Approach the blank canvas with confidence and excitement!

I bought an easel, I am quite certain, over five years ago, and have used it a handful of times. And those times were when I was taking a class, being guided by an instructor.

When I got brave and decided to paint on my own...easel out and blank canvas ready... I would freeze up and give up!

It always seemed easier to just work in my journals or on paper, but when it comes right down to it, what is the difference?

I have a shelf that runs along the left side of my studio. It sits a few feet below the ceiling and it holds baskets of supplies and several paintings that I started but never finished.

I see those painting every day and they remind me of how much I want to create art on canvas, but how insecure I feel when I try.  

PtoP2sm.jpg

Then it hit me...I realized I was approaching it all wrong. 

I needed to find a way to go from working on paper, where I feel confident, to canvas, which scares me.  My solution is Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas.  

“I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this class and where it can take me as an artist. Roben-Marie is so clever. This is not a small workshop because it has the potential to develop into many big things if one should choose to go forward with it.”
-Diane Kirtley

Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas
Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas
Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas

In Paper to Painting, I will guide you through my stress-free approach to creating art you’ll be proud to hang on your wall. 

No room on your walls?  No problem!  My ideas translate to art journaling, mail art and other mixed media projects.



What are some of the workshop benefits?

>>>>> Creative ideas are great, but so many times students are left trying to figure it out on their own. I will take care of you, ensuring you have what you need to learn how to do it and take it and make it your own.

>>>>> I provide instruction that’s thoughtful, step-by-step and will set you up for success. From video quality to attention to the details, I create an experience as if you were sitting with me in an in-person workshop.

>>>>> The takeaway is so much more than making a few pieces of art for your wall. Learn my multi-layering process and explore using beeswax on canvas to leverage your art (my specialty)!  


"I found the class to very liberating working outside an art journal. I really enjoyed the process of working layer after layer and seeing the layers meld together and work into a piece that was unified yet could be deconstructed to make separate pieces of art. I really enjoyed watching Roben-Marie, and listening to her thought process as she moved through each layer. It really helped to take the "fear" away of making a mistake! The class gave me the freedom To take risks, using different supplies and focus on the moment and not be caught up in an end result."
Lorraine George

Lorraine.jpg

Downloadable Worksheets and Collage Sheets

Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas

Paper to Painting will set you up for success even if:

•You don’t know how to create a multi-layer collage.
-I will show you step-by-step!

•You can’t sketch or draw.
-I have a trick for that!

•You don’t feel confident when working on canvas.

•The blank canvas scares you.

•You aren’t interested in working on canvas, but instead want to learn to create amazing layers.

•You don’t have a lot of money to spend on supplies.

•I need lots of time to watch the videos and work at my own pace.
-You have unlimited access to the class with no renewal fees! 

 
Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas
Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas Workshop with Roben-Marie Smith.  Create art you'll love even if the blank canvas scares you!  @robenmarie #painting #mixedmedia #art www.robenmarie.com/blankcanvas

Start today, and you’ll have the tools you need to approach the blank canvas with confidence and excitement!

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie

How Trello can organize your life & business

Save time and reduce stress!

Gone are the days when all we really had to remember was our telephone and social security numbers.  We used notebooks and things were relatively simple.  

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and I am convinced I was born 20 years too early.

With the increasing need to remember so many usernames, passwords, links and more it is a challenge to keep it all organized and I consider myself to be very organized but I was struggling to find a viable solution that worked for me.

I tried using Evernote and the basic Notes app on my iPhone to keep track of things I needed to recall when either traveling or away from my computer.

No Bueno!

I even tried keeping a document inside my Dropbox so I could call it up when I needed “that” link or my login information.  I know there are apps that store your usernames and passwords, but my need was on a broader scale.

How Trello can organize your life and business...save time and stress. Article and video tutorial by Roben-Marie Smith. Free Template Trello Board. #trello #organization @robenmarie

Consider These Scenarios

Scenario #1 - I am visiting my sister in Tennessee and we are planning our tailgate meal and it would be so perfect if we made my special artichoke dip.  UGH!  I don’t have it “on” me and I don’t know it by heart.

Scenario #2 - I have bookmarked a zillion articles and I want to find the one about the best times to post on social media.  It takes way too long because even though it is saved in a bookmarked folder called Social Media, I have to search through all the urls and it takes forever to find it.

Scenario #3 - I want to access that workshop I signed up for months ago, but have to sift through my emails to find the link and login information.  And where did I put that supplies list I downloaded?

