Saturday, December 26, 2009

Retraction

A few days ago I posted a list of 10 simple pleasures. I would like to amend item #10: the first snowfall.
The first snowfall this year did not come softly and gently. It was not magical. Well, not unless it was sent by some Harry Potter-type villian. It was extreme, agressive, nearly violent. I did not like it Sam-I-Am. I did not like the first snowfall. I did not like it, not at all!!

The wind was fierce, first assaulting last-minute shoppers with cold, biting rain, then stabbing ice pellets, then blizzardy-snow. Brrrrr! It created 2-3' drifts in front of our garage. We had to shovel snow just to get the car out. Christmas Eve services were canceled all over the state and travelers stranded. Many a Christmas tradition was broken this year.
  So, simple pleasure #10 (first snowfall) will be replaced with:
the warmth of a wooden deck under my feet in early summer.

missouri vacation hotel

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time for a List

10 simple pleasures in no particular order.

A new, big novel to read.
Pull-through parking spaces. (bonus: close to the door.
Tuesday evening coffee, talking, & book browsing at Barnes.
Dinner with good friends.
Thursday nights: carry-in supper & watching trashy tv together.
Gazing at the Christmas tree when the house is all quiet.
Photography outings.
Convertible rides.
When all is well with loved ones.
The first snow of the season - magical. (bonus: when they close the office because of it!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiny Pieces of Broken Glass

"...when it's all said & done, we're all just tiny pieces of broken glass reflecting as best we can the majesty and power of God." ~The Christmas Prodigal, by Bert Williams

This is a powerfully understated line from a play written by a friend that was presented at church this weekend. The story is about a woman who has experienced the most intense crisis of faith there is: disappointment & disillusionment in her father - her heavenly Father.

She has a sort of "Christmas Carol" visitation. In this scene, the homeless man she snubbed earlier tells her to look up. The heavens don't open with glorious light & choirs of angels. What she sees is a disco ball. I loved that the author stated the obvious rather than try to pass off disco ball effects as something more cosmic :)

 
The homeless man uses it as an object lesson to explain how Christians - imperfect, flawed, mortal - are a reflection of God in this world. A a single bright light shines on the ball, each little mirror reflects it outward in countless directions. The synergetic effect is dazzling. Each reflection is different because each piece of glass is different and imperfect, even though they're reflecting the same light. The homeless man tells her that no one is perfect and no one gets the reflection exactly right.
The woman's anger at God was caused by her father's death. She believed he would be healed and live because he had been a good Christian all his life and she was praying for him, too. But it didn't happen and she is shattered. The homeless man tells her she has a choice: was she going to "look at his life as an example to follow or look at his death as a failure of faith." Choose, he says. Life or death?

Why would he ask her that? Obviously, she was already a Christian, even though she was angry with God. We all get angry with God. Even David vented a few times in the Psalms. But to stay angry, bitter, disappointed, disillusioned, is to choose a living death instead of the joyful, contented life God wants you to have.

What do you choose? The light is shining on you anyway, my fellow piece of broken glass. You might as well choose life and reflect joy. It's so much more fun that way!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Ice Empress

I just finished my 4th doll - but my first all on my own. I bought a Patti Culea pattern & modified it a little. The costume just evolved as I went along. I had something in mind; in fact, I bought a certain fabric but ended up not using it. That's how the creative process works sometimes!When I saw the snowflake ornament for a miniature Christmas tree, I thought "winter fairy crown", then spied the feathery 'hair' and off we went!
All the fabric is from my stash. Which is one of the reasons I got interested in art dolls - I already have so much fabric & trims and thought this would be a great way to use them. I probably only have about $7 in this doll. Her 'skin' is a silvery-frosted white cotton. The bodice is a beautiful pearlescent sequined fabric. The skirt is torn organza covered in silver stars; the train is lame'. Trims are pieces of Christmas flower picks, as is her scepter.
I love Patti Culea designs. Her dolls are so whimsical; all arms & legs. I didn't achieve the big rounded eyes, but her signature Angelina Jolie mouth is there.
This was such an enjoyable project and completely relaxing as I sank into my colorful fantasy world of shiny, sparkly, funky little creatures!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lights On at Utica Square

Hope you all had a wonderful Carbs 'n TurkeyFest Day, full of joy and thanksgiving for the good things in your life. After our family feasting, we decided to join in a local tradition - the Lights On celebration that officially kicks off the shopping mayhem of the season. It takes place at an upscale, outdoor mall in what I affectionately like to call "Old Money Tulsa." Some of the stores had beautiful holiday displays. Some were more understated, but ready to receive your cash nonetheless.
This has nothing to do with the holidays or Lights On; I just absolutely loved this woman's profile. Lights were on in this parking garage.Lights were on in this old fashioned phone booth. It actually works. Quite charming.Lights were on the statues outside PF Chang's.Lights were on in the sky. The moon peeks through some remaining leaves.The street lights were on and illuminating a tree strung with miniature lights. Just waiting for......the Main Event! Fa La La La La!
And so it begins.

