Monday, December 31, 2007

The Sweet Scents - Imagination & Faith

WIP - Enchanted Forest - Here Comes The King
I mentioned yesterday a WIP. Here is the postcard I am working on. I usually never duplicate anything. But this will be an exception. "Enchanted Forest-Here Comes the King" will be produced twelve times for my small state group. I want to honor a man that is battling cancer.
I plan to make an "inchie" king for this enchanted forest. The red/pink batik background represents blood flow and treatments. It's the hidden attack and healing on the Tree of Life. This piece of fabric came from a Caribbean cruise and the island of Grenada. The forest pattern was another accident when I was cutting out words from paper for another project. I began to see a forest shape forming. Don't you love the accidents of creativity. Keep an open mind and you will be amazed at what takes shape.

Day 4 - In God's Presence 40 Days

God The Mysterious Pursuer - Genesis 28:16

My sketch reflects the story of Jacob and his dream of a ladder extending to Heaven with angels going up and down it. My "Love is.." little guy represents my hubby; my pursuer in love and life. I love that God pursues me also, an goes to any length, breadth, height, and depth to bless me. Journaling allows me to reflect on the things of God and what he is saying to me. I want Him to sharpen my senses to hear his voice, see his face, smell his fragrance and touch His heart.

The smell of my hubby's favorite cologne, when worn by him, draws me to him. It draws us closer into our relationship because I realize not only has he put it on for scent but because he knows I like it.

God, what is the fragrance that draws me to you? the smell of a fresh rain, the scent of oil, the sweet fragrance of a newly opened gardenia, the fresh powder on a new born babe, the smell of my doggie after a bath. These are a few of my favorite things.

Pearls Of Great Wisdom: Imagination & Faith

Yesterday's sketch: Pearls of Great Wisdom - I think that is what I will call it. It began actually from an imprint left on the previous page of the pan.

On the wings of Imagination and Faith I will dive to the depths and bring back my pearl enclosed in an oyster. It sits atop the world waiting to be shown off, to take wings and soar with the eagles. In our lives there are many facets that make up who we are. Exploring, challenging, and playing lead to new discoveries in this great expanse we call The Universe.

Where will the New Year lead me?

God Only Knows!!

but I hope to enjoy it every day.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is God Sanguine?

Day 3 - In God's Presence 40 days
In today's post I have decided to focus on other artists instead of my own sketches or work. I have several projects that are wip. I will post those at a later date.

Today the title is "The God Who Is Slow To Anger" and is about the everlasting covenant of the Rainbow between God and all living creatures. I am sure Rainbow Barbara in Germany would love this verse. I am captivated by the postcards in her post titled "Christmas." They are very powerful visuals.

I am still studying to figure out my personal symbols. The rainbow was a symbol, sign, covenant and reminder to God, Himself and to all creatures. The Rainbow of Hope was a reminder that the flood of God's anger had abated. I love the personal truth Jordan speaks of on this day: When It Rains It Pours - But When He Reigns, The Son Shines.
Do you remember the little girl holding her box of salt upside down and letting it pour out on the old Morton salt boxes? There was something I loved about looking at that little girl.

We are to be salt and light in the earth? Salt has so many uses. Once I did a study on salt and found out many interesting things about this product. Check it out for yourself and see what you come up with. You might be surprised! There is also a blog Salt that offers fun challenges to create and post on your blog. There are many different interpretations of the themes they pick and you can see other creative artists and the medium they work in.

"Sanguine" Postcards

I have been in a postcard group through VCQ since the fall of '05.
Our most recent theme is
We can interpret it anyway we choose. Here are a few interpretations. There are some great artists in this group. Their talent can be seen in their sanguine cards.
Oops the first one is turned wrong. It represents the element of air and the season of Spring. The right-hand corner card is Castle Sanguine and represents a photo by Nick Stooke. It was interpreted from the definition of sanguine - "a drawing in red crayon, red chalk, or the like."
The bottom-left card is an interpretation from a quote by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr. "His sanguine spirit turns every firefly into a star. And the last one a compilation of views of poppies that has a lovely poem on the back by Francis Thompson titled The Poppy.
This postcard theme challenge is one of my WIP. Due at the beginning of the New Year. No actually I think it is due tomorrow. I have had an idea but could not figure out how to get it in postcard form. Suddenly, the idea has taken shape and is coming to fruition.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Words To Eat

Day 2 - In God's Presence 40 days

The title for today is

"The God of Kitchen Duty"

and makes reference to Acts 6:15

God must have been listening to my conversation with a friend yesterday on menial work to be accomplished before hubby returns from playing golf.
I guess we started out complaining or feeling overwhelmed and ended up praying for one another to reach our goal.

"What am I doing in the hot, smelly kitchen?" was the question. Brother Lawrence of the 16th Century referred to himself as "The Lord of All Pots and Pans" according to The Practice of the Presence of God, The Way of Perfection published by Thomas Nelson Publishing. Now that's a bit much don't you think?

I started contemplating the words I use and how I speak to others. My sketch "Don't Have a Pot To Eat In" came about from this. There's something growing in my pan and it's not good bacteria like penicillan. It doesn't take long to begin a string of negative words and before long build upon the day-before of negativity.

One of the phrases I remember is "you'll never amount to anything." They need to be released and put in proper perspective. The only perspective to combat negative words are the Words God speaks about His children - to prosper you and not to harm you.

I pray I will have a submissive heart to whatever God asks me to do no matter how insignificant I might think the request is. I hope that I would do it to the best of my ability with great delight in remembering I am doing it for Him not others.

