Thursday, December 12, 2013

Handmade, White Rosette and Vintage Hymn Book **JOY** Christmas Ornament

Glad greetings to you on this bright morning! I hope you're all having a wonderful
season of celebrating. Being able to enjoy the spirit and beauty with a peace in your heart!
Does it seem to you that this time of year seems to overflow with
goodness and bring hope for miracles?
Well, today I wanted to share a project that I've been working on.
For me, the season is a joyful time and I want to share that with others.
And that's where the inspiration for this ornament came from.
I hope to make several to give as gifts.
I love old, printed music. And rosettes are so festive looking and so I wanted to
work them together somehow to make them look like a snowflake. Have you ever thought of a snowflake as a little miracle? I'm so amazed at how each one is unique;
just how God created us.

The project is easy. I hardly ever plan my projects out step-by step. I try to have on hand
what I know I like to work with. (Much of which I find at thrift stores.)
 I used my Martha Stewart scoring tool to make the rosette.
The little sheet music spirals are made from hymn book pages quartered, rolled
and glued to the underside of the 4" rosette. I smudged the 6" doily with a bit of
Chocolate Chip ink to make it look a bit aged and then I glued it to the back of the rosette.
With a paintbrush, I applied glue to the front side of the rosette and sprinkled some snow-white
glitter on it to make it sparkle like snow! I then took another
 hymnbook page and with my Bigshot and Sissix Perfect Pennants die,
I cut the center medallion and glued it on.

The letters for the Joy were cut out of thin cardboard from a cereal box using
the Tim Holtz Wordplay die. I brushed them with glue and applied the silver glitter.
The letters were then glued onto the center medallion.

I finished it off with a torn cotton bow and a button. There's
a piece of silver, elastic cord attached to the back for hanging.

And there it is. I hope you like it. Thank you so much for stopping by and
may the rest of this Christmas season and your new year be lovely and filled with
joy and blessings!
I'm linking up at:
Come join the fun!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Perspective of Gratitude~ Happy Thanksgiving

Hi and I hope today's thoughts are dreamy and full of Thanksgiving memories from the past mixed with anticipation of tomorrow's gathering with family and friends. I'm so excited. We will have 7 of our grandkids here and all five of our daughters will be here! Something to be thankful for indeed.

As time passes and I get older and life seems to get more complicated, I am more aware than ever before how fragile life is and the preciousness of relationships. Time for them can be as hard to find as a shadow on a cloudy day. Responsibility can surely crowd out the things that we hold the closest in our hearts.

Thanksgiving has been a light on my horizon. And my heart has been turning to thoughts of all the good things that grace my life. More and more. Even for the simplest of things.

I found this quote several months back. It's been hanging in the closet of my mind ever since. I try to
keep the door cracked open just enough to keep me thinking of how much I really have and how precious I am to God.

It's sometimes about perspective. Focus. Possibilities.

Gratitude unblocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today
And creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody B
Have a Thanksgiving full of the
perspective of
goodness and prosperity.
Family, love, joy,
and a little want
that you might know the
 virtue of contentment.
Blessings to you,

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Grateful Heart Thanksgiving Journal Made From a One-Dollar Composition Notebook

Hi Everyone,. What a beautiful day it is and outside the sky is again heavy with gray clouds. There's a smattering of fluffy flakes falling adding to the inch or more already on the ground. It's nearly noon and the temperature has yet to reach thirty. My little feathered friends have gathered on the patio to look for something to warm them. And, Brutus, our yellow cat is curled up on my bed. 

The heat from the woodstove has not been very successful in pushing back the cold from my creative corner. So I just went to put on two more layers to try to beat this chill. One is a pretty wool, ruffled wrap that I found at a thrift store. It's very light weight but OH-so-warm! ( That makes five! Who would believe it here in Arizona?)  I think a cup of tea would help too, don't you? One of my favorite things about the cold. An excuse to drink a cup of hot goodness that warms me. Body and soul.
So, I went off and made myself a nice steaming cup of  Twinings Winter Spice. It's one of my favorites. With a blend of apple and chamomile teas spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, it's a real treat! If  you think you might want to try it, you can find it here.


