Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dreams Are Worth The Wait!


Hello to anyone who happens to stop by and read this...also this is just my spot to document my artful life's journey...well I can't believe just how much time has went by and how much my life has changed since then.  Sooo soon after my last post, I kind of lost my creative energy...my mind just couldn't go there...I had soo much on my mind and there were a lot of unexpected personal challenges I went through as well...as much as I hated what happened, it helped me to realize who my real 'peeps' are...they really helped me get through a very emotional time...most of all it reminded me just how much the Lord is always there for me and he really held me close and kept love from fleeing from my heart...and so I still go on and I can still love!

Of course life isn't perfect but it has improved greatly and the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is definately one that I can testify to!  I'm also very happy with our little girl...she may not be my baby from my womb but she is from my heart!!  She is doing so well, some days can be challenging but I realized that those are the times that she is hurting the most emotionally and I have been able to help her get through those 'fits of rage' just by being there for her and letting her feel secure in my arms.  This has been very healing for her and bonding for us.  We are now in the mid point of adopting her but I know that there are other "issues" that we'll have to deal with...but for now we are just celebrating all the improvements and good days!

As for my personal/spiritual growth...yesterday I experienced something that accellerated that growth and the only word I can come up with to express this experience is that it left me "flabbergasted"...not even sure what that word means but for some reason is the only word I can come up with...lol!  It was a very unexpected experience and basically I was given a very special message from a very special person...it was very healing for me and I felt that a weight was lifted from my heart...a very heavy burden that I was carrying for years...for me this experience was provided for me to finally move forward.  I had been praying for weeks for the Lord to lead and guide me and help me from my moments when I feel like I am soo stuck!

When I feel stuck...it's like I feel like even giving up on my dreams...I feel sometimes like why should I bother...like my joy is taken away...then I pray and pray and ask the Lord to help me get through those times and when he does it is soo awesome...so for me about 2 months ago is when I recieved my breakthrough and my creativity came raining down on me...and I KNOW IT IS the rain that comes from Heaven above!!  So when I shared with my husband about this...he said to me something that touched my heart...he said "Don't give up on your dream...that is who you are...he reminded me about the time he needed to wait in a 5 hour long line...in the rain and on his birthday on top of that in order to just apply for the job that he has had for the last 13 years which has made it possible for him to provide for us a new home, vehicles, and life's neccessities...he reminded me to not give up no matter how long I have to stay in line for my turn to come...it is amazing how we can forget that if something is worth anything of value to ourselves...then it is worth the wait!  The Lord is so amazing how in just a matter of a few days he sent many messages through different messengers to remind me not to give up...especially on my dreams!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby Steps Goals + 100 "Likes" Celebration!

 
Hello Everyone...I am so happy to announce that I am celebrating a small baby step goal that I was able to achieve...I reached 100 "Likes" on my FB Artist page!!  Now this may seem like a silly goal but I am very happy about it so I am going to share about it and celebrate it and I'm offering 25% off everything in my boutique for this weekend only!
 
I have written about many things on this blog and I may not have a big reader following but I am also doing this blog for myself...to document my growth and the struggles I have dealt with along the way as a woman of God, a wife, a daughter, sister, aunt/nina and now instant mommy, a friend, and as an artist...of course I do not put all the details but enough to document what I've been dealing with.
 
Most of my current struggles is about learning to juggle...my perspective has changed and becoming an 'instant mommy' was what catapulted that change.  I am happier now as a mother and I feel blessed to have such a beautiful, sweetheart, sunshine girl (as I call her) who is also very talented artistically for her young age of 4.  Now that things are getting better with all of us adjusting to each other and our new routines I feel I can continue on my personal artistic journey alongside.
 
Recently I had the most wonderful conversation with my cousin Sarah who herself is an artist along with her husband and both darling and gorgeous daughters...it was a much needed message that I needed to recieve since she completely understood my own personal struggle as a mother with a creative soul.  She understood my conflict of interests of wanting to still be creative but at the same time putting all my attention on my little girl.  She encouraged me to continue being a good mommy but also to take the time to continue to create but to also be realistic.
 
This made me realize that I needed to take 'Baby Steps'...to not overwhelm myself with unrealistic goals.  I'm not going to ever stop dreaming big but taking 'baby steps' will help me get to my goals in a more realistic way for me.  I need to go back to the beginning of what it is that I enjoy doing...she also told me something that I felt was freeing to me in a way...she said not to feel like I need to share all my artwork with the world...to keep some of it for myself!  I really like that...it's like giving myself permission to create at my own pace and not feel as though I need to share every detail!
 
Soo that's why I'll be sharing my 'Baby Steps' and celebrating them...my next baby step is to sell at least 1 item a week...no matter how big or small...just to get myself in a routine to put my art that I'm ready to share with others out there and this will help me work my way up!
 
Alongside with that "Baby Steps" goal I have a goal to do at least one creative thing a day...even if it's just coloring with my little girl in one of her coloring books! :)  Have a blessed day everyone and thank you for sharing this part of my journey with me! :) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

*SuMmErY WhiMsY WhiSheS*

Hello there!  I decided to try out a new look for my blog...I really like this layout because it'll be easier to showcase my artwork here...I hope you like this cleaner simpler look too!  Also, I'd like to share with you a *FREEBIE*  - part of my new *Whimsy Wishes* that I will be creating more of:
 
(Just right click & save as on your computer!)

Most of you probably don't know this...but once upon a time not to many years ago I did a little Digital Designing...aka Cre8tvlyYrs Designs (2007-2009).  It was a short lived career attempt but it did teach me alot about PSPCS2! :)

Sooo, I thought...I might as well use those skills in creating cute cards and bookmarkers and also to offer some digital freebies here and there!

So for this first *FREEBIE* I used an old digital kit I created in 2009 called "Vibrant Summery Beach Days".  All the original artwork was created by me on my little Wacom tablet...which I still have and occassionaly use.

I will be creating more *Whimsy Wishes* as cards which I'm still trying to decide to offer them as digital or handmade creations or even both for sale in my Etsy Boutique...I will announce how and when soon but for now I created this for you all as a gift and a *Whimsy Wish* for your summer!

Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Kind Of Healing...

Hello Friends!  Just thought I'd post this quick little slideshow featuring some of my favorite digital ATC's I created back in 2006 when I was really into digital creating and share a little reflection of how this digital medium helped me to heal and lead me back to my love of painting! video
 I began using the digital 'medium' to create shortly after the passing away of my beloved grandmother because I was in such deep mourning that I couldn't paint, draw, scrapbook on paper...natha!  Seriously, it was as though my mourning of her death sucked out all my joy...especially since my main thing I loved doing back then was scrapbooking and then of course other paper crafting.
 
But of course as an artist and creative soul I yearned to do something creative ...I stumbled upon the digital scrapbooking websites and it ignited my creativity again.  I know that digital had gotten a bad rep within the paper medium scrapbooking & paper crafters community but honestly digital scrapbooking actually was a God send to me...it helped me feel creative again...to feel excited about creating again and led me back to paper crafting and then to creating my original artworks (which is another story entirely!)...but I felt I needed to share this part of my journey...because I need to remind myself of this when I am needing a little pick me up...which is where I am now!
 
Early this morning was a little tough for me...I couldn't sleep due to all the negative thoughts swirling in my mind...I was doubting everything about myself...it was a soul searching moment and I prayed, I cried and journaled my heart out...until the Lord brought me peace again.  At first I wasn't going to post about this but for some reason (even if it's only to help just 1 person) I felt led to go ahead and do so...and so I am!  As I was getting ready to post here I found this slideshow (I created earlier this year but never posted) as though my Guardian Angel was reminding me of where I've been and how far I've come and to not give up on my dreams!
 
I feel like I'm on this part of my journey that I see an old worn out bridge that I must cross in order to continue on my path to reach my dreams and goals and it's scary...I've taken a few steps but the bridge is creaking and I'm afraid I'll fall...I am wondering if I will be able to make it...I am gripped with fear but at the same time my faith is telling me to continue...I must continue...so continue I will...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Flying With Charity Wings

So I finally got the chance to meet Elena Etcheverry the founder of Charity Wings and the Charity Wings Art Center and I'd like to share a little about my visit.
 
Here is the beautiful Charity Wings banner that hangs by the entry way:
 
and here I am proudly standing underneath my 'Valentina 2013'!

Here is Elena & I after finally meeting...she is so sweet and friendly that I felt like we already met and we're old friends!  We got to chat for about an hour and she gave us a tour of the Art Center!  It was really nice to meet her and I'm surely going to be visiting more often...especially since I've become a member of the Charity Wings Art Center!

If any of you would like to be a part of a really fun and creative environment I really would like to encourage you to visit Charity Wings Art Center and become a member to help the Art Center to continue to be a wonderful place for crafters and artists alike to gain inspiration and friendships!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cre8tvlyYrs Card Cre8ns Tutorial 1



***Beautiful Cards On a Budget: Money & Time Saving Greeting Cards***

I began making cards around 20 years ago...as a struggling student with the need for Birthday Cards for all my family & friends...but that was before they made card making so easy!! So I thought I'd do some fun and simple tutorials to share some time and money saving tips on creating your own handmade greeting cards that I've learned along the way!

This first tutorial features a little grundgy and a little Victorian style...I will be creating more tutorials soon! I created this in a slideshow format and I am still learning this program so I apologize for the ending when the music cuts off abruptly...still learning this program! :)

Enjoy and have a blessed Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Whimsical Wednesday in the Cre8tvlyYrs Arts & Crafts Design Lab!

Hello Friends and Welcome to my Whimsy little side of Blogland at the:

***Ce8tvlyYrs Arts & Crafts Design Lab!***

Starting today I will be putting a fresh new twist on my blog by posting a lot more often and they will be articles of almost anything Artsy Craftsy sometimes in the format of a Vlog or sometimes in tutorial format and will feature the following:

 *Artworks in Progress: A peek of what I'm currently working on

*Crafty Projects:
  -Card Tutorials
  -Crafty Tips
  -Crafts to Treasure (recyclable crafts)
  -Scrapbooking (Paper & Digital)
  -Jewelry
  -Mommy and Me

*Product Previews  *Techniques   * Tips  *Artista Interviews and more! :)

For today I will feature a little virtual tour video...a little peak into my ‘Cre8v Zone’ that I currently reorganized!  It's my 1st little tour and I did my best not to make it too lengthy so please let me know what you think...but please also be nice! LOL!  Have a blessed day everyone!
 


 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Season of Change...Summer's Here!

Cailan's 1st trip to the Beach!
Happy Summer!

Well today is officially the 1st day of summer and I'm so happy that it's still cool enough for me to enjoy it!  There has been so much going on and more changes are continuing.  :)


I thought I'd begin this little update of a few of the changes going on with a layout I made of Cailan's 1st trip to the beach...she was so excited and had fun with her cousin chasing and running away from the waves!




*This really has been a season of change for me...first I have finally got my hair cut and colored...it's been a long time...so since I've been needing to give a photo over to Charity Wings and to update my portfolio's I made sure to take a photo with my new look to use.  I'm really happy about my hair which is really a challenge for me.

Embracing the Changes
My loved ones and close friends know why and usually I wouldn't speak too much about this but I'm in a different place and feel I should share what I went through if it will help even one person who happens to come along and read this.  10+ years ago my hair began thinning in the front...which to any woman is devastating...but around 7 years ago I had a surgery which really made more hair fall out.  It was so bad I needed to wear wigs and was constantly wearing hats.  Since last year however, it has began growing back...I still wear hats and headbands but my hair is filling in and now there are only a few bare spots!  It's amazing that now that I have began to embrace that it is what it is and not let it keep me from living my life...my hair is coming back!   I thank God for that!

Angela and Bella got their Summer Cuts...so cute!
Soo...in addition to me getting my haircut...it was also time for my little puppy girls to get their summer cuts too!  Aren't they cute?  They sooo love their shorter hair...especially as the heat is gonna be rising!
 
