Saturday, August 23, 2014

Host a Clothing Swap Party!

What better way to clean our your closet than to have a fashion show 
with your good friends and get some new digs in return?!

That is just what three of my lady friends and myself did last Saturday
when I hosted what will most likely become an annual (seasonal?!) event!

I hosted a Clothing Swap Party!

If you haven't heard about clothing swaps, let me fill you in.

A clothing swap is like shopping your friends' closet.
Everyone brings an agreed minimum amount of items,
that can include clothes, accessories, shoes etc. that are in good, clean condition.
Our group agreed upon at least 10 pieces, and we kept it to clothing and accessories.

To make things easier, I recommend hanging up your clothing items.
We all pitched in and organized the clothes by tops, skirts, pants, and jackety-things (a new term we invented) and it made it go really quickly!

I would recommend marking your hangers by tying a colored ribbon on them,
or putting a piece of colored tape around it, to avoid mix ups with other swappers.

After the clothes were all organized this is how I chose to proceed.
Instead of going at it all at the same time, we took turns, each lady drawing a number to determine what order we would 'shop' in.

But before we started shopping, we got to look over the items,
and each lady was given an equal amount of stickers that she could use to mark the pieces 
she wanted.

 When your turn came around, you were allowed to pick 3 pieces.
If two ladies had marked or 'claimed' the same item, we just did a little fashion show,
and had each one try on the piece, to see which it fit better.
 There really were no problems in this area, everyone was very gracious.

Once everyone had about three turns each, 
we just went in and picked through the leftovers together.
It was really relaxed, we simply asked, "Does anyone mind if I take piece," or "is anyone else interested in this?" and it worked out very smoothly.

Everyone ended up with several pieces that they really liked and looked great on them.
One thing I did notice that I found interesting was that on at least two occasions,
someone tried on a piece that they really weren't sure about, but when they modeled 
it in front of the others, they received a wonderful response that they hadn't expected!

It was a lot of fun and everyone agreed that we need to do it again
I ended up with a pretty intimate group, only four ladies including myself,
and I was worried there wouldn't be enough items to generate a good mix to choose from,
but it ended up working out great! Everyone brought more than 10 pieces, which helped a lot.
 Since it was a ladies get together,
I used it as a excuse to try out a new Pinterest recipe, and a special girly one at that!
They turned out pretty good, although I would make a few adjustments in the future.

So there you have it, ladies get together with new clothes and dessert!
 I call that a triple win!

Have any of you been to a clothing swap? 
Anxious to host one?
I hope this gives you a great idea for a ladies night out!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vote for a Cause, Make a Difference

I'm just gonna come right out and say that I have a little fire burning under my bum today,
and I decided to set out and try to do something about it.

Here is the story.

Those of you who have been with me very long know that I have a heart
for India. Well, I try to put my money where my mouth is a support works
in that country, and one way that I do that is by giving to India Partners,
a Christ centered organization that aims at "partnering with the people of India in ministry by cultivating relationships, sharing resources, and encouraging self-sufficiency through the compassion and wisdom of Jesus Christ."

Today I read an email from India Partners and
learned that they have entered a photo contest hosted by Global Giving.
which will give $1,000 to the non-profit organization who's picture wins first place.

Such a great idea, and I was happy to cast my vote and support them.

And then I saw it.
 The organizations that are currently in top place
are not ones that are aimed at saving orphans,
providing a better education for children overseas, or funding urgent medical needs.
The most championed causes in the lead right now are those that
aim to save abandoned birds, and street dogs.

This made me sad.
And then, very angry.

I love animals, y'all, and it does make me sad when they are mistreated.
But they are just that.

I believe people are infinitely more valuable and important!
We are created in the image of God and have eternal destinies.
There should be no contest!

For me, this contest isn't so much about the actual photos,
but about the organization that the photo will support.
This is the photo entered by India Partners.
By voting for India Partners, you help an orphan in India, like this girl, receive an education.

 If you feel the same as I,
a reputable Christian based organization that is doing a good work,
and make your voice heard that people are more valuable than animals. 

All you have to do is go to the link above that says "go vote",
enter you email address, then wait for the confirmation email that will make your vote count.
The deadline for voting is August 29th!

