Sunday, September 30, 2012

All You Who Are Weary...

"I will give you rest..."
Matthew 11:28

Whose idea was it again to have a day set aside just to rest?!!!  Oh, yes, now, I remember!  It was the Creator's!  I love that - don't you?!  I love that Jesus speaks to us about being weary and "heavy laden" and invites us to come directly to Him with our tired, worn out, weary selves and He will surely give us rest.  

I am learning to take Him up on His invitation and do just that - nestle up under the covers (winter's coming!) and actually choose to rest.  No guilt allowed!  After all, God has invited us to lay our burdens down - just for a few hours - let it all go - run to Him Who knows the beginning from the end.  Choose to find some ways to rest!

Now that can be pretty tough in a world that is pushing us in every direction.  This blog gives me the freedom to incorporate whatever I choose for the creative "scoop of the day"!  So I have decided to indulge in my passionate affection for lullabies!  

My gift to myself and my readers every Sunday will be to close out the week with a beautiful lullaby or children's poem set to music.  You do not have to have a baby to sing to, in order to enjoy this!  Remember that you are the child wrapped in the father's loving arms.  You are the one He has invited to rest.  You are the one He is singing a love song to.  You are the Apple of the Father's Eye...  This is for you!

Lay every tired thought aside - it will surely be waiting for you tomorrow! Tonight is just for you to rest.  May God bless you "all over the place" in every nook and cranny of your weary little heart!

Hope you enjoy this beautiful music as much as I do!  Goodnight!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Delight Yourself in the Lord...

and He will give you the desires of your heart!"
Psalm 37:4

I am so much learning the truth of this scripture at this time in my life! How good is the Lord to not give up on me!  He is teaching me to dream dreams and delight in the wonder of life all around me! I love this crazy picture for the joy it depicts of a grown-up just playing in the paints! Plus, it doesn't hurt that this young man looks a whole lot like my oldest son, Don, an actor and very, very creative spirit. He makes me smile "all over my face"!

Anyway, since I started this blog I have been leaping over tall buildings and jumping off of skyscrapers, in terms of creative pursuits!  Seems like I am learning more from this little blog than anyone else may be!  I hope I may be encouraging all you would be painters, sketchers, musicians, poets, and dreamers, to go ahead with your artistic dreams - have fun. Don't listen too long to the nay-sayers.  They probably wish they had someone to encourage them to dream a little dream of what might be if they let themselves go in the direction of their heart...  That's where I always find the Lord.  Sitting on the porch on a sun filled morning waiting for me to come and join Him.  The birds are singing, the bees are sipping nectar from the roses, the baby is rocking in the porch swing. Joy is dripping from the rafters.  God has given me the "desires of my heart"!

Here are some sketches I did this week in a new art form I am learning called "Zentangles".  I highly recommend it to all of you!  It is free form sketching of doodles and patterns that are everywhere we look.  I cannot tell you how relaxing it is. You will have to try it for yourself...!

These are all pics from my sketch book.  I never had one before but it is so much fun!  Great idea for a place to give yourself permission to go and just write or draw or, like these pics show, just doodle or "zentangle"! You can find more information about Zentangle art on the web - just Google Zentangle.  Also, lots of books in the library.  Even kids (or maybe, especially kids!) can zentangle!

This is the first effort I made at doing a bird!  It's a little off in the chest, but, hey -
this is my first ever effort at a zentangle bird!
He's cute and quirky, don't you think?!

Close up showing some of the variation of "tangles" used throughout.
I also added the verse "His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches me."
A favorite verse from an old hymn I love!

This is the second bird I did and I think it's getting better!
Lots and lots of tangles in this one!

Close up.  Isn't he cute?!

I loved doing this, especially the tail!
I am nothing without swirls and dots!!

The End!!

Hope you enjoyed my little art show!  I loved sharing it with you almost as much as I loved doing the drawings!  Now, I hope you take your "inner child" out for a play date and have some fun drawing, or whatever the two of you love to do!  You and I were made for JOY!

P.S.  A huge thank you to my very special art teacher, Kathy Hughes, for teaching me to "Zentangle".  Kathy - you are a treasure!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Paper Dolls...

My Father Knows What He is About...

