Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I am going camping for almost a week up in the mountains of Kananaskis. I have prayed for sunshine! I won't be posting for the time that I am away but I hope that I will have much to post upon my return. The Artist Way book has really opened my mind up and is allowing the creativity to flow and it feels so good after being blocked for awhile. It helps that I am not working right now so I have more time to be creative. I will be busy today trying to pack everything up to go.
Have a wonderful week all you creative peoples.
Posted by Kelly Watts at 10:06 AM
Sunday, June 28, 2009
So I have this entry in my composition book for my mood calendar and it turns out that I really love the page and do not want to put a "Month" and spaces for each month over top of the page? I am thinking of placing a quote or a bible verse in it. Then I was thinking that I could do 31 leaves on it as each day of the month... I'm looking for suggestions so please leave comments. I know the page is not completed yet. When I was placing Gesso on the pages it stuck some of them together and so this page tore in a few places. It bothers me that it tore but I am living with it. That is the only part of using Gesso that I don't particularily care for. Other than that I have nothing but positive things to say in these regards.
I am creatively stumped at the moment because I don't like starting something new when another project is not finished yet. So I guess on only this project I am stumped, I have lot's of creativity for other things so I need to wrap this page up. Any comments would be helpful.
Thanks so much.
Friday, June 26, 2009
This next prompt I am not going to post a journal page of mine as I really want you to examine yourself within and go from what you are feeling to create your own page.
PROMPT 15: PHYSICAL PAIN
Emotional pain often manifests itself in our bodies physically. Stress seems to trigger aches and pains of various varieties. I learned this as I went through therapy for my post-partum depression. I have always had pain in my body and I never understood it but God has given me a peace to cope with the pain.
As you think about your life and the stresses that you have faced think about the physical pain you have endured. Do you think they might be related to one another? Ask God to reveal to you the reasons behind your pain. Ask Him to give you a way to deal with your pain. Maybe it is in a creative outlet way ~ possibly you can channel your pain into art work, art journaling. Place your pain onto the page and allow yourself to let go of the hold it has upon you.
I pray that the Lord will reveal these things to you. As they are revealed may He give you a sense of peace in regards to your pain. May you have a creative outlet to channel your pain to.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
HEALING ART: PROMPT 14 PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
Have you ever had a time in your life where you were living each day but you didn't know who you were? I remember going through my teen years like this. I would wake up each morning at 5:30am to get showered and ready for my day, everything on the outside would look perfectly the way I wanted it. If I curled my hair (which was most days as it was the latter 80's early 90's puffy hair phase of my life) every curl would be in place, I even checked in the mirror the back of my head to make sure. I was going for an image of perfection I'm thinking... um ya... perfect outside, controlled and focused. I knew what I wanted and how I was going to get what I wanted (Or so I thought!). I was going to graduate high school, go to college for four years, then University to become a Psychologist, then get married and have babies and live in a perfect white house picket fence and all. and... and... and... Wow I sure had things together back then! Y'no. The way things actually turned out... I hooked up with a guy in grade 11 who treated me horribly for four years, I went to College but was so depressed, bulimic and overwhelmed that I had to drop out. I realized that I didn't have things as together as I thought and that I really didn't know who Kelly was!
Later on... post-marriage, post-babies, post-nervous breakdown/postpartum depression ~ I discovered that there were many pieces in my life missing. I had so many questions and very few answers. I needed God to help me find these answers and put all the pieces back together again. Now I can honestly say that I know myself more now than I have ever known me before. God has shown me who He wants me to be and He continues to show me more everyday.
For this prompt... look back at your life... is there a time or period of your life that just doesn't add up? Do you have questions about who you are, were? Ask God to show you the answers and ask Him to help you find yourself, who He wants you to be. Journal about what God shows you. Who are you in God's eyes? Who has God made you to be? Write or draw about your personality, your jobs as a person (wife, mother, daughter, etc.,)
I pray that the Lord shows you the answers behind the mystery of you. I pray that He shows you your specific purpose and that you can see yourself through His eyes.
