Friday, July 30, 2010

Consignment store love

I have been spending a lot of time in thrift/consignment stores this week. I blame my friends, they do things like call me up and tell me to "come quick, there are these two great chairs that you want for $15 a piece". They know I am not going to say no.

Look at these two gems that I just got. They are on their way out the door to be recovered. I tackle a lot of projects myself, but I do not do button back chairs...and these are too pretty to mess up. And then there were these two that I considered buying, but I figured my cute carpenter would have a thing or two to say about me bringing home two more misfit chairs. So the Sassy Seamstress bought them instead...she is a smart girl.
Look at this darling little find: $12 What color should I paint her?
I saved the best for last. I spotted this piece from across the warehouse in a consignment store, and my heart skipped a beat. It is an octagonal table with 2 more leaves that go in it, it is so very frenchy.
I love all the quatrefoil carvings, and I cannot wait to paint it My husband cannot wait for me to figure out where I am going to put it. I keep telling him that that is a silly little detail that us practical girls need not worry about.
So how about you, bought anything fun lately? If I were fancy I would do one of those linky things, but I have no idea how to do that, so let's just do this the ghetto way and leave a link in the comments if you have a great thrift store project. I'm looking for some inspiration!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simple Elegance

Everywhere I go I pay attention details, I love them. While I'm sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office, I am noticing how the chairs are set up. Or while watching a movie, I tend to pay more attention to the set design than I do the characters (unless the character is Russell Crowe...did I just type that ;)). Or while shopping, I will spend more time admiring the decorative wall finishes in Anthropologie than I do the clothing. I like details. So this past spring while attending an auction for my daughter's school, I flipped out over this simple arrangement. Can you call sticks in a vase an arrangement? It was so simple, yet so elegant. A local decorator had crafted the ensemble as decorations for the table tops at this event. She might be the smartest girl I know.

So I copied her and made my own...and you can too. All you need are sticks, color dyed moss (mine is chartreuse), and a glue gun. How stinkin' pretty is that sitting in my dining room?

Here is another, much more lopsided view:

This moss is the coolest color. I bought mine at a local garden type shop, but I have seen something very similar at JoAnn Fabrics. One of my girlfriend's already went out and bought some for a wreath for her front door. Oh the possibilities.

Linking up today with a few of my favorite people! Melissa over at The Inspired Room, and Wendy over at The Shabby Nest. Come join us...


Monday, July 26, 2010

He loves me, He loves me not

He loves me, He loves me not...I am so guilty of this. Every time I think I am past it, doubt and insecurity march right back into my life and cause me to begin questioning what I believed just one day before. It is as though the path that I am on with the Lord sometimes resembles more of a track, we just keep looping around the same path over and over again. I desire our road to look more like a path through a meadow; maybe one where the morning dew still floats atop the grass, and the sunlight causes it to glisten and reflect a golden glow. Or maybe I envision our walk to be down a beach, calm and serene, yet at the same time powerful and majestic. But often all I can see is black concrete underneath my walking shoes, along with metal stadium seats packed full of onlookers mocking my lack of progress. I hear what they are saying even though they are whispering, I hear their condemning words. Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever feel like you spend way too much time plucking the petals off daisies, allowing your emotions to swing back and forth between "He loves me and He loves me not"? Do you ever feel like you are looping the same track over and over again, wrestling out the same issues with God? Do you ever feel drained from your apparent lack of progress? I do, and it can be exhausting.

There is a glimmer of hope that I cling to when discouragement begins to weigh down my spirit: God wrestles with those that He loves. Do you remember Jacob? He had buried himself so deep into the ground that there was simply no way out for him. His brother (that presumably desired to kill him) was approaching with an army of 400 men. To say that Jacob was discouraged would be an understatement, He was terrified. And so he wrestled through all the sin that had brought him to where he was...and he wasn't alone. God was right there with him, wrestling it out, just waiting for Jacob to humble himself before his Maker and accept his blessing that the Lord desired to give him.

When you are feeling your walk with the Lord keeps bringing you back to the same place, consider the possibility that maybe you and God still have some wrestling to do. Consider the possibility that it is not that God doesn't love you that you find yourself back at the same place again, but rather that He loves you too much to let you move on before you have received His blessing. Though our flesh tells us that we are back at this same place again because we will never be free of our sin, allow the Spirit to speak a bolder truth over your situation. Maybe God is just waiting for us to humble ourselves enough to receive the blessing that He has set aside for us. Believe Him when He says He loves you. His Son has the scars on his hands and feet to prove it.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guest posting with The Shabby Chic Cottage

Do you want to know how to make these frames? I'm guest posting over at The Shabby Chic Cottage, join me...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The sick dog

My daughter has been sick. Sick with the kind of illness that requires a mother to say things like "do not breath on anyone, touch anything, or even make eye contact with your brother and sister". I pulled out the Lysol, the bleach, and the gloves, and did my best impression of a quarantine. Of course I failed miserably as within an hour Thomas was walking around drinking from his sister's cup. I tried control, it didn't work for me. It really never has.

