Tuesday, 13 November 2012

now playing...

Happy Tuesday, friends!
Today I am knocking out a list of sewing projects (loads of nursing covers for the North Carolina shop I sell to), running errands, and drinking a large quantity of Chocolate Monkey Rooibus tea (think of it as a hot tea version of Ben & Jerry's "Chunky Monkey", I know, it's my favorite flavor too). This fabulous song, which has already been played a number of times, was discovered via pandora radio a few weeks ago and I've been enjoying it ever since; good tune and lyrics make for a wonderful combination. Also, slightly on the back burner, I'm getting a few things together for a small get together celebrating twenty-something years of this curly head; yes indeed, a birthday is just around the corner (like, next week)! More on that later, but if you want to plan ahead, check out my pinterest for gift ideas, if you want...

Monday, 12 November 2012

good ol' philly

And they're off! My parent's are happily enjoying Philadelphia...without us girls. The benefits of some of my Dad's business trips is that my Mom is able to go with him, tagging along for dinner and enjoying the sights and sounds of wherever he is; this time it is Philadelphia but in the past they've been able to enjoy the English countryside, Pittsburgh, and the fabulous California. We do our best not to be jealous. While they're gone, my sisters and I have been able to take a wee visit to my sister and her family as well as enjoying a marvelous Pajama Day today (well timed, considering our schedule of late). For those who don't know, Pajama Day was founded by our dear friend from Dubai, Jackie Neal. It comes quite randomly throughout the year but usually after a busy few weeks/months; the participants are required to wear pajamas or some sort of comfortable loungewear, and Chick Food is involved (smoothies, salads, raw food of all kinds, think clean and light). A series of films is typically watched (while knitting and/or ironing), ranging from tv shows to epic dramas; meals are eaten at odd hours and music is played quite loudly (normal for us around here). For this Pajama Day we'll enjoy any combination of The Last of the Mohican's, Phantom of the Opera, Le Hérisson, Dial M for Murder, and/or The Devil Wears Prada. Now you know what Pajama Day is, so go ahead, enjoy one sometime!
As far as dinner goes, we're planning on a pumpkin smoothie, veggie scramble, and hot tea. Yep, we're girls.
And lest you think loungewear is the only attire for this week, know that a teux deux list is made! I'm planning to get lots of sewing and knitting done and perhaps some organizing to my ever disarrayed craft closet!

The very fallish breeze and cheerfully chilly temperatures certainly brought a refreshing change to the recent balmy conditions around here! Totally inspired me to wash and clean out my car and we'll probably be eating dinner outside, under the twinkly lights (listening to this playlist would add to the ambiance, I think). Today the windows have been flung open and we're doing our best to spend as much time outside as possible~
I just love this time of year.

The above photo, shows them enjoying Leeds, England last Spring; the trip coincided with their anniversary, so all parties were quite pleased. Tea was enjoyed by all and the happy couple even brought back some lovely souvenirs.  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

my darling children

Hello there, may I introduce you to "my" new children? There are only four of them in this photo, the other three were home at the time, but never fear, they'll make their blogging presence in due course. I present to you (from left to right) Arden (5), Christiana (8), Shiloah (12), and Robert (2) or Michael Darling. Affectionately referred to as such because of the way Robert reminds me of the smallest Darling child in Peter Pan; he also speaks in a British accent from time to time.

One morning, on the way to Trader Joe's/HEB...

Michael Darling (Robert): "Miss Elena, can we drive your other car? I like it more better..."

Nanny (me): "Well, Robert, my Mom needed to drive the prius today so we switched cars, don't you like this one?"

Michael Darling: "No, I like the white car more better."

Nanny: "But Robert, this one has a sun roof!! Don't you think that makes this car way better?!"

Michael Darling: "I still like the other one"

One fine day before lunch...
 Nanny (me): said in a British accent "Oh, Robert Darling, you musn't have your cars on the table! We're eating lunch, sir, and it wouldn't do to have them there; you really must take them off!"

Michael Darling (Robert): also said in British accent "But I want the cars on the table!"

At last, I have someone who'll converse with me in foreign accents that we don't really have.

We all have quite a merry time together. Our weekly routine is simple but it works well for us; I arrive around nine in the morning, carry off a few Darlings with me to the grocery store for the weeks groceries, coming home for lunch, then I'll make dinner and put a few for naps. Trader Joe's is definitely my new hangout, it's really a marvelous place; lots of samples, interesting chocolate combinations (my current loves being the 70% chocolate with toffee, walnuts, and pecans or the 50% with salted almonds. I know, right?!) and friendly staff make for a very pleasant shopping stop! In my experience, one generally gains more samples, coupons, and friendly gestures when shopping with children; particularly children who speak with foreign accents. Ah, the stories one has to tell when caring for children!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

changing seasons

At least, this week it is. This morning, as I was walking home from the voting booths (voted!), a delightful chill was being carried through the trees and propelled by the cars speeding past, so much so that I felt the need for a bit of lightweight wool around the neck. Sometimes it's the simple things, I tell you. Walking in the chilly air with a scarf, walking through the rain (pouring or misting) and being among the sand and sea are things that I consider to be on the "sweet and simple list". They just come naturally and often don't last terribly long, but they're a part of the things one remembers about a day or vacation.
Ah, to be back by the sea...

