Friday, March 30, 2012

An Easter place setting Sneek Peak




I love thrifting, and about 6 weeks ago I was in another small town and stopped by the thrift store - I can't remember what I was really looking for as I write this post, but I do love vintage dishware so I stopped to look for something (oh, I remember what I was looking for now! And it was a certain cup...*sigh*) But these plates with the robin's egg blue rim caught my attention, and then the china with the delicate rose pattern. They looked great together in the store, and there were enough of each to find 4 that were not chipped or too stained...I love the worn look, like they have been in our family for generations and loved and used!

Since I also have had nests + eggs + birds on my mind, I thought adding some artificial nests with word eggs (inspired by Jennifer at apoemlife) would be so pretty for spring table settings...I think they would be perfect for an intimate Mother's Day luncheon with favorite mothers?

I had two sizes of nests, and though I needed the larger ones to fill the plates more, they looked a little "uncozy", even with 3 eggs nestled in them. I just tried stacking the nests to see if the small ones would fit inside the larger - I love the look!

Another assembly:

Next week we will be preparing for Easter Sunday...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple Daybook - March 27, 2012

Some of my vintage dishware collection
 FOR TODAY 

Outside my window...it is still dark as I write this, I am up early this morning...and I can hear the earth rousing from the night's slumber...

I am thinking...about getting sticky notes to do a window gratitude "journal" with sweet tweener...

I am thankful... 1) for His mercies new every morning, 2) night cuddles with sweet tweener, 3) more time, every day, more time for family and love and the giving of self that makes life meaningful...

In the kitchen...the counters are clean! (They tend to attract stacks of school paper, used glasses, and mail.)

I am wearing...camouflage colored loose pants and a white T-shirt.

I am creating...a tutorial for fiber-art bird nests.

I am going...to try out a knitting club that meets at our local library later this afternoon.

I am wondering...how to organize and prioritize all the creative ideas bombarding my mind these days!

I am reading...over the next lesson/chapter for the "Finding Sanctuary" class.

I am hoping...to navigate these tween and coming teen years with wisdom and grace {sigh}...

I am looking forward to...the month of April - so many fun days - Palm Sunday, Easter, Angel's birthday, plus Special Olympics Equestrian competition that we will be helping with this year!

I am learning...more techniques in Photoshop - love the art of that!

Around the house...clutter, always clutter...

I am pondering...on how to decorate each room around more of a theme {instead of early American garage thrift - I think, using the same techniques (thrifting) I could do victorian shabby chic...)

A favorite quote for today...I found a bunch on Tumblr...but, I will only share two:

"We do not remember days; we remember moments" by Cesare Pavese
One of my favorite things...Vintage dishware!

A few plans for the rest of the week...a trip to Hobby Lobby for wooden egg shapes to paint and perhaps some artificial bird nests for a table setting...

A peek into my day... 
My "Texture Tuesday" photo for today...processed with a levels adjustment layer, one layer of Kim's texture "Flourish" at Multiply blend mode and 38% opacity; one layer of "Be Still" at Multiply blend mode and 58% opacity; a pink color adjustment layer, and each layer has a mask over the plates and cup...
A Scripture to meditate on from this morning: 

"The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
         For His compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
         Great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:23


Lectio Divina:
We read the passage slowly: lectio
We meditate on the Word or phrase: meditatio
We talk with God: Oratio
We are silent: Contemplatio


Diary of 5

I am seeing... a thick carpet of bluebonnets across our property...

I am hearing...crickets, frogs, morning bird song and an occasional dog barking...

I am smelling...that morning cup of coffee!


I tasted...great food at the new Chinese Buffet in Weatherford on Saturday after we were done volunteering at the ranch.

I am feeling...a tickle in my throat; I think I may be catching Angel's cold...

Monday, March 26, 2012

How is {my ministry} defined?

{sigh} We love the Advent/Lenten wreath we ordered from Caleb Voskamp!


I still remember the day I read Luke 1:6
with eyes illumined by the instruction of the Holy Spirit:

They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments 
and requirements of the Lord…

One verse. 20 words. The summation of a long life lived for the Lord.  This was the pronouncement of the Holy Spirit; the “well done, good and faithful servants”, spoken of two people who had gone unnoticed for years, but who had nontheless served their God faithfully,

in the shelter of secret places – 
of heart and home, 
of minds and souls.  

