Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Scavenger Hunt Finds

In June, I found 21 items on this year's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list, which I posted HERE. I had so much FUN that I challenged myself to find the items again in July, and I was pretty successful! I have 20 photos to share today, most of them taken during the week my friend LeAnne and her two boys were here visiting.(LeAnne has been participating in the hunt, too, and posting her photos on Instagram. We enjoyed hunting together, so you may notice a few similar photos!)

1. A bouquet of flowers -My Monday flowers from Robbie the week LeAnne & her boys were here for a visit.

2. An ornate door knocker - Door knockers are not common here in our area, but as I was driving slowly through our neighborhood one afternoon LeAnne spotted a few doors with knockers. They aren't especially ornate, but we were thrilled to find them!


3. A person walking a dog

4. People playing a board game or card game - We enjoyed playing games all week! Here's a photo of the Sorry evening . . . mostly because I lost!

5. Architectural columns -We drove by the heritage village near our home hoping to find an ornate door knocker, but found three columns on the old church instead.

6. A metal bridge -One VERY HOT afternoon at the park, I captured one of the many metal bridges on the playground equipment.

7. A turtle -Before heading into the air-conditioned movie theater to see the Inside Out movie, we ventured across the street and found turtles sunning on a log in the park pond.

8. Someone "plugged in" to social media -While we were watching the boys play in the water at the Sprayground, we noticed lots of parents in the area on their phones. It was difficult to capture a good photo as everyone was spread out and there were so  many areas of sun and shade. However, when LeAnne went to collect the boys to head home, I was able to capture this shot while I waited in the shade!

9. A tent -Several of the structures at the park resemble open-air tents.

10. A college or university - I captured this photo a few days after our visitors had headed back home. Robbie and I were on our way to see the Terminator Genisys movie, and we were almost out of range before I remembered this building right off the interstate. It's a satellite campus of our local community college.

11. A cellular tower or television satellite dish - As we arrived home one afternoon after an outing and some scavenger hunting, I decided to snap a photo of the satellite dish on our roof so I could check off one more item for the day.

12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet - Remember that tent structure from number 9 above - it's actually the public restrooms at the park. As you can see, I captured a FUN photo bomb while trying to get a shot of the doors (in the background) that lead to the restrooms.

13. A merry-go-round or carousel - We made a special stop at a local mall on the way home from a FUN day at Legoland. LeAnne needed to pick up a gift for her hubby's birthday (which happens to be the same day as mine!), and I wanted to capture a photo of the carousel. Of course, we also rode the carousel a couple of times and enjoyed some gelato while we were there.

 
14. A traffic signal -After driving around in a circle to find a convenience store with an ice-cold Coca-Cola, I was stopped at a red light long enough to snap this photo!

15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it

16. A panoramic view, taken while standing someplace high in the air -Taken from the second story balcony at the Frontiers of Flight Museum - a look at the hangar size display space.

17. At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms -Two of the volunteers at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

18. An overloaded truck, car, bicycle or other vehicle

19. A ticket booth - The mall we stopped at to capture the carousel photo also has a movie theater, so we ventured up to the third level so I could snap this photo. (Unfortunately, LeAnne's phone was dead by this point in the day, so she wasn't able to check this one off that day!)

20. A natural body of water

21. A photograph of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt" - Before heading out to the park, we printed a sign to use especially for this prompt!

Alternative A: People eating outside - Because there happened to be a collectible trading card on the back of the packages, we have a large stash of Star Wars light saber colored popsicle sticks . . . which the boys enjoyed out on the patio several times!

Alternative B: Someone holding an umbrella - Some of you may recognize the outfits in this photo because I scrapped a similar shot from our first visit to the Frontiers of Flight Museum several years ago. However, I made sure to take a new photo for this year's hunt!


Alternative C: A rocking chair - I didn't see the rocking chair just inside the glass door of a museum until we were already passing it last weekend after my birthday lunch out with Robbie, Mama & Daddy. However, Robbie drove back around so I could snap a photo.

