Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

She loves that tire swing!

It took me quite a while making all these photos of Hannah black and white, with only the tire swing red. It's a good thing I took these photos, because the tire swing came down (defective?) about a week later. It's too bad, because she really enjoyed that swing so much!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Messy houses and other matters (devotional)

My house is a mess. I’m talking total destruction here. Even though I have good help from my husband, I still cannot keep up with the clutter, with overflowing wastebaskets, with clothes strewn about haphazardly in my tween daughter’s room, and the ever-increasing pile of mail to sort through.

The mess bothers me to no end. Now, granted, I have a great excuse for my untidiness—recovery from surgery. Bless my doctor, she told me—no, make that ORDERED me—to take it easy, to not lift anything more than 20 lbs., and to just let my body heal. So for now, I have a terrific excuse for a filthy house.

But what about two months ago? Or two years ago? When my house looked (almost) as disorganized back then, what excuse could I have given? None. Even though the filth, grime and clutter exasperates me, I don’t seem to be able to really tackle it. I wince at the not-so-tiny dust bunnies that cohabitate with our bunny slippers under the bed. I realized that my housekeeping skills could be compared to my life as a child of God. Even though the filth and emotional or “spiritual clutter” bothers me, I’ve never really conquered it once and for all.

The good news? I don’t have to conquer the mess—Jesus already has. He has cleaned up my life and even helps maintain that order every day, if I am willing. And boy, am I! As He says in Isaiah, “…Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18). In this verse, it’s like He’s bringing out the big guns: Mr. Clean, Clorox, 409, and every other available household cleaning product, to completely rid the dirt and grime in my life.

That said, I’m not trying to make light of His suffering on the cross. Really, God doesn’t have to supply cleaning materials; He IS the ultimate source of clean, of purity, of sanctity. That’s if I let Him in. I can’t expect Him to wash the windows of my soul, if I haven’t opened the door when He knocks.

So there you have it. That’s the way it is with God and me. Even though I may work at “being good,” I can’t ever get my life, my heart, truly clean without His help. Who knows? With God helping keep my heart pure, I can devote a little bit more effort to creating an always-ready-for-guests house. OK, now… where did I put that phone number for the Merry Maids services?


* * *

Pictured above is my childhood home in Oklahoma City, OK.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chick card

I love my bird stamps (can you tell?) Such fun!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Contemporary Greek goddess digital collage

Title: Golden greek goddess
Created: March 2009
Subject: Photo of Greek sculpture
taken at Hobby Lobby
Closeup of the rings of an old tree stump (for texture)

Title: Molten lava goddess
Created: March 2009
Subject: Garden statue at Hobby Lobby craft store
Closeup image of picnic table at park (for texture)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here's the front of a card I just created. You can't tell, but the "gingham" paper is a neat lime green color, and the tree is highlighted with a lime green pen. The mosaic tile holding up the white gauzy ribbon has green with just a tinge of gold in it.

This image is the inside of the card. I usually don't do much with the insides of my cards, but this little girl stamp was just begging to go on the inside, along with a strip of the same lime "gingham" gracing the cover. Turned out pretty cute, if I say so myself! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hannah conversations

Here's a funny thing Hannah said:

I don't remember the context, but we were talking about something that was "a big deal" of some sort.

Hannah said, "Wow! That was a WOOZY!"

I chuckled to myself. Clearing my throat, I said, "Uh, do you mean that was a DOOZY!"?

Hannah, waving her hand about in the air, nonchalantly replied, "Oh yeah, well, I knew it was one of those things!"

* * *

Hannah and I had quite a whirlwind late afternoon today. About 4:00 this afternoon, I sat down on the couch and sighed dramatically and said, "Boy, I wish I knew a little girl who'd like to go to the mall with me!"

Hannah, who'd been crawling around on the floor under her "tent" of blanket and chairs said, "Well, now, what makes you even THINK I'd say no!"

About that time I felt like my eye was getting an eye infection, which is so tough and it takes twice as long to get things done of the stins. So I called my eye doctor and they fit me in late in the day (Thank you, Dr. Crosier), and I got some eye medication Rx.

