Tuesday, December 2, 2014


First - the beginning, the start. the most important.

A first

 - something that has never happened before and is therefore important or exciting:
A first - used in referring to the main or the most important thing

A few days ago, I experienced several first time experiences nearly at the same time.  First, I had to create a video that other people were going to see and not just see it, but see me in it....I have made a zillion short videos where I am behind the camera and generally I am filming my children on a special day, or a special place so as to capture the memory of that incredible moment in my life. With a mother's love and looking through that lens of love- all of my videos are funny, beautiful and worthy to watch again and again.  But being on the other side of the lens, well that was definitely a first! We made it a family affair, with my oldest daughter filming and editing; my youngest daughter gave encouragement and at first, liked saying "Action" but after a few (dozen) takes, she just wanted to give support and watch from the other side of the camera.  Then after we finished filming and editing, my oldest (son), helped us create the link to view it, while in Florida.  This brings me to my next first- our son is beginning his career in Florida.  He has completed his masters and will live and work in a great small city right on the Atlantic Ocean!  We have actually vacationed there for the past 13 years and as a child, I visited my grandparents who lived there also. It's a great opportunity. For me, it's a first in the sense that he will not be home for semester breaks, weekends, or summer.  He, on the other hand,  will have a new home, new opportunities and lots of firsts.  We all experience firsts- some good, some sad, some exciting, some we dread.  But all of us have and will continue to experience firsts. It really is a part of life.  I am encouraged to know that we can share our firsts (no matter the experience) with God and that he understands because, even God has experienced firsts.  

                                 We love because he first loved us.
                                                   -I John 4:19

God's first is on a much grander scale than my video.  In all of our firsts we experience, he has shown us how to be first in the most important aspect of our lives - Love.  When we love first, show kindness first, choose others above ourselves first, create homes with his love first, use our talents looking through his lens of love first, Our lives will be richer, fuller and we will be the first to say "It is because he loved me first."

I hope you will have many firsts that will bring great opportunities to show his love (for us) first! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pearls, please!

Willow Hearts is a girls teen group that I lead two to three times a month at our home.  It has all the wonderfulness of girls, the laughter of stories, the sharing of treasures from scriptures, games, food and so much more.  Every two weeks, Presleigh and I open up our home and hearts to 20 of the greatest girls in the world!! (and a few of their sweet mommas stay too).  This fall we have been looking at the promises from God such as his faithfulness, his love and his friendship.  We will end this study on December 4th. And so to commemorate these promises, each girl will make a silver charm bracelet with charms reflecting each promise.  I thought it would be fitting to add another charm- showing just how valuable God is in our lives no matter what our age.  Trying to find an image, symbol or charm to encompass all that God is - is quite daunting!  Where do you find the  "Creator of the universe" charm?
So as I searched the scriptures, God gave me the answer- The Pearl of Great Price (Mt 13:45).  As a jewelry designer, what could be more perfect???

As my mind continued down the pearl path, I thought of our times in Epcot at Disney World.  We always head to Japan for the purchasing of a pearl (that is still in the oyster, no less).  My girls and I love this tradition.  It's quite a memory for us as we look through the water tanks to find just the right one, hoping for the double pearls or the silvery blue ones, or the biggest.... As a mom, I am praying that the girls get similar pearls so that everyone is happy.  As for me, personally, I am always amazed that there is a pearl in that shell.... We pay a price for our pearls and to some it is pricey, but it isn't all our money. We pay a little extra to have our pearls turned into something that we can wear and see daily.

God is our pearl of great price..  and one of the differences between Disney World's pearl and God's pearl is that we do give him our everything so that we can allow him to work in our lives and so through us, we can see our pearl daily, changing hearts and lives.

Pearls to remind us of God's great value

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Southern delicacy with a kick - recipes from our Home Ec Class

I teach a Home Ec class with 11 wonderful students.  They are eager to learn new things, try out all the latest recipes and love to use food processors, kitchen aids and knives (yes, even the chef's knife!)  This past week we learned the do's and don'ts of entertaining along with some great recipes and one that might surprise you.  I thought I would share our southern delicacy of Cheese straws with them and now with you.  We tested two recipes- one from the Queen of the South, Paula Deen and another, an adapted recipe from Southern Living. 

