When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

January 28, 2010

Friday Favorites (Jan. 29, 2010)

First off, I want to apologize for not being around much this week. I have lots of ideas brewing, but visiting my sister this past weekend to go through Mom's personal stuff kind of threw me for a loop. Hopefully I will get back into the swing of things soon. I guess I am still doing a lot of grieving. But... I digress...

Here are my favorites for the week:

Or So She Says has some fantastic tips for Daddy-Daughter Dates

Ducks in A Row has an awesome idea for taming the technology monster with Technology Tickets

In His Grace shares a beautiful handmade Heart Garland

Inspiring Creations shares how she made her beautiful "XOXO" Rag Garland

Don't forget to grab an "I was featured" button to the left if you were featured here or any other Friday!
Have a wonderful weekend!

January 25, 2010

Delurk for Haiti at Pure Joy

Pure Joy Creative

Jamie is a dear friend of mine. Her personal blog is Pure Joy.
I received an email the other day asking if I could help her out in raising some much needed funds for the people of Haiti. She writes...


"As I tuck my kids into bed at night, I'm not worried about if they'll be warm enough, or safe from harm. When they wake in the morning I don't worry about what they will eat for breakfast. When we need a drink of water we just go to the sink and turn on the faucet, or go to the fridge for a cold glass of milk. I have MANY luxuries that people around the world do not. I am very wealthy compared to the many people in the world who have little to nothing.

I've been wrestling with the thought of how I could help the people in Haiti. Simple me. One person. Living miles away from them. In my comfortable home. With a roof over my head. Water in my pipes. And all my family safe and accounted for. I know that I am BLESSED beyond imagination.

I had a thought. One that many other bloggers have had. I wanted to get other people involved. I wanted to let other people find a way to help out those in Haiti who are trying to rebuild their lives. So, here's what I am doing.

For one week, from right now until Friday, January 29th at noon (CST) I will be asking for your help. For every comment that is left on this post I will donate $0.15 and for every new public follower I will donate $0.25. (up to $100). So what does it cost you? Nothing. Just leave a comment. Tell me your name, where you're from, something, anything. Just a comment. Or follow this blog and your donation will be even greater.

It gets better. If you'd like to help out in an even bigger way I have two more opportunities for you. I will donate 50% of any purchase from my etsy store before Friday, January 29th at noon. AND if you book a photography session with me before Friday (doesn't have to take place before Friday and does not include weddings) I will also donate 50% of the session fee.

Isn't that awesome? So head on over and leave a comment for her. Become a follower. If you can make a purchase from her shop or book a photography session. You will be taking part in helping the people of Haiti.

Monday Musings (Jan. 25, 2010)

My decoupage wooden letter tutorial was featured on One Pretty Thing. If you haven't been there you need to check it out and subscribe. There are links fantastic projects from all around the blogosphere!

I was away for the weekend and will tell you about it when I find the right words to explain it. Just know it was emotional and bittersweet as my sister and I went through my Mom's stuff. In the coming days I will share with you some of the neat surprises we found.

Follow me Friday was fun and I am so happy to see so many new faces in my friends up there in the left hand corner. I promise I will be coming around to visit and follow back. I also noticed I have a few new subscribers. Let me say welcome to all new followers and subscribers and thanks for joining me in my quest to create!

Here are some quotes that I ran into while reading on my flights to and from Arizona. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

"Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope
 surrounding us from the beginning."
~Virginia Woolf

"When you follow your bliss... doors will open
where you would not have thought there would be doors;
and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else."
~Joseph Campbell

"Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."
~ Greg Anderson

Have a fantastic start to your week! :)

January 22, 2010

January 21, 2010

Live Like We're Dyin'

Every once in a while, a new song comes along that really gets me. It's gotta have lyrics that speak to me and it always helps when it makes me want to dance.

Loved Kris Allen on American Idol! Here is my latest favorite....

"86 400 seconds in a day!" Make the best of them!

