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Parting Words of Wisdom from Some Inspirational Artists

Parting Words of Wisdom from Some Inspirational Artists

“Keep at it! Pray over it. People want your artwork in their homes, in their work spaces. Sometimes, it just takes time.”

Courtney Freiburger, Wooden sign maker and graphic designer at Hardy Design Photo

“For anyone seeking to start sharing their gifts through creating beauty: 1)Seek the advice of experts. When I started Catholic Girl Talk, I had absoluetly no idea what I was getting into. However, I reached out to specific people who were already doing what I was doing, and doing it well. Through their advice and encouragement, I was able to work through some of the initial roadblocks of starting a ministry and YouTube Channel. 2)Be professional but seek authenticity above all. For example, if you feel called to start a YouTube Channel but do not have the latest DSLR, start it anyway! You don’t have to have the latest and best equipment to start. Many YouTubers became successful starting out with only an iPhone and good content! The key is that you are sharing authentic content from your heart. Of course, use the equipment you do have in the most professional way possible. Then, contine learning to improve your quality and skills as you go. I’ve found that a lot of it comes only with practice!”

Olivia, vlogger, video content creator at Catholic Girl Talk

“Pray when you create. Let the joy of the Lord flow through you.”

Mary Glomski, Crafter, maker at Hooking Joy Designs

“You were created to co-create beauty. The beauty you create can move others to Christ in a way that only your art can do. The world needs the beauty you have to share!”

Jacki Beers, creative designer and rosary maker at Faber Beads

“If God is laying it on your heart to create, than someone needs that piece of creation in their life. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, God is working through you for a reason!”

Alicia Baker, jewelry creator at No Heart Untouched

And I saved my favorite for last:

“Oh man, just go for it. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? You know, think of those little cherubs in all the cathedrals, the ones that only have heads and wings? Those things scare the LIFE OUTTA ME. But I mean, they’re art, right? If some dude could make those scary little creatures and have them adorn cathedrals and basilicas and churches all over the world, I’m pretty sure there’s a place for you and your art too. 😂 HAVE TREMENDOUS HOPE.”

Heather, Illustrator, painter, and maker at Honeychild Forest 
Wisdom for New, Young, + Shy Christian Artists

Wisdom for New, Young, + Shy Christian Artists

“You DO have a place! Use what is at your disposal to convey beauty to the world in a way that is authentic to you. Beauty is the medium through which truth and goodness are conveyed. The world desperately needs you. It needs to see the light of Christ shining through the art you are creating. Even though it seems that someone has already taken your niche, YOU have unique gifts and tastes that just might draw someone into truth and goodness who would have been turned off before. Beauty will save the world, and you are needed to save the world through beauty.”

Olivia, vlogger, video content creator at Catholic Girl Talk

“There is always a place at the table. God’s gift to you is beautiful and worth sharing. It will give Him glory for you to use your talent!”

Gina Fensterer, designer at Someday Saints Designs

“Ask God where he wants you to use your skills. And listen when He answers! Don’t be afraid to start small or to fail. Be honest about your skill level. Practice where you need it and be confident in what you are great at! If you want God to use your art, you can’t waste any time on false humility or fear of failure.”

