Need A Smile?

scan0003    I’ve been having fun trying my drawing hand at baby portraits this past week, using photos as my models…  And I’m finding, nothing makes me smile in the midst of harried moments as much as these!  How can you not burst into a grin when looking at such pure and innocent joy on these cherub faces!

Soooo…. I thought I’d post this one as an early Valentine to all of you.  (And if you really need an extra smile or two today, there are a few more on my  pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS page, under “Baby Portraits,” though I wish you could see them in person… these scans are not picking up all the shading which really adds dimension.)

SPECIAL NOTE

        Due to some unexpected commitments,                                                                       I’m going to have to take a small blog break  here… 

Missing Valentine’s Day here too  :(    

But I hope to share more of your month of valentines after the break!  

Hearts clip art - vector clip

May your mornings, noons and nights  be as full of morning glory as the light I see in this child’s delight!

Happy Early Valentines!

P.S.  During this brief break…I invite you to browse other February years of posts (you can find them on the Archives month category to the right of my blog) for more valentines from me!  Or any other category that piques your interest!

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© Pam Depoyan

pen and ink baby portrait, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!

Reminder… My Un-Valentine Valentines will continue to be available for ordering after the blog break…  See my  original vintage valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS. 

Shared By: Debala 06-06-2011

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Posted in Valentines | 1 Comment

How do your valentines grow?

scan0008Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How do your valentines grow?

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    ~ my spin on an old piece of sunny gold rhyme  :)

 

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As I check my back door locks before bed, the numbers of my stove clock cast green light reflections on glass cabinets, there in the gray-black of one a.m.   The refrigerator hum stops with an escaping breath and peace is softness blanketing my shoulders.  At the sink, I’m looking out the window, praying His angel guard round my home — when suddenly the hair on the back of my neck is surely raising reveille.  Holding my own breath, I peer out into the dimness.

It can’t be a large human shape… just… standing… there… for real, can it?  Um…Right there, by the bush.

It must be a trick of the snow reflecting off the white garage door, I reason to my drumming heart.  Leaning in a little closer, I stare till her eyes meet and hold mine almost hypnotically.  For that split second I feel my heart freeze. 

Wha-at?  My hand automatically clutches my chest in a gesture of… calm down, calm down, calm down.

The doe is standing perfectly still, her amazing vision truly transfixed right on the whites of my eyes – (Did she spot me in the momentary light I’d turned on and off, or could she really pierce through night windows like that?)  – but I’m not completely sure until she turns and bounds round the corner, disappears  between my home and my neighbor’s, like a vaporous dream vision impossible to hold onto.

Oh… my… goodness.

I gulp my breath like a drink of water, let the shivers of fear race off me. 

I can count on my one hand how many times I’ve seen deer round my home these past ten years.  Once, in the wee early hours of 2 a.m. when I was wearily moving in the last round of boxes… I caught  three or four circling inside the mist-swirled gazebo, fantastical and magical, like painted, carved animals on a carousel.   Another time, years later, they startled me big as life,  grazing beside my back deck.   And now… in this early a.m.

I discover their tracks on the snow all the time, though.  These mysterious sentinels that roam guard under cover of darkness, circling, ever circling.  Stealthy.  Graceful.  Soft as snow-lit sky.

I’m not sure why, but my late night, early morning visitor brings visions of valentines to my pillow as I close my eyes, set to drift asleep.

Instead of sheep, I’m counting heart blessings, pondering how they grow.   Like mystery footsteps on the snow… under cover of hidden movement…

Like the “valentine” phone message left for me the other day.  The voice of my mom’s best friend of many decade, telling me how much she’d loved  the hand-drawn Christmas card I sent her, how it brought celebration to her because she’d been battling colds and flu all December and hadn’t had a chance – or strength in her 80’s — to bother with much of her usual festive adornment at home.   “Your card,” she said, “meant so much… I want to frame it as soon as I’m feeling stronger!”

We don’t always keep in touch, and never before around Valentine’s day.  But something in the sound of her words now made me  think of her love for all things Victorian.  Envision the surprise smile on her face to find a friend-to-friend heart in her mail.  Leaning into the nudge that came upon me once more, I reached for one of my recently printed Valentines… she’d love that vintage sailor boy on the swing, I thought!

It’s fun… this sending out of unexpected heart-shaped words.   This watching valentines grow.

With silver bells and pearl-pink  shells and Queen’s Lace all in a row…

How are your valentines growing?   :)

clip art illustration featuring your choice of 2 heart shaped flower ...

