Monday, December 29, 2008

greatest treasures...

these are some of the gifts i made for my dear ones this year...

"the greatest treasure" 2008 acrylic on canvas
to matthew and carrie



"find the seed" 2008 acrylic on canvas
to michael and meghan



"fly" 2007 acrylic and polymer clay on canvas
to my dear friends john and mary

pink and orange purse knitted from strips of cotton fabric 
to casey


prints will be available on etsy soon...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Time...

sir chancelot under the green tree

twins Matt & Mike were both here yesterday
 after dinner last night
Left to right - Matt, Carrie, Mike, Meghan with Cre8Tiva and Mike in front

Chip and Cre8Tiva at South Coast Winery in California
earlier this month

Chip and Susie at South Coast Winery

blue tree

we missed you Casey and Chris...

tomorrow i will show you what i made for the kids...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday My Sweet Lord...

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!


Blessings of the Season to All who stop here...
Wishing you Peace and Love

from Christian clipart

My baby Jesus


Anne Geddes Happy Birthday Jesus


My Church Nativity with 6-white roses
Each Christmas eve I lay 6 white roses at the manger, before Jesus is placed, to welcome Him...

Saint Francis' birds are fed on Christmas Eve - a new tradition launched

Sir Chancelot helping feed the birds

Sir Chance Christmas morn

Surfin' Santa in Fernandina Beach, FL


Oh, God-With-Us,
For so long you have promised
forgiveness, peace, salvation.
Now in my heart, I am filled with joy
because of your coming.

Thank you for your promises
and for the way I can trust in you.
I feel a new freedom in my life
and a courage I have not known before.

I know you came to save me and bring new life
and I am so grateful to you.
Let me show my thankfulness
with my life.
You have brought me through the darkness
and into the light of your saving grace.

Guide my feet on the way of peace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joseph...

St Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni, c 1635

Who was this man named Joseph...who became the foster father of our Lord? Joseph of Nazareth, son of Jacob, descended from the line of David. He was a carpenter, Mary's husband and Jesus' foster father. That is about all we know...

Joseph, second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary in strength of faith, was given leadership of the Holy Family as a direct assignment from God. Imagine what strength of character it must have taken to fulfill his destiny? He had to provide all that was necessary for Jesus, the son of God, to grow in grace and wisdom. And he was "righteous" in the administration of his vocation (Matthew 1:18). But for many, the essence of this humble carpenter seems to elude us.

Read the Nativity story here...and here...

As I reflect on this father/husband/man and the Nativity story, I think of the virtues Joseph possessed in order to live the life he was called to lead...could I have undertaken such a Divine responsibility? Could you?

  • Obedience...to God through a dream he is told by "an angel of the Lord" not only to take his betrothed Mary home–in other words, to conduct the concluding legal Jewish wedding rite and accept the child with which she is pregnant as holy, to name him Jesus, and to assume legal paternity
  • Patience...with his betrothed, with Jesus, the life he accepted after marrying Mary
  • Love...of God, Mary and Jesus, and all generations to come
  • Righteousness...leading a life that is pleasing to God
  • Prudence...wisdom, insight, and knowledge to exercise sound judgment
  • Humility...to accept Mary and his calling by God
  • Respect...of Mary and her circumstances
  • Wisdom...to raise and guide such a special child
  • Perseverance...persistent determination in face of many difficulties (see tolerance)
  • Tolerance...during many hardships-the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be enrolled as required by the political authorities; the birth of Jesus in a stable; the flight to Egypt and return, the move to Galilee
  • Hope...belief in a positive outcome of his dreams
  • Faith...to believe without reason that his vocation was father of Jesus
St. Joseph's Dream by Rembrandt c. 1645

Jean-Paul Sartre tried to describe Joseph at the crib in Bethlehem: “I would not paint Joseph. I would show no more than a shadow at the back of the stable, and two shining eyes. For I do not know what to say about Joseph, and Joseph does not know what to say about himself. He adores, and is happy to adore, and he feels himself slightly out of it. I believe he suffers without admitting it. He suffers because he sees how much this woman whom he loves resembles God; how she is already at the side of God. For God has burst like a bomb into the intimacy of this family. Joseph and Mary are separated forever by this explosion of light. And I imagine that all through his life Joseph will be learning to accept this.”

Madonna and Child with St. Jerome, St. Joseph and St. Anne by Lorenzo Lotto c. 1534


In the Roman Catholic and other traditions, Joseph is the patron saint of workers and has several feast days (see Saint Joseph's Day). He was also declared to be the patron saint and protector of the universal Catholic Church (along with Saint Peter) by Pope Pius IX in 1870, and is the patron of several countries and regions. He is a rare example of a saint from the early days of the church whose devotional role has tended to increase in the centuries since the Middle Ages.

