Monday, September 27, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... The gold finches are enjoying all the sunflower volunteers we have in the yard

I am thinking... about the sermon on Romans I am listening to: Ray Stedman on Romans "From Guilt to Glory"

I am thankful for... Christ's righteousness. Mine just doesn't cut it.

I am wearing... Floral t shirt, Coldwater Creek jeans, Keen shoes

In the learning room... The dining room? Art supplies everywhere. Mine and the kids. :)

I am remembering... The fall air reminds me of the happy times I spent riding horses as a kid. 

I am going... hopefully nowhere!

I am currently reading...

and have a lot of thoughts about it...

I am hoping... ~that Rand will be able to fit in a  good size job before the rain really sets in.

On my mind... My "to do" list

Noticing that... Noelle needs tending to!

Pondering these words... 

"In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected."
~Charles Dickens~
British novelist

From the kitchen... Elisa making lentil soup in the crock pot. I love the feeling of dinner being "already made." We will add baked potatoes and a steamed vegetable later.

Around the house... Laundry to fold, cleaning to do, but I hope I can work on a quilt I am making this afternoon. :)

One of my favorite things... Coffee in the morning!

A picture to share: 

Zeke likes the beach.

Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The other day Zeke comes to me and he says "Mama! Now that it's fall you can make chicken and duckelings!" (I know it's ducklings, but that's how he says it.) 


(Before he was excited-Zeke usually is excited. But now he's hesitant...) 

You know... that soup that you put the baby ducks in?

That blessed boy thought I was putting baby ducks in his soup?!  I'm horrified! It didn't seem to bother him though... 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In which I tell a sad, sad story...

My drawings are like children to me. I fuss over them, I love them, I get angry with them... I had the most lovely time drawing this one...

I love bright, clear colors.  I was so happy with the way the orange and the green were getting along.. 

And then... 
(No it wasn't the boys this time.. their destruction would have been more complete...) 

But still, and then I went outside to take pictures and!!!!!!

What on earth are they!!!! I don't know. *sigh*
Well, what to do. Keep it? I put it into the shop anyway, at half price. (and included pictures of the spots) They don't show that much. I think once it's framed nobody would notice. But man, I could just cry. Think I'll have a bowl of ice cream instead. *sigh*

Have you tried the new Tillamook Ice Cream feature flavor, Cinnamon Bun swirl?


There is a giveaway at My Heart and Welcome To It. Head on over and enter!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Item in Shop

Apparently I took the wrong button from my daughter's blog yesterday. I linked her blog, but I meant to link her shop. So here's the right one:


Also, we have had another birthday. :)

Joseph is four.

And can I just say, the whole idea strikes me as really, really wrong. :/

Monday, September 13, 2010

I only have a couple of minutes to check in, but I wanted to mention that Shayleen has opened an Etsy shop.


And my second daughter, Elisa has started a photography blog.

Capturing Life One Picture at a Time.

I know they would be encouraged if you would stop by and say "hi!"!

Now to get to the Monday morning catch up.... Yiy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

And now for something completely different...

Haha, it makes me happy. And it's good house cleaning music.
I hope nobody who comments here is thinking I am criticizing their blog. Not everybody HAS to do a certain kind of blog, and there's nothing wrong with Victorian if you really do like it. (And Wayside Wanderer, I found your blog because Marbel suggested it as a "beautiful blog." :)  And not everybody has the time to edit HTML (or has a teenage daughter that you can ask to do it for you) I'm probably over thinking as my son always accuses me of doing. (He over thinks too!)

I guess my lament is like Mrs. Darling said in the comments and in writing this is really true too. There are SKADS of Christian writers out there, but all the books seem to kind of follow the same theme (Historic Christian probably romance in there too type.) and they are pretty shallow. Christian music? Same thing. Why?
Are we stretching ourselves? Has our God gotten smaller? Are we more comfortable with predictability and things that go a little different scare us?

I don't know. I just wonder about these things. I hope I haven't made anybody feel bad. It's more my own personal lament than directed toward any certain person... It's my own thing, I'm sure.

But isn't it weird? On one hand the wishy washy thing, the "anything is art" thing and on the other all the predictable Hallmark card-y stuff? I can't solve it. I'm not really an artist, maybe that's the thing. I feel like if I call myself an artist there's some sort of responsibility that goes with it and frankly I don't think I fill it. Maybe I'll call  myself a decorator.

And now that I've completely made NO SENSE I'll go clean the kitchen and do something predictable.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

more art post

I know this probably seems academic, but I think about these things, not just for myself, but because I want to train the children I am raising as well as they pursue their artistic interests. Also, it bothers me that we Christians really seem to have abandoned the arts. I think in a way we distrust beauty. We know that appearances can be deceiving, and we also know that in our culture the young and beautiful have been elevated to be far more important than everyone else. So, I think we have abandoned beauty as a virtue. I know that at times in my life I felt like if I tried to beautify my home and things like that I would feel like I was being materialistic. But does beauty have value itself?

Well, we look to the attributes of God we see that He possesses beauty. 

