Wishing you a blessed Christmas and new year!
I’ve been organizing pictures and came across some odds and ends I’d like to share.
Here’s a fun card I made for my youngest grandson. I can’t remember exactly where I got the blister package (I save all kinds–HUGE FUN–KIDS LOVE IT TOO!). It was a little tough squeezing in all of the stuff . . .
This is a sweet wedding cake I decorated a few years ago for our daughter’s backyard wedding. We just ordered a plain frosted cake from the grocery store bakery and I added the decorations. The little bride and groom were just a few dollars from a craft store. I just wish I would have been brave enough to use fresh flowers. There are so many gorgeous ones on Pinterest! Check out my wedding boards: Really Pretty Weddings and Really Pretty Weddings 2.
Earlier this year I helped my pre-school Sunday School kids make these super cool capes from old tee shirts. Simply cut off the entire front (leaving the neck area). They absolutely loved it. The crosses were made out of duct tape which they adore. I’m sure I got this idea from a Pinterest pin!
These two photos are of my laundry room. I painted it a few months ago. I was excited about using a rich dark brown but I had to use lots of self-discipline not to do more than one wall. The creamy white and the floral curtains are the perfect balance to keep it fresh, don’t you think?
And here’s the view looking from my laundry room into my kitchen. It’s so homey I’m gonna never leave!
I love this picture. It was a dark and windy night!
Our church has a ladies’ luncheon every spring, featuring a table decorating competition. Yay! I won I won I won!
Don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones. — Unknown
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. — Albert Camus
I enjoyed a few quiet vacation days last week to do some much-needed painting, cleaning, and even a little fall primping:
I couldn’t say good-bye to my beautiful anniversary roses from hubby. I simply pulled off the flower heads and added them to my basket of squash and smallish pumpkins. Love how the red makes it pop. Wouldn’t this be a beautiful color scheme for a wedding? With a white wedding dress of course.
I had forgotten that I made this simple banner last fall. These little fellas are made of lace and yarn. No sewing. No fuss. Boo-tiful!
Don’t let the chilly wind scare you. Now is the time to cozy up and let your heart fall a bit!
I realize that many people probably don’t like that I write poetry, do crafts, and post pretty pictures on the same page where I tweet about my anger at our liberal government for its attacks on life, freedom, religion, and innocence. You know, it’s all about branding ourselves, and we wouldn’t want to break our naive beliefs that we are all perfectly in line with the values and beliefs of everyone we know and every passerby on the street. I have been tempted to start separating into several more focused blogs because it is not my intent to offend anyone with my beliefs, plus I have a gazillion different interests. Yet, I shall stay Perfectly Messy. It exactly sums up the stage of human development we are in. We have put ourselves out here on social media, mostly with much self-control and selective self-promotion, while unwittingly creating the opposite effect. We are losing control of what we expose of ourselves. It is scary yes. Will we use this amazing awareness of each other to advance our human experience, or just hide in fear? Will we pretend that if we avoid Facebook our sheltered worlds won’t change? Will we see the beauty of our vast wholeness while respecting the vast diversity inside and all around each of us? Will we be made more whole by overcoming the attacks on life, freedom, religion, and innocence?
Christians take communion to be reminded of Jesus’s promise that we are one in his body. This means we should stop looking for him in far off places. He is everywhere inside and all around us. We could literally be a spark in his very eye.
Have you ever heard this old story?
A Zen master said to a monk, “You must see the universe in your cup.” The monk looked into his cup, but didn’t see the universe, so he threw the cup away. The Zen master said, “Oh, poor cup. We think the cup is too small to hold the universe. Intellectually, we can’t see how it could fit. But wherever we go, the whole universe always appears–in a cup, a window, in a smile, in a word.”
Hey! Uncle Si and Phil’s grandkids would love the duct tape creativity at our house! Clean and simple fun for the whole family . . .
Check out the cool binder my daughter and granddaughter made by simply recovering an old ugly one. Wouldn’t this be a fun project for school/scout/church groups to do for back-to-school? You could ask businesses to donate old binders, folders, etc. Then simply set up tables in a large room loaded with donated duct tape, stickers, and Sharpie markers (along with skilled helpers, of course), and invite kids to come and make their own amazing looks.
