Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Undeniable You......

After delays and rescheduling due to our winter storm, I had such a wonderful weekend finally singing for the "Songs of Christmas" program at Abundant Life in Portland over the weekend. I had the pleasure of meeting and performing with an amazing young man named David Klinkenberg. His gift on the violin was a blessing to hear and experience. The video below is an interview with David awhile back about his musical journey. His words were an inspiration to dream and risk in ways we might not have trust outside ourselves for ways in which God might be wanting to guide our gifts. It was also a priviledge to hear Jon Davidson, Corey Bretsch and Kita Montgomery. You can hear more of the program on the Abundant Life website.

Before viewing the video be sure to pause the music playing on my blog on the lower right sidebar!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!! May this be a year you deeply discover and express your undeniable and unique dreams, gifts and visions! Its never to late to begin. New steps can be taken this moment even if we are afraid. I pray whatever has stopped or hindered you in the past will dissapear right before you! May you open your heart to the bigger picture, the path not yet taken...and welcome the surprises!

"Radiate your unique capacity to be the one and only, bold and undeniable you"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Creativity and Faith.....

We had the most gorgeous snowfall on Christmas day. The snowflakes were the biggest I'd seen! I am a bit sad to see it all the snow start to melt from our "Artic Blast". I can feel a stirring beginning to build...getting ready to prepare the heart and mind for the New year as what was melts away and the new day begins. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, I have learned to be much more realistic and loosened up on the expectations I have placed on myself. Its a more hopeful and relaxing way to enter the dawning of the New Year when we can hold our plans loosely and leave room for the surprises.

I received a wonderful trio of books for the artist over the holiday. The combination of the inspirational encouragement and scripture, particulary for artists who are Christians, really has challenged my perception of myself as one who needs and must create...who feels "called" to express myself artistically and musically."The Creative Call- An Artist's Response to the Way of the Spirit" by Janice Elsheimer, is a powerful journey that can open the doors of our creativity in ways we might not have experienced while merging our life as an artist with our intimate walk with God. It is truly an invitation to explore all that we might really have to offer while we invite God into the process of releasing our "creative calling". I love the refreshing honesty the author expresses about the reality that the church hasn't always been so receptive to the arts and the powerful messages artists can convey. This book is an invitation to unleash what gifts might even be hidden in our souls.It would be a great book to go through with a group of friends who express their gifts in a variety of ways (art, writing, music, painting, gardening, decorating, etc)!

"Walking on Water- Reflections of Life and Art" by Madeleine L'Engle and "Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts" by Steve Turner are filled with deep insight and courageous thoughts on boldly expressing our creativity, penetrating the resistance that can be felt in the church and inviting them to receive the new and fresh thing God might be doing in their midst. So if you are looking for encouragement to stretch and move your creative faith outside the box, these books are stimulating!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

My deepest gratitude for all of the words of encourage- ment, hearts that have been shared, stories of faith, courageous steps towards healing and growth and creative insight and inspiration that so many of you have blessed me with through this blog or contacting me personally. May this celebration of the birth of Christ remind us all of God's gift of love, hope and gentle mercy. Creative Blessings from my family to yours!

Monday, December 22, 2008


We are offically having a serious winter storm here in Washington! I dont'think I have seen so much snow in our area as long as I can remember. When you add ice on top of it, getting around has become pretty dangerous. We are all...for better or worse...snowbound! After the initial Hallmark moments have been experienced (baking Christmas cookies, endless cups of hot chocolate, snuggling by the fire with hot cider etc) seems a restlessness can begin to settle in as we remain at the mercy of the weather and the unpredictability of it all.

