Sunday, July 26, 2009

My recovery

I love this fun, flower chair that I got from Craigslist. What I didn't like was the worn out, red seat that didn't really match. Then I heard about a sale at an online fabric store and well...I ended up with lots of yards of fabric and some paper craft supplies. :) But I recovered the chair in a print that I think matches my room well.

It was such a quick project, I almost wish I had a whole set to do! I love how it turned out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Enjoying Some Free Time

Now that the month of Busy is one day away from being over, I find I have a little more free time. And free time is good! Free time means more projects as well as more time for her:

Isn't she beautiful! I am in love with my niece. :)

Free time also means that I finally *finished* my room. (I'm sure I'll make adjustments and add some things eventually, but this is what I had!)

My "library" that makes me happy. The bookcase was mine as a baby, the lamp was $5 at WalMart!!!

This is the print up close. :) Isn't it silly? from The Black Apple

My teensy bed turned sideways for maximum space. I also think it makes the space seem like a garden library since it's almost like a couch. ;) (All the pillows, shams, and sheets were clearance at some point, mostly from Target)

This cabinet is one of four pieces I got off Craigslist (cabinet, nightstand, desk, file cabinet) for $175!! All in good shape, all IKEA. This friend holds my Real Simple and Better Homes & Gardens magazines and all of my linens are inside the doors.

Another Black Apple print, isn't she cute? I want a red piano!

And my last Black Apple print. I love this one because the girl is so cute and reading (!) to her little friends.
All 3 of my Black Apple prints are in frames from the Dollar Store that I painted with acrylic paints that I bought on clearance from JoAnn awhile back. :)
This is my desk. I love having a real desk - there is so much space to write and do projects. I have a keyboard and mouse tray that needs to be installed, then I'll have even more space! (and I got that chair off Craigslist for $20! I need to recover it, but it's so whimsical!)
This little spot makes my heart happy every time I see it. I don't know why. :) I made the fleur de lis out of construction paper years ago and backed it with some mint and red toile. The lamp shade is from Goodwill, the ribbon was the packaging from my winter quilt. ;) (of which you can only see a corner, but it's a red bow)
Aren't these fellows fun? They're salt and pepper shakers! They came from a vintage shop Thrush and I just love them! I have a small bird theme throughout the room; they remind me of gardens, cottages, and stories. Some of my favorite things!

My room wouldn't be complete without the primary occupant. My faithful reading and snuggling companion, Banjo.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

In Which a Girl Begins an Adventure

Now that I am a college graduate (excited!) I have been asked many times, "What are you going to do now?"

It would probably be clearer had I stayed in music education, because then I would say, upon receiving my music education degree, "I will be a music educator." Or if I had received a chemical engineering degree, I would say "I will engineer chemicals." But when your degree encompasses anything under the umbrella of ministry, there is a need for clarification.

I usually say, to those who inquire of my future plans, that I have 6 months left of my internship and from there I'll see if a place has been made for me at The Springs or if God will move me on. But my inside voice says, when asked (because my inside voice is polite and only speaks when spoken to), that my plans are simple: serve God with everything in me for the rest of my life.

I don't know where I'll be geographically in a year. I don't know if I'll have a paying job after January. I don't know very much at all. But I know without a doubt that I will be loving God and loving the world. And I couldn't ask for anything more.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Creativity Diverted

Confession: I just took a nap while watching "Return of the Jedi." I had to explain that to bring clarity to this next statement.

I started this blog with "delusions of grandeur." (hehe) I expected to be creating and working on paper crafts and sewing projects regularly. But, as is often the case, life began moving faster than I was. I started a new job and began my last semester of college at the same time. And most of my creative juices as well as creative energies have been poured into hundreds of pages of academic writing and multiple graphic design projects for the church. This is not bad, however, because I love what I do and I am very excited for this weekend...because...

I'm finally graduating from college!! I cannot believe it! It's been 6 years, but 2 majors and 4 colleges later (5 if you count the one class I took at Chandler-Gilbert) I am finally done! And I almost don't know what I will do with myself. I've been a student since I was 5 - which means it's been a huge part of my identity for almost 20 years. What will I be now? What will life be like without papers, assignments, deadlines, semesters, and endless reading? I'm excited, but unsure.

I trust God completely with my life and know that He has called me to serve Him and teenagers. And I know that my identity truly lies within His hands and I am His daughter. So now, I eagerly await this weekend and know that it is just another milestone in what will be an exciting life.

(And since this is a creative-ish post, I will leave you my most recent projects)

-tutoring @ NorthShore is the tutoring/afterschool program I am starting. It will be small through the summer and then start up officially in the fall.

-'send us' is the theme for our youth camp this summer. It is focusing on God's call for us to go, and do, and be His love and message to the world. (this is the front of the information flyer)

Monday, April 20, 2009

James Joseph Ciardella

Losing a loved one is a really weird feeling. Losing my grandpa is the first encounter with real grief and loss that I've experienced. I am so glad that I got to spend time with my family for the funeral and celebrate his life together. I know there will be times when I can't believe he's gone and times when I feel sad. I know that addressing an envelope to my grandma alone will be hard. But, I am so glad he is healthy again and that we got to say goodbye. I went through my photos and found a selection of Nonno with his "little blondie." We are cute.

My first Christmas, 1985My first birthday, 1986Thanksgiving, 1986Christmas Eve, 1986Santa Cruz, CA 1997Flagstaff, 2005 (with the truck he handed down to me)May, 2008May 2008

This is probably my most favorite picture ever. Aren't they gorgeous together? My grandparents have the sweetest, most romantic love story and I got to hear them tell it to me last summer. I've been holding on to it, because I know someday, I'll have my own story to tell.