One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

God says that holiness is beautiful.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  Psalm 29:2

God beautifies His people.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.  Psalm 90:17

God takes away beauty as a rebuke.

When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man [is] vanity. Selah.  Psalm 39:11

So obviously God sees beauty as something He values. It can be deceptive, it should be handled carefully, but we should not throw out the baby with the bath water.

I know that I am inspired by beauty. I used to feel guilty about that, like it was worldly of me maybe. But I think actually it's just part of who God made me to be. But I used to be troubled as I would seek out beauty. As I traversed the internet, I really enjoy blogs where the author has taken time to make their blog beautiful. But you know, MOST of the most beautiful blogs out there, the ones that celebrate daily life, take the ordinary and give it back glorified are NOT by Christian women. Or, if they are, it seems that Christian women are only comfortable with two types of beauty-Victorian and that sort of quilty country look. And those who are more in the other areas of beauty, more contemporary styles, are kind of... quiet about their faith... well, they might let it peek out every so often, but often they seem almost apologetic about it.

Can I be honest with you? I'm not so much into Victorian. I used to wonder if maybe I lacked some aspect of femininity because I wasn't. But, I don't know. I'm just not. 

I wish Christian women were more at the fore front of the women's arts and craft movement, which is really exploding right now. As I look for inspiration in magazines like "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" and all the Somerset magazine, "Quilting Arts" etc. I see very little Christian voice. That may be the editors, but I don't completely think so because when I look at the really good stuff on etsy it kind of seems the same. Very little Christian artistic voice. Why?  Can anyone explain this to me?

The painting below is Winslow Homer by the way. I forgot to label it so late at night...

And I'm not targeting any particular blog or person in these posts. This is stuff that just kind of swirls around in my head and I get all wound up in my own head and... well... that's why I have a blog.

More Art

Well, this is what happens sometimes when you drink coffee laced with espresso late in the evening. You get a blog post at 3:00 am.

So what is art?

Wikipedia defines it as such: Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects the sensesemotions, and/or intellect.

I just went to church's website (a CHURCH mind you. I won't link it.)Where art is defined thus:

 Art is whatever someone consciously calls, ‘art' .  


What's really odd is that in that same article there is a picture of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" uh that is urinal.  Marcel Duchamp was a leading voice for the Dada movement. 

This is from the Dada Manifesto:

      A Young girl commits suicide. Because of What? DADA The spirits are telephoned. Who invented it? DADA Someone walks on your feet. It's DADA If you have serious ideas about life, If you make artistic discoveries and if all of a sudden your head begins to crackle with laughter, If you find all your ideas useless and ridiculous, know that


I'm sorry, but Dada is not art. Not as art is historically defined. Dada is anti-art.  And I DON"T want it speaking to me.  And the thought that someone writing on a church blog would think that it is really depresses me. Doesn't that little excerpt just breath sulfur? 

Enough of those late night creepy thoughts.

Rich Bledsow, a recent speaker at our churches family camp defined art as taking the ordinary making it unfamiliar and giving it back to you in glorified form. That rang true with me. Why would people want paintings of things they see all the time? Pears and houses and flowers and boats on the water... We love these things. They are beautiful. They are good. When we isolate them in a piece of art and glorify them and present them in a new way for the viewer we share with them the goodness of God. "See these beautiful oranges? God was so good to give them to us."

So I guess what I'm trying to say is there must be some higher definition of art. 

My fonts are all wonky with the quotes I've put in. Sorry if it seems like I'm yelling. Really, I'm not. I can't get the bold to turn OFF!

There.  Kindof. Anyway.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Is Art???

A friend of our stopped by last night and I was in the kitchen painting. He said, "You know what I don't like about painting? It's so imprecise." I had to laugh. Well, he's an engineer. I can see how my impreciseness may bug him.

But it did bring up an argument that has been going on in my head for years and years and has been more on my mind lately because my pastor was giving sermons on beauty and also because I have been trying to take more time lately to develop my own painting and drawing skills. What is art? Is anything with a frame on it art? Just because it's in your head and you give form to it with some creative process, and it serves no functional purpose otherwise (as opposed to invention, like the invention of a can opener, say.) and you put lighting on it and ask people to come look at it, does that make it "art"? Can a Christian use abstraction as art ever? If you say no, (and some Christians do) then is copying as nearly as you can to the real life subject "art"? Is absolute skill in accurate drawing the highest skill an artist can develop?

Anyway,  when I was younger I read quite a bit of Mennonite stuff. I read at one point an article about Christian art and they made an assertion that Christians in drawing and painting were to accurately portray God's creation. To do otherwise would be to set oneself up higher than God in a way, to portray a reality different than the one he has portrayed. So not only would complete abstraction be out but also tweaking reality into something that couldn't be, like painting apples blue. I think Francis Schaeffer also saw abstraction in art as a progression in man's rebellion against God in the western culture. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, it's been a long time since I've read "How Then Shall We Live".

But Francis Schaeffer was a premillennialist. His view of society was that man would be in rebellion and so the way he would interpret new cultural shifts and such would be in line with his eschatology.