I remember thinking to myself, “I would be thrilled for that one sentence to be said of me!” 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reds!

Faded Red Chairs

Today's color in the "week of color" is red...I snapped this last fall at the Pumpkin Farm...I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, how "artsy" this setting is - who could resist the composition tho'!

I tried to think of a verse or quote to go with them, but just came up "blank"...any suggestions?

Sharing with friends in Beyond Layers and at Sneak Peek Friday...

{I had time to play today, so here is the image again, with some "painterly effects" added in}
A painterly effect

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beautiful Blues...

Yes, it is time for bluebonnets, but the crop isn't quite this full yet...these pictures are from 2005 (for the most part); the image of now sweet tweener {with pup}is from 2009, and the bluebonnet in the middle of the right column is this year's first bloom on our property...

The photo of sweet tweener was taken from a random roadside - in April, a person living in Texas is used to seeing motorists stopped along the shoulder of the road, with family members knee deep in bluebonnets and smaller ones almost covered over when they sit down - taking the opportunity for a photo shoot!  The other photos were taken on our little homestead - in years when we have a wet spring, like this year, there is about an acre of land covered in a carpet of blue!  It is a stunning display...we don't mow there till mid June when the seed pods have spread their delicious joy for the coming year!

Do you see the road runner?  He and his family live in the more brushy part of our property.
Yep, we live in the heart of Texas!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I believe in pink...


I am working on how to make color palettes and clipping masks!  And of course, how can we have a "Pink" day without Audrey Hepburn's famous quote about pink...


I believe in pink.
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and
I believe in miracles. 

~Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Simple Daybook - March 20, 2012

Buttercup in her hands
Sweet tweener handing me a wild buttercup...

FOR TODAY - March 20th, 2012

Outside my window... Bright spring sun after a night of storms - the light seems so much more intense, the colors more brilliant, after a storm...

I am thinking...about tweener's educational needs (should we pursue the SHAPE Academy?  Keep homeschooling {my preference, for a few more years at least}).  What is God's will?

I am thankful...three things that make me laugh:  1) listening to old Bill Cosby comedy routines, 2) watching reruns of "I Love Lucy", 3) listening to tweener giggle!

In the kitchen...tonight will be fried potatoes and onion, a lettuce salad, a steak.

I am wearing...camo capris and a black knit shirt with lace at the neck and 3/4 length sleeves...

I am creating...a week's worth of color photos for Beyond Layers + writing and writing for the "Finding Sanctuary" course...so wonderful!

I am going...with sweet tweener to the Arlington Smocking Guild meeting on Thursday morning.

I am wondering...what on my to-do list I should do first...I really need to get a weekly planner in place!

I am reading...an audio book (does that count as reading?) with sweet tweener...

I am hoping...that I can get some of this post-hysterectomy weight off.

I am looking forward to...school being over for the day...

I am learning...more techniques in photoshop - am I addicted?

Around the house...Still cleaning and cleaning out - the home office/art studio is in great need and is on my list for this week...

I am pondering...a business schedule...

A favorite quote for today...
"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not only in books, but in every leaf at springtime." – Martin Luther.

One of my favorite things...time at home.

A few plans for the rest of the week: - renewing the math and language drills on a daily basis and therapeutic riding on Saturday.

A peek into my day...around the house
Framed Greens
plum buds

3 green spheres

A Scripture to meditate on from this morning: 

The Spirit of God has made me; 
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Job 33:4 (NIV)

Lectio Divina:
We read the passage slowly: lectio
We meditate on the Word or phrase: meditatio
We talk with God: Oratio
We are silent: Contemplatio


Diary of 5 

I am seeing...Tweener listening to her Science lesson...

I am hearing...Bird song, dogs in the distance, tweener's voice {is she really only 10!?!}

I am smelling...fresh air

I tasted...leftover Irish Creme cake!

I am feeling...peace, deep in the heart keep your life stable no matter what the circumstances peace


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Whispers of {small fears} and God's "Fear Nots"

This post is done in a journaling style called "Free Writing" - part of a writing sequence I teach to clients to help them get to the bottom of issues, or even just to clear out emotional clutter...it is part of Kim's assignment this week in Beyond Layers...

