Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hunting for Treasures

I think garage sales are awesome, I love walking around antique malls and flea markets excite me more than a sale at Dillards... so with that said, today I tagged along with a friend with similar tastes and went to a really cool place in Fort Worth called
The Old Home Supply 
(thanks Beth Nicols) :)))

Now... I know not everyone is like me and some may think this place is just loaded with junk and discarded trash! But my motto is "one person's trash may be another person's treasure"... the motto doesn't always hold true but many times it has!!!!

I thought I was flying this excursion solo but little man thought differently and decided to join me... He is lucky his is so cute!!!

Here are some of the slightly tarnished beauties I spied today... avert your eyes if you can't see past the dirt and weathered marks ;))))

And My Favorite... Wish I had a wall or place big enough to put this pretty thing on!!!!
To me it is imperfectly perfect!!! Even tho all the window slats aren't there I love the colors of the ones that are!!!

Matthew found some treasures of his own... he was really a good browsing partner (a little bossy and busy but what 3 year old isn't)!!!

Lastly... to prove that this place was right up my alley, I found this sign :)))  Ahhh... so great!
If you have a free couple of hours and are in the mood to hunt around... This place is your spot!!!

Always - Abbey

New Idea

As you can tell, I am a little fabric flower crazy! Ha... I have found ways to put them on almost everything! Pins, clips, head bands, pens, candles... and now PILLOWS!!! 
Take a look at my latest idea:
Not too shabby :)))
Here is the tutorial on how to make it...

What you will need:
1 pillow
2 yards of fabric, cut or ripped into a 2-3 inch strip
hot glue
needle and thread
bling or button for middle

To start, take your fabric and rip or cut a strip that is 2 yards (or longer depending on how big you want the flower) and tie a knot on one end.

Next place the knotted end of the fabric strip on the middle of the pillow and secure with the needle and thread.

After it is secure, begin to wrap the fabric around the knot... twisting and folding fabric along the way. Every turn secure the wrap with a dot or line of hot glue. Be sure to make the glue marks as close to the fabric line as possible...

Once the fabric is wrapped all the way around add a bling piece or button to middle of the flower!! And there you have it!!! So easy and so fun!!! 

I am going to use my pillow (and maybe one more) on my front porch as July 4th decorations! But depending on what type of pillow you use, you can use them as throw pillows for the couch, your bed, or any decorative chair!!!
I have a couple more ideas and color combinations for pillows that I will post later!!!

Always - Abbey

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today doesn't feel like a Holiday... Hubby is at work, big boy had a make-up day at school, I taught a class, and little man is under foot (like always)! So for me today is just another day... except for the flags flying, the patriotic music I hear on the radio, and all the moving testimonies I am reading via email and facebook!!! I get so moved to hear how fearless people fight for my freedom, how effortlessly they put their lives on the line so that I can wake up every day and close my eyes every night without hesitation! You forget that not everyone has that security in their life...
So for today, even though I am going through my normal Monday routine (with the exception of an evening family BBQ) I am sending up a constant pray of thanks and safeguarding for those men and women who don't get to see their family today, for those who might not ever see their families again! Watch over them God, keep them strong and steadfast... keep your hand over them and your grace within them!!!!

God Bless America

Always - Abbey

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This and That

After a busy weekend, as I finally get a moment to sit on the couch and veg I wanted to share a couple things that made me smile this weekend...

These 2... 
red faced and sweaty, playing outside being boys!!!

We have sprouts!!! Matthew is beyond excited

I made some homemade baby shower gifts this past week for a sweet friend and her new adorable baby girl! I love when an idea in my head comes to life and actually works out... 
Precious, right?!?!
I hope this week brings great things, unexpected joy, and peaceful moments!!!
Always- Abbey

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unanswered Prayers..

When I say the two words Unanswered Prayers... what comes to your mind!? For me, the first thing that jumps in my head is the song by Garth Brooks and then my mind can wander back to like 7th grade when I got his cassette tape (yes I said it, cassette tape) at Christmas time! Ha!! But that's not where I'm going with this post ;) We can talk 80's country another time...!!!

