Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas from the Velvet Lime Girls!

Here's Marybeth and family...
And here's the photo that didn't make the card, but is our favorite :-)

Here's Rebecca and family:
And here's Laura and family (she's the one in the back, behind all the children & grandchildren!)

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas!



Monday, December 19, 2011

A Tranquil Spot


We discovered a creative company with a kindred spirit. It’s called pure gratitude and carries this tagline, “because everyone has something to be thankful for”. We love expressions of gratitude and we were moved by the way this artist expressed gratitude, love, peace, hope and encouragement through her hand-stamped silver jewelry. Each handcrafted piece, embellished at times with pearl, gemstones, leather or natural elements, seems to tell a story. The website alone is a tranquil spot to visit. Lovely quotes float around the site such as, “i would maintain that thanks is the greatest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
gk chesterton

And with descriptions of selected pieces sounding more like an excerpt from a favorite book, you’ll find yourself reading about each delicate creation.
Here’s a favorite description that accompanies the piece in the photo above:

“He calls you His beloved. He laid down everything, His very life because He loved you first. this Christmas be assured of His unending, deep affection for you. through the ages this has never changed, you are still cherished, treasured and greatly loved by a God that is so much larger than life.”
Zephaniah 3:17“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

We think we like the description as much as the necklace.

Thoughtful shoppers have discovered the site and buzzed in like bees finding a patch of unknown clover in a meadow, so a delivery before Christmas may be slim. The site is, however, a resource filled with ideas for year-round gift giving. So, we wanted to share, even if it was just for the pure pleasure of reading the sentiments.

The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. The artist at pure gratitude is Michelle Harpur, a dear friend of Laura's. www.puregratitude.net

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas has come.


Yesterday afternoon we all received this message from Marybeth. “Well, Katie & I have accomplished one thing for Christmas!” Attached was this photo of their Nativity scene. It was, as if, regardless of whether anything else was accomplished, the most important thing about Christmas in their family had been done. The manger scene that tells the story of Christmas was up. Christmas had arrived in their home. And in the hearts of us who received her message.

Earlier in the day, as we had all worked in the studio on our new collection for 2012 we had laughed at how none of us had really prepared our homes for Christmas yet. Well, Rebecca, had decorated a bit, but Christmas cards were not done. Marybeth & I (Laura) had mailed Christmas cards, but there wasn’t even a speck of tinsel or sprig of greenery in either of our homes yet. These comments came from girls who normally have everything up the day after Thanksgiving J.

In the absolute joy of creating a new collection of artwork for Velvet Lime Girls ((it debuts in January at the Atlanta Mart) and working at our regular jobs, we’ve all looked up in pleasant surprise and realized… it’s almost Christmas.

And yet, when we all received this text and photo from Marybeth, we realized how simple it is to allow Christmas to arrive in our homes. A single nativity set, placed on a mantle, brought a pause and stillness to our hearts. Each piece gently placed on the ledge now retold the story of Christmas and calmed our hearts.

The Christmas trees will be put up, the lights hung, the presents wrapped … eventually. But, after the nativity photo came, a new sense of calm came. It caused us to reflect and remember the real story of Christmas … to remind ourselves what this wonderful celebration is really all about. The birth of Jesus Christ.

So, for all of you, like us, who have yet to complete your lists for Christmas, we hope you will pause and enjoy the simple scene in the photo above that tells the real story of Christmas. And let Christmas arrive in your heart.

The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. The stocking in the photo with the “B” is for Biscuit, the guinea pig. Marybeth's daughter, Katie, was afraid no one would get him anything for Christmas and she asked for a stocking. Slightly lower, but not pictured, is Maggie Waggie Wydock's stocking, which belongs to their dog. And there may be more! A stocking request from Madison, her other daughter, has recently been presented ... for her fish "Spa".






Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lord of lords



Lord of Lords. It’s a term that may bring to mind tales of medieval times, regal lifestyles and rulers of grand estates. Not mangers, humble beginnings and living life with a servant heart.

And yet, that is the life lived by the bearer of this name.

This title contains an unexpected contrast … a juxtaposition of sorts. Juxtapositions are often seen in the design world when a mix of two opposites creates something never before seen and never before expected. Rough burlap paired with soft velvet, or smooth silk layered on textured wool. The combinations are unusual, unexpected, unimagined. The results however explode the lid off of traditional patterns and conventional thinking and open the way for new realms of thought and creativity.

