Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Trees!

I happened to have yards and yards of this mossy green felt.

What would you do with this? It has served in some projects, (the back of my fabric flowers, for example) but really? This much green felt is almost impossible to get rid of.

Until I found this pattern and knew I would be making a forest of tiny Christmas trees.

My trees don't look as cute as the colorful ones on Allsorts, but I still love how wonky and "Island of Misfit Toys"-esque they are! They are super easy and take less than a movie to finish, which is great for unwinding and being creative for awhile. I can't wait to use up all my felt and make some for friends and family. I may even need a big one. ;)

Also, I have a fun new photo app on my phone. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have a problem. I am addicted to multi-tasking. It's true. At home I find myself watching a movie while crocheting, flipping through a magazine, probably eating, and texting. At the office, I can be editing video, watching a podcast, drawing/making lists, and staying caught up on Facebook.
I think we live in a time where it's easy to do so. If I can do one thing on a desktop computer, have a laptop on the desk, and my smart phone in my hand and it is accepted as normal, then I think it's an indicator that multi-tasking is part of our society. But the other day I realized it has moved on from unconscious "efficiency" to something that I actually crave.

I have a 35 minute drive to work and basically any shopping/entertainment/dining establishments. I noticed while I was driving home that I was drawn to my phone. Like it was actually begging me to pick it up and check my Twitter or RSS feed. And that's when I realized that if I can't even drive home without multi-tasking, then I need to clear some stuff out. Not to mention the safety hazard that comes into play when you are not 100% attentive to the vehicle you're operating at 65 mph.

I have made a conscious choice to be intentional about the things that I do. If I'm going to look at a magazine, then read the magazine. If it's a movie, then only a movie. I should take more time to enjoy the food that I'm eating, even if it's take out. :) If I'm working, my work will end up being a better product if I focus a solid hour to one task than countless hours flipping back and forth between the multiple tabs and programs I have open. And if it's driving, then it better be only driving.

Anyways, that was just stirring around in my head. And even though I have 2 tabs open and 4 programs, I've stuck to this post the whole way through. This is progress, people!

What about you? Do you find yourself doing a ton of things at the same time? Anyone else bad about multi-tasking in the car?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My New Place!

Banjo and I are taking a step into adulthood (I guess it's about time) and we moved out of our parents house into a rental house! The house is actually closer to my niece and her parents (we used to live 2 streets away, now only 1!) and is really nice.

I have roommates coming in December, so for now it's just me and Banjo!

 My very blue bedroom :) I still have some pieces of furniture to move over and get my bed off the floor. :)

My purple office/crafts/media room. I'll have my desk and computer in here as well as my sewing machine and crafty things.
 Bathroom that is all mine! No brothers allowed!
  Looking from the back door towards the front! (I have no furniture, haha!)

I'm excited for this next chapter in my life. I pray that God uses it as a time where I can not only learn about myself but a time where I will be challenged and stretched to think farther beyond myself and truly embrace others.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Winds of Change

It is interesting to me how you start to get a rhythm with your life and then something changes. I've found that I finally get a groove with work and then the season changes and my workload (and brain-load) changes. I think that's why I've felt so tired for the last two weeks. We're coming into fall (still not totally here in sunny AZ) and things at the church are changing; normal, "coming-into-fall" changes and also "specific-to-this-time" changes.

I may also be tired because 2 weekends ago, our student ministries group went on our annual Red-I trip to Magic Mountain. Here's the run-down: at 10pm Thursday, students show up at the church. At 1(or so) am, we pile into vans and drive all night to Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA. We spend all day riding roller coasters, walking around the park, eating junk food and getting soaked. At 11pm, we meet up and head to In-n-Out for a giant (but fantastic) cheeseburger that will sit in your belly the whole ride home. We load up and drive all night back to AZ and get to the church around 7am. :) *We have designated drivers who spend a little bit of time at the park, but then go to a hotel to sleep so they can drive us safely back.

I think that will throw anyone off for a while. But, it's such a fun trip and an amazing time to connect with students. The experiences and conversations you have on a trip like that would never happen anywhere else. I love my job!

