Adventure lies ahead

amsterdam Or rather, the adventure is laying out now. As I prepare for the Amsterdam Discovery trip, I am already amazed at the growth and stretching that is taking place in my own life.

In celebration, Wendy’s trip costs have been covered by donations, plus she will have just enough extra money to cover the meals and expenses not included in the trip cost.

For my own fundraising, I have been holding classes in my home. So far I’ve taught several soldering classes, and a visual journaling class. I have a couple more classes lined up for the month of October. I’m also selling an Amsterdam soldered pendant from my Etsy shop. Amsterdam Pendant

While all of this is helping to pay for the trip, I’ll be working into 2010 to fully recover the costs.

Here’s what I’m discovering:

  • I love to teach
  • I love to prepare classes
  • I love to get others excited about creativity and expression
  • I am inspired by the uniqueness of each students work
  • I love the relationships that are developing from these classes
  • I feel that I am being prepared for something else
  • I don’t enjoy marketing myself
  • I don’t like collecting money
  • I have a greater respect for all teachers that are prepared and thoughtful about the classes they teach and the time invested to bring the classes together

All in all, I have learned so much by holding the classes, and the experience has affected the vision and goals for my future. Exciting times!

Soldered Jewelry Classes:

Visual Manifesto Journal Classes:

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 ∞

My Mom the Artist

My mom and dad visited last week. Mom and I had fun as she designed some jewelry pieces for gifts, and I soldered for her. I love how they turned out.


Friendship Ring:



This was her first time creating charms. I think she did such a wonderful job. Her recipients are in for a treat.

I have found that since our school year began, I have had little creative time. Although I would not change for the world how our family has chosen to live, I am longing for time in my art studio. This fun time with my mom just made me realize how long it has been since I made charms. Months! Much too long anyway.

I’ve enjoyed having my focus on drawing this month for The Big Draw 2008. This is an area I’ve really wanted to develop and grow. Since I began my creative journey, my thinking has changed from “I can’t draw” to “well, that looks cool.” My expectations have definitely changed. This has removed alot of baggage that was hindering my from learning to draw in the first place.

  • Side note: The Latin word Impedimentum means hindrance in singular and baggage in plural.

I am ready to move on from my drawing focus though. This next month is Leah’s Art Every Day Month.

Although I plan on participating, I have made a rule for myself that I do not have to post every creative thing I do. So while I plan on “doing” art every day, I may not get it posted if time doesn’t allow. As Carla Sonheim says, “Give Yourself Rules,” along with the quotes she added to reinforce this truth. Establishing this rule will give me the freedom to create without worrying about the extra time it may take to post.

amanda ∞


I’m still not reading and still not enjoying not reading. I’m curious when I get done with this assignment if I will appreciate something about it. I have been busy though. Today I soldered a bit more. Here’s the result:

I painted the trees on Scripture and then gave them a blue glaze to tone down the printing. The back of the charm is painted with an ochre glaze with a small green border. I thought the word Grow was a perfect complement as trees are such a beautiful picture of man in the Bible. And I personally desire to Grow spiritually.

And exciting news for my daughter. She sold her first item in her Etsy Shop today. It was her favorite charm she has made.

amanda ∞

More soldering

After our soldering class, we purchased a soldering iron and began having fun at home.

Check out my daughter’s creations at her blog.

My son even got in on the act.

Here’s my creation for the evening. I found the adorable little squirrels in an old children’s tale of Snow White. We tried our hand at soldering marbles and found it to be quite easy. The most difficult step for me is adding the jump rings. Practice.

Each day, we look forward to working on another project. Guess what my family is getting this year for gifts!

amanda ∞