thecreativesoulsara

where vintage bits and pieces become artful creations

I haven’t forgotten about you and our trees!

Hello, all,

Just a quick message to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about those of you who are participating in the “draw a tree” prompt/exercise. I have had a flair up of my chronic pain/fibromyalgia due to preparing for and attending my 30th high school reunion recently. I was on the committee for the reunion and in the last couple of weeks before the reunion I put together all the memorabilia, made huge decorative photo boards, made individual glass hurricane containers for each classmate who has died and more.

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It was a huge tax on my body, then I spent two nights out with my classmates for about 6-7 hours each (something I never do!) plus setting up for the main event with centerpieces etc the second morning.

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My best friend and I…best friends since 8th grade and we lived together in college for 3 years. Old friends can be some of the best friends you’ll ever have…it was like we’d never been apart.

It was great fun preparing and even more seeing old friends and catching up. Definitely worth the pain and exhaustion that followed!

So, I will be drawing my own tree today, I promise, and post in the next couple of days how to interpret our trees. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Peace to your hearts, Sara

Is anyone participating?

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Hello all,

I’ve given you all a few days to draw your tree if you’d like to take part. I’d like to know if anyone is doing this and if people need more time before talking about it in a new post. Please respond with feedback in the comments on this post if you have or are going to do this so I know when people are ready…thanks!

Journal Prompt…and a little bit about art therapy

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For all you folks out there who keep art journals (or who just like to be creative or like to work on you personal growth):

When I worked as a psychotherapist I used art therapy with a lot of my clients. It’s a pretty non-threatening approach and not only can people learn a lot from what they create, I was able learn a some things about them and begin a dialogue through the piece of art.

I may have mentioned previously, I myself used art therapy when I was going through a couple of years of significant depression. Nothing like what my art journals of today are…I used mostly crayons, and later colored pencils, to draw with as well as making collages from magazine cut-outs. An interesting art therapy note about my choice of drawing utensils: in depression things can be very out of focus, very fuzzy and hard to grasp on to. My choice of crayons really reflected the way I felt because they do not provide sharpness or clarity like other things do. Then, as I grew personally and my depression improved, I made the move to colored pencils (very unconsciously at the time). Here I was able to express more detail and clarity, things were sharper in my drawings as well as in my mind and soul.

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Now for a little fun and self exploration with an art journal prompt: Draw a Tree

Okay, I know it sounds strange, but there are some things to be learned about yourself through this. And it’s a good introduction to art therapy since it is a basic and common exercise. I don’t want to explain here the questions you will ask yourself after you finish because it can alter what you will draw. But, if you would like to participate please take some time to create your tree in whatever medium or mediums you choose (except using another image of a tree from a magazine, book etc) then in several days I will post some questions, some thoughts about how to interpret your tree. *there is no right or wrong way to do this!* It’s all about self exploration. If you like you can then post a link to your tree, and of course any comments about what you learned or what the experience was like for you, but it’s not necessary.

Have fun with this!
Peace to your hearts, Sara

I was interviewed for an artist’s spotlight!

Recently I was interviewed for a Visual Artist’s Spotlight on a website by Cheryl Cope. Cheryl coaches women on enhancing creativity, weight loss and general women’s issues with a Christian perspective. I was a bit unsure how to respond to her questions…not that I didn’t “know the answers” rather what to include and what to leave out so it was an interesting read. I tend to go on and on sometimes, if you hadn’t noticed already. ;)  So, any feedback on the interview would be greatly welcome in case I have another opportunity to be interviewed in the future. 

You can find the interview, with photos and a coupon code for 25% off in my etsy shop, here:

http://www.cherylcope.com/visual-artist-spotlight-sara-windsor

Peace to your hearts, Sara

Independence Day…vintage style

Wishing you all a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

Saying Goodbye to My Daughter…a new journey for both of us

My daughter and I right before she headed out for Seattle

My daughter and I right before she headed out for Seattle

My last blog entry included journal pages about my 19 year old daughter preparing to move to Seattle (we live in Missouri) and my preparing for her to go. So, I thought I would share a bit more about this…another journal spread and some photos.

"She is Travel Ready" The day I created this my daughter, Emelie, was packing up all her belongings that she wanted to take in boxes for the long drive to Seattle, so that was clearly on my mind.

“She is Travel Ready” The day I created this my daughter, Emelie, was packing up all her belongings that she wanted to take in boxes for the long drive to Seattle, so that was clearly on my mind.

