Currently Creating | April

Oh, hey, remember that time I got all inspired and thought I could do a 365 day crafting time challenge? Haha. Yeah. That was funny.

I could tell you about how it didn’t work out like I thought it would and why.

Buuuut… instead I am just gonna go ahead and move on, okay? Okay. 😉

Trying something new now. Onto the next one. Let’s see how I do with staying a bit more consistent here…

Pretty simple. I am going to just share with you what I’m currently creating; what hobbies or crafts or projects I am currently feeling most creative in. That’s all. Pretty simple.

So here’s what I have been up to in the last few weeks…

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Lots of Project Life-ing. (Yes, that is definitely a verb.) I’m happy to have found my rhythm for this year’s documenting. I found it by accident when I got “behind”. More on that when I share my most recent pages later this week.

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I joined in a super fun month-long challenge on Instagram hosted by the lovely @myfriendcourt. I knew I would enjoy it, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised just how much I actually have. So fun to try new and different things! Things that I most likely would never have tried on my own. I mean… woodgrain? Yeah, I had never given a single thought to doodling woodgrain ever before this arty party! Haha!

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See?! I mean, how fun does that look? Today, it’s now April 21st and I’ve done all but 3 days’ prompts. I’d say that I’m well on my way to actually completing this thing! Hooray!

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I’ve also enjoyed creating a few cards for friends. Above is one that I actually remembered to take a picture of!

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And it’s been a good season for photography around here. Spring is radiant and irresistible, as you can see in my post full of photos like this one of the gorgeous redbud trees, that bloomed in my yard in early March. I’ve also enjoyed taking more photos of my boys with my Canon and not just my iPhone. The Portrait Project has been great for me; I’m loving how it’s stretching me to try much different light than I would typically shoot in. I’m grabbing the camera more often in everyday moments, rather than only those special planned times with the boys, in my favorite light of the day and in a choice location.

And that, friends, is my first Currently Creating post. I think I like it. 🙂 I think I’ll do it again soon! ❤

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365 Crafting Time | Weeks 8 & 9

Here’s what I have been up to in the eighth and ninth weeks of my 365 Crafting Time:

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Lots of Project Life. Just been working on documenting February 2015. I truly enjoy this project and am not at all stressed about having fallen behind.

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Here is one complete page. The others are coming along… I’m sure I will share them soon.

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A couple of pages in my current art journal… but, I have to say… I haven’t been thrilled about creating pages in this. I feel limited and creativity stunted by the journal itself. I need to invest in a journal that is suitable for multi-media. This one can serve well for just writing, but as for adding more color, layers and depth, it’s just not going to happen.

So… not much, huh? I know.

My goal for the next two weeks is to create something EVERYDAY. Something. Everyday. Something. Anything. I miss it and I need it. That is why I began this challenge. And though I have realized that yes, life gets busy and yes, it is okay to push crafting time to the back burner in those busy times… I have also realized that I don’t like it to stay on the back burner.

I am hereby moving crafting time forward once more.

High five. I’m so ready.

365 Crafting Time | Weeks 4 and 5

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So… this funny little thing called ‘LIFE’ keeps happening and it doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned with how little or how much time I get to create things. Still, I keep on keeping on, yes I do.

Weeks 4 and 5 of my #365craftingtime challenge were hit and miss. And I am still only creating simple things, at best.

But, you know what — this isn’t about checking off a list, this isn’t even about completing a challenge (though I have every intention of doing just that). No… this is about being. This is about being who I am. About making time for the things that make me feel like me. For me, bringing my hands and my heart together to create something each day is as important as reading to my children, as engaging in conversations with my husband— daily.

Call that silly — I don’t care who this does or doesn’t make sense to. Call it self-centered — it is. It is all about me, okay? Okay. 😉

I am willing to bet that if YOU did something everyday that made your heart feel light like a child’s… well… I’m pretty sure that would be a good thing for you, for most everyone. 😉

So here are the little bits and pieces that came out of the last two weeks of creating:

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I love journaling in this way.

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Worked on finishing up the journaling on January’s PL pages.

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More journaling. Just need to add an ampersand between ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’…

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Watercolor play while I watched the Grammy’s.

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Another with watercolor. For Erik, an early Valentine’s Day card. I couldn’t wait.

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A late night doodle.

