Paper heart envelope {tutorial}

August 31, 2011

I love paper.  Especially in cute colors :-)  These make my heart pitter patter. 

Cut out a nice sized heart- it really just depends how big you want your envelope.

Fold the sides like so. ^

Fold the top of the heart in half.

Press the triangular part down and viola!  A paper envelope out of a heart.

Now make LOTS of them and brighten someone's day up.


August 30, 2011

It's been a lovely start of the week- school has officially arrived, algebra and biology are in full swing, schedules are being made and life is now lived in an orderly fashion.  I will admit, I am already loving it- but that's just me.  When everything is scheduled down to the last tiny bit, I am a happy person.  But I've been asking myself this question "Does my happiness depend on my surroundings?"


It's a difficult question- well, no it's not.  We all know that happiness shouldn't depend on our surroundings but for so many, it does.  After making that revelation in the middle of the night I was shocked- I can't remember the last time I've been joyful when something bad has happened to me.  Really.  I can remember so many times when I've been happy- the kind when you want to shout "I love my life!!!"  But then the only reason for that happiness was probably because something nice happened to me- something to cause happiness.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
{James 1: 2-4}

Realizing is something, but resolving something is quite another thing.  My resolve is to be a happy person whether or no how life treats me.  There's no reason why my happiness should be determined by what life decides to throw at me.  I am going to have a joyful heart even if it kills me!  My resolve is to embrace life- however it comes, however bad it may get, I want to let patience have it's perfect work.

"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings... it's something we make inside ourselves."
A quote from the Hiding Place.

The last day of summer

August 27, 2011

The definition of anticipation in the Webster dictionary: "Foretaste; previous view or impression of what is to happen afterward; as, the anticipation of the joys of heaven."

I love waking up lazily in the morning and realizing that something wonderful is going to happen today. Then all throughout the morning, I can anticipate and look forward to this wonderful something or another.

We went swimming at the lake.  {The only lake around I think}.  It was most beautiful.  The water was a grayish greenish muddy blue.  Those huge hills were all around us making for the prettiest place to go fishing and swimming.

The boys *tried* to fish but since this only their perhaps fifth time and there were only girls there to help them, they really didn't get to do much except throw the line and hope for the best.  Morgan and I oohed and ahhed over the prettiness of the water and the hills all around us. 

Swimming?  Yes!  We shed our shoes and raced to the water.  It was the perfect temperature- not too cold and certainly not too warm.  It was kind of nice- we were the only ones there for about 2 hours.


Perhaps we did get all burnt and blistered by the sun- but you know what?  It was well worth it because it was the last day of summer- at least for us.  We enjoyed it completely.
Lovely water, drawing on the sand, little girl in crocs, boys playing happily in the water...  I love summer and sure am going to miss it.  School, fall, snow, winter, here we come! 
Have a blessed week.

Summer musings

August 26, 2011

Could it be?  Could it possibly be that this golden, busy, wonderful summer is ending?  It seems so strange to think 3 months have simply flown by since summer began...  But it's all too true- school will start come Monday- studying biology, taking algebra tests, reading galore (that I won't mind), teaching Aidan how to read is coming up...  I don't mind school or studying really, on the contrary, I rather like it.  I just think it's come too quickly this summer.  Mama and Daddy have brought us up to know that knowledge is a good and worthy thing- not some burdensome task.  And ahh...  The lovely pile of fresh notebooks with clean, crisp white pages on one's bed is such a delight- and paired with mechanical pencils ready to be opened and used it makes for an inspiring scene.
Do you know what I love about homeschooling?  I could do it in my pj's if I wanted.  I could do it 3:00 in the morning if I wanted.  It's available to me and we're flexible.  I can bring it along on a trip if I thought I needed to.  You get freedom with homeschooling and it's so enjoyable.  I'm not pulled back with others and I can explore my interest in different subjects.  Above all, you can always help teach your younger siblings.  I taught Ian how to read some, Morgan a lot, and hopefully a bunch with Aidan.  In fact, I taught Aidan how to count, recognize and write his numbers 0-10 by the time he was about 2.

Anyways, I'll be sad to see summer gone...  And I've never particularly liked winter much, it was always so cold and dreary- like a prison almost.  The whole earth was stripped of her beauty and left colorless.  But a dear friend of mine wrote about how she was so excited about winter coming- after reading the letter {yes, a hand written letter about 3 pages long- a joy I get to have about every other week} I realized winter is hardest to love- at least the season and it's weather.  If we didn't have Christ's birth, the first gift, Christmas, snow, hot chocolate, and ahh- glorious cookies, we really wouldn't have much to love about winter.  But in spite of it all, we love the dear season- it gave us Christ and we get to celebrate and demonstrate to each other what God did- the joy of giving gifts.

