Art Smorgasbord - Struggles

Between two financially draining home repairs, my oldest having bronchitis, and an extremely stressful work situation, this was a difficult week for me.  What's worse, the destruction and deaths caused by the tornadoes in Oklahoma last Monday broke my heart.  They TRULY had a difficult week.  Therefore, I know many of them may be comforted by Psalm 43:5, which says, "Why am I discouraged?  Why am I restless?  I trust you!  And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God."  It is hard to be creative during times like this, but on the other hand, it is a blessing that can help us cope.

Friends
Last month I purchased the Tim Holtz Pediments die, but hadn't had a chance to use it.  With the thought of friends being of great comfort during life's struggles, I came up with a little series to use all 3 pediments.  For "Friends," I began by cutting a mask for a card and embossing it using the Tim Holtz bricked folder.  I distressed it to bring out the pattern.  Next, I used a Fiskars shapecutter template to cut the windows.  I marked the position of the windows on my card base and sketched the cats using a sepia Pentel color brush within the marked area.  I attached the mask to the base and proceeded to decorate it to simulate the facade of a building using the pediment, orangey flowers, foliage, a number sticker, a pearl, and a "friends" label.  I am submitting this piece to Order of the Opus Gluei: Challenge #157 - Chat Noir, Diana Evans' 10 Minute Warm UpMaria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #39Paint Party Friday Week 11-Year 3, and Lorik's Mandarin Orange Monday #43.

Friend
For "Friend," I began by cutting an ATC sized piece of re-purposed cardboard and distressing it.  I cut the door shape using a Fiskars shapecutter tag template.  I attached the threshold and pediment, as well as a star enhanced with distress stickles to complete the doghouse look.  I made an origami puppy dog using a folding technique I learned from Paul Jackson.  I  drew a simple face on my version using a micron pen, as well as added a handmade collar and tag.  You may recall the puppy from a card I designed for my March 4, 2012 post.  I arranged my pieces on the card base, and finished the card by tying a dog paw print bow on the side. I am submitting this piece to Collage Obsession - Choose One WordCrazy Amigo Challenge: TemplatesWhat's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 207Manon Visser's Paper Saturdays,  and Alexandra's Sunday Sketches.

Blue Skies Up Above
With a feeling of faith and hope in the Lord, I came up with the tag shaped card design, "Blue Skies Up Above."  This was one of those card designs that developed as I was working on the tag, since I didn't have a clear idea of what I was doing when I stared.  I began by cutting the rectangular shaped portion of the birdhouse and embossing it with my Tim Holtz woodgrain folder.  The cardstock I used already had a painterly looking print, so I enhanced it by using various distress ink pads in brown shades.  I punched a hole to create the entrance and highlighted it with a micron pen.  I completed the look with a vintage button, rickrack, a tiny attacher, 3 layered flowers, a fleur, an Industrial Chic number charm, as well as a K&Company bird die cut and phrase.  I finished the look by punching a hole to the top and tying some ribbons.  I am submitting this piece to Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge: Favorite InkJennifer McLean's Artist's Play Room #58 - Do What You WantTag Tuesday - T is for Tableau.

Waterdrops
In closing, I leave you with a photograph I took with my iPhone 4S of my wife's African Violets.  I sprayed them with some water to create the feeling of dew.  (I am submitting this photograph to 52 Photos Project: Gallery 5 {Waterdrops}Word Art Wednesday #81, and Artists in Blogland: Show & Tell Saturday.)  May this beautiful purple, which is the color of royalty, remind us of Psalm 9:9, "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."  Thank you for taking the time to stop by, for leaving a comment, and/or for joining my list of followers.  Godspeed!  ¡Vaya con Dios!

