Monday, April 30, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out!

Just when you think there isn't anything else you can do with your leftover scraps of fabric, "eat" your words, friends!  There is another small project just around the corner, or wall!  (Okay, I promise - no more cheesy jokes.)  I found this little venture on one of my favorite blogs, A Bowl Full of Lemons.  It's easy, it's quick and my favorite part - totally affordable! 

The original idea came from Pottery Barn's moss letters.  If you're anything like me, your eyes went straight to the price line - these babies walk out of stores at $79/each!  Can you believe it?  Now, don't get me wrong, I delight in walking the aisles of Pottery Barn, but I can only dream of decorating my home at prices like that.  In true D.I.Y. style, A Bowl Full of Lemons took the idea and made it something people like me could fashion in a home like mine. 

Supply It:
  • Three letters, "E" "A" "T" - I scooped these up at Hobby Lobby for $2.47 here.  Now, can you believe that price?
  • Hot glue
  • Fabric scraps of your choice
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors  
  • Nail & hammer
 Let's Do This:
  1. Lay your fabric out and cut around the letters, giving some extra fabric to fold over the back.
  2. Take your glue gun and fold the pieces over as if you're wrapping a gift.  Note:  During this stage - be forgiving.  The corners are hard to perfect. 
  3. Once you've allowed your letters to cool and the fabric is set, take your ribbon and make a long loop and tie a nice bow to hang your letters.  I use the glue gun again to paste the ribbon on the back of each letter.  So easy!
  4. Take your wall of choice, your nail, and hammer that little beauty in.  Stagger, space and shazam, friends!  You have a nice little addition to your kitchen wall.  
  5. Easy as E-A-T!
  6. Now...what to cook?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clutch Me

Every lady needs a clutch - a small "handbag without handles".  I love them, especially when painting the town red or having a glass of wine with my girlfriends.  For whatever reason, they make you feel dainty and more girly.  If you don't have one, make one!  I used the "It's So Easy It's Simplicity" pattern (to the right).  It's pattern #2906 and includes two skirts and one clutch pattern.  If you've never used this company for pattern ideas - I highly recommend them.  They're super affordable and for the most part, easy to follow.  

The first step is to cut your fabric according to your pattern pieces.  When you have more than one item in your pattern, remember to only cut the pieces you need.  For example, in this number I only needed pieces for the purse - so make sure you leave the other pieces for the skirt to use later, if you choose to dive into sewing a skirt! 

In this case, I needed to cut 1 piece for my lining, 2 pieces for the outside (the main color/pattern of your purse) and 2 pieces of the interfacing - what makes the purse tough to carry around those important things while you're out and about.  Make sure you mirror the triangles like you see in the picture above - this will come in handy when you have to match them up later.

The next several steps are outlined in your pattern directions.  The finished product is well worth the cutting, sewing, lining, matching, and hours spent.  I recently carried mine to a very important afternoon meeting.  It totally pulled my outfit together and was so handy.  So, whether you're out with your honey, or just want to add a little pizazz to any outfit - go with a clutch!  I promise you won't regret it, especially when you make it yourself.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Table for Two

*I promise to get back to sewing posts - but I had to share a little piece of my heart with you after my Easter weekend*

All of my growing up years, I cherished holidays with my family.  In fact, I still love them.  But, I will say they've changed quite a bit over the last several years since losing all four blood-related grandparents.  Both sets were the "hub" of all things holiday.  It was always one place for Christmas, another for Thanksgiving and so on... They were generally loud (in a good way) and bellies were always full (not always so good).  It was about family, food, and fellowship.  But, like I said these have changed over the years due to deaths and my new marriage. 

As you know, my husband is a Director of Youth Ministries at our church.  You learn quickly that most major holidays are also some of the busiest times for the church.  We've missed spending holidays with family as our commitments are with our church family during these times.  At the beginning, I struggled with missing home, missing my parents, missing his parents, siblings, in-laws, all of it.  I missed Christmas Day with family.  But, to be frank, I was really missing the whole meaning of these days anyway.  Let me explain...

What's important about holidays is not whether you're at home or not.  It's not important that you have 10 people at your table or two or about the biggest, greatest meal you can prepare - although I love every bit of these traditional holiday celebrations!  What I can tell you, for me, it's not so much about "the day" or the preparations for it. It's about the person you're celebrating.  Ever think about that when it's someone's birthday?  Just a thought...

My Easter this year was quiet.  Jeff and I ate a wonderful meal after a long, fruitful, blessed day of worship with our church.  As I sat across the table from Jeff, I realized my table of two is enough - it always has been.  Our two dogs sat close by and we ate and reflected on the morning.  We didn't have 10 at the table, we didn't have kids running around nor did we have an extravagant meal, neither sets of our parents were able to join us.  What we DID have was time to reflect, be thankful, and enjoy celebrating the reason we have Easter - the reason we can celebrate everyday - not just on Easter, or Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or any other holiday.  He is enough.  I miss my family and wish all the time they could be here for holidays, but when we can't spend Christmas or Easter Day together, that's okay, because I can still look across the table at my family of two and celebrate what Christ as done for us.  (And, in case I'm missing the noise - you better believe I can celebrate with any of our 100ish-member congregation on any given day of the week!  In fact, we have invites every holiday to share with families in our church - what a blessing!)

Reflecting this Easter, I've learned this:
holidays are not about how many people are at your table, what meal you prepare, or even if you're able to be with all your family.  All these things are great and such blessings, but it's not completely the reason we celebrate.  We celebrate because of what HE has done.  So, next time you order for 10 or two, there's a reason to celebrate, because...
He. Is. Enough.

Next holiday, I hope to remind myself that my table is never empty and my heart is always full when I walk with Him, right?  Hebrews 13:5 "...Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you."  What a promise!  Friends - pass on the green bean casserole next year and feast on the Bread of Life - I promise it'll fill you up way more than any casserole dish or apple pie!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Celebrating Momma Bear

Today, April 9th, marks my fabulous mother's birthday.  I celebrate her today, although she deserves honor every day, really.  She's been the best mom to my sister and me and to say she's been a wonderful wife would be an understatement.  She displays grace, beauty and faith like no other.  She protects and consoles.  She loves and adores those around her and never meets a stranger, much like her mother, I'm told.  If you've ever met my mom, you would certainly agree.  And, if you haven't met her, you should!

A while back Mom earned her "Momma Bear" title when I was deeply hurting and in so much emotional pain.  I'll never forget the day she told me, "When my children are hurting, Momma Bear will come out."  In a moment of such distress and pain, she made me laugh.  My Mom is a gentle soul - wouldn't hurt a fly - unless you hurt her cubs and then Momma Bear comes out of her cave.  We still laugh about that day.  But, you better believe those words...

So, today, I celebrate my Momma Bear - for the times she protected me when I needed it most.  The times she fought for me when I didn't have it in me and for the times she just listened when we both knew she really wanted to talk.  I celebrate the Mother-in-Law she was the day she humbly gave me (with my precious Father) away to my sweet husband on our wedding day and how she continues to bless our marriage with her gifts and encouraging words.  I celebrate Su-Su, the grandmother she has become to my beautiful niece, spoiling her every chance she gets.  And, for the Su-Su she will be to my future children.  (And, I expect the same amount of spoiling, too)!  I celebrate her as a wife to my Dad.  Their marriage is a true example of love and faith.  She is a true example of a Godly wife, one I hope to be to Jeff through the years. 

And, above all, I celebrate you as Mom.  What can I say?  You are fabulous!  I love you and I know you are loved.