Sunday, November 28, 2010

Days Til Christmas & Give away

I loved viewing some great advent/Christmas countdown calenders recently on a few blogs. I had one that was victim to a stomach bug last year (you don't want to know, trust me) so I needed to replace it!

Always up for a challenge, I wanted to create one too. I decided to restrict myself to using only items I had on hand. I used some leftover fabric, my Cricut Expression machine with scrap paper, paint, ribbon, glue gun and magnets. The only challenge now is to find items small enough to fit in the 1/2" "bag"! I am hoping stickers, and mini candy canes will work. I also used a secret craft item to get the bags to be removeable from the countdown! One hint, I used them in another craft project I worked on.

Since I haven't done a give-away recently whomever can guess how the magnets on the back of the bags stick to the canvas, I will send them some handmade Christmas tags found in my July post

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving! I was so thankful for jeans with stretch afterwards! :-) I had visions of Joey on Friends when he borrowed some maternity pants!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A little rock and a LONG story!

I love giving gifts, actually I love creating gifts to give. When my daughter was less than 6 months old God decided to bless me with an encounter with a new Mom. Lori had just formed a playgroup and invited me. These girls have been my most cherished friends ever since. Lori also invited me to her church and had a large part with me re-discovering my Christian faith. I have been creating different gifts for Christmas for them for a few years now. Last year I made aprons out of vintage handkerchiefs. These turned out great and were a very fun project.
So this year I am a little hesitant or lacking confidence I should say and would love your feedback.

A little background first . . . We vacationed in Topsail, NC this year. It was a particular hard week for me as Mr. Jackpot had to work (the wonderful side effect of being your own boss) so I was on my own with my two kids for most of the week. I discovered that Topsail beaches have some wonderful polished rocks. These are thin and smooth and each has their own shape. Being that I was in a particular contemplative mood, I began thinking how God shapes each of us just like these rocks. He works constantly and lovingly to shape us into his image. Sometimes there are rough times just like the sand but it works for His glory to smooth us. Each individual rock gets his attention being placed in the right area of the vast ocean to be shaped, and made in the image he has of us.
I got to thinking that each of my precious girlfriends have been shaped just like each rock. We each carry our own story of how the Lord has worked in us. God is in control of each little tiny grain of sand and controls the vast expanse of oceans. I wanted to create a reminder for my girlfriends of how God’s hand is in everything and working for our good. I decided to pick a rock out for each of them. I took them home and painted a cross with a pink cloth on it. My thought is they could put it in there purse, nightstand, drawer and hopefully each time they see it / feel it they would think of this. I found myself holding a rock in my hand while on the beach and roll it, rubbing it and praying.

Here is the story I am going to place in a handmade pouch along with the painted rock:

I found this rock for you on the beach. It has been touched and created by God! He created this rock, placed it in the ocean and let the sand smooth it. He let the ocean turn it over to smooth and shape each edge against the sand. He let the ocean current carry it from place to place. He then delivered this rock on the beach, where I found it. When you hold this rock remember that God is in the details. He is in control of each grain of sand, each rock, each ocean, and each beach. He does all this for His glory and out of love.
During this Christmas time I am so thankful that His gift, given out of Love has made me holy in His sight, free of accusation. That His Love works on me every day to shape me. Remember that He is in all things both visible and invisible and that even the rough times are meant to shape us in His image just like this rock.
Your sister eternally in Christ.
Please give me your feedback. I am not sure if my “deep thoughts” and the rocks should be kept to me left plain or trust that God is in control and has given me this idea so I should follow through.

Thank you also for allowing me to post this without worrying about being judged or ridiculed!