Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love. Love. Love.

I follow a lot of blogs, however one is very special to me. It is Eva's story. I am in love with Eva's story, because it is my story as well. Eva also has Cystic Fibrosis like me. She had a lung transplant after reaching the end stages of the disease. Her story was followed by cameras and a short documentary was made showing her journey as a CF patient on the transplant list. The movie has yet to be shown in the United States but is surely making its way to debut here soon.

After struggling for quite some time with chronic rejection of her new lungs, Eva passed away this morning at 9:30 a.m. She was by far one of the most inspiring people I have ever seen. Even though I did not know her, I felt extremely close to her. CF seems to draw a bond between each of its victims that is clearly unexplainable. Eva's story was one of courage, daring to dream and simply knowing to love. I highly recommend you check out her blog here-----> 65 Red Roses

Eva made great strides in  bringing awareness to the CF community. Her life will be beyond missed in this world. I wish we had more people like her. People that knew what it was to make life their passion and to simply do nothing more than love.

Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Resurrection Cookies

I follow a blog called Fern Creek Cottage and she posted this today and it is really too great not to share! I am also including the picture she used, since we have not made them yet! Read through the entire recipe! We will be making these this year for sure!

Resurrection Cookies
To be made the evening before Easter with your kids
1 c. pecans
1 ts. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 c. sugar
ziplock bag
wooden spoon or rolling pin

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important-don't wait until you're half done with the recipe)

Place pecans in ziplock bag and let your children beat them with a wooden spoon or rolling pin to break the pecans into small pieces~Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 ts. into a mixing bowl.~Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. The eggs represent life.~Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest of it into the bowl.~Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar.~Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know that we belong to Him.
Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.~Explain the white color represents-in God's eyes-the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18.

Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet.~Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door.~Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66.

Go to bed! ~Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20, 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9

 The hollow cookie! =)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthcare Reform: Hear the Voice of the Sick

I have currently started following a blog written by a fellow "Cyster", Lauren Bombardier. She has recently posted a blog about the new healthcare reform, that caught my attention. I have been stirring for days trying to find the words to express how I feel about the new bill. While mulling it over, I came across her blog, and she said word for word just what I have been thinking. So with her permission I decided to repost her thoughts here on the current situation in America. The one thing I have been repeating over and over these past few days is this, for me as a Christian, I tend to look at the reform from a different angle. I understand everyone's concerns and fears about the new bill, but the one thing that sticks out to me the most and truly upsets me is hearing others say health care is to be "earned" and no one deserves a hand out. I, unfortunately, can not "earn" my health care. This is also leads me to think about Jesus and how He teaches us to live. So I am going to post MY view on this here::::::

Everyone we hear talking about this have been talking about how you have to "earn" health care, work hard for it and no one deserves a hand out. But wasn't that what Jesus was all about?? I don't claim to know everything about the Bible, however if my memory serves me correctly =) I do believe Jesus was in the hand out business himself. He didn't care what color you were, where you were at in life, or what bad things you had done. If we want to talk about who deserves what, NO ONE deserves the freedom we received through Christ when He died for us. But He did it anyway. I don't know if Jesus would be for or against this health reform but I do know He was all about hand outs and to people who LEAST deserved them. Makes me think of the scripture where he drug the woman out into the street and said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." He gave her a hand out and she was a whore.I thank GOD He sent a son to love me enough that He gave me a hand out, no matter who or what I really am.

With that being said I am going to post Lauren's thoughts on the matter here. I couldn't have said it better myself!!!! I encourage each of you to click on the link below and check out her blog as well. Thanks! =)

Blog:::: I have CF. So what?!

Written by: Lauren Bombardier

I had e-mailed one of my healthcare professors and asked him if he could speak about the new healthcare bill and what it meant for us and for elderly people (the topic of that class). I got into class and he thanked me for asking that question and began addressing the bill. However, he didn't address each part of the bill, he didn't address what it would change, but he addressed the ethics, the philosophy, the morals of what it means to have healthcare reform.

He made a couple of great points. He talked about how there are people who are pro-life, but don't support a bill that would require thousands of people to have health insurance to save their lives. He informed us that the U.S.A. is ranked 30th in the world for infant mortality rates (some websites say 47). This alarming statistic is proof that we are not a perfect country as far as health care goes. He stressed that it is human nature that we don't like change. When we think something works, we don't want to change it. But the problem is.... it doesn't work as well as we think. [If you have the time, watch this documentary SICK AROUND THE WORLD on how other healthcare systems work, some better than the US.]

