feeding your soul….

it has been a long. hard. winter.

physically

emotionally

spiritually

Most creatives can appreciate what I’m saying…even if your “winter” was 80 degrees and sunny. There are those periods of time (some longer than others) where you feel….. spent. Creative people tend to feel more deeply and process those emotions in artistic ways. writing… painting… making.

With the approaching spring, the ground begins to warm and leaves start to bud on the trees. The first blooms begin to peek above winters crust, and a sort of HOPE takes root. It’s time to nourish those frosty parts of you.

Feeding your soul has many layers

Religion would tell you that it comes through reading the bible and praying. Others would say doing all the things you love to do, or pursuing your dreams  is the ticket. Still more insist that reaching out and helping others will fill your heart.

I think the answer to this soul question is a bit more complicated than a pat answer can give.  They aren’t wrong…any of them. But your personal soul fulfillment is just that – Yours

No one can tell you what the answer is. What works for one person may not work for you. Learning to listen more deeply to our own needs is key. But I mean really listening. For me it is a one step at a time journey through which I seek to connect with the Eternal. See evidence of heaven here on earth. And hear what creation is telling me.

It includes scripture reading in those times that I don’t feel like I’m hearing properly or need something more visual to hold onto. Getting in touch with the natural for me is also key – seeing the evidence of vibrant life all around me helps to pull me out of a profound funk and brings my Muse home from that too long sabbatical. Sharing what is in my heart, both practically and emotionally has always been fulfilling in more ways that I can even list, and certainly is a vital component to the equation.

CLOSER

That is my guiding word for my life right now. Moving closer to what I already have. Looking closer at what it is saying to me. Living closer to what my heart tells me is my purpose. and seeking to BE closer to God above all else.

I process these things through creating, writing, and sharing. This is me, it’s how I roll. Maybe this is you too? Maybe not – only you know what your soul needs….and if you don’t know right now – ask. The Creator who knows you best will tell you. Are you willing to hear it?

Art Feeds My Soul

I’m participating in The 100 days project this year.  It began on April 2nd and runs through July 10th. A weighty task indeed! But….daily art practice feeds my soul – even when I don’t feel inspired. Work through it anyway. There is so much to learn about ourselves in this process.

You may discover a new process you LOVE that you wouldn’t have otherwise

Story happens when you engage your inner soul with your outer creative being. Even without words, your pictures can tell a tale of joy, heartbreak, loss, vision, growth….

It’s up to you

Would you like to join me?  I have a list of one-word prompts for each of the 100 days to help you on your journey of discovery. (the100daysproject PROMPTS) Use them how you like. take them literally, or figuratively….it’s your food.

Here is what I did this week:

Day 1: QUOTE from a famous artist

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Day 2: PICTURE

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Day 3: HOUSE

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Day 4: LEAF

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They won’t always be perfect. You may not even think they are beautiful. But they will always be an expression of what you are feeling. Emotion is tied directly to Art. As Day 1 says: “art is not what you see, but what you make others see – degas”

I started with 100 pieces of cardstock, all the same size to make it easy. All I have to do is grab one each morning and paint, glue, write….whatever my heart desires. My only expectation is that they will be the truest expression of me in that moment. At the end of the 100 days, I am going to bind them all into a book. On the last day I will have a video of that process for you to follow. but do whatever your heart is telling you to create.

I’d love to see what you are working on. Use these hashtags so we can all find you: #the100daysproject #100daysofcreativefaith #creativefaith

Enjoy the Process. Connect with the Creative Part of Your Soul. See the Beauty in Life.

making creativity a daily SOUL-care practice

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they were in a rut, and couldn’t create because they just weren’t inspired to.

I get it!  That is me in a nutshell. I WANT to be creative…I’d like nothing more than to spend every minute of everyday pouring out my creative heart onto a page, canvas, fabric….whatever is handy and enticing.

Yet I don’t

…and the more days that go by since the last time I was creative….the harder it is to muster up that artful energy.  but this is what I have discovered:

CREATIVITY BREEDS CREATIVITY

Simply said: if you will simply do it, more will come.

