From an art journal page
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project among other books and prolific blogger, has as the first of her Twelve Personal Commandments “Be Gretchen.” She mentioned it recently in a tweet, and I found myself thinking about it over the past few days. I was working on an art journal page–I had started a new background, and then I began adding some stamping to the background, and I was wondering what this page was going to be about. I was feeling discouraged about my art–this page that didn’t seem to be going anywhere, some cards that I’d made that didn’t measure up to my standards, my lack of inspiration on a few other canvases. The cards were particularly on my mind, as I’d struggled over a few Valentines, trying to get some heat embossing just right, and I felt as if I would never be able to make a “good enough” card. I was measuring my work against that of some far more experienced card makers, trying to be as good as they are, as careful and neat and precise and perfect.
And then I heard in my head the words I’d been reminded of earlier: “Be Gretchen.” Of course, my task is to be Laura, though–can you see I have issues?–I like the rhythm of Be Gretchen better. At any rate, that’s what the page turned out to be about, and I ended up fairly happy with it. The journaling doesn’t exactly pop off the page, but maybe that’s fine, since the value was probably more in the writing of it than in anyone’s reading of it later.
It’s OK to be Laura. It’s OK to do the kind of art I love, to make imperfect cards, to play at art forms I’m not good at, to express myself in the ways I feel like expressing myself, whether they’re trendy, popular, marketable, or not. I have things to offer that others do not, and if I try to be someone else, I rob the world of what I have to offer. That sounds more than a little grandiose, but why else was I created if not to bring glory to my Creator in a unique way?
Yesterday Connecticut was graced with a classic Nor’easter, closing my high schooler’s school for the third time in two weeks. Both my husband’s and my daughter’s offices were closed as well, so we all had a quiet at-home day. There was computer play, reading, napping, and crafting.
You Are Missed card
Among a few other projects, I made this card for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, “get krafty.” I love using kraft paper, so this was a fun challenge for me. I used papers and stamps from the February Simon Says Stamp Card Kit.
Today is another snow day for the schoolboy, but the others braved icy roads and got to work safely. What shall I make today?
Resting: in my art journal
I’ve been playing around with doodling some these days. I’ve not been much of a doodler at all in recent years. Like, maybe since filling notebook margins in high school or college? That’s a long time ago. Now I find out that doodles have become Zentangles, with instruction books and guidelines and doodle names. I’m behind the curve, clearly. But even without taking a class or watching a YouTube video, I’m finding I can still doodle. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but it gives my hands something to do during the sermon or a football game.
I really got into making cards this past November and December as Christmas approached, and during those two months made about 30 different Christmas cards and tags. My card making has slowed since then, but I still really enjoy the process and the results. I recently subscribed to Simon Says Stamp’s monthly card kits, and this afternoon had some fun with the February kit.
You Are Loved
I’ve never really worked with vellum before (shocking, I know), and I love the look of heat embossing on vellum. I was inspired by this card by Lime Doodle Design.
Thanks for stopping by!
Just a peek
A local rubber stamp store is running a fun mixed-media contest this winter. To enter, I purchased a contest grab bag from the store, and I’m making a mixed-media piece to fit the qualifications using some of the supplies in the grab bag. I like the idea of working within some constraints, as I find that often spurs creativity. The deadline for submitting the finished artwork isn’t until March 1, but I’ve had so much fun with it that my piece is nearly finished already.