I’ve been volunteering at the Willow Tree space this year. This month we made prayer flags. I used quilt blocks cut in half as the base for the flags. Everyone in the group was invited to add words or pictures to the flags. Some wrote directly on the flags, some wrote on white fabric which I sewed onto the flags later.
Children are often present with their mothers or grandmothers. What they write is often so raw and real, no pretenses.
And teenagers voice their views of hope and righteousness.
Many names were written on flags, proclamations of love and caring. The flags will be hung in the garden to be caught by the wind, flapping and flowing on sunny days and in rain.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
11×14 encaustic painting on 2″ cradled claybord
While sitting in church looking to the front at the man speaking, I closed my eyes. My brain produced a vivid display behind my lids, a negative of same view. I quickly recorded a rough sketch in my handy dandy notebook, noting the colors and form. This encaustic painting, Preacher Man, is the telling of that moment. When I began the painting, I did not mean for the figure to represent the man behind my eyelids, but rather just capture the negative form created from that moment, but as the process of layering and painting played out, I found the man telling a story of a field ripe for harvest.
Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time! John 4:35 -The Message
Outwardly, I’ve had a great start to 2012. Last month, I taught another fun soldering class and have an art journaling class coming up. I’ve been reading awesome books and soldering adorable earrings. The charms are all packaged and ready to mail for the Artfest charm swap. I have a list of projects and events that are keeping me happily busy.
Inwardly, I’ve been battling that feeling of stuckness. I feel like I’m just passing the time, almost like I am preparing for a birthing. I am biding time until the emergence of this new thing. In the swirly parts of my mind, a story is forming.
Choosing a word as a theme for the coming year has become a tradition for me. I have found that for each word chosen, the year has unfolded with a deep tie to it’s meaning. This past week I have been rolling around ideas, but the word, HONOR, envelops all the other choices.
Honor (verb): to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor
My journey the last few years has brought me to freedom. I feel God gave me a time of rest and showed me who He made me to be. This path has been very self focused, but necessary. But now I sense a shift. Solid in who I am, it is now time for me to become very intentional in honoring my Creator. The most awesome result from honoring God is that everyone is positively affected by it. God is just cool like that.
- Honor my husband, my children, my mother and father, and in-laws by planned and impulsive acts of love and respect.
- Honor all those I come in contact with by kindness no matter their own behavior and not based on their accomplishments.
- Honor God by being my true self, by worshiping creatively, and by listening for His direction.
- Honor my body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit by right eating, exercise and proper rest.
- My mouth will need to blab less and my ear engage more so that I can sense the needs of others.
- I will have to stretch myself in thinking of tangible ways to honor others. Action is key.
- Self-discipline and go-with-the-flow will have to meet up and make friends.
- Intentional communication with God is essential. I must view studio time, Bible reading, and prayer as priorities so that I hear my Father above the din of life.
Wow, writing this out makes it sound like work, but really I’ve already been haphazardly living this way. Choosing the word, HONOR, just brings a greater focus on what has already been knocking on the door of my heart. And I must share a link to an awesome sermon about honor given this fall at my church: Graceway 110611 by Jeff Cox. Yes, it was influential in my thinking.
What is your word for 2012? Please share a link in the comments if you have blogged about it. I want to know.
We have a couple friends that are avid fly fishermen. They make their own flies! One is a musician, one a watercolor artist, both share the same profession as my husband, Scott. So Scott noticed all the funky things I was adding to my waxy soldered pendants and went directly to their studio. While they aren’t busy producing videos, they are making their flies. The trend of feathers in the hair has made it more difficult to find these perfect fly fishing feathers. Even so, these generous guys shared some of their feathers with Scott so I could experiment with something new.
My first experiment is a feather dipped in encaustic medium (beeswax and damar resin). Next will be a dry feather and wax encased in glass.
