Archive for May, 2012

Happy Day Project #11: Do a Pin

Alicia over at la Famille issued this challenge: do one of your thousands of pins. Oh, yeah. I love that kind of challenge.

My first inclination was to try to complete one of the t-shirt upcycling ideas that I had pinned. Alas. I’m usually pretty strict with myself about NOT pinning anything until I’ve confirmed that the link is actually a tutorial and not just a bunch of photos. Apparently when I am pinning t-shirt ideas, I am not that strict. And while I might enjoy the pure photographic inspirations, this week I needed something concrete since I truly did not have time to re-invent the wheel (or shirring, as the case may be).

So, I went with a wall hanging idea. I pinned THIS, but I produced this:

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Pretty much they look nothing alike. It’s the technique that counts!

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(Yes, that Mod Podge is still drying….)

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I actually really, really like this and it goes perfectly with my other heart wall-hangings in our bedroom. Plus, it took me about 15 minutes since I had everything on-hand. And now I have another bit of the living Word up on my wall, thanks to the Happy Day Project challenge this week!

(I also did another “bonus” pin:

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What is that, you ask? It is a folded plastic bag! Isn’t that the grooviest way to carry around a plastic grocery sack in your car or purse? Or are Eleanor and I the only ones who get a big kick out of this? It’s kind of addictive folding them, too. Weirdly satisfying. Check out the how-tos HERE.)

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Another Art Night in Music

On our regularly-scheduled Art Night, we had the privilege of hearing Calvary Bible College‘s touring singing group, Evidence. This was a treat on a lot of levels. First, Clara’s good friend, Bekah, sings with the group and it was nice to see her, again. Second, the singing was phenomenal. I mean really, really inspiring. And, third, we got to hear Gracia Burnham speak. Hearing her was such an encouragement to me.

When someone who has experienced what she has experienced stands before me and says that many people also find themselves on paths that they don’t want to be on that are just as real as the jungle path she was forced to tread, it feels like the tough times of the past two-and-a-half years are somehow validated as being the trials they truly were. Sometimes I feel that there are certain trials that are more “honored” than others in Christian communities, more supported, more “real” than other trials. Yes, I was greatly encouraged by Gracia Burnham’s message.

Which brings me to something that I have thought about nearly every day since I read it:

How is this love…is something that i’ve struggled with since ian’s accident. i vividly remember a conversation with steve in the kitchen about my struggle with seeing a brain injury as an act from a loving, sovereign god. when i strip away what has been produced as a result of ian’s accident, be it forms of sanctification, answered prayers, etc., and just look at the bare bones- that my husband has a horrible, life-changing brain injury- it feels nothing like love. ian’s brain injury itself hasn’t brought me comfort, or encouragement or anything else that would typically come with love.

for others out there reading who have experienced significant loss or ongoing disability, hopefully you can affirm, that this seems like it will be a life-long wrestling with what this trial “feels” like. i know in my head the truth of romans 8:28 that all things work together for good. i know that god is sovereign. i know that we are objects of his mercy and love, and not his wrath, because of what christ accomplished on the cross. but trying to get that to my heart when i get home at 4:00 and ian doesn’t remember that i was gone at work all day (which happens on occasion) is an entirely different monster. living with an ongoing disability as significant as ian’s will in turn, i know, produce beautiful fruit and eternal rewards. i know that we most rapidly become like christ when we are tested by fire. it’s just really painful getting there.

“But before I go, I want once more to tell you how good He is, how blessed it is to suffer with Him, how infinitely happy He has made me in the very hottest heat of the furnace. It will strengthen you in your trails to recall this my dying testimony. There is no wilderness so dreary but that His love can illuminate it, no desolation so desolate but that He can sweeten it. I know what I am saying. It is no delusion. I believe that the highest, purest happiness is known only to those who have learned Christ in sickrooms, in poverty, in racking suspense and anxiety, amid hardships, and at the open grave…To learn Christ, this is life!”” elizabeth prentiss

This is from the blog Pray for Ian. Perhaps many of you have read this blog, especially following the video clip that John Piper posted on Desiring God. One thing I appreciate about some bloggers is their ability to be trusting enough of their readers to be transparent and honest. I am not at that point in my blogging, but I hope that some day I can encourage others like Gracia Burnham and Ian and Larissa.

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Butterfly Chain Stitch

Week 21 of TAST featured the Butterfly Chain Stitch. This week, my non-TAST life has been insanely busy, especially at the bakery where we celebrated our second anniversary by introducing cookie ice cream sandwiches and preparing for a television interview. But, I was determined to fit my TAST challenge in, anyway. I guess sometimes being stubborn is a good thing?

Anyway…this was a new stitch for me, again. At first, I thought it would be a good stitch for lettering because it had a clear center line running through it. But I soon realized that the butterfly effect was almost lost when I attempted to make the three initial stitches small enough to allow the center line to dominate.

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See how the three straight stitches kind of disappear, even though I worked them in a contrasting color to the chain stitch?

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So I tried to make the three straight stitches a little clearer with this next font.

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I think the general look this time was better representative of the stitch.

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And the sampler so far:

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(Does anyone else have an immediate mental connection to what you were listening to when you were stitching upon seeing your work again? I was listening to several episodes of “The Brady Bunch”–remember the one where Marcia gets braces? and when she meets Desi Arnaz, Jr.?–as I stitched and when I saw these again, my brain hollered, “Brady Bunch!”)

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Happy Day Project #10: Wild Card

This was a perfect week for Alicia over at La Famille to issue a Wild Card Challenge for the Happy Day Project. Why? Because we had the blessing of a visit from Kathleen and Rachel. Whoop!

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What can I say about the happiness associated with having Kathleen as a friend? We have been friends for over 20 years. When we met, we had 3 children between us. Now, we have 18. Kathleen has supported me through births and adoptions and parenting challenges and weddings and funerals. We survived the Teaching Home and Gentle Spirit years together. We have done once-a-month-cooking and green smoothies and home-sewn shower caps to go with our homemade soap together.

Our friendship has withstood the test of living 729 miles apart, too. But I can call Kathleen any moment of any day and she will be there for me. That is happiness.

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Spring Miscellany

Spring means graduation. And graduation means cake. Lots of cake.

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And cupcakes.

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(Graduation also means parties of sweet friends.)

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And spring means flowers. Lots of flowers.

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Of course, Spring means Mother’s Day. And I whipped up this little ditty for my lovely mother.

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I know Summer is just around the corner. But for now, I’m enjoying all aspects of Spring.

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Art Night with the Masters

We started a new section in Carla Sonheim’s Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun in which we copy the Masters. We began by tracing da Vinci.

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Bullion Knot

The Bullion Knot was the stitch challenge for week 20 of TAST. I really liked using these adorable little knots.

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First, I used the cute little wormy bullion knots end-to-end to form my letters.

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Then, I formed them into little “roses” and buds within the letters.

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The whole sampler so far:

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