2

Quilt Review Review

Image

I recently had the privilege of meeting Lauren, a client of mine via my Etsy shop, How Dear. In my shop I sell quilts, some of them of my own creation, lots of them baby quilts, most of them custom baby shower quilts that are used in lieu of a guestbook that people can sign and give to the mother-to-be as a keepsake to commemorate the day. Lauren was throwing a shower for a friend (Tim Burton themed) and asked if I could help her out in exchange for a review for my quilt on her lovely blog, Shooting Stars Mag:  where ” We are a group of people who write about the things we love, and the lifestyle that goes with it. “

She wrote a very sweet and flattering article about this quilt I made for her:

Image

 

Lauren was so sweet and kind to work with, I wanted to return the favor! When she contacted me, she asked if I could make her a quilt in return for a review. She was so lovely to work with and very gracious, I would recommend checking her out and seeing other items she has reviewed and if she can help support your business. Please check out her blog and the very generous article she wrote about the quilt.

If you are interested in having a quilt made, you can contact me via my Etsy shop. Here are some other samples of ones I have made in the past for clients or that are available now in my shop. 

ImageImageImageImageImage

   

Advertisements
0

Adoption Etiquette

Recently I wrote this article on adoption etiquette and got a much bigger response than I expected and realized that there are so many adoptive families who can relate to what I said. A friend of mine, also an adoptive mom, shared this link with me on adoptions to say and not to say. It was informative but also hilarious and incredibly true. http://vimeo.com/92651492

Make All Things New

Image It happened. Again.  We were out it public and we stand out like a sore thumb.  Two very white people with two very obviously not white girls who look the same age but not the same like twins.  We always draw attention to ourselves no matter where we go.  For the most part I have to admit it’s good attention, people seeming to want to reassure us how much they accept our family and our part we contribute to society despite our obvious differences from the traditional, American, nuclear family.  Still, people seem to think that because our children are adopted they can ask us any questions they want, personal or not.  So the question was asked (again), “Are your girls sisters?” I knew of course what she was asking, but I just smiled and said politely, “Yes, of course they’re sisters.”  She looked at me blankly, then looked back…

View original post 2,628 more words

2

DIY Shirt Dress

Image

Recently we had missionaries to Zambia come to our church, John and Janine Chilufya, and tell us about the work they do there with orphaned children. Where they live, in a very poor region, girls uneducated often find themselves forced into marriage with children by age twelve or thirteen. For just $25/year these girls can have a proper education and a brighter future. So, we made up these fliers for the church and offered our congregation a challenge.

Image

So many people pride themselves on dressing their very best, in new dresses or outfits to church. Though there is nothing wrong with that, we challenged people to consider wearing something that was already in their closet and saving their money to donate toward this very worthy cause. 

And I cheated. I totally cheated. 

I was at Walmart and I saw these women’s shirts on sale for $1 and said, “Hmm…..” and bought two of them, one for each of my girls. We did opt this year not to buy them Easter baskets and are trying to veer away from the message of the Easter bunny and more towards the message of the cross (though, again, we have nothing against Easter baskets or the Bunny! It was just a personal choice for us). Before you think we are the Scrooges of Easter, our girls had a party at school and church and have grandparents, so I don’t think they will go without! 

Anyway, I’m digressing! When I saw these shirts at a steal, I decided they would make super cute t-shirt dresses, so I snatched ’em up. 

Confession: I am TERRIBLE with a capital T at making clothes. Every attempt I have made has been a colossal failure, so excuse me for how primitive and easy this dress is. It seriously took me all of 30 minutes to make it and it really only took that much time because I was trying to figure out how to keep my model from wiggling when I was “altering” the shirt to fit her.  

So, here it goes. 

Image

First, I put the shirt on my girls and started pinning and tucking away, making pleats in the neck for a slightly ruffled look and putting a seam in the sleeve so that it puffed out.

Image

Image

Okay-seriously, that is it! I don’t have a finished picture yet because I was planning to add a flower or belt to it and haven’t gotten to that part yet. But, what I do have done is super cute! Even if I don’t embellish it, I’m thinking with leggings and some boots, she will be adorable. 

If you are interested in any  more information about the Chilufya’s and or are interested in donating to this cause, just comment below and I will be happy to send you more information. 

Happy Good Friday! 