January 20, 2010

Decoupaged Wooden Letters

Decoupaged wooden letters make great gifts for birthdays, baby showers, etc. I love to add color to my girls' rooms with them. You can use just about any paper and embellishments you have on hand.
This letter B is for Blake. I needed a gift for a baby shower, so I thought I would take you along on how to make one.

For this project, you will need:
  • Wooden letter
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Misc. embellishments (buttons, rhinestones, ribbon etc.)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint (unless you purchase a prepainted letter)
  • Foam Brush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or craft knife

1. Lay your letter face down on the back of the paper and trace. You can do the whole letter one paper if you like or chose two like I did here.

2. Cut the letter out with your scissors or craft knife and set your paper letter aside for later.

3. Paint around the edge of your letter, slightly going onto the front.

4. After your paint has dried, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front of your letter and quickly place your paper on it.

At this point your letter should look like this. Let it dry while watching for any bubbles you may need to smooth out.  You can use your fingers or a brayer to do so.
5. Optional... Once your letter has dried from putting on the paper, you can do an extra coat over it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. After completing this letter, I decided I probably won't again, just because I like the way it looks without it.

6. Once your letter is dry again, apply embellishments. For this letter, I used matching ribbon and some star buttons I had in my stash. Simply trim your ribbon and glue it and your other embellishments on using the Mod Podge.

And then you are finished!

Happy crafting!
I'm linking to...

Punkin Seed Productions

January 17, 2010

Monday Musings... Inspiration

I got my calligraphy markers out... Not my pens and ink (I just don't feel ready for that yet), but my markers. And I played, and I had fun! While messing around with the pens, I got to wondering what inspires people to create? Is it time with family, a breathtaking view or a song or story? Or do you find inspiration in the mundane everyday goings on in life?

I am inspired by my daughters, by looking around at others' creations, by color... especially by color.

How about you? What inspires you?

January 15, 2010

Friday Favorites (Jan. 15, 2010)

So... This week, I saw many, many recipe posts that I liked. Not so many crafty posts though. So, I am going to change things up a bit this week just for fun and to repay some lovely ladies that posted about my blog and giveaway. It was so much fun meeting them. Please go visit them and say hello!

Go see Gay at...
she also has a really great Etsy shop called A Lil This and That (isn't that a cute name?). I LOVE her wire wrapped crosses!

Next, drop in to visit Mellisa at

She also posts links to lots of great giveaways here on Win My Year, where she will be doing her own giveaways as soon as she reaches 100 followers. Help her out will ya?!

where they are on a search to find a crafty team.
Don't forget to visit Tara's cute Etsy shop either at Krafty Krinkles. Cute, cute stuff!

Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to post about my little giveaway. It was so great meeting you all. Feel free to grab an "I was featured button" on the sidebar.


January 14, 2010

We Have a Winner!

First, let me say, that it was so much fun meeting all of you and checking out your blogs. I was really impressed with the blog posts some of you did about this giveaway. I did learn that posting about a giveaway should be worth way more than one entry. I will definitely keep this in mind for my next giveaway.

Without further adieu the winner...

RANDOM.ORG - Integer Generator: "Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-01-15 00:06:35 UTC"

and the lucky number 15 is...

Angelia said...
Following you on Twitter. Happy SITS Saturday sharefest!!

Congratulations Angelia! I will contact you via email shortly for your address. Please respond by 11:59 pm Saturday, January 16 or another random number will be drawn and a different winner selected.

January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

I must explain... My sister found this in my mother's stuff on Sunday. It is a drawing from her brother when she was very young. (Keith committed suicide in his twenties. I remember my mother's grief, though I was only about 5 years old at the time.) I love the message we are receiving from beyond.

January 9, 2010

Living a Legacy...

I have been thinking the last couple of days about what to create and why I should create it. Which way should I go first. My friend Jess at Entertaining House is watching someone near and dear to her heart go through their final moments on this earth. (Visit and leave a sweet comment if you will.) I am sad for her, because I did this twice last year, first with my father in law, then with my sweet, sweet Mom.  Reading her post here, got me to thinking about Mom and I looked back to some old posts on my other blog Misc. and Etc. and found this (originally posted in early November 2009). Something to ponder today...

