Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cleaning the Camera

Want to see what I did to my finger while trying to fix my sewing machine? Warning: Graphic photo of my sewing injury will open if you click the sign below... Not for the faint of heart!

Amazingly, I'm fine! No emergency room trip, no major pain meds. In fact, My nail has already healed and I am no longer wearing a bandage. The human body is pretty darn resilient. But I don't plan on testing that theory again any time soon!

In other news, this was an amazing weekend! On Friday evening Marc took me on a date to the Derek Webb, Marc Scibilia, Jillian Edwards concert at Common Grounds. It was so much fun! Here are some highlights.

On Saturday, we woke up early to go to the Baylor Homecoming Parade with our friends Lacey and Megan. Here are some pictures of our adventure!

On Saturday evening we chaperoned the FBC Elm Mott youth trip to the Corn Maze. The highlight of my day was scaring the poop out of three teenage boys in the "scary" corn maze. As we were walking along in the maze waiting for the next suprise, I suddenly screamed with all the ferocity my five foot frame would allow. They were terrified. Even after being "attacked" by a man with a chain saw, hearing screams from an abandoned bus and being chased by a goblin the team agreed that my screaming stunt was by far the scariest. These sixteen year old boys were quite literally shaking with fear!

I was pretty proud. The corn maze may have just found its newest seasonal employee, eh?

Our weekend was great! Sorry it took so long to post about it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From Shabby Vintage Door to Classy Headboard

Here is my latest transformation!



And After!

The headboard was pained a beautiful grey with a hint of blue to it. It is called Morning Mist, or something assonancy.
It was made of entirely reused materials, other than paint and hardware (screws and bolts). What do you think?

The Search for God and Guinness

The Search for God and Guinness, a book by Stephen Mansfield, begins with a brief history of beer and moves on to the specifics of the Guinness family and their influence on the world of brewing (and more).

The Guinness family story begins with Arthur Guinness, the patriarch of the family and the creator of what was to become a world-renowned beer company. Arthur, who had a passion for being an entrepreneur and a passion for beer, didn't just have a good idea (starting a beer company), but had a good idea at a good time. In fact, much of the Guinness story of success centers on the family being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of the political, economical and social climate in order to better their business, and arguably, their employees as well.

Mansfield's account of the beer giant is a moving story of the importance of family, love and philanthropy. As he weaves his way through the Guinness family line, Mansfield sheds light on several of the guiding principles that made Guinness the international success that it is today. It was interesting to see the pioneering way Guinness provided for his employees.

From complete employee health care, housing, education and other services to unprecedented compensation for day-laborers, the Guinness company of yesteryear was arguably the first "Google-type" caring company.

While Mansfield's tale of the Guinness clan is interesting and enlightening, I wasn't totally enthralled like I thought I would be. About half-way through the book he lost my interest. I think that this happened for several reasons.

One was that Mansfield's style switched from an intense focus on the Guinness family themselves to a loose focus on the family and a tight focus on Guinness employees who exemplified the "Guinness" character. After hearing about the work of Arthur and his sons, I was disappointed to find the focus shift to other employees. While Mansfield's book seemed designed to show the way God, kindness and the "spirit of Guinness" was alive and well in a modern company, the gradual digression away from the Guinness family and away from philanthropy in general, just left me feeling like Guinness is the same as "any ole company" out there.

The second reason I lost interest was that at the half-way point, Mansfield's tale began a series of distracting bunny trails. He continually jumped from one story to the next, often going backwards and forwards in history with little explanation or warning. At the end of chapters I was often confused as to who did what, and when. These distractions took away from the intended message of the book and left me feeling dissatisfied.

My final critique is that the title seems ill-fitting. While God is definitely a theme in the book, He is certainly not at the crux of the Guinness story. At most, I saw God as serving as a peripheral character, at least in the life of the beer-brewing Guinnesses. (For those of you who are confused, there is also a line of very religious Christian Guinnesses that also descend from Arthur Guinness).

All in all, I give the book a three out of five. If you enjoy history, if you enjoy biographies, if you like knowing random facts to enter into normal conversation, then this book is for you. If not, the book is still interesting and makes a great coffee-table conversation starter. I can't tell you how many times I was approached when reading this book in public places!

