Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I am HOME!!! {and happy to be so}

Hello, my dear friends. I am HOME! What a happy day for me.

I am a girl that THRIVES on routine. Love it.

Washington D. C. was AMAZING. We saw soooo many wonderful things including...

Mt. Vernon
The Smithsonian Art Museum...{soooo inspiring}
Went shopping "uptown"
And of course we spent 13 hours at the steps of  the Lincoln Memorial {more on that later}

I am so very happy to be home. Back to blogging, back to reading your blogs. So much to catch up on!!

Remember if you participated in the 31 Days Challenge PLEASE email me at 


I have something to send you!!!!

And to my friend Leanne...I saw your questions and I will answer them in a post within the next few days!!!

Can't wait to catch up, girls:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vacation {Days 30 & 31}

"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 Csikszenthihalyi

A little over a month ago I had this idea for 31 Days. Not only did I want to share an idea with you everyday to spark your interest in writing, creating or just "being"...but I wanted to challenge myself to do those things as well.

I hope I have succeeded.

This Challenge for me has been extremely energizing and exactly what I needed to kick my creative self into high gear.

"There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation."  -Henri Bergson

If you finished the Challenge, participated in the Challenge, wrote down the Challenges...please send me an e-mail with your address. I have a sweet, little book I created for you!!!  E-mail me @    leslieackman@yahoo.com

Creative Challenge Days # 30 & 31: Take time over the next 2 days and list all things creative you accomplished during the Challenge. Finish up any projects you started, too. Congratulations on finishing!! Be sure and let me know if you participated in the Challenge by sending me a message with your address!! I have a surprise for you;)

Girls, I am out of here for the next 7 days. My family and I leave for Washington D.C. Tuesday morning. We are looking forward to our trip of a lifetime!!!

I will be back next week. So much creative stuff coming your way in the next few months...excited!!!!

Busy, Busy Day {Day 29}

It's Monday!! And as much as I LOvE Fridays...I love MOndays, too. It's like a blanket of fresh snow.

This MOnday will be a bit more hectic than most. We are packing for our trip to DC. We leave in the morning and are sooooo excited I don't  know how we're gonna be able to sleep tonight;)

Before the day is done or sometime in the morning I will be posting one more time then I'm off for 7 days. I'm sure I'll have much to talk about and dozens of photos to share. If you are a friend on FB I will be posting frequently, sharing our adventures.

Here is today's Challenge...

Creative Challenge Day #29:Only 3 more creative Challenge's left, girls. The month has gone so fast! Today will be spent packing for our DC trip and getting the house all picked up before we leave in the morning. However I still plan on squeezing 10 minutes of creative time in just because it makes me happy! Why not ta...ke 10 minutes for yourself doing whatever it is that de-stresses you and puts a smile on your face:)

And remember to leave a comment here, letting me know if you have participated in the Challenge!! eAch of you will be receiving on of these from me:)



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Road Trip, {Day 27}

One week from today my family and I will be here...at the Restoring Honor Rally at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. 

We are soooo excited!

We are teaching our children that it's important to STAND UP for what you believe in.

We, as Americans, no matter what your political views are, your religious beliefs, the color of your skin or your economic background...each one of us has a God Given Right to STAND UP and let our voices be heard.

I am PROUD to be an AMERICAN.

I am THANKFUL that in our great Nation each one of us is allowed to express our own beliefs.

We should be able to have our own opinions and discuss, in a civilized way, our differences.

In today's volatile, political environment I was hesitant in sharing our trip on my Blog. It is not my intent to offend anyone but rather to share my life with you.

That's what I do here...share the bits and pieces that make me...ME.

I believe in STANDING UP for what I believe...

But I also believe that you should STAND UP for what YOU believe...even if we don't agree.

Ok, on to our CHALLENGE!! I really love this one:)

Creative Challenge Day #27 Today's Challenge extends through the weekend. I want you to choose a THEME WORD for the weekend. Mine is AUTHENTIC. I want to be AUTHENTIC all weekend! Be me. Do those things that align with who I really am. What WORD will you be this weekend??