This beautiful painting was done by my mother about 8 years ago. It is supposedly of St. Therese, but after having so many people ask if it was a self portrait, my sister and I have come to the conclusion that it is.

We had a memorial for Mom this past weekend. It was both sad and sweet. So many wonderful people from her life in the past few years were there. I had never met most of them. Even 4 nurses from her stay in the hospital this past year were there. The things they had to say only made me love and admire my mother more.

A friend of my sister's who is also dying from cancer right now stood and talked about legacy. My mother left a wonderful legacy. Her artistic ability lives on in my daughter and I hope myself. I am struggling to tap into it lately.

This morning I received my weekly email from Max Lucado. This week he talked about why we each have the uncanny ability to do certain things. For instance, I have always admired people who can play a musical instrument and sing like nobody's business. Or, when I read a good book, I admire an author who can make the words work so as to weave a story that is so captivating, I can't put the book down. How do they do it?

Max says "God. He knew young Israel would need a code, so he gave Moses a love for the law. He knew the doctrine of grace would need a fiery advocate, so he set Paul ablaze. And in your case, he knew what your generation would need and gave it. He designed you. And his design defines your destiny. Remember Peter’s admonition? “If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies” (1 Pet. 4:11)."

So, my question this week is what exactly God designed me to do? I know I am here to be a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, but I also know I was made to be creative. I pray that he will help me find the time to do this and to minister to other's hearts through my talents. I hope he will open my eyes to show me how to organize my time better so that I may continue to uphold my responsibilities but also to follow my dreams. I want to leave behind a legacy my daughters would be proud of.

God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NCV

Hug your loved ones today, hold them close and ponder the legacy you will leave.

January 8, 2010

Friday Favorites (Jan.8, 2010)

First and formost... Don't forget to enter my 100th Post Giveaway!

Wow! Are you ready? There is a BUNCH!

Craft Projects and Tutorials:


Banana Snack Cake at Tried and True Cooking with Heidi

Wheat Berry Salad at I Do All My Own Stunts

Breakfast Casserole Recipe with Spinach, Leeks, Cottage Cheese, and Goat Cheese at Kalyn's Kitchen

Southwestern Corn Dip at Giving Up on Perfect

Crustless Bacon and Cheese Quiche at Lucy's Kitchen

Light Lemon Cupcakes at Ready, Set, Craft

Chicken-Orzo Soup & Cheddar Pan Biscuits at The Faithfulness Farm

A Little Bit of Texas (Texas Caviar) at Made with Love

Misc. Tips, Ideas and Eye Candy:

The Story in a (Wal)Nut Shell at Entertaining House (PLEASE READ-This information could save your life!)

January 7, 2010

100th Post and My First Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.

I've been waiting for this! I am so excited to say... "This is my 100th post and my first giveaway!"
I am so glad to have you all around that I am going to give you the chance to win, win, win! All of the below items are from my Etsy shop, Creations by Lanie.

Pretty Blue and Green Clothespin Magnets

Pretty Blue and Green Coasters

And... a Pretty Blue and Green 2" Magnet
These would make cute gifts for yourself or a friend! One lucky winner will be chosen to win all three!
To Win (please leave a comment for each entry, entry #1 is mandatory for all others to count):
  1. Leave a comment telling me would like to see more of on my blog.
  2. Become a public follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect, or leave a comment telling my that you already follow publicly.
  3. Follow me on Twitter (see the link on my lefthand sidebar).
  4. Blog about this awesome giveaway on your blog and leave a comment with a link where I can come and visit you.
Winner will be chosen via Random Integer Generator and announced 1 week from today. That's Thursday, Jan. 14th. Good Luck!

Giveaway Link Up Friday

January 5, 2010

Homemade lemonade recipe from homegrown lemons!

Recently I was handed a BUNCH of lemons. Lookee here aren't they beautiful?