I think you get the idea!

I know there are lots of solutions out there, but Trello* is the solution that resonates with me and the one I have managed to stick with longer than a couple of weeks.

There are tons of uses for Trello and it is an amazing project management tool that you can use with other members. I am not going into that part of it, but instead I will focus on how it can benefit you, just like it benefits me.

I even created a Template for you that I titled:  Organize ME!  I will show you how to use it and once you copy it you can use it as a starting point to help you get organized.

If you want to jump ahead to the video walk-through now, feel free.  Next I want to highlight the amazing features of this FREE app!!

Visually Appealing and Intuitive
Think of Trello as an interactive bulletin board with digital sticky notes. You mind mappers, list makers and sticky note fanatics will love this! Drag and drop features make organizing a snap!

Access Information Quickly and From Anywhere
Trello is web based but there is also an app for mobile devices (iPhone and Android/Windows). 

A Digital Shoe Box For Your Stuff
With Trello you can upload images, files and videos from your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.  What? What? Yes! I love this feature because I can quickly locate and download or export items when I need them.

It's FREE!

Yes, this amazing software if free!  With the free plan you can upload files sizes up to 10mb.  If you need more and want custom backgrounds, grab the Trello Gold for $5 a month or $45 per year.

Here are a few more highlights:
Ability to collaborate with others on projects.
Create checklists
Set deadlines and reminders
Calendar power up will allow you to see your deadlines by week or month
Color coding...oh, yeah!!

Want to see it in action?  Let’s get to it!

Note: Yikes! I am learning how to use ScreenFlow and the best compression rates, etc. This video gets clearer around 5 minutes. I promise to do better next time.

>>>Download your free Template Board here

Simply click this LINK to grab your copy of the Organize ME! Template Board.

If you don't already have a Trello* account it will ask you to sign up (it's free). Then you will be able to copy the board into your account.  Click the first card on the far left that reads **START HERE** for directions.

I look forward to hearing if Trello works for you and how you decided to use it.  I hope this has been helpful to you!

Have a blessed day!

 

*I only recommend products I use. Trello link contains an affiliate.

Paper to Painting Workshop Bundle Giveaway

GIVEAWAY!  Enter to Win my Paper to Painting Workshop Bundle worth $335!

OH, PIN THAT!!!

Enter the Giveaway Here!!

I wanted to do this giveaway to compliment the launch of my new workshop Paper to Painting: a Simple Approach to the Blank Canvas where I will guide you through my stress-free approach to creating art you’ll be proud to hang on your wall.  I am celebrating a little early with this awesome giveaway of art supplies and two workshop spots - one for you and one for a friend.  

 

Here is what I am giving away...

2 Spots in my new Paper to Painting Workshop (when it launches): one for you and one for a friend! ($114)
1 each flat artist panels: 6×6, 8×8, 10×10 ($12.75)
1 each artist panels – 3/8” profile: 5×5, 6×6, 8×8 ($20.98)
1 each cradled panels – 1 1/2” profile: 5×5, 6×6, 10×10 ($39.64)
1 each Golden High Flows: Teal & Quin Nick Azo Gold ($17.18)
1 each Mixed Media Artist Paper Book #2 and #3 ($31.98)
1 each DecoArts Acrylic: Green Gold, Teal & Dark Gray ($13.34)
1 each Golden Fluid: Titanium White & Raw Umber ($12.98)
1 each Simply Simon Round Brushes: #2, #4 and #6 ($12.60)
1 Simply Simon Oval Wash Brush 1/2” ($4.85)
1 Golden Gel Medium 8oz. ($17.79)
1 Liquitex Matte Medium 4oz. ($10.39)
3 Faber-Castel Grip Pencils ($7.25)
1 Stabilo Marks ALL Pencil ($2.99)
1 General Drawing Pencil ($9.46)
2 UHU Glue Sticks ($6)

 

Here’s how to enter and WIN:


Go here and enter the giveaway (it takes 2 seconds) >>>

When you enter the contest - you will be given a "unique URL” that is unique to you that you can share to get MORE chances of winning!! Awesome, right?!!

Your Unique URL is on the thank you page after you enter, and you’ll want to keep that handy and share as much as possible before the Giveaway ends, giving you more chances to win.  For each friend you refer that signs up -- you score 5 extra entries!  Yeah!


That means sharing on twitter, Facebook, your blog, emails - go crazy!

