Saturday, June 30, 2012

Amazing Wonders Aviation: VBS Decorations!

For several years now, I have been doing Vacation Bible School decorations. This year, our VBS was one of the first, so I thought it might be helpful to other decorators if I share some pics along with a video tour to inspire you to new creative heights! :)

Worship Rally Hangar

Baggage claim... of my fave VBS decorations I've ever made!
The only thing I forgot to mention about this in the video tour is that the black and silver are held together with metallic silver duct tape. ($2.10 w/ a 50% off coupon at AC Moore!)

Northern Lights and the Matterhorn

Paricutin Volcano

Travel Agency  &  Airport Terminal

Hopefully the pictures can give you some ideas to play around with and modify to fit your building... If you want to see and hear more about it, check out my video tour, and of course if you still have questions, shout it out!

Finally, here is my video tour of our decorations. Hope this was helpful, have fun creating!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting Organized: DIY Dry Erase Calendar

Unfortunately, one of the usual side effects of an artistic mind is complete disorganization. I must say, I am one of the most scatter-brained people I know, and have found that without a written plan for what I'm going to do, I end up spending about half my day either getting distracted by unimportant things or trying to remember what the important things were that I had planned to do. It's actually pretty remarkable the list of things I can know I need to accomplish with total clarity and conviction before I go to bed, and the next morning I don't remember one of them. So I was talking to my friend Nikki about this problem one day, and shortly after she sent me the link to a blog post for a DIY dry erase weekly calendar.

Kama for Today's Housewife: DIY Dry Erase Weekly Calendar

I already had a 24"x36" poster frame, all I had to do was replace the poster with a calendar (sorry Hanson, you've been demoted). I decided to use a sheet of scrapbook paper for each day of the week. Conveniently, it is 12" square paper, so it fit perfectly two across, and all I had to do was trim down to the height I wanted. I took the paper insert out of the frame and stuck on my scrapbook paper sheets with double-sided tape. Then I wrote each day of the week on a different colored paper (I have a couple scrap packs, which was great, but construction paper or printing paper would work fine), cut them out with pinking shears, and stuck them on. Into the frame it went, and voila!

As you can see, I have an actual dry erase monthly calendar mounted above it, which helps me keep track of events and other important dates. I also left an unassigned 12" square on the bottom right, which I use to write out a list of what I aim to create/do for the week, and from there I assign tasks to specific days.

Here is a closer view of Monday. Happy little trees!

The only thing I would change (and plan to one day when I can afford it) would be to use a frame with actual glass. I used this one because I had it on hand, and when I tried the dry erase marker on it, it erased fine. But after I had it up and was actually using it, I noticed that the words linger. The actual marker is gone, and using cleaner doesn't help, so I'm assuming that it must eat away at the plastic a bit. Also, I can only use black marker, the colored ones don't erase AT ALL. It's not a big deal for me right now, but if you want to try this I definitely recommend real glass. :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Imago Dei

Not long ago, I started my second journey straight through the Bible, while my Sunday School class was in the middle of studying pre-Abraham Genesis. Needless to say, I've gotten a good dose of the creation account lately! "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

Interestingly, I never thought much about what it meant to be created in the image of God until the last couple years. (Imago Dei = Image of God in Latin, by the way. I am so smart!............ Okay, okay, my dad's in seminary and he likes to talk about what he learns.) The whole thing didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, because God is spirit, so how could our physical bodies be the image of God? 

"Wow, Karen, this is a weird way to start a blog about your art."

Hey now. Just hang with me a minute. 

When you get to know God in Scripture - I think we all know mankind pretty well - there are a few things that you can identify as part of God's image in us... but the thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is that we were created with creativity. We "watch" in the Genesis account as God delights to create one thing after another with fabulous results, and then the first task we see God assign to Adam is naming all the animals. Tell me that didn't take some serious inventiveness! 

While my grandparents were here visiting this past week, I could hardly bring myself to come to the table for dinner because I was nearly finished with a fabric basket that I was crafting. I was more excited with every new layer as it neared completion. As soon as the meal was finished, I returned to my basket. As I was fashioning a handle, my mom questioned how that was going to work, but it didn't faze me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and exactly how I was going to do it, and I was convinced that it would turn out exactly as I had planned. To my great joy, it did. And I looked at my little basket, and behold, it was very good. (Indeed, that is a Genesis joke.) In fact, I was so pleased with it that I kind of wanted to stare at it for a while, and maybe caress it a little. 

It's really cute. Don't judge me.

I had taken a pile of fabric strips and formed a basket, just as God took the earth when it was formless and void, and made it into something beautiful and intricate and alive. It was like He was allowing me to share with Him in that experience of creation... on a much smaller scale, of course! I am so thankful for the ability to relate to this great God in such a real, personal way, and even the possibility of being able to support myself by doing that over and over, blows me away. 

This is a blog about my art (in its many, varied forms), but it is also about my faith. For me or anyone whose relationship to the creator God - and whose very life - has been restored by believing the sacrifice of Christ to cover sin and following Him as Lord (Ephesians 2:1-10), it is impossible to separate creative (or any) ability from that relationship. I create not because I'm an awesome artist, but because my Lord is! Every ability that I have He has given to me, and when I make a fabric basket, it's not to show you how crafty I am... it's to show you how amazing, how glorious HE is! God in His unfathomable grace has given me this gift, and it is my heartfelt hope and prayer that I will always use it for His glory, not mine.