Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You are my beloved child. I chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate my plans for you. If you trust the My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.

Your hope and your future are rooted in heaven where eternal ecstasy awaits you. Nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and well-being. Sometimes I grant you glimpses of you glorious future to encourage you and spur you on. But your main focus should be staying close to Me. I set the pace in keeping with your needs and My purposes.

Ephesians 1:4, Proverbs 16:9, Jeremiah29:11, Ephesians 1:13-14

Perfectly timed message for the day!! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and remembers Jesus... the reason for the season.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photography Sessions

Take a look at what is new in the Roanoke Valley! It's time for pictures...

Now's the time to be thinking about those Christmas cards, and portraits to frame. Email me to sign up for a session, while the weather is nice. The colors of Virginia autumn are second to none!!
These are some photos of my latest clients-- Senior Portraits, Engagement Portraits and Family Portraits.

Contact me for pricing and details.
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cup O'Tea

Although I am not Irish or English, I have to say that tea has been part of the fabric of family life for me since I was young. It is not unusual to still gather my sisters, brother and mom around the table for a "spot".
The tea at my mom's house is straight forward and to the point. Decaf, non-flavored, served in mismatched mugs collected over the years (we all gravitate toward our favorites) and served with evaporated milk or regular milk and lots of sugar. The children in my family are practically weaned on tea. When they are young, it is really mostly milk warmed by a hint of tea, and usually is only a vehicle to deliver wet, sludgy sugar to eager, waiting lips.
As I got older and decided what tea time was going to be like at my house, I had to decide if I was more of a mug, or refined tea cup kind of gal. While I had a full set of china when I first got married (the china outlasted the husband) it was beautiful, but not fussy. A Mikasa pattern that had a very modern straight up and down tea cup.
I probably stopped drinking tea with milk when I became suspicious of those large machines dispensing milk in college. I considered myself more 'low maintenance', since I only needed sugar and I was done prepping for my tea experience. I also enjoyed herbal teas, and started to collect them. I do not collect mugs from various places. All my mugs are large, look handmade (even if they aren't), match and have shapes that I enjoy drinking out of, while I curl up someplace cozy.
I acquired a taste for a type of tea in Paraguay, while I lived there for a year as a missionary, that the locals call terere. When I came back, we Americans had discovered it and made it all the rage, here, in the trendy form of Yerba Mate. You can drink it warm or cold. But the Paraguayan way is with herb flavored cold water, poured over loose tea, sipped from a community filtered silver straw. That is community... as in, we all share. It is sort of like smoking a peace pipe. It is a great honor to be offered terere. The "pourer" holds the jug, and fills the cup, passes it, that person drinks it all without a word (not moving the straw around) and hands it back to the pourer. Now it is the turn of the next person in the line or circle. This actually goes on during church services! Because there is no talking, it is very unobtrusive. It has a natural stimulant in it that is far less jitter producing than caffeine. And man, those Paraguayans can work in the heat, with a jug of cold terere nearby!
In the winter, Paraguayans drink it hot. Their preparation is Cocito. Cocito is actually the yerba burned in a pot with sugar, and tons of milk. It is an unusual smoky, sweet, delight on a cold morning. I never learned how to make it. But most families make a large pot on the stove, and leave it to be ladled into smaller, rounder shaped guampas (cups) or hollowed gourds. I was a big fan, and drank it every time it was offered to me.
I have recently started to drink all decaf teas at all different times of day. I will zap a mug of water, in a pinch. But there is something about the act of filling the stainless kettle, getting out the mug, selecting the flavor, and waiting for the glorious whistle sound, that prepares the body for the act of ingesting tea. It seems to whisper excitedly, "It's tea time! It's tea time!" And with all the health benefits of tea, what is not to like? I actually found myself choosing tea over ice cream for it's own particular type of satisfaction!
There are many ways to enjoy tea, for sure. Whether you skip the fancy pot, and go straight from the kettle, enjoy flavored or non, like yours with lemon or with milk, one thing is for sure-- the best cup of tea, is a cup shared with a friend or loved one!
The next time the chilly night air blows and you are looking for something that won't blow your diet, but will cap off your night without guilt, grab someone you love and ask, "Care for a cup o' tea?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit" Matt 5:3

I have to be honest, and say that anytime I take the time to ask the Lord to reveal Himself in my life, reveal Himself, he does!! As I know Him more, it seems that He delights in sharing His gigantic power, generosity, and showering His unmitigated favor and mercy on His own. If we could only stay in one truth forever, the moment that we find it.. and never struggle with it again.

I had to share another Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) daily devotional. This man's words strike straight through the heart of what I deal with, when I need it, and I know that the Lord has used this man mightily, in my life and many others. Prepare for world rocking!!!

