Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Artisan Fair


Getting ready for the art fair this weekend...I'm selling photo note cards...photos in mats...and framed photos. Mom and I went to Aaron Bros. yesterday and spent almost three hours picking out mats and frames! Thank goodness she helped me...I'd have collapsed if I had to make all those choices on my own!
The fair is on Saturday from 10-5. I'm sharing a booth with a friend...he also does photography but our styles are completely different. He does amazing landscapes and wildlife photography. His photos are very masculine...so as Chris said, we'll have something for everyone!
I have a lot of work yet to do...framing, matting, more note card assembly...not to mention gathering props for our booth...crates, drop cloths, chunky baskets...I hope it looks like I imagine that it will! I'll take pictures...and let you know how it goes. All my proceeds are going toward my ticket to Belgium...so pray that our efforts are a success.
Off to start my day...up next...work!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday in the Word


Zechariah 7
Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting
1 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. 2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD 3 by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"
4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: 5 "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? 7 Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?' "
8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: 9 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
11 "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.
13 " 'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 14 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.' "
* * * * * * * * * *
Wow. What a scripture. I hope you really took the time to read the whole thing. If you didn't, will you go back and read it? It's good...a bit painful, but good.
I have to make a confession...when I got up this morning I didn't have my quiet time with God. I just got up...grabbed my coffee...turned on one of my morning God shows and popped open the laptop. Not a minute of quiet time...not a scribble in my prayer journal...not a Word of scripture did I read. I got up...and began this day on my own.
So I'm sitting here on the computer...checking email, reading blogs, sipping my coffee and then I think to myself, "Wow, it's Wednesday already." So I start thinking about what scripture I want to share. Typically, I've read a scripture during the past week that hit me right between the eyes and so I want to share it with you. But today...this was not the case. Truth be told, I haven't had a whole lot of quiet time with the Lord at all this week. (Which totally explains my whininess...my being overwhelmed...my full plate...my indecisiveness...etc.)
OK..so here I am...it's Wednesday...and I start trying to think of what scripture I want to share. I think and I think...and then I realize, I got nothin'. Nothin'. I'm empty.
And then it hits me...I'm trying to do this on my own, too! I'm trying to figure out what scripture I think you'd like to hear...what you'd benefit from...what will give you something to chew on for the week. But that's the problem...I AM TRYING to figure it out. At this realization I take a deep breath...stop what I'm doing...stop trying, stop figuring, stop thinking, stop, stop, stop! And I look up to the heavens and I say, "Lord. What would YOU like me to share today?"
And then the whisper..."Zechariah 7." So I go to Zechariah 7.
"Which verse, Lord?"
"The whole thing."
So there it is. The whole chapter of Zechariah 7. As I'm reading it, I kept thinking to myself that it was too negative...that it was harsh...that it wasn't uplifting and pleasant and encouraging. But...God said to share it. So I cut and pasted it to my blog...and then I read it again.
And I realized that, really...it IS encouraging.
Verses 11 and 12 really got me today...how stubborn I can be. How I can stop up my ears to the Lord...refuse to listen...walk away and do my own thing. Wow. Really? Who am I to ignore God? Who AM I? Nobody. It's only because of Him that I woke UP this morning...and I have the nerve not to thank Him for that? I have the nerve to just take that for granted? Who gives me my every breath? God. Who makes my heart beat? God. Who could snatch me off this earth at any given second? God. My life is in His hands...literally. And so is yours! Even if you don't believe it. That's the crazy part. That God is in control...even if you don't believe it.
For years and years I didn't believe. I just wasn't sure about God. I knew there had to be something out there...something bigger than me...something powerful. But not God.
I don't know why I refused Him for so long. I really don't. Maybe because I wanted to do my own thing? Maybe because I figured I was on my own and so there you have it...I don't need any one's help anyway? I don't know why.
What I DO know, without a doubt in my mind, is that when God showed Himself real in my life, I knew that I knew that I knew that He was real. And He loved me. And He had my best interest at heart. And He was there to help me find it.
I wish I could say that I live each day well. I wish I could say that I live for Him at every moment...in every way...at all times. I wish. But I don't. I don't. But the good part of that? His mercies are new each morning. He never leaves me nor forsakes me...even when I've turned my back on Him. He waits patiently for me to figure out I'm just going the wrong way...and He whispers for me to turn back around, set my eyes on Him, and continue down that narrow path He's paved for me. And He's right there to walk with me...or to carry me depending on the day.
So...while this scripture may seem harsh...it really IS an encouragement. It's a warning...like that one last warning you give to your child. You know the one, "OK, I'm counting to THREE!" It's a word from God trying to get our attention. He's a good Father...He means good and not harm...even His stern words are for encouragement and for our benefit. His stern words are because He loves us...just as we love our children even when we're stern.
What do you think? Are you being stubborn? Are you covering your ears singing "la la la" so that you don't have to hear what He wants to tell you? Well, maybe it's time to stop. Maybe it's time to listen. Maybe it's time to give God a chance...He loves you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