Today I wanted to share with you the journal that I made from one of those inexpensive composition
notebooks. I have been trying out my fairly new Wordplay Sissix die by Tim Holtz. The word Grateful  is one that I try to remember often to live. It fit with the spirit of the season and so I tried to think of a way that I could share it with others and make it last. I decided to use it to help decorate the front of a journal that I wanted to make to sell. Maybe it would inspire and bless someone.

Following are some photos of the finished journal. As you can see, there are a lot of details. I always say how much I enjoy using detailed embellishments. Well, it's true! You can see what types of shapes I used. I have some Stampin' Up! punches. And the Sissix, Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die and a scalloped punch are what I used to make the large flowers.

All the cover papers and ribbon were glued with Elmer's Craft Glue. And the embellishments were
attached with hot glue.

The lower half of the journal and the back are covered in a really neat creamy colored and heavily
textured wallpaper that I found at a thrift store this past spring. I love incorporating my neat finds in
my projects. It enables me to be creative and I think everyone likes saving money! I stained the front with a mix of Adirondack Earthtones Alcohol Inks. I used my finger to blend them to get the
tone that I wanted. I almost panicked when I began this process because I'm new at these and didn't really know what I was doing! I was so thankful that it turned out. I would appreciate knowing of a helpful tutorial about how to use the alcohol inks. I've looked but none seem to be what I'm looking for.

 The binding was done with a co-ordinating paper that I wrapped around the existing one. And then brought the paper of the front and back covers up to meet that and finished with a co-ordinating ribbon. And you'll want to put your ribbons on before you finish the inside covers (IF you want to finish it.) so they will be covered.

When I work on a project like this, I go for a neat, symmetrical look. So when I cut the papers for the covers, I cut them big enough to wrap around the inside. Just about an inch bigger will do it. And I found a really nice tutorial on how to make the corners look professional. You can read it here. Thank you for sharing, Amy!

 I also want my inside covers to have a finished look. So I measure co-ordinating paper to go all the way to the edge of my cover and I also wanted to be sure to cover any print that was on the inside covers of the notebook.

These would make a great handmade gift or something to make and sell to make a little extra money for the holiday season or anytime. This was my first big one and it was so fun. I'm excited about making more using many different designs and colors!

Thank you for stopping by. Tomorrow I will be posting my favorite quote on GRATITUDE ~
There's a blessing in every day!  Tamara~

Monday, November 18, 2013

Harvest Blessings~ Re-Purposed Barn Siding Wall Hanging

Hi everyone. I hope you had a good weekend. There's a wonderful gray-blue sky today and I'm ready to jump into my week working on some Christmas projects.

But first, I want to say that the harvest and Thanksgiving season is such a special time. My thoughts go to the abundance of my blessings and the goodness of the earth. It's one of my favorite times of the year. Warmth of the brilliant, firey colors that blow in the wind. Family times gathering wood for the winter. Watching the birds gather to begin their long journeys to warmer places. Hot cider and woodstove fires. I do, indeed, feel blessed to have family and friends about.

I love long walks in the late afternoon sun while just beginning to feel the coolness of the air right before the sun sets. What a delight to my soul. Those walks somehow feed my spirit and my gratitude swells upward to God as I enjoy this simple stroll down a dirt road.

What a blessed life I have. Even though there are some very difficult family situations that we are working through, I'm so thankful that I can take some time and reflect on the many blessings that gather in my life.

Anyway, here's a photo of one of the projects that I enjoyed working on this season. 

The details were a lot of fun. I have a large pile of rust wire and I really enjoy finding ways to use it in  adding little touches. I had never made the little scrolls so this was fun. And I like the way they turned out!  I also made some of the old-fashioned yo-yos. Here's a tutorial if you'd like to know how to make them.  Click on this link to watch the video.

