Blossoming blooms and heart whispers

To my imaginings, the tiny market round the corner offers the ambience of entering the streets of France – like closing a blast of wintry gray behind you, to enter upon a vacation open air market overflowing with rainbow buckets of blossoming blooms and the wafting scent of warm bread loaves fresh from boulangerie ovens in the back corner.

I can’t resist bringing home the feel with mini pinks for my white pitcher, and add this small luxury to my cart.  Astonishingly, they never seem to fade and continually cascade in tumbles of fresh-cut color atop my kitchen counter for three whole weeks or more, painting joy like birdsong to greet me every time I enter.   Mm… Perhaps this market should alter their name to Marchand Joe’s, I smile.   Such a bargain of simple smiles for $3.99…

This small-priced but extravagant delight reminds me of something I heard a new author of a book on faith telling a news anchor in interview.  “If God is talking to us all the time, why don’t people hear Him more?” the reporter poses.

“Because we aren’t listening…,” the author rejoins.  “Have you ever noticed all the people on the subway or standing in lines, headphones to ear, fingers to I-pads?  How can we hear amid all the other noise if we never listen to the quiet?”  

Thoughtfully, the anchor nods.

Out of stillness of soul comes lyrical poetry.  Music.  Ideas.  Even – the gift of fresh cut flowers.  But most of all… awareness of One who knows our entire story first page forward and calls us beloved. 

For some reason, that thought leads me along another rabbit trail to thinking of something someone told me recently.  “I love a childhood picture I have of my husband because it reminds me to see parts of the tenderness, the young innocence of who he was then is still in the man now…”

A sudden image of our Father, holding our baby pictures before Him, seeing us through the lens of who we were and who we will become in His dream for us,  stirs me…

I love that, for I love to see photos of others when they were small.  Because often they were taken before the heart was masked.  They can make me see someone in a whole new light, or reveal there is more to their story than meets the eye.   Perhaps a coworker seems constantly disgruntled, but seeing their childhood photo reveals a happy go lucky person.  What happened along the way?

See them as I do, the Lord whispers… to all who will hear.

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Pink petals background. EPS 10 vector file included Stock Vector - 68245428

   They might be of people you admire or not…

Yet, when you look into their much younger faces, maybe you’ll find a bit of well known expression, a touch of endearing that makes you see them in a fresh light, gives a deeper insight of their story…

      ( Won’t you join me over at my Picture it in Pen and Ink blog for a P.S. to this post and a fun “Guess Who?  Just click here…

https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/a-little-communique-spot-2/    )

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©   Pam Depoyan

Posted in Lenten Vespers | Leave a comment

Happy St Pat’s Day! And How a Real Life Storybook Town came to be…

Image result for hugh comstock fairytale cottages in carmel by the sea

Along the Pacific Coast Highway of California, a little artist’s jewel lies between the seal-frolicking ocean and a fairyland of winding woods, called Carmel-by-the-Sea.

In my memories, fog often mists the early morn there, like in a sleepy English village where the sun takes its time to splash patches of light upon low pitched roofs of quaintly built shops and bakeries and art galleries wending up and down narrow, cobbled streets…  The scents of sea and salt and baking bread and cinnamon rolls and hot fresh scones mingle and waft those streets; the scurrying feet of squirrels so used to public that they will willingly hop into your open car if you let them dash here, there.  

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The graceful bending of native cypress trees out over the ocean, Monterrey beauties I’ve only seen there and always recognize in classic movies, line the 17 Mile scenic route… take you to the sea splashed rock where seals preen and clap their hands and belly-bark in general showing off for the tourists. 

And suspending disbelief… you might just think you’ve stepped back into Brigadoon or some such old or dream-like Britain, Scotland or Ireland village…

Irish shamrock for St Patricks Day

So, when google search for “Irish cottage by the sea” led me to a photo of this Hansel Cottage, naming it as the first of many fairy tale cottages built there in Carmel by a man named Hugh Comstock nearly 100 years ago  — well, I knew in an instant.  This was the “leprechaun” cottage I wanted to draw for St. Pat’s!

The story of how Hugh came to build such a charmer is a storybook in itself and I wonder – how is it I’ve never heard of these homes?

