"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Sunday, February 9, 2014

String Monogram Part II

Is it just me, or is the problem with doing something for one person in your family is that it makes you feel like you have to do it for everyone else? And let me tell you, my family is big (and just getting bigger) So that generally means a lot of work. However, this is a project I did for just one nephew, and making another one for his big brother wasn't a big deal:

Matching set! Ha! (No guarantees on making one for future kids, though, sis. You're totally on your own for those.) 

Lest you think I'm being cruel for withholding my talents, fret not. She'll be fine because this project is a pretty easy concept and simple to execute, too. This is totally doable.

Just trace the outline of the shape you want on paper, cut it out, and use it as a template for placing your nails. Then tightly weave thread or string around the nails until the area is filled in.

Have you tried this yet? I'd love to see!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Hobo Rags to Happy Wraps

So, my friends. We've been feeling like hobos recently after we suddenly realized that all our quilts were pretty much shredded bits of rags. How did this happen? Well, we've used the same three blankets for more than eight years and looking at these things daily means we didn't realize they were destroyed until our eyes were opened with the sudden realization. Imagine my shock and surprise when I realized we were, indeed, living like hobos on a pile of rags! We like to make our things last as long as possible...but this was taking it too far. Judge not:


It was time to take matters into my own hands because we couldn't just throw that piece of junk away without replacing it with because then we would have nothing on our beds! So, with some wisdom and guidance from my quilting aunt, I made this ombre chevron quilt:

So much better! I've been needing a little sunshine in our room, and this was just the ticket. And can I just have to say that I'm dang proud of making this? I am. There were some serious hours stitched into this quilt, guys. I even bound all the edges by hand. And, as you can see in the picture, it definitely passes the snuggle test.

As for that drafty shredded mess? Adios.

One of my goals was to learn how to make a quilt before next fall, and I'm happy to say I'm getting a good start. The only quilting I'd done before were simple patchwork square quilts or basic tied ones. Hopefully there will be a few more pieces beauties on the way. I love learning how to do new things! What is something new you want to learn or try out this year?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Word for 2014

As much as I love setting up for Christmas, as soon as it is over, I love taking it down because my life seems so much simpler and cleaner.

This is the fourth year that I've picked a word to focus on for the whole year. If you're curious to know what my previous words were (and I hope you are! stay curious, my friends!) they were:

2011- Change
2012- Savor
2013- Fresh

And the word I am embracing for 2014 is... drum roll...

Peace, guys. Let's just say I have my reasons (like last year was ca-RAZY busy and we were pretty much all running around like kooks to the point of spontaneous combustion!) and I know this is something I (and my family) need this year.

There are many facets of this word that I can't wait to focus on and explore. Like, I want to invite calmness into my life... somehow. Still working that out. I want to focus on my tiny and oft-times neglected family more. I need to say no more often. I need to set aside time just to relax and not feel like I have to constantly be moving. I want to learn how to be a better peacemaker because it's not ever really been in my nature and it's about time I seriously considered it. That's what I'm hoping I'll embrace, but my yearly word has a marvelous way of revealing its layers to me in surprising and unexpected connections. Love it!

So far, living my word has been a huge relief! Like I stopped running a marathon long enough to realize I've been running the same marathon over and over nonstop. And let me tell you that stretching out feels amazing! My month has been restful and healthy. I'm focusing on making time for things I'm truly passionate about that have over time been pushed aside or replaced with projects for other people. 2014 is going to be a promising and incredible year, I can feel it!

I know picking a word for the year isn't for everyone, but it really is good for me. If you haven't done something like this before, I'd highly encourage it. It helps guide my year in a good direction, and keeps my focus healthy. And, it keeps me on track much in the same way new year's resolutions do for some people. Plus, after a year of honing in on all the magnificence a single word has to offer, it becomes a part of me. And the best part is that all of my previous words are compounded and an integral part of who I am and have helped round out my perspective of this crazy little planet a little bit at a time. This is a personal tradition and self-improvement ritual that I will probably continue for the rest of my precious life.

I've got to be honest: I've got some trepidation about this word, mostly because I find a lot of satisfaction from getting a lot done and doing things for other people, and knowing that I'm going to need to scale back on both of those things makes me a little nervous. But excited. But still nervous. So. Wish me luck on my word journey!

Are any of you embarking on a word journey for this year? If so, I'd love to hear what your word is and how it's going for you so far. If not, you can start one any time of the year, not just at the beginning of January! So put that in your pipe and smoke it, and consider all that a word could offer you if you adopted it for a whole year.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh, Girlies!

Kirk's mom gave all the girls in the family a little charm bracelet kit to throw together and personalize. Pepper's is more like a necklace because she is so bitty, but she likes putting it on and taking it off again and again. I've been meaning to share these for a while now, so, in the words of my favorite 2-year-old, "Ta-BUM!" (ta-dum!)

Because these came from a kit, all we had to do was pick where we wanted to put the charms. Easy-peasy! These are so sweet and feminine, and Pepper loves that we have matching jewelry with all the other girls in our family...and Kirk was glad he could make his own with the leftover pieces- haha! Love him!