Tuesday, December 23, 2014

An Artist Christmas Time Reflection:

Well, this is my 2014 Christmas Card that I actually created in my little chunky art journal.  This was also inspired by one of my favorite artists Cori D...I love her work!  I was hoping to do a nativity scene these last few years but since becoming a new mommy to my little 5 yr old girl (that we fostered from age 4 to adopted this year) I can only make time for a little drawing here and there like this one!

The last 2 years have really been a challenge that I didn't expect...as an artist especially.  I just took for granted that I would be able to just keep creating consistently.  I soon learned after much emotional events that only another mother of adoption would understand that I had nothing inside me to give out to my work.  I realized that my art would need to be in the back burner until we could get things a bit more stable.
Thanks be to God...now things have become alot more stable...not saying that we still don't have some emotional issues that arise but we know that will always be a something to deal with.  We are happy though to be a family...her adoption was finalized in May and we baptized her in September.
And today I was blessed to witness her first 'reconnection' with her big brother...he is adopted by a wonderful family in Washington and we felt she was finally emotionally ready to be able to recieve a Christmas gift and card from him.  She was so happy and I documented the whole thing...it was a touching moment and she looks like she feels content!
As challenging as the last few years have been I know that the Lord has sent her to me because she is what I needed in my life to push me out of my comfort zone (my cocoon if you will) she is so full of life and has reminded me of what I used to be...I had allowed (not willingly) the bad things that happened to me through out my life to change me into someone I no longer recognized not only in the mirror but also being too fearful...she has been a tool to stretch and pull me in so many ways.  It's so amazing that this child has no idea of how she came to rescue me...and she only thinks (and says) how we rescued her.
With all that, I am hoping that next year I can actually work on bigger pieces...may be fewer but I just feel like I want to work on some more intense pieces...also I sooo miss working on canvas!  I decided that I am also going to start doing some monthly mixed media workshops here at my home and do art journaling tutorials for my youtube channel as well.  In fact, I asked my husband for a video camera...nothing big just a newer one because my old camera hardly works.  I tried recording but it kept messing up and my iphone comes out to skinny...lol!
I feel in my heart that working in my art journals is what really helped me to get through alot of the trials, heartache, frustration and joy that life brings our way.  So that is why I feel I need to share that with others but from a Christian Artist Perspective of how God has blessed us with this gift of Healing through creating and expressing our soul on to our work.  This is part of my mission...I believe this strongly and with passion...to share what I believe with the world...exciting things are on the way!!  Cre8tvlyYrs in Christ and Christmas Blessings to you all!  Gina Marie

Friday, October 17, 2014

Life in Progression...

Progressive Artworks...lately I have been 'feeling' like creating more 'expressive' pieces rather than an image of something.  They are a bit more 'Expressional Abstracts' or what I'd also like to  say are 'Spiritual Expressions' as I like to paint these layers while I am praising the Lord!  :)  These are some current pieces that I am working on...these are going to have alot of layers...can't really say how many but at this point this one has about 7 so far...this is on a 16" x 20" Canvas.

This piece is more mixed media since I have a layer of decoupaged fancy napkins on it.
This one has about 7 layers as well and is on a 11" X 14" canvas.

I'm also working on some 'mini' artworks...some ATC/ACEO's
on 2.5x3.5 watercolor paper...these are also artworks in progress...

 Well I 'm so happy that I finally can create my own original art again...it's definately a reflection of my own life in progression!  God Bless & Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

*10 Days of Freebies!!*

Sample created with Cozy Love Birds

Today is the 1st of 10 Days of Freebies!

The Owlzaga's
Just go over to my FB page here:  Cre8tvlyYrs Designz by Gina Arzaga  from today until the 10th of October I will be posting freebies that I created to coordinate with my 10 new digital stamps I have available over at my Whimsy Stamps store!!

Scaredy Cat
So I thought I'd share a few of my samples I created using my Digital Stamps!  I also have new artwork to share and some tutorials and such that I'll be posting about on my YouTube channel soon!  Don't forget to check back soon for that and to get my freebies don't forget to go to my FB page link above!!