Finished Project!

So, I probably haven't told you about the art doll workshop I went to early this month. I belong to a local club of the most fun ladies (& one retired engineer. go figure.) I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are so talented and so generous with their knowledge, materials, and time. And so full of joy in the art of art doll creation! (check out our blog here)
This was my second workshop - as fun and informative as the first. The doll is supposed to be a high-fashion lady of the art deco style. I started off with a black evening outfit, but after sewing it, realized it was all wrong with the accessories we were making. This is when having a fabric stash pays off!
We learned how to make tiny, delicate hands & paint them to look like she was wearing leather gloves.

OK, so now for the mess-ups confessional: She's wearing leather, high heeled shoes (cut from an old glove) and "gaters". Oh, I should have added the words "supposed to be" to that sentence. No way was I going to sew the teeny, tiny beads on her calf that would give the button-up gater effect. Uh uh. Then I messed up the heels. Then I didn't care for the placement of the holes in the base, so I drilled another one. Hmm, how to cover up these mistakes? Ah ha! She's wearing gloves, fur, & carrying a muff - it must be winter. Make it look like she's walking in snow. Unfortunately, it looks like she's walking in a bubble bath. Or maybe she's walking on Cloud 9! She should be - her ankles were fat & she had big feet; she's so happy I covered them, right?!
Oh, the learning curve of new hobbies! I didn't finish the doll in class and I was pre-occupied with sewing the body when everyone else was making the hat & hair. (yeah, I'm always behind in any new class I take.) But it didn't look hard. Until I tried to do it at home. I realized I didn't have the faintest idea how to do hair and the hat pattern wasn't working out for me either. Time to improvise - glue a wad of packaged doll curls on her head & cover them up with a modified hat.

One thing I am happy with is her eyes. I love sculpting the faces and shading the eyes. I had difficulty making the mouth. The instructor worked on that for me. An interesting observation: I notice that many dolls somehow resemble their makers. I've always paid more attention to my eye makeup than anything else; and I hate lipstick. I never wear it. I'm not surprised I have trouble with doll mouths.
There are so many mistakes and some really bad workmanship on this doll. As with anything I make, that's what I tend to focus on. I'm so glad our Maker doesn't focus on our flaws. We are created in His image, and therefore we're beautiful and complete in Christ Jesus. If we would choose to see ourselves and each other with the eye of faith and the grace and mercy of our Lord, we might be a bit happier, don't you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day Trippin'

Better get these last few autumn color shots in before the first freeze, which the weather-wizards have been prognosticating all week.
Right about the color-peak we took a little day trip to the Ft. Gibson / Talequah area.A view of Ft.Gibson Dam. Why are dams so darn fascinating?

Talequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
The street signs are written in both English & Cherokee.
A little park in Talequah. Aren't those stairs interesting? Wonder where they go?Lest you think we don't have hills out here...!
Remember my Great Bison Hunt? I finally found one. Not on the wondrous Tall Grass Prairie of northern OK, but in someone's yard around Ft. Gibson! I made my husband turn the car around and go back so I could snap this picture. He's such a trooper when I'm being Miss Daisy.
This must be the Bison's BFF. How would you like to pooper-scoop this yard?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Color Moods

Pondering more on the story color creates in ordinary objects.
For example - this is obviously an old farm tool. The tone suggests a time gone by. A paradox of a simple yet harder life. The people are gone, the tool remains, neglected and rusting.
Now it seems 'in the present', as if an amateur photographer was passing by and stopped to snap an interesting object then moved on down the road. End of story. But maybe the next person will see use for this tool. Maybe it still has purpose. An element of hope? Or just an object of fleeting interest? Same setting wildly colorized. A carnival for Munchkins with a lime-green ferris wheel, a roller coaster in the background and blueberry edible grass!


Meloncholy/pensive.
Momentary/affirming.
Whimsical/imaginative.
See, told ya color tells a story :)

Every Picture Tells a Story

Isn't it interesting how color can be used to depict time, emotion, or story?

What do you see here? Is there a story? Does it remind you of a time period?
Comments welcome!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to Autumn

The warm, sunshine of fall came in November this year, not October. But it was very welcome, nonetheless. Today, however, is classic dreary gray November. Time to remember the color & beauty of the past few weeks.
 

What does a rusty bucket have to do with fall foiliage? Nothing, just thought it was an interesting shot. Rust is a fall color, right?

Same rusty can with a splash of red nearby.

This little boat probably won't see much action for awhile.

Enjoyed a hayride & cookout with some friends.

This was an interesting thing to come upon when we stopped by the river to photograph the scenery... didn't make me want to hang around there very long!

Looks like the party's over...and the holidays are right around the corner!