Archive for February, 2011

Announcing: The Abundant Artist

Please come on over to our new blog, The Abundant Artist. We designed it especially to encourage moms who also need to fuel their creative side. Tell all of your friends, too!

See you over at The Abundant Artist!

(And come back to see me here, too.)

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Hair Crafting

Clara, Lydia and I spent about 9 hours over the last two days working on this:

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We had been considering loc-ing Lyd’s hair and, with Kathleen’s encouragement, we decided to jump right in.

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We watched movies while I parted and twisted and Clara squirted water at us and Margaret cooked meals and everyone else cheered us on. I think this will provide a lot of hair-do options that we haven’t had before and Lydia’s hair is perfect for this kind of styling.

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Paula, didn’t you say this counts as “crafting”?

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The GRAND IDEA

Amelia and I have been working all week on our Grand Idea. And what, exactly, is that Grand Idea? Well, we have developed a blog aimed at encouraging artistic moms to pursue their artistic endeavors as they simultaneously meet their parenting responsibilities. After all, this is one of our biggest challenges, so why not share the ideas we have developed for overcoming this challenge? And why not invite others to share their ideas?

So…you artistic mom, you, we invite you to join us on Monday, March 1st. As always, stay tuned for details!

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More Inspired Ideas

I completed (with various and sundry daughters’ help) a truckload and a half of the great ideas in the Christmas issue of Amy Powers’ Inspired Ideas. So, I am really looking forward to delving into her Spring issue! I’m especially eager to make one of these:

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Now, don’t you want to make one, too? If you haven’t already bought the issue, rush over to get your very own right HERE! It’s only $3.30!

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Valentine’s Day and More Musings on The Artistic Mother

I was entirely surprised to receive these on Valentine’s Day.

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Aren’t they beautiful?

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And they were truly a surprise.

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Because dear Clara and Levi had orchestrated the whole thing to assist Joey .

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I started thinking about what these flowers represented.

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They represent relationships, obviously. They represent a 30-year relationship that I’ve had with Joey. That relationship has blossomed into a whole bouquet of additional relationships with our kids and, now, their spouses and children.

So, what do these flowers have to do with The Artistic Mother post from a few days ago?

Well, I haven’t done anything creative all week. Okay, so I’ve played the piano a little bit, but that’s about it. I’ve been thinking constantly, though, about my earlier musings about “allowing” ourselves, as homeschooling mothers, especially, to pursue our artistic endeavors when we have so many responsibilities, responsibilities that revolve around these relationships that have blossomed.

I had been struggling, again, with what to do, specifically and practically, to allow myself time for creative pursuits. As I was talking about this struggle with Amelia, who has similar challenges as the mother of the Darling Person, we suddenly had a GRAND IDEA! Oh! I became so excited and encouraged about this GRAND IDEA!

But, I am going to have to keep you in suspense, so…stay tuned!

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Valentine Swap

When I opened the second package that I received the other day, this is what I saw:

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(Isn’t there something encouraging about seeing valentines addressed specifically to you?)

Our Valentine Three-inchey Swap hostess, Jeanelle, really outdid herself and I savored unpacking the box, finding goody after goody.

First, Jeanelle’s contribution was peeking from her envelope. (And here I should probably mention that I photographed these nestled in the pink tissue paper in which they arrived, so the colors appear rosier than in real life. If you want to see some more-true-to-life photos, check out Laurie’s blog.)

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I just love this!

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Mollie’s was also “peeking” through the envelope.

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So sweet!

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(And, I found this little gal in Mollie’s envelope, too.)

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This awesome woven ribbon heart was from Jami.

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Eeps! I love the colors. And I wish you could feel the ribbon!

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Connie contributed this wonderful crazy quilt square. (Learning to make a crazy quilt has LONG been on my to-do list, so I am appreciating this technique.)

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Can you see that the central piece is filled? And what about those roses?

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And what was in Lynn’s envelope?

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This little feast-for-the-eyes! (Every time I look, I see something new.)

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Laurie’s little package held…

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…this awesome portrait!

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Can anyone resist Mr. Darcy? Certainly not I!

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I almost hated to break the seal on Tammy’s envelope.

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But I’m glad I did because this is what I found (in addition to some Dove chocolate)!

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And to top it all off, Jeanelle added more Dove chocolates, a vintage valentine AND this fabulous fabric book in which to display our treasures:

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What a special treat! I can’t wait to participate in the next swap.

P.S. Just in case you missed my contribution, click here.

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Gifts

For some time, now, God has been showing me something, teaching me something, through a series of challenging circumstances. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of what I think He is showing me, teaching me. Sometimes it is so elusive that I think I’ll never see it or learn it.

One tool that He has been using in this process is John Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. Lately, through what I’m reading in this book, I think that the glimpse of what I’m being shown and taught has to do with everything, everything being a gift from God. Now, I’ve given intellectual assent to this concept for years. What it seems that God is showing and teaching me has to do with wholeheartedly experiencing and accepting that everything is a gift from Him.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of gifts lately. I was even talking about it quite a bit yesterday as my older kids gave me the gift of their time while I talked. And, I have received some important gifts lately from my parents who are also listening, amidst their own challenges, to me.

Consequently, with “gifts” on my mind, I was delighted to receive two packages in the mail yesterday! The first was a package from Sheila. (Shelia made my fabulous charm bracelet for the Silver Bella swap and I wear it all of the time.) I was chosen as a winner in her Valentine charm giveaway! This is the adorable charm I received:

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Don’t you just love it?

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And what made it even more special was that, when I first saw it on her blog, it reminded me of this:

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This is the first ring that Joey ever gave me.

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He bought it at James Avery the summer of 1981. We hadn’t seen each other for quite awhile because he had been hiking for two weeks in the middle of nowhere and I had been serving as a Fish Camp Counselor. When I got back to the A&M campus, he was there to pick me up and he surprised me with this ring. I wore it on my left ring finger until he replaced it with my wedding ring a year later. What a special gift!

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It seems that yesterday, God was reinforcing the glimpse that what He is showing me, teaching me has to do with His gifts.

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