Albeit slowly at first, but with perseverance and tenacity,  all of a sudden a creative force will burst forth with all the glorious sentiment of a long lost love. The joy pulls you deeper and deeper into that passion ignited, and all else will fall away as you engage the center of your creative soul.

I want that!

I’ll bet you do too

Easier said than done you say? Yes. Getting started is the hardest part.  I come up with some amazing excuses. But what I’ve realized is that they are all rooted in fear. Time is all relevant. How does one person do everything you’ve always wanted to do, yet you can’t find even a minute for it?

Choices

We all make time for the things we truly want, even if that is sitting and staring out a window. Believe me I get it.  Fear has kept me from doing a myriad of things I know I was born to do. But I’m telling you, it is time to stop letting the enemy of your soul drown you in that fear.  It is time to say NO MORE!

So – How do you stop this pattern of inactivity?

Just begin.

Here are a few ideas:

-Look up an inspirational quote on google – write it in a notebook or journal and surround it with color, doodles or your own words of intention.

-Take an in-person class to learn a new technique. Sometimes you just need a small push to get started, and what better way than to spend time with other creatives. online classes are awesome, but you are still sitting alone in your comfort zone….stuck. Getting out and mingling…seeing what others are creating may be just what you need to get you unstuck. (looking for a good class? Here are a few)

-Pull out that dusty journal and just do something…every day! Even if you only spend 10 minutes drawing, painting, writing, dreaming….those 10 minutes will put you on a path of moving forward. Before you know it, 10 will become 15, 15 will become 20….and you will be well on your way to a vibrant daily creative practice! (need a new journal? Check these out)

-Make it a priority. Only you know you. In my world, if I do not spend the first few hours of my day doing creative things, I won’t do them at all. There will always be other things calling my attention, and responsibilities pulling at my time. Even if I don’t feel like it, or think I have other more important priorities, I spend at least an hour in a creative practice of some sort. It is the only thing moving me forward.

If you don’t find a way, no one will for you.

This has to be something that you do for yourself – and the soul-healing that can come from it could change your whole perspective. I hope that you will take time today – for you- for your soul-health, and begin that journey of creative discovery!

I’d love to hear what you are doing creatively today!  Please leave a comment

 

 

the Power of the Journal

The wind is blowing, there is snow on the ground, and all I want to do is hibernate.  Can you relate?

But this, THIS is the time of year to renew, to plan, to endeavor of things only dreamt about, in the busy times of life.

I don’t know about you, but it seems when I have time….I don’t want to do anything.  It is in the crazy busy pieces of life, that ideas flow through my creative brain.  They flow to the point of over-flowing, and there simply isn’t enough time to do them in those moment…in that current slice of life.

That is where my journal comes in….

Carrying a journal around with me allows for the unloading of ideas during the busy, so that when the busy isn’t so much a present piece of life, I can revisit those dreams, those ideas – and realize them.

Soon spring will be warming up the ground and the busyness that comes with it will become my reality.  Last year was such a reactive time in my life.  It seemed like my schedule was not my own, but instead controlled by circumstance and others needs. (I have a whole post about the WONDER of 2018 and choosing your word of intention for the New Year – you can read it here)

While I don’t regret anything that happened last year, I need the new year, this particular space in my life, to be more intentional. Journaling your dreams, ideas, and desires for can help to manifest them by giving them a place in your mind and in your heart.

You don’t have to be an artist, writer, or poet to participate in a truly life changing journaling experience.

Those pages are not for anyone else to see, so partial sentences, incomplete thoughts, fractured pictures all work here.  The idea is to get them jotted down so they can begin to integrate into your reality.

Psychologists say that the things you give the most attention to (good or bad) are what will become your reality.  Wouldn’t you like that reality to be something grand?

Something beautiful

Something intentional

So pull out that dusty journal and jot down a few things you would like to see happen this year. It’s hard to get started when so much time has passed, I get it.

