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I peeked Under the Christmas Tree

December 20, 2017

and my Christmas gift came early.

In the corner of my daughter and son-in-law’s home the tall, fresh cut Douglas fir was lit by twinkling white lights that cast a soft glow on an assortment of homemade and specially bought ornaments. I relaxed in the wing back chair taking in a quiet moment the other day when something under the tree caught my eye.

A card made from red construction paper had been placed carefully under the tree. It was the large printed letters that caused me to kneel among the evergreen boughs and piney scent of fresh cut fir. There were no frilly bows or dangled loops of ribbon. No sparkle and glitz yet the package had been carefully planned for someone special.

Kneeling low to catch a glimpse inside, I touched the pages to open it slightly.  Large printed words, the tell-tale signs of a 7-year-old’s handwriting helped me recognize the sender of this special gift.

My heart skipped a beat and what I saw changed me.  The gift wasn’t a traditional gift at all but a lasting promise made by a Creator God.  Tears pooled in my Nana eyes when I read:

“Cast your cares on Him because he cares for you.”

She listened carefully when I read from my Bible, and remembered the verse in 1 Peter 5:7. Pouring into her she is now pouring into her own family and keeping God’s word close, in her heart. When thinking of the most precious gift she could give her family, she gave the gift of truth, the promises in God’s word. My granddaughter, Maddy, is learning to love the Lord like I do at such a young and tender age.  Lord, keep her close to you, all the days of her life, I pray, Amen.



Every Leaf Speaks Bliss to Me

November 11, 2017

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

He’ll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch and he respects sincerity.”

I still have the Charles M. Schultz paperback I purchased in grade school “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy.” Who remembers watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?”  Do you realize the story is a metaphor for faith?  You might say Linus had the faith of a mustard seed…  Read the rest of the story here.

Operation Christmas Child

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that uses gift-filled shoe boxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world! Go here for instructions about what to put in a box and to find a drop-off site near you. I did this with my grandchildren last year and it was an opportunity to experience how good it feels to give!


Hiking into an old-growth forest we expected to find towering trees and intertwining limbs affecting a heavy, green blanket of shade with only small slits of light peeking through. Instead, at Larch Mountain Crater near the Columbia River Gorge the devastation was quick and invasive yet, it didn’t breathe the telltale signs of a forest fire, there were no stumpy limbs and charred remains. What was it that snuffed life from here?

Rising through death and decay, green leaves sprouted vibrant against the base of pithy, bark less trees, birthing new life . . . ferns, trilliums, wood sorrel and rhododendrons. Like new twigs topped with shoots of green branching up towards light and life, I’m reminded of the new life God gives us because of Christ’s cross-shaped sacrifice. Death buried deep and new signs of life reveal Himself in me.

Quotable –  one of my favorites!

“We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands.”   Dr. Brene Brown

What will you make this season?

Join me next month when I post photos of our 2nd Annual Sibling Craftapalooza!  Last year we made Norwegian villages and shared them with each other via video on Facebook. This year the challenge is to create a Gingerbread House. I have some creative siblings. Somehow Stacie made real smoke come from the chimney of her house last year!

Art from the Heart

When Summer Beckons Fall

October 31, 2017

I love to look at leaves when they first change color and there’s still a hint of fading summer green. Soon it will be forgotten by the shock of yellow, orange and red.  Conversations about changing relationships caught my attention last week.


Even changes that are anticipated, such as a parent growing old, can catch our hearts off guard.  It feels too soon, roles reverse and you realize what you once had will never be the same.  When a child leaves home, the quiet you longed for all those years is deafening.

Do you wonder, what will winter bring? Will I feel loved? Will life still have purpose?

Oh, Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you from childhood. Psalm 71:5

I look at things differently because I believe God is in control, although I haven’t always acted that way. He is interested in all of us. God wants to come along side and help us live life in this world.

Will you ask Him to help you?


I hope you’ve enjoyed this month-long series, Create. Art from the Heart. A passion for creating is fueled by my inspiration, a journey to feeling God’s Love.  God has moved me from Faith to a daily transformation of my heart. I feel God’s Love the most when I’m surrounded by His creation.

Thank you for stopping by, if you’ve missed a post go here Create. Art from the Heart.


Art from the Heart

Create. Hand Bound Journal Inside Pages

October 22, 2017

We are almost done!

This video reviews how I made the pieces I’ll embellish the Hand Bound Journal with.

List of products used:

Tim Holtz Collection, layering stencil, honeycomb []

Ranger Mini-ink blending tool (pouncers) []

Stampabilities rubber stamp, Jesus [Hobby Lobby]

Ranger Distressed Oxide Ink, Abandoned Coral

Black pigment ink

Score-it tool

Sizzix If you don’t have a die cut machine, craft stores sell pre-cut die cut pieces.



The Exquisite God-Breathed Beauty of Creation

October 18, 2017

Creation provokes a desire in me to drink it all in, to absorb every detail of a painted sky, sunlight filtered through a spring leaf, the soothing lull of ocean waves and a birds song in a faraway tree.

