Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swap Art - Asian Triptych & White on White

Asian Triptych
I participated in two Paper Traders Swaps lately. The first is my contribution to the Asian Triptych exchange. The first image shows my card closed along with the envelope for it.

The second image is of the inside. The little girls pop up when you open it so it becomes 3-dimensional and will stand by itself.
White on White
Next we have some ATCs I made for the White on White swap I hosted. The single one is an ATC I made some time ago featuring my granddaughters when they were little girls (they are young ladies now!) I posted it as an example of how using various shades and textures can give dimension to a monochromatic art piece.
Below are the ones I made for the swap. They all feature layers of patterned organza over white flower petals (hard to see in the scan), embellished with ribbon, pearl buttons, beads, lacy motifs, baby photos and clear word stickers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do You Remember?


Lest we Forget...

Nine years ago our president addressed the citizens of this great nation. His remarks moved me then, and they still move me today. Whatever your political persuasion, how can you not be moved by the compassion and conviction in his words:

Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us. Our nation, this generation will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage.
We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail...
Peace and freedom will prevail.

....I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
~George W. Bush September 2001

Thursday, September 2, 2010


43 Years!
How can it possibly be forty three years! It seems like only yesterday we were just kids "playing house"! But, it is true, we've been married 43 years today! It has been a fun ride so far and I hope we make as far as Mom and Dad did...they were married 62 years and they still loved each other dearly! I know Dad still misses her sorely.

But now that we are becoming the older generation, it doesn't seem quite right. I don't think of myself as OLD except when I stop to consider my age; although since my health problems last year I know I have really slowed down, just don't have the stamina I used to. Age is one of those things that just creeps up on you when you are busy living your life, I guess. You do realize that you are getting old when your children pass into middle age though! And I now have two over 40.

I remember growing up I thought my parents and aunts and uncles were so old...looking back I realize that they were only in their 30s and 40s when I was a kid! That can't be old, I have kids those ages. All of this brings me to this point...We NEED to enjoy life as it goes along because time waits for no one.

We get so stressed about doing things that don't really count and no one remembers a moment after it is done. Not that we don't have to take care of the necessities, but we also need to stop and "smell the roses". Put the laundry off for a day and go play with the grandkids, take time to have lunch with a friend, take a few minutes to visit a shut-in, call your parents or grandparents on the phone, pause as you meet a friend and give them a hug instead of just a wave across the parking lot. These are the things that put the life in living, and they are the things that will matter when you are old and all you have left are your memories.

When I was young, I never remember people being so negative as they are now. I don't think all this negativity is good for us. For one thing when we only see the negative in things we don't recognize the blessings we have received; and we forget to be grateful. That is important, we must be grateful for what we have. Our attitudes affect our lives more than anything else and being ungrateful is a big part of that, otherwise selfishness creeps in. My mother always said, "Be thankful for what you have, there are children starving in China." Of course we always wondered how come we couldn't just send that hated food to them instead of having to eat it, but there is some truth in there somewhere.

Our parents had just been though a war, they had lived through the depression, they were poor according to today's standards... but they were grateful to be alive. And they were happy, genuinely happy. Even though they worked many more hours than most people do now, t
hey always found time to have fun. They often had friends in to play games or just to "visit", they made time to do things with their kids, siblings, parents and neighbors. And when they worked they did it with a happy heart because they knew the value of a job well done.

I think our priorities have gotten a bit skewed, we think we need more things, but really what we need is better relationships, with our neighbors, with our families and most especially with our God. We need to know that just by the fact that we are sons and daughters of God, that we have value. Who we are matters, what we have doesn't. When our kids were teenagers they thought they "needed" the right things to fit in...that certain brand of shirt, those special sneakers, etc. Are we not guilty of that too when we think we must have a bigger tv or a new car, a better house?

My parents raised six kids in a tiny one bedroom, one bath house with a full basement. Being the only girl, when I got big enough to need my own room, I got the bedroom and Dad made a master bedroom and a "boys" room downstairs for my five brothers. It was more like a barracks...two sets of bunks plus other beds, but it served the purpose and the boys shared it with the hired men too. Whenever company came, the kids slept on the floor so the company could have the beds. No one ever considered that we needed a bigger house, it kept us warm, we had enough to eat, and everyone else was in the same situation it seemed.

In this time of economic trial, I think it might help us all to step back and consider if we really need more things, or do we just want them. Will they bring happiness or just more stress as we try to figure out how to pay for them. We need to recapture the attitude our parents had of being happy just to be alive. To have sons and brothers home from the war. To honor the memory of those lost by being diligent, and patriotic, and cheerful. They had hard times but they didn't dwell on them, they looked forward to a better future and worked to try to build that for their children. Can we do any less? Do we not have a responsibility to pass that same legacy to our own grandchildren?

As I get "older" family becomes more and more precious to me, and things less and less. I wish I had caught that vision when I was younger and stressing over so many needless things. I hope our legacy to our children might be one of setting priorities and putting the people in your lives first, because you never know how long you will have them, and because time waits for no one...and because this is probably the best lesson I have learned in the last 43 years!