As for me and my blog, we will serve the Lord!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bible Journaling Journey

My newfound passion is to use my techniques from art journaling and scrapbooking to actually journal directly into my Bible. I learned about this through an online friend, Stephanie Ackerman.

Who knew there was a Bible specifically for note-takers (that would be me), with wide outer margins and pages that are a bit heavier than typical Bibles. This is the one I ordered.

Bible for Journaling

My only complaint is that the print size is 7.5 point. After much research, that seems to be the best I can do, if I want wide margins.

So, I decided to dive right in, using a Scripture passage from my daily devotional email from Proverbs 31.

First Page in Bible Journal-unfailing love

Right away I realized I needed to come up with my own solutions to some of the challenges like wrinkled paper, bleed-through, etc. I learned that if I want to use paint or stamps, I should put down a thin layer of matte medium first. So, I’m still working on my own “style” for Bible journaling, but I’m feeling more confident, because I am DOING IT.

About the same time as this concept came to me, as I was thinking about how I would choose a verse or passage to journal about, I learned about a free online Bible study on Esther, and I enrolled. Today was the first day of that 8-week study.

starting the Esther study

The Bible study uses YouVerse (with Bible app) and a study guide. From today’s study, I chose a verse to journal:

treasure heart

Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I am excited to have a new challenge that combines my love of art and journaling with my desire to delve more deeply into God’s Word.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cross-Country “Move” and Return to Art

sunflowers

On July 20 we headed from the Midwest (Home #1) to the Pacific Northwest (Home #2). We are keeping our first home but adding a second home, and it has been crazy. Frankly. But fun. Very.

I am blessed that both my homes have a room dedicated to my hobbies (scrapbooking, Smash journaling, art, and art journaling). In Home #1, I call it My Hobby Room, because 8 years ago when that room was established, I was mainly scrapbooking. In Home #2, I call it My Studio, as I do as much art work as I do scrapbooking (and Smash journaling).

Although I feel a bit “out of my league” to say “I have a studio,” other terms such as “hobby room” or “craft room” do not adequately describe it. So, I looked up “studio” in Wikipedia. Interesting.

A studio is an artist's or worker's workroom… This can be for the purpose of architecture, painting, pottery (ceramics), sculpture, woodworking, scrapbooking, photography, graphic design, filmmaking, animation, industrial design, radio or television production broadcasting or the making of music…

The word studio is derived from the Italian: studio, from Latin: studium, from studere, meaning to study or zeal.

So, My Studio it is.

We have been furnishing Home #2, not even decorating yet. But as of today, My Studio is pretty much done, and since Hubby was off to play golf for the day, I had no choice but to initiate the room with hours of work on photographs (for scrapbook and Smash journals) and then to paint a sketch that I had drawn while driving across the country.

The “sunflower” piece was inspired by my artist friend, Laurie May.

{Soon will post more information and pictures of Home #2.}

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pray~Pause~Praise

Because praying is something I do every day, like everything that is “routine,” it is easy to get into a rut. Sometimes the pizzazz fizzles from my prayer life. Today’s devotional from Wendy Pope at Proverbs31.org (my favorite daily devotional--comes to my inbox!), just really hit home.

Wendy said that during her prayer time, after uttering a couple of “thank you’s” to God, she jumped right into her requests (my hand is waving—that’s me!). As she prayed, she felt like God was telling her to stop praying for what He was already doing. Wow. Notice He wasn’t telling her to stop praying, but to realize that He already was at work in those areas, and in fact had already answered, or was in the process of answering, several of those prayers, in ways that she should be able to see, or at least to believe in faith that He was accomplishing. The Holy Spirit was nudging Wendy to remember what He had done/was doing, and to praise Him for it.

I do not believe this is to say that we shouldn’t feel the need to pray, if we have faith that God will answer. I believe that God DOES want us to pray, in faith, but He also wants us to recognize His work and pause to give thanks to Him.

For me personally, I get so wrapped up in my request list, and the responsibility I feel to bring this all before God, because it is something I need to do (and that’s okay—I think part of praying IS for me, to remind myself of my reliance on God). But I OFTEN move on to the next item for prayer without stopping to tell God, “Oh, yes, and the things I was praying about last month—thank You for answering those prayers.” Rather than just wiping my brow in relief that I no longer need to pray about THAT item, I should be taking the time to praise Him that He DID take care of it—that it is because of HIM that I can mark that item off my “pray hard about this” list.

