Monday, August 13, 2012

Blog Migration

I'm combining all my three blogs back into one blog. I will start posting again ... So go to

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Madeleine L’Engle Quote

It’s no coincidence that just at this point in our insight into our mysteriousness as human beings struggling towards compassion, we are also moving into an awakened interest in the language of myth and fairy tale. The language of logical arguments, of proofs, is the language of the limited self we know and can manipulate. But the language of parable and poetry, of storytelling, moves from the imprisoned language of the provable into the freed language of what I must, for lack of another word, continue to call faith. —Madeleine L’Engle
I love this quote. I've read most everything she wrote and appreciate how she stretched my thinking and view of life and the world.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Great Dance

The Great Dance--perichoresis! Perichoresis derived from two Greek words was coined to describe the relationship of the persons of the Trinity. Peri meaning "around" and choreia meaning "dance"--a God dance. The Father, Son and Spirit created the human race so that what they have together could be shared with us, so that their great dance of life could be extended to us and played out in our lives.



For several years now I've been so enamored with the Trinity, the tri-unity God. I bought this candelabra for the beautiful representation of the great dance, reminding me that the relational God who's image I'm made in, invites me to join in!

One time I had put new candles in, but one fell and broke. I was thinking I'd melt it together. As I was reading one evening I wanted to light the candles but hadn't yet fixed the one. It was lying there broken. And it HIT ME...Jesus' broken body! I couldn't light just the two candles. I imagined the tri-une God not desiring to be lit till all three could be dancing together.

Yes I did add the mended broken one and for awhile I could see the break until they melted past it. The temptation now is to always break and melt back together one of the candles as a reminder of God's reaching down to extend the circle and their great dance of life to me. Jesus stepping out of eternity into history. Jesus's brokenness to draw me into the circle of their life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blogs and Photos

A website home page for is under construction. For now, takes you to this site, which is my old blog that was called Karey's Overflow.

It's confusing, I know ...

I now have three blogs. And I have two photo sites. So I'll put everything here as links to them all, for now, until I create the webpage with it's info and links to everything. is this blog. My old blog. is my new blog. will be a place to post recipes and organize them and talk food. is where I'm posting pics of my textile art. is where family pics and all are posted.

Home. A picture Dawson took. But now the fencing is done and gardens pretty much done (is gardening ever done? ... kinda like - does a kitchen ever stay clean? Is women's work ever done? "Her candle never goes out" ... hmmm)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I just finished a felted wool sculpture for a gallery display. I've titled it "Savior Creator". Before Jesus was attached to the backboard frame, Dawson's friend Connor was holding it, hugging Jesus and saying he was cuddly. I got the idea of the mobile extended from the book The Shack, in which Jesus says, "I don't want to be first among a list of values. I want to be at the center of everything. When I live in you, then together we can live through everything that happens to you. Rather than a pyramid, I want to be the center of a mobile where everything in your life--your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities--is connected to me but moves with the wind, in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being."

Wire provides the internal structure with foam, wrapped with batting before adding the wool I needled into shape. I had several pictures to look at for the shaping. I looked at Rembrandt's face of Jesus, but people are telling me he resembles Monte. I have looked at Monte daily for thirty five years. In trying to think thru what I wanted hanging from the mobile, creation is where I ended the process. The background in the frame is felt, and various yarns embellished with my needlefelting machine. His outstretched arms are the same width as mine.

I decided to also post a picture I drew in college from my sketch book.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Felting Book Entries

I Googled "needle felting machine" early January and found a felting blog forum. From there I found a call for entries for a book being published on Felting and the deadline was soon looming. So Dawson took photos of some of my favorite pieces (had to first bring them home from where they were on display).

This felted face is my niece Leah. I need to finish her. I don't want to do an entire felted body - thinking I do a metal frame. I'd cover it with a felted dress using my embellishing machine. And I'll hand needle hands to add - hands clapping are so Leah!

Since my blog/website is hosted away from Google's Blogger, I'm not able to keep posting pictures here and will soon have to be moving and reconfiguring everything. I will be writing again. I need an actual website page rather than just a blog, tho I don't want the site to be static. But I don't want to take the time right now to get it done. I'm "working" at my textile art rather than writing. So check in later ...