A 9-day Novena to St.Joseph is here...

I wish you joyous fruits of the Christmas season until I return...


images from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph
http://www.abcgallery.com/

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Celebrating Christmas Alone...


I found this on www.creighton.edu

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. - Luke 2

Many of us celebrate Christmas alone. This may be the first time for us, or an odd set of circumstances this year, or an every year thing. Some of us are single persons living along. Some of us are widows or widowers and some of us are separated or divorced. Quite a few of us have family living elsewhere.

It may be that our health or the weather prevents us from even going to church on Christmas. Perhaps we are able to celebrate with a faith community on Christmas eve or Christmas morning, but the rest of the day is alone, and accompanied only with memories. Some of us are in nursing homes, and though surrounded by neighbors and friends, we have no one to visit us on this special day. Some of us are in a distant land on business.

For us who are alone, Christmas can be a great blessing. The solitude we have can offer us the grace to receive the gift of Christ's coming in a very special way. We may be tempted to be discouraged or quite down in our aloneness, but that really is a temptation. It is a temptation to turn our focus in on ourselves rather that to let ourselves be contemplative at the time of Christmas. To act against this temptation is to open ourselves to great graces these days.

The first grace we might have is time. These are special days to take advantage of the stories that are given us about Zechariah and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, that frightening night looking for a place to stay, the birth in a stable, the visit of the shepherds, the visit of the Magi, the flight into Egypt and the hidden life of the Holy Family back in Nazareth. When we have time, we can read those stories and let them enter our imagination. We can contemplate them deeply by entering the scenes - even becoming an added character in the stories to become part of the dialogue and to experience it all "first hand." We can take the time to pay attention to the sounds and smells, to see what everyone is wearing and what they are saying. We can study people's faces and the emotions and prayers of the characters enter into our hearts. Seeing a Christmas card, a crib scene or a stained glass window is a doorway to really entering the scene and witnessing the birth, holding the child, comforting Mary and Joseph, being a part of the excitement of the shepherds, rejoicing in a hidden life with the Holy Family.

The second great grace we might be given is the ability to enter into relationships with these special persons in the story of our salvation. It would be a special grace if our aloneness at Christmas could allow us to come closer to Mary. Mary is both the mother of our Savior and the first disciple. In those roles, she is always our first Intercessor. It can be a very rich time of prayer to simply talk with Mary - telling her our situation, describing our situation, and then listening to her tell us the story, her story and ours. Somehow, as she tells us about her surrender to God's will, about the anxiety and trust of that night, about the poverty of the stable and they joy in her heart at how her son brought such joy to the shepherds, we can be filled with consolation. The mystery of God's redeeming mercy and love which was born in that stable that night can be born in our stable.

It can be very powerful to turn to Mary and simply ask her to intercede for us, for our loved ones, and for our world. In our solitude, we can become great instruments of God's grace for others - transforming our aloneness into a powerful ministry of love and mercy.

We get our word "manger" from the Latin (and so French, Italian, Spanish) root, which means simply "to eat." Jesus comes, into the greatest place of our poverty, not only to be "with us" but to nourish us. The manger can be the place we go this Christmas to be fed with the acceptance, love, and peace we need. There is no place of darkness in which we need ever feel alone. There is no situation, no loss, no tragedy that need ever leave us empty. There is no sin, no matter how selfish that will ever leave us apart from God's love.

Perhaps the greatest grace of our aloneness will be the gift of grateful surrender. Sometimes, our aloneness gets filled with resentment, self-pity and anger. We can become upset about everyone and everything. These emotions can be like a cancer that eats away at us and wipes out any chance of peace and joy entering our hearts. When these emotions dominate our hearts, our whole being is tight and closed. Our hands symbolize the emotions within us: holding on to everything tightly, shaking a finger at others, pounding the table as we refuse to accept this or that, perhaps throwing things down, slamming doors, maybe even wanting to slap someone.


It is into these powerful emotions that we can let our Savior come with the gift of mercy and peace. When we accept who we are and where we are, just as we are accepted and embraced there, the anger and self-absorption will melt. Then we can open our hearts and our hands in surrender. "I am your servant today, Lord. Let this be done in me according to your will." Gratitude is the greatest grace of Christmas. We can receive that grace alone. And, sitting alone, with our hands open, whether for a minute or an hour, can prepare us for the greatest experience of Christmas ever. And then, so full of grace, we can begin to reflect on how we can share our gifts with others.



words and pictures from www.creighton.edu

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Reflection and Traditions...

