Wednesday, January 26, 2011

little hands, little eyes

As most of you know I have a son who will be 4 in March, who I dearly love. He is loud, full of energy and most of all very creative. One of his favorite things is to paint with me in my studio (aka the basement). I personally wish we could do this all day everyday, but that usually doesn't happen. On the days it does happen it's magical. I love the stories he comes up with as he paints and the colors he chooses to go together. He's not afraid to try anything and he has no rules that he follows. He is free. In his mind you can never mess up.

So many times when I am painting I get wrapped up in the rules or I am afraid to make a mistake, not realizing it's just paint, you can always paint over your mistakes or for really big messes get out your gesso and start from scratch.

I think we do the same thing in life too. So many of us are so worried about making a mess of things that instead of doing something, we do nothing and "hope" it just happens on it's own. The other scenario is that maybe we do start something, but we get into the middle of it and realize it's not coming out the way we hoped so instead of pushing through we just give up.

But I am here to tell you that we should not be afraid, we should see life the way my 3 year old does. You can never get too dirty, you can never mess up to much and you can never use too much paint.

See this verse:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

of course that is nice and easy to read, but sometimes hard to believe so if that doesn't stoke your fire enough see these next verses...

Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody.  Look well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:14-16  AMP

I love these verses in Timothy, not only does it urge you to use the gifts God has given you but it says PRACTICE...not just do, but PRACTICE. In other words if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. God knows we won't always get it right, but He does expect us to DO.

So forget the rules and use your gifts, God will do the rest. Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Crafting going on!

So for some reason this week I have been super crafty, well at least more than I usually have been (at least lately). I have some new pics that I will be sharing with you soon on the projects I have been working on, but I wanted to wet your whistle a little first, and share some of them with you.

So first my son and I painted crazy all over some scraps of canvas that I have had lying around that I will be cutting up, sewing together, and adding embellishments to...I can't wait to share these with you! The idea behind this project came from a painting I did a couple years ago (which is below)

The second project that I have been working on is making mittens from old sweaters. I picked up a couple sweaters from goodwill and made a pattern for my hand, the first pair were a little snug so I gave them to my son's preschool teacher for her daughter. So as I work on that and work out the kinks I will post some pics for you.
The third project was adding to a project I did a long time ago, I made some wreaths out of scraps of fabric, yarn and buttons, but they never seemed finished so I added some vintage ties to them and they are starting to look better, again I'll post pics later.

Last project is my journaling. So many have been asking me about this and I am super excited that I will be teaching spiritual art journaling this year at Willow Creek North Shore's Women's Retreat. I will have 2 sessions on it! How cool is that. SO right now I am working on what I will actually be teaching and what techinques to this comes together more I think I will start offering online classes for those of you not in the Chicago area.

That's my week so far, how's yours going?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Car Display Holder for over the door

This past weekend my son had a birthday party for a classmate (actually 2, twins) and after talking with them and their mom I decided to recreate an over the door matchbox car holder similar to one we received from a friend. Of course I quickly realized that this could be used for all sorts of things from matchbox cars to barbies to trains and name it.

To say the least I am super excited with how it came out and can't wait to make more for all sorts of things... Their mom knew what I was planning to make and I am pretty sure she was more excited about the gift than they were, but she said they wanted it hung up as soon as they opened it so I guess it was a win win... Happy Birthday again Miles and Nolan!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Fonts, the good the bad and the ugly

Being a designer and working with very different clients usually at the same time, it's important to have a variety of styles and ideas on hand at all times. You never know what a client will want to try next. So I have a list of books, websites, blogs and such to turn to for inspiration. Of course these are not just for working with my clients they are also for me when I am working on my art.

I wanted to share one of the sites that I came across recently for free fonts. Now I know that there are a lot of site for free fonts, but not all the fonts are that great, this site Font Squirrel does the hard work for you, by picking the best of the free. Of course you still need to read the fine print as to how you can use the fonts, but for designers, scrapbookers, artists that are on a budget this site is great!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do Not Be Afraid, I Bring Good News

I think it's always interesting when my son has a new saying. I always wonder where he gets them, most I can figure out and those I can't I will ask him about and I can usually decipher his answer. He's 3 so it doesn't take much for him to pick something up and repeat it over and over again. Which of course I have to remind myself of that every once in awhile.

So when he came up with his last saying I chalked it up to his Sunday School teachings, especially being that we just finished up the Christmas season, but anytime I asked him where he heard it, he would simply say "God".

Now our family has had a pretty rocky end of the year. One of my closest friends past away suddenly in November. This was especially hard for me because I have never lost anyone close to me. I didn't know what to feel or how to act, and I still don't really. I have been going over in my head for the last 2 months what I would have done differently if I had only known...but I didn't. She was a strong woman of faith and she was changing lives all around her, including my own. I have a lot to be thankful for because of her influence in my life. I miss her greatly and it's been super hard to focus on anything, especially my art. So instead I focused on nothing...not really a good thing to do with so much going on.

But a couple days ago everything finally clicked, I realized my son was giving me a message from God. A message I think we often forget especially this time of year.


There is always so much going on, but this time of year things seem to get more stressful more hurried, and the message that God is trying to remind us of gets lost. The GOOD NEWS doesn't seem to be the reason for the season anymore, and I think that was my struggle this past year. While others in my life worried about what "things" to get everyone and anyone, my thoughts were on Mary and the scene at the manger. I could not see how we went from celebrating the birth of Christ in a lonely meager manger to what it is now. I was sad for all these people running around me looking for presents instead of looking for Jesus. But my son got it. Now whether or not he actually heard it from God is a different story, but he at least got the message.

It took me a while but I finally got the message too and just sat amazed. Somehow my 3 year old has enough sense to listen when God was talking, but like so many others I struggle to sit still long enough to do this. So I decided to challenge myself this year for the first time. I sat down with a friend of mine and we made a list of things we want to accomplish this year, after sitting and listening to where I thought God was directing me (This way I had an accountability partner)

But I also wanted to share a few of them here with here goes.

1. Find more venues to teach my Spiritual Art Journaling class.
(if you know of any please share, I would love to hear your ideas)

2. Write a book/journal and get it published.

3. Challenge myself and my art and push it to new levels.

So these are what I will be trying to focus on this year, of course things might change (I am always up for change) but I am really going to be trying to LISTEN to what God is wanting from me and right now I think these are the paths I am supposed to be on.

So what are your plans for the new year, where are you feeling lead? I would love to know what's on all of your plates.