Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Face to the Sun Quick Art Journal Page

face to the sunshine two page spread

For me, this means keeping my eyes on God!

This was just a quick and fun art journal page using a background technique I just learned.

  1. Gesso the page.
  2. Cover with a light paint.
  3. While paint is still wet, flick water on the page.
  4. Use heat tool to heat the paint but stop before the water flecks dry.
  5. Lay a towel over it and soak up the water spots, leaving white spots where the water was.
  6. Dry with heat tool.
  7. Cover with second paint, darker color than the first.
  8. Repeat the process.

Willingness to Follow?

IMG_2841 with quote


This morning I read a blog post by one of my favorite Christian authors and “virtual” friend, Courtney Walsh. While seeking God’s answers for some things in her life, she said she felt like God “dropped this revelation in her lap.” As I shared with Courtney, isn’t it amazing how sometimes God’s “revelation” to us is just exactly what someone else needed to hear, and God provides the opportunity for His revelation to become helpful to others as well as to us. I needed to hear this today.

Using Courtney’s quote, I overlaid it onto a photograph that I took last fall, in Breckenridge, Colorado, while standing on the deck of the cabin we had rented.

Sometimes I think we are so busy expecting God to DO His part that we forget that OUR part may involve a willingness to DO something that may be quite out of our “comfort zone.”

Lord, strengthen my faith, and teach me to be willing to do my part, as I’m asking you to move on my behalf.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tag Reminders for “Guardrails” Study

group tags with border

My husband and I lead a Small Group at our church. Our next study will be Andy Stanley’s “Guardrails.” It is a fantastic, practical study. I decided a little tag reminder for each member would be helpful.

tag closeup w border

Monday, January 28, 2013

“Tear Down the Walls” Jumbo Tag

Tear down the walls jumbo tag w white border

Thanks to Lynne Forsythe, for the inspiration for this tag.

Text for sentiment (used many places, but in my mind, it’s from “People of God” by Gungor: “Tear down the walls that divide us... let love rebuild and unite us... all we need is, all we need is love”), computer generated, inked with Vintage Photo and sprayed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mist.

Used on this project:

Studio Matte Medium (alone and mixed with Perfect Pearls Forever Green Powder)
Background stamps (Tim Holtz, etc.)
Golden Molding Paste mixed with Claudine Hellmuth paints (for bricks on Crafter’s Workshop stencil)
Distress Stains: Tarnished Brass (edges), Fired Brick and Wild Honey (small flowers)
Adirondack Butterscotch Color Wash and Perfect Pearls mist Sunflower Sparkle (to stain large flowers and seam binding)
Book text flowers cut from Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die
Lace and twine
Grunge paper greenery from the Tim Holtz Regal Crest die (stained with Forest Moss, same color used for second seam binding)
Twigs from floral arrangement in my house

Linking to these challenges:

Simon Says Stamp and Show Seeing Stars (lots of sparkly, with Perfect Pearls Powder, Sunflower Sparkle and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist)

Anything But a Card Tie it Up Challenge

“Walk Worthy” Art Journal Page

Walk Worthy Art Journal

I have been playing around with some background techniques in my practice art journal, with no plan for the theme for the page. Yesterday’s sermon gave me food for thought, and those points made their way onto this page.

From 1 Thessalonians 4:

Walk Worthy

Walk with excellence.

Walk with purity.

Walk with honor.

Walk harmlessly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“Oh, You Beautiful Doll” Vintage Valentine Tag

Beautiful Doll Tag

Experiencing “tag withdrawal,” having recently completed all my 2012 scrapbooks and then several art journal layouts, today was the day to make a new tag.

I absolutely love Valentines. And I absolutely love vintage. I feel sure it has nothing to do with my age, nostalgia, or anything along that line.

Recently I have come across some very nice vintage images, and this Valentine image came from Vintage Image Craft. Got the reminder of the old song title from them as well! (Oh, yes, I do remember that song!)

