Tag Archives: creativity

Today, May is here

Today I got to paint.

Today my sister, Megan, and Mom joined me. ūüôā

Today, my “painting studio corner” in an unfinished section of the basement, became artistic.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’
then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced.
– Vincent Van Gogh

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More to come…

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrushstrokesbyMel

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More Paintings

Hi everyone!

I just finished posting more paintings to my Etsy shop. Below is the link. ūüôā

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BrushstrokesbyMel

More to come…

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Recap: Art on the Lawn Festival

Hi everyone. ūüôā

Can I just say for¬†a Monday, today was good! I read Psalm 23 this morning in my study of finding the phrase “steadfast love” within the Psalms. Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”¬†I never took note of this before,¬†but today I read¬†the numerical at the bottom reference to the¬†word “mercy.” It¬†says,¬†“Or steadfast love.” So I noted the¬†verse in my notebook.

I found Psalm 23 exactly what I needed to¬†read after¬†getting through the rest of last week and the weekend. God’s mercy and goodness was evident, but I cannot¬†say¬†that I held on to¬†the¬†steadfast love in all areas like I should have–instead I chose to cling on fear to a few health related issues…forgetting the peace and calmness of the still waters; forgetting how He restores the soul.

I am entirely grateful to my family who put up with my frazzled grumpiness and helped me immensely in the preparation (writing the price tags, putting in the thumbtacks and twine on the back of the paintings for hanging), set up/take down of my booth on Saturday and stayed all day with me at the festival. I could not have done this without them!!

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I will say though that overall I was better prepared this year than past year, including getting a better nights sleep. It is interesting to see the difference one year can make, even within my painting style. As Mom and I were pricing on Thursday, I took note of my work: focused on smaller paintings, more abstract and ones with media. I stretched myself last year in my paintings to paint detail and broad themes; some of my best work is from last summer.

But over the year much has changed and I can see the paintings this year represent my style of what I am comfortable with and best at painting–a more relaxed approach¬†yet¬†detailed in its creativity. I would be lying to say that I don’t miss details, because I do. But sometimes even painting my “Mel” at¬†the bottom corner is enough¬†detail for me. I am¬†just thankful that¬†I can still paint!

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So how was the art show?¬†Fantastic!¬†It was a LONG day…I could have gone for a second¬†round of coffee, but the day could¬†not have been better. We were blessed with¬†beautiful¬†weather and my booth¬†sat¬†right¬†in front of a huge tree, which offered pleasant shade in the afternoon. In conversation, I did fairly well. It is hard for me, because I talk more than I listen just because I can’t hear…but as time went on, I felt more relaxed–enjoying watching¬†people point to paintings they liked and¬†meeting people or talking¬†with the friends who came to my booth too.¬†At the end of the day, I survived staying awake through dinner but then fell asleep on the drive home (last year I fell asleep AT dinner).

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I want to say a thank you to the staff at the Village Artians, who coordinated this event. They went above and beyond making sure that the vendors’ needs were met. I can’t say that I will be in next year’s festival (who knows what another year will bring), but if the door is opened, then I would love the opportunity to participate again. Either way, painting this year will not stop for five months as it did last year–doors continue to¬† open¬†and I am ready to restart on¬†the journey¬†through art.

Creativity takes courage. ~Henri Matisse

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Coloring Cupcakes

For my birthday this year, my sister sent me a flower muffin mold, icing, sticks, and edible markers. Although I had good intentions to use these, they sat on the cupboard shelf unused until a few weeks ago.¬†My first attempt at the flowers was using brownies. The brownies were delicious~but they looked like they had been trampled upon in the garden. ūüėČ

Since Megan was coming to visit, my next idea was cupcakes since I still had the unused frosting and markers. Last night we made our Funfetti cupcakes, added the frosting, and set them to dry. We colored them after lunch today, but in doing so it became quite clear: Mel paints on canvas, but cannot color cupcakes.

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DSCN2356¬†Yes, sad to say…these are mine.

DSCN2363 It must be something about coffee mugs. At least I had one that turned out somewhat artistic.

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Now that we decorated them, we get to eat them. And I don’t think taste buds hold regard for outer appearances. ūüôā

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The Bigger Picture

You know today was different. It was great. I think Miss Stacey had something going there when she told Anne, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it,” (Lucy Maud Montgmery.) I am pretty sure my day has had a few mistakes in it already, but it is fresh. It started so fresh and just seems to keep flowing with a good theme. Even now, it is a beautiful evening!

