Monday, December 13, 2010

Open wide your doors!

This Christmas, my goal was to keep it simple. I typically put up two trees, one with white lights and one with colored lights. But this year I gave myself permission to not...and it feels so good. I picked three areas to focus on, no more, no less. My front porch. Our family room Christmas tree. And my dining room table. That's it.
My front porch was inspired from a store front. The minute I saw what the store owner had put over her front doors, I knew I would do it over mine. The ribbon reads "Open wide the doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Psalm 24:7". Don't you just love there not a more perfect scripture verse in all the Bible?
The store that inspired the verse, had embroidered the ribbon that read the bible verse. Well that wasn't in my budget, so I used a gold Sharpie paint pen and it worked just fine.
And with the "King of Glory" as my theme, the crowns were added to my wreaths.
Our Christmas tree:

The only other space I decorated for Christmas was the dining room table. It is a collection of candles, plants, over-sized trumpet ornaments, and ribbon. Most of this I already had, and I just clustered it all up together and called it a centerpiece!
And finally, because these three darlings that are visiting Santa are mine, and because one of them is about to have a birthday this week, and because they are about to be out of school, and because I haven't bought the first Christmas present, Playing Sublimely is closing up shop for the rest of this year. But oh how I hope you will join me the 1st of January! Darcy has been working her magic on some renovations and we plan to be up and running with a new look by the 1st of the year. There will be a few changes in store for us around here, and I can't wait get back into writing in 2011! Merry Christmas my sweet friends, and won't you open up your doors wide and let a whole lot of Glory come in this Christmas season! There is a sweet baby in a manager that I want to draw close to these next few weeks. I adore you all and will see you in January!
Much love in Him,


Linking up with Kelly and The Nester this year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Handmade Christmas Tutorials: A "re-publish"

As we approach this gift giving time of year, I thought it relevant to "re-publish" a few of my tutorials that I think make great gifts.First are my monogrammed candles, which are probably one of my most favorite things in my house. Edie at Life in Grace (one of the coolest girls in blogger world) hosted a 12 days of Handmade Christmas, and these painted candles of mine were Day 8. Click here to read the tutorial; but more importantly, check out all the other 11 ideas for a handmade Christmas.

The other handmade gift tutorial, was featured with Gina from The Shabby Chic Cottage over at her 12 Days of a Handmade Christmas. Click here to check out that tutorial. In other news, my oldest daughter told us yesterday that her class was "brainstorming" a list of treats that their moms are especially good at making, and ones that all the children would like to have as a part of their Christmas celebration at school. She oh so descriptively told me that some kid's moms made great sugar cookies, and others said that their mom made great brownies, and so on and so on. I should interrupt this retelling to inform you that as she was painting this charming little scene for us, my husband and I both knew where it was going, and he was already practically hyperventilating from laughter anticipating the punch line. She said that when it was her turn to share, she said (and I directly quote) "I couldn't think of anything that you make that is any good, so I just said you will probably bring in Krispy Kreme doughnuts...cause that's what you always do". In her defense, she didn't mean it nearly as awful as it sounded, she was actually being quite innocent and factual about the whole thing. And besides, home girl was right, there is nothing I could ever make for a Christmas party that would ever be better than just simply picking up a dozen hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The best part was my second child quickly came to my defense, and started listing all the things I make that are really good (all lies). Then my oldest daughter got upset because she realized that she had probably hurt my feelings (which she had not) and started trying to back pedal on everything she had just confessed. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile, and I can tell you my husband has not!

There are only two weekends left before Christmas sweet friends, happy crafting! And today, I'm linking up with these two crafty girls Stacey and Gay, this tutorial was just too perfect not to.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Insanity on a Wednesday

My sister called from a store the other day to read me a sign that she was standing in line to purchase. It said "Chaos, Panic, work here is done". We laughed because it is the story of our lives. Do you ever feel like there is anything you ever really do where at the end of it you say, "well that was easy". Or is it just us? Are we the only ones that live life a little more on the "frazzled side" than the "put together side"? I do this in everything. When I paint, when I make dinner, when I write, when I drive carpool...even in bible study I tend to over analyze, over think, over struggle.