So, my fall swing of wedding planning has come to a close and I must confess to be a mixture of sadness that the planning/coordinating is over (for now) and contentedness that sweet friends are married; there is certainly a satisfaction of looking back at a job well done, reviewing what I learned and making notes of what to do next time. I've had many a person ask me what I'll be doing now that these weddings are over and quite honestly, I'm looking forward to getting back to "home life". Since September, I've had a few things on hold and how is the time to get back to them. As usual, I'll start with a teux deux list and will start working to knock it out! A major thing that's been lovingly placed on the back burner is my dear etsy shop, I don't even remember when I put it on vacation but it's time to break out the knitting needles and sewing things again. I'd love to focus on selling to brick-and-mortar shops around Houston, Austin, North Carolina, and New York (it certainly helps to have friends in different parts of the country!). Working with people is something that I really enjoy and is a factor that I have sorely missed by selling primarily on etsy, more on that thought later. :)
Also, now that I'm not quite so busy, I have more time to be nannying! In the past month or so, I've had the pleasure to begin regularly nannying for a family from my church, and there have been so many fun experiences thus far! Currently there are seven children in the family and as the top three children are older and self-sufficient, I mostly work with the younger four.
Robert (age 2, whom I refer to as "Michael Darling") is my new little buddy and we do have a grand time together; he's a marvelous grocery shopping buddy and has a great love for my humming car (because it really is the car that loves to have fun); HEB and Trader Joe's are our current hangout places. (I just. love. Trader Joe's.) Be expecting photos of "my" new seven children soon. It's all a change of pace considering the schedule I've been keeping the past three months but I generally consider change to be a beautiful thing; at the very least, it's wonderful for the creative mind to have a new schedule every now and again.

But first, I must sort through all of the wedding leftovers; runaway receipts and lists must be tracked, wedding flower urns to be returned, and emails to be sent. After that, I'm very much looking forward to filling up the weeks with nannying, sewing, knitting, running (my new found exercise love), and-hopefully-more estate sale finds (I'm always on the hunt for linens, eclectic plates, and glass jars!).  November begins my very favorite time of year (in case it's slipped your notice), there are so many things I love about the chilly months not only because they're chilly but because of the things that November/December/January bring. Birthdays, hot apple cider, and dinner outside under white twinkly lights are just a few of the things that make this time of year special to me.

What about you? How does your November look?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

now playing...


For this weeks most played song, I present you guessed it, Oh Henry from the Civil Wars.
Enjoy while sipping coffee, flipping pancakes, or spray painting pine cones (it's a wedding planning thing).

p.s. in other news, I'll be off this weekend planning, coordinating, and decorating another wedding!
So, if you notice a pause, just know it's because I'm arranging flowers, setting up ceremony decorations, or generally scurrying around. :)
Have a beautiful weekend.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

of the civil wars

There are few bands that I really enjoy. While I consider myself to have an eclectic taste in music, there are only a handful that I can say that I enjoy just about all of their songs. The Civil Wars is on that wee list.
At their concert a few Saturdays ago in the weird, wonderful Austin Texas, they played almost all of my favorite songs and a few new ones. I loved hearing them live, and while I'm a bit petite in stature to really enjoy "the concert experience" (can't. see. anything.) I did enjoy the evening; next time I'll have to go with a tall, unafraid concert buddy. ;) Perhaps my favorite new song they played was Same Old, Same Old~ truly enjoyed this one and am looking forward to a recording available for purchase!

What sort of music do you enjoy? Let me know! I'm always up for expanding my musical horizon.

//photo taken by my fabulous concert buddy and seester, Mica. Edited by Yours Truly.

