Tuesday, November 05, 2013

give a girl a glue gun

to follow is my latest article, Give a Girl a Glue Gun over at LTD Commodities in their Designer Showcase.  i am one lucky girl to be working with such a great company!
i adore crafting with my kids. The priceless time spent around our craft table with scraps of fabric, paper, buttons, paints, crayons, and glue guns—alongside the endless imagination of my children—never ceases to amaze me. Throughout the years, our family crafts have evolved from scribbles on a scrap piece of paper to the painting of family masterpieces to life-size cardboard robots with working knobs and dials.

As my children have gotten older, so has their ability and confidence to use the tools available to them for crafting, opening their eyes and imagination to the possibility of creating whatever they choose. My daughter has a particularly adorable relationship with her glue gun and her ability to make her dreams become a reality is nothing less than inspiring with her glue gun
in hand.

Over five years ago, my sweet little girl found the world of glue guns and since then hasn't looked back. She was only 5 years old when she emerged from the family craft room with her version of a pop-up book, taking her doll house figures and hot-gluing them to a sheet of scrapbook paper. Just last week she created an entire gymnastics stadium—including uneven bars, vault, and trampoline—with Popsicle sticks, fabric and the infamous glue gun.  She has gone on to play for hours with her doll and her homemade gymnasium!

Although a lot of her learning about the glue gun came through trial and error, she has done an amazing job of immersing herself in glue gun knowledge by way of instructional videos, articles and crafting books. Due to her love for crafting and desire to create, she took it upon herself to learn how to use her favorite tool to its fullest potential. 

As I think about my daughter and her ability to dream, create and learn, I can't help but be inspired—not just in new ways to use a glue gun, but ways in which I may be able to look at the tools I use regularly differently. I am inspired to use my imagination to create from the tools I have and allow my mind to drift and dream and take the time to learn more.
For me it's my camera. I love photographing my kids, friends, parties, and scenic spots. It is my tool of choice. However, I don't spend a lot of time thinking how I might be able to use my camera differently or how I might be able to learn new tricks. For some reason, I have convinced myself I don't have the time. I wonder how my craft would change if I took the time to read more articles or take a photography class? Like me, I hope you find the inspiration to learn more about the craft you love and be empowered by what you learn to dream and create more!
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it's so much fun to brag on my kids.  i'd love to hear what you have learned from your kids.

grace and peace

Thursday, March 14, 2013

blue nail polish and the heart

i can't help but giggle a bit at the above piece of art.  at first glance, you may think it was designed with a trend in mind.  well, i'm not gonna lie, it was, sort of :)  but it was a trend i can get behind as it was created out of an expression of our families story.  our call to listen to our hearts and to find love.  but mostly, i giggle because lilly (my hand model) is wearing blue nail polish.  as i was working the piece i debated about photoshopping out the color and just couldn't.  the blue on her nails is part of her creative expression and how she listens to her heart.

we use the word "heart" around our house all the time.  we talk about our heart in terms of an organ and how it pumps within our bodies to support life and how we must keep our heart healthy by eating the right foods and exercising.  but, more often, we refer to our hearts as more than just an organ within us but as a window to our soul.  we have found a better understanding to the wonderful mystery and beauty of love through our hearts.  dave and i work hard to help our kids better understand themselves through their hearts.  the language in our house is often in reference to how our heart feels.  we even refer to our therapists as our "heart doctor".  it's a beautiful thing to look within our hearts, find love, God, inspiration, and creative selves.

what is your heart telling you today? 
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

out of the comfort zone

stepping out of the comfort zone is hard.  i like cuddly, warm, predictable.  however, sometimes the cuddly-warm-space starts to become too warm and instead of feeling safe in a cuddly embrace you begin to feel claustrophobic and constricted.  worse yet, you can begin to feel as though your very breath is being taken as you begin to suffocate by what once was your "comfort".  it's also known as growing, maturing and we all must experience and walk through these seasons in our life as we learn to explore and grow into the people God is nurturing us to become. 

i have long walked this creative journey teetering on the edge of what feels good, comfortable, and secure and those areas where i feel as though i have no business.  being creative is so much more than just thinking or pinning the things you like or hope to do one day.  it's about stepping out and actually doing it.  it's about believing in yourself enough to step out of your comfort zone and allowing yourself to become vulnerable.  i know this is a scary thought - but i really believe the only way to find growth is to shed yourself of the comforts constricting you and move forward in your hearts desire.