Emelie packing her boxes and bags

Emelie packing her boxes and bags

And now for the art journal pages….

 I created this page by covering it with acrylic deep yellow paint, then after it dryed I added acrylic grey with an old credit card. Then I used gesso to make an area for the boxes, which I drew with oil pastels and old text paper. "Travel-ready" I found in a magazine and I added the other lettering.

I created this page by covering it with acrylic deep yellow paint, then after it dryed I added acrylic grey with an old credit card. Then I used gesso to make an area for the boxes, which I drew with oil pastels and old text paper. “Travel-ready” I found in a magazine and I added the other lettering.

Vintage map paper covers the right page...our wonderful, beautiful and special Seattle and surrounding areas. I drew her grey SUV with marker and added a heart confetti piece I had left over. I added images of some love stamps from a magazine and wrote my thoughts in new black marker.

Vintage map paper covers the right page…our wonderful, beautiful and special Seattle and surrounding areas. I drew her grey SUV with marker and added a heart confetti piece I had left over. I added images of some love stamps from a magazine and wrote my thoughts in new black marker.

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The day Emelie and her boyfriend Skylar left was one filled with tears of mine and my husband’s. Emelie and Skylar were mostly just very excited to get started on their journey. My dear husband made sure the SUV was packed just so…no blind spots for his precious daughter.
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I really didn’t want to spoil Em’s excitement, so I would go off by myself when the tears overflowed, then dry my eyes and join the crowd again. But, when it came time for the final goodbyes Tom and I couldn’t hold back. As hard as it was to watch her go, we know that she is ready. She has always been mature, but she has grown and matured so much in the last year she’s been working and living at home. And, thankfully she has her man to go on this adventure with…we know they will take good care of each other.
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After she got in the car and put her seatbelt on she started signing “I love you” over and over again. I think it finally hit her. I didn’t get pictures of that because I was too busy signing “I love you” back and crying.

Off they go....we love you both! Safe journeys and good times to you

Off they go….we love you both! Safe journeys and good times to you

Art journaling my feelings

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What I really love to use an art journal for is expressing my feelings or working out how I feel when I’m unsure. This is what I have done for my last several pages and it feels good. First, a spread about my 19 year old daughter moving out next weekend…all the way to Seattle! Such mixed feelings here because I am thrilled for her to be embarking on her life’s journey on her own, going to art school, getting her first apartment, being with her boyfriend who is stationed with the Navy out there and just plain living in Seattle which is awesome (we lived there for a few years around 2000). But, I am terribly sad for myself! It’s taken me a while to get past crying every time I think about it. Her move date has gotten moved up twice, which has been very hard. So, I decided to journal about it, using some inspiration from Pam Garrison, who is one of my favorite artists. Love the light colors she often uses and I borrowed the “banner” at the top of the right page below, putting my own touch on it.

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Now for the techniques and supplies used, for those that care:

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The first thing on this page was a spray of home made pink alcohol ink, which can be seen mostly as-is where I wrote “my precious daughter Emelie is moving out”. I added watercolors to the rest of the page background, then added details with acrylic paint….the orange swoops to the left, the colored bands, the tear, the flowers. I added the journaling spot that I created using a stencil and the alcohol ink on acrylic paper, then wrote on it with colored ink pen.

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I used gel medium to attach some vintage papers, then painted with three colors of acrylic paint for the background. I made the journal spot by using pink acrylic paint, then yellow around the outside for the border, which I embellished with colored ink pens in a doodle or zentangle style. This is very new to me and I could certainly use some practice! I added the sweet vintage book page image of the bird “leaving the nest” since it so well illustrates my daughter leaving. I’m loving my new Prismacolor black pens/markers…they work so well!

And now for another spread….

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These pages I created in the midst of overwhelming stress feelings, needing to find something to do instead of screaming my head off to my family. My daughter brought home a little puppy quite unexpectedly. We knew she was going to adopt a dog when she moved….AFTER she got to Seattle! But, a friend of her best friend rescued this little dog and he needed a home. My daughter fell in love with him so she brought him home…the way things change when they get this age and are moving out!! Well, we already have three large dogs that we love dearly and are mostly very well behaved. But, you suddenly introduce a tiny puppy into this mix and they start going crazy. Not to mention the tv blaring, the kids all talking and calling the puppy, etc and our home was full of chaos. So, I hit the worktable and went at it to define my feelings and get them out by creating. I purposely made it very chaotic since that’s how I felt.