One of  my favorite parts of the hunt each year is getting to enjoy the hunt with friends, so this month was especially FUN with LeAnne and her boys here helping search for items. My favorite memory is the day we left the movie theater and realized that LeAnne had forgotten to take a photo of the ticket booth, even though we had talked about it earlier in the day. (This was the day after I captured my ticket booth photo at the mall.) I turned the van around and we headed back to the parking lot, where we stopped right out front so LeAnne could get the perfect shot!

Once again, I had so much FUN hunting for the items on this year's list that I'm challenging myself to find them all again in August! (Thanks for the INSPIRATION to be observant and take photos again this summer, Rinda!) 

Are you participating in the hunt? Which items are you still searching for?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Disneyland Magic

On my last visit to Scrappin' Goodtime, I was thrilled to find the A Day in the Park Canvas Home Basics Mix & Match pad. This pad came with specialty papers (patterned, 4x6 cut outs, corrugated) and fabrics (canvas, burlap, woven) in the perfect color scheme (red, yellow, black) to scrap photos from my trip to Disneyland last year! I created a two-page layout using these papers along with the Paper Wizard die cut I created at Scrapbook Expo earlier this year.


Creating the banners was especially FUN!


You can read more about these products and see additional photos of this layout on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog HERE!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Watercolor Memories

I recently picked up a couple of sheets of the new Ken Oliver Watercolor Memories Papers along with a coordinating Ephemera Cut Apart Sheet to create a layout for the Scrappin' Goodtime Design Team. These are not papers that I would have normally chosen for myself, but when Susie showed me this new line I decided to challenge myself to create a layout.

I had some extra time while I was at the store, so I actually created a layout without photos and came up with this.


When I got home and flipped through my storage binders, I found some photos that I thought would work well with these papers. However, my photos were the wrong orientation, so I ended up rotating the layout and adding additional embellishments to make it work.


I'm sharing more photos and information on how I adjusted this layout to fit my photos over on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog today - check it out HERE.

Have you ever created a layout without photos and then needed to make adjustments for it to work once you were ready to add photos and journaling?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Musings - Own Your Life

In the Spring issue of Life: Beautiful Magazine, I saw a review for Sally Clarkson's new book, Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love. I picked up a copy at the library a few weeks later. I had checked out quite a few books from the library when I picked this book up; luckily our library allows a one time online renewal option. However, I was only halfway through the book when the second due date arrived . . . so, I did something I rarely do. I kept the book and finished it anyway, paying the $1 fine when I turned it in four days later.


This Christian non-fiction book contains advice for living an abundant life, not settling for mediocrity, mapping out our purpose, giving God control, changing our attitudes and actions, and living well to leave a legacy. I especially liked the author's admonition to "live with intention."

The following description of faith from the book reminds me that while my faith in the Lord alone is all that's needed to attain the reward of eternity in heaven, there's still work to be done in this lifetime.

Faith is a mysterious process of following the voice of God, accompanied by hard work and wisdom.

I was particularly drawn to her descriptions of a home. Here's one example:

Home is the haven of INSPIRATION, where the art of life is expressed and taught. Color is strewn into every corner; delectable food is tasted; fine art, books, and beauty are strategically placed throughout the scenery of its rooms and walls.

Each chapter ended with a section titled "Own Your Part," which included exercises and questions to help apply the topic to our own life.

Think about the legacy you are leaving behind - even now, as well as after your life on earth is over. Are you content with what you imagine it will be? Can you identify any areas of your life that you would like to build into in order to leave a more godly heritage?

There were actually a lot more thought-provoking quotes and exercises that I marked with sticky notes throughout the book. In fact, I'd like to re-read this book and work through some of the suggested exercises at the end of each chapter, so I've added it to my list of books to purchase.

Have you read anything lately that's filled with thought-provoking ideas?

Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Christmas Album

Over the past several years, I've really begun to enjoy Christmas in July celebrations and events. A couple of years ago, we actually had a Christmas Day celebration during our July vacation to Tennessee. Last year in July, I taught the Texas Christmas Cards class at Scrappin' Goodtime. And this year, I actually took a class at Scrappin' Goodtime and created a mini-album that I can use to showcase this year's holiday photos. This is the first time I've ever had a Christmas album prepared ahead of time!

