Sunday, December 29, 2013

Giving Thanks

It's that time of year favorite time of year.  I love a new year for the vast newness of it, for its adventures yet realized, for its uncommitted hours and for all the promise it holds.  I just love it.

For the last two years, I have joined friends in claiming a word for the year rather than making a list of resolutions I won't keep.  I gained Peace in 2011, Growth in 2012, and this year I am proclaiming my year of gratitude or Thanks.  I heard a saying recently that was attributed to a number of different people from Ann Voskamp to Oprah that goes something like, "You can't complain and be grateful at the same time." So I intend to push out any complaining (that I don't really have a right to anyway given the blessings that God has showered me with) and fill that time with praise and thanks.  I'm making a 2014 planner that will be all about thanksgiving, but I'll share more about that later.

To help me remember and because I'm home for two weeks and feeling arty, I made a One Word Limb Chop for my word.  I will keep it hanging all year where I can see it...probably in my studio. Then I'll hang it on my tree at Christmas time so I can reflect on my progress.  I'm making some for some friends who have requested them, too.  I've created a listing for my Etsy shop here for a custom order of your one word. 

BUT I'M ALSO GIVING ONE AWAY!!!  Just leave a comment here on the blog telling me your ONE WORD and why you have selected it and you will be entered to win an original hand painted LeissnerArt Limb Chop ornament of your very own.  

(Small Print:  Only one comment per person please.  The winner will be selected randomly sometime late in the afternoon on Sunday, January 5, 2014.  The winner will be announced here on the blog, on my FB page, Twitter and on Instagram.  If you don't follow me on those places, you might want to consider it so you don't miss anything. :) Your word has to be literally one word. Clauses or phrases will not fit on a limb chop.  The color scheme will be similar to the item shown.  Final design is also similar but my discretion (I probably will not seek out the perfect scripture to go with but will decorate with found papers).

 Thanks to you all for being here.  May the good Lord bless your new year as only He can.

<3 Lori

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Imperfectly Wrapped

I'm a terrible wrapper.  I try to be all Martha Stewart, but I end up...not so much.

As I was wrapping gifts the other day, I thought about how we are all imperfectly wrapped.  Our patterns don't always line up the way they should.  Sometimes our cuts are not straight.  Sometimes we crack open a little bit and have to tape ourselves back together.  But the truth is that we will never be perfect, no matter how hard we try.  Not here on Earth, anyway.

There was only one perfect human.  Our God in human form was perfect.  Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, born of a lowly girl under stark conditions but worshiped from the beginning by strangers far and near as the Messiah, the King of kings, The Word, Savior, Redeemer, Emmanuel (God with us).  And if we remain faithful to the end, we too can be perfected in Heaven when we see Him face to face.  Oh what a day that will be!!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Thank you for your support this year, for reading here, for buying my stuff, for visiting my FB and Instagram and Pinterest, and Twitter feeds.  2013 was a good year of growth (my word of the year).  I'm very excited about what the Lord might have in store for 2014 and very much looking forward to sharing it with you as I recognize and acknowledge each day with gratitude (this year's word of the year).

May the Good Lord continue to bless you and keep you.

<3 Lori

Friday, December 6, 2013

Handmade Holidays

I just realized yesterday that the main reason I already have almost all my Christmas shopping done is because, since my son graduated from high school, we are not spending the whole month of December running around to basketball tournaments all over the state.  The two tournaments my daughter was supposed to play in have both been local and have both been cancelled due to weather.  The other reason is that I have committed to purchasing mostly from artists and craftspeople rather than running around at shopping centers and the mall.

I can't show you the great things I've purchased because I think some of my friends and relatives might actually read my blog occasionally.  Suffice it to say, I'm getting a lot of happy mail, and others are too.  That's because when  you buy from Etsy sellers, they will ship your purchases right to the recipients just like the big box stores. Often they will lovingly wrap your package and even include a card for you. 

There is a team on Etsy for those who create handmade.  The All Handmade by ME team is having joint sale this week. It started today and will end Dec. 13.  This is a great way to find some new artisans and unique gifts that literally cannot be found anywhere else.

