Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have you seen my Scissors?


For years, I have been dreaming of a way to avoid misplacing my embroidery scissors. I use them constantly while I sew and consequently they end up everywhere and nowhere and never where I need them.

I had been thinking of an updated version of the Victorian chatelainebut thought I might end up looking like the Mr. T (or Mrs. T) of the sewing world with all those chains dangling from my neck.

Enter a sweet and talented woman named Larie...She is a fellow member of the Christian Artists Street Team (CAST) on Etsy and responded to my plea for help with a very beautiful and practical lanyard. I received it today in the mail and am so delighted with the beautiful solution she created!

With my new glass-beaded lanyard, I am officially the Queen of my sewing room...I am adorned and organized and oh-so-grateful to Larie, who practically read my mind when she created this piece!

Please visit her shop at: http://lariescreations.etsy.com!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Finding God in the laundry pile...


Motherhood is completely unlike anything I ever thought it would be. I struggle even to find a handful of words to describe my experience as the maternal guide of a large family. I dare you to throw a word at me (within the bounds of decency, please) that doesn't apply at some point.

Wonderful, stressful, heart-wrenching, joyful, inspiring, exhausting, invigorating, painful, healing, awe-inspiring, humbling...

One of the primary difficulties for me lies in the fact that very few challenges in the family involve black and white solutions. There is a constant struggle for proper discernment. Parenting requires sensitivity and respect for the little, complex, beautiful people in my charge. It also involves a serious commitment to doing the right thing at the risk of being "mean".

I was an only child. There are times where I just stand in the middle of my bustling world and blink...In utter confusion. A frequent question I ask of my husband: "Are they SUPPOSED to do that?"

In the midst of it all, I'm striving to grow in my relationship with our Lord and bring my family along with me. I'd like to share one of my favorite quotes from another mother of a large family. It soothes my soul and reminds me that there is no Easter without the Cross.

"There isn't something inherent in our vocation that excludes us from a deep, intimate relationship with God. In fact, it's really quite the opposite. Since our lives as wives and mothers are a true 'vocation'-a calling from God to us-God must want us to find Him within our family life.

So, although all is grace, a free gift of God, there is still much we can do to seek Christian perfection, no less than religious...of the past and present. We can make ourselves available to God as best we can-to find ways to foster and dispose ourselves to God's presence in our lives, right now, amid the diapers, the bills and the stomach flu...."

Excerpt from "A Mother's Rule of Life" by Holly Pierlot

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beauty in Metal...



Here is my second attempt to share some of my favorite artists and their work. (The first attempt is lost in cyberspace somewhere). Instead of doing it all at once, I'll take them one at a time.

I am so pleased to introduce you to one of my favorite shops (and people) on Etsy. Her work is so beautiful and she is a person I am so delighted to know. You can see for yourself what talent she has!

Please visit her shop at http://www.TotallyCrosses.etsy.com to see more of her fantastic work!

Deo Gratias!

Technologically Challenged...

...That's me. So I apologize to everyone for being dazed and confused when it comes to blogs...and accidentally "losing" my last post! I will work on rebuilding it somehow.

*Sigh* You know, I'm starting to view the computer as another form of artistic media...It's going to take time to learn to transfer my thoughts and ideas into "code". Please bear with me and keep checking in on my adventure. I don't suppose it will ever be perfect but that is part of what makes it interesting!

In the meantime, please check out my Favorites at my Etsy shop to see some of the wonderful items and sellers who vanished:)

Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let me out!


I've been watching Summer go by from the inside out...Or so it seems many days. I spend the year envisioning the glorious days of fun and frolic...Swimming and catching lightning bugs..Playing ball and yes, even pulling weeds sounds kind of pleasant. But I always forget to factor in the allergies.

I thank God for my good health! I praise Him for the beauty of the natural world and the goodness of creation! I am so glad to be alive! And I am doing my best to offer up my stuffy nose for His greater glory.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Picture of Beauty...

Yesterday, I wrote about beauty...Today, I'm going to show it.


This sweet photo is entitled "A Quiet Moment" and is available for purchase at:

http://www.AutumnDaisy.etsy.com




This breathtaking photograph of a rose is entitled "Just Peachy" and is available for purchase at:

http://www.haileysbobbins.etsy.com

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The "Beauty" that saves....

On Easter Sunday of 1999, the late Pope John Paul II gave a gift to the artists of the world. It was a father's letter to his children. A word to those who sing, and write, and build, and paint, and dream. He dedicated it:
To all who are passionately dedicated
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty
so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world.

It is one of my most precious possessions (although it belongs to each one of us) and I encourage every one of you to read the beautiful and inspiring message that he hopes will draw our hearts and craft closer to the Creator. I will quote briefly from the letter here but I encourage you to read the entirety. Whether you share John Paul's credo or not, I believe that, as an artist, you will be moved and inspired.