Lord of lords, is a crowning display of juxtaposition. This Lord, the Lord of lords, humbled himself, took on mortal flesh and came and lived among us. His arrival was announced by a host of angels and yet occurred in a manger. Respected intellectuals with lavish gifts welcomed Him as well as hard-working ordinary people. And although He was of royal descent, history records that one of his last acts was washing the feet of his disciples.

He was a servant Lord. A Lord who cared enough to come down and live among us. A Lord who “came down and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14

The Velvet Lime Girls

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Prince of Peace


Prince of Peace. It’s the second piece in our descriptive name & crown series we created and one of our favorites. Most people understand the concept of a Prince, but the definition of peace is quite inspiring when you go back and look at the original Hebrew word. The word is shalom. It’s meaning encompasses much more than calm peace. Like a mother gathering up all her children in her arms and carrying them away to a safer place, when shalom is spoken, it extends an embrace of complete wholeness to the recipient. It gathers up meanings of good welfare, health, safety, soundness, tranquility, harmony, absence of discord, favor, prosperity, rest, and well being and carries them into the life of the receiver. The expression of shalom brings them to a place where things are made whole … nothing missing, nothing broken, a place of restoration.

That’s the kind of peace that comes when the Prince of Peace arrives in your life. Regardless of your situations and surroundings, His presence, the very meaning of His name, brings a change. Brings wholeness. Brings Shalom.

“He will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace Isaiah 9:6

The Velvet Lime Girls

Friday, December 9, 2011

King of kings


This artwork came out of our hearts a couple years ago and we thought it was fitting to share it again as we prepare to celebrate Christmas.

Names say a lot about a person. Parents often spend months selecting a name that will convey the essence of all their hopes and dreams for that child. They know names are important. It’s the manner in which a child will be addressed and referred to for life and often serves as a remembrance long after they are gone.

Sometimes a person can have a descriptive name that kind of sums up what their life is all about. Thoughtful Thomas, Caring Cathy, Insightful Ian, Wise William … you can easily add to the list.

But a descriptive name like the King of kings is an entirely different category. You’ll notice the dictionary even points out that when using this phrase in reference to Christ, that the first King is to be capitalized. It denotes an authority that is higher than any king in history. The KING of kings.

We wanted to weave the historical record of this King’s birth in the background of our artwork, wash it in a symbolic red glaze and crown it with a reference to His royal lineage. We love the way Marybeth took all these ideas and distilled them into this creative birth announcement/name declaration that creates a powerful remembrance.

We have a few more descriptive names we captured in artwork and we will share them over the next few days. Come back and be inspired this week, as you see just how powerful a name can be.

The Velvet Lime Girls

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Dog


This is Dakota. He’s a very secure and content dog. He knows his purpose in life.

The “son” of Laura’s brother, Bud, he lives a life of luxury. This photo was taken by Laura’s sister-in-law, Laura Belle Skinner, and we’re impressed that she also did the photo styling for this shoot, and even more impressed that Dakota cooperated.

One might think, looking at this photo that all Dakota does is calmly lie around on softly padded L. L. Bean dog beds, occasionally eating healthy dog treats, and enjoying a daily jaunt around the neighborhood. He does do this, (remember, he lives a life of luxury J), but the REAL Dakota is hidden inside and it’s a sight to behold when it emerges.

If you take Dakota out early in the morning, when the temperature has dipped overnight into the ‘30’s, with frost still on the ground and let him loose in a field, another power within him takes over. The laid back, calm dog you see in the picture becomes a tornado of amazing power and strength. The reason he was born becomes clearly evident. His purpose presents itself loud and clear. He was born to hunt. He was bred to hunt. He was trained to hunt. And that purpose, that passion, totally takes over and he slips out of his Clark Kent demeanor and becomes a Superman of sorts in the wide, open field.

Tilling the ground and frosty turf below him, he becomes a streak of fur, soaring at electric, breakneck speed, working the field and seeming to leave the world behind as he relishes living life doing what he was created to do… HUNT!

It’s great when you know your purpose in life, the reason you were born. An energy beyond you often grips you and carries you, especially if you stay connected to your source. We like the way the Message explains it, “ Those who wait for God, get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles… they run and don’t get tired.” Isaiah 40:31

“That transforming power that overtakes Dakota is a slim streak compared to the swath of power just waiting to infuse each of us. You may have forgotten about it, living your everyday life, relying on your own strength. But the reality is, it’s available. You just have to make the connection to activate it. Your purpose, your passion and your reason for being born flow out of that connection too.

