Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

We have a short lull before the storm as we gather as a family to celebrate Thanksgiving. I hope yours is as great as ours. We actually like being with each other. Lord, thank you for your generous gifts and your abundant care for us. I give you praise. Amen.

Please, use this postcard from my collection in any way you choose. Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This is my grandmother L. I didn't get a chance to know her well. I was only two when she died. I believe she died from a heart attack, but I'm not sure. It could have been from exhaustion from raising three very "busy" boys, caring for a grouchy husband, caring for her live-in mother-in-law, working as a cook for a wealthy family and then coming home to make supper for her family. I understand she had a tremendously sweet spirit and never complained. Unfortunately, I'm not like her. Look closely--she's on her knees lifting out that turkey.

I have so much for which I'm thankful--mostly, my lovely family--a considerate and loving husband, three wonderful children and their equally wonderful spouses and twelve very loud, but adorable grandchildren (and one on the way.) I have a warm home, plenty of food, money for gas, good part-time jobs and the ability in my retirement to make art and sell it--to name a few. For what are you thankful? Comment here and on my return from my Thanksgiving break, I'll enjoy reading all about you.

Please, feel free to use this photo for your art or for any other respectable reason. Just mention my blog, if you will and I'd also love to see how you use it. Thanks. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008


My son and daughter-in-law and their six children are coming to visit tomorrow. Today will be spent cleaning my house and child-proofing for my 20-month-old granddaughter. They will be able to come to our church's Thanksgiving dinner Sunday night, staying through Monday and leaving on Tuesday. We're all (my daughter and her family will be there too) meeting together at my in-laws house on Wednesday to butcher the deer my husband is supposed to kill this
weekend. We really know how to have fun, don't we. It is a tradition that the day before Thanksgiving we butcher. My husband's family has been cutting up their own meat all their lives and his dad is a superior butcher. We really save money and get all the meat we can and our whole family shares it. All our Thanksgiving food is purchased before that day and then prepared on Thanksgiving Day. It's all about family time. If you've never worked together as a family, you've missed out on a great time. There's something about working together that brings us together. Try it, you may like it. 1 Corinthians 3:8--"The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor."

The little art piece above started as a plain mini frame. I decorated with glitter glue, a vintage image (complements of Paper Whimsy), and added a green grosgrain bow, a beaded sprig and glittered leaves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Things First

I made these little bottle ornaments to put in the shop around the corner, S'More Couture. It was fun making these little precious things. I have a few more colored bottles around here somewhere but Christmas will be over by the time I find them. I've sold two of my large journals and a few ornaments and necklaces so I am pleased. I'm certainly not going to make a living at this rate but I am so grateful that someone finds my creations acceptable enough to purchase. Again, I have to be careful not to put my trust in my creations but in the Great Creator. I'm beginning to see that though I want to succeed as an artist/crafter, it takes enormous blocks of committed time at the art table--time that I have committed elsewhere. Since this is a hobby, of sorts, I put God's "divine interuptions" first--playing the piano for a senior group, transposing a piece of music for a friend who is singing for her friend's funeral, practicing it with her and then recording it so she can take it with her to sing, buying Christmas presents for 12 grandchildren and 3 children and their spouses, spending quality time with my husband, listening to a friend who is having trouble with her children, waiting with a friend while her husband has surgery, posting art-related devotions on a Yahoo group. That's a taste of my past week. I'm thinking that what's on my list is more valuable than my art projects even though it's frustrating for me to find the time to create. First things first. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."--Matthew 6:17.
I'll just continue to trust and follow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Animals in Heaven?

I read a devotional yesterday about the question, "Will there be animals in heaven?" What do you think. If your pet is like a child to you and means as much as a human or more, do you think that God honors that relationship enough to continue for eternity? Possibly. Read Isaiah 11:6-9 below and see if this sheds any light on the question.

" Then wolves will live in peace with lambs, and leopards will lie down to rest with goats. Calves, lions, and young bulls will eat together, and a little child will lead them. Cows and bears will eat together in peace. Their young will lie down to rest together. Lions will eat hay as oxen do. A baby will be able to play near a cobra's hole, and a child will be able to put his hand into the nest of a poisonous snake. They will not hurt or destroy each other on all my holy mountain, because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the sea is full of water."

I guess it's one person's interpretation but I tend to think so too.

