Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Inspirational Give Away Sign Up (Updated).....

"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity."
~Bo Bennett~

Inspiration comes in many forms that arouse the emotions or senses. Inspiration motivates us and fills us with ideas. Inspiration spurs us on and encourages us. Inspiration often leads to action. One of the areas of my life that I particularly like to find inspiration in is learning from the experiences and stories of others who walk with God. Over the years I have had many mentors who will never know how they have touched my life through their own journey of faith. A Woman Inspired is offering just such an opportunity to sit at the feet of eighteen women of faith and listen to their inspirational stories which are sure to arouse your emotions, motivate you, fill you with ideas, and encourage you to take action in your journey of faith.
I would like to offer one of my blog readers an opportunity to listen in on this online conference so I am giving away a ticket to the event to be held on April 6 ~ 9, 2009. For full conference details you can click on the above highlighted link or see my previous post on the event. All you need to hear the event is a computer, internet connection, and speakers. If you can't listen in to all the sessions in real time you will be able to download them and listen to them at your convenience.

To accompany the ticket the give away winner will also receive a collage notebook to take notes as you listen to the event as well as a few surprise goodies to make your listening time more pleasant. As promised yesterday here is the completed journal, "Spring Fever":
The journal is covered with a vintage wallpaper background with layers of vintage ledger paper, hand written sermon notes by a minister in the 1920's, dictionary page scrap, vintage sheet music, scrapbook paper, and a bit of text from a 1800's Harper's Bizarre. A bird image, giant blossoms, buttons, and letter tiles further embellish the journal front. The spine is bound in a wide piece of robins egg blue velvet ribbon with finishing touches of some of my goodies from 5 Dollar French General, hand dyed lace and rich chocolate brown ribbon to serve as a page marker. The inside front and back covers are covered with vintage sheet music, more sermon note scraps, blossoms, and birds.
To sign up just leave a comment on this post. A winner will be picked and notified on Thursday, April 2, 2009 with the give away package going being express mailed on Friday, April 3, 2009 to allow plenty of time for it to reach the winner before the conference on Monday. Should you have any questions, please email me. My email link is on my upper sidebar.

I am very enthused with excitement about this conference and can't wait to be inspired and motivated by the creativity in which each of these women have been used by God through the sharing of their unique walk of faith. I hope you too will consider attending.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nothing Is Impossible.....

"For nothing is impossible with God."
~Luke 1:37~
"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops...at all."
~Emily Dickinson~

She could not have known what kind of day I would be having. She could not have known the thoughts I was thinking, the feelings I was feeling, or the feeble prayers I prayed this morning. She could not have known that her gift would find it's way into my hands on this very morning to be opened. She could not know that her gift would fill an empty place in my home or my heart. She could not have known that her gift would renew my hope.
She said in the note that accompanied her gift that she was not a "real" artist but just pretended to be on her blog. In my opinion she is the best kind of artist of all, a true friend who paints my world with the colors of kindness and caring and I love her artwork! I can't begin to tell you how touched I was when I opened the package. My first thought was, "How perfect!" The image she chose brought a smile to my face, joy to my heart, and tears to my eyes.
One can never know what little gesture of kindness will do to uplift another. Thank you, Vee, for reminding me that no thought slips by His notice, no feeling leaves Him untouched with compassion for us, and no prayer however feeble escapes His ever listening ear. Most of all, with Him, nothing is impossible!I need this precious reminder in a prominent place so I hooked it on a knob or two, but no, that would not do. I tucked in with some other treasures still waiting for me to get them arranged, but no, not there either. I turned around and there was the perfect place! I had long admired the versatility of the many cloches I have seen and the darling little displays that can be put in them but I had never found one that was affordable until a week or two ago at Hobby Lobby.

I happened upon an area that had everything marked down to a fraction of a price and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a cloche on a wood a mirror base. I was afraid to look at the price and gingerly did so. I gasp and grabbed, $45.00 marked down to $12.99!!!!! It has sat empty since I brought it home, I have been waiting for the perfect thing to put in it.

