Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home is......Re-Purposing with Passion

 I love a good estate sale, bargain or garage sale with class.  I am talking about a sale that ends all sales, one that is organized, priced and marked well, plenty of room to move around, littered with unusual finds, combined with a cause that will effect many. Those are my favorites.  Here is a necklace I made with a Valentine theme full of bits and pieces of old buttons, broaches, charms and beads.
Like this old wash tub now party cooler.  We put a silver trash bag in it to line it then fill it with ice for drinks.  The hose is handy underneath so when we are done we dump the ice in the bottom and it drains out the hose.  I painted mine hot pink with turquoise spots for a women's shop my designs were in to put on the patio for open houses and events we would  host.

I can take just about anything and turn it into something useful. I love the competitive nature I get of just trying to do it. Just trying to see what can I do with this to make it better, more useful and functional art.  This old iron gate was hanging in a shop in Waco, TX as a room divider and I said, "No it is going to be my chandelier". We had made what we thought was a mistake while remodeling and forgot to tell the electrician we were not using this space for our dining room as intended.  So when it changed we could not have something hanging down and needed something flat up against the ceiling.  I did not want one of those florescent lights and then I found this.  I hand tied all the sockets with copper wire and placed each one, then took it to a lamp shop to have them all piggy tailed together in the middle.  I think it turned out great and is such a wonderful conversation piece.  And it accomplished what I needed for the area and doesn't look like a mistake at all.

I love a good challenge and my mind seems to zero in on things that most would consider broken, torn or unwanted, but not me give me the remnants. Jeremiah 23:3 says," I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase."
Bringing these pieces of junk, stuff, finds, and treasures back to life is basically what God does with my life everyday. He takes the junk, the pieces that are broken and finds the treasures, dusts them off, whispers in my ear that I am worth the effort and brings me back to Him.  This piece is and old light fixture turned right side up with candles.  Makes a lovely centerpiece.  I have even thought about hanging it outside with lower candles, even votive, as an outdoor accent chandelier.  I love chandeliers!

This is probably my favorite find turned to function of all times.  This $1 medical cabinet was in a garage sale and it had even been hit/bumped by a car in the garage so it had a huge dent in the door.  You can not see the door cause it is facing the wall.  It sat in my yard for years rusting and looking pretty shabby and we used it with a table cloth over it to hide its ugliness to set things on for parties.  Finally I pulled it into the carport and decided to distress it more and paint it to look like leather.  I also had this piece of granite sitting in my backyard waiting for its permanent spot.  It was the cutout piece from my counter tops where the stove top is so I asked them to round the corners and give it back to me.  I created this table that sits now next to our BBQ pit to set things on while we are cooking, use for parties and whatever else.  Nobody knows what's on the other side and it looks great. When I wash something off, or polish it up, maybe even faux paint it, or clean it I discover something new about it that I did not see before.  For me this is sometimes more thrilling than the actual find. Think about when God reveals Himself to us and we "get it" is like the same kind of ah ha moment for us.

"And it shall come to pass (this is a promise from God) that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance. As the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls". Joel 2:32 Ummmmm that would be me, the remnant, He will be calling.  Just as I paid for these little broken pieces for my pleasure so has God paid the price with His son to bring us back to Himself declaring us His treasure.  God is putting the pieces together creating a masterpiece in all of us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home is.....When I wear an Apron

Home is when I wear an apron. This one is one of my favs cause my kids gave it to me one year for mothers day....I think. It means I am up to my elbows in chopping, cooking, preparing and feeding my family.

In this apron I can create a new dish like this one where I grilled salmon and made up a sauce to go on it. It had yogurt, lemon juice, fresh orange juice, mango, cilantro and marscompone blended in food processor to create this yummy lite sauce. I then added lump crabmeat to the sauce and put it on top of the salmon. I used it again tonight on fresh tuna salad cooked medium rare tossed with sauce, cucumber, sundried tomatos, celery with a side of tortellini. When I have an apron on I feel like I can cook and do anything.
When my house is full I wear my apron more times than not. I enjoy wearing an apron, but it has a pretty savvy side kick.

I usually have a dish towel thrown over my shoulder for quick wipes, substitute hot pads and an occasional popping in towel wars with my kids. That would be my uniform when the pots on the stove are full, the table is set and random people passing through to chat with me as I deliberate over what is next, to lend a hand or to snatch a crumb that is peeking out from under the foil. All in all I know when I have my apron on I am doing something creative.
I have another apron I wear when I am painting. It is really great.
I love my aprons. It is like putting on a uniform and my mind begins to flow as God prepares the stage for good things to come. It means usually lots of work, but the fruit of my labor is so worth the effort. My kids know its serious when I have my apron on, they know I mean business and I'm about to get down to work when I put this simple little piece of cloth around my neck....It says, "chef, cook, retro, mom, grandmother, maid, artist, helper, shop owner and I care about what is underneath to protect it with this apron". God cares about what's underneath as well. He cares about our hearts. "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when they day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand". Eph. 6:13

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Catching the Bug

Well as a follow up to the post from last week and a prelude to Madre Minutes tomorrow wanted to show you the pictures from the VW festival/rally we went to at LBJ Park yesterday. As the bluebonnet season is nearing full strenghth and this may very well be their last week for another full year depending on the rain,
even though they got soaked they camped,

they parked and they displayed what they brought for all the world to see. From colorful tshirts to add to your already collection of vintage tiedyed to bumpers, fenders, doors, car seats and other VW auto parts was all their way of tempting you into thinking you too could refurbish this old classic. It was like catching a fever/bug with all the buzz talk there was going on around us.