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Finished up and blogged January’s pages, officially.

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Except for that last ‘month in review’ page…

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Done.

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The card I made Erik for Valentine’s Day and the sweet mug he painted for me. Yes, sometimes, my husband gets crafty, too. So sweet. ❤️

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Sharpie mug DIY… gave it another try… it’s harder than it looks. I made a mess. Nail polish remover will erase the not yet dry marker from the mug. But not with out a mess…

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And then this morning, I added another coat of marker to the mug. Well, first I baked it, let it cool and then I added the second coat. Now, I will let it dry again and then bake it once more. I’m still not 100% satisfied with it. It is harder than I thought it might be to write nicely on a mug. I guess I will be creating several more practice mugs before I finally get some that I deem nice enough to give as gifts… Oh well. It’s fun and inexpensive and it supports my coffee habit. 😉

And that was week 4 and week 5. Not quite 14 crafts, eh? No, not quite. Let’s see how I do next time around.

Can I do it? Can I really craft for 365 days? I’m a month into this and am already struggling to make it happen each day. Well, one thing I  have decided — how ever many days I actually make it happen, however many handmade creations actually come of this year, it will be a higher number, many more than if I had not set before me this goal, had I not joined in the #365craftingtime challenge! So, thank you, Sabine!

365 Crafting Time | Week 3

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Still loving this. If you missed my post last week introducing this challenge you can see that here.

January 25 | Day 14

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My little sister asked me to write ‘Christmas 2012’ on a 4×6 for her to put in a frame alongside a sweet photo. I gladly obliged, of course.

January 26 | Day 15

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Gave the sharpie mug DIY a try. Can’t wait to have more fun with this. There will be more mugs. Oh, yes. This one was a gift for a friend and she absolutely loved it.

January 27 | Day 16

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I doodled my to-do list in my journal. I like to do this from time to time. On this day, I thought I would have more time in the evening to do something creative, but I did not. So, this doodle-y list is what I counted for Day 16.

Then… On the evening of Wednesday, the 28th, I began to feel icky. I did come out of it within a couple of hours, but the MS fog hovered over me for the next few days. It would come and go, worse after I would exert myself in any way. It wasn’t horrible — not as debilitating as I have experienced before at least —  and thankfully I was still able to do what I needed to do as a wife and mother. But, I spent a lot of the rest of the week in bed. I used the little energy I had to do my grown up stuff — homeschool, work, a doctor’s visit for my oldest, a couple of errands and the like. But, it seemed that I was only just barely able to accomplish those things and afterward, I was definitely depleted. Not so fun!

 I did not do anything creative until Saturday afternoon, and you know what — I sure did miss it.

So, on Saturday, January 24, I made a paper mess on my desk and on the coffee table and it was awesome.

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Over the next few days, I decided to make up for the days missed. I remembered Sabine saying that if she missed a day, she would just craft two things the next day. So, I tried my own version of that idea.

Here’s what I did to make up for

Day 17

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Stamped on a We-R-Memory-Keepers filler card and added some alpha stickers. It went in to my Project Life album.

Day 18

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Just a quick go at some hand-lettering.

Day 19

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Watercolor play is definitely a favorite of mine. It just makes me so happy.

Day 20

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And more watercolor. This is an Anne Frank quote. True words.

Day 20

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I have decide that I am counting photography sessions as crafty, creative things. So, here is a photo of this precious, darling boy that I had the joy of photographing last week. ❤ I may just share a whole bunch from this session, because he is TOO MUCH. I can’t handle his adorable.

Day 21

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My January Project Life pages are all but done — just need to add journaling. I will be sharing them all as soon as I have some good light to photograph them in. 😉

Day 22

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Nothing like a little bedtime doodling. I like these words. I have found them to be true many times. Maybe not all times. But… many times.

So, that completes week 3 of my 365 Crafting Challenge. As I said on my Instagram account on Monday, I never intended to miss days. I don’t set out on a challenge giving myself the option of not really doing it. Ha. Not usually. I fully intend to do this thing! But, life is life and I’ve gotta adjust and deal with things as they come. Don’t we all?

But, making up for creating time missed isn’t a negative in my book. Crafty time is a good time. I am all for it.