So here are a few ideas of how to begin:

  1. Collage a picture (either a photo or even from a magazine) onto your page.  What does this picture say to you? does it invoke an idea? a place you would like to visit? something you would like to know more about or desire to be? Make it personal….this is about you after all.
  2. Find an Inspiring quote. I particularly like inspiring quotes from famous artists….they just speak to me.  But if you are a foody, maybe try googling “inspiring quotes from famous chefs”, or, “inspiring quotes about gardens” if tending to the flowers is your thing.  Write that quote at the top of your page….or fill the page up with it.  Then write a few sentences about how that quote makes you feel.  Why do you like it?  How would you like it to change you this year?
  3. Free form writing.  Go to a quite place. take 3 or 4 deep breaths and breathe them out fully, releasing anything you are holding on to (like the to-do list). set a timer for 10 minutes….5 if you are feeling particularly empty. Then write….anything!  The idea is to not stop at all.  Write the first thing that comes to mind, then the next, and keep going till the timer goes off.  Don’t edit what you are writing, just write.  It may be jumbled, fractured, illegible….but it will be truly you.  It will be a snapshot of exactly what is hiding in your mind, thoughts, soul.

This practice will get much easier as you make it a routine.  It is a wonderful way to release things that you simply don’t want to think about anymore, to allow for new thoughts, ideas and plans to emerge. Try to journal something every day.  It could be one sentence…or many. That is up to you. But most certainly it will put you in touch with who you are, and allow you to change your focus if that indeed is what you wish for 2019.

Are you the type to make resolutions?  Have you tried choosing a focus word?  I have a post running on A BEAUTIFUL LIFE today that talks about that subject and gives you some ideas about how to choose one that will be both meaningful and life changing. You can read that here.

Do you need a new journal? Visit my ETSY shop for some beautiful places to write your words [lisaellenstudioart]

3 Steps to Creative Holiday Giving

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As we all move into this season of Christmas, I can’t help but wonder how our creative spirits are handling the pressure.  This is the time of year when my creativity switches into overdrive, and the ideas begin to flow,  I get that overwhelming need to make something special for everyone I know…not because I think I have to but because I truly want them to have something special from my heart.

but….

…with jobs and house, family gatherings and other seasonal duties, how can we ever manifest those desires into reality without losing ourselves in the process?

Here are 3 Steps to help you along that path….

  1. Start Early –  To be honest….if you are just tackling this dilemma today, it is probably already too late. I’m famous for thinking I have more time than I do, or that projects will take less time than I think they will. Here’s the truth: I don’t, and they don’t. Time is one of those elusive things, especially when I am creating. It seems to sit suspended in air while my mind and heart swirl with creative anticipation. My recommendation here is – don’t do it!  You are going to stress yourself out.  And who needs more stress this time of year? Certainly not me 🙂  But – if you are determined to make this happen, don’t wait. Begin immediately!  Get your mind rolling in that creative direction and……
  2. Choose something you already know – well. The worst thing you can do now is to try to learn a new technique, or create something that is outside of your normal “box”. If you are a bookmaker, don’t  try to carve a pepper grinder on a lathe you’ve never run before (true story – I did this a few years back….boy was I sorry. …and cold) Instead, make a book. It doesn’t have to be what you usually do. Think outside the box….but don’t veer too far from what you already know how to do. Staying within your parameter of knowledge will give you the confidence to finish that project instead of wrapping up an IOU with a bunch of excuses. Pretty paper won’t make that look better 😉        ….Once you’ve chosen….
  3. Make it simple. We all know that within our area of creative expertise, there are many levels of project difficulties. As a bookmaker, I could choose to make a simple travel journal using papers I already have, or I could opt for the large format coptic stitch book with high grade artist papers and a hand painted cover. 

...opt for the former!

If you are making a gift instead of purchasing one, you are already way ahead of the curve. Handmade says “special” right from the beginning…even if it is what you would consider simple. Most people won’t know what kind of time you spent on their gift. If it is handmade, they will assume “lots” no matter what the reality is. So you may as well save yourself some aggravation,  and make it easy.

A Final Note…

Once you have begun, chosen a project, and made it as simple as possible – create in production mode.

One year I decided to give something handmade to each member of my family so that in the event something happened to me, they would always know that I loved them. (it was a really weird emotional year for me:) I started way early, like July or August. Check…. but I thought because I had so much time that I could create something unique for each one of them. I took classes in basket making, learned to hook a primitive rug with wool and tackled a lathe with tools I had never even picked up before.

