Glorious Iris

 Look at this glory!
These purple iris even smell delicious—like grape-flavored candy. 
To get a full measure of iris glory, the entire process must take place.

The tight bud of preparation, when all that purple glory is 
hidden, brewing away under wraps.
And the un-beauty of the finished bloom—nobody enjoys that.
It's the bit of the process we pinch off to make room for something new.
Do you see bits of yourself, as I do, in the life cycle of an iris bloom?
Here's the good news:

And I am certain that God, 
who began the good work within you, 
will continue his work until it is 
finally finished 
on the day when Christ Jesus returns.



It's almost time for these to start blooming. 
I'm surprised to see them at all 
since I thought I killed them last season.  
Every year, I think I've killed all the oriental poppies. 

That's because after they've finished their beautiful show and scattered 
their seeds, they get ugly. Too ugly to leave in the flower bed.
So ugly that I'd rather see bare dirt than their brown, raggedy foliage.
Then I chop them right out of the garden. 
Gone, baby, gone.

But every spring, their silver bristled foliage is among the first to rise 
from the winter-stripped ground. 
What more could any gardener want? 
Beautiful spring foliage with attention-getting buds perched on hairy, twisted stems.
Gawk-worthy blooms—papery-orange petals paired with twinkling purple stamens. 
Extravagantly intricate seed pods that nod and sway, spreading treasure for next season.
AND they come back, even if I rip them out in the fall!
More on growing poppies here and here.

I changed the first photo at the Funny Pho.to website with the "impressionism" tool in the "sketches and paintings" category.
They offer free effects, and it's easy to download your altered photo. 

And I didn't know THIS about poppies, but you probably did.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the 
word of our God stands forever."


Hot Juices

Do you enjoy finding once-beautiful things gone shabby and ragged?
In those moments of discovery, 
(at a thrift shop, in a yard sale box, even in a pile of free-to-a-good-home stuff)
 the excitement of what "could be" nudges my elbow, and I'm a goner.

(some of my favorite materials)

And contrary to what you may think - 
- from the Desiring God website
If you need more convincing, here's Chuck Colson's Breakpoint article.
He says that in every area of life, creativity plays a major role.
"The reason is simple: part of our nature as image bearers of God 
the Creator is to be sub-creators."

If I popped over to your house, what creative project would I find you working on? 

Dream studio - here