Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Imagination + Creativity = ART

I had some fun with this page. I was trying to use random objects in unique ways. I find that I tend to see things for what they are and not how they could be transformed into something else and so this was a good exercise for me. I still kept it pretty tame so I think I will continue to try and look for texture and color and see what else I can come up with on future pages. Sometimes we can get stuck in life that way too. Living each day the same and doing the same thing over and over again without thinking about it or looking at how to change it up a bit. Looking at it one dimensionally and not seeing all the texture and color or how to use what we have in front of us in unique ways. Not that doing the same thing everyday is wrong but when it becomes mundane and you are not feeling the excitement that each day holds then maybe it is time to look at it differently, spice things up a bit. Writers are like this. They will write a whole story about a cup holder. Who knew that a cup holder could be so exciting but you get my point. Imagination and creativity when applied is ART, so go out and use yours.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Keeping a Journal

Today a friend recommended a book to me called, "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald S. Whitney. I am thinking about reading it because she shared one of the quotes from the book and it intrigued me. Here is what Donald says:

"Used appropriately, instead of drawing us more into ourselves, a journal can actually become a means of propelling us into action for others... The journal can be a mirror in the hands of the Holy spirit in which He reveals His perspective on our attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions. Since we will be held accountable for each of these at the judgment, evaluating them by any means is wisdom."

I agree with this his statement and find it to be true in my own life. As I write down what I am thinking or feeling about a situation it helps me cement in my own mind what I truly do feel and think. When I see it in black and white, I have choices to make. I can either agree and ignore what I see or it can propel me to make changes in my thoughts and actions. Those changes usually involve how I treat others or behavior changes that effect others. We are all bouncing around in this world bumping into each other like those balls in the lottery bin. I am hoping that when I bump into others that my influence will be a positive one and not a negative one. A nice soft kind of bumping into and not a harsh hurtful one. Journals are a great way to work all that out and people that keep journals know how revolutionizing they can be. Here is another quote from the book.

"...the simple discipline of recording the events of the day and noting my reactions to them causes me to examine myself much more thoroughly than I would otherwise."

Do you suppose that people don't keep journals because they would have to slow down long enough to actually evaluate what they think about life, themselves and see the reality of those words? I wonder.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Green Mountain

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I love my coffee maker. Whenever I travel I always miss having my favorite coffee and coffee maker. I was thinking on the last two trips that it would be so nice if Keurig would come out with a travel version that I could take with me. So, imagine my surprise when I showed up in our hotel in Waterbury, Vermont and saw a cute mini version sitting there on the counter. I was so excited I was close to jumping up and down. I should have had a clue when we pulled into the parking lot and saw the lines for the cars were coffee beans.
How cute is that! We had been driving through the Green Mountains all day and so I should have put two and two together that my favorite coffee was from Green Mountain Coffee Rosters. We asked a few questions when, in the lobby, we saw a life size stuffed bear with a Green Mountain coffee apron on. In the old train station was the Visitor Center for the Green Mountain Coffee company. We went down there the next morning, had a cup of Autumn Roast and toured the center. On November 1st they are coming out with a red version of the mini coffee maker and it is on my Christmas list for sure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Well, I am home today. I was ready to come home after so many days away. We had a wonderful time and I look forward to putting all the photos in an album of some sort and remembering all the beautiful moments. While I was gone, I had plans to work in my art journal every night but found that I was so tired that I just didn't do it. I did manage to get a couple of pages done and here is one of them. I was thinking about how blessed I am. I get frustrated about things sometimes but when I take the time to look at the bigger picture I find lots of love around me. I just need to remember to take the time to look around and count those blessings. There was only room to name a few but I think it would be good to do a page like this on a regular basis and add to the list as I go. As I was reading in Luke 19 today, verse 26 really jumped out at me. It talks about King who was going away for awhile and left money with servants. When he got back from the trip he checked up on them to see how they had done. One did great and one just OK and one not so good at all.

Then in verse 26 it says, "Yes' the king replied, 'but to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away."

It made me consider all the blessings, gifts, talents and responsibilities that I have been given and if I was using them well? What would it take for me to use them well and what exactly have I been given to use well? I think that will be an ongoing conversation I will be having with the Lord so that I can answer those questions and feel confident of a positive answer.

