Monday, November 30, 2015

Journey to the Heart-Lesson One:Heart Collage

The most beautiful thing in the world is a heart that is changing. -Lara Ackerman, TrailWalker at Anasazi Foundation

Today's the day!! Welcome to my 7 week class "Journey to the Heart". I am so grateful you are here to take this heart-changing journey with me. I have been working on my own heart for the past ten months and as a result have seen amazing changes and growth in my life. It hasn't been easy and I have had to face some pretty harsh realities about myself...but it has ALL been worth it a million and one percent!!!


This post will be longer than's important before we begin that you understand a little bit of where I am coming FROM.  Throughout my journey I have posted dozens of blog posts here...truly pouring my heart out in hopes of healing it. I encourage you to read each one so you can get a sense of my past struggles.

*Please note that out of respect for the most important people in my life I am not sharing names or some of the actual events that took place.

The above posts give a very good outline of the sorrow, the struggles and the stress I was under for nearly 3 years. Looking back on it our lives got even worse. We came within days of losing our home, people closest to me were going through monumental heartache and pain...which affected me...keeping me up most nights and living in a constant state of turmoil. My Mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer, my father-in-law with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer (we buried him less than a year Mom is cancer free and on the mend). Still with all that was going on in our lives...we weren't asking for help. Honestly we just didn't know where to go but prayer. I can tell you that if it were not for my faith in God...I would not have made it through. I would have given up right out of the chutes and just shriveled up. It was during my most fervent prayers when my Heart would open a tiny bit allowing light to shine in. Still it wasn't enough to heal my heart. The best way I can describe it My heart was dying and turning black. (that's really hard for me to write, especially where I am today)

The turning point for me...for our family...came at the LOWEST point I have ever been in my ENTIRE life...EVER. It's a story I won't share here...but it is one that broke our hearts beyond repair (or so we thought). 

It's funny how life goes...most times it's when our lives are at the lowest, the absolute rock-bottom...that's when we finally start asking for help. 

And that's what happened...we got help. 

To say that Anasazi changed our lives...that is an understatement. 

Anasazi changed our Hearts. 

A Quick Class Outline

We travel only as far and as high as our Hearts will take us. -Good Buffalo Eagle from the book The Seven Paths

Over the next 7 weeks I will be sharing the principles of Anasazi along with other books, quotes and exercises that have changed my heart from a Heart of War to a Heart of Peace. I will be sharing MY STORY...every bit of it. Please understand I am not a licensed counselor but I am someone that has lived with struggle, heartache and pain like I know so many of you do. I am a HUGE believer in ART healing the Soul. I am so EXCITED to have you join me on this quest for Joy and Peace in our Hearts!!!

Take time this week to gather your supplies. You won't need to buy a thing (unless you want to). I am using a journal that is nearly half-filled with other pages...

I bought this one at Wal-Mart for less than ten bucks. I usually gesso the pages to make them stronger as I love to use lots of texture on most of my pages:) But a Dylusions journal will work...any journal! Heck you can even use a plain old notebook! Just be sure and gesso each page to make them sturdier!!

Each Monday and Thursday I will be posting a blog post here along with a project. The link will always be on my Facebook page Mind.Body.Soul . If you haven't joined my page yet just send me a request so I can add you to the list. I encourage you to share your work with us (if you feel comfortable) in our group. We are a very supportive group of women!!

Today's Project

In the Seven Paths book used by Anasazi seven sacred gifts given to us by our Creator are highlighted. They are...


It's how we WALK with this elements that determines whether or not we have a Heart of Peace or a Heart of War. The Path of Light is our focus this week and challenges us to think about what's Truly in our Hearts...deep down, under all the muck. Some tips to ponder this week on your journey...

*Light chases away darkness (think of the Sun and how it illuminates our beautiful Earth)
*Do you and I allow light to chase darkness from our SOULS as well?
*Darkness WITHIN clouds the world WITHOUT
*We who lose the light within have lost our way.

* Answer this question...Does YOUR Heart Walk Forward in the Light?

Art Project...In your journals create a Heart Collage. Gather images, words and quotes that speak to your Heart.

Here is how mine turned out...


 As you gather images and text be sure and surround yourself with inspiration...for me that looks like my studio, a fave candle burning and Christmas music. Do what inspires YOU:) As you cut out each element let your mind wander...this is an intuitive exercise...don't put a lot of thought into what you cut and paste onto your page. Your Heart knows.

See you Thursday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Journey to the Heart"

Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

Has is it really been since July that I last wrote a blog post?? That's the longest time EVER! But life got REAL busy and I was just living life...trying to be present with my family. And even though that was the very best way to be...I have missed writing. 


