Thursday, November 17, 2016

I MAKE PRETTY THINGS...


(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

"You were made by God's masterful hands - wisely designed, uniquely formed, caringly crafted.
You were made for God's glorious purpose - to know His love, to be His own, to express His heart."

~Roy Lessin~
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

My heart swells with joy every time I read this quote to think that I was blessed with one pinch of an attribute of the Creator, to work with my hands designing, crafting, and forming things that are my heart expressions of appreciation and love for Him.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

Having the gift of creativity is sometimes a struggle for me.  While I try to use this gift to best of my often limited ability, its hard not to fall into the comparison game.  I have a friend who is gifted with teaching and a passion for bringing God's Word to life through story telling in her children's ministry.  She travels on missions sharing her heart and it is making such a difference in the world of faith.....and I make pretty things.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

I know people who have started food banks to feed the homeless, those who work with college students training for missions, those write books and speak sharing hope and faith, those who have youth ministries, those who serve in homeless shelters, those who hold clothing drives, food drives, and are Christmas Angels, and the list could go on and on.....and I make pretty things.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

These are all big responsible works that seem so much greater and make so much more impact and reach so many more people than making pretty things.  It is so easy to fall into the great than/less than trap and compare what you do to what someone else does.  I often have to remind myself of Exodus 31:1-5 where creativity is indeed a valid gift, "...given in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, in all manner of workmanship to design artistic works..."
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

This was really brought home to me this week when I received an email from someone who had purchased a piece of my jewelry.  She expressed such exuberant joy over having something one of kind that was unique to her with its hidden meaningful message in the text on the piece, known only between she and I.  She said this was a hopeful piece to her that she could wear and be reminded of God's love.  
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

I had no idea when I was designing, forming, and crafting this simple piece of jewelry that it could be used for His glorious purpose, a reminder to the wearer of His love for her and a blessing of the gift of delight and joy.   Wow!...and I make pretty things...lucky me!
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

The next time you are tempted to fall into the greater than/less than comparison trap just remember, YOU ARE one of the prettiest things ever made, wisely designed, uniquely formed, caringly crafted, by His masterful hands.  YOU ARE valuable and what you do matters whether it is big or small, loud or quiet, you are a most precious pretty person.....lucky you!
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

Blessings,
Sandy

I MAKE PRETTY THINGS...


(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

"You were made by God's masterful hands - wisely designed, uniquely formed, caringly crafted.
You were made for God's glorious purpose - to know His love, to be His own, to express His heart."

~Roy Lessin~
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

My heart swells with joy every time I read this quote to think that I was blessed with one pinch of an attribute of the Creator, to work with my hands designing, crafting, and forming things that are my heart expressions of appreciation and love for Him.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

Having the gift of creativity is sometimes a struggle for me.  While I try to use this gift to best of my often limited ability, its hard not to fall into the comparison game.  I have a friend who is gifted with teaching and a passion for bringing God's Word to life through story telling in her children's ministry.  She travels on missions sharing her heart and it is making such a difference in the world faith.....and I make pretty things.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

I know people who have started food banks to feed the homeless, those who work with college students training for missions, those write books and speak sharing hope and faith, those who have youth ministries, those who serve in homeless shelters, those who hold clothing drives, food drives, and are Christmas Angels, and the list could go on and on.....and I make pretty things.
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

These are all big responsible works that seem so much greater and make so much more impact and reach so many more people than making pretty things.  It is so easy to fall into the great than/less than trap and compare what you do to what someone else does.  I often have to remind myself of Exodus 31:1-5 where creativity is indeed a valid gift, "...given in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, in all manner of workmanship to design artistic works..."
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

This was really brought home to me this week when I received an email from someone who had purchased a piece of my jewelry.  She expressed such exuberant joy over having something one of kind that was unique to her with its hidden meaningful message in the text on the piece, known only between she and I.  She said this was a hopeful piece to her that she could wear and be reminded of God's love.  
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

I had no idea when I was designing, forming, and crafting this simple piece of jewelry that it could be used for His glorious purpose, a reminder to the wearer of His love for her and a blessing of the gift of delight and joy.   Wow!...and I make pretty things...lucky me!
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

The next time you are tempted to fall into the greater than/less than comparison trap just remember, YOU ARE one of the prettiest things ever made, wisely designed, uniquely formed, caringly crafted, by His masterful hands.  YOU ARE valuable and what you do matters whether it is big or small, loud or quiet, you are a most precious pretty person.....lucky you!
(Photography by Tracy Hoggard)

Blessings,
Sandy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

REFRESHED...

