Yay, finally our new table is done! So proud of my husband, didn’t he do an awesome job! I have been waiting for a table for a long time, one large enough to meet the needs of our family and entertaining. It fills the space beautifully and we will have plenty of room to have another whole family over without extending.
A good friend of ours was taking down a family barn and salvaged the wood for us. I love the character of the different woods, wormholes, knots and cracks. I absolutely love bowties/butterfly joints, so he kind of accentuated the cracks and added three inlays in walnut. Aren’t they precious, am I gushing too much? I still want to find some good chairs, but wanted to see the table first in the space (any good suggestions or store links for chairs?) He is making a split bench as well, so I can put the two together to fill the length of one side or fit on each end.
It was worth the wait, to have such a personal table, we’re DIYers…woohoo, so excited, who wants to come over to party!
It happened slowly over a few months and then full obsession hit – I am in love with gem shapes! I found these sweet little patterns for geometric shapes on mini-eco, she has a pdf on her site or you can find it here. I made these from a thick paper in a mono-chromatic color scheme and just couldn’t stop adding glitter. These little natural crystal forms are popping up in some of my new artwork for this spring and I have dedicated a growing idea board to them on pinterest. I haven’t immersed myself with x-acto knifes and glues like this since art school, which coincidently I just received my 10 year alumni postcard from – yikes.
One of my friends stopped by this weekend to show me her completely unique Christmas cards she is making this year. She saw my Bethlehem print and when she heard this song it inspired her own design. Each card was quilted using patches of different colored fabrics and she hand embroidered the letters! Wow, way to go June-Marie! I want to be on that Christmas card list :).
With the older kids at daycamp this week, I snuck out with my mom, nut and my nephew for a little urban fairy door hunt in Ann Arbor. We found quite a few on the list before we stopped for lunch at sweetwater cafe. The kids left little token hearts for each fairy, it was adorable to see them peeking in the windows and knocking on the doors, “come out, come out little fairies we want to play!” None came out… I don’t know why? if someone left life-sized swedish fish for me, I would open up in a heartbeat.
In the afternoon, I stopped by Hollanders in kerrytown shops and took a workshop with their summer artists in residence. I have been wanting to take a class forever now but my schedule has not lined up. They were making these little flag books in the drop-in class, I had such a grin from ear to ear just to be in the workshop and working alongside other creative souls again. Seriously such a grin! The little purple book in progress is mine, I am thinking about incorporating little fairy doors and leaves – something magical that highlights our trip. I am thankful for a chance to learn a new skill and check out the many facets of bookmaking. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and stretch your creativity.
We have slowly been replacing windows on our 100 year old home. I saved these two from the scrap pile as I needed a display for my ever growing collection of pendants. I removed the glass, sanded the sides and covered them in 3 coats of chalkboard paint (I had it leftover.) I had my handy Andy cut new wood panels, which I covered in cork and linen and fastened them together with hinges. Total cost $6. Here’s to living simply and being more resourceful. I really like the chalkboard sides… they are going to be fun!
Also I will be participating in a fundraiser at http://www.displayyourheart.com to raise money for tornado victims right here in the US. There are over 140 different crafters participating, I love when art is used for good. It begins Friday June 17 – 29, check out the blog for more details. I’ve been reading The tipping point by Malcom Gladwell, we have a little chance everyday to make a difference. All those little things lead to a dramatic shift.
I guess I have a little thing for asparagus (and lilacs…) I really don’t know where my kids get playing with their food from! This is the recipe that started it all – I just love this one and I am so excited that there are leftovers for lunch. Don’t worry I won’t even attempt to make it into ice-cream – I do have some sense.
I have been waiting for my clay to dry, so I have temporarily gravitated to watercolor and printmaking. Here is a view of my new little workspace overlooking my kids “work”space… My husband designed that swing set and built it with my brother and our local Amish. What a treat! I can’t wait until our first family campout in there this summer.
I like how the asparagus prints turned out but I think I need to order some green and purple ink, perhaps I will try a little gradation print. I entered a drawing to win Christine’s new book from yellow owl workshop but I really don’t have that much luck with contests (another story for another day), I am sure there are instructions on how to do this in there but I just went ahead and went for it on my own. What do you think?
Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
We had such a great and FULL weekend around these parts. I had a wonderful time, serving at the SpringHill spring women’s retreat. It is unlike any other camp or retreat we do here, check out what our camp president has to say about it here.