Yes, I was an insane person by Christmas. I did manage to pull it all off, but only by the grace of God. I worked right up to the last day and made myself absolutely crazy in the process.  When I passed out all of the gifts, I proclaimed that it would be the last handmade gift they would ever receive from me. I got bunches of weird looks, because frankly they know me better than I know myself sometimes.  They smirked and opened..and loved them, but that is definitely the Christmas that everyone will remember that I lost it…heh heh

So….in the spirit of keeping things simple, choose one project only and give everyone the same thing.  You can certainly change different aspects of each one, tailoring them to the recipient through color, pattern and the like, but it is much easier to gather paper in different colors than it is to gather wool, and wood, and tools, and hand-hewn oak reeds…..yes, crazy woman

Have a spirit filled holiday, filled with peace instead of stress, joy instead of aggravation, and thankfulness instead of regret.

Merry Christmas all!  I hope you are making your way through your list smartly, and protecting your peace during this beautiful season of miracles and wonder!

hugs all around! lisa

Start Where You Are – Use What You Have + Recipe

Happy Friday Creatives!

Inspiration for creativity comes in many forms. There is a plethora of information out there for absolutely anything you could ever desire to know or learn. So how do you decide what to take in, what to leave behind, and what to sock away for a rainy day?

There are days that browsing through Instagram gets me so inspired that I’m almost frozen.  I simply don’t know where to begin with all of the beautiful and creative expression I see out there. So here is the best advice that I can give you:

START WHERE YOU ARE

This may seem like an over simplified suggestion, but think about it. Your abilities and knowledge are going to be quite different than mine or anyone elses. You may be new to the creative spirit and just learning what that means for you. Or artistic expression could be a significant part of your existence and you simply need to get out of a creative rut. I’ve been both places….sometimes at the same time.

CONSIDER WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW

In order to not become frustrated with a process, I always think about what I’ve done before.  There is almost always something that will resonate with you. For instance if you want to learn how to combine collage and paint, you may not be strong in sketching a layout or combining colored paper effectively, but maybe were an outstanding finger painter in school (albeit  was most likely a long time ago 😉

Use that. Learn the technique of choosing collage elements and composition, but when it comes to the painting aspect, just use your fingers. Knowing a piece of the puzzle helps you to relax and focus on the other pieces, and  could create a whole new dimension to the project that was never even considered. Incorporating something you already know takes the pressure off of performing that process in exactly the same way someone else did. Learning techniques is awesome, but don’t rely on them so heavily that originality and a joyful flow is absent.

USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE

I don’t know about you, but I have a significant amount of art supplies. I’ve spent this whole week trying to get them organized into my studio space before the weather becomes too cold to take it all outside – which is my preferred place to create. Right now there are stacks and stacks of books, paint, fabric, glue, canvas….. the process is exhausting! So, going to the art supply is definitely not on my radar.

Try limiting yourself to using only what you have on hand. For instance if the project calls for watercolor paper, but all you have is that thin cardboard roll from the cabinets that you installed last month, and it is taking up a significant portion of your creative space (story there!) Use it. Brush some gesso on it – either white, black or clear would be amazing and will produce drastically different results – then proceed with the planned art expression. You may find a whole new set of supplies you didn’t even know you had.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to be creative, even mentally. The process is all about connecting with the creative spirit we all have inside…and that is a beautiful thing!

This week for our inspiration, we are going to do something a bit different.

Creative Cooking!

With the falling temperatures comes my desire to cook and can, freeze and jellify. (is that even a word?) But, I just didn’t want to spend the morning shopping, only cooking. So I did what I just recommended you to do in your art – I Used What I Had

I love traditional zucchini bread. It is a perfect blend of sweet and savory. But I only had a bit of zucchini, and a ton of other produce that needed to be used up, including two bananas that were turning that I stuffed in the freezer a few days ago –heh heh

…and Gallimaufry Bread was born!