I placed Vee's artwork in the back and tiny twig nest in front of it. Another "gift" that I found on my deck rail after a storm over the weekend.
It seems the upper story of the nest being built in the oak that towers over the deck was not attached very well and blew down, here is what remains... I placed within the twigs two "eggs", a pair of my paternal grandmothers earrings, a snippet of old lace, and two little hatchling paper birds. Sitting beside the nest is a little resin bird.

I love it and a huge thank you goes out to my wonderful friend Vee for blessing me! I'd love to hear how a simple kindness made all the difference in your day.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring, Spring, Spring.....

"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."
~Quote by Lewis Gizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You~

I had just finished smoothing the covers in place when my task was interrupted by a knock on the front door. Puzzled at who would be calling at such and early hour I went to answer the knock. Even more puzzling was the fact that no one was there. "Strange." I thought to myself as I stood peering through the full view window. I opened the door and I felt her presence immediately.

She brushed past on a little hush of a wind bringing with her the heady scent of daffodils and the lyrical sound of bird song. Sweet Spring had come to pay a call. Her invitation to walk with her in God's Garden was more than I could resist so I left the task at hand and joined her. We slipped into the early morning light, she and I, not saying a word. We simply listened, looked, and lapped up the color, fragrance, and sound. We tread softly across the green carpet sprigged with the daintiest and most petite of wildflowers, Bluets, in varying colors from the almost white to a vivid blue~purple hue.

I smiled as we brushed past a purple patch of Henbit, often mistaken for Dead Nettle, a common weed to some but a strong tie to childhood memories for me. Henbit grew in profusion under the clothes line in the back yard of my childhood home. I spent many pleasant hours under a billowing sheet tent with rocks anchoring the corners against the pull of the summer breeze. I lay on a tattered blanket day dreaming or reading. Often I would lay flat on my stomach, chin propped on crossed arms, eye level with Henbit peeking over the edge the blanket. I studied every part of this tiny treasure. I always imagined that the tiny two lipped bloom had much to say but could not speak, for in spite of having two lips, no tiny tongue was visible in its open mouth.

Much to my delight we passed an enchanted Dead Nettle forest! Just look, can't you imagine wee-folk or a fairy or two living under there? I used to hope to see one when I was little. These weeds look like wonderful magical trees to me and I delighted in their details. Now when I look I no longer hope to see something mythical but instead see the hand of the Creator which is much more magical, knowing that He spoke all these delights into being.

We strolled along in companionable silence admiring the Spring Beauties, a wild flower also known as Peppermint Flowers due to their white petals being deeply veined with a bright pink stripe that makes them resemble the stripe of a candy. These delicate beauties only remain open in bright light and close up at dusk. Countless times in my childhood I would race out in the early morning to watch them pop open and lift their faces to the sun or sit at dusk and watch them close the day by folding their petals and bowing their heads. I always thought these tiny plants have much to teach us. At each days dawning to position ourselves openly before the Son, soaking up all His radiance in a posture of praise, closing out each day with thankfulness and gratitude, bowing in prayer and resting in Him.

Sweet Spring had a delightful surprise in store for me just around the corner. We stepped into an outdoor theater where a grand performance was about to begin. The flood lights ringing the outdoor stage were none other than the golden faces of the dandelion. The other day while running an errand with Handy Hubby we passed a yard positively full of dandelions that had gone to seed. In the late afternoon sun each fuzzy white orb glowed. We were sitting at a traffic light and I gasped, "LOOK!" Handy Hubby startled and thought there was an impending accident when he saw me pointing. Puzzled he responded, "What?" Nose pressed to the window in awe I exclaimed, "A whole yard full of wishes!" He said, "You mean a whole yard full of weeds." "No. Some people see weeds but I see wishes!"
The outdoor theater was bedecked with brand new foliage. A leafy green tree provided the perfect backdrop to showcase the performers. I could see them just off stage all dressed in white with hints of orange on the male performers costumes. Delicate pink blooms bordered the left and right edges of the stage completing the frame.

