Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals for 2012

So Jon Acuff asked his readers: "What do you want to finish in 2012?"


Here's my answer:


Here are my goals for 2012.
  1. Create communication strategies for each ministry in my church (it's in the strategic plan, so I gotta)
  2. Develop this blog to be a base for my vocation of telling my story of believing how unworthy I thought I was of God, and providing a listening base for those who are in that situation. (Um, measurable goal would be: posting twice a week on/around the topic and learning (really knowing) the stories of two other people.) 2b. Find a coherent way of saying that.
  3. Paint another large painting (3'x4', I think)
  4. Learn how to take better photos of my art. So by December 2012 I will be taking good photos of artwork and wee objects.
  5. See if I can get my twice a week of 10 minutes silence to 5 times.
  6. (which I forgot to add to my comment on Jon's blog) Lose 15 lbs. I've been maintaining my current weight for long enough. It's time to reach the next goal and lose the bit that I gained back since my last pass at weight loss. Which means keeping a faithful record on MyFoodDiary (edited this one, proving I can't do math either)
A page from last years Reverb10 journal
I found going through Reverb 2010 last year that I managed to make most of my goals, and most of the 11 things my life didn't need. I almost wish I'd had the time to repeat the journal entries for Reverb11.


What are your goals for 2012?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Chance to "Do Over" and Not "Dwell on It"

For the longest time, I couldn't see the point in confession. Before I truly believed that I am beloved by God, saying the confession during the church service either seemed hypocritical (did I mean the words I mouthed?) or induced  fresh waves of guilt and shame despite the absolution given by the priest.


Confession said on Sundays when I was a teen.

Perhaps it just takes me a bit longer, but last year as I put together a Rule of Life (part of becoming an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross), I was again confronted with this prevailing belief that confession was some antiquated words that held no real meaning now.

I consulted Mary, a friend of mine, about this dilemma. It seems that, generally speaking, Episcopalians didn't much care for confession -- baggage most like from being Protestant and separated from the Catholic church 500 some years ago.

Mary shared with me a prayer that both thanked God for the day's blessings and asked me to recognize when I had been at fault. I liked the balance.

Saying this prayer led me to the eventual revelation that confession gives me a way to start over each day. To lay both the beauties and the uglinesses of the day at God's feet and start afresh the next day.

To not carry the burdens of wrong, unkindness and frustrations into the next day.



My confession that I sometimes say in the morning (usually I pray the confession at night)

Christ, for us, is born anew every day (which we especially remember at Advent and Christmas) and he is resurrected anew every day too.

What does this mean? Well, it's a chance to "do over" and not "dwell on it".

Which as I discovered is not as easy as it sounds when I reacted to something this morning -- loudly. 



Perhaps I ought to confess at this point that I skipped confession this morning, and hurried through it the night before. Hmm.



Lovely Christmas gift from my sister-in-law... "Prayer"
But I still hope that it will become easier with practice, this letting go of burdens that I used to cling to and unhealthily obsess over.

What works for you in letting go of your burdens and baggage? Or what doesn't work?



I am linking this to Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Plan was....

The plan was to redesign this blog and reboot it with its new focus.

Funny thing is, the pieces started fitting together differently. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in the week before Christmas with an a-ha.

What I was planning wasn't exactly what God was planning. I knew that there was something more, something different, but I couldn't quite figure it out. Honestly, I still don't have it figured out. But I have another part of it... which requires consultation with the usual suspects and some more working out.

So in the meantime, I did promise I'd be back this week, so here is a painting I finished recently.

It's the last assigned painting assignment from the La Sirena class from  Suzi Blu that I took last year. She extended the critique time to May of this year, and I swore that I would finish this class before the year's end.

However, it didn't quite come out as I planned. It was supposed to be head-to-toe figures with a good-sized background. I drew the faces so big that sketching out their bodies I realized that wasn't going to happen. I had a choice, scrap the faces and start over with smaller faces, or go ahead with the painting.

It's based on the verse from Corinthians about faith, hope and love. The guy in the middle is Jesus (I haven't figured out how to do beards yet.) I wanted to include figurative illustrations of faith and hope but there was no room. No more than a heart on a sleeve, anyway.

