Monthly Archives: November 2011

Earrings from Autumn Leaves

I know, enough with the leaves already! I can’t help it, they are everywhere and I’m taking advantage of the natural resource. So I came up with these simple but beautiful earrings, using more of my supplies from For the Makers.

To make your own, all you need is mod podge, needle, metallic gold thread, scissors, two sequins, two beads, and a couple of earring hooks.

Step 1: Start by painting a layer of mod podge on both sides of your dried leaves. Allow to dry. This makes them plyable and resistant to breakage. (To dry leaves, try pressing them in a heavy book for about a week.)
Step 2: Take a strand of metallic gold thread and thread both ends through the needle. (Make sure it’s a single strand)
Step 3: Gently pierce a hole through the top of the leaves and thread them on your string, followed by the sequin.
Step 4: If your leaves have a pointy top, snip off the top so it’s flat. Otherwise your leaf won’t hang down, it will hang to the side.
Step 5: With both tail ends of the string, make a knot right above your leaves/sequins – double knot to keep it secure. Cut off the excess tail.
Step 6: Pinch the top loop and slide on a bead through the loop – you need this weight on the earring, otherwise it will be too light.

That’s it! Put on a pair of earring hooks using the loop and wear with care.

A Stripping of Comforts

Recently my 1.5 year old lost his pacifier – and I ran out of backups. My first son never really took one, so it was foreign to me to have a babe that desperately needed it so often. So I had the choice to force weaning him from it or get a new one. I chose the first option. Poor guy, he was having a pretty rough time.

Just a few months ago I successfully weaned him from nursing, after about two months of hard nights and days trying to get him unhooked. I started to think about why it was so traumatic for him. And it’s simple really, I’m removing something from his life that comforts him.

To which I thought, “Hmm, that’s familiar.”

God has been leading us on a journey that has resulted in comforts being removed. In the last 3 years the comforts of money, safety, friends, family, and things that were familiar have been slowly stripped away more and more. At first it was very uncomfortable. I might have even thrown a few tantrums. But by now, I’ve not only gotten used to it, I welcome it. For it’s in discomfort that often you have the chance to grow the most. To trust. To actually know who – or what – you really put your trust in.

Ultimately God has done this, I believe, to force us to grow up a little. Kind of what my little babe has to go through. But I think the big reason why is to learn:

He is sufficient. He is enough.

He is our comfort. Not our house. Not our money. Not our marriage or relationships. It’s Him. So in other words, if all those other things in life were removed (which, let’s be honest could be removed at any time), the ideal response would not be a traumatic one, but a peaceful one.  One that’s totally and completely comforted by the sufficiency of Christ.

As for my baby, well…I broke and got him a new pacifier. I know – tsk tsk! Let’s just say I’m saving that battle for the road ahead. But he’ll learn soon enough that the little bit of temporary comfort that a piece of plastic and rubber can give him will soon hopefully be replaced by something far more valuable and eternal – the comfort of the true and living God.

For the Makers

Yesterday I mentioned that I got a box in the mail filled to the brim with all kinds of crafty things from For the Makers. For the Makers combines DIY tutorials with hand-selected materials delivered to your door so you can discover new projects and create and share your projects with others.

Here is what I got:

I can’t wait to create with this stuff!

Simply sign up for $29 and every month you’ll receive supplies for four to six projects. They source the coolest materials and deliver them straight to your door, letting you skip straight to the fun part. They’ll walk you through each project with a fun how-to on their website but they also encourage you to explore the creative potential in each package.

The most exciting part is that once you make something, whether it’s one of their projects, or your own, you’ll be able to post it and share it with friends and fellow Makers.

This would make a great gift for the creative person in your life!

Autumn Leaves Garland

I recently received in the mail a beta box of amazing craft goodies from For the Makers (more on this later). In the box was this beautiful gold metallic thread that I just knew I had to use for this project.

You probably already have the materials for it right in your backyard. If you are like me, you want to bring in the colors and textures of fall into your home, so I created these garlands with colorful dried fall leaves. The beauty of this idea is that you can use all the assorted shapes and colors that nature provides and combine them to create the look you want. The photo above gives you an idea of just some of the looks that you can achieve.

All you need is:
thread (I used metallic gold, which I would highly recommend)
dried leaves (you can dry and press leaves in between the pages of a heavy book – just make sure you leave them in there for at least a week)
needle
circle punch (optional for the circle garland)

The how-to is simple: just gather and arrange your dried leaves and begin “sewing” them onto your thread, leaving a long tail on both ends for hanging. After you thread each leaf, make a knot so it will stay put and not slide along the thread.

For the circle garland, just use a circle punch to punch the shapes out of the leaf. Then thread like above.

As for the fragility of the leaves, they held up very well with all my handling, windy photo conditions, and dropping them multiple times. You will want to handle them with care though if you want them to last longer than just one season.

Note: Our trees are just now beginning to turn, so I wasn’t able to find a whole lot of vivid colors – so I did some Photoshopping to make the colors more lively. :)

Drawing Challenge & Free Download

I’m a full-time mom of two boys, who are now 3 and 1.5. Needless to say, they keep me busy! Yet, I think about art every day. I think about painting every day. I yearn to bust out of bed every morning not to crying kiddos who want to be fed, but to an art easel with a blank canvas just waiting to be filled with the ideas that occupied my dreams.

I know this is just a season. Art is something I’ve learned to incorporate into my very demanding life as a mother – even if it’s just admiring and soaking in the beauty around me. But recently, I’ve just been unable to shake the need to draw. To not just hurriedly doodle an idea or image, but to really sit down and take some time to sketch. So I recently challenged myself after being inspired by a friend to a 30-day drawing challenge. It was just that, a challenge. My house got really messy – chores were neglected – but in those rare moments when a baby was napping or playing peacefully I would get out my sketch book and draw. Some drawings were short and hurried, some I was able to labor over the details. I didn’t make it 30 days straight. I skipped a day or two (or five) in between, but I managed to squeeze out about 20 drawings over a period of a couple months.

I wanted to share some of them with you. One in particular I’m making available as a free download, in case you like it. :) My oldest son does love to paint, and he will sit down with me for a good 20-30 minutes to create art. The colored background in this piece in particular was done with my son’s watercolors, then later that night when the boys were in bed, I quickly sketched the peafowl over it with ink. I like the pop of color. I hope you like it too!

Even more, I hope it inspires you to make time for what’s burning deep inside you – even if it means letting your house go to pot.

Handmade: Minimalist Yarn Ornament

I’m guest posting today over on CraftSnob.com – Sara is hosting a month long handmade ornament parade to gear up for the holidays and asked me to be a part. My contribution was a minimalist yarn ornament. Simple and pretty. Go take a look!