Who wants to do the menial, dirty, hard and nasty work? Who wants to clean up all those dirty dishes after preparing a tasty meal? My FIL and I always had a deal when he came to visit - he cooked and I cleaned the dirty dishes. He had a few specialty dishes we all loved and enjoyed lingering over at dinner time. I didn't mind cleaning if I didn't have to cook too. It worked out and was a win-win situation for everyone including my family.

I remember another phrase I used to hear "You're going to eat those words one day." What words do you need to eat so-to-speak? What words do you need to pull from your vocabulary?

Remember you can't take words back once spoken no matter how hard you try.

Pennies To Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

I checked out Veronica's blog and she has PIF. The rules are posted on her blog Dec 16 Aloo Gobi and below:

Pay it forward rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs . I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward.

So I decided to play. If you want to play, follow the rules and give me a post.

*8 Pennies*

One last thing - Yesterday on my daily walk I found 8 pennies and a number 4 sign. I love the fact that I found the number of pennies as I was mentioning the #8 stands for New Beginnings. My eyes fell on the first penny and before long my dog and I were following a trail of pennies. When I counted the pennies in my hand there were eight. Now how is that for a God-zinger.

I laughed and laughed and thanked God again for dropping the pennies along my way. Encouragement comes in so many different forms. Are you looking to see how yours is being brought to you?

Friday, December 28, 2007

The God Who Whispers

Day 1 - In God's Presence 40 days

I awoke with the words "Before that great and terrible day" gently nudging me to listen. I wondered what that meant but before too much thinking I collaged a page in my sketchbook.

The title for today is

"The God Who Whispers"

and the scripture referenced is 1 Kings 19:11-12. I looked through a few National Geographic books and found what I wanted to collage for that scripture. "Where r u?" God is asking. He wasn't in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire but in a gentle whisper. So many times the noise of busyness keeps me from hearing what He is speaking to me. So in the next few days I will quiet myself and see where He is leading me. I asked myself, "what kind of horse am I?" a work horse, a race horse, a child's pet, a circus horse? And then I remember a tv show from long ago in my childhood "Mr Ed" the talking horse.

I love looking for artists where ever we go. The pic of the angel is from a group of mentally handicap artists on St. Lucia. During our visit to a plantation the owner showed us her wonderful Christmas tree filled with special ornaments. I had to buy several to bring home and put on my tree. She works with a handicap group of all ages. Their joy and happy smiles said it all for me. That is what Christmas and for that matter everyday is about. Joy and Happiness unspeakable.
The simple pleasures of life seem to be lost in America. That makes me sad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

40 days-In God's Presence

The number 8 represents New Beginnings 2008

Hubby and I went to Books-a-Million last night and I bought this book $5.97 and a new $3.00 80-page sketchbook.

Today is the prelude to a 40-day devotional In God's Presence by Rebecca Jordan I will begin tomorrow. I will be sketching along with meditating on the day's study everyday.

After dropping hubby off this morning I came back and read the intro and sketched with colored pencils. I love the quote Jordan makes reference to from Richard Foster. "The love of the Father is like a sudden rain shower that will pour forth when you least expect it, catching you up into wonder and praise and unspeakable speech. When this hapens, do not put up an umbrella to protect yourself but rather stand in the drenching rain of the Father." from his book Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home.
On our cruise we captured this rainbow after
a beautiful rain on the ferry crossing from St Thomas to St John Island.
It was another beautiful show from the Creator! My hubby always says that when he goes to Heaven he will help God with his paintbox of colors on the sunsets.
He always makes me smile when he says that.
He enjoys the sunsets on the Colonial Parkway near our home.

World Traveler - Headed South

Just dropped hubby off headed to SC with a friend to play continuous golf for days. I know he will have a great time and I - well I have much work to do while he is gone. Getting ready for taxes, putting away Christmas decorations and cleaning house. Oh boy! I am tired already.

Of course, did I mention working on art all hours of the night - now that's going to be fun.

Here are a few pics from our cruise. I love the
stairs leading to nowhere -
well it looks like they may be headed to Heaven.

And the well-wishers of this sign were from another cruise liner - the Amsterdam. They were docked beside us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lost and Found

Yesterday in the afternoon I took my dog for another stroll. The roads were much more busy than in the morning. It was actually ire in the morning - I never ran into anyone walking and very few cars were on the roadways. But I did find a few man droppings - the most interesting one being a child's library book titled Freight Yards left on the sidewalk. Its a really cute little book. I will take it to my library and have them mail it back to the New Castle library where it was loaned from.

My first walk gave me the coins in the pic but on my second walk I found a penny, nickel, dime and then another penny and three dimes together. Most interesting. I liked the rusty piece I found so I brought it home, too. My youngest son saw it laying on my computer stand and ask, "Mom what is this?" I replied its man droppings, ok a rusty something-or-other. He rolled his eyes, placed it back on the stand and went on about his business. I know I am peculiar. But hey there's a reason for picking up this rusty stuff. Yet to be revealed.

My FAT friend, Michelle, might appreciate the fact that I went to the Caribbean to collect rusty bottle caps. Well, that was not my intent but that is what I found myself doing. Before I finished my hubby had picked up a few for me.

About the Caribbean cruise tours we took - we saw the homes of Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Eric Clapton. Clapton's compound was amazing overlooking the point on one of the islands. The three-way views have to be fantastic. The only thing that could be better is next time seeing my home on one of the islands. My hubby's dream.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Missing A Loved One

Merry Christmas

To all those who have lost loved ones and are working through the process I want to say, "You are thought about today." Enjoy your family and friends. Take each day one at a time and remember the good and the bad times you had with your loved one. It's ok to weep, laugh and love for today. They would want you to be happy.
We have so much to be thankful for on this day and every day.
Remember to speak a kind word, let go of hurts and grudges, live for today in its fullest. Enjoy life!

