Art Along the Way

This crazy life of mine has kept me traveling a lot lately. I’m thankful that art supplies don’t take up much room. I just “art” along the way. This flower doodle was fun, but I wonder if it’s too bright?Flower doodle bright by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

So, I did another and took a pic before I colored it in case of wanting to do it another way. Flower doodle #2!

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

This time I used pastel markers, They are Faber Castell PITT artist pens. You’ll have to let me know which you prefer: bright or pastel.Flower doodle colored. Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

I decided to try another one with a word in it. Rejoice in the Lord always!Rejoice by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

It was wonderful to spend time with my grandchildren who live 12 hours away from us. These sweet girls kept asking if we would be “arting”each day. I had no problem complying!Beth and Emily "arting"

Our oldest granddaughter, Beth, was really watching as I drew flowers. She helped me decide what colors to paint these roses. I’m always relearning to trust God…no matter what. I used InkTense pencils on this one.Trust by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

The girls say such sweet encouraging words to each other while arting. Both of them loved on each flower as I did this “Be Still” page.Be Still by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

Beth surprised me by showing me her page the next day.Beth's artwork

We had a lovely time discussing what it meant to “Be Still.” I explained that we need to get quiet with God and learn about Him and trust Him. At times it means to take a deep breath, stop what we are doing and remember that He is in control. We don’t have to worry! I don’t know if she understood it all, but I think she got some of it. And she loves looking at her page which I know will not only be a reminder of our time together, but also of God. What a thrill to be able to have a conversation like that with her…and all because of art!

Just had to add one more pic of my lovely fellow artists!My fellow artists

My Birthday, Creativity and Gasparilla State Park

Some friends tell me that they don’t want to hear about our adventures here in Florida while they are freezing back at home. But I know there are a few that love to look at photos of a warmer place during the winter. Plus, please know that I really just wish you were all down here with me! That said, I had a lovely birthday here in Sarasota. My parents treated Matt and me to the circus. At the circus

The entire show was amazing, but my favorite was watching the Wallendas perform. You may know of Nik Wallenda, the famous tight rope artist that has crossed Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. But he is part of the Flying Wallendas, an incredible family of acrobats.Wallendas

Before the circus started and during the break, videos were shown about the Wallendas including one of them performing a seven-person chair pyramid in 1962. As we watched the video, we saw one of the Wallendas falter and the whole pyramid collapse. Three people died and two were severely injured in this fall since they perform with no nets. These videos certainly had us all prepared to watch this talented family! I must admit, it was thrilling and yet utterly frightening to see them perform the seven-person chair pyramid for us. Nik’s mother, Delilah, is the one standing on the chair. That woman must be at least  in her 50’s! They asked that everyone be quiet while the Wallendas performed the pyramid and I’m sure I held my breath the whole time.The Flying Wallendas seven-person chair pyramid

The circus was a few days before my actual birthday, so my hubby took me out for dinner at Marina Jack’s. Oh, how lovely to watch the sunset over the water, birds fly and dive for fish, and dolphins swimming. And the scallop dinner was scrumptious!Marina Jack's

Most of the time we’ve been here it has been cold and rainy, but last weekend’s weather was finally the kind we came down for. It started out with a lovely sunset on Friday night which included an unusual conjunction of the moon, Venus and Mars. Mars is a bit difficult to see in the photo, but it is there just up and to the right of Venus.Conjunction of the moon, Venus and Mars

While searching for a new place to ride bikes, I came across Gasparilla State Park. It was an hour drive away, but so worth it!DSC_1182

We have never seen a beach with so many shells.DSC_1187

Matt went out into the water and found this shell. It was still housing a creature, so we threw it back.DSC_1181

I took a break from the treasure hunt on a bed of shells.DSC_1196

We had come here for a bike ride and so far I had been completely distracted by the shells! We did ride for 6 miles and found a geocache at the range light.DSC_1202 DSC_1203

Our trusty bikes waited for us under a palm.Our bikes

We were set to go on an adventure with my folks the next day back to Fort DeSoto. But I was in love with Gasparilla State Park! So the next day, we took Mom, Dad and our friends, Ray and Nita, back to the island. We hadn’t gotten to see the light house, but we did this time.DSC_1219

You know I love lighthouses! Well, even though this one is quite squatty, it still offered a wonderful view.DSC_1211

