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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3rd Helping of Handmade Goodness

I have fallen in love with all things handmade.
I mean I've always adored the handmade stuff me and the girls have made through the years,
but a lot of that stuff can be noticeably.. ahem..  "handmade".
But now with the help of the Internet and blogs and Pinterest at our fingertips, there are instructions on how to make just about anything and make it look GOOD! 
 I love it!

So with no further adu....Here is the third scoop of handmade goodness I promised you.

This time with sprinkles AND a cherry on top!  :)
Here are the posts of the  first scoop and second scoop just in case you missed them.

1. Something I made:
This year for Christmas, Elizabeth requested  instead of buying the girls a bunch of toys, that I would make them an "Art Box".  Well...I was all over that like gravy on supplies is right up my alley.  I had a ball collecting stuff for their box.  I knew immediately I wanted "old school" supplies...The stuff that my maw maw kept in the blue dresser in the "kitty" room that was completely decorated from floor to ceiling  in red, white and blue for the bicentennial year of 1976 that she loved so much she never know...stuff like:
  • pipe cleaners
  • goggly eyes
  •  construction paper
  • pom pom balls
  • feathers
  • sequins
  • buttons
  • colored tongue depressors
  • wooden beads
  • finger paint
  • felt
  • bling bling jewels
You know.... all the FUN stuff that beckons your imagination to ignite!!
So armed with my Joannes coupons, I had a ball filling up my buggy with crafty goodness.

    Of course...I had to make them an apron to wear while they create....I mean, imagination stretching  and being artsy fartsy can get messy you know... :)

    At Christmas when she was about to open the box...I love the look of anticipation.

    One of the very first creations from the box...
    I think it's a masterpiece!

    2. Something that was made for me:
    This is super special on so many levels.  
    • First, It's a birds nest and I've always called my girls my chicks.  They are all beginning to leave my nest so now anything "birds and nesty" can cause me to conjure up a tear pretty quickly these days. 
    • Secondly, my son-n-law and daughter made this for me themselves!  It has three eggs to represent my  3 daughters.
    • And's gor-geous!!  This is one of those handmade gifts that doesn't' look handmade.  I've been eyeballing these babies on Etsty shops all over and to get one lovingly made by my own kids...well, I'm one happy momma!

    3. Something Handmade that I bought for others.
    One of my favorite discoveries for me of 2011 was Etsy shopping.  I LOVE supporting other ladies who are gifted creatively knowing its helping them support their families! And not just Etsy...there are many other online sites that have gorgeous goodies that I have shopped from and I loved!

    Today though, I want to share with y'all one of my friends and hi-light her amazing seamstress skills. She started out as my "pen friend" through one of {Hannah's great ideas} of connecting ladies together to write actual letters and stuff to each other.   Well Hannah  hooked me up with Marie.  And I couldn't be happier.  I love how she describes herself on her Etsy shop info page....
    I am Marie Williams and I love to create. I sew, design, crochet, decorate, paint, draw, embroider, and just about anything else I fancy. Jack of all trades, master of none. I believe that people are creative because we were made in the image of God, who is the ultimate creator. We love to make because He loves to make. We love beauty because He does. We love because He first loved us.

    I have the most wonderful husband of more than 10 years (who is extremely talented in his own right), and three beautiful children. I am blessed everyday to be home with my small children, and in between diaper changes, homeschooling and little league, I create! My family is my passion and my first priority.

    I try to buy all items made in the USA. When there is an option, I buy handmade. I am very earth friendly; from recycling to cloth diapering, I try to live a life that speaks louder than words. 
    She has two Etsy shops.. One is Found by Marie

    In this shop you will find gorgeous hand sewn items such as clutches, wallets and totes.  She takes custom orders for bridesmaids gifts and such too.
    Chevron oblong clutch-choose your color

    I love the fabric and the big wooden button on this one!!
    Gathered clutch with handmade button

    Medium shoulder bag--Ready to ship

    Her other Etsy Shop is called  found fabrics
    ....and I'm like a kid in a candy store when I look at all the beautifulness that she has in this shop.

    This was my latest indulgence.
    I can't wait to create with this stuff!
    The picture does not do it justice....the feel of this fabric is wonderful! 

    Sh has such a great eye for finding beautiful fabric to offer to us, but what sold me on shopping and supporting Marie is her story on how the business came about...It's a God thing and I love supporting God things.  You can read about that {here}.

    Here is just a sampling of the good stuff you can find...
    LAST ONE Sunset Aquarella by Art Gallery Fabrics Fat quarter
    Temple Tulips in Cinnamon from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms 1 Yard

    Fuchsia Mademoiselle by Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter

    Fuchsia Mademoiselle by Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter

    And here are the "Grow With Me Dresses" that she designed for my granddaughters.
    I gave her total creative control...colors and everything and I love what she came up with!!

    I love the design..
    It starts off a dress.
    Then eventually as a shirt to wear with jeans.

    The girls wanted to get in the pic too:)
    I can't wait to see them wearing them!

    Well there you have it!  
    Another addition of Handmade Goodness.
    I hope you liked them...
    I have so much more where this came from ;)

    Stephanie :)


    Monday, February 27, 2012

    The Puzzle

    Let me tell you why puzzles are so important in our house.
    You see, years ago when our girls were young, we shared with them our heart on the subject of dating. We really didn't want our girls to "try out" guys and give pieces of their hearts and emotions away to different boys here and there.  We were leaning more towards "courtship" for our girls.