Monday, 29 October 2012

oh, so grateful

"gratitude turns what we have into enough"

// for sisters, with whom one can bear burdens, share joys, and the bizarre facts of life
// the opportunity to hear Thabiti Anyabwile speak on church membership. so. excellent. (here's a sample from another conference)
// braving the frigid, early morning temperatures with tall, willowy, fellow wedding planning friend. she's amazing and keeps me running when I feel like walking.
// hot tea on cold days
// cold days
// delightful, possible plans of traveling
// white lights strung across the driveway and dinners underneath them
// my sweet Dad who strung said lights across the driveway
// busy schedules and the work they include
// a car that was so graciously gifted to me
// alfred, lord tennyson
// early mornings

Monday, 1 October 2012

hello october// breathe

Home again from The North Carolinian wedding. It was marvelous.
I don't know what I miss more, the sand and sea, the glorious weather, the foods, relaxing views, or the dear friends! The time there was truly a sweet blessing.
If there was a perfect wedding to begin my solo coordinating venture, this was certainly it. The weather wonderfully cooperated with the outdoor wedding, the salty wind kindly swept away ever bug/annoying mosquito and brought in a delightfully cool atmosphere. Champagne toasts and delicious foods followed the sweet, tearful ceremony (yes, it was their first kiss!), and after all of that, the dancing! I must confess that while I have little experience, I love dancing. It's a fabulous addition to any gathering and so much fun when there are willing, unafraid partners. The Bride and Groom rowed away for their wedding exit and fireworks were added to the farewells (the Bride's brother had a lovingly developed plan for their getaway :)
From start to finish, this little bee was quite wonderfully busy! I don't actually remember eating much more than eggs and orange juice in the morning, but then again I don't really remember having an appetite---much too many things to do and see! One of the many things that I realized over the weekend was the "Brain to Paper" aspect; once something was written down, it completely left my head! It's something that can be extremely helpful and so very dangerous at the same time. It remedy the latter, I developed the Sticky Note System; conveniently located on the inside of my wedding binder/brain, I keep all of the urgent, wildly important items that weren't already printed or need my attention. And they're hot pink, which to me, is pretty cool and adds to the "important" factor.
Lest you think I was running around the entire time like a chicken with it's head cut off which I was, I must tell you about one of my favorite times during the wedding day.
The backyard looked just like the end scene from Father of the Bride (empty wine glasses abandoned on empty tables, cake bits littered, chairs moved about, a space once filled with people now bare), only a handful of guests stayed behind for the after party (because nearly every party has an after party); only the necessary amount of chairs situated in a relaxed circle, I filled everyone's glass, some with white, some with red, and some with something bubbly. A light wind was in the air, breezing just enough to blow this curly hair about in a gentle way. There really is something about sitting down with a glass of something at the end of a crazy, busy day. The Father of the Bride sat down with his guitar and serenaded us after-party guests with whatever songs came to mind (his rendition of this wonderful song was probably my favorite of the ones he sang that evening); some danced but the majority of us sank into our chairs and sweaters, drinking in the delightfully relaxing night. It was beautiful. After the guests from that after-party left, Mirium (Bride's cousin), Evelyn (close family friend), and I enjoyed a pot of tea; party animals, I tell you.
Perhaps is was the busyness of the day that made the after-party enjoyable and relaxing in a sweet way.

There is so much more I'd like to share about the trip/wedding but this was probably one of the memories I treasure (people person alert!!). More pictures and memories will come, I'm sure!

This week, I'm heading off for the second wedding in my wedding planning trio! You already know about Emily, a very dear friend and the second Bride for this year. It's going to be a marvelous wedding, scottish theme (!!!) and will be filled to the brim with new friends, old friends, delicious food, and a beautiful, God-honoring ceremony, what more can one ask for?

So, should you wonder this week (or in the weeks to come) why this space is a wee quiet, well, just know it's because beautiful people are getting married, and I'm so excited to be a part of their special day.

Monday, 10 September 2012

happy monday// country thoughts

This past month I've had the delightful, wonderful privilege of spending time with friends in the country.
Country as in: wide spaces, uninterrupted skyline, yummy food cooked on an open flame, cows and longhorns, shooting at tree stumps, "sunburns" that turn into tans, and horseback riding. 
(did I mention I totally love this aspect? Well, it's a true story.)
I have so appreciated it all and have carefully tucked the memories away, 
thinking about them as I'm navigating the crazy traffic. :) 
So, when I came across this pin on pinterest, I thought it timely to post and share with you.
For those of us who live in suburbia, with our close quarters and domesticated animals, we can easily forget about the beauty of nature untouched, sans sidewalks and paved trails. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the hustle, bustle of people and making my way around a crowded place (this takes skills, acquired by time and experience), I also love the break that a long day in the country brings. In my experience, it has truly been a reminder of the natural beauty in God's creation, very inspiring.
So, should you ever get a chance to spend the day in pastures and work boots, take it; 
you probably will not regret it. :)

In other news, I've just come across this song recently and find it quite nice. Besides have an awesome title, it has an easy and relaxed sound, perfect for the daily background.


