December 4, 2013

In loving memory of Stephanie Sutherland

She has lost this battle but she has won the war.  
Our friend Stephanie Sutherland went to be with the Lord last night. 
She is so much more than a wife, mother and daughter. 

She is
a child of God 

She will be missed by many but will never be gone because she lives on in the hearts of so many that were fortunate enough to call her friend. 

November 15, 2013

It's a dirty word in my book.

It's a dirty word in my book.  The C word- CANCER. 
I don't know if it is because I am older and pay more attention, dr's are catching it earlier and some treatments are available, or if there are more cases out there but it seems like cancer is a disease that effects so many more people now than it did even a few short 15 or 20 years ago.  I am not saying that cancer wasn't prevalent then by any means but that it seems to affect so many more people now.  I don't know that I can name a single friend in my life that hasn't been affected by cancer.  Either they've had it themselves or a friend or family member has.  

I know many people that fight the hard fight daily.  They take their treatments...battle the side effects and give cancer a big wave of the finger.  They are strong and weak at the same time.  They battle and hurt and still smile through it all. They pray for successful treatment and celebrate every milestone whether it be a shrunken tumor or the regrowth of hair.  They are heroes of a different sort.  Those who have been dealt a crappy hand, put on their poker face, make the best of what they were dealt. 

As friends and family we pray and celebrate with them.  They are surrounded in love and support.  I have family and friends that have been and are currently battling that dirty word. 
From the sideline, it's hard to know what to say, what to do, to be comforting, to understand the whys.  
The harder I think about it the more I come back to the same bible verse. 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord - give it to HIM.  It seems so simple.  Yet so hard to do.  
Everything comes in God's time - give it HIM.  
I've given it to Him. 
 I've screamed and yelled. I've asked why.  I've lain exhausted and crying at the thought of the wonderful people I know that are in pain because of this horrible disease.  And I know that those actions do me no good.  I still shed tears.  But then I pray, knowing that I might not understand or like God's timing but He has a plan.  
He will make straight my path.  
He will lead me in the right direction.  
He will give me the right words to say.  
He will lead me to be the ear to listen, the shoulder to cry on, the comforting hug, the maker of meals, the bringer of a favorite food.  It doesn't seem like much but it's what I feel led to do.  What he leads me to do.  I pray - I pray for a cure, comfort, less pain, good days, a loving family, an understanding caretaker.  

To those fighting the good fight - there are warriors that stand behind you - there to catch you when you stumble, there to pray for your needs, there to wave a finger at cancer right along side you.  
For those who have lost the battle - they have won the war.  They are celebrating their lives in Heaven, free of pain.  They dance the streets of gold.  They wait for us to join them in that glorious place in God's time.  We carry on them in our memories and in our hearts.  They live on here too.  

In honor of those fighting the fight - Debbie, Stephanie, Anna, and many more
Celebrating those who have found remission - Jennell, Gina, Donna, Danny, and many more
In memory of those who have won the war - Dee, Jerry, and countless others   

November 8, 2013

Pinterest Party

I will preface this whole entry by saying - there are no pictures.  :(  We partied and made projects.  I didn't even have time to snatch up my camera.  Sorry Ladies.   

