Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm having major issues with blogger....I am able to post right now, so I'm taking advantage! ;) 

We are in the middle of a winter snow day...probably will get around 5 inches total by tomorrow morning...  Wooohooo!  So magical and Christmasy!  Is it sad that I'm praying for a snow day? I'm scheduled to be the helper in C's preschool class tomorrow, which normally I love, but I think I'd rather stay in and be cozy being that that the wind chills will be around 0 degrees...ugh!

I have much more to say, and I'm hoping that blogger will be good to me. Still can't access my family blog which makes me VERY sad, considering I chose to blog rather than write in a baby book for the kiddos over the past few years. :(

Finally, our Christmas card, from our family to yours (if you're looking for cards, my friend does an amazing job designing cards
May the Lord bless you and keep you this holiday season, my friends!  Hopefully I'll be able to post more later! ;)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I am sooo excited!  I finally made it to the front page of etsy...granted, it was in the middle of the night, but I'm so giddy! ;)

You can view "glistenbyerin's" beautiful Thanksgiving Treasury, here.

Thanking the Lord for all of His blessings!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Strength will Come in the Morning....

After I put the kids to bed last night I came downstairs ashamed and upset.  It had been a long day, and C had really tested my patience at a birthday party I took him to.  He didn't want to be there, so he was grouchy and pouty.  Me, being one that can "put on a happy" face at any point, and wouldn't dream of being grumpy in front of others--especially at a birthday party--found myself a little disgruntled with him (okay, maybe I need help! ;).  I often find myself not quite knowing how to handle this five year old little man.  He has many, many anxieties, and we deal with him living in fear quite a bit.  He doesn't do too well in new situations, and I feel as if I've been coaxing him along for the past month, as we started another year of pre-school, activites, Sunday School, the childcare center where I work out, etc., etc. 

So, after bringing him home from the birthday party yesterday, and then dealing with an evening of wild children who weren't listening so well, I had about had it.  Daddy went to take a shower and I gave the kiddos a bath.  Somehow, this always seems to turn into the craziest part of the day.  Instead of calming them down and relaxing them, bathtime often turns into a crazy splash fest and winds them up quite nicely...ugh!  So, by the time I got them out, and they were listening about as well as earthworms underground...I was D.O.N.E....l.and I acted as such. I might have yelled, and I might have shown my frustrations in a not so calm and understanding way.  And then, I felt bad...really bad.  My darling husband reasurringly told me that I'm a great mother and that the kids had just really pushed boundaries today....which was helpful, but I still know that I had done wrong by my children, and was very disappointed in myself.

It was so wonderful to read Britton's blog, last night,  She always speaks with such wisdom and love.  I realized that I often don't stop to do what I should be doing all day long. Praying about each and every hurdle that I come across, and ask Jesus to help me handle each situation.  Thank you, Britton...I sooo needed your blog last night! ;)  I needed to be humbled, and realize again that it's not all about me.  Yes, I might be frustrated, yes I might feel like my kids have gotten the best of me, but that still doesn't excuse me from being the mother that the Lord has called me to be.  We all make mistakes, of course, but the important thing is to ask for forgiveness, and begin a new day!

When I awoke around 5am this moring to a sweet five year old kiss, with a big old, arms around your neck hug (did I mention we're also dealing with C not wanting to stay in his own bed because of bad dreams), and an "I love you, Mommy....let's go back to sleep now" was such a moment of reassurance.  We all woke up a couple of hours later and I told the kids that mommy was sorry for yelling and getting frustrated last night, and asked for forgiveness (while also making sure to get in a short diddy about the importance of listening to mommy and daddy..the first time).  I also vowed to begin my day with devotions and prayer.  I have been failing to do this lately, and it shows!

I opened my "One Year Mini Bible for Moms" to September 20th...only to find this devotion:

New Attitudes

Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better.  Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good.  Clothe yourself with this new nature.  Ephesians 4:23-24

May you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  Romans 15:5

Throughout the Bible are references to taking off one garment and putting on a new, clean one.  God has given us a new wardrobe, but it's possible for a believer--a new person in Christ--to revert to wearing the dirty clothing of the old person.  On days when I am impatient or I yell at my children, new garments sound wonderful!  I'm thankful for that, as we spend time in God's Word and ask him for His help, we can see growth in our attitudes and thoughts.

Wow!  Now if that isn't the Lord answering my prayers and speaking directly to me, I don't know what is! ;)  I'm so thankful for forgiveness, redemption, and strength and joy in the morning.

Many blessings today!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Happening? ;)

Oh my goodness...we've been BUSY around these parts!  Two of us have birthdays this month (one turned five, and one turned 32... ;), school starting, attempting to do boot camp a few mornings a week (ouch!), and starting all of the activities that go hand and hand with the onset of fall, it's been a little crazy!

Of course, because I always have to make things as crazy as possible, I decided to begin a new venture.  In addition to making items for little girls, I've opened a shop on etsy for lovely ladies, too! :)  There are sooooo many directions I'm wanting to go--shoe clips, dress sashes, hair flowers and rosettes...I even made some Venetian masks for a local retail store.  I'm having too much fun...but my house is suffering...eeks!  Still can't do it all! ;)   I have a few things listed on etsy...we'll see where it goes from here!

On another note--I LOVE fall!  Love, love, love it!  We made an apple pie yesterday, all the while, a potroast was cooking in the crock was such an amazing roast, too.  I used one bottle of beer, nutmeg, cinnamon, Williams Sonoma organic turkey spices (love those), and my favorite "Soy Ve" sauce with lots of garlic.  I also put some apples in the was the perfect combination of sweet, tang, and spice!  Mmmmm........

Thanks for being patient with to catch up with all of YOU!


Liz :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank you, Sweet Margaret!

Oh my goodness, somehow I missed this sweet post on my friend Margaret's blog (click on her name to see it)! :)  Thank you, Margaret.  I am blessed with such amazing, wonderful friends.  You rock! :)  (You also need to visit her blog to see pictures of her three GORGEOUS children)!



