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!
I stood at the back door feeling trapped.
I stood at the back door and looked out to a place I couldn’t go.
Where we live, there is rarely snow so winter is just all dead. There is nothing there.
But I wanted there to be something there.
And then I saw it, just a sparkle.
I looked closer. It wasn’t outside, it was where I stood!
A glittery rhinestone heart necklace that I had bought for myself.
The heart necklace was the only part of me that reflected in the glass on the dreary day.
I am slowly collecting the most amazing valentines. I will be displaying these in a wood bowl on the coffee table next February. Next year, it might be a terra cotta Valentine…
Last year, he made me a Welded Valentine of steel.
This year he worked with electronics.
He put on safety glasses and …
Then he gave me a Circuit Board Valentine!
This canvas took weeks because I was discouraged so many times.
I was discouraged because I accidentally covered the canvas with too much paint, the colors of the vintage wallpaper butterflies and house seemed too bright, the woman seemed too pale. But I kept going and encouraged myself by saying “It’s not done yet” as I added brush strokes, sponged on painting, glued on butterflies. I set the project aside and looked at it as days went by and I tried to figure out what it needed. I finally rubbed in the brown oil paint stick around the border, and teared up, realizing that it was finished and I actually loved it. It says everything I want it to say.
I live 500 miles away from my hometown and miss my dear sister, Donna. Boo hoo. I was delighted to find a teacup in her favorite shade of yellow at the local thrift store last week. So of course I had to decorate some Gingerbread cookies in yellow and gold to go with the teacup. The water for tea is in the kettle. All that is missing is my sister. The next time she visits, she will drink from this cup.
Ok, I’ll be honest, I almost ate my sister’s gingerbread! But I stopped in time to wrap it up well in plastic wrap and then foil and then freeze it. It will last well that way at least 6 months. In the meantime, I’ll eat one of the pink decorated hearts.
Click for recipe.
On Valentine’s Day, my 18 year old surprised me with a Valentine he made. He attends Welding School, where he is learning to weld. I can’t imagine what the other men thought of his project, which makes the Valentine all the more precious to me. Now that is LOVE. I will keep this Valentine forever! Well, made of heavy steel, it will probably last forever too.
I’m quite happy to finally finish my Cascade Heart Wreath, Garden theme. This is the first of four Cascade Heart Wreaths I’m making, all completely different in color and style. But they all start with a Styrofoam frame forming the top of the heart and a cascade of hanging trim forming the lower part of the heart. I have been wanting a heart shaped wreath for some time now but wanted a more organic, flowing design. Making a heart with a cascade bottom was the perfect solution. An unexpected bonus: when the cascade is made of lighter material, it flutters with air movement. Having that movement is soothing to me, like a gentle spring breeze catching leaves.
This wreath reminds me of the kind of garden you would discover at the edge of property, not always tended, sometimes forgotten, a little bit wild but still beautiful. Pockets of little stones are scattered around the mossy knoll and the picket fence is a perfect resting spot for a baby bird. I adore swings and decided this garden needed a secret swing, hidden in the ivy.
To see the tutorial for making a Cascade Heart Wreath, click for more.
Scripture says that we are all one body. Jesus prayed that we would all be one. Did you ever wonder what part of the body you are?
–Bone cells are very rigid. They are supposed to be that way. They don’t like change. But they have to be healthy with a little flex or they will become brittle and break.
–Nerve cells are super sensitive. They respond instantly and impulsively. They pass on messages without even thinking.
–Blood cells travel. They don’t stay in one place. They are very social. They pick up nutrients and components from some parts of the body and pass on nourishment to other parts. They are in constant communication as they travel.
–Heart cells go through repetitive motion, day and night. They don’t move around and they work incredibly hard.
What part of the body are you? What does an eyelash do? What does a toenail cell do? What does a skin cell do? What does a brain cell do?
I’ve wondered over the years what part of the body I am. Sometimes I think I know and then that changes and I’m not sure. But this I do know: I was made to meditate and be creative and make things with my hands.
I have friends who think arts and crafts are simply trivial stuff to do when you have spare time from your “real life” occupations. They think craft materials are a waste of money. But what if…consider carefully… what if being creative and making things with your hands WAS what you were created to do from the day you were formed? And if you stopped functioning in the capacity God planned when he made you, it would be a loss to humanity?
…pausing to reflect on this…
This was made with my hands.
The beautiful design is by Alisa Noble using materials from Gilded Girls Stash Society.
For too many years, I set aside making things because it wasn’t considered valuable in my social circle. It wasn’t considered an asset to society. It was thought to be frivolous and unworthy and wasteful. But it was God who made me creative from the day I was formed and being creative fulfills his design for my life. When I live fully the way I was made, life is amazing and good and there is no darkness there.
Please be encouraged, dear creative reader, that what you do with your hands has enormous value to God. What you feel with your heart is valuable to humanity. What you say with your mouth is enlightening to society. Rejoice and be brave, don’t hold back.
I can’t remember where this is in the Bible but these words have encouraged me to be brave and pursue the creative life God planned for me. And this is my prayer for you:
– – – Be strong and of good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, he it is that goes with you, he will not fail you nor forsake you. – – –