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Monday, April 4, 2016


 Some of you know we live in the forest.  While there are not leaves yet on the trees, we are seeing buds on some of them.  And as you can see here the lovely crocus are gracing us with their beauty.
 Even the bees are starting to come out.
 I love this time of year when everything is new after such long, cold winters.  Though there are not buds yet, the tulips are coming on fast this week due to warmer temperatures. 
And finally to my great pleasure, this week I've been able to hang clothes on the line outside.  Something quite satisfying about that.  Everyone here does this, though I know it is a lost practice in America.   May your spring be blessed wherever you are.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Facebook has actually changed some things about our lives.  As an American in Ukraine it gives me contact with people back home.  That means so much since after 20+ years with friends coming and going we can sometimes feel a bit isolated.  One of the fun things it has are these different programs.  Here's one that shows the states I've been in over a lifetime.  Some of this has been as a missionary traveling to visit our churches.  Just interesting.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Friday, November 27, 2015


Do some Christmas shopping here and support the work in Ukraine.  Clocks, tote bags, prints and more.  You can access my shop here:  https://society6.com/coleenfranks

Sunday, October 25, 2015


 I must admit that I'm not sure who has more fun.....the kids or me.  Today they got to try their hand at collage.
 This is the biggest class of the four classes I do.  We had twelve today.
 Our project is a practice run of collage in preparation for the next project which will be a folder they will collage to keep all their work in from the school year.
 They are learning about colors, placement and juxtaposition.
 I think I shall have to come up with some sort of prize for whoever collects the most pieces over the school year.
 Or, maybe we'll do an art show at the end of the school year.  We did that several years ago.
 This is our oldest children's Sunday school group.  I did crafts with them all last year as well.  Of course, I've done crafts with them from the time they started Sunday school since I've been doing this for about 15 years now.
So this is my last years with these sweet kids.  I do four classes alternating two each Sunday.  Next week, if I don't forget my camera, I shall take pictures of the younger two groups to show you.  They are so much fun.  Thanks to all of you who send supplies for me to be able to do this ministry.  It is my joy and love it.

Friday, August 28, 2015


It is my privilege to do this "Bead Bracelet" ministry.   It started years ago.  People would send their cast-off jewelry that we would re-purpose into craft projects.  I had bead necklaces that started to accumulate.  Finally I thought maybe I could do something with them besides craft projects.  So now when I receive such I cut apart and put them into little baggies, as you see on the table above.  The girls work on paper/plastic plates to keep beads from going everywhere.  This was a teen camp, but as you can see here, we had all ages. Every time I do this the ladies/girls are always so pleased to have a new bracelet (girls will be girls, right?) and especially that they got to make it themselves.  I told them these beads were an expression of God's love because people from the west care about them and send the materials for us to do this.  Thank you to you who have done so.  I couldn't do this ministry without your help.  It is always a blessing to see their smiles and they all say thank you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


My sweet friend, Karen Merrill shared this with me and I just love it.  I have several CD crafts on my Pinterest board called "CD/Record Crafts" so had to add this one to it.  I'll put the link in the comments in case you want to see more.

Friday, August 14, 2015


You'll love what this lady does.  Terri is one of my favorite artists and a friend on Facebook.  I've gone thru her videos and they really added to my art. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I love this idea for doing your own feathers by Emilia Wilbur.  I've done these myself before, but when I came across this video I thought you all might enjoy trying it as well.

Monday, August 10, 2015


 At the end of last month the ladies had a women's conference at our church, Bethany Church of Bucha.  We had a nice turn-out.
 Here I'm instructing the ladies in our first session.  After 18 years in this church I know them all.
 We had crafts on two days.  The first was to create hearts to give to children at the local psychiatric hospital.  Of course, they all had Bible verses and pretty decorations plus a ribbon to hang it up.  These were given with Samaritan's Purse boxes.  Quite thrilling for the kids.

 Crafting is always a fun time of fellowship and though this was a ladies group we also had a few younger ones get in on the fun.

 This is my sweet friend Olya.  I usually take pictures so I'm rarely in them, but my husband Jeff was around with his camera this time.
 And in case you are wondering what that is hanging around my neck, my sweet Facebook friend, Merrie Hogle made me a name tag with my name in Ukrainian on it.
 Our second day of crafts the ladies made hearts for themselves to take home as a reminder of our two days of talks and fellowship.  What a blessing it was.

And even this little guy made a heart.  He was around both days to "help out."  I just love what I get to do in sharing the joy of creativity.  I couldn't do it without all the generous and loving people who
send the materials.  I am so grateful to all of you and for the privilege of doing this work.

Friday, April 17, 2015


If you don't draw, you can still create some fabulous art with stamps.  See what Rach does:

Friday, April 3, 2015


One of my silly little houses I'm still working on.  I do like drawing on text.  It adds interest to the piece.  Seems now it needs some words to liven it up. This is inspired by things we've seen in Western Ukraine.  The haystacks really do look like this.  Piled high, much taller than a man.  Occasionally you even see a thatched roof, but they are very much a thing of the past.   I'll be back when it's finished.  Thanks for taking a peak and I"m always blessed when you comment.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Just posting to show you the lovely ladies I work with in Ukraine.  These are just some of the Sunday school teachers that lead the children in the weekly Bible training.  I have the privilege of doing crafts with three of the four age groups every Sunday morning.  They said to be sure and tell you all thank you for the craft materials you send.  What a blessing that so contributes to the joy of creating the children  experience every Sunday morning.