My heart just goes out to all those who are stuck at our airport and train station and can't leave the city to be with their friends and families for Christmas. The news is on 24/7 with images of those whose plans have been thwarted. So it seems a mixture of emotions as another day comes and more snow arrives. Such beauty to be found in the glistening white blanket that covers us all. Yet it seems with the joy and beauty comes a measure of struggle and heartache. Maybe its just a little like the reality of life. I find it is during these times, when we temporarily lose our perceived ability to control our comings and goings, we are given opportunities to release our agenda and receive something deeper. If we can scale over the frustration and helplessness that can often accompany the loss of control and faithfully rest in the resignation, there might be a lesson for us to hear, see or learn. Maybe its a conversation with the stranger you are stranded with. Maybe it will be found in moments spent in being fully present your kids. Maybe even while you help your neighbor shovel out of their driveway. Maybe if you are will be found in reaching for God in a new way. So I am trying to continue to listen as my own plans are getting canceled right and left and trust that buried in all this white is a measure of hope. Because soon this oppportunity will all melt away. The pace of life will pick back up, normalcy as we know it will appear to return, and it can be a challenge to hear and be receptive to the whispers again. So take a moment to remember what your eyes and ears may be taking in for the first time...and tuck it away in your heart's memory. These are the memories that will serve us the next time the snow falls.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Falling Snow...Reflections

Its beautiful isn't it? We have been off and on with our NW version of an "artic blast" this whole week (I know...those of you in the East must think it a bit comical that we about shut our city down at the first sign of an inch of snow lol). Just before the school buses were scheduled to arrive this began again...the magical, gentle, whispering, silent fall of snow. My son squealed. I remember that pure joy as a child. It reminded me once again how easy it is for our adult worries, responsiblitlies, and general weight of the world to cloud our ability to fully receive the magic of a snowfall. Children get it...and they take it in fully...right in that present moment. They run out of the house with no concern for warm clothing so they can look up into the sky, open their arms wide, and feel the soft tickle of snowflakes kissing their faces. I could sense my own longing to recapture that place I know must still be nestled in my heart...beneath some of my own personal concerns. It seems an unmistakable invitation from God to....

get quiet and really listen
to let go like a child for the moment
give what weighs heavy on our minds a rest
take in what is happening right before our eyes
truly and deeply feel
slow everything down, wait and watch
listen to your own heart beat
receive the amazing gift of another breath
let the giggle rise up from that sacred childlike space
open your bare arms wide
and embrace the quiet magic of the snow fall....

Christmas Program at Abundant Life Church:

I am honored to have been asked to perform a special song for the beautiful Christmas program, "Songs of Christmas" being offered to the community at Abundant Life Church in Portland, Oregon. There will be eight services beginning this Saturday, Dec 20th thru Christmas Eve. If you are looking for a special program to celebrate the gift of Christmas, bring friends and family and share this meaningful time together. You can find all the information regarding program times here! Years ago, when Abundant Life was a small church meeting in an elementary school, I was blessed to meet Pastor George Powell, his wife Ann and their Creative Arts Director Dennis Quick. I was part of another small church plant at the time and periodically sang special music for their services. So its a sweet experience all these years later, after much growth and blessing has occured at Abundant Life and much healing and change has happened in my own peek back in on them and reconnect!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Art Play Date and Giveaway Winner!

The ever so talented and generous Michelle Allen hosted our monthly art journaling group out at her inspiring studio this past week. She thought it would be fun to just get together and create something special for the holidays and have an art play day! She has one of the most incredible collections of unique snowmen I have ever seen! She had all the supplies prepared in advance and an incredible array of treasures for us to paint, collage, embellish our own unique snowman creations(or snowgirl in my case). She had been inspired by the "house" pieces we had created at a workshop by the wonderful Lisa Kaus and Michelle thought it would be fun to try snowmen in that format.

Our creative posse included Paulette, Teri, Jaron, Michelles sweet mother in law and this month Michelle's Mom, Karla Dornacher (pictured with Michelle above)was able to join us and is such a delight! While we waited for our pieces to dry we were invited into Michelle's lovely home and her hubby had graciously prepared a delicious lunch of the Allen Famous Tortilla Soup and fresh frozen yogart swirled in dessert glasses! We shared a little more about ourselves with each other and it was a treat to have the opportunity to hear more about the road Michelle and her encouraging family have traveled in supporting Michelle as her art business grew and developed at Allen Designs Studio.