Taking a trip to visit his sister in 1924, the bachelor Hugh met, fell in love with and married  a doll maker, Mayotta Browne, within the year.  The creator of a shop and booming business called Otsy-Totsie’s, Mayotta wondered – could her creative husband build her an additional way of showcasing her dolls? 

Not really an architect, Hugh did enjoy the whimsical.  Inspired by style of British illustrator Arthur Rackham, he conceived the first of his fairy tale cottages – a delightful mix of handmade details and quirky architecture. Like an illustrator bringing storybook to life, he purposely skewed the construction in an imperfect but stunningly charming way (oh, don’t you just love the rumble tumble of the stone chimney and the scallopy edge  of the roof lines?) and named it Hansel Cottage – one can only think of Hansel and Gretel fame.   🙂

What could showcase Mayotta’s dolls more perfectly? 

A local newspaper, The Carmel Pine Cone, immediately smitten with Hansel Cottage, saw so much more – and declared Hugh a wonder and a genius!  Soon, residents from all over clamored for fairy tale house plans of their own.  Writers and artists living in Carmel, such as Jack London, Mary Austin, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair and George Sterling added to Hugh’s design popularity.  Within five years, Hugh built numerous more storybook cottages and became a huge influence on the architectural style of the little colony by the sea. 

I loved reading this story, hearing how this little village I’ve walked many times came to such charming design, and finding that these homes have been maintained, restored and kept up over all these years…  Homes that were built with materials recorded for as little as $100, now soaring to the unfathomable amount of $4 million… 

What Hugh might think if he could suddenly appear today to see the lasting quality and soaring values of his humble masterpieces… 

I don’t often work completely in color, but the more I sketched, the more I saw this one in pastels and pen and pencil, in keeping with the fairy tale style of its originator.    Now I can’t wait to add more to this storybook cottage series…  with names like the Tuck Box, the only commercial building Comstock built; Gretel, the companion house to Hansel; the Honeymoon Cottage; Casanova; Fables and Sunwiseturn, and others, who can resist?

Hansel Cottage in Carmel without words

I hope you find my drawing of this “leprechaun cottage” just as irresistible! 🙂  Did you notice the mini house set out on the porch chimney rock?  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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©   Pam Depoyan

“Hansel Cottage” above: mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )  

Visit  my  The Luck of the Irish  gallery at Picture it in Pen and Ink to see more!

 

Posted in Bells of Ireland | Leave a comment

What do you do when you crave a fresh breeze?

Irish Shepherd

The scent of lemon perfumes my kitchen with the fresh, windswept clean of white sheets hanging and snapping on the clothesline.

It breezes a thankful spirit of dance around me, like billowy clouds rising up on sail from a varied-green valley — the kind you see in panoramic shots of the Emerald Isle — up and over the hill to paint the sky as backdrop to the day and sweep away loneliness, fear, worry and frustration.

And reminds… Thankfulness   begets joy, laces with faith, opens our eyes to the promises He has on the bud… cleanses away all doubt…

Drawing this St. Pat’s shepherd, I sense such a breeze ruffling through the ears of the twin lambs, racing through waving length of green at their feet, putting roses on the weathered face of their master.

I wonder at how easily he bears the weight of the sheep that maybe, feeling the need of a fresh breeze…wandered too far from home…now safe in the crook of his arm.

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And the breeze is zipping a song of remembered praise from another Psalmist shepherd, calling me to join in:

Thank you, Father… for going ahead of this moment to provide every answer I need:

You, My Shepherd, feed, guide and shield me.

When I turn my heart to believe You mean what You promise — oh, the green pastures, the still and quiet waters you lead me to!

Refreshing, restoring, leading me in paths of righteousness – for the sake of Your Name.

I refuse to fear, for You are with me!

You protect, guide, comfort and console me.

When the Enemy laughs, mocks, scoffs at me… Ha!  You prepare a table feast for me in his presence…

You anoint me for more than I understand or know, and my cup overflows.

You sing songs of joy over me and surely make goodness, mercy and unfailing love to follow me all the days of my life. 

