Monday, February 28, 2011

31 Days {Day 1}

It's finally here!! The 31 Days Creativity Challenge. 
WELCOME...I am sooo happy you are here! And just so you remember...here is a bit about the Challenge (in case you forgot or are new here). The most important things to remember are these 3 things!!

*It's okay to take time for yourself even if you think you can't. To be creative you must create!!
*Don't worry about doing every single project in this Challenge. The idea here is to do something creative every day...it's all good if all you have time for is 5 minutes of painting or looking at an idea book before bed...it's OKAY:)
*Have fun! I have thought long and hard about each Challenge. They are designed to give your daily routine a boost of inspiration.One day you may be painting in your Art Journals...the next day "shopping" in your closet. You just never know what's next!

And while each Challenge is uniquely mine, several of them are a result of inspiration I received from a magazine, idea book or blog. I will be sure and give the link to those resources I used.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please email me at leslieackman@yahoo.com

Also feel free to share your projects and Challenges in your blogs!! I would appreciate if you linked back here to Words of Me:)

And one more thing...there will not be a Word of the Week the entire month of March due to the Challenge.

 Ready, Set , Go!!

Challenge #1

Art Journals will play an important part throughout the next 31 Days. And while not every Challenge involves your journals...you may find yourself wanting to use them daily as the month goes on. My journals are a little bit bigger than an 81/2 x11 book filled with 50 sheets of watercolor paper. You can buy these at Wal-Mart or Target for around $9. Here is a photo of mine with the cover gesso-ed and ready to paint...


And what it looks like inside...


There is nothing I like more than an empty page!!

Remember...you do not need to use this type of journal. Feel free to use cardstock, lined paper, construction paper...anything that you want. A school notebook is perfectly okay, too. Just know that you DO need some kind of journal throughout this Challenge.

Now it's time for the fun part...the creative part...I want you to come up with  one WORD or a PHRASE that describes this Creative Journey you are undertaking. A few examples might be "Because I Need This", "So I Can Create", "Inspire", "Creative Journey", "Bold", "Brave", "To Become the Artist I Am", etc.

Take your idea and begin creating your cover. Use markers, paints, pens, colored pencils, scraps of patterned paper, die-cuts, chipboard, photos, glitter, ribbon...anything your heart desires!! Here is what I came up with...

I knew I wanted my journal to have the  31 Days Challenge on it somewhere along with my favorite three words...first I took some patterned paper scraps and Mod Podged them to the cover...


I took my favorite color of blue and mixed with white to make an acrylic "wash".


I painted sections of the patterned paper then took a damp paper towel and quickly wiped most of the paint away...

If you do this, remember that acrylic paint dries very quickly so work fast!

I really love how it's turning out.

I then decided to add a little razzle dazzle with just a touch of gold glitter paint.

Spread it out {i just use my finger but feel free to use a brush or Q-tip}

Next I stamped my 3 favorite words on the dry paint.

"Write. Create. Be." And while I could have left it this way...I used my fave technique on the letters...outlined them with different colored pens.

Isn't that white just great?

Really makes the letters POP!
Then how cool is this? The paper I used already had a calendar on it with 31 Days!! It was meant to be:)


I stamped the words "Creativity Challenge" and used a chipboard arrow from American Crafts.
For a fun touch I cut various ribbon and tied on the rings of my journal. Here is the finished book!

Remember...do what you want with this!! Make it as simple or as ornamental as you want. It's your Art Journal. Listen to what your heart is telling you then do that. You can even take letter stickers and decorate a notebook. As long as you love it...it doesn't matter what others think!!!

Have fun!! I will see you soon. Can't wait to see what you come up with!! Be sure and share in the comment section here or if you want in your own Blogs:)

Tonight is the NIght!!

Are you ready? 

Tomorrow is March 1st and the very first day of our 31 Days Creativity Challenge. Are you in?


For a reminder of what 31 Days is please click here.

And yes, I know you're busy. And 31 Days seems like an awful long time...I mean how in the world will we be able to commit to creating something every single day for 31 Days?!?!?


“I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice.” — Erich Fromm

Because, dear friend...if you long to live the creative life then you MUST create. What good is all that talent that's inside of you if you aren't doing one thing to nurture it and help it grow? 