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I used several colors of acrylic paint all over the page, then chose stencil with a random pattern and used more acrylic paint to add this to the page. I added a few papers/paint swatch and wrote the word “Chaos” in paint pen, outlining it in my new gold paint pen and using my new Prismacolor black chisel marker to write the other words. It feels appropriate to me and really is an expression of how I felt.

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For this page I used various papers including used wrapping paper with a paisley pattern, part of a cupcake wrapper, vintage papers and went over them with watered down gesso, then added some more vintage papers. The book text with the various colors I created using watercolors and a toy truck tire with tread pattern to create. I am always looking for everyday things to create pattern now. I used colored pens to fill in some of the areas of the wrapping paper and write the journaling on the right side. The “want ‘wild’ orange” card covers up another paint chip card that didn’t work when I journaled on it. More gold paint pen in dots on and around this.

I feel like I’m getting a good balance between learning and trying new techniques and expressing what is going on in my life and with my feelings and perceptions. Another goal here is to improve my skills enough to sell some mixed media art so I can continue to create it on a regular basis along with my jewelry. I have a few gifts to family and a friend I’m needing to give and I think I will try some mixed media art using quotes. Crossing my fingers they will turn out well so I can give them!

What have you been creating recently? Art, jewelry, music, writing…??? I’d love to hear about it.

Peace to your heart, Sara

Home…the Art Journal Journey monthly theme

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I recently ran across a blog called “Art Journal Journey” where every month they give you a word or theme to journal about. Then, if you like, you can link your post to their blog to share with everyone…last month 60 people shared their impressions of the theme! It’s really interesting to see everyone’s take on the same topic. I decided it would be great fun to participate so I checked out the theme for this month…home. A nice start for my new art journal.

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I really gave some thought and feeling to what “home” means to me. I recalled all the different places I’ve lived…a large home in the city as a child, a vintage boat then a floating house with my parents, a dorm room, an apartment with friends, a little house with my first husband…then a variety of places from a farm house to a large new home in Las Vegas while married to husband #1 and moving around way too much, an apartment with my two kids when the marriage didn’t work out, a house in wonderful Seattle with my soul mate and husband…a couple of other places including 5 months of camping with our three kids before settling in our own house/home where we currently live and have for 10 years now. Home isn’t really so much about where you live and in what kind of structure. Even living in my own home I have always called my parents place “home” too. I realized that home is “where you find the people you love”. It means other things to me as well, such as where you can be completely yourself and people love you always, where your soul is at peace.

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I found a few great vintage photos to use in my pages and used those as a starting point. I also used acrylic paint, a decorative paper napkin, some scrapbook papers, paint pens, vintage Bingo card and “H” divider card and a lovely antique calling card. I can’t say that it’s my favorite spread, but I do like it mostly. I’d like the background to be a little less messy looking, but sometimes home can be messy, I guess.

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What does “home” mean to you?

Peace to your hearts, Sara

A Few New Supplies for Art Journaling

I had  yard sale over the weekend, and while most of the profits went to bills I was able to use a bit of it for some new supplies for art journaling. As I said I was in desperate need of various sizes of black markers so this is what I looked for first. After looking at more pens than I might ever want to, both on line and in the store, I decided upon a set of four Prismacolor black markers in four different sizes. It has tiny, small, medium brush and thick chisel…I had fun playing with them and I think they will be a great investment…if I can just be patient and let things dry before I use them!

New Prismacolor markers, various stencils, some wide brushes and paint pens

New Prismacolor markers, various stencils, some wide brushes and paint pens

I also needed some wide brushes. I have been working with old and very cheap paintbrushes. I couple of weeks ago I bought a set of about 10 different small brushes which has enabled me to do some of the lettering and detail work. Now I can easily create backgrounds and cover large areas. I also added a couple of new paint pens…gold and cream. I’ve already had some fun with the gold and will share later. And, new stencils! I’ve been looking online for some stencils to use for backgrounds…they are a bit pricey. But when I was at good ol’ Wal Mart I saw this pack of three pages of stencils with four patterns per page for the low price of around $2.75!! I probably won’t use all the stencils…not much of a heart background kind of girl, but it was definitely a great find.

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Then I had the thought to get alcohol inks for my new stencils, but they aren’t available in the little town I live in and they are also kind of expensive. So I bought some rubbing alcohol and a little spray bottle to use with my food coloring I already had. Should have checked out the food coloring because the blue is all gone, the red almost and the yellow and green aren’t exactly full. Next trip to the store I will get more and some more little spray bottles. I decided to use up what was left of the red food coloring, knowing I would get a pink spray. I pulled out a page of acrylic paper and sprayed away….