Fear. I know there is a block in my brain about this because when asked to name my fears I cannot. I don't even really acknowledge immediately that I have any.  But I still hear its whispers.  It is like it is in another place than my conscious awareness, but still there ready to immobilize me when I can't control if I pay attention to it or not. But is that true?  I think if I paid attention to it I would be able to work through it...somewhere I read that fear is something that we deal with every day and being afraid doesn't stop the thing we are afraid of from happening to us. I did realize earlier this year when working through the topic that I was afraid of being successful, that I didn't "know" what that person looked like and that somehow my friends and family wouldn't recognize me and wouldn't like me? Weird, but there it was. Now I realize that there is more fear...fear of rejection is there. Fear of failure? No, I haven't been able to succeed for whatever reason in over a year, so I am used to failure. I think perhaps there is a fear that isn't well defined, that is just floating - that is the subconscious fear. I have tried to battle it by learning, knowledge...there it is! Fear of not knowing the right thing,of doing something "wrong"! Irrational, nothing bad will happen if I do it "wrong" - my husband supports me, so financial chaos isn't even a concern! Interesting, interesting. I am turning around and facing this fear, embracing this fear, not viewing it as the monster it can become, but as a real part of my human nature. It doesn't have a life of its own. It is just there to tell me of the need for fight or flight, but more often, that I am simply out of my comfort zone. I spent time over the Christmas break examining if I was out from God's will, and He overwhelmingly confirmed that I was being led by His Holy Spirit. Perhaps all this is part of the preparation process, and I know sweet tweener is in a season of desperately needing me...I can totally trust God to be in control of all this - I just need to show up and work on the therapeutic art ideas that are swimming around inside of me! I also think about how, in the scripture, there are at least 365 times that He says "fear not". I have always thought about those places as applying to those souls who deal with concrete, conscious fears and who haven't yet had the opportunity to grow to that place of trust in the Lord to know, to really know, that they don't have to be afraid - major fear, you know? The sort of fear I walk alongside clients to help them face, to be Jesus with skin on as they learn and grow.  But those places can also help me when I wonder if anyone will like what I am creating, whether there is a market, am I doing this "right", and so on...the non-major issues that He cares about just as deeply as the major...

"Fear not" He whispers in a chuckle.  (I think I just got an idea for Kim's whisper assignment - finally!)  Why am I not enjoying this total freedom?!

I remember when I was confident and "knew" in a right and strong way that I had good answers and good instincts...I just didn't have support or understanding on how to move through the blocks that life itself would throw in my way...but I have learned...

"Fear not!" One phrase whispered in my spirit for each time fear whispers in my mind.

I think I am finally understanding...a deeper level of becoming.  A deeper level of healing self-rejection (oh yes, I did that, the self-rejection thing).  Fear can be my teacher, my cue to spend some time with Him, contemplating the issue...

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom - Luke 12:32 KJV
Fear not, for I am with you...Isaiah 43:5 ESV
Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming...John 12:15 ESV
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things...Joel 2:21 ESV

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Daybook - Spring Break Edition

FOR TODAY - March 14th, 2012

Outside my window... The tree buds are breaking open, baby leaves, giving a soft green glow to their branches

I am thinking...about what God is doing through the "Finding Sanctuary" class...

I am thankful...for the rhythm of the seasons, spring birds, tweener singing in the shower

In the kitchen...looking for my recipe for cheezy potato casserole + thinking about the Easter menu...

I am wearing...blue jeans and white T-shirt with little ruffles all the way down...

I am creating...word eggs and fiber art nests...probably will post steps to making them tomorrow!

I am going...absolutely nowhere!  Loving being tucked in during this Spring Break...

I am wondering...where those pine needles from the Christmas tree keep coming from?!?

I am reading...Michelle Rusha's Lenten devotional for these 40 days - sweet tweener is doing it with me.  The title is "Grace Changes Everything".

I am hoping...That she grows in her relationship with the Lord in tangible ways during this Lent...

I am looking forward to...The movie "Mirror, Mirror" coming to theaters at the end of March ☺.  (I still love fairytales, and Julia Roberts playing the evil queen!?! It will be so fun!)

