Retirement has given me more time to make new friends and find ways to give back to the community. I was asked to join a wonderful organization called P.E.O. Since joining I’ve made several wonderful friends. The whole point of the group is to raise money to support women’s education. Here’s the official description:
“P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization for women. Founded in 1869 as a small friendship society, P.E.O. quickly grew into a diverse, widespread sisterhood with one mission: promote educational and personal growth opportunities for women.”
“Today, P.E.O. is a source of friendship and support for over a quarter million chapter members throughout the United States and Canada. Our sisterhood proudly offers educational opportunities with six philanthropies, ownership of a women’s college, and five programs that provide educational assistance.” (www.PEOcaliforniastate.org)
In February our chapter met and made Valentine cards for sisters who are older or ill and can’t make meetings. It is a nice way to keep in touch with them and a fun time of crafting for us. I don’t know many of the gals we made cards for, but it gave me the chance to make greeting cards. And I am all over that! I brought lots of craft paper, stamps, ribbons, and “stuff” to the meeting. Two other gals brought stamps too, so we had a plethora of materials to get our creative ideas flowing!
I feel very blessed to have met these women and look forward to many activities together. Any of you belong to P.E.O?
Fundraising for our PEO Chapter! It’s springtime and we are ready to party-Bunco style. Our theme was Mardi Gras and there were beads flowing, dice rolling, shouts of “bunco”, and raffle tickets sold for
opportunity baskets. All of this fun went to support women who need a loan or scholarship to start their education or continue it.
Bunco is a dice game where absolutely no skill is involved. You roll three dice at the same time and hope a predesignated number come up. If you are lucky enough to roll three of a kind you win a bunco or baby bunco. Of course, there are other rules, but it’s a fairly simple game. And because it is so simple, there is lots of laughing and shouting going on as players roll the dice .
For refreshments we had yummy cake pops decorated in Mardi Gras colors. Yes, I made them for the cause. Someone else made a King Cake and a decadent bread pudding with hot rum sauce!
In order to raise money for our philanthropy, we designed baskets full of all sorts
of goodies. Each basket had a value of approximately $50. Tickets were drawn and 10 lucky winners went home with baskets. We made a great little profit and proceeds were sent to support scholarships.
Sending cards seems like a lost art these days. We send texts, tweets, and emails wishing our friends Happy Birthday or Get Well wishes. Call me old fashioned, but I like getting cards in the mail! I like sending them too.
Making cards is a relaxing and creative outlet in of itself; but designing something unique for a friend or family member is very satisfying. Over the years I’ve collected printed papers, ink pads, stamps, little embellishments, ribbons etc. Today I have half a closet filled with little drawers of things to create my special cards. I am always needing to clean out and simplify my stash of materials, but it seems to be growing at an alarming rate..
I do love using my Big Shot embossing machine. This simple machine makes some truly beautiful cards by raising paper designs that I use on the cards. It also allows me to use little metal die cuts to create amazing detailed figures. This little bear is sending birthday wishes to a dear friend who happens to like bears. He is nestled within several layers of paper to give added dimension.
The Get Well cards at the right were made on a dotted Swiss embossed background (by Sizzix), and then I used a die cut and stamp to create the ice cream design (by Fawn Lawn). I colored the stamped pieces using Copic markers which blend very nicely. I also layered the actual card with several colors of paper, which adds depth to the final product. Add a little ribbon and there you have it!
I really love making holiday cards, too. I hope to show you some in the future. I just need to take time to take the photographs and then I can tell you step by step how you can create beautiful art.
Being retired gives me a lot more time to make cards. Frankly, I don’t know how I ever had time to work!
Yes, it’s official, I’m a retired golfer! With minimal hand- eye co-ordination, limited spatial vision, and fear of being hit by a ball, don’t you think I’ve picked the “just right” sport for me? I’ve never liked sports for the above obvious reasons, but the golf bug has bitten and I can’t get enough! Golfing two days a week now with a lesson twice a month.