I can be a pretty lazy baker.  I love fresh ingredients and homemade things, but my time doesn’t always allow the extra time it takes to do it from scratch. Soooooo….this is what I did…

Gallimaufry Bread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cake mixes (1 spice and 1 cherry chip – weird I know, but that is what I had)
  • 2 boxes of vanilla instant pudding
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of canola oil
  • 2 small zucchini – shredded
  • 2 medium carrots – shredded
  • 2 small granny smith apples – chopped
  • 2 over ripe frozen bananas – mashed
  • ½ cup dried cherries – you can use raisins, or any other dried fruit for that matter

~ Mix everything together. No sifting, no blending, no segregation. We are all created equal here. -Just mix.

Fill your greased and floured pans (I had 5 of various sizes) halfway full  (no more than 2/3) of this really colorful mixture, and place in a 350 degree oven.

So, the time is going to depend greatly upon how big your pan is and how much you fill it.  Since I have all different sizes, I put them all in and set my timer for 15 minutes to check the small one. Amazingly, that one took 25 minutes (only 5 minutes less than the next size up which was significantly larger. I added more time to the others in 5 and 10 minute increments until at last they were all done. You will know this when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the bread springs back to your touch. Certainly it is much easier to do all the same size and have them all coming out at the same time (usually 30 minutes for a regular bread pan).

Gallimaufry bread is basically a – whatever I have in the refrigerator today – kind of bread. Tomorrow? Hmmmm, maybe acorn squash, sweet potato, green apple and onion using a corn bread mix. Who knows, it could be amazing!

How can you use today what you already have? What new kind of bread can you create from the leftovers in your fridge? I would love to hear some of your amazing combinations!  Leave a comment and maybe we will all try it J

 

 

 

 

the Story of ABSTRACTION

There is nothing like the word ABSTRACT to strike fear in the heart of many an artist.

The reason is that it is so subjective. We are often looking for finite’s in life, as well as our art. Something real that we can sink our teeth into. Something to say “hey this is who I am and this is what I am creating”. Because, honestly, most people don’t get abstract.

But have you ever considered that the piece you are creating today, this week, is not meant for someone else to “get”? Possibly the whole purpose of it is to get you to feel, or to show someone else that you do.

Color makes us feel

Bold marks speak volumes

Even something as defined as a square can get across a message of confinement or seclusion.

Abstraction gives you the freedom to say whatever you like, however you choose to say it.

I can speak my heart with the color choices I make, whether those colors make me happy, or sad. How I choose to place them on the page can also go far in describing how I feel.

For instance if you start with a darker color in the center, then paint concentric circles from that point with a lighter and lighter version of that same color, this could express a need to lighten a load, or movement from a difficult place to a much more carefree spirit.

However you choose to express your feelings in this step, make a statement. Scream from the page that you are alive and have something important to say – even if it is only to yourself. But above all…

…have fun!

Here is how I approached today’s mixed media prompt:

I decided to switch things up a bit and pulled out an 8×8 canvas to work on. Then choosing a few colors that made me happy, I placed random dots around in no particular order.

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Using a wide flat brush, I made several swipes down the canvas, then across, being careful not to let the colors mix too much. (I really like how they join yet maintain their individuality. Certainly a personal statement if I have ever heard one!

I then added in some circular marks with white paint to express how we are all a part of this world, following the same circle of life. We feel that we are so unique in our problems and our struggles, but if you look closely enough you will find that there is a connection within them all. These struggles repeat themselves throughout history, providing a connection if we are willing to see it… like circles on a page.

A few black and purple marks made an appearance here and there, symbolizing the struggles of the past that have been pushed to the back of who we are. The things we experience throughout life, both good and bad, will always be a part of who we are. It shapes us and gives us a unique perspective on the world.  It is these perspectives that empowers us to help others and impart hope. This is God’s unique plan for our pain. Sometimes He allows it to help us grow and He uses that growth to guide us to others who need our perspective.

I needed a bit of contrast, so a fluorescent pink made an appearance next. It is those contrasting experiences in life, the people who are so not like us at all but we can’t help feeling a connection of some sort, that give the greatest complement to our existence. Don’t fight them. They can offer you great perspective and variety that may not ever become part of your world otherwise. They help you to see outside the box and to consider options that may not ever occur to you.