Beware of placing our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. (This is a true Ah-ha moment for me. Perhaps a little insight into the psyche of the non-believer?) Waht is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be-to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only; He came to make me what he teaches I should be. (Wow!) The Redemptionmeans that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man- the very thing Jesus meant it to do. As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out our Lord's teaching, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. "Blessed are the paupers in spirit," that is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The bedrock in Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility-- I cannot begin to do it. The Jesus says-- Blessed are you. That is the entrance and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works.

So much depth to this Jesus!! So many times He has to break through the tiny box we put Him in. Praise to His holy name, that He hears our weary cries for help and mercy. I am thankful, ever and eternally for a personal God who knows our struggles and bids us "Come to me" to bear up under them.

I pray the words of this incredible saint of old, have blessed you tonight!!! I know that they are exactly what I've needed...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1000 Markets

1000 Markets

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This is one of the latest "designs by Gina" just finished tonight!! There is more to come...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Walking Out in the Storm

Have you ever scampered out onto the lake after Jesus? Maybe there has been a moment in ministry or worship, where you rush out, before you realize that you don’t have the credentials, or the education, or the talent to be doing the thing you are doing? That is exactly where Peter found himself one stormy night…
Matt 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
So many times in our lives we get the opportunity to truly see Jesus—we know what He wants of us. We know what the right thing to do entails. Do we rush lovingly out on the water? Or do we tiptoe in and let fear overwhelm us?

This exchange between Peter and Jesus is so fascinating, to me. First, they don’t believe it is Jesus, thinking that He is a ghost. But notice that is it Peter who has the presence of mind to ask the Lord to command him to come to Him. Peter knows that even though the task is impossible in his own strength, if Jesus commands it, it can be done. He knows that with certainty or he would never have left the boat deck. Everything is going along swimmingly until the moment of “realization.” As long as his eyes were on Jesus, and on doing as He commanded, everything was a-okay. When he looked at the circumstance: dark night, stormy waves, possible death by drowning… he gets a little panicky.

We all have that moment where we can choose to give in to fear, or we can do what Peter does next, which I think is the most profound part of the story. He cries out to Jesus to save him!!And what does Jesus do? It is Jesus’ point of view that had most interested me, as I tried to imagine His perception of this whole event.

“Oh, Peter. My beloved friend. So much enthusiasm and belief. And he will struggle the most. My denial will be his near-undoing. But he will be the rock on which I will build the church. If a simple fisherman with no formal education can love me honestly, he will show the world that great love—through his flaws and weakness. There he is on the boat. Of course it is Peter who asks to come out! Good job, Peter. You know I won’t let you fall! Keep looking at me, keep your eyes right here… that’s it!! A few more feet, you are almost here!! Look at that? Doing something humans aren’t supposed to do!! Oh, he got scared. ‘I’ve got you. If you’d only kept believing you would have made it, Peter! Why did you forget who I am? ’”
And Peter’s response (and everyone who watched) is to worship the Lord!!

How many of us have watched a child learning to walk, thinking those same kinds of things in our minds? Watching how they fall, we encourage them to try again. Even when we know we will rush in to pick them up, when they have reached their limit.I am grateful for a personal God, a living Savior—who expects wholeheartedness from me. Solitary confidence in Jesus, is the only thing necessary for a powerful walk with Him. He is not there only in the turbulence. He is there encouraging us, celebrating our joys, longing to bless us in small ways that make our hearts sing. He is willing to teach anything we ask to learn. And when we ask Him to call us to come to Him—He always will. And we can charge headlong into any circumstance, knowing that what He has called us to do, He will give us the power to do.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's For Dinner, Anyway?

So....What’s For Dinner, anyway?