i love taking photos. i find security and safety behind my camera.  with my camera i am able to take snapshots of the life and world around me.  my photos are memories of times past, they are stories, they are my life, my art.  however, when i am asked to take photos for a friend i begin to panic.  any security i once felt with a camera in my hands is immediately diminished by a voice telling me i am not qualified.  in a blink of an eye i find myself outside of my comfort zone.  allowing myself to become vulnerable as i say, "yes" and telling the voice of negativity to, "get behind me" is both scary and invigorating.  this past weekend i had the joy of shooting two of my favorite little girls.  although, the voice was there telling me, i wasn't good enough, i am finding the more and more i push it back the less and less strength it has in my life.
 as i processed the photos from our afternoon shoot i was reminded how much bigger these photos are then just me and my "less than" feeling.  what a freeing thought, when you realize it isn't about you but about what you can give out of your talents.  i challenge you today to step out of your comfort zone and actually DO what your hearts desire is calling out for you to do.  go for that walk, paint a picture, read a book, play a board game with your kids, pray....  stop thinking about doing it, stop allowing that part of your self that tells you, you don't have the time, expertise, know-how and just give-in to the beautiful vulnerability - you never know what you might find or learn about yourself.

grace & peace

Monday, March 11, 2013

birds of a feather

one of my most favorite things about what i do is who i am able to work alongside.  namely, my sweet lilly jane.  if i am painting, crafting, or even in the rare chance cleaning our craft room and she is home, she is right there with me.  i have often said, she has more creative inspiration in her pinky finger than i do within my entire being.  she, however, hasn't recognized it yet.  more times than not, she sits in awe of me and whatever i am working on as i simultaneously am watching her create, sing and tell stories while her hands are busy - all i can think of is how amazing she is!!  
a while back lilly and i were hard at work in the craft room painting, ripping and gluing.  i had been sketching and painting a bajillion birds and she wanted in on the action.  i have no idea how many hours the two of us spent together but what i do remember are the words we shared.  as we worked together, lilly continued to get more and more frustrated with herself as the birds she was attempting to make didn't look like the birds i was drawing.  as often as i told her, they were beautiful and how much i loved them - she couldn't hear it.  she found herself defeated and paralyzed and it broke my heart.  finally, i stopped.  i stopped what i was doing took her by the hands, looked her in the eyes and reminded her how much i loved her.  i reminded her that she was creatively made and that her expression was her's and her's alone and that it was beautiful, no matter what - not because it was perfect, looked like mine, or even looked like a bird, but because it was hers!  after this interaction she visibly changed.  we broke from our hug and immediately got back to work creating our birds.  in the end, her depiction of a bird standing on a hill basking in the sun made from torn paper scraps was beyond precious and not only looked completely different than mine but was a true expression of who she is.

how often do we move through life believing a lie about ourselves.  how often are we unable to really hear the encouraging words of the people around us and believe them to be true.  how much more time do we need to spend beating ourselves up because we don't think we measure up.  i am so thankful God gave me the words to encourage my sweet girl that day - i am thankful she was able to not only hear them but embrace God's truth in her life and take action.

as you look to find truth in your life, i pray, you will not be thwarted in your effort.  may you not be ashamed of your God-given gifts, no matter what they are.  may you recognize they are uniquely yours and yours alone and that the world needs your unique expression.

grace & peace,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

love you more - giveaway!

i thought it would be fun to do a giveaway [in a not so secret attempt to boost facebook visibility/traffic].  i figured if i was going to do the giveaway it would also be fun to share the story behind the art too!  there is very rarely a piece of artwork i do that doesn't have some sort of story behind it. 
"love you more".  i have done a number of art pieces based on this simple statement.  why? because i say these three little words no less than 100 times a day to my kids.  i started saying, "love you more" to luke one night several years ago as he kept telling me, "no, mamma i love YOU more".  from that evening on it just sort of stuck.  even still there are times (usually when i am trying to get the kids to bed) when a battle of "love you more" begins as we chant it back and forth to one another.  gotta love those kids and all the love we share.

so, getting back to the giveaway....i will be giving away the above 8x10 wood plaque, just in time for valentines day!  all you need to do to enter is go to my facebook page and "like" it.  i so appreciate all the support and love i have received on this new journey!

Grace and Peace!

Friday, January 04, 2013

doing my part

yesterday, i, along with many others, sat through a beautiful memorial service for a wonderful man.  today, i made the choice to do my part in living out his mantra of "whatever it takes".  after communicating with the family i made the painting, i had done earlier in the week, available for purchase.  100% of the profits will go back to the family (50% to the twins education fund and 50% to their Relay For Life team). 
Please feel free to give directly to their Relay For Life team or visit my Etsy store to view the details on how to purchase a print or plaque.  I have no idea what type of funds will come in as a result - but i knew i needed to do my part.