Friday, May 19, 2017

Lessons from a prayer plant.

One ounce of prayer is worth many ounces of good intentions.

Calatheas (prayer plant)

This plant has been crushed by a grandchild, hit with a dog toy and moved around by a not so plant loving husband, yet still it never ceases to remind me to pray more everyday. It is so easy to get too busy or distracted (like me) and not pray as we should.

The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”   ~ Elisabeth Elliot

This Sunday is the Global Day of Prayer to end famine.

Hunger is sweeping across East Africa. May 21st Churches are gathering to pray worldwide. 


Prayer makes your heart bigger, until it is capable of containing the gift of God himself. Prayer begets faith, faith begets love, and love begets service on behalf of the poor.
~Mother Teresa

This is a little sketch I did with a book on prayer that I got at a World Vision conference. "For the least of these" by Laurie Delgatto

“God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces of against evil …” E.M. Bounds

I do need more growth in the area of prayer.  Distraction is my largest enemy!

When I don't have words to pray,
I just say Jesus.

My daughter gave me some heirloom seeds for Mother's Day so I planted a garden. 

A garden always represents hope for me.  A belief that tomorrow can bring beauty from ashes and dirt.  I planted sunflowers , bush beans, peas, pumpkins, lettuce, cucumbers and wildflowers this year in this small space. Hopefully something will grow!

My garden that I just planted for this year is going to need a little prayer!
Wish me luck!

This sunflower above was one of our own from our tiny garden last year.

"You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed."
~A.J. Gordon  

“There is no other activity in life so important as that of prayer. Every other activity depends upon prayer for its best efficiency.” 
~M.E. Andross

Fact notes...

Prayer plants have big, oval leaves that turn upward at night and bloom little white flowers every Spring.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.
Matthew 25:35

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Everyday folks and short stories

We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand he stretches out. 
~Elisabeth Elliot 

I have written before that my grandmother is a folk artist.  I mean the true "old school type" ripped pants from the carvings that she worked on her lap.  She is a wood carver, a craft that she didn't even pick up until she was in her eighties. I remember visiting her one year with a few other relatives and was very inspired by her pep and independence even now that she is 99. 

Her amazing carvings were on her shelves, buffalos, eagles, the pope, some were painted bright colors.  At the end of our visit my grandmother handed everyone a carving of her choice to match their personalizes and what she fancied.  One by one she gave a fish, a cow, colorful folk people, the anticipation was killing me!  I noticed a cute little dachshund on the shelf that I would have liked, but I knew she definitely wouldn't give me an eagle!:)  I was more curious I suppose, of how she saw me since I only got to see her once or twice a year growing up.

I was the last one and she turned to me and hands me this necklace.  She did not carve this so I was perplexed.  The necklace was given to her by someone else in Poland when she was younger. It has two sides, one side with an edelweiss flower and the other side a painted folk design.

Edelweiss flower

When wearing this humble wood piece I cant help but feel the history and sense of roots of an humble folk artist of a time long ago.

I wonder what projects they worked on , churches, buildings, mantles, perhaps just brightening the world around them.  Although I wont ever know the whole story I can still feel the richness of their quiet life of working with their hands and creating a more beautiful place to live.


If the person that made this humble necklace only knew it would end up in America some day with me. In a place of glitter and glamor, and that I would find it quite the treasure. 

✯ My little shop announcement

Etsy is making a few changes for the small shops that only take PayPal. So I am moving my shop to my website The website contact will be They will officially turn off my shop May 17th, so I can accept all orders through Etsy until the 17th of May.

I am not ending my shop or doing artwork!

I am still working on the transition right now, but I thought I would let you all know first!

I am sad to leave Etsy! I have made some wonderful friends and worked with some wonderful clients from around the world that challenged me to do better and never settle for less than excellence. I have had my art on the front page a few times and many pieces have had the proceeds go to charity (World Vision) for trafficking, hunger, and disasters such as the Napal earthquake. 

