Monday, March 28

Easter Eggs

So, how was everyone's Easter? It seems to me, somewhat sadly, that each year Easter gets smaller with fewer doing anything for it. With my daughter on bed rest and the "kids" schedules complicated, we ourselves kept it pretty low key too — the 5 of us actually ended up going to the Barnes & Noble cafe and on Saturday night, no less. One side benefit? No clean up. That's always good.

Having the Creative Tuesdays' theme was perfect as while our celebration may have been simple, the Easter Eggs we brought as a surprise for the occasion were anything but! Alexandra and I had so much (back tiring) fun drawing, painting and creating them Friday night as well as most of Saturday until it was time to go. Above, is just a sampling of the ones I created. ...I'll leave you to guess which ones were for the boys and which for the girls. :) Each set was presented in small half-dozen egg containers along with a handful of Cadbury mini eggs, offering some other festive notes.

After a rough night for Alex (injury related problems), we were up early Easter morning at 5:30 am! Not to be put off though, we decided to take full advantage of our time to work on a couple more eggs for special gift deliveries to surprise others later.

So, how did your CT go? I wonder how many of you actually worked on eggs? Can't wait to find out! Thank you for playing along. Next year, we're hoping to get a few more (here) involved in the process. Let me tell you, bonding over a multitude of boiled eggs is certainly one way to celebrate abundant life. :)

Sunday, March 27

Wishing You Hope in the Midst of Life

"Beautiful" (Acoustic Version) by Mali Music (Lyrics) | Live | Video

Happy Easter, everyone! Did any of you decorate Easter Eggs? We did! Can't wait to show you but will tell you more about that later when posting my Creative Tuesdays entry.

Until then, wishing each of you a beautiful day. With so many facing such dire circumstances that truly break my heart, it's important to take the time to soak in and reflect on those more intangible gifts of life we have that bring newness, hope and love.

Like this song says too, I'm thankful for those of you who have supported me in any way you may have over these years, whether that's been remotely through encouragement in an art co-op or in prayer and good wishes, or for anyone I've had the opportunity to know and be blessed by. It's not just family or friends, mind you, it's also those special people working as baristas, bringing smiles each day, or simply those at work who take time out of their busy days to acknowledge the worth of others. I'm reminded too of those like our friend, Nathan, who is overcoming homelessness, working hard, trying to help his mom, holding faith and setting an example for the rest of us of a life worth living.

Every example with moments like these is truly beautiful and I cherish them deeply. Thank you.

Monday, March 21

"You can never stand in the same river twice!"

How silly, I thought when first coming across this quote in one of the 3 books I'm currently reading.  It wasn't until later that it struck me just how deep this analogy was for change. Not only is the river not the riverbed, our lives too aren't just defined by the seeming constants of them (whether found in the blessings of profound relationships or the isolation of illness, loss, or what have you). Rather, it's as Heralitus alluded: "The only real constant is change."

As much as we may want to resist the river's current, we simply can't unplug life's forward movement (as this book's author suggests). In fact, to resist the flow is to choose further suffering. Sadly, many of us know that all too well. It is incredibly wrenching when faced with having to let go of people and things we've cherished so deeply that they've seemingly become one with our very nature. Yet, as Merritt Jones adds, to try and force change before it's ready is like trying to make the river flow faster — an exercise in futility.

That certainty of change can understandably create a fair degree of anxiety. So, what do you do with it? While, say, having faith in God and seeing reality through that wider prism can provide a greater sense of purpose, most of us, if we're honest with ourselves, contend with worry at some point or another. Its anxiousness ebbs and flows through our lives. In response, we do our best to mitigate the unknowns as much as possible. We build faith, routine, expectations, support, whatever it is that can seemingly add stability and preparation for those trials that may come at any time. Some are seen from afar and dreaded, while others arrive suddenly and forcefully where we can barely breathe; it may take a long time to recover.

The point of this muse is not really to give some all-knowing dissertation on preparing for or even triumphing in those challenges of life, but more just wondering how we deal with the inevitability of actual uncertainty.

Increasingly, I've found find that while some "do" life better perhaps than others, no one has theirs fully mastered. That is both sobering yet liberating too. If, for example, we're approximating an A for effort, we don't have to justify and beat ourselves up for not getting an A+! Maybe for some of us, it's a B, C or even D. I don't know, but you get the gist. As a friend recently noted, "We all carry what we can carry." Simple, yes, but oh how true. We are all unique — what comes easy for some may be challenging for another. Each of us have our own burden and lot to contend with, and that's enough already!

None of us like change or uncertainty nor the hardships it may bring. I'm discovering though that remaining in our perfectly constructed nests will never help us look beyond our own self-imposed boundaries and into the mystery and adventure of life itself. It's rather like C.S. Lewis so humourously wrote:

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

After all, on the other side of uncertainty, change, hurt, and challenges is a world of growth, wonder and possibility.


Tuesday, March 15

Baked Goodness

Mmm... for this Creative Tuesdays, a tower of spongy baked-with-love goodness, sandwiched between strawberries and cream. One of my faves but never seen that here, actually. In fact, the closest I've remotely found is Chantilly cake(?) at Whole Foods Market but not nearly as tasty nor as... glorious, shall we say? (The US oddly lacks the variety of cakes so commonly offered across the pond.) As it is, I doubt any sponge could hold that much cream but isn't artistic license a dream? Heh.

As I rather had a penchant for my initial sketch here, I decided to just focus on colouring in the "love offering" instead, in order to keep the whole feel of it fairly sketchy in the process, as you can see. Must admit, my mouth was practically watering the entire time, so probably just as well this wasn't drawn from real life or I dare say, my resolve might not have been as strong as this little boy's! :)


Tuesday, March 1

Meet the Artist

Here's my Meet Me piece for Creative Tuesday's Meet n' Greet! Ha-ha, I so had fun with this and am sure you did too! What's quite funny is this is exactly what I wore for work today. In fact, I almost always have black polished shoes on and usually one of my three v-neck sweaters. Aside from the dark purple one, there's a dark grey and a maroon one as well, much like the t-shirt's colour showing through here.

Alex has given her stamp of approval so that's good. It's legit! She says it's very me... "even down to your rosy cheeks and [err] the crumbs on your sweater!" Whilst my tea has long been consumed, I can sit here satisfied knowing that no crumbs were left from my tag-a-long girl's scout cookie so enjoyed earlier for my ritualistic dunking. (I will also have you know, btw, that was well deserved after that huge salad earlier.) And... OK... I must admit there are indeed some [popcorn] crumbs around the place. Oh dear me, I really must talk to Alexandra about her mess! Heh. :D Nooo, I mean, surely my table manners are far too impeccable to EVER be, err.... expressive?!

Well, my suspicion is this theme's going to be quite engaging for all. Can't wait to learn a few new fun things about each of you! Oh, and don't forget too that I plan to do a montage of all our pieces for this go around. It will be quite a keepsake, I'm sure. :)