Last month about 10 -12 friends got together at my house for a preholiday Pinterest party.  We all know how difficult it gets to get together at the holidays so we decided an October Pinterest party to get together make a few projects and hang out was the perfect plan.  
It was the perfect plan.  We had the best time.  
Since there are no pictures I'll make this short and sweet.  
We picked four projects:
Glitter Covered Mason Jars
Melted Snowmen Ornaments
Freezer Paper Painted Shirts
Coasters from Scrap book paper, tiles and modge podge
We picked these four crafts because they were pretty easy, didn't take a lot of time, and could all be done in one night.
There were 4 crafting stations where we could work on things so we all 
just rotated around to where someone else wasn't.
I don't think would have been as easy with more people....It would have been crowded.
These are the Pinterest links that we based our crafts from - with a few improvements:
This super easy Glitter Mason Jar tutorial got us started on the right road.  I got the large grain glitter and I liked it better than the fine glitter.  After we let the dry for a few minutes we sprayed a clear sealer coat to help keep the glitter from coming off on everything.
This again was another quick tutorial on what products to use in the Melted Snowman Ornament.  I wouldn't have thought of the peppercorns.  In addition to what she has, we added cut triangle slivers of bright orange scrapbook paper for the snowman nose, small buttons for the eyes, and short pieces of red material as a scarf.  Be careful not to stick your finger in the glass ornament because something didn't settle the way you wanted it to.  Said ornament will break...we know from experience.  If what you dropped on top of the salt doesn't settle right give it a good shake and then sift it back and forth and everything rises to the top.   
The perfect tutorial to make quick a quick and inexpensive gift.  We made sets of 4 coasters for less than $1.00 for the sets.  Our only change was to hot glue small felts squares to the back instead of modge podging shelf liner on.  Either way would work fine.  
For the Freezer paper painted shirts I looked at several different tutorials.  They were all basically the same - pinterest search freezer paper shirts and you will get a bunch of different ideas.  We used my Cricut to cut state shapes from the freezer paper, ironed them on and started painting.  Just always remember to put a piece of cardboard between your layers of shirt so that you don't have paint bled through to the next layer. 
All in all the pinterest party was a hit.  We all brought a pinterest inspired food which made for a tasty treat.  We were able to socialize and still feel productive. We didn't spend a lot of money doing it.  And who has extra cash to spend this time of year anyways???
 We'll do this again in the spring.  Maybe we'll do just 1 or two projects but make them a little more time consuming.
Do you have any ideas for a pinterest party?  Please share      

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween.  It's a fun holiday to dress up, go outside the box, and be a kid again.  
We have trunk or treat every year at our church.  Russel and I are more often than not the only adults dressed up but the kids enjoy it and so do we.  
A few years ago Russel convinced me to get him a gorilla costume.  I decided if we were going to get one we would get a "good" one not a cheap fall apart one but with the stipulation that it needed to be worn more than once.  Well - this gorilla has been worn and worn and worn again.  Below are some pictures from Halloween's for us through the years. 
 If there is one thing we do together, it's that we always have fun.  
I love these pictures because each one makes me remember something about each year.  Now would that have happened had we not dressed up and gone "outside our boxes"?
The year we were....
little red riding and the big bad wolf - Russel had just had knee surgery
little bo peep and mustache man - we had spent time at Chris' making way for his new cabin
I was the gorilla with the tutu - my friend Denise was "guiding" me walking around down town during the day and walked us out into the middle of on coming traffic (no one was hurt)
cowboy and milk maid - I saw the biggest grin ever on our friend Morris' face
gorilla and lady from king kong - I ripped the back of my dress out putting it on 

Yes - we may technically be "too old" for Halloween but we're still young at heart.  Are you?

Happy Halloween!

October 7, 2013

Baby Girl Owl Shower

So you've seen the baby boy shower that I attended for my friend Allison. It was beautiful and only got me more excited about  the baby girl shower for my friend Katie.  
Katie's only request was that I use this super cute pink and green invite she found online at Cutie Patootie Creations.(click the link to see the invite - I didn't take a picture!) 
I loved the invite too so I decided to create her shower around the invitation theme.  Who (pun intended) doesn't like some sweet pink and green owls?  And who doesn't go to Pinterest for all sorts of creation imagination!!!!
Here's the lovely mommy to be Katie.  She's such a sweet friend and I was so excited, along with a couple of other college friends, to be able to give her a shower to welcome baby Raylyn to this world. 
 So here' the shower for that little sweetie to be!

The decorations:

Outside to direct everyone to the correct house was our owl baby banner - 
It didn't last long after the shower started as it really started showering after the party started. 
Paper + Rain doesn't blend so well.  

For the hearth - A banner made from my Cricut and tied together with tulle and a laundry line with owls, onesies & bibs that I made for baby Raylyn.
All the ruffles are a result of me learning online how to make a ruffle.  I had no idea all I had to do was turn my thread tension up.  There is a GREAT tutorial at Super Mommy or Not.
 It was so easy.  The monster bib is from  Stubbornly Crafty which I frequent often for her tutorials and free patterns. 
Ladies - that is how I learned to sew - from the free patterns online.  These ladies are my sewing heros!

