MU Staff Arts & Crafts Showcase 2015

My crochet display with beloved friends at the 2015 Showcase

2015 was the best Showcase opening ever!

I was thrilled to see more than two dozen friends from Mizzou, my church and my Toastmasters club at the grand opening. I also appreciated the kind notes of support and prayers from those who couldn’t make it. I felt you there in spirit.

I’m thankful for all of you! It was a day of joy celebrating the retro 1970s crochet glory that is my hobby!

The Showcase will continue until Thursday, 3 p.m., in Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union. We have seven new artists displaying for the first time this year. It’s definitely worth the walk to Memorial Union—you’ll see many fascinating types of art: costumes, leather work, paper, hooked rugs and baskets.

I made a little something for our Chancellor, who is famous for his bow ties.


Photos from the show

My thanks to Natalie Meighan and Michelle Hall for the photos.

Bonus: Campus Authors reception

The schmoozing continued at the Campus Authors reception I attended in the afternoon, complete with amazing food (note the tiny tasty tartlettes in my paw) and classical music in the rotunda. They told me my book sold out.

I love how this photo (courtesy of Laura Foley) makes me look like a rock star with my shades on. Do you think it’s because my Transitions lenses are slow to change back…or it is because the future is so bright…
Genevieve A. Howard, MU Campus Authors reception


I appreciate these good times and look forward to more. God bless you today and all days!

Light in my life: Drew Backues

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Drew while living in Missouri. The contrast between his easy-going nature and competitive side fascinates me. I’m always impressed by his talent and desire to improve, whether in Photoshop, bowling or pumpkin chucking. He masters anything he puts his mind to.

Funny, low-key and loyal, I consider him a true friend.

You can see more of Drew’s photography on his Flickr page

What brings light into your life?

Besides my Lord and savior, family/friends and the freedom I have in this wonderful country… I would have to say nature.

From a walk in the woods, to a float trip down the river or a night under the stars, it’s natures vast beauty and wildlife that brings light to my life. It helps me get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and unwinds me.

More people need to get out there and bathe in its therapeutic wonder.


Light in my life: Stephanie Hibbert

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Stephanie while living in California. She has always had a star presence and a creative touch. I was her housemate in Santa Cruz. At that time, she was a painter. I enjoyed sitting in her basement room/studio, watching paint splash over huge canvases while I drank coffee out of a bowl. She entertained me with her stories about being a child actor on the shows I grew up watching like Dukes of Hazzard.

She encouraged me as a poet when I felt like a nobody and put my poems in her zines. When I was sad over a breakup with a boy, she told me I was too much woman for him anyway. Bold, loving and fascinating, she has a zest for life that energizes everyone who knows her.

Now she is a food-artist. You can find out more about her and her food-art at: Chef Stephanie

What brings light into your life?

Gratitude, taking the time everyday to see and feel the world through a positive, hopeful, grateful, humble and trusting perspective.

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Light in my life: Roger Wing

carved swans

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Roger while living in California. We were taking the bus to the Lompico mountains and both of us sat in the back. We struck up a conversation. I learned he was an art student at UCSC working on a Buddha carved from wood. He invited me to his A-frame cabin on a lake to see the Buddha and have green tea and oranges. As I was living in an old school bus on the dark side of the mountain without a semi-carved Buddha, oranges or an easy way to make tea, I welcomed the invitation. From that moment on, I have found him fascinating.

Roger is a rare person in that his mind is truly his own. He respects the source of all his choices, whether it’s ethical coffee or a piece of wood for carving. He stays aware of how our world is interdependent. He seeks the good and voices his heartbreak over the malicious or apathetic.

To find out more about Roger and his art, visit Roger Wing

What brings light into your life?

I have always felt the power and magic of Art. Since childhood I have been drawn to and sought to channel that mysterious force myself. I feel a rush of energy from looking at an artwork or an inspiring show. When I give myself over to my own creative impulses I can lose all track of time and work ceaselessly without tiring.



balanced wood


carved swans

Light in my life: Jenny McGee

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Jenny while living in Missouri. I saw her speak before I met her. She talked about a tree and made me cry. Not from sadness, but from longing to be like the tree in her painting, rooted in something deeper than itself.

Jenny is one of those impossibly charming and beautiful people who doesn’t know how charming and beautiful she really is. This lack of pretense only adds to the effect. She is both vulnerable and tough. With an honest heart, she is brave enough to submerse her whole being in the world of feeling and spirit. I know she will continue to bless everyone who meets her.

You can find out more about Jenny and her art at Azul by Jenny McGee

What brings light into your life?

For me it’s looking backward and recognizing the presence of God through the circumstances in my life. It helps fill me with light when I realize that I was never alone.

Light Of the world

Light Of the World

Light in my life: Belinda Davis

Back of the artwork

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Belinda while living in Missouri. She is around five feet tall while I am six feet tall. What is wonderful about our friendship is that we have a foot of difference between our sizes but no difference in our hearts! In fact, her heart might be bigger than mine.

She is unlimited in how she expresses herself and her love for God, for others and for life. She surrounds herself with the holy, even making a labyrinth in her yard. Every corner of her home shows a treasure she has made or found, whether it’s a painted gourd she grew or a piece she crocheted. When you enter her house, it smells of fresh scones and she is quick to offer a cup of tea (perfect for me!).

What brings light into your life?

The photos are of a counted cross-stitch I did on black linen. I took progressive photos as I worked it. When I finished I felt it important to photograph the back side before it was framed.

