Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

We had a great day of food and family. Lots and lots of food! My grandson discovered the pots and pans and we were all quite entertained.

At times we had to talk louder because of all the serenading going on. I see drums in his future. He was also taken with a basket that was laying around. Here he is with his mama, my oldest daughter.

He had lots of people willing to carry him around and keep an eye on him so my daughter could actually carry on a full conversation. I remember those days of only hearing snippets of conversations as you ran from room to room taking care of kids

Here are my middle children. .Little brother, or not so little, is not enjoying a hug from his older sister but she is not discouraged.

My youngest holding the bunny for his nephew, or at least that is the story he is telling. I love the smile. He is really a lot of help with my grandson. He is about the only one with enough energy to keep up. I keep forgetting to have someone take my picture. I am always the one taking the pictures and future generations are going to think I never showed up at any of these events. Anyway, it was a great family day and I'm thanking the Lord for the one I've got.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Brenda, my new, talented friend has awarded me a blog award. This award states that: This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY- nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends, they are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.Such a nice award -

I'm supposed to pass it on to 8 bloggers for the reasons stated above:
1. Karin, 2. Lani, 3. Michelle, 4. Sharon, 5. Katie, 6. Jo 7. Jen, 8. Paulette

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blessing of Nature

I am thinking about our trip to New England and missing the beautiful sights we saw. I am so glad that we took so many photos. It was such a great trip. I thought on the eve of Thanksgiving day here in my neck of the woods that I would share some more photos with you.

Just think how many pumpkin pies you could make out of these beauties. YUM, YUM!

So many back roads leading to unknown places. You could journal about a picture like this one. Where would it take you and what would you be listening to on the radio on your way? I hear John Denver singing, "Take me home country roads, to the place I belong." I learned to play guitar on that song. Seventh grade was a long time ago.
When we visited this cove, it was deserted for the season and you could have heard a pin drop. We saw a bald eagle flying over head and the water was as smooth as glass.

I love nature and I hope you have enjoyed the sampling of photos I took. More and more I hope that we learn how to take care of this beautiful planet we live on. As you spend time with family this weekend, I hope you find lots to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Encouragement + Love

Today I read this quote by Robert T. Allen and loved it:
The truth is that everything that can be accomplished by showing a person when he's wrong, ten times as much can be accomplished by showing him where he is right.
The reason we don't do it so often is that it's more fun to throw a rock through a window
than to put in a pane of glass.
As it happened I was also reading in I Corinthians 13 today and heard a similar thing.
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and new everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be?
There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love.
I am encouraged today to look for the good in people and situations and love them.
There are enough people in their lives taking the other side.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday moaning

I am still working on faces in my journal. I want so badly to go out to my art room but when I think of it, it just seem like a lot of work right now with being sick and all.
I am hoping for a miracle to happen in the next 24 hours. I am having about 16 people come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner and I am still really sick. My chest cold has moved to my head also. I am a little concerned that I won't get everything done in time if I don't start feeling better soon. This is definitely not fun. I am resorting to a Zip Fizz today so I can get the laundry done. This is the time when I have the hardest time sticking to my healthy eating program too. I want hamburgers, fries, pizza and all other comfort foods I dream about when I feel sick and sorry for myself. OK, enough whining for today.
I am thankful that I don't have little babies anymore to take care of and I can rest when I need it. There is always a silver lining somewhere to be found. Now I am off to do more laundry.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Life Lived Out Loud

Laying around does not agree with me. I was bored and wrote a poem. It was based on Life is a Verb and this quote by Cecil Beaton; Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
A Life Lived Out loud

I’ve come to decide
That my life needs to come alive
To be lived out loud
Even crazy at times

Not against my own morals
But bordering on the absurd
Silly and fun
Slow down and skip instead of running with the herd

Open my eyes to the wonder all around
Notice the insignificant
Seeing the moments
and hearing the sounds

To feel the passion
To know your true self
Not caring about appearance
Not pretending to be someone else

Living your dreams
Fulfilling your calling
Knowing you’ve lived
A life worth knowing

Oh, a life full of being, enjoying and living
Many will question and give raised eyebrow looks
But inside their own hearts
Are yearning for this life misunderstood

