Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Reading Week 2

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Wow!  What a week of reading right?!?!?!

Rahab is a person that many woman can relate to.  We see she has low self-esteem, she isn't trustful of people, and she feels rejected.  She deeply longs for something more.

I too related to Rahab.  In question #3, you had to answer how your family failed to love you or protect you.  I instead answered what they failed to teach me.  Through my adolescent years, I often felt like I was trying to fit in.  What I didn't learn until I accepted Christ, was that my identity is found in Christ.  If I would have learned this when I was young, I could have spared myself a lot of heartache and wrong steps.

My deepest fears were removed when I found that hope in Christ.  I knew there would still be hard times, but my God was full of compassion and LOVED ME!!!!

Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.  He rescues those whose spirits are crushed".

This is my verse I am reminded of often.  God wants to RESCUE you!

This week, read chapters 8 - 16.  You can answer questions 11 - 14.  Pay close attention to your judgmental attitude this week.  It is all too easy to judge others.

Happy Reading!
Beautiful calligraphy by Jane Farr


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photography-My New Love Interest

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I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head.  As if being a mom of 4 with a traveling hubby, working 2 days a week, 4 therapy sessions a week with my wee one, sewing, blogging, gardening...oh and chef, house cleaner, pediatric doctor weren't enough....I started taking photos.  I have wanted a Digital SLR for the last 2 years.  Once I started blogging, I realized nice pictures always draw me into a Blog, and I expected that would also help pull people in.  Pinterest, was a sure sign I needed a camera that could take better pictures.  I will only pin a sight if it has a pretty picture to pin.  Yes, snobby maybe, but it is a virtual pinboard of all things lovely...and you need a lovely picture.

I asked a couple photog friends where to buy a DSLR that wouldn't break the bank and they pointed me to Adorama and told me to buy used.  I did, and the research began!  I was reading tons of blogs on photography tutorial, researching lenses, researching bags...the list goes on.  My friend Julie Kittredge of Julie Kittredge Photography was teaching a beginner course and I jumped at the opportunity!

I still have a lot to learn, but I'm loving the ride!  I have a Photography Pinboard with links to several tutorials.  Would love to know of any great tips or websites you have found!

These moments just wouldn't be the same with a traditional point and shoot :)


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Reading Week 1

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Ready...Set...Go!  It's finally here, our Summer Reading Book, Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar.  I'm so excited to be reading this book again.  It is a favorite.  I'm falling in love with it all over again.  Chapter 1 is quite intense.  So much to think about, inner struggles to contend with.  "Taking a sudden breath, Rahab put her hands to her face.  Abba would never make me do that.  Never.  He would rather die.  This was nothing more than a misunderstanding.  But the knot in her stomach tightened with each passing second"  The knot in my stomach twisted as well as I understood what was being asked of this 15yr old girl.

I found myself questioning how could he?

Does he really love her?

If he loved her why?

...and then I tried to see things from Rahab's father's perspective.  The despair, the lack of hope, no future.  How blessed I am to know that I have a heavenly Father who loves me more than ANYTHING!  That it doesn't matter how desperate the situation may seem...He can pull me through.

This week, read chapters 1 -7.  There are discussion questions at the back of the book or page 318 on Kindle.  Answer questions 1 - 10.

Consider, what are your deepest fears?

Do you know there is hope?

What points you towards that hope?

What verse do you turn to to remind you of that hope?

Please respond back here in the comments with your thoughts and questions throughout the week.

God has CRAZY - PERFECT - TIMING!  I just started following along with She Reads Truth today.  You can connect with all the ladies in my side bar as well.  We are on day 18 of the YouVersion bible app.  The question for today:  What things are you not trusting God with that you need to?  Hah!  This falls right along with what we are reading for our Summer Book Read!  If you want to join the group that is digging into God's word this summer and encouraging one another, grad the YouVersion app, find the header Plans and enter Soul Detox in the search bar, you can scroll ahead and follow along.  You can follow my Tweets too!  If you don't have the YouVersion app, but want to follow what truth we are digging into, Like my Facebook page.  I will enter the posed question for the day and the verses to be read!

Happy reading!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway! *CLOSED*

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I'm very excited about a special giveaway for Mother's Day!  Last year I gave my mom the book Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar.  I had heard about it on Moody Radio.  I think my gift was more for me (I knew I would get to read it when my mom was done :)  She read it in 3 day!

I also zoomed through the book, but wished I had someone to discuss it with at the time.  Well now I do!  I am planning a Summer Book Club with this book.  I would love for you to join me and read along.  I will leave you with some questions to think about as you read along in 3 different blog post on Sundays in June, beginning June 3rd.

Pearl in the Sand is the story of Rahab, brought to life in an amazing read.  Tessa paints such clear pictures and messages with her words AND Tessa is giving away a copy of her book.  I would love for you to enter, there are several options to gain more entries!

Photobucket a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Burlap Stenciled Pillow

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Remember the other day I told you not to get rid of your stencil?...well here is why.  You can do a 2-for-1 craft day!  You will need some basic sewing skills for this project though.

So when I had all my paint and brushes out for this vintage crate project, I had some burlap on had, so I went ahead and laid the stencil on the burlap, added some blue paint to the white, mixed, and away I went!  It will help to have your burlap cut to size and folded in half before you begin stenciling.  Once it is folded in half, place your stencil as you desire and paint!  I did not have any bleed through as I did not have a heavy hand.  So here is what you need to create this pillow.