This blog post from one of the leaders Stephanie Ledezma of The Astral Charm wrote a blog post about the sale that includes a list of all the participating shops.  You can find that here. There some really great jewelry, fiber art, wall art...all kinds of stuff.

I made a new banner for my shop so that it's easy to see what my discount is. I'm slowing my progress on Photoshop.  I'm sure this banner will make someone who actually knows Photoshop guffaw. But, hey, at least this one is the right size.

If you haven't finished all your shopping, check out the list of shops and get to it!

It's cold here today.  We got a snow day.  This birdie is very happy about that.  If he needed to shop, he'd do it from the comfort of his nest too.

Enjoy your day, friends.  Until next time, may the good Lord bless you with warmth when it's cold, good coffee to help you get through the day, and a holiday season that fulfills you and not depletes you.

<3 Lori

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Current Events

I obviously did not blog every day in October. And I'm not going to remember to post everything I'm thankful for in November.  I'm also not going to do art every day in November.  I'm lucky if I get to shower every day, frankly.

I can't seem to keep up with those kinds of challenges.  But I have been doing a lot, actually.  Girlie and I made 8 dozen cupcakes with homemade chocolate buttercream and homemade cream cheese icing for a bake sale.  Not only were they actually edible, they were really pretty, too.  I was very proud of myself.  We went to watch the boy play college basketball which meant 7 hour round trip in one day.  And I've been working on remaking some stuff for a silent auction for the girlie's art group trip this summer.  These have been really fun, so I thought I'd share them with you.

This is the makeover of a little vintage suitcase. It's now a hipster pet bed.  If I had a little doggie, I would keep it.  I'm pretty sure there's a little doggie and another suitcase makeover in my future.

A very plain, very square, very nondescript picture frame I bought last summer not knowing what I would do with it became this cute collaged chalkboard. 

I bought this old six-pane window from an online garage sale group on Facebook, which I'm now kind of addicted to.  I knew right away what I wanted to do with this one.  I kept all the old chippy paint and just sealed it.  The top glass was still in the window, but all the bottom glass was missing.  It's now a super cute family message center. 

There's one more project I'm working on.  This octagonal side table is becoming another pet bed--one you can put your drink on!  It's still in progress, but here's where it is so far.

The silent auction is on Sunday. After that, my schedule will significantly open up. Maybe then I'll be able to do art again!  Eeek!

I took the day off today from the real job so that I could work on these projects.  Because of this, I thought today was Sunday.  This means Wednesday is going to seem like another Monday.  However, by Friday, I'll be surprised that it really is Friday.

So...Happy Monday, y'all!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Something Special

There is something special about a handmade gift, don't you think?  I was just sitting here thinking about some of the amazing artist friends I have met in the last few years who handcraft beautiful jewelry, fine art pieces, pottery, soap and lotions, fiber arts and other amazingness in their home studios, garages, and sometimes kitchen tables or storefronts.

Around this time of year,  although the jack o' lanterns may not even be cut yet, if we're smart, our thoughts will be moving on ahead to Christmas.  If you are one of those smart people and you have people for whom you need thoughtful gifts, consider something that's not only handmade but something that is made especially for them and no one else.  It's really one of my favorite things to do. I love taking little bits and pieces of people's lives and making them into a piece of art that can only be theirs.  Today, I'm sharing some of the custom art I've made.  I can make some for you, too!

This was a gift for my niece's graduation.  It includes her favorite Bible verse and a little piece of a letter dated 1923 from a niece to her aunt and uncle.  In it she tells them how important it is that she get an education.  

This one was for my son to hang in his dorm room. Some of his favorite Bible verses are in the background.  My friend Valerie took this great photo during a game a few years ago and even lived to tell about it.

I made this for my brother's family.  I thought the photo of their kids taken by one of their friends was super cute. I printed it in black and white and then recolored it.  Then it begged for a vintage map covered canvas and the perfect Emerson quote.  

This is my sister-in-law's dog, Ralph.  The vintage sheet music included a verse that spoke of kind of love a dog brings to our lives.

The original poem came first.  Then the gift morphed to a poetic blessing box for my baby niece's first birthday.

