somewhere over the rainbow.

 if this was a knitted blanket i would deem it my "nervous knitting".  but since it isn't...i can only think of "crazy woman crocheting until she learns to be a better waiter on the Lord".  and that just doesn't have the same ring to it.
 let's just say that in time where i need to keep my hands busy to keep my 
mind from racing...this is what i have been working on. 
as i finished up this blanket for my best friends baby girl...the image of a 
sweet rainbow round came to my mind immediately. 
(and give me a break for having buzz model it.  i have boys and the only 
doll in the house was asleep with aaron when i needed him.)
 and even though i only learned to crochet a couple of months ago...it turned out exactly as i imagined.
 it's made from a mix of cotton, wool and bamboo.  all soft, all cozy, all warm.  all good quality yarns, i have a serious dislike of the cheapy stuff.  
 i can just imagine a sweet little newborn wrapped up snug in it.
 even the "wrong" side is lovely.
 at 30in across, it is a perfect size for wrapping a little babe...to using it for a lap blanket in the 
car seat and stroller...to having a little one need to carry it everywhere.
 it comes from a smoke and pet free house and would make a PERFECT shower gift.  
a keepsake for sure.
i will be putting it in the shop eventually...but if you would like to claim it before it gets there, just send me an email (ricracandpompoms at gmail.com)  

the cost is $65 plus shipping. 

:)
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for you.

this should be formatted to print nicely at an 8 by 10.  
it's adorable in a frame hung in the bathroom. 
you can drag it to the desk top and add it to a word document to print it out. :)

happy tuesday! : )
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another post you never expected from me.

here's a topic that you probably thought i would never talk about.  
it has to do with football.  something that generally, i could take or leave and not really care about.  it's a story about cultural trends.  unlearning what you have been taught by the mores of your community.  it's about learning your lesson and paying your penance.  it's about a second chance and about grace extended.  it's about not wasting talent and using the gifts God gave you.  it's about the pointing of fingers and the judgment we place on others who do things we don't understand.  

randomly, i am talking about michael vick.  
(google him if you need to but withhold judgement for the moment, if you can)

like i said, i am not really a football person.  but i am a fan of the comeback story.  i am a fan of athletes, who are looked up to by many, publicly learning their lessons and showing their fans that they can change and grow as people.  

i am not a football person, but i have gotten into more than one heated debate with others about this football player.  this man, who grew up not far from where i went to high school.  who could have easily been a classmate had this or that detail been changed.  this player who played (what i am told was excellent) college football one town over from where i went to college. 

this man who participated in dog fighting and terrible acts that surrounded this "sport".  people are so easy to dismiss him,  to throw him under the bus forever.  despite the fact that he has paid his dues and from what i can tell, is working hard to make his life right.  to use his bad decisions to teach others. 

people hate him.  hate his actions.  are appalled at the fact that he would ever be allowed to play football again.  they find him despicable and not worth any sort of human consideration.   

and i get that.  i really do.  the things he did were and are wrong. 
a terrible misuse of the responsibility of another being. 

what i don't get is that some of these same people have no problem with the athletes who have raped women or beat their girlfriends...but i digress.

what i think is that people who don't get this culture just don't get how anyone would even think that dog fighting is ok.  what they don't get is that where he grew up...it's a culturally acceptable thing.  
he grew up in an area where animals are killed for food regularly...where hunting occurs for food and sport...where the local police force would show up for dog fights...i can honestly tell you, that if i, in high school, had stumbled upon a dog fight somehow...i don't know if i could have told you that it was wrong, legally...even if i would know it felt wrong as an act. 

i know that i could go back to the town where i attended high school and take a poll...and that poll would tell you that dog fighting is ok...entertaining even. 

it's just the state of things in some areas (of the south?).  

now i am not saying that a wrong should be overlooked. 
i am not saying that dog fighting should be ok. 

i am just saying that you can't understand why someone does the things they do unless you can understand the complex trail that got them to the point of committing some act. 

i think i have compassion on him because i get it.  i understand him in some way.  i can relate.  not because i have ever seen or participated in dog fighting...or any illegal act. 
but because i will be the first to admit that i am still unlearning things that i was taught.  i just came to the realization that it will probably take me the second 18 years of my life to undo the damage and "learning" i endured for the first 18.

