Sunday, January 22, 2012

la sencillez de Sunday [window decor]

A quick side-note (or two) before I begin: Just this week I was becoming overwhelmed with the idea of the commitment I had made to my blog with this series. Not only do I have to post once a week (which can be a challenge for me in itself) but I have to be constantly on the look-out for new post ideas of simple-somethings to share with you. I was thinking about maybe quitting the commitment while I'm ahead, only having the series for a few weeks, so I can go out with a bang rather than ending by forgetting to or failing to post because of no new ideas.

However, this week, as I was reading the blogs I subscribe to, I found another project. And it was simple, and it was perfect. And I thought, 'You know, I think I can do this after all. ...that is -- if these ideas just keep falling into my lap.'

But better yet, yesterday, Shane and I had such a wonderful date-day, filled with lots of outings. [Maybe I'll post about it this week. It was just that good... well-worth a post.] One of our outings was to the Urban Folk Circuit, a dual-duty craft show for artisans to sell their work and venue for upcoming local musicians to play their music and start a gathering. [It's like going to a live version of while listening to Spotify. ...aka Awesome!] Anyway, at yesterday's event there was a "make and take" craft for visitors (read:kids), and I decided to take part.

So today's simple craft is coming to you from a lovely lady I met yesterday, the blogging-face of Urban Folk Circuit's website and her own crafting blog-loveliness, Hands Occupied, Heidi. [Thank you, Heidi, for letting me share your craft idea!]

Simple Craft: Pin Prick Art
Supplies needed: cardstock (or paper), thumbtacks (push-pins), cardboard (thicker than cereal box-type), marker

Step one: Make (draw) or find (print) a template for the art piece you want to create. Heidi provided her crafters (seriously, read:kids [under 10] and me [obviously not under 10, but still very much a kid at heart]) with simple outlines of a mitten, a snowflake, or a snowglobe to choose from. Draw or print your template onto a piece of paper, making sure the lines are thick enough to fit a thumbtack into.

Step two: Pile your cardboard, piece of cardstock, and template (in that order from bottom to top) and secure with an extra thumbtack.

Step three: Use a thumbtack to trace/poke the design of your template dot-by-dot along the lines (which, since it is piled underneath, will transfer onto your cardstock piece.)

Step four: Reveal your wonderful design on your cardstock. Tape to a window and, as the sun shines in, enjoy your wonderful, simple artwork.

Obviously the sun wasn't really shining in for me.
But you get the idea. :]
Here are some other examples of pin prick art that I found online which might inspire you to get creative. [By the way, I was totally going to call this artwork piece "light-up window decor" until google revealed its real name, Pin Prick Art. I deemed it much more appropriate.]


This craft would obviously require supervision if you were to do it with children, but it could be really fun for them to display their art in the windows and enjoy it on sunny days. And, I once worked in a kindergarten classroom where the students were each responsible for putting on their own nametags using safety pins. So children of even 4 or 5 could definitely handle this craft, if they are responsible. [Why are safety pins uncannily called safety pins anyway?!]

¿¡Sencillo, no?!

[I told you that a simple-something idea fell into my lap this week from the blogs I read, which means I am already idea-set for next week! That means I will keep on with this series for at least one more. ...and some, I'm sure.]

Simple Truth: Today, I'm going to do something different for the simple truth portion. Instead of writing out a devotional-type essay and feeding you all my thoughts on Scripture, I'm going to leave you with a verse and some lyrics from a song that touched my heart today with its truth.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

You are God, You are God;
of all else I'm letting go.
(from Forever Reign by Hillsong Live)

The message is sencillo. And yet, I challenge you to -- at least for a moment, for an hour, for a day -- let go of all else and hold onto and know the truth that He is God.

linking up:

The Southern Institute Button

Sunday, January 15, 2012

la sencillez de Sunday [a better grilled cheese]

Simple Recipe: Mozzarella Pesto Grilled Cheese
Ingredients needed: bread, pesto, tomato, mozzarella, butter [optional: turkey, ham, etc.]

Step One: Butter one side of each piece of bread. [to prevent sticking to the pan]

Step Two: Spread pesto on the other side of each piece. [this gets a little messy: pesto on one side, butter on the other]

Step Three: Slice and add tomato to each sandwich.

Step Four: Add mozzarella cheese and close the sandwiches.

Step Five: Put on skillet, fry pan, George Foreman, etc. And when grilled, ENJOY.

I like to call this recipe "a better grilled cheese," because I don't think I will ever go back to the original. :]

¡¿Sencillo, no?!

