Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy 50th!

Happy 50th Anniversary
Mom & Dad!

December 21, 1956 - December 21, 2006

I wanted to take just a moment to congratulate my wonderful parents on their 50th wedding anniversary!! What an incredible accomplishment - what an incredible inspiration!! The years have been happy and sad, challenging and tragic, fun and mundane, glorious and ho-hum, giddy and grueling, prosperous and poor, exceptional and everyday, ordinary and extraordinary. So, what's the common thread..? LOVE! Love for God, love for family and friends and strangers, love for each other - the deep abiding love that overcomes obstacles and sustains you through tough times...the kind that makes you laugh and cry at the same time...the kind that transcends circumstances and soars...

God Bless you Mom and Dad - and thank you for your heritage of love - we are all the richer for it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Wind

“May brooks and trees and singing hills join in the chorus too, and every gentle wind that blows send happiness to you.”
~Irish Blessing~
I love the Autumn season - everything about it - so this week's Illustration Friday topic: "Wind" was a perfect opportunity to create an Autumn illustration. My whirlwind of a life has still kept me away from the blog of late, but not so far away that I don't see and admire your work and visit my regulars. I sincerely thank you for still coming by here to check on me from time to time. I will soon be sharing designs that I recently licensed to a Christian Gift and Stationary manufacturer - my first licensed work with an advance and royalties and all that good stuff - I am so excited! Plus I am still designing my 2007 calendar and hope to have it ready right before Christmas. I'll keep you posted...
Happy Fall Y'all

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Illustration Friday: Farm

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is "Farm". Farm critters have always been some of my favorites to draw, and weren't they fun to color and cut and paste as a kid...? Though many of us may never have the opportunity to actually visit a farm, I wish for all of us to be able to savor a bit of the country in our hearts...
Thanks for stopping by, O faithful ones...I have many. many things to share in the coming days and I plan to blog steadily for the forseeable future. I will have pictures to share of my studio, a mural I'm painting in my dining room, as well as several projects I've been working on for a client I met at the CBA convention this summer. Plus, I'm working on a 2007 calendar of my designs that I will be making available for sale! So much to much going on. Please stay tuned, and thanks so much for not giving up on me!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Illustration Friday: Play

The Drama Queen
a play on the word "play"

All I needed was a walk-in closet, a couple of sheets for curtains, and some dress-up accessories and I was playing being in a play. I didn't do this too often, and ONLY for family (as I was way too shy to do this for strangers), but it was fun none the less to be transformed by a few simple household items and a lot of imagination. Check out lots of fine renditions of "play" at Illustration Friday - this was a fun topic to get back in the swing of things with...

"Because you've always stood up for me, I'm free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post."
(Psalm 63:7-8 -The Message)


I'm so sorry that I have been away from my blog for so long - and I said that after my last post as well - but trust me that my life has been quite crazy. I sense that I am turning a corner and pulling into the neighborhood of "normal", and that is a welcome relief. Thanks to all of you who still come around to see if I'm alive - I assure you I am :o) I'm looking forward to going 'round and commenting on your work too - I've really missed visiting with you!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Updated Website...finally

Well, I have finally made substantial updates to my illustration website: - these were long overdue. Now it features my digital "cut-out" style much more prominently, and has quite a few more samples than it did. Check it out!

I'll be away from this desk and my personal computer for 2 weeks starting today, July 1st, as I travel up to Colorado for a combination of vacation, visiting old friends, dealing with my Colorado property that is for sale, work, and illustration marketing. It's time again to visit the Christian Bookseller's Convention just like I did last year - it's in Denver again this year. I hope to shop my new and *hopefully* improved portfolio around to Christian gift manufacturers and publishers - it should be a blast! more posts for a while (so what else is new, huh?) But I will be back and will give a full report in 2 weeks. Take care, thanks for dropping by, and God Bless You!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Jungle

Well, the song "Jungle Boogie" from Kool and the Gang was the first thing that popped into my head - and so here you have jungle critters dancing as I imagine they do when no one is looking....
Late for IF, I know, but I am committed to participating weekly again, so late will have to suffice this week... Blessings to you all this weekend!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Illustration Friday: Portrait

Portrait of Contentment

"...Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am..." Philippians 4:10-13

Well, to all my blogging buddies and any new visitors, I say it is SO GOOD to be back!! Oh my, how I have missed this incredible venue for creative expression and mutual support. I decided to do a self-portrait for this week's Illustration Friday topic: Portrait. I call it "Portrait of Contentment" because it is a reflection of my current state of mind, at least I am growing increasingly more content in my new life day by day. I have had an extremely challenging several months since I got divorced and moved cross country and bought a house and set up a house (hence my absence from blogging and IF)...and now...FINALLY...I have settled in and am enjoying myself immensely. (click the link to see lots of pictures of my house!!)
Are there still challenges - you bet - but a sense of real peace and true contentment with one's life goes a long way towards mitigating those challenges - and that contentment and peace comes from a life surrendered to God's plan. I don't "have it all together", nor do I do everything right - far, far from it - but God continues to guide me and gently teach me as I walk with Him in this new adventure, and as the scripture says, "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am..."

