Posts in Category "Journal"

Daybook: 12 February 2015

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Thursday, February 12

Outside my window… The sunlight, wide and warm across the field, mixes with patches of darkness from the clouds. The atmosphere has that clear, hopeful brilliance of coming spring but the snow, which gives the appearance of melting, belies the thermometer: it’s a mere 22 degrees!

In the kitchen… In the evenings I’ve been making hot chocolate for mum and myself.  When your work is always nearby, it’s the perfect incentive to call it a day and pick up a good book.

I am creating… copies of Pauline Baynes’ style of pen and ink, practicing my own style of miniature drawings. Her thoughtful details on such small scale are captivating!

2015_2_pauline baynes_study

I am reading…
“The Bird in the Tree” by Elizabeth Goudge
“Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown

I am thinking… about adding color to my blog design

I am visiting (online)…
The thought-provoking Audio Library at the CiRCE Institute
The oh-so-delightful Read Aloud Revival Podcast
Karen Andreola’s blog, “Moments with Mother Culture


Around the house…
Dad is finishing up remodeling the bathroom, and mom has started the spring cleaning.

I am looking forward to…
a St. Valentine’s event this weekend with the girls!

Working on Thumbnails


Work on the storybook Bible continues!  These are thumbnails, the “seedlings” that will become finished drawings and paintings in the book.  (Above is Anna from Luke 2:36-38)


Angie Smith has done a beautiful job writing the stories for girls, each featuring a woman from the Bible.  The redemptive narrative is thoroughly woven into every page.  It’s really, truly beautiful.


Emily Rose has been assisting me by editing and scanning my artwork for the publisher.  (My work is never perfect and can always use a touch up to make it ready for the book!  She does an excellent job!)


The publisher, B&H Kids, is planning on an October 2014 release.  We can’t wait to share it with you!

“Claudia visits the Jolly Cottage”



The past few weeks have been more full than usual — traveling, vending our wares at the Family Economics Conference (which was wonderful!), visiting with friends, celebrating a new marriage, and preparing for a little more traveling and vending.  I’ve loved it, and here in the next week or two I’ll be starting work on the next book, the Storybook Bible for girls, with Angie Smith.  I can hardly wait!


While tidying up the studio I came across this drawing from a couple years ago.  I wondered what it would look like in color, and since the original drawing is on cheap sketch book paper, watercolor was out of the question.  I experimented with Photoshop and a few PS watercolor brushes.


 “Claudia visits the Jolly Cottage”

Perhaps it’s an elderly neighbor in need of a friendly visit, or a young mother who will be surprised by an afternoon’s rest while Claudia makes dinner for her . . .

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and
among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death,
to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity,
as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-17—

Oh, and I’ve added some brand new note cards to the shop!  And who knows, Claudia might end up there soon, too!

Spring happenings

A couple weeks ago I finished up a new chalk art print!  It’ll be in the shop soon as a print and as boxed note cards.  But more importantly . . .


This Saturday, our precious friend, Sarah, will be getting married, and she’ll be moving far away to NC with her wonderful, godly husband, Jordan.  This week we’re enjoying hosting his family and getting ready for the big day!  It has been beautiful to watch the Lord weave Sarah’s and Jordan’s lives together.


Spring in Winter

Today was one of those mild winter days that feels like Spring. Through my studio window I could see dark rain clouds slowly passing by, giving shadow and sun. All the while small white clouds hurried along in the Spring breeze. With a few hours of daylight left and the golden hour coming on, I desperately wanted to enjoy the surprise weather. So down went the pencil and paper, and out for a walk I went.

Almost all the snow has melted, and even though it’s January, I couldn’t help looking for buds. The flowers must not have noticed the calendar, because I found that the daffodils, irises, and Chionodoxa (above) were already pushing up the dirt about themselves. Today I learned that Chionodoxa is also called “Glory of the snow”; I’m hoping it snows while they’re blooming just so I can see. And those wild musk hyacinths growing behind them, well, they just don’t stop growing.

Walking back toward the house, two or three sparrows caught my eye. They were sneaking in and out of the hedge for what reason I don’t know, but I’m glad they’re back. Come summer, a whole flock of them will hide in the hedge and fall silent when we walk by. Funny when you realize you’ve missed the little things.

The unexpected day reminded me of the surprises God sends us — God’s Providence is simply amazing. He weaves the smallest details into the most beautiful designs. When we take the time to consider the tapestry only He could orchestrate, we wonder why we weren’t paying closer attention from the beginning.

A happy little website announcement

For a few years I’ve been dreaming about a portfolio website . . . and now I finally have one! Really, with my sister‘s amazing graphic design skills, it was simply a matter of saying, “Let’s do this!” I pulled out the sketchbooks and papers and we put the scanner to work! And Emily Rose did such a beautiful job. I can’t thank her enough for her splendid work.

Without any further ado, may I present . . . “The Breezy Tulip Studio”

Eventually my blog here will be moved over to The Breezy Tulip Studio, and the Etsy shop and Facebook page will be updated soon, but all in good time. Have a look around, share it with your friends, and tell me what you think!

Thank you, Emily Rose, for your beautiful work, and praise the Lord for enabling all of this!

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. : )

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.

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) ; )

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?

“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)