Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The King Who Came for You.





It’s Christmas Eve and we’ve put up our trees, wrapped our packages and stilled ourselves in front of the nativity scenes that grace our homes. These nativity scenes seem to cradle the very essence of what Christmas is really all about ... the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. And as our spirits settle down and sink into the presence of God that fills our homes, our hearts seem to swell, as if we could somehow hold the love that has been showered on us, in the story of Christmas.

Christmas is really a love story.  A real, love story of a King, the King of Kings, setting aside His throne, His grandeur, His royal garments, and then, clothing himself in ordinary flesh and blood. The Bible says He came down to us and “moved into the neighborhood.”
He came down to us
He became Emmanuel, God WITH us.  
He could have stayed in Heaven, but He loved us enough to lay everything aside and become like us… become a baby. Then live a life on this earth, listening to His Father, as He taught us, healed us, encouraged us, and eventually saved us for eternity by His death on a cross.*

Oh, how He loves us. And Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, because we remember just how very much we are loved. Every single one of us … just as we are.

At Christmas ... a King came down to earth for you

Blessings to you on Christmas Eve,
The Velvet Lime Girls

* Philippians 2:6-8










Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Eyes


It's almost Christmas time and I'm thinking about what the celebration to come is really all about. The birth DAY of Jesus, the Savior.            The-coming-to-earth-day of Emmanuel, a name that actually means, "God-with-us". A day we pause to remember that God came down to us and "moved into the neighborhood". John 1:14

And it occurred to me, that I don't have a gift for Him, for Jesus, the One who we'll be celebrating. I have other gifts under the Christmas tree for loved ones, but not one for Jesus.
So, I whisper to Him in a prayer moment, "Oh, I want to give you something! I am so grateful, so thankful, so surrounded by love from You...and I just want to do something, give something...just for you. What can I give you?"

The answer comes through a granddaughter. These eyes of Lilly, just 4 years old, looking up in my face with a heart full of love, and an expression that seems to say, 
"Oh, LaLa, what can I give you? I just love you so much!"
There's really nothing a granddaughter can give or do to show me how much she loves me.  I already know
It's felt in the way she justs wants to be with me, the way she runs with arms open wide to me, the way she holds on tight when she hugs, and looks deep into my eyes with her tiny blue ones.  Her gift is just her. Just her being with me. There's not a thing, a gift, a "doing" that needs to be done, to show me her love.  I feel it.

My heart seems to hear God say He feels the same way I do.
There's really nothing I can give or do to show how much I love Him.  He already knows. It's felt in the way I just want to be with Him, the way I run to him with arms open wide, the way I hold on to him tight, the way I look deep into his eyes with my tiny blue ones. My gift is just me.  My being with him.  There's not a thing, a gift, a "doing" that needs to be done to show him my love.  He feels it.

He just wants to be with me...to hold me...to love me. 

And I sense His heart swell with joy, as I move with child-like faith into His embrace, bringing Him the gift of just me.

Spending time with Him,
A Velvet Lime Girl

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Petite Nativity

We slipped into a quaint little gift shop in historic downtown Duluth, Georgia recently and had the real spirit of Christmas wrap itself around us. This petite little painting by Karen Markum ushered in the tender moment, holding our eyes captive to the gentle reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

We hope the tender simplicity of this artwork touches your heart as it did ours.

“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood”  John 1:14

Christmas Blessings,
The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. Karen's artwork can be found at The Farmhouse @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Farmhouse/355964181176795?sk=infoAdditional artwork can be viewed @ https://www.facebook.com/KarenMarcumArt 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Storyteller




What a treasure this day was!  Here are a few glimpses of the day that Laura spent learning to, in the words of the teacher,  "capture the beautiful details of our life and become the curator of our own story."
The studio brims with creativity and I have to resist the urge to snap photos of everything that surrounds me!  I nestle into the corner of a long u-shaped art table wrapped with five, fresh-as-the-morning-faced-young women...and sink into the creativity that surrounds me.
We'll be creating ten pages that will become the canvases to capture the beauty, the art, of our lives.
 The journey unfolds, not at the beginning of the first blank-stare-you-in-the-face-white page of each journal, but in the safe, comfortable middle.  Oh, I'm going to like this approach...