And that is all.
Such a very little thing can make a big difference.
You could make a difference between $1,000 being thrown away on rescuing birds,
like the ones that sadly fly into our windshields every now and then, or by providing a better life
and education to a precious, orphaned child...a human being who has a calling and destiny.

Your vote stresses the importance of Christ's love to children.

Thank you for reading my little rant.
And thank you in advance on behalf of India Partners, for your vote!

Hand Painted Thriftstore Mugs...Fail?

 Give a girl two thrifted mugs.
Two painter pens.
40 minutes.

And what do you get?

T H E S E!

 Free-hand, one of a kind painted mugs!
Believe it or not, I took pictures of flowers on our shower curtain and referred to them for inspiration!
Pretty darling, huh?

Now...I need to make a confession.
These were done a long time ago.
How long you ask...errmmm...last November?!
Why the long wait to share?
Well, it is kind of a half success/half fail project, 
and I don't like sharing things with you unless I have it figured out!
So actually, I'm coming to you for help!
Here is the situation.

Originally I was going to paint these using the infamous colored sharpie method from Pinterest.
However, after doing some research, I found lots of failed sharpie projects.
The poor dears put so much time and effort into beautifully, detailed designs
only to discover it scratched right off, even after baking.
I like to make my own mistakes, but I have no problem learning from those of others,
so I decided to go another route.

At Wal-Mart I purchased two Painters Brand Opaque Paint Markers
one medium-point blue and the other metallic silver in fine point.
Truthfully, I couldn't tell a difference in the applicator size and wish they had been smaller.
I found the points too big to do small, fine detail work.

Though I took another route, I'm sorry to say that I ended up in the same predicament as
the failed Sharpie gals. Even after baking my mugs twice, the design scratches off with my fingernail!

My poor, drooping heart!

Upon some investigation I discovered that these were acrylic paint pens.
The pens themselves were not labeled anywhere saying acrylic, I only found that out by visiting the product website and reading up on them.

Acrylic = non permanent, not food safe as is.

 This is where I need your help.
I want to preserve my designs if I can, but I still want to keep them food-safe. 
In this wide, wonderful wold of crafters, I'm hoping one of you can give me some hard earned knowledge from hands-on-experience as to how I can fix and improve upon this situation!
Is there something food safe I can coat these with?
What sort of paints should I use in the future that are food safe but permanent? 

I would love to do more painted ceramic projects, 
it was quite addicting and the results are so rewarding!
There are dozens of ideas floating around in my head (and some on my Pinterest boards).
Colored paint, colored mugs, stencils, sayings, many designs, so many possibilities! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Someone Always Mourns:
On the Passing of Robin Williams and To Those Who Contemplate Suicide

weeping statue

 Someone always mourns.
You will always be missed.

You have robbed the world of your presence, and left a hole that cannot be filled.

No matter who you are. What you have done.

You cannot make the choice to exit this world 
and not open questions and sorrow in the hearts left behind.

I am deeply saddened. No. My heart aches over the lately departed Robin Williams. 
To be so appreciated, applauded, and respected, he left this world alone and hurting. 
I wish so earnestly that someone could have given him Hope. 
The Hope that could have saved his life here and eternally.
Hope and Peace...the Ultimate Hope and Peace that comes by no other name then that of Jesus. 
That name alone could have silenced Williams' demons.

I grew up with his voice, his kind and funny face. 
And though I never met him, never reached out to a person that existed not to him, 
I feel a sad, gray emptiness that he has gone. 
I didn't always support every role and work that he committed himself to, but I recognized in him a genuine, compassionate person...a soul of deep waters. 
He refreshed a thirsty world, yet couldn't calm the stormy waves that raged inside. 
And I sorrow for him.

To anyone who considers ending their life, STOP.
Stop and see the ripples from Williams' death. 
The man had his demons, he had his legitimate issues...
but see the flood of well wishes, supporters, admirers and tear streaked faces he leaves in his wake. 
Those same people could have been his support system. 
You are never alone. 
Your absence will not go unnoticed. 
There is always someone who mourns. 

My children will grow up in a world without the talented, funny and kind hearted man found in Robin Williams that through the wonder of film, made himself at home in my childhood.
Now, when his name is mentioned they will say "Robin who?" and will grow up thinking of him as the dead guy who does the voice of Genie. 
There will be no personal connection...
a curtain has been drawn over time that they can never be seen through clearly. 