365 Crafting Time | Weeks 1 & 2

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Two weeks ago, I began a challenge of the best kind. Inspired by Sabine of momentstolivefor.com, whom I follow on Instagram and was first introduced to via the Get Messy Art Journal Challenge. Here is her story and how the #365craftingtime came to be. You can also follow her documentation of her 365 days of crafting in photos on Tumbler and Instagram. Her IG username is @sabinecrafts.

If the sound of this piques your interest or gets your creative itch going, do read on! If it sounds nice, but the thought of 365 days of anything seems like an overcommitment, I ask you to read on anyway. Don’t decide if you want to join in with us until you see my “crafting time” from my first 14 days of the challenge. I assure you— no overcommitment required.

Here’s the challenge, straight from Sabine’s blog:

These are the rules:

1. Craft everyday.

It doesn’t have to be a whole new project everyday, it’s enough, if I just put some washi tape stripes as embellishment on an envelope. The important thing is, to sit down and do something creative with my hands.

2. Document everyday.

To be accountable I will document every little crafty thing with a photo and collect them in the fabulous app ‘Collect’. There I have the perfect overview above all days and what I’ve created, because it shows one photo every day. At the end I can print every photo with date and text like you can see it here. There’s an export function to save these calendar cards from this app.

Above that, I will post the photo to Instagram and a new tumblr blog I created for this purpose. That way I have every photo in one gallery for everyone to see and follow. That’s another beauty of the Collect app: you can share the photo and text directly with Instagram or some other Social Medias or save them in your Dropbox.

3. There will be some days…

…that I don’t find the time to craft, not even a little thing. By that I don’t mean regular days, being stressed from work or full with appointments. I mean days like Christmas or birthdays, when I enjoy time with friends and family and nothing more. This is one from the lessons I lerned from my cup-challenge. Therefore I give myself permission to pause my challenge on these days, but I will have to craft two things instead of one the following day. As said before, it doesn’t have to be something big.

Wanna join me?

I would be delighted, if you join me on this exciting journey. You can simply post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #365craftingtime. That’s all.

If you want to announce the start of your personal journey, you can use the cover photo from me or create your own.

If you want to be able to show everything you created with one hashtag, maybe you can use the official hashtag plus your name, f.e. #365craftingtimesabine or something similar.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact me via email (blog@momentstolivefor.com) or Instagram or just leave a comment here.

The things that I am doing differently than Sabine—

  • I am posting here on my blog, every week, photos of my crafts. (starting with the first two weeks 😉 )
  • And on Instagram, using the hashtag #365craftingtime as well as #kjs365.

I love how Sabine said, “The important thing is, to sit down and do something creative with my hands.”

My “crafting time” may look quite a bit different than another’s. It may be a crafty type craft. By that, I mean like scrapbooking,  a handmade gift, a DIY home project or something. But some days, most days, it will probably be something simple. A simple doodle in my art journal. A quick journal entry into my project life album. A card for a friend. You’ll see as I share photos of my crafting time, that I am not taking myself overly seriously here.

My goal is : to create something everyday. to sit down and do something with my hands.

My reason is : because creating in this way makes me happy. it makes me feel like… me. and that is important enough to me to commit time to.

So, whether it’s 5 minutes— a no thought required kind of craft— or hours— a marathon Project Life session—- I’m doing this.

So far? The take away has been pretty wonderful. Not because I now have many masterpieces to behold as a result. Haha. No. Still… beautiful or messy or in-between, the things I create are an extension, an expression, a song, a piece of me. So…  they matter.

January 12 | Day 1:

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Doodles about my day in my art journal, with the intention of doodling more each day of that week.

January 13 | Day 2:

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Customizing a title card from the We-R-Memory Keepers Albums Made Easy line. The colors and design were perfect, but the sentiment wasn’t fitting for the Project Life spread I was working on. I customized a second card and this time thought to take photos of the before and after and here’s that, so you can get a better idea of how I altered them:

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January 14 | Day 3:

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Scribbly journaling, done from by bed.

January15 | Day 4:

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Organizing photos and inserting a few into my 2014 Project Life album. (While watching New Girl on Netflix. I LOVE that show.)

January 16 | Day 5:

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Yes, this is a screen shot from my phone. Hah. This photo got deleted before it got saved. So. 😉

It’s my art journal page once I had doodled/written something about each day that week. Well. Monday through Friday.

