For the Love of Books

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Leap Day, y'all!  Thank goodness for one extra day in February to get this post out to all you book lovers!  It's been a busy week of renovations, on top of our regular routines, in my household.  From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, literally, everything hurts.  It's been far more work than we had anticipated, and there's been a bit of a learning curve working with metal, sheetrock corners for the first time; but I've figured out what works for me, no thanks to the pros.  Only time will tell if it will crack or peel, but I feel like I've taken every precaution necessary to make sure that doesn't happen.  All that said, I'm so ready to have my dining room back and not have to be standing at a counter to eat my meals.  At least the dining room will be done, before we tackle the kitchen.  Sigh.  It's a lot of work, but I don't have to pay the big bucks to deal with inconsiderate contractors.  So, I'll just shut my mouth and keep plugging along with a smile on my face.

This month's For the Love of Books pick was inspired by my littlest.  He is teaching me a lot about patience and forgiveness and controlling one's temper, mine and his.  We've been talking about the times in the Bible where Jesus calmed literal storms (Matthew 8:23–27, Matthew 14:2233, Mark 4:35–41, and Luke 8:22–25); and how, if He can calm the storms of the sea with one word, He can calm the emotional, mental, and physical storms and struggles in our own lives as well.
Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, written by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Yumi Heo, is the story of a little girl named Katie Honors.  Most of the time, Katie is a really good kid.  She brushes her teeth without being reminded; puts her toys where they belong; and doesn't whine or stamp her feet or growl, even when her little brother knocks down the beautiful castle she just built.  Sometimes, however, she's Bombaloo.  She shows her teeth, makes fierce noises, and uses her feet and fists instead of her words.  She hates everybody and everything and doesn't feel like herself.  Being Bombaloo is scary.  A time out, an "I'm sorry", and a lot of understanding from mom help Bombaloo feel like Katie again.

But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  Isaiah 43:1-2

What a comfort to know that God has called us by name and promises that He will always be with us, making us waterproof and fireproof all at the same time!  Through whatever struggles you may be facing in life or maybe when you’re feeling like Bombaloo or dealing with Bombaloo, always remember, "When fear comes, faith goes; but when faith comes, fear goes" (Abeka).  Thanks so much for reading!  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Morning, y'all!  I'm so happy to be here today, sharing a page inspired by my January Hip Kits.  I was suddenly and unexpectedly cut from the Design Team last month.  So many regrets.  Sigh.  I've had the January Kits just sitting on my desk staring at me.  I couldn't bring myself to use them.  It hurt too much.  I let what was left of them set there for a good three weeks; but all those fabulous, Pinkfresh goodies wouldn't stop calling my name.  So, I pushed the pain aside, hoping playing with them would bring some healing, and dove in.  Enjoy!
I started this page by Cameo-cutting that delicate, blossom, heart die cut from white cardstock; paper-piecing it; and adhering it in the center of my pink, grid, base page.  I'll admit that I did lots of mixed media work and extra texture on my first take of this page, but doing so made it difficult to appreciate the intricacy of the die cut.  So, I tore it apart and gave it a fresh stage.  I then tucked my top photo, which was framed with white cardstock, into a pocket tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow and topped it with a "LOVING THIS", ephemera banner.
A number of floral die cuts, covered in Clear Wink of Stella, were tucked in and over its right side; and Glossy Accents highlights that little, pink heart.
An "I'M SO GLAD WE MATCHED" foam, accent Thicker was also tucked into the floral deliciousness.
My bottom photo, which was also matted with white cardstock, was tucked into a second pocket tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow.
Its right side was then embellished with more of those gorgeous, floral die cuts, coated with Clear Wink of Stella...
and its left with a quartet of floral-themed, ephemera pieces, some of which were popped up, with foam tape, for a little added dimension.
White, puffy, alpha stickers form my "SPOILED" title, which I then crowned with a "love", foam, phrase Thicker and anchored with "V-DAY", created from blue, puffy, alpha stickers.  A number of aqua, sparkle, enamel hearts complete the look.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!  Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends!

