Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Finally, Christmas is here! I do love this time of year. Everything is so beautiful with colored lights and sparkling things everywhere. I love sparklies!
I finally got the tree up 3 days ago. No, I'm not being a scrooge. It's just that our main Christmas event will not take place until January 3rd. That's the day that all the kids can get home. So I still have a few days to prepare the last minute items and get the house ready to be filled with people, love and laughter.
Right now I am at my job. Sickness, it seems, is no respecter of persons or seasons. My patients don't want to be here, but we all make the best of things. It pleases me to be able to tease and cajole with these dear people to perhaps make the day a bit brighter for them under the circumstances. In a couple of hours I will go home, but they will remain until their bodies are sufficiently healed before they can go home. I am blessed.
I am excited about 2009. In spite of all the dire predictions of 'hard times', I still see each new year as a time of positive change and new opportunities. I used to get together with a friend of mine each year and we would review our accomplishments of the year past and write down out goals for the new year. She always managed to accomplish her goals, but mine often fell by the wayside as I was easily distracted by one thing or another. Or just to lazy to work toward the end result. This year I want to eliminate some of the distractions. I want to refocus on the things that really matter. I also would like to take a little time to just enjoy the simple things of life, like a nice walk on a summer evening, or a good movie. So we'll see how that goes.
But for today, it's Christmas!! So Merry Christmas to each of you! May God bless your socks off!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Searching for normalcy.....

My very wise, 80 year old Dad says, "Life goes on." I know he is right. So in my grief I am groping my way back to normal. It's hard. A part of me wants things to be normal again, but another part of me wants to think about and remember my sister. Well, I suppose that is normal, too, under the circumstances. So, I guess all is well. My sister lives in Heaven now. And it's not 'Goodbye' but 'See you later.'

I do have plans for a couple of projects in remembrance of my sis. She had 4 very special friends that I plan to make special gifts for. That would make Jo happy. She was also trying to grow her hair long to donate to 'Locks of Love'. I will do something special for some cancer patients on her behalf. Jo was always about giving and serving. I can't be Jo, but maybe I can become a little more like her. I'm looking forward to seeing her again, later.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Sister. My Friend.

On the evening of Thanksgiving day I received a call from my nephew in North Carolina.

"Irene," he said. "Mama's having a heart attack."

"Oh John, are you sure?" I asked.

Yes, he was sure. I could hear the EMT's in the background. I recognized the sound of the ACD directing 'No shock advised.'

"No Lord," I prayed. "Please don't let my sister die!"

Not long after, my other nephew, Barney, called to tell me that "Mama is gone."

How sad. I'm going to miss her so much. She was only 56 years old. Younger than I.

I heard her announce her arrival in Heaven. "I'm here."
I saw her being welcomed by my baby sister and my mom who had gone before. I saw her walk toward me to welcome me into Eternity. She was beautiful and happy. So was I.

I thank God for allowing me a glimpse into Heaven at a time when I needed it so badly. Still, I'm really going to miss her. She was so uniquely special. I am so sad.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Saving Thanksgiving

This post is written by my lovely daughter, Amanda. I hope you enjoy it.

Here is my solution to our culture's dismissal of Thanksgiving:

Every year, at about this time, I express concern that our most important American holiday is losing significance in our culture. While Halloween celebrations become larger events, and involve more child AND adult activities, the largest Christmas marketing kickoffs have migrated from "Black Friday" to Nov. 1, and earlier. With events such as the Macy's parade being pitched less as Thanksgivnig celebrations, and more as Christmas kickoffs, with an increasing number of families that have decided to "do Christmas on Thanksgiving", and with holiday lights beginning to glow long before our harvest feast, Tom Turkey sits forgotten on the sidelines.

As I try to raise awareness, many have argued, "But isn't the birth of our Lord more important than pilgrims and Indians?" Yes. But need we necessarily sacrifice such a significant day of gratitude and family? A national day of Thanksgiving also invokes the unavoidable issue of WHO it is we offer our gratitude. Also, are we ever commanded, or even encouraged, in Scripture to institute a yearly celebration of our Savior's birthday? Or is it more often emphasized to "In everything give thanks!". I'd argue the holidays hold nearly equal importance.