Paula Deen's were light and mild.  Half of the students liked hers the best.  Her dough worked best in the cookie press (plate that is closest in the picture). 

The second recipe was kicked up with the cayenne and had a more dense consistency. The other half of my students loved this one. For me, I am an equal opportunity cheese straw eater and LOVED them both. 

Our surprise recipe was our Chocolate Punch-Yes, Chocolate Punch. I found this in a older cookbook for entertaining.  So we gave it a try - what's not to love about chocolate syrup , milk and ice cream and with the added fizz of ginger ale -It was chocolatey goodness with a splash of fizz!! Don't be afraid of the gingerale, it added a lightness to the ice cream and created a refreshing drink that could be served at your next party! I think I want to vary the ice cream flavors to see what other goodness we can serve.  

I hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know which Cheese Straws get your vote and of course, what you think of our new punch recipe.  

Until next time, keep finding joy in the everyday,....

Cheese Straws #1 (a Paula Deen recipe)

2 cups self-rising flour
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1-cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups (½ pound) grated sharp Cheddar cheese, at room temperature

1.  Preheat the oven at 350 degree.
2. Sift together the flour, cayenne and salt and set aside. 

3.  Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cheese until blended. 

4.  Add the flour mixture, slowly, beating at low speed, then continue to beat for 5 minutes, until very creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl several times.

5. Using a cookie press with a star tip, make 3 inch long cheese straws, leaving at least ½ inch between each on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

6. Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow the straws to sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the cheese straws to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight containers.

***Do not use a nonstick cookie sheet, parchment paper or cooking spray.  You want the bottoms to get crisp.***

 Cheese Straws  #2 (A Southern Living Recipe)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 (1-pound) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
 2 teaspoons ground red (cayenne) pepper

1/2-teaspoon paprika

4 cups all-purpose flour

1.  Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended.
2. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined.
3. Use a cookie press with a star-shaped disk to shape mixture into long ribbons, on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
4. Before baking, cut ribbons into 2-inch pieces.
5.  Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
To make Cheese Wafers: (without a cookie press)

 Combine ingredients as directed; chill dough 2 hours. Shape dough into 4 (8-inch-long) logs; wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container 1 week.

Chocolate Punch – a new and fun punch recipe….

1 cup Chocolate Syrup
5 cups milk
1.75 quarts vanilla ice cream
1 quart ginger ale, chilled

Combine the chocolate syrup and milk in a punch bowl, stirring to mix. Add ice cream, stirring until partially melted. Add the ginger ale and serve.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Feather Love

I am so excited and honored to be a guest blogger on the ICE resin blog today and share with you a new jewelry piece that I made using the incredible ICE resin and ICED enamels from the wonderful company of Susan Lenart Kazmer and {my friend}-Jen Cushman. 

 Please take a moment and visit the blog and I hope you will be inspired to try a little resin, a little enameling and a few of your special treasures to create a one of kind piece of jewelry that shares a little about who you are!  Here’s the link….http://wp.me/p1MCno-3AL

Until next time, finding joy in the everyday,....

A little resin, enameling and sweet treasures

A close-up- Feather Love

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where have I been?????

Sometimes life gets busy and fun and we forget to blog, post, tweet and snapchat...while I have been so neglectful of this blog, y'all have been on my mind.  For example, when I go on vacation, I think "Oh I should write a post about our wonderful time," but then the business of catching up happens. " When I try a new recipe, I think "I should share this on my blog,"  but then the dishes are calling.  When I am studying a particular passage of scripture or thoughts from a great book compel me to do some soul searching, I think "I know there are those who need to read my tidbits of discovery," but then a friend calls and needs an encouraging word.  When I am creating in the studio or the sewing room, I think "I share this creative tip, technique, finished project," but then my sweet girls want to make one too.  So we continue to create.   So with that said, I thought today would be a great day to share that I'll try to be back with a few thought, recipes, creative endeavors as these holiday months creep upon us.