Bless you on your journey.
For the number 2 Artist Date I followed all the rules and went by myself (well sort of - my puppy Mila was with me- does that count?). I decided to take my camera on a walk around my neighborhood. Usually I would walk around the 5.7 or so km drive and not really notice anything at all. This time however... looking through the lense of a camera I was saw through my 'artist' brain and was able to capture a number of images for my 'art well'. I kept an eye out for shapes and textures, watching the wind gently sway through the trees I took a picture of three towering poplars swaying in the same direction. I can't believe I forgot that there is a little lake in our community. I hadn't paid much attention to it until my son's class went there for a school project to study their environment. I was greatly pleased by what I discovered. The first thing I saw was a lovely turtle perched on a rock peaking out of the water. I had no idea there were turtles in our little lake! Numerous families of ducks, ducklings in tow ~ some still yellow and fuzzy. Robins teaching there youngins the art of catching worms (at least that's what it looked like but I'm not certain that birds need to learn this or if it's simply a natural thing). Regardless it was refreshing to watch. I captured the textures of bark on trees, pedals of flowers, sprigs of grass and weeds. Trails leading who knows where and posts forming shapes with precision. My eyes were open for the first time on a walk through my neighborhood and I took my time soaking all the juicy delicacies for my 'art' brain. I don't think I will ever walk without looking again! I am thoroughly enjoying the book as it leads through each chapter breaking my creativity free from the dusty crevices of my mind. I am looking towards the next weeks with great anticipation.
I hope this inspires you as you create.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I was reading through my old journals trying to look through all the miracles that God has done in my life and it got me thinking about how much the Psalm's have helped me. So I went to work on a new journal page and I had a great time of it! I purchased some "Making Memories" scrapbooking paints from the dollar store, I have only ever seen them in actual Scrapbooking stores or Michaels and so this was a great find for me. I have never used them before and they were about 1/3 of the cost so I thought I would give it a whirl. I adore the colors they produced as I layered upon layer of first Gesso and then paint. I even tried sand paper for a scratching antique look but didn't care for it and ended up adding more paint. I stuck a scrapbooking border sticker under the Gesso and painted over it for a 3D effect and I must say I am liking that effect. The border was already cute but this made it even cuter!
I then cut out some wings and stuck them on as I layered the paint. Once I was finished with the lettering from Psalm 18 I then went over most of the page with my Adirondack Espresso Paint Dabber I guess to age the page.
The Lord used Psalms for me to lift me up and show me how REAL He is, how He is right here with us during all times of our lives. My absolute favorite Psalm is Psalm 139. I cannot tell you how many times I have read it but it comes alive every time and comforts me as nothing in this world can.
At the end of my prayers when I am needing to be close to the Lord I will often add, "Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
I encourage you to search through the Psalms and God will lead you to His comfort.
God Bless You
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Music has been such an inspiration to me all of my life. Coming from a family of Country Western singers I have always been around music. However, Country Music in particular has always made me car sick! (no offense to those who love it! LOL) Musicians are true artists with a gift that I have always longed to have yet know I will never have! I was gifted more with being a visual artist rather than projecting any sounds that inspire anyone ~ again lol.
I listened to my radio throughout my teens and cried through numerous break-up songs everytime I went through a break-up. (Why do we torture ourselves like that???) During my depression music was particularily helpful to me in bringing me to a place in my head that did not focus on the darkness but more so on the act of surrounding myself with goodness. I had the radio on a praise station every waking moment and the lyrics washed over me and kept me close to God even while I was so far away. It was my saving grace and God worked through it to shelter me in the comfort of His wings.
Even when all I could do was lay still I would hear the lyrics and I could somehow worship God if only through tears. I knew that God saw my tears and that was good enough for me. It filled me with hope that reached through the darkness. When I look back on those days I knew there were times when I thought the seemingly endless days would never end ~ now I see the beautiful miracle of music enveloping me, protecting me.