Don't we deserve to see the light that shines inside of you? By taking just a few moments a day to be creative, to think creatively, we are flexing our creative muscles. Ideas will come easier and seem to spill out of you. The world will look different...everything around you will be a painting waiting to be painted or a story waiting to be told.

To BE creative we must LIVE creatively.

Please remember, that I do understand 
 your time is precious and I know
it may be hard to complete 
every single challenge in the next 31 days.
Please don't let that stop you. Please join us!!
Do what you can.
This will be such a wonderful journey.
You will learn so much about your creative self!!  

I will post the first Challenge tonight by 10PM here on my Blog. Tomorrow check out the Words of Me Fan Page. 

I can't wait till tonight!! See you then...Oh  and be sure and let me know if you are participating in the Challenge!!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

On Being Creative

"Creativity is a  central source of meaning in our lives...most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity...when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life."   -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

What kinds of creating are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Commit to Creating

The past few weeks I have been thinking about painting, stamping, cutting, Mod Podging and sorting. I love doing all of these things. They bring me peace. I love losing myself in creating.

There are times throughout my day when it feels like too much.
Times when I'm being pulled in 5 different directions. I am rushing from school, 
to practice, to appointments then back home then
back to school. to church, to the gym, etc.
It's during those crazy, hectic times when I think of my Art Journal, my big bin of paints and colored pencils that puts a smile on my face and a calm in my heart.

I hope you'll join me THIS Tuesday for the 31 Days Creativity Challenge. Click here to find out more. Oh, and be sure and grab a button for your blog and while you're at could you share this on your FB page and maybe even your blog with a link? The more the merrier!!:)

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” — Edward de Bono


Hope to see you here!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

31 Days Creativity Challenge {in 1 week}

I have been working hard on finding 31 ideas, projects and journaling prompts you can use in your life to boost your creative awareness and help you lead a more inspired life. 


If you've never done the Challenge you may want to click here to see last summers' Challenge.

Sometimes we are afraid to begin something like this because we don't have the time....but honestly, if you want to be an artist, become a better painter, scrap your families' memories, etc...you have to CREATE despite the obstacles.



I promise you there will be ZERO pressure to do every single day. Although, I think I have mixed the challenges up enough that you will be able to finish each one...some taking more effort than others.

Here's how the Challenge works...

1. There will be 6 assignments each week {1 each weekday and 1 on the weekends}

2. Assignments can be anything from creating an Art Journal page, to learning new painting techniques to cleaning out a junk drawer and using what you find creatively. Most of them you'll be able to finish in 30 minutes or less. The weekend assignments are a bit longer.

3. You will need a few items to make your 31 Days more fun. However, remember this isn't about going out and spending a ton of money. Try to use mostly what you already have. I will share a few ideas later in the post.

4.The night before each new Challenge Day I will post the assignment HERE no later than 10 pm. I will also post on the Words of Me Face Book Fan Page at the same time then again the next morning. 
So to be clear...the 31 Days Challenge starts one week from today, March 1st...but the first assignment will be posted the night before by 10 pm HERE and on FB then again March 1st on FB {only}

5.This year I have added a few Blog assignments. If you don't have a blog...that's ok. You can do them in your journals:)

6. Speaking of journals...I LOVE Art Journaling and will be sharing several Art Journal assignments with YOU during this 31 Days.

7. If you want to share your finished assignments in your Blog, please make sure you link back here. I would appreciate it:) Oh, also grab a 31 Days Button on my sidebar so everyone knows you are taking the Challenge {and maybe they will join in, too}

8. Most importantly please remember that this is for FUN! Please don't feel like you have to do each assignment. I know how busy life gets...there are days I just go from one thing to the next!! My goal of the 31 Days Creativity Challenge is to get you to inject ART and CREATIVITY into your life daily. An art teacher friend of mine told me once that to be creative you MUST create everyday!!! So even if you do part of the assignment...that's ok! Just do the rest when your schedule permits!

Here are a few things you might want for your journey...

These are may favorite journals...

You can find these at discount stores for around 9 bucks. There is like 50 pages of watercolor paper in these which makes them perfect for Mod Podging  and painting in!!!

