i think i can i think i can

i can set pencil to paper and make a new world

it can be music, it can be drawn

and i believe i can learn something new

my second attempt to create a set of featured posts. 

(If you’re new to The Full Vine, welcome to the tail end of a blog-maintenance hiatus.  If you’re used to reading TFV, God bless you for your patience!  It’s almost done!)


Ode To Texture

AhHAAAAAAAhahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!!  I did it again!  Hit Publish instead of Preview.  But I’m leaving it up.  I’ll pretend it’s Tuesday already here, because I’m so excited about this post, I don’t want to take it down.

My husband will laugh when he reads this too.

Texture?  Not YOU…

I am a total sucker for visual textures – how things look like they would feel.

If a cereal company made a product that looked like old, bumpy tree bark, I’d be the nerd buying it.

Thus, on this illustrious Studio Tuesday, I shall indulge in a barrage of household texture photos and invite you to swoon with me.

I think I actually just licked my lips.

More!  More!

Yes, that was the wall.

Slightly blurred, but that IS my favorite blanket.

Wonderful in its defects.

Could a clock be any cooler?

You should be listening to Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 Mvt. 3 right now.  ‘Scuse me while I cue up YouTube.

Now I’m laughing and swooning because this sounds like something that would play behind Elmer Fudd.  Sorry, Rubinstein.  I know you’re trying to look serious.  Been there.

And baskets…

…can you ever have too many?

Go touch one right now.  You’ll feel better.

Can you guess what these are?




And #4:

Rubinstein, you’re out.  Horowitz, you’re up.

And my personal favorite:

Texture is very closely linked to line and repetition.  Any of those will do for me.

And that’s not even tapping in to the great resource of the bathroom!  Toothbrushes?  Mouthwash caps?  Bars of soap?  YES!!!

May you always see the things around you with wide open eyes and Brahms in your ears.

Inspired Shoestrings: Instruments, Etc

For those of us who don’t shop at Pier 1 or Crate Barrel with any sort of regularity, here is a series on decorating with imagination.  Shopping at Salvation Army (or better yet, shopping from your own basement) may not be incredibly glamorous – but it’s incredibly satisfying.

Inspired Shoestrings, Part 6: Instruments, Etc

Each post in this series has had one thing in common: decorating with things from your own home, showing your own personality and flair.  For Jon and I to do that, we must use music.

Bass, piano, guitar, bits of cello and percussion, and singing are often heard in our home.  Naturally, instruments are everywhere.  Our house has a good number of rooms, but they’re the small rooms of the typical old colonial. 

Hm.  Where to put all those instruments?

My super handy hubby nailed hooks to our living room wall, and….PRESTO!

Who needs framed art?  Playable art is more like it.  🙂

All you have to do is grab this sucker, sit on a speaker or something nearby, and croon.

Or play bass if you’re feeling just a little bit cooler.

It’s hard to hang a cello on the wall, though.  So that sits next to the coffee maker.

Maybe the caffeine will inspire my fingers to play well.  Or not.  It looks pretty though.

If you’re not into music, what else could you hang on your wall?  What couldn’t you? 

One of my favorite movies is The Interpreter, starring Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman.  Kidman’s character grew up in Africa and collected ceremonial masks.  These are hung in her apartment alongside photos of her homeland.  It’s one of the most beautiful and inviting sets I’ve seen – simple and unified, clearly showing her interests.

What are you into?  What’s lurking in your basement, unused and full of potential?  What’s growing in your yard?  It’s time to get creative!

Well, I hope this series has inspired you to try something new or repurpose something old around your house.  I never imagined how much fun it would be to have a place of my own to fill up, mess up, clean, and repeat. 

Hope you’re having fun out there too!  🙂

Inspired Shoestrings: Show Your Personality

For those of us who don’t shop at Pier 1 or Crate Barrel with any sort of regularity, here is a series on decorating with imagination.  Shopping at Salvation Army (or better yet, shopping from your own basement) may not be incredibly glamorous – but it’s incredibly satisfying.