They're very easy and a great little travel craft or something for your hands to while watching a movie or even sitting and visiting.  They're a lot of fun to use when embellishing so many things. Purses, headbands, clothing, and crafts. This would be a really good beginner project for a young crafter for sewing. Plus it's a great way to use up some of those scraps. I've made many sizes to add to my different projects. Just remember that the finished yo-yo will be half the size of the circle that you cut.  You can try mixing different types of fabric yo-yos to get a more fancy look.  I've made them out of lace and they turn out very elegant looking!

Have you ever heard of Liquid Nails?  I hadn't. I was looking for way to attach two pieces of wood together by putting them edge to edge. It worked VERY well! The odor is very strong though so I would recommend using it in a well-ventilated area.

I put it on consignment and it must have been well-liked because it sold right away! It always makes me happy to know that I can make something that people want to use in their homes! Next year, I'll make some more.

I hope you're having a beautiful fall and that you all have someone to share this lovely time of year with. I would love to hear about some of your fall experiences and what autumn delights feed your soul!  Thank you for stopping by.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Color the Earth ~Sunflowers

 "Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."

            by Helen Keller

I love the way these golden beauties cover the fields and grow around the grayness.
As if they were hugging them in a playful embrace and saying,
 "Everything will be brighter while you hold us near."
They find any place to grow. Amidst the rocks and weeds. Even in the shade.
Their growing conditions are less-than-perfect for sure.
Something like our lives. None is perfect. We all have difficult circumstances to
overcome. Do we turn our faces toward the sun? The brightness and the hope?
That cheerful, radiance is like a display of Joy~
Blessings to you today and I hope the place where you're growing
is bright with hope. Even in spite of your circumstances!
Tamara <3 p="">

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One Easy Way to Increase the Absorption of Your Essential Oils

Hi everyone. I hope you're having a good week. Mine has been a little stressful. But things are coming along as God gives wisdom and as we learn and grow. Whenever I have stressful situations,
I use my essential oils. They have made a difference in my quality of life. And I love the smell.

Today, I just wanted to share with you a little tip that I had never read before or heard in any of my classes. It's about the absorption factor. The whole idea is that the oils are used most effectively and that they get into your system to assist your body and mind. This has to do with topical application.

I learned this while watching a teaching video on Lyme's Disease, by Dr. David Hill. It's very simple.
Before your application of the oil, massage the area for about 30 seconds. He said that this would prevent the "flashing off" of the oil. Which just means that it will be absorbed instead of just sitting on the surface with minimal absorption. The massaging will increase the blood flow to the area of application and increase the absorption through the skin.

I hope this has been helpful! Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Love Story ~ For Terri and Honey and Gideon

Have you ever lost a beloved animal friend? Most of us have at one time or another. I know I have. It's easy to love those critters that become such an intricate part of our lives. And we grieve and miss them when they're gone. Sometimes the circumstances by which they leave us are very difficult to bear.

Early this last spring, a good friend of mine lost her friend and mount while birthing her new little colt. It was very sad. She had done all that she could to save the mare but, sadly, they lost her still. Her injury was a deep tear inside that occurred because her boy was so large. It happened at the vet clinic at Ohio State University from a hemorrhage.

I was very saddened for my friend because of this great loss. And it weighed heavy on my heart for some time. One night I awoke and this little poem came to me.

It's about Gideon. He made it through with loving care and devotion. And he thrives today. It's about
Terri and her Honey horse.

Remember when the days were long
When life was easy like a song
And time played out just like a melody?

You'd brush me down, we'd saddle up
We'd ride the trails and fill 'ar cup
We moved like one in perfect harmony.

You'd rub my legs, your hands were kind
Your words were gentle on my mind
I felt the love you had inside for me.

And now I've left behind my son
He's running free, his name is strong
You're part of him and he's still part 'o me.

There's no one else I'd rather teach him
You're the one God knew could reach him
He'll know about love, life and legacy.