Friday, February 20, 2015


 This week Jeff and I have been in Prague, Czech Republic for The Mid-Atlantic Missionary Conference.  It was so good to spend the week with old friends and new ones and to be fed with the blessed words from our BMAA missions director John David Smith and also one of our stateside pastors, Clif Johnson.  What a blessing they were.  As you see above, the ladies did a break-out one evening to have some fun.
 These are a couple sample hearts I did to get them started.
 I don't know who did this one, but it sure is pretty. 
 This pretty piece was done by our missionary care director's wife, Sue Kidd.  Hasn't she got the most beautiful smile?
 Rachel Cross, left, came in from France and Jerene Reddin, from Arkansas, blessed us with her music ministry all week long.

 Jasmin Nahapetyan, came in from Armenia and did a pretty piece. You can see it better in the shot below.  Jasmin in Armenia starts with an H.

 Isn't that pretty?  We all had fun layering with doilies, more hearts, silk flowers and beaded buttons and earring backs.  This is how I use some of the old jewelry people send me.

 This one was done by Celia Broom who came in from Ghana, Africa.  Someone said it looked like and owl.  Who doesn't love owls, right?  They are so popular now it seems.

Our whole group of ladies representing the U.S., Romania, France, Armenia and Jordan.  I love doing this and we all had such a great time.  Thank you to all who send materials that allows me the privilege of this ministry.  You are a blessing to so many folks.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Back in November or December of 2014 I started making all these pretty papers recycling my many scraps.  Just the process alone was such fun, but after awhile I remember thinking, "what am I going to do with all these pretty papers.  I didn't know at the time, but Somebody else did.  Our mission invited us to join  our all-European mission conference in Prague.  Well, given the crafty one that I am, I started thinking about what I could do with the ladies there.  So these big papers became hearts.
These are some of the embellishments I made for them to decorate with.  Don't worry you crafty ones, I'll do a tutorial on this too.  They happened the same way.  I started making them.  It was so fun and addictive I just kept doing it.  This was all before I knew about the conference.  I love how God works, planning things even before he lets us in on the plan.
These are a few more with lovely gems and buttons sent by Cindy Williams,  Antioch Baptist Church of Conway, Arkansas and done on craft foam sent by Rebecca Crawford,  First Baptist of Gary, Texas.  What would I do without all these lovely folks who make this mission happen.
And lastly, some more lovelies we will use sent by Stefanie Walsh of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for decorating the hearts.  There will be children at this meeting too so I'm just supposing they may be doing a few hearts as well.  I love doing crafts with kids and you can see how we go through a lot of materials in a short time.  So grateful to all who help with this.  We shall meet from the 16th to the morning of the 20th.  Pray for our meetings and the travel to and from please.  And I promise to post pictures of some of the finished hearts.  May God lift you up and give you encouragement today as I'm praying for you who read this.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I've posted some of these on Facebook (find me as Coleen Franks Ukraine to get the right "me"), but decided to post all here together.  I must admit to like the shabby look.  The leaves were collected from our street in central Ukraine this past autumn.  I love things from nature and when we travel I always have a book so I can slip some leaves or flowers in to dry from distant places.
The papers are from a 1947 Webster's Dictionary we've moved from place to place for eons.  It's a monster and I won't use it up in my lifetime, but the paper is very thin and perfect for applying with glue for mixed-media work.  It's really my preferred choice for a background. Hoping one of my grand kids will like to craft so I can pass it on.  A legacy, huh!
This beautiful fern actually is the only piece that came right from my yard.  The foreign words over my dictionary page say "Jesus Christ" in Russian.  The shabby/dirty looking trim below was died with raspberries over the summer.  And I have so many seed beads I decided one day they'd make a good glitter decoration.  I applied them with Glossy Accents.
A little bit of music paper here too.  Someone sent me this curly doll hair.  Maybe someday I'll make dolls with the kids I work with, but in the meantime I thought it was pretty here.
I believe these little gold things are called micro-balls.  I found them in Germany last year and I can't read German so you probably know better than I what to call them.  Compliments nature nicely.
So that is most of my collection from the fall.  Found this cool yarn right here in Ukraine.   Thanks for stopping by and I love when you leave comments.  Blessings to you all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Living in Ukraine has made me quite aware of recycling since I can't just go out to a big craft store as one can in America.  So my studio is quite full with things like tea tins, cookie tins, boxes, Altoid tins, tin cans, paper, card board and Styrofoam.  So here is one of the crafts I do.
In the top picture you can see I cut off the curved edges to get a nice flat piece of foam.  Upon that you can draw any picture you want for a stamp.  I've been into feathers for some time, but I've done flowers and other things as well.  This is the back side.  Turn over for the smooth side.
This picture is an example of the drawn feather.  I simply used a pen to make my marks.  At this point you can stamp in a square or your can remove the outside negative space to have the feather shape as I did in the picture below.
And don't feel like you have to make things realistic.  A little whimsy is always fun as you see with my curls.  I love curls, don't you?
Finally, the actual stamped images.  Styrofoam is soft so these won't last a long time, but then they are so easy to do.  And as a mixed-media artist I've learned to embrace imperfection.  As a matter of fact, I like imperfection.  It gives that hand-made feel that creates the distinction of art as opposed to something manufactured.  So give this a try and see what you come up with.  I know you'll love it.
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