The class was taught by Jill, who has been on the Scrappin' Goodtime Design Team for the past couple of years. I always enjoy seeing her creations, especially her mini-albums, on display at the store. She created this album/class and had everything cut and ready for us to assemble.

The album measures 6" x 8 1/2" and features patterned papers from Authentique's Believe Collection.


I actually used my Wink of Stellapen to add some shimmer to the cover.


This is a tri-fold album with a pocket of tags inside the front cover and space for a photo on the first flap.


Inside there's a waterfall album with spaces for 15 photos. One of the main reasons I took the class was to learn how to create this portion of the album.


We also added a slider that will hold two more photos or journaling spots. This was something that was new for me and I really like how it turned out.


This is going to be a FUN album to fill up during the holidays this year!


I took my sweet teenage friend Summer with me to the class. She was excited about creating the album but didn't really want a Christmas theme. She decided to use the papers with greens and tans and omit the reds. There were a few blues in with the original papers and she chose to include those.


We did not complete our albums during class because we needed to head home early and enjoy the spaghetti supper Robbie had prepared for us.


However, after we'd eaten, Summer hunted around in my craft room and picked out some more blue items so that we could omplete her album. I think she really likes it!


Have you enjoyed any Christmas in July activities this year?

Life Is Sweet

I have a new post up on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog today showcasing my layout using Authentique's Infused Collection.


Click HERE to see more photos of this layout and Authentique's Infused Collection on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Barbie Pages

I have a new post up today on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog sharing a traditional 12x12 layout and a companion 12x12 divided pocket page.


I used pocket cards from the Project Life Strawberry Edition core kit for these pages. I also included washi tape and glitter tape to help tie the pages together.


Click HERE to read about this layout and see the companion pocket page on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (F - Finishing)

This post is the sixth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

F is for Finishing

Finishing is defined as "bringing (something) to an end or to completion" and "reaching the end of (something)." I always enjoy Finishing a project because it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment and provides INSPIRATION to finish something else or to start something new.

One of the projects I'm most proud of Finishing this year is the firefighter retirement albums I completed as my first scrapbook-for-hire project. The morning of the day that I delivered the album, I created a video walk-through of the albums. I had a couple of takes on the video, and knowing that I wanted to write this post was the INSPIRATION I needed to finally get them edited and uploaded!



Finishing this project has also been the INSPIRATION for me to create business cards and begin searching for other scrapbook-for-hire projects.

I'd like to share more completions with y'all, but I must get to Finishing up this post now because I'm headed off with my sweet friend Summer to create mini-albums and celebrate Christmas in July  at Scrappin' Goodtime this afternoon!

In summary,  Finishing a project can lead to INSPIRATION to begin something new or to complete another project. And often INSPIRATION can be the motivation for Finishing something.

What are you working on Finishing right now? Please share your thoughts on Finishing and INSPIRATION in the comments. 

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)

Friday, July 10, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (E - Experiences)

This post is the fifth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

E is for Experiences

Experiences can be defined as "events or occurrences that leave an impression on someone" and "instances of personally encountering or undergoing something." Experiences are "the knowledge or mastery of events or subjects gained through involvement in or exposure to them." When we experience something, we live through it, learn about it, feel it, and understand it better. I'm a huge proponent of spending our time and/or money on Experiences rather than acquiring more stuff. 

My favorite Experiences typically involve travel. However, there are many types of Experiences that affect our lives, providing INSPIRATION to do more or make changes. The experience of serving in a soup kitchen may give us more compassion and the motivation to commit to more volunteer work. Sometimes we find INSPIRATION that leads us to Experiences, like visiting a battleground after reading about the men who fought there. There are also vicarious Experiences, which occur when we observe someone else and feel what they are feeling. For example, some people cry at the movies or rejoice with the characters in a novel.

A few months ago, I had an exciting experience that I really hadn't considered before. In fact, it wasn't even on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list! I rode in a Huey UH-1 helicopter, right by the open doorway! The INSPIRATION for this experience wasn't necessarily a huge desire to ride in a helicopter, but rather to experience something with Robbie that he was excited to do. When he discovered that they were offering rides on the Huey UH-1 during our visit to the Frontiers of Flight Museum, he made a beeline to sign up (and pay!!!). Here's a digital layout I made about what will definitely be one of my most memorable Experiences this year.
 