Gideon has my strength and spirit
God wrote his song, you'll help him live it
Through happy days on the ranch of T-N-T.

Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Planting of A Seed ~Believe~

I realize that this is the season for the harvest not planting.  But is it ever too early or too late to start dreaming or planning?

When I think of planting a seed. I think of hope. When we actually buy the seed or harvest it from some other place, we are thinking of it's possibilities. There's optimism and excitement about what's coming. If there wasn't, we wouldn't bother. We don't think about drought or the birds that come to steal it away or the flood that washes through and dislodges it's bed of dirt. Our thoughts aren't focused on the possibility of the never-ending rain-showers that turn from friend to foe as the seed rots before it has even a chance to germinate.

No, we imagine sunshine that nurtures and gentle rains that come and wash over it seed slowly coaxing it to open up and let the beauty of the tiny green vine show itself. Reaching through the soft, moist dirt upward toward the sun.

We don't wait for perfect cause it usually doesn't happen. But we know when the time is right.

I see my life in the same way. There are seeds that I am holding in my heart. Pondering over. Imagining how they will grow. Thinking about what possibilities lie within them. And there are hopes and dreams attached to them. I believe God gave us the ability and desire to hope and dream. And Not just about our spiritual lives and who we'd like to become along our journey with the Lord. What about what we'd like to become of the gifts and talents or desires of the kind of life that He has placed within us. 

Just as with the seeds that we put in the ground, there is a right time to put that seed that we have been holding in our hearts into a place where it can be nourished so that it can bring forth the beauty of the life that has been waiting to burst forth.

Maybe it's been there for a long time and you've tried planting it but it just died out. Maybe you thought the timing was right but it just didn't grow. Maybe circumstances crushed the tender plant as it began to grow. It's never too late. Take the precious seed that you've been holding dear and take another chance. Don't worry about the outcome right now. Just start with what you have and take each day as it comes. 

{Nourish the seed with hope and faith. Believe.}


  xo Tamara

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog And If So, How?

Oh my goodness. I have been pondering what to do with this blog for months and months and endless months. I have gotten one new follower in a year. Haha. I have to laugh though it is discouraging. I know it takes hard work and different things. I see other blogs that have no "niche" so I don't believe that that's the answer. I have tried pretty much everything accept working endless hours on promotion and design. But my heart isn't in it because those approaches aren't THEE answer either. I know people have good ideas but where to start?

There are many who have found Blogland to be a place of success but their stories are all different. And that makes it very confusing. There's so much and it can get overwhelming. I need to start slow and small.

My comment box MUST only show up every three months or so cause that's how often I get one.

I guess I'll keep trying and see what happens. It certainly can't get any worse. Maybe someone will offer me a little cheese and crackers with my whine. Or I'll get some good advice.

How about you? Do you have any advice? Or can you recommend someone for hire that you have had personal experience with? I'd appreciate some input.

Thank you and be blessed,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shabby, Burlap Covered Planter and My First Retail Sale! / { family sentiments}

This was a really fun project. There are lots of little things to look at.  I Just couldn't stop! The ideas for details kept coming so I kept adding them on. Sometimes I go too far. What do you think?
Is it too busy?
I started out with a white metal planter that had a gold embossed scrolling on it. I found it at a thrift store several years ago and had used it for storage but then decided I didn't need it anymore.
I thought it might make a nice little gift for someone or that maybe I could sell it.

I just covered it with burlap and then added the burlap ruffles which are really simple to make. But I found something out about burlap. Some weave is tighter than others. So, if you're purchasing for the purpose of ruffling, you will most like want to get the more tightly woven.

 After I decided the width f ruffle, I hand measured my strip about two and half times the length of the ruffle. And then I just found a string at the end of the ruffle that I could pull. And then I pulled to the desired bunchy look that I wanted. Hot glue works great to attach the ruffle to the planter.
There are really no rules to a project like this. It's just whatever you have on hand and the desired finished  look that you want to have.

