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Abe DIY-ed: Leaf Collage

DIY Leaf Collage

 

Last Monday was a sweet day. I had a burst of energy, and got all kinds of things done around the house. Daniel and Abe worked outside on that industrial table that was in my last post and did stuff around the yard. It never rained that day, which was nice. At one point, Abe came inside while I was washing the dishes and wanted something to do because he was bored.

I don’t know why I’d never thought of this before, but I handed him a container and told him to go collect a bunch of different looking leaves, and then we would make a picture with them. He got super pumped about this mission, and went outside and collected leaves. He came in a few times with a couple, but I told him to keep collecting more (mainly because I was trying to buy time so that I could finish the dishes).

When he finally had what I thought was enough, and I was done with my chore, we sat down with a piece of card stock, some Mod Podge and his leaf collection. First, he showed me all of his favorites, which of course were the tiny ones. Sidenote: Abram LOVES tiny things. Like, the smallest, almost unseeable things. When he was two, he found a very small fake diamond, and he called it his sparkle. He managed to keep that thing for quite sometime, and he was the only one who could find it if it got lost. It’s astonishing to me.

After he showed me his favorites, I had him start spreading the mod podge of the back of the leaves with a small paint brush. I’m the one that organized them the way you see them above, in case you were thinking my son was some kind of leaf collage genius. But he did the collecting and the glueing. When we were done, he was so incredibly pleased and proud of his piece of work. It felt good to see his little satisfied reaction. We set it aside to dry, and he went back outside to play and help his daddy.

I had to run up to Walmart for toiletries and such, and while I was there I found a plain, matte black picture frame for like $3.47. I grabbed it to surprise Abe with. When I got home, I stuck his leaf collage in the frame and put it up on the wall. When he came inside, I showed him, and that happy, little face…. man, there’s nothing like the sight of that face.

Now, anytime someone comes over, he has to tell them about his leaf collage that he made and how mommy hung it up. This was the simplest of projects, and it can cost absolutely nothing, if you already have a picture frame lying around or would rather just washi tape it to the wall. It was fun to look at the leaves and talk about the differences in colors and textures. It wasn’t a lengthy project and it put a smile on everyone’s face.

That’s just a win all around.

Art Therapy and Water Colors

Art Therapy and Water ColorsI’ve always been an artist when it comes to the poetry and musical realm of art, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I love that I can write out the things that are going on in my head and then sing them to a tune. That ability has been very helpful to me since I was a child, as it’s been one of the ways I work through and process the things that happen to me and the things going on around me.

But sometimes, I don’t have any words. Sometimes, I am thinking and feeling things that I can’t write out, because I haven’t quite identified what those thoughts and feelings are yet. Do you know what I mean? It’s those times when you know you’ve got a lot in there but you don’t know what to say about it so you feel stuck; those times prove especially difficult for me, as I’m used to defaulting to words.

My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by friends who paint and draw, and I deeply admire their craft and what they make. However, I’ve always been quite intimidated by this realm of art for myself. I’m very much like Abe (or really, he’s very much like me) when it comes to giving up easily on skills that don’t come as naturally as others. There’ve been a handful of times when I’ve sat down to draw or paint something, and it actually came out half decent and I’d feel really good. But 99% of the time, I put way too much pressure on myself to be really good at something I have no technical skill or ability to do, and it ends up looking like crap…. as it should, because I don’t know what I’m doing.

Several months back, I caught a glimpse of some abstract water coloring either on Instagram or Pinterest, probably both. I happened to be really overwhelmed that day, so I decided to pull out my water color palette and paper and paint how I felt. Abe sat down with me and did his own thing, which was wild and free; I love when kids paint. But, I told myself as I started that this wasn’t for anyone or anything, really. It was just to try and get out what I was feeling through a different medium than I was used to, in hopes that I’d be able to come to terms with what I was feeling. The painting above is what happened. The feeling that I had when I was finished was almost euphoric; I felt calm, relieved and emptied. I wanted to keep going, but Abe’s attention for painting isn’t very long and he was over it. I showed Daniel when he got home from work, and was able to talk about why I was overwhelmed earlier that day.

