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A Delayed #ArtThursday

So super late, must admit, the last week has felt a bit overwhelming, just so much that has crept up on my plate. In some moments I feel like quitting and crawling under the covers and sleeping right through all the chaos but in most of the moments I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally got home last evening I was having a “ah, forget it, I’m so tired moment” but then some little things with big impact to me happened…I received two of my product shipments for my upcoming store launch (more news to come in the future about that!) and I saw my latest unfinished painting sitting on my dresser where I had strategically placed it to finish for an upcoming local art show with the very soon deadline of midnight last night, and I felt a little bit of inspiration creep up inside me. I realized I couldn’t catch up on it all last night but I did pull out my paints and I felt motivated again.

Sometimes lining up the art show deadlines on my calendar can add to the stress…but the actual part of letting loose in my artwork is where my therapy comes in… last night I sat down on my bed, watercolor pencils in hand, with no definite thought of where I was going to go with my painting, other than it was a bug and I had decided I was going to paint a praying mantis. The thing I love about diving into my paintings is that I find freedom and escape there. The more I let loose, the more exuberant my paintings become. My paintings are teaching me that the process is many times more important than the end result. I’m learning to live more in the moment and to focus on the process in all areas of my life through my art sessions. You can check out more of my artwork on my Artist Instagram account

Do you paint, do you draw? What activities do you find escape in? Share your arts and craft projects!!!

Link Up! 

(And because I was late, I extended the open party!)


Next Link Up June 8th!!!

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10 Summer Arts & Crafts Pinterest Round-Up

Let’s get some arts and craft inspiration going this week! I love jumping into new projects during the warm weather seasons. Summer makes me think bright, beautiful colors and lots of happy projects! I put together 10 projects I hope to tackle this year that I wanted to share with all of you too! You can check out more great craft ideas on my Pinterest Board: ‘Feeling Crafty’

Pinterest Round-Up: 10 Arts & Crafts To Try This Summer:

  1. DIY Monogram Planter from Remodelaholic – Head on over to Remodelaholic.com and check out this great tutorial on how to make a gorgeous planter for your porch or patio.
  2. Sugar Scrub Sand Art from Sugar and Cloth – Sugar scrub that looks good sitting on your shelf. I love this idea so much! Work on getting smooth, beach bound ready skin with this darling sugar scrub. Makes an excellent DIY Gift too!
  3. Photo Art DIY Luggage Tags from Little Red Window – Travel in style with these little cuties. This DIY craft lets you personalize your luggage to show your flare.
  4. Painted Pot Herb Garden from Colorfully Behr – Get down with your creativity and your love for nature with this crafty project. Create fun pots and fill them with fresh herbs to grow for your summer cooking!
  5. Reclaimed Barn Art from Hazel and Gold Designs – A great up-cycling project for some new home decor. This craft can easily be done in an afternoon to create some new decor to hang in your kitchen or living room.
  6. Hand Painted Pillows from Mandy Pellegrin – I absolutely adore how bright and colorful these pillows are! With some simple brushstrokes and dotting and some basic sewing you can make some adorable new additions to spruce up your sofa.
  7. Watermelon Serving Tray from Oh So Beautiful Paper – Bring the fun to the party with this serving tray! This is an easy and quick project will have you picnic and party ready in no time. 
  8. DIY Inspiration Smashbook from Dawn Nicole Designs – With all the racing ideas I always have going on in my mind, especially with preparing to soon launch an online boutique, what an awesome craft to take on to create a place to put all these great ideas! Personalize this smashbook with your favorite colors and your favorite quote and then get smashing!
  9. Painted Twig Bouquet from Homemade Ginger – A simple but chic way to dress up any room. Add some pops of color to your home with easy and inexpensive craft.
  10. Dip Dye Market Tote from The Sweetest Occasion – I love heading out to market every weekend to pick up fresh fruits and veggies! This tote creates the perfect way to carry them all home!

What DIY Projects and Arts & Crafts do you have to share?


10 Ways Art is Therapeutic for Your Mind, Heart, & Soul

Today’s #ArtThursday is brought to you by me…and the benefits of Art Therapy. Did you know that practicing art or even by doing a craft it can act as a meditative practice for you? When we channel our energy into creating something it can have many therapeutic properties.

1.) Art is relaxing and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and decrease worry.

2.) It can teach us insight, empathy and acceptance.