Though my grassroots campaign (okay, so it's pretty much just me) has little influence over the commercial giants that be, if you find yourself concerned as I am over this recent phenomenon, perhaps you'll join me in steps to preserve Thanksgiving Day.

1. Refrain, as much as possible, from making Christmas related purchases before Thanksgiving Day. If early Christmas marketing campaigns begin to prove less effective, merchandisers will become more inclined to focus their efforts later in the season. If you want to avoid holiday shopping crowds, perhaps shopping on-line through December would be an appropriate alternative.

2. Keep Halloween in perspective. No, I don't think celebrating Halloween will cause Satan to rise up and eat your soul. But, as fun as it is, we must acknowledge it as an almost entirely "Hallmark" or manufactured holiday. What are we teaching our children when we decorate our houses, play nonstop Halloween specials on TV, and shop at those special, seasonal "Halloween Shop"s for nearly a month before Trick-or-Treat day? I can't help but think that, for a child, it sends a message that Halloween is as important, or only second in importance to Christmas. We have to teach our kids that, yes, it's a fun holiday, but that it also holds little or no significance in comparison to Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or even the "minor" holidays, such as Memorial Day or St. Valentine's Day.

3. Make Thanksgiving related purchases. As critical as we are of it, the commercialization of a holiday plays a great role in its perceived significance in our culture. We should really thank God that Christmas and Easter are so well commercialized. Its how these distinctly Christian holidays have maintained such prominence in even our very secular culture. Why not spend a little cash on those pretty harvest dishes for your Thanksgiving table? Perhaps, if you're not as gifted in the culinary arts, you could, order your Thanksgiving turkey from Honey Baked Ham or Boston Market. Target has a really cute set of Thanksgiving themed bath towels for sale right now. (Ridiculous, I know, but if your financially blessed, why not help the cause and have a cutesy seasonal bathroom.) Hallmark has a gorgeous assortment of Thanksgiving cards. Do you know someone faraway or overseas that would find encouragement from such a small token? What would it hurt to find a harvest wreath for your door that says, "Happy Thanksgiving!" If you have the dollars, why not vote with them?

4. I've seen an increasing number of families choosing to celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving as a way to ensure that all members can attend. Let me suggest this, if you can't celebrate Christmas on Christmas, maybe New Years would be a more appropriate holiday to sacrifice. My own family in Illinois will be holding their Christmas celebration on January 3 this year. If we don't begin our Christmas holiday before Thanksgiving, extending it an extra week won't seem nearly as much a hardship.

5. Find those things that can make Thanksgiving magical for children. What customs can we adapt in our own families to delight future generations with warm memories and traditions to pass on? Maybe your little girl could get a new dress to wear Thanksgiving day. Perhaps special games can be reserved and played only on the holiday. What kid-centric treats can we offer every year at our table? I don't have kids yet, so I'm sure there are dozens of possibilities I haven't even thought to explore in this area. What other ways can we ensure Thanksgiving's prominence in future generations?




Thursday, November 6, 2008

Something to Think About

This letter was emailed to me with the claim that it had been written by David Letterman. After doing some research on the net, I found that it had also been attributed to Jay Leno, but was in fact written by Craig Smith. No matter who the original author is, I found it to be very thought provoking. Perhaps you will agree.

'As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.'
'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''
A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.
H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day?

Make no mistake abut it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Votes Are In.....

...and Barack Obama is the peoples choice for president of the United States. While I personally favored John McCain for various reasons, I will honor Mr. Obama and pray for him. May God be with him as he leads this great nation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Three Long Nights

I've spent the past three nights working. I have a great job, but sometimes the nights just drag by. These last three have been sooooo long. I'm glad I'll be off for a few days now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Look in my Bathroom....













Last month I painted my bathroom a luscious bright coral. It made the room absolutely glow! So much so that I couldn't see to put on make-up with the normal ceiling light. I tried adding florescent lights on either side of the mirror, and that helped. But every time I went into that room my beautiful coral walls assaulted my senses and disturbed my peace. So, obviously, something had to be done.

Well, today I finally settled on a new color. Now my bathroom is a nice soothing blue. Yep, I toned it down and rediscovered the simplicity that makes my life peaceful and quiet. I think the blue is going to be very pretty with the coral accents that I already have in there. No more eerie glow coming from that part of the house. No more extra lights needed. Yes, I think I'm going to like it.

