O Crafty Day!

It is about 9 on a Saturday morning and I am about to get started on a full day of crafting.

I just need some caffeine.  

A little sunlight.

And lots of glue, paper, glittery bits and memories.  

Scrapbooking, art journaling and photography along with a little mixed media all rolled into one happy morning. Doesn’t get any better…

Unless we’re going to the zoo…

Or celebrating a birthday — when we were 5!

Or going to a new place on the map… 

 (Shugie, Zoe and me at Biltmore for my birthday in April 2015. My hubby’s the best to take us here for a little weekend away.) 
Happy Crafty Saturday!

  

Gardening: Ten Things I have Learned 

1. Never pay full price for perennials if you don’t have to. You can always find a friend or neighbor who has some to transplant. Case in point, these beautiful irises from a friend from church who put out a desperate plea that she was being taken over by them. Call me in three years and I will give you some!

  
2. Do read on the label if the plant needs full sun or part shade to full shade. And, when in doubt, if the part of the yard where you want to plant something gets sun most of the day look for “drought tolerant” somewhere on there because if God doesn’t send rain, my plants don’t get watered. I am a lazy gardener and proud of it. 

3. Plant a few veggies you know you will eat in a bucket near your door. More than that will require watering (see point #2) and likely canning or freezing. I like to can and freeze but I work 40+ hours a week outside of the home and there is not enough time in a day for me to enjoy that right now. 

  
I learned this the hard way one summer when three tomato plants in my yard about wore out my welcome from co-workers and choir members as I brought around tomatoes every day for a month. One day, I may relish my inner Ouiser. Again, check back with me in three years.

4. Buy a good shovel, a thick pair of gardening gloves and always wear a hat with a brim.

5. Don’t garden in a bathing suit; you do a lot of bending and stooping. (This should be obvious but it apparently wasn’t obvious enough for me.)

6. However, cutting grass in a bikini is perfectly acceptable if you are using a riding lawnmower. It is called multi-tasking. Just remember to put on the sunblock before you shimmy into your suit. And wear a hat with a brim. Jackie O glasses are optional … but recommended.

7. Dirt does not hurt. You can scrub it out. Red clay is a bit harder to wash. Invest in a good hand lotion to use after a day of gardening; I like to set mine within reach of my recliner for post-gardening reflection.

8. Hire someone to move rocks, cut down and haul off trees and large clippings, or spread mulch. Neighbor kids are always in need of some extra spending funds and usually willing. 

9. Make friends with your neighborhood cats. They will make your yard their home whether you want them to or not. Just deal with it. 

My dogs love the garden, too.

  
10. Find a good place to just rest and sit in your garden, even if you are like me, right this very minute, plopped down in a folding chair under the Bradford pear enjoying an early evening breeze while typing away on your smartphone app. Crickets chirping, dogs crunching through the woods and a soft strain of country music from the neighbor kids across the street is the best way to relax. My irises are all planted… And I had enough for three plots of them!

  
– This is why I am daylilygrl. I have loved daylilies since I was a child.

Stampin’ Up… More Happy Found

I am learning how to teach something I love: paper crafting.

I have been making scrapbooks and homemade cards since I was a little girl. I have kept a journal since I was 8. Putting together these two passions into one – and having the opportunity to teach it – is a new venture, and a natural extension of my life right now.

I have been challenged by a Bible study to learn how to find rest. For some this may mean more time away from hobbies or downtime distractions, but since I have a higher tendency to be unbalanced in my work arena, I needed to return to an area of my life that brings me pure joy: creating through crafting and sharing the gift as an encouragement to others.

For me, I find great peace, accomplishment and rest when I am creating and meditating on the creative process while I am in that moment; call it my creative juices flowing and what not, but that is what it is. 

