Tuesday, October 26

It came today.

Somerset Studio's latest issue.
I've been running to the mail box
 for about a week now waiting for this.

The new issue of Somerset Studio.
My first real, published article. 
Art in print.
page 90
I'm beside myself.

I submitted these pieces in May,
and I was asked to write an article in July,
so I've been waiting and waiting and waiting.

Somerset always does a gorgeous job
 with photography and layouts.

And they did again.

Monday, October 25

Easy Trick or Treat Bag

This is the easiest little trick-or-treat bag to make.
It's a simple sewing project for kids.
My kindergarteners made them at our Halloween celebration. 
They were a huge hit.  
You will need:
A black canvas bag
($1.00 at Michael's)
A hole punch
Card stock
orange ribbon
green ribbon
scotch tape
white crayon orpiece of chalk
White paint pen or gel pen

Step 1:
Draw your shape on the card stock
(pumpkin, ghost, bat, whatever)
and punch holes along your outline.

Step 2:
Place the card stock, with the holes punched out, 
on top of the bag.
With a white crayon, orpiece of chalk,
draw a line over the holes so that it
leaves a mark on the bag. 

Step 3: 
Punch holes in your bag along the marked outline. 
*Roll the bag over to the hole punch to reach to the bottom. 

Step 4:
Tie an orange ribbon to one of the holes and
"sew" through the holes until you get to the end.
Tie it off at the end. 
*Kids can do this themselves. 
*Put a little piece of scotch tape on the end
of the ribbon to make it easier to thread through the holes. 

Step 5:
 Tie a green ribbon to the top.  
Write your child's name on the ribbon with a white paint pen.

Sunday, October 24

Learning to Love

I will give you this, my love,
and I will not bargain or barter any longer.
I will love you, as sure as He has loved me.
I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery,
save God's own knowledge, what I disclose of you
I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart,
the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me.
And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.
I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God.
I will stop expecting your love, demanding you love,
trading for your love, gaming for your love.
I will simply love.
I am giving myself to you,
and tomorrow I will do it again.
I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time
before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.

God risked Himself on me.
I will risk myself on you.
And together, we will learn to love,
and perhaps then, and only then,
understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.

— Donald Miller
(Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)

this spoke truth straight into my heart today.

i'm learning to love you.
just the way you are.
again and again.

Thursday, October 21

Mixed Media Collage Recipe Box Tutorial: Part 2

Just in case you missed it:
Part 1: Making the Box

The inside of the box is what really makes me happy all over.

The thing is,
I really don't mind cooking dinner
even after working all day.
Unless it's been one of those days,
I really enjoy the cooking part.
Making food for my family is strangely satisfying.  
It was the thinking part
that made me dread the thought of dinner.
(Don't make me think if I don't have to.)
First, what to cook.
Second, How to get everything I need
to cook what I just decided to make.
Brain surgery after working all day.

So this is my little system that has changed my life
and made me a kinder, calmer, gentler person,
especially at 4:00 in the afternoon.

All you need are 5x7 notecards and a heap of your favorite recipe books.
I'm sure many of you have figured out your own system that works for you.
If you have, please share it. I need all of the help I can get.

Step 1: Plan your weekly menu.
Okay, this may sound like stating the obvious, but for me, it's not.
Every day around 3 I would start thinking,
"What are we going to eat?
I wonder what we have at home...
Do I need to stop by the store?"
I usually plan on Saturday or Sunday with my recipe books out.
It has to be: simple, healthy, and cheap.

Step 2: Organize the ingredients on the back
of the menu card according to the sections in your grocery store.
genius, I know. seems obvious, doesn't it?
how did it take me 34 years to figure this out?
It makes shopping so much quick, simple, and cheap.
*Tips for shopping on a budget:
Write it down, grab your cart, don't look up or side to side!
Head down, grab your stuff and get out as fast as you can.
Honestly, when I do this my grocery bill is cut in half!
When I think I have a little extra cash and grab those cute
Halloweenie chocolate covered pretzels,
I can count on my bill being almost double.

