Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Back in the day we used to

cook fried rice every now and then...
It's a great way to use leftover rice and veggies [and meat too - ]
  I wanted to give it a go with some brown rice... 
 
And I just happened to have some left over from this meal -
SO EASY: Season chicken thighs with seasoned salt and cook in 350* oven for about an hour. Meanwhile, put two cups of brown rice in the instant pot with 2.5 cups of water + a chicken bouillon cube - set for 25 minutes - let it naturally release for ten minutes then stir and eat. Add in some frozen broccoli cooked on the stove top with some cheese on top and you have a meal! Yum.
But I really wanted to share the fried rice with you -  
IT'S JUST AS EASY - 
I started with chopped carrots, a [small] sliced zucchini and yellow squash, and some frozen peppers and onions [a great thing to keep in the fridge.
I added, maybe a tablespoon of olive oil and cooked it all until tender.
Then I removed the veggies and added in some chopped [leftover] chicken to warm,
 along with the leftover rice... After it was good and hot I stirred in a beaten egg.
I kept stirring on high heat until the egg was cooked through. 
I stirred the warm chicken into the mixture as well.
Then I added the veggies back in - and a little sliced green onions on top.
Serve with a little soy sauce - 
 I'll just be honest and say that I ate every bite.
[Some for lunch and the rest for dinner 
while my sweetheart was out of town.] 
I love having all the chunky veggies in it!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Well. I've given up

on any chances of snow for the year - 
I've taken the wooden [fence post] snowman inside - 
and the ice skates hanging on the porch...
I've got these little bits of sunshine coming in it the yard 
[and the big ones too] - 
And I've seen forsythia and iris blooming down the street. 
Spring is an exciting time if new life...
Ready or not, it's here...
[Of course there's always the possibility of a March snow storm
 -- or even April -- 
in this crazy south where I live...]

Friday, February 17, 2017

I so enjoy the monthly faith art group

I'm in!
It's a great group that comes together and shares how they use their creativity in worship.

Each month I have a little devotional of some kind -  
And I try to share them here with you - 
Most times I'm inspired by scripture or a devotion I've read, but this month I found some art I loved [kind of reminds me of Christy's and Junelle's] so I searched for a scripture to go with it and found a wonderful devotional over at Porch Therapy Bible Study...
 
Here's the little hand-out for this month - feel free to copy and print full-size.
And you can trace if you want -  
It's a scan of what's in my Bible. 
 
Let's get started - 
As you can see here. I already had some things on the back of this page... So for the first time, I prepped my [Bible] page with WHITE gesso to create a bit of a barrier. 
[I also kind of love the way water colors look on gesso too...]
 
Then I used  my regular mechanical pencil to start sketching out my girl - a circle for the head... some rectangles for her body and veil... triangles for her crown...
 
I took a q-tip and smudged the lines a bit.. and started adding in some very watery blues... Note that I highlighted the verse [1 Peter 2:9] as well.
 
This is inspired by art from Tricia Robinson so I added in some reds and yellows as well.
When it looked a little too bold, I just added water to it so it would blend together a bit more... I also used a tiny little brush  with grey to define things a bit...
And I'll admit that I DID end up adding a bit of white acrylic to my page to cover some things I didn't love... But it's mostly done with these water colors...
I also used a marker to give the jewels on her crown a brighter color...
 
When I was happy with her I got out my trusty heat gun 
and made sure she was good and dry...
It's been 'round the block a few times...
 
Then I penciled in the letters... I actually started at the bottom and wrote backwards since I wanted the quote to be at the very bottom of her garment.
then I finished by tracing over the quote in pen and erasing the pencil lines...
She's a favorite,
And a reminder, for all of us...
  "I am the daughter of The King who is not moved by the world, 
For my God is with me and goes before me. 
I do not fear, because I am His.." 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A new year! A New Planner!

 A New Year’s Planner! 
Welcome 2017. 
Whew, I feel old. 
[Not really. But I think I am. Ha.]

Did I share with you all that I WON A PLANNER 
at the most fun scrapbook weekend evah? 
Yep. From Webster’s pages. 
[Side note: for the life of me I cannot remember where that photo was taken...]
 
So, while I’ve not used a three ring planner since the boys moved out 
[it was my One. Essential. Item. Back in the day that kept our lives on track…] 
I thought I’d give it a go.  
There’s pros and cons with this planner – 
but I am determined to use it keep track of my life in 2017.
 