Monday, December 24, 2007


Merry Christmas Eve day to all!! The upcoming year is looking great. I have a few online classes I want to participate in and stretching seems to be the order of the day. Do you remember the cartoon character "Stretch"? I believe that was his official name. No, he was part of The Fantastic 4 - Mr. Fantastic was his official name.Stretching is always good except when having a baby. I hated those stretch marks. But in the new year I hope to be able to exhibit a few stretch marks. What they will look like - God only knows!!

But I believe I am ready, uncomfortable and anxious - but ready. Here I am in relax mode before beginning my journey. I believe I will name my journey Cruisin' - 8n't Life Great!!
The Fantastic 4 received superpowers after being exposed to cosmic rays during a scientific experiment. Well on my artistic mission I hope to receive super powers from the Creator Himself as I spend time with Him everyday. "Stay Tuned" as they would say on the TV Cartoon shows.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


This morning I began my routine again. My dog and I took our early morning walk. We both enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful cold day. Then I came home and crashed. I slept until after 12:30. Boy did I have loads of laundry from the cruise. Not that I wore most of it but my bag received a good drenching in the rain at Atlanta. I'm now caught up. We headed to "Wally World" and it was buzzing with tons of people shopping. I bought my groceries as quickly as I could and headed home to cook dinner for everyone. The day is winding down, our boys are off visiting and the house is quiet. My hubby is having withdrawals and wanting to plan another cruise.

This is the last pic I took headed home after the cruise. We are on the plane after boarding in Atlanta and the sun is going down. The End of Another Cruise.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home At Last

The ending to a great beginning of a week celebrating 27 years of marriage. We were delayed in San Juan, Miami air space was experiencing a problem. All the planes were left sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off. Fortunately for us we did not wait more than 15 minutes to get clearance. Then the pilot came back on once we were in the air and said all planes still on the ground would be delayed 2 hours. We were able to make our connecting flight to Virginia. When we left Atlanta it was raining, but touch down in Va was clear and crisp. I loved seeing a sweet face greeting us at the gate as we came out of the secure area.

Our middle son drove to Richmond to pick us up and take us home. Welcome home! My youngest son cleaned my home, did laundry, washed dirty dishes and even cleaned the yard for his dad's return home. Now that was a treat because my hubby hates leaves in our yard.

We took our last pic to remind us of our cruise. While in flight to Virginia the sun was setting. What can we say that the Creator did not say in the sunset. A magnificent ending to a perfect week.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Last Shooting Star - No Kenny

We were up early to join all the passengers in Club Fusion for the Immigration line. Once it opens it moves fast, but boy do people grumble when they are showing up at the last minute and the line is long. Get over it I say.

I was up early again and sitting on the balcony. One shooting star came across and it made up for not seeing any more. It was spectacular. St Thomas is so commercial to me. We went to St Johns and it was by far the most beautiful beach. Of course we did not see Kenny Chesney.

Tomorrow we fly home. We miss our boys and the dog. It's amazing we could get phone service in Barbados and Tortola. See you soon, the newly wed (haha)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What Dreams Are Made Of - LOVE...

It's the day we have waited on to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. We took a scenic route and stopped at the beach, where we had lunch and stayed another hour at the beach. When we returned to the ship area we walked around downtown to check out vendors. Mailed a few postcards. The day is gorgeous and for my friend that says angels drop pennies from Heaven for me. She must be right because yesterday in Antigua I found a penny and today I did a little dance for my hubby as I picked up another penny. He thinks I am crazy. But hey I love finding the pennies and being reminded of promises for my future.

This morning I was up early again and the covering of clouds did not allow me to see the stars as good as yesterday. But I did see two shooting stars and made my wishes again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Super Star Show

I arose early this morning. don't even know what time but it was pitch dark on balcony. The stars in the sky were doing their dance. I believe the dipper constellation was what I was looking at. As I watched the sky I saw a great shooting star zoom over top the ship and burn out. Before long 7 shooting stars had passed over and I definitely made my wishes. This light show was better than any I could see on the ship. The Creator gave me a grand illumination of the skies.

today has been a busy day with two excursions back-t0-back. The island was so beautiful and the people wonderful. We did not have long at the beach, about 1 hour at the end of the day. But I want a tan. We have not been on the ship long enough for me to play bingo, which I usually do at least once. Dinner was great last night and before dinner we saw a show. Our dinner was finished around 9pm and I called it another night. Like I said I am such a party hound. Nelson boatbasin is fantastic, the yachts amazing. See you tomorrow.

Antigua - Dec 19

There are some pretty interesting characters on this island. But each island is so different. Hubby did try the Carib beer. I kept the seals from the bottle. Another fun project to work on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

St Lucia and Rain

Today its Tuesday and in St Lucia it is raining off and on. We went to the beach this morning until after lunch. A nice reprieve from the sun actually. The vendors are relentless in selling their products. We still continue to enjoy our state room and the balcony. I am a real party hound, stayed awake until around 8pm. Oh well, maybe tonight I will stay awake long enough to enjoy the shows. See you later.