Somewhere between my relief and moving on to the next part of the list, there should be a Pause—a time for “I praise You, for Who You are, AND for what You have done!”

Since I can’t say it any better, I am directly presenting here portions of Wendy’s writing today.

I remembered 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." It all became clear. If God is providing, then I needed to stop asking and start praising.

My prayers had indeed become tired and mechanical. I often wondered if God even heard my prayers.

God was challenging me to examine my prayer list to find ways He was already working, and then praise Him! Praise Him for how He is already providing for my friends' and loved ones' needs.

Taking God up on this challenge has given me confidence in my prayer life. I know my prayers are being heard and answered.

What if we paused to examine our requests to see how God is already working, then praised Him for what He is already doing? It's a radical thought. It might mean readjusting our usual prayer time to make room for His whispers. He may ask us to talk less and listen more so we can be more intentional with our prayers.

Maybe God wants to interrupt your prayers, too. He doesn't want you to stop praying, but instead be faithful to press pause and start praising.

Dear Lord, help me examine each situation I am currently praying about, so I can praise You for what You are already doing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." (ESV)

James 5:16b, "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." (MSG)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Be of Good Courage {Art Journal}

courageous creative girl

I sketched this little creative girl while taking a class with Danielle Donaldson. Today I decided to give her some meaning, by making her a brave and courageous girl (prompt from Journal52: Week 24). I used watercolors to respond to the prompt for Week One of Summer of Color Four.

There are times for each of us, I think, that we need to summon more courage and bravery than we think we have within us. For me, that’s a reminder to call on God.

His Word says:

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” – Psalm 31:24

That’s me. I hope in the Lord. So, I am to be of good courage. I am to be brave.

“God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

Summer of Color 4 Week Six {Collage}

SOC4 Week Six

This week’s color prompt at Summer of Color 4 Week Six is:

Raspberry & Tangerine with a Smudge, Splash or Pop of Lemon

While I sometimes use collage elements in a mixed media piece, this may be my first ever JUST magazine collage. The change-up was fun.

Smash Journal Pages {Long-distance Family}

For now, I live quite some distance from all my family, so sometimes I rely on pictures from them for smashing and scrapbooking.

garden guy smash

I am so proud of my daughter, taking care of this large yard and garden, being a single mom and working hard at her job, all at the same time. Wish I lived close enough to benefit from some of this beautiful produce! When I saw these pretty pictures posted on Google Plus, I knew they needed to be “smashed!”

smash Tory and Shannon

These are pictures that my granddaughter posted on Instagram, winter, spring and summer. She and her friend are both beautiful young ladies.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Disconnect Sometimes {Art Journal}

journal52 Week 28 Technology

As to the techniques used on this page, this is WAY out of the box for me. I’ve joined a couple of challenge blogs, rather “late to the party,” so I’m combining prompts where possible. This page is my response to the Journal52 Prompt for Week 28: Technology, as well as Week Three of Summer of Color Four: Lavender and Gray with a Splash of Plum.

As to the topic of this piece, most everyone agrees that it is a good idea to disconnect from technology now and again. I recently disconnected from twitter, because it is too much of an enigma for me: on the one hand, it feels like you are “connecting” (at least with your “followers”) on a regular basis. But the truth is, I wonder how many people actually read tweets from others, unless it includes a direct reference to that person. So, it’s like fooling yourself. You believe you are being heard, when in reality, you may be the only one listening. I don’t like games very much.

Again I repeat my mantra: as communication gets more and more technologically advanced, there is less and less of it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Watercolor Tulips

Journal52 Week 25 Nature Inspired

Participating in some prompt challenges, I sketched and watercolored this art journal page.

Journal52, Week 25, Nature Inspired

Summer of Color 4, Pink and Apple Green with a Pop of Dark Green.

Art Journal Journey, Flower Power.

Also linking to Artist’s Play Room and Dion Dior’s Friday Sketches and Paint Party Friday.

Update: Cool! My painting was randomly selected to be featured at Paint Party Friday this week.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

To the Depths of the Sea {Art Journal}

journal52 week 26 under the sea

Working on the challenges at Journal52, this project is for Week 26: Under the Sea.

