My Vow

•11/07/2013 • 3 Comments


It was 40  years ago

I took him as Husband

We Loved

We Comforted

We Honoured

And protected each other

We forsook all others




He took me as Wife

We had

We held

Through Better

Through Worse





And everything in between

troth3We Loved

We Cherished

We Respected

We Grew

We Aged

We Laughed

We Cried


And still I cry

But now

I cry alone

For death came and parted us



Vows made before God

Were supposed to end

There and Then

But right now

My Head

My Heart

Do not know how to stop


Words and Pictures  © Denise Stanford 2013


Say Now I Love You


Seeds Sown

•30/05/2013 • Leave a Comment


It’s raining outside

A slow pitter patter

Punctuating fire crackle

And an afternoon quilting

In front of the fire


I must move soon

I have left it far too late

Seeds must be sown

In the west-end garden

Wild meadow flowers

To sit in the stirred soil

And wait out the winter days


I hear it has begun to rain

In Kenya Africa

Life and Death for them

Dry dusty days

Give way to wet

Voices ring

With Joy

With Hope

The rains have come

Sadly too soon

There is wailing

Love ones



In the deluge that overwhelms

You can have too much of a good thing…

I dig deep when Church

And Red Cross call

Scattering those seeds

In the Hope

Something good will grow


Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2013

Find Him… The Life Light

•31/03/2013 • 1 Comment


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1 v1-5 NKJ


•28/03/2013 • 2 Comments


Did Darkness

Take Jesus

From Garden to Prison

Betray Him and

Beat Him and

Hold Him restrained?


Was it Darkness

That crowned Him

With thorns

Deeply piercing and

Drove mighty nails

Through His hands and His feet


Was it Darkness

That held Him there

High on that wooden cross

Tortured for breath

Till He strangled

And died?


Was it Darkness

That spat upon





That closed His Life down?


