Create, Make, Do.

Been thinking a lot about this quote I saw in a Relevant Magazine article:

The current Creators series we are working through at church is all about creating, making, and doing. But it’s also about connecting — connecting with God and with others through the art we make.

A few great takeaways I jotted in my journal last week:

*We should engage with art that captures our hearts, because it connects us with God.

*When we’re inspired to create, we should create.

*There is an ongoing story being told through all art that’s created. Everything we do and create tells a story.

As an artist, I often remind myself that no one else can tell my story the way I can tell it. No one else can write the exact words I write, make the art I make, or tell the story I tell. And that’s a freeing thought! I don’t want to miss the chance to share my art with the world, because I’m too shy, scared, insecure, (fill in the blank!).

I’m also learning how to better invite Him into my creative process. My heart knows that I create, because He made me to create, and I want to make things that point back to Him, but I think all too often I leave Him out of my actual creative process. It’s something I’m learning to pay more attention to and be more intentional about.

I’m thankful that He’s given me this season to create, that in the midst of all of my hopes and dreams and plans for the future, He’s nudging me to really focus on Him and creatively telling my story. I’m thankful He’s encouraged me to stop looking ahead so much and just engage in life and be exactly who He made me to be.

What kind of art captures your heart? How are you sharing your unique story with the world?

{ P.S. The gray font used above was designed by Elsie of A Beautiful Mess. Cute, no?}


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. 

28 Things Recap

This is probably THE MOST unflattering picture of me ever, and I can’t believe I’m actually posting it here, but it’s kind of funny, and I guess it’s appropriate for an enthusiastic 28 Things Recap.

So, let’s get started, shall we? ;)

When I look back over this list and all I’ve done and learned in this past year, I feel incredibly thankful. There were challenging moments and set-backs along the way for sure, but the growth that was achieved and the memories that were made truly outshine those more difficult moments.

1. Start a new art journal. 

I spent many happy afternoons/evenings making pretty collages in my art journal. I also posted  5 Ideas for Journal Keeping, where I shared some of my favorite ways to journal and art journal.

2. Memorize more scripture. 

3. Invest in a new camera and additional photo software.

So happy with my Canon and my photo software from Rad Lab!

4. Continue to pray boldly.

I even dedicated 40 days to praying boldly, and I’m about to embark on another 40-day prayer journey.

5. Try my hand at songwriting.

6. Wear cat-eye glasses.

7. Make a larger-scale collage.

Made this for a dear, dear friend before she moved. It’s probably the largest collage I’ve made to date, and I definitely want to try to make an even larger one at some point! I’m so used to working on small canvases and wood panels, that’s it’s a good creative challenge for me.

8. Host a dinner party.

9. Attempt to make my own homemade pasta.

10. Make a new pumpkin dish (perhaps a pumpkin lasagna or stuffed shells).

I made Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Shells (from a recipe in Country Living magazine).

11. Actively pursue a few of the big creative dreams on my heart. Explore the possibilities. Take risks. 

One of the biggest of those dreams is my eBook! So excited to keep you all posted on its progress. Look for a progress update soon! And MAYBE a title reveal, too… ;)

13. Find a Godly mentor. 

I feel so blessed to have connected with an amazing woman at my church who has agreed to be my mentor! We’ll be beginning our mentorship meetings this fall! I can’t wait! She’s an incredible friend and an inspiring, Godly woman, and I know she’ll have much wisdom to share with me! :)

12. Find a favorite local coffee shop (besides Starbucks). 

This should probably be only half crossed out. ;) I visited some local shops, but I wouldn’t say I found a new favorite. (I have, however, rediscovered Starbuck’s caramel apple cider, and I’m fairly certain that’s my new fall addiction.) Ooops!  ;)

14. Continue to learn and do all I can to prepare myself to be the kind of Godly wife a Godly man deserves.

This is certainly on-going, but I will say that I’ve learned a ton this past year. 

15. Live with an open heart and open hands to receive all God has to give.

This has been my motto this year, and it’s really been something I’ve tried to live by. I can say that at times, it wasn’t easy, but it was always worth it.

16. Fall in love with a new-to-me band.  

Discovered some great new artists (Of Monsters and Men, Andrew Belle, re-discovered Katie Herzig; it’s been a great year for music!).

17. Visit a local pumpkin farm. Carve/paint/decorate purchased pumpkins.

Festive fall weekends are my favorite.

19. Tackle a few organizing projects I’ve been putting off.

18. Find ways to encourage others to use the creative gifts they’ve been blessed with.  

I think my new blog focus is going to be very much about doing this, and I’m looking forward to joining an arts-focused missional community at my church this fall.

20. Make it a daily practice to quiet my heart and mind, so I can actively listen to God. 

I started  doing this during Lent and continued this summer with She Reads Truth. In the last few months, I have learned a lot about prayer and listening to God. It’s been a pretty incredible journey, and I want to keep growing and learning.

21. Revamp my blog design.

Not only did I revamp the design, I also revamped my focus!

22. Go to an art museum.

Went to the art museum AND the history museum! ;)

23. Take an art or writing class (or both!)

24. Start an actual weekly workout routine.

I’ve started regular walks/runs! I’m not always perfectly consistent, but I’m doing fairly well!

25. Go to more craft fairs. 

I participated in a spring craft show and attended Weapons of Mass Creation.