I took this to my favorite Antique/Shabby Chic shop. The White Chair. She purchased it to sell in her shop. Thank you, Moli!  I was so excited! I have had my offerings on consignment for a few years but this was my first retail sale. I am so thankful and humbled to think that she would consider my work for her lovely shop. 

I am travelling right now. We have bought a small place to spend time visiting family and friends in Ohio. This was my second time there and was able to get together with my brother, sisters and many nephews, nieces and greats, too. It was the first gathering in 11 years. The last was when my dad was still with us. It was worth the whole trip. I can't tell you what it meant to me to have us all together again.  I am so thankful for the time.

Family. Family is priceless even though we come together with our hurts and offences, we still make it work. And I know that if my dad could see us, he was smiling as he looked down. Happy that we were all together again. Family. My heart yearns for more. Close times. It's so far away though and it will have to wait until next spring at the earliest. All those months. I will wait with great expectations and anticipation. Remembering the smiles. The laughter. And even those sitting quietly by themselves waiting for others to come and draw them in. My thoughts will return often to them. Like a tune that plays itself over and over again in my mind. Family.

And am now in Oklahoma visiting my newest grand baby.  Although Ohio is still my home, I miss my other home. I've been away for a month and I'm ready to get back. It has been beautiful and special. And I travel the miles and miles back to my other home I look very forward to seeing those who wait for me there. Family.

Well, I hope you were somewhat inspired by my little project and may you be blessed with special family time that pulls at your heart and forever plants sweet thoughts in the garden of your mind.

Blessings to you all.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Ruffled, Shabby, Burlap Pillow for Fall~

I can hardly believe it's been a month or more since I posted. My days are so full of family and living this blessed life.

But I have been making time to work on a few fall items as time allows and this little hand-made pillow came to be.

It's very simple to make. I like to make my own pillow forms. I find very clean
used pillows at thrift stores. I always make sure they don't smell stuffy or odd.
I have a place where I can buy them for a dollar a piece. I tear them open and use the stuffing.
I also buy clean, white sheets at thrift stores. After washing them, I measure and cut
my pieces for the pillow form. 
I learned a new little secret about making the form fit nice and snug inside the
cover. Make it about an inch larger than the outside. I had
my doubts and thought that it might be too small but not so. It worked very
All my fabric is thrifted. The ruffles are made from a white sheet torn into strips.
I cut them twice as long as the area to be ruffled. You can triple your length if you
want very full ruffles. And if you're edging the entire pillow with ruffles, tripling
is better.
The little flower is made from a thrifted, sheer curtain. There are many tutorials on You-Tube
about making the shabby, burned edged flowers. They are very pretty!
The little burlap flower was also found in a tutorial. I need to write down my source next time so I can give them proper credit. Just know that the though the pillow design is my own, I do not take credit for the flower designs.

Do be careful if you want to make a pillow from burlap. You need a little extra measured into
your size to allow for fraying. I wondered how it would hold together when hand-sewing the
closing. It held up surprisingly well. But the little extra gave me more room to fold in my edges
when closing the opening.
The pillow is about 10 inches square.
Burlap is a lot of fun to work with. There are so many uses.  In my next craft post,
 I'll share the little bucket/planter that I decorated with burlap ruffles.. It turned out very well
and I was able to  retail it to an Antique/ Shabby Chic Shop nearby.
That was exciting.
Bless you and I hope you're enjoying the last few weeks of summer. 
Soon the cool, fall breezes will be rustling the leaves around our doors and reminding us
to wrap our scarves about our necks!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Found Treasure.. We Can GiveThanks and Trust ... Always

Thrifting can be a treasure hunt. Old books are treasures in my eyes. I love the look of them. With bindings worn and pages yellowing. Smells that give an indication of having been stored in some dark and damp basement somewhere. I love to open them and find bits and pieces of scrap paper or bookmarks. Inscriptions or notes always make me wonder about the person whose hands held it and turned it's pages.

