Brown Bagging It

Howdy folks,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had two nice days - one with my husband's family and one with mine - good food, good memories..... lots to be thankful for!

In between baking sourdough rolls, greenbean casserole, and sweet potato casserole (my contributions to the meals), I managed to finish up another buttercup bag! Here are the pics....

This one is a custom order for someone, but I will be making some more for my Etsy shop! Check back soon for more in my shop, or contact me if you'd like to order one for yourself or as a gift for someone special - I'm taking orders for Christmas! 

Hope you have a lovely weekend!  I think I'm going to go slip back into my turkey coma for a little while!  



The List that Never Ends: #61-70

This week's On Assignment was simple: Tell us what you're thankful for:


Tomorrow is a day set aside for Giving Thanks..... Don't you think we should be doing that every day?

Continuing the list....I am thankful for:

61. Sourdough bread, and a Mamaw who taught me how to make it and shared her starter with me.

62. Good pens that write smooth and dark.

63. Having my husband out of school for a few days!

64. A friend who is talking me into playing some gigs (me on violin and her on flute) downtown during the next few weeks- Christmas carols! AAAAHHHH!!! Must practice!

65. Libraries

66. The Hallelujah Chorus and things like this.

67. Vacuum cleaners, Clorox wipes, Scrubbing Bubbles Nature's Source cleaners (Wish they made shampoo too - this stuff smells GREAT!), rubber gloves, homemade cleaning recipes, soap, and other things that make life cleaner and easier.

68. Winning a soap-naming contest and two bars of the greatest homemade soap ever from this lovely lady's blog.

69. The fact that my parents home-schooled me from 2nd grade through high school. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

70. More orders for purses!

I'll be linking this post up over at Ann's Holy Experience today and at Carrie's Busy Nothings on Friday.

holy experience

Next week's On Assignment: Tell us about your latest project and post some pics! It can be anything - artsy/craftsy, furniture, DIY projects, a gourmet meal/dish, garden/yard projects, home decor, whatever. Just something that you're working on! The link party will be on Wednesday!

Autumn Road - Matted Print from Original Watercolor - 8x10in.
Autumn Road by Beth Stone
Watercolor on Arches 140lb CP watercolor paper.
Prints, jewelry, and cards available here.

Happy Giving Thanks...
Link your list here:



Random Acts of Praise

This video has been making the rounds, and most of you have probably already seen it, but I have to share it again - I get a lump in my throat every time I watch it...

Then, today, I also came across this video:

If there were ever a human-composed song that makes it into the Throne Room of Heaven, I think it will have to be the Hallelujah Chorus.

Of course, Handel took most of the lyrics directly from Revelation 11:15:
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
Seeing people out in public malls just randomly breaking out into the Hallelujah Chorus reminds me of this passage from Philippians 2:9-11:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Bible says that one day, EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. During the Millennium, Jesus will be reigning on Earth and will be acknowledged as Lord by everyone on the planet - I can imagine things like this happening all the time. I can't wait.

I love that we're getting to have just a little "taste" of that future time through events like this. I would love to have been there in person - I'm sure it was even more incredible.

These days it seems like there is so much "bad news." It's nice to see some wonderful things like this happening.....

Have a lovely weekend.



Another Modified Buttercup Bag

Today is my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!). I thought I would show you all the gift that I made for her. Don't worry - I gave it to her already, so we won't be ruining any surprises....

Mom really liked the modified Buttercup Bag that I made for myself this summer, so she requested one of her own for her birthday. I frantically threw this one together on Saturday evening, just in time for her party on Sunday.

Unfortunately, by the time I finished it, it was getting dark outside,
so I wasn't able to take any very good pictures....

Fortunately, my Mom took a few, so here are hers....

 The purse is made of a very soft sage green wool felt for the exterior. The interior is 100% cotton quilting fabric. The flower embellishment on the outside is made from scraps of both the lining and exterior fabrics, and it is sewn onto a detachable pin, so you can use it on the purse or wear it on a blouse or jacket.

As you can see, I added two little "labels," one inside on the pocket, and one on the outer side seam.
"Bee Handmade" is the newest section of my Etsy shop. Whereas most of my Etsy shop is centered around my original artwork, prints, and jewelry featuring my paintings, "Bee Handmade" will feature one-of-a-kind items like this purse, needle-felted pieces, and other little handmade odds and ends.

