Saturday, August 21, 2010

Creating Art as Worship - A bit about scrapbooking digitally and other thoughts on art.

I love art. I love to look at it and take the colors in. I love to create it - when I have the time. I love gazing at all the crayons in a new box of 120s or scanning all the fabrics in a quilting store. My head gets filled with all the hues and textures and it just makes me feel content. Actually, it's a feeling I can't really describe. Strange, isn't it. All I know is that when I create it is a form of worship for me. To create music, to scrapbook, paint or even clean and redecorate my kitchen is all an act of worship. God is there in the process (because I actively choose to include Him) and it becomes a way I share my day with Him. My life has changed so much over the last three years and that change has brought a lack of time with my scissors and paste. I was once a serious paper and tape scrapbooker and had been all my life. I worked as an artist briefly for Leisure Arts and was also published numerous times in Creative Keepsakes and Scrapbook Memories. I loved that and felt honored when one of my layouts would suddenly appear in one of their magazines. They would never let me know when it was going to be published. I would just have to go to the bookstore and thumb through them to see if one was in there. If there was, everybody in the store knew it because I was so excited! I never got over the "jumping up and down on the bed" kinda joy from being published. And even more funnier was the fact that I never told anyone about it. I never wanted anyone to think I was prideful of what I created when I actually thought there were numerous other artists around me that could just have easily been published. But as time marched on and the years went by, I lost the time it took to do paper and tape scrapbooking. And when my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the desire to create art died in me all together. She would say to me, "go make some art," but I never had it in me during her illness. It resurged a bit about a year after she died and now, three years later, I'm back in the swing of things. But I don't do anymore paper and tape scrapbooking. One reason I guess is because it's from my previous life with my mom being around and another reason is because it takes time and space to break out all those supplies and get started. Traveling like we do prohibits me from creating the explosion of bits of paper, pieces of ribbon, flowers being cut out of magazines and such to make a scrapbook layout. But I wanted to make something for Grant to remember his childhood. How do you do that without all that stuff? One day Eric told me he was going to the bank. When he came back from "the bank" (it was really Best Buy) he placed a Mac computer in my lap. "Scrapbook," he said. He knew I was interested in Photoshop but didn't have a laptop that could handle it. He knew I needed to create art again. And oh wow! What I've learned how to do on a computer since that day! It will blow your mind what some of these programs can do! I was frightened of learning Photoshop but you know, I can do enough now to just be dangerous with it! Everybody on a plane to Kampala, Uganda knew when I discovered how to do drop shadows in PH4! I was telling Eric, "Look! Look! Here is it!!! Drop shadows!" And it really is easy. After learning how to do Photoshop I discovered a neat little site on-line called Mixbook. It will let you upload pictures into their site and make a scrapbook and then - you can actually have it printed in book form!!! I've made books for China, India, Uganda, and several for Grant over the last two years. Their published books are beautiful and it's actually cheaper than having all those pictures developed. They provide all the background papers for you and even the stickers. Or, you can upload your own digital papers and stickers and make it completely unique and your own. That's what I do. If you'd like to see one of my books, come on by the house and I'll show it to you. Now I can scrapbook in Oklahoma, Uganda or sitting an airplane or traveling in the car. Below are some of the simplest scrapbook pages I've done and yet they're still so much fun to look at!

And this is what a digital kit looks like when you buy it. I get mine mostly from Shabby Pickle and Cat Scrap - on-line digital scrapbook stores. They download it onto my computer after I buy it and then I either use it in Photoshop or upload it into Mixbook.

Anyway, next time you start to create something, remember where that creative spirit came from - the Original Artist - and worship Him throughout the process. It makes the whole act of creating even more fulfilling and meaningful. And if you want to learn how to scrapbook on your computer just drop me a line. I love to teach people and I get to spend time with you too. It's a win win for me!


Some stuff I did for Heart of God's Nomads weekend.