Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy 2009 to You!

I always love the transition from one year to the next. True, there isn’t a huge leap from the last day of 2008 to the first day of 2009, but for many it will represent a fresh start. The New Year offers an opportunity to leave bad decisions behind and resolve to work harder at being the person you want to be. One thing I know I can always improve upon is spending more quiet time with the Lord, praying and studying the Scriptures. This year I gave everyone at the studio a morning devotional book that was introduced to me by my daughter Erin. It is called Morning by Morning and it is by a wonderful author, Charles Spurgeon. If you are looking for a jumpstart in your spiritual life, I highly recommend reading any of his work. Be renewed this year and enjoy celebrating the countdown to 2009 with those you love. God bless!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New at Cracker Barrel – Nature Walk!

I am delighted to announce that our latest Cracker Barrel program, Nature Walk, is now available in all of their stores. Many of you know I love to paint scenes of nature – birds, butterflies, flowers, and other plant life. Nature is where I find my sanctuary and personal retreat, whether on the farm watching the birds feed with my family or vacationing on the nature preserve we visit in South Carolina – I just can’t get enough! All of those things are what inspired this collection and why I hold this program so dear. Nature Walk offers a wide range of products, including dinnerware, plaques, albums, and notepads, to name a few. They even have Nature Walk apparel! Please visit your local Cracker Barrel to enjoy a great meal and see the new Nature Walk program. Also, take note of our new rooster program – Elegant Rooster – that is now available in all stores. It is a fun take on weathervane roosters rendered in a beautiful blue, green, and brown palette.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

I hope you all enjoyed a very merry Christmas this year! My family enjoyed another wonderful holiday together on the farm. It was a typical Christmas in many ways – gathering together with Al and our children around the tree, opening special gifts from one another, and giving thanks as we remembered the ultimate gift from God this season. However, in other ways this Christmas was very different. As many of you know, our daughter Erin is away this year on a mission trip around the world. She is currently in Kenya and was spending Christmas feeding the hungry children where they are working. We miss her dearly and missed her even more over Christmas. But, the delight and fulfillment we hear in her voice when she calls and in her blog entries helps us to know that she is exactly where she needs to be this Christmas. Erin shared another part of her life with us from so far away. Her friend Nikki has been living in our guesthouse this year and helping us with so many things around the farm. 

It was a great blessing to have her spend the holidays with us this year! Nikki brought some of the extra cheer we were missing in Erin’s absence and was a true blessing for us. So, this year, our joys of Christmas were by our side with Nikki and our children Sam, Mac, and Megan as well as afar as we kept Erin in our hearts. I found the following quote in our new book by Harvest House, God Bless Our Little Nest and thought it so appropriate to share this Christmas.

"Our home joys are the most delightful earth affords and the joy of parents in their children is the most holy joy of humanity. It makes their hearts pure and good; it lifts men up to their Father in heaven.”
Johann Heindrich Pestalozzi

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Go Panthers!

One of the painters at the studio, Mary Beth, made it into the Charlotte Observer online! Mary Beth is a huge Panthers fan, as many of us at the studio are, so she made us proud. She and her husband always go all-out for the games with tailgate parties, signs and of course plenty of Panthers gear. Here’s to hoping all of our Christmas, and Panthers, wishes come true this season as we cheer for them to go all the way!

"A Carolina Panthers fan displays her Christmas wish during the 4th quarter against the Denver Broncos at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers won, 30-10."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Wishes

I would also like to invite you to send a special Christmas message this year to your loved ones with a FREE e-card from Winget Art Studio.
Click here!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friends Around the World

As many of you know, my daughter Erin is currently on a mission trip around the world through a program called The World Race. I am thrilled to tell everyone that our Winget Art website now has a new page called Friends Around the World that will track Erin’s work and travels. Also, on this page, we invite you to tag yourself on our map from where you live - across the US and around the world.
To visit our What’s New page and read about Erin’s journey, click here. From the world map page, please follow the link to email us about yourself and where you live!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Hello friends! It has been a while since my last blog entry – but, I thought wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving would be a good way to start writing again! I am excited to be spending tomorrow on the farm with our extended family, sharing food and fellowship, and embracing one of the things I am most thankful for – my wonderful family. I know I have so many blessings to be thankful for, but in Sunday school last week we were charged to think of Thanksgiving in another way. Paul delivers this message in the passage above from 2 Corinthians. Giving and sharing our time, prayers, and money with others is the best way that we can give thanks to God for all of his blessings in our lives. When we fully trust in God that he will provide for us it is easy for us to give freely to others, even in the most difficult of times. Tomorrow as I count the things I am most thankful for this year, I will also remind myself to thank God by sharing my blessings with those around me. Even a simple act of charity can mean so much to the glory of God!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Think Pink!

