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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bird Sanctuary

We live about 35 minutes from one of the most incredible bird watching area's. Thousands of people come from all over the world each May to catch sight of the many varieties of birds that rest here on their migration journey before crossing Lake Erie. Since my mom moved here a few years ago we have made it a tradition to go to the bird sanctuary each spring. We go the week after bird week to avoid the major crowds. The bird sanctuary at Magee Marsh has a beautiful board walk that meanders under the tree canopy and is a great place for capturing photos of the birds. I have been eyeing a zoom lens for my camera for some time and this year my husband bought the lens for my birthday. It arrived just a few days before our bird watching adventure.

Besides birds, the other thing I thought of there was our theme this month in Take Me Deeper about self care and sanctuary. Being in nature is a place of sanctuary for me. Experiencing God's creation always connects me with His power and His majesty. And being in nature and walking with a camera in hand is definitely something that feeds my soul and brings me energy and joy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Collage Therapy

There has not been much time for making art over the past ten days or so. The end of the school year has kept me very busy with the school our church has adopted. An exciting thing that happened last week was that our public school system held a meeting pulling their faith based partners together. We adopted a public school ten years ago and have long had a dream of seeing a church connected with each of the 40 elementary schools. Our new superintendent has been very open to this and we are now halfway to our goal. It was a great half-day event hearing the stories of the many different ways the partner churches are serving the schools. As much as I love networking and being at events such as this, as an introvert, I find that once the adrenaline wears off my energy just drains from my mind and my body and leaks out through my toes. The hard part about this past week was that after having events during the day each day, I then had events in the evenings. Not much time or energy left for creativity! 

I have had an idea floating around in my head for quite some time that I finally started putting to paper before this 10 day stretch of activity. So each day I tried to sit down for 10 or 15 or 30 minutes and do a little work on my page. I love collage and taking pieces of paper and making a design with them. I have taken magazine paper or painted papers and made sunburst designs to serve as backgrounds.

I even collaged circles inside a sunburst.

I have collaged strips of paper to fill a page or to simply make borders.

I have used pieces of paper to make objects, such as the nest on this page.

And of course I have collaged circles.

The idea that has been in my head for quite a while is to use paper to collage a mosaic or stained glass effect. So in the little bits of time this past week I cut small pieces of painted papers and glued them into a design...

And that became my page for this week's Take Me Deeper devotion.

Now, I realize that this may seem tedious and a lot of work for an art journal page background, but it is amazing to me how therapeutic cutting and gluing little pieces of paper can be. So throughout this busy stretch those bits of time were like being on an oasis during a long desert journey. Those bits of time each day would refresh me. Those bits of time in the evening combined with time in prayer and the Bible each morning restored the energy I need to keep the busy pace of a long stretch of high activity. And now that I finally got that idea out of my head, I'm quite pleased with it and looking forward to doing more. 

Last weekend the His Kingdom Come Foundation Team launched a collaborative class that we did together while on our retreat last month in Florida. The class is called The Zigzag Postcard Book and we each taught the others how to do a technique which then became five postcards and the basis for the book. I taught the other ladies how to do a paper collage sunburst - big surprise, huh?! Here are some glimpses of the book I put together. I used Psalm 51 as a theme for my book. What was really fun was how different all five books ended up.

If you would like to participate in the class you can pop over to the His Kingdom Come website. You will need to join the site, which is free, in order to sign up for the class. And while you're there consider joining our weekly devotion and faithart challenge, Take Me Deeper. We offer a weekly devotion with Bible study ideas and challenge our group to express what they read and studied through their favorite creative medium. Shameless plugs, I know!

Enjoy your holiday today!