Vacation Bible School Craft of the 1940’s yields art pieces sold for over a $1000

With “Sister” we could go further from home.


Yes, that’s right. My sister, Trula Ann Godwin learned a craft in Vacation Bible School, as a small child, and parlayed it into an artform as an adult. Her initial experience was that each child brought a cigar box and painted it, then took the minute pieces of eggshell and glued them on, into a design. Most of the children’s looked like what you would expect, but not Trula’s. She could not be hurried.

When she was in college she tried the art form again making a spectacular modern art rendering in stunning orange background with black abstract musical note and a woman’s torso intertwined. She would not have time to do her art again until retirement as the intervening years were filled with life and five children.


At the end of her career as a pioneer police woman, she devoted herself to full time volunteering for victims/survivors of rape/sexual assault and domestic violence. She also spent untold hours “relaxing ” at her tedious craft. The results were mosaic compositions of various sizes and shapes that she could sell/donate for hundreds, and even over a thousand dollars.




Her art form  is called, “Egg Shell Mosaics”. The one pictured above in this newspaper piece, was my very favorite as it is of the “Dogwood” blossom. Those who know me, know that I love the blossoms and I would loved to have had the rights to that piece to put on my novel cover for, “Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries”. Trula and I as children used to ride the church bus on Okmulgee, Oklahoma First Baptist Church’s yearly tour, into Arkansas to see the complete hillsides in blossom for miles and miles and thousands and thousands of the blooming trees. I loved it enough to brave it every year though I would suffer motion sickness to the extreme ,everytime, on those winding hills. The beauty, no the splendor of those hillsides, is something I never forgot, nor did she.

In her retirement, Trula worked long and tedious hours on her pieces and few realized the long process to make one of those pictures. Our mother who was home-bound sue to declining health, played a role as well. She would “religiously” save the eggshells at her house and clean the membrane linings out, then have Dad carry them to Trula like a “treasure” to be guarded. Trula  then created the coloring for the shells to create the picture she needed. She would create the dyed  egg shells  gently breaking them into precise pieces andthen  place them thoughtfully and determinedly onto the palate. It was tedious and required infinite patience; not a quality my sister was known to have in any other area of her life.

 I still picture her in her suite atop the hotel where she had windows on three sides of the top floor. She would be sitting at her architect/draftsman’s table, given to her by her special friend Todd Reed, and there would be Buddy Holly music playing in the background. These were her happier moments in life. Her Zen. Her time of being at peace.

She loved to donate mosaics to charity and in particular to the Red Ribbon Aids project. It thrilled her to be able to bring large sums into the coffers of the treasury. We had a cousin who died of Aids and remember our Aunt tediously making his square for the Aids quilt, and also for his partner. This was Trula’s way of “giving honor” to her cousin whom she loved dearly growing up together in Oklahoma. Ironically, throughout her career as an officer she made some enemies who when she got cancer, spread a rumor it was Aids. Trula had a way of dismissing people like that as “little, bigots who are so ignorant, they can’t live life except on the backs of other’s pain; and usually pain the bigots had caused.” She laughed because she knew that as many blood transfusions as she had to have, they would have known if she had Aids. And when one of her surgeons accidentally cut himself during surgery on her breast cancer, he remarked “I’m glad it was with you Trula, at least I know I won’t have to worry about the Aids tests.”


So next time you send your children to Vacation Bible School and give a percussive look at their work; take a moment and consider its potential.. It might be the catalyst for a career; after all, God did say he would increase the “talents, tenfold.”


About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer the novels as printed books, having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on Kindle eBooks: collectively they are known as The Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series.They are real cases fictionalized into suspense stories to protect identities..( no victim/survivor names were compromised, and workers and locations were protected.) I also co-authored a non-fiction book: Footsteps Out of Darkness: The Annabelle Kindig Story . It is available on Amazon under the name of Annabelle Kindig. I have traveled, written from the heart, and found an audience that appreciates my "platform". The catalyst to writing the novels was the realization that if I died, I would take all my amazing experiences in these real cases with me; and believe me few have lived 5 lives in one. It would "silence the voices" of the victim/survivors whose triumphs are written into these novels. The suspense series was written in part with the collaboration of police woman and sex crime expert Trula Ann Godwin. In addition to the novels, I have written as a ghost writer for a World War II veteran who fought in the South Pacific aboard the USS Maryland in all the major battles. I have also written a non-fiction book recording oral history stories of my family members beginning with the 1930's to present. There are sixty-six "legacy" stories with pictures. It was recently published as a private printing for family and close associates only. I am a published photo journalist having won the 2009 Editor's Choice Award for internet freelance news articles and pictures of the Cedar Rapid's Iowa flood victim accounts and their personal struggles.. My husband and I are in our 52nd year together (only one blip on the marital radar together), and we have adopted three greyhounds; Dex, Big Buddy and Baby Doll. These were the inspirations in the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series We have eleven grandchildren, 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. My three children live in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.
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5 Responses to Vacation Bible School Craft of the 1940’s yields art pieces sold for over a $1000

  1. Your heritage has been such a wonderful (mixed) blessing in your life. I love to hear your stories. I love how you embrace your history and share it with us.

    • I have a feeling that you, more than most, understand my personal philosophy of, “It is what it is”. I always feel lifted up by your validations and am so happy we share the common bond that brought us together. I love reading your blog as well (though I am a little behind due to constraints of the new book.). Thank you, my friend.

    • I wonder if your girls might enjoy egg shell art. It is tedious, the pieces are very small, but the outcome is so excellent and egg shells might be “almost free”. The original she began with was the lid of a box. I believe the girls might really excel at this though I know some would be physically limited.

  2. Becky Johnson says:

    I love this story and hearing about the family so much history!!!!!

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