Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's EVE!!

Just a quick entry today to officially declare that I do hereby resolve to be better at posting something every week to the blog. I have dreaded saying that "officially" every year, so I just never said it.

However, this year, I really do want to write more.

Stay tuned....for more!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

World Card Making Day!

These are the cards that we'll make on Saturday at my house to celebrate World Card Making Day! Hope you are having a lovely day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is truly lovely?

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. --Philippians 4:8

These pictures are from Mt. Diablo, where you will find the amazing Manzantia Tree. It is a beautiful tree with incredible bark. I can't get enough of photographing it when I go to Mt. Diablo.

I just memorized this verse. Lately I have been struggling with my thought life. I begin to think about things which are really not lovely. I don't mean that I think about an ugly building, or some dead plants that lurk nastily in my yard, or an abandoned house out in the country that is falling down in disrepair. I'm talking about just plain negative, hurtful thoughts about people I love and the situations that I find myself in. I realized that this has been damaging to my spiritual life and growth. Just like nasty, ugly weeds in a garden, those thoughts were choking out the things that I should have been thinking about.

I had also studied this verse from 2Corinthians 10: 5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." It wasn't so difficult to recognize the thoughts that I was having as thoughts which wouldn't really stand up to what Christ would want me to be thinking about. I quickly learned when one of those negative type thoughts came to mind that I should pray and ask God to help me by taking those thoughts which I had started to think and remove them from me. It was working. But soon I found that I was not thinking much of anything else!

Then I came again to the Philippians verse. Now, I can focus my thoughts! I should be thinking about things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Why? So that I can truly worship and glorify Christ.

So, last night when I couldn't sleep, I started calling things to mind which I knew were true as opposed to the things which I had been thinking which really weren't true but were instead those garbage like thoughts.

What I know is true is that God is good all the time, that His word endures forever, that He loves me so much He sent Jesus for payment of my sin, and that because I have chosen to follow Jesus as my savior and Lord I have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me everyday.

What I know is noble is a little harder to come up with. A starting point will be living by God's word instead of the world's standards is noble.

It is much easier to think of things which aren't pure. So, a starting point for purity is to realize that things which don't honor and glorify God should not be things that I think about. This includes gossip! And, it also includes tv shows that I have really enjoyed in the past but I've come to see are purely smutty! My diet of purity beginning now is that I've trimmed off some of my tv, I actually quit reading a fiction book that I had been looking forward to reading.

Thinking about things which are lovely really leads me to God's creation. I'm so glad that God gave us such variety in nature! There is always something new to discover there. The Manzantia tree is where I'm starting my worship this morning.

What do you think might be excellent and praiseworthy to think about? The truth of the matter is that in life many times the only things which you will be able to think about which fit the criterion of Philippians 4:8 are the attributes of God Himself. No person you love will ever fit all the categories, no situation will either. So, when I'm stuck in a pit of darkness, I will be aiming my thoughts up and out of the pit and to the High and Mighty Christ who alone saves me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Doors at the Presidio in San Francisco

All of these doors can be found on the grounds of the Presidio.

Monday, August 29, 2011


This first hat's flowers are made from my favorite shirt that David finally retired. I figured making some flowers with the shirt would allow me to sort of keep the shirt around without having to complain that it was so worn out it should not be seen in public! I learned how to make these flowers from a book I checked out at the library.

The second hat has butterflies that I made using the BigShot Butterfly die. I had to stick the butterfly on the brim with sticky strip, I couldn't stitch it on the brim. The buckle is blingy, encircled with rhinestones. The hats are from Target. I bought a bunch of them on sale for 2.58!! Original price was 9.99. I'm going to try to sell these on etsy. I've got three more to make. I gave one away for a birthday gift yesterday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Golden Gate Photo Essay

View of the bridge from historic Fort Scott parade grounds built in the 1910s.

