Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Waiting for the colors...............

I find myself looking often at the trees just waiting for the fall colors to begin showing in earnest. I love fall colors, they are so warm and earthy. They never seem to last long enough to get used to them so every year it is a treat when they show up and a wonder to me all over again that they are so beautiful. We get so used to the green grass that after a while it just gets to be a chore of mowing and we forget to enjoy the colors. With snow the problem is that the beauty only last for a short time then the ugly slush and grime takes over pretty quickly. I guess some people (like my husband) look at the leaves from a different perspective - that it is necessary for him to clean them up. I think the beauty of the leaves makes it all worth the cleaning up - but I am not the one who has to do it!!

We are into Hebrews in Sunday School and we have a wonderful teacher in Amy Lee, our pastor's wife. Her blog is here: http://usbtomybrain.blogspot.com/ although she doesn't blog very often! All we have talked about for weeks is the total power, holiness and priesthood surrounding God and Christ. That is so totally amazing and sometimes we tend to let that knowledge fall to the side without continually rejoicing in the truth and wonder of it.

Our family is very excited about a move coming up in less than 2 weeks - Our daughter and her husband are becoming first time home owners very close to where we live. The only disappointment for me is that I have a 3 day fall festival on the same days they are moving! I won't be there to boss anyone around!

I just participated in the second Bead Art jewelry show of 2008 last Saturday. It was an absolutely beautiful day, not as many sales as everyone would like according to what we heard just visiting around with the other vendors. But that was what everyone said at the spring show also and it was the biggest money-wise they had to date.

It is so easy as a vendor to get into the "make money, make money" frame of mind because that is what you are really there for, to sell as much as you can. Many people do it for their living but I do not. I love the creation and sell to share what I have made and to help pay for the supplies. I would love to make enough to be able to quit the day job but will never happen unless I commit to the craft fair/art show circuit and that is very gruelling.

Long ago I sold to make money and it overshadowed the creative process so much that I quit selling. Then later I started creating again, just what I felt like making and if it sold that was wonderful but if not then I gave my creations as gifts. I think I am getting into a new area that combines both ideas. I love to make the jewelry and will continue to sell it to liquidate the stockpile but I think I am going to get more into the business of selling for a profit with some other items, like I am starting to put in www.mommymadethis.etsy.com. I like to sell useful things that are functional and pretty. So far I am only doing 2 jewelry shows each year. I want to branch out with the other products at 3 local festivals next year and see how it goes.

So, for the next few weeks I will be feverishly sewing and adding to my tent display for the fall festival at Herculaneum, MO on October 10-12, helping out with my granddaughter while her mommy packs for the move and waiting for the colors....................

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I found the other one!

I was looking at Sand Fibers blog and I found the first treasury where my Cool Mint Bells necklace was included. It is the third down on the center column. I can't pick my favorite item in this treasury because they are all so wonderful! The treasury was selected by Triz Designs and you will want to visit her shop to see her beautiful work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Using Your Hobbies for God

We recently had a Women's Conference at our church and I was asked to give a short talk about this subject. Several ladies who missed the conference have asked me to post my notes here. Sorry for the length but I hope you enjoy reading the post.

I Peter 4:11
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The general definition of hobby is - a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts, usually pleasantly.

Speaking of yourself, what pastime, not including prayer and Bible Study, first comes to your mind when I say a pleasant diversion that occupies one’s time and thoughts?
Most of these answers are considered hobbies. I can almost consider myself an “expert” on hobbies. I have the fortune, or misfortune depending on the day I think about it, to have multitudinous hobbies (that means lots and lots). There are many times I wish there was just one hobby that I liked to do above all others so I could get rid of all the other “stuff” in my vast array of supplies to support those hobbies. Just so you understand the scope of what I am referring to when I say “hobbies”, here is a list of my hobbies, past and present. Jewelry making, basketry, quilting, oil painting, drawing, sculpture, wood-burning, murals, decorative painting, stained glass, doll making, knitting, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch, macramé, collage, gourd art, woodworking, carving, plaster casting, ceramics, airbrushing, furniture refinishing, home decorating, upholstery, sewing and I am sure without a doubt that I have left something out. Oh, also, notice I didn’t say anything about cooking!