Friday, August 20, 2010

So fun Surprise!

Be sure and let me know if you are participating in the 31 Days Creativity Challenge. I have a little something for you;)

{Day 26}

As the Challenge winds down I'm finding myself not able to spend the time I'd like being creative. I am still writing and planning and dreaming...but not always able to be in my space in the zone.

When I'm stressed the zone just doesn't happen...know what I mean?

I am feeling stressed...

Give your stress wings and let it fly away.  ~Terri Guillemets

Today, I'm gonna take a deep breathe and imagine my stress fluttering away up into the clear blue sky.

Oh and stress? Yeah, I want you to stay away...

for a loooooooong while....

Creative Challenge Day #26: Thank goodness it's FRIDAY! Today I need it!!! Today I want you to make time to write in your journal. Write down any and all frustrations you have about anything...I find when my heart and mind is bogged down with all that negative energy it is nearly impossible to be creative. Try it and see how much better you feel;)


Happy Friday Girls!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School is IN session {Day 25}

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

So, yeah...today my kids are back in school.

Jacks is a Sophomore.

Em is an 8th grader.

And while a big part of me felt like I needed an asylum just a few days ago...

today, watching them get ready to leave...

my heart ached a bit...

Each one of my kids is such a special soul.

Jacks is independent. outspokem, brash, dramatic and a jokester.

Em is sweet, fiery, loud, outspoken and a bit over the top :).

I love them so much...

On to today's Challenge...less than a week to go!!!

Creative Challenge Day #25: Today, with the kids back in school I plan on working on a project I started last week. Do you have something you've put off doing for lack of time? Why not take today and put a few more touches on it or try something new!! Let me know how you're doing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just what I needed {Day 24}

Yesterday, if you stopped by...you may have noticed I seemed just a wee bit



worn out.

I was.

I think I'm feeling better now.

My Challenge to you was to just listen to your soul and let it be your guide for the day. What did it want you to do.

All day my soul was telling me it wanted rest.

It wanted solitude.

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.  ~K.T. Jong

When our lives seem to be spinning our of control and are surrounded by chaos...this is when we need to stop and hear the whispers of truth

My energy level was low yesterday. To top it off it rained for most of the afternoon. My soul was telling me to put on my jammies and head downstairs for a leisurely few hours of creating.

However, there was too much to do including a trip to St. Joe for Jackson's orthodontist appointment. 

Strangely enough, it turned out to be a restful trip.

Jackson spent the 40 minute drive texting friends while I just let my mind wander about. 

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.  ~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

Okay, so I wasn't just sitting, I was driving...but it was peaceful. I thought about all kinds of things...but mostly I thought about blog post ideas, project ideas and my goals for the fall {which I will be sharing here in a few weeks} 

After the appointment  I treated myself to a trip to Borders Bookstore where I found the most amazing book on collage techniques!! I can't wait to try all 24 ideas!!! It's like a "collage school". Exciting:)

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that's where I renew my springs that never dry up.  ~Pearl Buck

Here is today's Challenge...

Creative Challenge Day #24:Today's Challenge may seem odd. But today I want you to go for a walk! Nearly 13 years ago fitness became an almost daily occurrence for me. My walks are almost sacred. I say that because of the way they make me feel. Refreshed, de-stressed and usually very, very happy. Many times I'm inspire...d during my walks. Getting our hearts pumping can give our creativity a boost!



What are your thoughts on solitude? When do you find yourself needing it the most? Please share!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Award, I'm tired! {Day 23}

Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.  ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

Okay, so while I am getting enough sleep {most nights} I feel myself getting edgy, restless and like I'm on the road to Crankville {you can read about this magical place here}

It has been awhile since I've had alone time.

Time in my home to blog, to clean, to do laundry, to fix lunch, to watch my favorite afternoon show {a post coming soon} and to create without the blessing of my family present.

You know I love my family. LOVE them.

