Saturday, November 28, 2009

More artwork...

I am in the midst of completing sixteen commissioned pieces before Christmas (and counting... as it seems right now I am receiving a new request every other day). This has been and will continue to be a busy season for me. But, it is such a blessing to get to do this and know there will be people opening gifts containing my artwork on Christmas Day. Above is a drawing I did not too long ago for a dear friend. It is really incredible how the Lord has blessed me in my artwork business this fall and winter. It really affirms that I am doing the right thing. In THIS POST just over a year ago I was really questioning whether it was the right thing to continue with it. Some of you gave me some treasured words of wisdom. At this point, I am trusting that I am following the path He wants for me.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On Thanksgiving... (in paraphrase)

How do we understand what being thankful really means? To explore this, I went to some favorite verses and put them in my own words...

Be thankful in every situation because this is what God wants from you if you are in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Don't be anxious about anything, but pray about everything. Ask God for what you need, showing Him that you have a thankful heart for everything He has done for you. (Philippians 4:6)

Come into His presence by showing Him genuine thanks and praise. (Psalm 100) Let Christ have absolute rule and reign in your life and heart, since you are one with Him and with one another. If He rules in your heart then His peace will be evident in your relationships with one another. The manifestation of this in your life should cause you to be truly thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

Prayer should be something you devote yourself to because you are constantly watching for what Jesus wants to do in your life and because you are thankful to Him. (Colossians 4:2) Now that you have received Jesus as your Lord, be sure that you continue to live in Him. Make sure your roots are growing deeply in Him, so that you will grow tall and strong in your faith as you were taught. When this happens, your thankfulness will naturally overflow. (Colossians 2:6-8)

Since we are assured of receiving a kingdom that can never be shaken, we can't help but be thankful. Our thankfulness, then, should cause us to worship God in a way that shows we hold Him in higher esteem than anything or anyone. We stand in awe of what He has done and acknowledge that while our ways are flawed, His ways are perfect. We are also in awe of what He will do because we know that He could choose to consume everything. (Hebrews 12:28-29) I will sing praises to His name and bring Him glory by being thankful. (Psalm 69:30)

As you gather together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, I pray that you will truly understand what it means to be thankful. And in the spirit of thankfulness, I wanted to share with you a recipe that I tried for the first time last year. Delicious!

Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in vanilla extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.

Grease a 10" fluted tube pan. Sprinkle the pecans into pan. Spread half of the batter over nuts; top with half of the cranberry sauce. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And some non-commissioned artwork....

9" x 12" watercolor

Before the commission rush hit, I was trying to come up with some artwork for Christmas cards. I thought I would share these and ask you what you think. Which would you choose... or would you choose neither? The poinsettia will obviously cover the front of the card. I thought the dove would be nice with the word "Peace" in some lovely font. Any ideas? Or more ideas for other artwork for a different sort of card. I don't have time for creative juices these days, as I am heavy into architecture. :)

9" x 12" graphite and Prismacolor

Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement. I am THANKFUL for you!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tis the season... commissioned artwork

I am in the midst of busy season when it comes to commissioned work. Lots of people are wanting to give home sketches for Christmas gifts this year... which is a huge blessing. Since I haven't posted artwork in a while, I thought I would share a different sort of commission done very recently. This client wanted to have the sketch done for her daughter, who was married in this church. I thought that was so sweet.

The Basilica of St. Lawrence
graphite, 5" x 7"

This was a fun commission because I have never done a Basilica before. It was also a challenge because of the small size requested (5" x 7"), as there is a tremendous amount of detail. This is the Basilica of St. Lawrence, located in Asheville, North Carolina. It is a very beautiful church and has an interesting history. According to the church's website, "St Lawrence, with its unique dome, is the only church designed and built by the renowned Rafael Guastavino --and is considered the mother church of western North Carolina." At the time when it was designated by the Roman Catholic Church as a Basilica (in 1993) there were only 33 other Basilicas in the United States. The website states about the designation of Basilica that it "is a special designation given by the Holy Father to certain churches because of their antiquity, dignity, historical importance or significance as a place of worship."

And now, back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This post is inspired by a recent post, then comment, and then subsequent post on Nancy Lindemeyer's blog. As far back as I can remember, we celebrated Thanksgiving lunch at my grandmother's home. We always gathered there with as many of the family as could come. It may have been just my grandmother and grandfather with their two daughters (my mother being one of them) and their families. Or, it may have included great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and lots of cousins. But it was always a time for family to come together. We ate together while we all caught up with what had been going on that year in our lives. We shared reminiscences of days gone by and just generally had a wonderful time of fellowship. I am quite sure that many of you have similar memories.

Thanksgiving Table 2006

In the earlier years of our marriage, my husband and I did different things at Thanksgiving. Sometimes it was spent with my husband's family and sometimes with mine. But for the past number of years, it has been held in our home. It is always such a wonderful time of being together with both sides of the family around our table. The food preparations are usually not too taxing, as everyone shares the burden by bringing a couple of their favorite dishes. We put it all together and enjoy the blessings the Lord has given us.

Thanksgiving Table 2007

In preparation, I don't do a lot of decorating. But Tuesday I put out my special Thanksgiving things. These are special not because of what they look like, how expensive they were, or what store they came from. No, these are special things because of how they came to me. The Pilgrim figurines you see in the pictures of my table each year were given to me by my grandmother, along with a number of ears of dried, multicolored maize. These, along with whatever other fall accoutrements I decide pull together, rest on my dining room table. The Pilgrims, maize, candles, and a fall arrangement are set on a beveled-edge mirror which belonged to my grandmother. This mirror was the base for many a centerpiece on my grandmother's dining room table. And becuase she has gone Home before me, it resides on mine.

Thanksgiving Table 2009

But my true treasures from this mother's heart are the Pilgrims and Indians that grace our kitchen table. These are not just any Pilgrims and Indians, you see, but ones that were colored by the small hands of my chilren when they were very young. I proudly display them on the kitchen table each year, and my kids have reached the ages (in their teens/preteens) that they want to wince when they see how brightly colored these treasures are. Two Pilgrims and two Indians share their bounty of a turkey, a pie, a basket of corn, and a pumpkin. No black and white garb would do for these Pilgrims! And a purple-haired Indian man... you just have to love it. And if you have children, then you know just why these cutouts are treasured and displayed proudly every year.

So much to be thankful for... friends, family, all God's good blessings!