Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guest Post - Words of Hope

Another week another newspaper column for Mini.   Yesterday I didn't get a chance to go out and pick up the latest newspaper so I have just read this myself!  Hope you enjoy, take a little something away from the article and enjoy a blessed weekend!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am challenging myself to read through the whole bible in one year. Currently I am almost done with 2 Chronicles, so I’d say I’m making pretty good progress. If you’ve read around this area of the bible, you’ll notice that Israel has got a TON of kings. I mean, most of the stories from 1 Kings to where I am right now (and who knows, it may go beyond that! I’ll see soon!) are all about how Israel got this really awesome king who either had his heart set on God or was as far from God as one could get. When you read, you notice that there are probably 4 good, solid kings who are after God with all of their hearts and do as God moves them to do. The others either are completely opposed to the idea of Israel’s God or kind of try to get into Him but don’t feel like giving their whole heart away. A noticeable trend seen is “so-and-so had his heart right with God but did not remove the high places and Asherah poles and this was detestable in the eyes of the Lord” or something like that. The first couple of times I read that I thought nothing of it. But when all of these books of the bible CONSTANTLY repeat this and every single time the king who keeps these “high places and Asherah poles” fails at what he’s doing because his heart isn’t right with God according to the bible, I noticed a great lesson to be learned.
For those of you who maybe haven’t gotten into that part of the bible or need some brushing up, the “high places and Asherah poles” are these really strange locations to worship other gods. When I noticed this trend, I started thinking about why most of these kings didn’t get around to taking these places down. I mean, if it was that important to God and could all together improve the quality of their lives, wouldn’t you think that the removal of these places would be of the upmost importance?
The reason that these kings didn’t get rid of the high places is in the name itself. High places…. They weren’t necessarily the easiest things to get to. Out of sight, out of mind, right? They thought it would be too much of a hassle to tend to these worship centers so they just never got around to it. Now does that remind you of anyone? To me, we are these kings.
The way I see it, our “high places” are parts of our lives that don’t necessarily glorify God. They might not be particularly bad, but we aren’t giving God the control. We take certain aspects of our lives that we just don’t see as important or maybe that we don’t think we can give up and we hide them in the highest places in our hearts but we expect God to make something of us. The truth is, God will never be able to make anything extraordinary out of our lives until we give him those high places. We will never be the few great kings mentioned who triumph over all by God’s hand until we realize that God deserves EVERY part of us. It’s time to get rid of the high places, friends.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

She May Be a Crafter Yet (Maybe)

I don't think I have ever mentioned Mini's distaste for crafts.  I truly don't understand it.  The Nana always did crafts.  Back in the day it was decoupage, she also can sew anything and can crochet, knit and can and has done just about every craft you can think of.
I didn't come into my crafting self until I was in my early 20's.  I was into cross stitch, and twist paper crafts, a bit of sewing and then started to paint.  Since then I have at the least attempted whatever the "new" craft of the day was.  I love having a project going. Five going in different genres is better.
For a while I had a child that would craft but by the time The Big Dumb Jock was in about 3rd grade he wasn't much of a craft buddy anymore.   I was thrilled when Mini came along.  I just knew she was going to be my crafting buddy for life.  WRONG!  Mini has had no interest in crafts.  She would rather work for the money and buy something.  How in the world can this child have my DNA?
At times I have tried guilt.  "Please just spend some time with me and we will make XYZ," I would plead.  If I could actually apply enough guilt she might join me physically, but never mentally.  She would hurry through whatever we were doing to fulfill her time obligation and then she would be off.  She would rather us sit and read together (not that I am against that). 
Flash forward till present day.   Mini has a busy life.  Crafting would really be hard to fit in.  Afterall

It takes time to be a famous writer

 She has to squeeze in time for The Boyfriend (after all he sends beautiful roses)!

Mini also stays pretty busy receiving one award or another (she is annoying like that).

She is working hard on her casting technique for her high school Bass Fishing Club

and of course she has to rest occasionally

 I have noticed that in the last year she has quietly delved into crafting a bit.  She has made The Boyfriend cards and a scrapbook and she held a wreath for me to glue things to a while back so I was beginning to have a bit of hope. 
Then came a prom dilemma.  Mini wasn't planning to go to prom until she won a Driver's Safety essay contest (that is the award she is receiving from the Sheriff above) and grand prize was a limo for the night.  I will tell that story later but I probably should have never made the bet with her, it is costing a fortune and stressing me out!  Any who now we are racing about trying to get ready.  She has decided she wants me to do her hair but wanted "something" for her hair.  You know, a bow, feathers, a flower or something (something only known to her). 

