Wednesday, September 2, 2015

H is for Choosing to be Happy

It is so easy to look at a glass as half way empty, instead of half way full; to ignore the positive aspects of our lives, and focus on the negative; and to put our trust in the mundane, instead of in the Lord.  During the last couple of weeks I had an extremely difficult time at work which drained me physically, mentally, and emotionally.  However, with the support of my family, friends, and especially my Lord, I feel much better this week.  There are still a couple of issues that I don't feel comfortable with.  However, they are beyond my control,  so I am consciously choosing to focus on my gifted and talented students, who are a joy to work with.  My students are a constant source of inspiration, and challenge me to be a better person personally and professionally.  In addition, I have my studio where I can rejuvenate and revitalize through my readings, explorations, and creations.  Most importantly, through prayer and Scriptural readings, the Lord guides me through the darkness to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Thank you, Lord!

Hope For Tomorrow
Gelli Paper Print; Tim Holtz Tissue tape & Papers; Pastels; Watercolors; and Sharpies
Art Journal Journey - Through My Window
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #326
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Make It Colorful
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 26 Year 5
Kim's Show Your Face
Julie's Art Journal Everyday
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Relax, It's Tea Hour!
Handcut Teacup Pieces; Hand Lettering; Tim Holtz Clock Embossing Folder; and More
Tag Tuesday - Jewelry
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Trio of Colors
Tag Your It! Challenge #29
Colors… They Make Me Happy!
iPhone 4 Photograph Edited on Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World - #112 Beads
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - H is for Hans Hofmann
Sue's Image-in-ing
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #199
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday
I want to dedicate this post to everyone that left a comment regarding my last post.  I was feeling extremely tired and stressed.  Your comforting words made me feel happy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

G is for…

Have you ever had a week at work when you are so tired by the time you get home, that you can't find the energy to articulate your thoughts in a cohesive manner?  I'm having one, with all the back-to-school tasks and duties that I have had going on during the day.  Therefore, I am resorting to the wisdom I found in the words of others.

The Lord's Gift
Deedee's Digis' Goody Jars; Tim Holtz embossing folder and dies; and More
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #198
Tag You're It! #28
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Thy faithfulness is unto generations;
Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
Psalm 119:90

Glamour Girl
Mixed Media (Acrylic, Charcoal, Pastel, Oil Pastel & Calligraphy Marker) 14"x11" Art Journal Page
Lynn's Paper, Paint, Pencils & Pens! - Clothes & Shoes
Mixed Media Monthly - Challenge #15 Let's Get Texty
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 25 Year 5
Kim's Show Your Face
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin.
Zoe Saldaña

MO Ranch Chapel
iPhone 4 Photograph
Our Beautiful World #111 - Stairs
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - G is for God
Bella's 52 Photos Project {Summer Light}
Sue's Image-in-ing
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #325
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #157
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #191
I believe in God - not in a Catholic God;
there is no Catholic God.  There is God,
and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.
Jesus is my teacher and my pastor,
but God, the Father, Abba,
is the light and the Creator.  This is my Being.
Pope Francis

I hope you found the wisdom in these words as inspirational as I did.  Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.  Blessings! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

F is for Fragile

Are children fragile?  Yes, in my opinion, they need an environment in which the needs of their body, mind and spirit are met, or they will grow up with deficiencies which may be difficult to resolve during adulthood.  Healthy foods, plenty of exercise, sound rest, a safe shelter, and appropriate clothing are the basic physical elements that will keep a child's body in shape.  The mind needs can be met with exposure to a variety of experiences, which should include conversations, reading of various genres, exposure to all the various fine arts, creative endeavors, problem solving activities and more.  The spirit can be strengthened through daily prayer, meditation, regular church attendance, involvement in age appropriate church groups, and more.  However, parents and guardians who overprotect, overindulge, and over-schedule their children are actually harming them too.  Children need to learn to cope with not getting everything they want, with disappointments, and with loss.  They need to learn how to entertain themselves, how to solve their own problems, and how to behave appropriately.    Therefore, children are fragile, but they need to develop appropriate life coping strengths through a balance of love and appropriate discipline.