This post has no pictures, but the next one will because....I moved into my own place! Stay tuned for that update! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Breakfast on Monday

My parents went on a trip and brought home 2 bags of walnuts! We are a pretty nutty family - in more ways than one! - and I was excited about this! I was also excited that we had apples...I'm thinking muffins!
My mom eats gluten free and a lot of our food is too, so I made GF muffins using Pamela's baking mix and added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove to the recipe. Mmm.
Once they were done, I added a generous tab of my favorite salted butter and poured a fresh cup of coffee. I also used my favorite $3 Goodwill dessert/tea plate! I think if I hadn't used salted butter I would have wanted a little salt in the mix, but I'm a saltaholic so maybe it's just me. :)
What a fun, autumn-y breakfast!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Off

Today is my day off! It feels like the first day off in awhile - I've been busy the last two Mondays. I'm looking forward to:

-Finishing my laundry
-Making my bed
-Finishing my alterations on a $3 Savers dress so I can wear it finally
-Keep reading Oliver Twist
-crochet a second dishcloth to match this one
-and some general lazing about :)

I'll leave you with this pic of my main man, Banjo. Why he was sleeping with his nose under the quilt is unclear, but goodness, it was funny!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No. 24 - The Screwtape Letters

image from
Great book. There isn't much more to say. It totally made me think, realize how victorious God is, it convicted me in places I've been lax, and made me laugh. All in all, I'm so glad I read it and would recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it.

Next up in my Unread Library, via random selection, is No. 17 - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Over Medium

My brain is pretty fried: which is why I haven't finished a book, creative project, or a complete sentence in awhile.

This week we had a conference at work (which was amazing, God is always faithful) for 3 days, immediately followed by 2 back-to-back meetings, and then staff meeting the next morning. I usually like meetings: I think it's fun, interesting, and insightful to be part of a church staff and learn the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on to make "church" happen. But I was pretty done this week. :)

My best friend's birthday was Wednesday, so we were given permission to miss youth group and we went out to celebrate! And then we went home early yesterday. I'm making up for it by working today, but seeing as how I fell asleep last night at 6 (woke up at 7 for dinner) and then again at 8, it was totally necessary!

Crochet update:
I haven't ventured past washcloths yet. I like how quick and easy they are to finish and they are great to add to a gift, so having a stack to choose from is convenient.

Here is the most recent one I've finished (which was last week). My sister actually started it while she was visiting and taught me the stitches she used. I finished it when she left. If you look at it in real life, you can almost see the exact row we switched; my stitches are a little too tight and lean a lot more than hers. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

No. 7 - Dubliners

I'm not moving very fast through my Unread Library. Dubliners was good and offered a glimpse into life in Dublin at the turn of the century. This collection of short stories is pretty political; notes on the author describe him as being "the greatest literary rebel of our time [...] He rebelled against social and literary conventions, against Catholicism, and against Dublin, the city at the center of this magnificent early collection of stories." (book jacket).

image from Barnes & Noble

This book definitely put me into a fall mood: gray, somber, and something I would expect to read in school. :)

I'm now working on an added book to my list, a friend lent me The Screwtape Letters. So far, it's very interesting and definitely making me think.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Wardrobe

**I had this post ready to go, and then realized it was coming right after my "Abundance" post. I love clothes and the thrill of finding a smokin' deal, but who I am doesn't come from my clothes. And I know that who I am comes from who God says I am, and that blows my mind. So just a clarification, cause this post could look pretty ironic without this disclaimer.**

For the last few days, I have been staring into my closet with no hope of inspiration. This time of year is so hard! I'm looking forward to fall clothes and closed toed shoes. Cardigans and jeans and layering! But it's still over 100 degrees out. (correction-high 90s) I'm torn between "this may be the last time this year I can wear these sandals/dress/skirt" and "I can't wait to wear these boots/tights/sweater."