Comments

peggy gatto said…
I love all the details!
Beautifully finished!
maria said…
These are beautiful! I love how all the cards turned out. Have a great weekend.
Valerie-Jael said…
Beautiful work. Hope next week will be easier for you! Valerie
Netty said…
smashing projects Arnoldo, especially love the cats in the window. Happy PPF, Annette x

http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/
Leovi said…
Estas flores con gotas de agua son una preciosidad! Saludos!
The orgiami pup and that amazing photo of water droplets were standouts this week... so sorry you have had a time of it... and it is hard to be creative when you see such destruction and know that people must be struggling so badly... it is heart breaking... and I do hope that your daughter is on the mend.. sending lots of care and thoughts your way...xx
Paula (PEP) said…
Praying you will have a better week & for your daughter's speedy recovery.
Much love to you all
Paula (PEP)
Barb Cady said…
So sorry you have had such a challenging time and add you to my prayers for easier times ahead. It is such a sad time in many parts of the world sometimes it is a task to know where to start, perhaps 'peace to all who are in pain' is a good start? I'm glad you have managed to create Arnoldo, I find it helps me too, I now desire that pediments die you have made such lovely pieces with it! Sending you healing thoughts to you and your family, barb x
I hope your eldest recovers soon, bronchitis can hang on....friends yes and thoughtful words about resilience and finding solace in art making. Happy PPF hope next week is a better one. xox
La Abela said…
The collages are lovely, but I love that photograph with flowers wet with dew. Saludos
Jez said…
First of all i hope your daughter is improving daily. I will keep her in my thoughts.
All three of your tags have so much to look at, and express the thought of 'friend' well.
I love the beautiful flower photo, with those rain droplets perfectly captured. Inspiring.
Candy C said…
Arnoldo...you are so right about God being there to watch over us...even we are discouraged. And...our art is such a wonderful outlet for us. You have done some wonderful ATCs. I love your use of the Pediment dies. I remember when you said you really wanted to get those. Love the cats sitting at the window. The dog one is really cute too...with the tiny paw prints ribbon. That is such a great finishing touch. And your bird ATC with the bark background is really creative, too. Beautiful work and inspiration, Arnoldo. I hope that your burden at work and financially with the illness and home repairs is lightened this week. Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy
Faye said…
Blue skies up above is a beautiful tag, Arnoldo, as are the rest of your works. That one really caught my eye because we know that behind those dreadful storm clouds there are blue skies. We all grieve with those who lost loved ones and homes.
Gotham Girl said…
...a blessing that can help us cope...so so true. Lovely...
Linda said…
I love what you wrote about struggle. You have chosen a most appropriate bible message for it. Beautiful art projects as always. I see the rays of sunshine in them :) May your joys be more and your struggles be less.Happy PPF!
joanne said…
your creations are delightful!
Electra said…
Ther is such a wonderful whimsy to these cards, Arnoldo! And the colour in the African violets is amazing! I hope next week is a better one for you and thank you for playing along with us at Opus Gluei!!
Ida said…
I hear you on the stressful week although in comparison to those in OK my week was a piece of cake.
Your card is really cute and the tag was nice as well. Also enjoy the pretty flower shot.
sharon said…
Wonderful work this week,n love the pup and photo especially. Hope you have a better week and I send a prayer your way for your daughter's recovery.
Mary C. Nasser said…
Creativity does help us cope indeed.
Your creations here are lovely, and I hope your next week is better.
♥♥♥
Happy PPF!!
Mary
Mixed-Media Map Art
Arnoldo,
Granny and Mom loved their African Violets. I was a visit nurse and someone gave me leaves from many varieties and colors as they were cleaning and fussing over their plants. I started them in a cardboard egg carton with soil and then potted them. It was so much fun and they all lived.
You photo is magnificent, the faux dew looks real. It has blessed me no end.
Thank you for posting with us at Word Art Wednesday. We really love seeing your super wonderful work and we appreciate you taking time to link it with us.
Blessings,
Carole Robb Bisson
Word Art Wednesday
Your artistic talents never cease to amaze and impress me, Arnoldo. You are uniquely creative, and SO inspiring. When I saw that Simon Say Stamp & Show Vintage Blog is having a DT Call, I immediately thought of you. Your talents would be great there - might want to consider applying, as they'd be blessed to have you!
Hope all is well. Thanks so much for sharing with us, my friend.
Karen
Word Art Wednesday
Winnie said…
Some days or weeks are just draining, but I agree that sometimes creating something can be a spirit lifter and especially when you are creating for others. I just got home from a vacation in VA (Colonial Williamsburg). We went on Mon and it was such a sad feeling to be jovial while others in OK were suffering. I came home tonight to a vm saying they laid off 18 people at the job. I will find out Tues the full story. Others I am praying for now too. I found comfort in your reminder of Psalm 9:9. Your cards are great. That pup and those cats made me smile. I love your pic of your wife's african violet. I love them,but never have luck with the flowers, I end up with lovely leaves though. Be well and hoping you have a better week! Enjoy some family and creative time this holiday weekend.
Giggles said…
I wish your daughter a speedy recovery and fiscal abundance in the weeks to come!!So sorry life has been rough....
So glad you can find sprinkles of joy in your artwork...adorable cats in the window!