My kitchen has been alarmingly clean these last few days, and as happens more often than not, I get inspired to cook, when it is ‘waiting for creating’, as it were. In that same way, I need my studio to be semi-neat before I work in it, as I am not one of those artists who thrives in chaos…
Tonight, I had an idea for something I have never attempted. Since working on the cholesterol thing (this is for your information, Dr. Murchison, if you are reading this!) I have had only one fast food hamburger/French frie day, and have been making a lot of my own stuff, eating a lot of salad—you can ask my co-workers, I promise! But tonight I felt like having something ‘fried.’ Unwilling to abandon the wagon so quickly and thoroughly, however, I cast my memory back to a wonderful thing I had, called a potato latke.
I was invited to a Hanukah celebration, one year by a dear friend. When I arrived, it was a bustle of activity, as the mom prepared these little shredded potato cakes. They had various sauces for dipping and it was my first one—but lets face it, I have never met a potato dish that I didn’t like.
I haven’t grocery shopped for the week, so tonight I had one sweet potato and one parsnip on hand, and I thought, “That is what I will do!” I shredded both into a bowl—really it was the whole potato and half a parsnip, since my arm got tired on the hand grater. I try to be pretty "old school" in kitchen tools-- still have the hand can opener, too. I didn’t have traditional bread crumbs, so I used sun-dried tomato and olive oil Triscuits—ground up in the blender. Into the shredded vegetables went 2 whole eggs, and the crumbs. A short time later, I had a little assembly line going, and ‘fried’ them, using a very minimal amount of oil. I paired the cakes with a piece of chicken on the George Foreman grill ( a single gal’s best cooking gadget) , fresh frozen green beans (the only kind I like) nuked in a Pampered Chef steam bowl with lid, and a mound of spaghetti squash with Promise spread on it for the sterol benefits. For those of you who have no idea what to do with spaghetti squash—here is the tip. Cut it in half and put it, cut side down in a dinner plate with a few tablespoons of water. Make sure you stab it a few times with a knife ( for less explosive possibilities) and microwave it for 15-20 minutes. That is my secret, and it comes out great everytime! Who said going healthy couldn’t taste great? And if you fry something in Omega-3 heart healthy oil, does it really count, anyway?
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Super" Markets!!

I would like to share that I had a VERY successful downtown Roanoke farmer's market experience.
I was trying to determine what it was EXACTLY that made it spectacular. The financial part, of course. (I hadn't done that well previously, but last year was a crazy summer and all-- with my dad... me being brand new with no online presence, either.) So now I have sold a little online, at work, home party, and I am feeling more comfortable with 'the process.' I offered up a prayer to the Lord, that He would bless this venture, and reminded Him that this business is His to bless or not bless as He sees fit. Needless to say, I was blessed.
The other AMAZING thing was that I had a repeat customer from last year who was super excited to find me again! What an honor to be remembered-- but not just because I was an artist. She told me that she had told all her friends to come check out my stuff, because I had been a missionary. She supported an idea that I've had for a while, that I maintain personally. When I have the option of choosing, in business, who I want to deal with, if there is a Christian option, that is what I want to choose. (It's part of the reason I like Chick Fil A). I also felt great about having some unique Christian gifts. Not only the believers in Christ, but non-believers as well, were exposed to His Word-- and the Bible says that will not return void. So Praise God about that!
Plus, the weather was nothing short of GLORIOUS!! 70's and no rain! I almost didn't know what to do. That was all God, too.
Also, I received God's favor-- got one of the stalls on the market proper. No that may not seem like a big deal, but you are talking to a girl who has only ever had the tent/table option. Set up was a BREEZE! And my car was in the space behind me. I couldn't believe what a difference that made in the overall experience. No tent to deal with, no wind to fight, a feeling of comraderie with goat cheese vendors on either side of me-- it was fabulous.
I had fantastic rapport with the customers-- everyone seemed happy and enthusiastic. And one of each thing that I made-- necklace/earring sets, bracelet, box, earrings sold. I was especially excited about the sets, because I don't usually show those at work. It was just confirmation that my designs really spoke to someone's heart, enough that they had to have them, and that made me feel great.

The other super Market is the long awaited Christian market-- at the 1000Markets website (which is now Live). The rapport in the market is wonderful-- the name is Marketplace of Blessings. It is blessing lives, as we have opportunity to get to know each other, and write back and forth and pray for one another. It is what I've been waiting for in an 'online community' experience. I hope you will stop by and support those lovely artisans for all your Christian gift giving needs!

I will be at the farmer's market every Saturday that is sunny and above 65. Look for me! :)
* if you live in the Roanoke area, and purchase something online, please let me know, in the message box. I will refund your shipping and you can pick it up at the market. Because items are one of a kind, I want to tell you that if it is online, it is for sale. When I sell the item, it is immediately removed. Please do not be disappointed-- if it is online and you want it, buy it. Don't assume it will be at market the next sunny Saturday. :)*

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1000 Markets Going Live Very Soon....

It is only fair to say, that I think I am going to love my new home at 1000 Markets. It is another online venue that sells only handmade things. I love that it is small and just starting. (It has been in the "sneak preview" stage for a while. But pretty soon (weeks) they will begin driving online traffic into the site, and the vendors have to be ready....
To be a part of this, you have to be approved. Then, within the site, you can be a part of various Markets. I am currently in Handmade Haven (boxes, some jewelry), Jewelry Artisan's Market (JAM- for all of my jewelry) and Captured Image (photography.) I think the site is lovely to look at and easy to use.