I shall dwell forever… on the green… with You…  

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©   Pam Depoyan

“In Green Pastures,” the Irish Shepherd portrait above: mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )  

Visit  my  The Luck of the Irish  gallery at Picture it in Pen and Ink to see more!

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Happy St Pat’s Eve!

Posted in Bells of Ireland | 4 Comments

Two on a Daydream

little-boy-and-dog-daydreaming

The blustery wind is whipping the slightest of cloud puffs as billowy sails across cornflower skies today, and like an unseen hand is pushing, whooshing me from the back, nearly knocking me off me feet, till I almost feel like I could dip my head and take off flying!   The image of an old TV character who used to do just that skitters across my mind and makes me laugh.

This blow me down breeze nearly crashes my resisting car door back upon my legs as I rush to tuck myself and my drawing pad bundles back inside, sends my hair flying around my face, whistles and roars about the world outside like Alice’s Mad Hatter.

And somehow, this mighty, house-creaking, wildly musical chime playing, tree branch scuttling wind is reminding me of the power and call of imagination…of daydreaming… and how God’s design for Sabbath rest (really daily, rejuvenating rest) needs to root not only within our spirits, but bring us back to what He instills in us as children…for joyful, creative, revitalizing purpose.

But… I wonder…

Do our children even have time for daydreaming these days?  Is it something they even wish for anymore?  Or are they so ever spinning on social media and technology and running from one activity to another that they have replaced the joy of quieting the heart, listening for whispers to the soul with texting and LOL acronyms? 

If so, what will happen to all the inventions and inspiration and creative revelations God is waiting to endow into them, into our world?

This is a question I’ve been pondering these last few weeks as I’ve been thinking out this post idea…originally sparked within me as I drew the sketch above, a boy and his dog looking as though they are ensconced in time to daydream… (I love this image 🙂  )

Then…On Saturday, I came upon a classic movie about Edison the Man… and having been years since I’d watched, decided to take time to enjoy.  The film portrays the inventor as ever listening for creative sparks, always pondering and thinking what if?  For literal years he is trying every which way to invent the light bulb, and when he finally does, sets up an experiment (at his own expense) of lighting an entire street for the first time without gaslight.   I imagined – What a wonder that must have been the first time people saw electric light set a night street aglow in one flash!  Discovery after discovery, long years of hard work trying and experimenting…yet, it all seemed to begin on the flame of a daydream.

Oh, I think today — let us not lose that gift!

Spencer Tracy as the elderly Edison at the end of this 1930’s movie delivered a speech that nearly blew me over, like the wind today…  and I wondered if it came completely from an actual one given by the aging scientist.  In it he was warning of science losing touch with the God who has endowed us with creating after His own heart, the One who holds all the mysteries and reveals them to those who will hear… as though we are standing on a precipice and losing sight of Him…  Such amazing, still relevant, echoing words immortalized in this film,  incredulous to me, from almost 100 years ago…

Later, I hear someone talking of George Washington Carver asking God for witty ideas and how the Lord revealed to him hundreds of wondrous gifts of the simple peanut — revelation that transformed our world…  came only out of quieting the soul and…listening...

Like the Mad Hatter, are we rushing hither thither… its late, its late, no time to watch and wait?  In thought, I see the image of young ones I know who are antsy when opening credits to a movie are rolling, and ever wanting to speed the DVD to get right into the story.  I have always loved the slowing down of mind and spirit and letting such musical credits bring me into the play, so bemoan this loss among these now.  No time to relax, to just be.

Are we teaching our children to live that way, encouraging them to stifle and bury the daydreaming God intends, I wonder?

In the time of growing up before cell phones… when Max Smart’s shoe phone only made us laugh hilariously at it’s utter “impossibility” (ahem!)… and Internet and all it’s accompanying technology was but someone’s daydream on the horizon…  I never really thought of my life as particularly bucolic, free as a Disney Fantasia.   There was always endless reams of homework or chores demanding attention and it seemed to me that I had to purpose to find time to just let my mind soar in creative ways…  We never roamed totally free as children, the free-sounding way my mom described her own childhood…

Yet, somehow I managed to spend hours upon weekend hours ensconced with pillow and a good book… entered into that make believe world where I could let my mind and heart and spirit fly…

How much more we have to carve it out in our hectic world today!