Todays Prompt: THE POWER OF MUSIC
I encourage you to sit and listen to some of your favorite music. Record how it makes you feel, does it bring to mind any colors or images? See if you can capture those feelings onto paper. As I was doing this journal page I was listening to my music on 'shuffle' and was impressed by numerous songs that made me feel lifted up, like I was on a cloud light as a feather. I felt so unhindered and creative as I sat in the sunshine hearing my beautiful music. Music is one thing also that brings me so close to God helping me to worship in ways that I cannot without it.
Ask God to bring you to that place of worship as you hear your music, as you create your page. Let the music carry you to your creativity.
God bless you.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
My very first 'Artist Date' (From The Artist's Way - By Julia Cameron) I set out to an artsy district here in Calgary (Kensington) and was able to capture a few new images for my creative well. I was a little disappointed because the store that I used to go to which had many little trinkets and art pieces was no longer there. However I did manage to get a few images for my well and I decided to print them off and put them in a little book called "Artist Date Images". I need to get more organized and to have the beautiful things around me will help to inspire me. I did cheat on this one and went with a girlfriend. I will do much better next time and go on my own. I have been going on little walks here and there and have been drueling at all the trees with their new green additions. I LOVE this time of year, when all the leaves simply appear out of hiding all in one weekend it seems. I will walk around and simply investigate different shapes and textures of everything around me. Does anyone else do this????
Tomorrow I am starting on week 2 with 7 full days of morning pages done. I am full of creativity so far and am looking forward to what's ahead. If you have had any experience with this course please share, I would love to hear from you.
Happy Creating Everyone!
Monday, June 15, 2009
HEALING ART: PROMPT 12 ~ FRIENDSHIPS AND SUPPORT
What does God say about Friendship??? This has been at the forefront of my mind for a few days and I think that is due to this needing to be the next prompt. The Word has a few things to say about friends;
1. "Friends Love At All Times." Proverbs 17:17
Through good times and bad times a 'friend' will always love you. When I was going through the beginning stages of my depression there were friends and family who did not understand my illness. Instead of helping and support me they chose to stay far away from me. I understand that depression is scary thing to be around, granted, but a true friend or a family member who truly loves you would stay by your side no matter what! I lost many 'friendships' during this time... God has shown me since then that those 'friendships' were not fully rooted and so it was time to let them go.
When we are going through hard times we do not need aquaintances! We need loving support and friendship from our 'true' friends. I learned who those friends were and the rest were just strained out!
2. Sometimes even friends destroy each other, but there is a friend who loves more faithfully than a brother. (From the notes of Proverbs 18:24)
Ever heard the saying, "With friends like that, who needs enemies". There are times when you need to sit down and evaluate your friendships. Are they nurturing you, or are they destroying you? This is not always an easy process to do. Believe me when I say this has taken me many years to realize. My husband would always see it happening before me, and even then I would justify it in my mind saying 'but I am helping them'.
3. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" John 15:13
This verse says a great deal about what God thinks about friends! Friendships should run deep, so deep that they would lay down their lives for one another and put each other before themselves.
When my kids were little the belonged to a kids group called, "Good News Bears" and their motto was this; "JESUS FIRST, OTHERS SECOND and SELF LAST!" What an incredible thing to teach your children!
So for this prompt let's take a good look at the people in our lives. Write a list of all the people you consider as friends. Now evaluate each friendship ~ are they acquaintances or true friends? Have they been there for you through rough patches and good? Do they bring you up or bring you down? For this prompt I chose to post my new scrapbook page of my best friend and I on our Arizona trip. Our friendship works for us because we both want to give and it is fully rooted in goodness.
Now it's your turn. Create what you think a friend should be, maybe do a pro and con list of all your friends or draw characatures of your friends and how you feel they are in your life. God places people in our lives for a moment, a season or a lifetime? Which of your friendships are lifetimers? Now concentrate on those lifers and figure out how you can be that for them too.