Notice Anything Different? ;)

Oooooohhhhhh....I am soooooooooooooooooooo excited about my beautiful new blog layout/background/header, designed by my perfectly amazing friend, Joanna.  Jo is a mama of four precious little ones, the oldest being Connor's in my opinion, a SUPER MOM! :)  (Did I mention she also has twin babies--amazing, I tell you! ;) Thank you Jo, for finding the time to do this...I loooove it!  Now, go check out Joanna's blog, because she is seriously one of the most entertaining and hilarious bloggers I know, and oh, the stories she has to tell.....!  xoxoxoxoxo, and THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More to come........(now that I'm re-inspired)!!!!!  Yay!


Liz ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jesus is Knocking! :)

I was putting B and C to bed tonight, and we were reading our Bible stories.  C said, "you know Mommy, Jesus is right here in my heart."  I said, "You're so right, C....He sure is!"  He then put his little hand on his chest, paused a minute, and said..."I know He's in there, cause he's KNOCKING....He's knocking right on my heart!!!" ;)

It was soooo precious.  Thank the Lord for moments like these.......


Liz :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

My New FAVORITE Wedding Gift!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I just HAD to share this fabulous find!  My adorable and oh, so talented friend Traci, owner of T and Little S Designs on etsy, has created the most wonderful shower/wedding gift! Personalized ceramic coasters featuring the couple's initials, names, and wedding date! I love this idea, and just received my first set today.  They are ADORABLE, and so affordable!  She has many designs to choose from. I love personalized gifts, and think these are just perfect.  You can find them online, here.  Yay for creative and beautiful gifts!!!!  And Yay for weddings and showers, creating a need to give them! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Can I Hear it for a GIVEAWAY?? :)

Run, don't walk, right on over here to Brooke's blog..."B in Real Life".....I absolutely adore her, and think she's quite possibly one of the funniest bloggers I've had the priviledge of reading! ;)  Well, she's giving away one of my bib necklaces right now, so follow her, leave a comment, and you could win!!!!  Yay!! ;)

And, while you're over there, you MUST check out this post...I seriously laughed until I lie!

Blessings!! ;)


Here she little model!

I pay her in lollipops! ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My SIL so generously gave me a bottle of this's sooo yummy! Lilly Pulitzer "Squeeze" perfume...light, summery, citrus-y...mmmmm.  Of course, I feel a little funny about it, since she and I took my Mother in law shopping for HER birthday, and then I ended up with a goody, too.....but, I'll just wear it and be grateful! :)  I smell soooo good, (now I'll feel a tad less guilty when I simply cannot find the time to get in the shower...cause the husband likes it, too :)  Ha! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy, Busy, BUSY! ;)

Sorry for being an "absent blogger"...I've missed you!!! 

When I started this blog a couple of months ago, I posted about the journey the Lord has taken me on in my work life, and my desires to be a stay at home mom...on a budget, of course! ;)

Well, I'm pleased to report that we have taken the proverbial "plunge"!  As of last week, I spoke with my amazing boss, and told her that I would not be returning to teach in the fall.  This took so much prayer, faith, and courage...especially on the part of my dear husband.  I cannot tell you how liberating this decision has been for me!  And, because the Lord is sooo faithful, I have had the most amazing month selling my handmade items!  Never, did I ever imagine that I would be so busy!  I know it will ebb and flow, but it's seriously incredible to me how everything has transpired!  I want to yell a big ol' SHOUT OUT to all of my awesome, amazing friends and family who have helped this business to grow...thank you, thank you, from the very bottom of my heart!

One thing I'm finding, though, is that I could in some senses, be just as busy with my own little business, than I could be with a job outside the home.  It's been a challenge to schedule my time and my priorities so that I make sure my time with my kiddos, husband, and the Lord doesn't suffer because of my "busyness"! ;)  I'm still working on being organized, and trying, for the most part, to get all of my work done at night after the kids are in bed.  But, how does a mama do this without getting really, really tired, and therefore really, really grumpy???  Someone suggested scheduling "blocks" of time, and I love that idea!  I'm going to try it!

I am sooo excited that I get to spend my days at home!  I'm so glad that we've made this decision, and ever so grateful to the Lord for allowing this to happen.  It might be tight at times, and sacrifices are definitely being made, but, I have total faith and confidence in Him, and know that He has lead us through this journey for a reason, and every single step has had a purpose. 

Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. And, if anyone has any suggestions about how to plan your day so that you can do it all (and I mean, ALL) ;), please, please, comment, and let me know!!!!


Liz ;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Come Back Tomorrow! ;)

Hate to leave ya hanging, but I have sooo much to say, and I'm waaaay tooo tired to say it tonight.  So come back tomorrow!  I'm working on a new post! ;0)

Blessings to you all!



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cool Weather Inspires Creativity! ;)

It's cool and misty up at the lake.  I adore our cottage.  My grandparents built this knotty pine place in 1963.  Sitting a top of a birch-lined hill looking over the rippling water, one cannot help but to totally relax, and find the Lord's peace, and joy.  I'm so thankful to Him for blessing us with such a place!  I've been so thankful to be able to create at night when the kiddos are in inspiring!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lilly of the valley...

Lilly of the Valley Bib Necklace
I think I might be having waaaay too much fun with this awesome fabric!

The kiddos and I are headed north to my family's lake cottage for a few days, and I'm so excited! I'm bringing all my ribbon, and hope to get some great beach photos and be wonderfully inspired while there! Fourth of July bows coming soon.....

xoxo and many blessings!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our 'Big' Back Yard....

We had the very best night tonight, my sweet family and I!  Both kiddos took naps today (which is rare for the 4.5 year old wonder boy who fell asleep holding the remote control while playing "Madagascar" on the Wii ;), so, at 8:00 when we'd normally start heading in for bed, they were still rarin' to go! ;)  Instead of calling it a night, we played in the back yard with wonderful neighbor friends who were strolling by on a walk, and enjoyed running around, and hitting the baseball in the warm, humid, JUNE air!  Did I mention I love, love, love, love, love this time of year? ;)

I commented as I saw the first star pop out, and wonder boy was oh, so excited!  Normally, he's in bed before it's dark so he doesn't get to see the stars!  So, after popping those silly little white popper things that the kids love so much, and lighting a couple of intense and colorful sparklers in the back yard, we decided to go inside, grab a blanket, spread it out on the hill behind our house, and watch the stars come out!  Daddy found the coolest app. on my phone that maps out the sky as you hold it in different directions and tells you which stars you are looking at...fascinating!  It was so much fun, watching the fireflies glowing in the treeswhile heat lightning was illuminating the sky behind us.  Perfect...(with the small exception of the heavy cloud cover, that allowed us only to see a few stars ;).