Friday, 7 September 2012

hello september// grateful

Isn't it grand to be getting into the Fall months? As a knitter and cold weather lover, this is my favorite time my year (if only it would get chilly enough to break out the cardigans and cowls!!).
You already know this, but my wedding planning schedule has filled nicely! This month marks the beginning of my wedding related activities and travels, and I am so excited about what they all will bring. I'm so grateful to be looking at a month filled with wedding details, good conversations that go late into the night, boating in the sound, swimming and walks on the beach, waking to the sound of the water, breathing in the salty air---okay, I'll stop with the ocean themed sentence now, but you get the idea. :)

What does September bring for you?

As I think through August and all that has happened since last months post, I'm so grateful for

..... sweet times of fellowship
..... the unknowns and questions in life that keep me on my knees in prayer
..... sisters, who are also my very best friends
..... horseback riding! It has officially been added to my list of relaxing things to do (along with vacuuming,                rearranging furniture, putting fresh sheets on a bed, and going for long walks, just saying)
..... gaining a new friend
..... sweet friends who get engaged and ask me to help with their weddings
..... my girlfriend, who is almost like a sister, and the friendship we share
..... tall friend who lovingly places me into her heart and pocket, taking me to visit exciting, new places
..... new babies
..... wise counsel from dear friends who are practically family
..... the Neal's (totally miss them!)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

life// update and weddings

Aren't weddings beautiful? I just love every aspect about them, at least the aspects I've experienced so far!
As I've mentioned before, there are a few weddings I'm working on this Fall, allow me to use them as the reason for my blogging absence. Truly, they and just life in general has kept me quite busy lately.
In just a few short weeks, I'll be flying off to a beautiful home, right on the Bogue Sound for the wedding of my very much in love friends, Bruce and Maria. There are so many things I'm looking forward to, not the least of which waking up to the sound of the water every morning (I'm smiling and relaxed just thinking about it!). BUT before I go, there are the delightful details that need to be decided for the October wedding my dear friends (who are also very much in love), Nathan and Emily. Their wedding is a little more than a week after I get back from North Carolina, then there's a November wedding but that's not for a while yet. ; ) Funny enough, I love life being full like this and am very blessed.
Just today I realized (with the help of a friend) that I'm a project driven person, go figure! Things like time management come very easily when I have a timeline/deadline; plans suddenly become organized and lists practically make themselves! Not to say that I shouldn't work on managing my time when I don't have a deadline, rather that it was enlightening for me to recognize this trait. I really do work well when under a time pressure! Any tips from my fellow Project Driven readers? I'd love to know your thoughts. : )

So, I know what you're wondering, just where did I get that quietly beautiful photo of a newly married couple? It's from this Kenny & Ervina// Vintage Backyard Wedding, photographed by the talented Tori Watson! Because of my high interest in weddings and planning them, I've made a habit of looking through different wedding photographers blogs and the weddings they photograph, pinterest is handy too. It's a great way for me to see a wide variety of weddings (everything from high and classy to diy vintage!) and gather ideas, all without leaving my cozy nook at home! Needless to say, I've seen quite a lot of weddings, but have only come across a few that capture my personal taste when it comes to my own someday, Lord willing wedding. {Now} I feel a need to interject here that I honestly don't have anything set in stone for my future, someday wedding; there really are no definite plans in place or things I *have* to have. However, I still have a personal taste when it comes to being wed. : ) This wedding is one of those that I really love. For so many different reasons, I can just see myself and Mr. Someday, Lord willing doing; the vintage and handmade touches as well as the light, clean feel, all the while staying personal and cheerful. I could go on but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

g.k. chesterton, on adventures

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."
~ G. K. Chesterton ~

I love traveling, 
and today, I'm quite missing Germany. This picture was taken in one of the quaint streets of our six-month home in Northern Germany. We had such great experiences there; no car, no telephone, and bare minimum computer access; lots of excellent food, long walks, bike rides, and exploring Europe by train.
Pretzels, pastries that were less sweet than they looked, and the ever-surprising mineral water; learning the language, riding tour buses, and getting stuck in foreign bathrooms. Ah, memories. :)

Monday, 20 August 2012

currently playing...

Music is a beautiful thing.
Whether it's classical, folksy artsy, or big band, music does much for the mind. I love having the ability to create a little ambiance while crafting, cleaning, existing, or simply talking with company.
Currently I have these songs stuck on repeat (thanks to grooveshark and youtube!), so get your groove on and enjoy. : )

number one// I Will Wait by the fabulous Mumford & Sons (because I really just love Mumford & Sons)

number two// Only You by Sinead O'Connor (because the music from this film is wonderful and I get teary-eyed every time I watch it!)

number three// Printemps by Coeur de Pirate (because after my one semester of French, I have this thing for French music ; )

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

alfred, lord tennyson on hope

I just love poetry and particularly poetry by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering 'it will be happier'...

