Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Things on Friday

Random Thing One - I feel like I can't keep up with things lately.  I don't know about you, but trying to remember what meeting is when, which dr. appointment is where, how many forms are needed for this or that, what needs updating on the website, who I need to remind about something, and on and on - can get really confusing - and don't even start with me about what I'm going to make for dinner.  I need a better way of organizing my time, thoughts and plans.  I'm totally loving the fun home organizers that I've been seeing around the web and pinterest lately.  Last week Lish over at Imprintalish shared her home management binder system and totally inspired me.  I'm so doing this.

Random Thing Two - Confession time, I haven't been very good at keeping a baby book for Silas.  I have a few things written in his, but I can never remember to do it.  Instead of the usual baby book, I want to make something special for him that has lots of personal touches from us.  I came across this amazing idea from Carissa at Lowercase Letters - Scripture Scraps.  I absolutely love this.  To me, there is nothing more important we could give our son than an understanding of the love of Jesus.  I love how personal and special this is and the idea of reading it together every day is so sweet and meaningful.  What a wonderful idea right?  I'm so doing this too.

Random Thing Three - Since life is crazy sometimes -and now that you all know that I'm not that great at keeping up with a record of events or baby book for Silas- I still want to have a way to remember little things and steps along the way - without it being too complicated.  So I came across this cute little idea from Design's a daily journal.  This is so simple and so smart.  A card for each day of the year and a spot to jot down the little things that took place on that day.  This is so perfect for those of us who don't have a lot of time to journal but want a way to recall and remember our journey along the way.  I think if this little cutie sat on my nightstand or kitchen counter I would want to take a couple of minutes to write something down.  I guess it's all in the presentation for me.  Kind of like how yesterday Silas didn't want to eat his dinner until I presented his food on a special plate - all of a sudden his food became tasty.  This is the third thing that I'm so doing.

So I guess I have my work cut out for me.  What about you guys...have any sentimental, organizational projects that are on your to do list?  Share with us!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!
Linking up here:
friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

DIY- Monogrammed Canvas

I've got a super simple project to share with you today!  It pretty much involves gluing - and we can all do that.  I'm all about a monogram and I'm still on a mission to start filling in the blank wall space we have going on in our house right so this project was perfect since it fits both of those criteria.  So here are the supplies I started off with:
- canvas
- leftover fabric
- wooden letter
- fabric glue
- hot glue

As to where I got this awesome fabric, that would be the fun etsy fabric shop Sew Fine Fabric.  She has  lots of great fabrics to choose from in her shop and she has super fast shipping and great customer service - all things we love.  
As to my next step, I just wrapped the fabric around my canvas and used the fabric glue to secure it in place.  I just had to make sure my pattern was even and not looking all crazy and crooked.

I just folded in my corners - pretty much like wrapping a present.

Finally I grabbed my pre-painted wooden letter (I purchased it at Joanne's on sale for $2) and hot glued it right on my fabric covered canvas and.....voila!  A fun little piece to add to our bare walls.

As to where, I'm not sure yet.  I've got a couple more monogram art ideas running around in my head that I might be grouping together with this one so I'm kind of waiting it out. So right now it's just hanging out on my nightstand.

On a completely different note, I joined up with Framed Frosting's secret blogger swap and I'm really excited!! If you are a blogger and are interested in participating go check it out!  She is taking sign ups until May 11th.  Can't wait to share with you about my swap!

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Linking Up Here:


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Rosette Necklace

Its official, we have entered the busy season.  CPA's have tax season, Youth Pastors have summer season (graduation, summer camp, mission trips, vba and new year kick offs).  Don't get me wrong, we love it - its not a bad busy, its a fun busy and we love every minute of it and I can't wait to share some of the things that we experience throughout the summer.  But more involved projects have taken a back burner and I've been enjoying some crafty things as of late.  So today starts a crafty project parade of sorts that I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks, yay!  So let's get to it.

One of my favorite craft pastimes is jewelry making.  Most of you know I have a little etsy shop where I sell some of the things I make.  For me, sitting down, being creative and making something new is such a relaxing and mind clearing pastime.  If I'm feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed making jewelry is my go-to project.  It just works for me.  I'm actually surprised I'm just now sharing a jewelry craft with you since I enjoy it so much and frequently spend time doing it.

Most of you have seen these cute and sweet little rosette necklaces on the web, but I still wanted to share my take on it with you.  This is a really easy and simple jewelry project to start with, you need basic supplies and I actually made mine with leftover scraps and materials I already had, so this was a free project for me!  

Ok, so basic jewelry making tools - these three tools will get you through tons of jewelry making hours.  You don't necessarily need all of these for this necklace, it's doable without them, but if you are using chain then it makes it so much easier.

