Thursday, March 23, 2017

One Thousdand Gifts - Session 4 - Trust - The Bridge to Joy

This is week four in this bible study - One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  I look forward to a time of slowing down, being intentional, checking my attitude and increasing my gratefulness. The video is very well done with wonderful images. There was good attendance.

Session 4 -Trust - The Bridge to Joy

This week, Ann mentions several fears that made it difficult for her to trust God in her life.  As she practiced Eucharisteo - giving Thanks she found that Joy came and Trust grew.

Fear keeps our lives small. Fear tells us the lie that God's goodness is finite, it will come to an end, that there will not be enough, our needs will not be met. Trust is hard work.

If we reach for life with open hands does our life become bigger, richer, more joy filled?  God has given the best and knows our needs so what would He withhold?

We build trust through millions of faithful moments where God was there to support, provide and encourage.

This week Ann describes a moment on her drive to somewhere. She had the epiphany when she drove over a bridge and realized that she had trusted the bridge builder to get her across safely.

Thanksgiving builds Trust.

We need to trust God who is our Bridge Builder to get us through and over the troubled waters in our lives.

'When we can't see His hand, we can always see His heart'.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Simple Sentiment - DSP Version

I've been wanting to expand my options for my line of Simple Sentiments cards.  I designed the photo one last year.  With a bit of brain storming when my sister was out last week we came up with this design.

This one features designer paper on a coordinating card. 
 
The greeting is ripped top and bottom and adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.   It can be on white or ivory card stock.



 
It has a quarter sheet insert of bond paper.

This is a versatile design that works for a wide or tall card. 

I may expand the width of my greeting by using a different font.  I do have quite a bit of room in either layout.

Looking forward to producing a few of these for my card box or others.

Enjoy a Cup of Tea


I started by watercoloring a warm brown muted background on white card stock.  I cut it with the Sizzix Squares Thinlits.  I rubbed the edges with a Versamark ink pad and dipped it in gold embossing powder and heated it which gave me a nice rough frame.

I then cut the frame with the Lil Inkers Instant Camera thin die.  I added some water color wash to it which was similar to the background.  I stamped the sentiment with a small clear stamp and gold embossed it as well.

I cut the tea cup with the Cricut and the Joy of the Season cartridge.  I cut it at 1.5 inches from Authentique 12x12 paper - Hope Collection - "Adorn" using the polka dot side.  I then rubbed it with the Versamark ink pad as well to allow me to repeat the gold embossing one more time.

I chose a warm brown card and I embossed the front with the Stampin Up Polka Dot Textured Impression folder. This allowed me to repeat the dots.  I adhered the watercolor background at an angle, added the frame evenly spaced on card then applied the tea cup with 3D foam tape in the center.

I'm joining the Coffee Loving Cardmakers - Design Team Case link party.

Watercolor Flora Card

This card is for one of my card exchange buddies.

I started with a left over from making samples for my Art Card Stack Class which is coming up soon.
I decided to watercolor this card with the Stampin Up Watercolor Wonder Crayons.  I used a water brush to apply the color.  I used Garden Green, Always Artichoke, Bravo Burgundy, Cherry Cobbler and Not Quite Navy. I used Not Quite Navy to add spatters to the element.  It was cut to 3 7/8 inches square.

I added a length of Spring Moss grosgrain ribbon on the left hand side of the card front and taped the ends to the inside.

I stamped the greeting in Cherry Cobbler with the Itty Bitty Banner Stamp set the die cut it with the Bitty Banner Framelit set.  I mounted it to the right of the ribbon with 3D foam tape.


I used a water brush to paint the color onto my card element.  I applied a bit of color to a clear stamp mount with the crayon then painted from there.  In my opinion, this is the best way of doing.  You can You can collect the color directly from the crayon onto the brush which works okay if you want a bit more intense color. Applying the color directly with the crayon to your paper puts too much color, makes it too dark and it has very fat end for coloring. 
I bought the crayons second hand and I see that I got some colors from the Rich Regals set and some from the Earth Elements set.  I am very happy with the color selection.  These will last me my life time. 

