Friday, April 29, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday - Making art paper

This week has been all about children and creativity and lots of fun...
I learned a lot about making a video tutorial and operating the movie maker software on 
this wonderful computer my guy gave me a while back...
video
Shaving cream and liquid food coloring
art paper tutorial with Miss A...

Tuesday we made crosses at a homeschool function.  
The children were really focused, letting the Holy Spirit speak to them...

I loved the combination of the natural elements and the scrap fibers..

Thursday was her B.I.G. 10 birthday!!!  
I can't believe it!
She says she is "0-teen"!
We went to Don Pablo's for her birthday supper - 
she had a chocolate volcano AND sopapillas for dessert!

She wanted to go hang out with a group of older ladies and learn smocking yesterday...
so we had "Learning Heritage Sewing Arts" for school time (smiles)...
They absolutely loved having a young one...they are all amazed at her heart for hand work...

(You know that means that I am learning to smock...right?)
My project
Next week will be focused again on painting "eternal words..."

till then -

Click here to join other creatives at Studio JRU's Sneak Peek Friday...
StudioJRU

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Beauty of Holiness - Part 3

Continuing the series...

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

I highly encourage you to read Part 1 before continuing through - Part 2 was just a response of mine during a time of stress, not necessary for the thread to be continuous in your heart and mind!

I have been reading a book about making crosses (click here to go to the title on Amazon.)  I love the idea of the empty cross - did you know Christianity is the only religion on earth where our Founder is still alive?!?!?!  I have made crosses, bought crosses, I have a collection of crosses...I love this blog post about crosses in her home.  Click on this post to find an amazing (and alarming!) post about the changing definition of what the cross means "a-cross" the globe...



It has been a month since I posted on "The Beauty of Holiness"...and it was as I was contemplating the cross I had made during Holy Week - in response to the book and my own liturgical roots...that I heard the familiar voice of the Holy Spirit telling me the significance of the piece...this cross is fashioned from a plant's flower stalk and seed pods that grow wild on our land...the common name is a "Century Plant"...it is a succulent that does well in our area of Texas - the border of prairie and desert... I found the pods appealing,

I could see how to remove some of the small branches that once held blossoms and now spent pods to form the cross with little to no manipulation.

Have you ever felt that you have blossomed and now the beauty is all spent?  

The Spirit began parading the images of all the seeds I had ever seen before "the eyes of my spirit".
All smaller than the blossom...dark...hard...
Do you feel "smaller" than before?  Has what you held dear been removed from you?  Are there dark and hard constraints around what you once believed?  Or perhaps you have only known darkness and hardness around the real you? Have dreams fallen to the ground?  Is the life you thought Jesus promised only a shadow now? 

Only hope can see the life waiting to emerge inside a small seed. 
Is there a shred of hope that the promise of God can still come to pass in your life?  Or is even that gone?

For newness to emerge, the dark shell must split apart.
A breaking, more pain in the midst of darkness and hardness?

Sometimes a soaking in water is used to soften the outer shell first, helping the growing life within to push through that which constrains...
Has the water of the Word been soaking around you?  
Is there a whisper of life unfolding deep within?

But still, for this life to emerge healthy, the seed always must be planted - into a dark womb of soil and moisture...where the outer shell dissolves and the plant pushes towards the light...how does this young life always know which way is up and out?
Is this new life, your new dream growing, pushing against the constraints encompassing it?  Is there discomfort, confusion, desire to be out of the seed stage and emerging with leaves and stems...but don't be in a hurry, the continued womb of development is an important part of a strong plant...

And such is the path of life lived in Resurrection power!

Now, if there are ideas that were given as you read, make sure you take a moment to write them, record what the dark outer shell is for you, the constraints that the new life is pushing against, what is the name of this new life for you, etc...reflect on them, and let the Lord show His purpose if you are in a "seed-time"... 


Linking up with Emily and other imperfects at Imperfect Prose 
and Tiffini at Word Women Wednesday
and linking up with Ann at walk with him wednesdays

Monday, April 25, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Continuing the count - at least the written count (#111- #127) -
and remembering gifts given through out time:
(Just one picture today - but let the Lord fill your senses up!)



Rolling thunder and sheet lightning on an April night

The wind blowing so hard that it took out our electricity for several hours, and many blinks after that...resulting in keeping battery powered lights close at hand in anticipation of adventures in the dark!

