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.