A Lesson Learned From Art Class

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I made a mistake!  Oh no!  And it's too late to fix it, what should I do?

I was loving how everything was turning out on my paper.  In art class the other day we all got to play around with watercolors. The flower I was painting was slowly taking shape as I added on each layer.  An idea came to my head.  My flower needed outer petals.  I dipped my brush into the red and mixed it with some white until I had the perfect shade of pink.  Without much thought I placed my brush on the paper and painted more petals.  

Let's just say the picture I had in my head is not what happened on the paper in front of me.  I tried to make it work.  I added more paint and  then I tried to get rid of the extra paint.  Nothing worked, I messed up. 

Refusing to just push aside this piece as a mistake and try again I took out my pens and attempted to save my work.  I blended the pink colors into a background wash and added pen to make the flower stand out.  It worked! 

The painting didn't end up how I had originally planned it to turn out, but overall, I love how this piece turned out.  I couldn't resist adding a simple quote with hand lettering!

My art teacher even came over and commented on my work.  But the first words that came out of my mouth as she looked at my piece was; "This was a mistake."

She quickly told me that it was not a mistake, nothing in art is a mistake.  It may not have turned out how I wanted it to turn out, but it wasn't a mistake.  She pointed out how I was able to use my creative mind to solve the problem and still create a beautiful piece of art.  She also said if I keep trying to get the desired effect I will only get better as I practice.

Encouraged, I went on to play some more with my watercolors.  I painted more flowers and landscapes remembering to keep in mind that as I explore with art I'm not messing up or making mistakes, I'm making art.

As I reflect on the dilemma I had with my flower painting, I can't help but see a life lesson to learn from this experience.  So often in my life I find myself in situations that are similar to my messed up piece of art.   

My life is like the painting on the paper in front of me.  As each day goes by a new layer is added to the painting.   I make choices for my life each day.  I have dreams and hopes.  I have an idea in my head of what I want the painting to look like whens it's done.  

But, let's face it, things happen and my life takes an unexpected turn.  Maybe it's a season of pain, or heartbreak.  Maybe it's a prolonged season of waiting.   Hard times come and I start to wonder what happened to the beautiful picture?  It was turning out just how I wanted it to, but now...  The brush suddenly slips, the paints spill on the canvas, the beautiful painting is no longer perfect, it's messed up.  I made a mistake.

What my teacher told me about my artwork is true of my life as well.  There is no such thing as a mistake.  Maybe my life isn't turning out how I want it to turn out, but I must never allow myself to forget Who holds the brush.

God is the painter, I am a the painting.  God doesn't make mistakes.  When God has me go through hard seasons in life I can trust that He knows what He is doing.  Even if the painting looks like one big mess right now, I'll just keep trusting God.  I know that in time God will turn it into something beautiful.

Fall is Here Again!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall is almost here!  It's only six more days until it's official!  This week the weather has been amazing.  Cooler weather has finally arrived and I don't ever want it to leave. Whenever I go outside I look around and see that the leaves are already starting to fall.  Oh, fall, how much I love you!  I'm so glad you're back.

Fall actually isn't my favorite season.  But it should be, haha.  I always say that spring is my favorite season, but I LOVE fall so much too.  Of course it's partly due to the fact that I'm just so ready for the summer  to be over so I always welcome fall with open arms.

You know what's absolutely crazy?  I haven't even had my first pumpkin spice Latte yet!  What!?!?!  Haha! Now that it actually feels like fall I think a trip to Starbucks is going to be in order soon.

Oh, I'm so happy.  Today I wore a my cozy plaid shirt and spent some wonderful time outside enjoying the crisp air.  It won't be long before I can start wearing sweaters, scarfs and boots again!

Usually I can't wait to wear my fall boots.  I believe I even had a post once about my boot obsession. Well, it's funny how a year can change you.  This year I could care less about my boots.

During the summer I invested in a new pair of sandals.  I say invested because I bought myself a pair of Chacos which were about $100.  Yeah, I'm not joking.  I've heard so many good things about the Chaco brand, not to mention all my friends had a pair.

But these shoes are seriously the best!  Not only are they cute and go with every single outfit, they are unbelievable comfortable.   I can stand for hours in them and my feet don't hurt.  And when summer includes lots of water adventures (rafting, canyoneering, backpacking) these are the shoes to bring.

