A Christmas Card for you!

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Today, may you feast on the delights of the Lord

Be embraced in His wonders of joy

Join in angel glorias and

Ponder the Gift

Laid in a manger,

Planned by the Father,

Even…if only…for you.

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Have a Merry Little Christmas!

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©   Pam Depoyan

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

photo: mine

Posted in Christmas Cards | 4 Comments

Flowers in the Snow

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“Come in, come in! and know me better…”

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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Through mists of snow and dove grey skies, this Friday before Christmas dawned, the air brisk, yet a warmer bookend to the week’s beginning.  Standing before my kitchen window, hands in suds, I watched a cardinal flash scarlet wing, land — hop, hop – searching sodden ice for unseen nibbles.

“Hopeless,” I thought.  Still, the creature looked up and around, quizzically.  Seemed to be thinking that food predicament out.

My own thoughts wisped about me, like peering through a fogged window on a train passing along remembered paths, chugging a rhythmic refrain… if only, it could… if only, it could…

Mentally, I reached across that mystical window with the side of my hand, rubbed a patch clear, as if to see more clearly.   Saw then the stone walls, the brick building, the shapes of trees lining the courtyard; recognized the wide-windowed rooms where once upon a time we met over poetry and literature and lively conversations.  Making my way to the front of the “train” of these thoughts, I alighted.  And there, a quote inscribed on a hanging sign swung back and forth on a breeze.  A sign that was never there physically…yet, one I seemed to feel had been there all along…

“Come in,” the swinging words invited merrily as Dickens’ Christmas character. “Come in and know me better…”

I stood there silently, taking in the import like water from a glass, and the silence filled up with other sounds.  The scraping of chairs moving closer to desks.  Laughter from one corner.  Someone posing a question on the topic of the day…another answering with differing thoughts… a sharing back and forth where it wasn’t necessarily valuable to agree with one another as much as to let all openly throw out their viewpoints, listen, consider… offer your own.   See the other side of the cup.  Know me better…

I never came away from those class discussions with anger boiling against another’s ideas.  Or felt as though I wanted to write them off as not worth knowing.  Instead, I couldn’t wait till the next time we came together… to uncovering a bit more about how and why one person saw a piece we’d been reading this way and another that.  That give and take… it made me want to really know my classmates and teacher.  Their stories.  Their dreams.  Their hopes.

“It seemed so much more natural in those days, to care about people just for the joy of getting to know one another more and more,” I mused then, leaning over to stack plates in the dishwasher, remembering years of bits and pieces of conversations with family friends from all walks of life and sometimes different faith and how we loved each other for opening lives and hearts.

But, why has that changed?

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What has altered life these days that makes us casually write off anyone who doesn’t think exactly the way we think?  How have we arrived at this place where people feel righteously entitled to openly disrespect anyone with a differing view?  Or to throw up walls and freeze someone out when they, falsely or truly, determine…hmm, maybe we don’t think enough alike.

Do I have to vote for the same person you vote for in order for you to be interested in knowing me as a person? Do we have to have lived identical lives for me to want to know more of what makes you laugh, cry, hope, dream?

“I am becoming increasingly convinced that our inability to let people be people and to love them whether or not they agree with us is really blinding us to truth,” someone astutely commented here recently, starring my eyes.

For I think of someone I’ve reached out to, wanting to know them more as people than I ever have before.  I’ve always understood we didn’t share identical views on every little thing in life.  It never mattered back when, because something in the talking of who we were made me love them.  They made a difference in my life, shaped me in lovely ways.

Somehow now though, a high wall seems to have sprung up.  A hand held up as if to say… I suspect we don’t have matching ideas so let’s just not communicate.   

Words that seemed to begin flowing, suddenly trickling few and just barely enough.

I am saddened.  Sorry to never hear more of the stories that make up this person’s heart.  Sorry they don’t seem to want to know mine.

I believe we are meant to read each other’s stories like a book… to take wonder and joy in getting to discover what we value.  And in this world where more and more we stand on opposite sides of a glass divider and just cast one another off as unworthy of our time… I can’t help thinking of my Christmas wish–

I want to send you flowers in the snow.  To see your eyes light like sun diamonds on the winter white world.

And I want to receive some from you, too.

