Monday, May 30, 2011

Flower Power: Embellished Lampshade

Creativity clears the mind. So in an effort to clear my own, I indulged in a bit of fabric flower deliciousness on Saturday.

I drooled over the positively adorable flower tutorials that the lovely Emily, from Jones Design Co., offered several weeks ago during her "flower week." I couldn't wait to fire up the hot glue gun and get in on some flower fun of my own. Now that school is over, I'm dying to to get my craft on.

I made lots of fun flowers but here's one to share for today.

I followed her great tutorial and made a giant flower to embellish this sad, lackluster lamp. The base I've had and the shade was a $2 or $3 number from Ikea.

I think it's super cute. I hot-glued a few beads to the center. Now I can't help smiling every time I walk past it.

Sort of makes me want to add ginormous flowers to every plain thing within sight.

See how layery and dimensional it is?

Embellishment can become habit-forming.

Go check out all of Emily's great and simple tutorials for everything from fabric flowers to embellished tees. She's a genius.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life on the 'Line...

I am not naturally patient. I tend to tap my thumbs on the steering wheel restlessly as I sit in a drive-thru line. When I'm loading kids in the van, it feels as if I'm herding turtles: "C'mon, hurry up. Get buckled."

So when my clothes dryer broke a couple of months ago, my response surprised even me: "I'm getting a clothesline."

We nicknamed the dryer we'd used for ages "the fryer" when it began singeing and shredding our clothes sometime last summer. By November, I was fed up and I gambled on an inexpensive replacement for it, an $80 refurbished Whirlpool from a guy who sells fixed-up appliances in his used tire shop. It lasted 3 months.

Refusing to buy yet another lemon but not having the cash on hand to purchase something reliable, I uncharacteristically looked at the bright side after my neighbor told me how much she loves her clothesline. "Alright," I reasoned, "It's spring. It's warm. It's breezy. I think a clothesline will be swell."

I've already learned a lot from drying clothes in this vintage, unhurried fashion. Some days present perfect clothes-drying conditions and our heavy knits are dry within an hour, crisp and fresh and bright. Other days the air is still and stagnant. Clothes remain damp and not so fresh. I swat away gnats and hope I'm not standing near any fire ants.

Perfect days that get that job done and not-so-perfect days that are burdensome and seem to yield nothing...that's what life is like on the 'line. And that's where I live right now.

I don't boss the weather or stir up the air or tinker with the humidity. Someone else does all of that and I simply accept what is. I'm glad for the days when I can dry 2 or even 3 loads to perfection. And I have no choice but to simply accept the stagnant and unproductive days.

This current life of mine feels just like that; every day is a gamble. Some days I make great strides...God moves and does and I rejoice. I finish the day feeling like that perfect load of laundry: complete. Other days, progress is slow if at all and I get mad, wanting the Wind-maker, Life-changer, People-healer to hurry up already.

But God is showing me grace and communion in the slow. Instead of that quick toss from the washer to the dryer, I spend a good 15 minutes shaking out towels and Spiderman underwear and grass-stained jeans, clothes-pinning shoulder seams to the line...unfold, shake out, clothespin, repeat. It is slow and rhythmic, laundry as liturgy, my face to the sun. I've begun using the time to pray and think and escape the rivalrous kid voices that I can still faintly hear through the walls.

Who knew that a busted-up clothes dryer could help heal a soul?

As I tend to other things, the clothes wave and flap and I've determined to never take breeze for granted again. Amazing how something I can't see or touch can get the job done if I'll just be patient.

So much of life is beyond our control. Trying to make His will bend into ours will forever be futile...sort of like trying to boss the weather. I'm learning, ever so slowly, that there is rest for the soul who gives up control, who trusts in the One that blows the wind enough to get the job done in a day and who also has purpose in the seemingly stagnant and undone.

Because in His time {and rarely in ours} the job will get done. God promises in His word that He will complete it. And He has never broken a promise. Never. But in the meantime, the waiting time and trusting-in-promises time, there is sweet communion as we rest, hope and keep lifting our faces to the sun.

...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. {Philippians 1:6}

I've been a little absent from here lately. It's been over 3 weeks since my last post and in blog time, that feels like 3 years. I've missed this place and I've missed all of you who come by and visit. Lord willing, the words are coming back and my fingers long to type away again and to find fellowship here. I have sure missed it.


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