Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Post Post & Wishes for What Comes Next

Christmas now past, I am thinking ahead to the blessings of a new year and what things should be important in my life. To hang onto that little touch of Eternity--that is one idea. To remember that whatever I plan, there is a greater plan that always supersedes my little thoughts. Last year was a year of change for me in many ways. While not being one to look for supernatural where it's not, I did see last spring that God sent me a message about sacrifice through a dream (btw, the first time and so far the last time, the Lord has communicated with me in such a manner. There are other routes He uses more frequently--for all of us who will listen, beginning with opening His Word. Okay, preaching ends now. :-D ). Not knowing where the sacrifice would come from, I trusted and started walking. The big one was changing Bible study. The second biggest was taking a position teaching art. These were both post-dream, and consequently post-husband's new self-employment--yeah! That was a big one, too--you betcha!

So, as I head into this year, I am wondering what changes lie ahead again. A friend recently sent me an e-mail about what changes she will be making and they are so inspiring, although small and not life-shattering. Do our changes always need to be monumental to be of consequence? Two degrees off isn't much when close to the locus, but it becomes a surprisingly large gap as one moves outward, until the two degrees feels likes miles off-course.

So, the little things are important after all. Does resolving to actually pick the flowers in my garden seem like a worthy goal? If I see them as messengers from God it suddenly does. Just choosing to be kind seems like an impossible task on some days, but I am convicted by remembering that what I do/do not do unto the least of my brethren, I have done/not done as service unto my King. These little tasks suddenly take on the largest importance. What will I sacrifice to make sure my treasures are stored correctly? What sacrifices will be asked of me that I was not expecting?

I may not know what is awaiting me in this new year, but I do know that my path, while dark, is not dark. Does that make sense? I feel like I am looking at the back side of the tapestry and the colors and patterns do not make sense. Yet I know that someday I will see the other side and it will be unexpectedly lovely because of the hand of the Maker. It certainly won't be the colors I've tried to hand Him, but what He has made of all these things, despite my so-called help. 'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' (Jeremiah 29:11)

My desires for this year? Being more consistent in all things. Looking for opportunities to do unto the least. Remembering that my family is the training ground for my interaction with everyone else and not the place to let down my guard and show my natural heart (how do I forget this so continually? Yes, they still love me, but I'm not always sure why). Using the talents I've been given for His service (along with using the art supplies I've already amassed!). Enjoying those flowers this year and sharing them with others. Maybe, possibly, reading through all those books that come home with me on 50%-off-book-day at St. Vinny's. And holding tight to the touch of the Eternal that I feel so much stronger at Christmas, when I am thinking about the birth of the Saviour.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas musings

I have a CD from RBC, the publishers of "Our Daily Bread" devotionals that has the most lovely arrangement of this poem/song. I didn't realize what it was until it showed up on my daily calendar a couple days ago. What a wonderful image, and doesn't it effectively take us away, even for a moment, from what this season has become in our society today. No hustle and bustle, no stessful gift purchases to make, no meal planning and baking (actually the more stressful task for me), no frenzied cleaning. Just the thought of a tiny baby, love incarnate (1 John 4:8), born in a place that was an afterthought of the innkeeper, is enough to quiet my thoughts and my spirit despite the world around me.

1 John 4:9 tells us "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Love all lovely, love divine indeed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A quiet start

Well, I'm taking the Etsy plunge. It's not exactly a rip-roaring start, but I've listed my first item. I'm starting with the last set of stars that I have left--the stars that were published last year in Somerset Studio's Gallery IV publication. You can look here for more information: (okay, I tried to make that a link, but it just isn't working for me. I apologize, but you'll have to cut and paste...)

As for my own home, well, we still don't have our Christmas tree up--it's a record--it's usually up soooo much sooner. But most of the rest of the decorating is done. Here is my set of stars, displayed on my buffet this year.