I am learning...perhaps it is more of a renewing - of my trust in the Lord and how He has even the smallest detail worked out - He has been reassuring me at every turn that tweener's heart IS in His hands, He is aware, and I need to keep listening, do what He asks me to, and rest in His abilities...truer comfort, confidence, peace and joy I do not know...

Around the house...Wiping down baseboards, window sills, chasing dust bunnies where they lie crouched in hidden corners - feeling like this is a Passover preparation...

I am pondering...How to implement all course work and spiritual work after spring break is over...

A favorite quote for today..."If you want to be happy, BE" - (Leo Tolstoy).

One of my favorite things...pillow talk with sweet tweener...

A few plans for the rest of the week: - painting, playing in the soil, perhaps planting some blooming plants...

A peek into my day...playing with my "Beyond Layers" assignment - experimenting with black and white and thinking about fear(s) - (Click here to go to my flickr photostream to see all 8 images)



A Scripture to meditate on from this morning:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isa. 41:10


Diary of 5
I am seeing...wood eggs painted blue drying on the table
I am hearing...the soundtrack to the first Transformers movie

I am smelling..."Foldger's in my cup" {smiles}

I tasted...home made peanut butter granolas - yummmm!

I am feeling...content, yes, contentment...


Friday, March 9, 2012

Caim Prayers

Caim prayer with triqueta cross
Sweet tweener and I are doing a history unit on the life of St. Patrick since it is March ☺.  Thus the inspiration for the above piece of art work.  We are looking at "Illuminated Text" and the spirituality of the early Christians who responded to God's call in this dark time in history.  In our research, we have come across an ancient form of prayer called "caim"; here is an explanation of such prayers, gathered from our research:
When words get in the way or it seems impossible to focus, a caim prayer may be helpful.   The words of the caim are intricately connected to a circle, either a "prayer circle" of people or some sort of individual movement involving a circle.  The circle represents the encircling, encompassing love of God as spoken of in Psalm 125:2 (NIV) - "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore." (A circle also represents His eternal nature.) The physical movement helps to calm an anxious mind!  The symbolism of the circle focuses the spirit on God.  The simplicity of the words helps to still the entire heart...Tracing the prayer with your finger as you pray is a simple way to practice this type of prayer.
The word "Caim" is an old Gaelic word meaning:  "protecting", "encircling", "sanctuary", loop or circle and has been passed down from the ancient Celtic church.  There are several prayers called caim, and the individual is encouraged to adapt them according to need.  The prayers themselves and more information can be found here, here, and here.  I so appreciate Valerie Sjodin's art, and she has a caim prayer piece here.
 
In the above piece, the caim prayer can be found in these words forming a circle:
                       Circle me Lord,                            
keep hope within
and despair without

Circle me Lord
keep peace within
and turmoil out.

Circle me Lord
keep comfort near
and discouragement far.

The interior circle is made of scriptures referring to God's peace as well as the entirety of John 14 -

Not able to find celtic knotwork circles that will enlarge crisply, I opted to create another text circle outside of the caim prayer.  The words are Scripture:
Now may the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that you will abound in hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit.  
Romans 15:13 NASB

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Simple Daybook -

 FOR TODAY
March 6th, 2012

Outside my window...
the sun is out, spring is early - temperatures warm...

I am thinking...
a lot about listening to the Lord, about what simplicity truly is,
about the Lord's leadings in "Finding Sanctuary".

I am thankful..
a gift bent - all those tree branches Angel is gathering, stripping, whittling;
a gift broken - the place in my heart that carries the love for the eldest son;
a gift beautiful - the joy of parenting (2nd round!).

In the kitchen...
going to try this recipe for homemade granola bars:
blue jeans, white shirt, black pin-stripe "boyfriend" jacket...

I am creating...
an e-course called "Finding Sanctuary".

I am going...
to TJMaxx to see if I can find a little mug just like this one:
from my flickr friend "ania♥ in Morocco for a while"
 I am wondering...
how I can write better blog posts...

I am reading...
"October Song" by Beverly Lewis.

I am hoping...
I just am {smiles}

I am looking forward to...
specifically that we have a good showing of bluebonnets this year after so much good rain...

