Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lots to do....

I haven't had a lot of blogging time lately as I am getting ready for my art show (2 weeks away now.) I did want to post my latest commissioned drawing and a couple of sneaky peeks at what I've been working on.

A painting in progress...

A bit of Disney sketching...

Japan Pavilion at EPCOT

From the "Armor Series"...

I hope all my precious blogging friends are enjoying these first few days of spring!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Story of Life - Pam Tebow's and My Own

Last night I was privileged to hear in person Pam Tebow's story of her choice for life. As a missionary with her husband in the Philippines, she became pregnant with her fourth child. While in the Philippines she had aquired an amoeba which caused her to be very, very sick during the pregnancy... so sick, in fact, that the doctors strongly suggested she have an abortion. She and her husband, however, had prayed for a son -- specifically so that they could dedicate him to the Lord -- and their prayer was that he would be a preacher. A few months later Tim Tebow was born, and though he was undernourished he didn't stay that way for long. And now many millions of people know their story. What an impact he has had for Christ!

Now my story is not so dramatic, but it is the story of life and how Christ can rewrite a family history. My mother was seventeen years old and unmarried when she found herself pregnant with me. Being from a small town this could have been scandalous. Abortion was not such a widely available option at that time, but she and my father chose to get married and bring me into the world. Neither of them were Christians at that time; still they chose to give me life, raise me, and love me. And so they did.

Fast forward eighteen years to my freshman year in college. In my dorm room one afternoon I was visited by Jennifer, who shared with me about having a personal relationship with Christ. I had grown up going to church in my small town and had learned about God and about Christ. But I had never really heard that Christ wanted me not just to know about Him, but He wanted me to know Him. He wanted a relationship with me so much that He was willing to die to make it possible. His desire was that He would not be a God that I knew about only in my head, but He would be a God who I could know intimately. He wanted a relationship that didn't just involve my attention one hour a week, but He wanted to walk with me day by day, hour by hour, and moment by moment. He would love me unconditionally, He would care for me no matter what, and best of all He would never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Now I had not lived a spotless life, and there were many things keeping me from this kind of a relationship with God. But according to 1 John 1:9 all I had to do was confess that I wasn't living like someone who loved and wanted a relationship with God and was choosing my own way. If I did this and confessed that I couldn't measure up to being righteous on my own, but wanted Him to cleanse me and make me new, He would do it. So, that very day I asked God to forgive me through what Jesus did (according to John 3:16) and because I believed the promises in His word were true. That day my life changed. I went from carrying around a load of guilt and being a person who tried to please everyone (including myself), to someone who knows that there is only One Person I need to please. And I know that on my own I can't please Him. But because He has made me a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), I am no longer condemned. Further than that I am FREE from the sin and the shame! It is His job to do the cleansing, not mine. My only job is to walk with Him daily. I do this by confessing to Him when I miss the mark that He has set for me and by then accepting His promised forgiveness.

My life is not perfect, and this side of heaven it will never be. But my heart knows real peace (Philippians 4:7), and it really is a peace that passes all understanding. I hope and pray that each of you -- my precious blog friends -- know this same peace.


Friday, March 19, 2010

I Win, I Win... Thank You, Barb!!

Barb, of The French Elements blog, had a giveaway last week. Now, Barb is a special blogging friend who is just an amazing woman in so many ways. She is a kindred spirit and never fails to lift me up with such encouraging words in her comments here. Along with her blog, she has a business called "The French Elements" where she offers all sorts of beautiful, French and Old World-inspired treasures. If you haven't visted her before, then you must go now!

She has had several giveaways before which I have entered and not won. In fact, it is rare that I win anything. So, imagine my glee to find that I had won her latest giveaway. And this (below) was what I found waiting on my front porch.

Of course, I couldn't wait to see what was inside!

It was packaged beautifully and well-padded so there would be no shifting around during shipping.

And as any good Francophile would do, she wrapped the boxes in this scrumptious toile tissue paper. Lovely!

The first thing I opened were these (above) royal magnets! I love magnets and these are just too pretty with crowns on a French blue background.

The next box I opened contained this wonderful (above) Precision Chanel facial scrub. I can't wait to try that!