Besides what I already own, I'm hoping to add to my fall wardrobe (and hopefully for crazy thrift store cheap!):

a high waisted grey pleated skirt. (totally inspired by this outfit on ModCloth's blog)
an colorful embellished navy cardi. (same inspiration)
tall patterned socks.
new tights (I am very clumsy and tights don't really last more than a season with me!).
something purple. (weird, purple is my least favorite color)

Also loving:

Anthro prices are way out of my budget, but it's still fun to dream. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Abundance

Still working through Dubliners, it's good, but it's short stories so I'm not invested in the plot, since I finish a storyline with every chapter. It should be done soon...
This week's prompt for The Sunday Creative is abundance. And I knew exactly where I was going with it. John 10:10 says: "The thief does not come but to steal, rob, and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly."

A life with Christ is a life that is full. No matter what I don't possess, my life is full. There is no void in my heart because I've found the One who can fill it. There is no hopelessness, because Hope lives in me. There is peace, because He is with me. There is joy, because I've been redeemed. My life is abundant because of Jesus Christ and I am so, so grateful that He came.

I am by no means a paper/ink/free-hand kind of artist. I like digital art because I can make everything perfect. I can Ctrl-Z as many times as I want. There are thousands of fonts that can change the look of any word. But there is something so personal, vulnerable, and real when I put my ideas on a piece of paper. It really is a stretch for me. I can't take it back once it's written in Sharpie pen in my notebook. :) But I love all the decorated sayings and modern calligraphy pieces out there and decided to let it inspire me. Maybe I'll start being able to put more and more of the millions of thoughts floating around in my mind down on paper without caring what it comes out like.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Sunday Creative

I missed a week! This week on The Sunday Creative our prompt is "comfort."

Comfort vb 1.To give strength and hope
n 1. Consolation 2. Freedom from pain, trouble, or anxiety; also: something that gives such freedom

I find comfort in:
-using Illustrator over any other Adobe programs :)
-teal and light coral together
-the scene in Little Women (the Winona Ryder version) where Jo finishes her book and slides a red geranium into her raffia-wrapped manuscript
-my pup, Banjo, who always sits right up against me
-The Comforter, Jesus (Matthew 5)
-my closest friend, who knows me so well that I can't hide anything from her
-white blankets and good books

I'm sure there are more, but for today, those are the things that I am wishing for. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mansfield Park

I finished Mansfield Park this weekend and loved it. I have read enough Jane Austen books to know what to expect (I mean, they are love stories after all, the girl always gets the guy) but this one had a twist that I wasn't expecting. The entire book I wasn't exactly sure how it would turn out. Would Fanny's feelings change? Would Mary Crawford change her mind? Is Mr. Crawford actually a nice guy? I had no idea! But then, in classic Jane Austen form, the last two chapters held all the twists, turns, and wrapped everything up like every good romance should. Not to mention Ms. Austen's humor and subtle satire on wealth and marriage; which is always fun.

And now onto No. 07 of my unread library, Dubliners by James Joyce.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sunday Creative

This week on The Sunday Creative, our prompt was "illuminate."


sweet stillness
dark and silent
damp with early fog
day's first light
intruding the night
sun presents itself
with mighty gentleness
an echoing whisper
spreading warmth
over the land
and my face
peacefully illuminated
by the dawn

I love morning. There is something so precious about a fresh, new day.

Rio del Mar, early morning

Monday, August 30, 2010

No, 12 - Mansfield Park

image from Barnes & Noble
I am currently halfway through Mansfield Park and it's wonderful. I was hoping to have it finished by today, but it is pretty long and I haven't had much time for leisure this week. Maybe by next week it will be done!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Sunday Creative

I just discovered this blog and I'm totally joining up for The Sunday Creative.

This week's prompt is Orient.
Orient  vb 1: to set in a definite position esp. in relation to the points on a compass  2: to acquaint with an existing situation or environment  3: to direct to the interests of a particular group
noun : East, esp. the countries of Eastern Asia
 And here is what I made:

Matthew 7:14 "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

When it comes to a direction or position in my life there is only one: Jesus. My life's journey is fueled and directed by my love for Him and my devotion to Him. And the only way I know where He wants me to go is by spending time with Him and reading the Word.

