Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding Your OWN Style & June Challenge

Aim at nothing and you'll succeed. -Anonymous

May has been a whirlwind of activity...from cleaning our home, having a yard sale, celebrating a birthday and planting flowers...it seems like everyday is another new big adventure. This can be oh so good...but there are times I wish for a bit more down time to contemplate who I am, what I want and where I'm going. Do you ever get this way? Do you feel like your swimming in a big ole' lake and the harder you kick and flap your arms the more you sink?

I recently subscribed to the on-line magazine "The Phoenix Soul". Each month Amanda (the brilliant creator of the magazine) features a Word-themed zine with 60 pages of uplifting and soul-stirring essays, poems, prompts and more. Our Word for May is Vitality. If you are interested go here to purchase yours!

Vitality...I don't think I have felt that in years. Seriously...life has been overwhelming and incredibly draining the past 4 years. But you know Amanda (along with her very talented writers) could not have picked a better Word for me to focus on this month...they made me realize that THAT is exactly what's been missing in my life and I WANT some right now!

Vitality...capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence

Yep...I want to live a meaningful and purposeful existence...don't you?!

I have noticed in shift in my art...the way I go about it and the way I create it. It's quite exciting...for you see I am finally creating MY style. Not Flora style or Melody style or Sarah style...not the way all those amazing artists do in Art journaling magazine...no I am creating Leslie Style. It's opened a whole new world for me and inspired me beyond any blog post or challenge or magazine article has.

The other day I noticed my sweet daughter, Emma had written on an index card I have clipped on my desk...it's a quote I want to use on a canvas and I had written "Flora Bowley Style". My very wise daughter crossed that out and well...you can see what she changed it to....

That really hit me!! Why have I always tried to venture away from MY style and copy someone else's? Why do YOU?

Since the beginning of January I have really found my artistic groove and I am LOVING it!!!! 

No longer confined by the box I put myself in...I am creating FOR ME...using what I LOVE...words, bright colors and vintage images.

I am finding the more I create this way...the more creative I become! 

Here is my latest canvas featuring Audrey Hepburn, acrylic paints, spray inks, stencils, white gel pen, my favorite letter stencil, pearls and a bright orange butterfly I picked up at The Dollar Tree. 

"Keep seeking for the truth...everyday."

I love how it turned out so much that it now hangs in my studio:)

Girls...June 1st is just around the corner and it's TIME for a NEW Challenge! To go along with my newfound vitality I find myself putting more and more energy into my DREAMS...especially one...my DREAM of writing. Oh I have many more as I am sure YOU do!! The best way I know how to make our DREAMS a reality is to write them down...or better yet...ART JOURNAL them!! June is all about journaling our DREAMS into reality!
So excited for June's Challenge!! Be on the lookout for inspirational quotes, pages and other ideas to help YOU reach YOUR DREAMS!

**No need to sign up for our June Challenge
**Go to our Facebook page to share your Dream journal pages and find lots of inspiration
**NEW this month...Happy Mail Give Aways!! Anyone participating in the Challenge has a chance to win a very nice Happy Mail full of vintage photos, buttons, words, etc. from ME!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.P.S. I Love You

Monday, May 11, 2015

Paint Your Own Stickers

"Inspiration comes in a moment of no control."  -Andrea Kreuzhage

Sometimes (more often than not it seems) when I venture into my studio with every intention to create a beautiful, inspirational masterpiece...nothing comes. I sit and stare at my rainbow of paints, baskets of stamps and stencils, spray inks and vintage images...and...


It can be so frustrating. And yet during those times I do something. Painting backgrounds is one of my favorite things to do. So easy and organic. I can just let my mind roam free...relaxing, thinking, working whatever is on my mind out.

One day while doing this inspiration struck. I enjoy swapping happy mail with other artists and in one of my packages I had received hand painted label stickers...GENIUS! So I grabbed a pack I bought at the Dollar Tree and set out to make my own.

154 labels for a buck...how great is that? These were a bit small and next time I will get wider ones...but for this little experiment they were perfect.

I started by laying out a dozen label sheets and randomly painted turquoise and yellow on them.

I then selected a third favorite color and added.

After they dried the fun part began...stamping! I have so many stamps (and love them all!) but instead of taking time to choose which ones I would use...it was fun just picking the ones nearest to my workspace. I made sure to use Stazon Ink so they wouldn't smear.

Another photo...

The last step was taking my white Uni-Ball Signo and black Fude pens and adding words and doodles.

Next time I will use letter stamps, too.

My daughter's favorite color combo:)

Not only were these label stickers too fun to make but they have inspired me to keep trying new substrates to work on and have added to my Happy Mail stash!!

(If you would like to trade Happy Mail with me...let me know in the comments below. It's so fun!!)

Are you playing along with our Circle That Challenge in our FB group?? It's all about using circles in our art journals, ATC's, scrapbooks, index cards this month! If you haven't joined our FB group...you really should! It's a great way to connect with other artsy souls!! Go here so I can add YOU! 

Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else. -  Natalie Goldberg

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Finding My Passion Again! (70 Day Commitment)

At my weigh in last week at Curves I didn't lose anything...that darn scale. I despise it! But if there is one thing I have learned in ALL my years of dieting...the scale should not be an indicator of your success. Now if I can just get myself to believe that:) So, yeah, no weight loss but boy oh boy am I excited about what I HAVE accomplished! I am finding my PASSION again!! I forgot how INCREDIBLE it feels to walk so fast that you have sweat dripping off your nose. To push yourself till you feel like there is no way you can keep going...but you do.

That's where I am today.

I'm on a roll...walking fast, pushing myself up hills, working out at Curves and then walking some more. I can FEEL my body getting stronger. I can FEEL my confidence level rising.

Tomorrow is another weigh-in day. I honestly don't know what that scale will say...but what I DO know is I wouldn't trade this feeling of being physically stronger for a drop on the scale. I know from past training when my fitness level increases I naturally start dropping the weight. There is no doubt I still need to clean up my diet. I am a work in progress...but today I see myself walking FORWARD rather than BACKWARD.

I am cool with that:)