Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Art and Give Away

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”  -Barbara Bush

What a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday we had!! Time spent with family...visiting, eating, playing, watching movies and shopping. It was pure bliss:) I hope each of you had the very best holiday as well.

Girls, I can't believe it!! I am coming up on my 600th post!! To celebrate I am having a GIVE AWAY!! Whoo Hoo!! More on that later this week.

It's been awhile since I've shown you my latest work. Here are just a few pieces I've finished in the past few weeks.

5x7 canvas

6x6 wood block

8x10 canvas

I am so inspired lately by yellows, aquas, pinks and bright greens. Adding more and more of those colors to my art and loving the results.
I work as the Elementary Art teacher Monday through Wednesday this week and then on Thursday at The Art Experience. Tuesday after school I've invited the 8-11 year old girls over for a Brave jammie party. We are watching Brave, wearing our jammies and munching on treats:)
Friday night is game night with friends and by Saturday I hope to decorate our home for Christmas. Any free time I have this week will be spent working on my Studio. In case you missed it on facebook I am in the process of moving it from downstairs to our top floor. I LOVE it!! There are big windows and a window seat!!! I am taking photos of the entire process process and will share when I am done. It's quite an undertaking but I want to create more and get serious about doing shows...this move will be awesome for my creativity!!!
One more thing...I am soooo excited!! My Mom bought me an early Christmas present this year...the Life Book class!!! I am BEYOND excited!!! Check this amazing class out here.
Girls...have a GREAT week! And stay tuned for my 600th post GIVE AWAY later in the week!!!
What colors keep showing up in your work lately???

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spreading My Wings

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist. ~Schumann

This past Sunday I participated in The Holiday Hunt...a hand-made art festival held in my hometown. I had been wanting to do this show for the past 2 years but chickened out everytime. But this year was different.

I did it!!

Girls, can I tell you how scared I was. Oh my goodness...the entire time I was setting up I just wanted to run!

As the other artists put the finishing touches on their booths all I could think about was how I didn't belong there. An artist??!?!

There was my Soul, laid out on the table for all the world to see.

My sweet girl, Em helped me put everything just so and added a bit of Christmas sparkle to my work.

I really loved how it turned out!!

Before the show opened the vendors were encouraged to visit one another's booths and shop...there were sooo many talented artisans from all over the Northwest Missouri and Southwest Iowa area.
When I got back to my booth a sweet lady was looking at my things. Imagine my surprise when she picked up one of my pieces and said she'd take it!! The show hadn't even started yet!!! I was on cloud nine:)

All art requires courage. ~Anne Tucker

The rest of the day was amazing!! I ended up selling over half of what I brought and made $150.00!!! It was my biggest show to date and inspired me to keep on living my dream. I also met sooo many people including three women with BIG DREAMS like mine!! I shared my vision of an art retreat with them and they were almost excited as me. And I was invited to participate in three shows and teach two classes!! It was an AMAZING day!!!

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

One more thing....


I am so grateful for each of you!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keeping Promises

Happy Friday, Girls!! So I thought I would give you a quick update on my life....
We have had some good news....we received half of what we need to pay our lawsuit and wired the money to Michigan. It sucks...I am not gonna lie. It is sooo much money and I just feel like it's a perfect example of the BIG guy picking on the little guy. FRUSTRATING. We still have so much left to pay and they wanted it last week...but for now we have band-aided the situation.

Okay....enough of the gloom. Life goes on and it is and once again despite all our mess I am happy.

I thought long and hard about my Word this week and keep coming back to


to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object): She promised to go tomorrow.
to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.): to promise help.
to make a promise of something to (a specified person): Promise me that you will come.
I know it's not descriptive like Brave or Courageous or Strong...but it's a Word that speaks to me. You see I made a PROMISE to myself last January that I would get through this year. I would stay the course. I would smile and be happy and never, spite of all the bad...lose my faith.
And I have kept that PROMISE.
For the most part.
I have.
I have learned to not center my life around shopping and having more. There is no more retail therapy in the Ackman house...and yes, I do miss it sometimes. Not gonna lie.
I have learned to be happy at home. We watch movies at home and eat at home and play games at home.
I have learned to cook and use everything in creative ways.
I have learned that my Father in Heaven truly does hear me.
So my Word for this time in my life is just fits.
How are you doing, girls?? Did you choose YOUR Word yet?? Please share in the comments or on our Facebook Page.
This Sunday is my first show in months...The Holiday Hunt. I am soooo excited!! I will take photos of all my NEW work and share next week...I have been branching out and I really love the new look.
Girls, you are all amazing. Oh and one more thing...I should hit 600 posts sometime next week!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Word Challenge Surprise! {and recap}

It's hard to believe our Word Challenge is over. For the past six weeks I hope you have enjoyed our Words, applied them to your life and will continue working on those areas that need your attention. Out of all of our Words the one I have the most trouble with is Simplify. I am a work in progress I

Here is a re-cap of the last six weeks along with a surprise Week Seven Challenge for you!!

Week One-Courage

Week Two-Embrace

Week Three-Stand

Week Four-Priorities

Week Five-Dare

Heart shape leaf on our farm

Week Six-Simplify

Beautiful flowers on our farm

I loved this Challenge and hate to see it come to an end. is one more WORD. It's not a Word I am going to give

This may be the hardest week of all. This week I want YOU to pick a WORD that defines you right now.