Well, I also want to share a little of  how good Cailan is doing here with us...she still has a lot of things to work through but right now she is really happy...and she has made me happier too!  Some days are more challenging but for the most part she has been a wonderful addition to our family...we are so blessed to have each other and I feel so blessed to have been chosen to be her mommy!


Still a work in progress...my "Creative Zone"
As for my artwork and art business...it's all kind of been on hold...becoming an instant mommy has really been an adjustment for us and it is trickling out all around me...my priorities of course, have changed as well!  Along with that, so has my attitude...I've figured out that since I have ADHD I need to make better plans, set goals and work smarter instead of harder.  So I've been doing research, getting inspired and learning from others on YouTube...lol!  Really, there is a lot of great people sharing their wisdom and advise and it's helped me alot!  So right now I'm still in the middle of getting my 'zones' organized, as you can see from the last photo my 'Creative Zone' is still a work in progress...but then as soon as I'm finished I'll be able to get more accomplished and achieve my goals of being a licensed artist one day...or if the Lord has other plans with my artwork, I'll be ready to goooo!

Friday, May 24, 2013

*S p A r k L y C h A n g E s*

Hello everyone! I am soo excited about the sparkly changes going on around me!! I know the Lord is working on some amazing things in my life right now! It actually began yesterday when my Artie and I decided to temporarily move my 'Painting area' into our guest room until we can get my 'Art Studio' built but we know that won't be for a while...so that change has already brought me a much better creative flow!!

So even though my artsy craftsy stuff is still a little scattered it's actually working out because I've realized that I actually need zones...I have ADHD and I tend to get easily distracted, especially if I have all my stuff out surrounding me it can get a little crazy for me in my brain.  So to create a better work flow I have created work zones:

In my dining room area we have all my 'paper craft' & jewelry supplies and my computer on one side wall which will make it easier for me when I need to make jewelry, greeting cards and especially since I now have a darling little girl I am going to start a scrapbook for her.  This will also be where I store my business products and finished art & craft products to sell, making this my PaperCrafts/Jewelry/Art Business Zone.
Paper Crafts/Jewelry/Art Bus Zone
The area in our guest room is only a desk area and half the closet for storage...this will simply be my Art Zone - where I will do all my drawing and painting and some art journaling only...nothing else!!
My Artsy Zone

In our garage I also have a Craftsy Zone...this is where I create more craftsy types of things and sewing projects as well as use the more strong odorous products that need well ventilation like when I spray my paintings with varnish, use the glue gun, and create resin charms, and my wood blocks, etc...that area will definately need to stay there even when I do get my studio built, it's not a big area anyways so it should be good. 
Craftsy Zone
We are also planning on lots more changes including on focusing on new ways to sell my artwork so more announcements coming soon!   Having Cailan a part of our lives has made us have to change many things...but they are things that needed changing...she has been a blessing in so many ways and watching her being happy makes me happy too!

Have a Blessed and Cre8v Day Everyone! Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina


Monday, May 6, 2013

Instant Mommy-ism

A new artwork I am working on...hoping to get it done this week!
This painting that I am working on is the 1st one I've felt is a true heart expression of my being an instant mommy.  I feel so blessed even though some times are a little more challenging than I was ever ready for.  When you foster to adopt it's a whole other set of challenges than your average mommyhood.  Not saying that regular mommyhood is any easier...it's just different.
 
Most of the time we feel just like this painting...peace and happiness...a lovely bond is growing between us and she fills me with joy.  Sometimes there are the parts of what happens when a child has been in confusing moments in their lives.  You really have to be extra patient and sometimes is harder than others...and the testing of boundaries happen as what you would expect...but even though you expect it, those moments are never easy.  However, when I work through those and see her smile and hear her giggle...especially when she says 'I love you mommy' ~ I know that it's all worth it!!
 
My perspective has shifted as well as my priorities but I know that it's important for me to continue creating art as much as I am able to.  We are doing better at adjusting together so soon I know when she's got a school schedule we can get a good routine started and I can arrange my own schedule around that too!  Well life is extra busy so I'm not sure when I'll be back here to post...and I'm really excited to celebrate my 1st Mother's Day this year so I'm going to be having a sale in my Etsy shop...check here for more details:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/GinasWhimsyHeART
 
Have a Blessed & Cre8v Day!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Forecast of Renewal...

I am definately in a state of renewal...a new phase of transformation...mind, body and soul!  So many things that are taking place in my life are changing from moment to moment...the Lord amazes me to bewilderment and enchantment just about every day.  He never ceases to amaze me and I love it!  During this whole past Lenten season has been a time of  witnessing and experiencing miracles as well as experiencing life on a whole other level.

It's like my mind can't keep up with the changes and new mind blowing life advances...it reminds me of when I was telling our little girl Cailan of how I have so many things I can't wait to surprise her with and she said:  "You mean even more than you already have?"  I said "Uhuhh!" and she goes "Oh my, I don't think I can take anymore!"  :)  Thinking of that moment makes me smile and giggle with delight!  Knowing that the next part of my life with her is to finally be a mommy...as she has already called me!

My husband and I will finally have a child...a little girl will now have a mother and father who will love her and make sure she will always be safe.  It's really hard to type all my feelings as my eyes keep filling up with tears...tears of joy of course!  This is the one miracle I have prayed for and now very soon it will be...it will be!!

Artistically as well my view of things and the expressions I want to put to canvas are enhanced dramatically!  I have even been 'reworking' older pieces that although I thought they were complete or 'good enough' to sell now seem to be 'missing something' or be dull and lifeless...they needed new meaning, new layers to just be more 'me'...simply that is what everything in my life is about...I have changed...I think in a good way...a better way!
I originally created this in 2011...I reworked this piece to softer tones and eyes closed...now she's 'California Dreaming'
Spiritually, my Faith has been enhanced to a new and exciting level and I know there is more to come...the miracles that I will witness, the KNOWING without having to be proven has always been the way I've viewed God...but lately he still is blessing me with abounding and touching miracles or witnessing answered prayers...he is always showing me how much he loves me...every Lenten Season and especially to Good Friday, it is revealed to me more and more each year!  He pours down his affection and I lift up my hands to the sky to praise him and recieve all his love for me!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I am Forever Changed...

