Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vintage Buttons - the many shades of white

Simplicity, spirituality, white, love, peace, joy - there are many "shades" of each of these....as we each walk out our own salvation, the pure work of the Lord will reflect all the nuances of the life being lived.  Just as the button collection here looks beautiful in all its variety, so do our lives as the Lord gazes upon us.  Let us each look at others through the Lord's eyes, enjoying the beauty that our differences create, and allowing the color of His love be the unity among us...

The image is processed with a layer of Kim's "And then some" at 54% opacity and a layer mask
Text is "Poor Richard" font with the color picked from the table...
Joining with Texture Tuesday
and Painting Prose on Wednesday

Monday, February 27, 2012

10 things about me..

An online friend has sweetly challenged me to share 10 things about myself + a fun photo (oops, got carried away with photos!  And I really didn't do any layering! See number 8 below!) to go with the list...let's see...
The view out one of the windows in my favorite room

1.  My word for this year is "contemplate" - I love the stillness, the quietness, the meditative quality that this word evokes; I naturally enjoy solitude, so I'm looking forward to building more of this into my life this year ☺.  My most favorite room in the house speaks this quiet peace into my heart as well...

Another view in my favorite room
2.  I am an "ISTJ" on the Meyers/Briggs personality scale.  So is my husband - we are so alike!  This score somewhat explains why number 1 is so true of me!

3.  I am married to my high school sweetheart, we were teens when we wed (!) and we have been married for 35 years this year!  I can confidently say that it is a wonderful feeling to be known so thoroughly, to be loved unconditionally, to be honed and nurtured and grown in this relationship - our souls are knitted together and continue to be as we each grow and mature as individuals.

Teen bride and groom {smiles}

4. We have a son (the youngest) who is a computer geek; really a technology geek.  Whenever he upgrades to the latest techie marvel - especially in the realm of computers, we - his parents - "inherit" his discards!  And his discards are awesome!  He is the one who GAVE me photoshop CS5 and initiated my quest to figure it out, which led me to Kim Klassen's online classes!

5. My favorite flavor of ice cream is French Vanilla - with a little chocolate syrup on top.

6. We have another son (the oldest) who is still trying to figure out how to live life.  Right now, he is in prison - "sigh" - he is very creative (takes after me in that regard), and is trying to use his undivided, focused time incarcerated to develop his skills.

7.  I write often about our "sweet tweener", our granddaughter, who in all respects is very much our daughter.  She belongs to that son in prison, thus why we have this blessing; she is my life and you would never know she is my granddaughter until she calls me "Grandma", her "special" name for me!
sorry about the red eyes - not taking time to fix them this morning!

8.  Administration is one of my spiritual gifts, but I am struggling with managing my time as of later.....hmmmm, wonder what that is about!?!

9.  This year I am focusing on building an online business blending my counseling background with my art...healing art...this has been a growing desire over the last 12 months in reality.  I am still exploring what that is supposed to look like. I just launched my first online "healing art" class!  You can find it here, it is called "Finding Sanctuary". 

10.  I am having lots of fun learning how to use Photoshop and its power in helping make art from photos!  I wish there were twice as many hours in the day to do everything in my mind!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Unveiling "Finding Sanctuary" an E-class

Watercolor dove in window
I discovered one wonderful aspect of painting with water colors this week that really has me eager to do more...when I get interrupted, I can just walk away without worrying my paint will dry up...I have loved my watercolor experiments of late {smiles}...

I've had birds and nests and eggs on my mind lately - 
as the Lord has had me "contemplating" on the word 

and the idea of "Finding Sanctuary"  ...

He has been patiently encouraging me and nudging me forward...
I am so amazed at all the different ways 
He has brought verses through my email inbox 
(you know how you can read the "same old verse" and all of a sudden it is rhema?)
And He knew which images I would be drawn to when reading favorite blogs...
2 Timothy 2:2
Zechariah 2:10 (on an image with a nest)
Psalm 84:3 - the one that always says "sanctuary" to me!
and so many more as I have asked "Is this really you?"

And so this week, with that inner witness so strong my heart was pounding and His promise that He rejoices to see the work begin, I committed to reveal - tho' all the little ducks aren't in a row quite yet and I am feeling very small (which means it is all up to God).  All of that being said, a quiet excitement is growing...I am on this journey too, and I cannot wait to share it with you (and those of you who join!).

Feel free to grab the button from my sidebar and click HERE for more information about the class


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Abundance - Texture Tuesday

This week's challenge was to use one layer of Kim's Texture "Felicity".  I must say that I loved the design inbedded in the texture, and I wanted to play with darkening a photo (expecially to show off the vintage feel of the texture).  Here is my recipe (mouse over the image to see the original photo):
levels adjustment layer;
felicity on multiply and 70% opacity and
with a layer mask over the bowl, wheat stalks and blueberries on the table;
Text: Abundance is "Windsong"
the smaller text is "Gabriola"

Monday, February 20, 2012

1000 gifts and then some...heart connections

There are so many things to list when we truly start looking at our lives through the eyes of God...

