July 17, 2018

Another Year Older...

I know I'm not supposed to buy myself a present for my own birthday.
 Who does such self indulging nonsense?

I do.

 Although, I assure you I'm not a narcissist or some vain, self absorbed person.

It's something I started doing a couple of years ago.  It's therapeutic in a way.
 If giving a gift is a demonstration of love, why not do it for ourselves.  

I remember as a young girl being aware of my flaws.  Wishing I had more of this, less of that.  Wishing I was taller and leaner.  Wishing I had straight hair and not curly.  Wishing I had perfect teeth and flawless skin.  

I think all girls play that comparison game.  Some more than others.  Maybe it's only natural.  After all, don't all little girls want to grow up to be beautiful princesses?

It's only been within the last decade or so that I've become more content with myself.
 I don't worry so much about my size, or my looks. It's important, but I don't fret about it.
My focus has changed.

These days I am more concerned with my heart.
 For that is where real beauty lies.  

I still want to be pretty, don't get me wrong.
 But I don't want to be someone else's version of pretty.
 I want to be my own version of pretty.
 I want to be me.
 The best version of me I can be.  

And it starts on the inside, and it will overflow to the outside.


I don't know if I've made much sense.  All these words I've typed might be nonsensical babble.  All I know is that it's been a journey to reach the point I'm at. To be able to get over my own insecurities and be more open to see the needs of others.

  Self love is healing.

And Lord as I turn another year older, create in me a pure heart, that love may abound, that I may give it to others more freely, that I may serve you better, in all that I do.

Happy birthday to me.

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July 13, 2018

Art for the Soul ...

Are you like me?
Do you like to dabble in many things?

I have crochet going on in a basket over here,
a knit baby blanket in a basket over there,
a cross stitch kit I recently purchased that I can't wait to start on,

but here lately I've been doing a little of this. 

I sometimes sit and color in the morning with a cup of coffee next to me.
Other times I sneak it in during the day in between chores.  

 I keep my coloring pencils on my desktop and my Bible in the desk drawer which makes it easy to pull out and tuck back in as needed.

If I was a real artist I could sketch out these pretties all on my own 
and I wouldn't need these pre-stamped images, 
but for those of us who aren't so artistically inclined, the lines help.

The illustrations are small and I find it only takes a few minutes to finish one page.
A quick mini masterpiece tackled before I run off to fold a load of laundry.

I am a visual person. 
That extra element of illustration and color takes my devotions to the next level.

 My mind reads the words...

my heart takes them in...

and my eyes dance a jig.

Thought for the weekend,

Do Justly
Love Mercy
Walk Humbly

July 6, 2018

Groovy Baby...

No I didn't need it.

I'm not even sure that I like it.

But I bought it anyway,

I'm  not sure why.

Burnt orange and poopy brown are not my favorite colors.
Especially not together.

 But there it was laying sadly at the bottom of a plastic bin at our local thrift.  It immediately caught my eye.  Something about its retro psychedelic funkiness appealed to me.

Sanford and Sons comes to mind and all that gritty early seventies vibe. 
I am, after all, a child of the seventies.  I remember it well.

Throw in the classic granny square and the handmade charm ...

it was instant...

I knew it was coming home with me.

It was fifty percent off day too.
This little groovy number only set me back a whole dollar.

That's some kind of a deal when you think about somebody long ago
 making this by hand stitch by stitch.

Am I the only crazy mom in town that loves vintage and handmade?
Quite possibly so.

I think an update is in order soon for this poor homely pillow,
but for now, I'm keeping it as is,
in all its retro glory.

July 3, 2018

Happy Fourth..,

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the fourth of July?

It happens to be my most favorite holiday evahhhh!

Yes, tis true.

I suppose it's because of the relaxed nature of it all.

The picnics...

the finger food...

hanging out in the back yard...

the flip flops and the leisurely Summer attire...

the patriotic visions of red, white, and blue...

the celebration of our nations independence...

and the pride we all feel in our hearts for our men and women in uniform, our flag, and our country.

It's a great feeling.

From our home to yours,
Happy Fourth!

God Bless!

June 28, 2018

Small Things...

It's been quieter around my house these days.  All the kids have summer jobs.  Now they all go their own way in the morning and come home at different times.  There's a constant coming and going.  Youngest daughter only has a part time job so she comes home the earliest but even so, it allows me a couple hours of alone time which has been nice.  

When school was still in session, I didn't get very much time to myself.  Sometimes none at all.  With one child in high school and two in college you'd think I'd have all day to myself but that's not the way it was.  A lot of the college classes these days are online.  And with each one having different schedules it seemed like someone was home all the time.

I might have mentioned this before but we live right down the road from a university which is why my older kids still live at home.  It's been a blessing because it saves money on room and board but it also makes our little abode feel crowded at times.  Sharing a small space with five grown people can be challenging.  But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to get by.  These small sacrifices will all pay off in the end.  Whatever it takes to give our kids a better start in life.

So I take pleasure in those little delightful moments of peace and quiet.  It gives me time to do those things I've been wanting to do, but normally don't get to do.  Some call it Mom Time.

And then as the clock ticks by, they all start coming home, one by one, and the house comes alive again.

Family life.


We've been incorporating more fresh fruit with our meals.  I've been buying one large watermelon a week.  I cut it up and put it in a large bowl in the fridge for snacking.  It doesn't last all week.  Usually it's gone in a couple of days.  With everyone working, the appetites have gotten bigger it seems.

I sure do like this funky looking plant.

It's a String of Pearls plant and it's doing very well.  I've only had it a month and it makes me giddy to see so many new shoots growing from it.  I have it hanging in my kitchen in front of a large window.  I sense it likes it there.  