Monday, October 20, 2008


We toured around Massachusetts today with our friends and saw some very pretty sites. This bridge is called the Flower Bridge because in the spring and summer the gardening club maintains the flowers on the bridge and it is full of color. Today the water was so smooth that it reflected the fall color. It was in the cutest town of Shellburne Falls. I love the name even.
We went down to Barton Cove to look for eagles because they are known to fly around there. We think we may have seen one but it was so far away it was hard to say for sure. The reflections on the water were incredible here too. What a beautiful part of the country to be in right now.

Also in Shellburne Falls we saw what they call Pot Holes. The waterfall in the back is from a dam and I guess that in the summer the kids come and play in the water here. The Potholes were ground out by granite during the glacial age by the whirlpool action of water and gyrating stones of different sizes. This is just a small portion of the area. The Potholes range from 8-39 inches in depth. It was very unique to see.

After eating lunch in a very artsy deli we drove through Conneticutt to our hotel. We will be heading home tomorrow and just in time. By Wednesday there is to be 3-6 inches of snow in the hills where we have been touring. Last night is was 20 degrees here. The other thing we did today was to stop at a Sugar Shack that made maple syrup and other maple food items. They sold maple soft serve icecream cones for 25cents. It was made with cream and it was amazing. I honestly did not know that they really do drill holes in the maple trees and put spickets to collect the maple sap. They then put it in a big machine to take out the water and that is how they make maple syrup. But the real stuff is runny not thick like store bought syrup. YUM!


I am a couple of days behind because we haven't had Internet and it has killed me because I so wanted to show you some more pictures. As we headed into Vermont the colors changed a bit. The colors are a little darker and deeper but I think that is because they are just past their prime. That doesn't make them less enjoyable. We did less sightseeing today just because we were getting tired, lots of time in the car. Instead we drove down the freeway mostly on our way to visit with friends.

As you can see the hills were alive with color and I just sat back in the car and soaked it all in. We also checked out a wildlife refuge but all the animals were gone for the winter. We saw one grouse and a dead moose hung from a tree by the hunters. We drove for about 2 hours in that reserve and it ended up being a waste of time but you never know what you'll find until you go.
We found a couple more bridges by accident as we were driving which was good because we passed up the five we were going to see because we were tired of driving. It was a lovely day and so fun to meet my husband's high school friend and his family. They live in a 200 year old farmhouse in the hills of Massachusetts. They own 88 acres of land and see moose, deer, turkey and bears right outside their door. What a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leaf peepin in New Hampshire

The weather was crisp and sunny today and made for a great day of driving on country roads hunting down covered bridges. At times we were completely enveloped in color. It was enough to take your breath away. The color on the sides of the road must be leaf dust because it changed with the colors of the leaves.

I wish that I could show you all the pictures but there were so many. We took a train ride in the morning and then drove for about 4 hours through the beautiful hills in New Hampshire. We drove until we couldn't see anymore and then we headed back to our hotel.

We saw three covered bridges and this one is the most famous of all covered bridges. It is called the Artist's bridge because it is painted by so many artists. It was already starting to get dark by the time we got here and by the time we got to the last one we could hardly see it. I don't think our pictures turned out on that one. That one ended up being a little scary because it had started to lean. I was hoping that it didn't come crashing down on us, London Bridges and all.

Here is one of those trees that is so huge it makes a two story house look small. I would love to have one of these in my own yard. Makes me wonder how old it is. I think this is my favorite color of the season although bright red is a close second. Oh, what will I see tomorrow. God is such a beautiful painter. I was thinking today about Psalm 121:1-2

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the LORD,Who made heaven and earth.
My eyes were lifted up to the hills today, for sure.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today in Maine

Today was an overcast and rainy day. We spent most of the day in the car traveling up to Maine. We saw some great color but with the drizzle the picture weren't that great. Tomorrow the weather will be better and I should get some better shots. The colors up here in Maine is so amazing. We saw miles and miles of solid color. We say trees that were bigger than my two story house with huge canopies of color. House after house had lawns of solid color in red, yellow and orange.

