Thursday, January 30, 2014

Inspiration ~ Seeing With Creative Eyes

  • the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  • something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea of what to do or create.
It has been said that creativity is like a muscle. It must be exercised and used in order to make it grow. When we exercise it we build muscle mass, when we don't we experience muscle atrophy. I have found this to be very true over the past few years as I have gotten in touch with making art..It is still so hard to call myself an artist. I have done something creative throughout most of my life. I had hobbies like cross stitch and quilting, and those are art forms as well, but something different happened as I began to explore art journaling and collage and mixed media art. It became more art and less hobby. I need to exercise my creative muscles with art every day, even if just for a few minutes. I think about art all the time. In fact, it has changed how I view everything else. I see through more of a creative lens now. Some examples:

Yesterday I made a hospital visit and the tile on the floor caught my eye and I thought, "This would be a cool thing to do with painted paper scraps."

During a visit to the art museum with my mom a few weeks ago I was captivated by an ancient Roman mosaic tile floor and it gave me the itch to play with making paper mosaics.

This car inspired the color of my remodeled dining room. I snapped a picture of the color on a car in the parking lot and then went into Lowes and got 

I have taken pictures of walls and wall paper in restaurants thinking they would make great doodle patterns.

These are just a few examples of how my creative eye has been inspired as I have learned to use my creative muscles. In my next post I'll talk about other ways I am inspired to make art.

Here's a little sneak peak at something that has been my latest inspiration:

And I have begun using my newest altered book art journal:

Work in progress
Are you exercising your creative muscles?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mid-month Catch-up

January is just flying by and here we are at the middle of the month already. So far this month we have had record breaking cold - 1 degree for the high on 1/7, not including the windchill - and two snowstorms days apart leaving us with almost 24 inches of snow. The kids here got an additional week off of school tagged on to the end of Christmas break. The city shut down for two days so the week after the holidays we had a short week, which was nice. But it all made for a lot of catching up last week and a feeling of wondering where the month has gone.

On the art journaling front:
I have begun working in my new altered book art journal ~

I am working on the first few challenges for Documented life ~
Week 1 challenge was to use a picture of your front door

Week 1 calendar pages

Also working through the One Little Word exercises for this month, which are going into the same journal with Documented Life ~

I want to play with collage more this year and am attempting to make a collage a week. Here is Collage 2 ~

I added a few more Vintage Paper Packs to my shop including this one ~ full of vintage ladies and gents!
Vintage People Paper Pack
My beautiful daughter turns 34 this week. This also has left me wondering where the time has gone. I am enjoying witnessing what an incredible woman she has grown into and watching her navigate married life. I'm proud of her and am so happy she found such a loving guy to spend her life with!

That's all for today. I hope you are enjoying your week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Chapter

I love the start of new things ~ new books, new art journals, new decorating projects, new adventures, a new journey, and right now, a new year. I found myself in the last few weeks of 2013 greatly anticipating the arrival of 2014. I am ready for the new-ness. I'm ready for a fresh start. I'm ready to put some old stuff away ~ things that have been weighing me down, things that have made me feel stuck, things that have been getting me down. It feels like the past few years have been heavy years and I'm tired. I'm weary. In some aspects I've lost heart and hope. I'm ready to move on; ready to be refreshed; ready to have my heart and my hope restored; to have my attitude and my energy renewed. At some point in the past few weeks I made a decision to simply choose to make 2014 a different year, a better year. I don't know how. I don't have it all figured out. But I am determined. I have decided that it's just time for things to change. I am realistic and practical, I know that it won't happen just like that, with a blink of an eye or the snap of my fingers. It will take time and will probably be a slow process, but every journey begins with taking the first step, and this decision to choose is my first step.