Most of my days are filled serving them, loving them, laughing with them and cheering them on.

But I must admit. School sounds really good right now.

I enjoy having my home all to myself 6 hours a day.

I love puttering around...listening to my tunes, doing what I do.

School starts Thursday...;)

I just gotta tell you....my sweet, talented and awesome blog friend Angie gave me this last week!!!

Now I have to share with you 10 random facts about me. Too fun:)

1. I am an 80's movie junkie. Some of my favorites include:

Urban Cowboy
St. Elmo's Fire
Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
An Officer and a Gentleman
The Jazz Singer {just re-watched over the weekend}

2. I am scared to death of water. I mean I get CRAZY scared on bridges or whenever we are on a road and there is water around us...I FREAK out!! I can barely drive across bridges...seriously.

3. While I'm on the subject of freaking out I have a worse phobia than water and bridges...I am totally FRIGHTENED by anything BIG. Like planes, bridges, tall buildings...it is really BAD when I'm driving by something big. I get vertigo. True story...last summer in Utah I was driving on I-15 in Ogden headed to the mall. I took the wrong exit so I needed to get back on the freeway. I was doing pretty good. I turned my blinker on to go left to get an on ramp. Now keep in mind traffic is NUTS!! I go to turn left when BAM...I see not one, not two but about FIVE HUMONGOUS airplanes. It was an Air Force Base and in order for me to get on the ramp I was gonna have to drive towards the planes which, by the way, were facing the interstate. I began to sweat, I shook and I SLamMED on my brakes!! With rush hour traffic! My family was like what the heck! I froze. My heart was racing!! Dave had to talk me out of my panic. All the time cars were honking and whizzing by me. Eventually I calmed down and made a right to a gas station. It was horrible!

4. I don't like chocolate much. Never have. {i know Angie and Leanne have a hard time being my friend with this fact-LOL}

5. I had every lead in every play in High School.

6. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!!!

7. I have too many purses!

8. I have a collection of those little tees with silly sayings. That's what I wear most days. {another post!}

9. These awards mean so much to me! 

10. I think I talk too much;)

Okay...so now that you know I'm half crazy...I get to pass this award on to FIVE blogs!! 

Now, girls. This is always the hardest part for me. You see I love all your blogs. Each and everyone. But I must pick 5 so here goes...

1. My new bloggy friend Jodi from The Opened Door. I have been inspired so much by her art, her faith and the fact that she is conducting her first e-course this September {which i am taking}

2. Cindi from So, That's Why. I met Cindi through my blog friend Leanne. Cindi has inspired me to just be who I am when it come to my art. I don't even think she knows that;). But she has. I love her digi-art and hearing about her family.

3. My sweet Soraya from My Heartful Life. I met her through Kelly's e-course and my world has been so different. I see things in a way I hadn't before. She writes from the heart and her art is so gentle and sweet.

4. Twinkle, Twinkle is another blog I found through Kelly's class. Kristin creates, writes and speaks out of love. Just a magical place!!

5. Finally Bev from My Awakened Heart. I love her story...about how she came to creating. It is so inspiring. I love her work and she has become a dear friend.

Like I said...it is so hard to narrow this down to 5 of you. I read each of your blogs and am a better person because of it!

On to today's challenge. Only a few more days left of the Challenge!

Creative Challenge Day#23: First of all...is it school yet? I am ready. It has been chaotic the past few days...I NEED some ME time!! Desperately...Today I want you to take ME TIME and do whatever your soul is longing for. Maybe a nap. Maybe a movie. Maybe your journal. Maybe a good book. Maybe creating. Let your soul decide.


What does your soul need?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Exciting! {Day 22}

Happy Monday, girls. I love Mondays...time to start fresh. 

Well, only 9 days left of the 31 Days Challenge. Overall I am thrilled with what I have accomplished. So much creativity going on here;)

Here is today's Challenge...