Now that summer is coming to an end it is time to transition to fall. But I still plan on wearing my Chacos every once in a while, haha

Anyway, Happy fall! I hope you're enjoying the cooler weather :)

When God Says Wait

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"

God says wait.  Wait for Him and have courage.  But the last thing my heart wants to do is wait.  For so long God has been telling me to wait.  It's hard not to get tired. I desire to find out what is waiting for me behind all this waiting.

But God says it again.  Wait.  I know I have to listen.  

The hardest part about waiting is constantly having to put my dreams on hold. Everyday I am always reminded that time is ticking by and I'm still here waiting.  I have dreams, so many dreams...the last thing I want to do is wait.   

I need to be reminded of the truth; my God has bigger plans for me than my dreams.  Even though I don't know how much longer God will have me wait, I know it will be worth it in the end. 

I used to think of waiting as a bad thing.  A set back in life.   I still struggle sometimes with this thought.  I tell myself;  "I should be out their chasing my dreams, instead of here waiting".  But the problem is that I forget who I'm waiting for. I'd rather be waiting on the everlasting God who holds my future in His hands than aimlessly trying to chase my dreams on my own.   Not to mention that each day I spend waiting for God I'm learning to rely completely on Him.

Okay, God, I'll wait.  

You know what, when I look at waiting with this perspective, it's not that hard anymore.  It's actually exciting.  

So here's to waiting!  Thank you God for this season of waiting on You and for using it grow me closer to You. 

I will be strong and take courage and I will wait because my God is going to do great things for me :)

Belle's Pocket Tutorial

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I have to say, the pockets turned out so much better than I expected and they were so easy!  As soon as I finished the pockets and added them to the skirt and apron the costume looked so much like Belle!  It made me so happy!

What can I say,  I'm really proud of the pockets.  Not just because they turned out great, but because I pretty much made them from scratch. No pattern and I even painted the stripes onto the fabric by hand!

I could not find any fabric when I went shopping that matched Belle's pockets. Luckily the pattern on Belle's pockets was simple strips so  I decided to paint the stripes onto the fabric myself. 

I used acrylic paints because that was the only paint we had in the colors I needed.  I cut out four rectangular pieces of cream fabric. The pocket that has red stripes is smaller than the one with blue stripes.  

This was a new experience for me, painting the pattern on the fabric instead of buying fabric that already has the pattern. I turned up my music and started painting away.

After I finished painting the stripes on the pockets I sewed the pocket pieces together.  I'm sorry I don't have many pictures of the progress. 

Basically I looked at the picture of Belle's pocket and did my best to re-create it. I cut an opening in the pocket big enough for my hand to fit inside (I only cut one opening on one side of each of the pockets, not both sides) and then created binding from the red fabric I plan on using for the vest.  I  sewed the binding on over the raw edges.

Lastly I sewed the pockets onto a thin strap, just like I did for the apron.  As you can see the pockets are not separate, they are both attached to the same waist strap.

There you go!  The pockets are done!  I absolutely love them!  I am going to be making myself more of these amazing pockets for my other historical costumes!

A New Dream

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What a crazy summer it has been for me!  It definitely did not go how I planned, haha.  Life is hard sometimes and I've had my share of hard days this summer.   But I also had my share of wonderful days!  My favorite part of summer was spending quality time with my family; which included going backpacking and hiking.  Most of all though,  I'm overwhelmed by the amazing God we serve and each day He is showing me how much He loves me.

But guess what!  God spoke to me this summer!  For years I have been praying to God for direction for my life.  I've been content to take each day as it comes and God is always faithful to give me what I need for that day.  But I've never really had much of a goal or plan for my future.

After I graduated high school (In 2014, sheesh, that was awhile ago, lol) I never took the college route.  Mainly because I didn't know what I wanted to pursue.  Well, now I finally know what I want to study.  Today I had my first class in Early Childhood Education.

I have always loved kids and I enjoy doing childcare for friends.  God has put it on my heart to work with kids and love kids.  I have a passion for the little children in God's kingdom and I want to serve God by loving on these little ones.

I'm so excited to be taking the next step in following God and I can't wait to see how He will use me! It's never to early to dream!  And God's timing is always perfect!

It's official!  I'm a college student!

Making Belle's Skirt and Apron

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Finally I have found the time to continue working on Belles blue dress from Beauty and the Beast. The skirt and the apron are probably the easiest parts to make out of the whole costume so I thought I would combine them in the same post.  

Since I have made so many skirts and aprons in the past I didn't need to use a pattern.  I simply cut out my fabric and started sewing.