I am often recruited by my children and grandchildren to help them imagine (and sometimes, create!) a craft project that they have been assigned but have no idea how to complete.  How can I say no?  I always seem to have more fun than they do with whatever the project is!
 I guess I am an incurable kid at heart.
Give me some paints and scissors and leave me alone for at least a couple of hours.
 Don't even think of taking them away...
 It could get embarrassing to see a grown woman throwing a temper tantrum on the floor.
I want my crayons!  NOW!!

This weekend, Ella came over, anxiety written all over her little face, over, of all things, a craft project!  Now, how could any grandchild of mine have anxiety over a craft project?!
What was it, you ask?  She was required to make a paper doll!  How could anyone get anxiety ridden over a fun assignment like that?  I know - hard to imagine, right?!  Little did she know just how much she had come to the right place!  I am a paper doll fashioneesta , if ever there was one!  So off we both went, selecting the perfect pink satin fabric for a fairy princess; drawing the stick figure dolly, with her pretty face and locks falling down her cheeks.  She was gorgeous when we finished with her!  Well, not really, but, we were pretending! Make believe is an essential ingredient in every work of art!  When we were finished, Ella was thrilled with her pretty paper doll.  A masterpiece from her own little hand and imagination.  It doesn't get much better than that in my world!

I say all that to say this:  I have been caught up in sewing for my granddaughter, Ella, a pretty little dress that suits her personality.  All in pinks, with hearts and love splashed all over the face of the fabric, I think she will love it when it's done.  Not quite there yet, but almost.  I am posting some pics of the "work" in progress.  I sometimes get bogged down with sewing.  I always like it better as an idea than I do during the actual doing of it!   Can you relate?!

As I was doing this dress - cutting out the pieces, choosing which fabric to use that perfectly suits Ella's personality, I thought of the Lord, imagining Him having all the pattern pieces to my life, cutting off this remnant, adding this decoration, piercing the fabric with His needle as it goes in and out of the seams of my life.  

He knows how all the pieces fit together - something I have a hard time imagining.

He has perfectly chosen what will best compliment the me that He, Himself, has fashioned with His own hands.

I, like Ella, have never seen the pattern pieces He is using to make the finished piece. My granddaughter doesn't ask me how I made the dress, She doesn't think to argue with me about how the pieces will fit together. If I show her little eight year old eyes the pattern, it just looks like a bunch of craziness to her! How in the world could those pieces fit together to make something pretty that she will love? She doesn't ask. She just looks up at me with perfect trust that I, the seamstress, have a plan in mind. I can visualize the finished work. And she is perfectly content with that. She trusts that I will make her something beautiful, because I love her, I know her and I am working on her behalf. That's all she needs to know.
She is perfectly content with that knowledge.
I want to be like her when I grow up!

This weekend, watching my little granddaughter create her "masterpiece" I reminded myself that we aren't little paper dolls. We are real life, flesh and blood people who sometimes argue with the Pattern Maker, sometimes insisting that we know more than He does about who we are or what we want to be. But, we just see a little piece of the picture. He has the whole pattern in His mind's eye. I don't understand why He is cutting that piece off. Why is he pulling the threads so tight over here? Why did He choose that color for me? Doesn't He know that I look better in red than in blue? I argue with Him about so many of the decisions He makes about me. Imagining that I know more than He does about me, I question His choices for me.

Does He know what He's doing?
Sometimes, I just get scared that I am not in charge.  
I have to trust that, when it comes to me, 
He knows what He is about.  
After all, I am no paper doll.  
I am His child.  
Precious beyond words to My Heavenly Father.  
He knows what He is about...


Here's a few pics of Ella's dress in process.  Not a finished work yet!
I'll try to remember to post a pic of Ella wearing it when it's done!

Fabric for a girly girl!

It takes a lot of pieces to make a finished product! 

Beginning to look like something!

This is the first ruffle in a 3 tier ruffle dress.

The top of the dress from the back.  It is fully lined in, you guessed it, PINK!

Fits her perfectly!  Made to order, just because, I love her...

Always remember, that is exactly how God feels about YOU!

Monday, September 24, 2012

More Than Chocolate Ice Cream...

I Love You More...
Spent this beautiful fall day with my two youngest grandchildren.  Watching them, I see them racing toward life, full of joy and eager to get to the next stage, whatever that may be!  I see the kiss of God on their beautiful young faces.  I want to teach them everything I know, which is maybe not so much after all.  Mostly, I want them to know, deep inside their little girl hearts, that they are loved.  Simply that.  Nothing less.  Nothing more.  When all is said and done, there really is nothing more than that.  So that is my prayer for them as I close this day.  May they know, and you and I know, we are loved. More than anything.  We are loved.  As your head hits the pillow tonight, rest in the certain knowledge of The Father's love for you.  Good Night!  