i have a feeling it's a similar story for him.  it's a long road to change what you grew up with.  
you can read more about my learning curve HERE.   

i get that you want to be judged for who you are TODAY not who you were in the past.  or better yet not be judged at all.  each day you can rewrite your history and get a little closer to the person you want to become.  i am personally praying that he is on that road. 

 what pains me the most about his story is the self-righteousness with which people judge him.  each person that i have gone back and forth with is certain that they are so much better than him, that their sin is so less wrong.  and often times have said as much.
micheal vick's story reminds me that we are all wrong.  that we are all sinners and blackened with the same shade of gray that sin leaves on our hearts.  it helps me to be thankful that my shame isn't spread out on the nine o'clock news.  maybe if it was, we would all be a little less quick to condemn him.

was he wrong?  yes.  are we all wrong at some point? yes.  
are we the judge?  nope.  

  do i judge when i shouldn't?  yes.  sadly.  but i am on a learning curve there too. 

it just takes one step in front of the other to get on a new path.  and micheal vick reminds me to think twice about my assumptions and to be thankful that my name will most likely never be in a headline. 

and since i am also full of sin, i will pray for his best and withhold my judgement.

isn't that what we should all do for one another?
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school valentines.

 if you asked moses a year ago why he wanted to go to school...he would say "valentines".  he had no idea what valentines day was about...but he liked the idea of getting a mass amount of fun mail.  like mother like son, i guess.  when i saw this idea on [dandee] a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for him to take to his class.  
i got the balls from target for $2 for a pack of 16, in the valentines section. 
the treat bags were $2 (i think) from the party section of target for a pack of 50.

i made the tags in picnik and printed them out on card stock.

i can't wait for him to have his dream come true 
and experience valentines day for himself. :)

xo
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thinking.

i am endlessly fascinated with the old testament.  

i love the new testament as well but i really LOVE reading the old testament.  and the more i read it the more i can see that we are no different than the israelites straight out of egypt.

my bible in a year started over at the beginning of january and now i am in the middle of exodus.  and even though i have read it all before, more times than i can remember, i still get excited with each step, my heart still breaks a little with each disobedient move, i am still in awe of every act God performed to show his power.  

as much as some would love to say that the bible was written for "them, back then", i say nonsense.  how are we any different? 

do we not grumble, in the very face of tremendous blessings? 
do we not judge the actions of others based on what we can SEE with our eyes? 
do we not long for the comfort of "back then, when things were normal, if not uncomfortable".
do we not puff ourselves up to believe that if WE had seen the things that God had done then, that we would behave any differently today?

we are one in the same.  a group of humans bound to sin in the very face of God.  we may want to think that we are better, or more civilized or less likely to be so obnoxious.  but if anything, i believe we are worse off.  

our society has widened the gap of what is acceptable by such a drastic amount that we are calling evil good and good evil.  we close our eyes to wrongs to not offend any earthly person, when we should really be more concerned with the One most offended.  we tell ourselves that "it doesn't effect my life so why should i care"...when the truth is that each and every sin blackens the horizon just a bit.  

i kind of believe that things will continue to get worse...the good will get harder to find on this earth...the evil things will continue to dominate more and more and that those of us trying to push our way towards God will have to work all the harder for it. 

but even all of that i think God can use to his good...imagine things on earth getting so dark, that when we finally get to heaven, we are so blinded by the light that it rocks us back on our feet.  just like when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning and turn on a light first thing, your eyes are almost in pain from the brightness of it all.  the darkness will be so seared onto our brains that we will never forget it.  

maybe this present day earth is our second chance at exodus, that right now, our slavery is being bound to a society that is ever hungry for more...that our land of milk and honey will be the earth as God intended it in the first place.  maybe this time we will remember and be obedient and never forget all the good that God did.  that we will say thank you, thank you, thank you.  and never again say "but what have you done for me today?"

regardless...that is my goal for life right now.  in this moment.  to just say "thank you, thank you, thank you".  and live in the knowledge that i have already been given far far more than i deserve. 

happy monday. xo

feel free to add your two cents.  i would love to hear it. :)
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around here.

this has been our life the last two days.  
we *think* it has passed...and we will spend today building them back up with all they can eat applesauce, bananas, rice and toast.  

