Last weekend was the 50th Annual Arts Festival in Oconomowoc, WI. and my first time visiting the event. Oh boy did we have a blast!
Giving you some background; Oconomowoc is probably the cutest town in south eastern Wisconsin(in my personal opinion) Situated in the heart of lake country this classic American small town always has something going on. And this charming collection of local and far flung artists is no exception.
So one glorious Sunday afternoon Tay, her baby beardie and I headed out in search of culture and the unexpected,
The event did not disappoint in either category. There was so much unique talent represented and displayed.
We were told that normally the event is much bigger and yet given about a hundred vendors it definitely was well attended. These pictures are just a few of the works that stood out to me.
And of course I couldn’t go to an art event without coming home with a friend. Isn’t he glorious?
So last week I shared with you a growing new interest called Bible Art Journaling. This week I thought it would be cool to share with how you can use art journaling not only for yourself, but to help the kiddos pay attention and grasp what the Lord is saying through His precious Word too!
This particular project we did while reading through Jonah(I know shocking right?) I always have little projects, or just simple coloring pages ready, when I do the morning devotions with the youngsters. They art while I read.
This project was especially fun as I didn’t critique they’re color choices or placement of their shadow box characters. I simply showed them mine and then read the Bible, while they, completely unchecked, decided how they wanted their masterpieces to look.
The below projects we used to keep interest in a rather boring part(to the kids anyway) the Genealogy of Christ. So we made family trees. We also used it as a review on the stories and characters we had already learned about(we’ve been reading through the Bible for about a year now). So don’t be daunted by “hard” and/or “boring” passages of Scripture.
In the end all that’s really important is that you’re spending time with your kids, rearing and training them in the way they should go. And the most important thing is that they are hearing God’s Word and seeing the importance you’re putting on it by making it a priority.
We’ll look at this I have another new hobby! When will I have the time?
So a friend from my church Bible Art Journaling(and frankly her Bible is gorgeous!!!) And she introduced me to it and roped me into an art event my church is hosting next month. Yikes! I will be giving a 15 minute presentation on how to do Art Journaling with your kiddos as part of your devotions to a projected 100 people… Only slightly nervous.
So what is Art Journaling?? Glad you asked! It is exactly what it sounds like. Taking something you learned in your Bible Study and transforming into Art!
Obviously I love water colors so that’s primarily what I use, but you can use any medium you’d like! The church event is going to cover how to inductively study the Bible and then give you examples on how to express that throw art. To the glory of God and the encouragement and beautification of those around you.
It’s only slightly addicting as you can tell. And it amazing how once you start looking at what you’re learning as a device to meditate and shape the Scripture into “masterpieces”. (I use the term loosely for my work) And yes kiddos can do it to! (I will be doing a separate post about that)
What do you think? Have you ever tried Bible Art Journaling?
Hello all! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. It has turned out to be a very wet week here in Wisconsin, but I personally love the spring showers. One, because they mean green and growing things and additionally they remained me of fairy tales, an English countryside and simpler ways. Which as I find I am more and more drawn too. Anyone else?
While I am super excited to get outside once the rain has passed; rainy days are practically made for arts and crafts. Below are four of my all time fav crafts that I have done with the kiddos.
I guess I should have said these are the top four projects we’ve done in the last six months. And most of them tie into whatever we’re learning in school, but are still fun and simple crafts you could do with your littles.
First up are these awesome Greek shields(we were learning about Greece obviously) and they were very fun to make. The easiest way would be to take pizza cardboard circles, then google Greek shield patterns and paint. I outlined the designs for the kids and then let them paint in the blank spaces. It was loads of fun.
Next is this visual representation of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(again school related) that turned out a lot better then I thought it was going to. Using oil pastels and then coconut oil on q-tips to blend the colors. We “arted” while we listened to Vivaldi’s composition. It was a really relaxing Saturday morning. Again I drew the tree and then let them have at it. Just directing them to think of the colors of spring. And what colors make other colors. We talked lots about color and picking them with purpose for this project(A color wheel is very helpful to have handy)
This project was from last year but was also school related and was just so much fun to do! Using painting tape you cover up the bridge and then just using acrylics and our fingers we blended like Monet. Once dried we coated it with Modge Podge to give it the nice sheen.
