Living With Art + Color

It’s no secret how much I love color and art. When I’m surrounded by bright, happy shades and beautiful artwork, I just feel happier — and more inspired.

So, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the ways I embrace color + art in my home — and my life.

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I created this Be Still and Know collage last winter. It serves as a beautiful reminder each day.

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I love a good art cluster on the wall. I like to combine my own artwork with precious photos and inspiring artwork by others. Each piece I add to my curated collection tells a story and means something to me — which makes the whole display all the more special.

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This wall holds art by some of my favorite artists: Heather L. Murphy, Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, Dinara Mirtalipolva, and Michele Maule.

And I made the polka-dotted bird piece, of course! It was one of the first collages I ever made, actually! The Explore collage above was the first! :)

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I’m a huge fan of comfy, cozy pillows — and of course I can’t resist playful patterns and pretty palettes.

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I collect milk glass, and this lovely bowl has held pumpkins, fruit, and festive pinecones over the years. It belonged to my grandmother (and I believe my great-grandmother before that), so it’s one of my favorite items in my home. (I adore the sweet scalloped edges and the little teardrop shapes in the glass.)

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I like to add fun details wherever possible — like these cute + quirky handmade clay birds that my elementary art school teacher made.

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Don’t feel like you have to confine your art and color to just your walls. Consider making your cupboards happy with multi-hued dishes + cups.

Fiesta dishes were on my wish list for a very long time, so I was excited to get a set of them for Christmas this year. (The tall blue drinking glasses are vintage and were a birthday gift a few years ago.)

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Tea or coffee brainstorms are much more inspired with a pretty mug (and a cookie). ;)

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Don’t overlook your wardrobe or accessories when it comes to adding colorful, artful pieces. This purple hue is one of my favorites, so I couldn’t resist adding this silk scarf to my collection. (Plus, it has little birds on it, which made it even more perfect for me!)

notebooks

Ah, I am quite the notebook addict, and is it any surprise that I keep a colorful array of pens and notebooks at-the-ready to record every idea, hope, prayer, and daydream?

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This adorable set is from Target. I love the sweet quotes, and — of course — the polka dots.

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And just for fun — a photo of Mia. Because she always enjoys participating in my blog photo shoots! ;)

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What about you? How do you incorporate color and art into your home and life?

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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.

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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!

 

29 Things

{ photo credits from left to right, top to bottom: 1. mosaic by Designlovefest 2. Elizabeth Kartchner 3. A Beautiful Mess; photo collage design by me }

I’m about to begin the last year of my twenties (eeek!). And I have a pretty ambitious 29 Things list! ;) But I really want to embrace this year. I feel like I’m at such a good place right now…confident in the direction I’m heading, in the prayers I’m praying, and the growth I’m seeing.

I want to keep being brave and bold in my pursuit of the Lord and in my pursuit of becoming even more of the woman He created me to be.

Now…on to the list! ;)

  1. Write, design, and publish my eBook.
  2. Be an active participant of She Reads Truth.
  3. Begin each day in prayer (on my knees). Pray for increased faith every day.
  4. Continue to pray boldly. Commit to another 40 days of prayer.
  5. Read Kate Morton’s new book, The Secret Keeper.
  6. Visit a dear friend in California.
  7. Eat brunch at a local French cafe.
  8. Take my artwork to the local coffee shop who said they’d be interested in displaying/selling it.
  9. Start doing more hand lettering.
  10. Attend a creative conference like Luminous or Alt Summit. Take a Blogshop class.
  11. Purchase vintage-inspired specs.
  12. Read Blog, Inc.
  13. Further develop my brand: Create a media kit for my blog, and pursue some new partnerships/opportunities/collaborations.
  14. Pitch my writing/artwork to a few publications I’ve been dreaming to work with.
  15. Start using the manual settings on my camera.
  16. Learn how to shoot and edit video for my blog.
  17. Save for and invest in a new laptop.
  18. Be more involved in the local art/design/writing community.
  19. Attend Weapons of Mass Creation again. Go to more sessions. Hear more music.
  20. Participate in a 5K like this one.
  21. Wear polka-dotted pants.
  22. Serve the local community with my church through art/creativity.
  23. Learn how to create in Illustrator.
  24. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh in-season foods.
  25. Try at least one new recipe every month.
  26. Watch the first season of Mad Men—AND finally host that Mad-Men-inspired soiree?
  27. Explore my city more — visit one new place (restaurant/shop/area) every season—and take plenty of pictures/videos of my adventures for the blog! ;)
  28. Go on a fall picnic (with hot apple cider, of course!).
  29. See more live music shows! (Fingers crossed The Civil Wars will come back to the area!)