26. Go to the beach!

27. Start a new tradition each season.

28. Begin every day by asking myself, What can I do today that brings more beauty, more energy, more hope? (Inspired by Shauna Niequist) 

It’s hard to say I did this EVERY day, but it was definitely on my heart often.

So, there you have it! Stay tuned for my 29 Things list! :)

P.S. Want to read past lists? Read my 27 Things list, here and my recap, here.

Writing, writing, writing.

{ photo by Bonnie Tsang via the Glitter Guide‘s studio tour; text and circle doodles by me }

I just love this happy image, and I thought it was the perfect visual encouragement for my current eBook-writing adventures. (I wish I was surrounded by brightly colored pieces of confetti while writing!) ;)

I’ve been finding so many inspirational gems over at Pinterest lately, and I’m thankful for all of the beautiful goodness people create and share with the world. I get pretty jazzed up thinking about all of the art out there and the unique stories and visions every artist has to share. I wrote about that a little bit in this post.

Anyway, I’ve got quite a bit of writing to do this weekend, but I won’t be a complete stranger here. I’ve been creating a few pretty moodboards, so I’ll be back to share at least one of those at some point.

A few writing/creating must-haves for me right now:

1. Good tunes (Right now, it’s Katie Herzig’s album The Waking Sleep)
2. Something tasty to sip (a caramel latte, a Cranergy juice, or an Izze soda!)
3. A little chocolate never hurts (York Peppermints, please, and always straight from the fridge, so they’re nice and cold)

What about you? What are your creative quirks or must-haves that help you stay inspired and get stuff done? :)

P.S. I’m also doing some blog brainstorming this weekend. I’d like to switch some things up around here and put together a few more regular features. Any requests? Anything I used to post that you miss? Or something you’d like to see/or see more of?

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful Saturday!

Dreaming of Fall

Lately, I’ve been dreaming of fall …

I’ve been thinking about things like big mugs of apple cider, late nights creating, thick novels, all things cozy, pumpkin farms + apple orchards, fall-scented candles, and that feeling of inspiration that always seems to find me when the summer fades to fall…

I’ve been picking up little gems (like these shoes) and brainstorming ideas for my 29 Things list

And I’ve been opening up my heart to all the bright possibilities ahead.

Nothing ever happens if you always play it safe // So, make a little space // And get out of your own way (Rachel Platten)

Current Soundtrack: Here Comes Fall

{ photo by LuSarah Seas; typography + doodles by me }

In anticipation of fall (my favorite!) and to inspire me during my eBook writing and designing, I created two new Spotify playlists called Find the Creative Muse and Let’s Write This eBook.

Music is one of my favorite ways to stay inspired, and I find my musical cravings change with the seasons. My two newest playlists make me feel excited for the upcoming fall and everything I hope it will have to offer. And I know that months from now, they’ll take me back to this time and these moments.

Here’s a little sampling of some of the music that’s inspiring me lately:

Madi Diaz (especially her song “A Little Bit”)
Meiko’s new album The Bright Side
Regina Spektor’s song “Us”
Katie Herzig
Rachel Platten
Phillip Phillips’ “Home”

What about you? Do you find yourself listening to certain songs during certain seasons?

I’m writing a book!

…an e-book, that is. ;)

I’m super excited about this project and plan to share many more details here on the blog closer to its launch.

Here’s what I can share right now: I’m in the beginning phases of e-book creation, and you can expect to see it for sale right here on the blog sometime this fall. I’m creating a book that will be packed with what I’m most passionate about: inspiration — and beautiful words, artwork, and photography. (Stay tuned for a more detailed post about the content you’ll find in my ebook, as we get closer to the launch date.)

Thanks for sharing in this exciting journey with me!


Giving Thanks 6.19.12

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Summer salads piled high with fresh fruits and veggies (last night’s included fresh banana slices, raspberries, blueberries, and raspberry vinaigrette)
Timely words and encouragement from sweet friends
The promise that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
Refreshing rainstorms
Morning sunshine
Thrift store art journaling finds

What about you? What’s making you smile this week? :)

Quotable: Make what you WISH existed.

I’m currently in the process of developing some new creative projects, so I’m thinking a lot about this great reminder from Work is Not a Job. I’m only in the brainstorming phase right now, but I think it’s so important to create from the heart and to create what reflects your own unique vision. It reminds me of one of the great quotes I heard at Weapons of Mass Creation:  “Your work comes from a deeper place; you have to define it for yourself and to the world.”

I look forward to sharing more about these projects soon!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Quotable ~ Sharing Your Art with the World

The uniqueness of everyone’s eye and ear gets me excited about art. The way each individual chooses to see the world and interpret it. The beauty it carries, whether in simplicity or complexity to enrich everyday life.

~ Ashley Brooke Toussant, via a beautiful visual interview featured over at Kara’s blog, I Just Might Explode.

I just love Ashley’s thoughts on art. I completely agree.

I get so excited when I think about all of the unique talents and stories out in the world, and all of the ways we can all share our own unique selves through creating things that are true to who we are.

Quotes like that get me all jazzed up about making my own art, as well as encouraging others to make art, too.

If you have it in your heart to make art, to create — then you should. By creating what’s in your heart to create, you add your own unique beauty and enrich everyday life.

Be bold about sharing your creative gifts with the world.