We all had fun shelling. Here is just a part of my treasure. I’m contemplating what crafty thing to do with them.My shells

And speaking of creativity, I’ve been busy, as usual. There was a craft/art show here in the RV park. My jewelry was well received as well as Matt and Dad’s 3D printed projects.Art show at the RV park

I finished the punch needle owl project. After looking for a frame, I ended up buying a canvas, ribbon and push pins. Instead of a $30 frame, I spent $6 and like it a whole lot better.punch needle project

After deciding NOT to bring my rug hooking materials with me on this trip, that’s all I wanted to do! So, here is a new rug project I’m working on.rug project

Finally, I’ve been loving doing the Bible Art Challenge. What a wonderful way to spend time with God and contemplate his goodness. This one is for John 3:16. I wanted to illustrate that God’s great love for all mankind led to his sacrifice for us.John 3:16

Then we studied I Corinthians 13. Here I focused on the words about true love.Love never ends

I John speaks a lot about love, especially God’s perfect love for us and how we should love each other. I have watched bluebirds and they look out for one another in such a tender way. Perfect love

So, I think we are all caught up! Today, I might make yet another trip to the craft store. I’m filled with ideas for those shells! Hope you all stay warm and happy wherever you are and remember God loves you more than you’ll ever know!  Please leave me a comment! 🙂

Bible Art Journaling

Isn’t it wonderful to stumble upon something that resonates with you? Recently, online I had seen that some people were drawing and painting right in their Bibles. This really drew me in. I love art. I love to create. I know that God made me that way because He is my Creator. I’ve endeavored to use my art to glorify Him and this was such an intriguing idea to me. To use art while meditating on verses from the Bible sounded just right.

However, I was apprehensive to doodle in my Bible. What if I made a mistake? What if it turned out ugly? Was it dishonoring to God’s word? My ever wise hubby finally cleared this quandary for me by saying, “Hon, monks have been drawing in Bibles for centuries.” Of course! I love looking at illuminated Bibles. So, I finally just jumped in and did it. I bought a wide margin Bible for journaling first. And then I joined an online group for Bible Art Journaling. Rebekah R Jones picks a verse each week to journal and video tapes herself doing it. She is graciously sharing her journey and expertise with us for free! How amazing is that?! Here are some verses that I have done with her group so far.Be BraveLaughBe Bold as a LionMake a Joyful Noise

I am enjoying it so much, that I decided to do a verse from my devotions. I started out with drawing in marker.As for me and my house

Then added some color with acrylic ink and watercolor crayons. Oh, I used gel pens too.We will serve the Lord

How about you? Wouldn’t you love to join in with us? I hope I see you on the Bible Art Journaling facebook page. God bless you as you meditate on His love letter to you.

 

My Favorite Place in England: England 6

Are you ready for some gorgeous green scenery?! I still haven’t written about the place I loved the most in England, the Lake District. This is a tough one to write because I have too many beautiful photos of the area and want to include them all. Ever since I saw the movie, Miss Potter, I ached to go to the Lake District. The movie was great, but the extra content showed that Beatrix Potter bought lots of land and then turned it over to the National Trust so that it would stay untouched and available to all. The video showed lovely rolling hills, lakes and quaint villages. I thought I’d never get there. But, you know, we just don’t have a clue what God has in store for us! I’m still amazed that I was able to go to this wonderful piece of God’s creation! Since Beatrix Potter was my inspiration for going to the area, I wanted to view her home in Near Sawrey. Would I find the area as lovely as I anticipated? Would Beatrix’s home town be as inspiring to me as it was to her? I just had to go and find out!

Of course, I looked for the best B&B in the area and was able to get a room! Buckle Yeat Guest House

Buckle Yeat Guest House was amazing! This 17th century cottage is right next to Beatrix Potter’s house and is warm and cozy with a fire blazing in the fireplace. The hosts, Robert and Helen Kirby are friendly and knowledgeable. We had such a lovely time visiting with them.Robert and Helen Kirby of Buckle Yeat Guest House

Just look at this beautiful breakfast! And it tasted as good as it looked. We were actually eating the same bacon that the Queen of England enjoys. Not many places can brag of that. Breakfast at Buckle Yeat

