The List that Never Ends: #21-30

Linking up for more of Friday's Thankful List over at Carrie's Busy Nothings...
Today, I'm thankful for...

21. Laughing so hard your face hurts...

22. Friends to laugh with...

23. Knitting needles and a tub full of yarn.

24. Opportunities to serve others.

25. The joy and thrill and relief of getting things organized. (OK, I'm a little OCD. So what?)

26. Space heaters.

27. Beautiful music.

28. The absence of drama....when it happens.

29. One word: gelato.

30. Good examples.

What are you thankful for today? Head over to Carrie's and link up!


On Assignment: The ADD Challenge

Howdy folks.

Thanks for tuning in for this week's edition of On Assignment. If you recall, our assignment from last week was to photograph an item that has sentimental value, then share the story behind the item along with the photo in the linky below.
At least, that's what I'm doing today. I hope some of you will be linking up as well! I had a few nibbles of interest last week, so we'll just see how this goes. I think it will be fun, and certainly won't get monotonous, because every week the assignment will be something completely new and different.

On to my item:

This particular set of Pyrex Bowls, which (minus the red one), belonged to my maternal grandmother,
who died before I was born.

 It's the one thing I own that belonged to her.

It's also the set of bowls that I grew up using in my Mom's kitchen. I remember many happy days mixing up batches of chocolate chip cookies in the big yellow bowl with my Dad, helping my Mom make salmon cakes in the green bowl, and learning some of the finer points of cooking using all three of these bowls... For most of my life, the red bowl was mysteriously missing. I found a replacement a couple of years ago at the Hillsville, VA Labor Day Weekend flea market, another family tradition.

But the blue one is my favorite.

It's the smallest.... you can see the size compared to my hand below (I have TINY hands).

Why is it my favorite, you may ask?
Well, I'll tell you.

My Mom and my Aunt Judy are fraternal twins. They were born prematurely, and when they came home from the hospital (people didn't stay in for weeks back in those days like they do now with premature babies), they were TINY. So tiny that they had a nurse sent home with them.

Their first baths were in this blue bowl!

How crazy is that? I think this bowl would be a good size to bathe a guinea pig! And my Mom was in it! I think it's hilarious.

Incidentally, I'm also pretty sentimental about the table underneath those bowls. That table belonged to my great grandparents on my Dad's side, and it's the table that my Mamaw grew up eating on. It sat out on my great Aunt's back porch for about 20 years, and was falling apart, peeling with layers of old paint, and filthy when I got it. My Dad kindly put the thing back together for me and built a new leaf for it, and I spent hours upon hours stripping off layer after layer of old paint. I gave the top a new coat of stain, painted the bottom black, and voil√†! a new table for the dining room! I love it, in spite of the fact that the top is warped from being out in the weather for 20 years, and the fact that it's a little too high for my chairs.

Speaking of the chairs, I'm a little sentimental about those Windsor chairs too. My Dad and my brother made those! Aren't they pretty?

I'm pretty attached to the doggy as well. :o)

Now it's your turn. Be sure to link up below once your post is ready! Can't wait to hear your stories! And please remember to link back to this post so that others can join in on the fun. The linky will be up until next week for anyone who comes in late but still wants to get in on the fun.

And now, your assignment for next week:
Tell us about an embarrasing or awkward moment in your life.

It doesn't have to be about you, it could be something you witnessed. (Just make sure you either change the names to protect the guilty or make sure that the person(s) involved doesn't mind your blabbing about it! No photos are necessary, although if you have one that goes along with the theme, go for it.

Please keep all stories and photos family-friendly though, and be sure to provide a link back to this blog for others who want to participate. (An easy button code is on my sidebar.)

Linky party will be next Monday, November 1. Until then, link up your sentimental item photos and stories. Thanks for participating! I'd love to hear your feedback on this series so far - are you enjoying it? Drop me a line!  


Just dropping in...

to say my collage was featured on the Christian Artist Street Team (CAST) blog today.

Check out the post HERE.

Buy the print HERE.