0

Freebie Monday: Free Printable for Easter

Image

Hey all! Last week I went to a conference in Louisville, KY called “Together for the Gospel” and was blown away worshiping our Savior with 7,000 other Christians. Though there were many speakers, one message was clear: God is all sufficient for our needs and should be worshiped as such. So this week, as we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I wanted to share this printable with you that I made as a reminder that God is sufficient to supply all of our needs, especially and most importantly our salvation. Right click on the image and press “save image as”. Print and share as you desire!

(note: if you do use it for anything other than personal use, please refer credit back to my blog. Thanks!)

2

I have a Confession…

Image

Hi. My name is Courtney, and I have a confession to make.

I am married to this really great guy. No, really…

For the last twelve years I have had the privilege of waking up next to him, and so many of those mornings I have laid there, listening to his breathing and thanked God again for giving me such a great, patient husband.

When he wants to watch a basketball game and I want to watch a chick flick, the romantic comedies always win out. When the puppy whimpers in the middle of the night ( MY puppy that he got me for a Christmas present) he stumbles out of bed to let him out. When I have had another throbbing headache, he ushers me to the bathroom and runs me a bath. He does homework with the kids, gets take-out so I don’t have to cook, pays our bills, surprises me with chocolates, sets time aside in his schedule every week for our Thursday morning coffee date, schedules sitters so we can go out sometimes, listens to me babble endlessly about a rough day, picks up dog poop in the backyard, works around the house, puts up with my projects, takes care of me when I’m sick, calls me to see how I am doing, takes the kids home from school so I don’t have to, comes home every day so we can have lunch together, works hard for us everyday….yeah. He does all that, and that’s really just the short list.

You know the most amazing thing about him? He never complains about me. He never says mean things to me.  He comes home to me every day. He is totally devoted to me.

Here’s the real confession: sometimes, I am a horrible wife.  No-scratch that. OFTEN, I am a horrible wife.  When our girls have whined about how they can’t find their shoes or don’t want to make their beds, or when they have complained for what feels like the umpteeth time about what I have made them for breakfast, lunch OR dinner, or when I have gotten a bad report from school because one of them was talking back to the teacher, stealing, lying or hitting (among other things), or when the dog has peed on the floor or chewed up one of my favorite things or made muddy prints on a freshly washed floor or thrown up cat poop, my poor husband gets the brunt of it of my wrath.  He gets the cold shoulder, the rolled eyes, the gritted teeth, the brush off just for asking what is the matter. He has been known to stay and be late to work or come home in the middle of the day just to work things out with me.

Just today, after I reared my ugly, neck-contorting in attitude head at him after lots of the above kicked off our day, he dropped kids off (they go to school at the church he works at) and instead of staying, he went and bought me replacements to the things our puppy, Burton, had chewed up in the middle of the night (after which when discovered, I slammed doors and angrily hopped into bed throwing blankets and all those other mature things just so Sam knew how mad I was).

I know. I don’t get it either.

But here is one thing that I do know: my husband, Sam, loves God wholeheartedly. Sometimes I stand back and just marvel at his love and devotion, not just to me and our girls, but to God.  He radiates humility and kindness. He is a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy, and people flock to him in droves.  He is amazing, and so many days I ask God why He chose Sam for me. For me.  How is that possible?

I want so much to begin to deserve the love and devotion t hhes for me. It goes so far beyond my comprehension that some days (okay, again, MOST days) I find myself pushing him away and rejecting him in some twisted attempt to let him see that he deserves better than me; so much, much better than me. And sometimes, sadly, in my pride, it’s to show that I don’t need him to rescue me from ornery kids or mischievous pups because I (clearly-ha!) can handle it on my own.

Then I remember something. We are to be a picture of Christ to those around us.  I am so thankful that Sam doesn’t seem to forget that very often.  He is a picture of Christ to me every single day.

We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19). I’m not capable of loving anyone else apart from Christ. I love, because He first loved me. If this is true for me, I know it must be true of everyone, even nonbelievers. Christ loves us all, despite how abusive we are or how we reject him. Don’t we all do this, believers and nonbelievers alike? Don’t we try to push God away in some attempt to show that we don’t need Him or don’t deserve His love?  One of those things is very true, while the other is very much not.

