Monday, May 21, 2012

Change is Good!

This weekend I was trying to finish up another of Christy Tomlinson's workshops, She Art 2 and created this canvas.  The Living Canvas workshop started today and we were to think about our lives up to this point.  Our story.  All of the circumstances and experiences that have made us who we are at this point in time.  I have had a blessed life, free of tragedy and really hard times but I have made some really bad decisions that still have led me to a great place.  I am truly, truly blessed right now but God has convicted me to change and to continue to strive to be better.  This workshop is helping me to drive in the right direction.
Sometimes we resist change.  I have always been FOR change, openly and with great enthusiasm.  This time is not different but I am nervous and anxious about failing.  Will I be able to manage the discipline needed to feed my family in a healthy way and change their way of eating? Will I be able to save money and resist temptation for the things I don't NEED but want?  Will I take time to be present as a mother and spend quality time with each of my girls?
The answer to those questions is yes.  With God's help, yes.  The Bible says we must die to ourselves daily to be a proper servant of the Lord.  If God wants me to be better, which I know He does, then I must embrace change.
The butterfly symbolizes change.  This butterfly started out kind of ugly but I worked and worked on it adding layers and layers of color and texture to create something I think is beautiful.  It takes work to change and be what God wants us to be and it isn't always what we want to be but it is necessary to follow His will in our lives.  God chose me to be the mother of two beautiful girls and I am making a change so that I can do a better job, for them and for Him. 
 I really am a selfish person.  I think inside we all are to some extent.  I marvel at the people that seem to NEVER think of themselves and always put others first and I see for the most part how happy those people are.  Don't misunderstand, I know there needs to be time carved out for me but the people I am talking about literally and instinctively think of others before themselves.  I am working on that one. A Lot!
I understand the need for change.  The need to have a healthy family, the need to have more financial security and the need to be a mother my girls can come to, for and about anything.  I understand, I'm just not real sure yet how to do it.  I am learning and working and thank goodness He is not finished with me yet.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Your Living Canvas Journaling and an announcement

The Living Canvas Workshop begins on Monday and I am just now posting my week 3 journal entry, which means I am 3 weeks behind but that's ok.  I want to take my time and make sure each one is well thought out.  This week Christy challenged us to choose 3 goals that we didn't have before and write them down.  Easy enough.  What I am worried about is that we will be held accountable for them!  haha!  These really are 3 things I am wanting to do better with on my journey.
Speaking of journey~I have a bit of news.  For those of you that know me well, you know that I am the Director of Education at our local museum, a job that I love and have been doing full time now for 4 years.  Prior to be a full time employee I was an art teacher there for a long time.  I have been thinking and praying about the stress the job puts me under that keeps me from being the best mom I can be and so after months of thought and prayer, I have decided to become part time at the museum.  The director and the staff have been totally supportive of me, what a blessings.  I will do this for June, July and August then the director will decide where to go from there with my position.  I might stay part time, I might just coordinate one program or I might become a full time stay at home mom, all of which I am ok with.  God has given me peace about the whole situation and I look forward to becoming more present as a mother.
I have always said that "change is good", well I am about to see first hand how much I believe that little saying. Another change will be the look of this blog.  i will still share paper crafting with you but as you may have already noticed, I am using it also for my art and my journey.  I hope you will travel this road with me, it's much more fun with friends and support.
Having said all of is my journaling entry for week 3 of the Your Living Canvas Workshop hosted by Christy Tomlinson.
One of my goals is to save my money.  I will be making half the salary that I was making before so I need to be frugal and work on saving up for the things I want and to help build our savings.
 I can't pretend any of these goals will be easy.  I am quit nervous about reducing our income.  It will impact me the most because I have always seen my income as money to purchase things I want for my art, scrapbooking, crafting and also things for my girls like clothes, entertainment, camp tuition, etc.  There will be less money so less of those things.  It will be an adjustment that is necessary.
 One of the main reasons I chose to leave my full time job is that I realized one day that I spend more time working on developing wonderful programs for other people's children than I do learning to cook and eat healthy with my own.  My youngest daughter who is about to be 11 is overweight and very self-conscious about it and I feel to blame.  We are so busy and on the go that I don't take the time to plan our meals and shop so that we eat healthier.  WE also need to get back to sitting at the dinner table as a family.
More than the other two, which are certainly important, I need to be present for my family.  I work hard at everything I do, I have high expectations for my work ethic and want to do a good job at work which results in no energy left in the evenings for my girls or husband.  Hello!!! Talk about messed up priorities!  There are some women that do a great job of balancing everything, it can be done, I just feel like my balancing act made everything mediocre and that is not enough.  I need to scale down what I do and do those things much better and give my family what they deserve~a mother in the house.
I hope you take the time to think through what 3 goals you would like to set for yourself.  It's funny how often I have tried to re-prioritize my life to what I think God wants me to do only for Him to step in and say "Nice try, think again, this is not all about you!"  My new montra~"Be present, save wisely and eat healthy."  I can do it!
Blessings everyone,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Workshop Time