I love the night sky, and I love thinking about all of those who've gone before me, and gazed at these same stars.  Amazing.  It's so captivating.  It was so cool to watch the kids chase the fireflies and experience that wave of nostalgia remembering all the summer nights I spent doing the same, exact thing.  What a blessing.  Sometimes, it's the little things...the simple things...the things that no amount of money can by.  A night sky, three of my lovliest loves to share it with.  *Sigh* doesn't get much better than this! :)

The Wisest Woman I Know...

My beautiful, wonderful, amazing, God-fearing, pro-active, kind, loving, hard-working, mother, has to be the wisest woman I know.  Years of studying the word of God, trial and error, and I'm sure, in her description "flying by the seat of her pants" has taught her wisdom beyond belief!:)  She has dedicated years of her life to teaching college students to grow in their faith, and is a go-to person for so many, who just need a little guidance and a listening ear!

Well, she has a blog, too!!!!!  "A Wise Woman Builds" comes straight from the heart, and I love reading her analogies (which cracks me up, as I used to get reallllly tired of these as a teenager ;), and her words of wisdom! 

I love ya, Mama, and thank you for all the wisdom you've shown me over the years.  You're truly an amazing woman, and an inspiration to me, and so many others!


Friday, June 11, 2010

A Couple of 'Etsy' Tips from a Novice...take 'em, or leave 'em! ;)

So, I've only been selling on etsy for a few months now, and while I'm not one of those amazing sellers that has thousands of sales under their belt, and 25+ orders to ship every day, I am gaining knowledge little by little, and have figured a few things out over the last couple of months!  Just thought I'd share, since I know a lot of us Mamas would love to be able to put our creative talents from the good Lord to use, and craft for a "living"! ;)
Here are a few things I've learned:
1. TAGGING your items...

Etsy gives each seller the option to use 14 tags per item.  At first, I would tag an item with maybe three or four words, i.e. "hair bow", "hair clip", "child", "pink", etc., etc.
Then, I read on the forums a tip from one of those "great" sellers, that you must take advantage of every one of those 14 options to tag.  Why?  Because each tag that you include gives you more exposure, and more chances for buyers to come across your item using search words.  More exposure = more sales!


Okay, this could get a little tricky, as it's time consuming, and does require equipment that could be expensive.  But, spend some time searching the etsy categories for items similar to yours, and you'll notice right away which ones you automatically gravitate towards...the ones with the gorgeous "thumbnail" photographs.  This is your one shot to stand out, and be noticed among many like items!  So, take the time to take a great photo with a great background.  Spend time editing each photo--I use it's totally free, and is great for "fixing" photographs.  I have just recently started spending time on my photographs and have definitely noticed more traffic to my shop and views to my items!


This is so much fun!  I could spend hours pouncing!  You have the option to look at shops that are "undiscovered" and have not yet had a sale, as well as shops who just recently sold something.  Find the link, here. I spend a great deal of time looking at various sellers and their items, and this has really helped me make my shop better!


I had never heard of the CPSIA Act until I visited the forums.  A wealth of knowledge can be found here, as well as info. from artists who are selling, and even a place to offer and receive critiques.  What a great way to meet other etsians and to gain exposure!  Find the link to the forums here.


First of all, this is sooo much fun!  I could spend hours creating treasuries!  All you need to do is think of a "theme" of sorts, and browsing items.  For instance, if you wanted to curate a treasury based on sepia tones, you could enter the key word "sepia" in the search box, and see what you find!  Mark the items you love as favorites (and <3 the shop too, if you'd like :), and add each URL to your treasury.  Be sure to convo each seller to let them know that you included their item.  This is also a great way to gain exposure, and to promote other artists!  The love will come back, and one day your item will be included in a treasury, too!  Your treasury could even be selected by etsy admins. to be featured on the front page!!!!!!!  Talk about exposure!  Find the link to treasury east, here.


Use those free social networking services, like FB and Twitter (I just set up a twitter account and have yet to tweet my first tweet, but I know it works wonders for others!).  This is a great way to gain exposure and let friends and fans know what you're up to!


If you're reading this, chances are, you already do it!  Again, it's free, and it's a great way to have a chance to talk about ideas, the process, and the final product!  I, for one, love to read about what all you crafty ladies are up're an inspiration to me!!!!  (Thank you for that, by the way!) xoxo

Well, there you have it.  A few tips from this very new to etsy, novice, (might we say "obsessed" ;) etsy seller, and lover of her glue gun!  You already know how I feel about ribbon, so I won't even go there!  Hopefully as I learn more of the ins and outs, I'll be able to share even more fun tricks of the trade! ;)

xoxo and may the Lord bless each and every one of you and your creative endeavours!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lilly for the Little Ones..

My friend Margaret asked if I could please make the Lilly rosettes on an alligator clip so that our little girls could wear them, too!  Brilliant!!!  Thank you Margaret for the inspiration!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Miserly" Mom took a VACATION....

I just returned from Southern California from an amazing, fun-filled, sunny, beautiful, glorious vacation with amazing friends, food, drinks, and everything a girl could want!  One of my dear friends from high school got married here (click to see a gallery of photographs)....incredible!

It was my first weekend away sans kids...four whole days!!!!  Daddy was in charge (with a *little* help from his in-laws and parents ;), and let me just say he admitted to baking a batch of cookies at 9:00am on Saturday morning, so the kids had fun!  I missed them to pieces,!  I knew I fact, I cried before I left many, many times.  It amazes me how once you are a mother, how hard it is to turn over the reigns, (so to speak), and let go of your duties.  These duties are day-in, and day-out....what do you do when you have no one else to take care of except for yourself?  As awesome as it sounds some days, being away (even on the most incredibly amazing vacation ever), reaffirmed my beliefs that being a mama and wife are my most favorite roles the Lord has ever blessed me with!