Twas darkness that followed

The close of His Life

Like the switch that dims lights

Or the breathe that snuffs flame

Twas Darkness that hid the land

Trembling and twisted

When dead rose from graves

The veil tore apart


But Darkness

Does Nothing

Is nothing




Hides not

Deeds of Woman

Nor Man

Our shame and

Our sorrows





In Heaven’s full light

For Darkness hides nothing



Twas not Darkness

Love then

Birth Pain

God chose

To endure

To bring back

His loved ones

To Life

He Holds it


For you

Out of a


He’s held for you




His All


Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2013

Have you seen…

Passion of Christ

cobbledick crop11


The Anointing 0121


In The Eye of the Beholderstiches2












•11/03/2013 • Leave a Comment


I have lost count

Lost count of the days

7, 10, 12 or more

Days of heat

With no relief

Days of 32, 34, 36 degrees

Mid to high 90s

In the other money

Days of touching

All things warm

Days of cooling noise

Air conditioned

Air reconditioned


Days of burning






Cat’s play half heartedly

Flopping down hot

Creeping off to find dark cool corners


Tempers flare

As  temperatures rise

I struggle

Days of aching muscles

Over hot

Pulsing head

Fatigue confusion


I too hide away


Now the nights

20 something

70 something

Not cooling

No cool change

Long awaited

No fresh breeze from seacoast

Wafting curtains

Bringing that gentle sigh of refreshing

Cotton sheets

No longer



Curtains hang



As the air

Sleep is

Not long

Not deep

Not refreshing

Like not sleeping

Breathing hot air

Is like not breathing

I look forward

Weather forecasts

1,2,3, 4 days hence

Relief in sight


I wonder

When struggles get too much

When Living is not like living

When Loving is not like loving

We look ahead

For days of relief

The days in Heaven’s Light

Is it pie in the sky when we die

This forecast of better days


For these golden days

We need not wait

These can be found



In company

With a Father who loves his kids

Who would ease the pain

Ready to listen

On hot nights

In wakeful moments

Ready to walk

On scorching days

When the heart burns

With longing

Ready to offer shade

To the sunburnt soul


His cool cascades

Washing dust and ashes away

His refreshing

Quenching deep thirst

His Love satisfying

Deep and deeper longing

I need to

Look within the dry grass

To see the hidden green

No need to wait

I turn now

Move in closer

Claiming my place in

His Shadow

Beside still waters

There I will I abide


Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2013


•03/02/2013 • 1 Comment

Today I pray Serenity


I pray for Me

I pray for You

I pray Seas of Tranquility

Soothing Anxiety

Drowning Fear

Overwhelming Foe


I pray Clear Vision

Evaporating Mists of Doubt

I pray Peace Full to the Brim

Unworried Ease quenching Fiery Darts


I pray Composure

To stop Obsessive



Second Guessing


I pray Serenity of Majesty

To Fall

Reminding again

I am Child of King


I pray for Still

To Find God

To Know God


I pray for Quiet Rest





I pray for Calm

Dripping with Untroubled Moments

Keeping green the paths we all must tread

Oh How I pray

Find Serenity


Words & Pictures © Denise Stanford 2013

From the Archives



I Confess

•25/01/2013 • Leave a Comment

confess ph1

When I began Within the Vine

I intended a soft place to fall

A place

Of Delight

Of Reassurance

Of Encouragement


When the man loses his job

When the friend is diagnosed with a tumour

When the baby expected with joy

Fails to grow

Stops moving

confess ph2


Soft places are hard to find

Soft places are hard to speak of

Soft places are hard to take

When all else is comfortless


I forget

I forget all of us have hard times

I forget

If I stay silent in hard times

I permit that dark angel

To stop my words

To stop my pictures

To stop The Message

confess ph4

So I Affirm

God is here

Even in the Hard Times

Even in the Dark Days

Even when the place to fall

Is Rough

Is Bleak

Is Savage

I am reminded

Write Life

Write the Light that shines

In my own Dark Days

confess ph3

Write Reality

Write Fulness of Truth

Write of Fears that arise

Write of that Calm Voice

Stilling the Storm

The friend is

Stronger than tumour

Victories have been won

The Fight continues

Though denied  work promised

New Blessings give opportunity

For Man to work

A  little for pay

A lot for no pay

And the wife learns to budget hard

confess ph5

And the baby?


Sooner than expected

After much prayer

He Grows




Much Joy

Many Smiles

Much Thanksgiving

From once worried hearts

But even before the story changes

I pray

This can truly be

A Place

To Delight

To Reassure

To Encourage


If I tell all

I can tell

All is not lost

confess ph6

Photographs and Words © Denise Stanford 2013

2012 in review

•25/01/2013 • Leave a Comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas 2012

•23/12/2012 • 4 Comments

Tree lights

Well here we are

Gifts all



Under the tree


Sparkling with lights and tinsel

The pantry is full

The fridge groaning

At my door a wreath


Step inside

Smell the fragrance of Christmas

Cinnamon, Cloves, Pine



How does my life compare

Throughout all the Days of the Year

Are the Gifts God has given

Named one by one

Ready to share

My spirit

My mind

Well nourished


With The Living Word

Does my Life shine


With the Light

Of the Lord

Banishing darkness

Drawing others to gaze upon His beauty

Shining out like a beacon to the lost

For those seeking



Is there a ready welcome at my door

Am I fragrant with the Lord


From being in His Presence

Enabling others to awaken to Him

Feeling His comfort

Am I …



Ready or not

God judges my Hope

Not my perfection

May you know the Lord

Mindful of every moment with Him

In the Joy and Peace of Christmas

Every single day

glass angel

Words and photographs © Denise Stanford 2012


From the Archives…


Briefly Nativity    stable






Bonny and the Good Shepherd    broken6



Raw Live and Naked

•10/12/2012 • Leave a Comment

I sit in the pantry

Considering the shelves

Searching for inspiration

To prepare dinner on

A day humid and hot

39º C (102 º F)

Our meal needs to be





I invent

Jewelled rice

Carrot and beetroot salad

With mixed salad greens

For  Jewelled Rice


Cook a packet of Tilda Basmati Rice

2mins in microwave


Add a generous handful

Soft semi dried Cranberries

I toast a couple of tablespoons of sunflower seeds

In a heavy hot dry pan

Add to rice

With a pinch of sea salt flakes

Fork through

Allow to cool


I need to use my new toy

A shredder slicer

So I

Peel a good sized beetroot

Top and tail a few carrots

Then grate them together

Simple as that



Glowing colours

DSC_0180 - Version 3

Grow or buy

Mixed salad greens

Pick through and refresh

In a bowl of cold cold water

Spin to dry


Chargrilled some pork medallions for me

Hubby has tofu

Dinner done

With fresh ripe mangoes

For dessert

There we have it

A meal

Raw Live and Naked

Well mostly!