I’ve decided that if you dress the part, talk the part, and show up for early tee-times, you are officially a golfer! As a reminder, I only golf executive 9- hole courses for now, but my 2017 goals have been set to expand my field of play.
Dan and the kids got me set with a requested 6 iron, new pink balls, tees, and a towel that wasn’t white. My mother-in-law gave me money so I quickly headed for Golf-mart to purchase a driver, a new bag, shoes (hated the old ones), 2 new shirts, and a new hybrid cover. Thanks family!
Today, I played 18 holes for the first time since July (still an executive course with only 4 par 3’s). Oh what a day! Fantastic shots and putts! Of 18 holes my putts were all ones or two’s! But the best part….wait for it…
I smacked my friend’s squirrel driver cover! Yes, knocked it off the club and to the ground. Never used a driver until today, so control is still a bit of an issue, but this was a beautiful shot! Who else could have nailed that? Now I have to give this club a name. Remember my hybrid is now the Coot Slayer (see earlier post), so this new club needs an equally awesome name. I am open to suggestions. We all got a great laugh. Maybe you had to be there, I don’t know.
I’m hoping Dan is going to want to play golf with me now that I’m improving so much. Perhaps I won’t mention this incident though!
I’ve heard retirement is a good time to take up gardening. Supposedly you have time to try nurturing the hobby. So, I asked myself, “Do I have a green thumb”? “Can I grow just about anything”? “Do I enjoy gardening, tending the soil, fertilizing the land etc”? I answered, “No”! I do however, enjoy looking a beautiful plants that will grow despite my efforts. Thankfully, plumeria and Christmas cactus will grow with absolutely nothing other than the occasional sprinkling.
As I was walking by the bay the other day, I came across a most unusual sight. Growing up inside of a street handicapped sign was a giant weed or grass. Look what sprouted out of the top! Now I couldn’t make that grow if I tried! That sign had to be 10 feet high! Maybe there is something to not needing a green thumb to be a successful grower…Perhaps I will be encouraged to plant this spring. Keep you posted.
This is the second post in my series about the joy of spending time with the Lord while Bible Journaling. In Part 1 I talked about getting basic supplies and the why of illustrating your Bible. Now, if you have your supplies you’re ready to begin.
I start with prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and open my heart to His leading. What is it He wants me to hear? Then as I read and meditate I wait for inspiration to come. Once I have an idea to bring a passage to life, I use my pen and just draw right in my Bible. I’ve read that many people sketch on paper first and then transfer ideas and or draw in their Bibles with pencil. I just go for it, as I’m trying to let go of those ‘perfectionist’ tendencies. Next you can add color. I also underline the passage I’m illustrating. At the bottom of the page I put the date. On this Matthew Scripture about the Sower, I used pen, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, gelato stick and then embellished with some little yellow enameled dots in the center of the big red flower.
A cool thing I started doing was to take the first page of a new Book in the Bible and write the name along the margin with a few words that sum up the Book. For example I put PSALMS: Poetry to the Lord and I did Genesis: The Creation Story. You get the idea.
Most of the time I ink first then I use color over the ink if I want it bolder. The last thing I do is use my gelato sticks to soften the background. Gelato sticks are my favorite way to make a page pop with color and look finished. They are like an oil pastel; soft and creamy. They blend so nicely (with a tissue), especially if you are using the pastel array of colors. In this Creation Story I’ve used pen, watercolor pencils and gelato sticks. After a while you will find your sense of style and then you don’t have to spend time with so many decisions. You just create.
At this point, you are really free to praise God while you are working and can meditate on the words you are bringing to life through illustration. It is such a joyful and peaceful place to be!
The Isaiah illustration at the right came as inspiration from a Sunday sermon. The picture is done mostly using a gelato stick, blending colors to give the illusion of the eagle in flight. I couldn’t draw a bird so I sketched only the head and top of the wing span! I let the color do the rest. Another cool thing about the pastel gelato stick is that you can go right over Scripture and still read it just fine.
