Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Artist's are often asked where they get their artistic inspiration. I have read so many answers from a variety of artists, including some who say that inspiration has nothing to do with it, rather it is a matter of simply building a practice of making art every day. I personally need inspiration. I have written in the past about how I can get a spark of inspiration from simple things. Things in nature especially inspire me as I reflect on God's Creation. But even things as simple as a pattern in wallpaper or the shape of an architectural feature can spark my inspiration. One of the most important things I have learned about myself, and especially the artist within me, has been discovering how closely connected my emotional energy and my time spent connecting to God through His Word and prayer are for my artistic inspiration. When either of those two things are out-of-whack then my artistic inspiration is also and I experience dry times. So, for art, as well as other aspects of my life, I have been learning that I need to constantly work on and adjust my rhythm or pace of life in order for me to maintain a healthy me - emotionally, spiritually, and artistically. I find a vicious circle at work in times when I have not kept balance to my emotional and spiritual pace and health: because I am drained of energy I struggle to create, and I create and play with art as one of my ways for emotional balance and to restore emotional energy. This is one reason why I chose {renew} as my word for this year. Learning what renews my energy has had a significant impact on my journey out of burn-out and this year it feels like that journey has gained upward momentum. So, I have been praying for God to renew some of the areas of my life that were affected the most by the burn-out I experienced in the past few years.
In July for Take Me Deeper, the weekly devotion and Bible study at His Kingdom Come, our theme has been honor. I really connected with some of the verses in the book of Revelation that point us to giving glory and honor to God, so those verses became my theme for my art journal pages to go along with the devotions. Another theme popped up as I made my pages - leaves. I usually do my pages one at a time each week, but I had had a spark of creative energy and decided to make my page backgrounds in one sitting. I selected my passages and I made my pages for the whole month all at the same time. I'm going to show them all together...and spoiler alert: Even though this Friday is week 5 of the July devotions, I am showing my art journal page for that day early in order to show them all together. 

The leaves didn't end up on every page but seeing this theme emerge made me think about how leaves really symbolize renewal for me. I love Spring. It's the season of renewal. I love to watch the trees daily become full as the leaves grow. There are so many shades of green in the Spring. The world is fresh and new again after the cold, gray winter. So, it seems that leaves make a perfect symbol for my word this year.

In the past week I've had the pleasure of finding out that I have been inspiration to others in their art. Valerie Sjodin mentioned that she had been inspired by posts about my use of circles on my art pages, You can see her art here. And then the other day I got a note from Leigh Ann Napier that she had mentioned in a Facebook post that she had made a piece of art inspired by one of my sunburst collage pages. Leigh Ann used her sunburst collage to make a vision board for her family's values. Here is her piece:

Inspiration is one of the main reasons I decided to accept the invitation to be a part of the foundation team for the His Kingdom Come community. I wanted to be a part of a group that inspired others to go deeper in their relationship with God and to express that faith through creativity. I hope you connect with the things that inspire you this week,

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Commonplace Quote 7.9.15

A weekly peek inside my commonplace notebooks.

"Commonplacing is the act of selecting important phrases, lines, and/or passages from texts and writing them down; the commonplace book is the notebook in which a reader has collected quotations from works she or he has read. Commonplace books can also include comments and notes from the reader."  {From "Commonplaces: An Introduction" by John Hilgart and Van Hillard}
Other definitions:
  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
  • A notebook in which you enter memorabilia.
  • The recording of words and ideas in a commonplace.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monday Meandering on Tuesday 7.7.15

I meant to write this blog post yesterday, but the day got away from me.... honestly so did the month of June. It flew right by and I didn't even notice. It ended up being much busier than I had planned. In the midst of helping at Vacation Bible School, writing devotions for His Kingdom Come, and meeting a few other deadlines, I ended up with a 10 day visit from bronchitis, who was a very unwelcome guest. Not much I could do about it so I'm just going to move one and enjoy July and August.
We started July off with a visit to my sister to meet the newest member of our family. My niece had her first child in May and it was wonderful to meet him and to watch her being a mother! Here is our little man, Case.

Friday morning my sister and I took a walk and it was like being at a bird sanctuary! I guess the lake draws the birds. We stopped more to take pictures than we actually walked. 

White Breasted Nuthatch

Blue Heron

Cedar Waxwing

Female Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Sandhill Crane

Red-bellied Woodpecker
We also saw an Indigo Bunting, Gold Finch, Hummingbird, Swallows and Sparrows. I know, I'm obsessed with birds. I just love how creative God was when He created them. There are so many sizes and varieties, it's never boring.

July begins a new theme for the Take Me Deeper devotions at His Kingdom Come. This month we are exploring what it looks like to have a culture of Honor in the kingdom of God. Our first week looked at being dependent on God and having child-like faith. And while there was a lot to dig into and study, I found myself drawn to the theme verse for the month found in Revelation 4:11. In fact, that verse really connected me with other verses in Revelation that exalt and honor God so it has become my theme for my art this month.

The leaves are scraps from Gelli print papers.

I have been immersed these past few weeks in reading and studying about gratitude for the devotions for August. 
*Sneak peek: our theme in August is about having our mindset shaped by gratitude and it includes some practical stories from our HKC foundation team members. 
I read and studied far more than I could fit into the devotions and I was reconnected with how practicing gratitude was one of the first steps that began my journey out of burnout. So, watch for quotes and posts on gratitude in the coming weeks.

