Tuesday, December 27, 2016

85 Years Young

We have a lot of inspiration around here at the Velvet Lime Designs Studio and one of our favorite sources is my Dad, Clarence P. Skinner.  His garden flowers, ballast rocks, grapes, peppers, photos, vintage train wheels, weathered barn doors and thoughts on life have often been the source of our blogs and artwork.  As he turns 85 years old this week, I wanted to share a bit of the rich treasure he has brought into my life and into our studio with some of the photos and blogs he has inspired.  Each of the first six photos below includes a blog link in pink and I hope you'll take a moment to read the rest of the story behind each photo.

Thanks Dad for teaching me to see the beauty in things (and people) that might often be discarded, from the rusted flywheels in your garden
Flywheel

to the scattered glass shards on seashores.

Treasures in the Trash














 

For encouraging me to stand strong like salty doors 
Salty Doors
and leave the ballast rocks of the past to embrace new life ahead.
Ballast Rock Lessons
To keep my heart open to God 
Living Water
and remind me that new life can bloom in "dead of winter" moments.
Bloom in Winter
Most of all, thanks for crowning me with a love straight from the heart of God.
Crowned with Love


Happy Birthday to my wonderful Dad, 
Laura
"The glory of children is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6

Grape Harvest
Kayak Buddies



Daily Prayer Walk


Young at heart!




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Hope of All the World



Here's a little wreath for you to hang in your heart today.

Festooned with birds, ornaments, greenery and a star, it looks like many other wreaths you might pass in the mall or neighborhood.  Nestled in the center however, is a reminder of what the Christmas season is all about, the birth of a Savior.  The birth of Jesus Christ, the hope of all the world.
The words in the center of our wreath have been translated in numerous other ways and, like a mirror reflecting new views from different angles, the varying translations reveal fresh insights into the HOPE that Jesus brings into our world. We couldn't squeeze them all into this wreath, but here's one of our favorite views:

"... The mere sound of His name will signal hope, even among far-off believers." The Message

Oh, we love that phrase ... the mere sound of His name will signal hope.

Now that's a perfect thought to encircle your thoughts and festoon your life today. Why it's even better than a  pretty Christmas wreath. Jesus, the Hope of all the world.

Pausing to listen to the sound of His name,
The Velvet Lime Girls



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Peace

Peace.  What a wonderful gift from God. Peace.
We thought we'd send you a simple ornament sketch today that carries a relaxing expression.
Inhale Peace. Exhale Peace.
Yeah, you can do that right now.
Right in the midst of your busy day, your full schedule, the surprise you hadn't planned on, or the list you haven't finished. We know about the squeeze of cares that can just seem to press some of the joy out of Christmas this time of year, but we've learned that God's peace can put everything in order.  We think it's because that's the way we were created to live.  In Peace.
History records that just as Jesus Christ was born an announcement was made about peace coming to all of us.  Here it is, in case you missed it:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:14

So, it's right here ... that peace you need today.  It's been given to you and our hope is that you'll pause a moment and receive this gift.  Just slowly inhale God's peace, and then watch as your world begins to change, with cares crushed beneath the sound of an exhale. The exhale of His peace.

Breathing in His Peace,
The Velvet Lime Girls 





Thursday, December 1, 2016

Grateful Hearts


Hello December 1st! 
O-o-o-h, you came a little earlier than we expected.  We have to admit that we're still savoring all the grace and gratitude that the month of Thanksgiving brought into our hearts and into our studio. We love the slow, easy pace of the month of November.  A month filled with just giving-thanks, recognizing our blessings and exhaling gratitude into the world.  
So, we thought why not extend this grace-gratitude-grateful-feeling right into the month of December?  After all, it's the month we celebrate the most wonderful gift ever given to us.  The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh, what a gift from God! A Savior who would come to us and as The Message translation records, move into our neighborhood.

"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." John 1:14

So pause on this first day of December and allow Him to move into your neighborhood... into your work, your relationships, your challenges, your joys, your dreams...your life.
God's presence in our lives can really bring a new perspective to things, a deep sense of gratitude. A gratitude that will be a magnet for miracles in your life.

With grateful hearts,
The Velvet Lime Girls



Friday, November 11, 2016

Flowers for YOU!

It's Friday!  A perfect day for you to receive a big bouquet of flowers!  Flowers just seem to wrap the whole world (or your week) in a warm embrace of love.  We hope our graphic flowers do just that... and also brighten your day, lift your spirit and remind you that you are very loved.  
God actually says that He has loved you with an everlasting love.  What a gift...everlasting love. We like the way the Message conveys this love note from God:

            “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.    
                  Expect love, love, and more love!"
                                    Jeremiah 31:3

Love, love and more love.  Ooooh, an expression like that will stay in your heart forever!  So receive the love today and this little graphic bouquet of flowers from us.  Just for you! 