Here's one of the most beautiful old poems of love ever written, interpreted for a child's heart.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  

(Just hit the Youtube link below the picture to hear and watch the video.  Enjoy!)


Saturday, September 22, 2012

And Baby Makes 3!

Here's a few things I made recently for the babies in my life!  Who can resist the fun of a baby and all of the little doo-dads that go with them?!  Not me, that's for sure!! 
The arrival of a new little one into the world
is a great opportunity to dig into your imagination
and create something special
just for him or her.
I love handmade gifts!
Worth the time and effort to make something
 unique - one of a kind -
"Not available in stores!"

Tied baby quilt (farms animals print)  Easy to make.
This is what is known as "whole cloth" quilting.
Just buy one piece of fabric for the front,
one piece for the back
and enough binding to go all around.
Sandwich together with batting in between,
tie every 4 or 5 inches with yarn or ribbon of your choice.
Finish with binding all around edges.
Easy Peasey!!

Close-up.  Aren't they cute?!

Just a little closer!!

I used a pink gingham for the backing since it's for a girl,
but, of course, you can choose something blue for a little boy!
Or, go completely crazy and choose purple or something radical -
whatever suits your personality! :)

I made a bunch of these little stuffed baby bears.
They went so fast, I only have four left!
Only about 6 inches tall,
they are made of fleece and
hand sewn with embroidery thread
in buttonhole stitch around the edges.
I love hand-sewing!
Lots of fun!
This was one of my favs.

Different edging.  Running stitch around the edge -
clipped outer edge gives this little guy a
"Raggedy-Ann" look.
The kids loved this edging more than the other!

I had a lot of bears made up for baby boys,
but this is the only one I have left!
I have to make some more.
Never thought the little boys would like them so much!

Had to make one in polka-dots, of course!
I am a polka-dot addict!
Gotta have my dots!!

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things I'm working on at my house.  These are very easy projects for you to try at home!
Happy sewing!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Colors of the Rainbow...

"I set My rainbow in the cloud..."
Genesis 9:13

I am definitely not a black and white gal!  I LOVE COLOR!  I am so grateful that God does too!  He created a world that is overflowing with extravagant color.  There are endless shades of green and blue, purple, red, orange, even white, to tickle and excite our senses.  I love exploring them all, photographing them, and just plain enjoying the visual feast our God, The Master Artist, sets before us each day!
What a wonderful world He has blessed us with!

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to color in my coloring books!  Do you remember that?  I always prided myself on staying in the lines!  Today, I am learning to break the rules, color "outside the lines" and let myself explore the possibilities of my creativity.
Sooooo much fun!

 I hope you enjoy the Do It Yourself projects I have posted for you below.  Use the Source Links posted below each picture to go to the website of the originator for the full instructions on how to proceed.

 Whatever you do, have fun!  This is an invitation to the "child within" each of us to "come out and play today!"  Or, invite the children in your home to create something with you.
They might just make you a keepsake you will treasure from their childhood.
There are few things in life sweeter than that...!

Here is a DIY project to creatively re-imagine a favorite photo of your child.
Although you could use a picture of anything you love - a parent, a lover, a favorite flower.
The possibilities are endless!

Easy-Peasey watercolor votive candles for your table!  
DIY of course!

I have become a great fan of Art Journals!
Introduce your children to them with this super easy DIY project!
Encourage the creative spirit in your child and celebrate the natural artist in every child!


Can you tell by now that I love watercolors?!
Oh, yes, I do!  
If you see the world in black and white,
give watercolors a try!  Just play with it!
I think you will love this DIY project for a unique, one of a kind calendar!

Who doesn't love children's art?
Especially your own little artist in the making?
Spontaneous and simple, always unique.
This is an art journal page from a child's book.
Give your child the gift of freedom to explore his creative side.
Who knows - you may have given birth to the next Picasso!

I couldn't resist including a picture of the beautiful watercolor artwork of
Vivian Hersefield.  
Check out her website if you want to see more of her work.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And Crown Thy Good...