Then I opened the third package (below) and found another Precision Chanel product, a facial masque. (I know we spell it mask, but don't you just like masque better?)

And then there was this beautifully embroidered pillow with a golden key. I know where that one is going... I have a special spot already picked out for it... in my art room, of course!

All the loot (below).

Thank you, thank you, Barb!! You are the best!!


Friday, March 12, 2010

More artroom nesting....

Time for change...

I spent the better part of two days last week trying to figure out what to put on the walls in my artroom and how to store my supplies. Well, thanks to birthday money from my parents, Hobby Lobby's wonderful sales and coupons, and Michael's sales... I have made a little progress in this area.

I knew I wanted an "idea board" and had an idea of how I wanted it to look. I was thinking of getting a standard bulletin board and covering it with toile fabric. I looked at several places comparing prices of the bulletin boards. Then I went to Hobby Lobby. After looking over almost everything in the store, I found a lovely bulletin board (just plain cork board) in a sleek black frame on sale for 50% off. So, I snapped it up (they only had the one I spotted) and went to find fabric to cover it. Their toile just happened to be 30% off, and I got just enough to cover the BB in black and cream. Here is the result:

Along with the idea board, I purchased two black display ledges (which were also 50% off) so that I can put up whatever piece of artwork I'd like to display at the moment. Along with those, I purchased some hooks for hanging my paint smocks and aprons.

I was also on the lookout for some nice way to store some of my supplies. I stumbled upon these lovely boxes at Michael's for 40% off the original prices. What could be lovelier than a stack of beautiful French botanical print boxes?

And so my nest is closer to where I want it to be. For now, I must quit the nesting part and get to actually doing some artwork. I have a show coming up in less than a month and need to actually have something to show. :)

Oh, and about that clock at the top... it is an ironwork pendulum clock which was on the clearance aisle for $10! What a beauty, and what a find. It works like a charm, and I love the look of it.


Monday, March 8, 2010

A Lovely Day at Miss Rosemarie's

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes. I am still nesting in my new artroom... pictures to follow at a later date. But this past Friday morning I set out for a much anticipated late birthday lunch date with my mother at our local tearoom. This is a lovely, quaint spot about halfway between each of our houses. Along with the delicious foods that are made and served daily, they also blend and sell loose teas of many varieties.

This was the table for two (below) where we were seated. We looked over the menu which offered a wide variety of treats... from quiche to crepes to chilled pear soup to salads. For our lunches we settled on tomato basil quiche, crabmeat crepes, and spring mix salad. Then we were looking at the list of teas and trying to decide which one to have with our meal. My mother spotted one called "Parisian Lights" which was a blend of black tea, oil of bergamot, black currant and caramel, and citrus. We thought this sounded good, but our server brought over the tin for us so that we could sample the aroma. Let me assure you, it was love at first whiff.

The lunch was delicious... every last bite. And the tea was so special that I decided I needed to have a tin for myself. As the proprietress passed our table, out of curiousity I asked if she knew of Harney & Sons teas. (If you are not familiar with them, then you must check out this post from Nancy Lindemeyer's blog.) She told me that she not only knew of Harney & Sons teas, but that she purchased a lot of her teas from them.

Which led me to ask my next question, "Is your 'Parisian Lights' tea similar to their 'Paris' tea?" She told me that it was one and the same. This was so funny to me because I had just read Nancy's post in the past couple of weeks, and then I had also heard several others mention their love of this particular blend of tea. If you haven't tried "Paris" by Harney & Sons, then by all means order some today!

This is an article about Miss Rosemarie's Tearoom in Tea Time magazine. And from reading Nancy Lindemeyer's blog, I learned that Victoria magazine and Harney & Sons both got their start together in the mid 1980's and that Victoria featured Harney & Sons more than once in "The Charms of Tea" section of the magazine... once again showing the far-reaching impact of Victoria.

About that... I am still looking for stories about Victoria for the Remembering Victoria blog. Your story may not be earth-shattering, but it doesn't have to be. Did the magazine give you inspiration for your current bliss business? Did it make an impact on your everyday life? How did you feel when you received your copy in the mail each month? I just want to share the different ways the magazine had an impact on each of us, even if it was merely that you delighted in going to your mailbox that one time a month to find her waiting. I'd love to hear from you!!