April 30, 2012

New Life in Christ!

If you know me, you know I have been having horrible insomnia.  Lately, though, I have been using that time to work on projects instead of just tossing and turning!  Last night I was literally up all night!  I started this canvas painting at 10:00 p.m. and finished at 3:00 a.m.  It is an idea I have had for a while and finally it is a finished product, so my sleepless night was worth it.  

I started with this butterfly image that I found at the The Graphics Fairy.  As you can see, I made some changes.  I just wanted the basic outline on the blue background.  I started by dry brushing the canvas with Annie Sloan Duck Egg blue and then added some Annie Sloan dark wax to age and darken it a bit.  Then I lightly sanded the entire canvas.  I used an overhead projector to reproduce the image on the canvas.  I just did a basic outline in pencil and then used a black paint pen to go over the outline.  I filled in the areas I wanted to color with a darker shade of blue and the Annie Sloan dark wax was used for the brown areas.  

Finally, the song that kept going through my mind when I thought of this image was one that I had a hard time finding.  It is something I remember singing when I was young, back in the 70's.  I finally found it through the wonderful powers of Google.  It was written by John W. Peterson in 1963.  

New Life!

Gone is the guilt of my sin,
Peace is now reigning within;
Since I believed, pardon received,
Happy, so happy I've been!


New Life in Christ!  Abundant and free!
What glories shine, what joys are mine,
What wondrous blessings I see!
My past with its sin,
The searching and strife,
Forever gone, there's a bright new dawn!
For in Christ I have found New Life!

I hope to list this painting in my Etsy shop later today, but want to get some better pictures.  Lack of sleep and poor light didn't give me very good results!

Have a Blessed Day!

Today's post is linked at the The Graphics Fairy for Brag Monday.

The Graphics Fairy


April 28, 2012

Saturday Yard Sale Finds

Wow, today was a good yard sale day for me.  I almost decided against going out.  It is so tempting to snuggle back under the covers at 5:30 a.m.  on a Saturday morning, especially when we are having the strangest spring here in PA.  We actually had a freeze warning last night, so it was pretty cold out there today.  But I did get up and out by 6:30 and it was worth it!  I thought I would share some of my finds!

I got two teak garden benches.  I can either power wash them and condition them with some teak oil to bring back a nice finish, or just go with this nice weathered look.  They are going in my back yard near the fire pit.  They will be perfect to have a comfortable seat while roasting hot dogs or marshmallows on a cool summer night.   I paid $35 for both benches!   The large, old mirror frame was $5!  I had great plans to paint it with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint, put a mirror in it, and hang it in my powder room.  Alas, it is TOO large!  I do love it and it is quite old.  I'm sure I will think of something I can use it for.

The tiny children's stool is another old piece.  It was $1.  The pedestal pottery on top of the stool was also $1.  The brass porch light is going on my screened porch to replace the builder's grade fixture that I have hated for years.  The nice thing is that this find closely matches the style of my other outdoor lighting, so I was super happy to find it for just $2.  

Last, but certainly not least, is this rooster.  It's not old and is simply a decor item, but it was calling, (or crowing), my name at just $5.  I have the perfect place for him in my dining room.

In addition to these awesome finds for our home, I got my sons a long board, which they tell me sell for around $300.  I got one in awesome condition today for $5!

I had so much fun with my good friend, Cindy.  It brought back memories of when our kids were little and we would go to yard sales every Saturday looking for mostly things for the kids.   Now, our kids are high school and college age, and it's more about what we can find for us!

Today's post was linked at Debbiedoo's and Common Ground.



April 24, 2012

Unending Love . . . Amazing Grace

I just finished this set of pillow covers for my Etsy shop.  Each cover is made to fit an 18 x 18 inch pillow form and has an envelope opening in the back.  They are made of 100% natural cotton and are hand washable. 

I've have had this design in mind for a while now and am so happy to finally have a finished product.  I am hoping to use this same design for more home decor items in the future.

I'll close with my inspiration - Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).  It is the traditional hymn with updated music and lyrics by Chris Tomlin.  

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace!  how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found --
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, 
The hour I first believed!


My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing Grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, who called me here below
Will be forever mine!

Today's post was linked at Common Ground for Marketplace Monday
and at "it all started with paint" for the  Pillowpalooza link party.

April 20, 2012

New Potting Bench

This is a very short post because it's been a long and very busy day.  Tomorrow is our community yard sale - need I say more!   I've been sorting, pricing, displaying -- all day.      In addition, the youth from our church are having a bake sale here during the yard sale, so we have been receiving yummy goodies all day and this evening pricing them for tomorrow's sale.  

I did want to take a few minutes to post some pictures of my new potting bench.  It is made from an old door with chicken  wire in the top door panels.  I wish I could take credit for the design and building, but I did purchase it from a local Lancaster County craftsman.  

I purchased a potting bench from the same gentleman several years ago, but I fell in love with this new style he was making from old doors.  So .  .  .  I decided I would sell my other one at the yard sale and replace it with this one! 

