Category Archives: art

Circle of Gratitude


We have been so blessed on this journey, I wanted to record some of the specifics in a meaningful way.  It has been the little things, the “coincidences,” the prayers, the perfect gifts, the comments that have been the overwhelming signs of a gracious maker and provider.  It seems this is the moment he has been building my faith, family and friends for.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

When I saw this gratitude wreath from one of my paper stores, I knew this was how I wanted to display my blessings accrued over the last three months. Each leaf is small but together they create a beautiful story.  I am thankful I am not in this alone. Continue reading




We saw this little guy around all winter.  He has a whole slew of friends, bunnies, birds and deer.  I couldn’t keep from carving such a cute model onto a little print block.  The snow has since melted, I will miss seeing the little tracks, but now I can capture him on some of my new art work…


artprize civilization

chalk 13

A few years ago, my children’s school cut the art program.  Technically they moved the teacher into a classroom and never hired someone new for the position.  While I grieve that decision for our community, I am pushed towards action for my children.  Two weekends ago we drove the hour between our home and Grand Rapids to take our children on our annual pilgrimage to see Art Prize.  On the way down we listened to a magic tree house episode Vikings at Sunrise,  the story transports the two kids back to the dark ages and time of the vikings.  Jack the young boy defines “civilization” as, ” when people have books and art and good manners.”

Here is some of what we experienced in our three-hour visit…  children busking.  Multiple street musicians.  Performance artists.  Jugglers.  Hundreds of pieces of art.  Sculptures made from recycled materials.  Sculptures made from nature.  Works in progress. “Mom, why are those people talking with their hands?” Compassion.  Knitted objects.  Murals the size of buildings.  Scale.  “Why are there so many dark-skinned people here.”  Diversity.  Art in the streets, taking over squares.  Art in museums, galleries, parking lots and alleys.  People.  Crowded sidewalks and bridges.  People interacting with art.  My children interacting with art.  Life engaged.

At the end of the day, it is not the government’s job to provide opportunities and the schools job solely to be teachers, It is ours, the parents, the people, the church, the community.  We make the opportunities, we write the books, we teach the lessons, we display the manners.  We don’t need more titles to give, help or teach, we need to make the drive a priority.  I am learning to be an intentional parent, about exposure, creating opportunities, teaching and correcting.  In essence I am learning the art of engagement.

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spinning memories


This past weekend I participated in a trunk show at Wool & Honey in beautiful Leland country.  S in particular followed me around frowning as I packed to get ready… she wanted to with me in a bad way!  I caved.   Thankfully.  What sweet memories were made camping together and Kat from WhyKnot was so gracious in teaching her how to drop spindle.  My baby is turning into a little lady…   It was a refreshing break in the summer to be around a group of creatives and gorgeous fibers.  Kat also brought her spinning wheel,  I think next time I should bring my potters wheel and challenge her to a spin off!  Committing in the summer also forced me to make some new work,  a few yarn bowls leftover have been added to the shop.  Good times.

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hold me near


This weekend I got away on a little retreat, well really I was taking a class but I was alone for the six-hour car ride.  I found myself thinking, praying and singing (very loudly and badly…) to pass the time.  Of the little music  I had with me this song was from one of the cd’s I listened to repeatedly, “hold me near” by Karla Adolphe/ enter the worship circle.  It is based on one of my favorites, psalms 73.

Hold Me Near

Hold me near when I’m restless
Hold me near when I’m bitter
Hold me near when I”m rebellious
Hold me near until the end
Hold me near when my heart is broken
Hold me near when I’m ignorant
Hold me near when I am jealous
Hold me near until the end
But as for me my feet almost gave out I nearly sold my heart
It’s good to be held by my Father it’s good to be where you are
We are creating these theme/scripture paintings as one of the spring crafts for the women’s retreat.  I just had to try it out ahead of time with some left over supplies I had at home and the lyrics from the song & psalm 73.  I love reading into the phrase,  it just has layers for me.

easter praise

easter vase


Happy Easter.

I finished my vases in time… they didn’t make it to the gallery but this one made it to my table.

Hope & Friendship

clayer mishima

This afternoon I went to a community Good Friday service. What a sweet thing to see so many of our local churches and families worshiping together.  We were able to walk there in the sunshine, as a family.  I needed that, sunshine, walking, family, friendship, hymns, hope, and sacrificial savior.

Daffodil  friendship

Also today, I was able to catch up on a few pieces of “homework.”  Using mishima technique I created these two raised tiles.  A daffodil for friendship and Iris for hope.  I can’t wait to see how these fire – I think I like using white clay.

Hope Iris

spring light box



Today I am using my ipad as a light box.  (pressing VERY lightly with a mechanical pencil)

The sun is shining and I am diving into some projects from my clayer mishima class.  I have a kiln to fire, that I have been putting off because I like to cram as many pieces as possible in it. Two half finished books, two rich bible studies, half baked meals, a dozen phone calls to make… and a slew of posts that are partially written in my drafts.  My daughter had her spring concert last night, that I dragged her to in tears because she didn’t want “100 eyes” on her.  We were overtaken by spring mud last week and this week a fresh blanket of snow to cover it all.  The spring dance has arrived.  I have been drawing slews of daffodils, iris, peonies, ferns, hacianths, and a whole swarm of butterflies.  They will be awakening on fresh beds of white clay soon.

collection sketch peony iris sketch  butterfly sketches overlay flowers

pocket full of posies…


I am sure you watch cool shows on TV.  I watch Jeopardy  – What it’s cool!

Last week I learned a 4 letter word for a bouquet of flowers…. What Is posy.

I typically do the best on the teen week questions…  even though I couldn’t name ONE of Taylor Swifts songs.  Were you watching this day?  Best answer EVER!


This week we had our THIRD craft club meeting.  We made paper-craft poppy flowers.  Using a crayon and watercolor resist for the background we talked about “contrast,” pattern and resist.  The girls cut “monochromatic” poppy flowers (well some of them…)  If it’s not overdosing on glitter it’s gobs of glue – I am loving my time with these ladies!

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cont edu…

I think our kids school district is trying out a year-round calendar unknowingly through snow days…  we have surpassed the alloted days, so every day from here on out will be tacked on in June.   Oh joy!   While my kids are happy to be out of school, I am eager to jump back in.
I tried to get into this class at Hollanders last fall but it sold out too quickly.  This past weekend I had another shot,  Barbara Brown did an excellent job teaching us how to make these gorgeous leather wrap journals.  See those paper signatures all those pages were torn by hand and using a paper knife… not my favorite part, but I love the sewing!  I thought this design would be a great use for some of my buttons and beads.  Beyond that I just always feel a boost of creative energy whenever I take a class,  it helps me beat the winter blues…


A few other folks in the class let me take some photos of their work,  I am always amazed to take part in classes with such talented people.  It wasn’t too long ago I just longed for this kind of experience but failed to follow through, paralyzed by insecurities, scheduling, and fear of costs. Have you taken a workshop in something you are interested in lately?  It was an investment worth while,  here I’ll give you my top 3 reasons.
  1. It builds your resume and confidence in your craft.  Taking classes often leads me down new paths.  I have gained confidence in my artwork and exploring creatively.
  2. It is a source of entertainment.  There are a ton of classes/workshops out there to fit every budget.  I got on my computer and searched for classes in my area and online.  I am excited to start this clayer class next month, I get to participate from my own studio!
  3. It is cheaper and more effective than therapy!  It is hard to stay in a funk when you are learning something new that you are interested in. It typically gives me a jolt of productivity as well (who couldn’t use a few tons of that!)

Cheers to learning!


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