So, which do you like best?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Easy Christmas Gifts

So, all these marvelous handmade cards I am now collecting are serving as my packaging for my 'non-clutter Christmas'. Yes folks, at the risk of shocking all you Christmas giving traditionalists, I am giving cash this year. These beautiful cards will be the package and gift wrap for my gifts. And for those who feel the need to have a memento of the gift, the card will serve the purpose. It can be framed, scrap-booked, stashed or just scraped. Whatever suits the recipient is fine with me. They can then use the cash for whatever they would really like to have. No more unwanted and disappointing gifts and no more useless clutter.

And for me, no more giving anxiety. No more searching for the perfect item just to find it in the charity box in a few months. In today's economy, I have no desire to waste my money on something that may or may not be the right thing. And as I grow older, I find that the simple life suits me much better. The chaos of Christmas shopping no longer appeals to me. And I no longer feel the need to do things just because that's the commonly accepted way.

So, call me Scrooge, or the Grinch if you like. Or even rebellious. But I think it's time to live life a little differently. I'm done competing with the 'Jones's".

That said, I do have plans for a wonderful holiday celebration with my family and friends. But that will be another post.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Handmade Holiday Greeting Cards








This year I am endeavoring to give beautiful personalized handmade cards to all my family and a few close friends. My friend, Gina, from BabyFishDesigns is such a great help to me in this project. Having tried making my own cards, I found that it is a time consuming task that requires lots of creativity. Since my time is limited, and my creativity does not lean toward paper crafts, I am doing the next best thing. I am having them made. While Gina has some outstanding items in her lovely Etsy shop, I tend to hit the custom request most of the time. I have found her to be exceptional in creativity and in promptly getting to work on my request. With just a little bit of information about the recipient of the card, she is able to create cards that perfectly fit the occasion and the person. And did I mention that her prices are exceptional as well? I could not buy such a perfect card at the card shop for the same low price. I was especially delighted with a 'rush' order for a birthday card just recently. As I placed the card in the envelope, I noted that the butterfly on the card was repeated on the envelope! How perfect is that!? Such attention to details is what makes me return again and again. Please visit her shop at:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christmas is Just Around the Corner...

..And I'm doing something different this year. With a scary economy, I think everyone is rethinking their approach to holiday giving. We give so much stuff to so many who are already living with excess. Our houses are cluttered with things, making it difficult to clean and keep things tidy. I know of some people who rent storage sheds to keep their excess things in. Others of us have closets, basements, attics, garages and sheds filled with things we no longer need or want, but are afraid to get rid of because "we might need it someday" or "Aunt Jane gave me that. She might be offended if I get rid of it."

My husband will testify that I have been on a crusade to de-clutter our home for several years now. It takes awhile to decide what to keep and what to let go of when you have a lifetimes worth of stuff accumulated. But we are making progress.

"So, what does this have to do with Christmas?" you may ask. Well, this is the time of year when 'things' make their way back into our lives in a subtle and seemingly innocent way. We are all big-hearted people who are accustomed to showing affection through gift giving, which usually redounds to 'more stuff' in every household. Stuff that brings delight for a short time, but then ends up in a closet or corner until someone has the courage to get rid of it.

Surely, there is a better way to celebrate the holidays. I will be posting a couple of my ideas of ways this might be accomplished in future posts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mother Teresa

I've just finished reading about Mother Teresa. What an amazing woman. I began thinking of her the other night at work as I walked through the hospital halls and realized how much suffering, loneliness and fear was all around me. I wondered how Mother Teresa could carry the burden of so many poverty stricken, unwanted and unloved people throughout her life. She loved and cared for many who most of us would shudder to even touch. (yes, even us 'angels of mercy'). Yet, even with all her struggles and spiritual battles, she did not give up. She was convinced of her calling and walked in it even when she couldn't feel the presence of the Lord, which, according to Wikipedia, was the last 50 years of her life. But even while feeling empty inside, she was not deterred from what the Lord had set before her.

I wonder how many were comforted by her ministry? How many homeless people were given a place to call home? How many orphans were rescued from the streets? How many were able to die with dignity, receiving love and care until they breathed their last?

