Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What does spirituality mean to you?

That is the subject of the photo contest I just entered through the Himalayan Institute and ParaYoga.

I submitted this image of my nephew with the caption
"Time stood still".

A kind heart, quiet mind, open arms.
What does spirituality mean to you?

Monday, January 30, 2012

I really struggle this time of year.
Don't feel right...tired...heavy.
And so I wait it out.
Lay low.
Putter around in the studio.
Don't make any life changing decisions.
Put one foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I got a message from a dear friend yesterday; she was feeling down and a little anxious about something she had to do later in the day.  She decided to put on a pair of big gold earrings and a bangle bracelet she had worn to a fun, rocking event last summer…even though she thought they may look silly with the gray turtleneck she was wearing.  It didn't matter because the big gold jewelry reminded her of good friends and happy times.

I was thinking of my friend this morning while cleaning out a cupboard and discovering the fancy dishes I inherited from my Grandma.  I blew the dust out of the delicate Limoges teacup and poured myself a cup of coffee.  It didn't matter that I was in fleece pajamas and Smart Wool socks.

Here's hoping the days ahead are upbeat and trouble-free.
If not, follow the advice of my dear friend...
"put on some gaudy jewelry and enjoy being you." 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I’m taking a few days to putter.
Things are in need of intense tending-to around the house.
Piles of clutter I’ve been moving from one place to another
require dusting off and looking over.
I am going room by room.  The kitchen’s first.
I’ve cleaned and rearranged every surface.
If I’m in the mood for this, it’s insanely gratifying.
The mood for this doesn’t come all that often.
But I do love the rearranging part of it.

I made the chalkboard from an old cupboard door I got for free at a garage sale,
then added chalkboard paint. 
Easy peasy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This sweet snowman was made by my nephews and their friends!
I love happy accidents.  Awhile back, my Mom cleaned out her bookcase and gave me some books she thought I could use.  Recently I was searching for something in my studio and stumbled upon one of these hardcover books, a compilation of a year’s worth of “Sunshine” magazine from 1969.  The first page I turned to had the following passage that seemed to speak right to my very heart:

Take twelve fine, full-grown months;
See that these are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, hate, and jealousy;
Cleanse them completely from every clinging spite;
Pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness;
In short, see that these months are freed from all the past –
Have them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The women’s group at my hometown church has for years sent handmade cards as one of their mission programs.  The cards are mailed to local shut-ins, college students, military, and missionaries in other parts of the world that we support.  I’ve had the honor of making these cards every month for almost ten years.  Each month I design and make the cards in my Wisconsin studio, then either mail or hand deliver them to my Mom in Illinois, who takes them to the monthly meeting of the church women who stamp, address and mail them.

This card making process has been a true spirit-saver for me through the years, especially during low points of my life, when I wasn’t feeling much like creating.  It was (and still is) my personal mission to get the cards made on a deadline.  After all, people depend on it!  There are so many heartwarming stories we’ve heard from the card recipients and their families.  One woman shares her card at the front desk of the nursing home where she lives.  Another keeps a scrapbook just for the cards.  We received a letter from a missionary on the border of China and Vietnam who teaches English in a village there.  She hangs the cards on the wall as a conversation prompt for her students. 

It’s been said (and I AM a believer!) that doing something for another person is the best way out of a funk.  Many times in the past the only creative project I did all month was card making for the church.  I once heard a pastor’s message about using your talent to do the Lord’s work, and that’s when it all made sense.  Never once have I struggled for a theme, or hit a creative block when making the cards.  Coincidence? 

If you are looking for a creative outlet, I definitely encourage you to ask a church, nursing home, or non-profit organization if you could collaborate with them in a program like this.  It is really, really good for the soul.
In this new year, I thought it would be fun to share each month's card here on my blog.
I'm hoping you get as much inspiration from the cards as I do.

Quote found at:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sketchbook Page

It sure felt good to get back to my roots in the studio today…
a blank page
no real plan
rummaging through my stash of vintage paper scraps
searching for just the right combination of bits and pieces.

The three words are cut from an old school paper of my Grandma's that I found in my paper stash.
The background consists of tissue paper gessoed to watercolor paper, painted with watercolor, then machine stitched.
The flowers at the bottom of the page are from photographs of my own garden that I altered gray and white, then painted with watercolors.
The little white flowers are cut from a vintage hankie and adhered to the page with knots made from blue tatting thread.
Vintage graph paper and torn hankie fabric tinted with watercolor make up the leaves.

This is a sketchbook page I'll be submitting into an art contest;
the theme is "stitched". 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Here is my husband’s niece Madison wearing her new hat!