Sunday, December 29, 2013

Confessions from a creative soul

 Oh she's creative, oh he's an artist, etc.....a lot of people throw it around...  Like it's an excuse or a privilege.

But those of us who are creative and know it, also know it isn't all roses.   I'm not speaking for all creative types or artists, just from my own perspective.  It may line up and it may not, or parts may line up while other parts do not.  It's all ok.  Take from it any part that comforts, encourages or spurs you on!   For those of you reading this who are not in the artists/creative category,   Many of us envy you at times!  You have other God given strengths when displayed (albeit not in a gallery) they are just as beautiful and I've had people like that in my life and it's a gallery I'd love to go to.  It's the gallery where relationship are appreciated.  Forgive me please for any grammar or eloquence that is lacking and I pray you can hear what I'm "Confessing".  Also another note I'm in no way stating that A) I'm the best at artistic or creative things or in anyway trying to have anyone view anything I make with esteem. (I make things cause I love to and I'm thrilled/overjoyed/ecstatic when it meets someones heart and they like it, not cause I made it, but the connection, the spark is the thing I love to feel and being able to gift that to someone is JOY)  Also just because you are creative or artistic doesn't mean that everything that you "do", "create" or "make" is awesome, to be valued or counted as a great art by others, even if it has great meaning to you.  Same way an old baby sock a mother holds onto not cause it's value, how it was made, etc, hold on to it cause of it's value to her of the child she held that wore it as a baby.  Ok back to the talent thing  many, MANY, MANY creative people don't develop that talent, that God given virtue.  My guess is because,  creative or artistic people usually lack discipline, at times myself included!  Which if you know me you might disagree with cause I eat health, work out and train in other areas of my life, which requires discipline.  But the discipline needed to develop a skill is at times hard for me.  I don't won't to be told how to, I don't want to learn, practice, repeat, repeat, repeat until it's what I like I just want to do what I like.   I just want to express.  I often think about musicians (one of the reasons I don't play an instrument is I lack the ability to stick with it while it sounds awful in order to develop the skill to just be able to express)  I see my daughter who can oooozzee musical expression and I'm jealous it looks to me like a girl twirling in a meadow just free and delighting in it... but there was work before the freedom.  It's that work that I speak of when I mention lack of discipline being (in my opinion) something artists lack.   Ok I think that's all my disclaimers and before comments about artistic, creative types.  Now on the the confessions.  Things I've learn and don't want to forget and try to remind myself of....
 #1 - It's like riding a bike, practice, practice, practice, do it, over and over and over again, even when you don't like the out come or you feel like a fraud or a failure.

#2 - Nobody has to affirm me to do #1 (but it does act as an accelerant)

#3 - Find your own way.

#4 - Trust others who can see in you what (because your are to close) can't see!

#5 - Encourage and develop other artists/creative types around you, because #1 is so important, and so do #2 so other can do #1...... I won't read that line to to my son cause there is bound to be a potty joke in there.

#6 -  Don't value yourself by your art or compare it to others.

#7 - Everything you do, you are learning from. So keep doing (oops that #1 again)

So what's the big deal.  Well if you are like me the big deal is TIME.  I'm a mother of 3,  my husband runs his own business, he has an amazing idea for a new business and I want to help him get that started, oh and I home-school, and taxi 3 kids to various "appointment".  So finding the TIME, is hard.  I can barely do #1.  When I was in design school I was constantly submerged in creating, starting and finishing projects, over and over..... my skill developed before my eyes!  To this day I don't feel I'm able to draw as well and as easily as I did when I was constantly do it.

So after I've schooled the kids, made lunch,  had a brief quite time, drove my kiddos around, made dinner, welcomed the hubby home, listened, laid kids down, etc.  I just want to stare at the ceiling and praise God I made it through the day.  The energy required at this point to round up art supplies, or take my camera out, etc.  Is so big that often (way to often) I don't do it.   One way I've found to fit it that time is to insert that artistic-ness in to my daily actives.   When at the beach with the kids I sculpt the sand around their bodies so they become mermaids, or sculpt hello kitty in the sand, I've done fun scavenger hunts for the kids, transformed my dinning room into a "restaurant" to take my husband out on valentines day when we were didn't have the $ to go out.  Or hand-made; love notes, dolls, etc.

Right now I'm really drawn (hey that's a joke get it .... drawn...) to indian headdresses .......

