Friday, November 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  The kids and I went to visit my family while hubby went hunting in the morning.  Then hubby and I cooked dinner together.  We were blessed in that a friend made the desserts for us.  She gave us a great apple pie and a chocolate pecan pie.  All I added to the desert menu was our annual pumpkin roll.  All in all it was really nice to spend an evening together in which we didn't have to rush anywhere or worry about homework.  We could just relax and enjoy each others company.

I am still behind on the handmade Christmas presents, and still keep adding to the list of things I want to make thanks to Amber over at Red Mommy Crafts who is doing a Handmade Holidays weekly posting.  Every Monday she posts a list of items that would make great gifts along with a link to the pattern and instructions.  I have gleaned lots of ideas over there!

So as I sit here this morning looking out my window at the first snow of the year, I have decided to offer my Ami Snow snowman pattern as a free download.  Originally I had planned to sell this pattern, but Christmas is tight for many families this year.  This is my small effort to try and help.  I hope that you enjoy her!  You can download the pattern by clicking here or




I hope that you enjoy it!

Love,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ami Snowman

When I should be working on my long list of Christmas presents I need to make, instead I spent the day writing up a new pattern.  It was one of those inspiration strikes and gotta get it down now moments.  You see I was working on a snowman ornament from a pattern available here.  While working on it I made some modifications to the head.  One thing led to another and I designed this:
The pattern is currently being tested.  Once testing is complete this pattern will be available in my Etsy shop to download as a pdf.  Look to your right for the link.   You can't really tell from the picture but the nose is 3D and sticks out like an actual carrot.  He turned out better than I had hoped.

I was also able to finish my first commissioned project!  I was tickled to death when I found an email in my inbox requesting me to make a purse.  After some discussion as to what was desired this is what we came up with:


I really hope that the final recipient likes it too!  So that has been my day today - crochet - YEAH!
 
Love,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Musings

I have been off track quite a bit lately.  It seems that life has been getting quite crazy lately.  My mother had her second knee replacement surgery this past week, and is now out of the hospital and recovering at my aunt's house (no stairs to maneuver as there are at my house!)  I am still scrambling to get Christmas presents started and/or completed.  I am struggling to adjust to my hubby working on call night shift, and now baby A has a cold.  J is struggling in his Language Arts class, H had a book report and a report on the Seminole Indians complete with a model of their living structure to complete over the weekend as well as set up for the church Thanksgiving dinner.  Been quite busy.

I made table decorations for the dinner.  I made a turkey for each table.
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I also made 80+ pumpkin favors with K's help to decorate the tables with as well.
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Each pumpkin has jolly rancher candies in it.  These were super simple to make.  Just take some orange tissue paper,  (I couldn't find packets of just orange so I bought a packet of white at my local dollar tree, mixed up some orange acrylic paint and water in a spray bottle and sprayed each piece then allowed it to dry) and cut it into squares.  I got 9 squares per full size sheet of paper.  Place your candy in the middle, pull up the sides and twist.  Then use florist tape to secure the top creating a stem.  Now I just need to come up with some ideas for the Christmas dinner!

I had a few minutes to create this weeks scripture card as well.  It really applies to me right now as I find myself drifting quite a bit spiritually.  I have been struggling with depression lately and this verse really helps to put things in perspective (Thanks Jones!).  The world may fall apart around you and it may seem like life is going everywhere but where you want it to go.  However, if your guard your heart, and know that God is in control and has a plan, you won't feel so lost and out of control.  If you are still here, you still have a purpose, otherwise you would have already gone home.  Don't let the troubles of today prevent you from staying on the straight path.




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as always, please click the picture to download a printable version of this card. You may use it on your site, but please include a link back to this blog


So, that being said I just want to include one more thing today.  Happy Birthday Sis!

Love,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sunflowers on the Bookshelf - the Noticer

I don't know if you noticed or not, but down the page a little on the right hand side is a little box that announces that I am a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger.  (Still a book review blogger just took down the box!)  "Okay," you are thinking, "so what?"  I don't know if I have shared with you or not the fact that I love to read.  Actually, love probably isn't a strong enough word.  For years reading was a huge part of my life.  On average I read about 1 novel a week.  Growing up I used it as an escape from reality.  Now I use reading as a way to put reality into perspective.  I tell you this as an introduction to something new I have started.

