Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Other Lovely

Well, yesterday I didn't blog. When I cook the Wednesday evening meal at church, the day is full. I made this decorated notebook on Tuesday when I made my daughter-in-law's book--another lovely. What is it about the old books? I love the way they have taken the time to impress a design in the cover. This was a book destined for the trash bin and now it has a new life. What will make it even more lovely is what is put inside; for a book is not a book without a text. The text--the heart of the book--makes it comes alive. (Thank you, Mary, for having a servant's heart and helping me last night.)

1 Samuel 16:7--"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.' "

I've put this shell of a book in my Etsy shop. See the side bar, click on the picture and it will take you to my shop.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whatever Is Lovely

Philippians 4:8--"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

This is a decorated notebook I made my daughter-in-law for her birthday next week. I got industrious and made two at the same time. I'll show the other one tomorrow. I love this verse. It reminds me how to focus my thoughts and not dwell on the opposites of these. Have a good rest of the day.

I used decorative paper, old music for the insides, an old doll slip, gauze fabric, cheese cloth, the satin-like paper from the inside of an old album, a decorative switch cover, old buttons, a cover from a book, hammered studs, wire, brads and ribbons.

Monday, April 27, 2009


With a vintage domino, text from a obsolete book, a rusty washer and an old shell button I made this necklace. The only thing new are beads, thread, paint and the gel base. Again, I say, repurposing is a good thing. (Sounds a little like Martha doesn't it?)

2 Corinthians 4:16--"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trying Again--Amazing

Alright, I tried again and here is the result--not torn anyway. It's going to the shop today. Maybe someone will like it. I think its ok. I think it's amazing that I would try again since I rarely use the same image in two day's time but wonders never cease. What is also amazing is that God gives me a second chance, too. THAT makes me happy.

Psalm 126:3--"Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Treasure Your Thoughts

Have you ever had days when things just didn't go right? You try and try and still can't make it work. That's what happened with this piece. Everything went wrong and I wound up tearing the image and "fixing" it as best I could and decoupaging over it again. Ugh, I hate it and that's too bad since I absolutely love this precious image, even though it is a fairy. I finally found someone who sold it on a collage sheet,, that was clear and beautifully done. I'm going to have to start all over again. I'll probably keep this one for myself, unless one of you wants it. I'll even pay the shipping.

My thoughts aren't great right now. I'm dealing with depression and don't know why. I don't have any desire to do anything, especially art. I guess I'm in a slump--that artist's black hole. I keep questioning if this is really what I'm supposed to be doing. I've been a musician all week--played at a funeral, lead preschool music, accompanied the church choir, 3 soloists practices and their events, Vacation Bible School meeting where I'm leading the music, a wedding rehearsal and wedding--all this in a week. {Hmmm, maybe I'm just tired.} God's call to me from my teens was to be a musician and I feel like I'm useful and have a purpose when I'm doing that. Though I love art, I'm realizing that it's just a fancy and I can't contribute squat to the family income with it. Not that my music makes a living--far from it and it never has. It's a good thing I have my husband's income. I don't know what I would do without it (and him). It's just very discouraging to me that I can't make a go of something I love doing. If I just knew God's thoughts on the matter.

Psalm 55:2--"My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught."
Isaiah 55:8--" 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. "

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Treasured Not Wasted

This necklace is another example of my almost obsessive desire to "save" things. Look closely and you can see that there is a label from J. P. Coats embroidery floss behind the button. Yep, let something like that lie loose in a button box and I grab it up like a diamond. Weird? Yes, I guess to you, but to me it's treasure. There are a lot of "treasures" out there and we don't give them a second glance. We think they are good for nothing. It's a good thing that God thinks of me as his treasure. It seems like in every season of my life I've thought that I was a waste and God thought better and used me anyway. He's not called the "Creator" for nothing!

Malachi 3:16-17--"Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Art

In a rare sunny moment today, I took this picture of a new piece of art I created yesterday and today. My friend ordered a couple of domino necklaces and it put me back in the creating mood, somewhat. I still feel tired from our trip last week and I've been greatful that my schedule hasn't been too hectic so I can rest up. "Old age isn't for sissys," I hear. It was fun creating this necklace. She requested teal and brown, colors I'm beginning to like together. I may even be tempted to wear these colors. (Don't past out, my daughter, dear). I used an old domino with a flowered design on the back. (Do you remember these? I didn't.) I added decorative paper, buttons, thread, a teal sequin and a bead on a button and a small piece of an old button card I found in a button tin. I threaded crystal beads and faux turquoise pieces on waxed linen thread along with the domino.

I still have hope that Spring is coming. Sometimes it's a bit confusing here in central Illinois. Yesterday and today we've had a smorgasbord of weather--first, ten minutes of sun, then rain, then sun, then sleet, then sun, then hail, then sun, etc. etc. for 48 hours. Weird. I'm glad God knows what he's doing. He does have a sense of humor and we may as well acknowledge that he's in control.
Hosea 6:3--"Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally Home

I'm doing literally nothing today. I'm pooped from visiting 9 out of our 13 grandchildren though I did have a great time. While visiting, I happened onto a little dumpy flea market and found these three tiny antique salt cellars, all grimey, yucky and muddy. I washed them, boiled them in vinegar water and scrubbed. Most of the crud was removed but they cannot be totally new again. As we age, we change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Sometimes it's for a new use. I've repurposed these little containers for vases--pretty cute--and I can't wait to use real flowers in them. God has repurposed me time and again, too, and each time it's a new adventure.