I host my first Stampin’ Up workshop May 2. I plan to teach a Father’s Day card and a matching gift tag for that special guy in my friends’ lives. I think I will teach a thank you card as well, and for my favorite part, host a free scrapbooking session after the demos and make& take portion of the workshop. Even more exciting is to fellowship with my girlfriends and craft together!

Here’s one of my latest creations… Not all Stampin’Up products, but I did use the Label Love stamp with matching artisan label punch and the ink, Lost Lagoon. 
  
I can’t wait to make some more and show off our workshop creations.

Co-Conspirator, Guest Contributor… Keep Your Circle Positive

keep your circle positive

Keep Your Circle Positive (keepyourcirclepositive.com)

I am excited to announce that I hit one of my major 2015 goals: be a blog contributor.

Ok, so this was really a goal for 2014, but I can rewrite it into my 2015 list. Especially since I hit the goal so early in 2015.

My blog post “Here’s Why My Christmas Tree is Still Up” was published January 8 on my dear friend and co-worker’s blog, keepyourcirclepositive.com. I think she termed me a co-creator, and I really like that! CO-CREAAATTTTOOORRRR… (listen to it echo through the hallway!)

Co-Conspirator works, too. I am thinking of our alliance more like a conspiracy — to take over the world, world, world….. (Yes, I have been watching too many Marvel movies lately.)

Seriously, though, we are conspiring and collaborating together on blogging and achieving our goals. And, anytime we can do that over Mexican after a long work-week, all the better. It’s so great to find a kindred spirit and I truly encourage you to go check out her blog. She looks on the bright side of things, and as a die-hard Pollyanna, you know I love that.

I’ll be a monthly Co-Creator and you should check out the posts – and if you don’t, I’ll remind you.

A few more announcements for 2015 and this blog:

1 – I plan to migrate it to my own domain name in a few months, so that may take a little effort and there may be a few hiccups, so I hope you’ll hang with me.

2 – I’m going to actually write and adhere to an editorial calendar. I’m looking at publishing at least once a week – and would like to implement an weekly email blast to announce my latest posts. If you’d like to sign up, please fill out the little form at the top right of the sidebar. I’ll use that only to send you sweet little happy notes – and I promise, I’m not a Spammer…. and I do this email marketing thing for a living so you’ll be in good hands.

3 – I’ll be looking for your input. I’d love to share my favorite things and what makes me happy – and I’d love to include your thoughts as well. I would like to create a monthly space for Happy Found moments, so please use #happyfound on Twitter and start tagging me in your posts @daylilygrl. You may just end up featured on this blog!

I can’t believe it’s almost February! Can you??

Hubby and I are on countdown to celebrating our two year wedding anniversary. It’s almost here, too. Feb. 16 – I can’t believe we’re almost there.

Farewell, old friend

My trusty carry-on bag is not so trusty anymore.

Somewhere between Greenville, SC and Orlando, FL in November, my bag’s right wheel sustained significant damage–and I didn’t realize the extent until today, somewhere in the Charlotte airport around the C terminal. The wheel I thought was just a bit wonky was actually broken.

I discovered this calamity after getting stuck on the exit bar of the people mover and required assistance from the kind gentleman who was actually conversing with me about the loud rumble it was making as it traveled the metal platform.

Upon closer inspection, I found a shattered and exposed metal frame, which was likely what got caught on the people mover, and a crushed bottom edge that was actually keeping the wheel from rolling properly.

Using all of my best survival skills gleaned from more than a decade of Girl Scouts and even a few years as an Explorer Boy Scout, I pressed down the exposed metal spikes, smoothed out the frayed fabric and pushed out the wheel cavity. It seemed to work, as long I didn’t perch my lady-briefcase on it or drag it across carpet. (There is a lot of carpet in the Charlotte airport.)

I am resolved to make it home without purchasing a new bag–at twice the cost –at one of the airport shops. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I am sitting here at the gate for my final destination and making a mental list of where this bag has traveled since receiving it as a high school graduation present (gasp) 18 years ago.