3.) It promotes self-expression and can help us express and process emotions or stress that we may have suppressed.

4.) Art therapy stimulates the mind.

5.) It can encourage self-discovery, self-observation and encourages the discovery of our subconscious.

6.) Art empowers us.

7.) It helps teach us constructive ways to deal with tough feelings and traumatic or stressful situations.

8.) Art Therapy improves emotional, cognitive and sensory processes.

9.) Art can help us see beauty in rough times.

10.) It provides us with many learning opportunities and provides a sense of worth and accomplishment when we complete projects.

Now it’s your time to share! Link up your current artwork and projects! DIY Arts & Crafts, thoughts on art, Art Bucket List, all welcome!

What kinds of art and projects do you do to relax?


The Color of Meadow Posies

The color feels as light as fog.

It is as pretty as the scent of a French girl’s perfume.

It has the softness of a mother’s embrace.

And can only be heard when snow flurries touch the ground.

The taste is of a sweet sugar cane.

This lovely color,

Is the color of Meadow Posies.

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Beauty in the Ruins

It was a damn cold afternoon…but we were determined to get this shoot. There was an upcoming local art show at HiveArtSpace that we wanted to submit to…”Beauty in the Art of Decay”…so off we set to Ruins Park in Glen Rock where we could capture the beautiful graffiti as a background in our shoot. We found the most inspiring art work to shoot with and were set free and given a fire of creativity within ourselves with this artsy shoot. With every shot that I was able to gaze upon the sky, I was given a view of a flock of birds, and with every moment that the sun start to set we were given a new angle. Unfortunately our work wasn’t accepted to the show this time but I am so happy with what we gained out of this shoot either way. Shared below are some of my favorite shots and a little behind the scenes peek of shooting on a cold March afternoon.

“Colorful and Concealed”
Look inward towards your soul for healing. Curl up in your own warm embrace. All you need is there.

“What is Dead May Rise Again”
Rise from the ashes as the phoenix did. Find strength in all your trials and challenges.

“Rising From the Ashes”
With downfall we find new strength. We can find light in the darkest places. The phoenix symbolizes that…be reborn with new glory, courage, and fire!

“The Art of Angles”
A pure perspective will give you power.

   

Behind the Scenes Sneak Peek:

Tucked behind a big wooden spindle with my little hand warmers trying to hide from the frigid wind between shots.

When your photographer gets a snap of you fixing your hair…

Please be sure to check out more of Anthony’s work here – Photos by Anthony Machcinski His work is beautiful and each photo has a story behind it. I have loved working with him and look forward to more shoots! 

Getting Fun & Crafty: DIY Galentine’s Day Gifts Round-Up

I can’t believe how fast this year is already going by! I’ve been so busy with work and blogging and administrative kind of stuff that I decided I deserved a craft day…and what perfect excuse to make some cute DIY stuff but for Galentine’s Day! 

I pruned through Pinterest and found my favorites: 

Valentine’s White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods from The Kitchen Is My Playground

XOXO Plate from The Pinning Mama

DIY Heart Mobile from Little Inspiration

 Valentine Heart Jars from Mason Jar Crafts

Clay Valentine Hearts Garland from So Much Better With Age

Cherry Jam Heart Pie Pops from The Sweetest Occassion

Valentine’s Wreath & Frame from Lil’ Luna All Things Good

Doilies & Hearts Jars from Jenny Doh’s Blog

Valentine’s Day Strawberry Sugar Scrub from Totally the Bomb

DIY Pom Pom Pillow from Crafts Unleashed

And a special Do Five Things A Day bonus:

Lovely Valentine’s Day Brownies:

Ingredients Needed: 

 Family Size Boxed Brownie Mix

16oz Jar of Buttercream Icing

Cinnamon Imperials

Sprinkles

Cupcake Liners

Muffin Baking Tins

Aluminum Foil

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Prepare brownie mix as instructed on box.

3.) Line muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.

4.) Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full with brownie batter.

5.) Roll up strips of foil into small balls, about 1 inch each. You will need one for each filled cupcake liner.

6.) Pinch liners together to form heart shape and tuck a foil ball in the cup to hold place.

7.) Bake as directed, about 25 minutes.

8.) Let brownies cool completely.

9.) Apply icing and decorate as desired.

In hindsight, I think I should have used a larger foil ball to get a better heart shape but still sweet! 

