Oct 28, 2009

Halloween Light & Date Night Surprise

Sweet Kate gave this to us at Bible Study today. Love it and wanted to share since I have mentioned my struggle with Halloween before. What a great perspective!

Date Night Surprise...
me: "Girls, Daddy just called from work and he is going to take you out to a special dinner on a date night!" "Won't that be fun?"
(insert lots of squeals and screams here...)
me: "What would you like to wear?" (thinking a skirt or dress from their closet)
girls: "Our Halloween costumes!" "And makeup too." "And your jewelry." "And your perfume."
me: "Ok, well...let's go get ready!"
(insert more squeals and screams here...)

Very happy I had the video running when he drove up. He had no idea it was a date night with Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). Special evening out together tonight and next time will be one on one. As I click photos like these I realize they are moments I want to capture and remember forever because it may never happen exactly this way again (especially when they are teenagers and likely wanting clothes I will not say yes to). And I love that at 4:00 today none of us knew this was going to happen. Sometimes the spontaneous moments are just the best! And I had a date night with my 9 year old to boot!

Oct 26, 2009

Spooktacular Crafts

Lots of spooky craft projects here this weekend. Charlotte made the above on her own. She keeps stealing my circle stencils and permanent markers but couldn't get mad because I love what she made. (even though I am still scrubbing permanent black marker off the kitchen counters!)

Let me just start off my saying that I do not really like Halloween other than the fun crafts and the fact that the children love dressing up and being someone they are not. It's all just fun and pretend and innocent to them. My kids know witches are not real and normally would not promote this but could not turn down the request from this cute witch pictured here. She wanted to paint a witch onto the pumpkin so we did some research and came up with some creative ideas and POOF! Here's how to make MRS. PIMPLE (yes, that is what they named her after an older brother suggested it and explained the definition!)
STEP 1: Purchase a giant pumpkin and try to find one with some bumps/pimples like this!
STEP 2: Cover your patio table with a shower curtain liner...that's what we do for all of our art projects that are messy. Paint the pumpkin bright green and let it dry.
STEP 3: Use anything you want for her hair. The kids tied strands of monkey grass together. You could use moss, straw, pine needles, etc.
STEP 4: Paint her eyes any way that you want.
STEP 5: Add some red lips and some yucky teeth!
STEP 6: Add some ears...be creative! We used bark and adhered them with hot glue.
STEP 7: Add a bumpy gourd as her nose. We nailed it in with 3 long nails. Then complete her glamorous look with her lovely black hat.
And we forgot to introduce Mrs. Pimple's friend Mr. Candy Corn. Daddy carved this fella.

guts and all...

not everyone thought it was a pleasant experience!
But in the end, it was worth it! Mr. Candy Corn was a big hit too.
Hope that you had a colorful weekend!

Oct 21, 2009

Dads and Doughnuts!!!

Yep, it was the BIG day today! Dads and Doughnuts was the big event at school and the girls were about to bust with excitement this morning. And I was glad it was finally here because they have been asking how many more weeks, days and hours for quite a while. They decorated the above doughnuts at home for fun this morning after breakfast using some old circle stencils I have in the studio. This is a great art project! Who doesn't love doughnuts and making paper ones are fat free!
After an early morning at the gym, Daddy came by the house to gather the squealing girls and they headed off...

Just look at these handsome neck ties that Daddy plans to wear to the office tomorrow! Great color choices and nice patterns too!Maybe double neckties will be the new fashion statement for 2010...probably not, but for today it was a big hit!
Praise God for wonderful daddies and all the little girls who love them!

Oct 20, 2009

I saw God in the Mountains & Bless Your Heart

Get ready...this is part 2 of "I saw God..."
I saw God in the colors of The Mustard Seed Market in the mountains.

I saw Him in the various shades of mountain apples sold on main street...I saw God in the gorgeous colors of mums with pottery, greenery, and pumpkins to complete the look...In the stellar mix of mountain foliage on the front porch of this precious gift shop...
And boy did I ever see God in these amazing friends and prayer warriors.
The Divine Divas had a wonderful and much needed retreat in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, NC. We even had light snow flurries while we were there! Yummy meals, shopping, laughing, and deep conversations by the fire. I treasure these women so very much. The only sad part was that only 6 of 15 of us could attend this time. You know how hard it is for "mamma" to leave town!
Wanted to share this special little shop there called Bless Your Heart. They have a blog too so check it out here. The owner is Sheri Furman (on the left) and she is one talented lady. She has chosen inspiring and beautiful items for the shop and also has the most incredible fresh flowers one could ask for. They do flowers for many of the local weddings.

Here's a bouquet that someone was picking up for a friend's birthday. Gorgeous!

It's always nice to see my products in stores I visit and hear that they are selling well. Notice the Beautiful Birds magnetic notepads there...
I did make a purchase at Bless Your Heart. I found this lovely decorative scarf made from recycled sweaters. How beautiful and green is this??? Yes, I know it won't keep my neck super warm, but it looks great with jeans or a dress in the fall or winter and I plan on wearing it lots.
As you leave this darling shop you are certainly blessed and ready to bless others. Miss it already...came home to a broken washing machine and either strep throat or a virus...
Blessings on your day,
To see more from our mountain retreat click here!

