Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beauty Through Strength

What makes us strong?
  • Relationships?
  • Confronting a fear?
  • Saying good-bye to a loved one?
  • Facing those dreaded numbers on the scale?
  • That proud walk back to the locker room after a workout?
  • All of the above!
What makes us beautiful?
  • Holding  your chin up and shoulders back to prepare for the fight of your life.  Whether that's a relationship that needs mending or the strength to move on.
  • Being scared to death, but you saddle up anyway! (Thanks John Wayne!)
  • The tears that are shed as you say good-bye to that one person that loved you, supported you and taught you how to laugh at yourself!
  • The numbers!  And tomorrow, the number is smaller and the next day even smaller. 
  • Sweat!  I may not smell pretty - but I feel my best when my hair is saturated, face is red and legs are feeling a little like mush.
  • All of the above!
As I battle my "Marriage 25" and the wonderful diagnosis of "Venous Insufficiency" I'm having to put aside all my cute wedge shoes, flip flops (only those with zero support), anything with a heel and find a shoe that's comfortable AND stylish.  I'm beginning to think that's a combination that doesn't exist. I don't care what you say, Velcro is NOT stylish! And...let's not forget the ever-so-fashionable compression knee-highs that I have to wear. 

Today in the heat, I'm trying to improve both my wardrobe and shoe collection and came home with alphabet stickers for another craft project, ink cartridge for the printer, black tank top and feeling anything but beautiful.  

And then it happened.......I browsing through a hairstyle magazine and admiring all the latest and greatest ways to get your hair did.....and it jumped off the page.....Beauty Through Strength! 

You mean all those life events that I've faced and conquered, makes me not only strong....but beautiful? Ladies....We hold our heads higher, walk with purpose, talk with confidence and yes, sweat......... because we've achieved beauty through strength! (And for me....a wonderful husband that tells me I'm beautiful every day!)

I do have one question though......Why why why can't a designer make that cute top in a size slightly larger?  For some, that top with the pastel butterflies is just lovely.  Or, the Capri pants with the bedazzled beading along the side. But for me, not really my style.  This is why I only came home with a black tank top.  It made me want to enhance my sewing skills.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Got scraps? Make jewelry!

Sometimes I find myself needing to visit Michael's or Joann Fabrics just to browse or touch the fabrics.  On my last trip several weeks ago, I stumbled on a deal!  This entire bag of really cool paper scraps just jumped right into my cart! 

I loved that there was a variety of paper thickness as well as really cool prints, colors, etc. 
I do love paper!  I love note cards, stationary, decorated, just doesn't matter.  I love it!
Along with my paper addiction, I'm attracted to little metal gadgets and gizmos that make jewelry creating interesting. 
While shopping at my local Ross store, I found this little life saver!  $5 on the clearance shelves and another item that just found its way into my cart.
As soon as I saw it, my creative wave links started moving around and I couldn't wait to get home.

I didn't really know what to call them so I kept saying "little lovlies" until I could think of something better.  I think I'll stick with it.

The step-by-step creation of Little Lovlies.......

The hardest part is picking out only 5 of your favorite pieces of paper!  But, once you do, layer them on top of one another, making sure to even up the edges.  (I picked the thickest piece as my back piece just so it will stand up better).
Pick five (5) of your favorites!

Now, because the edges are already pretty even, I eye-balled cutting the rest, but if needed, measure and using a light pencil mark, draw your cutting lines on the back of your bottom piece of paper.  Cut through all layers at once. (Don't stress over being exact - I actually prefer if everything doesn't match up perfectly).

Remember to save your scraps!
Now I get to use my handy-dandy gadget I purchased for $5 @ Ross!  
Cut a hole one one end of the square stack of papers.  Eyeball finding the center of one end.  Make sure you come in about 1/8" or so.

I used the largest setting to cut out the circle/hole and give it a little Umph! when squeezing it so it will cut through all the layers of paper.  And, you might have to turn over the stack of papers and cut from the back too.

Right side is 'finished'- Left side is 'unfinished'

For this Little Lovlie, I've selected a copper grommet.  But, as you can see there are also black, silver and gold grommets too.  Can you see the hint of copper on the top piece of paper?  This will be perfect.

Push the copper grommet through the stack of paper from the front side.  You'll want the unfinished side to show on the back of the paper stack. (see below).

Unfinished side will show on the back side
Carefully place the paper and grommet on the head pin of the gadget (I really don't know what it's called - but that sounds good!).  Make sure the finished side is up before squeezing the gadget.

Finished side of grommet is UP

Now both sides are finished!

Now both sides of the grommet are finished and should have a smooth edge all the way around. Almost finished..........

Remember you have five (5) layers of paper and you want a little of each layer to show.  So....leave the back layer as is and with each layer moving forward, tear off just a little bit from the bottom.  Gradually tearing a little bit more with each piece.  Tip:  If you tear in little baby tears and use your fingernail as your guide vs one big rip, your lines will be straighter.   

This is just a little larger than actual size.

You are finished!  Well, at least with your Little Lovlie you are!  Here is an idea of what you can do with it and some other varieties as well. I already have a handful of different ideas to do with some artwork by my grandchildren and leather!  Have fun!

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