These symbols, marks and colors can be changed and transformed throughout the creative process, symbolizing a change in perspective or even a change of heart. Working through our feelings in this way can be incredibly healing and thought provoking. Bringing the reality of how we feel deep inside to the forefront, where we can see it more accurately for what it is, allows us to look everything over from a more discerning stance.

Letting the paint rest now, and absorbing the lessons I am learning through the process.

May I encourage you to do the same? Create a work of art this week that tells a story.

This story doesn’t necessarily have to be about you, maybe it is someone close to you.  But use color to express those things that are hard to put into words. Work through a problem, or express an emotion.

As you continue to create in this way, you will begin to build a visual library that is individual to who you are. Personal symbolism is a great way to create immensely emotional works of art. People will feel something when they view them.  It might not always be what you felt while creating it, but if your emotion gets them to feel theirs, you have done your job as an artist.

happy creating!

your creative guide~lisa

Have questions?  You can email me at info@creativefaith.me

 

Dream stories

Do you remember your dreams once you wake?

I don’t. Not often anyway. If I do, I generally sit up and take notice and write them down exactly as they unfolded behind my sleeping eyes, before they dissipate like a foggy mist.

This morning was one of those times. Rings and candles, restaurants, and Keanu Reeves of all people, filled my waking mind. Sometimes dreams aren’t what they seem on the surface. They contain symbols, clues, to other matters of this life. They are a way your spirit can connect to your brain and at a time when you are more likely to be listening.

I’ve asked God to give me dreams – prophetic, guiding…connecting. and when I am open to hearing, they tend to come in rivers.

Have you had such a dream? You know the kind. The one that makes you say to yourself “this means something“.

This weekend, let’s create dream art.

Pull out a canvas, watercolor block, art journal, or even a sketchpad. Begin to draw symbols from your dream. Start the background with colors you remember. Add in drawings or collage pictures from a magazine. Write words that come to mind…or numbers that have appeared. Tell the story of that dream through a piece of art and you may in the process discover something about yourself, or the purpose of it.

Remember: This process is not about the finished product, but more about how it makes you feel, and what it teaches you along the way.

Working like this can really help you to see things you might not otherwise. Give yourself permission to create something less than perfect. Move through the process as though you are still in that dream. Paint, collage and sketch with abandon.

Creating from your dreams can bring you to a new level of engagement, which I think is what my dream is telling me. Engage those creative tendencies…

You just might learn something!

*I would love to see what you are creating through your dreams. Use the tag #dreamstories and let’s connect on Instagram Monday!

#creativefaith

#lisaellen_art

#bookartists #bookmaker #bookart #100daysofcreativefaith #100daysproject #100daysofsoulfulbooks

Going Green – a recycling book tutorial

I have been becoming increasingly aware of the things around me, every day things, that we typically view as garbage.

Plastic bags fill my recycling bin, as well as cans, boxes, and paper products like grocery bags. And I feel like there has to be something more we can do to be kinder to the world around us than to simply toss everything into a recycling container.

Don’t get me wrong, recycling is good. Much better than putting it into a garbage bag headed for the landfill. but can we possibly use some of those things for yet another purpose than what was originally intended? Could we lessen the burden of said containers, and our pocketbooks, and create something useful?

Today’s tutorial came from necessityits the mother of invention you know 😉

It is simple, yet functional. This morning while looking for a scrap of paper to write the growing list of grocery needs collecting in my brain, I sifted through a pile of bills, birthday cards, and upcoming event invites…can’t use those! But I was desperate to unload the list before I forgot it.

There on the table was a paper grocery bag from a local market that had the cutest drawings of fruit and vegetables, as well as a really cool “shop local Michigan” stamp.

…and the pocket notepad emerged.

Supplies:

  • 1 paper grocery bag
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • binder clip
  • ribbon

Instructions:

Cut down one side of the bag along the folded seam. Then cut the bottom completely off leaving the rest of the bag flat open.  If there are handles on the bag, you can either simply cut off the handles, or cut the whole top straight off (which is what I did)

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Accordion fold the remaining rectangle of paper creasing the folds firmly. Make these sections as large or as small as you like (mine are approximately 4″ wide)  Once you are finished folding, open it back up and cut along those folds, then stack the slices.