For those of you interested in handmade Christian gifts, there is a new market being formed, which I am going to help found. I will do a lot with their outside blog. I hope you will bookmark it, and go there when you are looking for something special and unique. We will have a variety of things and various artisans to appeal to everyone's taste! I will keep you posted as it unfolds!

My Etsy shop will continue to receive orders, but I will no longer be listing new merchandise, there and will gradually phase out when listings expire. I will maintain my account so that I can continue to be a buyer there. It has been a great experience, but 1000Markets is a better fit for me! Blessings, everyone! Gina

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Snow 2009

Ok-- so this is a little late, now that we are in to Spring, but I had to celebrate the first Roanoke, VA snow with everyone. I know, it is not a big deal. But for the 2 winters I have been here, this is only my second real snow.
One thing that was totally bizarre about this is one week later, we had highs in the 70's!! This was only a few weeks ago. There is a peace and reverence that comes over the world when it snows. For me, it never means staying home from work. (I need to be a teacher!) But the pace of life is definitely different. Things slow down. And I love the sound. I live remarkably close to an interstate, and I can actually tell, when I wake up, if we are having some type of inclement weather-- the traffic is too slow!
I left the US in the summer, and arrived for a couple of weeks of Paraguay's winter (which is wet and cold at night, but can still have temperatures that are amazingly high in the mid-day.) When I left the following year, it had just begun to get cold in PY-- now I know why they wear coats when it is 60-- and arrived to the US in July. So I had almost perpetual summer for a year.
So, forgive me, if I make a big deal out of snow. I love it. It is beautiful. One of the things that is dear to me about Virginia is that it has 4 true seasons. I love the transition months, especially the Fall (the Blue Ridge Parkway, is one of God's masterpieces in the Fall!) But I like my winters only one way.... If it has to be cold... I want it white!!!
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Handmade Jewelry Show at Home

Thanks for everyone who asked how the show was!! It turned out great. I met a lot of really nice people and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. My hostess Lara is a good friend and I am so appreciative that she opened her home to me!
The food was delicious and it lasted 2ish hours. I made small wallet size replicas of photos that I sell online at my Etsy site ( to give away as small tokens of thanks. I think I might know what I am doing, now :) , so if you want to host a show, just let me know. For those of you who were unable to come, I will be doing the next one at my house. And I'll be announcing a date, very soon. My studio is undergoing "Spring Cleaning/Renovation" which I hope to complete this week! Blessings! Gina
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Photos for Sale!! New items listed...

So I decided that 9,000 pictures is too many to have to not start selling prints. I did some undercover investigation, to figure out how much it would cost, shipping, what 8X10s are going for and how to package them. Every new item has things to discover about trying to sell it. I have put watermarks (the identifying mark, like a signature) on all of the ones I think may sell. I am truly happy to be able to share these photographs with the world and the scenic ones will be like the one featured here, with scripture on them. I think they would be great encouragement to have at your desk, or a place where you see the Word of God and can be uplifted from it. So, I hope they will make great gifts. It seems strange to me to couple the Word with art that I have done and try to sell it. I don't think that I would be doing any of this, if I didn't know that the Lord has me with one goal, and one only for my time here-- get out of debt.... and maybe back to the mission field, as a photographer? I don't know I haven't been allowed to peek behind the curtain.
But He knows, so I'll have to be content in that.

Paraguay provided me with such an opportunity to explore, as a photographer. I know some of the people photos, which I love, I don't think there is a market for, and some that are so personal or emotional I would never sell. But as I go through them, it makes my heart swell with .... something. Joy? It was a deeply satisfying time (as a photographer) and I hope the Lord isn't done using photography in my life. (Something other than photos of jewelry would be good!) So stay tuned to the shop. If you have requests, you know I probably have a photo to go with a favorite verse, so email me, or write or whatever! I hope you all enjoy the next stage of designs by Gina!!!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I have eaten Acai- before it was the rage!!!

So-- with all the rage of Acai Berries, I started thinking back in my experience, "how do I know about these things already?"
I remembered that while on a hike with our youth group in Paraguay, we stopped on the side of the road and they brought me these berries. They started telling me how good they were for you, but I had never heard of them before or seen them. Acai is the Portugese name, but they called them something else that I can't remember. I ate one and it was like a grape, without any "grapiness" if that makes any sense. The inside is white, and there are seeds. I don't remember them being bad or good. Man-- I should have had them stowed away in my bags on the way home! I still haven't seen them, here and surprised that no one is selling the FOOD.
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So, What's in a Name? Or not....

