In the midst of all the flurry of activity around here this winter, and the difficulty of doing everything from day to day with the challenge of endless snow storms, one thing that has been a source of focus and serenity has been my times of working in my art journal for The Documented Life Project. Last week the creative prompt was to add a “tip-in” flap and add another flap to the flap!
As I’ve been experimenting with various techniques, the one that has been the most fun recently is stitching on my paper instead of using glue. It really works quite well if I use card stock, especially after I’ve painted it on both sides. That gives it much more flexibility and stability, and it looks pretty, too.
For this creative challenge I used a piece of card stock that I had painted on both sides, folded it in half, and then started stitching stuff on to it. And once I got started, I just kept finding more and more ways to embellish my little flap . . . . and then another little double-flap . . . and then a tiny envelope with a cute embellished tag inside.
I cut out a bunch of circles from scrap paper that I had painted on previously, and then cut tiny notches around the edges to make a “flower.” Layers were perfect for this particular project, and it was easy to do with my sewing machine.
Some vellum paper with writing and musical notes provided a subtle background, a bit of ribbon and yarn, and on the inside of my big flap I stitched on a few inspirational quotes to keep me motivated on these blustery days when what I really want to do is curl up with a cup of cocoa and a good book.
If you have never tried creating an art journal, let me tell you that it is very therapeutic. What I mean by that is that you will find yourself focused on something other than all the messy, crazy, annoying, and exasperating events of life.
Things like this weather and all of the struggles that come with trying to move kids around through snow drifts; what to do when you need to go to work but you have sick kids; having to go to the grocery store but first you have to shovel the snow out of the driveway . . . . that kind of stuff.
Or even more intense stuff that we all deal with if we’ve been alive on planet earth for more than a minute or two. I have found that when I feel discouraged or overwhelmed or anxious or fearful, if I stop my brain from swirling around and around on the particular problem I am facing by focusing on something else, it really does lower my blood pressure!
Creativity has a way of doing that for us. I know that some of you think your aren’t creative . . . . but that’s not true. You might be creative in a different way than someone else, but God created you in His image, and since He is THE Creator, you have that creative spirit in you, too.
Maybe give it some thought and join The Documented Life Project and connect with a few other creative spirits who love to encourage and inspire others. Really – creativity is truly a gift that heals a wounded soul!