L'innocence (Innocence) - William-Adolphe Bouguereau - www.bouguereau.orgL’innocence (Innocence)

It spoke to me of the front being the “front” side that the world sees, but God sees both the front and back. The beauty of the finished side and the hard work of the back side that is unseen.

The picture is from a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905)
As I stitched I prayed and those prayer seemed very random, much like the back side.  However, when I finished the piece, I realized the prayers had a common theme; relationships.
So one word for what brings light into my life is this:  Relationships.
The back
Back of the artwork

The front

Front of the artwork

Light in my life: Michelle Oman-Gilkey

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

Michelle Oman-GilkeyI met Michelle while living in California. I appreciate her loving and giving nature. She knows my heart. Worldly without being snobbish, she can turn the ordinary into an amusing story even if it’s if just taking the trash down the driveway. I can’t help laughing every time I talk to her because of her wry wit and insight into humanity.

Find our more about Michelle and her food-art at: Indie Culinary

What brings light into your life?

So many things bring light into my life, but to stay on topic—Introducing others to the vast and delightful world of culinary education and experimentation brings light into my life.

Chocolate strawberry shortbread tart from Indie Culinary
Chocolate strawberry shortbread tart from Indie Culinary
Fried chicken roasted veg polenta from Indie Culinary
Fried chicken roasted veg polenta from Indie Culinary

Light in my life: Shanna Seyer

During February and March, I’m featuring artist-friends who bring light to my life.

I met Shanna while living in Missouri. She knows scripture better than anyone else I have ever met. She has the heart of a seeker. Seeing her devotion and hearing her questions has deepened my faith. She is unafraid to give it all to God, even her doubts and disappointments. She is a great sister in Christ to me.

She made the painting and verse for me. I keep it next to my bowl of prayer beads. She also made me a devotional I treasure, all handwritten verses in a book of birds. I included some images of the book.

What brings light into your life?

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy…Psalms 43:4. ESV

The beginning of this psalm, the writer laments to God about how his enemies had been given the upper hand over him. He laments how he felt abandoned by God. In his frustration, he asks God to reveal Himself.
He asks for God to bring His light and truth. He asks God to lead him with this light and truth. As he trusts this leading, he feels compelled to go to the altar of God. He then boldly proclaims God is his exceeding joy.
Much like the psalmist, despite circumstances and feelings, God and only God brings real light (and truth) into my life.
I can rest in God and feel God’s light and truth as he leads me, as he showers me with good and perfect gifts from above. God is truly my exceeding joy….and brings light into my life.



Bird Devotional

red birds
orange bird cardinal

Take me out to the art show

Thank you to my visitors at the MU Staff Arts and Crafts Show this week! Hugs to you all! ❤

1970s candy
Bowl of candy from my table: all available in the 70s!

I was thrilled to be included in the show and visit with everyone about the 1970s, crochet and candy. What a success! I don’t think I will have to bring home too many packages of Pop Rocks or Laffy Taffy.

My favorite? Each time someone smiled at the colors in one of my crochet pieces, or told me about a memory of a family member who crocheted. I heard, “My grandma used to crochet,” or “My aunt taught me to crochet.”

Enjoy a few pictures from the art show. And if you’ll be in the Columbia area, the show runs until 3 p.m. Thursday, May 22.


Lord, thank you for nurturing
our desire to create connections.
We splash our world with color!
We tell stories of work done before:
My grandmother made me a baby blanket.
My mother made me a sweater.
We realize it is hardly the craft that matters;
it’s always the people.

Stories and scarves,
photos and paintings,
are only ways to say thank you
for this time on earth,
where it can be so bright and
full of goodwill
when we make it so.
Help us make it so.

Tell me your thoughts!

What is an experience you’ve had with an art show? Or yarn?

Celebrate the 70s with me and yarn!

You’re invited!
You’re invited!

I adore the design of the 70s because I am a child of the 70s.

For most of that decade, I grew up in a fabulous house in southern California with shag carpet and an avocado-colored fridge. It had an intercom that you could press a button to talk to other rooms of the house. The 70s has a reputation for delighting in color. Inheriting the psychedelic palette of the 60s, it embraced a new sensibility of on how to work with brown, rust and mustard at the same time. In short: combine them excessively. In a poncho. With fringe. Wear that poncho proudly.

This is the 70s aesthetic…and I love it.

Relish the tasteless?

Design is continual. Everything that catches our eye today will soon enough look “of a certain time period”. Instead of resenting the old and calling it names like “dated” and “tasteless”, I relish it. I salute the colors that speak with the familiarity of childhood. Devote yourself to thinking back on the world as it was when you were young. By comparing and contrasting how things were with how things are, we can notice the passage of time. This act of noticing stops our lives from becoming a blur.

Finding the familiar is a gift you give yourself. Do you enjoy the hunt of a gas station sign, seeking out roadside antique shops for just the right one? Are you a collector of delicate porcelain figurines, as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother was? Our souls thrive on the occasional comfort of nostalgia.

For the MU Staff Arts and Crafts Show (flyer PDF), I’ll be displaying the 1970s retro crochet pieces I’ve worked on all year. I focused on the colors that come from my personal history: creative ways to say I celebrate the way the world was when I arrived.

I await the show eagerly. I look forward to having fun laughing with people about the outrageous hues and vibrant combinations. I will even be wearing a special outfit during the grand opening reception on May 20 at noon…hope to see you there!


Lord, thank you for our life in full color!
We thrive in celebrating and expressing
ourselves in how we create our clothes
and decorate our homes.
Thank you for change.
Thank you for longing.
Thank you for remembering how it was so
we can even better appreciate
how it is now.

Tell me your thoughts!

What brings you happiness to think back on?