Monday, August 30, 2010

A Nifty Little Find


I just had to share a happy moment of the day.  I found these super cute plates for 40 cents each at Hobby Lobby!  Sweet!  I have a feeling we will be eating every meal on these from now on.  Never mind that they’re little dessert plates.  They are just too happy not to enjoy every day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Picture Frame Necklace

I had the day off, so I spent the afternoon making a huge mess in my craft room.  Here is one of my creations of the day.  AND I’m actually wearing it.  You should be so proud. 
IMG_5363The picture in the frame was again taken by my Lynley.  She is quite the talented photographer.  The picture of the picture frame necklace was taken by my husband. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today I’m Missing This…

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The beach.  We went to the water park for the last time on Saturday and as I was sitting by the wave pool, letting the water lap up against my feet, I started to miss the REAL waves terribly!  This marks the first summer of my entire life that I did not visit the beach.  I am really mourning the gradual disappearance of summer this year because I feel like I didn’t get to do many of the typical summer things.  Like go on vacation, go to the ocean, relax daily by the pool…   I am not ready for the days to get shorter and delicious produce to get more expensive and less delicious.  I’m not ready to say goodbye to hot weather and shorts.  I’m not ready to let go of concerts in the park and driving with the windows down. 
That’s it, I’m just going to have to take a trip to California.  Anyone wanna come with me?
This was the last time I saw the ocean, clear back in January! 
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(Fabulous photo taken by my favorite Lynley!)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recent Photo Shoot

I love to capture siblings interacting with each other.  It’s so sweet when you capture their spontaneous little “friendship moments.”

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shabby Rose Necklace

I did this tutorial a really long time ago for another project, but decided to post it on here to to try and archive all of my projects in the same place. So, here it is:

You could spend $50-$100 on a rose necklace like this one, or you could make your own.  I'll show you in a few simple steps. Let's start by making a rose, shall we. I'll show you how I made one of the above flowers, and then you can make as many as you prefer in as many different colors and textures as you would like.

Step 1: Cut a strip of fabric that is about 1" to 1 1/2" wide. Don't worry if it's not perfect, it doesn't have to be!
Step 2: Tie a knot at one end of the strip of fabric.
Step 3: Now comes the fun part. Start wrapping the tail of the fabric around the end of the knot. Wrap tightly and secure every loop or two around the knot with a drop of glue.

Step 4: As you wrap, occasionally twist the fabric so that the raw edges are exposed at the top of the flower. (Here's a side view to illustrate what i am talking about). The edges will kind of fray (especially if you are using satin as I did) but that's a good thing! Embrace messy.
Step 5: As you get closer to the end of the strip, wind the fabric a little bit looser so that it falls a bit softer around the edges. Still glue just as often though, so the whole thing doesn't unwind.
Step 6: When you have just an inch or two left of the tail end, wrap it around behind the rose and glue it firmly to the back (this will further ensure that your flower won't unwind).
The behind:
The front: TA DA!
Step 7: Once you have mastered the art of making roses, and you have created several in a variety of different colors, you can glue them next to each other forming a slight arch.
Step 8: All that remains is to attach the ribbon and bows! I just glued the pom pom trim to one side and a strip of grosgrain ribbon to the other (each piece was about 12" long). Just glue it to the back of the necklace. It won't be pretty, but hey, who's gonna see it?

Step 9: Finally, I glued the jewelry latches on. Yep, glued them. I could have stitched them but I already had the glue gun out and wanted to make this as easy as possible for you. I put a drop of glue on the ribbon and attached it to one side of the clasp. Then, I put a drop of glue on the trim and wrapped it around the other side of the clasp.
You will notice that I also glued a bow on mine, just for fun! Please refer back to the ribbon tutorial here, if you need a refresher course on your bows.

Last step: Wear your necklace every chance you get!

Shopping List:

  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • fabric (I used 8 different colors: 6 satin, 2 cotton)
  • ribbon (1 1/2" for bow and 1/4" for necklace portion)
  • pom pom trim
  • necklace clasp

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Lesson From C.S. Lewis

It is sometimes difficult to understand why we have to go through the trials we are given.  But I think I can confidently say that EVERY trial we ever have to pass through can be used to help someone else.  If you reflect on the difficult circumstances of others, I suspect you have a special place in your heart for, and even a particular desire to reach out to, those who have experienced challenges similar to your own.  Empathy has power that sympathy simply cannot duplicate. 
Further, sometimes our trials lead us down a path that we might not have otherwise gone down.    
I am currently reading C.S. Lewis’ autobiography (Surprised by Joy).  It always fascinates me to learn about the lives of influential people.  I have recently been reflecting on this excerpt:
What drove me to write was the extreme manual clumsiness from which I have always suffered.  I attribute it to a physical  defect which my brother and I both inherit from our father; we have only one joint in the thumb.  the upper joint (that furthest from the nail) is visible, but it is a mere sham; we cannot bend it.  But whatever the cause, nature laid on me form birth an utter incapacity to make anything…. It was this that forced me to write.  I longed to make things, ships, houses, engines.  Many sheets of cardboard and pairs of scissors I spoiled, only to turn from my hopeless failures in tears.  As a last resource, I was driven to write stories instead; little dreaming to what a would of happiness I was being admitted. You can do more with a castle in a story than with the best cardboard castle that ever stood on a nursery table.
I think it is interesting that one of C.S. Lewis’ greatest blessings (his ability to influence people through the written word) sprang from his trial of being born with partially crippled hands.  And just think, his literature went on to change the world! 
Sometimes it is so hard not to ask why.  That is the most pressing question on our minds while we go through adversity, yet is almost always the most mysterious.  But I have been learning and re-learning lately that I should try to focus on asking myself what I can do to reach out to others instead of mulling over why something is happening to me.  It is SUCH a hard lesson to learn, but I appreciate the examples (like C.S. Lewis) who brighten the path. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool Flowy Vest Thingy

I actually don’t know what these vest things are actually called.  Maybe just vests?  But I have seen them a lot lately, and think that they are really cute.  But not $15 cute, so I just made my own out of an oversized black PJ shirt. 
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Just cut it like so, and stitch a seam around the edge.  I also did Some shirring on the back so it wasn’t so loose back there.  Hmmm… not the best shot of the back (especially since my hair is covering what I was trying to show you) but maybe you kind of get the idea. 
NOTE: The little fuzzy dog bum is not actually necessary to complete step 5.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some Thoughts


As I mentioned before, I have been writing down some of my own “lectures” lately.  But I was thinking today, as I was writing, that I don’t know that “lectures” is the best thing to call them.  I have been enjoying recording some of my insights from life for myself to look back on, and hopefully for my kids and grandkids to be able to look back on too.  But, I’m certainly not an expert on life, and I don’t want anyone to think that I am condescendingly telling them the best way to live.  After all, I’m writing things down not just to remember them, but to continue to practice them as well.  Perhaps from now on I’ll just call them “thoughts.”  

Thursday, August 5, 2010


One of the things we did while my family was visiting was make a ruffled skirt for Chelsey.  It’s contagious I’m telling you.  She did a really good job, I was so proud of her!
Matchy matchy. 
People always laugh at me when I introduce her as my “little” sister. 
When my sister n’ law Jen came to visit we had to make a ruffled skirt for her too. 
Would you believe me if I told you that I am still not sick of making ruffled skirts?  In fact, I still have one that I started when Jen came but didn’t quite finish yet.  I’m sure It will make it’s way on here eventually.
I am the shortest of my sisters but the tallest of my sisters in law.  It’s kind of funny. 
Are you in the mood to make a ruffled skirt yet?