Good luck as you explore your friendships. Please share with me your evaluation of this prompt as I learn just as much from your comments.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Well I received my order of The Artist Way by Julia Cameron and began reading it right away. I was so excited to get it and dig in! I am glad that I did! After only the introduction and beginning chapter my creativity is soaring. I am completely absorbed because not only is Julia's information amazingly helpful, but it has so far proven to work really well. In her lessons she states that we write three pages first thing in the morning. I have found this exercise to flow easily out of me because it is nothing planned or structured ~ it's basically venting in its rawest form! I am a huge fan of venting, though I have never done this first thing in the morning. It makes so much sense! It free's our mind allowing our creativity to flow like clockwork. I have come up with some exciting ideas after writing my morning pages. I highly recommend this book so far, and I am certain to discover even more juicy exercises to come.
In the first chapter she discusses how many of us 'artists' were not nurtured as artists when we were young and hence have enemies of our creative self-worth. Basically there are individual's in our lives that possibly hindered our creative baby artist's. She suggested we draw pictures of those people and express our feelings in those regards. I had a lot of fun with this as I drew my characatures of three such individual's in my life. In doing this I discovered just how silly my emotions and reactions to these people were. It was my reaction to them that hindered my creativity and I know this now. Now my baby artist can grow up! I highly recommend this book!
Happy creating everyone!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
HEALING ART: PROMPT 11 ~ OUR COMPLEX HEARTS
I am going to write out here exactly what is on the journal page shown where I wrote a poem called 'Our Complex Hearts' because there is really nothing else to say other than what God showed me.
All my life I have been told to rely on my heart ~ 'what does your heart say?' ~ Follow your heart... God has recently shed some light onto this concept. The 'world' says to follow your heart but GOD says 'FOLLOW ME'. Our hearts are filled with emotions that often distort the truth and lead us in the wrong direction. God wants to give us all the desires of our heart ~ especially when our hearts are set on Jesus!
OUR COMPLEX HEARTS
Complex heart... filled with life...
so depleting... yet giving.
As blood rushes through its chambers
so too our emotions and moods rush
fleetingly pushing untruth to the surface,
tangled through the chambers of our hearts.
Anguish and tears grieving,
withering like grass bringing heartache.
Shaping our days by our emotions... by our moods.
How complex is the heart...
sweet tender love feeding our feelings
heart wrenching pain darkening our moods confusing.
Oh sweet Jesus hold us up into Your loving embrace...
give us that measure of detachment to know our hearts...
the way You know them.
We long to be steadfast trusting in You,
blameless and unable to be led astray,
with cheerful hearts noble and good
knowing our Great Shepherd.
Let us not be ruled by our emotions.
Instead... let us hear Your voice calling in the night...
Your gentle Spirits touch upon our shoulders
guiding us to the light.
Over rule the darkness of our moods
helping us to truly know You have overcome the world.
Kelly L. Watts
For this prompt pray that the Lord reveals the truth of what you have believed in your heart and in regards to every aspect of your life. The world tries to lead us one way though God wants to lead us directly to Himself. Ask Him to show you the areas in your life where you have been led astray by your emotions or moods, how you possibly could be compromising your life in any way because your emotions have told you it's okay to. Draw/write what you think your heart looks like... is it a heart ruled by emotions and moods or is it a heart ruled by love... by Jesus. Allow yourself to meditate on this for awhile until images or words begin to flow.
I pray that you know the truth of where God wants to lead you. May your creativity flow and bring freedom from your distorted murky emotions allowing you be able to experience true joy and love through healthy renewed emotions.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Here are the additions to the January calendar and the next month February calendar. First, (after Gesso-ing the page and allowing it to dry)I painted the background in blue and teal watercolors.
With the February calendar I did the same for the days by using scrap lined paper cut into rectangles. This time using a white gel marker to add the numbers. The strips are also scrap paper. I glittered the strips with stickles clear glitter glue. The swirls were stamped with "Heidi Swapp" Foam Shape stamps and embelished with a white chalk marker. The letters were cut out using my cuttle bug and alphabet.
Feel free to leave me your link to your blog should you finish any of these journal prompts as I would love to see them.