I started this knit baby blanket in the winter.  I pick it up from time to time.  Mostly I take it with me when we travel.  I keep it in this basket so I can just grab it and go.  I need to start working on it at home though since it's growing at such a snails pace.

I've been spending more time outside on my front porch.  It's covered so it gives plenty of shade.  I like to sit out there and listen to the birds sing, watch my kitty pounce at everything that moves, and tend to my plants.  As hot as it's been sometimes they need watering twice a day.  

I'm a bit sad that it's the end of June already and that the days will only be getting shorter from here on out.  This Summer break is going by a tad too fast for this Summer lovin' girl.

 I think I'll start doing some knitting out here in the evenings.  Maybe prop up my ipad and catch up on some of my favorite shows.

That's what I love about my porch.
This time of  year it becomes an extension of my home.


June 19, 2018

Growing Flowers in a Basket...

Sometimes using the ordinary in unexpected ways
ends up being pretty cool.

I had this idea for this old gate.

I wanted something to pretty it up...

something flowing, colorful, and unexpected.

My first thought was to use one of those old mailboxes.  You know, the vintage metal ones that would hang by the door.  I had it all planed out in my head.  I would spray paint it aqua and plant pretty white flowers in it that would grow and spread and drape so pretty.  It was going to be eye catching.

But I searched and searched and a pretty vintage mailbox was not to be found.  At least not locally.  I could have bought one from Etsy I suppose, but who has time to wait for shipping when all these wonderful ideas are bouncing around in my head needing to be done?  

So I used what I had.
 I had baskets.  Lots of baskets.

I chose one and got busy.  No spray painting needed.
Baskets are already pretty in their natural state.

I lined it with a plastic grocery store bag.  I simply poked a few holes through the bottom with my finger for drainage.  I then carefully added the potting soil and arranged the flowers just the way I wanted them.  A few patriotic touches to make it homey and welcoming doesn't hurt either.

In this picture below I spot a little bit of the plastic peeking through the flowers.  No worries.  Nothing a little bit of tucking can't solve.  The plants will be growing and spreading and it will all be hidden in time.  

To be perfectly honest these flowers have been in this basket a few weeks now but I waited to photograph them to give them a chance to fill in.  They still have lots of spreading to do.   The growing season is still young.

I rather love having this on my porch.  It's one of  my favorite things out there.

There's a saying that goes Surround yourself with beautiful things.  I totally believe that and I've tried to live my life that way.  We don't have to have a lot of money to have pretty surroundings.  We don't have to have fancy material things.  We just need the will and a little creativity to turn our homes into a place of refuge and beauty.

Wishing you lots of sunshine and beauty.

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June 14, 2018

Treasure Hunting #1

I don't go thrifting these days as much as I would like.  I've trained myself to go less often and when I do go, to only buy what I really love.  A few years back I would go more regularly.  I would hit the yard sales too and bring home everything that tickled my fancy.  It was fun but back then we had a bigger house and more money.  Once we moved to New Mexico all that had to stop.  Clutter is not your friend when you live in a small house with five people.

My shopping trip this week was a little unintentional.  I went by our local charity shop to drop off  some food for their food pantry and couldn't walk out without taking a quick look.  My favorite place to go is the linens department.  There's a soft place in my heart for vintage linens.  More specifically, the hand made kind.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted so much patchwork perfection on the rack.

Fabulous find number one:
this wonderful vintage quilt for only 6 dollars.

Some of you spied this quilt in my previous post.  I used it for a backdrop.  It's tattered around the edges but that didn't keep me from buying it.  It's very clean.  No stains.  I thought I could fix it somehow.

I draped it over the back of this love seat out on our porch.  I like the way it looks there so that's where it will stay for now.

Next up:
these three vintage quilt tops.

I am not the best seamstress in the world but I've had success finishing a quilt top in the past.  It looks like I have my work cut out for me as I already have a few of these in storage.  I have a hard time passing these up if I like the print.

I bought them because of the straight lines.  I can sew a straight line so I feel like I could finish quilting these following the straight seams.   There was another quilt top that I didn't buy.  The piecing was rounder and the edges were curved.  I thought with my limited sewing skills that it would be too much of a challenge but these, I think I can handle.  I may not get to them for a while though but one of these days they will be finished quilts...

The two quilt tops above were 8 dollars each and the one below was 16 because it's applique.  Considering how much quilts go for I thought even at 16 dollars it was still reasonable.
Someone's already done all the hard work piecing these together.

And now, the only non linen find:
this pretty tole tray for only 3 dollars.

It has a few dings and scratches but that's ok.  I don't need it to be perfect.
 I'm not looking for fancy things.  I don't mind the imperfections at all.  I think it just adds character.
It fit nicely above my stove.

Have you been bargain hunting lately?

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June 11, 2018


Once a handy gardening tool,
now a graceful planter...

It was time to retire this old watering can.  I went to fill it one morning and was disappointed to see water gushing out through the bottom.

 A hole had worn through the thin plastic and could no longer retain water. 

Oh my!

This had been my nifty little helper for years.  It's survived a couple of moves and has been a constant  presence on my patio helping me nurture my plants year after year.

I started to throw it away but then hesitated.  I couldn't ditch my faithful friend simply because it had become tired and worn.  I needed to find it a new purpose.  I needed to give it new life.

And so it begins it's new role as a planter.

And while this may not be the most original idea, 
it's the most practical one for me.

I love the color and whimsy it adds to my patio.


Everything is not trash.
We just have to look at things a different way, that's all.

I think Rocky gives his approval.  He jumped in on the photo op.
He didn't want to be left out so of course I had to include this photo of my handsome little furry friend.

What is your favorite container in your garden?  
I'd like to know.

Until next time!

Linking with: Cooking and Crafting with J & J