Saturday and still sick, YUK

I have been home the last couple of days sick with that cough/cold virus that is going around. I was feeling bummed that I didn't feel up to going out to my art room. Then, duh, it occurred to me that I could practice in my art journal some sketches with my watercolor pencils and woodless colored pencils. So this is what I came up with. I did venture out to the Allen Designs Studio sale and picked up a few goodies. I will show you a couple of things I bought for myself once I get a picture of them. I also got some great gifts to give for Christmas. I just love Michelle's work. I saw a painting she is working on in her studio that when it is finished is going to be amazing. I hope she shares about it on her blog. Here is the original painting that I was able to snag. Been looking at it for months hoping that I could get it soon and there it was hanging on the wall when I got there. Couldn't resist. The crown is actually done in gold leaf. I hope someday I can be as good as her and be able to sell my paintings. Big dreams. For now I am satisfied with playing in my art journal and collecting paintings and such from my favorite artists.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Books for the New Year

I have a couple more books to tell you about. The One Year Through the Bible Devotional, by David R. Veerman. If you have always wanted to read through the Bible in a year but just reading the Bible is hard because you are not sure about all you are reading, then this book will be a huge help. It gives you the long version so that you read the entire Bible in a year or a shorter version to get the main stories. Then it has a devotional to go with it so you can understand what you are reading and apply it better to your own life. I set up a yahoo group for some of my church friends and we are going to read through the Bible this year. I am super excited about it. This will be my third year to do this but I have never had anyone to talk to about it so now I will have other travelers on this journey with me. YEA!

This is another new book that I got this week. Journaling As A Spiritual Practice by Helen Cepero. I have started through it and it is really good. The author says, "All spiritual disciplines and practices, including journaling, are about learning to be aware and awake, open to God, ourselves and the world around us". She also says, "Our journal writing begins with our willingness to let God accompany us from the very beginning as we dip our journal sifters into the running streams of our own lives." She was describing how when you mine for gold you go below the surface to find nuggets of gold hidden in the river bottom and journaling is like that too.

I think 2009 is going to be a good year of reading and writing and discovering.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On a Thursday

I got a couple of new books in the mail this week and wanted to tell you about them. The first one is called, "Your Words, Your Story" by Michele skinner. It is a book to help you develop your own voice when writing in a scrapbook, journal or blogging. There all kinds of ideas of topics and ideas to get you started. If you are a scrapbooker then you can get ideas from the layouts as well.

The other book is called, "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh. It is a beautiful illustrated book but there is a lot or reading as you work through exercises to help you live life more intentionally. It also is designed to develop the wonder of a child in yourself as you go through each day. She encourages you to engage with the book and write in the margins about what you are thinking as you read it. There are extra large margins for this very purpose. She has exercises at the end of each chapter for you to complete. If you love quotes and stories, this book is full of them. I am enjoying it so far and I hope that it continues to be good all the way through. It is not written from a Christian perspective and there are some quotes and poems I have not agreed with but overall it is a fun, whimsical book to get you out of the serious thinking we do everyday. Which is kind of unusual since the whole premise is what would you do if you only had 37 days to live?
OK, that's all I have for now. I hope you have a thankful Thursday
Things I am thankful for:
Time to read some of my new books
My family with all their quirks
Wonderful coffee
A warm house to live in
This blog and those who visit it
Journals to write and create art in
Friends that take the time to send notes and call
The Author of my faith
My camera to record memories with
Beautiful, sparkly pink things
Date night with my husband
Hugs from my grandchild
What are some things you are thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prayers have wings journal

I had some fun in my art room today. I decided that I wanted a prayer journal. Each page will have a picture of those I pray for on a regular basis. I was playing with two different ideas, one by transforming a composition notebook and another by making a journal out of watercolor paper. Because you have to gesso all the pages in the composition notebook, I don't think that I will be doing that again. I was wishing for spray on gesso. I don't know if there is such a thing but someone needs to invent it. I am still working on the other journal which I am going to make into a travel journal for my New England trip. There are so many projects that I want to work on and I am chipping away on them one at a time. This one will be on-going but once all the pages are prepped it will go faster. Oh, so much fun. I wish I could do this everyday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Philosophy question of the day