Finally if you want endless rounds of laughter grab your favorite Barbie Doll, dress her in her best and roll her in t.p. Make sure you do the recommended three wraps(like the Egyptians did) and then wrap her in a blanket(or felt sheet) before taping on your carefully colored death mask. If you aren’t in stitches at this point burry your mummified Barbie in a cardboard box sarcophagus, which you can also decorate. One of the littles took this project even further and buried his mummy under his bed with treasures, statues and extra clothes for the afterlife. I unwittingly stumbled upon the burial ground when cleaning a few weeks ago. Let me just say it made my day!
So there you have it, some fun activities for you and your littles to do. Let me know if you do any of these projects I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.
Another possible title for this post could have been “Shout-out Book of the Month: Imagine a Forest”. If y’all follow me on Instagram(which you should be doing by the way) then you saw my post about dabbling into the realm of Folk Art painting. I know, I know I don’t need another hobby. What with writing, knitting, sewing and watercolors, who needs one more art stimulus? Well apparently I do. I keep telling myself that folk art will not just be an excuse I use to buy paints. (Though I did have a ridiculously fun time at Hobby Lobby yesterday arranging my color pallet- look below)
Before we get into discussing the actual book by Dinara Mirtalipova(you should follow her on the gram as well) I thought I would give you my brief reasons, or reason, for choosing folk art as my next creative outlet.
So it basically boils down to the fact that my Mom(my chief inspiration for all things art and creativity) was first hooked on art by taking a folk art class back in her twenties. When I was growing up my Mom had this black, wooden box in which she kept all of her paint supplies(brushes, paints, etc.) On the box were these beautiful, colorful and delicate birds and flowers. This was the box my Mom painted while taking her folk art class. And she has kept it(still has it) through moves and even downsizing into an RV. So she suggested that I look into this style of art. (She’s an enabler what can I say)
A day of research later and I purchased Imagine a Forest on Amazon and eagerly awaited it’s arrival!
This isn’t the first art book I have purchased(and won’t be the last… seeing as how I bought one yesterday) And one thing I am learning about art books is that not all books are created equal. There’s one particular watercolor art book that springs to mind when I write this. The book is great don’t get me wrong- As in there is nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t inspire my to paint or stretch my wings. It’s just kinda… blah. The author/artist’s tastes run opposite to mine. She is very modern in her style and color pallet, while I am learning I like art inspired by nature and history(shocker) From the colors and tones to the subject matter. Birds, beasts and especially flowers get my creativity juices following.
Naturally(I mean I think you can tell from the title) Dinara is heavily influenced by nature and the fairytale aspect of it. She is just a super captivating artist and her instructions are laid back and allow you a lot of room to improvise. Once I start a project from her book I can’t put the brush down! (Below are a few of my beginner creations- I can’t stress beginner enough)
If you’re wondering what I am painting all my little doodles on(you should follow my Instagram) it’s a wooden box I purchased on Amazon to keep my water paints and brushes in. Like Mother like daughter, what can I say?
A little random right now but I actually have a plan to tell a whole story through the sketches on the box. So they may seem random but by the end they will all be tied together. I think that might be one of the things I love most about folk art, the ability to tell stories and emotions.(Yes I know you can do that with all art, but for some reason folk art is just a more natural way for me to tell stories… I don’t know)
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you are inspired to try out folk art yourself. Or maybe if you are already a folk art artist!! Also for you artists if you have any great art related resources(in any medium) please leave below!!
With the wonderful adaptions of Little Women and Emma that have come out recently, my mind has once again turned towards my favorite Jane Austin novel Mansfield Park. I believe(and I think few would disagree with me when I say) that it is the only(or at least one of the few) Austin novels that has never gotten a fair shake as far as Hollywood goes.