Floating Balloons Card

I made this accent for photography project earlier this week.  You can check my Flickr photo stream for more info.  It reminded me of the movie UP.

Now, I could make a card out of it.

The original element was created with 10 balloons made with the Martha Stewart punch.  I chose red, yellow and blue.  I attached them to a quarter sheet of vellum.  The central yellow balloon has red spatters on it.  The first 7 balloons were attached directly to the vellum and the last 3 were adhered with 3D foam tape.  I attached white thread strings to several of them. 

For the card I trimmed the vellum down to about 3 inches wide to allow more of the sky card stock to show.  I placed adhesive behind the balloons.  I chose a Stampin Up Decorative Label greeting in a blue matching the balloons.  This was adhered with 3D foam tape to the card front with the middle points aligned along the edge of the vellum.  I placed some adhesive for the vellum where it would be hidden by the greeting.   This is off to one of my card exchange buddies.

Monday, March 20, 2017

One Thousand Gifts - Between Sessions

There is Between Session work in the One Thousand Gift bible study.

We are asked to continue to write down our gift list.  To always have a place to write handy - a file on the phone, the computer, a note book and or a dry erase board.

Ten more dots to write down gifts in our guide.  I will share a few from this week.

1. A good result from my tests last week.
2. A visit from my sister.
3. A friend called and we made plans.
4. Fellowship with ladies.
5. My sisters grandson is getting better.

Our ugly-beautiful moments are moments when we can excavate the experience deep enough to see Christ.  Many times we cannot, at times all we can do is cope, at times we can be grateful, and then other times we can be transformed by the moment.

Mosaic Monday - Visit to Garden Center

I visited the large garden center yesterday.  I generally only visit at Christmas time when it is totally decked out for the season.  It was very windy yesterday wo it was nice to photograph flowers that were sitting pretty.

There were a large variety of pots for house plants and outside patios.

There were some 3 feet tall and very decorator in color and finish.  There was a variety of materials: pottery, plastic, glass, ceramic and wood.

I thought these were bright and colorful.  Together as a group they are quite overwhelming but spread across a space they would likely do the trick.  I thought the colors where quite retro.

They have a wide variety of decor items featuring a number of materials including resin, glass, papermache, and metal.

This was a small angel in a cream color.  It had a wash applied to highlight it's lovely features.  It was maybe 4 inches tall so could easily be tucked into a corner of almost any space.

Great in the house or the garden.







The model train was set up in the central area.  It is the same one I saw at the Conservatory a while back.  It must take a lot of work and time to set up the pieces in new venues.

I've just finished viewing a series of railroad promos done in the first half of the 20th century telling of their history in North America.  It was very interesting.





I was surprised to see the amount of art and paintings available at the center. It's not fine art mostly but very nice pieces which would look good in a living as well as in a 3 season room.

This piece of art was huge, probably 4 feet square and very lovely.  As you can see there is a reflection so some parts of it were a bit shiny.  I love the texture in the petals and the monochromatic color scheme.



Of course, there was lots of plants for sale. The orchids were gorgeous, ranunculus in many colors as well as rhododendrons in very pretty colors.

I enjoyed my visit and will be back as the seed rack was full and I will want some herbs again this year on the balcony.

Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life who hosts Mosaic Monday #32.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Share Your Cup #240 - This Week

Veggie Salad

It's been a while since I have been making salad primarily with veggies instead of lettuce.  The ingredients are shredded cabbage done on the mandolin and grated carrots.  I love that I have this red Tupperware bowl so I no longer have to be concerned about the carrots staining the bowl.
With the main ingredients in place I add whatever other fresh veggies I have.  I have included at various times: red and/or yellow peppers, celery, red onion, and cucumber.
Other options would be small broccoli florets, bean sprouts, and nuts.

I enjoy this substantial salad.
Furniture Repairs

These chairs are from my original solid pine INGO dining set from IKEA over 20 years ago.  They had been set aside because they had become wobbly and needed gluing.  I had bought the glue but never worked out what needed to be done. 