Nutritionists tell us we need to eat a rainbow

A wide variety of fruits and vegetables

I do believe last night

We came close

With just the one meal


Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012

Three Gifts Humble – November Joy Dare

•24/11/2012 • Leave a Comment

Being Thankful has many benefits

Not least  by Encouraging Mindfulness

To see Blessings in everyday

Both great and small

Joy dare is an initiative of thanksgiving started by Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience

Today the Challenged is to find

Three Gifts Humble:

I wrote –

Having to Be, rather than Do

Having to Ask, instead of Offer

Having to Wait, instead of taking the Lead

Lessons I would never choose to learn ordinarily

You can discover more about Ann’s Gratitude Challenge – HERE

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012



My Portion

•23/10/2012 • 3 Comments

Whom have I in Heaven but Thee

And besides thee I desire nothing on earth

My heart and my flesh they may fail

But you are the strength of my heart

And my portion

Forever and ever


Inspired by Psalm 73 v 25-27

Chorus circa 1970 – author unknown

I need no one Lord but You

Nor in Heaven

Only You

In the Ultimate

Highest Place

For Eternity Lord

I have You



Compares to You…

I want many things


So many things

I even want to control outcomes

I love much

But for you Lord

I yearn more

I ache more

I am compelled

I am drawn near

To You

Things of Earth





My flesh

My courage

My determination

My knowledge

My vision

My faith

All fail

But You Lord

You are

My Strength

My Courage

My Passion

My 3 strand cord

You are my Soul’s Fire

My very Centre

My Portion

My Piece of Heaven everyday

My Peace

My Entirety

My Untouched Whole


and ever

and ever

and ever

Lord please

Let it be so

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Blogger’s Block

•15/10/2012 • 1 Comment



I am in the thick of Blogger’s Block right now…

There’s no lack of ideas…

If I’m truthful

There’s no lack of time

Though the birth of a gorgeous new grandson… and other things means I’m busier…

No, it must have a case of lazyitis

Yet I wonder why now when writing is, and always has been, such a pleasure for me?
Why now do I avoid one of the things from which I get such satisfaction

I don’t have a huge readership, just a dear and much loved one

Yet when I push that button and find these words are being read all over the world

Whether they are found by accident or by design

I am truly thrilled…

The thought has fluttered by more than once

Perhaps its time for a change…

Perhaps something more chatty more journal like hmmm!

Instead of???

In addition to???

I wonder????


And of course the longer I leave it

The worse it gets…

Isn’t that the case with so many things

That apology

That explanation

That well done

That thank you

That I like you…but




I begin writing this

As a comment on another blog

An article about Bloggers Block

As I write my mind ticks away

I enjoy the oh so familiar joy

Of writing

Of finding words, phrases,

And the thought occurs to me …

What if


I Cut and Paste this to my own blog

Breaking the blockage wide open…

I do Cut and Paste

But I add more…

In the hope it is as simple as that

Just start writing!

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012

From The Archives

•23/09/2012 • Leave a Comment

Please click on the title below to read the article:

Held Within the Vine     

Knitting Again

•27/07/2012 • 3 Comments


I’m knitting again

Following a pattern

To the letter

Knitting baby pastels





I have no idea where I’m going 

No idea what I’m doing 

Just following instructions

Step by step
Placing markers

Signposts for direction


I’m uncomfortable

It isn’t making sense

I’m not sure where I am

I prefer to be in control

To know where I am going



Pattern writer 

Instructs changes

Slipping stitches

Onto waste yarn

Suddenly this knitted mass falls into shape 


And I can see 

I had not realised

I’m knitting from the neck down  

A first for me 


A seamless top

With raglan sleeves

Side fastening



Quickly now it takes shape

I am thrilled



How often do I stall progress

Because I cannot see the road ahead

How often I need 

To just trust 

The Great Pattern maker 

He knows best

He knows the bigger picture

He Knows 

I need to learn

To look for the signposts 

To trust 

To follow

To believe

He knows best!




Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012

Pattern: Puerperium and Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker

Friendship Files – Bling and Personality

•06/06/2012 • 3 Comments

So sad

This Child

Small Pale Limp

Like a plant

Dying of thirst

I suggest

We walk and talk

She begins to relax

Confesses miserably

“No one in my class wants to be my friend”

“Tell me, who you’d like as friends”

She speaks names

The popular

The pretty

Those who sparkle

With bling and personality

Anyone else?

She shakes a sulky head

She pours out a litany of times

She has tried to be friends

They just don’t listen

They ignore her efforts to be friends

We talk some more

I offer to help her work it out

She looks at me doubtfully

Without telling her

I arranged with her teacher to visit the room

I sneak in

Settle at the back

Watching events unfold

Tamsyn sits at a desk

In the middle of the room

To her left and behind her

The Bling girls

I watch as one brushes past Tamsyn’s desk

Papers flutter to the floor

Bling keeps on walking

No apology

No effort to help pick them up

Miss Personality leans across

Takes a ruler

From Tamsyn’s desk

Without asking

Without thanks

No connection at all

No attempt to return it

At the end of the lesson

The ruler is dropped on the floor

Soon the teacher

Tells Tamsyn to tidy her things

Another girl Annie

Helps pick up the papers

Little Annie





Bright as a sunflower

Smiles Tamsyn’s way

But she is not seen

Tamsyn only has eyes

For Miss Bling

For Miss Personality

The whole drama

Takes but a little time

I don’t doubt

It plays out


Every day

In many ways

I wonder what it is

That keep us

Floundering in shallowness

Hopeful of a turning tide

Of friendship

Drawn to those who misuse us

We invest

We dream

Hopeful of winning them over

Bling and Personality

Keep Tamsyn interested

Blind to other possibilities

By marking her card

They give her hope

But leave her disappointment

It is an

Abuse of convenience

Next time we chat

She remains devoted to

Bling and Personality

I ask about Annie


“She sits next to you in class”

“Oh yes…I don’t know her”

“She helped you pick up those papers”

“Did she???”