There were over 75 women who joined in on the silk scarf painting! Sometimes it is challenging to get people to branch out and tap into their creative side, as opposed to following a set example. But here’s why I think it is so important, we are all created as unique individuals with a unique story and unique song inside of us. I tried to challenge the ladies to work from their own heart and make their scarf an extension of that place they are at. I am amazed at the diversity of each design, truly we are made by a Creative God!
That being said it was awesome seeing each unique painting offering a glimpse of the individual story of the woman at work behind it. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I hope I get to lead another craft at our Fall retreat this year!
September 30 – October 2 with Liz Curtis Higgs & Alanna Story
I had some left over pieces of clay after cutting out the windows in my larger journals. Not wasting the time it took to create them, I decided to make them into mini journals. This is great fun for me and gave me a chance to practice the Coptic stitch with paired (two) needles. I remembered after this that I used to make such books when I was a little girl. I had a set of calico critters, gray bunnies that I cherished greatly. Back then I spent hours sewing cloaks for them out of felt, making beds with little embroidered carrots on them, and lastly little books for them to use at school. I nearly forgot about this little set until my girls receive an identical new rabbit family as a gift, and 20 years later sent me searching for the silver Crowley’s gift box which I used to keep them in. Now days the old and new are all mixed together and my girls love playing with them. I am amazed at the vintage handmade items, how they fancy them as I used to, the creativity at even that young age and of my youth. Do the joys of childhood transfer over to adulthood? Does our innocent play speak of who we are created to be?
Last summer I was in a bible study with three other amazing women, in which we worked through Experiencing God by Blackaby and King. We talked about spiritual markers in our faith journeys and how to draw on them and grow from them. Spiritual markers were defined in the book as “ The times God clearly spoke to you that are recorded in your spiritual journal can become spiritual markers in your life. Go back and review your journal six months, one year, and two years later. Observe ways God has been faithful to do what He promised. Examine whether you have been faithful to obey what you knew God was telling you to do. It can be rewarding to see how much you have grown spiritually since you wrote in your journal in times past. When you face times of transition in your life, what God said to you in your journal can also provide clear direction for you as you make decisions today.”
I tried to start this blog a couple of years ago but failed, only writing a few entries, in that two-year span. The timing was not right but as I look back I see this early reflection here written nearly two years ago. I am kind of amazed at timing, the nature of it, the building of events and experiences. I am learning about the documentation of it and how best to capture them. My spiritual growth and my journey to become an artist is not stagnant but abundant! I heeded that advice in Georgia, from the retreat and from the locker room. Learning the good with the challenging, I can honestly say I love my family more, God more, and am following those early passions of creating and working in clay. I taught over 90 students at our little studio in town, and wrote a grant for a pottery studio. I am currently taking time off teaching to pursue my own artwork, and building my own home studio. I still haven’t gone back for my Masters degree but will be watching for the right time. Overall I am thankful, for the few records I have kept, old discoveries that help me to have confidence in this journey, and the time to keep playing!. It also is sweet to watch my kids play and dream about who they will grow up to be… so far so good.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
I sometimes miss living in a city and being surrounded by the energy and artistic creativity. But, then again, living in the country allows influence from nature and a slower and peaceful way of life. Fortunate for me most city dwellers are tech savvy which allows me to experience their creativity vicariously through artists like photographer Jennifer Causey, who documents all types of artisans, and their workspaces in her collection The Makers Project. There are too many gorgeous images to share, click on the link to see for yourself. inspiring.
- ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
- ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
- And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
- ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
- When true simplicity is gain’d,
- To bow and bend we shan’t be asham’d,
- To turn, turn will be our delight,
- Till by turning, turning we come round right.
“Simple Gifts” written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Maine.
GIFT #1: I LOVE mail, especially when it contains something lovely from a friend. Thank you Melissa for my new cowl, its beautiful and one of my favorite colors. We still have snow here believe it or not, so it will be perfect as we transition these next few weeks. I walked in the sun today to pick up my kindergartener from school. Yea!
GIFT #2: A successful first bisque fire in my new (to me) kiln. I am excited about all these new book covers, mugs and other goodies. I foresee a weekend of brushes and glaze…
GIFT #3: Snow melting enough to see signs of spring … daffodils, tulips, iris and hellebore were all spotted today in my garden. The herb bed is still completely covered in over a foot of snow. It is amazing to me that we go straight from winter to full on spring. The earth is just as ready as we are for the warmth.