Thursday, May 31, 2012

Freeze Pops and Shakes and Pain-Oh My!

The past days my life is filled with popsicles, milkshakes and mashed potatoes. My dear little Em had her tonsils removed Tuesday and continues to feel miserable. Bless her heart. I do not like seeing my girl in pain.

During one of her marathon sleeping sessions {the pain meds knock her out} I finished cleaning, sorting and organizing my studio. Ahhh, it feels so good to have it done! Now I'm ready for all those art challenges I'm taking part in.

I have been in so much pain the past 24 hours. My neck and face pain has been almost unbearable. It hasn't acted up like this since last May. Oh, how I wish it would go away. When I'm like this it hurts to move, eat, keep my head up. Ugh. I've scheduled a massage for tomorrow morning. This will help tremendously.

I leave you with a piece of my Brave Art.

Never mind searching
 for who you are. 
 Search for the person
 you aspire to be.

  ~Robert Brault

Who do YOU aspire to be??

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer of Art

There are sooo many artsy things I am going to do this summer!! Really looking forward to the "Index Card a Day" Challenge on Daisy Yellow blog. Have you ever heard of Daisy Yellow?? I just found her a few weeks ago and love this woman!! So talented and inspiring!!! Go here to find out more about this fun challenge.

My friend Kristin's "Summer of Color" Challenge begins Monday!! It's amazing what you can create when motivated by color.

Be sure and stop by for MY Challenge that begins on Monday, too.

I intend on creating my way through Somerset Studio's Gallery magazine from last summer and would LOVE for you to join me!!

If you'd love to play along with me all summer long I would love to have you.

Here's how it will work....
1. Every few days I'll post a project from the magazine.
2. You can re-create the project exactly OR take something you love about it and create something totally different...this is all about sparking go wherever the muse takes you!
3. I will be posting my creation along with the original.
4. We will be using our Mind.Body.Soul. FB page to post our work if you want to play along.

Along with these fabulous challenges I have several pieces of art to create for customers as well as get ready for another craft show in September.


Oh, did I mention that I am working 6 weekends at our local creative place..."The Art Experience"? This Saturday is my first day...can't wait to see what we do!!

How about you?? What challenges and art projects have you got planned this summer?? Please share!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Say a Little Prayer for Em

Hey, Girls!! How was your Holiday Weekend?? Ours was fabulous!! My sweet cousin Jessica got married Friday night and my family was able to be there. It was a time of sweet family memory making....LOVE IT! Lots of photos to share later in the week.

I am still working on my summer schedule. I didn't realize I had already made so many commitments.

My sweet girl is getting her tonsils out Tuesday morning.

She has been so tired and sick for the past few months. As much as I hate the thought of her having surgery...I know she will feel so much better.

This week I am finishing up my studio cleaning.

Looking forward to art journaling, doodling and working on some pieces for customers.

What creative projects are you working on this week???  Please share!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cleaning, Art and a Decision

Summer is in full swing in the Ackman household. Not the lazy days of summer mind you...but the CRAZY days of Summer!!

We are headed out again this weekend. My sweet cousin, Jessica is getting married Friday night!! Jessica is one of those beautiful her and am looking forward to her special day:) We are headed to Springfield, Missouri in just a few hours and will be there until Sunday. Looking forward to more family time with Dave, the kids, my Mom, cousins and Aunt. Soooo excited!!!

I made time for ME yesterday. Spent a few hours in my studio CLEANING!! I really should have taken before pics but was too embarrassed. Seriously...a MESS!! I always enjoy going through my supplies, sorting and finding little bits of inspiration. So relaxing to me.

I made these ATC backgrounds a few weeks ago...

Instead of my usual acrylic I used watercolors. Love the softness watercolors provide.

I have a grand plan for these cute little cards....inspired by my blog friend Andria from "Drawing Near". I hope to work on these in the next week or so. I will keep you posted!!

In the past 2 weeks I have had so many orders for my Brave Art. It is humbling, really. Several of the projects involve using objects rather than canvas. I am looking forward to putting my ART on other mediums and will share as I go.

Oh and one more thing...

Yesterday I made a proclamation to myself and my family. I am done beating myself up over my house, the laundry, etc. I spend most of my days picking up and cleaning. To be honest...I am tired. I have dreams and goals and art and a LIFE to create!! 

So as of NOW I am letting go of my high standards of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and just going to be happy. So what if a few things are out of place? It's all good!!

And one more thing....

After spending time cleaning my studio and looking at all my work...

I realized I need studio hours!! 

Yes, I do!!! Sooooo, this weekend going to decide my times and post on Monday. Just making this one small decision feels like a huge step towards my creative dreams!!

Well, I am out of here. Off to family BBQ's and weddings and playing cards and sharing time with some of my favorite people.

So how about you have studio hours?? Please share how YOU make time for your dream!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This is the Life!

Happy Tuesday Girls!! I hope this post finds you happy and enjoying the first days of Summer!! The sweet photo above is my family at "Pirate Cove" mini-golf course in Osage Beach, Mo. We spent last weekend there and had a fabulous time!

Spooky pirate!!

Aren't these gorgeous?