("Why all the bee stuff?" you may ask. "Bee" is a nickname my nephew gave to me when he was learning to talk and couldn't pronounce "Beth." And it stuck.... Now my family calls me "Bee,"  I've started accumulating lots of bee-themed paraphernalia, and bees often show up in my advertising and work. Plus, bees are just amazing little creatures. That's why.)

I don't have any purses up in the shop yet, but I plan to have some soon.
I will let you know when I get them made and listed!

If you would like this pattern to use yourself, you can download a free copy of it HERE from designer Rae Hoekstra's blog. She is offering the pattern free for personal use, but asks that you purchase it along with a license if you plan on making any to sell. Just so you know, I purchased the pattern and am now a licensed seller.

The pattern itself makes a TINY little bag. I actually enlarged it quite a bit for both of the bags that I made, and I added the interior pockets, switched out the buttoned tab for the flower, and shortened the handle on the green bag several inches. It's a nice basic pattern, however, and requires very little fabric if you use the original pattern (2 fat quarters, I think). I wound up buying about 1/2 yard of both interior and exterior fabrics since I enlarged it and added the pockets inside. You will also need to use interfacing if you choose a fabric that's not very thick. (I didn't use it on the wool on this bag, but I did on the lining, pockets, and handle. I used interfacing on everything for my first floral bag since I was using thinner cotton.)

Anyway, if you are interested in pre-ordering a custom bag from me, please e-mail me. I would be more than happy to make one for you - it would make a fabulous and unique Christmas gift for any lady on your list! If you would like to choose your own fabrics, that would be fine too. Just e-mail me for a list of supplies you'll need, and then you can send me your picks! Or, just tell me what you have in mind, and I'll try to track down the perfect fabric combo for you!

In the meantime, you can start your Christmas shopping by visiting my Etsy shop! I've got lots of prints and jewelry that would fit right in under your tree! :o)

Have a lovely weekend!



On Assignment: Write a Poem!

Alrighty, once again it's time for "On Assignment: The ADD Challenge," where, basically, I give you some random assignment, and you come back a week later and share it with the rest of us if you, in fact, participated, which I very much appreciate.


Please note, we have now changed the link party to Wednesdays, and, unless otherwise noted, we will be continuing on Wednesdays forever or until I change my mind again or decide I'm tired of this whole experiment, whichever comes first. Okay.

This week's assignment was: Write a poem, then share it with us. Obviously, you do not have to be a poet to participate, otherwise I certainly wouldn't be subjecting you to my attempts.... This is all in fun. So, link up your poems below let's see what you've got! And please, if you do link up, be kind and reciprocate the MASSIVE traffic you will receive from my blog (ha!) by posting the party button on your own post (you can grab the code on my sidebar). Thank you!

Before I kill your attention with my never-ending poem, I'll go ahead and give you next week's assignment....

NEXT WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT: Since next Thursday is Thanksgiving and no one will have time for blogging, then just give us a list of things for which you are thankful. I will still do the linkup party on Wednesday for anyone who remembers to participate.

And now, without further ado, my poem.... my apologies in advance for attempting to rhyme  snarky with malarkey. I started out trying to write a funny poem, and it sort of morphed into a somewhat-serious poem. Please forgive the jar of transition....

A Blogger's Prayer
by Beth Stone

Shutter flying, keyboard clacking -
Blog post deadline – No more slacking!
(House neglected, dirty dishes…)
Post about my Christmas wishes…?

Blogging is a vast abyss
(One which many people diss:
So many writing to so few,
Quite likely – if we only knew!)

HTML, gadgets, widgets
(Coding sends my brain to fidgets!),
Sidebars, templates, buttons, headers,
Colors and cute fonts for letters…

Looking for my "voice" and theme,
Debating – to, or not to meme?
Am I typing, like a droid
Writing to an empty void?

Checking for comments – Boo! – I've none.
Oh wait, I think I may have one!
Got some new readers – I just checked,
Hello there, Google Friend Connect!

What is it that I want to say,
To readers who will come my way,
To people who will find this space?
I may be their one brush with Grace.

Do I post the daily fluff?
Or dwell on more important stuff?
This blog's an empty slate, you see,
Its purpose is left up to me.

