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

July 27, 2010


So, I missed Tuesday Tidbits! Maybe next week. Instead, I thought I would share one of my favorite hobbies with you.

Websters Dictionary defines calligraphy as...

1 a : artistic, stylized, or elegant handwriting or lettering b : the art of producing such writing

When I was very young, maybe 10 years old, I found my mom's art box in the basement. Inside was a book about calligraphy, a bottle of ink and several dip pens. I used to sit for hours and hours at the kitchen table trying to emulate the beautiful writing in that book.

Imagine my surprise when 28 years later, I found the book again among my late mother's art tools.

This is the book.

When I originally found the book my mother told me it was from her high school art class which would have been in the 1960's. This book doesn't have a copyright date but I can tell you how old it is by comparing it to a book I bought back around 2000. See where it says fifth edition?

Here is the 23rd Edition!

Fifth Edition.

23rd Edition.

When I was 32, I took an actual class in calligraphy because I wanted to do my own wedding invitations. The lady was surprised at the fact I already knew how to hold the pen and do the basic strokes. She asked if I had ever done calligraphy before and I told her, "About 20 years ago!"

With my youngest starting kindergarten in 4 weeks, I am getting ready to dust off my pens. Here is a sample of my work...

A gift for my friend Gina.

A college graduation gift for my brother.

I am pretty critical about my work, so it takes several copies before I am satisfied. Which is probably why I don't do it very often. I am one of those crafters/artists who prefers instant gratification!

What about you? Do you do calligraphy? Have you ever tried or are you interested?

July 26, 2010

Mondays With Mom...

After giving it some thought and talking with a friend last week. I have decided that I just can't not write about my Mom. Writing about her helps me remember the good stuff and keeps her memory alive. So, I have changed Monday Musings to Mondays With Mom. I'll be sharing my usual quotes from Monday Musings on Tuesday Tidbits. (Thank you Chris for the cute names! :) )

This week I wanted to share a treasure my sister and I found while going through Mom's personal items last January. I take a lot of comfort in these hidden treasures. It is a poem she wrote on ledger paper. You can see where she has added numbers on the side, no doubt figuring her finances out. (Mom worried about money a lot.) If she really felt what she has written here, she was truly rich...

When I'm no longer with you,
And peace has claimed my soul.
Gaze upon my paintings,
smile and you'll know.
As I placed each vivid color,
A brush stroke here and there.
The pleasure that it gave me
is far beyond compare.

A son strong and witty,
two daughters fair as spring.
I leave them with my paintings,
to ease the saddening sting.
I'd show that I had walked here
and fulfilled every dream.

A woman painting pictures
was not quite what it seemed.
No one could know the way it
calmed my heart
and satisfied my mind.
To sign a finished painting
for someone else to find.

So gaze upon my pictures
and know deep in your being,
"She lived a blessed and happy life
for she left me all these things."


I mostly have pictures. Many of the paintings have were sold or given away before she passed. I hope they bless the recipients beyond compare.

July 25, 2010

Sunday Singing...

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

July 24, 2010

The Creations by Lanie Etsy Shop Has Something New...

The Creations by Lanie Etsy shop is slowly being restocked. I made some cute hand painted marble magnets and listed them yesterday. Here is a sample...

I will be listing some new clothespin magnets in the coming week too.

Yesterday, right after I listed the magnets, I was sent a message that one of the sets was included in an Etsy treasury! I have never been listed in a treasury. Woo hoo! You can see the treasury HERE. Some treasuries get picked to be on Etsy's front page. Imagine that!

Please take a look at the shop and if you see something you would like custom made in a different color scheme, let me know. I would love to work with you!

July 20, 2010

Making friends with my sewing machine...

