Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to My MOM!!

Today is my Mom's 77th birthday. My Mom, despite some health issues, is still very active and does so much for so many people. She is the BEST Mom anyone could ask for, and an example to me and all my sisters and brother and our spouses, as well as the hoards of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mom and Dad have been married for over 56 years, an example of another loving relationship she gives us too.

I thank God for my Mom, and for the love she has showered me with over the years. On Sunday we'll celebrate Mom's birthday along with the other August and September birthdays at our house. It's always a challenge to find a gift, one that conveys how much I love my Mom and appreciate all she does.

Lord, thank you for Mom, give her good health, freedom from aches and pains, and joy in You, Lord...asking this in Jesus Name. Amen.

The REAL gift of Christmas - The Present of Presence

This is an assembled piece that didn't take much work, just some imagination, and reflection. I love finding baby Jesus figurines. And when I came across the wire gift box I thought it would be a good resting place for my collection. I added an angel, announcing the gift to the world, and Mother Mary overlooking her baby, and a precious gem, a crystal "diamond-like" pendant...Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with You.

Although it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, (although stores seem to get into the act earlier and earlier each year!), it's always a good time to reflect on God's gift of Jesus to the world, and to each of us personally, so I am calling this assemblage "The Present of Presence".

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Pictures of the Art as Prayer Interactive Prayer Station Room

Since I've had several requests for pictures of all the stations to be emailed to some participants, I thought the easiest way was to post them here and give the blog addy to people. Since back home I'm on a slooooow dial up and all.

So, here are the rest of the stations from that workshop. Double click on any photo for a larger view.

Art as Prayer - Interactive Prayer Stations Workshop

This weekend I am doing a workshop at a Christian Formation conference called Whose Church Is It Anyway? It's being held in the Diocese of Chicago, in Mundelein at a seminary. Lovely place, great workshop, wonderful speakers and loads of good things and ideas to take back to our own parish to use. There are many interesting people I've met and it's been a very good conference!

I have set up some of my assemblage art in an Interactive Prayer Station room that participants can go into any time through out the two days. Here are some pictures of a few of the stations that were in the room.

I've gotten some more good ideas for new assemblages to try to come up with, and suggestions to use for doing these at other places...Note: get unscented candles, some people have allergies!
Okay... time to get ready for the second day of the conference... More good stuff to come, I'm sure!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BAT update.... EEEEKKK

That pesky bat that has been living in our basement for over week is GONE!! (I hope!) I was sitting in the living room tonite, and suddenly saw this shadow fly overhead.. at first I thought I had imagined it, but it happened again, and again.. and when I looked up, there was a bat flying about the room, dodging the ceiling fan that was running on a fast speed...thank goodness it didn't run into one of the blades and get thrown toward me! It was bad enough the thing seemed to be swooping down toward me to avoid the fan.

I dropped to the floor and crawled along, turned on the lights as I went so the bat maybe wouldn't go into the rooms with the lights on, opened the front door so maybe it would fly out on the front porch.. and then I SCREAMED for John, who was upstairs watching TV... he didn't hear me, so I SCREAMED LOUDER!! ...still no response from John, but I'm sure the neighbors heard me since the door was wide open! *L*

I ran up the stairs jumping around shouting that the bat was in the living room.. John just told me to calm down and he came downstairs to see for himself (like I would lie about it???)...the bat was NOwhere to be seen... but then suddenly I saw it swoop out on the porch... I slammed the front door shut and while John snuck out of the door, I turned on the porch light, John opened the outside porch door, and after about 10 times of circling the inside of the porch, the bat found its way out the door... HURRAH!!!

I'm glad THAT thing is gone... at least I hope that it was only ONE bat in the basement... *looking up and around all paranoid like now hoping another bat doesn't swoop me*

The Hand of God??