Morning coffee, made with love

Songs of praise, voices raised together

 Remembering His sacrifice

Empty seed pods - metaphor for empty tombs

Sunrise on the anniversary of Resurrection

Friends

Cheese cake

Easter Egg Hunts - still fun for young and old alike

The trampoline covered in expoded paper confetti color

Fabric, needles and thread

Quiet moments

Personal devotions

Anointing Oil and Prayer

An empty cross

Reading the lists of thankfulness of others,
and being reminded of MORE of the blessings in my life


Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday - Agnus Dei

 
Here is what I have been working on this week...
inspired by my liturgical roots and a picture I saw several years ago...


 My heart returns to the rhythms of the church year during Lent (and Advent!)  
Sometimes I miss the marking of theological time that way, 
but then again, 
I can include those patterns, those rhythms, at home..
where this life I live in the body is lived, 
where Christ is living in me and, 
prayerfully,
through me...

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20




Read this post for a beautiful Biblical Good Friday devotion...by artist Geri Centonze.





StudioJRU


 
Looking forward to seeing what all my friends at Studio JRU
are creating and contemplating during this Holy Week
and this particular Good Friday...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The days of Lent...

The days of Lent...

days of examining our hearts...
days of sacrificing some small, ordinary part of our lives,
so that we can more fully participate in His sacrifice,
so that we can die to self and be raised up to live for Him...

the days of Lent remind us that it isn't just for 40 days that we are to live this way...

He meant it to be a way of life every day...

And isn't this the message of Lent? 
Living in reality, in the reality of our failures, our fears, our frailty?  
And using these to come again and again to Him to cry "I need You, please forgive me!"  

I have loved reading other's Lenten journals, tho'
I have not been walking any particular Lenten journey myself this year...
just simply trying to live in  the path He has put before me...
a place at His side...
to learn to "celebrate" the way He defines it... 
 
This morning, I found His surprise for me,
His gift assuring me that I am still journeying by His side...

His sign...the sign of the cross...and this one is crowned...

"And where did you find such a treasure," you may ask?

In the brown and dirt and grime and filth of life in this world...

Isn't this where we can always find Him?

The water reservoir of our coffee maker!  


Linking up with Tiffini at Word Women Wednesda
and Emily at Imperfect Prose on Thursday

Monday, April 18, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...

Continuing the count - at least the written count (#101- #110) - 
and remembering gifts given through out time:

new tennis shoes with curly laces

cardboard boxes
(do you KNOW everything I can do with a cardboard box? she says excitedly)

God-given imagination!

hair straightened

a friend calling and sharing her great news of being GIVEN an equine therapy business and wanting sweet tweener to come take horse back riding lessons!
(I've been WANTING to learn how to ride a horse! she declared.)
(Yes!  God knew it and He is making it happen at just the right time!)

lunch at school with a public school friend,
and meeting all of her friend's friends!



God's blessings on her even when she is R.E.A.L.L.Y. grounded
(the shoes were 1. on clearance; 2. the brand we had been looking for all week; 3. had the new "fitness heel"; 4. and gel in the bottom!!! He gave her EXACTLY what she wanted!)


Two sleepover birthday parties (but on the same night!)



watching her live in joy

learning, always learning




Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday - Whatever is...

Remember this from last week?
  I am progressing along with it..
I just need to add some collage elements on the left side and maybe stamp 
some flowers on the right side.
I think I will leave the word blocks more white, and not do my usual colorwash over them.

I also have been really pressing in to the Lord for clarity on what I wrote about here...and He has placed a "picture" of the path right on my lap - my laptop that is!  Finally I can "see" more clearly...it means much work on my part, but renewed energy to the task (I have recently been asking Him, "Am I a writer or an artist?" - and His reply has been "Yes!")  I guess I already knew that...
but His "yes" pushed me through some thinking that had been blocking my path...

so - I am also requesting and coveting prayers from those who read here...
and if you would like to be a part of a "feedback group" to review what I am writing, would you mind putting your email address in the "subscribe" box?  I need to test that feature : )  And, I know it will be June before I have something complete enough for review.......

Also, I am in the process of making another tutorial (!) for the pieces with just one word on them...
I am thinking of calling those pieces "Eternal Words"...what do you think?  But it will definitely be finished after Easter (or Resurrection Sunday!)