I was so blessed to be able to spend four whole days with my dearest (dare I say oldest?) friends! ;)  It felt as if we had reverted back 15 years, and time had stood still.  We were missing a few of our wonderful peeps, but they were with us in spirit! ;)

So, the budget was blown...I spent waaay too much money!  Three meals a day, plus a little shopping, drinking, beaching, tipping shuttle drivers, buying presents for kiddos....not looking forward to getting the bills from the weekend.  But, it was 100% worth it! And, I'm back on track, now!

Thank the Lord for wonderful friends, time away with them, gorgeous scenery, a family that will ALLOW me to have a little time for myself, and then greet me with the most open, loving arms upon my return.  I am so blessed and I thank the good Lord for each and every friend he has blessed me with (wonderful friends are few and far between, and we all need to cherish these friendships ;), and my incredible family.  Love you all!


Liz ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Keep Calm, and Carry On....

Check out this give-away at "Pastor Girl's Ponderings"....very, very cool!  I hope I win! ;)

Lovely in Lilly

I just received Lilly Pulitzer fabric the other day and have had soooo much fun creating with these oh, so divine prints!  So far, just hair pins, but more to come, for sure!  If you want to check out more, visit


Liz ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Little Sunshine!

Sometimes I can get her to pose for me...though it's rare! ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Treasury

There is a feature on etsy called "Treasury East".....oh my goodness...I have waaay too much fun with this.  I adore curation, and this feature allows you to "curate" collections of items by etsy artists.  What an awesome way to be creative and promote etsy sellers at the same time.  If you're a member of etsy and haven't put together a treasury yet, try'll love it! ;)

Here's my latest:

More to come...I have so much to blog about, but lack of sleep is making my brain fuuuuzzzzy right now! ;) 

Happy Friday!

Liz ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kamboja Jewel

I received an order on my etsy site a couple of weeks ago from a lovely woman in Hong Kong!  She ordered one of my bib necklaces, and wrote the sweetest message with her order.  Her necklace finally arrived yesterday (the USPS said it would be 10 days--apparently, they were right on target ;), and sent me the sweetest note with a link to a blog post she wrote.

My initial reaction to this awesome gesture was to be so very appreciative and extremely grateful beyond words for her kindness...really, just genuinely sweet.  And then, I started exploring her blog!  Oh my goodness--how silly did I feel that SHE bought a necklace from ME?  This dear woman is AMAZING!  She makes the most beautiful, one of a kind pieces of jewelry...stunning!  If you get a moment, check out her blog, and let me know what you think.


My parents picked up the kiddos for THE NIGHT....WAHOO!!!  Thanks Mom and Dad! ;)  Just waiting for my counter-part to get home so we can decide what to do tonight....yayyy!!!!  I see some late-night crafting in my future, after dinner and wine, of course.... (and sleeping past 6:30 tomorrow morning)...God is GOOD!

Have an awesome Saturday night!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Heart Ribbon

I am a little addicted to ribbon, at this point in my life.  I love it...I get really excited about it...and I loooove to make things with it. I  found new ribbon, and it's been tested and declared SAFE for children...and, it's adorable. I'm so excited!  I've been busy crafting for my etsy shop.....busy, busy, busy.

The other night, my wonderful husband commented that he wished I was as excited about him as I am about my ribbon.  I laughed it off...told my mom, and we laughed together.  I felt a little bit guilty though, as I have been burning the candle at both ends again, meaning that we don't have a lot of quality time together, as of late.

My mom so lovingly confronted me this morning, and gave me a gentle reminder that even though it is funny that my husband could be a little jealous of my ribbon's very important that I make him my first priority, and make sure I do get just as excited about him, as I do about ribbon.  How right she is....

I'm so blessed, and I'm so thankful that I'm passionate about so many things in life! But, I'm praying that I ALWAYS remember to put my family matter how much I heart ribbon...and I really do love it...a lot! ;)

Friday, May 7, 2010


Finally, the tutorial!!!  ;)

First, go to your closet, your husband's closet, your kids' closets, or your scrap fabric pile.  Raid for knits and fabrics that you can upcycle, or re-use!  Nothing is safe in our house!  Ha!  If you're using clothing, cut or tear your clothing into strips, 1-1 1/2" wide.  They can vary in length, as you will use these to make your rosettes, and you'll want different sizes.  Plug in your glue gun!

Step 1.  Select a strip of fabric to form your rosette

Step 2. Fold your fabric

Step 3.  Fold it again

Step 4.  Fold it again, so you have a nice taut center

Step 5.  Use this as your center and start rolling the rest of the fabric strip around the center.

Step 6.  Very, ver carefully take your glue gun and add a fine strip of glue to the bottom of your rosette where you are rolling it.  The best way to do this is to use a fine tip glue gun.  Add a little glue, roll and twist your fabric in that area, and repeat.

Step 7.  This is the fun part!  Continue rolling and twisting and gluing your fabric while you watch your rosette form.  Play with it and be creative.  Here is where you can decide how much torn fabric you want to have showing. etc.  When you come to the end of your strip, glue the excess fabric to the back of the rosette.

Step 8.  Repeat this process until you have 6, 7, 8'll want enough so that you can play with the layout of your necklace.

Step 9. Embellish one, or a few of your rosettes.  You can use anything fun you already have--buttons, crystals, parts from old pieces of jewelry.  This contains parts of my wedding tiara that were loose or falling off! :)  Remember, this necklace should be made for adults and children over 12 only--especially after you add embellishments.  I am struggling through all of the CPSIA laws at the moment, and want to be clear on this!

Step 10. Lay out your rosettes, and glue together.  Be careful when gluing--use only what you need so this doesn't turn into a "hot mess"! ;)

Step 11.  Add your ribbon.  Select a high quality grosgrain ribbon in a coordinating color.  You will need four pieces total.  Two shorter, and two longer.

Step. 12  Measure and cut a piece of ribbon to the length of one side of your necklace.  Cut and glue to the back of your rosettes.  You may heat seal the edges of the ribbon if you have a tool. You will also want to cut the edges at an angle.  Do the same to the other side.

