Monday, December 17, 2012

PRAISE before the harvest!

Mulitply Reading Plan
Psalm 67

This is a very short chapter.  Its only 7 verses long.  I actually read it two times today.  First at 5:30 am. I didn't get much out of it because I was really tired!  But then I looked back at it tonight.  And I am so glad that I did!

In 7 verses "praise" is mentioned 4 times!  That is a lot!  I think that means we have to look at the word praise

Praise:  The act of expressing approval or admiration
            Offering of greatful homage in words or song
            Praise comes from the word prize.
Prize: To value or esteem highly

In verse 4 it says be glad and sing for joy!
What does that look like? 
sing  means to shout enthusiastically! (of course it means those pretty or not so pretty noises you make with your mouth too)

Ok, so now we have praise 4 times plus a be glad and shout for joy!  Oh My Gosh!!! Doesn't that just sound like fun to you!?!  It certainly does to me!  It gets even better.  What do you think happens after you do all that?

Verse 6 tells us.  Then the land will yield its harvest, and God will bless us!

Simply put Praise has to come before the Harvest!  What are you waiting on to harvest?  I tell you what I'm waiting on...people!  And I'm ready for the harvest! 
I'm waiting on People I love and care about. 
People I know intimately. 
People I barely know. 
People I've never met before.
People that live beside me. 
People that live on the other side of the world. 
People that I work with. 
People that I go to church with.

Let me just say that I plan on partying in heaven and I want to see everyone I know and don't know there! Haven't you ever heard the saying, The more the merrier? So lets get our praising shoes on and get to it!  Some of ya'll are going to have to get out of your comfort zone on this one.  You should praise God everywhere you go.  Here's one tip to get you started at church, close your eyes and pretend like your the only one in the room!  Seriously it works and one day you will be able to do it with your eyes open :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Even God Likes A Hot Shower!

While I was taking a shower the other day I had an epiphany!  I had the unfortunate luck to take a shower after my husband.  Who uses ALL the hot water!  I take that back, not all of it just enough so that I think there is hot water left.  If I had known that there wasn't any hot water I would have waited to take my shower.

I had HOT water for about 10 seconds then it made its way to being lukewarm.  Have you ever taken a lukewarm shower?  How about a lukewarm shower after getting a quick blast of hot (it makes luke warm feel cold)  Or how about a lukewarm shower after getting a quick blast of hot on a cold winters day?  Can you see where I'm going with this?  It was torture!  It was such a tease!  No matter how much I turned the handle the water just wouldn't warm up.

Why is lukewarm so awful?
Because it is warm enough to remind you of just how great a hot shower is!  The whole time you're in a luke warm shower you're just thinking about how you wished there was just a little bit more hot water! It's absolutely maddening!

I always hold out hope that my hot water heater is going to start magically producing more water but it never does.  I would have rather had a cold shower because I would get done what I need to get done and get out! Instead of pining away for more hot water while wasting precious shower time trying to get that durn hot water to come on.

Now I get why God doesn't like lukewarm Christians!

Revelations 3:16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

I used all these words just to describe a shower: Miserable, Torturous, Teasing, Maddening (and I meant every one!)  Imagine how much more miserable, torturous, teasing and maddening it is for God to watch his most beloved creations not live up to their potential.
Lord help me to always be HOT!  And never lukewarm!

Love and Joy to you all!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

francis chan's multiply reading plan

Day 25
Ephesians 4

Stick out verse of the day:
Ephesians 4:22
throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.

After reading chapter 4 of Ephesians it got me to thinking about another verse that talks about becoming a new person.  It is often quoted so you may have heard it before.

2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Sometimes we think that God is going to do it all for us.  That he will wave a magic wand and fix everything in our lives.  Or we feel like if things are hard then it must be a sign from God that I'm not supposed to do whatever.  However if you take both of these verses you will see that God gives us a new life but then we also have to take action!  God doesn't just take over when you become a Christian.  We don't become robots taking orders from some unseen motherboard.  We have a responsibility.  Part of our responsibility is to throw off our sinful natures!  That is not a passive statement.  Throwing is anything but passive!

Throw:  hurl or project (like a missile), as a gun does    

I did not make this definition up!  This whole definition, missile and gun included, I got from!  How fast does a missile go?  How far?  How much recoil does it cause? Throwing off our old nature is by no means a passive statement!

So what are we supposed to throw at  missile speed off of us?  It tells us later in the chapter in verses 25-31.

Old life:

  • lying
  • stealing
  • controlling anger
  • foul language
  • bitterness
  • anger (2nd time its mentioned must mean its important!)
  • rage
  • harsh words
  • slander
  • all types of evil behavior

What should our new life have?