I started with a Kraft tag and added a layer from Tim Holtz Kraft-Core Nostalgic Collection. I distressed the edges of all three layers and inked with Vintage Photo.

For the crinkled seam binding, I couldn’t find an exact match in my inks and dyes, so I combined Spun Sugar Distress Stain and Dried Marigold Distress Ink.

I am finding that the tags I like best are the ones that are the most simple; I suppose I am discovering “my style,” as I have been told would happen! In fact, I think for right now, I will say, for the Simon Says Stamp and Show What I’m Known For Challenge, (though I’m not “known for” anything, really), I could say I’m known for Simple and Sweet.

Also linking to the Anything But a Card Tie it Up Challenge.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Art Journal: Flutter


Another random creation—just started painting and stamping. Didn’t even realize I had some butterflies (K & Co with acetate wings) that would fit well with the colors until I had the background all finished! Then, the word that came to mind was simply “Flutter.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy 85th Birthday to my Mother

Siblings at Janene's for Grams' Chr 2012 w background and wm

This picture was taken at my sister’s home where we gathered for Christmas with Mother, who turns 85 today. She has been the picture of health until very recently, when she was diagnosed with an ovarian-type cancer for which she has been undergoing treatment the last several months. In fact, this picture was taken just a few weeks out from a complete hysterectomy.

Even at this time of crisis in her life, Mother remains a role model for her family, as she reminds us, “God is still in control.”

I have an ongoing “journal” that is the story of my life, many hundreds of pages at this point. Today, I looked back in my journal where, many years ago, as I wrote about my growing-up years, I recorded this:

In addition to my place in the family, which taught me responsibility and leadership, I acquired from them [my parents] my sense of values. They taught me to love Jesus and to give Him first place in my heart. They taught me of the miracles that only He could perform.

From Mother I learned the value of being a good homemaker and a faithful, loving wife and mother. I learned to love housekeeping--striving for a clean, well-ordered house, spotless laundry, and well-kempt, disciplined children. I learned to love to cook, a variety of interesting foods. Mother taught me to love music, and she provided me with the opportunities to learn music. And because of what she taught me, I developed a healthy independence.

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Overflowing Heart Art Journal Page

Overflowing Heart

Just playing around in my Practice Art Journal. I have been feeling like I “should” use my Pan Pastels. Fortunately, I only bought a small set (like 5 colors), because I’m not crazy about this medium. But, I started with that and then layered with lots of background stamps. I used a Q-tip in white acrylic for some of the white dots. I used a Wendy Vecchi stamp for the lattice-like heart. From the same collection (Art from the Heart) I also used the script background stamp and used white acrylic paint on a portion of another stamp in the set (for the little solid white hearts).

Overflowing Heart closeup lattice

I used some die-cut hearts (Tim Holtz) cut from book text and a Sharpie Poster Paint Pen (white) for outlining the hearts and for the sentiment. Another product I have been neglecting is my Gelatos—I used the red one to outline the lattice heart and the red and blue ones to color in (and smudge with fingers) the book text hearts. I used white Gelato and white acrylic to smudge around the edges of the pages.

I also used washi tape to pull together some of the colors.

This was a fun project, because I truly was flying by the seat of my pants. I had no idea where I was going with it until I had almost all the background done. This is what I love about art journaling—I can be random and unstructured, so NOT the way I am in “real” life!

I am linking this project to the Simon Says Challenge—Use Washi Tape.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Whimsical Portrait Trial

Whimsical Portrait 01-20-2013

While we were in Colorado on vacation, I worked a bit on a sketched whimsical face. Yesterday I finally finished coloring and shading it (with water color crayons). This is definitely not something I see myself doing, and certainly not doing well, but it was rather fun just playing around with an out-of-the-box (for me) technique. This is the second or third “attempt” at this “art form",” and it makes me really admire people who are good at this!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

“Art Day” at My House

My granddaughter is home from college between semesters, and my daughter-in-law took off a day from substitute teaching, so that we could enjoy an “art day” in my craft room. It was so much fun! We worked all day, with a break for a nice lunch (chicken salad on dollar rolls and fresh fruit salad) and then an afternoon coffee break with cupcakes they provided.