As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are “pink reminders” everywhere this month, which make me reflect on the strength of so many women battling this disease physically and mentally as a cure is being sought. This is a cause I hold dearly because this disease has touched so many family and friends. A cure must be found to save future generations from this heartache.
As we hear the many touching stories of breast cancer victims and survivors this month, I hope that more and more people will feel a call to contribute to the efforts of this fight. There are many fundraising efforts to be involved in; events like Race for the Cure and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I also learned recently of a program called the Army of Women that was launched this month. This program was set-up to find women of all backgrounds across the nation and partner them with breast cancer researchers to find a cure. Their goal is to eradicate breast cancer completely, once and for all! I thought this was a powerful way for women in this nation to band together in this fight. They need everyone – whether you are high-risk, a survivor, or perfectly healthy with no family record of breast cancer. Click here to visit the website and learn more about this wonderful opportunity.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The World Race Begins!

Our daughter, Erin, has begun her 11-month world missions tour through the World Race. She left on Saturday morning, flying through LA and Hong Kong, on her way to the Philippines. During her layover at the LAX airport, she accessed the internet and posted a picture of herself and some of the other team members she met there. It was so good to hear from her already! She was “all smiles” and seemed very excited to be meeting up with her team and finally getting started on the journey they have been preparing for all these months. Al and I are also very excited for her as the trip begins. We have been looking up information online about the Philippines, where she will be stationed for the first month. It is a beautiful country – did you know that it is comprised of over 7,000 islands? I know we will be learning a lot about the world this year as we track all of the countries where Erin will be working. Below is a video Erin taped last week before she left. Also, click here to visit Erin’s World Race blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Erin's Send-Off Party

Sunday afternoon we had a gathering of friends on the farm to wish our daughter Erin a safe journey and to give her an opportunity to say many goodbyes as she prepares to leave for the Philippines and her 11 month World Race missions tour, this Friday. It was a perfect day for an outdoor event, a tribute to the last day of summer. Erin wanted a simple drop-in under the trees in front of the house to remind her of the times spent in that very place with her grandparents growing up. The oak trees that we planted around the time Erin was born are now large, beautiful trees that offer a wonderful, shady space for friendly get-togethers like this one. Tables were set-up and delicious homemade treats to share were brought by many friends. Everyone pitched in to make this day so very special for us all! We spent the afternoon laughing and crying with family and friends as Erin thanked so many people for the prayers and awesome amount of support they have shown her as she prepared for her trip over the past several months. It was so touching for me to see the wide variety of people that came – little children, friends from college, and elders of our church to name a few. These arepeople that have shaped her life and are now empowering, and even pushing her to reach out in the same way to others as her pilgrimage begins.
It was easy to feel God’s presence as so much love was poured over our family. I ask for continued prayers for Erin as she will begin her journey soon, and also ask for many prayers as we will all have to say tearful goodbyes to Erin in just a few days. It will be hard to let her go but I know God will bless Erin, her team, and so many others she will encounter during the next year. This journey is sure to be a wonderful blessing for Erin and our family as we share her with the world!

To learn more about the World Race, click here!
Click here to visit Erin’s race blog!
Click here to send Erin a message!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From the Pumpkin Patch!

In preparation for fall, I always like to find new and fun ways to use pumpkins to decorate and brighten-up our home. I found the following ideas for this year. One idea is to cut the tops off of the pumpkins, scoop out the insides, and then place a potted plant, like this season’s lovely chrysanthemums, inside. Aren’t these beautiful as front porch or tabletop décor?
Another idea is to use all of the fresh vegetables from your garden, or a local farmer’s market, to create a friendly pumpkin face. You can use flowers for eyes, a carrot for a nose and cabbage for hair. Be creative and let me know if you have any other neat ideas for pumpkin decor in your home this fall!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Angel Trumpet

For my birthday this year, my dear friend Annie gave me a plant. Although I trust Annie in all gardening endeavors, as she has a special touch with every flower and animal she encounters, I must say it did not look like much at first. It was even kind of scraggly. My husband Al called it a “poke salad” which is the term his father gave to an unsightly plant that grew on the farm when he was growing up. However, as we faithfully tended this plant (with much help from Annie herself) it has all of a sudden blossomed and is gorgeous, full of pink flowers. It is called an Angel Trumpet, and if you ever find one, I urge you not to judge it, as we did, at first glance! What a very special birthday gift this plant has become – Thank you, Annie!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Faith and the Stock Market

