Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Illustration Friday: Dreams

They always said that little Appleseed
was just a dreamer...

It took me a while, but I finally figured out how I wanted to portray what was on my heart and in my head this week. (I hope) It's very easy for us to look at a person's outward appearance and see inadequacy, fault, and even foolishness. In fact, we even tend look at ourselves that way fairly often. But our God-given potential is beyond calculation. We each have dreams - wonderful things inside us that yearn to be expressed. We just have to plant and nuture those dreams and trust God to make them grow.

There's an old saying that goes something like this:
Don't ask how many apples are in a tree, but instead ask how many trees are in an apple.

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see."
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Busy Day...Not Much to Say

Busy day...not much to say.
Except thanks for coming by.
It means a lot to me.
And I never want you to leave empty-handed.
So please accept this simple thanks.
Be Blessed,

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Illustration Friday: Reflection

As I was driving to the store last night, I caught a glimpse of the full moon rising in the east. Even though it was just a glimpse, I could tell that it was huge. As I drove further and came to a clearing beside a small lake in town, I could see it in all its glory! I couldn't remember ever seeing the moon that big and bright and clear. It took my breath away! And when I also saw its beautiful reflection in the lake, I knew instantly that I had my Illustration Friday image.

As I was making a mental note of the imagery, I realized that there was another layer of meaning to "reflection" in this scene. The moon doesn't give off light of its own - it simply reflects the sun. The sparkles in the water, the highlights on the clouds, the brightness that throws shadows of its own, all originate with the sun. This truth keeps the moon quite modest, though he is tempted on nights like this to take all the credit.

"We can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him."
2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Living Bible)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Miracle Twins!

The Miracle Twins!
It is with great pleasure and a whole lot of Auntie pride that I present to you the Fine Prince Jared and the Fair Princess Julia! These healthy, beautifu, miracle twins were born last Tuesday, August 9th, 2005.
My dear sister-in-law and brother-in-law are now the proud, loving, and capable (if not a little bit scared) parents of these wonderful creatures after a long 11 year battle with infertility. Our family couldn't be happier for this God-given blessing to them, and to all of us!

Under the Weather and Out of Touch

My computer has been out sick with a bug for a couple of days now, but he's finally back on his feet again! Hurray! I tell you, when you're cut off from the internet (all our household computers were down), you realize what a big part of your life the internet has become...for better or worse. I have loved all the people I've "met" and beautiful things I've seen and read online...it's become an important part of my creative life. So, cheers to all you folks, bleary-eyed and sleep deprived who travel through cyberspace sharing bits and pieces of yourselves with others. We're all creating quite a beautiful tapestry as we weave in and out of each other's lives. It's great to share in it with you!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Illustration Friday: Wisdom

Ah Wisdom - one of my favorite topics ever for Illustration Friday! I had many, many thoughts about how to illustrate this, but I finally settled on the wisdom of God as evidenced in His wonderful creation. (click here to see larger version of illustration). When I look around me, I see magnificent wonders, large and small, that sing out to their Maker - and I want to join in that chorus with them! His incredible Wisdom, reflected in His glorious creation reminds me that He's a lot smarter than me, and it would be wise to approach life with an attitude of humility and honor towards Him!

"What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."
Psalm 104:24 (The Message)

Here are some other favorite verses on Wisdom:

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fives: I've been tagged...twice

I was recently "tagged" by my hip sweetheart galpal Madame Heather to provide answers to the following questions. Not wishing to appear hopelessly un-hip, I'm playing along:

Where was I ten years ago?

I was back in college after a long absence, taking a figure drawing class and a 3-D design class. I was SO much older than everyone (34 then), but it didn't seem to matter when the charcoal hit the paper. At least it wasn't a PE class.

Five years ago?

I was traveling around the country non-stop with my IBM training job, longing for a respite from the constant motion. It finally came when I was laid off from one division of the company and hired right back by another division of the company. The new position (the same one I have today) was home based...literally. I work 100% from home!

One year ago?

We were just about to begin the Beth Moore "Believing God" study in the Fall of '04 - we had over 200 women sign up, and being the leader of this fairly new ministry, I was in a full blown panic. I hadn't quite learned the believing God part yet...but He took care of us as He always does!


Bowling with my hubby for the first time in 10 years. I bowled a 67.

Five snacks I enjoy: (Weight Watchers points values added to keep me honest)

  • Chips and salsa (12 chips = 3 points, salsa is point-free)
  • Cashews (app. 3 points for 1/4 cup)
  • Peanut M&Ms (5 points per bag)
  • Big Cheez-It Crackers (4 points for 13 crackers)
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough (don't want to know...)

Five Songs I know all the words to:

  • Amazing Grace
  • Fire and Rain by James Taylor
  • Anticipation by Carly Simon
  • I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
  • Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Five Things I would do with $100 million:

  • Pay off every mortgage in mine and B's immediate families
  • Set up a permanent endowment for an orphanage
  • Go on a safari
  • Restore an old Victorian house
  • Pay for college for all my nieces and nephews

Five Locations I would like to run away to:

  • Back to the Galilee region in Israel
  • Carmel, CA
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Fredericksburg, TX

Five Bad Habits I have:

  • Procrastination
  • Leaving lights on everywhere
  • Drinking milk from the carton
  • Grinding my teeth
  • Blogging REALLY late at night (like now)

Five things I like doing:

  • Blogging REALLY late at night (like now)
  • Arranging magazine cut-outs in an album
  • Singing in the car
  • Coloring
  • Riding my bike in the morning and seeing the sunrise

