Archives for the month of: February, 2012

It’s been two years of website chaos for me.  My knowledge of website design and coding wasn’t growing as fast as Creative Spillage was.  It’s left me with three websites and no consistency.

Today is the day for that to change.  

Creative Spillage is officially moving to

So change your bookmarks and meet me over there for all things creativity, art, faith, and healing.  I’d love for you to Introduce Yourself here so I get a chance to get to know you better also.  If you were subscribed by email, unfortunately you will have to redo this.

I’m still fleshing some of the details and content out, but it will fill in over the next couple of weeks.  If you run into any quirks, feel free to let me know!  I’ve triple checked things but tend to miss those obvious,right in front of your nose, type of mistakes.  Thanks for putting up with my mess!



When I bought my house two years ago I knew that the dining room needed a mirror.  I also knew that I wanted it to be a piece of artwork, and a functional mirror.  I shopped and shopped and everything I fell in love with was way out of my price range.  I chanced Craigslist and ended up finding a treasure!

And by treasure, I mean a huge GOLD treasure.  This mirror had beautiful lines and was the perfect size, but gold would not work in my silver accented house!  With some painters tape, some primer, and an Extra White sample paint can from Sherwin Williams, I now have this masterpiece!

Isn’t she beautiful?  Because the lines are ultra feminine, I used a light grey (knitting needles by Sherwin Williams) behind it to lessen the contrast.  One thing to always remember in design is that our eyes are always drawn to contrast.  If I put this bright white mirror against the dark charcoal walls, it would cause the rest of the room to disappear.

The total cost of the project was just under $120.  I also got to have tea with a lovely 86 year old woman who told me beautiful stories of all the homes this mirror has lived in.  Love it!

This is the view of my dining room when I purchased the house:

And this is it now!

I’ve been reading through my old journals and found something special from January 26, 2008.

It’s titled: My Ideal Imaginary Day

  • Wake up for work @ 6:30-7a
  • Wear whatever I want
  • Go to an aesthetically beautiful place, a studio with lots of land, or even a studio in the attic of an old house downtown
  • No one greets me at work. It’s just me.
  • Work day begins around 9.
  • Working for myself.
  • I work with my hands.  Paint, paper, pens, and pencils.
  • I have no boss.
  • Bulk of my day is spent creating, alone, reflecting, and then giving back.
  • I have lunch @ little cafe’s where the people know my name and my order.
  • I make enough to live and enough to give a lot away.

My jaw is laying on the floor!!  No wonder I have had such a hard time finding my passion again.  I AM LIVING IT.  I have spent at least the last four years dreaming of the exact life I lead now.  It was just two weeks after I wrote this, on February 11th, 2008,  that I officially started Creative Spillage.

Want to know a secret?  It doesn’t feel like I thought it would. I have arrived at my dream only to find it’s not my dream any longer.  Yes, this is a part of it and a necessary place for me to pass through, but I am ready to dream about my next Ideal Imaginary Day.

What is your Ideal Imaginary Day?

As I mentioned yesterday, we recently cleaned out all of the closets in the house.  Our home is always pretty kept together.  What I consider a mess is likely no where near it in other people’s eyes.  I would always be embarrassed to open our closets when people came to the house, often throwing guests coats over the bed instead of braving the cobwebs of our coat closet.

In emptying, sifting through, throwing away, and reorganizing our closets, I began to long for the same overhaul on my spirit.  How dark and dirty the back of the closets were.  Small and big things alike were easily hidden by the darkness.  My spirit is much the same.  The deeper I allow myself to dig and the more cobwebs I push aside, I find a greater truth of my past that I have long neglected.  There are parts of my past that still haunt me, parts that are still covered in shame, and parts that are lies masked as the truth.

In the quest to remember my passions I have become overwhelmed by memories of the past.  I can’t figure out where I’m going without remembering where I’ve been.  Trying to separate the two has left me anxious and with one really organized house.

I uncovered years of journals from my closet.  My first step is to read through them all.  It’s going to take time to process them but I’m ready.

I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know that I need to take an honest look at the story of my life.  I need to wipe off the years of dust it’s collected in the back of my emotional closet, and see it with new eyes.  So I’m committed to journaling, seeking the counsel of friends, and going back to counseling if needed.

I’m ready to quit fearing my past so I can look faithfully toward the future.

I’m ready to unshackle myself from shame so I can walk toward freedom.

I’m ready. Are you?

I take great pride in managing my households finances.  Dirk and I were never terrible at this before getting married, but we also were not particularly proactive in saving or setting financial goals.  Before we got married, I came up with a master spreadsheet that near plans out all of our finances for each year.  Give me any date this year, and I can likely tell you how much money we will have at that time.

Of course, this doesn’t plan for things like disasters, bonus’ or tax refunds, but those have their own separate savings account as not to upset my beautiful spreadsheet.  Go ahead and call me OCD, it’s okay.  In our first nine months of marriage we have managed to seriously pay down some debt, fill up some savings, and give when God has asked.