Creative Challenge Day #22:Create a scrapbook layout or collage using the following prompts..."A turning point:To what or whom do you owe your position in life today?" "A class:Can you recall a course that took your career or interests in a new level?" "A hobby:How has your life been enriched by a decision to embark o...n a new pasttime?" (from CK magazine, April 2006)



I want  you to make a "Daily Excitement List". It's from the article "How to Enthuse Your Muse" by Gail McMeekin. Here's what she says...


"Detail your passion and commitment to your creative project. What fascinates you and motivates your art? How does your art matter to other people or to the world? Read this list when you're stuck or stalled."



Have you ever even thought about creating a list like this? I hadn't till reading this article. I mean I have never detailed my passion or my commitment to what I do. Not even my writing which is passion number 1. 


So today, I'm gonna take out my journal and come up with something. I will be sure and share later in the week.


Let me know how you're doing.


Oh and one more thing. Check out my friend Leanne's Blog today. I LOVE her idea {and know you will, too}

Sunday, August 15, 2010

{Day 20} {Day 21}

I was gone Friday and Saturday...we had a wonderful family weekend! 

In case you didn't see Day 20 on my FB page here it is...

Creative Challenge Day 20: I am on the road...still 3 hours from home. Today's challenge was inspired. Think of your creative mentor and write down everything that inspires you about them. Creative minds can keep us moving on the right path. 


I met someone who really changed my perspective on my own abilities. Very exciting!! I will share this later in the week!

Here is today's Challenge...

Creative Challenge Day #21: There is only 10 days left to the Challenge...Crazy!! I have been gone for a few days and too busy to be in my art space for any length of time. So tonight I am gonna hang out there and just pitter patter around, go through some stuff and maybe paint a few backgrounds and collage. I want you to do the same today...enjoy your space, your supplies and just take everything in.


Happy Sunday!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ta-Da! {Day 19}

 Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. I think how many times have I been like Alice, refusing to believe I could become a runner.

I could finish a marathon

I could swim.

I could write a column.

I could finish college.

I could believe in myself.

Thank you to my dear, sweet and very talented friend Leanne from "Chaos Comes Happiness" who designed my Blog header and made everything about my Blog just better. You are amazing, girl!:) 

I love today's Challenge. Not only is it sooooo fun...but it's ongoing. It's something you can do while sitting on the couch watching your favorite TV show. And it's something you will use in so many of your projects:) 

Creative Challenge Day #19:Today I want you to begin collecting WORDS. Find a manila envelope, a folder, anything you can put your WORDS into. You can jot down words on paper scraps or find them in magazines and books and cut them out to use on your projects. I have found some old books at yard sales this summer for a ...quarter and enjoyed going through them, cutting out words for future projects. Have fun!


I am having one of those brain lapses today. I just KNOW there was something I wanted to share with you...but for the life of me I can't remember. Hmmmmm...maybe tomorrow-LOL


In the meantime...I have my WORDS to post from the past few weeks and more projects, too. Those will come sometime next week. Also I have a NEW "Make My Monday" interview you won't want to miss.

Don't forget about my give away, girls!! A bag filled with handmade tags, shapes, ribbons and WORDS! Leave me a comment, Like me FB and become a follower for multiple entries. I will draw a winner August 24th.

I will leave you with a bit of inspirations from Gail McMeekin. Last week we talked about one way we can "enthuse our muse" is by listening to music.
Today's tip is...

"Pracatice Suspension". Postpone all judgements and send your inner critic on vacation. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and to take positive risks with your work. Approach your creative process fearlessly. Ask yourself what "out of the box" strategies you'll try next." -Gail McMeekin


This is a hard one, huh? 


How many times do we think about a project, get all excited by it then when we do finally start that voice in our heads says "What the heck do you think you are doing? You can't paint, or draw or__________!!"


I am bad about this. Especially the "making mistakes" part. There are so many new and exciting techniques and mediums I want to begin playing with...but I'm scared. Scared I'll just create one big mess. 


This Challenge has helped silence that critic a bit. Painting my backgrounds, using charcoal and sharing each day with you has really been like telling my inner critic to GO TAKE A HIKE!