Note for Full Disclosure: While I do not receive any monetary compensation for my book reviews, I am provided with free complimentary copies of each book. That being said, this review is completely my own, and free from the influence of Thomas Nelson Book Publishers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little Tuesday Humor

I love this hilarious clip of a very creative group of high school students. Well done. May you laugh your socks off.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ten Things - Saturday Update

It has been a quiet weekend at the apartment. Marc is leading a 10th-12th grade guys Discipleship Now group this weekend (complete with two overnights), so I have been caught between enjoying the quiet and missing my hubby.

I accomplished quite a lot today! I fixed my desk! I am also working on organizing it right now. I know it is late, but when the inspiration strikes I go with it! I also painted the "numbers" on the top of my stool. Now I need to get some stain to finish off that project.

I took a trip to the local Salvation Army today and found a great glass canister. I swiped it for only $1.00! I was pretty excited. I am using it to hold the new batch of homemade laundry detergent I made today. It was fun and easy. I'll let you know how it works on our clothes when I get around to doing laundry. :)

I also picked up two canvases that are pink and black patterned prints. I thought I could paint over them or make message boards to give as gifts. They were only $1.00 each! In addition to the canister and canvases, I picked up a ceramic bird. It was a hideous green/blue, but I quickly repainted it with spray paint from Lowe's. The paint was only $.99!

While I was painting the bird, I also painted my clock (so I can fix it), my pink basket and some random branches from our tree outside. The branches are being used as fall decor in a big vase in our dining room.

That is it for now. Pictures will definitely follow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ten Things Update!

In an effort to be successful at this 10 Tasks challenge, I have decided to add a few items to my selection list. I guess it is kind of like making your list of things to do after you already did them, but this is my blog, so it goes by my rules!

Here are a few more projects that have been hanging around in my mind gathering cobwebs.

1. Organize my crafting area and clean the desk.

2. Make a color recognition book for Syler.

3. Make crayons from old broken crayons.

Good additions, huh? I knew you would think so! And surprise, surprise, I finished two of these last night!

Last night I put together the color recognition book for Sy-Sy and even made him some pumpkin shaped crayons from my old broken crayons. Some of the new crayons even have a little glitter in them from old glitter crayons. I'm sure the Richardsons will love that!

I'll post pictures later, my camera battery is D-E-A-D. (That just means really dead.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Challenge...

I have taken the challenge. I pledged to complete 10 tasks in 10 days. Here are some of the things I have been wanting to do. I'll just have to pick 10 from this list!

1. Make a burlap banner. Don't worry, it won't say "Boo," probably something more like, "Celebrate." Then it can be used for general celebrations, birthdays, dinner parties.

2. Make a bigger stuffed Scotty dog out of the new, cheap fabric I bought. It is charcoal gray fuzzy felt and it screams "Please make me into a stuffed dog!"

3. Switch out my bobbin to the brand new transparent thread I purchased for 1/2 price. This is the lazy sewer's dream! I NEVER have to switch the bobbin and thread unless I want to! I'll let you know how it works.

4. Use some of my fun Amy Butler fabric for a project. Quit saving it for that non-existent "dream" project, Carrie!

5. Make that sign for our dining room.

6. Formally invite the Waco crew for Thanksgiving Dinner at our place this year.

7. Make some of these nifty bookends. Sorry, I don't have the link for this anymore. I remember seeing these in a store and Googleing it.

8. Repaint the clock and put it back together.

9. Fix my desk so the drawer stops sagging.

10. Touch up the paint on our dining room chairs (they are black, but I want to touch up the paint in some places and distress them in others. Something like this but a little less obviously distressed...)

11. Paint numbers on the dining room chairs. Like this? Marc said that numbers are only okay if we do them creatively. He is thinking of putting pi on one chair, square roots on another, etc. Hey, I can handle an eccentric take on a modern decorating trend! :) Especially when my hubby suggested it.

12. Distress the brand new stool for our "bar" area. What do you think of this treatment? I wouldn't do a number...maybe a letter, or maybe "Have a seat." or "Stay awhile." Thoughts?

13. Start a new embroidery project.

Hopefully this will help me kick start my creative juices and get me back on track with crafting again! I have been on an unintentional crafting hiatus for a few weeks.
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