So lovelies this is where I am going to begin, I am going to address the many sides of my life in hopes that I will connect with you in some way. We all wear so many hats and isn't that actually such a blessing!? What a wonderful gift to have such a variety in our lives. I think this will be the best way to tell my story over the last few months.
HOSTESS- This past Thanksgiving we were so excited to have Matt's family come and stay for a few days. I absolutely love having house guests! But as our family grew and our house shrunk, it can be a bit interesting:) Let's just say, I deeply appreciate having a family who loves us enough to put up with 11 of us sharing one bathroom, cozying up at the dinner table since we have no dining area or room, and bunking with the kids. It blesses me immensely to be able to host others in our home. I love the busy kitchen as we prepare the meal! Matt and I have set our hopes on taking down the wall between our kitchen and living room so that we are not so separated during the preparation of a meal. the kitchen is just too tiny to have everyone gathered around the table and since we do not get together often, it would be nice to have more time to connect as we work. So, we are praying about that. The picture is of how we manage everyone at dinner when we have guests. We haul out half of our furniture to the garage and bring in a long table to seat everyone. Hey it works! I have even heard my Grandma tell others "She certainly knows how to make great use of her small space":)
I used to run out and buy a gallon of paint, paint a room, and have it all back together again in one day. But somewhere along the way, I began stalling and not making a decision on a new color for months. Where did the fear come from! Although maybe it is more that I have way too many styles I like, some real furniture to consider and a whole lot more kiddos than I did in those days! Paint used to be the ONLY decoration:)Anyways! I finally made a decision to paint our living room in a burnt orange-whoa-and that was a complete flip from the shabby chic robin's egg it was for the last 3 years! But that color just popped in my mind and I couldn't get rid of it! So, we bought the paint one weekend before Thanksgiving and started bright and early Saturday morning. I do not think I have ever experienced such terror as I painted.Oh my goodness~ I actually contemplated sitting down in the middle of the floor to cry.And I just about quit within the first hour. It was my husband , who originally wasn't too sure of the color but trusted me(what was he thinking!),that ended up being the one who said-"I REALLY LIKE IT, LET'S KEEP GOING!" I cannot tell you how heavy that paint brush felt and how much I was grieving my pretty blue walls! Usually I am just drooling over a new color I am putting up, so this was definitely an interesting experience. I did know, it is only paint and can be redone, but I think I was mad that it would be wasted time. there are so many more important things to do with my time than to repaint over a bad decision! Some friends even dropped by unexpected and I almost considered pawning off the color decision onto Matt-NICE, I KNOW! haha. But-we did finish, and it did take awhile, especially when halloween was right around the corner and all I could see was a big jacolantern when I looked at my walls, but I have really grown to love it-honestly. it ended up being a good change and seemed to warm the house for Christmas. Here are a few pics of the change.
THIS WAS BEFORE...
THIS WAS AFTER...
My cozy booknook.....and my desk
AND HERE WAS OUR CHRISTMAS LOOK...
MAMA...OH, THIS ONE I LOVE!!!
HERE ARE MY BOYS ON OUR 12 HOUR ROAD TRIP BACK FROM MINNESOTA. WHAT A PAIR THEY ARE.
BELL LOVES THIS TUBE!!! JUST TRY AND TAKE A TURN AND IT WILL CRUSH HER. SLEDDING AT MOM AND DAD'S IN MN AT CHRISTMAS. WE SCRAMBLED TO GET ON THE ROAD BRIGHT AND EARLY FOR OUR 12 HOUR ROAD TRIP BECAUSE A STORM WAS ACOMING! AND SURE ENOUGH WE MADE IT JUST AS THE SNOW STORM HIT AND CONTINUED FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS! IT WAS GORGEOUS! PERFECT TIME TO BE SNOWED IN!
RUN LIKE THE WIND JOSIE GIRL....
MY MADI GIRL...
MY GIRLS IN THEIR CHRISTMAS JAMMIES-THEY ARE A TRADITION IN OUR HOUSE. THEY STILL LIKE HAVING MATCHING ONES, WONDER WHEN THAT WILL CHANGE. I WILL SOAK IT IN WHILE I CAN.
