In which I made a Buttercup Bag...

Several months ago I found this gorgeous fabric at Hobby Lobby. I'd been wanting to try making a summery purse, so a few weeks ago I made this purse from the "Buttercup Bag" pattern I found on this blog. (Please note: this pattern is free to use, but she asks that you purchase the pattern/license if you plan on selling any of these bags.) The original pattern looked pretty small, so I enlarged it a bit. It's still on the small side (if you're like me and tend to carry everything but the kitchen sink in your bag), but it works well. I modified it a bit on the inside too, and added little rows of pockets on both sides:

The flower pin was very simple to make - I looked at several tutorials online, then did my own variation of several techniques. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the process on any of this, but I plan on making another one for my Mom soon, and I will try to remember to take photos! I'm also working on a pattern myself for another purse, and I'm so excited about the fabric I have for it.

I really enjoyed this project... depending on how the next two purses go, I may consider adding some bags to my Etsy shop. What do you think?

Hope you're having a lovely week....

Don't forget - there's still time to enter my birthday giveaway!
Click HERE to enter!



The Big 3-0 and a Giveaway! - *CLOSED*

I'm turning 30 today...

To celebrate, I thought I'd do a little giveaway....

I will be giving away one of my necklaces featuring my original artwork!
Which one you'll win, however, is a surprise!

Here's how to enter...

Mandatory 1st Entry:
Leave a comment describing your best birthday memory.
Be sure to leave your name and contact info in case you win!

Bonus Entries:
Follow this blog on "Google Friend Connect" (see sidebar), then leave a comment telling me you did: 1 entry.

Blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with the link to your post: 2 entries.

Follow me on twitter, then leave a comment telling me you did: 1 entry.

Tweet about this giveaway, then leave a comment telling me you did: 1 entry.

Become a facebook fan, then leave a comment telling me you did: 1 entry.

Share about this giveaway or suggest my page to your friends on facebook, then leave a comment: 1 entry.

Purchase something from my website or Etsy shop: 5 entries.

Add my button to your sidebar (grab the code on my sidebar), then leave a comment telling me you did: 3 entries.

Make sure you leave comments and your e-mail address for each separate entry -
 it makes life much easier! Thanks!

I will announce the winner sometime next week! Stay tuned....
*This giveaway is now CLOSED*
Thanks for entering! Stay tuned for future giveaways....



In which I was once an English major...

Once upon a time, I went to college and got a degree. In English, of all things. (And yes, I realize the last sentence is a fragment. It's called "poetic license.") I did not, however, get an education certification (yep, bad call), so I have never in fact used my degree for much.....

....UNTIL NOW! (Dum dum dummmm!)

My major exposed me to some great literature and poetry. I miss talking about it and writing about it (I know - what kind of wierdo misses writing English papers???). Therefore, I will occasionally be sharing some favorites with you here. So without further ado, here is today's selection in celebration of my favorite season:

"When the Frost Is on the Punkin"
by James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

No frost on this papier-mâché punkin, but oh well...

Happy fall!



Weekend roundup from the clutter on my desk...

What makes my dog happy...

What I'm reading...

(Currently in Jeremiah)

What I just finished reading:

My brief review of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens:

The basic plot: the quintessential "good man," Pickwick, surrounds himself with several young protegees (The Society of the Pickwick Club) and travels around the countryside, getting into and out of many humorous scrapes and situations. Samuel Weller, Pickwick's trusted servant (perhaps an inspiration for Wodehouse's Jeeves?), provides comic relief, rescues the Pickwickians from many awkward situations, and spouts the wisdom of a rustic philosopher.

This was Dickens' first novel, and I didn't find the plot or the characters as well developed as in some of his later works. The book is quite long, and at times it gets a little monotonous. There isn't much of an overlying plot - it's almost a collection of short stories - lots of little scrapes and incidents in which the Pickwickians find themselves, most of which could stand on their own.

Pickwick is a "larger-than-life" character who is portrayed as almost "divine." I think that may be what irritated me about this book. The idea of a perfectly innocent, "good man" with no flaws, no vices, and no sin is certainly not biblical, nor is it realistic. It made the story seem a little.....flat.

I read this because it's part of my reading goals for 2010 to read all of Dickens' novels. However, if you are interested in reading some Dickens, I would recommend starting with one of his other novels. A few of my favorites are:

(Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. If you shop through one of my links above,
I earn cool stuff from Amazon. Thanks for shopping!)

What's on my ipod:
Albert Mohler's podcasts

Impatiently waiting for:
Volume 5 of Les Miserables from Librivox Audiobooks on itunes

Recent scores from thrift shopping in Hilton Head:
- leather Coach purse in perfect condition - $4! (The only way I would ever own a Coach purse.)
- Crocs heels like THIS - $1!


Bustin' out the fall decor:

Inspiration for my next sewing project:
The Pleated Poppy

The song I've listened to 5,000 times this week:

Hope you're having a lovely weekend...



a little R & R...

We just got back from a week at the beach with my husband's entire family...

The gang's all here - a rare event, considering we have two military families....
Yep, that's right, 15 kids.

One of my favorite things about the trip were the early morning bike rides I took to the beach....

I got down there by 7:15 most mornings -
just in time to enjoy the sunrise and the quietness of the morning...

I found some nice little spots around this hotel to sit and read...

Motivation to get up early?

Proof that seagulls and humans simultaneously roamed the earth...

There's a "golden hour" in the morning, as well as in the afternoon....

The beach is a great place to read the Word...

I found this bush on the bike path on the way to the beach. It was loaded with these compact clusters of purple berries. Gorgeous! Do any of you happen to know the name of this bush? I'd love to know...

The most impressive sand castle I found on one of my bike rides...

The most impressive dog I met...
Isn't she gorgeous?
She's a giant schnauzer.

Here I am with my sunburnt lips and nose... ouch!

I'm definitely going to miss this....
Nice to be home though.
Back to the common life....


When sorrows like sea billows roll....

It's been a rough few weeks....months, actually.
With everything that's happened lately, I've been thinking a lot about this hymn:

It inspired this collage I did last year - I thought I'd share it with you again...

"It Is Well"
mixed media

My favorite verse from the hymn:

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Did you know next Thursday is the Feast of Trumpets???
Hmm.... wouldn't that be nice...?
Happy Labor Day...