Happy Friday,
The Velvet Lime Girls 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Divine Conference

We're feeling quite unique and special today after attending a session in the recent DIVINE CONFERENCE held here in Georgia. Wow. It was a little bit of heaven on earth... inspiring speakers and fabulous music from BETHEL MUSIC

Marybeth kind of summed up one of our biggest take-aways from the conference on her Facebook page and we're going to share it right here.  

"So I had a chance to listen to a really great inspirational speaker this morning and it stuck with me so I'm throwing it out there because I know some people who need to hear it (and the verses/biblical analogy was running and I love running!). You are put on this earth to run YOUR race. STAY IN YOUR LANE! What happens in a race when you start looking around and see what everybody else is doing? You start comparing yourself to THEIR race and you get involved in THEIR race. Don't do it. Stick to YOUR race. Don't worry about where anyone else is. Stay in your lane and outta everyone else's lane! Less headache and heartache. Word."

The Velvet Lime Girls





Thursday, October 6, 2016

Faith Pillow

The crisp, cool nights of fall have arrived here in Georgia.  It's the kind of weather that causes us to open wide all the windows in the studio and let the breezes sweep through, bringing in a fresh new clarity to everything.
That same crisp air, in the evening though, has a melatonin-effect and we've found it ushers in the best sleep ever.  There's just something so soothing, so relaxing about falling asleep under fresh air, filtering through a window screen.  

There's only one thing that's better, and it's resting your head on a pillow of faith. 

Resting your mind, your body, your heart, your soul, your spirit on the supportive foundation of faith is the best way to cast all your cares away at the end of a day. Faith does make one fine pillow.

We hope you'll take a few moments to build up your faith today, so instead of counting sheep tonight, you'll slip into a slumber that brings the kind of rest you need.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Romans 10:17

Feathering our pillows of faith,
The Velvet Lime Girls



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Strength, Wisdom, Peace


We created a little mid-week encouragement for you.
A bright-faced graphic that just seems to say it all.
So walk in strength, wisdom and peace today and have a wonderful Wednesday!
The Velvet Lime Girls

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Strength in a Squeeze

 Breast Cancer Awareness Month series.


When you're facing a challenge with your health like breast cancer, life can begin to feel a bit squeezed, and like our beautiful flower in the graphic above, whose petals appear to be pressed up against the top and sides of her world, the pressures that surround you may be squeezing in on your life.  
But, if you take a closer look at this flower, she's actually flourishing. She's just continuing to grow and bloom, even with the sides pressing up against her.  Why, she looks as if she's out in a wide open field, letting her petals unfurl and dance in the breeze!  And it's all because of the source of life WITHIN her.
God can do that for you.  He can become that source of life, that "river of life",  that flows continually, flooding your life with newfound sources of strength, help and peace. Even in the midst of a health crisis.  We know this from firsthand experience and you can read our story in our October 1st blog. Because we understand the challenge of breast cancer,  we know that there is a greater power at work in the lives of those who know God and allow Him to come into their lives.
We want to encourage you to get to know Him, to begin to walk through life with Him, to begin to let Him live within you, right in the midst of your "squeezed world".  
When you walk with God through a tight spot, you'll begin to slip through life with thoughts like this:
God is with me, I will not fall. God will help me.  He'll be a refuge and strength in times of  trouble. (paraphrased from Psalm 46)

And then like us, you'll just press-up against verses like this when you're squeezed:
"It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!"

Praying for God's strength to be in you today,
The Velvet Lime Girls 

Today's resources:

Thermograms are a safe way to monitor your breast health and this article by Dr. Christiane Northrup discusses the benefits: Thermograms

A thermography team we've worked with: 

Mobile Thermographic Imaging

Healing Scriptures - Dodie Osteen


Previous resources:
Breast Cancer Conqueror
50 Healing Verses



Strong Spirit
(A great message to build you up in your spirit)

It Is Well With My Soul - Bethel Music





Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Mornings


Hello Monday Morning.  Sometimes Monday's just come a little faster than you expected and for those of you who we are honoring this month, in this National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mondays can be challenging.  There may be tests ahead, decisions to make, protocol to follow, plans that have to change, the list could go on, but Monday is a day when you're often face with lots of decisions...and you can just decide to LOOK UP.  Believe us, looking up... looking up in faith to God, can make the rest of the week so much better.  We know from firsthand experience and you can read our breast cancer overcoming story in our October 1st blog.

