Thursday, April 14, 2011
I used different fabrics and textures for the book to add some interest for Izzy. I used different fabrics and ribbon and sewed each onto pieces of felt while leaving the raw edges of the fabric showing. Then, I sewed the pages together to hide the back of the felt pages and connected them together with binder rings. The book is probably around 6x8 inches or something like that. Izzy seemed to like it when she opened it up, so that is a bonus! I hope you like it too!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
My friend at church has a daughter, Izzy, who turned one this past weekend (ps-I think that all my friends' babies should remain in the baby stage until I have them so my children will have playmates! ha!). She had a wonderful party with a monkey theme and Lindsay, my friend, asked me to make a pin the tail on the monkey game for the party. We looked at her invitations and all it showed was the monkey's head. So, instead of making up a body for the monkey and trying to make it look right, we decided to play "Pin the Flower on the Monkey". You can see the invitation in the picture above. I drew the monkey as close to the invitation as I could and then used a template to make all of the game flowers uniform in size and shape. I think it turned out pretty cute. Lindsay liked it too, which is all that really matters!
Check back later for my homemade gift to Miss Izzy.
Friday, April 8, 2011
I saw some on various blogs, but they all just had one straight stretch of road. I wanted my car mat to have a little more action, so here is what I camp up with:
I'm not really sure why that picture is showing upside down. Anyway, you get the point. I found some cute car fabric at Joann Fabrics and got to work. This mat used a half yard of fabric for each piece. I cut the fabric on the factory fold, so you could potentially get two mats out of one half yard. I didn't even think to take pictures of the process because I don't use a pattern and make things up as I go along. Anyway, I used two pieces of fabric (inner and outer fabric), felt for the interfacing, and gray felt for the road. I drew a pattern of a road on a piece of paper and then cut it out of the gray felt. Then, I laid everything out and sewed it up! The mat has a velcro fastener to keep everything snug. I'm going to make another one soon for someone else who has ordered one, so I will be sure to take pictures again and write up a tutorial for you. I am still just beginning to sew, so if I can do it, anyone can do it!
Here are some more pictures of the finished product:
The best part about it is the mat folds up so the cars can always stay with it! I think it would be great to use as a quiet toy to keep little ones occupied during meetings and other times where they don't need to be running around acting wild and crazy. I really hope that my friends' son likes his gift. Welcome home Artem!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sandra is one of my sweet friends who used to be the Children's Minister at my church, but then moved south to Georgia almost two years ago (I think). I'm so excited to find out that Sandra won because she is currently celebrating her one year blogiversary! She is giving away some fun items this week. Check out her blog, the girl named tennessee. Now she gets something in return! Sandra, I think I will surprise you with your homemade gift...I already have some fun ideas for you. Yay!
My favorite part of the "ceremony" was the treat portion of the afternoon. My mom had a fabulous idea to make red velvet cupcakes and color the batter according to the favorite teams of each participant. Here is the end result of our efforts:
Blue Velvet for UK:
Red Velvet for U of L:
A combo cupcake for Belmont:
There was also one unfortunate UNC fan in the crowd, but the North Carolina blue proved to be very hard to get. It ended up being green. I had to apologize in advance for that disaster. I don't think it phased him too much, though. He ate both of his cupcakes with no problem!
We topped the cupcakes off with homemade cream cheese icing and basketball themed toppings. I printed each person's team logo out on cardstock and taped it to a lollipop stick for one of the cupcakes and stuck a basketball-shaped Easter egg on top of the other one.
Here is one final picture of all the cupcakes:
As you can tell, the UK fans outnumbered everyone else (and all is right with the world). :)
We are planning to make this bracket challenge an annual event. Do you have an ideas for prizes? It may take me all year to come up with something!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1
So, my last "What I'm Learning" post was about God screaming at me (click here if you want to read it). This post is about silence. Specifically, my silence. I was reading in, you guessed it, Psalms and this verse immediately made me think of my situation with waiting. Recently, I tend to ultimately do what God asks of me in this area, but argue with Him about it the entire time. I think that I know best and I constantly try to justify what I think I need to God to get Him to get on with it. I mean, God should listen to me, right? Because I am the one who is all-knowing and all-powerful!
