Thursday, June 26, 2014

Time to Change Your Mind


I love this bible verse: Romans 12:2. It speaks of change and transformation. God changed my mind and transformed my heart one early morning in the summer of 2011. I was experiencing a second job layoff a year after being laid off from a 3 yr grant contract. 

The first layoff was a shocker (since age 16 I had never been without a job; in college I had 3 jobs... so being unemployed was an overwhelming concept to me). Needless to say I went through a great depression during the first layoff experience. I did not have a strong relationship with God at the time. Oh yeah, I was a praying woman - I was raised Catholic and believed in the father, the son, and the holy spirit. So I prayed. But I was not a Christian; I had not yet handed over my life to Christ and so my mind still belonged to ME and the WORLD. 

The time I spent the summer of  2010 was pretty much sad and wasted. I did very little except trying to find a job that I thought I needed to be in. When you pilot your own plane without a parachute or a pilot's license the outcome is inevitable... you are going to crash and it will hurt! So that summer I trusted no one, not myself, not my former employer to get me a new contract and worst of all not God. 

It was by God's grace and mercy that in the month of September 2010 I received a phone call to ask if I was interested in applying for a new position with a new agency under a new government grant. I immediately said yes and I preceded to do what I needed to do to land the job. 

So I became "happy" again. I was employed and gave thanks to my professional skill abilities for landing a new contract. The job went well but it felt a bit hollow...what was missing? I began to ask some very strong personal questions of myself in my prayer time with God. Why was I still not authentically satisfied? I had a job, there was money to pay the mortgage. What had I missed in my planning? I seeked counsel from my church pastor, family and friends. All good resources but I'd yet to understand that I needed to submit and seek counsel from the one who created me. GOD!

In May of 2011 I was informed of the second layoff. I was told by my employer to be hopeful that a new grant would appear in the fall just as last year. By now I was praying more to God, I was speaking more with him and he had given me gifts of creating art with my hands. In my home attic art studio I surrendered myself to God. To tell  him of my fears, my needs, my anxieties and emotional strains of the uncontrollable situations the world presented me. Of course he knew all that my heart unveiled for he knew me before I was born and he created me. But my Father wanted me to speak the words to him; for me to confess my heart's weakness and to declare that I am not in control, I do not live my life for me, that I need Him to lead me so that I may live my authentic life - the life he created me to live. God was good. He was my autopilot. 

Nothing shall I fear when I have God on my side. When the holy spirit is housed in me.

This was the creation of ALCHEMY. A friend asked me what is alchemy? I said a gift from God; a metaphor for living my life in grace, in transformation, to do something (work) to glorify and honor God. 



July 1, 2011 I created this blog and Alchemy: discovering, exploring, enjoying is the gift God provided me to share with the world. Here is the first blog post. 

The summer of 2011 I spent it in my attic studio praying and talking to God; creating art and sharing it on this blog. I met a lot of wonderful women that summer; many who were suffering from health or unemployment concerns and we bonded through the process of creating art. Just as God had promised I discovered who was out there, like me who needed healing, how to share my Godly gifts with them and them with me. I explored the strengthens God provided me by reading bible verses and I enjoyed the summer sharing God's love and was once again blessed by God in September 2011 with a new grant contract. This time the contract was for three years. God had shown me his mercy and directed my pathways. 

Here I am today and I will experience my third job layoff on June 30th but I will be still and let God be in control. I am grateful for where he has lead me and my faith walk will continue with him as my leader. I had a very nice compliment the other day at a grant partner meeting. When I announced that my job would end next Monday; the reaction was commendable on my grace in character since layoffs are not desirable yet my actions were calm and of joy. I replied that God was leading me. 


This July 2014 God is leading me to host the first Alchemy (home studio) Christian Art Classes for children. 
Thank you Lord for your leadership. May I never conform to the wants of this world but be lead by your mercy and grace. Direct me for I seek you. 

Blessings,
~ Sandra




Thursday, June 19, 2014

Create!!!.. to share the power of God's love.

Alchemy is a faith focused social enterprise, a gift from God. Created to share the power of God’s grace to transform a life. Promotes empathy, social-emotional connection, teamwork, and creative problem-solving to serve the good of humanity; to encourage the development of changemakers for social impact. To glorify and honor God.

Alchemy instructs faith based art workshops for youth and adults. Alchemy sells upcycled furniture, home decor, handmade (art, books, crafts) and offers custom upholstery to sustain free or low cost faith focused educational creative programs. To study the scripture of the bible and learn how God’s grace; gift for life can impact humanity. To go beyond doing “good works” to praise the one who empowers our efforts in life.

Blessings, Sandra Granthon-Roman (owner/founder)


Alchemy is currently offering a Mixed Media Workshop: Mini Works of Art see details below.

To get registration forms click on this link: http://alchemy-artmemories.blogspot.com/p/summer-art-classes.html

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer is here... DO SOMETHING!

http://alchemy-artmemories.blogspot.com/p/summer-art-classes.html

BENEFITS OF CHRISTIAN ART EDUCATION


1. "MORAL EDUCATION & THE BIBLE"

"By studying the Bible (or any religious text), students will encounter a vocabulary and framework for thinking about morality and the human condition that will quite properly provide them with critical distance on the secular ideas and ideals they acquire from elsewhere in the curriculum—and from popular culture." 



2. CHILDREN DEVELOP LIFE SKILLS THROUGH 

ART ACTIVITIES


Art may seem like fun and games -- and it is! -- but you may not realize that your child is actually learning a lot through exploring the arts and doing art activities. Your children will gain useful life skills through art, so encourage them to get creative, and you will quickly see that your children are picking up these skills:



Communication Skills


 Problem-Solving Skills


Social & Emotional Skills


Fine Motor Skills


Self-Expression and Creativity 





Friday, June 13, 2014

Registration is now OPEN!!