I'm excited to be challenged in being creative and having a project to learn new techniques and styles that I wouldn't normally use. I haven't used Photoshop a whole lot, but I recently learned about textures and how to use them, so I wanted to try something new.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Unread Library

When it comes to books, I have very little willpower. I love everything about them: the covers, the pages, the words, the fonts, how a book from the 50s or 60s looks nothing like a modern one, and of course, the actual stories. Getting lost in a book is a lifeline for me. A refuge from the world, from things that drain me, and from technology. It is ironic to me that technology and media are part of my top five favorite things to do, and also my current livelihood, and yet I love leaving it behind for a world of ink and paper.

That being said, I have amassed an ever expanding library - primarily made up of thrifted and vintage books (because hey, I'm working with a budget!). I love perusing the shelves at Goodwill and Savers looking for a classic I've never read, a great cover to a book I already love, the occasional chance book that may end up being a keeper (or not), and anything in between. But lately, I've noticed I have a stack of books marked "to read" that grows faster than I can read them. I also realized that the money I'm pouring into this pile can be used for much more impact than my library. So I've committed to not buying another book until I read every last unread book. And the money I would normally spend is being put away (it's not much, but it's something) into a savings account for a yet-to-be-revealed project that will impact many lives.

All these thoughts had started stirring in my heart and head when I read a post on a blog I follow, Pancakes & French Fries, about The Unread Library. This post was a confirmation and encouragement to me, so I decided to follow suit with my progress. Here is My Unread Library; as I finish a book, I will update the list.

1. Aeneid, The | Virgil
2. Candide | Voltaire
3. Cannery Row | John Steinbeck
4. Christmas Carol, A | Charles Dickens
5. David Copperfield | Charles Dickens
6. Dombey & Son | Charles Dickens
7. Dubliners | James Joyce
8. Great Short Works of Herman Melville, The | Herman Melville
9. How to Read Literature Like a Professor | Thomas Foster
10. Kidnapped | Robert Louis Stevenson
11. Lady Susan | Jane Austen
12. Mansfield Park | Jane Austen
13. Moby Dick | Herman Melville
14. Moon is Down, The | John Steinbeck
15. Much Ado About Nothing | William Shakespeare
16. Nick Adams Stories, The | Ernest Hemingway
17. Oliver Twist | Charles Dickens
18. Othello | William Shakespeare
19. Painted Bird, The | Jerzy Kosinski
20. Pearl, The | John Steinbeck
21. Pilgrim's Progress, The | John Bunyan
22. Red Pony, The | John Steinbeck
23. Robinson Crusoe | Daniel Defore
24. Silmarillion, The | JRR Tolkien
25. Uncle Tom's Cabin | Harriet Beecher Stowe
26. War of the Worlds, The | HG Wells

And there you have it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer! part 2

This is my first whole year out of school. It's my first summer in 20 that nothing has really changed in my daily schedule. Okay, yes, I am going to lots of camps, but I am still working and have the same responsibilities as the other times of the year. So it's a little weird for me that all of the students are out of school and I'm not. Good reason to start my MA? Maybe!

I do actually miss school and I think some of that has inspired my summer expectations. So without further ado, my list of summer lessons/learning/hopes:

**Adobe Premiere Pro classroom in a book: I use this program every day and I'd like to know the ins and outs of it. A friend loaned me this book and I'm hoping to work through it so I can feel more confident training my team as it grows.

**Adobe InDesign C.I.A.B: I need to learn this program! I don't think it's unbelieving children that kill off fairies, it's unsuspecting designers who open this program without knowing what to do. :)

**Calligraphy: I love handwriting and I love sending handwritten notes. I have a few tutorials bookmarked along with some good tools priced out. It's also something that seems like it could travel. I could do my ABC's while ZJ naps at camp. :)

**Sewing machine: my mom and I both had sewing machines that needed work (hers is pretty old and I think ignorance broke something in mine *oops*) so we got a quote for repair and it was $90 for each plus any repair/parts for mine! So we decided to take the $200+ and just buy a new one. Nothing fancy, but it works and it has a lot more options than our older ones. So I'm hoping to get comfortable with it and begin altering vintage/thrift clothes to fit better! :)

**I also have an ongoing list of books that I've picked up, have yet to read, or want to buy. I'm hoping to make some good progress on those while I'm traveling/taking it easy. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer! part 1

I am always so excited for summer! And it seems every year, I have a list of expectations for that summer. This year, summer kind of crept up on me - my birthday is in 5 days and summer can officially begin! - and so I'm just now settling into my expectations. But let me tell you, I am getting more and more excited as the days go by.

