Tag Archive | crafting

These are a few of my Favorite Things

I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, LOVE SUNFLOWERS! I have a dear teaching friend that helps feed my obsession by driving all over the Texas countryside with me to take pictures of the fields when they are in full bloom. This year, due to the rains we had in early spring, the blooms were exquisite!sunflower 1

Each one is beautifully unique!

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This past weekend, I was able to go on a brief getaway to the coast. It was a great escape from the everyday ‘stuff’ and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness wash over me when driving back home yesterday.

When packing for a beach vacation, it takes a lot of planning. Of course, the no-brainer is to throw in a couple of bathing suits, cover-ups, and flip-flops; but strategically packing the unfinished craft projects that you want to complete can be a bit tricky. On this particular getaway, I had decided that I wanted to sew some canvas bags. I had been buying coordinating fabric for this particular project and was super excited about trying out a pattern I had found online.

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I did tweak the pattern a bit, but for a great step-by-step tutorial on sewing tote bags Amanda from www.crazylittleprojects.com is your gal. I can’t wait to try her messenger bag pattern next.

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Just think of all of the possibilities! Beach Breaks – they’re not just for sand and sun anymore!

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With love,

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praying for JWR

The Days that Time Worked in my Favor

At the beginning of any extended vacation time  from work, there is a spring in my step, an unrealistic to-do list of Pinterest projects to try, and a feeling that the world is at my feet because time is on my side. I can easily organize the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, and cleaning with a lighthearted attitude.  I am so sorry  for those that  have not been able to feel that luxury of ‘time’ every once in a while because the opportunity to refresh is so important for one’s health.FullSizeRender (3)

This weekend, my husband surprised me with a road-trip for my birthday and our anniversary. Our definition of road-trip is: get in the car and drive to some undetermined destination.

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We spent two days driving to small towns, roaming around, talking, and laughing. Letting go is good and we both know that we have got to take these mini-vacations more often. We have decided however, that Siri will always travel with us in case we need assistance with gas station locations, hotel choices, and restaurant recommendations (that is a whole other story and one that we will laugh about together for years to come).

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With Love,

Penny

 

 

On the First Day of Vacation, My True Love Said to Me….

“I really need you to come down and help me with a food drive that we are having at work from 10:00-2:00” Grrr! Those were the words that  my husband said to me on the morning of my first official vacation day. He is such a romantic….literally, my heart just fluttered at his request. So…. in 97 degree heat, we trudged downtown, bagged canned goods, loaded them into vehicles, and delivered them to the local food pantry.

Honestly, it was a great experience, and I enjoyed working alongside with the people that he works with day in and day out. They all gave up their Saturday to participate in this gift of service, which says a lot about their sense of community and loyalty to their employer. I was especially impressed by two high school students that were working at the food pantry . They brought shopping carts out to us and helped us load and unload all of our bagged items. Both of them were so willing to help and truly shared their sense of service with us. In a world where the media portrays the negatives of our society as ‘the norm’, it was so refreshing to see ‘norm’al teenagers working for a cause.

With Love,

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Cropping…The Greatest Invention Since Sliced Bread

Seriously, whenever I take a picture, I look at it afterwards and wonder how I could even hit ‘click’ (or push that little circular doodaddy when I am using my phone because I don’t even own a real camera anymore) without seeing all of the distractor factors that take away from the image that I want people to really focus on. I get so frustrated with myself for not being more observant beforehand. For example, yesterday I stepped outside to take a picture of our American flag hanging alongside my father-in-law’s  flag (as he was a Vietnam Vet). Even though I see  the front of my house at least four times a day, I  guess that I have been oblivious to the few remaining Christmas light hooks on the gutters or the poison ivy vines struggling to stretch across to a high traffic area where they can wreak havoc on  ‘people with sensitive skin’until I witnessed it through the eye of the camera lens.So, of course, I have to take my frustrations to a whole other level because I just can’t let sleeping dogs lie (or is it lay?).

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My dog, Reeses enjoying a nap on my Bandana Wreath Project

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ‘crop’ out the the parts of our lives that have been awkward or embarrassing to us? We could just go home each day and view all of the events, then tweak them by cropping the visuals or clicking on delete for spoken words that spill out without careful thought! That’s right, just crop out those distractor factors or daily regrets. I know that I would certainly feel better if I didn’t have to spend time at the end of each day reflecting about its events.

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2016 High School Graduation Cake – Sweet Girl is Baylor Bound in the fall 

This morning, I delivered my final graduation cake for the spring of 2016. I can’t lie, it felt wonderful to wash the icing residue out of my hair and off my face before I drove off to deliver it. #2jobsrenoughjobs!

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Graduation Celebration following Church Services

Now it is time to wrap up my last week at school for the summer. Phew! I have so many unfinished projects around the house that I know my next couple of weeks off will fly.

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Cupcakes for a Cutie! Senior 2016

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This responsible young lady ordered her own cake and was so appreciative when I delivered it to her. I love working with such gracious, thoughtful young adults.