The List that Never Ends: #11-20


This is week #2 of my linking up over at Carrie's Busy Nothings for her Friday Thankfulness Series - a great idea, incidentally.

Basically, we're keeping never-ending lists of all that we have for which to be thankful. (That's the gramatically correct way of saying that, but isn't it SO awkward? I wish they would change that rule about ending sentences with prepositions. It's a big turn-off.  Ha! There's my dorky former-English-major joke for the day.) Anyway. Thankfulness is a wonderful exercise. You can read more of my thoughts on that on last week's post.

So, here we go:

I am thankful for:

11. Beautiful, cool, sunny fall days with blue skies, white clouds, fall smells, and riots of color going on in the trees and yards. I love people that set up those corn fodder-in-the-shock thingys (whatever they're called - can you tell I didn't grow up on a farm?) with pumpkins and mums and hay bales. Love 'em.

12. The opportunities I've had to travel, both in the US and in a number of other countries. It's fascinating to see different landscapes and cultures.

13. A Church Family that truly cares about one another, isn't caught up in a building fund, and is dedicated to serving each other and the people around it.

14. Biblical teachers who aren't afraid to teach/preach the whole council of God. This includes both our personal Bible study leaders as well as a number of pastors whose material is available online, on the radio, in book format, etc. There are some really fantastic Bible teachers out there - shoot me a message if you want a list. Also, check out my "Friends and Inspiration" tab at the top - there are a lot of great pastors/ministries/resources available under the "Other Great Sites" heading.

15. Polartec. I'm addicted. See photo for proof.

16. Paint. Paint. Paint. Brushes. Canvas. Paper. Paint. Palettes. Paint. Easels. Cool paint boxes. Did I mention Paint?

17. A vehicle that runs, is paid for, and gets me where I need to go.

18. Warm fires, and sticking my feet as close to them as possible without setting myself on fire.

19. The fact that Librivox exists. (Librivox is a podcast resource on itunes - volunteers record books that are in the public domain, and they offer them as podcasts for FREE on itunes! Almost all of the classics are on there, and they are constantly adding more. I LOVE it! It's great to be able to listen to great literature while I paint or work on some other project.)

20. Forgiveness. I am thankful that God has forgiven me. I am thankful for people who have extended forgiveness to me when I've needed it. And I'm thankful that, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I can offer it to others when they need it from me. Lack of forgiveness leads to bitterness. Bitterness is a weed that takes over your soul, poisons your mind and body, and destroys you from the inside out. It also destroys the people that love you. Don't cultivate it. Root that sucker out. There's my little soapbox moment for the day. One of them, at least.

So, what are you thankful for today? Head on over to Carrie's and link up your list! You'll be glad you did - it's a good exercise for the soul.

By the way, don't forget to do your assignment for Monday's "On Assignment." Go HERE for instructions.



You Capture: Orange

PhotobucketJust stopping in to participate in today's You Capture challenge over at I Should Be Folding Laundry. The theme for this week's batch of photos was:


I didn't have much time to take photos this week, but I managed to snap these few while out walking my dog one day... 

I love the way the sun was making these leaves glow...

The obligatory pumpkin shot...
More glowing leaves... this one reminds me of stained glass.
Mum's the word. (groans!)


The Merger

I interrupt this lovely fall day to bring you a technical announcement, which will utterly bore some of you and only slightly interest others. However, in case you came to http://www.bethstonestudio.com/ today and thought, "Hmm, this looks different.... 'Something changed.... Something changed....'" ("Something changed" said √† la Brian Regan's description of moving sidewalks in airports - go here for the clip if you need a laugh to liven up this technical post), here's the explanation:

Thousands Scramble in Panic!

OK, not really...Anyway... Until today I have maintained two websites pertaining to my little business: this blog, and a website I had through Photobiz simply called "Beth Stone Studio", which was more of a portfolio/shopping/info site. After some deliberation and some procrastination, I have merged the two into this one blog.

