Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting Organized in the New Year

My mother-in-law has become a very creative gift giver. This year for Christmas she gave me a set of flat file drawers and my incredible husband assembled them the same day (Christmas!) so I could use them immediately to start storing my "junk". The drawers are modern MDF, but fit in seamlessly with my vintage and antique pieces. The drawers sit on my cedar butcher counter and my bank of library card catalog drawers fit amazingly in a small space under the table. Looks like a single piece of furniture.
My mother is visiting for the holidays and is giving me a much needed fresh perspective on my clutter. Her war cry is, "throw it out!" A lot is going out, but I am also rediscovering things to sell in my etsy shop. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What I Created Over Christmas

My "thing" this year has been to create pincushions out of frivolous planters.
The ugly poodle planter above became a pincushion for my mother-in-law Christmas Eve
(a very last minute gift!)
and my mother (currently visiting with me from New Jersey)
liked the results so much that she asked if I could make a pincushion for her too.

So we had some mother/ daughter crafting time until almost 1am Christmas morning,
transforming this vintage/ antique hair keeper (the lid was cracked so I tossed it)
into a boudoir-worthy pincushion.
My mother loves it!
Merry Christmas, Mom!
Now we are eyeing small teapots, teacups without saucers, widowed sugar bowls
and silly planters as candidates for pincushions.
We are on a mission to equip all of our friends with upcycled pin keepers!
The first one I ever made is for sale in my etsy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!

And I WISH you a Merry Christmas!

"WISH" banner by Linda Richter. I keep it up all year 'round and never get tired of looking at it. It's been hanging under my faux mantle in my studio for 2 years now and still twinkles.
The handmade mitt stays up all year 'round too. It was a flea market find last year. Too precious to put away.
Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 24 Matchbox Advent Calendar

The people walking in the darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2
Artwork by Sally Duncan
Let's get this party started!
Tomorrow is Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 23 Matchbox Advent Calendar

And the angel said unto her,
"Fear not, Mary for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb
and bring forth a son,
and shall call His name JESUS.
Luke 1:30-31

Artwork by Ashlyn McCoy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 22 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
1Corinthians 13:12a
Artwork by Katie Hogue
The only thing poorly reflected in the piece of mirror tile in this box is my camera's lens.
By the way,
Katie also did the box for day 12.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 20 Matchbox Advent Calendar

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;
and with His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5
Artwork by Esther Miller
In other words, Jesus took one for the team.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 19 Matchbox Advent Calendar

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save
that which was lost.
Luke 19:10
Artwork by Cindy Ericsson
I love the compass tie-in to the scripture!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 18 Matchbox Advent Calendar

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.
Artwork by Sue Hebel
Just a recap. All of these boxes are created by artists in the Christian Paper Artists Yahoo group. I am so glad I took part in this swap. As a group, the boxes herald Christ's birth and foreshadow His sacrifice for mankind. And isn't that what an advent calendar is all about?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Be kind to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ
also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32
Artwork by Nathalie Thompson
If you would like to see some of the other boxes I created for Day 17, click here.
I went for a decidedly Victorian theme, since to me Christmas is rich colors and textures and inexpensive gifts that may or may not be practical, but are also precious. In other words, "old fashioned". When things were simpler, when gifts did not require batteries, chargers, electricity in general and could be made instead of bought and no extended warrantee was needed.
The scripture about kindness and forgiveness has been on my heart for months, because in our family there is a definite, aching lack of both. My husband and I met over 15 years ago, in church, but now it's been over 3 years since we've attended church as a family. I see the evidene of the omission in my kids. Fighting, name calling, impatience, demandingness, laziness, disobedience. I see it in myself. Sadness, impatience, anger, frustration (with my kids); filling my life with other pursuits to feel happy. I see it in my marriage. My husband and I are as total opposites as we can be. I am creative, he is task orientated, I am a reader (and a thinker), he ignores written instructions and flies by the seat of his pants. He wants to start his own business and I want to pursue my own creative endeavers and we do not support each other like we each need to. Our common pursuit at one time was God. To be more like Jesus. The closer we drew to God, the closer we drew to each other. Our differences were diverse assets not irritating liabilities, because we pursued something beyond ourselves. Now our pursuits are selfish and the only outcome is to draw apart.
I truly miss simpler things.
When being together was enough.
When love did not require conditions, contracts, and renewals.
When "I'm sorry" was heartfelt and fixed everything.
What can I say? I am a romantic.
I still believe that Jesus is the answer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Artwork by Beth Ellicot

Last night I went to a Christmas cookie exchange party.