For many years the pursuit of what I find to be pleasurable pastimes put a lot of doubt in my mind as to the importance of these hobbies in the whole scheme of things, particularly as a Christian who should be spending the majority of time trying to further God’s kingdom. How could I sit and sew, paint, or whatever when people all around me, even in my family, were lost? What good was anything I was doing to anyone or anything other than my own pleasure and the occasional extra income? Did I have any right to pursue these pastimes when they took so much of my time and thoughts? And why did I feel the need to do them in the first place?

I thought about these things off and on starting about 20 years or so ago. In the past 10 years I thought about it even more often and about 4 or so years ago it started to become a real burden on my heart. I had occasional thoughts of giving hobbies up all together, I wasn’t sure they were justifiable in the time spent but I also feared that I would not be able to give them up and also questioned why if God had given me the ability and easy knowledge of doing these things should I stop?

These are the conclusions I have drawn from a lot of searching, with help from other Christian women for whom I have a lot of respect and from studying and praying on my own. I hope they are helpful to you.

I do believe that God gives each of us certain inborn talents or abilities that we should, possibly must, use for him. I also believe that if we don’t use those abilities for him that we are falling short of his expectations for us. There are also learned abilities that come to us in life and they should be used also. I am fortunate to have an ability to learn things that require hand and eye coordination very easily, sometimes intuitively without someone showing me how.

I want to stop here for a moment to say a word aside about talents and assure you that all abilities are not given to all women. One definition of talent is the natural endowment or aptitude of a person. Because of these abilities, a person may have the faculty to excel in a given area. I mentioned earlier that cooking is not on my list of favorite pastimes. I can cook when needed but I am not very good at it. It is not a talent I have. But ask me to make a dress and you will look hard to find someone who can do any better. I have learned through experience how to make a better dress but God makes things easy for me to learn. God has a purpose for everyone and has given some talent to each person to accomplish that purpose. Find your true abilities and use them, please.

I Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

There are many ways we can use our pleasurable pastimes to glorify God, to help someone to see God, to be more open to accepting his call when it comes, or sometimes just to lift up the weary, even if it is for a moment in an otherwise burdensome day. I make a lot of things with the idea they will be sold but in reality I have given away more over the past 40 years of crafting than I have ever sold. There are few things as exciting as seeing someone’s face light up with the understanding that you took the time and thought to make something with your own hands and to give it to them for no reason other than to make them happy, if only for the moment. To see the look on a young mother’s face when you give her a beautiful blanket for her baby, to hear the joy in a lonely older person’s voice when they tell you how much it meant to them to receive a card in the mail that you made yourself. I love these times because I know I have done something with the abilities that God gave me and that I have managed to share his love through those actions. They may not be large in the grander scheme of things but I have learned that they are important and provide a way to share God, if I turn them in the right way. It can also become very addicting, seeing who you can surprise next!

Since I believe that God has given us our abilities, they should be used for his glorification and those abilities have led to the hobbies that we participate in, then there must be a way to glorify him with the hobby. We just have to find the way. That is the harder question, sometimes. Look at what you like to do the most and think of 5 ways you can glorify God doing it and use it for God’s glory.