 

The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.

~ Luke 1:44 the Message

Is there a silver and gold friend… perhaps a lonesome of the elderly… you might bless in a mysteriously delivered,  Valentine cutout, lace and remembrance, skip like a lamb (or, um, bound like a deer!) way this week?  :)

© Pam Depoyan

Sharing with:

Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button  Scripture and Snapshot  Give Me Grace  Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

The Loft(Grace and Truth linkup)

 

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scan0008pen and ink old fashioned school girl valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!   For ordering details, or to see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

Shared By: Debala 06-06-2011

Might this one make a fun valentine for you to surprise new or old friend?   Just $1.50 for invitation size, $2.50 for greeting card size!  :)

For February 14th… or, ANYTIME…

Posted in Valentines | 20 Comments

Through the Midnight Hour

scan0016         “I’ve never thought of the little things [in life] as Valentine’s but they are–            little reminders of His love for us and His beauty.”

~  from one of you, recently in my comments

Ever thought of God missing you?

In all the old familiar places that My Heart embraces… I miss you, He whispers into the midnight hour.  Stay up awhile with Me?

I’ve been thinking lately how busy life is, even when you aren’t sitting full time in an office.  Never ending errands running hither and thither to market my ideas and myself, put drawings and writing to paper, keep a home, manage life’s demands.  And how swift go the hours in a day!  Guilty thoughts of not enough sitting down prayer times flush over me.  I want to start my day with Him first, yet hours and minutes slip by like pearls through my fingers…

And then He sparks a lantern light within my spirit. 

You ARE beginning each day with me, for haven’t I called you lately to the midnight hour?

Huh?  Midnight… I’d been thinking of it as the winding down, end of my day.   But like an hourglass turned upside down, He shows me sand sifting through my prayers is really the FIRST hour of the new day!

I marvel at that thought.  At how these last several weeks, even if I’ve been drowsing a bit before the television , I feel wakened and alert when the clock strikes twelve.   How this is not something I can do when committed to full time outside work…but something He is moving me to do for now.

How, the other day, driving by some symbols of the world’s lost, behind my cul de sac… I suddenly wondered…  Do You purposely have me praying like a sentry at guard round this corner of my neighborhood in the first hour of every day?  Are You using my prayers to send and station your Holy Angels round us?  Are You taking my prayers and pouring them from bowls over each of my sleeping neighbors’ and their homes?

What wonders are You working and moving and shifting in this simple rendezvous with you, my Lord?

There is something of wonder in this hour when all is quiet and peace, like being inside a snowflake swirl.  Something that even when I’m weary and feel like foregoing a night, I’m swiftly drawn into sitting here with You, lifting up my needs and so many others people have dropped into my hands as pebbles of petition… And lifting my voice to pray in Your Spirit, you breathe Your own words and Life into simple prayers…

I still want to set aside other hours of my day to sit with You, to write prayers and whispers of You in my journal…  yet You place me in this sacred hour and I stand amazed at Your grace.

Be Mine…  You whisper.  I hear it in the soft breezes.  I see it willow through snowy branches.  I feel it in this midnight hour.

Valentines upon valentines of You…

And I marvel again…  for You are calling us each to our own “midnight hour” – be it any hour of the day when our hearts still and we sit with you.  Setting Your people round the clock, praying the world through, day and night… all because You love us more than we even begin to fathom.

This midnight… this dawn of new day’s time… I simply meet with You, wordless except for Your Name as my prayer of blessing, to You,  over all I bring to You…. Jesus.

BE MINE.

Yes, Lord.  I am Yours!

      (Have you found and opened His BE MINE valentine on your doorstep lately?  I’d love to hear about it in my comments…   :)

More similar stock images of ` Valentine tree design `

For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house.

They flourish in the courts of our God.

~ Psalm 92:13 New Living Translation


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© Pam Depoyan

scan0016pen and ink Little sailor valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!   To order, or see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

Sharing with: 

Purposeful Faith

Friendship Friday

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

The Loft(Grace and Truth linkup)

Posted in Valentines | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Starry Songs the Blossoms Know

scan0021

I love the moonlight,
I love the old fashioned things…
The sound of rain, upon a window pane…
The starry song that April sings!

~ J. Mercer/J Kern
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Ever consider yourself old-fashioned?

In the lovely sonnet sense of this Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern gem, I do.  