God bless and Cre8tvlyYrs!  Gina

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Moving towards my Dreams and Goals...a few Announcements!

Here is a Cre8n I made using my 'Autumn Rose' Digital Stamp
Hello all my Family and Friends that are stopping by here!!  I am so excited to share what I've been up to since my last post...well I'm so happy with a few announcements!  First of all, this last Saturday we Baptized our daughter.  It was a small but sweet celebration after and it turned out nicely.  Second announcement...my digital stamp store will open at Whimsy Stamps tomorrow...October 1st!!  I am soo excited!!  Final announcement:  For the next 10 days I will be offering some Freebies that coordinate with my Digi stamps...so come back for those!!  :)

So happy because after the Baptism festivities were over I was able to focus on my digital stamps artwork and was able to get a total of 10 digital stamps done!  Above is a sample I created using my 1st digi stamp "Autumn Rose" and I've been busy creating more samples which I'll be creating some tutorial for on my YouTube channel soon!  Again, this is just one more baby step towards my goals and if it's God's will it will be!  So I will continue to be Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Redirection...go in Faith...

Hello Everyone!  Well here is my entry to the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search that I made a big hoopla in the last post.  I didn't get chosen to the next round but you know what?  I'm fine with that...I am a woman of Faith...and I believe that when there is a 'no' it's really a redirection...I am now working on other projects and still believe there is a future for me in pursuing my dreams.  As for this painting...I know it's not my best work and I really liked the way it came out but it's probably not what I would have chosen to paint on my own!  So I looked at it as more of a really over priced workshop that I won't be joining next year...not that I'm being a sore loser or anything...but I just realized that I can't rely on others to make something I want happen for me!  I need to continue to keep my Faith on God...that he will lead me on the right path...to where he wants me to go!

Sooo, which leads me to...I am soo excited to share that I will be guest designing for 'Whimsy Stamps' for the rest of the year...if it's meant for me to be there...I may continue on!  I will be starting on as a 'Digital Stamp Designer' and I am so excited about this as I have always wanted to design my own stamp line!  I have decided to also add some of my digital kits to my etsy shop as soon as I'm done finishing up my first 10 sets of digi stamps and I 'tweek' some of my favorite digi kits!!  So I am already 'redirected'...and I will go on...in FAITH!  Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

On Being Brave

Soo...it's the night before they are going to announce the top 50 contestants for Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search that will be moving on to the next round...and I am a little bit anxious...not a lot though but a little.  That in itself is surprising...I struggled with the 1st rounds challenge but only because I couldn't make up my mind in which direction I wanted to go with my project.  As I was struggling, even before I seen any of the other 998 contestants nor had any clue of any big contenders I began to wonder:  "What was I thinking when I signed up for this?"  I do know that had any clue of how many sign ups I may have not even tried.  But I'm glad that I did...even after signing up I told myself that it wouldn't matter if I am chosen or not (I would be very thrilled if I was...just saying) but to me the act of actually signing up was a statement that I was making to the world that I believe in myself enough to try!!

This experience is really a big step of bravery for me...I often would wish I would try then doubt myself...not my talent but myself...you see I have ADD/ADHD and I tend to get distracted or my super power that I like to call "SUPER FOCUS" (when I can zip out awesome artwork in a single all-nighter!!)  This way of being is what you can call a blessing mixed with a curse only because it has brought my both joy and also many heartaches (after missing deadlines of opportunities that have come my way).  Being that I am now 45 years old and finally a mommy I have decided to stop wasting my life...to stop the self doubt and "Just Bloom".

When I was working on my project, I realized that I needed to stop trying to do too much and think of it as if it was commissioned work to make it more of what they where asking for in the assignment but with my style of painting resonating throughout.  We are not allowed to post our piece until the announcements are made of the Top 50 but I would like to share what I word and saying I used:  Faith ~ Believing in more than what the eyes can see.  This is soo true to my spirit...it is what I have learned firsthand to be true...the Lord has brought me through so much bad and to so much good...I will continue to walk in my Faith...