This little hanging ATC started as a playing card on which I adhered a copy of a vintage image, fancy cut text strips, vellum words, jute cording and sheer ribbon.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Did you know that there is a National Button Day? Yes, the day I made these little pretties (ala Rebecca Sower's idea),November 16, was National Button Day and I didn't even know it then. I have a passion for buttons, all colors and every size. I've always loved them and now I create with them. I've been collecting for years and love sorting them and I have pretty tins filled with them in all different colors. I don't think there is a scripture using the word "button" but there is one that appears to be close in Exodus 26:11--"Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit." I do believe they even had buttons way back then. Well, what do you know? There is a special website for button collectors. When I have enough time, I'm going to check it out.
These cufflets were made from old grain sacks, bits of odd fabric and many different buttons. They could also be bookmarks. I'm not brave enough to actually wear one, but I am in my sixties, hmmmm.... and I do a lot of things I wouldn't have done in my twenties for fear of someone's critique, hmmmm..... It just doesn't matter to me what people think anymore. I think I'll put one on right now!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cold and Wind

Job 37:9--"The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds."

Brrrrr. Sounds cold, doesn't it. Well, winter is a-comin' here in middle America. It was windy and rainy with sleet today. Brrrrr. Time to get out the mittens. It's difficult for me to break down and wear a coat and gloves, but because my hands are in either water or glue most of the day, they tend to crack if I don't take care of them. Ouch! I spend most of my winters with band-aids around my fingers. God provides just what we need and at the right time. Though winters can be uncomfortable, God sees that we have a warm place to go and food to eat, water to drink and warm clothes. He's a loving God that cares for His people. I'm grateful for what some people call the basics. I know it would take only a few hours without heat and protection before I'd get the full impact of the "tempest." Where are those mittens anyway?

This little mitten is made from wool batting and stitched with perle cotton thread. I grouped three decorative buttons near the bow and stitched a little snowflake in the middle.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Treasured Possessions

Deuteronomy 6:7--"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession."

We really make mistakes when we treasure earthy over heavenly treasures. I'm a collector and I have to be very careful not to "worship" my collections. Do I hoard? Hmmm....yes. Then I am putting too much devotion into earthly things. What good are they, except to fill jars and bottles and make pretties that are passing fancies. I've kept so many little pretties and have a difficult time parting with them. Of what heavenly value are they? I hope the scriptures I put on these bottles will touch the hearts of the purchasers and set their minds on track toward worshiping the one true God of the Universe. May the Lord bless the work of my hands and bring more people into his treasury--to be His "treasured possessions."

These bottles were either found or collected (actually gleaned from my husband's collection--with his permission.) We used to go digging for "treasures" when we were much younger. It was fun recovering old cast-aways and cleaning them up--only to put them in a box not see them again for many years. What a waste of good craft materials! I put little shells, buttons, beads and odds and ends in the bottles, sealed them with corks or buttons and rhinestone stickers, added old seam binding or ribbon, lace and a tag with the scripture reference. A rhinestone button tops them off (my very difficult objects with which to part.) I didn't like the little stickers I put on the bottles so I removed them before taking them to the shop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bursting Into Song

Side tabs of "Sing" Journal
"Sing" Journal
Psalm 98:4-6--"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--shout for joy before the Lord, the King."
Do you ever find yourself singing? You're going about your business and realize that you've been singing. That type of song comes from the heart. The songs I sing usually are initiated by the songs we've been practicing for church choir. I'm the accompanist and I don't sing as I play. That's way too much multi-tasking for this little brain to handle. I do catch some of the words and when I sing, however, I find myself making up words or just humming the tune. Maybe that's a "new song" to the Lord. We are supposed to sing to the Lord and play music on instruments if we follow the teachings of the Psalmists. Far too many people don't think they sing well enough to sing the hymns and spiritual songs in church worship. What about the "joyful noises" and the "shouts for joy?" I don't believe there is any excuse, so go ahead--"burst into song."
This is what I made from the pile I showed you yesterday. Finally I've cleared that part of my work space. I used a large notebook on which I adhered old music to the fronts and backs of the covers, ink, assorted fabric, the edge of an old doll's dress, lace, buttons, old text, pearls, a key, thread and a copy of an old photo. On the edges of every ten pages or so I put different kinds of tabs. I'm putting this in my Etsy shop today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bringing It All Together

These items have been sitting at the side of my work space for about a month now. I wanted to used the bingo cards I bought at a sale and collected a variety of little pieces to make a design. I laid out the components and they just stared back at me for a month. I've been busy making items to sell and have ignored their speaking to me. Today is the day to bring them all together.