On to the party table - a green mason jar with pink and green daisies, bingo gifts, wishes for baby cards, bingo cards and an instruction sheet with owls.  

I made the Bingo Cards and Wishes for Baby in Microsoft Word and then converted them to PDF's.  I took them on my flash drive over to Office Depot and had them printed on a card stock.  Three of the wishes for baby were on each sheet and two bingos on each sheet.  I cut them at home with my paper cutter (they charge $.07 a cut - so I did it myself).  This made the bingo cards about $.30 each and the wishes for baby about $.20 each.  I uploaded all these pdf's to an earlier blog entry.  This way you can use them too. 


 All the owls were all cut on my Cricut using the Create a Critter cartridge (actually my friend Stacy's cartridge - then I went out and bought my own).  
The mason jars (with handle already attached) came from Old Time Pottery and they had several different colors.  
The daisies came from Joann's.  I used some in jars and the remaining ones we pulled from the stems and used as table decor (you'll see that further down). 

We also had a late night diaper table.
  We used Sharpies to write on the diapers.  I didn't realize how hard diapers were to write on.  I hope that Katie and Chris get a good laugh during those late night diaper changes.  
The metal owl on this table came from Old Time Pottery.  The fabric owl is one that I have made.  I love sewing these little owls.  It was one of my first sewing projects and still remains a favorite. 

The Food and Drinks
We kept it simple - tea, water, pink lemonade, cupcakes, chocolate dipped preztels & oreos, sausage balls, little wienies, & pasta salad - but delicious. 
The yummy cupcakes came from The Sweet Stash and The Cupcake Collection which are both in downtown Nashville and have phenomenal cupcakes.  The Sweet Stash's almond wedding cake are my all time favorite.  Teri and I made the rest of the food and it was tasty even if I say so myself.  

We had water, pink lemonade, and sweet tea out of pint mason jars.  My hubby drilled holes in the lids so that we could thread our drink straws in and not worry about knocking them over.  Bright green tags let us know who's drink was who's.  

The Photo Booth
Out on the back porch we set up a photo booth.  It's pretty easy to do with a few cut out props on bbq skewers, a cheap flat grey sheet from Walmart, my camera on a tripod and a camera remote.

We had too much fun.   

The Take Homes

I wanted everyone to have something to remember their time celebrating baby Raylyn so I thinned my hens and chicks to plant these baby pots of hens and chicks for everyone to take home.  
I hope that they grow well.

Thanks to my sweet friends Teri and Kristie for making this shower one that Katie will remember.  
They made food, took pictures, moved gifts, motivated game plan...and had crazy fun with me in the photo booth.  
Other than the photo booth pictures Kristie took all these wonderful pictures to show what fun we had.  

Last plug (but definitely not least)...that adorable chalk board that you keep seeing in all these pictures came from my friend Cari Deer Owl Designs.  I sent her a copy of the invitation and told her I needed a chalk board.  She had this made up in no time flat and it was perfect. 

Hope that you thought Katie's Owl Shower was a Hoot.  We did!



September 23, 2013

Honea Baby Shower...

Congrats to Allison and Phillip on the upcoming birth of their sweet baby boy.

I've known Allison as long as I can remember.  We showed cows together many years ago and when her family moved to South Carolina we were able to stay in touch.  Now with the ease of electronic communication we are able to stay in touch even better.  Don't get me wrong, I actually still send actual birthday cards and write letters to people that I send through the USPS but being able to keep in touch or reach out to friends with the ease of a text, cell call, or email is so nice.

So back to the baby shower.  Allison's sweet friends from South Carolina gave her a baby shower.

 I was lucky enough to meet these awesome girls when Allison and Phillip got married.

 She celebrated with family (below) and friends the upcoming birth of that sweet baby boy!  
   Sister - Emily * Grandmoo - Kitty (wearing the shirt I made her) * Soon to be Mom - Allison
Cousins - Fay and Kay

OK - I downloaded this picture 3 different times.  Not once did it stand up the right direction, so please tilt your head to the left or right to view it. 

