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

March 29, 2010

Monday Musings... Just what is it I am striving for?

I thought about apologizing for this post up front, but really, there is no need. I am going to share some deep thoughts that have been on my mind through the past couple of weeks.

I believe something very profound happens within us when someone very close to us dies. For me, it has caused me to examine the way I live my life a little more closely. Just what is it I am striving for? For a long while, it has been perfectionism, acceptance, admiration. But lately... lately, I just want peace and love. Peace and love for myself and those around me. For my husband, my daughters, my Dad, my sister and all my other family members as well as my sweet friends.

See that little quote I put in the header of my blog? Those are my words... "Using God Given Talent to Create a Life Imagined". I still don't feel as if I am really doing that. I am in search of something elusive at the moment. What is my talent really? My soul yearns for something more. It is not like I am not satisfied with my life in general. In general, it is truely blessed. I have a hardworking husband that provides for our family so that I can stay home and be here for our children. I have beautiful daughters who fill my life with love and light.

I had a dream as a child and held it into my teen years. Somewhere along the way I lost it. I thought I wasn't good enough. I wanted to be an artist. We all know I love to create, but I feel like what I am creating at the moment is superficial and not from my heart. I don't know how I lost the dream. Maybe I didn't get enough positive reinforcement or somewhere along the way I just gave up. Since I lost Mom, I realize I want to return to the dream some 20 years later, but am unsure how. Fear grips me and I wonder if I have the courage. I watch my 7 year old create with wild abandon, not caring what others think and I encourage her everyday to continue on, for I know it feeds her soul. I know what it is like to lose that and I don't want her to do the same. She inspires me to step out and try and she has no idea that she does this. She is amazing.

Lately I have been very attracted to mixed media paintings. My love for paper and mod podge is longing to be combined with a little bit of paint and lettering on canvas or wood. I am sure this is God whispering to my soul and I have much to share. Still unsure how to proceed, but hopefully the block will move soon or I will have the strength and courage with God's help to move it myself and push forward.

March 28, 2010

Giveaway Winners...

Hey all, as you can see, I took a blogging hiatus this past week. I am hoping to get back in the swing this week. I have just had a lot on my mind and lots to do! Crazy time of year I guess!

Anyhow, on to the winners.

The first winner (winner of the clothespin magnets) is #24 Penny Pinching Mama.
The second winner (winner of the ceramic tile magnet) is #11 Kat.

I'll contact you both shortly via email. Please respond within 48 hours or your prize will be forfeited to another commenter.
Congrats! And thank you all for entering and the sweet, sweet comments!

March 21, 2010

I promised a giveaway at 100 followers...well... here you go!

This Giveaway is Closed.

And here we are at 200 just 5 weeks later! Wow! You all are so much fun! I really have had a great time meeting all of you. I have made some fantastic blog friends, some that I feel truely are kindred spirits. If you are following me and I am not following you, please let me know via my little email button over there on the right and I promise to jump on board.

Since we have surpassed 200 friends I would like to host another giveaway from my Etsy shop, Creations by Lanie. Here is what is up for grabs... There will be 2 lucky winners!

One lucky winner will receive a set of 4 cute Black and White Stripes and Dots Clothespin Magnets.

A second lucky winner will recieve what I call the "Pessimistic Optimist" magnet.
This magnet is ceramic tile and measures 2" x 2".

Since I love to hear what you all want to see more of in a blog (particularly this one!), the first and mandatory entry above all other entries is to leave a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on Lanie J. and Co and what your favorite posts are right now (Friday Favorites, Tutorials, Recipes, Monday Musings... etc.)

after the mandatory entry you can get bonus entries by the following....(Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry). If your email isn't in your profile, please leave it in your comment entry so that I can get a hold of you if you are a lucky winner! :)

1. Become a follower via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment (or leave a comment telling me you already follow via Google Friend Connect) - worth one entry

2. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway - worth two entries

3. Follow me via Networked Blogs on the left sidebar - worth one entry

4. Blog about this giveaway (leave a link to your post) - worth five entries

The giveaway will close at 6pm on Sun. March 28th and the winners will be selected via Random Number Generator.

Good luck!

