Art Journal: Beautiful Boys

 

I made two art journal pages; one for each of my sons. I haven’t been card making much because I have been pouring myself into my art journal and keeping occupied with my kids and what’s been going on with them. Currently, I am pretty close to finishing my first art journal (doing the covers right now), so maybe I’ll be able to share that once it’s all put together.

 

So here is the page about my older son, Nathaniel. He’s currently 4.5 years old. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, or my videos on YouTube, you have have come across some of his own artwork. He’s made a card (video here) and an art journal page (video here). He’s a special little guy – quirky, tenacious, innocent, sensitive, and scary smart. His favorite stamp company is Lawn Fawn, and his favorite stamps are Lawn Fawn’s Quinn’s ABCs and 123s. He loves pouring over a teacher’s supply catalogue, a Lego catalogue, or the latest Dick Blick catalogue. He is in love with anything numbers and math-related, it makes him absolutely giddy.

Art Journal: Nathaniel (full page)

I’m not totally in love with the colors of this page and how saturated it is, but at the time that I made it, I was pouring out my heart and how I felt. He was recently diagnosed with autism, and as any mother who worries over anything and everything with their children, I was overwhelmed. It has been 6 months since the diagnosis and I am still processing through it, but I have a lot more peace about it now.

Art Journal: Nathaniel (title)

I wanted to convey on paper how much of a gift my son is. His name, Nathaniel, means “gift of God”, and his name is especially poignant for this particular time. At the time of the diagnosis, I was grieving with how my son could be “broken”, and what his future would be like. I was so overwhelmed and frantic and worried, I couldn’t eat or sleep. I read books that scared the crap out of me. I couldn’t function among my regular mom friends or any other friends, for that matter. I couldn’t bear to see other “regular” kids or “regular” moms.

Art Journal: Nathaniel (Psalm 139:13-14)

After shedding a lot of tears before God, and pouring over my art journal, God healed my heart and reminded me that my son was not an afterthought, devalued or “damaged”. He was created with a purpose, and he is beautiful as he is. Of course he will need supports and help along the way, (we are getting them now) but my little boy is no less than who he is made to be. He is beautiful the way he is, created with purpose and intention. And so I added verses that spoke to this conviction.

Art Journal: Nathaniel (Ephesians 2:9-10)

 

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

 

My younger son is Jeremy and he is 2.5 years old. As much as his older brother is serious, structured, and likes to keep to himself, Jeremy is an independent little guy who loves people, tickles, cuddles, wrestling, running around, playing with anything and everything, and loves to laugh. He also adores his older brother and copies him in nearly everything. He is always looking for ways to play and interact with Nathaniel. Sometimes he can be the typical little annoying brother, but I see how much he loves his brother and desperately wants to be just like him.

Art Journal: Jeremy (full page)

I want to move away from the heavy saturated color and learn about utilizing white space on my pages. I’m also trying to figure out composition and color palettes/theory. So I chose a color theme and went for it. Not bad for the first try?

Art Journal: Jeremy (center)

I saw a Donna Downey stamp set and felt like it fit with the theme of this page. One day Jeremy will have his own identity and hopefully won’t be lost in the shadow of his older brother. He is absolutely pure sunshine and joy, his laugh is infectious, and he has his own beautiful and unique gifts (his potential is limitless!). His name means “God will uplift”, and he definitely has grown into that definition.

Art Journal: Jeremy (title)

 

Art Journal: Nathaniel’s Rainbow

 

This is what happens when your child stops napping in the afternoons and insists on going up to your craft room to “do mommy’s art journal”. So I let my eldest son (he’s currently 4.5 years old) have a page. I did the background for him, while he stood nearby, watching in fascination. And then I let him dictate how he wanted to do the rest of the page.

He’s a tenacious little guy, and I thought this photo of him working on the page showed a little bit of that (him gripping the pen tightly).