Since I'm unable to post many pictures here anymore you'll need to check out more of my art at my photoblog ... which I'll be changing to maybe Flicker in the near future.


Monte built me shelves and a great large desk for my new studio. The room used to be our living room, which we called the "Parlor". It still holds the piano and musical instruments and music paraphernalia. But now I've been able to organize stuff accumulated around the house and garage into a 'home'.

But I've several spaces beyond this room. For now, my batik tools are stored in the laundry room - now named "sitting room". Heather's old bedroom holds a drafting table and lots of colored wool is all over the floor. It's been organized as the paper crafting and mat cutting for framing space. I'm currently working on a large dry-felt, needled wool sculpture. Dawson is going to weld me a stainless sink counter to replace the old sink and wood counter in the greenhouse. Along with a stainless steel table he found at a yard sale, it's my dying and wet-felting space (and still my seed starting and nurturing space).

More photos of my studio are posted on my photoblog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baby Emery

I just posted about Monte's dad, Emery, having died. Now I'm posting about our second grandchild, Emery Revere Swan, having been born: January 9. He was 9 pounds 11 ounces - a big healthy baby and his pictures look more like a three month old! aren't these adorable?! Speaking of pictures, I'm going to post a bunch on my photoblog (click to see).

I've not posted this year! As to posting on my blog ... I don't know what this year will look like. I've mentioned future blog ideas, but for the immediate right now, I'm not going to be blogging much. First off, I just don't feel like writing. I've done two years of writing on our calendar days having meaningful stories (which is supposed to be my next book ... whenever ...). How to cook, and how-to's in general, I could post about. I've had people asking me "how to cook" questions.

This next year? I'm in an interesting season ... A year ago I was in Texas with Heather. Bill had been deployed to Iraq and we were awaiting the birth of her baby, my first grandchild. I was there more than a month since Will came late and I couldn't leave Heather alone until I knew she could handle life with a new baby and being basically alone.

Then it takes awhile to get back into the groove when gone from home a long time ... getting re-familiar with everything ... home organization, cleaning, and basic living ... garden planning and readying ... my art and Easter season ... Heather and Will living with us for months at a time ... Monte's dad ailing ... Holidays ... Then several Wisconsin trips, living out of suitcases (and one not making it to Wisconsin until last minute for having funeral clothes, etc).

There was a period of time this past month of emotional swings ... a trading of sitting and standing in hospital settings around a bed ... from a dying Emery to a newborn Emery ... As I wrote on Facebook: I'm "in the space between two Emerys!"

What's up now? Monte and me are making shelves for two walls - a room that used to be our "Parlor" (living room) but is now turning into my "Studio". The piano is in there and other musical instruments, but it also holds my several weaving looms and lots of yarn, etc. My drafting table, mat cutter, paper/photo craft, and sewing paraphernalia, have taken over Heather's old room. Dye paraphernalia is stored in the laundry room, now named "sitting room" - tho most dying takes place in the kitchen and greenhouse. All the rest of the textile paraphernalia is going to get organized in my new studio so I can get to work on my tapestry weaving and furthering forward my felting art.

I've planned this year's gardens and ordered seeds and will be starting them in the greenhouse soon. I'll be growing starts for Travis and Sarah's garden too. So I'm also cleaning the greenhouse - like shop-vacuuming the old grapevine leaves before new buds begin.

Heather's Bill came home from Iraq mid January too. I'm so glad he's home now and will have so much fun with Will who's at such a fun stage. Will turned 1 year old February 1. They celebrated it with Bill's dad in California and will soon be here, before returning to Texas, and on with life. (Lots of 'wills' in that paragraph.)

Sarah's family have been with her and Travis, enjoying their first grandchild/ nephew. They soon leave and Travis and Sarah will be on their own in this new parenting season of life. All I'll tell you two is that it does go fast! So enjoy all the moments and know that you're not going to be living from feeding, to diapering, and naps, and then eating cold food, for the rest of your life!

Since I've been sorting pictures and posting so many memories - I've sure been living thru many seasons all at one time it seems. Now to move forward ...
The past is history; the future's a mystery; and the present is a gift.

The present moment is the place we touch eternity.

Did the groundhog see his shadow? I've not heard the news.
It's Candlemas Day - a thin place ...

