Posted in Art journaling, Arts and Crafting, Things To Contemplate

Journaling to Engage

Hello ya’ll!  I hope this post finds you wallowing in joy and blessings. I am wallowing, so I want us all to wallow together. If not maybe I can help you out a bit.  I wanted to share with you some of the things I have been up to that have been helpful to me in engaging my own Joy.

Now my take on Joy is that it is not at all the same as happiness. Happiness or the lack there of is  a product of our environment, people, circumstances. For example, if you bring me cake, white cake with butter cream icing piled high, I am happy. Really euphorically happy… Until I get on the scale and realize that I will have to walk the tredmill at 3.5 miles an hour for 6 episodes of forensic files to work that off. Then I am not happy anymore. Joy on the other hand is not about things or circumstances, but rather a reflection of our relationship with Christ. Joy goes on, no matter what our situation, because we have the assurance of knowing that no matter what happens, it’s going to be alright because where ever we are going, He is already there.

Growing my relationship with Christ is essential to my Joy.  Prayer, study and fellowship and worship are some ways that I have seen my faith grow.  I am working on memorizing Scripture which is very hard for me to do these days ( GEE thanks Menopause). I mean I can remember what it says, but I can’t always remember the address. So I have been working on engaging it in a way that is meaningful to  me. Art Journaling. Because for me, art is worship.

index    This is a book I picked up called Matters of the Heart by Carlie Kercheval.  It is light and a quick read for us on the goers. I”m recommending it. I got mine at amazon.com. After buzzing through it  I decided to take the weekly verse and use it to create a layout in my art journal. OK… the truth is I have about 12 unfinished art journals and I have piles of work waiting to adorn those blank pages. Maybe this will motivate me to  get my mountains of doodles and watercolor diddles organized…. and to work in my journals instead of the back of a used car mailer.

Then I thought… Why not just share it with everyone. I mean I hear people say all the time,” show me how to do that”, So I decided I would.  Maybe you might want to diddle and create Artistic Moonshines with me… Lets do this!

XOXOXOXO until next time… here is the video journal for Proverbs 21:2

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Arts and Crafting

New Mercies

Today was a cold and blustery day. It began with a sunrise as beautiful as I had ever seen, but by the time I pulled over to grab a shot of it, it had been consumed by gorgeous purple clouds. So that is what I painted today, in my own whimsical way.

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

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Posted in Arts and Crafting, Chronicles of The Country Girl Experiment, Things To Contemplate

Chasing Your Creative Calling

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It has been a while since I posted here at the Country Girl Experiment. I went through a bout of Illness and recovery was slow. However, I am on the mend and thought I’d drop by and tug at your ear for a bit and share my creative testimony, at least as it applies to the last few months.

 

I have always been obsessed with art. All mediums, all surfaces, all the time. It gets my gears spinning to try a new thing, get in the zone and drown out all the stress and worries. For me, Artistic creativity is a communion with God. It is a silent sacred place where the language between me and my Savior is spoken in color, texture, and design. It is a place where healing enters in, the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, my hands and my mind and I can just feel the Father’s presence and peace. The zone.  It has been my private retreat for many years and it is something that I have guarded and kept close to me, selfishly hoarding all that time for myself, ravenously devouring one new technique , one new medium after another, studying and practicing, until I master or at least become proficient in it and move on to the next. It has been a way of replacing bad memories with good ones, sorrow for joy, chaos for peace. If I am not creating something, with my hands, in my mind, in my prayer, in my soul and spirit I am depressed and cranky…. And up until now, it has been very personal and very private.

Lupus is a rough customer. It comes and goes like an a thief and steals your time and your energy and  your joy if you let it. I have been through one such flare over the last year, the longest one I’ve ever had, that left me utterly fatigued to the point where I would spend days in bed, sleep 15 hours at a time, unable to  do much.  No trips to the art table, the kiln room, the sewing machine or even a sketch pad for days on end. But… I could dream and dream I did. I would paint and create in my mind. I would dream about it and wake up with an inspiration for a canvas or a doll or a book that I wanted to bind. In my dreams I was dying wool and spinning art yarn and creating buttons from clay. In my mind I could see a  collage or a stack of handmade paper brilliantly colored.  I knew this was happening all along, that the Holy Spirit had been my muse, but I was so busy with kids and life and all the material things and petty things and ridiculous things and… that I did not recognize it until I got quiet and still and only had God to talk to. I began to heal up physically and spiritually, but life did not return to business as usual. I have only so many ” good” hours a day and I have to nap in the middle of the day to regain energy to keep going. I had to learn to eat differently, exercise daily, re-prioritize my time and priorities and focus on what really matters. I had to let some things go that were stealing precious time and invest in things that I was neglecting.  I had to seek forgiveness and forgive. I had to shake the dust off my feet sometimes and sometimes eat crow.. lots of crow.  And for the Love of God, I’ve had to learn to control my tongue ( still on going) and my attitude about the behavior of others… Hence the crow.  I am learning to keep my eyes on the cross. Mathew 5 :24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

