Tuesday, April 15, 2014

easter crafts

I went on a wild rampage with Easter decorations last week as I was craving color and a nod to one of my favorite holidays.  I'm on a purging spree in our little apartment, so I knew that whatever I brought in needed to be inexpensive enough that I wouldn't mind throwing it out at the end of the season or darling enough that I'd find a place to store it.  The results were a handful of projects that cost me less than $10 for all of them. 

First up, wall art. I bought a couple bags of paper grass for the colors of them under the pretense that I was going to put Easter baskets together.  When I got the bags home, I was so enamored by the color and texture of the grass that I knew it was never going to see a basket. 

For this project you'll need:
a pair of frames with mats
manilla file folders
paper grass
hot glue

This project barely used half a bag of grass ($1.50 at Target).  I ran hot glue (because that is what I had out already...) over a spare file folder.  Before the glue cooled, I grabbed handfuls of the grass and affixed the grass to the glue in thin layers.  The real impact comes from framing up the folders behind crisp, white mats.  The frames I had on hand, as well as the folders and glue.  So the whole project cost me less than a dollar!

I wish I had step by step instructions for this wreath, but I don't.  I was totally winging it and when I was done, was dumbfounded with how cute it turned out.  I'm suggesting using an embroidery hoop as your base, but I totally used the plastic hoop that came protecting my hydrangea plant.  It's what I had on hand and it totally worked!  Score!

You'll need:
embroidery hoop
plastic Easter eggs in colors of your choosing
ribbon (at least half an inch wide)
hot glue gun

To begin with, secure the end of your ribbon to the embroidery hoop with a dab of hot glue.  Then wrap hoop with ribbon.  When hoop is completely covered, affix remaining end of ribbon to hoop with glue.

Before affixing eggs, lay them around the hoop, bottoms to tops, to see how many eggs will fit.  I didn't have enough room to go through my whole color spectrum 3 times, so I had to abridge my pattern.  You can do one solid color the whole way to simplify this process.  When you have the rough layout figured out, attach eggs to beribboned hoop with hot glue.  For extra strength, glue eggs to the hoop AND to each other.  

For a bit of extra pizzazz, lace ribbon between the eggs to give a more finished look. This is one of those steps I completely winged and am not entirely sure how I did it..  just play with the ribbon! I could be really cute with a really big bow.

When glue is dry, cut a length of ribbon to hang wreath from.   Lace through the center of the wreath and tie a knot with the two ends.  Then, hang it up!

Ready for cost?  Ribbon I had on hand, hoop I had on hang, and all of the glue.  So it was the cost of eggs.  I got bags of 24 for $2 at Target, more than enough for this project.  $2 wreath? Okay!

I used my technique for twine covered eggs again but with a chunkier rope.  Paired with a $5 Goodwill plate, it's a subtle nod to spring and the Easter season!  The rope I had on hand, but can be found for about $3 at Walmart. For step by step instructions, check out this post.

For one last easy project, that I don't have pictures of, string plastic eggs on bakers twine to make an easy bunting.  Just lace the twine through the manufactured holes at the ends of the eggs.  Super cute, super easy.  If you're wanting something that will last beyond Easter, check out my Etsy shop for beautiful prints

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Spring seems so much more festive in Atlanta than it has been for us in the past few years.  After a colder than usual winter, the trees are in full bloom and beginning to burst with chartreuse leaves. It seems amazing to me that after several deep freezes here in the South, bulbs still shoot forth tulips and daffodils.  Life still exists. 

Over the weekend, Mandi of Vintage Revivals shared a photo of one of her succulents on Instagram.  With it she said, 
"Last week I put my plants outside for some fresh air and forgot about them, I woke up the next morning to succulents that were frozen solid. Most of them died, but this little guy is making a come back. I am so grateful for the Atonementof Jesus Christ. Even when we feel forgotten and on the verge of spiritual death he can heal us. He can soften our hearts and change our nature. His light is always more powerful than the adversary's darkness. Most importantly, He's our chance to try again. "

He's our chance to try again.  After a winter of cold, a year of struggle.  After death, heartbreak, sickness, poverty, bankruptcy, abuse, failure, and loneliness.  After impatience, messy kids, miscarriages, stillbirths, infertility, and pain.  After all of it, His sacrifice brings forth the spring daffodils in our life.  

In college, I sang in a choir where we performed the most beautiful arrangement of the hymn, Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.  As I learned my part, the words spoke to me and resonated with the truth of Mandi's testimony.  Love's redeeming work is done, darkness veils the earth no more.  Once He died, our souls to save, where thy victory, O grave?

Christ the Lord is risen today, Allelulia!

Whenever I get to the allelulias, my heart swells with gratitude and a knowledge of the atoning work of our Savior.

I wanted to share the joy of this with you.  I wanted Christ's gift to us, the gift of life and comfort, to be familiar and welcoming.  So I did what I know how to do.  I painted.  I used the happiest colors I could think of and sang every line of the hymn as I hand-lettered the print.  And now I want to share it with you.  The print is up in my Etsy shop, available in a 5x7 and an 8x10.  I hope it reminds you of second chances, the joy of the resurrection, and the peace of a loving Savior's atonement for you.  Because, my friends, Christ the Lord IS risen today! Allelulia!

you can find the shop here

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

coffee morning

This is what my Tuesday mornings used to look like in Cyprus.  Every other week, a group of us ladies would get together at a coffee shop and giggle for hours.  Truly, hours. Mainly expats, we would commiserate together, share tidbits about the island we had learned, and so much more.  This little circle of ladies became my family and my lifeline.  I still keep in touch with most of them and count myself truly blessed to have crossed paths with them.

An introvert by nature, these mornings saved me from a life of hermitdom.  Every other week, I would have somewhere to go, something to look forward to, and friends waiting for me.  Once we finally got settled into our Atlanta apartment, I knew I wanted to continue this tradition.  I quickly realized that I wanted to carry on this tradition, have a place for women to come together, form friendships, and learn about an area that is pretty foreign to all of us.  So I put on my extrovert hat and with the help of a few outgoing friends, invited a gaggle to my little home for a morning of our own.

The only way to fully communicate how fun this was is to show you the one photo I have.  It's of my coffee table right before everyone arrived.  Five hours later, we were still chatting.  In this simple environment, we women found mutual support and something we all crave, friendship.    We swapped histories, informed one another of the latest events happening around town that we had heard of, planned outings to search for furniture.  We shared our faith, our trials, our hopes.  We covered so much ground in just a few hours.  And it was wonderful!  Just like that, my family circle  here in Atlanta expanded and none of us were alone.

When Mr. F came home that night, I was still grinning from the joy of the day.  He asked when we were getting together again, and I said, "Soon."  A biweekly tradition has been started!