My sister came to spend a couple of days with me which made me very happy. While she was here she decided we would look over the problem and solved it if we could.  Yes, the original front skirt had been glued and had become unglued.  With a stop at a hardware store to buy wood glue, check to see what I had from straps, we tackled the project We applied the wood glue in the right place, wiped off the excess when we strapped it tight and let it sit for 24 hours.  A solid chair to go with the more recent solid pine table.













The glider chair I bought a year ago at the thrift store developed a problem last summer. It was tilting forward and was no longer comfortable to sit in.

Once turned over we discovered that mortise and tenon joint in the base had become unglued.  We applied glue to the tenon and set it back into the mortise.  Upon further checking, we discovered an earlier repair had been made with screws to stabilize the top tenon.  So we decided to add screws to the bottom tenon which we had just glued for insurance that it would not come apart again.  With a small drill bit she made pilot holes then she put in the .75 inch screws.  I expect to be gliding on this chair into my old age.  Thank you sister T.

I had recently purchased this maple foot stool for use with the glider chair.  I brought it out, cleaned it up, and set it in it's place at the foot of the chair. I was concerned it would be too tall but it works well for me.
It has storage space in the top which will come in handy!


Welcome to my Kitchen

We had a great fellowship time this morning with the ladies who attend Welcome to my Kitchen.  We take turns hosting, providing snacks and doing devotions.

Our hostess this morning had a lovely table set with blue and white dishes, muffins, St. Patricks' day cupcakes, yogurt, cheese and fresh fruit.  It was all very yummy!

We were able to retire to the living room following our snack and spend another hours in fellowship, sharing, praying and in general have a great time.

We had 13 ladies in attendance with a tiny little girl in training.  This is the most we had so far but there was room for everyone.

Thanks Barb!!




I took this DVD from the library last week and sat down and watched it this week.  It is a story about a woman in the USA who swaps houses with a woman in Ireland.  They are both experiencing own life changing events and a summer in a different house and community helps to put perspective on their situation.  I need to read the book now because some of the events near the end of the movie need some clarification in my mind and I am sure the book will provide all the details.  Most will know that Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors.

Sharing with Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson who hosts Share Your Cup #240 linky party every week.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tea with a Friend - Yellow and Blue

I had tea with another friend today.  It's been a couple of months since we talked.  We had a lovely visit and caught up on our lives.

I set the table with the navy tablecloth topped with the white lace one.  I chose my sunshine yellow Libbey Tableware plates.  These were one of the first plates I bought just because I loved them. 
I chose some simple clear glass water glasses and 365+ Cobalt Blue porcelain mugs. 




I coordinated the place settings with the matching 365+ Cobalt Blue teapot by IKEA. 

We had Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings which is quickly becoming a favorite for non caffeinated tea. 

I added my vase of sunflowers to the table in hopes of cheering up the space a little despite the snow outside. 

The glass fruit as still working for me so this dish may last a while.




We had apple crisp for a snack.

I am sharing with the following:

Ruth at Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 

Mosaic Monday - Spring Flowers

I found some spring flowers, unfortunately they were in the Conservatory and not outside where snow still predominates the landscape.

The Grape Hyacinth is always a favorite of mine.  There were several colors of tulips but I chose to highlight the red ones.  Next is a great example of a daffodil in Peach Cobbler.  The Peace Lily plant had wonderful large blooms on it.   The last was a peach tulip with yellow highlights.

It was a good but short visit to the conservatory as there were 2 birthday parties being held at the same time which meant a large number of children being guided around the pyramids.

Joining Maggie host at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday #31

Saturday, March 11, 2017

St. Patricks HB Card

I have a friend whose aunt celebrates her birthday on St. Patrick's Day.  She always wants a special card.

I found a free printable at WishesGood and altered it a bit because she wanted it to say Aunt.  I printed it onto warm green parchment card stock.   Once printed, I trimmed it to leave a small border on the warm green card and adhered it in place double sided tape.

I found some green confetti daisies and some bright green brads just the right color to hold them in place on the card front.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Share Your Cup - Favorites

I made some more Mini Crustless Quiche Muffins this week. 