Oct 14, 2009

R & R (Rain and Retreat)

Lots going on here... Putting some finishing touches on some original torn collages for sale this week at Merry Market. Remember to stop by Thursday 9-6 or Friday 9-2 if you are in Charlotte! Also finalizing backgrounds and designs for a line of colorful school supplies for a company I will tell you about soon. Had a photo shoot yesterday for the new website which should be up and running in the next few weeks. It looks GREAT! And thrilled that my son's sickness earlier this week turned out to be strep rather than the flu...so he was given an antibiotic and has bounced back beautifully! Praises! This also means that I am scooting to the mountains on a girl weekend with my wonderful prayer group, The Divine Divas. Cannot wait! I am in desperate need of physical and spiritual renewal and cannot think of a better PEAK weekend in Blowing Rock to enjoy rest and relaxation with my precious friends.
RAIN...we have had L-O-T-S. of it and I feel like a kid who wants to stomp my feet and sing "Rain, rain go away, Come again another day!" Rain is wonderful ...don't get me wrong...there are days I love it and I know it's great for the earth and so on and so on. Maybe it's the fact that I do not have a garage and having to get 4 kids in and out of the car in the rain multiple times a day is just not my favorite activity, maybe it's because I loaded and unloaded all of the products for tomorrow's event in the rain today (whew!), maybe it's because my hair looks like I have been splashed by a city bus driving through a large puddle, maybe it's because my kids are getting a bit stir crazy not being able to play outside and the afternoon activities have turned into Halloween dress ups and pretend Trick or Treating to each other's rooms (too many kids running through the house with wigs and scary masks will make you want the rain to go away), or maybe it's just because sunshine makes me HAPPY!
Speaking of rain, I was speaking to a few friends today (separately) who are dealing with difficult, very difficult situations...husband lost his job, marriage problems, sick children, family members with cancer, surgery, etc. All of the women dealing with these things are strong, faithful Christian women. I know they will be fine because they trust and believe that God works all things together for good. It struck me that the difference in a believer and a non-believer dealing with these valleys is this: the believer KNOWS for certain that God WILL allow good to come from the sad and painful situations. These women are amazing...all of them. They are dealing with terrible news with amazing grace and obedience. They are living examples of Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see." Watch this video and listen to the words to hear a new perspective on "rain."
I can only hope that in my own valleys I would have such faith and be so thankful for the "rain."


Oct 9, 2009

Edible Art!

Like most human beings I have a sweet tooth. But as I have mentioned before, I love seeing artistic food and yes, sweets are top of the list. Amy Atlas is BY FAR the most talented artistic dessert caterer around and her stunning displays will knock your socks off! Just look at these yummies! And you know how much I love color groupings! You'll have to check out Amy's sweet blog too! It's full of tips and treats. Have a sweet week!
Psalms 119:89;103 "Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens." "How sweet are your words to my taste..."

Oct 6, 2009

Do you divide or multiply your love?

I love the above article and have it clearly posted in the studio where I refer to it often with a chuckle. And how precious that Bil Keane credits his sweet mamma for all of his success below the comic. I get similar questions a lot...How do you do all you do with four kids? I have several answers to questions like that.
*I have an amazing, supportive husband who does his fair share plus more around here. Bless you! Love you!
*I am a night owl and can be super productive when the house is quiet. Ahhh!
*I do 90% of my design work when the kids are in school or are asleep.
*I have a home studio so I can work in my pajamas. (love it!)
*"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

It is a challenge to "spread the love" among four children and a husband. I want them to all be loved by me every day. I don't want anyone to lose. But it happens...sometimes someone or something loses; one of the kids doesn't get my best and my full attention, my husband doesn't get quality time, family dinner can get lost, friendships, my health, lack of sleep, etc. I know I am not the only one out there struggling with trying to be a great wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, prayer group leader, Sunday School teacher, soccer coach, school volunteer, artist, taxi driver, chef, home manager, etc. Yikes...the roles we play! I just pray that I multiply rather than divide my love to all of these people in my life and even to those I have yet to meet. I say this often; to my kids but mostly to myself...Look for opportunities each day to bless others. There are so many out there just waiting to happen. Now let's go MULTIPLY our love today!

Oct 2, 2009

Painting for a purpose

Wow is all I can say about this young 14 year old who definitely paints for a purpose.

Here she is at age 9 with her painting entitled Father Forgive Them. Unbelievable!
Watch this...You will be incredibly inspired! You can read more about Akiane here. WOW!

Breaking Bread

Last night we hosted a small dinner party on our back patio for some fellow church members. Our pastor asked all officers in the church to host dinners in the span of two weeks to have an opportunity to break bread and have small group fellowship with congregation members. The guests were assigned to our dinner so some we knew and some we did not. It was absolutely delightful and made me realize how when we take the time to break bread with folks, we have the chance to listen, interact, and be living disciples to each other in this community of faith.
Don't get me wrong, it takes a ton of effort to get things ready and clean over here for company. Had a good bit of help from sweet Mom...(thank you!!!) Rarely would you find us clean and dressed up at 6pm with no children in the house, with clean floors, beautiful flowers and a patio clear of Legos and crayons and scooters and jump ropes. And although those things are beautiful in their own way, it was nice to entertain again and dine without rushing to a baseball game or tripping over a book bag left in the middle of the kitchen floor. Thank you to my awesome babysitter for last night...bless you!

The weather was beautiful too and perfect for outside dining and thanks to these tiki torches we were able to have the light we needed to complete the evening.
Have a great weekend and let your light shine to others in the days and weeks ahead...
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

other inspiring posts...