Phrases worth framing pour out of the teacher the moment she begins to speak.  We're encouraged to "sink into our own story" and "engage with the pages"
and there seems to be a soft exhale when she says ...
"pages slow you down to the speed of listening".

We learn to "wrap language around our pages"
create envelopes to collect things and shelter things
and play with background pages on which we'll curate sprinklings of our story
We are challenged to ask ourselves a question in our journals
And then we answer it...right on the same page.


We pause for a lovely lunch, gather around a rustic, elegant table, flanked with an antique church pew, easy conversation and beautiful box lunches from 3 Blind Mice. Yum! http://www.tbmrestaurant.com

After lunch, we paint backgrounds, landing places, spilling spots in our journals for thoughts, dreams, lists, calendars, emotions and heart whispers.  You can almost hear the sounds of life stories being nurtured, tended to, noticed..."curated".
Our teacher unwraps a treasured photo and with grace-filled transparency shares the significance of this blue, venetian-blind filled photo from her grandparents home. It holds the sweet memories of summer, a screen door she can still hear snapping shut in the background and a favorite pecan tree, now gone, but living forever in her heart and on this little slip of paper.
Her transparency in sharing this story compels us all to think of creative ways to capture our own stories.
Real storytellers do that ... they inspire others.
 Betsy Cañas Garmon,  our teacher, in center, with two of the fresh faced young women who participated. @ http://www.wildthymecreative.com

I end the day thinking that these journal pages we've created are like rooms filled with rare and precious treasures. The lives they represent are like houses. And the passage from Proverbs 24:3 rises up from my heart.

"By wisdom a house (a life?) is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms (its "pages"?) are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."

Grateful for a day to fill my rooms, my pages, with treasures,
A Velvet Lime Girl  
Classes and workshops are ongoing for those of you who are interested @ http://www.wildthymecreative.com

Friday, October 25, 2013

A little PEACE for you today!


We're dancing around our studio today at the arrival of our PEACE CROSS garden flags that we designed for Carson Gifts.  It's been an absolute joy to work with this company and in addition to this garden flag, they've selected some of our artwork for other products that will roll out in 2014.  Carson Gifts selected a soft, silky fabric for this garden flag and we are just thrilled with the quality of the finished product. It kind of floats in the air like a cloud with the slightest breeze ... very different than most stiff garden flags. Since we simply create artwork for manufacturers and companies and don't sell things on our site, we'll leave the Amazon link below, for those of you who might like to have one for your garden or a friend's garden.
Thoughts of peace flow from every garden, to those who pause to listen, and this little flag reminds us to slow down and rest in the peace God sends us everyday.  
With peace and love,
The Velvet Lime Girls
http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Flag-Peace-Cross-Inches/dp/B00FI6LTGK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382717443&sr=8-1&keywords=peace+cross+garden+flag



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Transformations

 You have so much hidden inside of you. So much strength, courage, ability, gifts, love, joy and beauty to spill out in this big world.  It's easy to get focused on just what we see on the outside, or what we are feeling, experiencing or living in at the moment. Those hard, crusty times that try their best to hold us back, reign us in, and freeze us into thinking that this is how life will be forever.
This little flower sure could have felt that way all summer long. When every flower in the garden was blooming away, it stood stiff and green, encapsulated in a fuzzy, firm shell. 

Unnoticed. Hidden. Obscure. 
Stuck forever in the plain and ordinary doldrums. 

But inside, a transformation was going on, and at the right moment, that hard, compressed shell just split open and a beautiful new creation burst out. 
ALL THIS was inside that tiny bud the whole time!
This new creation doesn't even look like it came from the same plant!  It has a new nature, a new look, a new "countenance" about it...and life will never be the same for this little flower! Gone are those doldrum days when it's beauty, grace and potential were hidden. 