We have also found a fun way to use duct tape scraps. Simply stick them onto a piece of lightweight cardboard. You can then cut into fun shapes. Be sure to save the leftover silhouette for some other creative moment.
You can also keep adding scraps until you end up with an interesting collage. Just have fun with it and don’t worry about the wrinkles. This is the collage I used to make some birthday cards for my grandsons.
I couldn’t resist adding a little star-spangled glitz.
Pretty cool, huh? Perfectly messy and funky.
As an excuse for my laziness, I carried the theme through on the inside of the cards. Cuz any granny could give cards with boring old typed-up messages.
Here are a couple of sites you might like for more inspiration:
Would love to hear about your own duct tape creations! In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on a little relaxing TV time with the Robertson’s. And I’ll be wondering:
Hey! If it quacks like duct tape you can bet your whistle it will make everybody happy happy happy.
Seriously though, wouldn’t all those beards get stuck in the tape? Ouch. Could The Robertson Men meet the challenge?
That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
A couple of football seasons ago, I happened to have in my Big Life Purse a most entertaining item.
Two carloads of our family had arrived at my grandson’s football game excruciatingly early. Not that we don’t enjoy simply sitting around and visiting with each other, but when you have in tow several grandchildren (including a 1-year old), and no place for them to play except on the bleachers (enclosed underneath thank goodness), one hour can feel a little warped.
What to do . . . What to do . . . Wait a minute! Granny has an idea! With a wave of her Behr paint sample card . . . we played Find the Color!
How to Play: The “It” person gets to read one paint color name from the backside of the card (example: Big Purse Rouge). Everyone else has to guess which color sample on the front side belongs to the name. (Younger children need help but can still play.)
We all had so much fun! (Okay the guys weren’t too excited. I think they were secretly envious.) We were laughing and enjoying ourselves so much that one of the young girls from a family nearby came over and played with us.
If you play long enough you’ll eventually run out of paint names. At this point, simply start making up your own names, which could be even more fun (the “It” person just needs to remember the real paint name it belongs to).
Sadly, I must note that not all paint sample cards are structured with paint names on one side and the paint colors on the other. Please contact your favorite paint manufactures and ask them to consider reformatting their cards. Afterall, it could be a very clever way to market paint: Dreams can be painted anywhere.
Jesus came into the world to teach love and forgiveness. Simple and wonderful enough. But the way to heaven? How is that? We know he died for our sins so that we will live forever if we believe in him. God loves us so much he sent his only son to die for us. This is the gift of salvation.
Do you ever wonder exactly why God needed to send Jesus? Did a vengeful God really demand a death sacrifice to settle the score for our evil ways? What parent would do that? Sure, human sacrifice was the hip thing to do thousands of years ago. The story of Abraham and his son prove that God was not happy about it. (Did you know human sacrifice is alive and well today? We sacrifice babies by the millions in order to have “better lives”.)
I think this God-of-wrath premise is exactly the point where many atheists decide that the whole God idea is too hokey. (Curiously, though, many atheists are fine with our human sacrifice of the unborn.)
I think our God-given free will is the key to understanding more about God, Jesus, and our salvation.
We Christians have this basic understanding of the bible: Old Testament = God creates and then judges the good, bad, and the ugly. New Testament = God gives his only son to save the world from sin and death–and we are promised a new heaven and a new earth when Jesus comes again. All of this is told via generations and generations of imperfect people, who often didn’t quite understand what was happening to them.
Did God expect us to be perfect from the start? Since he did create us, he’s obviously known all along that we’ve had free will. Maybe he originally had high hopes for us, that we’d get along just fine by keeping his commandments. Yeah. We totally flunked for thousands of years while he worried about us all going straight to hell.
Yes that’s what I said. Because God doesn’t send us to hell. We send ourselves there. And God worries about it. Because that’s what parents do.
How do we send ourselves to hell? By sinning of course. What is sin? Sin is anything that hurts us. Anything that hurts us is basically the result of a human-made, poor free-will choice. Every human-made choice has a consequence. In this ultimate game of endless possibilities, the Ten Commandments amazingly sum up every type of hurting each other there is.
What is hell? Hell is the miserable realm where the heaviness of our sin (emotional pain) keeps us down. Literally down.