There is no ideal Christmas;
only the one Christmas you decide
to make as a reflection
of your values, desires, affections, traditions.

Bill McKibben*

This quote really touched something deep in me. I hate to admit it, but 2008 has been a very tough year and I have been feeling really down, disconnected, and not my joyful self...I do not like to whine too much, because I have a beautiful and full life...so when I contemplated the above quote, I realized that it is exactly what I believe and bring that makes a holiday joyful...not feeling sorry for myself...

St. Francis Preaching to the Birds - Giotto


So what am I going to do about my feelings of sadness...what I always do when I am too focused on self...turn outward and think of others...


Your Local Food Bank Needs You

This holiday season, consider the possibility of making your dinner a food drive; you can ask your guests to bring canned goods, in lieu of house gifts...Have a neighborhood food drive with your children - make a flyer and pass around this weekend and pick up Monday and deliver to the food bank...

Food banks are really suffering this year...because of the economy, many more people have had to call on thier local food bank for help...if you have any extra money or canned goods...stories like this abound this year...please help if you can...
Hoffman, 55, is one of the growing number of "nontraditional" food pantry clients across the country. They include more formerly independent senior citizens, more people who own houses and more people who used to call themselves "middle-class" — those who are not used to fretting over the price of milk.

"We're getting calls all the time from people who want to know how to get here," said Kristine Gibson, community outreach manager at the Stockton food pantry. "And when I ask where they live, they give an address of a nice neighborhood, one where you or I would want to live."
No matter what city you live in, and no matter what newspaper you read, you have probably seen a headline that says something like “Local Food Bank Donations Down,” or “Shelves Empty at the Food Bank.”

According to a recent thread on Chowhound, certain items are almost always a good bet:

Canned Chicken
Powdered Milk
Canned Tuna
Saltine Crackers
Soups
Juices
White Rice
Jarred or Canned Spaghetti Sauce
Grape Jelly
Canned Vegetables
Breakfast Cereals
Pork & Beans
Peanut Butter
Macaroni & Cheese
Baby food & formula
Pet food, for companion animals

What they’ve got too much of? Kidney beans. And, of course, money donations are always welcome as well. To find the nearest food bank to you, check out Second Harvest’s Food Bank locator. from the slow food blog

I will repeat last year's new tradition a la St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis loved animals because they, too, were God's creatures. He extended special kindness to animals at Christmas. He urged farmers to provide their oxen and donkeys with extra rations of corn and hay "for the reverence of the Son of God, whom on such a night the Blessed Virgin did lay down in the stall between the ox and the donkey." At Christmastide, St. Francis scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so the tiny creatures could feast and be happy. I am going to scatter bird seed around my tiny island on Christmas eve so that the birds, too, can celebrate...

Saint Francis' birds are fed on Christmas Eve 2007 - a new tradition launched


Read about other Christmas traditions
here...

See my Hundred Dollar Holiday ideas and Hundred Dollar Holiday post....to learn more...

* Bill McKibben, author, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas says, "The Christmas we now celebrate grew up at a time when Americans were mostly poor ... mostly working with their hands and backs. If we now feel burdened and unsatisfied by the piles of gifts and over consuming, it is not because Christmas has changed all that much. It's because we have." ...read article here...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

raindrops on roses...

my days in california are coming to an end...i return to florida early saturday morning...the day i arrived (november 24) it was raining in southern california...i shot these photos of the roses in my son's garden...i love my camera...

when it rains in california, it is dark and depressing...there is a gray fog over everything...that is how i arrived in california in a gray fog...mentally, spiritually, physically...it has been a difficult year...and though i am down, i am far from out...i hope...

hope is all we ever have...to keep us inspired and creative, and actually alive...
this little strip off light...
twixt night and night...
let us keep
bright...today

and if tomorrow shall be sad...
or never come at all, we've had...
at least...today

i will be back on sunday...rebecca

Monday, December 8, 2008

why do i journal...

jane of random notes blog is having a contest about journaling...please visit and share...


recent journal page



i have journaled for many years...it is the place i work out new ideas, design and dream, and record moments of my life...my favorite journal has divided pages - the top half blank for art, drawing, attaching things and the bottom half lined for writing...the pages are very thick, textured paper that will not wrinkle or bleed...the pages are ivory...

i keep a prayer journal and a life/art journal...i also have blogs that are my electronic journals...journaling is a purely selfish endeavor...time just for me to be alone with my thoughts and my creativity...i do it for me, not to share or display, as rarely do i share them with others...

last year (2007) i drew a face each day in my journal to help me with my drawing skills...it worked, 365 days of drawing improves your eye and your hand...the drawing improved dramatically over the course of the year...

thank you jane for asking this...please leave a comment about why you do or do not journal...