Step 13.  Now for your long ribbon.  This will tie around your neck.  Cut two pieces, about 10" or so...this can be however long you want, as you can adjust the length when you tie it.  Again, cut edges at an angle and heat seal them if you wish.

Step 14.  Glue the long ribbons to either side.  If you're able to cut each piece at an angle, so that it lines up nicely with your short pieces, this will look best, aesthetically.  Make sure you use enough glue that your ribbon is secure!

And now, finally, you have your finished product!  Check all areas to make sure that your necklace is secure!  Remove any left-over gluey strings, and wear proudly!!!  Congrats to Monica--here is your necklace!  It will ship out today! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010



The order of comments as they appeared in the original post:
1. Alison B.
2. Entertaining Mom
3. I Heart
4. Ringo's Girl
5. Margaret
6. La Familia Garcia
7. Monica Fernaays
8. Lyndsay
(I deleted my comment, since I obviously don't want to win ;) to assign these numbers)....
Sooooo....according to this RANDOM WIDGET, the winner is.................
Monica, email me at with your contact info., and I will send you your custom-made necklace!
For all of my other awesome entrants, I will post the tutorial for this custom-made necklace, Thursday, so you can ALL make one! ;)
xoxo and THANK YOU for entering!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just a quick note to say how very thankful I am for my family, my blessings, and another (relatively :) normal day.

I found out via Facebook earlier this afternoon that my former boss's son (only in his late 20's) passed away on Monday.  I am heartbroken, and have visions of an 8x10 photo that sat proudly on her office shelf depicting two shirtless little boys in dressed only in swim trunks, arms wrapped tightly around each other, sporting goofy, little boy grins, in an 80's photography studio-type setting.  I often gazed at that photo, and pondered the passing of time....and the strength of maternal love.  I don't know why that particular photo made such an impression on me, but it did.

Now, thinking back on that picture, that most likely still sits prominently displayed in that little office, I realize how quickly life goes by, and how we need to savor each and every moment.  Each and every sweet, special, (albeit sticky :), baby hug, and every opportunity to kiss a boo-boo, or kiss a freshly-shampooed little head as we tuck our little ones into bed each and every night.  I'm so very thankful for my blessings tonight, and I hugged them extra-tight as I pulled their covers up, and tucked them into bed.  I believe with all my heart that Jesus holds them (and us) in the palm of His hand, and that each and every day we spend together is a gift, and a blessing.

Hold yours close tonight, too....



Wednesday, April 28, 2010


My girl has a horrible ear infection, so I have not had time to write the promised tutorial...I will, I will, I promise!!!

But, you CAN ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Simply leave a comment, and you will automatically be entered to win a custom-made, statement bib necklace, similar to the one pictured here!  We'll randomly choose the winner one week from today, so enter by TUESDAY, May 4th!!!

Have a blessed Wednesday evening, and I'll get to creating that tutorial SOON...really, really soon!!!!! ;)



Monday, April 26, 2010

Since I Made One....I Just HAD to Make More...

And, they are sooo fun and easy to make...I am loooooving them!  So, I have two announcements to make regarding these bib necklaces:
1) If you don't like to be crafty, and don't enjoy making things yourself, but do enjoy making a statement, and would like to have one of these to compliment your spring wardrobe....stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY...coming very soon! ;)
2) If you ARE crafty, and want to make your own bib necklace, I will be writing and posting a'll love making them, too!

Hope you are having a blessed and fabulous Monday!!! ;)


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Just HAD to Have (Make) One....

Have you seen the fabric flower bib necklaces that are all over the place right now?  I first saw one in the late fall and was sooo smitten!  Since then, I've seen them everywhere and have completely fallen for them!

Being the crafty mama that I am, I decided it might better fit within the limits of my new frugal life style if I attempted to make one myself, instead of buying one from my favorite, I did! 

I used torn fabric to make the rosettes, added a pearl to the center, and finished it off with grosgrain ribbon.  I can't wait to try different textiles and color pallets to make these....

I'm over-flowing with ideas right stay tuned! ;)



Friday, April 23, 2010

You Can't Put a Price on Beauty....


One tip I learned from the Focus on the Family broadcast (blogged about here), is that processed "snack" foods are eating up a large part of our grocery bill each week.  One idea shared, was to make a batch of cookie dough, freeze part of it, and bake as needed.  It's much more cost effective, and saves your family from the "hazards" of processed foods! 

So, this morning the kids and I made a batch of playdough, (btw, red playdough looks really, really gross when using gel coloring while making ;) and while they played away (and sufficiently messed up the kitchen even more than it already was ;), I started the cookies.  Of course, once they got wind of what I was doing, they wanted to help.  So, we made a double batch of my very favorite chocolate chip cookies!  My friend Jessica, over at The Entertaining Kitchen first introduced me to these.  You can find the recipe, here (I think they were originally from Martha Stewart, but Jess made a few of her own improvisations).  They are soooo good....soooo not healthy, but the crispiest, butteriest, perfect combination of sweet/salty, cookies evah! :)

Now I'm on the hunt for some really yummy, really healthy cookies--maybe with flaxseeds and cranberries, or something! ;)  Any suggestions?????

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back to the Land of the Living....(sort of...)

Ya know when you feel like you might just poke your eyes out because you're that tired.  Well, the past three days have kind of felt like that for me.  Little man was really sick...he felt so bad that he required me to lay next to him two nights in a row, as he hallucinated, took off his pj's, put back on his pj's, needed water, needed to throw up....etc., etc.  Last night I was just.plain.exhausted.  I was so excited to finally go to bed, but I knew that my dreams of sleeping all night would soon be foiled...and I was correct in my thinking.

At midnight-ish, baby girl woke up sobbing, burning with fever, pointing to the fan on her ceiling and repeating, "ahn-ahn".  Poor, poor thing. I laid down with her, stripping her of blankets, and getting her more Motrin.  She was up and down throughout the night, as was her big brother, and once again, when my phone sounded it's alarm at 6:32 this morning, I kinda wanted to throw it out the window.....but, I got up, and started to get ready for work.