I've shared this one before. I made it for my mom for Mother's Day several years ago.  The photos are of her with each of her three kids. There's also a photo of her as a baby with her own mom.  The flowers are pieces of my grandmother's vintage aprons.  There are other family papers in the background including a note that my grandmother wrote on the flyleaf of the Bible she sent with my grandfather to World War II.

If I can make something for you, please check my About and Contact page for all the ways you can get in touch with me.  I'd love to hear from you and make something great for you.

I hope you are having a blessed Saturday!  

<3 Lori

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reboot Day 4

I'm doing a quick blog during lunch.  Today is Day 4 of the Reboot.  That means I have one more day of solid food before I start the all-juicing-all-the-time. I've learned that I really like roasted acorn squash stuffed with sauteed mushrooms.  I've also learned where to find those things in the grocery store.  It's like a whole new world. 

It's not like I never went to the produce department.  I've purchased plenty of apples and bananas and strawberries and romaine.  I have never, however, purchased acorn squash or leeks or kale.  So, it's been an experience.  

I love my juicer.  It works great.   People reported that juicers are really hard to clean.  I've not really found that since I'd read in advance to line the pulp bin with a plastic bag.  I'm sure that makes all the difference. 

I did not like the store bought carrot juice at all (and wrote a poem about it a couple of days ago), but the homemade carrot/apple/lemon juice I made was AWESOME. Love it! The green version of this bottled juice is pretty good in a pinch, but this red juice is my favorite in a bottle.  It's very sweet, so I'm sure it's bad for you.   My uncle, who's had heart bypass surgery, has a motto about food he says he learned from his cardiologist--"If it tastes good, spit it out."  Ha!  I'm still trying to find a homemade green juice that tastes really good.  So far, I haven't gagged, but that's not really a good marketing tag line.  "Drink my juice. It won't make you gag."

Here's another video I watched last night.  This guy makes juicing look super easy and fun.

Actually, these four days have really been the easiet four days of any attempt to change my diet I have ever made, and that's saying something.  I've done Weight Watchers (three times), Atkins, South Beach, 17 Day Diet, Oprah's whateverthatwas, SlimFast. I even took diet pills from my doctor a few years ago (who's now sort of a diet pill pusher if one were to base that assessment solely on the signage in her office).  The difference, I think, with this is that I'm not doing it to lose weight (although I do hope that's a cool side effect).  I'm doing it because I wasn't feeling well.  I was SO EXHAUSTED all.the.time.  I was feeling old!!   I don't want to feel old.  

Now I'm going to run over to the grocery store to get some of that yummy red juice before our staff meeting this afternoon.  Apparently, the plan is to have all kinds of sugary stuff.  I guess that's supposed to at least keep us upright even if it doesn't make our brains work better.  I'm going to actually try for both!!  

Have a blessed day, friends!

<3 Lori

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear Mail Art, I Love You!

 When I was a kid living in the tiny little town where I grew up, going to the mail box every day was exciting.  We used to get big fabric zippered bags of library books we ordered from the public library in the closest big city 60 miles away.  People sent cards back then.  I had pen pals and a long distance boyfriend or two who sent letters.  Before computers, email, Facebook, texting, blogs and all the other modern conveniences that make it so easy to stay in touch now, I wrote long, long (really long) letters and mailed a lot of cards.   I really love it still.  I just don't take the time to do it anymore  There is an inverse correlation between the numbers of hours I spend on computers and the legibility of my handwriting, which makes writing long, long letters less appealing.

But I still love going to the mailbox especially when I find something in there more fun than bills.

This summer, one of my favorite other artists to follow on Facebook and Instagram, Roben-Marie Smith had a giveaway of her newest class called You've Got Mail....Art on her blog.  I was so excited to win a seat! But the summer turned out to be completely crazy with camps for my girl and my mom having surgery and my son going to college.  I was able to watch the videos, but I didn't get to do any projects until the last couple of weeks. I have had a complete blast turning protein bar boxes and used manilla envelopes into fun art to help keep the United States Postal Service in business and make some mail boxes happy.

This is great class.  It's very affordable and you have forever access, two prerequisites for me.  The other is that it be AWESOME!!  This is that, too! 

I guess this blog has been serving as a stand-in for my long letters from long ago.  But, I'm working on my penmanship so that I can send these off, too.

May the good Lord bless you with a happy mailbox!