We have grouped things this year, so the piano has been dubbed "Christmas Town" by the kids, because of all the little houses. We also have angels on the mantle and snowfolk all over the table behind the couch. I'm pretty sure there is another small snowman hiding in the back closet, but he might just stay there this year. Hah! See what one gets for hiding! And if anyone reading this participated in the Advent tag swap I was in last year, we're enjoying opening all our little surprises everyday! But we still need our tree...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm supposed to be making a Christmas stocking for a dear friend. But I'm stuck--just not in the groove tonight, even though I've looked at hundreds of eye candy images trying to get groovy. So I'll procrastinate a bit and post some recent things.

First up, it's been a bird kind of life lately. We went on a field trip last week and en route saw this magnificent great blue heron standing in the icy river. Usually they fly away the moment you stop, but this one must be used to the people walking by in the park because it stayed put--even while we were in the movie. The students were excited to still see it when we left almost an hour later.

Then my daughter and I spent a day shopping (it wasn't meant to be whole day, but you know how things go--one sale just leads to another...) and upon returning home she spotted this owl in our willow tree. It watched me as I circled for the best shot, but I didn't want to antagonize it with the flash--something about birds of prey and their claws kept coming to mind. It is so amazing to see God's creatures so close. Sorry for the bit of blur--evening and all that.

Well, on to some recent projects. I've enjoyed making bottlecap bracelets and finally found the same small chain again this weekend (part of all that shopping!) at a local hardware store.

I've also made some angels, but I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with them to share. Stars; I need to make some stars to sell. Doll clothes and bath robes are also on the list of things to do. Cookies for an exchange this weekend. I made a wall hanging for a friend who recently married, but that is for another post because I photographed the process as I went. ATCs and Christmas cards. A sort of fat book page for a friend. Charms--ooh, I'll have to post those--they turned out great, but I haven't photographed them yet. I've been reading a fascinating book about decoding much of Western art--how to understand who the people in them are and why artists chose certain subjects, etc. Shakespeare posters for school: we're doing collagraphs and I'm flying blind on this one. Never done them and haven't had time to complete one at home ahead, but we'll make it work. Hmm, there just is always something.

So, to my dear friend, if you are reading this, don't worry--I'll get the stocking made, just probably not tonight...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pay It Forward

Well, I encountered this invitation on the blog of a member of my LMT group (thanks Zoe!) and it sounded like a fun thing. So I'll play too. :-)

What are we playing? "Pay it Forward." The first five people to respond to this post (via the comments section) will get some form of art made by me. I work in many mediums, but mostly paper and fabric, so let me pick and enjoy the surprise. ;-)

After you comment, please add your e-mail address so I can contact you for your snail mail address.

Oh, yes, most freebies have a catch and this one does, too. If you sign up, then you have to post this to your blog and continue the sharing. Tag!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Like a lover, o'er much

Do you know what you want out of life? Me thinkest I do. Yet, how many times when I take all things to Him in prayer does He surprise me with something else (Phil 4:6,7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.). Filling my cup to overflowing with things that satisfy more deeply and permanently (Psalm 23).

A friend is battling with cancer and yet she has told me that all is well with her soul. How? In the midst of fighting for her life, how does she say this? Fear? Sorrow? Where do these things fit in her life right now? Surprisingly, these emotions do not leave her bereft, like an identity thief even robbing who she is, but they are vanquished by the Lover of her soul. Do you long for merrying? Especially in a season when we desire to focus on celebration, I ask you, what you are celebrating? Does it really satisfy? Or do you long for the deep peace that my friend lives in? Luke 2:10,11 tells us what we should merry in this season: "the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (For inspiration, meet JoAnnA at

This season find the Christ child, who quencheth the torments of life; who fills us with love, and mercy, too--bestowed like a lover, o'er much, until we can say, "come what may, it is well with my soul."