And if you lose or forget your unique URL, just go back to the giveaway page and you can find it there and you can watch as your entry number grows!

The contest ends on Thursday, October 27 at 1PMEST - so you have eight days to share and get as many entries as you can, increasing your chances to win this inspiring giveaway!

Go here and enter the giveaway now!


As an extra bonus, entrants will be added to my advanced notification list for Paper to Painting! Registration will open early to my list where you can take advantage of limited time special pricing & bonuses when Paper to Painting goes live!


Good luck and thanks for entering and sharing!

 

Want a little peek at the workshop?  Sure you do!  Here you go...

Q&A with Roben-Marie Smith

The journey from public relations executive to mixed media artist

I have been asked many times about how I got started in mixed media and whether or not I have an art degree.  Join me for my first Q&A where I answer those questions and shed some light on my journey from a computer programming major turned PR executive to how I started Paperbag Studios and more!

How to Create a Pocket Art Card Tri-Fold Book

Plan, Document & Art-it-Up!

Have you heard about The Documented Life Project™?  The project started in 2014 and featured weekly artsy inspired prompts brought to you by the ladies of Art to the 5th™.  The response was overwhelming and in 2015 DLP The Journal was launched, introducing thousands to a year's worth of art journaling ideas and inspiration.  Enter 2016, where the shift moved back to the planner only this time with a whole new twist. 

The focus is on art, list making, goal setting, community, friendships and documenting our lives.
— Art to the 5th

This time of year I begin thinking about getting more organized and thinking about the planner I want to use in the new year. I always start off the year golden and then drop off a bit as the months move forward toward summer.   Sound familiar?  Well, the unPlanner™ is so much more than a planner and It is not too late to JOIN and with all this year's inspiration there is plenty to keep you busy and motivated today and well into the new year!

Don't miss the amazing planner art peeks by your project hosts and planner gurus Sandi KeeneRae Missigman and Lorraine Bell.


How to create a pocket art card tri-fold book with Roben-Marie Smith, featuring a video tutorial  with step-by-step directions.  Part of the Documented Life Project 2016 The unPlanner hosted by Art to the 5th. @robenmarie

My Take on the Pocket Art Card

The PAC prompt is stitching, which is super easy and fun because I LOVE to stitch on just about everything.  I am often asked if I use a special needle when stitching on paper and the answer is, "No, I just use an all purpose needle."

My single card turned into three cards as I fashioned them into a little tri-fold book to document my anniversary day. I went a bit overboard with all the layering, but I had fun with it and hope you will as well.  I've also included something special for you: a FREE set of downloadable collage sheets much like the ones I used in the video.  Sign-up to get your set. (See below the video.)

 


Grab Your Free Collage Sheets Download!

Sign up with your name and email address, get the download and be added to my exclusive subscriber list!
Created with Love with ConvertKit

How to create a pocket art card tri-fold book with Roben-Marie Smith, featuring a video tutorial  with step-by-step directions.  Part of the Documented Life Project 2016 TheunPlanner hosted by Art to the 5th. @robenmarie
 

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  

So what should you do next?

Head on over to The Art to the 5th™ Academy™! It is free to join and it offers a great place to connect with other planner enthusiasts!

Sign up for the unPlanner™ - and start today!

Grab your FREE Collage Sheets and add yourself to my exclusive subscriber list!

Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie


Featured Products & Sources

3 Ways Art Journaling Enriches Your Life

Three Ways Art Journaling Enriches Your Life with Roben-Marie Smith. Creative journals take it a step further by giving us the ability to explore our own thoughts, plans and document our lives in a more visual way. @robenmarie

CREATIVE JOURNALS GIVE US THE ABILITY TO EXPLORE OUR OWN THOUGHTS, PLANS AND DOCUMENT OUR LIVES IN A MORE VISUAL WAY.

1. Reflection

When I was young I was obsessed with lists, documenting and the tracking of everything. You might remember those cute little diaries that had the little lock and key?  Well, if not, then you're a baby and I feel old!  

Anyway, I had one and used it faithfully to write down each and everything I wore to school in seventh grade and when it was full I made my own little "clothes book" to cover my eighth grade year.  Insane, right?  

When I went off to college, my mom and dad moved so they boxed up all my stuff and, much later, I was going through the boxes and found my little book among other journals I had kept from my youth. 

