Friday, July 31, 2009

A Bowl of Berries

One thing I really like about summer is the abundance of berries--especially the ones anyone can pick and eat for free. On some land close to us there are mulberry trees and blackberry bushes (yes, we're allowed to go there and pick), so my husband and children went with their buckets and picked a bowl full. Of course, they returned with purple faces and fingers. Yum! The berries are dark and juicy and sweet. I wish there were enough to, say, make some jam, but our little bowl full of succlents will have to suffice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Field of Flowers

I've been eyeing this field next to us. It is a house lot that has not sold; however, a field of wild flowers resides there at the moment. It DOES make me sneeze, but it has grown so beautiful over the last week that I can't resist enjoying it anyway. It is full of Queen Anne's Lace and clover and a periwinkle colored flowering weed (I've forgotten the name). Beautiful! The children and I like to find the Queen Anne's Lace that have "rubies" or "amethysts" in the centers of them. I always thought a bridal bouquet with those and red roses would be lovely (mmm, along with lots of allergy meds!). It's amazing that God makes even weeds to be enjoyable as He paints the countryside with color and beauty.

Happy Birthday, Little Girl!

It's hard to believe that my little girl turns six today! It seems just yesterday that she was born. We thought she was going to be a boy, and what a surprise (full of tears, might I add) to find out that she wasn't! She was so little, and really still is for a six year old. What a delight she was and is. She is a blessing, and I'm very thankful for her. Happy birthday, Sweetheart.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #7

Well, today around 2:00 a thunderstorm was brewing outside, so I decided it was time to brew something inside--some tea, of course! I announced to the kids that we would be having a tea party, and a tea party we had! It was simple with black tea with milk and sugar and some Walker's petticoat shortbread cookies, but who needs something fancy to have a tea party? I was in the mood for my blue flowered teacup and saucer that I found in Canada the last time we were there. It is a rather modern company, but I love the old, chintz-like look that it has. For my son, well, I used the most "masculine" teacup I have--a Royal Albert design that has grapes scattered on it and says "Grapes" on the inside. I suppose now that he is getting older I really must find one with a hunting scene or fish or dogs or something. Then, though she's almost six, the smallest member of the family used the smallest teacup and saucer to match her little appetite, and one that is indeed her's. It is a petite, delicate, almost transparent teacup and saucer with an understated gold trim that comes from France. We each had two petticoat sections, and while it rained outside, we had a most enjoyable time!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Giveway for You...and, Please, Help for Me!

I have been happily experimenting--it's sooo fun to creatively experiment--with an altered art form using vintage images and beads and glitter...and quite frankly I'd love and greatly appreciate some feedback, opinions, comments...anything kindly truthful and helpful from you, dear readers. In exchange I will give away the little brooch pictured above featuring a vintage image of a basket of flowers in coordinating fine glitters. The images I use are from actual vintage sources that I have on hand (not reproductions or from the Internet). The images and colors are clear and crisp, and all have a glossy coating. These are not decoupaged and are light and durable.
I've given some other examples below of what I've been creating and listing on Lollishops and Etsy so you may understand more of what I'm doing in order to answer the entry questions better.
The above music score charm/zipper pull of "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" is a public domain score and has no glitter or beads on it but features a music notes charm.
This French Window zipper pull/charm has color coordinating flower beads and bubble leaf beads--no glitter.

This romantic bracelet features many vintage images placed on a charm bracelet with coordinating flower and bubble leaf beads--no glitter.
And this French shoe brooch, like the giveaway item, has no beads or charms; is, of course, bigger than the charms/zipper pull; and has color coordinating fine glitter.
*************************************************** is where you come in. In order to enter for the little flower basket brooch above please leave ONE comment below that answers ALL these questions for one entry (of course, any additional comments are welcome): 1) What style do you like best (i.e. charm/zipper pull, charm bracelet, brooch, a larger size for an ornament, cell phone hanger, any other idea)? 2) Do you like the images with the beads or glitter or both best? 3) What VINTAGE type image would like best to see (i.e. roses, other flower type, horses, cats, trees, cottages, music, ladies, pianos, crowns, birds, seasonal pictures...well, you get the idea)? If you'd like another entry, please blog about this post and leave another comment below that you have blogged about it (I'll be checking). I'll be drawing a name on August 6. THANK YOU for your help!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ok, Another Giveaway

Melissa, from Creating from the Heart, is giving away some scrapping goodies including a Slice Machine. Fun! Thanks, Melissa, for the chance. While you're there, check out some of her beautiful creations.

