Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Me B.C.

"A person's world-view almost always shows through in his creative output..."
--Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?

When I was seventeen, we were given the assignment in art class to create self-portraits. I made a plaster casting of my face. Straws up the nose, Vaseline slathered over my mug, and a bucketful of plaster poured on top. Held still until it set. How long did that take? I honestly don't remember. The cast was successful. Pouring liquid clay in the mould, out came my reflection. I stuck it in the snow, and photographed it--a death mask. That was my world-view.

Two years later, that would all change. I haven't taken very good care of this photo. I don't really like looking back much. The view ahead is so much better. And I'm alive. Soli Deo gloria!

"Everywhere the statues were coming to life. The courtyard no longer looked like a museum; it looked like a zoo. Creatures were running after Aslan and dancing round him til he was almost hidden in the crowd. Instead of all that deadly white, the courtyard was now a blaze of colors..."
--C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Joining Emily today

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grateful for the Deeper Magic

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis

Counting blessings

480 - being old enough for fairy tales

481 - a piano in the house

482 - Grandpa, tea, and cheese and crackers

483 - an invitation

484 - see you there

Joining Ann today

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Spy with my little Eye

I'm getting into the habit of keeping my camera with me at all times. I'm no photographer in the professional sense, but I do have eyes which I'm thankful for, and God-given imagination which I'm grateful for. And there are moments when my little eyes will spy something extraordinary in the ordinary: beauty--a piece of art that may only last for seconds. I'm delighted to have captured it, to see my Creator in it. It makes each ordinary day splendid-y.

"My eyes are small but they have seen
The beauty of enormous things
Which leads me to believe..."

Everything Glorious by David Crowder

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Door of One's Own

WARNING: This post is photo heavy

Ah yes, a door of one’s own, attached to a room of one’s own, that room being my studio. Or, as I like to call it, the ‘what-would-happen-if?’ room. Most of my creative endeavors tend to be experimental; some successful, some not so much. But I’m enjoying myself, so who cares?

First, the studio. It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve been able to have this space. It used to be our homeschool classroom, then, when the kids grew, it became a shove-junk-in room. But now it’s my very own space. Hooray. No more working at the dining room table.

[a Pinterest-inspired project in the works]

I have to say that my family has always been respectful of my projects and supplies. I’ve never had to worry, even when my kids were young. The cats, however, have been another story. Curiosity has nearly killed them on several occasions (curiosity as in Acorn).

For instance, the fairy house I made for my girls when they were little. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but it was huge. I burnt my fingers a million times with the glue gun - suffering for my art. It was a thing of beauty, if I do say so myself.

It had so much detail: a pine cone shingled roof, a fur-lined fairy baby cradle, a watch tower, stairways, windows and window boxes, just to name a few

This is what’s left: Rubble. The cats decided to climb into it one day and naturally they couldn’t get out, so they broke their way out. I was so depressed I nearly slept for a week. Okay, I’m exaggerating. But I was really, really mad.

(Don't be fooled by the Beatrix Potter Tom Kitten look--it's an act)

It's just one of many things they’ve destroyed, hence the recently-installed door. I can shut them out now, muahahaha. This means no more “little cat feet” walking across oil paint pallets; no more tangled yarn, no more spilled ink, no more eating raw wool (above) then puking on something else I’ve made…

Many of you are probably thinking by now that I'm a saint for keeping them. You are--right?

Well, they're here because some other, more merciful people who live in this house deeply love them

and--the cats haven’t wrecked any of their things—-just sayin’.

Truth be told, I love my kitties, too. What a pushover...

But because I have a room of my own

antique buttons are no longer cat toys

a room of my own

with a door that locks...Muahahaha

(Detail of a painting in progress)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I've been singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing for years, but it wasn't until this Christmas that a particular phrase struck me, and hasn't left me yet. I can't stop pondering the weight of it--that He left His nobility behind, His rights as King and Lord of all. He was pleased. I know all of it goes far beyond what I'm expressing here, but I want to say thank you to my Father King and tell you I'm pleased. Pleased to belong to You. Pleased to find glimpses of heaven and blessings in even the smallest of things. And pleased to tell You that it's hard for me to get my mind around everything that is yet to come, and I sometimes feel as if my heart could explode with the anticipation of it all.

Counting blessings

473 - these words

474 - eating garnets for breakfast

475 - re-covery

476 - Audrey's paper stars

477 - honey in the comb

478 - hand-knit washcloths

479 - the perfume my sweetheart gave me - Noble - cool name. I hope it becomes more than just my scent

Joining Ann today

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Feeling crunchy

Quick! Get a look at these outrageously delicious pretzel snacks. My son Alex made them for us as a Christmas gift. A nearly empty jar is a good indicator of their irresistibility, wouldn't you say?.

We've been going through them like a house on fire. Every time I walked by the hubs, he was crunching. And the youngest was squirreling away handfuls at a time.

I say "we" to be polite. Actually, "they" have been devouring them. "I" needed the recipe so I could try some. Hellloooooooo, down there!!

If you'd like to make them, you'll need a 16 oz. bag of sourdough pretzels, 3/4 cup of olive oil, and one packet of ranch dressing. You can experiment with your own spice/herb blends. I liked the sharp spicy flavor of the original recipe: lemon pepper, cayenne, hot paprika, garlic powder, and dill.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil and the dry ranch dressing (which works as a binder). Add in the spices/herbs. I used about a teaspoon and a half of each. Whisk together. Break the pretzels into pieces, and put everything into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Mix it around and let it marinate, so to speak. I let mine sit for a couple of hours.

Pour the coated pretzels into a baking pan and bake for ten to fifteen minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Done and done.

There. That's better. Thanks, Al-e-pal.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A heap of thanks

And a debt of love is owed to all you gracious folks who gave me words of encouragement and prayers for a speedy recovery. Your prayers were answered, and I am grateful.

Energy was slowly starting to surge, so that on New Year's eve morning I was able to muck out the hen house

I do love my chooks

Later that evening we indulged in some gentle bubbling, as the label says

and rocked in the New Year doing a jigsaw puzzle by the fire...can we par-tay, or what?

Behold, two random photos of my kitties in the yard

Cue Crosby, Stills and Nash: Our house is a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy 'cause of you - la, la, lalalala, la la la la......

Yes, YOU, dear friends. Thank you again for the prayers. Blessings on your house, and happy New Year.
Love, the ever-curious Acorn


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