Monday, March 24, 2014

beauty for ashes

For my ashes, You give me beauty
For my mourning, You give me joy
For my tears, Lord, You give me kisses

...that's how good You are

- Waterdeep

Thankful, for...

- beauty for ashes, joy for mourning
- friends and family who encourage rest; making dinners, playing with Levi, helping in many other ways
- a St. Patrick's day celebration with our old small group, catching up and seeing families grow
- cute new patterns
- lots of fun lessons with paints, paper mache and clay
- productive days, feeling more ready for baby girl
-for a recovering little sick boy, and how he kept falling asleep in our arms all weekend

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

these days

these days, I'm...

- working on the last couple of projects in my art classes before maternity leave and finishing sub plans 
- keeping my hands busy with tiny knit and crochet projects
- slowly working on potty training 
- going through storage, dusting off Levi's gender neutral baby stuff; going through lots of laundry detergent and clorox wipes
- finding places to put baby sister's stuff
- working through plans for a Yemen girl reunion this summer
- listening to new songs being written, enjoying a new love song
- watching my entire belly move and quake
- resting after a busy but wonderful ArtSpeak weekend at church
- often smiling my way through even hard days, because my boys can always cheer me up
- grateful for a $20 used double stroller find, and just the one we wanted 
- sending off ink drawings of mama and baby animals for a new baby's nursery in Fiji and painting lupines for a nearby baby girl's nursery
- looking forward to our traditional St. Pattys Day feast with our old small group 
- hoping the end of April comes body is not enjoying this part of pregnancy very much. 
- reading through THIS Lent devotional, "homemade" by the pastors and artists in our church; walking slowly and intentionally toward the cross and resurrection
- desperate for spring
- thankful for my family, for health, for work and play, for each new day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easter Garden 2014

This year's Easter garden was especially fun to make.  At the beginning of Lent, spring usually hasn't quite sprung so it feels good to buy some plants and get our hands in the dirt. Also, it was the first time that Levi could really help in a meaningful way. He did a good amount of the plant choosing and planting and he's just starting to understand what Lent/Easter is all about(in whatever ways a two-year old can!).  

It's been a cooooold March so far, so it was incredibly nice to spend some time in the warm and sunny greenhouses and choosing a couple of small plants for our garden.  Levi also enjoyed finding hidden watering cans, filling them in fountains and then watering all of the plants.  

When we got home, Levi was overjoyed to have some dirt to play in and he filled our pot happily and carefully. As we planted our plants, we talked about Easter...the cross and the tomb.  As I try to explain in 2 year old language, he looked a little confused (death? cross? they put him in a rock?!).. nevertheless, he gets the basics. Jesus loves me and even though he died, he came back to life and that's good news! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

A new painting, and ArtSpeak

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus,  it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

(from Isaiah 35)
"Like the Crocus"

For the past few days (weeks! months!), the creative arts team at church has been in high gear preparing for our big art show/auction, ArtSpeak. The show's theme is "Awaken" and this year we are raising money for Amirah, an organization that offers hope and healing to victims of human trafficking in the Boston area. Amidst preparation for the event, I also wanted to create a piece to put up for auction. The painting above, "Like the Crocus" is brand-spanking new and will be up for auction tomorrow night. Also, my dear and talented husband will be preforming a couple of songs at the concert. Feel free to join us (it sounds like there might be quite a crowd, so come early!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hanging Vintage Vases

(this post has been a picture-less draft since August..Whoops! I was finally inspired to photograph this lovely husband-made project when I received some Valentine roses to grace it. Better late than never?)

This set of hanging vases was a birthday present from Brian this year. A while back we noticed some bottles hanging on wire in a shop window up in Maine. We both commented that 1. it was awesome AND 2. that we could totally make that. I had forgotten about it until I opened up my birthday gift while we were camping this summer. I pulled out what was an even more awesome version than the one we saw and better yet, it was handmade by my husband. Pretty much the perfect gift for a girl like me. 

This is so simple, it doesn't need much of a tutorial, but I'll let you know what he did.  He began by collecting six vintage bottles from some antique/flea market type places. We like the mismatched look, but you could easily find some that are all the same size and shape at your local arts/crafts store. Next, he created a loop with strong but thin wire at the top for hanging and then spaced out the bottles, having them alternately hang on the right and the left. The wire was wrapped around each bottle 3-4 times so make sure your bottles have sufficient lips, so it doesn't slip off. 

In the spring/summer (and at Valentines!), I fill these with fresh flowers and this winter they've been holding some long-lasting dried eucalyptus. Simple to put together and a lovely and unexpected way to add some natural beauty to your home.

(Thanks again, sweetie!)

Monday, March 3, 2014

my anchor holds

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Thankful, for - 

- unchanging grace, anchored in stormy gales
- a full and productive nesting day
- pretty, feminine yarn and lots of knitting to do before April
- Levi hugging and kissing his sister
- an obvious little foot camped out in my belly button
- reading marathons in blankets and when he asks for "poetries"
- trader joe's bouquets
- painting fields of poppies with my littlest students and my older kids block printing excitement
- tea time with Levi
- snuggles, Ben and Jerry's and the Oscars with Bri
- a new house for my BFF
- time spent with highrock family, playgroups, church, art meetings, neighborhood groups
- skyping with friends on the other side of the world as they await their baby girl 
- listening to new songs being written in the next room
- a finished painting for ArtSpeak
- longer days, more sunshine, March!, spring a comin'
- my sweet and silly little buddy