Color to the Rescue!

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
― Oscar Wilde

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

So today started with me feeling a little depressed. None of my usual cure-alls had helped — relaxing, cooking, listening to music. My outlook was gray and my spirit felt dry, and I couldn’t figure out how to climb out of the pit. Then I remembered some impressions from my quiet time last evening. The words “color” and “fun” kept coming up as I meditated. But I couldn’t find my pastels, yarns and markers, and I didn’t feel like hunting for them.

Then my husband brought out some of his pens and an art book, and my mom handed me her set of watercolor pencils. With a stack of computer paper in my lap and a handful of colored pencils, I began to breathe again.

I had forgotten that creativity is my oxygen! I just let the celebration of colors take over, and ended up with a little drawing that brought me back into the sunshine!

color your dreams 2

How about you? Is there a passion or part of yourself that you have packed away and forgotten? Bring your whole self to every day!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

You have gifts that make you irreplaceable and needed — gifts that make up the real you. Celebrate!

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Thursday Favorite Things: Jewelry In Progress

The other evening, I was relaxing and watching TV after writing all day. I hadn’t worked on any crafts or art work for a while, so I brought out my bead and string collection. I had started work on a necklace several weeks earlier, but hadn’t touched it since then. I have used mostly colorful acrylic beads, but decided to add a couple of small silver beads as an accent.

My mom recently ordered an assortment of beads, from wood to acrylic to pewter — and she said, as I sat with my nose in the computer, “I hope you’ll make time to have some fun with the beads.” I can’t wait to see what I can do with new colors and materials! As we approach Pentecost Sunday at our church — commemorating the day when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, I am happy to feel renewed in my creative spirit. Here is the current necklace-in-progress:

Join us at Katherine’s Corner and this week’s co-host, My Turn (for us) for Thursday Favorite Things…see you there!

Thursday Favorite Things

Favorite Things: Back to the Yarn Stash!

I’ve returned to my beloved, much-neglected pastimes — knitting and crocheting! I can thank my husband John for the inspiration. My husband is a gifted pen and ink artist who works with beautiful colors. I was able to match yarn to the colors in these two pieces, which hang above our living room sofa:

Midnight on the China Sea, by John G Evans
Faith as Big as Texas, by John G Evans

I’ve been working on throw for the back of the couch with these colors. I’m making randomly-sized squares using stockinette stitch with seed stitch borders. I was surprised that I was able to match the colors so well, especially the yellow.

It’s good to hear the knitting needles clicking again. Definitely one of my favorite sounds!

Join us at Katherine’s Corner  and this week’s co-host, Doberman’s by the Sea for Thursday Favorite Things.            Thursday Favorite Things

My Dream Day — HAWMC Day 14

Day 14

My Dream Day. Describe your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not – how could you make it happen?

My dream day would definitely  involve food and creativity. Just a simple day watching cooking shows, taking landscape pictures with my camera, working on arts and crafts…all the things I’m doing today, in fact! And no article writing!

My husband and I have already planned tonight’s dinner around a cooking show dish: skillet chicken parmigiana! We both love to cook, and I am blessed that my husband’s ideal day is pretty close to mine!

We are expecting stormy weather here in Texas this weekend, so we have dramatic-looking skies. I may step onto the terrace with my camera and take a few pictures of the live oak and mesquite trees against the sky. Earlier this month, as I spent a lot of time taking pictures of flowers and near our front door, I realized how much I enjoy nature photography. It’s a sure way to relax, forget worries, and become acquainted with the beauty that is at our own doorstep.

I have a pastel set, which I love to use, but I’m anxious to use a set of beads I just bought. On the other hand, I need to finish a pastel of Mission San Jose I started months ago. Maybe I’ll end up doing both. After a week of writing articles for other people, it is refreshing to unleash the creative spirit! Time to just enjoy what I’m doing!

Well, I’ll get back to my dream day. Hope you’ll join us at Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge!

Sewing: Where to buy Fabric and Patterns Online

I’m mostly a knitter and crocheter, but lately I’ve been wanting to sew. Some friends and I were recently lamenting the lack of fabric stores in our areas. It’s really too bad that it’s so difficult to find a local shop where we can purchase remnants–or even needles and thread! My grandmother worked in a remnant store for years, and I took for granted the little shop where sewers and knitters could find fabric and notions–and simply visit with each other. A new locally owned fabric or yarn shop will be a welcome sight indeed–but in the meantime, let me tell you about some great online fabric and pattern sources.

Our cat Lucky helps me shop for fabric online

OnlineFabricStore.net: This site carries fabrics from cotton broadcloth to satin charmeuse. Discount and clearance selections are available. Besides apparel fabric, this store carries fabrics for lawn and garden use, upholstery,quilting, and other uses. Explanations ad descriptions are included with each fabric type–and you can get a price quote before you order your fabric by the yard.

Fabric.com: Be sure to check out the “Just Arrived”, “Clearance”, and “Eco-Friendly and Organic”  sections here. You can order swatches for many of the fabrics on this site. One of the site’s newest features is its yarn selection, with brands ranging from Lion Brand to Berrocco. Find sewing machines and free patterns, too!

Find patterns here:

Simplicity.com Great site for experienced and beginner sewers alike. Everything you’ll need–whether you sew, knit, or crochet–from fabric to notions to tutorial videos. Always a good place to visit.

VoguePatterns.McCall.com The “Very Easy Vogue” patterns are truly very easy, yet every bit as stylish as you would expect fromVogue.

BurdaStyle.com An open-source sewing community, this site offers downloadable patterns–some free, some to purchase. Includes tutorials and forums. Great European styles.

As you can see, you can find your fabrics, patterns, and notions–and even community–on these and other sites. I still wait for the return of small, local shops, but I’m glad I can still shop and “visit” online! Have fun!

Knitting With Intention: Shawl Ministry

Although knitting is usually a quiet, solitary pastime, the craft can connect us with others. One of the best ways is through what is called a “shawl ministry” or “prayer shawl ministry”. Often–but not necessarily–organized through a church, a shawl ministry is a group of knitters or chrocheters dedicated to making shawls for those in need–such as hospital patients, those who are grieving, or the homeless. The group of knitters/chrocheters may simply be several friends who meet at someone’s home.

A prayer shawl is different from other shawls because it is created with intention–that is, the knitter usually prays for or reflects on the person who will receive the shawl. The shawl pattern itself may involve spiritual symbols; for example, a Christian-themed pattern stitches may be based on multiples of three, to symbolize the Trinity.

For more information and ideas, visit ShawlMinistry.com. This site emphasizes the “inclusive, unconditionally loving” spirit with which these shawls are made. You’ll find a Patterns and Instruction page with easy knit or crochet instructions. I made the knitted version for a friend, and it made up very easily and quickly.

If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in someone’s life with your craft, think about creating prayer shawls. You’ll be blessed!