The little cardinal is still hopping vainly on the snowy drive outside my window.  But… is it vainly?  He sees what mist momentarily blinded me to…  The Provider will not abandon…

“Ask and I will send My angels to sing circles of joy over these, for re-tendering, for melting away of fear and walls,” He offers to you and to me in this season of Christmas roses… “and watch the bouquets I bring forth…”

Bouquets of stories, shared heart to heart.  (Can you think of someone you wish that for too?)

Now that would be heavenly grace spooling softly from heaven, snow on snow, this Christmas.

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©   Pam Depoyan

Love the antique photo of the child up top as much as I do? Click here to see the drawing I recently did from this charmer:

Christmas Wonder

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I need your help…

Do you have any vintage photos like the one of this child (up top) in your family?  Oh how I’d love to draw more such lovelies! (I particularly love images of anyone from the ’40’s or English looking ones like this one above.)

Send them to me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com… and if I draw them, I’ll gift you with a greeting card version of that drawing.

Posted in Christmas List | 19 Comments

Razzle-Bright Blessing

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Sunlight streams in across my mantel this afternoon,  moving gentle as fingers across piano keys, casting shadows sweet as unexpected melody.  It tiptoes those fingers in caress over the frost-tipped fern I placed in an ornament-red tin there today – a lovely find at the grocer’s, like a breath of a snowy evergreen, this unusual Christmasey plant I’ve never seen before.

It lights the face of my clock (which needs a battery and a wind, but livens to this touch of glory)…and somehow stirs my thoughts to angel wings I see in those laser cut-like shadow lights upon the wall behind…

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But it isn’t until I open the photo here that I really notice the wonders painted on the wall before my unseeing eyes…

The reflection of candles and candlewick tin lampshade, momentarily  wall-painted behind the angel, proclaims Joy to the world even as the angel banner below…

Fleeting whispers of merry, merry, merry…these light shadows that play on my walls, sing into my spirit.

Catch these simple wonders like candlelight in a jar… razzleberry dressing…

and I’m reminded of a sparkle song of old I’d love to share with you now… on this Tuesday before Christmas…

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Won’t you pause to take a listen?

Once heard, you can’t stop humming this one!  🙂

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“The Lord’s Bright Blessing” (Razzleberry Dressing) song

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Writing this post today as part of a Christmas List

to take note of wonders all round…

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©   Pam Depoyan

mantel photos: mine

candle in a jar – http://www.thevspotblog.com/2013/12/easy-last-minute-christmas-decorations.html

Posted in Christmas List | 14 Comments

Mmmm… stands for Muffins!

little-girl-holding-snowballI’ll tell you a “secret.”

I love watching Martha (Stewart) Bakes on PBS.   Especially for great new holiday baking ideas!

She hooked me when I was home taking care of my elderly father a year ago, but I could never find her on my local stations when I returned.

Then — suddenly — there she was!  Twice a week!

Most of the time, I think I just enjoy all the creative touches and something in my appetite for sweets is mysteriously satisfied in a way I never thought possible – just by watching.   Incredible as that sounds, she makes me feel like I’ve actually tasted the treats – and no calories or sugar troubles!

I mentally file away some of the recipes I might like to try someday.  Others, I google immediately and capture the link.   Given some of the legend surrounding Martha and her supposedly over the top creations, you might be surprised to know that most of what she bakes is easily manageable by anyone who bakes even just a little… and she often explains step by step…

All this to say, watching one program devoted to several fantastic-sounding muffins a few months back, I knew I’d found the something I would bring to my next holiday gathering.  Something that sounded and looked deliciously savory and sweet.  Healthy – well, somewhat — because it included zucchini!  And simple to present in a pretty eye-catching way!

I baked them in batches since one recipe only makes about  10 – 12… and tasting one fresh from the oven stopped me in my tracks.  A couple of unusual ingredients (ground cardamom and anise seeds) had put these over the top in tender, cake-like goodness.

“Oh, my gosh!” I exclaimed to the empty kitchen – these are SO yum!”

