A Babe's Arrival

My husband & I are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our first child.  We recently found out we are having a BOY!!!  I was convinced it was a girl, but to my surprise, it will indeed be our little man.  Yesterday, as the rains fell & the temperatures stayed under 70 (for once) I felt inspired to make some new art for baby Eugene's room.  I thought a woodland creature theme seemed adorable.  Let me share with you the results of yesterday in my art studio.



The Scent of a Flower We Have Not Yet Found...

'Show me a day when the world wasn't new.' -Sister Barbara Hance

January 2010—

Longing For Home (Taken from the C.S. Lewis Institute)

Somewhere deep within each of us is a desire, a longing for a world very different from our own.
It is there first of all because we have been created in the image of God and were intended to live
with him in a world of love. Though his image has been defaced by the fall, there are still remnants
of it within us. The stunning beauty of a sunset, the awe of starry heavens, a deeply moving
story or poem, can arouse within us for a brief moment an awareness and desire for our true home.
This is even stronger once we have been born of the Spirit, for God plants eternity in our hearts.
C.S. Lewis explores this with profound insight:

In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now,
I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the
inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your
revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the
secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the
mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret
we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because
it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot
hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers
at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if
that had settled the matter.…The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was
located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them,
and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our
own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing
itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not
the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we
have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. Do you think I am trying
to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking
enchantments as well as for inducing them.

Today, many of us are under the spell of modernity, post-modernity, or other worldly philosophies
which in their own way distort and suppress the knowledge of God and the deepest longings of the
human heart. Breaking free of their enchantment can only come from opening ourselves to God in
a new way and asking him to draw us into a deeper fellowship with his Spirit, to renew our minds
and to restore his image in us—a prayer he is most willing to answer.

'Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not
ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.'

Hebrews 11:16 (NIV)
1 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: Macmillan and Co., 1966), pp. 4-5.


Life's Novella

I have been feeling very inspired as of late.  We found out we're expecting our first child, due in the beginning of December.  I would bet this may have something to do with the heart being all a flutter.  I wanted to share with you some of my lastest artwork, inspired by sweet baby McDonald. 
I hope you enjoy!


Sweet June

I don't have too much to "say" this quiet June afternoon, so I give you some photos of life lately. 

I do hope you enjoy!



Our DIY Wedding


DIY White and Yellow Pom-Pom Garland:
Supplies: White string, hot glue gun & glue, favorite colored poms.
Take white sting and attach the poms evenly with hot glue, alternating colors.  Hang & enjoy!

DIY Paper Circle Garland:
Supplies: Fun paper (magazines, old novels, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper), string, hole-puncher.
Make circles out of paper; punch 2 holes on tops, string circles evenly.  Hang & enjoy!

DIY Invitations:
Supplies: Card stock, bird punch, edge punch, silver thread, computer, RSVP template, glue stick.
Print invitation information on cardstock for RSVP cards and wedding invites.  Punch edges to give them a classy, professional look (I used Martha Steward brand for edges and the birds). Punch out 2 birds on invites.  Wrap thread around top of invites.  Add a fun scrapbook paper under part of the birds using a glue stick.  I made postal stamps using my artwork (bird-themed) at Zazzle.com, easy & affordable.

DIY Happy Tears Table:
Supplies: Old table, old picture frame, paper, hankies, sweet little bin, spray paint.
Find an old table, sand it down and spray paint it a color you like (I used robin’s egg blue).  Make a sign that says, “Happy Tears, Please Take One” and frame it.  Arranged old and new hankies in a bin you enjoy and place on table for guests to use during the ceremony.

DIY Bridesmaid Flowers & Groomsmen Boutonnières:
Supplies: Sturdy sticks, white spray paint, tissue paper, hot glue, string, yarn.
Spray paint sticks white & allow to dry. Take 4 various sized & colored tissue paper squares; (I used teal and light aqua) bunch & twist to form a flower & glue in place.  Take yarn (I used goldenrod) and separate until fuzzy wool is left.  Take a bit of wool and glue in center of flower. Glue flowers to branches.  Assemble branches into a bunch and tie with twine or string. To make for groomsmen repeat only on a much smaller scale.  Attach to suits using a decorative push pin.

DIY Bouquet:
Supplies:  Fresh flowers, flexible wire, satin ribbon, antique broach, decorative push pins.
Arrange fresh flowers (I used all white flowers) and secure with wire.  Hide wire by wrapping the stems with satin ribbon (I used a teal ribbon).  Pin on antique broach in center & push pins at top/bottom.

DIY Treats Table:
Supplies:  Old-fashioned or favorite candy & treats, vintage bowls, decorative take-away bags, cloth.
Collect candy & treats (I made white/dark chocolate covered apples) & arrange it neatly in fun, vintage decorative dishes.  Cover table with a vibrant cloth. Have guests take away candy using fun bags. If you desire, make a fun sign to hang above table (mine said, ‘sweets’ & I used leftover paper & glue).

DIY Whimsical Signs:
Supplies: Old wood (both flat & in stick form), paint, wood glue.
Paint a white background almost to edges on flat wood.  When dry, add letters (J + H) or words (Wedding with an arrow or Just Married or Mr. & Mrs.) using a bright color (I used teal).  Glue stick to sign with wood glue & allow it to dry. Dig hole & secure in ground or nail signs to trees.



A Smiling Heart

It is a dreary day outside here in Silver Lake, WI where we live, so I am going to add some brightness to this day via pictures on my blog.  They make my heart smile & I hope they make yours smile, too dear readers.

This is my art installation, These Emerald Wings, which is a result of my year long research on sacred space/sanctuary in relation to life, art & art therapy.