20180912_111130Fold the whole stack in half, crease the fold firmly, and place a binder clip on the bottom to keep them from shifting.

20180912_111703Using a whole punch, create 3 holes across the top. The first and third one should be at least 1/2″ from the outer edges, and 1/4″ from the top edge. Center the remaining hole between them.

20180912_112023Starting in the center hole, weave the ribbon in from the front, through to the right hole, across the front to the other side then in that hole. You will finish up by sliding the ribbon from the back to the front through that center hole. It helps if you pull the ribbon that is already there tightly to the side to make way. This may be a bit difficult depending on the size of the hole. A large eye needle might help if your ribbon will fit in it.

When both tails are sticking out the front, one on each side of the ribbon stretching across, tie into a knot or a bow

20180912_112112You are now ready to fill it with all of those pressing grocery items.

These slide easily into pockets, purses, and even wallets if you make them small enough. Going green can be so satisfying to your creative nature, and there will be one less piece of paper in that bin!!

Bonus idea: When the pages are full, spread some gesso on them and start over….or paint some pictures of fruit!  The possibilities are endless. 

So the next time you are asked “paper or plastic”, think of the creative possibilities and….

Go Green!!

 

 

Stretching and other uncomfortable things (artist edition)

Muscles scream and bones protest as I bend in ways I haven’t in some time. My body feels the neglect, more than my mind knows it. …and honestly, I just don’t like doing it.

But here’s the truth…

I need it. The stretching. The moving. The moving outside of the comfortable. It keeps my ligaments flexible, joints from seizing from misuse, and helps to maintain a stronger core than I might have otherwise.

 …and I hate every minute of it.

So it is with an Artist’s life

If we don’t move beyond what is familiar and comfortable creatively, we won’t ever grow to discover who we truly are (this is assuming you are searching for that little piece of the puzzle) or could be.

I have spent the last year or so taking classes, trying out new supplies and processes, teaching and speaking (which is totally outside of my comfort zone) and growing into who I am as a creative.

I’ve learned what I like
what I don’t
And what I would like to explore further

I’ve dabbled

I’ve stretched

And I have discovered a few things about myself that I never would have known otherwise.

Was it hard?

-Yes

Was it painful?

-Most definitely

But did it bring me closer to the creative soul that I long to be?

-without a doubt….

I’d like to encourage you to take a step of faith today. Creative faith.

Move out of your comfort zone

Explore something new

Venture into unknown waters

…you never know when the very thing you have been avoiding all along, will be the key to all you have ever dreamed of.

What one thing can you do to stretch yourself creatively today? 

Encourage another creative: leave a comment.

 

 

Spirit Led: the art of worship

Have you ever experienced that sensation of wonder over something you’ve created? Beauty is upon the page but you aren’t quite sure where it came from.

Words, color, or creative expression evident, but how did it get there?

If you’ve come over today from A Beautiful LifeWelcome! I am so glad you have decided to stop by.

Creativity and art is not everybody’s cup of tea – heck, even self-proclaimed artists sometimes have trouble claiming it. But what do you call that fantastic meal you just created for your hungry family, the enemy slaying prayer that manifested on your lips – making all the difference in someone’s life, or the time carved out of an overly busy schedule to meet the needs of another?

I call it a CREATIVE use of what the CREATOR has given you. It is your worship!

Not everyone will have gifts that fall into the artistic realm. But, we are ALL, each and every one of us, CREATIVE. How can we help it? We have the breath of a creative Eternal within us. We are made in His image, made to reflect who He is. And that reflection is CREATIVE.

As of late, I have been intensely interested in Spirit led art. Are you familiar with it?

It is the practice of allowing the spirit within you guide your thoughts, your hands – your unique expression of creativity.

It is mysterious, invigorating, and enthralling, all rolled up into one.

I love how the spirit connects with its Creator to bring about something deep and unexpected. We can learn so much about ourselves and our Maker by engaging spiritually. The important thing to remember is that it’s not about the end result – it is absolutely about the process.