St Lucia

Day 3, 12/18/07 Tuesday St Lucia. I love to get up early and watch the sun rise. They're hoisting the flags. Another day of fun and sun at the beach.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hey Guys it's me in Barbados: two excursions and I am dog tired. too much in a day. We went on a safari for 3 hours, saw the hotel where Tiger Woods was married. After went back to ship and waited to go on a rum distellery/beach excursion. We opted not to take rum distillery tour. Beach time a little too long but beautiful. Hubby bought me a hat (concerned about too much sun), beach dress and of course a few handmade items.
Hubby was able to access cell phone home only to find out a police officer was shot last night. Thank God he was wearing his vest, because it was at close range. My son hopefully will be more cautious. They know who did it but have not apprehended him yet.
Last night was formal night. The quaint little table for two was wonderful. Food was great and Fannie, we did have the chocolate Princess mousse.
See you soon everybody.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cruisin' At Sea in the Caribbean

Day 2 of cruise - we are at sea all day. I awoke around 5:30am and could see two other ships in the distance. They were fully lighted and that was all you could see. I took pics of the sun rising but I loved the animals I saw in the clouds. The flights were easy, and thank God we had almost two hours to catch the second flight because we were running behind almost 30 minutes. One poor lady had 10 minutes to catch her connecting flight to Costa Rica. More tomorrow. I miss everyone on FAT.

Day At Sea

Today we are at sea all day. A day to rest and catch our breath. We have a room with balcony this time. The sunrise.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We're Off To The Caribbean

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Today is the day. We leave in two hours to catch our flight to the Caribbean. As stated earlier I have thrown some clothes into the bag, packed my most valuable stuff (journal book and magazines) and I am ready to go. See you when we get back.

The only one I am really concerned about is my doggie, Bear. Everyone will try to spoil him while I am gone, but all he will want is me. When I leave he just mopes around, looking for me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Blog Beginnings

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

We are at day 2, I'm exhausted and we haven't left yet. Hubby didn't need the scan after all. He passed a large kidney stone around lunch time while he was at work yesterday. I am too tired to care whether we go or not. It's been a rough ride on this emotional roller coaster. As you can see the hour is 2:17am and I am fully awake. I have not packed one thing and right now all I would want to do on this cruise would be sleep and sleep. I don't even care about eating and I love that little chocolate heart dessert at dinner. But hey its a new day! Later I will shower, grocery shop for my sons, pickup last minute items and sling a bunch of clothes in my suitcase and off we go tomorrow morning early.
P.S. - Its 3:00am My hubby is awake now and we are laughing together about all this past weeks events. And about all the meds we need to take among other odd things we want to pack. This is what marriages are made of - laughter even during the tough times.

Postcard Exchange #35 and Blogger Beginnings

Here are two of my postcards I sent to participants in Postcard Exchange group #35. We had until December to finish mailing out to our list of 25 people. It is here in this group that I met Fannie and first experienced a blog. She encouraged me in so many ways - in my creativity and in setting up a blog. Each postcard included a vintage hankie from a quilter that passed away in my quilt guild. Her daughter was delighted to see they had been used in such a wonderful way to bless other artists/quilters.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Today hubby goes for scan - waiting - I guess it can be a good thing. Its day 3 and the 13th of December. I've been pondering some rather deep things lately. Yesterday I realized I am kind of like an agent for my son and the buying of his home. When that hit me full-blown yesterday I thought I would throw-up. I think I was having buyers' remorse and I'm not the buyer. He will review the contract today and send it to the seller. Oh my!! He is so matter-of-fact about everything. His priorities were on his new job. His attitude - if it happens it happens, I can't be bothered about it.

Reflection today is on my father - my children's father. I didn't get to experience life with a dad. He died when I was three. But I held to the idea that if I had children they would know their dad. My hubby is the most perfect dad (ok in my eyes even in his imperfection he is). What do I know? I didn't have a model to go by. He is super with our boys and has always been involved in their lives. He is a quiet, strong, sensitive person. I imagine if my dad had lived he would have been like my hubby or so I want to believe that anyway.

What matters most to me is that he loves them as much as he loves me. His desire is to see them succeed in whatever direction they want to go in life. I have heard him tell them many times - "I don't care if you are a ditch digger do it with pride, love what you do, and have integrity about what you do."

Children want their father's love and attention. And I know for a fact that when dad speaks it holds an entirely different meaning than when mom says something. I don't believe my hubby knows the full impact he has on our sons. But then I guess we never realize how much we impact someone else's life until.... well maybe never.

Celebrate Your Creative Self

by Mary Todd Beam

I joined a group that will begin a workshop following the above book in January. I've been pondering the first lesson on Creating Your Personal Symbols. My friend the other day shared with me that she thought the numbers 1, 2 and 9 were significant for me. She loves numbers and gets these wonderful ideas, which I love, from numbers. When she shares them I am like the commercial with the advisor that speaks and everyone stops what they are doing and listens. She is a fascinating person. Boy! I feel this is a heavy thing - but according to Beam a person is probably already using symbols and may not recognize it. I have journaled for years so I think I will do a bit of investigating and see if I have certain symbols mixed in my doodling. Here I am a mere shadow
of who I really am. I manipulated a pic of myself in my Scrapbook Factory program. I would love to have you join me in this endeavor of celebrating one's creative self. Maybe I'll see you there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jesus Christ - the Savior of the World

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

It's day four and the race is on as to whether we go on the cruise. It depends on medical results, medicine and healing. The body is an amazing machine that God has created and given time it can repair itself. My hubby goes for a cat scan on Thursday. If it comes back he has kidney stones that are too big to pass then its medical procedure to break them up. I'm at peace either way - cruise or not we will celebrate a glorious 27 years together.