Happy Spring!!


Springtime in Wisconsin!

Sharing some of my latest blooms & beauties with you all today.  May it be a wonder-filled season for you all dear ones.



Life Lately...

I have some fun to share with you on this lovely Thursday afternoon.  I have been cooking & baking a lot lately so I wanted to share some yummy photos of my latest endeavours in the land of food with my faithful blog readers. I hope you won't get too hungry!


..Good Old Pumpkin Pie..

..Chocolate Espresso Cookies & Truffles..

..More of the Same..

..Fresh Bread & Italian Stew..

..Wheat Bread & Homemade Pretzels..

..Sweet Apples & Warm Dutch Oven Bread..



Social Action

I have a few things to share with you today, dear readers & I will start with this inspiring video my friend Colie sent me.  She said it reminded her of me.  That is too kind.  Honestly, I wish I could say I was more like Sara in this video.  WOW. What an inspiration she is!  Lately, I have been seeing & feeling a huge disconnect between what the Bible says & what religious people do to live out their faith (myself included).  I have been feeling convicted about not fully living out the words I so deeply believe.  I am challenged as of late to wonder, who am I "Jesus" to?  Could I be doing more?  Who are my orphans & widows?  Am I sacrificing myself?  It may be the last 2 classes I took for my graduate program, Social Action & Art Therapy & Child Art Therapy with Refugee Children that have sparked this flame.  It may be this inspiring church I was a part of this past summer, a church committed to actively living out their faith.  Or the many conversations I have with my husband where we question community in America & its huge disconnect between those who have and those who have very little.  Whatever it is that's happening in my heart, I like it.  I hope the spark turns into a raging flame.  And I hope this video inspires you as well.

Sara's Story from Trinity Grace Church on Vimeo.

I am also about to graduate with a degree in Art Therapy.  This is exciting.  Very exciting. I hope my degree becomes a bridge to help me be an advocate for social action/social justice & transformation.  Here is an invitation to our show in Milwaukee & also an image of the exhibitors artwork (I am the letter "S").  I will be exhibiting an installation depicting what I learned as a result of researching sacred space/sanctuary & its relationship to a therapeutic milieu. 



Welcome, March

A cheery March good morning to you, my friends.  Ironically, towards the end of February, Kansas had just gotten the first real snowfall.  I traipsed around my front porch and backyard barefoot to document this rare event.  Being from Wisconsin, & a lover of winter, I have had a slightly somber winter here in this milder Midwestern land.  It has been a winter where I often found myself longing for landscapes covered in blankets of white, for frigid, gusty winds dancing across my face & for crackling warm fires that warm hearts.  Instead my husband & I got mild temperatures, rain & a brown world that surrounded us.  So, I hung up strings of handmade snowflakes, baked lots of soups from scratch & brought every bit of a Wisconsin winter that was physically possible into our Kansas bungalow.  It was a charming winter.  A perk I recently discovered however is that it is already spring here, even possibly almost summer.  The magnolia trees are blossoming already, a chorus of birds sing me awake each morning & this entire week is going to be blessed with temperatures in the 70's.  With suffering comes joy!

On another note, I stumbled across this hilarious guy on Gardenfork, a website & television (YouTube)/radio broadcast that covers everything from making fresh breads, cheeses & eggnog to making your garden grow better.  Eric is a quirky, entertaining guy who will be sure to make your mouth drop at least once during the home videos broadcast on YouTube, complete with the perfect combination of Labradors, humor & strangeness.  Here is a video to hook you!  I hope this day finds you very well.  Be in awe of something today.



Eye Candy

I have some fun little videos to share with you today!  I hope wherever this finds you, dear friends, you are busy looking for all the goodness surrounding this delightful Tuesday.



Thinking Of Spring

Here are some pictures I found over at this cool site that make me swoon for blossoming flowers, warmer air & the smells that accompany springtime!  I hope this finds you well, dear ones.  Hold on-- we are almost there!

Xoxo, Heather


Introducing The Artist...Janet Hill

I have something sweet & fun to share with you today, dear ones.  I came across this über talented artist on Etsy today & she is too wonderful not to brag about on my blog.  Janet uses oils in her paintings & coming from an artist who paints, this is a ridiculously difficult medium to work in!  Her whimsical style of painting captures the child in me, yet her subject matter makes me want to get all gussied up & go to some fancy ball.  I think you will know what I mean after you take a peak at Janet Hill's work.  Enjoy! 
xoxo, Heather



January is an interesting month, a time of vast renewal and deep contemplation.  It is in the depths of winter, sometimes brutal, sometimes calm.  There seems to be a lingering juxtaposition every year at this time.  We soldier on reminding ourselves that although Spring comes but once a year, it does eventually come.  I am blessed to be living in a warmer climate, though I miss snow daily, allowing for bits of outdoors & sunshine.  So, as you meander through this time dear friend, I hope these shots I have been taking lately bring a smile to your rosy-cheeked, brave face.



I am an artist & I find a lot of my inspiration for new ideas (& to keep going as an artist, an often tough road to be sojourning on) from blogs.  Blogging is a great source to put new information into the world, including great products from other great artists.  So, today's blog will be brief, to simply showcase other's work that I find very inviting & lovely.  Please enjoy & pass on the cuteness to friends & family.

This is the work of the very talented textile artist, Lotta Jansdotter.
Have a peak around her website & shop!!!

Then take a web stroll over to see products & the blog of Fine Little Day, another genius idea by Elisabeth Dunker, based out of Gothenburg, Sweden.

I have been enjoying a lot of Swedish products & artists as of late.  It may be I married into a wonderful Swedish (& Scottish) family that is equally inspiring.