A Dream Realized: The Story of my eBook Release

eBookCover

If you follow me on social media, you may have read the announcements yesterday that the eBook I’ve been writing for the past year is officially on sale. (Happy dance!!)

I wanted to share with you all a little bit about the book and the adventure I had creating it. (P.S. I do plan to continue my Creating an eBook series later this month, where I will share tips and lessons I learned along the way. So, if you have specific questions about the process of creating an eBook, let me know, and I’ll do my best to incorporate that in my series. Today’s post, however, will be more about my adventure and the book itself.)

I wrote An Inspired Life to encourage others to live full, creative, and inspired lives for the Lord. In it, I share glimpses into my own heart and story, as well as photographs I’ve taken and art journal pages I’ve created. I also hand lettered each chapter title to give the book an art journal-like feel. I hope that while reading, you’ll be encouraged to do some journaling of your own, too. The book includes colorful Prayerful Prompt pages that you can print out, journal on, and pray through, as you read.

IMG_7935

The book’s design was created by my talented friend Robby, who worked with me from start to finish to create a book design that brought my words to life. (He did an amazing job creating a book that feels like me — plus, he put polka dots on my cover, so what could be more perfect than that?!)

IMG_8031

We spent many hours dreaming up the design and then bringing it to life. And plenty of coffee was consumed during the process (as evidenced above). ;) We’ll be sharing more about the design process in an upcoming post.

Here’s a peek at the book’s Table of Contents:

TOC

And if you want a little preview, you can read the book’s introduction, here.

After facing a few technical issues and bumps in the road last month, I could not be more excited to finally share this book with the world. Thank you all for being a part of my journey to create it — for all of the excitement, encouragement, and support you’ve offered this last year. My blog friends have been a huge reason I stuck with the project — even on the hard days. :)

So, without further ado, I introduce you to An Inspired Life. I hope that if you read it, you’ll be blessed and encouraged in beautiful ways.

Add to Cart

Advertisements

Less Comparing, More Creating

Less comparing. More creating.

This is something I’ve been reminding myself lately… Words I need to carry in my heart.

I’ve been asking myself why I’m blogging, where I fit in the blogging world, and what kind of an impact my little blog is making. They’re hard questions, and I don’t always have answers.

But I do know that He made me to create. That it’s such a part of who I am, and it brings my heart so much joy.

I’ve also realized I haven’t done much in the way of art making lately, and it’s something I am definitely missing. I’ve been working on mapping out eBook ideas and blog posts, and somewhere along the way, I stopped art journaling and making new collages. I know that’s something that needs to change, because the creative process of putting paint and image to paper or wood or canvas refreshes me in a way other creative pursuits cannot.

So, this is what I’m learning: Even when I feel a bit lost or insignificant, or even when I feel just too busy, I have to push through. I have to keep writing and blogging and painting and collaging.

I have to do less comparing and more creating.

And I have to let Him handle the rest.

***

Is there a creative pursuit you love that you aren’t pursuing? Something that’s been neglected due to busyness or insecurity or doubt? This week, I want to encourage you to jump back in — do more creating — the kind that brings you the most joy.

Inspiration is Everywhere

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the importance of stepping away from the screen. Inspiration is everywhere — and if we don’t allow ourselves the time to get out to explore and discover it, then we’ll miss it.Earlier this week, I went for a brief walk after work, taking advantage of the small window of time I had before a rainstorm broke free from the clouds. I took my camera and left my phone at home, so I could wander in peace.I took in all the colors, the patterns of leaves on the ground, and the way the sky looked.I even found little reminders of my One Little Word.

I’m thankful I took the time to step away and be refreshed. I’ve also realized I haven’t been creating as much with my hands lately — layering papers and ephemera in my art journal, or playing with paints to create a colorful collage. These are things I know I need to put back into my creative routine, things that are essential to who I am as an artist and creator.

What about you? What kinds of things do you do for creative refreshment? Do you find it’s important to take time away from creating on the computer?

Inspired City: Birthday Antiquing

I spent yesterday afternoon with my mom and sister, as a little belated-birthday celebration. We did some antiquing (one of my favorite things!) and walked around a flea market and farmers’ market. I’m always so inspired after little outings like that. I love all of the vibrant colors at the farmers’ market, the vintage treasures waiting to be discovered in dusty corners at antique shops, and all of the unique and quirky odds and ends at the flea market.