And I don't mean just fluffy writing...I mean real, heart-searching, deep thinking, writing. 

In my 30's I was blessed to write a weekly column for our local newspaper..."View From the Front Porch". What a gift it was to share my heart every week for five years. Not only was I able to encourage others but I was encouraged, uplifted and inspired every single week. And I can tell you there were MANY weeks when I had NO clue what the heck I was going to write about until the last hour before was during those times, however when my mind expanded and my writing skills improved. I am actually feeling a bit rusty today as I type this on my MAC. My goal is to fix that and begin looking at my life through a writer's lens again. My heart is singing!

Speaking of Heart...I hope YOU will join me for my latest art journaling class..."Journey to the Heart" from November 30th-January 17th. The course is filled with seven weeks of projects, prompts and inspiration to loving yourself again. Each Monday I will share one project with you...anything from creating a small canvas to collaging what Spirit means to us. On Thursdays you will be prompted to explore your hearts in your art journals in unique and meaningful ways. The goal of this course is to help you recognize what's in your heart and gently help you Walk Forward in Love and Gratitude. 

As always this course is free.

Click on this link to join my Facebook group...Mind.Body.Soul for the projects, prompts and to share your own art with us!

Please share with your friends and FB groups!! See you November 30th!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Art Journaling Saved Me

"Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order."  -Anne Wilson Schaef

An interesting discussion has been on-going in my Facebook group Mind.Body.Soul. It started out with this quote...

 Our theme for July has been Freedom...freeing ourselves from addictions, negative self-talk, etc. When I posted this the other day I didn't realize how much it would resonate with so many of you.

I am a people doubt about that. I try to please my kids, my husband, my Mom, my friends, complete get the idea. I never want to step on anyone's toes or make them feel bad...even though I can be shriveling up and dying inside. From most of the comments it seems like many of you feel the same way.

One comment in particular broke my heart..."I can never create beautiful art so why try?"
Ugh...this crushes me. I mean this one comment makes me soooooo sad.

AS a child I LOVED to create!! I colored everyday. It made me so happy!! I looked forward to art class in school and even though I wasn't very good at drawing...I loved the paint and getting messy part! All that changed one day in 8th grade though. Our lesson was to draw a self-portrait. This made me so nervous...I knew drawing just wasn't my thing...but I gave it my best shot, even adding details of my heart shaped locket I wore nearly everyday. And happened. My art teacher was walking around the room, assessing our work. Nervously I showed her my drawing. She looked at it, eyes squinting, mouth turned down she spoke five words I that would live with me for the next 35 years...."YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST!"

Then she walked off.

That one comment convinced me that I was not creative.

It would be over 30 years before I attempted any kind of creating again.

"Inside you there's an artist you don't know about...Say YES quickly, if you know, if you've known it from before the beginning of the universe."  -Jalai Ud-Din Rumi

One of my early pages...I have learned so much since then!

My journey to art journaling and mixed-media art began about 6 years ago. Prior to that I was a scrapbooker and LOVED the creative outlet it gave me. Scrapbooking helped me realize that art took on many forms.

A Brave Art piece from nearly 5 years ago

 The more I collaged images and words and put paint on paper the more I knew I had found something I really loved!

An early piece using a notecard and a butterfly punch

Quickly my journals were filling up and I was selling my canvas's in local craft fairs.

Still a favorite journal page of mine

 I found the BRILLIANT Melody Ross during my scrapbooking days and was OVERJOYED when she began Brave Girls Club. It was her class "Soul Restoration" that really spoke to my heart and made me realize that maybe...just maybe I was an artist.

A page from a Brave Girl's Class I took
 Through her soul-searching classes and amazing mixed-media techniques I began experimenting with texture and paint like never before...

Another BGC inspired page
A WHOLE NEW world had opened up for me!!!

 "Perhaps loving something is the only starting place there is for making your life your own."  -Alice Koller

Art has saved me.

Art journaling has made me realize that I AM an artist.

YOU are an artist.

WE are ALL artists.

The more you create...the more creative you become...there is not a truer statement out there! It's by trial and error my art has ME written all over!

A recent of my faves!

 When I finally just let go and put what speaks to me on my pages...ME shines through every single time.

a page from my faith journal

 I discovered early on that vintage images spoke to me. I use "my girls" on almost every piece of art I create!

I ADORE them!!

A canvas from ArtBeach 2014

I used to compare my art to EVERYONE. Social media can be such a blessing but also such a curse! With everyone posting their's easy for us to compare ourselves to one another.