NewSupplies3…really liking what the results were. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well on old papers, on top of acrylic paint, etc. Since I’ve never used it before I’m not sure if that is the nature of alcohol inks or just my homemade variety. But it’ll do for a while anyway. I also noted that on Pinterest the homemade recipes call for 97% rubbing alcohol and what I purchased is 70%…didn’t know there were different kinds! I’ll give the other a try, too, and see if it makes a difference. Anyone have experience with homemade alcohol inks and have some suggestions? I’d love to hear about it.

Peace to your hearts, Sara

A Bit of This and a Bit of That…

"Be Brave" A peek inside my new personal art journal

“Be Brave” A peek inside my new personal art journal

I am very happy to have begun creating in my new art journal. Those blank pages were just calling to me! I wanted to put something on the inside front cover and first page so that’s where I started.

"Belongs to..." The inside cover, left side. The color inspiration came from the gorgeous scrapbook paper at left that I quite adore. I used acrylic paints to complete the background. In looking at some art journal pages for inspiration and techniques I found an artist that used shields quite often in her pages. I really liked that idea for creating my "bookplate" so I sketched my shape, covered it with a few layers of gesso, outlined it with paint pen (I added a couple of colors to my small collection of paint pens), and wrote inside it. Wish I had planned out the available space a bit better, but oh, well. I need some new black pens as well, since mine are either completely kaput or have fading ink. I must confess that I ruin them by being terribly impatient...I just can't seem to wait until my background is completely dry, then the markers and pens get ruined by paint or gesso. I desperately need to learn some patience in this department...I have it in most other areas of my life so I should be able to do this!

“Belongs to…” The inside cover, left side. The color inspiration came from the gorgeous scrapbook paper at left that I quite adore. I used acrylic paints to complete the background. In looking at some art journal pages for inspiration and techniques I found an artist that used shields quite often in her pages. I really liked that idea for creating my “bookplate” so I sketched my shape, covered it with a few layers of gesso, outlined it with paint pen (I added a couple of colors to my small collection of paint pens), and wrote inside it. Wish I had planned out the available space a bit better, but oh, well. I need some new black pens as well, since mine are either completely kaput or have fading ink. I must confess that I ruin them by being terribly impatient…I just can’t seem to wait until my background is completely dry, then the markers and pens get ruined by paint or gesso, as happened here. I desperately need to learn some patience in this department…I have it in most other areas of my life so I should be able to do this! The final touch is the lovely lace I recently bought at a fair I attended…got two large handfuls for only two dollars!

"Create from your Soul" My big message to myself for the purpose and method for this journal. You know all about my business name being "the Creative Soul", but for those who don't know, I named it that because I believe my creative gift came from God and expresses itself straight from my soul and heart. Sometimes when learning something artistically new I have to remind myself to make sure it comes from my soul rather than just copying what I see as my inspiration. Perfect point is the lettering I used. I have pinned to my Pinterest different ways to write so I can learn to expand what is available to me. It would be easy to simply copy what I see, but I want to put my own mark on it, have it be what comes from me learning from an example. More about the techniques on this page in another photo

“Create from your Soul” My big message to myself for the purpose and method for this journal. You know all about my business name being “the Creative Soul”, but for those who don’t know, I named it that because I believe my creative gift came from God and expresses itself straight from my soul and heart. Sometimes when learning something artistically new I have to remind myself to make sure it comes from my soul rather than just copying what I see as my inspiration. Perfect point is the lettering I used. I have pinned to my Pinterest different ways to write so I can learn to expand what is available to me. It would be easy to simply copy what I see, but I want to put my own mark on it, have it be what comes from me learning from an example. More about the techniques on this page in another photo.

I had a happy accident on this page while creating the background...I didn't evenly spread the gesso over the page. It was a white page already, but I wanted to add a bit of texture with the gesso so away I went. When I went to paint over it with watercolor paint the place where I didn't get any or very little absorbed the watercolor to a dark hue, but the places with the gesso were lighter or almost white...I love it so much! This close up shot really shows the variation in hue. More about this page: The lettering was done in watercolor pencils, then I went over the "create" and "soul" with a wet brush. I love using the watercolor pencils because you can get detail with the beauty of watercolor. I added a couple of paper scraps at the bottom and vintage text along the left side. Finally, a note to myself about allowing imperfection.