I am learning things in my daily readings, though they¬†seem more like puzzle pieces at the time.¬†I cannot see the whole picture yet, but start to get a faint glimpse of something..the bigger picture. I have several devotional books I am going through simultaneously. This morning they all related to each other…they all discussed forgiveness and kindness. They discussed unity. They all mentioned the passage¬†from Ephesians 4:31-32,

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

I start getting ready for the day thinking mostly about kindness. Who can I show extra kindness to today? In my mind I envisioned an opportunity would somehow be presented during the day…an open door to extend kindness. Little did I realize that I would not be giving kindness, but receiving it.

I spent the day in the town of Yellow Springs. It is a great little town. Full of shops that sell mostly handmade items and lots of artwork!!! Different aspiring musicians will play on the street corners and my favorite part is that the public restrooms are located in the old renovated train station. ūüôā The town is adorned in bright colors, funky store names that you remember and at this time of year–loads of spring blossoms (which also means huge bees!)

My goal was going to a pizza parlor to discuss a possibility of displaying my paintings. I had missed my contact, so¬†I just decided to eat there for lunch and read. The man who took my order was very kind. He explained and re-explained things when I could not understand. He showed me to the salad bar and caught my book as¬†I clumsily dropped it while asking more questions out of curiosity about the pizzas and toppings. I found a booth and sat down. I noticed while I was reading/eating that the man who took my order was the only waiter there. He also took the orders up front for carry out and ran the cash register. Then I remembered only seeing one chef too. I had come in¬†right when they opened at 11:30 a.m. By noon, they had a full house. These guys had every reason in the book to be grumpy if they wanted. But instead they¬†were kind and full of energy, resulting in a positive¬†mood throughout the room. I enjoyed my meal¬†and after paying,¬†thanked them on my way out.¬†I don’t think they heard me as the line had piled up behind me at the register.

My friend came to Yellow Springs a bit later. We walked around, going into different shops and enjoying the nice day (windy, but nice!) We stopped in this store that had just about everything. It was almost set up like a half antique store/half Charming Charlie store. The merchandise was organized by colors and themes. Towards the back, we found the craft section. I found a few pieces of fabric for my paintings, so we headed back to the front to pay. I was a few dollars short in cash and there was a $10 minimum for swiping your card. I was just about to say something like, “Let me keep looking.” Or, “Let me look at the candy section.” (They had fudge!)¬†I figured I could just get myself to the $10 limit and then use my card. (Note to self:¬†carry¬†cash next time.) The lady placed my few fabrics and post card in a bag and handed it to me. I took it and started open my mouth to say something about continuing shopping when she said, “It’s ok. Take it and have a great day!” It was genuine. She was not mad I did not have the cash.¬†In fact,¬†she was¬†smiling. I questioned to be sure and she confirmed. All I could say was, “Wow. Thanks so much!” Then proceeded to the door where my friend was waiting outside and I told her about the kindness I had just received.

Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” I experienced this today. When I¬†observed the kind attitudes¬†in the pizza parlor and experienced the gift of kindness in the craft shop, I think that I¬†started to see¬†the bigger picture¬†from my “puzzle pieces”¬†this morning. I should not¬†go around expecting to give kindness. It should flow–it should just be part of me. It should be in my words, deeds, thoughts.¬†I should not be expecting to receive kindness either. When I do receive it, it should be taken in with a heart of gratitude, thankfulness, praise. It leaves me humble.

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April’s Pinterest.

The biggest gig these days for creative thoughts and¬†stuff you like¬†is¬†Pinterest. I have been on the site a few times, but find it somewhat a bit of chaos, so I prefer magazines. ūüôā Needless to say, sharing creativity and what you like is splendid. Over the past week, I have been collecting “creative” thoughts. Some are more classified as a “Cool beans!” category. So this is my unofficial “pin” post of my interests. ūüôā

  • Storing Chocolates

Yes, there is a way to keep chocolate around a bit longer!! My good friend who runs Street Church sure knew¬†how to make a volunteer’s day during¬†the stressful weeks right before finals. We¬†would gather¬†in the kitchen to go over the¬†plans for the evening–the lesson, games, who is taking prayer requests, etc.–and then before you know it, someone has opened the freezer! We all¬†knew what was coming next. CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¬†What a dandy idea! No, it is genius!!!¬†Buy an extra bag of¬†chocolate at the holidays, put it in the freezer and¬†a few months later, pull out a few handfuls of the delicious treat!!!

