Monday, March 30, 2009

Created: A Bag with Pleats

Last Friday night my grandparents came to visit!  I love those two so much, they are are two of the coolest people I know.  They took Matt and I out to The Ribeye in Champaign (sorry Dad, you weren't invited).  I have been beyond blessed by the relationship I have with them.  They have taught me more than they will ever know.  Thanks Grandma & Grandad!

I spent some time sewing this weekend.  I made some fabric Easter eggs that, according to Matt, looked like wonky hacky sacks.  (Thanks hunny I love you too).  That's one of the most frustrating things about sewing.  There have been many projects that were utter failures.  I have learned to be o.k. with that.
I did start & finish this pleated bag on Sunday.  I got the pattern from Bend the Rules.  Despite the snow that blanketed our yard that morning, I appliqued the little birdie. hoping it would look a little like spring.  I was going to post a tutorial but it ended up being a lot more complicated than I expected.
 Anyway, you can see more examples of Bend the Rules projects HERE.  Hope your Tuesday is great and happy browsing!
Oh and this is just because Izzy is cute (and hilarious). 

Last Dessert Thursday...

We ate lots of pie.
We went to Merry Ann's downtown (It's slightly less dirty than the one on Neil St.) and ate to our hearts content. We always bring a book to read together but we were so busy eating, we didn't even crack it open. I'm already looking forward to this weeks' Thursday.

I am loving my new wide angle/macro lens by the way. I wasn't convinced at first. I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my prime (not much can when you have an f-stop of 1.4). After I used it for a few days it started growing on me. I'm starting to think it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Here's to many, many more happy days together.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Please Pray for the Keys

Read their story here.

God, I praise you for being gracious in our suffering and in our anxiety. Even when we do not know your plan we trust in it. Please give Justin and Kristi the rest and reassurance they need in this very uncertain time. Give those tiny little babies strength and give the doctors wisdom. You are perfect in your timing and we pray that you let us rest in your wings.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fish Sticks and Peas

I had chocolate pie for dinner.

Actually I had coffee, blueberry pie, fries, AND chocolate pie, oh and a few sips of Pepsi.  

At least now-a-days I only eat like that once a week (Dessert Thursday is a very special occasion) . While in college a meal of Star Crunches and Mountain Dew was a common occurrence.  Throw in a giant spicy pickle from the Grab-n-go and I was set. 

 My parents tried.  They really did.  They always fed me balanced meals.  I guess that if the worst I did with my "freedom" after leaving home was eating Star Crunches for dinner, they did pretty well.  

When we were little my mom stayed home with us.  She took care of all of the housework and the cooking (among many other things).  Every once in a while my Dad had to make dinner for my sisters and I (I think my mom took a seasonal job a couple nights a week).  We love our Dad very much, but if we had to give him a job to do cooking would be last on the list.  Vacuuming the stairs... now that's a different story (he's incredible at that, so fluffy).  Anyway, it seemed like every time my mom was away my Dad would make us the SAME meal.
 Fish sticks and peas!
You can imagine our delight with that combination.  To this day I can't smell fish without thinking about those nights with my Dad (who will deny all of  this by the way).  
I'm going to go ahead and blame Dad for my hatred of seafood.  It was either him or my gag reflex.  Either way I don't think I'm missing out.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting Smock

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words about my last post.  It is so great to know that no matter the struggle, God is bigger.  I have real community here (even if I don't see you face to face).  So here is a great big cyber hug (is that creepy??)  Oh well....

I haven't had much time to sew this week (we've been busy at work with lots of training to prepare for).  Last week I sewed up this painting smock for my nephew Kellen.  It was pretty simple to make (I got the pattern out of Bend the Rules Sewing).  It was the first time I had used a zigzag stitch.  I kind of liked the way it looked.  One more technique to add to my sewing belt.    
I made this cute little softie too (out of Bend the Rules again).  He was a little rough around the edges but I'm betting a 2 year old doesn't mind.  
Also, please pray for my nephew Keagan.  You can read the full story here.
Good night my lovelies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am Enough because He is Enough.

