Friday, June 26, 2009

SPARK- My Art and Writing Pieces

The new SPARK: Art from Writing, Writing from Art challenge is up. Amy Souza started this creative venture to unite artists and writers and inspire them to create off of each other. This time around, I entered as an artist and as a writer, so I had two different partners- Marty McGihon was my art partner, and you can see our page here. And Urmilla Khanna was my writing partner, seen here. There are so many amazingly talented people on this project, so go check it out.

These are the poems I entered:


Scrape deep, chip away
Remove the years of grime
Expose the raw material
Intended for a different purpose
Splinters tear the flesh
That lovingly strokes,
Pouring lover's blood
Into the restoration
Ragged and rough as sandpaper-
Yet the lightest touch is fire,
Salt in the open wound
Painful purification
Smooth over reclaimed surfaces
Kissed with sweetest silk
And gently unveil
The undiscovered me

Survival Mode

Where the heck am I going?
Driving blindfolded,
It's hard to stay on the road

Walking zombie, arms outstretched
Snatching anything I feel

Willing this to be it-
The place where confusion lifts,
Epiphanies rest

Frustration! Agh!

When, oh, when will this fog disperse?
Stand on that mountain-rock
Breathing clean air, vision restored

I'm tired of drudging in circles,
Survival mode

Let it end, no more!
My foot is firm, my brow is set,
Refusing to take that sedative

This patient will obstinately
Insist on a change

And these are the art pieces I made:

The little girl is running down a road of song lyrics about fairytales, towards a sparkly castle in the distance. She hopes that when she reaches her destination, she will live happily ever after. I identify all too well.


I wanted to portray people who have survived great trauma. Not to show them in despair, but to show the strength that exists in spite of it, even the joy that comes in the rescue. The images clockwise: holocaust survivors, girls marching for children's labor rights, a black slave, girls released from sexual trafficking in Asia, "Hope" with her anchor, a group of impoverished families receiving food from the Salvation Army during the Great Depression, and a picture I took of a tree with birds and an open cage.

Monday, June 22, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Cinderella Moments for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award! Check out her incredibly detailed cottages on her blog. When you receive the award, you have to pass it along to 15 other people. Which means we all get to discover some great new blogs out there in cyber space. So, I'm nominating these wonderfully inspiring ladies:

Cathe Holden at Just Something I Made always has creative projects to share.
Lilla at Just Lilla makes a variety of lovely things in Hawaii.
June from Art Freebies posts free images almost daily.
Heidi at Moms, Ministry and More has great posts about real life and tough questions.
Lisa Kettell at Faerie Enchantment shares her imaginative world and amazing talent.
Renee Swope from The Journey of My Heart posts insightful devotionals about balancing motherhood with real life.
Ruth Rae at Let the Beauty We Love be What We Do is an incredible textile artist, among other things.
Summer from Design Is Mine posts about everything design- from great etsy finds to fashion to home decor.
The gang at Art Love Magic posts about local artists and musicians, and anything relating to the two.
Linda from Blue Eyed Girl is a wonderfully talented artist with a great heart.
Leah at Creative Every Day shares tons of great ideas, websites and challenges for the inner muse.
The group at Etsy Cottage Style shares lovely images and reflections.
Even though Lani Kent from Healing Expressions is taking an online break, you'll definitely want to check in later for her reflections on the healing power of love and art.
Karen from The Graphics Fairy posts lots of vintage images for you to use.
Lysa Terkeurst from P31 Woman always shares devotionals that challenge and encourage.

** Don't forget to sign up for the Pay It Forward challenge on my previous post! The first 5 people will get a handmade gift!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pay It Forward

Let's play *Pay It Forward*!

I signed up for the challenge that Kelly Vivanco posted on her blog. Just read below and if you feel up to the task, copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment. The first 5 people will receive something special made just for you!

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make you.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It will be finished and given to you this year (2009).
4. I won't tell you what it's going to be. It will be something tangible, that you can touch. It may be beautiful or strange, but made with lots of love.
5. In return, just post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 people who respond.
6. Send me your mailing address after I contact you.

