Thursday, June 30, 2011

{Things I've done so far...part 3}

Summer Mantle--

In this post I showed you pictures of my spring mantle. I have this very long and not very deep mantle. It has been SO hard for me to make it look "decorated" except at Christmas---I have lived in this house for 11 years and I never have been happy with how it's been decorated. SO, I decided to decorate it seasonally and I am finally satisfied! Now, be warned---it's a bit gaudy! ;D But it's MY mantle, not yours, so no worries. I made a summer banner, too. I hope to finish my fall and Christmas banners this summer so they will be ready to go. The banner is what takes me so long to make!

Here are most of the letters in my banner. It says "Welcome Summer"---I am usually excited for summer to get here, but THIS year I was just plain grateful for summer to finally come. I needed some time to slow down and regroup---thus the "Welcome Summer". I used the Papertrey Banner Builders dies and a bunch of random paper I had. I had such fun making this~

I put up pictures of the kids at the beach in frames that I found on clearance at Target. I'm not usually a blue person---decorating in blue I mean---but there was a lot of blue this year and I had already purchased the red, white and blue buckets from the dollar spot--so I picked up a couple blue frames and then added other blue I had around the house.

One of the things I have done is kept lights out on the mantle every season---my den is pretty dark, so this helps to brighten things up a bit. I bought those little grapevine ball lights that you use on your patio umbrellas and used them on my mantle this year. This would look even better if I had lit all of my candles---I'm a little crazy when it comes to candles....I like them........a lot. (Don't tell my 9th grade English teacher that I used that---she hated it when we used "a lot"--or "alot" as we usually wrote it....but I digress.) Now you understand why my blog is titled "nelson ramblings"....I tend to do this.

I'm done---! Mantle is done---I'm starting my next project today.....crossing fingers that it works like it looks in my mind.....we'll see!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{Summer Card Camp 2}

 One of the techniques that was used in Card camp this week was making a die cut window. I immediately thought of this card, but I didn't have the star dies that I needed.....I tend to buy a lot of what Papertrey presents me every month but when I saw these star dies I didn't get them.....twice since then I have thought how great they would be on a card.....oh well. NEXT MONTH!

Anyway, I did have star punches, so I used those to make this quick window card. I punched stars in the blue layer and then traced them on the white cardstock beneath.  Leaving a little bit of white around the edge, I used my Fiskars craft knife and cut out the stars. I ran the blue layer through my Cuttlebug using the Linen & Canvas impression plate. I put red on the inside of the card to tie it all together. I added a little banner strip with the sentiment and then put some buttons on. I didn't go with the Summer Card Camp color combo this time---but I did use the technique....and I made a card for a friend who always has us over for July 4th! SCORE!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by! It's nice to get crafty again after so long! I have a few more "Things I've done so far" posts coming up! And I'm starting on a new project tomorrow....this one could go terribly wrong! Hopefully not---but it does have the potential to be a total disaster! Do I have your interest piqued? :D

July 4th Card (all products Papertrey Ink unless noted)
Stamps: Vintage Picnic
Paper: Stamper's Select White, Enchanted Evening, Pure Poppy
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Pure Poppy, White & Cream mix Vintage Buttons, Enchanted Evening baker's twine, Cuttlebug (Provocraft), Linen & Canvas Impression plate, Star Punches (EK Success), Double-Ended Banners

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Summer Card Camp card}

I have had very little motivation to stamp/create lately---well, cards anyway. But I am SERIOUSLY low on cards and I'm sorry---I just can't spend $4 on a card when I have thousands (yes, probably thousands) of dollars invested in card making paraphanalia! SOOOOO, I decided I needed to make a bunch of cards this summer so I'd have some in stock when the crazy school year rolled around. I signed up for a card class---I've never done this. Frankly, there's just so much inspiration out there on blogs that is free, I've never been able to fork over the money for a class---until I saw THIS CLASS!!! 

It's going to be great! I've had two days so far and I love it--The mojo is slow to arrive, but I did finally get a card made! I don't have a lot of time to talk about it--- so I'll just show it to you and you can see the details below! It's way simple---but hey, it's a start! And, I apologize for the photos---right when I was about to photograph the card, "there come up a storm"---as some people around NC say!!! So all is dark. Since I don't have a light box---this is about the best I could do!  Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks so Much! (all items Papertrey Ink unless noted) 
Stamps: Think Big Favorites #1Paper: Stamper's Select White, 2008 Bitty Box, Bitty Dot, & Bitty Star Basics, and In Bloom patterned paper, Clearly Creative CardstockInk: Jet Black StazOnAccessories: 1 1/4" circle punch (EK Success), Raspberry Fizz & Spring Rain vintage buttons, Enchanted Evening Baker's Twine, pinking shears, Pop dots

Monday, June 27, 2011

{Eve's First Beach Trip}

Look at this beautiful family! I love this picture!! Carson and Caitlin took Eve to Gulf Shores, AL for a Nelson family reunion  a couple weeks ago.  I love these pictures of Eve putting her feet in the water for the first time---enjoy!