<3 Lori

PS--Click here to check out the other bloggers participating in Blogtoberfest!  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dollar Store Journal Makeover

I told you last time I was here that I would share with you what's in my travel art kit. I didn't get that blog written, but it's on my list, so I'll share that soon. 

In the meantime, I want to show you this quick and fun little project--a dollar store journal makeover.

You'll need:

  • A spiral bound journal from the dollar store.
  • A bunch of mod podge
  • Assortment of vintage and pretty papers
  • Paint, pencils, gesso, any mixture of media you like
  • A brayer is good to have but not essential
Here's how it started, already cute and with a nice message.  But, I wanted to personalize it, so it needed a makeover.

First, remove the covers from the spiral so that it'll be easier to work with and you won't mess up the paper with all that glue you'll be flinging around. I also roughed them up a little bit with sandpaper because I wasn't sure yet what I was going to do next.

I decided to cover them with vintage magazine pages first.  Although you don't need a brayer, it makes the process of flattening the papers a lot easier.  Bubbles in your papers are so annoying.  Try to avoid those by centering the paper over the mod podged surface. Then use the brayer to press the paper to the glue from the center and push toward the edges. If you try to seal the edges first, you'll almost always end up with bubbles, which are messy to fix.

You should end up with two vintagey covers!

It might be easier to finish out the inside of the covers now before you work on the front.  I'm always a little afraid a mistake or spill or messiness will ruin the covers while I'm finishing the insides.  You'll just want to try to pick a coordinating pretty paper. Like this.

Now it's time to decorate them up.  I missed the in progress shots from this point. But I added thinned gesso to lighten up the color of the old papers some.  I wanted to obscure the words but allow the lettering to show through.  Then I used my favorite Caran d'Ache NeoArt water soluble wax pastels to add color to the background.  I then transferred one of my favorite sketches using tracing paper and pencil transfer.  I tried to paint the image coordinating colors to the edge of the original covers that still shows under the spiral. I didn't cover the holes. Since I don't have a spiral hole puncher, I thought it would be cleaner to leave them.

 When the front is all done, dried, and sprayed with a little Workable Fixatif to protect the image, reattach the covers to the spiral, taking care to avoid scratching the paint!

This one was a gift.  The sweet lady's favorite Bible verse is Psalms 62:8, "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." 

The old Bible I tore the verse from had the serendipitous heading at the top of the page-"Divine Wings".  

Some things are just meant to be.

If you decide to remake a Dollar Store journal, I would love to see what you create! 

<3 Lori 

P.S.-I restarted my Reboot.  Of course, I had a sugary blow out in the last couple of days that included lots of rice, a giant piece of Key Lime pie, and lots of chocolate and Diet Coke.  Today has gone very well.  I ate kale!  And I made my first batch of green juice.  It didn't make me gag.  And the acorn squash was quite yummy.  I cooked real food with my own hands.  Big day. Very big day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blogging on the Road

So I missed yesterday of the blogging everyday thing. It's hard on the road. 

It is for me, anyway.

I'm in a big city at a training event for work. It's at a "retreat". But this retreat is one of those team building kinds of retreats, if you know what I mean. All the spaces are intended to engender conversation and comradery.  There's a ROPES course on the grounds. The restaurant is cafeteria style with mostly big group tables.  It's not so much of a "retreat" in the way an introvert like me might define it. The rooms, called "sleeping rooms", are sparse and kind of remind me of what a low security prison might be or a poorly decorated dorm room. 

This might help explain why I'm sitting in the car during the lunch break listening to the radio. 

I did manage to set up a little sleeping room art studio last night.

I'll write more for tomorrow about what's in my cute little vintage overnight art bag. 

May the good Lord bless you today with all the people you need and all the space you need. 

<3 Lori

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reboot Day 1

Because I might be too weak from starving to death and have difficulty remaining upright from no sugar or caffiene by October 1, I thought I would use my waning lucid moments to document how these first few days have gone and then share the post after the official start of the Blogtoberfest challenge.

