14 November 2012

Moving In A Positive Direction

Well, at least I thought I was. There have been lots of dreams and ideas tossed around. How can we help our community with the gifts that we have. The idea was to open a thrift store. Last summer I spent countless hours, days and weeks, researching the viability of such an endeavor. The idea was not approved. I don't even know if it was fully discussed by the decision makers and that hurts. I gave it a year, never heard anything, and took that as a no. When I asked for the paperwork back, it was no where to be found. I am not worried about the paperwork...but I am a little shocked that out of courtesy the project was not taken seriously. I prayed long and hard about accepting this. One challenge is that 2 new thrift stores opened in the same general area that we had planned. Interesting that I was not the only one with the idea. The problem is that we would have opened before them and that is a difficult pill to swallow. This dream has been crushed and we are finding it difficult to sell some of the fixtures we purchased.

As you read in a previous post, I was excited about lots of ministry opportunities. They were coming fast and furious and it was exciting. Things did not unfold the way we thought and I am left somewhat baffled. Time will reveal more of God's plan. This I know.

11 August 2012

Beautiful Truth

All Scripture is: 
given by inspiration of God, 
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction in righteousness, 
that the man of God may be complete, 
thoroughly equipped for every good work. 
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Fear Not

FREEDOM by Dale Keys

09 August 2012

Ask - Pray - Listen

     For the past year, my heart has been asking a lot of questions regarding ministry. Fortunately, I attend a church that has a burden for serving and provides many opportunities. The challenge has been to find where I should be placing my time, talents and treasure, when I want to help them all. Also, I have wondered, should I start a new ministry, as there are so many people and situations that are in great need? How do I not feel overwhelmed in the area of helping and giving? 
     I have asked questions and prayed for answers, while continuing to give when prompted. In a strange way and not intentional, I have been interviewing ministries. This process has resulted in a sort of confusion. I know that God does not author confusion, but as these organizations grow, they present more needs and ways to serve. I believe I have been receiving guidance through “listening”. 
     I went to an all day conference on human trafficking and heard to following, “Don’t start anything new, there are many existing organizations to come along side and help.” Normally that would not be an earth shattering statement. However, right at that moment, it was gripping. 
     Months later I was reading a devotional blog and the author stated, “I have chosen to focus on two areas of serving,” and continued on. Another gripping moment for me. Two is a reasonable number and I had already been doing much more than that. Yes, why not just focus on two areas? This would help me streamline my energies. Sometimes things are so obvious that I miss them. I give myself permission to downsize my ministry involvement. Two areas per month, and they will fluctuate, because not all ministries meet or have needs every month. 
     Another thing that became obvious, is that a natural pattern has formed. A need becomes known to me, and if I am able, I help. This mundane observation speaks to me, because I have been “seeking”, when the whole time the opportunities find their way to me. Whether via a phone call, email or announcement, my heart hears and considers how to help. Funny enough I have said definitely not (to myself), only to become aware just a few days later, that I have a burden for it. 
     In summary, I will focus on two existing ministries, with a listening ear and grateful heart to share whatever I can.  This means that I have to commit to passing on other opportunities. I do not say yes to everything, but I do say yes many times. Now is the time to focus. 

08 August 2012

Candy Bar

     I had the honour of helping a friend do a "Love is Sweet" candy bar, for her wedding at a winery. Her colours were yellow and gray. I have a collection of milk glass (that regularly holds art supplies) and glass decanters. These type of bars are a blast for the guests, but keep in mind that they are a tremendous amount of work. The bride and her mother were shopping for yellow candy for months! 
     If you make a candy bar, make sure all of your serving pieces are washed, dried, wrapped and packed in the car the night before. Pack the candy the day of the wedding. It would not be wise to tempt any critters with the smell of sugar in your car overnight;) Everything takes longer than you think it will. This bar took 2 full hours to set up. That included transporting all of that glassware from my car. I did this by myself, but if you have help, it will go quicker. 
     I created all of the labels by selecting a font I liked, (Imprint MT Shadow) and printing on regular 20lb.white copy paper, with my laser printer. The bride provided the cardstock that matched her wedding invitiations. All edges were created by using my Cuddlebug (around $50) and Nestabilities scalloped and oval cutting dies, in 2 different sizes (around $25). It was very easy to center the titles with those tools. The smaller oval (with the title) was attached to the large oval, with a Tombow adhesive tape runner. This ensures a flat adhesion with no bumps. Some of the tags were "necklaced" by sandwiching cardstock, glue dots, grosgrain ribbon, and copy paper. Others were applied directly to the glass with glue dots or foam squares. 
     The center platform was made by wrapping 2 large flat rate shipping boxes in silver wedding wrap from Papyrus. The painted sign, banner, gray damask table runner and muslin bags were all ordered from various merchants on etsy. 

