Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Shoe Tree, Houlton, Maine

 Shoe trees represent the American spirit -
along our highways.
It may begin as casually as one person
tossing his shoes high into the air,
allowing them to hang among the branches.
 It may end there.
With that one pair of shoes.
Or -
it may blossom as person after person
stops traveling long enough
to add their shoes to the tree.
 Historically shoe trees have documented
weddings, baby debuts, graduations, funerals.
Any time family is celebrated.
The shoe tree is a form of remembrance.
 These trees may last generations,
tracing our history by our shoe wear. 
This particular shoe tree is located just outside
Houlton, Maine, close to where we live.
The branches are loaded down with shoe after
shoe after shoe.
If you were able to look closer and inspect the
shoes, you may notice writing and notes
detailing the occasion the shoes were tossed
among the branches. 
And there are so many pairs and singles just laying on the ground. 
Ghosts of shoe wear past.
Surely. Hahaha!
And we have been trying to find this tree again.
We first saw it about a year ago.
Well, today was the today.
The Maine version of the shoe tree!

The Creator's Leaf

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Moose Are Moving Around Again

This morning we were driving in to Houlton
and found this lady standing on a side road.
(There should be a video just above this.)
 She stayed until a big truck came and scared
her away. Mark said we were about 15 yards from her.
I had my window down and used my cell phone.
I need to leave a real camera in the car.
 She didn't seem concerned with us at all. 
The moose haven't been moving around in the snow.
We were told they couldn't because the snow
was so deep the moose would break their legs.
Mark says she will gain about 200 pounds -
now that she is out and can find food.
 I wish she wouldn't drink mud water.
But if she didn't, we probably wouldn't
have seen her.
This is the closest we've gotten to one here in Maine.
 Moose are really big animals.
And shortly after this the big Sysco truck
came down the road and the moose
took off through that yard and back into the woods. 
It was great while it lasted!
I just love living in Maine!
The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Little Zingo

Since my mom passed away two months ago,
I have had a really hard time getting motivated to art.
Drawing/tangling is like pulling teeth.
Making color is a little easier right now.
I can always make color,
tangling isn't easy.
Zentangle® HQ recently blogged and videoed
their granddaughters Indy and Mazzy
tangling Zingo. 
You can see my rendition of zingo in the
tile just above this. 
To watch the 7 and 5 year olds make their
very own video, click this link.
And turn the volume up.
Their commentary will leave you smiling.

I probably should have left things alone at this point,
but I wanted to push myself and try to draw.
So I added some Printemps and some fiore.
Two of my no brainer tangles.
I don't know if it helped or hurt,
but at least I did something. 
Here's hoping this motivation down time
comes to an end soon. 
The Creator's Leaf

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Distress Ink Backgrounds

For a year now I have been seeing all the beautiful
distress ink backgrounds on Facebook.
I decided it was a time to give it a try.
I still have a long way to go,
but here is what I did.
(The colors in this first photo are more true
to the actual colors than what you see in the
photos below. I have no idea why. Sorry.)
Supplies are minimal.
Ranger carries a line of 
Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads,
and the blending tool to spread them with.
Both are inexpensive and you can get them
at pretty much any craft store.
Mine came from Michael's.
 I used some sheets of 4" x 6" paper
that I already had cut.
Hot pressed mixed media paper - I think.
For the first piece, I just pulled the ink pads
across the surface of the paper.
Rubbed them back and forth.
I didn't like the white splotchy areas.
At all.
 This time I used the blending tool.
Seriously, it is as simple as dabbing the
tool onto the ink pad and picking up the color.
Then I just rubbed it in circles on the paper.
I concentrated on full coverage -
no white splotchies -
and tried to blend the colors into each other.
I liked this one much better!
 So I just kept on trying that technique.
Circular motion, rubbing the color gently into
the paper, and blend the edges.
This one worked much better,
though I like the colors in the one before it more.
 I think I got better at blending as I
went along. A lot of success in blending
depends on the colors you choose.
For this one I have something specific in mind.
And I think the colors are wonderful!

Yes, I still have lots to learn about using
distress inks, and I am going to keep on
working at it!
Then I am going to tangle on a bunch of them!

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He is Risen! Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter from our house in Maine,
to your house and home!
Hallelujah, He is risen!

I found this photo online about three Easters ago 
and I have been using it for my Facebook profile photo.
Since then I have gotten interested in 
Bible journaling and I thought it would be a challenge
to try to paint this in my Bible to remember this
Easter weekend. 
From the crucifixion on the cross,
to the tomb,
to our risen Lord and Saviour,
Jesus is Lord!

My first real 'painting' experiment went really well.
I prepped the page first with a clear gesso,
I want to still be able to read the scripture
through the painting.
I used a pencil to sketch the layout,
and Schmincke watercolors for the painting.
The water made the page ruffly,
it has flattened out a good bit overnight.
I am sure it will eventually lay flat.
I'm told I could iron the page,
but I'm afraid to. 

Happy Easter, All!
Have a blessed year.
We serve a risen Lord!

The Creator's Leaf

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Eve

  1. The Old Rugged Cross
    George Bennard, 1913

    On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
    And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain.
    • Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
      Has a wondrous attraction for me;
  2. For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
    To bear it to dark Calvary.
  3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    A wondrous beauty I see,
    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    To pardon and sanctify me.
  4. To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
    Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
    Where His glory forever I’ll share.
  • So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.

    Art supplies: gelatos, sponge, Golden Fluid Acrylic,
    and Artists' Acrylic Clear Gesso.

The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday at the Cross - Maryland

Power of the Cross
Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty 

Oh, to see the dawn Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath:
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin;
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees,
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
'Finished!' the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.
This series of photos show the
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
in Silver Springs, Maryland. 

 What a beautiful facility of all wood and
lovely grounds full of spring time flowers and growth!
 There was a lot of attention to detail. 
 I believe these are pink dogwood blooms.
But I could totally be wrong. 
 Yeah.  No idea.
Just a few more days until Easter,
the day we celebrate the resurrection of
our Lord and King. 

The Creator's Leaf

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday at the Cross - Louisiana

It's About the Cross
by the Ball Brothers

It's not just about the manger where the baby lay, it's not all about the angels
who sang for him that day. It's not just about the shepherds or the bright and shining star, it's not all about the wisemen who travelled from afar. It's about the cross. It's about my sin. It's about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again. It's about the stone that was rolled away so that you and I could have real life someday. It's about the cross. It's about the cross. It's not all about the good things in this life I've done. Its not all about the treasures or the trophies that I've won. Its not about the righteousness that I've found within. Its about His precious blood that save me from my sin.
The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, but it's the ending that can save you and that's why we celebrate. It's about the cross. It's about my sin.
It's about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again.
It's about God's love nailed to a tree.
It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him, when it should have been me. It's about the stone that was rolled away so that you and I could have real life someday. It's about the cross.
It's about the cross.
I took this photo at the 
Hope Haven Garden Memory
Gonzalez, Louisiana. 
The Creator's Leaf