So, when I pass through the doors of thrift stores, antique shops or stroll around a yard sale, one of the first things I look for are boxes or stacks of books.

Stream in the Desert has been a favorite of mine for some time. With it's refreshing applications of the Word and touching, relevant quotes as well as poetry.  There is devotion for everyday of the year. So, when I found this little, 1950 copy with it's red, and lovely embossed cover, at a little thrift store in Heber, Az., I was so thrilled!

 While reading it one day this week, I was so encouraged by the daily reading. There are so many things in this life that we have no control over. But the truth is that God is overseeing the events of our lives and will see us through each one if we look to Him. This is something that I have known and maybe you have to but isn't is so comforting to have that reminder today? And for tomorrow. It was for me. I'd like to share what it said.

                Giving thanks always for all things unto God~ Ephesians 5:20
No matter what the source of evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as far as by an
atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you.
Therefore, you can thank God  for everything that comes. Not for the sin of it,
 but for what God will out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving
and perpetual praise, then He will  make everything a blessing.
We once saw a man draw some black dots.
We looked and could not make anything of them but an irregular
 assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests,
then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes.
On sounding them, we were singing,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him all creatures here below."
There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand
why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if let God
come into our lives, and adjust the dots the proper way, and draw
the lines He wants, and separate this from that and put in rests at the proper places;
out of the black dots and spots in our lives
He will make a glorious harmony.
May we not hinder Him in His glorious work. ~ C.H.P.
"Would we know that the major chords were sweet,
If there were no minor key?
Would the painter's work be fair for our eyes
Without shade on land or sea?"
"Would we know that the meaning of happiness,
Would we feel that the day was bright?
If we'd never known what it was to grieve,
nor gazed on the dark of night?"
Many men owe the grandeur  of their lives to
their tremendous difficulties. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ,
the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the
instrument he must touch them all.

No matter what happens,
We Can Know Who Holds Tomorrow~

Have a blessed day~

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shabby Heart Wreath

 I have been so busy with company and more travel. All in the family.  However, there is always time for working on a project or two. AND defining and re-defining my special place where I create and celebrate the blessings of this life.

Here's a list of some of the projects I will be working on and sharing.

*Altered, ball caps made feminine
*A calf-length jean coat that I have been longing to embellish
*Chalkboards of a variety of shapes and sizes
*Earrings made from scrapped jean pieces
*A re-do on a pretty metal container (it has burlap ruffles which are so pretty but E-A-S-Y!

God is so good to give me ideas and I give Him all the credit.

Today I want to share with you this Shabby Heart Wreathe. I picked the heart up at a thrift store many years ago and have hung onto it because I really wanted to make something with it.

I really had a fun time putting this together. Sometimes I just and make flowers of different
styles. I enjoy the process of picking out the textures and colors that compliment each other.
For these I used tulle, velour, velvet, some lining fabric and lace.

I didn't make these flowers for this project in mind but I thought they would go with the shabby
soft look that I wanted to try to create.

I dry-brushed the wreathe first and then layed the flowers all about in the pattern that I wanted.

There is a rosette and a couple of yo-yos which are super fun and easy. These are all easy flowers to make and great way to use up scraps.

Among the flowers, I also wove in a small piece of eyelash yarn that gave it a little whispy look.

The large, crème colored flower is my favorite. I really love the soft, full appearance. This was made of pink paper ribbon and lining fabric. If you want to make these flowers, they are easy but a little more time consuming. Choose lining fabric or any type that will melt with the heat of a candle. Sheer curtains work well also. ( I just thrifted a pink sheer that I'm eager to try!)

You'll need:
*fabric scissors
* tea light or votive candle
* fifteen round pieces of fabric cut in three different to layer
(None of this has to be exact. It depends on the size flower you want. The fabric does shrink when melted so this will affect the finished size. You probably lose about 1/2 inch in your melting process.)
* paper ribbon cut in flower shape. I used my Tim Holtz tattered flower die. (I only used a piece or two of this to add just a splash of color to add blending and balance.)