Joining with other creatives at Studio JRU...

StudioJRU

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to REALLY receive a gift...

Our sweet tweener received an early birthday present in the mail this week, and while I can safely say that I do not know where this total delight and savoring of every aspect of the event was learned from (I do believe it is from the Holy Spirit, because even though she doesn't quite recognize how she flows with Him, she TRULY does!), I also DO know I learned much as she enjoyed the treasure:

1.  Pick up the package, hold it close to your heart, and twirl around the kitchen a few times...

2.  Kiss the writing in the "From" corner...

3.  Delicately touch your fingertips - with wonder - over the "Addressed to" writing...

4.  Run to where ever there is another human being in the house so that they can document every move and share in the awe and excitement of the package (aren't gifts even better when someone can share the joy with you?)

5.  Sit on the bed together and babble about "Isn't it nice, I got a package in the mail...!"

6.  Carefully open the superlarge envelope (which is the package) and slide out any card or letter that is inside, all the time making sure that you really don't see what the gift is quite yet...

7.  Kiss the card and/or letter...

8. Ask that person to read the card/letter to you as you dreamily look in the distance, letting the feelings of belonging and specialness wash over you as that person read the words of love meant to be lavished over and through you...

9.  Peek inside the package, and if the present isn't wrapped, make sure it is face down or that you look away as you draw it out of its container...

and I must mention here that all the while you might be smiling, or at least the corners of your mouth turned up, and that there are a million stars in your eyes sparkling to mirror the beaming joy of your soul...


10.  Carefully draw out the gift...

11.  Look at the person with you and ask if they are ready for the reveal, when they nod acknowledgement, take a gentle breath, hold it, and...

12.  Turn the gift over!

13.  Gasp with the beauty of it!

14.  Babble about every detail to the person you are with...let the words of awe tumble over each other as you both just pour out all sorts of comments and blessings on the one who gave it...

15.  Hug the gift to your heart as you close your eyes and smile...
16.  Prominently display it and share it with everyone who comes by...

And THAT is how you REALLY receive a gift!


and I imagine to myself, how receiving the gift of Christ the first time, and every day might look if I used her example....





Linking up with Tiffini at:

Linking up with Emily at:

Monday, April 11, 2011

1000 gifts and then some...good links to come back to

Continuing the count - at least the written count (#93- #10) - 
and remembering gifts given through out time:

A weekend of rest...

Having time to get inspired online by visiting the blogs featured
and meeting many new creative people here - (at (in)courage)!
StudioJRU



Good verses applied to creativity and offering ourselves to God and others here
Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness. 
Psalm 115:1 
"How to paint a bird's nest" tutorial here and here

Home made ideas for Mother's Day and Father's Day here  

Really good recipes here

A great acrostic for the word "creative" here as well as another verse illustrated so beautifully...
'The earth is wrapped in darkness...but... 
God's glory rises on you.' 
Isaiah 60:2-5


Field trip to the new Legoland Discovery Center, leaving in a few minutes!
 
Joining other grateful and gracious souls at Ann's:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sneak Peek Friday -Three eternal words of inspiration


StudioJRU
click this button to find other great sneak peeks - this week on (in)courage!

I love seeing what my "Friday Friends" have been up to each week!  I get so inspired, and get introduced to new art and artists - new inspirations to dance in my head all weekend long, wondering which thread the Lord will grab and pull and tell me "Let's play together"!

This week has been about playing with a new color combination that is an intercessory friend's favorite, and creating a distressed type look with paints in that color...here is the piece I did for her with her "word of the year"...
  
She loved it!


And I did too - Holy Spirit inspiration does cause that!

As I made this, I could "see" the three eternal words,
Faith,
Hope,
Love
on canvases with the same technique...


and that has been my week!

As I was working, I was meditating on how these three words are prevalent even in non-Christian sectors of society...the need for "Faith", "Hope", and "Love" a beacon in all people's hearts, their invitation to the Creator of words -Who is the Source of the heart condition described - inherently imbedded!  They truly are eternal words!


I think it is finished now 
(after multiple "step back and let's see how it looks now)

Close up view...


On the work table..

(The lights in the studio have a yellowish cast; I was photographing this after dark!
I just couldn't edit it enough...if you see a yellow cast, just think white!)