Tory and I both did art journal pages, while Kristy (a “real” artist) did a water color (using mostly water color crayons) inspired by one of our coffee mugs.

Barb's Art Journal Trust-Heart

My Art Journal: Trust-My Heart Rejoices

(linked to Julie Balzer’s Art Journal Every Day and to Frilly and Funky Challenge—my muse took me to art journaling today!)


Tory with Art Journal Project

Tory with her Project: Everything Beautiful in its Time

Incredibly, this is Tory’s first-ever Art Journal page! I’m so proud of her!


Tory's Art Journal Project-Time

Tory’s Art Journal Project


Kristy with Water Color

Kristy’s Water Color: Wait on the Lord


Kristy Water Color Eagle

Kristy’s Water Color Project


Kristy and Tory with projects



We worked hard and SO deserved a sweet treat!

What a fun day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Transcript of Interview for My Little Friend’s Girl Scout Music Badge

One of the things I hope to do differently, and hopefully better, in 2013, is to make my blog more a reflection of my whole life, rather than restricting it so much to crafting endeavors. I know my crafting friends can skip over these personal posts in much the same way my personal friends skip over the details in my crafting posts! I maintain the desire to keep everything in one blog, because my life is not compartmentalized.

I was asked this morning to respond to some interview questions for a special little friend who is working on her Music Badge for Girl Scouts. After writing it, I realize it is a reflection of, or at least a peek at, a part of who I am. I will post it here, in hopes that it may be helpful to someone who reads it!

I am honored that you would want to interview me about music. Your questions are EXCELLENT! You know, I was only in Girl Scouts a very short time, and I was already in junior high, but my most favorite badge of all was my Music Badge! Good luck with earning yours!

What inspired you to begin music?

As a very small child, my grandmother had a grand piano. She let me "bang" on it when I was at her house. She had a daughter who could play, and I loved to listen. But, it wasn't personal for me then. But then, when I was in first grade (my first year in school, because we had no kindergarten), a Bible teacher came to my class, a few times a week. This was in public school, believe it or not. She used a flannel board to tell the most wonderful stories from the Bible. She taught us a song, "For God so Loved the World." It was short and had the most beautiful words, but I especially loved the melody. I can remember singing it over and over and over, as I walked to school each day. That is my first memory of absolutely loving music. Then when I was 10, and my daddy had just become a preacher, we were at someone's home. They had a piano. Someone showed me how to play a triad (three notes together, in harmony). I was smitten. What an incredible thing, to hear that chord and know it could come out of my fingers! More than anything in the world, I wanted to learn to play piano.

How did you learn to play piano?

Right away, after being in that home where I played a chord, I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons. My mother arranged to get her Wurlitzer piano (from when she was a child), from her mother. There it was, a piano in my own house! My parents had almost no money, but they found a piano teacher where I could take lessons after school one day a week. It cost $1.00 for a half-hour lesson. My piano teacher said I would have to practice 30 minutes a day. “HAVE TO?” I was thrilled, and practicing was never a real chore for me, because I wanted to play the piano, and I knew that meant I would need to practice. [I didn’t realize it then, but I was learning a great lesson about life: my goal was to play piano. I wanted to do what it took to reach that goal, and that meant hard work!] So, I took lessons, off and on, until I started GIVING lessons, as a senior in high school. BUT, for very much of that time (my grades 5-12), I did not have a piano teacher (for different reasons—we moved a lot, but mainly, there would often not be $$ for lessons). During those long stretches, I would go through my piano books on my own and progress the best I could without a teacher. Through those years, when I did have teachers, some of them were excellent, and they helped me a lot!

