Sunday, February 28, 2010

2nd Sunday of Lent

"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise." 
Luke 23:43

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Sea Kettle Studios...

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  

-Pablo Picasso

This week we were loose and free with our strokes, we were more liberal and exuberant with our paints.. and we're almost done!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Magnets Karamozov

I just can't stop making these magnets! 

We bought my brother in law the Russian classic, "The Brother's Karamozov" for his birthday this week.  For those of you who have read it, there are lots of characters and lots of different names for each character (it's a Russian thing....).  We thought it would be fun to give him some help with a little hands-on study guide.  

I typed out the names of the main characters with all of their nicknames and made a magnet for each (with a watermark of a man or woman's face depending on the character).

Yet another use for these magnets...

P.S. Altoid or gift card tins are perfect for storage or gift giving!

Monday, February 22, 2010

February Vacation and Thankful

This past week was February break for Brian and I. It was a week of ups and downs - but mostly ups. Here's a photo-journal of our week and a catalogue of thanks... 

(listed below are #261-277 of my list of blessings, as I join again in the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience)

Our week began tough. We waited anxiously for Dad's PET scan results...but we got good news. 
(for those who prayed - Thank you! Results were hopeful. Cancer was found in two lymphnodes in Dad's neck, probably coming from one of his tonsils. It hasn't spread anywhere else (Praise God!).  Radiation and chemo will probably begin soon. Will you keep praying for us?)

We prepared the spare room for it's first guest...
a Yemen sister.

Took our special guest for a walking tour of our neighborhood...

The Jameses enjoyed a crisp winter day..

I felt very loved this Valentines...

Long notes of love graced my chair on Sunday...

A Thank You cup was left in the spare room and it made me smile...

An art show gift began to bloom on Thursday and brightened up the kitchen...(spring! how I long for you!)

Mr. James and I took some more long winter walks.

It stormed and this old New England street was graced with a coating of lovely snow...

 Resilient little plants poking out of the snow blanket were spotted...

Art lessons continued in Sea Kettle's warmth..


Warm drinks, loving glances and good chats were had with my husband

We watched an interesting 3-D movie with blue people...

Comforted by the Word, prayed faithfully with a friend at 9, 12 and 4...

Music filled our Kettle; old words and fresh melodies...


I also had a curriculum-planning-party with a dear friend, dinner and "Friends" with my best friend, and a brother in law turned 30 to the tune of a brunch birthday party followed by Che movie marathon...and I made some stuff (more on that later!) 

I'm utterly thankful for this full and relaxing break.

holy experience

Sunday, February 21, 2010

1st Sunday of Lent

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." - Luke 23:34

(Last year I had the privilege of making art for our church's Lenten series. During each week during lent, our pastor preached on the last 7 "words" or sayings of Christ, and these saying were studied together in small groups during the week.  I carved 7 linoleum blocks and each print was shown in the study guide as well as on the Sunday bulletins.  I thought it would be nice to share these with you again each Sunday until Easter.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wreath Ornament

Walking around the neighborhood, I always try to find decorating ideas for the outside of my old New England home.  I love the look of these sprightly wreaths on a door of a very old house.   I needed a wreath anyway, so I decided to pick one up.  

It looked a little on the boring side when I put it up.  I had some extra beads, wire, wood and stain and used these leftover materials to create an ornament for my wreath.

I stained the piece of wood, wrote the verse with a paint marker, used mod podge to seal it, wrapped the wood in wire and beads and then hung it from the top of the wreath. Simple!

Here's a picture of a wonderful door I saw in the neighborhood this week (sometime in the spring, I think I'll paint our door a nice bright color, too)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chunky Beaded Necklace

I've been on a mod podge kick lately. The other day I was perusing Michaels (danger! danger!)and found some small wooden beads.  I bought a couple packs for a dollar or two.

When I got home, I began by tearing red tissue paper into small pieces then mod podging them onto the beads. The tissue paper created a textured, mottled look and the mod podge gives it a nice sheen. There are so many possibilities with this -you could cover these beads with any type of paper.]Newspaper, comics, decorative scrapbook papers, the possibilities are endless!

It was a messy project, but it was an easy and cheap way to create a cute chunky beaded necklace.  Although I'm not usually one to be in on the most recent style trends,  I hear they are in style. :) I wore mine on Valentine's Day. 

Here's the first lady sporting her own chunky necklace... and she's a pretty stylin' lady.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Decorative Magnets

A good friend made me a set of these homemade magnets for a wedding gift.  As you can imagine, I love homemade gifts, and these were so charming and thoughtful! Each magnet she gave me had something to do with love or weddings (roses, wedding rings, romantic sayings etc).  This week I made a couple of my own sets.

Here's what you need to make your own set of these fun, custom magnets:

-those clear flat marbles that you find in the floral department of the art store (people put them in vases)...I got the largest size.
-very strong craft glue (for porcelain and glass)
-package of strong magnets that will fit on the backs of your marbles.
-mod podge
-decorative paper/comics/quotes (or whatever else you want for the decorative part of the magnet)

First, cut your picture/paper out to the size of the clear marble.
Next, mod podge the picture to the back of your marble (front side facing toward the front of the magnet (so the picture will be looked at through the glass)

After the mod podge has dried, glue the magnet to the back of your marble.

Let them dry, then put them in a decorative tin or jar (if you are giving them as a gift) You'll see below that I found a perfect little jar for $1 that holds 5 magnets.

Below is a set of magnets I made with some prints from a book of Arab carpet designs.  
Below is the set I made for Brian for Valentine's Day.  They each have a famous quote from Romeo and Juliet (he teaches this play every year in his English classes) For these, I simply typed and printed the quotes and mod podged the computer paper right onto the marble.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Special Valentine

I still have a little backlog of Valentine-y posts. Indulge me? :)

Here's part of a valentine made by one of my students for his father. 

What a sweet sentiment! I can only hope that someday a child of mine will think this highly of me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

52 Reasons...

As one of this year's valentine gifts for Brian, I decided to create a little book of reasons that I love him.  I've done similar things in the past and it's always interesting to see what things on the list change and what always stay the same.  After 8 years of being together and over 3 years of marriage, by the grace of God, our love continues to grow deeper and deeper for one other.  For that, I am very thankful this Valentine's day.

The book was created out of a pack of pink playing cards and some ribbon.  A very simple, economical and meaningful gift.

First, I typed out 52 reasons that I love Brian, changed fonts, sizes etc, then printed them out.  I cut each one to size and pasted them on each card in the deck.  I punched holes in each card, then tied the tiny book together with red ribbon.  Here's some more inspiration,  from

and here's my version..