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.
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” … 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