Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beyond Excited!!!

A collage necklace  I made with ICE Resin®
I am happy and beyond excited to share with everyone that I have been chosen to be on the ICE Resin® Design Team for 2015 along with 5 amazing artists.   This is a phenomenal company with wonderful women leading the way for all of us to learn  and create!!

It has always been a dream of mine to help with the creative process and to continue to learn from the best! And one of my life's goals is to share with others what I have been blessed to receive whether in the daily lessons of life or with art that can so enrich our lives.  I  hope to do that through this wonderful journey this year.

I applied about a month ago with photos and a video (a first for me - which I'll share a little later) and then prayed earnestly that the Lord would open doors for this avenue in my art adventures! The doors flew open on the 24th of December - an incredible Christmas gift!!

To read more about the design team and this wonderful company, visit  Ice Resin® blog

I'll be sharing projects and links to other artists through out this year, please check back often or better yet follow my blog to be inspired to create joy through out the year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A few years ago, during the  Christmas season, I went to one of my favorite craft stores.  As you walk in, there is a massive beautifully decorated tree with large bows and ornaments and of course signs letting you know the trees are 50% off.  Just below the tree is a beautiful large nativity set. As I was walking in, two young sisters were gazing at the scene, the younger sister recounting all the elements of the nativity said "Oh here is the angel and this is the fairy."  I couldn't help but smile as she was blending all her stories into one.  It would be sweet to think of tinker bell fluttering by the stable and adding her pixie dust or the fairy godmother adding her glamour to this stable that was more like a cave or the genie there to grant three wishes.  As a mother, Mary might have wished for protection of her child, provision for their poverty or the promise of better days ahead for her newborn baby.  Yes the delight of imagination  and magic through the eyes of a child is truly a way for us to see the impossible become real, our dreams take flight just as Dumbo did. I love the idea of possibilities and so does God.  Even as imaginative and hopeful as  the little sister blending magic with the nativity, our God did something way better.  He put forth the impossible into the possible, not with magic but with the miracle of Jesus' birth.  And then continued showing us through the scriptures that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).  Through out the pages of the Bible, we see God working his miracles through his power, his  love and his grace.  We begin to realize that magic is underrated as we witness our God working miracles in our hearts and in our lives.   Some would argue then we shouldn't allow for such silly thinking or allow imagination to thrive.  I would strongly disagree for when we imagine the possibilities, we begin to understand the heart and mind of God (never fully but always increasing) for before you or I were born,  He saw us and knew us.  He sees in each of the possibility of renewal, the ability to be more like him in love and life.  He sees in us what we sometimes cannot see in ourselves- the miracle of a new heart, touched by his saving grace.  As we enter into the Christmas day, the anticipation builds, the excitement is hardly containable for the presents under the tree are filled with possibilities, wishes hopefully granted - a touch of magic.  Greater still is the touch of the master's hand inviting us to believe in the impossible, the miracle of his love coming to us in the form of a baby   -our Emanuel (God with us) over 2000 years ago.  Take hold of the miracle for it is the "possible" to our impossible.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


**On a side note, our family is heading to Disney World for 6 fun filled magical days- Yes it's ok to have imagination and fun and believe in the miracle all at the same time!!***

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….

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!