September 22, 2014

Such a Gem!

A few weeks ago I entered a giveaway contest from a blog I regularly read (SquirrellyMinds) and guess what? I won!! 
The Prize: An original gemstone watercolour painting of my choice!
Tan, of SquirrelyMinds, is genuinely talented and I love ALL of her watercolour art!

I was trying to pick an ideal candidate for a painting to adorn my wall and it came to me....I wonder if she could paint a geode!

What's a geode, you ask? 
Basically, a geode is a sedimentary or volcanic rock...with a surprise inside. Somewhere along the way a hollow or bubble formed inside the sediment or lava and crystals formed over time.

On the outside, a geode looks just like any other ordinary rock, plain, uninteresting. But once the inner hollow is accessed (cut or cracked), a geode's centre is a riot of colour and texture, catching light and reflecting it's glorious beauty.

Hmmm, makes me think we should never judge a rock by it's outer looks. :)

Why a geode, you ask?
When I was about six years old I was visiting my grandparents in northern BC and on a trip to a store with my grandfather, or Pops as we affectionately called him, I noticed a few of these beautiful rocks on display.
 Being the generous and most amazing Pops ever, he bought me one (what grandfather can't resist a granddaughter's charm?). This small stone fit in my own tiny palm, grey on the outside and sliced in half to reveal deep blues and purple crystals on the inside.

I've kept this momento and it has always been a warm reminder of my grandfather.

* Today, I am quite distressed. Since thinking about this geode, I have tossed my house looking for it, to no avail. It's misplaced! When I do find it I'll be sure to update you with a photo.

So, I asked Tan if she would venture to try painting me a geode.
Tan delivered!!

She created a wonderful, unique painting for me!

She also went the extra mile and delivered it to me, though sadly I had stepped out of my office and just missed her.
I came back to work to a lovely gift wrapped with crisp tissue and gold foil stickers spelling out my name!
(As a kid with a slightly unusual name, let me tell you anything with our correct name on it is a treasure!)

Here it is, my very own geode painting. Love it!

Thanks, Tan from SquirrelyMinds! (Psst, check out her wonderful blog!)

(Extra foil stickers cut outs from the front adornment.)

Geode Gem Watercolor painting artwork purple stone

Geode Gem Watercolor painting artwork purple stone
Love my new Geode Painting!

September 17, 2014

Weird & Wonderful Wednesday: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Weird & Wonderful Wednesday Series!
(have a look at Part 1)

Today I bring to you a sample of some of the weird & wonderful photos I've taken over the years.
Some are of oddities and some are just magical.
All are unedited and not at all enhanced.

This lot comes from all over the place and from over the past seven years.
     (*Bonus points if you can name where some of them are taken!)


September 12, 2014

Love's Secret: A Risk Worth Taking

I've mentioned before that I love poetry.
I love the lilt, the play with language and wording.
I love the visual imagery a poet can create for their reader with a simple line of thought.

William Blake William Blake is one of my favourite poets.

Not only did he draw out wonderful imagery from his words, but he was a talented and other-worldly artist, creating art from metal etchings that most often included the poems themselves.

Some of his works are difficult to look at, with drastic themes and angry undertones. Yet, many I can appreciate for their simplicity and beauty.
This poem, "Love's Secret" is short and simple but deep.

The subject is describing what it was like to finally voice his love only to have his hopes dashed.
His affection is rejected and the object of his love is eventually whisked away by another. Sad.

Blake does hint, though, that if you never voice your love, it will never come into being.
Love only happens when it is proclaimed and admitted. 
For him, that love was lost.

Love is a risk, no matter how you seek it out.
You can never risk the good without risking the bad.

Perhaps I'm feeling a little melancholy tonight, since this poem, though a little sad, feels sweet to me.

Love's secret is just that...a secret, an inward longing, unless risked to have a voice.

"Love's Secret"
by William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! she did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.

September 3, 2014

Weird & Wonderful Wednesday

Today I bring to you a sample of some of the weird & wonderful photos I've taken over the years. Some are of oddities and some are just magical. All are unedited and not at all enhanced.

This lot comes from my Summer of 2003 folder.
- First, a flight to Calgary for a friend's wedding and family reunion of sorts.
- Then a road trip up to Smithers to visit family for their annual Fall Fair.


Weird personification of an automobile.
Flying over the Rocky Mountains. I never tire of a good window seat!

Downtown Calgary as seen from my family's former property, the place where I grew up for my first seven years.

Dock off of Sylvan Lake.

Old-school 3D comics.

Some young cousins twirling for me.
Ginger, ready for her close-up!

I think the wee one has mistaken her dog for a horse at the Fair.

Traveling home from northern BC...cowboy country.

We also traveled through forest fire country at a bad time of year. Many hills were black and smoking.

One of my favourites. The smoky haze from the fires lends an eerie through the mountain passes. 

What are your favourites from this bunch?? 

Tune in next time for another episode of "Weird & Wonderful Wednesdays" or check out my "Scenic Sunday" series as well.

Ta for now!

September 1, 2014

What's your story?

There are many metaphors for life.

Running the race.
Traveling on a journey.
Sailing the course.

My favourite has to be that our lives are a story.

There is a beginning...we are born.
There is a middle...we live.
And there is an guessed it, we die.

YET, your story doesn't have to seem so standard, cookie-cutter, or so depressingly final.

If you believe at all in God, know that He loves you and He thought about you before you were born.
 Your beginning wasn't just some random dot on a timeline.
 God knew you before you began.

And if you believe in a heaven then you know that if you've chosen to trust God and grow close to Him, we will live forever in His amazing presence.
 Our end isn't stuck here in an aging world.

As for the middle?

Well, we are living it everyday.
Like the lyrics above tell us, all the little things that you've stumbled over, all those walls you've smacked up against, all the pits and holes along the way, they just become a part of your story.
They are not the end.
They don't define you and what and who you are.
They are footnotes, character flaws that make us unique.

Whatever you are searching for, or whatever path you are on, it doesn't have to be final.
You can change your mind.
You can find peace and love and wholeness.

It's not a calling to an easy life.
You will be set apart and mocked and looked down upon.
But those are just pages in your story. 
They are not the focus.

Centre yourself around what really matters.
Find your way in this muddled up world towards something greater than our selfish tendencies.
We can try to be 'good' until we exhaust every volunteer or donation opportunity but that simply isn't enough.

We need to find our way to the love of God.

You may read my blog and not agree with me. That's ok.
I just think it's time I shared what I believe.
I want to make sure it's clear.
And I care enough about all of you to make sure you know about it, too.

My life is nowhere near what I thought it would be.
And that's ok.

If I was no longer alive tomorrow I know it would not be the end.
I have a faith, a trust and a hope in something greater than myself.

You can have it, too.

What do you hold onto? 
What's YOUR story?

Out Of Hiding (Father's Song)
by Steffany Gretzinger
Come out of hiding, you’re safe here with me
There’s no need to cover what I already see
You’ve got your reasons, but I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown and I hold the key

Cause I loved before you knew what was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles my victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home

And I’ll be your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate everything
No need to be frightened by intimacy
Just throw off your fear and come running to m

And oh as you run, what hindered love
Will only become part of the story 
Baby you’re almost home now
Please don’t quit now
You’re almost home to me