Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Different Kind of Fruit

Again, I confess you have not heard from me much lately. What can I say? Life is life!

I've been at the sewing machine for nearly two days straight. Honest.

Because my sewing area is temporarily unusable, I've been doing my work at the kitchen table, and Mom could assure you that the only time my stuff isn't spread out over everything is when she tells me to pick it up so she can set the table for a meal. Then, after we eat, out comes the sewing machine again.

I have finally finished a sewing order that I've been working on for several weeks. It will feel so good to hand that off to the customer and check it off my "To Sew" list! I also randomly decided to give Tiffany a crash-course in sewing without a pattern, so we spent about 7 hours putting an outfit together for her. She needed some new clothes anyway, and I used fabric we already had, so why not? It isn't often one of my sisters sews with me - I'd forgotten that it's quite fun to sew with a partner!

I've also cleaned the bathroom, designed a book cover, washed laundry, picked lettuce, made bread, started another batch of bread, started beans soaking, and washed dishes in the past two days, along with other random things. I am sorry for neglecting you, here at The Fruit of Her Hands, but I must admit it's lovely to actually have some fruit of my hands!

Today I want to show you pictures of a different kind of fruit.

You know, sometimes we can stereotype ourselves or others too much. Women who choose to be homemakers - 'specially for reasons relating to our faith - are often stereotyped, and we complain about it; don't we? :) But we ought to be careful that we don't do it to ourselves.

We get this idea in our heads that, because we're stay-at-home women (though do we ever really stay at home all the time?), every one of us must be the perfect cook, have an immaculate house, wear aprons, and like all things old-fashioned.

Do you know what? There are some godly women who have committed to furthering their husband's vision by being a homemaker...and they really don't like retro. They prefer the city to the country, and they wouldn't be caught dead in an apron.

You know what else? Being godly doesn't equal locking ourselves into constantly cooking and cleaning. I love cooking, and its easy for me to spend a lot of time doing it, but I should never let someone talk me into thinking I should never do anything else "because my mind isn't suited to higher things."

Have you heard that? Have you ever been told that you're only suited for menial tasks - just because you've chosen to spend a great deal of time doing that?

It's a lie. Yes, women were designed to be helpmeets for men. Yes, that often means cooking and cleaning. But it also means having good minds! It means being everything God created us to be. It means using our talents - even if they don't fit into the perceived mold.

This is freedom. It means you can use a saw and hammer and still be a lady. It means you can study higher math and love it. It means you can learn about topics the men in your life love, so you can encourage and be there beside them. Anything can be done if it's done with the right heart attitude.

I say all that to say I've recently discovered a new hobby - and it's not cooking, baking, sewing, or gardening. Can you believe it? I bet you thought I never did anything else! *grin* From all my above ranting, you may think it's something outlandish, but it's actually quite common - I just climbed up on the soapbox because it was something I was thinking about.

So here's some other "fruit" I've had lately:

Doesn't look like much, does it? Yeah - my family didn't think so either. I had a beautiful idea in mind, but wasn't sure how it would come out, so I kept quiet and kept working. Would you believe it took me an hour (if I remember correctly) to get this very basic sketch the way I wanted it?

Here the background is completed. It took me three hours, I think. I sketch every so often, but this was my first try doing serious mixing with paints. I was having fun coming up with so many different colors out of just red, blue, yellow, white, and black. In the upper left corner you can see the photo I was trying to copy.

Close up. The bushes turned out too blue, but I was just getting the hang of mixing colors, so I left it. (It's a little greener in real life.) I did like the way the brushstrokes looked. (You can't see that very well in these photos.)

Here's the first horse (and shadows) completed. It took me about an hour to do each horse - and I didn't do them all at once. This project stretched out over a couple weeks. I think the most I did was three horses at one time. I mixed up a separate batch of paint for each horse, so that each one's coloring would look a little different. I didn't want a bunch of identical brown blobs with legs.

And here's the finished painting. Oh wow - I just realized I never signed it. Oh well - I'll have to go back and do that. But, anyway, here is what it looks like now. Even though there are many mistakes in it, I'm pleased with my first painting attempt, and want to do more paintings in the future.
I want to mat and frame this eventually. I'm looking for a verse to put under it - any ideas?


Angelique said...

That looks great :)

Alethea Jordan said...

That is waaaay better than I could ever do! It looks amazing, girl!

As for verse suggestions, try Job 39:19 (or the surrounding verses!!)!!! Hope you like this idea!

Amber said...

Thank you, ladies.

Alethea, I DO like the suggestion! Thank you - I should have known you'd have a horse-verse ready!:)

Sarah said...

Very nice, Amber! :)

Bean said...

You really have a talent - what a beautiful picture - Good Job.

hannah said...

Fantastic job for a "new" hobby! Your painting turned out very nice--I like the face of the first horse the best--looks so real .