God’s Artwork

I’m thankful for the beauty all around me. One morning this last week when I went out for a drive into town the Camry caught my attention.  The detail of the ice on the car was like beautiful artwork or carvings.

This Saturday morning we are already at 31 degrees but they are predicting a snow flurry this morning. Sunday and Monday are the warmest days this coming week but just above freezing. The rest of the week is at freezing and below. Hope our travelers do not have any problems coming over the Cascade mountain range.

We freshened up some rooms in our country bungalow and I’ll share some of those changes next week.

I’m itching to decorate for Christmas but I’ll hold off till after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have a tip for you. I needed to send off some Thanksgiving cards to loved ones and popped into the Dollar Tree in Colville. Don’t forget that they have a nice variety of cards all the time and some are even 2 for a $1.00. That beats the $3.99 and up you have to pay elsewhere these days. Your welcome.

I’m attaching a few photos here just to keep up with family doings. Our grands are still enjoying time on the other side of the mountains at Uncle Josh and Auntie Lolo’s house. They are coming back home on Monday.

JJ is pulling himself up and standing and he’s so proud of himself.

Hi mommy, I can see you better from here.

New adventures await. Never a dull moment for his parents and sister! Soon he’ll be chasing Addy around.

Thank you, Auntie Lolo, for all these great photos you text us!

The Art of Flora Forager

Our friend Bridget, well known as Flora Forager is an artist who uses petals and other natural elements to create her works of art.

Last Thursday evening I drove to Seward Park Audubon Center in Seattle for a book release celebration for Bridget’s second book, The Art of Flora Forager.

Our family and her family have been dear friends since 1984 when Bridget was a toddler. These are Bridget’s sisters.

The Audubon Center was the perfect venue for the book launch party. They have had her artwork on display for a while and were thrilled to host this event. Both her editor from Sasquatch Books and the directors of the Audubon Center expressed their delight that Bridget is a local Seattle artist which gave them access to her and her work.

The walls were covered with her creative foraged work.

Bridget put together her head wreath in the same way she creates her artwork.

Some of the Audubon’s taxidermy birds were part of the event.

This redbreasted sapsucker died and was found by Bridget’s sister Lucy on her property and the Audubon Center asked her to bring it in so they could preserve the body and mount it for educational purposes.

This collage is a small example of some of Bridget’s work. When Bridget is out and about in nature by herself or with her three young sons, she’ll “grab anything and everything I fancy, put it into my foraging sack, and bring it home to play around with.”

Bridget photographs her own work, too.

She and her husband call their urban cottage The Burrow because it feels like a hobbit hole. Much of my days are spent foraging for wildflowers in green areas of Seattle and playing with flowers on my kitchen table.

“Many of my Flora Forager pieces have come from my own garden, those of my dear friends, and my mother’s luscious old-world roses that she still cares for, though they now tower over her head.”

Our family is happy that Bridget has found a beautiful way to express her creativity and the world is noticing and enjoying it, too. Congratulations Flora Forager!

To see more of Bridget’s work, visit FloraForager.com or connect with her on Instagram @flora.forager.

I’ll link up with Eileen for Saturday’s Critters.

Let Your Light Shine…


“Det ljusnar en smula för den som tänder ljus för andra “

The literal translation from google is:

“It brightens slightly for those who light candles for others”

I’m hoping that a Scandinavian blogger might be able to correct this translation if it’s off or wrong.

This came down to us from Dear’s mother’s people who are all Swedish. I’m sorry to say I don’t know which relative or friend painted it and who it was painted for. It has the year 1950 painted on the back. I enjoy seeing it on the wall and I appreciate the sentiment on it, too.

I did my own little word study on light from the Bible. Here are some of the verses I found from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Psalm 43:3

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8: 12

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. John 12:46

It was a good exercise to look up these references about light on a dark winter’s day. Good to remember the source of my light and my salvation.


Barn Collective

I might have shared this one before and I wonder if it’s still standing since fires are burning out of control in this part of Northeastern Washington.