For what the world snubs and  dubs old-fashioned…  mmm… seems so akin to continually keeping an eye out for God’s beauty, His wondering, His music to amaze– and discovering, uncovering, starry songs of April like hidden beribboned packages in the everyday ordinary.

In holding hands, in sighing sighs, these melody poets go on to elucidate.

In moonlight… in the sound of rain, upon my windowpane…  (I LOVE and find it in the cadence of those very words, sound of rain upon my windowpane! Don’t you?)

I am wondering today how many of His daily valentines such as these I may be missing… or not recognizing His hand in…

  • The birdsong that lifts my heart, especially when I am amazed by it on a snowy day!  (Did you send them just for me, Lord?)
  • The compliment from a stranger who takes time to notice. (Did you put that in her mind to encourage me, Father?)
  • The letter from a friend who tells me she  is thinking of me (Are you telling me you put me on the heart of a friend, to let me know YOU are thinking of me most of all, Lord?)
  • The unexpected provision arriving just exactly when I need it. (O Father, thank you!)
  • The silvery way the light glances off a tree branch and stirs my soul. (You send your artistry to sing into my day, O God!)
  • The aroma of soup bubbling on my stove and singing home in my heart. (You are the fragrance that warms me, Lord!)

In Jan Karon’s Mitford novels, she has this playful routine that the main character and his wife often engage in out of the blue moments.  Father Tim will suddenly turn apropos of nothing to his wife and ask… Cynthia, Cynthia, what do you love?  

And trippingly off her tongue comes a swift litany of her joys in ordinary life…

Butter melting on toast, snow-capped mountains, church bells ringing….

All the simple things we take for granted until they aren’t there.  Heat that permeates our cars at the touch of a button.  (Well, on these frost-bite days, maybe it takes 10 minutes or so…) The lovely warmth and scent of just-washed pajamas fresh from the dryer.  The sheer white joy of curtains blowing in a breeze…  The way someone’s eyes I love crinkle round the edges when they smile…

And the every day happenstances when we suddenly SEE Someone is going ahead of us, anticipating our needs, arranging blessings that beget more from our hands to others…    

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“Let’s invite Sammy and Kenny and Harley over for burgers and pool this evening. What do you think?”

She smiled, eyes still closed.

“So amazing.  Puny was going to make chili tomorrow, so we have two pounds of Avis’ best.  And I just bought a head of cabbage for coleslaw.”

The little miracles.  Those were the ones to watch for in this life.  

I’ll chop!” he said.

~  Jan Karon, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

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I’m convinced… God is sending more not-so-hidden valentines in our days than we imagine, waiting for us to uncover and unwrap and recognize His handwriting on the tags.

To hear the starry song the blossoms know.  Feel the breezes He’s tied in a bow.

For you, the one I love.

And when we find these tiny miracles, raise our hearts and hands in blessing the Father of Lights, He cups our valentines sent back to Him close to His heart.

(Father, open our eyes to recognize Your Hand more and more in all our moments)

And so, like Father Tim, I ask myself… and you…

Reader, reader… What do YOU love?  :)

Shiny scarlet ribbon for gift wrapping, isolated on white. Symbol of ...

In this moment…

I LOVE…

Looking out on my living room, clean and clear of Christmas decorations (finally!) :)

Sunshine on the snow outside my window, melting away ice from my driveway!

Home-made biscuits fresh from the oven, with my soup lunch!

 

Any of Heaven’s Scarlet ribbon valentines on your doorstep today?  :)

“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.”

~ Father Tim,  Jan Karon’s Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

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© Pam Depoyan

scan0021pen and ink Little girl with flower valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!   To order, or see my other original valentine designs, hop on over here: pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS

Sharing with:

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Purposeful Faith

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Posted in Valentines | 16 Comments

Bear Hug Blessings

scan0022

Know someone who could use a hug today?

Over breakfast, she told me about the three-year old she’s been caring for, his frightening tantrums of late, the lashing words pouring forth from his sorrowing spirit, the world weariness this child has had to carry at way too young an age.  My heart broke and though I’ve never laid eyes on this boy, I almost felt as if I could see the haunted look in his eyes so hungry for love and security.

Praying for him this week, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me,  Share this valentine with him...

A vintage photo of a little boy inspired this drawing, and I have wondered who that long ago child was, what was going through his mind as he clung to his dear friend…  Was he  maybe a homesick boy off at boarding school,  or a child sent away from home for safety from the war (as so many in England had to do in WWII)?   Now I wonder, Father, did you lead me to draw this valentine… maybe… specifically for this lonely boy today?