...come again some other day...

A sign painted on the alley wall...from the birthday trip.
It's raining. Oh how I wish I could stay home today, make soup , clean the bathroom and get ready for this art fair. I am getting ready to put together a stack of note cards to sell. They're still for sale in my Etsy shop, too, until I get my web site finished. Yes...it's on the to-do list along with everything else! It's just going to be very simple...but it still takes time. I'm getting there...it's one of those things you just need to DO. Just open the program and make the thing..! It may have to wait until after this art faire. I still have to put cards together, mount photos on mats and then frame some prints. By Friday. My mom is going to help me...thank goodness! Because in the middle of all of that, I also have to read a 133 page essay and write a 2-page paper for school!
That's my cue to get off this computer! What have you got going on today?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday...again.

I like this mosaic of other people's photos. I think it's interesting the ones I choose as favorites...notice many of the colors are muted. Lots of grays and browns and soft colors. Then with a shot of color here and there...like life. Muted and dull many days...with bursts of goodness and vibrancy to keep things interesting.
This past weekend was busy. Which is making today a bit rough. Not bad. Just slow...and foggy...like I could sleep for another week, straight. I think all of my responsibilities...family, school, work, home...are beginning to pile up on me. Then add to that the other things I decide I want to do...an artisan faire...a web site...helping family and friends do this, that or the other thing...and I am FULL. Not to mention getting ready for a trip to Belgium, forgetting daily to get my passport...putting together a message, a donation letter...and a book for crying out loud.
Before I started working at the bookstore I was able to give myself a "home day" now and then. A full day to putter around the house. To wash sheets and dry them in the sun. To scrub the floors and wipe down walls. To clean out some drawers and fill bags with donations. To hose off the porch. To make something...just for fun. To cook something long and slow on the stove top...that I just scrubbed nice and clean. To read my bible and listen to praise music...loud. To just stay home.
But now that I'm working four days a week, that has changed. It's changed because I have to go somewhere every day. I go to work Monday thru Thursday and on Fridays I go to our business office to do payroll and pay bills and such. Oh, and the best part...have lunch with my hubby...something I miss being able to do on a regular basis like we used to do. Hmmm...I didn't realize how much I missed that until I just wrote it...
Yeah...today is a bit rough. Not bad. Just rough. Maybe I'm doing too much...people warned me (yes...you...I know, I know..)...asked if I thought I could do it...of course I said, "Yeah! I can do it ALL!" But...I hadn't done it all yet...so what did I know!? Ha!
Anyway...I need to pray about this...ask God what He would have me do. And what He would have me let go. I'll let you know what He says...

**Go here to see who's responsible for these amazing photos.**

Sunday, April 25, 2010

this is amazing...

Thank You!!

