A hand-made book

Book-making is simply wonderful. And it’s wonderfully simple, too!

Last week I was blessed to be able to create a hardbound book. Sewing the signatures together starts off rather clumsily. But once you catch the rhythm (and wax your thread really well), it becomes a beautiful book.

The papers came from some craft shops through a new friend who taught us. An awl and boning tool are things I might just have to add to my personal stash of necessary homemaking supplies. : )

Displaying Art Online

Charley Parker of the Lines and Colors blog has some helpful posts on how to display art online. Several people have contacted me asking about our process of how we get our art onto the web. (I should do a post about that sometime, yes?) This is an area we’ve been learning through trial and error, so I’m especially glad to find others who know what they’re doing! I haven’t read these in their entirety yet, but I thought you might find them informative as well:

How Not to Display Your Art on the Web

How to Display Your Art on the Web

Preparing Images for the Web

(Please remember to use discretion when exploring content I don’t directly link to.)

The Little Black Notebook

This is my little black notebook where, every morning or evening, I make a list for the day ahead of me. From my ordinary routine to the special projects and deadlines, it gets written in this notebook. (Not to mention recipes and organization ideas along the way!)

Before I started using it, I was constantly misplacing my to-do lists and felt a general lack of daily accomplishment. I’ve been using it nearly every day for over a year now, and it’s become a part of me. Hardly an inanimate object, the pages practically breathe with the constant writing and turning.

It’s so simple, but keeping daily checklists has helped me in many ways, such as:

1. Look at the things I want to do

2. List the things I need to do

3. Check off the things I actually get done

4. Realistically look at how much time I waste

5. Evaluate and prioritize my time for efficiency

It has become more than a place for check lists: It has shown me the brevity of a day, a year.

I also appreciate the lack of pre-printed dates and check boxes. There’s something tangibly wholesome about writing it all by hand, just the way I need to see it laid out. The one thing this book cannot do is use my time wisely for me. ; )

What are some ways that you use to manage your time? Do you keep a daily planner, or loose sheets of paper? What helps you stay on track?

Daybook: 22 March 2012

Paperwhites, 2012

Currently reading:

— “Loving the Little Years” | Rachel Jankovic

Why I Hope Real Books Never Die (and They Won’t) | This post reminds us that it is the sincerity and comrade-like nature of print books that will never allow them to go out entirely of style.

— “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” | Tedd Tripp

American Technopoly | A sampling: “Those who resist the American Technopoly . . . are people who refuse to accept efficiency as the pre-eminent goal of human relations; . . . who are, at least, suspicious of the idea of progress, and who do not confuse information with understanding.”

 — “The Attributes of God” | A. W. Pink

. . . and lots of other books pertaining to a certain historical event
whose 100th year anniversary is fast approaching!

Paperwhites, 2012

This week: These paperwhites cheered us all January, and now amidst the throes of Spring we are finally ready to get back into the vegetable garden! Driving to SC and back (for the Teach Them Diligently convention) regaled our winter-weary eyes with feasts of forsythia, magnolia, and red bud. Huzzah for Spring!

I am listening to: Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words

I am creating: Embroidery patterns


Note about “Daybook”: I’ll be posting entries under the name of “Daybook” with a personalized, changeable list, inspired by The Simple Woman’s Daybook and used by permission.

A Night of Heroism: The Sinking of the Titanic

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A survivor rescued after the sinking of the Titanic wrote as follows:

“I was beside Henry B. Harris, the theatrical manager, when he bade his wife good-by. Both started toward the side of the boat where a lifeboat was being lowered. Mr. Harris was told it was the rule for women to leave the boat first.

“‘Yes, I know. I will stay,’ Harris said. Shortly after the lifeboats left, a man jumped overboard. Other men followed. It was like sheep following a leader.

“Capt. Smith was washed from the bridge [of the ship] into the ocean. He swam to where a baby was drowning and carried it in his arms while he swam to a lifeboat which was manned by officers of the Titanic. He surrendered the baby and swam back to the steamer.