Annie Vaeth, Printmaker and Painter at Paper Monastery 
“Don’t limit your audience to “Christian” or not… you’ll be surprised!”
Michelle Arnold Paine, painter at Michelle Paine
“Your creativity is your legacy. It will live beyond you. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with uncertainty, you have a chance to become overwhelmed with faith & joy. Choose that path.”
Christy M. Johnson, Art therapist, artist, and illustrator
“I have heard others wonder if they should, for instance, make saint dolls since others like me are already doing that. I think it’s important to make sure that you are true to yourself and your style as an artist. There’s room for more doll makers (or fill in the blank what art you want to pursue), and yes, all art is imitation. But what will make you successful is embracing your own style and what makes your rendition different and unique. I learn a lot from seeing what others are doing, but ultimately I have to create what is on my heart in a way that is genuine to who I am and what my style is. I often think of Catherine of Siena’s words: “Be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire.” I think our art works that way too. It takes time to develop that style. Mine is still developing. But it’s important to resist the temptation to simply copy what what someone else is doing.”
Marcy Kelleher, Doll maker, felt florist, seamstress, and fiber artist at Marzipantz Shop
“With rosary making, I’m in the most saturated market! I had tiny goals when I started to put my pieces out there, but God has not been outdone in His generosity. God wants to use us in unique ways, and we can never know how God wants to use our talents for His glory-unless we try!”
Jessica Dixon, jewelry designer and rosary maker at Come Holy Spirit Rosaries
“God needs you and the church needs your unique gifts! If you feel a call to share your talents then God has a space for you. Pray to Our Lady for guidance!”
Rose Osada, jewelry designer at Relics by Rose
“There is a place for you! I 100% believe in making what you would want to purchase as a consumer because then a different sort of energy flows into your work that does not otherwise. Christ can reach through to all through all.”
Alexandra Lemke, seamstress at The Lemke Lodge
“Be authentically you. Make sure you are working/creating to honor Christ. That way, while it can be a bit scary, you will not be adandoned in your journey.”
Allison Seitz, artisan at Small Things Gr8 Love
“If you can stop thinking about the sale long enough to paint something that fuels your prayer life and inspires one just other person to draw closer to Christ then this process/job/outlet/business is worth all of the time and effort.”
Kourtnee Senn, painter at Studio Senn
“Go. For. It. If nothing else, do it for the process of figuring your God-given strengths. He’s given you an interest in these things for some higher purpose!”
Jennifer, graphic designer, artist, and jewelry maker at Telos Art Shop
” There is always more room at the table! But I’d encourage you to find your niche—how can you make your item unique? What makes your art different from anyone else’s? Embrace your own style, and be patient discovering what that might be. Lastly, trust. If this is where God wants you to be for his glory, then be assured it will happen.”

Megan Reusz, crafter at The Cozy Wife
The Impact of Faith on the Lives of Artists

The Impact of Faith on the Lives of Artists

Earlier this fall I surveyed a diverse group of Catholic artists about what impact their faith has had on their work as artists. Here are a sampling of their responses. I hope their words inspire you to explore the role of beauty in your own faith.

“My life as an artist is inseparable from my life of faith. I have always felt a need to create beauty and as I have grown in my faith I have seen that as a direct gift from God which allows me to participate in His creator spirit! My Catholic faith is inseparable from what I produce as an artist. Especially when I am painting religious imagery, my faith informs my work and my work informs my faith. I paint as I pray and I pray as I paint. In my artistic vocation I am always seeking to reveal a tiny glimpse of the eternal beauty that is God.”