It's the biggest painting I've done so far (that's why you see the shelves to the left, so you have an idea of the size of this thing). I have no idea where to hang it either. And I plan to do another gigantic painting the way I envisaged it in my head.

Maybe I'll sell it at the church fair next year. Maybe. I mean, it's newbie work. A year ago I couldn't draw a face. A few months ago they looked like sulky aliens. They still don't look quite right.

So I dunno. What do you think I should do with it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking a Break

Hi all,


So you might not have noticed, but I haven't posted the usual Wednesday's Where's God? and I won't be this week either.

There's a bunch of reasons, mainly:
  • I got a seriously bad cold. I managed to post one spread while I was sick, but the wretched thing hung on for a good two weeks. I'm better now (aside from the lingering post-nasal drip and slight cough)
  • I'm re-evaluating why I have this blog. My day job as my church's communications director means I'm doing a lot of communications, including a blog where church members are learning to share their stories about how God is impacting them. It's truly become my ministry, my vocation. My blog here started out as a way to keep in touch with fellow Bellas and as an easy way for my Mum to see what I'm up to. Now, now, there might be a new purpose. I'm still trying to figure out if it's the right one and honoring the process instead of doing my usual "leap off a cliff" decision making.
So, I'm using this time to take a break and not post anything. I started a bit early, but let's call it a break for Advent -- and I'll see y'all after Christmas. I'll have a ton to post as I've been doing some painting (if that's the way things go), or I'll be posting on another theme. Or both.

So Happy Thanksgiving, have a Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays)...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God...

While I am snuffling up a storm with a big head-cold (which is why I managed to set the date to 1/1/11 instead of 11/1/11) ... here's my "Where's God" for the week. I  hope you can join in.


Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!





Wheres God Wednesdays button






I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God?

Sarah, A new blogger that I've just started following (Whispers on the Journey) commented on an old post:
"I love this idea to review each week like this! I would say God was in...
1) my chance to connect with like-minded people at a conference.
2)A sense of rest and centeredness coming out of some vacation time.
3) The church service I randomly caught tonight with words I needed to hear
4) God's drawing out of me, faithfully teaching"

Glad you like the idea! Although it doesn't seem to be original to me.

Here's my list for this week.






The usual Faber Pitt Pens .... and I got to play with some bronze ink, which looks more like old gold .... and so I used a pen nib to do lines and waves. The waves kind of remind me of the sound waves reproduced in the the St. John's Bible. Which is really worth a post all on it's own. Even if I did only see facsimiles and not the real deal (which is in Minnesota, I think.)

There are changes afoot in this blog (I think this must be going around: at least two bloggers have changed their layout and are planning new things). I don't know when it's going to happen because things seem to be occuring in God's time and I don't want to rush anything.  And hey, maybe you won't actually notice anything different.

Meantime, business as usual:

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!





Wheres God Wednesdays button



I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This week on Wednesday's Where's God?

Here's my page for this week.






Yeah, I'm writing sideways on the page.

Remember last week's page?


Yep, that's her skirt, I folded it around the page 'cause I thought it'd be kinda fun!


While I plan to continue doing these pages, I'm considering abandoning this little link party idea. I think those who read my blog are far too few in number and I really have not gone out of my way to promote this puppy around the blogosphere.

Instead, I'll keep doing the pages, but I'll link them to Ann Voskamp's weekly post where she asks her readers to share their gifts from God. Am not sure it's quite the same thing that I'm doing, but what the hey. (I really need to read her book)

I'm also thinking about writing more about an item or two on  the list instead of just having occasionally cryptic items.

Thoughts?

And, for possibly the last time, or the last time for right now, who knows what changes will come down the wind...

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!



Wheres God Wednesdays button





I will share my favorites (or let's be honest, whoever actually comments) next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God?

I spent most of last week on retreat at a monastery (with to-die-for food!) and so this week's post reflects that. (The white clam sauce I made, the red clam sauce we had at Mt. Calvary was just as good!)


It's a subpage, so it gets a bit crowded ... don't know if you can tell what the image is...

Anyway, to spend almost an entire week focused on God instead of work, home, etc ... well, it was a real treat even if I don't include Luis' cooking!

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!