We spend a good bit of time looking for whatever she had in her head but were coming up empty (and tired).  I suggested we could make something.  I figured this would put an end to a "hair thing" and we could move on.  WRONG but a good wrong.  She went willingly to Michael's and instead of whining about how long it takes there was diligently searching for just the right stuff to construct her vision (it was so fun......fingers crossed that she keeps an interest).
We ended up buying a flower, glitter spray and a costume jewelry ring to deconstruct and use part of.
First we removed the stem from the flower.  Then disassembled the flower from the plastic center and reassembled and sewed the layers back together. 

 All ready to paint.

Two coats of Glitter spray.

 Then we attached a barrette and took apart the stretch costume ring and attached it with glue as the flower center.  Mini was really into making this so we failed to take pictures of the ring before we disassembled it.

Ta Da
It turned out so well and it is a perfect match to her dress and no one was poked with a needle, maimed by pliers or burned with hot glue (winning!). I had so much fun shopping for the components and then putting it together with her.  It wasn't a huge craft but a very special one that we (at least I) will always remember making together.  I will post some pictures of the dress and the hair flower in a couple of weeks.  I think it will be perfect for her "look" for the night.  Now I am thinking of more crafts that might be of interest to her.....I wonder when she will have time again?
Thanks for stopping in and sharing a Mini and Mom craft event.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Inspiration

Our weather here has been so sketchy lately getting fully in Spring mode has come in bits and spurts.  Last week we were having yet another unseasonably cool and rainy day so my junk buddy Tammy and I headed out shopping to get some inspiration. 
Our target for the day was Old Time Pottery.  Love, love, love OTP!  I bet we were in the store 4 hours....we leave no items unchecked.   OTP is a great option for pictures, mirrors and lots of seasonal items and REALLY reasonable prices.
If you haven't started or completed your spring cleaning these should jump start you.

If you gotta do it you should work with tools that just look happy shouldn't you?
If you look closely you can see that they even have toilet issues tools glammed up!

I was all set to buy some fashionable leopard mops and brooms and brushes but alas, they were out of those....guess I wasn't meant to spend time spring cleaning.
Organizing anyone?  There was an amazing selection of  brightly colors containers.  This would really perk up garage organization I need to consider tackling just that!  Many of the containers would be great for use at outdoor cookouts and parties. 

Loved these jar lanterns!  The colors are so pretty for summer evenings outside and at $2.49 you can't beat the price.  If you have an interest in these run don 't walk to your nearest OTP.  I purchased these in fall colors last fall and used them in a dozen different ways.  I purchased only 3 and decided to go back for go that were sold out in a week. snooze you lose on these pretties.

These flowers were amazing!  About 10 inches across they really would make a statement.  I am regretting now buying them :(  I made some napkin rings last year using a smaller version of these flowers, I blogged about them here.  I think these giant versions would look great hanging above the table.  Oh well, if it is meant to be they will be there when I go back.
Looking to spruce up your patio furniture?  OTP had a wonderful selection of cushions and umbrellas.  Lots of styles, colors and patterns.
My deal of the day? Lanterns.
These amazing lanterns.  They are about 3 ft. tall and were on clearance for $10 each.  I jumped on them (that's right jumped because getting the deal between Tammy and I is HIGHLY competitive!).  As we shopped we ran into a gentlemen asking where I found them.  When I told him he said "good I wanted them moved there" and introduced himself at the district manager.  Hmmmm......"well in that case you could reduce the price since the paint has a couple of dings, right?"  You know what they say, you never know until you ask.  Truthfully there were only a couple of hardly noticeable spots but he marked them down anyway! So $8.00 a piece was even better.
 Tammy kept telling me that they really wouldn't look good on my porch but were perfect for her porch.  Honestly I felt she was right so today I told her she can buy them from me.  I just know she will do something amazing with them and I will be sorry! 
So, it was a great day with great company and loads of spring inspiration!  What has been your spring inspiration?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Words of Hope - Guest Post by Mini

Hope's latest newspaper article has now been published so I wanted to share with my readers.   The article is a bit old so to speak since we are almost two weeks past Easter now, but still important.  Hope you enjoy the article and find something that will provide you food for thought.
Words of Hope

This past Sunday was a time when all came together to celebrate Easter, the holiday that commemorates Jesus’ death and resurrection. Everyone tends to focus on the death of Jesus and all that it means, but skims over the resurrection. I often times think about Jesus’ death and the cup of God’s wrath that he drank for the rest of us. I could talk about the death of Christ in every article I ever write and it still wouldn’t be enough! The other day I was thinking about this while getting ready for bed. However, my mind went to when Jesus rose from the dead and I started thinking about what that meant. God took that moment to speak to me and really make me realize what that event symbolized.

