Thursday, May 31, 2012


My life is never boring! In fact, this weekend I have 2 new business venture launches, my daughter is launching her jewelry business, and an open house for my third business, just finished painting my kitchen cabinets, (so they are all one color, instead of splotchy sample colors), got half the garden in, and have flowers in pots on the front porch so it's all beautiful!

Something I've learned though, and am really still learning, S-L-O-W-L-Y, is how to take time for myself, my family, my faith, my self. Down-time is something men do really well, and women don't even know exists!

I'm learning though. That little bit of me time in the studio creating, sitting in a bubble bath, reading a great book, having my morning coffee in the early morning sunrise, while listening to the birds sing....these are super worthwhile, super important, and super fun!

Balance is something that I'm just now getting the hang of. Maybe it makes us weird, but my family takes seriously the 'day of rest' principle. We take family dinner time seriously. No cell phones allowed. We all work together, doing laundry, taking out the trash, working in the yard. Then we all have time for those boring things like bike rides, bubble baths, the pool, etc....

I'm still driven to be successful at whatever I do, but instead of allowing success to drive me, I'm letting God drive and just doing the best I can with what I have.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Ah, summer. The smell of fresh cut grass, flowers, fireflies, sunscreen, clothes dried in the sunshine, chlorine....

I really enjoy the beginning of summer. This time right now, as it shifts officially from spring to summer. Once summer gets underway, I'm less of a fan. My body doesn't appreciate the heat & humidity, so mid summer becomes a bit challenging. I start looking forward to fall!

Right now though, I'm totally embracing it. It rocks! The morning greets you all bright & sunny, and you want to get out of bed & do something. The evening breeze brings some welcome cooling, & fire pits.

Bike rides, beaches, fishing (which my kiddo hates....who are her parents really?), swimming, hiking, horseback riding (preferred by the child & no one else), BBQ's, porch swings, and this summer will mark my introduction to riding on a Harley.

This will also mark the first summer in years that I actually feel good & am able to do more than sit & watch everyone else having fun! I'm so excited!! We went on a bike ride the other night, than played Just Dance on the wii, and woke up the next day pretty ok! (I should add that the child crushed me - I really should quit trying to 'do' the moves & just shake the stupid remote - might actually stand a chance!)

When I was a little city girl, my parent's took me camping in the woods, in a tent, in a storm, on a lake, with mosquitoes, forced me to sleep in a sleeping bag. Put my own worm on the hook, be quiet while waiting for a nibble, & attempt to take my own fish off the hook. I have only twice in my life actually taken the fish I caught off the hook. The rest of the time it had to be a are really gross to touch. Give me manure over a fish any day! My dad even made the effort to teach me to gut a fish. I actually paid attention, but I will not do it!

Then they moved us to the country. I became a little country girl. My parent's made me put up hay in 100 degree weather, muck out stalls when it was so humid you wanted to gag. Mow 2 acres with a push mower & the sun blazing hot. Help plant the garden, put clothes out to dry, haul gravel to rebuild the washed out driveway...

When the work was done though we got to play in the creek, build bonfires, hike through the woods on their property, find bugs, walk to the river & go fishing. Ride our bikes on hills unlike anything we had ever experienced before. Have you ever tried to ride a 'city bike' in the country? There is a reason they make mountain bikes & there is a reason that this is the preferred bike in my neck of the woods.

My fondness for country music stems from the summer. Country artists sing way more songs about summer than any other group. Plus, they sing about all the best things of summer - rope swings, hanging at the river, country roads, bonfires....these are the things that make summer such fun!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Have you ever had those questions that just never seem to be answered? Until recently, faith wasn't something I possessed in great amounts. I had lots of questions, few answers & spent a lot of time trying to sort through, figure out & ask why.

God is so good though! He knew that amid all the questions, there were indeed answers waiting for me. It was just all in His time, not mine. Amazing when you finally see answers how silly the questions seemed!