Annie Vaeth, Printmaker and Painter at Paper Monastery 
“I love making things that connect faith and whimsy. For instance, painting animals that are praying the rosary has been such a fun way to spread a love of the rosary and for prayer through modern children’s art. I want those paintings to reflect joy and beauty, because joy and beauty are a reflection of who God is and a reflection of faith, hope and our Heavenly home.
For me personally, I feel close to God when I am creating. It’s usually a time of tremendous peace and consolation, where I feel close to His Heart, and I crave it.
I also have limitations as an artist, so many times I’m like “ok God, how do you want me to do this? How can I make this thing come to life?” and I have to wait on Him for that inspiration.”
Heather, Illustrator, painter, and maker at Honeychild Forest 
“I wanted items for my own children to help them connect to their own name saints. I wanted something beautiful and heirloom quality. Not finding exactly what I was looking for, I realized I would have to make it. So I launched my online custom shop. And it’s been so fun! I’ve grown my skills over the past couple of years and was able to make and take a Father Solanus Casey doll with us and the kids when we went to his beatification mass in Detroit. While I make other items than just saint dolls, (I also focus on items that are literary or emphasize the beauty & magic of childhood), I pray over my family, friends & church while I work. I truly believe that by embracing the artist God made me to be, I am living a prayer of praise to Him.”
Marcy Kelleher, Doll maker, felt florist, seamstress, and fiber artist at Marzipantz Shop
“My faith lead me to art and, in return, my art returns me to my faith. For most of my life I’ve thought of being an artist as impractical, a poor career move, too big of a risk &, even, foolish. And yet, painting is what brings me clarity & solace so it always hovered on the periphery of my life. It took not being able to find a job to finally commit to my artistry. When there were no other options I was invited to make art. And I finally took my gift seriously. My fears slowly turned into faith and trust that this was the next step. This was, after all, a gift I was given how could I not use it? And now that I am using it, I am more prayerful & spiritual than ever before. Owning & building a business is incredibly hard work. It demands structure, time, education, consistency, resilience & self-worth. My faith allows me to overcome each hump of self-doubt I come across on the journey. I am an artist because I believe.”
Christy M. Johnson, Art therapist, artist, and illustrator
“My faith is EVERYTHING to me as an artist! It is my constant inspiration, my rock and it keeps me grounded in my creativity. God is ALL beauty and goodness and I am in constant awe of what an AWESOME artist He is. I bubble up with happiness whenever I am creating something that will point others towards Him.”
Carla Quigley, Painter, jewelry maker, woodworker, hand letterer, and teacher at Religious Art by Carla Q
“For me this is very much a Chicken-Or -the-Egg question. My faith is what opens my eyes to beauty around me and makes me hungry to add to that beauty… And then it is also my work as an artist that trains my eye and my heart to seek and recognize beauty in all of creation. Obviously my Morse Code necklaces carry meaningful messages, but the way I see it, even plain beaded earrings add to the beauty in this world and help to make someones day brighter. It is my faith first and foremost that makes bringing those brighter days the goal of my work.”
Theresa Barger, maker and crafter at Apple and Azalea
“St. John Paul the Great encouraged artists to be “custodians of beauty” and “heralds and witnessed of hope for humanity.” My greatest joy in my art is giving light and hope that reflects the love of God I have been so graciously given.”
Artist at Southfarthing Studio
“I pray often while making each piece that I sell. I pray for the artist who designed the fabric I am using, and I pray for the consumer who will buy and use the piece. That’s why I feel like my products are still “Catholic” in nature because of all of the little prayers that goes on behind the scenes.”
Alexandra Lemke, seamstress at The Lemke Lodge
“A few years ago, I stopped painting commission work and decided I wanted to create art that was important to me; art that could be used to hand down the Faith. The Church holds so much inspiration, depth and importance. Now all of my work is built around my Faith and sitting down with the Creator Spirit is the best part of my job.”
Kourtnee Senn, painter at Studio Senn
“I love making the faith “touchable.” I think embracing beauty with all our senses is so important—we are after all physical creatures. I love using my hands to make something beautiful that will help someone else more fully embrace their faith.”
Megan Reusz, crafter at The Cozy Wife
“My art is based on bringing the Sacred into the midst of the ordinary. I am continually inspired by the lives of the Saints and the Word of God, and work to bring quotes to life in a way that is practical and useful. Resting in God renews my creative spirit.”
Elayne Miller, Hand letterer and artisan at Annunciation Designs
The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents – Part 4 of 4

The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents – Part 4 of 4

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - With a Secret Weapon You Won't Believe

{This post is part 3 of a 4 part series of egg carton succulents. See part one here, part two here, and part three here.}

{Part of the purpose of Pink Salt Riot is to give women everywhere tools to help them live lives of authentic joy in Christ. And part of how I plan to do that? By sharing amazing and beautiful recycled DIY projects.

Wait, what?