One of 4 reminders from God (just in the past 4 days) that He is behind my urgings to oops, gotta just say check back this week for that info:

from Home Sanctuary

Always being reminded that His heart is forever connected to mine...
 Last week Ann reminded us that true communication comes from the desire to connect hearts, more than refining skills...and we were able to live that out this weekend...our sweet tweener loves the Lord, has asked Him into her heart years ago, but sensory disorder issues prevents her from truly enjoying our church's contemporary services...the crowds, the extra boost of speaker volume during praise and worship, and the changing of  lights between dimming and brightening can cause anxious feelings to go off the charts.  This Sunday, the anxiety was escalated further by Poppa's deep sighs as he tried to not fall asleep!  But those sighs sound a lot like his angry sighs, and tweener was sure he was angry at her for having to cover her head to deal with all her sensory issues...and of course elevated hormones didn't help matters!  I was helping with babies in the nursery, so when she found me after services were over and her voice shrilled "I need you to call somebody", I knew something was a miss!

It wasn't the phone call that was critical, but her need to connect (hearts need to connect...) No one picked up the other end of the phone (no connection = no heart available, at least in her mind - and she believed Poppa's heart was closed to her at the moment too).  "Please come to the movie with us this afternoon!" her voice begged, inviting me on their father/daughter date; (her heart desperate for connection and her hoping mine was available).  

 I was longing for another type of connection this afternoon - with the computer, with my website building plans, with creating art to use in the online, (my heart longing for impersonal internet connection!)  But hearts needed to be connected, not corrected (tho' her intensity was causing a less sweet version of tweenerhood to emerge - it was the Lord who kept a guard over our parental mouths to give her time to travel through the thorny path of the angst in the center of her soul).   One simple word, 3 little letters, a sacrifice of 4 un-interrupted hours of treasured time - "Yes," I acquiesced - and relief washed through her being, as the guarantee was sealed: the burden of un-connectedness would no longer be hers alone to bear.

"Are you feeling anxious?" I asked her, already knowing she had just gone through a sensory maelstrom...
 (Ahhh, heart connection brought her thorny journey to a quick conclusion!) "No!  I don't know!  Maybe! It was really loud and Poppa is mad at me!"

Which was news for Poppa!  He declared, "No!  Just the opposite!  Why do you think I am mad at you?" (Yes, 37 years of us learning how to make heart connections has honed his ability to reach towards her heart, and not defend his own)!

 "You were sighing so much!" (Senses trying to make order out of chaos had registered the deeper breathing of another, and assigned a sometimes true meaning...)  Research shows that only 7 percent of communication is verbal; the other 93 percent is made up of body language, voice tone, facial expression, emotional states, personal "filters", and more - is it any wonder it is hard to communicate through all that potential clutter, unless we are determined to find the heart connection!??

And it turned out Poppa was having a struggle of his own, that had nothing to do with her - she merely "misread" the meaning (and in moments her heart was re-connected with his - tho' from his perspective it was never lost to begin with!)

 Giving thanks for:

Feb. 19: 3 gifts that were "Plan Bs" - the matinee, reading the Kindle at the restaurant, early tuck-in after "possum hunting in the garage" (that says it all, doesn't it?!?)

Sharing with Ann@aholyexperience
and Painting Prose 
and Kim@beyondlayers...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rustic Guitar - finished...

Rustic Guitar
Thought I would share the finished piece from last week!  It was another large one - 20" x 24"....very fun and satisfying.  The varnish WAS still drying - technically - on its way to the charity event.  My sweet tweener was so cute...she was so excited at the two art pieces' performance in the silent auction.  She would give me repeated reports on the bidding wars...they each found a new home that night...can't wait to get prints available!

I spent a lot of the week working on a photo "storyboard" for the Beyond Layers class - a Valentine for my husband...I finally finished last night (he says he didn't mind the wait because he LOVES it!)...

The husband's Valentine gift...my hubby is the one the horse is kissing...the other gentleman is his good friend and cutting horse champion.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


When I was taking pictures for the Beyond Layers challenge of "storyboard of a day in your life", I began to see items in our home with fresh, artistic (hopefully) eyes...these antlers are in a bowl on the coffee table in our living room - and on that day, I saw "art", not just something my husband likes...so I took them out of the bowl and "played"....I think it makes a great, masculine statement for Valentine's Day!  And I am still working on the story board featuring his work garments - will it be done?  Maybe, maybe not!

