Sweet Dreams

BedAfterThere are a couple things I kind of dread: When my husband is going to be out of town for business, and when I have a project captivating my imagination that is going to require tearing up an entire room, and perhaps a week of a mess, to complete. So why not combine the two, right? (Only a million reasons, I know!) But sometimes reason has to be put in its place for the sake of vision. And I’m happy to report that in this case, it was done successfully!

The last few years have been a bit of a wild ride, and to make a long story short, with a move for additional schooling, a career change leading to more moves, and a brief adventure (read 8 months) of living in and remodeling an RV leading up to the purchase of our current home, we loaned and gave away a few belongings. One was our bed. I don’t regret it at all, but after about two years of sleepless nights sharing a double bed, which was actually my son’s “grow with me crib”, my husband decided we needed a king.

OldCribBedThe funny thing is, although lovely, our house is quite small. A queen barely would have fit upstairs, and the double left enough marks going down that some drywall repair is needed (still!) Anyway, the dream of sleep won out over practicality, so we got the king bed and decided it was worth removing the window and sacrificing floor space to ensure a peaceful slumber. Providentially, we got this headboard from Craigslist for around $50, just in time to get it in through the window while it was out. I had intended to paint it from the start, and so after my gracious husband raised the headboard 9″ higher so it could be more visible above the pillows, I finally completed it this week!

BedBeforeBedDuringPaintFor the process I used Rust-oleum’s Cabinet Refinishing Kit, and although it says you don’t need primer, we have done a kitchen, fireplace mantel, desk, file cabinet, 2 credenzas, and a bookcase, with this product, and like the result with the primer much better than without. One of these days I’ll have to blog before and after photos of my kitchen, so you can see what I mean…I didn’t prime the cabinets, and the wood grain shows too much in my opinion. Anyway I modified their process: light sanding, deglosser, rinse, prime with a random Zinsser product, bond coat, bond coat again, glaze (antiquing), clear coat sealer.

So far I’m loving the results! The crown pillow is one of my design prototypes on which I’ve been thinking of doing a tutorial. The story behind the design of the crown can be found in the post Crown of Beauty.  I’ll have to update this post if I decide to make the pillow project available on Spoonflower.  Should it be a DIY kit or a finished product? Let me know what you think!

BedAfterIGInspirational Scripture: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2 (NIV)

Reflection of His Love


More than 20 years ago, I saw a beautiful stained glass window depicting the outstretched arm of my Lord on the cross. When I approached to take a closer look, I was overwhelmed to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror glass that the artist used for the nail piercing his wrist. It was powerful. Back then I understood that my sin put him on that cross. I’ve grown to understand that it was his love for me that kept him there. His love for each of us. I wanted to try to share that experience, and because the little church we attend in Hamilton, Montana encourages art as one of many expressions of worship, I have been slowly learning about pastels. In the post Anticipating Spring, I described my crazy hunt for a mirror material.  Now you know what pastels and mirror have in common.

If you are like me, trying something new requires risk for there is a huge gap between starting the learning process and any sort of proficiency where communicating through the art is possible. I’ve met people so secure in love and unbound by fear that they have no worries of failure. I aspire to be one someday. In the meantime “punch fear in the face” is a motto I say to myself when I have to get to the other side of a chasm and fear is the first obstacle to overcome. We can overcome fear with a reflection of his love.

For months this piece was forming in my mind, and as I planned out the project, I felt a nervous excitement welling up inside. Would my novice attempt be able to illustrate at all what love looked like? Sunday morning came and everything culminated during the worship service as stroke by stroke I once again saw you and I, beloved of his creation, reflected in the suffering of his incomprehensible act of love. He laid down his life with hope that you and I would accept his gift. I am so glad that filled with the Father’s love, he overcame fear, sin, sickness, death, and the grave. Aren’t you? Thank you, Jesus, and Happy Valentine’s Day, from one who loves you back, with all her ideas, doodles, and drawings.

Inspirational Scriptures:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

Anticipating Spring


I get a kick out of going to the hardware store fully intending on getting something to use for a purpose the manufacturer never intended.  This hardware store hack flowerpot makeover was an accidental discovery. Here is how it began.  I was looking for a silver metal tape that is usually used for duct work in order to use it on a pastel painting.  (You’ll have to wait for my blog post to find out why a mirror surface was needed for my pastel painting!)

As we exited the Duck tape aisle, I told my Lowes personal shopper that you would think they would call it “duckt tape” (Yep, it sounded funnier in my head.)  When we found the duct tape, it had 3M stamped in red all over it which wasn’t going to work and the other brand was not very mirror-like.  So I grabbed some Underlayment Tape just in case I couldn’t find the perfect solution.  As I was leaving, another personal shopper suggested I try an auto parts store.  (Yeah, I know that Lowes’ employee’s aren’t technically personal shoppers, but they sure can be a ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s day… even more so if their courtesy extended to laughing at my jokes.)   Anyway, he was brilliant and so I did.Underlayment Tape

At the auto parts store I found a Cut-to-Fit Mirror Replacement Sheet that will work perfectly for the pastel painting.  So I went home to try it out.  Alas, before I could return the underlayment tape, I spied my little flowerpots across the room and they begged me to give them a quick makeover.  So here is the world’s fastest tutorial: Stick pretty tape on plastic terracotta pots.  The End.  They were shiny silver in minutes and I love the added texture from the crinkles.  It was so quick and easy, I just had to share!

