Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taking a Leave of Absence

I'm on hold for a while. I'm at my daughter's awaiting her second child. He's due tomorrow. I've been here for 5 1/2 days and will stay as long as she needs me. She really doesn't need me as much as I need to be with her and...I get to visit with my granddaughter--Yeh! So, no art until around the middle of September after I help her get on her feet.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Peace Beyond Understanding

Philippians 4:7--"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Have you ever experienced this transcending peace of God? There have been occassions that I have totally trusted God and have had this peace that passes all understanding. I've been tense in troublesome situations and asked God to handle all of it and I've received this peace in my body (heart). I've been completely absorbed in a problem to the point that I can think of nothing else and have asked for God to handle the details and have received this unexplainable peace. It takes an undying trust to be able to hand it all over to God. If you've never experienced this peace, allow Him to guard you heart and mind today. Turn it over to Him.

This art began on a playing card on which I adhered a background sheet
(Shabby Cottage Studio), a copy of a vintage image, a transparency
(Stampington and Co.) a bird sticker, roses from JoAnna's collage sheet, and background text from the hymn, "Children of the Heavenly Father" (Words: Caroline V. Sandell-Berg, 1832-1903) on vellum, and other ephemera. This is part of a series of ATCs I'm combining into a book based on Philippians 4.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Prayer with Thanksgiving

Philippians 4:6b--"But in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

This is the second half of this verse. The first part tells us to not be anxious about anything, but...and then we have this part. No matter what happens to us, in any circumstance, we are to pray. "In everything" means IN EVERYTHING. I always relate the word, "petition," to a written document requiring signatures and requesting action on something, but in this instance it relates to a humble request to a higher authority (according to Webster's). We not only ask, but we ask with thanksgiving in our hearts. There are so many times my prayers have literally been demands--"Lord, help because I need it" ...or want it. The Lord does want to help us, but He wants us to ask Him to help, being thankful for what we already have. Even the insignificant things matter to God.

This card is part of a series based on Philippians 4. I used a playing card as the base, a copy of a vintage image, a copy of a window, and JoAnnA's collage sheet--favorite things. I enhanced the image with paint and stain, backed the image with cardboard and adhered it with glue dots.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do Not Be Anxious

Philippians 4:6--"Do not be anxious about anything."

About anything? Did I read that right? Does that mean don't worry? Don't be upset? Don't be scared? Don't panic? Don't wonder? Don't be concerned? Wait... let me look up this word.
The Tormont Webster's (weighing about 10 pounds) says: "anxious 1. worried and strained about some uncertain event or matter; uneasy. 2..Attended with, showing, or causing such worry; full of anxieties 3. anxious to--Eagerly or earnestly desirous." It's interesting that the Latin derivative comes from a word that means "to torment, choke." Yes, it means don't worry...about anything. This verse continues with our asking God about everything. More on that tomorrow. Gotta go. I'm worried that I haven't left myself enough time to get ready to meet my husband for lunch.....Hmmmm.

Quickly...this card is part of a series I'm making for a book on the teachings of Philippians 4. I combined four pictures to make this one and added paint, glue dots, and glitter glue.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Noticeable Gentleness

Philippians 4: 5--"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."

This world is not gentle. Just go to a shopping mall or discount store and you'll understand what I mean. It is rare to see anyone smile anymore and most are somber and rude. Anger rests on the shoulders of the world. Many are expecting rude and crude and are just waiting to pick a fight. Where are the gentlemen and women of the world? We're even missing it in our circles of friends. Wait...I'm missing it here in my home!...and I'm the culprit! Oh, my, do I need this verse to remind me of what the Lord expects of me. He's near, you know, and He's watching me.

This card is part of a book of teachings from Philippians that I hope to sell eventually, however, I need to keep this as a reminder for my own life. I used a playing card as the base, a copy of a vintage image from my own collection of cabinet cards, background papers, a transparency, other ephemera, a button, a weathered safety pin, a bead, a brass charm, a ribbon and a velvet leaf.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Making Amends

Philippians 4:2-3--"I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life."

One of the jobs of a minister is putting out fires. Yes, they are firefighters in the spiritual sense. The people who go to church are not perfect--I know, this is a revelation to you. Yes, indeed, members of churches have disagreements also. Much time is spent by pastors just listening to other members spout off about a fellow believer. It would be so nice if we'd just follow the advice of Paul here and try to get along. If there is disagreement, seek out the person and make amends. I'm not sure what Paul was asking the pastor of the church to do to "help" these women, but we see here that the same problems occurred in the first century church as they do now. I need to take this scripture to heart and build up, encourage, and help other believers, especially if we've had a disagreement. Grudges are not scriptural.

This card is part of a series I'm making into a book about some of the teachings of Philippians 4.
I used a few pieces of background papers, a copy of a vintage image, buttons, thread and paint on a playing card. More embellishments and danglies come with the putting together of the book.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stand Strong

Philippians 4:1--" My dear brothers and sisters, I love you and want to see you. You bring me joy and make me proud of you, so stand strong in the Lord as I have told you."

