Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Konmari Journey Part #14: Kitchen-Dishes & Glasses

Today, I'm finishing up the kitchen! I decided to combine dishes, glasses and tupperware into one video because I just wanted to finish up the kitchen! It feel so amazing to have this space done. A lot of activity happens in the kitchen and it's so nice to have things moving more smoothly because there's a lot less junk everywhere.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Straight as an Arrow

I was super excited when I found out that Wearing History was coming out with a new blouse. I just adore the two that I already have. And this one has the cutest arrow print!

This Smooth Sailing blouse is quite similar to the Smooth Sailing pattern (which I have sewn up a few times for myself) but has been adjusted for a more modern body shape. It's got puffy sleeves and is much blouse-ier than the Ruthie blouse. So 1940s!

It's quite comfortable to wear and has great range of motion. I love that Lauren has really put forth and effort to make her blouses very motion friendly. It's perfect for dancers and for everyday life for that matter.

I also love the quality of this blouse! It's got darling red vintage buttons and an adorable bias pocket. :D

I paired my Smooth Sailing blouse with a grey corduroy skirt for a cute winter appropriate look. It was actually quite chilly and I was wearing a thick wool sweater when I had to be outside. But I braved the chill for photos!

My hair is at an awkward length right now. I did have an adorable navy headband that had little gold dots just like the blouse! So perfect!

Another thing I just love about this blouse is the large number of colors in the print. I've paired this blouse with a red skirt which also looks adorable but you could do yellow, green, mint or blue and it would look just as smashing. This print is quite bold but being able to mix and match with so many colors means you can get a lot of milage out of it.

 Just a note on sizing: The sizing on this blouse is a bit different than any of the other Wearing History blouses. It includes plus sizes and some of the regular sizes were adjusted when the plus sizes were added. Be sure to check the size chart for this blouse before ordering. It's also quite a bit more blousey than the Ruthie blouse. And the fabric is not preshrunk and the sizing has been designed with this in mind. Lauren has included a lot of info to help you pick the right size.

For me personally, I have a large in the Ruthie and a medium in the Norma Jean and Smooth Sailing. So even if you already have a Wearing History blouse, double check the size chart to make sure you get the right size.

I'm super excited for my new blouse! It's so adorable and comfy! That's my personal secret to great vintage style-picking pieces that look polished but are just as comfortable as jeans and a t-shirt.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Grace and Faith

Today I wanted to take you along as I did some bible journaling. Recently a friend lent me some acrylic paint so I could play around with it. Lots of journalers like to apply acrylic paint with a gift card/reward card for a fun splash of color that keeps ink from bleeding and that you can read through.

The section of scripture I decided to journal on was Ephesians 2:8-9 since I had a really cute "saved by grace" stamp from Illustrated Faith. I love these verses because it really highlights one of the main differences between Christianity and other religions. Our salvation is not something that we have to work for or earn or be good enough to make it. It is a gift from God because of His grace and all we have to do is have faith!

I applied some ivory acrylic paint using a gift card and trying to stay in the margin as much as possible. (If you want a demo, check out youtube. There are quite a few good ones.) This method is a bit messy but you can apply a thin enough layer that you can read the underlying text so that's a plus for bible journaling.

Next, I laid out my acrylic stamps to get an idea of what I'd like my page layout to be. I love the clear acrylic stamps because you can see exactly where you are going to place them! I had the "saved by grace" and "faith" stamps and added in a with because that's the closet thing I had to through. In the end though, I decided to hand write through with my trusty micron pen because I just really liked the way it sounded better.

Once I had the main text on the page, it was time to embellish! Yay for embellishments. These super cute feather stamps were from the same kit as the saved by grace one so I just pulled them out and stamped in coordinating inks. Some people like to really really plan out a page and some people just fly by the seat of their pants. I feel like I fit somewhere in the middle. I do sort of plan out what I want but sometimes I just keep going until it feels right. In this case after I finished the feathers, I felt like I needed to tie in the black a bit more so I added a couple of the three triangles in black scattered on the page just to make things look a bit more cohesive.

To keep the feather stamps off of the text, I stuck down a row of post it notes along the edge of the margin as a mask. Perhaps I should have done that with the acrylics too but I didn't think of it! And I always stamp/paint/gelato/etc with some sort of scrap paper under my bible page to protect the other pages from stuff running off the edge or bleeding through.

Do you like to try new art techniques and tools or do you prefer to stick with tried and true methods?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Konmari Journey Part #13: Kitchen-Baking Supplies

Today, I'm working on decluttering the kitchen. Yay for a purged, organized kitchen!! In this section, I'm going to Konmari baking pans and supplies. I used to be a big baker but now that Will is gluten free, I do a lot less baking.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Brevard County Renaissance Festival

I was so excited when I learned that a new Renaissance Festival was starting in Brevard County! I really miss the Ohio Renaissance Festival and getting to do Renaissance costuming!! So the hubby and headed out for opening day this weekend.

I decided to wear my grey wool gown since we've been having a bit of a cool spell. It was great in the morning but the day heated up more than I expected and I ended up being warm for most of the day. Seriously, the only time I get excited about cold weather is for costuming.

Will opted to wear his monk costume for the event. He's lost quite a bit if weight this past year and both of his kilts are too big. I haven't quite figured out how to take them in with all of the loops and buckles and such.