On our way home...
Last Thursday my husband and I began our trip to Seattle, Washington to meet Cailan for the 1st time...we decided to drive as it really was our only choice.  Little did we know how much that drive was going to change our whole life.  I know that for me, this whole weekend's event of meeting my little girl and even the traveling experience has changed me forever...the Lord has truly blessed my soul and I will never be the same...how can I be?

We drove 18 hours straight...only stopping for gas and food...we were so full of adrenaline from the excitement of meeting her that we didn't even feel tired!  We knew the whole time that we were in God's care...even before we left we were being blessed.  As I wrote before we weren't sure how we'd get there due to our financial situation but we felt the timing was crucial that we leave when we did...I prayed so hard all through the night and the Lord provided...we were blessed with Love gifts from our family and friends with enough to have the gas money we needed to drive up there plus be able to pay for our hotel for 2 days and food for the trip up there...for that we are forever grateful!

On Friday morning while we were still in Oregan we were happy to see that his paycheck did get deposited as our cash was running low and then we knew we would be able to really enjoy spending time with Cailan and not have to worry about money anymore.  We arrived just in time on Friday to meet with our new caseworker...who is a Godsend!  She is really nice and pleasant to work with.  She had us meet Cailan that night and even though it was a short visit it was obvious that Cailan felt close to us almost immediately!

The next day we spent the whole day with Cailan and really loved every moment!  We took her to the Aquarium and to eat and just hung out for hours with her.  On Sunday we went to the church she goes to with her foster mom and then we took her for lunch.  On the way back we took her to this really cool place that was like a whimsy metal garden.  Then we went back to her foster home and packed a few of her things to take back with us.

Explaining that was the only hard part because she thought we would be taking her back home with us and she cried...which broke my heart...I hated seeing her get dissapointed...so I comforted her the best I could by explaining to her that we wish we could take her but this was the way we had to do things...that it wasn't our choice to do things this way and that she didn't do anything wrong, that we loved her and that she is our little girl and we will be together soon!

I was upset because I knew this would happen...but there is nothing we could say or do to change the other Social Workers mind when she was setting up the 'Plan of Action' to get our case resolved...even our new Social Worker didn't like this idea.  Thank God we were able to cheer Cailan up again and see her beautiful smile...she looked happy to see us packing her things...it was like she knew we meant what we said to her.  We said our goodbyes and let her know that we are going to finish getting her room ready and that we love her and can't wait to see her again...I could tell she was happy about what we were doing at this point.

*I wish I could post some photos of her...especially her beautiful smile but due to the sensitivity of this case I don't feel comfortable to post pictures of her but I am sharing our experience of meeting her because it is part of my documenting my life here on this blog.

This experience has truly changed my outlook on so many levels...the first was on TRULY relying on God...I always have but I felt like he wanted to show me some miracles unfold before my very eyes!  I also had to TRUST him completely...which also meant trusting my parents completely with my furbabies and NOT worry about them at all...which I won't lie...was hard!!  But not because my parents wouldn't be good to them but because I tend to worry about "what if's"...which was the same for the driving up there...I think God was sick of me worrying about "what if's" and he made me realize that I wasn't truly trusting him if I was worrying about those...so just before we left I prayed about everything and gave all my worries to the Lord...I truly did...I declared that I wasn't going to worry and that I was going to enjoy myself...I felt like the birdie that finally leaped out of the nest and was delighted to discover that she was flying...no SOARING!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Amazing Grace...

"May I know Jesus...More & More"  Lenten Crosses #21
Well Hello There to all my Friends and Family who happen to stop by to read this and to all the strangers who happen to find yourself here!  I welcome you and hope that you will find some encouragement and hope in whatever you are dealing with in your life from what my message is about.  There is so much happening in my life right now, so much that I don't even know how to begin to describe what it is that I'm going through spiritually, emotionally, mentally and yes, even physically!  All I know, is at this moment...I feel so humbled and full of peace...so blessed.

Last week, the last time I posted here...I was so awestruck by what my wonderful friend Lisa initiated for my husband & I and ever since then, am still in awe of all our family and friends and even a few strangers for stepping up for us and sending us love gifts...we have never experienced that and no matter the amount that was sent we appreciate your generous hearts greatly.  We just got through a very hard thing to go through financially...we thought we were going to have extra money for this trip but when emergencies come up sometimes you have no choice so we ended up with going from having a little extra for the trip to no extra money...which left us concerned.

At the same time...we had already committed to doing this trip and we don't want the Social Workers or the Foster Family to think anything negative about us...like if we were having 2nd thoughts or that we are flaky people or not really committed...so we decided to go ahead with our plans and we just asked our family for prayers for a miracle and I prayed for the Lord to bring us provision...and he is...continually...we have been blessed.  We have been blessed with enough to at least book our hotel as St. Patrick's Day is pretty busy up there in Seattle!

What is amazing is that my friend had no idea what we just went through...not many do as it is something we'd like to keep private.  But the night before her posting...actually the timing seems to coincide...my husband was going through a tough time because we had no idea where we would get the money we'd need to get through to his next paycheck let alone to even get the planning started...I was concerned for him and I was praying all through the night...from when he went to sleep around midnight till he woke up for work the next morning.

So when my mom, who is one of the few that knows of what we have just been through called me at 8 am to ask if I've seen what she posted I was so awestruck at how the Lord amazingly moves the hearts of our friends and family into action...it really felt like that part of our favorite movie "It's a Wonderful Life" when everyone starts moving into action to help out George Bailey.  My husband is that kind of man...he never hesitates to help out others and has been my hero ever since I met him.  He was even awarded a Medal of Valor a few years ago!  (A whole other post someday soon!!)

In addition to all that was happening of course I got really sick since last Monday...was literally in bed for days!  Now that I am feeling much better my only concern is that my husband won't get sick as he is usually heartier than I am... :)  I also have so much to do in only the next 3 days...but I wanted to make sure that I took the time to share this part about our story...this Amazing Grace that I recognize only from God could all this be possible!  Most people don't acknowledge all the Blessings and Miracles that surround them every day...I treasure each one I am blessed to witness!