This was the second morning this week that I had to leave my sick child to go to work.  It really, really doesn't feel good to say goodbye to them when they are not feeling well...even if they are with grandma. :(  Plus, I was really, really tired. I prayed for them as I drove into work.  For restoration of health, for a good morning.  It always calms my heart and soul so much when I entrust my children back to the One who made them, and "knit them together in my womb." (from Psalm 139). 

Back in February, my husband and I had made the decision that I would take the summer off from teaching.  It was a leap of faith (especially for him), but I really felt that this was the direction the Lord was telling me to go. I started my bow business this winter, and I've never really had a chance to give it the attention it needs to really grow!  Besides, I want to spend time with my kiddos--I want to have the liberty to play all day outside, hit the pool, the zoo, go on walks, and just be!  I had made this decison, and then, I was asked to consider teaching classes just one day here in town.  I said I would...mostly out of fear and guilt.

But after the week I've had, and after a lot of prayer, I had a conversation with my work today (who are wonderful Christian women, which is awesome), and explained that although I couldn't give them a definite reason as to why (except for the fact that I wanted to spend more time with my kiddos) after praying, I really felt that I should NOT teach this summer.  Sooooo understanding, they took my name off the schedule and said that I need to follow what the Lord was telling me, and that my family comes first.  I'm so thankful for this!  I'm soooo relieved to have made this decision.  I have a new lease on life (even though my eyes are heavy, and my brain is tired).  I'm ready to give this whole frugality thing a try and see if we really can make it on one income this summer.  I am trusting the Lord completely to provide, and show us where to cut corners....I'll keep you posted!

But first....I'm (Lord willing) going to catch up on some sleep! ;)

Many, many blessings!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Crafty and Frugal Idea!

I saw these adorable banners on etsy this winter, they were made on balsa wood squares, and hand-painted.  On etsy, they were going for around $30 per banner.  I decided to try my hand at one.  Okay, so it's not on balsa wood, and it may not be *quite* as cool as the ones on etsy, works!  I used heavy cardstock with a "sheen" cut in half, and acrylic paint.  just added the ribbon, and voila...a banner ready to hang!  I may attempt it on balsa wood this summer...just wanted to try it first and see how it looked!  Mine cost approximately $4 to make!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crafty Mama = Frugal Mama???


A word I don't particularly like, and am not particularly good at.....

That being said, let me describe my night/morning in a nutshell.  We put the kiddos to be last night, and settled in for a little relaxation and adult conversation (a.k.a. TV and computer time ;), when my sweet boy (4 1/2) starts calling incessantly for me.  This is sort of typical.  He doesn't like to go to bed, and always needs another snack, drink of water, hug, kiss, etc., etc.! ;)  Last night, however, was different.  This time, he was really upset.  He cried, wanted me to lay with him, and pleaded for me to stay with him.  So, I was not too surprised when he ventured into our room around midnight, burning with fever and begging for water.  Poor baby!

After a long night of curling up next to a little body that was firey as a furnace one minute, then shivering from head to toe the next, I definitely was not too rested this morning.  I hate it when my kiddos are sick, and my little man, especially, tends to get everything that comes down the pike!  This was one of my mornings to teach, and even though my awesome husband is at home today, (meaning I wasn't even leaving the kids with grandparents, or taking them out of the house for that matter), I could still sense my little guy's apprehension as I gave him a dose of motrin and kissed his warm cheek.  He tried to be stoic, fighting back tears, but when I asked him what was wrong he sobbed, "I don't want you to leeee-ave, mommy.."  So then of course, I was fighting back the tears, explaining to him that it would just be for the morning, and that daddy would take wonderful care of him.  Sometimes though, ya just need your mom...I still feel that way!

As I drove home from my classes today, I happened to catch a broadcast on Focus on the Family about frugality, and practical tips for families who might need to scale down, or adjust to living on one income.  You can listen online, here.  It may only be good for today, so if you need to find it in the future, look up "Frugal Living in a Tough Economy, Parts I and II."  Wow!  This was so inspiring!  The broadcast offered so many tips on cutting back--especially at the grocery store (which I swear is where 50% of our monthly income goes to!), and talked directly to moms who may want to be able to stay at home full-time with their children.

I'm inspired!  I think I can be crafty and frugal at the same time, and I am going to see HOW MUCH I CAN SAVE at the store each week!  As I told you before, my heart is in my home with my kiddos and husband.  As much as I adore my job (and I do adore it), I really dislike the fact that I have to leave my babies when they are sick, or sometimes miss field trips at school, or have to get them out of the house some mornings when they'd be much happier to hang in their pj's!  I know I am blessed in the fact that I have a job that I love, and that we are able to survive on me working very part-time....but, I'm going to start this new frugal living thing....and I'm going to see how much I can cut out of our budget, in hopes that I can find a way to spend even more time with my kiddos, and not miss a single moment!  Let's see if I can be crafty AND frugal! ;)



Monday, April 19, 2010

Follow Me!!!

Come, follow me!  The "follow me" button is along the right side of my it, and come along for the ride! ;)

And, the Finale...(Grab your Coffee.... ;)

***********If you haven't read Parts I and II, scroll all the way down to the bottom....**************
*******************And, this time, really grab that coffee :)********************************

After touring the art gallery, and loving what I saw.  I prayed.  I journaled.  And, I asked for the confidence and strength I would need to talk to my current boss (who was also had played a very maternal part in my life, for the past four years).  I will never forget the drive into work that morning...overcome with anxiety, yet KNOWING that the Lord was there beside me, holding my hand all the way, and that I COULD do this, because I was listening to Him...He had opened the proverbial door for me, and it was my job to follow His lead.

I did it.  I told her exactly what had happened.  I told her that she would be getting a phone call from the museum to check my references.  She listened, and she cried.  But she was (and is ) a wonderful person, one who though was admittedly sad to be losing her dependable assistant, picked up the phone when my eventual new boss called, and gave me a glowing reccommendation (I later learned through tears).  I started my new job as a Gallery Curator just a few weeks later.

