Monday, July 19, 2010


front, close-up, and back of handmade ornament using tiny beach pebbles, a bit of a dried grass head, and a sequin. (back deco is a leather lacing, dotted with Elmer's glue, then partly painted with acrylic yellow.) The white ring is from a bottle, the metal backing is a tin can lid.

Made with objects on "My Cluttered Table of Creativity"

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This poem is a response to L L Barkat's Seedlings in Stone blog on her writing table ---


Some people say that a cluttered room
Distracts the mind from productivity –
“Clean up the outer mess, and your inner life
Will be more peaceful,
Setting free a burst of creativity.”

I don’t find that so, at all!
Please see in my clutter a hint of nativity –
The advent of being free to act as a midwife
To birth a cupful
Of expressions of artistic activity.

Oh, look! I’m an artist after all.
I thought that part of me had shriveled up and died.
So many other interruptions hindered me.
But now I have materials out in sight,
And someday, surprising works
May bloom from my shelves or wall.

My Dining Room table is a mess.
Bless this mess, O God!

My table is an activity room all by itself.
The place where I read and sort my mail
(And park the pieces I can’t decide whether to save or toss.)
Devotionals and Christian writings lie scramble-piled,
Near at hand, my necessity.
There’s a spot where salt shaker,
Cinnamon shaker, and bottles of
Digestive tablets hover at ready.
Two days ago the clean, crisp swirls
Of a pink-red rose were worth some photo shots;
Now the rose is shriveling, I’ll get around to ditching it.
Tomorrow, maybe.

My Amplified Bible stays out in sight,
In case I want to glean its treasures
While I eat or work or think;
Yet it’s doing another duty, for underneath its weight
A batch of leaves are pressed!
Leaves that when fully dried, will
Go in some arty design.

The rest of the table is occupied.
Call it a mess, or call it inspiration.
If “out of sight is out of mind,”
Then being close at hand must spur me on
To create and build and re-wind.
Curliques and shreds of bark from neighbor’s trees.
Dried grasses plucked from sidewalk cracks.
A bit of plastic dust (green) from sawing
A liquid detergent bottle into odd strange rings.
A bit of feather, a snatch of lichen, and
Some home-deco brought in by a friend.
A big bowl of pine cones which had got its picture taken.
Marking pens, scissors, toothpicks, and cut up bottles,
And a great big bottle of Elmer’s glue.
(I tell you, this list is really all true!)
Oh, yes, there’s also an empty space!
It isn’t a large place, but cleared off
Just enough so I may lay my plate and
Eat my daily meals.

Bless the food I eat to nourish me, Lord.
And bless this mess, oh God!
For “surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”.
At my overflowing dining room table
I worship and praise and pray,
Even as I play and play.

From this clutter, have I taken countless snapshots.
Close-ups of individual materials. And
“Made by me” things besides.

So far I’ve created a tree form from bark curls. And
An ornament with tiny pebbles and
Tiny sprig of stiffish grass-head.
A cotton puff (once from a pill bottle) and
A scrabbly bitty piece of burlap, frayed,
That I don’t remember how I even got –
Well, those two dissimilar, ordinary parts
Became “White Manx Cat Settling Down”:
A strictly temporary artwork,
For if touched or pulled the cat shape
Will shrink or maybe disappear.

But I have many other ideas in mind.
I just have to grab the right oddments,
Find the right free time.

Photos and text
© 2010 by Marilee Miller
Feel free to link to this, but please no copying without permission.

In my next post I hope to show more materials on the table, and a few finished projects.

Monday, July 12, 2010


A Delightful Little Surprise

My cat loves to lounge all sprawled out on a small table near my large front window. But when she's not using it, I sometimes set small objects on this table and take close-up photos. The natural lighting is so great in this spot! Sometimes, a picture will also capture a pair of white, furry feet or a curious pink nose with lovely white whiskers, as she appears suddenly to
investigate what I'm doing, using her table!

The other morning, after such happened, the cat lolled about nearby for a while, then, becoming disinterested, jumped down and begged to go outside. After I let her out, I found she'd left me the most delightful little surprise.

There on the empty part of the table lay a small ring of white hair. Hardly bigger than a dime. I had combed her that morning; there may have been some loosened strands of fur. But I don't know how she managed to lick it off in the shape of a ring, substantial enough for me to pick up, but light and airy as a dream.

How lovely when we find little surprises to give us a smile, an uplift of spirits. And say, I just "happened" already to have my camera set up for close-ups.

How lovely God is, to send us little surprises to delight us. He can use the curiosity of "what will show up" in a photo. Or give a cat a small present for me to find. Or bless me by the light streaming through my window. Or whisper contentment----

Thank you, Lord, that you have so many ways of touching our hearts. Even by things or ways or people or thoughts which seem rather insignificant. May I look, always, for your hand at work in everything. I don't want to take for granted coincidences or random delights -- but to choose to see in every single thing, God-incidences.

Then even if my body sags or my mind feels weak-hearted, deep down in my spirit may the Holy Spirit touch me with himself: substantial enough to pick up and hold on to, but light and airy as a dream!

Monday, July 5, 2010



Went for a walk: found tall pine tree,
Wind-bent branches waving back at me;
And at my feet spread a holy ground,
A forest floor of cones and scales around;
Yes, sloughed off barklets clever-shaped, free!
To draw my eye to God who made the tree.

Ideas soon bloomed within my mind,
(Oh, wasn’t the Lord giving grace most kind?)
I gathered up curliques shaped cryptically,
Brought the chips home, thinking almost mystically.
Glued to sky blue paper, part by part,
To satisfy my heart that lives on art.
Thus I fashioned a whimsy spree,
While worshipping the God who made both me, and tree!

photos and text (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller



In neatly tended bed
In community pocket park,
A small weathered stump,
Cracked top like over-baked cake,
Accepts the grace of fungi-frosting.

My own interior bed
Is more shaded; dark,
But I, though small weathered stump,
God’s infilling breath will take –
His grace to cover every lost thing!

photo and text (c) by Marilee Miller 2010