WE SURPRISED THE KIDS LATE ONE NIGHT AND GOT THEM OUT OF BED TO JUMP IN THE CAR AND GO SEE THE LIGHTS. ANOTHER FUN TRADITION.
THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN LAYING UNDER THE TREE AT CHRISTMAS. MATT STILL HAS VIVID MEMORIES OF FALLING ASLEEP UNDER THE TREE AS A KID. SO IT IS FUN TO SEE THE KIDS IN THEIR DREAMY STATE.
MY WEE ONES...THE TIME IS PASSING BY AND I JUST WANT TO SLOW IT DOWN. NOAH IS JUST ABOUT 3, IT IS A BIT HARD TO BE AT THE PLACE OF NO BABIES IN OUR HOME. THIS IS A FIRST FOR US. AFTER 5 KIDS IN A 9 YEAR SPAN, DIAPERS AND CRIBS AND ROCKING TO SLEEP, HAS BEEN A NORM, ONE THAT I AM DEEPLY FOND OF. I DO NOT MIND IT A BIT. I WOULD BE EX STATIC TO FIND OUT WE WERE EXPECTING, AND THEN I WOULD CRY KNOWING THE DIFFICULTY THE PREGNANCY WAS GOING TO BRING:) MY PREGNANCY WITH NOAH WAS SO VERY HARD, HARDER THAN THE ONES BEFORE. 6 MONTHS IN BED BECAUSE I WAS SO SICK AND HAD NO STRENGTH, 3 SURGERIES FOR PIC LINES TO MY HEART FOR 24 HOUR IV FLUID, A HOME NURSE TO MONITOR ALL THE MEDICAL SUPPLIES, PIC LINE, BABIES HEALTH AND MEDICATION TO GET NOAH AND I THROUGH IT, LONELINESS BEYOND WORDS, NEVER ENDING VOMITING-SERIOUSLY, AND THEN MIGRAINES. BUT! IF IT MEANT ANOTHER LITTLE LIFE IN OUR HOME-I AM THERE! I TRUST THE LORD AND HAVE SEEN THE MIRACLES OF EACH OF MY LOVELIES THAT HE CREATED AND PLANNED.
I have loved quilting for as long as i have been working with fabrics. All kinds. Each year I try to find one antique quilt to add to my collection. This year i found my quilt at a little antique/thrift store up in door county when Matt and i went away for our 13th anniversary. It was a white quilt with vintage fabrics. Simple and so charming. Well i did the unthinkable to most quilt collectors, I cut it up!! I just did not want to leave it folded on a shelf, i wanted to look at it every day! What i did was cut it in half and made it into curtains. Originally i had them in my living room but while i loved the look at night of them, I hated them during the day while the sun shown in. See, the quilt is white and old, which completely charmed me until the sun shown through it and spotlighted all it's flaws, stains, etc and made the colors look wrong. So , I put my old curtains back up in the living room and put the quilt up in my bedroom which i have been attempting to find and idea for anyways. I am in love with the result! The curtains are on the side of the window so the sunlight will not fade it or make it look funky. The charm me every time I walk in the room. my other window will have to wait for inspiration, but for now i like the uniqueness of each window, not everything has to match.
Here are a few things I have been entertaining my creative side with over the past few months....
I just could not pass this one up at Christmas. I found this T-shirt and turned it into a throw pillow for my baby sister who's sense of humor is something I truly enjoy!
Many of you know that I LOVE working with reclaimed wool. I am always on the hunt for wool sweaters that I can felt into fabric. I began making coffee cozies this year for stocking stuffers and have now added them to the shop. These little things are ADDICTIVE! I could almost start drinking coffee just so I could use them!
There are alot in the shop for Valentine's Day too.
I began making wool throw pillows at Christmas for gifts and decided to do some for Valentine's day for the shop.
