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I just wanted to write for the record… to say that I am so excited that we have decided to go on this little adventure called amen.  Eva and I have such a great time together in the wee hours… (including a couple all-nighters that prove we are still young!) …and it is really a cool thing that we get to do more with the things we do for fun.  It is like icing on the cake.  We get to create, have fun…. laugh and cry… pray and dream. 

And then we get to do this whole OTHER thing.  We get to set up our own little store… We get to meet tons of new people… We get to find the kindred spirits… And we get to sell our stuff to people who love it… To people who get it. I can’t believe how much this little adventure has opened us up.  To more.  And we are doing it.  

And so, with warm wishes… to many new crafting adventures… and to the new.

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“Oh my gosh!  It smells like a Christmas tree!”  That’s what Ann said when she opened up an old notebook, and we started to look through all the cute phrases and Christmas poems we wrote about a year ago.  There were pine needles from last year’s tree accidentally stuck between the pages, the scent of which filled us with anticipation for the coming months.  The months when the crafter can work feverishly, and the cold of fall, and then winter, awakens the inspiration that has been hibernating all summer.  We are once again inspired, and just beginning to make a new batch of fun handmade items, which will hopefully be sold at some upcoming local Christmas craft faires.  We will be peddlers, selling a wide variety of things – gift tags for example.  Can you feel the cuteness?  Updates will be forthcoming!

A good friend recently tipped me off about a great website – www.kiddierecords.com. It is amazing! It’s basically an archive of music and story records from “The Golden Age of Storytelling.” If you think back to the 70s when kids had little 45 record players and listened to story records on them (at least I did), you may remember characters like Bozo the clown, Uncle Remus, etc, who never really made it to the age of DVDs. Well, you can download them, with the beautiful vintage cover art, for free! There are about three years worth of weekly stories archived on the site, and you can have them all. They go back much further than the 70s. I think most of them are from the 20s and 30s (so don’t expect them to be politically correct for 2008).

I remember having story time at the daycare I went to as a kid, and everyone crowding around the record player and getting mad if they couldn’t see it even though it didn’t matter as long as you could hear it. Maybe that is something I will bring into my son’s life as a quiet time tradition. A little more imagination-engaging than TV, but sure to keep them, and you, entertained on a rainy day.

Those of you who have kids know how much energy it takes out of you.  And, the more kids you have, the more demands are made on your time, energy, patience, etc.  So, the other night while scrapbooking and discussing the business of life (she has 4 kids now!), I said to Ann, “I don’t even know how you can find the energy to craft.”  Her apt reply was, “How could I not craft?”  She is perfectly right.  Sometimes we forget that taking time to express ourselves creatively, or do whatever it is that helps you feel complete and competent — this gives to our lives more than it takes.  I know sometimes you just can’t bear to think about getting out supplies and starting a project, but there have actually been times when I stayed up the whole night in a wild frenzy of creative anointing (as we like to call it), and was still so excited, fulfilled, and passionate about it the next day that I didn’t even feel tired.

I would like to take this moment to encourage all the moms who have put their art on a shelf to take care of babies.  If you think you are done with art for the rest of your life, think again.  The next time you are feeling brave, take out your painting supplies, paper crafts, sewing machine, or whatever.  Take it off the shelf and try it out.  You may be surprised to find a bunch of little pieces of you heart floating around in there, that you didn’t even realize you had left behind.  🙂

“In the field of opportunity, it’s plowin’ time again” — Neil Young

I’ve had that line stuck in my head for the last few days, and didn’t know who sang it until a moment ago. It’s a fitting description all around, I think. It’s autumn, harvest time, but not just because of the time of year. It seems that every where we turn, ideas, inspirations, projects, things are ripening. All of a sudden, what felt like so much work becomes pure freedom. Burdensome tasks are filling up with creativity and joy. Here’s a picture of my harvest; the sunflowers that were a lush green jungle in my back yard throughout the summer. Though they are wilted and falling over, they leave me with a parting gift. A feast for birds, a cooking-experiment-to-be for me, and thousands of seeds for spring planting …. with plenty to share with friends! This is a reminder to me that the most treasured things come with sacrifice, and that for the most part, every sacrifice leads to renewal and restoration. I feel so thankful for this abundant season of life.

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Yes, this is what it takes to launch a creative day with amen, a cute bowl full of cute little grapes. And, the cuteness makes eating lunch all the more enjoyable! So with our grapes in their cute red rimmed bowl, we set out on a new venture: Baby Bibs! So exciting!! For some reason, I got a photo of the grapes, but not the bibs- so we’ll have to post some later. Needless to say (wink) that they are extremely adorable and sweet, and pretty much every momma will want their baby to spill green beans all over one!