Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Planting peas

This was the view two weeks ago... little pea seeds lined up in a trough of dirt. Harvest seemed so far away.

Today, my mouth waters as the reality of a harvest comes one step closer.

Ooooo, I can't wait.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven... a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Monday, April 28, 2008

I won the prize!

I knew it was coming. I got the notice last week. arrived! When I opened the box, it looked just like this. All pretty and tissue wrapped, with a note congratulating me on winning the grand prize.

How did I win? I read the April newsletter from Manor Hall Soap Company - htttp:// - emailed my answer to the contest question and, well... that was it!

Here's the story. I have sensitive skin. Practically everything makes me bumpy, scratchy, sneezy... you get the nasty picture. I had given up finding affordable products that I could use.

Then I discovered Manor Hall. Not only are their products pure, natural and handmade, but everything is beautifully packaged when it arrives!

Don't you wish you had entered?

...wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Making pouches

I have been having so much fun making my bags - (or should I say pouches? cHim-pouches, you know) - that this beautiful stack of fabric doesn't represent work. It calls to me from my work table...

"Teeeea-cher baaags! Bi-i-ig purrrrses! Li-i-ittle purrrrses!"

This is a period of field testing. The first bag went to the owner of an education store in IN. Would educators use bags like these to carry materials?

The second bag and matching cell phone holder went to a music director at a church in northern MI. Will a woman with an intense, busy life find these items useful... and practical?

Until I have the answers to these questions, I'm making "pouches", and loving the process beginning to end.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might... Ecclesiastes 9:10

Friday, April 25, 2008

Making the cards

I shouldn't have worried. We put out the materials and magic happened!

Just for the record, girls are not the only people into crafting. The boys in the group made some great cards.

What a delightful day!

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. I John 3:11

Getting ready

I'm a little nervous. The card making class with the group of 10 yr-old "artists" is tomorrow. Today I picked out materials that I hope will challenge them to think in color. I even made a few samples to get the creative juices going...

Will it be a bing-bang-bam "I'm done!"... or will they cut, punch, paint, and paste their way to a card that pleases them?

Whatever happens, I know it will be messy. That alone guarantees a good time!

I'll take pictures.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Making changes

This may appear to be just a coffee pot...

but it is soooo much more. It was a gift from my younger son. He delivered it Thanksgiving '06, the last time he drove to Michigan from Arizona. He had purchased one of these beauties for himself and just loved it. He knew how his dad fretted over coffee getting that burned old flavor, and this perfect coffee maker, with its thermal carafe, pevented that problem. With great personal satisfaction, he handed the box to us and waited for his gift to prove itself.

Over that weekend, we gave it the coffee-lovers workout. It was indeed perfect.

We didn't know that was the last time we would ever see him... but it was. That last hug in the doorway, Thanksgiving '06, was just that... our very last hug.

And now, the perfect gift has stopped working. I don't know if it was the burden of too many pots of tasty brew, the well water here at home... or maybe the sentimental load of being such a significant gift... for whatever reason - it just doesn't work.

I bought a new coffee pot. It is white plastic - $18 at WalMart.

The Starbucks Barista Aroma Grande sits on my kitchen counter while I try to separate the object from the memory. I have a box ready... in a few days I will put the stainless steel beauty in the box and store it in the basement.

I wish I could have said a final good-bye to Grey. Instead, I'll say good-bye to a coffee pot and take comfort once again in the fact that God is never surprised.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, now depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a day!

Did you ever have a day where everything went ... right?!!! I am almost giddy wondering what to start next while I'm on a roll.

This morning I finished my purse project. I have been putting off the final stitching, just sure that my machine would balk at the multi-layers. Amazing... it zipped together just like it should and here is my finished product.

I have been working on a cupboard project for a few weeks. It is a new (for me) process that involves many layers of paint, complete drying between coats, multiple sandings... today was the day I finally got past the base coats to the lovely blue topcoat. After hours of drying time, I cautiously started sanding back... It works!! I'm loving it!

My altered books session with the 10 yr-olds has been postponed one week and scaled back to card making. This takes the get-it-done-now pressure off my sample book, so I'm looking for additional bird items that are unusual, or pictures that are beautiful just to please my eyes. I found my bird hose guide snuggled up against some newly opened daffodils. Perfect picture.

I could go on ... really ... I could... This day has been wondrous. But I'll stop and hope that tomorrow is your day.

Fear not, little flock: for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Keeping busy

The things that can be accomplished in the time it takes gel medium to dry.

Cropping artwork for cards...

Hmmm... which color combo do you like best?

How funny. When Fiskars says "This side up" they mean it!

(I was beginning to think that I got the great sale price because it didn't work.)

OK! My pages are dry and it's time to get back to altering. What a profitable hour that was.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Monday, April 14, 2008

Having fun

It doesn't often happen that my "love to" becomes a "have to."

I needed a card for a shower, so I had to sit down and play with one of the new pictures from my little artists. I love this happy bird. He had just the right look for this card.

This coming Friday, I will assist in a class that will introduce a group of 10-yr-olds to altered books. In order to effectively kindle the creative flame, the kids need to see and touch a finished book... so I have to make my own altered book.

This is the result of my first afternoon at work. The cover is off to a good start.

(cover detail)

The inside pages, slathered in color, are drying overnight. A pile of fibers, rubber stamps, paper bits and vintage mishmash is on the table ready for action tomorrow. I'll have to work all afternoon.

I can't begin to describe the joy that is bubbling all over in me. I love to do this.

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:8,9

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ready? Action!

I love my digital camera. It fits in my purse. A press of a button and it's ready for action. It is adjustable... easy to use...

But the best part is that it captures little snippets of life... moments that might be easily forgotten... or unique experiences that just need to be shared.

For instance, last night was "crazy hat night" for the kids at church. Without my camera, you would have missed this vacuum cleaner hat....

or our self-dubbed "air head."

And how else would I be able to share with you my latest project - these shower favors? (Hershey's chocolate bars with a custom wedding photo label. Hope everyone at the shower likes chocolate!)

I love my camera. I'm ready for action!

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to any man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. I Peter 3:15

Monday, April 7, 2008

Birthdays and artists

It was birthday time on Sunday. Our firstborn celebrated his 39th birthday! It is almost worth growing older to have a piece of turtle cake.

It has been two days full of celebration, food, work, laughter, hiking, pictures, games - need I go on? We are so thankful (and blessed) to be surrounded by family.

After demonstrating the wonder of my Photoshop Elements, I inspired all sorts of artwork. Inside, outside, my little artists were hard at work. By the time everyone left, I had pages of original art on my desk.

I'm not sure how I'll use them - yet... but I am sure that each finished product will be precious to me. I know the artists!

...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. II Timothy 1:12

Thursday, April 3, 2008

In the midst of doing our taxes, I found two surprises that brightened the day.

1. A crocus bravely poking through the spring time debris.

2. I do know who made this, but I don't know when. It's a portrait of me - Gramma B.

The flower and the picture made me happy because of what I saw beyond the items themselves.

That crocus is a promise... winter is losing its grip and we will soon see fresh new life poking through the ground.

The picture makes me laugh because it is me! The nose, the glasses, the brown hair... yep! It's me!

But there are two little things in that portrait that delight me beyond words... the smile and the cross.

I'm glad when the grandkids think of me, they see the smile, because when I think of them, that is what I do! My face smiles, my heart smiles... I feel happy!

The cross... I have never worn a cross, and yet the young artist included it. That thrilled me more than I can express, because it shows they know that Jesus, and everything spiritual, is all important to me. Has a lovelier piece of art ever been discovered?

Blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is. Jeremiah 17:7