 I'm a self taught embroidery folk artist for over 20 years and have carried my work in shops long before Etsy. This was an very unexpected move and I thank you for your understanding. With 1610  admirers a five star rating☆☆☆☆☆, I have been  an Etsy seller for 5 yrs.(it seems longer)

Please expect good things out of me!:)

Ordinary butterflies

I like narrative storytelling as being part of a tradition,
a folk tradition.
~Bruce Springsteen

Folk art is made by untrained ordinary people, brightening their world with vibrate colors with paintings, embroidery and all kinds of craftsmanship.

Passion flower

So creatives create, with no need for a "blaze of glory", they just do because its in them to build, create, make the world a more beautiful place and bring some joy and maybe a little entertainment to go along with it. Brightening someone's day that may need little uplifting and encouragement.;)

It is my choice to care deeply about others.
No kindness is too small to be important -
the smile to the bank teller,
the sincere "thank you" for all kindnesses received,
the reassuring hand on the shoulder of a loved one or friend.
There is compassion in selfless generosity,
but there is also compassion in heartfelt empathy.
~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Folk art bird

As for me...
More volunteer work
More art
Hopefully more growth
Perseverance in faith
Always stories
Always creating
More love and friendship
More hope

Little match girl

Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that? ~Elisabeth Elliot

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,  so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson

I stumbled across a song  that is a good fit for Good Friday.  One time I volunteered for a very large event and they placed me by the stage when this lady Ce Ce Winans sang.  She seriously shakes the house when she sings, she is so anointed!:)  I hope it touches your heart as you reflect over this Easter weekend.  He understands are suffering and will always carry us through. There is always hope because of His wonderful sacrifice He did on the cross for each and everyone of us.  


A simple sketch
I was working on.

Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes heavenly music in Heaven. ~Ellen G. White


Happy Easter!
All art really does is keep you focused on questions of humanity, and it really is about how do we get on with our maker.
~David Bowie

Mercy Said No
I was just a child, when I felt the Savior leading
I was drawn to what I could not understand
And for the cause of Christ, I have spent my days believing
That what He'd have me be, is who I am

As I've come to see the weaker side of me
I realize His grace is what I'll need
When sin demanded justice for my soul

Mercy said no
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no
sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away 
Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no

For God so loved the world, that He sent His son to save us
From the cross He built a bridge to set us free
Oh, but deep within our hearts, there is still a war that rages
And makes a sacrifice so hard to see

As midnight fell on crucifixion day
The light of hope seemed oh so far away
As evil tried to stop redemption's flow

Mercy said no
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away

You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no
sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away

Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no

And now when heaven looks at me
It's through the blood of Jesus
Reminding me of one day long ago

Ce Ce Winans -Live- Mercy said no  ♪

For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


          I just met Eugine who is 6 years old 
                          and lives in Kenya! 

 I am walking for Eugine at the Global 6K for Water on May 6th. These kids are real and I would love for you to join me at the 6K so that you too can help provide clean water to a child in need!

To sponsor this little guy...

Or find another child with the same birthday!

Sign up today for
the Global 6K for Water!

For your friends and your whole family!
Could you use some exercise?;)
 Every step you take on May 6th for the #6KforWater  is a step for a child that won't get sick from contaminated drinking water.

In many families women and children bear the weight of fetching water for the whole family.

The long trek to get water for women and children are hours that can be spent at school, running a small business or making an income to take care of their families.

   Join World Vision’s Global 6K Walk for Water to bring clean water to more families that need it. You can take part in the event on May 6 wherever you are.
Life can change for a child like Eugine!
I would love to find a sponsor for Eugine before May 6th!
How about you?

             Clean water changes everything!