Just like the Grace-Graphic© above says, we know that:

worry looks around, fear looks back and faith looks up.  We've learned that as rough and raw as a Monday may be, you'll have a point where you can CHOOSE to look up to God.  A point where you can choose to change the course of the day, and it begins in your heart.  You just have to LOOK UP and ask God for strength, help, wisdom, peace, encouragement or whatever you need at the moment.  He's right here with you

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6


Just let this passage above sink into your soul.  God says He's right here with you, He won't let you down, He won't leave you.  We've been known to say this passage out loud several times a day and "take" it like we'd take medicine.  Because God's words are medicine... they're healing.


We hope you'll start your Monday off thinking about the passage above, the graphic we are sending you today and the strength (that God can give) to LOOK UP in Faith.

Praying for the strength you need today,

The Velvet Lime Girls 

Here's a little song to kick off your Monday.  
Praise Song - Hezekiah Walker

Previous resources mentioned:
Breast Cancer Conqueror

50 Healing Verses


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Strength

We're continuing our focus today on the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by giving you a Grace-Graphic © to encourage yourself, or someone you know, who may be facing a breast cancer challenge. 
Please share.

Strength. Stamina. Tenacity. These are three essential elements you're just going to need to overcome the challenge of breast cancer.  If you do it in your own strength, you'll have a measure of success for awhile, but when you let God's strength infuse you, you'll begin to live life as an overcomer. We know this is possible from first-hand experience and if you missed our story yesterday, take time to read our October 1st post.

 We know what it's like to need strength, to need stamina, to need tenacity.

When you need these things and you just can't seem to muster them up yourself, even with all the therapies, protocol, doctors, positive-thinking, good diet, exercise and every supplement known to mankind, you finally come to the end of yourself and realize that you have one remaining option:
RISE UP and PRAY.

Yes, just rise up and pray.  And the minute you step into a prayer, God's presence and power will begin to infuse your life. A  prayer will open the door for the strength you need.  It will open the door for God to come in and begin to help you.  To wrap His arms around you with peace, comfort you with assurance, give you direction and usher in healing. 

So take a little time or a lot of time today and just pray to God.  Talk with God. LISTEN to God. He's probably been waiting to spend some time with you. 

Here are a few ways Laura has let God infuse His strength into her on her healing journey. We hope you'll tap into some of these resources today:
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL _ BETHEL MUSIC
(Just skip the ad and enjoy the words of the song)

Prayers for Healing
(Encouraging prayers and words of healing)

Strong Spirit
(A great message to build you up in your spirit)


The Truth About Cancer
This last resource is an informative site filled with practical tips on how to build up your immune system, overcome cancer and live life fully. (Get your notebook out :-)

Heartfelt prayers for YOU today,
The Velvet Lime Girls


Previous resources:
Breast Cancer Conqueror
50 Healing Verses

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month




It's the pink month.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We'd like to honor and encourage the women (and men) who are facing the challenge of breast cancer this month.  Our endeavor is not something we've approached with a casual, lighthearted attitude, because, for those facing this challenge, the days can be rough, raw and insurmountable.
We know.
We understand.
We really understand, because one of us is currently overcoming breast cancer.
Yes, you read it right.  One of us is currently OVERCOMING breast cancer. Although all three of us feel as if we have been fighting, standing, believing, and praying over this challenge, it is Laura who is on the healing journey. Together though, we've reached that place of rest and trust, where you just know that God has heard your prayers and is moving on your behalf.

Marybeth created a graphic affirmation for Laura 
every-single-morning during the first part of her healing journey and we learned how powerful God's Word can be in lifting away discouragement. This month we'd like to pass along a few of these graphic encouragements to you, to lift you up or share with someone you know who is facing a breast cancer diagnosis.  We'll also be including a few resources and links that Laura has found helpful in her healing journey.

Today's grace-graphic confronts one of the biggest challenges you'll need to overcome when facing a breast cancer diagnosis. FEAR.  Even if you don't think you'll ever be able to overcome fear, you need to know, it can be overcome.  And when you overcome fear you'll be able to live life with ease... free from "dis-ease".

