Sunday, January 24, 2016

Miss you

I struggle to know what to write about this post. Saying goodbye to a loved one is always difficult, though I know I'll see them again. But sometimes it's more difficult, especially with my grandma's passing, because I didn't have an opportunity to hold her hand and give her once last hug.
I'll miss you, Grandma Mendenhall.
Thanks for teaching me to sing whether I am good at it or not. Thanks for the laughter. I'm glad you're laughing with grandpa now.

I apologize for the poor quality of the image. It was taken by my phone, as I was in a hurry to get it framed for the funeral.


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Thursday, December 10, 2015

My crazy story of 2015 that takes too long to tell...

If you've noticed the last entry date you've probably guessed it's been awhile since I've joined the blogging world. I have reasons, which I've debated to share. In fact I've debated for months. My reasons are dear to me and I worried what might happen if I shared them. There have been times when I've told some friends about resent events in my family's life and I've been met with comments and rumors that has led me to believe that people think we're nuts. That might be true about a portion of me (maniacal laugh as I hold a cloak over my head and tiptoe away), but when it comes to following what I know is right, I'm not crazy.
After much pondering I've decided I needed to share my story, along with my testimony. So, here it goes...

This journey started for me a year ago, December of 2014 to be exact. I'd been emailing back and forth with a publisher and editor who had taken interest in one of my manuscripts. After a long roller coaster ride things were starting to look like it might work out for my writing. My dreams were starting to come true. Yet, even with the possibilities ahead of me, I wanted conformation that it's what the Lord wanted for me. So I prayed to know if I should proceed down the glorious path of Authordom.
My answer was not what I had expected. The words filled my mind and heart, No, you need to stop writing for a time.
It felt as though my heart had been torn to pieces. Give up writing? Are you kidding? I loved to write. I spent at least 5 hours a day writing and constantly had ideas flowing through me to my fingertips.  To stop?
It hurt.
I had to write to the publisher and editor and tell them I couldn't proceed with plans. I feel like I've blown to pieces any chances of signing with them.
Yet, I did as the Lord directed of me, because I knew His path would lead me to a better place. It wasn't easy... It isn't easy.
I stopped writing and focused more on reading my scriptures--well, not just reading, studying. My understanding grew and my husband and I were guided in our studies so we might be ready for things that we had no idea was going to happen not long after.
In February I received a strong impression in my mind and heart that I needed to homeschool. Holy cow was that ever a slap in the face. Homeschool? Are you sure? ME? I hated school and I'm pretty sure if I went on that show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" I'd flunk out on the first question. I hated the idea of homeschooling. But, I couldn't ignore what I felt. If the Lord was asking me to do something, he wouldn't leave me to do it on my own.
I started my research on homeschooling and within a couple weeks of that I received another shocker from my Father in Heaven.
I had just finished my morning prayer and scripture study when a great warmth and thought came over me. I knew without a doubt that we needed to move. The thought repeated itself over and over in my mind. Moments later my husband came into the room and said with tears in his eyes, "I feel like we are supposed to move." I replied with, "I feel that too."
Along with it we had a feeling of urgency. It took a week to de-junk our house, paint and make our house presentable. It was on the market for four days before it was sold and they asked if we could be out by the end of the month. Which gave us two and a half weeks to pack and figure out where the Lord wanted us to move. Two places kept coming to mind. Grand Junction, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. Since GJ was closer we decided to take a drive there and see how we felt about it. On our way down we both felt that GJ was the place for us, but we also knew we needed to rent. So we found a home to rent and moved our family. I began homeschooling and tried to get settled. When we began to unpack both my husband and I had another impression to not unpack. Naturally
we figured we needed to look for a home to buy in the Grand Junction area. We found a home up in the mountains on 18 acres that felt peaceful and gave us everything we ever wanted. We put an offer on it and started the buying process. A week from the closing date things fell through. I loved that place and didn't want to lose it, but it wasn't right. Yet had we not gone through that buying process a dear friend of ours wouldn't have gotten a job with the person who was doing our mortgage (that's a whole other story).
 (Where we almost moved.)
As discouraging as it was we had to move on and pray for months to figure out all the questions of what, who, where, when, how... we still don't have it all figured out, but we did start to get answers to some things.
Being away from family was difficult. During the summer my mom broke both legs in a car accident (don't ride with your feet on the dash) and not being there for her was torture. I had friends that needed me and things I was missing out on. I wanted to go home. Still do.
Again, Phoenix, Arizona repeatedly came to mind until we couldn't ignore it any longer. In September my husband traveled down to AZ for work and while he was there he looked at homes for rent. He came home with a few he liked so we prayed about them. Again the answer shook us. We needed to buy a home, not rent. WHAT? I did not want to live in Arizona for more than a few months. By the time summer rolled around I wanted to be back up north. I hate the heat.
I cried, but as I cried I felt peace fill my soul. The Lord was still there watching over us. He loves me and cares about what I'm doing. It felt like he was there, hugging me and understanding my desires to be close to my family and friends. I miss them all terribly and think of them constantly, but I know this is where I'm meant to be. I don't know why, but here we are, listening to Christmas music while it's 75 degrees outside.