This verse immediately convicted me of all the times I was "patient" with God while being highly impatient at the same time. That is the epitome of a prideful heart. God knows the desires of my heart and He can choose to honor those desires or not. It is not up to me. I think I know what is best for my life, but really, I don't. I have no idea. God has my very best interests in mind. He has my days laid out. This verse says it all. HE alone is what I need. HE alone is my salvation. All the other stuff doesn't matter. If He is there with me, rooting for me, nothing else compares!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I waited for a long time. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that I did. Waiting probably saved me from some bad relationships and some bad choices on my part. However, I became impatient as I tend to do so easily. I wrote about this issue a few weeks ago in another entry on waiting (you can read it here).
A few weeks ago, I was pleading with the Lord over this area of my life. I seem to have become more and more impatient since I turned 30 in September. Being married has become more of an issue for me...I guess I feel like time is ticking away. That very next week, three people mentioned three different guys to me! I agreed to be set up with one of them. We met for dinner and had a great conversation. He was very nice, a perfect gentleman, and he loves the Lord. After I went home, though, and all day every day for the rest of the week, God dealt with me. I felt like I could hear the Lord just as clearly as I had heard Him before. Only this time, He was screaming at me "I TOLD YOU TO WAIT!" Again, I can't explain what it was like for me to hear this voice in my heart, but I clearly did. I felt like He was telling me that I was trying to rush Him. I tried to brush it off at first, but the screaming only got louder until it was all I could hear.
You see, I feel like there is a very specific calling from the Lord on my life. And there is a very special man that will match that calling. If you know me, you know my heart on this issue.
I know this may sound crazy to you...it sounds a little crazy to me too. But I truly believe that this is what the Lord was screaming to me for an entire week and a half. So, I have backed off on my constant yearning to find a husband (which is not my job anyway) and will wait for the Lord to bring him to me.
I hope you can understand my ramblings on this subject. Lots of things have been running through my head on this matter and I have tried my best to organize them for you. Have you ever heard God speak to you about any particular area in your life?
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The lighting in this picture does not really give you an accurate picture of the coloring of the icing. The cookies were in the shape of Mississippi and outlined in Ole Miss colors (red and blue) because that is the groom's favorite team. The blue dot at the top of the cookie marks the groom's hometown. My mom had the idea to make a large cookie in order to write out the name of his hometown and the state name. I also added an Ole Miss logo to the large cookie to help identify the color palette.
I used a recipe from Bridget at Bake at 350 for lemon cut-out cookies and they tasted really good! I also used the lemon royal icing. You can find the recipe here.
Why cookies, you ask? The groom does not like cake and did not want a groom's cake. The bride found this Mississippi cookie cutter and then asked me to do the cookies instead. They were a big hit at the wedding reception, especially among the guests from Mississippi!
Friday, April 1, 2011
1. Take some sweetened coconut (you know, like the Baker's brand coconut that you get in the baking aisle...mine was Kroger brand because I liked the smaller flakes) and throw some on a baking pan. Make sure it is in a single layer. Put it in the oven and toast it. I don't really know what temperature you are supposed to toast coconut at, but I set the oven to 300 degrees, put it in there as it was preheating and it was pretty much done as soon as the oven got to the correct temperature. Just keep an eye on it and take it out when it turns light brown.
2. Pour some semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl and melt in the microwave. I think it took about 1 minute, 45 seconds on 60% power. Stir until smooth.
3. Get some jumbo marshmallows and insert some lollipop sticks in one end. Dip the marshmallows halfway in the chocolate and then immediately roll in the toasted coconut. Place on wax paper to set up.