The Gentle Annie

Had not even registered

On Tamsyn’s radar

I am amazed at how soon

I see

Tamsyn and Annie

Together in the playground

When next I visit the room

I note

Tamsyn’s body language has changed

Her desk now tidy

No longer ‘available’

To Bling and Personality

They don’t like the changes

They try to get her attention now

Poking her in the back with a ruler

Throwing paper pellets her way

Tamsyn continues working

A reassuring glance at Annie

Keeping her firm

When the teacher asks the class

To gather in groups

Tamsyn & Annie are joined by others

And I make a note

To include

Bling and Personality

In the next of my group activities

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Names and details have been changed

Make Do and Mend

•22/05/2012 • 4 Comments

Once again I gaze

At the crisp cotton shirt

I found at the op shop

It fits just right

Is beautifully finished

Except for the sleeves

Instead of buttons

There are just holes on both sleeves

For cufflinks

Which I do not own

For long enough

I have put off solving the problem

I set out

In search of the things I need

In doing so all kinds of things come to light

I find lost earrings

The lost ‘pearl’ from

Another pair

I find the makings for 2 sets of ‘cufflinks’

First things first

Using clear stretchy bead thread

I join an ordinary button to decorative button

The button is small enough to pass through the holes

The decorative button is not

I create a short shank between them

Because the thread I used is stretchy

I can leave them buttoned

Slipping my arm through with out undoing them

Now to mend the earring

Using a lump of yellow tacky

To hold the earring

I glue in place the lost ‘pearl’


So all up

By looking for one solution

I found a great deal more

I have gained 2 sets of pretty cufflinks

A usable crisp cotton shirt

Regained 2 pairs of earrings

It’s a win win win win situation

It certainly pays

To Make do and Mend

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Meditation – May 2012

•09/05/2012 • 2 Comments

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with gettingso you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Matthew 6 v 30 – 33

Choose God

Of all choices



Mind fully

Heart fully

Soul fully

Will fully

Choose God

Make all other choices

As He would

Out of Love

In Love

Underpinned by Love





In His Love

Through His Spirit

Choose God

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Meditation – April 2012

•06/04/2012 • 2 Comments

Don’t be fooled

By the weight of the world

There is One

Who shares

All you carry now

Look up

See the King of Glory

Our Gentle Lord

His hands

Held out for you

His Love

Written there

For all to see


Open wounds

The price He paid

For your freedom

For your love

For your joy

For You

He whispers

Fear not

I am with you always



Believe Him


Acknowledge Him 


Look for Him


Listen for Him


Share with Him


Include Him

As Lover

As Saviour

As Redeemer

As Word

As Lord

Jesus came to them and said:

I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Matthew 28 v 18-20 NKJ

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Images captured at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2012 –  Dew drops by God

Prayer Bracelet: The Life of Christ

•05/04/2012 • 2 Comments

With prayer band in hand

Use the beads 

To review

To refocus

To reawaken

To remind

To reorient

To recollect

To rediscover

The Life of Christ

Hold the God Bead

Remember Christ

One of Trinity

Word With God at Creation

He came to Earth

At the Father’s bidding

Returning to Him

To reign

He sends the Holy Spirit

As Comforter

Each of the Trinity are God

The One who loves us so much

He would sacrifice part of Himself

To reach us…

1st pause in Silent Awe

[Do not skip the pauses

Most important

Focus on resting in God

Listen for the Voice of the Shepherd

Make it an Attitude of Gratitude]

