She turned 10 and had fun putting the royal icing fantasy flowers on her little cake at her party.
We have a precious new granddaughter. ♥
I wanted to make something special for her room so I made a Hot Air Balloon mobile to hang up.
The beautiful paper ball was purchased when two of my sons and I visited Tokyo a couple years ago, so the Japan connection is very special to my son. He also has been on a hot air balloon team so thus the connection to hot air balloons.
My daughter-in-law loves butterflies so I was really happy to find the metal filligree butterflies and brass keys in my craft supplies.
The hardest part of making this was tying all the knots equidistant from the top of the balloon so it hung straight.
I hope my granddaughter enjoys it for many years.
It’s for a restaurant in my imagination. Outside, surrounded by trees and mountains and seas. The rush of wind and fall of water.
Five Courses – Water, Field, Tree, Rain and Root.
What limits your dreams? What stops you? What if you never quit? In addition to a dozen other professions out of my reach, such as surgeon, lawyer, scientist, glass blower, architect and machine engineer.. I would love to be a chef. Here is a menu for my non-existent restaurant, Whole Earth, with some of the courses. Don’t ever let anyone stop your imagination. You never know how far it will reach.
On Instagram this month, I posted a heart a day, #amonthofhearts. AllSparkledUpDesign . Part way through the month, I wondered if I would have the stamina and commitment to finish. Some of these took hours to complete. The discipline of taking a creative photo every day for a whole month taught me so much.
~ You never know you can do something until you try.
~ Don’t give up. Just keep going.
~ God has millions of ideas. Scripture says God is the author of all inspiration. If you hang out with him, you’ll find that out.
~ Don’t over think it. Sometimes what you do doesn’t have to be big or loud or even shared. God enjoys the flowers blooming deep in a jungle, unseen by humans, the songs of birds unheard by ears. Some creativity is just for your and his enjoyment. It’s ok. Slow down, breathe deep.
~ I had more ideas for hearts than I had days in the month. So I’m hoping to do this next February too.
Today is Day 28, the end of the month of hearts. Here are the remaining heart photos I posted on Instagram. Enjoy!
On Instagram this month, I am posting a heart a day, #amonthofhearts. AllSparkledUpDesign . Today is Day 23 and I thought it would be fun to share the full size image here. I’ve had most of these charms since my childhood and some go back to my mother’s childhood. Some are old Cracker Jack prizes, some are homemade. My granddaughter and I spent a couple enjoyable hours placing these charms in heart shape for this photo. Click on the image to access the full size. At the end of the month, I’ll post the rest of the photos here as well. Enjoy!
If you follow me on Instagram, AllSparkledUpDesign, you know I’m posting A Month of Hearts. Today is Day 14 and there are 14 days of hearts to go! Here are the hearts I’ve posted so far. Make sure you check instagram so you can read all the captions that go with these photos. Love to you all!
14 Happy Valentine’s Day!
Yesterday I took a poinsettia outside to shake out the dead leaves. One leaf from the poinsettia had fallen. And then it rained during the night.
The day was busy but from the dining room, the tiny sparkle caught my eye.
I looked closer and it was even sparklier.
What are you missing today? Is there something you need to look at? What is tiny and quiet that you forgot? Love it all. And if you’re what has fallen, collect light from where you are.
Never give up.
So happy she loved the gift I made for her! Specialty Sugars for her tea and coffee and sprinkling on toast, cereal or anything else that needs a little sweet sparkle.
I bought the decorative knobs and glass jars at Hobby Lobby. It was easy drilling a hole in the corks, using a hack saw to shorten the knob bolt and gluing them together with a few beads.
~ Lavender Sugar ~
I ground up culinary lavender with a mortar and pestle, then put the lavender and sugar in a food processor. The lavender sugar was then layered with crystal sugar in the jar.
~ Lemon Orange Sugar ~
Lemon and Orange zest were placed in a food processor with sugar and ground medium fine. I’ve been making this mixture for years for use in cheesecake because it makes a very fine textured cheesecake. To fill the jar, I spooned in a layer of Lemon Orange Sugar then used tongs to place white sugar cubes against the side of the jar. Then I spooned in more sugar and repeated the layers. Next time I’ll add more orange zest for a darker orange colored sugar.
~ Vanilla Bean Sugar ~
I scraped the seeds from two vanilla beans and ground the seeds with sugar in a food processor. I used one half of each vanilla bean, split lengthwise, to place in the jar. I spooned in about 1″ of Vanilla Sugar in the bottom of the jar. Then I used tongs and a wood skewer to position each vanilla bean against the side of the jar before adding the rest of the Vanilla Sugar.
~ Pumpkin Spice Sugar ~
This recipe is something one of my sons and I made up, based on the spice ratio I use in my Pumpkin Pies. We keep this sugar blend on hand to make Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which everyone knows don’t have any pumpkin in them anyway. haha. Still, the flavor is very close to my pumpkin pies, sans pumpkin. To fill this jar, I used a small spoon and a tiny funnel I made from two straws. I can’t explain how I did the design but if you look up “sand art in a bottle” on youtube, you’ll get the idea. The white layer is Vanilla Bean Sugar. The dark brown “spots” in the white layer are pieces of cinnamon stick. I wanted to position the cinnamon stick pieces to look like hearts but the white sugar kept filling in the spaces so it didn’t work out.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” it is said. So true. I couldn’t access my precut wood pieces or run a saw so I ended up using the only wood on hand, a 30 year old piece of Sassafrass root from my parents property. It’s been in my tea collection for decades and still has a beautiful scent. I used a small craft saw to cut thin slices of the wood to make the tags. I wrote on them with permanent marker. Now I wonder if I had wood-burned the words in… could the slice of sassafrass be steeped in boiling water to flavor tea? What fun that would be! I’ll have to try it out.
