Tuesday, 31 January 2012

smiles and waves

 Isn't Eva just edible?
What you don't  get from these pictures is the sweet squeals and cooing sounds that come from this wiggly cutie, nor do you hear the rest of her Tia's and her Mama speak all kinds of lovey things, nor can you feel her chubby hands and cheeks.

You're missing out.

One of the things I love about being a Tia, is the excuse it gives me to knit all sorts of things for my adorable nieces and nephew (remember this knitted dress?). Though enjoyable, this project took me a bit more time to complete than I'd like, due mostly to the concentration I needed to get the hang of the lace pattern and I can only take so much of the stockinette pattern but at long last it is completed and more importantly, it still fits her. :)
 For this project, I used the Wave Jumper pattern from this book (thank you, library!); the blue wool from England (via my Dad on one of his business trips), the green wool from one of the craft shows at Homestead Heritage, and the buttons are re-purposed from an unworn jacket. The pattern was easy peasy to figure out and looks like it'll fit Eba for months to come, or at least until this weather stays cool. ;)
I probably won't be doing any personal knitting for a while as I have a few other projects on "the list" but after those are completed, I'd love to find yarn for this delightful shawlette or this super cute sweater.
What's on your project list?

Monday, 23 January 2012

explanations and progress

{you got it right, this is the same photo used on this personal post!

Please accept my sincerest apologies for last weeks unexpected blogging break; due to technical reasons beyond my knowledge to explain, we were out of internet. It was peaceful in that we had time to focus on other things but slightly sad in that we felt pretty isolated from world events and emailed photo's of adorable nieces. Know that I had some pretty interesting craft posts in queue, but alas...they'll just have to keep. ; )
While the internet was still available, I was able to listen to some really excellent sermons and groovy (yes, groovy) music; I'm a pretty big fan of sermonaudio.com and most enjoy listening to sermons by Paul Washer, Marc and Matt Glass, Peter Masters, and, naturally, the elders at GFBC. Sermonaudio also offers sermons in a plethora of other languages and I sometimes get a kick out of listening to sermons in German and French, trying to glean from what I still remember!
As for groovy tunes, I must confess my eclectic taste in music.
It's true, my list of favorites goes across the musical board; ranging from the delicate Beriot concertante to most everything by The Civil Wars (this one and this one are my current favorites) and Jars of Clay (really like their rendition of this beautiful hymn) all they way to---well, here's the link to my playlist, should you feel so inclined. : ) Lest you think that I like everything, know that there are at least two genre's that I really don't enjoy, but that's a story for another time.
 Do you like my camel? I've not named him since I don't really keep track of the names of inanimate objects, even my fish (when I had them). At any rate, Camel came from a wonderful antique museum in Dubai, along with some other treasures. Though I didn't see any camels while I was there, it serves as a reminder to me of the sweet times the Lord allowed us to have in Dubai.
And the bird-less bird cage? Well, it's the second in my bird-less birdcage collection, currently holding yarn from (yes) Dubai, I can't wait to show you the finished product of the yarn!
I also wanted to show you the lovely gift of a necklace that my sweet friend, Cait gave to me while in (you guessed it) Dubai. I wish I could show you a photo of the packaging but just know that it was a wonderful example of her superb creative skills! I love being reminded of the treasured times we had to spend together, praise the Lord for sister's in Him! Also, the necklace goes with pretty much everything I own, which is a major plus.

This week has filled up quickly but I am looking forward to savoring the early mornings and relishing in the late nights (this isn't really a week for sleeping). At the end of these full days is a merry time with four adorable and fun sisters who are also sweet friends; it's one of those relationships wherein you know so much about each other that you feel as if you are good friends before you have even met! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

of paint pens and peanut butter m&m's

Yesterday I started my first painting project (pictures to come!); a dear family has commissioned me to make name signs for their children and this week I've started with the so-far youngest child's name. I'm happy to say that with a fine tip paint pen, calligraphy on canvas is indeed possible! I'm very exciting to finish the lettering part of the project today and begin the decorative bits tomorrow (or later this afternoon?).
To be quite honest, I really haven't done much crafting with canvas before and was so pleased to discover that there really isn't anything to it, at least as far as my projects are concerned. So, watch out, you may just see a flood of new paint items in the shop soon! At the very least you can look forward to tomorrow's post where I'll show you the process and the product thus far.

