Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Day

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
L.M. Montgomery



I absolutely LOVE this quote!! I mean it is sooo true don't you think?? Each day brings a fresh start and let me tell you girls...I am ready for MINE!!:)

We had a Very Merry Christmas yesterday and I am soooo grateful!! My husband managed to surprise me with a few surprises that made me smile including a gift card to the Sperry Store on The Plaza (i adore Sperrys and never owned a pair!!) and my new fave fragrance from American Eagle "Bohmemian". Hooray!

Today we are having my in-laws over for a relaxing day of healthy food and games. I tell you...I need to nothing but protien and veggies today. Goodness...I think I've consumed 10 pounds of sugar. Not a good feeling.

Anyway...Dave and I woke up early this morning and have been cleaning fools. It smells like a field of lemon trees in here...ha:) They should be here sometime after lunch.

I am beyond excited for a fresh start to the New Year. I have my Word all picked out and can't wait to share how my Word found me this year:)

I will leave you with this piece of my Brave Art today....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Angels Among Us & Winner

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer



2012 is going in the Ackman record books as the worst year in history. It seems there has been very little happiness in our lives the past 12 months much less anything positive to look forward to. The burdens that have been placed upon us have been almost too much to bear...yet, we have endured them and are still here, hearts full and so grateful for all that we do have.

I wanted to take my last post before Christmas and tell you about three special people who have become Angels in my life. Without their love and support this year I never would have made it through. Their genuine concern for my family and I has been none other than miraculous in my eyes. And to top it off...each of these sweet souls has made my Christmas a bit more Merry.


This is one of my best friends and family members in the world....Missy.



Missy is married to my first cousin Dale. We call each other sisters...I love her!!!! 
Anyway...so Missy and I LOVE to scrapbook together and have been on many retreats. Last October we were together for our family Girls Weekend in Illinois and she invited me to a retreat this March. At first I said YeS...but then I remembered...we don't live in the same world we used to and luxeries like that aren't possible. After swallowing my pride I told her that it probably wouldn't work out this year...but thanks for asking.

Now I haven't been able to get this out of my mind. I mean spending nearly 3 days, surrounded with artsy women and my sweet Missy and yummy food and just time to BE...well that sounds like exactly what I need!!! But deep down I KNEW this wasn't possible....but then, one day I received a facebook message...from Missy....saying something like this...

"Les, Dale and I want to give the retreat weekend to you as a gift. We will pay for everything but your gas to get here. We love you!!"

I was stunned. I blinked back tears and immediately responded..."No, I can't let you do that. Thank you but I will find another way to go."

Missy got right back with me and said..."Please let us do this for you after all you have done for us."

Gulp.

I just sat there, starting at my phone...my dear, sweet family had just offered me such a gift. I couldn't believe it!! I talked it over with Dave then messaged her..."Thank you so much. I love you guys!!!"

So THANK YOU MISSY!! I can't wait to see you in March and stay up all night long laughing and creating. you are the BEST!!!!!:)


So this year our Christmas will be very small. Not a lot under the tree this year or in our stockings. Dave and I aren't giving each other anything this year...and while I am okay with that...I am a little disappointed, too. I am human, you know!!  LOL.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I recieved a package in the mail the other day!!! My heart was skipping a beat and I was doing the happy dance. Oh how I ADORE packages!!! And when I saw who it was from I was even more excited!! My dear blog friend LEANNE!!!

Do you know Leanne?? She writes one of my FAVORITE blogs on the Web..."From Chaos Comes Happiness". We have been reading each others blogs for years now and hope to meet face to face soon!!!!

She has sent me several messages this year and left the kindness comments that have helped fill my heart this year!! She is darling and I love her! Leanne is also an AMAZING artist and if you want to see for yourself go here!!!

Anyway, this wonderful friend sent me a necklace I had been admiring but couldn't afford along with other artsy goodies!!! Her kindness came EXACTLY when I needed it!!! Thank you Leanne!!!!!


My third Angel this Christmas is a family that we love just like they are our family. I know they will want to remain anonomyous but I MUST tell you that without their gift this year I don't know what we would have done or where we would be. My family and I are so, so grateful for you all and love you with all our hearts!!!!

There have been so many more Angels that have touched my heart this year and so many of them have been YOU. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough...but it's all I have right now:)

Speaking of Thanks...WOW, what fun we had with my 600th Blog post!! Many of you entered and I know have TWO winners!! Your prizes will be sent in January...think of it as a late Christmas gift:)

Winner of my Brave Art is...Andria from Drawing Near!!

Winner of the Collage box of goodies is...Ashton Elaine!!!

Girls, send me your addresses...either message me on facebook or email me at les262@embarqmail.com

One more thing, girls...


MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I will see you after the Holidays!!!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Studio Tour


 Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Over a month ago I decided to move my studio. It had been in a perfectly fine spot in our finished basement...but I never really felt at home there. I wanted someplace cozy with lots of sunlight pouring in.