So if you’re feeling a little tired, worn-out or weary, there’s a source of strength just waiting to fill you with a fresh vigor that would make Dakota look like he’s just doing a warm-up.

Simply soaring,

The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. We're pushing for a cover shot of Dakota on the cover of Garden & Gun magazine...don't you think he's ready? Here's a photo of his softer side:


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yum!



Inspiration is everywhere! That’s one of our favorite sayings and last night the inspiration came from the soft opening of Bua, a Thai and Sushi restaurant in the Brookhaven area just outside of Atlanta. We hope you are not hungry when you look at these photos ☺
The colors, the flavors, the atmosphere was simply a plunge into creative waters for us. The photos above of the large “flowers” are actually carved watermelons and the “leaves” are the carved underside of the watermelon rinds. Even the food presentation was a work of art! Fabulous Thai spring rolls came out wrapped in a palm leaf presentation that had us scrambling for our cameras and the entrĂ©es were framed in floral displays of orchids. Photography, furnishings and art from Thailand simply swept us away from the South for a few hours … and I think we started humming in delight with a soft Thai twang before the evening was over.
It’s great to have a little of the “eat, drink and be merry” life once in awhile. It refreshes us and reminds us that “Every one should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor…it is the gift of God” Ecclesiastes 3:12

The Velvet Lime Girls
P.S. We focus on inspiration for the soul here, but for more food inspiration visit http://www.Buaatlanta.com and a little more design inspiration visit http://www.rhodesdesigngroup.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Real Comfort


Yesterday Rebecca was driving in the car with Alexa, her 22 month old daughter. Alexa is the tiniest little fan of the Velvet Lime Girls. She often provides her artistic opinion on our upcoming artwork (see Sept. 30th blog). As their short trip progressed, Alexa became restless and a bit fussy. A series of questions began, to help comfort her.

Did she want juice? “No”.

Did she want gummy bears? “No”.

Did she want her paci? (pacifier)? Again the answer was surprisingly, “No.

Finally Rebecca asked, “Alexa, tell me what you want.” A long pause occurred in the car… and then, her tiny little voice replied from the carseat … “hand”.

She wanted her mother’s hand. She just wanted to have her mom hold her hand. Nothing else could bring the comfort, the solace, the calm like her mother’s hand …not even the revered “paci”.

A hand. Sometimes it’s all that’s really needed. A hand to comfort, to calm, to care.

As soothing to the soul as a hand extended may be, it’s a mere glimpse of the powerful hand continually extended to help us. A hand that actually has us engraved on it, or, in other words, “indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) us on the palms of each of His hands.”

Now, that’s real comfort. Talk about a tight hold … why, you’re tattooed on God hands! J

The Velvet Lime Girls

I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands.” Isaiah 49:16

Photo of Alexa's hand in the palm of her grandmother Laura's hand taken days after her birth.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rhythms of Grace


“Live in the unhurried rhythms of grace” … we loved this phrase the first time we read it in The Message years ago. Last year we began creating artwork to convey this thought and a lovely blue heron came to mind. The blue heron is recognized as a solitary feeder. Her nourishment comes in moments of solitude, as she silently seeks her food ... a quiet reminder for us to also receive nourishment in moments of solitude with God. Our heron, with her graceful long neck and calm stance, was washed in watercolor shades of coastal colors. We wanted her to convey the calm, deliberate, simple life that is available to us. The life not weighed down with cares and unnecessary obligations. The life lived in the unhurried rhythms of grace.

Imagine our delight at discovering an entire book about living in the rhythms of grace! (We found a book review of this treasure in life:beautiful magazine.) The book is Abundant Simplicity - Discovering the unhurried rhythms of grace. The author, Jan Johnson, has drawn a picture with her writing pen of the stillness, the calm, and the peace that comes as we begin to live simply and in connection with God. Here’s one of our favorite quotes from the book ... “To live deliberately means to move slowly, to look people in the eyes when they speak to us and to follow up on the ideas that the Spirit has possibly nudged us with.”