October 27, 1945

I'll miss you, Nonno. I love you and I thank you for all the memories, lessons, and love you've given me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunny Day Dreaming

Sometimes I like to live in a semi-fantasy reality. Which means, I have on a flowy white dress and a hat, walking around my backyard with an umbrella, while enjoying the fresh cut daffodils I have and desperately wishing I could ride my red bike, with a basket, downtown for lunch or a fun coffee drink and a good book.

The semi-fantasy part: red bike, basket, downtown area.

Reality: dress, flowers, sunshine, umbrella, hat, book.


Thank goodness I have a friend like this to share my day with:

Thank you, Banjo. For always being sunshine.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Crafty Day

This last week found my home turned into an infirmary. 4 out of the 6 people living in my house were home sick. And while I felt bad for my sicky family, losing out on my expected solitude was a break in routine that I didn't totally welcome. :)

So, to help keep me sane, I worked on a project! I got this pattern from a crafty blog that I like to follow, Chickpea Sewing Studio. It was very easy, and would have been a breeze if I had remembered the right way to thread the sewing machine...oh dear. ;)

Here is my pocket bag (with some poor stitches, because I said "whatever" to perfection)

And it turned out to be a great bag for my wireless card, so I won't lose it in my enormous "What needs to go to church with me" bag. :)

I love crafty days!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I really should be doing something else

I feel like my brain may explode. I was doing really well with the whole transition back into a job and then I got the graduation is in 3 months wake up call. Oh mercy - I need to release.

I have to give a speech tomorrow about a song I like. I chose, of course, "Across the Universe." I don't know if there is a better Beatles song. If they were Christians, their music would change the world. Well, they may have never had an outlet, but you know what I mean. Right? My speech needs to have three main points. Let's try them out here:

1 - Beginning guitar lick :: before I ever had my own guitar, it was the first thing I said "I want to be able to play that!" Gorgeous! The little bit of slide, the picking reminiscent of a calliope, and the deep timbre of the F#m right before the first line of lyrics - magic.

2 - Imagery :: after a long, "rightbraining" day, I think the phrase "Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox" fits perfectly. And while clearly not Christian, I think Christ's love can be described as "Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns." The poetic nature of this song excites my mind to paint with words like this.

3 - Ostinato :: while the guitar is a lyrical introduction and the words are flowing, the main accompaniment to this piece is rhythmical and stable. I can see how the words "Jai guru deva" (which translate into praise for god (small g)) work alongside as an encouragement into meditation. While most meditation is not directed towards God (big G) I have found that consistent rhythm and praise toward Him break through my minds distractions and get back to where I need to be.

And where I need to be is writing my speech, 2 papers, a few Q&A papers, graphic design madness, and probably more. Nothing's gonna change my world. (but in a good way, because God is in control!)

Friday, January 16, 2009


I think the #1 thing on my list is reading. My first memories of reading are bittersweet. I remember being so excited to start kindergarten because in kindergarten, you learn to read. I went to my first day wit high hopes; met my teacher, played on the playground with the boy next door, and came home crying. I hadn't learned to read yet. And from then on, I've been hooked.

My grandma visited in August and brought with her a box of books. Many of them are written by Jane Kirkpatrick - an Oregon resident and author of mainly Northwest Historical Fiction. I just finished the second to last book in the box and may have to resort to re-reading favorites, which is my tendency when there are no new books. :)

Jane's books include the beautiful stories and scenery of the Northwest (as well as a few other US locations, including Florida and the entire length of the Oregon Trail) but what I have found most inspiring is her inclusion of salvation stories and relationships with Christ and the characters.

I finished Mystic Sweet Communion last night and came across this passage which convicted, inspired, and encouraged me:

"I guess my greatest prayer is to be faithful to the path I think God set me on, Pink, to take care of things, right wrongs. That I wouldn't let fear or my own willfulness get in His way. That's what I hope. It's a good question you've asked. A very good question, indeed."

This sentiment is a perfect description of how I feel about ministry. I feel God has set me on this path and that there are tasks and relationships and wrongs that I can affect. But, like the imperfect human that I am, I sometimes let "fear or my own willfulness" get in the way of God's plan for me.

I've been mulling this thought over in my mind since late last night and it's helped me reignite some passion that I've lost amid administration and data entry (which are important and enjoyable for me). But my heart and soul come alive when I think about righting wrongs for students. When I think about showing them how to succeed in school and the surge of confidence when a topic is finally grasped. And behind all of that is the hope and expectation that God will touch their lives and show Himself to them as a Father, Friend, Savior.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What Are Margins?

There is a valuable member of the pastoral team at my church who teaches on "margins". Not only does she do a great job teaching on this idea, but she makes it very applicable to the lives of ladies. So, let me explain what margins are and why this blog is one of them.

We all have busy lives. And, especially women, we find ourselves losing who we are amidst the schedules. Pastor Jill uses the word margins because it is a positive way of looking at boundaries. In printing, a margin gives order and space to text. Imagine reading a book with no margins! It would stress me out!

In the margins of our lives is where character is developed, where we know God, where we breathe. It is the in the margins that we are filled up so we can continue to pour out in our busy, busy lives.

In her teaching, Jill encourages us to list out the things that drain us and the things that fill us. Some of the things that drain can be eliminated, but many of them cannot. And often, at least for me, I find that I don't do the things that fill me up.

This blog is a place where I can collect the things that fill me up and serve as technological accountability (oh yeah, I just said that) to continue to do them.

My prayer for 2009:
God, please take my offering of this year. This year I want to serve you with every fiber of my being. I know it will cost a lot and that there will be times that I don't want to. But I ask that in your faithful, gentle way you would remind me of this promise. I commit my heart to finding and knowing you within my margins so that I can pour out on your children the truth, peace, love, and joy having a relationship with you brings. With all my heart. Amen.