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…

Related image

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.



©   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

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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”


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…

Image result for images of bleeding heart flowers

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…


Image result for images of bleeding heart flowers

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


©   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

A month of valentines for you, and this is the first

Image result for vintage valentines

It’s February!  And love and friendship are in the air.

Certainly, there’s the romantic…but this time of year always makes me rekindle the old-fashioned, dust off the vintage charmers, remember  when we used to take time to consider kindred spirits of our lives… some silver, many gold… just to send a cheery, silly, funny or endearing —  you’re on my heart!

I love the unexpected finding of miniature envelopes from faraway winging into my mailbox…like those from one of you bloggers who still enjoys finding those little pieces of 30’s and 40’s art like this little flyer!  The placing of these on my mantel… the smiles they bring every time I pass.

And sometimes… there’s hidden treasure to inspire a deeper thoughtfulness, a simple caring…

Such was the message that popped into my email a few weeks ago and brought a sort of co-conspirator valentine opp into my life…  a chance to be part of creating a special memory for someone…

and began with someone’s insightful idea and a cottage dear…


Giving the gift of a home portrait can be valentine treasure.

“I have been searching for someone to do a pen and ink (with a touch of color) portrait for someone we purchased an old home from, as a closing gift,” the email began, “and when I came across your website, I knew I had found my artist!”

Examining the charming cottage photos she’d included, thinking of her thoughtfulness in understanding how selling might be bittersweet for the former owner, and the timing of when I’d probably have this ready for her to give — sweet memories of the kind of valentines we used to give more often just to tell someone we care, we cherish them, wafted over me much as the scent of forgotten flowers pressed in a book.

I’m certain this new owner wasn’t really thinking in terms of valentines as she envisioned this gift to the seller.  But… mmm… isn’t that really what this would be?  An unexpected gesture tailored  and designed like white lace and cut out card to say, I know how you feel.  I want to lift your heart.  I’m thinking of you and hope you remember me as we cherish this place, too…   

I hadn’t really thought of a home portrait in that light before.  But working on this one…I especially planned it to bring bits and pieces of the previous owner’s story (at least what I could glean from photos) into illustration so every time she looks at it, she’ll be transported to all the love and joy this place holds for her.

Of the various views of this wonderful 1926 bungalow, I chose this one because I love the way it makes me feel like I’m standing there at the walkway, ready to go up and ring the bell. (Do you feel that too?)   I love the owner’s pride I see in the details on the porch…the pretty potted plant atop the divider wall, the cheery wicker table and couch with pillows, the pink camellia bushes on either side.  The warm glow of the lamp I could see in the window.  Details I knew would sing to her of this place she held dear.  And being the “detail” artist I’ve always been, I imagined in a few blown camellia blossoms down the path, a small bluebird pecking…in that story tale sort of way…  🙂

I’d already asked if she’d like me to include the owner’s address at the bottom, as I often do for that classic look on the original piece…but as I finished, suddenly a new idea was winging round my thoughts.  What if I could find a lovely literary quote in place of writing the address? One that would speak to the seller’s heart for this home?

Searching online, I came across a few… shot them off to my customer and found that she, her husband and I separately chose the same one!

And so it came to be that I penned across the bottom edge:

  “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

~   Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“O, so sweet….so perfect!!!,” the customer exclaimed when I sent her a thumbnail of the finished piece.  “You have perfectly captured the essence and charm of this home. Thank you so much –what a lovely gift you have created!  I am so happy to be able to gift this incredible portrait of our new home to the previous owner, as she moves on to the next chapter in her life.  I know that when she looks at it, she will be flooded with lovely memories.”

wedding-guestThe storyteller in me sketches in a bit of what those memories might have been… perhaps the camellia covered Craftsman home where she settled as a young bride or mother…

I’m not even sure whether the seller is someone the buyer knew before the purchase or just someone in whose eyes she read the sadness of leaving.   Yet… Somehow I think… if they are really only mere acquaintances... this house portrait seems all the more of a lovely valentine to give and to receive.  Kindness laced with a thoughtfulness we need more of these days…one to another.

Image result for valentine heart and rose

See my three new valentine designs now on display in my Valentines for Anytime  gallery  🙂 at Picture It in Pen and Ink (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com)

Posted in Valentines | 4 Comments

Sounds of gladness

Inline image 2…there will be heard once more  the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
    for the Lord is good;
                                                                                his love endures forever.”

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.

~ Jeremiah 33:10-12, NIV

Image result for black and white curlicue

Always, when the things we are praying about seem so overwhelming, the Lord is really wooing us to quiet our hearts.  To remember… My sheep know My voice... means having to first listen.

I was doing that the other day, asking Him to show me what more to do…when He led me to this passage, zeroing my eyes in on the injunction to “give thanks to the Lord Almighty…”

Confirming something I’d already been hearing in my spirit.  And today… maybe His encouraging to you too?  🙂

Give me the situation once,

then continually thank Me for what you do not yet see…

Believe by faith, it is done in Me.

Then… there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness…restoration… when we believe for days of heaven here on earth…

Lily of the valley

Since then… shifting my petitioning to express so many unending ways the Lord’s goodness fills me with thankfulness and worship, I find myself overflowing with His beauty.  And His promise echoes like sweet bells in me, dispelling worry and fear out upon the winds of believing…   and praising.