Another wonderful thing about winter is that you learn to entertain yourself- no more going to the lake and swimming, no more running through sprinklers, no more picnics et cetera.  Just day after day in your home- admit it- it gets boring.
Once Daddy told me that boredom is a good thing.  I looked at him as if he was crazy.  "Because Gabby, it makes people get creative.  They must think and entertain for themselves."
Yup, I'll enjoy filling every single day of winter with "inside" things to do. 

Knitting of course will come back in full swing of course.  There is nothing better than sitting by the fireplace, heater, vent-whatever you have, with a cup of hot chocolate, a pair of knitting needles with yarn running through your fingers while you watch snowflakes cover the ground.  Happy?  Check!
By the way, I am giving my first knitting lessons to someone older than myself- congratulate Mama, everyone!  She is well on her way to being a famous knitter! 

Morgan, the dear heart, has obviously been in the baking mood.  She made the {above} scones for us two mornings in a row.  Blueberry scones with chamomile tea, served by the cutest little 7 year old ever = a lovely breakfast.  She wanted me to make sure to tell y'all the she's lost "2 WHOLE teeth!"

Goodies will need to be made {yes, needed, it wouldn't be winter without them} and the kitchen- as always in our household- will barely ever have a break of constant useage during the day.  All sorts of family favorites will be making their way out of the oven- sugar cookies, bread, french bread like the above picture, cornbread, almond roca, peanut clusters, peanut butter fudge (my specialty), and hot chocolate will be heating on the stove!

I hope y'all have a blessed week and weekend!  I fully intend to work on some projects- lacy handkerchiefs no less!  Every girl should have a hankie, and if you're going to have a hankie, it might as well be handmade, and if it's going to be handmade, then make it cute. 

Embroidered wristlet ::tutorial::

August 23, 2011

Yesterday's project was a embroidered wristlet- much like these:

And I promised a tutorial this week so...  How about making this?

Embroider something cute!  I simply made vine and flowers coordinating with the hot pink and white lining.

 Cut out a 14" by 6" rectangle, and fold 2 times on one side, and two times on the other.  This way, the frayed part it sewn under :-)


If you have any problems, I'd be more than happy to help!


Oh, just kind of miscellaneous

August 22, 2011

It's been a slow, lazy sort of week.  Enjoying the last bits of summer and the freedom to sleep into 8:00 before school gets back.  Drinking sweet ice tea, and toasting it to a wonderful (perhaps too hot) sort of summer.  I have no idea why, but my creativity level has sort of vanished this week.?  I managed to crochet a slouch... thingy for Morgan upon her request and it turned out pretty cute.

She is so sweet and pretty.                                                 

The flower I made a while back too and stuck it into her slouch/beret thingy.  I love making flowers- paper, crochet, or fabric!

I really want to do some embroidery this week.  But em, I was wondering, are there embroidery patterns?  Because someone said something about free handing embroidery is more difficult but that's what I've always done...  So I wondered if you could actually use patterns or whatever they're called...  That would be neat.

I had to post this picture- Aidan is too cute!  Those eyes are just the sweetest things ever!  We were at the playground and he looked up at me and - viola!  I love that dear.  He keeps asking me though {why do children assume that older kids know everything} how you speak. "How does you voice talk Gabby?"

Have a lovely day!  Hopefully I can pull together a tutorial/pattern this week.

Charcoal, eggs, and tea tree oil.

August 17, 2011

Um.  Gabby?  What's this all about?

Those are my everyday "beauty products!!!"  Charcoal, eggs, and tea tree oil.  That's my natural makeup.  I bet you're thinking "Oh gracious what would Gabby do with eggs- or charcoal!?"

Well, this year our family has been paying a lot of attention to what we eat, where it comes from, and if it's exactly healthy.  We've been more and more surprised how many chemicals are used in, well, everything.  Not only shampoos, deodorants, and soaps but our food!  Those one upon a time natural healthy apples have now been sprayed with millions of chemicals. 

So, what does one do about it?  Well, in our case we really can't do too much.  We've been planning for a long time to buy a bit of land and just grow everything ourselves but as we've come to find out, around here all land is land locked.  We do the best we can such as baking all our own breads, buying less processed food as possible, and going to farmers' markets.  But there has been a few things I've been really interested in this year.  Charcoal, eggs and tea tree oil.