Start gathering your supplies this week. Grab a container and start collecting!!!:)



I love taking words and images out of old books...

One can never have too many bottles of acrylic paint!

And I have fallen in love with Mod Podge...LOL

We will use this stuff for gluing images and words in our Art Journals. If you don't have this or can't find any Elmer's Glue will be fine.

"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it."  -The Buddha

So we have a bit of work to do this week, right? Check out our WORD...thought this would help a bit...


It's time to PREPARE our minds and our hearts for a creative awakening.

I hope you will join me:)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Am Here!!!

Just a quick note, girls. I have been away from the computer for one week!! UGH!! Our internet was down...but thanks to John McClurg of Century Link I am back ON-LINE!! Thank you, John!!!:)

Missed you all so much. Missed writing, missed reading your blogs. I realized just how much Blogland means to me....You girls are all so very amazing!!!

I am working on our 31 Days Challenge. So many ideas to jump-start your creativity. Be sure and grab a button for you blog if you are participating!!

All right...more to post later.  I am off to catch up on your blogs!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who Loves Ya' Baby?

 After a solid month of zero and below temps along with several feet of snow, I am happy to report it has been sunny and warm here. Love it!

Speaking of LOVE...I sure felt the LOVE Valentine's Day. Wow, girls do I have a sweetheart for a husband:) Before we left for our Kansas City Day of Shopping Adventure he gave me a beautiful red box.

I was super excited because the word on the box said "fresh". What is "fresh"? Oh, my...it is my VERY FAVORITE fragrance store on the Planet. Seriously. I stumbled upon a "Fresh" store about 6 years ago in Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace. I ended up buying this  yummy fragrance and fell in love... {Bergamot Citrus}

Click here to learn more about Fresh

I made sure to use it sparingly, saving it mostly for special occasions. Oh, how I savored this scent! Then last October my sweetie and I found ourselves in Vegas again...one of my first stops was the "Fresh" store. This time Dave not only replenished my "Bergamot Citrus" but he bought me their latest creation...Brown Sugar.

Click here to learn more about Fresh
It was fabulous, too. And so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that red box!! I opened it carefully...

Look at the beautiful silver paper. I wonder what's inside?

Oh my goodness! I love it! Three bars of Brown Sugar soap wrapped in beautiful patterned kraft paper. The smell coming out of that box was amazing!! Soooo lemony and fresh!

Honny, I LOVE it!!!
We spent the entire day together. It was bliss. I honestly have the BEST husband. Thanks again, Dave!!!

I wasn't the only one lucky enough to get something from their sweetie. Look what Jackson's girlfriend Sarah gave him...absolutely darling!

Cute poster Sarah gave Jacks.
So with all this LOVE flying around yesterday I decided that their was only ONE choice for our WORD this week. Can you guess it??!

Word for 2/15-2/21
Think of all their is to love in this world of ours....

Our family
Our friends
Our Lord and Savior
Books
Blogging
Art Supplies
Sunny Days
Creating
Our homes
Our jobs
Cupcakes
Long walks

The list is endless!!

So this week I want us to focus on LOVE. Try to think positive. Get all the negative out of your life. LOVE your days...the moment your in. LOVE!!

Who and What do you love?

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Guy is the BEST!

I have been married to the most amazing man for nearly 19 years. I am soooo very blessed!! Look what he brought home for Em and me last Friday...

He was just so darn cute about it, too. "Oh, girls....Happy early Valentine's Day." {BIG grin}!!

Today he has surprised me even more...he is whisking me away to Kansas City for a full day of.....

SHOPPING! Whoo hoo!! I can buy whatever I want. Really?! Oh, what fun:)

So girls, I am off to enjoy the day and am so grateful for the beautiful sunshine and warmer temps!!

What are you doing to celebrate today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My "Do it Anyway" List

So this week we are talking about doing it ANYWAY. I have been doing quite a bit of thinking of what I have already done anyway. Let me tell you, girls. I should do this exercise more often...especially when I'm feeling down. Through the years I have been pretty good at "doing it anyway"!

Here is my list along with one of my favorite photos...it's me, taken at Mile17 during the "Mayor's Midnight Sun" Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska...June 1999.