Here are some ideas to get you started in a spirit led practice, whether you are a writer, photographer, artist, cook, prayer, or creative entrepreneur…we all have that Spirit connection within us that will engage us on a much deeper level, manifesting things we never thought possible. These are just some initial things to try. Ultimately the Spirit will guide you as to how to proceed, but the idea here is to just get started. The more time you take exploring this practice, the closer your spirit will come to the Source and the deeper your outpouring will become. Take five minutes today to explore this, ten tomorrow. …and keep increasing your time to whatever you can afford to do. This is a great practice for right before you work doing whatever it is that you do.

Spirit Lead Me…

  1. Gather a few favorite supplies – limit what you take, this isn’t about exploring new techniques or supplies. Use what you already know so that figuring things out doesn’t factor in. Here are mine: arches hot press watercolor block (small) travel box of watercolors (limited to paynes gray, sepia, burnt orange and raw umber), white and black acrylic inks, 1 piece of willow charcoal, stabilo pencils in black and sepia.
  2. Find your quiet place – this should be somewhere free of distraction. I have to go where the dogs are not J I love their snuggly tendencies, but not while I am forming a spirit connection! This might be in a garden, walking in the woods, or in a room of your abode near a bright window. Your choice – do what works for you. Just make sure that you won’t be disturbed for the set period of time you have chosen to start with. I will be sitting near the big window in my studio today, as it is still quite cold outside.
  3. Engage with creation – The Creator is present within all of His creation. Being immersed in it will help you to visualize being where He is. Bring in some flowers from the garden if you aren’t sitting in it. Branches and pinecones you picked up on a walk works, as well as flowers from the store. Try to surround yourself with anything natural you can gather. I have a terrarium full of things I’ve picked up on walks. Empty robin’s eggs, acorn caps, moss balls, twisted branches. These kinds of things inspire me
  4. Have a backdrop of tunes –Does music inspire you? It does me. Choose something soothing and keep the volume low. Here are some of my personal favorites for this particular type of journey: bethel music, hillsong united, sounds of nature cd’s. These are just to get your soul singing. Sometimes words from the songs will pop vividly into my mind, demanding to be recognized. I often find that these are clues from the Eternal – words just for me.  Recognize them, make them heard on your page!
  5. Close your eyes to “SEE” – Sometimes seeing isn’t about the visual world. Sometimes it is about seeing with your heart, with your soul. When my eyes are open, I tend to see what I want to, but when they are closed my heart is much more open to the whisperings of the Spirit. When you close your eyes, what do you hear? Can you see a color? An image? A shape maybe? I often see circles – they find their way into my art a lot! What types of things do you do over and over? Pay attention to them. If you find that it is always the same thing, look up the symbolism of that shape, word, image. Listen to what your Spirit is telling you about it.

Journal what you are learning.  After several sessions, you may see a pattern, or discover something new….

  1. Allow the inner to connect with the outer – Whatever you are hearing or seeing during these precious moments, allow that inner voice to move your outer hands in a way that describes what you are hearing or seeing. I know it sounds confusing. I’m often confused during this carved out space in my life. But let your hands give expression to what you feel. Don’t over think it – you are not creating a piece of artwork that you will hang on the wall – yet. In these beginning sessions, it is about learning to listen and respond in whatever way you are compelled to. String lines together…or words. Let what you are experiencing on the inside flow through to the outside.  Just let it go! It doesn’t matter what it looks like.  It isn’t about anyone seeing what you see – only You and the Creator

Maybe you are sitting in a garden and watching the wind move some dried winter blooms.  Video tape them. Watch how they sway. They are responding to the external as well as the internal. They are doing exactly what they were made to do in every stage of their life.  They recognize how they were made. They know what to do.  They worship with their whole being!

It may be a stretch to think about things this way, but give it a try. Recognize the Creator spirit in all that surrounds you. See the world in a different way and renew your mind.

When we do what we were created to do, our very being becomes worship. Who we are reflects the Spirit of the Creator and shows the incredible glory that He is. This can make our whole life become a beautiful work of art – on or off the canvas.

 Keep your heart open to the possibilities, and you will see amazing things!

I hope you are inspired to begin today. Seek the Creator in all of His eternal glory.

Bring about the “ART” you were born to create!

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