Monday, August 14, 2017

Embracing the Simple Life


“Sometimes just explaining your predicament--
to a bartender, a priest, 
the old woman in a shift and flip-flops 
cleaning the lint traps in the Laundromat dryers
--is all it takes to see a way out of it.” 


It has been four years since I wrote my year-long class
That class came about at a time when
 my world crumbling down around me. 
I was drowning in despair.
I found myself wanting to sleep 
and hide from the world.
And I did.



I sat on my couch, mindlessly watching television 
wishing I was anywhere in life but where I was.

My Heart ached.
My stomach churned.

And I swore with everything that once we got out of the mess 
it would never happen again.

EVER.



Yet, here I am today.
Sharing with you.
Being honest with myself.

We are here.

The same panicked feelings.
The churning stomach.
The aching Heart.

And I am mad.

I am depressed.

I  find myself sitting on the couch.
In the morning I don't want to get out of bed.

Yet, I tell myself everyday that we are going to be okay.
And we are.
I know that.


I have decided it's best to go where I KNOW I will find Peace.

God
My studio
Creating uplifting art
Long walks outside
Eating healthy
Spending time with family and friends

And in the end...it's those things that matter the most anyway.

Another way I know is best for ME to get out of my slump is to write.
I have been beyond BLESSED this past week!!
For 5 years I wrote a weekly column in our local newspaper. 
I have been asked to start that up again and am THRILLED!
Writing allows me to see my situation differently.

Writing is something that makes me dig deep into my Soul and see the very best in my situation. 
It also inspires me to inspire YOU.

Soooo....I have decided to share a FREE workshop with you coming this September...

"Embracing the Simple Life".

More details coming later in the week.


I encourage you to check out "52 Weeks Being Me".
I am so proud of that class and all the lives it has touched!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Week Four


“You couldn't relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole--like the world, or the person you loved.” 



 I don't know about you but I
 have been sooooooo inspired by YOUR work 
in our Facebook group! GREAT job, girls!!

If this is the first time hearing about Sherry Canino and I's FREE workshop or you just need to catch up here are the links to Week's One-Three. 

 
Be sure and ask to join our private Facebook group for more inspiration...The Empowered Creative Woman

Welcome to Week Four of The Empowered Creative Woman Workshop

Our focus this week is Acceptance. 
So much thought has gone into this concept off Accepting where I am in my life.
It's not an easy thing to do...but once you make the decision to Accept
what life is dishing up at the moment...there is a wave of Peace that comes over you.
It's almost magical.
And I promise no matter what's going on in your world today
you CAN take your Power back once you
stop resisting, stop complaining and stop blaming.

Our prompts for the week

Acknowledge
Approval
Yes
Recognition
Consent
Permission
Denial
Refusal
Opposition

“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That's one of my favorite things to say. So what.” 
― Andy WarholThe Philosophy of Andy Warhol


Let's talk about Acceptance



Making Peace Tags #1


Making Peace Tags #2

 

Sprinkled throughout my videos are MY thoughts on Acceptance 
and all that I have learned this week.

Thank you so much for joining Sherry and I. 
It has been a WONDERFUL Workshop and I can't wait to 
see what you come up with this week!!!






Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Week Three

“Because true belonging 
only happens when we present our authentic, 
imperfect selves to the world,
 our sense of belonging
 can never be greater
 than our level 
of self-acceptance.” 
― BrenĂ© Brown




Welcome To Week Three of The Empowered Creative Woman Workshop

Before Week Three gets underway I just want to say Thank You to Sherry Canino for asking me to be a part of this Journey. I am honored to be on this Empowering Journey with each of YOU. 

I invite you to grab your favorite drink, sit back and spend a little bit of time getting to know me.


The minute Sherry invited me to be a part of this workshop I KNEW what the theme would be...

What does it mean to BELONG?



Here are this week's prompts...

*Where do I belong?
*Do I belong?
*Who do I feel a kinship with?
*Do I accept myself?
*What can I do to accept myself?

Word Prompts


*belong
*kinship
*acceptance
*reliance
*tribe
*loyalty
*harmony
*insecurity
*disregard
*disagreement

In the following videos I share my art journal page..."She is a Wildflower".
Peppered throughout the video's are bits of wisdom and Awakenings I have gathered by studying the Word BELONGING. I also share my creative process with you. I hope you ENJOY!