It is my pleasure to introduce another talented Etsy artist to everyone. In continuing with our series on "Names" I thought we'd explore some artists' business names. "Knitberry" is actually the venue of an artist named Lana... Here is her incredibly interesting story. She is having this awesome contest were kids are designing hats (drawings sent in) and if theirs is picked- they get a free hat! The contest is running through December 2009, so check out her blog for

In Her Own Words....
I was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine -- on the coast of the Black Sea.
Growing up I was surrounded by handmade household items, which spiked my interest in crafts since early childhood. Both of her grandmothers were skillful in crafts. However, the love for knitting didn't come from them. It was my maternal grandfather, who mastered the skill of knitting socks for soldiers in his platoon during WWII. He was not a knitter by choice; it was a necessity that drove him to learn how to knit.
I learned how to knit when I was 10, continuously designing doll's clothes.
Perfecting my knitting technique through school years I also learned how to crochet and cross stitch. In 1995 I immigrated to United States carrying with me the idea of designing clothes. My two kids, who are 3 and 6 years old, are my main inspirations behind my creations. Qualities like Comfort, Style and Happiness of a child -- are my priorities in designing clothing. For women's line I create pieces that will add to your everyday wardrobe and will give it an extra kick of style. was created in October 2007. The name KnitBerry came from long and hard research of what to call my business :) Sometimes at the shows people ask me if my name is Berry and if my husband is Mr. Berry. We just laugh. I wanted the name that people will remember. So really there no particular reason why its called KnitBerry

Monday, February 23, 2009

Celebrating Singleness....

Every once in a while, discontent rises up and tries to have it's way in my mind... Discouragement in general is something that we all can struggle with, when all the news is bad...economy, prospects, the job you are working at that isn't fulfilling, broken relationships.
So today, I was feeling a little blah. As I prayed about it, I began to feel thankful for the things that I have (and owe to my singleness) that other women don't. While it is true that a certain amount of aloneness, allows one the lack of discipline to do certain things-- (no one but me is affected by the empty Wendy's cup that sits on my desk, waiting to meet the trash)-- it also allows one a startlingly refreshing freedom, to do exactly what you intend to do!!
And so, I have had one of the most delightful evenings I have had, in weeks. It started with following through with saying "I've got to get back to the gym." Even though EVERYTHING in me said, "You are too tired, start tomorrow" and "You've been away a while, and probably won't last a full 30 min of cardio"-- I pressed on, finished that 30 minutes, gathered a free coupon I had for a 1 pound salad at Ukrops ( local grocery that you are probably jealous that you don' t have) and decided that tonight would be about celebrating what I have.
I have lived in a third world country, where produce is not always available or appealing. I love fruits and veggies. There is no reason not to give my body the healthy things that we have teeming in our stores! I also decided to buy a $4.50 magazine... (I am used to being in the "I don't really need that" mode, in an effort to get out of debt and launching the jewelry business)... and I'll tell you, that magazine was a real blessing to me! It had relevant articles and great recipes, and I felt my Heavenly Father saying, "It is ok to refresh and renew with things that bring you joy." Joy is hard to find sometimes here. Here, in this location, but here in this season as well. Like finding a tiny speck of red paint on a drab gray canvas. Gray is exactly how I would describe this time. Everything is so gray-- from steely, to storm cloud, but gray, nonetheless.
So there I was, eating my lovely salad, full of nutrition and glistening with garlic olive oil dressing, really savoring it, really enjoying the combination of flavors, instead of rushing through another meal to get on with the next task. That (I have discovered) is how I gain weight-- by not being mindful of food. But I found myself being SO happy with that salad, and reading my magazine-- you have no idea! I took my sweet old time, knowing I had nothing waiting for me at home, but the shower. I decided I didn't give a hoot about not getting to my "other job" of promoting, posting, photographing and strategizing my little fledgling business. Orders will come in or not. But the reason I am not working elsewhere, is to have time to do things like this. Even Jesus "regrouped". And He encouraged the disciples to do the same. He knew "burnout" before burnout was!
I came home, the good kind of tired, and the good kind of full.. made myself some peppermint tea, finished the magazine, and took a gloriously warm shower (it is SO cold outside). Nighttime showers are always so much better than am ones. No rush! I've been online a little. But not working... and I am getting ready to turn in. I feel so much better than I did leaving work at 5pm! And I have Singleness to thank. And the Lord for reminding me that He is sovereign and encouraging me to be patient, and wait for His time, and cultivate an attitude of grattitude. I recommend it, highly!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Slowing Down

For a while, the breakneck pace was make jewelry and boxes, photo, edit, upload, list, blog, plurk, facebook.... and work full time. Since then, I am refining my schedule. Since creation can't be forced, unfortunately, I create when I have a great idea, now. I spend less time on the computer, in 'self-promo' mode. It is mostly due to the fact that I focused on a project. I am happy to say that little by little I am moving toward my goal of having enough inventory to do my first home show! Yay!! I don't even really care how great sales are, but for the experience, and to get my stuff in front of new ladies who have never seen it will be so fun, I'm really looking forward to it. It is going to be March 7th. My friend Lara has agreed to host a party and invite her friends, it will be the perfect way for them to catch up, have some food, and buy some jewelry that they can afford!
With prices ranging from $10- $35 this is not like a typical "jewelry show." I am fairly well prepared, and may even have my new logo in time for it.