Refreshed:  to give new strength and energy to; reinvigorate; revise; update

AUGUST JOURNAL ENTRY:
This morning a soft rain is gently pattering on the ground outside my open windows.  Open windows in August are a rarity in my little corner of the world.  Usually, I am hermetically sealed inside my Tupperware like existence to stay refreshed in the wilting southern summer heat and humidity.  This rain is a gift, a refreshment to the parched earth.  I know what that kind of thirst feels like, dried out from the heat...only I am thinking more of the parchment of the soul.

It has been a long hot nearly unbearable season of heat this summer but it has been made bearable by knowing that summer will end and autumn will arrive with its cooler temperatures and riot of color.  Life seasons don't work like that.   While there is a surety that change will inevitably come, its the timing that's the hitch, its totally unpredictable.  When it finally arrives and the heat and pressures of life are lifted it is the sweetest refreshment a soul can savor.

I am drinking deeply from this open window on my life timeline, gulping greedily really, savoring this gentle patter of refreshment.  Peace fills my thirsty soul.  Gratitude overflows knowing that the lid that sealed me into a life event or circumstance can and will be lifted and there is freshness to be found.

I guess life is kind of like a Tupperware bowl, there is preparation for what is going to be stored in the bowl.  This is like the life process of being made ready for things to come.  Storage is the next stage, retention or a holding pattern, preparing us for future use.  Then there is the containment stage, which to me is often the most frustrating and painful, This keeps us within limits.  The final stage is the serving stage.  What comes out of the Tupperware bowl is fresh and palatable.  Once we have weathered the preparation, storage, containment stages we emerge refreshed and ready to serve....

ENTRY END...  
This is the best way I can describe that last weeks and months of my life, my absence here.  I needed time to refresh, gain new strength and energy, to be reinvigorated, revised, and updated.  I needed time to heal.  Time to sort through some messy life stuff.  I also needed time to stop a moment from being a human doing and embrace a time of human being.  

Life here has settled into a new rhythm and I love this quite slower peaceful pace.
My hope is to ease back into blogging and reconnect with my blog friends.
I hope you are all doing well.

Many Blessings,
Sandy


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CHANGES...

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, 
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."

~Pauline R. Kezer~
Change is not something I adapt to very easily.  I like steady continuity.  I like order.  I like predictability.  However, life is just not like that, continuity is broken by bumps and jostles, left and right turns, and sometimes it just plain ole turns completely upside down.  I am thankful for the things I can count on to be continuous that keep me rooted and grounded but I am coming to realize that I need to embrace change if I want to branch out and grow.  

A huge part of this process for me over the last several months has been letting go.  Letting go of trying to control.  Letting go of physical space.  Letting go of material clutter.  Letting go of the past and embracing the present.  For the first time in a very long time I don't dread what change may bring.  I am ready to grow beyond the sapling stage of my journey and sprout out new branches that allow me to stretch and grow and reach new heights. 
A lot of things have changed since I last posted here:

 My studio has been downsized and moved.
I now inhabit the writing cottage by the garden pond where there is fantastic natural lighting and inspirational views where I have been working on learning some new things, brushing up on old favorites, and settling into the new space.
(Pics coming soon!)

The previous studio space inside my home has been turned into a haven for the grandchildren who love having their own special hang out here.

The man gave up his office and is using the entry for his office.  
His previous space is being turned into a comfy wee guest room.

The farmhouse has been sold.
This was such a bittersweet process for me but by the time it was done I had embraced and accepted this major change as a part of life.
A lingering problem has been solved by the relocation of someone who kept the pot stirred so to speak,

I have accepted that I can't change the condition of my mother's illness and am better coping with it, not to say that some days are not harder than others.

I am getting to know my earthly father and realizing how precious he is to me.
He and my mother divorced when I was very young so I did not grow up with him in my life as much as I would have liked to, plus his job had him traveling a lot when I was young.  There was never anything bad between us, we just somehow never got to really know one another.
I am leaning heavier on my Heavenly Father to help me embrace what I can change and to accept and be peaceful with what I cannot.

I am embracing new opportunities that are sure to stretch me beyond my comfort zone.  I want the courage to allow myself to be scared but do it anyway.  Like filming my very first online class for ARTFUL GATHERING 2017!

I realized one day how much negativity was surrounding me and dragging me down with my own attitude and with some outside influences.  Something inside me snapped and I decided it had to be different.  I cut the ties that were binding me to the past and sticking me in place in the present, and I have to say that freedom feels wonderful!  It's not just that a lot of my circumstances have changed, I have changed and I think that is the hardest change to embrace, changing ones self.
As I gear up for more even bigger changes in my future I am ever so grateful for all these "roots" that show me where I came from and for the new growth that shows me what I can become.

A huge part of my journey to change has brought me back to my love and passion for art and writing which brings me back to this blog and all you precious friends I have so missed over these last months.  I am looking forward to reconnecting!

What is on your journey to change?