Wishing you a happy week, and good things to come!!

Hugs Giggles
What a lovely and inspirational post! I agree that art can have a healing power and bring people together.
ike said…
Superb pieces and I LUV the Puppy Dog :-)
So sorry you have had such a hard time this week :-(
Hugz
IKE xxx
Currie Silver said…
your posts always leave me feeling my heart has grown a little larger. and this one did so in multiple ways. I wish your daughter healing and your home as well. sometimes things seem to gather altogether and the gift is that we walk through them with our hearts open.
your work is exceptional and BEautimous. really lovely and inspired.
Esme said…
I hope that next week is not as stressful. Sometimes it can all be too overwhelming. You have created some lovely die cuts. As someone with limited artistic creativity I am always amazed with other people's talent. Thank you for sharing.
SAMARA said…
Your works are adorable and beautiful - speaking to them all. Moreso, I really appreciate how you have interpreted the Lament Psalms. Being a Rev., you seem to have interpreted the formulation of the Psalms so perfectly...the pain, the suffering, the crying out to G-d and then the love the appreciation, the commending and the recognition for the gifts one has been and is given. I am very much struck by how you have used this while you are in your own place of pain and turmoil and confuzzled life with sickness and discobbulation. It is a closeness to G-d that I am struck by and really really brings me to a closeness to your writing and your art. Thanks for that Arnoldo. Love and Hugs, Samara
Ayala Art said…
I hope next week is better for you and for all. Yes, it is draining to hear bad news :o(
Tiffany said…
Arnoldo, I'm sorry your week was tough. God Bless You! Plus, I hope your oldest will recover soon (bronchitis can take awhile).

Each art piece is beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us as well as the steps it took to create them.

The African Violets are gorgeous.
tangledpen said…
beautiful photograph! your ATCs are sweet too...
Thanks so much for stopping by! :)
Jana 108
Melissa Kojima said…
You always have such loving thoughts to go with your heart felt art. Despite all your difficulties, I'm glad you found time to create some lovely new pieces! Blessings to you too!
PiaD said…
Beautiful work, Arnoldo. Shaking your hand across the ocean to share some strength and courage!
Wonderful collage work:) I am sorry to hear you have been so down this week, my thoughts are with you and hope happiness will return very soon:)
Jessica Sporn said…
Sending you strength and a big hug. I am always amazed by the diversity of your work. I love the tag especially. Happy PPF weekend!
Lmkazmierczak said…
Wonderful creations. We all are feeling a bit in the dumps after the tragedy in OK. Reading other's comments, learning new techniques, seeing how others cope- results in a strengthened faith and hope in tomorrow♫ My OYGIF: http://lauriekazmierczak.com/abstract/
Tam Hess said…
Loving the little flowers and that origami dog is so great! Blessing for your daughter. xoxo
Anita Houston said…
Oh my word your post moved me to tears. Tragedy seems to be all around lately, but so is the Lord. Stunning stunning projects Arnoldo, and just a joy to read your post! I love the window with the cat...precious! The ATC has fab texture, but the card with it's wooded texture is AMAZING, and the sentiment is one we all need to hear! Thank you! Great use of Distress Ink too! Thank you for getting inky with us this week here at Simon Says Stamp & Show!
kat said…
Such sweet art, I love all these very creative pieces and such a lovely photo too, so refreshing! Best wishes for a new and bright week!
Lorraine said…
it has been a difficult week and your psalm quote is very helpful..having a faith is very important for us all to cope I think. happy ppf
Pia Rom said…
Love the ATC with the tiny little dog...so cute your work this week...all the pieces are just gorgeous! ♥ Conny
http://piaromsartjournaling.blogspot.de
Debbie said…
a very beautiful collection of work and i really enjoyed the encouraging verses. I hope things improve for you at work, and your child is better soon!
Ritu Dua said…
All your creative pieces speak so much about you and that photograph is such a delight !
Sandy said…
Your ATC with the tiny dog is lovely and what a wonderful picture of the african violets..
Sandy :)
Cynthia Garner said…
Love the cats....and super great scripture for anytime, any trial...thanks for sharing it.