But as magical as Buckle Yeat is, I just had to explore some more. First on the list was the home of Beatrix Potter. As an artist myself, I have been fascinated by her art with her endearing clothed animals. Somehow, Beatrix captured realistic features of the animals and yet gave each character human qualities too. Beatrix was more than just an author of children’s books. She studied nature and wrote scholarly articles with detailed illustrations. I own a large book filled with her art. It was thrilling to see the home and countryside that inspired such creativity. Hilltop, her home, was right behind our B&B.Beatrix Potter's Hilltop

We were not allowed to take photos in her home, which was a bit disappointing since that is a way that I enjoy things. But I still have pictures in my mind of the simple perfection of the place. After growing up in London, Beatrix was ready for the simplicity of the country. Her home and village were quiet inspirations to her. In fact, as you wander through her home, Hilltop, books from her Peter Rabbit series were scattered about. Each was open to a page and upon inspection, it was evident that the drawing on the page included something from the room. One book had an animal cooking at the stove from Hilltop. Another illustration included the bannister from her stairs. It was fascinating to see! I have often heard that a good writer is one that writes from personal experience. Well, I was beginning to think that lovely art is from experience too. Miss Potter’s book, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, includes a page that shows a path winding up a hill. A page from The Tale of Samuel Whiskers

As I looked out the window of her home, I could see that same windy path.Near Sawrey

Even though, I couldn’t take photos, I found this painting in Buckle Yeat that showed Beatrix’s kitchen. I wish I knew the artist so I could give credit where it is due!A painting of the kitchen in Hilltop

I so enjoyed my visit to Hilltop. And found a treasure in the gift shop, a book called, “Walking with Beatrix Potter”. Book of walks with Beatrix Potter

Exploring the area was just what I wanted to do and what better way than to take walks that Beatrix Potter would have taken? This little gem was full of maps and instructions for taking the public footpaths near her home. She often would walk, ponder, draw and write. It seemed right to take walk number one, a 3 mile walk named “Beatrix Potter’s Heartland”. We followed instructions from the book such as, “Go through a kissing gate” and “In a short distance go through a gate, reaching a permissive path, which soon becomes a boardwalk over muddy ground.” The permissive path

It WAS muddy. And it was good we had the written instructions as well as the drawn maps. Matt found a geocache near a lovely lake, or as they call it, tarn. This was at Moss Eccles Tarn.Geocache at Moss Eccles Tarn

Here are some of the lovely views we had on walk #1.DSC_5591 2 DSC_5613 2 DSC_5623 2 DSC_5620 2 DSC_5655 2 DSC_5661 2 DSC_5665 2 DSC_5673 2 DSC_5681 2

We had had a full day and needed dinner. What better place than the pub right next to Hilltop and Buckle Yeat?Tower Bank Arms

Tower Bank Arms is featured in Beatrix Potter’s book, The Tales Of Jemima Puddleduck. Even though it was chilly outside, this busy pub was cozy with it’s blazing fire. Fireplace at the Tower Bank Arms

We enjoyed the scrumptious food and made friends too! Paul, Sarah and baby Emily sat at the table next to us by the fire and excitedly told us of their holiday plans. They were knowledgeable of the area and suggested many places to hike.Our English friends

What an amazing day! I was glad to have such a wonderful place to sleep that night. Buckle Yeat was all I dreamed of for a B&B in England, quaint and yet comfortable. We sat by the fire in the lounge and planned and dreamed our next day in the Lake District. Sleep was sweet in the Lake District!

Check out the previous posts about England. England 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Or you may want to start at the beginning of our adventure – in Italy! Italy 1

Simple Joys: Creativity and Gardening

Do you enjoy the simple things in life? I’ve realized lately that the simple things mean so much to me. Like my husband’s laugh, the sun on my skin, a hug of a friend, a good book, the feel of clean sheets, the smell of a freshly squeezed lemon. Two simple pleasures that I have indulged in lately are being creative and gardening. And I suppose you could say creative gardening. I have this garden stone near my front door. What a lovely reminder for me each day and it was only a dollar at the dollar store!DSC_7364 2

My garden has been a simple joy. My mom has always had a lovely garden. I thought I couldn’t grow anything. I had a black thumb rather than a green one like hers. But I was busy with three boys. I didn’t make the time to plant, weed and water while I homeschooled our sons. Now I have the time! Look at the loveliness God has blessed me with this year. DSC_7123 2