 This is my first one.... I did in an evening while the family was away, it's done in pencils.... my go to medium.
 My second one and in an effort to grow I pulled out my kids watercolor set and was pleasantly surprised I could use them.
My most recent I didn't have the energy to go searching for watercolor paper, so I just used good old printer paper (I know art snobs, the horror)  I just wanted to get something out more than I wanted to make sure I used all the proper things.  This I did mix medium pencils, charcoal and water colors... If I was smart I would have used crayon cause it would have acted as a natural resist to the water but I just went for it.

I long for the days when I can have a drafting table again, leave out project and work on them, develop them slowly over time, utilizing the mood as it comes.  But for now I don't have that luxury so I just keep doing #1.  Even if I only have an hour, a piece or printer paper and my kids art bin (which is always out cause I like to encourage creativity)

Oh and when you see me post a picture up (Facebook, Instagram,  Twitter - although I've lost my password and can't be bother to fix it, but I will)  it's from a place of great fear I'll have you know!  I'm not posting (like I know some do and that's ok) to say look at what I did I'm so great.  I'm more like... wow I had little time, little energy and my tools were mere children's tools and I'm going to be bold and show this cause I think it's important.  Cause I was given something that makes me "weird", I cry at weird moments in songs, or while looking at my children, making the bed, emotions take over me at times and I can't talk.... these are my components the components I've found most artist have.    I look at these and I see shoot I'd like it to look more that this, or darn I should have done that, used that, etc.  But I'm trying to train myself to see the good in it, to appreciate what is nice about it and posting it forces me to accept in on some level.  Cause it's far better than a blank page.

So here is this.... I set out to start doing #1 more after reading a delightful book...(which I can't remember and I've just had knee surgery and am elevating my leg so I can't get up and go find it) It's like creative art journaling..  Anyway I had a journal in my purse and when I was waiting at the doctor or a restaurant or park, etc.  I'd bust it out and a pen, pencil or crayon what ever I could find and bust out a little something in my journal...  After 3 journals full of such things I wanted to do something bigger. So I found a picture of a woman in a headdress (the first picture) and started out sketching.... I got so frustrated the proportions were off, the lips looked funny, the feathers were all to straight and so  I scribbled all over it in water colors doing random stuff.   I consider this my warm-up exercise to my indian headdress it is....... really I can't find anything in this one I like......

If you look closely you can see on the left hand side the black parts of the headdress...and the ugly lips more toward the center.  Some people bake cause they love to.... and I'm sure they have baked a few throw aways but they've still come away and learned something from the experience.... and learning is growth and growth is moving forward....... So here is to moving forward!

Thanks for reading....

Thursday, September 19, 2013


So what does it mean?

What does that mean?

Pinterest...... Well remember magazines?  Remember find cool projects or pictures or designs or receipts  and think I want to make, do, etc.... that?  Then you cut out the article, picture, recipe or what ever it was?   It's basically an online version of that but you won't loose that piece of paper somewhere or get water spilled all over it and have to throw it out.  

Ok so I love Pinterest.  It's my new of I don't feel good, I'm bored, I'm lame, I'm what ever and want to feel better thing to do.  Go to and walla thousands of dazzling images, picture and ideas that renew me!  I'm not really into Facebook.  Mainly it's just so many words and then you get people who should have been a writer typing posts that well are SO lengthy I mean who reads it beside themselves over and over again.  I'd rather look at a 1,000 picture then read 1,000 words!

Ok great so why do I do it?

First a word you will need to understand "PIN" this is not your code you type in at the ATM.  This is a verb and it means basically to bookmark this picture, website, page, etc.  "PINNED" items go on to your "BOARD".  Ok so that's the grammar.  So we'll go on to the why..... 
Well let's say you like to cook.... you can go on to pinterest and view recipes, cooking tips, etc. that other people have pinned to their boards and see if you like something and pin it from there.  Or you can parouse the internet and pin items directly from there.   When you are ready to cook or want to look back on that tip you read about you can log on to Pinterest and click on your cooking board and then all the websites, blogs, recipes, tips, etc that you have pinned are right there in one place.  If you are extremly visually like me this is much more usefully than a list of bookmarks online. 

So WHY to catalog, keep track of or remember things.

So how do I do it?
First you will need to create an account.  You already have at least 1,000 accounts, I mean I have to get a book for all my usernames and passwords so one more won't kill you!  Also if you are on Facebook you can just log on using your Facebook account and then your done.

Then you need to log on

So this is what I see when I logo on.  We'll break it down but t his is it.
First the search box.  So you are looking for pumpkin recipes (let's say) you just type than in and see what pins come up.  Or maybe you just want to look around in a broader topic like cooking... 

