Behind the Art with Felecia

One of my commitments to myself in 2015 is to go and do and to keep it simple. 

Upon the recommendation of my sweet husband, I gave 9round a try - a little kick-boxing based HIIT program.

On those early early mornings I crawl out of bed, head out the door, drag myself to the gym, and proceed to sort of physically torture myself, I leave with my heart full (and beating really fast!) 

I wanted to symbolize both my literal going through the door and my sort of mentally going through a door with the whole 9round process.

The glorious truth about this program is that I don't really have to be in my own head too much - the workout moves too fast (simplify!).

And the glorious truth is that this program is done in 30 minutes (simplify!).

And the glorious truth is that when I leave, I am physically alert, mentally ready for just about anything that the world throws at me, and fully in the moment of "now." 

I absolutely love it. Big huge heart love it.

Here is what is sort of shocking to me - and part of my journaling because I wanted it documented - I never thought  I would love it. 

I never thought it would do for me both physically and mentally what it does for me.

I never thought it would bring me so fast to a place where I MISS it when I miss it. 

I'm completely surprised that this of all thing is restorative for me. and hello - Pink gloves...how can you ever go wrong with pink gloves?

Peace, ya'll!


Behind the Art with Jen

What can I say?  Little things make me happy.... Like pedicures and pretty feet.  It's snowing and in the negative digits outside right now!  I don't care... I want my toes to look pretty!  So, I take a little time for myself once a month (okay, sometimes twice a month!).  It is my time to relax and have someone pamper me.
I love the warm water, the soft lotions, the massage chair, and the time to sit and read alone.  It's such a  funny thing to go to my favorite nail place and see, not only women but men who are getting their feet smoothed and polished.  The last time I went, all the chairs were taken by 30ish year old men.  It was a riot!  They loved having their feet done!  It's good for everyone!
 The journaling of this page was almost entirely from one of the cards in my kit.  I loved the statements of relaxation... the list of reasons to chill.  So, I underlined or set off a few that really captured my page.  I only added a few written statements under the photo.  I also love the rub-ons to add to my photo!

 The cork and kraft accents made me so happy!  I love them so much! 
 Do you get pedicures to escape reality or to relax?  Does it revive you?  I know if I didn't go at least once a month, I would have nasty looking feet but also not have that time to unwind.  Take time to revive yourself!


Behind the Art with Stacey

This is my last layout for the month.  I made it to celebrate a man who has restored my faith in love, safety and loyalty.  He has been everything to me as a little girls and gave me a gift I needed, security.  He restored my faith in fatherhood as a concept, which helped me develop trust.

He is my father.  Technically, my stepfather but I never looked at it that way.  He has loved me unconditionally and fully.  His love has restored my faith.  I built my title using the wooden letters and the love arrow.  I used the rub-on under the photo because those are the perfect adjectives for him..

In this life, both when I was and little girl and today, he has been my rock.

I can't tell you how this man has helped to heal me.  Parents have the power to make you who you are.  When I felt confused or abandoned, he was there to make me feel better.  I told that story.  I am glad that I did!


Behind the Art with Felecia

“Everything begins with a decision. Then, we have to manage that decision for the rest of your life.”  - John C. Maxwell.

When I heard John Maxwell explain his statement about decisions, I found it profound. it got me thinking about some of the things I may have decided long ago that I am just managing - good or bad. 
I really started paying attention to how my decisions make me feel  - some make me feel helpless while others are empowerin. One of my decisions has been to plant good things in my brain - Garbage in, Garbage, out, right?

For me, that means my Bible - and a cup of coffee. This daily ritual, something I do every day...even if its at my desk with an on-line Bible. I find things like Proverbs and Psalms so inspiring, and honestly, quite practical. 

I have often used butterflies to symbolize the lightness and freedom that certain things give me. My Bible time does this for me...it gives me lightness and a great sense of excitement. I look at my world with a sense of expectation that something wonderful is going to burst forth.

These small moments of restoration refresh my eyes and my spirit to pay attention to the marvelous things that happen in the world, to focus on joy and kindness, to see and be excited by the spontaneous goodness around me. 

Moments of restoration don't have to be long spa days or days at the beach (although i'm never going to turn either one down!)- they can be moments of simple grace you give yourself in the midst of your day...

Peace, ya'll!


Behind the Art with Jen

 Another page from this month's "Restore" kit.  I love the cork gradient paper but really wanted to add more texture to it.  I have a little tutorial to share on how I did this background.

 I used Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft's Whipped Spackle and a palette knife to create an area of texture.  I just smoothed it on and left areas thicker in some spots.
 I used one of the We R Memory Keepers Shine Acrylic Shapes to stamp shapes into the spackle. 
 I like the shape and it reminds me of mapping where you have been in the world or life.

 Once dry, I sprayed it with the Imagine Crafts Walnut Ink in Cherry Blossom where it pooled in the lowest parts to create a variation in color.
 The embellishments in this kit are so full of texture and gives this page a touch of shine, sparkle and glam!

 My journaling reveals my revelation that as you get older, the things that mattered so much as a youth, don't matter as much anymore. I still like to look good but all the obsessing over every wrinkle, keeping lipstick on or just worrying about what other's think is not as important as how I live life and the way I make others feel. That doesn't mean I don't take the time to buy clothes that look good on me or style my hair in the morning.  I still care that I look the best I can but I don't worry about things I can't control.  I do what I can to look and feel good.  I think young people sometimes dress to fit in or to get someone's attention. I don't need or want to do that.  I dress in what makes me feel good and comfort is key!
All the little details in this page contribute to the textural feel and what makes me happy!  I love the shapes, rub ons, textures and papers in this kit. I hope you find what you need to make your life meaningful and restore your confidence in yourself!


Behind the Art with Melissa

It doesn't happen often but, sometimes I like to create a page without a photo. As I was digging through the kit contents and contemplating the word 'restore', a verse kept popping into my head. I remember saying this in church, as a child, and I thought how awesome would it be to have something to hang on my wall. 

So this page was born.

And then something happened as I created it. I found myself actually stating those words. Not that I'd lost the joy but, it was kind of like a vow renewal. I was affirming something. I won't go into my faith too much here but I will say how meaningful and important it is to me. I'm not ashamed of it nor try to hide it. Instead, because of the joy I have, I love to share it! And creating this page brought so much joy to my heart.

I love spattering the sequins and ink everywhere. I love how creating these pages takes me through an emotional journey. Sometimes it tough but, in cases like this, the tears that form in my eyes are that of joy and assurance of the path I'm on!

How are you restoring your joy?


Behind the Art with Stacey

Happy February!  The Restore kit is full of really cool elements and gorgeous papers.  I was super drawn to the doors in this kit because they represent an opening and a closing.  Sometimes you need to do both or either in order to be fully present in life.

The doors and the theme led me to the thoughts of restoring my faith.  I have had the opportunity to rediscover my faith this past year.  I have always been spiritual, but I renewed my relationship with the church.  There was a compelling reason I walked down that path, my kids.

They are the light of my life so when it was time for religious education to start, I found my way back to church. One there, I realized how grounded I am when I go. How much it has benefitted our family. I cut out two doors to symbolize my two kids and how they opened that door for me. I also used the circular love tag above like a beacon in the sky. I guess it represents heaven and God spreading his light and love down on us.

I incorporated the light of my life and love of my life elements near the doors along with the thankful rub-on.  There is a power in typography on a page.

My words explain how my faith was restored.  I think they speak for themselves!