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Fortunately, I didn’t have to make any of my deliveries by boat this year. 2016 will go down in the books as the year of Flash Floods in Texas!

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 Whoo – hoo! It’s time to put my handy-dandy mixer away for a week, and celebrate a clean kitchen.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I will be kicking my feet up, relaxing with my slippers on (even in Texas during the month of June, my feet get cold), and watching the Hallmark Movie Channel!

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With Love,

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May the Fourth be with You

I am not quite sure why I posted that title on today’s blog. I just know that I heard it on different media sources several times this morning, May 4, 2016, and I thought it sounded pretty catchy.

Okay- I have a really funny story to share about my husband’s cleaning frenzy this past weekend. In our neighborhood, we were scheduled for ‘bulk pickup’ yesterday. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it is pretty simple – unless you are trying to decipher the map to know when you are zoned for ‘bulk pickup’. There are all of these colors on the pamphlet and numbers with very few street names or landmarks to offer assistance. Anyway, upon close examination of the map,  I found out that we can put unwanted treasures out on the curb on the first Tuesday of each month and somebody with the title of ‘Bulk Picker Upper’ will come by and collect it all. That happens after the ‘Curbside Shoppers’ pilfer through it all to see if there is anything that they need. If you take a lot of pride in preserving the privacy of how you live behind the four walls of your household, you might want to think very carefully about what you put out for the ‘Curbside Shoppers’ because it could very well end up on Facebook for the whole world to see. And, that is just what happened to us. A couple of the treasures that I was reluctant to part with, ended up in the hands of some ‘Curbside Shoppers’ that I happen to be friends with on Facebook. Hmmmm…normal person by day and ‘Curbside Shopper’ by night….Ahhh! The irony! Needless to say, we will be laying low for a while.

I do have some pictures to share with you of a wedding reception some good friends and I recently did for a young couple. The venue was beautiful and we were able to cut some corners on the cost, as we did a lot of the work ourselves.

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Okay, you ‘Curbside Shoppers’, we took donated vases and spray painted them gold. I purchased blingy buttons at Walmart for the gems in the middle. Oh, and by the way, you might recognize this particular vase – it is a Ragu spaghetti jar!IMG_1597

All of the picture frames were purchased at the dollar store and they were also spray painted gold. We needed a lot of them because the bride and groom were spotlighted in a candid photo on each guest table. I am particularly proud of the table runners because each one of them was made, with love, by me (all 22 blush ones, and 10 gold ones). Let me just say that there was a lot of leisurely sewing going on in the middle of the night at my house through the winter months.

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See what I mean about picture frames? They were everywhere and even though each one was a bit different in style, all of them were gold. Just look at the sheen on that table runner!

I will share more pictures of this big event on my next post!

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It’s Time For This Old Desk

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to the month of May! I am hoping that all of our April Showers bring May Flowers, because here in Texas, it has been a spring of showers. Meanwhile, I have really been enjoying working on some indoor projects. I purchased this desk at a local resale shop a little over a year ago. At the time, it was painted black and white so I just basically sanded it down back to the natural wood and left it to cure for a year (I usually let things cure when I am  distracted by another project).

….month after month passes and the desk is still curing…….these things take time….

As luck would have it, my daughter-in-law began applying for teaching jobs at elementary schools in the area once she completed her certification process and miraculously, the wood on the desk finally was ready to be refinished. Ha! The timelessness of certain works of art  are just fascinating to me! Seriously, I am really happy with the way that it turned out. I love the dark walnut stain and the  polycrylic finish in satin. Now, when Kori gets ready to begin her first year of teaching, she will have a special desk in her classroom for students to sit at while they are reading independently.

Timing is everything!

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The Blessing of Youth

Each day, I have three tutoring groups with students ranging from third grade to fifth grade in preparation for the standardized testing that is looming over us. . I find my greatest  pleasure in teaching is when I am able to release myself from the stress of what the expectations are by standardized testing. I love getting to know the quirks of each and every one of the students, and really reliving what is important to them at this time period in their lives. Don’t get me wrong…getting to know the students and building that relationship with them is not about lowering the academic expectations. In order to grow our children to be all that they can be, we cannot and must not lower the academic standards, for they are far more capable of achieving goals than we give them credit for.  After all, our children are the ones that are in control of our future. 

“While I Still Can Dance…I will dare to open the vaults of my heart and mind and express my feelings for others. And I welcome others to share their hearts and minds with me.”

This weekend, as I took a step back from the world of education, I was anxious to complete a couple of projects around the house. The hubby did a great job of cleaning out the garage, so I really felt obligated to get some things organized myself.Attach0

Here is the thing about husbands though…they know that they can’t throw anything away as long as you are within a ten-mile radius of the house. So, while I was out delivering a cake for a Quinceanera, that stinker threw away some wood that I had gotten at Home Depot for a new project. Lately, it seems that one of our favorite games to play is “Trash-To-Treasure Tug-of-War”. I really need to put a tracking system on him when I leave the house, so I can monitor what he is getting into.

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