I am sure it has come to someone’s mind “well yeah, that is easy for her to say. She has one grown child and only one grandchild. She has all the time in the world to pursue whatever she wants!” Some of you have small children at home, you have jobs, you have husbands and households to take care of, you have limited income and you have very little time each day for any pursuit of even the least time consuming hobby. You are sometimes nervous, anxious, depressed. Guess what, so is everyone. You can make time for things you feel are worth doing. You don’t have to have 3 hours everyday to sit down and make 30 greeting cards while everything else goes to seed. Spend a few minutes to do something small that can make up a larger project. I work everyday, I have a house to clean, meals to fix (when I have to), laundry, a dog, a husband, a daughter and son-in-law, a grandchild and the similar responsibilities. How have I managed to continue to pursue my hobbies? For ten years in the 70 and 80s I stayed home with Rachel and made dolls and such and sold them to shops. Having only one child doesn’t lessen the responsibility but it does make for a little more free time but most of my craft time was after she went to bed. I would stay up sewing. It was a time I could set aside for myself, not be concerned if the dishes where done or the laundry. It was an important time for me so I cut it out of a time meant for sleeping. When I went back into the outside work world in the mid 80s there was much less time for it but I would still make as much time as I could for hobbies, it was a stress reliever and important to me. I thought when I was older that I would have more free time for these kinds of things, but guess what, I have no more time for it now than I did when Rachel was small, probably less time because I no longer stay up at night, I am old and need my rest. I find my time by seldom being idle. If I am in front of the tv I have something in my hands. If we are traveling, I have something in my hands. If I am waiting at the doctor’s office I probably have something in my hands. I find such pastimes restful, refreshing and productive. I really like being able to work on something and listen to scripture at the same time.

What I am trying to say is, don’t wait until some time down the way to have a hobby because you don’t think you have time. A hobby can help relieve stress, produce needed income or items for your family, give you an opportunity to do a generous deed, show God’s grace to others, etc. A hobby doesn’t have to be a big huge expense or consumer of time. Do little things, do little things that you can use to glorify God. Use your hobby to accomplish necessary things, for instance make clothes for your kids, etc.

Here is an example list of hobbies and what can be done with them to glorify God.

1. Teach another woman how to do your hobby. It may give her an income, teach her to use her talents for God, possibly even make a difference in her everyday existence. It will certainly give her more confidence in all parts of her life. It can also open a door between you and a lost woman and possible help her to know God’s grace.

2. Make greeting cards and send them to shut-ins or for birthdays and anniversaries. Anything that opens a door for communication regarding God’s grace is worth doing.

3. Use your knowledge about your hobby to help with home schooling families. Give a class for a field trip or teach a skill. It can be difficult to find an outing for home schooling that is something different to do that doesn’t cost much. Something you think only you are interested in might also be interesting to a child.

4. Use your hobby online to draw people to God by having a blog or web site that links to the church website or other good sites where sermons and other helps can be found.

5. Use the time spent with a Christian sister working on a hobby to share and uplift her and yourself as well!

6. If your hobby is cooking you can cook for me every night and I will have time to do more stuff! Really, food taken to people in need is the hardest thing for me to do. I admire the person who does it often and joyfully.

7. Is your hobby reading? Read to an invalid or an older person who can’t see well any more. Help a child who has trouble reading.

8. Do you like to paint? Ask the Bible School or Sunday School teachers if there is something they need done for their class. Don’t worry if you don’t think you are Rembrant, no one is.

9. Do you like to sew? Ask for items from the elderly or single men or young families that need repair. Sew on some buttons, hem those pants or fix that zipper. Make a jumper or pjs. Sometimes all it takes is asking and you will find lots of ways to help.

10. Are children your hobby? Well, considering the size of some of our families I would think there would be a lot of appreciation for any help given there. Or have a summer backyard class or something like that.

11. Do you like taking pictures? Photographs are very expensive to have taken. Sometimes just a nice picture of the family is more than appreciated.

12. Do you like to memorize scripture? Work with children or adults to have a club or drill team.

13. Do you like to garden? Grow flowers and take little boquets to shut-ins new moms, or just someone needing to be uplifted. Help someone not able to garden around their yard or garden. Grow veggies and help someone who is needy by sharing what you harvest. Give them to the person who has a cooking talent and let them preserve the food for distribution.

You get the idea? Everything you do can be used for God’s glory.