This year I am making it a goal to bring more people into my journey, into my struggles, into my joys, into my life in general. That has been part of my struggle over the past few years, I managed my pain and my trials by retreating. A few years ago I discovered that I am really more of an introvert than an extrovert. My extroversion was more a survival mechanism than a part of my wiring, and just possibly I swung too far into seclusion as I discovered my introverted tendencies. What will bringing people into my journey look like? Again I don't have it all figured out, but there are a few steps I plan on taking: 1.) I'm going to test a spiritual direction group with a few other ladies and, 2.) I'm going to explore the collaboration of art/creativity and spiritual practices by doing a group or class at church and on my blog. That's all I've figured out so far.

Some of the creative adventures I've decided to embark on in 2014:

  • My word for 2014 is BE. Part of the change I want to see in the coming year has to do with both being myself and being very comfortable with that and with being my true self ~ the me who is shaped by her relationship with Christ. For me to "BE" means to live fully ~ fully dependent on God and fully living out of who I am. That means living more out of who I am than out of what I do. It's recognizing and believing that my "doing" flows out of my "being" and not the other way around. So in 2014 I want to focus more on being ~ being me. Once again this year I am participating in Ali Edwards One Little Word 2014 (OLW 2014) hoping that the prompts, challenges and structure will help me stay connected with my word through the year.
  • I am participating in The Documented Life Project (Doc Life) led by one of my favorite artists, Roben-Marie Smith, and a few other ladies. It is a creative altered planner project that I am "altering" to fit me and what I want to do this year. So I am following the groups challenges and adding in highlights from my week as well as incorporating my OLW 2014 into the project. I have altered an old dictionary for my project journal rather than the Moleskein planner that many in the group are using.
  • Another thing I wanted to try more of this year is collage so I am trying to make a collage a week and placing these in my Doc Life journal as well.
  • I will also keep an art journal in addition to my Doc Life journal for everyday art journaling.
Well, I think that's enough for the start of my year. It will, of course, include a continuation of my exploration of contemplative spiritual practices and Bible study! Below are some pictures of the projects I've started:

My Doc Life project journal
monthly tabs
weekly calendar pages

Collage week 1 

OLW 2014
There are links to The Documented Life Project and One Little Word 2014 in the sidebar on the right.

What do you plan to do in 2014?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Out With the Old..

I have been absent from this blog for almost a month. I finished up the busy Christmas season at work, got ready for the holiday and the week of Christmas recovering my energy and my soul. Downtime is so good for the soul. :)

For the past few weeks I have had a sense of anticipation for the new year ~ fresh starts, new beginnings - a new year always brings with it a sense of being able to start over and this year I just feel like I want to move beyond some things and get on with life. But more on that in a future post (hopefully this weekend). Before I get too much into looking ahead at the new year I want to finish the old.

I didn't get to participate in Advent creatively as I have done over the past few years. I just didn't have the creative energy this year. I followed an Advent devotional online and participated in the planning and conversation at church, even giving the 4th Sunday Advent message and candle lighting (it can be found here: But Advent art journaling just didn't come easily this year. This is the only page I made:

The cry of Advent is my desire for the year ahead. The past few years have been rough for me on a number of levels and I'm ready to move out of that place of feeling down and stuck. I need a fresh dose of hope and it is only through the God of hope that it can be found. Again, more on that in future posts.

My current altered book art journal is so close to being complete. I have only 3 or 4 pages left to journal on and it is done. This is a great accomplishment for me. I am such a great starter, but I have numerous unfinished art journals on my shelf. Most of the time I'm okay with this. I think it goes along with just letting myself flow creatively and being okay with that. But I have also discovered a clue to my finishing a journal: no theme. For some reason I can't connect with now, when I first began art journaling I felt I needed to have themed journals. But the problem is that I carry so many things in my head that I would need too many themed journals to keep up with and that may be why they don't always get finished. I move on to the next thing that has captured my attention. (Wow, that sounds rather A.D.D.) With my current journal I didn't care about theme. It contains everything from this past year and therein lies my secret to completing journals! So as I wrap up my current journal here are some of the pages I've completed in the past month:

That pretty much wraps up 2013 for me. I am so ready for 2014 and am glad it is here! Hopefully you will hear from me again in the next few days and we can begin the next chapter!