A little of this and that...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let me start with a lovely collage I received this week that I won in an auction from Tahnya at Dreaming of Everpretty, with the proceeds going to help two children in Australia affected by tropical cyclone Yasi.  This is a beautiful piece and I will keep it in my studio where it will encourage me and make me smile. It is around 8.5 x 11, filled with wonderful vibrant colors and has the word "imagine" on it.   Thank you Tahnya, I will treasure it!

I received a wonderful package today - a lot of jewelry I got off of Ebay; over 55 pieces in all.  Lots of sparkle; isn't it fun!  I can't wait to see what I can do with each piece.  Jewelry, collage, tags...hmmmm.
I finally received some of my supplies for the online class I am taking, The Build Zone, with Deryn Mentock, so I was able to get started with the lessons.  Here is a couple of pix of my first ever wire wraps with beads and "S" links.  I decided to try my hand using steel wire.  I first put a patina on the wire with Novacan Black patina (that was so much fun that I wound up patina'ing everything in site for a couple of hours - I will show you some of that another day - charms, findings, wire, etc.).  I like the look of the patina'd steel, especially for vintage mixed media pieces.  Well, I have learned that steel is really strong.  I used 20 gauge steel for the wire wraps and 18 gauge for the "S" links.  The steel can be a little rough, but I figured if I learned on the rough stuff first - the rest would be a piece of cake, right?  I used some 8mm Adventurine beads I have to make the wire wraps and practiced linking them together.  I then made quite a few of the "S" links trying to get them uniform  - that took a little while.  Tomorrow is twisting wire together for an interesting texture and jump rings so stay tuned!
upper angle view

side view
I have included two pictures here because these are the first pictures I have taken with my new camera - a Nikon SLR D300S and so far it is a dream!  I have a lot to learn, but it should be a lot of fun.

The week got away from me quickly so I didn't get an entry done for the Art Creations Friday last week, so I put something together for this week's challenge.  Here is the picture given us and then what I created digitally.  There are seven layers including the background.  This was my first try at skewing a layer - the musical score is skewed to kind of float across the back of the picture.

Hope it makes you smile!

Tomorrow is also our local quilt show and I will be attending with my new camera so I hope I will have lots of eye candy to show you.

Today, the Devotion that Lysa Terkhurst had on Encouragement for Today really hit me between the eyes and I would imagine it will hit home with you too.  I encourage you to check out Proverbs 31 Ministries and sign up to receive their emails from Encouragement for Today.  I hope Lysa's Devotion will bless you.

Life is good. Life is hard. Life is full of amazing moments. Life is dotted with things that bump into my happy. Up and down and up and down… do you ever feel this way?
I can wake up cheerful and determined to keep a good attitude today and then someone makes a hurtful comment. Someone makes a mess without bothering to stop and clean it up. An unexpected bill makes my pulse race. I get an ugly email that starts off, "Shame on you." Lovely.
These things crash down on me like a wave I didn't see coming. I go under. My heart gets snagged. My emotions well up. My attitude heads south.
I suspect you understand.
Yesterday, after the "shame on you" email, I lifted up a little prayer to Jesus. It was honest. It was simple:
"What is the deal Jesus? Why do I always seem to have little pieces of brokenness in my life every day? It's so frustrating. I need your perspective on the brokenness or I need a break from it."
There was no answer.   No instant verse.   Nothing.
Until this morning. 
With a tired heart I sat at my kitchen table and opened up my tattered and worn Bible. I read, "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord…" Hosea 10:12 (NIV).
Sow for yourselves righteousness…
In other words, I must sow righteousness into my life - right choices that honor God. I have to remember I always have a choice in every situation. I can choose to honor Jesus in the midst of it all. Even when I am dishonored, I can choose to honor Him.
Reap the fruit of unfailing love…
There will be fruit in the midst of every choice that honors God. It will be the fruit of being able to remember God's unfailing love. Romans chapter 8 teaches me nothing shall separate me from the love of God. Yet, that is Satan's great tactic to get me entangled in little things, making me forget or doubt God's unfailing love. 
I must resist the distracting entanglements by honoring God in this choice I am faced with right now.
Break up your unplowed ground…
The blessing in these broken circumstances can be found in the way it tills the ground of my heart. Breaking up the unplowed soil of my heart will make it ready for new life, new growth, new maturity. 
For it is time to seek the Lord…
It's time for me to seek God like never before. And part of seeking Him is allowing for grace space in my life. When the circumstances of life leak me dry, I can see this emptiness as an opportunity. Instead of reacting out of emptiness, I can choose to see that this emptiness is the perfect spot for grace to grow deeper and more widespread in my life. 
As I give grace to those who don't deserve it, the mercy jars of heaven will lavish it back on me. And, oh how I desperately need a lavish dose of heaven's grace.
"… for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you," Hosea 10:12.
The showers…
Then the growth comes. As I make right choices that honor Him, I start to look at life and people, and annoying circumstances differently. I change. I become more complete. I sense a new closeness with God. I don't go under quite as easily when the waves of life rush at me and over me.
And I even dare to whisper thank you when the need for grace spaces comes again and again.

Dear Lord, show me how to seek You more and more in the midst of everyday life. Please help me to see my emptiness as an opportunity. As space for grace in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 Till next time - may the Lord bless you and keep you.


Femmy said...

great!! love the dancing bears!

Tahnya Marie said...

Firstly, let me say I am very happy that you love your apple cosy and mixed media artwork. The kids were happy too. Heath got a bunch new leggo things and Zaneikah got some paints and watercolour books. So thank you from both of them, they are both creative children, Heath more technical and architectual, Zaneikah is just like me, loves anything and everything in almost any media.

Thank you Jules for your comment on my blog about wanting a baby. I understand what you mean about the family being reluctant to mention if someone was pregant. That's what I was hinting at in my blog about those who may be reading the post. When my brother said he was going to be having a baby, I was depressed. But what really got me down was when my cousin got pregant because she has been saying for years and even just recently how children are not in her plan, and that her career is more important to her, (she had just finished law at Uni). Plus she is 6 years younger than me, so I went into quite a downward sprial of depression for months. It still bothers me, although I try not to let it.

I started my chart this cycle, and as I mentioned before, I am hopeful, I am ever the dreamer, so I do get carried away sometimes and when it doesn't happen, my heart breaks all over again.

So yes... yet again... I am hopeful for this cycle. lol. I'm not going to give up.

FredaB said...
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