Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- It's been good.

I almost let the last day of the year slip by without a blog post to mark it. But then I noticed some of my sweet friends doing posts and thought it would be a beautiful experience to write my own on the last day of 2011. :D

First, a neat picture I snatched that perfectly captures the changing tides of these years...

This year, I.....

  • Became a better blogger! My total of posts for this year (including the articles I wrote for MOHL) is 102! Counting this post. :D Last year I only wrote 34 posts for Julia's Journal, mostly due to my old XP computer that didn't work very quickly.
  • Got a new very cute laptop that helped greatly in becoming a better blogger, email-er, and writer.

  • Nearly finished my novel, Lissie, set in Jane Austen's Regency world and with a similar but completely different plot line than Miss Austen's works. (I almost finished it this year, but I'm not quite at The End yet... but I'm only about 5 pages away, which is pretty close!) I'm very excited about it and have lots of ideas for the sequel swimming around in my mind.

  • Went to two beautiful weddings, my cousin Kristen's on January 1st, and my friend Lauren's on December 3rd.
  • Learned of two delightful engagements, my cousin Katie and my friend Allison H.
  • Crocheted an ENORMOUS - thing. For Katie's wedding present. :) I will share pictures of it after I give it to her... don't want to spoil the surprise. :D

  • Became even closer to my infinitely sweet friends in the group of MOHL writers! They are the sisters I never had. The weekly IM chats we've started doing refresh my soul and make me laugh so hard that tears run down my cheeks. There's nothing like Godly sisterhood.

  • Improved my homemaking skills!
  • Enjoyed fresh produce from our garden all year long!
  • Hid under my bed while my parents butchered our first batch of meat chickens. ;)

  • Went to the GHEA convention, and ran a booth in the exhibit hall for my jewelry and ebooks, which was such an amazing, thrilling, tiring, enriching experience. Met so many nice people that I don't even remember them all - sigh.
  • Began regularly homechurching again with a great group of friends 30 minutes away from us.
  • Found more fun blogs to follow and read! A list might be forthcoming.

  • Discovered Perry Mason! ;)
  • Started reading the "At Home in Mitford" series aloud to my family in the evenings, and reading the Bible and discussing it for a short time every morning at the breakfast table. I have so enjoyed this and I feel like my family is more closely-knit than ever... such a warm and cozy feel! It's truly wonderful.

  •  Turned 20 years old in the lovely, fresh month of April. :)
  • Gave my bedroom a stunning makeover to celebrate my birthday. Thanks for doing such a stellar job on my curtains and pillows, Mama!

  • Watched a million (or so) movies with my brothers. :D Love you guys. I am so glad I have brothers who enjoy an intelligent movie (like a Jane Austen) as much as a just-for-fun one (Like Cars 2)
  • Helped abovementioned brothers sort their vast collection of lego bricks by color.
  • Went to see Courageous in the theater! (It was awesome.)
  • Improved my frisbee skills with a lot of practice and sweat and dirt, spending quality time with my brothers and our friends up in P.T. city.
  • Read a bunch of books, finding a few new favorite authors and a few authors I didn't care for. Dee Henderson was one of the authors whose books I liked tremendously, especially the Uncommon Heroes series about Navy SEALs.

  • Drew a little closer to God, for which I am unutterably grateful and thankful.
  • Began rising earlier in the mornings, and discovered I get much more done in the day when I do.
  • Went through 2 months of Daddy not having any work, and learned to trust that the Lord's provision will always be there for the things we really need.
  • Kept scribbling in my current little real-life journal, continuing the record of my life thus far that I started at age 11.
..... And did many other things that I don't have room to share. (Well, technically I do, but super-long blog posts get a little old...)

Winter is here, but so far it's been mild. I am looking forward to the coming of Spring, and yet knowing there are some hard days ahead sprinkled among the easy ones. January's frosts and February's cold winds are coming, but so are March's blossoms and April's soft breezes.

