Thursday, October 10, 2013

The heart of the home...?

I cannot believe how much time has zipped by since I've been here. We started a kitchen project just after my last post and it has pretty much turned my life upside down.

The kitchen contents - yes, all of the contents - have migrated to nearly every room in the downstairs. When I want to cook, serve, or do anything relating to food... it is a matter of searching - trying to remember where I might have put whatever it is I need.

I know this will be a wonderful "remember when?" project as I stand in my new kitchen (trying to remember the new homes for every little utensil/spice/gadget). Can't wait for that day.

In the meantime, there is always time for some guerrilla art!

O Lord, thou knowest... Jeremiah 15:15

Monday, July 15, 2013

Playing with the little house

 Still playing with my little house stamp. 
This version made it onto some cards. I like it, but
my fingers get itchy when I start dreaming of new things to try.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts... and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:15 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Little house on the file card

There is something wonderful about carving a stamp. It's the process, I guess. Taking a knife to a pristine pink, rubbery pancake ... creating a mountain of long and short pink slivers ... adjusting the plan as a shape emerges.
Testing, testing. (You should see the paper that covers my work table.)
Do I like it? Should I stop now?
There was a picture in my mind, when I started this stamp. The picture had bushes beside the house. The bushes ended up on pink sliver mountain.
One final test on a painted library file card. Maybe it was the background. Maybe I was tired. But for me, it was definitely love. There is something about little houses that touches my soul. So... yet another quirky little stamp joins the tidy pink pile in my stamp box.
The little house has already made its way into the world carrying a banner of wonderful words. God bless this house.

 But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore. Psalm 92:8

Friday, June 28, 2013

Smashing life in

Good grief. I cannot believe it has been 6 weeks. This blog has been a great way to keep tabs on all the events of life around here... and I just lost 6 weeks. Oh well.

The thing that makes me extra happy today is a ready-to-use "smash book". It is already yawning, the first pages filled with bits and pieces of the last few months.

Just a couple of my favorite pages. Loved this magazine picture of the paintbrushes. By happy accident, there were paint splatters all over the background. It works. *smile*

Stamps... can't create without including some stamps.
This makes me laugh. As items are attached to pages in the order they occur, I can't wait to see what lands on this page. Isn't that face priceless?

So... all is well. Every treasure of this year so far is safely tucked away. And there are plenty of pages ready and waiting for more.

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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Growing green

There is no greater backyard joy than to discover the mi∙nute' seeds planted one week earlier have sprouted and are now marching like little soldiers through the garden soil.

Ok... so my little turnips don't exactly understand drill and ceremony, but they live! I am so happy to see their crooked formation weaving along the garden row.
And for the first time - half the fun is trying new things, right? - I planted a small patch of onions.
There is no green like that of a spring onion. Though I don't understand the profit in onion gardening - plant one, get one - I am eager to see how a home grown onion differs from its grocery store brothers.
I do not have a green thumb. Any plant that survives in my yard is a miracle to behold. And there is no more appreciative, and thankful, audience than this wannabe gardener.
Grow little veggies! Grow!
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. II Peter 3:18

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On showers and sketchbooks...

Today is the last day of April and if the old saying, April showers bring May flowers, holds true, then we should soon be drowning in May flowers.

I'm ready. Bring them on!

I keep hearing about the value of sketchbooks. Although I am not a faithful adherent to the idea, I dabble. Apparently one of the advantages is that you can copy your own ideas and build on them for something usable.

I searched ... and found a couple of things that could have potential. One has already become a card and I think I like it. Another is still on the drawing board.

do wish I had spent more time in that sketchbook.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Friday, April 12, 2013

All things are become new

Two years ago I made my own version of a smash book- a bound junk drawer for the small bits of life that can't be thrown away. It was such fun, I immediately made another one for my daughter. That one being a gift, I poured way too much time into it and vowed I wouldn't do that again.

My original book - a recycled hardcover book destined for the dumpster - is now filled...

so I started a new one for myself. Another daughter looked through the filled book, expressed such appreciation for the idea, that I volunteered to make one for her.

I know. But I am saving the world... rescuing one, or two, book(s) at a time.

The giveaway book is finished and living life in its new home. Here's a peek at some of the pages that are ready for smashing.

Goggle lady will soon be covered with memorabilia... she's not as big as she look.
covered with handmade paper
Just a few more hours with papers, glue and paint, and my books (smash and prayer) will be ready for duty. Can't wait!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17

Friday, March 15, 2013

Leave plodding to elephants

I've been working on a new prayer album. The process has been slow. After several days work there were only four finished pages. I was plodding.

There is nothing lovely about anything related to "plod". The word itself is laborious! So... I decided to take a couple of hours to revive the muse with a visit to Mixed Media Variety Hour session 5. The break produced this...

warm up 1

warm up 1 detail
I moved right back into my album and made this while the juices were still flowing...
I suppose it's hard to see in yourself the retreat into doldrums. When I looked at the pages before and after my refresher art session, I was shocked at the difference. From safe and tidy and entirely acceptable...

to free flowing and full of color. (Warm up 2 here. )

Warm up 3
I must remember to have fun. Fill the brushes till they drip. Splatter everything in the area. Make a mess! May I never plod again.
Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New things

Remember the art class I bought last summer? The wonderful thing about it is that once you're in, it's available forever. So I went back this week... and visited a session that I skipped before.