Inspiring Blog and Giveaway from "A Bushel and Peck"

Do you need an inspiring blog and a great giveaway to enter? Well, you'll find both at A Bushel and Peck. The blog is beautiful and interesting and the giveaway is to spend a total of $200 at two different on-line shops. How generous!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A few Goodies from Yard Sale and Antique Shopping

We needed to travel light because, well, now that you have to pay for each piece of luggage, I was determined to be frugal and pack light. One thing I love to do while visiting my parents in Maine is going to yard sales and looking through antique stores. Not that I buy much, but the items seem to be different there than in the Midwest--older houses, older "stuff" to find. With a promise from my dear mom that we could do laundry whenever necessary, I packed particularly light (a hard task for me!) with room and weight to spare in each suitcase in order to fill them to the brim with good deals. My mom and I love to yard sale and peak into antiques stores together, so off we went bright and early four different days. I found some great deals on winter coats for both of the children and winter boots for one--even though it was a challenge squishing them all into a suitcase. How could I resist $1.00 for a warm coat and 25 cents for a decent, warm pair of winter boots?! Most of my finds were shoes and clothing for the children...but there were a few treasures for me that were inexpensive (all of these below cost less than $5.00) and quite irresistible.
One is the talc tin (and box!) above. It is in perfect condition and beautiful in every way. I don't know why some people sell such pretty things...but I'm tickled to have found it.
I found this book on Victorian crafts for 25 cents. I'm helplessly stuck in the romantic Victorian era because I can't resist its pages full of beautiful ideas. What a deal!
I love candle holders, and this brass one is from Italy. It features a thistle and should polish up well with my husband's Brasso.
Finally I'm a sucker for little cottages and have a collection of them in various forms and sizes on our mantle. This one turned out to be a Thomas Kinkade's Swanbrook Cottage for only $1.00.

God Really Does Answer Prayer

You know a lot of people think it's nuts to pray, but many do pray. Oh, yes, there are those who don't pray to the God of the Bible. Many don't realize that if they don't have a personal relationship with God or if their relationship with Him is not right...He won't hear them (The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29) Some people just repeat the same words when they pray. That's like saying the same thing, over and over again, to my husband every time I see him. What must God think of that? Anyway, some people make a mental ascent to God when they pray but don't pray with their heart, and their thoughts are on dinner or the ball game or whatever. Some people pray because they're at their whits end but don't have the faith to believe that God will really answer those prayers. The God of the Bible actually LIKES it when His children pray to him (... but the prayer of the upright is his delight. Proverbs 15:8)

For those who doubt whether the God
of the Bible (the One to whom I pray) answers prayer, I for one KNOW that He does. Now, God doesn't always do it my way and when I want it and sometimes He even clearly answers "No"...which usually, buy the way, I can look back on at a future date and see WHY He didn't answer my prayer they way I wished.

One event recently is that we didn't have the money for our schoolbooks for the upcoming year for homeschooling. We had no way of getting the all the money we needed in the time we needed it. So...we PRAYED...and prayed...and you know what? Someone came to us and said totally unexpectedly and surprisingly..."We want to give you a certain amount of money...what may we put it toward?" To make a long story short, all of the school books have been paid for and delivered to us. This was a NEED of ours, and through faith and via prayer we claimed God's promise in Philippians 4:19--But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus., and God answered prayer and supplied our need. God is awesome and prayer DOES work!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Back...and with a New Mousepad and Lollishop Widget!

Well, we had a wonderful past week with my family in Maine. The weather was cool this year--not the hot, humid, almost-unbearable weather of Julys past, but I really didn't mind. We picked sea glass off beaches, went to little shops, sniffed coastal rose bushes that grow wild everywhere, went to antique shops and yard sales (more on the goodies I found in a later post), and visited with my parents, grandmother, and friends at the church back "home". I bought this new mousepad at a store in Bar Harbor. I've always wanted one of these little rugs... being drawn, as you know, to genuine things that aren't in their usual size (like the genuine, leather-bound, miniature Bible I have and did a post about many months back). Our old mousepad was just that--old and stained--and we needed a change. I'm delighted! No doubt I will click better now. One new thing on my blog that needed attention right away is the new Lollishops widget to the right. Do you like it? Sadie got these widgets up and running while we were away, and I new that adding my Lollishop shop widget had to be one of the first things I did upon our return. Thanks, Sadie!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Little Cottage Zipper Pull...and Off on a Break