 The house was decorated beautifully.  The girls even used the banner I made for Brewer's room to decorate with.  Here is the link to my post on the banner.  I didn't really have a pattern.  I cut triangles of blue jean, used heat and bond to applique the name on and some wide bias tape to hold it all together.  It's hard to go wrong making a banner.        

 They also used a banner made by a work friend of Allison's for decoration.  It was super cute and I took some close up pictures because this is a banner I'd like to recreate.  And then we decorated onesies for baby Honea with fabric paint.  Let's just say there is a reason there isn't a picture of my onesie posted here.  I might be a little crafty but free handed drawing....not so much.  

And I finally got to give some of the baby gifts that I have been sewing for the last couple months.   

 I've been using the pattern for the monster bib that I found on Stubbornly Crafty for both monster bibs (top left) and for regular colorful bibs (bottom right).  It's a good shape and is easy for me to sew.  I am making the front of the bib by the instructions but I have been varying on how I cut the batting and back bib piece.  I'll put a short tutorial up of how I have been varying that soon.  It just works better for me because apparently I can't cut the same shape twice....even with a pattern. 
I've been making the tie onesies for a while.  I made a tie pattern (one for the knot and one for the length) a while back and it works really well.  Phillip has even asked for me to make one for him to match baby Honea.  Won't that be cute?!?!?!  I'll have to make a bigger pattern too.  

And last but not least is the cow onesie.  Imagine that - me making a cow something.  
I used my Create a Critter Cricut cartridge.  Since I had cow spot fabric I only cut the basic shape and the "accessory" (I think that was the one that made the udder and nose). I have heard and seen tutorials on cutting fabric with my Cricut but I have not gotten brave enough to do that.  Instead I put Heat and Bond paper side down on my Cricut cutting mat and cut the shapes from the Heat and Bond.  Then I ironed my desired fabric to the Heat and Bond and hand cut around the shape.  I ironed the Heat and Bond to the onesie and straight stitch appliqued around the entire thing.  I thought it turned out really cute so I made a shirt for Grandmoo with her name appliqued underneath - that is what she is wearing in the family picture above.  

I love all my friends that are having babies and I certainly am enjoying making baby clothes for them.  Now that my baby boy shower is past I have been working on baby girl items.  I have two of those showers this coming weekend so next week I will share more pictures from the showers and gifts too.  Maybe I will get a tutorial in there somewhere.  

Happy Monday!     

September 9, 2013

Cummins Falls

On my 34th birthday we decided to take a day trip to Cummins Falls near Cookeville TN.  The weather was still good and warm (84 degrees). The water was very invigorating (I'm borrowing that word from the guides for our underground snorkeling trip in Mexico- it's better than saying COLD),
After a long hike down the trails and back up the river, we made it to these beautiful falls.  
It was well worth the hike.   We spent several hours swimming, climbing the falls, and playing in the pool at the bottom.  There were quite a few people there but people were all coming and going so it never felt crowded. 

This video is of my sweet husband trying to get me to step under the falls for a picture.  Little did I know that he was videoing as he corralled me further back.  Whew!  Took my breath away.  

I don't know how it happened but Russel also convinced me to jump off the waterfall into the pool below.  And then I did it again!  Must have been the birthday blood pumping through my veins.  
Yep - that is me - holding my nose.

The falls from across the pool at the bottom. 

Russel before we took the plunge into the pool.  Not sure of the depth but I would suggest being a good swimmer or taking a small blow up float/ life vest if you aren't.  

Russel on the walk to the falls.  
The hiking trail deposits you into the creek bed maybe a 1/2 mile from the falls.  You have to walk up the creek to get to the falls. 

Me looking at the falls when we first got there.  It really is beautiful. 

We went to the falls overlook before hiking down.  You can see the falls in the back ground 

At the falls after climbing up onto the "lowest level" of the falls themselves. 

After a little encouragement Russel got me up the rocks and under the actual falls.  

If you want to learn more about the falls you can check out the Tennessee State Parks Website.
Cummins Falls was named one of the top 10 swimming holes in the US by Travel and Leisure.   
Quite a feat for such a new state park.
Next time we make a trip out, we will probably hit up Burgess Falls which is only about 19 miles away.  From what I understand there are 4 smaller falls on the hike out to this 250 foot waterfall.  Sounds like another day of fun!

