Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (Another Multi-page Layout)

Here is the second multi-page layout in my altered book which spells out BELIEVE through various pages. The totality of the pages looks like this:
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) -1
I wanted to be able to write about ‘believing in happiness’ again by reinforcing this through “happines” quotes throughout the layout. I used the MISERABLE Font and found the right size that would enable me to spread out the “e-l-i-e-v” in a two-page layout and then have “b” and the last “e” fold out from outside the two pages as you see above.

I tried to do the embellishments in the various spreads using the same theme, which were watercolor and pen layered flower doodles which I did individually then pasted onto the book. I also printed the Happiness quotes on kraft paper.

If you look at the alpha sizes, the ‘B’ is pronouncedly bigger than the rest as in a Title Case.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 2

The scribblings in ink around the watercolor flowers came at the same time as the journaling. I had to fill in the empty space and show a more cohesive background beyond the colors, so I did this for every layout.

Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 3

I didn’t let my journaling be confined by the pagination.  In face the entry for this day continues onto the next journaling box which had to be after the middle page layout of the ‘l-i” which I filled in instead with a sun doodle which is a favorite graphic of mine.  (Easy to do and literally shines with positivity.)
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 4

 Here you’ll see the tiny journaling space which I wrote on anyway to finish the entry from the previous journaling box.


Art Journal Every Day: Believe
When I do my journal entries here, I don’t really care about breaking up the words in syllables or whether or not it comes out readable. I write very spontaneously, and I keep in mind that the only person who should understand what I wrote or tried to write is me.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 6
For this next layout, I had a lot of space and decided to be more playful with the whole layout, putting in a pen outline of my face which was a reproduction from a photo.

Although it isn’t anything like the watercolor photos decribed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blogpost/tutorial on Super Easy Watercolor Portraits.  It was easier, too, that I had used a ‘line drawing’ version of the photo I chose for this.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 7

Much of the right side was watercolor on a book page which would have made it difficult to write the entry, so I pasted one of my grid watercolor backgrounds onto the page and journaled there.  This whole layout made room for a total of 3 days’ journaling which was an added bonus.  I could’ve done a fourth on my face but I liked the way I traced the impression on the page and decided to keep it as it.

So can you believe all that evolved from this?

 Art Journal Every Day-BELIEVE original

Five things to be thankful for

It’s Sunday evening and like every Sunday in my daily readings from Kerygma Family, I look back at the blessings of the previous week.  I was sort of sidelined by a bad infection which threatened to take over my immune system but I made a strong come back after resting it away at home.  No fever, but my neck ached liked crazy due to swollen lymph nodes.  I’m okay now but still exhausted — so I’m trying to take it slow.

Tonight, I’m thankful and happy about…

1.  Finally some good temperatures that are not in the teens and which actually allowed us to go out with jackets but no scarves today.  (40s!)

2.  Getting Angelo’s science project going.  (We conducted the experiment but still have halfway to go with his partner, Ryan.)

3.  Finding a ring I had misplaced.  I wear three rings daily — and I take them off when I do my chores.  One, somehow, found its way to another bin away from the two, but they’re a happy threesome again.

4.  Family lunch at Waterzooi, a place we used to visit and went back to again.  Loved their Baked French Onion Soup (upper right picture in the collage below) and shared Alan’s Paella Moules Frites (bottom pictures).  Ended up eating Angelo’s burger, but I’m not complaining.  The promise of doing things differently.. keeps me hopeful.
Food trip: Waterzooi Belgian Bistro fir lunch and Banana Nutella Crepe for snacks on Super Bowl Sunday

5. Completing my “HOPE” multi-page layout for Art Journal Every Day in my altered book.

Art Journal Every Day: Hope Multi-page Layout (pre-journaling)This one was done quicker than I had thought it would be, although I’ve had to retake the layout graphics over and over again because of changes to the drawings. The journaling pretty much stayed as is, then I had to blur them out.  I’m happy to be able to work consistently on journaling no matter how short my window to work on the pages may be.

I’m now working on another multi-page layout, “BELIEVE”, but will write a feature on “HOPE” before I post anything on any other work in progress.

Another week and another month ahead… can you believe January has ended?  And yes, we’re officially into the Year of the Horse which is my year although my element is Fire…  That only means I’m turning 48 (because I’m certainly not turning 60 YET)… another year.

Thankful and happy, and feeling blessed I am.


Because I believe..

My “catch up” day is usually Monday, but because of the observance of Martin Luther King Day yesterday, I got a reprieve and had an additional day to laze around.

I don’t want to give a progress report on my list of things to do over the weekend because suffice it to say, I didn’t quite get anywhere with the list, but I did get to accomplish a lot. For starters, I have upped my list of items for sale in my shop from 8 to 24. (!) I had more to put up, but one thing about etsy listings is that timing, as well as volume, work together to increase a store’s visibility given the huge population of sellers and stores. So I’m trying to spread out the timing and volume of listings.

I didn’t get to bloghop much, but I did visit two or three favorite blogs this morning just to see what’s up with my usual reads. It’s not just to snoop around but sometimes, like today, I pick up a blog prompt or two. I don’t always leave a comment when I blog hop, often because I’m zipping in and out of a screen. And sometimes my thoughts are too long to leave as a comment, so I try to make it a blog post if I can.