As soon as my energy began to return, I would wake up with a painting in my head and run straight to my sketch pad so I would not forget it. I would hear worship music and an entire art journal page would emerge. I began to pray for inspiration and direction in my art. I committed time every day to it. … and then it happened. That moment when God called me out of the safety of my little art table to share what I was doing with others.

Exodus 35:10 And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded;
Exodus 35:35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

At first I just showed off a little on face book and then people began to ask me questions and so I answered. People wanted to learn techniques so I showed them. They wanted art, I gave it away, astonished that anyone would want to have any of the odd art that was produced from my little table. People were as amazed with my process as anything else  and I began to see that I was not the only one who was wrapped up in the beautiful vision of this creative drive.  This art that came as a direct result of my relationship with Christ has become known to me now as my creative calling.

1 Corinthians 15 :58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

So now as I write this, as I feel the aches and pains of this disease creeping around, I am smiling because it reminds me to go to my knees and get quiet and  listen. It reminds me that Jesus longs to be with me, to have a relationship with me,to be a part of me. It reminds me that this gift was given to me to be given. It is so intricately a part of who I am that I sometimes take it for granted but my prayer is that I wont. I pray that I never forget how empty my life was without it. It’s something I have to do.  I can feel a nap coming on and I can’t wait to dream.

What is your creative  calling?

Posted in Arts and Crafting

Art That Changes Things

100_4854  If there ever was a time in my life that art was therapy for me, this is it.  The whirlwind of changes that have occurred in my life in recent months and weeks have been, to say the least, difficult.  In all times when I begin to feel disconnected from life, from God, from control of my own world, I can always turn to the one thing God has used in my life time and time again as therapy: Art and creativity.100_4894 From my yarn stash to my kiln room, once again I have distracted myself with the work of my hands. Something positive and beautiful and un-homicidal.  I headed back to my kiln room.100_4907  100_4908  I began to create what was in my heart. I grabbed metals, glass, paint, fibers, books,looms, tools, my idea journal and my pen and went to work. The results  were a new journey that I really didn’t see coming.  I moved furniture, organized supplies, made plans and wrote lists. Maybe a new small business doing something I love will be the outcome of the path that God has led me down.  It keeps me smiling and helps me to find beauty in the world that often hides itself in the hard and unimaginable. 100_4903

100_4905Metal coatings, patina, glazes, beads, closures and  Inka golds of all shades became a huge part of my days and long nights. 100_4902  100_4904   100_4901  I grabbed beads, wire and silks and mixed them with metals and wood and ceramics.  100_4900  100_4898 100_4897 100_4896  I put my hands on viles and jars of glitters and glass and glues and paints  and feathers and began to create shiny, glittery, pretty things.  Resin, yarns, beautiful papers, inks,hardware, old jewelry and watch parts and every blingy sparkly thing I could get my hands on.100_4844   100_4842 100_4846 100_4847  I began to take notes, write a plan and before I knew it was happening, I was starting to create things to fill my Etsy store and to Stock a Craft show or two; That very thing that my heart has desired to do. I have been too busy worrying to get down to the business of living out the visions that God put on my heart. Its fabulous how the spirit knows what our minds wont accept and our hearts won’t believe.  It’s time I let go of my worry and trust that Christ is the writer of the end of this story, not me. 100_4906

As I began to create these things, I would find my hands working, my heart praying and my mind pondering the things that God was teaching me and using me for. Its become kind of harmony of sorts, like a musical composition that wrote its self in such a way that I can hear every note in my spirit. It transforms my sadness into joy, my broken-ness into beauty and my bitterness into compassion.  Mostly it reminds me how blessed I am.

