Mittwoch, 30. November 2016

Advent 4

Soft and Fluffy

Today's angel is made of plush and felt and lace, to be cute and cuddly.



Or Strong and Mighty?

Real Angels are, of course, not soft and huggable. The Bible gives some definitive information about angels, including the attributes of strength and power and might and authority, beyond the confines of a physical body subject to the physical laws of nature. They are spirits. They are confirmed in their bliss, perfectly good, living in the presence of God, and living to do His bidding. They don't marry, they don't die, they can't be hurt. But they do rejoice, specifically when a sinner comes to repentance. They praise God continually. They are often noisy. In fact, many Biblical references speak of them as they shout, proclaim in a loud voice, trumpet, and make a great sound.



oooops. Maybe not.....

Ancient pictures of angels show strong males, often with swords in combat with the devil, from the reference in Jude to the archangel Michael when contending with the devil in a dispute about the body of Moses. Or they would show the angel Gabriel in any of his Biblical missions, to Daniel, to Zachariah, to Mary, and in the vision of the apostle John.




In the last couple of centuries depictions of angels have been romanticised as being beautiful ladies or cute babies. Angels are neither. They are perfect, so they are ageless. All Biblical references to them are male. At the same time, they do appear on occasion to mankind and evidently there is no restriction on the form they can take, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they could also come in the guise of a woman or child. It would be, however, without wings. Still, for arts sake, we can take liberties with reality and make angels how we like, so long as we are not blasphemous.


It is worth noting that the term angel is also used in the Bible for anyone who gives a message from God or proclaims His word, or carries out His judgments, and also is used as as title for Christ Himself. So, in a generic sense, anyone can be an angel.


Countdown

Tomorrow starts the December countdown to Christmas for all the Advent calendars. Enjoy.

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

Lighthouse, Tiger, and Chibis

FROM LEAH...

So this is a painting I made for my Dad and Mom for Christmas, but I took the photo in weird lighting so that's why it looks shiny weird in the top right corner. I'm deciding if I should play around with the water some more yet too. It actually looks better in this pic than it actually does in person. Hmm. I haven't dabbled much with acrylic water, and I did ask my paint teacher from that art school in OR about the water and she said I need some more white in the waves. What do you think?


Here's a quick tiger sketch I did while on a mini vacation in MN!



AND HERE'S SARAH AGAIN...

This weekend, Anna, Leah, and I got some manga drawing practice in with the help of the Manga Master Class book. We drew chibis!

We used pencil to sketch them out, then inked them with regular ol' pens, and colored with color pencils.


mine



Anna's

Leah's

It was really fun. :)

Advent 3

Simple

Moving on from essences to slightly more complex forms of Angels, today I made an angel of a couple of pieces of heavy wool yarn. It is not elaborate, but does have some details in its simple form.

Take some heavy wool yarn....

......cut off a section....

.... in the middle, make a double knot with a loop,  for the head and hanger....

......then knot a larger loop for a wing on each side; then cut and add a second yarn in the middle.....

..... then weave a yarn in the torso section, so one end is part of the skirt and the last end gets tucked into the back.

Message

Today we look at Habakkuk's lament and resolve,  chapters 1 and 2. The prophet was asking God why he was not DOING something about all the violence and oppression and injustice of the wicked, especially against His people. Habakkuk remembers that God is of pure eyes that cannot look on iniquity, but why then is He not reacting promptly to wipe out the evil?

So he says in the beginning of chapter two, "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and I will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved."

This is our lesson to learn and message to share: I will Watch, I will keep my place, and I will see what the Lord will do. For in the next verses God says that things all have an appointed time, and though He appears to tarry, His response will come: "Wait , because it will surely come and it will not tarry." Then comes one of the most remarkable verses of the Old Testament, one of the instigators of the Reformation, "Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith." That living referred to here is both for now in this world and for eternal life.

Watch, see what God will do, and live by faith. That is a good message for God's angels - those who speak His words, including us - to remember and share.