Life as a curator was pretty nice.  I had control over which shows we would bring in, worked with some amazing people, met fabulous artists, planned events and art openings.  Really, an amazing the time I called it "a dream come true."  And though I enjoyed going to work everyday in such an aesthetically pleasing space, surrounded by gorgeous works of art and really cool people, something still tugged at my heartstrings.  My baby.  Now nine months old, it had become admittedly easier to leave him, and though I had scaled back my hours and time away quite a bit, my phone still rang with questions when I was at home with him, and I often had to be out late, "schmoozing" with artists, working an opening, or supervising a gallery event.  Though my priority was my family, and I made that clear, I still had a job to do, and had to be available and give it my "all" while I was there.

My first winter in the gallery, we brought in a show with an incredible maritime artist, one who was very highly regarded in the art world, and who's brilliantly detailed oil paintings sold for a cool 50 grand (on average).  The biggest show in the gallery to date, it gave me the opportunity to hob-nob with the local celebrities and really work on my ability to "sell" the work.  I have my BFA in Art History, with a concentration in painting, so I have a good background of knowledge in terms of composition, line, medium, material, and quality of work...but could I SELL it....totally different can of worms!  I found out I could sell the work, and I had the opportunity to learn from people who had been in the business for years, as we partnered with another gallery who had a long history of promoting wonderful artists and had found great success!  I was in my element.

Still reeling from the success of the maritime show, it came time to close it, and ship all of the art work back to the East Coast. I had help from the other gallery, as it was a very tedious and pain-staking job...which I still had little experience with.  After all was shipped out, I found myself home with my baby boy one Monday afternoon (we were closed Mondays).  It was a cold, gray winter's day, and there seemed nothing better to do than to snuggle up with my sweet toddler, and nap the afternoon away.  Just as I was beginning to fall asleep, my cell phone rang.  Startled, and debating whether or not I should expend the effort to get out of bed and see who was calling, I gave in, and got there just in time to see a missed call from a number I didn't recognize.  I immediately checked my voice mail, and a panicked voice on the other end, (with an unmistakeable East Coast accent), was calling to inquire about an original painting which was MISSING from our shipment, as well a reproduction that had arrived DAMAGED.

My heart stopped. The tears started.   Almost immediately, the cool, collected, hob-nobbing art curator vanished, and out came the insecure, tired, harried mama, who longed to just pull the covers up tight around her head and enjoy a slumber-filled afternoon with her baby boy.  I was devestated. It turns out that even though I was working with the established local gallery to de-install this show, the descision to ship back ground insted of air was not a good one.  We were a small-town gallery, under the umbrella of a non-profit museum.  We did earn some revenue from sales, but typically speaking our funding came from grants and large donations from community members.  The expense to ship air would have blown our budget completely, which is why our team (which also consisted of employees from the other gallery) decided to ship ground.  But, guess who's name was on the packaging....mine (and our gallery's).  Solely.  I cried, and cried, and cried.

The Lord used this moment to prepare my heart, I believe.  It took weeks to resolve this issue.  Weeks of me worrying, and stressing.  Not only were we talking about money, but about an original work of art that was irreplaceable.  Painted in the 50's...  The idea of that kept me up at night much more than the idea of the financial loss.  Thank the Lord, it was eventually found.  The gallery did have to pay for the broken piece to be fixed, but the original painting was returned to it's rightful home, unharmed.  I was so very grateful. 

It was during this time that I can markedly say I had the chance to really consider my life, and my priorities.  I had been sucked into the dream.  I began wondering if I could move up in the art world, eventually working in a high-profile gallery.  Maybe I still can (later in life), but those weeks of anxiety and stress made me come to realize that at this time in my life, my primary focus needs to be my children (and my family in general).  This season of life is so short, and while it's awesome to learn new things and advance my career, that's not where my heart was or is.  It's at home, with my family.

I continued to work in the gallery, but made a real point of keeping work at work, and family time at home.  Almost to a fault (or so my employer might have thought).  During my second summer of working there, I took that second positive pregnancy test, and found out that baby girl was on her way.  Once again, I became all-consumed with my pregnancy.  I dreamed of baby number two, and what it would be like to mother two children!  Though I may not have been as obsessed as I'd been the first go-around, I still joined online support groups, and was very baby-focused! ;)  About six months into my pregnancy, right around Christmastime, I was called into the director's office.  I knew money had become tighter due to the economy, and that change was in the air.  I'd heard rumors, and witnessed the letting go of my dear friend and counter-part, who was the art educator in the studio attached to the gallery.

I was told in that meeting that I could work through March, or until the end of my pregnancy. The Gallery as I knew it would exist no longer.  They were merging the gallery with the museum, and would no longer have a need for an art curator. There it was in black and white.  It wasn't my decision.  A door had closed.  I loved this job, but I admittedly had worried about how I would return to work again with an infant at home.  As well as who would run the gallery while I was on maternity leave.  It was scary, none-the-less, to think about being unemployed.  We owned a house with a mortgage.  Our mortgage was based on both of our incomes, and my income paid for a lot of our extras...even the groceries!

I wasn't the only one who was stressed.  My poor husband was reeeeally stressed.  Usually, the financial burden falls on his shoulders and he worried about how we would pay the mortgage, and whether or not we would be able to make it work.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, though, and He was working behind the scenes, as usual.  His hand is in everything, and I have learned over the years, that when we step back and put our trust in Him, life becomes much easier! ;)

Because of this door closing, I spent five glorious months home with my new baby girl, and my two and a half year old son.  It was the most amazingly beautiful spring I can ever remember.  I know it was gorgeous, as others attest to this too, but I think another will never compare because I enjoyed each and every day to the fullest.  We took daily walks around the neighborhood, we often walked the bike path into town and observed the newness of spring.  The magnolias were simply spectacular, and the crabapples were as pink as a sunset.  The smell in the air was sweet and my soul was at peace.  The Lord had given me a true renewal in spirit, and I was soooo thankful for every moment.  This is a time in my life that I will always, always cherish.  Maybe the most wonderful time to date.  Not stressful, as I assumed it would be, but incredibly peaceful, as I let the Lord take control.