Thank You God, so very much

Posted in Art journaling, Arts and Crafting, Things To Contemplate

Stressfull Journaling

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This has been the most un-fun week I have had in a long time. Challenging is not the word for it but it is the one I will use because I am trying to give up the dirty words. I did not even make it to church on Sunday because the thought of getting in a closed in vehicle with three pubescent teenagers and a preteen who just recently discovered that she really should be wearing deodorant was akin to chewing glass and I just could not make it one more step. …. (although I now realize that was a touch dramatic.) You see, Cowboy was out of town most of the week and the little darlin’s wiped the floor with me.

I would like to say that I have decided that parents should stop putting money into a college fund. Let the little boogers pay their own way. I say start as early as possible and start a Seal Fund instead. By Seal.. I mean Navy Seal… Someone to watch over your children from the age of about 12- 21. I say go military… the meaner the better.   I just want to sleep through the night without having to wake up the neighborhood to obtain information about their where-abouts. Apparently, when they hit puberty, you loose your clearance for said information and it takes congressional hearings to get it back.  I want to be able to sit through one cup of morning coffee without talking about feelings or puberty related issues or where hair is growing.  I want to have 15 minutes that I don’t have to care if it’s fair,what football teams are playing, explain why your too young to date and I don’t want to discuss any of it through the bathroom door if I am seated anywhere in the room. They are crazy people right now and I will admit… this week, they rolled me like a barrel over Niagara Falls. october2014 015

My nerves are like little electrical surges and though I think it might be tasteless to detail every single event of my teenagers terrorist acts…I will just say that They are like a little mafia faction…. proud of their bad behavior and working their way up the ranks by pillaging and random acts of selfishness. Bless their hearts.

One thing my daughter pointed out….” Mom, you make pretty art when you are angry” and there it is. I gave up cussing,(ok I  am trying) wine, cigarettes and hostess ding dongs….  So the only thing left for me is art. Amen

SO….I Hit the old art journal….

Oh Yeah! Have I mentioned that I gave up my beloved craft room for, of course, a kid I loved more and had to down size… But Cowboy bought me a Mini-work box… for my 32nd birthday this year to soothe my broken heart. So I am back in business.october 2014 002

Art Journal entry

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As for what’s next…. I have been working on some things. I am working on about 20 books I am binding and getting ready for sale and gifts, working on over-journaling ideas and spending sometime on weaving. I will share when those things get closer to completion… In the mean time… just a little color…

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Posted in Art journaling, Arts and Crafting, Things To Contemplate

Filling the Empty Spaces with Art

Art has been my go to place when I need to deal with my emotional noise, when there is something on my mind, something to contemplate.

September 2014 018It fills up my empty spaces that might otherwise be filled with sorrow, self-pity, anger, worry or a number of other destructive things.  Pain, brokenness, trauma… when it enters in, it makes space in your heart to live. It brings its friends(self-destructive behaviors,  sadness, rage, hatred) over for parties. They are hard to evict and even when you can get them out, that empty space beckons them back. Unless…… That space is not empty.

blogart5    blackredpony3   For Me, God used this need to create to fill that dark empty place with joy, and light and color. It is a spiritual experience for me. I never create anything that I am not in a kind of communion with God.  It is cleansing and  freeing and it causes me to think about my broken-ness in a different light.

blogart6   blogart14  I have been creating something for so long that I scarcely remember a day that I did not do something artistic or creative or crafty. I  get depressed if I don’t allow my soul to follow along that creative path, following along behind my Savior as he leads me to the next creative joy.  For He too is an artist…

“In the beginning God created…”
Genesis 1:1

april Blog 027   blogart23  the visitor 017   It’s more about the process than the outcome, but it is also the learning and mastering of skills. This process is the building of a tool chest that an artist carries around and soon  everything becomes inspiration for the next creative venture instead of a trigger for a bad memory. A confidence is born that leaks over into the rest of life,  at least that is how it is for me.  halloween2012 127    creative blog 012  etsy 006   january2013blog pics 005  Art listens.    It gives me the opportunity to take the non-verbal memories, the feelings and ideas that there just are no words for,  and create something beautiful or shocking or new out of them, whether they are good or bad. It’s an  opportunity to release emotions in a safe and constructive way. It’s incredibly healing. tag3   april Blog 012   blog june2013 008    Art Journaling has  become a kind of mission for me, one I hope to share with other women someday. It  has the power to release and replace negative emotions with powerful new resolve, hope and direction.  It helps me to work out things from way back when, the argument I had yesterday, forgiveness, sadness,My joys and accomplishments, heartbreak or maybe even sin in my life whether I am ready to deal with it or not.  Whatever is on my mind, I can leave it there in a private  safe place, dealt with and secure.
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