The most important thing I ever wanted for my children was for each to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior one day. For each of them that decision came early in their lives. My oldest decided one day as I was heading into 7-11 he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. He was adamant about it. He would not wait another minute - it was now Mom, then, right there before we went into the store. I remember this sweet little prayer he prayed at 4 years old for Jesus to become personal to him. I wrote it down and placed it in his scrapbook.

My middle son was 6 and we were headed to the Eastern Shore, my hubby and I in separate cars. I had the oldest and youngest. My hubby and middle son were close to the shoreline after crossing the long tunnel and he insisted he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. When we got to our destination my hubby shared with me how he and our son shared that moment together. He and his dad would go for long walks at the park and our son would carry his Bible for his dad to read stories to him.

And then our little man, our 6'3" son, was 6 and it was on a Sunday during church service. He was afraid to go forward by himself to talk to the pastor. So I remember carrying him down to the front. But he was not afraid to share what he felt in his heart with our pastor.

I wish everyone knew Jesus the way I do. I remember being 12 and it was during a missionary's visit to my home church. I felt I would burst inside if I didn't let someone know I had accepted Jesus Christ. I am so grateful He loved me so much to die for me. I always wanted to be a missionary when I was younger. This is the time to celebrate and remember Jesus' birthday - and also a time to celebrate my family's new birth.

FAT Trade - "B" PSIs

Find items to put on inchies that begin with letter "B".

My Story of The "B" PSI SEA Book

Mr. Bodacious and Miss Buxom were wed in Bermuda on her birthday. He wore his blue board shorts and blue sun hat. She wore her pink flower bikini with heart. They went deep sea fishing for blue gill and barracuda on their new boat. Afterwards they celebrated at the bistro with bubbly and berries.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Remember

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

5 days until we sail into the sunset. So much to do and so little time to do it in. This week is not going the way I planned it. lol. What week ever does?

I remember... little feet shimming up a tree barefoot,

I remember... a little guy climbing into his tree fort and falling on concrete,
laying there and a brother that knelt down to pray he would be ok.

I remember... a little one pushing his tricycle in the backyard and his curly hair
waving in the wind.

I remember... Easter egg hunts around the yard and laughter in glee as they
found all the eggs and begged me to hide them again.

I remember... the first bike and the pain of getting a leg caught under the bike.

I remember... dad picking him up, carrying him to the emergency room - a broken leg.

I remember... tears, laughter, exhaustion, and joy unspeakable.

I this place we call "Home"!!

Artist Trading Cards

Veri asked me to trade ATCs with her. She selected the themes of nature and children.
My flower is needle-felted with orange DMC embroidery thread dispersed underneath each petal. The leaves are fabric needle-felted. I stitched the flower outline with white DMC embroidery thread also.
I discovered I could felt the fabric if I placed wool underneath and on top of the fabric and worked it into the background fabric.
The little sleepy-headed boy is from a Victorian clipart book. He is watercolor painted. I didn't know they make blank ATCs. The background is a pressed wool blank ATC. The phrase "wake up you sleepy head" is on computer printed fabric. I put it in German also, since it will be going to Germany. The final touch is a purple yarn trim around the edge. I hope Veri likes them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last Minute Details

27 Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Day 6 - less than a week away. We are making final preparations to leave on our cruise. The packing will begin, last minute paperwork to family in case, well just in case. Reminding my sons where we keep all of our important documents if they were to need them, and phone numbers posted on the frig of doctors, vet, etc. I remember 27 years ago making final preparations leading up to the 20th of December. My wedding day! Last minute details, coordinating relatives/friend's travels to the area, checking, checking and rechecking. Every year my DH and I recall all the wonderful times and a few hard times we have experienced through the years. It's good to reflect where we have come from and great looking forward to where we are going. But most of all I want to enjoy this day and all God has for me today.

Final Step - The Artist Circle Tags

Here is the last step in the painting/prepping stage of the 12 tags. I had to dry brush them with gesso. It makes them all appear with a flat finish. This technique is hard for me because you put gesso on the brush and then wipe it off until there is very little left on the brush. Seems like such a ridiculous thing to do. I remember when stenciling first became a popular technique, I felt the same way. I never seemed to remove enough paint. I am too impatient to keep rubbing it off the brush. But there were only two tags that I had a blotch of gesso on. I have gotten better over time.

After the first of the year we will have fun with embellishments and binding the tags into a book. So between now and the New Year I must decide on a theme and find ephemera-related items. I am not sure but I believe my theme will be "27 Years."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hidden Things

27th Anniversary Celebration Cruise

Countdown Day 7 - Reflecting back - As a parent there are the dreaded calls you pray you never get. When our youngest was a junior in high school we received the call. Our son's best friend called to say they had been involved in an accident. Our son had left home to attend a high school football game. Hours later my hubby and middle son, the firefighter, were on their way to the accident scene. Supposedly, our son was ok. When they arrived on the scene he had been pulled out of the car disoriented. It was a head-on at a slow speed. That is probably what saved his life as the front seat passenger. Our middle son stepped into firefighter mode and helped load four teenagers into ambulances for transport to local hospitals, including his brother. Our son was transported to a hospital that handles head trauma. They were concerned he might have brain damage due to hitting his head on the windshield.

I will never forget that night, watching my firefighter son come home and weep like a baby after he had handled the scene. He was only 19 at the time. It was that day I knew he would handle whatever came his way in his career as a firefighter. It took months for our youngest son to completely recover. I learned many things about brain injury. Appearances can be deceiving. A person can look ok on the outside but internally not be ok. One doctor explained to me that when a sudden jolt occurs with the head, your head will stop moving abruptly but the brain can keep going causing injury. Just as they had predicted it would take 9 months for our son to get back to normal. School became hard and his energy level dropped. He couldn't think for long periods of time in school and he would get tired to the point of falling off to sleep. I am grateful he was in a small school that worked with us to keep his classes and assignments on target. Today he is a healthy, active young man full of energy and living life to its fullest.

