Persevering bookmarks

These days, we could all use a little more encouragement than usual, perhaps. So I'm revisiting our barnyard friend, Percy the Persevering Rooster. I'm working on a few more of the sculptures, which will be in the shop soon (so if you missed the last one, stay tuned). Percy was one of the most popular pieces I've made recently. You can read my original post here. The sculptures take a little time, so I decided to make something that everyone can get immediately (who doesn't like a...

Give peace a chance

Protesting the war—on ourselves If you've been reading us for a while, (or if you've read our welcome post) you know the vision behind Inspiring Handmade is found in Philippians 4:8, where the apostle Paul writes, "…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Inspiring Handmade celebrates original art and craft, writing, and other creations and offers you a break from...

Crying rocks

Our raison d'être Artists, crafters, writers, and appreciators of the arts know that nothing is created without some purpose. The purpose may seem insignificant, but it's there, as a thing's reason for existence. Our Presbyterian friends, among others, are familiar with the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a series of questions and answers that teach truths from the Scripture. The very first question is, "What is the chief end of man?" In other words, what's our grand purpose—why are we here? The answer: "Man’s chief end is to glorify...

A cold winter’s sky

One of my favorite things about winter is the clear night sky. While it's more comfortable temperature-wise to skywatch in the summer, the winter sky seems clearer and sharper. Colder air is often less hazy, so it feels like I can see farther into the depths of space. And there are no bugs. The next time you're outside on a crisp winter's evening, turn your gaze skyward fo a minute or two and consider that, while some of those tiny points of light are single stars, like our...

New Song sculpture by Stephen Rountree

A new song

A new year. A new decade. 100 years ago, our nation was entering what became known as the "Roaring Twenties." It was a time of economic and cultural growth and prosperity. As we ease into the 2020s, I'm wondering if these will be the "Roaring Twenties" for me creatively and spiritually. Will I see new growth in those areas of my life this year? I'd like to. Maybe you would, too. A vision for 2020 Lately, I've been meditating on Psalm 96. It's short—just 13 verses—but it's packed with big ideas...

Wood and wire sculpture

Walking on water in 2020?

What do you want to do or become in 2020? For those who like to set goals, the new year inevitably brings with it the talk of resolutions. Some folks aim to lose weight, eat better, or get in shape. Others will strive to read more, or start—or finish—that book they want to write. You're reading Inspiring Handmade (thank you!), so perhaps you have a creative project in mind. Will 2020 be the year you try a new type of art? Or take what you've learned in the...

Art that connects with The Creator

Kristi Nash Harrison says she's an attention deficit artist. "I jump from one thing to the next," she told me when I caught up with her this week as she was preparing for what's become known as "the most anticipated little craft show in Mechanicsville." That would be The Three Whine Oh’s and Friends Holiday Open House at my Inspiring Handmade partner in art, Patti Jones' home and studio: 8352 Devil's Den Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, in Battlefield Green. This year (the show's 17th) the fun begins...

True colors

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season. Most of our family birthdays, along with our wedding anniversary, are in the fall. But in addition to all that, one of the things I love the most is the changing of the leaves. And I’m not alone. Every fall thousands of people trek up to the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains of Virginia, enjoying Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and other areas. When we go, we’re hoping for that perfect day, when the air is crisp, the clouds are few,...

Photo of Ruby and Will Price holding the toddler Stephen around 1968 or '69 in Pearisburg, Va.

Remembering a wise & creative grandmother

Handmade doll furniture by Ruby Price My Grandma Ruby would have been 112 today. Born in 1907, she passed away just weeks before our first child was born in 2004. I've shared a little about her here, where I discussed the handmade furniture she created from scraps of wood for my mother to use with her dolls. In honor of Ruby Cox Price Johnston today, I want to share some of what I wrote for her memorial service 15 years ago. When I remember Grandma, I remember sweet iced tea....

image of "Shining as the Sun" sculpture

Shining as the Sun

It's finished! Back in September, I shared a new work in progress. You can read that post here. I'm pleased to say that I've finished the piece, Shining as the Sun. As I wrote last month, this is the first in a series of sculptures inspired by the verses of "Amazing Grace," the beloved 1779 hymn by John Newton. However, I'm starting at the end because I've always loved the imagery of what we know as the last verse of the hymn: "When we’ve been there ten thousand years,...