Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Heirloom Christmas Craft

Growing up, my mother always had the most unique Christmas decorations.  One year, a friend of hers made us a Christmas Tree out of children's alphabet blocks.  The base of the tree spelled out our last name and both mine and my brother's names were spelled on the sides.  She then tucked little ornaments, ribbons, and other goodies all over the "tree".  I loved this decoration and when I had my own family I knew that I wanted to make one for us.  Here are a few pictures of the original tree.

In order to reproduce the tree I counted the blocks along the bottom.  Our last name was long so it filled up most of the bottom row.  My married last name is much shorter, so I added the year along the bottom of ours as well.  I found the blocks for $4.99 at Tuesday Morning and I went to both Hobby Lobby and Michael's for the small ornaments that I wanted to use as embellishments. Most of those were half off, so the whole thing was around $10.00.   I laid out the blocks to make sure I had all of the letters I would need.  I arranged and rearranged the blocks until I had them the way that I wanted.  Then I glued them using a hot glue gun.  Once all of the blocks were glued in place, I used the little ornaments and ribbons to fill in the blank spots.  I was really happy with the way it turned out and my girls loved having their names on it!  
Addison (our nine year old)

Foshee (our last name)

Avery (our 15 year old)
 This was a lot of fun to make and it looks really great as
 center piece for a small table.  Send me pictures of the ones that
you make.  I'd love to see them!  Hope you enjoyed!

Thirty Hand Made Days

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tucker the little _ucker

When our sweet hedgehog, Willie, passed away, our girls were devastated.  Especially our youngest.  We had a proper burial along with a short sermon by Daddy.  After a respectful mourning period of a few weeks, the girls decided they wanted to get a kitten.  Their Dad had already said, "No cats!" so they knew they had their work cut out for them.  They got on our Mac and created an amazing power point presentation about why they wanted a kitten.  They even included pictures and a original song to the music of the spice girls.  It was super cute!  No person in their right mind could deny them now.  After they presented their power point, their dad finally caved.  Enter Tucker.  He was the cutest kitten at the SPCA.  He was sweet and loving.  Little did we know that once he comfortably settled into our home, he would quickly morph into a child chasing, baby biting, cabinet raiding ball of "furry!"  It wasn't until we had sunk hundreds of dollars into this cat that his true colors emerged.  He was officially ours and he knew it!  We have now had him for a little over a year.  He has already chewed through most of the pull cords on our wooden blinds, broken "froggie's" aquarium, bitten several of our friends, and peed in the wet bar sink.  However, he has this knack for knowing when you've had a really bad day.  It's on those days that he lays down and lets you cuddle him for a few minutes before he is off to terrorize someone else.  I have to say that our lives would be much more boring if Tucker was not around.  I can say that there are many moments of sweetness and I am forever hopeful that this is "just a phase" that he will outgrow.  Until then, my spray bottle will stay filled with water.

Art journal supplies: gesso, magazine clippings, mod podge, scrapbook paper, water color crayons, and a black sharpie.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Art journaling

I have always loved to create.  From cross-stitch to quilting to scrapbooks, I can't remember the last time I didn't have a project I was working on.  While browsing the craft books at my local Barnes and Noble, I came across an art journaling book.  I was intrigued by the use of mixed-media art to journal thoughts, dreams, and day-to-day goings on.  I immediately wanted to start my own, but it all seemed very overwhelming.  When I got home I searched art journaling on Youtube and I was amazed by the number of postings.  I started at the top and made my way through at least twenty.  It wasn't nearly as difficult as I had thought!  I rushed out to Hobby Lobby and purchased some of the main supplies: a mixed media journal, white gesso (primer), some brushes, some cheap acrylic paint, water soluble crayons (my favorite!) and got to work.  Since the journal is just that, a journal, I didn't feel pressured to produce something that others would think beautiful.  I just let myself go and used the art of others to inspire me.  I have to say, this project has been the most freeing.  I have learned so much about myself.  I highly recommend investing some time in expressing yourself through art.  Use song lyrics, quotes, and phrases to inspire you.  Put a visual to the feelings that are too complex to express through words alone.  I think you will be surprised with the outcome.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Truly a HAPPY meal!

When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, she came home one day to announce that a boy in her class had given her "the finger" and she wanted to know what it meant.  I'm not talking a pinky promise.  I'm talking "Tall Man to the sky" finger.  I was horrified!  What was I going to tell her?  I'm one of those moms that is usually very open with my girls, but this seemed too much too soon.  So I sat her down and told her that it meant she didn't love God.  I know...that's probably a little much, but I just didn't want her going around flashing her newly learned gesture to all her friends.  I then told her that this particular little boy probably liked her and didn't know how to show it,  (Total default answer), while in my mind I was already plotting my strategy.  I would have lunch with my daughter at school the next day and while the guilty party enjoyed his lunch I would throw him the occasional stink eye punctuated with a raised brow.  That's when my daughter told me that the little delinquent's mom and dad were in prison and he was living with his grandparents.  My heart just sank.  Immediately, everything changed.  I no longer saw this child as a "bad kid", but rather a broken soul caused by circumstances outside of his control.  I sat for a minute looking down at my daughter as she waited for my response.  I pictured her as that child confused, sad, angry...and it was then that a question entered my mind.  It wasn't my own question.  It was God's question.  Does anyone ever bring lunch to him?  Before I could think, I was asking my daughter more questions.  She didn't know much else about him, except that he spent a lot of time sitting on the black top during recess.  That's when I knew what I had to do.  I showed up the next day at my daughter's school, two happy meals in tow.  Without a word, I walked over to the young man and handed him the happy meal.  He looked completely bewildered.  I just smiled and said, "I thought you might like a happy meal."  Then I walked over and sat with my daughter.  I can't say that for him it was a life altering event.  But I can say that it was life altering for me.  God taught me so much about looking past what a person does to why they are doing it in the first place.  We never know what burden another person is carrying, but if we stop and listen to God we may find that lightening another's load is as easy as a $2.99 Happy Meal.