I got another Donation for my trip to Belgium.
Thank you SO very much my friend...I appreciate your support.
The donations I receive and the photos and note cards that I sell in the name of this ministry give me hope...and confirms that I am truly on the right track. I mean, I know I'm on the right track...but every once in a while that little voice says mean, discouraging things...and I wander into the land of doubt. So when someone comes along and lends support...it revives my hope...and my sureness of what I'm working toward.
Day by day...closer and closer...Belgium will be here sooner than I know!
* * * * * * * * * *
If you would like to make a Donation I have placed a Paypal Donate button in the left sidebar of my blog. All proceeds go toward sending me to Belgium in September on a ministry trip.
Read more about the ministry by clicking on the Belgium Project link, also in the top left sidebar of this blog.
Thank you...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

what are you up to?

It's Saturday...it's sunny...it's breezy...it's a great day! So far it's been a slow morning of dishes and putting things away...washing bedding and folding laundry...scrubbing wood furniture with Murphy's Oil Soap...taking out garbage and recycling...clearing off my poor little nightstand...and watching a decent Hallmark movie.
Notice there's no shower in there anywhere? Yeah. That's next! I also have a paper to write...photos to turn into note cards...more laundry to do...Crock Pot chili to prep...and a couple of baseball games to watch. No big deal. (Huh?)
Anyway...a good day. Busy? Yes. But full of good stuff. I better get to it! Have a beautiful and blessed Saturday...xo

Friday, April 23, 2010

"on getting well"...


I received an email the other day...the subject was "on getting well". As a matter of fact, I received several emails the other day after I wrote the most recent Wednesday in the Word. And I just want to say thank you. Thank you for hearing me...for encouraging me...and most importantly, for sharing with me that you, too, are going through similar struggles.
Don't get me wrong. I don't wish struggles on anyone. I don't mean that in a "misery loves company" kind of way. What I do mean is that I am honored to be welcomed into your hearts and life. I am honored to be welcomed into your day to day...the good and the bad. I'm honored that God brought you into my lives...and me into yours. I'm honored that we've been given a heart connection that allows us to open up to one another.
I'm thankful that God brought this blog, of all crazy things, into my life. The Internet is a crazy thing...and hard to explain and understand. And it is full of awful, scary, unthinkable things. But...it is full of goodness, too. It is full of people, women, you, me...just trying to make our way through this life. It's full of kindred spirits longing to connect...to belong...to be heard.
I just want you to know that I hear you...and I pray for you. I want you to know that it is possible to "get well". It may seem impossible...or like the problems are too big...or have gone on too long...but with God all things are possible. Nothing is too big or too long-standing for Him...nothing. He's just waiting on you...waiting on you to want help. To want to get well.
I was told once that God is a perfect gentleman...He doesn't force Himself on anyone. He waits for an invitation. Invite Him in...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

John 5:1-6
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

God brought this scripture to my mind yesterday morning. I was writing in my prayer journal...praying about Belgium and what I'll be sharing...I was making notes and writing scriptures...and then I heard that whisper, "Do you want to get well?"

Part of what I'm doing in preparation for Belgium is writing a small book to take with me. This little book is going to be about depression. It's going to be about God and His ability to be our Healer. It will be available for sale while in Belgium as we were encouraged to have a "merch table" (a table full of merchandise for sale...books, CD's, etc.) while we're there. The book is still being formed...in my heart and my mind...and every other day or so God gives me something to add to it...a scripture, a chapter title, a thought. Slowly but surely it's taking shape.

What's so interesting is that God birthed the idea of a book in my heart almost two years ago. I had no idea when this idea sparked in my heart what it would be...I just knew that God planted something within me, a desire to write...to share...to communicate. And I knew that if He planted it...He'd also tend it, water it, and help it to grow. I just need to be the willing vessel.

So yesterday I hear, "Do you want to get well?"

It's an important question. DO you?

I'll admit...there was a time that I didn't. I was comfortable right where I was at. It wasn't a good place...or a healthy place...or even a safe place. But it was a familiar place. And sadly, familiarity won over safe and good and healthy.

God asks this question for a reason. Because He wants us to be aware of where we're at emotionally. He wants us to realize that even though we beg God to do this or do that or heal this or heal that...maybe we really don't want to be better. Maybe we're pretty comfy right where we're at....whether it's good for us, or not. I was comfortable in my depression. I got to a place where it "worked" for me. It sounds sick, I know. But it's the truth. I knew my depression well enough that we figured out a way to co-exist. And I figured out a way to make it work in my favor. You know what this is called? Manipulation. And it's ugly.

