Friday, June 19, 2015

Making // Sculpey Clay

I took a bunch of polymer clay with us on our NC trip to use with Olive, and once I started playing with it I couldn't stop. 

I made a necklace, (seen above) inspired by the one I spotted on "Cup of Jo" last fall. I thought about glazing the beads, but I ended up liking the natural, matte finish. I'll be wearing it all summer.

Inspired by this tutorial I had seen several times floating around Pinterest, I made coasters and a little ring dish for my dresser. As I was mixing the clay to make the marble patterns I started feeling discouraged that I was doing it wrong and that they'd look too silly to ever use, but once I painted the edges with some gold leafing paint and glazed them I couldn't believe how much I loved them! They're punchy and bright and just fun. I enjoyed making the ring dish too, but it took a lot more clay than the coasters. 

Now I'm wracking my brain for more ideas of things to make with my leftover bits of clay. Any ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chaos Before Progress

I've been noticing "chaos" is quickly becoming a prominent theme in our life and environment this year.

For instance, there's the chaos that is roadwork-season in Michigan. The whole city feels torn up this summer, with more road work than I've ever noticed going on at one time around here, and to make it worse there are multiple big construction projects going on in town that make their own mess and traffic congestion. It's easy to get frustrated and disgruntled by the mess and traffic, but I recognize that all the chaos is leading to a much improved city that I will doubtlessly enjoy and appreciate in the future.

Then there's the chaos in my mouth - (ha, awkward segue apologies!) I had the worst orthodontic adjustment this morning (a 30 minute appointment turned into a 2 hour appointment, and it was so uncomfortable that I'm dreading the next adjustment already!) I'm back to wearing the super-attractive rubber bands this month as well (sob) and the whole thing has left me feeling really discouraged, as I have at least 6 more months of braces left and it's been a year already of feeling really unattractive and awkward. YET - when I see how much better my teeth look already, I know the chaos is worth enduring, because the result will be so worth it...

...Which reminds me about the chaos in my house. The kitchen remodel, much as we suspected, is going to be a slow, messy, very inconvenient job. It is such a mess, and there's no escaping or hiding it! It is so tempting to get frustrated, ungrateful and irritable about the inconvenience and ugliness of our house right now - YET, I know the hard work and frustration will be more than worth it when eventually the project is done and we're enjoying a bright, fresh kitchen.

I've had all these things on my mind, and I can't help but see the similarities going on in my personal life right now. This season in our family is so chaotic. A 6 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old are so very needy, and need such very different things - all at the same time, too. Husbands and wives are needy too, and it's been increasingly hard to spend time together and cultivate fun and friendship with each other with so much going on all the time. Sometimes I get so frustrated and discouraged. I talk down to myself constantly, that I'm failing in the most precious, important areas of my life. Sometimes I feel like the chaos is too much and I want to just run away. How easy it is to lose perspective, and how naturally comes our inclination to "give up" when things get hard!

The other day Olive was asking me how squirrels see things (don't ask - she's going through a philosophical phase at the moment...) I tried to explain that squirrels see things very close to the ground because they're so small, and things look very differently from our taller perspective. Sometimes I feel I see things like a squirrel, and I wish I saw things more like Jesus. He sees the intricate workings and weavings of past, present and future. He sees the whole story, and I feel like I'll be stuck on the same page in the middle of the book forever.

My conclusions from all this pondering? It's really all worth it, this chaos, and I've got to keep reminding myself of that. The sacrifices being made now will pay off big time down the road, if we continue to endure the hard work at hand.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


We just returned from a week in the NC mountains. We rented a cozy house that was just isolated enough to make us feel adventurous, (while still only being 15 minutes from the grocery store.) My parents and siblings drove in from Raleigh to spend some time with us. We hiked, we ate, we laughed in the hot tub, and we ate some more. Matt even squeezed in a little fly fishing and caught a trout! It was a great trip, and the time went by way too quickly. Some of my favorite snapshots of the week...

Let's do it again next year!