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G A T H E R I N G S | Canvas & Cocktails

"L O V E L Y"

defined as an adjective is exquisitely beautiful. L O V E L Y defined as a noun is a glamorous woman or girl. Saturday morning proved to be a lovely time {exquisitely beautiful}, and the teacher was one lovely lady {glamorous woman}.

I have known Christie Farese for quite some time. Even before she knew me. Many years ago, I worked in the same law firm as her father, Lucien Bourgeios. Never will I forget walking in Lucien's office for the first time noticing the picture sitting on his desk of his beautiful daughter. I had no idea that she and I would one day become sisters-in-Christ and be connected in the spiritual realm by the heartstrings of our Lord. I have watched Christie grow from a teenager, to a wife and mother, and now to one of the most sought after artists in Mississippi. In just 10 short years, Christie has developed her own style through the gift the Lord has given her by mixing paints to create the most amazing colors. Her art actually reminds me of her. Sweet. Gentle. Calming. Fresh.

And, of course, exquisitely beautiful!


I cannot write a post about Christie without telling you the story behind the painting below. This is me being baptized in the Jordan River while on a trip to Israel in May of 2010. During Lent of the next year, there was an art exhibit in the Mall area of our church. Little did I know that a mutual friend of ours, Mandy Ellard, had snuck this picture from a stack of pictures I had passed around to my friends at lunch one day. Mandy just sensed that Christie Farese needed to paint this to hang during the Lent exhibit. You can only imagine my surprise when I walked through the Mall area of our church and saw myself hanging there. I was speechless. She captured one of the most precious moments in my life. I could hardly breathe. And, of course, the first thing I wanted to find out was who painted it and where they got the picture. I wanted to make sure that I could buy it when the exhibit was over. But then, living up to her definition of lovely, Christie brought the painting to my home and gave it to me. I get to see this L O V E L Y work of art every day and think of my precious, beautiful, glamorous friend ... and thank God for the gift that He has given her. She uses it well. Wouldn't you agree?

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."


Christie's work can be found at The Caron Gallery in Tupelo, and locally at Courtney Peters Interior Design, Gifts by KPEP, and Kim Duease Designs.


Just about the time Christie finished sharing her testimony of God's faithfulness in her life, the sprinkler system popped on. Oh yes girl, I did. Freak out! I absolutely did not know what in the world to do. So, like any wife that doesn't know where the main water line is located, I frantically called my hubby. Praise the Lord ... he answered on the first ring and quickly told me what to do. This group of ladies took it like a champ. And a big thanks to Elizabeth Taylor for having the good idea of putting a glass on top of the sprinkler heads. Go team!

What a beautiful morning! There was color smeared all over my backyard. From the paint on the canvases to the shoes on the ground ... there was color, color, color swirling all around!


Recipe for

"Smoked Gouda Grits"

(one of my favorite recipes)

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits

8 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons butter

Bring chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese and butter until melted.

Recipe for Cinnamon and Three Berry Rolls will be shared at the Gatherings | Cinnamon Roll Class with Dianne Swanson in August. You can sign up here for that class.


Christie, thank you for allowing Gatherings to be the first class you ever taught. I am quite sure it won't be the last. You blessed us today. I adore you my LOVELY friend. Jill

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