Creative Video #1


Creative Video #2


Creative Video #3


My finished page


Here is a list of products used in this week's videos...

Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, washi tape, various magazine and calendar images, letter stencils by Pebbles in my Pocket and word strips by Melody Ross from Brave Girl's Club.

Again I want to THANK each of you for being a part of our Workshop!! So grateful for YOU.
If you would like to share your work with us be sure and use the hashtag #theempoweredcreativewoman

Have an Empowered week, girls!

xoxo


Leslie

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sneak Peak of Week Two!!

I am ready.
How about YOU?

The Empowered Creative Woman kicked off last Thursday with thought-provoking
prompts and inspirational videos by my friend and collaborator Sherry Canino.

This week it's my turn.
And I am so ready to share some things that have been on my Heart.



See you Thursday!!

xoxo

Sherry's blog with Week One is here
The Empowered Creative Woman Facebook group is here
Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed-Media Art is here


Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Collaboration

"All I have to do is offer up what comes naturally to me-which is to share my passion for inspiration, motivation and encouragement-and from that I know that no matter what choices I make in my life, my Heart Voice will be there for me when I'm ready."  
-Carmen Torbus

Hello friends! It's been awhile since I 've blogged on a consistent basis.
But it's taken a long time for me to understand what Carmen is saying...

"All I have to do is offer up what comes naturally to me...."

I was incredibly blessed to spend last week in Boise, Idaho at Brave Girl's Symposium.

The BRAVE and Beautiful Melody Ross

Kalli and Jeanne Oliver...two incredible Spirits!!!

That's me second from the left. These women were hilarious!!

On the left is my friend Dot. TRULY one of the KINDEST people I have ever met!!! The women in the middle I got to know over breakfast. So sweet!!! She is from Armenia!!

My fried and Sister D'Wana. She sang her Beautiful Heart out. So proud of her!!!!


The lessons learned in those few days will stay with me ALWAYS. 

I am SUPER excited to share a BRAND NEW venture with you...
my friend and fellow artist Sherry Canino has invited me to be a part of a VERY special class called...

The Empowered Creative Woman.

You can learn all about it in this video by Sherry...

(please click on READ MORE  that's below to view the video)






Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Inspiring Summer Challenge and Sharing My Story



It's been a LONG time since I posted. 
I believe it's the longest time in the past 7 or so years I have stayed quiet. 

But you know what?

I NEEDED time away. 

I NEEDED time to just BE.

I was feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

Plus I just needed to figure out where I wanted to go with my writing,
my art and my FB community.

I was blessed to attend Sister Camp in Ponca, Arkansas the end of April. 
It was EXACTLY what I needed!!
Two and half days filled with love and light from 12 AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL Souls.
My Heart is STILL full from time spent in the Mountains.

While I was there I made a decision.
I am NOT going to get Brave Girl Certified. 
While I LOVE Brave Girl's Club and all they do and have done for me...
it just wasn't feeling authentic for ME.

I realized during my stay at Camp I have my OWN Story to tell.
 I've decided to share what's in MY Heart.

So this summer as I continue my Creative Journey I will 
begin writing and gathering for my OWN Soulful Retreat. 
As I do so I will be thinking of YOU. 
Thinking about what it is YOUR Heart is yearning for.
What YOUR Heart needs to Heal.

I hope you can join me in my on-line community on Facebook


I am working on a simple, yet inspiring Challenge for the Summer.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

100 Days Project




I am participating in the 100 Days Project.
Can't tell you how motivating and exciting this is to me!! 
LOVE IT!





I have decided to create 100 journal pages and/or cards with Brave sayings on them.

The hashtag I am using on Instagram is...
#100daysofbrave



Monday, April 3, 2017

FREE Words and Phrases Printable FOR YOU!

Take a Leap!  -Leslie Ackman




It's MONDAY!! And I have a surprise for YOU!!
Along with my NEW weekly "Heart Notes" newsletter 
I will be sharing a printable each week filled with Words,
quotes and uplifting phrases to use in your Journals, your Art or 
wherever you feel inspired to use them!!

Here is the link to my FIRST Words Printable...
ENJOY!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April's Challenge is Here!

“You are an unfinished work in progress. One of the good things about life's challenges: you get to find out that you're capable of being far more than you ever thought possible.” 
― Karen Salmonsohn


It's April First...such a beautiful month!! Spring is here, flowers are beginning to bloom and gardening is just around the corner. I LovE it!

