It seems like a lifetime ago to me. I know that is not what I am supposed to say. But I think about myself at the tender age of 24 and I was a completely different person in many ways. So young. So naive.
A few random things I remember about this day specifically:
~ the weather was FREEZING and it sleeted (in Florida)
~ that bouquet was ridiculously heavy
~ The deacon who married us kept calling me by the wrong name and I laughed quite a bit up on the altar.
~ I weighed 102 lbs (what????)
~ I loved my dress. Loved it and felt absolutely beautiful.
~ I was not nervous at all.
As I think of the life that we have lived over the past 20 years ~ moves, houses, birth of children, death of loved ones, promotions, retirement, new jobs, vacations, friendships, and just every day life with one another... it feels like a long time ago since this day. We have had some wonderful times and it has not always been pretty. But it has endured.
I have joked with my husband all week that if he "kept it up" we weren't making it to 20 years (even though we were days away)! We are just comfortable with each other that way.
So congrats honey on making it to 20 with me, your impossible wife ~ love you!
I want to introduce you to a very special man in my life.
His name is Maxim. He is my neighbor. He calls me "KK". He gives me great hugs and winks at me. His face lights up when I see him and my heart fills with a special childlike joy. And until 22 months ago, he was living in a Russian baby home as an orphan.
My dear friends Teri and Ryan (Maxim's parents above) have a heart for orphans and have educated me on their plight, both locally and globally. Teri is amazing. She works tirelessly at her full-time job, then volunteers her "extra time" to CAFO and Hope 1:17 trying to educate others and unite efforts for orphans globally.
Sunday, November 3rd is Orphan Sunday. Not just here in Tennessee, but worldwide. There are more than 400,000 children in
the foster system in the U.S. today, with over 100,000 waiting to be
adopted.Globally, an estimated 17.8
million children have lost both parents.The Orphan Sunday campaign invites the world to answer these needs.
Makes my heart break.
Our local group, Hope 1:17, hopes to promote this awareness and find couples willing to help children both in the foster system and those who are waiting to be adopted.
In the past I created this piece in honor of the children worldwide living in garbage dumps, no parents, just each other as "family" after several friends came back from Africa and Nicaragua with stories of hundreds of children living in garbage dumps, looking for food daily.
I created this piece as a special tribute to my little friend Maxim and a mission fundraiser to Russia to help the orphans there.
Last year, I created this piece especially for Orphan Sunday 2012.
And this year, I've created a piece of art again this year for Orphan Sunday 2013. Here it is.
I painted in some irises to represent the local children in Tennessee in need of homes (our state flower). I added in the "I am Loved" to echo the sentiments in the CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) theme ~ orphans and adopted children ARE loved. And I added in the biblical verse Matthew 18:5 which says, "And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me".
I hope this piece will be meaningful for many years to come.
If you would like to buy a print (8x10 for $20) or an ornament ($10), your money will go to help local children waiting for foster families and orphans waiting to be adopted. You may email me or message me through Facebook and I will invoice you through Paypal.
Thank you to all of those who have opened your homes and hearts!
Welcome to my part of the Cecilia Swatton stencil blog hop with StencilGirl!
One stencil + four tags = Endless possibilities
So I decided to create four completely different tags with ONE stencil. Although the name of the stencil is Seaweed, it really is versatile and I wanted to show you how. I think sometimes we get into a habit of thinking there is only one way or use for things, but here you will see "seaweed" used for a variety of tags.
Getting ready for my time in the studio, I put some mellow tunes on (because I was feeling mellow and love me some 70's music) and grabbed my cup of joe.
Now that I am ready, I just grabbed four basic, blank tags.
I began painting, using the stencil as the background on some and painting others a solid color for a base.
In the tag below, I used several complimentary colors and different pieces of the stencil for a layered look and background. I then added ephemera from my stash to finish out the tag. I see this one on a journal page or scrapbook page...maybe a congratulations card for engagement?
I began this tag by stenciling a basic red paint to create a background.
I added a small strip of Cosmo Cricket scrapbook paper, a circle of corrugated cardboard I punched out, an old bus ticket with the date Dec 25th, some tinsel and the sticker Believe to complete the tag. Voila~ it immediately gives a festive vibe. Perfect addition to card, add and envelope to back and give a gift card, or use on a scrapbook page.
For the Halloween tag, I grabbed some scrap book paper and sprayed with Adirondacks Butterscotch, using the stencil. I stamped on the paper and used it in the tag.