All this frazzledness leads me to painting. I've been painting a lot lately and I love it. I love painting kid's stuff, nothing fancy, nothing trained, just basic kid's room kind of art. I don't know why I love it, I just love it. I have no real reason to paint, I just so enjoy the creating part of it all. But then the time comes when I'm done with the painting. My husband always says, "so what are you going to do with it?". I always look at him with this bewildered look on my face as if that is a dumb question and say "I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it". Is that normal? Cause I kinda think it's not. In a perfect world, I would give my art away as gifts to people, to friends. But then comes the over analyzing. What if they don't like it? Then what are they gonna do with it? I can picture them stuffing it away in a closet somewhere, and then as soon as they see me walk up the drive way, they frantically run through the house to go hang it up on a wall as if it had been there all along. Isn't that the most horrible thing you have ever heard?!? That makes my skin crawl. I couldn't do that to people. They are innocent of course, they didn't ask me to paint anything for them. So instead I just stack them in a corner of my house and let them collect dust. Which is okay because the only reason I paint is because I enjoy it so much. But then the voice of reason starts saying, "this really is too time consuming of a hobbie for you to just stack paintings in the corner, there is just really no point". So then I do the practical thing and go through a period of time where I put my paints and brushes away, close the door to my craft room, and I paint nothing. But here is the problem...I really want to go back in that room and paint some more. Do you think I should check myself in somewhere? Do you wish you hadn't just spent the last three minutes reading this post? I so like all you blogger friends of mine on the other side of this monitor that keep coming back :).


Monday, December 6, 2010

Just one more

It's Thomas' most used sign language: "just one more". One more M&M, one more book before nap time, one more sip of my coke. And because I am his mother, I delight in giving it to him. I love to watch him as I hand him that one more of whatever it is he is requesting, he usually squeals and runs in place with excitement, grinning from ear to ear. The most amusing part of the game is that we both know that he really doesn't mean it. I play the game with him because it's so stinkin' cute, but I know full well that as he agrees to only needing one more, he's gonna change his mind and think to himself "well maybe just one more after that".

In the midst of our ritual the other day, I started wondering if I do the same thing with God. Do I say and ask and pray too often for just one more? Just one more answer Lord. Just one more blessing Lord. Just one more victory Lord. Now before anyone thinks that I am for one moment implying that our God does not delight in blessing His children, that He is not faithful to always redeem His children, that He does not always hear and answer the prayers of His children, let me clarify. The Lord says in Malachi 3:10, "Test me in this, and see if I do not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it". God loves and is willing to pour out blessing; but I just wonder if He sometimes wonders when I am gonna notice the blessings that He has already given. Maybe He is thinking, "oh I can I pour out more blessing, but I'd kinda like for you to rest in the blessing that I gave you yesterday". Does that make sense, or I am delusional on this one? I do not have the slightest idea why that came to me the other day as my little man was asking me for one more, but it did. Maybe I just needed a Holy Spirit reminder that one more M&M might not be what my soul really needs. Maybe one more sip of coke is just one sip too many. And maybe my weary soul would do well to just be still and know that He is God, that He himself is enough, and I might just not need one more of anything after all. Just a thought...


Thursday, December 2, 2010

A new world for me: cabinet and furniture finishes

I've been at big girl "camp" this week, hanging out at Faux Works doing the thing I love to do, but never have time to do. But this time I have been playing on cabinets and not walls. I met some great decorative artisans from all over the world (everybody wants to train with Barb). It is so exciting for someone like me who just does this stuff because I think it's cool, to hang around people like them. I have always been too overwhelmed to venture into the world of fine cabinetry and furniture finishes. Walls were all I could wrap my brain around, and even that was a lot to handle. But I have finally decided to stop thinking too much with all this stuff, and so I just registered to take the class...and now I wish I hadn't waited so long. Barb Skivington, in all her awesomeness, put together a basics cabinet finishes class for all us first timers in the world of wood surfaces and it was anything but basic. These finishes are Habersham, Woodland quality finishes (actually, they are even better). They feel as good as they look. I wish you could see how excited I get when I finally start grasping how these surfaces are created, it's like "ohhhhhhhhh, now I get it". Just thrilling for me! All the below photographs are courtesy of Faux Works website and Barb Skivington's masterful work. And yes, now I can do that! Oh how I love this stuff!