Blessings,
Sandy

Monday, March 28, 2016

CRAZY BUSY, IN A TIZZY...


Life here at the Quill has taken several unexpected turns, some have left me crazy busy while others have sent me off in a tizzy.  There was the sale of a house that turned out not to be a sale of the house that I spent weeks emptying, donating, selling, packing, and storing only to find out 4 days before closing that it fell through.  The sale that wasn't a sale after all created a ripple effect of needing space back in my own home for things that were going to need a home so.....I had to pack up, sort, donate, sell, downsize and move my studio BUT before I could do that I had to empty the writing cottage by sorting, storing, selling, and donating what was in there in order to move the studio.  Then there were issues with my moms health and well being to focus on.  Now a major move for a family member where I am once again emptying, sorting, packing, selling, and donating a lifetime accumulation and all the memories and emotions that go with that.  I seem to be caught in a vicious cycle!

I have heard it said that what we do here on earth prepares us for heaven.  While I know it's not a literal job I let my imagination roam as my hands were busy and I thought to myself, "Oh no!  I am going to be accumulating loads of stuff that has to be sorted and distributed!"  Then I wondered what exactly I would have to sort and distribute since there will be no earthly goods?  The most amazing thought came to me...I could accumulate prayers and distribute blessings!  Wouldn't that be an amazing job?

My silly ruminations really helped with what was fast becoming a bad attitude about having to be responsible for other people and their possessions.  These tasks fell to me not as burdens but as blessings to those I am doing the service for and to those who are receiving the distributed goods.

Life does not always go as we plan, it can leave you crazy busy or even in a tizzy, just remember, accumulate those prayers and distribute those blessings because whatever He has you doing right at this moment is an amazing job!

Blessings,
Sandy

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"I ALWAYS PICKED HER WILDFLOWERS..."

"I always picked her wildflowers..."
(Photo Transparency, Collage, Acrylic Paint, Ink, Encaustic Medium)

Soon after we crossed the creek and just before we topped the rise of the hill where the farmhouse came into view I would shout out "STOP! Let me out here and tell her I did not come!"  I would slide out of the old Ford Falcon near the Horton's tipsy old mailbox and sit on a roadside rock listening to the tires pop and crunch over the old dirt and gravel road.  My signal to begin my surprise appearance being the sound of car doors slamming greetings being hollered to and fro from car to porch. I could hear her feigned disappointment at my not being present and I would grin. This was our game. I knew  that she knew that I was there anticipating my arrival as much as I anticipated seeing her.
(BEFORE, the above photo shows the collage and painting before adding the encaustic medium)

I would abandon my perch and slowly meander up the rest of the rise and around the curve secure that the aged stone wall and roadside bramble hid me from view.  I would study rocks for fossil shapes, listen to bird calls, think names of trees, weeds, and wildflowers just as she had taught me.  I zig-zagged across the road plucking wildflowers, grasses, weeds, and leaves all the while arranging them in a bouquet as I went. Sometimes I was lucky enough to find a feather to tuck in as a special adornment.
(DURING:  the above photo shows the very scary part of encaustics, covering up the collage with the wax.  Yikes was I nail nibbling here until the wax dried and cleared so I could see the final result.)

Once I had gathered a good sized bouquet I would trot up the road and slip behind the sweet gum tree at the edge of the yard to see if she had gone inside. With the coast clear, I would tiptoe across lawn and up the front steps crouching under the open window to listen for her voice. She would always say, "I sure wish Nay would have come."  With a gap toothed grin I would spring for the handle on the screen door, throw it open, and march in, hand behind my back and screech, "SURPRISE!"  "Bet you thought they left me in Little Rock didn't you Granny?"  She would grin back and say, "They gee! You did surprise me, I thought they left you at home!" 
(AFTER:  After a bit of scraping back and fusing I got the soft dream like memory effect I was after!)

On my way to bury myself in her embrace, where her cherry red apron would cradle my cheek and her feather soft kiss would brush the top of my hair, I would present her with my gift of hand picked wildflowers.  She never failed to ooh and ahh over them as together we placed them in a vase and set them on the kitchen table.  Our game never ceased, it carried over into adulthood where I would slide out of the car, sometimes accompanied by one or both of my children and we would pick her wildflowers as I told them the story of a long ago little girl who liked to trick her Granny.

I still pick her wildflowers, only now she views them from heaven.  I still put them on the kitchen table and before leaving the farm I leave them on her final resting place and I hope she knows that "Granny's Girl" has been there to surprise her.

Blessings,
Sandy

The encaustic piece featured in this post was inspired by this fond memory.  The photo transparency is one I took of the cattle gate at the farm where her Flowering Almond bushes bloom every spring.  Loving what I am learning from Ivy Newport in her Whimsical Portraits and Dreamy Landscapes online class!
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin