Showing posts from 2009

I give up.

I'm telling you, if you're a believer and you're struggling with something with deep roots, trying like crazy to dig to the bottom of it, worship will do it every time. My dad was saying yesterday that it's like a prayer language that totally intimidates the enemy and he has to flee when it begins. And I think it's also like fire and the enemy, like sin, is completely flammable. When we walk into the presence of the Lord-- whether we dance, crawl or limp in, singing-- the consuming fire that is His holy presence begins to burn away the dross in us. And the enemy, who would press my face into my navel, not looking for the Lord, cannot stand that holy presence. I think that's a big part of the whole mystery. It shows up in the psalms all the time-- start off with "OH, woe is me..." and end with "You alone are perfect in all Your ways! Praise You!"

Anyway, I'm standing there with suds and water all over my hands and somehow all over my arms …

Tutorial: Using unmounted stamps

Back in 2003 I purchased my first set of unmounted rubber stamps. I was immediately a fan as they are usually quite a bit less expensive than the wood mounted stamps and they take up a lot less storage space. As I started using them more often I had friends asking me about them. I created this photo tutorial. It was originally on my old website but I moved it to Flickr then kind of forgot about it when we moved to Ohio and we bought my new laptop.

After stumbling upon it this morning I figured it's always good to post practical advice on a Faith & Art related site. So here it is! And please let me know if there is anything you'd like to see specifically - tutorials on materials, techniques, etc. If I don't know how to do it, I'm sure someone else does and we'll get them to help!

So here it is, the "Using unmounted rubber stamps" tutorial photo set on Flickr!

Art workroom update photos.

So here are some photos of the mess at our house right now. The first three are my workroom as it is today. I filled holes left by wall anchors and tried out little swatches of the new paint (similar color but lighter - it's either khaki or yellow depending on the light. I like it.)

So the next photo shows an old door I bought at Building Value down in Walnut Hills (architectural salvage store. LOVE. IT.) I am planning to use it as a desktop on that wall for my laptop. Notice the doorknob hole? Will use it as access for the cords. I KNOW! Genius!

And I painted my wooden office chair. By the time we're finished it'll have a slip-covered cushion. Too cute.

And this? This is my dining room. Nice. That's all the stuff we cleared out of my work room this week*.

Mmm, paper rack. How I adore my printed papers. And my Sharpies (in the lazy susan in the foreground to the right.)
OK. So... there it is, in all it's unkempt glory. I'll post more as we go. I…

Catching up.

I'm hoping to renovate this blog later this fall - new look, new posts on a more regular basis. God is working on me and I need to talk about it (regardless of whether anyone is reading this.)

In the meantime, if you've just tuned in, I'd suggest going back and reading some of the posts that got me to this particular point in my life. Instead of you having to sort through the archives, I'll make a list below of the posts that made the most sense (I might include the Mail Art cow. Because I can.)
Let's start from the very beginning. It's a very good place to start...
In Which I Tell it Like it is. For Me at Least.
Cosmos from Chaos
Art as Remembering
Icons of the True
What You Need
See What's Out There
Today's Post (I'm including this one because it's the reality of my life. It's not always paint and glitter and "Oh, I'm so inspired and creative!")
My Faith. And art.
Preface to Reflections on Pereland…

Soldered stuff.

I burned out my third tip trying to do this with a way under-powered soldering iron (a 35 watt dinky thing with no reostat. Boo.) Hopefully I will be getting this* for my birthday next month and all my soldering dreams will come true!
I messed around with a few stained glass scraps along with a 1960's/70's brooch I bought at St. Vincent DePaul last week and a rock that's been sittig in the dining room for months. Anything that sits in my line of sight for months is in danger of being soldered to something or glued to something or painted with something.
This is about an inch square scrap of stained glass with irregular random yellow, white, and red stripes. The "live" charm and is attached with a jump ring which also has a little turquoise bead at the connection.

The next two are of the same piece, a larger bit of the same scrap I used for the "live" square. This one has two vintage beads attached by jump rings at the top. You can definitely see the s…

Preface for "Reflections on PERELANDRA"

I'm not really sure how much of my personal life I want to talk about on this blog. I guess inasmuch as it applies to my thinking on my faith or my art. I know it won't be a static thing and will change as my life changes (and yes, I did look up the correct spelling of "inasmuch" before I typed it.)

