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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lil' Bluebird

I searched for a pattern to make this shape bird to match my logo, but I couldn't find one that worked.  So, I set out to create one of my own.  I think he turned out rather cute.  The bird would make a cute garland strung together on a ribbon.  Would also be a really cute mobile for a nursery.  

Lil' Bluebird
Size I Hook
Caron Simply Soft
ch - chain
st - stitch
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
slst - slipstitch

Row 1:  Magic Circle, ch 3, dc 14 in circle, slst in top of ch 3,
Row 2:  slst in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st. *dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, repeat from * 3 more times to beginning of row (first slst).
Row 3:  ch 1, 2 sc along edge of last row (along dc), *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * 6 more times, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, *dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, repeat from *1 more times, 1 dc in ch 1 beginning of row, tie off, weave in ends.


Row 1:  Magic Circle, ch 1, 10 sc in circle, slst in top of ch 1.
Row 2:  ch 1, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, hdc in next, sc in next 2, (hdc, 2 dc) in next st, 2 slst along edge of last dc, sc in next 2, hdc in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, slst in next, tie off, weave in ends.

Attach yarn to center of front, ch 1, hdc in next st, tie off, weave in ends.

Use tiny black button or 1 french knot embroidery stitch.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cultivating Joy

I discovered that happiness and joy are not the same thing.  How are they different?  Happiness is the physical reaction to events surrounding us, a state of well-being, whereas joy is the inner emotion, spiritual effect that is accompanied by truth and peace.  We can have joy and not feel happy.  For a long time, I did not understand this.  I thought my joy was a reflection of my happiness and that if I didn't feel happy then how could I be joyous. 

I had a fabulous weekend visiting my two girls.  This joy-thing seems to be following me wherever I go.  While we were shopping, I glanced over at a stack of watches and the one that caught my eye was jeweled with the word, guess...JOY!  Then, I attended my daughter's church for the first time and, would you believe, they are teaching on how to have joy unspeakable.  It's amazing to me the timing.  I made a conscious choice to seek out this joy a few months ago after reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts

There are a number of ways that we can have this unspeakable joy.  One of these ways, I found out this weekend, is that we cultivate joy in the waiting.  God planted the seed of joy in's a fruit and we have to cultivate it. 

I find myself in a time of waiting and I didn't even realize that that was exactly what I was doing.  I've been cultivating joy and have discovered that no matter how bad I feel, I can be joyous! 

When times are hard, we look to God.  When we look to Him, we find hope.  He is our JOY.  While some may say this just isn't true...they have not experienced true joy.  They have not experienced what faith and confidence in Christ can give them.  I know that through hard life, I am not alone...
...there is One that walks beside me always.


3 Gifts Opened Up
167.  Eyes to see all the blessings
168.  God's word
169.  A heart open to love God and others

170.  A bright day to enjoy outdoors
171.  All the bright colors at the gardens
172.  Petals blowing in the wind

173.  Trickling water
174.  A mom's day
175.  A mad daddy goose and a momma on her nest
176.  Beautiful pathways
177.  A message that speaks to exactly where you are at

3 Gifts Reflecting
178.  Geese on water
179.  Spring trees around a water's edge
180.  A daughter's happy smile

184.  Kitty head butts
185.  Unexpected call from a long-distance friend

3 Gifts Fragile
181.  A mother's heart
182.  Our very lives are fragile...each breathe a gift
183. New dreams

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.          Galations 5:22-23

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge

John and I finally got a chance to find this Missouri State historic site.  It's been on my to-do list for forever.  It's early spring so the trees have not yet leafed out, but it made for easier viewing of the bridge.  Planning a trip back for a different look in a couple weeks.  We ran into a nice young couple who told us how to get to the creek edge...that's them sitting on the cliff.  The water was low so I was able to get down right on the edge of the water.  Don't think we could do that now with all the rain and flooding we are having.  And love this photo of the little boy walking his dog with grandpa!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Arrives

Here it is finally...the sun close enough to warm the earth, to make the days longer.  We are in our Spring and it's wonderful.  The trees are opening and the flowers are popping their little heads through the ground, reaching for the warmth. 

Every day I, too, reach for the warmth, grow a little stronger as He fills me with peace and joy.  I know it is a gift, each day.  I'm learning to appreciate the little things.  My eyes are opening to all the mercies as I count each gift.  I wonder what this season will bring...

new beginnings,
new possibilites,
new dreams. 

140.  Two lives entwined in marriage
141.  Redemption
142.  Resurrection
3 Gifts of God's Promises
143.  His saving grace
144.  To be with us always
145.  That Christ would rise in order to redeem us all
146.  Gift heard-Easter message
147.  Gift held-my husband's hand
148.  Gift hoped for-Easter with the sun shining
149.  Custard-filled donuts
3 Gifts White
150.  Frosty boy
151.  Puffy white clouds
152.  Pages in a book
153.  Smell of flowers in the air
154.  An incredibly large hawk that landed in the trees behind our house
155.  A new branding style that may work for all my business endeavors
156.  Daffodils

157.  New businss
158.  Time to relax
3 Gifts Waited For
159.  A new Desktop computer
160.  Springtime
161.  Warm weather
162.  My husband walking through the door every evening
163.  Phone calls from my girls
3 Gifts Blooming
164.  Our new lilac bush
165.  Tulips are just beginning to bloom
166. Crabapple trees

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easter Weekend

The kids came home for Easter weekend, which was a really good break for me.  Got away from the computer and business related stuff and just had some fun family time.  Ari talked us into going to our favorite BBQ joint down in the Soulard area, Bogart's.  They have some pretty awesome BBQ.  If you've never been, you really must try.  After lunch, we took them to Laumeier Sculpture Park and walked off some of that great meal.  We went to the Saturday night Easter service which allowed us to sleep in and relax Sunday morning.  Later that day we took a walk down along the river.   The weekend turned out to be really nice with the sun shining brightly on Easter morning!  That was really a gift because the day before I commented on how it just doesn't seem right that it should be dreary or rainy on Easter, a day we celebrate new life and new beginnings.  We sure wish Beki could have been here with us.  Being her first holiday away was not easy for me and I hope she knows how much she was missed.
I didn't carry my camera with me this day, so I ended up using my cell phone!

Ummm....oops, didn't see this one until it was too late!! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Etsy Shop

The Shop is finally ready to go online!!  Visit Dear to my Heart Photography and Props to find photography prints and canvas wall art as well as cute baby items and props for photographers.  I don't have nearly everything listed yet.  But, new items will be continuously added, so check back often.

If you like what you see, consider sharing the shop with friends and family.  Feel free to share via Pinterest, Facebook, Blogs, email or any other media.  Thanks so much for your interest and support.  I will be sharing soon what children's agency I want to sponsor.  So, know, a percentage of your dollars will be going to support children! 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chia Smoothies's a balmy 55 degrees here in the midwest!  Is it time for smoothies yet?  John and I have been coming up with ways to add Chia seed to our diet.  And in the midst of trying to lose weight for this summer's beach vacation, I came up with a non creamy version of smoothy because if anyone knows my husband, he will not drink anything dairy.  I did manage to sneak in a little flavored yogurt, which he isn't minding.

Fruit Smoothies
Combine in blender:
8 oz. flavored yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice (milk if you prefer more dairy)
3 Tbsp. honey or agave syrup
1 Tbsp. Chia seed
Blend well, honey tends to clump in the frozen ingredients.
1 cup frozen strawberries (if whole, cut up)
1 cup ice cubes
1 banana or 1 cup frozen blueberries
Blend until smooth!  If too liquidy, just add more ice or strawberries.  Serves two.

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