"And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes..." Rev. 21:4  NKJV

I am so touched by the beautiful and patriotic tributes I see all over the Internet to our Military.  With the tragic loss of Ambassador Stevens and at least two Navy Seals last week in Lybia, my heart is drawn to a fresh awareness of how truly noble it is when someone risks his or her life for love of this country.  Also, with what is now being called "The Forgotten War" in Afghanistan, because of its political unpopularity, we need to remember the men and women who are dying every day in a war that has been abandoned by its leaders. Last week alone, we lost four young men.  
They did not have the luxury of forgetting...

All of the families who have wept at the side of the casket that carried their loved one home deserve our prayers and our gratitude.  
May we never forget those who have laid down their life for our beloved homeland.

In my mind, it is so fitting that great artists, singers, song writers, musicians, and poets, use their considerable creative gifts to give tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom.  The photograph above and the song below are just a couple of examples of those creative gifts at work to honor our military heroes.  
I hope they touch your heart as they have mine.

I would also like to recommend a web-site to you that encourages us to send letters, cards and care packages to those men and women who are serving our country far from the comfort of home and family.  With the holidays approaching, it is especially important to remember our men and women in uniform.  Please check out this site at:

(Just click on the Youtube link below to view this video.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sing Me a Song...

"But no one says, Where is God, my Maker
Who gives us songs in the night..."
Job: 35:10

I read somewhere that "Music is what feelings sound like."  I love that!  I love that Our Creator God has filled the world with the sounds of music all around us.  

He wakes us up in the morning with the playful love-song of the birds singing their praises to their Creator. He nudges us to go to bed each night with the song of the crickets chirping their message "time to go to bed - tomorrow's another day - time to go to bed...!" 

Stop and listen for the music of The Creator. He is singing over us all through our lives. He has put His music in the heart of the young mother, rocking her baby to sleep on her lap as she sings a gentle lullaby. Even the greatest opera star cannot outdo the beauty of that music sung by the simplest peasant woman over her child.

I hear His voice in the sound of children giggling and dancing on the playground as they run and skip and race toward life. I hear Him in the first "I love you's" spoken by one lover to another.  I hear Him in the music of the grandmother cradling her grandchild close to her breast as she sings him a nursery rhyme.  I hear Him in our breaking voices singing a plaintiff  song of hope to our God as we say goodbye to a loved one, one last time until heaven. 

He has created a symphony all around us, free for the taking.  Listen closely.  Do you hear what I hear?!  He is in the music of the wind whistling through the air.  The crash of the waves pounding against the shore.  The sound of the thunder as it splits the sky.  The sound of the snow flake falling to the ground on a bright winter day.  The sound of the trees dancing to the wind on a chilly Autumn day.  The sound of the crackling fire as He wraps His love around us on a cold December day. 

Everywhere I go I hear His music.  I close my eyes and let Him sing His love song to me.  I am so grateful for the music of Our God.  Where would I be without it?  I could not bear the world if it had no music for music speaks to me in ways that words never will.  A song is the music of the soul. We don't have to be able to sing a note to enjoy God's love song.  It is all around us.  Free for the taking...

Here's a beautiful song of creation from an old favorite of mine, Keith Green.  (Just hit the Youtube link below the picture to hear the song.)  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kissing Hands!

Here's a wonderful (and easy!) idea for parents as your kids are returning to school!  I really wish I had done this for all four of my kids over the years.  I bet they would love to have them as keepsakes of their childhood!  

Even though school has already started for most kids, I would still encourage parents (grandparents, and aunties!) to do this with your kids.  I bet you will be very glad you did "some day"!

Credit for this creative idea goes to Crissy at the above linked blog.  If you visit her blog, you will find complete directions for how to do this yourself.  

I am realizing as I do this blog just how rich the blog world is today!  There are incredible ideas, tutorials, and resources on the blogosphere!  We are all the richer for the work bloggers are doing, often unnoticed and unheralded!  If you use this idea, be sure to leave a comment and thank Crissy for her post!

Have fun, CREATING!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who Loves Ya Baby?!

I loved this idea! Can be time consuming, but you can do it with your kids little by little over a week or two or however long you decided to give to the project. This is taken from a great website, linked above. You can go there for the complete directions on how to do it if you decide to try it. Of course, it doesn't have to be as big - YOU'RE IN CHARGE of creativity at your house! Have fun and play with it! I'm going to try it with my grandchildren and I'll let you know how it comes out! If you do it, please send me a picture! I'd love to see what you're working on at your house!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Masterpiece Under Construction!