FAT ATC Angels

One of the trades on FAT is ATC angels. I have never made artist trading cards before this trade. But here is my first attempt at making three different cards. The first is named Pearl. She is very simple and made with interfacing, a Victorian angel transfer, glitter paint and wire pearl beads with printed "Imagine" ribbon.

The middle one is called "Hidden." Several posts back I shared about the fabric paper I made. I cut it to the size of an ATC 2 1/2 by 3 1/2". Then I inserted an angel transfer inside. The border is a simple ribbon attached using Steam-a-Seam 2.

It doesn't look like much. And the last I call Ginger Bad Boy. He has not earned his full wings yet. It seems he keeps "burning" his bridges and getting into mischief. The background is the fabric paper with tissue, muslin and plastic wrap bonded together with watered-down glue. Ginger Boy is a store bought popup.

When "Hidden" is held up to the light you see the angel tucked inside between the layers. I love how this little ATC turned out. I will use this technique on more ATCs and fabric postcards. My friend, Fannie, is looking for Crystal. Maybe she is tucked away inside an ATC.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Three Strand Cord

27th Anniversary Celebration Cruise

Day 8 - I've always heard it said "a three-strand cord is not easily broken." Early on in our marriage my hubby and I realized that for us to have a strong marriage our relationship to one another had to be tied first off to God and our relationship to Him. The most precious thing my husband can do for me is pray for me and with me about circumstances and life. I remember the first time we decided we would pray together before he left for work in the mornings. The prayers he would pray for me brought me to tears. On days when things got tough I would remember the words he prayed for me and somehow things seemed to become easier. I am grateful for a praying husband.

Homemade Fabric Paper

Last week a friend stopped by and brought me a gift. She knows me pretty good. When I began
to play with the tissue paper and saran wrap the
gift was wrapped in she knew something was up.
I grew very excited about the two pieces of wrap. I explained to her that she truly had brought me some wonderful gifts. Items I could play with in fabric paper making. I cut a strip of muslin, applied the watered-down fabric glue all over the muslin. Then I laid down torn orange tissue paper on top of that, layering as I went. I put on more glue, then torn up decorative plastic wrap (it had leaves on it). Then I kept layering. I let it dry and here is the finished product. It has air pockets in it and some edges of wrap are exposed. I also poured on glitter throughout the process. So you can see shimmer in the piece. I want to make postcards out of the fabric paper. This was very freeing and lots of fun. I got the idea from Jacq's blog. I wonder how it is to sew through? I will try this again.

Friday, December 07, 2007


27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Day 9 - Wow! I forgot all the emotion that goes into buying a home. Today my day started off running in a different direction, straight out of my house to appointments. My poor doggie didn't even get a walk in. He didn't like that much. There are so many emotions we experience in a life time. Wedding jitters, butterflies in the stomach waiting for pregnancy test, yoyo feelings - up/down/up/down, while moving through buying your home. Qualifying, processing paperwork, and more money for this and that. It's like a circus - the balancing act.

Quilt & Art Projects

This is a picture of a quilt I finished for an acquaintance. Her mother had been put into a nursing home. The quilt blocks she had been working on were in pieces and never had been finished for her grandson. So I volunteered to put it together for him before his high school graduation. Her hand work was very delicately put together so inorder not to pull her work apart I added some stabilizer behind some of the blocks. Once I put the top together I had a professional quilter finish the quilting. This is a beautiful nature quilt with each block either an animal or a tree. It's perfect for a young man. I placed a label on the back made from a picture of the grandmother holding her grandson right after being born.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Invasion of the Cows

27th Anniversary Cruise Celebration

Day 10 - When we made plans for our wedding we knew it would be in my hubby's beloved hometown. We wanted a small intimate wedding with a few friends so we married in my dh's home place. I loved their old Victorian home. Surrounded by poinsettias and great friends we were wed in his living room. I made my way down the winding staircase to the entry way and my step dad escorted me the rest of the way. My mil catered all the food and setup all the arrangements. Their wonderful neighbors allowed my family to use their home while they were away during that week. Our honeymoon was in the town where we now live. We stayed in the Williamsburg Inn and enjoyed all of Colonial Williamsburg. I loved bringing in the Yule Log and other festivities the Inn had planned during the Christmas season. It was an enchanting time - one filled with beauty and wonder. Love was in the air!

Invasion of the Cows

Have you seen the traveling cow exhibit? Here you can read a little history on where and how it all began. Cows invaded our mall last year. They were everywhere. Artists made and painted large cows and were exhibiting them in different malls. They weren't just plain ole' cows. They were all decorated and very colorful.

Everyone visiting this area was talking about the painted cows. Children couldn't resist climbing on them and many passersby stopped to have their picture taken with a cow. They made you laugh. Even my dog was fascinated by them. I believe he thought they were real.