The rest of my selection are paintings that my Mother-in-Law painted. She grew up in Kansas and taught in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas. I think she saw lots of barns in her lifetime!

Linking up with Tom at Backroads Traveller for the Barn Collective.

We have been getting texts, watching the news and searching for news on the fires that are burning in Northeast Washington too close to our son and daughter in law and their friends for comfort. Because of all the fires raging in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana resources are at their limits. When this northern part of Steven’s county where our son lives called to get help they were told there was no help left to send them. Homeowners have been doing what they can to try to save their homes. We thought our son’s friend’s family had lost their home to the fire that swept through his property but we were happy to learn that the house did not burn down but all their out-buildings a truck and tractor were lost. We will get more details when it’s safer to return and assess all that was lost. This area is in a State of Emergency and are awaiting a declaration as a Disaster Area. It’s my understanding if they get a Disaster Declaration they might be able to get some national help with the fires. This is the worst situation that people who have lived in this area for years and years have experienced.

This is a photo I found on line of the Marble Valley Fire in Addy, Washington. Our son’s friend’s home is on that hillside and our son and daughter in law’s home is about 5 miles away.
I love the prayer a dear friend has prayed for this situation…
“will be praying for Dan and Jamie’s situation — that God will hold his hand over them … keep them safe from the fire and may the fire be blown out by an angelic host .. since everyone else is busy ! “
And I’m also praying for all the firefighters that are probably exhausted and the poor homeowners who have lost everything in this fire. For our son’s friend (who was one of his groomsmen) and his family as they walk about their property and make plans to replace what was lost. Even though their home did not burn down there is probably some smoke issues that need addressing. Praying that the winds stay calm and more help will arrive and that the fires get under control. If you pray could you add your prayers to mine for this area? Thank you!

Barn Collective

So I’m going outside the box again with my Barn Collective post. This is a piece that my mother-in-law painted years back that I really enjoy. My mother-in-law passed away in 1997 and we have reminders of her around our home. She grew up Kansas and she was a school teacher in a one-room school house. She lived with us after my father-in-law passed away in 1985.

Head over to Rose Street Reflections for The Barn Collective #15 to see some actual barns.

Russian Art in Washington D.C.

Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973), heir to the Post cereal fortune, was the founder of Hillwood Museum and Gardens – her former twenty-five acre estate in Washington, DC. This is one of my favorite works of art that is housed in her former home.


This large painting depicts one of the most important social and political events of old Russia, a wedding uniting two families of the powerful boyar class that dominated Muscovite politics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The artist has singled out that moment during the wedding feast when the guests toast the bridal couple with the traditional chant of “gor’ko, gor’ko,” meaning “bitter, bitter,” a reference to the wine, which has supposedly turned bitter. The newlywed couple must kiss to make the wine sweet again. The toast occurs towards the end of the feast when a roasted swan is brought in, the last dish presented before the couple retires.

For the rest of these photos I zoomed in on the painting above to get more of the detail to share…


The sumptuously attired guests at this lavish wedding feast fete the newlyweds in a candlelit dining hall replete with gleaming silver and gold and richly embroidered linens. Konstantin Makovskii painted this work in 1883, two hundred years after such an event would have occurred. The Russian revival style was quite popular at the time, as Russians were nostalgic for the traditions predating Peter the Great’s efforts to westernize the country.


Mrs. Post acquired the painting in the 1960’s. It was among her final major acquisitions as she and her curator, Marvin Ross, prepared to open her home as a museum.



On her death in 1973, Mrs. Post’s final and most important philanthropic gesture became reality when Hillwood, her last estate in Washington, DC, was bequeathed to the public as a museum. Her magnificent French and Russian collections remain on view at Hillwood Museum and Gardens, where her legacy of opulent beauty and gracious elegance continues to thrive.


