Friday, January 31, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

a little something happened back in November, that I kinda forgot to share with you.
Yeah, well...I made it onto the big screen!
Ok, maybe not really.
But my brothers did wrangle me into playing a role for their show on YouTube called ShootIt.
My three oldest brothers (all younger than me, but they are the oldest boys...make sense? Ok.)
are aspiring film makers, they have made several shorts,
entered a few contests, and one of their commercials even won first place.

They are still small, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Well, in this video you get to see me in rare form...seriously,
keep in mind I was acting, this is very out of character for me!
Or at least out of character when it comes to what I let the public see. :)
 So please, don't judge me based on my performance here...
truth be told I'm a bit embarrassed and nervous to share it with you,
but, you know, you gotta support the boys and I've put it off long enough already!

So really,
this whole post could be summed up quite fittingly...The Things We Do For Family!
Enjoy, or just...err...don't disown me! Haha!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Everyday in February Challenge,
Hosted by Anchored in Love Divine

Hello everyone!
Well, look at us, we have quite nearly survived the whole entire first month of the new year!
 I don't know about you, but I am genuinely excited about what this new year will hold.
I have a feeling this is going to be a big year...good (or should I say God) things are going to happen!

Speaking of good things coming,
I wanted to share something fun with you that is coming up next month.

I am a follower, albeit it a pretty new one, 
to the blog Anchored in Love Divine written by the lovely Bailey Jean,
and she has issued a great way to keep the creative blogging flow going through the month of February

She even came up with 28 fun writing prompts to keep you inspired!
Take a gander...

I'm pretty excited about this!
But, I'll be straightforward with you, I don't think I'll be able to generate a post!
I do love her ideas though, and I've already selected my favs that I'm for certain going to blog about!
Some of them aren't quite up my alley, so I'll try to throw a refashion or project post in its place.

At any rate, 
I think it will be a lot of fun!

What do you think?
Would you like to join the party and blog along?
Are there any topics in the list above that you would like to see me post about?
Let me know!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beauty Infusion

Last week I joined Coffee For Your Heart and wrote about beauty.
In my post I shared with you a word the Lord gave me about beauty which was...
"Beauty is an infusion of hope and desire."

I just quick wanted to share a thought with you about that.

After writing my post I decided to do a little research into the word infusion.
It was such a specific and slightly odd word choice, that I was intrigued to delve deeper into the matter.

I had to smile when I read the following description.

 "The process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent 
such as water, oil or alcohol, by allowing the material to remain suspended in the solvent over time (a process often called steeping). The process of infusion is distinct from decoction, which involves boiling the plant material, or percolation, in which the water passes through the material (as in a coffeemaker)."

Did you catch all that?
Infusion is the process of bringing out flavors, in a solvent, like water.
But infusion happens when the plant is steeped, or soaked, in the water over time.
Not boiled, and not just passed over once.
But soaked.

You can probably tell where I'm going with this, can't you?

Our natural 'flavors' and the strengths with which we were created
are extracted...brought forth, drawn out when we have been soaked and steeped in the Living Water.
Jesus brings out the best in us. Many think when we become more like Jesus we lose ourselves,
but the reality is we become more ourselves.

I like the picture of soaking up Christ and slowly being drawn out.
He is careful with us. He doesn't boil us, causing pain and a breakdown of our character.
And he doesn't just flow over us once, like hot water over coffee.
But He surrounds us, envelopes us and allows us to soak Him in.
Over time we release more and more of ourselves into His care.

beauty is an infusion of hope and desire.
Are you dripping with hope?
Does that liquid hope spill over into the lives of those around you?
Do you have a river of desire for life coursing through you?
Can people smell the Living Water on you?
Then are beautiful!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Beauty Unrecognized:
Coffee For Your Heart

“You’re beautiful…just as you are.”

Coffee for Your Heart 150

That was my writing prompt for this weeks Coffee for Your Heart post.

At first I was going to write an encouraging post
with excerpts from one of my favorite books on the subject of beauty.
It would have been a fine post; good feelings on steroids, with a verse or two.

But then I started thinking...
what if I could share something that wasn't just recycled fluff?

Beauty is something I'm passionate about--
I feel it is an important message that women need to be constantly reminded of.

 But to be honest, I have been struggling with my own beauty lately.
The size on my tags and the numbers on the scale aren't what I wish they were.
And my closet isn't full of all the beautiful clothes I wish I could wear to present my 'best' self.

socially constructed ideas of beauty life quotes quotes quote truth girly quotes mirror beauty quotes

How could I encourage you if I myself was feeling a little low?

