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kindness of strangers, embracing the unexpected

I was driving down to the Priory yesterday morning for my Advent Oblate retreat when about 20 miles down I-5 my car started vibrating and I saw smoke pluming from the rear. I was able to get off to the side of the road and slowly drove off the next exit. I thought there was something wrong with the engine, but relieved to see it was just the tire that was flat.  However my cell phone was out of power and I had forgotten my AAA card, so I got out of the car and began to look in back to see if I could figure out my jack and the spare. Thankfully within a couple of minutes a very kind man stopped who also happens to own a towing company, so he easily changed my tire. I was so grateful for his generosity with his time in helping a complete stranger.  He told me there was a Firestone tire store three lights down.  I stopped by to get a tire so I could still head to my retreat late, but was told that they did not carry my tire in stock, nor did the location which was next closest.  I was told not to drive on the spare more than 60 miles. So at that point I realized I needed to drive back home to Seattle and stop at my regular service station where they have ordered my tire and it will be in on Monday.

My original plans included going to the retreat for the day and then heading out to my hermitage for the rest of the weekend.  But I found myself back in Seattle less than two hours after I had headed out.  My husband is away on a retreat until Monday with his students so I had the gift of two days at home I wasn’t expecting with nothing on my calendar.

Sunrise Sister asked me in a previous comment where I get the carving blocks to make my rubber stamps. I like to use the MasterCarve blocks from Staedtler (they come in many different sizes) and the Speedball Linoleum Cutters. (Click on the product names for links to an online art supply store!)

Two books that were helpful guides to get me going when I started with them about a year ago are: Art Stamping Workshop: Create Hand-Carved Stamps for Unique Projects on Paper, Fabric, Polymer Clay and More and The Weekend Crafter: Rubber Stamp Carving: Techniques, Designs & Projects.

Bette was the one who initially got me started on carving my own blocks and she has also recommended products from Stampeaze, but I find the MasterCarve blocks at my local art store and they are easy to work with.  Use a soft pencil to sketch your design, then use the thin cutters to carve the image, then I go back in with the larger cutters to remove the larger sections.

***Remember to come back tomorrow for our next Poetry Party!***

More of my own art later. . . In the meantime go visit Tess at Anchors and Masts for her own wonderful and magical Art for Advent.

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts


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5 Responses

  1. You are welcome Tess, yes I was indeed fortunate, it could have been so much worse on many levels.

    Elaine, I am so glad you are enjoying the book! I just hope Jan has lots in stock for the future since every Advent I always send people her way. :-)

    Thanks Suz, I was certainly a very grateful stranger! :-) My husband wants to see the movie, maybe I’ll accompany him!

    Thanks kigen, I love the quote, it reminds me of another favorite quote: “the way is made by walking” — Antonio Machado

  2. Tess’ art was both full of interesting symbolism and beautiful to view.

    I love your story, Christine, and I think you would be an easy stranger to rescue. You have a kind face. I am glad he was a good person, too. It gives me renewed faith in strangers!

    I just returned from taking my nephew and brother to The Golden Compass. Very controversial, I understand. I am a fan of the books and recommend the movie. They did a nice job of interpretation.

  3. Yes so glad you were the recipient of kindness from a stranger (or an Angel Unware, perhaps).

    I love the phrase “embracing the unexpected.” I’ve had some of my most joyful moments when I’ve let go of the need to plan and control my time and just follow the flow of the day.

    Thank you so much for recommending Jan Richardson’s book. It arrived last Friday and I’m captivated by it. And I’ve only read the Acknowledgements and Introduction! (I’ll catch up on the first week’s and today’s readings this afternoon.) I think it will help make my Advent more meaningful.

  4. Thank you for the compliment and the link. I’m so glad you were rescued by kindness, and also that it was just a flat tyre.