Self portrait from a joyous family reunion.

The effects of the Kansas wind also reflect the the cogs in my brain. I need a time of rest, a time for my windblown mind to settle.

I’ve finally made it to this place. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. I’ve been looking at this space on my calendar since April, dreaming about how I would spend my time. Now that I am here I find myself floating. I feel incapable of doing anything. The school year was intense and we have been on the go since. While I have enjoyed each adventure, all the activity has taken its toll. I am undone and in a great need of rest.

What I envisioned for this week of summer was time in my art studio doing whatever I felt like. While this may still happen (tomorrow or the next day), today I am only able to read my magazines and pet my sweet dogs. Beyond that is unrest. So I will continue to float because I can. Thank you, Sark, for teaching me that it is okay to nap or daydream. Sometimes that is just the thing one needs to fill up again.

Isaiah 30:15a  For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: …

This evening I go to pray with my church family which is beautiful, restful and passionate. Perhaps then my soul will realign with my spirit and I will once again be refreshed.

amanda ∞


Myopic View

I’ve decided that myopic persons named the constellations. Last night as I lay under a blanket of stars, I viewed the vast night sky through my severely nearsighted eyes. The bright stars were round gold buttons, the dim stars swallowed by the black. The patterns of the constellations distinctly appeared, danced, and told me their ancient stories.

Things I learned about nature:

  • Dew forms early in the night and quickly soaks into nice soft blankets that are not in tents.
  • Fireflies are surreal when spread across an entire pasture.
  • Lightning is swift, dangerous, bold and entrancing.
  • Rain is refreshing, and tents are essential.
  • The tiniest of frogs can sing their beautiful songs all night.
  • A search for treasure in nature gives a bountiful harvest.

I awoke this morning to find my daughter settled quietly on this little island.

She had found a treasure of her own.

The mother didn’t mind her presence as long as she stayed back.

And when the mother felt threatened, the father came to the rescue.

amanda ∞


As a school assignment, my daughter wrote the script for this short film. It came together wonderfully. So what grade should she get?

amanda ∞


Artfest caused yet another shift within me. Surrounded by such beauty and so many others who think in ways similar to me, I felt that if I did have a place I fit on this earth, I had found it. I have never felt more comfortable around so many people I’d just met. Just being around so many other creative minds gave me such confidence in my own path. I envisioned and set goals, became more firmly established, found more of my self.

Now I am back to my “normal” life. Taxes and traveling over the weekend have caused me to push into high gear to get several much needed projects done while still maintaining the balance with homeschooling and my husband’s business. I feel a mellowness setting in where there once would have been stress. My dreams and goals are pushing me past this time of “catch up” to that of grand plans in my art studio.

I will share more fully over the months about specifics, the classes I took, the exciting things I learned. Until then enjoy some of my Artfest Art Journal filled with treasures from other artists and the outpouring of my thoughts.

amanda ∞

No school? Think again.

This week our homeschool is closed, no math, no Latin, no writing assignments, no school at all. I leave my students and the principal as I set off for Artfest early Wednesday morning. But I had to chuckle about the excitement my students were displaying about having no school this week while set about their chosen activities for the day.

Here’s what my students accomplished on this “day off”:

  • Week’s menu was planned, using new recipes and working around the parameters of our grocery budget
  • Grocery list was made
  • Piano was played
  • Laundry was sorted, washed, and dried
  • Neighbors yard had hours worth of bulbs planted
  • Comic book was outlined and sketch begun
  • Gonache was prepared, will be ready to eat tomorrow
  • Jungle Pilot was read
  • Fast ball was polished

And this is Monday. I think they will have as much fun as me this week. My daughter has decided to prepare all the meals for the week, except for the gonache which my chocolate loving son just had to make. I can’t wait to hear the stories of their week when I return home.

amanda ∞

Preparations, anticipation

Artfest is fast approaching. I’ll be leaving in 10 days! As I gather the supplies needed for my workshops, the excitement builds inside my chest. I find it a little harder to fall asleep each night as my mind whirls with anticipation. This will be my first year attending, so I’m keeping things pretty low key. I didn’t sign up for any additional projects like ATCs or Fatbooks just so preparations would not become stressful for me, but I have committed to one tradition. I’ll be bringing trades, something I have to share in exchange for something another artist has brought. I’ve soldered 100 marbles, and have begun adding the jump rings. They make the cutest charms, so this is what I’ll be trading.

The other thing I’ve been doing with my time is Latin catch up. I got behind in February while meeting a commission deadline, so now I’m intently learning and translating. My student is a chapter ahead of me, so I’m working to surpass her before I’m off to Artfest. It’s best that the teacher know the material first, but I am thankful that my student loves Latin as well, and has not let my lapse affect her work. I’m also thankful that I enjoy Latin or this could be an exercise in torture.

And have you all noticed? Spring has arrived!

amanda ∞

Up for air

Glimpses of my projects:

I’m almost finished with my latest project. Seems to me the hardest part is knowing when each piece is really finished. I’ll be sure to post full pictures after the church receives them.

And another thank you for a dear friend:

A great experience for me has been learning to juggle homeschooling and project deadlines. While my Latin has suffered, my students are still on track and I will have everything done on schedule. I thought that accomplishing art on a larger scale would have to wait until my students graduated, but am finding that it is possible to do both. And knowing that just fills my head with larger dreams.

amanda ∞