After your circles are cut, then cut petals in your circles. Remember, it doesn't have to be exact. Then just hold your piece above the lit candle turning it they melt,being careful not to get your fabric IN the flame. You do feel the heat and there is a potential for burning your fingers. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!! You may have to experiment with a piece or two to attain the look you want.

After all of your layers are complete just add the paper ribbon (or not) where you want the color. Sew your layers together in the center with a few quick stitches. It doesn't take much to secure them. The flower overall  does take a little time but they are so pretty and well worth the time for me.

To make the ribbon and bow, I used some old linen fabric pieces that I tore from thrifted napkins and the hanger from a piece of lace. The large, pretty buttons came from an old sweater that belonged to one of my girls!

Before I hot-glued the flowers on, I took some pinkish fabric, lace and more linen and made strips to
attach behind the flowers to hang down.

I hope you've enjoyed this and that it has been helpful or inspiring. I would love to hear about a project that you've been working on!

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Living in the Moment

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I hope you enjoy every day of every season. There is always something  that can bring joy and blessing. Life is full of good and beauty! There's so much to take in. I love hearing the birds when I'm going about my day.  Here in the arid west, we keep water out all year long to give the birds a place to drink and splash around! What fun it is to watch them gather. Nothing fancy. One spot is an old dished out rock  and the other is an old shallow stainless steel pan that we had laying around after our house fire. Anyway, it really encourages them to stop by and even to hang around. 

Aren't they so pretty? Mountain Bluebirds just taking a minute to get a drink. Just sitting and watching them is peaceful. There they are travelling together and sharing the watering hole.

                                                              Living in the moment.

Not living FOR the moment. But IN it. Finding the beauty. Realizing what's around and taking the time to let it sink in. Imprint. Become a memory.

Live. Reflect. Breathe.

Not to sound dramatic but life can move at a rate that is alarming.  Truly. And I have found the need to dis-engage from activities so that I can stay connected with the things that I love.  God. People. Nature. Music. Books Old stuff and working with my hands.  But I have to work at it.
Here are some of the things that I have learned:

* Limit media input ~
* Have a purpose ~
* Don't over- commit ~
* Accept limitations ~
* Set boundaries and STICK to them~ :)
*Be organized and plan but remain flexible ~
* Schedule down time
*Keep a running list and then just "do the next thing" ~
* Stay home ~
* Keep it simple ~ (what is IT? Everything!)
* Decide what it is that you REALLY want to do and then do it ~
* Have a sense of humor ~
* Sit quietly and as often as I can until I begin to notice what I've been missing ~
*Take the time to know myself ~
*Just listen ~

And.... everyone is different, so you may need to revise this list for you.

Life can be complicated and rob us of the beauty that's around us. We can get de-sensitized. Finding what works for you will not just happen. But it doesn't have to be painful either. Live in the moments of the process. Kind of like enjoying the journey. Laugh at yourself.

This quote was meaningful to me. Giving in to the business of life is not an option. I do it and enjoy it but there are other things that are worthy of experiencing and treasures that will be over-looked if I'm not mindful. And so I keep pressing after things that are hidden by "the loudness" of life.  ,

"It seems to me that we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good and
 we must hunger after them." -George Eliot

Some of my treasures..

~ words
~ flowers
~ butterfly wings
~ a whisper
~ a gentle touch
~ a song
~ the wind
~ hugs
~ heart-shaped rocks
~ leaves
~ bird nests
~ colored ribbons
~ thunder
~ singing
~ home-made mint tea
~ paper
~ silence
~ rain
~ bird songs
~ baby kisses
~ prayers

These are just a handful of the things that make my heart sing. I'd love to hear what you find beautiful. And if you'd like to share about your journey, Id love to read about it.

Blessings to you,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic Memo Board Made From Re-Purposed Wood

One of the most important kind is the freedom to be yourself.
If I am not true to myself, I will never be what
God intended me to be.