Five things I would never wear:

  • Polyester pants
  • Mini skirts (see snacks I like for explanation)
  • Leopard print anything
  • Purple nail polish
  • Thigh-high boots

Five TV shows I like:

  • Extreme Makeover - Home Edition
  • Divine Design - HGTV
  • West Wing
  • Rick Steve's Europe
  • Everybody Loves Raymond

Five Favorite toys:

  • Nikon D70 digital camera
  • Wacom Tablet
  • Mini CD-making kit
  • Pasta maker
  • My bike

Five Biggest Joys of the Moment:

  • Mornings with God
  • My bunny girlfriends (including my Mom)
  • My new imaginary friends on the internet
  • Being immersed in creativity again - it's been too long
  • My miracle twin niece and nephew born on Tuesday (I'll post their pictures soon)

Now at this point, I am supposed to tag five people with the same challenge, so - you're it:

And dearest Annette (AKA wynle) tagged me too with this quickie 5:

List 5 idiosyncrasies about myself:

  • I sometimes look at people's necklaces, eyebrows, earrings, glasses, etc while they're talking to me, rather than look them in the eye..but I'm getting better about that
  • Half the time I leave the house, I circle back around the block to check to make sure I shut the garage door
  • I routinely rescue wasps that are drowning in the dog's water bowl
  • I have to rip out all the card stock inserts in magazines before I can even begin to read the magazine (I get that one from my mom)
  • I randomly shorten, lengthen, or completely change people's names when I talk to them (Sue = SusieQ, Jaime = James, etc)

Anybody who wants to can do either one or both of these - have fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Studio Friday: Sketchbook(s) and or Notebook(s)

Had to miss Studio Friday for a couple of weeks, but I'm happy to be back with this week's theme - sharing our studio sketchbooks and/or notebooks. First off...I have tons of them both. I have a bad habit of being in Hobby Lobby or Office Depot and "forgetting" that I still have 99 blank pages left in a sketchbook with 100 pages at home. If I happen to see a new sketchbook and at that same moment have an idea for something to sketch, that baby is coming home with me. Consequently, I have stacks of sketchbooks with the first few pages colorfully filled in and the rest lonely from neglect. I'll have to work on that. I don't limit myself to just true sketchbooks either - any tablet of paper will do...spiral notebooks, graph paper pads, memo pads, composition books - all are fair game.

I have a thing for notebooks too. Actually, I have a thing for magazines which drove me to having a thing for notebooks. I used to have way too many magazines - stacks and stacks of them. Some years ago it became clear that I had to get rid them, but they were filled with such goodies - what to do? So I began tearing out appealing pictures from my magazines that I wanted to keep, and throwing the rest of the magazine guts away. I then began to purchase photo album notebooks with "magnetic" pages in which to keep the cool magazine pictures. At first I would just randomly trim and stick pictures on pages and fill up a notebook...but then I began to group the pictures by season, and then by color, so that each notebook went from winter through fall with all color coordinated pages. I have about 9 of these that I've worked on for several years. They still inspire me and the pictures often serve as models for when I need to draw a teacup just so or need to remember what a daisy's leaf looks like. I now have 4 huge folders filled with tearouts from magazines that are waiting to be artfully arranged in a notebook. One of my greatest luxuries and guiltiest pleasures is to sit and spend several hours processing a stack of pictures. I don't get to do it too often, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I do.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Illustration Friday: Empty

I finally had time to get in a quick submission to Illustration Friday. This week's theme is "Empty", and when I read it, I almost immediately thought of how we tend to try to fill ourselves with any number of things when we feel empty inside. Things are a poor substitute for our heart's deepest need, and they can ultimately cheat us of our very heart and soul...

"What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?" Mark 8:36 (The Message)
The second idea that I almost did for this week's theme has already been done very well by 2 folks that I've seen (perhaps by others...sorry if I missed you). It is Empty Nest. Here's Rick's version and the Crafty Girl's version. I really liked these...
Instead of the usual empty nest syndrome for people whose children have left home, I had in mind the empty nest from the perspective of couples who suffer from infertility. This has touched me and my husband personally as well as other family members. Great news for one of those family members - my sister-in-law and her husband are having their twins tomorrow (a boy and a girl!) - after 11 years of trying including at least 3 failed invetro attempts. We're so happy for them that finally their nest will be overflowing!!

Vacation with My Nephew

Just spent a wonderful few days with my 11 year old (almost 12 as he would say) nephew. We flew him up from Texas for a 4 day visit last week. Just thought I'd share a couple of pictures of our time together.
We did far too much for me to write about here, but a few of the highlights included a trip to the Colorado Railroad Museum. My nephew's a big train fan, so this was a favorite. This place had acres and acres of old locomotives, mail cars, cabooses, cattle cars and any number of other train cars that were available for climbing in and on. We had a lot of fun meandering through all these great pieces of history.

No trip to Colorado is complete without heading up to the mountains. We traveled up to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so beautiful, cool and clear on Saturday when we were there...and on a clear day, you can see forever!
In Estes Park, we took a gondola ride to a mountain top where we had a commanding view of the whole Estes valley. Very cool. The gondola station at the top of the mountain is a haven for thousands of chipmunks. You can buy a sack of peanuts for a buck and feed them. They're quite used to this luxury and will readily and greedily eat right from your hand. Too cute!!
It was a really fun trip for us - we had a lovely time - jam packed with going and doing. This old Aunt and Uncle were quite tired, but happy that we got to spend some rare, quality time with our nephew.