Anecdotes and household tips,
Photographs and movie clips,
Projects and a joke or two,
Something old or something new,

Giveaways and sales and savings,
"On-my-soapbox" rants and ravings,
Recipes and funny stories,
Paintings of blue morning glories…

So many things to blog about,
But should I really take that route
When I can make somebody see
The Truth, with one stroke of a key?

To speak the Truth's my calling plain;
My words are being read in Spain,
And all around the globe they wrap,
There are the red dots on my map.

Each dot is one soul, I know well,
That's bound for God or bound for hell.
Their life's end may be decided
By the Truth that I've provided

If I've been faithful to the call
To share the Truth of Christ with all
Who come across this path of mine,
Some face-to-face, and, some, online.

So speak the Truth, with love and grace
Strive faithfully to run the race,
Shun temptations to be snarky
To a world that's run malarkey.

Be a candle brightly burning,
Before people lost and yearning
For the Truth in the dark night -
Guide them quickly to the Light!

LORD, take this blog, and all I do -
Here let them see, not me, but You.

Now it's your turn to link up!



The List that Never Ends: #51-60

Today I'm linking up with Ann at Holy Experience:

holy experience

I am thankful for...

51. Quietness
52. The feeling of getting up early and getting things done.
53. A clean desk.
54. Beautiful Celtic music playing in the background.
55. Warm feet.
56. Possibilities.
57. My Mom, who is having a birthday this week.... Happy Birthday, Mom!
58. Gray, furry ears peeking up over the arm of the couch.

59. God's provision for all our needs.
60. Sunday dinners with family.

What are you thankful for today?

I will also be linking this post up on Friday over at Carrie's Busy Nothings....


Be sure to stop by Ann and Carrie's sites - they always have something worthwhile to share.... And if you'd like to participate in this "thankfulness exercise," feel free to link up at either place - or both!

By the way, if you are looking for the "On Assignment" post for this week, remember I have changed the day to Wednesdays. Please check back then for this week's entries - the assignment was to write / share a poem! There's still time to participate - so write up your poem, post it Wednesday, and stop by to link up! Should be fun! I'm looking forward to seeing what you bards have come up with!
Hope you're having a lovely Monday!


The List that Never Ends: #41-50

Today I'm continuing to journal the things for which I am thankful. It's a list that never ends.... and it shouldn't. I'm linking up over at Carrie's Busy Nothings. I'm also linking up this week at Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience. She has created a community of people who are documenting their "One Thousand Gifts," which for many, has turned into more than 1000. Here are their links:

holy experience

So without further ado, my list continues....

I am thankful for...

41. Little knocks on my door from little nieces inviting me to little tea parties...

42. Space heaters, warm socks, cozy blankets, and warm feet.

43. Seeing my dog in a sweater - it always cracks me up.

44. A fun little treasure hunt of sweet notes from Josh hidden around the house for me to find.

45. Friends, family, and total strangers who purchase my work. Every time I receive an order, I am humbled and surprised and tickled that people out there actually WANT to buy what I create. Times have been a little tough for the last couple of years, so I really appreciate your support of my business - thank you so much!
You all are the best!

46. God's constant and never-failing patience with me, and that He is still working on me.

47. Rowboats

48. Campfires with friends

49. Weekends

50. Our Bible study group - always fun, always enlightening.

What are you thankful for this week? Head on over to Carrie's or Ann's to link up your list!
Don't forget, there's still time to participate in this week's On Assignment Challenge: Write a Poem!
Click here for more info. The link party will be on Wednesday, November 17.


Extreme {Blog} Makeover

Well, if you're visiting in a Reader, you may want to click over to the blog directly - I've just made some major changes to the design... I think they're kind of fun. What do you think? Do you....

...like the new rollover navigation buttons at the top?
...like the new header?
...like the simplified sidebar?
...like the absence of ads?
...like the new archives page?

Is it too busy?

I'd love to hear your feedback....
{I'd love to hear from you, period!}


On Assignment: The ADD Challenge: Share Your Funny Videos

Well after last week's fantastic turn-out (Thanks for linking up, Carrie!), we're back for more of the "On Assignment/ADD Challenge." Last week's assignment was "share an embarrassing moment," so it's understandable why I only had one participant....