 Next Year, I'll....
  •  Take my driver's license test on January 10th. And finally be able to go places and run errands on my own. A sobering, yet exhilarating thought.
  • Go to three homeschool conventions to sell my jewelry! I'll be in Spartanburg, South Carolina for the Teach Them Diligently convention, Atlanta, GA for the GHEA convention, and North Carolina for the NCHE convention. If you're going to be at any of those, I'd love to meet you!
  • (hopefully) start going to a ladies' gym with my mom. We're still waiting to decide on that, weighing the pros and cons.
  • Play some more Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Visit my Grandma in Florida
  • Get to meet my sweet friend Rachelle in person! Still working on the hopeful details of that, but I am praying 'extra hard' for it to work out.
  • Participate in the His Word in Our Hearts challenge that Meditations of His Love is doing this year, all year!
  • Read more,
  • Work more,
  • Laugh more,
  • Love more,
  • Live more.
I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be another beautiful year.
 Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FUN Literary Tag

I found this tag over at Austenitis and immediately knew I had to try it!
I'm so glad I did, it was SUCH fun!
You should try it too.

First name 12 literary characters and then answer the questions.

Okay, so here are mine...

1. Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)

2. Polly Milton (Main character in An Old-fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott)

3. Doctor Dolittle (the Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting)

4. Robin Hood (The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood)

5. Rose Campbell  (Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott)

6. Black Beauty (haha, it doesn't say the characters have to be human)

7. Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
8. Emma Woodhouse (Emma)

9. Reginald Bridgewater (One of MY literary characters in my novel... Lissie)

10. Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables)

11. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes books)

12. Cynthia Coppersmith (from the At Home in Mitford series by Jan Karon)

There, that looks like a fun group of people! I tried to pick a really random assortment to see what unusual adventures would ensue. :D But like Charity suggested, you could do 12 characters from a Jane Austen novel, or several of her novels, or all Anne of Green Gables characters! It would make the results totally different.


1. Who would make a better college professor, 6 or 11?
Black Beauty or Sherlock Holmes? Uhhh... well, Black Beauty is a horse. So anybody would make a better college professor than him... but wow, Sherlock Holmes would make an awesome college professer! I want his class! "Deduction and Observation" ;)

2. 12 sends 8 out on a mission. What is it? Does it succeed?
Cynthia Coppersmith sends Emma Woodhouse.... to.... try and make a match for her with Father Tim, but Emma only ends up muddling the poor priest's mind and frightening him away. But thankfully we all know what happens in the end. (That is, if you've read the At Home in Mitford series)

3. What is, or what would be, 9’s favorite book?
Reginald Bridgewater! My character! Hmm... well, despite his impulsive, outgoing temperament, Reginald is actually quite intelligent and well-educated, so he reads well even if he would rather be riding his horse over the beautiful grounds of Swanwick Hall. I think his favorite book would have been one of Miss Austen's novels, since they were published during his lifetime... probably Northanger Abbey.

4. Would it make more sense for 2 to swear fealty to 6 or the other way around?
Again, poor Black Beauty can't speak the King's English. But then again, I have a hard time imagining the sweet, sensible Polly Milton swearing fealty to a horse. I think Black Beauty would have sworn fealty to Polly, especially if she was his dear owner.
5. Number 5 is looking for a roommate. Should s/he room with 9 or 10?
Rose Campbell would definitely room with Diana Barry over Reginald Bridgewater. Actually, I think Rose and Diana could have been fast friends.

6. 2, 7, and 12 are going out to dinner. Where are they going, and what do they discuss?
Polly, Willy Wonka, and Cynthia Coppersmith? Hmmm... They don't have much in common! I think they would go to the Wonka factories and dine on chocolate soup... and they would probably discuss candy, as it would be everywhere and I can imagine Willy Wonka dominating the conversation... ;)

7. 3 challenges 10 to a duel. Who wins?
The amiable Doctor Dolittle would never challenge Diana Barry to a duel! He was too much of a gentleman! But he would have won, because Diana would never have picked up a sword... she'd have fainted first.
8. If 1 stole 8’s most precious possession, how would s/he get it back?
Hahahaha! I cannot imagine Mr. Darcy stealing anything from Emma Woodhouse. But since her most prized possesion would be Mr. Knightley... Emma would probably pay a ransom to get him back, since she was very wealthy.
Or then again, perhaps she would have just taken careful aim...