Hmmmmm, not sure what to do with this!

I love her thighs....I wish those were as cute when you get older...yeah, they're not....

I think she likes it.....

ummmmm, well, I'm not sure

yeah, DEFINITELY NOT.....get me out of here!

Daddy comforting her---feeling better....

love this one---how sweet is that?

Eve is four months old tomorrow---hard to believe! What a precious gift she is to our family!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

{Things I've done so far....part 2}

A quick post before I head to worship! Another project I've tackled this summer is my side porch-- I had a couple of these planters before I started, so all I had to purchase was the plants! YEA! This only took a little while to hang the planters and toss some soil and plants into the pots, but what a difference it makes. I found a black bench at my local Ace Hardware store, but when I went back to purchase it, it was gone----WAAAAAHHHH! It would look perfect here---a couple red pillows and I'd be SET! Do you have an Ace near you with a black bench for me? OHHHHHHH, I wish I had purchased it when I first saw it----but long bench and Ford Focus just don't go together!

I appologize for the pictures---the sun wasn't my friend on this day---but I'm obviously not the serious blogger, or I'd have taken them again.....and again if necessary! Oh well---

Do you love caladiums? I truly do---I'm so happy to have a place full of shade to put them in!

I found this on clearance at Lowes----$5.48......I had to have it! I had a gift card anyway, but I sure love finding a bargain!

I hope this basket won't get too much sun---it's on the corner and it may get too much for my caladiums to survive---we'll see! 

Thanks for stopping by today---off to get ready for church---

Saturday, June 25, 2011

{Things I've done so far...part 1}

One of the things I love about summer is the extra time I have to catch up on long neglected projects. Here's the beginning of some of the things I have gotten done this summer----lots more on my list......I hope this will be a regular post title until the insanity of the school year begins!

I received some birthday money this year---in April---and I had several ideas of how I wanted to spend it. I decided to buy this deck set. When I saw the whole thing half price at Target, I decided it was time to make the purchase. WHY, OH WHY, did I not get a picture of the old set before it was removed? It was pitiful---the glass had broken in it a couple of years ago before we had our new deck built. So we had a piece of plywood on top of it with a table cloth over it---classy! The frame of the table had also broken, so it sat a little wonky (nice choice of words, don't you think?) and the chairs were nasty and spat out rusty water when you first sat down in them....yeah, I definitely should have taken pictures!

Here's a picture, but it really doesn't do the "tacky" justice! I probably moved the chairs out of the picture because I didn't want them in it! Anyway, NOW I have this beautiful dinner table that seats six. Two of the chairs are in other corners of the deck, but can easily be moved to the table. NOW----"Why is this post titled, 'Things I've done so far' " you ask? Because I put all of this together with my own two hands---one allen wrench, two other wrenches, and a screwdriver later and voila! A new deck set....

Oh, and the boxes provided all sorts of fun for Joshua as well---gotta love bulding hideaways in your own living room! Of course, most of the time the box was closed. He just let me peek in here to take a couple pictures.

A little lunch and a movie in the hideaway---he was set for HOURS!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

{a party for the traveler}

We had a little party for Hannah to welcome her home from her time abroad. Many of her friends from high school were able to come. It was great to see them after their first year of college! SO much has happened in their lives in the last year.

I had to show this picture---I need to get a close up, but check out Hannah's jeans---she had everyone from the team sign them and many of her home stay family members, too. They will have to be framed someday! 

Daniel and Annetta

Kristin and Kelsey---beautiful girls!

Caitlin and Lauren---here with Anna, Lauren's youngest

Susan--holding Eve who is OUT! and Kristin---dear friends
the food---mama's brownies, hummus and veggies/pita chips, strawberries/grapes and fruit dip, corn dip (still in the oven), and these beautiful cookies!

How CUTE are these? I ordered them from Allison's cookies. I highly recommend them---they not only look good--but they TASTE good, too! I had her make some cookies for a wedding shower a couple weeks ago and they were beautiful. Such talent!

