Monday, September 10, 2012

Mind Wide Open Challenge - Serendipitous – if you will…

I received the email from Gail announcing she had posted the image for her September Mind Wide Open Challenge. I read her message and looked at the image quickly. I thought to myself, I’m not going to participate. But I didn’t delete it from my mailbox. I just was not in a mood to create anything. I was sad, depressed, in mourning, trying to cope with the sudden death of my little sister Judy. We had just celebrated her 60th birthday in June. I won’t go into all the details of my sister’s health but she was constantly in pain. She wanted to do crafts and scrapbooking and she bought lots of embellishments and other crafting supplies over the years. Sadly, she barely created anything. After she passed away her daughters gave my other little sister, Jo, and I boxes of Judy’s craft supplies and fabrics. I brought them home and added them to my supply stash. 
Then on Wednesday while checking my email I looked at Gail’s image again and I thought about my sister, about all the things she didn’t get to create, and then I thought okay - let’s play.  I pulled the image into my Photoshop program. Something reminded me of the vintage set of alphabet flash cards I recently found at the Graphics Fairy (thanks Karen). I digitally merged and blended the alphabet letter ‘F’ flash card with its daisy flower image into Gail’s image and added the word ‘flower’. I kept thinking about my sister. I printed out the image and decided I would decorate the cover of a Dollar Tree Store composition book. I pulled out one of the boxes containing some of Judy’s supplies. I found the resin daisy flowers, the Rickrack, and the vine stickers she had purchased. I arranged and re-arranged the pieces, adding buttons, Stickles, more trim, and decorative papers to the front and back cover of the composition book. I printed another copy of the flash card, cut out the daisy flower, added a little color and glued it over the daisy on the image. Then I did some research for the poem on Gail’s image and found that the words are part of an old hymn.  I was stunned at first realizing what the words in the hymn actually meant. The second verse cinched it for me that I needed to participate in this challenge, and I knew it was all coming together. 
I took a few photos of the completed journal but I wasn’t happy with the way the pictures looked. A day later another box in my art supply area caught my eye. It was another box from my sister. I opened it and found it contained lots of packs with journaling words and letters. I was drawn to create the word ‘shine.’ The journal was complete, I took one more photo.
There are several versions to the hymn and the author is unknown to the best of my knowledge.  Here are the words I wrote inside the first page of the journal. 

“Is it raining, little flower?
Oh be glad of rain!
Too much sun would wither thee;
Soon ‘twill shine again.
Though the sky is black, ‘tis true,
Yet behind it shines the blue."

"Art thou weary tender heart?
Oh be glad of pain;
Sweetest things in sorrow grow.
As the flow’rs in rain.
God is watching, thou’lt have sun,
When the clouds their work have done."

Call it serendipity if you will. There is one more thing about the journal. My sister's oldest daughter's favorite flower is the daisy. I know who we made the journal for.

Thanks Gail!


  1. What a touching post Linda. Please accept my most sincere's very difficult to lose a sibling. Your beautiful journal is a very special tribute. xoxo

  2. A truly lovely post Linda and yes I think I'd call it serendipitous too! Fate has stepped right in. The check on the cover of the book ties in so well with the hat she is wearing too. Such a pretty book and a definite work of 'heart'! I'm sure your sister would agree and smile on it. ♥x♥

  3. You brought tears to my eyes. Your art is a beautiful tribute to your sister. May God hold you in His arms.

  4. Dear Linda
    I am so sorry to read such sad news. I cannot begin to imagine how you are feeling to have lost your sister and so suddenly. Your post certainly brought a tear to my eye.
    It surely was the most difficult step to not only motivate yourself to create but to use some of your dear sister's craft supplies but look at the end result. What is all the more touching is who will receive this Journal, that is a very special gift you will be delivering.
    Sending you a bundle of wishes and a hug (if you feel the need for it).

  5. I'm so sorry about your sister's passing. What a beautiful journal you've made. I'm sure you felt a sense of accomplishment. You asked if I was familiar with this song and I haven't heard it before but it's very soothing. ~ Abby

  6. Hi Linda,
    I was in tears reading this story--Your journal is so precious and I love the poem (I didn't know it was a hymn) and the daisies and her daughter is going to totally love her gift--it is such a beautiful tribute. It was such a wonderful idea to make it for her--I know that she will treasure it always.
    Big (((hugs)))

  7. Linda,

    First of all, my heartfelt condolences for your great loss.


    The collage turned out wonderful -- what a lovely tribute.

    Two years ago you were part of the Advent calendar at We Love Digital Art. Thanks for that, too -- it was great to see your work.

    Happy creating always,

  8. I have a hard time dealing with death. I know it is something we have to face. However, they did not say it would be easy. Your sister would be so pleased you honored her in this manner. Take care ad time is on your side.

  9. I have a hard time dealing with death. I realize it is something we all have to face. They did say it would be easy either. Your sister would be very pleased that you honored her this way. Take care and time is on your side.

  10. What a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful sister. I know this will be something that her daughter will truly treasure.

    I am so sorry for your loss.


  11. Oh, Linda, this is absolutely beautiful, the journal and every single detail that went into its making. I am so glad your followed through, and I am so glad that you are sharing it with us because every single word blessed me more than you know.
    Thank you, my friend.

  12. Linda, I just sent you an email. You are such a special friend and I am so very blessed to know you, even if it's in blogland for now. ;)



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