For Texture Tuesday the challenge was to use at least one of Kim's Textures and have the photo centered around the theme "happiness"...this photo uses the texture "embrace" at softlight blend mode - isn't "embrace" just perfect for today?!  The font is Orater (love the simplicity of this font!) and the color is picked from the antlers...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Establish the Work of His Hands...

My dh's work gloves - on the window sill where he lays them when he comes into the house...
I have been inspired by my friend, Jodene of "Opened Door" Studio for a long time, ever since she made this art piece (click on the link).

This week's challenge for Beyond Layers...using the texture "revolution" and Kim's custom gradient "map".  In my photo, the gradient layer gave a nice color correction to the overall image...here is my layers panel - the texture layers are at 100%:

This is one photo of several I took of my dh's work garments to do a "story-board" love gift for him for Valentine's Day - can't wait to get to work on it more!

Kim also shared how she takes some of her shots, how she sets them up!  I was so delighted to see that she used "foam core" board, as I started to use a "science project" white tri-fold board placed behind my images a couple of weeks ago...anything to get better quality from my point and shoot!  And it has worked better - the project board also has an advantage as it blocks out all the busy messiness of our day to day life...BIG plus there!  So, here is an unedited image taken in natural light (with no flash) with the science board backdrop:

See the background behind the board?  And remember the Purple Statice image from earlier this week?  Here is the original - on this image I put a piece of poster paper over the lace table cloth, tho' I think the lace might have looked pretty under the vase, too...

I really need to figure out why there is so much blue on these white boards - perhaps next week when there is more time!


Rustic Guitar - WIP

Rustic Guitar - another large piece!
Another piece I am working on for the charity event tomorrow - the varnish may still be drying while it is waiting for its new home, as I seem to be only about half finished...but the week has been wonderful: a field trip to see the play "Charlotte's Web", the home-school Valentine's Party, Co-op Art Classes + this personal art time...and we baked Red Velvet Cupcakes - yummmm!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Purple Statice - Texture Tuesday

I am working on a storyboard about my daily life, or things about my life for Beyond Layers...this is just one image:

Image of a purple statice from my birthday bouquet taken with my little point and shoot
a levels adjustment layer
Kim Klaussen's "Plaster-squared" texture
Test layer: Petrascript.


Friday, February 3, 2012

The Shelter of Sanctuary - Little Bird Nest tutorial

Maybe it is because the frogs are singing every evening already,
or because the temperature is in the 60 to 70 degree range, 
dangling thoughts of spring around my eyes and ears and nose -
(that warm sweet smell of moisture-rich air tempts and lures me towards the out-of-doors each morning).

   It's simply the luxuriousness of nature - all that texture and freshness (the grass is greening already) -
colors and sounds, promises and hope,
awakening the senses - both physical and spiritual...
to the simple treasures of these moments linking to hours and piling together into days...
of life - of being - of growing and creation glorifying the Creator...

These things, these simple things, 
the ones that mark the quiet momentum of life emerging...
the rhythm of time keeping -
all just compliment His leadings of late...His gathering together all the threads of His latest weaving...
that birds and nests and sanctuary really do form a parable of His love;
so it isn't really a surprise that we love them so well!

Be looking for registration to open for a mixed media exploration
on this topic, titled "The Shelter of Sanctuary" ...

The Tutorial...

I have a collection of little mint tins...waiting for me to really tackle the ideas that flock to me as I visit around the web!
Step 1

I finally decided to make a needle case, as I am always mislaying needles at the smocking guild meetings AND I love re-purposing things...
I will be making Miss Tweener one of these as soon as she decides what she wants on the cover...

Step 2

You can see the scratches from the sand paper...

Step 3

Step 4

You can see dents in the lid - oh well ☺.

Step 5

I can paint blobs (!) - no perfection needed...
in fact, nests look better if they are imperfect.

Step 6

More imperfect blobs as eggs...

Step 7

I used a shade of green craft paint called "Clover"...I liked the muted tones.  Another tip is I alternated size of brush with different colors...no exact way, just to add variety...

Step 8

I used a small liner brush to add the squiggly lines in the upper right of the nest...it just seemed to need something there to balance the leaves around the nest.

A little fuzzy, but you can still see it....

The case is small, about 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches, so this didn't take long to do...another plus!

Joining with Jennifer and other creatives at Studio JRU

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Shelter of Sanctuary...


The word has flitted around my heart since last November...
when my word for this year, 
was forming/growing/crystallizing 
in place...
like the many facets of a well-cut gem,
or the ever changing designs from the way light reflects through the glass shards of kaleidoscopes,
the idea continues to sparkle and glitter.  

"The Lord gathering them to my heart joined with His...
the thoughts migrating towards His voice..."

What is sanctuary?  What does it mean to you?

More information will be coming, an exploration of this idea, this one of "sanctuary" ...