The reasons for this are many, but they basically boil down to the issue the novel had when it was first printed; Fanny Price is not Elizabeth Bennet. In fact she’s the exact opposite. Where Elizabeth is out spoken and strong willed, Fanny is quiet and seems to bend to everyone else’s will with little or no fight. I’m sure her character is a puzzle to many. But where most people see her being a door mat to introverted, people-pleasures like myself I see someone we can relate to. Did I mention she’s also very perceptive? She saw the faults in the Crawfords, where everyone else only saw their beauty and charm. Fanny takes the belittling of her extended family and never stands up for herself against personal affronts, but she won’t compromise when it comes to principle. (Case in point marrying Mr. Henry Crawford) Despite her ill treatment she still seeks the good in everyone, even her rival for Edmund, Miss. Crawford and her aunt Mrs. Norris. She refuses to participate in the play even with intense peer pressure(for those of you who have read Mansfield Park you know of which play I speak) She faithful takes care of all those around her with no regard for repayment.
Another reason Mansfield Park has trouble is because Edmund Bertram is not Mr. Darcy. Poor Edmund held up to such high standards. Edmund is presented as this upstanding, uncompromising figure of virtue that is until Miss. Crawford arrives. Then he seems to lose all reason and falls head over heels for a lesser woman. But he’s a young man(and last time I checked men can be stupid) And remember we are largely seeing him through Fanny’s eyes and she’s desperately in love with her cousin, so his faults aren’t as apparent at first. Besides in the end Edmund finally sees the light and stands up when it counts. I think people have a hard time with the male lead not being perfect, but this makes him human yes?
Another thing is people try to make Miss. Mary Crawford a villain, which she’s not. She’s just beautiful, self obsessed, worldly minded and of small character with no figure of virtue to model her life after. She even admits this to Fanny and how she wishes she was more like Fanny. She’s not wicked or intentionally after the shattering of Fanny’s heart. I honestly think she loves Edmund as much as she can share her heart with someone other than herself and her brother. So she’s not a villain.
Basically Fanny is ignored by her whole circle until by the end of the book they find her the most faithful, loving and sweetest of them all. She’s intelligent and thoughtful, resourceful and unselfish. In the same way Fanny is ignored and overlooked by her family and friends, she has been overlooked by Hollywood. They can’t seem to leave her fully rounded character alone. They have to make her spunky or sarcastic. They have to add a sex appeal or… something! She can’t be quiet and faithfully diligent in good, cause no body gets what they want by waiting for it. She has to be assertive! But in doing this they ruin her. They ruin the people around her and they ruin the whole story.
Anyway I have always thought, since first reading and falling in love with this story when I was fourteen, that this book had the tremendous potential to be a great film! Thus below is my dream cast and crew of…
Let’s kick it off with the chief protagonist, Fanny Price played Ella Fanning. Casting the lead was hard for me but when I finally thought of Ella I was like, “YES!” I think she could definitely pull off the sweetness of Fanny and her face is so expressive she could convey a lot with saying little. Audiences would instantly be drawn toward her and be unable not to care for her out come. Or at least not be able to ignore her.
Next up is our male lead Edmund Bertram played by William Moseley. When casting Edmund I needed someone the audience could/would like easily. And after watching Carrie Pilby a while back I thought William would be a perfect fit. He could give Edmund a sense of maturity and yet keep that playfulness of youth most actors have failed to bring to the role. (In my personal opinion)
Mary Crawford was a little harder to cast. As I mentioned above a lot of people try to make her the villain of the story, so I needed someone you couldn’t all together dislike. Someone charming and of course beautiful. When I hit upon Caitriona Balfe I knew instantly she’d be perfect. She would add sophistication to the role, while keeping Miss. Crawford not all together bad and not all together good.
So this is a shout out to one of my fav actors(Merlin fan here! #notashamed) Colin Morgan. Again I wanted you to not totally hate Henry Crawford at the first and almost pity him at the last. I needed someone(like Mary Crawford) who could be charming and attractive, but with actual character so you could see what Fanny saw; that glimmer of potential. Even if that potential is sadly never realized.
Sir Thomas Bertram had to be intimidating and frankly I could think of no one else than Charles Dance. I thought since he is so serious and… Well scary. That his overbearing personality would throw some humor into the pompous character of Sir Thomas.
Lady Bertram had to be lovably idiotic and Imelda Staunton has pulled off that kind of character off before. I draw your attention to Sense and Sensibility– love her in that movie! I think she could pull off the hypochondriac Lady Bertram with her little pug dog and needlework very well.
