Sunday, October 19, 2014

Introducing....

I am so excited to share this announcement with all of you! I am part of the launch of a new online community designed to bring our faith and creativity together. Introducing...


You can visit Diane Marra's website HERE where she explains what this community will look like. I have enjoyed getting to know the ladies involved in starting this community and I hope you will join us. More details will be coming in the weeks ahead. In yesterday's post I mentioned Pause, Ponder & Prepare, a free group with studies and art techniques based on Advent, that will begin on November 1st. The ladies who designed this Advent group, Diane Marra and Bernice Hopper, are a part of the His Kingdom Come community as well.

You can also visit the His Kingdom Come website to learn more.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Art Journal Odds & Ends

I am participating in a few art journaling groups. Well, maybe I should say I am following them since I don't always do art to go along with the prompts and challenges. But I do read them and keep up with them! I am structured and organized in most of my world, but in art journaling and creativity I am of a just-go-with-the-flow type of a girl. I think it's my alter ego! Anyway, on to the art:

The Documented Life Project is one group I can definitely say I am participating in! My most recent pages:

Week 37 challenge: use a white pen prominently on your page

Week 39



Week 40 - Only 12 weeks left of the year.Yikes!



Week 41 challenge: Polka Dots

Front of my October divider page

Back of my October divider page

Shonna Bucaroff did a five week faith art journaling group that just ended. I have finished two of the five challenges: 



I tried a scotch tape transfer with the dictionary definition that I saw on Pinterest.

And I think I mentioned before that I won a spot in the 2014 Made Course. There are numerous teachers who each teach a week ling class over a 3 month period. Great teachers challenging us in our faith and art! I have been doing more following and reading here than actually participating, but I can go back and dig into the lessons at any time. My retreat pages from yesterday's post were actually from one of the Made classes. We used pages from a book to cut out messages.



Now, I want to let you know about a group coming in November that is being offered by a few friends of mine. Pause, Ponder & Prepare is a free group with studies and art techniques based on Advent. They are starting it in November in order to give us time to engage in the Advent season at a time when we are less rushed. Click on the link above and check out what Bernice and Diane are offering.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and make time for some art! Our colors here seem almost at peak, so I'm looking forward to experiencing the best of Autumn in the coming weeks!


Friday, October 17, 2014

So, She Went On a Retreat


Yesterday on Maz Hawes' blog, Diving For Pearls, she made a statement that "creativity helps to boost well-being". I have found the opposite to be true also, well-being helps to boost creativity.

I have been long overdue for a personal retreat. I last went on one two years ago and came back with nothing...it was just the place I was in at the time. For months now I have been working through some issues of burnout, some character pruning, and some "in-the-grip" personality stuff. Not always fun stuff. All of this has led me to really feeling the need to get away and spend some time in solitude with God. I even unplugged from most of my technology in order to prevent distraction!

I stayed in a little cottage at Beulah Beach near Huron, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. For me, being near water makes my retreat much more relaxing.


I spent some time walking along the water each day.





I spent time enjoying nature and the colors of Autumn.





I spent a lot of time thinking, reading, studying God's Word, praying, and listening...lots of listening. I have started another book by Ruth Haley Barton about solitude. In it she talks about meeting with a spiritual director who told her, "you are like a jar of river water all shaken up. What you need is to sit still long enough that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear." She goes on, "The image of the jar of river water helped me identify where I was, but it also captured my longing and desire to go somewhere else.To be still long enough so the swirling sediment could settle, the waters of my soul could become clear, and I could see whatever it was that needed to be seen..In the desire this image stirred up, I recognized an invitation to be still and know beyond my addiction to noise, words, people and performance-oriented activity. It captured my desire for something more and different, something beyond the head knowledge that no longer sustained my soul."  ~Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Ruth's description of the jar of river water as an image for her soul really resonated with me and going on retreat helped the waters of my soul start to clear. God met me in my time there and I came back refreshed. And the creative ideas have been jumping around in my head like sparks! When I get overly tired I begin to experience a dryness spiritually and creatively. Well-beings helps to boost my creativity!

I have a lot from this retreat to reflect on in the coming weeks.

And now, a little art I did on my retreat:







The beach there is covered with these black, flat rocks. I brought some home, covered them with matte gel medium and wrote some reminders from my retreat on them - a few things I don't want to lose track of.



Now to get back on track with my blog postings!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Traces of Autumn

I took kids up to camp last weekend. We go to Youth Haven Ranch, which is north of Jackson, MI, which is about 90 miles north of Toledo.

I went north last weekend and found...traces of Autumn!



Fall is my favorite season and there is no better place to experience it than out in the country.


Autumn is working its way into my Documented Life Project journal as well.




Happy October! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

And the Winner Is...

Yesterday, in honor of the first anniversary of my Etsy shop, {found on brighton|, I announced a giveaway of one of my altered book journals.

And the winner is....
Tracy! (from Sojourner blog)

Tracy, please email your mailing address to me ~ marybrack@gmail.com.

Thank you to everyone who visited my shop yesterday ad to all of you who left comments! I'm off to camp with a group of kids this weekend. I'm looking forward to enjoying a beautiful Fall weekend. I hope you enjoy your weekend as well!