This treat was a big hit at the meeting. The instructions make it seem like it takes a lot longer than it actually does. You should try it...I promise that you won't be disappointed. And, the best thing about this treat is that you can make as much or as little as you would like! Here is a picture of the final product:
If you decide to try this treat, leave me a comment and let me know how you liked them!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Probably the main thing I am learning right now is that God is FOR us. He roots for us. He is on our side. He wants us to pursue Him as He pursues us. He is strong for us, He is faithful to us, He is merciful and gracious to us. He will never leave us no matter how weak we are. I was reading in Psalm 56 and in verse 9 that phrase appears: "This I know, that God is for me." Amidst all the trouble in this world, God is gracious to us. He comforts us in the wake of attacks by our enemies. No matter what happens to us in this life and how beaten down we are by the world, we can take refuge in our great God who is always on our side.
I love it when I read a verse and a song comes to my mind! There is a song called "You are for Me" by Kari Jobe (my favorite praise and worship artist) and I sing it over and over. You can listen to the song here. It's so neat to read the words to worship songs and think about how the Lord could have been working in the lives of the songwriters to inspire the words to songs that come straight from His Word.
That's all for now. This writing is mainly about His whispers to me. I may write a bonus "What I'm Learning" entry this week to share more about all the screaming.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Lord has really been using this verse to get my attention lately. It made an appearance in my devotions this week and I logged on to my friend Kimberly Merida's blog, Be the Glory, and it was there too! I don't know about you, but whenever God really wants to get my attention about something, that same thing appears over and over (and over) in my life--in various places that are not at all connected with one another. (I think He does that part on purpose so I will know that He's talking to me!)
A lot of the time, I try to control my life. Do you ever do that? I tend to forget that I am not God. That I don't know all the answers. That He does not need to consult me before important changes and decisions take place in my life. Instead, I take matters into my own hands and try to fix things that don't need to be fixed or make things happen that aren't supposed to happen yet. In Psalm 50 (can you tell I've been reading through Psalms?) the Lord says, "If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine." He doesn't need me at all.
I even refer to it as "my" life. It's not. When I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I gave up all rights to this life. It is His to do with as He pleases. Sadly, I didn't let him have control of it for a long time. There are still areas that I struggle to completely hand over to Him.
My prayer has been for the Lord to break my pride, to help me to fully realize that my life is not my own, and that He would be truly exalted through it all!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Here is the before picture of the curtains with the copper grommets:
I got some Folk Art metallic paint (sterling silver) at Walmart and painted the grommets to match the rest of the hardware in my room! It only took a few minutes and was pretty simple to do. It does require a pretty steady hand so you don't get silver paint all over the fabric. I didn't tape off the grommets, but you could definitely do that if you are worried about getting paint everywhere. My new and improved curtains are definitely not perfect and there is a tiny rim of copper all around the grommet, but I figure that people aren't going to be inspecting my bedroom curtains very closely. And if they would like to, I will just pretend that the copper rim is supposed to be there!
Here are my curtains after two coats of paint:
You can barely see the copper rim around it!
I think I like the silver grommets better than the copper ones! What do you think?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
The Lord has done all those things for me this past week. He hears our cries and lifts us out of our despair. He sets us on solid ground, so that our feet are firmly planted in Him. The one thing that has brought the most amazement to me, though, is that He has given me a new song of praise to sing to Him. I can't begin to tell you how He has used His Word and others to encourage me in my wait over this past week! From emails to words of encouragement out of nowhere! He is truly an amazing God and I will delight in Him as I wait for the man He has set aside for me. My prayer is that others will see how He has worked through my life in this area and that it will encourage them and bring them to a relationship with Him!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I bought one of those spiral bound index card booklets at Walmart and pasted some scrapbook paper on the front in our favorite colors. That was it! It literally took me only a few minutes to make each one and they only cost $1.25 each (the cost of the booklet).
Here is the final product!
Shanna loved her booklet and I love mine as well! I carry mine around in my purse so that I can just get it out and look over it. And, bonus, all of my memory verses will be in one place so I can easily review them.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
For the most part, waiting stinks. I don't know anyone who really likes to wait. We live in a time where almost everything is available immediately so we really don't need to wait on anything. At all. In my wait in this area, I get frustrated, lonely, and sad. But the Lord is a great help in the process. He has our days in His hands and helps us keep our focus on Him as He shapes us into people who will honor and glorify Him with our lives.