However, this week, you have nothing like that good of an excuse. This week's assignment, as you may recall, was to share a funny video - either one that you have made yourself, or one from youtube or somewhere that makes you laugh. (Please remember, however, that this is a family-oriented blog, and I will delete any links that are not in keeping with the overall flavor I'm attempting to maintain here. So keep them clean, please! Thanks!)

A little background on my video.... In 2008, Josh and I went to Europe to visit his sister and brother-in-law, who were then stationed in Germany with the US Air Force. We spent some time traveling around Europe with their family. The video and photos featured in this video were taken in Paris, France, on and around the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
So, without further ado, here's my video....

As you can see, it's always entertaining to travel with Josh. This is a just a small, small taste of the overall trip, which was pretty hilarious. He keeps me laughing....

OK, now it's your turn - link up those funny videos.... If you don't have a blog, post the youtube link in the comments or in the facebook comments. (Please be sure to grab the party button from my sidebar so you can direct your readers back to the link party and spread the fun! Thanks!)

And, your assignment for next week:

Write a poem, then share it with us!
It could be about anything - silly, funny, serious, sad, inspiring, romantic, whatever. Just be original. 
Maybe you're a poet and don't even know it! (groans)
Nota Bene: Next week, and thereafter, I will be doing the "On Assignment/ADD Challenge" linky on WEDNESDAYS. I think that schedule will work out better than Mondays. So check back next Wednesday for the link party and to read everyone's poems! See you then!



Felting Mania!

I've been making some more needle-felted pieces!

My latest project: a felted bee ipod touch case!

The case has a strap to hang around my neck; I just flip the cover up to access the screen. I can also tuck my ear buds into a special little pocket on the inside of the flap when I'm not using them, and button the whole thing up when I'm not using it.

I love to listen to podcasts while I'm painting, working on a mural, or puttering around at home. There are so many great books you can get for free on itunes - I use a lot of podcasts from Librivox. It's a free, volunteer-read collection of books that are in the public domain. Even if you don't have an ipod, you can still listen to them on your computer. Check them out!
And yes, I nearly always feel the need to embellish. :o) Love those bees!

A friend came over the other day and wanted to learn how to do some needle felting....
She made a sheep, and while she was working on that, I made this little birdie...

 And I had so much fun doing that, I stayed up late after my friend went home and made this tiny terrarium! I'm infatuated with terrariums lately - I want to make a real one, but for now, this will do nicely...(and no watering required!)

 The mushrooms and the moss are felted. The tiny little wooden ladybug came off of a package that was wrapped for me in a cute little store in Athens, Greece when I was there in college. I had been saving it for something special, and this was perfect! The "cloche" is an old jelly jar! I may do something to the lid, which is now the base, to make it look less jelly-jar-lid-ish. Paint it black, maybe?

Hail, hail, the gang's all here!  (Well, almost - I forgot to grab Reepicheep for the shot. He was probably busy anyway - off fighting a giant or some such thing. The little rascal.)

Have a lovely weekend!


The List that Never Ends: #31-40

Linking up today over at Carrie's Busy Nothings for her Friday Thankfulness Series.....

...and also at Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience for her One Thousand Gifts...
(Sorry, I know it's not Monday... but here's my list anyway)
holy experience

Today I'm feeling thankful for...
31. My Vita-Mix and tasty and healthy smoothies I make in it.

"Poppies" by Beth Stone
Watercolor on Arches 140lb.CP Paper
Prints, cards, & jewelry available in my Etsy shop!

32. Poppies 

33. Examples of humility.

34. Friendship

35. A husband I love who loves me back.

36. Indoor plumbing.

37. The color green.

38. Rich Mullins' music...#37 made me think of that.

39. Walks with Josh and Harvey in the field out back. 

40.  Good books..... and lots of them. And time to read them, when I get it.

What are you thankful for today? Head over to Carrie's and link up your list!


Just a quick link...

I've been having fun with this online inspiration board at Pinterest lately...

Beth Stone Studio

Click on the above button to see my pins!
There's also a permanent button in my sidebar now,
so you can check back periodically for new favorites and great ideas.
I'll be back soon with some more needle felted pieces I've been making.... 
stay tuned! 




Here in America....

Today I'm feeling thankful to live in a country where we have the privilege and opportunity to vote for our officials.