I have- for the last 3 months- been using tea tree oil soap for my face to get rid of those annoying zits, pimples etc.  And guess what?  Not only has my face been cleared up of that, my skin is much clearer toned!  It's so incredibly nice to know that not only is natural better for you, it does a better job than any name brand chemical soap.  I've really fallen in love with my tea tree oil :-)

On to charcoal.  Well, charcoal has been fascinating to learn about.  Did you know, for instance, charcoal can absorb 50 times it's own size in potions?  Talk about a natural anti-biotic right?!  As I read through the book Charcoal Remedies, I found how useful charcoal is in everyday life.  There were so many different ways to use it!  After reading a bit about using charcoal as toothpaste, I quickly filled a small squirt bottle with part water, part ground charcoal, and a couple drops of peppermint oil.  Viola!  My new natural, cheap toothpaste!  Like I said it's so incredibly nice to know that not only is it natural and better for you, but it does a better job.  My teeth are noticeably white after brushing my teeth with charcoal  :-)  Also, charcoal is much like baking soda, it absorbs bad smells.  Clean smelling breath?  Check!

 Eggs.  Oh gracious, eggs.  Those have taken a while to get used to.  I am enthusiastic as ever about them but still...  Did you know that the shampoos you buy in the store, strip your hair of their natural oils, and completely dry out your scalp?  Well we can fix that- buy a big bottle of conditioner and smear it in to substitute the oils you already have but took out!  I kept reading about the "No Poo Method" which just really explains why shampoo is bad for you {hence No Poo} and how to use a natural approach          {via}            
to cleaning your hair.  Which for me, is eggs.  I simply use one egg yolk in my hair like I would one squirt of shampoo.  The results?  Amazing and very satisfactory.  My hair is very soft, it really doesn't need to be washed more than 3 times a week, and it's never oily!  Eggs seem to enhance natural oils instead of destroy them :-)

I encourage everyone to try it out and use these wonderful ways to enhance your own natural beauty, and not destroy and replace them.  If you have any ideas or other suggestions please share!

P.S.  In that picture of me, I just washed my face with tea tree oil, and brushed my teeth with charcoal.  It had been 2 days since I last washed my hair and it looks fine!


"Oh heavens, I hope they don't say my teeth look awful, or have any gum infection, or plaque build up is awful, or any stained areas, and heavens if I have a cavity I'll..."

I was pouring out all these little worries on Morgan as the lady in purple with huge hair showed us the way to the room in which my teeth would be cleaned- or whatever dentists do to your teeth.

I was very happy to be informed that I had no cavities, my teeth were very clean, white too, and I did have a tiny bit of a gum infection but that was due to not *cough* flossing enough.  :-)
I am very, very, very, happy.  I love natural.  I love charcoal.


August 15, 2011

Gray.  It's an underused, underliked, unnoticed, and misunderstood color.  It's thought of as dreary or morbid sort of color in general.  But inclined to think it's rather pretty.  Especially with yellow pr pink no?  The colors compliment each other I believe, because gray tones can tone down an otherwise cheery, loud, sunny sort of color. Anyways, the gray is rather relaxing to look at, and reminds me of winter which leads me to get to the point of my post.  Fall is coming!  I'm not sure I'll miss the summer, it's been dreadfully hot and up until August we had less than an inch of rain.  So, in celebration of the cool mornings yet to come I worked on these as a weekend project.

It was sort of a trial and error deal.  I just sort of made up the pattern as I went and as it fit  :-)  But the effort I think will be appreciated once the coldness of winter comes and that chill begins to settle into everything.  At the moment, I can't imagine that the weather could possibly ever feel cold again- not with  45 days of triple diget degrees.  Blah.

My pattern, was pretty much cast on 28 stitches on number 8s, knit in rib for 18 rows, stockinette for 15 rows, then drop in a yarn over in the middle of the row, and finish stockinette until it reaches a total of 18 rows.  Rib another 6 rows, cast off and sew up the sides.  Oh, and I used Caron's Simply Soft.

Gray means winter.  Gray means rain.  Gray means thunder.  Gray means a happy me.  I love the color gray.

Nautical, a new favorite word

August 12, 2011

There is something I wanted to do.  And it was going to involve navy blue and white gingham, a large wicker basket, and spray paint.  Tools? Hot glue and a screwdriver.  Hint:  My new favorite word = nautical.  And it has to do with a basket.



This dry, dry heat may have induced the word-love of nautical...  But you must admit, nautical is a fun word.  It just sounds neat.  Naut-i-cal.  Nautical.  Anyways, for a while I've wanted to at least redecorate the top of the basket but never did...  How would a yellow look against a plain boring brown anyways?  And oh!  It's too bad you can't paint baskets...  But I was informed today that one could quite easily spray paint a wicker basket white.  I need white spray paint now if you please!

I like the navy blue and the crisp clean white.  What's more it's

Have a blessed weekend :-)