Shift -ed

Towards the end of 2008, I felt anticipation, intuitively knowing that something was about to change. I found myself making concrete goals, taking affirmative action, becoming that artist I’ve been telling myself I am. My journal pages reflected this.

I do owe much of it to this book:

Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts

Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts

But something pushed me, prompted me to purchase the book. I have so many on my wish list. How did this one make it to my home? And I’ve only made it through the first chapter.

This book, the first chapter of this book, widely opened a door that had only been cracked just enough to peek through. Fear had been holding me back from opening the door, fear of rejection, of failure, of depression, of becoming overwhelmed, that I might find out I’m not really an artist after all. And what did I find on the other side of the door? Why my art studio and myself.

One of my favorite movies is Strictly Ballroom. I’m not sure if it is the ludicrous dress and hair, the animated characters, or the underlying theme of the movie that made me fall in love with it. I’ve adopted its motto:  “A Life Lived in Fear Is a Life Half Lived.” And it’s Biblical…

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

After Christmas, the shift occurred. I have been Creative Every Day in an very active way, more so than ever before. Out of the blue I’ve received several requests for specific artwork or jewelry. I have a list of items I am working on and through. And when I get these projects done, there is more, so much more.

I am very excited about a specific project of which I’ll show you a glimpse:

There will be three 16×20 collage pieces in this series which I’m making for our church. I’ve decided to wait to reveal them until they are done and show more of a step by step process. Also I want the church to be the first to see the finished project.

So now I have a new dilemma. Between homeschooling, cooking, and working in my studio, blogging has taken a back seat. But I’m not too concerned. I’m sure with the ebb and flow of life that I will find my way back here more regularly. Until then, picture me with messy hair, a far-away look in my eyes, paint on my fingers, and passion in my heart.

amanda ∞



Artfest seems so far away. I am very ready to take classes, to learn, to be challenged. Until Artfest, I’m sure I’ll have Sea Monsters (this year’s theme) on the brain. Although I am very happy with the octopus I drew because I actually drew it, I am also not satisfied, knowing that if I was armed with more knowledge and experience, it could look so much better.

This school year has been particularly time consuming as I’m teaching my daughter her final year of Latin. This means I must learn it first. While I absolutely love this, I am looking forward to summer and the next school year. I am hoping to try some art classes to be challenged and learning continually.

I have loved this journey of creativity. To date I have been self taught with all my art, learning new techniques mostly from other blogs and from books. But I am very ready and eager for more. I am hungry.

amanda ∞

Journal pages & AEDM

Fly: I didn’t add much after all. It just seemed to speak this way. I just added more color to the tree and journaled in pencil.

Experimentation and Friendship sermon notes: On these pages, I was experimenting with how markers and water soluble crayons interacted. No wow factor, just learning. The sermon on friendship today was incredible. Once again, if you’d like to listen, select Building World Changers: Direction in Real Time: Friendship on this page.

I’m feeling normal again today, so I am hopeful that my autumn bought of Seasonal Affective Disorder is over. Yay! This is reason for celebration. This year I was very proactive and found that approaching it this way lessened the intensity and duration.

Now I look forward to posting more frequently for Art Every Day Month. I have the hankerin’ to make some jewelry. My etsy shop needs some fresh items. It’s getting a bit stale over there.

Have a creative and fruitful day!

amanda ∞


I woke up today feeling so normal, and good. My head is clear and I can focus. And the most wonderful part is that through this bought of SAD, I never felt full-out depression. Yay!

I have been doing creative things like making delicious mustard. This mustard is so full of flavor it inspires creativity. Therefore I deem it art. The recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook makes a delicious mustard, and I found through experimentation the perfect blend of mustard powders from my local herb store. Using a mix of hot and regular mustard powders, this mustard produces an incredible zing. We find ourselves not only using it in traditional ways, but also adding it to our soups and the like.

Our pickle supply was getting low, so I had to whip up a couple jars of fermented cucumbers. I have found that the fresh garden cucumbers taste superior, but during this time of year and through the winter I use the cute little cucumbers available at Costco. One pack of these makes two quart jars. The Nourishing Tradition recipe for fermented cucumbers is the base, but I always add garlic cloves as well.

And today, besides spending time in my art studio, I plan on getting the house back in order. My husband was out of town this past week, and with me not functioning normally, the house did slip a bit. The kids did a wonderful job picking up the slack though. Without them the dishes would still be dirty, and that mountain of clean clothes would still be on the couch. Now to attack the dust bunnies…

amanda ∞


I am here. And I am sort of not. Little things are slipping through the cracks, like laundry. Small steps are good, because there is movement.

Sermon notes from Sunday + journaling:

Page in progress:

I’m in a Tim Burton mood. We’ll see where that mood takes me with this page.

amanda ∞

Fighting it

It’s that time of year again for me. I’ve been arming myself in the battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Although I have not become depressed, I can feel it grabbing my brain and pulling in different directions. It has been difficult for me to focus and get normal activities done. I also feel myself withdrawing from everyday contact with others.

Art Every Day has become a great challenge. I’m glad I knew this going into the month though and have allowed myself permission to ride this wave of disorder. I am celebrating even the tiniest sparks of creativity. These sparks have been a healing balm for me. In the past I would have just fallen to pieces. Now I turn to my art journal, or I make pickles.

Although I’m not commenting much right now, I’ve truly been enjoying the creativity that is going on this month in the blog world with Art Every Day Month, NaNoWriMo, and NaNoBloMo and all the other NaNo***Mo’s. Good stuff.

amanda ∞


To kick off Art Every Day Month, I did a thorough cleaning of my art studio and the rest of the house. Some clutter had been giving me a total mental block. Now that the space is fresh and clean again, I am drawn to the room.

For Art Every Day Month, I am applying some wisdom I learned from Sark. I am making small movements in the direction I want to go. On Saturday after cleaning the studio, I gessoed some Moleskine pages and painted. On Sunday I used those same pages for taking sermon notes. Today I applied more gesso. And I have even moved a quilt to a very accessible place to encourage my hands to get busy.

The sermon on Sunday was incredible. I’m still pondering all that I heard. Jeff Cox always gives fresh perspective and greater insight into the Bible. The topic was grace. For me, he brought history to life and put flesh on a man who wrote much of the new testament, Paul. Incredible. If you’d like to listen, go here and select ‘Crisis-Jeff Cox.’

Thanks for all your kind words about the loss of our sweet little Gloria. The house is very quiet today, even with two other dogs and a cat. Gloria was our little shadow. She would follow us wherever we went, and had the sweetest disposition. We all keep looking for her, expecting her to burst around the corner full of joy.

amanda ∞