Oh, what a beautiful and heart-lifting image portrayed here, the song of the bride and bridegroom, especially to me in this moment when I had just posted a piece about entering into the joy at a wedding… and a story I found in a simple photo that made me envision

“…the bride and groom dashing from the church beneath showers of blossoms or rice, hear their giddy laughter, imagine those fairy tale bells that seem to ring at royal British weddings and imagine how it all sang to this young couple on the churchyard walk…”

Image result for image of wedding bells

Please join me here to read the rest…  🙂 and to see the pen and ink and pencil portrait this vintage black and white photo (above) inspired:


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When you press a forever image to heart…

Image result for image of bunny hopping through snow

It was a springy sort of day, following a deluge of now rapidly melting snow, though not in the sense of season, but in the feel that one might click heels off the ground in a joyful burst.  That’s what the exuberant bunny seemed to dance out as it leaped from one pillowy snow mound to the next that lined yards across the way,  catching and captivating my eye with query at what in the world that swift movement  across the length of three homes was...

Standing beside my window, I watched it leap, hop and sink but a split second into the downy white puffs, then up and out speedily…  unchased by anyone or anything, except maybe a pure sense of delight.  And wondering what had brought the typically twilight only creature out into the early morning, I simply, grinned.

I let myself out the back door and into the brisk air warmed only by lozenges of sun lighting here, there upon the clear road.  Diamond pricks glistened where snow still lay and shadows glowed smoky blue.  There was no one and nothing else about, save a car or two parked at curbs.  My walking path led round the curve of the small park in the center of our homes, up and over soft undulation of road and when I reached the home fronts where I’d seen the bunny frisking, I paused to take in the arc of the sky, gray with low cloud but thatched in blue even higher still and letting bits of sunlight through.  Above the homes, I could see graceful, empty branches of trees rising, the iron tip of a church cross just beyond, as if painted there, in silhouette.

I was alone, not another soul, not a dog or a cat or a rabbit about.  Only unseen birds, punctuating the air in morning  hymns.

Cocooned as I was in the neighborhood, I had the feel of a yet stretching, enormous, airy world up and out around me, reducing me to just one more creature, not so unlike that bunny making swiftly receding tracks from its glacier to glacier.  I alone had seen it dancing…and for that moment, it had pressed a forever image that could not melt away.

Partly, I enjoyed that sense of being the only one to see, of being unseen and anonymous in the day. Spying out the otherwise unnoticed sparkles we miss in everyday, and picking them up like scalloped sea shells, to slip as treasure in my pocket.

Still, in the soft murmur of drip, drip, drip where ice now ran as freshly poured water, another musical note arose.

You give Me pure delight as I watch yours, it sang out in a rippling sort of way that seemed to caress as if with soft breeze.  Forever etched in my heart too.  And…you are never alone…

I lifted my face to the blue above and blushed in the warmth of that wonder… Love in  ever presence.  And isn’t it a thing of ever faceted beauty how He slips such remembrance into our hands, like pearls on a string…?

A gift continually sung over you and I…to ponder…in every moment. That…even when our footprints seem to disappear in the snow, there is One who etches them everlasting…just because.


©   Pam Depoyan

🙂  This incredible bunny photo:  https://www.pinterest.com/love4cats2/bunnies/

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When a gift slips through your fingers

Image result for image of a small painting on an easel

I’d stopped at a local apple farm one afternoon several years ago, both for a luscious chocolate frosted doughnut fresh from their ovens and a fun browse through the art boutique in their barn, when I came upon a small but exquisite painting that simply made my heart zing.

I remember it as being only about 8×8, perched on an easel…  a softly tinted portrait of a young woman from the 40’s, a tender look that caught warm happiness upon her delicately pretty face.  And next to the painting, a faded vintage photo of the same, revealing the artist’s “model.”

Something in it spoke to me of English landscape behind her.  I think the subject may have been captured by camera in an everyday moment, standing next to a British-looking auto…and I wondered who she was.  Someone in the artist’s family?  Or a commissioned piece of someone dear to a client?  The display appeared as though the artist had simply stepped away, inviting viewers to think of the possibilities she might render from their beloved photos,  yet I didn’t see her around to ask.

But — oh!  I wanted this picture!

I checked the price.  Ugg… Not really extravagant, but for me at the time, a bit steep.  Reluctantly, I walked away.

Circled back.

Took another look.

Repeated that pattern, again and again.

Mentally going through my budget.  Trying to squeeze a way to splurge.

It reminded me of my mom…


Please join me here

to continue this story…


©   Pam Depoyan

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Let’s Start the New Year Right


One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello
Let’s start the new year right
Twelve o’clock tonight
When they dim the light
Let’s begin
Kissing the old year out
Kissing the new year in
Let’s watch the old year die
With a fond good-bye
And our hopes as high
As a kite
How can Love go wrong if
We start the new year right?

~Irving Berlin

Christmas Prayers, Like Ornaments of Handblown Glass - Part 1

Let’s start the New Year with lightness, with songs of heart…

to sing over ourselves… to proclaim over our world…

to bless and heal and lift our hands to His wonders of Joy…

and drink a cup of cheer

Happy Giving Thanks Day!

… know that you yourselves are God’s temple

and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst…

1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV


Happy New Years Eve!

©   Pam Depoyan

pen and ink drawing above, “Christmas Tree Lot” : mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  )   Available for purchase at Picture it in Pen and Ink – Christmas Designs

Posted in Christmas Cards | 12 Comments