Friday, April 29, 2011


I am taking a "random" road trip this July

with my 'little girl', Skyler.

We started planning this trip about 9 months ago

and it was simply going to be a road trip

with no agenda.

We were going to find some

Diners, Drive-In's and Dives,

take back roads and my camera.

Check out some junk stores.....

just several many days of relaxed fun.

It's not changed in that sense.

What has changed is that we now

have a mission!
I love, love, love it when God speaks to me

and I'm quiet enough to hear Him.

In thinking about the trip, He told me

that turning it into a short mission trip

would give it meaning.

It would give us more of a chance to

be a vessel for God.
Whenever I travel I always

do what I can to be a vessel for God.

I pay other people's tolls, anonymously.

I pay for other traveler's meals, anonymously.

And, I am extremely blessed each time

I do a random act of kindness.
(if you've never done a random act of kindness,
give it a try - it's the bomb.)
You've probably figured out our mission...

we are going to volunteer for two days

at a Center for Women and Families

in the eastern part of the U.S.

Basically a shelter for victims of

domestic violence or rape.
(because of confidentiality I can't tell you any more than that)
We are so excited to be a part of

the healing process of

these women and children.

We will be helping them create art.
Here's where YOU come in.
Here's where you can be a part of the healing process.
We'll be supplying the art supplies to make journals
and keepsake boxes out of cigar boxes.
We could use some help with these supplies
so if you are interested in helping with
glue sticks, patterned paper (for women and children),
fabulous embellishments,
please do what you can and
mail everything to me.
Don't sign your name on the cards/tags,
And, don't "address" OR seal the envelopes. (This is sooooo exciting!!)
and add a note of encouragement in your card or on your tag back.
Those will touch these hurting women and children
more than money.
Think about it - receiving a letter of encouragement from
someone that doesn't even know you. WOW.

God bless y'all and
if you can help with some of the above,
thank you.
And, if you can't, would you please pray
that we can be effective representatives of Jesus Christ
and that the women and children who we encounter
will see Jesus in our eyes and in our actions.

Jan Vermillion-Thomason
5720 Hwy. 27
Center Point, Texas 78010

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This past weekend was more than an art retreat for me.
It was three days that deeply touched my soul.
Officially, it was a K.C. Willis Art Retreat
in Taylor, Texas (east of Austin).

For me it was a weekend of renewal, validation,
new friends, an old friend, amazing art instruction and
laughter - straight from the gut.
The piece above is my first of two that I made
during the retreat.
It measures about 16" x 20".
All it is lacking is the vintage rhinestone
under the photo on the cabinet card.
(I couldn't wait to show it to you so use your imagination)
Above you're looking at a close-up of the
baby picture of a little boy.
Of course, the boy in the baby picture
is the boy in the main photo.
A close-up of the quote I wrote for this piece.
The picture you're looking at above is my
second piece. I will be attaching it to a
16" x 20" black canvas before I hang it.
I'll also be adding large tea stained (cream) ball fringe
to the bottom and
a piece of vintage jewelry to the bottom left corner.
Do you see the "open top" hand stitched
"envelope" on the bottom right?
Inside of it, and peeking out, is a small
photo of the girl in the piece.
I'll be giving it a wash to create a ghostly hue.
The lady on the envelope? The little girl as an adult.
One of my new friends is Susan and I'm
almost positive this piece above is hers.
I do know one thing and that is that it isn't quite finished.
Susan is a delightful artist and a lot of fun.
The best part is that she lives in San Antonio!
I'm also pretty sure this piece is by Rita Blanks.
Don't trust my memory!
(not quite finished)
I KNOW who created this piece!
My new, darling friend,Robin Woodward.
She and I have been blogging friends for years
and one day I mentioned this retreat and suggested
that she might be interested.
She was, we met IRL, went shopping, were roommates,
table mates and she is now my dear, sweet friend.
She is absolutely darling and this piece
is my favorite! (Not completely finished)
Susan created the above piece and what makes it so
special is that the little girl on the pony IS SUSAN.
What a wonderful piece!
I absolutely adore not only this darling piece of art,
but, the artist, too!
I've known Rita Blanks for many years
and though I don't see her often enough,
I adore any time that I get to spend with her.
Isn't this piece the bomb??
Here we all are with one of our two pieces.
We had such a wonderful time and
we learned and had so much fun with our
precious teacher, K.C. Willis.
If you are ever in a position that you can take one of her
Internet courses (DVD) or attend one of her retreats,
you will be blessed, entertained and
you will learn so much that you will be so stinkin' happy that
you invested in her teaching. She's amazing!
The Clark Mansion is a delight!
You can find the very
fascinating facts of it by clicking on "Clark Mansion".
It is a private home owned by Sherry Clark and she
holds weddings to art retreats on the property,
so let me just say,
if you're looking for an amazing place
to do "something",
give her a call (512-365-6709)
There's Sherry waving from the amazing front porch.
The greeter stands next to a historical marker
at the entrance to the property.
A lovely front yard with lots of seating.
A perfect place to sit and drink
your morning cup of coffee.
An alcove under the grand staircase.
The mansion has only had two owners
and both have done all they could
to keep it's integrity.
You feel like you're in another era - fabulous!
Look at this inlaid wooden floor -
original to the house.
The wallpaper??
I was tempted to tear off a panel.
The chandelier in the front hall.
Yeah, original to the house.
I will always regret not taking my big suitcase.
The oak front doors and their lead glass windows.
Oh, mama.
The grand staircase is one of the first things
that you see when you enter the house.
That lamp at the base of the stairs?
I stayed away from it.
Can you imagine if you were the one to
fall into it and knock it off.......
The ballroom is where we 'held our retreat'.
Mine's bigger. Just sayin'.
The house even has a keyhole window! Shut up!!
A fainting chaise in the front room.
The amazing woodwork above the door(s).
I know that the buffet and
the dining room table & chairs
are originals to the house.

I fell in love with the glass swan centerpiece
on the dining room table.
The windows in Robin's and my room
were topped by stained glass.
The sun shined through every morning
and it was a sight to behold as
I was getting ready for the day.
One of my favorite things in the house
was the reading light attached to the
headboard of my king size bed.
This is a picture of my sweet friend, Robin,
and our fabulous teacher, K.C.

We all have battles to fight and everyday challenges and I'm no different.
I've had a rough time for about a year, even had a dear friend "destroy me"
(my words) a couple of weeks ago with words and attitude.
My point in sharing that with you is so that I can tell you this:
Always find time, find some way, to enjoy what makes you passionate.
And, find that one person that you can trust and don't keep those moments
that destroy you to yourself. You'll be much healthier mentally if you can just
talk to someone.
(Oh, and btw, he didn't destroy me - after I stopped hyperventilating and
immediately talked to my bff, Annette, about what had just happened,
I did what God would want all of us to do.
I forgave him in my heart and I pray for him every night.)

I am well. I've got my joy back!
God bless you all,


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