I wonder if there are more people like Mother Teresa in the world today? Surely there are. Surely we need them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rainy Tuesday

Sometimes I just love a rainy day! There's something about the subdued skies and sound of rain on the roof that is just relaxing. And all the better when I know that I don't have to leave the house today.

I have a bit of an annoying sniffle today. It's that time of year I guess. A bit of extra vitamin C will help, and lots of soft fluffy tissues. ;) Still, it's a great day!

Two new items have been added to The Kings Treasury today. If you get the time, go check them out. One of them has a prophetic word included. This is a bold step since not everyone understands or accepts that God still speaks to His people today except through His word. And when this subject comes up, I always stress that the Bible is the number one way God speaks today. And any prophetic word given must be in line with what the Lord has already spoken and recorded in His word. That said, I think it is exciting to know that God is not totally silent in these tumultuous times. I love it when He has something special to say to only me. It makes me feel like He is near and He really is mindful of each one of us. That makes even a rainy day seem special!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Kings Treasury in up and running!!!



Well, I may be sleepless, but I'm still productive! My new Etsy shop is up and running. This shop is special in that it is comprised of inspirational jewelry complete with related scriptures and color interpretation. I am relying on inspiration from the Lord on everything I do in this shop, from the set-up to the jewelry designs to the prices.

I am using the very best materials I have on hand for these items. I think that this shop will probably never have a lot of inventory, simply because it is not about volume, but about Jesus. I am striving for one page of excellent items that have lots of meaning to them.

Some of the pieces will have prophetic words attached. My feelings as I create this jewelry is that each piece is intended for a certain individual. I have faith that God will get each piece into the right hands, and that the recipient will be outrageously blessed! This is truly a labor of love, and I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do through this little shop.

Monday Morning.....

It's Monday morning, and I haven't slept all night. (sigh) Since I work nights, that's nothing new, but last night I did not work, and I really wanted to get rested so that I would be on top of things today.
But here I am. Tired but unable to sleep.

Poor Sugar's routine is upset too. She has been doing her doggy best to herd me into the bedroom tonight. Her habit is to stay near me almost all of the time when I am at home. Tonight I have been all over the house, and she has been right there, no matter which room I find myself in. It is nice to have a faithful companion!

Yes, my husband is my most faithful companion, but tonight he is out of town. So I'm glad to have Sugar here.

In about 45 minutes two of my beautiful grand-daughters will be delivered to me for a ride to school this morning. I am looking forward to that. They always make me smile! Maybe I can get a nap after I get them to school, and still salvage most of the day. That would be good. I think it is a plan.

I think it's a good time for a new blog look. Something that 'pops'. How's this!?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Template!

Do you like it???

Visit LeelouBlogs at:

http://leeloublogs.blogspot.com/

She has loads of fabulous templates in fantastic patterns and colors. And they're free!!!

Thanks Leelou, for sharing your awesome talent with all of us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Am Learning!

The more time I spend working on my blog and looking at others blogs, the more I learn. This evening I decided that some blogs are hard for me to read. Usually it's because the font is so small, and sometimes it's because the background is so busy. So, in an effort to make my blog more readable, I am increasing my font size. Let me know if this makes reading it easier.

Now, can anyone tell me how to increase the font in my titles?????

A New (sort of) Venture

Wow! It has been a while since I posted, but I have been very busy. I am starting a new Etsy shop, and am in the process of getting all my ducks in a row, so to speak, before I officially launch it. That means setting up the shop, getting banners and avatars, making products and numerous other little tasks that will make this shop special. And did I mention praying? Because this shop is inspired by God and will be a bit different from most others. I would love to say more about it, but I am going to wait until I begin listing items before I promote it too much.

Besides the new shop, I have been busy with the normal day to day things that we all contend with. Housework, shopping, etc., along with working my full time job. I could use a few more hours in each day, but I would just fill them up and still have things that I want to do. For instance, I would love to learn needle felting. But I just cannot add another hobby to my schedule right now. But there are such pretty things out there that are made that way. I admire you felters. You are so creative and talented!

But for now, I will stay with what I know. And if I don't add too many tasks to my days, perhaps I will find time to update my blog more often, and to read your blogs as well. As a matter of fact, I am off to read blogs right now. Catch you later!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Grand-daughters Are So Creative!















