Sunday, June 27, 2010

re: help! it's close to 100%!

To: Julia Charlotte,
Help! It's three degrees away from being a hundred last I checked. The air is quite still. At least it isn't too humid but it is just so warm! I am trying to drum up energy to do some laundry and cleaning. God, could You please make it rain??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

re:from the kitchen

To:Julia Charlotte,
Too tired to really write tonight-a long and sweaty night at soup kitchen AND making dinner for a work-bee. This evening the chicken got ready late thus making the "customers" anxious and the kitchen atmosphere very intense to say the least. Ever try cooking while fending off hungry people pressing around and staying patient and focused?
No small feat!
And now I should get off my FEET!
Aided by Him,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

re: my bookshelf and a book giveaway

To: Julia Charlotte,
So last year I posted a picture of this bookshelf Lee made out of "rescued" pieces of lumber. I'd left it in its natural state and started loading it up.
Then around Christmas time last year as we prepared to move I decided it could stand some paint. Lee had paint that hadn't worked out for another project and so I used that. (redeemed paint?) It took more coats and time than I'd thought when I started! But when we moved into our new place it looked so nice,it was well worth it.
The bookshelf is in our diningroom along one wall, and gives the room a homey feel.
(The sign hanging on the bookshelf is a piece of our handmade paper and says "Sola Scriptura."
I will be posting a comment over on Crafty Crow in the book giveaway. It looks like a fine book and you might want to enter too! It could make a great addition to our bookshelves!

Monday, June 14, 2010

re:learning about bees

To:Julia Charlotte,
Lee is at it again. Trying his hand at and learning a new skill-this time beekeeping.
He and our sons are in it together,using the great outdoors as their classroom!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

re: living on deck

To:Julia Charlotte,

Since you wondered about our daily activities this summer, I checked. The answer seems to be that much time is spent outdoors and also "on deck" or out on our back deck!
We wash clothespins as evidenced above...
eat our breakfast....

more clothespin washing..

play with bowls of cool water out in the hot sun...

and read!
We do more than this but that is for another day. This letter is about long enough for today's post. We did enjoy hauling our musical instruments out there tonight, turning on the children's folk station on Pandora and having at it!
Must finish for the night... See you!

Monday, June 7, 2010

re: frugal but quality gifting

a mini purple quilt from a recent care package to my mom...thrifted in beautiful shape...
a quality mug I found on the free rack at a yard sale of quality items...

Gift giving is one of my love languages I think. Our family also has many gift giving occasions in our church family and our friends. Our gift giving budget is not equal to the amount of occasions if looked at from the typical American standard. And I refuse to give chintzy,trashy items that are almost surely doomed for the trash can. Soooo,what to do?

Well,I have a few tips.
When you find a good deal on an item you know would make a great gift for an upcoming gift occasion, try to purchase it and place it in your gift stash. In other words,think ahead to upcoming gifting needs.

Have a few nice emergency gifts on hand. (I feel pottery is lovely and lovely pieces can be found inexpensively at tag sales and thrift stores. Sometimes nice wooden pieces are found in these places also.)

Handknit, handmade, and lovely fabric bits can sometimes be found thrifted also.

Don't forget food! A couple large dark chocolate bars wrapped nicely make a quality but inexpensive gift. We sometimes find nice deals on these at bent and dent type stores. Or a jar of mixed dry beans, homecanned item with some raffia around the neck, a fruit basket or some gourmet tea or spice. Or a kit for pizza making, cookies etc.

Make freezer paper stenciled clothes, handmade clothes or items for the home etc.

A potted plant from the garden.
A vintage dish or game.
Know your recipient! This helps so much with gift giving.
PS: Don't forget coffee! Lee and I are usually happy with bags of coffee as gifts that support our sort of habit....I think there are others that would enjoy this too.
Well, there are some tips.
Just don't get me started on creative gift wrapping!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

re: embracing pain

(thistles, I routed from the yard a few weeks ago..)

To: Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking about pain or rather painful things. I am one to look for good and beauty. I do not like the painful side of life.
But I am happy to find in myself a matured approach as I also spiritually grow.
My natural inclination is to flee, hide from the difficult, pretend it isn't there.

But God is good. He has taught and is teaching me to embrace pain, to roll it around in my hand, to have a good look, to carry a lesson away from it. My Heavenly Father has given me a great gift. He has given me freedom and is teaching me fearlessness. I can do all things with Him by my side.

In His Love and confidence,

Friday, June 4, 2010

re: papermaking

dipping sections of screen into a bucket of slurryCovering the sections with plastic wrap....

rolling it out to a somewhat even level, heh...

here are some of the sheets drying in the sun

We used directions from this book, Earth Book for Kids.

To : Julia Charlotte,
Recently we tried our hand at papermaking. The results were lovely pieces of paper that are fun to use. We have seen seed embedded paper bookmarks that can be given as gifts.
We may try our hand at that next....!
During the process of papermaking it may seem a bit messy but it is really worth the energy expended! At least to me.
We enjoy making our own cards,probably quite ameturishly but at least we shoot for handmade, one (or two) of a kind cards.
I am thinking squares of homemade paper layered over natural looking cardstock could be quite lovely.
Also, maybe next time we could add bits of colored tissue paper to the slurry for a colorful effect?
What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

re:description of my backyard

To: Julia Charlotte,
The backyard here is amazing. Loads of mulberries, trees everywhere,little garden beds and a lovely deck.
Of course we have an abundance of mosquitos and somewhat of an abundance of shade for Lee, the gardener, but still.....
Tis a lovely spot to sit with a glass of hibiscus and ginger tea or a good book on CD!