Let’s just get the cons over with first – six holes, A5 style. 
It’s IMPOSSIBLE to go to my local paper supply and pick up papers for it. 
Luckily, I found an easy to navigate shop with lots of options that was reasonably priced. Yay for A Cherry on Top! 
Also con: It's a little small [one inch ring vs the 1.5 ring that 
I had in my binder back in the day -]
 
Also I refused to buy one of the pricier calendars and I hate the idea of putting little stickers on each date to create my own each month – 
So instead, I bought a cheapie at the local wal-marts and punched the holes myself. It’s working quite well, thank you. 
I also printed out my quote and verse for the year and put it right up front!
Side note: I love the little pockets on the inside!
So let’s take a look at that little weekly spread – 
First - I have this little book mark that I punched extra holes in so it sticks out the top a bit and helps me easily find the current week...
 I’ve also added in a little photo to the back of the tab.
This year I’m using the SN@P book marks [holes already punched!] from Simple Stories as my place for all the “To Dos” in my life [that week -] Work is on one side and personal stuff on the other. 
I may use other notepad sheets for this purpose throughout the year [got a cute Valentine's one at the Target Dollar Spot..]
 The dates have date-specific things written on them – and I also have a couple of reminder stickies that move from week to week [see first photo above...] 
I also have one tip card that has my weekly chores on the back… 
Can I just be honest here? 
Housework is something I NEED to have list to check off just to motivate me. Ha.
 
I’m documenting events, exercise, memory verses, happenings and fun things on my monthly calendar pages as they happen 
by  printing out small photos / meme, etc. each Sunday afternoon…  
It keeps it fun... and serves as a reminder of things I might want to scrapbook later on...
It might look something like this at the beginning of a month... and the subsequent months are a hodge podge of activities written in pencil because, hey, with my crazy life I have to be flexible. and the eraser is my friend. 
[Also - we have people in / out of our house checking on pets and things when we're out of town. Just sayin'. Ha.]
Now Let’s move on to the best part of having a planner this size – it helps me keep track of the things important in my life. In the past this little section was filled with tabs for each of the boys and their church / school / sports activities as well as tabs for my volunteer work [each year I would commit to ONE volunteer job at each school. Hey, I’m a working mom – but I do have liberal leave, so this was doable.] 


But! Back to my current planner – you can see some of my tabs.. along the edge. 
 Some of these are on cardstock 
[cereal boxes cut to size and covered in patterned paper – seriously.]
Here's some of the pages behind  'I am Determined' / Good Eats - 
... a place to keep up with my healthy eating.
[Still trying to add in those fruits... milk and oatmeal and tuna - ]
And some are pocket dividers with a tab put on them 
I have a couple of these that hold traveler's notebooks for Bible Study or Blog stuff...
I’ve got to share this idea from Cori [The ReSet Girl]:
 
She introduced me to top  tabs! 
And. I. Love. Them.
Again, for me, just product boxes cut to size,
 covered in patterned papers and a tab on top. 
My dividers are: Living Life [Side tabs: Beauty – A Good Book – Craftiness – Good Eats {calorie counting} – Health – In the Word – Prayer – Quotes]  

Family & Friends [Side tabs: Contact Info – Outings – Pets]  
Home [Garden – House – Lottie {remember her?} – Meals ] 
Work [County and State  Info]  and  
The WWW {World Wide Webs} [Blog – The List {passwords} – and lastly Orders] 
These are the things I want to keep track of – 
and be intentional about – in my life. 
Your tabs will be completely different.
 And that’s okay. 
It’s better than okay – It will be just right for you!
 I really do like having all my little lists and ideas in one spot that I carry with me daily. 
And it's fun to have a couple of places for photos as well!
While I spent the last year gathering and collecting lots of planner goodies I’ve found that, once again, simple is best for me. 
As you can see above, my weekly calendar is much less overwhelming if I have my lists corralled in one spot each week… 
I don’t need a different tip-in or goodie 
[cute as they may be – AND THERE’S A LOT OF CUTE STUFF OUT THERE] 
to remind me of what’s going on or coming up in my life.
 And I can use my multitude of scrapbook items to document on my monthly pages, lol.
So this is working for me. 
Right here. Right now. 
How do you use your planner / organizer / calendar?
Side note:  This is the only planner I have... It's my daily go-to calendar, not a scrapbook. Hubs also has a calendar to keep track of work, etc. We sit down together every few weeks and compare and share any upcoming events / appointments we might have...
We also have a calendar on our fridge so that we can easily see at a glance what is happening each month. 
It helps us live intentionally.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Always have something

to look forward to - 
That's kind of our unofficial motto - 
We like to plan.
And we like to go - 
Our calendars are already filling up with lots [and lots] of work travel.
We're in a fortunate place where the other one can sometimes tag along.
And having my best friend along always makes things better.
And while we plan BIG things we also plan smaller events too.
A couple of weeks ago I looked forward to having some time with my guys all week and that anticipation just made the days a little lighter somehow. 
[Even those cRaZy I-wonder-if-I-can-get-it-all-done days!] 
So that's my encouragement for today - 
Look at your calendar and plan some things - 
even if it's something JUST FOR YOU.
It could be as simple as having an ice cream treat, or mani-pedi, lunch with friends, or planning to be in the perfect spot for the sunset [or sunrise]...
I've got a few things out there that I'm looking forward to and I hope you do too!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Y'all know we've had an exceptionally

mild winter here in the South...
And while I'm secretly hoping for at least 
one big snow
I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen...
So I'm enjoying the spring flowers in and around our yard....
LOVE that the daffodils I 'transplanted' 
[as in dug them up, tossed them by a tree and threw dirt over them]
have bloomed out beautifully.
 