We can’t tell you how this inspired us and we hope it inspires you! So, since we’ve been nudged to follow up on the ideas the Spirit has given us…we are dusting off our blue heron and finishing her! When she’s finished, she’ll have a lot to say, dressed in her simple stance and calm colors. And we hope her sentiment will “look you in the eyes when they speak” and remind you to “live in the unhurried rhythms of grace”. She’ll make an unhurried debut in our 2012 coastal collection. (We think she must somehow be related to the elegant swan above.)

Living simply,
The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. More inspiration from the book and Jan Johnson @ http://janjohnson.org/book_table.html

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Get-Away


Have you ever anticipated a gift before it arrived? Counted the days until you could open and enjoy it? That’s how we feel every three months as we wait for our subscription to life:beautiful magazine.

It’s more than a magazine… it’s a little vacation packaged in print.

Gorgeous photography, uplifting articles, yummy recipes, fresh ideas for the home and float-away moments of connecting with God, in the most elegant environment, lie within each issue. We absolutely lose ourselves for long periods of time wrapped within its pages. Relaxing, refreshing and restoring ourselves with the messages on each page that come straight from the heart of God. It’s a little bit of heaven on earth for over an hour.

How can a publication make you feel like you’ve spent the day at a luxurious spa or refreshing retreat? We think it’s because it feeds your spirit and celebrates the abundant life that God desires for each of us.

The current holiday issue is so full of treasures that you’ll keep it filed away like a precious resource guide … referring back to it for lovely ways to nurture your home, your family and yourself. And you just can’t imagine what a wonderful gift it is to receive … inspiration all year long!

So find yourself a copy and slowly fix a cup of tea. Believe us, you will just want to do this once you open the first page. Then, take a little vacation during this Christmas season to refresh, restore and revive yourself in spirit, mind and body.

Sipping cups of tea with life:beautiful, The Velvet Lime Girls

Find an issue at Barnes & Noble, Jo-Ann’s or @ www.lifebeautifulmagazine.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Birds Knew


We wonder if the birds knew? Did they anticipate the arrival of the Savior? The stars knew He was coming. The Wise Men knew. The animals gathered at his birth knew. And his mother knew He had arrived within her. Surely the birds knew.

Creatures often seem to know ahead of time when a change is coming. Reports abound of animals taking actions prior to a change in climate or environment. Why wouldn't the greatest change, the greatest shift that ever occurred in history not alert little birds?

We think they knew.

Perhaps they looked a bit like this little bird. He's looking out over the bleak, harsh, cold environment surrounding him, to the spring. New life is coming! A new beginning is coming, a better way. He knows it and waits for it. And the calm assurance in his little face reflects this.

We think his ancestors may have looked like this just before Christmas Day. They had to know He was coming and they must have waited and watched with calm assurance, just like this little bird.

We hope the quiet expectation that the world and little birds held years ago on the starry nights before Christmas will envelope you and your family this season, as we wait to remember the greatest birthday ever.

The Velvet Lime Girls
The watercolor study of the Christmas cardinal is by Marybeth Wydock.

Friday, December 2, 2011

All is Calm


Intercessory Hands … that’s what the artist who created this piece of artwork calls her creation. We were fortunate to have a glimpse of this moving piece two years ago and it totally captured our hearts. The artist is Sarah Beth Cowart, the daughter of a dear friend of Laura’s, and she currently holds a degree in Studio Art.

The word “intercessory” may not be a word you hear often, but it means “the act of offering prayer to God on behalf of others.” It’s such a humble and noble act … whether you’re on the receiving end or the praying end.

We were especially drawn to the position of the hands in this artwork. Many artists portray hands in prayer from an outside view, tightly folded, in earnest effort. But this artist went straight to the heart of the matter …. the hands, wrinkled with worry and concern, have opened up, let go and released all their ability and faith to God.

You can almost feel the calm that has come.

As we begin this busy and wonderful season of Christmas, we wanted to bring a sense of calm into the lives of all who visit our site… and these hands do it so beautifully. We hope the artwork inspires you to open up, let go and release your ability and faith to God. And we hope you feel the calm that will come.

The Velvet Lime Girls

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Seed Story


Christmas Seed Story

This slender seedpod graced our lives this past month. Gathered on a walk with a granddaughter, it found a home among a collection of natural fall decorations. The slim, tight green husk sat silently, in obscurity, among the collection.

