Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Handmade Huntsville

Did I tell you about Handmade Huntsville? It is a facebook group and fan page that I started for local artists and crafters. The group is for the creators themselves and the fan page is for everyone who loves handmade things. I will be featuring a local artisan twice a month at this point. The first artist interview is up on the fan page in the discussions tab already! My sweet friend Rita agreed to go first and I am so excited to have this opportunity! I think of it as "being the change I want to see". I want Huntsville to do even more to support the local arts community that really struggles in tough economic times. I invite everyone to go check out Handmade Huntsville's fan page and join the group if you are a maker of handmade goods. We are stronger by joining forces and working together! Hope to see you at Handmade Huntsville!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Remember the Valentine ideas I mentioned? Well here is one of them! I made a felted coffee sleeve. I found the blue fabric on sale at Hancock. It is a wool / rayon blend of unspecified percentages! I washed it in hot sudsy water and one side of it then resembled boiled wool. I cut 2 of my pattern and felted the top layer with wool roving and a felting needle. It was not hard to felt, but the hard part is making the roving do what you want it to do. For the finishing, I used a blanket stitch to join the two blue pieces together. I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt. I hope to make a few more for teacher gifts as well. Thanks to Anne Peters for the great photo!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It is January 25th but I have a Christmas post to share

I found this site while stumbling and was absolutely charmed by this tree! They spent 6.98 on lights and that is it!!! What a beautiful way to spend Christmas! Making ornaments with children out of recycled materials. Love, love, love it! Please go check it out!

Update: Sadly this site has disappeared from the net.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

part 2 of the vision

So today was another great Sunday. Our sermon today was about using the Bible as a rock for our church. It is nearly impossible for me to conceive how some pastors think Jesus is not the only way to salvation. If all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching and reproving, then surely we can trust and stand on this solid rock! This was the second part of a three part vision for our church. I cannot wait to hear the next part of the vision. In almost all sermons, I can feel myself being convicted and today was no exception. I do not spend nearly enough time in my Bible lately. Without being in a Bible study, I do not go there every day. We were strongly encouraged to get involved in a Bible study either at our church or out in the community. I am not in a Disciple class this year or in BSF! I do so miss my weekly Bible study and hope to return next year.

I made a curried chicken and sweet potato dish for supper tonight and it was fabulous! Patak's makes a wonderful Jalfrezi curry sauce that we really like so it is really easy to make this quickly. And I made it in the crock pot which is another time saver (blessing).

Katie and I went to bell rehearsal this evening too. I am afraid of what our choir will sound like at festival. The pieces are so hard this year! There are several pieces where we have to switch quickly between bells and chimes and it is nearly impossible to do it all! It can be very tough on an experienced ringer but with the number of new people we have, it is extremely hard! Poor Katie is really struggling but it has been good for her sight reading skills and learning to count and really read the notes. I'm not sure she realizes just how good it is for her!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

singing praises today

I lightened my stash today and sold my kiln and all of my metal clay lumps. That relieves much of my guilt for purchasing the equipment 6 years ago and never using it much! It has gone to a good home where it will get plenty of use and be a blessing for someone else. I could not ask for anything better and my family is blessed in return!

But this leads me to think about what other gifts / blessings I might be missing and need to do something about! I suspect there are many things that I do not use to their fullest potential and so I need to really either use the blessings or get rid of the stuff that holds me down! Hmm... another metaphor. If I am to soar with eagles and be my best for God, I cannot be weighed down with the extra stuff / guilt. I know this is probably not a revelation to most of you, but for me to see this with my own eyes and recognize it with my brain is something like a miracle! A feel a turning point coming on! I am weighed down physically by my body which I want to release and I am weighed down by too much.... books, magazines, baby stuff, old clothes... this list could go on and on. Time to make some more changes!

I hope you were blessed today and that you too are working on soaring with the eagles....

Friday, January 22, 2010

after the storm

It feels like we were so blessed last night. A tornado passed very close to our house but our main damage seems to be debris from other people's homes. All around us, large trees were pulled up by the roots or had their tops twisted out. Shingles and siding were blown away as well. I ignored the warning sirens at first because it is never for my area. The sirens blow and usually have a warning for a different part of our county. I finally went to check the TV and saw the meteorologist showing the funnel cloud heading for my neighborhood. Very scary indeed! I quickly abandoned my dinner plans (meatloaf in the makings) and took the kids down to the basement and my DH shut down all the computers upstairs before heading down as well. We lost power and did not have it back for 12 hours. This morning, our road was blocked and we had to find an alternative route to get the kids to school. There were many blessings for us in this event and I am so thankful for them all.

