Friday, January 31, 2014

Jewelry maker provides help in prayer with Protestant prayer beads

If you are anything like me, you struggle with prayer. Sometimes it is very difficult to keep my mind focused on what I am saying or I fall asleep. Does this sound familiar? I shared this two Fridays ago in our Prayers for Creative People blog and while I do not want to repeat myself too much, I wanted to provide you with some background on what led me to another helpful practice.

Prayer beads.

I am sure you have heard of prayer beads. Many religions use them. Here in the United States, Catholic rosaries are the most well known method for utilizing beads in prayer, but did you know that Protestants also pray with beads? I found this out when I was researching rosaries and it intrigued me. I found out that Anglican Prayer beads or Christian Prayer beads are used by Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians here in the United States. In the mid-1980s, the Episcopalians developed a method for using the beads.

Not long into my research, I discovered a little book written by Kristen E. Vincent called "A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner's Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads." I then also found out that Kristen has an Etsy shop called Prayerworks Studio . These are some of her items and more are coming Monday, February 3:







Since I have only been using prayer beads for a few months, my experience is limited; however, the benefit is already apparent to me. By using the beads, it is easier to keep track of my thoughts. I have also experienced a deeper sense of peace in my life and this is directly related to moments of contemplation and meditation on Scriptures suggested in Kristen's book and in "Praying With Beads: Daily Prayers for the Christian Year" by Nann Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens. I am so glad that I began using these beads because they have helped me draw closer to God, which was my goal in the first place.

You can find out more about Kristen and her ministry at her blog, A Bead 'N A Prayer: A Journey in Prayer One Bead at a Time. Be sure to check out her store. She sells hand made prayer beads for children and adults; she sells kits should you prefer to make one. Kristen has also started selling cards relating to prayer and you can find copies of her book as well.

Do you pray with beads? If so, what is your experience? If not, does this interest you? Why?

If you do not use prayer beads, what other methods do you use during prayer to stay focused?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing Places affiliates with Craftsy

Have you heard of Craftsy?

Craftsy is an online community of 1.5 million makers that provides classes, projects, patterns and supplies in many different areas of interest.

 So, if you want to learn about sewing, cake decorating, photography, food and cooking, fine art, knitting, quilting, jewelry, crocheting, embroidery, home and garden, weaving, spinning or paper crafts, Craftsy's online classes are definitely worth checking out.

Starting next week, I will be taking  Crazy Quilting with Allie Aller and I am going to write about it on this blog. Writing Places, the Blog, is now a Craftsy affiliate, so anytime you click a Craftsy link on our site and make a purchase, we will receive a commission from this great company.

I am really excited to learn about Crazy Quilting in this class. Join us here on the blog or take the class yourself and join in via the comments.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Prayers for Creative People

Over the last year, I have come to rely heavily on the book of "Christian Prayer" during my devotion time. "Christian Prayer" is the liturgy of Catholic Christians and using it has revolutionized by prayer life.

I must confess right away that I have trouble praying because my mind either wanders or I fall
asleep. When I was a child, praying was much easier. I recited "Now I lay me down to sleep" then at the end I would say "God bless ..." I had all of my people covered. When I was a little older I abandoned that childish prayer and just recited my list of requests to God every night. As an adult, however, I realized that prayer was deeper. Prayer is a time not only talk to God but to listen as well. It is a time to remain silent so that God can infuse my heart with peace. It is also a time to pour out my heart. Most importantly, prayer is a time for expressions of gratitude. It is a time to pray for children, loved ones, the church, and the world. I found an outlet for this in the book of "Christian Prayer."

"Christian Prayer" also relies heavily on scripture so there a chance to memorize the Bible and to pray scripture with millions of people around the globe.

"Christian Prayer" is not the only place to find prayers. There is the the Book of Common Prayer, the Bible and other Christian writings. You can even write your own prayers to recite during your time alone with God. 

Here are some prayers that are good for creative people. 

An Artist's Prayer
Come, O Creator Spirit, visit our minds, and fill with your grace the hearts you have created. Grant us, we humbly pray, an abundance of that creative inspiration which is the source of every true work of art.
May the fruit of our artistic talents transfigure matter and open the human soul to the sense of the eternal and Triune God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In Ruminate Magazine, author Alexa Van Dalsem has compiled some prayers for artists:
From The Book of Common Prayer
17. For Church Musicians and Artists
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in
heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through
art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on
earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty,
and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for
evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Artists

Bless the creators, O God of creation,
who by their gifts make the world
a more joyful and beautiful realm.
Through their labors
they teach us to see more clearly
the truth around us.
In their inspiration
they call forth wonder and awe
in our own living.
In their hope and vision
they remind us
that life is holy.
Bless all who create in your image,
O God of creation.
Pour your Spirit upon them
that their hearts may sing
and their works be fulfilling.
Prayer for Vocation in Daily Work (in the arts or any vocation)
Deliver us from the service of self alone,
that we may do the work You have given us to do,
in truth and beauty and for the common good,
for the sake of the One who comes among us
as One who serves.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shop Feature: Susan Rodebush Arts

Are you ready for some cheer and overt splashes of color? Then hop on over to SusanRodebushArts on Etsy and have a look around. Trained as a painter, according to her Etsy profile, Susan is a "scavenger, collector, painter and lover of color, {She] assemble bits and pieces to create unique, personal artworks and accessories. [She]  loves the density of visual information and an abundance of many colors."