I came across a young blogger currently in dire straights because of a choice of faith. I cannot say I empathize because I have been born and raised a Catholic and continue to be one, out of choice at this point, no longer by force of circumstance. I have always said that religion is a personal choice, and I have always been tolerant and accepting of other’s personal choices. I have friends who are born again Christians, protestants, agnostics and atheists. I always tell others that this open-mindedness is a result of having been subjected to a rather academic exposure to various religions as part of my 7th grade Religion classes with the nuns.

I live by the simple rule of thumb that I respect your choice of religion for as long as you respect mine. So the minute I hear that I will not be saved if I don’t accept your faith and beliefs, I tune out.

I have been fortunate to have had a solid Catholic education. Beyond the teachings of the Bible, I have had the chance to examine my faith against other religious beliefs, not to see that mine are better or the right ones, but to see the difference in the ways we recognize a higher power and show our devotion to our God, whoever He may be. I am trying to instill the same open-mindedness and religious tolerance in my son, more so since he is growing up in such a diverse mix of religious persuasions. Unlike his father and me, my son is in a secular school where religion is not part of the curriculum due to the separation of Church and state. He does go to religious education class, but there is only so much they can impart in almost two hours each Sunday and the succeeding eucharistic celebration. Still, I try. In my heart I wish he could benefit from the same religious upbringing that his father and I were blessed with in our formative years, but that was in another lifetime.

As a parent, we want our children to grow up nurturing the same faith in their hearts as we do in ours. But like most things, as a young mind starts to grow and develop into its own person, faith is something that we can try and help shape, but which in the end is a personal choice of the individual. I dream of having my son grow up to be a good Catholic Christian, but I cannot just wish that — I have to foster that and imbibe that into his life by being a good example of my faith and by teaching him about my faith. I cannot expect my son to go to Church if I don’t, so we try to go to mass more often now that he is cognizant of his responsibilities as a young Catholic. I try to teach him about Jesus’ role in our lives and why prayer is very important. I tell him as often as I can that I start my day by thanking God for giving me a son like him and asking Jesus to keep him safe and healthy always.

I have always said that there is only so much that we can control as parents, but those things that I can control and stir as his mother, I will do my best to keep a firm grip on. I know that when he goes out into the world and he hears about other faiths, he may choose another leaning. But I believe in my own resolve to teach him about my Catholic faith extensively to make his own faith steadfast — no matter what doubts or choices are put before him. I wouldn’t want to force religion upon him, but that is not going to be necessary if I succeed in making him love and live the faith I breathe.

I imagine it will not be easy for me to accept if he chooses some other body of beliefs to live by. In very elementary terms, we want to be sure we land in the same “heaven” or after life. But that’s over-simplifying things. But I always tell him all I want for him to be is a good person — in his mind and heart — and even when I’m gone, I know he will be fine.

Our personal choice as to how we worship our God comes with many responsibilities and challenges. It is no different from the disciples of old who were thrown to the lions literally and who were subjected to religious persecution. While wars helped to fight the advance of other faiths and fostered others to grow exponentially, as an individual, we are all tasked to take the humble route and bow our heads down in the face of dissent. Anger leads to hate — and no faith in its pure form fosters hatred. We have to live our faith with dignity and with humility — in total surrender. And part of that surrender is not giving in to hating others who do not choose the same faith as ours, even if they are forcing their faith and beliefs on us.

As a Christian friend used to say, sometimes it’s not always easy to do the Christian thing — but we have to go that way.

I have to admit that while I say I respect all faiths and ways of believing, I feel a tinge of sadness for those who do not have the faith to believe that there is a higher being whether he is the God I know or not. That is the essence of faith — believing that God is there, whether we see Him — feeling His presence even when we doubt. I had a Catholic friend in law school who invited me over to her house because the block Rosary was stopping by, and she didn’t know how to pray the rosary. I easily obliged, and I prayed. I feel blessed that He is a part of my life — and I want to give that gift to my son, too. I want to plant the seeds so that he may not share that agony of being torn between what he wants to believe and what I believe.

Because at the end of the day, my son is one reason I feel closer to my God. His very being and his pure heart has shown me God keeps me close to His heart.

Art Journal Every Day: Believe

Art Journal Every Day No. 4: BelieveI picked up some old newspapers and tried creating this flower by doodling irregular circles using a purple highlighter which I later smudged with a wet paintbrush.  After it dried, I doodled over with a black fine point sign pen.  I tried to be as free form as I can with the whole piece, cutting in an abstract fashion as well.  The leaves and the stem were more deliberate after I found a rather huge graphic in blue and green which I used and then pasted to an extra sheet and then painted in outline with green watercolor.  For the background, I picked a plain section of the newspaper which I painted in blue, pasted on to a support/backing sheet and then I trimmed and then created my collage.

The word art came much, much later as I couldn’t decide what exactly I wanted to put there.  BELIEVE somehow came naturally as I just sat and reflected on what one word I would want to put on t his particular piece, my favorite to date.  I tried to find scripture about how God takes care of the flowers and so we must not worry about how He takes care of us, but I found it a little over reaching to actually put that in.  The word art was LetterPress Inverted font printed onto a brown bag, colored by a blue highlighter.

Thus ends my January, and on to the next challenge, where, I hope to create 28 hearts.