Kitchen Table Makeover

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Hey, y'all!  I'm stopping in today to share a little something different than my usual; but its also something that I hope will become more of a regular thing, as I've been having a lot of fun giving some pieces of furniture and rooms, in our EP home, a new look.
So, I bought this table for $60 on Facebook Marketplace.  It is super solid; and I love that, at 48" around, it is plenty big for my whole family and, even more, that it has an 18" leaf for additional, guest seating.
However, you can tell that it has been around for awhile; as it is yellowing a bit, and there are a number of scratches and blemishes in the top.
I really didn't mind the scratches.  I just didn't like that they showed off that yellowing even more.  So, I stripped it down to the raw wood...
cleaned it up with mineral spirits, and sanded it smooth.
It looked so absolutely gorgeous that I decided against the stain I had purchased to finish it off.
Then, I went to work on the apron and base...
beginning with a light sanding, coat of primer...
and three coats of Extra White, semigloss paint.  You'll get to know my finishing style soon enough, because I couldn't leave it at that.
I took 220 grit sandpaper to it to give it a more lived-with feel...
but that bright white was still coming through a bit too much for my liking.
So, I dirtied it up with a cherry wood stain, wiping most of it off, but leaving enough to, once again, give it that been-around-awhile look....
before coating the entire table, from bottom to top, with three coats of polyurethane, sanding lightly and wiping clean before the final coat.
That wraps things up.
We're working on a complete dining room remodel as this post is being written.  So, there's plenty more to come, including a view of the table in its permanent home.  I cannot wait to share!  Until then, I'd love for you to leave me a comment below, letting me know what you think.  Thanks so much for visiting, and have a wonderful rest of your weekend!  XOXO

Pretty Little Studio: The Good Life

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hey, y'all!  Just popping in to share a page that was up on the Pretty Little Studio blog earlier this week.  I used twelve different collections on this layout; however, it was largely inspired by the Fun in the Sun and Chasing the Sun Collections put out the end of last summer.  Can you tell that I'm longing for warmer weather and the freedom of summer again?  Enjoy!
I started this page by rubbing white gesso across the center of the Hey, Girl! 12" x 12" background page.  Once it was dry, I added puddles of bright pink, aqua, and yellow watercolors and splattered the entire page with those same shades of watercolor, as well as Pure Black and Titanium White, acrylic paints.  That set the stage for the Best Ever Frame Die-Cut, At the Beach Die-Cut, and Time to Relax Die-Cut Polaroids.  Some of those Polaroids were backed with vellum.  Others were turned into shaker pockets by backing them with foam tape and white cardstock and sandwiching Rose Pink, Watermelon, Crystal 8mm, Fuschia Mix, Seaspray, Sunsational, and Always Aqua Sequins, as well as Lovely Clear Confetti, silver star confetti, and silver seed beads, in between.  They were adhered, throughout the design, along with a trio of frames, hand-cut from the Family Fun 12" x 12" patterned print, and set the stage for my photo, which was backed with white cardstock and a snippet of cheesecloth, because one simply cannot have too much texture, and topped with "THE GOOD LIFE", banner title, from the Savannah Dreams 12" x 12" Collection Kit, as well as a "best FAMILY" Fun Day Offset Title Die Cut and "happy" Jolly White Acrylic Word.
A length of white string, tied in a bow, was tucked behind the title work itself and tops a Sundae Label, etched with Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 @ home...
and a duo of clouds, from the April 2018 Freebie package, and "SO COOL" Let It Go Flair Button crown the design.
Moving clockwise, I adhered the letters, from the Time to Relax Die-Cuts package, to spell out the word "SUMMER" in one of my Polaroid frames.  It embellishes the bottom, right corner of my photograph along with Time to Relax "all you need is ice cream" and popsicle die cuts and a pair of sunglasses, from the At the Beach Die-Cuts package, which were given a little shine with Glossy Accents.
A Time to Relax Die-Cut, "love you", cherry frame was adhered on the outer, right edge of the cluster.
"Here comes the sun" and "#summerlove" die-cut, Time to Relax and At the Beach, word phrases offer a foundation for the whole design.
Tip: Hand-cut your very own frames from pocket cards, as I have done here with a Celebrate 3x4 Pocket Card.  It was then topped with a couple of At the Beach Die-Cut cacti.  The "life is beautiful" frame was also hand-cut from a Life is Beautiful 3x4 Pocket Card.
I then tucked an At the Beach Die-Cut, "so sweet.", strawberry frame against the outer, left edge of the cluster and topped it with a "Hello Summer" Sunshine Flair Button.
A "WE ENJOYED THIS!" All Together Word Sticker and trio of Label Medley Die-Cut stars complete the look.
Thanks so much for humbling me with a visit!  Have a blessed week, friends!

