My Creative Outlet + a Free Download!

21 Sep

Yesterday was another good day, although it was a long day with work and dinner with Barry’s managers. I actually felt really good most of the day and find it interesting that I can feel this good in the middle of chemo treatments. It just seems contrary to what you would expect. Maybe I’m getting used to the fatigue and it doesn’t seem to overwhelm me as much as it did in the beginning. Who knows? I’m just happy to be having good days! :)

Most of us benefit from having some form of creative outlet, whether it be traditional art, writing, needlework, paper crafts, woodwork, baking/cooking, etc. When you go through something like cancer or have a serious illness or chronic health issue, or even if you are working your way through the grief process, it’s especially important to have an outlet where you can pour some focused energy and allow the bazillion emotions you are feeling to become something beautiful. Or something ugly – nothing says art has to be beautiful, it just has to be meaningful to you. :)

Many of the books and articles about coping with cancer recommend this, and my wonderfully talented aunt/artist, Frances Wells, also suggested that I find a creative outlet to help me get through treatment.

(This is just one of the many lovely pieces Frances has created over the years. I loves the colors in this.)

Frances Wells Poppy Garden

Frances Wells: Poppy Garden

Writing is one of the creative outlets I’m using right now. I’ve always enjoyed writing and tend to communicate with people much better through the written word than face-to-face or even over the phone. Writing gives me time to process my thoughts and express myself in a sincere, authentic manner. The writing I’ve been doing on this blog has been incredibly therapeutic for me, and the support I have received from all of you has touched me in ways I’m not sure I could express. Thank you!

Another outlet for me is design work. I design and maintain websites for a living, which I really enjoy, but my true love is digital graphic design, specifically creating little art pieces for my house or to give as gifts. I especially love word art and creating things with quotes and Bible verses because it combines both my love of words and my love of design.

I thought it might be fun to share some of my design work with you here and make it available for you to download for free to use in projects for your home or to give as gifts! Who doesn’t love a freebie???

I’ve never liked traditional Halloween decor – all that orange and black, yuck – makes me think of the Tennessee Volunteers (sorry, Sarah!).  :)  But I do like some of the Fall-themed decor pieces I’ve seen in magazines recently, especially the ones with black crows as silhouettes against a solid background. I put the following simple piece together this weekend using a black crow, and softened it a bit by adding some white roses.

Crow and Roses PrintableI’ve created both 8×10 and 5×7 versions of this and they are free for you to download and use as you like. I think these would be so cute in black frames or maybe in a white frame with a wide white mat. What do you think?

Crow and Roses – 8×10

Crow and Roses – 5×7

If you use the prints, come back and let me know what you did with them! Or better yet, send me a picture at – I’d love to see them being used!  Enjoy!


12 Responses to “My Creative Outlet + a Free Download!”

  1. Kathy September 21, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Rach –

    I scrolled and saw the black crow (without reading at first) and my first thought was how it was so unusual for you to do something so plain! Then, I read about it and realized you meant for it to be that way. Silly me, huh. As Matt would say “Dink-da-dink” (His day’s coming…he’s already does more things that are like his Dad than he realizes)! It’s hilarious to watch when he realizes he’s done one of them. Gets kind of a Grandpa look about him!

    You’re absolutely right about the creative outlets. I felt wonderful when Jenn came down and we were creating some altered book stuff. It was like happy, creative juices got flowing and I was able to focus on something else and take real pleasure in what I was doing.

    I want to see (in person) some of the ways you do some of the beautiful pieces you’ve already done. I still love hands on work but I think I would like to do some of the digital work in with it. You, me and Jenn need to get together just to craft sometime. It would be a hoot!

    Love, Kathy

    • rachturner September 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      I love the digital aspect because it’s not messy. I get distracted by the “messy” and can’t create anything, so doing “art” on the computer allows me to keep things kind of organized. The tough thing is that sometimes I get distracted by all of the digital options and materials out there that I can use in a project that I have a hard time getting started on something. Love ya!

  2. painterfrances September 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Rachel, how sweet of you to add one of my paintings here. I am thrilled that you are feeling so well and even feeling creative. It is certainly true that doing anything creative is therapeutic, both physically and mentally. I love your Roses and Crow. So pretty!
    One of my favorite quotes is by Plato: “The contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings”.
    Love you lots, Frances

    • rachturner September 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      I’m so proud of the work you do – it is just beautiful – and I love showing it off to other people! Love that quote! It’s going in my quote book. :) Love you!!

  3. Elizabeth Thomas September 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    All your post and I haven’t teared up or cried…..but this one, this one made me teary. Not teary sad, but teary happy, joyful. How you would have loved to have the graphic design abilities during our years and hours of yearbook?! While we have both grown so much from those high school days, there are times that I still see us as those teenage girls. And then I giggled, because life doesn’t change sometimes cause here it is all these years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to use a design you did! But this time, no Lizzie spin or bling on it, just Rachel. So I’m printing out the 8 by 10 and buying a black frame tonight and putting it on my desk at work. Every time I look at it, it will remind me of those two teenage girls, the women we have become, to say a prayer to bless us both and the people we love and that neither time nor distance may diminish our friendship.

    • rachturner September 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      Big, HUGE smiles from me right now! The memories are flooding back. :) I would so honored if you would have my little piece of art on your desk and say a prayer for us when you see it. We will always be those teenage girls in our hearts and you, my friend, will ALWAYS have a very special place in mine. Thank you for the gift of YOU. Love ya!

  4. Jennifer September 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I of course am very biased and think it is great. I have some great crystals that I can use for the eye of the crow and then use it in some work. I will share it with my art group too – they will love it!

    You are a gifted writer and designer!
    Love, Jennifer

    • rachturner September 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

      I’m very much into silhouettes right now. It’s an incredibly simple piece, like Kathy said, but I think it’s cute. Yes, put the Jennifer spin on it and send me a picture! I would love to see how your art group dolls it up, too!! Love you much.

  5. Jennifer September 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    P.S. I have “created” with Kathy before and she makes you work until 2 or 3 in the morning – way past when I knew I was capable of keeping my eyes open. It isn’t pretty creating with Kathy!

    • rachturner September 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Ha ha!! She definitely has us both beat in the endurance category. When she focuses on something, nothing can stop her.


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