Saturday, March 23, 2013

Palm Sunday

Sundays are always so busy for us, so I decided we would would maker our palms today and read through the story.

The kids enjoyed making palms, and acting our the story.

I have always enjoyed this day, I love the excitement my Dad (as a pastor) always created in the service and the waving of the real palms in church.

Here in Latvia this is known as pussy willow Sunday. I want my kids to grasp the reason we celebrate Easter and the excitement leading up to it from Palm Sunday.

I really encourage you to use Jessica's materials, and the audios she suggested. I listened to them today and they are great! I will look forward to incorporating them into our week's lessons!

Happy Palm or Pussy willow Sunday1

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What is Easter?

Easter is just around the corner and with kids in the house of course I am wondering how best to celebrate this holiday.

How do we include the fun of the eggs and all while focusing on the real reason we celebrate?

My friend Jessica has a fantastic blog with some ideas about how they will do this and her ideas helped me plunge ahead with some of the ideas I already had and make a plan for how to make this a very special week of celebration.

My four year old asks very serious, deep questions about many topics and I don't want to fill him with nonsense about bunnies and eggs. I want him to have truth, and thoughts to build his beliefs on.Today he kept asking me over and over,"What is Easter?"

In the meantime, what are you going to do to celebrate Easter? What are your traditions in your family and in your country?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joy In Routine

Are you a Mom or a person stuck in routine? Do you delight in your routine or disdain it? Perhaps both at times. . . 

Lately I have noticed how the very rhythm of routine is calming. 

I awake to sunshine. Knowing that this day holds the care and rearing of my 3 small children. 

I pray and entrust this day to God, asking for his presence. Knowing that without it I will fail miserably and knowing I will stumble in my humanity from time to time. 

I dress my little ones, I wash clothes, I feed them. I cook meals,  I kiss owies, I give hugs and make pony tails. 

These are my responsibilities, my pleasures, my joys. 

I know I could leave my young brood with a nanny and work.I know I could do more and be with them less. 

Yet, No One will love them and influence them the way a Mama can. 

I have accepted my place. At long last I have found joy in the routine.  My greatest pleasures are the simple ones of motherhood. The new words, the lessons I teach my children daily with our homeschool, the Bible stories taught and questions asked. 

I have a calling, it may not change the world. But it is changing the lives of 3 little people; one minute, hour and day at a time. 

And each day when I see the principles, the character and the faith of my children growing and developing, I am proud and at peace. 

For there really is no greater calling for a woman, a mother, a wife than to serve well that which she has been entrusted.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Pleasure is the compliment of a job well done,
the joy in the creation or sharing of a talent, 
the satisfaction in a glimpse or word of praise for something I created with love. 

Pleasure is the softness of a baby soft cheek next to mine, 
two soft sweet hands, 
and the heavenly aroma of a dear sweet babe. 

Pleasure is the pride and glow of a word first recognized, 
a word formed with faltering hand, 
and the accomplishment in knowing I was the teacher of my sweet child. 

Pleasure is the calm of a beautiful day, 
the warmth of the first rays of spring sunshine,  
and the scent of a damp earth welcoming the new life of spring. 

Pleasure is the contentment of a long evening, 
listening to the stories and songs of little voices, 
bound with love in the security of family. 

Pleasure is the nearness of ones we love, 
the warmth of a long embrace, 
and the kiss given in love. 

Pleasure is the security of future, 
the promise of hope, life and nearness, 
in the arms and home of the Living God.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Lynn Meek- Featured Artist

Today I have the honor of introducing you to one of the artists who has most inspired me. When I first learned of Etsy and began considering selling my scarves there I fell in love with her shop and her silk art. She is a true artist, and her paintings always amaze me with their exquisiteness. Hope you enjoy getting to know her through this interview as much as I have.
About you
Although I’ve never had any formal training, art in some form has always been part of my life. I grew up in Toronto Canada, moved to the States and have lived near Atlanta since 1965. I’m a retired flight attendant, mother of two and grandmother of three. I’ve always painted….mostly watercolors
Why silk painting? 
Your story about how you began painting silk and what you do in this field now, etc.
I had the original Tuckman/Janus “Art of Silk Painting” book for years and that was always my goal. We finally built our studio 5 years ago and I knew the first time I dropped dye onto silk and watched all the magical movement, that this is what I wanted to do. I was fortunate to connect online with the wonderful silk painter, Karen Sistek ( She couldn’t have been more gracious and generous in her encouragement. Fast forward to today: I’m creating and selling my silk wraps through my Silk Siren shop on Etsy
What inspires your paintings
We live out in the country on a lake where I have the trees, flowers, birds and all of nature around to inspire me, and the peace and quiet to let me focus and create.

Your favorite silk painting you have done
My favorite was probably one I did on silk satin that featured three large jungle cat heads: a tiger, leopard and puma. I normally paint florals so this was quite a stretch and it turned out beautifully. It was hard to part with that one when it sold. I’d have to say my signature design is large florals painted in a loose watercolor style where I let the dyes run and blend without resist.
Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.
I’ve developed my own method of silk painting simply thru trial and error…much of it similar to watercolor technique. I tried resist but quickly realized I wasn’t an “inside the lines” type personality. I use thickened dye where I want control or a hard edge, otherwise I like to let the dye run and blend on the silk. I prefer to paint on chiffon. I use Jacquard Red Label dyes from Dharma and a few Tinfix colors as well.
Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art
I would encourage silk painters to check out the SPIN (Silk Painters International) Facebook page. You needn’t be a member of SPIN although I recommend that as well. SPIN is a worldwide association of silk painters of all levels. The Facebook page is a wonderful community for sharing all aspects of silk painting…, ideas, material sources….it’s a terrific, supportive community of talented artists.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a parrot tulip wrap for my dear friend Karen Sistek who was chosen as the signature artist for a prestigious tulip festival. Karen requested a tulip themed silk to wear for the festival.
What advice can you give us on selling our silk art?
I started my Etsy shop, Silk Siren, about four years ago and it’s been a wonderful venue for me. I don’t do shows, or blog or market my silks anywhere else. I’ve been fortunate to have my silks “discovered” quickly and I have a loyal following of clients who return again and again. The fact that Etsy is a global marketplace has given me the exposure resulting in shipping my silks to a worldwide clientele.
My suggestions for anyone thinking of selling on Etsy would be:
1.  Do your research and find a niche. You must have a unique product.
2.  Offer a professional product for good value.
3.  Provide outstanding customer service
4.  Connect to your buyer with great photos and inviting descriptions.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tatjana- Featured Artist

