Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vintage Art Display

Last year, while visiting my sister, I started an art journal using a vintage Rolodex as a holder. I have had a great time using the Rolodex cards to do art journaling on and enjoy the smaller size and the fun way to display them. I have always been a sucker for office supplies....especially vintage ones!

This project has made me want to get creative with using vintage items and altered items as ways to display art journaling. So, as I am on the hunt for vintage items and getting creative with various ways to display art journaling and collage, I have added a new section to my Etsy shop where I will sell items similar to what I am using. I have also started a Pinterest board with ideas for using the type of ephemera and vintage items found in my shop. You can find the Pinterest board here.

The new items I have added to the shop are:

Vintage Math Flash Cards
Vintage Metal Rolodex
Look at the cute ideas for using the flash cards:

From Crystelle Boutique via Pinterest
From Somethingtobefound.com viaPinterest
There are more ideas on my new Pinterest board. Watch my shop as I add vintage items I find along the way. {found on brighton}@Etsy

Monday, January 18, 2016

Art Journal Plans 2016

 I am participating in a number of groups this year to help inspire my creative juices. Last year I really missed joining in with One Little Word (OLW) and The Documented Life Project (DLP) due to my busyness with the His Kingdom Come community. This year I am already enjoying slowing down and spending time on projects that foster reflection and changing habits, life planning and documenting memories. This is what these two projects bring to the table.

One Little Word is led by Ali Edwards - you can learn more about her on her website here. Ali offers a year full of prompts and ideas to incorporate with your word for the year. The Documented Life Project is a year long project done in a planner that uses prompts and technique challenges to record daily life throughout the year - you can learn more about their project here.
Originally I thought I would combine my different art adventures into one, or maybe two, journals. But as time progressed and I got involved in the plans for each group I decided on separate journals. And I decided to actually use the journals each group was offering their members. But then, just because I love making my own journals, I added an altered book journal in which I sewed the signatures and bound them into the spine of the book. I found this wonderfully worn German book at a book sale and the pages were literally falling out of it. It's worn cover and beautiful red spine were calling to me to be made into a journal and I intend to use it for miscellaneous art projects and classes throughout the year. In addition to that I made a small pamphlet style booklet to use as a travel journal on my upcoming road trip with my sister (I made one for her also!).

Here are some glimpses of my various art journals:

One Little Word:

OLW January divider page with my word circled: Rest

The Documented Life Project

Altered Book Art Journal:

Sisters Road Trip Travel Journal:

I will still do art and make recording from my photo walks in my Nature Journal. Who knows what else I'll get involved in this year. I'm just going with the creative flow!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Birding

I love watching and photographing birds. This past summer/fall I was reading The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer and got in touch with a practice she calls "breathing exercises". You can read more about it in this post. Simply put, breathing exercises are finding things to do that stimulate our senses and nourish our creativity. I found that taking photo walks fits the bill for me. In addition to stimulating my senses and building my creative energy, I found that the time spent on photo walks also restores my emotional energy and is a time of solitude and connecting with God. At that time I decided to fully embrace birding and started keeping a nature journal and learning more about how to identify the birds and their habits.

Other than putting up some feeders in our backyard I wasn't planning on continuing to bird watch through the winter. But then I stumbled on the Window on Wildlife areas (mentioned in Tuesday's post) in some of our Metroparks and winter birding opened up wide for me. I stopped at one of the parks after my budget meeting on Sunday. It was a good way to relax after the meeting and we had our first snow of the year, so it was a good time to see what the birds were up to.

Goldfinch and female House Finches

Finally got the quick little Chickadee in a photo!

Male Downy Woodpecker

Female Cardinal

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch (one of my fav's!)

Even the deer come over and watch the birds!

On my list of winter birds that I have not seen as a Junco. On Sunday I finally saw one. Then the next morning in my backyard a pair of them appeared!

Junco at the park

Junco's in my backyard

Some pages I worked on last month in my nature journal:

Enjoy your day and find some ways to "breathe" this week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meandering 1.12.2016

"Meandering: adjective; the act of following a winding or indirect course. Ramble, roam, zigzag, circuitous. A blog post about a variety of things; a little bit of this and a little bit of that."