(Martha lists cardamom as optional, probably because it is hard to find and can be expensive, but if you can locate some at a reasonable price as I did, I highly recommend it!  I had searched many stores and only found one that had a huge bottle at an equally huge price.  I only needed 1/8 tsp, so that was out!  Then I thought of a local Italian grocery and presto!  They had it, and the equally hard to find anise seeds, available in tiny ziplock bags for a little over $2.  I’ve heard Indian stores probably carry these spices in bulk too…)

“Those are beautiful, Pam!”  my friends exclaimed this Thanksgiving as I arranged them on a platter for the buffet.  I’d found some pretty “tulip” shaped cupcake papers at Hobby Lobby… two toned, with purple and green, they opened up in a scalloped top.  Martha had used something elegant and simple…same tulip shape, but solid white (like parchment paper), but searching stores had left me barehanded until I’d found these.

Drizzling with an orange glaze, Martha added a sprig of green chervil (curly parsley works) to each one, and against those papers – I found it the perfect touch too!

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Looking for a fun new treat to share with family and friends this Christmas?  Having a few over for brunch anytime soon?   I highly recommend these zucchini orange muffins from Martha!  Especially with a cup of tea!  Easy to bake (other than having to wring out the grated zucchini, which is a pain but necessary)!  They freeze well too… Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been treating myself now and then to a few leftover and warming up makes them like fresh from the oven!

A great perk of this link too is that you can not only print the recipe but also watch Martha in a short video clip there as she bakes this particular recipe… *

http://www.marthastewart.com/1076010/zucchini-muffins

Oh so yum fresh from oven!  Enjoy!!

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*TIP:  I bought organic oranges and zucchini since I’d be using the skin of both… no need to be concerned for pesticides.

©   Pam Depoyan

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

 Image result for christmas gift image

Looking for a unique Christmas gift?  See my special offers for the Month of December — free shipping and more!

For the HGTV home lover you know, for decorating a child’s room, for a gift that tells part of your story… Stop by my Picture it in Pen and Ink online gallery at https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/a-little-communique-spot-2/ 

Love Love Love 1940’s era drawings of children?  Also, check out my newest gallery of  Christmas Wonder where you’ll find “Snow on Snow” and more for Christmas!

Posted in Scrumptious Recipes | 20 Comments

Christmas List

Digital CameraI’m making a different sort of Christmas list this season… and inviting you to join me as I jot a few toppers here…    🙂 

Humming the beautiful tune about girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes…snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes…silver white winters that turn into springs… I reflect about what makes my list of Favorite Things.

Wednesday — rrrrr,  a hectic day of running all over town, wrapping and finally getting off an out of state package, suddenly realizing I needed some pantry staples  in anticipation of a snow advisory set to cloak our world beginning the next day.  Weary and snapping at annoyances round me in late afternoon, I made one last stop…for eggs.

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Oh, it’s hard to resist the buckets of fresh flowers at the front of that store...lovely as an outdoor florist display on a French green in spring!  Suddenly, I found myself craving…a red rose.

Only $2.  Choose one,  wisped a thought.  A tiny reminder of my joy over you…

And coming home, placing it in my white pitcher, the remembrance of this Santa plate – a gift from a mutual vintage loving friend one Christmas – popped to mind.  Rummaging in my closet, I unwrapped it from its tissue hiding place.

Now, gracing my kitchen counter, just below and katty corner to the window, the glory of that red and white soars my spirit each time I enter.

And…Four days later, the rose remains perfect!  I love how it speaks to me of His many-colored coat of wonders He brings our way, calling us to look for and find them in each day… sometimes to gift to others, sometimes like a card written just to us…

Such was the awesome vintage photo I uncovered recently when looking for Christmas drawing inspiration…  Another gift of wonder to see it appear on screen. 

For it is one of those toppers to my Christmas List — that this season, He

would make me more aware of simple wonders of His Love…

I knew only that I wanted to sketch some carolers, and for it to be of 1940 era and when I saw this one.  And, oh how it rose stories to my heart!

Three real children, looking like brothers and a sister, who might have stepped out of It’s A Wonderful Life or The Bishop’s Wife, raising eyes and voices to hymns in a snowfall…making me wonder who they were, who they grew up to be…

…Then, as I was drawing the covers on song sheets held in their hands – just trying to duplicate the shapes I saw there —  I was amazed to recognize the sweet and vintage depiction as the Holy Family aglow on the first one on the left (I’d originally thought they were of carolers). What a legacy of heart and faith this caught of a time in our history!