Rather than working in a bound art journal for these projects, I am doing each project on a 140# watercolor paper and then keeping them in a 3-ring binder. The plan for this project came to my head as soon as I saw the challenge prompt, but I didn’t bargain for how much time it would take.

I used bleeding art tissue paper for all the layers, using strips of blues for the ocean, pieces of oranges and yellows for the fish, and shades of green for the seaweed. I sketched the fish and seaweed after adhering the tissue paper to heavy watercolor paper, and then cut out with scissors.

The words to a couple of praise songs came to my mind (Starfield “Filled With Your Glory” and Tomlin “Indescribable.” I decided to go with the latter.

The height and depth of God’s majesty, and of love for me is truly indescribable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Art Journal Collage: Nostalgia

journal52 week 27 nostalgia

I discovered a challenge blog that gives art journal prompts for each week of the year. It’s already midyear (this is Week 27), and I don’t like being behind, but I do like the idea. I’ll do these projects as a single page and then put them in a binder. This week’s prompt at Journal52 is “Nostalgia.”

Someone in the group mentioned that she is such a forward-thinking person that it is hard for her to think of anything for the “nostalgia” prompt. I wanted to say, “Honey, when you’ve lived a few more years, it will not be difficult at all. Being forward-thinking doesn’t mean you can’t have (and savor) memories.”

In fact, I have always maintained that memory-keeping and memory-recalling are such life-enrichers.

One of my many, many favorite memories is from my early childhood, my first experiences at “school.” I have always loved school. Sometimes it seems that, in my memory, I was either in school or playing school until I became a teacher. I admit that my favorite thing about school was buying school supplies and getting everything ready to “do my homework.”

This collage is attached to a 140# watercolor paper so that it is sturdy for putting in the binder. Most of my art journal work is mixed media, mainly painting, so this collage is quite different. But it was really fun.

(Yes, that is my first grade school picture, from only 60 years ago. My school did not have kindergarten. And yes, my first reader was Dick and Jane.)

Most of the materials for this collage were left-overs from a minibook I created about our primary school years (my husband and myself). If you would like to see this album, I blogged about it here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Random Art Journal Page

dreams

This page started as a place to use up the blue and red paint I had been using on another project. I just kept adding things until I called it done!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beautiful and Bright {Mixed Media Art Journal}

bright colors

I have been doing a lot of sketching and watercolor painting lately, and I was in the mood to do another “crazy, messy” art journal page for a change. I recently learned of a new product called High Flow Acrylic, and I was intrigued by the fluidity of the medium, without it being “watered down.” So I decided I could get the same effect by mixing acrylic paint with acrylic ink. I painted sections on my pages and then sprayed with water and let it run. Then I randomly added bleeding art tissue paper pieces with decoupage, sprayed with more water and let it run some more. The last layer is just random stamps (using Archival Jet Black).

These bright colors are cheery, and it was a simple but fun page.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How Can I Say Thanks {To God Be the Glory}

My Tribute Primitive Girl Art Journal Page

(click image to enlarge)

{Stillman & Birn Beta Journal, hardbound, pages collaged with vintage papers, little girl’s face has vintage Simplicity pattern paper for dimension, all painted with acrylics.}

Two years ago my husband’s mother passed away. The next month, my mother received a terminal cancer diagnosis. A year later, our son’s family (we are very close to them) moved a 32-hour drive away. A month after they left, my mother passed away, a little over a year ago now. Both our mothers were strong women of faith, and they are absolutely rejoicing in heaven right now.

Although I usually consider myself a person of strong faith, I have had some very sad days in the last couple of years. I realize that others might like to tell me of their experiences, to make me realize that I really have no reason to feel sad, in comparison. And I would agree.

Don’t misunderstand, there have been many joyous occasions and causes for wonderful celebrations during the last two years. I have documented those, and I truly praise God for those times.

Still, now and then, like today, I am sad. I am sad, not because I don’t know Who holds the future; not because I don’t have faith that all will “work together for good;” not because I am not assured of my eternity in heaven; not because I don’t have a strong supportive and loving family. I am sad because I miss those who are not here. I am sad because everything is “not right with the world.” I am sad because of family situations that fill me with sorrow. I am sad because of the brevity of life and the passing of time.

