Saturday, January 29, 2011

The saga continues...

"Why would you want that wreck?" asked my friend. "No offense, but eeuw."
Honestly, it threw me for a little while. Maybe she's right, maybe we're crazy.

But Mr. Wonderful gave me perspective again. 
"Our friend sees what's there, how awful it looks today.
You and I are seeing what it can become. We see the possibilities."

For now, the Idea Notebook grows fatter and Mr. Wonderful has hinted that there is a new jig saw from the hardware store coming for my birthday!

Meanwhile, just down the road...

Snow geese are honking, tempting me to escape the studio, Nikon in hand despite the rain.

Astonishing, aren't they?

It's gray and gloomy January but even in the damp there are rays of joyful sunshine, spots of hope.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seeing the beauty

"Here," wrote Rosemary, of Content in a Cottage, "is your sign of hope."

This morning I won the gift of a wonderful classic enamel sign from Danish company Ramsign on her blog.

We were still holding our breaths, waiting to learn whether we'd get the house in the woods or not.

"My cottage waited for me," she told me, "and yours will wait for you."

And so it happened. God has gifted us with the opportunity to rehabilitate this place. 
We have signed the papers; a new chapter begins.

The ruined house was for sale for well over a year. Everyone saw the ugly sheds littering the view, the mildewed boat piled with dead leaves, the old junk used for target practice.

We looked past the mess and saw what it can become with love and elbow grease. The cottage has sound bones that can be saved. A dumpster and hard work will do wonders. And yes, a little money, too. We'll have to be thrifty. Very creatively thrifty.

This makes me think: do I make that mistake with people? See the ugly on the outside and miss the jewel that would shine if only I put in some effort to look deeper?

Note to self: pay attention. Don't trust the first glance too much.

The woods are lovely and spring is coming, full of hope.

Hope for the tiny cottage, for the people we hope will find rest under its roof, for laughter and memories for family and friends who will gather to sing and toast and listen for an owl in the moonlight.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Mr. Wonderful and I are waiting.

We made an offer on the little cottage by the lake yesterday and we are so aware of being held in God's hands and of that special corner of earth waiting to be cared for again.

Morning dawned blue and crisp yesterday and our vision for what we'd do with the unloved little cottage grew stronger.

Soon we will know more but for now we wait.

We hope.

We nurture a dream.

Someone else has made an offer, too. 
But this seems to have God's fingerprint on it for our lives.
So we wait.

This morning I am thinking of the huckleberry bushes and the owls and the deer.
And one forlorn little cottage just waiting to be loved again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The surprise

Do you have secret dreams? 
Ideas that you've never articulated, even allowed yourself to seriously consider?

I do.

Which was why we found ourselves off looking at shabby little cabins and pieces of land we could never afford. And one we could!

I have always dreamed of a little getaway, somewhere for family and friends to spend an hour or a weekend. Somewhere woodsy, completely rural. A refuge from modern life.

I have driven past the most shabby, deserted gray place for years. 
Always thought it looked charming though deserted.

And guess what we looked at yesterday?

You guessed.
It was the one we could afford.

Looking more forlorn than ever but I had a sense of amazement. Could my secret, unspoken desires be coming true? God has surprised me before ~ this wouldn't be the first time.

And now a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

What will happen?

I confess to EXCITEMENT and dreams running wild.

Life is such a thrill ride.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy at home

I may be the only artist involved in art licensing to miss the big show in Atlanta this weekend.

I'm snuggled into my own studio, working with type and ink, pens, scissors and paper, glorious paper.

Here's a peek at the latest...
a series of encouraging words.

Already underway is a piece for my kitchen:

Peeks at that one next.

Hurrah for the necessary research project. Yum.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Looking up

Sometimes I'm so busy looking at the details that I forget to notice the big picture.

How happy I am that I looked up and saw~ I mean REALLY SAW ~ the sky.

I wonder... are you like me? 
Do you often miss the beauty simply because you're unaware?

Something as ordinary as a cloudy sunset can hold the most amazing sense of drama.

Take a moment to slow down. 
Sit on a fence and stare skyward.
Or listen as you unlock your car... do you hear birdsong?

Life is too precious to walk blindly past it. 

I challenge you: let this be the year we pause to notice the everyday miracles and whisper a heartfelt "thank you."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Art & Soul Portland... I'll be there!

Have you always wanted to print with vintage type? 
Longed for the squish of ink and that deep rich impression only letterpress printing can give?

Join me at Art & Soul Retreat in Portland next September!
The dates are Monday and Tuesday September 26 -27 and both classes run all day.

I'm bringing my proof press and a printer's felted cylinder for printing, plus a bunch of lead and wood type... and so much more.

In one class we'll make handmade books, in the other we'll do oodles of paper and a paperweight.

Want to join me? 

Scoot on over to Art & Soul Retreats for more info...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Life in the snow globe

"I am not sure if you live in one of the most beautiful places on earth," said Mary Lou, "or if you just bring out and see the beauty in everyday life."

Today, my friend, I'd have to say it's the surroundings and the camera.
What a lovely snow day!

Our little world looked like a perfect snow globe.

Trees, barns, fields... all so unbelievably beautiful.
We walked and jogged for a long, long while.
Somehow the trees always hold particular fascination for me. 
And coated in snow they are the most graceful element of a landscape.

The barns and fields under the white blanket had never been more beautiful and natural than they were today.

I was not the only one to kick up my heels and run for joy.

Mary Lou, I definitely live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Dear blog reader, come and visit. We will drink tea in the studio and take a stroll that will be familiar to you whether you're my neighbor or someone from far away.

This is your invitation.
Come visit soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jack Frost

As I child in Los Angeles,  I read stories about Jack Frost painting the windows in beautiful patterns and wished so much he'd come to our town.

But he never did.

Perhaps that's why I am so captivated by the patterns frost leaves on my grownup landscape.