I don't feel this way anymore. Yes, I still have bouts of depression. But when it hits, I don't entertain it. I don't welcome it in. I don't use it as an excuse. Not anymore. Now when it shows up I fight it with all my might. I fight it with prayer and with God's word and with praise music. I fight it with all I've got because it is no longer welcome here.

And so I feel like I have to ask you...do you want to get well? Is there anything you've been hanging onto that is not good for you anymore? You don't have to answer...unless you want to...and if you do, then you can be assured I will be praying for you. God didn't create us to be sick...or controlled...or to settle. He created us for GREAT things...He has plans for us...He has a plan for me...and a plan for YOU.
Do you want what God has for you? I do. I want every bit of it. But I needed to be "well" to be able to receive it. I needed to be focused on God and not on depression.
Do you want to get well?
Give it to God...let Him heal it. It's not easy, I know. And yes, it hurts. But like everything else...once it's healed, you hardly even know it was there. And then you're ready for the plans God has for you...and trust me, His plans are good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

deep thought.

I have so much going through my mind these past couple of days. I'm really kind of stuck in my head...and not in a bad way. There's just stuff that I'm processing that I am unable to articulate yet. Does that make sense?
It's all whirling around in there...in my head, that is...swirling and tumbling...good things and bad things colliding with one another.
And I'm doing my best to filter it all. I'm doing my best to think on things...determine if they're good for me, or not...and if they are, continue to think on them and expand those thoughts.
If they're not good for me...I do my best to get rid of them. I think on them...only to take the lesson that I need from them if there is one...then I dump it out.
I'm trying not to dwell.
I'm trying to focus on the good things.
I'm realizing that there is a season for everything. And through a painful and amazing process I'm coming to the realization that a season of my life is over. It's a strange feeling. Like an awakening. Like my heart is suddenly open...and exposed. And it's OK.

Monday, April 19, 2010

grateful.

Today I'm feeling grateful...grateful for so many things. Family, of course...and home and God's provision. Yes, I'm grateful for those things. Always. But today, I am especially grateful for our new church. I am blown away by the kindness of the people...the support they show...and the encouragement they give. I'm blown away by their sincerity. Their humility. Their love. It's an amazing feeling to know that you have people behind you...praying for you...supporting you...believing in you. It's an amazing feeling to know that you are exactly where you belong.

Friday, April 16, 2010

lunch.

First of all...thank you to all of you who helped me choose photos to sell at the art fair. It was SO very helpful...I appreciate your input. (And hey Linda...the link to my flickr account is on the right sidebar of my blog...or you can click here!)
As you know, last Saturday mom and I went to the coolest yarn shop ever in Petaluma. Well, we also decided to have some lunch. At the recommendation of the shop owner, we went to the Wild Goat...a tiny little restaurant BIG on character. It was darling. And cozy. And comfortable. Not to mention, the food was WONDERFUL.
See that Cobb Salad up there on the menu? De-li-cious. SO good. If you ever go...please order it. You won't regret it. We also ordered the Seasonal pizza on a thin crust that was very unique and quite delicious...sauteed pears, Gorgonzola, arugula, and some sort of yummy ham. It was different. And it was good.
While we were there I was inspired by the Wild Goat to start collecting mismatched silverware. I don't have a set of silver. When we got married I didn't sign up for china or silver or anything like that. I signed up for every day stuff...mainly because we have such a small house that I don't entertain so I figured I didn't have a reason to have nicer stuff.
Well...a few years ago I realized that I would like to have some silver for when I DO entertain. I won't live in this tiny house forever...and I really do love to have people over. It's just really hard in this little space to do so comfortably. So I don't. Well, several years back I had found an old silverware design that I fell in love with (I can't recall the name of it...I have it written down somewhere...!) but piecing a set of it together is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be.
So...inspired by the Wild Goat...I decided that I'm going to piece together mismatched silver and call it a set. None of the silver at the Wild Goat matched...and it looked really cute. So...I figure if it will work for them, it will work for me!
And mom...if you're reading...thank you for a GREAT day! xo

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brainstorm with me, won't you?