Early one morning a silent explosion occurred and the green husk was split from top to bottom, bursting and birthing light, airy seeds too numerous to count. Fine cotton candy puffs, holding rainbows of light in each lash exploded from the gathered grip of each tiny seed. They could no longer be contained inside the tight green husk. Their time had come. Their season had arrived. They were ready to multiply, replenish, and take dominion over their new dwelling places.

It seemed fitting to have this seedpod arrive so close to Christmas. Like the child born in a manger years ago, who carried a unique seed potential within … son of God and son of man, this “seed” also produced a harvest too numerous to count. When he left this earth, history records that like the seedpod, a veil was torn from top to bottom. A new season, a new arrangement, began and endless numbers of seeds like him were born.

We’ll look at seedpods differently now. They echo an eternal love story. God giving his only Son for us … opening the door for us all to join His family … a family of little seeds too numerous to count.

The Velvet Lime Girls

The Word (Christ) became flesh and blood; and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14

Monday, November 14, 2011

He Knows Your Name


This solitary flower still blooming in mid November holds an intimate love story in its petals. Created beautiful enough to stop a casual gaze across the barren pre-winter landscape, it creates a standstill when viewed up close. Intricate detail and exquisite color palettes reveal the work of a master. One who is interested in every single, solitary, tiny detail … down to the last star-studded stamen. Who would take time to sculpt such a petite fireworks display and place it in the heart of a flower? Someone with a connection to that flower… someone who knows it by name.

The flower served as a gentle reminder that God knows us by name. We have a connection with Him. We are not forgotten. The One who poured such creativity into a flower like this, pours infinite care, concern and attention into each of our lives. He actually says that He knows us by name. A powerful thought. Talk about name-dropping! The Creator of the universe… He knows my name. He actually calls me by my name, (Isaiah 45:3). It’s enough to create a little fireworks display in your own heart.

The Velvet Lime Girls

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Painted Planet Licensing Group


Gratitude. It’s the overwhelming emotion that mounts in our spirits, swells up through our expressions and spills out into every crevice of our lives lately.

G R A T I T U D E.

Here’s one of the reasons why…

Painted Planted Licensing Group is now representing our artwork!

http://www.paintedplanetlicensing.com/velvet-lime-girls.html

We’re thrilled beyond expression as we busy ourselves around our design studio pouring out new artwork in a continual stream. Like young mothers about to give birth, we’re filled with that amazing burst of energy that comes shortly before their little “dream” meets the world. Overwhelming, overflowing, creative energy just floods our studio each day as we begin to give birth to the dream we’ve nurtured for over 4 years … creating artwork to encourage & inspire.

It’s so moving when other people believe in your dream. We honored that Jan Draheim, President of Painted Planet Licensing Group, picked us to be a part of the team. And we’re soaking up the art direction that Creative Director & Art Licensing Consultant, Julie Hosley, is providing. We love working with these girls!

So, if you feel a little breeze lately, it’s just the whirlwind of creativity we’re stirring up here in our studio under our new licensing name … Velvet Lime Girls. We hope you’ll be seeing a lot of us! J

Thanks for all the encouragement so many of you have given us. We have treasured every phone call, email, comment, tweet and expression you have given!

With Gratitude,

The Velvet Lime Girls

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Treasures in the Trash


We discovered these treasures in a bucket of trash. Old broken bottles, jars, trash and dirty junk with rough, rusty hard edges were the origins of these exquisite jewels. The local recycling plant had received them in their hopeless state and buffed them into sparkling gems. Now, precious stone shades of sapphire, jasper, emerald, chalcedony and topaz glimmer from this bucket and the tiny bits of trashy paper are faint reminders that treasures can come out of trash.

This trash transformation into treasure made us think of some of the hard times, challenges and rough patches that can come in life. When life's edges are rough, rusty and a bit broken, it's hard to see the good that can eventually come out of these times. In the midst of them one can wonder, "what can I do?" or "what will I do?"

A line from an old story can point us in the right direction:
"look instead for what God can do" ( John 9:3- The Message)

Those old broken bottles and jars probably thought it was really all over when life sent them to the trash, to a rough spot, to a desperate place. But now as they grace the finest spots in flower gardens, the focal points in art creations and this little blog spot, they'd probably be the first to shout "look what God can do!"

