Try, try again....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hi friends.  Yep it's me.  I keep trying to get back to my blog and it seems so many things jump in the way.  I stay pretty darn busy for a retired lady, which is good because I would just get into trouble if I didn't stay busy. I volunteer at my church,  mow 7 acres each week, play in my studio, sew with my stitching Bee, "try" to maintain some degree of cleanliness in our home,  help care for my mother, etc.   This last absence from my blog was mostly due to a wonderful event in our lives - my first grandson, Tai Emerson, was born.  My friends have been telling me for years how wonderful this would be and everyone was soooo right.  He is beautiful and grabbed hold of my heart right away.  He was 7 lb. 7 oz. and 20" long.  As a proud new "Mama J" (grandma), I will post some pics below.  It was also such a blessing to see my son become a father - he is going to be an amazing one!

My son, Jeremy with Tai in nursery
My first close-up with Tai about an hour later

Tai and his beautiful Mom, Kakiko

Tai being held by his father, photo by Jeff Klahorst, edited by  me.

While visiting for the birth of Tai, I got a new lens for my camera and took some fun pictures at outdoor venues we visited.  I continue with my Photoshop classes so that I can edit and use my photos in my art and I am taking a new class called Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen.  She is an excellent teacher.   So here are some pics of some photos I took recently.  I purchased a macro lens and hope to do more fun shooting with it.  I am just a beginner, but it is addictive!  These were taken in the hill country of Texas last month.

I continue on my journey with Lifebook (a little behind now), but it is an amazing way to look at yourself and learn great mixed media techniques at the same time.

I shared with you that the reason I had been away from my blog for so long was due to some extreme losses in my life.  Well, to help me through this time, I started a visual journal along with a written one.  I began seeing a Christian counselor who encouraged me to journal and being such a visual person it just seemed the natural way to go to start recording my feelings in a visual, artistic way.  I will share some of  my pages with you.  You can see that at times I am very sad and working my way through those moments to find joy and peace again.  I am sharing only a few today and will share more next time.
Moving from darkness to the light

I need to be still and listen

This was just a crazy day...
Left side of page depicting peeling off layers of pain, fear and disappointment...hard work!
right side of page
Stitching - well, I haven't had a lot of time for stitching, but I will show you so me of the progress I have made on my Block of the Month CQ blocks.
a 3-d cross with lilies and roses, a bunny and bee on April's block

a stitched cupid on Feb. block

a french knotted lamb next to a dogwood tree on March's block

a snail trail of beads and spider web on March's block

a lace umbrella with daisies below wisteria on April's block

And, if all this isn't enough...I have signed up for a couple of classes at Artful Gathering this summer and Portraits with Pam Carriker, and Encaustics with Pat Seggebruch.  These start in early June.  I LOVE my classes!  Artful Gathering has a wide variety of online classes to choose from this summer - check it out with the button on the right.

Glimpses of Faith:

I guess all of us have those ups and downs; it is hard to stay completely positive all the time.  I am trying to learn to stay in the "now" more - leave the past behind, not worrying about the future and be in a spirit of gratitude for where I am.  Really being focused and present in the now, is when we will truly see the beauty and joy around us and receive the blessings meant for us today.  Hard isn't it?  I continue in that quest through prayer, reading my Bible, church, meditation, sharing with friends, and art.  These are things that help me on that path.  One of my favorite stories in the Bible (which truly encourages me) is about Joseph, the son of Jacob, in Genesis.  Joseph believed in God and had a very strong faith even at the young age of 17.  He had many brothers, but was the favorite of his father, which caused his brothers to resent him a lot.   The Lord was already giving Joseph dreams of the future which showed him ruling over his brothers.  When he shared these dreams with his family it made the brothers hate him even more.  The brothers schemed to get rid of Joseph one day when they were out in the fields - they first threw him into a pit, but thought the better of it and instead sold him as a slave to some travelers on their way to Egypt and told their father that Joseph had been devoured by wild animals.  As a slave, Joseph went to work for a man named Potiphar.  Photiphar's wife set her eyes on Joseph, but Joseph would have nothing to do with her, so she lied to her husband and accused Joseph of rape.  Thus, Joseph was put in the Pharoah's prison.  In prison, Joseph began to interpret dreams for the inmates which came true.  One of these men was released, as a dream has foretold and Joseph asked him to please remember him to the Pharoah.  But, the man did not.  Some time passed and the Pharoah began to have a specific dream  no one could interpret.  It was at this time the man who had been released from prison remembered Joseph.  Joseph was brought before the Pharoah and interpreted his dream (through the power of the Holy Spirit).  The dream was about the upcoming famine in the land.  The Pharoah then made Joseph second in command of all of Egypt and Joseph put plans in place to store food and take care of Egypt during the terrible famine.  Now, due to the famine in Caanan where Joseph's family lived,  his brothers came to Egypt because Egypt had stores of food.  It was at that time and through some unusual events that the brothers were re-introduced to their brother, Joseph.  What amazes me about this story is the faith that Joseph had during all these "years" of things happening to him that were so unfair, and when he saw his brothers again, he had love for them and told them not be scared or think he would be revengeful because it was God who had placed him where he was and took him through all those situations to get there.  And, now he had his family back together along with his father and as second of command of all of Egypt could wholly provide for them.

What an amazing story of faith and perseverance.  I know I would have been having a pity-party at the onset of all these unfair situations.  This story speaks volumes to me and I am trying to not worry about being right in unfair situations, but to stand in faith and believe that the Lord has my best interest in all things - don't believe in what I see, but believe in what the Lord speaks to me in my heart; move forward knowing that God in is control and always has been.  If you would like to read the story of Joseph for yourself, it begins in Chapter 37 of Genesis; it will definitely bless you!

I hope you find the joy in today where-ever you may be!


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