Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spice of December

I apologize for my lack of appearances around here. I am very surprised how close December is on our toes.  Christmas holidays and Christmas decorations our under way, but I can't help but hold onto the holiday called thanksgiving. Thankfulness shouldn't last one month of the year. I want to carry it with me the whole year. Each morning more gratefulness shines in my face. As my family and I got our tree from the tree farm and are slowly making plans for decorating I am reminded of each blessing. This grace that only God can give is poured out on our lives each day. Through the holiday cheer, present buying and wrapping, chill in the air, let us not forget who has let us celebrate and who we are to celebrate.

 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. 
          Psalm 136: 1


Do you have your tree yet? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Counting My Blessings

 It's November. That means that thanksgiving is not far off-and what better way to bring in the holidays than to count our blessings? One challenge that I did last year was the thankful challenge. This year I almost forgot about the challenge; and although I am a week late I am still going to participate this year, too. All you have to do is write down seven things your thankful for each day through this month. It's not only a fun challenge but very rewarding. It make me realize how much God has blessed me!
 Click here for the challenge details.

Today I am thankful for sunsets, life and health, changing seasons, ducks---one of my baby sisters favorite words, color in ordinary life, fall hydrangeas, and my family.

 "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments."
                                               Psalm 119:164

What are you thankful for today?


Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Song Of Autumn

Each season brings a spring of excitement and a feeling of elation. Fall is filled with the crisping and crunching of leaves, sharp frisky breezes, deep blue skies, golden colors and the anticipation of the coming holidays. The song of Autumn sings through each trademark of this season.

Autumn seems to bring it's acquaintances flu and cold quite often. Our house has been filled with sniffling, coughing, naps and sore throats. (Insert tea, water, apple juice and soup) But sickness gives us time to reflect on the blessing of health. It makes me grateful for every day I have to live and thrive for Christ. When recovery and health restores itself a reminder of how we've been saved and restored eternally shoots through my heart. This makes me ever thankful for my salvation and the grace God shines on His children.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sand, Sea, and Sky


 The week was one filled with so many jig saw pieces. Our family vacation to the beach lasted a solid week and came to a happy close. The unpacking and dusting off of sand began. The going through journal entries and photos was only at it's start. The countless pieces of evidence that we did go on vacation and that we were back home again. Each bit of our trip is coming together and making me more and more grateful of each large and small blessing.

What a trip! What a fun trip.We went to either the pool or the beach every day but the last. We rode bikes around town and on the beach. We ate junk food and sea food. (Far too much junk food.) I forced every one into a beach family photo session. (Minus being photo bombed by a strange waving man and almost having my camera run over by a beach surveillance car, it went beautifully. Pardon my drama...) We played cards and laughed ourselves silly through fond memories.  We ate our first of Gellato Italian ice cream. We even had time to stop at a farmer's market.

Vacations ensue exhausting car rides, that smell of sour milk, and sea food.
They bring the tastes of yummy food. They carry the aroma of new surroundings: new beds, new schedule, fresh memories. They bring back pictures of sunsets, ocean waves, sugary sand and sea gulls.

I love the home cooked meal my dear mom serves us the first day home. Although she cooks on vacation, the first meal after vacation is a real home cooked meal at our home sweet home.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Freshness Of Home



 After a week of fun on our family vacation I am breathing in the deep aroma of home. It's good to be back! I hope to post a bit about our trip soon, but first I thought I'd share a few photos of these cone flowers. They finally decided to bloom the week of our vacation. What joy flowers bring. Even though their quite late for the season, they are just as lovely, maybe even more.

I'll be back soon!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kettle Corn

 Have you ever tried kettle corn? It's like popcorn, but better. I can barely remember the last time I had bagged popcorn. My mom does not like all the added ingredients they put in the popcorn you put in the microwave. (I don't either.Yuck.)

As an alternative we have a hand cranked popcorn popper. It's called a Whirely-pop Stovetop popcorn popper.  Some of you probably have one, some of you might have never heard of one. It's really easy to use. Just put in the popcorn, oil, turn on the stove, turn the crank, and in a few minutes you'll have yourself a delicious snack. You can buy popcorn kernels at grocery stores, although they can sometimes be hard to find.

We have discovered this kettle corn recipe. It is so good! Here's how to make it.

1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup popcorn
2 table spoons white sugar
2 table spoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

This recipe makes a generous bowl full of popcorn. Put all of these ingredients in your popcorn popper. Make sure the sugar is stirred in well, no clumps. Turn the stove top on medium-high. Begin turning the crank and continue cranking so the sugar and popcorn do not burn. It should heat up in a few minutes and the popcorn will begin popping! Wait about five seconds after popcorn stops popping for any other kernels to pop. Then pour into a bowl let cool for a minute or two and enjoy!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Art Inspired


 What is inspiration? Artists use inspiration. Where do artists glean their inspiration from? Is it pinterest, twitter, google, flickr, books, friends, other artists, movies, music?
 I see bloggers, photographers, musicians, writers and other art makers that I admire. I wonder what gives them a thrill, what makes their creativity flow. What makes them smile with delight. Where do they find their niche of inspiration?

