Friday, December 31, 2010

Fabric Flower Tutorial

I showed you the fabric flowers I made for Christmas in yesterday's post.  Today, I'll show you how to make one for yourself. 

Here is what you will need:

Glue gun and glue
Marker or pen
A flower template (just draw a flower shape and cut it out of paper)

Step #1: 
Trace the flower template onto your fabric. You will need 5-6 flower shapes per flower that you want to make.

Step #2:
Cut out the flower shapes
Step #3:
Cut out a circle from you fabric a little larger than a quarter. 

Step #4:
Fold your flower shape in half

Step #5:
Fold the flower shape in half again

Step #6:
Snip off the end

This is how it will look.  Add glue to the tip.
Step #7:
Glue the shape to your circle. 

Step #8:
Glue at least 3 more flower shapes onto your circle.  You may need more if you have a bigger circle.

Step #9:
Glue the last two petals onto the center of the flower. 

You can add a pin, hair bow, head band, magnet, etc. to the back. 

These make great small gifts and gift wrapping embellishments!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Homemade Christmas- Flower Pins

As I said before, this year most of Christmas gifts were homemade.  A favorite gift that I gave were these cute flower pins.  I had saw them on Jones Design Company's blog, and knew I had to make them.  You can visit her site for a great tutorial, and I'll share my own tomorrow as well. 

I used old clothes that I can't wear anymore to make all the flowers.  Jeans, skirts, and a shirt all went into these :)  I gave at least one to most girls on my Christmas list, and they were a big hit!  My grandmother had me show her how to make them on Christmas day and she made some of her own that night. 

Come back tomorrow for the tutorial!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Homemade Christmas- Pillows

This Christmas I was on a pretty tight budget so I decided to give mostly homemade Christmas gifts.  I've been wanting to share these projects as I've been doing them, but didn't want to spoil the surprise for anybody getting my gifts!  Over the next few days I will share some of the gifts and tutorials for making your own.  Update: Click below for my tutorial on making these transfers.

I gave about six people personalized pillows this year, and everyone really seemed to like them  Here are some that I remembered to take pictures of before wrapping...

For the monogram pillows, I found the beautiful borders from The Graphics Fairy.  This is such an awesome site with loads of vintage graphics! I then just inserted letters into the borders on Word. 

I made my mom these Silent Night pillows.  Don't you just love the lettering on them?  I think I'm going to make some of these for myself.  I found the beautiful graphics for them at Dear Lillie.

I think they turned out really well. I used the Citrasolv method that I shared here and here to imprint the images on the fabric. 

I'm linking up to Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas!

We loved our white Christmas this year!  This is the first white Christmas in 48 years in my hometown.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!  I pray that you are filled with joy and praise as you celebrate the birth of Christ.

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1,14

I'll be taking a few days off from blogging to celebrate with my family. I have lots to share next week!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wedding Ideas

I hate to admit it, but I spent almost 3 hours yesterday morning pouring over Millie Holoman Photography's blog.  She is a photographer based in Wilmington, NC where Jeremy and I are getting married this coming June.  Although she was out of our budget for photography, I have gotten so many ideas from her photos of some really amazingly beautiful weddings.   Here are some that have stole my heart:

You can see our wedding inspiration board here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

$1 Family Fun Magazine Subscription

I've got an awesome deal to share with you that I found on Free Sample Freak.  You can get a one year subscription to Family Fun Magazine for only $1! This offer ends today so grab it while you can! Here's how:

Sign up for mamapedia.  (It's free to join and its a coupon site like Groupon and you get a $5 credit for signing up) 
Buy $5 subscription to Family Fun
Enter code FATWALLET4 at checkout for $4 off

I am going to give my subscription as a gift, they have a place to enter a separate shipping address so this is a great last minute gift idea!

I've had a subscription to Family Fun for the last two years and love it!  It is full of great ideas and crafts to do with kids.  I use it as a resource for church crafts and activities!

*this offer is only valid to new members of mamapedia

Writing in Pencil

Last year, my roommate Bethany let me read this book she had that was written by Shauna Niequist, a lady she knew, called "Cold Tangerines".  There was one specific chapter she wanted me to read and I'll never forget it.  The chapter was called "Writing in Pencil". 

This chapter talked about how too often we write out the plans for our lives in Sharpie instead of pencil.  How we need to leave room for God to change our plans once in a while and write plans in pencil, freeing ourselves to allow our own dreams and plans to be erased and rewritten by the Author of our life. 

The chapter starts out,
"I just turned thirty, and I'm finally willing to admit something about life, or at least about my life, and it's this: I should have written in pencil.  I should have viewed the trajectory of my life as a mystery or an unknown.  I should have planned lightly, hypothetically, and should have used words like ‘maybe and possibly.  Instead every chance I got, I wrote in stone and Sharpie.  I stood on my future, on what I knew, on the certainty of what life would hold for me as though it were a rock."

Right now my life seems a little like I'm in limbo.  I often feel like I'm just waiting for the next step: waiting to get married, waiting to have a place to live, waiting to get a 'real' job.  But I always want concrete and permanent, not interim. 