Comparing does nothing but damage our hearts...our spirits.


Experiment with paint and stencils and glue and images and words.

What speaks to you may not be what inspires me....

and that's ok!

I love using old maps and quotes in my work

Surround yourself with your favorite colors, quotes, magazine clippings, art...whatever inspires YOU. Take 10 minutes a day to create. Even if all you are doing is looking at a favorite art blog or magazine...all those things add up and will help you on your artistic journey.

Houses and hearts show up in my art a lot, too:)

"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live."  -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

My favorite canvas 

I encourage you to CREATE! Stop making excuses. Stop telling yourself that you can't create beautiful things. Take TODAY, make a list of all the whispers in your Heart.

Listen to them.

Your Heart knows the TRUTH. 

Make something beautiful just for YOU.

Here are some of my favorite places to gather inspiration...

Brave Girls Club
Art Journaling Magazine
Kelly Rae Roberts
Dina Wakely

LOVE these books!!

Art Journal Courage
Art Journal Freedom
Art Saves
Brave Intuitive Painting

Monday, July 13, 2015

Embrace Your Day 15

We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~John Lennon

Read more at:

This is me today.
I am feeling pure Joy here.

Not gonna lie...
Joy is not something I have had a lot of lately.

I stress.
I worry.
I run from here to there for everyone


Today I decided to start living them.
To EMBRACE each day as is.
Even if I AM running from here
for everyone

I decided TODAY
to EMBRACE the time I
DO have
to my

To celebrate my Awakening Today I am issuing a CHALLENGE to YOU. This month on my FB group Mind.Body.Soul we are celebrating FREEDOM...Freedom from our addictions, our abusive words, behaviors, toxic people, etc. To go along with this months Challenge (and the months ahead) I encourage YOU to start EMBRACING your day and SHARING it with me on Instagram. You can follow me at @scrapwordsgirl and use the hashtag #embraceyourday15 . Feel free to share in our Facebook group as well!!

Anything YOU do to take control of YOUR day that's POSITIVE and says..."Today I WILL take charge of my time no matter what and EMBRACE my day!!!" Snap a photo and post away!! Be sure and tag me @scrapwordsgirl and use the hashtag #embraceyourday15.

Looking forward to your photos!!!
Here's to a NEW day!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Creative Planner

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” 
― J.M. BarrieThe Little Minister

It's been so very long (over a month) since I last blogged! YIKES! All is good though...I mean after all I was in FRANCE:) What a WONDERFUL Mother/Daughter trip it was...just everything I had hoped for. We are so blessed!

This photo was taken in front of the

Arc de Triomphe .

We had been up nearly 24 hours here...I was soooo exhausted but LOVING every minute of it!

You can tell I am rested This is a beautiful castle somewhere in the French countryside. We saw so many I can't remember all their names!

It's been nice easing myself back into life. I say easing because two after we made it home from France we went to Minnesota fishing for a week with the family and finished the month with three day trips to Kansas City. Whew! It's GOOD to be HOME and back in the groove of painting, cutting and gluing in my art journal and on canvas.

Today I want to share an obsession I have had since high school...planning! Oh how HAPPY I have been with all the planning craziness that's been on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and blogs. Have you seen all the gorgeous planners and stickers and dashboards and lists and classes and more that are out there nowadays??!

Throughout my life I have had cheap old Wal-Mart planners, very expensive Franklin Covey planners and everything in between. I have had planners for working out, goals, keeping memories and planning my day to day activities. As of TODAY I have one of the latest spiral bound planners from Me and My Big Ideas...

 I found it at Hobby Lobby and LOVE it!! Along with the planner I purchased these super fun and colorful accessories...

 Inspiration cards that I placed throughout my planner to brighten my day and inspire me. I put this one on the first page as a beautiful daily reminder.

These DARLING puffy stickers...they are teeny tiny and I adore them:)

I can't wait to use these little beauties...

Now I don't think it will be so hard to get things done and schedule appointments with these To Do stickers...

There are envelopes, sticky notes and so many other very important planner goodies to purchase...I look forward to more shopping in the coming weeks! I mean who doesn't right??

Here is  what I have done so far...

What's so awesome about this planner is the calendar pages for each month. It's nice to see what my commitments are so I don't double book or forget.

I don't have a lot going on in July so for now it's pretty bare (knowing me that will change pretty quick!)

Following the calendar pages are 8-10 pages for each week. I really love how they they break the days down into three parts...Morning, Afternoon and Evening.

Really digging that quote on the lower right side, too. EVERY page has a different quote! NICE!