HKC: Valentine Minis Pocket Letter Style

Monday, February 10, 2020

Just because they're ever so fun, I'm back with nine more mini Valentines, pocket letter style.  They were up on Hip Kit Club's Facebook page on Saturday and inspired by the January 2020 Main, Pocket Life, and Embellishment Kits; but I thought that I'd share all the details in their making, for all of my faithful followers, here.  Enjoy!
All of my card fronts are made from pocket cards, trimmed down to 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" and backed with white cardstock to create an inside and place to etch a little message.
Let's get a little up close and personal.  Shall we?
This pocket card was topped with a "YOU WON MY HEART" foam, accent sticker, embellished with a simple, floral, paper die cut and accented with puffy "XOXO" stickers.  A little Glossy Accents, for the heart, embedded in the pocket card, completes the look.
Moving across the top row and on to the second card...
a strip of silver, glitter tape, wrapped three times with white string, tied, in a bow, near the top of the card face...
creates the backdrop for the fussy-cut, cell phone, which was topped with a puffy, "Happy" sticker; given a kiss of shine with Glossy Accents; and popped up with foam tape.
A "HOPE YOU'LL BE MINE" foam, accent sticker sets the stage, on the third card...
for the row of hearts die cut, topped with a puffy, "adore" sticker.  A little Glossy Accents gives the nail polish shine.
The first card in the center row...
was topped with a portion of a Polaroid die cut, as well as floral ephemera; foam, accent sticker; and a fussy-cut shamrock.  A trio of glitter, enamel dots completes the look.
Another Polaroid...
filled with floral ephemera, embellished with a chipboard, heart pennant and trio of glitter, enamel dots, is the highlight of the center card.
A "LOVE YOU MORE" die cut creates the sentiment.
The third and final card in the center row was made exactly like the middle card in the top row...
with the exception of the phone having a double dose of Glossy Accents in place of the puffy, "Happy" sticker.
Moving on to the bottom row, the first card is my absolute fave of the whole bunch.
A chipboard Polaroid frames the "TODAY is great" tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow, as well as the floral ephemera, popped up with foam tape.  A little Glossy Accents adds just the right amount of shine to the black, chipboard, "this" heart to complete the look.
The bottom, center card was topped with a puffy, heart Polaroid...
filled in with floral ephemera...
and a "STAY CLOSE TO THOSE WHO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE sunshine", die-cut sentiment.  A trio of glitter, enamel dots complete the look.
The ninth and final card was topped with a "to the SWEETEST", foam, accent sticker, backed with a paper, days of the week die-cut, wrapped with white string, tied in a bow.
A trio of glitter, enamel dots, as well as lots of Pure Black and Titanium White, acrylic paints, splattered throughout all of the designs, just for a little, added texture and interest, give this pocket letter its finishing touches.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a fantastic week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: white (Paper Studio); Super Cool (Pinkfresh - HKC); Lucky Us (Pink Paislee - HKC) Other: white string (Hobby Lobby); foam tape (Paperie Shoppe); Glossy Accents (Ranger); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); Lucky Charm Foam Phrase & Accent Stickers & Lucky Us Stickers & Enamel Shapes (Pink Paislee - HKC); My Favorite Story Chipboard Stickers, Ephemera, Floral Ephemera, & Puffy Phrase Stickers (Pinkfresh - HKC)