Meet Zelda. She intimidated me for at least 4 months. Then my friend Aamie helped me conquer my fears and take her out of the box. Zelda is not a top of the line machine, but she is great for a beginner. To introduce me to her and get me used to hanging with her Aa assisted me in starting my first sewing project ever. I decided to to a bandana beach quilt. I got the idea from Robin at All Things Heart and Home. Go here to see hers and how she made it. In starting the quilt, we found that the bandanas are  not printed straight so we just decided to cut 9 inch squares and lay them out not worrying about the print because really, it was all about me making friends with Zelda.

I finished the top on Sunday...

After finishing the quilt, I was able to mend 2 pairs of pants where the seam had come loose (thus the blue thread in the picture of the machine). I think hubs thinks I rock! :)

In the next couple of weeks Aamie will be showing me how to quilt the back. I will just be backing it with a french terry material. Don't you think it will be fun for the beach or a picnic? Katie said it is too pretty to take to the beach.

Izzy has obviously staked her claim...

Happy sewing!

July 19, 2010

Monday musings...

Hello, hello! Surprise! I am still here! I'd apologize for being gone, but sometimes life takes precedence over my little blog.

This past weekend, I finally sorted through the boxes I received from Arizona containing some of my mother's stuff. I sent a lot of pictures of my daughters to my mother over the years. I never printed these pictures for myself and now, they have all come back to me. Scrapbooking should come easy.

I found the above picture of my daughters at ages 4 and 2 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo waiting for their pony ride. I just love how they are both standing the same. When I ran across the picture, I thought of my own sister and how now that Mom is gone, she is the only one on this planet who truly knows me. I am so thankful that my daughters have each other. There is nothing like a sister's love. My brother and I only talk about once a year. In the 10 years I have lived in Houston, he has visited once and that was for my wedding. Gifts arrive once a year at Christmas time and my youngest daughter last year asked who Uncle Justin and Aunt Liz are. Makes me more than a little sad. Of course I could make more of an effort myself.

Speaking of mom. I feel there is only so much I can blog about her and how I am missing her before people grow tired of hearing it. Same goes for real life. I just have to move on and sometimes find ways of working through the pain on my own. Some people don't understand, some might be tired of hearing it. But it is still less than a year and some days the pain of losing one of my very best friends, the person who knew me the most is just breathtaking.

Some weeks (like last week) I miss my mother so much that I can only focus on my family, creative endeavors are out the door entirely. And then it passes as quickly as it came and I am ready to go again. I am at that point now... ready to go again. I have been working on some new items for the Etsy shop and have some other items I received in my mother's boxes that I will be sharing over the next few weeks. Maybe telling a little more of the sweet memories will help.

July 8, 2010

Guest posting at Pure Joy and a giveaway!

Random Acts of Kindness
So? Have you been over to visit Jamie at Pure Joy for Random Acts of Kindness week? If not, then you should go there now!
Each day this week, Jamie is having guest posters and giveaways to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness. I'm over there today guest posting and giving away some magnets and notecards from my shop. My post is about how a friend has touched me in the past year with her RAK and some ideas I have for paying it forward.
Go visit and check out the previous days giveaways. Jamie started Sunday, so there are already 5 giveaways up and running!
In other news, I have lost my second camera in 1 year. This time to saltwater damage at our little island by the sea. If you have a tip for a very nice (but relatively inexpensive) point and shoot camera, I would really appreciate your input.
If I can figure out our giant Nikon today, I will update you on my latest project... cue drumroll... conquering the sewing machine! I have had a brand new machine in the box for about 4 months. Yesterday my friend Aamie (who you will get to know better in my post at Pure Joy) came over and we started me on a bandana beach quilt. It is a very fun and colorful quilt and I can't wait to share my progress with you!

July 5, 2010

Monday Musings... Worry

I have always been a worrier by nature. My Mama knicknamed me "the worry wart" early on. What did I worry about? Everthing! As an adult, I have lost most of my worry habits. I attribute that to the fact that I know now that I am not in control of every situation, God is. So when I start to worry, I start to pray. However, I do still have a tendency to let worry back in. Old habits die hard I guess.