I wasn't sure what period of the Renaissance the faire was going to aim for since their website mentioned William the Conqueror, Queen Elizabeth I, the Canterbury Tales and a Knight's Tale all on the same page. Turns out it was definitely on the earlier end of things with Richard the Lionheart and Prince John and all that. (I'm thinking 12th century.)

Anyways, I decided to go for poshly middle class Elizabethan but with no sleeves. (I knew it wasn't going to be that cold!). I added in my bum roll and my nicest shirt and apron. Too bad I never finished my blackwork caul! That would have been fabulous.

Loads of people too photos of us and we did get mistaken for staff but I take that as a compliment! They did a super awesome job for this being the first time running the fair in their first year. It takes a lot of time to build up a fair to the quality of what we're used to from Ohio.

The weather the day we went was fabulous but it had been raining a lot the few days prior so it was quite muddy!!! I decided to go ahead and wear my American Duchess Stratfords. I was very impressed with how well they handled the muddy conditions. I had issues in Ohio with all of the gravel at the fair eating up the soles but they handled the mud beautifully. They needed a bit of tlc when I got home but now they are back looking good as new.

There were a lot of cool shows including the Flight of the Raptor who flew falcons and hawks for us. It was so amazing to see these beautiful birds in flight. We heard several awesome Scottish and Irish bands with bagpipes and drums. There was no SCA presence but another Renaissance/Medieval group called the Adrian Empire was there and we got to see some skilled artisans and combatants. I love meeting more nerd people.

 We had a lot of fun and can't wait to see what they roll out in 2017. (They are open this weekend as well but it looks like we probably won't be making it out again.) Plus I have a whole year to work on an older period costume so I won't be to "modern"! I love playing with new periods.

Huzzah for the Brevard County Renaissance Festival!

Friday, January 29, 2016

How to Pick a Bible Verse for Journaling

One thing that can really stump a newbie Bible Journaler is knowing where to start! It can be quite intimidating to randomly go to the Bible and pick something to journal on especially if you are new to Bible reading. Today I wanted to talk about a few ways that I go about picking a verse to journal on.

1. Through my daily reading

One place I encounter verses is through my daily Bible reading. Over the years, I've used several Bible reading plans including reading through the Bible in a year, reading through the Bible chronologically, reading through the Bible in two years as well as reading through a book as the Spirit leads me. There are lots of great bible reading plans. (Just google Bible reading plans and you'll find a ton.) If you are new to reading the Bible, I recommend Psalms, Proverbs, the gospel of John or 1 John as great books to start with.

Right now, I'm reading through Psalms so a lot of my journaling has been on Psalms. Sometimes I'll read a verse and journal on it that day but if I don't have time or if I find a verse elsewhere (like in a sermon or class), I'll jot it down for a later journaling session. When I'm feeling uninspired, I have a handy list to read through.

In the case of this verse, I found Psalm 27:10 to really resonate with me. It reads "For my father and my mother have forsaken me but the Lord will take me in" (ESV). Being rejected by your earthly family is one of the hardest things a person can go through. I have been estranged from my mother since 2008 so this verse really spoke comfort to my soul. I didn't know it at the time, but when I did this journaling I was less than a week away from seeing my mom again after many years.

Even though this encounter with my mom didn't bring the tear filled healing of our relationship that I desperately wanted, this verse was such a comfort to me while my mom hung onto the things that had come between us. Because I had journaled on this verse, it was so easy for me to find it again in my bible and to commit it to memory even though I am not a memorizing type person!

2. By searching topically for a verse that speaks to my life right now

Sometimes, I will go to the Bible and look specifically for a verse that has to deal with something in my life right now. About two weeks ago, my grandfather passed away a bit unexpectedly and I really needed some comfort from God. He lead my to Psalm 34 which is chock full of great verses.

 One place to help you find verses is by using a concordance which lists verses that a word is used in. My study Bible has a small concordance in the back which I use frequently to look for verses. You can also use a Bible app or website like to search for things like "comfort",  "joy", "forgiveness" and "peace" depending on what you need. As you grow more experienced with Bible study, you will learn where these verses are but there's no shame in looking them up!

So sometimes God gives me a verse and sometimes life sends me looking for one. These where the two verses I took with me to my grandfather's funeral where I had to see my mom again. (I was out of town for 5 days which is why I took last week off from blogging.) Both ways are equally valid expressions of God speaking to me in love.

3. Through a Devotional or Bible Journaling Challenge or Journal Along

As the Bible Journaling Community has grown, more interactive journaling activities have arisen. There are devotionals, such as those by Illustrated Faith, Journaling challenges (see Bible Art Journaling Challenge) and other journal alongs (such as Seasons Illustrated). A lot of them exist on Facebook so go check them out. They may be centered around a theme, an artistic technique or a particular scripture that everyone journals on.

This particular journaling is from the Seasons Illustrated Esther study and while it doesn't have as much of a personal connection for me as the previous two, it is so cool to journal along with others especially if you live somewhere that Bible Journaling hasn't really caught on yet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Konmari Journey Part #12: Kitchen-Cooking Supplies

I'm moving right along in the kitchen using the Konmari method. I'm working through Mari Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to declutter my home. Today's video tackles a large section of the kitchen which is cooking supplies (except baking stuffs which will be next).

I was really happy with the amount of stuff I got rid of in this section. I also went ahead and did a bit of organizing to make stuff more accessible and I'm loving it so far!