We also visited my favorite local antique shop (housed in a 200-year-old schoolhouse). There are a few treasures I left behind that I’m thinking I might have to go back for (including a black globe just like this one and a set of vintage drinking glasses with colored feathers etched on them just like these). Finding the photos on Etsy makes me want to go back for both of these items all the more! haha ;)

I did come home with some lovely finds, including this sweet book from the thirties called Songs for Courage, a handful of vintage photos for collage and art journal projects, and two sparkly brooches. I also left with a large sweet potato and a butternut squash. Planning to make this soup and also this one. :)

I love some of the lines in this book like Faith is the dreams that all hearts know, the evidence of things that are not seen.

It was a beautiful and inspiring day. I love getting out and appreciating what my city has to offer! :) What are some of your favorite local spots in your city?

Well, I’m off to finish laundry and make some fall-flavored soup.

Hope you’re having the perfect autumn Sunday!

 

Hello, July (And Happy Fourth!)

So far, in July, there’s been plenty of time spent outside (reading, praying, taking walks, art journaling). There’s been a lot of quiet time—God’s really been working in this little heart of mine, and I know that my faith will look a little different by the time fall arrives. Growth and change is good.

* * *

Today, I can’t wait to relax with family. After being crazy busy the last few months, I’m looking forward to a low-key day.

Have a blessed Fourth, everyone! :)

Summertime Inspiration: A Visual List

I’ve been collecting ideas and inspiration for the summertime, and I thought it would be fun to share some of them here. It’s been quite a while since I wrote an inspirations post!

{ photo via Christine Mason Miller }

This summer, I want to embrace the mystery of the unknown, trusting God and growing in my faith.

{ photo via Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess }

This summer, I want to make sweet treats like these ice cream sauces (red wine + chocolate and sea salt + honey).

{ photo via Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess }

{ photo via Kara at I Just Might Explode }

This summer, I want to take Kara’s Summer of Love art journaling course, so I can capture every adventure, every new risk taken, all the ways I change and grow.

{ photo via Hannah at Cave in the Clouds }

{ gorgeous painting by Christopher Stott }

This summer, I want to go on antiquing adventures, write stories, snap photos, make art, pay attention, live in the moment, stay inspired, live and pray boldly—and give thanks always.

Oh, and do everything on my Summertime List, of course. ;)

What about you? What do you feel inspired to do this summer?

Giving Thanks: 6.4.12

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Tiny steps forward toward new goals, dreams, and aspirations
Prayer walks, feeling God’s presence surround
An inspiring craft show experience, shared with my sister
An encouraging sermon at church on Sunday and the idea that God WANTS to and WILL speak TO us and THROUGH us
One Thousand Gifts app to help me continue to grow in gratitude, faith, and trust
Craft show finds that delight me
Being behind the lens of my camera—seeing the beauty and the inspiration in my life
Writing bravely about my faith, my art, my heart
Art journaling on my porch

What about you? What are you thankful for this week? :)

Craft Show Adventures: A Photo Story

Saturday’s craft show was in a funky old building that doubles as a music venue and cafe. It’s got a great atmosphere.

Sales weren’t amazing, but people really seemed to enjoy looking through our artwork and often commented about the bright, happy colors and uplifting words.

The truth is we both love making art so much that it really isn’t about the sales for us. We’d make paintings, even if we never did another craft show. ;) When it’s in your heart to create, you just can’t stop yourself, I guess.

It’s my prayer that the people who looked at and/or took home our artwork were blessed or inspired or encouraged in some small way.

Thanks for putting up with such a photo-heavy post. Just couldn’t narrow it down! ;)

Hope your weekend was lovely!

{k}

And the story is happening.

(from my new Sabrina Ward Harrison art journal)

And the story is happening…

This afternoon, I’ve been turning those words over and over in my heart.

And here’s the thing, it really is.

Right now, your story is happening.

My story is happening.

And here’s my question to you: Are you REALLY living it? I mean REALLY living your story — with arms wide open.

Are you embracing, loving, giving thanks for the story God’s writing for you, right now, today?

Sometimes, I know I’m guilty of just getting through the days.

One foot in front of the other, go to work, come home, etc. etc. etc.

But when I think about the fact that my story is unique to me, full of intricate details orchestrated by the One who loves me more than I can fathom, I feel a tugging in my heart to pay attention more, to love the moments more fully and completely. To trust more. Surrender more. Risk more.

I’m in an interesting season of possibilities and transitions. And some days, it feels like I’m walking a fine line, teetering along the edge of who I am now and who I am becoming.

I don’t want to forget these in-between days.

Because right now, in this moment, I’m learning, becoming, being shaped…

…and the story is happening.

Life Lately: In Photos

Lately, life looks like this: icy weather; keeping cozy; brunch dates; art journaling; cocoa + creativity; writing and brainstorming; dreaming of spring; and lots of creative inspiration + refreshment at a local arts gala event.

I’m thankful for these moments.

What have you been up to?

{k}