You see, the Lord has my days laid out. There is a purpose for my wait. I may not know what it is right now, but later on when I look back on this time in my life, I will (hopefully) have a better understanding of the reasons for this season in my life. I forget this fact a lot of times because of my own impatience and selfish desires. Unfortunately, I will probably forget it again. (NOTE: It is not that my desire to be married is selfish...it is the fact that I want to be married right now.)
I am excited, though, to see how God brings this man into my life...it has got to be one crazy story! Above all, I pray that He is glorified through the story of my life. For today, though, I will do my best to 'be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.' (Psalm 37:7a)
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I am preparing to make some cookies for an upcoming wedding, so I immediately went to Bake at 350 and got some recipe ideas! I love Bridget's blog and all of the fun and creative cookies she makes!
This past weekend I made a test batch. I tested out her Lemon Cut-Out cookie recipe along with her Vanilla Almond Cut-Out recipe. She also has some great tips for cookie beginners on making royal icing and cookies for decorating.
I didn't want my test batch to go to waste, so I used the dough to make cookies for a mystery themed luncheon at church. I cut them out in the shape of an Easter egg, turned them upside down, and then drew a question mark on each of them with the icing. Half of the cookies were iced in red and the other half in black.
Looking back, I wish I would have covered the entire cookie in white first and then drew the question mark on top. But I was very impressed with the taste of the cookies! The coloring of the icing, on the other hand, still needs some work. I got a different brand of food coloring to test out, so hopefully things will improve for the next batch! Do you have any suggestions for me on coloring royal icing? I need the icing to be red and navy blue.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
A wreath made of onesies and socks! Perfect for a beautiful baby girl! And bonus, it was very simple to make! Here is what I did.
I took some onesies and rolled them like I would roll fabric flowers. First, I laid the onesie out flat on the table, front side up,
folded the sides to the middle,
then folded it again.
Then, I started at the neck end of the onesie and began rolling. I rolled it with the open end of the fold on top because I liked the way it ended when the flower was finished, but you can do whatever you like.
Then, I twisted the onesie (twist toward the center of the flower) and kept rolling until I ran out of material. I got about three twists for each of the flowers. Then I simply pinned the fabric at the end and I was finished! See? Easy! Here are some more pictures of the rest of the process:
And the finished flower!
After that, I took a styrofoam wreath form, wrapped it in pretty pink ribbon, and pinned the flowers to the wreath. I used four pins for each flower to help hold each one in place. After that, I used cute little socks that I bunched up to look like rosettes and filled in holes. Two pins were used for each of the socks.
To make the sock rosettes, I just unfolded the sock, ran both thumbs down to the toe, and then pulled everything together. The cuff of the sock holds the bunching in place and you can hide the pins in the middle of the socks when you attach them to the wreath. A close-up of the socks:
Here is another look at my finished present. I can't wait to give it to my friend at her shower!
I am linking this project to the following blogs:
Tatertots and Jello
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
God loves us so much that nothing can ever separate us from Him if we are His children, His followers. Nothing will ever take us away from Him. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Scripture, 1 John 4:10. "This is love, it is not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
This song, as much as it is about the healing power of God and His awesome love for us, also makes me think about why we need healing in the first place. We easily get warm fuzzies if we just concentrate on how God heals us and how much He loves us. We don't like to think, though, about why He had to heal us. We need healing because of our sin. If sin had never entered the world, there would be no sickness, no pain, no mourning. Unfortunately, it did. We are sinful people. God broke His own heart by sending Jesus, His only Son, into the world to die for sinners like me. It is truly by His grace that we can stand, that we can even get out of bed in the morning.