  • Useful books

There are several things in this category. First, if you have limited bookshelf space or just want a different way to display your books, try putting a stack underneath your lamp. I have a small lamp that is sort of dull, because you can’t use a high watt lightbulb. I would make it shine a bit brighter just by putting it up higher. I am sure you have seen pictures of this…it is not an original idea. ūüôā The books I put underneath are usually ones that I have read, or that have a cool cover. (Never judge a book by its cover, LOL). My mom gets little books from the different places we travel. It is fun to sit down and read a few different ones when you have nothing else to do. You can also display them in a basket or on the coffee table for when company comes over–excellent conversation starter!

Take advantage of your library’s book sale. Be selective…maybe know what areas you are interested in and aim for those kinds of books. I got Homer’s The Iliad for 50 cents at our library’s book sale. “Cool beans!!” ūüôā

Every reader needs a bookmark! My sister got me a magnetic one, which I think is a lot better than what I used to do: turn down the corner of the page I just ended. I like to get to a page that has a period at the bottom. It closes the train of thought. I am such a nerd. ūüôā Anyway, the magnetic bookmarks are neat, because if you want to finish just a paragraph then you can mark the line by putting the bookmark on the outer edge of the book, instead of on top like my picture shows below. As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.”

  • Tea and Cakes

This is the time of year that I start drinking tea more than coffee. My favorite is Snapple brand. Every cap has a “Real fact” and when you finish the bottle, you can recycle it or make it into a flower vase. ūüôā I also like the idea of putting a tea packet in a card to a friend. A lady in town sends me encouraging cards and adds a tea bag. I think it is special.

3-2-1 cake!!!

Our family friend, Denise, shared this¬†“recipe” with my mom.¬†Even I can make it! ūüėÄ Trust me when I say, “It is so simple!!”

Ingredients:

1 Angel Food cake box

1 box of another cake (our favorites are Carrot cake or Chocolate cake)

water

Directions:

Mix the two boxes of cake in a Ziploc bag or container.

Using a 1 Tb measuring spoon, put 3 scoops of the cake mixture in a microwaveable mug. Add 2 Tb of water to the mixture.

Next, whisk the mixture until it is blended well and looks something like a frappachino.

Put it into the microwave for 1 minute. There you have it! So easy AND delicious!!! It looks like a sponge when it comes out. ūüôā

Speaking of sponges:¬†next time you are in FL, you should¬†tour Tarpon Springs!¬†It is¬†a Greek cultured town¬†with cute shops and they give tours of how they dive for sponges. It is like seeing an astronaut dive¬†in the sea. ūüôā Very neat place! I visited a few months before my trip to Greece. So, my first gyros was from the states, but still delicious!

 http://www.spongedocks.net/default.htm

 Another neat place in FL is the historical Ponce de Leon lighthouse (hence the mug). We went there as a family and climbed the 203 stairs to the top. There is also exhibits and a museum in which you can see up close how a lighthouse works. Very interesting!

http://www.ponceinlet.org/index.cfm

  • Randomness Finds and Ideas

I finally bought a flashlight. But it is like a lantern! I tested it in my bathroom. I set it on the counter and could see great all around. Great find from Target for around $10.

I opened the Cheerios box to find an Obi-Wan pen inside. ūüôā

Reuse¬†gift¬†bags that¬†have been given to you.¬†When¬†I find things that I am¬†not wanting or using anymore,¬†I set them aside. If it is books, movies or¬†nice articles of clothing,¬†I first think if¬†I¬†know of a friend or relative that would enjoy them. It is a great way to give presents,¬†get well/just because/encouraging gifts,¬†and it is a way for the items to continue to be used instead of sitting on a shelf in the closet.¬†ūüôā Thus, my recycling¬†tip of the day!

  • Fashion trends

I use my flower clips not only for use in my hair, but also attach them to my sweaters like a pendant. It gives a little spunk to your outfits.

And last, best thought of the day!!! I was cleaning the bathroom and decided that I am tired of staring at my bathrobe that hangs¬†on the outside of my door (which faces my room). I went on a fashion show business hour using the clothes in my closet and redecorated the hook with spring attire. It was so fun and now I have something like a “shopping” experience to stare at each morning when I enter the bathroom!! Fun!!!

To close, I will share my favorite “It is the month of April” joke. Ready? April showers bring May flowers, but what do Mayflower’s bring?

Did you guess??? ūüôā It is “Pilgrims.” Get it!?! HAHA. Happy end of April! More to come…

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