New Life:

  • say only good and helpful things
  • use your hands for good hard work
  • give generously to those in need
  • encourage those around you
  • be kind
  • tenderhearted
  • forgiving

Seriously, which kind of person would you rather be?  Which kind of person would you rather be friends with?  My vote is for the new life person.

God gives us a new life.  He gives us the strength and ability to walk in our new lives.  Our part is to start the walking.  Am I saying I'm perfect and don't do anything from the old life list? No, I know I'm a work in progress!  And God loves me anyway!  I do try to stay away from the old and reach for the new.  What do you need to throw off?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

High, Long, Wide, Deep

Ephesians 3:18
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 

I am currently reading multiply by francis chan.  (he doesn't capitalize his name  that wasn't just me being lazy!) It is an awesome book and I totally recommend it!  My Bible app has a daily reading plan to go along with it which is great!  I don't know about you guys but if I want to keep up with reading the Bible I have to have a focus or else I end up just drifting.

You may starting see a lot more of my spiritual thoughts here on my blog.  I was trying to keep my spiritual life separate from painting life but to be honest I am one person and you get what you get whether you like it or not!  

Tuesday I read Ephesians 3. And the verse 18 stuck out to me.  I don't know why it did.  I do believe that is one way that God talks to us so if you have a verse that sticks out you should think about it. 

Ephesians 3:18
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 

I've read this verse many times. I've heard many times.  It never really carried any weight.  I never thought WOW that is awesome information.  But this week I decided maybe I should look up the words long, high, wide and deep.  Boy was I surprised!  Each one had about 20 definitions!  I always think of these words as being confined.  Measurements that are limiting defining the edges of an object. I usually think in inches because I work with canvas.  So my long, wide, deep, high was very small.  Take a look at these definitions and then tell me what you think about God's love!

  • Long- reaching well into the past; forward looking; intense; higher or taller than usual; having considerable duration in time

  • Wide- having considerable or great extent from side to side; extensive; vast;spacious; open to the full or great extent; full; ample; roomy

  • High- great or considerable extent or reach upward; lofty; situated above the ground; elevated;exceeding the common degree or measure; strong; intense; expensive; costly; dear; exalted in rank/station; eminence

  • Deep- extending far down from the top of surface; extending far in or back from the front or edge; broad; ranging far from the earth and sun; covered or immersed; cutting far down; situated far down; in or back; heavily covered in; profound not superficial/ serious; heartfelt; sincere; engrossing; intense; extreme

First of all WOW  that is some awesome information!  God's love is 4D!  It extends up down all around plus time is thrown in there!  Notice that intense was highlighted.  I think it needs to be since it is in 75% of the definitions of love!  Now to throw another definition at you:

  • Intense- existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree; acute; strong; very great as in strength; having a characteristic quality in a high degree; strenuous or earnest as activity, exertion, diligence or thought.
He loves us regardless of who we are!  He knows us in 4D and loves us in 4D! He knows the past and the future.  He knows what we keep hidden deep down inside and still he loves us.  And not only just loves us but loves us INTENSELY! I don't know about you but my day is off to a great start!

Now what do you think about God's love being long, wide, high and deep?  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Know Thyself! Questions Every Artist Should Ask!

Know Thyself!
This applies in many ways to being an artist but what reminds me of this every time I paint is the palette that I use.  For years I used a handheld wooden palette that had to be cleaned right after you used it while the paint was still wet and waxed a little to keep the oil from setting in.

I had a tendency to get paint all over me when I held a palette!

 Why did I use it?  Because my first painting teacher required it for class and thought that it was the best choice.  The only reason I remember that he gave was because it was a medium value (wasn't too light or too dark) and had a warm tone.  Of course since he had been painting longer than I had been alive I followed everything he said without question.

My wooden palette will forever look like this!  I didn't clean it off the last time I used it and so it stuck!

Why did I stop using it?  After I got pregnant I stopped painting for a while but not before I used my wooden palette one last time and didn't clean it off!  So I have a palette that will have paint on it forever and ever.  I have to be honest.  I had done this once before and I scrapped off all the old paint and refinished it.  Of course I will never go through all that again.

