Life Swirling Around Me

I’m not a worrier by nature but seeing all the memes, arguments and contradicting articles I’ve seen on social media the past few days worries me. I’m not worried that I’ll get sick even though I’m arrogant enough to think it’s not a possibility. Jeff worries about the virus enough for us all and has quarantined me to my little city. No, I’m more worried for people and the behavior I see in the way they’re treating each other. Slinging memes, articles, words online. I’m also worried about the economy and what that means financially to so very many of us! I am a full time online seller and so this is uncharted territory and I’m just waiting to see what happens like everyone else. We’re all holding our breath.


My day to day life hasn’t changed that much as I work from home and currently am sharing a car with my daughter so I’m home most days through the week anyway. I really don’t see/interact with people face to face much (other than my postal workers). But all this going on and being bombarded on social media these past few days, I’ve felt a bit uneasy. I’m writing here because really, who am I? What does my opinion/thoughts really matter? I don’t want to add anymore at this point to the craziness on social media and I’ve realized it’s not so good for me.

While all this has been swirling around me I’m taking the time to do some things I’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t. I rearranged my office/eBay spill over/photography room yesterday. I could barely get in the door when I started but after a little rearranging I now have a clear area and can get to everything. This morning I scrubbed up the chickens’ waterers, watered all my soil blocks and thought up an idea for making a little greenhouse for myself (with Jeff’s help, of course, but he doesn’t know yet!). I also have all the stuff ready to go to paint some photography backdrops so that’s another project I plan to tackle soon.


During this time I have seen a lot of kindness as well. I’ve seen people give free, downloadable, items from their online stores as well as others giving free tutorials or free musicals and the list could go on and on. Yesterday I was able to watched a tutorial on lighting that was so thorough and well over 2 hours for free! I’m grateful for all these things. I’ve been trying to think of if there is anything I could offer anyone. I haven’t figured it out yet but am still tossing around ideas.

Regardless of what is going on around you right now always choose to be kind. Kindness is free and the best thing you can give someone!

Much love and many blessings,

Tina

It’s Been Awhile

As I’ve pondered whether I should just shut this blog down or make it private or what to do with it I actually started scrolling through and reading old posts.  I really enjoyed watching our lives unfold on the screen and seeing what we were doing all those years ago.  Reading about the excitement the kids or I felt about this or that or just looking through the old photos of the greenhouse, garden, outings, family. I remembered back to how much I enjoyed writing on this little blog about all those things and now realize how therapeutic it was, even though I didn’t see it that way at the time.

I’m restarting up this blogging thing with absolutely no expectations on myself.  No expectations of anything really…followers, regular posting, great content or whatever else comes to mind.  I miss having a space that’s just mine to write my thoughts…my joys, my sadness, my life.  A space without worrying about how others will interpret it. Speaking my truths, whatever they may be in the moment and also documenting my life as it unfolds. I want to keep this visual journal of sorts to scroll through in years to come and remember it. To go, “oh yeah, I remember when we did that”!

There will be differences as my life has changed a lot since I wrote here regularly all those years ago.  Some main differences would be that my kids aren’t really kids anymore and you may see them once in a great while (if they allow it) but you won’t see them often.  My oldest is married and lives a few hours away, my middle daughter is in college out of state and my youngest is 17 and I can’t find anything to bribe her with to allow my to take her photo these days!

Years ago when my friend, Heather, put this little blog together I didn’t think she knew me all that well.  Looking back I really think she actually did because she added this little tag line under the header: Fear not tomorrows, child of the king, Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.  Anyone that knows me, really knows me, knows that I’m always on to the next thing.  Literally.  I move from gardening in my own hoop houses to not gardening at all but going full force into another creative endeavor and then drop that and move on to the next thing and well you get the point.  I’ve always been this way and would suffocate without change but the things I really love/loved I do tend to circle back around to…eventually!

I’m not sure where I left off here but a few years back we sold our house and downsized to a little place in the woods.  It’s about 1/2 an hour from our old place. We did this mainly for financial reasons. Our last house had two mortgages and we were just treading water financially.  This house was not livable when we bought it and so we gutted it and remodeled it.  We now live without a mortgage.  Not debt free (yet!) but mortgage free! It’s also about 1,000 sq ft less and even after living here several years I still haven’t figured out how to live uncluttered in this house but it’s one of my goals for this year!