– Charleston, SC to Munich, Germany to Nice, France and back
– Jacksonville, FL to Boston to Augusta, Maine and back
– Greenville, SC to Washington, DC to Indianapolis, Indiana and back
– Savannah to Seattle, Wash. and back
– Jacksonville to Dallas, Texas to Denver, Colorado and back (twice, a few years apart)
– Savannah to Dallas to Chicago and back

I am sure there’s more, and there’s been countless car trips, a few train rides and six moves.

It’s a little frayed in some spots, with a few pulled strings in its honey-wheat tapestry.

This unique pattern with pinks, turquoise and golds made my luggage stand out on the conveyer belt, declaring to all it was mine, and although I always thought it was a bit grandma-y, the classic tapestry never showed dirt or wear, at least not from a distance.

And, I guess since it was something I had picked out in my late teens and I still liked it, it was a true extension of my personality and style. Classic and grandma-y. I’ll take it, especially since that grandma reference gave me comfort. My Gram gave me my first piece and was there when I picked out the pattern and set my senior year.

Without a doubt I am a little sad and reluctant to say farewell. It is so roomy despite its compact size. It will be a long search to replace; plus, once I replace I will need to replace my entire seven piece set, all received case by case from loved ones as presents on my graduation day.

I am willing to say goodbye; I just hope it makes it to my final destination first.

Actually, I just hope it rolls down the gangplank!

I will take a proper picture of it and post it once I get to the hotel. In the meantime, here’s a pic of my morning commute: GSP to CLT.

2015/01/img_4274-0.jpg

Here’s a pic of the damage:
1. Wheel cavity is cracked in half.
2. Wheel/bag frame (light tan plastic) is cracked in half.
3. Exterior frame (metal) is exposed, broken and deteriorating. I think this is what is catching on the carpet.

2015/01/img_4279.jpg

Day 22 – Xmas

daylilygrl:

Please read this thought-provoking and beautifully written blog about the use of Xmas. It’s original use is not what you may think!! Great post!

Merry Xmas Eve Eve!!

Originally posted on Holly's Holiday Heralds:

Sitting here, writing out the list of things to do within the next 24 hours to prepare for the festivities of Christmas, I find myself forced to focus on stillness. In the last few days, I have been either too tired to put together coherent sentences or too busy preparing for Christmas. Tonight, however, my heart longs to be still and enjoy the words of Christmas.

Reverentially, I pause to consider the usage of Xmas.

Yes, I said “reverentially.” You will see why in a moment.

This time of year, I get a little weary of hearing the Christmas word wars that go on around us – from commercialism to the church, the madness abounds. “Happy holidays” goes up against “Merry Christmas” and “Christmas” goes up against “Xmas.” Honestly, these are battles that, to me, do not prove our love, devotion, and care during the Christmas season. Instead, they show…

View original 510 more words

Day 1 Christmas Break: Clean up the pantry

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/15a/19610751/files/2014/12/img_4079.jpg
I first realized I had an organization issue last week when I couldn’t find the oatmeal and it was right at my feet. It needs to be at eye level since it is healthier for me than the cookies.

So I started looking at Pinterest one evening, and at 1 a.m. I realized I needed to do something about the problem or I would self-destruct into a weepy, anxious mess. (Can anyone look at Pinterest and not feel like they need to go craft, decoupage or reorganize something? That may just be another of my problems.)

I had already rearranged the pantry a bit when I took the before pic. I bought the red accent shelf organizers at the local Dollar Tree. I used an old file sorter to organize my reusable bags and lunch totes.

I also moved all of my not-as-often used appliances, like our George Foreman and small crockpots to the second to top shelf.

I still need to tackle the very bottom and very top shelf, but overall this only took me about a half hour.

Not bad for my first day off from work for Christmas and New Year. And, yes, I do feel better.