 If you are new to my blog...WELCOME! My mission here is to Encourage, Uplift and Inspire YOU to be your VERY best! Please stop by my Facebook group...Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed Media Art...a growing community of women who love to share their Art and Soul with one another. 

You can also sign up for my Weekly Newsletter...Heart Notes.  
Delivered every Thursday to your Inbox, Heart Notes is FULL of inspiration, journaling prompts and quotes to motivate you into living a full and intentional life!
You can find a sample a of what to expect here...

Join us each month for FREE art journaling challenges. Our March Challenge can be found here.

Now on to April's Challenge...

"I AM..."

You can find ALL the "I AM" statements at the top of my blog and in our Files section in Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed Media Art.

Like all our Challenges you can choose to create cards out  of them...art journal pages, a canvas....whatever you are inspired to do. With last month's challenge I created 31-4x6 index cards...


It was fast and so much FUN creating these!

For our April Challenge I have been inspired to create in my Faith Journal...a simple composition notebook from Wal-Mart that cost less than a dollar...

Here is our first "I AM" statement....


"I AM Persevering"

Along with the "I AM" statement I wrote what I am persevering in and what ONE area I am struggling with (still!). I have decided to make the challenge this month all about my faith and listening to Him.

 But remember...YOU make
it whatever YOU are inspired to!!!

Be sure and post your "I AM" cards, pages, journals in our FB group...we would LOVE to see what you do with them!!!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Organic Scribbles Inspired Art


"Life is a succession of moments.
 To live each one is to succeed."

Corita Kent, Artist

It's Week Two of my series Creating Dina Wakley Inspired Art.
This week I am playing with one of her latest stamp sets...




To be honest I just wasn't too sure how to use these stamps.
I was trying to come up with all sorts of creative ideas...
in the end I just let go and had so much fun! 
I can already tell this will be one of my "go-to" sets.

My first project is a page in my Dylusions journal.



See all those delightful scribbles
 on the lower left side of my page?

Another journal page...this time in
 Dina's new Mixed-Media Journal.




This time around I tried out the kraft paper...nice and sturdy so you can add so many layers.
On this page I chose to just 
and more scribbles. Other Dina stamps 
used can be found here and here and here.

Of course I had to create a couple of tags...they are always my favorite!!
Tags are a great way to "warm-up" when I am just not sure what I want to do.



The scribbles make this tag more visually interesting. LOVE it!!
And look how well Dina's Silhouettes go with it.
That's a Quote Chip by Tim Holtz in the center.

My second tags using Scribbles along with a Paper Doll from Tim Holtz.


And lastly I created a 6x6 canvas...


Dina's Stars and Phrases look perfect with one of my Angel Girls.
The pink tape with stripes is her Media Tape I painted myself...

And using one of her Scribble stamps I stamped around the edges using her Turquoise paint.


I invite you to watch my Organic Scribbles video on YouTube...
be sure and watch in full screen to see everything perfectly.



Thank you for stopping today!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Abstract Blooms Inspired Art


“We have to continually be jumping 
off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” 


Ever since I began creating nearly 10 years ago my whole world has expanded. From my Art friends on Facebook to women whom I've met face to face at Art Retreats...I feel so BLESSED to be a part of the Creative Community! 

I have several Artists whom have inspired me through the years...Kelly Rae Roberts, Melody Ross and Dina Wakley. Each one of these women (mostly without them knowing) have encouraged me to keep on making messes and bare my Soul through my Art.

The next six weeks I will be sharing FIVE projects each week using one of my favorite Artists products...Dina Wakley's latest Stamp Sets from Creativation. Along with her stamps I will be using her paints, stencils and her latest Mixed-Media Journal. It is AMAZING!!!

This week's Set is called "Abstract Blooms" 


This page was made in her journal on the heavy duty mixed-media paper. It also features several of her older stamps along with BLOOM from "Abstract Blooms". 


The lime green washi tape is one I created 

This set is so versatile...
The circles are from the Bloom set just with the leaves cut off.



This sweet 6x6 canvas reminds me to keep taking chances!!

I LOVE to create tags...Ranger's #8 tags are the PERFECT size...



If you look on the left side of the tag you will see Dina's Media Tape and more Blooms stamps!! Those girls are the new Paper Dolls from Tim Holtz!!

