Where Faith Resides

Faith is an interesting word. One that is defined so differently for people.

Faith often gets intertwined, for good reason, with religion. However, they are indeed separate. I grew up going to Catholic School…I had a strong faith and strong religion then. Now, my faith is just as strong, probably stronger, but I’ll let my Catholic Guilt tell you that I’m bad at getting to church, bad at remembering to not eat meat on Fridays in Lent…..you get the idea. My religion is not great at the moment. But my faith, well, that is bigger than those things.

Some see faith as God, some as the Self with the capital ‘S’, some don’t look at faith as tied to a being or state, but rather a belief in something you cannot see, a belief in the bigger picture.

In this piece I put a cardinal, a sign for many of loved ones who’ve passed giving a sign of more, a sign they are with us. But I also included my personal sign of faith, Poppies. Before my 2 children were born, I was pregnant with my first child. We lost that child, a child we called Poppy, after those points where you should be “in the clear”. And I will tell you, nothing has the ability to throw all of what you know upside down more than the loss of a child. While for some, this could be devastating to their faith, to their belief in something bigger, well, for me, it led to something much bigger, much deeper than obeying church rules ever could.

Within days, through the blurry fog of sadness, I received multiple ‘signs’ from our angel baby. Poppies started appearing in the strangest of places- a book that hadn’t mentioned poppies for 256 pages suddenly was talking of poppies, a poppy given to my mother by a friend who did not know of what had happened, a friend on Facebook sent friends a pic of a flower, chosen at random to brighten their day, again, she did not know of what happen, and you guessed it, she sent me a poppy. All of these things happened within 2 days.

I immediately knew. I knew things would be ok, I knew there was something greater, I knew there was more to this story of me being a mother & I needed to have faith, to trust in a bigger picture, to believe that my Poppy was meant to be a wonderful guardian for the kids I would have.

And she has not let me down. Poppies arrive when I most need a reminder of faith, when I need to remember that this moment was meant to be & will lead to something greater. Even if the world feels blurry, a Poppy is always clear to me, it refocuses my world.

I’m sure cardinals or dragonflies or whatever it might be do the same for many.

So, this piece. It’s meant to be a bit out of focus, all but the cardinal (and for me the poppies). That glimpse of proof for our faith in times where it’s hard to see.

Thanks for sticking in here for the story of this piece. I hope it touches your heart in some way.

Watch the process here:

BELIEVE

This piece was a needed “create without any plan” piece. I’ve been busy getting the ART GARAGE built, designing classes & art camps, starting another side business, and of course, always being mama to 2 little ones. So creative time has been tough, or rather creating just for me time has been tough.

So, I turned on the camera, hit record & just made some art. It’s a wonderful thing when the hubs takes both kiddos on some errands just to give me some quiet time! And truly, I had a moment of, should I go create, or should I take a nap? Lol #momlife!

Thank goodness I chose to create!

This gorgeous angel is what came of it & I love her! AND! While I had no plan or agenda, the perfect stencil for this piece happened to be this one from AB.Studio, so Design Team Project checked off the list too! Don’t you love when a no-plan plan comes together!?

Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed watching! Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Easy “Watercolor” with Marabu

One of my new favorite tools for coloring digital stamps or creating watercolor backgrounds is Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens

Here’s the perfect example of what you can create with them, achieving both the watercolor look and the vibrancy you get from ink. I created this art journal page using these two stamps, Fairy & Ghosts, from Oddball Art Shop.

Simply use the Aqua Pen to outline h use a brush with water to fill.

Here’s a closer look at what they can do:

The fine tip side is so perfectly crisp & precise, while the brush tip allows for greater coverage and softer end lines.

And here’s more of the detail from my art journal page.

Quick & Easy Card Background

Sometimes you have the perfect image for a card & well, you might just look at the blank card & feel stuck … picking your image is just part of the game. You also have the background to think about. And that blank page/card can sometimes make you feel stumped. Well, one of my favorite ways to become un-stuck is to just start playing with paint, just lay down some color using some of my favorite tools & let it all happen naturally. So, here’s a quick and easy way to add some graphic, grungy background designs using just a couple of tools & some bright paint.

For this tutorial, I’ll be creating the background for this card that I created for Mother’s Day.

This fun card features this super sweet image from Oddball Art Shop!

First, gather your paint colors, a brayer roller & a palette knife.

With your first color, dab some paint directly to the brayer & simply roll it out on your page. Repeat with your second color.

Next, grab your third color and your palette knife & place some swipes of color across the page. Use small strokes & jump around the page until it feels balanced.

Add some paint drips using an art spray or liquid paint.

Lastly, frame it out using some black paint. Use a large paintbrush or your palette knife to create haphazard and uneven black edges.

To create your card, fold in half, and add your colored image. Use a bit of white paint around the edges to make the image pop.

Add a fun matching tag/bookmark & you have a sweet little card & extra little gift that didn’t take too much thought, but instead just let you play with paint to create a fun & colorful background!

This is also a super fun way to create cards with kids of any age. So grab some blank paper, paints & tools & create some cards for any occasion!

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