Monday, April 30, 2012

praise is rising

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away...

- P. Baloche

- Highrock North Shore's first worship team rehearsal
- lattes and scones, bumping into new church family at the bakery
- nature sketching with my new workshop kids
- a kind and encouraging letter
- Levi reading with his grammy
- sunday drives, walks, ice creams
- no cry naps
- first meeting of a new small group, getting to know some sweet gals
- my perfect fit
- commissioning sunday, a church "baby shower"
- a day at the orchard, Levi meeting all of the animals and trying to imitate the roosters...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


...a little study of Pickering Wharf that I painted in preparation for the much larger "Salem" piece I'm working on...
8x10, Acrylic on panel

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

fence ferns

Last week we spotted three wooden window boxes in our neighbor's trash. We obviously couldn't let these beauties go to waste. After we lugged them home,  Brian screwed them to the fence on the far side of our patio.  We decided to fill them with ferns.. they were perfectly full and lush and we found some on sale.

That side of the patio was looking a little neglected, so adding some green was just what it needed. And you really gotta love trash-picked make overs!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

cacti for the kitchen

On a recent hot date at the local garden center (courtesy of Grammy and Grampy), we stumbled upon a group of very cute little cacti in teeny-tiny pots. Brian's eyes immediately got all big and sparkly and exclaimed "this is art!".  How can you argue with that? We chose our favorites (hard!) and planted a few little containers for our kitchen window sills. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

staycation blessings

April vacation was everything I dreamed it would be. and so much more. It was warm and beautiful and we certainly made the most of it.  

We  gardened, painted, read, napped, played, laughed, talked, grilled almost every night, picnicked on the common, walked around and visited our favorite neighborhood haunts, played "settlers", enjoyed sun and the Atlantic at the Willows, stayed in bed late, drove up the coast, met some neighbors, ate seafood, visited a friend's art show...

Thankful for these sweet spring moments and everything in between. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

a calm, a thankful heart

Give me a calm, a thankful heart
From every murmur free
The blessings of thy grace impart
And make me live to thee
- A. Steele

- my brother...ENGAGED! 
- Brian's Patriot's day challenge: to willingly give up life, liberty and property
- our light load, perfectly fitted 
- a few dollars to give away
- Kimmie's compliments
- enthusiastic drumming by George
- fresh mozzarella and basil
- L's bashfully smiles
- spotting proper French ladies in large fancy hats walking around the nieghborhood
- how we can't be in a tiff for more than 5 minutes without laughing
- the day's end
- when the baby ends up in our bed, his early morning joy
- date night watching "The Artist" at an appropriately old cinema and Levi being babysat by all of his grandparents and various aunts and uncles
- Captain Dusty's gathering, Bjork's treat
- a beautifully warm start to April vacation

Saturday, April 14, 2012

just popping in to say...

 April Vacation! is that really you?!
I'm so glad you're here!  
Like REALLY glad.  
We have so much to do together.

-flip through this pile of magazines that have been collecting on the end table 

-take lots of naps and fully recuperate from the James-family-cold-virus-of-doom-2012

- dig into this basket full o'yarn (there's a whole new crop of babies who need Kerrie's tender-loving-knits)

- work through this painting

-baby proof!

-plan some way-awesome art lessons

- clean the Kettle. I'm talking deeeeep spring clean. 

- make some garden plans, perhaps execute a few of them

- play all the live long day with these awesome dudes

Ok, April Vacation. Don't let me down!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

maundy monoprints

I believe that I have been designated for this work by God...
I work out of love for God and I put all my hope in Him.

I've probably mentioned here and there that Brian and I are part of a team planting a church in Salem this spring (Highrock North Shore).  We are very excited to be a part of a church family nestled right in our neighborhood. Walk to church? Yes, please!  

One exciting aspect to this church is their enthusiasm for and commitment to artists and musicians. Brian is going to lead worship and I am co-leading the Creative Arts Ministry.  I can't tell you how excited we both are to be able to use our gifts in this context. It has always been my desire to create art for the edification of the local church. It can be a rare thing for a protestant church, in particular, to be so committed to the visual arts. 