God sets out the design for our lives and sometimes we set it aside for our own plans. We hear God's voice tugging at us for long periods of time and refuse to answer because "more pressing things--more important things--are demanding our attention. There's a feeling of incompletion, of urgency, until God's plan is met. He keeps calling--for a season--and then He may call someone else to complete His plan. He meant it for you, but you had more pressing things to do.
Oh, that we are not like Israel--

Isaiah 66:4--"For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just Like Christmas!

I was talking to my friends at a Sunday School party last night about the kind of artwork I do. I described Mixed Media art and said that I used "found" items, old lace, fabric, buttons, jewelry and other trinkets in my pieces. Well....two of them came to me today bearing GIFTS! Wow, I was so excited to see these little wonders--Grandma's old lace and buttons from Candi and a package of "unknowns" from Mike. Thank you so much for my early Christmas presents. I'm going now to touch all of it. Am I weird, or what?

Esther 9:22--"observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents ...to one another." I just had to find a scripture describing the giving of gifts and found this one. Maybe I'm stretching it just a little to suit me but I'm certain that I don't give enough to others. There's a special joy in giving things to others and I was touched by my friends' generosity and thoughtfulness in their giving to me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nest Journal

Front of Nest Journal
Side of Nest Journal with Tabs
Matthew 6:26--"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
If you've followed my blog at all, you will recognize that this verse is a favorite of mine. I keep going back to it because it means so much to me. This is a scripture about worry. Jesus is teaching us here that we don't need to do that because He will care for us. Worry actually increases our stress levels. If we put all our trust in Christ, he will take care of our needs. This verse also encourages me since He values me so much.
This art is formed on a large sewn notebook. I used a collection of cream-colored fabrics, an old album page, a bird and eggs from a collage sheet, old lace, vintage buttons, paper flower (walnut ink stained), burned fabric flower and background papers (thank you Deena), a leaf charm, mini glass beads, perle cotton thread, raffia, craft feathers, and old music. The tabs are from scrapbook paper, lace, button, ribbon, old book cover, stamps, old hankie, sticker letters that spell "bird." I washed the edges in pink acrylic wash and simply decorated about 30 pages. This went to S'More Couture in Peoria, IL.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I added some pink and blue tinsel garland and twisted silver chenille sticks (thank you, Deena) and silver cord hangers to the stars I made a few days ago. I think they are ready now.
I did get the design on the squares drawn and the squares sewn together for Cassi's quilt (my 9th grandchild) yesterday, as planned. I really didn't enjoy doing it, though--wish I had. I would have rather been doing art. Quilting is something both my husband and I do for our grandchildren, but we can't seem to get caught up. We have three to go and another on the way. Guess I just need to be thankful I can still use my hands and have the time instead of complaining. If I'm not careful, I'll start wandering in the wilderness!
Numbers 14:26-29--"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 'How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them,...In this desert your bodies will fall--every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me." Read the whole account in Numbers 14 about the rebellious people and what happens to them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crafting By Design

Last week I put the curved pieces together for Cassi's quilt. Not fun; have you ever sewn curves? Ugh! I used many, many pins to anchor the pieces and carefully machine stitched them, removing many pins as I went. My machine is an oldie but goody and it can sew over most of the my pins. Today I'm adding the design for the plain muslin corner. I love roses so it will make this project a little more easy. Hopefully, I'll be able to connect all the squares today.

Did you know the Lord directed certain people to create artistic wonders for the sanctuary of the tabernacle and later the temple? There were even craftsmen, designers, embroiderers, and weavers. God gave them the skill and expected, even commanded, them to use their talents for His glory. I believe He does the same with us today and we are sad and incomplete people if we don't follow his commands. You can read about this in Exodus 35 and 36. "So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded."--Exodus 36:1.