Thanks for tuning in everyone.
Journal Prompt for today: MOOD JOURNAL
It is always a good thing when going through the healing process to keep track of your moods. I remember being told to do this by multiple doctors and psychologists. Keeping track of your moods helps determine where you are at in your mental state.
I have thought of a fun little project to do if you are up to the task and it is inexpensive too. I belong to an art journaling group "Blissfully Art Journaling" over at Yahoo Groups and lately they have discussed the use of what they call "Composition" books. In Canada we call them elementary school exercise books of lined paper. I purchased mine at Walmart for $1.39.
Step 1: Gesso the pages back and front. (I purchased a rather large bottle of Gesso from Michael's for $13.49 and then 40% off). This process can take awhile as it takes time to dry so do not expect to work on your project instantly. Each page needs to dry and you have to separate the pages every now and again so they do not stick together. (Gesso-ing) the page helps the paper to become thicker/stronger in order to take paint, stamps or whatever you want to use to be creative. (I personally waited overnight to begin working on my pages). This is a process you will have to repeat several times for each page you want to work on. I did two at a time.
Step 2: Gather the materials you would like to use ahead of time so that when the pages are dry you can get to work on them. I decided to make my mood journal a calendar with space for each day to record my moods - you don't need a lot of space.
For me... I colored the pages in watercolor first. I drew the tree and cut it out and placed it onto the page with rubber cement. (When using rubber cement make sure you use it on the page and the piece you are gluing and then stick them together, this makes them adhere stronger).
Next: I grabbed one of my scrap pads of paper and cut out pieces to place as a border. Then I cut out the letters using my cuttle bug and alphabet (the alphabet was recently a great find as it was on clearance at Michael's for $54.99 and then was also 40%off with the coupon). I love finding great bargains! To adhere these items I once again used rubber cement though you can also use Crystal Effects or other adherants. I have found that rubber cement doesn't buckle your paper.
I did the same process for the first calendar page "January". The lined paper I found as scrap piece in my scraps, so I just cut them out and adhered them over the water color paint.
I pray that you find this to be a fun project for you. This may take a few days to complete as there are of course 12 months in a year! LOL. Maybe I will continue to share my calendar months with you for a few days and keep things nice and light.
God bless you as you work.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
HEALING JOURNAL: Prompt 9 - ANGELS AMONG US
Hebrews 13:1,2 "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
Angel's are all around us protecting, comforting, directing, loving and fighting for us. God's angels are with us. During my depression I could not feel anything ~ it gave NUMB a whole knew meaning. However, one thing was for certain and that was that God sent His angels to comfort me and be with me. I swear sometimes I could physically feel their presence with me even though I could feel nothing else.
God sent angels to comfort me when I lost my father at the age of 23. The Sunday after he passed away I was so disrought that I barely could stand. I went to Church that day and the pastor (for the first time since I had been a member of the Church) called an altar call for all those who needed prayer. A tall white haired man that I had never seen before came to me while I was standing at the front of the Church and he said these words to me ~ "Jesus takes the place of the one's we've lost!" That was it, he didn't say another word to me and I hadn't told him the reason I was there. I never saw that man again. I asked the pastor if he knew him and he did not know who I spoke of.
Many years later, once the depression had passed, I was working at another Church in a different city and I came across a picture of the man who had prayed for me. It turned out he was the President of the Foursquare Church of Canada and he was retiring. I had found him. I wrote him a letter and put that letter in the scrapbook that was being prepared for him (by me) telling him my story and how he had been used by God in such a way. He was truly blessed by my words and so thankful I had shared it with him. He was my angel sent to me at a very dark time.
I have a number of stories like this ~ God sending His angels to me to help me through difficult times in my life. He is truly a good God.
For todays prompt think back over your life and note who had been there for you when you had gone through difficult times. What did they look like, were they in your life for a moment, a season or a lifetime? What did they do for you? How can you draw strength from that experience? What images come to mind when you think of those people (angels)?