Come on, don't be shy. Even if you think you're not the creative type, you might end up surprising yourself- and making 5 other people very happy, too!

The first 5 people to leave a response agreeing to play and posting the challenge on their blogs will receive something special made by me within the year!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sunburn and Summer Plans

We just came back from a mini-vacation, in celebration of our 11th anniversary. It was wonderful to get that much undivided attention and just relax on the beach. But I made one horrible mistake- not enough sunblock. OOOUUCH! I'm still tomato red and in pain. :(

Before we left, I was able to finish my art and writing entries for the Spark art/writing challenge. I wrote a poem about confusion, based on my partner's artwork, and I painted a piece called "Survivor" based off of my partner's essay. I'll wait to show the finished pieces until the Spark website is updated, but here's a sneak peek of part of it.

I'm going to be pretty busy this summer. In addition to keeping 3 kids busy (so as not to kill each other), I need to finish 4 more art pieces for a show and record an album with our band by August. Last week we lead worship for a conference in Greenville. It was so amazing to lead the people into God's presence and feel His anointing. I really hope we get to do more conferences and retreats like that.

Oh, and I've been practicing the violin, even though it sounds horrible. I keep telling myself that I have to start at the beginning, and then I'll get better. But it's pretty hard on the ears, even if it's beautiful in my mind. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dreaming and New Art

After some good conversations today, I started reflecting about where I am in life right now. 

A few years ago, I started dreaming about things I wanted to do, passions that I wanted to turn into realities. But everything seemed so impossible. So random and out of reach. I had all these pieces that didn't seem to fit with anything else- I wanted to write music and sing songs of hope. I wanted to create art as expressions of concepts I had. I wanted to write books that encouraged and pointed people to reconcile with Christ. I wanted to counsel women who struggled with depression or had issues with past sexual abuse. All these parts of me were very strong and almost painfully intense.

I've spent the last several years searching, hoping, and dreaming in what felt like a wasteland around me. I planted seeds in faith and trusted God for the miracle of bringing life out of barrenness. I could have grown bitter and disillusioned in the process, gotten angry at God for leading me into the desert. But instead, I grew still and tried to patiently sit at his feet, to wait in his presence and for his timing. It wasn't easy at all.

As I reflected today, I realized how blessed I am. I had a moment of insight today as I saw that my dreams were in full bloom all around me. I'm in a band with my best friends in the whole world. We get to create amazing music, purposeful lyrics and tight harmonies together. We get to lead worship in churches and play rock shows in coffee shops and bars. We get to be who we are no matter where we are. That's cool. And we're getting more and more opportunities to play and speak and sing all the time.

And I get to create art using whatever I want. Photographs, paint, papers, even trash- I love using all the random bits to create something beautiful. I get to express ideas through art, and people can understand what I'm trying to communicate with it. I'm part of a few different art groups. I get to exchange ideas and learn and grow with other artists, and I have some really amazing opportunities coming up.

I've been writing a book about Christ connecting the broken pieces and making something beautiful from the mess. I've gotten to encourage women with what I've learned, prayed with them for endurance in the midst of their difficulties. And I have some incredible opportunities to work with sexually exploited women soon.

The full weight of what God's been doing in my life took my breath away today. I'm finally seeing pieces fall into place. He knew all along, even though I didn't believe any of it could happen. And the crazy thing is that lately, I've been having even more ridiculous-sized dreams. It's like he's expanding my vision for what could be, as he brings it all together in front of my eyes. And all I can say is "thank you." I'm so humbled and grateful to be whole again.

I finished a piece I'd been working on for a while. The idea behind it was about the fragility of idealism. The painting didn't turn out like I wanted it to at all, but maybe it's for the best. I was really disillusioned when I started it, and I don't feel that way anymore. It's simply titled, "Idealism."
I added some more art pendant necklaces to my etsy shop, and lowered the prices a bit.
I also added some art prints of "Delicate" and "Cathedral Tree", so stop by MixedEmotions and buy a little something. 
Thanks for reading!
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