And, I am fighting the urge to NOT add labels. But, I will post photos of what is generally where.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/15a/19610751/files/2014/12/img_4082.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/15a/19610751/files/2014/12/img_4080.jpg

It also appears that the cookies are still at eye level but they are destined for Christmas baking tomorrow—and will be leaving the house for my parents for the holidays.

Two-Cheese Italian Broccoli Crustless Quiche

IMG_3816.JPG

I forgot I knew how to make quiche until Mom reminded me.

I was talking, well, really complaining, that I was running out of low carb ideas for supper, that I would actually want to eat. My husband loves low carb meals and I prefer whole grains and lean protein. So, I have to get creative.

Mom used to make us quiche all the time when I was little. The only difference with mine is that I am not pouring the filling into a pre-made pie crust painted with a layer of yellow mustard (although, I love that version!).

For this quiche I used what I had on hand and in the freezer. Other combos that would be great are sausage and cheddar, adding ham to the one I made, and a feta and red pepper version.

Here’s what you need:
5 eggs
1/4 c half and half
1/2 c chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
3 slices provolone
1/4-1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T chopped green onions
1/2 t onion and garlic powder
1 T Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray

Here’s what you do
1. Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cook frozen broccoli in steamable package 2/3 of the way. While cooking, whisk together the all but provolone in medium bowl.
3. Arrange broccoli on plate and chop with kitchen shears to get to desired size. (I think it cooks better if broccoli is chopped to about 1/2 inch bits. It makes it easier to eat without huge chunks falling out of the mix too.)
4. Cut provolone into thin strips (like julienne) and arrange over broccoli. Pour egg mixture over top, sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and pit in oven.
5. Cook about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and top browns. (It will smell amazing!) The top will rise like a soufflé but that’s ok. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

I ate a quarter of the pie with some extra broccoli, and a mini bagel with a bit of pumpkin spice cream cheese. My husband ate the rest of the pie with some Duke’s mayonnaise–another staple of our household.

It’s turned from fall to winter in the last few days.

IMG_3809.JPG

IMG_3819.JPG

I am escaping the cold for a few days with a business trip to Orlando, Disney World to be exact. The conference I am attending is actually at Disney. I am leaving this morning and won’t be back until Sunday. And, my hubby is not going. I am going to miss him terribly but I do admit I will not miss the football all day Saturday and Sunday. Every game is important to him and I am a one game a week kinda girl.

I think I need a hobby.

Thankfully, Continued

The month is entering double digit days. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here!
This year we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with both our families on separate days, which means two meals. And I won’t be too full from one to deserve the next. There are two days between the two: one is on Thursday, the other is Saturday. And, I can’t wait to put up my Christmas tree. I wonder if I can talk the hubby into putting ours up next week?? Check out these ornaments… Do you buy a new ornament every year? We do. It must be a penguin or penguins.

IMG_3714.JPG
The past weekend I got to spend a few days with my mom and sister, who picked out a cool concert to attend in Greenville. We loved the For King and Country concert at this 140-plus year old church! The First Presbyterian Church of Greenville was packed and the entertainment was modern, but the message was eternal!

IMG_3708.JPG
I also realized how much I missed my mom this weekend. We just had the best time shopping, cooking and hanging out together.
And, the fall leaves are perfect!

IMG_3715.JPG
All of the above… I am so grateful.

30 Days of Gratitude: Days 1-3

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – Colossians 30:17

November started out with some of the coldest temps on record in South Carolina. The early snow in Columbia, a few hours south of us, broke the record set in 1909. A hundred years of warmth ended with that early snow – three inches in some places. While it didn’t snow on our little homestead, around us friends and neighbors were posting pictures of their white yards and snow-covered Halloween pumpkins. I even saw a car covered in snow driving down the road in front of me! All Saints Day started with a brisk… pace.