I pray that this prompt brings you closer to the realization of all that the Lord has done for you; what He has gifted you with; who He has sent to you and His purpose for sending those particular angels to you. Ask Him to reveal these things to you, and to fill you with great joy from these moments you remember through this exercise.
Bless you on your journey one more day close to reaching your healing.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I pray that the Healing Journey has begun as you have worked through some of these prompts. As this is my first time sharing my complete story (a little bit at a time) I am not certain I am doing it right. It is in no particular order really and I am not that organized. So I am continuing to label them numerical for each post to try and organize them in some way. If you think I should organize them by prompt topics please let me know. I guess that would make sense as not every topic appeals to every person. I will try to organize them more.
Today's prompt: FEAR AND ANXIETY
"Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged." Deuteronomy 1:21
I chose this verse because it is filled with such great hope. God has placed before each and every one of us the freedom from the bondage of fear. We no longer have to fear anything but the fear of the Lord. He has given us all the answers in His word and all the solutions to our problems. Over and over and over again it says "Do not fear". We need not fear anything because He is victorious over fear! Amen and Amen to that!
With fear comes so many other things. Worry, paranoid thinking, anxiety, frustration, strife, doubt etc., etc., etc., Why would it come with all these things if it were of God? Because it is not of God of course! He does not want us to live in fear, He desires to give us all the desires of our hearts and I am sure that none of us want fear in our lives. Satan however, he comes to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY and what accomplishes these things better than placing fear in our lives? (See John 10:10)
Anxiety is much the same as fear as it rushes through our bodies and minds full of adrenaline making us want to crawl out of our skin! I do not believe this is from God either! It is a physical symptom of our surroundings and our state of mental health caused by many things but most often accompanied by FEAR of something.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God..." Philippians 4:8
What does that say? If we feel ourselves worrying or fearful or anxious, go to GOD! Cry out to Him and tell Him what you are feeling! Bring your burdens to Him and He will bring you the peace of God (as stated further in these verses in Philippians 4.
"and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Now isn't that so beautiful? God wants to guard our hearts and minds and give us His peace over our lives that surpasses all understanding. So, no matter what situation we find ourselves God wants His peace to be over us. We do not need to live in the state of anxiety and fear ~ we have God!
For this prompt I want you to think about all the fears and anxieties in your life. I want you to get them out from inside of you and place them on your pages ~ no matter what they look like. Color them with colors that you associate with fear and anxiety. Write the words that are in your heart. Write what you think fear and anxiety does to your mind, body and soul.
Once you have done this... look over your page(s), concentrate on the colors and emotions you have placed in them. Now give them to God. Tell God that you give all your anxiety and fear to Him, place them at the foot of the cross and cry out to Him to release your bondage to them. Submit them to God, bind them up and loose them in Jesus name and He will set you free from them!
If you are not ready to do this, place them aside until you are ready. It might be that there is more inside of you than you even know and that God will reveal more to you over the next few days. Pray that God does reveal to you all that you hold onto inside so that you can truly be released. He is a GOOD God full of tender loving mercies. As you desire to be free keep in mind how deeply your Father longs for you too to be free of all that keeps you away from knowing Him.
NOTE: DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if you still have fear, anxiety, worry etc., inside of you. Being a Christian does not mean that we are super heroes with no emotions or fears etc., Being a Christian is having a longing inside of us to be closer to the Lord our Creator, a longing to be free of all that the world has bound us with. It doesn't mean that we do not experience suffering or that our faith is lacking because we are going through hard times! God wants to work in us and we have to allow Him to do that, however, it is a process and it is done in His timing and not ours. Don't be hard on yourself okay?
My page that I have shared with you today I created lastnight. I wrote the poem on it during the darkest period of my depression and it expresses my deep fears and my anxiety that over-ruled my body, mind and Spirit during that time. It was the hardest time in my life, but I share it with you today in order to give you hope because I am no longer in the dark. Those feelings addressed in the poem no longer hold me ~ I have been set free from them and you will be too!
God bless you on your journey.