 They even stand up a little taller than their sisters in the bed across the drive... 
Could it be that they get a bit more sun?
This part of our yard is covered in trees...
And I can't say how much I enjoy seeing these lenten roses poke up out of the woods up the hill each year! I really do need to mark my calendar to remember to move some of them closer to the house in the fall.
They are definitely a reminder of spring...
and new life...
Hope the weather is good where you are!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Well... I have very little photos to share

with you today ...
But I do want to share a few things happenin' 'round the house this past month - 
First of all - I got ALL the Christmas stuff in the attic.
Go me.
Craig has replaced our faucet in the upstairs bath [SO not his thing] and it's amazing how much difference the little things make.  
Oh. And my shower head
It's a joy to shower again - my old one would barley dribble any hot water at all - so odd, because it would let the cold run - lol...
Who knows?!
He's also cleaned out his office a bit, and in my effort to live simply this year, I've cleaned out a couple of cupboards in the kitchen, have another stack of clothes ready to go to Goodwill, and have pulled out some crafty tools to put on an on-line yard sale.
[I didn't get much interest, so watch them here and there soon!]
I've also cleaned up my crafty space, although if you looked at it you'd think it still needed a good cleaning...ha.
Oh. And we changed the light in the stairway
Yes. 
We did.
 
 And we also changed the bulbs in the light over the kitchen table 
[but to be fair, it has like five bulbs, so it was still giving us some light...] 
I love this light. It was originally over the dining area - very mid-century modern jetson-like. And I knew I could never throw it out so we [and in 'we' I mean Craig] moved it over the kitchen table.
It feels good to mark some things off the list!

What are y'all up to?
 [Do you have an on-going house list too?]
With a house, there's always something...

Monday, February 6, 2017

This weekend we met up

with our boys at the 'half-way' point for some good Mexican food and conversation. 
Sure wish our girls could have joined us too!
Afterwards the oldest had scoped out an outdoor shooting range that wasn't too far away so we headed over there to visit and play a bit.
 
[And yes. My anxiety was on high-alert.]
But everyone there was very safety conscious. 
It was fun.
It's been a long time since I've shot a gun and fully expected a good deal of kick-back that I remembered [I'm sure it has something to do with what you're shooting - and honestly - I have no idea what I shot...then or now.] 
I was pleasantly surprised to find these easy to shoot. 
I got to try a few different guns, and while my shot was not ACCURATE, it was close... 
I'm good with that. 
And I was thankful they brought along ear plugs!
 Mostly, I enjoyed being with my guys on this lovely winter day!
What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, February 3, 2017

I've probably already shared all

of these on social media in one way or another - 
But I just have to say [again!] how much I'm enjoying my interleaved Bible! It has a blank page between each page of scripture so you can freely create without covering the verses. 
And. I. Love. It.
I"m not sure why... but I did very little work in my art journals last year, so it's been really fun to get back into whole pages where I can be creative in all kinds of ways. 
These pages are thicker than a regular Bible, but still a little thin for art journaling so I covered the page above with gesso, then some tissues from old dress patterns, then more gesso, before adding paint. [Just plain ole acrylics.] The words are from Illustrated Faith Print and Pray and diecuts... the stamp's from CitrusTwist [such great stuff!!]
 
I'm not taking any year long classes this year - 
But I am trying to embrace my thought for the year with quotes and scriptures.... 
This page is just paint, white alpha stickers and white pen...
I tried to paint a sunrise photo I took while 'on the road.'
 
And I'm going to try and keep up with the Journal 52 prompts [a facebook group that is full of artists from all kinds of backgrounds!]  I hope to complete each one in this interleaved Bible...This page has paint - alpha stickers - die cuts from Bo Bunny 'faith' collection and Illustrated Faith...
These [J52] prompts were 'strange' and listen.' This page has a print and pray from Illustrated Faith [really SO easy to download and print and use -] that I added paint to so it would look larger... then the cut-outs,  my hand writing, and alpha stickers...
 Speaking of the Print and Pray - there's usually a free devotional available on Sunday...
So, I've set another goal to dig into those each week and use this Bible to truly journal bit...
Above is the page in progress.. 
And here is the finished page... the only things I added to the Print and Pray were a strip of patterned paper to make another banner piece and the banner at the bottom.
Everything  else is from the print-out. I cut out one of the tabs so the word Sabbath would show through and taped it over the scripture [as a tip in so it can be flipped up] to highlight the verse. I'm not loving that glossy mod podge though - lol.
I hope these pages help you see that you can do whatever you want in your art journals, and that you can use art to worship our Lord.
If you have questions - please email me since I am so technically challenged I don't know how to respond to comments on my blog - ha.
Or you can find me on facebook or instagram @faithbasedpages