Art Journal Morphing

First Fridays at VERONICA’s Voice are so much fun. The art journaling class has morphed into a general art class due to necessity. I found it difficult to explore new art journaling techniques when so many times the women in class did not have their journals or had not begun one yet. Many times the class was about making a new journal or altered book which did not develop past the cover. There were a faithful few who brought their altered books to add more to their pages, but overall I began to lose enthusiasm. So today we tried something new.

The assignment was to choose an image from a magazine, any image that spoke to them, and glue it on a piece of cardstock. After adding a bit of gesso, I had them add words, words about their day, their feelings, or why this image spoke to them. Then the layers with creamy Portfolio pastels were added. Some were very satisfied at that point while others journeyed on with layers of paints. My favorite part was listening to the stories behind the finished collages. One spoke of her mother, another of her new life, another of her freedom, beautiful stories, eyes lit up with sharing.

So my sweet artist friends, if you have ideas to share for this art class, please leave comments. I need projects that will work as a one-time class with limited supplies, since the audience is different from month to month. Have you experienced a project or taught a class that would work well in this setting? Art = community.

amanda ∞


My daughter, the teacher

While I was away at Artfest filling my head with creative things, my daughter became the teacher for the art journaling class at VERONICA’s Voice. She did a wonderful job leading and teaching and guiding.  Here’s the mosaic collage technique she demonstrated that day:

tree-collage She sketched out the tree for placement, then added the color. The paper is from magazines which she tore and placed with a glue stick. Fun!

The art journal class is going well. While we do bring suggestions and techniques to the table, the women are free to do whatever they would like in their journals. I’ve signed up for the Stencilry Class over at Dispatch from LA and am hoping I can share some of what I learn. Fresh ideas are always welcome.

On another note, I just had to share this hilarious card my mom sent me:

symbol-minded-card The inside reads, “You’re my symbol-minded friend…”

Isn’t it hilarious? My grandmother purchased this card sometime in the 60s or 70s. I come from a family that either saved or used everything, so after both my grandparents passed, my mom inherited a box of very charming vintage cards. I am so thrilled to get them in the mail on occasion. They are my absolute favorite.

Our family will be joining with all of my husband’s immediate family this weekend for the Easter Holiday. It has been years since all the siblings and cousins were together at the same time. We are all very excited for the reunion.

And then next week I’m going to share all my wonderful tales from Artfest as well as glimpses of my projects. I’m still on a creative high. Even preparing tax returns could not bring me down.

Have a meaningful and joyful Holiday in celebration of the risen Savior, and in remembrance of the Passover.

amanda ∞

Art Journal Class

Today I was teacher to a group of women that have much to express. I had the opportunity to lead an art journaling class at VERONICA’s Voice. The enthusiasm was contagious as they set to work on their journals, personalizing and claiming them as their own private place for self expression. Profound and deep thoughts, meaningful sentiments, statements of self were made. It was all beautiful. The tables were strewn with art supplies. Joyous chaos. And the most exciting part is that they all loved it so much they want to work on their journals every Friday afternoon.

I am so thankful for those that chipped in and made it possible to supply the journals. The goal to raise money was met and then I found such a great deal on the journals bought in bulk at Dick Blick that I was able to purchase some other extra art supplies that really put the class over the edge.

I took pictures, but forgot to get permission to post them on my blog, so just imagine very happy faces laughing and sharing, and some very messy tables.

amanda ∞


For almost two years, my family has been preparing and serving meals each Friday at VERONICA’s Voice. This past Friday was our last day. God had been leading me to reevaluate our service this summer, and once school began for us, the answer was obvious. It was time to stop.

I really have mixed emotions about this decision. I absolutely loved serving those women. God truly gave me a heart for them, to serve and treat them as the precious women they truly are. My kids did too, immensely. But there is such freedom in following God’s lead.

My greatest question for God about giving this up was, who will take our place? Who will love these women like we do? I prayed for help, then a replacement, but neither came except more help from my own family. God’s answer to me was to just let go. He would take care of the details. 