So this "All Juice All The Time" thing is call Reboot. Here's a link--  Basically, the premise is to get lots and lots of nutrients through the micronutrients in fruits and vegetables, which you can do a lot more easily drinking it than trying to eat all that. The objective is to clean out your system from all the junk you might have been hoarking and change your taste buds so that you will be less inclined towards the junk and more inclined towards the fruits and vegetables--mostly vegetables, which are really not my favorites.  I love bread and potatoes and pasta and rice and SUGAR.

Day 1, Thursday, Sept. 26-- I'm not starting my Reboot officially today, but all the information says that one should begin to taper off one's indiscretions in the days or weeks (or in some cases months) before one starts a juice fast.  So I'm trying it. I ordered this juicer last night on Amazon with the 30 day trial of Amazon Prime, so it should be here tomorrow.  I also hoarked down the last of my Sour Patch Kids last night so that they wouldn't be tempting me with their sour and sugary sassiness.  That was good thinking.

6:11--The later in the day it gets, the worse this juicing idea seems. What seems like a good idea now is a hot brownie and some ice cream. But that's how I got into this mess, isn't it?  I did pretty well this morning.  I wasn't going to make coffee at all, but I wasn't confident I'd be able to find the shower without it, and that's not good for anyone, so I had one mug.  Tomorrow I'll try for less.  For breakfast, I almost always have an Egg White Delight from McDonald's if I'm in town or peanut butter and jelly toast, if I'm working at home.  Today I had a store bought green juice and some hot lemon water.  Yum-Yum!

Surprisingly, I made it to lunch without any emergency medical intervention.  I was emboldened because all my coworkers were there with me, so I got a salad.  It wasn't the vegetable only salad I had sort of planned on, but there was green stuff and it was tasty. Starvation will do that to you.  A berry juice stood in for my afternoon candy bar.  Since I was racing back and forth to the bathroom because of all the juice and water I was consuming today, I was busy enough not to succumb to other temptations.  Not so on the way home.  Ready to pass out, I went through the drive thru at Chic-Fil-A, but no steaming, hot, yummy, salty waffle fries for me.  Who got the fruit cup instead?  This girl. Yum.

6:33--It's going to be a long wait until bed time.


UPDATE:  I didn't make it past Day 2, just so you don't get your hopes up.  But I already wrote this, so I might as well share it.  You can get an idea of what a challenge this will be.  I actually have to be out of town tomorrow through Friday for a work thing. Juicing on the go is not that good of an idea for me I'm pretty sure.  So I'm back to doing the taper-off activities this week.   I'll be starting the official full on Reboot on Saturday.  For now, here's a little poem I just wrote about a new juice I tried today.

Ode to Carrot Juice

I do not like this juice.
I don't.
I will not drink it.
No, I won't.

This juice does not
Taste very good.
I would rather 
Chew on wood

To get the nutrients
I need
Than drink this juice
That tastes like weeds.

The End

Happy Blogtoberfest, everyone.  If you liked this post, boy, are you in for a treat!!!  I'm going to try to post in October!!!  Stand by for more poetic brilliance. :)

<3 Lori

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fat Sick and Juicing?

A little thirty second commercial had blipped across my television while I had it on for background noise three or four times over the course of a week or so. I didn't pay much attention it, but something about it caught my interest.   Each time I heard it, I thought to myself, "I should look that up."  When I finally did, it was transformational. Here's a little bit of what I found.

It was fascinating.  I was intrigued.  I watched the whole  movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on my IPod. 

And then I watched it again.
Basically in the last five years since my cancer thing, I've been headed in the wrong direction in terms of health and fitness.  I tried, but could never make any changes stick. Then when I started my art gig and Creative Clearinghouse, I got even less exercise and ate even more stress. For my trouble, I've gained an additional 30 pounds to add to an already extensive collection.  I didn't particularly enjoy the additional pounds, but they didn't bother me enough to do much about it until recently.  Stuff is starting to hurt that didn't hurt before--back, ankles, swollen hands.   I crawl home from work every day (even if I'm working from home) because I'm so exhausted ALL.THE.TIME. 

I should not be feeling this bad!

But thanks to this:

and this:

and these spawn of Satan,:

I do feel bad pretty much all the time.  It's time to stop that.  October marks five years since my "cancer thing".  It seems especially appropriate to hang a u-turn at this time.

