Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Do Not Be Afraid...Sheltered By The Tree Of Life

I think I'm finally done with this assemblage. It has been sitting in my studio about 90% complete for a few months now. I kept thinking I'd set aside an afternoon to finish it, instead I worked on the finishing touches little by little each evening this past week and wha-la! I'm done!

This is the second assemblage I've done using an antique cuckoo clock case as the foundation. I love the house shape and little windows on the side.

I found this half round cast iron disk shape thing at a flea market in a basket of junk. I excitedly paid 50 cents to a puzzled looking vendor. I was even more excited at home when I washed away the grime to reveal the details. I have no idea what it was used for but this little camera lens fit perfectly. I've collaged a hand rubbed bit of text from an antique book to the glass lens. The word "Faith" is a theme I have been meditating on over the past few months while my husband was unemployed.

This piece overlaps a couple of themes I've been exploring during this season of storms. It is the fifth installation in my "Tree of Life" series, in which the tree represents the Cross and the sacrifice Christ made, through which, we can have eternal life. But the Tree of Life is not just about an eternity in heaven, it is about Christ providing for us here and now.

I love the way the branches curve over the couple praying in the background in a sheltering, protective way.

I had another picture picked out to collage onto the antique mirror, but I rubbed a hole through it. When I found this one and I knew it was meant to be here.

One of the many blessings that has come from this season for my husband and I, is that we started praying together nearly every morning. In the beginning, ever the optimist, I prayed eagerly asking for bold things from God. Midway through, there were days when we each could barely pray. Sometimes I would just sob on my husbands shoulder as he prayed.

But things began to change as we persisted in our prayers. Not in the circumstances, but in the hope and the peace that we felt. We have been through so much more then I have written in these posts, but by the time the oven broke the week before Thanksgiving, The deer ran into the car the week after, and the plumbing backed up just the other day, we couldn't be shaken.

"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father."

"So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

The storm is finally passing. I can feel it. Things don't look exactly like I thought they would, but I know God is still working out his plan. His ways are better then our ways. He has the complete picture from beginning to end. I'm already praising Him for not answering some of my prayers. My husband started a new job this week. He took the opportunity to change careers and is now training to be a manager in a field he will be much happier in then before. I will continue to work so that he can do this, and the silver lining to that is I will be able to afford to take several art workshops this year!


  1. Crystal! You've been on my mind and I just had to come see today if you had posted how you're doing. What a wonderful testimony you have. Been going through my own storm as well, and you have been encouraging to me.
    Is this amazingly incredible, faith-filled, inspiring, and touching piece for sale somewhere?

  2. Cara I'm so sorry to hear that things are tough for you and your husband right now. Hold on to your faith knowing that whatever it is the Lord is trying to work out is better then anything you could ever have asked for or imagined. This is the second time my husband and I have been through a season like this where in spite of all the hardship, we could clearly see Gods hand in some of the good changes that came about as a result.
    Thanks so much for the lovely compliment to my art. I'm hanging on to this piece for a while. I'm trying to work up the nerve to submit it to a gallery or show.

  3. Wow, Crystal, this is a fabulous piece! That cast iron half disc is wonderful! And only 50 cents! I, too, have been the recipient of strange looks for buying seemingly useless junk! LOL Oh, how I love the gathering of treasures for artwork!
    Your artwork is truly inspirational, Crystal, it gives me such pleasure to see it and your descriptions/explanations of your pieces are wonderful too. Thank you again for sharing!


  4. Wow--Crystal, this is amazing!!! So inspiring!!


  5. Wowza!! This is gorgeous --

  6. this is so kool!! xo!!

  7. I found your blog via Deryn's. It is totally wonderful and I am enjoying reading behind the work.

    I wish you and your husband all the best in your recent trials. You are passing the test very well and, yes, your faith will sustain you.

    Have a lovely Christmas and God Bless.

    Kari x

  8. thank you for your blog post here, laura. it brought tears to my eyes and set a small fire in my heart. i will keep you in my prayers.

  9. Crystal!! my face is as red as a beet! i knew i was here in your blog but i had just posted a picture of laura's gift to open tomorrow and i wrote her name and hit send before i read it over. i'm so embarrassed and sorry. your post really did fervently inspire me and i hope you'll know that above all else.

  10. Kelly what a sweet thing to write, don't be embarrassed about the name slip. I am the queen of confusion, trust me I can't even get my kids names straight sometimes! :)

    Thank-you to all who have written such sweet and supporting comments. It is like fuel to my soul to come in here and see this!

  11. Crystal, congrats on having this piece published in the latest Somerset. Like all of your work, it's lovely and meaningful!

  12. Thanks Deryn! Its actually another piece I made very similar to this one that has been published. I haven't seen the issue yet, so now I'm going to have to run out to the bookstore to find it!

  13. Hi Crystal! This surely is a beautiful piece!!!! Love the theme and all it represents....your work is beautiful! Now for my memory slip up....I can't remember if I thanked you for the lovely necklace in the 12 days swap. In my mind I can remember what I said, but I don't know if I really wrote it to you!!!! I love, love, love my D necklace!!! I loved the way you presented it with the old text and the glitter glass!!! What a wonderful piece of art it is and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

    with love and best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    laura duet

  14. ellene6:25 PM

    help! I can't post pic's or list links-I love your work and can't seem to get help from blogger help-didn't know what else to do???? I have to sign in as "other" just to leave this comment, because every time I try to login, that doesn't even work.??? I'm just leaving my etsy address so there will be something in the web page space below. Convo me when you get time please? (the blogspot is etsy is

    Thanks for any advice.

  15. what a fabulous piece of work! Incredible as always! Your work is SO inspiring!!!!

  16. your work is just wonderful and inspiring crystal! i am going to link you to my blog so i can check back frequently.
    happy new year!

  17. Oh Crystal, just amazing work and I love reading the process of your heart while creating. It so speaks to me right now. And congrats on being published..I am soooo excited for you. I can't wait to find a copy of this mag.
    I thank God for giving you this incrediable gift to deliever His love through art.
    love you,

  18. Hello Crystal, I want to thank you for your lovely message you left on my 'pain' post. From the messages Ive received it has touched alot of people and has shocked me as the piece was very spontaneous and from the very core of my being. I feel very flattered by your compliment as your work is AMAZING and very moving. Congratulations on being published what an achievement that is.
    I have to say as well how wonderful to be able to pray together with your husband that must be the most amazing moving experience to be able to share God like that. Prayer is very powerful and I have learned now to wait for Gods answers and not be impatient. This last year has taught me that and it has been my Lord Jesus that has carried me to today ~ my 'recovery' was never going to be overnight as I have too many things to work through but Im getting there and have started a quilt journal as recommended by one of my dear contacts. My shoulders are down and I feel hope and when I read your message to me its like God reaching out his hand to me ~ thankyou for finding me and taking time for me. With much love ~ Jude xx