For some inspiration please read my post from April 2010. 

We are all in diffeent places in our lives right now. Some of us have never been happier and life is pretty good. For others this may be the worst time of your life but you have overcome and am moving on. Wherever YOU are...think about a WORD that describes YOU right now. Your feelings, the way you are living your life, your get the idea. Now this may take all week...I know I am not sure what Word I am choosing just yet. I will let you know later in the week. And as we have done throughout the past six weeks...take your Word...create an art journal page, a canvas or just write about it in your journals.

I would LOVE to know your Words, girls. Please share your Words and work in our FB group...Mind.Body.Soul.

Thank you so much for joining me in the Challenge!! I appreciate and look forward to seeing your work!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Simply Put

Sorry for my abscence this week!! Our computer has been acting up...but better today. I guess I am supposed to be simplifying my life...and just one blog post does the trick...LOL!

I have been thinking of what areas in my life need simplifying the's really the physical clutter in our home. I have gotten rid of so much over the past year...but still a ways to go. I know this Christmas will be a simple one for us. We just don't have the money this year...but you know...sometimes simple is best.

Speaking of money...we are still waiting for a miracle, girls. Please continue to pray for us. We are now facing 2 major involving our home. As scary and stressful as this all is...I am happy. My whole family is. We know we have each other and we are gonna get through it!!!

I can honestly tell you that I am closer with my kids today than at any other time in my life. My heart is filled with gratitude with all that I have learned this year. It hasn't been's been messy and hard...but so many blessings have come from our struggles.

How are all of you doing?? I think about each of you so often. Someday I want to have this HUGE and AMAZING art retreat and invite all of you!!!

Have a Simply Perfect weekend!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week Six!!

It's a HAPPY  Day, Girls!! It really, truly is!!!

Thank you all so much for your kind, heart felt words. They mean the world to me. I love you all and appreciate you!!!

Our computer is down so today I am on my Mama's. Thanks so much , Mom!!

It's hard to believe we are in the last week of our Words Challenge. What's been crazy for me is that every Word I have picked has been relevant to me that week...and I picked these words over a month ago!!

This week's Word is EXACTLY what I am thinking I need in my life right this minute and have been working on it!!


To make less complicated, clearer, or easier

With all we have been through this past year and with the Holidays coming up...this is MY Word for the next 2 months!!

This week let's make a list of everything we need to SIMPLIFY in our lives!!! 
If you have any tips you'd like to share to help us out...leave a comment, girls!!

Happy Creating!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's D-Day

Today is the day I have been dreading for months. For those of you that have been reading my Story this may recall that we have been in a lawsuit with a company my husband and I franchised over 20 years ago. It has been a long battle, one that has taken nearly all the wind out of our sails.

I thought I would wake up today with gloom and fear in my heart. You of right 10:12 a.m., with a 5:00 p.m. deadline looming...we don't have the money to pay for our settlement.

We just don't.

It's not because we haven't tried.
Goodness knows we have spent countless hours and many sleepless nights trying to figure out how we were gonna do this.

Last night was our 15th annual Halloween Harvest Dinner with my Mom at her home.

This was last years table!!

This is  a well loved tradition in the Ackman household!! It started when Jacks was 3 and Em was 6's something we look forward to every year.

Last night...we were all gathered around the table...tummies full of potroast, potatoes and pumpkin pie.  I sat there listening and watching as my family joked and laughed with one another. A feeling of complete peace washed over me. I mean there we were...on the eve of what we had come to call D-Day...and instead of wallowing in our misery we were laughing. I mean laughing so hard tears ran down our face.

 I looked from Jacks to Grams and Roger to Dave and Emma. All I could think about was how much this dear family of mine had been through in the past year. Sooo much sadness and heartbreak and struggles and trials. Days and nights of worrying and praying and pleading. Disappointments and fear.

And as I thought about all that... there was MY sweet, little family laughing and loving and enjoying one another. 

I could this be?? I never, ever dreamed we would be here...ever....again. I mean I was so down, girls this past year that I never thought I would be up again. I never thought my kids would make good choices again. I never thought we were gonna make it through. I never thought we could be so happy again that we could laugh as tears rolled down our cheeks.

But we did.
And we are.
And we have learned so much.

To meet defiantly; face courageously.

This is what DARE means, girls. And let me tell you...I am meeting this day and the rest of my life with courage.

 I refuse to let anyone take my Spirit away from me again.


I DARE to forgive and forget.
I DARE to laugh in the face of fear.
I DARE to love with my whole heart.
I DARE to pray.
I DARE to give my life to my Savior.
I DARE to Do it Anyway.

Last night, as I was sitting around that table...I realized that yes, these people can take our money, our home, our cars....but they can't have my family. They can't have my unwavering faith in my Lord Jesus Christ. They can't have my Spirit. 

I win.
They lose.

“It's daring to be curious about the unknown, to dream big dreams, to live outside prescribed boxes, to take risks, and above all, daring to investigate the way we live until we discover the deepest treasured purpose of why we are here.” 
― Luci SwindollI Married Adventure

Dare to Live a Life full of courage and purpose, Girls!!!