                                                                                  Photo credit; Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
                  Clean water = happy kids!;) 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday morning "The Tapestry"

The Tapestry
Debbie Milam

When we embrace the many parts of our experience we discover a magnificent creation. . . Every moment is but a thread, a thread of consciousness embracing the very essence of life.  Some threads are brilliant and dazzling while others are tattered and torn.  When looked upon in isolation the tattered threads look inferior.  Yet when woven together by the wondrous hands of the Creator, the light magically blends with the dark.  As joy coalesces with pain,

God creates the magnificent tapestry that is life.

Sometimes things that look like a knotted mess like my threads shown here can be part of God's beautiful story. Honestly most of the time I see is a tangled mess, but I know God makes everything beautiful in his time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11
I came across this story today, "GOD'S EMBROIDERY"
enjoy and Happy Sunday!

When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat. She would smile at me, look down and gently say, "My son, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side."

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother's voice say, "Son, come and sit on my knee." This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy. Then Mother would say to me, "My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing."

Many times through the years I have looked up to my Heavenly Father and said, "Father, what are You doing?" He has answered, "I am embroidering your life." I say, "But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can't they all be bright?"

The Father seems to tell me, "'My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side."

Author Unknown

“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”

~Corrie ten Boom

The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Valley of hope

If God were small enough to be understood, 
He would not be big enough to be worshiped.
~Evelyn Underhill

Every time I paint with oils, I tend to see colors in undertones. Even driving down the street, sights like trees, grass and clouds seem to show a deeper color, a color beneath the surface.  A melody of undertones displayed under the surface of things only to be revealed when light hits just the right way at different times of the day.

Even in fine photography, time and place will give a different light to a photo, as well as the season it was captured in.  Every season in itself has its own kind of beauty. It seems like sunrises and sunsets are more vivid in the gray and dark days of winter and with the light of the Fall, the season reveals gold and red tones. Spring, represents newness in light bright colors against black backgrounds. In the Summer, blankets of grasses and flowers are present in the countryside; valleys of wild grasses and flowers are in shades of yellow as far as the eye can see.

 Valley, in definition means... a low stretch of land between hills, especially one that has a river flowing through it.

In the valley, we fail to see the multi color displays on the nearby mountains and sky beneath the shadows of the fog.  Valleys are where we develop the trust that the fog will lift and reveal just the right light to reveal the layers of colors, some maybe man has not even discovered yet. 

New painting "valley of hope" #8

If you feel like your are in a valley right now and the fog is blocking your view: Bring it under the light of God's word.  Let His presence reveal the hope that lies beneath the surface. The colorful undertones of His promises that...

He loves us,
His grace is enough,
He will carry us through,
He knows our weaknesses,
He is our strength,
His glory will be revealed in us.

fact notes...
If you live in a valley, you probably get more fog than they do up in the hills around you. Fog tends to be more common down in the valley, the low area that often forms near a river.

Grace works that way. It's a kind word from a gentle person with an impossible prayer.
It's a force sometimes transmitted best
hand to hand in a dark place.
~Bob Goff

The theory of color has me thinking! I have heard of people that died, went to heaven and came back and seen colors that are not even here on earth.  I wonder if those colors are here on earth but the light is so different here that the undertone is not revealed.  Hmm. :)

Do you see the blue undertone?

fact notes...
Albert Munsell brought attention to a systematic way of defining color.  He believed there are three different dimensions to describe color.  His three dimensional color theory built a bridge between art and science. He even compared music and notes with this theory.

"in music, one can simply hear a note and how it relates to other notes based on the position of the note on the staff". 

This is very interesting!I have to study more on this when I have the time, it kind of reminds me of shape notes and how we hear them. 

How shape notes have a three dimensional sound (at least) in one note. 

A good article
on how undertones
work with paint.

“It may sound strange to say
that color has three dimensions,
but it is easily proved by the fact
that each of them can be measured."
~Albert Henry Munsell

How color impact your psychology, behavior and emotions is another story!  The emotional nature of color itself can affect your mood. This is a complex issue that has been studied for centuries. For example blue/calming, yellow/cheerful, green/nature.

Well that's another story...