“Step out of the traffic and take a long loving look at me…” Ps 46v10 Msg

Hold the ‘me’ Bead

In Christ

God became man

Human and Divine

Leaving Glory throne

Born as a baby



Surrendering all

To show

How deep His love

Almighty God

Suddenly subjected

To human frailty





As a boy

He grew

Part of a family

Part of community

Taking up the family trade

As a carpenter

He knew




He experienced




Aches and pain

Hunger and thirst

Tears and laughter

Loves and scorn

Like you

Like me

All the time Knowing

Heaven with all the angels

At His command

All the time Knowing

Oneness with God

He chose to

Put it all aside

For Human life

For Human experience

No shortcuts

For you

For me

Pause in Silent Wonder

Hold the Bead of the Baptised


Obedient to the Father

Setting the example

By dying to Self

In the waters of Baptism

Humbling Himself

Before the crowds

Before The Baptistiser


Sets the example


From the beginning

To the culmination

Of His ministry

He humbled Himself

To keep us close

            Pause in Silent Amazement

Hold One Wilderness Bead

From waters of Baptism

To dusty dryness

Christ enters


40 days

40 nights

He fasts

Spending time with Father

Battling Satan

We read

How He

Desperately Hungry

Was Enticed

To abuse


To change


To food

For His own sake

We read

How He

Weakened before God

He was inveigled

To abuse Power

Casting Himself down

To be rescued by Angels

Cheating Death

With no price paid

We read

How He

Humble before God

He was seduced

To abuse power

Taking charge

To control

Earth kingdoms

Imposing His will

Removing ours

All designed

To tear apart








By Christ


The Word of God




Pause in Silent Gratitude

Hold the Bead Serenity 

Blue like water and sky

Think of

His work

His Word

Among us

This bead reminds me

Wandering by Galilee Sea

Gathering disciples

Uneducated men

Turning water

To wine

For feast and celebration

His face turned skywards

Finding Zacheaus in the tree


As only the Son of God could do

Bringing forgiveness


To some

Stirring the establishment



Shaking them to the core

He brought regional change






Exposing falsehood

Climbing a mountain

Against a blue sky

He gave the Sermon that remains

A deep

Eternal example

How to Live

Kingdom of God

In Him

We can know


Doing God’s work

Fulfilling His Will

Pause in Silent Expectation

Hold the Beads of the Heart


God’s Love


To embrace us

In His Love

Through the Son

Putting aside

Heaven’s Crown

For earthly Humility

Out of Love

To bring us Home

To show us


To Live

To Love

To Believe

Beyond evidence

To search

The Heart

For Whispers of Love

To look beyond

The everyday

To see the Eternal

Jesus came

Showing us how

To Love

To Love all

To Love us back

To the Father

The other side of the heart

Gives back

Gives out

Gives All

Gives Life

In love

Freely given

Freely received * Matt 10 v 8

Pause in Silent Adoration

Hold the Bead of Mysteries

Our Age

Of Information

Of Communication

Of Scientific rhetoric


We know all

We are in control


Oh What Mysteries

Concerning Christ

Such Mysteries

Brought Christ to His knees

In Dark Garden


Pleading with God

Enough to sweat blood

Do I really want

To see beyond the veil?