So that's what I'm going to do.  Join me as I share this experience in nutritional home health here on the blog.  I'd love to have your prayers and support. And prayers. Especially prayers. Lots of prayers.   It'll be an adventure for sure! In between, there'll probably be some art and maybe even some poetry.  

But that stuff will probably be after the nervous breakdown, just so you know.

Let's roll. 

<3 Lori

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

I've accepted a challenge from Michelle, my Australian friend from Shells in the Bush,  to blog every day for the month of October.

I thought it might be good to have a theme for the month.  You'll be very surprised by what I'm going to be doing for the month.  For real.  I'm having a hard time believing it myself.

See ya on October 1!!

<3 Lori

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why Did the Wild Hog Cross the Road

So.....I don't think some people really believed me when I posted this on Facebook this morning:  

We don't live completely in the boonies, although I'm sure it seems like it sometimes to you.  And to me, actually. It's been 14 years since we've lived close enough to a town to order pizza for delivery.  If I forget bread, I have to drive 6 miles to get it...unless it's after 8 pm, in which case I'd have to drive 17 miles.  It's 30 miles to "town" where civilization and things like movies and shrimp scampi are.  I buy a lot of gas and more tires than seems right.  It's weird to me that this is a whole other culture for some people because, except for 4 years in College Station (although even then we lived rurally, but that's a whole 'nother story) and 8 years in Houston, I've always lived "out in the country".  That's how I like it. is part of the herd of wild pigs. The first group passed in front of us and got away while I was in mortal combat with the seat belt.  This bunch passed behind us and almost got away while I was desperately attempting to remain upright.  Since I was shooting into the sun and just aiming in their general direction, I'm as surprised as you are that I even have this rather Sasquatch-ish photo.

 I love sharing these little glimpses of West Texas wildlife with you.  Thanks for being here! 

<3 Lori

PS--To be completely historically accurate, there were an additional three years of town living while I was in high school and junior college, but as evidenced by the fact that I just now remembered them, I have blocked out those years, so...there's that.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Night Lights

My ability to formulate a catchy title is dwindling, don'tcha think?'s Friday.  I took the day off from my real job because 1) I'm plumb tuckered out, 2) I wanted to do some stuff for LeissnerArt, and 3) I got my evaluation yesterday and I figured I ought to end the work week on a good note and quit while I'm ahead.  I love my boss.  My so much sometimes.  But that's why I have this place, right?

I made a light box today.  A friend of mine (Violet at KellyMaeKreations--check out her shop. She makes great jewelry!) looked over my shop for me and gave me some pointers about fixing the place up a little bit.  I knew my photos were not that great, but I just hadn't had time to do anything about it.  Today was the day to get started.  So I watched some videos on YouTube, checked out a lot of tutorials like this one and then kind of winged it to make this light box.

I must admit it. I'm pretty proud of myself. It's only cardboard, tissue paper and poster board, but, dadgummit, I made it and it works.

So here's an image that was on Etsy before of some cute little tea cup art:

And here's the one from the lightbox:
Hmmm...well.  It is brighter, so you can see the details a little better. Since it's pouring down rain today, I surely can't try to get natural light photos.  And since most of my LeissnerArt work needs to happen after working at the real job, a light box will help.  I need different lamps and light bulbs.  After that, I think I'll be able to rock this box. soon as I find both my camera power cords that are lost at the moment.   I took this one with my Ipad. ::sigh:: Seems like it's always something. 

If you need any info about my light box foray, feel free to hit me up. And check out my Etsy shop for new listings.

UPDATE:  Found my camera power cords!!  Yea!

May the good Lord bless you today with his brilliant light and may you let it shine.

<3 Lori

Sunday, September 8, 2013

That Can't Be Right

Yesterday was homecoming in our school district.  As I was bringing my daughter home from school and she had her headphones jammed in her ears (as is usually the case these days with this well-practiced teen), I was thinking about homecoming and how this town doesn't feel like my "hometown".  You know what I mean?  

We live pretty far from school, so I had a lot of time to think.  I started thinking about my school years and my mouth literally fell open and I lost my breath a little bit.  I started counting decades on my fingers, and I realized that in two years it'll have been THIRTY YEARS since I graduated.  That cannot be right.  