I absolutely love how my skirt turned out!  I love the fabric I chose so much!  The only thing I would change about the skirt is I used a little to much fabric.  It is a very full  and puffy skirt with all the gathers I made.  But other than that, the skirt turned out wonderful.

In the picture below you can see how I made a button enclosure for the waistband.  I was only planning on using one button for the waistband  but my waistband ended up being longer than I wanted it to be (which seems to happen to me every time I make a skirt).  To fix this problem, I added an extra button and overlaped the waistband until it fit me perfectly.  I actually love how the skirt looks with the two buttons.

When I hemmed the skirt I made sure that it was only a few inches shorter than the underskirt. I tried on the skirt with the underskirt and I love how the stripped pattern of the underskirt can still be seen. When you pull up the underskirt it really starts to look like Belles outfit and I know it will look even better after I make the bloomers for underneath.

Now onto making the apron.  I really don't have much to say about making the apron.  If you have a pattern for making an apron, that's great, but if you don't aprons are super easy to make without one.

I cut out a big rectangle of the fabric and hemmed the sides and the bottom.  Then I simply gathered it and sewed it onto the waistband/strap.  Make the apron strap extra long so you can tie it in the back.

And that is all I have for now.  This costume is finally starting to take shape!  I'm so excited!

How to Make Incredibly Easy Iced Coffee (when you don't have a coffee maker)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Growing up, coffee was not allowed in the house.  I actually believed that it was forbidden to even drink that stuff.  I didn't really care though.  It was a mystery to me that people even liked this horrid smelling drink. Not only liked it, but craved it.  

I remember the day I gave in and had my first coffee.  I wanted to like coffee so bad but however hard I tried I wasn't craving it, and I still hated the flavor.  Well, I kept trying to like it and you know what?  It worked!  Not only do I like it, but I sometimes will catch myself craving coffee.  Especially iced coffee.  Not sure if this is a good thing to be proud about or not.  

I've learned that multiple trips to Starbucks can start to add up.  Even if the Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato is worth the extra dollars (oh my goodness, that drink is just...AMAZING), I don't want to go broke because I buy myself coffee too much.

Since my parents still don't like coffee  (I still think they would prefer me to think that it's forbidden), we don't have a coffee maker.  But we do have ground coffee.  But how do you make coffee without a coffee maker?  It's actually really easy.  I've tried a few different ways and I'm going to share with you my favorite way.  I learned this super easy method to make coffee at a camp I work at in the spring.   

First thing you need is coffee grounds.  Take you coffee (about two tablespoons is one serving size) and put it in a small pan with about 1-2 cups of water.  Put it on the stove and heat up the water. It's important that you don't let it boil.  It will ruin the flavor.  I always forget and turn away for one second and come back to find my coffee boiling.  Let the coffee stay on the stove until the coffee grounds have all sunken to the bottom.

Onto the next step.  Line a strainer with a coffee filter and put it over your cup (or a whatever container works best for you).  Pour in your coffee, grains and all. Wha-La!  You have coffee!  Wasn't that easy!

But it's a very strong tasting coffee and if you love that kind of taste than good for you, but I still can't stand my coffee without a sweetener or cream.  To sweeten my coffee I always add about a spoonful of sugar and a splash of vanilla.  If you add the sugar while the coffee is hot it will dissolve better. To make your coffee iced simply pour it over ice. 

Lastly add the creamer of your choice.  I don't do good with dairy.  I love dairy but it will give me a headache if I have too much.  For my creamer I use coconut milk.  I seriously think coconut milk is better than normal milk in so many ways.

And that's how you make yourself a refreshing glass of iced coffee when the craving come.  I can't guarantee this method will make your coffee taste as good if you had a coffee maker but it's easy and it works great.  

Now that I know that coffee isn't forbidden, haha,  I enjoy making it occasionally.  It is a refreshing drink on a hot day.  Or an energy boost when your to-do list seems to go on and on forever.  Or, this one's my favorite, something to sip on during a long road trip.

And now you know how easy it is to make!

Climbing Mountains

Monday, July 24, 2017

Have you ever climbed a mountain before?  It isn't easy.  But I can guarantee you that the climb will be worth every step.  Once you finally make it to the top you will be rewarded with a spectacular view. Nothing can compare to the feeling you get as you take in the view.  Standing there, on top of the world, if only you could stay there forever.  The feeling of accomplishment sweeps over you as you realize that you have just conquered the mountain.

In life we have mountains we must climb.  I have had to climb many mountains in my life and I don't even want to think about the ones I still have yet to climb.  Some mountains are small, but some are huge.  But God is so good.  He is always right beside me and helping me climb.  