I saw this next painting at the National Portrait Gallery. I was drawn to it again because of it’s Russian origin. The Samovar on the table suggests that it was a tea gathering. My parents and relatives were from the Peasant class so they never dressed up like this or had such a luxurious tea…



Many times at our Russian wedding receptions in the States the tradition of tapping our tea glasses with silverware to alert the newly wed couple that our tea was not sweet was performed. This was to inform the newlyweds they needed to stand and kiss each other to sweeten our tea.  The Russian receptions that I attended did not serve alcohol so the “tea not being sweet” replaced the “wine is bitter” Chai nye slotky is one phonetic way to pronounce “the tea is not sweet”…

Despite myself I’ve had a productive week so far. I mowed the lawn, got some laundry done, cooked some new dishes, ran errands, payed bills, picked up books at the library, and did some shopping. I’m getting ready to take a few days off to have some fun with a bloggy friend flying into town. The main event we’ll be enjoying is the Sequim Lavender Festival on Friday. Of course you’ll be seeing what we did and where we went because neither of us will be forgetting our cameras…

Have a great Wednesday! I’ll be watching the U.S. Women play France in a World Cup semi-final.

HT: Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens Tour Guide.

Getty Museum ~ Blue

It’s time for Mosaic Monday hosted by Mary at Little Red House and Blue Monday hosted by Sally at Smiling Sally.

My mosaics and photos are all from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California except for one. If you are ever in the L.A. area and have the chance to visit this museum it is well worth it. The museum is free. Parking is $15.00. I will be sharing more photos from the Getty all this week. I’m starting with an outdoor mosaic. I spotted this hummingbird in the sunken garden at the museum.


I’m sure you will recognize the following works of art.


Irises ~ Vincent Van Gogh


Sunrise by Claude Monet


The Bridge over the Water-lily Pond ~ Claude Monet


The Rue Mosnier with Flags ~ Edouard Manet


Dancer Taking a Bow ~ Edgar Degas


My final blue is the pumpkin my daughter and a co-worker created for a no carve pumpkin contest.


Happy November everyone!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

WFW ~ John 13:1, 14-15


Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

John 13:1 ~ “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.”

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

For more Word FIlled Wednesday click here.

I took this photograph yesterday in Thousand Oaks, California at the Gardens of the World.

The Gardens of the World is privately owned and operated by the Hogan Family Foundation.

The Art of Chado ~ Japanese Tea Ceremony

This is a guest post from my daughter Katie about a class she’s taking this quarter. I’m including it in this weeks Tea Blog-a-thon, Dressed-to-A-Tea, as promised.

Chado – The “tea way”‏

This quarter I have been fortunate enough to get to take a class on the art of Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony. We meet once a week for lecture, and then once a week we go to the Japanese Garden at the Seattle Arboretum and practice in the tea room. This last week we got to bring home our “fukusa basami”, (pictured) little clutches containing our “fukusa” (ceremonial cloths), some papers for putting sweets on, and our fans. (pictured)

I also decided to buy a yukata and obi to wear for the class, though this is not a requirement. A yukata is an inexpensive, light, informal version of the kimono. Real kimono are pricey and require alot of care. An obi is the broad sash worn with kimono or yukata. My yukata has not yet arrived, but I received my obi early last week. My friend Mika tried several times to tie it for me, but complained that since I was smaller than her she couldn’t get the proportions right. When my instructor arrived she had me come in to the tea house and quickly and expertly tied my obi. I drove home wearing it so that my brother could take a picture. (pictured)


So far we have learned several bows, how to walk in the tea room, how to fold and unfold our fukusa properly, how to whisk tea, and how to take and serve sweets and tea. It’s alot of information to take in, but I’m loving it.

Thanks Katie! When you get your yukata I want another photo!

For more Tea Posts click over to Gracious Hospitality.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

Just For Fun ~ Open a Book


Open a Book

Open a Book
And you will find
People and places
Of every kind.

Open a book
And you can be
Anything that
You want to be

Open a book
And you can share
Wondrous worlds
You find there.

Open a book
And I will, too.
You read to me
I’ll read to you

Unfortunately, I don’t know who to give credit to for writing this little poem.  I’m laying low today reading and recovering from my lower back spasms. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts. I really do feel a lot better but am still moving slowly. Still working on memorizing 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18. Have a joy filled day!