Thanksgiving weekend my amazing husband, son and I moved everything out of the new space and brought all  my furniture and supplies up the two flights of stairs to my new spot...it was quite the mess...:)





I thought this process would never end!! I couldn't believe how much stuff was crammed in this space!!!




This was our computer room/Em's sewing room/catch-all room.







I had so much JUNK crammed in this closet!! It was such a shame we had used one of my favorite rooms in the house as a dumping room!!!




This part of the process took longer than I would have liked. But after a few week of sorting and tossing it was time to bring in all my art supplies!!! Creative Chaos!!!




I literally would just bring my supplies upstairs and dump them in the room...I wanted everything up before I started sorting and putting away.





Finally...just yesterday...I put the finishing touches on my space and I am ready to show you....

My NEW Studio!!!!!

Welcome!!!








Can you see how the beaufitul sunshine just pours in??!!!




Here are the gorgeous windows and window seat!! I love the view from my new space, too...a few houses and a corn field.



All paints. Aren't they pretty??





My inspiration board...




My bookshelf...filled with creative ideas and my Scriptures as well as a special gift from my cousin:)



All my Somerset Magazines!!




My desk where I can write letters, write blog posts and read my Scriptures.




My Brave Art.




That's my favorite photo of myself!! I was 4 years old:)

The art is from a dear friend.



My inspiration wall!!!



A place for paper and other goodies.



A photo of me at my bravest...running my first marathon in Alaska!!



My favorite place for stamps and ink.



I LOVE my art counter my darling husband bought me years ago. One of the best parts about it is the place I can put photos of my family!!





These are all people that mean so much to me.




My workspace...




Yes, I usually stand when I work.



My view while I work inspires me so much!!



The corner cabinet I've had since I was 3 years old.



My closet is now a place for more supplies...



One more look....





I LOVE my new studio!!! I plan on creating more Brave Art here than ever before. I hope you have enjoyed my studio tour!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Here's to Life!


"It is only those who never do anything who never make mistakes."  A. Favre
 
 

The past few weeks I have been moving my studio from downstairs to upstairs. Girls, this is a move I have wanted for years but didn't feel right taking the space in such a prominent part of the house. I guess maybe I didn't feel like my little "hobby" was worthy to be smack in the middle of our everyday living space. However, from the first day Jackson and Dave carried my art table up the stairs and placed it in my new space I couldn't quit smiling!!

Seriously...I am still smiling:)
It is beautiful and perfect and it is all mine.

I am Home here.

Be sure and stop by Monday for a Tour!!!

Are you ready for Christmas?? I am not at all. Oh my...it's coming fast!! I am feeling so very festive this year and am grateful. Even though our stress is still very high...Dave and I are looking at the bright side. All in all we are blessed and life is good.

Speaking of life...here is a piece I was inspired to create a few weeks ago.



I rarely use red in my work...but I just LOVE this!!! And the circles and the buttons...oh and see how I worked my magic on the sides of the canvas, too??



I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces to date:)

I am looking forward to all the CREATING and INSPIRATION that will come out of me new space. It's a dream come true!!

Girls...please enter my 600 hundred post give way here. I will keep it open until Wednesday, December 19th. Tell your friends!!!

Have a festive weekend!! We are baking and decorating sugar cookies at Grams house Saturday...can't wait:)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

600th Post Party Give Away!!!

"To see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone."  -Buddha
 

Just a little over three years I took a chance and created my sweet, little blog "Words of Me Project". Here is my first post from September 18th, 2009. Even though I had high aspirations the day I posted this, I truly couldn't have imagined how that day and this blog would change my world. But it did and I am grateful.
 
I have always been a writer. Whether in my journal, short stories, newspapers or my own column...writing is what fills me up like nothing else does. Here is a peek into some of my 600 posts over the course of three years. Enjoy!!

Make My Monday

 R U Ready for a Revolution?

 Turn Your Light On

Organized and On a Roll

Creativity Challenge-Closets!

 Picture Palooza

 A New Season

 The Fear/Doubt Monster

 Creating Like Crazy

 Embracing Life

 My First Vlog

I am Reaching

 Make Your Soul House

Spreading My Wings


Not only has my blog allowed me to grow as a writer but I found out that I CAN create!!

 That I AM an artist!!

 I have grown in ways I never imagined and it's all because I took a chance and just did it!!!


To celebrate this special occasion I am having a GIVE AWAY!!

Prize #1 is a collection of mixed media goodies....buttons, butterflies, vintage book papers, ribbon and more!!

Prize #2 is this piece of Brave Art created by me:)



To enter my Give Away do the following...

1. Leave me a comment here.
2. For another entry put on FB.
3. For another entry Blog about it.
4. For another entry join my Mind.Body.Soul. Face Book page.
5. For another entry become a Follower on this blog.