My reasons are as follows:
  1. I'm trying to streamline, simplify, and get more organized (it's a disease). So, I merged my sites and am having a yard sale this weekend. (Not really related, but kind of.)
  2. I like the "community" feeling of blogs and the interaction I can have with all of you! I love my readers!
  3. Having two online stores was confusing for shoppers and more complicated for me. Now all online shopping will be through my Etsy Shop. Don't see something you want? Shoot me a message!
  4. It saves my wallet: I'm now only paying for my domain name and my Etsy and PayPal fees. Nice.
  5. I have more control over the design of my blog and have more options for features.
  6. Now my blog's address is http://www.bethstonestudio.com/ which is easier to remember and share than http://bethstonestudio.blogspot.com/, although I believe the old address will still take you to the home page.
So, in case you were looking for my other website and wound up here instead, that's why. OK, you can get on with your day....

Incidentally, I just added some listings in my Etsy Shop for custom needle felted pet portraits. I am ready to take orders! A personalized pet portrait would make a fantastic Christmas gift for the animal lover in your life!


Food for thought...

"No doubt the gospel is quite free, as free as the Victoria Cross, which anyone can have who is prepared to face the risks; but it means time, and pains, and concentrating all one's energies upon a mighty project. You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one's leisure moments, taken up at intervals in which we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting... It takes all one's strength, and all one's heart, and all one's mind, and all one's soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint. This is a business for adventurous spirits; others would shrink out of it. And so Christ had a way of pulling up would-be recruits with sobering and disconcerting questions, of meeting applicants - breathless and panting in their eagerness - by asking if they really thought they had the grit, the stamina, the gallantry, required. For many, He explained, begin, but quickly become cowed, and slink away, leaving a thing unfinished as a pathetic monument of their own lack of courage and of staying power."
- A.J. Gossip
From the Edge of the Crowd



The ADD Challenge!

Hi everyone,

I wanted to run an idea by you...

Many of you out there in the blogging world have heard of "linky" parties - someone does a post about a certain topic, then readers have a chance to link up their posts on the same topic at the bottom of the original post. They cover anything from craft projects to your outfits for the week, and everyone has fun seeing what everyone else is doing. It's a fun way to connect with other bloggers and get great ideas and inspiration.

I have wanted to create a link party for some time, but I've been stumped trying to come up with one "theme" that I could do on a weekly basis that wouldn't get monotonous after, say, the first week. Because I have ADD like that, and because --- HEY, LOOK! A Bunny!

Thus, my idea: I am going to start posting a weekly challenge called "On Assignment." Every Monday, you stop by, check out the assignment for the week, then come back the following Monday to link up your post on that assignment, and get your assignment for the next week. (How many times can you use the word "assignment" in one paragraph before the grammar police come get you? I'm definitely pushing the limit.) Sound like fun?

"What," you may ask, "are the link parties going to be about? "

Why, I'm glad you asked.

They will be a surprise every week! That's the fun of it... maybe one week I'll have you taking photos inspired by a certain theme, the next week you may be sharing your favorite recipe from your grandmother... I've got lots of ideas, and I think the variety will be fun.... and also challenging. Part of the challenge is for myself - it will be good motivation for me to get out and try new things, and it will add a little variety to the daily grind.

So, the rules:

1. The post MUST be about the specific assignment given for that week, and you have to have taken on the challenge during that week.

2. Please post the "On Assignment" button (code below) on your post or sidebar or link back to my blog in your post. That way, your readers can also get in on the fun. Thanks!

3. Please keep the subject matter appropriate, family-friendly, and tasteful. Links that are not in keeping with the spirit of this project will be deleted. Thanks....

That's it, really. You are not required to participate every single week, but you are more than welcome to! I hope some of you will join in on this - I think it will be fun. However, I intend to do the challenge myself anyway (even if it's just me!), so we'll see how it goes... 

So, go ahead and grab the button here:

On Assignment with Beth Stone Studio

...and get started on your first assignment:


Take a photograph of something you own that has special sentimental value, for whatever reason.
Then tell us the story behind it.

I'll tell you about mine next Monday....

Looking forward to hearing from you too!



The List that Never Ends: #1-10

I've been following several blogs whose authors are participating in things like THIS. I've even participated on a smaller scale myself.