Though I need God, I have done nothing to deserve His love and devotion to me. I have done nothing to deserve Him to promise He will never leave me or forsake me (do you know that in the original language it translates to say, “no never” something like six times?). Why in the world would God, the one who set all of creation into motion with a single command, think of me; love me; be devoted to me?! It baffles and greatly humbles me to even consider and drops me to my knees.

I am so proud to be Sam’s wife. I am so thankful to be married to a man who loves God so much. I know, though I can try, I don’t deserve this wonderful man God has chosen for me, and I certainly don’t begin to deserve the love of God.  As much as I love Sam and as much as he miraculously loves me, in our humanity, we can’t begin to fathom or express the kind of love God has for us.

So I have one more confession to make. I am deeply in love, twice over.

After twelve years of marriage, I am still hopelessly in love with my husband, and after 29 years of knowing Christ as my Savior, I am desperately in love with Him. And each day, I fall more in love with both of them, not because of who I am or because of anything I have done to deserve this love, but because of selfless love shown to me every day.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:17b-19)

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Image

Image

I made this card in my shop with the Song of Solomon quote. It says on the inside , “It’s you” 🙂

2

There’s No Place Like Home (A Home Tour)

Image

I just saw this quote on Pinterest today by Jane Austen; “There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” Being a homebody myself and a desperate Jane Austen fan, I fell in love and decided to make a print of it myself.

Today, as Spring days often are, is dreary, rainy, and romantically cozy. I find that my house is sprinkled with comfort and all things romantic as I walk through it. I wanted you to take a walk through it with me. DSCF1880

As I walked up the steps toward my attic office, I caught a glimpse of our cat, Picky-Picky sprawled out lazily upon our guestroom bed. I picked up this bedspread at an antique shop tucked away in a quaint little town while on vacation. The curtains draped haphazardly over this antique bed (found for a steal for $75 at a local flea market just down the street) were made from sheets found at Salvation Army.

Image

Next door is our girls’ room, papered with scrapbook sheets with paper stars dangling above the bed. Sometimes, when I tuck the girls away into bed at night, we pretend they are real stars and the ceiling is a night sky full of wonder and shooting stars.

Image

Then there is my room, painted a delicious, buttery yellow, complete with three windows that stream the sun through it. Even on a dreary day like today, it is bathed in luxurious light. The four post bed was crafted by my grandfather a quarter of a century ago and makes me feel ridiculously spoiled. It is high and soft and romantic. It is accented with bird pillows and a throw quilt, both crafted by yours truly, and is piled high with quilts acquired from different places, but my favorite being the one on top that was tucked away in my grandmother’s antique chest made by a relative long ago. As you can see, we, too, have stars above our bed. I am quite obsessed with paper stars.

Image

This vintage tray is one of my proudest finds, picked up at an estate sale for a few cents that sits on a shelf in our bathroom, topped with lotions and potions.

Image

When we first took a tour of our house when we were looking to buy, I nearly melted on the floor when I caught sight out this fireplace. It’s flanked by fluted pillars and has a built-in mirror that gives the room depth.  Do you see them? I told you I was obsessed with paper stars!

Image

This is our little breakfast nook, tucked into a corner of our kitchen. Can you tell I like vintage style? We got this table (that has two sides that pop out) and chairs all for $30 at an estate sale. Estate sales are my absolute favorites for the best finds!

Image

Seriously? Is there anything more romantic on a cold or dreary day than a hot cup of tea in a pretty tea cup? Most of these were my great grandmother’s. Aren’t they lovely?

Image

Along with paper stars, I am obsessed with birds (did you notice them on the pillows on my bed?). My dear, sweet mother knows this. This is Vivian, as I have fondly named her, given to me by my mom.

Image

….as was this one, which dangles nicely from the china cabinet in our dining room.

Image

Our reading nook, tucked between our stairs and living room, is papered with wallpaper I found for a dollar a roll at Micheal’s. I am quite fond of it.

DSCF1884

Aren’t they handsome? Perhaps one of the coziest of coziness on a dreary day are my two pals, Burton and Henry, that keep my company while the girls and Sam are away. Look at those faces!

Image

Lastly, this is the hope of things to come! This was taken in our backyard at the end of summer last year. This picture doesn’t do anything in it justice. Those zinnias and forget-me-nots brought me such joy! They were absolutely breath-taking. And that cute little girl in rubber boots watering flowers? Words cannot describe how cozy she is to cuddle!

So that is a glimpse into my cozy home! More to come later…….

xo