I also started a companion to my prayer pieces...this one will be based on Philippians 4:8...
I was working on publishing a tutorial for these "Prayer Pieces" this week, too,
and you can find it here.  (Below is what we make in the tutorial):


Thanks for coming by and visiting me! Have a very blessed week!
 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Hold Your Heart Open When It Seems You Can't....

Last Wednesday I posted about tragedy, about crisis, about things that are so large, that they are hard to process/comprehend/hold-in-our-hearts-to-pray-about...

I talked about my emotional numbness, about the psychological disconnect that occurred during 9/11 and the recent Japanese tragedy...

We were never meant to face such challenges...we were made completely in God's image, and placed in a perfect world...we were not designed to be able to handle tragedy...

If we weren't designed to handle crisis, then how is it that our minds can become numb, that our minds can "dis-connect" or "dissociate" as a temporary survival technique?

If we weren't designed to withstand such blows...then how is it that we can function at all in the face of the multitudes of painful experiences that happens in this fallen world?   It is a miracle...

We ARE made in God's image...intellectually, emotionally, volitionally, having a spirit that seeks to re-connect with its Source...God doesn't need to "numb out", "disconnect", or "dissociate" when it comes to the things that affect our lives (and since His Presence is always with us; He is affected, too), but instead He provides what we need the most - a path back to unhindered fellowship with Him...

I talked about the nebulous "it" that is the source of my distress, more clearly defining the overwhelm, and in the naming, breaking the tragedy into - perhaps? - more manageable pieces...

I was processing, holding the people in my heart and as I did the time turned into a sort of intercessory prayer as I touched and held and came close to the burden that I now know the Lord had placed in my heart...wait a minute, when I numb out, disconnect, and dissociate from tragedy, is it true that I am also doing the same thing to the burden the Lord wants to share with me, and that I am even  dis-connecting from Him?! 

And at that time of coming closer I didn't remember that one of the names of the Lord is Jehovah-Jireh - the Lord our Providor...(and why would I?  But this is the key to holding my heart open)...

The Lord our Providor - this is how I have learned to interpret the Hebrew for years...but I have been reading "Trail to the Tree" from A Holy Experience, too, and in Day 2 we are reading the account of Abraham offering Isaac to the Lord, and in The Message Bible,  the verse reads "Abraham said, "Son, God will see to it that there is a sheep for the burnt offering.  And they kept walking together"...and verse 14 reads "Abraham named that place God-Yireh (God sees to it).  That's where we get the saying "On the mountain of God, He sees to it"..."

And her quick prayer is written "Father, You see to it, whatever "it" is."

And I am struck still...all the "it's" of my processing last week - He sees to them...He sees "it"...He sees each of pieces I need to process...and He has what I need to manage the tragedy...

I need to take off my fig leaves of numbness, diconnectedness, and dissociation; I need to not even try to sew a few of them together...but call out to Him, in my nakedness of questions and confusion and overwhelm; fear and distress...and cling to Him, His Presence...

Tragedy is an invitation to draw closer to Him and to keep my heart open to the fullness of His provision and to declare that "God will see to it"...and keep walking together...with Him.


Linking up with Emily and other imperfects at Imperfect Prose

A link for your consideration:


A book that looks at the increasing "natural" disasters in the world and places them in the context of what the Bible says... God is still in control!
Description: 92 pages - available here
Find out how God speaks through natural catastrophes.






A book that so poetically illustrates the emotion of God, and our part in joining Him in intercessory prayer...

Re-printed under the title:  Hearts Attuned to God
Available here:  canaaninthedesert.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creating Mixed Media Scripture Art - Step by Step Tutorial!

This is a long post... step one is a repost of "hearing God speak", Step 2 begins the physical part of creating the art once you have God's heart on it...Enjoy!
       Creating Mixed Media Scripture Art


Step 1 - Hearing the WORD speak into your heArt:
 

I sat down to begin "writing my process for making a scripture prayer art piece", and immediately began to hear the now familiar flow of words/ideas/thoughts that issue from that inner place that I have come to recognize as that place from which the Holy Spirit speaks. "I call to the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. I know when you stand up and sit down. I am there throughout the night watches; I never slumber or sleep." (These thoughts are coming in flashes, along with a flash of the area of scripture this thought comes from.) And as I begin to think about how He is doing this, another flash: "I bring these things to your remembrance".* Yes, I have spent time reading the Scripture, becoming familiar with not just the Words, but the Author of the Words Himself, and He is bringing them forward into my consciousness as He speaks...I am not saying this to say I am some sort of super spiritual person - as you can see from this post, I am not! - but I AM saying this to encourage you, that this is fruit anyone can enjoy, as it is grown from your own life in His Word...and the impression I had as He was speaking the above things to me is that He wanted the readers of these words to know that He was already speaking into your heart's desire of joining Him in the act of creating.