March 20, 2010

Step out...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

March 19, 2010

Friday Favorites (3/19/10)

Hey all! Happy Friday!It's been a pretty good week, though we were interrupted with K's first two cavities (discovered at a routine cleaning and checkup) and K getting a fever up to 103.6 yesterday. Looks like she is better today, so we will have to make up for our lost spring break day yesterday.

Here is a look at my favorites this week...

Don't forget to grab an "I was featured" button from the right sidebar if you were featured today or any other Friday!

Have a fantastic weekend!

March 17, 2010

Monogram Domino Pendant

Here is yet another one of those projects to add to the list of ways to use up paper scraps. The possibilities for decorating domino pendants are endless with the paper, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments out there. These little cuties make great gifts too!

For this project you will need:

Domino (regular size or travel size - I used travel size for this particular pendant)
Paper scraps
Alphabet stickers or rub-ons
Silver plated bail
E6000 (or other super strong glue)
Mod podge
Pony Beads (not shown here and optional)

1. Cut paper to size. You can either measure the domino and cut it down or lay the domino down and trace it onto the paper, then cut it out.

2. Affix letter sticker or rub-on to the paper.

3. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the domino and place the paper on it, lining up the edges.

4. Then apply another layer of Mod Podge over the paper.

5. While the Mod Podge is still wet place rhinestones or other embellishements. The rhinestones I used were so small, I dipped the tip of a toothpick into Mod Podge and used that to gently place the rhinestone where I wanted it.

6. After the pendant has dried. Turn it over and using your E6000 glue your bail to the pendant.

7. Once the glue is dried, you are ready to string up the pendant on a pretty cord or ribbon. Here, I used a couple of pony beads to dress it up a bit.

There you have it!

Happy Crafting!

I'm linking to the following:
Plant a Punkin' Seed Party at Punkin' Seed Productions
It's a Hodgepodge Friday at It's a Hodgepodge Life
Look What I Made! at Creations by Kara
A Little Craft Therapy at Life in the Pitts
Strut Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans

March 15, 2010

Monday Musings... Children

(Last year's bluebonnet pic... will be posting this year's in the coming month!)

This week is spring break at our house so I am trying to fill the week with fun things we can do together. I think a lot about my girls and how they are learning and growing and if I am doing enough (just like any other mother I am sure).  K is a budding artist, her creativity amazes me. Everything seems to come easy to her. She is emotional like her Mom. :) N loves to move and groove and doesn't have time to sit down. She is athletic and bouncy and extremely tough, yet wears her heart on her sleeve.

Since my week will be even more planned around the girls than usual, I thought I would share quotes about children...

“While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Unknown

"Every child born into the world is a new thought of God,
an ever fresh and radiant possibility”
~Kate Douglas Wiggin

“Children are the hands
by which we take hold of heaven.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
 Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen,
child. Anything can be.”
~Shel Silverstein

"We call a child's mind "small" simply by habit;
perhaps it is larger than ours is,
for it can take in almost anything without effort”
 ~Christopher Morley

“A Daughter is a Little Girl
who grows up to be a Friend” ~Unknown

Have a great Monday!

March 13, 2010

Eagle's Nest Live

If you have children or are just plain interested. Here is a rare look inside a bald eagle's nest. There are currently 2 hatchlings and a third egg waiting to hatch. The video is a live stream provided by WVEC.com.

My daughter is enthralled and it really is quite beautiful to see.

March 12, 2010

Friday Favorites (3/12/10)

I follow and subscribe to so many blogs now, it is getting tough to pick my favorites! Don't forget to grab an "I was featured" button from the right sidebar if you were featured today or any other Friday in the past. Here they are for this week...

Hope you all had a fabulous week and have a fantastic weekend!

March 10, 2010

Hey! A girl can dream right?

Okay, now back to reality. Pick the kid up from the bus, run her to her evening class and get dinner... Go! Go! Go! Sorry Lionel, I'll have to catch ya later!

March 9, 2010

Super Easy, Super Yummy Salsa Recipe

Those of you who have been with me since this blog was called "Creations by Lanie", know that some of my posts lately are repeats from last year. My newer followers don't know that there is some great stuff "back there" so this is why I am reposting some.