This flower reminds us of the "new life", the total transformation, the absolute turn-around that can happen in our lives when we connect with God. We can be completely changed.  We can become "a new species of being that never existed before". We can let the very nature of God indwell us. And that really changes everything. It's only a matter of time before things begin to even look different around you, because you'll be viewing life with a renewed outlook, a renewed vision and a transformed set of eyes.

We like the way The Message says it:
"Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!
 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Celebrating transformations in the garden and in lives,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Jewels of Autumn

The "Jewels of Autumn" are here. Pomegranates!





Those round, plump, crown-topped orbs, that hold  glistening, shimmering, translucent, rose-tinged, succulent seeds called arils.
                 

A pomegranate tree grows near our studio and we were delighted to pick some recently.

Oh, what a thrill it is to open up a fresh picked pomegranate. It's like opening a package with a million little gifts inside.

Those little gifts, the translucent arils hiding inside, are nestled in creamy compartments and seem to explode in celebration when the outer skin is peeled back.

Like rose-colored confetti tumbling out of a piñata, they pop, back-flip and jump out, with saucy exclamations of "surprise!"  It's like they've been having a party inside there all along, and we've just been invited to join in.


What a delight their sweet, slightly tart, pops of flavor bring!  You just need to go try one, fresh from the market or a tree.  Even if it's not your cup of tea, it's a treat for the eyes with its color combinations, varied textures and "crown top" calyx.


These pomegranates have had us musing about all their lovely mentions in literature, poetry and quotes.For centuries, they've graced historic columns, symbolized favored blessings and whispered softly in romantic tales and legends.  Our favorite mention from history, however, is the simple one found below.  It's a promise, much like the pomegranate itself, filled with numerous assurances of good things to come. 

"... walk down the roads God shows you and reverently respect Him. God is about to bring you into a good land...it’s a land of wheat and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, of olives, oil, and honey.  
Deuteronomy 8:6-8

So, if your world is a little dry, your surroundings a little barren, your spirit a little thirsty...let our pomegranates encourage you today.  They grow and thrive in dry, barren, thirsty climates...always carrying the "promises" inside their hearts.

Enjoying our juicy pomegranates today...one little aril, one little promise, at a time,
The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. A special thanks to Maria & Andreas Ladikos...
 for sharing their pomegranates.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Restoration


Need a little restoration today? A little renewing, recharging, recreating, refreshing, repairing, or reviving? We have something to give you then... it's kind of like a soothing balm for your soul. It's a collection of healing words straight from the promises of God in scripture, the whispered prayers in our hearts and random thoughts on restoration.  This is for you today, just soft, encouraging words spoken straight to your heart:




We'd like to give this to you. Please click here for your free printable:

We hope this brings a little comfort to you today... a little refreshing, renewing and restoring.

There is something so transforming in seeing and saying these healing words and letting them soothe away the cares, challenges and weights we've picked up along the way. We hope it becomes part of your restoration today.


Refreshed and Renewed,
The Velvet Lime Girls









Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer's Goodbye



Summer officially said goodbye a couple of days ago, but like the birds trailing behind this shrimp boat in a never-ending party, we're still living like its summer here in Georgia. 

We haven't even put away our white pants.

We're still slipping around in flip flops and shorts, swimming laps in the sun, snapping photos in the garden and creating artwork in our sun drenched studio. 

Summer girls at heart, we're relishing every bright morsel nature tosses our way... sunny days, blue skies and those porcelain, white puffy clouds. But, we know a change is coming. Fall is here. A new season is being ushered in.
Instead of holding on to this summer season we love with a salty-old-knotted-rope-grip, we're embracing change and setting our eyes on the horizon ...on the good things to come. 
The gentle rippling in of autumn always refreshes us with a new expectation and a promise from Proverbs.

