Behind the Art with Melissa and a Sneak Peek of October!

Hi everyone!

Well, it's the last day of September.

I'm here to close out this month with one of my pages using the THRIVE kit.

When I was browsing for some inspiration, I was immediately drawn to this quote from Maya Angelou:

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

I love that!

And oh how I would have loved to have met Ms. Angelou. I have a feeling I would have left her presence ready to conquer the world.

One key element of that quote grabbed me. "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.."

oooooooooh... there is a difference!

To me, surviving means I'm hanging onto the board, in the ocean, trying not to drown.

THRIVE means, I'm turning that board into a monster sailboat and getting the heck out of dodge. 

There is an attitude shift when I think of THRIVING versus surviving. I can't even capitalize that word. To show that attitude, I had fun using the smile face wood veneers in the kit. I wanted to use as much color and sass as possible in this layout. I got messy with the ink. I pulled the brightest colors. I layered to my hearts content.

You might even say I was THRIVING creatively. 

Interestingly, I used blue on blue for the main word. THRIVE. Why? 

Not because I am hiding, or unafraid or embarrassed... because I love the idea of understanding that being ME... is thriving. I don't have to do anything but be myself 100%. I can be bold. I can be daring. I can be crazy. But, the bottom line... I am who I am. I am not a victim. I did survive. But... now I'm thriving. Deep in my soul kind of thriving.  

I chose an "off in the distance" photo. I love that smile on my face. It's a smile of contentment, opportunity and optimism. 

How about you? Doesn't THRIVING sound so much better than merely... surviving?

And now....

to switch gears a bit..

It's time to give you a little glimpse at what we are diving into in October! I'm here to give you some visuals of what will be in the kit. And tomorrow! Oh tomorrow... full reveal. It's a FUN one! You're going to need some good ENERGY! ;)

Thanks for swinging by and we will see you tomorrow!

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Behind the Art with Stacey

One of the coolest things about using the SFTIO's kits is that I have done more pages about me.  I think it is important to scrap personal pages that record your history.  I know my kids will love those pages one day.  I have been trying to create at least one page per month that is mainly about me.

This month, I wrote about all the things that help me to thrive in spite of life's challenges.  Life is not always easy and there are many demands.  But we move forward and we grow.  We can either be happy during those phases or not.

I think that by scrapping about what makes you happy, you appreciate it more.

I went with really bold colors for this page.  Doesn't it scream happy!  I used a selfie that I surrounded with orange paper and my title.  To smile, I need certain things in life.

I scattered some stars along the side in order to connect to the numbers.  I made a list of the things that help my thrive and make me smile.  I also used the arrows to direct the eye.
I used the Such a Good Day tag and love the point.  I used that as inspiration to add more triangular points to the right.  I cut them from a sheet of the paper and layered them under the word phrase.  I like how it adds even more vibrant color.  I used the stripes as places to hold my journaling. 
I love how happy this page is and how it focuses on the positive.  I strive to do that everyday!


Behind the Art with Felecia

I've been a headache sufferer for years...over 20.

I've always thought that they were my fault - the product of mis-managed stress, too little exercise, bad food. I was diagnosed years ago with severe stress headache...and I owned that diagnosis. 

But I made a promise to my husband this year to see a neurologist about my headaches...and she informed me that they were migraine. For some reason, this diagnosis was like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.

And in a world where much of my time is spent serving others - admittedly to very stressful levels - I felt like I finally didn't have to carve out more time (stress!) to figure out it all out (stress!) and schedule more things into my busy schedule to deal with it (stress!)

The blessing is mixed...it has meant a whole new set of medications that I've had to get used to and keeping daily track of where I'm at health wise...plus they are not all the way gone.

I was on the way "down" from a headache when I finished this project. It wasn't hard to make it look like I felt... 

Like I was surviving. Like things were very bright, but dark. Like some words seemed like YELLING and that my focus was off a bit.

I wanted very badly to give hi-light to the words of HOPE, the words that I feel like I speak out of my mouth all the time about migraines. You see, when you can't even see straight from the pain of a headache all you want is survival...You want to get THROUGH and move on without pain. THRIVING isn't even an option in this condition.

It seemed right that this thing that currently consumes me in the area of my health should be something I can put into a project. Its negative and painful and the polar opposite of thriving.

Ultimately, this will be something that I learn to manage, that I learn to prevent, that I conquer. Its an awesome feeling to have hope that at some point this will be a part of my past and will no longer stand in the way of my life. 

Peace, ya'll!


Behind the Art with Jen

 Hi everyone!  I have another of my pages to share.  This one is a journal page about not sweating the small stuff and not fearing mistakes.

 All my life, I have struggled to control things that are not mine to control... Once I let go of that control and try to just go with the flow.  Turning something disappointing into a positive is a skill that I have had to practice.  It's hard to not feel terrible when something goes wrong but dwelling on it is not productive.  I hate wasting time on things I can't control now.  So, this page is about being yourself and letting things roll off your back when you feel like obsessing.