In that garden

At such a time

He prayed

He pleaded

For you

He prayed

He pleaded

For me

And still He intercedes

Such Love is indeed a mystery

Pause in Silent Exultation

Hold the Bead Distorted Dark

The deepest mystery of all


Man of Love


Man of Truth


Guiltless man


By Crucifixion

Nailing Down God





Of Love


God turns

His face away

Christ takes


Upon Himself

World Sin




He Hangs Alone

Upon the Cross

With final

Breath breaks free

Yields His Spirit

Finishes it

Once and For All

Darkness gathers

Earth Quakes

Dead walk

Haunting the living

The Veil of Separation

Torn Asunder

Separates no more

Pause in Silent Sorrow

Hold now the Resurrection Bead

Lifeless body

Taken down

Lain with haste

In a borrowed tomb

Sealed away

In Death

In Darkness

He joins me

In Forgiveness

He meets me

In Newness of Life

Life eternal

In what for me

May have been an end

He writes

New Beginnings

Life Renewed





Not just on a human physical plane

I am transported

To a realm of dimensions

Beyond my knowledge

This is Resurrection Life

Christ risen from the grave

He overturns


Separation through Sin

He overwhelms

The Evil one

Confounds him with Love

Christ my Saviour

Brings this Life Gift

To me

I am His


To gain more


To lose it

I surrender

I surrender all

Pause In Silent Surrender

Hold again the God Bead

Jesus Christ

Rose Again

Son of God

Opened the Tomb

Opened eyes

Opened Scriptures

Opened the Way

To Kingdom Life

Commission us

To Raise Others

Jesus Christ

Son of Man

Returned to God

He sends


Paraclete Spirit

To teach

To guide

To breathe

His New Life

Into my everyday


I am

Grateful beyond measure

I return to God

It was determined from the Beginning

I return to God



Lover of my soul

And I am Home

In Him

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012



Passion of Christ



The Anointing

Point Impossible

•31/03/2012 • 7 Comments

The path leads skyward

I make my way


The track



By recent rains

Soon has me bogged

My helpmate rescues

Leading me to firmer ground

He walks ahead to check the way

Through the dunes

Past Melaleucas

Pressed low by winds

Lower still

Salt bush

Heath myrtle

Correa bells

Upon the rise

A Great Southern Ocean

Comes into view

Deep blue green

Constantly moving

Helpmate finds a place for me to pause

I can go no further in my wheelchair

My legs too weak for a steep decent to the shore

He goes ahead with camera

To capture the view

To be my eyes

My inspiration

I am alone amongst the Dunes

Closing my eyes

Soaking up the freshness

Nearby sand scatters in the wind

Brush beside me shakes with hidden wild

Wallaby, lizard, native rat

Even endangered bandicoot or fairy penguin

I see no one

On the distant horizon

A thunderhead

The deluge

Fills the gap between sea and sky

I am content

I am at peace

Here amidst

The Beauty

The Peace

God’s Creation

Far from Pure

Far from Simple

I am Grateful

Surrounded by His plenty

How I long to dip toes

In Autumn chill waters

Walk the long beach

Surf the waves


I’d rather be here



In a wheelchair

In the presence of My Lord

Than running through the dunes

Without Him

Like the melaleuca

I am laid low



By the winds of change

By the harsh weather

By storms of Life


He uses all

He is carving Me

Sculpting Me

Creating a work of art

Of deeper beauty

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012

Making A Ragged Quilt

•20/03/2012 • 2 Comments

I cut 6 squares

Of soft flannel cotton

Colours fixed in salt rinse

With cuts along weaving lines

Weft and Warp

I collect my sewing things

Pure cotton thread


Bees wax


I make sandwiches

Of  colours

With white between

I pin


Running thread through wax

To polish and strengthen

I hand back stitch

One to the other

Leaving a 1 inch edge

A machine stitch would do

So begins the beginning

Of a Ragged Quilt

I will need more flannel

Much more

112 coloured squares

56 white flannel squares as batting

Each square 9 inches

Allowing that 1inch seam

On each side

I piece by piece

According to the plan

Seams exposed on one side

Joins aligned

On the other

When complete

I fray the edges

Then using special shears

I clip’n snip

Making Ragged those 1 inch edges

To finish

A turn or two in  a washing machine

Helps finish the Ragged look

The Ragged Quilt





A comforter

For sick days and story time

For cats and Kids

And Young at Heart

Photographs and Words  © Denise Stanford 2012

Fiskars make a set of shears especially for Ragged Quilts

My Ragged Quilts are a variation of a Raggy Quilt the instructions for which can be found elsewhere on the net

See also…

A Lesson Learned the Hard Way  

Meditation – March 2012

•08/03/2012 • 4 Comments

 Jesus said “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   Matthew 11 v 28-30 The Message

Be Still the clock

Refuse to hear

The tic tock of rapid day

The gun that starts

The ragged race

We run

Be Long With God

Choose the gentled pace

Of endless Time

He sets

Turn back to Him

Time stolen

Look to the Eternal

He who controls

Time and Tide

Winds of Change

Rhythms of Grace

He who would hold you


Closer than the heart beat

Place your hand in His

Be together with God

Belong to God

Words and Watercolours © Denise Stanford 2012

Watercolours of  rock stacks known as 12 apostles, Port Campbell NP, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

Remember Children

•09/02/2012 • Leave a Comment

‘Let us remember that fun and laughter and a sense of security are as necessary as sunshine and milk and sleep to the growing child, who is not body only, but also mind and spirit…’ 

‘Let us not think meanly of our job  (care-givers to children) – the world moves forward on the feet of children – shoe buttons, blisters, elusive wellingtons, odd and undarned socks; these are all details in the building of tomorrow.’ 

Mrs G.M. Goldsworthy, Rommany  Nursery School, West Norwood   

Quote from ‘When The Children Came Home’ by Julie Summers, p 106/107  Simon and Schuster UK, 2011