Another thing that moving here did to help us financially was give me the option to try working from home. I had a few nanny jobs before coming home full-time. I currently reseller items online full-time, mainly on eBay. This has built my confidence and now I’m looking into starting another business or two…we’ll see where that goes!

My Introduction

Today I had to make an introduction about myself in a FB group I’ve just been added to.  It really got me thinking about who I am and where I really am at this point in life.  Yes, it’s been a hard year, but I keep thinking to myself that I need to dig deeper than that.  Pull back the layers and get to the truth of it.  What is it I’m doing.  Is it important? Am I really doing anything? What is it I truly want?  Feel?  Need? Am supposed to be doing? Where do I want to be at this point in my life and is that an attainable goal? Do I like the person staring back at me in the mirror?  Am I proud of what I’ve become?  How can I change the things I don’t like and become stronger in the areas I do?

I feel the years creeping up on me quickly now. I want to leave a legacy for my children but wonder if I’m too late for that.  I want to feel inspired and nourished.  To be a part of something important. To feel alive again.  I want to do more.  To feel more.  To be more.  Yet somehow I feel stuck in place.

I can admit that some of it is fear.  But I’m really not that fearful of a person so that’s not the whole truth of it.  Something else has been holding me back and I haven’t exactly been able to put my finger on it completely.  I know in part it’s a combination of things.  I know that fear and finances are a few of those things.  I also know that somehow I hold myself back and I don’t quite know why that is.  Right now I feel a whole lot of things.  And yet, at times,  I feel nothing much at all but a strange numbness.

The truth is that for years I looked to others in my life to fill these voids in me.  I now realize that other people cannot fill those voids and it only leads to let down.  Keeping a strong relationship with the Lord and learning to love yourself is the way to fill these dark places.

I heard a quote recently and unfortunately I cannot remember who said it (maybe Lacey Sturm?) but it basically said, “how can you love anyone else if you don’t love yourself?”.  That quote ran straight through me.  It’s so true yet so simple.  And that my friends is where I’m at and what I’m working daily. Loving myself, taking time for myself and working on things that make me happy and whole.

Things are coming along

Things have come a long way but still feel like we’re miles and miles away from where we feel we should be.  When you’re living through a remodel things always feel much slower than they actually are.  Looking back to where were started less than a year ago, we’ve actually come a long way. Most friends cannot believe what we’ve done in such a short amount of time.

We now have two working toilets which is something to sing praises to Jesus about!  Seriously!  And our bathroom vanity is tiled and the vessel sink installed, it just needs a few tweaks.  This morning was the first time I was able to get up and use my bathroom and then brush my teeth without walking to the girls’ bathroom to brush. It felt like such a luxury!

We’re now getting to the parts of the remodeling that I call the “fun” stuff. It’s the finishing touches…the lights, tile, paint, etc.

One thing I’ve learned through downsizing house is that have entirely too much stuff!  We just had too much room in our last house & thought nothing of bringing more and more in.  I think the girls have been doing a great job getting rid of things.  I’m continually weeding out and re-weeding out.  I think, in the end, it’s gonna take a while but we’ll be much happier without all the stuff. Life will be easier and less stressful.

As far as goals that I posted last time I blogged…I’ve decided that a 365 photography project is off the table, for this year at least. I am photographing regularly but haven’t really taken the time to post.  I think I’ll stick with the 52 week group I joined and the other monthly themed group I’ve been enjoying for about a year now.

Have you made any goals or have any projects going on?  Post a comment on what’s going on in your world, I’d love to hear about them!

52 weeks of Pinterest-week 5

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This week I decided to do an altered domino pendant.  I actually made a few.  There were a few tutorials I had pinned for this but I mostly just went from the photographs of the pins.  On the first one I glued some newspaper down, added alcohol ink & once it dried I finished it off with Glossy Accents.  On the second one, I actually just decided to drop alcohol inks onto the domino, move it around a bit, let one color dry and then add another color until it felt complete. Then I finished it off with Glossy Accents. The second one seems to be everyone’s favorite in my house.  Except me, that is, I can’t decide & think they’ll both look great on the end of a necklace!  Here is a tutorial I had pinned, if you’d like to try one yourself.  I think it’d be a good place to start.

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52 weeks of Pinterest-week 4

I know, I’m a day or two behind on posting this!  I had it completed yesterday but was out late & didn’t have good light to take a photo when I got home.  I’ve really been wanting to try art journaling for quite some time now but never had the nerve to just do it.  Well, finally I did.  I really liked it in a freeing, no need to make great art but pour it of you kinda way, and most definitely plan on going further/deeper with it in the future.

