Monday, February 25, 2008

Productively Unplugged

Last Tuesday I stayed away from the computer. Rebecca issued a challenge to unplug for a day and be creative. It was harder to stay away than I thought it would be. But in the end it was a great day.

Seeing tangible results of time spent is so valuable for me. Although I'm a writer and spend a lot of time on the computer, I also need time to read and to think. I find that when I create with my hands, my brain is able to recharge and new ideas come flooding in.

When I realized how valuable the time spent away from the computer was, I spent less time on it for the rest of the week. And I accomplished a lot of things in my spare time...

- sewed a set of curtains for the guest room
- painted the guest room closet
- cleaned out and reorganized the linen closet
- made four sets of note cards and some bottles for future gifts
- made a spring banner
- read two books
- did some serious thinking and journaling about goals and dreams and how to put them into place



I decorated a few glass bottles to use as gifts for the future. Spring and summer are coming and I love sharing a flower or two from my garden with friends. These bottles are all recycled - they used to hold everything from pancake syrup to coffee flavourings to vanilla. When I purchase a product at the grocery store I now evaluate the shape of the bottle it comes in to see if I'd like to use it in this way.



I had a sheet of old wrapping paper. It decorated a gift given to my daughter several years ago and at the time I thought it just too pretty to throw away. I used it to make these cards and the banner below. For the cards, I just tore rough shapes of the flowers and words and glued them to cardstock - blue, green, yellow and pink. I like the mosaic effect. They are all different and I've packaged them in groups of four cards to use as gifts.



The banner uses the same gift wrap - it covers the bottoms of the card stock triangles. A simple ribbon threaded through the top, letters printed on pale yellow paper and voilĂ , a banner to brighten up the mirror on the landing.


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

I can hardly wait...

 


Spring is on the way. The quality of light has changed - there's a lightness in the air and faint stirrings in the brown garden beds. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are poking their heads above ground. Forsythia and rose bush stems swell and will soon burst forth with new life.
I have plans for my garden - some plants need to be moved and I can do that any time now. I want to fill in some blank spaces with shrubs that will add texture all year round.

I've been tagged by Regina. Here are the rules:

1. Once you are tagged,link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let know they have been tagged.

Hmmm, 7 weird or random facts about myself - it shouldn't be difficult, but how much do I want to reveal? Here goes:

1. I love to read - mysteries, adventure, spy, biography, inspirational, how-to, essays - I'll read almost anything.
2. My three children were born in a small mission hospital in the South American jungle. My husband and I worked for a Christian mission organization.
3. I absolutely HATE being cold.
4. There is a textured ceiling in our bedroom and in the mornings I wake up slowly and look at the ceiling. I've found all sorts of weird and wonderful characters there. My favourite is the outline of a donkey with a party hat! My husband can see them when I point them out to him, so I'm not entirely loony.
5. I rarely use recipes when I cook, except for ideas. I call it "cooking by grace, not law." And I love to cook! When asked for recipes I have a hard time giving them because I always change something. Baking is another story - I follow those recipes!
6. Hardly a day goes by when I don't eat chocolate. Dark.
7. I'm willing to try almost any hand-work - I love to create.

And now to tag people....

Christi from Charm and Grace
Angela at Cottage Magpie
Lilli who writes Make Mine Blissful

And since many people have already been tagged, I'll stop there. But if you haven't been tagged and would like to share a little bit about yourself with your readers, please blog about it and leave a comment and I'll mention it.
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Unplugged

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'm responding to Rebecca's challenge. I'm not going to read blogs, post to my blog or read email. Instead I'm going to use the day to produce something. I'll be back on Wednesday or Thursday to show you what I accomplished.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sea Glass

 


When we go walking along the beach, I always keep an eye out for sea glass. I love its worn translucence. I keep it in a jar and from time to time I put candles on a plate and surround them with my small but growing collection of sea glass.

I like to think of the pieces of glass, once sharp and cutting, being tumbled about in the ocean, tossed against rocks and scattered along the sand until they become these bits of beauty. The smooth edges remind me of how God uses the experiences in my life to soften my hard edges and create beauty in me.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Sweetness

 


Yesterday at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) it was all about chocolate. We created Valentine cards, made chocolates to take home and had a great time. Table centerpieces were all about nostalgia and romance. Here's the one I created - with a message for all of you wonderful people whom I've "met" through blogging. It's opened up a whole new world to me. Thank you.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Write It Down



I once heard Elisabeth Elliot say that a person doesn't really know what she's thinking until she writes it down. I find that true. When I write in my journals, I clarify what I think - I bring my thoughts together into some sort of cohesive (or sometimes incoherent) mass.

When I take the time to write down ideas of things to make, recipes to try, projects to complete, I find the very act of writing stimulates me to think of even more ideas.

And I refer back to my journals - they are more than diaries, they are the developing story of who I am.

I've never decorated a journal before - this is my first, but it won't be my last. So much fun.
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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Hike

 


The rain let up for a bit this afternoon so my husband and I headed out for a hike. It was 3:30 when we parked the car and we moved at a fairly fast pace, arriving at Squally Reach in about 45 minutes. It was a bit of a workout! The view is spectacular. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the camera. This picture, of the same area, was taken last summer, on a cloudy day. It looked much the same today - all blues and greens melting into each other with a shimmer of water. So beautiful.
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Thursday, February 07, 2008

For Me



It seems like I make most things for other people. Don't mistake me here, I love giving presents, especially ones I make. But sometimes I look around and wonder where all my creativity went - literally. So I made these sachets, sweetly scented for my own closet. I had fun with the buttons and trims.

How much of what you create do you keep for your own enjoyment?
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Button Love

 


I embroidered this little saying early last fall. Yesterday I found it and decided to finish the project I had in mind. Some blue toile, a fist full of buttons and blue buttonhole stitching. I think it will nestle on my bed with the other cushions.
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

To a Snowdrop



My daughter said she saw snowdrops through her window so I went out this morning. Oh yes! Delicate white sleepy blossoms nod in the chilly morning. A sign of hope...spring is coming!


"Nor will I then thy modest grace forget
Chaste snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

(William Wordsworth)
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Monday, February 04, 2008

Three



They fill my thoughts and dominate my prayers. My children. Three wonderful children. Grown now, bits of my own heart walking through the world apart from me.

When I decorate I often use three, or five items clustered together. It's a decorating principle to employ odd numbers. When I purchased these three stone hearts I wasn't thinking of my children. But when I set them on the silver tray on our coffee table, it occurred to me that three hearts were formed under mine. I am so blessed. My children aren't perfect, but they are simply wonderful.

I found these stone hearts at a store that sells fair trade and handmade items from various places around the world. These are from Kenya (dark green), Burma (beige) and Pakistan (pink).
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Words to Ponder

 


Kindness is highly underrated in our modern society. For too long we as a culture have stressed getting ahead by any means, thinking of number one, and success equals power or money. Kindness, on the other hand, thinks of others, is sensitive to needs and doesn't worry about success.

I need to show more kindness in my life. And it's listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23..."But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, self-control."
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Home Again

Well, hello there. It's been awhile. We were off gallivanting for 3 weeks and arrived home late on Monday night. We left Budapest a...