This little angel was given to me some time ago. I like its simple but interesting forms.

Multiples

You will notice now some days with more than one post. This is good and will be a part of this season. Post away and enjoy.

Montag, 28. November 2016

Thanksgiving at the Creons'

The weekend before Thanksgiving our water heater started a massive leak and flooded the room it sits in. We had an impromtu deep cleaning of our hallway and spent the weekend without any water inside as the old water heater had no isolated shut off. Hubby was working ridiculously long hours preventing an immediate fix and the plumber came on Monday. When I was scheduling with the office lady, she apologized profusely when she found out that we had to have the water completely off to the house. (thankfully we had a stand pipe outside we could hall water in from for washing) (also thankfully it didn't burn up the well pump which ran continuously to that stand pipe because trip valve was in the house OOPS!) As we were getting off the phone she said. "Well they'll be there first thing Monday and I guess you'll have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving! Yes, yes indeed we did!! Showers for one :D

---
Katrina keep reminding me that you've been begging for Thanksgiving pictures.... This is just a quick post, but we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Pictures not being the priority.

I had all these plans to get pictures at the tables that we so carefully arranged to make 21 of us fit into 2 rooms. (non of my rooms is large enough to set just one table for that many!

We thoroughly enjoyed having our new Pastor's family of 8 here as well as my Dad and step-mom. These pictures are mostly from when Pastor Neipp's birthday celebration reminded me that I'd forgotten the camera, so here's a taste of our lovely time without the food (buffet style) or lovely table settings that the children made.

I didn't alter any of these or they may not have gotten up:

Oh! there is the buffet table in the Kitchen in the next room... some proof of food!
  We had 2 turkeys, 5lb. mashed potatoes, 2 qt. gravy, 2 bowls of cranberry salad, 3 large sweet potatoes, fried brussels sprouts, lemon carrots, a heaping 9x13 dish of stuffing(dressing), green salad, 2 pumpkin pies, large bowl of rice salad, and birthday cake! (also some wine and sparkling cider)

All the kids love to hold the baby of course! (I just love that)


Our sweet Pastor's wife (she's like a sister to me) and I
Please note... selfies are rather hard on the wrists using an SLR with a giant zoom lens

blue candles for each decade and red ones for each additional year











My sweet husband

On the picture below, on the left you can see one of Katrina's most recent projects... re-purposing toilet paper tubes but in 1/4" rings. She made some snowflakes... I'll have to do another post with all the creations so far, but I requested accorns for my fall decorations and she made me two. They each took her about 2 hours. Hot glue to fit them together, paint and then pva glue and glitter. you can't see in this picture, but she has orange glitter on the bottom and brown for the cap. I love them. She is currently working on a wreath that has a sort of spiral look. 

our simple wall (window) decorations

This year we attempted to remember to each say one thing each evening that we are thankful for. It was a good practice and we enjoyed it even though some days were harder than others to count our many blessings.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all from the Creon Home.

Advent 2

Essence

Today is the second day of Advent, so we will have a second look not at just one angel today, but a few.

Today I was thinking about what makes an angel an angel, artistically speaking. I did a couple of things to pare down angel-ness to essentials and, with one of the concepts, presented the idea to a selected group of "men on the street" for evaluation.

Gather very basic materials.

First Essence

First I made a very simple wire form to express angel-ness. It used a minimum of lines and angles to see how reduced the form could be, while still expressing the the idea.

Take one rusty wire.....

Then I used another wire, of better quality, and added some decorative elements to upgrade the relatively same form.

Add curlicues

Second Essence

Then I tried a little exercise. I cut out a few simple elements and took them individually to my "men-on-the-street" to see what they would do with them. It was interesting. First, each handled them, then without prompting started immediately to turn and position them to make a word (because they were foremost letters). Then I asked him to make an angel (one did that before I even asked).

Cut out very simple forms. Discard the upper ones.