Emery A Swan - Monte's Dad Died

This is the obituary for Monte's dad. Monte's Mom started telling the mortuary man a list of a lot of these things until we said we'd write it. So Monte did the initial writing with many of us editing, including some grandkids and his mom. A wonderful man: son, brother, uncle, friend, husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa! A rich heritage is carrying on ...

Emery Swan

Emery A. Swan, 89, of Ogema, went to be with his Lord on January 15, 2010 at his home in Town of Hill. He was born Easter Sunday, April 4, 1920, on the family farm, to Oscar and Selma Swan, the sixth of 12 children. He attended Ring School in Town of Hill, and later, night school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Em loved hunting, fishing, and playing baseball with his brothers. Eventually he played as a semi-professional for the Wisconsin Valley League. In the late 1930’s, he worked in Chicago for a commercial construction company that sent him to Utah and New York on various assignments.

In March 1947, Em eloped with the love of his life, Betty Hallstrand. They bought a home on Pearson Lake where they lived for two years while Em logged with his brother. Em and Betty then moved to Shawano where they owned and operated a deli. After selling it, they relocated to Franklin, Wisconsin where Em worked as a carpenter. Eventually he became foreman and layout man for Kilps & Sons and in the 1960’s he was instrumental in helping them become Wisconsin’s largest conventional builder. Em and Betty were members of Beloit Road Baptist Church where Em was a trustee, helped with the Boy’s Brigade Club, built a kitchen, and crafted a special cedar ceiling for the new church.

Most of Em’s spare time was spent with his boys: teaching and mentoring them in the fine points of hunting and fishing, and supporting and coaching them as they pursued baseball, golf, track, cross country and basketball (attending over 500 of his sons’ basketball games). As a Little League coach he made sure all team members played and they went undefeated in a league of 14 teams.

In 1985, Em retired and he and Betty moved home to Town of Hill. They built a home on Highway C where he raised ginseng and balsam Christmas trees—winning 1st place at the Ogema Christmas Tree Festival. This tender, kind-hearted, good-natured man had a great sense of humor. He endeared all with the expressions “ding-dong-it”, “blame-it-anyway,” and “Oh, fright”. Em was a wonderful grandfather, playing, listening, and laughing with his grandchildren. He supplied his sons with maple syrup he made the old fashioned open-air way. With his close friend Dennis Vesely, he logged and worked in the woods until September 2009.

Em and Betty loved to travel, visiting Canada, Mexico, and all lower 48 states. In the early days they traveled with their sons, and during their retirement with Em’s older brother Clifford Swan and wife Melba. On a later trip to Wyoming with Ray and Julie Ploof, Em enjoyed the surprise of Betty’s birthday party.

Em’s philosophy on life was, “I’m in God’s hands so why worry.” This wonderful outlook persisted as he coped with cancer. Never complaining, he was blessed by having no pain, which mystified his doctors.

The name Emery means “family strength… industrious, hard worker”, and this certainly described Em. He had a gift for inspiring men to create with pride, looking beyond the labor, anticipating the completed product. But Em excelled at family strength and his greatest joy was spending time with his family. They now total 50, including 20 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren (all boys), the youngest born to Travis and Sarah Swan on January 9th named Emery Revere Swan.

For many years Em’s boys watched their father sit at the dining room table a few minutes before they left for church, and write the family’s weekly check for the Lord’s work. This action showed them in no uncertain terms where his treasures were. Em’s tangible love for Betty and the irresistible force of his sacrificial love for and belief in the boys and in God, won the sons’ hearts. Through their lives they’ve sought to honor this amazing man.

Em is survived by Betty, his wife of 62 years, his sons and daughters-in-law: Monte (Karey) Swan, Evergreen Colorado; Mike (Linda) Swan, Green Bay Wisconsin; Mark (Cindy) Swan, Gillette Wyoming; and Scott (Chris) Swan, Fennimore Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by four brothers and three sisters.

A memorial service was held January 18 at Ogema Baptist Church. Pallbears were: Danny Swan, Dennis Vesely, Gary Swan, Jim Swan, Scott Wildberg, and Steve Swan. The funeral was conducted by Pastor Rodney Price of the Ogema Baptist church. The Heindl Funeral Home assisted the Family with arrangements.

Typical Grandpa

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