i am suddenly way more thankful for all the times my husband is home while the boys are sick...it's been a whole different ball game without him here.

i am thankful that God never gives us more than we can handle. 

i am thankful that this is the worst we have to deal with in terms of sickness...when my boys are sick like this it makes me remember and pray for those who deal with things far worse than a stomach flu.

i am thankful that my job is AT HOME.  and i never have to worry about calling in sick to stay home to take care of my boys when they need me. 
i am thankful for a washing machine, nick jr and pixar. 

i am thankful for all the changes occurring in my life right now.  whether i understand them or not...i know that they are God's plan for us...and THAT is something to be excited about.   and i can't wait to share them all with you here...when the time is right.

i am thankful for a slow, cozy weekend. 

xo

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20 minute crafter. freezer paper stenciling.


 have you done this yet?  you should.  and you can.  and it requires no sewing whatsoever.
 here is what you need:
freezer paper (not wax or parchment) 
i found mine at giant for about $3.75 for 75ft
surface that you want to stencil on
image that you want to use as a stencil
(for this example i googled an image of a dinosaur and printed it out on cardstock--if you have a cricut you can cut your freezer paper out right on the cricut!)
fabric paint
scissors
foam brush
 cut your stencil out...and trace it onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper...
OR cut your image out via cricut with the shiny side on the cricut mat.
 cut out the interior image...the outside of the image will be your stencil.
 iron onto your stenciling surface with a hot DRY iron, shiny side down.  be sure to get all the edges.
 before you start painting...place a piece of cardboard behind the surface you are painting to prevent bleeding onto the back of the shirt/bag/etc.  start with a light coat...you can always add more paint but you can't take it away...and if you use TONS of paint it may bleed. 
 add as much or as little paint as you would like...i was going for a vintage-y kind of look for this shirt.
when you are done, gently peel the paper up...and let dry.  

ta-da!!!  easy, quick and simple!

imagine all the possibilities...bags, pillows, shirts, bibs, etc. :)

have fun!
xo
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right now. part two.

 here's the rest of our house right now...this is aaron's room.
it has a loosely vintage new york theme.  specifically yankees baseball.


 this is the master bedroom.
 it kind of has a soft modern-vintage feel to it.  i love the mismatched lamps (from target).
i read some decorator say that you should never have photos of your children in your bedroom.  i completely disagree.  to us, they are further motivation and reminder of why we work so hard at keeping our marriage wonderful.
 i love my cheaty quilt. and my jars of shells from each beach i've been to.
 and the main bathroom...not too exciting.  but crisp and clean just the same.
just some tiny pops of color.  i made the shower curtain and we redid the floors since living here.

you can see moses' room over HERE.

thanks for lookin'. :)
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right now.

 something just struck me.  the light was hitting the kitchen and windows just right.  filling the house with the beautiful early morning golden sun.  and i wanted to remember it all as it was.  no cleaning up first or making things just so...i wanted to remember everything the way it was right now.  
 our landing zone just inside the back door...featuring my anniversary gift and hoho in the background.
 the view from the kitchen. my new chairs make me smile.
 i love this spot.  this sunshine.  those curtains.
 the preferred method for watching TV.  in his snowpants.  aka "fireman suit".  that he has worn on top of his clothing for more days than i can count.  we haven't had snow for weeks.
 my station.  my pile of ironing in the corner.  my new sewing machine.  i never told you that i took back my other new one and upgraded again to the viking sapphire 835.  i just wasn't gelling with the other one.   
 my favorite photo collages of the boys that i do every year.  reminds me that a year goes by in a heartbeat.  way too fast.  i have a four year old and a nearly two year old.  crazy.

my minimal valentines day decor.  pompom fringe and vintage valentines. 

back to cleaning.  happy friday!
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no really, i'm not crazy.

