Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Business

Just a couple "business" related things to let ya'll know about...
First, have you noticed the new blog and shop buttons over to the left?

Blog:
bits of splendor

Shop


Danielle from Take Heart designed them for me and I couldn't love them more. If you are looking for someone to help you spruce up your blog a bit, she's your girl!

You'll also notice a few buttons to some of my sweet friends blogs or shops over to the left as well. One of the things I believe strongly in is encouraging and promoting other women. Those I believe in or value, or that I just love what they are doing...I'm working on adding more and will continue to as I find more blogs/causes/or shops that I want to support, so please take a second to check them out. You will most likely love them as much as I do. {I'll be adding to them for sure!}

Also, I have a few new items to list in the shop and more to come in the next few weeks. I'll be going in more of a custom made direction, or some "few of a kind" pieces. So, many of the items marked "on sale," will not be back. There may be versions or different designs similar, but these particular rings and necklaces will not be back. So, please take advantage now while I still have a few items left. I'd love to clear out this inventory so I can make room for new things coming! So go take a look and grab something you like for yourself or someone else. Hey, there you go, why not bless someone with a gift from the Splendor Shop, just cause? It'll come packaged and ready to give to who ever you want to bless {even if it's just for you ;)}

Alrighty, I'm off for the day. It is rainy here, one of my favorite kind of days. The girls and I are headed to the library for story time. Pray my tornado- aka Mia, cooperates so that Bella can enjoy it ;)

Have an awesome Tuesday.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Antique shopping and furniture makeovers

We are lucky enough to live minutes from a little town called Helotes. It's old, country and filled with history. There is a market area called Old Town Helotes filled with little antique shops and restaurants.

Saturday was perfect weather and Asher was with a friend this weekend, so Brandon, the girls and I went to do some vintage decor hunting. I'm re-decorating my kitchen and living room to reflect us and my style a bit more, and I was looking for a few key pieces to add in.

I could walk around little shops like this for hours. Looking at each little piece of history. I love every bit of it. The smells, the nostalgia, the colors.  I love to imagine the people who owned these things before and what their life was like.

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Secretly.....or not so secretly, I would love to have a shop like this one day. In a cute older, yet trendy small town. I'd decorate it super eclectic and fun, and have all kinds of fun vintage finds, along side handmade goods by other talented artists......Maybe one day.

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All of the little shops sort of center around one outdoor space. It's perfect for the kids or husbands to sit and wait patiently ;)

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There's this one shop....it's a big, old red barn, filled with treasures and old "junk" but fun junk and interesting junk and things that seriously make my heart skip beats like old cameras and type writers.


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I heard one young-ish couple walking out make the comment "it's all just junk" with this disgusted look on their face. Sounds dumb but it kinda made me sad. They have no idea the history behind this "junk." No appreciation I tell ya!....and now I sound old.

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I found an old 1950's-1960's cabinet in one of my favorite shops. She was selling it as is, because someone tried to paint it black and did a horrible job. But I could see the potential behind it. It's got little glass doors, and knobs just waiting to be replaced by some cute little anthropology or hobby lobby knobs. And it's just the right size to fit in the spot of my kitchen I was looking for.


This is a horrible picture because it's sitting in our garage at the moment, but I wanted to get a "before" of it.  I'm thinking of painting it in a sea blue/green color I think, and then distress it to let the black show up under it. What do you think?  Do you have a color in the blue/green family that you like? Or maybe even a yellow....I am so indecisive.

That leads me back to my kitchen table dilemma. I decided what I want to do with it. After finding the little hutch and knowing I wanted to paint it a fun pop of color, I'm going to go more simple and classic with the table. I saw a picture of this kids table and loved the look of it.


 So I'm thinking of just sanding our table and then re-stain the top of the table and chairs to show it's natural wood. Then paint the bottom of the table and the rest of the chairs white. I love the shabby yet classic look of it.  And then that lets me keep some of the pretty wood, and also fulfill my obsession for painting things.

We are also painting our kitchen cabinets so I'm going to wait till that is all done, before I start on the table. But the hutch is getting done over asap. I'm super excited to get started and show you the after, so keep an eye out for it....oh and give me some color suggestions!