Since then, I’ve been painting with water colors as an art therapy for myself. In conjunction with writing and prayer, it’s quite useful and satisfying.

Art Therapy and Water ColorsThis was a piece I did one late night, when Daniel was gone for an event. I felt really upset and dark, but I couldn’t identify why, so I painted this. While I was painting, I talked to myself about being scared of someone breaking into our house and Daniel getting hurt on the job. After I was done, I felt so relieved and was able to sleep.

Art Therapy and WatercolorsThere’s this image I get in my head when I think about the human experience as it relates to depravity and the light of the gospel. It’s really hard for me to describe, so I decided to paint it. The red shape is the soul, and it’s got death roots sprouting out of it, as I believe that’s where we all start out. But then the green light is birthed and sprouts out from the bottom and begins to overtake all of the death until eventually it’s blotted out and we are free.

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Art Therapy And Water ColorsThese are two of my favorites, as they feel bright and comforting to me. The second one I call “The Dance.”

Art Therapy and Water ColorsI wanted to paint pieces for Abe and Emery, and I started with Emery’s. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I started it, but it just kinda came out. We had a little scare at 24 weeks, when I thought I was in super pre-term labor with him. At that point, we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to name him. Right before we went to the hospital, my friend Rachel prayed for me and asked me for his name, so I just said Emery. When she was done, I looked up the meaning of the name, and of course was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw that Emery means “brave”.

Abram is a biblical name, and was Abraham’s first name before God changed it. God promised Abraham that his lineage would be as many as the stars. Although we didn’t name Abram his name because we want him to have a GIGANTIC family, our hope is that the love in his heart for God and others will grow as big as the universe.

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Art Therapy and Water ColorsSo the above proves that I’m way better at abstract paintings than I am objects, haha. But that’s ok- I don’t have to expect myself to be good at something I’ve never done. This art medium has become something I really enjoy, and I want to get better, even if that means I have to work harder at it.

I DIY-ed: Leather Strap Wall Clock

DIY Leather Strap Wall Clock

I’ve had a sudden pop of super-strength energy in the last week, which I’m assuming is the nesting phase kicking in. I hate the word nesting- I don’t know why. It just grosses me out. I prefer to call it “home preparing.” But whatever, I’ve just got a ton of energy and the strongest desire to get my house as clean and decorated as possible before Emery arrives.

We haven’t had much money to spare this summer for house projects, which is probably for the best. I’ve had a lot of purging to do, and it’s better that I get that out of the way before I spend money on adding new stuff into our space. It’s crazy to me that last October, we had a massive yard sale before we moved, and it felt like we got rid of an entire house full of stuff. However, since we’ve moved, we can certainly stand to have yet another yard sale. It’s embarrassing how much stuff I’m capable of collecting without realizing it. More stuff -> The need for more control -> More Stress. I want to have more balance in that area.

I’ve seen tutorials online for this particular wall clock that I’ve wanted to make for a while, but have just set aside mentally for when I go to ikea, because it required an ikea clock. We have no clocks in our house, other than the digital one on our stove and the ones on our phones, but I always manage to talk myself out of buying a clock. The clocks I end up liking are way too expensive and I can never justify the purchase. The other day I was at Big Lots looking for all-metal bull dog clips (it was the fifth store in Lake City that didn’t have them), and I found this clock that I got really excited about. It was only $15 and perfect to use for that tutorial I found, so I grabbed it. The tut calls for a leather belt, but I found this really cool leather strap thing at goodwill for $3. Judging by the clasps at both ends, it was probably for a purse. I didn’t even bother to look and see how they attached the leather to the clock, and went ahead and just bought a pack of super glue at Harbor Freight for $1.99.

Leather Strap Wall Clock

DIY Leather Strap Wall Clock

DIY Leather Strap Wall Clock

In total, this project cost me $20. Not bad! Especially since the elements are to my liking. At first I wasn’t sure about the white on white, so I tried painting the numbers black. But, since I have the steady hand and coordination of a T-Rex, I washed the paint off and just went with how it came. I think it looks great up on our wall! The super glue worked immediately, but I let it sit for a few minutes just to be careful. I glued the belt up to the 10 and the 2, which seems to be about right.

What house projects have you been into lately?