We have all probably read or heard the passage regarding the virtuous women passage in the Bible. There are several ways to interpret the passage but one way it speaks to me is about some of the types of activities I like to pursue and gives an idea of ways those activities can be used in the daily life of a Godly woman:

• She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. (weaving) She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. (meals for the needy) She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.(cooking family meals) She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings(she works!) she plants a vineyard.(gardening) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.(she is fit and productive) She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.(she works late to accomplish what is needed) In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.(spinning) She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.(hospitality) When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.(makes sure her family is provided for) She makes coverings for her bed; (upholstery) she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (she presents herself well) She makes linen garments (seamstress) and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.(business owner)

These are just the sections of the passage that talk about some of the activities I mentioned before. The rest of the passage speaks more to the spiritual side of the virtuous woman such as her relationship with her husband and other things. Don’t think that I am underplaying that side at all. It is most important. Don’t ever get so involved in the activity side that the spiritual side is neglected. Us your time wisely, listen to tapes, watch videos while you are pursuing your hobby. You would be surprised how much you can learn.
Be careful not to be fanatical about your hobby. It is after all, a diversion that occupies one’s time and thoughts. Keep it in perspective, use it to God’s glory. Enjoy it and use it in the right way.
And if you start a new hobby, call me. I might have some hoarded resources you will find useful!

Etsy Treasury

It is time to get ready for the next jewelry show at the end of September. I haven't been beading for about 2 months and I am ready to get back to it although I am trying to wait until the end of August before jumping in again. Just trying to finish up a few other projects before then.

Thanks to several nice new friends I have been in three treasuries in the past few weeks! I am the one with the black background here on the right. This is actually the second treasury because I missed the image of the first one. For a different view of this cuff bracelet, here is a larger image. All of the items chosen for this treasury were really beautiful and I was tickled to be included by enchantedbeads.

Here is the third treasury I was included in, also by enchantedbeads. She chose items in mostly blacks, grays and whites for this treasury named "Reflections". My piece, which is a necklace named "Moons and Stars" and is the second down in the first column, is a non-symetrical bead embroidered pendant which is about as sparkle laden as it can be! The pendant is 2.75 inches wide and 5 inches long including the fringe, and is covered with glass seed beads and white glass pearls. The beaded chain is 27 inches long and has a bead loop and metal bar closure. The beaded fringe consists of glass seed beads, glass pearls and clear glass cubes and beads. The beads used throughout the piece are pearl white, silvery gray and black. You can see the necklace close up at:


Also, please visit enchantedbeads to see her beautiful beadwork at:


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Run, Run, Run

I cannot believe how fast this summer is passing! Olivia is walking, starting to talk and knows how to say NO, with a loud voice.

Don and I have decided to sell our travel trailer, see here: http://stlouis.craigslist.org/rvs/770049690.html
in hopes of getting a new toy. It is getting so difficult to go camping anymore that we have decided it is not worth keeping the camper, although we are a little sorry to see it go. Maybe by the next time I write here I will be an official motorcycle grammy. But gotta sell the trailer first!

We are having a Ladies Conference this weekend at church and I think it will be a good weekend. If you want info just click on the Rockport Baptist Church link and there will be phone numbers there.

I have had a lot of computer chores lately. We had accumulated several computers at home, all with different operating systems. We had a Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP and a Vista laptop. The Windows 98 was running the embroidery machine and it was the oldest. The fan was going out, the cd recorder drive was dead, it needed more usb ports. Since I got the laptop I seldom use the XP and some of the new equipment we have won't run on the ME. So I trashed the 98, moved the ME to the embroidery machine and moved the XP over for Don to use.

Everything went really well, the ME was working wonderfully for the embroidery. All I needed was to finish moving and catagorizing all 10,000 embroidery design files and everything would be great. I had one folder left to move late on a Friday and was going to finish on Saturday, back everything up and be happy. When I got up Saturday and went to make a gift on the embroidery machine I found that my operating system had crashed. There was a storm over night and the power went out a few times. All the computers upstairs had been shut down but I forgot to get the one downstairs on the embroidery machine. I had to restore the system and load everything again. All my 10,000 unzipped and sorted design files were lost. Well, not totally. I did have most everything on cd in zip files.

Now I am wading through and trying to resort and move all the files. I feel like I am running in circles! So that is were my spare time has been spent this week. And I am only up to 1300 files and most of them are not sorted yet! Makes me want to go camping. Oops, forgot!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Busy Time

There have been so many things happening since my last post! Camping trips, Bible conference, crawling baby, Mother's Day, spring storms, jewelry making and work.