Thursday, 9 August 2012

a wedding planning week

So, as you already know, I have a wonderful interest in wedding planning and day of coordinating.
Weddings are marvelous things and I love nearly every aspect about them; from the planning stages of choosing vendors, venues, colors, themes, and decor to the day of preparations and jitters. It's a neat way to become intimately involved in a bride's Big Day, allowing them to focus on the beautiful task at hand (getting married!), while I make sure all of the other things fall into place. It's really a sweet job.

This Fall I have the privilege of working with three weddings in various capacities, the biggest job being an assistant planner for a November wedding. One of the many great advantages to this position, is that you can still get work done even though you have a silly sinus infection (which means the tissue box is my new friend and I have abandoned my conviction about NOT blowing one's nose in public).So, for the next week or so, I will be focusing on gathering inspirations from the felicity collective (LOVE pinterest), making lots of lists, and emailing various persons. It's grand and I love doing it. : )

In other news, I am also planning this month's, yes, you can! installment, any burning suggestions? I have a few ideas in mind and just need to settle on one and do it. Ah, decisions, decisions!


Saturday, 4 August 2012

hello august// grateful

Well, I wouldn't have thought I would say this but summer has really flown by quickly! As many of you know, the summer heat isn't really my favorite (I'd wear this all of the time if I could : ), however, this summer has proved to be very full of blessings, most recently our dear friends have come back from Dubai for a visit and we have so enjoyed their stay here.
As my youngest sister is sixteen, we miss having little ones to chase around, read books aloud to, and watch them do funny things. We are now getting our fill, let me tell you! I love going places with the kids and reading books to them, trips to the swimming pool have also been frequent, and there is no end to the songs we sing and games being played. Our home is very sweet with Little People in it. :)

In light of all of these blessings, I thought is timely to list the things I'm so grateful for...

...small and great evidences of God's faithfulness in the "everyday" life
...His mercies which are new every morning
...happily engaged friends (!!!)
...said happily engaged friends who have allowed me to be a part of their weddings this Fall
...tall glasses of home brewed kombucha (infused with berries, lemons, and ginger, thanks very much!)
...encouraging conversations with my best friends (sentimental warning: my sisters!)
...deep red gladiolas that brighten the living room
...quoting hilarious lines from hilarious movies (which really are better when you quote them)
...good conversations that go late into the night
...gun ranges
...newly found kindred spirits
...God's grace :)

What are YOU grateful for?

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

random tuesday facts

So, I've been officially inspired by the ever-creative Promise Tangeman to share with you 
a bit about myself, random style. Prepare to be amazed!

//After battling one too many bouts of childhood asthma, my parents took me out of the quaint halls of first grade and homeschooled my three sisters and I (yes, we're all very well socially-adapted).

//I've gone on a three-month smoothie diet and never got tired of it.

//My sisters are my best friends.

//When we were little and still shared a room, my sister and I would empty our closets and turn them into "apartments", visit each other, and talk about "our children"; her name was Carys and my name was Jenny.

//I'm a glass half full, people loving person.

//My knees creak ALL of the time (never able to sneak up the stairs).

//I love learning about other cultures, languages, and accents; it is a habit of mine to randomly speak with a foreign/domestic accent.

//When I was but a wee lass, I wanted to be an actress on the stage, and when I see any production on the stage or a good film I go back to my times on the stage (three showings of Beauty and the Beast and one Adventures in Odyssey ) and can still smell the musty scent of the curtains.

//Love foreign films (Life is Beautiful is a personal favorite), subtitles don't bother me; as a wee lass, my favorite movies were Pocohantus and Beauty and the Beast.

//I love wedding planning.

//I love people watching.

//Currently, I'm really liking folks/artsy music, like this.

Now it's time for YOU to share your random facts, and let me know you did, I'd love to read them!

Monday, 30 July 2012

academy 31

{meet the ladies}
"Service enhanced by training. Knowledge tempered by humility. Strength refined by grace." 

Attention high school age girls! There's an excellent opportunity for you to expand and broaden your practical skills and knowledge approaching!
Academy 31 is a two week girls camp dedicated to teaching high school age girls practical and useful skills as well as encouraging them in the Christian Walk. For those who are looking for inspiration or simply need more education in the practical skills of life, this camp is tailored for you.

Participants will learn more about a wide variety of topics including baking, calligraphy, business, emergency auto care (fabulous to know!), personal safety, photography, cake decorating, fire arm safety, and much more. These Girls have thought of just about every important topic for we girls to learn.

Read here for all of the important details, and be sure you visit the Academy 31 site for more information!

All photos were used by gracious permission from the kind Ladies at Academy 31

Friday, 20 July 2012

yes, you can// mercury mirror glass

"yes, you can!" is the first in a series of monthly DIY installments, yes, ladies and gents, the world of DIY and tutorials is coming to this blog! Each month I will be posting photos, steps, and tips on a DIY project that I've completed (this month it's mercury mirror glass, next month could be anything!), but before I go on I have a few questions: what do you want to DIY? Is there something you've been wanting to try but haven't? Let me know and I'll add it to the list, I'd love to hear what you have in mind.
Now, on to the steps!

