I am not doing much in the art and blogging space recently. We are rearranging several rooms in the house, making our outdoor space really nice, and trying to find easy family meals that don’t have wheat, nuts, dairy, and eggs.
If that wasn’t enough I am still trying to get my yoga video done to finish my yoga course. I was trying to create a nice filming space in the house while it was still cold but now that it’s taken so long I will probably film it outside.
I also created a picture slideshow video for my grandmother’s memorial. It was emotional and turned out beautifully because she took so many wonderful photos and lived an amazing life.
I miss a lot of people in my life and am now the oldest person in my direct line, and I am not even 40 yet. This led me to scrambling to figure out my ancestry before I lost all the information to time.
Our favorite ancestry site was the free one FamilySearch.com. We liked the fun feature like using the app to scan friends to see if you are related somehow. It also has a see famous relatives area where we all compared how we were related to famous people.
We did use ancestry.com a little to look for documents so we could find out a few ancestors’ parents name. Once we got to grandparent or great-grandparent level FamilySearch connected in with other family trees so it was the least work of every other family tree software we used.
Along with getting the family tree documented, home interior and cooking has been melting my brain. I now have a new “go to” stir fry recipe, and a living room I can relax in, so the effort was worth it. Now I just have to downsize a mountain of clothes and I will reward myself with a summer (of more hard work) but also lots of swimming!
Enough with updates, now onto art and design!
Designing the “Stained-Glass” Cross
The cross design was something I did around Easter when my body was tired from the massive organizing and de-cluttering effort I was doing, plus work was on a tight deadline for projects too. I was also feeling the weight of loss during the Easter holiday, so I would lose myself in the process of design and I had a lot of fun creating a tiktok video of it all.
In many ways the artistic process is a lot like transforming parts of our life. The process can be ugly and messy, and sometimes it’s hard to see how to get from one step in the process to the next. I often just keep a simple vision in my mind and keep working on a project a little (or a lot) at a time.
Eventually I reach the magic moment when I catch a glimpse of the vision coming to life. I find reaching this point infuses energy into the process and provides new motivation to complete the project.
It just take vision and faith and we can make the world a more beautiful place! I hope I am doing a good job honoring my my family and those who taught me. I am still learning, practicing, and teaching what I can to the next generation.
I recently realized that I am terrible at visualizing, although my imagination and problem solving helps fill that gap. I’d love to be able to visualize things and I feel like it might help me in more ways than just my art. I’ve been trying to learn how to visualize and am having some small successes but it’s certainly not a quick process.
I grew up looking at beautiful crosses but just because I had inspiration doesn’t mean I know how to make that come to life on paper or screen. I think of drawing a lot like sculpting. You add a little here and take away some there until you get the shape you want.
The cross image brings to mind betrayal, conflict, friendship, community, family, sacrifice, foundations, love, miracles, and resurrection. I cannot think of a better image to encompass so many of the complicated emotions I was feeling, and to inspire me to keep taking steps forward. I shared the process of creating this design because I wanted others to see how messy and simple it was while I figured out how it was supposed to look.
I like how what started as a line design came to life when colored. It did print very nicely on the tote bag I ordered too. I’m think in future projects I’m going to experiment with more perspective and shading. I’m not very experienced in these areas and I have even less of an idea of how any of that will look printed on a bag or a t-shirt.
Part of the fun of the design and print process is getting to try new things. I may feel sad, or stuck in a rut sometimes but I always have this place in my life where experimenting and learning something new is available. Even if I’m so tired I can’t stand anymore, I can still usually find the energy to doodle or watch a youtube tutorial.
Art also marks a feeling in time, and creates a visual memory for something emotional. If that wasn’t enough, it allows me to either work through emotions or just lose myself in the process. My brain just chooses what it needs to do and does it.
I do not understand exactly why an activity like this is so good for mental health, but I know it is, and I hope you have something that heals you like this does for me.
Home-Grown Philosophy & Faith (& Outlander)
Are you a person of faith? Does it play a role in your everyday life?
I sometimes wonder how other people feel because sometimes it seems like we are far from the days where we prayed for good weather, safe passage, or for rain to water our crops. We live in an agricultural area and I’m thankful that it keeps us close to our roots (pun intended).
Being bound to things that are out of our control can be a good reminder that we should appreciate the powers that be for our existence. I’m sure that where I am at in my life has me contemplating many things, but I’m also listening to an Outlander audiobook. The main character also has a tendency to wonder at the meaning of events and what our presence means to them.
It’s enough to make your head spin but it is a great journey to follow these characters that seem so real. It’s also heart-lifting to watch the characters rise from the ashes of terrible disasters and stay true to themselves throughout conflict.
When I feel lost I look toward my chosen destination so I don’t get “too lost”. Then I start on the simple tasks in front of me and try to block out the work ahead so I don’t get too overwhelmed! It’s not a sophisticated method but it keeps me going when my brain is over-worked and I am tired to the bone. Does everyone else’s spring cleaning feel like this this year?
Where to Find My Design
If you are interested I did put my stained-glass inspired design on a few items on Amazon merch. I wanted it on a bag because my oldest daughter needed a bag for her bible, devotional, and journal. We just got it and she loves it!
She told me she didn’t realize it was one of my designs because it looked like something you’d buy at the store. She was worried, when she made the comment, that I might be insulted. Nope! That’s a high compliment, especially coming from her. I’m am super happy with my design, the print job, and my daughter’s reaction.
Wrapping It Up
Thanks for reading with me today! I realize my methods won’t work or be helpful for everyone but I do like to share in the rare chance it could help someone heal from something, achieve something they thought was out of reach, or just maintain when they are in a bad head space.
I pray that you and yours are happy, healthy, and well. I hope that your spring cleaning is quick and easy, and that you are enjoying the start of the good weather.