Monday, March 31, 2008

tree swings

A sample of my tree swings. They come packaged in a burlap bag, tied up with twine and a tag. Sweetheart-sized, too, for two.

"warm-up" paintings

I haven't painted in years. I've been busy raising our girls, helping my husband with our Backyard Adventures business, painting and selling tree swings to catalog companies and stores, everything except painting pictures. After my oldest daughter's wedding and my youngest daughter left for college, I was anxious to get back to some serious artwork. I tend to be apprehensive about starting - afraid of failure - so have just stuck my toes back in the water. These little paintings were fun and will help me venture out. There is a great book on this subject, "Art and Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland. A good friend, who understands my plight, gave it to me for my birthday and I highly recommend it. I give myself a pep talk with it most mornings!

This tiny butterfly is painted on an antique ivory piano key. New ivory can't be purchased, thank goodness, so I'm always on the look-out for old piano keys on which to paint. I've got 12 more ready to frame.

My clever daughter thought I should photograph them on the piano. I love it!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Terra Beata Farm

I made the tiles for my kitchen backsplash. The larger center tile has the first verse of "This is My Father's World" surrounding the bird. It says

"This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears,
All nature sings and 'round me rings,
The music of the spheres."

Every hymn has a title for the words and a title for the tune. This tune is called Terra Beata (Latin - pronounced Bay-ah'-ta) and means Blessed World. We chose this name for our farm because the words of the hymn attest to God's sovereignty and assure us of His presence.

big texas sky

We West Texans don't have a lot to brag about as far as the landscape goes, though there is a lot to be said for wide, open spaces, but we can brag about our sky! Morning, noon, evening, night - it is magnificent. You can't really appreciate it until you've felt the big-ness of it. I can step out onto my front porch at anytime and witness a spectacular scene. Especially at night. I go outside on my way to bed to look at the stars. They are above and all around, down to the horizon enveloping us like a soft, twinkly blanket, tucking us in for the night. It is so comforting and reminds me that God is in His heaven, all is right with the world.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

morning goodness

We hadn't lived in our new, old farmhouse very long when I woke up and saw how prettily the sun comes in this window in the morning. The fern on the front porch makes a nice silhouette and my hat, which doesn't look so great on me, looks beautiful on my door. There are simple pleasures everywhere just waiting for us to notice.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Finally! My daughter has been after me to get my blog up and going because she knew how much I wanted to. I just couldn't settle on decisions like name, colors, etc. You know, the really important things in life! (I take things like that waaaay too seriously.) Maybe blogging will cure me - it's all so changeable. Perfect.

I decided on the name 1) because it is just a little quirky, but mostly 2) because of God's grace and goodness to me everyday. Not that my life is perfect, mind you, but I feel His hand upon me all the time and see the evidence of His tender mercies at every turn. So...Gracious Goodness it is! And, if I can manage this newly acquired technological thing, I'll be back with photos and more to say...