Blessings to you all - it is so good to be back - I have missed you all so much!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yes, I am Alive!

Hello to those of you who haven't completely given up coming by to see if I've posted anything...I am still here. I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post - but then again, with the kind of month I've had (actually with the kind of year I've had), I guess it's understandable. It would take far too long to go into it all, but the highlights/lowlights have been the finalization of my divorce, my father's hospitalization, my own illness (which I'm over), endless paperchase to prepare to close on my new house, actually closing on my new house, moving into my new house, unpacking at my new house, buying stuff for my new house, and lots of activities sprinkled in between have kept me out of touch, endlessly exhausted, and emotionally drained. I THINK that things are settling down a bit finally...and that has given me the occasion to stop and let y'all know what's happening with me.

I managed during this last week to do an illustration for a friend that I wanted to share - hope it brings a smile... I had a lot of fun doing it....

Blessings to each and every one of you - I hope to be back to blogging more regularly real soon - thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Illustration Friday: Spring

"Spring flowers are in blossom all over. The whole world's a choir - and singing! Spring warblers are filling the forest with sweet arpeggios."
Song of Solomon 2:12 (the Message)

This week's Illustration Friday topic "Spring" was rich with possibilities. I however, was not rich with time. I would have loved to have done more. I adore Springtime - all nature awakening, so full of promise. Spring has been in full swing here in Texas for weeks (as seen in these pictures I took recently) - but my life at the moment seems more like Spring up north - you know it's coming, but there's not a lot of physical evidence. And these days I feel like a tulip that is still underground - there is so much happening just under the surface (I could fill a whole blog if I had time) - and I am pushing, pushing through layer after layer of rock and dirt and frozen ground - so close to breaking through and breaking free into the sunlight where I am meant to be! So today, I chose to have the quiet assurance that comes from faith that I indeed will break through into the new life God has promised me. Hopefully I'll be blooming before you know it...


"The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert."
Isaiah 35:6


"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19


"...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:14

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Illustration Friday: Monster (and Feet)

"You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet."
(2 Samuel 22:40)
Oh goodness, I have really missed taking part in Illustration Friday for the last couple of weeks. Trying to make up for it a bit by combining last week's topic "Feet"and this week's topic "Monster". I had a number of ideas for feet, but I was sick and had no time or energy, so this worked out great. It's important to note that it is God who provides the strength we need to overcome the "monsters" in our lives: greed, jealousy, envy, gluttony, lust and so on. He has already won the battle for us - and He lets us enjoy the spoils. You can't fail with God on your side! Struggling with these ugly critters on our own can keep us worn out and feeling constantly defeated - but victory is ours in the Lord!
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
(1 John 4:4)
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)
"Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."
(Romans 12:21 - the Message)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Illustration Friday: Insect

How could the caterpillar possibly imagine what she would become in time?

How many times have we believed that we can never change? How many times have we tried to rush the process? How many times have we not moved forward from fear? How many times have we chafed against the confines of the cocoon? How many times have we lost hope that we will ever soar?


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3:1


"And all of us have had that veil removed so that 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 and reflect his glory even more..."
2 Corinthians 3:18


If you'd like to see a great teaching on metamorphosis, check out this online streaming video sermon by my pastor, Kerry Shook of Fellowship of the Woodlands church. When I heard this message this weekend, I knew what I had to draw for this week's Illustration Friday topic: Insect.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Tea

Tea for Every Season
(click image to see more detail)
Barely made it in on time for Illustration Friday's topic: Tea. I had many ideas on and off this week for this topic, but very little time. I'm not a big tea drinker (except for iced tea) - BUT, I love everything about tea - I collect teapots, I adore all types of teacups, and I love tea parties. So, I guess I'm really just a tea wannabe.
NOTE: So sorry that I don't have much time at all for leaving comments on your blogs - I have seen lots of nice tea illustrations - I hope I can find time to stop by and say hi.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Song

I love the topic for Illustration Friday this week: Song. Although I am not much of a singer, I LOVE to sing and do so all day long - in the car, in the shower, in the grocery store along with the Musac (when I momentarily forget where I'm at). I love all kinds of music, but I especially like to sing praise and worship songs. God has so filled my life with His love and grace and mercy that I want to spend my days singing with a heart of gratitude back to Him.

"Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it. I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love--"
Psalm 89:1-2 (the Message)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Illustration Friday: Simple

For this week's Illustration Friday topic: Simple, I chose to illustrate a quote from one of my all time favorite children's authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder. For those who may not be familiar with her work, she wrote the "Little House" series of books about growing up during the late 18oo's on the American frontier. I LOVED those books and read them over and over again throughout my childhood....and not too long ago too. She describes in glorious detail the simple (yet complex and dangerous) lives they led. Wonderful books!