I had a happy accident on this page while creating the background…I didn’t evenly spread the gesso over the page. It was a white page already, but I wanted to add a bit of texture with the gesso so away I went. When I went to paint over it with watercolor paint the place where I didn’t get any or very little absorbed the watercolor to a dark hue, but the places with the gesso were lighter or almost white…I love it so much! This close up shot really shows the variation in hue. More about this page: The lettering was done in watercolor pencils, then I went over the “create” and “soul” with a wet brush. I love using the watercolor pencils because you can get detail with the beauty of watercolor. I added a couple of paper scraps at the bottom and vintage text along the left side. Finally, a note to myself about allowing imperfection.

And here it is! Oh, forgot to say that I used acrylic paint at the top of the left page to make my "swoops", then outlined in white paint pen and added the dots. I do love the "swoops" (not sure what else to call them). Any thoughts from my readers?

And here it is! Oh, forgot to say that I used acrylic paint at the top of the left page to make my “swoops”, then outlined in white paint pen and added the dots. I do love the “swoops” (not sure what else to call them).
Any thoughts from my readers?

I have also made another couple of pages in my altered book, “All About Women”. I used the same background technique that I happened upon above using the gesso partially covering the page, then watercolor paint on top.

"A Woman's Heart"  As is par with this book the quote (on the right page) is what inspired these pages. It really touches my heart, probably because I found my someone and he reads me and loves me so well. If you can't read it here please scroll down to the close up below.

“A Woman’s Heart” As is par with this book the quote (on the right page) is what inspired these pages. It really touches my heart, probably because I found my someone and he reads me and loves me so well. If you can’t read it here please scroll down to the close up below.

The left hand page has the background with old pages partially covered with gesso then covered with dark purple watercolor. Another hue was added here where I used the very dark vintage paper...another nice surprise. The swoops and the heart were painted with acrylic paint then outlined (with a horribly disfigured tip of a...) black marker. Really need to get those new pens and markers! Ink stamped the words on the heart. The writing is a combination of new styles I am learning. I wrote them in pencil first, then outlined with a troubled, thin black pen. I used dark purple watercolor where I wanted it. Should have used the watercolor pencils here but I didn't think about it. I do love the lettering and mixed styles. I added a nice vintage postage stamp at the bottom which helps ties the two pages together.

The left hand page has the background with old pages partially covered with gesso then covered with dark purple watercolor. Another hue was added here where I used the very dark vintage paper…another nice surprise. The swoops and the heart were painted with acrylic paint then outlined (with a horribly disfigured tip of a…) black marker. Really need to get those new pens and markers! Ink stamped the words on the heart. The writing is a combination of new styles I am learning. I wrote them in pencil first, then outlined with a troubled, thin black pen. I used dark purple watercolor where I wanted it. Should have used the watercolor pencils here but I didn’t think about it. I do love the lettering and mixed styles. I added a nice vintage postage stamp at the bottom which helps ties the two pages together.

The right page with the opening tag...the tag was painted on both sides with acrylic paint; the white is gesso and my purple pen is working quite well, thank you. I attached the tag with matching washi tape; unfortunately it isn't having good staying power, but I'm not sure what I'll do about it at this point. A little acrylic heart graces the lower left of the page and more vintage stamps at the top.

The right page with the opening tag…the tag was painted on both sides with acrylic paint; the white is gesso and my purple pen is working quite well, thank you. I attached the tag with matching washi tape; unfortunately it isn’t having good staying power, but I’m not sure what I’ll do about it at this point. A little acrylic heart graces the lower left of the page and more vintage stamps at the top.

Pull the tag open to see a lovely old photo of a woman at the beach. Wish I looked that good in my swimming suit! I painted with dark purple watercolor around the border of the photo and love how the photo resisted part of it. Great surprises with experimentation these days! The back of the tag has a bit of wrapping paper and more washi tape.

Pull the tag open to see a lovely old photo of a woman at the beach. Wish I looked that good in my swimming suit! I painted with dark purple watercolor around the border of the photo and love how the photo resisted part of it. Great surprises with experimentation these days! The back of the tag has a bit of wrapping paper and more washi tape.

And just to show how much my “someone”, my wonderful husband, cares about what is written on my heart and knows how to read it, he wanted to see the completed pages (as he always wants to see my completed art and jewelry *swoon*) and said how much he loved what I did and the quote I chose. I told him that I was so blessed that he was my someone.

Peace to your hearts, Sara

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