Archive for Holiday

Fun Family Fourth

So…here is the whole crew in their new screen-printed flag shirts:

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Yipee!

What else did we enjoy on the Fourth? Food, of course.

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Including a whole big tub of Awesome Sauce!

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And family…it was Edmund’s first Fourth.

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Mom and I waited for (unsuccessfully, I might add since the weather resulted in a postponement of) the fireworks show.

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As did the rest of the flagged, fed family.

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Yes, it was a FUN flag-, food- and family-filled Fourth…even without the fireworks.

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Spring Miscellany

Spring means graduation. And graduation means cake. Lots of cake.

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And cupcakes.

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(Graduation also means parties of sweet friends.)

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And spring means flowers. Lots of flowers.

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Of course, Spring means Mother’s Day. And I whipped up this little ditty for my lovely mother.

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I know Summer is just around the corner. But for now, I’m enjoying all aspects of Spring.

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Easter Scenes

Get ready for gobs of photos of our Easter celebration.

Nests:

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Eggs:

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Friends:

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Resurrection rolls:

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Road to Calvary banners:

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Some peeps after church:

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Easter hair-do:

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Us:

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First Easter for Jemima:

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And Edmund’s first Easter:

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More peeps (without Levi or me):

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Here I am:

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Easter feast (hosted by Grammy!):

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We were blessed to celebrate this day together!

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Mixed Media Calligraphy, Part 2

As promised, here are some more of the mixed media calligraphed Christmas gifts I gave to Joey and the older kids. These were on a significantly smaller scale than the two I previously posted. I used the same scrapbook papers, stencils, acrylic paints, inks and stamps and rub-ons (oops, I think I forgot to mention those last three in the previous post), etc. that I used in the larger pieces. First, Tim’s:

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I calligraphed his verse with my calligraphy pen in Roman miniscule and capital letters.

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One serendipitous event was discovering (while I was trying to “tone down” the yellow in Amelia and Stephen’s piece) that gesso and acrylic paint mixed and applied thinly gave a texture with a nice “bite” for calligraphing. Otherwise the mod podge I used for creating the backgrounds would have been too slick for my calligraphy ink. I needed that texture for Margaret’s:

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This piece is calligraphed in Uncial (which, as you probably know, was the script of the early Christian texts–cool, eh?). I probably need to be sealing this one soon, too.

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Okay, this one is Eleanor’s:

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It is calligraphed in Copperplate (English roundhand) which I adore as a font.

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I’ll save Joey’s and Peter’s for another post. PLUS, Clara and Levi’s was a different technique…oh, the suspense.

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Mixed Media Calligraphy

I had an inspirational time this past Christmas since I was creating gifts with what I had on hand. I calligraphed favorite Bible verses for the older kids (and Joey) on a wide variety of backgrounds that happened to be hanging around my craft room. For example, I made this for Amelia and Stephen:

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I loved using the techniques I learned in Christy Tomlinson’s online SheArt workshop I completed last year.

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The canvas for this piece started out as a very ugly still life oil painting that I bought for 75 cents at a thrift store. With some scrapbook papers, stencils, acrylic paints, mod podge and gesso, I was able to get a background that (I think) perfectly reflects the decorative scheme of Amelia and Steve’s house.

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I then used acrylic paint to form the lettering (Proto-gothic miniscule and Gothic capitals, for those who love fonts as much as I do). I had never painted lettering quite like that before, but I would do it again because I like the way it turned out.

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I used a similar mixed media technique for Jacob’s gift’s background.

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But his started out as a dry-erase board paired up with a cork board (that Joey had bought at the semi-annual hospital rummage sale). I just took the dry-erase board out of the frame and flipped it over to have a more porous surface on which to work.

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I didn’t paint the letters, though, I actually got out my good old calligraphy pen to form the (Art nouveau) letters.

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I might need to seal this eventually, but I was happy with it, too.

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It was a fun challenge to transform these surfaces and experiment with calligraphy again. The other pieces that I completed using mixed media were much smaller that these two. I’ll stick some of them in a second post…so, as usual, stay tuned.

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When Christmas is Different

Have you read Emily Freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl, yet? I’m going to post about the things God showed me through it. But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about Christmas without Dad. You probably know that, in addition to writing books, Emily Freeman writes a blog, Chatting at the Sky, and that she writes for (in)courage. Just before Christmas, her contribution to (in)courage was “For when everything is different,” about grieving the loss of her father-in-law during the Christmas season. Naturally, I’ve been contemplating some of the same things this Christmas.

I’ve been thinking about how our society marks time by Christmases. Ten ornaments on our Christmas tree acknowledge a “Baby’s First Christmas.” A slightly older ornament, framing photos of two very young newlyweds, declares “First Christmas Together.” But those newlyweds look a little sad because it was also the first Christmas without Joey’s sister.

We generally don’t acknowledge “Baby’s First August 7th,” or commemorate the newlyweds’ “First March 20th Together.” So these days can, to a degree, more easily slip by when we are freshly missing someone. But Christmas is different. I would venture to guess that most Americans can remember several Christmases from their childhoods…whether good or bad, happy or disappointing. We remember this day. We think about the people in our lives. It is more challenging to let it slip by without feeling, right in the face, the loss of someone with whom we have spent many earlier Christmases.

So, we made it through a different Christmas season this year. And since Dad’s birthday is Christmas Eve, we endured two firsts without him that weekend. It was different without his, “Feliz Navita” (yes, that’s spelled right), and his “Ho, ho, ho.” It was different without his references to Santa (I could write a whole post just about Dad and Santa and me). It was different without someone who listens to my concerns, petty or grand. It was different without someone who loves me like only a parent can love a child. It was different without someone who hugs me like only a father can hug me.

Was your Christmas different this year? If not, I’ll bet you know someone whose Christmas was. And even though Christmas is over, I’m praying for everyone who had a different Christmas.

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Giveaway Over at Take Heart!

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