Oh, and this little suitcase was quite the find for 50 cents at a local theater’s prop sale!  It is so sweet recovered with my favorite Birch Gift Wrap from Pier1. Hopefully they will carry it again this next Christmas!


Inspirational Scripture:
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” Song of Songs 2:11-12 (NIV)

Bailey’s Guilt Offering

BaileysGiftThis caption is so happening on a gift under our tree this year!

To: Big Ruff (Master)
From: Small Ruff (Dog)

Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Barooo, Ruff, Sniff, Ruff, Scratch, Ruff, Grr, Ruff (Translation Below)

Dear Master, (Dada)

I am so sorry that I ate your slippers…again.  I don’t know what comes over me but when I see the Christmas tree come out I get so excited that I must kill something.  The insoles of your slippers beckoned me with the reek of your wonderful foot stink.  They were simply irresistible.  I had no choice really. I had to kill them.  So Lady-Master made me get you another pair.  Hope you like them.

Love, Bailey

P.S.  If they are satisfactory, can I please finish off your old ones? They still have a bit of chew left in them and the imprint of the soul scent lingers.

For those of us whose love language is gifts, this is one of the most anticipated times of year.  I love gifts…both giving and receiving.  A gift can communicate such a powerful message of love, value and thoughtfulness.  With such a simple thing, one can transform a moment into a memory.  But all too often, the stress associated with obligatory giving, social expectations, and a guilty realization that we have not fostered a close enough relationship with the recipient to know them well enough to bless them, distracts us from the beauty found in the grace of giving and receiving.  Let’s not give up on blessing others, and practicing thankfulness just because busyness threatens to steal from our relationships.  Perhaps we can make an early New Year’s resolution to become better students of the people in our life and more present in our interactions with them so that when we bless them from a place of abiding in the “Prince of Peace” who was gifted to us so long ago, they truly discover the treasure they were created to be!

Inspirational Scripture:

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14

“…‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:35

A Light to Expose the Illusive Approval of Man

MiniChandelierOne of the reasons we do not rest is because of our quest for the illusive approval of man. That is a “churchy” phrase, that basically means we look to the opinion of someone else to determine if we are in a state of “okay-ness”.  Many of us do what we do for an unseen audience. We may shine outwardly, but inwardly we perform for an imaginary screaming crowd, a dead parent, an ex-lover, a critic, a hero, or an enemy. Someone to whom we have given power. Power over us to define what we look like in perfect success. Someone to whom we unwittingly abdicated responsibility to chew up our goals, values, dreams and reason only to regurgitate them back to us according to their approval. We strive for this elusive vision of dimly-lit half truth, serving a decaying idol of fickle imaginations. Instead, we must seek to discover the gift that only we can offer to the world, an identity visible solely under heaven’s revelatory light, intended as an extension of the hands who created it. Dear created gift, look only into the face of the One who created, for there in the presence of His gaze do we finally discover the joy of perfect love, acceptance, and purpose. It is found in the twinkle of His eye that knows what the rest of the world cannot see.

Ok, probably enough of my musings for today… now for a DIY upgrade for a mini chandelier from Hobby Lobby…

I purchased the white chandelier at my favorite store, Hobby Lobby, using a 40% off coupon to get a fabulous deal.  The size was perfect, but I wanted a black chandelier, with clear “crystals”, a socket that could support a single 60 watt light bulb, and I didn’t like the way the cord snaked from the bottom of the fixture up through the beads and frame to the top.  So I removed the little acrylic beads that lined the metal frame, took the entire piece apart, spray painted it black, turned it upside down so the light would shine down instead of up, rewired it with a better/higher rated socket (also spray painted black), rearranged the parts to put it back together, and finally re-distributed the “crystal” garlands… adding a few magnetic “crystal drops” (really acrylic) to complete the look.

*Disclaimer* I am not an electrician, I had only once before “re-wired” a fixture, and I don’t know much about electricity except that it can kill you, so please find your own expert in that field to consult with if you have any questions or concerns. I have done this project twice.  The first time, I cut off the plug-end, kept the light socket small for the smaller, low watt candelabra bulb, and had my husband put on a different plug at the bottom once I was finished.  That piece was for the “Glamper” (Picture of RV) we remodeled.  This time I kept the plug-end intact and cut the wire close to the socket, assembling as pictured below, so I could safely use a brighter bulb in my mini chandelier for home.  I still need to make a cord cover for the chain, but below is a picture without the cover so that you can see how easily it hangs from a ceiling hook.

SocketMiniChandelieratHomeInspirational Scripture:
“The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.”
Proverbs 20:27 (NLT)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)