You might ask, "How do you KNOW if these flashes are God speaking or just good ideas from your own heart?" I had that question, too, and at that time (some years ago), my mind was turned towards James 1:17. The verse says, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (NAS)."
I understood this to mean - at the beginning of this journey of hearing His voice - that I could ascribe those "good thoughts" to Him, since the gift of a good thought was from Him! And I knew the test that His true voice would not contradict what was revealed in Scripture, and a wise and seasoned Holy Spirit filled friend could help confirm or direct what I thought I might be hearing...and I went forward in the journey with some confidence...

One of the major issues in the process of hearing God in developing a piece of artwork is the sheer fact of trusting Him to care for and speak into the art our hearts are longing to create...here is my prayer of contrition for not believing this part of life was important to Him, elevating my own pointless fears over His gentle leadings, and committing to entrust myself to Him anew (you might recognize the influence of James 1:17!):

Father of lights, Thank you for shining the light of Your glory into my heart,
keeping the creative part of my spirit in Your warm embrace until I could see what You have always known.
Forgive my pride - which always implies that somehow I am wiser than You;
and whose voice is usually discouraging me from the vision You have purposed!
I open my heart wide to You, my Lord and my Savior!
I embrace Your desire to share
Your strength
Your joy
Your creativity
Your love
Your vision
... with me!
Let Your influence - that of the Great Master Artist and Creator - be visible through me!

A prayer like this helps attune my heart and mind to His Spirit within...yet you might want something more rooted in Scripture, so here are some of the places I like to go to and personalize for myself:

Holy Spirit, open up the kingdom of God in my heart: the blessings of 
righteousness and peace and joy through Your Presence.
adapted from Romans 14:17

 
May You, the God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace in believing, 

so that I will abound in the hope of inspiration by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
adapted from Romans 15:13

I have received the Holy Spirit who is from God, 

so that I may know the things freely given to me by God.
adapted from 1 Corinthians 2:12

* verses that contain these thoughts (in consecutive order): Psalm 50, Psalm 139:2, Psalm 121:4, John 14:26


Step 2 - Finding and stylizing His Word to you on paper:

2A. When your heart is assured that you are in collaboration with the Lord, then read again the passage or verse you are working with. In this example, I actually was reading verses 9 through 12 of Colossians 1.   I begin by looking for a block of words that hold one complete thought. As I worked with this passage, I found at least 3 blocks that included character traits that a person could grown in and fit the beginning of the sentence that I chose ("I pray that") - verse 9, verse 10, and verses 11 -12a. There are other prayer portions in this passage, but I would qualify those to be truths for one to come to understand and I will probably include these on art work that begins with the phrase "I pray that you come to understand...".
Words I didn't use, but were part of the passage

2B. Next, I look for natural breaks such as commas, conjunctions or prepositions within the block I am working with in order to decide how to group words together. At this point I might decide to leave out a clause that doesn't pertain to the main idea of the prayer but might just give fuller explanation of some part...in this example, the clause I was considering was "according to His glorious might". It isn't something we would pray for another, it is giving fuller explanation as to Who is giving the power and strength, or from Who the power and strength will be gained. Instead of leaving it out, I thought it would be a great boost for anyone reading that they don't have to come up with more power and strength from their own resources, but that it will be given them, and given to them according to how He gives! So I included it as a parenthetical phrase - which in reality how it is included in the original verse. So now I have one complete thought, when "I pray" is placed in front of the word block.

2C. I then look for words that convey the main idea of what is being prayed - think nouns and verbs. These become the words that I italicize or put in all caps as a way of emphasis. I also include adjectives or adverbs in these emphasis styles. In looking at my example, I now wish I had italicized "great" in block 2. Also, I could have removed the "and" from block 3 and that block would be grammatically correct with "I pray" added to the beginning of the thought.