9. Suggest a story title in which 7 and 12 both attain what they want.
Wow. Willy and Cynthia again. I think Cynthia wants a happy life with Father Tim, but what does Willy Wonka want? An heir to his chocolate factory? A golden elevator, instead of a great glass one? *thinking...* THE GREAT GOLDEN ELEVATOR, inside of which Cynthia is proposed to by Father Tim. Wow.... can't get much odder than that, can you?

10. What kind of plot device would you have to use to get 1 and 4 to work together?
Mr. Darcy and Robin Hood? *Swoon*
Well, Mr. Darcy would need a time machine, or Robin Hood could find the fountain of youth and live until Jane Austen's era... and then they team up together riding the countryside on great black horses wearing sweeping capes, searching for Elizabeth Bennet and Maid Marian, who are imprisoned in a tower owned by the Sherriff of Nottingham... ;) Hey, sounds good to me!

11. If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would it go?
Willy Wonka? I suspect I would gain weight if he brought any of his delicious chocolate with him. And he's a little weird for me to spend that much time with!
12.  If you could command 3 to perform any service or task for you, what would it be?
Doctor Dolittle - Well, I would dearly love to know how to speak the chicken language so I could communicate with ours. I would ask him to teach it to me. Although, come to think of it, they seem to already understand me.....

13. If 2 had to choose sides between 4 or 5, what side would s/he choose?
Polly Milton choosing between Robin Hood or Rose Campbell? Well... since she and Rose were both created by Louisa May Alcott, she would probably pick Rose.

14. What might 10 shout out while charging into battle?
Again, I really cannot imagine Diana Barry charging into battle! Unless Anne Shirley was leading the charge, in which case she might cry "Anne, let's stop imagining this now, you'll tear your dress!"

15. If you had to choose a song to best describe 8, what would it be?
Emma Woodhouse. Hum. This is hard. Perhaps "I'm not who I was" by Brandon Heath? Emma being no longer a busybody and matchmaker? It's a stretch at best.

16. 1, 6, and 12 are having a dim sum at a Chinese Restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left , and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets it?
Mr. Darcy, Black Beauty, and Cynthia Coppersmith? Goodness, I have no idea. I suppose Black Beauty, the other two would have had better table manners...

17. What would 5 most likely be arrested for?
Rose Campbell? The soul of innocence? Probably for being an unknowing accomplice to something her mischeivous cousins had done.

18. What is 6’s secret?
Black Beauty... Hmmm. I can't think what. That he actually prefers oats to barley mash?

19. If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?
Sherlock Holmes and Reginald Bridgewater! "The Game's Afoot, my dear Reginald." I think Sherlock would probably win as he's so experienced at chasing down badguys, especially if they were racing through London. But Reginald is definitely a man of action, nonetheless.

20. If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, who would you be more comfortable walking with, 7 or 8?
Willy Wonka or Emma Woodhouse? Both would be practically useless... I guess Willy, he might have some kind of secret candy weapon up his sleeve, like a gun that shoots exploding gumballs.

21. 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4's sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them,but it is later discovered that s/he is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fiction?
Mr. Darcy and Reginald Bridgewater (My stars, what a handsome pair) team up to save the world from Robin Hood (GUFFAW - actually, he did have a secret organization, the Merry Men).
Sherlock Holmes volunteers to help them, (His help would indeed have been invaluable, I can't see Robin Hood evading Holmes as easily as the Sherrif of Nottingham)
...but it is discovered that he is a spy for Robin. (Hmm, come to think of it, he had a sympathetic streak, did Sherlock. He might have seen Robin's side of the issue.)
Robin Hood kidnaps Cynthia Coppersmith (Oh dear! But just the thing to spur Father Tim to action, at last...) Following the wise advice of Rose Campbell (Who must have been acquainted with Doctor Dolittle... maybe he was friends with her seafaring Uncle Alec) They seek out Doctor Dolittle.... who gives them... um, a translated message from a deer living in the Greenwood forest, who tells them the whereabouts of a secret glen where Cynthia is hidden?
Sheer craziness, but so enjoyable to imagine. Now, for a title...

THE ZANY ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, as related by Doctor John. H. Watson.

My Secondary Jane Austen Character Quiz Results

I get Elizabeth Bennet as my answer when I take a Jane Austen personality quiz, but when I took a quiz on which *secondary* character I was, I was rather surprised...
Julia's Result: Jane Bennet
on quiz: Which Jane Austen Secondary Heroine Are You?