So with that, let us not forget to praise Him for His awesome healing power and his unending and unchanging love for us. But let us also not forget all the reasons we need that healing and that love. Let us consciously live in the shadow of His grace to us all. After all, He is all that matters.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Please ignore my reflection in the pictures. Here's what I did:
1. I bought a wooden letter "A" and a shadowbox frame from Hobby Lobby. (I stuck with my first name initial because I want to be able to still display it after I get married, and you know there is a good chance I won't marry someone with a last name that begins with "F")
2. I painted the letter black.
3. I hot glued the jewelry to the letter and then attached it to the back of the shadowbox.
I think it's a great way to display all of the pins and jewelry that were so dear to my grandmothers and aunt. Even though they aren't my style to wear, I love how they look when they are all put together! And it also jazzes up my decor! What could be better?!
Here are some closeups of the finished product along with what it looks like on my dresser next to my favorite picture of my brother:
PS: If you like what you see, follow my blog! Once I get to 25 followers, I will draw a name and give something away that I make especially for the winner. You could win!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Now, at least partly because of her, I feel the need to make people things. Holidays, special occasions, and random gifts are now all about the newest ideas and how I can put my own spin on them.
My latest project has been for a member of Refresh, my young women's group at church. We exchanged names and were responsible for sending our person a Valentine's card with some encouraging words enclosed. Of course, I wanted to make her something special, too. So last night, I worked with my friend Shanna to make something to make our "Refresh Valentine's Friends" feel loved this Valentine's Day. This is what we came up with:
I found this idea from a blog called Whipperberry (you can find the recipe here). This blog is great and has tons of ideas from event planning to recipes to gift ideas.
Shanna and I had a wonderful time making these treats for our friends. We cut them up, stuck them in a treat bag, and tied them up with a ribbon! Shanna made some cute notes to include with the treats with instructions on how to make the hot chocolate, too. And, of course, we had to include some yummy marshmallows! One of these days I'm going to learn how to make homemade marshmallows...that candy thermometer is pretty intimidating.
My Valentine's Friend loved her special treat! I even got a text message from her saying that the hot chocolate was yummy. That's why I love giving gifts...I love to help someone feel loved and appreciated.
The best part about this treat idea is that it makes TONS of treats! We had lots of leftovers to share with family and friends (and some to enjoy ourselves!). We even mailed some to a mutual friend.
How about you? Are you doing anything special for someone this Valentine's Day?
Okay, with my confession, I still need to tell you what I'm learning! Aren't you just chomping at the bit to find out?! In Sunday School this past week, we had a wonderful lesson on Hosea, which gets to me every time I read it. If you aren't familiar with the story, Hosea is called by God to marry a prostitute, someone he knew would be unfaithful to him. Later on in the story, Hosea had to go and buy his wife back from a sex slave trade. Can you imagine?! (That is the very, very short version of the story...there are lots more details I am leaving out)
Above all else, this story always reminds me of the faithfulness of God. He created us knowing the heartbreak that awaited Him. He chose to have a relationship with us, even though He knew we would be unfaithful to Him. He longs for closeness to us when He knows we are going to push Him away with our thoughts and actions. I have been doing just that. I have been unfaithful to Him with my thoughts and actions because I have not spent the necessary time investing in our relationship. He is faithful, though, when I am unfaithful.
Even though He remains faithful to me, this does not give me an excuse to remain unfaithful to Him. If I truly want to exemplify Christ through my life, I have to put in the work to know who He is and what He expects of me. I hope you will do the same. Remember He is faithful. He is constant. And He longs to be close to you.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
It went from this:
I made this dump truck for my cousin who will turn four on Monday. He is one of my favorite kids in the whole world! The truck is almost as tall as him! His birthday party has a construction theme and he got a preview of the truck last night as we were decorating for the party. He loves it!! I made 'rocks' out of wadded up newspaper, but he just calls it trash. That's okay by me...as long as he liked it. The back end also lifts up so he can dump the rocks, or trash, out of it. Anything became trash last night...even my shoes! It was a big hit!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This is "What I'm Learning Wednesday", a place for me to write about things that the Lord is teaching me. Please feel free to share what He is teaching you!
Have you ever been interrupted? I’m not simply talking about conversation. You’re going on about your life and something happens that changes everything. Changes the course of your life for a bit. Or maybe forever.