After casting William Moseley as Edmund I had a hard time finding someone to play Thomas Bertram. Someone who wouldn’t all together get lost in the thus assembled cast. In the book Tom is a gambler and a drinker and has a very redemptive story arc. He’s actually one of my favorite characters in the book. I finally settled on Eddie Redmayne. Knowing he had the kind of range it would take to pull of Tom’s evolving character.
I think I had the most fun casting the Miss. Bertram’s. I knew I needed two young ladies, who could play the ugly-step-sister role without being ugly nor unsophisticated. They needed to be handsome, well breed but as mean and cunning as sneaks. AnnaSophia Robb as Maria Bertram is absolutely the best! I think she’d have fun playing the vain and pretentious Maira.
Casting Maria’s fiancé(and future husband) Rushworth was very important to get right in my opinion. As a rich, imbecilic bore Rushworth is a side character, who I felt could add some of that outlandish humor. Harry Melling almost instantly came to mind and I love him as Rushworth.
Julia Bertram as played by Bel Powley. She could hold her own against AnnaSophia and add some of the air-headed silliness to any conversation. Can’t you just picture the afore mentioned cast traipsing about Rushworth’s estate? I certainly can.
Ah Mrs. Norris who could ever play your cruel, gossiping, miser of a character? (The true villain of the story by the way) Glen Close… I mean I think it’s perfect. As the sister to Lady Bertram and Fanny’s mother, Mrs. Price, I think Glen would be absolutely phenomenal!
William Price was my final character to cast. I needed someone heroic that could be everyone’s older brother, so I choose Dean-Charles Chapman. He could pull of that lovable rogue, who pops in everyone once and awhile to keep poor Fanny sane.
That brings us to Mrs. Price the youngest sister to Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris. I needed a strong willed woman. Having just finished Sherlock I thought Amanda Abbington would be just that woman. Marrying a penniless soldier just to spite her family, Mrs. Price is the poor mother of many children. Her character is super interesting to me and would be fun to flesh out.
Mr. Price needs to be somewhat laughable and yet not all together repulsing. I think Mark Heap would be perfect. He could add the whimsical goofiness to the role and yet also be somewhat depressing as being a penniless man, who will never amount to anything.
Finally if I could choose anyone to direct this film, who I would trust to do an amazing job and to do justice by Jane Austin’s story and characters, it would be Greta Gerwig. She wouldn’t see Fanny as some weak heroine, who’s character needed to be added to. She would see her quite strength and faithfulness and would finally give Fanny and Mansfield Park the justice in film it deserves.
Yeah so this is how I’ve been spending my isolated hours. I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree with my casting? Who would you have casted differently? Would you see this movie? I’d love to discuss!
This is a hobby I started… I guess two years ago. I took an art class on art journaling and then last year I officially dived in and turned my daily planner into a doodle filled “art” book. I use the term art loosely here because my doodles are a far cry from actually being art. But it was a fun way to keep track of my year and I am continuing the tradition this year.
Once again you can go crazy with this hobby and blow tons of cash on pens, markers, stickers, etc. There are people who bullet journal and obsess over penmanship and cute little banners. Or who really go all out for art journaling, because they can actually sketch or paint. (Totally jealous of those people) But I know my limits. I draw doodles and cartoon characters and call it square. Which is perfectly okay because that’s me and so when I look back at my “art” filled daily planners I can see my own whimsical take on life.
That’s it! These are my hobbies for the year. What about you? Any hobbies? Old ones? New ones? Let me know in the comments below.
Okay post #2 on my hobby 2020 theme is all about sewing. Now over the months of November and December I did a lot of knitting, which my Mom had taught me to do when I was younger. My Mom is like the craftiest person I know and has definitely passed it on to us girls. I mean she has done everything: painting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, hook rugs, etc. Any time I call her and say I am thinking of trying such and such she’s like, “Yeah I think you’d like that. I remember doing that and really enjoying it.” It’s like what has this woman not tried! But it’s actually really nice because if I have questions or need critiquing she is literally a text away.
Getting back on track; I knitted hats for friends and family and those big fluffy blankets as Christmas gifts. Once the Christmas season was over I missed my knitting. I could have obviously kept knitting, but I didn’t want to knit for knits sake. I wanted to create something!