Today my meandering is about recent discoveries.

I discovered 2015bestnine.com, a website that will generate a collage of your nine most popular pictures on Instagram for 2015.

Last month I discovered a way to continue my bird watching/photography hobby in the cold winter months. We have an incredible Metropark system in the Toledo area and six of our parks have Window on Wildlife locations. A Window on Wildlife is an indoor room lined with windows that overlook an area that has been set-up as a bird refuge with feeders, water and plenty of trees for shelter. The glass in these rooms are tinted so that the birds don't see you watching them. I discovered the first one on Christmas day. The weather here was 50 degrees. Highly unusual for late December in the upper Midwest! So I decided that day to go to the park closest to my home and take a photo walk. At the end of that walk I peeked my head into the Window on Wildlife and was pleasantly surprised to see so many birds visiting the feeders. I discovered this to be a great way to continue my weekly commitment of getting outside and taking pictures as a way of nourishing my emotional and creative energy. I plan on visiting all six locations over the next few months. So far I have been to two.

Female Downy Woodpecker

I discovered that the male Goldfinch changes color in the fall and winter.

Tufted Titmouse - my first sighting!

White-breasted Nuthatch - I can watch these little guys for hours!

This past weekend one of my god-grandsons asked me if I would help him with a writing and art project he was working on for school. Sai'Vion just turned nine and loves animals and nature so I decided that before we dug into the project I would take him over to the Window on Wildlife at Wildwood Park. We discovered that he really enjoys watching the birds also. He made a list of the birds we saw as I took pictures. He even worked a bird into his report and drew an impressive picture of a Blue Jay. I printed out some of the pictures I took, made a binder with drawing paper in it and place to keep his photos and gave him a bird book to use as a guide for drawing birds. I discovered a nine-year-old who now can share interests in birding and art with me! His story for his writing report was about encouragement. He made up a saying for it that said, "Keep calm and believe in yourself."

Sai'Vion's picture

His model

My birding and art buddy, Sai"Vion

I discovered my word for 2016: REST. I was originally thinking my word would be solitude, as it is a spiritual practice that I want to embrace more. But the more I thought about it I felt like solitude was a part of a bigger picture of a rhythm of life and rest encompasses that picture more fully. I'm not using the word rest as in "I just need some more sleep", but rather as a mindset of developing a rhythm of life that works to better balance all areas of my life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational. My job in full time ministry can get overly busy and stress-filled at times and I have been trying for years to find ways to rest in the midst of the busyness in order to keep burn-out at bay. I've discovered in the past few years that the busyness and resulting fatigue and burnout rob me of energy in all areas of my life and I have been developing practices that help refill that depleted energy. So this year that is my focus.Last year I added to my already busy life by taking on being a part of the founding team of the His Kingdom Come faithart community. It was a great experience and one I totally enjoyed and am happy that I participated in. But it didn't help me build a healthier rhythm of life, in fact it just added more to the busyness and that was pivotal in my hard decision to step down form the foundation team. So this year I am slowing down as much as is possible. I am re-engaging in two practices from prior years that I gave up last year in order to make time for my HKC responsibilities. I am once again participating in Ali Edward's One Little Word project which helps me stay focused on my word throughout the year. And I am joining in on the Documented Life Project again this year. I missed being a part of these projects last year and am looking forward to engaging in them in the year ahead. I'll give just a glimpse of what I've done in each so far.

My One Little Word (OLW) binder:

The quote I found about fatigue really sums up well why I need to embrace rest this year!

My Documented Life (DLP) binder:

January divider

Week 1 calendar page

Week 1 mementos 
What I missed about DLP last year was how the practice of keeping memories about my days and weeks kept me more present to the happenings of daily life. It is also an easy art practice that keeps me creative without having to do a lot of planning.

Well, that's it for my discoveries recently. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead this year and what I will discover as I dig into my word for the year and as I document my daily life.

What discoveries have you made recently?