Wheres God Wednesdays button






I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Monday, October 10, 2011

One last treasure from my trip home...

That I completely forgot to show you. A piano player roll! There was a whole stack of them, but  I had limited space in my luggage and I picked this one for it's decorative front page....



Isn't it stunning?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Petite Inspiration Box Swap - Curiosities Edition... part two

You saw what I sent out in Monday's post (scroll down), here is what I received from Beth Laverty of Conversations from My House:


and yes, she did know my favorite color is purple.

and Teresa Shovary from Thymeless Treasures, sent me this:

The doily has mermaids on it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God...

Here is this week's "Where's God?"

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!



Wheres God Wednesdays button







I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Petite Inspiration Box Swap - Curiosities Edition...

Well, boxes have been sent and received, so I thought I'd share the boxes I made. As I've been a negligent blogger lately, thought I'd show what I received in another post...

The best part was that I shopped for these little boxes amongst my own supplies. Lace, buttons, ribbons, a vintage pocketwatch case, some funky paper clips and other things which I now forget and of course didn't take a picture of.

I used pretty vintage wallpaper...


Fancy Prima flowers, vintage/antique paper, vintage lace and some seam binding...




They were fun and easy to make!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Green Paper Swap: My Pages

I'm looking forward to receiving my book! Here are the pages that I made:
 As you can see, I used lots of identical images and put them together in different ways...




I hope whoever gets my pages enjoys them!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God...

 I started this post over a week ago.

And then my last grandparent died and well, blogging has not been as big a priority as watching TV, sewing (you'll see the project soon, I hope), eating chocolate and, well grieving.

I wanna send out a HUGE thank you to Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage who was finally able to point me in the right direction for adding the "Wednesday's Where's God?" button and code to my blog.

So here's last week's post followed by this week's.

Last week:
I've signed up for another online art class (with Suzi Blu again, called "A Lovely Dream". Art journaling from September 1 until May next year. I just made the journal today.) So I shall be a bit of a journaling fiend. I also want to finish the big painting from her La Sirena class. I have faces sketched, just need to shade and get rolling on that one...

So here is this week's Where's God? which covers the anniversary of 9/11.


And here is this week's, and this was the page that it naturally fell to, fitting my mood perfectly.


Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!

Wheres God Wednesdays button



I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God? (Weeks 13 and 14)

I wrote epically in my journal about Sunday (9/11). Mainly about forgiveness. I've decided not to share it, mainly because it goes on for pages. However, what my church's rector (aka pastor) said on Sunday about the hard work that is forgiveness is well worth sharing here (scroll down to the September 11 listing).

It also appears I forgot to hit the Publish button last week. Oops. So here's last week's Wednesday's Where's God:

Karla from Back at Ya Babe wrote in last week's post that: "God has been in our circumstances this week."

Here's my page for week 13...



And here's this Wednesday's Where's God:

The envelope holds a copy of the vows that we renewed on the 4th. (Not quite our anniversary, but we wanted to do it before our community of faith).

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!


(Incidentally, I can't figure out how you can create the "copy and paste" html code to link back. If anyone knows how, please let me know!)

I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Unplugged

I wrote this by candlelight ... and then transcribed it this morning....

The "Great Blackout" [for those who missed it, the entire San Diego County, bits of Orange County, bits of Arizona and Mexico had no power for up to 12 hours last night] made me aware how ill-prepared we are for an emergency, but oddly I wasn't freaking out over it.

We had a few days worth of food (probably a week once we started in on the cereal) and we still had running water -- but our emergency, hand-cranked radio up and died within minutes of turning it on. Thankfully, the hubby scrounged up some batteries.

We have a BBQ with propane, thank goodness. So dinner was clam chowder by candlelight. (Wish I'd taken a picture, but oh well!)

It was really odd that I wasn't freaking out. It probably helped that I was able to call Mum on a land line and let her know I'm okay.

While waiting for traffic to ease at church (where I work--the outage started at 3:40pm), I handed out melting ice cream sandwiches from our freezer to Catholic students about to go on retreat, folks who had parked in our lot to take advantage of the shade, waiting out the traffic because they were low on gas, and then over to our neighboring church because they have a school attached and there were plenty of folks hanging around there too.

