Saturday, September 28, 2013

Burlap Wreath Tutorial

When I saw this wreath back in March, I immediately wanted to figure out how to make it for myself.

My friend, Robin, in her crafty wisdom, told me I should get a wire wreath form and some of the wide burlap ribbon that is in craft stores. I think I finally bought the materials later in the summer, and I still intended to add a bird's nest, birds and forsythia to decorate it. Good thing those pieces will keep until the season is more appropriate!

Once I got ready to actually make my wreath, I did a Google search and found this video tutorial to watch and go by. There are others out there, but this was the one that seemed easiest to me and gave me the results I wanted. I think to get the fullness of the wreath I was trying to imitate, I would need wider ribbon and would need to make the loops bigger. It's all in what you like, though.

Fall Decorations

Last weekend I decorated my house for the fall season and it made me excited for the leaves to change and the temperatures to get cooler. Fall is my favorite season of the year!

This infinity bowl has served so well in many seasons and years.

I collected these acorns on a whim one day when I walked to the mailbox at work. It was fun to envision a candle arrangement and have it work out as I had planned!
I think I got these metal pumpkins in Texas while visiting Leanne one time. I like pumpkins that don't go bad! The little rug was a gift from Leanne this year when she and Doug came to stay with me.

This was a gift from years past and has been part of my fall decorations for probably 20 years.

This used to be on a longer stake that would/could go into the ground as yard art. I like it just fine as wall art, too!

I finally got around to making a burlap wreath for my front door. Nevermind that my original inspiration for making this wreath and buying the materials was back in March when I saw this in downtown Franklin:

I'm happy with my wreath and plan to change the decorations with the seasons. I'll do another post with a "tutorial" of how I made my wreath.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Favorite: Fall Weekends

This weekend will be my first UT Fall Family Weekend and football game! I am over-the-Rocky-Top excited to see Daniel and to experience the fun of a UT game firsthand! Go Vols!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Debbie and Nanette's Fun Adventures

It occurred to me that I have done some fun outings with my friend Debbie this spring and summer and haven't posted about them. Debbie and I met at church a few years ago and enjoy getting out and experiencing interesting things around town/the region. She's the kind of friend who I can call on the spur of the moment and we can come up with an adventure to fill our day.

Back in April, we decided to explore the little town of Nolensville, Tennessee, just a few miles south of where I live. That day they were having their annual "Buttercup Festival" and we had fun exploring the antique shops in town and found a treat to enjoy while listening to some bluegrass music. Funny thing is that the only buttercup flowers we saw (a.k.a. Daffodils) were fake!

Later in June, we drove down the interstate a little ways to the town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, to experience first-hand a festival we'd both heard about:  The Moon Pie Festival. There was a lot of people-watching to be done that day and we also explored some antique shops and the various booths that were set up all over the small town. But, let me tell you, the highlight of the day was getting to see the crowning of the King and Queen of Moon Pies AND getting a taste of the World's Largest Moon Pie. Of course, we also had to get our own Moon Pie and RC Cola.

Later in the summer, Debbie's long-trusted Ford Escape decided it needed more repairs than were financially wise, so Debbie welcomed a new friend into her life. I think Debbie and I will be looking forward to many more adventures driving around in her sweet new ride!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LIGHT at Cheekwood

In Nashville we have this beautiful place called Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. I would say it's a well-kept secret, but I think the word's gotten out over the years, much in part to some cool and unique exhibits that they bring in. They make such good use of the whole grounds and gardens, as well as the interior of the mansion, where the art museum is housed.

This year's outdoor/indoor exhibit is called "LIGHT," by British artist Bruce Munro. I'll let you read about it here. The professional photos on the site are much better quality, but I took some of my own the two times I have gone so far and got a few that I was pleased with.

Both times I went with friends and we had a great time walking around seeing the lights and enjoying the summer nights. The exhibit will run through November 10, so if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Empty Nest Update: One month

Don't worry, I'm not going to start giving a monthly update of how it's going with Daniel being away at school, but in case anyone was wondering. . .

It's actually been a little over a month since we moved Daniel into the dorm and I just realized it today. So that should tell you that I'm doing OK with the transition. And I think that's the truth. Of course I miss him, especially on trash day when I have to take the trash can (and once a month, the recycling, too) all the way to the curb! Or when the dishwasher needs to be emptied. (Both of those were "his chores" for many years.)

I also miss getting to hear about his day on a regular basis. We're keeping in pretty good touch through a variety of ways (text, Facebook, email, phone), but the phone conversations are my favorite.