"Fearfully and wonderfully made..."
Psalm 139:14  NKJV

We are works of art, under construction!  We aren't completed pieces, yet!  God still has to finish His work in us! We have lots of rough edges that He is smoothing out!  We may have started out thinking of ourselves as pictures in black and white, but God sees us in all of the glorious colors of the rainbow!  In the hands of the Master Artist, we are on our way to becoming a work of art, testifying to His glory.

I read somewhere that the problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps jumping off the altar!  That's a great picture of us as we wiggle and squirm under the hand of the Lord.  But, we can rest in the knowledge that He has us in His hand.  He is doing the work.  He erases this and scribbles that.  He blots out the imperfections and fills in the blank spots with radiant color.  He has a finished picture in mind that we could never imagine!  He is at work in you and me to finish a master piece to His glory.

In my own life, I have often wiggled out from under the Master's hand as He does a transforming work in me.  I don't really like the hammer and chisel He carries in His hand.  Besides, I tell myself, I'm good enough as is!  But, He has a different vision of what He is completing in me.  Although I run from the hammer of the Master, in the end, I trust, He is making me over into something much better than the slab of clay I started out as.

As a mom and grandmother, I have always loved encouraging my children and grandchildren to draw, paint, write, sew, learn a musical instrument - find some artistic pursuit to give back to Him.  I was thinking recently how much I wish we had Facebook when my kids were little!  I never had the opportunity to post their "works of art" on the Internet the way parents do today.  Neither did we have the digital cameras that make picture taking and posting so instant today!  The best I can remember is the old Polaroids we had back then!  I remember giving my in-laws one as a gift and them being amazed by this "fancy new technology"!  Completely obsolete today!! Life is moving at breakneck speed, isn't it?!  One of the pictures below is from my 7 year old grand-daughter, entitled "The Love Highway"!  I love that!  SLOW down, baby! You are on the Love Highway!!

At my house, there will always be pens to write with, paint brushes and markers to draw with and music to dance to.  I watch with fascination the unfolding work of art before my eyes in my grandchildren.  Some are pursuing acting, some love to dance, some to write, some to draw.  I have one granddaughter that draws intricate works of art on gym shoes!  They are transformed from plain old shoes to beautiful works of art!  Where did she get that from?  I think I see a touch of the Master in her...!

Here's a little glimpse of what's happening at my house!

It thrilled me to have Ella ask me if she could draw a picture this past weekend!
Previously, she had been a little reluctant to try, 
thinking she had to measure up to some arbitrary standard.
No, no, no.  Just be spontaneous!
She created this little piece in about 10 minutes.
I love that she drew a picture of what she called "The Love Highway"!
Now, that's creative! :)

Slow down and enjoy the ride!!!

This is a picture of a table runner I am working on for someone special.
I am learning a new technique 
with my sewing machine called "sew wild".
The blue stitching on the white spaces 
is my first attempt to do that in a sewing project.
It's fun and very creative!
I think of it as "graffiti" sewing!

I did one of these previously for my sister and hand quilted stars
all over it!  (There are lots of different ways to do fabric art!)
I didn't think to take a picture of it before I gave it to her!
I have given away so many handmade gifts and never took a picture of any of them!
Silly, silly girl!

The beginning of a piece that is fabric altered with paint.
Lots of fun!

A little more added to the above piece.
Again, "graffiti art" on fabric.

Close-up of "America"

Close-up of "Freedom"
This is a very patriotic piece!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Twinkle, Twinkle...

In this touching tribute to God's incredibly beautiful world, there is a breathtaking beauty to the music and photography, compiled with such tenderness and love to the song we all sang as little children: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

Watching the video,  I had such a sense of touching heaven with the immensity of the stars and the tender beauty of the music.  I found great comfort in this today.  This past weekend I discovered that my brother has lung cancer and is fighting for his life. That scares me for him.  My father died of lung cancer, so it brings back a lot of memories.  But, as I watched and listened to this, I felt the touch of The Comforter, drawing very close and whispering to me to remember, this is not all there is...We are made for so much more.  We are made for heaven...

I would so much appreciate your prayers for my brother, Pat.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

One of my favorite poets of all time - Robert Frost!  I loved this brief but delightful video.  I like that they include children telling their views on poetry!  Do they still teach poetry to children?!  I hope so!  Children instinctively "get it"!  They have poetry in their souls!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Simple Things...

I hope you enjoy this beautiful music and art work from a favorite online artist of mine, Alisa Burke. She inspires me to find the beauty in the simple things...