Monthly Archives: February 2010

Ain’t she sweet?

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Yesterday I showed you the type of collage and cards I make using my stash of lovely papers, illustrations and ephemera. I mentioned my trading art elements with my friend Shelly of susiea at Etsy.com —in fact I met Shelly through Etsy!

You should be a fly on the wall (a butterfly shall we say) on the days we get a package from each other in the mail! Much dancing,  revelry and happiness abounds…although our husbands would think we were mortally wounded judging by the shrieks coming from the craft rooms! Vintage aqua glass beads,  bird illustrations embellished with opalescent paint, fine bits of antique tatting and lace, remnants of  rosy fabrics, swatches of treasured wallpapers… we have exchanged all that and more. We use it! Well, truth be told we hoard some, but we love to craft, and because we live far apart from each other we craft  “together” at the same time and chat and send each other photos of our works.

I have shown some of Shelly’s artwork on this blog and my flickr site as well. Today I thought I’d show you a little of what she, crafty girl that she is, does with her collection of  images and vintage add-ons. Shelly specializes in journals, art pieces and her famous pocket tags, and also makes altered art style jewelry. The journals are handmade covered in unique papers, and embellished with the prettiest of things such as crocheted trim, German gold paper scrap, or Victorian flower die cuts. She even sews a pocket on the inside cover and fills them with little art goodies for the recipient to add to personalize their writings. She finishes with  a bookmark, ribbons and even buttons and charms. She recently made me a prayer journal, and in it you can see that the work of her hands is blessed, and I am blessed to have  met such a sweet friend!

Take a look at her shop: susiea at Etsy.com

Sew Pretty!

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I thought that after showing you how I reorganized my sewing/craft  room storage you might wonder what’s in those boxes.  Above is a sampling of the kinds of altered art kits I make up to sell in my Etsy shop: Chrystelle. I also swap kits with my friend Shelly of susiea at Etsy, and we happily have very similar taste in art goodies! I collect yarns and fibers, buttons and beads,  illustration and ephemera , all sorts of vintage and modern bits and bobs!  Then I go to work coordinating my assortment  into what I think will  be the perfect lot for either my shop customers or my own personal use so that they or I can make things like this:

Love to use all those things to make cards, collage, tags or any kind of altered art. So when I am at the thrift shop, or the rummage sale, I am looking for the boxes of old cards and letters, maps and  music sheets, anything that someone else will probably think is the contents of the junk drawer.  Matter of fact— in my house that drawer has some pretty cool junk!

With A Little Help From My Friend

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My Craft Closet Before

My Craft Room Closet After

My Craft Room Shelves Before

My Craft Room Shelves After

As some of you know I have been decluttering  and reorganizing my sewing/craft room with the help of  writer, blogger and organizer extraordinaire, Benita of Chez Larsson.  This endeavor required some humility on my part, and I did’nt change or hide a thing when I took the before photos!

You can go to her very lovely and informative blog:  http://chezlarsson.com  to see the process of my closet and open shelving revamp listed under organizing. Benita is by profession a visual merchandiser. Her work tasks  involve designing window display and advertising vignette. No wonder she teaches her readers to organize their spaces and homes in a manner that is pleasing to the eye and makes use of the artistic practice of involving a focal point. Benita brings her organization talents home, but for her the decluttering and practice of instituting order is not a chore, rather, a fascinating process with a very gratifying result! I know that I am loving the lightness that comes with letting go of those things I have unreasonably held on to mostly because  I heard the  voice of my darling mother (whom was a genuine Depression Era hoarder) whispering, “You might have a use for that someday!” Well I might, but there might be someone who comes to the thrift shop I donated to that needs it more than I do—today, and speaking of thrift when I happened upon Chez Larsson I saw that Benita, like me had to consider the margins of  tight spaces and a tight budget. She loves thrifting, recycling, and inventing new uses for her thrifty finds all well as I do.

Sometimes, as in my case, we cannot see a solution to our organizational problems, and we need to step back, seek some professional advice, get some courage and start tossing. I’m only halfway through the process, but I feel like my craft room is reaching its weight goal and on my scale that’s a TEN!

Silver Linings

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AUTISM

~~~There is a place inside of this

Where I am the ocean

And you are the mist

Where I can stand on the furthest star

And you can only gaze afar

Where I am a redwood up poking the sun

And you are a crocus the green just begun

Where I am a mountain with great shawls of snow

And you are one snowflake lost whereas to go.