For now here are a few pics of the last 15 months. Holidays, London, Vacations, family and friends, state fair of Texas, Mavericks game, Round Top Antiques Week, just to name a few happenings around here...

I'll be writing soon... In November, I'll have a creative jewelry piece featured on  The Ice Resin blog...Stay tuned!!

Finding joy in the everyday!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reflections from the Water and the Waves

Well we are back from almost a month of vacation.  Yes, we lived, loved and lounged on the beach!! It was amazing...watching the sunrise every morning while drinking coffee, reflecting,and then needlework for at least 1 1/2 hours.  IT was pure heaven.  Then it was swimming, sunning, shell seeking, reading, and just really soaking in the time together.  There was plenty of golfing, shopping, a quick trip to Disney World, and the Vera Bradley outlet in Orlando.  But my main goal was to relax, refresh, reflect, and come back renewed and inspired.  I think it worked but oooh, how I miss the sound of the waves and the water.

I am so blessed that I love my home and all that goes with keeping ours. I tried to delve in slowly so at to allow the waves of renewal last a little longer.  But the "dailys" begin the minute we opened the front door.   Laundry reminds me that I'm clothed not just in cottons but in the compassion of Christ.  Dirty dishes means that I'm fed not just by the food on my plate but by the word of God that he speaks into my life.  Pulling weeds and watering flowers remind me of how God pulls the weeds, the sin, out of my life and plants in me the Fruit of the Spirit.  My Art Studio, even though messy, tells me that God can create a masterpiece with all the mess in my life.  My Sewing Room, with fabric and thread, lets me know that God is the weaver, the tapestry maker, who will weave a beautiful story with my life even though sometimes I see only the back and forth of his shuttle and not the whole tapestry.

And when I sit down at the end of a day of laundry, dishes, gardening, weeding, cleaning up or cleaning out and I let out a tired sigh, I am reminded that My God never sleeps, nor slumbers.  His eyes never grow weary, his arms never too heavy.  And when I go to bed so as  to be refreshed for the new day ahead, I think of his mercies that await me tomorrow- They are new every morning.

Blessings to you as you soak up the summer days and the warmth of family--

My view every morning!

The dates/times and place are changing for my workshops--Stay tuned for new dates and times!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

3 summer workshops you won't want to miss

This summer, I am offering 3 workshops locally at Christian Educators Resource Center - Visit our website at CERC for all the details.  You may register in person or through the mail.  Deadline for each workshop is one week prior.  These will be loads of fun and a great way to spend a few hours escaping the summer heat.  Hope to see all the locals here!!

Time:  9:30-12:30
Learn how to decoupage with the use of decorative papers and the best decoupage adhesive.  We will use and layer wooden crosses as our base and also using paint, metal embellishments and ribbon to finish off our project.  All materials supplied

Registration fee: $15           
Class and Materials fee: $45
Age:  12 and up

 **paper, crosses and embellishments vary***

This is a single layer cross  with ribbon and metal embellishments

July 24 – Jewelry Making 101
Time: 9:30-12:30

In this workshop, you’ll learn the basic of designing one my signature bracelets with bead drops, charms and creating bezels with vintage buttons.  Everything you will need is included in the class kit.  Choose from a Texas Turquoise or a Berry White Bracelet Kit. All materials supplied.
*Please indicate your choice when registering
     Registration: $15

Class and Materials fee: $45
Age:  14 and up

 July 31- Wire and Bead Wrapped Bangle Bracelet

Time:  9:30-12:30  

In this workshop have fun with fabric, wire, beads and charms to create a one of kind bangle bracelet.  You will learn the beginning of wire wrapping, creating button drops while adding an array of beads to your fabric wrapped bangle.  These will become a new statement to your wardrobe and will quickly become a fun addiction!! All materials will be supplied.

Registration: $15
Class and Materials fee: $45
Age:  14 and up

Sign up for all 3 and receive $10 off registration. 
Sign up for 2 family members in the same workshop and receive $10 off supply kit.

**Material and beads will vary***