What about you? What does your inner critic tell you? What are ways you silence it? Please share...and be sure and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing! As always, girls. I appreciate you and look forward to reading and learning and growing from your blogs!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Projects and Values {Day 18}

So, how is the 31 Days Creativity Challenge going for you? I know it is a busy time but I do hope you have added more creativity to your life in the past few weeks {even if it hasn't been everyday}. The Challenge, for me, has been amazing. Ever since I began scrapbooking nearly 13 years ago I have struggled with taking time to do my craft. I do believe, at long last, creativity will be more than just a daily thought. It will be a way of life and that is what my goal was.

Throughout the past few weeks I find myself not only doing my crafts, but looking at my world differently. When I look at nature, a magazine, my home, a book, whatever it may be...

I see inspiration.

I see what could be...

I see something that could be used in a painting or a page or a new way to arrange my home.

Today I want to share a few projects I've finished, today's Challenge a few other fun bits.

This was the Challenge from Day #12 where I asked you to take a favorite shape or buttons or flowers or whatever you wanted and repeat it. I love butterflies....

I won this butterfly bunch years ago at a crop in Kansas City. At the time I didn't think I would ever use it. Now it's become my signature!

Do you recognize this paper? It's one of my backgrounds from the Artistic Mother Challenge.

I cut those flowers out of a piece of patterned paper from Fancy Pants and that darling, little bird is a stamp from October Afternoon.

On Day #5 I ask you to make a Top 50 list of things you love. Then on Day #8 I ask you to create a layout using on of your "loves". Here is mine...

{i apologize for the bad photo...it's hard to photograph a double layout} This is a 2-page layout featuring my son Jackson and our very special day we spent together.

On the top left I used stickers to spell out "Things I Love"...{Time With Jacks}. 

Jackson and I spent one afternoon in St. Joe at the arcade and Target. It was a particular hard time for my son...he was getting made fun of a lot here and really needed something good in his life. Imagine how thrilled we both were when he WON nearly 1,000 tickets!!:) He got a framed poster of Homer Simpson...

Yesterday I invited you to write down 50 things you value. Remember value=importance, worth. I haven't come up with 50 yet...but I made it to 33. Here are a few of mine...

1.A good night's rest
2.Time spent one on one with my kids and Dave
3. My walks with Kristin
4.Volunteering my time at church
5.creating, reading, writing
6.quality time with my Mom
7.Having a healthy body
8.supporting my kids in their activities
9.Our constitution and helping preserve it
10.our home

Just looking at these ten Values I know where I should be spending my time. I know what I will commit to and what I will say "No" to.

That's a good feeling.

I have two projects I'm excited about. They involve these...

I am gonna show you step by step what I do with them. Stay tuned...

Challenge Day #18:Remember those scrappy kits I encouraged you to make Day #13? Well, if you haven't had time to do that...get to it. I know I was gone most of that day so I want to create at least 2 kits this afternoon. If you did happen to get a few done...take time today to start one of your kits. I would love to se...e your work. Post it on your blogs and send me a link!!!


Have a great day, girls!

Spend time with your kids, your spouse, yourself.

Spend time doing those things you value.

One more thing...I snapped this photo of my sweet, Gizmo this morning. He just brightens my day. And he is always with me while I write my posts.:)

 Oh and...how could I forget? I promised you another give away since we are over 100 Followers now sooooo...

*Leave a comment here for one chance
*Follow for a chance
*Like me on FB
*Share the Creativity Challenge on YOUR blog

What is up for grabs??

How about another collage pack? I will have homemade tags, papers, punches, ribbons a few other things!!!

Oh AND {lol} I have a NEW blog look coming soon:)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Do You Value {Day 17}

After spending 24 hours with my darling Emma I am ready to give more of my time to her this year. 

I mean who wouldn't want to spend time with this beautiful soul?

These darling photos were taken by one of my best friends Rochelle. Didn't she do a GREAT job?