Naturally, the pharmacy had a two-hour wait, so Hannah and I ate some dinner out and then went to Barnes and Noble to spend her little gift certificate she'd gotten for Christmas. She found (surprise, surprise) a little raccoon that was so cute, she just fell in love. I joked that she could open her own Noah's Ark, she has so many stuffed animals. But I will say, she plays very diligently with them all and loves them all equally!

We then spent a great deal of time walking back through the mall and to the car, trying to think of the perfect name for Miss Raccoon. Well, Hannah tried several on for size and of course, needed my opinion about each and every possible name (or an approving grunt now and then, especially while I drove through the rainy streets to the pharmacy). In the words of Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables, "That girl could talk the hind leg off a horse!"

Sometimes when John and I drift off to sleep, I can still hear our girlie (who often outlasts us when it comes to bedtimes), talking among her beloved toys. And it's never in her own voice, it's always the voice of a little critter or her Prince Charming, or Genevieve of 12 Dancing Princesses... To which I say, "Imagination, take flight! Be a child as long as possible, dear little one!"

All for now, Tricia
Mama Bear

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Genesis photo collage

I think this one is pretty cool. I used two photographs I took at the park to create the collage. I think the landscape looks mysterious and a bit forboding...

It just seemed natural to use a very poetic verse from Genesis. This picture deviates from my usual art, but I still like it. I'm trying to create a wide variety of pieces.


p.s. Clicking on the photo enlarges the photograph for better viewing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No More Pity Parties by Tricia Williams

No more pity parties for myself. That’s what I determined when my friend, and pastor, Gayle told this story at our women’s Bible study last week:

Recently Gayle had gone to visit and pray with a family who lost their three-year-old daughter to a tragic accident. While they were talking, the mother of that girl said they were letting a friend stay at their home for a while, that he was going through a difficult divorce. She looked at Gayle and said, “I just feel so bad for him. Don’t you feel so sorry for those people for whom bad things keep happening to them?”

Gayle swallowed hard and looked at this woman full in the face. Sure enough, the woman meant what she said about her guest. And yet, as Gayle said to us in awe, “she didn’t see herself in that category! She had just lost her precious baby girl, and yet still had empathy, compassion and concern for another hurting person. I was awestruck.”

I’ve thought a lot about this exchange the last several days. I think about my friend who is going through treatments for cancer. I think about the young mother who is struggling with a debilitating post-partum depression. I think about another Bible study member of my group who, as a senior citizen, works at her job of manual labor while two troubled knees make it difficult to walk, and is in pain throughout most of her days.

Could I have that sort of care and concern for others? Do I live my life with determination to make someone else’s day a little sweeter or less difficult, with a smile or a kind word? I hope so. My recent surgery was a wakeup call in my life. I didn’t like feeling dependent on other people for driving or carrying things. Feeling weak and helpless, I became discouraged. I think about those for whom this is a way of life, those in chronic pain, or who have a terminal illness. Where is their hope? Where can they find joy?

The same place I can—the same place you can: in Jesus. As a child, I used to sing “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” but never really understood the truth in that simple statement. If I can have real joy, even in the storms of life, it’s because of Him. He makes it so. He also provides the empathy in our hearts to care for one another if we ourselves are feeling low.

He reaches down and lifts us up. And as He is our example, I must learn to do the same. So this week, month, this year, I will reach out to others—a phone call, a card, a quick hug and a prayer—and share with them the joy of the Lord, so that it might be their strength too.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Channeling our inner Winnie the Pooh

"A picture's worth a thousand..."

Yep. Enough said.

Enjoy this page and retro Hannah pic from 2001!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Baby card by Tricia

Here is a card I sent to some new parents to congratulate them on their new baby boy: I love his name! The colors don't pop in this scan as much as they do in real life: they are light blue and a sort of bright cheery green, plus black and white. Anyway, I thought it was fun!

Before winter leaves... a wintery pic of Hannah

Here is a scrapbook page I created of my winter "fairy," Miss Hannah. I do believe it is the only photo we took of her with her hat on--you know, good old unpredictable Texas winter weather! Didn't seem to be quite as cold this year as sometimes. (Or when it was, we didn't have our camera nearby.)

Anyway, she's such a cutie in this winter hat. Just had to share!

**Created with Paint Shop Pro X and my Autumn Leaves (Winter Kit) Digital Scrapbooking Book/CD.