Two of my darling grand-daughters came to spend some time at Grandma and Papaw's today. After homework was done we decided to pull out some beads and see what we could make while we waited for their momma to come and pick them up. I was delightfully surprised at their creativity. Destinie is 5 and Charity is 10. Look at what they did!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Like My Background?

You can have one too. Just visit

http://leeloublogs.blogspot.com/

for a fantastic selection of gorgeous backgrounds. They are free and she also gives simple instructions on how to import them to your blog. And if you want a custom template, she can do that too. I have really just begun to explore all the different templates she offers, and will probably change mine routinely.

Go say 'Hi' to leelou and get your blog a classy new look!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's New Etsy Listings




Here are two new listings for today. I am trying to be more diligent in listing items every day now for the Holiday season.

This silver bracelet is much prettier than the picture shows, but I think that is the case with most of my pics, since I am still working on my photography skills. 'sigh'

And now my camera is acting kind of funky. I'll probably have to get another one soon. Any suggestions on what kind to get for the close up detailed pictures I need?

Sugar's New Accessory



As promised, here is Sugar's new accessory. Isn't she glamorous?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sugar, Our German Shepard







This is Sugar, our dog. Well, she is actually our daughters dog, but when our daughter left for college, Sugar had to stay home. That was nearly 7 years ago. We have loved and cared for this dog for many more years than that actually, since we got Sugar when Amanda was about 10. That makes Sugar about 17 years old now. But she is still a great dog who at times forgets she is not still a pup.

One problem with Sugar is that she sheds like crazy! I have been up to my ears in clouds of dog hair floating around our house. The sofa is always covered with hair to the point that no one can sit on it besides Sugar. It has been a real chore to try to keep the house clean under such circumstances. But I think I might have found a solution. Yes, you guessed it. Sugar now has a stylin new haircut, and I have a lot less cleaning to do.

She actually acted like she enjoyed the whole grooming process. She just loves attention of any kind. For being such a good girl, I have promised her a new 'blingy' collar. Something that will be perfect for the beautiful girl that she is. More pics to follow once Sugar gets her new fashion accessories.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike Arrives in Southern Illinois




I was awakened Sunday afternoon by a heavy knocking on my door. It was my grandson, Chris, telling me that we had a problem. One look out the door confirmed this as I gazed at my husbands car nearly covered by a huge branch from our neighbors tree. I had taken note that morning, as I left work, that the winds were pretty stiff. I just didn't realize how hard the wind was really blowing. The sun roof is completely shattered and the windshield is broken as well. There are also numerous dents and dings from the impact of the limb.

Since we don't carry full coverage insurance on that car, I called our household insurance carrier to see if they covered such things. Well, of course, they don't. Hmm. So, I guess we are just out of luck. Wonder how long the duct tape will hold up?

My Latest Creation


Winter is coming and I'm thinking of beautiful blankets of pure white snow sparkling in the sunshine. And that is the inspiration of this pretty charm bracelet. I hope you like it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cute Little Snowmen


My latest bead project is now listed in my Etsy shop. These sweet little snowmen were quite a challenge. Everything had to be added before oven curing these little guys and trying to get all the little textures right and still hold the shape of the bead almost made me give up on them several times. I would love to make more of them, but I'm going to have to find a better way to do them first. Any clay artists out there with some advice for me????

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lazy Monday

What a lazy day. I've just been sitting around, reading some blogs, doing a bit of housework, (yuck) and preparing some packages for the mail. I have traded off my Christmas Tree beads, so I should make another set to list. Maybe I'll get to that this evening.

Ho hum. I am badly in need of some motivation. 'sigh'

Friday, September 5, 2008

Maybe It'll be OK.....

Well, we are beginning to grow accustomed to our bright new bathroom. The color really is awesome, and when I start accessorizing, the possibilities are going to be endless. Today I held my aquamarine bath puff up to the wall and thought, 'Wow, that's pretty.' But I am leaning more toward sage green and white to offset the coral. It looks like the wall cabinet will have to be custom made, so it might be awhile before we get that. The new mirror is leaning against the wall and has to be mounted soon. I'm toying with the idea of adding some lights on either side of the mirror, but we'll see. My perfectionist son (who is a fabulous home improvement guy) came in, looked up and said, "Mom, you should have painted the ceiling first." Of course, he is right. I was just hoping to get by without doing the ceiling right now. But I may put some ceiling paper up. It is a small room and I think that would be easier than trying to paint it now. All in all, it's work, but fun. I love seeing the difference that a bit of redecorating can make.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yikes! I Painted My Bathroom Coral!