During those days when I feel down, God almost always brings to mind a praise song, usually one that I heard recently. Last Sunday, we sang a song that I had not heard or sung for many years. It was what I needed to hear, and to sing, that day. And today.

 

How can I say thanks,
for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved, yet you give
To prove your love for me.


The voices of a million angels
Could not express my gratitude
All that I am, and ever hope to be
I owe it all to thee.


To God be the glory,
to God be the glory
To God be the glory
for the things He has done.
With his blood he has saved me,
With his power he has raised me.
To God be the glory,
for the things he has done.


Just let me live my life,
Let it be pleasing Lord to thee.
And if I gain any praise,
let it go to Calvary.

With his blood he has saved me,
With his power he has raised me.
To God be the glory
for the things he has done.

~”My Tribute,” Andrae Crouch

Because I am human and still live on this earth, there will be sad days. But God can take care of me in my sadness as well as in my joy. For that I am thankful.

My little grateful primitive girl is reminding me that, even on sad days, God is in control. He does make everything okay. With His blood He has saved me. With His power He has raised me. To God be the glory. For the things He has done.

And for the things He will do.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
I Peter 5:7

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Confident Girl {Watercolor Sketch}

confident girl

Inspired by one of my classes, I sketched this little creative girl and then used watercolor pencils (Inktense) to paint her.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Engagement Congrats {Scrapbook Layout}

Engagement Congrats Layout

We were excited to have a Facetime conversation with our grandson Conner on Saturday, along with his sweetie Caroline and the rest of his family, announcing their engagement.

Of course, a scrapbook page was necessary. The cuts are from my Silhouette Cameo. The pictures are from Caroline, the larger one printed at 5x7.

My scrapbook style has changed so much over the years. Currently, I’m into a simple, straightforward style, minus the tons of heavy embellishments that defined my recent style. For me, it’s always been about the pictures and the journaling anyway!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fun Family Time at Theatre in the Park

My brother can do anything. Well, almost. Truthfully, he HAS done a lot in his lifetime. He had never been in a theatre production, and since that was on his “bucket list,” he recently auditioned for and got the part of Reverend Moore in the stage production of “Footloose.”

Last night we traveled to watch the 5th of 6 performances at the Theatre in the Park, Lincoln’s New Salem State Park, Petersburg, IL. It was awesome. He was awesome. His solos and his acting were GREAT! Like I said, my brother can do anything. And what he does, he does with excellence. Always.

06-17-2014 Keith in Footloose-Rehearsal

ATT1

(Couldn’t help but be reminded of how many times he “played like” a preacher when we kids “played church,” as our dad was a pastor.)

program

My sister and her husband (who happens to be my husband’s brother) drove the two hours to our house, and then we all four traveled the 2:45 to the park and then back to our house afterwards.

It was a memorable experience. Priceless.

IMG_0366

My brother is amazing. Spoken like the true sister.
That I am.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Watercolor Flower Girl

flower girl 1

In Danielle Donaldson’s class “Land of Light and Shadows,” I learned to draw little creative girls, with their silly little buns on top of their heads! They are the easiest ever, and it’s really quite fun. This little lady is a flower girl. (Sketched and watercolored in my art journal.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Heart to Your Light {Art Journal}

hand over my heart to your light

This is the last project in the Sunday Mornings Class with Mindy Lacefield.

I do love this little “primitive girl,” and I love her heart, as she gives it to God’s Light.

Still not my “comfort zone,” it is fun to work outside the box.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

“Voice of Angels” {Mixed Media Board}

angel voices sing a

Music is so much a part of who I am. Since God made me, I should not be surprised that He uses music to “speak” to me so often. There are always praise songs running through my head, and at any given time, I have a new “this one really is my favorite.” More accurately, I have two or three favorites at any point in time.

Right now, one of my two or three favorites is Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise.” Maybe one reason I love this song is because both our mothers have left this earth to step into heaven, within the last two years (my husband’s in 2012 and mine in 2013). We celebrate the fact that they are with Jesus!