(image via MaryKateMcDevitt)

i've been busy.  we don't have news yet...but you can pray for saturday at 4pm if you like. 
while i'm still not ready to spill the details i will tell you some of the things i have done in the last week or so...

in no particular order:
painted moses' room
painted all the trim in the house
painted five doors
i mean six
patched a hole in drywall
and painted it
painted the attic door
replaced the pull on the attic door
re-glued a piece of trim
deep cleaned the fridge
and the dishwasher
and the washer
and dryer
re-caulked the tub
fixed a blemish in the porcelain sink
organized the pantry
the entertainment center
the linen closet
my craft closet
moses' closet
doug's closet
aaron's closet
cleaned up the patio
touched up paint in both bathrooms
and my room
and moses' room
and aaron's room
painted the railing upstairs and down
re-upholstered two chairs
kept up with custom orders
and made dinner most nights
and a dessert for doug to take to work monday.
and took moses to school
and wend to church
and did 90% of our taxes
and prayed
a lot
i'm sure i'm forgetting something.

and tomorrow i will be up to my elbows in cleaning products.
this time tomorrow my house will be perfect. 
no really.
and then i need to take my kids somewhere so it stays that way for as long as it needs to.

and the very best part is that no matter what happens.  we will be ok.  either something awesome will happen...or my house will be in the best shape that it has been in the four years we have lived here.

and spring is only 58 days away.  
awesome.


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re-upholstery a la glue gun.

 if you are a "real" re-upholstery professional...you may want to avert your eyes.  this is a redo whilst making do with what I had on hand.  though...i may be willing to bet you that you can't tell the difference once you are sitting...  
 here's a before, next to an in progress chair.  we went to visit our uncle b last weekend and i kindly stole acquired these from his garage.  he thought the red was just fine.  i thought so too.  if i were going to put them in a dental office...they had a goodwill sticker on them of a whopping $5 each.  
 i did not take off the red before i put on the houndstooth.  i took one look at the bagillion staples and just had a feeling that my patience would not tolerate the removal of so many staples.  the fabric i used is upholstery weight so you can't tell...and because i didn't start from scratch...i had to use a glue gun in some places...once i stapled where i could.  
 my favorite part may be the part you never see...a fun fabric covering the bottoms.  
it's fun just knowing it's there. 
i'm pretty pleased with my unconventional re-upholstery style.  :)
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the perfect rawr!

video

Ok...so I know I have left you all hanging on a lot of big issues that are going on in my life right now...house stuff...Doug's job stuff...etc.  And as much as I want to spill IT ALL right now...I can't. 

I am waiting on the Lord to answer us a few questions...I would imagine that we would know more about our life in a week or so...then I can tell you about all of the ups and downs in full detail. 

In the meantime, there is something potentially BIG on the horizon.  If I could post it all here and beg your prayers I would...but I don't feel like I can.  So if you feel pressed to pray for me...just email me and I can fill you in that way.  Or you can just pray for God's will and peace for us. 

And while you wait...you can enjoy our little hoho.  Who has the perfect roar.

This video pretty much sums him up...supremely sweet and impish.   
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an ode to my favorites.

(aaron's "cheese" face) 
the blog world has so many beautiful people out there. 

i love blogging because in some small way it takes us back to the days when you knew all your neighbors...shared ideas with them, resources, time, etc...where you looked out for each other.  where you brought out each others best and picked each other up when they were down. 

i thought i would take some time to share with you some of the people in my neighborhood.  
in no particular order.  

most of you probably already know meg.
she is happy.  has a great knack for decorating her beautiful home.  and is successfully raising teenagers.  if you haven't been...you should go.  she has great recipes and nice eye candy.  her
 potato soup is now in my regular rotation of recipes. i wish we were real life friends.    

and if you know meg, you probably know julie. 
julie seems to have an abundance of friends.  all over the country.  her home is beautiful and she has an all around beautiful heart.  she builds wells for the poor in Africa in her spare time.

heather. heather is a real live doll.  i am pretty sure she is the sweetest person i have never met.  she has a way with vintage and a faith in Jesus that is abundantly apparent in how she handles tragedy.  i would take her as a neighbor any time.
and next is sara.  sara is a wonderful photographer and graphic designer extraordinaire.  if she ever goes out of business i will be that person that emails her every Christmas begging her to just do my card.  she is down to earth, a woman who handles a lot on her plate and gets stuff done...a woman after my own heart. 

then there is tara.  beautiful. photography.  beautiful person.  i don't know tons about her.  but her photo skills will knock your socks off. 

cathe.http://justsomethingimade.com/  creative uses for vintage items.  her imagination fascinates me.  the way she can see beauty in so many items is something i wish i was better at.   


that's just a few...maybe i will do another installment of neighbors again soon...hope there are some new blogs there for you to love. :)

xo



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