Three Ways Art Journaling Enriches Your Life with Roben-Marie Smith. Creative journals take it a step further by giving us the ability to explore our own thoughts, plans and document our lives in a more visual way. @robenmarie

I thought it was so funny reading through it. Would you believe I still have it?  Want a peek? Click HERE!  Apparently stick pin jewelry was a thing back then!

While I am not sure what my younger self was thinking when she felt the need to list everything she wore to school during eighth grade, it was interesting to look at it as an adult and reflect on it.  

My journals changed once I became an adult and in my thirties, I discovered "art" journaling and I have never looked back.

 

Keeping an art journal has enabled me to reflect back on my story.  The stages of my life are captured on those pages in a way more compelling to me than by words alone. 

 
Three Ways Art Journaling Enriches Your Life with Roben-Marie Smith. Creative journals take it a step further by giving us the ability to explore our own thoughts, plans and document our lives in a more visual way. @robenmarie

2. Experimentation

Ah, experimentation!  What better way to explore new techniques, test out new art supplies and play than in your art journal?  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to playing and experimenting, so take advantage of that freedom and allow your skills to develop while discovering your own personal style.


 

3. Builds Confidence

If I shared pages from one of my first art journals, I am certain you would notice a huge difference in my creative abilities.  My life is far more enriched by the confidence I have gained over the years through playing, testing and practice. You know that feeling you get when you have created something you absolutely LOVE? Did it boost your confidence?  Art journaling is therapeutic, gives you a sense of accomplishment and provides enjoyment -- all confidence builders!



My Biggest Challenge

My biggest challenge when I began art journaling was over-thinking the process. I am so neat and organized in so many areas of my life that I brought that approach to art journaling and it just didn't work for me. Once I began to loosen up and relax and just allow the pages to evolve without much forethought is when I truly began to enjoy art journaling.

Do you keep a visual/art journal? If yes, in what ways has journaling enriched your life?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie

 

How to Create Amazing Bible Journal Pages with More Confidence

I am a living stone!

This week I'm excited to host the creative prompt for the His Kingdom Come Community which is comprised of a group of christian creatives who provide resources for art journaling, devotions, creative tutorials, classes and more.  I am one of many artists contributing to Take Me Deeper-DNA 2016.

I selected "I Am a Living Stone" for my theme.  I am reminded of what Peter tells us:

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
— 1 Peter 2:4–5
 
Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Bible Journaling My Way

I've admired a variety of Bible journaling artists over the last couple of years, so when I was invited to participate in this challenge, I was eager to say yes.  I approached my contribution much like I art journal with a blend of paint, stamping, collage and sewing.  Rather than journaling in a Bible I chose to use a handmade journal.  I photo copied the scripture (page in the Bible) and glued it onto a page in my journal.  I worked in my own style and method for a unique perspective that I hope will inspire you!



Follow along with my step-by-step tutorial for creating layered and messy mixed media Bible Journal pages with confidence!! 

Let's Get Started!

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

One: Gather random text colored papers.  Stamp images (I like these because they reminded me of stones) with black ink on to text paper.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Two: Adhere text and colored papers to your journal page with glue.  Using white acrylic paint, smooth over the page with a palette knife.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Three: Photocopy the page in your Bible with your selected verse and adhere to page with adhesive.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Four:  Using a Stabilo pencil add random marks around the page. Make marks with a regular pencil.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Five:  Add colored stickers to the page.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Six: Add relevant image(s) with adhesive.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Seven: Create a little stack with random papers and stamped images and stitch, leaving loose threads.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Eight: Punch a hole in a tab, add a piece of sari or other type of ribbon. Attach the tab to the page with tiny attacher.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Nine: Add number stickers to highlight chapter and verse.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Ten: Add doodles and stamped image to enhance the page.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Eleven: Using a black pen, add doodle marks to the page.  Use a Bic Wite-Out Pen to add white doodles.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Twelve: Using watercolor in a bright, complimentary color, highlight the verse you have selected.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Thirteen: Write or cut out words from a magazine or old book to create your statement.

Mixed media style Bible Journaling with Roben-Marie Smith.  In this step-by-step tutorial Roben-Marie brings her style to the hot trend that is Bible Journaling.  Part of the 2016 I Am Project sponsored by Take Me Deeper. @robenmarie

Fourteen: Use pen, pencil and crayons to doodle and finish the page.


I love it when things are happening while I create that are not immediately noticeable to me.  

