Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Last Day of 31 Days

So here we are girls at the end of our 31 Day Creative Journey. Whew, it's been a busy & crazy, yet exhilerating month.

I have tried new things, created several Art Journal pages and made a few new friends.

I hope your journey has been one of inspiration and know that even if you didn't do every single Challenge...it's okay. Remember all 31 Challenges will be posted on my Blog forever and ever...so be sure and click on them often or print them off to use when you have the time.

This is the second 31 Days Challenge we have had here at Words of Me and it won't be the last. It's just fun for me to come up with all the ideas...Love it!!

To celebrate our last day let's create an art journal page filled with what we learned about our creatitve selves this month...
Yes, even if you only did 1 project...or even if you didn't do any...please take time and do this one thing!!:)

As always I am grateful for each one of you. I appreciate your comments and support here!!

Throughout this Challenge I kept thinking about where is it I want to take my Blog next. There are several different directions I want to go. Only time will tell what I decide....;)

Have a wonderful Day girls I can't wait to see what's next!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am a Brave Girl

"You had better live your best and act
your best and think your best today;
for today is the sure preparation for 
tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow."
            -Harriet Marineau

January 11th couldn't come quick enough...I was soooo excited to get started on Soul Restoration! I was like a child at Christmas!! The wait was long but oh so worth it. That first day, I carefully gathered all my supplies, made myself a cup of herbal tea and locked myself in our home office. The day had finally arrived!

There I was, blank journal, a bag of pens and markers ready to write everything down. I was so eager to learn!! Here is what I wrote moments before the class began....

"What a very special day it is! The first day of the rest of my life:) Soooo ready for this. Let the restoring commence!"

Here is what I created that first day...my Soul House....this means so much to me...

I had never heard of a Soul House before...it made so much sense and allowed me to look at myself and the people I let in my "house" differently.



Here's my Truthteller delivering my very own Truths...


I use my Truthteller many times a day...especially when I'm anxious and upset. He never lets me down;)

After that first week my soul was soooo happy...just humming along, all ready to go and be restored. I couldn't believe what I had learned in just a few days. How could I have known that "Soul Restoration" meant so much more than paint and glue and glitter?

My very favorite part of the class was our Art Journal. Oh what joy painting and Mod Podging and writing give me when I need perspective in my life, when I need some quiet time and when I want to just have a bit of fun!

One of my favorite pages just waiting for me to write in one of these days.

That girl captures how Soul Restoration made me feel!
Perhaps the very best part of Soul Restoration for me was the Timeline.

"Having spent the better part of my 
life trying either to relive the past or 
experience the future before it
arrives, I have come to believe that 
in between these two extremes is
peace."  -Anon.

It was Week 2 and Melody began sharing her Timeline idea. At first this scared me. I mean, I don't know about you but there is lots of ucky yucky parts of my life that I don't care to remember. My Dad was an alcoholic, my parents fought all the time and some of my choices in college were less than stellar. Honestly I didn't want to go down that road again. But there was Melody gently reminding us..."Be kind and gentle with yourself...we are just human...NO SHAME...NO BLAME." Her words meant so much to me and helped me begin.


The process was exhilirating.
One of the most difficult times in my life.
I was just a little girl but so very scared and lonely.

I made it through the icky stuff. Life is GRAND!
This is life now...pretty amazing:)
I did just what Melody told us to do. I "Embraced My Story". I loved that lonely little girl and realized that truthfully her parents did all they could at that time. I forgave the wild college girl who so set on destroying her life. I embraced the good, the bad and the ugly and because of that I am whole.

"Soul Restoration" made me realize that I am strong.
I am brave.
I can do anything.

And I am doing so much since the class ended. My true passion in life is writing. My soul fills up with words that must come out...that must be shared. Since the class I have learned that when you put words and art together...that's when the magic happens. That's when my soul really sings. It's when I'm happiest.

I am taking that fire that's in me and sharing it with my blog readers, my friends and very soon I will be teaching Art Journaling and Collage classes in my town. I'm even flexing my courage muscles and writing my very first e-course!!

Melody Ross and her sister Kathy are two Brave and Remarkable women. I am so grateful for their honesty, for their love and for their committment to sharing with women all over the world.