I'll close out today with a little verse I recently discovered by Helen Steiner Rice.   Have a great Saturday!

The tiny petal
of a tiny flower
that grew from a tiny pod . . .
Is the miracle
and the mystery
Of all creation and God!

Today's post was linked at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday.

April 18, 2012

Count Your Blessings

I have been wanting to make my own chalkboard for quite a while, but was waiting to find the right frame. In my search, I found this old cupboard door.  I liked the size and decided to use it instead of a normal frame.  The chalkboard surface was painted using Annie Sloan "Graphite".  I painted three coats and then waxed it with Annie Sloan dark wax.  The outer frame is painted in Annie Sloan "Old White".  I then sanded it a bit and waxed it with the dark wax.   Since the chalkboard isn't really large, I knew I needed a phrase without many words.  My first thought was "Count Your Blessings".  

I measured the size of the chalkboard surface and then on a separate piece of paper sketched my basic design.   I then just used regular chalk and put the design onto the chalkboard.  It really wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.  

I decided to hang it in a small area next to my dining room.  Under the chalkboard is my father's old high chair.  I made the #5 pillow from muslin and used acrylic paint with fabric medium to paint the five (there are five people in our family).  The vintage hat boxes are from my grandparents. 

I'll close out today's post with the words of the song that were my inspiration for the chalkboard.

Count Your Blessings

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, 
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, 
name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!

April 16, 2012

Not Your 70's Terrarium!

On my recent outings to garden shops, I have noticed that once again - what was old is new again!  Yes, I believe the terrarium has made a comeback.  I am really showing my age, but my sister and I made terrariums back in the 70's with the layers of colored sand.  Not really my style today!  At first, when I would see a terrarium, I would cringe because it would bring back memories of those 70's style terrariums.  But, then I started to see some really lovely terrariums on Pinterest and thought, why not.  I'm going to make a terrarium.   

I went to Marshall's, where I always see lovely apothecary style jars, and picked one up for $14.99.  The local garden shop was my next stop for some organic potting soil and the plants.  I used a Fluffy Ruffles Fern, some kind of succulent (it wasn't tagged, but is green with pink edges), a Jazz Rose Coleus, and Creeping Sedum.  

I started with a layer of river stones I purchased at the Dollar Store.  Then the soil and plants.    I also dug up some moss growing in a shady spot in my back yard to fill in.  Really, so easy.  I tied on a hand-written fabric tag to the top that says "grow in grace".    It was so hot outside today that just having the terrarium outside for 10 minutes to snap some pictures, it was really "sweating". 

The apothecary jar was $14.99 and my four plants were $4.00.  The potting soil is a mix from the garden shop and was $1.99 for a bag and I only needed to use a small amount.   I already had the river stones from the Dollar Store.  You could plant a terrarium in just about any glass jar you have around the house. I saw one on Pinterest using a domed cake stand and it was beautiful and would be large enough to add several small plants.   So, here's a challenge - make a terrarium and share your pics PLEASE!

April 14, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

This Garden Sign is something that I worked on today for my Etsy store.  Even though I have heard this phrase many times, I didn't really know the origins.  So, I Googled it!  What did we ever do before Google?

St. Francis de Sales said this (1567-1622):

"Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence."

I'm so glad I did Google it!  Very inspiring and well said!

April 13, 2012

Grandma's Corner Cupboard

This is one of my favorite pieces in my home.  It was my Grandma Hoffman's corner cupboard.  I remember when I was little, this cupboard sat in the corner of grandma's kitchen.  It was painted white with black trim.  I believe it was made by her grandfather.  Anyway, I know it is really old and is super heavy and sturdy.  They don't make them like this anymore! When grandma died this piece went to my Mom and then it was passed on to me.  My mother had the old paint stripped off to expose the natural wood.   It's a simple corner cupboard, but I love it and love the memories it holds. 

This picture of my grandmother was taken in 1920 when she was a student at CVSNS (Cumberland Valley State Normal School) now Shippensburg University.  I love this old photograph!

Tomorrow it is supposed to be a beautiful day here in PA, so I think I am going to head out early to visit some yard sales!  So fun!  This will be my first outing this spring.  If I find any treasures, I'll post them tomorrow!

April 12, 2012

His Eye is on the Sparrow

His Eye is on the Sparrow

1.  Why should I feel discouraged,   Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely  And long for heav'n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?   My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,   And I know He watches me

2.  "Let not your heart be troubled,"  His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,  I lose my doubts and fear;
Tho' by the path He leadeth  But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,  And I know He watches me

3.  Whenever I am tempted,  Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,  When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,  From care He sets me free:
His eye is on the sparrow,  And I know He cares for me


I sing because I'm happy,  I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,  And I know He watches me.

I have been thinking on this hymn a lot over the weekend.  My best friend from elementary school, Lori, just found out last Friday that her Dad has lung cancer.  So, this is for you, Lori, and anyone else who reads this post that may be going through a hard time in this life.  "Tho' by the path He leadeth  But one step I may see:  His eye is on the sparrow;   And I know He watches me!    Praying for you, Lori .   .   .