In her work, Susan says that she wants to convey fun, hope and joy "while scratching at the surface of deeper meaning."


New Chunky Scarves at Writing Places

I have added some new scarves to my store on Etsy. At WritingPlaces we are now offering three new chunky-type infinity scarves.

The first one is the Amazing Infinity Scarf because I crocheted it with "Amazing" yarn by Lion Brand. The colors are subtle and beautiful with pops of coral and pink through out. After she modeled this scarf Tayler asked me to make one for her right away. She liked how soft it was and the colors were, well, amazing. Good job on the name for this yarn, Lion Brand.


The next scarf is crocheted from Loops and Threads Charisma yarn in Mulberry Bush. I love the blend of burgundy, green, brown and blue in this yarn. The acrylic fiber is soft and cushiony.


 This cowl will keep you nice and warm. Made of Rowan 100 percent wool, this chunky cowl is mainly pink with pops of purple, blue, rose, brown and sage. The wool is brushed soft.

There are more details on these cowls in my shop and don't forget to use coupon code BLOG10 to get a 10 percent discount on any item.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Growing Beyond Self-Rejection

Here is a great thought from the popular devotional writer Henri Nouwen. As people we can easily reject ourselves. If it gets out of hand it can lead to self-destructive behaviors. Nouwen shares the difference between self-rejection and humility. 

Growing Beyond Self-Rejection

"One of the greatest dangers in the spiritual life is self-rejection. When we say, "If people really knew me, they wouldn't love me," we choose the road toward darkness. Often we are made to believe that self-deprecation is a virtue, called humility. But humility is in reality the opposite of self-deprecation. It is the grateful recognition that we are precious in God's eyes and that all we are is pure gift. To grow beyond self-rejection we must have the courage to listen to the voice calling us God's beloved sons and daughters, and the determination always to live our lives according to this truth."
Henri Nouwen
Have a great weekend, my friends. Enjoy this beautiful painting from ArtbyEvelynMarie.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shop Feature: Feltinga

Today I want to feature some products from an Etsy shop called Feltinga. Isn't she talented?









Ingrid sells a variety of items in her shop. You should go take a look!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Creativity - The Imitation of God

Creative people are constantly trying to add beauty to the human experience. It's what we do. It's how we're made. It's how we connect with God - the ultimate and only real creator. Let's face it, everything we do is imitation of something we have seen or heard,  translated into our own interpretation. There is nothing wrong with that. The outlet of creative expression - whether it's music, writing, photography, painting, drawing, quilting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, sculpting, making jewelry or whatever it is we do - is an expression of the song that the Lord sings into our heart.

Over Christmas, my family traveled to Arizona to visit my parents. On the way home we visited the Petrified Forest, one of America's most ancient expressions of nature's artwork. Scientists say that the trees that were fossilized are around 225 million years old.

I have never touched anything that old, so I just had to do it.

Petrified Forest
The texture was as smooth like marble and the colors flowed together abstractly like a painting.

Petrified Forest
I was completely enthralled by the beauty of the forest and when I touched that tree, a feeling of awe came over me. Awe, not only because the tree trunk was older than I could imagine, but because that no matter how old that tree trunk was, someone much more ancient had been there all along and who, by his word, had put  into place all of the processes that produced that which we enjoy today. Just like creatives, the earth also imitates its creator and beauty is a natural result.

Here are a couple more pictures of the surrounding hills. Over time, water has washed away the ground to reveal the layers of rock underneath. Isn't it beautiful?

Petrified Forest
Sweater Rock
This rock in the picture above is not really called Sweater Rock. I renamed it because it inspired me to perhaps someday crochet a sweater or afghan in these colors. Wouldn't that be gorgeous? I think that it would be a suitable expression of gratefulness over the beauty that God has created, don't you?

What does nature inspire you to create?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome to WritingPlaces, the blog

Write it Down. Send it Out. Feel Good While Doing it. 

Life is an adventure, so WritingPlaces provides products for you to record that adventure and to feel good while doing it. 

You can write about your adventures down in our fabric covered journals, or send your memories written on a card to a friend. 

You can Feel Good about giving with your purchase because with every purchase, I will give 10 percent to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, an organization that assists people all around the world, Uhuru the Pig is a special product with which all of the proceeds, minus shipping and handling, go to Compassion for Africa to help young girls gain financial independence.

Also Feel Good by wrapping up in our scarves and hats to feel comfortable and warm while out in the elements on your adventures, no matter what they are. 

Custom orders on any of my products are welcome and available.

By visiting this blog, you can use a free coupon in my store. Type in BLOG10 to receive 10 percent off of your purchase.

WritingPlaces is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Hope to see you around!