I've never heard of this artist before, but our Pastor showed a poem of his in church yesterday. Finding Christian art that is either well/creatively presented AND Scriptural can be very challenging sometimes, so whenever I find something that seems to fit BOTH I do a long happy dance and try to share it with as many as I can. I hope it blesses you!
Well my last post was a bit of a rant, and I need to reread it and edit it. In the meantime here is a refreshing bit of creativity! I did one and then started kicking myself for not taking before and after pictures, and then realized I had another picture/frame that I COULD do before and after pictures on! So this is my way of apologizing for posting an unedited rant previously. Hope you enjoy!
I scrapbooked growing up, and unfortunately only have one of my old scrapbooks; which is unfinished. The rest were destroyed in my parents housefire several years ago. It sort of took the wind out of my sales as far as investing in scrapbooking supplies etc. (its NOT cheap!) and honestly the styles have changed so much from what I grew up with. Instead of the papers and stickers simply embellishing the pictures, the pictures are kind of the final pizzazz one adds to this glorious art piece of paper, stickers, fibers, beads, etc. SO I just haven't messed with it much and moved on to other hobbies. But when I saw these frames a year or so ago my creative wheels started turning and here is the end result.
1. Step One: Pick your piece of art that you are going to embellish
I bought mine at Garden Ridge while they were having one of their glorious 90% off sales. I think this cost me about $1.50 or less. SO that includes the frame, glass, and artwork.
2. Step Two: CAREFULLY cut a slit in the brown paper backing.
If I were a professional crafter, I would say pull out your crafter knife. However, this is an old blade of my husbands that he gave me for gardening... and its rusty. Very professional, eh?
3. Step Three: assess your art piece.
What I mean by this is notice how the art is attached to your frame. I thought originally the art pieces were on paper backed by cardboard. Instead, the art was glued to the cardboard, the cardboard was then tacked to the frame, and then brown paper glued over the whole thing. I was disheartened for a few moments but then grabbed a pair of needle-nosed pliers and got to work.
4. Step Four: detach art from frame
Yay for needle nose pliers! I did break a nail on these suckers on the first frame. But with the help of the pliers they were surprisingly easy to extract.
Now you may be thinking that this is an AWFUL amount of work to put into this thing. But if you are saying that then 1. you clearly don't remember scrapbooking and 2. remember this is a BUDGET project. And I've found that what you don't pay upfront in $$ you pay down the road in time and effort. SO it just depends on what trade off you want this particular day.
Remove the art from the frame and see if there is any damage you need to clean up. Mine came out of the frame a little rough so I polished up the edges with stickers or planned to cover the rough areas with pictures so they wouldn't be noticeable.
5. Step five: pick which photos you are going to add to the artwork
Now we leave the technical aspect of things and get into the fun artsy part. This is really where your scrapbooking experience will kick in, because at first glance the pictures and art are either not compatible or don't fit. You'll have to use your imagination and plan out how you will make everything fit.
6. Step Six: Crop your photos
Maaaan I was shocked at how out of practice I was! I used to grab a pair of scissors and snip away at a picture without a second thought. Or we had those lovely templates that you could use to draw onto the picture with a special acid-free pencil and cut over the lines... or those dear swirly swoopy templates that cost a fortune and a half with the little razors that fit into the grooves with all those warnings about how children could cut off limbs with those teeeeeeeny blades... aaah the good old days. Oh well... freehand it is these days!
7. Step Seven: Attach your pictures onto the artwork
If you are on top of things, super organized or are inclined to dash off to the nearest craft store and purchase some, I supposed the special acid-free tape that also cost an arm and a leg and the promise to name your first child after the the manufacturer is what one ought to use. Or if you're like me you'll grab tape leftover from Christmas gift wrapping and double it over on itself and not bother with double sided tape even. :-) I may be doing a trendy DIY blog post but I refuse to portray myself as one of those ladies who blissfully has all white furniture and a house that is ALWAYS immaculately clean. Seriously. DIY means do it YOURSELF, for real people in the real world. None of this white-couch nonsense. While I'm on this particular rant, let me take a moment to say that yes, you are seeing correctly that this craft is being done on the floor or on my lap. I have a craft room upstairs but it is currently being used as the, "Oh crap company's coming quick hide the mess!" room.