We are getting so close to the day when we will finally have our happy home with a child finally filling our home with laughter.  We know it won't always be so easy as we have been a part of helping out our family with so many of our nephews and nieces...so we know there is the good, the bad and the ugly...lol!  But we look at all that as blessings...so many of you who have been blessed with your children have no idea of the heart ache and many tears that my husband I have been through to finally get to this place where we are willing to go to the moon and back to recieve our sweet little child!  We are so thankful to all of you who have reached out to help make this happen for us...most of all, thanks be to God for his Amazing Grace!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Witnessing Rainbows Together...

Feeling so blessed right now...the Lord has been so good to us!
Oh how amazing and wonderful you are to me oh Lord...you are so faithful...I thank and praise you for all your wondrous deeds!  I needed to begin this post with praises to my Lord because without all that he's done for us...what I'm posting about wouldn't be...

***Heartwarming News***

*About Cailan...
So after a really long and challenging time...we are finally at the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...we are making arrangements to go meet Cailan for the 1st time in Mid March which we are so excited about but the most beautiful thing I got to experience was to actually be able to talk to her on the phone for the 1st time Thursday night.

She is sooo adorable and I felt a connection with her right away!  At first she was shy but as I asked her questions about what she likes and her favorite animals and colors she began to open up more and more.  It was such an intense experience for me because as I was hearing her share those things with me I was cherishing each response, taking in her little character and noticing how intelligent she is too.

Our bonding has already begun too, I can tell because when I told her that she would be living with my husband and I and that she wouldn't have to move any more she said:  "You mean when I go live with you I get to stay forever?"  When I told her yes, she excitedly told her foster mom 'I get to live with her forever and ever and ever!!'  I just about cried...then she began to sing for me...and when she sang the words 'yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the bible told me sooo'...she melted my heart...I can't wait to meet her but more than that I can't wait till she's finally home with us...her home!

*About True Friendship...
So with all the different things that happen with life...my husband and I are trying to find the best way safely yet also affordable to us and I had posted on my Facebook for references and opinions on the best way and such.  So this morning I was personally touched by my dear friend Lisa, for her beautiful words on our behalf that she posted on her FB page to her family & friends which I am posting here because what she wrote was so beautiful and touched me deeply that I want to document this and this is also to show truly what a wonderful treasured friend of mine she is...here's what she wrote:



Dear Family & Friends~

I am reaching out in hopes I can get some assistance for my friends Gina and Arturo Arzaga. This beautiful couple is so close to fulfilling their dreams of becoming adoptive parents. They are preparing to visit their soon to be adopted daughter, Cailan for the first time! Cailan is in Washington State. My friends are asking for information on discounts on airfare or hotel accommodations since the trip is not something they initially planned for. If anyone has any means of helping with some great connections in the airline or hotel industry, it would be great to know. They would never ask for financial support or freebies/comps because that is not in their nature but I am taking a leap here on my own by asking. I would love to hold a fundraiser for them but there is no time, they must leave very soon. If anybody is interested in helping Gina & Art, please let me know. I will collect donations on their behalf. Send me a message and I will give you all of the information on where to send your monetary donation to. I know times are tough for so many of us right now and understand that it may be impossible. Either way, I ask for prayer or a kind note of support to them. The days ahead will busy and I know they would truly appreciate all the prayers and love.
This journey has been so very long. They have shown so much patience. Gina & Art have remained strong. They have experienced some road blocks but God has moved those road blocks and they are on their way to see their angel, finally. Some days were brighter than others but never giving up, ever. They want this more than anything. It will all be worth it. Proud parents they will be. Incredible, loving parents is how I see them already.

Gina & Art are devoted to God, they both give so much time to their church and their family. God has blessed them and will continue to bless them. Miracles are happening for them. They have longed to have a child of their own for many years and this dream is truly becoming a reality.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, thank you for your kindness and thank you for the prayers! Love & Blessings Always ♥

(she even included one of my favorite pics of us with that post)
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Again, I am with tears of joy...and as I let her know...Major tears of joy here...I'm overwhelmed with joy and amazement of how the Lord blesses us with special people in our lives to be there for us through the storms of life so we can witness the rainbows together as the light shines through the clouds!!
 
We have been friends for over 40 years, since we were only 3 years old...around the age of Cailan...what a neat coincidence...but then again, there are no coincidences in God's plans!


So I dedicate this painting to my beautiful friend Lisa...because she spreads love where ever she goes!

God bless you all!  Gina Arzaga

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Charity Wings + Prima Art*Venture = Valentina 2013

******WONDERFUL NEWS******

Wow...so since my last post I have had a whole lot of things come up in my personal life that my husband and I needed to attend to.  Now that we are definately going to be having a very special little girl in our life we are making sure to take care of any loose ends and finish up some projects that had to be completed.  I also needed to make sure and finish up some personal art business related things so that I can be ready for the next phase of my life!

So in mid March we will be taking a trip to the state of Washington to meet our little girl...it is a bittersweet situation so I can not post too much more about this and at this time I cannot post too much about her or post any photos.  This much I can say...we are looking forward to meeting her and cannot wait to have her in our lives!

*****EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!*****

So excited and humbly honored...Valentina is finished and Elena from Charity Wings has seen her and has approved of this painting which I will be donating this as "Wing Art".  When I last posted 'Valentine 2013' I thought I was finished with her but I kept feeling like something was missing and I wasn't happy with the skin tone...I even got a little discouraged...then finally today I was able to finally know what I needed to do to make her be as beautiful as I first envisioned in my mind...got the skin tone just right and did some touch ups here and there.

I felt it was important for me to include Prima in this piece since it was at the Prima Art*Venture event that I came across the Charity Wings booth.  So I added a beautiful flower garland in her hair using some of the beautiful flowers and the beautiful crystal necklace from the 'Say It With Crystals' embellishments from the goodie bag that I got from Prima's Art*Venture.

I am still in a state of wonderment...sort of dreamlike...can somebody pinch me about this happening!!  I think I won't believe that it's real until I actually take my artwork to Elena and meet her!!!  I'm really excited about this and feel that this is the step in the right direction for me...as it is doing something good with my art...something meaningful...and I believe that the Lord has led me down this path...led by his angels as they so often appear in my artwork!

