Behind the Art with Felecia

I could not have done the Liberation theme without telling the story of how I first met Jesus. I was surprised to find that such a momentous story of my life has NEVER found its way to a page.

This is a story I must have told a hundred times, reviewing in my own mind the details, but I've never documented it on a page or in a journal.

How is it that sometimes our most important stories remain untold? How is it that the turning points on our journey so often remain undocumented? And how is it that our spiritual stories so often take a back seat to our other stories in our journals and pages?

Its somewhat surprising to me that I can remember the weather, what I was wearing, the Bible verses, all the details of this story. 

Somehow the butterflies seem appropriate to tell the story of this kind of transformative experience. Because I really WAS set free from the things that slowed me down, made me feel like I had to crawl. 

Sequins are not something I've used before in my layouts. I experimented a bit with just tossing them onto the page to see where they would land...I did it  few times and then sort of glued them where they landed, moving them a bit here or there.

They feel bubbly to me, effervescent, like they are rising to the top. Is this not the way a spiritual experience makes us feel? Effervescent? Like we are rising?

In the end, this is what Liberation really means to me - to be set free from bondage, from chains and beliefs that hold me down, keep me restrained.


Behind the Art with Jen

 This journal page was about dealing with the mess and learning from it!  I teach art to elementary aged kids and sometimes we make a BIG MESS!  Art is messy!  I always tell my kids that if they didn't get messy, they didn't make artwork.  It's a process and sometimes the mess is amazing and sometimes it's a disaster!
 I try to find the best way to store materials so they stay organized and easy to use but my best efforts might not be enough.  Sometimes it's hopeless and I have to just toss it and start over!
 This was one instance when the tangled mess of yard in my yarn box was too much to handle.  I had to assign kids to try to wind up and untangle as much as possible but in the end I had to cut the tangled mess free and toss it!  
 Here's how I made the page.  I pasted down paper scraps using Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gel Medium.  Then, I used the Distress Paint to stamp circles on the orange paper.
 Next, I used the Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Bead Gel mixed with Gold Gelatos on a craft mat.  I applied the mixture to the stencil for a dimensional embellishment.
 When it dries, it's slightly transparent where it's thinner.  I love the look of the Glitter Bead Gel!

 Some drips of watered down Distress Paint to the page adds some texture and color.

 This page was full of artsy goodness and lots of fun papers, embellishments, mediums, and journaling!


Behind the Art with Stacey

Last month, I scrapped about some of my fears. I put my worries on paper in an effort to let them go.  I had found out that I have rosacea on my face and was very worried about the lasting effect.  Shortly after creating that page, I began my gratitude journal again.  I followed the dermatologist's directions and found a good skin care routine. I also make a shift in how I was eating and drinking.

All of those changes are paying off and I am feeling much better 6 weeks later.  I am confident that my body can heal itself and I will move forward in a positive direction.

I wanted to put this page together to celebrate how gratitude has liberated me.  I can be the master of my own thoughts and my own path.  I used the sticker with that similar saying on the large circle. 

I used the pink shape and the flower because rosacea involves redness.  Mine is fading and most days, you can't tell.  The flower represents a newfound acceptance.  Out of something difficult comes something beautiful.

Of course, this saying is perfect.  Life is how you look at it.  I am thankful for my blessings and know this is just a hurdle that I can get over.  It is taking time, but everyday there is progress.
It was cool to scrap one page after the other, with a month's time in between. 


Behind the Art With Felecia


Today, I'm tackling liberating myself from my notion of "normal." 

When I was a kid, the TV families were always perfect.

The Cleavers, the Brady's (a blended family that was perfect!), even the Huxtables - who were supposed to be more "real" - were my examples of family life with kids.

My own family bore resemblence to those I saw on TV only in that there were two parents, two kids, a house, and a dog. The rest didn't seem all that "normal."

It took me a pretty long time to realize that "normal" doesn't exist and that family life takes on the shape of the individuals involved. No family is perfect and the variations that they can have are more numerous than the stars.

When I got married (for the second time), I had no idea what sort of crazy fun I was in for. I had a vision of married life with this man - and maybe kids if we got around to it - but my own vision was not exactly the whole picture.

Now that we have kids, the dynamic has taken on a distinctly un-normal atmosphere.

We, as a group, are authentically crazy - in a fun and somewhat bewildering way. We have our own language, our own habits, our own processes. We are strict about using "Ma'am" and "Sir" but we tell one another how much love we have by using random and funny words - like "I love you two tires and a biscuit." (isn't it more fun that "soooo much"?) We make our kids make their beds every single day, but they are often covered in mud and markers. There is always singing and dancing, very little tv or video games, and everybody reads...a lot.

Now, I won't lie. My uptight, perfectionist self has had a very hard time adapting to all the weirdness that prevails in my house. For example, in conversations I have with my kids, I say things like "don't lick the window!" and pause for just a moment to think "that was a weird thing to say."