If you or someone you know would like to host a show (Richmond or Roanoke) let me know! I will be happy to work out 'freebies' for the hostess and can make items geared toward specific friends-- a little more classic and conservative, or really eclectic and funky!! Mostly, it would be a great way to re-connect with people. If you know any other women who have home businesses, have a night where you "team up." I wouldn't mind coming in on a Mary Kay party and I'm sure the rep would be fine, too! Support women in business and take care of your gift giving needs, all at one fun time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tonight was busy-- whew! I'm taking tomorrow off! This is my latest listing. Let me know if you have comments or suggestions. Goodnight!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Sympathy Gifts" Have Arrived!!!

After much processing and working out details, I am happy to announce my new "Sympathy Gifts" that commemorate the loss of someone special. I began to think of it after my father died in July... but took some time to think it through. The concept is really simple. It is a permanent tear. The inadequacy we feel when trying to comfort a friend at a difficult time, is what brought these gifts to life. They are sterling silver, on a 17" chain, and have the crystal birthstone of the loved one. They are fully customizable and made to order. Remember, no two are alike- but the one constant is that they will always be a "tear" shaped crystal. The card will be hand written on vellum, but with various paper to match the color chosen. The chain may be different, and you can request a special length. Earrings are also available, but I haven't made the first ones just yet. I want to focus on the pendant, that can be also made into a bookmark, for a man.
The verse is one that I love. Jesus is responding to the news that His friend Lazarus is dead. And even though He knows that He is about to raise him from the dead, He cries, to enter into the pain of friends. This showed how much he cared! We have a great and awesome, PERSONAL God!
This gift will show someone that you care. And you are there for them. Without words.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Super Quote..and Food for Thought

I love Oswald Chambers. He is one of the greats I can't wait to talk to when I get to heaven. (Hugs for my daddy will be first!) Last night I came across profundity. Here it is...

When merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but "to reveal His Son in me." Re: 1 Corinthians 4:9-13

How often we get caught up in the "Hey, God, You are making me a pretty good guy (girl)." His aim is to make us more into the image of Christ. Am I a hindrance or a help in that process?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brand New Shop Opening

I am interested to see if this will be different than Etsy.... and if you will like it better. I don' t have as much listed, yet, but be patient! Please leave feedback if you go to this site. Thanks!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Birth" of a photograph

This is more of my new feature- Continuing one with the series "How artists name their work".... this comes from StudioYTE on about her 8X10 photograph entitled "Birth."(See avatar and click to go directly there.)

My garden brings so much joy into my life. There's nothing more exciting than spring for me - to see everything come alive again after long and cold winters.

The peonies in my garden are of three different varieties - those that flower early, middle and late spring and the excitement begins when all the ants arrive.

Many have wondered why they are there? Many myths abound - do they really "tickle the buds" and "lick the sugar" to help the peony buds open? What if they don't come?

Apparently, the peony buds secrete a sweet sap that attracts the ants, and because Mother Nature's plan is so amazingly perfect, the ants come for the sweet nectar and another little appetizer - the harmful insects. And although the peony buds open whether the ants are there or not, seeing them so busy at work makes the birth and promise of fragrance so thrilling.

And so, during spring, I check my peonies every day, I take photos at various times of day, in sunshine and in rain, capturing the buds at every stage, awaiting the "Birth"
of my beloved peonies.

My little book of favorite quotes that I gathered since I was a teenager is where I go for inspiration. Usually there's always a quote or two that seems to fit my special photos. Hope you enjoy their beauty!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A New Sale!!