The point being that those who attended would then not have to bake again for Christmas. My friend Gretchen, who invited me, told me to make 13 dozen cookies. A lot of cookies (!), but I went along with it. Hey, I will be getting that many back so my Christmas baking will be done!

I decided on spritz cookies. Fast, pretty and yummy. I began to question the fast part as my dough kept sticking to the cookie press and not the baking sheet. @#$&!! Making cookies was supposed to be a fun activity. I chased Rebecca out of the kitchen and the dog too and got down the to the grim task of making 169 cookies. I am laughing about it now. I got the template flipped around in the cookie press and suddenly the dough released and the cookies came out pretty uniform in size. I cranked out 3 batches of dough in my standing mixer so by the time my older two kids came home from school, the kitchen counters were covered with finished cookies an the house smelled like a bakery. I became the best mom in the world when I allowed the kids to "taste". Two dozen cookies disappeared in no time. Good thing I had made a lot so I didn't have to ration the "tasting". :)

The afternoon of the party, Gretchen asked, "so you got your got your 11 dozen cookies done?" (she was still baking). "Um, yes, I have my 13 dozen made and bagged up". "Oh, sorry. Didn't I tell you two people dropped out?" [laugh] She was very apologetic. I was fine with it. My baking was done!

Now I have my spritz cookies plus 1 dozen each of 10 other kinds of cookies.

Bring on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Thy Word have I treasured in my heart
That I may not sin against Thee.

Psalm 119:11

But Mary treasured up all these things,
pondering them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Artwork by Corbi Beshears

This is a beautiful box on so many levels. The first scripture is old testament, the second is new testament. The heart in the straw symbolizing God's love incarnate as the baby Jesus.

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 14 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord, your God
will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Artwork by Becky Hunt

This came from Linda over the weekend. Is it not just TOO adorable? It still surprises her that I like glitter. I like shiny objects, especially at Christmas! And New Year's Eve.

What is even more wonderful about this little glitter house (than just the sparkle!) is that there is a loose jingle bell inside, that rings when you shake the house. Great little detail!

And inside the base are peppermint treats. It's not Christmas without candy canes!

Thank you, Linda for sending me a little Christmas. Maybe I'll try my hand at making my own glitter house! This little house needs neighbors. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13 Matchbox Advent Calendar

For thou art my lamp, O Lord,
and the Lord will lighten
my darkness.
2 Samuel 22:29

Artwork by Cheryl Lennox

Clever symbol, Cheryl.
Birthday candles are wonderful miniatures

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 12 Matchbox Advent Calendar

You hem me in--
behind and before,
you have laid your hands upon me.
Psalm 139:5
Artwork by Katie Hogue
Now that's security.
Being hemmed in by God.
I love Katie's playful take on the scripture, especially the metal sewing bobbin full of
robin's egg blue thread.
Ammended 6pm...
Katie sent out this email today to all of us in this advent swap. I just have to share her story behind the bobbin in her box. I am so blessed to own one!

Good morning, fellow swappers! I forgot to include the story behind the bobbin with my matchbox for today (Dec. 12th), and thought you might be interested to know.
The bobbin inside belonged to my grandmother, who passed away last August at the age of 92. It was one of hundreds she kept in her sewing supplies. I hope that when you look at it, you will be reminded of how much God loves his crafty girls. ;-) Below is an excerpt from a tribute I wrote about her on an old blog:
My grandma was a very strong, creative, and resourceful lady. The oldest of twelve children born to Oscar and Stella Payne, she and her brothers and sisters spent most of their youth as sharecroppers, picking cotton in southeast Missouri and Arkansas. She was only able to complete third grade, but persevered and taught herself to read using "True Stories" magazine. At 23, she married a boxer with a penchant for drinking, and after ten turbulent years and two children, she found herself a single mom. Armed with her Christian faith and a family who loved her dearly, she did not fall apart; on the contrary, she "picked herself up by the bootstraps" and survived, graciously.
Grandma learned to sew out of necessity when she was twelve. She hired out to make dresses for the ladies in town for $2 each, then hunted down the prettiest flour sacks to make clothes for her own family. When I was a kid, she and Mom owned a tailoring shop together, and Grandma lived in a little apartment in the back. After hours she would work on her own creative projects, crocheting afghans and making pillows out of the leftover fabric scraps (using plastic dry cleaning bags for the stuffing.) Not confined to fabric, she could produce a mighty fine table with just wood scraps and a hand saw. We still have beautiful snowflake Christmas tree ornaments that she made out of toilet paper cores and toothpicks, painted and sprinkled with glitter. And no one had a greener thumb; I swear she could put a pencil in the ground and make it grow. No matter what, she didn't stop.
She only had a little, but she used it all, always doing for her family, always trying to make things better, a little more beautiful.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