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I also couldn't write this post with out thanking you all for the emails and comments about my last one on Threads of Love. It is clearly close to my heart, and so many of you were a part of making it what it was. I am beyond thankful and just plain humbled to be used in such a way as Project Hope and I'm super excited to see where God takes it. Also, I am working on getting the information for donating caskets so if you emailed me about that, I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Love to you all and enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Threads of Love

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, then you already know what Threads of Love is and how we've connected with them through Project Hope. If you don't know, I have the link to the right of my page so that you can just click on it and catch up on all of the posts about Project Hope.

A quick description about Threads of Love is that they are a nation wide organization that reaches women who have lost a baby through miscarriage or still birth as well preemie babies in the NICU.
They sew, knit and crochet items that are then packaged and distributed to local hospitals. There are many facets to the ministry and how they serve women and families, if you want to learn more I encourage you to look into the chapter in your city. It is all done through volunteers and donations.

I began Project Hope because I have been personally blessed by Threads of Love, twice in my life when I was given sweet little boxes in the hospital filled with small items to help me remember the baby girls we had lost. Of the items, one of the most special was a small lovie bear that I held on to as my hope for the future and later gave to our sweet Mia Glory.
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To say she is attached to it is an understatement. To this day, each time she grabs hold of it, or I rock her to sleep as she cuddles up with it, I think of my girls in heaven, the hope I was given and the love I so desire to show to other women who have gone through what I have. I think about how some women don't know the hope we have in Jesus, and my heart hurts for them because I don't know how I would have survived what I have without my faith and hope in Him.

Hope was literally stamped all over these memory boxes that we made and prayed over with each item that went into them. Before I tell you about our drop off day at Threads of Love, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the boxes and each item that went into the 50 boxes that were donated. I am still so blown away by all of the people who came together to make this happen. Packages and bags would come to my house and the thought that people I would never meet, had sat around and made these things or went and bought lovies, was so moving to me! I can't even say enough how much it meant.

December 10th was our first craft event, where a group of women from here in San Antonio got together and decorated the boxes. When I dropped them off at Threads of Love, the women and volunteers were so blown away by how beautiful each one was.

Here's a look at what went into each box
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A prayer


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 Every box got a charm, either a cross or angel.

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Jeremiah 29:11. Blue for boys, pink for girls. These are intended to be framed if the mom chooses.

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Hand stamped "Hope" tokens
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Crochet hats.

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Hair lock bags and tags with Matthew 10:30 printed on them

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Wooden hearts that were hand carved and painted with the words "forever in my heart" 
written on the side.

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Crochet booties

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"Remembrance hearts" 
crochet hearts attached to lace that can either be pinned to a shirt, or bag or scarf.

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Linen hearts, with the word "hope" embroidered.

Each box also got a lovie similiar to the one I was given.
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It was the one item I wanted to be sure to have in each box. Turns out these aren't commonly put into the memory boxes and Liz from Threads of Love was surprised I'd got one in mine. I believe it was something the Lord had in front of me, as a constant tugging and reminder to pursue this dream of mine of reaching other women with this same hope by launching Project Hope. Every time I saw Mia with it, I would be reminded of this dream till I finally pursued it.
I am so glad I did.
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A couple of weeks ago, I loaded up all 50 boxes and my two girlies (Asher was at school & Brandon was at work) and we drove to Threads of Love. The particular one we partnered with here in San Antonio is the Sarah Chapter. Founded by Liz and Joe Page and named for one of their miscarried grand babies, Sarah.
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The facility they work out of sits on the property of a large church, and was built fully on donations. Just driving up, you could already feel such a presence of sweetness. Liz and her husband met me outside and started unloading the boxes one by one, commenting on every one.
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We toured the facility and I was so amazed by how much they are doing. Reaching so many. It was inspiring. And to be there with my girls...it was an emotional day for me. I hope to bring Asher back with me one day, because I want him to have an understanding of ministries like these and what it meant to our family.
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 Something I want to bring light to is the ministry they are also doing for women who have experienced miscarriages. When I started Project Hope I heard lots of stories from women who had had a miscarriage and would have liked something like these memory boxes.
Well, they do also make care packages for mom's who lose a baby early on. These packages aren't brought to the hospital simply because the need would be too much, however, the ministry is there. Meaning, if you know someone, who has had a miscarriage, you can call your local Threads of Love, and they will give you a care package with resources and a couple small mementos as well.
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I feel very strongly that every baby regardless of the number of days they lived, should be acknowledged. In some way.  Life is so precious. From beginning to end and especially in between. We should value it in every way, at every moment. That's what I love so much about Threads of Love. They are valuing life and helping moms heal when it is lost.