So see those 3 little lines next to the search box?  It's a drop down menu. You click on it and you'll see 

A drop down list of all the different categories you can search through of pins other people have pinned.    I frequent the DIY & Crafts.. and fashion.

Ok so I typed in pumpkin recipes and there I have a bunch of wonderful picture to look through I can scroll down and keep scrolling down will reveal lot's more and more and more pictures.  Now these picture are links to websites.  So with in each picture you will notice a comment below the picture.  That is the person who pinned it's comment.  Then there are other comments or likes under that, those are friends of the pinner or just who ever saw it and commented on it.  Honestly I don't care about that part I'm just into the pictures.

If you notice in this picture above there is a chocolate kiss on top of a cookie. I have "moused" over that "pin" you will notice that there are 3 little boxes on the top of that picture that are not about the others.  Those only appear when you mouse over or click on a picture/pin.  So I have 3 choices I can do with this pin.  

So I can "Pin it" to my board, "Send" it in an email to someone or myself, or "Like" the heart it.
Let's say we pin it.

Ok so this box will come up.... You'll notice the first thing it say's is board and next to it is a drop down box that say's CC..... Since this is a recipe and not a school thing (We do a school program called CC) I'm going to change that to say "Cooking"..

How did I do that?   I just clicked on the arrow and a list of all the other boards I created came up.  Now if you just opened an account you may have some preset boards.  You can change them, add to them, etc.
Then if I want to add a decription as to why I'm pinning this.  Like "I think Kelsey might like to make these for her class for halloween" then I'll click pin... now if I want everyone on FB to know I've just pinned this I can click the box next to Facebook.  

You can check how I've organ/ized my boards here

Well that's a little intro to Pinterest  I hope you have some time to start pinning!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A week or so in Russia

Yes I recently got back from a missions trip to Russia.  I can't even express what happened there and all that I experienced.  But I will try to highlight a few insights.  First off the picture above was taken as we walked through the town of Pskov... Some young men were biking around and then we stumbled on this.  I just love this picture.

This is our first day in Russia.  St. Petersburg to be exact.  So we are traveling around the city sightseeing and waiting for our team leader to come from Czech so we can drive down to Pskov where the ministry will start.

We even went to the Hermitage museum which was amazing and had beautiful art, but I keep looking at the amazing floors and this huge thing.  I have no idea what it was created for really it's so big!

So we finally arrived in Pskov and spend a day walking about the city... which is where the top shot of the door is from.  Here is the Kremlin in Pskov... quite amazing.
Kelsey and a new friend Liza.  She is so sweet, cute and just a ray of sunshine.  Kelsey and I both miss her!
These girls we got to see everyday at the courtyard. Both every friendly and fun.
This little girl wants to be a gymnast when she grows up and she was showing me all her amazing moves.  I showed here a little bikram but she's doing it better than me!  I pray these three girls hearts would open to the love of Christ.
This is Jake he's from our team with the pastors son Mark.  Another ray of sunshine.  I miss frisbee with these two.  I think it's a sport I might be able to pick up!

 This is our last meal with everyone in Pskov.  So glad we got a picture of the lady in pink.  She is so beautiful and has a little girl about my youngest age and an infant son.  She was there everyday preparing and cooking food for all of us!  God bless her for all she did for us!  Also Jim our team leader and amazing man of God.  Some others from the team.
This monument is of Alexander Nevski (I hope this is right)  He was a great warrior and lead the Pskov people in a clever tactic which lead to them defeating the Germans there on the lake.  That is my summary of the story our wonderful host family told when she took us there!

This is Dennis and he is sharing the Gospel with the Russian people in the courtyard we were serving in each day.  Right before he went up the sun got really bright and he grabbed some glasses from another team member.  I had such a hard time taking him serious at first because of the glasses but... now I just love this picture.  Lena is the beautiful interpreter who has an amazing heart and gift in express scripture! 

Host family time.  So my mom (in the middle) and my daughter (far right) all stayed with this one amazing family.  Olga on the left and her friend Lyda (not sure if I spelled that right) in between my mom and daughter.  Wish I could stay and have a photo play date with Olga!
This is Olga's mom Natasha and I do miss her.   If I lived in Russia I would make sure I was in her bible study.  I'd also want to help her with construction!

I've learned from the Russian culture and way of life, from these amazing people that I've capture in these photos and the Holy Spirit moved in my heart as I stepped completely out of my comfort zone in going on this missions trip.  I pray I can go again!

Oh and the organization that supports this ministry is Encouragement International... If you are a giving person your donation to this organization will be utilized in a wonderful way... you can check them out..