First Man: He arranged this without prompting....

.... then this when directed to make an angel.

The point was that each found an angel in those simple un-angel-y elements, so the essence of angel was distilled from what was available: that essence being a spirit element takes a form (body shape), it is sentient so has a head, and it is heavenly so has wings. VOILA, angel.

Second man: in very few manipulations, without prompting, he arranged this.....

.... and afterward made this word. (Note he was the only one who did not feel compelled to use all the elements, but only the ones he needed to say what he wished.)

You might want to try it with your "people-on-the-street" to see what they find. Mine enjoyed the little exercise.

Third man: first he arranged this, and was not happy with it.....

... so he got more creative and made this (Latin root form of "to live").....

.... and when asked to make an angel, he made this.

Fourth man: he made this immediately ....

..... and when asked to make an angel, he came up with almost the same design as the previous man's angel.

Message

Angels are bearers of messages from God, so it behooves us to think about their example, too, in this season. Let us here, each day, look at a heavenly message with each day's messenger :

Today, the First Message of the Saviour, Genesis 3: 15, in which God curses the serpent as the embodiment of the devil, and in that curse adds a promise. So the curse was dreadful news for the recipient, but good news to the bystanders, who had participated in the evil and deserved the curse, too. The curse became a blessing in that it promised a Saviour to right the wrongs of the fallen and to crush the tempter-to-evil. For the two evil doers, who now knew good and evil from the wrong side, they now knew enough to ashamed. But the curse brought with it a covering for their shame, at first a temporary covering for their physical shame from the hide of a slain beast, but later a full and eternal covering for all their and their descendants' internal shame from the more valuable slaying of the most precious of all Lives.

It is good for us to remember how God always shows us mercy, even in the most dreadful of trials or chastisements, or even in little unpleasantnesses that disturb our equilibrium as He re-directs our attention to Himself; and even if we cannot see it immediately, He works that seeming terrible curse, or unpleasantness, to be a blessing for us. Always. That is Grace.

That is something we can tell someone, and thus be a bearer of God's message.

Sonntag, 27. November 2016

Advent 1

The Beginning

Today we begin the new church year and the season of Advent. Most of us will be counting down the days to Christmas, partly to get mountains of preparations accomplished, but also - so we try - to prepare our hearts with repentance and thanks and joy for the celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord for us.


Today we light the first candle of the Advent wreath for the first week of ADVENT. "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." So this week we focus on how we should WATCH for our Lord's coming.




Angels, The Messengers

For each day of this season, I plan to post a little angel, crafted from sundry materials. Angels are typical motifs for the season, and, being God's messengers and servants, they are reminders to us of the many messages we have from God and examples to us of how to serve God and do His bidding.
As art, they are also a good example of something whose essence is readily distilled from the simplest of materials to the most elaborate. The platonic "being" can be stated and understood by viewers in the most remarkable array of forms. I had fun with these.


Take one popsicle stick......


Would any of you like colouring pages this year? Let me know.

Blessings on your preparations.

Samstag, 26. November 2016

Last Day

And Starting Over

Today is the last day of the church year, and tomorrow we begin again with the first Sunday in Advent. During the upcoming festival season I plan to have a post every day, God willing. So we can expect any number of double posts, or triple if you like, on any days you care to post. More is good. 

We are still looking forward to your Thanksgiving pictures, too.

Today, here, we bustled about decorating for the season. Maria adorned her little house and will share pictures later. I got a good start on ours, with the help of handy boys to do the lights and high things.
For the beginning of the season we have numbers of garlands with ornaments and lights. The tree comes later and will have candles.




The living room is typically in white and silver.




The swag over the piano.







And here are pictures from Sarah W. in the Philippines with the fall version of her tree she did. Isn't this a literally inspiring tree? She has some wonderful ideas for a service-filled Advent, too, which I hope we will see later.




I wish you a happy and thankful end of the church year and blessings on a new beginning tomorrow.