“Do What You Can, Where You Are, With What You Have”

Dot
“Dot” a.k.a.: Former Expensive Blouse

Some people say I’m crafty – some say I’m scrappy.  All I know is that I like to repurpose things in crafty, scrappy ways.  I’m a “rejuvenator”.  Putting new life into worn out things sends a message.  Usually my creations literally do send messages others are more subtle.

“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have” became my motto and my mantra as a young wife and mother.  I would repeat it often in the years to come and it has never let me down.  Ideas will start to flow with this simple problem solving technique.

“Do what you can”…right now, in this moment…”Where you are”…you often have just what you need…”With what you have”…look around you.  Be still; listen, for the ideas will flow when the need arises – if you let it.  It can become a life style and a challenge to create decorations for our houses, toys & costumes for our children & clothes with what we have on hand.  Just look at it differently.

I can’t say all my creations were good ideas but they say that “mistakes are the portals of discovery”.  I found that it is best not to re-use underwear elastic because everyone knows where it came from.  I learned to check out a fabric scrap completely before you cut it up for a doll and it was an expensive blouse of my daughters that I was going to mend.  But working with the mistakes I made often led to new ideas.  My motto is a good one and now I challenge others to do the same.  We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to put our skills to work with the worn out and forgotten arts and creations of the past.

When I look at the linens and needlework that manage to drift down to me, I am touched that a person spent their time and talents to make something so precious.  Displaying them as art then sharing them can create bonds with others that lead to interesting conversations and friendships.  It’s a marriage of the Past and the Present in an artful way.

By looking at things in different ways we can create unusual, one of a kind pieces to make our homes cozy and warm.  When we do this, a funny thing happens.  Our hearts and our lives become cozy and warm too.  “Doing what you can…where you are…with what you have will always increase your creativity in making your home more inviting to others.

Ship on a Course

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This collage was done a few years ago. I could never put the meaning into words. It was based on the emotions, feelings, and spiritual pondering of that time. When I asked my husband, Bob, what he thought it wasn’t very flattering. That is okay and rather funny to me but part of me wanted more of a validation. My son and daughter came across it the other day so I asked them what they “saw”. This is what Jennifer offered:

“This piece looks like a ship on a course.  I see imagination, quiet, peace but mystery…a personal collection on a journey.

In view of taking care of your mind and you life’s course, it looks like a ship – I liken each us to an individual ship that we have to protect, do upkeep and maintain daily.  We need to navigate with purpose. Our ship is where we harbor our imagination, aspirations, beliefs, emotions, collected knowledge, “ourselves”.  It deserves our protection and our diligence and it’s where we develop our purpose and individuality.

Sometimes we let others steer our ship, or influence our navigation – that’s where who we trust and admire matters!

Sometimes we take on loads for others – that’s where it is important to know how much extra cargo we can handle.

Sometimes we go on journeys on our own – which is necessary.

Sometimes we dock to refresh – and this choice is important, location, location, location!

I’ve been hardcore parenting young adults lately, can you tell?”

So, my friends, Jennifer put words to those emotions & thoughts of so long ago. Jason took the collage for his office hopefully using it to speak to the young people he encounters on a daily basis. And Bob, well he is probably very glad that this particular collage took a different course…

What do you see?

Stir Up Those Gifts

 

“Stir up the gifts within thee…Bring to light the things I have shown you.  Take the advance, move on. Don’t hold back, instead bring forth.  The depths of your soul are deep and filled with many treasures. It takes time and a willingness to seek out and find them.  By moving on ahead and by pressing on you will find the treasures you seek. Continually look and look carefully or you will miss them. Some are so small they are easy to overlook. These very treasures, when found, bring the most value. Begin now…search…”

Thirty three ago on that Monday morning I was hungry for revelation, visions, poetry, writings & insights. I still hunger for God’s attention.

My hope is that I never out-grow my hunger. I dance and twirl, jump up & down showing God my latest tricks but it is when I get quiet & crawl up into His lap that I am fed.

written on August 13, 1984 Monday Morning