Have a good week and thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

His Kingdom Come Blog Hop, Announcement and Giveaway

Welcome to a very exciting blog hop.  Today His Kingdom Come is celebrating the launch of a brand new faithart stencil & mask line “Praise Him” designed by Diane Marra.

His Kingdom Come has created tools to help draw you into God's presence and lead you deeper into creative living. faithart tools help create art with the intention of connecting with God.

His Kingdom Come faithart tools help you exercise the artistic gifts God has bestowed upon each of us. These faithart tools allow you to work together with God to discover the creative, holy and abundant faithart He has placed upon your heart! Join His Kingdom Come in creative expressions of faith!

His Kingdom Come showcases faithart products designed by Christian artists who know and love God and are passionate about sharing their faithart. Our faithart products include canvas ephemera, stamps, stencils/masks and Thermofax screens.

A team of talented HKC artists have come together to launch these exciting new stencils & masks.  This blog hop is your chance to get to see how these artists have used them in their faithart.

It doesn’t matter where you start within the blog hop.   Or you can start at the beginning at His Kingdom Come. Each blog has the complete list of participants.

As you visit each blog you will be given a letter eg. D.   When you have collected all the letters they will make a word.  When you have worked out the word email Bernice with the word.  We will randomly choose 4 people who have the correct answer to win a free stencil of their choice.   All entries must arrive by Noon (Pacific time) on Tuesday 23rd June.

The letter to collect from my blog is  "U"

How I used the "Praise the Lord" stencil/mask:

Confession time: I don't typically use people in my art journaling pages but I'm always up for a challenge! I wanted to use the stencil in my own style which usually includes collage. To start I collaged a variety of papers to make the background.

I trimmed the edges and then covered the paper with gesso and a bit of pale blue-green around the edges and across the bottom half.

Next I took a piece of gesso covered music paper and taped the stencil in place. Using a few colors of Tim Holtz Distressed Ink pads and a blending tool the shape of the praising lady began to appear.

I then cut the shape out and gave it a few spritzes of water to set off the ink.

Going back to my background page, I gathered some painted paper scraps to create beams of a sunburst - something I often use to symbolize God's glory. I cut the painted papers into strips and glued them in place on the top half of the page. I glued the praising woman onto a heavier piece of paper and cut her out again. Having the heavier paper behind her prevents the outlines of the papers underneath from showing through.

I wrote Psalm on the page and then cut letters out of painted papers to add holy, holy, holy across the sunbeams.

And there you have my way of using a stencil with collage. I hope you enjoy the blog hop and find your way of using our faithart products.

We hope you are as excited as we are about this new product line from His Kingdom Come, an online creative community, a place where you can find encouragement, share your heart and receive prayer and inspiration!

To join our community please visit His Kingdom Come

Prize winners will be announced on the His Kingdom Come Blog on Wednesday 24th June.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Meandering 6.15.2015

It's been pretty dry around here lately. Not weather-wise, but creatively. I have been experiencing creative block - no creative energy to do art or to write. And it has been so painful! Especially since I had a stay-cation last week and wanted to get a lot done creatively.This is one of the prices I pay when I get overly busy or stressed or overly busy and stressed. I need to keep those two things away from me!

So what did I do in the midst of my creative block?  My daughter was in town for a short visit so she and I made a trip up to IKEA and then we had a family dinner. We traveled to Cleveland for our nephew's high school graduation party. I cleaned and organized my office/studio a bit - this activity will sometimes get me out of a creative rut - but it didn't work right away this time. So, I focused on making some altered book journals for my Etsy shop. Two are already in the shop and the rest will be posted over the next few days.

Then I decided to try and read some of The Creative Call. This is the book we are reading for the first His Kingdom Come community book club. In the busyness of May I got behind. So I picked up in chapter 3 and started doing the recommended morning writings and by Thursday afternoon I started feeling like I had some inspiration. And, boy, did it feel good! Getting creative and playing with art are so restorative and refreshing for me, so being in a place of creative block is frustrating. The Creative Call is all about connecting to your creativity. Janice Elsheimer addresses inspiration in chapter 3: 
"Throughout this week and the weeks to come, whether you are writing in your artist's daybook, observing the world around you, praying, listening to the prompting of the Spirit, exercising, or taking care of the ordinary tasks of daily living, remind yourself that you are awakening. Be gentle with yourself, but banish the idea that you can wait until you are "in the mood" or "inspired"to get busy with your art. This journey is not about doing what we feel like doing; it's about doing what we must. As L'Engle says, "Inspiration far more often comes during the work than before it because the largest part of the job of the artist is to listen to the work and to go where it tells him." " The Creative Call, pg 49
Quotes from chapter 3

Yesterday I got a nice surprise when I received the newsletter from Vintage Page Designs in my inbox. I had uses Ali's instruction to make the notebook for my Creative Call notes and art. Ali selected my notebook for her post featuring books made by her readers in her June 6 blog post.

Our theme for the Take Me Deeper devotions for June is family. In the first week we looked at creation, the Trinity, and our need for relationship. I focused on creation.

We have a blog hop for His Kingdom Come on Saturday to share some exciting news. So stop back on Saturday and see my contribution.