I am booked the next few weekends – well, basically all of the weekends between now and Thanksgiving weekend. So here’s how I’ll make the most of it and focus on what I’m supposed to do. (Including trying to stay healthy, since I’m currently sitting at home nursing a tummy bug.) These are things I’m grateful for – days 1-3.

1. Prayer. I am going to spend more time in prayer (and now that I say it, in swooping from all directions all the things that will try their best to distract me… as if on cue.) But, with His power and focus, I’m planning to learn a bit more about my relationship with Jesus and plug into more focused, and intentional prayer times. My prayer status has been “without ceasing” for a long time, but I just want to get more intimate, more snuggled up with the Savior, and so I’m going to push into the Word more and complete the weekly devotional from our Disciple Life class. It’s a question posed from the guest pastor last night, which are you going to serve? The flesh or the spirit? Whichever one you feed, is the one that will win. It’ll be stronger and overpower the one that you don’t feed. I really liked that analogy.

2. Drugs that work and remembering to take my meds like I’m supposed to. I’m resolving to finally go buy a weekly pill sorter. It’s a stupid thing but if I don’t remember to take my meds at regular intervals, I can tell… as side effects are not something to play around with (random, fast-onset heart-racing, anxiety attacks, to be exact). Maybe this is TMI (and I admit, to say it here does scare me a bit as I’m not one to broadcast health things) but I’ve been struggling with the management of a chronic illness for a while, and even before I was officially diagnosed in March, but I’m making it, drugs are working and I’m not allowing myself to be defined by the illness. It doesn’t get to decide my fate. It’s just something I deal with, like someone who has to deal with diabetes or allergies. I have fibromyalgia. It’s a really stupid thing, and it won’t get the best of me. I manage it with proper, balanced nutrition, learning to be kinder to myself and discovering my limits (and how to say “no”) and staying on the meds, which seem to be working. The problem, fibro fog is real. And it’s funny to be so sure you took your meds that morning, when you realize at lunchtime that really, you were remembering the action of taking the meds the day before… so a pill sorter will be great! I love lists. Lists are my superpower. Get pill sorter – going on the list.

3. Number three thing I’m grateful for is my awesome husband. He’s my strong shoulder to lean into. This last year has been such a beautiful time of growth and understanding in our marriage. Learning to be married has been awesome and crazy and wonderful all at the same time. Taking time to celebrate each other in our busy, loaded lives is one key to our happiness. We traveled to Table Rock State Park yesterday just to see what there was to see. And, we found this.

IMG_3664.JPG

We discovered the back porch at the Table Rock State Park Visitor’s Center. Sitting in the side-by-side rocking chairs, soaking up the sun, listening to the crickets in the nearby field and holding hands while enjoying the view and light chilly breeze, that’s a perfect Sunday afternoon. I’m so blessed to be able to say that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and God’s best for me!

A few notes:
On point #1: If you’re looking for a good devotion on prayer, check out Michael Catt’s “Power of Persistence” in the Fall 2014 MasterWork from Lifeway. Or, one of my favorite online daily devotional sites: Proverbs 31 Ministries. Today’s devotion on the “Power of a Simple Prayer” is awesome. These devotions are always perfectly timed – just what I needed, right when I needed it – even if I didn’t know I needed it!

On point #2: I say all this so someone, not sure who, will read this and feel empowered and think positive thoughts about this illness and not think that it needs to define them. That it’s a label, or a prison sentence. I thought at first it was, for a split second of about a week, because I was so shocked that it was happening to me, but since I have lived with the symptoms (all random and seemingly disconnected) for so long, to now know what was wrong – and to have some answers on how to fix it and make it better, make it livable, that was the relief. That was the victory. That is the solution. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you get this same diagnosis. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, these things are real, but you can take steps to make them, and your life, better. Off my soapbox. And, yes, I’m learning as I go.)

On point #3: I just can’t say enough how much I love him!

p.s. Happy (Belated) Halloween! Can you guess who I am dressed as?

IMG_3612.JPG

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 410 other followers