I need your advice...
I am sharing a booth at an art festival with a friend in a few weeks. I am selling photos...in note card form and in photo form. Some 5x7's...possibly some 8x10's. Some with frames...some without. All proceeds are going toward my ticket to Belgium. (that I have to buy pretty soon and I'm not quite ready! I'm off to a good start...but I have a lot of funds yet to raise.)
So...
What I'd like to hear from you is...which of my photos do you think I should sell as frameable art at the art festival?
If you've got the time...would you be so kind as to leave me a comment and let me know what you think? If you want you can go to my flickr and poke around...or check out my note cards at Etsy...or go from memory if you have one. I don't...so I hesitate to include that. But if you do...good for you...and would you please let me know your secret?
Wait...what was I doing? Shoot...I hate when that happens. Oh! Yes...that's right. Help. Advice.
Anyway...if you have a favorite...or two...would you let me know which ones they are? It's hard for me to look at them from a buyer's point of view...plus I love to brain storm and you all are good at it!!
Thank you so much...I couldn't do this without you all...for real. Your encouragement and support have been invaluable to me. xo

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Happy {101} Award...for me? Thanks!

So my friend Erin over at Dropped Stitches was sweet enough to honor me with the Happy {101} Award! Wasn't that nice of her? I don't know if I've been given an award before...? So, I'm honored! Thank you, Erin.
OK, so the idea behind the Happy Award is that I am supposed to share {10} things that make me happy. And then I'm supposed to share {10} blogs that I enjoy reading...so...here we go!
{10} happy things...
  1. rain. love it. any time. anywhere.
  2. coffee. preferably Starbuck's. and even better with a friend.
  3. spending a day with my mom. we have a really good time together...and we eat good food!
  4. long drives. preferably to somewhere new. and beautiful. and chilly!
  5. a weekend away with my husband. we buy new music, hop in the car and find a new place to visit and explore. it's always fun...and refreshing.
  6. hugs from my boys. my boys give great hugs. and they are so lovable. a hug from them can make all the troubles of the world disappear...especially when it's unsolicited!
  7. taking pictures. i got my camera for my birthday a few years ago...and I haven't been the same since. I love my camera...and the satisfaction of taking a decent picture.
  8. cupcakes. preferably yellow with chocolate or white frosting. an occasional pink cupcake with pink frosting is good, too. I'm not picky.
  9. chickens. in my backyard. fresh eggs. pecking and scratching in the sun. watching them makes me happy.
  10. handwritten mail. in this day and age a real letter through the real mail is a rare thing. so when I receive something in my little green mailbox it makes me smile.

And I'm sorry...I know it's kind of cheating...but I just can't choose {10} blogs. I want to choose them ALL....so if you are reading this...consider yourself a recipient of The Happy {101} Award and make a list of {10} things...it's nice to sit and think about the things that make you happy!

Wednesday in the Word.

Proverbs 31:30
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

quiet.

Creativity takes courage.
~Henri Matisse

Monday, April 12, 2010

Knitterly.

A while back I'd found out about a beautiful yarn store located not too far from where I live...Knitterly in Petaluma, CA. I thought it would be fun to take my mom there for our birthdays. So on Saturday...we hit the road.
Knitterly is amazing. And the owner is NICE. Her logo is, "fine yarn, finest service" and she's not kidding. She was so talkative and friendly...so helpful in telling us good places to eat lunch...not to mention allowing me to take a bajillion photos!
Oh my goodness...and what a beautiful store. It is so photogenic. I love this store...and I don't even KNIT!!
From the time you enter the store you are in eye candy heaven. Everything about her store is lovely...the yarns, the tools, the displays, the walls, the art, the vignettes...everything. Not a detail is left undone. What a treat. Look at these gorgeous colors...yum.