I hope you were able to feel God's blessings yesterday, today and will feel them in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

thinking about (some of) my valentines

I am in dire need of a girl's night out!!! The men in my life are making me crazy and I need to go spend some quality time with my girlfriends! I think as wives, we all go through this to some degree. My DH is, without a doubt, my best friend. He loves and supports me in so many ways. But there are days that I just shake my head and ask myself, "What was I thinking?" which really translates to "I have no idea where he is coming from with this stuff! I will never understand the male thought process!" For me, the best answer is often found in a time spent with my girlfriends who understand to some degree what I mean! We have different experiences, but we all have men in our lives who we adore and who adore us. We just don't always understand them. Today, I am very thankful for my girlfriends who are there to say "I know exactly what you mean!" and do so in a spirit of Christian fellowship and love. Do you have girlfriends who mean the world to you? I think it is time to think about Valentine's for these precious girlfriends. And I have just the idea for them too... Stay tuned to see what a creative mind comes up with!
ps. thanks again to the graphics fairy for the beautiful vintage valentine!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

pardon my construction mess

I have been playing with the design of the blog today. It is still very much a work in progress but I want it to be welcoming and a reflection of me. So excuse the mess while I continue to try to get what I want here. Anybody know how to make the title better? I think if I could figure out how to add text to the jpg file that is the header, things would be so much better! Any ideas how to do that? I have elements 5.0 and can not seem to make it work with these files.

fresh wind

Loved today's sermon! I am praying for a rushing wind to be within our church that we might be Spirit led and poised to grow in that Spirit. What a blessing it will be to have the gentle breeze which is there now grow into a full, rushing wind! Taking time to listen to the Spirit's direction and immersed in God's Word will be the key.

I learned today that the average Christian in the USA spends about 10 minutes with God and 4 hours watching TV each day! What an upside down ratio that is! I confess that my upside down ratio is not the TV but rather the computer and social media and probably more than 4 hours. Yikes! I try to justify the time as needed for building my "brand" but really? Sounds like I need another goal doesn't it? Do you have an upside down ratio when it comes to your time with God? If not, what have you done differently? If so, are you prepared to make a change? Share with me and come along on the faith journey to a Spirit led life.
ps - credit to the graphics fairy for the beautiful clip art that reminds me that surely if God takes care of the birds in the field, he will care for me too.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I was at Sam's this morning and saw that they have wiiFitPlus for under $19!!!! It is just the disk and requires that you already have the board and the motion plus addition for your remote. Now I have to save my pennies so that I can get this maybe. I still need to go online and read some detailed reviews to make sure it is worth the extra money. Ps. Sam's has chocolate truffles in 2 plastic candy jars for 1.91! Incredible! I think the jars alone would be worth the price but to get chocolate too - a no brainer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

getting serious

It is time to get serious about some goals for 2010. First I need to tell you that getting healthy and losing weight is at the top of my list. I rejoined Weight Watchers online and have been doing okay with that but it is time for the exercise portion to kick it in to high gear. Do you have Wii Fit Plus? Did you get it after owning Wii Fit? I am curious! We have WiiFit the original and I am wondering about upgrading and what the benefits would be. I love WiiFit and how easy it is to use and be motivated. And the privacy really works for me too. So please chime in if you know anything about the differences between the two versions. I wish there was an upgrade path.

Another goal is to finally get this house organized! It seems like we are drowning in papers and stuff. Not fun at all. It makes it hard to do the things we need to do and want to do. Who knew 5 people in one house would generate this much stuff?!?! We are about to burst at the seams so much of the junk has to go!

Career wise, I want to return to work this year. My sweet DH plans to set up a unix machine for me to brush up on some key skills. Things like perl, c, and c++ are at the top of my list. I think it will not take long to get back into the swing of it.

Now for the holding myself accountable portion of the goal setting. That may be the hardest part yet. I am praying that I will make it through this year with many things accomplished from my goal list and ready to tackle a new set of goals for 2011! Easier said than done though....

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have to tell you that I was so moved by last night's contemporary service. Thank you Gann for a wonderful testimonial. Thank you Bill, Jeff, Katie, Laura and Gwen for outstanding music leadership! What a blessing it was to be among the believers there last night! I admit I was dancing in the back row with my youngest too! I just loved everything about this worship experience. I so look forward to a time when it is part of our regular Sunday schedule and not just monthly. The people gathered are so happy and the Holy Spirit is there moving amongst us. What a privilege! And now reflecting on it is a great way to start a Monday morning. I hope your morning is off to a great start and that you might have been in such a body of believers this weekend. May God bless you and keep you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the dialogue

I heard my first dialogue sermon today. Our interim associate pastor wrote the script and she performed it with our new senior pastor. It was an inner dialogue from King Herod and a wise man. I think she did an excellent job writing the script and we are very blessed to have both of these pastors working in our midst. Our interim associate, Laura, is a very tiny person. I think Maggie may be taller than Laura! To watch her play King Herod though, you forgot about her stature and saw a King who wasn't particularly pleasant, even downright evil at times. Mark, our senior pastor, brought a bit of freshness to the wise man too. It was entertaining and educational at the same time! God reaches out to us in many ways if we only have ears, hearts and minds that are open to Him!

I hope you had a chance to worship today and be blessed by that experience.

Friday, January 1, 2010

a few more images

Wanted to share a few more images from today's craftyness! Final products for the three of us...

Happy 2010

So today we started working on our books for our goals. I found these three section books at Target a week ago and thought they would be perfect. The girls and I have made ours and this may be a new tradition for our family too! We have all enjoyed the process. Most of the supplies were already in the house and I used a gift card to get the rest! So now the fun of actually setting our goals is here. Katie has already started writing hers down and I have been mulling mine over in my mind as well. I'm hoping we can support each other in reaching our goals for this brand spanking new year!

The work in progress....

And the finished product!

Happy 2010 to all!