05 January 2012

New Order

So it's the new year and I have been organizing different parts of my house. So far, so good. Today was the garage, although it is not complete. The garage haunts me. I keep the house clean and tidy, but the garage is the dumping ground. Sometimes I will clean the whole thing and think, "I will always keep it this way." That has never happened. The garage is my nemesis. The really unforgivable part about this...I have tons of storage there. Someday.

In addition to thinking about organizing the house, I have been exploring online art classes. There are some really neat ones out there. I am hesitating because of cost though. Some of the classes are quite expensive. I am choosy about content also. It just has to be the right mix of instruction, example and technique I would actually use in the future. Its kind of hard to predict this. Right now I am shopping around and looking at all kinds of books on Amazon. There is lots of free content available via the "Look Inside" option on many books.

01 January 2012

Happy New Year

For the first time, I decided to keep this blog, rather than start a new one for the new year. I purchased this background and had many challenges with it. In a final, desperate attempt, I was able to load it properly a few months ago. I enjoy the burst of colour and really wanted this background. The company has closed it's doors and do not sell backgrounds anymore, so I decided to continue to cherish it. I have made many blogs with no problems, but for some reason, this one got off to a late start. I've decided to pick myself up...and start all over again. Auld Land Syne!

18 December 2011

Human Trafficking

I've been learning that anything that feels big is worth doing. I went to a meeting this evening addressing human trafficking. Listening to some people talk about a recent trip to Cambodia put my stomach in knots. 50k children are prostitutes there. People in wealthy hotels buy 7 year old boys for a few hours. Gut wrenching. Sad. Beyond sick. Unfathomable. 
I'm tempted to think, "What a shame, that's too bad." We were each given some Cambodian money to keep, so that we would think about this situation and think about what we could possibly do to help. Cambodia is just one place with this problem. This feels big.

17 December 2011

Cheeky Monkey

The husband is having too much fun at my expense this morning, saying ridiculous, incredulous things like, "You cleaning the garage is like moving chairs around the Titanic." and... "Why don't you read another organization book in your pajamas!" Oh the cheek of him!

24 November 2011

23 November 2011

Word Tears

     I'll be serving at the Rescue Mission today. They are expecting hundreds of less fortunate people to come for a meal, during a three hour period. Lots of work preparing and cleaning after. Previously, I have helped behind the scenes at the Mission, assisting the leadership in various ways. That has been a sacrifice of time, gifts, and talents. This will be a new sacrifice, encountering God's people, and serving face to face. It's kind of a big deal to me, because I like hidden service. It's my area of comfort.
     Years ago, I had an encounter that left me deciding between a ministry on Skid Row, or getting married. I cried for three days, so wanting to empty myself and do the will of God. When you seek, you find, and I found my path through marriage. I hope to have another encounter today, the kind that brings me to my knees, asking the Lord to purge me from all of my selfishness and lack of gratitude. I hope He reveals all that is hidden.
     UPDATE: 500 people were fed. It was amazingly smooth. I was put behind the scenes, in the kitchen. I enjoyed learning the process. More hidden service:)

22 November 2011

The Four Seasons of Friendship

     I had a friendship that was solid and life affirming. She gifted me with experience and depth. We loved each other and had the common bond of creativity. Without any forethought or cause, we drifted. I felt something missing and pursued renewal. It didn't come. I accepted the loss. 
     I had shared with her that someone had kept a list of my wrongs, and how devastating it was when they revealed it to me. They stated that my "perfectionism" had crushed them. Really? Wow. That's a label I would not have given myself. Without hesitation, she said we all could make our own list. Hardly anything makes me cry. That did. It was so freeing to know that I'm not the type of person that would keep such a list of another person. I have many faults, but was delivered to know, that is not one of them. I counted the gain.
     That chapter with her ended, as it was meant to. I think she was put in my life just to impart that one healing sentence. It wasn't what was said, but how it was said. We don't want the book to end, but it is inevitable that it will. Emotional investment is costly. Everything ends. Someone I love once said, "It is finished."