Second, my mind thinks back to all of the bazillion prayers I have sent up over my life. How I would think that if my prayers weren't answered how I sent them up the world was ending and I would just get angry, frustrated at God even! And I would ask why, why God!? Don't You love me, don't You want me to be happy!!? Have I not been good enough to earn more goodness?
But as you can tell, especially from the words of the illustrious Mr. Brooks... Unanswered Prayers aren't and shouldn't be given a bad rap! With time God's plan will unfold, some of the details you may never see or get the privilege to fully understand... but ultimately the plan isn't for you to direct!

Over the past couple of weeks there have been things that have present themselves in my life, and in the life of my family that have truly made me ponder the words Unanswered Prayers more than normal. Nothing bad, nothing big or devastating... but little things that make you look at the big picture of your life and realize things are not in your control and will never be no matter how many prayers you say. Instances that make you think... what if we had taken a different road, chose a different choice? All I can do is smile, look up and be thankful. Thankful for all of the bazillion things that I prayed for that weren't answered, that weren't granted! Because if they had been I may not be who I am today, living the blessed life I am, with the husband I am proud to call my own, with the sweet boys who love us without measure!

I wholeheartedly believe everything happens for a reason and that God places you exactly where you are supposed to be. I no longer look to my prayers as "must haves"... I look at them as "could haves"! I do this because I know that if God doesn't open one door, he opens a window for you to look out that will show you what direction you should be looking! And before you know it and sometimes without realizing you are in front of the biggest door you never knew you wanted open!

So.... that's all... go ponder all the prayers that you wanted that went unanswered! You may reflect back on some of them and say a HUGE thank you or a quiet WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! No matter how you feel when you look back.... I know one thing for sure,  I bet you will be singing that song the rest of the day! LOL :)

Always - Abbey

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing in the Dirt

I love the change of seasons... any season change! There is nothing better than the change from days upon days of hot temps to a shift and then crisp freshness in the air, the smell of the breeze! Then back to the hot sun on your face, the wind in your hair... all of it! It brings a sense of pureness and renewal to my soul!
One of the my favorite things to do is go out on a warm spring Sunday afternoon and work in the yard! Plant new potted plants for our front porch, add new pieces to our flower beds! And we did just that yesterday...
We all piled in the car and headed to Lowe's! Me with my notes from Better Homes, Shane with his count for mulch bags, and the boys with their snack baggies!!! So fun...
Here are the finished products

The frog isn't new but he is one of my favorite little things in our front flower beds!

I of course could not have done this without the hand of my little helper...
At first I was just going to let him make a mucky mess... it kept him satisfied for about an hour (which is a huge success)!!! But then he was so into it I decided to give him some wildflower seeds to plant! He loved it!!! He had so many questions, it was too cute! "Mommy, can we stare at them until they grow?" So sweet, so innocent and pure... just like the change of seasons!!!

Stay tuned to see if the wildflowers grow :))))
Always - Abbey

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Following Which Voice

Do you hear voices!? I do... I think its because I talk to myself constantly...heeheehee! But seriously, in today's world with so many different distractions, options, opinions, socially driven standards... how do you know you are moving in the right direction! Sometimes I say it's a feeling you get when you know you have made the right choice or a gut check when you realize you haven't. But often times I feel like I flounder out there making judgement calls that I have no right judging on!! I often say to my friend Julie that being a 'grown up' stinks and it is hard! Who knew!?!?! And if I knew it was this hard, I would have so cherished my 'kid' years way more!!!

Today in church a sermon was given on following your calling and listening to the voice of God in your life. It was thought provoking and really made me think about what direction I am moving in as a wife, mother, daughter, and most of all as a individual! Do I listen to God, do I follow his lead...? Or do I listen to my own wants and needs, claiming they are his!? That is hard to say... and that is why sometimes I wonder if the voices I hear or the thoughts I have are mine or his? How do you know? How will you ever truly know if the path you choose is God's path or your own selfish path of least resistance??