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2015 - August
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Citrus
Try It On Tuesday - Sending you Flowers
Moo-Mania - Embellishments
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Back to School
Inspired by children, I decided to incorporate them into my design  for the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2015 - August.  I began by making my background according to Tim's instructions.  However, I  used the Thinlits "Handwritten Love" collection and created my own words using the "Alphanumerics" dies.  I also used a much more lively color scheme.  Next, I cut a ruler from the "Crowded Attic" sticker collection and arranged the pieces on my background.  I stapled the ends to secure them.  I printed some vintage clip art from Paige Hill's Instant Memories - Children book and CD set to use on my tag.  I arranged them along with a Vial Label which I had embellished with some "Remnant Rubs - Words."  I stamped a swirly design from the "Purely Random" clear stamp set on the upper left corner for an added layering feel.  Next, I strung a "Type Charm" to a "Pen Nib" to create an embellishment to glue over the stamped area.  As finishing touches, I glued a dyed "Heirloom Rose" and strung the top with some jute rick rack and a strip of alphabet tape.

Art Journal Journey - Time
The Mixed Media Challenge - Get Texty
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday Week 24 Year 5
Kim's Show Your Face
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
With the theme of rearing children in mind, I completed new a mixed media page in my 14"x11" art journal.  It's on one of the pages that I had used to clean my brayer during my gelli plate session last weekend.  First of all, I stamped an original image of Christ that I hand carved a while back.  Next, I painted a dove to represent the Holy Spirit using "Cray-Pas Expressionist" oil pastels, along with a stick of charcoal to create some shadowing in the background.  Then, I used the Tim Holtz "Weathered Clock" die and cut it out of a yellow scrap of shimmer cardstock.  I distressed it and glued the parts on my page.  Finally, I used various styles of calligraphy to write the first verse of Ecclesiastes 3 using an EKSuccess calligraphy pen and a Uniball Air pen.  I believe this scripture teaches children a valuable lesson about the good and bad times that life will inevitably bring.

Karen's Word Art Wednesday #197
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 324
Denise and Roger's ABC Wednesday - F is for Flower
Sue's Image-in-ing
Our Beautiful World #110 Vacant
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday # 156
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #190
Last, but not least, I have a photograph that I took with my iPhone 4, at a quiet rest-stop nature-trail along Interstate 10, between San Antonio and Houston, Texas.  It is my submission as guest designer this month at Word Art Wednesday.  It's a gorgeous red-orange prickly pear bloom.  I cropped it digitally, edited it on Pixelmator, and layered this week's scripture art from Word Art Wednesday.  It is a the thirteenth verse from Romans 15.  It's a wonderful blessing that could be read to children when they go off to school, summer camp, or elsewhere.  It's also a blessing that I want to leave you with today.

Thank you for stopping by, as well as for leaving such thoughtful comments for me to read.  As always, I will reciprocate by visiting your blog and leaving a comment as well.  I also want to thank all my new followers, and I'm excited to see that I have close to 200.  Praise the Lord!  Once again, thank you everyone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

E is for Ecclesiastical

As the son of an Episcopal Bishop, I grew up in an ecclesiastical world.  My rearing revolved around church life, and therefore became an integral part of whom I've become.  That's why ecclesiastical themes often emerge through my art and writings.  The Church is also the foundation upon which my marriage, parenthood, and professional work have been built upon.  I have even considered going into the ministry at a couple of points throughout my lifetime.  This doesn't mean I've lead a perfectly righteous life, but God's grace and guidance have helped me through.  Life brings trials and tribulations, but God is good all the time!