Here are some quotes about worry...

"Every evening I turn my worries over to God.
He's going to be up all night anyway."
~Mary C. Crowley

“When I look back on all these worries,
I remember the story of the old man
who said on his deathbed
that he had had a lot of trouble in his life,
 most of which had never happened”
~Winston Churchill

“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry,
and one who has any faith in God
should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever”
 ~Mahatma Ghandi
(well then, what a reminder for me!)

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” ~Proverb

“If you can't sleep,
then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.
It's the worry that gets you,
not the lack of sleep.”
~Dale Carnegie

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind.
If encouraged,
it cuts a channel into which
 all other thoughts are drained.”
 ~Arthur Somers Roche

“Every tomorrow has two handles.
We can take hold of it
with the handle of anxiety
or the handle of faith.”
~Henry Ward Beecher quotes

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing,
why do you worry about the rest?" ~Luke 12:25-26

What about you, are you a worrier? How do you keep worry at bay?

July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July! And a fun week at Pure Joy starts today!

First, happy July 4th! I want to take this time again to thank the military men and women and their families for their sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Second, I wanted to give you all a heads up. My friend Jamie at Pure Joy is having a week of random acts of kindness. Also known as RAK week.

Random Acts of Kindness
She has ten guest posts and 7 giveaways this week to celebrate RAK week. Head on over and pick up the button above and display it on your blog proudly. Jamie has some surprises up her sleeve. If you have the RAK week button on your blog, you may be the surprised recipient of a RAK! So head on over and get your button and join us in some random and kind fun!

Have you tried Motivated Moms?

“Procrastination is the bad habit
of putting of until the day after tomorrow
what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
~Napoleon Hill

I am a procrastinator! Not an amateur one, a pure, bonified professional procrastinator. I am an expert at putting things I need to get done off. Particularly housework!

Last year, in the midst of suffering from lack of sleep that caused great fatigue I found Motivated Moms. I purchased and printed their daily planner and now have a basic checklist to make sure I am on track each day to do what needs to be done. There are daily items, the things you do everyday as well as a list of small tasks you can do each day to keep your house up. So instead of all day cleaning sprees (which are difficult with small children and if you are extremely tired), I do a little each day to keep the house up. My house is cleaner than it has been in some time.

Starting July 1st Motivated Moms have cut the price for a 2010 planner from $8 to just $4! It is a chance for you to try the planner out at a very inexpensive cost. I promise you will love it!

July 1, 2010

Friday Favorites (7/2/10)

I can't believe how fast the weeks fly by! It is July for goodness sakes! This week, I was reminded of why I love to blog. I dared to share in my Monday Musings earlier this week and I am so glad I did. I really was blessed to read the wonderful comments that you all left. Thank you so much!

On to the favorites. You will find after the crafty projects and recipes, I will start putting links to other posts that I love. I follow a good many blogs that have beautiful posts in general and I would love to start sharing them with you.

Other links I love...

As usual, if you have been featured today or any other Friday,
feel free to take an "I was featured" button.

Lanie J. and Co.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Summertime Ribbon Flipflops

Last week when I posted about my ribbon storage someone asked just what I did will all that ribbon? Some of it is used to make the clipboards in my Etsy shop. Some of it is used for cards that I make too. Yesterday, I decided to use some to make these cute, inexpensive flipflops for the girls. Actually Katie was able to help with hers (they are the blue ones). She had fun picking out the ribbon and tying it on. I think the flipflops were $2.00 at Walmart. Since we live in them all summer, I thought they would be cute.

To make them, simply cut your ribbon to the length desired and double tie them all the way around the top of the flipflop. Easy as that and a great way to spend time with the kiddos!

What are some crafty and creative ways you use your ribbon?

Edited to add... A dot of hot glue with each ribbon might be wise. Otherwise, your child will leave a trail of ribbon where ever she goes! :)