I was reading in a book today and the little girl asks her mama, "what makes you you?" I find that question very intriguing. What does make me me? Is it my experiences? Is it my looks, my actions, my thoughts and passions, what I own or my family? Is it what other people say I am or do I get to decide what makes me me. I don't know if I have thought that much about it before but I know my faith is a huge part of what makes me me along with all that I have experienced. I think that is why we are all so different. Even if we experience the same things we will be different because we will interpret the experience through our own filter systems. And what is true one day can change by the next because we are forever changing. Understanding who we are is a key part of knowing what our purpose is. If someone were to ask you that question, what would you say? What makes you you?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Finished paintings

I finished my paintings today. I wish I could take better pictures so you could see the details but this is as good as it gets for now. I decided to do two paintings at the same time so that I could get extra practice and they are very different from one another. You can see the process pictures on my flickr site. I may do a little more tweaking with them both but I'm not sure. this painting is called Dawn's Holy light. I can see her at the church candle light service letting her light shine brightly.
This gal has seen some hard time lately and the message to her is to not give up. Hope is there and all she needs is some quiet meditation to focus her for the road ahead. I love her steady gaze. She is not afraid but there is a sadness about her at the same time. There is so much to be seen in the eyes. Both of these are so much better in person. I learned so much form Paulette Insall. She is an excellent teacher. I would recommend her on-line classes for sure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today and tomorrow

I finished up the art journal today and delivered it to paperdoll so that she could have it on display for prospective students. I forgot to take a picture of it all bound and prettied up with ribbons and beads so you will have to use your imagination. I am so excited about the class that I am having a hard time sleeping. I keep thinking about all that I need to bring and say and how much fun we are going to have. January 1st is a ways off so I had better calm down about it soon or it will be a long month. I even have paid students coming. The classroom is small so I hope those that really want to take the class sign up right away. I even had another idea for a class that I will teach next. I want to get started on planning that one too. This is way too fun.

My watercolor crayons came today and so I am planning of finishing up my paintings tomorrow. I will post pictures when I am finished. I have learned so much in Paulette Insall's painting class but I still have so much to learn. Practice, practice, practice! Not that I mind or anything. I am hoping that I get a good portion of the day in my art room on Saturday. So much to do and so little time.

Fun on Friday

If you are having a boring Friday, go to the bottom of this page and click on the Sticky Note video for some creative fun ideas!!! This cracks me up :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Give a hand up

Our job is not to straighten each other out, but to help each other up.(Neva Coyle)

I don't know who Neva is but she is right on. Let's give each other encouragement and look at how we can help each other instead of being envious or too prideful to be there for one another. It is not always the big things that make a difference in people's lives either. Quite often it is the thoughtful small things that we do that touch a heart. Just this week I had a a very busy friend of mine meet me for lunch and when I went to the wrong Wendy's she waited patiently for me to scoop up my food and take to the other Wendy's across town. Even though we only had 30 minutes to share everything, she never made me feel bad and listened to me explain about my crazy life. That was huge for me. One friend actually laughed at a funny comment I made. Now this may happen to you a lot but what I consider funny most people thing is bizarre so it was so good for someone to "get me". Another friend set aside what she was doing to get on line and join a group I was setting up so that I could see if what I was doing was actually working. So many things we can do may seem small but be big in someone else's eyes. I must remind myself to be attentive to others and make them feel special. I can so often get caught up in my own life and forget to be an everyday minister of love and grace.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

File Folder Journal

The other day I was shopping at SCRAP and found these brown file folders. Instantly I knew that I wanted to make a journal out of them. They are thick so you don't need to gesso them if you don't want to and working in a larger size has been fun for me. I usually have the fold in the book to deal with which is not a problem here. I also found some old magazines that same day with these fabulous ladies in them. I decided to make a series of them for the journal and I think they are really coming along well. I was trying out different techniques because I am going to teach a art journal class at paperdoll in January. If you are interested you can sign up for their newsletter to get the specifics. The background on this piece was tissue paper from some shoes that I bought and is is a big map which I covered up mostly but you can see it popping through in places.