Running with this I started to toy with the idea of embroidery. I had been thinking of trying my hand at this gorgeous art(cause some of it is literally art worthy- see below) but what really got me excited was some posts I read by one of my favorite bloggers Carly the Prepster. In these posts she talked about taking up, specifically needle point. That was it. I decided to try my hand at the needle.
I rushed to Hobby Lobby and then Joann’s and purchased a beginners kit for cross stitch and embroidery. (I incidentally couldn’t find a needle point beginners kit. I have sense found one on Amazon but I thought that was kind of weird that neither store had anything. Is there somewhere else I should try looking?)
I have since started work on my cross stitch and have made a few… mistakes. I didn’t realize how twisted your thread can get and so the back of my work is an ugly, sloppy mess. And I miss counted a row, so I had to fudge it. But other than that I have been greatly enjoying it. Last night I sewed well past ten o’clock(which is something for me as you know I’m normally dead to the world by 9:30 pm) I just had to finish my mushroom!
Kind of like my craft coffee craze, sewing can easily turn into an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to. Like anything you can learn the tricks and tips of the trade and bypass all the overpriced crazy crap. I have created a Pinterest board(link at the top of the page) called “needle art” where I am pinning all my inspiration. Plus be sure to follow the old instagram(link is also at the top of the page) to see some of my own meager contributions to the sewing community.
That’s another thing about hobbies. You stick your little pinky toe into the water only to find out it’s not a kiddy pool but an ocean of people and ideas and tools. It’s actually really cool when you stop and think about it. Anyway…
Gift Cards- Since teens can be hard to shop for skip the drama and give the gift of a shopping trip. Again they will never say “nah” to this.
Nerf Axes– What is it with boys and twirling things/throwing things/hitting each with things? At least these are padded.
Stationary- Put their names on it and them matching gel pens and markers and stickers and so and so and so. Just let the creative juices flow! Maybe it’s just me, who was always scribbling on loose pieces of paper(still do) but I loved getting notebooks and pens for Christmas.
A Day Out- Something a friend of mine is getting in the tradition of giving her kids, instead of gifts are experiences. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, or a night to the theater(or movies), or a trip to a museum. They grow out of things and clothes and likes, but quality time with you is irreplaceable.
LEGOs- Again! Cause who doesn’t like LEGOs?
Funko POP Figures- These adorable little figures of their favorite movie, TV, and game characters are fun gifts that are highly addictive. (Why are they so sticking cute?!)
As a musical enthusiast and broadway lover I have a short list of stories I’d love to see be turned into musicals. (Doesn’t everyone have a list?) Get ready to wish for these musical adaptions too!
How to Marry a Millionaire – The classic film starring Lauren Becall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Garble(plus the adorable William Powell) turned into a tie tapping, hilarious and classic rom-com. Imagine it; two broke blondes and brunette plot to marry millionaires in New York. The first guy they meet falls for the brunette but his just any ordinary Joe. Next they find older oil king(William Powell) a prince from the Middle East and creepy New York businessman. However each in turn falling for a forest ranger, a man in the witness protection program and that ordinary Joe from earlier. Oh and Joe turns out not to be so ordinary but the wealthiest bachelor in New York! If that isn’t the perfect frame work for a good musical I don’t know what is.
Oliver and Company- Quiethonestly I can’t believe Disney hasn’t already converted this forgotten classic into a musical. Adding just a few new, updated numbers to it’s already impressive musical vocabulary and fleshing out the side characters a bit more and you have a wonderful musical. (80’s-90’s glory)
Prince of Egypt- I have great news guys this one is actually becoming- scratch that has become a musical!! And it’s about time! The music and the story are amazing and I can’t wait for this musical to go on tour. I’ve linked a video of some of the amazing music below. (When You Believe)
Cats Don’t Dance- This is probably one of my favorite animated movies ever and that’s mainly because the music is so darn catchy! The plot could easily be turned from animals being refused speaking roles in Hollywood to a group of young aspiring actors being refused roles. Maybe ones they even originated. Oh I would see this musical in a heart beat! (Example #1, Example #2, and Example #3)
That’s it my fine people! Do you have a story that you think would make an awesome musical? Do you have a favorite musical? A favorite song from a musical? List below!!
Favorite Musical- Three way tie between Hamilton/Phantom/Anastasia