Here's a list of supplies you will need:
- scrap fabric (could also be an old t shirt you could cut up)
- felt (I used a scrap piece - you can find packs of 10 at the $1 store)
- hot glue gun
- scissors
-chain, ribbon, leather (I used chain from a necklace I no longer used)
- Round Nose Pliers/Flat-nose pliers (for attaching a clasp if needed)
- Wire Cutters (If you need to cut your chain)

So I'm starting out this tutorial with the assumption that you already know how to make a basic fabric Rosette - I have that much faith in your crafting abilities.  If you don't know how to make a rosette, it's pretty simple, it's basically twisting a strip of fabric and rolling it around, gluing as you go to make a rosette.  If you don't know how - here is a great tutorial!

So once you have made your rosette's - I made five for this necklace - you need to break out the felt and cut out a small circle for each. As you can see from the picture below, these are very precise circles - j/k.  I didn't care what my circles looked like, they just needed to be a little smaller than my rosette.  After you have your felt circles, hot glue them to the back of your fabric flowers.

Next, hot glue three of your rosettes right on a square of felt the way you would like to have them arranged.  I also glued a little between the rosettes to keep them together.

Then you need to bust out your chain.  I had a necklace I never wore anymore and decided to re-use that chain for this project (this is where wire cutters would come in handy since I needed to detach it from the old necklace and cut two equal strands).  If you don't have any available chain, its pretty inexpensive and available at any craft store these days, you can even find it at Walmart.  You could also use a different material instead of chain like ribbon or leather.  Just be creative, use what you have.

If you decide to buy chain, make sure you also purchase a clasp and jump ring to attach the clasp to the chain.  Here's a great tutorial for using jump rings (plus some more great basic jewelry techniques).

So after you have your two equal chain sections (or ribbon, etc), simply hot glue that chain to the back of the rosette and then to the felt - right next to your trio of previous glued-down rosettes.

Simple.  I did add a bit more glue to the back when I flipped it over to glue it down to the felt - just to make sure it was plenty sticky.

After you have glued everything down you are ready for the final step - cutting it out.  This is my least favorite part because you have to get in-between all of those flowers.  This is where a neutral colored felt piece would have been awesome, but like I said I just used scrap felt that I already had laying around. 

Now you are ready to put that cute little necklace on and take a picture of your dirty smugged mirror - this is a step, don't leave it out or else it won't turn out right.

So trying to take a picture of me wearing this necklace was a fail, I had some better ones but they were either crooked, dark or weird.  But, look at this sweet rosette necklace....don't you want to go make one now?

Thanks for joining stopping by today, more crafty things to come!

Linking Up Here:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blog Hop!

I'm linking up over at Live Laugh Rowe today for April's blog networking hop!  Kelly's blog has become one of my favorites and I have met some other really great bloggers through her monthly link up parties.  So take some time to link up your blog too and make some new friends!!  Make sure you check out Kelly's blog to get all of the rules and link up your homepage only!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Cleaning

If you've been around here for a little while you know one of the big goals of this Spring is to get the exterior of our house painted.  We're still debating color and still have a list to get through before we are totally ready to begin that big project.  I think the yucky yellow pollen has finally started to retreat so we are in the clear - so we are on to working down our list of to do's in preparation.  So one of the big things we wanted to get accomplished before starting the big paint job was cleaning out our shed.  Remember this little beauty?

Well, let's just say there was a ton of stuff in there when we moved in and the only thing we have done since moving in is fill it with even more stuff.  It had gotten a little out of hand....

Oh, and we have finally uncovered the mystery of the contents of the barrel.  Don't you want to know what was inside?

We will get back to that in a minute.  Silas enjoyed clean out day, he supervised in a chair nearby and drank sweet tea.

And played a little t-ball.

Ok, so here is what was inside....Cotton Batting.  Yes, an entire barrel full of it.  One of the reasons why we haven't touched the inside of this shed was because of the unknown contents of the barrel - aren't we funny.  I'm not going to say what we thought was in there.

We found lots of random goodies inside our shed, some useful, some not.  We found an old bathtub door, bags of concrete mix that were now solid concrete, a tent, some street signs and this hammock amongst other things.  We are totally putting this thing up - after it gets a major clean.

