Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flower Pincushion w/ Tutorial

Want to make a pincushion?! They are so easy to do, require few steps and most importantly: very little time! You can make one easily in an hour, or spread the steps out and make a leisurely weekend project out of it.

Materials Needed
two large felt circles in whatever color you choose
two smaller felt circles in contrasting color
one small felt circle in same as larger circles or in another contrasting color
long sewing needle
thread the same color as two smaller circles or whatever color you choose (you can use embroidery floss here, I just didn't have any the right color)
polyester batting
uncooked rice (yes, rice!)

Your circles should look something like this

Next, sew the two larger circles together and the two smaller circles together, leaving about 1" open. You can use whatever stitch is easiest for you. The first one I did, I used a V stitch. Here I used only a simple running stitch with a single thread.

Stuff with polyester batting. Don't stuff it too full, though. Next add a small amount of uncooked rice to each side of the batting. This gives weight and shape to the pincushion as well as being somewhat of a sharpener for your needles.

Your circles will then look something like this

Next, anchor a long length of thread on one side of the larger circle. Push the needle through the center of the circle. Then wrap thread around the circle, while pulling tension, and thread back through the center. Don't use the same hole every time, otherwise the felt will weaken and possibly tear. For each section, wrap the thread around a few times to secure the "petal". You can choose the number of petals you want. I ended up with six on the larger circle.

Repeat the same process for the smaller circle. This one ended up with only five petals. It doesn't matter as long as it looks nice to you. You're almost done! Next take the smallest circle and simple tack it onto the middle of the smallest flower. I tacked each fifth line of the petals and then three times in the center to sink the circle down into the flower. Just those three stitches adds dimension and makes it look unlike a "handmade" item so many people sneer at.

After your smallest flower is done, use a long needle and from the underneath side of the largest circle/flower push through both layers. In a similar fashion to the center of the small circle/flower, tack the two together. I once again tacked at each end and a few times in the center. Then knot the thread on the underneath side and you are done!

Finished Product!:

Paper Pot Tutorial

Its GARDENING TIME! Yahooooo!!!!
So this year, I've actually managed to start on time to grow from seed, even the things that need transplanting. However, I didn't want to spend a fortune on pots, especially since I prefer the kind that decompose. When I heard about Paper Pots, I was intrigued, did a little homework, and took an hour out of my day for both kids and I to make Paper Pots. Below are the instructions in picture form. Enjoy!!!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Quiz and a Chance to Win

A friend posted this on her blog Thanks Andrea!

If you go to this site, can fill out a short quiz that tells you what your decorating style is. The site also offers design services, and as a designer myself, I found the site to be simple and informative for the person using it. No jargon you can't understand or principles that apply to only kind of lifestyle/decorating style. It also allows you to store your ideas and present decorating problems for professional help.

After you fill out the quiz, go to Traci's site and you can win a $50 gift card to My Design Guide!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ovelene, my dearest Ovelene

Ovelene, my dearest Ovelene,

Ovelene, about age 18

Every time you have the chance to see
these faces looking back at thee
Remember not the times of sorrow
Nor the feelings of regret
Instead see the seed you've sown
In the garden of our hearts
They slowly rise up from the ground
Encouraged by the words you spake
Our flowers did emerge their heads
Nourished by the love you fed
The petals of our heart did unfurl
Showing beauty to this world
All because you chose to sow
In us the seed of love
February 2006
Ovelene (Aah-vah-leen) White Parrish

I came across this today, and totally had forgotten about it. I wrote this for my grandmother's birthday present in 2006, a collage of photos of each person in her immediate family. This verse now means so much more to me, because, though I didn't at one time, I truly do believe that those who've gone on before us truly do look upon us from heaven.
My grandmother was a very special person in my life. She taught me so many things: how to always keep your hands busy, a home cooked meal is priceless but so is a break from the kitchen, the love of flowers, of handmade items, of history, and most importantly love and belief in our Lord Jesus. She was the second child in a family of eleven, one of only three girls. She eloped to Mississippi with my PaPaw in 1952, fifty years before my own wedding. She had three boys, each three years apart. She saw all three of her grandchildren marry within six months of each other. She also saw the first two of her now five great grandchildren born. She spent three precious months with the second one, my own JJ, before she went to heaven after seven long years battling cancer.
She opened the world of reading to me with the help of my mother. She loved me, believed in me, taught me, shared with me things that shaped me and made me who I am today. I'll never forget the time she told me at the tender age of 16, to apply perfume on the throat, behind the ears and anywhere else you wanted your man to search for and kiss. Trust me, this advice was quite sound! lol
I take it as a compliment when people say I'm just like her, whether or not if they meant it as one. I miss her everyday, I long for our long talks, I wish I could have see the glow in her eyes if she could see all of her family now, especially four great granddaughters surrounding only one great grandson as of now. I like to think I'm at least a little bit like her, even if it is just her stubbornness I inherited!

