Artsy Fartsy File Folders

Artsy Fartsy File Folders



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I’ve made many of these Artsy Fartsy File Folders for my Art Studio.

They make me happy.  I’m just not a plain manilla kind of person.  I use these file folders to keep my very special projects in like:

ideas for my vision board

things I’m dreaming about

an upcoming art fair

special project ideas and more.  

I’ve even given them as gifts.  My girlfriends can’t believe the creativity and say they get a lot of compliments  🙂


Prepping the File Folders

Background papers can be found on My Etsy Site: RobinLiefeldCreates


  • I start by gluing down some old book paper to add interest and texture (see my supply list for the perfect glue). I have some kits filled with lots of interesting ephemera on Etsy.  I did all the collecting work for you! Bonus:  you get a free Artsy Fartsy File Folder made by me!


  • Then I grab some thick white paint and cover the outside front of the file folder.  I like to rub it all over with a paper towel  to give it more of a random, gauzy effect.



Artwork for the Middle of the File Folder



  • Now you can go a few different ways with the next step.  Get creative!  Break out your art supplies, watercolor pencils or photocopies of your own artwork!  I collage on some inspirational pictures I love, photos, or my own artwork in the middle.  You could also write words like:

To Do

You’ve Got This

You Are Brave Enough

Find a list of the exact supplies I used here.


Finishing Touches

  • To finish it off with a border, I grabbed my sewing machine.  I know it sounds crazy to sew on a file folder, but it’s totally easy to do, and gives it such a cool look.  I used black thread and went around a couple of times, trying not to be very neat about it.

Version 2

  • Spray it will a matte sealer to set the paint and to keep the artwork from running if it gets wet.


You Can Do This!


Go ahead, try this at home.  You will love the results.  When you like how they look, make a dozen by doing an assembly line system.  Don’t forget to let things dry in between steps.  Have fun!


Post pics of your masterpiece on Facebook to share with us!

Finding my Voice

Finding my Voice

When I go in my Art Studio, my heart is open. It is happy. It wants to create, with a capital C.

I feel flush with possibilities even a little powerful. I sit down in my recycled rolly chair and smile a little. My breath is strong and even. “I can do this,” I declare to myself. “I know I’ve got it in me. I just know it.”

I pull out different tubes of acrylic paint. I inhale deeply. Boy, do I love the smell of paint. It thrills me to have my hands covered in the stuff, even under my nails, and on my temple where I scratched an itch. Swirling my fingers through it brings a smile to my face.

When I Enter my Art Studio
When I Enter my Art Studio my Paints Come to Life

Bright colors. Muted colors. Pastels. These are the things that make my heart happy. Here, at my art table, my soul screams, “Yes!” I begin by squirting lovely blobs on paint right onto my table. These little piles smile up at me and reply, “We love you, we believe in you – you’ve got this – don’t be afraid – make us into something beautiful!”

My favorite worn out and frayed brush gets pulled out of a paint spattered tin with a clink. The air crackles with anticipation like too much static electricity. I dip. I swirl. My brush is poised above the snow white canvas.

I hold my breath. I can hear my heartbeat. Time stops. Everything fades into the background as my brush touches the emptiness. It’s like a gauzy Instagram filter. Only the colors are in focus.

Then, it happens. Art. Magic. Love. The blank space begins to come to life before my eyes. Slowly at first. Then faster. New colors join the table palette. New shapes emerge and I think I can hear them whisper to me. “You are doing it! You are bringing us to life. We needed you. You were the only one who could.”

Wear Your Crown
Wear Your Crown


I step back. Hands on hips. Pursed lips. Yes. It feels complete. This feels like magic, wonder, love, triumph. I sigh.

New Book Coming Soon!  Submission Information Here:

New Book Coming Soon! Submission Information Here:

I’m excited to announce that I am working on a book! The title is still evolving, but the topic is “Wounded By the Church”. Over the years I’ve heard countless stories from women who have been hurt in their church.  I think we all have. The church is made up of imperfect people. The stories range from small to tragic and horrific. They all make up our experience of women in the church.  I want to collect these stories anonymously and share them with other women.  I believe in this way, we can all learn, grow, and help each other heal.


In the meantime, if you would like to submit your stories to be included in the book, please follow the “Contact” link above.