*****LIFE BOOK 2013*****
 
I haven't had a chance to do any other lessons since week 3 so I am pretty far behind since we are now on week 8 but luckily week 4 is not too complicated and week 7 was a break so I only need to do 4 lessons...yeah...only 4!  LOL!  I guess I could've not painted this little cutie but I couldn't help it...I wasn't happy with my original 'Guardian Art Angel' so I recreated her but this time on canvas...I also put some pretty Prima flowers on this piece too!  Her name is Annabelle and she will be hanging  on the wall above my desk to remind me to fly! 
 
 
Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina Marie Arzaga
    

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In His Glorious Love

Valentina 2013
Hello and Happy Valentine's Day everyone...and may I present my *Valentina ~ 2013* "In his Glorious Love".

This is a very special project that I have been working on and I had become stuck and was struggling with her face for like a few weeks.  But like always, my Lord always provides me with what I need...it's like he sent down the angels down to help me out with much needed inspiration and around 3 am while I was praying/singing the Divine Chaplet of Mercy (as I almost always do each morning if I'm up)...she arrived!  I felt like I was able to express exactly what I wanted to for this piece.

I first created Valentina in 2009 on a 16"x 20" Canvas and each year since then I create an annual version, I was hoping to have a little slideshow of them by now but since I got her done down to the wire I didn't have a chance yet.  So each year she looks pretty much the same just a lot smaller 9"x12".  Well this year I decided that I wanted to create her with her eyes closed and I painted her on a 10"x10" canvas. 

The reason that I struggled with this piece was because I decided that I wanted this piece to be the one that I donate to Charity Wings and I was trying too hard to make it perfect...I even painted her with eyes at first...but they just didn't look good enough for me and I was going to keep working on them but then my heart spoke to me...you know, I should've known better to try anything than what my heart first wanted in the first place...lol!  So like as I was saying earlier...at 3 am she arrived...and you know what?  I am truly happy with how this piece came out!  I really hope that this will be good enough for Charity Wings but at least I know that I am happy in my heart about this!

I was hoping to post some jewelry that I created in my Etsy Boutique too but not only has time began to speed up even more since my B-day last week but we have also been getting busier...especially this weekend...so I probably won't be able to add those until next week!  Hope you all have a Blessed Valentine's Day and weekend!

Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Friday, February 1, 2013

Doors Are Opened To Where There Once Was Only Windows...

Lately the Lord has been opening doors to where there once was only windows for me...it's amazing and I am in awe...in fact, it took me a while to write about it as I was still overwhelmed by these open doors!  You know how they say that when it's meant to be, you don't have to try...everything just flows...it's the most obvious way that you know it was all set up by God!  So what are these open doors that I'm going on and on about?  Well, let me start by saying that these are opportunities, but opportunities that I never thought of myself...they are not big commissions or jobs but these opportunities will bring me those possibilities!  Also, I've been praying ( A lot) for the Lord to lead and guide me...which I keep feeling like the Lord is telling me to get ready...to get ready to fly!
So with that insight, you'll see why I feel the way I do right now.

So when I won my Prima Art*venture prize I was pleasantly surprised and for some reason I felt I should make a few postcard sized cards to pass out...just in case...well it was a good thing that I did because when I seen that Charity Wings had a table there and I was soo excited about it that when I was talking to a gal named Wendy who was a part of Charity Wings, I just blurted out before I could even think about what I was going to say; "so who could I speak to about donating some of my artworks to Charity Wings as I would love to!" (probably not the exact words but along those lines...lol) she told me that Elena but she wasn't going to be there till later...so I gave her my card to give to her.

Honestly, I wasn't sure whether she'd get the card or even think my work was good enough for them, so when I got a pm on FB that she thought my artwork was cute and would love some art from me...I was feeling like when you think your dreaming?  Yeah, well it still hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm currently working on a special piece right now...it's gonna be my Valentina 2013!  So that is my open door #1 that I am soo looking forward to being a part of...especially since Elena & Wendy seem like such sweet & friendly people and I love their energy! :)

So for my open door #2...I won't go into all the details cause it's a bit much but let's just say that I am now a part of our local art community...I am on the Advisory Board for the Vangaurd Art Gallery of Moreno Valley...which I just got off the phone around 4 pm to establish that with the founder Rick Archer.  He is a great artist and he also seems to be a great person as he really wants our Gallery to also enrich our community.  I am also looking forward to being a part of this awesome opportunity for our city!

I will post within a few days some artworks in progress but for now I just wanted to make this little announcement to share with my family, friends and supporters of my work...thank you to each and every one of you!  God bless and Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healing An Injured Wing...A Reflection Of God's Love


Sooo aside from all the business of last week/weekend...I forgot to mention that I have a little visitor since Friday night...my mom's dog got to a beautiful dove...she didn't puncture it but her wing is damaged...I have been taking care of her as best as I can and still hope that her wing will heal so that she can fly again...my mom found some numbers to places that help rehab birds like her so Artie and I will take her to one located in Temecula tomorrow.

At first I wondered why an injured Dove would be placed in my path amidst all the other things going on in my life...then it hit me just this morning after I recieved the biggest sign of all in the form of a pm in my facebook (which I will share soon later in this post)...I realized that the Dove represents me...this realization touched me deeply...made me realize just how much the Lord loves me and looks after all my needs, desires, wishes from within and whispered hopes.

The reason that I know that this Dove represents me is because it happens to be a 'Mourning' Dove...and it's injury happens to be in one wing only...and from the beginning I wanted her to be able to fly again...in reflection, I realized that the Lord was using this Dove to remind me how I once was like a bird in flight...and through life's heartaches and losses of loved ones was like how one of my wings got broken and that's what kept me from flying...

You see, I had been right at a point in my life where I was about to work on a dream that I had to write and illustrate a children's story...the book is called 'The Rose In Floralsopar' and it's message is to let children know how special they are to God and for them to "Just Bloom".  I was able to self publish and was getting ready to start planning on how to market this story when my beloved Grandma Prudy passed away in 2005 due to complications from Diabetise.