I didn’t really follow any tutorials on this one but here’s my art journal inspiration pins page on Pinterest.  I used some acrylic wall paint on my background (after gesso) and then used alcohol inks and permanent marker.  I don’t think the permanent marker was the best thing to use & I’m pretty sure it no longer works but ya live & ya learn!  Ok, so here are my first two pages.

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52 weeks of Pinterest-week 3

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This week I decided to veer away from any kind of clay craft.  I landed on polaroid coasters.  It’s a pretty easy craft.  I’m ok with how mine turned out but I will be trying them again.  I let my girls choose the photos they wanted to have on their coaster.  The Modge Podge seemed to leave little air bubbles, which I didn’t like, so I’ll have to read up to see how to prevent that.  I didn’t rough up my coasters either but liked that the photo would move around so I could straighten them.  I would like to use a paper cutter next time instead of scissors.  That’s just been one of those things that has always been on my to buy list but never was purchased.  In the end, I think these would make wonderful gifts but may take a little practice to perfect 🙂  At 16 cents a tile (I bought mine at Lowe’s) the cost is very minimal!  Here is where I found the tutorial on this one.

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Week 2 of my Pinterest making adventure

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IMG_2206For this week’s crafting I decided on another polymer clay craft.  I have to tell you, before I share the pin, that I totally went my own way with this.  The pendant I pinned was adorable & I’ve always wanted to try making it.  In the process of making it, I really just had different products…and colors…and technique!  Basically this looks nothing like the one I pinned but I really do like it.  The photo doesn’t do it justice so I’ll be working on better photos from here on out!  I did use polymer clay & the lady’s technique for lettering but after that I took it in a way different direction that she did 🙂  I then used a copper colored Martha Stewart glaze I had left over from previous crafts and Glossy Accents to finish it up.  Mine is pretty thick too!  I think I will revisit this one again & try it a little differently but I’m sure it still won’t much resemble the original pin, which you can find here.  I still think her pendant is just adorable & if I was making it for my sister, I’d make it look more like hers 🙂

Happy New Year!!!

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This is my first post of 2014 & I’ve set a few goals for myself this year.  One of them is that I plan on doing a 52 week craft/Pinterest challenge this year.  It’s not really a  because it’s just me but that’s the best word I could come up with!  I pin soooo much to Pinterest & hardly ever get around to making any of it so I thought if I do this challenge at least I’ll have done/made 52 things that I had pinned!

Since this is week one, I tried my hand at a polymer clay craft.  Here’s the link I had pinned for this one.  I chose to do this little Nightmare Before Christmas keychain for a friend’s little boy.  I know that he won’t pick out the imperfections but will be happy to have this little guy!  They made it look so easy but it turned out (for me, at least) to be a little more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  I’ll be the first to admit that I need some practice with clay after this craft!

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Ukrainian Eggs

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Over the weekend we (my two older girls & I) had the opportunity to learn how to make Ukrainian eggs.  After learning how they are made I will never look at them the same way again!  It it a very tedious, yet therapeutic process.  I didn’t take photos while making them as I was caught up in the learning of it myself.

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For our first egg we all did the same thing and followed a pattern to learn.  I love how the black made it pop at the end.  Before I saw the end result, I didn’t like it that well.

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For our second egg we were able to look through catalogs or freehand.  I decided to freehand my second one, which didn’t turn out quite as well as I envisioned it in my mind.

People take weeks to make their eggs and we made 2 in a few short hours.  It’s also much more difficult than it looks!

When I get the opportunity to try my hand at it again I will definitely plan out my drawing and colors before hand.  I also learned that I don’t have to start with white.  I can actually dye the entire egg and then add my first layer of wax.

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Another very interesting fact we learned is that you don’t have to use blown eggs.  We actually used hard boiled eggs for our first “lesson”.  The egg inside seems to drive and shrivel up inside over time. We were able to shake some of the samples she showed us and hear the old egg inside shake.  It will only smell, we were told, if you crack the egg.  I did crack my freehand egg as I was taking off the wax.  I kept it to take a photo but plan to throw it out since it wasn’t a design I truly loved anyway.

Now I just need to look into the supplies so we can practice up at home!  She also told us that you can use natural materials/plants to create dyes and I’m very interested in learning how to do that as well so I guess I have a research project in the near future!