Rich Mullins was one of my favorite musicians. I wanted to share with you a few lines from one of his other songs called "Land of My Sojourn":

Nobody tells you when you get born here
How much you'll come to love it
And how you'll never belong here
So I call you my country
And I'll be lonely for my home
...And I wish that I could take you there with me.....
My parents have this painting hanging in their living room with the verse below engraved on it...

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. - Hebrews 11:13

I love America.... I live here. It's my country. But it's not my Home...
that will come later....

In the meantime, I'm going out to vote.
Hope you are too.



On Assignment: The ADD Challenge

Welcome back for today's installment of "On Assignment: The ADD Challenge." Click the button to learn more and find out how to join in on the fun!

As the three of you who read this blog recall, the assignment for this week was to document an embarrassing or awkward event, either from your own experience, or from someone else's. However, please use discretion if you're writing about someone else - the goal is to reminisce about an embarrassing moment - not create a new one. Alrighty?

So, on to my own anecdote for the week....

The Setting: a large home improvement store, where I was working at the time of the Incident.

Enter stage right: Me - I was patrolling my "zone," looking for customers to assist. I stopped briefly to chat with two of the store managers.

Enter stage left: Female customer: rather on the heavy side.

Seeing the customer enter my aisle, I dutifully broke away from my co-workers and began a beeline down the long aisle towards the customer.

Enter stage left: the DILEMMA.

As I headed towards the customer, she turned slightly away from me, and that was when I saw IT.

How to put this delicately...?

I noticed something engulfed in her corpulent rotundity.

At some point before arriving in the store, my customer had apparently sat down on a stack of mail. The angle was an unfortunate one, and, alas, a piece of her mail had gotten wedged where the sun don't shine, and now it was proudly waving like a distant banner in the wind.

As soon as this registered in my mind, I felt a nearly-irresistible urge to turn and run. Especially when I heard the sharp intake of breath of my two managers, and realized that they had seen it too. However, at the same moment, she turned back towards me and made eye contact.

There was no going back now...

As the distance between us quickly disappeared, I was faced with a dilemma of epic proportions: DO I TELL HER OR NOT??? If so, how do I tell her?

Unfortunately, in all of my imagined worst-case scenarios requiring delicacy and tact, I had never lighted upon this particular situation. How does one nonchalantly inform a complete stranger that she has an envelope sticking out of her hiney? I tried a few lines out in my head while the gap between us closed....

"Excuse me, ma'am. You've got a piece of mail stuck in your hiney." - no

"Excuse me, ma'am. You sat on your mail, and something got wedged." - no

"Have you been missing your electric bill?" - no

  "You've got mail." -NO!

"Did you put the flag up?" - NO NO NO!

Sigh... why do things like this always happen to me?

It didn't help anything that I could hear my co-workers attempting to stifle their snorting behind me. By the time I got to the poor lady, I was drawing a blank. I couldn't think of a single delicate way to inform her of her predicament. I chickened out decided to ignore it.

After a short eternity, I reached her, and brilliantly I blurted out:

"Can I help you find anything?"

Something exploded deep within me as I heard the inadvertent double entendre coming out of my mouth - too late to stop it, impossible to retrieve it. Poor lady - she probably wondered why I was choking and sputtering over the most basic of customer service questions. I'm pretty sure I strained every muscle in my face and several in my stomach in my attempt to act normal. Little did she know...

No, she didn't need any help (at least that she knew about) - thank you...

I began the long, long walk back down the aisle - looking, and yet not looking, at my two co-workers. All three of us managed to make it out of that aisle and into the safety of another. I'm pretty sure I collapsed on the rail of a ladder for some time.

I have since been informed by my good friend, who is infinitely more tactful than I, that the proper thing to say in that particular situation is:

"Excuse me, ma'am. You have a piece of paper stuck to your pants."

This line seems pretty obvious in hindsight, but it was miles away when it was actually happening.

At any rate, I don't know what happened to the poor lady.
I hope a braver, tactful person found her after I left her...

and I hope her electricity didn't get shut off.

The End.

Now it's your turn to link up. Please be sure to grab the button from my sidebar and add it to your post so that your readers can get in on the fun! Thanks for participating!

Next week's Assignment:
If you have a funny home movie of yourself or your family that you'd like to share, post it! If you don't have any movies of your own, link up a clip from youtube that makes you laugh. (Please keep it family-friendly!) Thanks for joining in! Anyone can join in at any time!