(This is my March Top Five #4 layout!)

Another of my favorite Experiences involves all the learning and studying I've done about Laura Ingalls Wilder as a writer. Last fall I completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work and Writing Life, Part I class, and this spring I completed Part II of that class. Overall, I was inspired to read 18 books during the course of these two classes, twelve during Part I (which I reviewed HERE). For Part II, I completed the last five of the Little House books as well as Rose Wilder Lane's Young Pioneers, which "borrowed" heavily from Laura Ingalls Wilder's original writings. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the study of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life and writings. (These class Experiences were free through Canvas.net!)

These courses provided the INSPIRATION for us to make a stop in Mansfield, Missouri, on our recent road trip to Niagara Falls. We were able to tour the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homes (the farm house & the rock house) and Museum. We also stopped at the town square to see the memorial bust erected there and visited the cemetery where the Wilders are buried. This stop was especially enjoyable for me because I had just finished reading about these homes and the items in the museum. All of these Experiences (reading books, studying class materials, visiting these sites) together helped bring to life and solidify all that I'd learned about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Not all Experiences require travel or occur on vacation, some are free and much closer to home. I've mentioned it often, but we are so fortunate to have a local library that offers lots of programs for all ages. Just this week, Mama and I attended the Keep Calm and Read On event where a representative from Penguin Random House publishers discussed the new books coming out this fall! (I was definitely inspired to add a few more books to my want-to-read list.)

 

In summary, our lives are enriched by Experiences of all kinds. Experiences often provide INSPIRATION and can also be the result of INSPIRATION, thus the two are intertwined.

What are your favorite types of Experiences? Please share your thoughts on Experiences and INSPIRATION in the comments. 

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (D - Drawing)

This post is the fourth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

D is for Drawing

Drawing is defined as "the art or skill of making pictures or diagrams with a pencil, pen, or crayon" and "a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional medium." (While there are some subtle distinctions in the art world between Drawing and sketching, for the purposes of this post I am using those words interchangeably.)  

Drawing is a great tool because it's a way to capture INSPIRATION and plans. For example, a sculptor might create a sketch before beginning a new piece. As a scrapbooker, I often uses sketches as the INSPIRATION for my layouts. Many painters draw or sketch ideas, either in an idea book or on the actual canvas, before starting to paint. As an event organizer, I have often drawn a layout of how I would like the meeting room set up. Writer Laura Ingalls Wilder sketched a layout of the town of DeSmet when she was writing Little Town on the Prairie to help her as she penned penciled descriptions of the buildings and streets that play a central role in the story.
 

I am not skilled in the art of Drawing, however, I find it is a relaxing activity. When we travel, I often pack a journal or sketchbook for each of us, along with some colored pencils and pens. On some trips we don't find the time or INSPIRATION to pull these out, but other times we do. My drawings often look like some of the ones I've seen elementary kids draw, while Robbie's are much more artistic. But none of that matters when we are creating memories just Drawing together! Here's a look at the pages we created while sitting on a friend's dock overlooking a pond several years ago. (I bet you can figure out on your own which one is mine!)



More recently I've started carrying a beautiful Nature Journal for drawing and writing. On our trip to Florida last fall, I captured details from two different times - relaxing by the pool at the resort at Universal Studios and sitting on the beach at Lido Key after a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch.



This particular journal came with a few opening notes about nature journaling and just capturing and labeling the details (as opposed to Drawing/sketching the entire scene). I love this idea and am using this journal to practice capturing the details by recording the date, time, place, weather conditions, and a short paragraph about that moment. I'm also using labels to describe my drawings.


I've never taken a Drawing class. In fact, I took the minimum amount of art classes required during my junior high and high school years. Robbie, however, has always been extremely talented and won several art contests when he was in school. He doesn't draw all that much now, but when he does pull out a sketch pad, I'm always in awe of his talent. Several years ago, he drew this image based on the illustrations in my Auntie Claus picture story book.


