Behind the Art with Jen Matott

Moving FORWARD or onward. I like the thought of moving forward even when I'm wishing time would slow down.  It doesn't make sense to me to stand still where it's comfortable.  What has always been is comfortable.  Change is hard and scary! 

  I had taking this photograph in the driveway of my parent's house. It is symbolic of a couple things: 1) Autumn leaves signify change to me.  The season's change and the trees change.  You can't prevent the leaves from changing color and falling any more than you can stop time.
2) I'm always coming home to my childhood residence because my parents are still there.  They have been a constant in my life but even so, it is different being an adult and realizing that life must not have been easy for them, as parents.  I know it's not easy for me at times!  I appreciate them so much and am thankful that they encouraged me to grow up and move forward even if that was really hard for them to let go.
 These kraft triangles are adorable and I layered some bits of papers behind them.  The gorgeous glimmery spray was perfect to add a touch of sparkle to the papers.
 Arrows were symbolic in this page for moving forward even though I can look behind me and remember where I came from.
 Now that I'm 40 years old and a parent, I think it's especially important to look forward and plan for change.  I love my kids and my family!  It's amazing to notice how big my kids have gotten and how much they have changed.  It makes me sad some days and I want to slow time down so I can keep them little for a little longer.  Ultimately, I know I can't do that.... so I have to remind myself to just keep up... Keep moving
 It also means that I keep moving forward in my goals!  This past year, I started on a fitness and nutrition goals and I want to keep momentum on the progress I've made! 

What do you want to move forward with this year?


Behind the Art with Melissa

Hi everyone!

I am here today sharing more about the last page I created using the January kit FORWARD. I thought it fitting to record a page focused on my word for the year. I love choosing a word as my focus. It usually takes me awhile to come up with something. After pondering all that happened the previous year, sometimes it's a word that would come naturally. Such is the case with my word for 2015... SOAR.

2014 was filled with transition and some ups and downs. I chose the word DREAM for that year because I didn't want to give up vision. Instead of allowing my soul to wallow, I wanted to push myself to DREAM of the impossible... and, heck, even the possible!

The latter half of 2014 has been amazing and I feel like I'm launching into 2015. It's a pretty sweet feeling! So much goodness right now. I kept having a picture of an eagle soaring in the sky. Unafraid. Looking for it's next perch. Enjoying the freedom of open wing and flying into the unknown. SOAR. It's a powerful word, in my opinion. It doesn't just mean I'm flying... or floating... it means I have my arms outstretched, trusting in the one who is guiding me... I'm relaxed... I'm free... but able to choose the destination I want to go. Power.

The reason I chose to record my word using the theme of FORWARD is because that is the direction I'm choosing to travel. Sure, looking back can be a positive experience. I don't want to forget. I definitely want to treasure the memories and lessons. But one cannot gain ground or MOVE... if they don't move forward with their life. So, while I'm soaring, I'm not looking back or flying backwards. I have my face forward... moving forward... excited for the next adventure.

Have you chosen a word for the year? I encourage you to create a page about it! Record your thoughts and goals and then, hang it on your wall somewhere. Let it be a reminder for you through out the year! 


Behind the Art with Stacey

Sometimes, I wish time would slow down and even stand still.  I can't believe how much my two kids are growing up.  It freaks me out that Nathan has grown three shoe sizes in only a few months.  I know I can control time and it is just moving forward.

The thought has made me nostalgic.  I have the great fortune of teaching at the same schools where my kids attend.  It has been a gift to have them so close to me.  I run into them daily and I love to see them grow and flourish.  I have a friend who is in the same situation.  Our kids get along great and we have often talked about how lucky we are.  Just recently, we sat and watched our kids at the winter concert.  I got tears in my eyes because they are graduating to the middle school next year.  We talked about how many of the school events will hold different meanings to us this year.

I used these photos my kids and my friend's children that was taken a couple of years ago.  These guys will go through school together. Who knows, maybe some of them will go to prom together!    I used the every day card to ground the photos and to represent the fact that I need to value the everyday!  Time is going fast and my kids are most important. 

I used the rub-on This is what it's all about to capture my feelings.  I incorporated the triangles simply because I like the linear edges with the randomness.  Isn't that what life is about?

I captured my feelings through words.  It is bittersweet, yet I am going to focus on the positive!


