About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Friday, July 25, 2014

time to say so long ~ u.s. district court ~ montana

In 1986, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was flooded with paper and new cases after Congress passed the Ch.12 Bankruptcy Act, and they were hiring. As a rancher’s wife, our family needed income in those same years, and job hunting I went. The criteria for the new clerk? 1) one who needed a job; 2) a family to support, and 3) no “fancy” college degree, because Mike Bell, Clerk of Court, wanted someone who would stick with the job, {happily working}, filing away the two foot-high stacks of bankruptcy claims, and copy files for Judge Peterson, who sat in Butte. I was very grateful to have the job and I remember how excited I was to pay $300 cash for a new washer and dryer soon after! 

Three years later, after the bankruptcy office closed in Great Falls, I was hired by Clerk of Court, Lou Aleksich, transferring to U.S. District Court. I became the jury clerk, and assumed civil courtroom deputy duties. Soon after, I clerked the “Big Bud” jury trial {involving a Havre, Montana, tractor company}. There were an overwhelming twenty-five, large black binders, four boxes of depositions, and it took four weeks to try.


miss suzy... super sweet lady!!!  my "cubby buddy!" 

my sweet friends and co-deputy clerks... megan and traci.  love em!
 One of my early civil trials was quite dramatic; an insurance case. First, my mother-in-law was selected to sit as a juror in that case, and during the closing arguments, one lawyer called the other a “fraud.” And, we almost had a hung jury. In those days, trials often continued into Saturday, and at that time, GF had just received a brand new {large} computer. Judge Hatfield asked me that Saturday to type the Allen Charge on the “magic machine” as he called it. Other notable civil trials were the “The Turkey Fire” and the huge ARCO civil case, a bench trial that took the better part of a year to try. 
havin' some fun messin' around in the courtroom!
 A very old, dented, and quite beat-up, “black metal box” served as our “master jury wheel” in 1989. It was stored in the vault, and in it were 200 names of qualified jurors. To summon, I would pull out names of people I thought would be good jurors, and one day Judge Hatfield remarked in his welcoming statements, “my, but we have a lot of famous names here today.” {it was a unique take on randomness} and I later found out I was not supposed to look at the names before I pulled them! In those days each summons, as well as the envelopes, certified mailing list, payment vouchers, etc., were individually typed on IBM “selectric” typewriters. 
i'll be back!!  {bringin' treats ~ yes!!}
When wordPerfect software came to the court, I helped develop a method to create “merged” files, formatted to fit all those forms, and eventually we wrote our own in-house jury program, created in the dBase III data system. For that “new age” accomplishment, I received Judge Hatfield’s Chief Judge Award in June of 1993.  Since that time, I've been honored to receive two other Chief Judge's Awards, one from Judge Molloy, and last year, from Judge Christensen.  

quite the "card" from my darling girlfriends, huh!!  isn't this the best??!!!  I love, loved it!!!
Deputy Clerks are not only the backbone of the court, they are the heart of it. They are Servant Leaders, for a good servant is a leader, and a good leader is a servant to all, as they are constantly surrounded with change and challenge, serving judges, law clerks, secretary’s, lawyers, and jurors, and balancing complicated administrative procedures and record-keeping. Adapting is what we do best, from jury systems to electronic courtrooms, monitoring and running every conceivable computer, audio, video, document, camera, and technical evidence program. It’s a big job. I have always believed a courtroom deputy is best described much as a baseball player — you’d better have a plan in place when the ball is hit to you, no matter the position you play.
sara makes the coolest cakes!  {yum!}
I am grateful to not only survived, but to have thrived here. I have been amazingly blessed by many hard-working and committed professionals here in the court, many of whom have become lifelong friends to me. Much of life, if not all of it, is about relationship, and as I leave this court setting, I cherish and take with me those gifts of sweet friendship, and I am so very thankful.
jan n me

taylor!  such a nice guy, and so kind ~ thanks so much!

some of the wonderful guys who are the security for our court... great guys, good guys ~ kevin, tommy, marky!

Retirement is an exciting spring board for me — to more freely pursue dreams I’ve nurtured for many years... to play and work in venues I love: teaching, making art, homemaking, photography, blogging and quilting — to continue to explore, serve, lead and be challenged. It’s a Great Adventure, full of God’s amazing grace. I’m saddling up, hoping to blaze new trails — to “see what I can see!” 
I am thankful for the gifts.  
suzy, megan, me, gretchen, traci, athena!
"i'll be back!"
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a prayer and a montana sunset ~

hi there friends ~

ahhh vacation time is just right around the corner for me, as i look forward to a week on flathead lake in just a  few days with my girlfriends... reading, playing in the water, farmers market, cooking, {maybe a little crafting -- go figure!} and sweet... sweet fellowship with each other! 

below, i've featured one of my latest journals, also with some words of wisdom from susie.  i'm sure loving making these.  
 i've been working hard on packaging up my newest journals, too.  finally came up with this idea:

and in the meantime, i've got a couple new shots of some sunset light, and that fabulous montana sky i never tire of looking into!
 

and {more} words of wisdom from one of my favorite authors, susie larson:

"may you look up from your everydayness with a new expectancy that God is up to something good and new in your life.  may you sense his love afresh in you and pray with boldness and conviction.  may you dare to believe that new things are just around the corner and that God has prepared them specifically for you.  may you trust him to heal your soul and make you whole.  He invites you to live intimately with Him and abundantly because of Him." --- susie larson





be blessed!
thank you for stopping by!
xo
leslie

Saturday, July 19, 2014

journals ~ finished!

