Still waters

There's something special about still water. A quiet pond or lake, a lazily moving stream—they seem to radiate peace and at the same time almost absorb any stress or anxiety that comes near their shores. King David knew the power of God, who created the still waters that brought comfort and calm. David appreciated the waters, and he praised the Creator of those waters in the well-known 23rd Psalm:"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me...

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...

Snowman family at dinner

Plastic peace?

Artificial, plastic trees. Artificial icicles and artificial snow. Maybe even artificial smiles amid the stress of the holiday season? And all of it with the goal of somehow generating genuine peace. But all the plastic, and glitter, and presents in the world can't conjure up peace at our dinner tables or in our own homes, much less for the whole earth. There is someone, though, who is able to bring real peace. Angles announced His birth more than 2,000 years ago with the proclamation, "Glory to...

Image of Girl with Balloons, a sculpture in wire and cut paper on driftwood.

Fall & fairs

See "Girl with Balloons" in the shop The State Fair of Virginia is underway as I write this. The Fair, maybe as much as anything, is a metaphor for life. Along its avenues and amongst its attractions you can find emotions from across the spectrum. Joy. What child hasn't thrilled to win a prize at one of the carnival games? Patti Jones' "Girl with Balloons" recalls the simple joy of things like balloons. Wonder. The sights of the Fair from the top of the ferris wheel. Disappointment. The...

Stay on the wheel

Have you ever watched a master potter forming a new piece of work on his wheel? He'll take a lump of clay, plop it on the wheel, add water, and turn the wheel on. That's when the magic happens. His masterful fingers remove clay from where he doesn't it want and apply pressure in just the right places to transform the lump of clay into the form that he has planned for it. The metaphor of the potter and clay has long been applied to the human...

Percy, the persevering rooster is hand-carved from wood and crows at the impending day. Acrylic painted accents.

A “fowl” lesson for quitters like me

A few years ago my family and I traveled to Costa Rica to visit my wife’s sister, Nancy, where she and her husband, Sean, serve with Cru in Central and South America. It was my first trip south of the U.S., and Costa Rica was full of new sights and sounds. But one familiar sound greeted me every morning—a rooster. Without fail, that Costa Rican bird crowed around the same time early each day just before it was getting light. I’m not a morning person, but I...

In Christ sculpture in progress

Welcome to Inspiring Handmade

We created Inspiring Handmade to celebrate original art and crafts—work on which we can feast our eyes and feed our souls. We're a group of artists and makers who believe that everyone is creative because we are all made in the image of The Creator of heaven and earth. We all have the spark of creation in us somewhere. And we all have a built-in, hard wired need to dwell on our Creator, to commune with Him. Here, we explore the creative process of making original art—sculpture, painting, textile...

Peace Like a River sculpture in the Salvaged Messengers series.

The Secret to Peace From Philippians 4:8

Next time you’re feeling tired, mentally fatigued or overwhelmed, just tell folks you’re hitting a little Fliegerabwehrkanonen. Ah, those wonderfully long German words. Fliegerabwehrkanonen is the word from which we get “flak”— exploding shells fired from anti-aircraft guns. No pilot wants to fly through flak, but we fly through mental flak almost every day. Explosions—not of shell fragments—but of images, text, and sound bombard our eyes and ears, blasting their way into our mind. Emails (yes, like the one you’re reading), texts and instant messages merge with Facebook...