I wondered as we sifted our way in dream like fog through alleys, valleys and roads peering into a glimpse of other peoples' worlds, if this is what heaven will be like only more beautiful? Will we wade thru acres of saints sharing their stories with everyone who passes by? I used to ride in one when I was a kid and there is a handle over the glove box that was my steering wheel. The person driving would let me put my hand on hers to shift the gears which made me feel like I was actually driving. I want Jesus to drive my car and be along for the ride of a lifetime. I want Him to ask me to put my hand with His as He might shift gears in my life, always reassuring me that He is still in control. The VW has a distinct sound like the Harley that is all its own. So does God. Am I listening closely for His voice? Do I recognize His, does He recognize mine? The VW brand, shape, look and sound are all universally recognizable. God too is the same yesterday as He is today as He will be to come.

This is how I want to be about Jesus. Totally immersed into knowing about Him, telling others about Him, and putting His glory on display for others to share and see. These people at this festival/rally were passionate, competitive, eager to share, and so excited about their VW's. It convicted me that I should be the same way about God.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pick a Color

The fullness of spring is among us, it surrounds us and it infiltrates our senses. From the vibrant greens, to the fucia pink to the fragrant hues of blue my senses come alive this time of year. Pallets and pallets of color are delivered to the stores, plant houses and roadside stands. What I can't get over is the variety of colors, the variety of shapes and the variety of their timing when they bloom. It all seems to be heavenly orchestrated for our pleasure. The roadside freebies are my favorite and I can't seem to get enough of looking at them as I drive by. My kids were all ,"Mom we see we see!" as I point and gasp at what God has created just for us, just for me. Blanket after blanket of distant and rolling hillsides cover what once was brown. If you look closely some are knitted together like a fine quilt of colors that lay dancing in your head as you pass by. I better keep my eyes on the road. Even in the rain they seem to speak and say hello as I approach with roaring tires and heated exhaust. They don't seem to mind as the power of my car pushes the air causing them to wave hello goodbye all in the same stroke. "Pick a color any color", they seem to say as if holding out a deck of cards fanned out begging you to play along, begging you to notice them, and beckoning you to draw near or pull over.

Our heavenly Father is just as beautiful in His array of gorgeous colors as He asks us to draw near to Him. He is asking us to stop, pull over, take a moment with Me, converse with Me, listen to Me as I call out your name. It is like a grand proposal and He is down on one knee holding out His most precious gift, His Son Jesus.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Path?

The question always returns every time I go out to walk. What route do I take today? It is a simple question, but I pondered it today for some reason more than other days. So I had to pick, do I go left or do I go right out of my driveway? Today I went right. I usually go left, but today I went right. I started thinking about going on the "right" path. Am I always on the right path? Not hardly. I wander off the path all the time more out of seeking and discovery than rebellion. Distractions are a dime a dozen and my mind can wander at the drop of a hat. Sometimes that can be a good thing and sometimes not. I have lots of work to do, but here I sit at my computer. A little work here and a lot of distraction there seems to be the way it goes sometimes. Still in the mode of detoxing my house and it only took me......well we don't have to go there. Ps. 27: 11-14 " Teach me Your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path becasue of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
The right path is where I always want to be and at the same time its not always the easiest path to take. I want to be on the path with God always. I want my path to be right by God, with God and for God. It takes concentration and determination to stay on the right path. So easily can we stray. Just this week I gave up on my Lenten promise for one day and I only had five more days til it was over. With God it is never over and my daily sacrifice is just that.....daily. It is between Him and me. It really bothered me that I had let Him down. I told my girls I was a horrible example and how sorry I was I had not kept my promise to God. Yet through this horrible example came the good example of how not to do something. I know He forgives me, but it just bugs that I could not keep the sacrifice as a living sacrifice to Him. What a disappointment in myself. And yet God still opts to use me for His purpose and plan thru my imperfections. "When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to You, O Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."Ps. 142:3-5
I have learned a great deal about Him and what He did for me on the cross. His ultimate sacrifice so that I may live with Him eternally. I need Him to be strong especially in my moments of weakness and temptation. I can not allow myself to get swept up in moments where self overrules. If you look closely at this photo you will see a cross over on the right. Adelaide took this because she liked the way the sun hit the wires, and she did not even see that cross, but God knew it was there. When I was able to view the photo closely I knew He was there too. So many times I will take a photo of something (stepping out in faith) and God will show me something else (a blessing) after I have taken the shot.
So true of our lives as we think we are seeing one thing and He opens our eyes to a whole different way of seeing thru His eyes and what He wants us to see. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path". Ps. 119-105 Keeping on the right path is harder than we think and takes a daily sacrifice allowing Jesus to overrule in our favor. He is always for us and never against us. He is always on our side. Which route I take tomorrow will be the right path whether I go left or right because it will be His path I am on. His path always leads me home.