Good luck and thank you so much for sharing this amazing, life-changing ride with me!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Art and Give Away

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”  -Barbara Bush
 

What a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday we had!! Time spent with family...visiting, eating, playing, watching movies and shopping. It was pure bliss:) I hope each of you had the very best holiday as well.

Girls, I can't believe it!! I am coming up on my 600th post!! To celebrate I am having a GIVE AWAY!! Whoo Hoo!! More on that later this week.

It's been awhile since I've shown you my latest work. Here are just a few pieces I've finished in the past few weeks.


5x7 canvas


6x6 wood block

8x10 canvas





I am so inspired lately by yellows, aquas, pinks and bright greens. Adding more and more of those colors to my art and loving the results.
 
 
I work as the Elementary Art teacher Monday through Wednesday this week and then on Thursday at The Art Experience. Tuesday after school I've invited the 8-11 year old girls over for a Brave jammie party. We are watching Brave, wearing our jammies and munching on treats:)
Friday night is game night with friends and by Saturday I hope to decorate our home for Christmas. Any free time I have this week will be spent working on my Studio. In case you missed it on facebook I am in the process of moving it from downstairs to our top floor. I LOVE it!! There are big windows and a window seat!!! I am taking photos of the entire process process and will share when I am done. It's quite an undertaking but I want to create more and get serious about doing shows...this move will be awesome for my creativity!!!
 
 
One more thing...I am soooo excited!! My Mom bought me an early Christmas present this year...the Life Book class!!! I am BEYOND excited!!! Check this amazing class out here.
 
Girls...have a GREAT week! And stay tuned for my 600th post GIVE AWAY later in the week!!!
 
What colors keep showing up in your work lately???
 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spreading My Wings

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist. ~Schumann

This past Sunday I participated in The Holiday Hunt...a hand-made art festival held in my hometown. I had been wanting to do this show for the past 2 years but chickened out everytime. But this year was different.

I did it!!



Girls, can I tell you how scared I was. Oh my goodness...the entire time I was setting up I just wanted to run!



As the other artists put the finishing touches on their booths all I could think about was how I didn't belong there. Afterall...me?? An artist??!?!



There was my Soul, laid out on the table for all the world to see.



My sweet girl, Em helped me put everything just so and added a bit of Christmas sparkle to my work.



I really loved how it turned out!!

Before the show opened the vendors were encouraged to visit one another's booths and shop...there were sooo many talented artisans from all over the Northwest Missouri and Southwest Iowa area.
When I got back to my booth a sweet lady was looking at my things. Imagine my surprise when she picked up one of my pieces and said she'd take it!! The show hadn't even started yet!!! I was on cloud nine:)


All art requires courage. ~Anne Tucker

The rest of the day was amazing!! I ended up selling over half of what I brought and made $150.00!!! It was my biggest show to date and inspired me to keep on living my dream. I also met sooo many people including three women with BIG DREAMS like mine!! I shared my vision of an art retreat with them and they were almost excited as me. And I was invited to participate in three shows and teach two classes!! It was an AMAZING day!!!


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison


One more thing....

Source


I am so grateful for each of you!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keeping Promises

Happy Friday, Girls!! So I thought I would give you a quick update on my life....
We have had some good news....we received half of what we need to pay our lawsuit and wired the money to Michigan. It sucks...I am not gonna lie. It is sooo much money and I just feel like it's a perfect example of the BIG guy picking on the little guy. FRUSTRATING. We still have so much left to pay and they wanted it last week...but for now we have band-aided the situation.

Okay....enough of the gloom. Life goes on and it is and once again despite all our mess I am happy.

I thought long and hard about my Word this week and keep coming back to

PROMISE

to engage or undertake by promise (usually used with an infinitive or a clause as object): She promised to go tomorrow.
 
to make a promise of (some specified act, gift, etc.): to promise help.
 
to make a promise of something to (a specified person): Promise me that you will come.
 
I know it's not descriptive like Brave or Courageous or Strong...but it's a Word that speaks to me. You see I made a PROMISE to myself last January that I would get through this year. I would stay the course. I would smile and be happy and never, ever...in spite of all the bad...lose my faith.
 
And I have kept that PROMISE.
 
For the most part.
 
I have.
 
 
 
I have learned to not center my life around shopping and having more. There is no more retail therapy in the Ackman house...and yes, I do miss it sometimes. Not gonna lie.
 
I have learned to be happy at home. We watch movies at home and eat at home and play games at home.
 
I have learned to cook and use everything in creative ways.
 
I have learned that my Father in Heaven truly does hear me.
 
So my Word for this time in my life is PROMISE...it just fits.
 
How are you doing, girls?? Did you choose YOUR Word yet?? Please share in the comments or on our Facebook Page.
 
This Sunday is my first show in months...The Holiday Hunt. I am soooo excited!! I will take photos of all my NEW work and share next week...I have been branching out and I really love the new look.
 
Girls, you are all amazing. Oh and one more thing...I should hit 600 posts sometime next week!!!
 
 
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