So I wish I had some nice clean shed photos to share with you but I just don't right now.  We discovered a busted floor once we got everything out so we have been working to get it repaired so we can get everything back in - fun stuff.  So hopefully we will have that all wrapped up and we will be on to the next item on our list - yard clean up.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When You Have Great Neighbors

So recently we were given a pretty sweet gift from our neighbor.  She is a new neighbor to us, has lived next door for just a few months and has been doing major renovations to the exterior of her home since moving in (including building a pool).  Our neighbor's house is one of the oldest in our town, over 100 years old and the previous owners did a marvelous job renovating the interior - but the exterior did need some help.  I'm hoping when she is all finished I can do a home tour and share it with all of you - you would love it, it's beautiful.  So anyway, because of the pool going in next door she wanted more privacy in the back and also had to follow code which requires at least a 6' fence.  Our yards are pretty close (It's amazing to me that they even had enough space to build a pool and have plenty of room for a patio and gazebo and so on.  Our backyard is totally fenced in with a chain link fence and because of the new fence that needed to be added by our neighbor she suggested that we tear out our old fence (and by we I mean her contractors) and she would build a new shared fence and even include a fancy wooden gate so we could enter from the front yard, Umm -I'm sure you know what our answer was - yes!!!  She refused any help and wanted to do it as a gift - just because - can we just say we have the best neighbors ever?

So here is the best picture I could find of our backyard fence before:

And here it now, looking all fancy with it's new wooden fence.  Really, how nice is this?

So another cool thing about this fence (as if it could get any better) was the fact that it added space to our backyard.  For some reason whoever installed the old chain link fence cut off our backyard by almost 10'.  If you look at the picture below you can see where our old fence sat.  So now we have a little more space for Silas to play in the back - we are thrilled.

We have so much enjoyed hanging out in our new private backyard and are completely humbled by the sweet and gracious gift from our new neighbor.  I don't know if I could ever bake enough cookies but honestly I don't think she would want me to.

Last night in bible study we were talking about the love of Jesus and how extravagant and lavish it is.  This fence kind of reminds me of that.  When Jesus gives - he gives extravagantly, he goes over and beyond - even giving us His life.   His gifts are usually undeserved, they are simply pure grace. Over the past few weeks I have really been asking myself a question:  Do I love extravagantly the way Jesus does?  If we are called to love the way God does then do I go over, above and beyond the way I should?  Who do I need to love extravagantly this week?  God's love sure is a crazy love and it challenges us to the core. I am so thankful for a God that gives and loves us beyond anything we can comprehend - His love is extravagant.

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
   your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
   find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
   you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light. Psalm 36:5-9

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Matthew 10:30

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Clothing Swap How-To

Ok, so this is the last day I will post about the clothing swap, I promise -but can't you tell that we enjoyed it so much?  As fun as it was, it was a lot of work.  So I wanted to just share a little bit about how everything came together in case anyone is thinking of hosting a clothing swap of their own in the future. 

So in case you don't know how a clothing swap works, participants bring in unwanted clothing (but still in good condition) to swap with other participants.  Now, we have a fairly large student ministry and I knew there would be some students who would not be able to bring in anything - so I made it clear in the beginning that everyone was invited and could participate no matter if you brought in clothing or not.  For me, I thought this was a ministry to others in a lot of ways - one of them being a great way for girls to give what they have to others who don't have as much.

Now, trying to get teenage girls to bring in anything ahead of time is almost impossible - but was doable.  We received most of the clothing a few days before hand and then several donations the day of (some even minutes before we started) so it was important to be organized and to have people there who know what the plan is.  We had organized and sorted sections of clothing so we could easily sort through a big bag as it was brought to us.

Some needed items for a clothing swap: 
1.  Clothing Racks (not completely necessary but it was really nice with items like dresses).  We found a couple of really cheap ones at Target (for $9.99) - and they were cheaply made but served their purpose.  We also borrowed some clothing racks from another ministry at our church.  
2.  Hangers - we asked for donations and got a ton, someone also clued me in on freecycle, which is a local online recycling community (there seems to be lots of these all over the US)
3.  Tables - pretty obvious
4. Shopping Bags - we just asked our adult leaders if they had any to donate, we ended up getting a ton of really nice ones with the handles 
5.  Lint Roller - there were just a few items that needed a little roll
6. Some sort of dressing rooms (we just used the girls restrooms since it had plenty of space and mirrors).

Other items that would help:
1.  Table Cloths - just to make things pretty (we just used plastic ones that we saved from a previous event, so no cost there).
2.  Clothing pins (to help pin up clothing items like skirts to racks)
3.  We also made signs, really just for fun and for the girls to quickly find what they were looking for

It's important too to remember that not all clothing will be taken so you need to have a charity or ministry in mind that you want to donate the remaining clothing to.

Another thing we did was add a check out table.  Mainly for us to count items, bag the clothing for the girls and also to break the girls up into their groups for the discussion sessions.  We gave them each a "receipt" or ticket that had a group number on it - much easier than trying to get them back together and divide them up.

After all of the swapping was completed the girls broke up into their groups where they were lead in different discussions based on modesty.  We talked about outward modesty, inward modesty and how God makes old things new.  The girls talked together, prayed together and had time to reflect and spend quiet time with God - the most important part of the night.

So that was our clothing swap journey - it was well worth all of the work and I do think we will do it again.  Thank so much for taking this little journey with us the past couple of days!