Registration for Alchemy - Art Memories Christian Summer Art Camp & Workshops are now OPEN!!! 

See forms (front and back: 2 pages) below for details.

*********************************************************************************
Space is limited: will run class with a minimum of 3 students, but with room for only 6 total per class session.

You may print, complete, scan and email to sgranthon88@yahoo.com

The classes will be run from my home Alchemy studio (garage). I will post pictures in the coming days and will offer an OPEN HOUSE on Friday June 20 and 27th by appointment so you may visit the studio setting and be reassured that it will be a good fit for your child. Our home does have two dogs (they will be safely housed in their kennel room away from the children). We have never had any concerns with our dogs but it is best to be safe then sorry. Also an awareness if your child has allergies.




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Alchemy - OPEN STUDIO

Getting myself organized to finalize the summer art classes I will be leading from my home studio in July. Planning to offer a special one day (2 hour) ALCHEMY-OPEN STUDIO class on Friday, June 20th and June 27th. Great way for you and your child to experience the Alchemy studio to see if it is a good fit for your child and enroll for the July classes. Space will be limited (no more then 6 students per class). More info details to follow. Have a blessed morning and get out there and MAKE ART!




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Art connects people

Have you ever wondered why people make ART? Why people take precious time to slow down and explore their creativity? Why care about art, the process of art making and art history in any form; besides just as a medium that might make you happy or not?

God lead me to create this mixed media artwork in 2009. When I was asking "what is the purpose?"

I use to ask myself those questions. Why do I create? Before my relationship with God the answer was egocentric; focused on the I, the ME, MYSELF... you know what I mean. We've all been there. You draw or make something that catches someone's interest in a positive way. The viewer praises your talents, perhaps even requests to buy the artwork. Your self esteem and ego grow a bit. If the occurrence repeats itself .. boy then you're motivated to MAKE ART and the root of the motivation is short lived... it's money, it's fame, it's all the things that God did not create you for.

But ... before my relationship with God I did not understand that.

I understood that I liked the nice comments about what I put my time, my emotions and my pride in... MY ART. Now don't be confused with what God has put in my heart to share. God wants you to take your time, to invest your emotions and to be pleased with your artwork. But more then that God wants a relationship with you; where you acknowledge that it is GOD who created YOU with gifts and talents. He invested in you when he created you as a child of God. He supports and guides your efforts to develop the gifts he has provided. God wants to bless you through your ART; financially and spiritually.

Does that mean you will become a billionaire or make it to the top 100 artist list on the 2014 museum curator's forum? Only God knows what his plan is for your life. Pray to God and he will guide you and reveal his blessings into your life. Build a relationship with God. Don't allow your own limited personal view of yourself to influence your capacity of how God may bless your life. God sees you as more then an earthly being. He sees you as part of his heavenly kingdom. It is with that purpose for your life that God not only wants to bless you but desires for YOU TO BE A BLESSING to OTHERS. 

God leads me to create and teach art. He wants me to be a blessing upon someone else. God has transformed my life and brings richer meaning to the word ALCHEMY. I pray that the art he allows me to create will be lead by the Holy Spirit. I no longer want to view my art as MY ART... God is teaching me step by step, day by day to create not for man but for Him. To humble myself and give thanks to him for every art memory that is discovered, explored and enjoyed. TO YOU I GIVE THANKS, my LORD.

"What you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" ~ Colossians 3:23

God is calling for his people to share his Good News.


Amelia started making art at age 5. She is my blessing.
Below is a link to a blog post from a lovely lady who made an impact during her trip to Haiti. The children of Haiti were a blessing upon her during that trip just as God blessed her to provide the opportunity to make art with them. Below is a picture of one of her art students. The caption reads "He was SO proud of the final product!

On the left is a picture of my niece Amelia, my first little art student. She would sleep over on Fridays during the summer and Saturday morning we would make breakfast, talk about making art and then we'd revert to my small tiny attic, the "art studio". She taught me so much that summer and I am blessed for our time shared together. She is a child of God. I thank God for her.

This is why God leads us to make art.
We plant seeds of love with art.
God bless,

~ Sandra


Here is the link: http://redthreadpromise.blogspot.com/2013/12/haiti-visible-red-thread.html

He was SO proud of the final product!






Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Zen Leads to Truth

Anything is possible ONE STROKE AT A TIME...


My hometown of Lancaster, PA. 

          I love to create Zentangles yet sometimes I only have five minutes or less and my hand is anxious and wants to create lines without too much attention to pattern details or too much thinking at all. I just draw my border and put on my favorite worship music and I zen out.

          To "zen out" might sound like my brain just goes to mush...but the opposite appears to be happening. Because when I step back afterwards and see where the process lead me I discover my visual environment (what I see outside my window) has found its way into my art forms. I see rolling hills, farmer's crop lines, patterns, nature's leaves, trees, and even the power lines of the humming cityscape nearby. 

          Not only does the process calm my mind; but most importantly the worship music allows my spirit to express itself in a pure and truthful pattern that would not have been possible if I gave myself the task to "draw my environment"... especially not in the short amount of time given. I would of stressed, analyzed icons, patterns and double guessed myself on what was the "correct" creative art answer to the task. WOW! I'm tired just thinking about it.. definitely not zen at all.

         Zen, to me is freedom to fall into the word of the worship of God. For it is he who gifts me the art that I create. My efforts are inspired by his love for me to push forward to use his gifts. But the outcomes are best when I submit to his word and praise him in the process. There are no mistakes in creating art; just as there is no mistake that God created you. When we trust God to lead us all creations lead to joy. 

          Enjoy your art ministry and share God's truth.



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