Simple Truth: Today's simple truth comes from the sermon this morning, titled Love One Another. As a church, we are studying through the "one another" commands in the New Testament. I think this series is going to be good. Anyway, today's: love one another. Often we find it easy, even effortless, to love those one-anothers that are most like us and those that like us. But God's command (not merely a recommendation) to love one another is to love all people as He has loved them. It's not easy. It's not really supposed to be. We are all broken people who are self-absorbed, yet we are to be selfless and reach out, meeting other people's needs. You may wonder why this is so essential. [You may really wonder why it's important when it seems so impossible.] It's not about you or your personal spirituality or personal growth. It's not about the other person you are trying to love. Guess what, they would survive (probably) if you didn't love them the way you are supposed to. It's important because God's important. His glory, His name, His reputation is on the line when we choose to love or not love others. 1 John 4:12 says, "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." It's all about the glory of God, and providing opportunity for it to shine through us by loving those one-anothers, each and every one.

¡¿Sencillo, no?!
[Well, maybe the message is simple, but the putting-into-action is not so simple. Try it this week. Find someone new to love. Find and meet a need in their life; not for your benefit, nor for theirs, but for the glory of and spread of God's great name.]

linking up with:


Saturday, January 14, 2012

spread the love

FYI: I'm participating in a Valentine's Exchange between bloggers (and maybe others). The exchange is being hosted by Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects. It's a great little way to celebrate the month of love and meet another blogger friend/regular friend.

Do you want to join?! I just signed up and am really excited. Ideas are already a-brewin' in this little preggo brain. (You don't have to be a blogger to sign up!)

The rules are to make and send a little care package for a special someone (you'll be paired up) and when February 14th comes around, you'll receive one to love. If you're interested in joining, click the button above and read more/sign up. Sign up ends January 20th. I'd love to have you join us!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Okay, so I think so major blog-excitement has hit me lately!!

Let me give you an update about why I'm pumped!

In the past week...
- Two of my projects were featured on blog parties. (here and here)
It was my first time, and I was way honored and WAY excited.
- My blog hit over 4,000 views.
Now, I understand that some of you real-life/big-time bloggers hit this many views in a day, but come on, a girl has to work her way up there...
- One of my projects was pinned on pinterest (among a few other projects) and was re-pinned 27 times.
Again, I know - not awesome for some of you out there, but for me - AWESOME! My blog traffic this week was sent largely from this pinning/re-pinning business; which means new readers!

I don't post this to brag about my blog or boast in it in any way, but just to share that I am really excited with the progress my blog has made in just a few months. And to tell you, this is only the beginning. This past week has been a real encouragement to keep going and keep being who I am/doing what I'm doing.

Thank you so much for reading. Thank you for spreading the word. Thank you for commenting.

Monday, January 9, 2012

what i gave for Christmas

I know, after I said that Mr. Allen got me 17 presents for Christmas, you were expecting a post about each and every one of them. But this isn't about what I got, but what I gave.

I only ventured two handmade/homemade gifts this year, but only remembered to document one. Both my moms (my real mom/best friend/Firebolt and my new, wonderful mother-in-law) received homemade gifts this year for Christmas. I painted/modpodge-d an art piece for my mom to add to her Christmas decor, and for my mother-in-law, I made this:

My inspiration for this project came from this post. Who even knows how I found the tutorial because I not only found it months ago, but I don't even follow that blog. Anyway, I'm thankful that I did find it, because this apron was my first intense sewing project where cutting and ironing and folding and sewing were so particular, and I was terrified to mess it up.

I absolutely love this fabric print, and love that the brown lining I made went well with the blue swirlies as well. Mr. Allen helped me pick out these great fabrics at Joann. He is a crafter at heart. [Okay, that's not true at all, but he puts up with my crafting so well.]

linking up with:

The Southern Institute

Sunday, January 8, 2012

for uncle brent

Our baby girl has been identified as just that (a girl) for quite some time now. (2 months) Yet, I have yet to show you her ultrasound pictures. There have been a few of you anxiously waiting for these, so here they are:

her profile

her little feet (to the right, in the middle of the black blob)

her profile again

her face straight on (a little creepy, but we know she's actually cute)

I seriously can't wait to meet this little lady in just a few weeks! We are so anxious for her arrival!

la sencillez de Sunday [love light]

Simple Craft: Love Light
Supplies needed: paper, markers/pens, clear cylinder or rectangular prism vase, candle

As I was reading the blogs I subscribe to this week, I saw an idea and instantly thought, 'That's what I'm making this week for la sencillez de Sunday.'

click for source

I know you might think it is too early to start thinking about Valentine's Day decor, but this is something simple and little, and it just might get you in the lovey-dovey mood. Valentine's Day is only a month away, so it's not really that early.

Here is my version of the love light:

It really is a simple craft; maybe the simplest of all. Take some paper (I used lined paper) and draw, doodle, or write things that seem Valentine-y to you. I chose to write a bunch of reasons I love my Mr.

Seeing the lamp in sepia makes me wish it was even more simple looking, just black ink on white paper. But I really do love this little decoration, because (as always) I need a centerpiece for my dining room table and I like to keep them seasonal.