As the summer wore on, it became apparent that I would need to bring in somewhat of an income.  What is amazing to me (to this day), is that we were able to continue to scale back, and back, and adjust our budget to meet our needs.  The Lord always provided.  On a whim, I wrote a letter.  My son and I had attended early childhood music education classes since he was a toddler, and we adored them.  I had seen him blossom and grow in class, right before my very eyes.  I always thought introspectively, how fun it would be to teach these classes.  So, I emailed the office staff of the company who's classes we attended.  Immediately, they forwarded my letter to the founder and director, who was out of town teaching summer classes at a university. I didn't put much stake in this letter, and I figured it was such a long-shot, that I probably needed to continue to look for a part-time job in other places.

One afternoon in July, my phone rang.  It was the director, and we hit it off right away.  We decided to meet that weekend in her home--she would fly home for a quick visit, and we could have a formal interview that Saturday afternoon.  She is an amazing woman, and I was struck with this right away upon meeting her.  She asked me how I found out that they were hiring.  I looked at her in disbelief and said, "I didn't know you were looking for instructors, I just prayed, and wrote a letter on a whim, when I felt the timing was right!"  We looked at each other and decided in that moment that this must have been a "God thing", and laughed about how awesome our God is!  I was hired that day, and have been teaching music classes (very) part-time ever since.

There is still more to this story.  The Lord still has work to do, and I am continuing on this journey.  I've started a small business making hair accessories for little girls.  Once again, an idea that came directly from the Lord, I believe.  I'm asking you to join me on this journey, as I see where this new craftiness can take me!!!!  Thanks for staying with me this far!  Ha! ;)  God surely has blessed us, and I am so thankful for the journey He's taken us on and can't wait to see where we go....

More to come!!!

xoxoxo and have a blessed Monday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And...Part II

So, 30 hours a week wasn't gonna fly.....I had an infant who was up every two hours, was delving in the world of co-sleeping (again, we'll save that for another post ;), went through major surgery with a three month old, and was barely, just barely holding it together. I'm pretty sure nothing could have truly prepared me for the changes that I experienced after childbirth--physically, mentally, and emotionally. But, God is good, and God had a plan. He always has a plan. My sweet husband was offered a job that was closer to our hometown, and we decided to do something I swore I never would.....move back! *gasp* Once again, it's amazing what you will do for your child! Moving meant being closer to grandparents...which was awesome in a plethora of ways.

I came back to our hometown for the afternoon one sunny day in April--I think I attended a Bible Study my mom was teaching--and on a total whim made an appointment with an old family friend who happened to be the director of a large education and science museum in the neighboring city. The museum was a non-profit, and since we would be moving back I thought maybe sometime, far down the road, if an opening ever popped up there, I might have an "in". I got the grand tour, and loved what I saw. Last but not least, we stepped into the complex's art gallery. A space that was used for both educational and commercial purposes. They were in the middle of an installation and I held my breath as I observed the gleaming wood floors, white walls, gorgeously abstract canvases scattered strategically about the room. Natural light flooded from the almost floor to ceiling windows. Amazing. Really and truly beautiful.

After the tour, we said our goodbye's in the director's office. She assured me that she'd let me know of any job openings that might come up in the future. And then, she paused, as she glanced at something on her desk. "You know," she said, "our art curator did just give us her resignation, but we're only going to fill the position with a part-time staff person." I held my breath, as she continued. "The position is for 25 hours a week....(insert salary figure)...and we need to fill it soon, like in the next two weeks." Our move date was right in-line with the start date of the new position. It seemed too good to be true! "I want to apply!" I said, probably too emphatically. I had already given her my resume, and she was excited! "Of course," she said, "I'll need to check your references". I assured her that I would speak with my current boss the next day...(gulp).

This was one instance of a door blatantly opening in front of me, so much so, that I don't think I could have missed it if I tried!

To be continued......

My Journey Thus Far (pour yourself a drink and make a bathroom stop)! ;)

Hello, hello!!!! And thank you for stopping by my blog! This is a new venture....not blogging, per se, I've blogged about my family for years...but writing about crafting, and motherhood...about MY journey through motherhood, and how I hope to spend more time with my kiddos through my crafting....really, I do! But first, I need to tell you a little bit about my journey thus far.

Before I was a mother, I was, well, Liz. A friend, a wife, a daughter, a teacher, a singer, an artist, and a passionate worker employed in the non-profits arts insdustry. I was busy, busy, busy, and at times it seemed I lived and breathed my work. Then came that positive pregnancy test, and my world literally flip-flopped, upside down. Instead of writing, researching, recruiting, and recording, I'd close the door to my little 10x10 window-less office, and talk to my on-line pregnancy support group (wow those things are amazing! I made friends who are still near and dear to my heart, today...another subject all together ;). I'd sit for hours looking up pregnancy symptoms, reading about my baby's development thus far, and scan over thousands of baby names. I know my fellow mom friends can day you are all consumed with your job, social life, weekend plans, and your dear husband, and then the idea of that sweet, pink, shiny new baby takes over, and causes everything else to become hazy and fade into the background (poor husband :).

Although I had kind of *ahem* put my job responsibilities on the back burner (so ashamed to admit that), I still planned to KEEP my job after said baby was born. At the time my income was almost half of OUR income, and we didn't see anyway around me planning to return to work after a brief maternity leave. We did budget so that I could cut my hours down to 30 per week, figuring on working three (looooong) 10 hour days (with lots of breaks for pumping throughout those 10 hours). It seemed to be the ideal situation! Baby boy would stay at our home with my mother one day, Daddy would stay home with him another day, and he would go to my in-laws house one day....perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, it would have been perfect, except those crazy maternal instincts kicked in.
Nothing, not even the excruciating pain due to labor and delivery, prepared me for the stress and anxiety of leaving my infant baby all day. I cried and cried the first day I returned to work. I holed myself in my office with pictures of my sweet baby boy placed prominently on my desk, and attempted to work. I worked through tears. I felt crazy! What was wrong with me? I'd sat in this office a thousand times before, why could I not do it any more???? Post-partum? Maybe a little, but those ties to my baby were strong, my friends, and still are....

There is more to the story, and I will tell it........really, really soon!!! ;)