Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Worst Thing Isn't Ever The Last Thing

I went to a funeral yesterday of a great man who had a long, happy and healthy life.

It's always interesting to hear a one hour summary of a life which, in this case was 867,240 hours long.

That's a lot of hours. You can't tell that whole story.

Since the service took place during Holy Week, I thought the pastor made some really great observations.

One of the things he said several times, about the meaning of Easter and on human life and the life of the soul, was this:

"The worst thing isn't ever the last thing."

He had a funny, repetitive cadence and I was glad that I heard this several times because it took some thought.

It was both profound and optimistic. Sobering and hopeful at the same time.

As I rolled it around in the rock tumbler later in the day, I thought of course of how perfect a metaphor it is for art.

A few backyard happy hour coloring sessions ago, I was watercoloring different versions of the coffee cup in Perfect Blend with my Koi watercolors and an Aquapainter. Here's the first one I did.

I was just practicing, so I didn't make a card or anything - just playing with color.

Because I forgot to bring a paper towel or a chamois to clean my brush on, I actually started cleaning my brush on an extra stamped image I had planned to color. Yes, I'm that lazy. When the birds are singing and the sun is shining, there's not much that will get me to walk inside, so I do whatever I need to do.

But to get the muted colors you see above, I had to get the saturated colors off my brush, so I used the cup. I squiggled off the greens on the left side of the cup and the deep purples on the right side of the cup and the blues everywhere else. This helped me not muddy the colors I was going to use on the softer version above.

Then I came inside and put everything in a big pile as is my custom.

In going through the pile after we got home from the funeral, I tossed the garish palette/coffee cup in the trash. It was hurting my eyes.

After walking past the trashcan a few times and seeing the sort of Liberace'd up coffee cup, I thought - maybe I should give it another chance. Let the worst thing not be the last thing. Maybe a crazy bright, messily colored coffee cup didn't have to go to the landfill.

So I got the Koi set back out and added a yellow glow, some deeper shadows and a greeting from Another Thanks and I decided that indeed, the worst thing was not the last thing.

I sort of like little Liberace. What do you think? It would definitely wake you up in the morning!

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Immediately preceding this funeral, I had a serious technological blackout - a fiber cut nearby cut my entire neighborhood off from internet service, and oddly, also from cell service.

Sometimes a quiet few days and just the right message come together nicely.

I try to tell my stamping students this all the time - don't give up - keep working. Even if you don't like it later, at least you've learned something. I just never said it as well as that pastor did. Now I know. Keep it pithy. :)



  1. I like your Liberace coffee cup. I am sorry for your loss. I am glad you had an artistic epiphany, it's really beautiful.

  2. Those words are from a Jason Gray song: "The worst thing is never the last thing, and the last thing will be the best thing" (going to Heaven) It's from his album "Love Will Have The Final Word" which is full of songs that really speak to me.

    GORGEOUS card! I love the shining light from behind the cup!!!

    1. EEK and I LOVE Jason Gray - off to look that up - thank you!

  3. Trying to wrap my brain around the worst and last thing. I can't brain today. The man sounds like he led a fascinating life, and witnessed things in a way few of us can ever hope to achieve. I love your Liberace'd cup. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it would be my cuppa joe. ;) Never give up on a piece. Dig them interwebz while you have them. I'm sure my attitude about your loss has contributed to mine taking a walk about. Karma. It's real. Let's cook!

  4. This is so true -- I wasn't happy with some of my earth, sky, and water attempts until later on and when I looked at them again, I really liked them, and I said, "Wow - I did this, and this is really good! Thank you for saying it so well as you usually do!

    1. You are a great artist! You are too hard on yourself!

  5. Beautifully written post! I REALLY want to create something for my wall in my craft room with that sentiment. I have had an interesting week of deep ponderings, including several hours today with a group of ladies and to finish off my day this lovely thought " "The worst thing isn't ever the last thing." I also noted the comment regarding the song lyric. Pretty song.

    I Love your rescued creation!!!! It's gorgeous! The "thanks" stamp works so well with the cup. I keep scrolling back up to take another look!

    1. I <3 it when you stop by - high praise coming from you - thank you!

  6. i like both coffee cups - i can't imagine how you blended the first set of colors. really pretty!

  7. i really love the first one--makes me wonder how you've done with sending out the cards you've made, since Lent is all but over--and the second one is growing on me. i'd bet those baristas at your Sbux would be blown away to get such a cool card with specific words of kudos for the way they serve you each day. see? i helped you find a home for that card! you're welcome!

  8. Hmm. Can't see the first image for some mystical reason only the Internet understands but I, too, love the message. And no Internet is a good thing. I think it's the main reason I love camping. No Internet, no phone, no to do list. Maybe one day my kids will get to where I can take projects and sit in the trees and create. But by then they will be addicted to their phones and the Internet and will not want to go camping anymore.


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