Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Creative Revolution: What I've learned and what's coming in 2018!!

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
 - Joseph Chilton Pierce



If you haven't read parts 1 & 2 of my Creative Revolution you can do that here and here.

So here I was, creating my art, blogging, writing and sharing free on-line challenges and classes in my Facebook Group....Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed-Media Art. 

I was loving it!

My first ever art journal I created for Soul Restoration...an on-line course by Melody Ross.


And yet, I felt like I wasn't enough.
I felt like my passion for creating and sharing and inspiring wasn't enough.

A page from journal I created several years ago.


I wasn't on one design team.
I had never been invited to 
participate in some big on-line class.
I wasn't getting "noticed".

All of those things crippled me creatively as well 
as emotionally. I took everything personally.

"They just don't like me. What's wrong with me?"

That's all I could think about. 

I was seeing everyone I know have success but me.
At least that's how I saw it.

A page from my art journal. I LOVE using images of myself in my journals. So powerful!


The Joy of creating and inspiring was being sucked right out of me. That coupled with some financial troubles we were experiencing I completely freaked out and, like I said in Part 1 of my story...I just quit.

A page from my art journal. Using vintage images is one of my favorites!

So last August I stopped visiting my Facebook group, cut out looking at FB almost altogether, really. All I was doing was comparing myself to fellow friends and artists...not a good thing! I also stopped creating. I wanted nothing to do with it!

 A page from my art journal. Using magazine images has become my new thing!! I am soooo inspired by this type of creating!!!!

It only took a few weeks for me to miss my studio time.
I decided to dig into a 
few classes I had purchased 
but never finished. 

During this time I also made room for more scripture study, prayer and bible journaling. 
What a difference this made in my attitude!

As the weeks turned into a months 
I began searching YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest for new to me art journalists. 
and began devouring her video's. 
This woman's style was something I was looking for!! 
I LOVED it!
 I also took a class by Kelly Kilmer and learned so much.

One of my latest art journal pages.
Before I knew it I was back in my studio CREATING!
I was scouring through old magazines for flowers,
girls, birds, butterflies...anything I could use creatively in my journals.

Combing my love of acrylic and ink and magazine images.
And I wasn't just creating a day or two here or there.
Nope!
I was creating DAILY.
I was looking forward to my studio again.
I was energized by this new way of playing in my art journals!

One of my favorites from a few weeks ago.

I also took three days and went through EVERYTHING little piece of paper, die-cut, sticker and image I had piled on tables, crammed in drawers 
and haphazardly laying around my studio.

 I divided them into 19 categories and put them  
nice and neatly in plastic drawers. This one simple act has changed how I create!! I plan on sharing with you all in a YouTube video very soon!!

Another recent page from my art journal.

As I would sit here and work in my journals I began thinking about Brave Heart Sisterhood on Facebook. 
I began thinking about my Journey and how much I LOVE inspiring and sharing with others. I missed it so much!

I also began thinking about my Creative Journey and realized that I had been going through another step in my creative evolution. I had become stagnant with my art and was feeling so uninspired MYSELF that there was just no way I could inspire others.

I also realized that comparison IS the thief of joy.
And just because I wasn't on a design team or being recognized for my work by people I thought should be noticing I was robbing myself of enjoying what I love the most....sitting in my studio, 70's and 80's on the radio, playing in my art journal. 

And THAT'S when I realized I was experiencing a 
Creative Revolution.

I finally had "gotten it". 
Creating is about ONE thing....
You create for YOU.

Not for design teams or your followers or YouTube videos.

YOU
CREATE
FOR 
YOU.

And then you share.
You share in your blog
or in a group
or on YouTube or Instagram.

YOU SHARE YOUR HEART.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS AND JUST BE YOU.

That is what I have learned in the last three months.


An older page from my art journal. I LOVE what it says..."Go Your Own Way". "It takes courage to surrender."


So I am back. Feeling like a new person.
Ready to create, inspire and write more than ever.
I am excited to bring you a fresh, new set of art and FREE
monthly challenges beginning in 2018!!