I am learning...
to listen to God be my "business coach"

Around the house...
I have been spending just 10 minutes cleaning in each room a day, 
and it is looking much better!

I am pondering...
how simplicity is a result of focus + faith that He can and WILL take care of little details...

A favorite quote for today...
Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus - Ann Voskamp

One of my favorite things...
blue birds, blue eggs, and nests are consuming my creative thoughts lately...

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Finishing up several units in the homeschooling arena in preparation for spring break coming up...

A peek into my day...

image processed using two layers of "Happy Heart" set at "multiply".  I was looking for some masculine type scenes for some cards and home decor I am creating.  The blossoming trees are so inviting right now!  But in a brown bottle with a little heavy texture they look worthy to be on a gentleman's writing desk or drafting table...



the image directly below is the exact same image,
processed with only one layer of "Happy Heart" set
on "soft light".
I love each of these images!



Joining with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday

and

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring

Cherry Blossom Closeup 2

My cherry tree is blooming, and seemed the perfect subject for the black and white lesson in Beyond Layers this week. I brushed out some of the background, applied Pioneer Womans B & W action, added a rosy hued texture at softlight because the pure black and white just seemed too stark, and finally the Kanji brush I made. The symbol is the one for "spring".


What other spring quotes can you think of that I might use?

March 4th - Giving thanks for 3 hard gifts:
a purpose at rest (?)
a nudging out of the "comfort zone"
hard questions, because she is asking them of me!

March 5th - Giving thanks for 3 gifts found:
energy
a heart made to listen
 resolve

Friday, March 2, 2012

Planting seeds of a prayer garden + Being a Winner

Remember Jennifer's 'Grace Tags' give away?  I was/am the blessed winner!  I want to show off the design I received in the mail this week:


I had to get the angel wing...I thought my sweet tweener, Angel, would love it...but she told me it looks better on me and is letting me keep it..."yes"!
 
...and I want to recommend Janelle highly to anyone wanting to gift or wear Christian jewelry...I can attest first hand that you will get great customer service.  Let me tell you why - 

Two weeks ago, I contacted Janelle to see if by chance the business was swamped because I hadn't received the anticipated treat...and I was worried because some packages had gone missing in our neighborhood...it turned out that indeed, my package had gone missing, yet Janelle said she would get another one out to me, and when I offered to pay shipping for the replacement she just said "no - these things happen," with a smile in her words.  So the replacement came this week and I have been happily wearing it!  Visit Grace Tags by clicking here.

Thanks Janelle and thanks Jennifer for hosting the give-away! 

And just a little peek at another little brainstorm - a desktop prayer garden!  I had these stones lying out on the kitchen counter, trying to pick out the flattest ones, and my husband got in the "flow" after seeing my little word (joy) - I experimented with different pens and inks, and I think a sharpie paint marker works the just fine!  The one thing I haven't tried yet is simply acrylic paint with a small liner brush...


These will go into a little tray filled with either salt or sand - sweet tweener wants to have a Japanese themed birthday this year as she is smitten with manga right now - and we studied feudal Japan right up to the 19th century in history at the first of this semester...looking for an alternative to a Zen Garden, the Lord just said, "Make it a prayer garden - and a connection with Peace as a Person"... I am sure I will be posting progress and instructions soon - but you could make one yourself before then...I am sure He will show you how!

What words would you place in a prayer garden?


Joining with Jennifer and other creatives at Sneak Peek Fridays

Thursday, March 1, 2012

By Sadee Schilling of apicturebooklife


Today's Reading from "God Calling"

Shower Love
I always hear your cry. No sound escapes Me.
Many, many in the world cry to Me, but oh! how few wait to hear Me speak to them and yet to the soul, My speaking to it matters so much.
My words are Life. Think then, to hear Me speak is to find Life, and healing and strength. Trust Me in all things. Love showered on all brings truly a quick return.
Just carry out My wishes and leave Me to carry out yours. Treat Me as Savior and King, but also with the tender intimacy of One much beloved.
Keep to the rules I have laid down for you, persistently, perseveringly, lovingly, patiently, hopefully, and in faith, and every mountain of difficulty shall be laid low, the rough places of poverty shall be made smooth, and all who know you shall know that I, your Lord, am the Lord.

Click here to read the rest of this post...