My friend in Florida shared her cow story with me. So I am working on a floating cow quilt piece for her. Shhh!! Don't tell her. I hope she doesn't read my blog today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Let's Live It

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Day 11 - and counting! One day this year my dh left the house to get a cuppa java at 7-11. Many times he goes to the "landing" to pray and find solace. On his way there he called me and began to share about an unusual siting. As he passed by a church, sitting there on the steps was a lady with two dogs. He proceeded on to his destination but something inside him stirred seeing her sitting on the church steps on a hot July day. When he left to come out from the landing the lady was up and walking toward the roadway. He called me to tell me of this unusual thing because here in our neck o' the woods one doesn't see many actual homeless people. And even stranger, a lady walking with two dogs and pulling a large bag of stuff. When he called me my first response was "What do you suppose God wants you to do for her since you are so drawn to her." He hung up with "I don't know." Before hanging up one thing he shared with me was his concern for the dogs on such a hot day.

Seconds, minutes, at least 30 minutes, an hour had passed by and he had not returned home. The phone rang and he began to share with me that he had gone to the grocery store to buy her a few things. Especially on his list were water and dog food. He found her not too far from where he had last seen her on a side road near a campground. He stopped by her and began to exchange conversation. She shared with him that she had began her travels in NY and moved through PA to Virginia. He asked if she would like to use his phone to call someone; relatives or friends. She responded with "No there was no one." She showed him her sketch book and drawings of historical places she had visited. She talked of a desire to attend the 4th of July fireworks at Duke of Gloucester in Williamsburg and that eventually she wanted to make her way back to Philadelphia. She took the water and fresh fruit and a few other things. They fed the dogs and gave them water from a dog bowl my dh bought for them. Before they parted company she gave my husband a precious gift, probably the only belonging that was special to her. She dug deep down into the bag and pulled out this beautiful necklace.

I must say when he returned home and shared this story with me and showed me the necklace I figured he would give me the necklace. It was such a beautiful piece of art made with her own hands. But he surprised me. He was so impacted by this event that he wrapped the necklace around the mirror in his truck to remind him of the need to help others and to pray for the dogs and her safety in their travels.

He has not seen her since that day. The necklace is beaded with a braided heart and cross in the center. I wonder who touched whom the most!! Who was the bigger blessing? During a season of
giving its easy to find ourselves being generous but how about the rest of the year? Where is your heart in helping others?

God Uses Unusual Ways

Yesterday I did not want to walk my dog in the afternoon but he persisted with kisses and his way of letting me know "would you please walk me." As I passed by a large field I saw two pieces of hot pink and lime green plastic wrap laying on the ground. What unusual colors I thought to myself. I was going to pass on by but felt a prompting to pick them up. I shoved them in my pocket and walked on.

Coming up on a car wash area I noticed a nice book placed on the edge of a cinder block. Oh my! Someone had cleaned their car and left this wonderful book. I love books and to think someone forgot their book! I was going to pass on by but felt a prompting to pick it up. "Blood Orange" it read on the cover; um, never heard of that book or author. But I had plans for the book - its very popular right now in mixed-media art to alter books. I had wanted to do one but could not stand the thought of altering one of my books but a found one - that was different. I walked on reading the book. An interesting paragraph caught my eye in the novel. It read "Have You Seen This Little Girl? Seven year old abducted from her home..... at time she wore a pink and lime green ....." Now God was getting my attention. I walked on.

Not far from here I found a penny and placed it in my pocket. I walked on thanking God for my found penny and pondering what had happened so far. I felt myself asking what does "blood orange" look like? But I walked on.

I continued to find orange items; a color I usually don't see on my walks except lately in the leaves. I found a flattened cup with a print of an orange hand on it that read "Strength" and a card that said "Believe It or Not" and orange stuff. But I walked on, pondering it all.

I turned around to walk back home and found another penny. I began to thank God again for my found penny and a story in the Bible captured my thoughts. In 1Kings 17 Elijah is fed by ravens. I felt very impressed that the question in my spirit was "Do you trust me to feed you anyway I see fit. Will you trust Me," God was asking me.

Further in the passage Elijah goes to Zarephath, where he meets a widow down to her last meal. She had only a handful of flour and a little oil in a jug. Elijah said to her "Don't be afraid, first make something for me and then for you and your son. " Then he gives her a Word God spoke to him - "The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land."

When I finally returned home I remembered my "man droppings." So I took pictures of all my found objects. I decided to write about all this today. But during last night while two sons and I watched the "Tin Man" I shared this story with them. They laughed and said, "Well mom what do you think all this means." My youngest responded, "It's just coincidence." But you know I don't believe in coincidence.

A little blurb at the bottom of The Adventure Bible" for children I was reading from said "God's Care - God takes care of children through their parents. There are many ways you could be used by God to help someone."

What all of this has brought to the forefront for me are all the missing children in this country. Abducted ones, run aways, abused ones - ones that probably wonder "Does anyone care if I am dead or alive? Do I matter to anyone?"

P.S. - In my walk this morning I found this child's lime green toy. The pics color is off but it's lime green. What's with this?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You - Light of My Life

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Day 12 - Reminds me of the Twelve Days of Christmas and my true love gave to me....
I used to love reading Christmas books to my children. And I loved "singing" or that's what I called it, to my sons. At least when they were younger they would always ask me to keep singing. I figured it out - I thought they liked my singing - now I realize it was just a ploy to stay up longer. But I always snuggled up with them and I fell asleep.

With my youngest he would always request a back rub. He still comments on the lack of said affection. Occasionally he will come up to my bedroom, sprawl out across my bed and say, "Mom would you rub my back?" At 6'3" that is a lot of sprawling. But I would not trade those moments for anything. I am just glad at 19 he still feels he can do that if he wants to.

Light - Jesus Is The Light

This week the SaltFaith challenge is "Light." The snowflake piece was created the same way we did when we were children cutting paper-folded snowflakes. I fused it onto the black background. Then I cut out the black design centers of the snowflake and inserted a shimmery fabric in the openings to create the illusion of "light" coming through the snowflake. The muslin was painted with Neocolor II pastel wax. I love how the piece turned out. I have never attempted anything like this before. But I would like to try more.