So I've been doing some comfort reading the last few weeks. It takes the place of comfort food for me... ok, let's be real, sometimes comfort food accompanies the comfort reading... Anyway, "comfort reading." For me, that means going back to those books and authors that lead me back to where I plainly see God's glory and that this life isn't what it's all about. These are the books that open my eyes, wake me up again.
This latest bought of comfort reading was brought on by a seriously stressful mid-July that culminated with having to cancel our summer trip to Maryland, get Liam back into therapy, and deal with the fact that our relati…

And it lives...

Life keeps getting in the way and yet the ideas and inspiration that originally got this blog started are just as strong as ever. We've had a lot going on and I'll post more about it in a bit. Wanted to update to let you know I'm still here and will be setting up a Twitter ID for Faith & Art in the next day or so. I think that way I can at least get little blurbs out while trying to make time to post longer blog posts more often. I'd also like to get some more challenges up. So here's to picking myself up and dusting myself off and moving on...

See you soon.

Comfort our spirits, Lord.

Dear Father,
Please comfort us in our loss.  Whether it be a loss of life or a loss of security, of sureness about the future - ours and others.  Please hold our hearts in Your hands.  Please comfort us with the glory of the universe, the beauty that exists around us in nature and in other people you've put in our paths.
Please help us to be able to reconcile our current situations with the fact that we know and believe You to be good.  All the time.  And let us rest our fears, our doubts and our anger and sadness in that one basic truth.
We honor you.  We thank you, cry to you, yell at you, ask you why.  And we love you.

I am owed nothing.

Rusty and I were talking about how lately we've heard a little more talk than usual about how people feel they deserve more or deserve better.  The funny thing is that if we were really given what we deserve, it wouldn't be pretty.  Thanfully (so thankful) we don't get what we deserve.  We get grace.  We get love and forgiveness.

In thinking more about this friend dealing with illness, I get a knot in my stomach.  Because I know that God doesn't owe us anything.  Our version of "good" or an answer to prayer would be sudden and total healing and a long life here on this earth.  But God exists in a bigger reality where the whole picture is available whereas we're only seeing the view from where we are at any given time and place.  That's scary!  It's sobering to say one minute, "God is good.  All the time."  And to really, honestly believe it.  Then the next minute a loved one dies or someone is diagnosed with a disease that will alter the…

I don't belong here.

I'm going to be honest and say first that I have no idea what I'm going to say. There. That makes me feel better, eh?

During Easter weekend we had very dear friends staying with us. The oldest of the Helwig children had borrowed A Wrinkle in Time the month before. He came back very much excited and wanted to know if there were more books by that author (Madleine L'Engle.) Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that I was happy... moved... to be able to tell him that no only were there more books by the same author but that she wrote three more in that series involving Meg and Charles Wallace. These books, along with C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and some of his others that make me excited and hopeful for our kids to see the kingdom in the everyday.

Here's the weirdness (and bear with me, I promise I have a point.) I started reading the Harry Potter books this past week. I'm a very fast reader. It's a blessing a curse, trust me. I'm o…


Someone else's prayers.

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health:
Comfort and relieve your sick servant, and give your power of healing to those who minister to her needs, that she may be strengthened in her weakness and have confidence in Your loving care;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Sometimes when I don't know what to pray I find comfort and inspiration in the prayers of those who've walked before me.  This is a prayer for the sick from The Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal Church BCP, 1979.) And these words are every bit as relevant to this situation as any I might speak on my own.
My offer to pray for a friend is always made honestly.  And I do pray.  If I doubt I'll remember, I don't offer.  Because prayer is too powerful a thing to say you'll do without following through on it.  But sometimes the situation needing prayer is so big or so personal or so whatever that it feels like it needs something constant.  Something that is ongoing rather than something that is in a moment…

Consider yourself hugged.

"The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstacy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath, or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home."
~ C.S. Lewis in The Problem with Pain

When I first read this passage from The Problem of Pain I had one of those moments where I completely understood what Lewis meant by "pleasant inns." Just last weekend Rusty and I were trying to explain to friends here about friends back in Maryland. We eventually came to the conclusion that our friends …