Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Artistic Side...?

I've never been "artistic" in the ways that one normally thinks of being artistic. Art classes in elementary and middle school were torturous. Let's just say a middle-aged, balding man slapping yardsticks on the desk in front of you so you quit talking does NOT inspire creativity. Or art appreciation, for that matter!

While in high school I discovered scrapbooking, which in the late 1990's was really gaining popularity. My first scrapbook chronicled my experience as a Hoover Belle in high school. I have made many more albums since then! More recently I've been interested in digital scrapbooking, having made storybook-style scrapbook of our 5th Anniversary trip to Europe in 2006.
Other pursuits of creativity began, I guess, when Scott and I were engaged and I had to think about furnishing and decorating a home of my own. I attribute my skills in decorating to my mom and grandmother. They taught me through the years little "rules" of decorating, infusing my developing taste with their own, and giving me an appreciation of beautiful surroundings. I've even been able to use this aspect of creativity in ministry! From Women's Ministry events, to Adoration, to the Jones House, I've been blessed with the opportunity and freedom at SMIC to exercise my creative muscles!
This fall I have also discovered that I actually CAN paint, on a canvas, of all things! I still struggle to make a decent stick figure, but with good instruction at Sips n' Strokes, I have painted a couple things I actually like! If you live in the Birmingham area and have not heard about Sips n' Strokes, well, I don't know where you've been the last year or so. They have studios all over the city! It makes a great girls' nite out too!

So, the point of my post, is a list of What Inspires (or Helps) My Creativity! Have fun, and I hope you'll be inspired too!
This website I stumbled on one day and I love it! They have free templates or you can build pages from scratch. They have digital "paper" for backgrounds, "stickers", text balloons, photo can actually do more with your digital photos this way, than with traditional photo albums or scrapbooks! And the software is a free download! Did you catch that? FREE! I made our Christmas cards on this site, printed them and mounted them on cardstock. I have started a few "books" and work on them as I have time, so I have not used their publishing services. If you do, please let me know how it turns out!
I love this store! Most of what I use to create ambiance in Adoration services come from this store! Some of the things are not exactly my taste for my own home, but their eclectic offerings are perfect for Adorations and the Jones House! My favs there include the paper lanterns that I have hung all over the place for Adoration services and the glass lanterns I bought this Christmas! I buy their imported olive oil to use at home and Scott loves their Moka Java coffee. They also have really unique jewelry too and I've picked up pieces here and there! On my list of "wants" from this store is a tiny red loveseat-sleeper to go in our TV room at home. The loveseat folds out into a twin-size bed, which would be handy, since our guest bedroom space is our TV room.
This is a tablescape I did for a Women's Ministry dinner last month. I used my own dishes, glasses and flatware, but everything else is stuff I use for Adoration services or swiped from the Jones House. The Jones House at Christmas! Star lanterns from World Market, also used in Adorations. Photo credit to Rachel Jones Photography.The little loveseat I want!
Sips n' Strokes
I mentioned them earlier in the post! I was soooo nervous when I went for the first time! But all the instructors I've had are great and make it less intimidating! The "sips" part is a BYO, and I usually sip on coffee to keep me going! Check their website out for the monthly calendars. The only painting I do not like is the pumpkin...let's just say I do better when the painting is more interpretive or abstract! With the pumpkin, you had to be really careful how you blended colors and did brush strokes, so you get a dimensional round object. My poor pumpkin is rather 2-dimensional.

Ahh, the sad pumpkin painting...

These turned out a little better!

Paint.NET Software Download

I stumbled on this more recently too. They claim they are similar to Photoshop, which I don't have so I can't compare for myself, but it's been fun to play around with! My little photo banner here on my blog was done on this photo editing program! This is also a FREE product, so the price was certainly right for someone like me who isn't a professional, or aspiring, photographer! This still allows me to crop, edit, adjust and add layers to photos and other media.

I also edited and enhanced this photo, taken in Chattanooga last weekend

Soooo, what about you? What inspires you to be creative?


Rachel said...

We have a couch from World Market that folds out into a double bed. The fold-out cushions rather than a pull-out mattress is just so cool!! Not the most comfy bed ever, but the versatility is awesome - you can set it to recline, or lay all the way down, etc.

Ann Marie said...

oh yeah! ive seen that one too! i just love the little red sofa tho!

Jaci Spain said...

I would say you are VERY creative! Much more than I could ever hope to be:)

RDJones said...

Ree I envy your goof