Psalm 9:9-10 – The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

I know that for many of us this week, our hearts and minds have been focused on the trials of the recent stock market and our struggling economy. During these trying times, when many are feeling the weight of this economy firsthand, searching for employment and struggling to ensure family savings, it is hard to be joyful in prayer and hard to thank God for his many blessings in our lives. But, it is in these difficult times that I remind myself of the importance of trusting God to guide us and not forgetting that He is good in all things, that we are always in His care.
Trusting anyone or anything is difficult when dealing with the current uncertainty of the stock market, but I know I must continue to trust God as he guides my life. It is when I actively include God in all aspects of my life – work and play – that I notice His ever presence the most. God shows His face in the oddest, seemingly most insignificant places. I find immense comfort and joy in these moments. Time and time again I find that when I make an effort to seek God’s guidance, I am assured of His love for us and know that if we put our trust in Him, he will provide.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Brother is Moving Home!

My brother, Donald, and his family have lived in Greensboro, NC for many years. Last spring, however, Donald started a new job that would move him to Charlotte. I was so excited to hear that my baby brother would be moving back home to the city where my family, my other brother David’s family and my mother all live. We have also had the blessing at Winget Farm to have Donald move in with us, until the rest of his family is able to find a new house and make the move to be with him. We have been so blessed to spend quality time together over the many meals and family gatherings shared so far. We are all excited for the day when the rest of his family will join us!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beth Moore Bible Study

The Women’s Bible Study has started up again at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian. Every fall, Clara Giles organizes the Bible study and inspires women from our church to make the commitment to join together in studying a new topic from God’s word. I always look forward to these meetings. It is hard work as we have a lot of reading and questions to answer throughout the week, however it is so rewarding as I always learn a lot and discover new ways to interpret passages I have read throughout my life.
This fall, we are studying along with a lecture series called “The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” from Beth Moore. Beth Moore is an amazing woman. She is a minister at First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and founded a biblically based organization for women called Living Proof Ministries. I am always blessed by her teachings and by the other women in the Bible study. Beckie and Susan from the studio also attend this Bible study, so we are able to remind each other to keep up with our studies! I cannot say enough about the importance in my life of maintaining this time of fellowship with my girlfriends. Not only do we grow in faith together, we also form an amazing support system as we study and pray together each week.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Going Green with Biodiesel Fuel

As gas prices over the past couple of years have risen and finding alternate sources of energy for our automobiles has become increasingly important, my sons Mac and Sam decided to take matters into their own hands. It actually all started with Sam’s senior exit project in high school. He decided to study and do his project on biodiesel fuel and his experiment worked! Biodiesel fuel is any clean burning alternative fuel, created from renewable resources. Mac, and Sam when he’s home from college, drive to local restaurants that have agreed to let them use their grease waste. Gathering the grease is an adventure in itself as they fill up a large tank and haul it back home. They recycle this oil in our shop, filtering it and mixing it with diesel and use it for their trucks. They are recycling and in the process saving a lot of money. Eventually, they hope to run completely off recycled grease, and boy do they have big plans! Mac and Sam amaze me with their resourcefulness and I am so proud of them for finding an alternative to the expensive and environmentally draining fuel system.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Early Mornings at the Gym

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I wake up at the crack of dawn and head to the gym for a workout. It is so hard to get out of bed some mornings but it helps that I have a group of fun (and strong!) girlfriends to work out with, including my painting friend, Jeannie, from the studio. We work hard and have a great time, too! There are so many wonderful health benefits that we all know come from working out – lower blood pressure, decreased risk of disease and prevention of muscle loss. But, what really gets me to the gym are the feel-good benefits of increased energy throughout the day, stress release and the comradery of my friends at the gym. It really is a blessing, even if that’s not always the easiest to remember that early in the morning! I would encourage everyone to get a group of friends together to walk with or head to the gym with a few times a week. It really is fun once you make time for it and all of your loved ones will be glad to know you care about being around for them for years to come!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Water Partners