As we served up our last meal on Friday, I received confirmation in several different ways that we were supposed to be there that day, and that it should be our last. I was thankful for that. Upon driving home, van full of dirty dishes, I felt relief wash over me. A burden had been lifted, not the burden of service, but the burden of carrying too great a load.

I think that I was questioning God a bit about what He was asking me to do before Friday, wondering if I was hearing Him correctly. One of the books I picked up at the library about a month ago was Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship With God by Dallas Willard.
 Developing a Conversational Relationship With God  

But, you know what, I was too busy to read much of it. How ironic.

So this next week, with an extra 10 hours added to my week, I plan on reading, pondering, loving, listening, and keeping up with year 3 of The Latin Road to English Grammar. And I plan on thanking God for directing me. His way is always the best, even when we don’t have the whole picture.

amanda ∞

Prayer Brings Surprises

I’ve been serving lunch on Fridays at VERONICA’s Voice since late fall 2006. The number of people that are there each week differ, so I plan for 20-25. Sometimes I have leftovers, sometimes there is not a scrap left. Here’s what we do each week:
Monday: plan the menu and grocery shop
Tuesday: set aside ice to take on Friday
Wednesday: start with preparations
Thursday: cook, cook, cook; make tea; my daughter usually makes the desserts this day too
Friday: load up the cloth napkins, utensils, cups, finish any cooking, make name cards for the place settings, haul everything to my van, drive a few blocks to VERONICA’s Voice, unload everything, set the table, serve the meal family style, remove plates and serve dessert, wash the plates there, load up everything else that’s left, drive home, start washing dishes and packing things away until next week, wash napkins
Saturday: fold napkins

I usually work for several hours on Thursday and from wakey time until about 3pm on Friday. The work involved is quite rewarding since I absolutely love to cook and God has given me a super-huge compassionate heart for these women, but coming on 2 years straight with very few Fridays off can wear a girl out. I do have a friend that helps to serve on Fridays, and my daughter helps so much by making the dessert, but I thought it would be good to pray for some backup.

God has such a great sense of humor. My daughter’s love for cooking has grown immensely this past year. This week she says, “Can I cook the whole meal?” What a blessing to me since I really needed to focus on planning our school year. Little did I know my backup would come from within my own household.

Today my daughter will be serving:
Stromboli Sandwiches
Potato Salad
Orange Sponge Cake (which is sitting on the kitchen table looking like a good breakfast 🙂 )

amanda ∞


Last night we went to experience Sigur Ros live at the Uptown Theater. I got a taste of the heavenly praises I will be experiencing one eternity. Time no longer existed, just the music, just the art.

Today my home smells like my grandma’s, fried chicken; and Sigur Ros is playing in the background. My soul is weeping and laughing, rejoicing, remembering.

Our menu today for VERONICA’s Voice:

Chicken & Rice
Gentle Carrots
Cottage Cheese enhanced by Peaches or Tomatoes
Butterscotch Pudding made from scratch, or maybe that should be breakfast

amanda ∞



Today’s menu for VERONICA’s Voice was:

Delicious Ham smoked by my father-in-law
Au Gratin Potatoes
Corn (with butter)
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies made by my daughter

Yum. And tonight I am thrilled that there are just enough leftovers for us.

I am extremely thankful for the kitchen appliances we put to rugged use each week. Thank you, food processor, for slicing potatoes so evenly and so quickly;
thank you, gas range, for your even, dependable heat;
thank you, mixer, for making cookies so easy to produce; 
thank you loads, dishwasher (pun intended), for doing so many loads on Fridays.

And I am even more thankful for those who help each week.
Thank you, daughter, for using your sweet baking skills, and serving so graciously;
thank you, son, for carrying my heavy loads and entertaining all the gals;
thank you, father-in-law, for the best ham on the planet;
thank you, friends, for helping serve;
thank you, hunky husband, for working so hard to provide the means to serve;
and most of all, thank you, Lord. You are my ultimate Provider. Without You, I wouldn’t even have the desire to serve.

amanda ∞