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!