If you would like to be apart of Threads of Love in your own city, you can click this link to find a location. I hope and pray that more projects like this will continue to shed light on organizations like these.

One more important need I learned about while there is caskets. The very real fact is that there is a need for them. Some families can't afford to bury there babies properly, but at the same time, want to honor them by giving them a funeral. I was blessed to have a family and friends who helped us with all of the details of our girls funerals. My dad, who is a home builder, actually made the caskets that my girls were buried in. I can't tell you what a relief and blessing it was to not have to think about where my girls would be buried and how.
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But that is not the case for some families. Liz told me about a funeral she once attended for a small baby. The parents didn't have money for a casket, but still wanted to give the baby a burial. The baby was put in a small styrofoam ice chest.
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I realize that sounds incredibly sad and most people don't want to hear about things like that, but the fact is that it's real.  If you are able, or know of anyone who is able to build small wood boxes to be used as a casket, I'd like to encourage you to find your local Threads of Love and see about donating one or two for families in need. These caskets go specifically to families who can not afford to purchase one. I'm not sure about the details or requirements for making one, but if you are interested in doing this, email me and I will get the information for you. 

I will continue to partner with Threads of Love in any way that I can, so if you would like to donate items for the memory boxes, you can always do so. Whether it is one item or 10 or 50. I will make sure Threads of Love gets it, so again, contact me if you would like to be involved. 

We are also  planning for another Craft Event in March, to decorate boxes again. Details will be given closer to the event. I hope you will join me! 

And if you read this entire post, I would give you a big ol hug if I could. Thank you. As you can see I get super wordy when I'm passionate about something!

Love to you all. 
Go hug your kiddos, your husband, your mama, or your neighbor, just go hug someone and show them some love.
Life is such a gift ya'll!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Dollar Art


On one of my {many} trips to Target recently,  I saw these really cute little mouse pads. 
I especially loved what it said.
 "Inspiration grows in even the tiniest of places" 

But I don't need a mouse pad. In fact, do people still use mouse pads??
So I decided I could do something different with it and thought it would look really cute in Mia's room. Her room is pretty colorful with little bits of nature like trees, birds and owls. 

All I did was spray paint an 8x10 frame I already had {but the dollar spot also had some frames too} then I placed a coordinating piece of card stock behind the mouse pad, because it is a bit smaller than an 8x10 frame so you'll need either a mat or some cute paper. 
And that's it. 
I think it would be really cute in a craft room or play room too! 

Also a couple of weeks ago I randomly grabbed a couple of the cute tin mailboxes Target also has at the dollar spot right now.  One for Asher and one for Bella....Well they have turned out to be a huge hit around here. They each put them just outside their bedroom door and leave "notes" in them for each other. Asher will sometimes leave a note for Bella before he goes to school, and it's so cute to see how excited she gets to find it. They raise the flag when they leave a note, so the other knows to check their mailbox. Every now and then I'll leave a note in their also. It has turned out to be a really cute thing to have. For a dollar. Seriously. Go get one. You will make your kids so happy.

And since we're on the dollar spot kick, remember these cute Easter Egg trees also from the Target dollar spot, that I made last year?

After I posted about it, I had a few emails that Target was already out of the stuff to make these. So I thought I'd let ya'll know if you wanted to do this for Easter this year, I saw similar trees and hanging egg ornaments at the Dollar Store, just the other day. It's early, I know, but I've found if I wait on these things, they are gone by the time I want them. 

Now go on and get your dollar shopping on my friends. 
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Learning to Walk

Mia took her first steps on Christmas Eve. Since then she has done a lot of practicing and teasing us with a step here and there.

