Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Meandering 9.21.15

This month's theme for the HKC Take Me Deeper devotions is the promises of God. I had made background pages in advance last month when I was playing with my new 4" round Gelli plate. Doing them all at once created a theme.

September Week 1

September Week 2

September Week 3
Last week, after reading about breathing exercises in The Creative Call, I determined to start taking photo walks in nature. I took two last week and found them to be both relaxing and stimulating. I saw so many types of birds. I wrote about breathing exercises and the birds I saw in my last post. Today I took another photo walk at the park along the river. Today I spotted a Green Heron for the first time. He was in no hurry to go anywhere and didn't seem to mind my getting close to him. The Green Heron is so much smaller than the Blue Heron's I typically see. He was only about 14 inches when he extended his neck.

I only saw water birds today: Blue Heron, Egret, Sandpiper, and female Mallards with their pretty blue stripes. I purchased a Moleskine watercolor notebook to begin keeping notes and pictures from my photo walks. Any excuse to start another journal! I'm even trying some watercolor in this one.!

I hope you have a good week and are able to make time to breathe. :)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Breathing Exercise

Earlier this summer we did a book club in the HKC community and read the book The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. But I got busy and didn't finish the book. The other day I picked it up again and what I have been reading has been just what I needed. God knows what we need when we need it!

In chapter five she talks about the artist gaining their creative inspiration from the Holy Spirit. So often it is my time in prayer and in Bible study that sparks creative inspiration in me and much of the time I can connect dry times creatively to having not spent much time with God in His Word and in prayer. I tend to suffer spiritually and creatively when I get too busy. It's a constant theme for me and one I wrestle with often as I try to balance the many demands of life with what is best for my heart, mind and soul. So, for the past week I have been reading abut what Janice Elsheimer calls "breathing exercises". She says that, 
"In order to take in, to breathe in, the inspiration God offers us, we have to learn to pay attention tot he world around us."
It's doing things that stimulate our senses and things that give us energy - things that nourish creativity within us. Breathing exercises are "taking time to be alone, to absorb whatever God wants you to take in." It's funny because God tends to speak the same thing to me over and over again to get my attention. I have spoken often on my blog about the battles I have faced with burn-out. As I have studied my Myers-Briggs personality type (INFJ) in attempts to help fight the burn-out tendencies in me, one of the things that came out is the need for me to 'stimulate my senses" in an effort to stem the tide of burn-out. For me, that means getting outside and taking in nature. I've known this, but have been slow to make it a practice. So when I read this chapter in The Creative Call I felt God once again leading me to the same thing, to something He knows will feed my soul and give me energy. In the chapter she really encourages us to simply get out and do whatever it is. Not to talk about doing it but to "just do it". So, on Monday, after getting my work done, I drove over to the park along the river and I took a photo walk. Walking in nature with my camera is relaxing and stimulating, and is even a spiritual experience for me. I planned for an hour and ended up spending two! I took in the water and the birds and the sun. I breathed in the fresh air and listened to the sounds of nature. It was wonderful and I felt my spirits lifting. It was therapeutic. I have vowed to do this for at least one hour per week, to make time for it no matter what is on my schedule or what the weather is like. I went back for an hour on Wednesday afternoon! Here is how I recorded it in my Creative Call journal and some of the pictures I took:

White-breasted Nuthatch

I saw a Killdeer for the first time!

I think this is a Sandpiper but I couldn't get closer.

I'm pretty sure this is a Red-cockaded Woodpecker

I found a bit of Autumn
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Toward the end of my time on Monday I stumbled upon an artist painting along the river. Her name is Patti and she is new to our area. I ran into her again on Wednesday.

This experience also reminded me of a quote credited to Augustine that resonated with me last year:
"Solvitur Ambulando - It is solved by walking."
I really feel so slow in getting the things that God places before me for my good. He just keeps lovingly putting up billboards in my path to help me get the message!

What are your "breathing exercises"?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I'm so excited!
                I can finally share a little news.
                               Because this came in the mail today....

And this was on page 8...

I was just so thrilled and honored to be asked to share one of my journals in one of my favorite magazines...again! 

There are four more pages to the article. I stalk the mail person every other month when this magazine is due. This time it was extra special tearing off the plastic wrapper and digging in. 
Thank you Stampington and Amber Demien! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hello Creative Spark! (And a giveaway winner)

September always makes me think of fall - even though we are in the middle of a heat wave here! But the fall bug has started for me! I read a quote the other day that really struck me:
"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing.Wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating.There really is no such thing as bad weather,only different kinds of good weather."  ~John Ruskin
That really does sum things up well for me - maybe with the exception of hot, humid weather! I really do like all of the seasons and all types of weather, but I would have to say that autumn is my favorite followed closely be spring. I'm pushing the season a bit with this little package I ordered from Citron Faire shop on Etsy. Aren't they cute!

For the past few months I just haven't had a lot of creative energy. I've made art and done quite a bit of art journaling but I just haven't felt the creative juice I'm used to. I've started painting papers many times only to give up, unhappy with the results. But over the past few days that creative spark has returned. It really started with a little Bible study I stumbled on by accident. I was studying chapter 9 in the gospel of John for the study team I am on at my church. This is the chapter where Jesus heals the blind man and one of the places in the book where he says, "I am the light of the world." I got rabbit-trailed in my study by looking into the Old Testament, and especially Isaiah, at the Messianic references to light and how restoring sight would be a sign of the messiah. This rabbit-trail of light and sight made me want to make a journal to record my findings creatively, So I made a stitched pamphlet with water color paper and started painting some papers. In between all the other things that needed to get done over this holiday weekend I have been covering pages in this journal with painted papers. And I have felt that creative spark ignite! I can make art without the spark, but, wow, do I really feel more connected to it creatively when that spark exists! I just don't like doing things on auto-pilot, whether it's art or Bible study, and it's easy to get into ruts and do just that. My Light and Sight journal pages are filling up with background papers and then I'll start adding what I gleaned from my study.

Our Take Me Deeper theme for faithart devotional studies in September is about God's promises. My first page of the month:

Now for the winner of the bird themed vintage paper pack from my Etsy shop: Shawna Rash! If you like birds join our newest class from the His Kingdom Come foundation team, God's Aviary. Thank you to everyone who participated! Shawna, send me your mailing address:

Congratulations Shawna!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Giveaway and a New Class at HKC

Tomorrow we are releasing a new collaborative class from the foundation team of the His Kingdom Come community. This will be our third collaborative class offering this year. The five of us have such a great time connecting and sharing ideas and art, and it's always neat to see how different our five projects end up!

The class is called Faithart 102: God's Aviary. Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows how much I enjoy birds! We each took a different bird or bird subject and traced the theme through the Bible. We then each made a different type of journal to put our study notes and art into. You can purchase each class individually for $8 or a bundle of all five for $35. Visit here to read more about the classes. Here is a sneak peak video of the class:

For my study I dug into bird symbolism used in the Bible and focused on three areas: trust, refuge and renewal. Here is a sneak peak into my journal:

Since I love birds and I love collage and I have bird themed collage packs of vintage papers in my Etsy shop I decided it would be fun to do a giveaway on my blog.  Here is what you do: pop over to my Etsy shop, {found on brighton}, and take a peak around. then come back here and share a comment about an item you saw there. The winner of the random drawing will win a bird themed paper pack plus a few extra goodies! Leave your comment here by 6:00 pm EST Sunday.  I will announce the winner here on Monday, September 7. 

Well, I'm looking forward to a long weekend and a little extra time to play with art. I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend and that you find time to be creative. :)