I have been able to stay pretty busy, which is my norm, and now that the fall church activities have started, I go to a women's Bible study on Tuesday night and Community Group on Wednesday night, so I'm actually happy to be home on the other weeknights.

Daniel's room has gotten some use, too, since I've had some out-of-town guests come through twice this month. I am thankful that I have an extra room for people to stay and can offer that as needed.

I am excited about next weekend when I'm going to Fall Family Weekend at UT and will be experiencing my first UT football game! I hope the weather continues to cool off, but I'm ready for any temperature with orange shirts in various sleeve-lengths. It's all about layering!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shared stories

There are times when staying up way past your bedtime is well worth the sleepiness the next day. Last night was one of those times.

We hadn't seen Duane and Sandy for many years. At least not long enough to have time for deep, story-sharing conversation. Since they had a conference in Nashville, it worked out for them to spend the night at my house and we got to have dinner with the Masseys and Mom, and then we all had the blessing of spending several hours catching up on the things that had happened in our lives over the years. Life-changing things. Hard things. Things that caused tremendous grief.

Oh, we are Facebook friends and have had opportunity to see pictures and to know the surface details of lots of happenings in our lives through the years. But there are some things that need to be shared face-to-face. And afterward, there was deeper connection, renewed commitment to pray for each other, and amazing thankfulness for God's gift of friends in our lives.

Our families go way back in sharing our stories. My dad and Sandy's dad went to seminary together and later worked together as church planters and on staff at the Metro NY Baptist Association. Our mothers are dear friends. We have funny family-legand-type memories. Our families love to laugh together. Our parents still meet annually to give mutual encouragement and to just enjoy being together.

When life has gotten messy, the stories have gotten more complex. And God has given grace and mercy in our times of need. Last night was a gift of tremendous proportion and I am thankful.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Yesterday I ran across a blog and there was a five-minute writing prompt about "Red." I wanted to participate, but didn't want to let this post override my Flashback Friday post about my sister, so here's my post a day late:

Red is my favorite color. I am not really sure why that is, but I know it's been my favorite for a long time. My high school colors were red and white and black (depending on who you were asking) and I seem to always like red foods, like apples, red jelly beans, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes. You get the picture.

I remember one time I was wanting a red wall in my house. A friend who is good at styling/decorating came over and suggested that we switch the placement of our couch and then paint the new focal wall a brick red color. I loved the idea and I love the wall, even ten years later!

Red is a fun color to me. It makes me happy to see it and makes me think of good times and things that make me happy. I wouldn't want my whole bedroom painted red, but I love having a red quilt and red accents in different rooms of my house.

I'm also particular about the shade of red. It can't be too "orangey" so I like to say that I like a "blue" red. If you're a color person, you probably understand what I mean. Otherwise, you can just try to figure it out.

My friend recently got a red convertible and I think it's a fun car for a fun friend! I don't want to own a convertible myself, so I'll just live vicariously through her.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flashback Friday: Birthday Edition

Summer of 1975
Happy birthday to my sweet sister! We've been hanging around together for as long as either of us can remember!

I love this picture of us taken when Jeanette was almost six and I was eight. We were in the yard of our church in Montclair, NJ, and I think a photographer was taking pictures of our family to use with an article about my parents in a missions magazine.

My favorite thing about this picture is my sister's sweet smile and her "tummy show" shirt. What a little cutie she was, and still is! And I think we can see some of both her girls in her face.

Happy Birthday, Jeanette! I may not have always appreciated hanging around with you when we were younger, but you're at the top of my list of people I love to hang out with now! I love you!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another change/end of an era

You know how when a major life-change happens, there are layers of it that come along gradually? Today I am feeling the effects of another layer of the changes in my life.

For the past six years or so, I was counted among the "youth parents" at church. And for the past two or three years, I've been in a community group with many of the same parents and have become good friends with the people in the group.

Tonight is the first meeting of community groups and I will not be meeting with the youth parents. They actually have wanted me to stay in the group, but for several reasons, I know that I need to make the change. But that doesn't make it any easier. Although I will still be at church on Sundays and will see them in passing, I will miss seeing these friends in the smaller setting. The biggest ascpect that I will miss is the prayer and share times that we have weekly and monthly. I had such a special support system around me during some significant times over the past couple of years and I am so thankful!

On the other side of the change coin, I will be starting a new community group tonight. It's a group that is made up of people of different ages and life-stages and it meets very close to my house. I am excited about the new group and the relationship building that will result from it this year.

So, it's another layer in the change of season for my life. It's how it's supposed to be and I am thankful that the Lord is with me and that I have many people around me who care and love me through it all.