“The language of the arts… is a language born of faith.”

“Artists throughout the centuries have sought to tap into the transcendent by their creating. The language of the arts, it can be argued, is a language born of faith.”

– From the Foreword by Makoto Fujimura to “Scribbling in the Sand – Christ and Creativity” by Michael Card.

Veni, Creator Spiritus by Lawrence OP
Veni, Creator Spiritus, a photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr.

My faith tells me that God is the supreme creator.  And He made us in His image.  That means we are gifted with creativity.  All of us.  And using that gift gives me joy!


Show Me the Way – Fiber for the Words

For the text, I have chosen a combination fiber made up of a core of metallic thread surrounded  by mesh ribbon.  The ribbon tones down the metallic core, which otherwise might be too garish.

Tulips - Text Fibers by Carmen CS

Tulips – Text Fibers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you for her dedication and love!

Your most valuable asset…

“Your most valuable asset as a God-sized dreamer isn’t the plans you can make or the connections you have. It’s not the talents you possess or the experiences you can list. It’s your heart. That’s where the One who gives you dreams and makes them come true dwells. It’s where you hear his voice and learn how to follow faithfully. It’s where you love, which is the most beautiful dream of all.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Reuben St. Louis Concert by Travis Jon Allison
Reuben St. Louis Concert, a photo by Travis Jon Allison on Flickr.

Follow your heart.  Listen to that little voice instead of your head.  I have a lot of trouble with this.  I like to brain everything out.  He is teaching me to listen instead.

Reaching for Faith – Variegated Flames

For other areas of the flames, I varied the order in which I placed the stitches to let the variegated threads lay colors down in the direction of the flames.  In this close-up, the golden yellow area was stitched using basket weave, but the other areas were stitched following the contours of the flame.  This changes the way the striping of the variegated colors flows onto the piece.

Reaching - var flames by Carmen CS

Reaching – var flames, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, direct my work and my hands for Your glory.

Show Me the Way – Butterfly

Here is the completed butterfly.  Can you see how the variegated threads give subtle areas of different colors, particularly in the dark purple and blue?  You may have to really look to see them consciously, but they give life and a sense of the dynamic to the piece unconsciously.

Show Me the Way - Butterfly by Carmen CS

Show Me the Way – Butterfly, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I pray for rebirth for her spirit as she moves through her challenges, and for her love of those she cares for and their love for her.

The effect of a great love…

“The effect of a great love is always to cleanse. When people really and truly fall in love, their love compels them to goodness.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Pray by Saad.Akhtar
Pray, a photo by Saad.Akhtar on Flickr.

This is especially true when we fall in love with God.  As my love for God grows, I find myself growing away from selfishness and self-absorption.  I want to serve!  And serving makes my heart feel lighter and cleaner.

Father, thank you for the cleansing power of Your love and of our love for You.

Show Me the Way – Butterfly Fibers

Next comes the butterfly.  Such a classic symbol of rebirth…

Again, I’m using variegated silk fibers for their lustre and intricate colors.  But I am not blending them as I did for the tulip blooms.  Rather I am using them as dyed to get subtle variations in the color in different areas of the butterfly.

Show Me the Way - Butterfly Fibers by Carmen CS
Show Me the Way – Butterfly Fibers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please bring beauty into her life and help her recognize the little differences in the days that can bring a sense of joy into what otherwise might be tedium.

Why are God-sized dreams so compelling?

Why are God-sized dreams so compelling? Because we powerfully experience God’s presence in our lives through them. It’s not about the destination. It’s not what we will get if we complete the dream. It’s about a relationship.

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Holding hand by human_species
Holding hand, a photo by human_species on Flickr.

It’s about the walk.  I walk closest to the Lord when I’m following my God-sized dream.

Reaching for Faith – Variegated Threads

I chose variegated cotton thread to stitch the flames.   Use the standard needlepoint stitch, basket weave, with variegated threads, and you end up with diagonal stripes.  That works fine for some of the portions of the flames.

Reaching - var stripes by Carmen CS

Reaching – var stripes, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help me bring together design and stitching techniques to make this project inspiring.

Show Me the Way – Color Margins

As I’ve been stitching the blooms, I’ve found that some of the colors are very close and it can be hard to tell what to stitch on a given intersection.  To make it easier, I found I could mark the canvas with margins around each block of color.  This close-up shows some of the margins.

Tulips - Color Margins by Carmen CS
Tulips – Color Margins, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help her to find the little things that can make her work easier, without sacrificing the quality of her care.