On the way back toward the interstate we stopped at the Del Monaco winery in Baxter TN.  The ladies working were super friendly.  I am a sweet wine girl so we tried all their sweet wines.  I couldn't find a single one that I didn't like.  We purchased a few bottles and I even got 10% off because it was my birthday.  What a nice surprise. 

It was an absolutely beautiful birthday.
I couldn't have asked for anything more.  


September 5, 2013

Coups for Troops! SO EXCITED

Did you know that US military families that are stationed overseas can use coupons at the commissaries for up to six months after their expiration date?
I didn't know that nor did I ever think about passing my expired coupons along until I came upon that fact on a couponing website.  I always just tossed them in the recycling can at work.
  So the site I came across gave a general address to send bulk coupons to that in turn sends the coupons along.  After sending a couple packs of coupons collected between myself and other couponing coworkers I received a letter from Coups for Troops which is where I was sending the packages.  They offered to set us up directly with an overseas military family.  YAY!!!!  Through email contact I am now so excited to say that I am connected with a military family and get to start TODAY sending our expired/ unused coupons direct to her.  
So if you coupon and want something to do with your expired and/ or unused coupons please go to the Coups for Troops website and learn more.    
All it costs you is a little postage. You're helping a fellow American
to make grocery costs a little more manageable and you can smile all the way to the post office knowing that you are doing some good. 

August 28, 2013

Robertson County Fair 2013

If you know me, you know that we live on a family dairy farm.  
My husband and I both work in the city but we still enjoy the farm living.  
Every year we get cows ready to go to the Robertson County Fair.  The nieces and nephews are getting old enough to really be great showmen.  So we took 13 heifers and cows to the fair and we did great.  Here's some pictures from our night at the fair.
 Our bunch at the fair

Old school Robertson County dairy showmen. 
Back in the day we all showed cows at the Robertson County the old barn where we had two nights of shows and stayed the night in between in the barn.  

We washed, we clipped, we showed, we laughed, we made life long friends, 
we had the best of times. 

And now there's a whole new generation on showmen showing at the Robertson County fair.  

There may only be one night of shows but we are in a new barn and we love every minute of showing, making new friends, and visiting with old ones.  

The cows are the stars of the show but these kids do a lot of work too

And the old folks (me included)
 And the great friends (including Cari who so kindly took pictures for me when I couldn't)
 Well we do some work too and it's all worth it. 

And if you are reading this thinking  - her new year's resolution of a tutorial every month - has went down the're right.  Life doesn't always give you the time to do EVERY thing that you want but you have to make time for the stuff that matters most.  I'll get back to soon as this crazy thing called life settles down.  


August 13, 2013

Riffe Family Reunion

At the end of July my husband and I attended his grandmother's family reunion.  
There was a huge crowd there - 71 people!  
The weather was nice and the food was delish.
Here's the pictures for all you Riffe's.  

The whole Family

Myrtle (Russel's Grandmother) with her kids, grand kids, great grand kids and grand dogs that were in attendance.

August 8, 2013

busy afternoon

It's been a busy afternoon.  I started clipping heifers for the Robertson county show and signed Russel and I up for the color run.  SO  there was no apron making today.  Which is probably a good thing because I started trying to read the pattern and only got half of the pieces cut because I was may be a while before you see the completed apron...and I was hoping to get it done in time to put in the fair.  Don't see that happening.

Happy Thursday night everyone. 

August 7, 2013

One step closer

My delightful and sweet friend Kathy over at Kathy's Creative Corner sent me an apron pattern when I first got my sewing machine.  She has been super supportive with my sewing challenges and has given me all sorts of tips as I venture further and further into my sewing journey.  
I have kept the pattern crisp and clean in it's little package.  It sits on my sewing table looking at me...just wanting me to start on it as my next project. 
So I have been on the lookout for the prefect fabric.  
I want my first apron to be beautiful and most of all RIGHT. 
So yesterday as I am scouring through the fabric (what's left of it as our Joann's is moving and EVERYTHING is on clearance) I found THE PERFECT COMBINATION of fabrics for my apron.  

Here it is!  What do you think?  The blue is going to be the main fabric and the yellow will make up the bottom ruffle and ties.  I am very excited to get started so stay tuned for pictures...hopefully sooner than later. 

