New Year's Drawing Challenge



A new year is a new opportunity to be creative, and, as Henri Matisse said, "Creativity takes courage."

Christmas Past: Sugar Babies, Handmade Love, & Overcoming Depression

#25daysxmasart  Day 6~ Christmas Past



Decorating the tree sends me back in time.  We open box after box of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, faithfully given by my mother.  Our First Christmas Together and Baby's 1st (times 4) mingle with Veggie Tales, Iron Man, Barbie, and Harry Potter.  Each child will have 18+ ornaments to start trees when they feather their own nests.




I was 10 years old when this iconic holiday movie came out.

25 Days of Christmas Art Challenge

Here's another opportunity to create every day.  Draw, paint, sculpt, color, cook, write, compose, sing, remember, reflect....  Whatever your medium, you are creative because you were made in the image of The Creator.

Merry Christmas!

~Allison


14 Days of Thanksgiving Art Challenge



Drawing challenges are great motivation for keeping up with daily drawing practice.  I have done several 30-day challenges I found online.  I really wanted to do some thematic challenges for the holiday season, but nothing has come up on Google, so I've made up my own.

My list is a mix of concrete (objects, people) and abstract (feelings, memories, ideas) prompts.

Feel free to join in, whatever your art medium.  If you prefer to create with words, these are great journal prompts.

If you are participating 14 Days of TAC, please comment below and join me on Instagram: #14DaysThanksgivingArt.


Happy Creating!
~Allison


UPDATE:
Had so much fun with this last year I decided to do it again.  Here is the challenge for 2014



A Shopper's Lament


I am an exuberant celebrator of Christmas but I do get a queasy feeling in my stomach when I see red and green peaking out behind the back-to-school banners in my local Stuff-Mart.  What happened to Thanksgiving?  You're lucky if you can even find a single end cap display dedicated to Turkey Day.

And what's with the stores opening earlier and earlier for "Black Friday" deals....like in September?

Here's a little poem I wrote a few years ago after observing the shocking rows of red and green merging seamlessly with orange and black of Halloween.

Focus on Beauty

There is a lot of ugliness in this world.  On a global scale poverty, war, disease, famine, and disaster seem to run rampant.  Local communities suffer from crime, broken families, bullying, prejudice. Under my own roof you may find harsh words, dishonesty, anger, bitterness, & selfishness on any given day.

Still, "there is nothing new under the sun."  The ugliness of the human heart remains until the terminally ill patient submits to the ONE who can perform the life-giving transplant.

I have had the surgery; yet the darkness of that old, hard heart still occasionally tries to creep in and interrupt the abundant, healthy rhythm He placed in me.

Luxury Problems...Get Some Perspective

Found the draft of a blog post from the beginning of September.  I have gained some perspective since then (see end of post for updates), but it's still  worth posting my rant if for nothing but to remind myself that my "problems" are luxuries to most of the world.

source


September 1, 2013

Feeling funky today.  Not good,  R&B funky.  No, more like stinky cheese funky.  Could be a mini-breakdown due to moving across 4 states, kids starting school, and turning 40 this month.Could be hormones.  Who knows.  My chief complaints are as follows:

#1  Two months in our new hometown and we still are not settled in a church.  This matters because it is where I find my center.  I never really feel at home in a city until we have a home church.

#2  Since we moved, I have gained 12 pounds and my beginning of summer clothes are NOT going to be my end of summer clothes if I want to be able to breathe normally.  Lord, please hasten cooler weather so I can hide under puffy layers of denim and wool.

#3  After 8 years of homeschooling, my kids are in school, all of them.  Yes, they went to school last year, but that doesn't count since the hubs and I were full time business owners--I don't even remember last year.

Now they are gone all day and I am in a losing battle against urges to walk mindlessly through Target, bake, and watch Food Network (could be related to #2), while the laundry, bills, and dirty dishes pile up.

     Family:  Mom, what's for dinner?
     Me:  I don't know.  Have a cookie.
     Family:  Mom, what am I supposed to wear to school tomorrow?
     Me:  I don't know.  Have a cookie.  

It's only been one week since school started, so I'm chalking last week's "do nothing fest" up to summer decompression.  I'll do better next week.  Maybe.

Single Serving Pot Pie



Meat.  Gravy. Veggies.  All wrapped up in a flaky pie crust.


Pot pies are a wonderful invention.  In our family we have a hard time cutting up a traditional pot pie without making a mess and/or fighting over crust.  

Solution:  INDIVIDUAL POT PIES 

Valentine Banner



Life has been moving at a crazy, hectic, ridiculous pace.  Time to slow down and practice a little creativity.




Pinterest has such great ideas for decorations made from bits and scraps of this and that.



I came across this lovely heart graphic on Pinterest.  Thanks, Graphics Fairy!  I added my own letters and printed each on card stock.  


Torn edges, mounted on brown craft paper (paper bags work, too).



Glue on some buttons, lace, and attach to ribbon to make a banner.


So pretty!


Hard Days

Things don't always turn out like we expect.  We pray for wisdom, look both ways, then take a giant leap into the unknown.  God is there to catch us when we fall, but we fall none the less.

What to do when we find ourselves broken, bruised, and disappointed by life?

We can only cling to the Rock that is unchanging, eternal, ever-fixed.

Isn't that what we should be doing all along....in the good and the bad?



He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.  Deut 32:4


Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.  Psalm 31:3


He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:6


The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.  Matthew 7:25