I hope you will join me as we set out for a year of 
Creative Revolutions!!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

My Creative Revolution Part 2

“Creativity is more than just being different.
 Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. 
What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. 
Making the simple, awesomely simple,
that’s creativity”
 – Charles Mingus



***This is Part 2 of my Creative Revolution Story. If you missed Part 1 please read that here.***


I "found" mixed-medi art when I was 42 years old. 
Up until that point I had not considered myself a creative person. I mean I scrapbooked and LOVED it. In fact I remember theEXACT moment I found scrapbooking. I was standing in front of the magazine racks at Easter Foods waiting on my prescription to be filled. I spied a brand new magazine called "Creating Keepsakes", picked it up fell in love instantly! 

The very next day I visited a friend's  gift shop to purchase a few scrapbook supplies. I knew she had them but didn't know what the heck "scrapbooking" was until that magazine. Armed with stickers, a black archival safe pen and album I began creating my family's very first scrapbook. Here are a few pages from that book...





Oh my. When I look at this little album now I see all my "mistakes".


My first scrapbook page ever!! Back in the Mid 90's.
You can tell I used those scissors for EVERYTHING!!
And that patterned paper...LOL.



Stickers in corners...



But you know what I LOVE about this book??
The fact that I captured ALL these priceless memories of my family.

Like this page...my cute 2 year old son added his own art to this page. He is now almost 23 and still enjoys seeing this!



Once I finished this scrapbook I created DOZENS more. 
I have hundreds and hundreds of scrapbook pages 
documenting my family's life. 
And as my family grew up my scrapbook style evolved
and got much better.
I was even published in Making Memories Magazine!

Sometime in 2009 is when I found Mixed Media Art. 
It filled up my SOUL! And it was so very HEALING!!


The more I created art the better I felt. And the better I felt the more I wanted to share it with EVERYONE! That's why, in 2009 I started this blog...Words of Me Project.
I wanted to share my love of art and the healing powers it has.

So I did!


I began having challenges and free classes and slowly but surely started to gain a following. One day I decided to 
start a Facebook group....Mind.Body.Soul. 
My little group grew and grew until we had over a thousand followers!


Then sometime last year I decided to change the name of our group to Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed Media Art. And we grew some more...
We are now over 2,000 followers.
I am grateful for each one!

In 2012 I was going through a rough patch and needed art in my life more than ever. I felt compelled to share my journey so I wrote this class...

52 Week Being Me

It is my most pinned class...over 160,000 times!

The bigger I grew the more I doubted myself. I wasn't
on any design teams and thought if I wanted to keep my 
followers and continue creating I better get "more known".



I applied for several teams but always got a NO.
Talk about doubting myself.

***Please join me for Part 3 of My Story soon!!!!....***




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Personal Revolution Part One


“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. 
You trade in your reality for a role. 
You trade in your sense for an act. 
You give up your ability to feel, 
and in exchange, put on a mask. 
There can't be any large-scale revolution 
until there's a personal revolution, 
on an individual level. 
It's got to happen inside first.” 



I thought I knew what I was doing...
where I was going...
what my goals and dreams were.

And I did. 
For the most part.
But still something was missing in my life.

I was creating art, posting in my blog and in my facebook group and filming YouTube videos.
Along with all of that I was part of a collaboration with friend and fellow artist Sherry Canino.

And yet
I was feeling
empty.
Drained.
Restless.

My latest art journal page..."Little Girl"


I found myself unable to get motivated to create.
I would walk into my studio and just stare at my supplies.
Most days I spent mindlessly surfing Facebook and other sites.
I had zero interest in anything creative.

In fact I made sure to avoid my favorite sites....Dina Wakley, Brave Girl's Club and my own group...Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed Media Art.
I was so sad and angry and depressed.
And I couldn't figure out why.

So I made a decision. After Sherry and I's art class I was going to quit.
No more Brave Heart Sisterhood.
No more YouTube videos.
No more blogging.
No more social media.
I was done.