31 Wonderful Things Severe Pain Taught Me
1. Your mind is very powerful. “Mind over matter” makes sense when you’re dealing with crippling pain. Fill your mind with wisdom and knowledge. There is plenty of room for thoughts that aren’t related to your pain at all.
2. You’ve heard it said, but those who have been there truly know: You ARE much stronger than you ever thought humanly possible. If you think today’s pain is a 10, downgrade it to a six. Then rejoice that you’re still 4 away from max.
3. There may or may not be another day. But time is on your side. Time is not the enemy because God is in charge of your time. And God never makes mistakes.
4. You CAN adapt.
5. These statements are simultaneously true: Things can always get worse… AND… This is the worst it will ever get. Which means this moment, right here, right now, can be the most fantastic moment you’ve ever had. Make it that way.
6. There are many ways of coping with pain. If one way doesn’t work, try something different.
7. Laughter can be The Best Medicine Ever. You’ve got to try it! Read humor, watch comedy, laugh with family and friends. Don’t just hope laughter might happen, deliberately make it happen.
8. Distractions are valuable. Listen, taste, see, smell, feel something new. Enjoy it slow.
9. Friends are pure gold, whether they’re wearing skin or fur.
10. Don’t let the sick part of you stop the healthy part of you. Let pain take up only its own space. If your head hurts but your hands are fine, let your hands delight in the day.
11. It’s never too late to learn something new, even something challenging. Learn a new language, study geography, literature, science, art.
12. There is a time to fight pain and a time to roll with pain. When pain is an ocean, be a fish.
13. Always take a little less pain medication than you need. Learn to be comfortable with pain instead of always trying to banish it.
14. Be glad if you have identified your pain-bearing limit. Then work to stretch it further.
15. You CAN do this! You can live WITH pain. Don’t listen to any voices that say you can’t. Don’t listen to voices that only want to lay pity on you. They aren’t helpful and you end up stuck in a swamp.
16. It’s OK to cry. Let your eyes express and acknowledge pain. But remember to let your mouth smile. Your mouth is good for that.
17. Pain is divisive. It will divide parts of your body from functioning together. It will divide people from functioning together. Fight against further dysfunction. Recognize the crevasses caused by pain and build bridges to go over.
18. Remember that this life is not the end. We were created to live after our bodies can’t go further. This life is the path to the next.
19. Pain is a heavy weight, sticky and personal. Don’t make your pain an issue that pulls others down into the stickiness. Let others help lift you up from it.
20. Pain is a noun. Give it a name… like Motivator, Teacher, or Police. Artist, Poet or Musician. Rest or Transformation. Never let pain become Politician, Spoiled Child, Bully or Tyrant. Make your pain the noun you want to live with.
21. Pain is a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Write the story you want pain to be.
22. If you face pain, face it fully. If you run from pain, don’t miss the scenery.
23. You do have a strong will. But maybe you let it get weak. Work at strengthening your will power.
24. Pain is dark. Find ways to add more light. There are always ways to add light. Find ways to “Be the Bright.”
25. There will always be something excellent that you can derive from pain. Don’t look for the damage pain caused, look for the benefit.
26. Don’t confuse fear with pain. Fear can be conquered even if pain can’t be.
27. Everyone has pain. You are NOT alone.
28. Pain can be ugly or beautiful. You’re in charge of that.
29. Don’t let pain get louder than it should be. Pain only has a voice if you give it one. If Pain needs to speak, try letting it speak through writing, through painting, through music. Some of the most beautiful art in this world was created with pain.
30. Listen to other people. Even if that’s all you can do, it’s ok to just listen.
31. God is here now and he knows everything about pain. Have some great discussions on the topic with him.
I’m praying for you. Sometimes it’s not about the completed painting, the final finish line. Today there is beauty in the brushstrokes, the breaths taken one after the other. Today the beauty is in the heartbeat and the single footstep, the eye contact and hand holding.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Every breath has enormous value.
The tiniest book I ever made was titled “Blue Flowers” and included tiny paintings and descriptions of blue flowers. In order to qualify for “micro mini” status, it had to be under 1/4″ square.
I think I made 7 copies and traded them with book making friends. I have one copy but don’t remember where the other copies went. Each book with blue suede cover and gilded page edges was tucked inside a tiny blue flower.
The text was printed using a laser printer. When the pages were cut apart from the sheet of printer paper, I had to be careful not a single breeze blew over my worktable since I couldn’t see the text and would have to use a magnifying glass to put them all back in order again. I was glad when I had all the pages stitched together!
The paintings were so fun to make! Some day I hope to make a tiny book about Pink Flowers. But that will have to happen soon before my eyesight ages even more.