Monday, June 6, 2011

{Please Come to Boston for the springtime...}

........sorry, I couldn't resist  that!!!

Hannah had a graduation celebration from Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) in Boston on Mother's Day weekend. Caitlin, Carson and Eve didn't make this trip, but Joshua and I flew out to meet David at the Boston airport and then rent a car to travel out to Babson College where the graduation festivities took place.

We talked to Hannah after we picked up the car and she was near Harvard Square, so we decided to meet her there. Todd Moore had accompanied Sarah Beth and met Annetta Kinton and Kristin Martin in Boston, too. What a sweet thing for these friends to come to see Hannah and celebrate this experience with her---anyway, they were in the Harvard area, too, so we decided that the girls would all meet there.

THIS was the sweetest moment of the weekend.
or maybe this....
....or maybe this
....ummmm, this

We had several events that weekend and the TBB students presented their Presentations of Learning to family and friends who were there. Friday night there was a more formal event and Robin Pendoley, one of the founders of TBB asked Hannah to present part of her South Africa media project with the group. It was a very personal, raw piece of journaling that she had put together in South Africa. She read several entries to the group and people were moved to tears---she told of her own struggles on this trip---very personal struggles and how she was trying to reconcile these struggles and those of the people she was serving there in South Africa with her faith. She read to us what she had written from her heart and it was beautiful. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing, I've decided.
She decided to take her shoes off so she would be more comfortable---I love that about Hannah! She's always been comfortable with who she is.
This is a picture of her "Raleigh friends", Todd, David and me at the Friday night event.

Saturday was the actual graduation and it was bittersweet. Sweet to be going "home"--sleeping in her own bed---however humble that may be. But, how do you say goodbye to these friends---your "nomadic family" as they called themselves---after so many months together?  Here are a few pictures of the goodbyes.

Hannah and the boys

girl band---

Hannah with Kasha & Mckinley--I love this picture of all of them!

the group
This isn't great---some people are covered up, but I didn't really get a great picture of the group all together---I'm sure someone did and hopefully I can get a copy of it someday.

Hannah is now home and adjusting to this "normal" life again---whatever normal is. She is questioning many things and pondering all that she's learned. There is a lot for her to process. She's thinking of which courses she'll take in school in the fall and sleeping alot! I think she'll make me---and our whole family more aware of Christ's goodness in our lives and ways we can serve those around us. So glad to have her home!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

{Good Friends}

I'm not a philosopher---TRUST ME! This is one thing I know FOR SURE---but, I have read some---emphasis on SOME philosophy and I find myself truly grateful for God's wisdom from notable philosophers. I haven't actually found this quote in a primary source, so I suppose I shouldn't put it here, but hey, I'm not trying to write a thesis---just a mom blog---SO, here it is:
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit~

 In April (yes, I know, I'm SERIOUSLY behind on blogging), some of my dearest friends and I had a chance to get together for breakfast. It was a sweet time of catching up---life goes by so fast. These women have been the dearest friends to me. It was such a treat to get together and visit---even if it was only for a couple hours. Some of these women I have known for a long time---not 20 years---but enough years to know I love them. Enough years to see the fruit of friendship grow in our lives.

Joshua had a sleepover (again in April) with one of his closest friends and they graciously allowed me to snap these two pictures (well, I took a ton, but these two were priceless~). They were just out in the yard playing football and I took my camera out.  I love that I was able to catch a natural smile---I had to print these for myself and Justin's mom---these are the pictures that go in the graduation picture pile!! I hope for these two boys that the Lord will continue to knit their hearts together to develop a deep, rich friendship.

They were about to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail----popcorn was a must!  I LOVE 10 year old boys---to hear them quoting parts of The Holy Grail already---such a proud moment!!!

Hannah's three best friends flew up to Boston to be with her at her Thinking Beyond Borders graduation. I have an upcoming post about that weekend---it was very sweet. These girls have been together since 4th grade. God has blessed them with very different personalities and interests, but one thing they do have in common---they genuinely love each other. Their friendship "tree" has seen great joys and genuine hardship---much fruit has been developed on this tree and I hope much more will come in their future~

These are some of Caitlin's best friends---(doesn't Cait look amazing? She had just had a baby, you know!) Since Caitlin doesn't live here anymore, I don't have as many opportunities to take pictures of her friends. There are many other pictures on her blog. Check it out!

What a sweet gift from the Lord to have good friends---I am SO grateful that I--and my children--have the opportunity to grow into friendship with such amazing people.