To sign up for this life-changing class you can go here.

"Follow your bliss. Find where it is
and don't be afraid to follow it."   
        -Joseph Campbell

**Remember if you loved this post about Soul Restoration you can go here, find my link and click the Like button. I would appreciate your vote!! You see I will win Soul Restoration 2 for myself AND a class to give away to someone HERE!!:) Thank you so much!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

31 Days {Day 28} and HELP!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to helping my friend's 11 year old daughter, Lizzy. Two weeks ago today she suffered a major stroke!! She is currently paralyzed on her right side and is having difficulty with her speech. One-third of her brain was damaged. She is undergoing intense physical therapy in Kansas City. To help cover the family's medical expenses my friend Kristin and I are putting together fundraiser. If you have something handmade you'd love to donate please email me at leslieackman@yahoo.com  Thank You!!!!!

Here is a little something I've been working on....


I am not finished with it...just playing around with stencils, doodling, adding different elements to my page...just exploring. It is has fun so far...looking forward to where this page ends up;)
A little photo from our weekend....

Jacks and his girlfriend Sarah. She is darling. He is darling. They are darling together.

Challenge #28

Let's play catch up again!! Finish up a few Challenges you may have started but haven't finished. Try  something new today. Take your art journal and just play. New colors of paint, beads, punches, maybe try using stencils or masking tape. I did this all day on Friday and found some new techniques I will be using more! {i will share tomorrow} Oh and keep working on that list of 100 creative projects you want to work on. I am up to 70!!

Squeeze your loved ones today. Things can change in an instant!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Need Your Help, Girls!!!

***An Update!!  First of all I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and concern for Lizzy!! ThanK YOU!!!!! So many of you have emailed your donation ideas. Each of you is AMazInG!!!


The deadline for these items is May 1st, 2011. Thank you so much!!!


Hello, to my wonderful Blogging friends!! I love and appreciate each one of you. Your support and friendship has changed my life. That is why I thought of coming here today...to ask you a favor....

Two weeks ago our dear friends the Smiths...their daughter was in our home and suffered a major stroke. Yes, you read that right...a STROKE at age 11!!!

Lizzie is currently undergoing rehabilitation at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She is paralyzed on her right side {although she does have some movement now} and her speech has been deeply affected. One-third of her brain was damaged.

My friend Kristin and I are putting together a fund-raiser for her to help with expenses. We all know how expensive health care can be.

What I am would love from you is something handmade we can auction off at the fundraiser. I know so many of you are talented!!!

Anything would be appreciated...a knitted scarf, a mixed media piece, something you've sewed, a framed photograph...you get the idea. Anything you would want to donate would be so appreciated!!!

If you would love to help out in this way please email me at 

leslieackman@yahoo.com


I appreciate you so much:)

Friday, March 25, 2011

31 Days {Weekend Challenge#4}

It's our last weekend Challenge of the 31 Days!!! Are you ready??!


Weekend Challenge #4

For the next 2 days I want you to keep your camera close by and document everything! Your daily routine, what you eat, wear, any activities you do, chores, etc. Then sometime next week share them in your Blogs!! Or scrap a layout or two. Sound good?

Great!!


What are your weekend plans? I am helping my daughter clean out her closet and maybe doing a few art projects:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

31 Days {Day 24 & 25}

I sure hope you read my Facebook fan page yesterday and realized I was sick...I meant to post here, too... just to let you know...but girls, I was OUT. I had a terrible migraine as well as the flu {i think it was the flu}. Anyway....how grateful I am to be feeling more like me today:) 

Hooray!


Yesterday was a rest day for our Creativity Challenge...we all need one of those don't we? As the day wore on, I became restless just laying on the couch {i do not like just laying around}. I grabbed my Art Journal and pens thinking maybe I would doodle and play...but the mood never struck...and that's okay.

I did end up being productive though...I set my Spring Goals and feel so good knowing where I'm headed in the next few months. I am a planner after all so this is exactly what I needed!
With a plan I not only accomplish my household tasks but I can focus on my art and blog, too. Love that "in control" feeling! 