9. Step Nine: Hang up your piece of artwork and enjoy!
I have always collected seashells. I don't know why, there is just something fairy-like and magical about finding a beautiful shell just washed up by the surf, all sparkling and shiny from the saltwater.
My passion for such things led to me accidentally bringing home a live sea snail once, which Grandma found in the laundry basket... learning moment all around!!!
My husband had only been to the sea side once or twice before he met me, so the need to bring home pockets full of sandy, smelly shells was one which I had to educate him on. He did grow to the point where he would help me find them and feel elated himself when he would find a whole shell not broken to bits washed up onto the shore.
It got to the point where we had a whole shoe box full of shells, which Kyle fit into the car under the condition that I DO SOMETHING CREATIVE with them once we got home. Along with the nice little window display you see above that is in my sea-themed bathroom, (made up entirely of shells we found ourselves. Not one of those over-priced 'made in china' souvenirs!) here is what I have come up with:
Its not finished of course. I'm thinking I will do some kind of mixed media on the wreath; perhaps a cross-stitched mermaid, a knitted fish or two, and little collages of shells - or flowers with shells in the middle...
The burlap is made up from centerpieces from our wedding. I like the tie-in: the burlap from our wedding, the shells from our 1 year anniversary :-)
I guess I can afford to be fancy with this because its definitely a summer-themed wreath, and summer feels like its about over. So it will give me something to look forward to all winter once the Christmas present projects are done and I don't feel like working on my Nativity cross-stitch.
In other news, today is my sister's birthday! If you are reading this today, dear sister, I hope your day is work and stress free, full of friends and laughter and happiness!! Happy Birthday!!
So we're back, and finished with this month's travels. My husband starts training for his new job tomorrow, and I have a back to school party to plan for my Wednesday night crew. Both Kyle and I are a little bummed to be giving up the freedom of summer travels in exchange for the routine of responsible adult life, but there are some redeeming moments. Such as me getting to brew a decent cup of tea in the morning; or him enjoying home cooked meals again. I've been working on a Nativity cross stitch while we've been traveling hither and yon, but I'm putting it aside for a little bit in order to get cracking on Christmas gifts. I decided that I'll go back and forth, and hopefully finish the cross stitch by the time the Season rolls around. (But if not then there's always next Christmas!)
We most recently got back from visiting my great-Grandma, who is 98 and still living well and comfortably by herself in Chicago. That woman is beyond amazing in so many ways. As is tradition, we returned home with a car full of yarn and heads full of amazing stories from Grandma's past. One of the stories she shares is of when she was a little girl in Kansas City. She was walking with her mother, Jessi, when they saw a dress they both liked in a shop window. Great-great-Grandma Jessi stopped, stared at the dress, and began muttering to herself. "I'll cut it this way... no... no..." and she wiped the air in front of her as though clearing a drawing board. "No I'll have to cut it that way... and then tuck it here and here," and she pointed to the designated spots on the air in front of her. After several minutes of this seamstress intonation, Great-great-Grandma nodded with satisfaction and resumed her walking.
The next few days she got to work and Great-Grandma had a brand new dress that looked just like the one in the store window.
Several years later she found some lovely gingham that her mother had bought and decided to try out her skills as an air seamstress. When Great-great-Grandma Jessi got home and saw her daughter wearing a brand-new gingham outfit she had made by herself, the consternation she may have felt at her new yard-goods being used without permission left rather quickly in place of approval. "Well, if you're going to use my material, I guess you may as well do a good job of it and I see you did." was all that was said - back in the days of when, where emotions were implied not stated and approval seen through facial expressions not heard through words.