Back to God worrying about us sinning and hurting each other. He had to do something. We weren’t going to find the way to heaven on our own. So he sends us baby Jesus, the perfect, innocent, and beautiful Prince of Peace who grows up to suffer and die under human hatred–all for you. If you use your own free will to accept this gift, eternal life is yours.
So how exactly does Jesus save us for eternity?
Jesus told us the greatest commandment: Love each other. We know this simple truth instinctively. It is the perfect magic of salvation. As we believe in and accept his love for us, we are transformed. We share this beautiful love and forgiveness with others. We shed the emotional heaviness of sin that would doom our souls to the deep and dark. We literally lift each other up to find the light of God.
We were lost and heavy. God sent Jesus–The Light and The Way–to teach us to hold hands and fly.
Now let your heart soar!
Here in Wisconsin we do winter longer. Our snowmen are not wimpy. They don’t melt the minute Christmas is over.
Yet, when you hear one of your snowmen asking, “Wouldn’t those blue jelly beans make a great pair of eyes?” you know it’s time to get ready for spring. So, snow long guys! My melted heart’s hopping for spring!
Have a beautiful Easter!
You will turn over many a futile new leaf till you learn we must all write on scratched-out pages. – Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983), American writer
Well here I am. I apologize for my lack of attention for nearly 4 months. In addition to the lame excuse that I’ve been busy, I have another reason for avoiding you. I have been trying to make decisions on what I want to write about, and rather than bravely blogging my thoughts and ideas, I have chosen to simply clam up. Actually, maybe it’s a good thing I’ve saved you from my ramblings. If I’m going to drive you away I guess I’d rather it be due to my silence than because of what I write.
I won’t attempt to bore you by cramming 4 months of self-indulged scrap-blogging just to make myself feel better. I will attempt to give you a brief view of where my heart and mind are these days.
New blog? I have been tempted to start one. I’ve been saving a list of clever names and tag lines, just in case I go through with it. In the meantime, I’ve decided to “write on scratched-out pages” here on My Green Velvet Life.
Twitter. You may have noticed I hang out there a lot. It is a great place to become skilled in The Poetry of Concision and quickly share endless articles and helpful resources. But I must admit it leaves me feeling impatient with traditional writing. Did I mention it is fun and addicting?
Pinterest. Pinners, I know you understand. Non-Pinners, just imagine having the entire world as your wish book. As you giddily pin your life away you realize your one true wish is to simply have time to pin all of your wishes . . .
State of the world. If you know me or if you read my tweets, you know that I am a Christian, pro-life conservative who is deeply worried about the United States and the entire world. We are not protecting life and freedom. Why are we allowing leaders to trash the U.S. Constitution? This perfect human rights document should be an example for the entire world. Not because Americans are better than anybody else. Because free people are the only people capable of making our world a better place. Weren’t we all made to live free? Whether or not you believe in God, can you deny your innate free will? Would you deny it in others? Have you ever read James Otteson’s Moral Case for Capitalism?
The story of God & us. Have you been watching The Bible on The History Channel? An interesting comment I’ve been hearing is how people don’t like the violence in the stories. There seems to be a growing need for more understanding of God and the stories in the bible, yet a shrinking ability to find time for church, discussion, or even debate with people who don’t believe in God. Going forward, I will try to share more of my deeper thoughts.
For now, I’ll leave you with a few tidbits:
Deeply Messy Topics (doesn’t mean they can’t still be fun)
God: The picture that makes me smile.
Bible for the Clueless: Stupid = not to. Practical = how to. Miracles = do too! Jesus = listen to.
Free Will & Evolution: Why God made them perfectly messy.
Religion: Trying to put God’s love into a box.
Free Speech & Humility: Why social media is a spiritual tool.
Sin: It’s anything that _____. (My pre-school Sunday Schoolers could get this.)
Technology: Discover what it really is.
Revelations: It’s about seeing not waiting.
Perfectly Fun Topics
Recycling: More cards and art projects of course. Plus, Granny’s Never Ending Art Project . . . if I can find time to actually start it.
Brilliant Advice: You’ll be an all-star if you take this handy item to your next spectator sport.
Recipes: I’ll probably never top my fabulous Ode to Jergens Lotion Bagel Spread. But I’ll try!
Thank you for visiting,