Leslie's List of "She Did It Anyway"

1. I had never ran a mile in my life-ever. I ran TWO marathons anway.
2. I was scared to death of water and didn't know how to swim I finished a TRIATHLON anyway.
3. I was made fun of relentlessly in grade school. I played the lead in every school play in High School anyway.
4. I made many, many mistakes in college and was hurt so bad. I graduated from college anyway and landed my dream job anyway.
5. I had never written for the newspaper and was told over and over again I needed a degree for that. I wrote a weekly column in our local paper for 5 years anyway.
6. I was told I was worthless and not pretty enough and not skinny enough. I met my Prince Charming, got married and had a beautiful family anyway.
7. I was told it's a waste of time and silly to have a blog. I have met some of my best friends because of my blog and have over 200 Followers anyway.
8. I was told I wasn't creative and never would be. I paint, doodle and create daily anyway.


"To perservere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs."  -Euripides

I encourage you to make your own "She Did It Anyway" list. When you see all it is you have done "anyway"...it is empowering!!

Tell me one thing you do ANYWAY!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What do you do Anyway?

Before I share the Word this week I wanted to say THANK YOU for all your sweet and kind comments regarding my prayer canvas. Each one of them made me smile.:)

Also a HUGE thank you to my friend Leanne who designed my brand new blog header for me. She was soooo patient with me and created something that is 100% me. Thank you, Leanne!!!

Last week I promised to show you what the Word TRY inspired me to do...here are  few photos to share.  Since we had the entire week off from school last week due to snow my daughter Em and her friend Maddie volunteered to help me TRY my hand at bread making. Take a peek!

Maddie & Em all ready to TRY something new!  

Mixing the dough. We chose to make it whole wheat.
The fun part...kneading!
There it is resting in the bowl. Looking good!
After we punched it down and formed into loaves. I can't believe this is working.
Can you believe it?! Golden brown, all warm from the oven. YUM!
This was our first attempt at making bread and we did it!! The best part? Now I know we can do it!! We can make delicious home baked bread with very little effort. Awesome!

Here is a page from my Art Journal...

This is my Art Journal I began the first of January....it's smaller than my Soul Restoration one. Here is what the journaling says...

"TRY...
my best
to be me always
to be a better person
always trying to be something 
I am learning, striving
I like the word TRY. It means I am striving. I am working. I am creating. I am learning. I am growing.
TRY is good.:)"

I know I can't stop talking about my Soul Restoration class. It has permeated my life and is working miracles. One of the lessons we learned last week is the importance of "doing it anyway".

It seems whenever I've struggled this week I keep telling myself the same thing..."I did it anyway." This is the perfect sentence to keep me on track with where I'm going in life!

So this week's WORD is ANYWAY


–adverb
1.
in any case; anyhow; nonetheless; regardless: Whether you like it or not, I'm going anyway.
 
This week focus on doing it anyway. 
 
create anyway
workout anyway
make a decision anyway
go for your dreams anyway
apply for that job anyway
 
What one thing do you do "anyway"? Please share with us!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Prayer Canvas {project}

I have been doing so much dreaming and creating and reading this past week. Really, stopping and thinking "What do I want to do with my life?"

Where have I been? What mistakes have I made? Am I willing to take each mistake I made, am I willing to accept what happened to me, am I willing to move on and more importantly move forward?

The past 4 weeks I have been on a journey of Soul. I have been digging deep inside myself, confronting issues of my past I had not dealt with in years. Those things had been holding me back. I was in the dark.


As bad as things were during my childhood and throughout college one thing was constant...



PRAYER.

Ever since I was 8 years old, prayer has been my lifeline. The Lord has been by my side.


It wasn't until this Soul Restoration class I truly understood that it was PRAYER that comforted me, lifted me up and inspired me to keep moving forward.

It was the love of my Heavenly Father that led me out of the darkness and into the Light.

And it is the same Today. As I continue to read my Scriptures, Pray and Believe in Him I am strengthened.

 


Oh, what a cause of thankfulness it is that we have a gracious God to go to on all occasions! Use and enjoy this privilege and you can never be miserable. Oh, what an unspeakable privilege is prayer!
- Lady Maxwell

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