Then one night, as I say in bed thinking about what I was going to write...I stopped.
And I asked a simple question.

"Lord...what IS beauty?
How do YOU see beauty?
What is it YOU want to say to these women about beauty?"

I stopped and waited...
...slowly, Holy Spirit started showing me...

"Just as the world did not accept Me...the world does not always accept your beauty.
The world did not know Me...and the world does not always know you as beautiful."


Now there is a thought to ponder.
It is no news to us that the world's view of beauty is skewed.
But to think...the most beautiful thing to grace this earth...
God, in human form, come down to be amongst man...our Savior...wasn't recognized for His beauty either.

"He was in the world, 
and though the world was made through Him, 
the world did not recognize Him." 
 John 1:10

As that thought began to sink in,
I returned to my other question....what is beauty?

Swift and strong, my mind heard the answer...

"Beauty is an infusion of hope and desire."

Something all beauty has in common...
be it a majestic mountain...
budding flower...
lush green valleys...
a beautiful smile... they offer hope.

Hope in goodness.
Hope for tomorrow.
Hope that love and peace are attainable.
 Beauty awakens a desire to embrace, to continue, to seek, to live.

Immediately, these two verses dropped into my mind...

"For You are my hope, O Lord God...."
Psalm 71:5 NKJV


"Delight yourself in the LORD 
and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

If beauty is hope and desire,
then you could read those verses...
"You are my beauty, O Lord..."
"...He will give you the beauty of your heart."

Our beauty, quite literally, comes from the Lord.
He is our beauty!

But just as the world did not recognize the beauty of Christ on earth,
often times they won't recognize ours either.

"...The world cannot accept Him, 
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.... "
John 14:17
Beauty must been seen and known. Without seeing and knowing Christ,
people will not always recognize the source of our beauty.

We are vessels by which our beauty is a means of saying,
 "There is hope...
there is peace...
there is love,
and it can be found in the greatest and purest measure through Jesus."

We are the image bearers, a small mirror,
reflecting a tiny prism of the light of the Lord through our beauty.

And that is what the Lord showed me about beauty.
I think that is a much better message than what I had (somewhat) prepared before.

So when the world does not recognize your beauty,
just remember, it is because they don't recognize the source of your beauty.
Let your beauty help them see...and by seeing they may come to know that Source. are beautiful.

"The King is enthralled with your beauty.
Honor Him for he is your lord."
Psalms 45:11

Linking up with Holley Gerth and many other wonderful ladies, with Coffee For Your Heart. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

January Refashion Month Post

Today I'm sharing some of my hard earned refashion wisdom over to House of Estrela.
So head on over to read my post, Refashioning For Beginners!
 And while you are there, have a look around at the rest of the
wonderful posts being shared through this month's refashion series!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

DIY Crochet Hook Clutch

I crochet.
Didn't know that?
Well, I haven't showcased many of my projects yet on this blog,
but I have been crocheting since about 10 years of age,
and have crafted a myriad of projects.

I have my mother to thank for teaching me the craft,
and this Christmas I wanted to give something back to her,
which is why I decided to sew her a clutch case for her various crochet hooks!
This was one of the projects I was really excited about making,
but couldn't share with you back in November.

Through, where else, but Pinterest,
I found this wonderful tutorial from  Little Birdie Secrets.
All the measurements are there for you,
even a breakdown of pocket spacing for each hook size.

My Changes:
-I did make my pocket size for G and H a mite smaller,
going just under 1/2 inch.

-I made my clutch a tri-fold.
 I liked the size better and felt it helped to cocoon the hooks in more securely.
This does affect the placement of the button,
so bear that in mind when considering which version you want to make.

I used leftovers fabric from this project and a multi-colored striped shirt in my refashion pile
to craft my version of this hook case.

See those lovely colors?
I knew this would partner well with the coral and robin's -egg- blue of this gorgeous floral print.
It lends a bit of whimsicality, don't you think?

The stripped fabric became the sheaths for the hooks.
Following along with the instructions,
it came together very nicely.

You can see here that my button placement is different than the original.
Just fold your case over as many times as you would like, in this 'case' (sorry), 
I folded mine over twice, then the rounded part folds downward. 
How you fold it will determine where the button and closure fall.