  Dwelling makes you unhappy and I hate being unhappy.  I want to live in today and not worry about tomorrow!
Okay, so how did I make this page?   I used the floral paper as the background.  The leaf mask was used with Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gesso. I did trace the leaf onto scrap paper and used it as a solid stencil.  Once dry, I drew on top of the areas with pen. 
 Watered down paint dripped down the page added some more color.  I also used Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Whipped Spackle through a dotted stencil for more texture.
What do you do to stay happy and not obsess about wrongs or bad things?   I think what we "feed" ourselves will be what thrives.


Behind the Art with Melissa

Happy Tuesday and second day of Fall (to those of us in the northern hemisphere...)

Today I'm sharing a layout dedicated to close friendships. Those friends who are like siblings... there is a tightness that is unbreakable. And if it ever did break... oooooh the heart ache.

It's those friendships that I KNOW help me thrive in life. I love how the cultivating goes both ways. A good friendship is one where each gives and takes. We both support one another and we both seek out advice, companionship, empathy, etc., etc., etc. A good friend knows when it's time to pour the wine bottle and when it is time to just sit. 

I am so thankful for the few friends I have in my life that have that "status". SO thankful. 

I did a lot of "seasoning" on this page. I wanted to sprinkle bright colors, happy faces and bold words to describe how I feel about these friendships. In my head, I think about seasonings used in cooking. Without them, the food is bland. So... you need some spice. And that's how I used the enamel dots and giant bling and smiley face. The seasoning.

I loved that I got the WOW clip in my bag. It fits perfect with this page because I truly do sit back and say "wow". I am blessed beyond measure by some amazing friendships in my life. 

More "seasoning" with a lovely transparency. Transparencies are such great symbolism to put on a page. Not only do they look great from a design point of view but, they also exude the act of being transparent. That's another quality in a great friendship. No masks. No fronts. It is what it is. The good, the bad and the ugly. 

And here is the whole page after all the close ups. That fab photo was taken the second day I moved back to my hometown.  It was a GREAT night of reminiscing and being at peace with the decision to come back. I did a grid style on the page because I also like the thought of a brick wall.

(Think the Three Little Pigs and the Bible story of the man who built his house upon the rock versus the man who built his house upon the sand.)

Brick is strong. Stable. Sturdy. It can stand the test of time. It will not crumble. It cannot be blown over by a mean old wolf. 

That's what I like to think about when it comes to my friendships.

Do you find that your friendships help you THRIVE in life? Do you feel uplifted? Have you grown as a person? It's a pretty cool feeling isn't it?

Thanks for swinging by today!


Behind the Art with Stacey

I am a proud pet owner and think furry creatures are so important!  I have had to say goodbye to two pets over the past three years.  It is heartbreaking because they become such a part of your life.  We have a family dog who is in his elderly years.  I reflect all the time about how lucky we have been to have our pets with us for many years.  My cats were 16 and 19 when they passed.  I think the love they have been shown helps them to thrive.

Our dog is almost 13 and we adore him.  We know how lucky we are that he has been in our lives for so long.  I wanted to scrap about it.

I kept the page clean with white cardstock because I wanted the colorful words to pop.  I cut the typography that is on the top of the page from a heart.  I love all the words and how they apply to my dog. 

I knew I wanted a long title so I kept the white cardstock background.  I added the tags and stickers because the words matched my feelings.  I also put down the enamel heart.  I used only the top of the The Best sticker to symbolize how he is our best friend. 

I wrote about how I know time is precious.  He is healthy and doing well, but he is a senior dog.  I am sure to pet him every day because I want to cherish the time we have.  I recorded those feelings even though it is hard to think about.


Behind the Art with Felecia

The more I worked through the ideas and concepts that came up with the word THRIVE, the more I had to ask myself if I really was, outside of my kids, really thriving. 

I decided NOT. 

Not to say that I don't have an amazing life - because I DO. Just that I seem to be running from task to task, checking things off the To Do list, existing rather than growing, learning changing.

I realize that change comes at a different pace for adults, but I still feel strongly that my life should perhaps have more of an impact and be less about the schedule and rules. 

Lots of circles on this one...It seems right, contained...like my day to day life really is. I wanted to investigate where my boundaries are, whether or not they are fuzzy, or hard, or too confining. Its sort of exciting to think about...

I wanted to make clear that I have a GOOD LIFE...by world standards, an EXCEPTIONAL life, but that the idea of THRIVING requires me to give more attention to what I'm doing, that I need to take myself off of autopilot. 

In retrospect, I know that we have seasons...this is something I had to keep in mind as I explored THRIVING. It may be that I"m in a season of rest...or that I've been complacent with my excellent life...or...that I simply needed somebody to get me to think about his word to begin again...

Peace, ya'll!