I still have a bunch of questions of course. Only now, most of them can be answered with a simple, "God knows, it's in His hands." It doesn't calm all my anxiety, but it usually stops it in it's tracks & causes me to remember that since God is in control I have nothing to fear. Blessed assurance....isn't that how the song goes?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Open Doors

Before I hear the phrase 'Are you nuts?' from my dear, sweet friends, I must say that God has indeed opened some doors that I just know I'm supposed to walk through.

The most recent doors that have opened? We launched a website, through which people can purchase our creative passions. Han is creating some awesome jewelry pieces, I've got my handmade cards from my Stampin' Up! workshops, and then there is the spinning, angora fibers, etc.... This is a great way for us to do something that we are already doing, and put it out there. Pursuing our creative passions is something we don't take for granted & wanted a way to share those things with others. We go live for orders on June 1st, 2012, but the website is under construction & view-able now:

The second door that God swung open, was the other home business venture that I just started: Pink Papaya. I had never heard of the company before a few weeks ago. I learned they are a relatively new skincare company, with the most amazing products! We prayed about it, thought about it, asked a million questions, prayed & thought some more, and decided I should jump in. It is one of those things that I just know came from God. Check out my website here:

I'm always crazy busy I know, but in the last few weeks, God has revealed so much to me, and done so much for me in the way of clarifying. A good friend posted something on Facebook yesterday: I'm going to start INVESTING my time, instead of SPENDING my time. (I've paraphrased).

This is 100% of what my life truly is focused on. I want to invest my time with my family, my friends, my talents, my resources, my life, my faith. Each door that opens isn't necessarily opening to the 'best' thing, but when the best things are in front of you, you walk hesitation. God provided me with the ministry opportunity that was the 'best' for me, at the 'best' time. He has provided building blocks for my family & for every home business. He has provided the financial stability for me to pursue the things I'm passionate about, while also sharing my resources with others.

So, when God opens doors to the best things, I'm going to walk through. When the windows & doors open to the 'good' or 'okay' things, I'm going to say 'no'. It's not worth it to me, to spend my time doing anything that doesn't produce a return.

Even better? I'm doing the things I enjoy the most, with my daughter & husband, and we are all having a blast! She is getting a great education in business (like she really needed more after years of coming to work with me!), hubby is realizing his goal of me eventually being home full-time, & I get to have fun 'going to work' & doing ministry!

Thank you Lord for the amazing doors that have opened, the amazing opportunities that have come my way, and the awesome chance I've had to pursue my passions & ministry!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Studio Makeover 2012 Complete!

I never remember to do before & after pics, but I have the original pics from I cleaned & re-did last spring, so those will have to do.

I painted the floor, but left the walls & curtain the same. I also got rid of a million more things, & this is not an exaggeration either. Boxes once again left the room.

I actually like it so well, I don't plan on doing anything different.......for at least a year! ;)



 This worked for awhile, but was actually pretty cluttered. A small work space & not great storage. 


 This is the corner of the room. I switched out the brown cabinet for the buffet, which was being used as 'storage'...meaning stuff was shoved in it. The drawer now holds all the jewelry supplies, the Big Shot & Die storage box sit on top so I can use it anytime, without it taking up my work space. The cabinet space holds tools, wood-mount stamp sets, pictures that need to be placed in a scrapbook, and misc. items.

 To the left of the corner, the walking wheel takes up a lot of space, so I angled it and put my dress form & basket holder in front of the window. Plenty of room for the smaller treadle wheel & all my fibers for spinning.

 The opposite corner & closet door. The old suitcases hold my yarns & crochet hooks. The closet has all the fabric, formal wear, frames, etc... Any spare, not often used item is in the closet.

 This file cabinet was a cheapo Walmart find & is about 10 years old. I spray painted it, then applied one of my fave Stampin' Up! papers to the front of the drawers & trimmed with some ribbon.  