Doesn't this button match perfectly?!
Would you believe it was the original button from the huge coral blazer I refashioned?

It is hard to tell in this picture,
but it just so happened that many of the lines I stitched to create
the hook pockets correlated with the pattern stripes!
At any rate, they made excellent guides for a straight stitch.

Here it is all finished!

The biggest problem I had?
Sewing this darling up without mom knowing!
My sewing area is in the middle of the house, a high traffic area,
so there is no hiding what you are making...unless..yes...that was it!
I would make it in one morning while mom was away at Bible study!!
It was perfect...she would never know...I'd clean up every trace of evidence...
there wouldn't be a single thread on the floor...the perfect crime surprise...mwahaha!!!

No joke. 
That's just how I felt.
Like some mad scientist whipping up an end of the world concoction in his lab,
I was giddy with delight that I pulled it off, a complete and utter surprise!
"I've done it!! I've created a masterpiece!"

It still gives me thrills just thinking about it.

And she was...
completely surprised.

Monday, January 13, 2014

DIY Disney Silhoutte Wallhangings

I'm sure you've seen the Disney silhouette cutouts on Pinterest and around the web, right?
Just in case you haven't,
here are a couple examples...

{ELAINE} LOVE this idea!!! 1. Google any silhouette 2. Print on colored paper  3. Cut them out  4. Place in frame  5. Voila! 
Disney Princess silhouette: googled image, printed it the size I wanted, traced outline in the window, printed on cardstock, cut it out and framed: total cost $10
you could take the easy route and order these from Etsy,
they are all over the place in various shops,
but I decided to make my own as a Christmas present to my little sister!

I made a few design changes to mine, however
Wanna see?

When selecting my cutout images, 
I kept in mind what posters and pictures my little sister didn't have,
and tried to fill in the gaps.

 No princess room is complete without a castle!
I decided to cut mine from a patterned scrapbook piece,
 and I love the way it turned out!

For this silhouette, 
I simply printed the image on the back of patterned scrapbook card stock
 (cut down to fit in the printer) then cut the shape out.

My next set of cutouts were done differently.

What I Did:

-First I found an image in one of our various coloring books

-Second, I laid a piece of scrapbook paper, printed side down,
underneath the page with my chosen picture.

-Next, using a pointed instrument, like a pencil without the led tip,
a chopstick etc. (just so long as you aren't actually writing on the surface)
I traced around the outline of the image, being sure to apply a decent amount of pressure.
This resulted in the outline being pressed into the scrapbook paper underneath,
and, if the coloring page on the reverse side had any crayon on it,
that color was also transferred into the indented outline.

-Now cut along the traced lines, and you have your silhouette!
Using a glue stick, secure it to a blank sheet of your choosing, and frame.

As an added element,
I chose phrases from the movie of my characters
and wrote them in easy, flowing calligraphy on a blank sheet, 
which became the backdrop.
I love the detail it adds!
Ariel's background phrases were written straight across,
but for the cutout of Rapunzel and Flynn,
I chose to slant the words starting in the corner,
and start them mid phrase of mid word so it looked as if it continued off the page.

I discovered afterwords that I misspelled Flynn's name, but oh well!
These received lots of 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from the little princess!

The frames were purchased at a dollar store for a total of $6
while the rest of the supplies were already on hand,
making this a very inexpensive gift!
Combined with the approval of my sister, that makes this project a big success!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

DIY Basic Boy's Wallet

Remember when I shared with you

Well, today I will share with you my version of the 
Basic Boy's Wallet.

As soon as I stumbled upon this clear, easy to replicate tutorial from Noodlehead
I knew I needed to create my own version as a gift for my baby brother.

For my wallet,
 I used a scrap piece of denim from a refashion project,
and cut the remaining pieces from a plaid shirt.

 Ahh, look at those lines, all matching...*sigh* does my OCD good.
Oh, um, moving on...
Using the basic tutorial instructions,
I folded and pinned the card pockets.
Before sewing these up, 
I inserted a card, testing the depth of each pocket,
to insure I had them right.

In place of leather accents, as used in the tutorial,
I opted for a simpler version.
Snipping a blue 'J' out of a piece of felt really personalized this wallet, 
perfect for the six-year old stage of life where ownership is key.
Not to mention blue is my little brother's favorite color.

Stitching around the outside edges,
I had my initial secured lickety-split.

The rest was fairly simple,
I sewed up the edges, turned the whole thing inside out
and finished with some top stitching!