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

If you ever feel like the mountain God has placed in front of you is daunting remember that God promises to always be right there with you.  He says He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Even when it feels like you are all alone, or when the you have no strength left; God is with you.

As I said before, it isn't easy climbing a mountain.  The whole time I was climbing I was huffing and puffing.  My legs ached and sometimes I needed to stop and rest.  The only reason I was able to keep going is because I have been training myself.  I have been preparing myself by climbing smaller mountains so that I can tackle the bigger mountains.  Without this constant training there is no way I would have been able to climb such mountains.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

Did you know that God has given us all we need to climb the mountains we face?  He gave us His word.  It's our training manual.  God's word gives us the strength we need.  It will guide us as we climb our mountains.  But if we neglect God's word it won't be long before we find ourselves exhausted.  The mountains we face will soon consume us.

Always remember, the view that awaits you at the top is what keeps you going.  As we are climbing we can't always see what awaits us at the top.  All we see are trees and shrubs.  Not very pretty or breathtaking.  But we have to keep pushing on until we reach the top.

The mountains God has us climb, we can't always see the outcome.  Sometimes it's scary not knowing what you are going to find.  We may be tempted to give up.  But once we get to the top, trust me, the things you will see will be worth every step.  We may glimpse more of God's glory.  The climb will be worth it because we will see how God used this mountain to show us more of His purpose for our life.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Whatever mountain you are facing.  Don't give up.  Stay in the Word and keep climbing.  I promise you, the view will be worth.

How to Keep Your Succulents Alive

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How hard can it be to keep a plant alive?  All you have to do is remember to water it and put it in a sunny spot, right?  It can't be too hard.  I have recently found myself obsessed with succulents so I decided to buy myself a bunch and plant them in some cute containers I found at the thrift store.  

All was going well until I realized that my once healthy succulents weren't doing well anymore. They were dying!!!  The honest truth is I don't have a green thumb.  First off, I've never been into plants but now I know that plants must not like me either.  You'd think succulents would be the easiest plant to keep alive.  If you forget to water them, no big deal, right?  Yet, here I was killing my poor plants.

The other day I finally did something about my succulents.  I replanted them, gave them some love, and am hoping that they will keep growing and be healthy again with the proper care.  

If you are like me and don't get along very well with plants but love having plants for decoration purposes; here's three simple steps that I've learned will keep your succulents alive.
  1. Make sure you have proper drainage!  If your container does not have holes on the bottom you can add holes.  Also putting rocks on the bottom of a container doesn't work.  Trust me, I tried.  The soil never drained and I basically drowned my plants. 
  2. Don't over water them!  If you have proper drainage it's okay to soak the soil until it's completely wet.  With succulents the key is to only water them when the soil is completely dry.
  3. This one may be obvious, but it's still important.  Don't forget about your plants!  I kept forgetting about my succulents until I noticed them starting to wilt. One day I even woke up and found one of my plants had snapped off at the stem and fallen out of the pot.  I'm going to blame the cat for that one, I mean, my skills with plants really can't be that bad?  
I'm no expert when it comes to plants, but I'm learning through my mistakes. Yet if you follow these easy steps I can at least promise you that your plants will stay alive. I just hope it's not to late for my little guys to come back and keep growing strong and healthy. 

God's Plan for Your Life

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The day was slowly coming to an end.  After a wonderful Bible study with some sweet Christian girls my age I headed to my car for the drive home (which actually is my Dad's car since I still don't have my own car, hehe).  Each week we've have been meeting to study the book of Jonah and I always leave this study feeling so blessed. My mind was bursting with new truths from God's word as I turned the keys in the ignition and shifted into first gear. Cruising up the highway towards home I tuned into my favorite Christian radio station (K-love), singing my heart out to all of my favorite songs.  My heart truly was full and I couldn't keep myself from smiling.  God has been so good to me by giving me this Bible study.

The song I was singing along to soon ended and then the speaker came on the radio to talk for a little while. Instead of switching stations (which I usually do) I listened intently to what she had to say. She shared something she had read in a book that said; "If we could see all the that God has planned for us it would boggle our minds."

I don't know if it was because I was in the right mood, or because I've been struggling in this area over the last few weeks. But the truth of that statement hit me good and hard.  I couldn't stop saying amen to the wonderful truth of this simple quote.  It's crazy, but I found so much peace when I thought deeper about what that quote means for us.