Inspired Shoestrings, Part 1: Show Your Personality

It’s so much fun browsing through magazines or blogs and drooling over what so-and-so did to spruce up their glorious abode.  All kinds of ideas are out there.  I’m not even hoping to add anything new to the vast flea market of decorating tips.

My thought is that what you put in your own home should satisfy you – budget and eyes.  You should look at it and sigh “ahhhhhh…” knowing you put your own flavor in that spot. 

It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it!  Naturally, you want to decorate to please other people’s eyes too.  But in the end, if you like hanging lightbulbs of varying sizes across your living room ceiling or going completely black and white, fine!  It’s your house.  Have fun!

Before we got rid of our antique piano, this is what sat on top:

To some people, this would be boring.  To me, it’s art!  I love pussy willows, old things like the little butter churn, and odd musical intruments like the rain stick.  I figured the orchestration textbook that cost me my eye teeth had to be used for something…  And hanging above it all was one of the first paintings I ever made and really respected myself for. 

If Martha Stewart came over, she’d probably cringe.  That’s HARDLY magazine material, dear.  Exactly.  Neither am I.

The best part about that piano-top fun-spot was that I didn’t have to buy any of it new in order to make the spot beautiful.  Each item was already in our house, and just needed to be put together.

The old piano has been replaced by a pack-and-play, and each item that was on top of the piano has found a new home somewhere in the house – and so it goes.  Imagination gets fed and used constantly because life is always changing.  And I WILL NOT get sucked in to advertising!  I won’t!  I won’t!  🙂

No matter what your fancy, enjoy!  And let your house be yours.

Thanksgiving Thursdays

A few words about why I write “Thanksgiving Thursdays.”

When upon life’s billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.

So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
God is over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey’s end.

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done.
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

I’m not a big hymn person, but that one says it well.  “Count your blessings… and SEE.”

Whatchya Gonna Do?

The title, of course, comes from COPS: “Bad boys, bad boys, whatchya gonna do?  Whatchya gonna do when they come for you?”  Honestly, am I freak?  I’m sitting here having devotions and this is the song that pops into my head based on what I read.

I Corinthians 4:2,5

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.

Awesome and convicting verses.  The “trust” is “the secret things of God,” according to verse 1.  And today the Lord is asking me again:

What are you doing with what you know?  I’ll be there soon and will expose your heart.


Lord, help me to be faithful in reaching out with your love, fearlessly. 

Last night Jon and I discussed Teddy Roosevelt while we drove home from a campfire.  It is a lot of fun being married to a history teacher!  One of Teddy’s famous sayings is

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

So from COPS to I Corinthians 4, to Teddy Roosevelt, my thoughts keep coming back to this…  Jesus is coming for me one day.  I have something to do for him in the meantime.  And He is watching.

Be Calm My Soul: A “New” Song

I found the words to this song at a time when people on both sides of my family were going through a very difficult time.  The words sprang to life for me because of that situation, and all it needed was a modern tune.

Be Calm, My Soul spoke deeply to me of peace in the middle of turmoil, and God’s eternal goodness.  I hope it will help your heart too if you happen to be going through something painful.

We don’t have professional recording equipment in our house, so this sounds very raw.  But I sure enjoyed making it!  Sometime I’ll have to post a picture of our “studio” – me standing at a mic next to the microwave and highchair, with a guitar slung over my back!

Copyright on this arrangement is pending.  Please contact me if you’d like to use it.  Thanks – hope you enjoy it!

Please click on this link to listen:

Be Calm My Soul


Be calm my soul, faint not with care/Though burdens deep our hearts would tear

He is the Lord, all He commands/He holds me safe in His hands.

Be calm my soul, melt not in fear/Though shadows dark press in so near

Yet in despair I see His light/Lead me, O Lord with your eyes.

Be calm my soul, rest in Him sure/Through waves of doubt His words endure

My longing soul is satisfied/Jesus, my Strength and my Guide.

Original text (slighty altered to fit modern music): Gloria Rae, 1960.

This musical arrangement copyright 2010 redentryarts.