All I can say is that I pray with every decision I make, I ask for Grace with every step I take and I ask for forgiveness when I find that the path I went down really wasn't a path at all, it was a short cut to something I thought was worthwhile and in the end wasn't worthwhile at all.

What is my calling... that is the million dollar question! Do people just have one calling or can they have multiple callings? I know I have a calling to love... to love my family, to love myself (which I never knew would be so hard at times), to love my friends, and to love my God! I still use the phrase "when I grow up..." because I feel like I still have room to grow and room to do better! So, with that said,  until I "grow up" and find that I know it all... I will just consider my calling a continuous conversation with God, not a one time voice mail! And even tho sometimes I get lost and frustrated in that constant push/pull of voices, I am proud knowing that I have choices and that even if I do change my mind a hundred times, go down a hundred different paths, at least I am not alone in this journey!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Candles with Flare

For about a month now I have been selling my flower pins and headbands, behind the scenes by word of mouth!! It is so fun to see your creations bring others happiness!!! With that said, the other day, I made these candles on a whim for a friend who needed some presents... and I just loved it so much I decided to try to keep on selling!!
First I was planning to post these on my blog Thursday night (I think) but something was up with Blogger, it was down and wouldn't let me post! So hesitantly, I decided to post them on facebook and give selling my crafts a real shot. Despite my nervousness and immediate poster's remorse, I got a great response from my lovely friends!
You Gotta Love friends who lift your spirits and give you confidence to carry on and keep creating!

And... thanks to an idea from a wonderful friend (who by the way is also super creative and should try selling her stuff too, cause it would go like hot cakes) 
I am offering a PROMO deal :))) 
Here it is...
Share my blog link with your friends via email or facebook, get them to follow me on my blog by posting a comment with your name on it, either here or on the shared link on facebook... the person with the most new friends to comment will get a FREE candle!!!!!
Go for It... This could be fun!!! Let's see how many new friend followers we can get!!!! PROMO ends Friday the 20th
fyi... candles and flare can be custom made to your desire! I have tons of fabric and colors to choose from!!!!! And if you aren't the competitive type... candles can be purchased for $10 :) Message me if your are interested!!!

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little Deals

Do you make 'deals' with yourself? I do... for example: if I can get the bathrooms clean and 2 loads of laundry done, then I can watch Grey's Anatomy! Ha... I do it all day long! If I eat that then I can't eat this... if I make this amount of $$ teaching classes then I can go buy 2 new shirts... if, then... if, then!!!!!!!!! It can be exhausting but also motivating!
When I was younger I used to make little deals with God too... if you can just get me thru this math test God, and pass, I will study harder next time (knowing I should have studied hard this go around and didn't)! Now that I am older and have been thru some hard times, praying all the while and probably trying to swing deals with God along the way... I have learned it isn't about the "if, then" mentality. It should be about now and always!!! Right now God, I am in need of your grace and I will always look to you for direction... even if your direction isn't the way I thought I was supposed to go! I have found that God isn't into the "Let's Make a Deal" mentality... He is in to the consistent and honest mentality! And that doesn't mean consistently perfect and the honestly right way all the time! I make mistakes, I take short cuts, I forget to pray, I have lied, I have lost sight of what is right... but what I have learned is that instead of begging for a "deal" all I had to do was offer it up and let God take the lead! Now why didn't I know that or clue into that when I was 18?!?! LOL....
So as I go into another day with TONS on my 'to do' list and more wishes than I can count... I celebrate the small stuff and I try not to "'if, then' myself to the point of insanity!!! But I will be honest.... I did do 2 loads of laundry, clean the bathroom and make my bed today, so I may treat myself to a pedi tomorrow! ;) Celebrating the small stuff and not swinging any deals....yea!!!!!!!