The towns here are so cute. Everyone of them has historic buildings with little white churches, clock towers and city halls. The houses are colonial and Victorian.
We stopped in Kennepunkport and I did a little shopping. One of the shops I went into had this Italian looking guy who was working all the ladies that came in. As I was shopping these two older ladies came in. One of them said she loved the aroma of the shop and he told her it was leather potpourri. She totally believed him. I looked over at him with a, "you have got to be kidding me", and he winked at me. The other lady ended up buying something and said her friends at home where going to be jealous of her and his reply was, "they already do, now they just have another reason". That was too much, I started to laugh, quietly to myself, of course. This guy was smooth. I ended up buying a really cute pair of shoes and the soles are made from recycled Jeep tires.

We saw five different lighthouses on our drive. They were all different but this one had a house alongside it. We tried to see a couple of covered bridges but they weren't there anymore and so we hope to find some in the next few days.

I stopped off at a Starbucks to see if they had a city mug and the guy working there was from Seattle. It is so funny to talk to people who are from your own neck of the woods. Even though they are complete strangers you feel this connection to them instantly. I was surprised that Portland didn't have a mug but I did find one in Boston when I was there. We are staying the night in a resort in Conway, Maine. I had never heard of it before but it has lots of cute shops and other activities going on here. Well, that's it for today. They have a shop here called, For Your Paws Only, where your pet goes through and picks out what they want and you pay for it. There is a bakery for the dogs. I am getting so educated on this trip, ha, ha.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Boston Common

OK, the mystery was solved today when I saw this sign. Apparently bicyclists in Boston have different rules than cars, who knew. Cars go on green and bicycles stop. Of course I never did see them actually stop. It was really the craziest thing. We would be stopped at a red light and here would come a bicyclist fly by us right into the intersection against all traffic. People would do the same thing. We would have to stop and wait for them to cross the road while we had a green light and the people in the cars behind us blaring their horns. I'm not sure what they wanted us to do, run over the crazy people? Unbelievable for sure.

I went to Boston Common today and it was so beautiful. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining. It was filled with huge old trees, fountains and statues. I could have stayed there all day just wandering around looking at nature and people and enjoying the beautiful day

Today was the last day the swan was in the pond. There were men there with big nets trying to catch the Swan for the winter. It was quite entertaining to watch. I got a good picture of the swan but it was up close and I wanted you to see how amazing this pond is. The most peaceful place with lots of benches around to just sit and meditate. I also watched the many squirels burying nuts for the winter. It was hilarious. They dug pretty deep holes, laid the nut in the hole and carefully but quickly covered it over and then ran away. I have never seen a squirrel do that before and it just fascinated me. In fact, they had these little plots of dirt all over the park and now I wonder if it was just for that purpose. They seemed to have thought of everything. They had trash cans, recycling cans and doggy poo dispensers. Can you tell I am not from the city. I was amazed with it all. The apartments that lined the park went for the starting price of 3 million dollars. I saw one apartment with a beautiful garden on top. I could only see the parts hanging over the edge but it looked beautiful from street level. We ended our day by driving up to Maine and having a lobster dinner. The lobsters were huge too. YUM!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boston or Bust

I am on vacation and just had to share some photos from our excursion today. Yesterday we drove all over Cape Cod and today we were in Boston. Here is a picture of the skyline from the bay. It was a beautiful day to be on tour and I was so blown away by the architecture and the history in this town. There was lots of talk about Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin and John F. Kennedy as we took out tour bus around the city. We passed Cambridge, Harvard and MIT. I am assuming because it is a college town but everyone here rides a bike and let me tell you, either they have different traffic rules for bicyclists or they just don't care. I saw so many of them fly through intersections on a red light, pulling in front of buses, cars, it was insane. We really stood out as tourists because I think we were the only people in this town following the crosswalk lights. It was hilarious to go by the colleges and see the plethora of bikes parked outside the buildings. I may try and get a picture tomorrow.
One very interesting fact was that some of the older buildings are actually using tree roots as their foundation. The roots are floating in water and can never be allowed to dry out or they will die and no longer be useful. I am guessing that the buildings would be in trouble too if that happened. I wish we had buildings like this today instead of so much glass. I am getting a kick out of the people's accents here, very east coast. No one has said anything about my accent but considering that I haven't heart anyone speaking like me I am thinking that I must stand out.