So what happens when your hobby turns into your job? Naturally you pick up a new hobby! I was so excited to open up Amanda' Soule's books for Christmas from my sweetie. And after reading through them over our Christmas break, I decided to begin working on a braided rug for our living room. My mom makes the most gorgeous crocheted rag rugs and my son does as well, but I have not taken the time to learn to crochet and actually fear learning a bit because I already have so many projects going on! But I thought doing a braided rug would be good for me. I need something to do with my hands when I sit down. The kids always wish I would sit still and watch a movie with them, but I cannot sit still very long. This is my solution. I am using a stack of jersey cotton fabric and also have found that jersey sheets work fabulous. Here is the start of it....
I did actually find that those large balls of fabric were too difficult to braid with, I would need to take up juggling as well. So I am working in smaller strips now. My Coleman has taken the balls and started his own rug and plans on making it to fit his room. He is already way ahead of me!! The jersey fabric goes a long way! I did find that the hand stitching is a bit difficult on my hands but I can do it on and off throughout the day.
Not only do I love wool sweaters, I love working with wool skirts and suit coats. I have used them before for iPOD cozies and such, but I have begun using them for messenger bags as well. I did this one for one of our sweet students that works with our Josie Bug at church.
i FOUND SOME VERY FUN NEW VINTAGE CLOTHING FOR THE SHOP .
THIS IS THE CUTEST WOOL TOP EVER! AND IT IS STILL AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP!
AND THIS CUTE SUNDRESS IN TIME FOR SUMMER
I ALSO FOUND THIS CHARMING VINTAGE BLANKET. IT HAS A PRIMITIVE PRINT ON IT AND MAKES THE MOST LOVELY BED THROW. IT IS ALL COTTON AND HAS BEEN HAND QUILTED. IT IS ALSO IN THE SHOP.
NOW THIS IS A TREASURE I FOUND FOR US AND I AM JSUT SO THANKFUL FOR THIS. FOR 2 YEARS, MATT AND I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO FIND A TV CABINET FOR OUR LIVING ROOM, SOMETHING THAT WE COULD CLOSE THE TV AWAY. AND OF COURSE, IT HAD TO BE EXTREMELY INEXPENSIVE. IT HAS TO HAVE CHARM, FIT EVERYTHING, BE FOUND AT A TIME THAT WE COULD TRANSPORT IT,ETC ETC-NOT TOO MANY REQUIREMENTS RIGHT? WELL, LIKE I SAID, IT TOOK 2 YEARS AND IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH WAITING! I FOUND THIS WARDROBE FOR $25.00. ORIGINALLY I THOUGHT I WOULD PAINT IT, BUT ONCE WE BROUGHT IT IN THE ROOM, WE REALIZED HOW NICELY IT MATCHED OUR OTHER FURNTIURE. THANKYOU LORD SO MUCH! THE ONLY HARD THING FOR US WAS PUTTING EVERYTHING IN IT INSTEAD OF THE KIDS USING IT TO GET TO NARNIA:)
LOVER OF JESUS....
I Have probably shared this before. I have really been challenged by john Piper. Whether it is a book he has written or a conference i have sat through. It is a challenge to really understand my purpose in life. And I have come to firmly believe my purpose is to bring glory to God. Matt shared a video with me recently that really hit home with things I have laid witness to this past month. An 11 year old little boy from our church died after falling through the ice while walking his dog. You may have even seen this on the news. Ryan was a boy full of life and he just loved people. I watched his mother attempt to grasp the fact that he was gone during his funeral. And as we drove to the burial I struggled to understand how a mother closes that tiny coffin and says goodbye to their child and continues to still breathe. I have cried to the Lord because is there anything else to do!? No words can soothe such a deep loss, every minute seems an eternity. We were just not meant to experience such loss, the Lord never intended us for that and that is why we need Him so desperately during these times! Is it not better to walk through it with Him than to go it alone? This clip from John Piper is something I long for. Will I bring Him glory no matter what happens in my life? It is a tough question. So when you see this video, you will understand why it hit home so closely. HERE IS THE LINK
And with that I will close my friends...