{Em is laughing here because, you see, as Rochelle is snapping away there are cars whizzing by...This old train bridge happens to be on our main street-LOL. Em was so embarrased!}

Em and I drove Jackson to Nauvoo, Illinois for church camp-EFY. After dropping him off in the morning she and I spent the day shopping, eating, laughing and just being together. It was GREAT!

Life gets so busy I forget just how blessed I am to have my daughter.

"A mother's treasure is her daughter." -- Catherine Pulsifer

On the 4 hour drive home yesterday I thought a lot about our time together, what we talked about and how I spend my time.

Our Day #11 Challenge was to keep track of  where you spend your time, remember?

I spend a lot of my time on the computer, cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, watching TV and worrying how I'm gonna get it all done. That's why this 31 Days Creativity Challenge has been so important to me...I want to make sure I'm doing something everyday that inspires and refreshes my soul. I need that.

Today's Challenge goes beyond how you spend your time. Today's challenge deals with what it is you VALUE.

relative worth, merit, or importance: the value of a college education; the value of a queen in chess
So VALUE =importance, worth
We have 24 hours each and everyday.

24 hours to work, clean, be with loved ones, pursue our passions.

This week I realized I spend too much of my time doing things that are not important to me or my family. {watching DVR'd talk shows, cooking shows,etc., surfing the net reading mindless junk from Hollywood, checking and rechecking FB, my blog and e-mails}

I am not saying it's not important to check FB or my blog...it's how much I check them that's the problem.

So on today's Challenge...

Challenge Day #17:Write a list of 50 Things you VALUE in your life. Promise yourself that as we enter a new season {Autumn} only those things on your list are what your energies will go into. 


 I am going to take today and list in my journal the 50 Things I Value. 

Just to let you know some of the creative stuff I've been up to...



Since I was gone for a few days I wasn't able to create anything. However I did purchase the lastest "Where Women Create" magazine. Oh WOW!! Why haven't I bought this sooner? Amazing!! {and i've only read the first few pages}

So, while I haven't created anything I've been writing blog posts, journaling and thinking like crazy!! Coming up with ideas for Words of Me Project, projects and more:) 


One more thing...remember to let me know if you are taking the 31 Days Challenge. Even if you only wrote each Challenge down to do later...let me know. I am working on something special for each of you:) Please lave a comment below!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This is so late {Day 16}

Just got back from Nauvoo and Fort Madison...

No, I didn't forget the Challenge for Day #16...I have been out of town:) Sooooo....since it is so late in the day...here is something simple: write an entry in your journal on all the creative things or writing things or quiet times you've had in the past 16 days that really spoke to you....that you want to do again.


A post tomorrow and photos of what I've been doing:)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quiet time {Day 14}

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.  ~John Muir

Challenge # 14: Today take the time to just BE....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Having Fun {Day 13}

So, my very bestest HS friend and her DARLING family spent yesterday with us. So much fun!! What a hoot it was to go through my Senior Book last night....soooo many memories!!

What I have learned from this is....

Sharing our stories, writing them down, scrapbooking....this all means so much!!

I mean we both agreed we would have never remembered all this stuff without my Senior Book.  Our kids were laughing and both of mine are ready to begin creating their own school memories scrapbook now. I am gonna help them get started:)

Girls, telling the stories of our lives is IMPORTANT.

Telling our silly, giggly, stories is sooooo worth it {especially 25 years from now}

Tell your stories!

Here is today's Challenge...

Challenge#13: take that stack of photos you organized the other day and turn them into your very own scrapbook kits. I began dong this nearly 10 years ago. So fun! Gather a grouping of photos, paper, embellishments, a layout idea and your journaling. Put everything in one of those 2.5 gallon plastic bags. Then when you have some time just grab a bag and get to work!


I love your girls so much. I appreciate your support  of this 31 Days Challenge!! I sure hope you are learning and growing and having a blast!

I am off to spend another day with Rhonda...talk to you Sunday

And do something to get your story told today!!