Tag Archives: inspiration

My Wonderful Visit to Jeanne Oliver’s New Studio

A few weeks ago I told you about an amazing opportunity I was given to attend one of Jeanne Oliver’s art retreats in Castle Rock, Colorado. The whole experience was uplifting and inspiring. I think the two things that impressed me most were how comfortable Jeanne made this star-struck girl feel and the quality and character of all the talented women who attended.

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We were welcomed with mimosas and croissants while we all mingled and got to know one another.

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From the beautiful studio to the art instruction to the lovely people, this getaway exceeded my expectations in every way.

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During one of the breaks Jeanne led us on a walk down several of the trails they have created on their property.

I plan on making time and room in the budget some time in the future to attend another event in Jeanne’s Living Studio. I might share a piece or two of art I created while there. In another post.
If I get brave enough.

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Phrase Art Phriday: Time

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Does the passage of time seem to keep speeding up? It does for me! The cry of my heart is that in my remaining years, days, hours here on earth I will use my time wisely. But what does that look like? How do I know when I’m spending time in the best way possible? I want to lean more heavily on the leading of God to direct my steps. I don’t want to waste my time on frivolous things or in useless ways. In other words, I don’t want to waste my life!

Spending time with family, nurturing friendships, volunteering for a worthy cause, spending time with God, cooking a nice meal for my husband, spending time outdoors soaking in the beauty of nature, exercising. These are all things that fulfill me and feel worthy of the time spent doing them.

If you feel there are not enough hours in the day, perhaps you should re-evaluate how you are spending them. What fulfills your heart and soul? What leaves you feeling energized and excited about life? Time invested in those things is never wasted. Are there things that you walk away from feeling lethargic or purposeless? For me that can be too many hours on social media or watching TV. Taking note of these feelings will help you determine what activities need to be in check and what activities you should engage in more often.

Enjoy your weekend and cherish the time!

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7 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

Don’t you love it when you have a surge of creativity and you know that all you want to do is create something beautiful? Do you ever have days (or weeks) where you feel you’ve lost your creative edge? I certainly go through dry spells and wonder where on earth my creativity has gone. On those days I have a few tricks that I find helpful in shaking it off and getting the juices going strong again.

Today I’m going to share 7 tips that have helped me and might help you if you give them a try.
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1) Sit outside with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, a notebook and no agenda. Drink in the beauty of nature and allow yourself to be inspired. Write down any creative thoughts you have but don’t feel pressured to think of any.
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2) Walk through a fabric store and experience the different textures and colors. This always stirs up my imagination whether I’m planning to work with fabric, another material or even if I have no clue what I’ll do next.

3) Watch an episode of Project Runway, Cake Boss or Flea Market Flip with the volume muted. You’ll be amazed at how freely your own thoughts flow when their conversations aren’t influencing your thoughts.

4) Read. The Bible and devotional books are full of artistic imagery. Jesus Calling is the devotional I am currently using and loving. When I spend time in the presence of the One who created me, I never fail to feel a fresh infusion of creativity.
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5) Go to a public place and people watch. Observe the way they dress, the way they interact, their hairstyles, their smiles, the way they laugh. Humans are creative beings and their passion can be contagious.

6) Light a candle and listen to classical music. I love Vivaldi. I somehow feel like more is possible as I thrill to the sounds of the maestros.
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7) Take a walk with your camera. Use your artistic eye to find and take shots of things you find interesting. Don’t worry about whether you’ll want to keep or use the photos, just snap freely. This unleashes my creativity every time.

What do you do when you’ve lost your mojo? I’d love to hear your tricks! Share what works for you in the comments and you might help someone else out of their slump!

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Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Common Ground, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday , VMG206, That DIY Party, Funky Junk Interiors ,Savvy Southern Style

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Phrase Art Phriday: Seed Days

Welcome to another Phrase Art Phriday where I share a piece of original photography overlaid with a favorite quote, phrase or thought. As summer winds down I would like to share another picture from my garden.
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As much as I adore fall, I am always sad to see summer go. Mostly because of the cold weather that looms ahead but also because all of the beautiful green will soon fade away.