For the next few months I submersed myself in our shaved ice business.
I worked everyday and avoided my studio, my art supplies, all things creative.
Every now and then I would miss my girls in my group and take a peek at what they were posting but other than that I stayed away.
And the weird thing is I didn't miss any of it.
Not even the creating.
To be honest I just didn't understand it.
A recent page from my journal..."Believing in Myself"

Slowly but surely I found myself stepping into 
my studio, cruising around on a few art sites and exploring new ones.

I was also spending my mornings with a daily devotional "Jesus Calling" 
and I was putting myself out in my community and was asked to start a weekly 
class at my church..."Art as Prayer". 

It felt so good to be off of social media and meeting new "in person" friends.
It also felt so good to spend daily time with my Truthteller.
My optimism was growing and my Creativity was coming back!

***Please join me for Part 2 of my Revolution later in the week!!!***



Friday, November 3, 2017

It's a Revolution!


“Standing alone scares alot of people 
it means they have to be themselves
 and more often than not they haven't the slightest clue 
who they've been all this time 
& that's why people stay the same
 because it's a frightening choice
 to step away from the crowd.” 



I stepped away from my creative life nearly 3 months ago. 

I just stopped.

I stepped away from my Facebook Group.
I stepped away from making YouTube videos.
I stepped away from creating in my studio.
I stepped away from blogging.

I just stepped away.
I felt like I had nothing left to give...especially to myself. 

So now, here I am ready to get back "into the crowd".

Ready to create.

Ready to write and blog and create.

Ready to Empower YOU on your Journey.

For you see I have learned SO MUCH in the past 3 months.

Life-changing stuff for me.

My Life is forever evolving
and the past 3 months I have experienced nothing short of a Revolution.
A creative Revolution.

One that I think many of us are in need of.

Join me next week as I begin to share my Story, my Art and my Heart.

xoxo



Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Week Four


“You couldn't relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole--like the world, or the person you loved.” 



 I don't know about you but I
 have been sooooooo inspired by YOUR work 
in our Facebook group! GREAT job, girls!!

If this is the first time hearing about Sherry Canino and I's FREE workshop or you just need to catch up here are the links to Week's One-Three. 

 
Be sure and ask to join our private Facebook group for more inspiration...The Empowered Creative Woman

Welcome to Week Four of The Empowered Creative Woman Workshop

Our focus this week is Acceptance. 
So much thought has gone into this concept off Accepting where I am in my life.
It's not an easy thing to do...but once you make the decision to Accept
what life is dishing up at the moment...there is a wave of Peace that comes over you.
It's almost magical.
And I promise no matter what's going on in your world today
you CAN take your Power back once you
stop resisting, stop complaining and stop blaming.

Our prompts for the week

Acknowledge
Approval
Yes
Recognition
Consent
Permission
Denial
Refusal
Opposition

“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That's one of my favorite things to say. So what.” 
― Andy WarholThe Philosophy of Andy Warhol


Let's talk about Acceptance



Making Peace Tags #1


Making Peace Tags #2

 

Sprinkled throughout my videos are MY thoughts on Acceptance 
and all that I have learned this week.

Thank you so much for joining Sherry and I. 
It has been a WONDERFUL Workshop and I can't wait to 
see what you come up with this week!!!






Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Week Three

“Because true belonging 
only happens when we present our authentic, 
imperfect selves to the world,
 our sense of belonging
 can never be greater
 than our level 
of self-acceptance.” 
― BrenĂ© Brown




Welcome To Week Three of The Empowered Creative Woman Workshop

Before Week Three gets underway I just want to say Thank You to Sherry Canino for asking me to be a part of this Journey. I am honored to be on this Empowering Journey with each of YOU. 

I invite you to grab your favorite drink, sit back and spend a little bit of time getting to know me.


The minute Sherry invited me to be a part of this workshop I KNEW what the theme would be...

What does it mean to BELONG?