Always - Abbey
p.s. here's a precious pic of some joy I have in my life every day and I try to remember to celebrate every second! And don't let the Lakers shirts fool ya, we are MAVS fans thru and thru!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pillow Accents

Just wanted to take a minute to share a pillow upgrade I did as gifts for mother's day!! I got the idea from Jones Design Company's week of flower tutorials posted on her blog a week ago! I am sure you can find it in her blog archives www.jonesdesigncompany.com
Here are my pillows... note... that I did not make the pillows (I am not there yet in my craftiness), just added the flower accents!

I gave them to my Mom and Sister-n-law! I thought they turned out really cute!!! Even tho they aren't summery colored pillows (they match their house interiors), it would be so easy to make pillows with bright or light colors and add flower accents!!! Wouldn't they be great birthday presents or end of the year gifts for teachers!!?! I am on the hunt for fun outdoor pillows in bright summer colors to experiment with... so STAY TUNED!!!!

Always - Abbey

Monday, May 9, 2011

First Attempt at A Link Party

To be honest I am so learning as I go... but check it out... I linked up my Almost Summer Wreath Tutorial to CraftOManic http://craftomanic.blogspot.com :)) I'm #222 YeeHaw!!!
Lots of great ideas on this site... share it and craft on my friends!!! ha!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Wreath and Tutorial

Here is my first attempt at a Tutorial... eekkkk! I see so many on the blogs I stalk, I figured I'd give it a go! I made a wreath over the past couple of weeks (don't worry it won't take you that long). It came out of inspiration from 2 people... My neighbor Kelly Deary, she made a similar wreath from burlap and also my sister-n-law Kim Catalano because she gave me some really cute outdoor pillows that are sort of tropical and make me think of a vaca that I desperately need!!! Here is the finished product and a pillow shot:
Pretty cute, Huh?? Totally makes me think of Jamaica or Mexico with the colors!

Here is what you need to start:
1-2 yards of fabric, preferably sturdy or thicker fabric, burlap even... Or if you are like me and want to do it the challenging - not hard - but challenging ;) way, use any fabric you want and get a product called Stiffy (ha, I know totally funny and inappropriate name!!! thanks for the helpful tip Jules)
1 wire hanger
hot glue

First start by cutting or ripping (my fav) the fabric into 3-4 inch strips, long ways on the fabric...
After you have about 7-15 of those strips, depending on stiffness of your fabric and how full you want your wreath, start folding the strips into an accordion pile...
Here is where you decide if you want or need the Stiffy product... The name still makes me giggle!
If you are like me and do everything with out planning or thinking ahead you can put the Stiffy stuff on after the wreath is made or if you are more together than me, you can add it to the fabric strips before putting it on the wire hanger! Me, I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl and didn't realize I even needed it until the whole wreath was already almost done, thus the 2 week process for me ;) Not Recommended!!! LOL.
Next bend your wire hanger into a circle, or any shape really if you want! I have seen squares, letter shapes, oval... sky's the limit!
Then begin to add your accordion pile of fabric onto the wire base by poking one end of the wire thru the center of the fabric pile...
It will look like this once you get some of the fabric piles on fully...
Once all of your fabric piles are added on your wreath should look like this...
I wanted mine to look a bit loose and not as full... but depending on how much fabric you add and how Stiff or rigid it is that will change the look of the wreath up a bit! Have fun with it... Try a lot of fabric, or alternating patterns, anything goes!!! I also added some hot glue to the insides of the fabric after the Stiffy stuff dried to make sure that it all looked like one piece on the wire, no gaps I mean, and to keep it solid in case of wind...

I added 3 Fabric Roses to my wreath to match my porch swing pillows... but you could add a welcome sign,  a big letter for your family name, a bird... really anything!!!!
Here is my finished product again...
Let me know if you have any questions... I am sure that I left stuff out or something being that I am a newbie to tutorials!!! If you do try it out... share pictures with me, I sooo want to see your creations!!!!!! Or if you are just a wishful crafty person, like I once was, and want to order one from me for yourself and claim you made it... let me know that too!!!!!!
Happy Crafting...
Always - Abbey