As usual, I came across this DIY on pinterest and was so excited about trying it out! After looking at a few tutorials I decided to follow this one and am very happy with the results!
First, I spent a few weeks cultivating and cleaning some clear glass jars and bottles (kombucha, jam, jam, and jam :)

Following the instructions, I filled a spray bottle with equalish (I eyeballed this one) parts of vinegar and water, though I have heard that using plain water works well~ let me know if you try it! Also, I got a handy coupon and purchased the Krylon Looking Glass Spray from my local craft store; next time I think I'll grab two bottles so I can create another batch in the future.
side note: While looking for this spray, I got extremely super totally very distracted by all of the different spray paints and found that I just might need to add the glitter spray, chalkboard paint spray, and gold spray to my new "Spray Paint Wishlist". Ahem, anyways.

Working semi-quickly, I misted each glass with a layer of the water/vinegar mixture then followed with the Looking Glass spray; let this dry for a good 2-3 minutes, then dap with a cloth or paper towel and repeat three to four times. //tip: Give this step time to dry before you proceed with more layers, otherwise you'll end up wiping away everything//

Aaaand you're done! Once mine dried I wrapped some with muslin ribbon, lace, and yarn and they now sit as a collection on my dresser (photo to come!), for now anyways.
In the future I plan to use these for table centerpieces, adding tealights and some greenery, and there are so many more ways you could use them!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

get it done

Today I was reminded by this wonderfully open post that life is so much more than what you see in a blog post. As I read through my list of favorite blogs, it's easy for me to forget that the lives of the blogger goes beyond what is shared online. Blogs are interesting that way, on the one hand it's a fabulous way to keep up with family and friends (new and not so new), learn new things, become inspired, and express a bit about who you are, on the other hand it's the very nature of a blog to present a small snapshot of someone's life, primarily what the writer wants you to see and in the way he wants you to see it. 
There is a blog that I regularly read about a mumsy of seven living in the beautiful North Eastern part of the US; she knits her own handspun wool, makes laundry detergent, wears her own handknit/sewn items all year-round, and has wine and candlelit dinners every night (ha!). What one doesn't see it the sink full of dishes, mopey faces, or spilled milk; one could quite assume that life happens exactly like it looks on their blog.But it doesn't, praise the Lord! How does sanctification happen but
for things like spilled milk, frazzled tears, and broken china (another story for another time)?

All of that to say that this morning I skipped the Thursday morning yoga routine on account of my "let's do this!" list, while I made excellent progress on the painted name signs yesterday there are still two bunches of daisies that need to be embroidered; we are expecting some dear-practically-family friends for a visit (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so necessary preparations must be made, which are not burdensome, it just takes time. Additionally I have occasion to make some embroidered notecards as well as some baked goods for tomorrow. Earlier this morning I was writing a post about changes I'll be making to my shop but was distracted by...I don't even remember what! So, here is my post reminding you that I too have busy days; days when I wonder if I'll be able to get everything done, but praise God, through my long "let's do this!" list and cluttered spaces I can see that this is all to stretch and grow me; and I can be so very grateful for the situations that keep me in prayer. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are some dirty dishes that need to be done.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

well, hi there

My, my, how time does fly! The past nineteen days have been filled with

a visit from a Sweet, Engaged Friend (pictured below)// Maria and I have been letter writing for some time and, as she lives quite a few states away, we don't see each other as often as we'd like, so it was a delightful treat when she came and spent a few days at mi casa (that's "my home" for you non-Spanish speakers). I just have to smile when I think of our letters this time last year; she hadn't met Her Bruce yet and we were probably going on about our lives and what we were thinking at the time, now she's preparing for a September wedding~ this is such a beautiful time of life. :)

time spent with my Amazing Sister and her Brood// Unfortunately, there is rarely a time when I don't miss my Dear Sister (today especially!), so the time we spend together is greatly treasured, and we do have a grand time. I especially treasure two traditions we share when she visits: first, grocery shopping---I love it! She's so speedy fast, breezing through the store and stuffing items in the buggy; we have some of the best times and conversations while waiting for our order at the cheese counter. The second would have to be our evening/ night routine; tall glass of homebrewed kombucha, a games of cards, popcorn, perhaps a hilarious film, and lots of laughing. It's a fabulous way to unwind and relax after a full day.

lots of canvas painting// A Sweet Family from my church has kindly commissioned me to paint name signs for their seven children (two down, five more to go!), and while I've spent lots of time decorating, embroidering, and painting, I have loved having this opportunity to pray for them and think about the blessing it has been to know this family!