I added ham this week which enhanced their flavor.  It is such a flexible recipe so you can use what veggies and meat you have on hand.  The recipe I did get from the host from our fellowship group includes some egg whites as well as whole eggs.  This would contribute to a stiffer quiche. 

I baked them in my silicone liners which helps with clean up but does not give them nice golden edges.  I may try them in greased metal cups next time. 

These are becoming a regular choice at my place.

I was looking for glass lemons to create a center piece for my table when I came across these at a thrift store.  The price was right so them came home with me.  The peach on the left top is not the same as the others so that will be going back.

There is only one lemon. The hunt is still on!

It gives me enough variety to create vignettes of different ones as I see fit.  A good mix of each type and a good color range as well.

This was breakfast this morning. 

A cup of Masala Chai tea with honey and cream.  My favorite tea.

A couple of the Mini Crustless Quiche Muffins, a bit of homemade KimChi, carrot sticks and a tomato. Served on a bright yellow plate to help me feel springy when it snows again outside.

A book to browse.  Half Yard Heaven which includes several project using small pieces of fabric. 



I bought myself a yellow umbrella! 
It is a promotional item with a logo on one panel but the color is great. 

Ever since I read book titled "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo which I wrote about here.  I often ask myself "Does this make me happy?" when I look at things in my life.  The yellow one will make me happy and the dull purple patterned one can head to the thrift store in hopes it makes someone else`s day.  There are all kinds of folks in the world so likely it will.




There is a tote bag pattern in here that I want to try.
The outside patterned fabric is laid out in 2 different directions. The liner fabric is a contrasting solid color. The handles are sewn in between the liner and outside fabric where the liner creates the top border of the bag.  It features nice box corners.

There is a project apron as well that may be a great item.  It features several pockets to hold tools as you work.

Books are a constant favorite and I am enjoying more of them with a bit more time.


Sharing in the link party with Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson who hosts Share Your Cup #239.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tea with a Friend - Blue, White and Color Pop

I placed my navy blue table cloth covered with the white lace one.  I like it.  I added blue quilted place mats.

This was the place setting for my friend. I chose the Chelsea Garden pattern by Myott Straffordshire in blue and white with the dessert plate, and the teacup and saucer.  A fork and spoon in heavy flatware by Splendide.




I am really loving this white round porcelain tea pot.  I used my one Blue Willow dessert plate as a hot spot for the table.

I had water on the table served in my glass pitcher with the cobalt handles.  I chose the cobalt blue juice glasses to coordinate.

Yellow napkins to coordinate with my pop of color in the fruit bowl.




This is my latest try at finding a dish for my new collection of glass fruit and veggies.  It is a potpourri dish by Claire Burke.  I thought the rectangular shape would lessen the space required on the table.  It is very plain so does not compete with the glass shapes inside.  I added a few glass marbles to fill in the spaces in between.

I'm not sure this the final dish but it is working okay.


I made apple and rhubarb crisp for afternoon tea.  I baked it in my birthday gift from last year - yellow and white Kitchen Aid Ceramic Bakeware.  The pot holders were a gift from my Mom this Christmas.  She always honors my wish to have navy and yellow for my kitchen.  Love them.




I set my place with Wedgewood Countryside with the same 3 pieces I mentioned earlier. 

We had a good visit as we had not seen each other since our pre Christmas visit in early December.

Sharing with:
Bernideen's Tea Time.




One Thousand Gifts - Session 3 - All is Grace

This is week three in this bible study - One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  I look forward to a time of slowing down, being intentional, checking my attitude and increasing my gratefulness. The video is very well done with wonderful images. There was good attendance.






Session Three - All is Grace

This week Ann talks about an experience with 2 of her boys.  One of the boys has been disrespectful to the other and she is angry at the behavior of the boy.   After practicing Eucharisteo for a while she chooses to practice it in the situation.  It feels unfamiliar, but she does it anyway. Give Thanks when you would rather lash out.  In a few minutes, heart rates slow, tempers cool, arms uncross, hearts soften and a tender moment is be shared between mother and son.  A blessing received by each.






We will have valley and mountain top experiences.  Can we see God's grace in all of them?

If we look deep enough in the hard places of our lives we will see God's hand on it. 