I ended up buying some beautiful yarn (and then my mom bought a second one in case the one wasn't enough!) from Japan that my mom is going to make into a scarf for me. The main color is charcoal gray but it has flecks of every color imaginable so it will literally go with everything.
So if you find yourself in the area of Petaluma, CA head downtown and visit Knitterly. I have no affiliation whatsoever. I was just impressed with the store...impressed with the owner...grateful that she allowed me to take so many fun photos...and I know that you will love it as much as my mom and I did.
One word of warning...do not be in a hurry. You'll need at least two hours to poke around. We may have been there closer to three!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

photo challenge: color story

A Day with Mom: In Shades of White...
{diptych}

My mom and I were born on the same day.

That day is April 11.

{person...pushing my luck, I know}

We are exactly 20 years apart.

{up close}

It's a very cool thing to share a birthday with my mom.

It always has been...

{complimentary}

This year we decided to go to an amazing little shop in celebration...

{texture}

...do you have any idea where we went?

{blur}

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday...and that little giveaway I mentioned!

{I can't get enough of the Dogwood blossoms...amazing.}
First of all...thank you everyone for taking the time to vote in the poll and to brainstorm with me about selling my wares. It was extremely helpful to hear what others think. I tend to be pretty one-dimensional in certain areas...this being one of them. So...thank you for your input.
The Poll is now closed...and the results are as follows: The vote is for me to sell prints as well as note cards...in both sizes (mainly 5x7 but some said 8x10's, too)...and to sell them right here on my blog. And I have to say..."why didn't I think of that in the stinkin' first place?!!" I just figured Etsy was the place to sell all things handmade...and it is...but...Camilla raised some very good points. While Etsy is a fabulous place to buy handmade items...and to sell handmade items, too, if you have the time to really, really WORK it...it's maybe just not the best place for ME to sell my wares. And that is totally fine. I rather like the idea of creating my own little shop front! But for now, as I still need to raise money for Belgium, (money for airfare is needed THIS month! Yipes!) I will keep my Etsy shop open until I establish a shop front here on the blog.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So have I completely lost you yet? I feel like I'm all over the place! One idea after the other...this and that...but wait...let's do THIS instead! No...not that...THIS! Sheesh...no wonder I can't get a grip! I bet the whole idea of "piles" makes total sense to you, now, doesn't it? My MIND is full of them, too!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Anyway...as a thank you for your help, yet again, I spoke of a drawing! I offered up a 5x7 of one of my photographs to one the "voters" on the Poll as a token of gratitude for joining me on my crazy journey!
So...I wrote all of your names on strips of paper...rumpled them all up into little balls...and asked Ian to do the honors of choosing one lucky, little piece of rumpled up paper. And so he did...because he loves me...and he usually obeys me...but mostly...because he humors me!
So...without further adieu...the name on that little rumpled up piece of paper is...
CAMIE of Red Gate Gardens!!
Congratulations Camie! OK...so here's what you need to do. Go to my flickr account and choose the photo you'd like to have as a 5x7 print. If you want to narrow down the selection you can go right to the Note card Set! Or not. Whatever tickles your fancy...or as I said once when I was a little girl..."whatever tickles your fanny." What? I was a little! Not to mention...I never get those sayings right. Ask my mom. I say things like, "He doesn't know me from a hill of beans." or "They were all over me like a cheap suit."...although, that may be right. Is it? Oh I don't know. All I know is that Camie won a 5x7 print!! And Camie, to let me know which one you choose you can either come here and comment or send me an email to let me know!
And thanks again to everyone who helped me make this decision...
you are fun to brainstorm with!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

If life gives you lemons...