These interruptions can take on lots of different forms. An opportunity to help someone unexpectedly. A project that comes up with a quick deadline. Illness. A sudden death. Interruptions are both good and bad. But I would venture to say that they are all beneficial.
I read a tiny book by Priscilla Shirer called “The Interrupted Life” and it really brought to life some of the things I struggle with. I try to take ownership of my life when it is clearly not mine. I try to do things on my time instead of waiting on the Lord’s plans for me. I try to ‘do better’ before I believe I am fit for service to Him. I try to take shortcuts in my relationship with Him. And I forget that the interruptions are His way of getting my attention, His way of using me to accomplish His purposes, His way of speaking to me and through me.
Sometimes, I forget that interruptions are part of the journey. And you never know what the Lord is going to teach you through them. I am so thankful that He interrupted my life and accepted me as one of His children. I am more than willing to take His interruptions anytime!
Monday, January 31, 2011
UPDATE: My cardboard project is taking longer than anticipated, but I will post pictures as soon as I am finished. It has to be done by Saturday, though, so I will definitely post pictures sometime this week.
Is there anything fun and exciting that you are working on?
Sunday, January 30, 2011
My most recent cardboard creation was a pretty simple one, but cute nonetheless. I made a port-a-potty for a "County Fair" for the senior adult group at my church.
What can a few cardboard boxes become? Check back later to find out!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Do you ever feel like you have a theme going on in your life? I feel that way a lot of the time. God will teach me something over and over through my personal devotions as well as different people. I think it is so neat how He works all that out. It may be, though, that I am just stubborn and God has to beat me over the head with something before it actually sinks in. :)
Anyway, the theme for my life right now is ministering to others through personal experiences. Through tragedy, through weakness, through past sin, through joys. Would you like an example? Okay!
On January 11, 2006, my younger brother suddenly passed away. It was definitely a tragic situation for my family and me as we dealt with this loss. As people encouraged and supported me through the weeks and months that followed, one of the things that I was told over and over was that God would receive glory through my brother's death. Guess what? He did. I have heard many stories of lives that had been changed through his death. You know what, though? I am changed! The Lord plucked me up from that tragedy and got hold of my life. I have grown closer to God in the past five years than I ever imagined I could.
One of the neat things about any tragedy, though, is that there are two directions a person can run: to God or away from Him. I am so thankful that I found refuge in my great God. I don't want to even think about where I would be if I had made a different decision.
A couple of weeks ago marked the five year anniversary of his passing. In the two days following, two separate friends lost brothers and sisters in tragic accidents. I now have a unique connection to each of those friends that not everyone else does. I know how it feels to lose a younger sibling unexpectedly. I know the emotions associated with the grief that follows. And I know how it feels to make it to the other side of the tragedy. My prayer is that God was glorified through my interactions with each of those friends in the days that followed their tragedies.
The Lord truly works all things together for our good and His glory! I always miss my brother. But I am thankful that I know where he is and that I will see him again soon. Most of all, though, I am reminded of the changed person I am because of His death. Right after he died, I would have never imagined that I would be the subject of God's working in that type of situation.
Remember that God has allowed certain experiences into your life for a reason. You may not know why you have to go through this thing at the time, but chances are that you will one day encounter someone else who has had that same experience. Personal experiences are just that--personal. You can use something that you have gone through to help others in their time of need.
Now, it's your turn! Have you ever helped someone by drawing on a past experience?
Sunday, January 23, 2011
My cousin got a Kindle for Christmas, but she found that the covers sold for them were very expensive. I went to Hobby Lobby, found some super cute fabric that fit my cousin's personality, and went to work. I do not use patterns, mainly because I wouldn't know how to make something with them, so I made it up as I went along. I plan on making another one soon with a step by step tutorial so you can make one for yourself.
The camo is one of her favorite patterns, so I had to make it a part of her cover. Then, I glammed it up a little bit with the huge button and bow on the front. Here is a picture of the inside.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result. And, bonus, my cousin LOVED it. This 'pattern' could also be used to make a cover for an iPad (with adjusted measurements, of course).
Do you have any sewing projects for me to try?