Friday, December 5, 2008

the flirty girls...

here are the flirty girls...

flirty girls all in a row

i am in california with my son chip and my duaghter-in-law susie...susie is having a girls night out holiday get together tonight...i painted these flirty girls wine glasses for each party girl...tell me what you think please...

set 3 flirty girls

set 2 flirty girls

the glasses are painted


the flirty girls custom orders are available at boutique cre8tiva for delivery after on december 13th...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Nation of Devout Consumers

The Long Lost Silent Night
by Bill McKibbon...read the rest of the article here and visit my hundred dollar holiday website here...


But that’s not the real culprit. Much more, it’s the way all the noises that we choose to listen to have infiltrated our minds. We’re caffeinated, buzzed, wired, plugged-in. In one recent survey, only 19 percent of Americans said they wanted a "more exciting, faster-paced life." Excitement can’t excite us anymore.

What can excite us – what can make us salivate the way a circus could make some Kansas farm boy salivate – is the prospect of a lull, an interlude. Stillness scares us (that’s why the TV goes on when we walk in the hotel room) but it attracts us, too. If there’s one thing we’d really like from Christmas, I think, it’s a little of that "season of peace" that the greeting card writers are always promising. It’s one of the reasons "Silent Night" is the all-time favorite carol. There’s a moment when we sing it each year at the end of the Christmas Eve service, with the lights out and everyone holding a candle that frames their face with soft light, and that marks for me the absolute height of Christmas.

If there’s one way in which the world has changed more than any other since 1840, one thing that’s truly different about our lives, it’s that we’ve become such devout consumers. That consumption carries with it certain blessings (our lives are long and easy by any historical standard) and certain costs (first and foremost the damage it causes to the rest of creation). But the greatest cost may be the way it’s changed us, the way it has managed to confuse us about what we really want from the world. We weren’t built just for this life we find ourselves leading – we were built for silence and solitude, built for connection with each other and the natural world, built for so much more than we now settle for. Christmas is the moment to sense that, the moment to reach for the real joys.


I am challenging myself and others to create A Hundred Dollar Holiday this year...read the following post for details...

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Hundred Dollar Holiday

A Hundred Dollar Holiday - How To Create a Homemade Christmas

I have joined the ranks of Squidoo...it is a fun place to voice your opinion...click the above link to get tons of information on creating a beautiful holiday celebration for less than $100.

You want to make a memorable Christmas holiday for your family but you have no idea how to do it! We will explore ways to make a beautiful Christmas memory without spending a lot of money.

I have always been a make it, take it kind of person. There will be how-to's, ideas, recipies, videos, and much more. New stuff will be added daily...so chack back often!

Please share a favorite homemade idea, your family holiday traditions, or special things you do on Christmas Eve or Christmas day in the guestbook at the bottom of the page!

angel art by Rebecca E. Parsons (Cre8Tiva)

"So the reason to change Christmas is not because it damages the earth around us, though surely it does. (Visit a landfill the week after Christmas.) The reason to change Christmas is not because it represents shameful excess in a world of poverty, though perhaps it does. The reason to change Christmas - the reason it might be useful to change Christmas - is because it might help us to get at some of the underlying discontent in our lives. Because it might help us see how to change every other day of the year, in ways that really would make our whole lives, and maybe our entire 365-days-a-year culture, healthier in the long run." Bill McKibbon - see his book below...read the rest of the article here...

I have been in California for a week now...getting some much needed rest and recuperation...it rained for the first few days...so much for it never rains in California...it does...I will upload some pictures when I figure out how on my sons' computer...

Yes, Virginia...There is a Recession...DUH!!!

US Economy In Recession Since December 2007
Yesterday, Monday, December 1st 2008,

"The National Bureau of Economic Research said that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy .

The NBER is a private group of leading economists charged with dating the start and end of economic downturns. It typically takes a long time after the start of a recession to declare its start because of the need to look at final readings of various economic measures.

Achuthan's research firm tracks weekly leading economic indicators that are supposed to signal a change in direction for the economy four or five months ahead of time. Those indicators are continuing to fall at a record pace."

Those of us in the trenches, fighting for our lives, have known this for a long time now. I suppose next year they will release the news that we are in a depression since December 2008...

so much for our economists...

The good news: 55 percent of economists surveyed in a new poll don't believe the U.S. will fall into a full-blown recession.


images from:
NY Times.com
Public Radio.com

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks & Giving...Blessings I Have...