Two things to mention in the post. First, I've listed this little English Cottage zipper pull/clip in my Lollishops shop. You may see it by clicking on the Lollishop button to the right. I can't resist a little cottage and thought this would be adorable for someone else who enjoyed them as well. Secondly, I will not be posting again until July 21--hopefully with posts that tell of fun adventures during my time away from this computer (complete with pictures). We all need a little break from time to time, and this will be mine for now. Have a super week everyone, and I'll "see" you later. ; )

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #6

My favorite kind of black tea is, of course, the kind I grew up drinking. This tea is Red Rose tea. Lipton is fine and will definitely work if need be, but I think that Red Rose has a better, richer flavor. It used to be a Canadian tea, and growing up in Maine, Red Rose was always available and not that expensive. I can find it in the grocery store here in Wisconsin, but the boxes are smaller than the 100 count and are more expensive. Thankfully my mother and grandmother keep me well stocked and either bring or mail me some from time to time. As an extra treat, for years each 100 count box has included a little Wade figureine. It is always fun to find an extra treat (think Cracker Jack boxes) when you purchase something, and like a little kid, I look forward to opening a box to see what sweet figurine may be included with all of the yummy-smelling tea bags. And, you know what else? I like the name! ; )

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Visit From New Zealand

My brother (and only sibling) is a preacher and teacher in Blenheim, New Zealand. He has started two churches there and hopes to hand the present one over to a Kiwi soon. He also started a Bible Institute several years back. Having lived there for 17 years, New Zealand is his and his wife's home--where their permanent residency is, and they truly love the people there. His four children (three of which were born there) all have accents (though they think I'm the one with the accent). Well, he and his oldest are here in the states to get things set up for college this fall. The rest of the family will arrive later this week to spend about six months here in the States. So, since Friday night my brother and nephew have been visiting with us (and brought us all matching t-shirts as you see above). How grand it has been! I can't remember the last time I spent July 4th with has been over 20 years at least. We've had a wonderful weekend laughing, talking, remembering, passing stories back and fourth. My nephew is super with my two young kids (who absolutely adore him) and a fine young man. It's so long between visits--years sometimes--and I'm thankful for every moment that we have to be with them. Over the years I have learned it is better to be thankful for what I have when I have it than to complain about what I don't or can't have, so I am truly thankful for our visit and am enjoying every moment to the fullest.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #5

I found this little round, bright teapot in a dusty antique store in Maine several years back. It's shiny gold appearance just spoke out to me...and the price was right. It is from England, an Author Wood, and has it's share of crackles and scratches. Also, it is small, I believe a four-cup pot, and I would probably never actually use it to hold tea and/or hot water; however, it is bright and beautiful and adds a delightfully shiny touch to our living room expecially when it reflects the sun in the morning (as you can see here). You just never know when you'll find a diamond in the rough in a shabby antique store, and this is certainly a good example.


We went strawberry picking yesterday. It has been a very long time since we actually went and picked. Either we missed the picking times, or the children were too young to pick with us, or the weather wasn't right...whatever the case, we really wanted to go this year. The kids did a great job making sure their little boxes were filled with the best strawberries, and we filled three large boxes full of the yummy treats. The car smelled sweet and wonderful and so now does our house. I'm processing them now. Some I will freeze whole for strawberry shortcake and over ice cream. I will make jam perhaps this weekend and enjoy the bubbling strawberry scent filling the kitchen knowing that we will enjoy the jam on biscuits and toast this fall and winter. Of course we will have our bowls of strawberries with milk poured over them for breakfast this morning. And finally, I have a real urge for two-crust strawberry pie which I haven't made for years. What a delicious Fourth of July weekend this will be!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What profit is it?

The recent passing of a certain pop star lately has brought a particular Bible verse to mind. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"(Mark 8:36) We've read about this man's recent great net worth--what is it? 263 million dollars? I can't begin to imagine that sort of money--and all that he had and all that he did. But how SAD it would be to amass a huge fortune, pass away relatively young (hey, 50 is not really that old), and if he never accepted Christ as his personal Saviour to spend eternity in a place opposite heaven. This pop star gained in his 50 years of life everything and anything he could possibly want--"the whole world" so to speak--but what good was it all if he never got things right before God and lost his soul for eternity?