Friday, November 15, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. 
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see. (SouleMama)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

:: What a little (or a lot) of work will do

I've been looking for a sewing hutch - a place to store my extra fabric and supplies, as well as my patterns and quilting tools.  About a month ago I found this beauty at our local GoodWill store - AND it was on Half-Off Saturday!  (Yes - I was practically dancing right there in the store).  Even though it was a little bit bigger than I had in mind, the bones were exactly what I was looking for, the detailing was beautiful, and it was a Thomasville - which means high quality craftmanship, real wood, and dovetail drawers.  It wasn't the color I was looking for, but we all know THAT is how you get a good deal.  You can't have Pottery Barn beauty and quality, AND a Goodwill price tag.  =)  Good thing I know how to paint.  So it came home with me.
 With the first few brush strokes of primer, I began getting very worried.  I knew I was either crazy...or brave.  I decided crazy.  It was a bear to paint every surface of every shelf and door, but at that point I knew I didn't have a choice but to continue.  Let me just warn you: if you're thinking of painting your first piece of furniture, don't start with a china hutch.  =)
But now that the final coat of creamy paint is on, I'm so glad I did it - despite the many hours of work. 
Our eating table and countertops are covered, so the family's been flexible and we've enjoyed eating on a folding table.  It's so funny, things that adults find an inconvenience, the kids' think exciting.
Can't wait to show it to you finished!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

:: Baby-doll shirts

A few weeks ago I went shirt shopping for my oldest girl, who is just about to turn 7.  I was amazed at the dismal selection of cute, feminine shirts.  It seems like most of the stores only had shirts that looked way too grown up.  She had one shirt I loved from The GAP (bought at a consignment store), so I found a shirt pattern that was similar, and bought it when JoAnn's was running them for $.99.  This baby-doll style of shirt seems to be flattering on any little girl, and looks adorable with leggings or jeans. (McCall's 6388)
If you haven't noticed, I have a thing for polka-dots.  =)  Now I just wish I could make a few for me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. 
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see. (SouleMama)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

:: Harvest

Some days it's easy for me to get discouraged when I look around my home.  In every room are half-completed house projects. What was clean just the day before looks as if it hasn't been cleaned in a month.  I notice the crumbs, the cracked eggs (the cracked dishes), the subfloors and lack of trim, the fingerprints on the windows, the dirt tracked onto bathroom floors.  Dirty floors tend to get me the quickest.
Do I love having a big family? More than anything. Do Josh and I thrive on the creativity of house projects? Yes. When we entertain and our home is full of people and laughter, is my heart full of the joy that only serving the Lord gives? Absolutely.  But do dirty floors get me down? Even though I know it shouldn't, there are moments when, yes, they do.
Then God gently reminds my heart: where are your eyes?  Are they focused on the crumbs, or the lives you are raising and touching for eternity?  Are they focused on the fingerprints on the door, or the beauty I have put all around you?  Are they focused on all you think you "need" (or want), or is gratitude turning what you have into enough?
One of the verses I think about the most often, talks about when you have "an empty manger" it will be clean (ie - clean home), "but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest."  (ie - an ox brings a huge harvest, but not a clean stall)
Do the kids and I regularly clean our house? Yes. 
Should it have to be clean every moment and look like all those Pottery Barn magazines and blog pictures to keep me happy?  No.
Someday we WILL reap a harvest.  And when we get to heaven and see our Saviors face, it will be more incredible than we can even begin to imagine.  And oh so worth it.  But right now is the time for us to put on those boots, and fix ours eyes on lives forever changed for eternity. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

:: What I've been sewing lately...

I'm knee-deep in quilts for my 3 girls' room.  "Swell" is a simple pattern, but when you multiply it by 3, it has become a bit never-ending for me sometimes.
I do most of my sewing at night after the kids are in bed.  It's just so nice to have that little bit of quiet time to myself.  Sewing, and thinking.
This week I finished all 400 mini-blocks and needed a fast way to mix them up and get them ready to be randomly sewn together.  I tried something I've never done before.
 I put them in the dryer on a low-heat setting, and gave them a good tossing for a minute or two.
 I think it's the most beautiful basket of laundry I've ever had.

And now I'm ready for more sewing.
UPDATE: to see the finished quilts, click here.

Monday, September 30, 2013

:: Project - Bare Walls

I might have mentioned I've been busy with walls over here lately.  After getting the main floor painted this summer, I finally had enough of bareness.  It's like something snapped inside me.  See this huge, empty wall in our dining room?  Bo-ring.  It's amazing to think we stared at that wall during every meal for the last 3 years, isn't it? (excuse the wood plank on the ceiling - it's for attaching the baby's jonny-jump-up - but back to walls...)
I laid everything out on the floor and was able to work out an arrangement.  I did have to use some brown paper to save spots for the chalkboard we were making, and a few other things I didn't have ready to hang.

Last year for Mother's Day my husband bought this growth chart for me.  It's my favorite.  And yay - it's finally up!   (You can find it here.)
My children measure themselves all the time. Just in case someone has grown overnight.  I love it.
I wanted a chalkboard in the dinning room so we could work on the verses we are trying to memorize as a family.  It's a great visual prod while we are sitting there eating.
I found a large piece of wood in our garage, and after applying a few coats of chalkboard paint, Josh was obliging enough to attached some inexpensive pine trim, and with a bit of cream paint and slight distressing around the edges, it was ready to hang.
I used a vintage matchbox holder for our chalk and eraser.  It's quite charming, and works perfectly.  You can find them in a wide range of prices on ebay.  (I bought the cheapest one I could find for about $7, covered in years of grease, and then just scrubbed it over and over once it arrived in the mail.  Good as new - or old - again.)
Obviously I still need to get new pictures printed out for all the frames, but at least now they are on the walls.  Most of the frames were ones I already had, a few are new, and the plates are either from the Goodwill, or ones my grandmother hand-painted years ago.
I have a few ideas floating around in my mind for that empty space directly over the chalkboard.  But that's for another day.

Modern Pearls Quilt Along - Week Four (the finish!)

Good Morning, friends!  It's the fourth (and final) week of our Modern Pearls Quilt Along, and this is where all those 9 patches start t...