Friday, November 15, 2013

Living in a State of Grace

As a DT member for One Little Word, it was my turn to pick the word for November.  "Grace" seemed like a good choice.  After all, that's what this month is all about, at least in the US.  So I've been using it, like in this art journal page from my circle journal group...

And in the mobiles I created for a recent blog hop between Stencil Girl and Foam Express.

The Latin root of the word grace is "gratia," which is also the root of the word gratitude. 

This word gets bandied about a lot and means different things to different people.  But to me, at its heart, grace means gratitude for all that is. And not just the good stuff.  The ups and downs, the highs and lows.  The problems and the blessings. 

When we fully embrace all of the events that happen in our complex world, we can align with all that is.  And when we align, rather than resist, we live in a state of grace.  After all, some of our best life lessons come from the hardest times.  Something that upsets us today might later turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

I'm grateful for a lot of things - too many to list.  But one of the things I'm most grateful for is this wonderful community.

Recently, I attended a weekend workshop at The Ink Pad in NY with friends and other members of the Stencil Girl Design Team

I am SO GRATEFUL to be part of this talented, supportive group of people, who are so giving with their knowledge and friendship.

In the workshop, taught by the amazing Mary Beth Shaw, Pam Carriker, Michelle Ward and Andrew Borloz, we experimented with different stenciling and painting techniques, and then bound our pages into gorgeous journals. Here I am with the four of them, and Seth Apter, who also designs for Stencil Girl!

Pam Carriker, Seth Apter, Me, MaryBeth Shaw, Andrew Borloz & Michelle Ward
I was also grateful to spend time with my friend Marjie Kemper, to see familiar faces from prior classes, and to make new friends!

I decided that I wanted my journal to truly reflect this special weekend and the gratitude I feel for being part of this community.

In thinking about "grace," what's clear is that it is a constant practice.  Our nature is to resist all that is unpleasant, and cling to that which we like.   Living in a state of grace is something to strive toward.  It is a journey. And so, I've named my journal "Journey to Grace" - to inspire me as I walk this path. 

The stencil on the cover is from October Stencil Club.  The word "OM" is in the tree.  OM is said to be the sound of the universe.  When we chant it, we are tuning ourselves to all that is -- the good, the bad, the seen and the unseen -- aligning ourselves with all of existence. 

Here are some of the inside pages, as yet very unfinished.  Do you recognize some of the stencils?  I loved using them this way... layering and layering until it's hard to tell what came first.  

Speaking of stencils - I have four new designs out with Stencil Girl!  Stay tuned for a blog post chock full of demos and tutorials showing you how I use them.

When you hear the word "GRACE,"  what does it bring up for you?  Let us know by linking up at One Little Word.  Anything goes -- just be inspired by GRACE!  I look forwarding to visiting the inspired creations by the rest of the Design Team, and by seeing what YOU do!

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."  Anne Lamott

And, P.S., if you missed my Thanksgiving free download, here it is!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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  1. Ooh, fab artwork and I am loving runes.......xox

  2. What a jammed packed blog post, Jessica. Looks like a fantastic weekend with so many wonderful people surrounding you. How could you not be so grateful of this. Your pages are amazing, as always AND.. your new stencils? Wow. I'm loving the pos/neg flowers.. after all I love flowers.

  3. Beautiful pages, and your new stencils look great, I like more abstract, so my favor goes for the Runes and Scales!

  4. A post jam-packed with both the beauty of art and the beauty of friendship! Loved digesting both, Jessica! Your new stencils are super--my favorite Runes! It says nothing, yet conveys to much! Well done!

  5. how very cool you got to be with so many wonderful artist, including yourself. It sounds likk an awesome time there and your journal is so beautiful!

  6. What beautiful journal pages! Love seeing how you use all the different stencils!! Your new ones are fabulous!! I am going to go broke buying all the stencils that I am falling in love with thanks to you! Looking forward to seeing more of your journal pages!

  7. your post is so full of yes, grace, but also beautiful art and happy times. Love the group shot of all of you at The Ink Pad. I adore your book cover and the pages you've done so far-so much wonderful symbolism. In the online 52 Weeks of Creative Abundance class I'm taking our word for this month is "grace". Each week we will be exploring grace in our lives.
    Fab new stencils-I especially love the runes!

  8. Wow that looks like a fun group. Love you grace page.

  9. Jessica your grace journal is absolutely gorgeous! You always inspire me with not just your beautiful art, but the way your heart is in everything you do! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  10. I like your blog and specially the latest postings by you thanks for sharing. RV Roof Coatings

  11. What a wonderful weekend it was! So glad we had that creative time together. Congratulations on your new releases!

  12. Sorry to be a bother but has the winner of the stencils been chosen yet? Thanks in advance for replying! :-)


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