One part of this chapter states, "Everything is interim.  Every season that I thought was stable and would be just how it was for a long time ended up being a preparation or path to the next thing.  When you decide to be on this journey with God, everything is interim."

How true that is!  I'm never going to reach permanent.  To reach permanent would be to become stagnant.  I always have to be open to the next step, to the next phase in life that God is going to bring.   

The author says, "I’m learning to just keep moving, keep walking, keep taking teeny tiny steps.  And it's in those teeny tiny steps and moments that I become, actually, who I am.  We won’t arrive.  But we can become.  And that’s the most hopeful thing I can think of."

I want to become the woman of God who follows His will without question, without fear.  Isn't it freeing to think that we will never really "arrive" in this life?  I don't have to keep waiting for permanent to arrive, because it never will. 

I think that Shauna said it well, "There is a loosey-goosey feeling to the future now, both a slight edge of anxiety, like anything can happen, and a slight bubble of hope and freedom that, well, anything can happen."

So as Jeremy is sending out resumes to find a job, and as I find myself worrying that I don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing in six months...I pray that I will bring it to the Lord and give my plans and my dreams back to Him.  With that anxiety also does come a sense of excitement that God could send us anywhere to do anything- and we're just waiting to discover where and what it is. 

Elisabeth Elliot once said, "Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts"

I'm trying to write in pencil- and lifting my heart to God about all the uncertainties while embracing the freedom of not having our plans written in Sharpie.   

The Lettered Cottage

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hallmark Freebies

I received a free magazine in the mail the other day that I signed up for on Free Sample Freak. Inside was a little treasure- a coupon for $5 off any purchase of $5 or more at Hallmark!  You know what that means- freebies! 

I was able to get 5 cards with my $5 coupon.  I just love Hallmark cards-they are so pretty!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Dream Come True

Do you have a piece of furniture or an item for your home that you have dreamed about having for years?  I have a couple...

An old beat up door with beautiful peeling paint to sit around the house

and adirondack chairs.

Saturday night Jeremy and I decided to take a quick run through Goodwill on our way back to my apartment to watch a movie.  I was making my way through the home goods section when I saw them.  My heart skipped a beat and I rushed over to them.  If you thrift, you know that feeling.  I looked around, knowing somebody else had to be eyeing these things too.  Two perfectly blue, perfectly shabby, perfectly cheap adirondack chairs with a table!  I sat down in one and told Jeremy how much I loved them and wanted them. 

Jeremy, being practical, asked where I thought I would put them.  I'm currently living in an apartment with really no where at all to keep 2 huge adirondack chairs and a table.  I of course said I didn't know, but that I didn't care.  I was sitting there trying to figure out a solution when he said that we probably shouldn't get them.  My heart sank.  I wanted them so bad, but I knew he was right... it wasn't practical at all.  So I reluctantly got up from the chair that fit me so wonderfully, and started walking around the store basically sulking.  Funny now when I look back on- sulking because of some chairs, really?  Jeremy said he was going to go look at the clothes so I started down the dishes isle.  He came over to where I was a few minutes later and gave me a hug and asked if I was alright.  I said yeah that I would be fine, I was just disappointed.  He had this sly smile on his face and said we should go take one more look at them.  I said alright, and as we were walking over he asked when I wanted him to give me my Christmas present.  I said it didn't matter and he stopped and said he was giving it to me tonight and that he had just bought me those chairs for Christmas!! 

Ahh!!  I was sooo happy and gave him a huge hug and went and sat in our chairs again.  I sat there until the worker came over with the sold tag- just to make sure no one else got any ideas about buying them! :)  The picture above is of the chairs- don't you just love them?

Everyone in Goodwill probably thought I was a crazy woman, but I don't care. 

So I have had one of my "house things" dreams come true, I am now the proud owner of 2 lovely adirondack chairs. 

Jeremy is also a dream come true.  Come on, a husband-to-be who will buy me adirondack chairs for Christmas, what more could I want! 

Did I mention that the chairs were only $10.50 each?  Seriously, how could you pass that up?

They are now in the back of my Jeep waiting for me to go home to NC for Christmas so I can store them at my parent's house until we have a place to live. 

Thought I'd share in my excitement :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Memory Verse

This week's memory verse is to help me to remember the magnitude of the season of Christmas.  The long awaited Messiah was born so that He could die for my sins.  He is and always will be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace!

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Croutons

I just love croutons in my salads, don't you?  I think they are the best part of a salad :)  Today I wanted to share a simple recipe for homemade croutons.  This will save you money from buying pre-packaged croutons and I think they taste better!

Homemade Croutons
You will need:
Bread (Loaf bread, Italian bread, etc.  Any bread should work)
Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash Table Seasoning

I found a great buy on some artisan garlic bread at Kroger on my last shopping trip.  It was originally $3.29 and I got it on manager's special for .89! I am making spaghetti this week so we will have garlic bread with that, but I had plenty and decided to make some croutons. 

1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cut bread into cubes.  I would suggest using a serrated knife- it works better cutting bread.  Trust me, I tried the other first :) You can cut these however you like best, big or small.

3. Place bread cubes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. 

4. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Table Seasoning

5. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip

6. Bake an additional 10 minutes- watch them closely so they don't burn!

7. Let cool and then serve or store!
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