You are Jane Bennet of Pride and Prejudice! Sweet, loving and compassionate almost to a fault, you have great difficulty in seeing anything but the best in people. You are quite five times as pretty as any of your sisters and most definitely your mother's favorite. You want to marry for love and not money, but somehow you manage to catch the eye of the richest bachelor in the neighborhood. How on earth did that happen? :)
Quiz MakerTake this quiz & get your result

Actually, I do look like her, in that picture anyway. :D Especially the flyaway wisps of golden hair around the face. I've looked up into the mirror to see those many times.

But I would have to say that I am not as sweet as Jane. My temperament is not so good and angelic, but neither am I quite that gullible. :D

It is quite true that I am five times as pretty as any of my sisters... for I do not have any!! Lol! I think it would be quite easy to say that I am prettier than my brothers... for they are handsome, not pretty.

But on the results, I was actually 43% Jane Bennet, 32% Jane Fairfax! :) Who'd have thunk? The remaining percentages were small increments of the other possible answers on the test, the least small being 12% Charlotte Lucas... because I can be calm like her sometimes if I put my mind to it. ;)

If you take the quiz, let me know who you get! :D

Also, there is a giveaway over at A Butcher, A Baker, A Candlestick Maker! It ends at midnight December 22. And she's having a feminine fashion week, you should check out her modest outfits! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Writing Day, All Day

I'm thrilled to be writing all day today with my dear girlfriends from the MOHL blog! We've set aside today to just write! I am hoping to actually finish my novel today! We'll see how that goes. ;)

Oh, and I found these and just HAD to share. You know all of those "Keep Calm and Carry On" signs around blogworld? Check these out.

YES! :D I especially love the 'calm' colors in the above pic.

While this one might be more difficult to achieve, some of us might be able to swing it. Lol!

I've been on an Austen kick recently. If you're not an Austen fan, I should be posting other things soon. (But if you're not a fan of Jane Austen, all I can say to you is... what is your problem?!?!?) :D

Off to write! Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Jane Austen Tag and Birthday Card

Calling All Jane Austen Fans!!!

I am participating (albeit late) in Miss Dashwood's blog party over at Yet Another Period Drama Blog!

First we have, for your reading pleasure, my answers to the Jane Austen Tag questions.

1 - What was the first JA novel you ever read, and who introduced you to it?
Actually, my very first introduction to the wondrous world of JA was the shorter Keira Knightley version of P&P. Which, at the time, I thought was great! I loved the costumes and the story was amazing. Now, that movie is one of my least favorite adaptations. My childhood best friend Rebecca Y. and I watched it together, it was her movie.

The first book I read was.... naturally... Pride & Prejudice. :) My mom had a paperback copy that we'd owned for years, and I finally read it when I was (I think) 16. It might have been age 15. I'm not sure. :)

2 - Which is your least favorite JA novel, and why? (Everybody posts about their favorites... I want to know what's at the bottom of your list!)
Dear me! It's so hard to choose my least favorite, as I like them all. Hmm...

3 - Who do you think is the funniest character JA ever created?
Goodness, these are great questions. I think my top 3 choices would be Mrs. Jennings, (whose portrayal by Elizabeth Spriggs in the 1996 S&S was simply hysterical!) Mr. Bingley, (Crispin Bonham-Carter from the long BBC P&P was the best) and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. Although Henry wasn't quite as 'funny' as he was witty and amusing. :D

4 - Which JA villain[ess] do you love to hate?

Oooh, there are many whom I really love to detest. I'll share three. :D 1. Mary Crawford would have to top my list. I really hate how she turns Edmund's head through 80% of the book. 2. Fanny Dashwood (ugggghhh!!) possibly the worst sister-in-law in literary history, and 3. Elizabeth Elliot, Anne's older sister, who wasn't a villainess, per se, but soooo annoying, pretentious, preening, and proud! She's perfectly awful in all the movie adaptations.

Of course the infamous W's, Willoughby and Wickham, are fun to despise too. :D (Ohh, and I cannot stand Mrs. Elton!!) Sorry. That was way more than one. ;)

5 - What's your favorite JA quote?

