Lenten Rose

Several years ago, a dear lady from our church invited Mike and I over to her home to gather some plants from her wonderful flowerbeds. We walked around her yard, and she pointed out perennials and told us about each one. I dug some up with a trowel and plopped them in my yard when we came home. I promptly forgot about many of them, but this spring, a beautiful Lenten Rose appeared in my front flower bed and I remembered my afternoon with Esther. I tried to capture the beautiful flower in my nature journal, but the creamy pale green color eluded me. However, I wanted to share my joy in this gorgeous piece of God’s creation, so here are some photos for you!

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Nature Journal

Nature Journal

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Spring Chalkboard Doodles

When I first I saw those wonderful chalkboard art pictures appearing on my Pinterest, my fingers began itching to grasp a piece of chalk and begin drawing! Recently I ordered a small chalkboard from Amazon and nabbed a box of 99 cents box of chalk from Target. Each week I copy a Scripture verse or phrase of a hymn and keep it sitting on my kitchen counter. The nice part? The chalkboard fits exactly under my cabinet and hides the ugly phone outlet we no longer use. The even better part? Each time I glance at the verse or hymn,  my thoughts turn to things above. And with all the time I spend in the kitchen, that’s a lot of glancing!

The first few times I inscribed a verse, I tried meticulously copying fancy lettering and flourishes from my Pinterest posts. But now I just have fun doodling and creating, and I spend the extra time doing something else fun (like blogging).This past week, with temperatures soaring into the 70’s here in NC, and buds and blooms popping out all over, I decided to use my little chalkboard to celebrate spring and the One who made it. Here’s a picture of my little chalkboard, imperfect lettering and all. Perhaps it will inspire you to pick up a piece of chalk and begin your own doodles!

Lattice Bones Quilt

I learned to quilt at a local quilt shop nine years ago by quilting a twin sized sampler quilt and hand stitching the quilting, which turned out to be a much larger job than I had anticipated. Since then, teaching fifth grade kept me pretty busy, and I shied away from large quilting projects. I made baby quilts for each of my three grandsons, which I will showcase in a later post, but lately I have had the quilting itch. I bought jelly roll precut fabric from two different fabric lines, Scrumptious and Wrens and Things. I also bought some  High Street fabric in a happy yellow which I thought coordinated well with the other fabric. I am going to use the Lattice Bones Pattern found on the Moda Bake Shop website. Here is a sample of the fabric colors:

 

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Aren’t they happy? Here is a picture of a small square and how they will fit into a larger block:

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Hopefully I will be done with the quilt top soon and be posting pictures of the finished product.

 

Crocuses

I have to admit, January and February are not my favorite months for painting in my nature journal; even the evergreens are dull and not very inspiring. So, I was delighted to see the crocuses blooming in my front yard! This year we had more than ever before, and I was excited about being able to paint with my favorite color, purple.

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I began my nature journal when I began teaching, since nature study is a part of our curriculum, and students keep nature journals. I first started my own journal as an example, but soon I fell in love with the process of noticing beauty in my surroundings and capturing it in my journal. Painting from nature increases our powers of observation and causes us to praise the creator and his marvelous works. My husband loves my nature journal paintings (even though I don’t consider myself to have any artistic talent), and so for Christmas, he had a couple of my nature journal entries enlarged, copied, and framed. What a wonderful gift!

Framed daffodils

 

A new way to create

I woke up this morning with an idea: create a blog! No, I had not been thinking about this for a long time; it literally popped into my mind upon awakening. I have recently returned to quilting and have been exploring many quilting blogs searching for patterns and ideas. However, as a beginning quilter, I don’t feel qualified to publish a quilting blog. So, what should my blog be about? The answer was quick to come to me: my attempts at creativity. I am created in the image of a creative God, who places in each of us the desire to create, to make beauty, to respond to His masterpieces by creating our small ones. Ann Voskamp, one of my favorite writers and bloggers, wrote this: “All our lives we all need to create because creativity is the life breath of our Creator Father and if we don’t create we breathe stale air and we wither dry.”
So, I want to keep a record of what I create; I want to praise God with my creativity; I want to inspire you to release an artist within you. It doesn’t really matter that I am not perfect. That’s what I want to impart to you- the act of creating isn’t always about the finished product, it’s about using our gifts and creativity to praise the Maker of everything.
And the title of my blog? I was trying to come up with some cutesy alliteration, “Diane’s Doings,” or something about roads (Rhoades), or perhaps just the word ,”Create,” when I heard this song on my Spotify “This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.” And I knew. That was it, what I wanted to convey in my blog, that I am using my God-given creativity to praise Him all day long.
Stay tuned for photos of my creative attempts: nature journaling, quilting, sewing, crafts, cooking (very occasionally).