Can I be frank? I think I can.  Mostly because those of you who read this probably love me, therefore, I want you to know my heart and where it's been for the last several months.  For those of you who don't love me, maybe this post will encourage you none the less.

The Last few months have been one of the most trying seasons (spiritually) in all of my life.  
I have been grappling with a restless heart.  Confused with what my purpose is and who I am.  I am a dreamer who is constantly imagining.  I'm not great at actually executing those dreams but I am GREAT at thinking about them. 

I am a "doer" or at least I am good at putting on that facade but when it comes to "being still" and "waiting on the Lord", like I am commanded to do- I've got nothing to brag about.  

After Matt and I got married we moved to a new town where we knew very few people and we didn't have a church.  Our marriage got off to a great start but after the first year things got rocky.  I became restless and scared.  I am an adventure seeker and the "mundanity" of married life was really getting to me.  If you know Matt at all, you know that he is on the cautious side (which is one of the reasons I love him).  We started hashing things out and I felt helpless, like I could never do enough to save our marriage or myself.  
I found out I was right.  After months of struggling God came in calmly and whispered to me "When you think you are worthless you aren't because I am not."  It hit me like a thunderbolt.  That's it, the Holy Spirit whispered words of wisdom and I heard it.  The world tells me I'm never enough, my heart tells me the same, but because I am covered by the King's blood I am free. I can stop striving, I can stop searching for my identity in worldly things. I can love people freely and not worry about what they think about me.  I can serve with a willing heart and be confident with who I am.  I am His and He is mine.  The purpose of my life is to reflect him not to "out do" Him or be "out done" by Him. 

My memory verse from last week was 
"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:10. 
In the times that my heart is quiet I can hear him speak to me and He is so good in it.  He uncovers all the things that are causing anxiety in the secret places within me, he brings them to my sight and shows me how filthy they are next to his blameless blood.  He wipes them clean.  
I am enough because He is enough.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dessert Thursday...

comes around once a week.  
It's really just an excuse for the husband and I to get out of the house and take time to enjoy each other.  We normally talk about really serious stuff (except for when we don't) and eat dessert from great local eateries.  I mean what could be better than discovering some local flav-a with the one you love.  Nothing, that's what.
Last week we went to Cafe Kopi.
I sipped on plum tea while Matty chugged a mocha iced frappuccino.  It's one of his new favorite things (I am going to go and take the credit for that one).  

Here's to the next Dessert Thursday my love.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shake it

like a cute little salt shaker!!

So I have a new member of my family.  I call it Sigma Lens II and it can take pictures like this...
and this...

I got the shakers while thrifting at the Furniture Lounge in Champaign.  They were having a major sale because they are moving locations.  I might have gotten 10 records for $2.00.  Now I just have to figure out where to put them....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the last Dessert Thursday...

We went to Escobar's.

Sometimes Dessert Thursday turns into dinner too (wink).  I had the baked macaroni and cheese and Matt had the half chicken braised in tomato and red wine. We recommend both.

Mostly we enjoyed each others' company. I sipped on coffee and we both ate the Guatemalan rum and mango cheesecake for dessert.

When our dessert came, I whipped out my massive camera and I noticed our waiter giving me a strange look.  I smiled at him and said... "It's Dessert Thursday... It's kind of a thing."
When he gave us our check he gazed at us with serious eyes and said "love is a beautiful thing," then walked away.  
Why thanks mister, I'd have to agree.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

You know, if you celebrate that sorta thing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"In Between"

The weather is finally catching up with my spring-cleaned house.  

To celebrate I bought some fresh flowers at the grocery store and scattered them around our house.  I didn't wear a coat to work today and I drove with my windows down.  I even wore shoes without socks.  I also bought some new candles so if my bargain blooms don't represent then I can count on some coconut lime.