And it positively glows in there. I'm afraid to go in there now. It's just too bright. Maybe if I wear my shades...

Well, I guess I should wait until I finish with my redecorating before I make a final judgement. The worse case scenario would be that I would have to paint it over again. Or maybe I could just put a lighter colored wash on it to tone it down a bit.

But the reactions of those who go in there are priceless! Everyone comes out blinking and shaking their heads. Some roll their eyes. I'll post pics later, after the whole thing is finished, and you can all vote on whether I leave it as is or change it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Christmas is Coming!



Christmas will be here before we know it, and I have started creating some fantastic Christmas beads. Check these out, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Win a Beautiful Necklace and Earring Set!


I am sponsoring a give away for this beautiful crystal necklace and earring set on the blog listed below. Go check it out and enter for your chance to win.

Handmade showcase is a great blog with lots of interesting crafts and people. You will enjoy it.


http://handmadeshowcase.blogspot.com/2008/08/giveaway-contest-renys-beads.html


Be sure to leave a comment stating your favorite item in my Etsy shop so your name will be entered in the contest.

Oh, I can't wait to see who the lucky winner will be!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

ACEO's in Polymer Clay


Well, after much musing, I have finally decided to list one of my polymer clay art cards on Etsy. Creating an art card from clay is a unique process. It is abstract in a way, but turns out to have a definite, identifiable subject. This is done by mixing 2 or 3 colors of clay to make a ball with swirls of the colors visible throughout. The ball is then flattened and shaped into a rectangle about the size of a baseball trading card. The next step is to examine this 'card' from all angles and both sides to see if an image becomes visible. This may take a bit of imagination. Once you are able to discern an image you will want to outline it. Any sharp tool or toothpick will do. Adding a bit of texture to the background will help bring out the lines of the image. I do this by making thin lines, poking with a needle or perhaps using the end of a small paint brush to make little craters. Just choose a texture that will bring out the lines of the image so it will stand out from the rest of the card. I also enhance the features when I can by using a needle to 'draw' hair or beard, or making small lines to show up facial features if the image is a person.
Making these is so much fun! I hope you will give it a try. Check out my rendition of 'Jarius', the Roman centurion of the Bible.

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14757803

My First Tutorial

I have written a jewelry tutorial for craftbits.com and it is now up on their website. I invite you all to go there and try this little necklace tutorial out.

http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=2190

Friday, August 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

What a great week! But, boy, is it good to be home. We started our short pilgrimage on Sunday morning after a rather busy 12 hour shift at the hospital. I was able to doze a bit in the car, so I wasn't too frazzled when we arrived at Michaels town house in Grove City near Columbus. We spent some time with Mike and Josh, then headed north to Brunswick just south of Cleveland where Amanda and Marcus have recently relocated. We found them in a very comfy 2nd floor apartment in a nice complex. Their apartment is easily twice the size of their Florida apartment. It will be perfect for them as they begin adding to the Fife numbers. We slept in the future nursery and I could already imagine my new little grandchild there.

Marcus is the worship leader for the Polaris Christian Church in Brunswick, and so we got to see where he works and had a quick tour of the church building, which is located in a former movie theater. Hopefully we will get to attend a service next time we are there. We did meet a couple of the church family though. Of course, they were very nice.

On Monday we went to Canton to see Ashley at Malone Bible College where she is a sophomore. She gave us a tour of the campus. We took her out to eat and for a bit of shopping. Then back to Brunswick.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent just hanging out with Marcus and Amanda, eating and shopping and getting familiar with the layout of the town. I helped Amanda with some crafty wall art, we looked through her collection of baby things, and I began coming to grips with the idea of my baby having a baby. It was so different with my sons. I just sort of took their new fatherhood in stride. But with my only daughter, I find that it is a bit more emotional for me. I didn't really expect that. I wonder if this is a normal happening for mothers of daughters. I don't think I've ever heard it discussed before. Hmm.

Thursday we did a bit more shopping, ate out for lunch and just enjoyed our last few hours of visiting. At around 2pm we headed for home, making a stop again at Grove City and having a nice meal with Mike. We then went to Josh's workplace to give him a hug before we left there.