Lots of creating to come in this next year (and lots of travel, too!). :)

I’m excited to see all God has in store, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing even stronger in my walk with Him.

I want to live this life as fully and creatively as I can, giving thanks for each and every beautiful blessing. 

Setting Creative Goals

I love to set goals, and I love making lists, so it’s no wonder I like to dream up new creative goals often. A list of motivating goals helps keep my creative life feeling fresh and pushes me to keep growing and learning.

Because setting goals can be so encouraging and rewarding, I thought I’d share a few of the things I do/think about when making my own lists. I hope after reading this, you’re encouraged to set some new goals of your own!

Make it fun. I love to journal, so I’m constantly using my various journals as a place to keep track of dreams and ideas. This is great, because I can record new ideas constantly and quickly (I always have one of my journals at hand), but sometimes, I like to do things that make the process feel special and inspired. I might enjoy a favorite treat while writing and dreaming (like a latte, mug of cider, or some dark chocolate), or I might get out of the house and go somewhere beautiful (like a park).

Pray. This is something I do all throughout my goal-setting process. I ask for inspiration and direction, as I set goals, and I ask God to bless my creative efforts and use them for His glory, as I pursue those goals. I’m so thankful for the creative heart I’ve been blessed with, and praying through my goals and creative dreams is such a beautiful part of my relationship with the Lord.

Be stretched. Don’t be afraid to set goals that scare you a little bit. Goals should push you to try and learn new things, as well as help you refine the skill set you already have. As a creative, I began as a writer, but over the years, I’ve explored collage making, designing, and photography. I’ve discovered so many new things I love to do, and it’s all because I took risks and set goals to try things I’d never done before.

Be flexible. Know that it’s okay to change your mind about certain goals. When I write my 20-something lists (I’ve done 27 Things and 28 Things), I always accept that I probably won’t do every single thing on the list. I also accept that there are probably a few things I haven’t even thought of yet that I’ll decide to do at some point during the year. It’s okay to add/adapt/remove/replace goals. ;)

* Celebrate! I love my 20-something lists, because they allow me to track my goal-setting and pursuing. When I write my recaps at the end of the year, I’m able to see how my goals shaped me. I definitely recommend recording and celebrating your creative adventures in some way, whether it’s through journaling, blogging, Instagramming, whatever! You’ll be so encouraged to see your progress, and your journey might even inspire some new goals!

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead — start dreaming + goal-setting!

(P.S. If you liked this post, stay tuned, because this a little teaser of the kind of content you’ll find in my eBook!)

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? :)

Giving Thanks

Inspired by Jessa Anderson’s Good Things series, I decided to start a similar series at A Place to Dwell.

Following God’s instruction to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, I want to keep a regular running list of all the good things He blesses me with even (especially!) during the more difficult moments and seasons.

Jessa explains her series as such: It’s simply a collection of the things in my life that are worth celebrating (big or small), and I find that writing them out especially helps me to overcome my tendency to complain. Life does come with frustrations, but I find that when I look at the big picture, they are usually small things in comparison to all the blessings God has graciously given. Even during our lowest moments, counting our blessings can remind us of the joy we have been given in Christ Jesus!

I love the idea of posting what I’m thankful for as a regular blog series, since it’s something I’ve done on and off in my journaling the last five years. It truly is such a good way to remember the joy we have been given in Christ Jesus.

So, welcome to post number one in my Giving Thanks series. ;)

Right now, my heart is thankful for:

The discovery of a delightful new market to shop at that’s full of delicious and healthy foods; the amazing church I belong to and the way my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ partner with me in prayer, encourage, inspire, and help me to know Christ more fully and completely; the perfect evening weather for a walk outside; my daily quiet time and the hope I’ve been finding in God’s Word; a new font to design with; an upcoming craft show adventure with my sister; hearing Jessa Anderson’s music for the first time today and connecting so completely with her lyrics; the best friends a girl could ask for; and last, but not least, this little blog of mine and all of my faithful readers.

And what about you?

Please do leave me comments to share what you’re thankful for lately. Let’s encourage each other and praise our wonderful Creator in the process! :)

November Inspirations


This sweet fall wreath from Smile & Wave

Cute tights like these from Katie’s Pencil Box

Vintage-inspired coats like these two from Anthropologie

This Let Your Heart Be Light glitter banner tutorial from Katie’s Pencil Box

(I wrote about it here, too.)

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A few of my favorite November moments:

Creating new pieces of artwork; participating in my company’s holiday art sale; Thanksgiving with my family; and putting up my little Christmas tree.

I’ll be back soon with my Hello, December post.

{k}