I have a t-shirt that reads "'There is no enjoyment like reading' - Jane Austen" and that is one of my very favorite quotes. :D I also (like Miss Dashwood) love the first lines of P&P.

6 - If you were to "start" someone on JA, which book would you recommend to them first and why?
Pride and Prejudice, for obvious reasons. :D It's really the most clear-cut, classic Jane Austen story. But they're all good! I would recommend Persuasion and Emma next, then Northanger Abbey, then Mansfield Park. :D

7 - What is your absolute favorite JA film adaptation and why?

The BBC (Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth) version of Pride and Prejudice comes in first, because I find it the most faithful adaptation to the book - which is the first qualification a movie adaptation has to pass, for me, to be really good. :D
I also loved the Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller BBC version of Emma. Although Emma really wasn't my favorite heroine, (And Romola was just a bit too giggly and undignified to really be Emma) That adaptation really fleshed out the complex plot and backstories in a beautiful manner.

8 - If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of JA's novels, which would it be and why?
While I would absolutely LOVE to see a new Pride and Prejudice with a Jennifer Ehle-esque Lizzy and better music than the BBC version (it reminds me too much of a foxhunt in places) I think I would choose Mansfield Park (Which nobody, of course, has 'gotten' even halfway decently, my favorite old BBC version has become outdated) because it deserves to have a good movie made of it! Also, I would re-film the Felicity Jones PBS Masterpiece Northanger Abbey and cut out some of the "Oh my WORD!" scenes that were so objectionable and not even insinuated in the book.

9 - Which JA character do you most identify with?

Do you know, I have absolutely no idea. I would say Elizabeth Bennet (for actually, I love to read, can be sarcastic... :( working on that... and am critical of humanity, in general, also I suspect I have a small degree of wit) except that everybody seems to think Elizabeth Bennet is the quintessential PERFECT woman. Which I certainly am not. I do get her for results when taking JA personality quizzes, though.

Otherwise, I have slight Marriane-ish tendencies, a little of Anne Elliot now that I've reached the ripe old age of 20, and a dash of Jane Fairfax.

10 - If you could have lunch with JA today, what question would you most like to ask her?
*gasp* I would love to luncheon with Miss Austen!! I would like to ask her about the novel I am writing, inspired by her stories, and ask her opinion of it. I wonder if she would approve, or think it a cheap imitation? Also, I would desperately like to ask about the Mysterious Seaside Romance, which I just learned of through Miss Dashwood's blog... but I fear she would think me impertinent.

11 - Is there any one thing that you think could have been improved upon in one (or all) of JA's books? What is it and why?

Hum. Well, they were all nearly perfect. I do agree with Miss Dashwood that the proposals could have been better. Also, I would have preferred just a tad more story after the weddings in nearly every book... especially Emma!

12 - If you could have lunch with one of JA's characters today, who would it be and why?
I think I would have to choose Elizabeth Bennet. I think we would be great friends. :) But it would be fascinating to meet Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley.

I loved doing this tag! Thank you for putting it together, Miss Dashwood!

And because Jane Austen's Birthday was yesterday, I am writing her a birthday card as part of the Birthday Card Contest at Yet Another Period Drama Blog. :D

The catch to this contest is that the card has to be 'in character' as one of Miss Austen's characters! (I personally think that is shockingly brilliant.) :D

I am writing in the character of Anne Elliot from Persuasion.

Dear Miss Austen,

I would like to wish you the happiest of birthdays. It was certainly a joyous occasion when you entered the world, and I hope the day brings you many delights.
Captain Wentworth and I have just returned home to England from a voyage to India, and we saw many curious things in that strange and foreign land. Traveling with my dear husband has brought me such joy. We now have one son, Frederick Jr, and I will soon be expecting another small blessing. I hope to have a girl this time, for it would be such a joy to have a daughter to love... although I am very fond of little Frederick. I am slightly concerned about taking him to visit the family at Uppercross, for his older cousins continue to be like young demons and I know they are a bad influence on him. I cannot begin to express my thankfulness to you, Miss Austen, for reuniting my dear Frederick (Sr.) and I, although Frederick jokes that you could have made the 8-year separation rather shorter to suit his taste. I also am exceedingly glad to have met my husband's friends and sailors under his command, who are all such friendly and honest people. And of course Sophie Croft, Frederick's sister, continues to be one of my dearest friends. I am delighted with her sweetness of character and the happy way in which she is content to live with her husband aboard ship - which was an excellent example for me to see before I married my dear Captain Wentworth. She will be our next child's godmother.
I must close, for my husband has asked me to come and walk with him upon the shore. (We are at Lyme, and I am very happy to be here once more, for despite the unhappy occurence of Louisa's fall - which had wonderful results! - the place holds many joys for me.) We plan to dine with the Harvilles and the Benwicks this evening at the Benwicks' new home, that I hear is a sweet cottage, which I am very much looking forward to seeing.
Ever your devoted,

