Dec 31, 2011

Seeing the New Year Differently

Happy New Year!

It seems that every year gets shorter and shorter as I get older and older.

As one year ends and another begins, most of you know that I don't make any new year's resolutions. I do however, usually select a word for the new year that I will observe throughout the year in hopes that I will be better for it.

I had been thinking of this new word for about a week or so, and decided that my word for the new year would be:


As most of you know, my vision has been a great source of contention for several years now due to my car accident.

These past several years have been a struggle as my once 20/20 vision was "totaled" along with my little car on that night of the  accident and has fluctuated ever since. Five of the glasses you see below are different prescriptions and the rest are just readers.

While gathering items around the house for my little posting on my 2012 word "vision," I played around with my props a little bit as I played around with words in my head on exactly what it is about the word, vision, that I want to write about....

And as I fuss about the books and glasses, trying to figure out exactly which shot I want, I continue to think about how my vision of this shot isn't really coming to fruition and how ironic that is....

After some moving here, and fussing there, I finally get the vision I was after and I am satisfied. Now, it is only a matter of getting the right angle...or rather, perspective. I continue to ponder in my head about how 2012 is going to be different for I am determined to see things differently.

How I will have a different perspective on life....

But it wasn't until I bent down and got a completely different perspective and shot the photo below did it finally occur to me: my word for 2012 was not the right word. It wasn't vision that I was, not vision.

But rather, I was wanting insight

Yes! Insight is something I desire. A deeper understanding of the world, those around me, as well as myself. All the spectacles in the world won't give me this.

Insight is a level of wisdom that comes from experience. 

Not from books. 

Only from living.

It is interesting how "insight," my new word for 2012, came about. While at first, I was sure my word was "vision" and I had set out to create this little vignette to shoot, I went and got this huge 1800's bible as the base of the setup.

As I set it on the table I just flipped it open and on the very first time I opened it, this little four-leaf clover was pressed right in the center of it. I took it out and then began to stack my other antique books on top of it and went and gathered all my glasses around the house.

But it wasn't until I finished my little photo shoot, having mostly "written" my post in my head, and began to put my items away did I discover something even more extraordinary. As I carefully replaced the little clover leaf in the pages, it was the first time I had noticed that I opened the bible to this verse:

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.

I think no matter how well I thought out this little vignette, or my idea of what I thought I was going to say, and how I was going to say it...

Someone much smarter, wiser, and more in control had something else in mind all along. And I think I would be so much better off in 2012 if I will just let my insight be guided by Him.

May your 2012 be filled with peace, joy, and be lovingly guided by Christ who loves us like we couldn't never understand.

from my house to your house,


Dec 24, 2011

Love IS Blind

Merry Christmas!

How the time flies and things never seem to get done, right?

But here it is, Christmas Eve, and it is time to slow down and take in the joy of the season.

So what if the tablecloth didn't get ironed...what a blessing to have family and friends to gather around it.

Okay, maybe you didn't get to make those fancy homemade cream puffs like you wanted to, but the store bought ones, served on a nice plate to your guests will be just as welcoming because the laughter of friends is what will be remembered for years to come.

The gifts may not be quite as plenty this year, but hugs and kisses are free. Today is a day to be a little selfish. Surprised I said that? 

Give to yourself today.

Give yourself the gift of loving yourself for just being. For being you. Not for what you can do, or make, or create, or how well you perform...but love yourself as Christ loves you. We tend to see our own faults and praise others' for their creativity, no matter how simple they may be.

Take this little ornament exchange party I attended. I simply wrapped a little ornament in a simple, left over piece of fabric...

Just added a little leftover greenery...and some leftover ribbon...

 And decided to photograph it quickly in a little silver dish...

Because we all know that even the simplest of things can be prettied up with a little fussing....

But that is where the true spirit of Christmas comes in...

That is why it is so cool that Christ was born....because He gets to see what so many of us never see in ourselves. 

I recently snapped up this unique, beautiful, silver one-handled tray at a flea-market. I couldn't believe my luck - or the price! Oh lucky day for was even tarnished. How I couldn't wait to show my shopping buddy. 

Before I bought it, I showed my beloved treasure to my friend, who upon closer examination, pointed out that my "one-handled" tray was in fact, broken. It was missing the other handle...

I stared at my beloved "one-handled" silver treasure and contemplated for only a moment. It didn't take long for me to decide that it was even more special now. Because now it was a one-of-a-kind and now it has a story...a history. 

