Stuck in the belly… or safe in the belly?

Further thoughts on Jonah and the finished sculpture In last week's post, I shared a new Jonah sculpture in progress on the workbench. This week, I'm happy to share the finished piece. It's now waiting in the shop, ready for a good home. Check out the Inspiring Handmade shop As I was putting the finishing touches on this, a new perspective on the account of Jonah occurred to me. I titled last week's post "Stuck in the belly." Of course, that's how we usually see Jonah—stuck in the belly of...

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...

The season of love

If Bible chapters were months of the year, 1 Corinthians chapter 13 would be February. It's often called the "love" chapter, and for good reason, as you see here. In the middle of the chapter is the apostle Paul's elegant description of true love, where he writes the familiar words, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but...

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...

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,...

Wire crucified hand set in white pickling-washed salvaged barn wood with hand transferred text.

No greater love

The story is told of a little girl who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to fight it. As best he could, the doctor explained the situation to her brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated for a long moment and then took a deep...

Finding forgiveness

What's the opposite of unforgiveness? Forgiveness? Well, grammatically, yes. But simply adding the "un" doesn't help us get at the core questions—and answers—about unforgiveness. Why do we harbor unforgiveness? Why do we struggle to forgive? Why is it sometimes so hard to genuinely let something go? Volumes have been written and preached on this topic. In practice, where actions, emotions, and life-altering events impact our present circumstances and potentially shape our futures—just as we impact others and shape their futures—it can seem complicated. The Secret of Gratitude salvaged wood,...

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...

The Arc of the Summer Moon door topper is an original sculpture from salvaged 19th century oak barn wood. Acrylic paint, salvaged wood, cut wood.

Arc of the Summer Moon

In ancient times, the Israelite king, David, wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” Created from salvaged 19th century oak barn wood and hardwood cut from the woods near the artist’s studio, The Arc of the Summer Moon door topper is an original sculpture capturing the peaceful twilight of a summer evening. The moon's low, lazy arc across the sky is a reminder of the...

Image of Dandelions for Mom, a sculpture in wire and cut paper on driftwood.

Dandelions for Mom

Our moms have sacrificed for us, believed in us, and loved us unconditionally. When we were little, we tried to return that love as best we could with small hands offering small gifts from big hearts full from a mother's love. That's the inspiration for Patti's sculpture, "Dandelions for Mom." Patti says, "I wish I had a dollar for every dandelion I gave my mom. I would be a very rich lady! What is it about a dandelion that a child cannot walk by it without picking...