How cool is THIS?? VERY COOL! I found this giant hand, that is a chair, at Good Will today.. it was originally yellow, and although it doesn't look bad as yellow in this picture, it was stained in many places.. so I bought some of that spray paint for plastic stuff and painted it red... ...to me, if this is gonna be representing God's hand, I think red is better... don't ask me why, I just think it is.*L* I looked at the colors they had there and green, or blue or orange just didn't seem Godly for a hand..*L* Okay, okay... so I'm weird, but what color would YOU think God's hand is...if God has a hand that is. *L*

Anyway... I am going to take this and use it in the interactive prayer station I am doing on Friday and Sat. in the Diocese of Chicago for a Christian Formation Conference... God sure works in strange ways, and it sure is awesome when God holds me in the palm of His hand! *S*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Stash of Good Will Treasures from last week....

Okay, my sister in law, Lisa, was whining about not knowing what was in those Good Will bags that exploded in the back of my van from our shopping excursion last week... so, here are just SOME of what I found ... not pictured is one of those Graco baby beds that collapse up real nice... I have one, but it's one I had from my own son, Kaine, when he was a baby, and this one is almost like new, and much easier to put up and take down... and since I have two grandchildren that are small enough for these, I grabbed the one I saw! The items in the picture include a small stove of some kind, which I am thinking I can add one of the aluminum hands I have in the basement and maybe make it into a planter or something? I have several religious things... a brass virgin mary and Jesus, a cross...a large print bible..some votive candles, some stands (all these I may use for the coming workshop I'm doing in IL this weekend). A fish net, which I think I may try to use for that pesky bat STILL in my basement...ugghh!!!!
The "MEDITATE" sign, some frames, a box that is on a swivel base, which was used for CD's, but I will find a way to take those trays out of it, I hope? Also there is a brass hand light switch plate, a door knob, a wooden Willie dog, looks like our old Willie who died about 5 years ago... some frames, and more...a good haul, eh?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

GoodWill Hunting.....

Yes, here you see it... A Good Will store exploded in the back of my minivan. *L*

My girlfriend, Deb, and I took a day off... when the cat's away (Fr. Bill is on vacation), the mice WILL play...and we did! We headed to the Milwaukee area and shopped till we dropped... we went to 6 Good Will stores there and also did some shopping on Brady Street... ate out, came back home, went to the Good Will here, then to Chili's for a late dinner....ahhhh, good times, good deals, and fun, fun, fun too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Texas grass with glass bottle flowers

Here's my latest garden addition... these flowers should last awhile and not need much water, eh? *L*

The "texas grass" is barbed wire cut in various lengths and cemented into a tin can that is buried in the ground. The "glass bottle flowers" are just that...glass bottles, upside down on the barbed wire.

I have larger colored glass bottles too, but this barbed wire isn't strong enough to support them..I'll have to find some other wire or tubing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Finished Dresser....

Yay!! I finished the dresser, and Kasey came home and picked out the knobs for the drawers, so tahh dahh... here it is! She really likes it and I wish I could keep it too! *L*

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dresser alnost done....

Only a few more coats of polycrylic and Kasey's birthday present is finished...then finding some cool handles too.... This picture shows the dresser with the drawers part way out because of needing more coats of poly on them, but I was anxious to see how it would look all put together...so far I love it.. hope she will too!

Fun in the Sun on 08/08/08.

Today was a perfect day for fun, work and play.... plus it's suppose to be a lucky day being all 8's (August 8, 2008 = 08/08/08).

The grandsons had fun with the hose and since we don't have a pool, they made do with what we did have...coolers, plastic bins and kettles..*L*
Then they "camped out" in the tent and had lunch ... luckily allowing me to stain Kasey's dresser and then sit and laugh while they played.
Later we had a wet sponge war before heading in to watch Sponge Bob and naps for Jeff and Gramma. *L*

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dresser Remake continues....

Here's how far I am with Kasey's dresser ... it's been sanded, painted red, sanded again, and now it's ready for the dark walnut stain... hopefully I can do that tomorrow, even though I have the three grandsons, I'm hoping to be able to stain it... let it dry about 8 hours, then polycrylic over it all.