did you see this…



Meditation – February 2012

•02/02/2012 • Leave a Comment

 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

1 Corinthians 13 v 12-13 MSG

Turn thoughts to Love




Brimming the Eye

Warming the Heart

Lifting the Head

Steeling the Will

To be the better version

To live knowingly

To stir courage

To fight for right

Seeking peace

In all else

To dwell upon that Love

At every opportunity

Seek God

He is your First Love


Who first Loved You

Cradled You in Heart

Cherished You in thought

Confirmed You with a vow

TogetherLove stronger

Love strongest

Like no Human love

His improves

Expanding the heart

To soar with

Highest love

To settle long with

Deepest Love

To live forever with

Longest Love





Veritable Love

Only then

Can any other love

Be truly worthwhile

© M Stanford 2012

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2012


Raggy Quilt – A Lesson the Hard Way

•24/01/2012 • 1 Comment

Cotton flannelette

Lay jumbled

In huge rolls of colour

Hubby helps

Laying my choices

In the trolley

Switching rolls

The colour palette is sorted

White with

Tangy fruits







Colour full

Rolls thump the cutting table

As she measures the lengths

She runs her scissors down the groove

They don’t rip the fabric these days

I take my treasures home

To plan

To design

To cut and stitch these bright tones

Into Raggy quilts

Christmas gifts for Grandsons

It is the beginning of October

I work by hand

Before I cut the fabric


Samples of each

In the laundry

I dip into bowls of water

A bleed test

The glass stays clear

I am persuaded

All is well

I am wrong

1 week before Christmas

When complete

The quilts are washed

To encourage


As the quilts emerge from the machine

My confidence plummets

The colours have run

The white no longer crisp

The mango spoiled

What went wrong

Is a lesson for all

I tested the dye

With cold water

Only cold water

Later testing the scraps

I find

Detergent added to cold water

Liberates the dye

As does warm water

The main culprits

Blue and green

Though the others ran too

One wash was not enough

To liberate all excess dye

The boys are happy with their quilts

I’m told the colour change is not noticeable

To those who don’t know

But I know

I have promised a 3rd raggy quilt

To another child

Using the leftovers

I soak the scraps

In warm soapy water

Then rinse

The dye still runs

Another soapy warm water mix

This fabric is haemorrhaging dye

Reluctantly I add bleach

To another bucket of water

I have no option

That rich gorgeous colour

Must be dramatically reduced

I feel cheated

I have read

It isn’t necessary

To wash fabrics

Before beginning a quilt project

I was happy to accept this wisdom

And stepped into a whole lot of pain

I am also

A firm believer

In learning from


The working through the Process

Brings opportunities to learn

In this I learn

Do not swallow all I am served

Test for myself


All possibilities

I’ve since been told

Beach wear

Is often bright and leaky

A quick dip in the ocean

Salt water, acting as mordent

Fixes the colours

So perhaps

I’ll try a quick trip to the beach

Or  a salt water wash next time

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012


•20/01/2012 • 2 Comments

The wind howled hungrily, lifting the curtain of rain until it billowed in its side long fall.

Each drop stung with a needle-point of ice.

He had been here before and knew of a church nearby. There would be company, shelter, a hot drink perhaps even something to eat. As he approached, the darkness surprised him; it surrounded the church like a cloud deeper than a mere lack of light. A broken fence and missing gate allowed him to move around the property easily but grimy windows prevented him from seeing inside.

His coat was inadequate for this weather, the holes in his shoes let more water in than they let out. Moving to the house next door he knocked. Somewhere from within a voice called out in unfriendly suspicion,

“ Who’s there”

“ A traveller, without shelter, can you help me?”

“ Go away.” the reply came fast like  a poison dart.

Moving to the house on the other side he knocked several times each time louder than the last. But his knock could not be heard above the television playing endlessly from within.

Turning again to the cold night he retraced his steps to the back of the church property. Trying a door that rattled against the wind he tested the lock. It held strongly. Further round he found a window not quite closed. As he lifted it enough to squeeze through he paused momentarily,

“ Is it illegal to break into God’s house?”

“Perhaps not, if it really is God‘s House…” came the thought in reply.

The blast of cold air scattered papers across the floor. He had trouble collecting them because the room was cluttered with furniture and other bits and pieces. He moved a few things so he could sit comfortably and by the light of a nearby street lamp he glanced at the papers. The notice was a call for volunteers from the congregation to sign up to run a soup van in the city. It was void of signatures: the unanswered call had gone out 6 months before.

It didn’t take long to find the church minutes book, on a shelf nearby. There was a trail of disappointment recorded there. Two years before, the pastor had been reduced to a part time wage, even so it looks as if he came up with lots of ideas to build the community;  a trivial pursuit night… cancelled through lack of interest, food bank, neighbourhood lunches and fellowship teas…all cancelled …through lack of interest.

Then came letters of complaint, church members complaining about the pastor,  ‘he’s disturbing the peace’, ‘changing things too much’, ‘taking over’, ‘pestering with new ideas’ and the final accusation ‘he is unable to gauge the needs and interests of the congregation’.

Moving through the sanctuary he saw no banners, no tapestries or art work, no children’s drawings, flowers or candles, instruments or music stands. The paintwork was dismal, he could almost hear the groans of the lonely and broken-hearted who might have been made welcome there.

He left before the sun had fully risen. Down the road he found shelter, warmth and company at a popular burger restaurant that stayed open all night. The restaurant was bright, light and certainly not empty. As he approached he could see a group of young people all the worse from a night out clubbing. He sipped his hot drink and watched as one of the young men just made it outside in time to empty his stomach before falling on his face in the bushes. This was not pure or innocent laughter. His friends bundled him into a cab and they dispersed into the rosy dawn.