Using words, squiggles, dots, dashes and loops is another way to decorate a page. It is very simple and yet, in this Scripture it highlights the most important command the Lord gave us. To honor Him with our heart, mind, soul and strength. This page was done with a thin black pen and then a broad brush pen for the thicker lines. Words are highlighted with a colored pencil. Very quick and easy!
So, what are some good Scriptures you might want to illustrate to practice? Try Genesis (stick figures work great), Psalms 139, Isaiah 55, Romans 11, Galatians 5 or John 14.
From time to time I will post more of my Bible Journal ideas along with my thoughts. I’d love to hear your ideas! I’m still a novice at this, but have found it brings me a step closer to the Lord as I create.
I LOVE spending time with God! I love spending time reading Scripture. I love being creative too, so I was excited when I discovered the art of Bible Journaling. You may know it as Bible Illustrating. But either way it’s another opportunity to be in Scripture; sharing your heart with the Lord. It has becomes such a special time for me that sometimes I fail to complete household tasks because I just want to do a little bit more!
I know Bible Journaling has been around quite a while, but I started this activity about a year ago and it’s been super rewarding. I thought I would write a few entries about what it is, how to create great pages, and some of my favorite tools that allow me to interact with the Scripture. This will be Part 1 of a 2 part series on How To Bible Journal.
Is This for Me?
There are a few basic things to keep in mind as you decide whether or not you want to undertake this kind of thing. For instance: Are you OK with writing in a Bible? Do you have the money to buy a new Bible designed specifically for journaling (margins on sides that allow for illustrations)? Do you enjoy doodling, drawing, and sketching? Is it OK if your drawings aren’t perfect? If you answered yes to these questions, you are ready to move forward!
Purchase a Journaling Bible
I have an ESV version of the Bible that I love, but there are a few others available. Right now there aren’t any specific Catholic translations, but you may find one that has wider margins than others, or you may be fine with using an NIV version for this purpose. I know many folks are hoping that a Catholic Journaling Bible will be printed soon. Once you have your Bible, it’s time to select tools that will help you decorate.
Markers, Pencils, and Embellishments
Caution! You can spend a fortune on these things, but you don’t need to!! Search your house for colored pencils and crayons. Use what you have and spend money on a few things you might really need. You will most certainly need a good writing pen that will have minimal bleeding. NEVER EVER US A SHARPIE pen as they seep through thin Bible paper. Sharpies are great for some things, but not Bible Journaling. You might like brands like Zig Millennium, Micron or Faber–Castell, as they work quite well. I like a very fine pen for writing .005, but many people are happy with a thicker line like a 0.3 or .05. My favorite brand is Micron for thin lines. If you think you might like some really bold lines, try the Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen brush (awesome). Most store have paper you can try line size out on to help you decide. Supplies can be found at local artist stores, craft and hobby stores, on Amazon or even at your local Target.
Pen, colored pencils and crayons are your basics. If you want to add more to your diversity, you could try my favorite, Gelato pastels by Faber-Castell. You might even want stickers with pictures or letters. Sometimes I even use little raised dots. Pick whatever inspires you! As you get better and more confident, you can branch out and get more things like Mister Huey’s Misting Spray, Washi tape, Distress ink pads and watercolor pencils. The list is endless.
Journaling is for connecting with and honoring God. It is a way of expressing your love for Him. As humans we can get caught up in perfectionism and pride. Don’t allow yourself to think your work isn’t good enough, pretty enough, bold enough, or realistic enough. God is pleased with your expression of love and the time you are spending meditating in His Word and finding ways to personalize them. Bible Journaling is like any other diary or journal. It is PERSONAL. There is no reason to share it with others if you choose not to. I like to get together and journal with friends from time to time and share ideas, but mostly I like to settle in and praise him privately. Do what suits your style best.
That’s it for now. Part 2 will list some great Scriptures you might like to try if you’re feeling a bit intimidated (remember, you’re not supposed to) and some more picture ideas.