Myopic View

I’ve decided that myopic persons named the constellations. Last night as I lay under a blanket of stars, I viewed the vast night sky through my severely nearsighted eyes. The bright stars were round gold buttons, the dim stars swallowed by the black. The patterns of the constellations distinctly appeared, danced, and told me their ancient stories.

Things I learned about nature:

  • Dew forms early in the night and quickly soaks into nice soft blankets that are not in tents.
  • Fireflies are surreal when spread across an entire pasture.
  • Lightning is swift, dangerous, bold and entrancing.
  • Rain is refreshing, and tents are essential.
  • The tiniest of frogs can sing their beautiful songs all night.
  • A search for treasure in nature gives a bountiful harvest.

I awoke this morning to find my daughter settled quietly on this little island.

She had found a treasure of her own.

The mother didn’t mind her presence as long as she stayed back.

And when the mother felt threatened, the father came to the rescue.

amanda ∞


Botanica Exotica

The last class I took at Artfest was Botanica Exotica taught by Melissa Manley. We formed botanical shapes from wire and added sausage casing. Having had little experience working with wire, I found forming the shapes to be the challenge. Also the lack of sleep from several days of Artfest infusion was affecting my ability to let my intuitive creativity flow. I was having a serious mental block and couldn’t remember what a flower looked like! To top that off, I found myself comparing my work to the others in the class. I caught myself soon enough, but really struggled with it the whole class.

Despite these challenges, I found myself truly enjoying working the SAUSAGE CASING and plan on experimenting more with it this summer. The casing was soaked in water. To apply it to the form, it either needed to be split open to wrap around the form, or slid over the form in its natural tubular shape. The casing adheres to itself when wet, so no adhesive was needed. While wet, it looked like a lumpy white mess, but when dried it had the appearance of aged translucent parchment. I used a type of wire that I knew would rust. I loved how the rust added to the ancient look of the pieces.

My dad’s birthday is this week. He is such a creative, earthy person, I thought this would be the perfect gift for him. Actually, he is the one I would like to work with this summer on some new projects. I hope we have the opportunity.

amanda ∞


Environmentally conscious, not a label for me. I was born a lover of this earth. It is so beautiful. I was a recycler way before it was politically correct. But I hate labels. And I hate marketing. I don’t shop much and avoid advertising, but my mom has been pointing out to me how the word GREEN is everywhere. She is right that we are once again being told how to think.

This is the rant portion of this post:
Because I do not like mass-marketing and consumerism, I refuse to purchase a “green” product (like cleaning spray) from a company that is well known for it’s non-green products. The company is just tapping into another portion of the consumer market. They truly don’t care about the environmental impact. I also refuse to buy clothing that promotes “being green” from a name brand store, just another way to mass market a popular idea. Because I am stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do by companies that just want my money, I have made the pledge to buy handmade.
Rant pretty much over…

I truly do love to recycle and am proactive about bringing as little waste packaging into our home as possible. We take our refillable water bottles everywhere. I pull weeds (sometimes) rather than chemically creating the perfect lawn. We cook “from scratch” to the extreme trying to purchase foods as close to their original consumptive state as possible, i.e. raw milk, wheat berries, dried beans, etc. I try to purchase as much as possible locally and organically. But I do none of this because of the current GREEN movement.

God made this beautiful earth for us, and not only do I feel responsible as His child to treat this gift with care, but I also believe that He designed things to work together perfectly for our health and well-being. Here’s a quote from a previous post that perfectly sums up these thoughts:

We are eating foods in a state that is closer to how God created them. Does it not make sense that God created these foods for our benefit, and that they would not have to be altered to be “good for us?” The milk is not homogenized or pasteurized. The fruits and veggies are as local and as organic as possible. The beans are dry, not canned. Unprocessed or cold-processed, unpasteurized and as close to the earth as possible, that’s my choice. Naturally fermented is delicious and unleashes flavors unknown to “canning.” As a general rule, if the food has been altered to be mass marketed, it has probably been changed for the worse.

But I must say these rising gas prices may have been the motivation I needed to think even more consciously about the energy and money I’m wasting each day. With the weather warming, our family has been biking quite a bit more. We are making an effort to have no extra-curricular activities out of our area of the city. My husband and I are running as many errands as possible on our bikes or by hitting as many places as possible when we do need to drive. We’re also trying to use as little energy as possible at home by making small changes to our routine.

We could just change our budget and keep spending and using like before. My husband does not have a fixed income. He’s a freelance videographer that gets paid by the job. He could just make an effort to work a few more days each month and we could raise our budget to meet our desires. But our budget is reasonable, and we have found a great balance with his time at home. Our family is very close and we are not willing to loose that intimacy for a larger income.

So here’s the real motivation for me. I want to be able to purchase art supplies without changing our current budget. The cost of living is rising. I must therefore fight back and find ways to save money so that my little art supply $pad$ isn’t spent on gasoline, or the rising cost of raw milk. Isn’t that just like God. He is using His design of me and my love of the creative to prompt me to care for His creation in a greater way.

amanda ∞

Blackbird Full Circle

Page in my altered hymnal 11/02/07:

Beatles song learned by my son on guitar this past couple weeks:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Charm inspired by my son’s singing and guitar playing made yesterday:

amanda ∞


I’m still not reading and still not enjoying not reading. I’m curious when I get done with this assignment if I will appreciate something about it. I have been busy though. Today I soldered a bit more. Here’s the result:

I painted the trees on Scripture and then gave them a blue glaze to tone down the printing. The back of the charm is painted with an ochre glaze with a small green border. I thought the word Grow was a perfect complement as trees are such a beautiful picture of man in the Bible. And I personally desire to Grow spiritually.

And exciting news for my daughter. She sold her first item in her Etsy Shop today. It was her favorite charm she has made.

amanda ∞

Castle Rock

Many people believe that a drive through Kansas on I-70 is the most boring drive in our United States. Little do they know what is just off the highway.

That’s my daughter up there. I’m not real sure how she got there, nor do I want to know. These limestone bluffs are quite crumbly. Not the most stable rock climb.  

Many of the structures are carved with names and dates. This wall can no longer be reached. The shelf below has given way, but the dates remain. The oldest one I could spot here was 1926.

My girl is on top of this one as well. She stood up, but I’m glad I missed that. Makes me a little nervous.

This field trip was a great sedimentary rock study. Nothing better than hands on learning.

Besides that, the place is a hideaway of beauty. I was able to climb into a nook and just sit. The wind sung all around me. The quiet allowed my mind to roam. It was lovely.

amanda ∞

Waxing Eloquent

Cow Bird Observations by amanda jolley

Cow bird, cow bird,
Oh, so sweet.
Peck a pile of
Dung to eat.

amanda ∞ (tee hee)