Friday, June 12, 2020

Refreshment from the garden

Visit my garden with me for a minute, won't you?

What's inspiring right now, in the time of widespread crisis and angst? What's reviving, refreshing, encouraging, peace-giving?

For me, it's been the beauty of our own garden.
In our own little "bubble" there is a sanctuary of peace, gently passing from winter to spring, spring to early summer, and it has brought me so much joy.

Observing the buds crack and burst, revealing so much beauty, it reminds me of the whole earth, seemingly cracking and splitting painfully open. 

I am inspired again to try (though impossible) to see this through the lens of eternity. 
To see the beauty God can make from the splitting apart of a bud, 
and recognize that what we see today is only a tiny sliver.

One day we will see fully and clearly.

For now, I wander through the garden and invite you to look closely along with me,
and find comfort and inspiration, too.

The last couple of years I've gone a little mad with the foxgloves and we are seeing the joy of that labor of seed saving and spreading, and it looks like next year will be full of the love, too.

I even had the unexpected, accidental pleasure of planting beautiful color combinations this year. 
When our sweet Ginger dog died, I planted a lovely pink heirloom rose on her grave, and a pink foxglove bloomed over the rose. 

Everywhere we are reminded of God's love and care in small ways... 

the bees and birds, the buds, the million shades of green.
The veins in leaf and flower, the glow of sunlight.

All in one small backyard garden.

Be well, friends. Be safe.

Message me if you need a friend.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Teaching and hiking in Norway's fjords

When invited to teach on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords, I could not refuse.
Here is a bit of eye candy to share with you... 

I've been too busy to post but this unbelievable adventure happened last summer.

I traveled with my darling friend, Marcy Spanogle Hawley, the artist behind Power Poppy, where you can find some gorgeous stamps and digital stamps.

At once sophisticated and modern but absolutely charming in every detail, Norway delighted us at every turn.

The details so completely charmed me I could hardly stop staring with delight.

I summited Preikestolen just before falling hard on the downhill climb, fracturing and dislocating a finger. Adventure! I'm thankful I took first aid classes and remembered what to do.

Should you ever think, "hmmm, maybe I should consider a trip to Norway..." don't give it a moment's thought, just book yourself to go!

You will thank me.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Spring in rural community

Spring in a rural community means new life in a way I never felt it when I lived an urban life.
We are connected here to the cycles of the earth and the animals in an intimate way.

Since I'm testing milk for a goat dairy now, I feel even more tied in to rural life and am continually amazed at the rough and humble beauty of farm life.

In April more than any other month, I truly want to live outdoors
in my garden or on my neighbor's farm or in the vast bulb fields just down the road.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Crafting Happy Relationships

My new group of crafting dies (click here to see the "Happy"collection) is out from Spellbinders and it's perfect for experienced crafters or even better with children. 

Because making stuff together builds happy relationships and priceless memories.

Here's a birthday crown project I made with my favorite 6 year old using some of the "Happy" dies I designed.

This spontaneous video will convince you how wonderful crafting with kids can be.
And crafting with die cuts is so easy a 6 year old can make something fantastic without stress.

When crafting with children it's important to abandon adult ideas of how things should be done.

Gather a generous smorgasbord of supplies so everything's at hand and encourage the child to choose the die cuts first, then assemble and finally add embellishments like glitter, rhinestones and ribbon.

Audrey picked her favorites from across the collection of dies, combining them in ways adults never would. As adults we might be tempted to direct them too much, but when we simply enjoy what they do, it's far more fun and builds them up.

In this case I had basic crowns ready, along with loads of die cut decorations which she quickly put together, adding her own words and coloring to the crown celebrating our puppy's 4 month birthday. Then we added pipe cleaners, glitter, rhinestones, ribbon and more.

She dreamed up the puppy's crown and wanted to make it " by myself." I did much of the crown she's wearing at her direction ("here, put this puppy on the top!" and "look! We just made a pattern!")

Want to grab the die cutting supplies? It's so easy- just click here!

Children love creative detours. Today we used toilet paper rolls, glitter, washi tape and die cuts to make "spy glasses" and a puppet as well as what I'd planned.
We were both thrilled. Who cared that it didn't look perfect to grown up eyes? Not us!

The important thing is how we all feel about our time making stuff together.
We both felt absolutely WONDERFUL as I took her home. 

The photos show how perfectly imperfect it all was, and how much love we have for each other (which is, after all, the real point anyway, isn't it?)

Thank you, Spellbinders, for making my art into dies sophisticated enough for adults but easy enough for children. I absolutely love the way these crafting dies build relationships.

For more great ideas, hop along to another blog to see more ideas for using Spellbinders dies here at Cards and Coffee Time.