Wednesday, October 31, 2012

365 days

{October 31, 2011}

Change happens.  It sidles up alongside of each of us only to make new of what is our normal.  A little over a year ago, our family left a sweet and happy life on Hillcrest Road.  Watery wells turn to fully capacitated reservoirs in my eyes at even the slightest glimpse back to this documented goodbye.  Change, you never fail in leaving behind reminders of your movement in our space of life.  Today marks 365 days that our family of four has called Dumplin Valley our home.  The image above was taken on the day of closing.  Framed and fixed atop my mom's antique glass cabinet, these little faces in film are proof of change and its profoundness and definition.  
We have been so very blessed in what we now call home.  This foreclosure found its way into our hearts.  With prayer, guidance and God's ability to provide at just exactly the right time, we were fortunate enough to find ways to improve its existing hiccups and, more importantly, sign on the dotted line of sold.

So much goes into home.  It's hard to explain really.  It's your place.  Your spot.  Your refuge from the world and your big shoebox of memories too.  The memories this home has given us the past 365 days have been tremendously sweet and rich.  I wanted to take time to recollect on a few.  Our new friends, our surroundings, our pretending recounted both here and here.  Her visit.  Our creations.  His passion.  Not to mention, a wonderful set of neighbors surrounding us, a great football family and a church that all 4 of us adore attending.
Dumplin Valley has a chapter in our lives.  It's being written and revised everyday. Year one is complete. I smile deeper as each snippet of time is cut out and placed inside the above shoebox for keeping's sake.  A special thank you to the irrevocably constant beauty of change.  For your artful way of existence weaves a tapestry of a timeline that's unique to each of us.

.mac :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{getting a grip}

It's the day before Halloween.  And, yet my mind keeps coming back to this place. This photograph is well served in the art of reminiscence.  The water was smooth. The paddle was productive. My feet were steady. My balance held accord with my being.  Simply put, I was present in motion.  I spoke little; I concentrated lots.  This image conjures up the deep importance of rest and introspection.  Gently, it nudges me to find the paddle once again in my hands. Metaphorically, I need to make the sequential movements of stroking the collective ripples from side to side.  My balance and breaths have to be unified; my heart mindful of upright.  

Life is fast.  Faster than ever before.  Peering out into this world of schedules and deadlines, I find myself looking inward for a haven of relief.  For it is in that peaceful place that my creativity connects with my heart.  I want time to slow itself.  I want space for dreaming to be a little bigger.  I am quite certain that is why homeschooling the boys happens for us.  As I scurry about my days inside our 4 walls of home, I find the boys blissfully in harmony with their balance & breaths.  Curled up reading, stacking and measuring, defending our country in backyard battles and authoring stories of grandeur with detailed pictures to match.  Their learning is in progress and peace is present.  

{peace & progress}
{balance & breaths}
{present in motion}

I must be reminded that we all fight the current of confusion and constant commotion.  With the tugs of now and the concept of hurry, it's easy to lose ourselves only to miss out on those moments of protected peace if we're not careful. Today I remind myself that my motions can be in peace; I set the tone of my progress too.  My mind must make time for my heart to settle as that's when my creativity rests.  I am thankful for 2 little boys who teach me this on a daily basis.  I am thankful for a God who so keenly keeps my compass when I just let Him soak into me.  The grip on my paddle never felt more perfectly pleasant than it does today.  

.mac :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Nightswimming is one of the handfuls of songs that can bring me to my knees no matter when I hear it.   Its melody is pure and piercing.  Grounding with conviction even.  Upon first chord played, I am transfixed into a world that is safe and yet forgotten. Sad and yet healed. To me, it's a song about salvation.  Listen and see what you think.  

  I grew up with in a house filled with music.  We had no cable TV.  In fact, my first viewing of MTV was in college.  We lived on records.  Big and black and shiny with grooves and cool paper donut-like sleeves. I loved that a record's paper was thin and crisp. I can remember the preciseness in sound as it was removed for playing.  The player was always right beside the couch and across from Mom's chair. Tom T. Hall, Gordon Lightfoot, Emmy Lou Harris and Jim Croce were a few favorites.  My brother and I would go all superhype when Christmas rolled around too.  Burle Ives and The Chipmunks Christmas records were front and center.  Sundays were sheet washing days and, most often, you could find bluegrass or gospel on the spinner.  Dad usually made breakfast big that day.  Tiny sausages were a favorite.  I can remember the way Mom's body moved as she popped the clean sheets into the air as they wafted down for a clean bed assembly.  Spring and Fall were best because you can bet the windows were up with a breeze dancing through.  

And, that's just it.  Music brings us all a memory.  Lyrics serve a purpose of connection, recollection and resolve.  In what was, what could have been and what is.  The art of song finds a way of sealing our hearts with the now of yesterday so to speak.

My family wasn't a church family.  I always wished we were.  I don't know if it was my obsession with "what others did" or with "I wanna dress up in cute clothes", but either way my motive for the why of church was not what anyone would call appropriate.  My Mom and Dad were private about God.  It wasn't like I didn't see God in them with my little girl eyes.  Looking back, Mom and Dad were the book of James.  Their hands were always helping those in need.  Countless memories come to mind of groceries and clothes my Mom bought for those less fortunate in her classroom.  She would visit them too.  My Dad was always and still is ready to lend a hand for improvement's sake.  Our little community is still graced with the work of his hands all for the evidence of God's goodness and grace.

