Monday, March 28, 2011

Inspiration / collaboration

If you've never seen the movie The Secret of the Kells, you must. It's mesmerizing. This story is a fictionalized animation of a young monk named Brendan and the creation of the Book of Kells. Nothing makes my mouth water for pens, inks, and pigments like the Book of Kells and illuminated writings. I dream of one day learning the art in depth. But for now, I am content with my scribbles while pretending to be Brendan.

My daughter Bronwyn has been interested in film, and is teaching herself how to make short vignettes. I'm so proud of her. Not only did she record and edit one of my prayer journal doodlings, but she mixed in the music, which comes from the soundtrack CD she bought me for Christmas, titled Brendan et le Secret de Kells. In a word, inspiring. I listen to it constantly, especially while doodling. Well done, Bron.

"How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom You made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number--
Living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed
to frolic there."

Psalm 104: 24-26

Joining Emily today

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quiet measures

"The whole house and garden is one vast obscenity. It bears a sickening resemblance to the description one human writer made of Heaven; 'the regions where there is only life and therefore all that is not music is silence'.

Music and silence—how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell—though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express—no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise—Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile—Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress..."

Screwtape to Wormwood, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Counting blessings

353 - silence

354 - music

355 - silence

356 - music

357 - silence

358 - music

359 - silence

Joining Ann today

Thursday, March 24, 2011

(cue Springsteen): Born in the U.S.A.

Photo taken in the bedroom of a distinctly American messy teenager

Today I had the honor of receiving a Stylish Blogger award from the gorgeous Joybird at Songbird in His Court. Now before I go on, I need to say that I've been given blog awards before, but I haven't posted about them because it made me shy. But I did and do very much appreciate them nonetheless. I'm always surprised that anyone would want to award my babblings. Anyhoo, it's what Joybird said that made me laugh out loud, and I had to respond.

"Jodi lives in the USA but there is something distinctly British about her in my opinion."

Unbeknownst to Miss Joybird, I have been told this very thing all my life.

Not just about the UK, but other countries as well. For example, there was the recently immigrated Irish guy who was working on our house. This is what he said - "Your accent is pretty good American, but where are you really from?"

While in the Ukraine, someone said to me through a translator, "You're too polite for an American. Where are you really from?"

A friend from West Africa told us that "Your hospitality is more Liberian than American".

I've also been asked what part of Eastern Europe I'm from, was wished "shabot shalom" from a salesperson in a department store, been mistaken for a Canadian, and was told by a Welsh friend that the stork definitely dropped me on the wrong side of the pond.

I like to flatter myself by thinking that I'm unknowingly living out I Corinthians 9:22--being all things to all men. But who knows. One thing I know to be true, though. I do love people, all kinds of people. And I'm grateful that blogging has enabled me to meet so many from all over the globe.

So the award requires the revealing of 7 things your readers may not know about you.
The story above counts for number one.

2. When I'm stressed, I hum the theme to "Elmo's World". I have no idea why.

3. I went to a different school every year until I got to ninth grade. Don't ask, it's complicated.

4. I sometimes spell the word color this way: colour. I think it looks prettier the British way.

5. When talking really fast I pronounce "house" like a Canadian. Not on purpose. Really.

6. I once smirked at a man in a cafe who wouldn't stop staring at me. I later found out that the man was the painter Andrew Wyeth.

7. This is the longest post I've ever written.

8. (bonus) I have an overly-sensitive conscience, which is why I can't pick a certain number of people to send the award back to. Seriously, I love all of the blogs I read, and it's too painful to choose only a certain number. That is why I haven't really played along before. I really do enjoy the creativity and uniqueness that each one of you express. I think you're all wonderful. So to any blogger who reads this, feel free to join in. I pick you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Period Pieces

Anybody who's read this blog for a while knows that I have a thing for period drama, and as my kids call it, "old, dusty stuff". The old, dusty stuff in this case means vintage jewelry. Over the years, I've found some wonderful pieces for as little as 35 cents.

The BBC drama TV series, The House of Elliot (set in the 1920's) has been making me swoony. It's the jewelry the Elliot sisters wear. Long, swingy necklaces; drop earrings, beads galore. My daughter Bron has been patient with me as I shout, "OH! Look at the color of that necklace!" while she's trying to absorb the storyline. It's so well written that you can't help but fall in love with the characters.

The siblings, Beatrice and Evangeline, left penniless by their philandering father, try to make ends meet by designing and selling clothes, and dream of starting a fashion house for the well-heeled. They are quite talented, and you find yourself rooting for them until they start making disasterous choices that affect not only them, but those around them. At which point it's not me who's shouting, but my youngest girl, "No, Evie, don't be stupid! Grow up, Bea! Jack's wonderful--what's wrong with you?! I don't feel sorry for them one bit."

But anyway...this drama has inspired me to share with you some of my vintage costume jewelry.

My blue glass strand, which now shall be called 'Miss Evie's beads'.