 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
 they make it a place of springs;
 the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
 They go from strength to strength,
  till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:5-7

There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
Hosea 2:15

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Friday, March 3, 2017

Clean water/event 2017

Join team World Vision Global 6K for Water!
On May 6th, 2017, I will be joining thousands of others around the globe to run 6k and provide clean water to children in communities around the world. 

Walking in Sabina's Shoes

Sponsoring a child is a personal way
to show God’s love to a child in need.

For $39 a month, you'll help that child

and their community to stand tall, free from poverty


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sweet fellowship

Anytime you share life stories with other people, you know, you are acknowledging their humanity and kind of accessing some things about yourself, and other people start to expect things about themselves. It's kind of like a fellowship.~Jill Scott

One of the things I love to do is play tennis. I prefer playing outdoors but the rest of my family likes to play indoors, so when I can get one of them outside to play it is quite the accomplishment. During the early spring, the weather is mild and the fragrant trees are in bloom.  Once in a while, a wonderful scented cross breeze goes through the area where the courts are. When this happens it makes it an ideal condition to play tennis, especially when there is warm sunshine and mild temperatures. 

 In fact, it is difficult to stop smiling sometimes when I play tennis outdoors, and I was told that I need to get a game face (which I am working on right now) to be taken seriously.  How easy to forget your cares on a beautiful sun filled day like this. This makes living in the Northwest worthwhile even though we don't always see the sun here, sometimes even for long stretches at a time. When the weather is good here it is really hard to stay indoors on a day off. 

 Last July was one of those days.  My heart was heavy that day with all that was going on in the news at the time, and I had an injury on my right arm so it was painful to play tennis.  The weather was so beautiful that day that my daughter finally agreed to play.

During the spring and summer time you can often see friendly swallows flying around the outdoor tennis court area. The same 5 or so friendly swallows seem to play and dart around us as if they recognize us and are glad to see us. I know this sounds impossible,  but after that day I wondered, could these birds really recognize us and enjoy our company? 

“Human fellowship
can go to great lengths,
but not all the way.
Fellowship with God
can go to
all lengths."

~ Oswald Chambers

I was really glad my daughter was there to witness an incredible moment that never happened before and has never happened again. We must of played on these courts over 30 times before and although we enjoyed the fellowship of these little birds darting past our net after every hit, I really didn't think they were responding to us personally!  We usually play for an hour and a half but that day we had to cut it really short due to my injury (tennis elbow), so admitting defeat we walked back to the car.  Just then, something remarkable happened! The same five swallows that dart back and forth across the nets when we played, circled us as we walked back to the car.  Each one gently circled us completely around, one at a time in complete order, alternating right to left about three feet from the ground.  Each one taking turns circling us exactly the same way. 

New Valentine embroidery .

We never left without playing at least an hour and these little birds seemed to notice. I went online to see if this is normal behavior for a swallow and I found a blog that shows a game that they play with each other with a feather. I could not find any evidence that they recognize people or even know their routines.  So I probably wouldn't even share this without a witness and I would have wrote it off as a "Stephanie moment". :)

“Unity is necessary to the outpouring of the Spirit of God. If you have 120 volts of electricity coming into your house but you have broken wiring, you may turn on the switch, but nothing works – no lights come on, the stove doesn’t warm, the radio doesn’t turn on. Why? Because you have broken wiring. The power is ready to do its work…, but where there is broken wiring, there is no power. Unity is necessary among the children of God if we are going to know the flow of power…to see God do His wonders.” 
~ A. W. Tozer

How many times are we so focused on our present circumstances that we don't even notice the sweet fellowship placed right in front of us?  I can image God delights in us too and circles us as if to say "I see you",
"I enjoy your company",
"I love you",
"why are you leaving"

Note to self...don't bring the dog when you play tennis!:)

Some of the most sweetest fellowships on earth are friendships, family and loved ones.  I'm sure the fellowships in heaven are even greater.

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7