While we are officially launching in May, we had a Maundy Thursday service last week where we ate together, had communion and celebrated Christ's commandment "Love one another as I have loved you". The Creative Arts Ministry was asked if there were ways that we could participate in this service. My co-leader, Kirsten and I decided to spend an afternoon creating a monoprint for each table inspired by the last supper, the foot washing and crucifixion. Another member of our team created some forsythia arrangements which complimented the monoprints and royal purple table cloths, splendidly.  

With a successful debut under our belt, we are busy working on planning monthly gatherings of Christian artists, art to coincide with each sermon series and a big art/music show next spring!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another tea-cup pincushion

Considering we planned a tea party for Katie's shower AND the fact that my Mom was giving her a sewing basket, I couldn't help but create another little pin cushion. The mini-teacup was another thrift store find and in her wedding color pink no less!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Accessories

 I loooove me some matching Easter outfits (see Easters 2010 and 2011). Especially cheap, easy, adorable ones.

This year I went rather low-key; we all wore white and khaki and then I made bow ties for the boys and a matching flower headband for myself from old scraps from my fabric basket. I think I finished all three during one movie sitting. Worked out quite nicely for this sick, busy Mama!

(these projects were loosely based on the following tutorials: Bow tie tutorial and Flower headband tutorial)

Monday, April 9, 2012


Come, people of the Risen King,
Who delight to bring Him praise;
Come all and tune your hearts to sing
To the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth
We will lift our eyes to Him...
- Getty and Townend

- a risen King!
-  late night/early morning parenting teamwork
-  our first HRNS Maundy Thursday service, art/flowers by the new Creative Arts Ministry, lots of old and new friends
- a big Good Friday breakfast made by Dad
- time for rest
- my students' new term projects
- hgfdzfffffffffffffffccccccccc  (Levi's blogging help..ahem)
- all of us napping
- my oh-so-sick, but still happy baby
- 3 Easter family dinners and fun that ensued, Easter skype dates to Rwanda and Papua New Guinea
- my boys in their Easter bow ties
- new baby Elliott
- a fun week with Jasmine; knitting blankets together in the theater, critiquing "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen", walks and warm drinks, couch-recoperating with colds, reminiscing, her finally getting to meet Levi!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

just as He said

He is not here; 
he has risen,
 just as he said. 
Matthew 28:6
("Risen" Acrylic on panel)

Friday, April 6, 2012

a new and living way

...brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
- Hebrews 10:19-23

(acrylic on paper)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A "Fascinating" Bride-to-be

You may have noticed my sister's white feather fascinator in the bridal shower pictures yesterday.  I made it after realizing that we needed something a little more demure than one of those cheesy pink crowns for her high tea.  It ended up being quite elegant and perfect for the occasion.  Here's how I made it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Bridal Shower Tea for Katie

This past weekend, Mom and I hosted a Bridal Shower Tea for my little sister, Katie. We filled the upstairs room in the Salem Old Town Hall with my teapot collection, roses and baby's breath, Grandma's charmingly mismatched teacups, fruit, cucumber sandwiches, scones, chocolate eclairs and cream puffs; and lots of people who love Katie. It ended up being a beautiful event and I think she loved it...which is really all that matters!

*special thanks to Mom, Aunt Wendy, Grandma, Nana, Sarah, Jonny, Jeffrey and Brian for all of their help!*

Monday, April 2, 2012

we welcome you here

Hosanna, hosanna 
You are the God Who saves us, 
worthy of all our praises 
Hosanna, hosanna 
Come have Your way among us 
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus 
- P. Baloche

- holy week
- april fools and the old tape-on-the-sink-sprayer-gag
- a fun and successful bridal shower tea for Katie
- an artful afternoon with Kirsten (and baby Elliott almost here!)
- Maundy Thursday meditations
- when Brian leads worship
- texts from Philly
- the Englers finally moved to Salem and in my neighborhood to boot
- Levi's "MA!" exclamations
- Auntie Jasmine here! for a week!
- Levi being loved on by his Great (in more ways than one) Grandmas