The Ringing of the Bells Poem

Have you ever felt desperate for grace? Just a whisper from heaven to calm your angst? The assurance that everything is going to be ok? The Ringing of the Bells puts into words and images this cry of the heart. https://youtu.be/76NskJoH4m0 If troubles were akin to a turbulent sea crashing upon the coastline, perhaps we …

The Mysterious Wave-like Nature of Writing

How interesting that when I am most stripped of thought and emptied of soul, eventually, the sighs rise inside, like ocean waves, and then roll through my pen. Something someone can relate to splashes onto paper; no guile, no posturing, just an honest description of a human dilemma. And when this happens, people relate, and …

Vessels for my Voice

Have you ever felt overpowered by others' opinions, or found yourself withdrawing your voice to make room for the voices of others? If so, this poem is for you: https://youtu.be/Xi1f3EjFsxw As an artistic type, I've found other ways to express my voice when I find myself receding. Writing poetry, and then visualizing the poems by …

Do you ever feel insignificant?

Insignificance: to small or unimportant to be worth consideration. Without power or influence. Have you ever struggled with insignificance? Felt too unimportant to be worth consideration? Wondered why what means so much to you means so little to others? What is it in the human soul that longs to be loved, to be heard, to …

Salt Dough Natural Wreath

Learn how to sculpt a natural salt dough wreath that includes leaves, flowers, fruit, and nuts. This step-by-step video lesson will show you how from start to finish: https://youtu.be/v1t3siymcPw Salt Dough Sculpture Videos: Check out some other easy and fun salt dough sculpture lessons: https://jodeelunaart.com/2021/03/14/fun-and-easy-salt-dough-art-projects/ https://jodeelunaart.com/2020/11/22/salt-dough-snowman-ornaments/

Gulliver’s Release: Writers Need a Voice and Audience

Sometimes we writers need to break free of other's expectations to find our voice and our audience. This poem, Gulliver's Release, expresses these longing: https://youtu.be/KM1ZL8m9ppY Today I relish alone. Just me, curled up on the couch, wrapped in my cozy, white robe. Candles lit as I watch a little bird perch on the roof of …

When the Heavens Fall Silent

https://youtu.be/QSUB73FDC9M When you prayAnd the answer does not comeThe heavens fall silentA harmonious hush heard No “Not yet”Nor “Wait” graces earsOnly peace that lingersIn the unknown you seek When you prayAnd the heavens fall silentYou must rest and believeFor the perfect to come When answers to my questions do not come, I find the Lord’s …

St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Salt Dough Craft

Here's a fun and easy craft for St. Patrick's Day. Watch the video to view the step-by-step process or follow the instructions and images below the video: https://youtu.be/97lbIflEt5I Here's the step-by-step instructions: Measure and mix together the flour and salt: Add water to green paint and mix, and then add the flour and salt mixture. …

The Muse of Memoir: Share your Story

https://youtu.be/qM2ifcWCqO0 Watch the video version using the link above. A woman arises from the mist and walks towards me. All my writing until this moment seems but mere child’s play, splashes in puddles of rain. She unfolds her soft, supple hands, not gnarled, and scarred as I would assume for one having put her hand …

Bird of Paradise the Wingless Bird of Surrender

I'm captivated by the Birds of Paradise that grace my garden. These lovely flowers hold special significance for me. They remind me to surrender lofty aspirations in exchange for blessings that come from living an everyday life in an attitude of surrender. Like the Bird of Paradise, the wingless bird of surrender, life plucks our …

Ambition: The Rhinoceros of the Soul

https://youtu.be/MB8i6FJSDkE Ambition is my Achilles heel—a character weakness in my animal-like nature that drives me off course. Ambition is the fly in the ointment of my spirituality—an ever-present annoyance that buzzes around my brain, convincing me to go off course in chase of another vain pursuit. Ambition drives me to obsess the future, take big …

Easy Salt Dough Recipe and Valentine Hearts

As Valentine's Day approaches, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts/videos that show how to sculpt hearts using salt dough. Salt dough is an easy, fun craft you can do with all ages. What a wonderful gift your children can give to their friends along with the traditional valentines: Select …

Stranger from Another Realm

Into the night he whispersStranger from another realmShrouded form so sweetly familiarApparition from youth I once touched Into my mind he whispersStranger from another realmUnfolding path steers my awkward stepsOnly moving forward matters  Into my soul he whispersStranger from another realmDrawing me towards immortalityI sense a presence not of this earth Often The Stranger visits us in …

A Return to Writing: New Year’s Resolution 2022 

My pen lays dormant. Unfettered from the demands of work; yet cocooned for an unknown becoming.  In retirement, days stretch long and lazy. I can now do what my heart desires, and a return to writing is one of those desires. Yet, my former practice of daily writing has reduced to an occasional burst of …

Refrain from the Identical: Insights and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics

The concept of “Refraining from the identical” is essential for anyone wanting to pursue a creative lifestyle. Twenty-first Century living is packed full of activities that seem so important; yet, only as we weed out some things can we make room for our creative pursuits. You do not have to be an accomplished writer, artist, or content …

A Tendency towards Multiplicity

Do you ever feel pulled in a dozen different creative directions? I sure do; in fact, I wrote an entire book for people like us. Creative Electics is what I call artistic types that desire to try many different kinds of arts and crafts. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Refrain from the Identical: …