…  I can imagine their voices tender and light as that snow falling…  🙂 

And I’d love to know – does it speak wonder to you too?

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Won’t you join me over at my Picture it in Pen and Ink Blog to see this newest in my Christmas Wonder drawings?  

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

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©   Pam Depoyan

Photo of rose and plate, mine

Posted in Christmas List | 2 Comments

Remember when wonder tasted like Christmas morn?

Image result for clipart of evergreen boughVisions of vintage Christmas images I might draw have been playing round the edges of my thoughts lately…  particularly the kind you see in all those wonderful movie treasures of the 1940’s.   Some of the 50’s… 60’s too.   I just love the classic lines of the children’s clothing of those eras – the sweet curve of a knitted cap against a rosy cheek, the Swiss chalet design on sweaters.  And the way they remind me of some of my favorite artists of Good Housekeeping cover days…like Jessie Wilcox Smith…

Mm… just the sort of artwork that tells our stories even today.  Art that marks a special memory or season or child’s accomplishment… like treasured ornaments we choose to hold our memories year to year…

So… googling for images I might use as inspiration and modeling… I’ve hit upon a theme for this new season.

WONDER.   

That frosty day, zip across ice, soar on a Star, ring a Christmas bell sort of wonder!

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Won’t you join me over at my other blog

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

to see the first in this, my 2016 Christmas Design series?

PSST!

Look for my Christmas Savings Celebration there too!

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P.S.

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Recently, fellow blogger Sarah Geringer graciously asked to  interview  me for her lovely Christmas series on finding peace in our hearts and lives.  To read that interview, just click here: http://www.sarahgeringer.com/2016/11/30/peaceful-celebration-day-23-obs/

Posted in Christmas List | 13 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On this day of giving thanks, what if we take up a refreshing challenge to  be a blessing?

Today, I am pondering the grateful hearts of the first settlers celebrating teamwork and mutual respect and adventure of beginning on a wondrous new journey…how they came together in humble and joyful spirit after so much heartache and struggle…

O, how we need to turn our hearts once again to that spirit of giving and receiving blessing!

Have you noticed lately – all the tares among the wheat?  “What is happening to a world where we think nothing of taking disrespect for others to seismic scale?  Hatred and anger and fear and rudeness – even attack — are considered elite, correct stances and no one is more important than number one.   “I don’t care what you are feeling!” one young, otherwise intelligent woman decries, captured as if in tantrum display on media for millions more than the immediate crowd to hear.   And I pray… “Oh, Lord… is there a way to soften tares into wheat?”

I have blessed you to be a blessing, He reminds.

Today… counting our personal blessings… let us ask His Holy Spirit how we can most bless Him –  what is on His heart –through Advent and in to every day of the new year.     Let us listen in to how He would have us bless friends, acquaintances and strangers alike…bring back civility, common caring and compassion,  understanding… and weave hope, light and grace citizen to citizen.   Ask Him to bring people our way in divine appointments of grace and encouragement.  Blessed are the peacemakers…

Blessings come in so many shapes and sizes…

  • Heartfelt prayer for another
  • A smile across a room
  • A lending hand
  • An encouraging word
  • Old fashioned never go out of style courtesy
  • Putting someone ahead of ourselves
  • and __(Let His Spirit fill in)__…  🙂

Much as the settlers, we can embark on a wondrous new journey, create a refreshed world around us…go forward as light-keepers to a new day.  Not necessarily thinking up ways, but leaning in to His whispers and lead…

Happy day of blessing keeping!

Autumn cornucopia - symbol of food and abundance

and, mmm…mm…happy celebrating with once a year food delights, family and friends!

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©   Pam Depoyan

pen and ink, “Cilla and the Giant Pumpkin” : mine.  (Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)  ) 

 Image result for christmas gift image

Looking for a unique Christmas gift?

For the HGTV home lover you know, for decorating a child’s room, for a gift that tells part of your story… Stop by my Picture it in Pen and Ink online gallery at http://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com!  Check out the special Black Friday offer in the communique spot there too!

Posted in Autumn Leaves | 38 Comments