I will admit though, the edges of all my pieces weren't perfectly aligned, 
which caused some frustrations...
but nothing some trimming and increased seam allowances didn't fix.

And just like that I had created a cute little wallet.
Throw a couple of $1 bills in there, and it was a hit with the little man!

If I were to change to a few things,
I would certainly have used a webbing on the plaid pieces inside,
the material is very soft and thus a bit floppy.
Alas, I didn't have any on hand and needed to get this finished.

Also,as an afterthought, 
it dawned on me that a six year old really hasn't much use
for the card pockets but would much more have benefited
from sort of zippered or pocketed compartment for change!

Oh well, he loved it, and that is all that matters in the end!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Coffee For Your Heart:
As You Begin...

You made it!
I'm so glad you could join me over a cup of coffee...for your heart.

Coffee for Your Heart 150

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably missed this post.
Go ahead. Have a read.

All clear now?

Here is what I've got.

My assignment today...
share with you something I want you to hear as you step foot into a new year.
I'm sure your ears are already ringing, and mind racing
with various resolutions, goals and mantras for 2014.
But if I could throw you a line by which to secure your footing 
amidst an avalanche of encouragement for the new year, it would be this.
Ephesians 3:20

Glory, praise, thankfulness, recognition...
to God who is able...capable, equipped...
through His mighty power...the same power that created the stars, the

at work within us, moving us, directing us, always active...

to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think....

sum up the entirety of your year's goals, resolutions, and dreams...He can accomplish
infinitely, exceedingly, abundantly more than that.

So whatever you accomplish this year, glory to God.
When you think you don't have the strength...remember His power within you.
Whatever you ask or think...allow Him to work...and accomplish more than you dreamed.
Give Him charge of your agenda, let Him direct you this year,
trusting that what needs to happen...will. 

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.

I love this quote, it ministers to my heart and echos the message in Ephesians.

Accept where you are.
Let go of all that did and didn't happen.
Have faith that God is working...that He is good.

No matter the greatness you have planned for 2014,
He has more in store for you than you think...surrender to living His dream for you open to His infinite possibilities and glorious accomplishments.
He's got this year handled!

{Linking up with}

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Coffee for Your Heart...New Wednesday Posts

Who doesn't love coffee?

That's a derogatory question,
if you are one the few people who doesn't, just don't answer that question.

Now imagine you could infuse your heart
with that same rich, glowing, warmth.

What if I told you it could be so?
I'll tell you how.

First, let me introduce you to Holley Gerth.
Before I even knew what blogging was,
I followed Holley and her daily/weekly inspiration devotions.
Speaker, author, co-founder of (in)courage , and partner with DaySpring,
Holley is all about breathing life into the hearts of women.
Through the years I have cemented some of her words in my heart,
and I treasure that encouragement.

she is giving fellow bloggers the chance to do the same through
her Coffee For Your Heart Challenge.

Coffee for Your Heart 150

 Every Wednesday,
we bloggers will invest one post and thoughtful words
into encouraging and uplifting the hearts of our readers.

Don't worry,
I enjoy creating beautiful things, both in words and fabric,
so I have no intention of fazing out my refashion or sewing projects.
I'm just expanding. And there is always room for coffee, right?
After all, man lives not by 'thread' alone (see what I did there?) but by words also,
which is why I've chosen to expand what I post through being a part of
Coffee For Your Heart at least twice a month.

coffee this Wednesday?
It's a date.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Top 5 of 2013

I know this post is a bit tardy,
but it was such a great idea to share what inspired me last year,
that I just had to bend the rules and bit and share this post.


5. My dear friend, Allyson
I hope she doesn't mind me gushing about her on my blog,
but I couldn't exclude her from my list of what inspired me this past year.
We are kindred spirits, her and I, so honestly,
I have a happiness gauge that is directly related to how she is doing!
This year she made a big step in pursuing a dream, and honestly, a God-given talent.
She leaves me speechless at times, with the pure beauty emanating from her person,
and that beauty comes through all of most when we are functioning in what we do best.
It made my heart so happy, and has inspired me to try and the do the same...
ever pursuing God's best.
I love you Ally!

4. Kristina from Eccentric Owl
I found Kristina's blog while working my way through The Thriftaholics Directory.
There she was, number 191...yes, actually, I checked out all previous 190 is a long list...I'm still working my way through it when I have time.