If you, reading this, ever have sincere and seeking questions, leave them in the comment section and I will try to answer or direct you to answers; or click on some of the links to the right. If you simply don't like what I've said, please don't bother. I moderate comments and will respond with the delete button. We all make a choice in what we believe, even if we make the choice by default. Should your choice be different than mine, I will be respectful, and ask that you do the same. But if that's your choice and you celebrate Christmas, then I ask you--what are you celebrating this season?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One little brag

Here are the results of prudent yard saling (90% of the fabric) and some time at the sewing machine. I present Galadriel and King Peter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bad Mommy Award

My daughter just told me that the frozen pot pie she just ate was the best thing she's ever eaten with chicken in it (!). Now, since I cook real food on a fairly regular basis, do you suppose I deserve the Bad Mommy Award because I'm that bad of a cook? Or because I fed her a pot pie instead of cooking tonight (nah!)? Or because she obviously was starving to think that!? When was the last time she ate... Oh well. I'm in the middle of a project and if you think her meal was less than stellar, than you don't want to know what I ate! :-O Since my mom always cooked I used to think pot pies were a treat, too. And now that I'm a mom who sometimes needs quick food, I guess they're a treat again--for me! ;-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

The wild, wild world of art

Well, things in my blog land have been kind of quiet lately. Things in my personal art space have been kind of quiet lately. Things everywhere else in my life have been wild lately. Well, maybe everything but the housework... No, wait, that's been wild too (said she who picked up the tomato bag and noticed fuzzy things inside today).

My daughter's school asked me to teach art. Without a curriculum. Three times a week. To 39 7-10th graders all at once. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Well, yeah--just about everyone but me! So, while the local college's art program director spent quite a bit of time tellilng me I'm doing what can't be done, I'm busy doing it. What's the verse? With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) I'll just keep telling myself that. :-)

There's a lot of variation in skill and in interest in the class (as I suspect most junior high/high school art classes contain). We've covered some fun basics so far and are working on some lettering assignments this week. I just love letters, typefaces, words, etc. That's why I went into graphic design--typesetting. I had favorite letters in kindergarten. That's right--my dad didn't understand it either, but some of them are just prettier than others. My apologies to all of you who love P and U and O and B. But A and Q and R are just all so much more shapely. And G, who couldn't love a little g? There's just so much potential in it (although I will confess, my love of G came much later in life--that was a developed love). Now how do I communicate this to a class of kids who suspect that my sanity cells are not all present? Actually I was surprised at who took to this assignment and who didn't. Several of the students want to learn graffiti lettering (is that spelled right? See, it's so far outside my world I don't even know how to spell it!) and I'm sort of torn on this one. As a lover of grunge typefaces (especially with certain Bible verses--I love the tension it creates and the way they reach out when set in a way we don't expect), I'm intrigued. As a parent, I'm concerned! :-O I haven't decided on my answer yet. Maybe we'll just move on to mosaics quickly!

Other wildness in my world has included soccer. Yes, we've made it almost all the way through soccer season and this is the first time I've mentioned it. I've just been so busy. Our little man did four-year-old soccer, which has moments of absolute hilarity. To see a team of little boys run down the field and all fall down at once--totally away from the vicinity of the ball!--is just too much fun! Scoring in the wrong goal, parents running with their children to get them to play, sound effects as they kick the ball--oh my goodness, what a hoot!

Now the older kids--they're something else. I'm amazed at how quickly the competitive spirit grows. Our team has been playing for four seasons now and they've really grown. We still split our season between losses and wins/ties, but we always seem to beat the really hard teams and lose to the easy ones, so I guess that shows their heart. Our team is known for being very kind and caring on the field, while still being tough competitors, which is awesome. We've had other parents comment to us and ask about our school, which is such a wonderful praise to God. The girls' spirit really shows Him. Our team is also known for having the loudest parents! But in a good way, which is also a wonderful praise. We've never had any negative or put downs, although we do sometimes bite our tongues when we encounter teams who engage in bad sportsmanship. It is always nice when our girls notice the difference and comment on purposeful elbows being thrown and put downs on the field. They don't retaliate, they just play harder. Such a good group of girls. I wish I could post more pics of them, but in this strange era in which we live, backs with no details will have to suffice. This was a cold game, as you can tell by the snowsuit under the jersey!