January 17 | Day 6:

The first day that I skipped. (GASP) No… no I didn’t make it through the first week without skipping a day. BUT.  In my defense, January 17th is my wedding anniversary. So, I was kinda busy spending time with the man I married. ❤

January 18 | Day 7:

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Went through my entire stash of scrapbook paper recently, which hasn’t been touched in a loooong time. This day I cropped some of it into cards for my Project Life, as well as worked on a January 2015 layout, which I will be sharing here next week. YAY!

January 19 | Day 8:

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One full Project Life spread complete and one page, or half of a full spread, done. Two and a half pages? On a weekday? I’m counting that as make up for the day that I missed. 😉

January 20 | Day 9:

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Journaling in my art journal… a sort of “notes to self” kind of thing. Specifically regarding my motherhood in this current season.

And also on this day:

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A cork/white board that Erik spray painted white for me. Everything is prettier in white, if you ask me. I turned the white board portion into a week-at-a-glance type of thing for our family with some strips of wash tape. Simple!

January 21 | Day 10:

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I fiddled around with my watercolors. I had woken up that morning with Feist lyrics in my head. I knew I wanted to include them in my PL album, so I attempted to create a filler card. “Collect the moments one by one…”

January 22 | Day 11:

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Once I get into Project Life mode, I tend to want to stay there a while. I made a few more journal cards (you would think I wouldn’t want/need to do that with the three kits I have!) and worked on the current week’s documentation.

January 23 | Day 12:

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One of my VERY bestest friends got ENGAGED on this day! It was a momentous occasion, so very special. This day was also busy from start to finish, so it was definitely one of those days when I sat down to create something, to do something with my hands, only because I made the time to do so. I spent maybe 8 minutes doing this.

Also! Did you know that January 23rd is National Handwriting Day? It is. I can say that I celebrated. 😉

January 24 | Day 13:

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Another day that I definitely chose to be intentional about sitting down to make something. This past weekend was a FULL one. Still… the  more I create, the more I find myself wanting to create. And the more it becomes a habit, the more I have been looking forward each day to the time I know I will choose to spend creating. This was a birthday card for a friend. She loved it guys. Like… she really loved it. And that made me so happy.

So, again, if the idea of creating everyday sparks anything in you— anything at all— just START! Start today.

And tell me about it! Use the hashtag #365craftingtime on social media, drop me a comment or an email! I would love to follow along!

Happy creating, y’all. ❤

Get Messy 17 | One Word

I love Get Messy’s prompt week. Yes, I do.

It’s wonderful seeing all the different perspectives, the different takes on the same prompt. So many beautiful, creative minds. Be sure to visit Lauren’s blog for the link-up! You will see thumbnails of all the gorgeous gals’ Get Messy posts at the end of Lauren’s and then you can click away. You’ll be glad that you did. 🙂

This month’s prompt was given by Andrea.

Journaling challenge: Pick one word that describes you right now. Just one word.

Art challenge: Play with the word you picked. Use letter stickers, cut your word from magazines and create a collage, write your word a hundred times on a piece of paper and use it as a background, use paint to write your word… The main focus should be your word.

 

Okay! Can do!

It took me a second to decide on my word. I could think of 10 that would suit my current state. But none of them were quite exactly right…

hmmm….

And then it came to me. And it was perfect.

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Moving. Yes, moving.

My brain feels a mess sometimes. I don’t have very many answers to my many, many questions. Things in my life are currently very grey; very NOT black and white.

As in every human’s life,  there are lovely moments and difficult ones. There are things I wish were different and things that I hope stay the same forever. It seems the more that I learn, the older I get, the less that I actually know for sure. All of that said, this season of my life is most definitely about moving forward. While uncertainties abound, and grey as it may seem, is not a bad or sad season.  It’s teaching me. Or rather… God is using it all to teach me.

And one of the very best things that I am learning is how to keep moving. Forward, of course.

And that is what I am doing. Trucking along, if you will. Enjoying the ride. Taking in all that I can of the beauty and wonder that surround me.

Yeah… I have a disease that I am leery of. It makes for ups and downs that I cannot ever be completely prepared for. It is an incurable disease. (as of now.)

Yeah… Erik and I have a lot of grown up type stuff to figure out… (jobs, moneys, bills, is it possible to make money doing things we love????)