But I think that it is also that this song makes me feel so joyous and victorious, not even thinking about “rising” into heaven upon death. I have always loved “the Lamb” as one of the names of Jesus. This song, as the phrase “Worthy is the Lamb” is repeated, just gives so much glory and honor to the Lamb who was slain so that I, so undeserving, might have salvation and spend eternity with Him (“and I will rise, when He calls my name—no more sorrow, no more pain”…Hallelujah!)!

angels sing side

This mixed media piece was created on an 8x8 birch panel. I painted the background and then painted the angel on a piece of corrugated cardboard, cut it out and adhered it to the board. The project was inspired by Susana Taveras (Portugal), as she was a guest teacher in Mindy Lacefield’s Sunday Mornings class.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Son!

I’ve always thought that, while a birthday is most certainly a personal celebration for the one whose birth anniversary is being celebrated, in many cases (such as mine), the mother also has a personal (and usually private) celebration of the same event.

Several years ago today, I became a mother. It was and is, without question, the most incredible, miraculously amazing blessing anyone could ever experience. It is a true picture of God’s amazing grace, that he would bless me, so undeserved, with motherhood. My two children are my constant reminder of how much God loves me. My son was my firstborn, and so it is that with his birthday each year, I celebrate the anniversary of my greatest blessing, becoming a mother.

Our son has always been a constant, and when I say constant, I mean constant, source of joy for his parents. It would be impossible to count the ways he has brought us joy.

Being a bit picture-obsessed, there are hundreds of pictures accessible on my computer. But for the sake of the reader, I’ll bring out only a few (and when I say “few,” I mean many).

Happy Birthday, Sweetest of all Sons.

1970 Oct Mark first studio 4 months

1970 (4 months-first studio picture)

 

1971-feb 12 Mark almost 8 mos still blue eyes

1971 (almost 8 months—eyes still blue—later green)

 

1971-Mark's 1st BD June

1971-First Birthday (people trying to sign him up for football—look at that body!!)

 

1972-Mark on Wonder Horse

1972—loved that Wonder Horse (and Dad’s USMC “cover”)

 

1973-Mark age 3 June

1973 (age 3) (People encouraging me to let him be a model—I don’t think so!)

 

1975-Jan Mark

Age 5

 

1982-Mark's 12th BD

12th birthday

 

1982-M French horn

Played French horn in band

 

1982-Ready for band concert

Age 12 (in high school band already)

 

1983- basketball

Age 13

 

1984 Licking Comm Theat musical singing Anything You Can Do

Age 14, with sister, as they were together in several stage productions (this one, singing “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” from “Annie Get Your Gun”)

 

1984-First Place Science Fair

Freshman Science Fair, First Place

 

1986 Mark's 16th bd in Argentina-BD Arg style

Celebrating 16th birthday Argentine Style while visiting family in Argentina.

 

1986-a very proud moment for Mark

Christmas after turning 16, driving his Mustang for sister (Miss Merrie Christmas) in Christmas Parade—a proud brother moment.

 

1987 Prom

Junior Prom (picture with sister)

 

1988-Performing Great American Cheese

Performing First-Place Humorous Duet (many, many trips with the Speech Team and National Forensics League)

 

1988-Pic taken for newspaper-M on tennis team

High School Tennis Team Junior and Senior Years (picture taken for local newspaper)

 

1987-040 Mark Senior Pic

Senior Pictures

1987-Mark Senior Pic

 

1988-Mark Valedictorian HS May

1988 High School Valedictorian

 

1988-033 Mark's 18th bd

18th birthday

 

1988-Mark in dorm room 316 Landon Hall SBU Bolivar

Off to college—dorm room

 

1989-big bass lots of fishing summer of 89

Loved to fish during summers

 

1989-Mark returns to SBU-sophomore

1989 Back to College

 

1990-4-21 Bicycle Club for dinner Spgfd

1990-Met the Love of his life, Kristy

 

1991-Scanned in 2014-001

1991-Married the Love of his life

 

1992 May Mark's college grad

1992-College Graduation (with Honors)- (three years later, Master’s Degree from Seminary)

 

1993-Tory's birth

1993-Birth of his firstborn, Tory

 

1995-Conner's birth

1995-Birth of his son, Conner

 

2012-Tory's HS grad

2012-High School Graduation, Tory

 

2014-High School Graduation, Conner

 

Did I mention how thankful I am that God chose to bless me immeasurably with a wonderful family! Thank you, Lord!