Historic Fort Point, pre Civil War, beneath the bridge...which had to be built around the Fort.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Deus Ex Machina

In ancient Greek Theatre there was an element called, "Deus Ex Machina". It meant "god in machine" and was utilized by Sophocles and other Greek theatre guys. Sometimes the plot would get sticky and the main characters would find themselves in a situation that was truly impossible to escape or resolve. The play-write would then write in this marvelous machine which would bring a god down from on high to magically sort out the situation and restore all things aright. It was one of my favorite Greek devices because it was so handy to resolve any and all theatrical problems. I distinctly remember in college talking with my theatre buddies about how useful this would be in real life. We would make up situations, many times including exams we didn't study for, which were impossible to come out of smelling like a rose...and then we'd introduce our crazy god-machine and a beautiful resolution to our glitch.

Today in my quiet time something I read made me think again of Deus Ex Machina. This quote is from "Streams in the Dessert" by C.E. Cowman. The reading was talking about how the apostle Paul was often in dire straights. Onetime in Damascus, he had to flee for his life. In order to escape from those who would harm him, Paul's friends hid him in a basket (!!) and lowered the basket over the wall of the town. Once on the other side, Paul clambered out of the basket and ran for his life! Paul also survived a treacherous shipwreck, none of the passengers on the ship died either!

Read here what I read about Paul's shipwreck: "Again we find {Paul} left for months in the lonely dungeons; we find him telling of his watchings, his fastings, and his desertion by friends, of his brutal and shameful beatings, and here even after God has promised to deliver him, we see him for days left to toss upon a stormy sea, obliged to stand guard over the treacherous seaman, and at last when the deliverance comes, there is no heavenly galley sailing from the skies to take off the noble prisoner; there is no angel form walking along the waters and stilling the raging breakers; there is no supernatural sign of the transcendent miracle that is being wrought; but one is compelled to seize a spar, another a floating plank, another to climb on a fragment of the wreck, another to strike out and swim for his life. Here is God's pattern for our own lives.....God's promises and God's providences do not lift us out of the plane of common sense and commonplace trail, but it is through these very things that faith is perfected, and that God loves to interweave the golden threads of His love along the warp and woof of our every day experience." (emphasis mine)

God is not the god of the Greek Deus Ex Machina! God is the very wise God who knows that if He were to come and remove us from the sticky situations of life we would be none the wiser, no more mature, no more faith-filled, and no more trusting of Him than before we got into the sticky situation!

I loved being reminded this morning of my theatre knowledge, but I loved even more seeing how faithful my God is. He allows me to be sticky in the sticky messy situation so that I can grow all the more beautiful in Him. He is not absent, He is not ignorant, He is not malicious! He loves me so much that he allows me to be sticky in His presence. He equips me to get un-sticky through the power of His very Holy Spirit.

Praise God for my Jesus who did come down to earth and does know all about sticky messy lives, yet loves us in spite of that, even died to save us from the eternal consequences.


Friday, August 19, 2011


I'm taking a fun class at Big Picture Classes dot com. It is a 12 day class. Each day we are assigned a word to scrapbook, the end result will be a 12 page book of "Words to Live By". So far the words have been: Share, Wonder, Less, and Enjoy. I haven't finished the page for Enjoy yet. I think my favorite page so far is what I created for Less. I wanted to talk about having less control of things in my life. For some reason the idea of an acrostic of "C O N T R O L" seemed like just what I wanted. I used a picture of a crazy looking flower that I took at Legoland for my background paper. Then, I used my digi scrapping program to do the rest. I am striving for less control, not less childlike faith.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August Already?

I should go back through my blog since I started and find out how many times I've said something like, "Wow, where has the time gone!?" I'm thinking it would be something I've said almost as many times as I have posted.

Time has flown this spring into summer and on into school planning already!

I have taken hundreds of pictures since last I posted. The above monogram was a door hanging that I made for my friend Carla for her 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. I collaborated with a local guy for the wood letters. Carla's instructions were "something with silver and Jeff's and my letters". So, pretty wide open instructions! I liked how the end result turned out. I ended up hanging it on Carla's door on the 4th of July weekend.

