FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES
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Aug 11, 2007

Non_Cents | June 06 Artistamp ATCs

From Flickr.com - Uploaded on June 21, 2006
by renmeleon

Life is like a postage stamp… You may get licked, stuck in a corner, stamped upon, and sent from post to post; however, you will always reach your destination if you will only stick to it!
-Unknown

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there!"
-Josh Billings

[This montage is a compilation of several different artists.]

Things

THINGS
By Karen June Miller - 2007

I am naturally attracted to things, liking some things, but not drawn to everything. Much like the song, “My Favorite Things,” (from The Sound of Music) my list of favorites include a motley assortment of items. I love the tactile and sensory experiences that beautiful things afford us. Whether created by God or crafted by man, I am always drawn to the inspiration behind the invention.

I hold to the belief that we are created in the image of the Creator; therefore we are creative and destined to create. Many women have told me point blank that they are not creative, and yet I have seen these same women resolve problems with practical, yet creative solutions. Creativity is both artistic and/or practical. I love the term Walt Disney coined to describe the creative process: imagineering.

Anandamayi Arnold is a Berkley, California artist who creates surprise balls; beautiful paper sculptures wrapped around tiny trinkets. She uses German crepe paper to make flowers, beehives, animal heads, and so on. One of the biggest surprises is that her work needs to be destroyed in order to unwrap the trinket! This does not phase Anandamayi because Hindus teach that nothing is permanent, therefore one shouldn’t become too attached to things.

Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Job 1:21 quotes Job as saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” The old phrase, “You can’t take it with you,” is something we all must reckon with. A ride through Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean is a realistic reminder of human departure and the vast treasures that don’t make the trip.

Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” sings:

I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty
I've got whozits and whatzits galore
(You want thingamabobs?
I got twenty)
But who cares?
No big deal
I want more

Ariel is fantasizing that life above sea level will be the cure-all to her so-called seabed of suffering. Her friends think she has it great. However, Ariel longs for human “things,” so she forfeits everything. Seagrass for greener grass.

All right, so we still love things! We savor beauty and how it speaks to us on a personal level. Just look at creation and the vast variety of flora and fauna! It seems to me that, from the beginning, God made huge brush strokes to stave off boredom. And, certainly, treasures are harmless as long as we possess things and things don’t possess us.

The names for things are often fanciful. Words like bling-bling (with roots in hip-hop) and froufrou have evolved to counter their exotic ancestors: baubles, bangles, and beads. For women, words such as accoutrement or accessory, novelty, trinket, or curio, can easily trigger our next shopping spree! Then again, for some of us, it doesn’t take much…

As a teenager my Mother would urgently order me to go get “the thing.” I would ask her, “Where is it?” She would reply emphatically– her hands bouncing rapidly like flippers– “IN THE THING!” Off I would go to look for the “thing in the thing,” clueless... What’s even more maddening for a teenager– is that I often found it!

Our speech is peppered with wacky words that identify something whose name is either forgotten or not known. Most of us are familiar with nouns such as dohickey (doohickey), dojigger, gizmo (gismo), thingamabob, thingummy, thingamajig (thingmajig), and doodad; and the less common word, gubbins. How about whatchamacallit, stuff, sundries, whatsis, bric-a-brac, knickknack (nicknack), knicknackery, and whatnot. Even assortments have names such as hodgepodge, ragbag, mélange, mingle-mangle, mishmash, oddments, odds and ends, farrago, and the lofty omnium-gatherum. We love dumping our nouns into miscellany.


So, why not take this moment to look around at the treasures that define your world. Maybe there are some
thingamabobs that you have stopped looking at because they have become too familiar. Maybe it’s time to rearrange some whatchamacallits or dust off a doohickey. How about blessing someone special with a cherished knickknack or allowing your trove to inspire a new use for a tired trinket. Today, our omnium-gatherum can become that much more special!

Aug 10, 2007

I've received a Meme Tag!


Sheila from Alabama Kitchen Sink has bestowed a Meme Tag upon me. I just met Sheila last night through the Linkin' Blog system. Seriously, one could link until the cows come home– but oh the places you go! She resides in Springfield, Missouri and is she ever insightful! As an introduction she wrote, "Old Sarge tagged me for this little game. Yes, these things are like chain letters, but they do serve to broaden our blogging connections and help create a sense of community."

So, I decided to tag 4 complete strangers so that I can be blessed by with some new acquaintances. The rules are posted below, as is my acrostic and my selections. Enjoy!

