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Raising Your Hand Takes Courage

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt card

It takes courage to raise your hand and ask a question.  No matter if you are asking a teacher, a public speaker, or yourself, it takes courage to ask.  What question was I asking today?  Can I make something without color?  Could I go black and white and love it as much as I love creating with color?

Imagine me waving good-bye to the comfort zone of rainbow colors because I really wanted to grab some pinks and blues and greens!  I started by using black acrylic paint with a hand carved stamp on 5×8 index cards.

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt card

Usually, I am all about lots and lots, layer upon layer, but not this time.  I stenciled just one word from my Wall of Words stencil.  One of the reasons I designed this stencil with so many words was so that there were many ways it could be used.

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt card

As I ran the cards through the Xyron Creative Station, I was very uncomfortable. Not with the Xyron…it worked like a charm.  What had me squirming was all the white space on these cards as I saw them side by side. The tube of lime green paint was screaming at me to be used, but I resisted!

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt card

So what kind of background would I have for these cards?  A scribble journaled background.  All I did was stick them right in the middle of the scribble journaling.  The attaching was quick and easy since the Xyron turned them into stickers…the writing not so quick!

Doing 5 of these took surprisingly longer to do than I anticipated.  Another thing out of my comfort zone…patience. OOPS!  It was definitely an OOPS that I had to write this much!

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt cardIn every Oops there is an opportunity.  All this scribble journaling gave me lots of opportunities to honor the courage that I see every day.  My friend struggling with health issues who greets each day with a smile.  My children who are in that awkward stage of transitioning from teenager to adult.

There has been so much courage that I have seen online too in the Facebook group and those taking Permission to Play (it’s a free workshop and open to all and you can join the fun anytime).

The courage to let yourself play on a weeknight. The courage to tell that critical voice in your head to hush.  The courage to do lesson 2, even though it felt so out of your comfort zone.  The courage to try.

Kristen Usin Smith shared her moment of courage with us in Permission to Play, and with her blessing I am sharing it here.

“I have to share a major art break through I’ve had due to making the Permission slip. Since I started making art again almost 2 years ago, I’ve always done it on the weekends. This evening for the first time I made art on a weeknight which may not seem major to most people but it is to me.

There was something about the act of signing the permission slip (maybe it’s the paralegal in me) that resonates with me and it felt like the floodgates opened. I realize that I could do art anytime I want and I don’t have to save it for the weekend. I had so much FUN I’ll definitely be doing it again soon!!  Thank you so much Carolyn Dube” 

A hand carved stamp and a powerful word to create a heartfelt card

Some questions are smaller…like can I do this without the rainbow.  Some questions are much much bigger…like can I find it in me to face the day.  No matter the question, big or small, it takes courage.

Ps. I really like how these black and white cards turned out but all that white space is just screaming for color to me.

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  • Nanci November 8, 2015, 7:40 am

    Try to resist, these are wonderful! I did not realize how far out of my comfort zone I was (doing the workshop project) until I got to the rubber stamping step; I am primarily a stamper and my confidence soared on that step but I think I learned more from the other steps! 😉

  • Corrine November 8, 2015, 10:44 am

    Patience, what’s that ha. Love your stamp. These came out great. Xox

  • Katy November 8, 2015, 5:58 pm

    Carolyn I adore that stamp and the background was a perfect fit but I too have a really hard time with open space and no color. How about just some red “polish” on the fingernails?!? LOL

  • Judith Clarke November 8, 2015, 8:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. You have spoken straight to my heart. For a lot of my life, I could not call attention to myself. Tying the word “Courage” to raising one’s hand to be noticed is something I can understand. Somehow, I feel that you’ve got my back and I can raise my hand with my art in it. Bless you. Hugs!

  • AnneLou Robkin November 9, 2015, 1:31 am

    Ah, Carolyn! Had it been I, I would have scribbled one, scanned it, and printed a sheet of them out on my computer. My arthritis would have done me in had I had to scribble 5! Your raised hand stamp is so cool! I may have to carve something similar! You do the most amazing things with color, I can just picture you glancing over at that lime green and gritting your teeth! Good for you for holding out–the results are worth it!

  • Lisa November 9, 2015, 8:03 am

    Art+therapy = a colorful journey! Learning something new on this magical mystery tour daily!! Thanks Carolyn!

  • Marilyn November 9, 2015, 6:30 pm

    I absolutely love your Raised Hand stamp. Is there a chance you might publish the stamp (or at least the pattern)? If not a stamp, what about publishing a stencil. I might be able to carve the stamp or cut out a stencil if I had your drawing to re-size to an appropriate scale for my page. Please, please.

    • Carolyn Dube November 11, 2015, 11:59 am

      I will do my best Marilyn! I am loving these hands – I keep reaching for them whenever I am playing lately!