Some talk and talk about staying inspired. "Be yourself! Be yourself!", They say. But they all look the same. Photos. Artwork. The pattern of their art looks a lot alike, but yet they keep saying that all you have to do is find your creativity, your beauty, your passion.

I want to believe them and just go out there and make my voice heard. "Look at me! Look what I can make!" But there is a problem, a big problem.

We can't do anything by ourselves. We can't take a breath without our Creator. We can't make a tree. We can draw a tree and take a picture of a tree. But if we look around at what makes us create and want to create and what makes us become inspired, it's what God has made. The nature around us, the animals, even people. We draw, capture, sculpt, re-create God's creation.

 You might say we're copy cats. Truly, artists love to capture life. We find joy in creating life, because God finds joy in creating life.We find joy in being an artist because God is an artist. We delight in art because God is our inspiration. I hope that my inspiration is always God driven and that my art is God designed and patterned after God's creation. May we as Christian be inspired by our Creator.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing...

I now have a photography blog! I am really excited! I will mainly be posting photo sessions on this blog. Don't worry, I'll still be posting here. If you want to check it out just click the blog button on my side bar, or click here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

One Tiered Skirt Tutorial

You're going to need fabric, elastic, and thread. The seam allowances are 1/2 an inch. The skirt pictured in this post is for my little sister.


Measuring
For this skirt, there are two pieces: the top piece called the yoke and the bottom piece called the tier. To begin you are going to need to measure the waist of the person this skirt is for. Once I had the waist measurement I added 18 inches to it. In my case the yoke piece was 35 inches wide. I then added 20 inches to the yoke piece's width to make the tier width. The tier for the skirt was 55 inches wide. Make the tier at least 20 inches longer than the yoke.The longer the length, the fuller the skirt is going to be.

The length
For this skirt the yoke is one third the length of the tier. You can vary the two lengths depending upon the look you're going for. You could make the yoke longer and make the tier more like a ruffle. You could make them both the same length. Whatever you prefer. Just be sure both lengths together equal the total length you want, plus seam allowance.
 
1. Start by taking your yoke piece and sew both ends together, right sides together.
(No picture for this step) Do this with the tier as well.
 2. Take your yoke and iron over the top about 2/8 of an inch. Fold over again and iron about 1/2 an inch, depending upon the width of your elastic.
After ironing, pin and stitch all around the fold, leaving a small part unsewn, to form a casing. Now you are going to pull your elastic all the way through this casing. Start at the part you left unsewn and go all the way around. This can be made easier by attaching a safety pin to the end of your elastic. (Check out my scrunchy tutorial to see how to put the elastic in.) Now sew the elastic ends together and sew up the opening in the casing.

3. Now you can hem the tier. To do this, iron down how much you want hemmed, pin, and sew. (I hemmed mine down half an inch.)

4.The next step is to gather the tier. To do this, begin by stitching around the whole edge with a seam allowance of 3/8 of an inch, but do not back stitch at the beginning or the end. Leave a long thread on both ends of the row. Now you are going to pull on these threads. (Pull on the threads that make the fabric gather.)


5. You are going to have to gather just enough to make it the same circumference as the yoke. When you think you have it pretty close, begin pinning the yoke to the tier, right sides together. Keep moving gathers around and, with a little time, it should fit nicely. When you have it evenly pinned, stitch all the way around with the regular 1/2 inch seam allowance.

6. You now have made a skirt! You can cut all stray threads and then you're done. For another variant of this design, I made a skirt for myself awhile back with a 25 inch elastic, 55 inch yoke and 70 inches in the tier. (Click here to see) So, the difficult part is figuring the measurements. It all depends on the fullness you're going for and the style. (You can click here if you would like to see more photos of this finished skirt.)

If you have any questions, just ask!
Have you been doing any sewing projects?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Twirly, Swirly Skirt



I got the cutest floral fabric from my dear friend Shannon in Germany. Shannon sent it by mail and I fell in love with it. I made it into a skirt with a coordinate polka dot fabric. I really like how it turned out.

Tutorial on how to make this skirt, will be up on the blog soon. Stay tuned! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

A chest full of hopes


My sisters and I each got a hope chest for christmas. We were very excited. The dilemma was, they were unfinished unassembled hope chests. So until this summer they've been sitting in there boxes in the yard shed just waiting to be finished. We each got our finishing supplies, (our choice of color) our sand paper, our creativity, and went to work. They are now all sitting in our room just waiting to be filled with hopes. I used a stain called "weathered gray". I was going for a vintage-y look. It was a lot of fun to put together. (I got some first time experience putting a piece of furniture together, too.) I love that it's personalized and I'll be able to use in my own home some day.

Do you have a hope chest?