    I've come to realize that the term courtship means different things to different people.
    We believe, according to God's Word,  He has created each of our daughters to be a help mate for a specific young man and that in His timing, He would reveal who that was to her and us. So for us courtship meant no "casual dating"...before any time was invested in a young man, we wanted our girls to discern if they could spend the rest of their lives with this person. Now don't misunderstand, we weren't trying to get our daughters married off or having them on the look out for a husband...  we just didn't want them to feel depended on the need to be in a relationship and doing activities just for the sake of having something to do that is the "normal" thing for teenagers in our culture.  

    We have always taught our girls about their gift of purity and saving themselves physically for the man the Lord has created for them until they are married.  We've taught  them about doing things the way God designed and what a blessing it will be for them to walk in God's best in this area... But we also desired for them to save themselves emotionally for their husband and we believed casual dating would jeopardize that. 

    So with that understanding in our house, we shared with our girls our vision of  the puzzle.
    When a young man began to show interest in them and they discerned that he may be worthy of their time and they desired to get to know him better, it was made known to him that  he was required to purchase a puzzle and bring it to our house and then have a talk with their daddy.  If their daddy felt like the young man was worthy to spend the time needed getting to know our daughter, then he would have to prove his devotion by making the commitment to put together a 1000 piece puzzle with us before he was allowed to take our daughter anywhere apart from hanging out with us.

    The whole intent of this was for us to be able spend time with him ourselves in the weeks ahead as we put the puzzle together as a family.  

    Well...we've had three young men show up at our door with puzzles in hand.
    • One married our oldest daughter three years later and they celebrated their 4th year of marriage in November.
    • One will be marrying our middle daughter this June,  three years after showing up with his puzzle.
    • And one hopes to marry our baby daughter in the future one day.

    Today is the anniversary of when Lydia and Marcus completed their puzzle three  years ago and could officially go on their first "date".  
    February 27, 2009.  
    I think they ended up at Taco Bell.  :)
    Here is their puzzle journey....

    "The Puzzle"
     We thought the name of the puzzle was so ironic!
    Reaching their "destination"  seemed like it was gonna take forever and a day at this stage....

    They were still smiling though :)

    Making some progress....

    This is his "Lydia, you better be worth this" look....

    Puzzle delirium...

    There were many a nights spent at this table..
    Many conversations were had....

    We were really getting to know who this Marcus Linton was who had won our daughters heart.

    It was a family event...

    Marcus got encouragement from Chris...who had already faced Bro Nick and survived.  lol
    Some good moral support from the son-n-law section.

    I jumped in and helped too.
    i even helped them out when they weren't there....shhh..that's our secret ;)

    Lots of fun memories were made around this table.
    I believe Rosalyn even  learned the Macarena during one night of puzzle time.

    SO close....

    Determined to finish it...this night! The end is NEAR!

    Lydia is getting giddy!

    Just a few pieces left!...

    Here they are at the end...just one piece left and they begin to get worried....

    If you notice the bottom left of the puzzle...after all that work, they are missing a piece!!

    Unbeknownst to even me, her daddy had hidden a piece of the puzzle all along.
    He let them sweat it out a little bit and then brought out this little box.

    It had the last piece in it and he shared with Marcus, how just like that last piece of puzzle was so precious to was Lydia precious to us. And he needed to treasure her and value her and take care of her when she was in his care. .....
    Then he gave Marcus the last piece.

    I love their faces!

    And the last piece goes in!

    Whew!...Marcus survived.
    He answered all our questions over the puzzle.
    He had bible studies with Bro Nick over the puzzle.
    ....I think they discussed the entire book of Romans.
    We giggled. We laughed. And we learned a lot about Marcus Aaron Linton.
    And Marcus learned a lot about the Holdens and the things we value.

    Which was exactly what was supposed to happen.

    February 27, 2009
    Happy Puzzle Anniversary to the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Linton.

    That night was just the beginning :)
    I'll tell y'all about their engagement one of these days...I promise. ;)

    Stephanie :)

    ps.  i forgot to mention I dropped the puzzle transporting it upstairs before we glued it together.
    Yeah.  I did that. 
    It wasn't a good day for me.

    bits of splendor monday

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Things I'm Loving

    A few things I've been lovin' this week..

    Shrimp Po boys

    Perculated coffee

    Escorts to the mailbox by  this sweet nephew.

    Big crowds for Face Time.

    Lunch Dates with this sweet niece.

    Wearing these shoes.

    Visits with my favorite aunt in the world..and knowing I'll always be her "Queen Bee" even though she has a ton of grandkids and great grand kids of her own.

     Getting to see my best friend and laughing when we both showed up wearing black and gray.

    Walking past this frog to see it grew hair over night compliments of
     Sissy Holden and a new pelt from Ms. Gretchen.

    Rides down the Lake Road.

    Random discoveries of pink tombs. wow.

    Muddy little boys having good old fashioned fun.

    And I'm loving linking up with the lovely Kristy and Rachel  and Jeannett today.

    What's some things you've been lovin' lately?


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