Here are this week's prompts...

*Where do I belong?
*Do I belong?
*Who do I feel a kinship with?
*Do I accept myself?
*What can I do to accept myself?

Word Prompts


*belong
*kinship
*acceptance
*reliance
*tribe
*loyalty
*harmony
*insecurity
*disregard
*disagreement

In the following videos I share my art journal page..."She is a Wildflower".
Peppered throughout the video's are bits of wisdom and Awakenings I have gathered by studying the Word BELONGING. I also share my creative process with you. I hope you ENJOY!

Creative Video #1


Creative Video #2


Creative Video #3


My finished page


Here is a list of products used in this week's videos...

Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, washi tape, various magazine and calendar images, letter stencils by Pebbles in my Pocket and word strips by Melody Ross from Brave Girl's Club.

Again I want to THANK each of you for being a part of our Workshop!! So grateful for YOU.
If you would like to share your work with us be sure and use the hashtag #theempoweredcreativewoman

Have an Empowered week, girls!

xoxo


Leslie

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sneak Peak of Week Two!!

I am ready.
How about YOU?

The Empowered Creative Woman kicked off last Thursday with thought-provoking
prompts and inspirational videos by my friend and collaborator Sherry Canino.

This week it's my turn.
And I am so ready to share some things that have been on my Heart.



See you Thursday!!

xoxo

Sherry's blog with Week One is here
The Empowered Creative Woman Facebook group is here
Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed-Media Art is here


Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Empowered Creative Woman Collaboration

"All I have to do is offer up what comes naturally to me-which is to share my passion for inspiration, motivation and encouragement-and from that I know that no matter what choices I make in my life, my Heart Voice will be there for me when I'm ready."  
-Carmen Torbus

Hello friends! It's been awhile since I 've blogged on a consistent basis.
But it's taken a long time for me to understand what Carmen is saying...

"All I have to do is offer up what comes naturally to me...."

I was incredibly blessed to spend last week in Boise, Idaho at Brave Girl's Symposium.

The BRAVE and Beautiful Melody Ross

Kalli and Jeanne Oliver...two incredible Spirits!!!

That's me second from the left. These women were hilarious!!

On the left is my friend Dot. TRULY one of the KINDEST people I have ever met!!! The women in the middle I got to know over breakfast. So sweet!!! She is from Armenia!!

My fried and Sister D'Wana. She sang her Beautiful Heart out. So proud of her!!!!


The lessons learned in those few days will stay with me ALWAYS. 

I am SUPER excited to share a BRAND NEW venture with you...
my friend and fellow artist Sherry Canino has invited me to be a part of a VERY special class called...

The Empowered Creative Woman.

You can learn all about it in this video by Sherry...

(please click on READ MORE  that's below to view the video)






Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Inspiring Summer Challenge and Sharing My Story



It's been a LONG time since I posted. 
I believe it's the longest time in the past 7 or so years I have stayed quiet. 

But you know what?

I NEEDED time away. 

I NEEDED time to just BE.

I was feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

Plus I just needed to figure out where I wanted to go with my writing,
my art and my FB community.

I was blessed to attend Sister Camp in Ponca, Arkansas the end of April. 
It was EXACTLY what I needed!!
Two and half days filled with love and light from 12 AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL Souls.
My Heart is STILL full from time spent in the Mountains.

While I was there I made a decision.
I am NOT going to get Brave Girl Certified. 
While I LOVE Brave Girl's Club and all they do and have done for me...
it just wasn't feeling authentic for ME.

I realized during my stay at Camp I have my OWN Story to tell.
 I've decided to share what's in MY Heart.

So this summer as I continue my Creative Journey I will 
begin writing and gathering for my OWN Soulful Retreat. 
As I do so I will be thinking of YOU. 
Thinking about what it is YOUR Heart is yearning for.
What YOUR Heart needs to Heal.

I hope you can join me in my on-line community on Facebook


I am working on a simple, yet inspiring Challenge for the Summer.
Stay tuned!
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