Challenge #24 &25
I have a love/hate relationship with poems. I remember writing gut wrenching prose during my teen years about the one boy that never gave me the time of day. I would pour my heart into each poem, writing about my weight issues, being teased, the lack of love in my life and other, teen angst issues. It seemed I was obsessed with suicide back then, too. Not necessarily my own...death just always made it's way into my poems. {so grateful to be over that time in my life}

I have read hundreds of poems...funny, sad, love, old, new, famous, original, awful...the list goes on. I like some, I hate some. But there is one poem that touched me so deeply during my teen years that I carry it with me now...in my heart. I don't need a book to tell me the words...no, I can almost recite it from memory.



Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 


Robert Frost

 


 I first heard this poem in the summer of 1983 when 
Pony Boy Curtis recites it in the film"The Outsiders". Not only did I love that movie {i mean who wouldn't...Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell as Pony Boy} but I remember hearing that poem and realized in my young years...that my life was as good as it gets right now. And if I didn't make the most of it now...well, then soon enough it would be over and that chance I had was lost forever. "Nothing Gold Can Stay"...

The summer after I graduated and the week before leaving for college, my last High School yearbook was delivered to my door. I eagerly opened it...hardly believing that this was it. High School was done and a new chapter in my life was about to begin. Imagine my surprise when written on the first page of my book was Frost's poem. It was fate. It sent goosebumps through my body. That poem that had touched me 2 years before and had stayed with me...was in my Senior year book. 

As I reread the poem I understood it differently. Now was the time in my life to treasure. Now was as good as it gets. This moment wouldn't last long so I better savor it...enjoy it while I could.

My life moved on, I graduated, got a job in radio then met the love of my life. Jacks and Em came along, I became a stay at home Mom and it's been one crazy, amazing, life altering experience after another.

Through it all Frost's words have come to mind hundreds and hundreds of times. Those few precious times in our life, those times when we become who want to be...those times we spend with our children, our spouses, our parents...those times are golden and they end way before we want them to. Those golden memories shall be with us forever...but they can only last a moment. 

 You see, I get it now. 
Now is the time to cherish our life.
Now is the gift. 
Now is the golden

Frost was a genius.  

Is there a poem that has touched your life...that has stayed with you throughout everything? Maybe it's just a funny one...create a scrappy layout, an Art Journal page or share on your blog. Really stop and think about why this poem means so much to you. And as always...let me know how you're doing...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

31 Days {Day 22

Lately I have been filled with gratitude, sadness, joy, love, peace and inspiration. Such a range of emotions each and everyday. I think so many of my feelings come from where my family is in life right now. My kids are growing up. My sweet little girl starts High School in the fall...we just signed her up a few weeks ago.


Can it be?
How did this happen?
Where did the time go?

There are times I feel like I am suffocating with sadness...I miss my children. All little and cute and needing me to be their everything. Lately I find myself unable to look at photos of them in that stage of their lives...it fills my heart with such a heaviness.

Just writing this is soooo hard. As I type, tears are rolling down my face. I miss that time in my life.

But, just when it seems too much...when it seems like I will never be able to accept the fact they are growing up I am reminded of the fact they are becoming the most incredible young adults.

Jackson wants to be a High School Drama teacher and Debate Coach. Emma is leaning towards the medical field...dermatology at the moment. Both of them are looking forward to their life. They will say to me...."Mom, I am just so excited to live my life!"

I am so grateful for them. They have brought such a meaning to my life. I love them with my whole heart and then some.

Challenge #22

It has been months since I've scraped one photo. Like I said...it's hard right now to see my kids so little...but I also realize how important it is to keep a record of their lives. So I am committing myself to scrapping again. Just the basics. Photos, maybe an embellishment or two and my favorite Sharpie pen. That's what scrapbooking is after all...it's about getting the moment down for posterity, right?

I challenge you to scrap a few photos today. Nothing fancy...nice and simple and meaningful. 

**NOTE: So many of you are worried that you aren't keeping up!! Girls, this Challenge is not about keeping up! It's about adding a bit of creative inspiration to our lives everyday. All 31 Challenges will be posted at the top of my Blog in April!! No worries!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Space and Day #21

Helllloooo, you beautiful girls!! How are you today??! I am divine and ready for a brand new week!!

How did it go...cleaning out your space or a drawer or a bin? It was just what I needed...now I can't wait to head to my space and work!! So many ideas...let's look at what I did over the weekend....Here is the before....