That is the same sort of hole you will leave if you take your life too, friend. 
You are not killing your demons, you are leaving them to haunt your loved ones.
You are not bringing to an end the loneliness you feel, you are only further and forever separating yourself further from those living and those you could have met in the future.


And if you have not made the choice to accept are not ending a life of torment and coming into peace, you are leaving the only world where an invitation of Peace has been offered to you and entering into an eternal world of torment.

And there is always someone who mourns.

When you leave this world without Christ as your Savior....God mourns. 

He mourns that you will be forever separated from Him in your eternal life because you didn't make the choice to be with Him in this present life. 
It is your choice. 
You can choose life...or you can choose death.

 "This day...I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life..."
~Deuteronomy 30:19~

These words were a challenge and an invitation issued by God Himself.
Daily, He invites us to choose life...
and the Bible says in John 14:6 that Jesus said of himself, " I am THE Life".

I pray you choose Him.

I pray you choose Peace. 

I pray you choose Hope.

I pray you take the Hand that can lift you from the stormy waves.

I pray you heed the Voice that can silence your demons.

I pray... 
you choose Life.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Liebster Award

Lookie, lookie...I was twice nominated for the Liebster Blogger Award!

Liebster award badges

I really feel I should be getting a terrible blogger award y'all, instead of this.
I mean, I disappeared for about four months with no word.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure that falls under the terrible blogger distinction.

BUT...I will graciously accept these awards and try to get up on my blogging horse.
Actually, just as a little heads up, I am in the throes of redesigning my blog,
so get ready for an overhaul and face lift sometime in the future!

I also have some completed refashions (finally!) that I just need to
take 'after' pictures of, then I can share them with you!

Yep. Good things are coming!

Back to the present.
Or rather the past.

My first nomination came from the sweet McKenna over at Cherishing My Role.
Here are her questions and my answers to them.

1. (Hardest Question Ever) How would you describe yourself?
Creative, caring, passionate, stubborn, quietly opinionated,
intuitive, funny, cautious, curious, a dreamer, better one on one.

2. How would you describe your sense of fashion?
 Color. Always color.
Some days I'm elegant and retro, other days bright and boho.
I wear what is pretty and what makes me feel happy-- I don't limit
that to a certain style or era, because I love so many different ones.
But flowey things always make it into my closet.
Free, fun and colorful.

3. Favorite musical artist ever (Aren't these questions easy?)
 Ever? Ever?! Oh, why so hard?!
I'll make it somewhat favorite instrument is the piano,
so I'm a sucker for a piece that tickles the ivory keys.
Like my fashion sense, I love (almost) all genres and types of music,
it depends on the mood I'm in and what I am doing at the time.

4. Favorite Snack?
 Salsa with fresh cilantro!!!!!!
And sharp cheddar cheese.
But not together.

5. What is your favorite non-fiction book?
 Works of C.S. Lewis

6. Favorite fiction book?
  Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers

7. What is your favorite historical era fashion-wise and why?
 Probably the 50's or 70's.
I love the fit and flair dresses of the 50's, the colors and prints are all so cute!
The 70's has some really cute dresses and styles that were long and loose and flowing,
and I love those so much!

8. Tea or coffee?
Chia Tea Latte. :)

9. What are your thoughts on the mismatched sock epidemic?
 My theory is this. The washer and dryer are sort of like a mechanical cow....
they share the same drinks the water, and the other...eats the socks.
I know, I know. It makes no sense.
But neither does one sock always disappearing!!

10. What Bible verses have jumped out at you recently?
 Deuteronomy 30:19a "This day...I have set before you life and death..."
Each day, we have a choice...over and over in numerous areas,
to choose life or death. Do I choose to say this and bring death
to this person's dreams, or death to this relationship?
Do I choose to do such and such that will be healthier and bring life into my body?
I think we have so many opportunities in our day to day life
that we can choose a path of life, growth, goodness,
or death, stuntedness, laziness etc.
The choice is before us each day, and we need to be conscious that it is ours to make.

11. Where in the world would you travel to if you could?


My second nomination came from my fellow Refashion Runway contestant from
last year, Magda over at House of Estrela.
Here were her quarries to me.

