I met the lovely artist and author, Joy Theda Bjork in the Created to Thrive Mentoring Program, and purchased this beautiful handmade brooch from her. The card that came with it says, "You are His Beloved. Take care of yourself first, then others. Psalm 139" Joy lives in Sweden now, but used to live in NJ! I met her in person recently at the Gathering of Artisans Conference. Contact Joy on Facebook if you're interested in your own 'Nurturing Heart' brooch-- she creates it with your color preferences. She also has a wonderful book, "After Divorce, You Can Live Again" which can be applied to recovering from any traumatic experience. I highly recommend it!
My friend Antonina recently shared this powerful quote with me from Brennan Manning's book,
The Ragamuffin Gospel.
What if you discovered that the least of the brethren of Jesus,
the one who needs your love the most,
the one you can help the most by loving,
the one to whom your love will be the most meaningful--
what if you discovered that this least of the brethren of Jesus…
I was incredibly honored last month to win my third award for Transformation, a 24" x 50" oil painting I created in college when I was 21 years-old. It came in Third Place ($200) in the Oakton Foundation Spring 2019 Visual Arts Competition. I'd like to share the original sketch as well as some insight behind the painting.
Like many, depression runs in my family. As a teenager I was caught in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, and after a life-threatening crisis at age 16, I was briefly hospitalized and started getting treatment.
A few years later on my first day of college I met Sarabeth, a born-again Christian, who invited me to the Christian Fellowship group on campus. I went on and off, but mostly did my own thing for the next few years. But I became good friends with her and had many other Christians reach out to me. Even though I had been raised in church, it took me a long time to believe that the Heavenly Father really loved me and that all my sins were forgiven through the work of His Son, Jesus. It was difficult for me to grasp that Jesus bore the punishment for my sins, wanted to wash me clean with His blood and make “all things new” in my life. It seemed too good to be true! But in 1984 I cried out to the Lord and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and a journey that I look forward to continuing for all eternity!
(To learn more about God's gift of salvation, click here.)
This painting reflects the transformation that took place in me. He brought me out of a dark place into his marvelous love. Colossians 1: 13 AMPC, "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."
A book I'm currently reading which addresses healing in our hearts and I highly recommend is, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey.
This top piece was purchased by AtlantiCare Foundation, Egg Harbor Township, NJ for their Maternity/OB Ward!
Recently completed, "Flower Fields #1 & #2" 12" x 24", acrylic
These were created for submission to a "Call for Entry" for
Maternity and OB spaces at AtlantiCare Medical Center, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Here are links to a few things I've been enjoying lately. :-)
Please share any recommendations YOU have in the comments.
Grit-N-Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules Podcast - Incredible conversations, insights, and support for those dealing with perfectionism, performancism, and HSPs. "We believe every good girl can grow her grit, embrace God's grace, and learn to break bad rules."
The Thriving Christian Artist Podcast - Encouragement, great information, and resources for artists of all kinds.
Books / Audiobooks
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Artist's Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity by Nancy Hillis
I tried all of these and they're 'keepers'. Let me know any recipes YOU recommend!
Five Spice Park Lo Mein (Evan LOVED this!)
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Taco Pasta Salad
Mexican Cornbread Casserole
No Boil Baked Penne with Meatballs
Baked Cake Donuts
Polish Coffee Cake (very similar to my polish grandmother's coffee cake!)
Honey Wheat Rolls
Real NY Jewish Rye Bread
No-Knead Cottage Cheese Dill Bread
Edible Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough Energy Bites (soooo delicious AND "good for you"!)
Chewy Raspberry Meringues
Photos from my recent art demo at Raritan Valley Arts Association--
What a great group of artists and art lovers!
Thanks to my immensely talented, kind, and creative friend, Diana Patton for taking these pics!
I recently came across Matt Tommey's podcast while searching for Christian artist resources. He offers a boatload of free resources that I have just begun to explore! His outreach is to creatives of all kinds including writers, musicians, crafters, and artists.
Below are free links to an awesome "Gathering of Artisans" Conference held last week in North Carolina, that Matt broadcast Live on Facebook. (I don't think you need to have an account to view.) He offers many more free resources you can access on his website, including his podcast. Click here. Enjoy!!
4" x 4" Quilled Christmas Tree 'ornament' for Forks Area Art Society Fundraiser
I joined a Quilling Small Group at my church. It's a lot of fun! I'd like to incorporate the tiny paper designs into my paper collages, specifically "HEALED HEART". Stay tuned... :-)
Our leader mentioned this scripture in light of God gifting (us) artisans with skills for His glory... WOW!
Exodus 31:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV) Artisans for Building the Tabernacle
31 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. 6 “And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:"
Check out some really cool quilling designs (below)!
A Visual Diary