Here is what I did with this week so far...a bit of Washi Tape, painted notebook paper, my favorite vintage girl image of the moment and a few other treasures. I am REALLY going to LOVE this!!

Want to know more about this planner? Go here.

Currently I am taking a class with Christy Tomlinson and Cori Spieker aka The Reset Girl. If you love planning, want to know more, be inspired, etc go here to learn more.

Check out these awesome planner boards on Pinterest

Have you checked out my Facebook Group Mind.Body.Soul? This month join our "Let Freedom Ring" art journaling challenge to FREE yourself from negativity, bad self image, mean people...whatever is holding you down! We would LOVE to have you!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Life is an ADVENTURE

“Do not fear the unknown, dare to be adventurous in life.” 
― Lailah Gifty AkitaBeautiful Quotes

I have never been out of the country...until today. My 18 year old daughter and I are embarking on a trip of a lifetime and over a year and a half in the making.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think
my girl and I would be traveling to a foreign country.

I never do things without my husband. 
I ADORE my Dave!!
He is my rock.
My True.

But when Emma and I popped the...
"Can we go to Paris with the French Club" question
my guy was ALL IN!

So here I am...
traveling without my sweetheart...
the one who takes care of EVERYTHING!

So, yes I am a bit scared.
It's all up to ME to take care of the passports,
the money
where we go
what we see.

Laugh if you must...
but this is a whole new adventure for me.

This trip is about so much more than seeing France...
it's about making memories with my girl...
being inspired to live my life to the fullest...
and living BOLDLY, with out fear.

I will see you soon!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding Your OWN Style & June Challenge

Aim at nothing and you'll succeed. -Anonymous

May has been a whirlwind of activity...from cleaning our home, having a yard sale, celebrating a birthday and planting seems like everyday is another new big adventure. This can be oh so good...but there are times I wish for a bit more down time to contemplate who I am, what I want and where I'm going. Do you ever get this way? Do you feel like your swimming in a big ole' lake and the harder you kick and flap your arms the more you sink?

I recently subscribed to the on-line magazine "The Phoenix Soul". Each month Amanda (the brilliant creator of the magazine) features a Word-themed zine with 60 pages of uplifting and soul-stirring essays, poems, prompts and more. Our Word for May is Vitality. If you are interested go here to purchase yours!

Vitality...I don't think I have felt that in years. has been overwhelming and incredibly draining the past 4 years. But you know Amanda (along with her very talented writers) could not have picked a better Word for me to focus on this month...they made me realize that THAT is exactly what's been missing in my life and I WANT some right now!

Vitality...capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence

Yep...I want to live a meaningful and purposeful existence...don't you?!

I have noticed in shift in my art...the way I go about it and the way I create it. It's quite exciting...for you see I am finally creating MY style. Not Flora style or Melody style or Sarah style...not the way all those amazing artists do in Art journaling I am creating Leslie Style. It's opened a whole new world for me and inspired me beyond any blog post or challenge or magazine article has.

The other day I noticed my sweet daughter, Emma had written on an index card I have clipped on my's a quote I want to use on a canvas and I had written "Flora Bowley Style". My very wise daughter crossed that out and can see what she changed it to....

That really hit me!! Why have I always tried to venture away from MY style and copy someone else's? Why do YOU?

Since the beginning of January I have really found my artistic groove and I am LOVING it!!!! 

No longer confined by the box I put myself in...I am creating FOR ME...using what I LOVE...words, bright colors and vintage images.

I am finding the more I create this way...the more creative I become! 

Here is my latest canvas featuring Audrey Hepburn, acrylic paints, spray inks, stencils, white gel pen, my favorite letter stencil, pearls and a bright orange butterfly I picked up at The Dollar Tree. 

"Keep seeking for the truth...everyday."

I love how it turned out so much that it now hangs in my studio:)

Girls...June 1st is just around the corner and it's TIME for a NEW Challenge! To go along with my newfound vitality I find myself putting more and more energy into my DREAMS...especially DREAM of writing. Oh I have many more as I am sure YOU do!! The best way I know how to make our DREAMS a reality is to write them down...or better yet...ART JOURNAL them!! June is all about journaling our DREAMS into reality!
So excited for June's Challenge!! Be on the lookout for inspirational quotes, pages and other ideas to help YOU reach YOUR DREAMS!

**No need to sign up for our June Challenge
**Go to our Facebook page to share your Dream journal pages and find lots of inspiration
**NEW this month...Happy Mail Give Aways!! Anyone participating in the Challenge has a chance to win a very nice Happy Mail full of vintage photos, buttons, words, etc. from ME!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.P.S. I Love You
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