I had more daylily varieties than I knew were planted. That is one advantage to a poor memory: beautiful surprises in the garden!Daylilies Summer 2014

I found a special visitor on one of the blooms.DSC_7396 2

One of the plants that is new to me this year is bee balm given to me by my mom. The blooms are fascinating right before they open.DSC_7356 2

My garden has been such a blessing to me that I did a page in my art journal about it. I used a new technique for me that is really very old: a dip pen and ink. The ink is acrylic and when applied watered down, it resembles watercolor. Nice and vivid!DSC_7463 2

I decided there is no need to be constricted to gardening in the yard. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of plants that remind me of my years in Arizona. Succulents! And they really seem to be in vogue. My daughter-in-law, Karlin, came to visit me while Matt was in Honduras and Jeremy is away on deployment. We both fell in love with those dry weather plants. They look great planted in a grouping.DSC_7512 3

But also in several groups!DSC_7540 3

I’m glad I took those photos. They’ve already spread out a bit in their new homes. I wonder how soon I’ll have to separate them. So fun to watch them grow.

Karlin and I also had a blast painting something we both love. Butterflies!DSC_7529b 2

Finally, back to simple things. We really have to make time to enjoy them, don’t we? Recently, my niece, Tiffany,  a mom of four beautiful children and a missionary, admired my leather bracelets. I asked what word she would like on a bracelet. She wanted to give it some thought. After a couple weeks, I texted her. What word?! She said that her pursuit of just the right word was now a family joke. “What word is mommy going to pick for her bracelet?” She threw out three words: Smile, Savor and Breathe. My sweet Tiffany needed a reminder to enjoy the simple things.  She finally settled on Savor.

I loved thinking of this beautiful, hard working mom as I stamped the edges with a metal stamp that my dad, her grandfather, had made.DSC_7366 2

I couldn’t help myself. I had to include all three words!DSC_7375 2

And themes from my garden: flowers, butterflies.DSC_7373 2

The lovely colors she chose worked so well: earth tones.DSC_7372 2

Her smile made if worth it all!IMG956641 4

What simple things have you been enjoying?

Easy Family Letter Craft

Lately, I’ve noticed an abundance of large paper mache letters in the craft stores. I had been thinking that I would like some things on the wall that didn’t have right angles so I decided to buy a big B. In fact, it’s two feet tall!DSC_6937 2

Since I’ve been working on that guest room, I decided that the B would go in there. I mulled it over a bit trying to figure out if it should be bright and bold or subtle, if indeed a letter that large could pull that off! The sheer size of it convinced me that I should go with a neutral color.DSC_7178 2

Off to Walmart to buy more of the ivory color paint since I ran out. Of course, they didn’t have the same paint, but I thought maybe a shade more yellowish would look good anyway.DSC_7176 2

This big B, for Broscious of course, was to be a celebration of our family. I wanted all our names on it. At first I considered buying stick on letters or stamping the names. I even looked at wood letters. In the end, after some practice on paper, I handpainted everyone’s names in brown.DSC_7182 2

So far, so good! I liked it. But it needed more. Out came my stamps.DSC_7348 5

The trick is knowing when to stop stamping. Sure do love butterflies!DSC_7183 2

I had read about making stamps from a styrofoam tray like meat comes on. Just draw your design and press down the places you don’t want to stamp. I tried it and had to laugh. Backwards letters! I did use one of the hearts by each family member though.DSC_7186 2

More stamping and more mess on the kitchen table. I was starting to really enjoy this project!DSC_7187 2

Periodically, I would set it in the bedroom. Some projects just come quickly, but this one needed some pondering. It still lacked and I gazed and pondered some more.DSC_7194 2

Maybe it did need more color!DSC_7195 2

Out came the pumpkin colored paint for the sides.DSC_7333 2

A brown edge to make it stand out more.DSC_7337 2

And antiquing medium to give it a weathered look. Finally, a couple coats of satin finish.DSC_7335 2

And it’s done! Well, done until we are blessed with another Broscious and then the paint will come out again!Easy Family Letter Project

What a fun project. And so easy! Everytime I see this B, I will smile and celebrate our family.