But I wonder if abstraction is actually an expression of rebelling against God in and of itself. It seems to me that before the invention of the camera the primary purpose of art would be to reproduce images one wanted to carry through life with them, even if they couldn't be there or have that person forever. Abstraction would have been an annoyance! I mean if you wanted a portrait of your wife you wanted a picture of your wife! But since the invention of the camera people can have those pictures. So what is the point of the artist now? Is there one? Or has the camera replaced him?

At least I know that as an artist I spent some years trying to represent things as I saw them and these are the questions I asked myself as I drew. Personally, it seems to me that if a person is drawing to accurately represent something, even if it's something beautiful, you might as well use a camera. A camera will always be able to be more accurate (even though it does have some distortions of it's own.) and photography can glorify and enhance a subject just like an artist can.

So, then. Is abstraction a rebellion against God? Or is it a natural shift in the art world as artists work to redefine their craft in the face of technological advancement? Is it a sign of regress in culture? Or actually a result of progress?

More later.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zeke turned 6 back in May. But he told us at that time that his hearts desire was to take snacks to Oaks Park in a lunch box. (Somebody asked us recently why our kids always ask for weird things for their birthday. Well, it's true, they do. Noah asked for a garbage truck once and last year Owen said he wanted coffee and carrots.)

Well, Oaks Park isn't open in May, so he had to wait. After I heard about the library reading program's free day, he had to wait even longer. (Well, do you know how much it costs for our family to all get ride bracelets at Oaks Park?!?)

Joseph, well armed.

We should have done our family portrait here. Wish I'd have thought of it!


Well, it was a pretty fun day. The big kids had a few friends there and went on the Screaming Eagle over and over. Oaks Park is a pretty fun and we have gone there for years. I'm sure all my kids will have fond memories of that place.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Drawing Today

Twin Rocks, Oregon
Remember I was talking about free stuff on the internet the other day?  Well, I just hit the Mother-lode. I may never be able to get off my computer again.

Forrest is definitely taking one of those free computer science courses.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another thing that has helped to make canning more smoothly is that I have discovered that playing a movie makes the work a little more enjoyable. I usually don't allow movies during the daytime but peeling and coring are pretty brainless activities, so it's nice to have something else to do with your mind.

Certain movies have a certain feel. Some seem like summery movies, some fall, winter, etc. Here are some movies we especially like to watch in the summer. Not necessarily new, just favorites.

I love Sophia Loren in this... And oh, yeah, Cary Grant too. :)

The girls and I are unashamedly fond of "chick flicks". But even Forrest liked this one. It had some pretty funny spots. It's PG-13 so you might want to review the reasons and see if it would be OK for your family. There wasn't anything super overt, but a few brief moments...

Love "The Importance of Being Ernest" Can't even think how many times we've seen it. Besides, it has Colin Firth. :)

This is the Bollywood version of "Sense and Sensibility"and it is very sweet. Not good for watching when you are supposed to be doing something with your hands (because of the subtitles) but very good for a late night movie with the windows open and summer night air coming in...

Oh this is a hoot, cuz it's so cheesy! But I love cheesy things, so I never get tired of it. You know if you kiss a girl you gotsta marry her cuz it's the code of the hills...

And for more on India, this is a keeper. It can be sad and hard to watch in spots, but the hopeful, triumphal theme is a balm over it all. Very good movie.

I love all the old Disney Classic animation movies, but Sleeping Beauty is my favorite. I love the different drawing style in it. I will watch movies just for the visual interest and this one is one of the best for that.

Am I the only one who thinks Hayley Mills is just too cute? Shayleen and I like to watch this just for the clothes.. So fun, so retro..

Maybe we watch too many movies...

Well, do you have any summer movie recommendations?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welp, it's that time again...
Time to bring in the harvest. :)


When my kids were younger I both relished and dreaded these days. The hot summer days when I would can 300lbs of peaches all by my own lonely self... and then move on to 200 lbs of tomatoes, 150 lbs of pears, go to the bathroom and cry... 
I mean, I wanted to do it, nobody was making me. I wanted to have all that food in my basement when we needed it. I believe in supporting local farmers as much as we can. I wanted to have good wholesome food on the shelves. I wanted to be ready for Y2K when we might be required to hole up in the basement and live on peaches and pickles for 6 months...
Bot oolala the mess. The fruit flies.. the WORK!
Because don't let any pretty canning pictures fool you, canning is work-at least if you do it on any real scale. Maybe just blithely boiling up one canner of applesauce...

Anyway, now I have help and it isn't so bad.
Boy, he's studying that, isn't he?
Iced coffee. That counts as help.
Supervising is hard work too. :)

Well, so far I've only gotten berries and made applesauce. And I didn't can the sauce, I froze it. I think it tastes better that way.

But today it's gloomy and rainy and I'm wondering if there will be much by way of peaches, tomatoes, etc. We've had such a short summer this year! Even though I personally prefer cooler weather, I'm hoping for an Indian summer so we can get more canning done and Rand can fit in an outdoor job he's been trying to get in.

What are you putting by?