knitting a hat for my Traveling Dad// Recently he flew across the pond to Wales for a business trip; I LOVE it when he travels to the UK, it's just marvelous. I love researching and mapping out places for him to see and experience, it's nearly as wonderful as traveling there myself someday. :) This was his first time to go to Wales for business and I must say that I was instantly charmed by my virtual tour of this truly British place; it has made it to my "I'd Really Love to Go There Someday" list.

staying up a wee late reading,// I confess, it's been QUITE some time since I've made it a priority to read; apparently I've developed a multi-tasking mind and I only make something important if I can do three other things at the same time! Lately I've come to see the danger in this and am working to make time for the simple things in life, like reading. The WWII era is perhaps my favorite in history; I love studying and readying most everything about it; a few years ago, I made an intense study of the holocaust, readying about different aspects and from various viewpoints, stopping only because reading about the Jewish children struck too close to home as it brought to mind my delightful nieces and nephew, I can only imagine how it must have been.

the happily engaged couple

All of that to say, 
I've been a wee busy,
and since my unannounced blogging break, I'm excited to start writing in this space again! I've started reading some new blogs and rediscovering some old ones and I'm officially inspired to make some wonderful changes to my shop and this blog. So, stay tuned and get ready for the ever changing adventure.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

of projects great and small// a whimsical post

That has been my motto the past few months.
Currently on the "project plate" I have a set of three canvas name signs for a sweet family at my church; I've finished the drafting stage and am beginning the very scary painting stage, and as much as I love it, the painting bit does frighten me! Once you put the brush to the canvas there's really no going back (AH!) but thankfully there are pencils and I do make a "shadow" of what the finished product will look like, still the painting bit goes by slowly and steadily.

In other news, my sister and I have started the Fat Flush Plan (isn't that exciting?); this will be our third time and I must say it was encouraging to see how much our diet has changed since we first did it back in 2005. Ah, yes, I remember when we read that we'd have to go off all grains for two weeks; you could have knocked me over with a feather, I was that shocked. Now it's no big deal, in fact, the food item I'll miss the most is the occasional glass of raw milk; yes, for the first two weeks, we have to exclude most dairy products (except for milk keifer, which we just started making).

Anyone else making strides in healthful eating?

Monday, 18 June 2012

a creative vacation

It does have a tendency to fill up the schedule doesn't it?

The past week had me spending time with two very special and very engaged people, exploring this excellent market, and having my sister and her Stickies for a visit (yes, I'm currently holding a sleeping, drooling, chubby baby. Bliss I tell you!). I've also taken the time to explore some new projects (like this one here) and am opening up the chalkboard paint again! We've been blessed with many houseguests (both spontaneous and planned), that's when I discovered my love for fresh towels weird, right? I was just starting to develop a habit of washing towels every day when my practical sister stopped me in my tracks, I suppose it was a bit overboard. ; ) We've been blueberry picking, landscaping our front yard, and have developed a list of foreign films we'd like to watch as a family (every since we discovered Life is Beautiful, foreign films has become one of our favorite film genres!), Le Herisson is next on the list.
In addition to the regular brew I've been working on a few weddings for this Fall--details to come...

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I've extended the vacation time on my etsy shop. There is so much I'd like to do with my shop and that simply wasn't enough time to do things properly! I'm excited about  showing you the new shop items, branding, and packaging but I do need to focus on a few other things before I can open up shop again. Thanks so much for your patience!
Also, I'm looking forward to showing you my progress so continue to check back here for shop updates and new posts!!

And now, back to living. :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

custom order// pinterest friday and outdoor weddings

Happy Friday, everyone! 
This past week has found me resting and doing a few focused, creative projects as we all recover from the scheduling frenzy that was last week, with lots of crazy late nights and early mornings I'm tired and am taking lots of vitamin D! Praise God, this week has been a wee more relaxed and--contrary to my nature--early morning exercise actually does help to feel more energized during the day (now I must work on making it through the evening!). Tomorrow we're hoping to scurry over to the blueberry patches early in the morning (thus avoiding as much of the sauna-like heat as possible), then enjoying the rest of the day.
How about you?


This Fall, I have loads of sweet friends getting married (when it comes to life changing events, I think four friends count as loads), and most of them are thinking of the Great Outdoors for their wedding. 
That has gotten me to thinking about designing and decorating for an outdoor wedding, what sort of style ideas would I bring to the table? How many ways can one create an elegant and beautiful wedding without the comforts of four walls, a floor, and ceiling?
Here are some of my favorite outdoor decor ideas from this board, enjoy!







I think this idea is particularly adorable, whether your wedding is indoors or outdoors! 