The path ahead can be "brighter and brighter".

"The path of the just is like the morning sun, shining brighter and brighter until the full light of day."  Proverbs 4:18



Hearts swaying with anticipation in the breeze of change, 
The Velvet Lime Girls


Photos captured on the banks of Shallowbag Bay in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.





Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Artwork on iPads!

© Velvet Lime Girls 2012
We're absolutely giddy today about our artwork being selected to grace the covers of phones, iPads and laptops. Here's a peek at the first three of our designs now available on the Zing Revolution site. 
http://www.zingrevolution.com/browse-by-artwork/art/velvet-lime-girls.html

The company was gracious enough to send each of us preliminary samples of the artwork on iPhone covers and we slipped them on right away...and loved the responses they brought! It's fun to pick up your phone and have a little message greet you like "Sing With All Your Heart!"

© Velvet Lime Girls 2012
                           

Or, to answer your phone and have this gentle reminder of home embrace you in the middle of a busy day.
© Velvet Lime Girls 2012
Feel free to give us a call today, so we can answer our cute little phones again :-)

Grateful Hearts,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Raindrops from Heaven


The rains have fallen almost daily in Atlanta this summer.  Refreshing the landscape and filling our lakes and reservoirs to the brim.  In summers past, the land around us has endured hot, dry, parched days, until everyone and everything around us seemed to be longing for one-single-drop-of-water.

So, imagine our delight when this refreshing photo rippled softly into our studio!  It made us so thankful for the saturating rains that have fallen lately. We found our thoughts trickling over to the restorative, living-water offered to us each day from God. He showers us with droplets of grace daily and offers the promise of a river that flows from our very hearts.

We hope you'll pause and take a refreshing sip with us today... through our photos and the thirst-quenching quote below.


"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."  John 7:37-38

A special thanks to James Rhodes, our "platinum advisor", for helping us see the world through a creative lens and for snapping this early morning photo.

Catching every little raindrop,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hands that Nurture

A recent visit to a real chicken coop for a few cage-free, fresh, organic eggs left us with a basketful of something more than the dozen yellow-yoked gems we cradled home.  
It left a gentle deposit in our hearts, the essence of something that is more often felt than seen. 
It left our hearts filled with 
NURTURE.

Nurture is defined as something or someone that provides support or nourishment.  It carries the idea of caring, tending, protecting, nourishing and watching over.  We saw nurturing on display all around this little chicken coop.

In hands that tenderly calmed a hen, as talk was made of the extra care given to each feathered friend
 ... good diet, safe habitat and a peaceful dwelling.
In the ever-watchful eyes of a protective hen, always ready to cover and protect.

In feathered and fluffed nests, prepared and kept with love.

In the "green pastures" 

and  flowers blooming, thriving, and flourishing in the NURTURE.

          And in the grace-filled hands, embracing five perfect eggs.

Absolutely everything in the garden surrounding this chicken coop seemed to be thriving.
 Even the tree canopies overhead!

Nurturing does that.  
It benefits not only the ones cared for, but all the lives around it.


Nurturing is such a beautiful act of love and our hearts couldn't resist feeling the parallel of God's nurturing heart toward us.  It's been said that He watches over us like this hen, 
covering us with his "feathers", 
pulling us under His wing. 
He cares for, 
tends to, 
protects 
and watches over us.

What a lovely message from this little chicken coop. 
A reminder to let ourselves be nurtured and loved by our Creator, and as we do, we're able to nurture and love those around us.

We hope you'll let yourself feel the NURTURE, the care, the love, the embrace of the One who loves you the most, and as you do, just watch your world change... transformed by the ripple effect of receiving NURTURE.

"He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge..."
Psalm 91:4


Living under His feathers,
The Velvet Lime Girls 


P.S. A special thank-you to Suellen Lithgoe, the gracious lady who nurtures this chicken coop in Louisiana and reflects a life of one who is well-loved by God.