...then by all means...take pictures of them!
It's one of those times in life where I am going about my business...doing what I need to do each day...moving things from today's list to tomorrow's because I didn't get to it...
We're going to games and to school and to work.
I'm going to the grocery store and to the bank and the book store. I'm meeting friends for coffee and feeding chickens and doing laundry.
And all the while...I feel distant. Removed. On auto-pilot. And I can't seem to shake it.
So...this morning I opened up my prayer journal and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Until finally I decided to just sit and be quiet. I figured I do enough talking...maybe it's time to listen. So I closed my journal...put down my pen...leaned back in my comfy chair...and got quiet.
And then clear as a bell I hear in my heart...read Zephaniah 3:17.
17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Do you write in your bible? I do. I write all over it. I write in pen. I write in pencil. I use highlighters. I write prayers and notes and people's names and dates. So this morning, as I turned to Zephaniah 3:17 in my bible I was reminded that God has brought me here before. On several occasions, according to the dates I have scribbled in the margins! I even have a note that I memorized it in 2007. But...I had since forgotten it. Leave it to God to bring it back to me at just the right time. I needed to know that He will save me. I needed to know that he delights in me. (There's that word, "delight" again...man, he loves us so much!) I needed to now that He will quiet me...and not like "Shush up! Be quiet!"...but more like a soothing, "Shhh...it's OK. I'm right here. You're going to be OK." And then as if all of that isn't enough, he's going to rejoice over me with singing? Really? Wow. And even after I've been such a pill this week?
Yes. Even after I've been such a pill this week. And if I'm honest, I'm still being a bit of a pill! But I'm working on it. I'm thinking on it. I'm figuring things out and giving them to God. I'm doing the best that I can. And that's all He asks.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

{Aunt Lisa's Dogwood in the rain}
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Matthew 28:16-20
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Once again, Jesus reminds me that never will he leave me nor forsake me. He will be with me until the "very end of the age". Did you get that? Until the very end. That is always. It's forever. But...sometimes I don't believe it. Because sometimes I don't feel Him. Sometimes I'm convinced I'm flailing around on this crazy planet all by myself. Alone. And I wonder if maybe the "end of the age" came and went and somehow I got forgotten.
But what I've learned is that in those times, when I can't seem to find Him...it's not Him that's missing. It's me that has strayed. He's always there. It's just that sometimes I'm looking in the wrong direction. And finding Him again is as simple as turning around toward that still small voice...only to find Him standing there, waiting for me to see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Brainstorming.

I'm the type of person that loves to brainstorm. I always have been. I can sit and hash out ideas with someone else for hours until all of a sudden we have this huge thing...this huge idea...that we usually don't even know what to DO with! I have designed businesses...projects...restaurants. I've created so many things....all in my head!
And I will say, some of them have come to fruition. But many of them have not. And that's OK...that's what brainstorming is all about...the process. I love the process. It feeds my need for creativity...for something new...for a dream. And then when one of these crazy hair-brained ideas becomes something real? So amazing!!
Anyway...all of that being said, I need to brainstorm with you folks today. And since we're not able to meet at a groovy coffee house and sip lattes and scribble on napkins and hash out ideas...I'm going to make a Poll instead. (Wouldn't it totally be more fun the other way? Sometimes the world of blogging can be so lonely...)
So here's the skinny...I am considering developing my photographs into frameable 5x7's...possibly 8x10's...to sell in my Etsy shop. And I have some ideas...and some thoughts...but it's always better to talk it over with friends to see if I'm on a good track. This is where you come in! I need your creative...and honest...opinions. So if you would be so kind as to vote on my Poll I would greatly appreciate it.
And how about this...if you DO vote in the Poll, leave me a comment. Leaving me a comment will enter you into a drawing to receive something pretty in the mail. Probably something in the form of a...oh...I don't know...maybe a photograph?
So I guess I should go create the Poll, huh? Why do I always do things backwards? Wait...don't answer that. Just give me a minute and the Poll will be up.
It is definitely Monday!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fresh stock in the shop today!


Friendly reminder...fresh photos in my shop today! Any orders placed today will be mailed out Monday...and will include a little bit extra in celebration of Easter!

{and don't forget to check out the photo assignment in the next post...it was a fun one!}

photo assignment: composition and perspective

Recently, some blogging friends, Camilla and Carolyn, started a fun blog, C&C Photography where they will post weekly photography challenges. This week's challenge was: composition and perspective. And I have to say...this was a fun one! I really enjoyed this challenge...and I really liked my subject...the old biscuit cutters I got at the yard sale last weekend for 50 cents!
So...here you go. Biscuit cutters...as I see them.
#1: As the eye sees it...