During the 5-6 hour drive home we entertained ourselves with downloaded segments of John Tesh's 'Intelligence for Life' radio show. So now we are smarted than we used to be and emotionally satisfied for the time being for having spent time with our kids who live away from here.

Now, back to the everyday grind. But with a smile and with gratitude to the Lord for richly blessing us and our children.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Heading North!

Right now I'm at work with just a few free minutes. But I am so excited! When my shift ends in the morning, we , my husband and I, are heading north to Cleveland, Ohio to visit our daughter. On the way we will stop at Columbus to see my son. I don't see them often, though we communicate a lot, so I'm really looking forward to this trip.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ah, Mary....

If you remember Mary from one of my earlier posts, you will smile at this one.

I related how Mary had to move from the senior apartment complex due to loud and obnoxious behavior when she has a bit too much to drink. So, because we love my dad and didn't want to see him work like a dog helping Mary move, several of the family pitched in to help. We helped Mary find a nice duplex in our town in a fairly quiet neighborhood. We moved her stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. We were all utterly exhausted for a week following.

Mary got all settled in in record time, and her place was absolutely beautiful. It seems that she has a knack for interior decorating. That was 2 weeks ago. This week, Mary was politely served notice of eviction by her landlord. 'sigh' It seems that she has a penchant for calling the police whenever the neighbors make any noise. Now, I don't know if the neighbors deserved that or not. I guess perhaps they could be noisy. After all, they have children. But there seems to be a pattern here with Mary.

So, today Mary found a mobile home to rent. She is going to have to part with some stuff. Lots of stuff. So here we go again. But this time we are setting limits on how much we can do for Mary. I'm just hoping that my dad, who is 80 years old, will not overdo helping her with packing, etc. He is a pretty healthy 80 year old, but I still hate to see him work to exhaustion. I'm going to be out of town for a week, and I'm a bit concerned.

For those of you who feel led to, I ask that you send up a little prayer on behalf of my dad this next week or two. He's a great guy. And send up a prayer for Mary too, if you don't mind. In spite of all the trouble, she is a sweetheart in her own way. If she can't get along in the new neighborhood, I don't know what she will do.

As for me and my husband, we are heading to Ohio to see our daughter and also pay my son a visit on the way. It's going to be a great visit and we're looking forward to it so much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm a Lazy Blogger

OK, I confess. I'm am just plain lazy when it comes to blogging. It's not that I don't have anything to say. I'm full of things that I am wanting to share with the world. But sitting down to the keyboard is a challenge for me. I have so many projects and other things going on, not to mention my real job, that finding time to blog is pretty far down on the list. But I promise you, my faithful few readers, that I will try to do better. So don't despair and don't give up on me. Just give me one more chance. Please... Pretty please?

And now, back to my bead making table. And if you would like to see some of my latest polymer clay bead creations, just check out my Etsy shop.

http://RenysBeads.etsy.com

Thanks!
Reny

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Fun Than Designing....

If someone asked me what is more fun and more satisfying than creating beads or jewelry, I would have to say, 'teaching others to do the same.'

In the past couple of years I have volunteered to teach jewelry design classes to clients of our local pregnancy center and ladies from my home church. I am constantly amazed at the talent I witness pouring out of these young women! They always come up with color combinations and different beading designs than I would have ever thought of.

The desire for beautiful things was ingrained in us by our Creator God from the beginning of time. The ability to design and create is so totally a gift from Him. And that gift is given to the Christian and non-Christian alike. It is a seed planted in us by Him that is destined to grow and produce fruit ultimately for His Kingdom.

One of the most delightful things I have witnessed in my time with these young women is their desire to create and to give to those they love. While some created only for themselves, which was my main idea, others immediately saw their creations in light of a gift for someone special to them. How awesome to watch those who had so little exhibit a heart that was so big!