Artwork by Jill Smalley

This precious notebook came in the mail just the other day. I bought it from Carole's etsy shop. She had shamelessly posted photos of 3 notebooks to promote her etsy and I snapped this one up before someone else did.

What sold me was not only the bird images, but the tags tipped in on the inside.

The back cover looks as good as the front and because there is some batting on the covers, this little notebook feels comfy and cozy in your hands. It's not too late to get one or two in time for Christmas, even coming all the way from New Zealand! The petite envelope took about a week.

Carole also has wonderful needle keepers. She's got them posted on her blog today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10 Matchbox Advent Calendar

And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.

Isaiah 58:11

Artwork by Glenda McNeal

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 9 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Angels we have heard on high,

sweetly singing o'er the plains...

Artworkby Barb Johnson

And speaking of matchboxes, here is an altered matchbox I created for Ooglebloops swap. This box went to Patty. I decided to make it "practical" and created it as an ornament.

The "star" is a road kill ornament topper (found it smashed, on our hardwood floor, after decorating our tree). Inside the box I put Christmas themed trinkets, including some inchies I made for a Christmas inchie swap last year, some things that were red (festive!) and tea charms, because Patty is a serious tea drinker. It was not an easy box to pack, because I had so much stuff to cram into it. I would love to make more as gifts or to offer in my etsy shop (time, time, where are you?)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26
Artwork by Wendy Klassen
I love the subject matter of this box and the incredible details Wendy put into it (and had to recreate 24 times for swapping!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 7 Matchbox Advent Calendar

On coming to the house, they [the wise men] saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, and of incense and of myrrh.
Matthew 2:11
Artwork by Debbie Linton

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 6 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
Psalm 66:2
Artwork by Cindy Molieri

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 5 Matchbox Advent Calendar

Circle (ring)= eternity
Heart= God's love for us
Artwork by Donna Kauffroath
TODAY is Patty's birthday!!! Go wish her a happy one! She is also working on a wonderful December journal, so scroll through some of her previous posts.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 4 Matchbox Advent Calendar

For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6
May you peel away each of the layers of busyness and expectations that have come to obscure the heart and true meaning of Christmas.
Artwork by Glenda McNeil

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 3 Matchbox Advent Calendar

I praise you because of the wonderful way you have created me.
Psalm 139:14
Artwork by Chris McNeal

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DAY 2 Matchbox Advent Calendar

When they saw the star,
they were overjoyed.
Matthew 2:10
Artwork by Mardi James
How did you name your blog? Ruth posed that question and many answered and I decided to join the game. I first named my blog (just over 2 years ago), "Art Is My Life" but decided it sounded too desperate and after much thought, came up with "An Artist's Legacy" because I am so into old stuff and the stories it tells and really, truly want to a leave a mark on the world; with my art, with my words, with my actions. Mainly though, I want my kids to know who I am, so this is my on-line journal for them and anyone else who reads is a bonus. My main criteria for a name was that the title started with the letter "A" so it would pop to the top of bookmarked pages and searches. I had self promotion in mind! Okay, so it's not just for my kids to read someday! Haha! I have an etsy shop and before that, sold on ebay, but ultimately I would like to sell my art. Got to get famous - or infamous, first. :) So go visit Ruth and see how others came up with their blog names. And maybe join in yourself. What's your story?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DAY 1 Matchbox Advent Calendar

But the angel said to them,"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

Luke 2:10

Matchbox by Linda

All this month I will be sharing each of the 24 boxes I got in the Christian Paper Artists matchbox advant calendar swap.

As you can see, they are strung up, in random order,
on a wooden yard stick in my back porch sanctuary.
The light is good there and our back door is the one most often used
so the artwork can be appreciated daily.

Thank you all who participated!
Each of your matchboxes is beautiful
and they make a gorgeous presentation as an ensemble cast!