sat down and typed. It is the message that God drew out of me today.

A little more art:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Little Art

Just posting some art journal pages today. I'm very ready for a long weekend. We're cooking out tomorrow and hanging out with kids. Saturday we're off to an Indians game in Cleveland.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! May you fill it with the people and things you enjoy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Greatest Command

Jesus said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matthew 22:33-37) 

He also said: "This is my command, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

"He (Jesus) spoke as though there were no other command because, as a matter of fact, there really isn't any other command. Every other commandment  and every other message is contained in this one." 
Gregory Boyd

There's no getting around the fact that as followers of Christ we have been called to love others ~ to love others in the same manner God loves us ~ sacrificially, unconditionally. Boyd calls God's love for us "unsurpassable". This is the kind of love called "agape" love in the Bible. Agape love "is the act of unconditionally ascribing worth to another at a cost to oneself." ~Boyd

I can't wrap my mind around this great call on us, maybe because I can't wrap my mind around the fact that God loves me just like this. And He does. This is the place I must abide: secure in knowing experientially this unsurpassable love God has for me. I am incapable of loving others in this manner. My call is to abide in Christ and rely on Him to love others through me.

Some recent art journal pages:

I'm also reading "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art" by Madeleine L'Engle for the Made Course FB discussion group. A quote from chapter one:

Gregory Boyd quotes are from his book "Repenting of Religion: Turning From Judgment to the Love of God"