-fabric liner (I used an old white sheet)
-pillow form (I used an old pillow...I save EVERYTHING!)
-basic sewing supplies...thread, pins, rotary cutter, machine

1.  Using your tape measure, measure the height and width of your pillow.  Now add a 1/2" to your width and double your height plus 1/2".
example - my pillow was 18" x 18"  36.5" x 18.5".  This allows for 1/4" seams.

2.  Next, cut your ALREADY STENCILED burlap and liner to your measurements.

3.  Place both fabrics on top of one another and pin together.  See below.

 4.  Once both are pinned together, fold in half so both burlap sides are facing each other.  See below.

 5.  Pin these 3 sides together.  I just started removing the pins that were already in the fabric and stuck it back through all 4 layers.

 As seen above and below, all layers are pinned together.

 6.  Now go ahead and start on either side where it is folded.  You will stitch down the length of one side and then turned and stitch just about 2" on the bottom of the pillow.  Remember we need to leave an opening to turn inside out AND be able to stuff the pillow in.  Cut your thread and begin sewing the length of the other side and again only about 2" along the bottom.  You should have your fold on top and your opening to the pillow form at the bottom.

 7.  Now turn your fabric right side out and stuff the pillow inside.  Fold in the bottom edge, pin, and stitch straight across the whole bottom of the pillow.  The burlap is forgiving and hides your stitch well.

I hope you enjoy making your pillow!  As you can see in the pic above, I left the fold lines of the burlap.  You make choose to iron your burlap using your iron on high heat with a damp rag over your burlap.  I prefer the fold lends some character.  In hindsight, I wish I would have added some staining using tea.  I have an old flour sack with pale blue printing that definitely screams VINTAGE and it will be paired up with this pillow!

Linking up at Tatertots and Jello!
Photobucket UndertheTableandDreaming

Happy Earth Day!

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As I was perusing Gardner's Supply Company catalogue I saw a tub/tote that was perfect for the garden. Easy access to add veggies picked from the garden, easy to rinse out and thought it would be great for the local farmers market as well. I didn't want to spend $16.95 + shipping, so the wheels started turning. I've seen purses made out of animal food bags, but that is not my style. It would be perfect however for dirty/muddy vegetables. So off to the store I went to buy more dog food(we were out and did need more anyways).

This is a super simple tutorial because there is no real accuracy needed, this is no high-end fashion bag :)

First start by laying bag flat. I achieved this by clamping the corners with my Pampered Chef bag clip :) Then cut off the top about 4" down. I eyeballed this and just followed the obvious line. Is it obvious to you? Hope so.

Next fold down the bag so that is is just about 5-6" above the base as seen in this photo.

Next, take that top piece you cut off and make 2 cuts: one on each side of the original dog bag. You will have 2 equal lengths that you will use for the handles. I don't have a picture of this. Take each handle and fold in half lengthwise, pin and stitch.

On one side of the tote pin your handle down on the outside of bag. Sew a square to attach and repeat for the other end of the handle. Repeat this step for the other handle.

This is what your square stitch looks like. perfection here!

When done, use it at the farmer's market or in the will hold a lot of produce!

Note: I did rinse out the dog food bag with soap and water before making this!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stenciled Vintage Crate

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Last October I picked up this great vintage crate at a flea market in Wisconsin.  I new when I saw it, I wanted to stencil it exactly as you see above.  I didn't use a fancy cricut or freezer paper.  All you need are a few things to turn an ordinary blah item into something special!

Ordinary Blah Item!
Items Needed:
-exacto knife
-contact paper (clear or frosted, you need to be able to see through it a bit)
-access to computer and printer
-acrylic paint
-bristle brush
-imagination (only a little, don't worry!)

-First, print out whatever words you want to stencil. It doesn't have to be in a fancy shape or design, you lay it out how you want it.

-Next, cut out each letter.  This really doesn't take too long, unless you are doing something for a child's room and printing out:  SUPERCALIFRADGILISTICEXPEALIDOCIOUS.  That would be a bad idea :)

-Lay out your letters on your item you plan to stencil, in any pattern you want.

-Lay the contact paper over the item and letters, starting at one side and smoothing down until you reach the end.  I cut my contact paper to the approximate size I needed with a little overage for either end.  (You know how you smooth on the protective sheet on your tablet, cell phone, gaming devices?'s the same concept for laying out the contact paper.)

-Then go ahead and grab that exacto knife, cut the letters out again.  This goes quickly...cutting contact paper feels like you are cutting butter.  I know, I know, cut again?!  Yes, remember this is an easy craft that anyone can do who doesn't have a lot of crafting supplies.

-Then grab your paint and brush.  Just add a little paint to the brush.  It is best to use a dry brush.  It's nice to have a rougher finish instead of a smooth even coat of paint.  I use the paper backer of the contact paper to squirt the paint on.

-Fill in each letter with paint.  It dries pretty quickly so you can peel the contact paper off as soon as you are done.  Save the stencil though...I have another project you can use it for.  I'll show you that one in a couple days.

That's all!  I can use this crate for serving an outdoor lunch, keeping my magazines or blankets in, as a display piece for flowers...the possibilities are endless.


See Vanessa Craft