Tiny red velvet oak leaves were draped on the canopy above and golden tassels swayed to orchestra of birdsong. It was a most grand theater indeed!
I heard the musicians tuning up before we ever entered the theater. From the percussion section I heard the distinct rat~a~tat tat of the Downy Woodpecker. Rehearsals were quite chaotic with the Cardinal and the Blue Jay retreating into the bramble that served as dressing rooms for a few moments of quite before the performance began. The Eastern Bluebird had no problem warming up on a branch in the field a bit removed from the activity. The Mourning Dove and Junco followed suit only they chose to perch on rocks along the ridge line. Somehow all the taps, twitters, and tweets came together to create a heavenly symphony. A slight hush sounded as we settled ourselves on the wooden steps of the deck that served as seating and waited in anticipation for what was to come next.

A troupe of Falcate Orangetips entered center stage and danced a delightful butterfly ballet. Their gossamer wings moving with grace in tandem with their partner.
In the air en l' an assembl'e, alle'gro movements ensued, depicting a grand chass'e as each dancer would ballon from blossom to blossom, flicking de cot'e, only to croise'e paths and begin the danse again. Translation: In the air, joined together, brisk and lively movements ensured, depicting a grand chase as each dancer would lightly bounce from blossom to blossom, flicking sideways, only to cross paths and begin the dance again.

I clapped in delight with a standing ovation at witnessing such a delicate and beautiful performance. After the royal ballet was complete refreshments were served.
Dancers mixed with the audience of Dusky Winged Skippers, sipping sweet nectar and resting on peppermint striped stools. The percussion section headed on up to the buffet and dug right in!
Shy wild violets reposed against the rocks and gathered in tiny clusters discussing the dance. They were clothed in velvet gowns of purple hues ranging from pastel shades to deep rich jewel tones. Their sweet faces were bent in modesty. These dark beauties often hide themselves away in long grasses and their blooms are very fleeting. Their fragrance and color unveil their hiding places and I delight in spotting the first one every spring.

As a final gift Sweet Spring lead me around another corner and presented me with a glorious sight, one that reminds me of my grandmother. Perfect pink blossoms filled out the tiny shoots of the clipping she gave me last year. This bush grows wild near the rock fence surrounding the home where she used to dwell here on earth.
I felt like I was given a little gift from heaven to see those tiny sprigs not only survive but thrive.
With a happy sigh Sweet Spring and I parted ways for I needed to return indoors to finish my chores and she needed to be about her business of birthing a new season. Knowing I could enjoy her company for many days to come I thanked her for the pleasure of her presence. She nudged me with her warm wind and sent my gaze upward, reminding me who it was I really needed to be thanking that my heart can sing, Spring, Spring, Spring!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

P.S. Darling Daughter and I were laughing over the fact that we take the same photos of the same things every spring! We cannot help ourselves we have not seem them in ever so long. Next week I will show you what happened when my camera took a walk without me and she was the shutterbug.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Woman Inspired.....


Yesterday I was made aware of an awesome online audio conference to be held April 6 ~ 9, 2009. A Woman Inspired is packed full of sixteen speakers and four days of inspiration where they will share the vision God has put on their heart. You will be able to access this conference anywhere in the world using standard software that they provide and it is compatible with all computers. All you need is a computer, Internet access, and speakers! The conference is in real time but it will be recorded so if you can't be there then, you can download the sessions and listen at your convenience. This conference is a bargain to boot just $12.95!!! Plus there are some great giveaway prizes that you are eligible for when you sign up.