At first it was her vintage charm and cute outfits that caught my eye,
but I've come to value her quirky and darling posts,
with her relatable ramblings more than anything else.
She has a beautiful heart and a much needed honestly to her words that I so appreciate.
She is real, funny, sweet and just weeks away from having her first baby!
Who wouldn't want to be friends with a person like that?
And then there is the fact that she can pull off colored tights splendidly...and I hate tights,
so I live vicariously through her. :)

3. The Renegade Seamstress & The Refashionista
I know, I know, these are two separate blogs, shouldn't they have their own number?
Yes and no.
If you do your math you will see that I would more than five points,
and that just won't do, but I couldn't possibly leave either of them out.


 Besides, these ladies took an equal share towards inspiring me to enter the world of refashioning!
They were the two very first blogs I found when looking for a way to refashion some
bulky sweaters left over from my northern wardrobe.
Exactly a year ago, I found and started following their blogs,
and have been a faithful reader ever since.


Furthermore, it was my supreme honor to be selected by Beth (aka Renegade Seamstress)
to participate in her second installment of Refashion Runway!
She was kind of like, oh you know, a hero...
so that most certainly made my year!

2. Kristi Yamaguchi
"Why should a dream have some part of it that was so scary?
Why would I have to do something I feared in pursuing something I loved?"
 -Kristi Yamaguchi-

I used to have a fear of sewing,
but it was this very quote from Kristi, childhood hero and my absolute favorite female figure skater
(I have a Christmas ornament of her, for Pete's sake!),
that lit the fuse to my explosive year of sewing.
She really played a pivotal role in the outcome of my year
and continues to inspire me.
You can read all about it in this post.

Now, one of the most recent sources of inspiration for me,
which I know will carry into the new year, has been..

1. Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston <3 

“We all have two lives. 
The second one starts when we realize that we only have one”  
-Tom Hiddleston-

 Like millions of other women the world over,
I have to admit I'm quite star struck with Mr. Hiddleston.
Aside from being a great actor,
I'm captivated by his classic Hollywood charm, gentlemanly conduct,
deep intense personality, and the way he speaks...honestly, have you listened to this man?
His sentence structure and vocabulary has me one talks that beautifully
in this modern era, and it comes from a cultivated, refined place in a person.
And, sop my puddled self off the floor, he can dance.
All that aside,
much of what he utters is poetically quote worthy,
 the above quote being one that has been reverberating in my head since first I read it.
I think this year marks the beginning of my second life.
Or at any rate, at least the awakening of it.

So really, I discovered that words are what inspire me most.
I have always been drawn to them, and my heart speaks best and deepest when
flowing through ink and pen...or keys and screens, as it were.

I'm not much for resolutions,
but I have determined this year to indulge more in words...
not just any words, mind you,
but strong words...
deep words...
rich words.

Words are such a beautifully powerful tool of expression,
yet we use the same few hundred over and over,
and those which we do use often aren't the clearest or most expressive.


It is my aim to read more classic literature and poems
this year-- something I have always enjoyed, but
stopped doing once out of school.
I always feel much smarter and richer for having read
Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, or a well crafted poem.

If I could only do one thing great,
I believe I would choose to be a master of words.
An all encompassing medium with can reach out and touch people everywhere.
They can be the the steely sword delivering the fatal blow to an army of lies
or a healing balm which brings life to fractured, shriveled souls.

I think I shall aim to be a master of words.

What about you?
I would love to know what inspired you this past year,
and what is propelling you into the new one. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January Refashion Month Blogging Party! 

 Happy New Year everyone!
The beginning of a new year is one of my favorite times.
A time to wipe the slate clean, start afresh and separate yourself 
from anything in the previous year that would hold you down.

And, as person who exhibits OCD traits, 
I'm am so excited that we are now in an even numbered year! 
Yay! I can breathe easier now.

Having established all this,
I would like to share with you a fun way to get the year started off
on the right foot...and what better foot than the one on your sewing machine!

Some of you may remember Magda who blogs at House of Estrela
from Season Two of Refashion Runway.
 Well, Magda is hosting a month long refashion party of sorts,
with guest posts the blogworld over bringing you their best refashions,
tutorials, and how to's!

This is such a fun way to bring together a community of 
talented ladies and bloggers!
I am excited to be part of this month's line up
and look forward to checking in day to see what the rest of the ladies
bring to the sharing table!
I hope you will check it out and follow along too!
Follow this link to see the very first post of January Refashion Month.
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