Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise in Watercolor and pen -- repeating pattern for fabric, wallpaper, or gift wrap
Birds of Paradise Repeating Pattern

Growing up, my grandparents had this enclosed back porch area that was huge. And in it was this huge (3×3 or more I’d say) Bird of Paradise plant. Now, I was little, so whether it was real or fake, I can’t tell you, but I remember the flowers and I grew up to love them! So when Spoonflower announced their Bohemian Design Challenge, I was pretty sure I would have to do Birds of Paradise (among other non-specific greenery).

Then I decided that illustrating and painting Birds of Paradise was going to be way too hard and wouldn’t turn out right, so I thought I’d fake it with herbs. Yep… very tropical, right?

When I mentioned my decision to my husband, he was pretty sure that was not Bohemian. But it’s green, I argued. They are plants too. Still I promised him I’d take another look at the “rules” before I started my Sunday afternoon painting. Ugh. In the midst of doing just that, I just knew I had to try the “impossible” Birds of Paradise. These challenges are about stretching myself after all. So gave it a try. And I’m actually pretty happy about the way they turned out.

If you’re a voter, you can find the challenge here until Tuesday, February 26th, 2019.

Gathering here.

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Art Journal vs. Bullet Journal

What is the difference between an art journal and a bullet journal? Which one is right for me?

These are great questions! And to be honest, a year ago, I don’t think I could have answered you. As it turns out, they can be as different or as similar as you want them to be. Anything with the word “journal” in it can be tweaked to fit you. There are no hard fast rules. Truly, if there were, who would be coming to make sure you are following them? Your journals, you make the rules!

But, still, what’s the difference?

Art Journal vs. Bullet Journal: What is the difference?

For me, the difference is found in the purpose.

Bullet Journals
The purpose of my bullet journal is organization, record keeping, and memories. I write what I’m reading in the Bible, what I am thankful for and the things and people I am praying for. I make a list of the seeds I’m planting and how many eggs the kids bring in each day from the chicken yard. Using a bullet journal helps me not to have loose papers all over the house.

Art Journals
The purpose of my art journal is to practice my painting and to make a memory. I follow prompts that help push me out of my comfort zone some days and other days I paint something special from that day. For me, there are no rules in my art journal and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just for me.

When they cross over
Sometimes bullet journals and art journals cross over, and that’s okay too. Remember, your journals are whatever you want them to be. Some people only put words in their Bullet Journals, others make them fancy with stickers and washi tape, while others cover them with original drawings or even tape paintings inside. I love seeing form and function married into a beautiful Bullet Journal, but that isn’t for everyone.

In the end, I do a little bit of both. When life is crazy, I do less decorating in my bullet journal and leave my art journal behind altogether. When I’m feeling creative but don’t have an outlet for it, I bring one or the other out and go crazy. πŸ™‚

Bullet journal for kids: Homeschool Assignments Pages

One more idea
We homeschool and I’ve started organizing my older children’s schoolwork bullet journal style. Until recently, I just made columns and filled them in, but in the last week or so, I’ve been trying to make them a little more fun. This week I asked my daughter what she wanted her theme to be and she picked cupcakes. She thinks it’s fun and I got to merge my form and function. πŸ™‚ (Note: I used kid’s markers for these pages and for some of my others. I just tape together two pages so the bleed through doesn’t show.)

Do you have a bullet and or art journal? How do you use them?

Gathering here.

February Art Journal Prompts – Week 3

February Art Journal Prompts Week 3

I had a lot of fun with week three of the February Prompts from Awesome Alice. Let’s get to them…

Chocolate Chip Cookie in Watercolor
Prompt: Cookie
Watercolor Flowers - Journal Prompt
Prompt: Flowers

I did these flowers without a sketch. I just jumped in with the watercolors and added the lines later. I don’t do a lot of these, so they were outside my comfort zone a little. I could have done a simple flower (what I would normally do), but I wanted to use this opportunity to push myself. That is what this exercise is all about for me after all. πŸ™‚

Forever and Ever - Hand lettered
Prompt: Forever and Ever
Oh My Darlin' Clemintine Hand lettered - Prompt: Darling
Prompt: Darling

My children keep asking if this is a peach. I’ll admit, it does have a bit of a peach look to it, but it’s totally a clementine. πŸ™‚ The clementines we buy each winter are “Oh my Darlin'” Clementines, so I had to try this. Plus, it pushed me again. πŸ™‚

Art Journal Prompt: Sweet Hearts
Prompt: Sweet hearts
Art Journal Prompt: you make me happy (hand lettered)
Prompt: You make me happy
Art Journal Prompt: My heart is yours
Prompt: My heart is yours

I actually really love this one, but I don’t love the way it turned out. I did some more working with it on paper after this was done and have come up with something I’m excited to debut in next Valentine’s printables., so if you like my stuff, you may want to subscribe so you don’t miss it. πŸ™‚ (shameless plug)

Have you seen week one and week two?

Gathering here.

Save the Date Coffee Cups

Last year I shared this cute prototype for a save the date card we used for our cafe themed women’s retreat. Well, I just wanted to let you know that I have updated that post with all the templates I created and used to make it. I also included some tips to make your project even easier!

These would be great for save the date or invitations for cafe themed parties, retreats or weddings. You could also use this for thank you notes or even just a note of encouragement if you change the tag.

Click over to read the post and download the template files for your own.