I used the black tag, stenciled over part of it with orange paint. Cute two circles out of a piece of Pink Paislee scrapbook paper, cutting one in half. I taped some ribbon, popped up the BOO! and the skull for a Halloween tag that would be cute on a goodie bag or a card.
For the "Miss u" tag, I stenciled through with white paint, sprinkled embossing powdered and set it with a heat tool for a shiny glossy look.
I added ribbon, ephemera from my stash and made a cute "miss u" tag that could be used on an art journal page, scrapbook page or on a card.
Four tags, one stencil and four completely different looks! Hope you enjoyed! Make sure to leave a comment so you are entered in the giveaway. Both StencilGirl Products and Cecilia are giving away stencils away and every comment in each blog counts as an entry! You will have until Sunday, October 27th at 11:59 p.m. to enter. Good luck!
This stencil said "make a wish" to me... so I instantly thought of making a card with it!
This stencil might speak something different to you. (I love the bubbles and see lots of background possibilities in future art pieces too!)
(Editor's note: I had to re-create the photos as the original ones were deleted ~ so some the images might not look exactly the same. If it is too confusing or if you have any questions, please let me know, I am more than happy to explain! )
For my card, I took a sheet of watercolor paper and folded it in half. I used green and blue gouache paints and made a background "wash". I didn't try to control the flow of the paints, I let it be totally organic.
I put the paints on dry and then squirted spray of water & let them run!
After that dried, I flicked small dots of magenta in a few areas for some contrast. (not shown in photo)
I then placed the stencil on my dried card and dabbed green paint through the stencil. You will need to make sure your brush is not too wet or it will run and you will lose the image. I then went back over it with black pen.
I really liked the loose watercolor feel of the card, but didn't like my girl's face and arms green, so I added in some colors to her face, hair and dress with my neocolor crayons and dab of water on my brush to spread it so it was creamy while still allowing the background to shine through in areas. I decided to bring out the magenta flecks by making her dress more magenta.
I took some glitter glue and emphasized the bubbles ~ making them iridescent.
I stamped the words "Make a Wish" on scrapbook paper and adhered to the card.
Voila! Make a wish!
Go check out what all the other artists did with the Bubble Girl stencil ~ get LOTS of free ideas!!! Make sure you leave a comment at each blog (here too) because Jessica is giving away a Bubble Girl stencil to one lucky winner, and EVERY comment in the test drive will be eligible to win. The more times you comment, the more chances you get to win!
If you want to check out all the great tutorials...here is where to go:
Paint A Bouquet...with me October 29th from 6:30-8:30 pm at Vintage 615 Art Studio Grab your girlfriends and make plans for a night out. You will create your own floral bouquet painting and leave with some great techniques and memories. Class fee is $40 and includes all supplies and a stencil you can use again in other home decor, paper crafting and paint projects. Call Vintage 615 Art Studio today to make your reservation (615) 241-1128. Hope to see you there!
So I have been complaining this week a bit about suffering from an "art hangover". It is due to my time spent all week long at the fabulous Art-Is-You retreat.
If you have never been, this is not your "typical" art retreat. Truly. Sallianne McClelland and Ellen Legare take care to plan details that make this event special and memorable. Every artist attending, whether a big name or not, is made to feel welcome, special and part of a intimate group.
One of the best things, I think, is you really have so many opportunities to meet new friends. You can come alone, not knowing a soul, and leave with a tribe of new friends and camera full of memories. You become part of the fiber of this event.
I could go on.
But instead, I will just leave you with a few photos to recap the wonderful memories, art projects and people I encountered that left me whistling magical tunes to my soul all week.
At this point I am starting to see a girl with wild hair....funny how I gravitate to that?
Me with the lovely Tracy Verdugo. (my eyes are half closed!)
My painting as I completed the class...but not complete yet with my painting. Needs some finishing, but I am loving it!
Then a fun crazy paint fest night with the fantastic Sue Pelletier and her "loose women" stencils....and oh how we ALL loosened up! Sue's neighbor to my right is a professional singer, poor her. She had to listen to us all belt out songs using the paintbrushes as our microphones!
my loose woman I created...
NO KISSES...or else Sue would physically hurt us! LOL!
Just say the word "create" and I get all tingly inside! I am so thankful to be able to explore my passion through the magical world of mixed media. Each day I discover new paths by coloring the kaleidoscope we get to call life! Follow me on Facebook, follow my blog or visit my website ~ Kirsten Reed Designs.
You can also shop a small selection of my designs here and here.