RULES: You have to post these rules before you give the facts. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

My middle name is JUNE: Karen June to be exact. I was named after my maternal Grandmother. I was never able to meet her because she passed away when my mother was only 3 years old.

June is the month that my beautiful daughter, Briana, was born. Her Birthday is on the 25th, exactly 6 months from Christmas. She is on the 6-month installment program!

Unique experiences and shopping finds are a continual pursuit!

Never have I travelled out of the United States– unless Juarez, Tijuana, & Hawaii count. (If you know of a blog that is giving away a European Vacation, alert me immediately!)

Eating at restaurants that feature ethnic cuisine is something I am passionate about!

NOW, I SELECT...
  1. Angela Louise of Cabarlah, Queensland, Australia - Her site is Chelsea Blue Whispers and it is beautiful to behold...
  2. Cathy Louise Penton of sunny Queensland, Australia - She can be found at Simple Things Small Joys. Visit her site for personal touches with romantic and rustic charm...
  3. Lisa'Oceandreamers'S of Northern, California - Her blog's name is HeART of the Nest and she has a unique perspective and wonderful photos...
  4. Kirstie Jane from Qld, Australia - She manages The Life of a Teenage Bookworm and she has some awesome thoughts about life...

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee


WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE


As the sun peeks over, the rooster is gabby;
His cock-a-doodle-do awakens the tabby;
Not ready for morning, Mama is crabby;
Quick! Send the "Higher Grounds" coffee to Shabby!


Karen June Miller - August 10, 2007

YES, you heard it here first. The WINNER of my COFFEE BEAN GIVEAWAY is PHYLLIS "FROM SHABBY IN THE CITY"! Wooooo! Yea! Yippee! And the crowds go crazy!!! Phyllis is a mom and an Antique Dealer from Kentucky. Interestingly enough, she has already been a featured lady on my site this week. So, this is a double header for her.


I had 27 entries! Random.org did the honors. I gave some grace to a few dear souls who unknowingly posted under the wrong heading. And, I am learning how not to confuse people. It's all part of the learning process I suppose...

So, CONGRATULATIONS to Miss Shabby. Stop over and see her spiffy site. And, scroll down to see a photo I dedicated to her.

THANKS for celebrating my first month of blogging with me!

NOTE: Miss Shabby, you need to email your address to me. I will have Higher Grounds ship this right off to you!


Aug 8, 2007

Aug 7, 2007

I've been tagged!

I love this little curio! So many modern decorations are made with resins. This goody is made with a cement mold and then skillfully detailed by the artist. I found this in a chic home accessory shop in Orange, California.

MORE GOOD NEWS!
  1. I have my Mac back and it still remembers things!
  2. I have been tagged, so watch out.....you might be next!
  3. As you can see by the Recent Cities widget, I am receiving visitors from all over the world! "It's a small world after all..." I had to dig up a flag website in order to identify some of the flags! That in itself has been an education!

Aug 6, 2007

Don't forget the drawing...


Don't FORGET to enter
the "COFFEE BEAN GIVEAWAY"
The drawing ends on Thursday.
Scroll down a ways and click on "comments" under
the Thursday, August 2nd header.


The Garden Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Cedar City, Utah


Flickr.com: Uploaded on February 21, 2006
by thegardencottagebnb


This little cottage is so charming! I can just imagine a little cafe table positioned on a lush patch of lawn, dew still balancing on the tips of grass. Maybe some bunnies are bounding out of the foliage. Then the cottage door swings open and the smells of breakfast precede the plated food.

Today's Bouquets

STANDING ON THE THRESHOLD

It’s time for a bit of transparency as I embrace a new season. My family’s relocation 3 months ago represented far more than a physical move. It symbolized closure: counting successes and cutting losses.

I have been married for over 22 years to Barry, a dedicated, hard working, tenacious, handsome man! We have gathered magnificent memories together; our greatest treasures being our 3 children. There have been tremendous victories and volumes of testimony as to God’s goodness and faithfulness. However, LIFE HAS NOT COME THE WAY WE ORDERED IT!

The cottage-and-white-picket-fence life with “Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder,” has eluded me somehow. I work with the palette I have been given and I am a master at squeezing the “H-E-DOUBLE TOOTHPICK” out of lemons to make lemonade.