The time is almost here!  Time for the Living Canvas Workshop with Christy Tomlinson and Art McCracken.  If you have ever thought about learning the art of mixed media this is the best teacher to learn from.  Christy has done many wonderful workshops including the famous "She Art" workshops.  She is an amazing Christian woman, mother of 6 and artist-teacher.  The workshop starts Monday, May 21!!!!!!!!  I can't wait.  I have taken 2 of her workshops have never gotten to actually start one when the class officially started so I am excited to be in on this one from the start.  To read more about this wonderful workshop check out this link.  Living Canvas Workshop.  Join now and your name will be added for a chance to win prizes!!!
Living Canvas Workshop
I hope you can join me and ladies from all over the world on this fun and inspiring journey into mixed media art and art journaling.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Let the Journaling Begin

Today I wanted to share with you the first few pages of my art journal.  Not so you could read the inner most workings of my heart (the pages aren't big enough for that!) but so you could see the end product and maybe be inspired to start your own art journal.  Frankly, I have no idea what I am doing as I begin each page, I just let my heart and God lead me.
I showed you the background of this one in my last post but I thought I would share with you what it looked like and the format I think I am adopting as I begin this journey.  Christy Tomlinson has been giving us journaling prompts to prepare us for the workshop before it begins. (This is the Living Canvas Workshop)  I thought I would share them with you as we go so you could think about who you are and where you are going in life.
I have decided that with each week's prompt, I will journal on the right and then create a mixed media piece on the left in response to the journal entry.  Here is week 1 prompt:
  • Write down one moment of clarity or accomplishment that you are proud of that you remember.
  • Write down one trial or heartache that shapes you in some way.
    • How did this change your day to day way of doing things?
    • How did it affect you?
    • From these experiences, did you find motivation or a purpose to do better or be better?
Because my moment of clarity came when I was creating a piece of art inspired by Proverbs 31, I decided to put all of the things God says makes up a virtuous women on the page on the left.  I would encourage you to read Proverbs 31.  God puts these expectations in such a kind and loving way, how can I disappoint??
Now because I started out a little behind, I also have week two for you to see.  I had fun using a Tim Holtz mask on my journal page and then my spray inks.  It made for a quick and easy background.  This prompt forced us to think a bit about our strengths and weaknesses, which makes me realize although I have made some changes in my life to be more like what God wants me to be, I am forced to see that I still have a lot of work to do.  Here is week 2 prompt:
  • The 6 F's and Balance in your life
    • Faith, Family, Fun, Friends, Fitness and Finances
  • Write about one that is going really well
  • Write about one that is not going so well
    • Think about the imbalance of the two and why you think its going the way it is.
    • What do you want to do differently?
    • What is your desire for the future?
I decided to write a little about all of them although I think the one I am the best at achieving is fitness and that is not saying much.  I work out 5 days a week but the imbalance comes in with food :(  Finance is probably my weakest area and as you will see in my next journal entry, probably next week, it is a goal to change that in the very near future.
For the art part of this prompt I was very led by the Spirit to create this girl.  A friend shared an inspiring verse with me a few days ago from Ephesians 1:17 or somewhere there very close.  It says that God gives us the power to overcome, the same power with which He raised Jesus from the dead!  WOW!!!  That gives a little more clarity to the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Eternal life in Heaven is not the only gift we receive as followers of Christ Jesus.

A little about my girl, I seriously think she is my favorite that I have made so far.  The colors were outside my usual palette and I think that pushed me to try new things on this one.  So, I subscribe to the Peachy Keen monthly stamp and kit clubs and that is where the paper, green flower, little button and butterfly came from.  CUTE!!!  I got the Christy Tomlinson rub-ons in the mail today and of course I had to use them immediately.  For this girl I decided not to paint her face because when I got her head glued down I realized that just by luck (which I don't believe in, God does those things we call "lucky") the words jewel and diamonds are right on the face.  It reminded me that in the Bible God says we are more precious than jewels or diamonds!  I love it when that happens!
I hope you decide to come on this journaling journey with me.  I could use the support :)  You can just use the prompts as I give them to you or you can sign up for Christy's workshop and join in the messy art fun too in the Living Canvas Workshop.  If you decide to do that, be sure to tell her I sent you.
Have a blessed day,