This salsa recipe is also one that is too good to be missed. It's another one of those "big hit" recipes. Originally, it came out of  a recipe book we received for our wedding, but over the years I have tweeked it to be just right. I'll just tell you ahead of time I chop it in the blender to the consistency you see here, but you can just chop your veggies with a knife to get a chunkier version.


1 Can Rotel Mexican
1 Can Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
1 Bunch Green Onion
4 Roma Tomatoes
1 Bunch Cilantro
1/8 Red Onion
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt to taste

It's as easy as this.... I just pour the two cans of tomatoes into the blender then after washing my veggies, cut them down to a reasonable size and throw it all in the blender. Add the cumin and salt and blend to desired consistency.

Grab your favorite bag of tortilla chips and...

Blessed with Grace

March 8, 2010

Monday Musings... Color

Just for the fun of it head on over and play around at Kuler. Then head on over here to take the Color Career Counselor Quiz (I'm a "creator" of course). Let me know what you are in the comments! :)

“Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves
that break upon the idle seashore of the mind”
~Henry Wadsworth

"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette,
which provides the meaning of life and art.
It is the color of love.”
~Marc Chagall

“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant
 than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up
 and know it is a pink word for him or her too”
~Gladys Tabor

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest
and highest elements in human happiness.
It trains the mind through the eye,
and the eye through the mind.
As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.”
~John Lubbock

March 7, 2010


Just wanted to tell you all, "Good Sunday morning!" Here's a video that about sums up how I have been feeling lately.


Speaking of legacy. My little sister has started a whole new way of leaving a legacy of her own. If you have a moment please go read her latest post Like a Wind Against My Back on her blog Connection Contribution Creation. You will get a feel for her experience of my sweet Mama's passing. I am in awe of my sister's strength and beauty and so very proud of her. I can never thank her enough for being the one in the family who was my mother's sole caregiver in the last year of her life. She amazes me.

Have a wonderful Sunday filled with love, family and friends.

March 6, 2010

Saturday Featured Blogger... Red Heads Craft More Fun!

This is the second weekend of my new Saturday Featured Blogger post.  I would love to feature your blog or Etsy shop. If you are interested, please contact me by clicking my cute email button to the right under my profile.

If you missed it yesterday... don't forget to visit Friday Favorites this week. I have some great links! :)

Red Heads Craft More Fun

Today's featured blogger is Courtney from Red Heads Craft More Fun!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I am Courtney, the fun-loving redhead over at Red Heads Craft More Fun. I am a high school teacher by day and I love to craft in my free time. My husband and I bought our first home and I have been learning how to decorate it on a limited budget ever since.

Please give us a little insight to what your blog is about.
My blog is a way for me to chronicle all my decorating ideas as well as my trials and errors. I love finding inspiration from other things and tweaking it just enough to make it my style. As a teacher we have a saying to "teach like you are teaching your best friend." On my blog I offer tons of tutorials and I try to write them as if I were sitting there with my best friend going through each step. I add in all my dorky/silly comments to keep people (and myself) entertained.

What made you start blogging?
I started blogging for the fun of it! I have no idea why, but I certainly do have fun!

Who does your blog appeal to?
My blog appeals to people who like to craft or who have an appreciation for hand-made decorations.

What do you love about blogging?
I feel like ever since I started blogging, I am the new neighbor on the block who is welcomed with huge, open arms. The blogging world is so helpful and fun. I love that there are people out there who I might never actually meet in real life, but I feel like I've known them forever.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog in the future?
I hope to have a blog where people feel like they are listening to a close friend talk about her experiences in "decorating" her life. Whether it is moving to a new house, changing careers or having children in the future, I hope to make the most with what I have and "craft" my life and blog into a positive experience for me and my wonderful readers.

Please list 3 of your favorite posts on your blog.

Jute Monogram (also featured here on L.J. and Co.!)

Please share some of your favorite blogs with us.

Be sure y'all (that's a little bit of Texas in me) go visit Courtney and give her some comment love!
Thanks Courtney for being my Saturday Featured Blogger this week. It has been really fun getting to know you better. I love all of your projects! Make sure you grab an "I was featured" button from the left side bar!