hi there ho there folks!

so... here's what i've been doing in a few minutes here and there.  it's been so hectic preparing to retire, cleaning out my office... cleaning out my clothes closet!  {casual clothes here i come!!}  but i also have lots of papers, and folders, and stuff too.  now i have to find homes for it... at home!

anywho, today's post features some newly finished {just this morning!} of mixed media journals, made from purchased composition journals, found at an office supply store {or many other kinds of 'big box' stores}.  

the front and the back have been layered with a base of a gelli printed paper.  then further layered with washi tape, stamping, doodling, and other motifs, cut from the gelli printed paper itself.  in the journal shown below, i also added a flower... this is a special "inheritance" from some supplies i received from the family of katie twedt. {my former high school art teacher who passed away this spring}.  i believe the "writing" stamp is by dina wakley, and this "create with abandon" phrase always ~ reminds me of katie. 

one of my hopes when i retired, was to spend days with her making art.  that didn't happen.  the lesson?  {you know what's coming, dontcha?}  

don't.
wait.

the backside of the journal above it


the backside



the backside
some of the motifs are made from thermofax screens, this one above features a darling flower from terri stegmiller.  one of the things i'm glad i didn't wait for.  cuz many times, they don't make them for long... and i really enJoy turning to these pieces now, to put on the journals.  the flower was printed onto wax 'deli' paper, and i love how it melds into the background, so easy to decopauge.

i have listed six NEW journals in the etsy shop!  

have a great weekend!
xo
les

Thursday, July 17, 2014

playin' with hearts ~ update with austyn mae and rowan

hi friends!

i was cleaning up the sewing studio recently ~ {just a very little bit}, and on my constant "to-do" list are hearts. i keep scraps from quilts, paper, fabric and a combination of the two, and they are thrown into a drawer next to my sewing machine, and when i'm in the mood, i grab a few, put cardstock paper backs on them, attach a simple ribbon, and then simply stitching a zig zag around the perimeter. 

i love turning them into small mementos that have a creative and functional purpose, such as bookmarks, but also i send them in cards, or as thank you gifts.

{and it's fun making something pretty} from scraps and bits...





most of them are small; from 2 inches to 4 inches.  although but a small touch, they have big impact {i pray}.  and these small little touches became a ministry, one that touched these two children's young lives.  you may remember darling little austyn mae and sweet little boy, rowan? 

these two children were diagnosed with cancer shortly after they were born. we had a fund raiser with these hearts, and a quilt raffle for rowan here on the blog.  i thought you might like to see them, and what an awesome God we have, how our prayers, and kindnesses... made with small bits and big hearts... {thank you again}

here they are now {praise to God the Father} and {get a kleenex}:

recently, as flower girl and ring bearer in a local wedding... 

rowan leading austyn up the aisle {she was a bit shy, and a little scared in front of all those people}...
 but he never let go of her ... reassuring her every step of the way...
photographer beth rood ~ used with permission

and that's pretty much what alot of life is about.  doing small things with a big love.

thank you Father God.  we praise You and give you thanks, and all the glory is yours!


{amen!}

Monday, July 14, 2014

journal fever ~

hi there everyone,

with the big wedding over, this past weekend found me playing around for couple hours messing around in the studio, and well... making a {bigger} mess!

i was in the mood to make some journals, as i received a couple new stencils, from stencil girl products, and i was anxious to try them out.  {great sale, thanks mary beth}.  just a few new ones, and i'm always a sucker for word stencils, etc. i do have a wonderful collection of styles, textures, and images. and it was a great time to pull them out and start messin' around with paint.

i also pulled out some gelli plate prints from my paper stash {always good to have them ready!}, some thermofax screens, hand-carved stamps, and more for lots of layering.  it a bit of a feverish sprint, just like jungle fever, but without the mosquitos!


and the substrate was just a simple composition notebook.  i think they sell these for around $1-$2 each 
at office supply stores.  
i have tried printing to the cover of these journals, straight from the gelli plate... but it's not turned out to be something i like the look of.  even if i paint them first.  so i'm covering these with my handmade paper prints:
 i traced around the front cover of the notebook, and then used collage page {a type of decopauge glue} i've purchased from joann's fabric stores to adhere them to the front.  i love this one:

 this one came from my hand-carved rubber stamp:

 and i cut out several stamped images, too.  this flower happens to be designed/from roben-marie.

 as you can see... it creates quite a bit of messy chaos! {time to reorganize, as soon as i retire!
 and this will be a fun blend with this back journal cover:

i hope you'll be sure to come by in a couple days, and see the finished journals, embellished, doodled, and ready to send out to a couple friends, or maybe i'll have some to list in the shop, too. {christmas is coming!!}  

have a happy day ~
les

Friday, July 11, 2014

fields of gold ~ montana landscapes

montana.  

fields of gold {in the making} that is.

from winter wheat to summer canola.  

each season, i am drawn in to the intrigue displayed by the colors and textures of the green wheat as it begins it's perfect ascent into it's golden age, becoming ripe for harvest in it's season of time.  

the color of the wheat ripening is luminous, soft, and subtle, yet so very noticeable, too. 

{a great thought as we ourselves age} ~ to be luminous, soft, gentle, willing... and flexible to change.

and be awesome in all that God created us to be.
p.s.  i often post pics of montana via my instragram account quite regularly, too, if you'd like to follow along on my great adventures! 



{and shine shine shine}


alleluia!
soli deo gloria
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