What you should know about submissions:

1. All submissions are 100% anonymous. No real names, locations, or churches will be used. Some telling facts will be slightly changed to protect identities of all parties.

2. The spirit of the book is not to be divisive or to slam the church, but to help in healing.

3. The end goal is to have other women read your story and think,

“Wow, that also happened to someone else, and now I don’t feel so alone.”
“How can I learn from this person’s experience to help my own situation?”
“How can the Church do a better job in these areas for women?”
“How can God redeem the situation, heal our brokenness, and help our Church to become a welcoming and warm place of belonging?”

Dangerous Turkeys

Dangerous Turkeys


Dangerous Turkeys

(This is a continuation of “The Turkeys in My Life”. )

Human connections are one of the greatest things that anyone can experience in this life. God Himself, is relational at the core of His being. He is love.

We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.”

(I John 4:16 – The Living Bible)


He designed us to be in, depend upon, thrive on, and grow from relationships.


In WHO’S PUSHING YOUR BUTTONS?  by John Townsend, he says to look at your relationships as the “delivery system” for many of the good things we need in life.

 We need:

  • Love
  • Safety
  • Grace        
  • Warmth
  • Forgiveness
  • Truth
  • Encouragement
  • Feedback

And so much more

Sometimes we are so used to our Turkey treating us badly, that we have forgotten what healthy relationships should bring us.

We don’t know what “normal” is (the same way a fish doesn’t know it’s wet).

In THE GIFT OF FEAR, author Gavin Debecker says a woman dies every four hours in the United States at the hands of a boyfriend or spouse.


4 Red Flags of a Potentially Abusive Relationship

Physical Violence

Being hit or pushed around physically in a relationship is bad news, and it usually doesn’t get better.

Symbolic Violence

The destruction of objects to intimidate the other person.   Tearing up wedding photos or a wedding gown.

Fast-Paced Relationships

When the pace is accelerated in the beginning of the relationship that tells you something. It is a control strategy.


If he won’t take no for an answer, it’s not because he’s smitten. “Anybody who doesn’t hear the word no is trying to control you, “ DeBecker says.

“Persistence does not mean you are special. Persistence means he is troubled.”

DeBecker has developed a potentially lifesaving tool called MOSAIC. This online assessment is free and protects the user’s identity.

Anyone – the victim or concerned loved ones – can log onto the website and answer 46 questions to determine how much of a threat an abuser poses to an individual or family. MOSAIC gives results on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most likely to escalate – including homicide.


Check back soon for:

A Vision for Change – Speaking the Truth to Someone Who’s Hurt You


What has your experience been?  Do you have any other red flags to add to the list?

The Turkeys in My Life

The Turkeys in My Life

Not Mine to Carry


We need people.  We are made for relationship; to feel connected and loved.  But, to be honest…


there are some Turkeys in my life.  And I’m sure you have some too.

A controlling boss

A dependent adult child who drains you

A friend who preaches instead of listens

An alcoholic in your life who causes chaos

A victim who wants you to rescue her

A gossiping relative who causes divisions

{Quick Sidebar}

The Bible cautions us about being hypocritical here:

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

                                Matthew 7:3-5 (New Living Translation)

Turkeys can be broken down this way:

Grade C Turkey:  mild to moderate selfishness

Good guys who mean well.  They try to be honest, fair, and trustworthy for the most part, but who may be a bit selfish now and then or take advantage of others

without meaning real harm

Grade B Turkey:  serious to acute selfishness

Purposefully and willfully manipulate, control and abuse their fellowman.  And, while they usually feel some guilt afterward, they are likely to do it again.  Controllers, bullies, verbally abusive.

they are often aware of what they are doing

Grade A Turkeys:  severe to sociopathic selfishness (10% of the general population)

The dangerous people in society who truly enjoy controlling, abusing, and dominating their fellowman and not feel any guilt about the pain and suffering they cause.  A sociopathic personality disorder.

no conscience

Turkey Examples: Driving a Car

Grade C Turkeys – they are absentminded, they speed up or slow down “just keeping up with the traffic”, text while driving

Grade B Turkeys – they tailgate, cut people off, honk when others don’t move fast enough

Grade A Turkeys – violent, road rage, running others off the road

More Turkey Examples:  Bosses

Grade C Turkey – asks you to work overtime frequently, takes credit for your work, without really meaning to

Grade B Turkey – verbally abusive tirades, suggestive comments, impossible deadlines, blames others, belittles you in front of other employees

Grade A Turkey – sexual harassment, cruel and unrealistic expectations


My Goal:  To NOT be a Turkey.  To be a mature adult; a loving, caring person who has conquered most of my jerky tendencies.