Now… above the blowing, I hear a soft voice beckon with Lenten heart. “Won’t you join me in a daydream or two?”

“Not just for you…”  He says.  “But to restore that jewel to My littlest ones too…”

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©   Pam Depoyan

“Two on a Daydream,” the boy and his dog portrait above: mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )   Available in  my All Things Childhood   gallery at Picture it in Pen and Ink…

Posted in Lenten Vespers | 8 Comments

Planned Splendor

No longer will they call you Deserted,
    or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
    and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you…

~ Isaiah 62:4

palmer-house-side-view

Sometimes, we…like a heritage home that has weathered many a storm, felt battered and deserted…need the restorative, loving, detail-oriented Hand of the Master Refurbisher to remind us…

He calls us Beulah, the one He takes delight in…

As I recently sketched this gorgeous 1871 historic home located in Napa Valley, California – read of the wonderful restoration that has returned it to it’s glory there – I thought of God taking us and making us His Masterpiece.  Lovingly bringing to life all the original details He had planned from the beginning…shining His Glory in residence from the windows of our soul, if we allow Him…

Then, this fun song in Disney’s Summer Magic , written by the wonderful Sherman Brothers (of Mary Poppins’ and other great soundtracks) and based on the Lord’s lovely words in Isaiah 62:4 kept playing in my mind…

Beautiful Beulah

 Land of promise, bounteous
This is beautiful, this is beautiful Beulah
(in the rocky state of Maine)
Land of plenty, meant for us
This is beautiful, this is beautiful Beulah

Within our reaches there
Grapes big as peaches there
The cows and bees and busy
Who needs any money in the land of milk and honey
Sweet apple trees abound
Wild cherries all around
Berries on the vine, rambling rose entwine
Place so nice, it’s a paradise

Beulah land so beautiful
Let’s set forth for it
Let’s go north on that train
To beautiful Beulah land, beautiful Beulah Maine

(Listen to it here:  Beautiful Beulah – Walt Disney’s Summer Magic 1963 – YouTube)

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And I knew... the title I would put to this home portrait… “Beulah Land…”

St Patricks Day Shamrocks Decor PNG Clipart

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To see another sketch view of this home and a few other pieces, won’t you join me in the remainder of this post over here ?

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©   Pam Depoyan

“Beulah Land – II” home portrait above: mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )   Available in  my   Heritage Home Portraits… gallery at Picture it in Pen and Ink…

Posted in Lenten Vespers | 14 Comments

Happy Giving of Valentines!

valentine-boy-englandSugar and butter, melting mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries… mm, these valentine shortbread aromas mingle in my kitchen like song to a dance, as brightly-colored flowers to a white pitcher vase.

Checking my napkin stash, I decide between sweet-scalloped appetizer-size with dainty cupcake design and a delicate pink floral.  Memory of a pretty heart note stationary I have wafts to mind – the perfect touch to the top of the final plate.  Finally, a pink and white and pen and ink card of friendship sealed, and I’m ready to deliver.

“Oh, I forgot this was even Valentines Day,” she bubbles when I give her the treat.  Someone else is there ahead of me with their own tissue-wrapped gift, laughing, ‘You are the popular one today!”  And it feels as though heart-shaped confetti is falling like snow blossoms round the room.   It’s been a sad year for her, a time of recovery, and today…just maybe…a few simple notes of love bring breeze of new season turning, like the old song says…

To every season, turn turn turn… 

I look at the little one in my valentine above, drawn from a vintage photo caught in time, and wonder of his story, smile at that so cheery red postal box of England.  I love the way the color stands out even on a grey day, like fall trees blaze brighter in a mist.

Whose names might be written on those tiny envelopes falling out of his British “Royal Mail” mini-truck there at his feet, with little messages of “BE MINE” tucked inside them?  Was he about to traverse up and down the neighborhood to deliver his heart treasure?

And what of the big one, he just couldn’t reach to send…

A thought whispers…

When you think your little offering just won’t reach, remember I will take your effort and lift you up and send showers of blessings…

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Is someone on your mind today?  Why not “post” a surprise valentine?  By phone, by email, by hand delivery… it’s never too late to reach.