I can sew a wee bit, but have yet to make myself any kind of clothing - although Great-Grandma gave me a lovely peach-ish pink bolt of cloth to make myself a suit out of while we were there and I want to learn how. I'd love to be able to sew clothes for my children when we have some, as its a whooooole lot cheaper to do so! I do however knit, and knit quite well if I say so myself.
I'm designing one of my Christmas presents, and I can't say for who because I don't think this person reads my blog but I'm not sure. Unfortunately I can't draw it in the air and then whip it up like my foremothers, but I can do a decent job with graph paper. My husband says to hush, its just as impressive and the legacy is continuing through yarn and graph paper. I hope so.
I'm blessed with a very rich heritage on both sides of my family, and I hope that through God's grace and fellow believer's encouragement to continue the awesome legacies others have worked hard to leave me.
Today is one of the first truly GORGEOUS days of Summer. We've had a few days of thunderstorms, so the world is washed fresh and green is peeping back from under the brown. I've almost lost a couple of plants due to the heat, and due to the business the lack of watering or weeding. The front beds are pitiful. I did confess to my husband the other day that I far prefer the backyard garden to the front yard. We live off a main thoroughfare street, and so the noise, smell of cars, and occasional honks and lewd remarks from burly men in old pickup trucks make it less relaxing than the back yard. That and the robin dive-bombing me every time I tried to weed this spring was kind of a psychological deterrent to the front yard!
So I've felt a little guilty that the backyard is thriving while the front yard is struggling. But my husband also pointed out that this is my first year to have several full blown, food producing GARDEN BEDS all of my own. So he said I should allow for some trial and error. I think in the fall I'm moving most of the delicate plants out of the front beds and into the back beds and just going to plant huge hardy flowering things in the front for passer-by-ers enjoyment! The fun things that need attention are going into my haven.
This year I've been coming across a lot of gourd art, so I decided to plant birdhouse gourds to see if I could join in that genre of art. All but two of the seedlings died from pests or heat, but the two that made it are doing quite well. This is the first seedling all grown up:
The above pictures are of some Birdhouse Gourd Art we saw in Brown County (which reminds me I have GOT to finish that post about our AWESOME adventures there!!). I'm hoping to get enough gourds to experiment with a lot of these ideas (LOVE love love the birds in the middle picture. The big gourd in the picture on the left is actually a purse/picnic basket! and the masks on the far right picture are made out of gourds!). But the main thing I want to do is get a Wood Burning Kit and make henna-designed birdhouses out of the gourds. They sell for a small fortune online and I'm pretty sure I can do the same thing... but we'll see. So if anyone is looking for Christmas Gifts ideas for Yours Truly.... Wood Burning Kit!!!!
What could be more thrilling than to be taken by the hand by none other than Robert the Bruce's mother and shown how to drop spindle? Well, probably several things seeing as it was an actress whose accent would make a true Scotsman cringe, but nonetheless, it was exhilarating. I've tried using a drop spindle before without much success, and my teacher blamed it on the fact that I was using wool (and probably not the highest grade, either) instead of Alpaca. So for about an hour we chatted about the various animals one could own that would produce fiber for spinning while she occasionally corrected where my hands were placed or how tight I was twisting. By the end of it I had a small but perfectly serviceable ball of alpaca yarn. While she wound it off the spindle and into a ball, we discovered that we were both preparing for VBS at our churches and had a lot in common. While we learned about each other the woman snuck in a few tidbits of advice and encouragement. I left feeling educated, edified and refreshed.
There is something beautiful about learning how to live life over some kind of needle and fiber. Be it sewing, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery, knitting, weaving, or spinning, the Art of Womanhood seems to be more vivid and appealing and easy to learn when its taught during the education of one of those arts.