We made the trip to support our son Jackson. He made it to the State Finals for the Optimist Club Speech Contest. We were so excited to get away!!  This is us having dinner at JB Hooks on the Lake. The contest was the next day.

I am proud to tell you that my son took FIRST PLACE!! 

He won a $2500 college scholarship!! We are so proud of Jackson!!!

Today is this sweet girl's 15th Birthday!!

Em at Dogpatch in Osage Beach

My Em is 15!! How in the world did this happen?? I remember her 1st Birthday like it was yesterday. Love you, Ems!!!

The rest of our week is filled with Soccer and traveling to Springfield for my cousin's wedding Friday night. Lots of fun going on this week.

I am looking forward to art journaling again very soon. And I am looking forward to my Summer Art Challenge!! I hope you'll join me starting June 4th.

What trips are you taking this summer?? Please share!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy and Refreshed

I am back!

I am refreshed,
happy and ready to go!!

We had an

So much to share and show you.

This was my very favorite
part of the trip!!!

See you all soon!

Friday, May 18, 2012

In Need of Change

My Brave Art

The Simple Life.
How I long to live it.
Always rushing from here to there...
From there to here.

I feel like my life is that
Dr. Suess book...
"Oh the Places We Will Go".

Always going and going...
only really going nowhere.

Just rushing.
Playing beat the clock.
Trying to fit it all in
but never really living the moment.

I am feeling the pressure
my kids are feeling the pressure.

Will Summer be different?
Will we be able to stop 
this crazy life?

I am in need of

Big time,
life altering

My weight has spiraled out of control.
The stress of all this going
has me up to 
my highest weight ever.

Nothing fits.

I am in need of a 

This weekend 
my little family is headed
to Osage Beach, Missouri.

It's a really fun
tourist town right on a 
beautiful lake.

My family and I 
need this break.
We need a 
of scenary.

We are going to 
cheer on my son Jackson.
He is competing in the State Level
Optimist Club Speech Contest.

Go Jackson 

This weekend
I am going to 

come Monday...

I will be ready 
for the 
I so need in my life.

I have been extra 
with this extra weight.

Extra sad
and tired.

But no more.

It is time to embrace a 
major mind-shift...
a heart-felt 
attitude adjustment.

I can do this.

My Brave Art

So here's to

Here's to
a beautiful weekend with my family.
Here's to my son Jackson!!

Best of luck, son!!
We love you!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Doodle-Do You??

My friend Sandi {fellow Brave Girl} is offering her very first e-course!! I am so proud of her!!! It's called..."I Doodle Do You?". There is still time to sign up for this awesome course!! Stop by and check it out today:)

You will learn how to doodle gorgeous sunshines, moons and so much more. Sandi's upbeat personality and excellent instruction will cheer you on. You'll be a doodling fool in no time!!!

I am taking this class {just getting started} and it ROCKS!!

Sign up here.

Do YOU doodle??

Monday, May 14, 2012

Embracing it All!

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!! My family and I had church then it was High School graduation, receptions and lots of visiting. We finally got home around 7pm. Dave cooked us steaks on the grill and we ate outside. Very nice.

I did a craft show on Saturday...very last minute! I worked nearly 20 hours on Friday getting ready for the event. You should see my studio...looks like a hurricane hit it...oh my heck!!!

I will share photos later:)

Thanks to everyone that got me your addresses...prizes are going looooong last!!

The next few weeks are CRAZY!!! Here is everything we have going on!!

*Sectional soccer game (away)
*Ozarks with Jackson for Optimist Speech State Contest
*Em's 15th Birthday and party
*My cousin's wedding in Springfield
*Possibly 3 more play-off games for soccer then STATE (the SAME weekend as wedding...3 hours away from wedding...)
*Em's surgery

WOW!!! It is NUTS!!

But I have decided to embrace it all and enjoy everything!!

Brave Art by me

Here are a few links I wanted to share...

The Summer of Colour is coming in just 3 weeks!! Join Kristin's inspiring challenge this summer!!

If you are looking for another FREE e-course...Ashton Elaine's is wonderful. Check it out!

If you know of any other awesome art challenges...please share in the comment section!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Art Challenge 2012

So yesterday I mentioned that this magazine from Somerset Studio was going to be my teacher this summer. I am sooo excited to share what I have planned!!

Remember this movie from a few summers back??

It is one of my very favorite movies and it's what inspired me to start "Words of Me Project". I just loved the whole idea of cooking your way through Julia Child's cookbook. And while I love to cook...I love creating a wee bit more.

So, I thought it would not only be fun but a challenge to "create my way through a book". I chose the Summer 2011 issue of Somerset Studio because it is filled with inspirational paper projects as well as many techniques I have never tried before. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Here are a pile of tiny canvas's I painted a few weeks ago. Today I finished them using inspiration from the magazine. I can't wait to show you!!!

If you'd love to play along with me all summer long I would love to have you. Here's how it will work....

1. Every few days I'll post a project from the magazine.
2. You can re-create the project exactly OR take something you love about it and create something totally different...this is all about sparking go wherever the muse takes you!
3. I will be posting my creation along with the original.
4. We will be using our Mind.Body.Soul. FB page to post our work if you want to play along.