I loved the quote on this page by Audrey Hepburne. " The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. And the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!"
GO, GO,GO, isn't that what we are all feeling the message is today? I am learning to say NO, NO, NO! These are only half the pages I have done so far but it gives you a sample of how much fun I am having with them. I am so glad that I grabbed a bunch of folders because I had no idea I would like the size and feel of them. I did go back and pick a few more magazines with the ladies in them though because they are perfect for art journaling my thoughts. I will be sharing more as I add to the journal but if you art journal, start thinking outside the box of what you can use because you could find more creativity in a different size or shape or medium. Happy Journaling!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Julia Stiles look-a-like?

The funniest thing just happened to me. I ran into someone that I haven't seen in a long time and he said I looked like Julia Stiles. I have never been compared to her before and so I had to look her up and see what she really looked like. I will let you make your own decision on that one but here is a picture of her with a similar hairstyle so you can see for yourself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Allen Design Studio Sale

Michelle Allen from Allen Design Studios is have a sale. Check out some of the cute items she will be giving away and so many more will be for sale at her studio. If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area you should check it out for sure. What a talented lady she is!

I am the one who...

A great journal prompt is to start with "I am the one who..." You just go with the first thing that comes to your mind and you never know what is going to come out but it will be enlightening for sure. I ended up with, "I am the one who feels torn in a million directions." Then this poem emerged from that thought about all the roles I play in a day.

Friend to some
Wife of one

Mother of four
leader to more

Artist in training
Learning and waiting

Neighbor and daughter
cook, cleaner and launderer

Pet owner of three
Aunt, Grandma and Niece

Believer, prayer warrior
and lover of God

I am much more than that but it gave me an idea that when everyone wants a piece of me on the same day it can be exhausting. Through this exercise I have decided that it is time to focus my energies on just a few activities and relationships and not worry about everyone. I can't hold everyone up anymore. I am going to pick a handful of friends that actually want to be friends with me and call me and want to hang out with me to invest in and let the rest of them be howdy friends that you wave to in passing. I am going to make a schedule for myself with some goals and be more intentional with lots more time for relaxation and fun. Life is too short so be stressed out, depressed and purposeless. I don't want to live my life that way. This could turn out to be really fun now. Not worrying about what's not working and focus on what is. I see sunny skies on the horizon. Whoo hoo you go girl! ( gotta get the good self talk going in my head) How about you? How's life going on your end?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Way?

Have you ever struggled with fear? Lately, I have been pretty sure that I'm supposed to do something but I have brushed it off saying to myself that I must have heard it wrong. I mean, who am I anyway? How could this huge plan be the path I am to follow. At first it was just an idea in my head, then a whisper in my heart and now I see huge signs pointing me to move ahead.
Today I got an email from Mary Southerland. She was talking about a situation where she had agreed to play the organ for a 2000 person rally after only 8 lessons and how God had made it possible. Here is what she says.

Nothing is impossible or out of reach when you factor God into the equation. Still, we are often guilty of trying to convince Him that our weaknesses exempt us from walking by faith and not by sight but God has always allowed man's weakness to validate man's immeasurable need of His redemption and His sufficiency. He can and will use us if we allow Him to do so. We are not the message, just the messenger. Our weaknesses are not excuses to escape God's plan but divinely appointed opportunities for that plan to work.

Sometimes walking out our faith and following the path laid out for us is not easy. Quite often it requires great sacrifice, obedience and humility. I know I am not the first to question and ask, "are you sure you know what you are doing because I could very easily fall flat on my face and look like a fool?" It all comes back to the fact that it is not about me, it is about what God wants to accomplish through me and I need to be a willing and ready tool in His hands. Big gulp! OK Lord, lead on.

Where are the signs pointing you? What step of obedience do you need to make today?

PS. These watercolor pencils are so great. Everyone should try them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Art the Gift

I finally got out my watercolor pencils that I have had for years. I love the watercolor crayons so much except that you can not write with pens on them. If you do ,you will destroy your pens. So, I decided to dig out the watercolor pencils and see if they worked the same. They do and I predict many pages made with these lovely gems. It is always so fun to use new art supplies. I know I need to pick a medium so that I can get good at one but it really is fun to try new things. Art is such a gift to me. I feel so blessed to get to draw and paint and create. Thank you Lord!