*Our team mascot was the Bulldogs.  The fact that the yearbook is called "The Kennel" is really quite disturbing.  Someone should be punished for that.

But it is. I counted three times and then used the calculator when I got home. Thirty years.  Dang.  We moved in the summer between my sophomore and junior years.  Because of that rather badly timed move, the old school is closer to being my hometown because I was there longer, but I didn't graduate from there.  I graduated from the other school, but I was only there two years.  I always kind of felt hometown-less.
 ::cue the tiny violins::

So all this thinking about "home" and what that means, as well as a custom order to make some little canvases for a homecoming get together of girlfriends brought a realization to me.  

It doesn't really matter where life takes you.  When you are with friends, you are home.  That's the message the little canvases now carry for those girlfriends.  And, because the sentiment struck me so much, I made a few more.

And I'm giving them away!  There's one giveaway on Instagram for two sweet little 3 x 3 canvases with the "My Friend My Home" message (one to keep and one to gift).  All you have to do is follow me, share the giveaway photo (take a screen shot of it and then post it), tag me @LeissnerArt, and use the hashtag #myfriendmyhome.  We'll draw on Wednesday night!

There's another giveaway on Facebook to celebrate reaching 700 friends! (Wow! That's so cool!)  These are 4 x 4 wrapped canvas blocks.  You can hang them or sit them on a shelf.  And again, there are for you and one for your friend!   For that giveaway, just share the image from the FB post that uses the image below, tag my page @LeissnerArt and use the hashtag #myfriendmyhome.

Here's the small print. Both drawings will occur on Wednesday night.  Also, I'm sorry, but these giveaways are open to US addresses only.  I just can't afford international shipping for a giveaway. I hope you understand! xoxo 

Thanks for playing, friends!  May the good Lord bless you this week with  good friends who make their home in your heart.

<3 Lori

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On Being Brave

I haven't been making any art lately.  I don't know what's up with me. School has started, and I'm finding myself with more spare time than I've had in.....well.....ever.  But I cannot muster any art mojo. I can't seem to get inspired. 

I do remember that this happens periodically, though. There's an ebb and flow to my creativity.  I haven't figured out how to gather inspiration up and dole it out a little at a time.   I'm the same way with chocolate chip cookies.   I seem to have art binges where I'll go upstairs and knock out four or five paintings in a weekend. Then it'll dry up, and I'll be downstairs fretting about losing it for 3 weeks.  I guess it's just the way it's going to be.  But I need to find some creative outlets for these down times.  Maybe I should switch back to writing or poetry when visual arts leave me.  I don't know.  Anyway, I have done some things I needed to do during this time while I've been waiting for my mojo.  I've been brave.

AWESOME bracelet by my friend Kate at The Adopt Shoppe

I sent some work off on a trip in a cute box, which has been the only art I've done in weeks. I loved it.  I wish I'd gotten a few more photos of it before it went on its way. 

I took some other work on a little field trip to the fair.  That's right. I entered two pieces of artwork in the county fair.  I've never done anything like that before. Well, that's not entirely true.  When I was in third grade, I had artwork in the Brazoria County Fair when my entire class drew clowns on manilla construction paper and colored them with crayons, but that doesn't really count, now does it?   I don't really even know how it works. I guess I'll go visit them sometime next week and take my camera. I don't expect to win anything, but I'm trying to be brave and get out there in the public (where all those people are...eeek!)

I also wrote something creative and sent it off into the cosmos of the internet where, hopefully, someone will read it and like it.   I really don't know if anything will come of any of it, though......

Actually, now that I think about it, something has already come of it.

Last year, I printed out all the information for the fair, but couldn't muster the courage to deliver anything when the time came.  I didn't have the nerve to send any submissions last year.  Last year, I was even reluctant to let my coworkers and people in my community know that I do art on the side, that I have an Etsy shop where I sell it, or that I want to be an artist.

Maybe next year I'll be able to fully embrace that I already am one.

What is something on your list that you've been waiting for the courage to complete?  What's one thing you can do right now to get started on it?  Tell me about it!    I can't wait to hear how you were BRAVE!

May the good Lord give you courage to follow your dreams and lots of spare mojo.

<3 Lori