In the smaller picture is a Christmas postcard I created from my snowflake quilt piece. I have never made a scrapbook-type postcard and I am not very good at using paper and scrapbooking items - yet. "Practice makes perfect," they say. I went into my Scrapbook program and created a template for a photo postcard. I dropped my snowflake picture into the template. I added the text "Shine, Jesus, Shine - Hallelujah" in a concave layout and printed it out on glossy Digital Photo Paper.

The package of paper was purchased at a Roses store on the Eastern Shore for a buck. Now I wished I had bought every packet they had in the store. I glued the piece onto yellow textured cardstock, then onto another purple textured cardstock. An entire packet of cardstock (over 125 pieces) was on sale at Walmart for $7.00. I thought that was a great deal.

I played around with a drinking straw and some expensive hand-dyed yarn this week. I attached the covered straw to the top of the card to add even more texture. At the very bottom I glued on three brad nails to symbolize the nails used to crucify Jesus.

For me Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus. May we all brighten up others lives during this special time of year.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Beauty In Lines

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

Day 13 - My oldest son grew up watching Bay Watch. When he was 15 he decided he wanted to be a lifeguard. He took all the classes to be certified and applied for jobs in that field when he turned 16. It seems there are never enough lifeguards in the Summer. I was a bit concerned because of the responsibility placed on a young person life guarding. But I know prayer makes a big difference in outcomes. Many days throughout the day I would find myself praying for him while he worked at the retreat center. In his career as a lifeguard he had several saves. I am so thankful he was alert and attentive to young children in the swimming pool.

I remember watching my youngest do hand stands off the diving board. He loved pushing the limits. He has always been very agile and gifted in sports though he never was interested in anything except soccer. He loves David Beckham but then who doesn't.

The glitz and glamour of a lifeguard wore off and my oldest realized it was a long, hot day everyday. One that tired you out sitting in the sun. He realized his mind had to stay engaged in the activity going on around him. Every week there were different campers and so many at times that spotters were assigned to assist him. Some days I would stay at the pool and observe. I realized my son was very responsible, caring and tender with the children.

The ones that challenged him were his peers. He was not intimidated or fearful of them and knew his job was to make sure all swimmers were safe. Sometimes that meant asking people to leave the pool. Which he did, all in a days work!

Beauty In Lines

I went to visit a friend and take pictures of her wood shed, roosters and turkeys. I have been taking pictures for several years of industrial buildings, sheds, and animals. I want to incorporate them into a quilt someday. But for now I play by working them into small works of art through fabric postcards. The lines are so beautiful and just draw me in.
I hope by taking these pics I can get better in doing abstract

postcards. It was fascinating to watch the turkeys. One male and three females. Each of them were different colors and very entertaining. One female jumped on the mail box and observed me. I could tell she was contemplating whether she should jump on my shoulder. Thank God she decided to just watch me. Why is it in the animal kingdom the male is much more vibrant in color and more beautiful?

Here is a rooster fabric postcard I did this past summer for a "Shakespeare" theme.
He was very whimsical and very primitive. The recipient of the card had given me the yarn, so I incorporated it into his feathers and sent it back to her. She was quite delighted with the card.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Stranger In My House

27th Anniversary Cruise Countdown

14 days remaining - 2weeks - I awoke at 2am out of a dream where we are running to catch a plane. I awoke just as we were getting to the door of the plane. Were we allowed to board? In the dream I left everything on the plane - all luggage and all my carry-ons and ID. They were already on the plane. Not a good feeling.

I remember when my DH came home and told me he had been checking out all the county communities for our permanent home. He found a sweet little new development close to the town limits and wanted me to go look. At that point in time I couldn't even find my way out of what they called "Confusion Corner"; it was where all roads seemed to converge and you had to know where you were headed. I am definitely directional challenged. lol. He had picked a lot out on the main road. I could see that was not a good selection if you had children. We drove up into the cul-de-sac and there is where we found our lot. We contracted to have our home built and made a few changes to define it as ours. We had placed our mark on our little piece of "heaven" on earth. Our backyard neighbor was a wonderful, older couple that adored our little son.

Once when I decided to take a quick shower our son decided he wanted to investigate outdoors without me. He had figured out how to unlock our front door. I will never forget that day stepping out of the shower upstairs and hearing a strange voice talking. Talk about unsettling. Thank God he had wondered into our backyard and our neighbor had noticed him by himself and brought him back inside our home. He was probably about 3 or 4 at the time. After that episode we bought a deadbolt and I locked it during the day when we were home. Needless to say I never took a shower during the day again for a long time. Shortly after that we also fenced in our backyard.

That favor was reciprocated years later when we found a little boy wondering on the main street in dead of winter with no coat and no shoes on. He was headed to the playground to have fun. He was able to direct my hubby to his home. The only difference was that his mom was inebriated and passed out in the bedroom. Even after explaining where he was found, she didn't seem a bit concerned about him.

Quilting Arts Inchies from Houston

Quilting Arts magazine gave the FAT group an opportunity to exchange inchies by way of mail. You sent in a certain number and in return you would get the same amount from people around the world. One of mine came from France. I love the diverse group of inchies I received in the mail. The felting, texture, embellishments and fibers are wonderful on each one of these little works of art. I love the little shovel on the first one and the map and letters "GO" on the second. Its amazing what can be placed on something this tiny. Barbara at Quilting Arts did a tremendous job organizing this project.