But sometimes sickness can be the gift. We dread it of course, even pray against it, but sometimes only in our weakness do we still ourselves long enough to acknowledge our weakness...and then subsequently acknowledge His strength. I'm speaking as someone who has no authority to say such things with any pretense of expertise, as from a physical perspective I am healthy and well, having never walked the path of a true and painful illness. However, I walked briefly along side of a friend once that carried a 6 month old baby girl in her arms, and also a terminal and aggressive tumor in her brain. During one of our visits she stated quite plainly, "I am grateful for the cancer because it has drawn me closer to Jesus". She considered the cancer, a gift. While I with little strength and faith was crying, falling apart, and mourning her before she was gone; she was still and grateful. Even today, I am not sure that I believe such a true and wise heart to be possible. I sing songs about trading my sickness for the joy of the Lord, and deep down I feel it ringing true for me only metaphorically. Can it be that God reveals himself to the weak, the sick, and the humble, in a far greater way than to those of us that walk with false perspective of our wellness? Could it be that we are the ones missing out on His glory? Could it be that they are the chosen ones to see His mighty strength, and that if we could taste it even for a moment, that we too would say things like "I am grateful for the cancer"?

After I gave up attempting to control the sickness in my home, I allowed my Ella out her bedroom and into the playroom. In the midst of her subdued play, she sat on the floor and constructed a model home for her stuffed animals. Though she wasn't attempting comedy, I couldn't help but laugh uncontrollably on the inside at what she had created. Oh the poor "sick dog" outside the gate. We all pity that soul that has been moved outside, the one that has been forced to live outside the "right" of what life should look like, the sick one. But perhaps there are a few "sick dogs" outside the gate that would not choose to be locked back up inside the pin for anything in the world. They have tasted the stillness and the strength and the glory of the field outside, and they are the ones looking back in...pitying us. Have you ever dared to consider that?

Linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky to unwrap this gift...


Monday, July 19, 2010

Dried beans + Candles = Weird

A few weeks ago while vacationing at the beach, I paid a visit to one of my favorite stores. I have never bought anything from them (it's all a bit over the top pricey), but I always take pictures. They hate me. On this particular visit, the simplest of details caught my eye and I loved the look. On most of the table tops and counters throughout the store, they were burning candles that were nestled in white, dried beans. The look was simple, yet elegant at the same time. I suppose I was so impressed with it because of my love for candles. It was a new, different, and cheap way of displaying them and I got a little excited. Probably too excited, but I cannot help myself when it comes to candles.
Then I got home and kind of chickened out because I started thinking it was weird. And then I started thinking that I was weird for thinking too much about dried beans and candles. But then I went into Anthropologie looking for clothes and came out instead with my confidence restored (and maybe a sweater as well). Guess who else burns candles in glass globes full of dried beans? So now I feel validated...if Anthropologie can do it, then so can I.
So I put them here... And here...And here...
Are you wondering how I painted the monogram on that candle? Check out my guest post over at Life in Grace for a tutorial.
Linking up today with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality, Making the World Cuter, and Sumo's Sweet Stuff. Great new friends, go check them out!


Friday, July 16, 2010

My cup runneth over...literally!

My two sisters are cheating on me. They are hanging out with one another and taking pictures...pretty much my two favorite things to do. The three of us girls live far apart from one another, and between the three of us we have 10 children, thus making life very busy and our time together rare.

My older sister is a photographer, and I believe with all my heart that God gifted her with this talent solely for my own personal convenience. The "My Cup Runneth Over" photograph has kind of become her thing when photographing this age child. I wish I could have been there to see them place my nephew Asher in the big cup. He will be the last of our 10 offspring to sit his tiny rear end in the cup...a little bittersweet.

Do you have a particular photograph of your children that you cherish a little more than all the 9 million others? If you do, tell me what it is, I am a photograph junkie and would love to hear! Even better, if you have a link to the photograph or the photographer, won't you please leave it in the comments so I can check it out?

May your weekend runneth over with something great...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We're gonna need a bigger...

Do you remember the scene from Jaws when Martin Brody sees the great white shark for the first time? Do you remember what he says? He turns toward his shark hunter shipmate and says "We're gonna need a bigger boat". This week I uttered similar sentiments to my husband...but I wasn't talking about a boat.

Why is it that the woman in the Brooks Brother's catalog (the one that is holding a straw hat, resting in a lawn chair, with her golden retriever by her side) doesn't have an enormous scooper/rake combination in her other hand? Because I have to tell you, if that family in the catalog really owns that dog, and that clean and luscious green lawn that they are photographed on, there is someone that is walking around behind them with an enormous scooper.