“About the time Capt. Smith got back there was an explosion. The entire ship trembled. I had secured a life preserver and jumped over. . . .”

From Miss Daisy Minaham: An account of the men’s bravery aboard the Titanic:

“I never saw such composure and cool bravery in my life as the men of the first and second cabins displayed. Colonel Astor seemed to be the controlling figure. He, Major Butt, Mr. Guggenheim, Mr. Widener and Mr. Thayer clustered in a group as if they were holding a quick consultation as to what steps should be taken next.

“Then Col. Astor came forward with the cry, ‘Not a man until every woman and child is safe in the boats.’

“. . . Then, when it was time to go, when the last boat was being lowered to the water line, we were hurried into it by my brother, who bade us good-by and said calmly but with feeling: ‘Be brave; no matter what happens, be brave.’ Then he waved his hand and our boat shot out just in time to escape being borne down by the suction of the Titanic, as it went down.

“. . . I shall never forget the calmness and quiet bravery that the men on board showed as they stood on deck and awaited the inevitable doom.”

 –Selections from Sinking of the Titanic: The World’s
Greatest Sea Disaster, 1912

It's Here! "For This Child We Prayed"

I had a very special project last week: creating a watercolor of an adoptive family.  As I drew them, I loved conveying the individual excitement and personalities of each one.  They’re not based on anyone I know, but it seems like they are friends with a real story behind them.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve liked the idea of adoption. Adoption is a beautiful picture of God’s love for us as His children, and a beautiful way of bringing more children into a family.

Naturally, I just loved viewing a pre-screen of Rescued, a wonderful documentary on adoption. Well, the creators of Rescued have started the Rescued Adoption Fund which provides Christian families looking to adopt with informational and financial aid. And all of the profit from my print, “For This Child We Prayed,” goes to the fund!

“For This Child We Prayed” is available here in my Etsy shop — don’t be shy, spread the love!

A few quotes on Work

Vermeer’s Milkmaid

“. . . There is a difference between a hierarchy and an elite. The one is work oriented, the other privilege and leisure oriented. For a people to accept the fact of hierarchy means to accept a given variation of responsibilities in society. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 12:3-31; he speaks of the body as one with many members or parts, all sharing a common life and purpose in Christ. The unregenerate lack such a oneness except in sin. The redeemed are still given to the divisiveness of sin because of their imperfect sanctification, but they also have the Holy Spirit and His call to unity. Their being thus moves to this unity in Christ, and a recognition of the hierarchy of callings and functions  in Him. . . .

Because the world is God’s creation, it accomplishes God’s purposes. This is also true of the curse. The curse saves God’s eschatological movements in history by destroying man’s efforts to play god and by forcing men to a dependence on Him. . . .

“When work is God-centered, it moves in terms of the premise of Psalm 126:6, namely, that the God given order of creation, as well as the providence of God, works to further all efforts in His name and for His glory. . . . Because God made the world, He made all things good (Gen. 1:31), and all things holy, set apart for Him. Things are profane when men and their motives are profane. The clergy can be and often have been profane, and the same is true of every profession, calling, or variety of work. Work becomes holy when it is governed by God’s law word and eschatology. . . .

“The ecclesia [the church; ‘In Ephesians and Colossians, ecclesia has a cosmic scope.’] can be a small group meeting in a home, and it is also a cosmic power. It is also a family, and the members are brothers and sisters and a kingdom under Christ the Lord.

“All the members have a function, a local function within the house congregation, and a function in the world, wherein they manifest the works of Christ in and through them. The body does not exist for the institution’s sake, but for Christ and His world-wide Kingdom. If the church has a false eschatology, its work will have a false focus. If a church is not governed by the dominion mandate and a call to victory, it will be governed by defeatism.