Little bits and pieces everywhere. I couldn't find anything!
Here is the after...

Not so congested here. Plenty of room.


Before...

After....

My basket of journaling labels and favorite word stickers and rub-ons. My Brave Girl stamps are to the left and there's my Soul House. Not finished yet but repainted. I am still deciding on what I'm gonna do with it. I have a few ideas...
 This sits right in front of my workspace. So nice and neat now. My fave stamps are organized in those silver bins. They are a must in all my Art Journal pages!!!


That 2 drawer unit on the top right holds dozens of words, tags, remnant rub-ons and all things tiny!
I moved all my paint, glue, brushes and tools to this unit. I picked this up at an auction last spring. I adore this thing!!!

Each bin has something different in it....acrylics, Mod Podge, extra brushes, my embosser, etc.

My Grandpa made this for my Mom back in the 80's. So happy it is mine now...I love that I am creative like Gramps!:)

That's my Pooh Bear I got when I was 9 years old. He reminds me that anything is possible...anything!! 

Just a small bookshelf with mini albums and a few of my idea books....

That red box is full of letters I use to create Words for my blog photos. It's my new obsession;)

And then here's a Before view of the space...

No wonder I was feeling overwhelmed!! 

Here's the space today!

Soooo much nicer don't you think?
I would LOVE to see your space!! If you took photos why not write a post in your blog this week? Then be sure and let me know so I can stop by and visit;)

Challenge #21

Our Challenge today is soooo simple, fun and you can do it anywhere!! Even while you're watching your favorite show....
We are gonna start an Inspiration File this week. Something you can refer to again and again. I just use one of those manila folders you can buy at any discount store {I LOVE to alter these so I have a ton on hand all the time}. Grab a few old magazines and /or books and start looking through them. Anything that catches your eye...rip or cut out! These look soooo cool in our Art Journals!! Next week I'm gonna show you some really awesome ways to use these images...so get to work!! Rip away!!!

Along with these images and words you can add ideas, quotes, notes, anything you may want to add to your Art Journals to your Inspiration File. This is an ongoing process!!! 

Challenge #22 will be up by 10 Pm tonight!!:)


Friday, March 18, 2011

31 Days {Weekend Challenge# 3}

Happy Weekend!! Are you ready for our Challenge? It is waaaaay over due for me!

I need to organize all my stuff!!! Oh my goodness!!! 

I have piles here and there...patterned paper, idea books, rub-ons and stickers!

I can't seem to find much and I keep misplacing everything...I'll set it down then it just seems to get buried-LOL. That's what happens when I'm creating:)

Plus a few weeks ago Mom gave me oodles of stuff including all this!

So much acrylic paint, crackle medium, glue and more. 

Girls, it's time to organize our space! And if you're lucky enough to already have everything in it's place then Whoo Hoo for you!! But if not...take some time this weekend to spruce up your space, clean out a drawer, go through your stamps...I find this relaxing and inspirational.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

31 Days {Day 18}

I LOVE my Art Journal!! 
I love learning new paint techniques., new ways of adding texture to my work. It is the best form of therapy I have found. I hope you have enjoyed this week of journaling especially if this art form is new to you. There are sooo many resources out there to gain inspiration from. Here is one of my favorites...

In my humble opinion the BEST art magazines out there are from Somerset Studio. Not only is their magazine chock full of eye candy and instructions but the paper is thick and beautiful...not flimsy and slick.

Each issue has dozens of styles. You are sure to find something that "speaks' to you!

It's also a wonderful way to "meet" fellow art bloggers. To purchase a copy or subscribe please click here.

I am LOVING that Van Gogh journal above....oh, and speaking of Van Gogh...do you remember when I purchased that large book of Van Gogh paintings a few weekends ago? Well, I finally got around to playing with it...here is the girl that drew me in...and what I've "done" with her.

She just looked so sad and lonely to me. Like she had so much inside but was somehow being stifled.




Like there was someone telling her to act a certain way...to be a certain way...to forget about her passions and goals. But like each one of us must do...we have to listen to that still small voice inside that whispers our truths to us. That tells us it is time to find out who we really are and what we really want out of this life we've been given.


This sweet girl had to find her way.