Each speaker has a specific and unique message:

*Janice Croze of 5 Minutes for Moms ~ Calling on Christ in the Storms of Negative Self Talk

*Lysa TerKeurst (Blog) of Proverbs 31 Ministries ~ Lysa will share her amazing and inspiring adoption story

*Darlene Schacht, founder and editor of Christian Women Online Magazine ~ A former plus sized woman who successfully managed to take off weight and keep it off for a decade will speak to the heart of women who are hoping to slim down.

*Shelly Ballestero author of Beauty by God ~ Shelly will speak about finding balance when it comes to beauty in today's obsessed world without becoming withdrawn, depressed, or overwhelmed.

*Sheila Gregoire of To Love Honor and Vacuum Blog ~ Sheila's session will be on, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight!

*Allison Worthington ~ A Blissfully Domestic blogging mom of Mrs. Fussypants has a heart to connect and empower women all across the web.

*Ginger Moore of Hillbilly Heiress Blog ~ Waiting on God -Miserable or Miracle? will be her topic.

*Allison Bottke ~ Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children will be her topic.

*Lisa McKay of The Preacher's Wife Blog ~ Knowing one's calling is a hot topic and Lisa will be
speaking on Bigger Than Your Biography: Allowing God to Establish Your Personal Ministry.

*Cindy Beall of Cindy Beall Blog~ Cindy will speak on the heart topic of Choosing to Forgive.

*Marybeth Whalen of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Cheaper By The Half Dozen Blog ~ Marybeth will be sharing her thoughts on Inspired to be Financially Free and/or Inspired to Live Frugally.

*Natalie Witcher of I Am (Not) Blog and Stiletto Army Blog ~ Natalie will share the inspiring message of Living With Me, living with ourselves and having the Spirit of Christ.

*Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room Blog~ Be Inspired by What God Can Do Through You, is Melissa's personal message of how God gave her a nudge to go on an adventure with Him.

*Lynn Donovan of Spiritually Unequal Marriage Blog ~ Lynn's session, A Front Row Seat, shares her real life adventures of traveling with God through the tumultuous years of her early marriage to an unbeliever to the day she prayed over the yellow pages and God showed up.

*Leigh Gray of Speak Thru Me Blog ~ Leigh will share an intimate look at her personal walk with the Lord.

*Amy Bayliss of Amy Bayliss Blog ~ Amy's topic is Girlfriends: Thriving Past the Superficial.

UPDATE: Two more speakers have been added to the line up!

*Cazandra MacDonald of Oozing Everyday Blog will share in her session, "Forty" and Qualified.

*Cindy Haux of Cindy Haux Blog will be speaking on: From Hurt to Healing, How God can fix our broken lives.

How great is it that no travel is required, makeup and fixed hair are optional, no childcare is needed, AND it is financially possible! For registration information, to learn how the conference works, and to learn more about each speaker and topic visit here. I hope you can listen in!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something To Blog About.....

Sorry to have dropped off radar for a few days, we had a renter move out and lets just say the condition of the property was less than stellar. We have spent several days of hard scrubbing, repair, and painting to get the place back in shape. Now that my Cinderella duty is over I can resume normal activities. The only thing is, I can't think of what to blog about. (Insert very long pause here while I am thinking)

How about how I kept myself occupied while I was recovering from pneumonia? I went shopping, online of course, to a couple of my favorite Etsy stores. I was in the mood for some international flair so the first stop was over at 5 Dollar French General where trims, tags, and tiara's reign! A little Paris journal caught my fancy and into my cart it went. Love the pretty packaging...
After sashaying through more tempting little tid bits I came across a French Ephemera Set that was a must have so it joined the journal. This kit came with pattern pieces, paper flowers, crepe paper, bias tape and lace, silver bakers twine and tinsel, as well as a flock of little paper punched birds! After savoring and wavering over the ohh la la luscious ribbon choices I decided to call it a day and bid this delicious site Au revior!