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dwell on Design

Ok so I live in LA and I feel like I'm always finding out about cool shows and things to do after they happen.  So last week I found out about the Dwell on Design show that was this past weekend in LA, I decided I'm going.  I love the Dwell magazine.  If you aren't familiar with it you should be it's awesome.

So we went to check out the PreFab Home Builders and saw a few.  They were awesome by far our favorite was BluHomes.  And they are opening a model right here in Agoura down  on Kanan Rd.  The model we love too.  Here is a picture and link.

Then I heard about this Passport to Design competition they were having and decided it would be so fun to enter.  After having just completed a design project for a Green Room which was so cool.  I'll post some finished photo's of that later.  But back to Dwell on Design (#dod2013)... Here are a few highlights of what we enjoyed...

I don't know how I missed this on the way in, but when we left the show we snapped this of the kids.

 There was a great booth with cool art.  Like these ones.  Which we goofed around with..

Wouldn't this be so cool.... to replace chalkboards and whiteboards with this lightboard.  I love it!

 I so love these lights.  I even pinned how to make your own on pinterest... but they are made of paper.

 Silly shot of Faith.

 Then we found these live art murals happening and they even had a spot of kids to draw!

Had to take this shot with Kelsey.... she's thrilled can't you tell.

Oh and back to the Passport to Design.  In the program they was this page where you collect "passport" stickers from participating vendors.  I thought you had to get them all but later I found out you only have to get 3.    Anyway this is the amazing part.  I WON!  I designed a room and I won.  I loved the VividAR™ software  I have to say it was a bit challenging for me in that I'm use to drawing a design.... but I loved it and could so get use to doing up designs this way.  So fun and cool to see it in a photo of the actual space.    Here is a link to the Dwell on Design announcing the winners page.  I still can't believe it PINCH ME!  Oh this is the winning design I did.  I choose oranges because it's Kelsey favorite color.  Click the photo to go to the link.

Friday, June 14, 2013

DIY Industrial Coffee Table

So I came across this picture (below) on Pinterest and loved it!  I was working on the design for a Green Room (A room in a theater or studio in which performers can relax when they are not performing.)   I included the definition mainly cause when I tell people about it they say oh so it's all green....

Anyway.... I really wanted the space to have the edgy industrial look and this table was perfect!  So the blog I found had a supply list, but there were no instructions which was ok by me.   I love to figure things out but I thought it might be nice to do a full DIY tutorial on how you could create this yourself.  The best part is you can vary the sizes, or make it a bench.  The possiblities on this basic foundation are great.  So here it is I hope you enjoy!

A -1 - 2 x 8 x 15 cedar (or pine) plank cut into 5 feet lengths (Home Depot did it for me!)
     So you'll have 3 - 2 x 8 x 5 (this is your table top)
B - 8 - flanges (1 inch diameter)
C - 8 - 5" length pipe (1 inch diameter) (This is what you can adjust to make it taller or shorter)
D - 4 - T shaped connectors (1 inch diameter)
E - 4 - 2" threaded pipe connectors (1 inch diameter)
F - 4 - 1 to 3/4 inch pipe reducer
G - 4 - 3" length pipe (3/4 inch diameter) (This is what you can adjust to make it wider or narrower)
H - 2 - 3/4 inch T connectors
I - 1 - custom cut 51" long pipe (1 inch diameter) (If you adjust the length here you need to make sure you do it with the wood pieced too!)

3 Metal brackets.. I don't have a picture of them... sorry but they are long flat pieced of metal that I screwed into the bottom and they go across all three boards. 
Ok so yes my ABC labeling and the photo leave ALOT to be desired but it works so I'm moving forward and trying not to judge myself.

So the pipe is all greasy and I suggest gloves or wipe them down or something that works for you.

SO the first thing I did was screw the metal brackets to the bottom of the wood planks.  I had long clamps that I used to hold them together.

Then I assembled all the pipe.

LEGS - goes together like this; flanges into the 5"pipe then a 1in T-Shapped connector, into another 5in pipe and another flange.

SUPPORT BRACE - between the legs... 1in T-Shapped connector (from leg) into 2" threaded pipe connector into the pipe reducer into the 3" pipe into the 3/4 T-Connector.

MIDDLE BRACE - Insert the long 51" long pipe into both 3/4 T-Connetor (from the support brace)

So then I screwed the flanges into the wood top. Then I stained it.

Wallla!! Finished Industrial Coffee Table.  I hope you enjoy and make fun pieces!

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