#2: bird's eye view...

#3: up close...

#4: off center...
#5: out of focus...

...and one extra...because I liked it...
And I just have to tell you this story...
Yesterday afternoon I looked out the window and realized the lighting would be great for this project. So I went into the kitchen to have myself a little photo challenge! As I was setting things up for the challenge...laying out the unbleached, muslin towel...laying out the old, rusty biscuit cutters...my husband watched with a puzzled look on his face. But after I took my first shot and looked at the screen on the back of my camera with him peering over my shoulder he said, "You definitely have an eye for this because I wasn't seeing it. Then I saw that picture and thought 'hey, those things are cool!'."
I'm thinking that was the best compliment ever.

Friday, April 2, 2010

He did it for us...

It's Good Friday.
Not a good day for Jesus all those years ago.
But definitely a good day for us.
Thank you Jesus for doing it for me.
Thank you that even if I were the only one on the whole earth,
you still would have died on that cross...for me.
You still would have endured the mocking...the ridicule...
the beatings, oh...the beatings.
Beaten beyond recognition.
Beaten more than a body should have been able to endure.
But you are God. And you endured it.
And endured it.
And then some.
For me.
And I am grateful.
I love you.
Thank you for doing it for me.
xo
John 19:28-30
28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

read at your own risk...you've been warned.

{what's in your hutch? if you go to flickr you can read notes...because I'm sure you have nothing better to do, right? yeah...}

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It's one of those days. I'm cluttered. Scattered. Jumbled. Finding it difficult to put one thought in front of the other. I get like this when I've got too much in my mind. Making a list sounds necessary right about now. A long list. Like on butcher paper stuck to my fridge with a magnet. And with check boxes next to each item so I can check them off as they're done. Yeah. That's what I'll do. A list.
One thing that's been bothering me is my piles. Oh. Um. OK, wait. That didn't come out right. Not that kind of piles. I mean piles of paper...you know, mail, bills, report cards...those piles. Goodness...no wonder I'm a cluttered mess! The places my mind goes sometimes!
Anyway...I think I've come to the conclusion lately that I am not going to fight my piling, listing, misplacing ways anymore. I just can't. It takes more energy to fight it than it does to just go with it and make it work for me. You know? Seriously. I am not super woman. I don't care what magazine articles or blog articles or Dr. whoever says...I can't do it all. And really? I don't want to do it all. I want to do some things. Lots of things, actually. And I want to do those things well. But the other stuff? Well...I don't know what to tell you. I guess someone else will have to take it on. Because there are just certain areas that I need to let some things go.
Like the fact that my house, old and small as it is, will never, ever, ever, be spacious and airy and spotless clean. Ever. It just won't. And I need to just know this...accept this...and move on. Enough stressing over it. Enough beating myself up about it. Enough. I need to just do the best that I can with what I have. And I need to be content with that. It is what it is. Nothing more and nothing less. Deal with it. Work with it. Be grateful for it. Move on.
Or the fact that I pile things up. I just do. I always have. So I may as well work it to my advantage somehow. I mean, really...maybe it can be a good thing. At least I'll know that whatever it is I need will be in that pile. I won't have to guess which drawer I put it in...or which cabinet...or which file box. Seriously. Because every time I try to get organized in a way that works for someone else...I LOSE THINGS. And that's not good either.
So. Yeah. Today I'm at the point where I just need to accept some things. And stop fighting some things. Mainly my self. Aren't we our own worst enemies? I am finding that I'm really hard on myself. I really need to ease up on me. I need to stop comparing myself to others. And weighing my value as a woman...or as a wife and a mother...based on what others are capable of. I am me. I have always been me. And any time I try to be like someone else, it back fires. And then I have to start all over becoming me. And I have to say...it is really, really tiresome. It's much easier to be me. And to strive to be the best me I can be.
That being said...I'm going to go make that list. Anything you need to let go of today? Do it girl...