Well, her loss impacted me greatly...my creativity fell flat...like the Mourning Dove with an injured wing...I did nothing with the book except sell a few to my friends and family, I couldn't even look at my scrapbooking stuff and all my drawing ceased...little by little, I began to open up again and so I decided that since for some reason I was unable to use my arts & crafts supplies then I'll try it out digitally and that was sort of the rescue my creative wings needed...so through out the past 8 years I have been expanding and when I rediscovered painting and mixed-media art around 2007 well I've been really happy in creating my artworks.

But since this last year, I've been feeling that there needs to be more for me to do this for...and just today I got the message that made me realize what it was...earlier today I recieved a message that my offer to donate artwork for a wonderful charity organization was accepted...the amazing part...the name of this organization happens to be...Charity Wings!!  Soon after this is when my mom called me with the numbers for the organizations that help rehab wild birds and that's when everything...this realization hit me...at that moment I knew that I am on the right path of my journey.

As much as I love birds and would love to have them, what keeps me from getting them is the fact that I love that they represent freedom to fly, to soar, to enjoy the sky in all it's glory...I don't think I could ever keep a bird from that part of their little lives.  Just as I care for this beautiful dove to be able to fly again, I know the Lord wants that for me too...and I know that I will fly again...no, I will SOAR!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Starting my new Journey...being Art*Venturous!!

Hello Everybody!  Well I have been so busy and had an action packed week...for me that is...lol!  First of all I'm sooo excited to show you my newest creations..."Valentine Whimsies" - In The Pink Series 2013.  I have these listed in my etsy shop as prints for now as I'm still trying to decide what the best way to put these up for sale.  If you'd like to get your print(s) just click on the banner below:

New Etsy Shop Banner!
Also...the most funnest time I've ever had in a loooong time....I won a day pass for the Prima Art*Venture with Leeza Gibbons and I got to take a friend so I took my momma cause she's my best friend!  (So is my Artie but I knew he wouldn't want to go...lol!)  Anyways, here's a few pics and a Vlog post of my Prima Art*Venture Haul: 

Here I am at the {Prima} Art*Venture with Leeza Gibbons

No, really...we got to take a pic with her for reals! :)
*I have more pics posted in my Facebook ;)
Now here's my Vlog about our Prima Art*Venture Haul:
 


 
Here's my LB 2013 - Week 3 project:  Honestly, I am not too thrilled of how this project came out...BUT this was more experimental for me and I just let myself enjoy the process...besides I was really too busy to spend the time I'd need to get it right so it looks more like a doodley page.  :)  I took this course to push me out of my comfort zone and learn new things, which so far it certainly has...this project was alot of fun even though it's not my best work and I am determined to not get hung up on any of these projects...just to enjoy and learn from them and keep up with each week as best as I can.  The main message of course as from my Children's story:  "Just Bloom"! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting Ready To Soar

Hello everyone!  Soo, I am at a point where I really gotta hustle and get more artwork done but more importantly I NEED to sell them!!  We found out that we are approved to be adoptive parents to Cailan but we may need to go visit her a few times and she is in the state of Washington...which means we'll need to raise funds to go there...the most economical way possible...we're not sure of all the details yet but I feel like I need to do all I can to help us raise more money for this necessary trip and possibly two trips.

Not only for that reason but also in regards to the words that my husband Art, made a good point to me recently about my art and he was very encouraging and at the same time pushing me to do more and I am intending to move forward with courage and post to sell...possibly on e-bay.  My husband has been so supportive of me and my desire to make a business with my artwork but he pointed out that I need to actually sell my paintings to make it a business.

I won't lie...that's the hard part for me...I am so unsure of what value to place on my work and also to actually not get too attached to my work!  Also I need to move with confidence and courage...I get that little voice of doubt that pops in my head not as much as before...but it's still there...and this year I need to move past those thoughts with courage and just let myself fly...to soar!

I am working on some really cute and whimsical Valentine themed artworks and I hope to finish these up by this Wednesday...here's a peek at what I'm doing...Aren't they cute? I'm soo excited about how these came out and can't wait to see them done...just gotta not let myself get too attached...so I actually have another series I'm planning!
 
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 Also I'd like to share my latest Life Book Project for Week 2 that I finally finished late last night...it was a project where we made a paper art doll that represents yourself and your intentions for the year of 2013.  Soo this is full of meaningful statements for me. We were supposed to use stamps but since I don't have a great stamp collection due to when I changed over to digital in 2005, I used a lot of prints from my digital collection...the butterflies and arms are from long ago and I can't recall where I got them but the face I used was from a free download from Whimsical Musings. blogspot. Amazingly when I seen this face she soo resembles one of my many beautiful nieces (cause they are all beautiful...seriously!!), so I just had to use it! 
About the meanings...I really feel that this is going to be a significant year for me...there are soo many changes that are going to take place soon and that will evolve...so that's what all the butterflies represent...also her looking up and pointing up is sybolic for me always keeping my focus on the Lord...the birds represent the spiritual meanings of faith and one birdie carries a note that reads: God is Faithful...when I found that image I knew I needed to include it because I know that we wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for his faithfulness...we know we can always count on him and that he is going to bring us into abundance...which is why I wrote 'abundant' over the bird.
 
I did use a few stamps like my little font stamp collection and flowers for the background and the dove up top where I also stamped 'Faith' in it.  Also each butterfly represents the different changes and blessings around me...the butterflies on the dress say: 'You are a beautiful dreamer' (to remind me to keep dreaming BIG), 'Always Believe in Miracles' (to never give up on my hope for a baby as well as other miracles to come!), 'Change is Good' -quoted from the Butterfly (to remind me that I am no longer in the cocoon...I am now changed and emerging with my wings flapping back and forth getting ready to fly...no to soar!)
 
The other butterflies say:  'Love' (God, Jesus, My husband Art, Life), 'laugh often' (celebrate), 'Be Brilliant' (my artwork, business, Achieve and surpass, succeed, grow), 'JOY' (Family and Friends) -The words in paranthesis are the little handwritten or stamped messages around the butterflies.
 