We had a great camping trip at the end of April. Even though the reserved camp site park was closed due to flooding we were able to find another on short notice and had a good weekend. It was cold, though.

The following week we had a Camp Meeting at church - like a preacher's conference where there is preaching from morning 'til night, just stopping to eat! Boy, what a week. We had a lot of people to feed and the preaching was excellent. The sermons can be found here http://www.rockportbaptist.org/gcm.htm These are all excellent and I encourage you to listen to them.

Baby Olivia is crawling and really close to walking. She just gets more adorable every day. Being a grammy is really wonderful. I think her parents are going to have their hands full with this one but I am sure they will be able to handle it. Here she is wearing her grandfather's hat and sitting in her camping chair.

We had a terrible wind on Mother's Day. The powerlines across the street were down so they blocked our street just before and after our house. It was still a great day for our family. We had 4 generations together that day.

I am trying to get ready for the spring Bead Art. I am beading every spare minute and just got some new supplies so the creative process is in full speed mode. Here is the information for those living in the St. Louis area who are interesting in attending:

Bead Art & Jewelry Show
Saturday, May 31st
9am - 4pm

Over 50 Bead Artists selling their finished jewelry and art work made primarily from beads. This semi annual event is a must see in St. Louis. Please stop in and enjoy the day with us. If you know someone else who would like to come, please feel free to forward this info to them!

Sponsored by
Lady Bug BeadsBead
7616 Big Bend Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63119

Lady Bug Beads
Parking Lot & Yard
7616 Big Bend Blvd

Available across the street at
Grace Point of Webster Church

No Admission Fee

Make a Bracelet for a $10.00 Donation to
Make a wish logo

Food & Beverage
By our friends at
Webster Groves Masonic Lodge #84

The mural project is done, for all practical purposes. I finished it in time for the camp meeting but some of the applied letters kept falling off! I finally glued them all on and no problems since then. I need to take a picture for my personal records and then I will share it.

I have three shops on etsy now. They are:


Rosevine Design is primarily jewelry with a few additional embellishment items.

Mommy Made This is a shop I share with my daughter, Rachel, and it is all needlework type items, knitted, crochet, sewn types of things for your home, family and pets. It is a new shop and we are slowly stocking it with great items like hair barrettes, doggie blankets, tote bags and purses.

PhotoBob is for photographs by Bob Ubaudi. It has not been stocked yet but will contain a lot of barn pictures taken in Missouri and Illinois and some other matted pictures that will have inspirational themes.

I have also joined indiepublic and can be found here: http://www.indiepublic.com/profile/DebbieFerrell

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's Going On Today

The past week has been very busy. I am behind on everything and trying to catch up before the end of next week when we go on our first camping trip of the year. The first trip is always more time consuming to prepare for since everything has to be replaced in the trailer, the water tank sanitized, the weatherizing fluids removed, plus the usual getting ready procedures. Sometimes I just pack everything in and straighten it out once we arrive at the campsite and I think that might happen this time!

I must finish the mural painting this weekend. The wood letters and missionary information must be finished by next Wednesday so I can totally finish installing them on next Thursday. I thought I would have extra time this week but I don't so that means go into high gear over the weekend. I will have a few days if there are any little things to touch up but I want to be done before we leave for camping because someone will be using our trailer for the upcoming Bible Conference and I want it to be nice and clean and ready and that can't be done until we are back from our trip.

So, I missed the knitting group this past Monday. I wanted to go but sometimes you just have to take care of necessary things! Seems like everyone in our family has been sick this past week, myself included and that always throws a delay into things. But, there is always next time!

I have been working on a quilt for our guest room that will match the red, white and blue decorating. I am making the top in 3 panels, hand quilting each panel and then setting them together. Then I will piece the sides, quilt and attach them. It will look pretty good when done, I think, but there were a few errors that I could not correct. To hide them I am doing small designs with machine embroidery (like an eagle in flight or stars, etc.)and that is really adding to the quilt. Sometimes mistakes end up making things more interesting in the long run, or rather the correcting of the mistakes.