Praying for you today,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Today's resource links are for everyone!  Whether you're a breast cancer survivor, or in the early stages of breast cancer and looking for a more natural way to heal your body, or simply want to educate yourself on ways to prevent breast cancer, take a look at Dr. VĂ©ronique DeSaulniers' Facebook page. It is a continual source of practical tips and medically-based studies that will help you in your healing journey.  Laura is currently working with "Dr. V's" coaching team and highly recommends the program:
Breast Cancer Conqueror

Dr. V also has a great book: Heal Breast Cancer Naturally

The last resource is one Laura has found most helpful.
It's a daily diet of healing scriptures. There's not a therapy, vitamin or nutraceutical that can take fear out of your life, but God can. And if you let yourself just listen to His Words about healing, a transformation will begin to take place in your body. (Just skip the ad that pops up and soak in the healing words.)
Healing Scriptures

"Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you.  I'll hold you steady, keep an firm grip on you."  Isaiah 41:10




Thursday, September 8, 2016

SWOONING

We're swooning today.

SWOONING: To be emotionally affected by someone or something that one admires, to be ecstatic.

Yep, that's us...swooning.  Ecstatic.  We  find ourselves humming that lively line from an old song:

"Look what the Lord has done! Look what the Lord has done!" 

And we just can't help thinking about this beautiful promise:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9
(Yes, all you Bible scholars out there, we know this verse is specifically talking about the wonderful gift of salvation and eternal life with our God in Heaven, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, made possible to all who will receive Him... and our grateful hearts receive this with great reverence.)  
When, however, we experience a little glimpse of God's goodness in our daily lives, a little evidence of Him preparing something beyond what our mind has imagined ... could it be that the ripples of joy reverberating in our hearts are a glimpse of the eternal joy God has prepared for us who love Him?
The source of all this joy today is a little spotlight article on us, the Velvet Lime Girls, and some of the amazing opportunities that have opened up for us. Hey, we're just three women who had a little dream.  A dream to let the love and grace of God that changed our lives, SHINE OUT through us and encourage others.  And now, look what the Lord has done!
May our story encourage you and draw you closer to God, so He can give you a dream, a vision, a joy in life, as you simply walk with Him, listen to Him, and Let His Light Shine Through Your Life.
 Thank-you to the team at Painted Planet Licensing for this lovely spotlight. Here's the full article:


Thursday, September 1, 2016

REVIVE



The walking lilies in our studio garden are sending out shoots from the mother plant and sprouting up new life all over our flowerbeds.  The mother plant, the genesis of all this new life, is absolutely beautiful, so full of vibrant color, energy and life!  When it births one of its many slender shoots, they stretch-out, sink into the soil, and a whole new life is birthed in the garden. A whole new life that reflects the beauty and grace of the genesis plant....the creator.




It's a constant reminder to us of the new life that God gives us, when we give our lives to Him... when we let His Spirit dwell inside of us. It's an energizing, revitalizingnew life that will actually change our physical bodies, because HIS SPIRIT has taken-up residence inside of us.  

We're revived. 
We're refreshed. 
We're renewed.

"And if the same Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives (dwells) in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."  
Romans 8:11

Living revived, refreshed, renewed,
The Velvet Lime Girls



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Overflowing Hope


August arrived yesterday with bouquets of bright, beaming sunflowers.  These sunshine spears always mark the beginning of what we call the sunflower season. 
The hot, steamy temperatures of August just seem to invigorate these solar-flare-flowers
that streak into the sky with a 
Jack-in-the-Beanstalk style speed.
 What an inspiration! They make us want to dance-around and paint everything bright yellow!
  

So, here's a little splash of happy color and inspiration just for you. 
Three joy-filled sunflowers from our garden that seem to say: 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 

Sending you sunshine smiles full of hope,
The Velvet Lime Girls




Monday, July 4, 2016

Patriotic Quote for the 4th of July


Happy 4th of July to you today!  On this day when we look back and remember our Independence Day as a nation, we thought we'd pull out a patriotic image we created back in 2010. 
Although the quote from Abraham Lincoln came almost a century after the historic 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, the same message hope is conveyed.
And it's a message that still rings true for America today.
"...this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom..." 

Celebrating with grateful hearts & fireworks today,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer's Here!

Summer's here and we've been enjoying our studio garden so much that we almost forgot to share a few photos with you on this first day of summer!





 




























































We have buttercups, walking lilies, swiss chard, spiderwort and flowers yet to be named, just bursting-out all over our garden. Every morning there's a fresh, dew-kissed face, framed in petals, peeking up us!  

They're daily inspiration and gentle reminders of the grace God wraps us up in every day.

"My grace is enough to cover and sustain you..." 
 2 Corinthians 12:9 - The Voice


Happy first day of summer,
The Velvet Lime Girls