My husband and I went through a very tough 2 year process to get our little girl and the fact that we accomplished this...that I myself survived the worst of what I never thought I'd experience this last year...well I realized that I am stronger than I thought, smarter than I knew, and capable of more than I could even imagine...all because I am not alone in this journey...no matter what I go through...the good and the bad...my Lord, my Father God, and Holy Spirit are there to lead, comfort and provide ways for me to achieve much more than I could even fathom...so with all that in mind I will keep moving forward with bravery because I know that I am being led by my Lord and if I am not chosen it is the Lord's way of saying 'not this way' but if I am than there is the chance that it may be this way...either way...I only want to go the the Lord has planned for me to go!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Leap of Faith Experience...

So yeah, my 1st assignment for the Global Talent Search is due this coming Monday but I only really have today and tomorrow to really devote time to my project...so I'm only posting a short but sweet post of my progress and experience with this.

First off, when I got the assignment I had some ideas in mind but I also spent some time researching the subject and then I did a few rough sketches.  Then I hit a mental block...I wasn't 'feeling' the look of my sketches, then I decided to just start on my background of my canvas...it's almost done (my layering process for the background) and as it was drying at first I began to question myself as I couldn't get myself to draw what was whispering in my head...it just wasn't very clear yet...I  had no idea where to even continue and I started wondering what was I thinking when I signed up!!

So then I started doing some other research for a few things...they weren't really related to my project but as I was listening to some information on YouTube all of a sudden I picked up my pencil and exactly what I wanted to portray for my project came out! So now I better get back to work...I know there is a lot of talented artists that have joined this contest...but I figure it doesn't hurt to try.  If God wants my artwork to be shared with the world then it will!  God bless!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Taking A Step Of Faith...Baby Steps...and Why I Do What I Do...

As I am typing these words...I'm still trying to find the best way to express what I need to say here...I guess as a way to leave a testimony of where I am right now and if it helps even one person than I have done what I was sent here to do...at this time in my life I have been struggling with my perspective about this world...and my life...I know I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie, Godmother (nina) and friend (to what seems like very few these days for that matter), I know I am a woman of God, Follower of Christ (Christian), and an Artist (mixed-media).

So with all that in mind...I still struggle...I struggle with how I am feeling about all the ugliness and horrible things going on in this world...before there seemed to be more good than bad and that made life more bearable...but these days, it seems that more and more bad is happening...so this is where I struggle...which is why I believe I've been unable to do what I really love to do...my artwork...I've been keeping myself busy with being creative...I have to do that...it's the only thing keeping me from getting too overwhelmed but I haven't been able to create my own original work for months. 

In fact just a few weeks ago I was talking with my mom (who also happens to be my BFF) about how I can't seem to do my own original art these days...not even doodling or sketching...she brought up a good point...that maybe that part of me is dormant, you know asleep due to all the stress and challenges that my husband and I had endured this last year (getting our little girl and finalizing her adoption to the water damage in our home and on to other personal challenges)...well that thought really intrigued me...it totally made sense.  Then my husband also mentioned to me to start with baby steps...which I have been trying out...but I guess I'm still struggling because I feel like how can I do my artwork knowing of all the crazy and ugly things happening in this world?

Then the Lord...in all his goodness reminded me of why I have been created to be an artist...why he made me this way...to do what I do...and why I need to continue to do it...the birds do not stop singing...they keep flying...they never doubt in what they do...and the little presence of them in my yard alone brings me much joy...they bring a smile to my face and healing...he wants me to not stop what he has designed for me to do...I may not be able to stop the horrors happening in the world but I can keep praying for the world...and I can keep being the creative person I am meant to be...if what I do touches only one...then I've done what I was meant to do.

Soooo after this long process of what has to be one of the longest times for me to self reflect of what it is I am meant to do in this world (in addition to being a wife, mommy, daughter, sister, auntie, and friend) I am meant to be an artist and it is important...I will keep this thought in my heart in each type of art or craft project I create...to bring a little piece of my joyfulness out into the world...to share it so that I can make others feel joy too!