Water Partners International is a nonprofit that works to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. This wonderful organization has opened my eyes to the struggle of gathering clean water that families across the world are facing. Water Partners has helped thousands of people develop accessible, and, most importantly, sustainable community water sources. I will never turn on a faucet again without thinking of the countless mothers in our world that cannot provide clean water for their children to drink and bathe in. I also count my own blessings, as I will never take our water resources for granted again. Last February, I took the studio to a Water Partners presentation and feel strongly about spreading the word to everyone. There is something each of us can do to help. I encourage you all to visit the Water Partners website to find out about the problems faced by so many men, women and children every day and what you can do to make a difference in their lives.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A California Visit

Last week I took a trip to California to meet with a company called Teacher Created Resources. They are located outside of Los Angeles in Westminster, CA. What a beautiful part of the country! Teacher Created is an educational publishing company that has created many products including banners, bookmarks, bulletin board art, expandable pocket files, notepads and stickers with our school themed designs. As the new school year is now getting started, it was a perfect time to meet and brainstorm about new classroom products and new design ideas. Click here to visit our online store, featuring many of our Teacher Created products.While in California, we also took time to visit our ar
tist friend Lowell Herraro and his wife Janet. Lowell is an amazing artist and they have a beautiful home that connects to his studio. His paintings are large with gorgeous rich colors, often depicting scenes of the vineyards and olive grove (Lowell and Janet produce their own olive oil!) that surround their home. We had a wonderful visit with them and enjoyed the chance to tour his home and studio.
Lastly, we visited a few vineyards around Napa Valley before returning home. I am definitely inspired to paint for our Lang Wine Country calendar, now! The rolling hills and inviting roads of the vineyards are absolutely gorgeous. It was a great trip all around; I hope to visit California again soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jim Shore’s New Furniture Line!

One of my friends and fellow artists, Jim Shore, recently had his grand opening for his new furniture and home décor line called At Home with Jim Shore. I had the privilege of attending his opening in Atlanta this summer for a sneak peak. The furniture is lovely with unique designs, clearly inspired by his quilt-like aesthetic. Even the cake at the party was shaped as a trunk with one of his distinctive Jim Shore designs! It was a wonderful opening, and I wish him much success as he enters the exciting world of furniture design!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sewcial Stitchers

Yesterday a group of women from Sewcial Stitchers, a quilting group, came to visit the studio. It was nice to meet them all and to get feedback from them on our current fabric designs produced by Benartex. They brought with them a beautiful quilt they designed from our Gypsy Song fabric line. It is always amazing for all of us at the studio to see our designs woven into the intricate patterns of a quilt. To find online stores that carry our fabric, Click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


All summer long we have enjoyed the most delicious peaches! Every couple of days, Mary Beth brings in a new basket full from the orchard she passes on her way to the studio. It has truly been a treat. Fresh peaches are one of the sweetest parts of the summer! We’ve enjoyed sharing them with our friends and families as well. It was great to take a sack of peaches to my aunt and uncle in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After the wedding weekend, Jeannie sent her relatives home with some peaches, too. It’s always fun to share a “bite” of the North Carolina summer with everyone! Beckie has even made her superb peach cobbler for the studio to enjoy a couple of times. Here is her recipe:
Beckie’s Peach Cobbler:
1 deep baking dish (21/2 to 3 qt.)
31/2 c. sliced peaches, sweetened to taste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Cup sifted flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
6 Tbsp. melted butter

Place peaches in deep dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Sift dry ingredients together. Add beaten egg. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over peaches. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and cinnamon. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ana and Craig’s Wedding

Jeannie’s daughter Ana got married last week! Jeannie is one of my dearest friends and has painted with me at the studio for many years. I could not be happier for Ana and her new husband Craig. They were married on a very special day, 8/8/08, in a beautiful outdoor ceremony on Lake Montonia. Ana’s father built a wooden bridge overlooking the lake for them to stand on as they took their vows. The music was provided by acoustic guitarist Scoot Pittman. Jeannie painted this beautiful image of the bridge for her daughter. It was an intimate family ceremony on a beautiful summer day –with a surprise of fireworks across the lake after they were first announced as husband and wife. Best wishes in your new life together, Ana and Craig!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back to School

As the end of August approaches, I wonder where this summer has gone! It has been a great summer, as I have enjoyed having all of my children at home. Thoughts now drift to schooldays as I have many friends and relatives preparing their classrooms for new students. Next week, our son Sam is returning to Appalachian State for his sophomore year. We will miss him dearly as he heads back to college but we are so proud of him and the man he has grown up to be. This year he is moving into an off-campus apartment with three friends. I pray that he will have another wonderful year, as he continues to grow and discover his place in the world.
Click Here to visit my updated family page on the website!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Training Camp for Erin