2D. After choosing the blocks of words, this is really when I decide on a "centered text" or "blocked left text" layout. I take into consideration how big my substrate is and whether it will be square or laid out in portrait or landscape style. The final decision is simply what looks most pleasing to me at the moment!  (These examples are Bookman Old Style 28 point font)
I think I will be able to make at least 4 more art pieces for this passage in Colossians!
 
For a good online site that explains parts of a sentence, go to http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/definitions.htm

Step 3 - Preparing the Canvas:

3A.  I used medium matte gel that isn't super thick, but that does hold its shape, to adhere lots of various paper and fabric scraps to my substrate. In this example I used 1/2 inch birch board, but a wrapped canvas works just as well. You can use Mod Podge, but I find that the gel medium reduces the stretching and wrinkling that occurs when the paper gets wet. I use whatever paper I have on hand - text, cardstock, scrapbook papers, fabric, handmade paper - in whatever combination pleases me. Don't worry too much about color and pattern combinations since next steps tend to pull things together or you can cover up areas you decide you really don't like. I also make sure I put a good layer of gel medium over the top of the paper so that it holds up to subsequent layers of paint and rubbing. It doesn't take long for the gel medium to dry.

3B.  I put a layer of watered down white liquid acrylic paint over the entire piece to mute the colors and patterns and to give it some continuity. I use something around these two ratios:  1 part paint to 1 part water or 1 part paint to 2 parts water.  You can use more paint in areas, or less (by adding more water) so that paper patterns show through - there truly isn't any "right" or "wrong"! While this layer is drying, move on to step 3C...

3C. Print out the words you are planning to use for your piece; the ones that were revealed to you in Step 2...I usually make several sizes and font styles to find out what I like the best once I start arranging words on the piece...in my example "prayer" pieces I used "Bookman Old Style" font, and you can see what I italicized for emphasis...I also just printed on regular printer paper, but you can use something heavier if you wish to make it stand up from the base more.  Heavier paper doesn't show all the edges from the lower layers as well, where regular printer paper allows most of the texture and edges to show up (see what I mean in the image below).  It is totally your choice!


3D.  So the white layer is probably dry now, and it is time to arrange the words over it...keep moving things around, trimming where you think it needs trimmed, until you are happy with the layout...as you can see, much of that pattern and color gets covered up with this step. Once I figure out the placement, I actually measure the top line of text and the bottom most line of text against the edge of the substrate - just mentioning this, because a crooked line of text totally bothers my artistic eye on these pieces! However, if it is your purpose to NOT have them perfectly parallel, then skip the measuring! Again, I use the matte gel medium to adhere the paper and I apply a generous amount over the top...and allow it to dry (usually 10 to 20 minutes).

3E. This is the step when color is added to the piece...I like to use colors that have a "vintage" feel. I have a stash of FolkArt craft acrylic - Light Blue, Buttercup, Rose Pink, and Hauser Green Light for this case. I use a wet brush to apply the paint, again, just choosing color and heaviness of application however it "looks good" to me at the moment.


On this piece, I thought I needed a darker blue; I like Cobalt Blue in artist's grade acrylic (this is the color between lines 2 and 3). I apply color over the text as well, and wipe the color away again to re-expose the words, but now they are tinted.  The paint dries fairly quickly, so I tend to paint and wipe only one block of text at a time.  I like to blend the colors together at the points that they meet, and I also rub color off various places as I go – again, just whatever pleases me at the moment.


3F. I like to outline the blocks of text with a black watercolor pencil, and then I go over the outline with water to darken it. I like doing this step now, because it helps me to “see” areas of the piece that need more attention. I always spray with workable fixative after I darken the pencil lines to keep them from smearing and also stamp a number by each prayer point using black acrylic paint on a number stamp. Now I can see where to add…
Sorry the image is a little fuzzy here!

3G. Circles punched out of scrap paper plus more stamped images. (See Step 3F's photo). Once I get the circles attached (using gel medium once again), I outline them with the watercolor pencil, and add more scallops wherever I think the piece needs them, as well as stamped images. I might add paint to these areas of paper and scallops to spread color around the picture (balancing the color). I use a white gel pen to add embellishments like scallops and dots where ever I think they are needed.
Finally, sometimes I use water thinned white acrylic to mute patches of color if the picture needs color balancing.
The Finished Product!

3H.  I paint the sides black…and the piece is finished!