Salt Dough Santa Ornament

Here's an easy and fun craft idea for getting you into the holiday spirit. Follow this video for step-by-step instructions for creating a salt dough Santa: https://youtu.be/9IKa-6trcR0 I enjoy reading comments grandmas' leave on my YouTube channel when they watch my salt dough ornament videos. They are so excited to discover a fun and easy …

The Tree of Life and the Hidden Element

There is a hidden element in finding God’s will. We never know for sure whether we’re heading in the right direction. We might feel confident about our salvation and even hold fast to God’s promise of eternal life; however, while we walk upon this earth, a certain amount of uncertainty remains: “Should I pursue this …

Cherry Blossom Acrylic Painting

Take an artistic journey through the creation of a cherry blossom painting that spreads across three canvases. My daughter's time spent living in Seoul, South Korea, inspired her to paint cherry blossom trees. This post will take you through the process. Begin by creating a muted background with various colors of acrylic paints: lavender, blue, …

Chapter 4 OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO CREATING

I've been revisiting portions of my book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics, and am amazed at how relevant the writings are concerning my current creative journey.  Chapter 4 addresses obstacles us creative eclectics often struggle to overcome. I highlight topics such as dealing with depression (typical of the artistic temperament), …

The Creative Calling: 10 Suggestions for Overcoming Self-Doubt

"You were born to create. Never forget it! It brings joy to you and to others." My dear friend, Kristi, Zenno, sent me this encouragement after I sent her a photo of the Christmas card I'd made for my Zazzle Store. Little did she know I was struggling with doubt concerning my creative calling. The …

Parallax and Roto Brush Video Editing Techniques

I created this short tribute to my father using a couple of fun video editing techniques: The Parallax Effect and Roto Brush. You can watch it by selecting the play icon below: https://youtu.be/H3rmWkwgu8o Parallax Effect I created the parallax effect by taking vintage photos of times my siblings and I spent with our father while …

The Promise, a poem about divine friendship

https://youtu.be/4tbezPteJ2c The Promise is for those longing for more than religion but relationship with their Heavenly Father. Set against the background of reeds blowing in the wind, this slow motion video presents its message with a peaceful flow. Here are the words: If you are seeking peace, guidance, and renewal, dare to pursue The Promise.

Courage is Accumulative

I believe that courage is accumulative. The more we make decisions to overcome our fears and do what we know is right, the more our minds and spirits increase in strength and resolve.  Small courageous steps take us a little bit further down the path of our destiny. Yet although they are necessary, they are …

Pressed Flower Mixed Media Collage

This is a great mixed media project for beginners that need a little help with creating a background. Begin with a frame. You can see how to crackle a frame by accessing this post: Mixed Media Collage Recycling Project. For the background, I used “Pure Joy” Art-to-Borrow by Rachel Emilie Jackson that was included in theSomerset …

Mixed Media Collage Recycling Project

This post features a mixed media project that I created using a recycled picture frame, a jewelry heart piece, and scrapbook scraps. I've had a desire to create more mixed media artwork using supplies I've already had around the house. The suggested supplies are listed below: A picture frameA thin canvasAcrylic paintGolden Gel MediumAn assortment …

“Oh Little Sparrow” Mixed Media Collage

Whenever I feel afraid, I remember the little sparrows in Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” This scripture reminds me of the intimate care our Heavenly Father provides for us. So in order to help process my grief over …

Fun and Easy Salt Dough Art Projects

Salt dough sculpture is a fun and easy art activity for people of all ages. I've made a series of free YouTube videos that demonstrate the entire process and are easy to follow. The Salt Dough Garden Bunny video features the bunny in the photo above, using a technique where you mix the paint and …

Masquerade Mask: Journey into the Artistic Soul

If eyes are the window to the soul, then a masquerade mask frames these portals. Eyes transform into mystical moorings when peering out through a mask. We find this inexplicable desire to venture inside the mind of the masked artist to discover why she creates. The artistic person frames her soul’s windows with various art …

The Extraction

When shards of life slice through our souls and lodge in our hearts, character flaws form and fester around these painful experiences: We find ourselves overcompensating with ambition for injuries to self-esteem suffered in childhood.We grow suspicious and cynical because of abandonment suffered from disloyal relationships.Negative experiences with churches, employers, or organizations sully our trust …

A Writer’s Break

This morning I’m writing from a top room in the Eagle’s Nest at Heavenly Valley, Lake Tahoe. A gift from family, my husband and some of our children nestled into this mountain retreat before Christmas. From where I write, I can see one of the Heavenly Valley ski slopes.    Call them writers’ retreats, vacation …

Refrain Book Update: Creativity is about Consistency

Nothing challenges the consistency of my creativity more than a day job, and I’ve had plenty of those over the years. I’m back to work as a middle school literacy teacher so my days, once again, fill with lessons and meetings and drives across town. Gone are those summer sessions of writing until noon. Then …

The Wonders of Travel by Monique Gascon

I am pleased and honored to feature Monique Gascon's amazing and inspirational post about her passion for traveling. Whether you are an avid travel enthusiast or an armchair traveler wanting to see more of the world, you will find this reflection fascinating: I often wonder what factors motivate a person to become a traveler.  Are …

When Change is in the Air

Have you ever grown discontented and didn’t know why? You couldn’t quite put your finger on the reason your mood darkened or you suddenly felt constrained, uncomfortable, itchy for something. I sure have. Often this odd annoyance occurs well before change knocks on the heart’s door or peeks in through the window of our thoughts.  …

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