We gave out water and made our bathrooms available to folks who came knocking on our door (this is before I started handing out ice cream!). We should've put out signs really :)

....

Much later, we went to look at the stars, with no city lights to hide them, but the moon is almost full, so they weren't as spectacular as the new moon in Julian a couple of weeks ago.  The air was nice and refreshing after a very hot day.

....

After 9pm, listening to our battery-powered radio, candles flickering, listening as one by one, the communities north and south of us slowly come back on line.

....

The power came back much sooner than they predicted (for us in the wee hours of the morning), so our slight unpreparedness won't undo us. But I have a shopping list now!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finds....

Here are some items I picked up recently(ish):


two circa 1880's photographs, a white crocheted tablecloth, doilies, lace, and some super-fine tatting (and some anglaise lace)...

Here are some closeups...


The anglaise will probably end up around the hem of a skirt, or turning a top into a tunic... Mum says I can't cut up the crochet tablecloth even though it looks fairly new, has a hole and only cost me $12....



This tatting(?) is amazing ... it is completely whole in the round ... (can't find a seam) and possibly edged a skirt once? It has a lot of aging and not a few holes in it -- and I suspect possibly too fragile to actually stitch on to my clothes --- especially as I'm a bit of klutz and constantly catch myself on things (usually door knobs and flanges).  But I'll either come up with something, or this could be the third piece in my vintage trio (along with an apricot chemise and my christening gown).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Owlish

There's a lot of bird life in Mum's backyard (back in Australia),  mainly because of the gum trees (aka eucalyptus) on her property.  This is just one of them.


It's a tawny frogmouth owl. Yes, and it's eyes were open during the day. It moved from one tree to another and took us a couple of days to find it in the new tree. Isn't it cute? (Ok, the staring right at the camera in a "you're disturbing my sleep" annoyed kind of way, isn't quite so cute... but it's not a very big owl.)

Their feathers and coloring make it very hard to spot.  Don't believe me? Check out this video I shot of it.
video

Took me ages to find it via the viewfinder.

(And the answer is, it's in the bottom left corner ... at least until I managed to find it). It's moved on from this tree too and Mum hasn't found the new location yet.

Maybe it got tired of getting looked at and having its photo taken. 

When I was visiting Pop in  hospital, the old man in the bed opposite heard us tell Pop about the owl and he beckoned me over and I got a bunch of cool bird-lore -- like where there's one, there's two and the other is nesting somewhere in a tree nearby. Couldn't see that one though (assuming I've seen the same one twice...)

Each morning I was woken up to birdsong (including one particularly piercing shriek from an unfamiliar bird) and I recorded it via my iPhone, but I'm afraid they didn't come out very well. Am going to try and see if I can up the levels or something ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God?

Here's the past week's discerning the presence of God...

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!


(Incidentally, I can't figure out how you can create the "copy and paste" html code to link back. If anyone knows how, please let me know!)

I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!

Another Swap ... this time with boxes!

I've long admired this swap but the timing just hasn't been right ... until now.



(It's okay, my pages for the Green Paper Swap are almost done.)

Signups are supposed to close today ...

Oh and if anyone knows where on earth in Southern California I can find these blessed larger matchboxes, I'd greatly appreciate it....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wednesday's Where's God?

Here it is!


It's got several layers going on for a change -- I glued down my public transit tickets that I used to see my grandfather (and the airline boarding pass), along with what was already there, dry brushed some gesso on it, so that it merged together a bit better, added pretty tape and a bird rub on from my stash.

I should do more pages like this, I think.

The tawny frogmouth owl was really awesome. I need to get the pictures uploaded though...

Where was God in your week?

Comment below with your own list, link to your blog post about it, perhaps a photograph you took that illustrates it (a picture is worth a thousand words), or art illustrating your gratitude! (If I get enough folks participating, I'll start using a link party tool.)

A couple of rules:
1. If you are linking, link to the specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Please, no links to online shops -- stay on topic!

Feel free to post the blog button!


(Incidentally, I can't figure out how you can create the "copy and paste" html code to link back. If anyone knows how, please let me know!)

I will share my favorites next Wednesday, in the meantime, check back to see who has posted and enjoy discovering God in each other's lives!