Yes, I know. Not exactly the first thing that pops into your mind, is it? Learn more about why I feel recycled DIY is an important addition to my mission in this post, and get the down low on everything you need to get started right here.}

It’s time to use the last of your pieces and make my personal favorite variety of the easiest DIY succulents!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

Here’s what you need for your succulents:

  • Egg carton: the recycled paper kind
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Green paint

Pretty basic, right? I bet you have most, if not all, of the things you need at home right now!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

Skip to #4 if you already cut into a lid for last week’s tutorial!

1.Start by cutting into the lid as shown in #1 above. Cut it in half first, then cut the center pieces out of each end.

2. Cut each quarter of the lide into 6 pieces as shown above in #2.

3. Round off the pieces you cut from the sides as shown above. These will be your leaves for this succulent – it’s great to have some varying sizes, so be creative!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

4. Cut a circle from any old piece of paper – bonus points for junk mail! Take the pieces cut from the sides of the lid and arrange six of the largest around the outside.

5. Use your hot glue to arrange with around the outside of the circle. As you can see from the example it doesn’t have to be particularly neat or even as that adds to the natural look of the bloom.

6. Keep adding smaller and smaller rings of leaves to the inside of the bloom. Feel free to trim some pieces smaller and shorter for the center to help mimic the way a succulent naturally grows.

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

7. Take three leftover triangles from the second tutorial (or leftover pieces of the lid from this tutorial – hey, maybe a job for the leftover pieces of the flap!) and round the top off them so they look like the other leaves in your succulent.

8. Pinch them together at the base so that they can stand up straight and glue them into the center of the bloom. I like to try and make the pinched bottoms of the leaves nest together as shown in the picture because it’s pretty that way.

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

And there you go! Four beautiful ways to make egg carton succulents!

To review, from the left going clockwise:

Succulent #1

Succulent #3

Succulent #2

Succulent #4 – this tutorial!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Final Installment of The Best & Easiest DIY Succulents - Part 4 of 4

Now to paint and make them beautiful!

Did you make some? I want to see them! Post your succulents on Instagram and tag @pinksaltriot so I make sure to find them!

The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents – Part 3 of 4

The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents – Part 3 of 4

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - With a Secret Weapon You Won't Believe

{This post is part 3 of a 4 part series of egg carton succulents. See part one here and part two here. }

{Part of the purpose of Pink Salt Riot is to give women everywhere tools to help them live lives of authentic joy in Christ. And part of how I plan to do that? By sharing amazing and beautiful recycled DIY projects.

Wait, what?

Yes, I know. Not exactly the first thing that pops into your mind, is it? Learn more about why I feel recycled DIY is an important addition to my mission in this post, and get the down low on everything you need to get started right here.}

It’s time to cut into the lid and make a third kind of egg carton succulent! These have the signature rounded leaves of many succulents that is typically so hard to achieve with paper. Luckily egg cartons have the perfect shapes to make these little beauties.

Here’s what you need for your succulents:

  • Egg carton: the recycled paper kind
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Green paint

Pretty basic, right? I bet you have most, if not all, of the things you need at home right now!

1.Start by cutting into the lid as shown in #1 above. Cut it in half first, then cut the center pieces out of each end.

2. Cut each quarter of the lide into 6 pieces as shown above in #2. the center two pieces that are somewhat heart shaped from each side and the middle center piece from each half of the lid will be some of your pieces for this succulent.

3. If you want to get ahead for the next tutorial, go ahead and round off the pieces you cut from the sides as shown above. Save those for the tutorial coming out next week!

4. Now cut into the flap that keeps the egg carton closed. Cut it apart as shown above. The 5 bumps on that flap will be 5 pieces of your succulent. You can discard the scraps from the flap. (Gasp! I know. I couldn’t find a use for them, which is hard to believe!)