As soon as I saw this sweet little Bloom 
I knew it belonged on a 4x4 canvas.

These gorgeous colors are from Dina's Paints...they are SO SMOOTH!!!


 This will be going to a friend!!

And finally today another tag...
Here I used lots of Dylusion Sprays, Dina's Fractured Circles Stencil and more Blooms inspiration!!

 

Watch how I created all of these projects in my Weekly YouTube Video Series..."Creating Dina Inspired Art"...



Thank you for stopping by!!

Join my Facebook Community

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Creating a Small Canvas


Here is my latest YouTube video.

I hope you enjoy.






You are welcome to join our community on Facebook.

Have a GREAT day!!

xoxo

Monday, March 6, 2017

Creating Dina Inspired Art


“Everyone has been made
 for some particular work,
 and the desire for that work 
has been put in every heart.” 
— Rumi

The moment I found mixed-media art is the moment I KNEW I found my Calling. I have always felt deep in my Heart my Truthteller gently nudging me to encourage other women.

To inspire them to be everything they can be. 

To uplift them with motivating stories, quotes and Art as a pathway to healing and loving themselves again.

The minute I saw Dina Wakley's Art I KNEW that not only was I an Artist...but it was okay to TRULY be 100% ME.
I could be as messy...
as colorful...
as unstructured as I wanted to me.

I didn't have to know how to draw or what color to use and where.
I could just put paint on paper and CREATE.

To say I have a bit of an obsession with Dina's work and products is perhaps a bit of an understatement.
With each new product launch I am giddy and can't wait to start playing. This attitude along with her inspirational products is what moved me to start my next Blog and Video Series...

 "Creating Dina Inspired Art by Leslie Ackman"


Each week beginning Thursday,  March 9th I will be highlighting one of her stamp sets along with her new journal, Making Marks tools, paints, washi tape and Dina's Media Boards. 
We will begin with Dina's Abstract Blooms stamp set...

Purchase them here


Here is a sneak peak of what you can expect...


For this particular post 

Using Dina's paints in Blushing, Turquoise and Fuchsia I scrape paint on each tag...


Here is what they look like after adding stencils and ink...


Her Fractured Circles stencil is my new FAVORITE!!


For added texture using a palette knife I smeared Stucco Paint by Martha Stewart through one of Dina's stencils.


I just LOVE how it looks!!


Next I decide what stamps I will use on what tag. 
For the Abstract Blooms stamp set I decide on the tag I created without using stencils...


Instead I made my own Marks
with a bit of white paint and small tipped paintbrush.
I stamped the flower onto old book paper with Stazon Ink 
then cut out and glued onto tag.
I stamped the word BLOOM along the left side of tag, while stamping another word from her set GROW onto pink painted paper then cut out and adhered to tag. The final touch were the two ribbons at the top.

Another new stamp set by Dina is this one...

Words in Faces


This is the first of her scribbly faces series I have bought and am loving them!!!

First I stamped onto the back of the packaging...


...and cut out.

I chose to use Stay Strong...


Once glued on tag I knew it wasn't finished...

So I dripped blue ink from the top using my spray bottle (a tip I learned from Dina!),
painted my girl with Neocolor crayons,
and added three words from Tim Holtz.


Still it needed something else so I finished her with a heart and stamped the words HOLD ON from Dina's set and added a small pink butterfly on top of the tag. I love it!

The third stamp from Dina I used is Homage to Frida.



I absolutely ADORE these stamps!!!!!

Using my tag with texture paste on it I added one of the Frida stamps I had stamped on the packaging again and cut out...


She needed color, too so I using my Neocolors and water again I did just that. Aren't those orange flowers so pretty in her hair?!

I finished by adding black to my stencils with a black Fude Ball pen and words from Dina's set...paint your truth spill your story. LOVE that!!!! I can see myself using that one a lot!

My last tag for today is probably my favorite...I adore the messiness of it.All the drips and drops and smudges.

The Fractured Circles was used along with Dina's Turquoise and Fuchsia paints.


The stamp is from Abstract Blooms. Instead of ink I used more of Dina's Turquoise.
The cute girls are from Tim Holtz's NEW paper dolls! I am in love with these!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek of what's to come and JOIN ME Thursday for MORE Dina inspired art and a video!!!


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