Looking back on it all I now understand why the Lord asked that I stopped writing. Had I been engrossed in writing I would have been too distracted to receive the guidance I needed to be where I am now. I would not have studied and learned all I needed to know. My kids would not have grown to love prayer and scripture study because of the example my husband and I have set over the course of the last year. I would not have met some of the great people in GJ and I wouldn't have grown closer to my husband and children as I have. Looking back I wouldn't change any of these great and precious things for a published novel. And all of this doesn't mean I won't ever be published. I still dream of sharing my stories with all of you, but I will do it on the Lord's time. Whenever that may be. To tell the truth I'm scared to start writing again, because I found something more valuable that I don't want taking my time... a love of reading the scriptures and a relationship with my Savior. He is there for me. With everything that's happened and the things I've learned, I know He's there for me. And He's waiting for me to reach a little further, and further still.
One thing I've learned is FAITH IS POWER. I may lack complete faith, but His hands are stretched out still and He is always there to guide me.
I hope and pray that you may all have opportunities to grow closer to our Savior. But know this, with it comes heartache, without which you cannot know the joy. Without it you cannot know the Savior.

I love you all, and may God bless you.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Moving!

Hey friends.
Big changes are heading my way and I'm not entirely sure why. All I know is that the Lord has asks my husband and I to move. We have yet to figure out where we're going, but we do know we will be renting and we do know that it will be far away from where we are now. Of course this makes me extremely sad, but I have to follow what I know is right.
I will update you all when I figure out where I'm going, but until then this blog will be slow goin'. Take care and I'll post when I can.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fairies

It would have to be Peter Pan that got me dreaming of fairies, mostly wishing I could be one. Just think of the endless possibilities one could create with fairies. In my mind most fairies are fickle and malicious, but flatter one enough and they might do a kind deed. There are all kinds of fairy drawings and paintings out there, so I figured I'd add to them. Might as well, right?
Both of these drawings are done in color pencil. Very little touch up was done in Photoshop beyond brightening up. The first one I drew the background separate from the fairy. I drew her body and wings then layered them over the background in Photoshop. I change my mind often enough that I didn't want her added in permanently.
The second drawing is what happens when you pick the raspberries too early. :)



I hope I've inspired you, or at least you've enjoyed looking. 
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Princess and fairy

I need your help. Lately I've been working more with colored pencils, trying to improve in the medium. Once I've finished with the drawing I take a picture with my camera then enter it into Photoshop. From there I blend, brighten and play around with different effects to see if I can come up with something spectacular. Problem is, as with most of my artwork, I'm very judgement about my own work. I need outsider's opinions. BUT I need someone honest.
So, if you have a good artist eye and can tell me what I can improve on, I'd love the help.

In the artwork below I drew the background separate from the girl then put them together in Photoshop.


This drawing below I did a little differently. I drew the fairy with color pencil but the background was all done in Photoshop.
Please leave a comment below and let me know your opinions. I'd love to improve!


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Dance!

I hope you'll all forgive me for not posting this sooner. I'd forgotten I hadn't posted these drawings of dancers. I do have a reasonably good excuse. :) For starters I received an email from a publisher requesting six of my manuscripts to look over! I know! AWESOME! 
I've been a little silly and empty headed lately from excitement. I'm crossing my fingers that something excellent comes from it.
Another good excuse is I've been writing like a mad woman on caffeine. Funny thing is I don't drink caffeine. If I did you'd all be sorry.
I've written 31,000 words in six days and finished my first novella. All my other work ends up being full novels, but this character didn't have much to say. What she did need to say was intense and thrilling. Please stay tuned to learn what comes of my writing endeavors. Thanks for stopping by!
Here are the dancing beauties.


Thank you Kerianne and Eric Hoth, Alexandria and Ashley for your talent and inspiration. 



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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Camera... roll... ACTION!

If you've been following me on facebook you'd know all about my newest adventures being on a movie set. Not only was I a fly on the wall, but my artwork was as well! An actor who portrayed an artist took some short lessons from me then he pretended to draw my picture while they filmed him. For those who don't know about the movie it's called 8 Stories (a film by Triad Media and Entertainment). Author, Stephanie Fowers, co-directs with Sandra Barton, and Jacqueline Fowers is the Director of photography. To follow progress on the film, click here.
I promised those on facebook that I would post pictures, but I didn't want to do that until I finished the drawing that was used in the movie. Now I have and I'm ready to share it with you wonderful people.

This is Ben Jarvis who plays the artist Ethan. Ethan has a crush on a dancer named Grace (Elizabeth Montgomery) and draws her in the film. He took a crash course from me on how to draw lips. We were both nervous about this little endeavor--he didn't want to mess up my drawing and I didn't want him to! Ha ha!
But I have to add how impressed I was of his skills. I think if the acting career didn't work out for him (there's no reason it wouldn't) he could become an artist.

Here's Ben showing off his new found drawing skills.

Stephanie Fowers and Ben going over the script. --Yes! They really do that! ;)

The artist's room. See my art! Mikey Brooks' art is there as well. Do you see my horse laughing at us?

Another view of our work.

You may ask, "Why is there sheets and blankets hanging from the ceiling fan?"
Well, it's to help with the sound of course! Otherwise the sound would be off.
It's ingenious.




Everyone crams into this tiny room to film Ben pretending to have a phone conversation while he draws lips then packs his books into a bag. No pressure, Ben!
Mike, the boom mike guy, (yes, his name is Mike) says that he can hear all kinds of things I couldn't, so I hardly breathed or moved while they filmed.

Here he is, getting into his character.

Awhh, I'm so proud. He did so great!

For kicks I asked if I could have my picture taken in the soon to be famous elevator.
All the junk at my feet is their props. After a few minutes the elevator was going nowhere, so I bailed. I could never imagine being stuck in such a tiny space with seven other people! Claustrophobia!

So, who wants to see the drawing of Elizabeth, the actress who play Grace, the dancer?
Well, okay. Here you go...



The scan they sent me didn't turn out as fantastic as I would have liked, but the prints turned out better.

I hope you enjoyed your visit! Please come again and leave a comment!

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