in the studio


I’ve been working hard lately! Painting.. hot gluing.. using up sharpies left and right. Phrases keep coming to mind, like “underqualified” and “these people must not be in their right minds to leave this up to me!” One thing I like to remember is when I’m doing anything, I’m building upon what I’ve done before. It’s good to be stretched! 20150410_090929

I painted this sign for my friend to use as a wedding decoration. Personally I think it turned out to be quite adorable.


20150405_094916I put in approximately 13 episodes of The West Wing working on these signs for the Easter service at my church. It was a project combining a video where 22 people finished the sentence, “Because He lives…” After the video played, we sang a song and each person stood, holding their answer. It was really awesome to see the whole thing come together!

And of course, I’ve been doing lots of painting at Val’s house! Painting a room by yourself is unimaginable… doing it with friends is definitely the way to go!



what I learned in March

Note: I might have learned some of these things in January or February. Those months are a blur to me so I can’t be sure. 


The family dog is alive. We thought he was dead: “The poor guy did the old cowdog move and wandered off to die.” Nope, he did the wander-off-just-to-wander-for-days thing. So, that was an emotional roller coaster.


Whale sounds are mesmerizing. I went through a strange phase where I was listening to nothing else.

It’s a fun time to be a Frances. Jimmy Fallon’s new daughter is named Frances. At the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler spoke these words: “Frances, can I just say, I love you. You’re the only person in this room I would save in a fire.” (She might have been talking to an actress in the crowd. But I took it personally.)


I won’t always be limited to re-reading Agatha Christie (although I will certainly do so) for good village mysteries. I found a new author and so far have been thrilled. Her books have a small cast of characters and are tricky and psychological and clever. The first one is called Still Life, and my eyes hurt after powering through the last of it in one sitting. I’m working on the third book and so far, so good.


There is a tiny reference to the cinnamon festival in a different episode of Psych that I never caught before. Although I have way too much of that show memorized, there are still dozens of sneaky little jokes and references that catch me off guard! And I love it.

I am a much harder worker than I ever thought before. See: February. I’m capable of great laziness, also. See: that dirty yet empty casserole dish I left covered with a tea towel in the fridge for days, rather than wash it.

I learned how to make pasta carbonara. Thank you, Rachel Ray.

Linking up with Emily and others: Chatting at the Sky.

in the studio

Here I share what creativity I’ve been up to lately! Lots of paper punching and watercolors. I am scheming and trying different things to decorate for a retreat later this spring.  

Helping my best friends do some remodeling at their new house. Painting, taking off wallpaper, that sort of thing, which I enjoy doing. Especially when food is involved. Plus it’s just fun to do the work with other people and see the transformation take place! Paint is amazing.

Also it gave me the chance to study a fine tapestry unearthed in the basement:
Helping decorate for a 1 year old’s birthday party. Notice how although I did have a snack I stayed focused on my work!!
Finally, decoration-making with Kathy while watching an intense spy movie!

take lots of pictures

Take pictures of yourselves being embarrassing and strange in Target. 34177_439700320989_7434412_n 1910108_4943010975_6597_n
Take pictures on hikes. Again, try not to be normal. 1910108_4943645975_5859_n Take pictures with your high school friends. 1936674_118916890989_6037073_n
Take silly pictures at the mall. DSCN1765
Take pictures with your siblings. Be as real as possible. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA S6300833
Take pictures in a field just because you feel like it. 100_0643
Take pictures by the campfire with a blinding flash. It can take some work, but try for that optimum “nostril” angle.100_3045
Take pictures in a blanket fort. 1678_45839920975_8624_nTake pictures for no apparent reason other than “hats.” 2012-07-14_16-42-40_229
Hand the camera to your brother and see what happens. 2012-07-21_16-16-37_568
Take pictures in the Youth Challenge van on a trip to Cabelas. 2012-11-09_20-35-09_409
Take pictures even when you don’t understand how to smile properly.

Take lots of pictures, because you will treasure that Christmas forever. Take lots of pictures, because the Target one will never fail to make you smile. Take lots of pictures, because you are awesome and it needs to be memorialized. Take lots of pictures, because they’ll help you see the blessings that overflow in your life. Take lots of pictures, just because.

(Remembering Katie, who took way too many pictures. She is missed.) 2014-05-17_15-01-16_8532011-11-24_14-49-06_708

monday gifts

Thankful for…

daffodil time!

various fun things like my ongoing fishing feud with my brother and looking at old artwork and writings from our younger years with my cousins.
college, when I had time to write and illustrate letters, but not actually mail them.
the intense experience of crafting while watching an action spy movie. The world is about to explode and here we are gluing paper circles. “Craft, Kathy! Craft like you’ve never crafted before!”

dad stories. Not all dads are equal on this one, I think. My own Dad set a very high standard. “Ok, one more skunk story,” said Valerie’s dad (unfortunately for her family, I adopted them long ago), and we listened eagerly. Snake stories, hunting stories, horse riding stories, injury stories, car stories, stories of getting in and out of scrapes, I love them all.

You are my refuge of strength till the end.

hands that can do work. Sunshine. Encouragement. Trader Joe’s coffee. Birds.

more February

February may be the shortest month but it was jam-packed.
Traveling to help with the move. Laughing so much. Being completely beyond exhausted.
Burning the things. I like how the sun setting behind the burn barrel makes it look as though Dad is hurling old dusty books into the eye of Sauron.
Being emo/being artistic/procrastinating continuation of epic cleaning job.
Finally I was around to celebrate Kathy’s birthday!
Hanging out with my cousins on Valentine’s day was too fun.
Valerie is a cake-decorating genius. Seriously!!
Clean laundry? Routine? Sleep? Sanity? Certain healthier food groups? These are things that February deemed “unnecessary.” I hope March feels differently.

monday gifts


Thankful for…

old quilts & young hearts.

quiet moments in the middle of the crazy ones.


my brothers, and our particular way of coping with things: being ridiculous. They are God’s gifts to me for sure! What would I do without them??


the faithful friends who helped with the move. Brought trailers, lifted heavy things, made food, and showed us tons of hospitality.


[more] safe travels.

smelly old dog to keep me company while I cleaned.


puppy therapy with friends.


first birthdays, first houses, first graham crackers with blue frosting.


that Jesus never leaves me alone, He’s with me whatever I’m going through.