Friday, May 23, 2014

Art Journaling This Week

I continue to work in my Documented Life Project journal each week. I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself! I have a habit of getting tired of something ~ classes, challenges, etc ~ before it is finished. I'm a great starter! I love the planning and the creative energy that comes with starting a new project. So, I am feeling pretty proud of myself that I have worked on this project every week. We are now in the 21st week and getting close to the halfway mark of the year. Wow! I am going to squeeze the month of June into my journal and then start a new journal for the second half of the year. My journal binder has really become very fat!
Doc Life Week 20 page spread

Doc Life wk 20 side 1

Doc Life wk 20 side 2

Last week Mindy Lacefield started a group/course called "Sunday Mornings". (Check it out here: Sunday Mornings) Mindy has a habit of attending church on Sunday mornings and then going home and making art inspired from her worship experience. She has now invited others into her experience. I'm following along as I feel inspired. Last week I didn't participate in the portrait challenge she had cuz I just don't paint that way. But she also had a writing prompt which did inspire me to do some art journaling. Her prompt was "Lord lead me to your light..." and immediately I thought of Philippians 2:15-16.

The Sabbath theology study group I was a part of over the past few months has become our current Sunday series. Our website if you're interested: Grace Church Toledo, just click on the messages tab. Also on the blog tab you can see some resources we put together about Sabbath. One resource not included on that page is a blog I found recently Redemption's Beauty. Shelly Miller writes regularly about Sabbath. Below I art journaled a quote from one of her articles:

Last is just a random art journal page. I enjoy art journaling quotes and I love playing with painted paper!

I hope you found time to do the things that give you energy and joy this week. We are heading to my sister's for the weekend for a bridal shower and to just hang out with family at the lake, Enjoy the first holiday weekend of the summer!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

This Week's Projects

Recent pages from The Documented Life Project:
Week 19

Week 19 side 1

Week 19 side 2

Recent pages from The Art of Practising Gratitude challenge:
Day 5:Be Kind

One of my favorite techniques: cut-out letters from painted papers

Day 3: Inspire

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blessed To Be A Blessing

This morning I find myself thinking about blessings for a number of reasons:

  • This is today's topic over at Bernice Hopper's challenge blog, The Art of Practising Gratitude, and I just happen to be the guest blogger today. Be A Blessing Post 
  • The past few weeks have been very busy but, thankfully, I have spent a lot of time with kids, and kids are a blessing to me. I never felt a "call" to do ministry with children. It's never been a passion of mine. But back in 2005, when God called our church to reach out to the neighborhood surrounding the church, and adopting a public school was the way He was leading us to do this, I got connected with doing what He called us to do. And over the years, as I have tried to be faithful to serving as God has called our church to, these kids have grabbed hold of my heart and God has created a new passion and calling for my life. 
  • Last weekend I chaperoned 12 kids, ages 7-15, for a weekend at a camp we are associated with called Youth Haven Ranch. It wasn't really an easy weekend. There was petty squabbling in the car, a trip to the ER, not much sleep, and some pouting and pre-teen drama. BUT, in the midst of all that I enjoyed what I always enjoy at camp: watching kids get loved on and told about how much God loves them. A couple of our kids were there as "Leaders in Training" and I was so proud watching them. Just five years ago they were among the first of the little kids we took up to camp, who were loved on by the team leaders, and now they spent the weekend giving themselves over to serving kids. 
  • When I got home from camp on Sunday, my step-daughter, her husband, and her step-sons were at the house waiting to share part of Mother's Day with me. During their visit, my daughter in Charleston, SC called and it was almost like we were all together. I'm so proud of my beautiful adult daughters and the lives they have made for themselves.
  • Working in full time ministry isn't always easy. Working with people isn't easy. There are many times I'm worn-out and worn-down by it. But today, I am reminded of the many blessings God has given me and many of them are a result of being in full time ministry. I am blessed.
Art journal pages made for The Art of Practising Gratitude challenge guest blog post:

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Busy Little Blog Post

There's a lot going on in this blog post this morning!

 First, I was so excited when I opened Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Friday post this morning! Julie has a regular Friday feature called Art Journal Every Day. Each Friday she offers a post about her daily art journaling practice and will include guest artist interviews, photos of her art journal pages, tutorials, etc. Last week she did a post about the five basic art journal supplies she would recommend to a beginner art journaler and then asked her readers to submit a picture of the five items they would add to her list. So I submitted my photos and found this morning that Julie had included my photos in her post this morning. Thank you Julie! Here is the link: Balzerdesigns.typepad/artjournaleveryday

Second, I have a new tutorial on the blog: Altered Book Binder Journal. I have had so many requests for instructions on how I make my art journal binders from old books, I finally took some pictures as I made my most recent journal. Check out the tutorial page on the tabs at the top of the blog.

Last, I have some recent art journal pages for The Documented Life Project and The Art of Practising Gratitude challenge.

Doc Life Week 18 page spread
Doc Life wk 18 side 1
Doc Life wk 18 side 2

The Art of Practising Gratitude day 2: Positive

I hope your weekend includes time to be creative!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


The first theme for Bernice Hopper's The Art of Practising Gratitude challenge is create. Yesterday I did exactly that. I spent the day making background pages for my new altered book binder journal, I painted some paper, and I tried a few new techniques that Bernice introduced.

Bernice introduced us to two new techniques with a video on her challenge blog: adding texture and design to watercolor with salt and plastic wrap. Here is the plastic wrap technique result:

I like the result of the different lines and designs that result when the paint dries under the plastic wrap. I added some torn painted paper and some day this background may grow up to be an art journal page!

The salt technique was another story:

I used the salt technique on the background of the page I made for the challenge. The salt effect doesn't show up too much and the texture it left on the page after I brushed the salt off made it a bit difficult to write on.

Bernice provided us with the verse from Ephesians to spark our creativity and then gave us some questions to journal about: What does creativity mean to me? What am I thankful for in the creative areas of my life? I journaled about these questions on my page. The one I didn't have enough room for was, How do you express your creativity? I express my creativity through photography, decorating, art journaling, mixed media art, making journals, doing anything that involves color, and even through Bible study. Creating is a spiritual practice for me and one of the ways that helps me stay connected to God.

A day spent playing with paint and paper is a day spent being creative and experimenting. A lot of the papers I paint may never make it into my art, but I learn so much when I play, and playing with art energizes me and sparks new creativity. Some of the background pages form my playtime yesterday:

And one more art journal page:

I found this quote online from a book called The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus. I have read his work before and was inspired by it, so I ordered the book and it should arrive today. Looking forward to being inspired in my faith and my art!

What inspires you to create?

You can visit Bernice's challenge blog by clicking the link to the right.