I don't know how many of you are readers, quite a few of you I hope.  Not because it makes a difference to me, but because I know it can make a difference in your life.  Anyway, I plan to start reading and reviewing at least one book a month with you.  If there is enough interest in it, I may even start an online discussion group as I have always wanted to be a part of a book club and it is REALLY hard to get one organized right now.

So, to start this off I want to give you a taste of a book review.  Now, I make no reviewing the book and really don't get anything out of it other than a book to read from the publisher.  I will be honest at all times in my reviews.  For November I read The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.by Andy Andrews who apparently also wrote The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success which I have not read. (But I want to now!)  The basic story line is that a man of indeterminate age and race visits a town dispensing wisdom that ultimately causes people to change their lives for the better.

The main character, Jones, has a Christ-like quality about him.  He seems to be there when people need him most to help them see things the way they really are.  Jones assists the narrator first, who at the time was homeless with no hope of any other future.  Jones calls himself a "noticer".  He notices things that should be apparent to everyone if they only had the right perspective.  Throughout the story he shares his perspective on how to be truly successful, how to keep from getting divorced before you even get married, how to value your life and so much more.

This story is full of quotable wisdom.  I found myself copying and pasting so many things (I was reading the e-book version) to save and print out that I lost track of the number.  I would read a chapter and say to myself, "I think this is my favorite chapter" only to finish the next and think the same thing.  Each chapter is it's own little story addressing one area of life.

One chapter addresses how we view and express love.  As I was reading it I thought of the 5 Love Languages as it had a similiar feel and we had just done a study on it at church.  However I enjoyed Andrews analogies better.  You are either a cat (physical touch), a canary (quality time), a puppy (words of affirmation), or a goldfish (favors and deeds).  Although Andrews didn't go into nearly as much detail about each as he could have, he covered enough the reader understood and had an "aha" moment about each.

The chapters are brief, with the entire book (10 chapters) encompassing only 156 pages.  However, I think that is perfect.  A person can read one chapter in a short amount of time and meditate upon it.  I gleaned inciteful advice and inferred many life applications of my own.  As Jones would say, it is all a matter of perspective, something that definitely needed adjustment in my life.  As a result I very much recommend this book.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it.  The writing is a bit simple at times, and I found myself occasionally skipping over sentences or paragraphs to "get to the good part" but I tend to do that with many books that I read.  I am an inpatient reader!  LOL.  If you decide to read it, please let me know what you think of it.







The next book I plan to read is Jesus Lives by Sarah Young.  It is a devotional gift book.

Love,

Friday, November 6, 2009

new pattern

Looking back I realized that it has been a while since I have posted an original pattern. Fortunately, in my crazed attempt at a homemade Christmas this year, I have created a new original pattern. Now before you get all excited, it isn't much. Just a simple headband for one of my girls. Of course, this does mean that I will have to design a second headband since we all know that sisters don't share well and often don't want to have the same exact thing. Okay, reality is that it makes it lots easier for me if they each have their own design. That way when they start with the "that's MY headband!", "Nuh uh! Mom made this one for me!", I can look at it and tell which one goes to which girl. Ahhh, mom really IS smarter than she looks!

Simple Headband 1

PhotobucketYou will need:
size 10 crochet thread
1.50 mm crochet hook (AKA no. 2 steel hook)
darning needle to weave in ends
2 inch piece of 1/2 inch elastic
sewing thread to match crochet thread
sewing needle


Pattern:

ch 4, in 4th chain from hook work 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 4 and turn

R2 - (2 dc, ch 2, 4 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) all in ch 2 space, trc around ch 3 of previous row, ch 4 turn

R3 - (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in first ch 2 space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space, trc around trc of previous row, ch 4, turn. You should now have 2 shells (those are the sets of 2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) a trc at one end and a ch 4 at the other end.

R4 - R 45 repeat R3

R 46 - (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in first ch 2 space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space, trc around trc of previous row, ch 3 turn.

R 47 - (2 dc, trc, 2 dc) in space between the shells, dc around trc of previous row.