More to come....

A Sad Day In Mudville... and Cheeseland...

Good thing we didn't put this Saint Brett stainglass window in our church eh? *sigh*
Mixed feelings about the whole trade thing... but I'm sad that Brett will now be playing for another team... NY Jets. Only thing that could have been worse is if it had been da Bears or the Vikes that got him......although, who knows what will happen down the road?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dresser Remake in Progress....

Months ago, when daughter Kasey and I were exploring a Good Will store, we saw a dresser that had been painted bright red... we didn't buy it, but as we were drving home Kasey said that a red dresser like that would be kind of cool to have and would look good in her bedroom. I agreed, it was an unusual color and it certainly would stand out and bring some color to a room.
So, when I found this older dresser, I thought it would be fun to sand it down and paint it red and give it to her for a birthday present... I have some cherry red paint, I'll use, distress it a bit, and then stain over it with a dark walnut stain.

At least that's the plan... I sanded it some the other day, and then got back to it tonite... here it is after wiping it down to get rid of the dust from sanding. I'm thankful for electric handsanders... sure saves a lot of time. Tomorrow I'll have to sand by hand the legs and corners that the electric sander didn't get.
Then I hope to get a coat of red paint on it.....

MORE to come.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Latest Assemblage....The Lord Will Direct Us in All of Our Ways; Or The March of the Singing Nuns & Penguins; ..Heavenly Choir;...Sister Act?

This is a fun assemblage that has nuns (these 3 nuns are actually a music box, but I haven't figured out what the song it plays is yet), some assorted penguins, a choir boy, brass music staff hanging in the background, on the top is Jesus as the choir director with His baton (my grandson will think it's a light saber I bet..*L*), two enamel black & white door knobs on the sides of the shadow box frame, an old key to a tabernacle (that Fr. Bill found for me), with assorted attachments added to it (key, lock, heart, brass thingys) hanging off the white doorknob, and a brass plate at the top of the frame that reads "White Clad, trademark registered Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, MO, USA".

I'm still not sure what I'll title this one.. but it makes me smile when I look at it... hope others see the joy in it as well as a message that Jesus is available to give direction, when needed, for us ALL, in all things, in all ways..... and sometimes with humor added! *S*

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Art/Supply Room & One Workbench... believe it or not, it's somewhat organized.. *L*

I am a member of MMCA, Mixed Media Collage Artists... a very talented group of people, see my link at the right and check out the gallery...some very cool stuff there!

One of the threads there that I've commented on, has me giggling and laughing at the fun responses... we have been talking about cleaning our spaces.. (or not).. so to show just how organized (NOT) I am, I am being very daring here and posting a couple of pictures of my space and one work bench.
My MAIN workspace has become my living room coffee table, where I can spend time with hubby, watch some TV (well, inbetween John channel surfing every 5 minutes...arrgghhhh), and I feel like I'm not all alone down in the dungeon basement doing art... maybe someday I'll have a cool art studio.... if I win the lottery perhaps? haha..*L*

Lord, have mercy on me, a messy, somewhat unorganized artist and sinner. *S*

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Busy Saturday....

This morning myself and another person from our church, Jo, helped serve with the Diocesan Youth Commission at The Gathering Meal Program at the St. James Church site in downtown Milwaukee, part of a Youth Commission day of service projects and then movie/game time. (I didn't stay for the movie/game time since we had other plans that day) We left this morning at 8:30, arrived by 9:30, started preparing the meal by 9:45, served the guests from 11:30 - 12:30, ate some leftovers ourselves, and cleaned up and were on our way home by 1:15. Everyone worked well together and made it a fun time as well. The picture is our group after we had finished.

Later today John and I had a GREAT time at some friends home where they had a pool party, tons of good food and drinks, and a wonderful couple who sang and played guitars and entertained us with songs from the 70's... I took home their info, they'd be a great duo for a wedding reception or some other kind of party.

Anyway... today was great.. Thank you Lord!!