This trip to the Grand Canyon had been on my bucket list for some time. I’m blessed that my two sisters and “Jimmy G” asked me to join their road trip! There really are no words to describe this canyon. We caught a glimpse from the car window and kept driving and driving and it was still there!

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” Genesis 1:1 NLT

I walked slowly up to the edge taking it all in. I’ll never forget how small it made me feel.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing…and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:21 NLT

In nature, I feel the presence of God and I leave refreshed, my mind is clear and ready to face life.

“The Lord merely spoke and the Heavens were created. He breathed the word and all the stars were born.” Psalm 33:6 NLT

Far from city lights, I remember as a child lying in a field and looking up at the tiny lights that dotted the night sky. 

On my bucket list, to see the night sky.

Do you remember a moment that inspired you?



Art from the Heart

How to Add a Pop of Color with Flowers on the cheap!

October 17, 2017

Welcome to Art from the Heart! 

I hope you’ve done some creating!  I’d love to see your finished work, send me a photograph! 

Today we are going to turn silk flowers into a pop of color to display in a living room, bathroom even a kitchen. I promise you’ll love it like ship lap!

On the Cheap!

I purchased the two metal vases at Goodwill for under $5.00. I will admit, I usually have to look a couple places to find almost exactly what I’m looking for. But this time, I went to one Goodwill after work and there they were! I purchased the silk flowers at Craft Warehouse, five bundles for $2.00 each. They are not the expensive brand but not the cheapest either. They were on clearance (after summer clearance?) and I used a $5.00 off coupon.

I want just the flowers to show and at the same height so I used garden clippers to clip them away from the bunch. At that point they were too short for the tall vase.


I stuffed newspaper in the bottom of the vase to bring up the height. I saved the shortest flowers for the shorter vase! Now, the plastic and fake looking leaves are hidden and you are left with a great pop of color!



Art from the Heart

Hand Bound Journal continued

October 16, 2017


The three short videos below show measuring and cutting the inside paper, attaching the paper to the book and assembling pieces to use to embellish your book.

Video measuring and cutting paper and decorative paper


Video Attaching paper to book

OOOPS!  One last video for today: Gather ephemera embellishments

Someone asked, okay. Ephemera is:

“items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.”

Like a ticket stub or a library card! Think Upcycle!

Goodness, one learns a lot when you watch yourself on video…who knew I had such a hand and finger habit?

If you have questions, suggestions, leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Join me next week for the final installment – the fun part-It’s all fun! We’ll decorate the inside of the book. This is where your heart shows through!




Art from the Heart

Hand Bound Journal Cover Page

October 15, 2017


This is the third installment of our hand bound journal project. There will be 3 videos published this week to guide you into decorating the front cover, attaching the inside pages and tips to look for items to embellish your book with. The fourth video, embellishing the book, will be available next week.


printer paper, for inside paper

2-sided heavy card stock printed or solid (one sheet is needed per paper folder)

Waxy flax thread

paper and materials for cover

4 small eyelets (If you are making a larger book with additional paper, you will punch more holes in spine and use more eyelets and more waxy flax)


Paper cutter

Ruler, pencil

Adhesive tape gun or other adhesive tape roller (permanent adhesive)

Heavy duty paper punch

Video 1

Art from the Heart

To Be a Noticer Takes Time

October 13, 2017

Stop what you are doing, get out of your routine. If you’re standing, crouch low. This is what I saw the other day when I sat on the floor with my granddaughter.


She’s just learning to sit up by herself. I see dimples and piano fingers!



This is that scarlet runner bean I keep talking about. Who knew when I opened it the bean inside would be varied shades of lavender and purple? Aren’t they delicately beautiful? By the way, you can eat the green bean when it’s in its tender green stage. Or, wait for the bean to dry, harvest the beans inside and cook them or add them to soup! As the bean dries they change from lavender or purple to a rich dark brown with black markings.

I challenge you this week to observe, become aware of, detect, spot and notice. Reply in comments what it is you noticed today!




Art from the Heart

Kindness is the Greatest Wisdom

October 11, 2017

That fabulous scarlet runner pole bean in our garden this summer, I’m drying the seeds for next year. Find out more here, at the Good Life.  Beans are a good crop to start with if you’ve never dried seeds before. Yay!

It’s Trendy

Today, pink high top Converse tennis shoes start at $55 a pair. In 1973, they were red, at the local Wigwam, and I probably paid $7.99 for my first pair. Did you know Converse first became a thing in 1908? Wish I still had those red tennies.



In my craft closet I have a rubber stamp that is well inked and missing a corner, “kindness is the greatest wisdom.” If this is a famous quote, I don’t know who said it. But I know who said it first.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Jesus’ life is an example for us. He spoke to religious leaders, lepers and government officials with the same kindness. He didn’t judge, but his parables instructed in a way that everyone could understand. His story telling opposed the sin and not the sinner.   

This week I couldn’t choose just one quotable quote. You’ll see what I mean.

“Only speak words that make souls stronger.” Holley Gerth

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Frederick Beuchner, author, theologian

Look at your own life and see if it isn’t so.

Note to self. Embrace kind.