So, yes. I have been richly blessed to have been a part of teaching others what I know. There is great satisfaction in seeing the smile of delight on the faces of those who have created something lovely.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Latest Bookmark


Hi! This is my most recent creation. I love this bookmark. It is crafted with genuine black onyx faceted rectangular gemstones, swarovski clear crystals and sterling and bali silver. I just think this bookmark has a very nice classy look. It will be a perfect gift for someone who is hard to buy for. Look for it in my Etsy shop in the next day or so.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

With God All Things Are Possible


This is one of my beautiful grand-daughters. She is older now, but this picture was taken at about the time that she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor of the kidney. We still marvel at how God pulled her, and all of us, through this ordeal. Surgery, then chemotherapy, and through it all God provided just the right people to help her through it. Today she is a happy, healthy 9 year old with no recurrence of cancer. You always want to think that it won't happen to you or those you love.... and then it does. Where does your help come from? Mine comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

Only the Best!

Jane Grafton makes some of the most beautiful jewelry! She talks about choosing components in her blog. Here is the link:

http://janegraftondesigns.blogspot.com/

Her words caused me to remember when I first started making jewelry with my friend. My friend would always choose the most excellent beads for her creations. But I was intimidated by the finer components and would always gravitate toward the less expensive ones. Her jewelry designs were always beautiful while mine were just OK. Happily, I have overcome that intimidation. While I don't design as much jewelry these days, when I do, I reach for the prettiest beads in my stash. The result is that I have more confidence in what I design. With so many lovely components, I feel I can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crystal Bookmarks

Lately I have been making crystal bookmarks. They are made with Swarovski crystals, sterling silver and Bali silver. They are so sparkly and pretty! I am thinking that they will make great gifts for Christmas.

Colors talk, and they have Biblical meanings. I think I will begin to include a pretty little card with the meaning of the colors in each order I receive. Wouldn't that be a nice and interesting touch?

If you would like to see some of my bookmarks, just click on the link below and view them in my Etsy shop. I would love to know your opinion of them and any suggestions you may have about them.

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5753785&section_id=5567130

Thanks and be blessed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Unloved, Unwanted

My dad has a friend (I'll call her Mary) who is one of those needy people. You know, the kind that most of us avoid because they demand too much and disrupt our days. Mary has a big heart, but she also has a big problem. She likes her wine. And when she drinks too much, she gets a bit loud and obnoxious. This behavior has earned her the title of 'crazy woman' and has caused her many heartaches, though she really doesn't perceive this as the cause of her problems. The folks at the senior apartment complex where Mary lives are finally fed up with her. They have complained to the management. So this week she is moving. It's not her first move. It may not be her last. So, surely, Mary is to blame for her own troubles, right?

Well, not exactly. Whey my dad is around Mary does much better. He offers her friendship, not condemnation. She says he 'edifies' her. And although she is sometimes not very nice to him, he overlooks much of her rudeness and continues to be her friend. If there had been just one person in the complex who could have loved Mary as she is, perhaps she could have stayed there. There were those there who invited others to church and had their Jesus bumper stickers and carried their Bibles. Yet not one of them could love the unlovely. How sad.

I'm so glad that Jesus loves even the unlovable. That means there is hope for all the Mary's. That means there's hope for me, too, when I have my unlovable moments.

My dad is not a church goer. He doesn't claim to be a Christian. He does have a Bible, but I don't know if he reads it. Still, he has shown the heart of Jesus to one that the 'Christians' rejected and drove away. In my mind, that makes him a champion.

Oh, I should add that Mary has no family that cares about her either. Never married, no children, she states she has only a few distant relatives who treat her much the same as her neighbors. Perhaps, after she is settled in her new home, Mary will turn over a new leaf. Only God knows. But in the meantime, may God surround her with those who can see the 'gold' He has deposited in her and who will love the unlovely and care for the unwanted. And for those who can't, they have their reward. They have no Mary's in their lives, and none of the blessings that come through the sacrifice of caring about people like her.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Love to Create

I believe there nothing more satisfying than to create something good. I think that God has put a desire for beauty and order in each of us, and I believe that He alone can release the creativity in us that will fulfill that desire. But my personal experience has been that, even as God releases creativity in me, I must take that seed and plant it in the soil of practice and diligence before it grows into the finished product.
I love creating polymer clay beads. Each one is like a
miniature work of art to me. But the process of creating one bead requires many steps. And often the finished bead looks nothing like what I initially envisioned. It seems almost as though the beads create themselves as I work with the clay. I wonder if this happens with other clay artists, or is it just my lack of years of experience working with clay. I don't know. But the beads that turn out the least like I expected them to are often the prettiest ones.