Today is very exciting-- I sold my first box!!! More exciting than even the earrings-- the Word is going out into the world, and the Bible says it won't return void!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am very excited about the over all change in things in the last couple of days. A sort of "free-ness"-- a liberation of sorts as I feel the power surge of the Spirit flooding back into my life. Like taking a breath from a fresh tank, after holding it until you might burst!
I found some writings from 2004. It was good to look back and have a "journey checkup". Just to see what was going on. It always stuns me how cyclical things are, when it comes to spiritual issues we thought we mastered, and maybe ones where we felt like we had no idea about, but in hindsight, we were actually wiser than we guessed.
I was struck by something the pastor said on Sunday. "What you feed, will grow."
Wow! Creativity, complacency, laziness, joy, contentedness, wisdom. All equal opportunities to grow or stagnate! I want to be selective about what receives my time and attention. Already, throwing the t.v. out has been the best thing I have done this year. And I like the change to my much more "boring" office job, within my company. At first I read a lot. Now I am on my computer (laptop) more, and I don't think I like it as much. So I'll change it.
I also went through a domestic spurt... kind of preparing to get back on the workout/"watching" kick again, after I've been away so long. I made a great lasagna!
For me-- it ALL works when it is a mind, body and soul connection. And that is what I am praying for. I am feeling a little more alive. But that will only get stronger as I feed my 'Spirit Man.' And he doesn't get fed by mere survival. There has to be fun. Dancing, smiling, joy. Peace, good rest, good fellowship. For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know the feeling of having life put on hold. It feels like life isn't meant to enjoy. Survivor's guilt? I'm not sure. But I have known deep joy at other difficult times in my life. And my dad will be waiting for me, when it's time... so we've got that covered. It is not the end, for those of us who believe. And life, for now is snapping back into focus, a little!

photo above taken by me "Field of Sunflowers" in Paraguay, South America 2006

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fellow Etsy artist had this to say about naming her bracelet entitled," Ingalls Estate Bracelet." Check out her beautiful work at!

I grew up in a strange house that started out as a squash court and evolved into a home. We had a long skinny pool with stone gutters and every fall the water would start to turn green and autumnal leaves would fall from the surrounding trees to lie on the surface.

The colors in this bracelet evoke the fall of my childhood so clearly I can almost smell it. I made this six-stranded bracelet out of Czech glass beads and 3 types of gold-plated chain. Three of the chains feature opaque glass beads with a mottled brown exterior that has been carved away to reveal the milky celadon interior. Two of the remaining four chains feature beads with the clear color of deep pool water with speckles of green and brown and the final chain are green beads with touches of blue and brown.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do you ever wonder how artists name their work?

I was a missionary to Paraguay South America for a year in 2006. Living in a new country can be scary business! I was a little unsure and going to my first "team" meeting with missionaries from other parts of the world. As I was sitting on awesomely comfortable stringed chairs, in wafts this tiny wisp of a fairy princess. Her name was Cora and she was about 3. Her first words to me, I'll never forget... "My favorite colors are pink, yellow and purple." Period. No explanation. No introduction. Just a declaration of her own personal style, right off the bat!!! I think I fell in love that instant, and we became fast friends. The picture I have REALLY been searching for is one with her in bright red lipstick, not limited to her lips alone, with tiara and wand! It is priceless. But I just searched my 9,000 pictures and cannot find it.
Ok, so what is the point. Cute story, sweet girl.
Fast forward to modern day, USA. I order these gorgeously juicy beads from Hong Kong (isn't it a small world?) When I get them, they are a perfect lipstick red, coral, in a tube shape and everything. From that second on, I knew that what I was making would end up being called Cora's Lipstick Red Coral Set. And so it is. How this piece, got it's name.

I think it would be fun to know, don't you? What is the artist thinking about.... you never know when you may end up immortalized forever!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tonight, the name of the game was REVAMP!
I took some of the boxes I've made and did a few extras to them... a little stain here, a little
varnish there, and I am much happier. I made my little boy box into a man box to avoid any trouble with the new law they passed....
Anyway, I was determinded to have fun tonight and just experiment-- not mess with urls and RSS feeds and codes and marketing.. LAME-O.
I did jewelry for a bit, but I was feeling very box-y! It gave me time to think. And to pray while I worked. There are so many hurting people. And people who are going through real physical pain. I think of the cross and the element of suffering that is common to the human experience. Would we experience pain (of any kind) if we didn't HAVE to? And yet there was one who did.. who didn't have to. And that has made all the difference.
I read a scripture last night, as though I had never seen it. You know, when you are cruising along, thinking you are doing pretty good, and then BAM! Right up against it you are.. Faced with the crushing reality of the truth, that cuts right down to the heart of things. I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget. It is the New Living translation.(I read in that last year, for something new, and liked it a lot.)
1 cor4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power.
Hm. POWER. Do we live in it? Do I? Brokenness, timidity, fear, longing, lack of self-esteem (I hate that term, there will be a blog one day on it!) Are those living in God's power? How many Christians are missing the boat, when it comes to the way they aught to live? And they are the very ones who are building the Kingdom. Did the Lord say , "OK, here are some of the things you need-- the bricks, the mortar, the tools... but you have to come up with your own plan. And when it is too heavy to lift, you're out of luck. " By no means! He gave us every gift we need to live this life and the plan, we can find with obedience to His Word. And the power-- even down to the air we breathe and the blood that pumps through our veins-- is all a gift from, guess who? Him. We are powerless to help ourselves. But it is in this discovery that we are at our very strongest. This is when the Lord can show Himself mighty on our behalf.
You know, if you have ever experienced God in this way, it doesn't make you impervious to forgetfulness. That is one reason I write. I have to admit that at the times in my life where I am the very closest to God, I am writing. There is a paper trail. Is that accidental? I think partly it is because He knows that I ponder what goes through my hands. And I pay attention when I have produced something with Him (or communicating with Him) in mind. I think it is also so that there can be "proof" when the world seems gray and hopeless that there is a God and He is not passive. He moves. Seeing it both fills me with joy and a little bit of fear, if you want to know. He is so WILD and utterly unpredictable... but tempered by His incarnate goodness and His love of order. He is a great one to have on your side. I can't imagine life without knowing Him.
Well, it has been a good day on the good-bad scale. I had dinner with my mom and her best friend, heard that I had been an encouragement to one of my sisters, played with my art toys, talked to my God, and wrote about His goodness and faithfulness. What more could you ask? :)
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Monday, January 19, 2009