Okay,are you ready for Step 3?
This is the best part
Keep the card.
that's it.
just keep it.
make a few more.
and recycle your cards...
over + over again.
your family will never know the difference.
no planning.
no new grocery lists.
genuis. again.
*(I still try to throw in a new recipe every
week or two so I don't get bored.)

And this is my favorite cook book for the last 6 months.
Super easy.
Love this book.

So what are your tips, tricks, and favorite books?

Monday, October 18

Mixed Media Collage Recipe Box Tutorial: Part 1

Here it is.
My beloved recipe box.
I love this thing. 

In Part 1 I'll show you how to make the recipe box,
In part 2 (tomorrow) I'll explain my whole 
without-losing-your-mind system.
Which has saved my life since going back to work.  

1. Wooden index card box.
I found this one at a garage sale and I saved it for something special. Mine is big (5x7) because I like to go big. It also allows me to print out recipe's on a half sheet of card stock + file them easily.
2.Gel medium
(Mod podge will do.)
3. Great paper.
I used old dictionary pages and patterned paper but when I was done I thought it would be cool to use pages from an old recipe book. I have a ton of them. Maybe next time...
4. Acrylic paint.
Use what you love. I used white, brown, Naples yellow (myfavorite color right now), turquisoe,  red 
5. A Sharpie 
6. A white gel pen
7. Acrylic spray fixative

Let's get started.
Step 1: Paint
Paint your whole box one color, as a base.

Step 2: Glue
Use gel medium to cover your box in paper.
I started with big dictionary pages and added patterned paper overit.

*Note: See the wrinkly bumps on mine? I like the texture. the more the better for me, but if you don't like the wrinkles start gluing your paper from the center and work out to avoid air bubbles.

Step 3: Paint with your fingers.
 Paint a glaze over your paper to dull the colors.
Glaze is just a fancy way to say lots of water with a little bit of paint.
Dip your fingers in a little bit of white, a little bit of brown, and a lot of water.
Cover  the box with a thin layer of paint, then use a wet paper towel to wipe off more paint.

Step 4: Paint with a paper towel.
Dip a squished up paper towel in brown, then in water, and rub it around the edges and corners of your box to make it look aged.

Step 5: Paint with a brush.
Use the colors in your palette to paint shapes, patterns, and designs on your box

Step 6: It's doodle time.
Get out your Sharpie and add doodles to the painted designs on your box.
Add contrast with your white gel pen, and any other ephemera you'd like...
ribbon, buttons, etc.

Step 7: Spray
Spray your box with an acrylic fixative so that it will be able to hold up to the wear and tear.


Tomorrow I will add Part 2:
I'll explain my whole...


Sunday, October 17

We get one story, you and I...

And so my prayer is that your story will have involved
some leaving and some coming home,
some summer and some winter,
some roses blooming out like children in a play.
My hope is your story will be about changing,
about getting something beautiful born inside of you
about learning to love a woman or a man,
about learning to love a child,
about moving yourself around water,
around mountains, around friends,
about learning to love others
more than we love ourselves,
about learning oneness as a way of understanding God.
We get one story, you and I, and one story alone.
God has established the elements,
the setting and the climax and the resolution.
It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
— Donald Miller
(Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)

I've been playing it safe for a long while
and I think it's time for me
to venture out. 
How about you?

Saturday, October 16

I'm in tears again.

The good kind.
Happy, thankful tears.
Eating ice cream.
Watching you tube.
Thinking about my girl friends.
You've got to watch this.
I honestly don't know how I would
do life without my girl friends.

This is fun to watch.

This makes me so happy.

Now, I'm in tears again...
 the sweet, happy kind.
Okay, I'm a little emotional
at the moment.

Wednesday, October 13

just the way you are.

thank you billy joel

for these lovely words.

i've been away.
but i'm back. 
 i've fought with
these blogging breaks. 
but i'm starting to have
peace about it now. 

realizing that i need
to take care of my family. 
i need to take care of myself
and i need to sleep.   

so here's what i've been working on
paper and glue
and lots and lots of stamping.
hope you are well.
be kind to yourself.
love yourself.
just the way you are.