What sorts of things do you have in your crafting schedule?

Another small tidbit for today is a note on the startlingly positive influence of peanut butter m&m's. For the second time this month my darling mama has bought a big bag of them and they are currently being held in our Vietnamese serving bowl in the china cabinet. A great practice in self-control as the door of the cabinet opens pretty loudly. ; )

Friday, 13 January 2012

happy weekend

I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful time, whatever your plans may be this weekend.
What's on your agenda?

I'll be attending a baby shower for a sweet friend, spending time with my family, finishing up a special knitting project, 
and resting in the Lord and His sovereignty.

See you on Monday!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

shop updates and chalkboard paint

We're back on Etsy!
After our Dubai holiday and project planning, I've updated and restocked the online shop with items, some you've seen before as well as some new items (with more new ones coming soon!). For January and February I'm focusing on organizing and scheduling, paying more attention to the "business side" of my business; being faithful with the little I have, realizing that this probably won't end but continue on throughout the years!


Also this month, I took the plunge, drove to the home improvement store (a place very foreign to me), and bought my very first can of chalkboard paint! All those times of gathering ideas on pinterest (yes, I have one of those, I love it) are now being put on the "creative schedule; so when you come to my casa, beware, if you are still long enough, you may just be covered with chalkboard paint. Do you have any chalkboard paint experience? Let me know, I'm always open for more ideas; from of the plethora many ideas on pinterest, this project is one of my favorites.

What about you? Any major projects/goals you are working toward completing? I think if you purpose to be industrious with your precious time, there will always be something on the every-growing "to-do" list, and I know firsthand how wonderful it is to prioritize and schedule things (yes, even a creative person loves order!). How do you prioritize your time?

Monday, 9 January 2012

of adventures remembered

Let me begin by saying that I love traveling.
 I love most everything about it and this trip was no exception; as I've been sharing with my friends and family about my six weeks in Dubai. it's been difficult to put everything in a nutshell conversation. How do I begin to share about all that God showed me in that time, the sweet people we met, or the experiences we had?
Those were my thoughts when I first came home, now it's been nearly a month and I've been able to collect the highlights and organize them into a nice conversational piece.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to before I left was talking with people there, believers and non-believers alike, I was excited about hearing their stories and learning more about whomever I met. I love doing that here in the States but I knew of the great diversity in Dubai and I was excited about that diversity. 

Looking back, this is probably one of my favorite things about our Middle Eastern Holiday.
I absolutely loved absorbing the different cultures and hearing what other people had to contribute to the conversation; now that I've typed that out, I realize that the same thing happens right here in Texas, just not quite so diverse. : )

Aside from the hilarious interesting amiable wonderful people I met and talked with, one of the sweetest blessings on the trip was spending time with and learning from our dear friends, who not only shared six weeks of their lives with us, but took us into their family and taught me, by example, many things. I'm so grateful for the wisdom and insight they shared and the love they so freely gave. They contributed a large part to the example of true brotherly affection that was shown, praise the Lord for the fellowship His gives to His saints!

I loved learning about the fascinating history and culture Dubai has to offer; each place has some interesting, slightly bizzare bit to offer the traveler, the old spice souks, Mall of the Emirates (the one with the ski slope in it!), and bustling Satwa markets as examples, not to mention the fountains at Dubai mall and the array of dates (truly a culinary art form).

People have asked me about the food and I really can't say enough about it.
Coming from an avid "foodie" home, I was really looking forward to all of the yummy, strange, different, and delicious foods that I might try. We had LOTS of pita breads, cheese breads, hummus, and shawarma's (love, love, love those). It was very inspiring to be around a different set of spices and flavors, but most everything was just a bit familiar, like the traditional Arab breakfast we had in Al Ain. Beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggs; doesn't this say Mexican food? Well, it did to my sister and I.

Everyone is either Mexican or wants to be Mexican---my Grandmother just may be right. ; )
I know for certain that in future posts here and in my other blog, I'll be sharing more bits of my trip but for now, I'd like to end this post by encouraging you to
...expand your horizons. 
There is much more to people and places than just in your town or circle of friends.

...(if you are a Believer) consider carefully how you show love to others.
Is it fully and without reserve? Is it Biblical and in ways that will point them to Christ?
How are you showing hospitality to those around you, Believing and non alike? 
Do people see something different in you?


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