Do you ever have days that feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not accomplishing much? Then all of the sudden one day you feel like you are knocking things out left and right? Those days seem like the most productive days when in fact they are the “flowers of tomorrow” that were produced during the “seed days” of putting in the hard work. Who doesn’t love to see the blooming take place ~ that sense of accomplishment after completing a long, difficult project that turns out better than one imagined? I love that feeling.

But I’ll admit, there are some projects during which I hate the process and when it’s finished I don’t even like want to look at what I’ve created. Sad, right? Whenever you find it difficult to “enjoy the journey” change your approach and remind yourself that you’re in the “seed days”. When you feel like you can’t wait to wrap it up and move on, try to see the mundane task as a precious seed that you’re planting, watering and watching over in order to bring forth the sweet smelling bouquet of accomplishment. Then not only will you have the beautiful flowers, you will be able to remember fondly the time well spent planting the seeds.

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Phrase Art Phriday: Thirst

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Have you ever been so parched that all you can think of is downing a huge glass of water as soon as you can get to one? You know that feeling when the ice cold water hits your mouth and you chug, chug, chug it down like you are dying of thirst? That feeling of being satisfied, having your thirst quenched that only water can give. That kind of thirst is a satiable thirst.

Then there are the thirsts in life that cannot be satisfied. I’ll be honest and say that when I have a sugary dessert I am not satisfied. I want more. And more. My sugar cravings are insatiable and somewhat life-controlling if I allow them to be. For some it might be shopping. The “thrill of the hunt” never goes away. I love to shop but I do get my fill after a really long day of it. For others the desire for success might be a relentlessly driving force. No matter how much this person achieves it is never enough.

All of these things are fine, maybe even good, in and of themselves. They just aren’t meant to be that which fulfill our very souls. I will be honest again and admit that most of my thoughts are preoccupied with how to make a successful business out of doing what I love, here on the blog and in some creative form whether it be jewelry design, graphic design, DIY or something else. I don’t necessarily classify this as an insatiable thirst for me because I have yet to achieve it to any degree, monetarily anyway. And yet it tends to consume me.

I certainly have been doing a lot of soul-bearing in this series! #16 on Trust dealt with a similar topic but I’m now taking it further. Recently I decided to embark on a specific personal journey with God. I made the decision to finally surrender my yearning for success in exchange for a closer relationship with Him. I have come to realize that my desire for success has been holding me back from experiencing the thirst-quenching nature of intimacy with my Creator. Until now I have been trying to “serve two masters” and if I’m totally honest I would have to say that the success thing had my heart. I am sure this will not be a once and for all type of surrender. Especially since I will continue to blog and create. I believe that’s the path I’m on for a reason. But it will be a balancing act. Is it possible to pursue those passions and still keep my heart where it belongs, fully trusting God for the outcome? If I can have my thirst satisfied through a closer walk with Him perhaps the outcome won’t really matter.

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Phrase Art Phriday: Embrace Your Flaws

Welcome to another post in a series where I combine original photography with a favorite quote, phrase or thought. Embrace Your Flaws is #21; the subject is a simple berry and bottle arrangement. I have been experimenting with my new camera, enjoying the way it can capture so much detail.

I had no idea when I took this picture that there was a cobweb running between the berries. But thanks to the wonderful macro, there it is for all to see.

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No worries. Every house has them, right? Does the cobweb detract from the beauty of the shot? It depends on one’s focus. If I choose to view it as a negative thing that is marring the photo then I am less able to see the way the light reflects off the bottle or the way the cobweb shows movement or the way it depicts real life.

I choose to see the cobweb as a happy accident. It enhances the picture and makes it a realistic snapshot of life. Though I hate cobwebs in my house and am forever trying to get rid of them, I will embrace this one.

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