God has a wonderful plan for me, and for you.  Even though we can't see it, it is a beautiful life He has created for us to live.  If we could see all of it we would be overwhelmed at how amazing God's plan is for us.  All the struggles and pain we go through would make sense to us because we would see the ultimate outcome.

Just knowing that God has a great plan for me.  A life full of so many blessings I can't even count them all!   A life that is so amazing I can't even imagine it!  That is all I need to keep my focus on God and to keep trusting Him everyday.

Even though I may have to walk through some storms,  including the storms I am facing right now,  I can rest assured that God is using it all for His good.  Every single detail of my life plays an important role in God's beautiful plan for my life.  If I could really see everything that God has planned for me I know that it truly would boggle my mind. 

God really is good to us.  Oh so good!  And He only wants the best for you and me.  I'm going to trust Him with my life, will you?

Making Belle's Underskirt

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I'm sorry that it has been awhile since I last posted. I was really trying to post more but things always happen that I have no control over. That's life though.  So much has been going on in my life and to be honest I just needed a break.  But I'm finally feeling like life is back to normal again and I'm once again falling back into routine; which means all my free time is spent with my sewing machine :)

First things first.  I decided that the first thing to make for Belle's dress is the underskirt.  I love making skirts because in my opinion making a skirt is a lot easier than making a blouse. I'm saving the harder pieces of her outfit for last.

To start I found the perfect fabric at the local craft store (Joanns).

I almost didn't have enough fabric so I had to be a bit creative in how I cut the fabric.  I made the skirt with three tiers and with an elastic waist band.

Belle has a coordinating fabric underneath the underskirt that you can see when she tucks her skirt up.  I added my coordinating fabric to the last tier of the underskirt and then hand-sewed it onto the back of the skirt.

After I finished the skirt I really didn't like the bulky elastic waist band.  I decided to add one more tier to the skirt and gathered the second tier to that tier.  I still used elastic for the waist band.  As you can see in the picture below the waist band isn't as bulky anymore. Problem solved!

Now that the underskirt it done I can't wait to make the skirt.  Slowly but surely this costume is coming together ;)

My Summer Project

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When I first heard about the live action Beauty and the Beast I could not contain my excitement.  I grew up on the animation, it was one of my favorite movies, and now they were making a live action of this beloved movie.  When it came out I planned an outing with my friends on opening day to finally see the long anticipated movie.

I loved it so much!  Of course, just like most movies, there were a few parts I didn't care to much about but this post isn't a review so I won't go into details.  One aspect of the movie I absolutely loved was all the costumes.  I felt like it was a feast for my eyes taking in all the amazing costumes.

Each summer I usually pick a sewing project to work on so this summer I decided to make one of Belle's dresses.  But which one should I make? I could never do her yellow dress. Yellow just isn't my color and I'm still not sure if I like her yellow dress from the new movie.  It just doesn't feel like the old dress, it feels to modern.  But her blue dress on the other hand.  I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.

This outfit is amazing! I love all the separate pieces that make this outfit. The apron, the pockets... I even plan on making the bloomers Belle wears under her skirt.

Last week I picked out fabric for the dress.  It took a while to find all the right fabric but after much searching I was able to find just the right pattern for each part of the dress.

I can't wait to make this costume!  This will officially be my second cosplay (technically my third if you count the Hiccup cosplay I made for my brother) and my first Disney cosplay! As I work on this dress I will be taking pictures of the process and I plan on posting a tutorial just like I did for my Astrid Cosplay.

I'll say it one more time, I'm very excited about this project!  I can't wait to start ;)

How To Love God

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How do you show someone love? Isn't love just something that comes naturally? You don't have to put any thought into it, it's all about how you feel, right?

Yes, I guess love can be feeling, but it's so much more than just a feeling. When you love someone how do you show them that you love them?

By serving them. By learning all you can about them so you know what pleases them. Spending time with that person and communicating well with them.

So love is actually an action and the feeling comes with the action. With this in mind how can we love God? We can try to chase after the feeling of being loved by God but when days come when we don't feel the love we will be confused and find ourselves left alone and discontent with our life.

As we purpose each day to meditate on God's word we are showing God love. When we spend time studying God's word we are spending time with God and we can learn about how we can please Him. The beautiful thing is that as we do this, God will fill us with the love and joy we long for. But we must follow through with the actions and trust in God and He will supply the feeling.

To love God is to love His word. 

It's truly a beautiful thing when we can learn to love God in this way. I want to be like the psalmist in psalm 119:97 when he cried out saying "Oh how I love your law, it is my meditation day and night."