March 30, 2017

The Fabulous Gift Wrap of Norman's Printery

Norman's Printery designs and prints gift wrap so terrific,
it's like wrapping your gift in a piece of art!
Now, that's how to make a special gift for a special occasion, extra-special!
It makes the giving exceptionally memorable, and says,
 "You're so worth the additional effort to give this gift real pizzazz!"

Norman Cordes started the business in Wyckoff, New Jersey in 1974.
Since then, his son Mark and grandsons Brian & Cliff have joined the team.
Their designs are unique and fun!
Check out my favorites, among many!

Plus, there are cards, twine & cool gift tags.

Much more of Norman's Printery here:

Images used with direct permission from Cliff Cordes.

March 26, 2017

Corrie ten Boom's Embroidery: Despite the Knots & Tangles in Life, by Faith, There is a Crown

Corrie ten Boom used this fabric when she taught about
trusting God's perspective. We can't see what He sees.

What a beautiful, tangible illustration of God's presence in our lives!
The image on the right, as those of us who do stitchery know,
shows the underside of a project. It's where all the knotted thread ends up,
very often in a tangled, chaotic mess!
On the flip side, however, we see the project as it is intended to be;
a beautiful crown, embroidered with love and tender care.

We can't seem to get our acts together.
We're a bunched up, stressed out, tangled mess.
We procrastinate. We choose the easy way.
We stand back instead of standing tall.
We remain comfortable instead of reaching beyond.
We stay silent instead of speaking up or speaking out.
We keep still instead of stepping forward.

We're distracted, disgruntled, disinclined.
We run away instead of running toward.
 We find excuses not to read His Word.
We fret and worry instead of bowing in prayer.
Our trust is in men and not in God.
We look away when we should look to Him.
We get tripped up and stumble.
We fall. We fail.

And yet~
Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are royalty.
He is a God of forgiveness, of mercy, of love.
We are daughters of a king.
Not just any king.
The King of Kings.

He sees the crown.
"The crown of righteousness..." 2 Timothy 4:8
"The crown of life..." James 1:12
"The crown of glory..." 1 Peter 5:4

Know that in the midst of our knotted, tangled lives, the Lord is always there, 
waiting for us to come to Him to receive our crowns.

With thanks to for sharing a photo of this embroidery, 
which is hanging at the Corrie ten Boom Museum in Haarlem, Holland.

March 24, 2017

Lovin' Lisa VanMeter's Prints!

Lisa VanMeter, of Indianapolis, Indiana, creates spectacular handmade prints.
She does original work with linocut, woodblock and screen printing.
The processes involved are detailed and time consuming,
but the beautiful results are well worth every minute!
I'm showing off some of my favorites. Enjoy!

The pieces above and below are screenprints: Fall Marigolds and Aspen Forest.

The following two are woodblock prints: Sunflower Blooms and Beachcomber.

These are linocut prints, each with a photo in process.

Orange Cosmos

Test the Waters

Find more of Lisa's work here:

Images used with direct permission from Lisa VanMeter.

March 21, 2017

Amazing Driftwood Sculptures at Baliker Gallery

The Baliker Gallery in Florida is a must-see if you're in the area!
It's located at 5928 North Oceanshore Boulevard in Palm Coast.

Paul Baliker collects driftwood branches and stumps with the roots attached.
Many of his findings were stockpiled in the courtyard in front of the gallery.

Paul envisions what each piece could become,
then works his magic by carving out the details.
Absolutely fascinating!

We loved the variety of sea life represented in this huge sculpture!

A closer look-

And inside the gallery...

An impressive owl mirror with a photographer's reflection.

This seahorse is my favorite piece!

Much more here:

March 18, 2017

Edgy, Urban Needlepoint by Tapestry Girl

Niki McDonald, of Sydney, Australia, is Tapestry Girl.
Her embroidered designs are reminiscent of colorful urban graffiti.
Needlepoint stitches that resemble digital pixels give a modern vibe.
The women she creates are contemporary, exciting, and edgy.
Enjoy the amazing works of Tapestry Girl!

More Tapestry Girl here:

Images used with direct permission from Niki McDonald.

March 16, 2017

Let's Kiss the Blarney Stone!


You may have heard, especially around St. Patrick's Day,
that kissing the Blarney Stone is a traditionally Irish thing to do.
According to legend, the one who kisses the Blarney Stone will receive
eloquent speech, skills of flattery, and the gift of gab!

First of all, I had always thought that the stone was a big rock in Ireland,
maybe isolated and roped off for tourists,
something like the picture of Yogi & Boo Boo, above.

Incorrect! The Blarney Stone is actually a building stone that's 
part of Blarney Castle, which is located 5 miles from Cork, Ireland. 
It's situated at the very top of the castle, accessed by a 127 step winding staircase.


I was doubly surprised when I learned exactly how the actual kissing is accomplished!
The kisser must lie down on their back and lean out over a gap between the floor
 and the wall, which exposes a view of the 37' drop down to the ground below!
With the assistance of a spotter, they must arch their neck backwards for the smooch.

Guard rails make this act much safer than it was decades ago, 
but it must still be very unsettling for the faint of heart.
A few photos of the kissing in action-



Here's a photo from 1897.


Enjoy this YouTube video, and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 10, 2017

Vintage Treasures from Hunt & Found

I found a great vintage shop on Etsy called Hunt & Found!
Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Julie has collected some terrific treasures to sell.
I love the addition of a unique vintage item or antique to a home's decor.
It grounds us, paying homage to what we once were and to how far we've come.

Enjoy my favorites from Hunt & Found!

More of Hunt & Found here:

Images used with direct permission from Julie.