My daughter Erin returned from training camp for The World Race this week. It was a camp to meet her fellow participants and to simulate some of the conditions and challenges they will face during their eleven-month missions pilgrimage across the globe. I was so worried for her to go because she had her wisdom teeth out just a few days before leaving. But, she recovered beautifully and there was no way she was going to miss her week of training!
Her excitement and dedication to the World Race has become even more apparent since she returned from the camp last week in Georgia. Erin returned dirty and tired but full of spirit. They simulated living conditions where you must bathe using a hose and do without many comforts of home, like toilets. It was a difficult week physically and spiritually as they were charged with many challenging tasks and ideas. For my husband Al and me, hearing her recount her experience really confirmed for us that she has been called into this race. It is difficult to think she will be away from home for almost a year but God has truly comforted us over the past few weeks and we are so proud of Erin as she takes this leap of faith.
To visit Erin’s blog and read about her experience at training camp, click here!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Eric’s European Adventure

Beckie’s youngest son, Eric, just returned from Europe! He spent two weeks studying interior design at a university in Milan and then spent another 2 weeks traveling through the rest of Italy and Europe. Italy is such a beautiful country, with such a rich culture centered around fine arts and architecture – I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to study design! During his trip, Eric toured Rome, Florence and Venice. He also traveled to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. Today he came to the studio to share his photos with us. They were all so wonderful – I wish I was going back to Europe soon! One video he shared with us was from his trip to Venice. He went to the island of Murano and visited a glass blowing studio. The video he shot was of a man creating a small glass horse – it is such an intricate and beautiful process. I’m so glad that Eric had a wonderful experience. He is such a talented and creative designer, I know he learned a lot on this trip and will be able to use his many experiences to create designs for a lifetime!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Turning 88 on August 8th, 2008!

Today my Uncle Jim turns 88! It is his “magical” birthday as he turns 88 on 8/8/08. Last weekend we celebrated with him during our trip to Massachusetts with two cakes! Uncle Jim is a wonderful man and a phenomenal artist as well. I really enjoyed the time we spent together as he showed me his paintings and we talked about our love for art. He loves to paint beautiful scenes of nature, including horses! Hopefully he will agree to be a featured artist on the website soon.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Jim!

CLICK HERE> to visit our current featured artist page!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Family Blessings

Our extended family has been blessed tremendously through our children. Both of my brothers have large families so we have always enjoyed sharing the joys and humors of our children as they have grown up. Family gatherings would not be the same without the joyful noises and constant activities of the young people around us.
Over the past few years, our family has also experienced many blessings through international adoptions. My brother Donald and his wife Tamera adopted their 
youngest daughter, Rachael, from China. She is a beautiful girl, now six years old. Rachael brings such spirit and joy to our family, it is hard to imagine not having her in our lives to love and bring smiles to everyone’s faces. My cousins in Massachusetts that I visited last weekend have also experienced the joys of adoption. Nancy adopted her daughter Alisa from El Salvador and Mary Beth and Doug adopted their daughter Polina from Russia. I had a wonderful time with both of them last weekend; they are truly lights in our family’s lives.
Every exchange of love reminds me of the great blessings from God that these girls are to our family. It is easy to see that my family members were called to adopt, what an incredible act of grace! As noted in Mark 9:36-37, Jesus taught His disciples that whoever welcomes a child into their lives also welcomes Him. Countless delights and blessings have certainly followed for our family, as these children were welcomed and embraced. All of the world’s children deserve to grow up in a home with a family that will love and care for them. I am so fortunate to be a part of a family involved in the ministry of international adoption, as these children are a daily reminder of God’s love and eternal goodness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Visiting Family in Massachusetts


         I just returned from a wonderful trip with my mother and brother, David. We flew to Massachusetts for a long weekend to visit my Aunt Ella, Uncle Jim, and my cousins’ families. It was great to see everyone and to spend time together. It was especially nice to spend more time with my cousin Mary Beth’s daughter Alisa and my cousin Nancy’s daughter Polina. They have so much energy and are both very sweet!
We also spent a lot of time outdoors; Massachusetts is gorgeous this time of year! The land was so lush and green. We enjoyed exploring the town of Cheshire, where Nancy lives, and even spent some time hiking along the Appalachian Trail. The trail runs right behind her house! It is amazing to think we can hike along the same trail whether we’re in North Carolina or Massachusetts. 

                                                                       You just have to find the familiar white blaze marked on the trees and rocks along the way.
We made so many cherished memories last weekend, I hope we can all get together again soon with the rest of our families!