Hope you all have an amazing Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day! 

xoxo

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How to Bake Comfort with Grandma’s Shortcake Recipe

One of my favorite recipes from my Grandmother’s Recipe Box is her classic shortcake recipe. I love this with milk and strawberries over it! This dish always brings me warmth and joy. 

Ingredients Needed: 

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a 8″ baking pan.

2. In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 

3. With pastry cutter, cut in shortening with dry ingredients.

4. Stir in milk until well blended.

5. Spread dough into (should be thicker and slightly sticky dough) greased pan.

6. Bake until medium brown, about 15-20 minutes. 

Serve warm and top with fruit or pour milk over. 

Enjoy! 

Feeling Stuck? 20 Ways To Get Rid Of Creative Block

We’ve all been there, as an artist, as a writer, as a blogger…creative block sometimes gets us. I get it at least once every few months. I know there’s awesome things there waiting to burst out but I can’t get the door to open. So I kick into gear on busting down that wall and getting those creative juices flowing again! 

1. Read – Dive into a fantasy novel, drift off into a good story.

2. Revisit your work – Look at old paintings, read old blog posts, review & edit the novel you’ve been working on.

3. Meditate.

4. Visit an art gallery or museum.

5. Take a nap – Dreams can be wonderful inspiration.

6. Get outside – Explore & surround yourself with nature.

7. Take a Class.

8. Listen to music.

9. Have a spa day – Sometimes you just need to relax & take the pressure off.

10. Research something unusual – There’s all kinds of crazy topics out there that can spark something in your mind.

11. Spend time with friends.

12. Scope out Instagram & Pinterest for ideas.

13. Cook – Try a new recipe or get cozy with a family classic.

14. Participate in a sketch or photo challenge.

15. Travel – Take a mini vacation or go for a day trip.

16. Just scribble or splat some paint on the paper – Let the chaos of the mess lead your artistic ways.

17. Drink some wine – Not something to overdo but a couple of glasses of wine can help you let your barriers down.

18. Pick a word & journal about it – What does that word mean to you? How does it inspire you?

19. Exercise – Go to a Yoga class, go for a run, get your Zumba on.

20. Clean & reorganize your space.

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Speaking to the Artist’s Soul & Emerging in the Progress

Creating art is a therapy for me…when I pick up a paintbrush or open my sketchbook I immediately feel a wave of calmness enter me. The stress of the world melts away. I become the center of the balance beam. 

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton

It frees me. It allows stubborn emotions to flow out of me, whether it is trauma or joy, the feelings can pour freely from my soul, leaving my heart and my mind clear. 

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

It opens a space for me to heal.

“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars & attics. It brings healing.” ~ Julia Cameron

I used to rush my paintings, feeling the need to bring them to completion in one sitting. I found that through my patience they became so much more. I have learned to allow them to be works in progress. I allow them to grow as I grow through them. Letting them layer upon layer as life does, creating a story to be told. And in that they give back to me as what I put into them.

Art is beautiful to the eyes, but it is compelling to the soul. 

 

“Dream Within Meditation” Remembered and Reflected Upon

I have always been in love with mermaids…some days thinking maybe I was/am one – who knows… I have a pretty imaginative mind. More recently I have been exploring my design of mermaids, through my sketches and my paintings. As I sketched and painted, it brought to me to a memory of a dream within a meditation I had a couple of years ago. I thought it’d be fun to share for a #throwbackthursday post. My dream spoke of pain and love, of disaster and beauty. It is how I feel the world is balanced, that even though there may be trials and sorrow, in the end there will always be love and light. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey swirls interrupted by shrouds of deep orange filled the sky. She watched in awe, mesmerized by the passion it exuded. A lonely arrow shot into the sky slashed through the sun. The sky grew dark.

She dove, her fins pushing her deeper and deeper into the ocean’s captivity. A lonely glow shone down to her. She followed the warm trail back to the surface. Thrusting herself up from the water, she found a solo lantern sitting on the stone ledge. A sharp ache spread throughout her as the second arrow pierced her chest. She fell back into the sea. Red poured around her as she sank.

His arms wrapped around her and he pulled her up towards the waves. They reached the break and he slid her up onto land. With his hands placed on her chest, he pushed down hard, a vivid glow radiated from his hands upon her. She opened her eyes to see him.

The dark sky now awoke. A dazzling yellow globe filling it. They lay, intertwined, souls touching.