Yeah… this homeschool thing seems crazy sometimes and I doubt myself more often than not. (Can I really do this?)

And yeah… so on and so forth.

But, the fact is, I know what I want, where I want to be. I know what matters to me, what’s most important to me. And those are the things I will forever move toward. I will keep moving.

{Artsy type details of page 1: I painted the stripes on the left side with watercolor. The letters of the word are hand cut from magazine pages. 🙂 }

 

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Right?? You don’t. 🙂

{Artsy type details of page 2: I painted the words with watercolor. I cut the shapes from a magazine. 🙂 The shapes, for me, signify all the pieces of my life that seem to float in space and time… the pieces that I believe will eventually come together. Yes… they will. I won’t worry.}

 

And lastly, my current mantra:

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{Arsty type details of page 3: again, with my watercolors. The page on the left was my first attempt at painting the words. I didn’t like it, so I began to paint over it lightly, with no particular outcome in mind. It was like, half dry when I did this and I immediately noticed the cool effect.}

After painting lightly over my first attempt,  I could still see the words clearly, but now they had this whole different look.  I then had this moment of, heeey… that’s how my mind feels when I’m spread too thin, when I’m overextended, too busy or multi-tasking. Like… I kinda still know what I need to do, I can see the words… but the focus and clarity aren’t there.

So, yep. That is my plan, folks. Do less. More focus. Do less with more focus.

Right on.

Well, my friends, I hope that you are all having a FABULOUS Thanksgiving holiday, if you’re celebrating with us in the US. As you are reading this, I am very likely stuffing my face with pie. Or dressing. Or my Mom’s oven-baked macaroni and cheese. Very likely. 🙂

GetMessy

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

Get Messy 16 | Don’t overthink it

Has another week already passed? My goodness.

Well, this may be the first in my 16 weeks of Get Messy Art Journal posts that I only post the two pages required.

First page…

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One late night last week,  I sat at the dining room table with a cup of tea while my husband fiddled with his guitar pedals. I felt the need to create something, but I very much lacked the energy. I did not want to think, nor could I do so if I tried. Sometimes, these moments when my brain is just DONE can be very good for me. Because for the most part, my brain is on FULL speed ahead, whether thinking clearly and logically or not, it just swirls and twirls and jumps and goes and goes and goes and… yeah… a break from that can be good.

So, on this particular night, I looked to the cup of tea in front of me. I began to draw the leaves on the cup. But, I did not look at the paper as I drew. Instead, I kept my eyes on the leaves. I had read of this exercise in more than one book/article. It’s supposed to be a good thing to do.

For me, it was. Not because I came away with a gorgeous leaf sketch. I did not. But because it does my heart and soul good to create. I know this. I know I need these moments of just creating something, even when I am not feeling particularly inspired or brimming over with fantastic ideas. And on this night, I needed to not think.

And on all the days, I need to remember those words: don’t overthink it.

[One thing I noted about this page is the traces of the page before it. I can see where my lettering using a black Prism pencil came through. The paper in this sketchbook isn’t thick at all. So, I’ve started putting something between the pages while working on them. Another piece of paper when drawing or writing, a paper towel when playing with watercolor.]

 

Then today, I created this page…

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This is for those times when my mind is mayhem. Not even necessarily in a negative way, with sad, stressed or frustrated thoughts. Yes, those difficult times can feel like chaos in my mind, but also the times when I am excited, planning, dreaming, wondering…

Those times can be equally counterproductive, if not more so.

I am recognizing many patterns in my thoughts, and therefore behaviors. I am seeing these more clearly as I continue to grow up and grow more comfortably into myself. The way God created me is just right. It’s suits the purposes for which He created me! I believe that wholeheartedly.  I’m thankful for his grace as I learn to live fully, embracing who I am.

There’s a scripture I go back to again and again.

“Seek peace and pursue it.”  from Psalm 34:14

I have got to stop. I’ve gotta breathe. I have to laugh, many times at myself. And then I must seek peace. And pursue it. And I will do this over and over. For the rest of my life.

 

So, there ya have it! My two art journal pages for this week. Fewer pages, but just as much heart, I assure you!  I’ve been in Project Life mode, putting lots of my creative energy into that and am really looking forward to sharing some of that here very soon. Have a wonderful day, y’all! Thank you so much for stopping by!

GetMessy

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.