Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Favorite things

Out of all the pictures they produced, I wonder if artists like Picasso, or Rembrandt, or even Claudine Hellmuth, have one creation that they love above all others.

Although the things that I create are "crafts", I do have a favorite piece. Back here, I had a finished background and wondered what the final product would look like. Well... here it is.

It is the most fun when I can find a new, significant place to leave guerrilla art. So it was perfect when my favorite piece ended up in a family conference room, just off a surgery waiting room.


I rest on the promise from Scripture (Isaiah 55:11) that the words carried by that transformed Bingo card will accomplish their mission. What a privilege to have a hand in that!

Yet... I also can't help but wonder if the person who found and claimed this piece likes it as much as I do.

I will never know.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Paper watching - day 29

After taking the weekly pictures of my disintegrating bundles, I spent some time examining them closely. I do notice a lot more surface damage that I have previously seen. Lots of holes scrubbed into the paper. Hmmm... Weather? Insect? Bird?

And then my impatience got the best of me. Convinced that I had chosen a location too protected by the tree, I moved one bundle to a spot exposed to harsh morning sunlight. It is also now open to all wind, rain and *sigh* snow. (Not that I'm planning on snow before October. But this is Michigan after all.)

Last night, we were pounded with heavy rain. Wave after wave of storms swept over our house. Visions of beautifully distressed paper spent the night dancing in my dreams. I couldn't wait to get outside this morning to see what happened.

But, as it is with people, so it is with paper... change comes slowly.  The rain seems to have had little effect.  Time will tell if the change of location makes any difference whatsoever. It will be interesting to compare the two bundles from week to week. 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Psalm 37:4 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grey clouds

I love clouds. They are white, puffy promises of good things to come.  Beautiful… and always with shades of grey.


That’s the way I see August. Beautiful… and always with shades of Grey.
His birthday is this month, this week, in fact. Most of us will be here to have a dinner to celebrate the day he was born. I can’t decide what to serve. I wish I could ask him if Mexican Beef Rice really is his favorite dinner.


I have done a lot of soul searching the last few days – reviewing everything about Grey from his birth day to the post funeral days… months… and now years.

The amazing thing about my conclusions? They all revolve around God. Here are a few...
  • Though my heart hurts, I know that God is faithful.
  • He does give songs in the night… and morning… and day.
  • His still, small voice does bring solace and encouragement…  in the very center of great sorrow.
  •  He is strong to overcome obstacles.
  • And I know, I know that He loves me – not just mankind, but me! 

I have learned the agony of losing a child. I also know the One who willingly gave His Son to die so that I might have life. That is amazing grace.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:13,14

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Waiting and watching

These pictures were taken on day 22 of my disintegrating bundle project. It seems as though there are few changes. A little bit of wear to the edges... not much else. I guess I expected drama!

What I should do is place the photos from each week side by side so that I could see the change that is taking place. In the meantime, I have to resist the urge to pull the bundle apart and find out what's going on deep in the heart of all that paper.

I'm thinking of moving one of the bundles to a less sheltered location - a place where it could be battered by the rain, sun, and wind. Maybe that will quash my urge to peek.

Really... I do have other things that actually are important going on in my life. But those bundles just hang there and taunt me with their apparent inactivity. *sigh* This business of waiting is not for the weak-willed. Ninety days is a lo-o-o-ng time.
The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It seemed like a good idea

I baked the other day... tags. You see, I had this great tip from a bookmaker.

Wait! That sounds all wrong! It should read -  I had interesting looking instructions in a magazine from a woman who makes books. She ages tags by soaking them in coffee and then baking them for a short time.

It was the perfect project for me. I have an abundance of tags. I had just finished making granola, so the oven was already warm. There is always coffee in this house!

After soaking as many tags as possible in the cold coffee, I laid them on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Heeding the warning in the instructions, I watched those tags closer than I do most food! When I finally deemed them dry enough, out they came... hot, wavy, and monochromatically (if that is not a word, it should be) colorful.

This morning, when I picked up this ready stack of material, I was overwhelmed with the aroma of coffee. Not as pleasant as opening a fresh container. Just... old, baked, coffee. And so, at this moment the tags are enjoying an airing spread out all over my workroom floor.