This song was the inspiration for the above print.  I used graphics found at www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com for the sparrow, nest, and flourishes.   The print is on fabric that resembles a feed sack material.   I framed this piece in a chippy blue frame.  The wood for the frame is from a Lancaster County porch that was torn down.  This item is for sale in my Etsy shop!

April 11, 2012

Mantel Transformation

So, last Thursday (right before the Easter weekend) I received my order for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the mail!  I was so excited and even though my mind kept telling me that I didn't have time for a project right before Easter, my heart said "Just Do It".   I couldn't wait to try this new paint.  

I have been wanting to brighten up my home for a while and decided to start with the living room mantel.  It had a dark, cherry finish and I decided to paint it in ASCP Old White.  Here's a before pic taken at Christmas. 

It did take 3 coats because it was so dark, but I just LOVE the finish.  It is so smooth when lightly sanded. I very minimally distressed the edges and accents so they would stand out a bit.   I still need to wax it, but wanted to let it cure over the weekend.

I then decided to paint the mirror hanging above the mantel.  I have to say, I'm amazed at how much just these two pieces really brighten up my living room.  It did make for a somewhat busy pre-holiday for me, but the result was worth it!

Here's a close up of the mantel top.  The eggs in the cloche are just plastic eggs that I decoupaged with pages from an old hymnal and glittered.  I made the moss wreath and egg by just glueing moss to the styrofoam forms.

So, I have to say, I highly recommend the ASCP paint.  No priming or pre-sanding required!  If you have used this paint, please share your projects by posting a comment with a link!  

Blessings to you,

April 9, 2012

What's Growing in My Garden

I love spring!   It's so exciting to see the perennials popping through the cold winter ground and starting to bloom!  I thought I would share some photos of what is growing in my garden.   I planted this Lenten Rose about three years ago.  This year it is finally full of blooms.  It does take perennials a few years to really get established.

I am a self-taught gardener with a lot to learn.  My friend Cindy and her dear mother, Marie, have shared many plants from their own flower gardens.  One year Marie literally took me around her beds with a shovel and a large, black garbage bag.  She would dig out a clump and throw it in the bag.   Some have grown and multiplied like, well weeds!  Others, not so much!  Cindy has the most beautiful blue Forget-Me-Nots in her flower beds.  I have tried several times to get them to grow in different locations, but they just don't like it here?  If anyone has any tips for growing Forget-Me-Nots, please let me know because I could use more blue in my beds. 

This Bleeding Heart plant I have had for years and have moved it many times.   I think it has a permanent spot at the foot of my potting bench.  It is thriving there and is full of blooms!  Every year  I move things around, divide, and add to my beds as needed.  It's a lot of work, but as my husband says, it's my therapy!  So relaxing.

The blue of the Grape Hyacinths is so vibrant!  I just wish they would last longer!

The Viburnum is also full of white poms and bees!

If you have any perennial gardening tips, I would love to hear them, and if you have a blog that features your perennial garden, please share the site so I can visit your garden too!

April 8, 2012

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter day!   We had a busy, but fun day with family!

At church this morning my husband and oldest son, Josh, played in a trombone trio with the pastor. Following church we had the traditional Easter meal, Ham and various side dishes.  Mark's parents were here with us and Josh's girlfrend, Sarah, and Caleb's girlfriend, Paige.  It's nice to have the girls here!  So used to just men in my house!  

After the meal, Mark and his Dad hid eggs for an egg hunt for my big kids!  They had a blast.  Just like when they were little.  So excited to look for plastic eggs.  Each one had their own color egg and the first one to find all their eggs was the winner!  Seth won!   Of course the older boys did sabotage each other a few times with eggs in pockets and on the roof!  

Pic taken from inside my screen porch, but love Seth celebrating his victory!
Then I gave them a big surprise.  I bought them kites.  One for each couple and one for Seth.   They were cheap kites from Target, but they provided more excitement and fun.  It's so nice to see them not take themselves too seriously.  Again, it was a big contest for the boys to see who could get their kite flying first.  It was a perfect kite flying day with just enough wind and all three kites were soon in the air.  

After the kites crashed a few times in the field and tree, it was time to head back inside and have some dessert.   Yesterday I picked up an egg shaped cake at a local bakery and it was delish!   

Once we had dessert Josh and Sarah left to spend time with Sarah's family, Caleb and Paige left since Paige had to head back to college, and Seth connected with his friends on the X-box!  Mark and I visited with his parents a while longer before they, too, headed for home.   I then decided it was a perfect opportunity for a late afternoon nap!

In other news, I am having a one day After Easter Sale at my Etsy shop.  Every item in my shop will be 25% off all day Monday thru midnight.  You can link directly to my shop by clicking on the button on the side bar.   The coupon code to enter at checkout is EASTER!