My best friend and neighbor Aa harvested her lemon tree the week of Christmas and she and her children picked 335 lemons in all. They were the most beautiful lemons. So, I used my super duper Breville juicer and came up with 3/4 gallons of fresh lemon juice. I froze most of it, but just had to make some fresh lemonade.

Homemade Lemonade


• Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed from 6 large lemons (1-1/2 cups, organic lemons if you can find them)

• 1 cup of sugar, granulated - more or less to taste

• 6 cups cold water
• Freshly made Ice cubes (old ice picks up freezer odors ...dump them and start over)


Note: The sugar and water does not have to be boiled but the quality of the lemonade is improved if you boil them in a pan for 2 minutes, chill and then add the lemon juice. (I didn't do this, but I still loved our lemonade. I will try it next time).

• In a large pitcher, combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice, granulated sugar and cold water

• Stir briskly to dissolve the sugar completely

• Garnish with lemon slices (didn't do this either, but it would make a wonderful presentation)

Reminds me of a favorite song...

Remember, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

I'm participating in...

Blessed with Grace

January 4, 2010

Monday Musings...Beginnings(Jan. 4, 2010)

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
~Jim Rohn

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
~Lao Tzu

"There is a woman at the beginning of all great things.”
~Alphonse de Lamartine

“I watch out my window as the planes take off into space.
Oh, that I could fly away and start fresh.
But I must realize that fresh starts also come
in the pretty wrapped gift called 'tomorrow.'”
~Author Unknown

“So many fail because they don't get started - they don't go.
They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.”
~W. Clement Stone

January 2, 2010

So... with the new year, I have been thinking...

In the past year, I have learned a lot about blogging. I have yet to put much of it into action, but it is one of my dreams this year to grow a blog that people love to visit and an Etsy shop that brings in a little more than just spending money. But my biggest dream, and I think this is because of my sweet Mama, is that I want to bring joy to the heart of others through this blog and my shop. And if we learn something that makes our lives easier, healthier and happier along the way then that is all the more better.

Because this blog and my shop are still in what I would call a fledgeling stage, I was thinking of creating a new blog and importing this one and totally starting a new shop with the knowledge that I have picked up along the way. The new blog would focus on some things that I am interested in. Of course creativity and projects are at the top of the list still. Healthy eating, saving money and childrearing are also in this list.

I would love to get into some PR that is relevant to my above list and maybe even do some giveaways. (There is one coming up here in the near future by the way as I am fast approaching my 100th post. This one is 96!)

So, my questions to you are...

What do you think of the name "Lanie J. and Co." to encompass more than just the creative aspect of my blogging efforts? I also like the idea of this name for my shop. Do you have an idea of a name that might fit? I really love Lanie by the way. It is a nickname used by my family and closest of friends... I guess that includes all of you! :)

What are some things you would like to see on my blog? More tutorials? More handlettering? More great recipes? More kids projects? Ideas for green cleaning? I am eager to know what you all are interested in. I have been at about 30 followers and 35 subscribers for quite some time and would love to take it to the next level. I like Monday Musings and Friday Favorites, so those will be staying.

What is your preferred platform for blogging? Blogger, Wordpress, or some other?

Do you like the black and white design I have going? I am thinking of maintaining that aspect of the blog, but maybe changing the layout a bit to update it.

Since this is a journey I would love all of you to take along with me, I would really love your input!

January 1, 2010

Hello 2010! I welcome you with open arms!

“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.” ~ Ann Landers

As you know, I LOVE quotes. I found this one on SITS this morning and I love it! I hope you do too!

I am wanting to make some changes to my blog and so, Friday Favorites will be back next week. I invite all of you to participate. I will have a button for you to use on your Friday Favorites post and will also have an "I was featured!" button too.

This year I would like to get back to one of my true passions, which is hand lettering. I would also like to venture into some mixed media on canvas. I think it could be a lot of fun!

One of the other things I would really love this year is too get to know you all a bit better. I have met some lovely ladies through blogging and am looking forward to meeting more.

Happy New Year my friends! Let's make 2010 the best year yet!