1. What's your main inspiration when it comes to sewing?
I get a lot of inspiration from sites like BurdaStyle and Modcloth...
I love the style of clothes that Modcloth offers, and I get inspired to sew my own versions,
as I usually don't have the money to spend on their items.
I stay up to date on the newest pattern releases from BurdaStyle,
and they are a great source of inspiration!
And fashion in general...I'm not a very trendy person, but I pick things here and there
that I like that are popular and try to incorporate them into my sewing.

2. What do you like to sew the most?
 I do more refashion sewing than pattern sewing right now,
and that varies based on what I find. I probably refashion more tops
because I need more to go with all of the skirts I have in my closet!

3. How did you learn to sew?
 I taught myself with the help of my mom.
She tried teaching me many times, but it took a determined decision on my part
that I was going to make myself learn this skill, for it to finally click.
I research and learn new techniques from sewing blogs otherwise.

4. Have you taught anyone else to sew in your life?
 Sort of, yes!
My little sister wanted to make a fun pillow for her bed,
so I taught her how to measure, cut, and iron her pieces and then sew them together!
She was pretty content with it, and hasn't really wanted to sew since...but the initial groundwork was laid!

5. What are you working on at the moment?
 Actually, I just finished a blouse refashion, and I haven't quite decided what to work on next.
I think I will end up taking in a couple pairs of trousers to make them 'skinny' next.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers,
as a way to recognize them and widen their audience.

  1.  Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
  2.  Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  3.  Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

I'm gonna do something a little unorthodox and NOT select my nominees right now.
I'm pretty sure that all of the bloggers I follow currently have received this award 
and have passed it on already, so it would just be redundant to nominate them again.
Therefore I have decided to put my nominees on hold until I discover them...
I have a few lists of blogger directories that I have been meaning to peruse,
so I'll save up my little blog award love and pass it on in the future!

In the meantime,
thank you to both of you lovely ladies for the nomination,
and to those of you who actually stuck around to the end of this post.
You are great. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DIY Embroidery Hoop Earring Keeper

In a burst of creative inspiration, last week I gathered some craft supplies
I had on hand and created this cute and easy Embroidery Hoop Earring Keeper!

When you have so many pretty earrings, why not display them in an equally functional
and decorative manner! 

Including the drying time for paint, I was able to whip this up in probably an hour's time!
Do you want to know how I made it?
I'll show you!

You Need:
Embroidery hoop, medium size range
Jute string


Paint your wooden embroidery hoop
the color of your choosing.

I painted the outer and inner hoops different colors for an extra pop of contrast.

If you are feeling adventurous, paint a little design on the outer portion of your hoop
where it will be visible.

A few swirly scrolls with some four petal flowers scattered over it looks great.
Then just to add more pop, I scattered some bright red dots and filled in some of the flower petals.

Begin to fasten your lengths of jute to the inner hoop.

I found the best way to secure the twine was by
wrapping it around itself and pulling it toward you.
By doing this it pulls the twine to the fore front of the hoop frame which will work best
when hanging your earrings.

This method doesn't actually secure the twine very tight,
the tightening is accomplished when you put the outer hoop on top and tighten it up.
I found when I made knots, they were too bulky and the outer hoop didn't slip over them,
so this is the method that worked best for me.
If this seems confusing or isn't working, just find a method that works for you.

Once you have the twine lengths tied on where you want them,
{I advise you hang some of your longest earrings from them to get the spacing right}
put the outer hoop on and pull each end of twine as tight as it will go.
Now tighten the outer hoop.

Once everything is tightened, snip the excess twine ends
 And, you're done!

Hammer a nail, and hang your new earring keeper!

Wanna know what sparked my sudden burst of creativity?
My dear friend and fellow blogger, Aspen aka The Texas Rebel Girl,
made me one of her awesome mathom keepers!!

 S E E?!
Isn't that just awesome?!
Made from chicken wire, sticks and jute twine, this piece is a great way to 
hang and display not only your jewelry, but also paper memos and various mementos as well!
I love it so much!

If you want to know how to make one, you can read Aspen's DIY blog post here!

I have found it so much easier getting ready
when I can quickly see the jewelry choices in front of me.
Not to mention I rediscovered some pieces
that had fallen out of circulation because they were buried under all the rest!

I hope you give this easy project a try!
It makes life a little easier...and a lot prettier.
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