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It was so great to be in Richmond this weekend... so inspiring. Maybe because that is the place where I fell in love with art. I toy with the idea of going back someday. But it just doesn't seem to be in the plan for now.
I went to my favorite bead store, and truth to tell, it was a little disappointing. I think I can do better online, from here on out. Etsy artists are incredibley resourceful.
I got a lot of good ideas for earrings, and made a few last night. It was like Christmas, opening my beads!! I CLEANED my studio, and will post a picture later tonight. I am going to be on a blog with pictures of my space, and info about my techniques and so I was HUMILIATED into cleaning... that was on the agenda, anyway. I just have been struggling getting over this bronchial junk. And I've been plain old lazy.
When it is cold and dreary (like today) all I want to do is be inside with some kind of blanket on! (preferably the one my mom made for me for Christmas- as that is my blanket of choice these days.) For New Years, I threw away my t.v. It was very liberating. In an effort to quit wasting time. Ironically, starting the online thing has taken countless hours of time on the computer! I will scale that back, too, as soon as I develop a schedule.
Thanks to everyone that has given me feed back. I am developing a "sympathy gift" to give to people when they are hurting from some type of loss. I've been thinking a lot about it since my dad died. Be looking for that to show up-- and it will be listed under Sympathy Gifts on my website.
Blessings and Hugs!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fresh Idea

I'm thinking about featuring some of my fellow Christian artists, here. If you think you might want to read about some, let me know. The talent is amazing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I wanted to jot down an exerpt from a book. It is profound! (Be advised :)).
The brilliant Dr. Gerstner described the plight of the proud man in this way: "Christ has done everything necessary for his salvation. Nothing now stands between the sinner and God but the sinner's 'good works'. Nothing can keep him from Christ but his delusion that he does not need Him-- that he has good works of his own that can satisfy God. If men will only be convinced that they have no righteousness that is not as filthy rags; if men will see that there is none that doeth good, no, not one; if men will see that all are shut up under sin- then there will be nothing to prevent their everlasting salvation. All they need is need. All they must have is nothing. All that is required is acknowledged guilt. But, alas, sinners cannot part with their 'virtues.' They have none that are not imaginary, but they are real to them. So grace becomes unreal. The real grace of God they spurn in order to hold on to the illusory virtues of their own. Their eyes fixed on a mirage, they will not drink real water. They die of thirst in the midst of an ocean of grace.
Told you! I think it is utterly succinct and amazing. Hope it's a blessing. It is from "Truths that Transform " by Dr. James Kennedy. Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Started!

The process of getting into the 21st Century is exhausting! There are blogs and analysis programs that tell you how sales are and advertising, and forums, and so much to learn. But one advantage it has over brick and mortar, is that you truly are free! Free to create, and experiment and if it doesn't work, no big loss. No set hours, no time clock. Create when you want-- I am beginning to catch the art bug again... it has been a while. A lot of you know what has been going on in my personal life.. but my dad's vision for all his children (and for himself) was "find something you like to do, and make that your life's work." He knew that in order to stay inspired and to be your truest self you had to have a creative outlet. It is in that vein that I move slowly toward the future that God has set for me. I pray that just being true to who I am at the core, a creator, glorifies Him and touches others' lives, along the way!

New designs!!!

New designs!!!
click to go to my Etsy shop!