If you use it, I’d love to see a pic. Just leave me a link so I can see!

Gathering here.

Why February 15th Roses are Better

This year Valentine’s Day just happened to fall on our weekly dinner and grocery shopping night. My mom stays with the kids and my husband and I go out. Sometimes it’s a slice of pizza at the store and other times it’s one of the many restaurants we love.

Why February 15th Roses are Better

After dinner, we went shopping. Wegman’s is our store of choice. We actually find that it’s “Family Pack” options are less expensive than BJs and Walmart. At any rate, as we entered the store, we walked right into a huge display of roses. Of course they were beautiful! But I wasn’t even interested!

“Those will be cheaper tomorrow!” I said as I skirted around them.

Why February 15th Roses are Better

Fast forward to Friday, February 15th. Dinner was running late, so my sweet husband picked up the few things we still needed from Walmart on his way home. When he finally got home, he had these beautiful yellow roses. They are so pretty! And the best part… they were 50% off!

Yes, it’s true, February 15th roses are better than roses on Valentine’s Day… at least for this practical mama!

And that pretty pitcher? We bought it from Bed, Bath and Beyond during our Thursday night shopping trip with a coupon. It matches my new (Black Friday 2018) “fancy” dishes and was only $11.99. (Not an affiliate link) I think we’ll be adding the other serving pieces over the next few months as we have coupons. They will look pretty in my new display cabinet (I’ll have to share pictures of that someday soon) and on my table.

Why February 15th Roses are Better

The painting, I decided to do late last night. My father-in-law had arrived late and we were all just talking in the kitchen. The flowers were so pretty just sitting there on my table in my new pitcher and I gave in to the impulse to try to paint them without doing a sketch first. So there I was, standing at the kitchen counter painting while my husband and his dad were sitting on the stools and we all talking.

I started with the yellow, then added the greenery. Last I added just the shading for the white pitcher. (Painting white things is tricky!) I waited til morning to add the pen.

I took a before and after pic for you so you can see the difference between pen and no pen. I’m often afraid to add the pen because I’m happy with how a painting looks so far and I know that I can completely ruin it if I do the pen wrong. But more often than not, I love the end result with pen so much more. It just makes it pop! Not to mention defining lines and clarifying the object being painted.

So which do you like better? Flowers on February 14th or 15th?

Gathering here.

100 Posts and What to do when you Mess up

A Simple Valentine's Breakfast

I haven’t been watching for this, but the other day I stumbled on the fact that I had posted 99 posts so far. That makes this one #100. I thought maybe I’d do something special to celebrate (because I’m all about celebrating small things to keep life interesting), but, like Valentine’s this year (Happy Valentine’s Day by the way!), sometimes life dictates that we keep things simple. Instead of some big plan, this year we are putting heart sprinkles on cinnamon rolls out of a tube and eating heart shaped bacon for breakfast… done. Valentine’s Day celebrated.

Likewise, keeping “100 posts” simple… Thanks for joining me for 100 posts!! There. We celebrated! (I don’t know how to find my top posts anyway.)

February Art Journal Week 2

On an artsy note, I wanted to share this weeks February prompts. I’m still using the February Prompts from Awesome Alice. I’ll admit, this week was harder for me. And I wasn’t as happy with them as last week. Some more than others. But God rarely uses the perfect things in this world.

February Art Journal Week 2 - I am the Lord
Prompt: One of a Kind
Love Letters - February Art Journal Week 2
Prompt: Love letters
February Art Journal Week 2 - Conversation Hearts
Prompt: Candy

This is a great example of things not going according to plan. I had already filled in several of the hearts when I got pulled away. When I returned and started back at the lettering, I had the black pen in my hand instead of the red. Oops. I had a few choices… tear out the page and start over, give up the whole thing, or leave it as a demonstration that I’m not perfect and that we can press on even when things don’t go our way.

I picked that one. πŸ™‚ I’m not perfect, but Jesus redeemed me. Hopefully He will still use my artwork… even when it’s not perfect (because it rarely is.)

You and Me - February Art Journal Week 2
Prompt: You and Me
Hopelessly in Love - February Art Journal Week 2
Prompt: Hopelessly in Love
Hugs and Kisses - February Art Journal Week 2
Prompt: Hugs and Kisses
Happy Valentine's Day - February Art Journal Week 2
Prompt: Happy Valentine’s Day

Like I said, these aren’t perfect. I was tempted to get frustrated and embarrassed, and even to keep them to myself. But in the end, I knew I wanted to share them with you. Because God loves to use the imperfect to bring Himself glory. And I hope He is glorified in these!

It’s true for you too, you can be used by God, no matter how flawed you are, if you surrender yourself to Him! πŸ™‚

Gathering here.

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Cacti in Mugs – Repeating Pattern

Cacti in Mugs - mamasbrush

I’ve created another repeating pattern for Spoonflower’s Design Challenge. The main reason I enjoy participating in these is because they push me to create something I wouldn’t otherwise create. This week’s theme is Desert Modernism, and while I’m not sure I’d call this modern, it is my take on their theme. I wouldn’t have chosen to paint cactus just for me and I certainly wouldn’t have thought to put them in mugs if I wasn’t painting them at all.

In the end, I’m a super pleased with how they’ve turned out. Voting is over here if you are into that. πŸ™‚ (Voting now closed. I didn’t win… but it’s okay, I’m just in it to grow.)

What do you think?

Gathering here.