•The picture of the rocks was torn from an Anthropologie Magazine. The rocks caught my eye and only later did I "see" the wooden cross in the bottom left of the photo.

The stamps I chose are among my favorites and I use them a lot, but when I started placing them around the page, I realized how much they looked like stones.

 

Are You Interested in Learning More?

After participating in this project I see how easy it is to incorporate the concept of Bible Journaling into my own style of art journaling.  I love that I can create in a way I am comfortable with and express myself confidently.

So, if there is enough interest in a mixed media, messy kind of artsy approach to Bible Journaling then I will take all these ideas swirling around in my brain and see what I come up!  If you are interested then let me know by signing up below and you will be the first to know about it!  No commitments... You just say, "Yeah, I want to know what you come up with!"

Thanks so much for dropping by my space and I hope you were not only inspired but blessed by your visit. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or would like to share anything with me!

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie


Featured Products


Come and join the faithart journey at His Kingdom Come! FREE weekly devotions, faithart inspirations, technique videos, faithart classes- combining techniques and bible study! Lots of faithart products– stencils, stamps, thermofax screens, canvas, and coloring books!  If you were part of Take me deeper in 2015, please sign up for the 2016 Take me Deeper, so that you have access to the devotions, techniques and discussions! Free planner/journal pages are found here. Take Me Deeper will run through 2016 with the “I am statements” of Jesus and our Spiritual DNA.  Join the conversation & be inspired by others in their Facebook group just for TMD.

DIY: Kantha Quilt Curtains

Looking for a Way to Freshen Up Your Windows?

Last year I updated my art studio.  I actually took everything out and started over, but more on that coming soon!  I have very high windows and standard curtains are not long enough.  Being a fan of Kantha quilts I found one that I knew would match my studio theme perfectly and it was long enough to use as a curtain...yeah!

Rather than buying two quilts, I opted to order one and cut it in half, creating two curtains.

Gasp!

Yes, I cut the quilt in half.  I reconsidered this plan when the quilt arrived.  It was too beautiful to cut.  What if it didn't work? What if I ruined it?

Snip, snip, snip!  Step #1 completed!

DIY - Kantha Quilt Curtains with Roben-Marie Smith.

I love easy and I did not want to stitch a rod pocket or tabs. Enter, drapery clip rings!  I was skeptical the clips would be strong enough to hold the curtains but they have worked perfectly. 

Clip & Hang!  Step #2 completed!

What is a Kantha Quilt?

Our neighbors are from India and their two young children have found their way into our hearts.  Last year, their grandmother came for a six month visit.  She did not speak English with the exception of, “Did you eat lunch?”  Every time she saw me she would ask me if I'd eaten. 

She wore the traditional Sari, which traces back thousands of years in India.  They are pieces of cloth worn by women, creating unique and beautiful outfits.

Her saris were exotic and stunning!

I would watch her each day from my window as she walked up and down the sidewalk, excited to see what she would be wearing.  One day, those lovely fabrics will likely be sewn into a Kantha quilt.

These family garments are recycled into Kantha quilts and many are passed down to children and are often made into baby blankets.  Kantha refers to the type of stitch used, which gives the sari quilts their general wavy, textured quality. Each quilt is unique in the stitching, patches and unique blends of fabrics.  

Image Source: HandandCloth

Kantha Quilts are full of life, funky patterns and colors! Wrapping up in one of these exotic beauties is such a treat!

My Favorite Uses for Kantha Quilts:

Table cloth/Covering - I have one on my dining room table and a coordinating one as a runner.
Pillow covers
Drape on a couch or chair
Handbags and pouches
Pot holders



When Things Come Together!

I love my new "curtains" and how they have brightened my studio.  The extra bonus was discovering that an antique light fixture I bought when I was 17 on a shopping trip to Myrtle Beach with my mom, matched the quilt perfectly.

I love when the unexpected happens and things come together!

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie


All studio photos by Rachel Estrada Photography.

3 Tips for Overcoming a Creative Block

It is Either Creative Feast or Famine!

For me, creative blocks come in two forms -- no ideas are flowing or there are too many and I can't focus and get anything done. 

3 Tips for Overcoming a Creative Block by Roben-Marie Smith with free pdf download of the post for easy reference.

It goes something like this -- I sit at my art table and rearrange pens and brushes and get easily distracted while I channel surf, waiting for a brilliant idea to suddenly appear out of nowhere.  