Finding the treasures in rough spots,
The Velvet Lime Girls


Monday, October 10, 2011

What to Wear



Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you …

compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline ...

and wear love. Colossians 3:12-14


Friday, October 7, 2011

Living Water



This waterfall in a private garden on Roanoke Island was bubbling, rippling and pouring life-giving, thirst-quenching water all over the place on a hot, dry summer afternoon. The sound of the splashing water filled the air with an expectation of abundant provision … this waterfall was connected to an eternal spring … it would never run dry. The waterfall just had to stay connected and open and this refreshing supply would always flow.
We could relate.
Bubbling over … that’s how we’ve felt lately.
We’re little conduits, waterfalls in a sense. Overflowing with ideas, images and creations.
Swirling.
Swelling.
Cascading waves of creativity surge inside us…spilling out onto the canvases in our studio and our lives.
We’re amazed. We do little to produce this flow. We just stay connected to our Source.
It’s so thrilling that we just want to shout an invite to anyone in a dry patch … “Come on over and be refreshed … connect with the Source of real life and never be thirsty again!”
So refresh yourself today in our waterfall photo. Wash away any dry spells and splash around with the Source of life giving water.
Laura & the Velvet Lime Girls
“All who are thirsty should come to me! Streams of life-giving water will pour out from anyone who believes in me.” John 7:37-38

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Run Your Race


“Let us throw off every weight and run with endurance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

We’ve all been running a lot this summer and that makes us think of feet. Those wonderful workhorses of our body that move us through our journey here on earth. This photo of a magnificent sculpture in south Louisiana had a magnetic pull on me last summer. A swift runner captured in flight. Running her race with determination and tenacity. Sure of her course and the prize ahead. The sculptor fashioned the delicate feet with attention to detail and the layers of weathered years, moss and lichen, now etched into her surface, only added a depth to her message … "Run your race with diligence."

We’ve been running our races with diligence lately. Always checking to make sure we are hearing God clearly and doing exactly what he has created us to do on this earth. (We’re learning a clue to this is usually doing what we find great joy in… kind of what’s already in our DNA from God). This passage has been our running fuel and the sideline cheering force to some of our new artwork. We brainstormed about it recently and Marybeth began creating again … the result is a celadon and sea glass colored palette of artwork that just makes your spirit soar and with the sentiment attached, it is heavenly. It’s kind of under wraps now and will be peeking out in 2012, but you can take its inspiration below today and begin to run your race with new enthusiasm. Especially when you realize that your path has already been marked out for you.

As every runner knows, one of the great things about running is that exhilaration that infuses your entire body at the end of the race. You did it! You finished! What a great feeling! It’s the kind of feeling expressed years ago by a man shortly before he moved to heaven …I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7

So find that path that’s been marked out just for you and enjoy your journey today… really enjoy it. Travel it knowing that it's been pre-arranged just for you. No one else can run this one except YOU.

Laura & the Velvet Lime Girls

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leftovers



“Leftovers” … that’s what the salesperson called them. The scraggly end-of-the season flowers left in a corner at the local gardening store. They were dry, brittle, and tossed on a refuse pile. I saw their potential and wanted to rescue them and give them a chance to flourish. I did. These leftovers are now the stars in my garden! Thick dark green succulent stems now hold buttery yellow faces that shimmer in the sunlight. They make me smile each time I look at them, because they remind me of the value and beauty that can be found in every “leftover”.
They also bring to mind a sentiment Marybeth expressed recently.
Marybeth has been a quiet inspiration to all of us over the past few years as she has said good-bye to three loved ones. She has traveled through these valleys of loss with her soul anchored to a strength that comes only from God … and journeyed on to mountains of joy with family, friends, faith and the creative expressions of Velvet Lime Designs. Recently she penned a few thoughts regarding the last good-by and they seem to fit in with the sentiment of finding beauty in leftovers that really matter. Here it is in her own words:
“I recently spent a few days helping go through what I term "the leftovers" -- what you leave behind when you are gone. This is the third time I've had to do it in my life and it never gets any easier. Sure, people make provisions for insurance policies, stocks, homes...that's all written on paper. It's the "leftovers" that bother me the most. Obviously, they meant something or they wouldn't have been kept. What about that high school track medal your son earned in 1974? Will he want it now? Or the mementos of your children's birth? Will it mean anything to them? What happens when you find that envelope with YOUR name on it and it contains mementos of YOU? Sometimes it's a little tough to swallow...these “leftovers." Deciding what stays and what goes.
I've decided when I am old and gray and it's my time to go, I will tell my family to happily throw it all away and remember me for the immaterial leftovers in my life. Keep what you must...but I want to be remembered for those things pertaining to the heart.”
“A good and honest life is a blessed memorial” Psalms 10:7
Marybeth & Laura

Friday, September 30, 2011

Accolades for Velvet Lime Designs!