Proverbs 17:6--"Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children."

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I love surprises and I'm hoping for one today. I'm going to do something today that makes me very uncomfortable. Our church has adopted a block in the downtown area and we're going to meet the people and pick up trash and be a presence there. Hopefully we can make friends, get to know them and they us, gain trust and, in time, gain an inroad to presenting the gospel. I'd rather stay home and create, but when I do things like this, I'm usually pleasantly surprised. That's what I'm praying for today. I love my cocoon, but just outside a butterfly is calling.

Friday, April 10, 2009

How Mighty Are His Wonders

This is a new small journal I made the other day for the shop. I don't believe in fairies but I think the stories about them are cute and little girls love the stories. I guess I've never really grown up. I do know one thing, though, the wonders God creates rival any man can make up. We just need to acknowledge him and all he does all the time. Remembering his signs and wonders helps us when things go terribly wrong.
Daniel 4:3--"How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Another Bird Piece

Matthew 8:20--"The birds of the air have nests."

Yes, I'm stuck on birds. I love them--love to watch, feed, research, listen. I'm amazed that they can withstand the cold and intense heat just by their clothing of feathers. I love to see them make their nests and stand guard--ever watching. I love seeing them feed their little ones and care for each other. I love seeing how protective they are by attacking offending pesky rivals. They amaze me and please me and I'm so glad God gave them to us to enjoy. What would we do without them?

I made another small journal to put in the shop around the corner, S'More Couture in Alta, IL. Alta is the small community with a school, a liquor store a factory, S'More Couture and a few residents--that's all. These seem to be selling there ok. I get enough to keep me going, but definitely not enough to live on. Now I understand why groups of artists and musicians lived together in the Romantic Period just so they could survive. They were considered the "Bohemians." The opera "La Boheme" was written about such a group. I digress---
I used an old print courtesy of (somehow I can't get the link to link right), gathered puckered sheer fabric interspersed by small paper mache eggs and old text. It was so simple, but the shop owner put the highest price of all the journals I submitted yesterday. Simple is good, I guess.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Flowers Are Holding Their Breath

And here is the day after 3 inches of snow--the crocus are holding their breath while winter takes its final dance (we hope). They so want to continue blooming but the cold winds keep pushing their little faces back into their hoods. Be patient, little ones. God promised that there would be Spring one day.

Genesis 8:22--"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Snow

Well, it almost snowed in our bird house. Yep, about 3 inches hit us last night and there's a 30% chance of more today. We started with sun but the clouds have overtaken the sky--so much for Spring Break! I didn't have any plans anyway but the thought is nice. Have a great day regardless of the weather where you are.

Psalm 148:7-8--"Praise the LORD from the earth,... lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding..."

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Nest

Psalm 84:3--"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God."

You may have gathered that I like birds and nests. This piece is made by turning an old frame backwards and then adding book binding materials, old text, and an old sale ticket to it. I used a vintage sheer embroidered doily on a self-stick matboard and added old music, text, pink gauze fabric, burlap, buttons, ribbon, lace panel, excelsior nest and paper mache eggs. I put it in the shop around the corner. Not much is selling in the shop or online--for me, at least. We'll see.

My thoughts about this verse:

It's nice to know that God has a special place for each of us--our own little nest that we call home. Did you know that starlings love to tear up the sparrow's nests and destroy the eggs--just because. Starlings are mischievous birds who terrorize just for fun. There are so many "terrorists" (and not the ones we hear about on the news) who are bent on tearing up the nests we've made as our homes--television, video games, work, hobbies, "friends", books, internet. Now all these are not bad things when taken in small doses and carefully chosen but when they dominate our lives and push out the God spot in our hearts, they become "terrorists." Watch out that your little nest is safe and secure in the arms of God and protect that place you call home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Purpose Doll

In JoAnna's Doll Workshop we were given the March challenge to make a Purpose Doll. "Ok, that should be easy," I thought. I thought of all the purposeful things I've done in my life: wife, mother, grandmother, musician, professor, artist, friend--nothing rang a bell. Cook, house-cleaner, nurse, shoulder, sounding board, cheerleader, shuttle bus driver, juggler--No, not enough. What would God say about me? Bible teacher, church organist, handbell ringer, accompanist, Vacation Bible School leader, church Preschool music teacher, Church Assistant Hostess, short-term missionary? No, that's not what He thinks of me. Think, think, think!

I'm his child---first and foremost. He is with me. He protects me. He delights in me. He gives me peace. He sings to me. He wraps his wings around me. He is always faithful to me. That's who I am--His child. Whew! I'm glad I found my purpose! Just to be His.

Zephaniah 3:17--"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Psalm 91:14--"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Birds and Nests

Psalm 104:12--"The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches."

I love Spring! The birds are singing everywhere and they are so fun to watch. God is so good for making free entertainment for us to enjoy. Too often I fail to take advantage of the fun He has so graciously prepared for me because I'm too wrapped up in what I'm doing. Go listen. They are singing for you.