What did I replace it with?
While I was at Laguna College of Art I bought a Masterson Air Tight Palette.  I think that might have been required but I don't remember.  I used it for a long time to store my wooden palette.  When I got back to oil painting after having my daughter I took one of my glass cutting boards and put in the Masterson palette.  Now I don't have to worry about when I clean my palette because all I have to do is scrap the glass with a razor blade and I'm ready to paint!  Another difference is that it is not a handheld palette.  So I have to have something to set my palette on because it is to big to hold.  I use an old tv tray table, it is a little bit cumbersome when I paint plein air (on location) but I would rather deal with the bulky table than a wooden palette.

Know Thyself!

Think about your personality and the way you like to paint.  Here are some questions to get you started:

Would you rather clean up after you paint or before?
Do you paint with long breaks? ie. paint in the morning take the afternoon off and continuing painting at night
Do you like to hold your palette or could you make your setup so that you can place it on a table?
Do you mind getting paint on your clothes?  (its easier for me to stay clean if I don't have to hold it)

Don't just accept what someone else has said is the best and/or only way to do something!  There are as many techniques and supplies to painting as their are different styles of painting.  The possibilities are endless so don't be afraid to try something new!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


 Hello Ya'll!  This month is my birthday!  A couple of years back we started "birthday holiday", which means you get to celebrate your birthday for 3-4 days usually with date night, girls night, family night etc.  It all started with my lawful sister, Rachel, when she turned 30.  Well, my awesome husband decided that the month of November is going to be my holiday!  How did I get so lucky?  The picture above shows my birthday card that he gave me on November 1st (my birthday is the 21st)  Its so pretty I'm going to frame it!  Anyways back on topic, the rules for birthday holiday are:
  •  every Thursday I get to pick my favorite restaurant (he actually outlined of my favorites but told me I could change them if I wanted).  
  • This past Thursday I got a special treat instead of dinner.  We went to Maxie B's in Greensboro. 
  • 8th-Red Robin
  • 15th- Greek
  • 29th Jacks
  • Plus I get a birthday dinner on the 17th of a surprise restaurant!  
Now the PRESENTS!  I get to choose how to receive them by 1 of 4 ways.

  • largest to smallest
  • smallest to largest
  • pick each week (they are wrapped)
  • let me decide
I choose to let Brian decide!  How fun is this?  I can tell you its really fun and I REALLY needed some fun!  I will make sure I keep you all updated on my presents because I know ya'll are curious what they are going to be!  I know I am!

This is Maxie B's in Greensboro.  We had never been but had read about it in Southern Living magazine.

 They had a good 40+ cakes to choose a slice from plus cupcakes, cookies, and pie!  It was crazy!  I wanted them all!

 There is my cute little family!  Brian doesn't know that I'm taking his picture but I think Faith does!  They had a table in the front window that is almost like having a private room and we snagged it!

I picked a piece of apple cake with caramel icing. It was UNBELIEVABLE!  It was my favorite of all the ones we tried.  There are actual chunks of apple in the cake.  It was so moist and yummy I just can't even describe it!

Faith picked the Oreo cookie cake.  The icing tasted just like Oreo's!  And Faith almost ate the entire piece by herself!  Of course she ended up with tummy ache by the time we got home.

 Faith with her cake.

 My second choice (because Brian let me choose what we would both be eating since we were sharing and its my birthday holiday!)  is chocolate chip pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing!  I have to try pumpkin everything!  It was fantastic!  It was like a pumpkin punched you in the mouth in a good way!  Just kidding, it just sounded fun to say.  The cake doesn't really punch you in the face but boy does it taste good!

 This is the view from our table.  I loved the ambiance of this great little place.  They have really gone all out and paid attention to detail for the ulitmate experience.  Now if we could just replace all the Starbuck's with a Maxie B I would be in heaven!  Brian even decided he was going to buy my birthday cake from there too!  Its going to be a whole month of CAKE!!!!! 
You can find Maxie B's on Battleground Ave.
2403 Battleground Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: 336.288.9811

And they have the best hours!  A lot of bakeries close before dinner but this one stays open nice and late!
Mon-Thurs: 9 am-10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 9 am-11:00 pm
Sun: 11 am-10:00 pm

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dame Thats Some Good Waffles!

Its time for another restaurant review!  I don't know if you remember or not but a couple of months ago Brian and I "ate our way to the coast"  after reading an article in Southern Living magazine.  If you missed it you can read about it here.  On Saturday we tried another Southern Living suggestion, Dame's Chicken and Waffles in Durham, NC.