That reminds me of something else that came to mind last week. The missions mural I am working on is of a world map. The map was projected on the wall so the outlines of all the countries could be traced for painting. Because of the lighting in the church auditorium, the projection was not clear in some spots and could not be focused enough for a clear tracing. So some of the areas had to be hand drawn using a reference map and Europe soon became a big mess of redrawn lines and erasure smears because we just couldn't seem to get it right. Finally, it became so bad that I painted it out with white paint so there would be a clean section on which to start over. It looked like a big weather map with white clouds painted over all of Europe! Once the paint was dry the countries were redraw in their proper places. The mistakes are still there but can't be seen because they were blotted out with white paint. The new lines are drawn and ready to be filled in with paint so they represent the countries correctly.

What came to mind was this: the map is like my life, a big patchwork of feelings, experiences and the like. Sometimes sin can cause an area of my life to become all confused and loose its shape and focus. When I try to fix those areas myself, it only gets worse and worse until there is no longer any definition and the lines all cross and smear into one another until it is hopeless to determine what is supposed to be, everything is confused.

When I realize the state I have gotten myself into I ask for help to straighten it out. God "paints out" the messed up area so that it can't been seen anymore and then he redraws the outlines with a nice clean pencil with no smears or erasures. Then it is my job to stay in the lines when I paint in the colors. The final result is very pleasing. Just like the mural, all the paint is in the lines and nothing shows through that shouldn't. Everything is clean and easy to understand and the project was worth the effort.

There are always flaws in every project, just like there are flaws in me. In the case of my projects, the flaws are caused by the CREATOR - ME. In the case of God's project (me), the flaws are in the CREATION - ME. I refuse to stop trying, in either case. I hope that when all the projects are finished that they are worth the effort.

My memory work for right now is:

James 1:4-5 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Knit, Pearl, Single Crochet

Last evening I spent a few hours with about 15 other women who were knitting or crocheting. What a great time we had at the Heavenly Ewes yarn shop located in the Parables bookstore in Arnold, MO! I didn't actually do very much sock knitting (my current project) because I was teaching two crochet beginners. After crocheting for over 40 years it is sometimes easy to forget how hard it was to get all the fingers, yarn and hook in the right place and how awkward it feels at first. We had a good time of fellowship.

I really wanted to purchase at least one new book on knitting socks but I refrained and just got the set of needles I had been wanting. They are a 5 needle set double point bamboo, about 5 inches long in size 0. They look like fat tooth pics, they are so small. I had about 20 minutes at the end of the evening to try them out on my sock and they are wonderful! I think I am fast becoming a convert to bamboo.

We talked about lots of things, one of which was praying in public, and at one point I told a story about when I was chaplain for a professional secretaries organization about 15 years ago. I was honored to be asked to serve as chaplain and was told I would open in prayer and give a very short little devotional. So the first month I prayed and gave a short devotional using a scripture as reference. I noticed a few women squirming a little and took it to mean I talked too long. (not unusual for me!) So the next month I prayed and did a shorter devotional, again using scripture. The following week one of the officers called me to say that I must stop using God, or Jesus, or Christ in my prayer. I only know one way to pray and that is in Christ's name. I was told that some people found it offensive, they were atheists or Jewish, etc. and I had to keep the prayer very generic. I asked her in whose name was I to pray and she said just to leave that part out, it didn't really make any difference anyway and we didn't want to offend anyone. She also told me that using scripture during the devotional could not continue either. I should just use a short, uplifting anecdote. I was so shocked by what she said that it took me a few minutes to collect myself, I just couldn't believe she was serious and said so. She was very serious. So I told her that I seriously could not continue to be part of an organization that made these requirements and resigned from the office of Chaplain and shortly later disassociated myself from the organization.

I hadn't thought about that incident in a long time but just thinking about it last night still caused amazement. It made me even more thankful that I now work for two guys who profess to be Christians, that I can associate with a group of women outside of my own church who find importance in the same things I do, that I still live in a country where at least in public I can pray if I so choose. Sometimes I forget those things and it is nice to be reminded.