 “I will put it in his room for him to see each day!” she answered when I told her about it.  “He’ll love it!”

I lifted it up last night, praying for the Holy Spirit to breathe His Love so wondrously through it to this child…  that every time he looks at it, God’s love will palpably fall on him, embrace Him and comfort him…   and he will truly believe, he is loved.

And today… if you could use a warm and fuzzy hug too… I send this one off to you!  :)

 

 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

 

Each of us plus the Lord – reaching out to others… 

Let us be a three-fold cord to someone today!

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© Pam Depoyan

Sharing with:

Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday     Beauty in His Grip Button  Scripture and Snapshot  Give Me Grace  Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

The Loft(Grace and Truth linkup)

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LOOKING FOR SOME ORIGINAL VALENTINES TO SEND THIS SEASON?   I’VE JUST PLACED MY SEVEN NEW CARD DESIGNS (INCLUDING THE ONE SHOWN ABOVE) ON MY pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS PAGE. 

Made for Anytime Valentines… why limit to February 14th? :)

(To view them…Look here for this vintage valentine heart image, then scroll down till you see it again with the card info… )

Questions about ordering?  You can reach me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com  :)

Lord, may these Valentine cards shine of You, wherever You may take them.

Posted in Valentines | 12 Comments

You Are Cordially Invited…

scan0024Think Anne Shirley (aka, Lady Cordelia) added to a touch of Lady Mary’s  Tea…(of Downton, naturally)    :)  …  and you’ll have my latest Valentine Anytime

Sometimes, much as I hate this fact,  it takes two tries before you know something is really coming together right.  And I have to fight that giving up attitude.

Ever feel that way yourself – like you just can’t get something you need or want to do to work?   

So it was for me last evening.  The light was fading fast, as was my energy.  But I was excited and determined to start this design.  As my pen flew over paper, the soft sheers of layered dress looked luscious.  The so Anne-chic hat, mm… perfection.

But… ach!  That face!  The more I tried, the more muddled it became.  More like a cartoon-y, pruny, too-long-nosed octogenarian than the sweet-eyed child in the photo that inspired this.  Sometimes my eraser works wonders even with permanent ink, but this time, nothin’ doin’.   The problem was in the shading… not so easy to control those pens from flowing too harsh.  Just one mucky, gray mess.

“I’m SO disappointed with this,” I mumbled to myself.

Rest on it.  You can do it in the morning. 

“But… the rest of it looks just the way I envisioned,” I moaned inside.  “What if I can’t duplicate it again?”  (I’m not sure how the great artists can continually draw the same subject over and over, doing studies of variations…)

Ask Me to guide your hands.

Isn’t that just like so much of what we try to do on our own in life?  Finding ourselves in the midst of a mucky, gray, mess instead of the dream we dreamed it to be?  And all our attempts at “erasing” only makes the pudding all the more runny?

Making us want to just give up, flounce off, and believe we can’t really do it after all?  

Sometimes it is good and right to forge ahead.  But other times, it’s best to think it out first.  Rest minds and hearts.  Sit under the shadow of his soft and warm wings, and listen to His heartbeat.

This morning, I bowed my head for a moment as I lifted my pen to begin.  “Help me to create the face with a lighter touch, a sweeter countenance, Lord. Rest Your Hand on mine.”

Let Your Hand be with me

1 Chronicles 4:10 ~ Jabez

And the drawing became like sunlight breaking over me.  I was able to finesse the pen with a more delicate touch.

But more importantly… today, because of my mistakes last night, I SAW the image with a more keen eye.  Now I knew I shouldn’t try to outline the entire nose, because it was just too elongated to look like a child’s that way.  Today, He gave me the gift of intuition on how to define the cheek with a little less pronouncing, add the misting of green.  And it was in this new effort that I imagined the lacy scallops around the edge.

I couldn’t have created this new favorite of mine without first finding out what did not work.

“I think I hear the lesson in this, Lord,” I smiled.

Sometimes He is guiding and leading us through our mistakes to greater victory.

I caught the office print store lady who was helping me to turn this one to card format grinning at the final drawing.  I could see she liked this one.

“I had to do this twice,” I confided.

She looked up, quizzically.

“The face was just so horrible!”

“Oh, then it was worth it!” she said brightly.

Yes!  Sometimes…falling down, getting up again, strengthens our dance!