In 1994 we moved from Long Beach to Lakewood with a beautiful daughter, and a great deal of humility— having endured 7 years of layoffs due to corporate downsizing. I was ripe with child when we signed our new lease agreement and one week later, we gave birth to a curious and lively son. It was a fruitful introduction to a new chapter. Life was on the mend. Opportunities began to present themselves and I noticed that I was no longer storing breath for anxious sighs.

When the millennium rolled around, we had another son who was not on our To-Do List! I was 42 and my husband was 47. It took some adjustment since, in my head, I was so done having children. However, this playful pup made me understand how completely our steps are ordered by the Lord.

We had resided at the Lakewood address for almost 12 and ½ years when my husband lost his business in March 2007. The following day, our Landlord (knowing nothing about the business) placed our home up for sale. Our lives went into a tailspin. I was reminded of baby eaglets staring in horror as the mother Eagle tears the nest apart to begin flight training! We had 60 days to find a new home and a new source of income.

Housing in Southern California is off the scales! Our plans to purchase were postponed years ago when we endured the layoffs. Repossessions are extremely high right now, so the supply and demand for rentals is much like trying to get to a sale before everyone else. But, we saw God’s faithfulness, and at the 11th hour we were approved for a far better home than we’ve ever had.

At this point in the story, I could insert the happily-ever-after part with a fancy calligraphy "The End," but we're not quite to that chapter. Our move was much like leaving Egypt for the Promise Land. It was time for change: time for weights to be lifted. And although there are giants, we are settling in and beginning to experience the land of "milk and honey" (my husband is a milkman, after all.) Barry has returned to what he loves— the dairy delivery business— and I am standing on a threshold…

THE PURSUIT OF EXPRESSION

I am a creative soul. I have always had a tremendous need to express myself whether I have an audience or not. I am happiest when I am creating something: art, song, poetry, articles, photos, concepts… 

In grade school, I buried a metal Band-aid box under a tree in the schoolyard. Within it I stored my "crude" carving tool: a bobby pin with the plastic tips removed. At recess, I would sit under the tree and carve funny faces into bark peelings. Then there was another Band-aid box hidden in my school desk, only this one contained all of my gum wrappers for chains. (I still mourn the fact that they don't make gum wrappers pretty anymore!)

The other day, I found the only surviving journal from my youth. I have tried to toss this journal many times because it mostly contains entries dealing with the crushes I had on boys! I was 16 and the journal documented how easily I could glide from wisdom to whatever! But, there are some redeeming gems…

I reread the journal for a good laugh, and I found something I had forgotten: an entry about photography. In 1974 I wrote, “I love photography. It speaks without words. Someday, I hope to master it.” I had also written down this quote from Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera:
“At its best, photography can be an extra sense, or a reservoir for the senses. Even when you don’t press the trigger, the exercise of focusing through a camera can make you better remember thereafter a person or a moment. Photography can teach people to look, to feel, to remember in a way that they didn’t know they could.”
Days before finding this journal, I caught myself wondering where my interest in photography had gone. In my early 20’s, I poured a great deal of money into camera equipment for a boyfriend dabbling with the hobby. This pursuit gave us some incredible Kodak moments; however, our relationship was not to be and off he went— with the camera…

So, here I am blogging… The word “blog” really isn’t that attractive, and up until recently I thought it was a cerebral parking space for politics and sports. Now, I stand before a canvas ready to splash color all over it! It’s strange, but as I work within the blog template and research digital enhancement, I find myself reflecting back to where dreams were placed on pause…

With my first month of blogging behind me, I have embarked on an unexpected journey. Simply looking through the view finder, I’m already capturing creative and self-revealing moments. I’m blowing the dust off of things that have been waiting for a tomorrow that never comes. And, I am making new friends.

The first matter of action is to rescue my repaired PowerBook G4 from the Apple Store. Then I will need to see if my hard drive has been erased (dread the thought) or if I’m ready to roll! Once my Mac and I are partnering again; I plan to launch into new digital dimensions. My Nikon COOLPIX S1 is ready and I actually plan to read the instruction book! Amazing, isn’t it? As an inspiration, my beautiful copy of “Artful Blogging” is sitting beside me. I'm also going to begin assembling the pieces of a book I have been birthing, and I'm hunting for the perfect table to set up my crafts workshop for eventual online sale.

Note: To all of the gifted souls who are featured in “Artful Blogging”, you should be so proud and pleased! Many of the featured blogs are ones that I have already made visits to! Many kudos! What a wonderful introduction to this creative venue!