Is it easy to learn to play the piano?

No, it is not. And that is why many children/young people give it up. They think they want to play, but when it becomes really hard work, they quit. They would like to play piano if it was easy. But it is not. It is a talent plus a skill. The talent is natural, but it takes a lot of hard work to learn the skill. It is almost like a foreign language. So, it is not easy to learn to play the piano. But, once you have learned, it can never be taken from you, no matter how old you are. It becomes part of YOU, and it’s a most wonderful thing!

Have you ever played any other instruments?

Yes, I was in band in junior high school and high school. I played alto saxophone and tenor saxophone. I also have played organ (the big kind, in big churches) and electric keyboard.

Do you know a lot of music by heart for the piano?

Yes, I do. But when we say “by heart,” we are actually talking about two different things: “from memory” and “by ear.” And the answer to both those for me, is yes. When I was taking lessons, the teacher would require me to “memorize” certain pieces, maybe for a recital or for a contest, or just because it was a good thing to learn to do. Some of those pieces, especially from my more advanced years, I can still play “from memory.” In addition to that, because I played hymns in church for many years, I have many, many hymns in my memory still to this day. (I first started playing for church, in my daddy’s first church he pastored, when I was 11—not long after I started taking lessons. So I have “played for church” almost all my years, for 54 years!!!!) So, I know a lot of songs by heart, if you mean “from memory.” That means I have seen the music, and I can call it into my memory. But, I also can play “by ear.” That means I have never seen the music, but I can hear it in my head and let it come out my fingers! I first realized I could do this when I was in high school. I would want to play a song, but no way could I afford to go to the music store and buy the music. So I just would sit down at the piano, and the song would just sort of come out. I can’t explain it. I can’t do this with every song that is in my head, but some!

Did you have a music teacher, or did you teach yourself?

I already answered this one, and the answer is “Yes, several different ones,” and “Yes, I taught myself some as well.”

I want to also say that God blessed me with a talent for music. Not a star-level talent, but enough talent that I could take it and multiply it, with learning how to use it. But the most important thing about music, for me, is that God allowed me to use it to SERVE HIM through all my many years of living so far. And, you know, God gives different gifts to different people. Whether the gift is music or something else, His blessings are incredibly wonderful for those who take the gifts He gives, and use them for Him!

I’m always somewhat pensive and reflective at the beginning of a new year anyway, and now I’m feeling REALLY nostalgic!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Inspiration Art Journal 2013: TRUST

2013 AJ page w border

My word for the New Year is TRUST. On this, the 4th day of the new year, I’m confessing that I’m not doing all that great in the area of trust. I know that, because it is impossible to trust and worry at the same time. I guess that’s why it needs to be my word for the year.

2013 AJ Trust Verse

What wonderful promises for those who trust in Him: hope, joy and peace.

I created the page with a tissue paper background, adhered to the journal page with Glue ‘n’ Seal. I then applied three Distress Stains (Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers and Squeezed Lemonade). I toned down the intensity by using a white paint with a wet brush, all over the pages. I stamped with some of my favorite background stamps and used my new Dina Wakley grungy silhouette stamp to represent myself on the right-hand page (stamped it on book text).  I used watercolor crayons around the images and the text. I smudged some white paint around the edges of the pages.

Entering in these challenges:

Simon Says Stamp and Show Anything Goes

Anything But a Card Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp Challenge New Something (new year and new stamp)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Tag–my word for the year: TRUST

12 Tags of 2013-January TRUST w border

Needing a little motivation to move past the Christmas Crafting Mode, I was glad to see that Tim Holtz will once again inspire with 12 Tags (of 2013). His January tag is the basis for this creation. In fact, I followed his ideas very closely, as I actually own most of the supplies his model utilizes. I did change up the quote a bit, and I added my word for 2013: TRUST (more projects to come along that theme).

Entering the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge.

Happy New Year!