Real life can be funny. Even when it's not funny while you are in the moment, if you are wise, you will allow yourself to find the humor in it after the moment has passed. Each afternoon while I comb through my backyard with my newly purchased scooper and rake, I'm not laughing. Usually I am actually quite irritated, complaining and barking even louder than the dog. Sometimes I even raise my head from it's downward posture to find my husband looking at me through the back windows laughing. And because I know him well, and because I know he is really laughing with me and not at me, I kind of start laughing too. Because it is kind of funny. It's kind of funny that when we bought Mr. Darcy, I only saw the Brooks Brothers picture as our future with him. I only saw the green lawn, the sunny afternoons, the straw hat, the linen suit that bears not one wrinkle, the bow tie around my husband's neck, and the three children standing in fine tailored, pressed clothing. That my friends, is pretty funny. In hind sight, it's actually hilarious, because the reality is the only thing I have in common with that woman in the catalog is the golden retriever....thank goodness.


Monday, July 12, 2010

I pity the first born

Sometimes I wonder why God ever thought it wise to entrust us with the life of a human being. I still remember every detail of when we brought our eldest daughter home from the hospital. The first time I left her unattended (on my first solo trip to the bathroom) I had a panic attack. What if she stops breathing while I am not staring at her? I also remember going into my bedroom and crying hysterically when my father came to meet her for the first time, and upon his arrive he informed me he had a cold. I secretly started planning her funeral in my head. Morbid, I know. Insane, absolutely. Neurotic, without a doubt.

First born children. I pity them. They are the guinea pigs of the bunch. We try out all of our crazy on them, desperately seeking what works and what doesn't. We pompously, yet politely listen to the advise of the all the ignorant people around us; and then walk away with our noses turned up, cradling our prized gifts from above, armed with all of our new found expertise that is only as old and mature as the child we are holding in our arms. I know it's natural. We all do it, at least I think we all do it. But there are days when I watch my first born in action and I feel guilty for doing it, for it's not her fault she was the first one out of the womb. She cannot help it that God thought that of the three children he would give us, she would be the one most capable of bearing the brunt of her parent's insanity. It's not her fault that we subconsciously train her to be in charge of everything, and then scold her for trying to take charge of everything. Can't you just see God up in heaven talking amongst the Son and the Spirit, "Well, which one do you think we should give them first? These two are gonna screw up a lot of stuff as new parents. Let's give them Ella, she's tough, she can handle it." And they were right...she bears the burden well.

Ella is the kind of girl I wish I was, I'm so glad she was born first. She is strong and confident, fearless yet sweet. She is full of fire and bubbling with life. She has the wit and humor of an 18 year old, in the body of a 7 year old...oh my the struggles. Most days I can't get enough of her, but by the evening I can't take anymore of her, but then I somehow still never tire of her. Ella has managed thus far to survive the flaws of her parents. Though I know beyond certainty we do not always do things the way God intended, He at least planned ahead of time for it. He breathed into Ella the life of a fighter, He knew it to be a character trait she would need to survive being born first in our family.

Do you have a first born child that you often convince yourself you are messing up for all eternity? Take heart friend, you are in good company.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

A modern twist on an old classic

I have been sewing again. It has only been about 2 weeks since I last put away my sewing machine, vowing to never pull it out again as long as I live. But then I see a fabric I love, and my desire to create something kicks into high gear. And so I drag my beat-up Singer machine out of her short lived retirement once again.

This time I was actually just putting a new and modern twist on an old classic. First I will show you the part that I did not have to sew: these flowers for my girl's hair, assembled with a hot glue gun. Remember back here when I told you all about my love for EmersonMade and all her lovely (and very expensive) flowers? If you have never visited her blog, I would highly suggest spending some time over in her world. It's a fun place to visit, and you will very soon wish you knew Emerson in real life. You will also want to then quickly click on over to Nori's blog Love2Create, where you can find instructions on making your own flowers...which is what I did.

OK. Now that I have you up to speed, I will show you how I added a summer twist to these little flowers that I made for the girl's hair. All you need is a small sea shell and some hot glue. Oh my, how simple and how cute is that!
Now on to the sewing part. One of the first items of clothing that I ever made my girls was a pillowcase dress. As far as clothing goes, it really doesn't get much simpler than transforming a pillowcase, into a dress. You can read instructions here if you have never made one before and you are curious, but I promise you that I did not use those instructions. They are way too complicated for my simple brain. But this time instead of actually using a real pillowcase and a simple ribbon to make my pillowcase dress; I picked a funky, modern print fabric. It was actually a fabric that I originally bought to make something for myself, but then I chickened out and made these "pillowcase dresses" for the girls instead. In place of the ribbon for the shoulder straps, I made a sash out of the same fabric as the dress. For such a simple dress "pattern", it really makes an elegant statement. Don't you think?

Here is another example of a modern twist on the basic pillowcase pattern. This one comes from Lilly Pulitzer and has a $50 price tag. My dresses cost me $12 a piece. The fabric is Amy Butler's Graceful Vine, and each dress required one yard of fabric. Have you ever fancied up a pillowcase dress before? I would love it if you would share by leaving a link for me in the comments below.

Linking up today with...


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Low country love

I have missed you. After being away from my computer for several days, I start to have a touch of blogger withdraw. We have been loving our South Carolina vacation though. It is one of my favorite places on this planet. I hope you enjoy a photo recap of what we have been up to, and it's so good to talk to you again!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Perfect Unity

Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14