Yes, I guess it's best my church was left to the black and shiny of Jim Croce, sheet popping and tiny Sunday sausages.  For His plan of conviction was timed and perfect for me.  I wrote about it here.  His plans always are: timed & perfect.  That's so hard for us flawed humans to remember.  

And, my two?  Well, up in that photograph you see, they're night swimming.  On this particular summer night, I watched them.  I sat in a chair just a few feet away, and cast my eyes on two of God's children.  And, just as if that first chord was played, my own night swimming brought me to my knees.  Their plan is written.  It's not in the dress up fancy clothes they wear on Sunday mornings.  And, it won't be in the "what other people do".  It is in His timing.  

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, it's so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the water's edge.
The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
I'm not sure all these people understand.
It's not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September's coming soon.
I'm pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

So, in my own way, I will play them records.  Kenny and I will fill their souls with music. We will hold hands and pray around the table and before bed.  We will speak of God's goodness and His hope for our lives. Sunday tiny sausages will come before church. We will press upon their hearts the book of James too. The crisp sounds of paper record sleeves will be the mistakes and the memories good we give them.  God's presence and timing will orchestrate their salvation.  It always does.  As there comes a time, when we all come to that point "when the fear of getting caught of recklessness and water"ends. And, a quiet night is deserved.  

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.


{week 25: my 2 in 52}

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lacey Jo

My heart is k.Mac.  I am most certain it always has been.  As a little girl, I remember the delight I found in my mom's fabric cabinet.  The double doors were tricky to open.  You kinda had to push, lift and pull all at the same time.  I don't know if it was because, on the inside, there were beau coups of fabric just waiting to ooze from out of their maple framed home or if it was because this cabinet was mom's wardrobe bought brand new upon her arrival into this world.  Be it age or overstuffedness, it really matters not.  The heart of my hands and my imagination was in that cabinet.  It's push, lift and pull set the tone for my creativity.  I just know it.  Because you do, you know?  Just know it.  You know when your heart finds relevance and purpose with your hands.  It's that settling certainty that puts fullness in your stride and color in your cheeks.  It's God's gifts to you being given out to others and, in turn, yourself. 

And, that's why I make for the little ones like Lacey Jo.  Her aunt contacted me to design a custom tee for Lacey Jo's 2nd birthday.  And with each client contact like this, I am very aware and even more so honored.  I'm aware that customized appliqued tees are a dime a dozen on Etsy. I also know the plethora of embroidery applique software out there and available to whip out cute designs clean & fancy too.  

But, I am honored.

Honored her aunt chose me.  Honored she chose my hands and my artistry-drawing-turned-applique for her precious Lacey Jo.  Kenny, oftentimes, will ask me:  "Meg, why do you still do applique from hand? The time you have in the artwork transformed into a fabric design is so much. By the time you have the applique and embroidery complete, your have no profit gained."
And, my heart responds, "Because I love it." It's that push, lift and pull in me.  The journey I take from idea to art fills me.  It gives me a settling certainty that I can't really explain.  Um, yes.  It is just a tee shirt.  But, not really.  It's the love I feel from a client that choses to gift something unprocessed and handmade.  

The words from this client in an email to me about her niece:

"I am so excited! As if you couldn't tell, I'm loving having a niece. My son is 13 and my brothers' two boys are 12 and 13. So, when little Lacey came along, we all just melted."

This is the heart of k.Mac.  My heart swells just thinking that I was chosen to express that love in a material form as a gift from an aunt to her niece.  And, well, we all know, I am kinda partial to being an aunt, right?

Lacey Jo turned two.  I loved the striped candles.  It was important to me to provide depth in the flames with two different fabrics.
The cupcake had to be smooth and full of rippled texture much like that of yummy icing too.  And, I couldn't stop there.  The cupcake paper was perhaps where my mind soared into creative heaven.  I pleated the wrapper for a 3D aesthetic value as well as rippled the top with a nice, clean finished edge all hugged up around the bottom of the cupcake.
Lacey Jo's aunt was kind enough to put the cherry on top for me too.  She sent me pictures of Lacey Jo celebrating her special day for me to enjoy.  I treasure that my clients feel comfortable enough to want to share these intimate family memories with me.
Could Lacey Jo be any cuter I ask you?  A double name, platinum locks and amazingly blue eyes.  Yep, I am quite certain her father is already taking the necessary precautions.

My client's words regarding her {mollyemade} purchase:  
"We absolutely love Lacey's shirt, and everyone at her party had a fit over it! I gave out all the business cards you sent."
Thank you to those who choose handmade.  Its satisfaction is not immediate nor is it easily accessible.  It requires time and work and forethought.  But isn't that true for some of the best things in life?  I think so. The push, lift and pull in me reminds me all the time.

There is joy in making from scratch.  And, there's joy in being an aunt too.  
{Happy Halloween to my sweet Mollye and Mallory!}

I am certain Lacey Jo's aunt would agree with me.

May God's gifts continue to ooze out of me from overstuffedness, 

.mac :)
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

k.Mac Visitors