 The tables are covered in blank paper and they supply you with crayons.  Thats my kinda place!  I don't know if you can tell or not but I was hungry.  
Unfortunately, we didn't start off well, or we sorta did then we didn't then we did.  I know ya'll are all scratching your heads.  We had the cutest nicest little waitress ever.  But I found out later they were understaffed and she was switched to another area and we were supposed to get a new waitress.  Well, in the switch our order got skipped.  The table beside of us got served their food even though they had gotten there after us.  Can I just say I was hot?  We sat and ordered then I went to the bathroom on my way to the bathroom I saw a girl waiting who was later to be sat down next to us.  I went to the bathroom came back Brian and I chit chatted a few minutes then couple sat beside us and ordered.  That is how far behind us there were!  Needless to say it took us 45 minutes to get our food. ( I know this because I was worried we would have to move the car because the sign said 1 hour parking, which I found out doesn't apply on the weekend PHEW!)  Now that being said our original waitress came back and took care of us the rest of the night which I loved because she was excellent!  She even asked me if I wanted a to go cup!  Which is something I always want but its usually hard to find the waitress at that point of the dinner.  The owner gave us a discount on our food and all was good.  Now to the good part...THE FOOD!

 Best mac and cheese ever!  Its super cheesy and flavorful.  It had oregano in it which was a delightful surprise!  I think I might try it for Thanksgiving.

Don't you just want to hop on that spoon and slide on down to them grits and get ya a big ol' bite?
I don't even like grits and I kept stealing a bite from Brian's plate :)

 Dueling Roosters – Rd. I

Orange Speckled Chabo

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wedding Blue

Don't you just love blue glass?  I don't know what it is about blue glass but I think it is so purty!  Its interesting painting it too.  In most of my paintings I layer colors to mix them but with blue glass I pretty much only need French Ultramarine! This painting is currently listed on ebay here!

Lucky for me my mom still has a few roses blooming so when I went out to her house I cut one to bring home.  It has certainly been interesting finding an endless supply of flowers.  I think you all will start seeing a lot more pansy's and mums in the coming months.

 Doesn't that yellow background just make the blue pop?

This photo really represents the blue of the bottle.  I have a hard time getting the camera to get the blue right and the other colors too.  It seems its one or the other

Of course some of you may be wondering why its named wedding blue.  Its because this is a bottle from my uncle Bill's wedding.  It was a gorgeous wedding and their wedding party color was this beautiful blue!  I just loved it!  And it was such a happy occasion that I wanted to put some of that happiness in a painting.
This painting is currently available on ebay.  You can place your bid here!  All of my auctions start a one penny! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Main Street Cake Shoppe

I stopped into Just Pizza here in Gibsonville to pick up some empty pizza boxes.  What you say? Empty pizza boxes?  Thats right EMPTY!  But thats another story.  This place is owned by a husband and wife team, Mark and April.   The pizza is great!  They put all the toppings on and then the cheese and let me tell you they don't skimp on the cheese.  Its the perfect place for a cheese addict like me.  April also happens to run a bakery out of the pizza shop too called Main Street Cake Shoppe!  What better than pizza and cake!  While I was there I noticed that they pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes!  Every time I've gone in for pizza I've been able to control myself and stick to the diet (ignore the fact that I was picking up pizza).  However, any time I see pumpkin anything I have to try it!
I have heard about how awesome April's cakes are so I figured it was a brilliant excuse to fudge the diet...or would that be cupcake the diet?  Plus since I'm writing about it then its kinda my job right?  And I can totally write off my cupcake! 

These cute little cupcakes come in a Chinese takeout box so no wasting icing on a tiny box!  
It was killing me to take photos because all I wanted to do was eat the darn thing!  I was not dissapointed!  I was shocked by my first bite because the cake was so dense and moist!  It literally was like eating pumpkin pie!  If I hadn't taken the cupcake away from my mouth to double check and make sure it was cake I never would have known!  It was just that moist, dense, and delicious!

So go check it out because its Amber Approved!  :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Collector at Heart

Hi my name is Amber and I'm addicted to glass!  Early on in my life I felt like I needed to collect something.  I think a lot of us go through that.  
I collected:
  • Comic books
  •  Baseball cards
  •  Snoopy and his gang figurines (now I limit that to Christmas time)
  •  Swarovski crystal figures (I only managed to get one of those $$$$)
  •  Dishes
  •  China (and yes there is a difference between dishes and china) 
  •  Handmade Pottery
  •  Shoes
 And I'm sure if I sat here long enough the list could go on and on.  But do you know what I have found has been something that I have always collected?  Glass.  More specifically glass bottles.  Which is why I have a never ending supply of bottles for my paintings!

It all started when I was a kid.  Our neighbor was a junk collector.  What he really liked to collect was bottles.  He would comb the county looking for bottles.  I, of course wanted to join in on the treasure hunt.  I can remember digging in the woods under the leaves to see what I could find.