blessings,
Cynthia♥
Joni Nickrent said…
Beautiful Work...sending prayers your way for peace and calm.
Manon Visser said…
I so hope you have a better week next week and I will be thinking of you and the people from Oklahoma. Great art though!
Blessings
ManonX
We remember a friend who,in response to his problems,joys and heartaches,would sigh and say ahhh..life,life.We feel for those people in Oklahoma and hope their situation improves as quickly as possible.We hope you have a better week and your family gets well.Your cats are wonderful and made us smile,excellent sketches,you must be pleased with such amusing characters.
Tracey said…
awesome projects!! Sending positive thoughts your way! Thanks so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show :)
Maria said…
I'm sorry you had such a terrible week. I too found it very difficult and challenging week. Very scary and stressful. Life is full of challenges. I always keep in mind to stay strong and have faith. Lovely artwork and beautiful photo. I hope you and your family are better. Take good care my friend.

Maria
Neesie said…
It sounds like you had quite a week of it last week Arnoldo, but I hope this week has proved less stressful and traumatic! There's been quite a lot of horrendous news from around the world too.
I hope your daughter is recovering from her bronchitis because it can be quite distressing.
Thankfully art can be such an uplifting thing and just by looking at your work here I find myself smiling :D
Thank you for sharing.
Blessing xoxo
Cafe au lait said…
Hope your lovely works eased up everything and I hope you have a better week.

Mine entries:
Beaded Shades
Green ans Cute
sandee said…
LOL, my eyes widened when I saw the wet leaves, ( psstt...your not suppose to get them wet ) but it's a gorgeous picture. OK, I am asking my WOYWW folks to rally behind me and I truly need your support. I am in a contest and the voting ends today so it's now or never. PLEASE go vote for me, yes, I am begging, lol http://www.genuinelyjanestudios.com/genuinelyblog/gjs-design-a-book-contest-top-three-finalists-announced/
waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥
Jinny Newlin said…
I totally hear you on the rough week all around. I'm right there with you ;). Thank goodness we've got God on our side! Such beautiful projects, Arnoldo! Really love all the yummy textures and trims!
Belo trabalho...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos
lorik said…
I love your kitty cat image and the way they peek through the window - the textured window really enhances it too. Thank you for sharing on Mandarin Orange Monday:)
Kim said…
I hope this week has been a better one for you and your family. Isn't it wonderful to have our art when things aren't going well?HPPF!
Jana said…
I hope your daughter feels better soon. And that your coming weeks are much better. Your creativity is wonderful. I LOVE your cats. They are wonderful drawings. Thanks so much for playing with us at OPUS GLUEI.
minnemie said…
Those African violets made me smile:-) They remind me of home... my grandma and brother were able to grow them so well, but I killed every one I ever owned!
Rosemary said…
You are so soulful and inspiring, Arnoldo, I love your spirit of getting through the tough times through art. The cats made me smile, they remind me of my own when I come home from a draining day at the office and see them looking out of the bedroom window. I hope that things have improved and life is a bit happier for you - having a sick child is terribly worrying and all the other things merely add to the pressure. Take care, I will lift you up to our Good Shepherd.
sheila 77 said…
I do love your cards. The one with the cats and the flowers in the window box is really sweet, the folded dog card is so clever and of course I love the bird card too. I enjoyed examining all the details. Thanks for the detailed descriptions of how they were made, that really enhanced my appreciation of the finished artwork.