More Color in My Life

Lately, I’ve decided that I need more color in my life!  I’ve always taken a fairly conservative approach to color in decorating. But my daughter-in-law, Karlin, has used bright colors in a marvelous way to decorate. I love what she has done in her house and so I took a plunge into the color world.

One room in the house was begging to be spruced up. It had always been a boy’s room which is not surprising since we have three sons. But boys have grown and are not in that room anymore. Did I really need to keep a boring dark brown comforter on the bed and a desk in the corner for doing homework. It think not! This could become a room that I could enjoy viewing each time I walked to my bedroom and one that could be a cheerful guest room. But where to start?

You may be thinking that this would be a no brainer for me since I enjoy being creative. If you think about it, however, I tend to focus on making small things: jewelry, doilies, art journal pages, handbags. Large projects still seem unapproachable. In fact, over a year ago, I had purchased a large canvas to make myself branch out a bit. But that 24×36 inch canvas sat unwrapped in my studio. It stared at me each time I went in there.  It mocked me. I came to affectionately refer to it as the Big, Scary Canvas and tried to ignore it. So, when it came to redecorating a room, I froze for a bit. Then I decided to roam around TJMaxx/Home Goods.

Now that store is one to get the creative juices flowing! I really didn’t want to spend much money on this project, so I was thrilled when I found a spread for $30 that I liked.DSC_6909 2

That spread would be the basis for the decorating! I got a few other things: a lamp, bedside table and a few pillows. Soon, I had the room looking spiffy. It was so cheerful and happy that it made me want to tackle the Big, Scary Canvas. My thinking was to just throw some paint onto the background and then go from there.

My intent all along was to cover it with flowers. Blue skies in paintings have become a bit boring to me. So, why not make a yellow sky? Trying to use colors from my paint stash that would match the spread, I took a wide brush, blew caution in to the wind and slathered paint on that intimidating thing!20140613_201545 3

Huh! I liked the background! It was tempting to just hang it as it was. After all, I’ve seen artwork like that in hotel rooms and doctor offices. When I posted a photo of the background on facebook, my sweet friends got excited over the background too. Several, including my hubby and son, said it looked like a sunset over a pond. That would make a lovely painting. One person even suggested lily pads and frogs. I’ll admit that for a bit I was rethinking my original plan. Flowers kept calling out to me, so on I went.DSC_6845

At first I drew my flowers. I was conflicted between the desire to just paint without planning and to carefully draw out each detail. So, the first three flowers were drawn first in pencil.DSC_6853 2

Soon I tired of drawing. I wonder what would happen if I just painted? A flower explosion, that’s what!DSC_6863 2

A lady bug still needs to be added to the painting and I should sign it, but I couldn’t wait to hang it in the new, improved room.DSC_6866 3 4

Now, I’m really happy with the room! But creativity does seem to spawn more creativity. Even though I loved the little church painting that I bought from a talented artist at a local craft show, it was too small for the space I had placed it. There were beautiful mirrors that I had contemplated purchasing for the room, but I wondered if I could get one to decorate. Off to ACMoore! And there I found a large mirror with a frame of unfinished wood. Now for more color.DSC_6875

This lovely color is called Ripe Tomato. Hmmm, it looked sort of pinkish orange but I suppose it is hard to come up with names for paint. It also seems difficult to photograph the color correctly. In fact, all the colors in that room tend to confuse my camera. So, I’ve edited and corrected, but the real colors look even better! I added a light green with a stamp and then distressed it so it looked more antique.DSC_6878 3

Laser cut wood items at Michaels slipped into my basket even though I didn’t know what I would do with them. They almost jumped onto the mirror frame. DSC_6886 2

Finally, I wanted to add words to the mirror. What a perfect time to contemplate and get our thinking straight when gazing in a mirror. DSC_6896 3 DSC_6893 3

I found out that photographing a mirror is pretty challenging. Where could I put it to take a shot with a beautiful reflection? My garden!DSC_6899 2

Finally, I hung it in the pretty, fresh room.DSC_6904 3

I’m now wishing that I had done this decorating in my bedroom! My sweet hubby said that I’ll just have to do that one next. Only problem is that I used all my favorite colors in the guest room. But being the fixer that he is, he had a solution to that one too. “Just pick new favorite colors!” Sounds good to me!Handpainted Mirror with Inspirational Words. www.joyfulwonder.com