Behind the Art with Felecia

When first I saw this amazing piece of paper form the Maggie Holmes Open Book Collection, I kept thinking about the fabulous character of Edna Mode. She is one of my most favorite characters because she has the greatest lines.

And this one came RIGHT to mind...truly we cannot look FORWARD if we are looking BACK. 

But its such a very small quote and such a large piece for a project...

So...I once again "loved" my papers and built up some layers by distressing, folding, tearing, bending, crinkling just generally not allowing them to be smooth.

I pulled out that lovely shimmer mist, plus the beautiful Fireworks mist from the Energy Kit, and some red and gold that I had on hand. 

Truly this was just a chance for me to play with the idea of Edna and this quote. Don't look back...be in the now. 

Once everything was dry, I began layering and messing until something seemed to work for me. The idea of moving FORWARD is very refreshing for me. I've lived in a bit of a spin cycle for the last few years...two small children and a crazy job have a way of doing that to a person. 

But sometimes, I give myself permission to just play around and see what happens.

I think maybe I should give myself permission more often!!!

Peace, ya'll!


Behind the Art with Melissa

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I'm sharing with you more about this page...

Last week I shared a page with a similar take on Forward. And while they are definitely similar, I want to point out how they differ, as far as where my mind and emotions were at, at the time of creating.

While both are capturing a "full steam ahead". This one is more contemplative. Have you ever watched a movie when the character is driving away from a location and they look in the rearview mirror of their car? Then, tears begin to stream down their face as they gain composure and face forward. That is kind of where I was at, at the time of creating this. I didn't journal about my thoughts (the glancing in the rearview mirror part...) for a reason. 

I am determined to face forward. I know there is something on the horizon and every time I let my mind and heart FEEL that anticipation, I get excited. I love the possibilities that the future holds. And, in this exact moment, that is what I wanted to cling to. I didn't want to think about what I could have done differently in the past. 

How about you? Have you decided to let the past be the past, face forward and face your future with excitement and anticipation? I'd love to hear about it!


Behind the Art with Stacey

The January kit is called Forward.  I think it is a powerful word whether it represents the fact that you are a forward person or that you are marching forward.  I took inspiration in the idea of looking forward to who I want to be this coming  year.  I like to set goals for myself and putting them in writing only makes them more real.

I wanted this page to be feminine so I used the scalloped paper along the top and bottom.  I purposefully chose the Storyteller book spine.  I picked embellishments that matched the theme such as the check mark, happy heart transparency and the banner stickers.  Life is about small victories!

I placed the 2015 stickers on the wood tag to give it dimension.  I also used the stars because I want it to be a banner year!

I used a photo of myself...go with it and take those selfies.  You will be happy you did as you look back in time.  I used this paper from the kit to journal my resolutions for the year. These reflect those things if life that are troubling me or things I want to get better at.


Behind the Art with Felecia

Hello, my wonderful friends!  I am well entrenched in January and really getting some focus around how I want this year to shape up. I don't always start this process in December because I sort of like to wallow in the Holiday season and don't put a tremendous effort into starting the year with any bangs. For me at least, purposeful steps toward change make more progress than trying to change everything all at once. 

I'm a planner...sometimes to such an extent that I find myself in bondage to it, but THAT is not what this post is about! 

I love planning...I like to know what there is to do in a vacation spot, what sort of meals I should buy groceries for, how to dress for a particular day and when I need to work from home so that I can be at a school event or something.

I love lists...they make me happy. Especially the part where I get to put a check box next to one of my items and call it DONE.

I also like planning in a more vague way...goal setting, if you will, except that proper goal setting involves a date and usually mini-goals. 

But I like to put some  things out there...I want them in front of me...that way I have a direction to point myself in when the planning doesn't pan out...

So, for my second layout using Inside Out's FORWARD kit, I chose to document my list of "things to do" in 2015.

I ADORE these celebratory, multi-colored bubbles. They make me HAPPY!  I'm also experimenting with some dimension (don't everybody faint at that admission!) I want to try lifting and layering in a way that works for me and my style.

I used some gold twine from my stash and a couple of aged gold doilies. I also ran some gold mist over the beautiful numbers. 

Each layer was treated to a nice massage - some bending and edging and tearing and inking - to help create dimension and a nice platform for my goals. I really thought about these and wanted my bits and pieces to reflect that I "touched" them a lot...

My list also reflects my word for the year - simplicity. One or two words, a direction to go in, a place to focus my attention for making my life a healthier and more peaceful place to be.

Peace, ya'll!