Drawing letters and numbers is serious business

 

And here’s the final page layout:

Nathaniel's Rainbow

 

What cracks me up is that every time I tell him to write his name and the date on something, he has to write it like he’s doing a worksheet. Kind of like the card he drew for my husband last year for Father’s Day. He was 3 at the time.

Nathaniel's Father's Day Card (2013)

There are so many things in this family portrait that crack me up (like the fact that he insisted that he was the only one with clothes). But I digress.

 

Here’s the video of us putting the art journal page together. He wanted to watch the video a dozen times because he was enamored with seeing his head and his arms on the computer screen.

 

Art Journal: Faith (My Heart’s Eyes)

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an art journal video! My pages are really personal, so I am a little intimidated in sharing some of them. But I also believe that in order to grow, I have to continue to challenge myself and my fears, so here we go!

Here is the completed page:

Faith - full page

 

I had a certain thing in mind as I started this page. But as my usual process goes, it didn’t end up that way. I actually went to plan B, but even plan B failed miserably, so I just stopped planning and just went with it, one step at a time. It is a pretty complicated page, with complex elements that may not make sense to the casual observer, so I wanted to provide an explanation and the story behind it (A sudden idea crossed my mind of videotaping my sharing “live” on camera with my page, but that terrified me to no end. And as much as I like to try to push myself to grow by doing something “scary” every once in awhile, today wasn’t the day to do it. Maybe another day, lol).

 

A detailed background story to this page is here: Art Journal Page: Faith (My Heart’s Eyes)

 

Here is the video process of me making this page. Enjoy!

 

Recent Art Journal Pages (Heart Journaling)

 

I’m a little hesitant to share these pages, as they are intensely personal to me, but they are also pages that mean the most to me at this time. I’m in a challenging situation, and no doubt it is in the midst of changing who I am as a person, as a mom, and as a child of God. And as I am going through this, I am journaling my process and the struggles and transformations that are in my heart. It has been humbling, to say the least.

 

January 27, 2014: Hope

“Sometimes some things fall apart, so that some things fall together”

Hope (1/27/14)

 

January 29, 2014: Self-Portrait

“Dear God, If I lose my hope today, please remind me me that Your plans are better than my dreams”

Self-Portrait (1/29/14)

 

February 3, 2014: Joy

“The Spirit’s quiet whisper
Bids me bow before Your throne
‘Til my heart’s deepest yearnings
Are the echo of your own.”
(Jennifer Kennedy Dean)

Joy (2/3/14)

This most recent page looks awfully busy, but I just went with how I felt. It’s full of bright and “sunny” colors, yet it is complex and busy and full of texture. There’s a lot going on in the background. But I felt the theme was “joy”, and put a couple verses that spoke to me on this theme, on where I’m currently at. Along with one of my favorite quotes on prayer, by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. And then in a black pen (blended in the background), I journaled a couple verses of my favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. And the doilies are from my local IHOP (don’t worry, they were clean when I saved them). =)

This page is an expression of my journey with prayer, which goes hand in hand with a lot of my art journaling (or what you call, “heart journaling”). With prayer comes a transformed heart, and while the process may not be so smooth, the path is filled with blessings and supernatural surprises and of course, joy.

 

Art Journal: Faith Is

 

It has been awhile since I’ve posted here, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting… Life got busy at first, and then it suddenly got very complicated. My family is still reeling from and processing through the complications, but the silver lining is that it brought me back to the basics of what I know about myself, my life, faith, and God.

So here is a page I made based on a C.S. Lewis quote I found especially fitting for this time.

faith is

 

A couple close ups of the page:

faith is

the art of

in spite of your

changing moods and circumstances

 

The look of the page came out bolder and busier and grittier than I had anticipated. But after staring at it for awhile, I decided that I liked all the “gritty” busy texture I put in there. Life is messy and sometimes rough, and the process of faith is no different. But there is always hope, and I journaled a few verses that I wanted to hold close to my heart with this page.

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Heb 11:1)

 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
(Lam 3:22-23)

 

..Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Cor. 15:58)