Monthly Archives: December 2019

Wordy Wednesday: Good News



In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the tie came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told (Luke 2:1-20 NIV).

Tangles for Christmas

Tangles for Christmas



For the last month, I’ve been zentangling Christmas themes. The Facebook Zentangle group I’m a member of, Tangle All Around, spent two weeks designing wreaths. Here’s one I made using the pattern Twistee:

Zentangle, Christmas

This one uses Riki Tiki and Onomato:


For this one, I made multiple auras around each letter of Merry Christmas:


I think Verdigogh is just screaming that it wants to be a Christmas wreath. Here are two attempts:

Below is my favorite wreath, made from Flux:

Zentangle; Christmas wreath

I don’t remember the name of this pattern, but I kind of adapted it to make it lacy:

Zentangle; Christmas wreath

This wreath was made from Golven:

Zentangle; Christmas wreath

I thought it looked a little plain, though, so I added some color, which made it look more festive:

Zentangle; Christmas wreath

What do you think? I kind of like the original better.

After the wreath challenge ended, I tried a tree made from Twistee and Snow Flower:2B998037-539F-4702-B6FC-3DBA2EB8D142

And I decorated some origami stars. If this one looks familiar, maybe you saw the tutorial that was linked in one of the articles I posted in a previous Creative Juice:


I don’t know all the names of the patterns used below (or if they even have names), but one is a variation of printemps and one is static:

Zentangle; Christmas star

And some of the patterns used below are Muzic, Keeko, Heartline, Printemps, and Shattuck.


Now it’s your turn. Have you done any Christmas art this year, or made any presents? If you’ve posted any online, please leave a link in the comments below so we can see.

I wish you a blessed Christmas and a happy new year.


Monday Morning Wisdom #237



From the Creator’s Heart # 234



My Favorite Photos of 2019


I had opportunities to take a couple thousand pictures this year, so it was hard to pick just 10. Most of these favorites  I’ve posted previously, but some have never been seen by anybody before. I admit some are flawed, but I like them anyway, sometimes because of their quirkiness.

I did a lot of hiking this year in desert parks. I just love the look and feel of wilderness. This picture was taken at Boyce Thompson Arboretum:


A blooming cactus at North Mountain Park:


A tree covered with blossoms on the grounds of the Arizona Renaissance Festival:


Every February, wildflowers blanket a yard in my town:


This is an icon in a Greek Orthodox monastery chapel. I purposely took this photo at a wonky angle, because of the candle holder hanging in front of the painting. I wanted to get a good shot of the mother’s sweet face, but it caused the Baby to look distorted:


This was taken in South Mountain Park:


A perfect red rose at the Rose Garden at Mesa Community College:


These wildflowers in my yard grew from an unsolicited packet of seeds sent through the mail from the Sierra Club:


I shot these cactus flowers in my neighborhood on my morning walk:


My daughter Katie on the footbridge at Boyce Thompson Arboretum:


Creative Juice #169

Creative Juice #169




Creative stuff that will delight you.



  1. A phenomenon noticed at an art museum.
  2. What leaves do.
  3. This tile effect is achieved with spray paint.
  4. What happens when a sketching enthusiast goes to The Nutcracker.
  5. One dot at a time.
  6. What to give your loved one who is an artist.
  7. Even if you hate guns, I’ll bet you’ll like these.
  8. I love looking at this artist’s intricate designs.
  9. Books make awesome Christmas presents. Just sayin’.
  10. I don’t understand how someone can draw photographic portraits using only pencils.
  11. An artist discusses a daguerreotype pin.
  12. You still have time to make this cute winter decoration. But no old sock in my house is that white! I say buy a new pair and make two of these snowmen.

In the Meme Time: Launch



Guest Post: Tiny Tearjerker by Donna of MyOBT


Thank you, Donna. Yes, this did bring me to tears.


Phil Beastall

UK filmmaker/producer Phil Beastall wanted to create a short film showing the true spirit of Christmas without all the commercialism and the “corporate voices.” So he wrote and produced this lovely, simple short film, Love is a Gift.

Although the video only cost Beastall $64 to make, it has been receiving awards and rave reviews since it was first released in 2014. As one review I read said, it “has garnered a more emotional response than most major blockbusters.” When you watch this little gem, it will be immediately apparent why it’s touched so many people.

To view the video, click here.

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas in the Corner


Christmas; Niels Petersen house

Handbells for Christmas


I love handbells. I play in a handbell choir at my church. Here we are playing Advent Carol on December 1, 2019. (If you listen carefully, you may hear O Come, O Come Immanuel and a snippet of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Oh, and I’m second from the left in the back row.)

Christmas music is so well-suited for handbells that no Christmas is complete for me without bells. Here are some beautiful examples:

O Holy Night played by a soloist:

Carol of the Bells:

Troika, from Prokoviev’s Lt. Kije:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

A boy (Jordan Moore) plays all the bell parts for O Christmas Tree plus an iPhone ocarina app:

Jingle Bells:

The Calypso Carol:

Sleigh Ride:

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!:

 We Wish You a Merry Christmas:

And for a big finish, Wizards in Winter:

If you enjoyed these carols on handbells, please click the “like” button and share on all your social media. Feel free to leave a comment below. And have a blessed Christmas!