Thursday, July 2, 2015

Writing and God's Timing

The desire to create has always been etched in my heart. When I was a teen, it was scrapbooking with my mom (fun times!). Once I was married and had children, scrapbooking became more difficult to pull out; little hands like to make big messes. I dabbled in photography, and while that gave me an appreciation for the fine arts, it didn't fulfill my creative desire. I learned to crochet, which I love, but still something was missing. And then I started writing.

At first, I thought writing a novel consisted of the following: you sat down, researched about thirty minutes, then poured a best seller out on the pages. Um, yeah, so I know now that's not how it works. I was shocked to hear writer's spent months on research, months of cultivating the story in their mind and then, sometimes, years to write their stories.

The past several years, I have created entire stories, from start to finish, in my mind. I have even started to write several of them. But, I believe, it wasn't the right time.

"You could have been perfecting your writing all those years." You may say. And you are right. But you see, God had to work in my heart, in my life before He could allow me to find my true creative passion.

You see, I had to be molded. Disciplined. Knocked on my feet a few times. Discouraged. Depressed. Lonely. Uplifted. Joyful. Free. And maybe a little more wiser (although I admit, I am definitely in need of more wisdom!).

He waited until I was in the right place in my life to allow me to discover the joy and fulfillment of writing. Also, it was in His perfect timing.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1
So, yeah. I'm working slow and steady at this writing thing. I am looking upward for His guidance and grace. I may never write a bestseller. But you know what? That's okay. Because if I write for His glory, that is all that matters.

Image Credit:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Vintage At Heart {Hoops}

I love embroidery! I think it is a beautiful craft and I have even embroidered a hand towel. (Notice I said a hand towel. Meaning one. Lol, I love it and it is beautiful, but it just isn't my thing.)

One thing that is very popular is taking embroidery hoops and repurposing them. I love pretty much any craft with a hoop but today I decided to highlight a few of my favorites!

1. Hello Sunshine Hoop Art by Flamingo Toes
Isn't this just the most darling thing ever?

2. Adding Vintage Lace Tablecloths or Doilies to Hoops featured on The Ruffled Blog
I found a few hoops with vintage doilies in them at my local thrift store a couple of years back and I was instantly smitten!

3. Hoop Wall Art by Sweet Pickins
I have this vision of creating something along these lines for my daughter's room. Now, I just have to find the time! I mean, we all have plenty of that, right?

4. Chalkboard Hoops by Hostess With the Mostess
Oh. My. Sweet. Word. Chalkboard plus hoops? Absolutely love!

5. Hoop Photo Display by Natalme
I never would have thought to create something like these with hoops, but how stinkin' cute is this?

I hope this gives you an idea to get out there and create something!

What is your favorite embroidery hoop craft?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vintage At Heart {Mason Jars}

I am so excited to introduce a new series on my blog: Vintage at Heart!

I love the yesteryears. The fabrics, d├ęcor, fashion, food, the way people lived. Send me back to the 1930's-1940's and I would be one happy girl (well, as long as I could take my iPhone!).

One thing I am loving is the trend of taking things from the past and re-inventing them in some form or fashion. Every Wednesday, I will highlight those things by category. This week's category is Mason Jars.

I have a love affair with Mason Jars. We drink from them, store loose change in them, fill them with real or fake flowers, store homemade dressings and I could go on and on. The funny thing is, I have never used a mason jar for the reason they were created: canning. I would love to learn this vintage homemaking skill at some point in my life, but for right now I will enjoy the jars for other uses!

1. June Jars
There are many companies out there selling the mason jars with the straws for drinking. I especially love this company for their quality product. Go check them out and place an order! You will not be disappointed!

2. Paint Them!

There are so many tutorials out there on painting mason jars, but these are a few of my favorites (I know there are two striped jars, but I love them so much, I couldn't decide!). Clockwise from top right:

Simple Painted Glass Jars by Just a Girl and Her Blog

 DIY Polka Dot Jars by R&R Workshop

 Gold Striped Jar Caddy by Raising Up Rubies
Please go check out her blog! Definitely my favorite one in the blogosphere.
Okay, so this is technically just a part of the jar. But these are so cute! I cannot wait for fall to come around and make one of these!
Aren't these the most adorable thing ever? Please, go make one now. I beg you.
Wouldn't these make wonderful Christmas gifts for a little niece or nephew? Or maybe a fun craft project with your kiddo's!
I hope this gives you lots of crafting ideas! Join me next week for more ideas to enjoy yesterday's treasures!


Monday, July 21, 2014

In The Beginning......

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
-Genesis 1:1
I love every part of the scripture. In fact, this isn't my favorite verse, but it is close to the top. Why is that, you ask?
As an artist, I appreciate other artists. Writers, painters, musicians, photographers just to name a few. What do all these people have in common? They create their masterpieces. They see it, hear it, dream it first in their mind. They then began the process of creation. They pat paint onto a canvas. They set the f/stop on their camera's. They write those first words of a novel. They strum bars of a new song.
In the beginning, God created. He was the first artist and as someone that appreciates art, I have never been disappointed in His masterpieces. The lush green mountains that corral the Shenandoah Valley where I call home. The red dirt plains of Oklahoma where I grew up. The tree frogs that lull us into a peaceful state of mind in the evenings. The giggles that escape my children's lips as we share something humorous. The smell of the ground coffee beans that allow us artists to survive.
All of these lovely things are a result of God's Handiwork. From the first time He spoke the earth into existence to the everyday miracles I call my children. His vision, His creation.
I am so thankful God created me with an artists mind. For awhile I struggled with my identity. I played around with photography, and while that soon became nothing but a hobby, it taught me to look at the world with different eyes. Untended fields suddenly transformed into beautiful worlds as the evening sunlight glowed across them. The morning light played peek-a-boo in the shadows of a dilapidated barn and it quickly took on a Heavenly quality.
Although I loved photography, I soon realized that it wasn't the creative outlet that motivated me. I dabbled in crochet, which I still immensely enjoy. But even that would not get the stories out of my head.
These elaborate stories would began in my head and I would play them out bit by bit, scene by scene on the movie screen in my head. Several times I would sit down with a pen and try to get the stories out on paper. I would quickly realize that I had no clue what I was doing. In fact, I was probably going crazy. My Internet search history would soon show I was googling things like, "Am I crazy because I have stories playing out in my mind all the time," or "If I constantly have stories going through my head, does it mean I'm depressed?" True story.
It never crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, the Great Creator designed me as a writer. He created my mind to plot stories and to use these stories to glorify Him.
One day, just a few months ago, I was telling a co-worker that when I was a child, I wanted to be either a teacher or author. She looked at me and seriously told me that I could still do either one of those things. She encouraged me to go after my dream and I went home that day and thought long and hard about what I wanted in my life.
I sat down and started working on story ideas. I read anything I could find on Pinterest related to writing. I realized the mistake I made in my earlier attempts at writing was that it is a learned craft. Very few, if any, people pick up a pen for the first time and write a best seller.
I am working on my first novel and I am still learning so many things along the way. I just joined ACFW and I am hoping to attend their upcoming writers conference. I entered a short story into a contest and while I didn't win, I did place in the top fifty and will be published in an anthology. I was just able to purchase a laptop, which has made writing easier. I couldn't do this all by myself, though.
All of it has been made possible by the ultimate Artist, God. The first Creator.