21 November 2011


I am in possession of an overflow of thoughts these days. This dripped out this AM:

LOVE: Without demonstration, it lies dormant as an abstract word from the dictionary, meaningless without substance. It fills our heart with others and empties our mind of self. Love teaches balance. We are willing to be hurt, but not willing to be destroyed. 

Love equips us with its truth. A distinct pattern forms, helping us to make decisions based on what we know. Predictions are useless.

Love gives power. The power to love strangers and the ability to love enemies. It thrives on the reciprocity of positive action. Love propels us forward and takes us back to moments that encourage felicity, and others that incapacitate. With it we are everything, and without it we are small.

20 November 2011

I Love Tarnished Things

Some thoughts early this morning:
     Tarnish, as a verb, is to lose luster. As a noun, a dullness of colour. It happens due to an interaction. When tarnish is removed, the shine reappears, as if the tarnish never existed. New life begins. We interact with others and sometimes lose our brightness. There is always hope because it is reversible. We can be restored to our original luster. A new life can begin.

09 November 2011

Peace and Science

I am cutting up an atlas to make World Peace rosette ornaments for Christmas, whilst helping the boy prepare for a 3-D plant cell model. What planet am I on? Lol.

22 May 2011

Art Show

There is an art gallery in the foyer of our church. Some friends and I oversee this project. The next show will be in June, and the theme is "Colors". A friend and I had 2 garage sales to pay for the paint and new furniture for the space. We also received some generous donations. It was not being used for anything but a pass through into the sanctuary. Our pastor asked us to hang some pictures, and that segued into a transformation of space. Each show brings new people and lots of work. Everyone seems really blessed by it and it is a joy to be a part of it. I love the new friends I have made, as a result of this ministry:)

03 May 2011

Glass Sculpture

I took this picture of art glass flowers at Bellagio in Las Vegas. The artist is Dale Chihuly, and I have one of his prints hanging in my house. There are a few of his glass sculptures throughout the hotel, and a small gallery features his works for sale. In the new City Center complex, there is a huge gallery of his with amazing glass works.

02 May 2011

New Opportunities

I have felt a pull on my heart for a few years. I have a strong desire to donate to food banks and have done so for awhile. In some capacity I have wanted to work with our local rescue mission and the homeless in some capacity. I happened to be visiting a local church when it started and they were debuting all the plans for it.
I was so excited and riveted, just listening to the big picture for the project. The excitement has never left. Now that a branch of it is at my own church, I am slowly getting involved and lots of neat things have opened up over the past 2 weeks. I have been encouraged by this and it makes my heart sing! I also have a mini coupon hobby and hope to use this to bless also.

01 May 2011

Vintage Lady Garden

A wonderful thing happened whilst visiting Old Town Tustin, CA. Some friends and I happened upon a strange store and instantly became uncomfortable. It was a new age cult type of place. It even smelled really bad in there. We thought they sold jewelry, but didn't realize what type. So we left and went into this wee cottage next door. It was a breath of fresh air, and a different "Spirit" dwelt there. A lovely lady owns it,  and she was so nice to talk to. Her name is Cathy and she has a great eye for placement and colour in her gift shop. When you exit out the back door, you happen upon a lovely garden area. She sells mini gardens that she creates. It transforms your mind into a fairytale type trance.

28 April 2011

Formerly Known As...Prince William?

As an Anglophile I am looking forward tot he Royal Wedding tomorrow, and yes I plan on getting up at o'dark thirty. It will be so interesting to hear what the new titles are for William, if any, and for Kate. Will she be a Duchess or Princes?

