Me In The Middle Of Feeling Christmas Spirit

Christmas Roses #2 (2)

(c) mlq

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~ The Christmas Rose ~

She stood beside the doorway softly weeping,
without the slightest gift for the newly born
who lay within a manger, peaceful, sleeping.

Three travelers, all richly dressed, but worn,
brought royal treasures for him in their keeping ~
the shepherd maiden wept unseen, forlorn.
In the chill of winter, she had found no rose
nor blossom; ‘midst the rocky hills none grows.

An angel saw her sorrow; understanding
at once the reason, swept away the snow,
revealing there some Christmas Roses. Handing
these white and waxen flowers to her, “Go –
an offering so pure is right,” commanding
with gentleness that only angels know.
The gift was made – beneath the angel’s wink,
the petals blushed from white to palest pink.

© Margaret I. Gibson

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Some of the best memories I have of past Christmas holidays were when I let go of expectations and just let it happen.

 Ever since I was a little girl I’ve felt that Christmas was meant for all people of good will.  It never dawned on me that Christmas would belong to just one religion.  I knew it was the birth of Jesus ~ the tiny infant who was born in a humble stable ~ who came to love the world and the message he brought to us was to love one another.

My early memories of Christmas were more of the feeling of togetherness, belonging and acceptance.  There was a feeling of magic in the air.  There weren’t many gifts under the tree ~ yet it was my favorite time of the year.  There was something infectious about the outpouring of Good Will as you went about the day meeting people along the way.

When my children were growing up it was fun taking on the passing along of this tradition.  Seeing their eyes brighten with anticipation as the day grew nearer, and gathering them around the Nativity Scene to impress upon them that it was this humble birth we were celebrating.

Then there were the times when I was weary and burdened with worries and stresses.  When I didn’t have enough money to get them gifts or a tree.  When I watched the hustle and bustle of every one caught up in the season and felt isolated from it.  I thought it was all going to pass us by.  Surprisingly, these were the times I remember the most because it’s at times like these that even the smallest gift and the smallest gestures of kindness and love mean the most.  It was at times like these that I experienced what the real meaning of Grace is.  It was at times like these that I learned that Christmas happens every day when we’re open to it.  

That humble birth of that one small child speaks to all of us about the simplicity of Love ~ A Gift that shouts out at a World that desperately needs it.  It’s not a gift that belongs to any specific religion.  It’s a gift that belongs to all of us!  

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“Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

Original Post on December 2015

Me in the Middle on a Virtual Sketchwalk

For the months of June, August and September ~ I’ve been traveling!

Virtual Traveling!

Virtual Reality, Consciousness, Reality

Image by Pixabay

Virtual Sketchwalk is a Facebook Page with 849 (and growing) members.  At the beginning of each month, the Admin ~ Kate Powell ~ posts around 100 plus photographs of interesting places, local and foreign.  Sketchwalks involve a group of artists who meet up at a specific location and spend time sketching together at that location. Virtual Sketchwalk brings together artists who might not be able to travel yet still can enjoy sketching and learning about the area.  It gives us a chance to practice our skills and then share our artwork with each other on Facebook.  Each of us can choose from the photographs and we can sketch as many as we want.  It’s fun to see the different interpretations that evolve from each person.

My previous post on the Virtual Sketchwalk for March, April and May is HERE.

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June ~ Paris, France

June 2019 Eiffel Tower Paris

Sketch by Mary Lou

June 2019 Paris France #3

Sketch by Mary Lou

June 2019 Tuileries Paris

Sketch by Mary Lou

August ~ Disneyland

August 2019 Disneyland bd

Sketch by Mary Lou

August 2019 Disneyland

Sketch by Mary Lou

September ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sept 2019 Amsterdam A

Sketch by Mary Lou

Sept 2019 Amsterdam E

Sketch by Mary Lou

Where will we go next?

Globe, Hand, Global, Concept, Abstract

Image by Pixabay

 

 

Me in the Middle of Inktober 2018 (Flashback)

This was a fantastic challenge! I’m not participating this year 2019. Even so, I’m  still following along with all the great art that is coming from it. Here’s the 2019 Prompt List followed by my own creations in 2018: 

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I Survived Inktober 2018

This month has been an eventful month!