The Traveller decided to return to the church for the Sunday Morning services. As he approached the empty street was a forewarning. Not totally surprised then when he saw the amendment to the faded timetable beside the closed doors.

It read  ‘CLOSED’

A great sorrow welled up within him as he gently whispered the truth behind the closure…

‘… through lack of interest.’

Words © Denise Stanford 1999

Matthew 25 v 31-46

1 John 3 v 11-24



•04/01/2012 • 2 Comments

“…It is the beginning  of list season. Lists of holiday menus, lists of handmade projects, lists of have-to-buys. They’re scattered and stacked across the counter, around my desk… She dares me, and I don’t even blink. Could I write a list of a thousand things I love? …as in begin another list. … on a whim on a dare I scratch it down: Gift list. I begin the list. Not of gifts I want but of gifts I already have.”

Ann Voskamp, ‘One Thousand Gifts : A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are’  p45 *

I too took up the challenge

To list

To write

Recording the small

Seemingly insignificant


Surrounding me

To do so was enriching

Slowed me down

Enabled me to really see

The more I wrote

The more I saw

Then I let it slide

Allowed other things to creep in

I stopped writing

My thanksgiving journal

Oh I give thanks

Brief glimpses

Hurried glances

Mere mutterings

Faint shine

Throughout the day


Thoughts of gratitude



Nothing more

The act of recording details

The scratch of pen on paper

That tip-tapping of computer keys

Takes time

It literally involves

Wider more complex areas of the brain

Not only physical movements

But the mental processes

That turns thought into script


Re reading




Re evaluating

Detail being recorded

These light up the brain

So it glows with activity

Vitality engages

Combining Action with Contemplation

Heightening awareness

Enabling me


See more

Appreciate more




More recorded

Activities to brighten

Dark and Austere

Chambers of the mind

Celebrating wholeness

Fitting tribute

To all that falls around me


I would otherwise allow to pass

Fitting tribute

For invisible God

Fitting tribute

For visible Creator




Last supper

Breaking of bread


Lights up the Mind

Awakens the Soul

Satisfies the Heart

Picking up

Tearing bread

Breaking crumb


Catching the fragrance

To eat

To see

Raising cup



Digestion begins


Cell with cell

Doing in Remembrance

As Jesus said

As this season of lists


So too

The season of giving

I determine

Once again

Take the challenge

To actively record

All I see

All that makes me

Mind full of Him

Photograph © M Stanford 2012


As I recognise Him

Recognising God

In the things that surround

In the little things

In all things

Making the ordinary

Extra ordinary






Words  and Photographs  © Denise Stanford 2012

Ann Voskamp’s blog Holy Experience  may also be accessed via the button on the right… visit and be Blessed

From my Thanksgiving Journal…


Fig and Hoe     


    Winter Thanks 


Meditation – January 2012

•01/01/2012 • 7 Comments

I will bless the thirsty land

by sending streams of water;

I will bless your descendants

by giving them my Spirit.

Isaiah 44v3 CEV

He is

Your Refreshing

Allow Him

To shower you


His Joy

His Blessings




Hold wide your arms

Within the Spindrift of

His Reviving

Turn your face

To His Outpouring


His Love

His Grace

His Guidance

His Correction

Allow His Blessings

To soak

To cleanse

To annoint

Making you ready


Be Filled

Be Satisfied

Be Generous

Be Willing

Words and Photographs © Denise Stanford 2012

Process Patchwork : Taking the Pledge

•28/12/2011 • 1 Comment

I’ve read something about patchwork blogs lately

It seems many blogs are written

About quilts made and finished

Having no problems along the way

At least none the maker is going to share…

All completed

In a rarefied cloud of

Perfectionist Patchwork

Reality is rarely like that

At least my quilt experience isn’t

The idea behind

Process Patchwork

Is to share the whole

Rather edgy


I have to own up

I am not a Perfect Patch worker

Those precisely pieced quilts

Winning competitions and shows

Looking more like printed fabric

With so much fine, fine detail

They are beyond me

The quilts worked and re worked

On sewing machines are beyond me too

I am an artisan of modest means

I do aspire to perfection

However rarely, if ever attain it!

I have no need to work deliberate errors

As the Amish are said to do

Sadly there are enough errors

In my quilts to leave no one in doubt

I am not close to emulating

The Creator, in any way!!!

So my Patchwork notes carry

The ramblings of Process Patchwork

Words and Photographs  © Denise Stanford 2011

Therefore I am taking the pledge

I, Denise Stanford, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

Process Patchwork Pledge from   rossie blogspot