Myself at about age 18

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Boots Who Humbled Me...

You know how God shows up when you least expect it? And, very rarely is it at the moment we are at our best: makeup perfect, fresh from the hair salon, perfect mani/pedi, not a crease or wrinkle; the moment when we are doing everything exactly right with grace and aplomb. Usually the moment is when we are at our lowest point, wallowing in the pity of our test or trial, or bristling at the undignified position we find ourselves. And, God always seems to come with a magnifying glass that shows us as we truly are: selfish, jealous, envious, ungracious, and full of flaws.

God came to me in one of those moments yesterday. My makeup wasn't perfect, my hair most assuredly wasn't, and my clothes well worn after a busy day of being a mom. I was tired, I was testy, I was cranky, I was definitely not walking in love.

The worst part was that the mountain of cares, burdens, me's, and my's, and I's were topped with my husband having the actual audacity to ask me to do something well beneath my station as miss prim and perfect! He asked, after a long day at work in a filthy, nasty steel plant to take the special work boots a man had lent him, until Tim had the money to buy a pair for himself, and clean them before Tim returned them to the man he had borrowed from.

Now you have to picture these boots and the conditions they had been subjected to. A steel plant is not the cleanest place; its full of black soot, dirt, grime, and anything else associated with dirtiness. And these Wolverine boots had not been new to begin with, so the short period Tim wore them had only added to the gloriousness of their well worn state. The soles were white where they should've been dark brown, the leather was black where it should've been brown, brown where it should've been black, scuffed, and much like our lives before Christ's blood cleaned all the grime and sin away with his tedious offering of blood, sweat, pain and time.

I didn't want to clean these boots. I wanted to have some time to myself after getting the kids to bed, the dishes washed, supper cleaned up, the dog fed, and all those other cares set aside. I, I, I wanted for me. But, I grumbled a reply to my husband's request that I would try to clean them. We all know what that implied.

Yet, when I was finally alone for me, me, me time, I found those boots facing me. They proclaimed loudly to me the state of their dirtiness, their borrowed state, and the time it would take to clean them. However, in the time I have known my husband there is something he has adamantly taught me by words and example: you never return something you've borrowed in a worse state than it was when you borrowed it in the first place.

So, I got out my supplies and took those boots into my lap, begrudgingly at first. Then I saw how tattered and torn and worn I was at the feet of my Lord. I wasn't fit to be used as a vessel for Him, but He took me and He washed me, He mended me, He restored me. I knew what God wanted of me, He wanted me to lower myself below my pride and clean those boots. Those boots which did not belong to me, but to a man I had never met, and probably never will. He not only wanted me to clean them, but He wanted me to make them look better than they did when Tim borrowed them in the first place.

Immediately before my eyes, I could see these words I had not seen in a while and couldn't even place in book or chapter,

42The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,'... 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of...

47"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:42-48

I not only cleaned those boots, but I took leather repair and conditioned that leather like it was a parched and thirsty child, needful of sustenance. I buffed those boots, I rinsed the dirt from the soles, I shined them until the leather was a color it had never been. All the while, God ministered to my heart and of course my pride, like a vessel on a potter's wheel, He molded and shaped, and repaired my soul and spirit like a tender and loving Father. He showed me the blessing of being humble and not rising to a selfish pride when after all we were the borrower and not the lender.

Unbidden came a verse I did not previously recall, and it indeed was a refining fire,

41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, "Here is your maidservant, ready to serve you and wash the feet of my master's servants." 1 Samuel 25:41

I don't know if the man appreciated the result of my task, or if even noticed the difference when Tim returned them to him last night, but I certainly noticed the difference not only on just the boots who humbled me, but upon my own heart as well.

Friends of Mine