Velvet Lime Designs received accolades last week from a very discriminating art collector. We thought we'd share the photos taken in our studio as this art collector pointed out her top choice in our new collection.

For those of you who haven’t met this art collector before, we’d like to point out that she is also Rebecca’s daughter and my youngest granddaughter, Alexa! We just love it when she gives us her opinion!

Some of our new artwork is blurred out for now in these photos and will be making it’s debut at a later date ... but we just love celebrating a compliment from such a discriminating audience!J


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THIRSTY



Thirsty

Early each morning before the sun wakes up the elephant ears are still cradling little liquid jewels. They are nestled in the valleys of the broad plains of each green expanse. These diamond drops dance across the surface. Hovering, floating in a mercury motion, their slightly suspended form seems to shimmer a call to anyone who is thirsty … “drink me, I’ll quench your thirst!”

These water drops of morning dew make me thirsty each time I see them and remind me of Rebecca’s favorite verse, “As a deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you, God.” Psalms 42:1. We like the way The Message says it:

“A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;

I want to drink God,

deep draughts of God.

I'm thirsty for God”

Thirsty. These little dewdrops carry a refreshing message. Our thirst can be quenched and filled with living water each day as we drink in time with God.

The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. Thank-you to my sister-in-law, Sarah-Lynne, for reminding me of the beauty of dewdrops (and these photos taken in 2008).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Inspiration



Sweet Inspiration

Layers. We’ve been creating, dreaming and thinking of layers lately. We’re working on a new collection of artwork and developing the background layers that will accompany each piece. So much fun!

We find ourselves noticing the intricate layers that surround us each day in the ordinary things of life. This one caught our eye. A last vestige of summer that was reluctant to leave. Its slippery lazy layers beckoned us to slow down and enjoy the last moments of a sunny day. In the south, these layers are always sweet, dark and draped in condensation on a porch. Encased in glass with ice cubes lazily melting in a sweet nectar of summer, it’s a layer you just can’t pass up… and we didn’t! We captured it in photos and in long slow sips. Mmm… a glass of ice cold southern sweet tea. Just drink in its layers.

We’ve noticed the layers in ourselves lately too. The wonderful intricate ways in which we have all been created, woven together and formed. We are layers of walking wonders and a psalmist expressed best … "Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together as if embroidered with various colors" Psalms 139:15

So celebrate your layers today and enjoy a sip of some southern sweet tea.

The Velvet Lime Girls

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Season of Greater Things








The seven foot tall swamp flowers in our summer garden are bent over now. All the way to the ground. Along with the other flowers in the garden, they gave everything they had in a show of color and fragrance all summer long. Hosted hummingbird visits, bumble bee sleep-overs, caresses & sniffs from granddaughters.

The flowers in the garden have a burned-out kind of beauty. Their show is over. They gave every drop of color, fragrance, and effort they could give. They think the best days in the garden have passed.

Right in the middle of this weary expanse a fresh new flower emerges. It thinks it’s springtime! It wraps and curls itself around everything in sight and it’s little green bud ends burst into hundreds of delicate white flowers. White puffy clouds of blooms envelope the entire garden. Floating over the skeletons of rose bushes, dried up trellises and anything that hints of fading. This autumn clematis blankets the garden every September bringing a fresh burst of life just when things looked faded and finished.

It brings multiple messages. A reminder that there are seasons for everything. Seasons to grow and seasons to rest. We captured this sentiment in an earlier piece pictured above.

A second sentiment has emerged now, with these white clouds of fresh flowers bringing new life to a garden that was spent. The latter state of the garden is far more glorious than the beginning… It’s latter is greater than it’s past.

So if you’ve gone through a weary patch, felt like you’ve given your all and the landscape of your life still looks a bit barren, let our artwork remind you that a new season can come. Good things are still ahead and your latter can be greater than your past. (Job 8:7)

The Velvet Lime Girls

Clematis climbing all over everything is a pass-along plant...originating in Pattie Lee Smith's garden, Laura's great-grandmother, dug up and passed along by Clarence Skinner, Laura's Dad.