Studio Shot: New Space

Icons over my work space: Ambrose and the True Vine

A few months ago, I moved from a fancy place in a studio complex full of artists to an un-used Sunday School classroom in an old church. I have to say, I prefer my new studio. Its cracked walls and faded linoleum floors suit me. The renovated warehouse space--complete with modern sliding barn doors--that I came from was beautiful to look at, but I always felt slightly on display. I never knew who might want to come in a take a look while I worked. It was great for meeting people, but not ideal for making work.

My new place is perfectly private. Most times, the only other people on my end of the building are kids from the Hispanic youth group, running down the halls or singing away on their guitars.  There are also a music school, a pre-school, other artists, rented office space, and two churches that share the space.

 While it is lively and energetic, I can hide away and enjoy all that action from a distance in my corner room. It certainly doesn't hurt that the building is just blocks away from out favorite tortilleria.

The space is plain; it's just a big open room, really, but it motivates me to get to work, which I really need to do since my studio time is limited these days. I walk in, turn on my wax, put my apron on and I'm ready to go. No people to talk to. No aimless wandering. No could-be but probably-won't-be patrons. Just me, my materials, time, and the space to hover over these larger pieces that I'm currently working on.

I'm sure there will be another season were I'll have a more public or communal space, but for now I love my quiet hole on the corner of Roxboro and Ellerbee.


For Blythe

Ruby Blythe Marie is my daughter's name. Her hair is nearly red and, to my mind, she possesses super delicious cheeks. She's happiest when outdoors, reading, dancing or being tickled. Her first word was "hat." When she's happy, her belly does a little wiggle that just slays me. She's afraid of fire truck sirens but will tromp alone into deep-wooded wilderness without a bit of concern. She is the most delightful thing I've ever experienced.

Golden Hearts to Guard & Open Spaces to Guide, encaustic, oil, and paper on wood, 30 x 40, 2013 

I started this painting for her last spring; only recently did I complete it. I wanted to make her something that she could hold onto her whole life--and enjoy looking, knowing and being known by it. I sincerely hope that it will inspire her toward the life which I pray for her daily. I tried, in fact, to make something that could hold all my prayers and yearnings for her in one visual experience. I was thinking about peace and big skies, gatherings of golden friends, growing, living things and some words that we've been praying for her since we knew she was living inside of me.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21

The piece now hangs above her crib. Blythe points to it and talks about it all the time. Since it will be hidden away from the world for a while, I thought I'd make it available in the shop. It's now available as a print in both 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 14 sizes. Enjoy!


Thank You: Christmas, A New Year & A Coupon!

Happy New Year! I still can't quite believe it is 2013. What a strange number to have for a year. I always thought we would be flying around in jet powered cars by now. The end of 2012 was so full and busy. I'm really enjoying the beginning of a new year with it's clean, white slate of time stretching ahead of me. It's January 15th and I'm just now feeling like things are back to normal. We had a wonderful time traveling for Christmas, and the shop was very active right up until the day we left town. In fact we even carried some orders in our suitcases to be hand delivered. Now, it is time for planning, for dreaming up new things, for organizing, and for the dreaded accounting for January quarterly taxes.

I owe a big thank you to everyone who supported The Ambrosium this holiday season, and also to those who purchased things from my other shop, PhaedraJean ArtMachine. Thank you for purchasing, for spreading the word, blogging, liking, and giving gifts from the shops. It blessed me to know that so many of you responded to the things I was creating and dreaming up. Thank you, thank you!



I was delighted to watch more Advent Calendars than I ever expected fly out of the shop. One 5 am found me still putting stickers on bags and addressing packages, having been up all night to keep caught up with the orders. A great reason for being up that late (early?) but one I hope doesn't happen too often. I'm so grateful to everyone who purchased a calendar, and I hope that they helped you journey through Advent in a thoughtful way. The calendars are not in the shop anymore, but will be available again after some tweaking and re-design. I'm hoping to have have a 12 days of Christmas calendar available next season, and Advent Calendars with different themes: service, prayer, family, etc. They were so fun to put together, and it was wonderful knowing that other people were turning over their cards each day along with us.

My other shop was pretty busy also and I got to send out many Hobbit and Lord of the Rings prints from PhaedraJean ArtMachine. I know that many of you were excited about giving these as gifts, and I hope the recipients were delighted and surprised! Some new ones will appear soon in the other shop, as I just finished re-reading the book. I am all fired up about putting those good words into prints. I've just added some simple motivational prints to that shop as well. Great items for helping you kick start your year with a bit of pretty visual encouragement.

This year I'm excited about developing items that could be used for each of the seasons of the Church calendar, not just for Advent and Christmas. It helps me to have visual items in my home to remind me what time it is in the year. It centers me see things that tell me that, for example, it's Ordinary Time, and I can turn my heart toward the things God has for me in this season, or that it's Lent, and I'm reminded to pray.  My house is full of quotes, and art, and other little visual items to help me focus my heart and stay connected to Jesus and his Kingdom.

Keep an eye out for things like this to pop up in the shop. Hopefully they will help you travel through Lent, celebrate Easter, delight in Pentecost, and rest during Ordinary time. I'd also love to hear your ideas. What do you want in your home to help you be present to the seasons? What helps you keep a devotional heart during the day? What resources do you wish you could find?

If you purchased something from the shop during Advent or Christmas, or if you received something as a gift, I'd love to hear how it was used in your home or life. I'd also like to hear how you think it could be made better. I'm constantly tweaking ideas and items. Receiving input from people who are incorporating the cards, prints, calendars, and art works into their lives is invaluable to this process. As always, I'm happy to help you in any way I can. If you have questions about items in the shop, or ideas for custom things, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Lastly, I've added a new coupon code to the shop for everyone who has ordered something this past year. If you're a returning customer, you can enter "backagain" into the coupon code box when you check out & receive 10% off your order! Hurray!

Blessings on your head and Happy New Year!