Go deeper:  

4 Red Flags of a Potentially Abusive Relationship


I’m learning and growing in spite of myself.  How about you?  Do you have any Turkeys in your life?   Would you break them down in a different way?



I’m married to a Type A Person.

He has lists, goals, and drive. He needs very little sleep and gets completely energized by others. He thinks everything and everyone is awesome. This makes him incredibly fun to go to parties with and go on vacations with. And to be married to.  When we enter a new hotel room in some faraway place, he exclaims, “This is the best room in the hotel!”

Then there’s me.

I’d rather stay in my pajamas all day. After 8 or 9 hours of sleep, I still dream about being able to take a nap. I’m kinda like Eyeore on vacation – if you can get me to go on vacation.  I worry that something might go wrong; I worry if we made the right choice. I drive past other hotels, and think to myself, “I wonder what that place is like?”

It’s not that I’m grumpy, or lazy, or uninterested. Or even unhappy. I’m just not…. well, I’m just not so enthusiastic about everything.

And that makes me feel bad about myself.

Why can’t I be like my eager and passionate hubby? I often feel like his way of doing things is so much better, so much more positive and healthy. But, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been more low key and methodical. I’m careful. Is that so bad? Can somebody tell me why that is so bad?

So, I have this internal struggle, this internal dialog:    Did I do enough today?  Was I happy enough?  Positive enough?

Which after years, makes me wonder, if I am enough.

I’ve always made things with my hands.  It soothes me.  It calms my frayed nerves. I like to make encouraging little gifts for people (probably because I so often give myself little inner pep talks). You can see some of these encouragements in my Etsy Shop.

I even made myself a little bookmark that says,

“Let whatever you do today be enough.” 


Which is how I choose to live…well, today at least.


What about you?  Are you a Type A or Type B person?  How does that affect you and those around you?




Brick do we need a change

My hubby and I have attended the same church for over 23 years. My kids know every nook and cranny and hiding place. I’ve served in every room and office.I’ve made the coffee, the cookies, and the bulletin inserts. I’ve run my hand along the cool cinder block walls in the basement, rocked babies in the Mother’s Room, and squirted gallons of Elmer’s glue onto paper plates for VBS crafts. You name it – I did it.


  1. I was yearning for a change
  2. My kids were stagnant and negative about attending
  3. I needed a place that would embrace my specific spiritual gifts, not just my willingness to serve
  4. Boredom and apathy were creeping in and I didn’t want to be that person
  5. I was usually helpful and encouraging, instead I found myself being critical, sometimes judgmental
  6. I kinda dreaded Sunday mornings
  7. My family needed a new challenge

Have you ever felt this way? It was hard for me to even think about. I intensely loved my church. So many beautiful experiences happened within those walls. The people were like family. They knew me so well and we’ve been through so much.

I was torn up about it, but last Summer we decided to look into other churches with the thought that we could always go back in the Fall. As we walked into other churches, I felt just awful – kind of like I was cheating on someone. I felt like a traitor.

But guess what happened? We found a ton of fantastic churches, and our tired eyes were opened to all God is doing every weekend that we had no idea about! It was invigorating and inspirational to me since my own flame had dimmed.

After months of visiting, we landed at a stimulating, vibrant church that was the soothing remedy to the issues we were having. (Katie at has 5 great steps if there is a church change in YOUR future.)

  • My family now has buy-in and enthusiasm for attendance

  • They feel ownership in where we are attending

  • Each is committed to plugging in and using our gifts

  • I feel an eagerness and energy to serve God in a new way

So, that is our story. It was painful (I still get an ache in my heart when we pass the old, beautiful brick building of our previous church), but we ended up growing in ways I could never have imagined.

What about you? What was your experience with your church? Did you stay or go? How did it affect your family? Share your experiences in the comments below. Please don’t share specific names of churches or people. Thanks for sharing!