I also put 2 quotes that I felt fit in with this whole composition:  "life is the art of drawing without an eraser." -John Gardner  "Today well lived, makes every yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of Hope."  Around the border I hand wrote all the good changes, miracles and abundance this year, 2013 will bring me...that I will soar to new heights...where I've never been before!  Finally, I also stamped 'Be Brave' and 'with Courage' on her arms to direct me on my focus and direction as I take a leap of faith and 'SOAR'!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Miracles Unfolding...

I am still in awe...so much is happening right now...so many dynamic life changes...for me...for my husband...and for a darling little girl...we have been through soo much to get where we are right now...and it still feels surreal, I feel as though I'm in a dream...why do I feel this way?  Well, today we found out that we were approved by the judge to be the adoptive parents to my cousin's little girl.  Out of respect for my family, I won't be saying to much details of this whole case, but only expressing my feelings as I have gone through so much just to get here.

Right now, I feel happy...and calm...peace in my heart about this...I know I am on the right path...things in my life will soon be changing...all for the better...I know it!!  I know that things aren't going to be perfect until the day I am in Heaven...but I know that the Lord is watching over me and my family and he is faithful...and he will bless us in abundance so that we can keep being a blessing to others!!

There is soo much in my heart that I wish to express...and at the same time I feel a loss for words...which makes me want to use my paintbrush to let it all out...in fact I got 4 canvases ready and I found some canvases and other papers where I had backgrounds with the drawings already on them...I've fallen behind on getting new artwork done since I've been on 'stand by' with all the waiting for this answer we recieved today!

Which leads me to this interesting conversation my husband and I had today...about actually letting go of my past artwork and any future artwork...yeah, I need to start being brave and putting all my artwork out there and actually SELL them!!  This conversation with my husband was actually that little push I needed to make me start to fly...to have COURAGE...to let go...to step off the perch...my comfy cozy nest...it made me realize;  What am I waiting for?  Really?  What am I waiting for?!

Sooo now I want to share some current projects I've finished for Life Book 2013 and Tam's Art, Heart & Healing Workshops.  I've enjoyed these projects since they have pushed me to try new methods, learn new things and most of all to have fun!!  God Bless and Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Life Book 2013 - Wk 1 project - Blessings & Goals 2013 Journey

My Cute Whimsies from Tam's Art, Heart & Healing Workshop
 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Enthusiastic & Sparkly Inspiring Energy...

Wow...already this new year has been flowing with a positive atmoshphere!  I have been blessed already in so many ways...even miracles are taking place!!  I got to spend the last 2 days with my nieces...love, love, love them all soo much and they are getting more and more beautiful every time I see them...but when I get to spend time with them is when I get to see their beauty not only on the outside, but on the inside!  They have left me with their enthusiastic and sparkly inspiring energy and reminded me that creating my artwork is important because it inspires them...and that means so much to me! 
 


*Knowing this really has reawakened my enthusiasm and brought me the sparkly inspiring energy that I needed and so this weekend I am planning on finishing up my 1st week's Life Book 2013 project and will post my pic on the next post! I also hope to finish up some new artwork to start selling in my etsy shop so stop by soon! :)

***Prayer Request***
*************
We will be anxiously waiting all the way up to January 9th for the Court hearing for what we hope is good news in regards to our gaining custody to foster/adopt my cousins daughter so that she won't be lost to our family.  This may also include her older brother as well...we've had 2 rooms ready for both of them since June 2012...and we we're hoping to have them by Christmas time.  At this moment of my life, I would just be happy to know that all the hard work, effort, dissappointmens, etc will be worth it when we welcome them into our home!!  So I would really appreciate your prayers!
 
Cre8tvlyYrs & God Bless, Gina :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Many Blessings & Miracles To Come...


Woohoo!  It's finally here...a new year...2013!!  Well this is the 1st time I'm doing this...but I decided to try out a little 'Vlogging' as a way to change up my blogging format a bit! :)  So this little video clip is just a way for me to document my thoughts after I just finished a really cool mixed media art journal project that I had just finished.  The photo of it in full is my blog header above right now.  This is a free course that the biggest sweetheart in the world ever, Tamara Laporte has available at willowing.ning.com and it's called 'Art, Heart & Healing' just look under 'free classes' and let Tam know that Gina Arzaga sent ya! ;)  Please note that I totally 'Tim Allen'd' (as my husband calls it) probably most of the lesson so it's best that you sign up and see her lesson videos yourself! :) lol!  Also...PLEASE excuse all the very often times I use the words: 'and uum' 'um' and 'like'...I need to learn how to video edit obviously! 
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As for the new year...2013...I feel it's gonna be a special year for me...last year was better than some previous years earlier but I feel that not just for my husband and I but for me personally in all aspects of my life that things are going to continue to get better...In fact I'd like to include this prayer that I got from a FB page called "I am a Woman of God":

Don’t quit running! Keep on moving and following the truth of God in His word and by His Spirit. Run with grace and wisdom and don’t allow no one to hinder your progress. Keep the faith and expect your change to come. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? (Gal 5:7)
 


May God give you grace and peace with uncommon favor. May He give you strength and courage to stand firm in your faith. May God give you long life and great health all the days of your life. May this coming year, 2013 be a year of greater things for you in every area of your life, your home, your marriage, your career or place of employment. In school or college, may God give you all that you need and desire as you honestly delight yourself in Him. May God open up doors and close doors that you no longer need in Jesus name, may God be glorified in all that you do in Jesus I pray for you all, Amen
 
***I was sooo inspired by that and really feel that her prayer was designed just for me! :) ***

Another thing I'm currently excited about is that I have joined an awesome year long Mixed Media Course called:

Just click on the button above for more information of this awesome course that features soo many top artista's if your interested in joining!!  :)  This is the first little 'warm up' exercise we did for our first project (of course I did not fully follow directions, well...let's just say I changed it up a bit!)


We were to make an Fairy Art Mother but I chose to call her my Art Angel...'Annabel' which means loving...soo love it!  So for this whole year...I will be documenting and posting my course art here...so stop by often if you'd like to see more artwork as well as to witness the unfolding of many miracles and blessings to come!  God Bless you all and may your have a wonderful and blessed year!!