February 28, 2011


I live with interesting people. These people, together with a very inventive neighbor boy, create stories every day. Out of fresh minds. Out leaves and sticks and near by forests. Out of a love for adventure.

Oh, the future is exciting! How beautiful that I get to see it unfold. 

(no live trees were cut down to create this house, they gathered trees, branches already felled)

I wrote about ACTIVE SATISFACTION on the Wishstudio! It is one of my favorite articles, I am really trying to live in active satisfaction. It is hard, but doable. Let me know what you think.

February 25, 2011

The dawn of boys and girls

This JB concert was set up by my 9 year old daughter

10 years ago when the technician said 'it's a girl' my first thought was 'one day that baby girl would love a boy'.

The thought gripped my heart with fear. How could I stop her from loving him too young? What experience could I draw from to advise her to forget him, focus on your art, your studies, anything but him?

I was that girl with a boy shaped hole inside. I was that girl who lived only to know him, see him, be with him. The girl I don't want my little girl to become. The power of it scares me.

So now it has begun to seep into my home how do I move? Do I deny it or hold her hand? Do I run and hide? Do I trust the foundation we have built beneath her? The ground I did not have. The ground with roots deep in the Word. Not blowing in the wind. Not unchained.

Yes, but I remember and tremble.

February 22, 2011

2 new Damien Rice songs

I just wanted this musical poetry on my blog.....

like an Irish folk song

February 16, 2011

These words sound sad, but my focus is on 'conviction'. I am utterly convicted that my path is here with my children. Nothing will tear me away from them and this deep seated desire to raise my kids here, at home with my husband.

I want my art to reflect my life here. Somehow. Even the purely decorative things I make, the things that look nice with little deeper meaning, the stamping, the crafts - they are for my girls, to inspire them to create too. To make the world a more beautiful place. To use their hands for good.

And boy do they create. Constantly. Completely. Larger than life. This pattern is working!

February 11, 2011

Poetry folder

I spend most of my creative time balancing between poetry, photography and mixed media. I step into one world for a bit and then when that runs out of steam I am into another. I often feel when I am writing a lot that I will never take photos again, or when I am on a collage roll that I will never write again! It is kind of like mommy guilt!! I never am relaxed. 

Sometimes I hit the perfect sweet spot, when all my loves come together. I think that is why the project in Week 12 in my book is my favorite. It is the 'Poetry Box' and combines all three together.

Well, here is an alternative to that project. This is a poetry folder. I printed out some poems (about 8), photos and created some mixed media pieces to mingle in with the poems, as visual relief. Then I made a folder (like this one) to house them and a bag (like these ones) to give them to the recipient.

I just love it! Enjoy:

The front of the poetry folder
I printed the poems onto cardstock and trimmed them all the same size
I sewed a little pocket to house the poems and artwork
A mixed media piece with a bird stamp that I carved from a photo

I layered mixed media and photos with the poems
The back of the folder
I made a gift bag for the folder

February 09, 2011

My valentine poem

From the other room
I hear the pages turn
the coffee sputter into the mug,
the yellow one?

after 16 years of marriage
we have not eclipsed one another
are not frozen in action, daily and stale

no, we are still learning each other’s ways,
still finding treasure
I tread, welcome but trembling
you are the continent I choose
over and over, my feet never tired,
my journey never over

I wake and am aware of the singleness
when you are gone
the bare bed vast and cold
knowing you are next door
reading some impenetrable tome
or emailing a brother I have not seen
for years, laughing at his jokes
a continued conversation of your own

you are the master of
a world that defines you as not me

I travel on
I am not lost, just wondering

you are still the thrill I seek
still huge, stable, secure

this morning you came back to bed
your cold body needing mine,
you crossed the ocean to my side
finding that equalizing of heat
your chest on my back, arm heavy on my shoulder,
legs entwined, tight
like a picture that I sometimes see
of my eternal place beyond this land
a star formation
of lovers always together

February 05, 2011

Making something to prove I am still me

In my own comments yesterday I said I would make something, just to do it.

So I did. A simple 10 minute collage on a tiny notebook I picked up at Target the other day. Nothing profound. But it reminds me I can, yes. This is me, I can pull something together. 

I heard clearly yesterday from some readers, sweet commenters and from emails -  we are many in the boat of mother, artist, balance, worry. It is so good to know I am not alone.

But how I wish we were all together in real life. The internet is great for bringing us together intellectually, but how nice it would be to meet in real life! Shannon Mucha and I have a bold idea to one day open an art center. It would be so cool to have workshops and classes and bring together like minds, if even for a weekend. I know there are tons of retreats around, but for me now with my 5 young kids it is not doable. I know that is probably the same for many of my blog friends. But it is nice to have that dream, that 'wild hope' for the future. It keeps me motivated to stay in the game all the while I am raising my beautiful ones.

A poem for today too...

Afternoon Homemaking
By Shona Cole

it is odd the way the gold
drifts across the tile
in the afternoon
I notice it when I pause
at the stove
spoon in hand
browning the meat.
I am at my station
I am where I need to be,
people come in and go out
but I stay here
stirring the pot

dusk is falling through
the door way
coming in with the dogs
the chattering children,
their father
all breathless with delight
pulling the day closed behind

** Often I forget to add 'by Shona Cole' on my poem posts.... but just in case you didn't realize most everything I post here I wrote.

February 04, 2011

what I need

Taken at the baker of Bellville's castle.

A day with the kids, and about 100 other homeschoolers - running with swords, in costume, listening to Canterbury type Tales, playing with dogs, climbing, laughing, painting, getting wet in the mote.

With all the kids occupied and my mother there to push Maximus around in his stroller I got a little time to myself to think and plan. And see myself. What I need.

My life is not all about me, but sometimes I need a little of me. Sometimes I wish that I had two days for every one day. One where I could be the housewife and indulgent mother, soaking up the largeness of my kid's world. The other where I am me, sitting in a coffee shop reflecting, praying, writing and remembering.

In reality, these parts of me have to co-exist. My daily life is a process to make it so. I am so tired of not feeling like I am getting the balance right. I want to let myself see that I really am okay, I really am there, that this is it - this is what it looks like to be a functioning Christian artsy mother, but I cling to the self angst that has been so familiar for so long, looking always with a critical eye.

Can I even know how to live without it? The angst I mean. It is almost scary to let go of it and allow myself to appreciate where I am. To be satisfied with where I am, now, today. I think I fear that if I am satisfied then I won't progress. But really, I am still as ambitious today as I was, but now my ambitions for myself share time with my ambitions for my kids - for my kids to be wonderful, God fearing, happy human beings. Again, back to the me and my mothering. The balance. The co-existing of parts of myself. And round and round I go. It is hard being the daughter of a psychologist, analysis is in my blood and I think, my generation. Ladies, we are getting older, let's agree to call quits on the self war and finally be enough. Oh, I say that but I know I won't commit.


spill here mother
a blank page
waiting whiteness
that frightens the fool
the unplanned,

quench me with your color
lines and hopes

find in the curves
fellow thoughts

laid bare
put on the shelf
forever telling
my story

February 02, 2011

Antidote to feeling down

So I return to what makes me whole again. Pray. Talk. Create.

Excuse my absence. 
Nothing profound is going on.
Just the ups and downs of life.
Not feeling confident in my voice.

I will post a few things I have been making/writing when I get my confidence back. 
 In the meantime I will live my real life with crumbs to clean off beautiful faces, finding time to create and think. 

Thank you all for the kind words last week when something was actually wrong - a massive cold that seems to be going around Texas. That is all over now for the Coles. Thankfully. I hope your part of the world is well.  


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