For the last 2 years, NorthShore has planned and led our own summer camp at Camp Cedar Crest in Running Springs, CA. This year, we are running camp again but also are including churches throughout the district! We have 7-8 other churches coming with us and that is very exciting! Summer camp will be amazing. I LOVE camp, like love, Love, LOVE camp :) so I know it's going to be a great week. We'll be at camp June 13-18 and we'll be posting daily on the camp website: - feel free to check it out now and then too for updates.

The week after We Are Foursquare camp, we'll be heading to Carlsbad, CA for a week of camping on the beach for family camp. I haven't been in 2 years, and I'm missing it. It's the best. :)

On top of all that, my best friend in the whole world is leading creative arts workshops and classes for all of the Southwest district camps - which is 3 straight weeks back up at Camp Cedar Crest. And I am so happy to be going with her for 2 of those weeks! I'll be helping her out with the theatre stuff but for the most part, I'll be gallivanting with my favorite 1-year old in the woods! OK, maybe we'll be slowly walking around the paved/carpeted areas of the camp, but I'm still looking forward to extended quality time with 2 of my favorite ladies! :)

Then (whew!) in August, my sister and I are spending a week with my Grandma in the Bay Area. She and I haven't spent a whole lot of time together recently and I think it will be a fun trip and a good chance to hang out with our Noni as well. :)
My grandma's house

So, Part 1 of my summer plans are all the trips I'll  be taking! :) I'll be back soon with Part 2

Monday, May 24, 2010

Diving Horse

I have a soft spot for vintage children's books. So when I saw this book recently, I knew it would be a great addition to my small collection.

Isn't that the best title ever? I also love library memorabilia so when I saw that it came from the Phoenix Public Library and was marked with the DISCARD stamp there was nothing I could do to resist rescuing it. :)

The poor thing.

It is now happy at home with me where there is no fear of discard. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vintage Kick and Vintage Kicks

I've been on this vintage kick for awhile and I love mixing in vintage pieces with my normal things (either in outfits or accessories or in decorating). I found some amazing vintage pieces in the last few days.

On Friday, my brother and I had a date. I waited for him at Goodwill and I found this skirt for half off.

Someone had already started altering it, the bottom is roughly cut and frayed, but it's long enough all around to re-hem it and I'm excited about that.

You can see from the side that the back panel is a few inches longer than the front. :) (oh and yes, I'm standing on a chair!)

And it's even worse on this side!! But I love the print and I'm looking forward to fixing it up.

Then today, I found the most amazing shoes and bag ever!

I spent more on this bag than I usually do (haha $18) for a few reasons. It's leather and is also the perfect length for me. And also because of this:

Can we just let that sink in for a minute?

I also think my heart was looking for a pair of shoes like this because I saw them and knew that the search was over. They fit when I tried them on and they were $5! (Also, leather and the stamp inside says "Made in Brazil")

They are completely different than what I would expect for myself. (that's a weird way to put it) But I just love them and they are comfortable - and vintage, bohemian, scholarly all at once. :)

And to end this post con photos (hooray photos!), I finally collected enough prints for my little gallery wall.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Oh my goodness. I blinked and it was almost May.

I finally have a rhythm with my job. No longer is it my "new" job, I'm no longer trying to get caught up, and Easter is over, so everything is normal - as normal as it can be, working simultaneously with people and computers/equipment. :)

I'm really excited to be in a groove and ready to take on some new challenges. Maybe I'll actually learn what all the buttons on the camera do or how to actually use some of the programs I'm so fortunate to have on my computer.