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! It was so much fun to write. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Last Gift

I named our chickens after Jane Austen characters. What that says about me, I'm not sure...

As follows, we were the proud owners of:

Elizabeth Bennet
Jane Bennet, and...
Lady Catherine De Bourgh.

Among others that didn't "stick".

I know what you're thinking (at least, if you're familiar with Pride & Prejudice) a hen named after Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Yes, I had the nerve to name a proud, haughty hen with feathers on her feet after the great Lady Catherine herself. :D It fit, too. She would never let us pet her or pick her up like the other chickens and was very high-strung. ;)

Jane was my favorite.

This is Jane.  (You can see the gray-and-white Lady Catherine right behind her)
Often shortened to "sweet Jane" or "Dear Jane", she was definitely the most adorable little friendly chicken I've ever seen. We liked her so much that when it came time to get our next lot of egg-layers, we bought Buff Orphingtons (Jane's breed).

You might have noticed that I am referring to these chickens in the past tense.

Today... we gave them away.

I was shocked to find out how attached to those birds I really was. I mean, one could understand becoming attached to one's dog, or cat, or family pet. But chickens? Well - those chickens were our pets. But they had grown old... and were down to three or so eggs a day from ten hens. In short, they were eating more than they were giving us. And for logical reasons, we had to either give them away, or they would be eating us out of house and home... and we would have to put them in our soup pot. Oh! Dear me, it would have been quite shocking! ( quote J. A.)

For a good while, they had been living in a little home we built off of one of the main chicken coops, and affectionately christened "The Dawdi Haus". (after the Amish term for a small house that the parents move into when they pass the farm down to the firstborn child).
There is the Dawdi Haus, with Daddy, and Jane. (There was a completely fenced run stretching out the back, not visible from this photo).

When my brother Mark brought in the eggs this evening after the final egg-check, Mama asked him if any of them had been from the Dawdi Haus, trying to determine how many our other chickens had laid.

"One." Mark answered, his face growing half-mournful, half-comical. "A last gift."

Do you know what I did?
I cried!

I was washing dishes in the sink, and a few of my tears fell down into the soapy water. I pulled it together within a few minutes, never having made a sound, and I don't think my mom and Steven even realized I had been crying. After all, it was silly, really... the chickens went to a good home with a young couple who had some little kids who would love them and keep them for pets, with the bonus of the occasional egg just for fun. But I'm going to miss them.

Sometimes there comes a time in our lives when we have to "let go" of things... and I don't like letting go. I like holding on. But if I always hold my precious 'things' close in a tight-fisted little grasp... then it won't be possible for me to receive, open-handed, the new gifts that the One who loves me most wants to give me.

So... I've let go, and my hands are open. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Learning Never Ceases

Hello world!
Boy, sometimes it's scary thinking that anybody in the world who finds my blog can read what little me has to say. Then other times I laugh and say "Hello world, isn't it a beautiful day?" ;)

I spent a ton of money this week on beads. You see, after my last jewelry show I was cleaned out, and my little (okay, HUGE) stash of beads needed to be replenished with both some basics, and some fresh items to jazz up my existing inventory.

I was feeling euphoric when I walked out of Jo-Ann fabrics with a sack full of plunder a few days ago (they had a 40% off sale on their beads, woohoo!) But the order to Fire Mountain (the online place I get my basics like headpins, beading wire, and crimp tubes... you know, the stuff that holds my bits of glorious sparkle together...) left me feeling ukky. I cringed when I looked at the total. (gold and silver has gone waaaay up. Forget about through the roof, we're banging into the moon at this point) And then I sent up a devout prayer that I would sell enough jewelry to cover my expenses... and maybe, perhaps, possibly, make a teensy bit of profit. :D
I'm still praying.

