If I could go back in time…

Clothes from the early 20th century have always fascinated me. They’re so light, graceful, elegant – and look so comfortable! Mama and I oooh-and-ahh every time a new dress appears on the screen of ‘Downton Abbey’. So pretty!

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Another bit from the illustration course that I am taking…

The Lord keeps repeating a few words of advice in almost every creative venture that I’m working on right now:

Stop worrying about what other people think/do!

Don’t apologize for your work!

But, oh, it’s so hard to cultivate a pride for my work when there are other people out there, from my world, younger than me and growing younger by the year, who can make a world bloom on paper! It’s not a pride so much that I crave, at least not the haughty, bad sort. Just to be able to hold my head up and say, “yes, I did that”. With no excuses. “Oh, it’s just a sketch, really.” “Oh, well, I tried.” “Look how wonky all those lines are over here!”

I feel like one of the servants from the Gospels, standing here with my little bag of gold. Will I hide them in the earth, keep them safe from critique and disillusion? Or will I be faithful in these few things, practice, flex my creative muscles and make them grow?

I’m reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” right now and just reached the chapter where Miss Maudie says “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” Funny timing, just as I was thinking about this post. I think she may be right. So, I’ll keep looking out for a word that will describe the sort of creative pride, ownership that I want to experience, and in the meantime, follow the third piece of advice that I keep getting:

Practice!!

Snowflake Mobile Tutorial

A GUIDE TO BRINGING A BIT OF WINTER CHEER INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM

or How To Make A Snowflake Mobile

Needed:

  • White paper (preferably from the recycling bin)
  • Scissors
  • Wooden embroidery hoop, or similar lightweight circle.
  • Heavy thread
  • Needle (optional)
  • Cup hook (optional)

Step 1: Cut 16 paper snowflakes. Mine are different shapes and sizes, mostly cooked up as I was going along. A tutorial for folding and cutting paper snowflakes is available here. Cutting them out of the draft from your sister’s research paper? Totally optionally.

Step 2: Using the needle and heavy thread (I had some beige quilting thread on hand) string the snowflakes into groups of 2 or 3, knotting after each one to keep it in place. Mine run from about 20-25 inches long. One snowflake is so big that it gets a string all to itself and that works.

Step 3: Okay, now for the hoop part. Tie 3 25″ lengths of string at equal distances around the hoop. Tie the strings together at their opposite ends and hold it up, adjusting until the hoop hangs level. (Or level-ish. Mine tilts considerably.)

Step 4: Hang your new top piece up somewhere handy (I used a floor lamp – a tall child would probably work as well). Tie your snowflakes evenly around the hoop, using a double knot.

Step 5: Use a cup hook to hang up your pretty snowfall! There was a hole already in the ceiling in front of our big window, just waiting. How handy! Hang another strand of snowflakes from the hook, and voila! It’s snowing!

Happy Birthday, Dear Judy!

Photo by Laura, hat by me (doodled cardstock + tissue paper fringe).

Yesterday marked 3 years of Judy living with us, which makes her somewhere between….9 and 12 years old. I’m leaning towards the 9, since the JuJu Bean’s eyes are so bright and she still zooms around the house whenever it’s nearly time for dinner. On the other hand, I did have to carry her home from our last two walks….

Still, she is so different from the scarred, shy little beagle who came to us straight from the shelter. Look at that silky fur! That self-confidence! That sense of security! That attention to the little bit of kibble that I was dangling in front of the camera! She knows ‘sit’ and ‘touch’ and barks at the door when she needs to go out. (Oh, this is such a triumph – you have no idea!) She also knows which of us are the best at sharing popcorn, how to hog a whole sofa and that going to the pet store is fun. She even stops on the sidewalk to say hello to little girls passing by. Of her own free will. I’s so proud!

 

Gratitude

Have you seen this post from A Holy Experience? It makes me want to jump in, even though its almost two weeks into the month now. After all, isn’t wanting to become more aware of the beautiful, wonderful things in my life part of why I began blogging again? And it is a good time to practice joy…

Something above – a blue sky after all the thunder and lightening yesterday.

Something below me – brave daffodils. (Some down the street are already blooming!)

Something beside me – take your pick. There’s one for each side.