There were all kinds of little bottles with slime inside that smelled like molded cheap perfume that my mom would never let me keep because there was no way she could get them clean.  But my prized possession was a large Horlick's Malted Milk jar.
My mom was shocked that I had found a bottle so big after Moose (our neighborhood "treasure hunter")  had lived there for years and gone digging in those very same spots!

That milk jar was the beginning.  Now I have 30+ bottles displayed around my home.  I would probably have more but I'm refuse to pay an arm and a leg for a bottle, it ruins the hunt.  Part of collecting is the fun of the find. Going down to the local department store and buying something from China takes all the romance out of the bottle.

Bottles need stories.
  • What were they used for?  
  •  How many fun dates did it send a newly wed couple out on making sure the bride smelled of sweet honey?  
  • How many sick children did it help see through the night?  
  • Or maybe it was just sugar tabs touted as the new miracle cure!

So what is it that you collect?  What treasures do you seek out?  Have you even figured it out yet?  Are you like me and it just kind of snuck up on you while you tried to collect other things?

Of course I can't right about glass and not show you my infamous milk jug (above). It used to collect change, until we moved to a plastic society.  For years it sat on top of my tv stand as an antenna holder but this year I found something truly worthy to fill it with.  Seashells....that I collected :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Root

I got to go to an awesome place to eat this week!  My friend Pastor Lisa took me to The Root in Elon, NC.  I have to say that I am guilty of driving past it all the time but I have never stopped in.
Everything on the menu sounded delicious! 
We started with crispy sweet potato fries with truffle aioli and shaved parmesan!  These were by far the best sweet potato fries I've ever had.  Never again will I have cinnamon butter with SP fries!

My side was an order of crispy brussel sprouts.  Which is one of my new favorite veggies at  home so I was eager to see how they were cooked in the restaraunt and I was not dissapointed.  I've got to figure out what they did to them!  I think they may be oven roasted.  Definetly not yo' momma's soggy sprouts!
 And the main course, Foodie Grilled Cheese!  Its a house blend of creamy cheeses on white or wheat and you pay to add toppings, kinda like a pizza.  You can choose from tomato, spinach, mushrooms, caramelized balsamic onions, fresh basil, edamame spread, arugula, crispy fried onions, avacado and bacon!  It was supper yummy.  My sandwich up there was caramelized onions, tomato and basil and it was fantastic!  
I give it 5 out of 5 stars!  I can't wait to go back.  Next time I'm getting a burger :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Flower TBD (found out its called a Cosmo)

I almost always do my drawing in light blue Carolina blue.  I'm really not sure why other than I just like to.  Maybe subconsciously I just want to give my Duke fan of a husband a hard time!  (for my readers who don't know Carolina and Duke go together about as good as shredded wheat and coleslaw which is another story all on its own!) 

I don't mix my colors on the palette.  I much prefer to mix my paint on the canvas.  I have worked with pastels for years (they look like chalk sticks but they are actually tiny sticks of colorful joy!) at first I had the hardest time mixing my pastels on paper but once I got the hang of it I LOVED it!  Now, I've just applied the same ideas to oil paint.  It gives the paintings depth and movement when you mix on the canvas

I loved painting this bottle.  It made the most beautiful shadow.  Just looking at these photos and writing about it makes me want to go and paint it again!

Isn't it purty?  

A close of of the bottle shows how I like to paint with texture.  I love the feel of thick paint going from my brush onto canvas or in this case board.

Finished Product!  
To be named soon! Once I figure out what type of flowers those are!  Leave a comment if you know what they are :)
Original Oil on Board
Item # 9-I-12

Friday, September 28, 2012

Antique Bottle

I started with my Carolina blue drawing and started laying in color

 I love painting flowers in bottles and I have a little bit of a habit of  collecting bottles.  One of my favorite places to get them is Gibsonville Antiques.
If your ever in Gibsonville, NC you should stop by and check them out.  They have renovated an old mill and it looks fabulous!

Antique Bottle with Rose
 Original Oil on Board
*If you are interested in collecting this piece please see the ordering instructions on the right hand side of the blog.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hawfields Community Days

I know some of you have missed me because I have been out of the show loop for a while but today I got back in the game! Thanks to all my fans that stopped by! What do you think of my all new setup? I am absolutely in LOVE with it! Did you know that I take credit now? I'm trying to make it really easy to own an Amber Cauley original. So easy in fact I'll give you my kid for free! *grins* If you see something you love shoot me an email at Oh and cross your fingers that its still there because they aren't sitting around for long!