The design for this quilt is from "The Romance of Paula Vaughan," copyright 1993, Leisure Arts, page 71.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stars Set By God

Psalm 8:3 and 4--"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

No matter what happens, God is in control. I know how long it took to make four little star ornaments, but God could have done it in a wink of the eye. He has ordained praise from all people groups. Even the stars in the sky sing his praise. Who am I, a mere mortal, to second guess his plan for this earth. Whatever will be, will be and I don't have a whole lot to say about it. Lord, help me to remember, when I look at your glorious sky, that you are sovereign, you are holy, and your plan is perfect. Amen.

I cut around cookie cutters for the star pattern on scrapbook papers, pleated a round strip of music, cut out copies of vintage images, and adhered them with glue strips and dots. I edged the stars with glitter glue. They are incomplete--I'm pondering some more decoration. God wouldn't have had to adjust them. They would have been perfect the first time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A tangle mess of perle cotton thread. I can't even find the two ends and I've been looking for 10 minutes,
Still a tangled mess. I found the two ends, finally, and 10 minutes later the mess looks just the same as it did.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." No it's not scripture. This is a saying from Sir Walter Scott. But the Bible has many scriptures revealing the same thought. One is found in Proverbs 14:5--"A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies." Have you ever said an untruth just to find yourself backing it up with another lie to cover the first---and on, and on, and on until you don't know what you said in the beginning? Many years ago I did just that--oh, what a tangled mess! It took a long time and a lot of embarassment to undo what I had done. Why did I get myself into that web? I entertained evil in my heart. I knew what a lie was and I jump head long into it anyway. I've learned through the years to not even go there. When I have a tendency to tell a "half-truth" I recognize it and either don't speak or retract my story and confess my untruth (a much more pleasant word than "lie" and a very difficult thing to do.) We need to be on guard all the time because the devil wants to pull us down to his level. Don't go there!
(I finally had to take the thread I needed to complete my project and leave the rest of the mess to untangle later.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fleur de lis

Psalm 33:12--"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance."

This is the scripture that I am ascribing to this journal. The fleur de lis symbol was suggested by Amy, the owner of S'More Couture where I have some of my art pieces. I knew nothing of the history of the fleur de lis and on researching, I found that it had some religious background in early France. Here is some of the information I found.

The symbol depicts an opened lily traditionally representing French royalty and signifying perfection, light and life. Legend has it that Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, was presented a golden lily on the day of his conversion to Christianity. King Louis the VI or VII (it's still undesided) became the first to use it on his shield. Later, English kings used the symbol the times that England ruled over France. It became a common armour insignia and was incorporated into many coats of arms. Unfortunately, many times in history, religion and war have mixed. Some examples follow:

+Joan of Arc carried a white banner that showed God blessing the French royal emblem, the fleur-de-lis, when she led French troops to victory over the English in support of the Dauphin, Charles VII, in his quest for the French throne.
+The Roman Catholic Church ascribed the lily as the special emblem of the Virgin Mary.
+Due to its three "petals," the fleur-de-lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity.
+Military units, including divisions of the United States Army, have used the symbol's resemblance to a spearhead to identify martial power and strength.
(Information from fleurdilis.com/fleur.htm.)

The history of so many nations includes the belief in Christ, but what happened? Many are now denying that such history exists. They don't want to feel responsible to God in any way. They want to denounce that He even exists. Christians need to stand up whenever we are confronted with such heresy. We can't expect to be blessed by God if we don't.

I used a large sewn notebook, scrapbook paper, assorted ephemera for the inside covers, old lace, gleanings from an old sweater, vintage buttons, old French text, muslin, linen, old hankie and I beaded a little leaf to the background.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Best Friends Forever

John 15:13--"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

I'm not really into animals, however, I do think some of them are very cute. I love this picture of these supposed "enemies." If you've ever raised cats and dogs together, you realize that the expected reaction between the two usually doesn't exist. Like the photo above, most of the time they get along very well. Dogs seem to be more tolerant of cats than the reverse. Do you find that to be true? God made us to "get along" as well. Though we are world's different from each other, even though we're from the same family of animals, we were meant to cooperate. Why is that so difficult? When Christ said to love our neighbor as ourself (Matthew 19:19), do you think he meant it?

This little card went to the shop around the corner to be put on a tree and hopefully be sold during the Christmas shopping season. I'm glad to announce that my journal, "Unlock" sold yesterday. Yippee! Off to make another one. I'm experimenting with buttons and spoons. Check back to see what I've created.