And that is how Christ sees us. We are His beloved treasures. And I would like to think that while it is rare that I can overlook my own flaws, Christ is able to look at us as I first looked at this broken, silver tray. Broken, but still treasured. We are so loved by Him, that He takes us as we are, and we have nothing to prove.

All we need to do is just "be."

Now I ask many of you even noticed the "broken handle" before I even pointed it out to you? Is it broken or is it unique?


Merry Christmas and may you always feel treasured by The One who finds you valuable no matter how much we are "broken."


Dec 15, 2011

Porch Pampering

Short, sweet, and to the point: our porch is in dire need of a rehab. I dream of the day that I walk onto my porch that has fantastic railings, a wooden banister, and wood floors that are weathered and worn because that is my faux-finish, not because it is the real deal.

This project of tearing down our porch and building a new one has been a year-long, non-event. Last winter was wet and very cold.  Spring was constant rain, wind and about 200 tornadoes (seriously, 200) through our area, and the summer was heat from hell with triple digits that even this Texan couldn't take.

So, this Christmas, I decided that my pitiful porch needed some pampering, even if only cosmetic, to get through the cold winter. It was sort of like dressing a wet, old, smelly rat in a fur coat and trying to call it a cute little mink. It only works from a distance...and luckily our porch is tiny, and our stoop is up high from the street some, so passerby's can only look up and see only some of our sad little porch. But with one afternoon of grunting, hauling, and setting out some goodies that I found with my shopping buddies (Little Debbie and Renee), I think I will convince most people (if they drive by fast enough) that I just might have a little mink up here after all...

Here is the before...I almost forgot to take the before photos...I was so excited to get out my new-found goodies and dig out my trusty old favorites...





What a difference a little paint on the mailbox and light fixture can make! And I grabbed the little matt from the inside and tossed it outside and put the black one down at the bottom of the steps. I just lifted my shade up a bit to show my Belgium curtain from the inside and it has a whole new look...


I didn't get out the ladder and stood on the sidewalk and just pointed my camera up quickly, as I was excited to just get started...


Now, I got out a ladder to stand on to take the photo...I was in my sweats and as you can see the sun is getting lower in the reflection on the door and neighbors are now driving by as they come home from work. They slow down to see...but I think they are more curious about the woman on the tall ladder, leaning over, with her butt sticking out, wearing slippers, and an apron tied around her neck, as it was in the way as I climbed up and I took it off and tied it around my neck as I didn't want it on the wet grass....what a spectacle! 

Now for the details....

The tiny porch got its make-over in one afternoon.  The lanterns are hung by string and I got them from Ikea...for less than $4 each!

I had white branches in storage as well as this old Swedish chair that "someday" I would re-cane. So in the meantime, it makes a wonderful "stick stand" and I wrapped white lights inside as well. 

I had this little cheapie table from a local craft store for about $22 and it is worn wood. Never really liked it. It isn't functional and so it works perfectly outside with all the other worn wood pieces! My old heavy crock holds it place.

These scrim curtains are from Ikea and are a steal! $1.49 a pair...yes a PAIR. Can you believe it? My girlfriends have them on their porch and I just fell in love with the look...detracts a little from how much my tiny porch is screaming to be torn down.

Is this a great baby bed/bench or what? Got this at the Three French Hens market in Morris IL with my gal pals. It was the perfect size for our little window. The linen pillows are from Ikea...the linen covers with ties are about $14 each and the inserts are $6. They fit perfect. My "Dream" pillow and "Joy" pillow are beautiful gifts from beautiful gal pals as well. The Christmas basket hanging on the window, as well as the glass garland, are from Whismy and Traci is the owner. I love her store! Sort of reminds me of some store I used to know.....hmmmm...wonder why I love it so much??? :-) I added some extra picks to the basket to make it a bit fuller and to match my decor...but don't you just love it?

Had this lantern a very long time...another gift!

Love this coal bucket...another goodie I snatched up at the Three Frenchs Hens market.

I had these old crates for years. The wood is perfect and we pull them out and put our feet up on them.

Remember I said I collected pinecones this year? Well, I played around with them and decided to make a few swags. Here is the one I made for the front door....

I hope you liked my little "faux mink" of a porch. It will have to do for now until the hammer gets to it and the real deal is done. I love it when I can actually complete something in one afternoon. 

I know how I am and just in case I lose track of time and I don't get back to you before Christmas....I am going to wish you a wonderful one now. I hope to get back...but you know how things go...

May your spirit be filled with peace. May your days be filled with joy. But mostly, may your heart be glad to know that you aren't the one in charge of the timing. Like the little pitiful just wasn't the right time this past year...and so we wait patiently. 

from my house to your house,

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