All it took was one day for my financial security to tumble to the ground.  Between two incorrect W2’s and chaos in transferring to a new car insurance company, my little spreadsheet went from black to red.  My blood pressure rose, my anxiety level was through the roof, and I grasped for control anywhere I could find it.

This same week, we also had a random tornado warning in the middle of the night which awoke my, and my dogs, PTSD from when the tree fell on our house.  In my fear, I wanted to hide in the back of the hall closet until the storm had passed.  That is exactly what I did, and with it, I emptied the hall closet out all over the house.  The next day I was convinced we should clean out all of the closets of the house, as well as rearrange the back room, and a long list of other home repairs.  Dirk put up with me for a day or two before I could see that I had projected all of my anxiety on to him.

I have always struggled with anxiety.  Being a creative kid, I always was more aware of the negative space than in concrete things.  To this day, I am often more concerned with how things feel rather than what something actually is.

I know this anxiety has been bubbling for some time.  I have always lived my life with a firm grasp on my passions.  I have always been able to dream big and see a vision for my life.  Not having this lately has left me a frazzled anxious pile of emotions.  A heaviness has covered my chest that doesn’t allow me to breathe deep.  Ugh!

I am not defeated though.  I have seen enough to know that these are simply growing pains.  I don’t know what I’m growing toward, but I know there is a change coming.  My spirit is too unsettled for things to stay the same.

And yes, our closets are now clean in preparation for all future tornado warnings.

Anyone else experiencing some growing pains?

At Compassion Internationals Artist and Speaker Retreat, Donald Miller told us to ask ourselves “what if..?”  What are those big things that you dream, those thing that are so outrageous they seem impossible.  My life has become so comfortable that when asked to dream, I couldn’t think of anything.  My heart used to be bursting at the seems with ideas and visions and hopes for the future.

Somehow in the last year I have forgotten my calling.  With the excitement of falling in love and starting a life with my husband, I started overlooking the passions and dreams God placed in my heart long ago.

I think it’s natural when you get married to have a knee jerk nesting type response.  Our conversations fast became about paying off our mortgage, remodeling the house to accommodate children, and mapping out our lives in the world as we currently know it.

When did comfort became my aim?  We have spent the first months of our marriage fixing our home, setting our budget, and finding a comfortable routine.  These constants have provided a safe environment for my marriage to grow in.  It has been a priceless time and one that has brought much joy.

Ultimately, my life has become too comfortable.  My growing comfort level in my physical surroundings has become increasingly uncomfortable in my spirit.  I thrive in change and during forward movement.  I love a challenge. I also love routine.  I must learn to equally live out of routine and spontaneity at the same time.

Don also said that our dreams aren’t meant to be lived in our journals, but rather experienced in real life.  Admittedly, I am living in my journals right now, and I’m okay with that. It’s a step in the right direction.

I am remembering how to dream.  I am remembering the desires and passions God placed in my heart long ago. I am remembering that one of those was marriage to a wonderful man and creating a stable home environment.

My What if’s….

What if I could sustain our lives with my art career so that we have free time to volunteer and wander the world?

What if we moved to India or Spain or Latin America for a few years?

What if I could help end the gendercide in India and China?

What if we could create a home for abandoned girls in these countries?

What if we pursued being foster parents?

What if we sold everything we had and just followed the wind for a while?

What are your “What if’s…”?  Have you forgotten how to dream?

Last May a tree fell on our house.  Well, more like a tree fell IN our house.  There is nothing like being awoken in the middle of the night to the loudest crash you can imagine, followed by breaking glass and the sound of rain inside the house.  All of the home repairs that followed lit a fire under my hidden “HGTV Diva” tushy.  I found myself obsessed with getting our house in order! (I am thankful I did not know about Pinterest yet.  That would have been disasterous!)

When I sit in my home now, I marvel at it’s beauty.  I take great joy in having made an aesthetically beautiful home that my husband and I both love and enjoy.  I love making memories in the house and dreaming of new ones to come.

My old roommate and I used to name our home “The Healing House”  It was a sacred place, a place that we knew was safe, a place where we could be authentically ourselves and not fear judgement for it.  I think these sacred healing houses – these safe places that I’ve spoken of before, are all needed and even required.   They are not intended for hibernation or hiding out, though.

During my first five and a half years in Nashville, I lived in eight places.  I thrived off of a nomadic lifestyle, finding the thought of settling down frightening and burdensome.

I purchased my home two years ago and soon after was married.  Its in these last two years that I hear myself talking about the years we are going to live in our home and the seasons of life that we want to live through there.  All of a sudden my thoughts have shifted and I’m planning out the rest of my comfortable life.

This comfort has only breathed idleness and laziness in my life.  Where has my adventure gone?  Where has my passion for traveling and meeting new people gone?  What happened to the Laura who never felt like she had a physical home yet found deep joy in the home created by community?  Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be?

My brain is going a mile a minute these days.  I am correcting my course and resetting my vision.  Somewhere in the last couple of years I have forgotten how to dream.  I have become afraid of the world and am using all of my energy to create a safe home bubble in which to live.

Anyone else struggle with this?

How do you find balance?

In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer, and it made me happy because that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus