Friday, February 26, 2010

Lost in the 70's

I have been cleaning out my art studio. No small task since I am a hoarder trash to treasure person who hates to throw away anything that might be recycled or upcycled.  Anyway, while going through all my junk future treasures, I found this old drawing that I did back in 1972. It is on a 20"x 26" piece of illustration board and is drawn in black ink.  It is what I used to call my doodle art.  The years have not been all that kind to the original but I decided to photograph it and Photoshop out the smudges and basically clean it up a bit.  Here's the result...

A skyline of people and things that one might find in a city in the 1970's. You can click on the photo for a larger version.  I found a few famous folks done in caricature and I'm sure there are others but it's been 38 years and I'm just not sure who might be who.  Here are some details:

I'm not sure who the guy is with the turtle neck and long hair (Roger Daltry old boyfriend...don't know) but just to the left of him is Paul McCartney (you know...the Beatles) and just to the lower right of him is Rod Stewart. I think that's supposed to be Liza Minnelli in the bottom right corner...the rest are just faces in the crowd, I guess.

Here's an odd assortment of folks, along with a baseball, vase, windows, a hobo bag (?)...

Here we have some strange shapes, people playing peek-a-boo, a head stuck on the end of a tube and a dead head complete with his very own weed in a pot. I promise I was not on drugs when I drew this.

I don't really recognize anyone in this section, although some of the faces look vaguely familiar.

In this section, I think these two guys facing off are in playing cards. The guy on the right is apparently the Jack of diamonds...not sure about the one on the left. To the left of the Jacks are street signs. There's a priest right below the long haired Morticia (Adams Family) looking woman. 

Here we have Sonny Bono in the upper middle part of this photo. Not sure who the guy with the strange glasses is but he kind of makes me think of Cat Stevens so maybe that's who he's supposed to be.

John Lennon's in there somewhere and Scarlett O'Hara, three crosses, the Bible and well, I don't know who or what else you might find if you study it. If you see someone you think looks famous, let me know. Okay?

I think I'm going to have the complete work plus some of the details printed as ACEO's.  There seems to be a lot of interest in the 70's for some reason. 

I know this is a really weird piece of art and a strange post and somehow doesn't quite fit with Graceful Moments but sometimes we need to look back to the "dark" times just to remind ourselves of how far we have really come. 

Fingerprint Friday - Another Sunset

Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain. It was inspired by the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that contains the line..."when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God." To participate or to visit all of the blogs that participate, go to the Fingerprint Friday post on Beki's blog and follow the instructions.

I was browsing through my photos looking for something for Fingerprint Friday and found some shots of a beautiful sunset.
We see a lot of lovely sunsets at my house but sometimes the trees can get in the way.
Fortunately, we live about 8 minutes from our church. It sits on top of a small mountain and the sunsets are often extraordinarily beautiful from there. 
These were taken in June 2008 right after I got my digital SLR camera.

I use sunsets a lot for my Fingerprint Friday posts.

I can always see God's fingerprint in a sunset. 

Sometimes it's simply the awesome sight of a huge ball of fire hovering over the horizon...

Sometimes, it's His cloud formations...these look like angel's wings...or giant white birds...

Sometimes, it's the magnificent colors that He displays...

Sometimes, it's the serenity and peacefulness I feel...knowing that God is in charge of the universe...

and the hope I find in Him...
the assurance that the sun will come up tomorrow...

the faith that if it doesn't, it's still okay...
because it's His universe and I'm His child.

Sometimes, it's all of that and more. 

Hope you have a lovely Fingerpirnt Friday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project with Wordz

I had been admiring the vintage quilt snippets found in the WordzofLife Etsy shop for quite a while, wondering what I might do with a little snippet from Jeanette's lovely shop. Then I got an idea for a grouping of the hearts in one of my guest rooms, so I ordered three snippets with the words, Grace, Love and Faith.  I was so excited to get them. Aren't they adorable?
I started playing with ideas for how to use them. I decided they needed a frame. So my first idea was to hang them with ribbon on the wall and place a photo frame around them.  Not quite what I was looking for. Thats when I decided to actually frame them under glass. I had a really delicate 9x12 frame that I thought would be perfect.  So I cut some cardboard to fit the frame and then glued a sheet of decorative paper over the board. 

It looked pretty good. See the little cards attached to the hearts? Each heart comes with a  paper heart attached and a verse from the Bible that relates to the word on the heart. I  knew that I wanted to use the Bible verses with the hearts but wasn't quite satisfied with this arrangement or with the background, so I decided to add some ribbon. I wrapped the ribbon around the backing and secured each wrap with a straight pin.

I really like the way this looked. All was well until I started looking in my glass stacks for a 9x12 piece of glass. No luck. Hmmmm. I was really determined not to buy anything for this project. So back to the drawing board. I finally found everything I needed:

I found this wooden ivory frame that I bought awhile back at Hobby Lobby.  The only problem was that it was an 8x10.  Additionally, the way the frame was made required a piece of backing a bit thinner than the one I had already cut. So I cut a thinner piece of cardboard to 8x10. I didn't have any more of the decorative paper I had used for the 9x12 board. I found a different background paper in a wallpaper book (bought 3 of them at a yard sale last summer.) It turns out that I really liked the new paper much better. It has horizontal stripes in pastel blue, pink and green that are the same colors in the hearts.

I undid all of the ribbon from the original board and put it on the new board. It took 15 feet of ribbon to wrap the board front and back.  I used straight pins to attach the hearts to the board because I did not want to use anything that might damage the hearts or permanently attach them to the backing.


I removed the Bible verse cards from the hearts and tucked one corner of each behind one of the ribbons to hold them in place.   Here is the finished product. I think it looks great.

Notice the heart in the middle at the bottom. It is slightly askew. I left it this way. I think it adds to the charm. Plus, I didn't want to undo everything to straighten it. It is a lesson in not being a perfectionist. 

Here is the bedroom where it will hang on the wall or sit on one of the dressers...I haven't decided that yet.  

Be sure to visit WordzofLife and check out her large collection of vintage quilt hearts and other lovely items.  Oh, and let me know what you think about my project. Thanks.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fingerprint Friday - Good Friends

Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain. It was inspired by the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that contains the line..."when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God." To participate or to find all of the blogs that participate, go to the Fingerprint Friday post on Beki's blog and follow the instructions.

This photo demonstrates the friendship between my granddaughter and my dog, Ellie. They have mutual respect and admiration and are slightly in awe of one another. Grandchildren and dogs are two of God's greatest creations. Faith and Ellie seem to understand that.I think her eyes tell the story.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wandering through Blog Land

Sometimes I like to go wandering through blog land just to see where I might end up. I usually begin by making a visit to a blog that I follow or one that follows me and then pick a blog or two that they follow and visit them, then pick a blog that they follow…and so on until I hit one that’s not my cup of tea and then I start over from some point in the chain. It's a fun adventure in which I sometimes get lost and have no idea how I managed to get to a blog that ends up becoming one of my favorites. I think that might be how I originally found Monnie Bean Folk Art and Sparrowgrass—I’m not really sure. Both are blogs of Debra Smith and are two of my favorites.

Debra is a folk artist, photographer, lover of God and lover of His creations. She is also a fellow member of the Christian Artists Street team on Etsy. Her Monnie Bean Folk Art blog is where she writes about her art work, studio and inspiration and promotes her Etsy shop, MonnieBeanFolkArt and other places that sell her primitive folk art dolls and paintings. You can also find her work for sale at her website-- Monnie Bean Folk Art Shop.

Debra creates her brilliant folk art dolls using simple, everyday items. An old porch spindle with chippy paint becomes the body of Leeza, a delightful art doll with a paperclay head seemingly bowed in meditative prayer.

Emment the Owl has corn husk arms and a cloth body supported by another chippy paint porch spindle. Emment’s face reflects Debra’s intimate knowledge of her subject and her masterful use of a few simple brushstrokes to form an amazingly realistic owl eye.


From Monnie Bean Folk Art, I traveled to Sparrowgrass, a blog full of Debra’s beautiful photographs of the animals and birds and scenery that are part of her daily life. Today I found her latest post to be photographic instructions on How to be a Goose, Part 1. I always seem to learn something from her blog and I feel a sense of peace as I browse through her beautiful and often serene photographs such as these:

Bits of wisdom such as these thought provoking quotations:

It is a wonder what God can do with a broken heart, if He gets all the pieces.~Samuel Chadwick

God creates out of nothing.
Therefore until a man is nothing,
God can make nothing out of him.
~Martin Luther

The added attraction for me is the hauntingly beautiful music of her playlist. Her first playlist choice, Athair Ar Neamh (Heavenly Father) by Enya is mesmerizing and I have been meaning to look up the lyrics of this song with the English translation and finally did so today. After reading the lyrics, I had to add this song to my playlist. If you like, you can select it to play as you read the lyrics:

Athair ar Neamh (Heavenly Father) by Enya

Athair ar Neamh, Dia linn Heavenly Father, God is with us
Athair ar Neamh, Dia liom Heavenly Father, God is with me
m'anam, mo chroí, mo ghlóir, my soul, my heart, my glory,
moladh duit, a Dhia. a praise to you, God.

Fada an lá, go sámh, A long and peaceful day
Fada an oích', gan ghruaim, A long night without gloom
aoibhneas, áthas, grá beauty, joy, love,
moladh duit, a Dhia. a praise to you, God.

Móraim thú ó lá go lá. I glorify you day by day.
Móraim thú ó oích' go hóich'. I glorify you night after night.

Athair ar Neamh, Dia linn Heavenly Father, God is with us
Athair ar Neamh, Dia liom Heavenly Father, God is with me
an ghealach, an ghrian, an ghaoth, the moon, the sun, the wind,
moladh duit, a Dhia. a praise to you, God.

What else can I say except that if you don't follow the links in this blog you will miss out on getting to know an amazingly wonderful woman who presents herself in a simple way...but there is much more to this woman than at first meets the eye and it is all quite interesting to say the least.

So, as you can see, I didn’t get too far with my blog wandering today. I got caught up in the lovely music and the blogs and the artwork and decided to write about it before wandering any farther. Perhaps tomorrow I will have a bit of time to go off wandering again.

You never know what you might find. Try it and let me know what you find!

NOTE: The photographs used in this post were used with permission of the artist. They are the copyrighted works of Debra Smith. The artist and I respectfully request that you do not copy them or use them in any way without her permission. Thank you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Arrived Early at My House!

Valentine's Day is always a conundrum for my dear spouse.

I don't want roses.
It is outrageous the way that florists jack up the prices.
(If you're a florist...sorry...I know you're trying to make money like everyone else.)
Roses don't last very long for me.

It makes me sad when they begin to wilt.
So I usually hang them in the garage to dry before they have an opportunity to nod their little heads.
I have way too many bunches of dried roses.
So, please no roses.

I don't want jewelry.
We do not share the same taste in jewelry.
Nuff said.

I do not want a giant heart shaped box of candy.
This time of the year, I am fighting my lack of will power to lose weight.
I always lose the fight and eat the entire box.
But the
real reason I don't want the box is that I have difficulty throwing these heart boxes away.
I use them to store things I should probably throw, quotes, momentos.
I have too many heart boxes.
So, please no giant heart shaped boxes of candy.

Normally, I can sense that he's having difficulty.
I always tell him to just get me a card.
He's heard too many comedians telling him that I don't mean that.
So, I usually get flowers...a pot of tulips...I love them!
Or a a big box of candy...not heart shaped...yummm!
He's so predictable!

But not this year.
This year he is clearly excited about my gift
Yesterday morning he had to run a few errands.
He told me that I might get a delivery while he was gone.
(Clearly a hint for my lazy self to get out of my p.j.'s and get dressed.)
Then he added that it would not be flowers!
He grinned!
Very peculiar.

A box arrived late yesterday afternoon.
(We got snow. The delivery was late. People in the south can't drive in snow.)
Note the message in the top right corner.
I'm intrigued.
I seriously thought about following the instructions but John was here and since he sent it to me I thought it might be rude...

I had never heard of Shari's Berries so I am thinking they're giant strawberries...
and they are...

but they're giant strawberries covered with incredible chocolate and other lovely things...

They are technically NOT candy.
They did NOT come in a HEART shaped box.
They will NOT wilt and nod little heads making me sad.
There are a full dozen of them.
They ARE perishable
They suggest consuming within 48 hours.
Oh my! A little bit of heaven on earth...

Diet. What diet?
Everyone knows strawberries are good for you!
I love you, John!
You did good!
I will share.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Snow Comes to Georgia

The very day that I published my Fingerprint Friday post about our sweet little harbinger of spring we were blessed with two plus inches of snow here in NW Georgia. It has been a few years since we have had this much of the white stuff here. So bear with me...we're excited!

This is a panoramic collage I made of the view from the side of our house. That house in the front was my mother's house. It is now a rental house.

This is another collage of the view from our front porch.

This view is the back of our house with one of our two remaining barns in the distance. The weeping winter jasmine is in the foreground on the right.

The southern portion of the state got more than we did and our grandsons spent the day sledding and building snowmen while their mom spent the day drying clothes.

I know two inches sounds paltry compared to the record amounts of snowfall in other areas but we'll take it and be quite happy about it.
It was beautiful.
Here's the little winter jasmine covered in snow:

Another view from our front porch:

This red shouldered hawk in the tree in front of our porch seemed to really enjoy the snow. He sat there for quite a while with snow accumulating on his beak. I think he was scoping out the pasture, hoping that some tasty creature would scamper out of the brush.

Some interesting tree "bones" made more interesting by the snow...

A little later in the day, same tree, more snow...

John decides a snowball fight is in order...

Very funny... you wouldn't....
Would you?

I guess you would...

Ha! Made it in...screen door took the hit!

I should add that he made up for this later in the afternoon when the UPS truck arrived at our house...different story...will post about that later today.

Today the sun was out for most of the day and much of the snow melted, a lot of kids are tired and ready for some dry clothes and hot cocoa and the weeping winter jasmine looks again. exactly the way it did in yesterday's Fingerprint Friday post. No worse for the wearing of two inches of the white stuff for 24 hours.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fingerprint Friday - Harbinger of Spring

Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain. It was inspired by the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that contains the line..."when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God." To participate or to find all of the blogs that participate, go to Fingerprint Friday post on Beki's blog and follow the instructions.

If you read my last post, then you know that I suffer a bit with the winter doldrums.
So, in February I always begin looking for little signs of spring.
Something to give me hope that winter will soon be a thing of the past.
February might seem a bit early to be looking for spring but there are a few signs to be found.
Pitchers and catchers report for spring training February 17-18.
NASCAR officially opens this weekend at Daytona.
Robins are all over my yard feasting on an abundance of juicy earthworms, thanks to all the rain.
And each year my heart begins to sing when I spy a true harbinger of spring: the teensy, bright yellow blooms of our Weeping Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum.)

In NW Georgia it always begins to bloom in the first week of February.
I know, because I mark it on my calendar...every year...faithfully.
Ice, sleet, snow and below freezing temperatures don't bother it at all.
The tiny blooms are about the size of my thumb nail and are very delicate as you can see.

It is like a tiny bit of spring in the bleak, mid-winter month of February.
To some it is only an early blooming, flowering shrub, but to me it is hope...

and when I see it, I see a beautiful fingerprint of God.

Hope you have a really good Friday and be sure to stay warm, we're expecting snow tomorrow.
It is still winter, you know!

If you are interested in finding out more about this lovely plant, there's a great post by The Grumpy Gardener at Southern Living.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter, Trees and Being Real

Winter is a difficult season for me.
I am fine through Christmas and for a few weeks after.
Then I get the winter blues.
I want to hibernate.
Get a bit depressed.
Tend to be less social.
I crave sweets...self-medication for the depression
or sugar addiction from over indulgence during the holidays.
I could go on…but I will spare you.

However, there are some things that I love about winter.
Snow...even though we rarely get that here in NW Georgia.
Snuggling under the comforter on a cold winter night.
Bundling up in winter clothing and going for a walk.
How wonderful it feels to come out of the cold and into a warm and cozy house.
Hot coffee
Hot soup.
Hot cocoa.
And trees.
I love trees in any season.
But in the winter, they stand stripped down, naked and bare in the winter landscape.

We get to see beneath their sheltering leaves.
Sometimes their limbs are gnarled.
Their trunks are bent.
Their past bad experiences are written all over them.
But God lets us see them as they really are…we get to see what they are really all about...
Swaying in the wind against a winter sunset…
Perfectly lovely in spite of or perhaps because of their life flaws.

They remind me of people when they are being real…
When we let others see who we really are…
When we share our imperfections, our battle scars…
When we reveal our past mistakes as a testimony to God’s healing grace.
Then people see us as we really are…they see what we are really all about.
Some will think the reality of who we are is ugly.
But those who see with God’s eyes will find us...
Perfectly lovely in spite of or perhaps because of our life flaws.