At the end of the day, tho, what really strikes me is that it works for us. When I liberate myself from my expectations, from the delusion that there is a "normal" way for any of this to be and just go with what is, I find myself with much joy and peace at the little bit of crazy that we have carved out for ourselves in this world. 

For this layout, the orange ombre paper seemed to be a fun place to start. I looked for the wildest pictures - the ones I wouldn't SHOW to anyone and committed to USE them to document how my life really is - FUN, weird, not "picture perfect."

I wanted to sit the pictures on a shelf - like THESE are the family shots that should be on my mantle, instead of the other studio shots that are there.

There is a little messy mist (think markers and mud like above), a little messy outline, and just one or two "perfect" flowers. Now that this layout is done, those flowers sort of make me chuckle, because they match in color, but they are SO NOT aligned with those pictures. Which, when you think about my purpose for this one...is...well...PERFECT.

It begs the question, what sorts of standards have we tied ourselves to that are not really who we are? I wonder about how many people are out there keeping up with the families they see on TV or at the grocery store or the park or whatever. How might liberating yourself from these notions of "normal" look?

Have a beautiful, day, my friends!!!


Behind the Art with Jen

This month, I used the "Liberation" kit to create Art Journal pages.  I have a spiral book that I will be creating all my pages in for the coming months.  It feels natural to use this format and create mixed media/ scrapbook style pages in an art book. So, I created this page using the stencil, papers, and embellishments from the kit. 
 You can see that I used the stencil from the kit with a thin tipped pen (I used a Faber-Castell PITT Artist pen in small tip) and created a bit of a scribbled look to it.  I wanted it to look hand drawn rather than perfect with the stencil.
 The stickers and gems from the kit were perfect accents to the page!  I also added half of a butterfly image that I had used in another artwork.

 The entire page is seen here and I loved the birdcage, butterfly, and sequins were perfect for conveying the feeling of flying free.
 To adhere the sequins, I used Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gel Medium.  It dries clear with a mostly matte finish so it's perfect for the scattered look.
 Here's another view of the doodled image.
 I cut the circle from the center of the Glitz paper and added a sticker to the center.  I journaled around the circle in each space.  I loved how this turned out!


Behind the Art with Stacey

I like to scrap the things in life that I appreciate the most.  I truly believe a sense of gratitude is liberating.  It sets me free from worry and keeps what is most important in perspective.  When I close my eyes and imagine feeling liberated, I see myself laughing and letting go.  I visualize myself dancing and singing.

There is a group of women in my life who make me feel liberated.  I know I can be myself through and through.  I feel young and free and adventurous with them.

I decided to use the This is My Everyday Life card because I actually work with all of these ladies.  I get to feel happy and supported on a daily basis!  I built my page from that large card, using the yellow slotted card below the photo.  I grabbed a shot of us laughing our heads off. 

The numbers represent the fact that I am always going to laugh when we are together.  It is like clockwork. 

To balance out the gray and the large elements, I used the stickers across the top.  I hummed the tune of this song as I scrapped.  Then I wrote my words.  Putting gratitude down on paper makes it real and lasting.  I believe it attracts positive energy in the world!


Behind the Art with Felecia

In August, it just seems right to be barefoot. I find liberation in being shoeless - especially in the dead heat of the summer. But even when its cold, I would prefer barefoot to most anything else. 

I suppose there is a certain amount of hippy girl in me...

Or maybe its my Southern California sensibility (the one I still have even though we live in the South and on the opposite coast now).

I personally think its that I spent my early career in banking and at the time there were tons of regulations about how we had to dress - uncomfortable shoes included. 

Or it could be that the shoes I ran around in as a child always seemed so comfortable, like my own skin.

Now, I'm still a girl who loves shoes...and pedicures...and all the lovely and even comfortable options that are out there for shoes today...but still...no shoes...that is one of my personal favorites.

Looking at this, I think its just a little weird that I did a layout about my bare feet. But, it is IS such a part of my person, this wanting to be shoe-less. Its also a challenge to consider how to use symbolism associated with Liberation in a layout. My ideas were: hippy/flower child kind of images and the feeling of "cool."

I wanted to evoke the feeling of bare wood floors and I like the idea of playing on the hippy theme with this considering the kit contents. 

The blue / aqua color is my "cool."

The brown paper with some paint around the edges is my "wood floor." 

And the layers of flowers and curvy free-flowing stencil are my "hippy."

I wonder what sort of things this will bring up in our future when this layout is found in one of my albums. It makes me laugh to myself about the idea of it all.

What sort of clothing or style items make you feel liberated? Do you enjoy wearing your hair down or your yoga pants? Is there something you wear that represents your liberation - tennies? earrings? a leather biker jacket? What about body art? What other style things might represent your liberation (or lack thereof)? Your home decor? Your car? Your phone cover? 

I'd love to see what you think of!!