Meet Tatjana, a talented silk artist from Croatia with a wonderful story to share about her silk art! I so fell in love with silk painted dresses that I wanted to get to know her better. I hope you all enjoy her interview as much as I did!

About you

My name is Tatjana , I'm from Croatia. I'm 39 and a mother of two boys

Why silk painting?

I always knew I would do something creative in my life. With my hands and involving lots of colors! I remember, in college If I took an exam and I went there with manicured and polished nails that meant I had studied hard. What do manicured nails have to do with studying? It's very simple. The only way to keep my hands in place and not starting crafting something while studying was to polish my nails and to wait for polish to dry.

I started crafting as a kid.; making jewelry from all sorts of material, pottery, glass painting,..... I found out about silk painting when I was 16 and immediately fell in love. Lately, when it wast time to chose a college, I didn't need to think twice,, Faculty of Textile Technology and design was my choice. So, I'm actually a fashion designer by profession!

What inspires your paintings?

Everything! A nice sunny day,good music, good art exhibition,.. Beautiful garden and flowers specially since flowers are my favorite motif..

What is your favorite silk painting you have done?

Wow, I made hundreds of them in past 20 years! You can see some of them here:
 Flickr But my favorite so far is this one:

Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.

My favorite type of silk is crepe de chine. I love it's modest shine, rich texture and how beautifully it drapes. I buy silk in local hobby shop. I use steam set dyes (fiber reactive) that I buy wherever I find. No favorite brand However, the gutta is something else. It's very important to me so I use solvent based gutta from Dupont.

Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art

A simple one: When I'm too excited to start painting to wait for the gutta to dry, I start painting on the wrong side!
Another one. With steam set dyes, if you are not happy with what you have done after steaming you can start all over.
Here is a post about that I wrote on my blog (before I neglected it): Post

If you have a family or kids or another job, how do you balance those and find time to paint?

I don't have another job but I do have a family. Having a family and two kids I decided it is best idea if I stayed home and work from home. Thanks to etsy for making that possible :)
I usually paint when my kids are in school

Find Tatjana here:


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Household Personality

Today as I was reading our Bible study from our Couples Bible the topic was on the character of our homes/families.

The passage was the one where David wants to show kindness to the survivors of Saul and finds out about Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel  9 :1-12.

David wanted to have a household that showed kindness.

It was interesting to think about the personality of the household we are forming, and whether we are happy with that personality, what we like about it or dislike.

When I think about our home I think of it as being open, since we often have company. I have always wanted to have a home that is peaceful,  welcoming and cozy with wonderful smells and yummy food. A place where love abounds and joy is in abundance. I don't see from the outside what it is like coming to my home- I wonder what those who come hear often would say to describe the personality of our household. What is your household personality? Is it reserved, loud, spontaneous or planned?

Another question was to think of a household that to us exemplifies kindness. Immediately the home of my husband's cousin and his wife came to mind. Their home is always open to anyone who drops in. They seem to always receive a guest (planned or unplanned ) with kindness, openness. I am always so amazed by their joyful hospitality.

How about you?  Is your house and family a giver of kindness to those who cross its thresh hold or to those who come asking for your attention?

How would you describe the personality of your household?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Faith and Fear

Lately I  have found myself confronted with more fears than I normally face. Fears of the end of the world as I know it. Fears of microchips and end times and pain and suffering.

Then there was a terrible accident at an intersection not far from our home.. The police and ambulance had the scene blocked off for at least 4 hours, an ambulance blocked the road where we normally drive out to get on the highway.

I found myself gripped with fear as I rose to a new day, I was supposed to go on a day long date with my husband. We had fun plans in mind, it should have been something to look forward. But it was snowing and I feared leaving my house and our babysitter and our three munchkins. I feared something would happen on the road. I was very tempted to stay home and not step foot out of my home. Fear has a paralyzing effect.

But I prayed, I believed, I went.

Of course we had a special day together running errands, eating  lunch out and going to a museum.

In the evening we had our girl's Bible study at our home. We had our first guest, a lady of faith from our church who does lots of ministry with the poor.  She had felt God's leading to talk about faith. As she shared how faith looks in her life and the stories of God's faithfulness and provision, I was touched.

Here is a woman facing real life problems daily. She helps the poor, the fatherless, the widows, the alcoholics, and people in all kinds of situations. She has no fear, and walks by faith. She clearly reminded us fear is not of God!

I was moved when she talked about the position we are to have as obedient and submissive wives. I was challenged by the thoughts on our not being able to change our situations anyhow- so why do we worry and fret. We need only trust God and walk by faith. He is in charge and fully capable of caring for us in EVERY way.

And as I laid down to go to bed, I again laid down my worries at the feet of my Father in  Heaven- knowing that He will care for me, my children and my family and loved ones in every single circumstance. He is worthy. He is faithful and all I need to do is trust  Him!