As for other news...

I found this free wordart the other day and saved it for inspiration. :D

My mom and dad talked to us recently about 'the finishing process' and how their job now is to give us the final polish for us to be ready to be adults. ;) Mom compared us to a green tomato... how we're fully grown but not ripened all the way yet. :D It was very inspiring and I thought her object prop was brilliant. :D My mommy is so wise.

One of the gifts and skills Mama wants to pass on to me is learning to play the piano by chords, so that I could play for a worship service if I ever had the opportunity. I already play by ear but haven't learned my chords yet. Should be fun! :)
 She also wants to help me develop my voice. Mama is fully equipped to be a voice teacher, packing a double major in music and education. So now those teaching skills are going to be turned full blast my way. :) I'm looking forward to it. I love to sing, and I'm excited about polishing my voice.

Another thing I want to 'polish' is... my writing.

I hope to be back soon with a recipe for my very favoritest it's-so-good-I-could-just-sink-through-the-floor soup, made with a delectable creamy broth and ham and potatoes. Also celery. And we're having it for dinner! *dances*

Until then, I hope you have a lovely week!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Went to a Wedding

.... and this is What I Wore... ;)
I don't get a chance to 'dress up' very often these days, so I made sure to get pictures while I was looking all fancy-shmancy. :D

 And the hair! Oh my! I wanted to wear it up, but was bored with all the buns I'd been doing recently, so I tried modifying a hairstyle that I first saw on Elizabeth Botkin. :D Anna Sophia actually told me how she did it. (You know, I may not agree with them on some of their doctrine and beliefs... but you have to admit, those girls always look so classy!) :D

I call it... "The Asymmetric Wad (which is half-falling-apart)".

When I had at last finished pinning the loose, silky mass to the back of my head, I surveyed the effect in the mirror, gave an "oh well" shrug of my shoulders, and proceeded to have my mother spray about a quart of hairspray on it to hopefully stick it together. :D

I was shocked, stunned, and blown away by how many compliments I got! :D I think I ended up explaining to fourteen separate people how I did my hair. Lol!

This post is interrupted to tell you how much I love, love, LOVE this outfit. :D
The blazer, which I adore and have worn to the past five or so formal occasions I've attended, I found at Ross. I think it was $20 and part of a set with a really short skirt, but the blazer was perfect.

The lacy top I'm wearing underneath it I found at Walmart a couple of years ago.

The dark gray wool skirt I found at Goodwill for $5 with the tags still on it, it's an Anne Taylor Loft and the original price tag said $85.00!!! Now that's the way I like to buy my clothes! I wish that kind of a deal smacked me in the face more often. ;)

The black not-that-high heels are from Walmart from a few years ago. They have cute little bows made from strips of leather at the corners.

And here's me with my handsome brothers! They looked seriously spiffy, and I just love how we all match... ;) See how I never feel that tall? They make me feel short. And I'm not. :D

Daddy and the boys... (This ^ photo has a funny story "behind" it. Mark leaped into place as I was photographing Steven and Daddy, and, liking the composition, I snapped the picture.) ;)

Such fine-looking menfolks I'm related to! I absolutely love those argyle vests we picked up from a Yard Sale, nearly brand new. :D I wish I could have gotten a picture of Mama, but I didn't have a chance before it was time to leave.

I also wish I had taken a few pictures at the wedding, which was lovely, but the bride had emailed me saying they were asking everyone to not take pictures so that their professional photographers wouldn't be bothered. Rest assured, it was beautiful. The colors were Apple Red, Black, and Silver-Gray... and the reception food was the best I'd ever had, and I've been to over 20 weddings at least. :D There was a chocolate fountain with things to dip in it like... strawberries, rice-krispy treats on a stick, bananas, oreos, marshmallows, and a host of other things that taste good dunked in chocolate. The rice-krispy treat was my absolute fave. :D

Anyhow, I'm hoping you enjoyed this little peek into my life as of late. :D