 This is against the wall to the right corner of the buffet. There are a few  empty spaces waiting to be filled. The rack on the wall holds all the retired Stampin' Up! colors, accessories, and there was room for few of the clear mount stamp boxes. 

 My desk & work space. The two lamps ensure that in the evening I can see what I'm working on really well. My paper cutter, stamp pads and punches are all right there.

 My desk with display space on the wall. The vase was a gift from my girl, filled with some of my fave things. The shoe is a tape dispenser! I love it!
  My ancient treadle sewing machine & mannequin. She is made of paper mache' w/ painted yarn hair. I hate to get rid of her even though she's missing her hands...when will I ever find another one? Hannah's easel & painting supplies are sitting there begging for some art!

 The door into the hallway, out of the room. The bookshelf in the background used to be in the Studio, but is now being moved into Hannah's room after it gets a coat of I believe she said red paint. (Her room is the next to be done. It's going 'teen'.)

I absolutely love the new floor. It's the same beige color as the hallway & brightened the room up a lot. I think I may add a small area rug in the middle, just for a pop of color & texture. 

Happy crafting everyone!! :) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pivotal Moments

This weekend was full of what I will call "Pivotal Moments". From networking with some awesome business people, to doors opening that I wouldn't have looked for, to renewing & healing in areas I wasn't aware needed it, to locating a night (like 8 whole hours) of sleep, to having some time off and just chill-axing. (How do you spell this word? Who made it up? Why did I use it?)

I got some sun, got the gardens all cleared out (thanks too hubby!), got some business done, got inspired, and discovered what I want the Studio makeover to include & came up with how I can do it for no cost, which should make hubby jump up & down! He's never actually done this before (jump up & down), but may once he reads this. I forgot to tell him this new fact, in the midst of all the other stuff.

As I type, I'm making dinner, reviewing another book I've been reading, and looking over my schedule. Yet I feel a sense of peace about everything. God has done some stuff that I just can't put words too. How awesome is that!

Each pivotal moment came complete within its own confirmation of something that God had told me before, or clarity about something that was unclear, or re-assurance that it was indeed God moving....

There were even a few "I need to think this through" moments, in which no stress was involved, and a decision was reached. I mean how in the world could I all of a sudden come up with a FREE way to re-do the Studio, that will be perfect? Only God, since we all know that shopping & redecorating are some of a girls favorite things!

One of the most amazing moments came on Sunday, in which God spoke so loudly to me that I didn't even have to think twice. It was as if after all this time of seeking, praying, studying, etc....God just decided to change things up, and wham! Right there clarity, loud & clear & precise! An answer to prayers I didn't realize to pray, a solution & perspective I never considered, a God-moment that was pivotal for me in my faith & my journey.

So on we go, with all these pivotal moments behind, and better clarity ahead. Let's skip along for awhile, because I was getting really getting tired of crawling!! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hey Ya'll - Exciting News!

I talk like a southerner, and I know it. I say ya'll proudly. It's all that country music I listen too! I've been absent for awhile, and should in fact be in bed even as I'm typing. Early start to my day tomorrow.

I had to get on and share though.....God has opened some awesome doors and ta-da! I have an additional home-based business! I know, I know, like I needed another thing to do. BUT, this is the culmination of years of praying, resurrecting my lost business which I just loved, and is a great future for us.

It incorporates all my fave things, the things I'm most passionate about, and believe it or not, won't actually take that much more of my time. These are all things I already do, things I've been doing for years, and I've actually been pursuing partially for a long time.

We can incorporate school, my daughter can be involved (and has her own role to play following her passions!), and will give opportunity to some others who have been pursuing the chance to sell some of their handmade items. Win-win.

When God opens doors you best walk through them! I'm not completely insane so I recognize His hand so clearly in this there is just no way to NOT go through the door, down the road, and thank Him for His blessing!

So be will continue to unfold.....and God is at work!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crafts & Shopping Reduce PMS?