“Meanwhile, the elite will work for an elitist society in which they are everything, and the people are nothing. The “scientific” interest in cloning is elitist. The dream from Plato’s day has been to command cow-like masses who will serve the purposes of the elite. The dream of cloning is a hope to stamp out docile creatures who will serve the elites as their social slaves. This is a profane eschatology, and a dream of a man-made hell.” [Emphasis mine]

Systematic Theology | Vol. 2, page 1050-53
R.J. Rushdoony

Glimpses of Redemption

Autumn–this season always seems to surprise me. Woodsy, lush landscapes of green shift from living to dying, then dead, and it’s all somehow quite mesmerizing. It’s a reminder of the story of redemption, played out before our eyes year after year. We are dead in our sins, but when we die with Christ we are made alive with Him in His resurrection.

These Dahlias are from a dear friend.
They are loving the cooler temperatures!

— * —

My family and I are enjoying this new release, Music Inspired by The Story. Wow. This is Beautiful. It’s a series of songs based on people from the Bible (such as Adam and Eve, Job, David, Esther, Abraham and Sarah, etc.) sung by various Christian artists. The lyrics, the music, the artistic quality–just Wow. This gets ten out of five stars. Go buy yourself a copy. (Note: Not all the music styles are to our taste, but there are some songs that we really appreciate) ; )

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While I neglected my studio over the summer, the second law of thermodynamics made itself very evident. Peace and order are now  being restored, and the top of the bookshelf is already looking quite nice. I was so pleased with the results, I had to share a picture:

And here’s one of the pear trees in our back yard. We harvested quite a few, and they’re sweeter this year!

“All things were made by Him;
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

(John 1:3, ESV)

What are you preparing your heart for?

Even when our own don’t exist, we young women like to talk about our future marriage, home, and children, don’t we? We were designed for a life of nurturing a family. And occasionally you might hear us ask each other,

“So, if you were married tomorrow and had a
home of your own, would you be ready?”

This question may send our thoughts to pondering the wonderful state of matrimony, setting up house, raising God-fearing children, and helping our husband take on the world and whatever may come. The thought of sunshine streaming through the windows as little chubby feet pound and patter across the floor while I prepare a hearty midday meal just thrills my heart.

But what if we were instead asked,

“If your parents were ill needing your
constant care, or were even in hospice, would you be ready
to lay down your life to take care of them?”

Are you readying yourself for the disenchanting jobs life will bring? Are you prepared to care for a sick or dying man? Are you willing, eager, to sacrifice your life to show the love of Jesus Christ to a person whom the world deems useless and unwanted?

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“Grandfather’s Little Nurse” by James Hayllar – image credit

When pondering these two questions, there may be a bigger difference between the two answers than we’d like to admit. From my own blissful optimism changing to deer-in-the-headlight discomfort, they reveal my heart’s attitude toward showing true Christlike love. Marriage is a high calling most of us will find ourselves in, and it will require a life of sacrifice. We cannot sow to the flesh and expect to reap the Spirit — the true meaning of love must be rediscovered and lived out in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who showed us what a life of sacrifice and Love really looks like.

“Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
(John 15:13, KJV)

Summer Sweetness, part 3

As I wrote this post, I realized that there’s much to be said about fields and clouds and sunsets. They become a surprisingly large part of a person’s life. Since I’m sure you all can relate, I’ll be as concise as affection will allow and let these few humble pictures tell the rest of the stories for themselves.

↑ The Southwest view from the back yard. This is where we watch storm heads roll over us.

The North, north-east view from the backyard. It’s spacious for everything from large gatherings and a garden, to walking the dog and general delightfulness.

This next view is the North, north-west sky from our front porch. From there, one evening last summer, a dramatic sunset (not pictured) looked like a fleet of Viking ships sailing up to a rocky shore. Yes, it did, and it was probably the most grand cloud scene I’ve ever mentally recorded in my life so far (does anyone else do that?). This is also a good spot for watching local fireworks.

So that’s a glimpse of what the summer sky looks like around here. The weather’s always changing and therefore the clouds, but it’s always beautiful and it’s always home. : )

 Now, let’s welcome Fall, shall we?