🙂

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©   Pam Depoyan

pen and ink drawing of little boy mailer above, “Love finds a way…special delivery”: mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )  

See all my valentine designs…available for purchase
in my Valentines for Anytime  gallery  🙂 at Picture It in Pen and Ink (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com)  — NOT JUST FOR CARDS, BUT PERFECT FOR A CHILD’S ROOM AND MORE…

Image result for vintage valentines

Posted in Valentines | 10 Comments

Today’s Valentine Notes…

white-lace-valentines“You really don’t have any idea of all the things going on around you, do you?”

~ Spencer Tracy, to another who was unaware of his presence, in the movie “A Guy Named Joe”

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The other day, I tuned in late to a classic movie I’ve watched many times over the years.  In the scene then playing, Spencer Tracy – a supercharged training and testing pilot who considered himself invincible — had just fatally crashed his plane and found himself in “aviator’s heaven.”  He is then “sent back” as a sort of pilot’s guardian angel…  one who sits behind all the new pilots in the cockpit, whispering encouragement and wisdom into their ears, getting them through the tough moments, building character and expertise into them, charging them to live and fly LIFE with hope.

Not realizing that he can’t be seen or heard by the live people he once walked and talked with as buddies, he stands before one new pilot dumbfounded and, waving his hand close to the unseeing man’s face with no reaction, suddenly realizes just how unaware he himself had always been to heaven’s unseen help around him.   As he said those words I knew were coming, a sudden picture whispered over me… how THE Word says we are ever compassed about with God’s angels…

“You really don’t have any idea of all the things going on around you, do you?”

Spencer then rides tail in a plane with a greenhorn pilot who is suddenly frozen with fear and doubts.  The plane is about to fail, but with Spencer telling him to buck up, get hold of himself and the reins, guiding him into calm and wise handling of the craft, the pilot begins to soar and finishes his flight with renewed vigor .  Back on the ground he boasts to his buddies how he had “talked himself into that calm assurance” up there, all the while Spencer is standing behind him, shaking his head.

How often are we gliding along, unaware of the Spirit’s lead?  Or of God’s ministering and protecting angels of Psalm 91 holding us up?

This scene brought back another picture I heard a minister share recently.   She told of her newly widowed days, how much grieving was naturally a part of them.  Then one morning she woke with such immense joy in her heart that she questioned herself.  “How can I feel so uplifted when my husband is gone?”

A wondering thought wafted gently over her then, like a falling spring blossom touching her shoulder on it’s way down.  “I sent my angels to sing My songs of joy over you all through the night…”

Wow.  What an image… God sending a chorus of angels to sing continuously over one of His beloved…

You surround me with songs of deliverance and joy, said the Psalmist.

Ever since I heard that, I’ve held that image close each night as I go to bed.  That God must be sending His ministering angels to us in so many Valentine ways we have no conception of…  and I find myself asking Him to charge His angels over me, over those I am lifting to Him, to sing their Glory songs over us each.  Not just at night…but throughout the day…

And to make us more aware of all the Love Notes He has winging in and around us.

Those we can see with our eyes… and those known only to our spirit.

For even the flowers and leaves on trees and designs somehow etched into rocks on the beach bare the emblem of His Heart-shaped Love…

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Lamprocapnos Spectabilis, or more commonly known as the Bleeding Heart flower.

Hmm… sounds to me like God spoke into the scientists who named this one… 🙂 — that gorgeous color and shape, a most stunningly beautiful reminder of One who gave His blood for you and for me…

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Valentine Any Time Prayer:  O Lord, send your angels to surround (NAME) today with your songs of love and joy and hope!

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©   Pam Depoyan

pen and ink drawing of little girl above, “You Hold My Heart” : mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )  

Image result for valentine heart and rose

See all my valentine designs…available for purchase
in my Valentines for Anytime  gallery  🙂 at Picture It in Pen and Ink (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com)  — NOT JUST FOR CARDS, BUT PERFECT FOR A CHILD’S ROOM AND MORE…


Posted in Valentines | 26 Comments