Today I'm doing my happy dance.....why? Because I am about to go play for the whole day in my Studio! And my hubby is making me do it! WOOHOO!!

Granted, part of my studio time increases our income, so I suppose his insistence is based on that. But, he also knows it makes me happy, fills my inspiration and refreshment tank and makes me such a nice person. I think secretly he like the nice person effect the best!

I bet if women could prove that shopping and crafting  and bubble baths, led to a reduction in PMS our hubbies would hand us their credit cards, paychecks, car keys, and say 'would you please do this - you deserve it', totally straight-faced while doing their own happy dance!

We girls have know all along that crafts, shopping, bubble baths, shoes and purses, make us happier people. It just takes men a bit to realize that this a true statement, and not just an excuse to indulge. (If we said we're barely any clothes made us happy, I betcha they'd believe that in like 2 seconds!)

So I'm off to the Studio for a bit of boring old 'work' time......just tell my hubby it'll make me a much more cheerful person and won't cost him a dime. I can see him dancing a jig already! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Right Around The Corner

There are some great things coming right around this next corner. I can feel it, I can see it, I can taste it. I'm super excited about it.

God has been opening doors right and left, giving us wisdom and direction, and even helping me be patient about some things. I'm glad He did that, because I'm not sure I'd be as appreciative of all these doors if I hadn't sat for awhile.

Keep reading over the next bit. I'm working towards walking through a few of those doors. I'm excited to share and looking forward all that's coming.

Some will be hard, but God has granted me a tremendous sense of peace about some of it. There's been healing, truth, victory and so much clarity and growth.

It must be preparation for all that's coming. From what I can see - it's going to be amazing!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fruit Salad Smoothie

To quote Solomon, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails". (Prov. 19:21, NIV) You all know that I'm a planner. I love them. I love having things mapped out in front of me. I do not like squiggly lines, the unknown, the unexpected. I do not like not knowing.

The 'Plan', as I shall refer to it, has not gone the way it was supposed to. I had life mapped out, basically outlined, and it went awry. Certainly not because my control-freakish self had a poor map, didn't wrestle or have a back up plan (or 6). In fact, where my plans had been neatly organized and separated into cute little bins, the plan currently looks more like a fruit salad, using fruits I didn't even know existed. In the midst of it all, somewhere, is this idea that God uses everything in our lives to fulfill His plan and purpose. I guess life looks better when it's all colorful & fruity.

I love fruit salad. You get all your favorite fruits melded together, in place. I like it much less when it IS the life I'm living. I like prunes, just not in fruit salad. I don't like starfruit at all, and plantains seem unnecessary as there are already bananas. What the heck are snozberries? Willy Wonka never did tell us!  Since tomatoes are technically a fruit I guess it's okay that they get added, but Hubby hates raw tomatoes, and I just don't think they'd be good paired with grapefruit and rhubarb, and should NOT be added when cooked!

At what point do I get a say in what goes into the salad? Here is where I yank out that verse that says without a plan the people perish. I wonder if God read that verse? The Plan is currently under construction, being completely re-written, and challenging me to my very core.

I just don't know what fruit I am. Am I even a fruit or am I the bowl that holds the salad? I currently feel more like I'm the whole salad, being poured into a blender, and being turned into a smoothie. I think this depth of growth is being taken even deeper, so very quickly. Ordinarily this would be great since I possess very little patience. However, it currently feels a bit speedy - maybe we could try the pulse setting? A little at a time, so everything has a chance to settle in between? Apparently, God's purpose is that fruit salad becomes a smoothie!

I'm have a strong sense though that today is a day of high speed mixing. Today is the day where I'm poured into the blender. If I get a say in the plan, I would love to be a pina colada, or maybe even a strawberry daiquiri, opposed to a berry-banana-starfruit smoothie!

Stuffed Mushrooms

'Tis the season for baking, cooking, roasts, etc… The cold weather always leads me into my kitchen, with a need to create hot, warm, fi...