Next I went over to Beth's, Sugar Pink Moon. This is the package I received after ordering, just look at that darling piece of vinatage ephemra and bright blue biased tape ribbon! And Beth tucked in a little extra goodie, one of her hand made collage tags, just darling. I love it!
I took a detour to the left of the sugar pink moon and landed smack in the middle of a quaint German village where hens were being tended by a sweet little Fraulein. The village was astir with activity, the baker had been busy making breads and pretzels and the prize pig thinks a playful ride on the einkaufswagen (cart) is all in good fun! I was enchanted by these vintage embossed German die cut calendar tops so I purchased them. I intend to frame them and hang them in my kitchen nook. I can't decide about the bottom of the die cut, to leave it or cut it away. If I leave it I will alter it a bit with some sort of quote or saying. I said auf wiedersehen to all the pretties there and decided to call it a day.

I had one more purchase to research so off to google I went and trying to become savvy on sewing machines is hard work! I received a Singer sewing machine and a beautiful desk like cabinet for my thirteenth birthday and it stood me in good stead until a few years ago when it gave up the ghost. It was beyond repair and I let it go. I then used my mother-in-laws old Singer, a fifty pound portable with slipping tension, wonky bouncing bobbin, and the sound of a freight train roar when it sewed. Needless to say it stayed in the cupboard more than I used it because of the frustration factor. It would do in a pinch for minor repairs. Well, it gave up the ghost too. So whats a girl to do but seek out a replacement?

Have mercy sewing machines have changed! Did you know that they can practically cook dinner, they are that fancy? Did you know that the price tag on new sewing machines are that fancy too? I had no idea! I had very low expectations of what I wanted a machine to do. My requirements were to sew a straight line, a few fancy stitches (for sewing paper projects), and a one step button hole maker. That's it. After a good amount of research I felt ready to venture out to actually look at machines.

Once I was on the mend Handy Hubby and I went into the city in search of the perfect machine. Let me just say that his idea of perfect and mine were on different ends of the spectrum. We get in the store and I am eyeing modest models and he is enraptured by a behemoth of a machine that needs and computer technician with extensive training to run it! All's he sees is bushels of buttons to push and program, a computer cord which allows you to download stuff to or from the smarter than you machine. AND it does embroidery to boot!

I saw the wheels in that man's head turnin'! He was about to set me up in some sort of monogramin' business. I saw a future of pocket patches flash before my eyes and the thought of embroidering "Billy Bud" on bowling league shirts for the rest of my life was just not that appealin' to me. He did his best to get me to look at that machine. I gave it the once over, sniffed, and said that took all the pleasure out of hand stitching.

He tried to convince me that I could monogram stuff for him. "Like what?", I asked. "I don't know, stuff." The man cannot resist a fine piece of technology even if it is a fancy sewing/embroidery machine that he has no idea what we would use it for, but its buttons make it irresistible. I gently explain that I don't need, want, or even desire such a wonder and I ask him if he actually looked at the price tag. He choked. I decided this was best handled on my own and suggested a recovery trip to the electronics store.

I did find a great machine the other day, it was on sale for a great price. I am amazed at its feather like weight, quite sound, and smooth as butter stitching. Much to Handy Hubby's delight it is computerized!
I love that it is dumbed down enough that I can actually work it. It has 60 built-in stitches, 7 styles of auto-sized buttonholes, and 100 stitch functions, I don't know what exactly all the means yet but I'll find out as soon as I can get through the manual. They let me play with it in the store and I was smitten. It looks fab on my new sewing table and I have my first project all lined up.

I want to make a simple summer shoulder bag. I got a pattern and two pieces of material from the bargain table to give it a go.
I have not done any formal sewing in a long time so I am quite rusty and I think this simple project will give me the feel for the new machine and get me back in the groove. Why this sudden interest in sewing? Well, as you know our second grandchild will make an appearance in September and since we recently found out its a GIRL this Hannah will be brushing up on her skills to stitch up some pretty dresses!

Now I am off to contemplate what to blog about next.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy
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