As a way to accept this 'revelation' I have done something I don't think I could have done before...I am taking a step of Faith (which really feels more like a leap) and I have entered an art contest...well it's more like a talent search.  Just days after realizing that I need to do something...move in a new direction...after praying for years but more so recently to the Lord about what is it exactly that I need to do with my art?  I was somehow led to find this contest...Lila Rogers' Global Talent Search ~ now when I seen all the talent from last year, it really intimidated me...then I decided that I need to just 'go for it' to let myself "Just Bloom"! because even if I don't win...at least I am doing something different, I am moving in a different direction...I am believing in myself enough to do this!!

Thanks for letting me share...God bless!  Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Life Altering Changes...

Hellooo everyone!  I know it's been a long time since I've posted on here...since the last time I posted my life had went through a whirlwind of chaos, trials and the tragic loss of my beloved little Bella...but the Lord has gotten me through all that and I feel love, peace and joy again!!  I also am looking forward to a lot of awesome things coming our way even as soon as this Friday...which I can't say more about until then but I can only say is that we will 'Officially' begin a new time of our lives!

So for the last couple of months from March 10th to be exact, our whole lives were changed all because our washing machine didn't stop pouring out water...we found out before the damage was worse but the damage was enough to get all new floors...which is when you are thankful that you have homeowner's insurance that covers all that for you!  We went through a lot of changes not just in our environment from our carpet and cheap linoleum floors as well as part of our walls getting torn out to a total of 15 loud fans blowing throughout the home (literally creating wind tunnels in our hallways) to having to pack up your kitchen, and all the things you have around those areas (which for me included having to pack around at least 15 boxes of my arts & craft supplies) to all the construction noise to finally having beautiful tile flooring throughout most of the home but we also went through many physical, mental and even spiritual growth.

These type of things are not life threatening but they do alter you...you change...you grow...you have no choice!!  I also learned...I learned a lot!!  I learned that I can handle more than I thought even before this happened but this was in a whole new light!  I learned that if you don't allow yourself to grow that if you stay settled...you know...stay in your 'comfort zone' that life will make you change and grow whether you want to or like it!

I learned that we can do so much together...my husband and I...yes, we accomplished a lot and got through a lot and we learned and grew a lot together...TOGETHER!!  This was important...and it felt like the Lord wanted us to learn this in a hurry because we went through 2 of the toughest trials together within days apart!  The 1st trial which I can not even mention (which happened on Good Friday) but all I can say about it was that we had to really push through that trial and rely on the Lord to get us through it...and he redeemed us.

Then the most heartbreaking was on a Monday...just after Easter Sunday when our beloved dog Bella got out of our yard and I ended up finding her on the main street just outside our neighborhood...she had been hit by a car.  It was so heartbreaking and I cried right there...the whole neighborhood and traffic seen and heard me...I felt as though the whole world slowed down time at that moment...my husband was home so he carried her home so that we could bury her in our yard.  In the midst of all this I witnessed love from others...neighbors and even a stranger...a sweet lady who pulled over to see if we needed help...she gave me a hug which was what I needed to move on.  That amazed me...that the Lord sent people to be there for us and they all really helped us...my neighbors sweet grandchildren helped us the most...they showed compassion and love and gave me hope for our future in this world...knowing there is still compassionate children...as heartbreaking as that moment was I learned a beautiful thing that day.

I also learned just how strong my husband is...his strength really helped me to carry on through that tough week.  My husband is also the most devoted man ever, he actually ended up doing most of the flooring himself (looong story) but he is just about done...all that's left is the room where all this began...yep, the laundry room!  He did such awesome work...and I know that he did it for us!