I am excited at everything I will be learning this Summer!!!

Hope you'll join me:)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Moving on UP!

Me & Mom in The Old Market, Omaha.

The family 
is a haven
 in a heartless world.
 - Christopher Lasch

A few more photos to share from our Girl's Weekend to Omaha. Again...I am so grateful to my Mom for this amazing weekend!!

The Old Market in downtown Omaha is filled with art, music and so much charm!

Em thought this was pretty cool.

We stopped in a women's dress shop and found a man with this lizard on a leash!

Another pic of Em...this time in the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorley Zoo. 

We can't wait to go back with Dave and Jacks.

Spending time with those you love is so healing for the soul.

Hey...I need to tell you who WON our prize from Week 6!! Congrats to Annie Bella!!
Annie...please shoot me an e-mail with your

Everyone that won prizes throughout the course...I am getting everything in the mail by the end of this week. Soooo sorry for the delay.

A few more things before I go. My wonderful husband, the love of my life, my very best friend...

Dave and I have made a promise to one another. We are DONE. Done with the heartache and sorrow that has plagued us for months. Done with feeling sorry for ourselves. Done with the depression, the late night eating and pity parties.

We are READY to move on. 
To look at our life for what it is. 

A gift.

 A gift given to us from our Father in Heaven. 

Despite all that has been wrong in our lives these past few months...
we are still so very blessed.

 We have our family 
and our friends
 and our faith. 

That is all we need.

 It really is.

Oh...and one more thing. 

This oh, so inspirational Somerset Studio mag from last summer is THIS summer's teacher. Stay tuned for more on that.

How are you all doing???

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Needed That!

What happens when you go away for a couple of days leaving your everyday worries behind??

You get silly, happy people!

Oh, WOW! Did I ever need to be silly and goofy and laugh!! We did all that and more!!

I came home feeling revived and inspired.

Girls, Tuesday I will finally draw a winner from our last give away and I will get everyone's gifts in the mail. Thank you for your patience:)

More photos of our Girl's Weekend, my latest Brave Art and what I'll be doing that's sooo inspiring this summer!!!

Have you gone on a weekend getaway recently? Please share!!

Linking up with Mingle Monday!!!

Say Hi!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Light is Just Up Ahead

It has become clear to me why I write.

I write not only because I have to.
Not only because I love it.
Not only because if I don't I may just bust.

I write because it allows me to see.

What's inside my heart.
What is working in my life
and what is not.

I know that I am an original.
My life is an original.
My trials
My joys
My heartbreaks
are original to me.

I am a Masterpiece. 
One of a kind.
My Father in Heaven created me.

I have talents that are mine 
and no one else's.

for the first time in awhile

my heart feels full.

My Mom is one of the most generous women I know. She is taking Em and I away for three whole days!!

We are going to Omaha. We plan on spending Friday night at the Old Market, Saturday at the Henry Doorley Zoo and Sunday head back home. I am looking forward to spending time with my two favorite hearts.

Girls, my heart is bursting with gratitude for all of your kind words.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I can see that now.

My Beautiful Heartbreak

Yes, my last post was quite depressing. But in all honesty 2012 is my year of STORY. It's the year I promised myself {and you} that I would be truthful and share all that's in my heart. Both here and in my art.

I woke up early this morning to write in my journal. I have a delightful Kelly Rae journal and love it!!
I made a list of NEW goals to inspire me and help me through this emotionally difficult time in my life. Just that small act has me feeling a bit better.

There's an alternative.  There's always a third way, and it's not a combination of the other two ways.  It's a different way.  ~David Carradine

For the time being I must go a different way. I must know that this too shall pass. I am reminded of the words of a great leader in our church, Henry B. Eyring:

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.10 And He always keeps His word."

I am also reminded of my very favorite song by Hillary Weeks. If you haven't taken the time to watch and LISTEN to this...PLEASE do today!!! There are times I listen to it over and over again. It lifts me up when I am at my lowest. 

I have a mountain in the middle of my road right now. I have been trying to go around it...but in reality I MUST go through it. I must climb it no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it gets.

Is my faith strong enough?

It is.

I know that my Lord DOES pick up the pieces.

When I am in pain and my heart feels like it's about to break....

I KNOW my Savior is here for me. Lifting me up.

He is here.

You are here.

I am so grateful.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Embracing the Hard Times

Worry never robs
 tomorrow of its sorrow,
 it only saps today 
of its joy.

  ~Leo Buscaglia

Life has been CRAZY.
No time to blog

My stress level

Some days
I want to 


I mean have a full-blown,
sob in my pillow,


Page from my art journal.

I can't think of 
any other time in my
life when I was
more stressed

This past 
I have 
been thinking




My art journal

A peacefulness 
follows any decision, 
even the wrong one. 

 ~Rita Mae Brown

I need to
the good
the bad
the ugly.

I need to fall in love with my life again.

My art journal

People often say 
that this or that person 
has not yet found himself. 
 But the self is not 
something one finds, 
it is something one creates. 

 ~Thomas Szasz, "Personal Conduct," The Second Sin, 1973