A close-up

You can't tell from the photo, but the clear crystal pendant on this piece has a faint lavender hue.

This locket was given to me by my friend Julie as a birthday gift. You can meet her at One Penny Jumble Packet.

Close-up of the acorns on the locket

And the most charming part. Inside, I found this photo. I don't know who she is. Someone's mother...aunt...sister? I can't bear to take her out.

This has a bittersweet memory attatched. My husband gave it to me after I had miscarried many years ago.

Don't you love these drippy hearts? My husband also gave me this one when we were newlyweds. He found it in a thrift shop near our first apartment.

I purchased this for 35 cents when I was in high school. I believe it's vintage, but not sure how old.

Love the old clasp.

Now, last but not least, you might want to visit the lovely Rayanne over at
Lovely Thought.
She's having a jewelry giveaway.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thankful for such things

"I would make it a rule to eradicate from my patient any strong personal taste which is not actually a sin, even if it is something quite trivial such as a fondness for country cricket or collecting stamps or drinking cocoa. Such things, I grant you, have nothing of virtue in them, but there is a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness about them which I distrust."

Screwtape speaking to Wormwood in The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

Counting blessings

344 - start with an early morning visit to Aunt Barbie's doughnuts

345 - deciding that a party of three necessitates the purchase of the three-dozen family pack

346 - riding the back roads

347 - while listening to audio books

348 - being made to slow down

349 - giving us time to enjoy the view

350 - then meeting up with friends who invite you to...

351 - a Saint Patrick's Day feast

352 - and dancing home by the light of the moon

Joining Ann today

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ModgePodge and ...

scissors, magazines, brushes or sponges, old letters, stamps, ugly tins that are too useful to throw out, and most importantly, a talented artistic gal to spend a crafternoon with.

OK, so I've known Miss Crafty since she was two. Wow, that makes me old--never mind. She and her sister Beks have been my daughter's friends since they were all babies, and for as long as I can remember, Lisa and her sister have been making all sorts of delightful things. Honored that this girly girl would want to hang out with an old lady and teach her the art of collage/decoupage.

What I most appreciate about Lisa's approach to collage is that she really thinks it through rather than just slapping together a bunch of pretty pictures. She considers color and theme. In her own words, "It's like putting a puzzle together or telling a story".

Here's a clever use of an old soda can tab. It looks like a belt buckle, doesn't it?

Lisa carefully plans out her design, making sure she's completely satisfied with the layout before gluing anything to the tin.

How cool is that - besides beautiful, that's one less Altoids tin rusting away in a landfill.

*ModgePodge® can be found in most craft stores. I am receiving no compensation for this announcement :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Counting blessings

338 - woodland prayer closets
339 - Bible, journal, pens
340 - the company of wise women, young and old
341 - late night talks while eating too much candy
342 - experiencing the weight of glory during worship
343 - coming home a different person

Joining Ann today

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In the Company of Saints and Poets

Welcome to another peek into my journal scribbles.

Click on the photo to enlarge and take in some life.
*Romans 8:18-26*
Joining Emily today

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lolly cake, lolly cake, oh lolly lolly lolly Lolly cake

When I get together with my girls, we like to mess about in the kitchen, concocting all kinds of yummy things. While home for Christmas, my oldest girl taught us how to make lolly cake, a traditional kiwi dessert (kiwi meaning New Zealand, which is where she now lives *sniff*, in case you're new here).

Anyhoo, I was going to post this when we had actually made the cake between Christmas and New Year's. But I figured that by then, visions of sugar plums dancing in your head might be tiresome.

Still, this is a dainty worth making, and might be perfect for springtime celebrations. Here's a link to the complete recipe.

For the lolly (candy) in the recipe I used Jet-Puffed multi-colored marshmallows. I cut them in quarters and let them air dry a bit to firm up. You can also use a type of candy called circus peanuts. I don't use circus peanuts. They make me shudder. But never mind that.

Easy, no bake, hardly any fuss, sweetie

Now for some tea

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What feeds you?

Kindled by what my daughter shared at Paper Canary, I got to thinking about a painting that inspired and stuck with me, and sort of developed a part of me - something I identified with (or wanted to). When I was a kid, it wasn't Barbie glam or the Fairy tale princess that I wanted to be. It was the homely cook in the kitchen that grabbed my heart. Vermeer caught me first with his painting Maid Pouring Milk. The beauty, the dignity, the quiet ordinary--I wanted it. Could I articulate this when I first saw the picture in my Child's World encyclopedia? Nope. I was only five or six. But something sparked.

Then there was the flour-dusted granny from My First Reader. Yeah. I wanted to be her, too. Why? I don't know, but there was something warm, comforting, and safe in that world. Simple domesticities. I love cooking for and feeding people. It's my love language. Like Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, "Come along inside...we'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place".

How about you? Can you think back on any work of art that inspired your likes or loves?

Joining Emily today


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