Whew - I'm Dog Paddling Here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I am definitely dog paddling upstream these days! Life has been wonderful, but extremely busy. I am sorry to have been absent for so long. Easter was so beautiful. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny yet cool day - we couldn't have ordered it any better. Teaching the kids Sunday School was good and a bit challenging. I have been scurrying around since doing lots of research on things that pre-teens are into these days and looking for neat video clips, etc. to keep their interest peeked. The Church is going to allow us to re-decorate our room in a manner more suited to the kids and I asked them to come back with some ideas - so I am excited about that. This Sunday - donuts, video clips and skits are all on the agenda. I am still completing articles for CQMagOnline and much to my chagrin...am having to sit and do defensive driving modules on the computer as I can because of that traffic ticket I got a month ago. Not fun!!! Monday is my Bible Study Fellowship day and today was Bee day. Here is a quick snap of everyone busy at work. I was running late as usual! But being with the "ladies" is always so uplifting :-)

(L-R) Chris(who is clipped off a little bit in this pic), Lynnis, Wendy (Melanie's sister who was visiting), Melanie, Linda & Jan (still messing around with that bundle of ribbon!) and Barbara, working very diligently. Isn't it funny how we all pretty much go back to the same seats week after week?
There was quite a variety of work going on today. They were practicing some flowers: roses and hollyhocks. Stitching on seams, rolling ribbon and giving show-n-tells. Wendy, Melanie's sister brought some really neat work she has going and that she has done. She is working on a machine-felted piece of a large beautiful oak tree that will be quite a work of art when completed. It is being worked on a piece of water-soluble stabilizer. The piece below is a mini-quilt she did with leaf cutter ants (I believe that is the correct term) and lady bugs in tree branches. Isn't it adorable? I just love the idea of the little beaded ants with those big pieces of green fabric leaves! I have put a picture of the leaf cutter ants from Wikipedia Encyclopedia next to her mini-quilt so you can see the results of her creativity are just wonderful!

Wendy machine felted the branches with roving and used silk cocoons for the lady bugs - cute, cute! You might even see this little quilt in an upcoming issue of Quilting Arts! She plans to enter it in a challenge they are having. Good luck Wendy!

Well, even though my life has been racing by a mile-a-minute, I did stop by my studio long enough to produce two small pieces. These are fabric birthday cards for two dear friends of mine; Jane (who makes me think of the color blue, birds, tea, travel, quilts and fabric - I have known Jane a long time and miss her dearly as she does not live close by), and Lynnis (who loves sunflowers and I get to see often). Happy Birthday ladies! I was able to take a picture of Lynnis today when I gave her her card - what a beautiful smile I received - made it very worthwhile!

Both cards were done by fusing fabric to fast-to-fuse (kind of a fusible timtex) and then adding lots of other elements. For Lynnis' card, I machine felted the sunflower and leaves with yarn and wool roving and then machine stitched the leaf veins and added beads to the center of the sunflower. I decoratively stitched on a bit of lace and added some green crystals and some dyed scrim or cheesecloth for some fun texture. The little square antiqued brass piece is the "L" and I glued on a real pressed flower from my yard in the left corner. For Jane's card I did free motion stitching, I couched yarn, added paper flowers and made leaves from some soy silk paper I had made and free motion stitched the veins in. I added stitched down yarns under the paper flowers, added beads to their centers and a touch of dyed scrim in a couple of places. I also added three pearls at the top with the scrim to kind of denote eggs in a nest. A touch of lace was also decoratively stitched in place and I added glass flower beads to that. Then a small silver card and envelope charm that says Happy Birthday was stitched in place. Both cards have a satin stitched edge. Jane's has a variegated blue cotton edge and Lynnis' has a yellow-gold rayon edge for sheen. I hope the recipients enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

With Easter being last weekend, I have really been thinking a lot about faith and belief in Christ. Sometimes I have to admit that my service and devotion to Christ can run hot or cold depending on my daily circumstances. I am working to improve that, but it does take work and focus. Today in my devotional, they noted that all of Christ's disciples but John were martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ. An interesting thing to think about in relation to this is - if they had not actually seen Christ alive after his crucifixion, why would they choose death rather than deny He had been risen from the dead? Why wouldn't they just have thrown in the towel to save themselves? What an amazing thing it must have been to have seen Christ, risen from the dead, and realize without a doubt that He is the Son of the Living God! Indeed life changing!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is of incredible value to how we live today. It is the very essence of our faith. As the Apostle Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). This confidence in His Word is essential for living in faith when we struggle to believe in difficult situations. God’s people, you and I, are not immune to being bewildered when facing a death or when life simply seems to be coming apart. But the Resurrection in which Jesus Christ overcame death is proof that God can overcome anything. He is always with us, He loves us beyond our understanding - lean on Him, He will hold you up!


Judith said...

Jules, Jules, Jules, your cards are absolutely fantastic, so creative and great to see all your mixed media techniques come together beautifully. You are a talented and creative artist. I was also dying to hear how your first Sunday school session went and realised life must have taken over and that you were busy busy. Sounds like it went well, bet the children loved your brooch. Loved the photo that Barbara has on her blog of you, you have lost weight haven't you? you look fabulous.

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