She loves to hold on to the tips of my fingers as I let her lead me around the house. Going wherever she wants. It's fun to see where she'd go if the crawling weren't such a chore to her. You can tell she's over the crawling. Too slow for her speed. She wants to run in and out of rooms and keep up with her sister and brother.

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So we've been practicing like this every day for little bits of time here and there. Around and around tables. In and out of bedrooms. She doesn't stop to look at anything. Stopping would mean....stopping. She doesn't want to.  Sometimes she gets too excited and wants to run, she gets moving forward faster than her little legs can go and falls to the ground.  Looking up at me she looks surprised.
"What happened, where were you?"

But I was there the whole time.
She won't get up again until she sees me reaching out for her. Then her little hands grasp my fingers and I pull her up to walk again.


The similarities....
How often do we want so badly to quickly get through something. To quickly learn what we need to and then get going on our own. We forget the process. To learn how to take the steps first.
The running will come later, but not soon enough for us. We get impatient with the learning and jump ahead instead.

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Then we fall. Stumble.
On our knees we ask God, "where were you?"
In our hearts we know, He was right there the whole time. Always. Never leaving. We were the one who let go.

Pretty soon Mia won't need my hands to walk.
Pretty soon, all of this practice, and the falls especially....they'll have taught her enough to do it on her own.

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Sometimes I wonder, who that was before. The unmarried one. The one without kids. The one who hadn't suffered pain or loss. The one who had never cried true tears of real joy.

But I know who she was. She was just a girl trying to get through the process. Running sometimes when she should have been walking. Talking when she should have been listening. Moving, when she should have been still.

The steps. The learning. The process. It can teach us so much, if we let it.
It can change us. Move us to love in ways we never have. 

Yesterday Mia stood up and walked on her own. She fell.
But then she got up again and then again.

She's learning that it's a process.
I pray she holds onto that. always

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Soak it all in baby girl. Don't rush ahead. There will be time for it all.
Learn what you need to. Listen for it.
Grow and move, be confident in His voice.
Love others more than yourself. Always.
But do love yourself too. Everything you are. Because He made it all.
Don't resent the process. It can teach you so much. 
Love, compassion, mercy, and depth.

The steps might seem hard sometimes. They may be too slow.
But take them, sweet girl. Each and every one. There's a reason for them all.

and that laugh of yours? that joy?
Don't let anyone or anything ever steal it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To paint or not to paint...

For a long time now, I've wanted a round black table with a big solid base.
But they were always out of my price range. 
Then last week I spotted a listing on craigslist. Opened it up, scrolled down to the picture and there it was. A black, round table. Big solid base, with a leaf and 5 chairs. Perfect for our family.



But. It was in bad shape. This young couple had it for about 4 months, but before them, a family of 5 with 3 kids had it. And they beat.it.up. I'm talking, I am pretty sure they danced on this thing. As a family. All 5 of them. They must have.
 
But it's beautiful and the oak wood is solid and heavy and amazing. So I thought it was worth the work we would have to put into it. Beyond worth it for the price. They were desperate to get rid of it because they are moving, so we were able to even get it a little less than asking price, which was already CAH-RAZY. 

Anyway, here's my dilemma. I'm trying to figure out if we should just stain it. Restore the wood as best as we can and just leave it. That would be the conservative thing to do.
OR, if we should just have fun with it and paint it. I'd love to do something like some of these

The aqua one in the bottom corner is calling my name, could also add fun cushions for the chairs.


Could leave the top in the natural wood and paint the bottom?

This one is amazing. This girl is brilliant.

This would involve some steps to get that antiqued look, but I love it.

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LOVE this softer yellow
Simple, classic white


I know if we decide to paint it, I'm in for some work {or should I say we...I'll be using my trusty assistant/side kick/ husband of course} But, I'm up for the challenge, I've always wanted to paint a piece of furniture and completely transform it. But the process makes me nervous. I think it involves patience and I'm not very good at that.

So whats your vote? Paint or Stain?
And if you've ever painted a table/furniture give me some pointers. I need them!