November is such a challenge for me, blogging (almost) daily about my creative venture for Art Every Day Month. I always grow and love the push. Yet, when December rolls in, I deflate in blogland. My time and attention turn to:
- Christmas parties!! I love them. So much fun to see everyone outside of a work environment.
- This year, my daughter turned 18. The party has been going on all month.
- Semester end for homeschooling. I get the whip out at this point because I want vacation.
- Oh yeah, our Christmas card takes about all month to get done and out the door.
- Finishing up commissions for the Christmas season.
I may not have a moment to shout out before Christmas, so I wish you all a beautiful, meaningful holiday season. Relationships first and peace in the center of your soul.
AEDM Day 26
The necklaces are complete!
This pendant below was made as a commission. I’ve been experimenting with “waxed” paper. The paper used here became very translucent when heated by the soldering iron. I love how the light filters through.
I sold a pendant just like the nesting bird today. I say “just like” because I soldered another one to re-list in my Etsy shop. One of the reasons I use my original artwork in my jewelry is that I have no worries about reproducing the image. This collage was originally constructed using an 1800s spelling book, vintage embroidery patterns, and blueprints. One of my favorite things about this pendant is the mood bead. I treasured the mood ring I had in the 70s. Fond memories.
My AEDM for Day 25 is the fabulous Balsamic Vinaigrette I made for our salad. This recipe is now my favorite, very quick and easy to make, and the flavor blows away any bottle balsamic vinaigrettes that I’ve tried. Only warning is the extreme garlic breath that accompanies the dressing. Next time I make it, I may try without the garlic just to experiment. My preference will always be the garlic, but in a social situation, the non-garlic version would be kinder to my audience.
AEDM Day 20
I swear I was listening, even taking notes, but during the sermon yesterday, I had an idea. I didn’t want it to escape.
Then I went home and melted onto the couch. I think that 13 weeks straight of home education has worn me out. I’m thankful for a break this week.
AEDM Day 21
This evening, a few more pendants. Tomorrow is Etsy day for me. My very hunky photographer and I will be working together to get the pendants listed.
AEDM Day 18
Adorning the pendants. I find such satisfaction in rifling through my bead drawer. So many discarded memories.
While I’ve not used these yet, I love the glass bottles with their little worn out corks.
Yesterday I had an idea of incorporating these to loves of mine, beeswax and solder. I’m hoping to give it a shot tomorrow. Results may be interesting.
For those of you who have not heard, EncaustiCamp 2012 registration is open. I am registered! Curious whether it’s worth the investment? YES! Want more of my opinion of last summer’s Encausticamp? It was it.
AEDM Day 17
Working on more Scripture pendants and hymnal rings. The shop should be full by next Wednesday, in plenty of time to still use the coupon code, ACHOO, for 15% off through the end of November.
That always feels weird saying. Promotion, marketing. I love what I make. I just hope you do too, even if you don’t purchase. My hope is always to inspire the mind to creative motion. Lately I’ve been inspired by my ancient, falling-to-pieces Bible, and my childhood hymnal. At some point I will have expired the Bible I’m deconstructing. I know some will be offended that I use an actual Bible for the jewelry, but the other choice is the fire for this book. Its earthly days are done. I am praying that another well-worn, falling-to-pieces, thick-paged Bible will fall into my hands. I love to take beauty that would otherwise be discarded and incorporate it into daily use.
On another note, I am having a great time with the Art Every Day Month challenge. Not only I am pushing myself to actually meet my goal of daily studio time, I find such enjoyment from viewing the other AEDM participants. One of my favorites has been Tracy Fletcher King. Love her art and her banter. Go have a look-see.
AEDM Day 15
More soldering. I’m so torn. I love wax, but lately the soldering has won the call.
I’m sure nobody noticed that I missed AEDM Day 14. I noticed, because when I slipped into my cozy nest of a bed, I was a bit sad about the end of the day coming before I was done with it. I have not created art every day in November for any of the years that I have participated in the AEDM challenge, but have rather learned to be gentle with myself about expectations.
Tomorrow I need to go on a glass run.