As she handed me the printed  note cards, I suddenly knew how I was going to use one of these to bless a young lady I know, to encourage her own creating gifts.  She may be reading this today, so I can’t tell you details yet.  :)  But maybe… mmm… I’ll tell you all about it here soon.

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Vintage Chicken Family Image

How have you felt His Hand on yours? 

I’d love to hear your stories in my comments today!

© Pam Depoyan

pen and ink Lady Cordelia on the couch, valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!

teapot and chicken graphics – http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com

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LOOKING FOR SOME ORIGINAL VALENTINES TO SEND THIS SEASON?   I’VE JUST PLACED MY SEVEN NEW CARD DESIGNS (INCLUDING THE ONE SHOWN ABOVE) ON MY pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS PAGE. 

Made for Anytime Valentines… why limit to February 14th? :)

(To view them…Look here for this vintage valentine heart image, then scroll down till you see it again with the card info… )

Questions about ordering?  You can reach me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com  :)

Lord, may these Valentine cards shine of You, wherever You may take them.

 

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Sharing with:

 

beloved_brews_faithbarista_badge Friendship Friday

 Good Morning Mondays

 

Purposeful Faith

Testimony Tuesday,

Posted in Valentines | 6 Comments

Becoming a receiver

scan0011“One check or two?” the waitress inquired.

“Two,” we answered together.

“No — one,” my friend swiftly interjected on second thought.  She brightened, glancing down at the late-Christmas gift she’d just opened from me.   “I’ll treat you!”

“No, nooooo, you don’t have to do that!”  I began.   “No, really –”

I watched the momentary hesitation, a crushed look fleet across her face, shutting my protest down at the same instant I recognized the Holy Spirit enjoining me – Would you rob someone else of the blessing that comes from being the bless-er…?

How many times do we do that, I wondered, silently.

Too many, whispered the wry thought.

Because of false pride, I realized then.   Well, and knowing that my friend is trusting God for Provision just as much as I am these days, in similar situations.   (If someone handed me a wrapped present, would I refuse it?)

Yet, I remembered the teachings I’ve learned from the Word about sowing and reaping.  The image of the widow who gave her last mite, and how God could use that seed to bring forth a harvest for her as well as those she gave all.  The woman who gave her last bread and oil to the prophet, and how that opened up God’s unending river of oil to her.

Not a giving to get, but a knowing that God has set sowing and reaping into being for His purpose.  It’s the Holy Spirit’s way of plowing our ground, anointing our hands, bringing forth life.

Fruit can only be born if we give, and if we don’t allow someone else to give offerings generously as led by Him, could we be robbing them of of this part of His inheritance in their lives too? A cycle of blessing He intends for us…

Over coffee, omelets,  pancakes and sausage,  it suddenly seemed like this impromptu Sunday breakfast held a touch more holy.  

“Thanks again for the great breakfast!” I said as we parted by our cars.   “Oh, and for my darling bird photo!”  A gift this my talented photographer friend had brought to my car just before we’d gone in.

“Thank you back for my beautiful Christmas drawing!” she crowed.

“Thank you, Father, for opportunities to give…and receive…” I grinned in one-to-One conversation on my way home.  “Pour out your blessings on my friend as she goes to work now, and shine your favor in all her ways, as unto you…”

... and i were out on a ramble we came across a huge patch of violets i

Violets are raining…  :)    Any falling on you this week?  I’d love to have you share of yours in my comments…

Here’s a truly uplifting one I just read on another blog – I think you’ll enjoy it too!  :)

  http://songsatnight.blogspot.com/2015/01/crabby-wanda-2.html

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© Pam Depoyan

pen and ink, boy on swing valentine, mine:  Please do not copy without permission.  :)  Thanks!

Sharing with:

Tell Me a Story    Teaching What Is Good  Unite @Rich Faith Rising

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LOOKING FOR SOME ORIGINAL VALENTINES TO SEND THIS SEASON?   I’VE JUST PLACED MY SEVEN NEW CARD DESIGNS (INCLUDING THE ONE SHOWN ABOVE) ON MY pen & ink HOME PORTRAITS PAGE. 

Made for Anytime Valentines… why limit to February 14th? :)

(To view them…Look here for this vintage valentine heart image, then scroll down till you see it again with the card info… )

Questions about ordering?  You can reach me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com  :)

Lord, may these Valentine cards shine of You, wherever You may take them.

Posted in Valentines | 17 Comments