My Green Velvet Life

Where everything sticks.


April 2012

How Big is Your Easter Basket?

As we celebrate hope and love this Easter, I’ve been thinking about some of the words of Jesus:

Be like children.  Faith and love. These are natural states of our being, from the moment we enter life. Babies bask in love. You might wonder how a newborn baby can have faith. I believe the very act of being on earth is a commitment of faith. How beautiful and strong you are, just to be born into God’s creation!  Religion is very lovely, yet with many rules we must learn as we grow up. Many people need the structure of certain kinds of religion to help learn and share God’s love–we’re all at different levels of understanding–but let’s remember that religion is structure only–not the contents–of God’s love.  Think of it as a jar or a box we use to help us hold God’s love. If there is no structure, the contents simply spill into everything–not exactly a bad thing, considering the content, although it can be a bit messy for us humans who tend to like structure.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  This gets complicated only because we each have different ideas about how to share love. We get hurt when we expect others to love us in the same way we give our love to them. This is why babies are so easy to love. They haven’t learned to think of love in different ways yet. For them, love is easily defined: sleep, eat, clean clothes, warm cuddling . . .

When much has been given a person, much will be asked of that person.  I don’t think Jesus had socialism in mind. I think he was talking about personal responsibility. God gave each of us our own free will. What shall we do with this amazing gift? Use it! We help write The Story God Made. He is with us as we make choices that affect every page-turning scenario, but he wants us to do the page turning.  Every time we make a life-affirming choice, no matter how small, we help push our story into a higher level of light and love, to the place God has promised to us.

I am The Way.  But what of people who have never heard of Jesus or the bible? Who’ve never been baptized? No problem, because God works big. Just think of what Jesus embodies: Simple, beautiful love. Love is The Way. It is so big you can’t fit it completely into any jar or box.  It is, however, pure delight to try and fit into an Easter basket.

Happy Easter! Wishing you light and love!

Trashy Greetings

Not feeling too creative or clever lately.  Typically, this time of year is a bit blah in Wisconsin. Although this year we have been treated with greenery and blooms busting forth well before Easter, my mood is stubbornly sitting on the blah side.  I guess my internal clock really loves how gray afternoons and icy mud puddles seem to nod approval to laziness, quiet reflection, and even a bit of indulgent self-pity.

Okay I’m really not here to trash our beautiful spring.  But I am here to talk about trash. I love saving strange bits of garbage in hopes of discovering and sharing their fantastic artistic potential. Here are a few greeting cards I’ve made the last few weeks. Each one is just a bit trashy and a great big easy. (Notice some of the elements are simply stapled together. Because sometimes I’m too lazy to glue.)

This “black vase” is wrinkled-up paper from a bag of coffee. (Hint: Berres Brothers makes the yummiest coffee and the coolest waxy black packaging.)

This “silver vase” is a piece of cream cheese wrapping. A bit messy to wash but so worth it. And you guessed it. My beloved painted cardboard too.

This “silver vase” is a bit of shiny cardboard from a package of face lotion. I wrinkled it for a fun effect.

This blue background is from one of my favorite art trash resources: a Mentos candy wrapper.  This gorgeous material is always a hit with the kids. (The candy is a hit with the kids too.)

And this “brown vase”is from a Starbucks coffee cup wrapper.  It’s so nubby I’m gonna die!

Now go forth and have your own trashy fun!

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