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

One Thousand Gifts - Between Sessions

There is Between Session work in the One Thousand Gift bible study.

We are asked to continue to write down our gift list.  To always have a place to write handy - a file on the phone, the computer, a note book and or a dry erase board.

Ten more dots to write down gifts in our guide.  I will share a few from this week.


1. Tea with a friend
2. Time to make art
3. A clean house
4. A good visit with a sister

I found these journals at a local craft store and made them available to the participants if they did not already have a journal.





Ann says when we move too fast we no longer collect memories.  How can we collect our memories so we can retell and share our stories with others?  Where do we go back to remind ourselves of our stories?  I find that when I am too busy I forget to take pictures then I have little to remember the experience later.

A few suggestions are:

1. Scrapbooking - digital or paper
2. A digital photo frame with regular updates
3. Keep a guest book and bring it out when company comes.

Do you have ideas you want to share?  Leave me a comment.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mosaic Monday - Restoring a Cast Iron Fry Pan

I have been looking for a cast iron fry pan for a while. I have been checking the thrift stores but the prices seemed high based on my budget. After checking out new ones, the second hand prices became more appealing and were likely going to be better quality. I should have done some research on line before buying but I lucked out.

Here's what it looked like when I brought it home with a price within my budget. The surface was very rough and black.  I liked the weight in my hand and the size at 8 inches was perfect
.
I started scraping the inside and came to realize that there was a layer of crud which could be scraped off.  The bottom was even worse.
There was some writing on the bottom that I could barely make out.  Taiwan was one of them.

Upon checking several places on line the verdict seemed to be not favorable for these made in the east. I realized that these were from vintage resellers who were collecting on brands made in the west before 1960. There were a couple places that had restored them and the users were very happy with the pan.  
 


Encouraged, I then searched on-line for the process and the tools required. 

A plastic table cloth to protect my working surface, plastic gloves, steel wool, and paper towels.  I used a old butter knife as a scraping tool but I see it missed appearing in the photo.

Check out that crud!!


Caring for a cast iron fry pan requires immediate cleaning after every use.  I recognized that I would have to season this pan once I was done.

As you can see, this one has been allowed to rust sometime in its life.  It took me 3 hours of very hard work to get back down to the metal.

I suspect this one was used on an open fire which would explain the very heavy layer of crud on the bottom.  The inside was quite a bit easier to clean.

It received 2 baths in boiling water in hopes of softening this layer of crud.  I covered it completely in hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes then let it cool.  I worked on it some and saw results so after a scrap especially on the bottom I soaked it for a second time.  Between the knife and steel wool I was getting down to metal.

I was making progress!
The next step was a scrub with coarse salt and a bit of water applied with steel wool.  I applied this treatment twice to the inside and twice to the bottom.

As the metal surface was emerging the remaining layers of crud were being revealed. I took time between treatments to scrap the tougher bits.

It was starting to look like it might have when it was new.



I was not able to completely get rid of the rings in the center.  But it was looking pretty!

I headed for bed late in the night.

Seasoning would be on the agenda for the next day.






The seasoning process involves covering the pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil inside and out.  Then placing it in a 350F oven for 1 hour.

The pan underneath is to catch any drips.

After the hour, just turn the oven off and allow the fry pan to cool in the oven.



The result is a really smooth cast iron fry pan.  It feels really nice.

I look forward to using it.  I hope i will get a good sear on a steak, a nice color on Welsh cakes and who know what else.

It was a very interesting experience and very worthwhile.

My body is telling me that it was not happy to have worked so hard and repetitively on this project.  
Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday #30.


I`ve made pancakes, fried steak, and stir fried veggies in it so far! Excellent.

The original numbering system for old cast iron fry pans equated to the eyes (holes) in a wood stove. You would removed the cover to the hole and placed the fry pan directly in the hole which provided direct access to the fire in the stove.  Some had ridges on the bottom to help that process. The old fry pan typically have very smooth interiors and are much lighter in weight than those made in after the mid 60s.
I know more about these now so I will take that along during my thrifting.  There are a couple in my world who are on the hunt.  I will do what I can to help them out.