Side note: this post will not have pictures because I lost the cable. Oh, the irony.

I posted my SOAK (devotion) on the NorthShore website last week (you can read it here) and it was really convicting. I have never been very vocal about what I believe. For the most part, I am shy and soft spoken; a peace maker and a people pleaser. But I realized that that isn't an excuse to not be vocal, but rather a strength to create deep meaningful relationships with people, and conversations about God will come from how much I care about them. Does that even make sense? Well, either way, I've been able to be more candid about what I believe with more people in the last few weeks than I ever have in my life. I admit I haven't shared my faith ala GOSPEL acronym and said "Do you want Jesus?" but I think the small seeds that I'm being faithful to plant are just the beginning. I'm excited that God is changing me and I'm realizing, even more, how important prayer is in my life. It's a place that I'm happy to be discovering and challenging at the same time.

I am a freelance designer now! Well, if you count one freelance job! It was a great learning experience and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to possibly make something of it. It was so fun to deposit that check, haha.

This is possibly the most sporadic post, and for that I apologize. If you want to see what else I'm working on, visit The Springs Church and NorthShore Student Ministries sites. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Birds & Flowers

I found this little guy at Goodwill today in a bag of things for $1.99. He came with a glass encapsulated doily-thing, a candle snuffer, and some tea light holders. A pretty good deal, I think. Although I wasn't totally sold on the terracotta finish he had. The color wasn't too bad, but as you can see he was marked up and a little dingy.

Armed with my trusty $0.10 acrylics, I went to work. I went for a coral, peachy color to tie in with a few pieces I have around the room.

See? Almost the same, just a little cleaner and a little lighter. But I like it much better!

At home, on my cabinet.

Looks like someone is ready for a cup of tea and a good read!!

I also have been making fabric flowers whenever I need an easy, mindless pursuit. I made some from a blue print, a maroon pillowcase ($0.25!), and today I bought a few napkins to try: coral and a shiny deep puce color, which is a lot prettier than the name suggests.

What is better than an apothecary jar full of flowers? Maybe chocolate. Maybe.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I have some of the hardest feet in the world to fit. They're terribly small, terribly wide, and have terribly high arches. I also have thick ankles and calves. (*although I've started calling them vintage, because there is nothing better than a woman in the 40s with a mid calf length dress on and thick ankles with heels, believe me!)

So what does a girl with hard to fit feet develop a penchant for? You got it. Shoes. Oh the irony. I've had some pretty great finds recently though - especially secondhand.

These booties are so fun, leather, and I got them at Goodwill for probably $6. I love how the leather is worn and soft and how they remind me of the granny boots I had when I was 9. I don't love the vinyl lining on the inside of the opening, it's cracked and hard and did a number to the tights I wore them with. :/ But overall, I like them!

These boots. Let me say this, I've wanted tall boots for my whole life (well, for the last few years of my whole life) and never have been able to find ones that fit for a good price. Who has a few hundred to spend on boots? Not me. So I found these boots at Goodwill last week for $12. They are a few sizes too big, but that actually helps with the width. And they don't look like flippers. :) Leather again, and they are just a little tight on my calves, but I can zip them up and they don't look too tight. And did I say $12?!?!

 OK. I love the vintage shop Vintage Petals and I bought a skirt from there too. Ashley has such great prices and great pieces. These oxfords are probably the best things I've ever seen. (other than newborn babies, of course). The yummy brown leather fades from dark to chestnut-y and look at that heel!! Liz Claiborne, so not super old, but just wonderful. (slightly too small, but I don't care, I really like them!)

And finally, these are new, but I got them at Ross and I had been eyeing them for weeks.  These shoes just scream 4th of July picnic and I'm so glad I finally tried them on. This is the story. It was love at first sight but they had an abnormally high price tag for Ross. So I did not try them on (ignorance is bliss, right?) and walked away slowly. Saw them again and still, same price, same squeeze on my heart. Finally after the third (or maybe even fourth) time, I tried them on. And they fit. And they were the only ones left in my size. And they were leather. And Clarks. So they came home with me and I wear them occasionally around the house. :)