Monday, August 30, 2010

monday mix tape [the creative spaces edition]

i chose a theme as inspiration and made you a mixtape of some of my recent favorites!

*note: I've made some changes to the weekly mix tape post.  If you want to know why, you can read about it here.  If you don't care, just skip this part!*

track 1: the teaser

track 2: notes on a theme

Last March, I wrote about my love for this book:
I think I'll wrap this book and give it my daughters and daughters-in-law when my children form their own households.  It's a classic book that is more culturally relevant than anything on the new title shelves today.  In fact, I think it's the fact that it is an older book that makes me trust it even more.  The ideas Mrs. Schaeffer shares are timeless.  She was green before green was a buzzword.  She was handmade before handmade was a buzzword.  She was organic before organic was a buzzword.  You get the picture.  Even more than that, her world view of Christians as stewards of earth and home and family and self is straightforward, yet eloquent.  She also reminds me -- in several important ways -- of my mother.  And my grandmothers.  I hope my own children will be able to say the same some day.
In Mrs. Schaeffer's own words: (italics, hers)
One can be led by God to live in a miserable slum in the heart of a teeming city, but one's little spot there can have some sort of beauty of leaf, flower, rock, branch and candle, whether there is a table or an orange crate upon which to arrange it. Even a mud hut can have ivy growing over it, and a flower arrangement within it on the flat stone, or the sawn-off plank which serves as a table. ... There is no specific kind of house you must live in to be 'spiritual' -- only the house the Lord has chosen for His chosen purpose for you, and the house with you in it. But whether it be a palace or a tree house, beauty is important...
As a woman who follows Jesus, Mrs. Schaeffer includes a specific challenge to her Christian readers:
...a Christian above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there. It is true that all men are created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation....Whether you are married and have a family; whether you share a house or a flat with one or a number of people; whether you still live with your parents; whether you live alone and have guests in from time to time; whether you are a man or a woman: the fact that you are a Christian should show in some practical area of a growing creativity and sensitivity to beauty, rather than in a gradual drying up of creativity, and a blindness to ugliness.

This week's mixtape is inspired by a few of the many friends I've met, online and in real life, who live life fully alert to the importance of making lovely happen in the everyday.

track #3:  a few recent links

  • Baby Shower Fun:  I've never read shutterly lovely before, but discovered this link and adored her ideas.  Out of all the pretty, whimsical, elegant design ideas I see online, only a few make me want to cut out the pictures and throw them in my idea book. Who wants me to throw them a baby shower?!
  • Best Ways to Organize a Homeschool Classroom: Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience,  is full of lovely.  Lovely photos, lovely children, lovely words.  Rarely does she talk about the practical aspects of design.  This post had in mind fellow homeschoolers busy setting up fall classrooms, but the ideas she shares would work for any of us wanting to surround ourselves in an interesting, intellectually-stimulating environment.
  • Jt Christensen Studio opening: Philly Chit Chat covers the opening reception for a new design consultant in Philadelphia.  The reason I'm including this in my blog?  Jt happens to be my cousin and I'm proud of the work he is doing.  Congratulations, studio christensen!

track #4:  friends make everything lovelier

Almost every memory I have of lovely in the everyday includes something that happens in community.  Whether it be around the family dinner table or camping with friends.  Many times it's celebrations that call out the best in us:  a birthday, memorials, weddings, anniversaries.  In June our oldest son graduated from highschool.  Our whole family worked hard to make the day special, but it was the people who showed up that made the event sparkle.

One of the highlights was the "photo booth" my friends Tracy (a connoisseur of lovely in the everyday and blogger of lovely things) and Macia helped me dream up.  They brought the supplies, but it was the friends and family who were willing to throw caution to the wind, pretend, have fun, dance around the yard in funny hats that made the lovely happen.

Click play and turn up your speakers to see for yourself!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Now it's your turn!  Link up your own words or images about beauty in the everyday to the mixtape below.  If you don't have a blog, you can still share your thoughts in the comment section. 

 To participate:

1. Blog about the theme. Write a story, share a photo, link to a video, craft a haiku, whatever you want as long as it has to do with this week's theme. In that blog, mention that you are participating in “monday mixtape” at and link back to this post.
2. If you don’t have a blog, add to the mixtape right here by simply adding a comment to the discussion thread below.
3. Share your information (links, media, etc) and encourage others to do the same.

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