Since then, well, a month has gone by. A month crammed with lots of stuff. I was describing what's been going on in my life to a friend by saying that it rather felt like someone picked up my fruit basket, tossed it up in the air and yelled, "CATCH" at me. So much fruit was flying above me that I couldn't seem to grab just one piece of fruit and I ended up missing most of the fruit. AND, I don't juggle!

My husband has been going through some job stress for some time now; who hasn't been there lately? My children are growing at a predictable, but scary fast, rate. High School is half over for my eldest already! Our lives are on a path that we've never been on before. I find myself saying, "It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out".

I'm going to remember Summer 2011 for a long time. So much has been happening. I hope that someday really soon I'll be able to say that it was a real turning point in our lives and that we have seen God clearly through all of the turns.

Hopefully the fruit has all quit flying for a while and I'll be able to pick it all up and return some to the fruit basket for eating, some to the compost heap, and maybe even share some of the remaining good fruit with friends.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Flowers of Spring and Cherry Blossoms!

These lovely tulips and daffodils are on the corner at a neighbor's house. I love the skinny tulips!

A Honey Bee busy at work. When there weren't any cars whizzing by me, I could hear the very loud hum of a multitude of bees.
These are not the famous Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. But, I think they might rival the ones there. These are on Sycamore Valley Road, close to my house. I took these pictures on Thursday when almost 75% of the blooms were open. Today, only two days later, all the blooms have blossomed, and lots have even fallen off already with new green leaves quick behind them. Enjoy my pictures!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bird Migration! Spring IS on the way!

This American Robin seemed to be a tag-a-long with the flock of over 200 Cedar Waxwing birds that stopped in our backyard this last weekend. There was a smaller flock of Robin along with the Cedar Waxwings.
There were so many Cedar Waxwings that it truly was difficult to catch a close-up of just one bird. They enjoyed flying to and fro between the trees with the little berries and the big Cedar trees in our yard. I think they were enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet!
The markings of the Cedar Waxwing are striking! I love the mask around their eyes, it's not just black, but outlined with white. Their tails have yellow feathers at the end. The marking for which they are named is the red "wax drip" on their secondary wing feathers. Their bellies are a buff yellowish color. I had seen them dashing back and forth in the yard while I was sitting on the couch in the house looking out to the backyard. I had heard the Robins outside earlier, so I just thought that it was Robins. But when I looked closely, through the raindrops, I saw the Cedar Waxwings on the Cedar tree. I dashed outside to first hear the birds and then see the massive amount of them!

They would take breaks from berry eating by perching in the naked Sycamore tree in our front yard. It was really impossible to count them all!

If anyone can tell me what type of tree this is, I'd love to know! I don't have a tree book and I'm not sure where to find it on the web.
Aren't they beautiful!? God is so amazing. When I did the Bible Lesson for the Level 3 kids at BSF I was able to use these birds as an illustration of how we can see God in His creation. Hope you have a wonderful day. Take these birds as notice that Spring is on it's way my East Coast friends!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Out from under winter

I made this wreath for Valentine's Day. Using old book pages is quite trendy these days. You know already how I feel about that! The base of the wreath is a wire form that I wrapped book pages around and taped them on. Then, I made giant rosettes of book pages, just like I did for the pennant banner that I showed you how to make in an earlier post. I hot glued the rosettes onto the wire frame. I made a center plaque with a piece of chipboard that I covered with a book page. I embellished that with L O V E and some ribbon. I glued a wrinkly piece of pink scrap paper on the back of the chipboard and then stuck that with hot glue onto the wreath.
I gave this wreath to Carla for her front door as a hostess gift for having friends in to make Valentine cards. There were ten of us who got together to make 6 Valentine cards! Here are five of them. The sixth one was camera shy. So, I'll post a picture of it in a day or two. Three of the cards were little mini ATCs. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. They measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches and are lots of fun to make.

Have a great day!