If you're not clicking on the links, you have no idea what I'm talking about, right? So click on the links! Don't have time? Ok, fine...

I'm talking about keeping a list (that never ends) of things for which you are thankful. My friend Carrie over at Carrie's Busy Nothings is starting a "Thankful For..." linky, which I believe will be up every week. I'll be linking up there today, and if you'd like to participate too, then drop by!

Incidentally, I think this little exercise is one of the best you can do (and it's way more fun than push-ups).

To be honest, it's been a pretty rough couple of years for us. A few of the things we've gone through include: job loss and extended unemployment, financial challenges and super tight budgeting, a lot of slammed doors, the worst case of cancer we've ever seen and death of a very good friend, months of separation as my husband travelled with that friend to care for him during treatment, family illnesses and tough times, major life-changing decisions about Josh going back to school and all the logistics that go along with that, etc.

When I focus on all of those things, it's easy to get overwhelmed and start throwing a self-pity-party. (Imagine me rubbing my index finger over my thumb - it's the world's tiniest violin playing "My Heart Cries Out for You.") I'm as susceptible to doing that as the next person, but I think I've found the cure (as long as I remember to USE it!):

I heard a sermon once in high school about thankfulness, and it has stuck with me ever since. I remember the pastor saying, "Coveteousness begins when you stop giving thanks." Sounds simple and logical, but it was a "lightbulb" moment for me. So now, whenever I'm tempted to start feeling sorry for myself, envying other people, or wishing for something other than what is, I try to start listing things I have to be thankful for instead. In spite of all of my "problems," things could be a LOT worse. Actually, compared with what some people are enduring in the world right now, I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about. So, in order to help cultivate that attitude and without any further ado, I begin my list....

I am thankful for: 

1. Salvation in Jesus Christ. Not earned, not deserved, but given by grace through faith.

2. God's Word - I read this version: KJV - Defender's Study Bible by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.

3. Josh - my best friend who, conveniently, is also my husband. :o)

4. My family

5. Josh's family

6. Harvey (What can I say? I love my dog.)

7. God's provision to meet all of our needs, when we need it.

8. Health - boy, do we take this one for granted when we have it.

9. The ability to be creative and all the possibilities there are for doing so.

10. Brownies. :o)

What are you thankful for this week?



Reepicheep Revisited

One of my favorite series of books is the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. My favorite book from the series is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, probably because it showcases my favorite character from all literature: Reepicheep, the mouse. It inspired this painting when I was in college:

(Prints available HERE.)

Anyway, as you can see, I'm a big fan. I won't tell you why - you need to read the books!
Read the whole series though so you know what's going on - you'll love them!

Well, when I started creating little needle felted animals, I knew that Reepicheep needed to be on the list, right after Harvey.... So here he is, in all his rodent glory....


...complete with sword, sheath, and feathered headband...

Did I mention I'm addicted to this whole felting thing?

I will be listing some items like this in my Etsy shop very soon...

Meanwhile, if you're interested in commissioning a needle felted sculpture of a special pet (or character) in your life,
please e-mail me!

Hope you're having a lovely week!
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for all of your kind comments on my last few posts -
I love hearing from you!



my new obsession and an old one...

I showed you my needle felted bunnies a few days ago - my first needle felting project. After making them, I knew I wanted to try to make a miniature schnauzer (since I have a real one). Here's my attempt:

 I made him last night while I was having a Monk marathon. (You'll thank me later).


 Forgive the excessive number of photos.... I have a soft spot for cute doggies.

 Harvey didn't seem to share my enthusiasm.

Guess who LOVES posing for photos....

Can't you see how excited he is???
He got a little bit interested when he thought it might be a new chew toy...
...but it wasn't, so,


If you are interested in commissioning a special little felted "portrait"
of your pet or another favorite little critter, please e-mail me!

I am linking this post up to "You Capture" over at I Should Be Folding Laundry. The challenge this week is "animals," so I guess my little felted guy AND the Hairy One are appropriate!
You Capture is a weekly photo challenge/linky. Check it out!


Hope you're having a lovely week!