Or, I move about the house doing mundane things to distract me because my mind is ready to burst with ideas and I can't focus for the overwhelm.  

I am sure as you are reading this, you can relate, right?  You are not alone!

Let's chat about three of my favorite ways to overcome a creative block and I will throw in ideas and dive a little deeper into the recommendations:

1. Listen to Podcasts

It took me way too long to jump on the podcast bandwagon, but I am so glad I did!  I have been binge-listening to several of my favorites while I drive, do household chores and workout.  

Some podcasts are super short, so you can consume them in a quick drive to the grocery store and back. My suggestion is that you find some podcasts that interest you, but cover a wide genre, so you can expose yourself to lots of ideas.

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
— John Maynard Keynes

Listening to podcasts is much like participating in a scavenger hunt.

What, you ask?

Yep!  You listen to a podcast and find the guest very interesting so you immediately go to Google and track down his website, then you read a few posts, sign-up for his newsletter and download this super cool (fill in the blank).  Now, you want to consume more information so you buy his latest book and then it opens your mind to a whole new way of thinking about (fill in the blank).  You start jotting down all these ideas you had no inkling were swirling around in your brain and voila -- you have broken through a block!

I Am Crushing on These Podcasts Right Now:

The Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
The Owner's Mind with Chris Brogan
Elise Gets Crafty
#Create Lounge with Kayla Hollatz
Smart Creative Art with Monica Lee

2. Change Your Surroundings:

This one sounds really simple, but it is very effective, and you don't have to go out of town or on a long vacation to get a change of scenery.  Freeing our minds of our regular routines give it a chance to be challenged so we open ourselves up to new possibilities.

It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.
— Tim Burton

Simple Ideas for changing it up:

•Go shopping and be sure to visit stores like Anthropologie, West Elm and Pottery Barn.
•Take your journal to the local coffee shop and jot down ideas while you people watch and drink a fruity tea.
•Go for a walk with your camera and view your surrounds from behind the lens.
•Take a different route when you run your errands.
•Visit the beach or a local park with your sketchbook.
•If you work inside, move outside to a porch or patio.
•Go to the gym or workout at home.

3. Sleep, Watch & Eat:

I remembered a day not long ago when I hit the wall creatively and this affected me not only mentally but physically.  I was frustrated and knew I had to do something, so I did what any desperate creative person with no brilliant ideas would do to move herself forward...I took a nap and then I binge watched six hours of the Hallmark Channel while downing a pan of boiled peanuts and spicy guacamole dip!

While I am not recommending you follow this exact plan, I do suggest that during a creative block you take a rest from your work and get plenty of sleep (this works wonders).  Am I the only one who gets excited when she can curl up at 9PM and go to sleep?  I also like to watch funny or romantic movies while eating something I love.  Sounds simple, right? Give it a try!

Wrap Up

There are many ways to overcome these times in our creative journey so never fear.  I believe this is part of the process so I try not to beat myself up. 

I would love to hear your ideas.  Pop them in the comments and share.

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie

6 Creative Ways to Alter Garment Tags

I Confess I am a Garment Tag Hoarder

Yep!  I love them!  I am not so much of a hoarder that I pull them off clothes while I am shopping...that would be so wrong, but I do ask my friends to save them for me.  My favorite tags are from Anthropologie but I have also scored some great tags from Home Goods as well.

6 Creative Ways to Alter Garment Tags Tutorial with Roben-Marie Smith.

Think Outside the Box

With limited supplies it is possible to create some unique pieces.  My favorite is the little quote booklet I made with several tags glued together and attached to a paper ring and I am especially loving the necklace fashioned from a leather Anthropologie tag.  I hope you will be inspired by these ideas and have fun creating your own!


Video Tutorial Part One

Video Tutorial Part Two


Are you using garment or product tags in a creative way? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie


Product Sources

Your Top 10 Coffee Date Topics

Your Top 10 Coffee Date Topics

Last month, I asked you to complete a survey and over 400 of you responded!  Thanks so very much!  I have so many ideas swirling around in my brain and so many new things I want to try that I really needed to get clarity by asking YOU to answer some questions that would help me better serve you in 2016 and beyond.

3 Tech Tools I Use Regularly

3 Tech Tools I Use Regularly

Yep!  There are tons of options on the market today for making our lives easier.  Since I love the techie side of things, I am always (and to a fault) looking at the latest shiny thing.  I have tried many apps and a variety of software but how else am I to find the ones that work for me, right?!