Our toddler is in the throes of her threenager stage at 31 months, and I am drowning in tantrums, attempted independence, and the fact that her last nap is nearing the end of its tenure.

This month is BUSY — my husband will be away for work, I will be traveling across the country with 2 kids without him (my mom will be joining us though) to see my sister for the first time in almost 2 years, and then we’ll be driving up north for Thanksgiving with my in laws.

Thriving? What’s that? I am barely surviving right now. One thing, in the trenches of (attempted) parenting a strong-willed toddler, that still makes me feel like I’m capable of SOMETHING is being crafty.

My creations are not always unique or original, but nevertheless they are cathartic, therapeutic, and I enjoy doing them for friends. Most of my canvas paintings lately have been Bible verses, which is doubly beneficial as I search for different versions for inspiration. My friend from church recently entrusted me to do FOUR canvases, one for each of her girls’ rooms plus another for good measure. She gave me the verses and a picture of their bedroom decor, and left the rest up to me.

Humbling! But intimidating, too. My goal when doing these for friends is just to recoup the cost, because I enjoy the mental release and the catharsis so much. It’s a great way to hone my skills, too. Each time I feel better and better about them because of the extra practice.

Here are some of my most recent canvases. How do you feel about finding inspiration in an image online and trying to reproduce it in a different or even similar style?

What are some ways you escape the toddler tantrums to maintain your own mental sanity?