I had a medical set-back that sent me to the emergency room a few months back and was soon diagnosed with AVNRT which is a form of Supraventricular Tachycardia.  A Cardiac Ablation was scheduled for October 15th and while waiting for that date, my activity level took a nose dive.

Then I heard about Inktober 2018 and decided it would be a great way to pass the time and fight the boredom.  It would calm my pre-surgery fears and also give me a buffer-zone against the ugly, stressful developments in our country’s politics.  The challenge is to come up with an ink-sketching idea based on a daily prompt.  Here’s the video that explains Inktober much better than I could:

How to Do Inktober

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So all went well with the Cardiac Ablation and I’m just completing my recovery with a good report from the doctor.  I also finished all 31 days of Inktober and feel pretty good about it.  Take a look at my sketches.  Maybe you’ll join us next year for Inktober 2019?

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Week One ~ Oct 1st thru 7th

 

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Week Two ~ Oct 8th thru 14th

 

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Week Three ~ Oct. 15th thru 21st

 

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Week Four ~ Oct. 22nd thru Oct 30th

 

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And HAPPY HALLOWEEN ~ Enjoy a Margarita on me!! 

(I’d love to know which sketch you liked the best!  Leave your choice in comments!)

Day 31 Slice #3

Me in the Middle on a Virtual Sketchwalk

For the months of March, April and May ~ I’ve been traveling!

Virtual Traveling!

Virtual Reality, Consciousness, Reality

Image by Pixabay

Virtual Sketchwalk is a Facebook Page with 849 (and growing) members.  At the beginning of each month, the Admin ~ Kate Powell ~ posts around 100 plus photographs of interesting places, local and foreign.  Sketchwalks involve a group of artists who meet up at a specific location and spend time sketching together at that location. Virtual Sketchwalk brings together artists who might not be able to travel yet still can enjoy sketching and learning about the area.  It gives us a chance to practice our skills and then share our artwork with each other on Facebook.  Each of us can choose from the photographs and we can sketch as many as we want.  It’s fun to see the different interpretations that evolve from each person.

My previous post on the Virtual Sketchwalk for December, January and February  is HERE.

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March ~ Tasmania Australia

March 2019 Ross Tasmania 2

Sketch by Mary Lou

March 2019 Tasmania B #1

Sketch by Mary Lou

March 2019 Tasmania E

Sketch by Mary Lou

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Sketch by Mary Lou

April Virtual Sketchwalk was People Sketching and I didn’t participate.  I was doing the The A to Z Blog Challenge 2019

In May, we were all saddened by the fire that destroyed much of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. I was amazed that some of the beautiful stained-glass windows survived. When Kate chose Paris as our May Virtual Sketchwalk I seized the opportunity to take up the challenge and try to sketch the window. Now I can say I tried! It was not an easy challenge. 

May 2019 Paris~Notre Dame #2

 

May 2019 Notre Dame #4

Where will we go next?

Globe, Hand, Global, Concept, Abstract

Image by Pixabay

 

 

#AtoZChallenge ~ April World Holidays ~ Letter Z

 

Letter Z

Image by Mary Lou

April World Holidays

Zoo Lovers Day

(Click on link for more information)

Zoo 2

Image from Pixabay

“Each year on April 8, National Zoo Lovers Day is observed.  This would be a perfect day to visit a zoo and be one of the millions of people who visit them each year. Enjoy seeing your favorite animals swinging from the trees or splashing in the water and have a fun-filled day.

A few zoo facts:

  • The Vienna Zoo is the oldest existing zoo and was opened to the public in 1765.
  • The United State’s first public zoo, Central Park Zoo, opened in 1874 in New York.
  • There are 350 zoos in the United States
  • Approximately 175 million people visit a zoo each year.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had more than 9.8 million annual visitors.
  • More than 3.2 million people visit the San Diego Zoo each year.”

Zoo Lovers Day

 

AtoZ2019Z

 

This past November 2018 I took part in the Nibvember 2018 Challenge.  Day 27 prompt was Lettering and I came up with the design below.  It’s easy to see where my inspiration came from as I’d participated in the A to Z Challenge Lessons Learned in 2016. So, feeling the call to try once again for A To Z Challenge 2019, I decided to sign up for this years using this design as my inspiration.

day 27 lettering

(c) Image by Mary Lou

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My theme for 2019 A to Z Challenge is:

  April World Holidays from A to Z

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Here’s what it’s all about:

A to Z Challenge 2019