Wild art. Wild soccer. Wild housekeeping. My home is currently overrun by books. I think we have about 50 checked out on two cards. We're thinking about just taking our wheeled suitcase to the library instead of the bookbag. I mean, why ruin a perfectly good bag; besides I made it (one of those quilted inside out jobbies) and there was a ton of snipping there! Bags of tomatoes. If you want a prolific producer, get a black pearl. Nice and tasty and tons of them. Sunsweet tastes better, though. They are like candy--the kids go out and just eat them straight off the bush in the summer. There were weeks when I thought it wasn't producing, but it was just that the kids ate every single one. Anyway, now the whole mess resides in six grocery bags that I have to brave tomorrow. Remember the fuzz? Surely I can find something better to do--maybe I can bathe the neighbors cat or something... ;-)

And someone still needs to sew costumes. Hmm, most likely not going to be my husband. Guess I'd better add it to the list. Usually I try to better integrate my photos with my musings, however, not tonight. I am wondering why we would have lightwaves, colors, and eyes to see the beauty of fall if we evolved. Of course I know why: because we didn't evolve! So, ponder that thought while I share the beauty of autumn. As a side note, while sharing some photos to teach composition, the students were amazed to learn that since January I have taken over 3,000 photos. So was I!

And now I'll leave you with one of the few projects I've worked on lately. This was a little bird that our dog carried around one day. He's a bird dog with a soft mouth and the little chirper was unharmed, so I took photos (what else would I do!). Blessings to you wherever you are! Hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later. And remember, with God all things are possible. :-) Ask me--right now I'm living it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dream a Little Dream...

Louisa is off on another adventure! After plenty of time in Canada, her family is preparing to move on with their journey. In the meantime, Louisa is taking a little dream-land side-trip of her own. Be sure to check out her blog for more details (see my links to make your trip a little easier!).

To see another view, you can see my eBay listing here:

Have a great week! --L

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just a little late...

Your throne, O LORD, has been established from time immemorial.
You yourself are from the everlasting past.

The mighty oceans have roared, O LORD.
The mighty oceans roar like thunder;
the mighty oceans roar as they pound the shore.

But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
mightier than the breakers on the shore--
the LORD above is mightier than these! —Psalm 93: 2-4

Well, the busyness of the summer has kept us flitting from one activity to another, rather like the hummingbirds on the massive butterfly bush in our front yard (or should I say taking over our front step?). But back in July we were able to spend a wonderful and refreshing week with some dear friends camping on the Washington coast. While camping itself isn't exactly refreshing and wonderful to me, the beautiful surroundings were. ;-)

Travelling to the coast involved a trip through high desert--during the big heat wave no less! My little fellow had the same reaction I do in this kind of country: he looked out the window and exclaimed "Mom, we're in the desert!" Having spent time talking and building excitement about seeing the ocean, he was horrified, but calmed down once I explained. A bit like life, don't you think--going through the unexpected makes the arrival so much sweeter. After arriving, our first evening was spent just walking on the shore, recovering from a day of rushing, driving through city traffic, too much time in the vehicle. Hearing the roar of the ocean over the break wall was so thrilling for the kids.

We were blessed to have a gorgeous sunset the first evening. After that the evenings were misty and stormy.

The first few days were spent exploring: the town itself and the beaches near Westport. We each have our special things when we beach comb. I look for sea glass, my husband looks for agates, the kids look for shells. I take pictures of everything. :-)

Eventually we drove north to explore new terrain. The beaches we found there were a bit wilder, with tidepools and rocks. The kids found living creatures to look at and not just shell remains.

We stopped at the Hoh National Rain Forest along the way. It didn't rain while we were there and we didn't see any of the fabled slugs, but we did meet lots of large mosquitos--lots!

Our final days were spent in Port Townsend, exploring the town and Fort Worden. While enjoying the lovely buildings (and taking pics of the architecture, inlcuding the incredible yarn shop--note the red building), I happened upon snails that were almost as large as the fabled slugs.

Then we headed south to catch the ferry and head for home. That's Safeco Field, for all you baseball fans. :-) Of course there was so much more, but who wants to see every slide in the show! ;-)

One of the best parts of the trip? Being in 67-73 degree weather, while back home it was in the triple digits. Believe it or not, I had to buy a sweatshirt on the trip!