The women I consider the most prominent mentors in my life have all taught me how to use some kind fiber. Mom taught me cross stitch, grandma taught me sewing, my mother-in-law helped me transfer from cross-stitch to embroidery, and various women along the way have either built upon those skills or taught me new ones.
A couple of the kids I teach on Sundays and Wednesdays have asked either for me to teach them how to knit or to knit them something. Its funny to me because these are the kids that have gadgets and gizmos aplenty. They have ipads, ipods, iphones, know the latest songs from the latest stars, and have 'being cool' down to a fine art. But they are intrigued and fascinated by the handmade. And they recognize the specialness of having something made especially for YOU. And being special isn't something these kids are used to. Older folks coming alongside and mentoring them isn't something they get very often - if ever.
So with much fear and trepidation the church secretary and I are starting the beginnings of a knit/crochet/fiber lovers meeting at the church. I've been adamant that kids and youth who want to come get to come as long as they behave themselves. The ladies in the church need to see they are capable of discipleship,and the kids need to see that the older people aren't all ogres. A couple of people have asked me to help them improve (or acquire!) their knitting skills, so they'll be welcome too. However I will say that I really think that teaching how to knit ought to be left to the experts. Yes I can follow a pattern correctly now, but I hardly feel that makes me an expert!
And in the meantime, I 'm knitting up a batch of turtles for the kids going to camp. I'm using the acrylic that various ladies in the church have given me, and using the little scraps of yarn that usually litter the carpet for the stuffing, so its no extra expense.
As a final thought, I encourage you to look for ways you can reach to people in odd unconventional ways. You have no idea how touching it is to have someone cheerfully and naturally teach you a skill that will edify you and others for the rest of your life. Or maybe you do know how touching it is, in which case I heartily encourage you to pass it on to others. Be that blessing for someone else.
One of the girls from the church's Wednesday night program has decided that we will take some time each Wed. to "talk." About anything, really. About what kind of pet animal we wanted when we were kids (I was informed that for me that would be a long time ago, but for her it was right now), what our dream house looked like, why Frozen is (in her opinion) the BEST movie EVAH.
She and I are also friends on facebook, and she has discovered my 'cool things I've made" album, which led to a discussion on knitting. I showed her Ravelry, and she saw the pattern for the 'Egg to Turtle' softie. That was more awesome than the Frozen flip dolls even. Ever since then she's been asking me WHEN am I going to make her that turtle?! This has led to interesting discussions between her and I (and later Kyle and I as I relate all that happened to him) about fairness (if I make you one I have to make all the kids one) honesty (no you cannot lie to your friends and say that you bought this at a store and I didn't make it for you) and lifestyle (yes I honestly do believe one can get through life without lying, and you should adopt that lifestyle too!) But its also caused me to REALLY REALLY want to make her a turtle as we get closer and she listens and grows. Kyle keeps saying that I have done a good job not having favorites despite the hooligans and angels in the crowd and to not start now. BUT I did find a way to possibly maintain that standard AND still make the girl a turtle. She's going to camp with me along with (hopefully 6 but right now its looking like 1) other girls. That's a more reasonable amount of turtles to knit! They only take a few hours each.
The ladybug is from the same pattern, except I didn't give her a tail, she has icords for bug legs instead of fins, her shell is flatter and her head is bigger - and she has antennae. I'm very proud of her. She was inspired by the youth minister's daughter, who has had a ladybug farm and is now in love with all ladybugs she finds. Since she's four she of course believes that she is the worthy caretaker of all found ladybugs, and is distressed to tears when she accidentally drops and steps on them. Since this causes her new baby brother distress and therefore her parents distress, I thought I could help out by giving her an unkillable and uncrushable ladybug. Cause I'm just an awesome neighbor like that.