Simple Truth: Today's simple truth is taken from my own personal Bible-reading/journalling time from this week. I was reading Zechariah 8 (I'm working my way through the end of the Old Testament) when God is telling about His promise of restoration for His people in Jerusalem. He promises children joyfully playing on the streets, bountiful harvests in the fields, celebratory festivals, and that people from all nations will travel just to be a part of what He will be doing. Then in Zechariah 8:6, God says, "All this may seem impossible to you now, ... but is it impossible for me?" Sometimes when we are amidst adversity, the promise of a time of peace and joy seems impossible. We don't think that anything positive or uplifting can possibly come from or after what we are going through right now. But God promises up rebirth after death, beauty from ashes. He is a God of restoration and redemption.

 One of my old favorite bands, Switchfoot, writes:

Sunshine, come and help me sing
My heart is darker than these oceans
My heart is frozen underneath
Oh Lord, why did you forsake me?
Oh Lord, don't be far away away
Storm clouds gathering beside me
Please Lord, don't look the other way
The shadow proves the sunshine
The shadow proves the sunshine

Although you might be in the middle of the shadow right now, and darkness clouds everything around you, that very shadow that seems to be holding you down is proving that the sunshine (God's glory and promise of new life) is standing right behind that darkness.

linking up with:

The Southern Institute


Saturday, January 7, 2012

featured [on here's to handy andy.]

Wahoo - another one of my projects, the bubbly stationery, was featured on Here's to Handy Andy's co-host party! [I seriously get excited about being featured.]

Go visit & leave some love.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

baby bundle.

A friend of mine is heaving around a belly bump just like me! (Only she is about 7 weeks ahead of me, so her bump is bigger than the one this little girl gives me.) We are celebrating her little one's soon arrival this Saturday, so I picked up some gifts to help welcome him. And I decided to try my crafty hand at personalizing the gift.

Here it is:

I took some Gerber pre-fold diapers (burpcloths) that were on clearance at Target and I found this perfectly matching green jersey material in the scrap bin at Joann for $2. I drew some shapes (helicopter, van, t-rex, stegosaurus), pinned, and sewed them on, adding just a bit of personalized detail to the gift.

Then I packaged them all together with this tag: "out of the mouths of BABES" because, let's be honest, burpcloths are for what comes out, and pacifiers often come out rather than stay in. :]

linking up with these parties:


Here Comes the Sun

Sunday, January 1, 2012

la sencillez de Sunday [stationery]

Welcome, officially, to la sencillez de Sunday (the simplicity of Sunday.) As I expected, with the holiday craziness, trip home, lack of sit-down-computer-time because of too much enjoy-my-families-time, last week I didn't get a post. But here we are, the first of the year, and the first official post for this series. [If you didn't get a chance to yet, check out the preview post to the series to get an idea of what it's all about.] Let's get started!

Simple Craft: Bubbly Stationery
Supplies needed: paper, envelopes, straw, water (1/2 cup), sugar (1 teaspoon), dish soap (1 teaspoon), food coloring (10 drops per color)

My inspiration came from this book I got for Christmas, which I absolutely LOVE! I also got the Home Decor version, and I'm sure that I will be referring to  obsessing completely about here on the blog often.

Mix together the water, sugar, and soap until the sugar dissolves. Add your coloring (feel free to play with colors, since most food coloring comes in the primary colors,) and be very generous about the coloring.

Stick your straw in the bottom of the glass, and blow some bubbles. When the bubbles overflow over the top of the cup, lay your paper (and/or envelope) on top of the bubbles, causing them to pop. Repeat blowing and popping stages over and over until you have the design you like.

Be prepared to make a mess, because those bubbles will get all over the table (and your face.) This would be such a fun craft to do with kids, especially those learning to write, so they could create their own stationery for writing to a grandparent, friend, etc.

Here are my final pieces:

¡¿Sencillo, no?!

Don't worry, I had some failure pieces too that were too lightly colored (which promptly went into the recycling.) The trick is to add lots of color so that the bubbles rising to the top as you blow keep the color of the water mixture.

The pink and green set I transformed into a birthday card for my adorable, wonderful niece who celebrates her 5th birthday this week and weekend. This bubbly paper idea could also turn into some really cute artwork for a kid's room, playroom, or classroom!

Simple Truth: I'm taking my simple truth from a personal devotional time I had a few days ago, while reading the book of Micah. If you've read the minor prophets (or any of the majority of the Old Testament,) you'll know God's frustration with the disobedient chosen people, the Israelites. Well, as always, God is telling of the coming destruction and punishment if His people continue in their disobedience. Then in chapter 2, verse 7, God says, "...if you would do what is right, you would find my words comforting." How often am I scared about living life according to God's plans (which always win out, by the way) and instead I selfishly follow my own agenda? I struggle with the fear that I am not obedient enough, and that I'm not spreading the Gospel boldly enough, knowing that I can be held accountable for those in my sphere of influence's salvation. If I was really living life in and by faith, following God's leading, I wouldn't need to have these fears of punishment and wrath, I would know that His words are from a loving, compassionate heart. When I act in obedience, His words, rather than being threatening to me, would comfort and encourage me.

¡¿Sencillo, no?!

linking up with these parties:

Here Comes the Sun