          It started by me thinking about Satan. Yes, most people think of Satan as a big red devil with horns and a tail. Most people could see this Satan from a mile away, if not further. This is the image that we are taught to fear from the time we were children until death. But is that who Satan really is? No. Satan is a business man. He is going to make any sin look and sound good so that we separate ourselves from God even more. His ultimate goal is not to win our souls over to Him, but to keep them away from God, which essentially does give them to him. How do you think Satan felt on the day of Christ’s death? He probably felt pretty dang good! He won, God lost, we all go to hell. I bet he threw an absolute shin-dig when Jesus died. It probably lasted about three days, and then his jaw dropped.

          Three days after Satan thought he had won, Jesus rose from the grave. What does that mean? God wins! We’re His! His love has broken the powers of hell and there is NOTHING Satan can do anymore that can separate us from God! Isn’t that awesome? It is, unless your name is Lucifer. That just made his game a lot more difficult. It wasn’t about trying to get people to break rules anymore, it was about convincing them to hide their hearts from God. The resurrection of Christ was the nail to Satan’s coffin. There is NO way he can recover. It is final that one day he will be no more and we will FOREVER be with God and live in love and happiness. Think about the celebration in heaven!

          What this ultimately means for us is that nothing in earth or in hell could ever separate us from God. Romans 8:37-39 says it plain as day!  Satan’s hand will never touch you because God has got you covered. By not accepting Jesus’ death and living in a manner that reflects His life is the only thing that condemns you. You yourself are the only thing that stands in the way of your salvation. Yes, Satan does come in his suit and tie and try and sell you some good looking sin at a discount price, but ultimately it is your decision if you want to take that sin and whoop it up on Earth or have an eternal life with the God who loved you so much that He would give his son the wrath of the world. The resurrection of Christ symbolizes our victory and our life simply because Satan lost. How awesome. I leave with words of a worship song, for you to rejoice with.

“Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory? Oh Church, come stand in the light. Our God is not dead, He’s alive! He’s alive!”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wall Art Fun

A while back I blogged about a chair makeover I had completed.   I really like the way it turned out but I loved the fabric I used.   I overestimated my fabric need for the chair and ended up with enough to cover a vanity seat and still had a wee bit left. 

I didn't have a need for curtains in the master bedroom (naturally, I had just put up new ones before I fell for this fabric).   I have glass doors on the shower so I don't need a shower curtain and although the fabric works in the room it doesn't work on the bed itself so accent pillows were out, but I just couldn't let this bit of fabric go.

I was trolling around Pinterest land recently and saw lots of idea using canvases and the light bulb went off.  I had recently pulled a picture that was above my tub and had been waiting for the right thing to replace it with.  After seeing all the canvases I headed off to Michael's to get one to try covering with fabric.  As luck would have it, they were on sale and I had a big fat coupon that made a 3 pack of 11 x 14's about $5.00! 

On the ride home I was trying to figure out how to use the other two canvases since I had planned to cover only one.  I toyed with the idea but ended up going to my old stand by, painting.  No, I don't paint lovely landscapes, remember this was my first time with a canvas!  I decided to paint some aspects of the fabric design on my canvases and hang them as a set of three. 

This is the fabric....I love the patterns and the colors.  With the help of The Nana we were able to use some spray glue and cover the fabric canvas pretty quickly.  I sealed it with two coats of Modge Podge.

Then it was on to the painted canvases.  First I made photocopies of parts of the fabric.

I painted each canvas a solid color, one chocolate brown (it looked just like a Hershey bar..yum) and one a creamy off white.  I wanted the design to "pop" so I decided making it dimensional.  I didn't have wood thin enough to work with so I improvised and used fun foam. to do this?   The fun foam I had was primary colors so first I would have to paint it.  Will acrylic paint work?  The foam is, well, foamy so transferring the design could be a problem.  I figured I would never know if I didn't try. 

I traced the pattern from the photocopies onto paper and then onto the fun foam.  The be honest, I could not get the "pattern" to transfer so I just copied the shape and then cut the shape out of the foam.  My plan was to freehand the design.

The shape transferred well and the acrylic paint worked just fine.

At this point I planned to just try and duplicate the design detail from the fabric and apply a bit of stenciling in the corners.  But, as with all things I do...I needed to do just a bit more (plus I was trying to cheat and not paint all the tedious detail on the foam) so I attempted to use parts of the stencil design and stencil those onto the foam.  Ahem....bad idea.....very bad idea.  Patience is not my strong suit so I managed to overlap the stenciling and be very inconsistent with the paint coverage so I trashed the whole dimensional idea.  Now that I am looking at the photo, I may actually try this again!

In the end I went back to the original traced design and transferred it directly onto the paint canvas and then painted in the detail.  It is not dimensional but I do think they turned out nicely.

Here they are in their new home above my tub.

I enjoyed painting these so much!  Love the detail!

 I am really happy with the set of 3...I still love the fabric and I really love soaking in my big ole tub looking at them.  Thanks for stopping in, have a great day!