I love the buildings here. This is a very old fire station. The picture is not great because I was leaning out the window of our tour trolley trying to get a quick shot before my head got whacked off by some bus going by. Literally the delivery vans and buses were going by us fast and about 5 inches from the side of the trolley we were riding in. I don't know how everyone is not killed in this town. Tomorrow we are going to take the car out and stop at some of the sites we saw today. I especially want to see the North Church. I have one more photo that I took as we were crossing the Charles River into Cambridge that is really pretty with some fall color. We did come to see the colors but it has been hit and miss so far. I think when we head up into Maine tomorrow we will see more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Handsewn Journal

Yesterday we had our art journal group meeting and Jaron showed us how to make handmade journals. It was so fun. I can not say this enough. Everyone is so talented and sweet and I am humbled and blessed beyond anything to be a part of this group. Just to have them like the same things I like and speak my language, in a sense, is almost unreal. The time flies by in seconds and I wish we could stay forever. The construction of the journal was not that difficult and I am anxious to make a few more. I am going to add ribbons and beads and dangly things to mine but here is the initial finished product. Everyone's journal was unique to them and so beautiful. I am praising God for bringing us all together.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy Week

My week is going by so fast and furious. I have hardly had any time to be creative. I have been doing a bit of art journaling though. I have been thinking about my trip to New England next week and how I will art journal while I am there. I don't want to travel with a lot of supplies so I have been limiting myself to only colored pencils and few pens. It really is a lot different process than using paint, ephemera and papers. It takes me longer and I put a lot more thought into design. Most of the time I just plop stuff on the page and let the page create itself. When I am gone on my trip I may not have a lot of time to work in my journal with all the sight seeing and picture taking of the fall colors. We are going to hit the peak just perfectly and I can hardly wait to get my new camera clicking. I will post a few pictures when I get back.

I am also taking Paulette Insall's face painting class on-line. I have a separate journal for practicing my drawings of faces. The class just started this week and I have learned so much already but let me tell you, I am going to need a lot of practice. Faces are not as easy as she makes it look. There is a lot to be said for talent and I'm wondering where mine went. Patience, patience, patience, that is what I need. Next week we get to start painting but I will be gone so I will have to catch up when I get back. Paulette will be at our art journal group tomorrow and I am so excited to get to meet her.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Art & Soul Vendor Night

What a fun night we had. Art & Soul has been here in Portland since Wednesday and there has been so much excitement in the paperdoll shop. I helped out a couple of days and then last night we worked the vendor show. It is so fun to be surrounded by artists and all that creativity. I bought a few stamps and of course, a block print from Kelly Rae Roberts. I didn't take any classes this time because I took them when I was in Hampton, Virginia. After hearing about some of the classes I was wishing that I had though. I will be going again in 2010 for sure. Next year I have my eyes on a couple of other retreats. I wish I could do it all but so little time and money to go around these days.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On my Journey

I was thinking today how it is hard to know what you want to be when you grow up when you have so many opportunities available to you. When I was a child I thought the only career choices available to me was to become an airline stewardess, ballerina or a hairdresser. Any of those were OK with me. I wasn't tall enough to work for the airlines and I took ballet lessons and I wasn't good enough to do that and I lost interest in being a hairdresser so what was I going to do? Now there are jobs out there that I have never even heard about. One of our friends is a geneticist and tracking the genome of the blight on potatoes. I can't even spell his career title. But who knew that that career even existed. Another friend is an aestetitician (sp?). What careers are out there that I don't know about and maybe I would be really good at? Too much to worry about I guess. But it makes me wonder. Each of us has our own roads to follow and our own journey to be a part of and some lead to the blights on potatoes and other lead to the missionary field and others lead to teaching or painting or reading to children. But whatever path you are on, do it with all your heart. If you know you are to step out and follow another road, do it. Don't waste time living a mundane, unfulfilled life. Live your life with passion and zeal and praising God for every minute of it. I always know when I am talking about something I am passionate about because my arms start flailing and my voice gets louder. You can imagine me doing this right now. Be who you dreamed you would be, alive and full of life.