It's all about getting the creative juices going with quick projects. No fine art... just funky do-anything projects to spark a creative fire. Julie built hers around photographs. I used little pieces that have been sitting in bins waiting for some good reason to see the light of day. And tonight... I have some fresh guerrilla art.

Following the basic steps produced pieces that are much busier than what I usually do.

pink lilly of the valley
hand stitched

Makes me long for spring.

But ye ... be not weary in well doing. II Thessalonians 3:13

Monday, February 25, 2013

Perpetual calendar project

Pinterest is a gift... or a curse. It depends upon your level of self discipline. It can be a gold mine of great ideas, like the one passed on to me from my daughter.

She told me about a perpetual calendar. The bones of the calendar are index cards, with minimal decoration, to record life's little occurrences that you don't want to forget - like, when did we buy that stove? Or, was Aunt Jessie's funeral two years ago? You know, the minutiae of life that you don't want to forget... but there's just so much that it's hard to keep track of it all.

Based upon her description, I took care of the easy part - 400 index cards. Not so easy was finding something to hold them. It had to be attractive enough to leave in the open, small enough to hold the cards upright, but big enough so that the cards weren't crammed together and hard to read. (Thank you Hobby Lobby. And 50% off!)

I pulled out all the stamps that I haven't used in a couple of years - and some that I had never used! - and gave each of 366 cards a top border. I also added a 1/4 " strip of color along the top of each card to match the color of the title card for that month. (Disaster planning - what if I drop my box and everything falls out?)

The dividers for each month are cut from card stock with decorative tags for labels. It took a few days to complete all the steps, but it's ready to go and I love it!
I decided that I would go back to 2006 to begin recording things. It has been an interesting activity. Reviewing major events, life-changing moments, and unbelievably happy times. 
I just finished 2008. And I discovered that I just missed the 5th birthday of my blog. Isn't that sad?
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time for more!

I have not fallen off the edge of the earth.

I am not sitting idle, nor sick, nor bored with my blog.

I have tried to discipline myself regarding times that I will spend in front of a computer screen. In so doing, I shot myself in the foot. Bye-bye moments for blogging.

So on a new track... also trying to get back into a schedule of writing, here I am. Catching up.

My prayer album is desperately in need of redoing. It has been almost a year since the last redo and it is falling apart. Literally. As I was reviewing the dog-eared pages, thinking about the time required to make a new book, I came to one of the last pages in the album - the record of what/when/where for guerrilla art.

Only 21 in almost a year.

I must ignore the fact that the creating is so much fun ...

... and do more! Many more!

Rejoice evermore. I Thessalonians 5:16

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blue skies

Considering my location in this time zone, the time of year and resultant length of daylight, it gets dark here between 5 and 6 pm. I mean dark. You can't hunt. You don"t walk the dog without reflective gear in place. It's dark.

About a week ago, between 5 and 6 pm, I walked past a window hurrying to another destination  in the house, when a flash of blue caught my eye. Brilliant blue. The kind of blue that makes you dream of tropical vacations and warm breezes.

The sky was supposed to be darkening, yet there it was, brilliant blue. I grabbed my camera and ran outside, snapping this rare moment like a crazy ... um, blogger.


Which made me think ... just because all the rules of nature say that the sky is supposed to be dark
 this time of day, doesn't mean that unexpected moments of brilliance and beauty can't happen.

And so it is with people. Life isn't over 'til it's over. Don't give up. Don't stop dreaming and reaching. God gives us each day to glorify Him. What will we do right now?

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

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quality time

Quality time or quantity time ... that has been the age-old struggle for all of us who have loved and worked with kids through the years.

Though I have opinions in that debate, quality vs. quantity hasn't had much play time in my brain since my house became an empty nest.

Until Sunday.

I am the teacher for the 3-4 grade Sunday school class. I tell the Bible story and then a classroom assistant takes over and does the worksheets with the kids. Last Sunday, the story was about Moses, Mount Sinai, and the People of Israel preparing to stand at the mountain and hear God. The story went well ... multiple trips up and down the colorful, flannel-graph mountain for busy, flannel-graph Moses. Lots of discussion about the distance covered, the lightning and the great cloud that was to be God's cover. Then on to the business of racing to fill in the worksheets. The clock hit time-to-go and we started to pack things up.

That's when it happened ...

My budding-artist-student stood up and said, "I want to draw on the chalkboard." (Said chalkboard
stands floor-to-ceiling and is rarely used, so the request was surprising.) I handed the dusty chalk to her, she plopped right down on the floor, and went to work drawing the mountain that kept Moses so busy during our story.

The real shock came when my assistant plopped down beside her and said, "Well, I want to draw the mountain too!" And there they were, like two arty buddies working on an installation, drawing their separate versions of Mount Sinai, adding clouds and lightning, and groaning about the messy chalk.

I stood there and watched the spark of attachment form between the two. Head to head, they worked well beyond the allotted classroom time. Laughing, they disappeared down the hallway to find soap and water to wash the colorful dust from their hands.

A quality moment, after the class. Nothing in the teacher's book about making art, but blessings on my sweet assistant! Because of her, that young girl will have good memories about being in Sunday School -  a place where people love God and her... enough to get down and dusty for some fellowship.

Then they that feared the Lord spake often to one another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and thought upon his name. Malachi 3:16