Over the weekend Matty worked really hard on hanging some shelves above the buffet in our kitchen.  They look beautiful.  It gave me some great display space as well as freeing up the top of the buffet.

Today was the "in between" shopping trip.  You know the one where you are out of shampoo, mouth wash, dish detergent and an air filter for the furnace?  It is the trip that I particularly dread but is totally unavoidable and usually expensive.  I had to venture to wal-mart and go to the far corners of the universe to find what I needed.  Not finding what I needed on my own, I searched for an elusive employee who shrugged her shoulders and said "I think they are in that aisle over there."  Why thank you for that, pretty sure I couldn't have done that on my own. 
 Did you know that wal-mart doesn't carry cake flour?  I didn't, until today.  How am I supposed to make Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake without it?  I guess I'll have to go to a real grocery store tomorrow.  
Since I was on my last drop of shampoo it was one of the "in between" necessaries.  I stumbled upon Tea Tree Mint shampoo and conditioner by Organix.  I am usually a Sunsilk user but I felt like I needed a change.  The TTM had a tag on it that read "try me for free."  I am always up for a bargain so I put them in the cart.  All I have to do is send in the tag with my receipt and I get a full rebate!  So what if I did 2 different transactions in the 20 items or less lane.  I am sure the other "in between" shoppers appreciated my tardiness.  I am betting it will be months before I actually get the money back and I will have wasted 64 cents in stamps but I am hoping it will be worth it. Can't wait to try it out in the morning.  
If you MUST do your "in between" shopping this week, take a peak in the shampoo aisle.  You might just find a bargain! 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Few Creative Endeavors

What a beautiful day today! It was sooo great to feel the warm sun on my face after church while I played with Izzy in the yard. Matt is working on filling in the bare spots with the dirt that was dug up for our fence posts so I ducked inside hoping he wouldn't tell me to grab the other shovel. I am currently blasting Bon Jovi on my record player and enjoying the sun beaming through the windows. Maybe spring is here to stay this time. I'm not going to put away my winter coats just yet, but a girl can dream, right?

Matt's family came and stayed with us this weekend and as always it was a joy. They took us out to Jim Gould's, one of Matt and I's favorite local eateries. Since we were celebrating Matty's birthday our waitress gave him some yummy chocolate covered strawberries (which I got to enjoy).
As usual, I have been working on some crafts. I saw some adorable felt headbands on Etsy not too long ago so I decide to try my hand at working with felt myself. I made this little onsie for my nephew Keagan for St. Patrick's day using 3 different colors of felt. I wish I could see him in it. (I hope it fits him, I hear he is quite the chunky monkey).
Another little home improvement project I have been working on is my fabric cork board wall. I just painted a bunch of thrift store frames white and hot glued cork board to cardboard. I then covered them with some of my favorite fabric remnants and voila I have some very functional wall art.
I have been needing somewhere to store my records for a very long time so when I came across this buffet on one my thrifting excursions I couldn't resist it. I love to "restore" things and besides all it needed was was a little tlc (something I was more than happy to give it). I can't believe I got Matt to agree to the green color but I think he liked it in the end. At least now most of my records have a home and I can leave my new record player out all the time!!
Here's the before...
And here's the after...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

{Spring} Cleaning/Crafting

Scrub the floors (on my hands and knees). Check
Wash the baseboards. Check
Clean behind the toilet (apparently I've missed that spot for the last 6 months). Check
Vacuum UNDER the furniture. Check
Get our comforter dry cleaned. Check
O.k. Spring, my house is clean! Can you {please} make it a longer stay next time?
I have a bunch of fun projects underway (I guess the few days of spring-like weather inspired me).
Some of them required paint and are still drying out in the garage (stupid cold weather). I can show you one...
I saw this somewhere awhile ago and I loved
it! All I did was cover cork board with fabric and tuck them in as the backing of some cubbies. I think I'll get 3 more at some point. They look a little smaller than I expected (I guess that means I'd have to pick out more of my fave fabric out of my stash... DARN).