I used to think that I could not be original and that I
always had to be thinking
about the right thing to do.
I was in a type of bondage.
I began to wither and die inside. My thoughts were
consumed with always being on track and never
shaking things up by speaking my mind or following my heart.
This was so wrong. I had such a warped idea about
what God had for me or desired of me!

So when I found this Jim Morrison quote,
it really spoke to me.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.
You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act.
You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.
There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution,
 on an individual level.
It's got to happen inside first.”

Isn't that a great quote? Does it hold some truth for you?
  I understand that without Him, I would not be able to do what I do and
I could not be who He destined to be.
But we can't just leave everything to Him.
WE have a part! He gave us a mind and wants us to dream BIG.
He will help us accomplish those dreams.
He is helper and our Stay. Our constant .

When I was making this memo board, my original thought behind this was to
remember those who have given so much to bring us our freedom.
I wish also to remember those who are presently in that position.

Though that was my original thought, I need to say that without
God setting me free, I would still be destined to a life of being
of a captive to sin.

 But He gave everything that I might be free.

His life.

And I am grateful though I
don't always show it.

 Thank you and thank you to all who have sacrificed so much to defend
this land.
Have a safe and blessed Independence Day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Living for Change...My Clouded Perspective

 I  sometimes  often  forget how blessed I am.

Making plans and setting goals can be good. It's healthy to look at areas of life and think of how they can be better. Most people have goals that are a combination of outward circumstances and those of personal growth.

I have some of both. There are things in my home that I want to update: painting, curtains, flooring, décor. Relationships are always under "construction" and my-oh-my do I have a list of things that I could  work on.

These are all ok things as long as the they don't become my hyper- focus and cause me to lose my perspective in a big way. This challenges me to my core.

I had written before that travelling makes me pensive. It also causes me to re-evaluate. Is there something that you do that brings that deep-reflective thought? And then the thoughts bump into each other and stir everything up until you know that you just have to sort it out? And that brings you to place of real change in your heart and life. I hope so. At least if you need it.

I desperately need it.

When I left on my trip, I was pretty dis-satisfied with what I was accomplishing and the rate at which I was moving forward. My desire for change had clouded my perspective of what was already in place and all that had been accomplished. My reality was distorted. What needs to be done is far less than I had thought. And the pressure to get it done now was unreasonable and unhealthy. Too much of my self-worth has been in relation to what I can accomplish and how well.

My life really is wonderful and so blessed. My home is beautiful though not perfect. I am working on some business ventures which are exciting and though moving slowly, continue to move. I have many wonderful relationships, a fun, fulfilling, strong marriage and my health is good. WOW! Why do I have to work so hard to remember these things? I have some theories for another time.

I am so thankful that God uses people and circumstances to push back the clouds that block the light and truth from my heart and mind.

I have a sweet friend who lives in Ohio. Her house is enormous. She has two gardens plus multiple flower beds. There are a few acres to mow and she works. None of these things are perfect but they are kept attractive and pleasant and she always has time to visit when I stop by. She seems to have such peace. It's so calming, inspiring. It gave me hope. I have often found myself wishing I were more like that. {I was thinking today that I need to write her a note and tell her so.}

The pressure to get it done and to keep up with it all has passed. I pray it lasts. It will be something that I will have to keep a check on. The peace and freedom that I now have to enjoy doing the next thing is very real. The reality I now understand is that it's ok to have things in progress. And the process can be very enjoyable. Relax. It will get done. And in the meantime there is so much more
to life! After many reminders, the fact that things take time is beginning to stick. Building anything takes time. Possibly years.

One reason that I knew that things had to be different was that all this pressure was affecting my health. I knew I had to change. Stress can be a good thing because it can motivate us to change the things that rob us of quality of life.

I will be talking more about these things in the future. It's been a big part of my life and I believe that
we can help each other to overcome these bad habits that keep us from living a happy and healthy

Am I'm convinced. We were meant to be happy in this life.

Here are some of my photos from my trip.