I saw some very nice projects last night, there are many very talented needle workers in the group and I hope to learn a lot from several of them. I think next time that I will take some bead crochet, there were a few requests for lessons.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Missions Mural

I am a member of Rockport Baptist Church located in Arnold, Missouri or at http://www.rockportbaptist.org/ and we are very "mission minded". I am currently working on a wall mural of sorts, depicting the map of the world and some of the missionaries that our church supports. I have set a deadline for finishing before the second week of April when we will be having a Camp Meeting and Bible Conference. I always do better with deadlines because it means I have to finish, I usually work better under pressure but I don't really like to wait until the last minute to finish. This is a very simple project, it just takes a lot of time and a lot of that time is on a ladder which is not the easiest thing for me. I have a friend, Marie, who is helping me with the process.

Painting murals is one of my favorite things to do! If I were physically able to keep up with the work I would really consider doing it for a living but I cannot meet the demands of doing it everyday so I pick and choose my projects.

The image above is part of the last project I worked on. You can see all the parts here:

It took a long time to complete the project but I was pleased with the results. I think the canvases are on a week long display during the the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which occur annually in a different city.

The last mural I worked on before that was in my own kitchen. It was an open window with red shutters that looked out on a barn scene. A rooster was standing on the window sill. It has since been painted over and I don't have any pictures of it. I never was happy with the barn scene but the rooster was spectacular!

I have also worked on a project on the outside of a craft mall that depicted different shops lined up in a row to look like old time stores. There was a general store, a school, a barber, a flower shop, a candy store, etc. That was a big project that did not get finished because of a river flood that caused the owner to sell out. It was a favor to the owner so I didn't finish the project for a new owner. They painted over everything with BRIGHT ORANGE paint!

There have been a few other projects that were finished but I have never charged for any of them. They have usually been gifts. For instance, in a new baby's room I painted Sesame Street characters around a piano singing and playing instruments. It was a very nice job. Also did a whole room with Winnie the Pooh and friends.

I like to create using a lot of different media but I always come back to painting and sewing in some form.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fast Times

It always amazes me when I come back to a project, a blog post, my web site, the laundry, etc. how it seems I was just there but in reality it has been a while, like days or weeks or even months (well, not months for the laundry, of course or at least hopefully!)

I realized Saturday that my next jewelry show is just around the corner and I have barely touched a bead all winter. I have been knitting, painting a mural at church, playing with Olivia and doing all the other things that take up time everyday.

I am going to ramble a little bit about all those things over the next few posts, starting with knitting.

First of all, I enjoy all the needle arts and have probably dabbled in more than some people. I have the most experience with crochet and some with knitting. I have found that I like to knit socks and baby sweaters because they are small projects and can be finished quickly. From watching knitting programs on t.v. I have found that I am not a good example of how to knit properly - I am totally self taught and therefore don't hold my yarn correctly - but it works for me and that is important! Having an 8 month old grand daughter allows me to see the results of my labors with knitting sweaters, she is beginning to grow into the ones I made before she was created. Pretty soon she will catch up with my knitting.

Right now I am working on a pair of socks for myself. I am using wool sock yarn and size 0 needles, all of which are new for me. I have NEVER used wool yarn to make anything (if it needs handwashed it is usually a no-no for me!) and I am really enjoying it. I have used very small hooks and thread for crochet but I think size 0 is the smallest needle size I have used for knitting. It sure takes a lot longer with that size as compared to size 5! So far I have about 2/3 of one sock done. I can't work on knitting for very long periods of time because my neck and shoulder get stiff, a result of surgery on my neck a few years ago.

A local yarn shop has just recently opened in my area, inside a Christian book store. It is very small but has beautiful yarns. We have started a knitting/crochet group that will be meeting a few times a month to knit, crochet, and maybe have some classes. One more thing I want to fit into an already busy schedule but I think it will be a wonderful time. It means a lot to be able to meet with a group of like minded women who believe in God and serve Him in local churches. I look forward to making new friendships with many of them. As summer approaches, that may be the only time I can fit in my knitting!

For now the knitting will take a backseat to beading but I am making stitch markers from beads to sell this summer. They are pretty and functional. I think they will make a nice addition to my jewelry items.

This is the Bible memory I am working on right now:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3