I was a little frazzled when I arrived that morning and wasn't sure if I could gather my thoughts and find my creative mojo. But being with like minded artistic spirits inspired the process and in the end, "my snowgirl" came to life and I had fun glamming her up a bit! I just can't stay away from the baubles and sparkles! And that is our freshly falling snow she is pictured in! Its a blustery, nestle by the fire, kind of day today here in Washington! Thanks again Michelle for your generous creative spirit and spoiling your friends!

Heartfelt thanks for such a terrific response to the giveaway this month! Your comments are always such an encouragement!...So here we go...The moment you've been waiting for...drumroll please...the winner of the Holiday Art Blessing Giveaway is....Michelle at My Journey to Hope. As well as being an artist Michelle is a vocalist with the band Finding Candence! Congrats Michelle and thanks to everyone for your sweet participation!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New treasures on Etsy and Ebay!

I wanted to share some items I have listed the last couple days on Ebay and Etsy! Many would make unique gifts to inspire and encourage! Heartfelt thanks for everyone's wonderful response to the Art Blessing Giveaway! If you haven't added your name to the drawing be sure to read the post below and join the blessing! Two more days til your name might be selected!

I love to create groupings of inspirational items with hopeful messages. These are heartfelt and unique sets that would uplift someone special!

So if you are still shopping for last minute gifts just follow the link to either my Ebay or Etsy store to find these selected items. All of the items that are currently on auction on Ebay have free shipping and every purchase through the end of December recieve an extra little treasure with your order! All ATC/ACEO art card prints in my Ebay store are also 15% off through the end of December! Now I have got to go get started on my holiday shopping (eek!). I always have the best of intentions, doing the organized thing and having nothing left to do the week before Christmas but sit by the fire and drink hot cider....maybe next year (lol)!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Art Blessing Giveaway!

Its been a busy couple weeks and I am reflecting over a wonderful day yesterday at my first open house. It was a great opportunity to try something new and learn along the way! It always just feels deeper and more meaningful to share my art in person with friends new and old. I have some pics to share of the event but first I wanted to share my offering for my December Giveaway! This sweet Christmas treasure box is filled with a little of this and that! It includes a gold ornate framed collage "Set Free" that sits on a gold easel, trio of inspirational tags, framed art magnet "Embrace Your Story", greeting card "Surrender...Where the allure of desire eclipses fear", Sweet little red journal, "You are ready to fly dear one", tea-light candles, decandent chocolates and sweet candy canes!

So if you would like to be entered in the drawing just leave your name and email in the comment section and on the evening of Sunday, Dec.14 I will draw the name of someone who I get to bless! Also, if you mention this giveaway with a link to this post on your blog, just let me know and I will add your name twice to the drawing!

So won't you come along and take a stroll through Healing Expression's first open house.....

Help yourself to a cup of hot cider, coffee tea or sparkling cider!

The first guest to walk through the doors, sweet friend and blossuming artist Teri Owens!

I had such fun creating a large grouping of art blocks for the event. I think by the end of the evening they were definately a customer favorite!

My Mom was such a support and my son Daniel was happy to take his post by his "Nanny's" homemade fudge, butter tarts and shortbread confections!

A huge hug and thanks to my dear friend Florence from Journey's Rest for all her encouragement and help in setting everything up!

Our sweet dog Molly welcomed each guest with enthusiasm!

A few of the treasures I will be listing for sale on line over the next few days!

So for now I think I need to take a deep breath and take a couple days to unwind and settle back into gettng ready for the holidays. I will post soon about art blocks, gifts sets, and other items I will be listing soon! Have a memorable day!