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

happy tuesday// links

Howdy folks! 
This week I am making a list and working to schedule everything in so I can be ready for when I open shop again on June 18th. So far I've been busy cutting out patterns for clutches rather like these, planning which knits to put in the shop, and other projects (care to see some of my inspirations?).
Today is dedicated to sewing and nursing a Little Friend who is feeling a little poorly; she came by after lunch feeling ill and we've laid her up on the sofa with fresh mint tea and Little Women (as a matter of fact, I've got to scurry and finish so I can sit with her!). What makes you feel more comfortable when you feel ill?
As I've gotten older I rarely get any kind of malady, save for the occasional 24-hour flu bug, so when I do get ill it's rather a novelty.

Also this week I've decided to make more time for reading and am making a summer book list; though I love reading any and all sorts of books, it's hard for me to make the time for it (there always seems to be something else more useful to be doing!), but not this summer. Lately I've come across a few wonderful books and will hopefully make it a priority to read them. Here's what I have so far...

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper~first inspired by this tear-jerking video.
When the Darkness Will Not Lift also by John Piper
Psychobabble by Richard Ganz, about the failure of modern psychology and the Biblical alternative

This post could be longer but as I said, I have a Little Friend who needs me to watch Little Women with her and I love that sort of thing. :)

What are your summer plans?

Monday, 28 May 2012

announcement// happy vacation

The Etsy shop is on vacation! There are a few things I've been wanting to do with the shop and have now decided to take the time to do them. Thanks so much for your patience as I continually learn new things and grow in this area! Recently I was blessed to have the insight and advice of a fellow Etsian and artist so now I have a lovely "Let's Do This" list to be working on.
I'm also working on some custom orders and new shop items which take away from the time I would have been spending on my shop (were it still active and not on vacation mode). I can't wait to show you the new items when I return to Etsy on Monday, June 18th!! In the meantime, I'll be busy with sewing, knitting (once my wrists feel better!), living life, painting, and (today) making blueberry pie.
How about you?

Do any of you live in a "blueberry season" climate? I do! There may not be any apple picking around but we can pick fresh blueberries this month. Last year we were able to get nearly fifty pounds of blueberries and I hope we can get about that much this year (lasted us a good six months). Mostly we flash freeze and package them, then toss them into our daily smoothies or yoghurt; today, however, we'll depart from the text and make this delicious recipe.

What are your plans for the week?

Friday, 11 May 2012

heading west & a sneak peek

This past week has brought me back to the canvas and paint pens! A few months ago, I had painted this particular canvas some cheery shades of blue and yellow but due to my lack of inspiration I stored it in the closet. Has that ever happened to you? You start off on a project and get all excited about it only to come to the middle and realize you can't envision the finished product? Hm, maybe that's just me. ;)

As I said, this past week has brought it out again and I'm just putting the finishing touches on it; when I revisited the project, I knew that I wanted to put either a scripture verse or a line from a favorite hymn; well, after some debating I went with Hebrews 6:19. Somehow it seemed fitting to put a verse that had to do with the sea and I love that this verse has to do with something as cheerful as hope.
I'm not totally done with it yet but be expecting it in the shop soon!

In other news, I'm heading out west this coming week! Soon we'll be driving off into the sunset, going as far west as you can while still in Texas to visit family and friends; it'll be a grand time and I'm thinking/hoping there will be quite a bit of hiking involved. I'm looking forward to the dryer climate. ;)
All that to say that this space will be a wee quiet until the 21st of this month but don't throw this blog off entirely! I'm looking forward to introducing some new shop items and maybe even a diy project (gotta finish it first though ;) So, until next time, happy friday and happy trails.

p.s. I've update the shop profile! Take a look.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

new shop items//posies

It's no secret that I love estate sale shopping.
The thrill of the chase is so fun and it makes for a really entertaining weekend at times. 
Well, one fine Saturday we girlies went to an estate sale, after walking through my usual rooms (kitchen, dining room etc) I made my way to the bedroom closet, and there I found it. Behind the granny sweaters and 80's cast-offs, there was the mumu; bright, cheerful, and nearly sliding off the hanger, it was there.
$4 later I was the happy owner and as soon as I got home I promptly pulled out the seam ripper and got to work on the gargantuan material. After cutting and singeing I sewed these bright beauties together (surviving with only one burn!) and now I present them to you. 
What do you think?

Personally, I think they'd make a great addition to your Mother's Day gift package.
Just say'in...

At any rate, I've been making some marvelous knitting discoveries (as you may have seen from this board); already I've added this bonnet pattern and this knitted top to my project list. Now the knitted top is kind of a really big deal for me, I've seen many knitted tops gone wrong in my short lifetime and I don't want to be that person walking around with an ill-fitted fiber top (perhaps you've seen sometime like that before). 
However, this seems like a pretty fool-proof pattern, and my hopes are high.
More on that later.


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