So even though I did not like the bad things that we had to go through I realized that they must have been necessary for me to learn and grow mentally and spiritually...that I needed some old crusty layers of my past to be broken off my whole being...so that I can see more clearly...in a whole new light...and I know what this means...a whole new way of being who I am...because when you go through all that I have been through from the moment our little girl stepped in to our lives to what I just went through recently, you are forever changed...your old mind set is altered and you can't go back.  I know this...I feel there is hope in our future and I am looking forward to receiving with open arms the Love, Joy and Peace from God with much more appreciation of it...Cre8tvlyYrs, Gina :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Signs From Heaven

I believe in signs from Heaven and I believe in looking for confirmations of what I'm wondering or praying about in three's...and the Lord has been giving me so many signs...more than three...to keep flying and to continue to 'Imagine' where he wants to lead me the gifts he has given me.

So about month ago or so, we had a very negative experience due to our adoption situation...it was so upsetting that it totally took all my energy and stopped my creative flow...it began to make me doubt myself and whether I should even bother to continue what I'm doing...is it even meaningful and was it meaningful enough to continue to pursue my desire to do more with it?

The next day I shared how I felt with my husband...I felt defeated and was so touched when he lovingly told me "No, not to give up...to keep going...I'll get there" of course not all the words exactly but he was basically telling me that he believed in me...and that meant a lot to me!  Then later that day my sweet baby girl who has absolutely no idea what I had been going through comes up to me and tells me that I'm the bestest artist in the world and I'm the best at making sooo many things!  I felt like I had my very own cheer leader!  Later that week, when I shared with my mom about how that weekend had affected me she told me not to dare let those things stop me.

I also received many other 'signs' everyday on Facebook...and even in different videos on YouTube...so the signs were flying in from every where even if people had no idea they were leaving a message for me!  Then a few weeks ago, a very good neighbor of ours stopped by to visit and I was sharing with him about the stuff we had gone through and I know now he was sent by God to give me a very encouraging message...he told me not to allow those negative things to interfere with my creative process because my art is so inspiring and it makes people feel good...he had no idea how I was allowing what we had went through to make me question whether or not I should continue to do what I do.

I know that no matter what happens in my life...the good the bad and the ugly...that I'm an artist and as an artist, I need to create...it's like breathing to me...and if I should ever doubt myself I can just come here and read this post for encouragement because just this weekend I finished my Valentina 2014 and feel it's my best one yet!  I am so humbly touched by all the comments I've received about her already too...it feels good to know that my work is touching others...and that's what makes me feel good about continuing to keep creating art that comes from my heart and touch others' hearts as well.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

*Reflections: Like A Cloudy Day...Dancing In The Rain!

The past few days, since last Friday have been like a cloudy day...with a blue sky peeking through the background...right now it is cloudy outside and since that captured how these past few days have been for me I decided to go with that for the title of this post.  So lately, it's been challenging...Life in general...some days are soo beautiful like the blue sky days and others have been way to challenging.

For those of you who happen to just find my blog...I am fostering to adopt a little girl who happens to also be my relative (third cousin) and I have discovered just this year not too long ago of how that in itself will be an ongoing challenge.  I have decided to start a new blog for that and so I will post a link for it when I get it all set up.  Especially since I'd like this blog to be focused more on my artwork and creative processes and a little personal reflecting here and there. :)

So why else would I say "like a cloudy day"?  Well, I feel like I've been learning a lot and lessons are hard to learn...sometimes they make you feel depressed (gloomy grey clouds), heartbroken (rain of tears), and then also so happy when I've experienced breakthroughs (like sunshine bursting through the clouds) and even though I experience all these emotions I know my Lord is with me always, guiding me through and that brings me peace (like the blue skies).

But sometimes I get so overwhelmed especially when all those lessons come all at once and the only way for me to push forward is when I 'blog' about it...don't know why...but it does!  I do art journal but it's a different type of therapy for me...as I am a strong believer in the healing that art therapy can provide as a way to 'express' yourself.  But since I am also a writer...I guess sometimes I need to just get my thoughts out there...blogging helps me to do this but in a more focused and optimistic manner.