If you've been around my blog awhile, you know that here in the Gross household we have a collection of toys and trading cards. You might also know that we enjoy sci-fi and superhero movies. However, you might not realize that all these hobbies also mean that we also stop frequently at comic books stores and occasionally attend events like Dallas Comic Con and the Philly Non-Sport Trading Card show. Comic books (and often trading cards) are based on Drawing, so I found this TEDTalk by comic book artist Mark Irwin interesting, especially his comments that comic books include storytelling about anything and everything ("not just heroes in tights"). Therefore, comic book artists have to be able to draw anything and everything.


In summary,  Drawing is art, but it's also something that has practical applications as well (like planning the placement of furniture in a room). Drawing is often the first step that provides INSPIRATION for other art, and INSPIRATION for Drawing and sketching can be found almost anywhere!

Do you enjoy Drawing? Please share your thoughts on Drawing and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (C - Creativity)

This post is the third in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

C is for Creativity

Creativity is defined as "a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed" or "the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc." Creativity incorporates originality, progressiveness, imagination, and seeing things in a new and different way.

Most of my life I thought I was not creative. Growing up I was the "smart, pretty one" and considered myself the least creative person in my family. Looking back I realize my view was skewed because I showed creativity in lots of ways - in writing and baking and crafting and acting.

Even now when someone compliments me on my Creativity, I laugh and tell the story of how I'm not really all that creative. But the evidence is stronger now that I do, in fact, have that creative gene that we are all born with (because we are created in the image of The Creator). I enjoy numerous creative activities, especially scrapbooking and card-marking.

Recently I've been stepping outside my comfort zone to try different activities to stretch my Creativity. For example, even though I'm not a painter, I transformed that ceramic sun in a few short hours. Once I hung it back on the patio wall, I realized that the rusty metal sunflower piece hanging on the other side of the back door looked awfully boring. That was the INSPIRATION I needed to pull it down and transform it, too! (I forgot to take a photo before I started, so the before shot is after I'd sprayed on a base primer coat.)


I had tons of FUN with this project, even mixing paints to create different colors!


My favorite part of working on this piece, however, was having my own little "art studio" set up on the big table in the front room, complete with flowers from Robbie for INSPIRATION. This little space just made me feel so creative and artistic!


I'm also fortunate that our local library offers a monthly DIY class where I can try new things. Last month in the Sharpie Art Class, I actually utilized my weak drawing skills to decorate a pair of bowls using alcohol-based Sharpie markers. Once the bowls were baked in the oven, the design was set and now we can use the bowls (like we did for Robbie's cobbler earlier this week). I also created a plate as a birthday gift for one of my teenage friends, and my friend Claire created bowls with a doodle design and a monogram.


I think my Creativity is most evident when I'm teaching. I enjoy the planning and preparation that go into teaching, whether it's a Middle School Careers & Technology class, a university level business course, a mixed media art class, a Bible study, an entire retreat curriculum, a card-making class or a Sunday Morning Children's Church session.

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I also find that reading about Creativity provides INSPIRATION for being more creative. I recently enjoyed The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp (see my review HERE), and I'm currently reading Spark: How Creativity Works, which is based on previous episodes of the Studio 360 radio show. Each chapter shares the story of an influential creative, including filmmakers, sculptors, poets, writers, etc. The book jacket description states: "Creativity is integral to business, parenting, education, science and, perhaps most poignantly, our personal relationships." The stories are fascinating, and more than once I've had to stop reading after a chapter and do a little research to view artwork or read more about the individuals discussed.

For example, I was intrigued after reading about Painter Chuck Close and his huge grid-style portraits, so I scrolled through a gallery of his works. I also had to see Mel Chin's Revival Field and some of David Plowden's photographs.  I still have a few chapters to go in this book, but I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about Creativity. This quote from the book sums up another wonderful way to think about Creativity:

The essential gift is to be open to wonder, and to let that wonder spark your creativity.

In summary, Creativity involves seeing and doing things in new ways. INSPIRATION can lead to Creativity, and Creativity is often the result of INSPIRATION, thus the two are intertwined.

Do you consider yourself creative? Please share your thoughts on Creativity and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)