5. Pull together your pieces from both the lid and the flap. I typically use 9 pieces per succulent.

6. Cut a little circle from any old piece of paper – use junk mail! This is just a base and won’t be seen. Choose 4 pieces (usually it works best to use the 4 big bumps from the closing flap) to be the outside of your succulent and use your hot glue to glue them down.

7. Add a second ring of 4 leaves to the middle, filling in the spaces between the first four leaves. Choosing pieces that are a little smaller or trimming them so they are smaller will make the bloom look more natural. Complete the bloom by cutting one piece in half and rounding it off to make two small leaves for the center. I also like to use three sometimes to switch up the look a little. Do what looks best to you!

And there you have it! A lovely little succulent ready to paint! 

Have you started your own set yet?

Let me know how you plan to use them in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out parts one and two of this series as well!

The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents – Part 2, From The Simplest of Recycled Materials

The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents – Part 2, From The Simplest of Recycled Materials

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - With a Secret Weapon You Won't Believe

{This post is part 2 of a 4 part series of egg carton succulents. See part one here.  }

{Part of the purpose of Pink Salt Riot is to give women everywhere tools to help them live lives of authentic joy in Christ. And part of how I plan to do that? By sharing amazing and beautiful recycled DIY projects.

Wait, what?

Yes, I know. Not exactly the first thing that pops into your mind, is it? Learn more about why I feel recycled DIY is an important addition to my mission in this post, and get the down low on everything you need to get started right here.}

Welcome to Part 2 of my egg carton succulent party! You got all the wordy preamble in Part 1 so I will just get right to it today! Today I am showing you how to make a darling little aloe style succulent with the pieces left over from the first tutorial.

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - Part 2, From The Simplest of Recycled Materials

Here’s what you need for your succulents:

  • Egg carton: the recycled paper kind
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Green paint

Pretty basic, right? I bet you have most, if not all, of the things you need at home right now!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - Part 1, With a Secret Ingredient You Won't Believe

1. Start by cutting apart your egg carton. Cut the lid away from the bottom of the carton. For this particular tutorial you will only be using the triangles from the sides of the egg cups, but in the coming days I will share how to make other varieties of succulents from the top as well – so don’t throw it away yet!

2. Cut apart each of the individual egg cups. This is what you will use to make this succulent!

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - Part 1, With a Secret Ingredient You Won't Believe

3. Once you have separated all the egg cups, begin preparing the individual pieces. Cut each egg cup as shown above in #3, cutting four triangles out of the sides. They will be varying sizes, and that’s a good thing! Repeat with all 12 egg cups.

4.Keep ALL the pieces – this tutorial only uses the triangles you cut out of the sides, but earlier this week I showed you how to use the centers to make another kind of succulents.

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - Part 2, From The Simplest of Recycled Materials

Now for the steps on how to make the aloe succulents:

1. Gather all the little triangles cut from the sides of the egg cups. You should have 48 total, but I tend to use about 25 per succulent.

2. Cut a medium size circle (about 2 inches in diameter, but no need to measure! You can always make it too big and trim it later) from any old piece of paper (bonus points if it’s recycled too!). Pick 7 of the largest triangles and hot glue them in a circle around the outside of your paper circle.

3. Add another layer of triangles around the inside of the first layer. Be sure that they fill in the spaces in the first layer as shown in the picture above.

4. Keep going until you fill it all in! Add less and less triangles to each round as you come closer to the center and aim to end with to in the center. It works best if you pinch the bottom of the last two triangles together so that you can fit them together and push them all the way down to the paper in the center so they stand up more than the other leaves. See the picture below for reference.

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The Best (and Easiest!) DIY Succulents - Part 2, From The Simplest of Recycled Materials

And there you have it! A beautiful aloe style succulent to compliment any recycled arrangement!

I am prepping for a big master suite remodel in the next few weeks and these are going to play a BIG part in my new dream bohemian bedroom! Now that you have two styles to make, what uses for these succulents are percolating in your mind? Let me know in the comments!