When I journal for myself I tend to focus more on the negative and when I read through that it leaves an ugly feeling in my stomach...but whenever I blog I tend to focus on the positive and then when I reread these posts they actually make me feel better since I can see where I've struggled but feel good knowing how I've overcome those times.

Without all the details since it is way to personal...I experienced the most vast array of emotions all in one night...Saturday...I had a night mainly full of fun and laughter and reconnected with so many people that I treasure the most...but also along with that I experienced heartache and betrayal...which led to an unhappy ending of what was a wonderful evening...if that is at all possible...of course, I would be the one to have that happen...as I know that the Lord knows I can handle it!

The next day was a day of mixed emotions and revelations...I accepted some of the ugly as I can not do anything about some of it and the most important of all I dealt with and was satisfied with the outcome of it.  Love in itself is powerful and I learned that night that sometimes we have to accept some things and show that the Love in our heart is strong and can prevail.

I am moving on...I am looking forward...I am not going to let myself stay fallen on the ground...I have stood back on my feet and I will keep dancing in the rain!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Word for 2014: *IMAGINE*

Chunky Art Journal Sample for my upcoming workshop this month
Last year I chose a word to be my inspiration for the year...I chose "Soar" but this year my word for the year is "IMAGINE".  I chose that word because I realized last year of how much I limit myself and my God...he keeps sending me messages of how much more he has planned for me...how little I think...how I contain my goals and dreams in little boxes and then I realized wow...who am I to limit God?

So I know I can only IMAGINE just how big God can create miracles and destinations for me to experience...so this year I want to leave my mind open for that...to look at the world with the mindfulness of a child again (which is part of the reason I believe he sent Cailan to me)...to simply IMAGINE and keep moving forward in this journey called life!!

So I look forward to this year of 2014 as I do for each years' beginning...but this year is so different because it is a year that I believe that I have began it after much change to my life!  The year 2013 was a year of what I believe was the most 'life altering' year for me...it was a year of growth in so many areas of my life:  Spiritually, Mentally, Artistically and Physically...

Spiritually I learned that no matter what...and I mean no matter what!!  He is always there for us and so are our loved ones...I've always believed that but last years experiences proved that to me.  My spiritual view was extended to an amazing level and this is where I began to realize that in my own lack of faith in myself is where I was limiting God and that who was I to limit him?  He has gifted me in so many ways and I hardly have even tapped into those gifts and have been for many years due to fear of failing...I learned that it's ok to fall, it's ok to take a chance because my God never leaves my side...he is always there and so he will always be...so I can let go of my fears and move forward to the destinations HE wants me to go!

For so many years I would pray for the Lord to lead and guide me to the destination or dreams/goals that I wanted to attain...so this year I am praying to lead and guide me to where HE wants to take me...I feel mentally/emotionally and physically ready for that!  Last year I learned that I am able to accomplish much more than I ever thought possible!  For many years I struggled through feeling like a failure at the end of each year because I would feel like I didn't accomplish anything only because I wasn't accomplishing what I thought I needed to accomplish to feel successful...this is the first time that I felt that I ended the year with pride in my accomplishments which are:

*Being called MOMMY by a beautiful little girl who tells me that she loves me and thanks me for rescuing her (even though she is the one who rescued me!)

*Being able to feel that my Marriage/Love actually grew stronger bonds...that God as our third cord tightened and strengthened our bonds in an almost magical way that I never even knew could be!

*That mentally and physically I am stronger than I thought I was...that when I was squeezed (and boy was I squeezed last year) that I can actually accomplish what I set out to do!!

*Artistically...so many dimensions of growth here:
-I was honored to have my artwork accepted at the Charity Wings Art Center
-I learned a lot in Lifebook 2013, what I mainly learned with those lessons is how important it is for me to stay original and true to my own art style.
-I realized that I need to have direction and a mission statement to keep me focused on why the Lord has blessed me with my artistic gifts whether it be drawing/painting or writings and singing.

So this year of 2014 I look forward to IMAGINE to go where the Lord will lead me in every aspect of my life...I'm so excited and can't wait to see what this year will bring to my life!!