My professor quoted Kennedy who wrote to Obama before he died "What is the character of our nation?" It is important that when we think about the politics of healthcare reform we realize that it shouldn't be about hidden agendas, or political victories, or money. It should be about saving lives, providing the best care we can give. Unfortunately, that isn't what this debate has come down to. And that's sad.

It's sad that people can call the president of our nation a baby-killer, point fingers, and spread false rumors while there are thousands dying because they can't afford their health care bills; while there are thousands without homes because they can't afford their health care bills. Understandably, there are probably a lot of things going on behind the scenes that deserve accusation. But I think Americans and politicians have forgotten about the true nature of healthcare. It saves lives. It saves lives in a nation founded upon the declaration of "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"

As much as some people may "hate" Obama, he was right when he spoke about CHANGE. And people are so afraid of change that they won't hear of it. People need to think more carefully about the need for change when they begin to shut down every aspect of reform without even hearing what it will change, how it will affect them, how it can make America better than it is. Politicians need to put down their own agendas and look into the eyes of those families struggling with healthcare bills and tell them they are going to ease their pain. Maybe this health care bill isn't everything it should be, maybe it has problems, but it is a step in the right direction. With all of its political turmoil, it is a call for change, something we should not be afraid of.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follow Me on "Echoes of an Artist"

Click the link below to my new blog designed around the new adventure in my life! Be sure to follow it to stay included in all the new pieces that come out!! =)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Echos of an Artist

It is finally time to reveal my TOP SECRET project!! This has been in the making for a few months now. I was really ready to expand my artist palate so to speak. So I am now unveiling my newest creations "ECHOS OF AN ARTIST".

"Alice in Wonderland" collection by Echos of an Artist

I am making jewelry. I have never been interested in jewelry until I started to think outside of the box and realized that canvas and paint are not my only mediums. From time to time I move to my sewing room and work on a project or two. Sometimes I knit a scarf or funky hat. I am constantly looking for a new outlet and way to express myself. I believe that this is a feat for any artist out there. We find new inspiration and need new ways of expression.
"Drink Me", by Echos of an Artist

"The White Rabbit" by Echos of an Artist

"Mad Hatter" by Echos of an Artist

When starting on this venture, like any artist, I wanted it to be an extension of who I am. I didn't want to simply string beads on a string. I wanted to make pieces of art for others to wear and enjoy. I also didn't want to dive in too deep too soon. So I thought it was best to start simple and go from there. I hope to make each piece unique and original. I want it to be something I love so dearly that I am almost sad to part with it.

I have several pieces coming up that you are simply NOT GOING TO WANT TO MISS! Pieces that I literally do not know at this point how I am going to give them up!! These pieces however are the first of many. These are done on black recycled scrabble tiles. The bails they are set on are sterling silver. I wanted to start with something I love and vintage came to mind! I absolutely adore anything old. Old things seem to have stories behind them. I don't really look at it as "old", however "touched". They just have more character and a way to make me smile. So I chose "Alice in Wonderland" for my first collection. Who does not love the story of Alice?? It is a timeless childhood favorite. I steered clear of the Disney remake however and stuck to the true original Lewis Carrol. These images are absolutely beautiful and stunning. Even as an adult they warm my heart and bring back so many fond memories of my youth.
"Alice in Wonderland" collection by Echos of an Artist

The price is $10.00 each.

This collection will only be offered now. I do not plan on doing any reproductions of this collection to keep them one of a kind. However I do have more "Alice in Wonderland" images I may add to the collection at a later date.

I have many more pieces to come, not all on scrabble tiles. However to find out on what, you will just have to wait! I don't want to spoil the surprise!

I also want to tell everyone that I have had a CUSTOM design made just for my CF walk coming up! The design is so vintage and simply put, ME! I told my designer exactly what I wanted and she delivered much more than that! I am currently in the process of making these with the special custom graphic made just for the walk. These will be priced at $10.00 each. $5.00 will be donated to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help find a cure for CF. While the other $5.00 will be put back into making even more of these treasures!! (I will post pictures VERY SOON!)

I am so excited to get the chance to pour so much of myself into something for others to enjoy. The collections coming soon will be similar to this. However some will have extra details and even a few will be hand painted! VERY excited about that!

I will be making a special blog soon also devoted to this. I hope each of you follow it as well. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and check this out! I love each and every one of you!!!

Peace, Love and All That Hippie Jive

~Echos of an Artist~

*Photography done by Dominique Springer