Saturday, September 29, 2012

Defending the Nation's Capital

Fort Washington, Maryland on the Potomac River- 
completed in 1809-
 destroyed in 1814-
remodeled and ready in 1846,
reinforced in 1891,
 and abandoned in 1939.
Our sure defenses here on earth - 
fail, and finally stand unarmed.

 We stopped by briefly last week for a walk along the water-
and in the far distance is Washington, D.C

and in this time of political rhetoric that assails us--
 I am reminded of where our sure defense lies-
and though we may only be familiar
 with the first part of the Serenity Prayer-
 the second part gives reassurance 
of the sure hope that we have in our trust in Christ.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, 
and the wisdom to know the difference  --
living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace,
taking as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it,
trusting that he will make all things right
if I surrender to His will --
that I may be reasonably happy in this life\
and supremely happy with Him forever.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Accordion-Fold Paper Wreath

Accordion-fold pleated paper Wreath
 with Fall leaves and Bible verses
and this is how I made it:

Beautiful book with beautiful pages-
from our local library book sale-
if you wait till the end -
they are $5 for whatever
 you can get into a large grocery bag
Been wanting to play with paper for a new wreath base and here is how it goes:  found a great book written in French with a great leather cover- (another project)  but loved the texture and coloring of the book pages.

Pages were about 5 inches
 so began by making 5 inch squares

Paper cutter and 5 inches

Accordion fold about one inch- just make 5 folds-
 didn't want it to be exact

 or use the Martha Stewart scorer

Fold some horizontal-

 and the ripped edges are just fine

I had a 12 inch wreath base from Paper Source
from a friend and took some of the same paper
 and used Mod Podge to cover the base
 so you don't have to be SOOO careful in trying to cover it all

could also cut out a circle-
about 1  1/2 inch wide out of heavy cardboard
  DO this early in your project time 
and it can be dry when
 you are ready to attach the paper folds

OK  back to the folding-
 just fold in half and secure inside
 with a small piece of double sided sticky tape

Make a PILE of these
Then take four of them
 (with insides already secured) and make a fan shape-
 securing with tape
There should be randomness to the writing
 and the blank paper.
Attach with glue gun-
 will need to push insides close
 and even overlapping and outside spaced-
  this is making something straight fit a circle-
so remember that takes some finesse

(photo shows wreath base before
 I decided it needed to be 

covered with the same paper)

also at the top of the wreath
make a jute hanger to hang

 it before putting on last pleat

used a leaf stencil to cut leaves
 from the same book pages
downloaded it from Martha Stewart
Painted them with 3 fall color combos-
still can see the writing through the paint-
 and I don't usually use my kitchen counter as a paint base
but it plopped out of the bottle when I squeezed-
 and when you have gold laminate----
 well nothing much matters there anymore)
Painted leaves
Took another leaf and Mod-Podged
 one to each painted leaf to give substance
Painted extra pages
 to use for the labels on the leaves
Made 5 sets of leaves

Had 2 printed Bible verses from another project
 and uses Distress ink on the edges
and attached them with tape-
 slightly rounded or raised for dimension
Another Bible verse leaf
Used Emboss ink for 2 stamps

Used Gold embossing powder and heat set
Tear paper towards you
 to give the white edges for contrast
Another stamp- do the same
Count your Blessings
Hole punch top of leaf-
string with jute to make dangles-
 which are actually just hung
on the nail that holds the wreath-
this way the wreath base
 can work for multiple seasons-

 just make new
Overlapping and placement of leaves

This wreath had 35 accordion pleats with 4 pages each - so it took 140 pages of folded paper.

Trying to get a Sunny day to get a better photo of wreath- but Mr. Sun is just not cooperating.

Have fun with your wreath creation!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Give thanks in ALL things

The jumble of fall colors - the dried hydrangea

Stacked books- felted pumpkin
 and the texture of hydrangeas
It's the contrasts that I love about Fall-
the berries, the gourds
add wire and vintage crochet--
it delights my spirit
It is truly the herald to "nesting"
 of gathering close and
holding near
And on the kitchen wall is the canvas
made with
paper napkins and a verse our family
clung to six years ago this weekend.

How do you rejoice always?
In everything give thanks?

it is simply trust
then obedience
then waiting

 to see what God works,

creates and redeems-
 six years later.

And in THAT-
we too
give thanks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

No idea where I'm going

An early evening view of the red mandevilla
and pink crape myrtle fringe
This profusion of color is still so summer
  and I want to pull out the bronze, gold, and tangerines

Sometimes it is really about being calm right where you are.
  I was reminded that in this time of centering- 
it is OK not to see the path,
 and even to be calm in the dim lighting.

One of my favorite prayers was written by
 Thomas Merton
 in his “Thoughts From Solitude”. 

 “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am
following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

If you have hung around me for any time- you know this is my favorite prayer and has been for a long time.....

So I will graciously love this riotous display
 of late summer color-
knowing that
 when it is time

the colors will fade and a beautiful-
 more subdued color will paint the landscape.
As I continue days of watching and waiting and Listening.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Legacy Prayer

Cherubs in the Garden-
Always reminds me of our Three daughters

And the life focus to See Them: in Our Eternal Home

And the influence of my mother- Katherine
Who never failed to Give God the Glory
 and remind me of God's faithfulness

And it is never mediocre but always GREAT
And gave encouragement
as we tried to figure out how to live as FAMILY

Thursday, September 13, 2012


In the time of seeing what the plan for ministry is for me.....

 I learn names.  I meet people.  I pray for them.  I lift them up to the Lord.

Psalm 119:2
 for the Flannery family
Acts 2:39
 for the DeMik family
And think about projects just waiting to happen

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Postscript

Late summer begonias-
fully knowing

 there is a forecast for cooler days soon

The yellow croton- the variant markings
 and shadings on just one plant
Liriope in bloom
each delicate lavendar petal

A friend sent me this excerpt from a book she was reading:

In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day:
 How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars by Mark Batterson.
It is based on 2 Samuel 23: 20-21.
Here's what Batterson writes . . . 
People who live in prayer mode see opportunities that other people don't even notice. Your spirtual antenna is up and your radar is on. In fact, the Aramaic mode for prayer, slotha, means "to set a trap." Prayer helps us to catch the opportunities God throws our way. Living in prayer mode is the difference between seeing coincidence and providence. Your job is to see and seize those opportunities by tuning in to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. And you'll be amazed at the way those Spirit whispers get you to where God wants you to go.

Maybe in the whisper of a sunset there is a prayer-
                                              a wide open net of Opportunity