In May I went to a ladies retreat on the Oregon coast. It was a wonderful weekend that made me wish for some time with my friend Linda. I'd met Linda and her husband in 1995, shortly before I moved to Uganda, East Africa to join the mission team that they'd started. 15 years later, sitting in the chapel at a retreat, I was thinking about Shawn and Linda preparing to move back to the U.S. after 31 years as missionaries. The retreat speaker was great, but she didn't have a chance of keeping my attention as phrases started running through my mind about transitioning back to life in America. Then the phrases began to rhyme, and soon they had become a Dr. Seuss inspired story just begging to be written.
At first my plan was just to write a fun story that I could share with Shawn and Linda, and then I began to doodle pictures. One picture led to another, and what's a picture without color? As much as I love color, I love color with texture more... You get the idea.
From the first phrases running through my mind until I held a copy of "This Is Not My Home" was about four months. Though I wasn't sure I'd pull it together, it was worth it when I got to give Shawn and Linda a copy of their book and welcome them "home."
I love flowers! I'm not terribly fond of trying to keep them alive, but I love their endless variety, colors and textures.
Yesterday the Senior Pastor at the church where I work took us to Windmill Gardens, a nursery in nearby Sumner, as appreciation for those of us who comprise the church's support staff. We got to roam, savor, pick out a container, and fill it with plants that we would continue to enjoy.
I wanted to give my container a fighting chance, so I called my sister (the one in the family with the greenest thumb) and asked what I should put in my pot. She advised me based on the sun, shade, and all of the other things that you apparently are supposed to consider. I managed to chose plants and get them into them transferred to their new home, but they were fearful. Rumors has been circulating among the foliage about my not-so-green thumb.
Thankfully, as I ran out the door in the morning I'd remembered to grab my camera. Instead of planning a flower bed or hanging basket like most of the people around me, I went from one color to another, trying to decide what to focus on next. Getting up close to the flowers, delighting in their details, and being amazed by the One who took the time to fashion each bloom - Wow! That was worship!
See more pictures from my day with the flowers...
We’ve all been told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but what if the cover is completely amazing? I know that saying isn’t really supposed to be about books, but when you love books almost as much as color, it really does apply. My favorite bookstore happens to be the Goodwill, and I’ll admit I cruise for covers that appeal to me.
Recently I bought a book with a cover that made my mouth water on sight. The colors and patterns created a collage of texture that I could not walk away from. The book is The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby. The story actually looks intriguing and I think I’ll love reading it, but it is the cover design by Fritz Metsch that insisted I bring this book home with me.
A few years ago I moved into an apartment that came complete with a beautiful fireplace and a large empty space above the mantle that needed just the right picture to set the tone for the room. I was thrilled! I'll take any excuse for a good treasure hunt. As I searched through antique stores and thrift stores, on Craigslist, and at garage sales, I found many striking pictures, but not that one that encompassed the range of personality and colors I was hoping to find.
I was actually quite surprised when I finally found “the” picture and it turned out to be floral. Not your grandmother's floral, but a richly-colored, whimsical floral called Dahlia I by Kim Parker. I have a Pavlovian response to great color and this print definitely made my mouth water. How could it not? It was everything I'd been looking for with colors and texture, and even a hint of ethnicity that would work perfectly with my findings from my travels and the years I spent in Africa.
The picture was so vibrant and rich that the rest of my living room seemed a little lackluster. The only thing I could imagine that might provide enough color to really compliment the new print was an assortment of glass in wonderfully saturated colors. Thus began what has become an incredibly enjoyable collection.
I've been gathering glass for about four years now, and I'm still in love. It is endlessly fascinating and each piece makes a dramatic difference in the collection as a whole. While I seek out unusual shapes and colors, and have definite preference for bold saturated colors, I really only have one firm rule for the glass I bring home... It has to make me smile.
I moved into a new apartment this past summer, and as I was packing I realized that I had a dilemma. My new kitchen is blue, and my canisters were the exact same shade of blue. Maybe that's not a dilemma for most people, but I prefer not surround myself with things that match too closely.
My sister and I began searching for "new" canisters and she found the perfect set for me on Craigslist. Given my weakness for colored glass, the bright yellow glass canisters were perfect. Add their quirky lids and I'm pretty sure that we were meant to be together.
A few months after my move, my niece and I were roaming through one of our favorite antique malls when we discovered a long lost relative of the yellow canisters. The slender blue addition matched perfectly in style, but not color. Much better. More recently, I found a baby for the canister family in another antique store and arranged for an immediate adoption.
Now, isn't that a beautiful family?
Thinking "Out Loud"
I think about being creative. A lot. I think about color and texture almost as often. My goal with this blog is to think "out loud" about these things that bring me such delight.