When contemplating how to illustrate the quote, I decided to do an homage to another childhood favorite of mine, Holly Hobbie - the prairie-bound figures that celebrated girlhood, wildflowers, homespun calico and life's simple pleasures. I spent countless hours in the 70's drawing Holly Hobbie figures with their big, floppy bonnets - I loved them. I still do - they were an undeniable influence on my artistic style. I'm happy to see that good old Holly Hobbie is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Good for her! (check out the Holly Hobbie e-cards - cute stuff)

So here's to the simple joys of life - may our days be filled with them and our lives enriched by them - and may we stop long enough to savor them!

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Illustration Friday: Chair

I found this quote and thought is was appropriate for this week's Illustration Friday topic: Chair. It is also particularly fitting for my frame of mind. One of the hardest things about moving away to another state was leaving my dear girlfriends behind. I miss them dearly. But they are a part of me, woven into me for all eternity - they are the type of friends that you pick right up with where you left off - even if it's been a year or two since you spoke.

Just recently I met a wonderful group of folks here at my new church - they are part of the large Singles ministry here, and they have adopted me - and it's wonderful. So I have now been blessed with great new friends. God knew that I needed to avoid isolation and re-connect, and He led me right into their path. So, I am rich in friendships, both old and new.

And I cannot forget my virtual friends on the internet - ones I've never had the pleasure of meeting face to face. We have shared sorrows and triumphs , inspirations and pet peeves, hopes and dreams. Plus, I've met people from all over the world that I never would have met otherwise - the internet is a wonderful tool for connecting, and I am forever blessed by those fine folks I've crossed virtual paths with.

So to all friends, old, new, and virtual I say:

"Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting, favorite chairs anticipating. No matter what I have to do, my Friend there's always time for you."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why I'm Back in the Heart of Texas

Well, I thought it was about time that I told you why I moved back to Texas. There's no nifty, easy way to say it: I am getting a divorce. I was married for 22 years, exactly half of my life, and now I am launching into a new life. My wonderful parents have graciously invited me to move in with them while I finalize the divorce and sort through the financial issues and obstacles in preparation for buying my own little home. My job with the large technology firm is in tact - I still work from home and am all set up with my home office here, so I am in good shape with work. My husband and I were never able to have children, so we did not have to deal with that painful issue. All in all, I am in pretty good shape. But I'm not kidding myself - I have had and will continue to have pain and loss to deal with - you don't unwind and untangle two souls in a few weeks.

But God has been more than gracious throughout every step of the move, and He is continuing to provide one thing after another that I need. I am SO GRATEUL to be back in the midst of my wonderful family - they have been so wise and fun and caring and sweet and supportive through everything. My parents now have all their kids and their families within a 30 minutes drive. That hasn't happened since we all lived at home more than 22 years ago! It's been such fun!

Starting over again is scary and exciting at the same time. I am looking forward to the things God has in store for me here...He has a plan for me, and it is a good one. I trust Him, and therefore I have peace.

I'll share more soon about the many ideas I have for my new home as well as the plans I have for promoting my art, and so on. Stay tuned and thanks from the bottom of my heart for stopping guys mean a lot to me!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Cats

(click the image to see it larger)

So many ways a person could go with this week's Illustration Friday topic: cats. For whatever reason, the phrase "The Cat's Pajamas" jumped into my head and stuck, so here you go - kitties in their PJs. I love kitties, and I love pajamas, so this was a fun one for me.

As to the phrase, according to the website Cat-ch Phrases, "The Cat's Pajamas" means:

"something considered to be outstanding. The term "cat's pajamas" comes from E.B. Katz, an English tailor of the late 1700's and early 1800's, who made the finest silk pajamas for royalty and other wealth patrons."

Learn something new every day...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Illustration Friday: e is for...

What can I was the first thing that popped into my head.
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart" (Isaiah40:11)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sea

I get a kick thinking about all of creation praising their Creator. I wish I could hear it the way God does. But we CAN get a taste of it - the sunrise that practically sings with its glory, flowers that whisper heartbreaking beauty and fragrance, and the sweet symphony of the mighty sea as it crashes and sparkles and bubbles. I pray that my life would join in with all creation and dance to the rythym of joyful praise to my Creator!
"Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their song of joy." (Psalm 98:6-8)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Belated Happy New Year - still settling in...

Hello friends! I am back online in Houston and am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I have REALLY missed visiting with all of you. Here and there I have peeked into your wonderful blogs and seen your great posts, I just haven't had time to comment much these past weeks. I should be back in full gear this week with an upcoming post for Illustration Friday and a bit more information about my well as LOTS of exciting new possibilities and projects for 2006!

Meanwhile, I wanted to post a scripture picture that I gave to the Colorado gals in our women's ministry as a good-bye gift before I left. I think it is an appropriate scripture for the new year - remembering that we were all created for a purpose. I wish for each and every one of you that you would use your God-given gifts to spread love and joy to your family, friends, and beyond! There's nothing quite so wonderful as doing what you were created to do!! Big HUGS to all of you - I look forward to sharing more and more with you in this great new year of promise!