Speaking of ladybugs, I wish I had some. The aphids have discovered my tea roses, and I'm not happy about it. They also have some black rust or mold all over the leaves, so altogether they aren't happy. Doesn't stop me from enjoying the blooms, however. But I need to get on the ball and figure out how to stop the aphids and the mold or I won't be enjoying anymore blooms!!! The in-laws are having Memorial-Day-Supper with us tonight, so I combined two pink and a yellow roses with lavender blossoms and if I do say so myself it looks and smells awesome! When you get up close that is. Its a rather tiny arrangement.
Happy Memorial Day, and may your spring continue to be sunny and creative!
Growing up, I can't begin to count how many shows, fairs, conventions, and festivals my mom took my siblings and I to. Sometimes we went just as spectators, but usually we went to Home school conventions and we had a booth ourselves. When I wasn't helping mom to sell one of the many different curriculum's we used ourselves, I loved wandering the various booths - meeting more people, observing the differences in their booth layouts, watching how they interacted with customers. Craft fairs were another big thing we went to, although after a few tries we weren't vendors anymore and just went and watched. While we made a few small purchases, the main fun was entering our names into ever drawing, sweepstakes, and goodie basket we could find, sampling the samples, and gleaning as much information from the vendors without actually committing to buying anything. We'd always leave exhausted but thoroughly satisfied.
It is 10:30 am. So far, I am still in my pajama's, but I've read Hans Christian Anderson's "Snow Queen," made the bed, taken all meds, and drank tea. Breakfast is still pending.
I have this problem. I'll have a SUPER duper productive day (yesterday) in which I cook, clean, get projects for work done, have meetings, etc. and so forth.
Then I have a super lazy day. That would be today.
Part of the joys of being a newlywed with no children and a job that allows you some flexibility.
But today I can't afford that... today I have to be productive two days in a row!!
Today I have to get the kitchen clean, get more groceries, make enough decent food to last my husband the next few days, and smoothie-ify a bunch of fruit and kefir so it can be easily whisked from the freezer and consumed. Then I have to get my lesson for tonight prepared, and then probably come back and clean up whatever mess I've made in the kitchen.
Then go back to the church to teach the hooligans about missionaries, and try to have a strategy in place for when one of them melts down about something that has caused a crisis in their preteen world.
I'm going to get my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow. Thats why I have to get all this stuff done TODAY.
I'm not scared about the surgery itself (although it did dawn on me last night that I will be going under full anesthesia for the first time, and that was a weird thought). I'm scared about how I'm going to react to all the medication.
My body doesn't do well with foreign chemicals.
I'm fairly confident I will be higher than a kite for the next few days. Either that or swollen and miserable.
The concept of only consuming liquids for a few days was a little disappointing, but I've wanted to change my diet and get back into shape and lose some weight anyway, so I figured I'd just use this opportunity to make super healthy shakes and jump start the diet change. However that will probably shock my system as it goes into a massive detoxification process too...
As all these conflicting thoughts and musings swirl about my brain, I've decided upon the cowardly course of action: Procrastination. :-)
Nope nope nope. Get up, self! Grab trial and challenge by the horns!
Grr. Off I go.
You probably won't be hearing from me for at least a week...
I am slightly hyperactive, so sitting and listening to sermons, class lectures, or even half-hour staff meetings can boarder on the torturous. I've always doodled, but recently my interest has been piqued by the new Zentangle style. I'm not very good at it yet. Its kind of like Henna art, where you try to cram as much detail into tiny spaces as possible. Its also supposed to be a LOT more symmetrical than mine is currently. I'm blaming that on 1. I'm a free spirit and 2. symmetry of any kind is challenging for me. Matching up angles, making planes of furniture follow the same perpendicular lines, and mathematical geometry range from snarl-inducing challenges to torture.
Anyway. There's a sample of some of my artwork, along with sermon notes and some profound quotes the pastor shared. :-)
A normal woman learning to serve an Extraordinary Lord in Ordinary ways, and watching Him turn it into Amazing Grace!
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