Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Forward, Email!

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In my many years on the internet, I have received a multitude of email forwards. I now know that I have no friends, that I'll get a horrible disease and die, that I'm a cruel person for not helping contribute money to a sick kid, that I am standing in the way of microsoft taking over the world by not testing their email tracking system, that I am not preventing lots of unsuspecting women from being attacked and molested, and that, most significantly, I am a bad girl who does not love God, Jesus, or anything else holy and sacred.

However, when I came across this flash video, I was reassured that none of the above things are true. Except for the first sentence.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

give us our daily bread

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Baking Bread. What kind of images or feelings does the thought, sight, smell of baking bread bring to you? Warmth, comfort, family... I remember my mother baking whole wheat bread whe I was a child. I loved it when she made the special loaf of cinnamon swirl bread. The Best!

I've always loved the smell of baking. I enjoyed baking long before I realized cooking could be enjoyable (Thanks, Mel). And now, continuing the tradition, my mom is teaching me how to make bread the old fashioned way - from scratch, with a KitchenAid mixer. There's a little bit of a twist, though - most people learn tradition standing side by side with their mentor, under their careful guideance. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I am doing some long-distance learning. I call, she tries her best to describe, and sometimes, I'll send pictures or samples of my results. I will admit, this is not the fastest way of learning to bake bread, but it works. Today was yet another refinement of the process, results picture above.

I think about the part in the Lord's Prayer - the "give us our daily bread" line - it's so easy to take for granted the food that we eat. It comes to us so easily. Getting bread now takes a 30 minute trip to the grocery store, not the 4-5 hour process that baking bread can be. Am I taking God for granted in my daily life? He's told us that He'll provide for our need, and yet, I hardly notice the daily bounty that He has blessed me with. I struggle to keep God at the forefront of my mind when my days are full of routine thigns - doing laundry, surfing the web, and all the other things that happen. And yet. There he is, offering me so much. Every day of my life, God offers me special cinnamon swirl, The Best.

nuclear landscape

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I thought I'd go ahead and post my first watercolor painting.
This painting is actually mixed media - I used watercolor and ink.
I choose "nuclear landscape" for the post heading because a family member observing my work said, "It looks like there was a nuclear explosion in the background." Critics.

Friday, February 24, 2006

gotta start somewhere

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

paint by number

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A blank Page. I've recently been facing lots of blank pages in my life - this blog, the final filler pages in books, layouts waiting to be finalized and put together. And most noticeable has been the watercolor paper. Waiting - for water. And color.

It's been a challenge to step out into the world of painting. For more than half my life, I thought I was a) not creative and b) certainly no artist. Lo, and Behold, I am c) all of the above. How I fell into a college major that by necessity involved c) all of the above still remains somewhat of a mystery to me.

More than a year ago, my father gave me watercolors, brushes, and a watercolor pad as birthday gifts. I brought out the paper, put out my colors and tried to paint... Something. It looked like a bad paint by number. I was unimpressed with the results, and put the paints away for another day. My birthday rolled around, yet again. I asked my dad if he would teach me to paint with the tools he gave me so long ago. I went to his house. We got out the paint palette. I opened it up, and found moldy bits of paint. I was disgusted, on a variety of levels. I could see how dedicated I had not been to painting by the quantity and assortment of fuzziness in the palette. It seems though, that mold isn't the end of the world. You just wash it off. It was pretty funny, though. My dad, the master artist, had a good laugh.

He challenged me to take a risk. "Go buy lots of paper," he said. He suggested that if I have a lot of paper on hand, I won't be so afraid about wasting paper. The nature of painting, is that not all are masterpieces. It'll take lots of practice before I'm comfortable with the tools, before I find my personal style.

Today, I received a pile of paper, courtesy our friendly FedEx driver. I broke out the paper, taped it on the board. I looked at the white space, the blankness, waiting to be filled.

I walked away.
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