I like Kate...she is quick to smile.

18 March 2011

Glitterfest 2011

Another Spring Glitterfest is upon us. I look forward to this twice a year. The location is perfect for this event. It is in an old Elk's Lodge with crystal chandeliers, turquoise, and a 1950's bar. I enjoy talking with all of the artists most of all. They are very welcoming and warm.

17 March 2011

Saint Patrick's Day

Top o' the mornin' to ya!
Here is an adorable wee craft for today: Shamrock Pins A free template is provided.

21 January 2011

January Projects

Presently I am clearing out my garage. I am on day 3 of this project. The family can help me clean it, but they don't know how to sort and put all the stuff away. Each item is another decision. I would never qualify to be on one of those shows, but if Peter Walsh and his "Enough Already" show, wanted to drop by and yell at me, I would not mind.
I keep the house tidy, so the garage is the catch-all for everything else. I am a memory saver, and have that type of clutter to sort. There is an overwhelming collection of magazines that will be next week's project. I would like to cross some of these larger projects off my list, because I have at too many times said, "I will start my art projects, as soon as_________ fill in the blank, is done". This has gone on too long, and I need to free my mind from this visual and emotional clutter. I'm tired of my excuses and feeling, not overwhelmed, but controlled by some other force.

17 January 2011

New Blog Blues

This is my sixth blog. I have been planning it for months, carefully picking out background and fonts. I learned so much from my other ones, that I was looking forward to this being my mature, well developed, ultimate blog. For some reason, this one is just not coming together as I would like. I purchased the background, and have been trying to load it for 3 weeks now with no success. Looking forward to resolving all these discouraging issues and getting to work on something that I have been planning for at least 6 months!

09 January 2011

Art Hero of the Week-Adele Enersen

While her baby is sleeping, Adele Enerson, a Finnish artist, creates visual displays with items found around her house. This is so sweet and creative.

06 January 2011

1960's Poster Art

Do these look vaguely familiar...almost dejavu-ish? This work was created by the artist team known as "Lefor Openo". They were a team of 2 ladies in the late 50's-60's who created advertisements in France. There is something naive and appealing about their work. They drew like educated children, in my opinion. I hope to be inspired by these and incorporate their style into my work.

03 January 2011

Coffee Art

One of my favourite coffee places is Kean Coffee in Orange County, California. They roast the coffee in small batches, and you can watch them as they do it. Its beyond fresh. Their flavoured lattes and mochas are somewhat European, and if you are into coffee, you will love this place.
Some of the examples on the menu: Dark chocolate mochas scented with lavender, and a not too sweet orange with dark chocolate. You can opt for white or milk chocolate as well. The regular lattes are amazing and strong-never bitter. They only have 2 locations, and the lines can be out the door. Its fun to see what art the barista will create on top!

02 January 2011

Art Hero-Mary Blair

Mary Blair, an American artist, was employed by the Walt Disney Company. She designed the art and colours for "It's A Small World". I was surprised to learn that Walt worked with a team of designers, as I assumed he created all of the Disney concepts.

As you know, the original ride had such a 60's vibe to it. I love how the facade had a monochromatic, subdued palette, whilst the interior was bursting with saturated primary colours.

01 January 2011

Welcome 2011

Welcome to my new blog. Excited to see what the new year will bring!

23 January 2010

Wedding Florals Part 5

One of my past jobs was a florist. I did my own wedding and then went on to work for 2 companies in different states.  I eventually started freelancing, and had the honour of taking part in many weddings for a few years. It was only to be for a season. I did everything by myself and I really needed to start a company with lots of help in order for it to continue. When I damaged my shoulder, the decision was made for me, to close the door on my floristry career. Surprisingly, water is very heavy in large buckets and there is a lot of hauling to do. Parts 1-5 cover some of those weddings.

22 January 2010

Wedding Florals Part 4

The Bride: Anemones, Tulips, Larkspur, Bells of 
Ireland and Tuberose

Made of Honour: Same as bride with the addition of Calla Lilies
Posies for the mums: Anemones, Roses and Pink Wax Flower