Saturday, January 28, 2017

Artful Prayer

I love that I can incorporate art into my prayer life.  Lent is coming!  Last year the project I came up with was prayer flags which we invited the parishioners to get involved with.  We had crazy busy coffee hours after Sunday services with adults and children cutting fabric, drawing, painting, name it.  We strung the flags and hung them up between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.  So...when do people pray more if not during Lent?  We have lots to pray about.  This year the project is prayer tags.  These are made from the manila shipping tags you buy in a store like Staples.  This morning I spent time making some so everyone will get some ideas on what the possibilities are.  I have beads, buttons, fabric scraps, rubber stamps, paint, collage, etc.  They are colorful and fun and the prayer intentions will be written on the back and will hang on a large board for display and actually taken into church to pray with.  There's no limit to how many tags anyone wants to do.  The wonderful part about a project like this is that while you're making your tag, you're thinking about the people/cause that is near and dear to your heart.  Can't wait to make some more!

JANUARY - Recording History

Boomer Showing Solidarity
for the Women's March

Duly Noted - Election day

CAUCUS - cawcus
Lots of noise in Washington

Boomer and I meet
nice people on our walks
Boomer and I went for a walk this week and met Ann, a grandmother visiting her family here and she was walking with her grandson.  So we ended up walking together!  It was so nice.  Her grandson had on his yellow rubber boots and chatted up a storm.  I'm at the very back of my journal so it doesn't lay flat anymore.  That makes it difficult to take a photo.  So February will start a new book!
Pages I retrieved from a water damaged book
These beautiful pages were from the inside front and back of a hard bound book that was donated to our local library.  The book itself was water damaged so unable to be set aside for our book fair.  Before putting it in the recycling box, I did save these papers to use in my journals.  So beautiful.   Volunteering at my library definitely has its advantages. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reflecting on neglecting.....

Sunday Morning
I've been neglecting my blog.  It's already January 15!  The photo is my church...I do a lot of reflecting there, needless-to-say.  I'm still rolling around in thoughts of what do I want to paint, what do I want to say.  I'm not short on fact, probably have too many of them.  What do I want to DO????

While I'm thinking of my next painting subjects, I want to share some things I've come across.  I started volunteering at my library recently.  We have a HUGE book fair each year and people generously donate their books (albeit, some donate them because they're moldy and it's the easiest way to get rid of them.  Sigh).  But it also gives volunteers a first peek at the books and what an amazing variety to be found.  Here's one that I wanted,
This lovely book is from the UK.  Because I'm a person who loves art journals and sketchbooks, this  book appeals to me.  Not so much the gardening aspect,
but the pages in this book look handwritten.  It seems that perhaps photos were taken of the writer's actual written pages to achieve this effect.  Her watercolors

are actually quite nice.  And there was another book that came into my possession.  Not a book for resale as it's someone's personal journal or diary.
I am fascinated by what must be the story behind this journal.  It covers six months starting in the spring of 1977.  The day before my birthday in fact.  It's written by a 20 something year old Jewish female named Sue.  And it's an interesting read.  She writes about her Jewish heritage, her love of jazz and going to the beach, her friends, the NYC blackout, Son of Sam (for those of you old enough to remember), her job search, wanting to be in love.  And here and there she has glued in cartoons, news articles, doodles, quotes.  I haven't finished reading it, but I feel like it could be a play, a retrospect if you will.  I'm enjoying it. 

But here's the rub....I'm guessing Sue was in her early twenty's (perhaps a couple of years younger than I) so how did this journal end up donated to a book fair in a neighboring town?  What person who kept journals would do that?  Peeking at the last page, she says it's "time to start a new journal."  What happened to her other journals as I suspect there are definitely more.  Sue would be in her 60's now if she's still alive.  I can only suspect that this journal was with a "bunch of old stuff" that someone was cleaning out and it wasn't Sue.  I can only hope Sue found her perfect job, fell in love and lived happily ever after listening to jazz and enjoying many days at the beach.  At least that's my hope for her.
Moving on, as I'm trying to catch up here....

My sister sent me this picture she had of Boomer, my dog, that she had been playing with in photoshop.  I love it so I bought a frame this weekend and I'm getting ready to hang it up.
I haven't done any art to speak of, just the doodled flowers above so I could see how some of my new watercolors look. 

And I did this fun envelope (left) and enclosed a small collage for my sister, Dianne.  Thought it might be fun to exchange artful snail mail each month.  I painted a snow scene on the envelope, cut out the cute Mary Engelbreit painting and added a snowflake stamp (bottom right). 
And last but  not least, we always try to start the new year off with better eating habits, so....CHEERS to the New Year!