If that doesn't cure the problem? Hmmm, I wonder if die-hard coffee junkies would appreciate coffee scented cards?

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Psalm 31:1

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 15

Time for a progress report on the disintegrating bundles. This is day 15. The effects of time and the  elements are showing in a number of ways. 

The wires (or is it the papers?) are shifting. The rusty trails make an interesting addition to the paper. The papers shown here are scrapbook papers, old book pages and some vintage stationery. One thing I really like is the way the edges of the book boards are aging.

The corners of every surface show greater evidence of weathering ... even on the side facing the tree. The whole mass is starting to look more bulky.

Even with all the storms we have had lately, the washable crayons are not melting into watercolory goodness. On the day I built these bundles, I couldn't find my watercolor crayons, so I made do with school crayons. (Of course, the good crayons appeared the next day. Oh well ... next bundle.)

I'm already dreaming about projects made with these papers. Let's see... 90 - 15 = 75  ... Only 75 more days! That's only 10.5 weeks!

Oh yikes. Ten weeks!

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mirror, mirror

Prompted by a Milliande discussion group, I took my camera and a mirror into the yard.

It was fun.

The results surprised me...

The more pictures I took, the more I wanted to take.

Kinda' like "the view from down here" ... a new outlook ... fresh eyes.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pickled veggies from the wonder garden

My sister gave me permission to continue filling this space with home stuff. (I think I'll keep her.) So, because she said it's OK, here's the latest from my garden.

If you have been here for any amount of time, you know that gardening is not my forte. In fact, I have put more plants through a tortured life and death than I care to recall. Until this year.

This is the year of the wonder garden... as in jaw-dropping lush green growth and "I wonder what that plant is?" The cause? Straight from the farm cow *ahem* droppings and compost. The compost has been cooking all year and went on the bare soil in the early spring. The cow stuff was added a couple of weeks before planting.

As a result of lush soil and tons of volunteer plants, we find green vines growing and twisting around, over, and through every inch of the garden. There are melons, squash of every variety, and almost a dozen tomatoes plants that I never bought. In this jungle of vines are cucumbers that grow w-a-a-a-y too big under the cover of giant squash leaves.

The solution? Refrigerator pickles. I found an amazing, easy recipe here. I have made several batches using my over sized cukes, turnips and green beans. Wonderful!! Every time.

I have pictures of the process, just to convince you to go get the recipe and try this out.

Measure the spices.

Add the spices to two pint jars.


Put cut up veggies of choice in the jars, add vinegar-salt-sugar mixture, plus enough water to cover everything. 

Put the jars in the fridge. Try to wait until tomorrow to taste. You will be amazed at how good they are... and they keep getting better!

Now... read the verse and go get the recipe!

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it and it is gone... but the mercy of the Lord is form everlasting to everlasting... Psalm 103:15 - 17

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

7 days of disintegration

The wired bundles of paper have been hanging in the mulberry tree for seven days. Extreme heat, humidity, and heavy rain have assaulted the dangling bundles and they do look different.

The edges are beginning to curl in the places that are not wired down.

The washable crayons are beginning to get the watercolor effect. There is a little bit of rust forming under the wire.

The crayons aren't yielding to the rain in this bundle. I used a texture plate when I colored these pages and I'm wondering if that could make a difference. More rusty lines across the papers.  

Despite the dew, the rain and the humidity, the papers are not a soggy mess. So far, so good. In fact, as I type, I'm listening to the rumble of thunder. Bring it on!

Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What will it become?

One of my favorite things to do in my workroom is image transfer. There are lots of methods for achieving this imperfect look, but the goal is the same no matter how you do it - and that is to move the ink from one paper to another.

Watching it happen is like magic. I am spellbound every step of the way. Imagine taking one of these...

...adding this...

...doing this...

...and ending up with this.

See the painted Bingo card peeking through the window transfer? I think this has to be my favorite so far. Can't wait to see what it becomes.

The journey is so much more enjoyable when the outcome isn't predictable.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5