A Happy Thanksgiving to All...

During the past few days I have been very thoughtful about all I have to be thankful for...the regular things like family, loved ones, friends, and my life come to mind of course...but there is so much more that I, and probably you, have to be thankful for on this, my favorite of holidays...

I woke up this morning with more health than illness...so I am more blessed than the million who won't survive the week...

I have food in my kitchen today, clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and a place to sleep...so I am more blessed than 75% of the people in this world who do not...

I have never had the pangs of starvation...so I am more blessed than the 20 million people who are hungry today...

I have never experienced the danger of battle or the loneliness of imprisonment...so I am more blessed than the 20 million people who are experiencing it today...

I can go to my little church in California today without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death...so I am more blessed than the 3 billion people who cannot...

I have money in the bank, a little in my wallet, and spare change in a container somewhere......so I am among the top 8% of the world's wealthy...

If you can read this today...you are more blessed than the 2 billion people who cannot read anything at all...


I am blessed in ways I may never know...yet I give thanks for them all...known and unknown...May the Lord shower you with many blessings today... Leaving you filled with memories of joy and love...Be a blessing to someone today...visit the Conspiracy of Blessings for ideas...

Please continue reading below...it is for you, my beloved blogging frineds...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thankful...for you...

This is how I feel about those sisters and brothers that I have been blessed to connect with through my blog...I am more than thankful...for you...


"trio" - 2007 - acrylic, watercolor and marmarino plaster on heavy paper


Thou art my sister and brother, because we were born of the same great spirit; conceived from the same mound of earth; slept quietly together in the cradle of unknowing until He in his gentleness set us in the midst of humanity...you are my sister, I love you.

You and I are destined to be companions on the highway of life; together or apart, you are my sister I love you....if the color of my skin is different from yours it mattereth not, only let the beauty of our souls be kindred.

I will honor your wisdom and understanding, as you will mine, together we shall seek the seeds of truth in the distant rooms of the Great Spirit; the reflection of inner knowledge shall wear as beauty upon our faces...you are my sister I love you.

I will be human and fall down in rough places; but thy hand is near mine, I will reach for it. I shall not be alone. I will embrace you when the rains of sorrow visit you, I will visit your soul as if it were my own....you are my sister and brother, I love you.

If death takes me from the lamp of life, and the veil of sleep falls across my eyes before yours, I will wait for you। I will come to lead you across the bridge of night into the meadows of the Great Spirit....you are my sister and brother I love you.

adapted from a poem by Jean Humphrey Chaille

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Spirit...

What are You Full Of?

Are you full of Spirit and light...are you full of joy and happiness...are you full of love and good cheer...or are you full of yourself???

Oh my Rebecca...where are you coming from today...self...self-centeredness...self-concern...selfhood...Yep...I am in the middle of a selfishness campaign...and I want you to come with me...of course!

Now it would be really selfish if I wanted you to go on MY journey...that's not the idea...I want you to go on YOUR journey...into YOUR self...

Self Realization is the culmination of all things spiritual. I love the following video in which Fr. Keating shares an illustration of stream of thought...and how we can go deeper into our soul...

Thoughts - Thomas Keating on the Method of Centering Prayer


Reaching the stage of Self Realization means...reaching True Self "which is our participation in the Divine Life" ...

I have listed all the self words and phrases I know or could dig up...

self     selfs      itself      myself      selfed      herself      himself        hisself      nonself      oneself      ourself      selfdom      selfing         selfish      thyself      selfdoms      selfheal      selfhood      selfless      selfness      selfsame      selfward      yourself      selfheals      selfhoods      selfishly unselfish      selflessly      selfnesses      selfishness      unselfishly      damselfish      selflessness       selfishnesses      unselfishness         selflessnesses      selfsamenesses         unselfishnesses
self portrait      self selection      self denial      self study      
self motivation      self help      self defeating      self employed    
self absorbed         self critical      self denial         self defense      enlightened self      interest      self interest      self importtance      self image      self obsessed      self ritcheous      self indulgent      self interest      self portrait      in defense of self    
self fulfilling prophecy    self-flagellation      self reflection      
self reliant      self involved      self deusion    
is self-explanatory      self-appointed expert      
self-congratulatory cleverness 
paint your self into a corner
history repeating itself
to thine own self be true


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

it's my birthday...

this was dawn at the beach at 6:30 AM this morning...enjoy...


i love to go down to the sea in the pre-dawn hours and wait for the sun to rise...it is a time to pray and a time to heal for me...i am most centered when i am here...








these photos and other just like them will be available for purchase on my etsy shop....

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