Work 186 sc evenly spaced around the edges of the headband. join to first sc and fasten off.

Using sewing thread and sewing needle, sew ends of elastic to ends of the headband being sure NOT to twist headband.


Creative Commons License
Simple Headband 1 by Ginny B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Love,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reality Check!

Have you ever had one of those moments when reality smacks you in the face? I mean REALLY hard? I had one of those moments recently. You see, I know I am overweight. I see the numbers on the scale when I bravely step on it occasionally. I know I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes more than a year after baby A entered into the world. I know I am fat, but I didn't think that I was a fat as I apparently am.

That probably won't makes sense to those of you who are skinny, or average even. You see, I (and many others who have extra pounds) tend to avoid mirrors. Sure, I look in one when I brush my teeth, or fix my hair etc. I have 2 large mirrors in my house. One in my bedroom and one in my girls bedroom. I walk past at least one of them daily. I just find a reason to look the other way. I have a mental picture of what I look like in my head, and I discovered it isn't even close to reality!

This year we took the kids trick or treating with our new neighbors/friends. Like all good parents we had the kids pose in the front yard for pictures. Apparently she caught me in the background of one of them. Like a lot of people, we are both on Facebook. I posted the pics of my angels and she posted the pics of hers. That is when reality smacked me in the face. I logged on to Facebook and saw this: (of course in the original the faces of her kids are not smudged, but I don't want to take liberties)


an adorable Dorothy and Ninja. But what is that in the background? It looks like the Beige Blob! Here take a closer look:

This is NOT how I view myself. Now I know, I am more than what I look like. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. I know all of those things in my head. But my heart wants to be the less fat woman that I picture myself as.

Of course, I would come to this realization as the holidays approach, the food, the desserts, the candy, the chocolate, the 20 lbs of Halloween candy stashed. Before this picture I had said that I would start exercising and watching what I eat January 1st. I didn't want to give up the "good" stuff. Reality is that I need to start practicing moderation again and what better time than now? If I can master it during the holidays, the rest of the year should be a breeze.

So, I am going back to Sparkpeople on Monday, November 9th. I am asking that everyone who is interested in losing a few pounds join me. You may only need to lose 5 lbs, or 50. Either way Sparkpeople allows you to customize your food, your exercise, your available time and your goals to reach the weight you want to be. It is FREE. You do need to be committed. If you would like to join me, please click the button below and become one of my Spark friends.


Join me at: SparkPeople.com

Join Sunflowers At Home and start your own weight loss journey!


Love,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Update

Okay, so at this point I am really kicking myself in the hiney for not having started the homemade Christmas gifts earlier in the year, like ummm January! I seem to end up spending more time online looking for ideas than I do actually crafting which means I don't get a lot done. Still, I am finding some really great ideas so I thought I would share them with you guys since I really don't have any finished projects since my last post.

First, I found a few books as my local Dollar Tree store that featured animals as the main characters. One is a squirrel, one is a puppy and one is a fish. So I figured I would make a stuffie to go with each one and give one to baby A, and the other two go to my neighbor's little girls. (Shh! don't tell it is a surprise!) For the squirrel I am using a pattern from Crochetville called Butters da' Squirrel. My version currently has a body, tail, and a head. Poor thing is still limbless. For the puppy I am using a pattern off of By Hook, By Hand. It is for the Cavalier King Charles puppy if I can manage the loop stitch this will be perfect! And for the fish (that really resembles Nemo but isn't Nemo) I haven't been able to find a pattern that I like so I may have to create my own.

I also found a pattern for a game to make for J. It is called Pass the Piggies and apparently it was/is a pretty popular game. The pattern includes the pigs, a carrying case and how to score. Hope that he likes it! It looks like it should work up quickly, but it involves a lot of joining on the pigs and I HATE joining.

For my dad, who is a retired Navy chef, (hope he isn't peeking!) I am making a chef's hat as a practical joke for him to wear when he cooks at his girlfriend's house. I plan to embroider his nickname on it and possibly make an apron to go with it.

Still working on ideas for my mother and my sister, and her kids. So that is where I am at now. Better get my hook moving!

Love,
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This work by Sunflowers At Home is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.