Isaiah 52:7
Greeting Card
Word Art Wednesday #196
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Food &/or Drink
Tag You're It!  Challenge #27
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 23 Year 5
Anyway, as a guest designer at Word Art Wednesday for the month of August, I decided to design a card this week.  I began by printing the free scripture art from Isaiah 52:7, on a piece of DCWV Garden Party (GP) cardstock print.  I tacked it with a Uhu Stic onto a DCWV blank card; pierced a line of holes on the upper and bottom borders using a piercing tool, pad and a Tim Holtz ruler; and did some hand stitching.  Next, I created a border using another GP print with a Fiskars AdvantEdge system and the Ivy League Punch cartridge.  I trimmed the left border with it, along with some Tim Holtz tissue tape.  As a focal point, I created a miniature tag using one of the GP embellishments, Tim Holtz tape, ribbon, and the Fresh Brewed Designs' Study Time Bible digital stamp.  I illuminated the latter with Prismacolor watercolor pencils and outlined it with a micron pen.  I also highlighted the mug with Ranger's Crackle Accents and the Bible with Frayed Burlap Stickles.  I attached it with some scrapbooking foam tape.

Saint Elizabeth
Mixed Media Art Journal Page
Piarom's Mix It Monthly Challenge - Aug/Sept Mixed Media Flowers
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - #15 Get Texty
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Homegrown Summer
Kim's Show Your Face
Julie's Art Journal Everyday
Illustration Friday - Heart
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
So, what else is on my work desk this Wednesday?  Some Gelli prints I made over the weekend, as well as a quick mixed media sketch in charcoal, Gelatos, Cray-Pas oil pastels, and gold Sharpie in my 14"x11" Mead Académie art journal.  I did the sketch over one of the pages that I used to roll the excess paint off of my brayer when I was working on the prints.  (I'll share more about my prints in a later post.)  It's an original take on an icon of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary.  I learned that she was a princess in the early 1200's, who gave up her riches to become an early member of the Third Order of St. Francis.  Amongst other things, she is considered the patron saint of bakers, countesses, charities, tertiaries, widows, and young brides, and her symbols include flowers and bread.  She is quoted as saying, "How could I bear a crown of gold, when the Lord bears a crown of thorns and bears it for me!"

Sunflower in NOLA
iPhone 4s Shot
Sue's Image-in-ing
Bella's 52 Photos Project - Gallery 15 {Yellow}
Leslie and Roger's ABC Wednesday - E is for Exquisite
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #323
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #155
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #189
Last, but not least, I have a photograph I took during my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.  It's a giant sunflower that was growing on a patch of grass at a corner along a strip of shops.  Its beauty and strength reminded me of the passage in Luke 12:27-28 and Mathew 6:28-30, where Jesus said, "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?"  Yes, God is good all the time, we just need to have faith in him and not waste time worrying.  Yes, there will be trials and tribulations, but I feel we must stay strong and just believe.  He is in charge, even though we may not always understand the mysterious ways in which He works.

I apologize for the lengthiness of my post this week.  Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to leave a comment.  Blessings!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

D is for Design

Greetings!  I am blessed and humbled to announce that my friend Karen Letchworth invited me to be the guest designer for the month of August, at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  This truly blog-worthy site is dedicated to sharing God's word, as well as being a blessing and encouragement for its readers to be creative in any family-friendly form of visual arts.

Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - D is for Design
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #322
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Make a Plan
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Bella's 52 Photos Project: Gallery 14 {My Morning}
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #154
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 22 Year 5
Illustration Friday
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #188
For this week's project, I decided to make an Artist Trading Card (ATC) & coordinating origami envelope, which I plan to give to a friend as a reminder of one of God's promises.  I began by printing this week's free Scripture file on white cardstock - feel free to grab it at the WAW #195 link above.  I cropped it down to the official 2.5" x 3.5" ATC size and rounded the corners with an EKSuccess punch.  Next, I doodled a leaf corner design to coordinate with the print of the origami paper I wanted to use for the envelope.  I traced it with a black uni-ball air pen and colored it with Prismacolor watercolor pencils.  I blended the colors with a wet paintbrush.  When they were dry, I distressed the edges of my ATC with a walnut ink pad and Tim Holtz blending tool.  I made a hand lettered label using the same procedure.  Finally, I made a simple origami envelope, which you can figure out how to make through my pictures or look online for instructions.  As a finishing touch, I glued my label to the envelope.

I hope you enjoyed my simple idea on how to use this week's Scripture.  Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to leave a much appreciated comment.  Blessings!