July 29, 2013

Great Grand Parents / Grand Parents

As I was watching my 8 year old niece hug my grandmother this morning it hit me again how very lucky my nieces and nephew are - I mean besides the fact that they get to be related to me.  

All joking aside, I never got to know or meet any of my great grand parents but my nieces and nephew are lucky enough to have three great grand mothers and one great grandfather all still living and in good health.  
And they have three grandmothers and three grandfathers.
And not only that but those grand & great grand parents love them unconditionally and still are able to have the kids stay with them and participate in their lives.

I know the kids are very lucky to have such large families with many grand and great parents alive but we are all so lucky to have them too.  They are the lights of our lives. 

Love my babies.  
With one set of grandparents and great grandparents and me and their momma of course. 

July 11, 2013

Owl Themed Baby Shower Items

I have looked at ordering all different items for an upcoming Owl themed baby shower that I am having.  Then I decided, I have Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat, I think I can do this myself. 
So I tried...and I believe that I succeeded. 
It was much harder for me to figure out how to embed a link on my page so that you could download these items for yourself.  I ended up using Scribd.  Let me know if you have any issues getting these downloaded for your own use.
These are all intended to be for your personal use and are not for sale or to be used for profit.
These should print on an 8.5 *11 sheet of paper or card stock in color.
I plan on having mine printed at an office supply store.    

A list of wishes for baby:
A blank bingo card if you want fill in your own (2 per 8.5*11 sheet):
And 5 Bingo sheets (8.5*11) with 2 bingo cards on each. Each of these 10 cards have the "baby items" scrambled in different order so that you have 10 different cards. If you have more than 10 people at your shower make extra copies of each but know that you could possibly have more than one bingo winner. Here are the 5 sheets:

And last but not least - the list of words that are included in the bingo games. Whoever is making the list of the items that the mom to be is opening might check off of this list and call out any "bingo squares" that the opened gift might represent:

So Many Babies

As you may have read in an earlier post EVERY lady I know seems to be pregnant.  Now they are all getting into the stage of knowing whether they are having a sweet baby girl or boy.  Some have picked names and some haven't but regardless I have been sewing along and also getting baby shower ready.

Here are a couple of the sewing projects that I have done:
 A blue jean banner for baby boy Brewer. 

  A pink and grey monster bib for one of the many baby girls on the way.  

Both of these projects were a great way to use scrap fabric.  I can't wait to make more monster bibs.  
I found the pattern and tutorial for the monster bib on Stubbornly Crafty.  Lisa has some great tutorials so be sure to visit that site.  

I made the banner from scrap blue jeans.  I didn't really have a pattern.  I have made a banner before from a tutorial but I just winged this one.  It was fun to do...If you're winging it no one will be the wiser when you mess up!

Sew on.  


July 9, 2013

How to keep your ferns watered.....

We have a front porch that has columns.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to have four beautiful baskets of hanging ferns on my porch every year.  I am always so proud of them....until they die of dehydration because I have quickly forgotten to water them.  My grandmother that lives next door can keep the most beautiful ferns nearly year around.  She waters day and poor ferns are happy if they get watered twice a week.  
So after seeing this blog on My Place to Yours I knew I Russel needed to do this. I probably could have done this myself but Russel is such a great handy man I knew he would be the better choice.  

It was really pretty simple: 

At Lowe's there is even have a "kit" with the 1/4 inch irrigation pipe, T's, pipe hangers, and stick sprinklers included.  We went ahead and got the 2 hose timer so if we wanted to add other plants - or just a regular hose to water trees with - we could do that easily.  
Now all we have to do is figure out how much and how long.  I have been varying it to see what works best without wasting water. 
This is truly cool for the gal that wants beautiful plants but isn't really mindful to remember that they need water.

June 25, 2013

8 years...long but wonderful years

Russel and I have been married for eight years today.  

Eight years that we have grown closer than I ever thought possible.  
We have our ups and downs...I think everyone does.  It is healthy.  
We also have our after day and year after year. 
And we will continue to have fun together for the rest of our lives.  
It's in our blood, our souls, our hearts. 

I love you sweet hubby!