~~~Though then there are days when I kiss you first time

One tear is for sorrow, one tear for sublime

Or maybe the day where I utter a word

That makes you erase all the trillions you’ve heard

Then sometimes the day where I write my own name

And all the world’s Shakespeare are now bestowed shame

Still maybe the day where my hands hold your chin

And suddenly Humpty’s together again

~~~Don’t judge me by step stones, or shoe ties, or pace

Or doctor’s, or teacher’s or man’s lacking grace

Just know me by moments, and sapphires in smiles,

And God’s great compassion in “Once in a whiles”.

© 2008 Chrystelle Kinsella. Use with permissions.

Photograph, Silver Linings: William Kinsella all rights reserved.

I know that many of you, like my family and I,  are waiting for that bright day when the gray clouds roll away and the golden sun breaks through…That day when there is a total cure, and a final healing for autism and autism spectrum diseases. We look forward to that day, but for now are grateful that the clouds have silver linings. Treatments that involve therapy, dietary solutions, and the use of several costly natural supplements have helped to alleviate symptoms, and to accelerate successes in my grandson. Those treatments are so expensive because, as I understand, most insurances and financial aid organizations do not support these methods or consider them medically viable.  My lovely and remarkable daughter -in -law wrote on her facebook wall today: “ It would be nice if money grew on trees and if treatment for My son wasn’t so INCREDIBLY expensive!!!! 😦   “

Yes it would be nice, in fact it would be miraculous! Miracles can happen because God is a God of miracles, and a God of compassion. In fact He came out of a cloud to walk before Moses and proclaim Himself, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God…” We are praying for miracles, and we will pray for you as well! Until then may God walk in front of you, and may you take comfort and joy in the, “Once in a whiles”.

Please forward this post and my poem AUTISM, which was written from the  (imagined) viewpoint of an autistic child, to anyone whom it might bless. Thank you!


Everyday Saints

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STARLING COTTAGE

Twenty sparrows in the Crepe Myrtle

Lord, I am so blessed

A picket fence

A sitting porch

All theses things a woman dreams

And I, here, am allowed to awaken to.

Father,

You make me think of eating Cracker Jacks when I was small.

They were good enough as it was, yet

They still contained a surprise!

(PS:  Please remind me to buy a birdbath.)

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…” Psalm 91: 4 NKJV

Chrystelle Kinsella

© Lyric to the King

BRR! It’s cold out there today! There are only a few brave sparrows poking for breakfast in the snow! Reminds me of a story I wrote about bird feeding when my mother was spending her last days in an assisted living home…

GLADYS, AN EVERYDAY SAINT

Many of us vaguely remember an early Spring day in our childhood when we found a baby bird fallen from its nest. Usually more skin than feathers, they lay there wings askew, weakly twittering a pitiful cry for help. First of all we cursed the cat, and then if not warned by a knowledgeable adult, we took that bird in our little palms; straight away asked mother for an eyedropper, and we began to dig for worms. Most times our efforts failed and we ended up having a humble shoebox funeral while mother reassured us that “God knows each time a sparrow falls.”

Gladys is my mother’s next-door neighbor at an assisted living home. Gladys is one of the sparrows that fell. She told me that she came to live in the home after a terrible stroke and gestured to show me that it struck her from temple to temple. “I had to learn to walk again!” the tall and vibrant senior told me after she returned from one of her walkerless afternoon constitutionals. “ I had to learn to talk again, bless God, bless God!” she said distinctly as she gave us a guided tour of her studio. She pointed with her long and now steady fingers to beautiful beaded necklaces she had strung, and then lamented the parting of a fellow stroke victim she had helped rehabilitate by the sharing of her craft. “I couldn’t use one hand and she couldn’t use the other, so together we tied the knots!” She opened a dresser drawer and then modeled with steady grace one of several elegant the shawls she had crocheted (the ones she hadn’t yet given away).  “My daughters helped me to remember the pattern!” she said with a sparkle of pride.

Gladys spends her days laughing and cheering the other residents at the home. The healed sparrow, like a mother checking on all her little starlings, finds out who did not come down to lunch because they are feeling down, or didn’t show up at the puzzle table because they are puzzled as to where they are, or aren’t at the social hour because they aren’t feeling very social that day.

Every staff member and resident just expects Gladys to show up for every event in every day, but the place she is most often seen is when gathering food for her real baby birds. After dinner she makes her rounds seeking leftovers for her birdie breakfast. Any uneaten French roll or popover is on the menu for a finches feast! Each evening she and her faithful helpers tear their loot into little breadcrumbs and bag it for the birds that know that at precisely seven thirty Gladys will be at their birdhouse on the north lawn to feed them their morning meal. Her birds know she will be there to feed them. Under her watchful eye they are safe and worriless.

I am reminded of the scripture. “Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself… even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.” Psalm 84: 3 NKJV

We are safe and worry-less if we like sparrows abide under the roof of God. Gladys, I’m sure, had a beautiful home before she “fell from the nest’’ because of her stroke, but with her family’s love, her doctor’s care, and her complete trust of her Lord she has made a beautiful new home. I am happy that she will check to make sure that like her other birds—her neighbors are there at breakfast!

Gardening Books and Groundhog Looks.

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PLEASE SPRINGTIME

Somewhere beneath this January snow

June hides in the violet

Spring and I have tug-o-wars

That she might be here all at once

I have planted hyacinth and crocus early on

And wait each day for bits of green and lilac to appear

Savoring each inch of sunlight crawling on the soil

I pat the ground with childrens prayers

Of  “Rain, rain go away”.

Chrystelle (c) Lyric to The King

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” Song of Solomon  2: 11 & 12

It’s that unpredictable time of the year when we crave sunlight, argue with rain, and bless our postman who brings us the most pretty and most pleasant mail we get the whole year long…garden and seed catalogs!  “Who cares what  Punxsutawney Phil saw!  Oh my goodness, my goodness, look at at the lovely  morning glories, and the sweet peas and the herbs!”  It’s time to pull  an horticulture book off your shelves, scoot the cat over to share that corner chair by the window, and pray that a little sunbeam just might warm you both while you sit in your socks and peruse the perennials!

Oh so many of my friends and family have told me lately that they have cabin fever or the seasonal blues. We need some vitamin D, that is >Daffodils! Here’s praying for us all. I saw some happy yellow crocus on Saturday, a sign of hope!  Please, take a look at my Etsy.com  shop:  Chrystelle to have  a look at the vintage gardening books I have listed…if you do, and add me to your favorites, then convo my shop with your email address.  I will send the first 20 people to do so my original digital collage sheet Waiting For Springtime absolutely free! 

Oh yes, and please let me know if you see a robin!