She had to be strong.
She had to smile in spite of what was going on.
She had to be herself.

There are still a few odds and ends I need to add to this piece to finish...I want to get her just right. And then, when I'm done...here is my next project. I have all kinds of ideas for her:)

Doesn't she look determined?

I would LOVE to see what projects you're working on. Be sure and let me know!!!

Challenge #18

This is the last day we'll work in our Art Journals for awhile...so let's do something a little different, yet really simple. Let's talk about "sprucing" up our pages. I tend to add the same things to my books...paints, pencils, stamps, stickers and words from old books. But really we can put anything in our books! So today's Challenge is to add a few new items to our journals. Here is a list of ideas!

*envelopes {decorate and add to your pages. use for receipts, ticket stubs, secret journaling, etc.}
*ribbon
*magazine images and words
*packaging
*masking tape
*brochures
*maps
*postcards
*greeting cards
*punches
*old recipes
*your daily lists
*anything you can dream up!!


I hope your Friday is an inspiring one!!! I will post the Weekend Challenge by 7Pm tonight!!!

31 Days {Day 17}

Hello!! How is the Challenge going? We are now over half way through!! Remember...it is OK if you aren't "caught up". There is no catching up. These 31 creativity prompts will be on my Blog forever once the Challenge is over...you can come back anytime or feel free to print them off! ZERO pressure!!

I wanted to show a few pages from my journal. Here is the finished page from Monday's prompt "Listen to your Heart".

I felt almost like I was writing a love letter to myself. Just lots of reminders to continue going after my dream!

Tuesday's prompt was "Sweet Dreams"...

Along with birds and butterflies I adore sunshines and use them in art frequently. To create dimension in the sun I used the end of my paintbrush and swirled it around while the paint was still wet.

Here is the finished page...I really thought I'd journal some of my own "Sweet Dreams" but decided to leave the page as is. Just springy and happy...something I am dreaming of happening soon in Missouri!



Challenge #17

Since it is St. Patrick's Day we just have to create something green today...wouldn't you agree? So today take this famous Irish Blessing and use it to create a page in your journals. 

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back
. May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

 This particular blessing hung in our kitchen my entire childhood...brings back memories of Mom frying eggs and bacon in the morning before school and baking Christmas cookies on a cold, snowy night. 

Of course if this doesn't inspire you...just create something green in your journals. Maybe you have a memory from grade school you want to share or are you Irish? Share a bit of history in your books. These are your journals...do whatever fits!

I WILL be posting Challenge #18 as well as our Weekend Challenge later on tonight!!! Be sure and check back in:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

31 Days {Day 15 &16}

 **This is so late...I had a funeral to attend this morning.


 Did you get any Art Journal backgrounds painted yesterday? Life got really crazy here last night so I only managed to paint one. It was a glorious 15 minutes or so;)
This always makes me smile:)
Painting is so therapeutic for me.

Our journal prompt from yesterday was "Listen to your heart. What is it telling you?"

I first put a glob of silver acrylic on my page then smeared about with an old playing card. I added a smear of red then stamped several images of hearts on the page.

To finish I took the brush I had used for the stamps and with very little paint on it I brushed  over the entire page. I love how just a touch of pink is left behind. Of course I added a little birdie to remind me to listen truly listen to my heart.

I intend on putting the finishing touches on this tonight...I'm hoping for a few hours of uninterrupted art time.

Before we get to today's Challenge I wanted to share a few Art Journal Blogs I have found while surfing the Net. Each one of these ladies is very talented. Be sure and stop by for added inspiration!!

1. Gingerbread
2. Diana Trout
3. Ria Nirwana
4. Creative Art Journal
5. He{art} Journaling

Challenge #15 & #16

Finish any Art Journaling backgrounds you have started as well as yesterday's prompt: "Listen to your heart. What is it telling you?" Then begin work on our prompt for today "Sweet Dreams". You could create a page about your sweet baby, the love of your life, dreams you  have for you and/or your children...whatever comes to mind when you hear that phrase. Be creative! 

Our prompt for tomorrow's page is this quote...

"It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion." -Rebecca West

I hope you are enjoying this week of Art Journaling! I would truly love to see your work. If you post anything in your blogs be sure and let us know!!!
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