He opens the letter thus:
None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.

And in closing:
Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God which a lover of beauty like Saint Augustine could express in incomparable terms: “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you!”.(26)

Artists of the world, may your many different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy.

May you be guided and inspired by the mystery of the Risen Christ, whom the Church in these days contemplates with joy.

I share only briefly of the letter to artists here but I beg you to read the entirety and allow yourself to be challenged and lifted up!
You can find it here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jpii_let_23041999_artists_en.html

Deo Gratias!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wearing skirts in a blue jean world...

I love comfortable clothes. Dressing up is fun but I just can't wait to discard the nylons and heels for a worn pair of blue jeans.
But I also love to look like a girl... So my dream wardrobe includes a whole rack of casual and comfy dresses and skirts.

Let me introduce an Etsy shop that has some of the most beautiful and comfortable skirts around. ChicandUnique creates lovely skirts out of vintage silk or polyester Indian saris...So light and pretty! I have purchased them for myself and for others in a wide range of sizes and styles. So timeless but so cool!

Please check out their Etsy shop at: http://www.chicandunique.etsy.com
and their blog at: http://www.shopjinkys.com/blog/

I love being a girl!



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Braids and Boots and Kitty Cat Tails...


...That's what little girls are made of!

When a little girl picks her own outfit, what will she wear? I Thought this moment was worth preserving. The combination of sweetness and spice was irresistible.

By the way, this is not our cat...It is the neighborhood cat making the rounds. He does actually have an owner but don't tell the kids that!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Babies are easy targets...


...For all things bright and beautiful!

I just couldn't resist sharing this artist with you. She recently decided to give her life and her art to Jesus..."to share the Gospel through artistic visualization and expressions of Faith". And she's doing it boldly and beautifully!

This picture brought a huge smile to my face and completely warmed my heart!

Please check out her shop at: http://www.christianpress.etsy.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Painting Daisies...


"Yes, Sweetheart...You are going to have the brown room."

As a general rule, girls don't favor brown. On Tootsie Rolls it's okay. Brown kitties and ponies are pretty cool. A dark brown bedroom? Nope. I definitely wasn't surprised when the prospect of a brown bedroom (even when it is bigger and in a new house) didn't thrill a particular female member of my household. I certainly couldn't blame her...So I got to work and did something about it.

The result was certainly better than I expected. In fact, the general consensus is that it looks downright pretty.

You know, I really love having my own home. I am so grateful to my husband for working so hard to provide us with beautiful space to breathe and grow. I'm grateful to God for the blessings and crosses that give our home so much life and love...

And I am so grateful for the joy of being able to paint on walls!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boys and Snakes


Okay...I admit that in spite of my occasional tomboyish posturing, I am a girly-girl at heart. I love pink. I love stuffed animals and skirts that twirl and hair ribbons.

I do not like snakes. But I do love my boys. So when we discovered that our property is the happy home to the harmless garter snake, I had a conflict of emotions. On the one hand, it's a snake. On the other hand, it is quite pretty in a natural sort of way and I firmly believe that a boy aught to be able to handle one without screaming. (Girls should as well but I don't feel quite as strongly about that one)

Anyway, we tormented the snake for 1/2 an hour by "almost" touching it. I put on a great show of bravery and insisted that everyone touch the snake. I instructed them in the proper way to pick up a snake (from the internet, not personal experience) and encouraged them to give it a try. In the end, only one of them picked it up (after I bribed him with a lollipop) and promptly dropped it.

After expressing my regret that no one dared to do this simple and harmless thing, I received a well-timed suggestion from a darling and perceptive child:

"Mommy, YOU pick it up!" My cover was blown. I am still a girly-girl and I still have yet to pick up a snake.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Little Boy Blue



I'm so pleased to post of photo of my latest work. It was such a delight to make! I'll be putting it up for sale in my Etsy shop this week...And will be so sorry to part with it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Latest Ditty...

I finally opened my shop doors on Etsy. I have really enjoyed my experience so far. Being surrounded by so many incredibly talented artists is quite inspiring. And I love having an excuse to keep working with these beautiful fabrics!

Who I am today...


I don't have as many photos of myself as I used to. I'm usually the one with the camera. However, my faithful husband has evidently been making a point of preserving my image for posterity. I looked at this photo and recoiled at first. No make-up. Looking a little pale and tired. Old t-shirt. Tired hair. Then I reconsidered my perspective. This IS who I am and what I look like almost every day. Can I live with that? I can. I can see something worth preserving in that image...at least for the sake of my children who love me. They do love me and this is how they will remember me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

This is a Beginning

We shall see where life takes us...

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