"Rebellion"--the key disintegrator of Christian souls. Paul was always reminding his friends in Christ of the things he taught them, the things Christ taught his followers while He was on earth. Here Paul reminds his students, the church at Philippi, the things he taught them when he visited them last--"stand stong (firm) in the Lord." Earlier in chapter 3 he told them that "many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." Ok, now we're getting personal. When you mention food as a god, I get on the guilty bus. I tend to forget that my whole life is to be under the discipline of Christ. It's those little pockets of self-gratification that I tend to forget. So....I need to depend on the Lord to help me through life, giving myself totally to Him.

This little card will be part of a book of scripture teachings in Philippians 4. This little one seemed to be standing so tall (compliments of playingwithbrushes on Flickr). She was holding on to a chair back but I altered it with a metal strip painted bronze, added a bronze heart charm, lace, paint and JoAnnA's new collage sheet. More embellishments will be added as I put the book together.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Be Glad

Philippians 4:4--"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!"

Rejoice--Be glad! "Don't worry, be happy." Did you ever think that the words of a pop song from a few years back actually come from scripture? This whole passage in Philippians entitled "Exhortations" in the New International Version gives the Christian a lot of thought fodder. I've always enjoyed the fact that the writer had to say this twice. Sometimes we miss things the first time around. Maybe his listeners were not listening. I love these passages of scripture and really need to heed them more. I've decided to make a little book of Philippians 4 with some of its teachings. Look for more this week.

This was made on a playing card on which I adhered a collage paper, a copy of a vintage image, old paper measuring tape from an old sewing kit, lace and frayed ribbon. I stamped the images on the sides. I'll add more when I put the book together.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've Been Published!

Close-up of published piece.
My art is published in the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of "Somerset Studio: The Art of Paper and Mixed Media." I've been trying for over a year by submitting about a half dozen pieces of art and I finally made it.
Even though they got the name of the piece wrong, my name is there. They said "Don't Face" and it is really "Don't Fall." I'm really excited though. Of course, this happens to be one of my very weird pieces, but I thought it would really work with the Halloween theme of the magazine for Sept./Oct. even though Halloween is my least favorite holiday. The heading for the works on this page is "Always Left To Wonder." Like, "what were these artists thinking when they made this art?"

God just keeps blessing me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to create. The scripture related to this piece is from 1 Corinthians 10:12--"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall." I need to take that to heart now myself. Most of my art has a scripture reference. It's important for me to always be aware of what I do, weird or not, that it may please the Lord.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watermelon Days

Numbers 11:5--"We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic." (NIV)

The "Dog Days of Summer,'' "Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer," "Summer Slump"--are all words related to summer. When I eat too many fresh fruits and vegetables I get what my grandmother called "The Summer Gripe." These words don't seem too positive, do they? And yet, summer is a wonderful time of year. My husband is one who enjoys every season. He just loves life. It's too bad, when I'm given such wonderful, God-given things, that I don't enjoy them when they come. I'm like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. God gave them food they didn't have to prepare, meat when they complained and an abundance of water--even in the desert. Yet, they were not satisfied. Oh, Israel, sometimes I'm so much like you. God, help me enjoy the bounty of your earth.

The art watermelons are hand-cut wooden wedges I painted and made look like watermelons. They can be found at my Creative Call Studios shop.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Building Blocks

1 Corinthians 3:9--"For we are God's fellow workers; you are...God's building."

A building has to have a foundation. The Christian's foundation is Jesus Christ. Without Him as our stability, the whole structure can come toppling down. When Christians depend on themselves, others, man-made creations or even things God has made instead of God/Christ himself, we self-destruct. Things fail. There is no joy. It takes Trust and Belief in Christ to have the Peace He intended for us to have.

These objects of art started as childrens' building blocks on which I adhered images from a
Shabby Cottage Studio Collage sheet and decorative papers, vellum words, paint, stain, gel medium (into which I etched a design and highlighted with gold). They are part of two July projects completed for the Shabby Cottage Studio design team.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Snowmen in August!

It was brought to my attention while visiting my grandchildren that Thomas' ATC was not among the other grandchildren's cards in my December blog post. I'm thinking, "How can this be? I took, edited and posted that card. I'm sure I did." Low and behold, it's not there. I'm so sorry, Thomas. It's just my absent-mindedness last December. It's not because you aren't sweet; lovable; handsome; honest; a good brother, son and grandson; a fun guy; smart; clever; helpful and so much more! I want you to know how much I love you and your brothers and sisters. This entry is dedicated to you. And even though you live in the South, may your snowmen abound! Love, Grandma.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back Soon

I've been on vacation visiting family and will return soon. Thank you for all your comments about Deena's little book. It was a "joy" to create. Please, remember her because she lost her father this week. She's really had a lot with which to deal recently and I'm sure your prayers would be appreciated.