Monday, March 26, 2012

Pure and Simple

Pure and Simple, oh, and FREE!

That's what the theme, as far as decorations go, of the Purity Banquet 2012 was for our church teens and their parents.

This is a banquet that we try to do yearly for our teens.  The purpose is to teach and encourage them to stay pure in all their behavior and morals; to protect that which is to be a gift for their life mate given at marriage. 

Naturally all the decorations we do for this particular banquet is white......standing for pure, of course.

Well, you know me and the "color" white!   I love it! 

We have had six or seven of these banquets, and I actually have never been the one to decorate for it.  We have WONDERFUL ladies who do that kind of stuff.  Believe me I'm glad to have them do it!
This year, however, I decided I wanted the challenge of decorating for the Purity Banquet!  I do want to thank two very sweet and helpful ladies, Misty Snyder and Michelle Minor, for coming out on Saturday and helping get all this set up.  Thanks so much, girls!

What I didn't know, though, when I signed up, was that this event was left out of the yearly expense budge for the year for our church.  JOY!  So, I decided that I needed to accept this challenge, embrace it and just enjoy doing it.

It really wasn't too bad.   I had several positive things going for me!
One - the Lord was on my side answering prayer and giving me direction!
Two - He directed me to the back yard!
Three - He also gave me sources to draw from:  wonderful suggestions from family members and friends, and.........drum roll.........PINTEREST!  Oh. Yes! 

Now we know that Pinterest has become a household word in most homes with a computer.  So many have a pinterest account and so many get so many ideas off pinterest.  It's amazing to see all the different creative abilities of people out there.  I am not too "hooked" on pinterest; to the point of having to go and spend hours there everyday, (it is possible to do, you know).  I am glad, though, to be able to go there and get ideas.  I have said that I think every pastors wife or church event planner, decorator/coordinator should have a Pinterest account if for nothing else but to get ideas from.

Any way, back to my challenge.  I knew that if I tried I could pull this off (with lots of work, mind you), but it could be done. So I started with what I have.  This really has become my motto for decorating:  Use what you have! 

Here's what we had:  Cloth table cloths, clear vases, old white, crackled shutters, paper, twine, ribbon, and here's the best part.....white, blooming trees in the back yard!  So with all this and my friends, family, Pinterest, and the brain that the Lord gave me this is how the decorations for the Purity Banquet turned out:

The only "original" idea I had was to emphasize the word "Pure" by painting it on these huge pieces of poster board (a paper factory in the area donates these to the church for FREE), and putting it on the wall.  Amanda, a wonderful artist, at church painted them.  Thanks, Amanda
One of the reasons I wanted this done, was because our theme for the year is "Holding forth the word of life".  So, here with an emphasis on the "word" part, it is "pure".  Do you think they might have gotten the message?!
My wonderful decorator friend at church (we sometimes call ourselves "Two Women and some Tulle"!), Robbie Shumate, cut out the bunting or banner and simply placed the pieces  over a piece of jute string.  It gave these letters just the touch that was needed!  Thanks, Robbie
The flowers in the water are from a blooming cherry tree in the back yard.
The branches running along the table also from back yard.

White lights were used instead of candles.  You can see we just laid them down the center of the table then laid the white branches on top of them.  It was so pretty!
Another item from the back yard was these tree branches.  My husband cut them and also spray painted them white.  His idea was to leave a few of the dead flowery things on them, and it worked great!  The best part?  Yep, it was FREE! (except for spray paint)

This was the "backdrop" for the pictures.  It is two old shutters that have been in so many places in my house.  Yes, I borrow from my house to decorate for church functions!  I love can do so much with them.  They have a "crackled" finish and add just the right amount of rustic to an other wise fancy setting. 
See the "bunting" or banner?
This is something we made to add a little teenage flair to the decorations.  These are so popular right now, and soooo simple to make.  Lots of people are making them from fabric, of course, but since we were going for free, we just used white paper!
You can't see it, but the letters say, "Purity Banquet".

We also made individual buntings with their names, and "Purity Banquet 2012" on them for the teens to take home as a keepsake.  You can see a little of this in the next two pictures.  They were used on the table at the place where they and their parents sat.

Cherry tree branches and blossoms

Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Picture Spring in Kentucky

Spring has definitely sprung in Kentucky, and the pictures below taken in our back yard will prove it!

Now, I am not the photographer that took these pictures.  I wish I was, but it wasn't.

It was my husband!

I think he did a great job. 

He certainly doesn't claim to be a photographer, but he has taken quite a few pictures.  When our daughters were in high school and competing in different events, Photography was one of the events.  The girls and other students in the school always entered their photography.  Lonnie helped them with a lot of the pictures they took.  He just seems to have a knack for it.  Me?......I try.  Sometimes they turn out OK and other times not so good. 

I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures, and if you've never been to Kentucky.....well, you're just missing out!

Taken in the rain

Some of the beautiful flowering bushes Lonnie planted with his own two hands.  Read more about that here.

Check out the rain refreshing.

Notice the bird feeders?  Lonnie loves to feed the birds.

We have so many of these in our backyard.

Wonder if it's because the Cardinal is the Kentucky state bird?

So pretty!

I would like to say that I posted this last picture of this red bird in honor of my Aunt Sophia Webb who passed away this week.  Her funeral will be in two days from now. 
The reason I want to post it in honor of her is because she absolutely loved the Cardinal.
She collected them and they were all over her house in the form of pictures and collectibles.
You see, Aunt Sophia lived in Florida all her adult life pretty much; from the time she was married until she passed away at 85 years of age.  She loved it there, but she never forgot her roots.....Kentucky, and she never forgot her red Cardinals.
I loved Aunt Sophia (my only aunt except for those by marriage), and I also love Kentucky and the Cardinal!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gleanings....Inspiration......God's Provision

Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

I love these vereses! It is actually the inspiration for this blog.

God told his children when they reaped the harvest to leave leave the gleanings for the pour and strangers.

I'm glad gleanings have been left for me by former gleaners (more in number than I could ever tell, by special friends I have met along the way, and also by so many new friends even in blogland that I have gleaned so much from.

It is my desire that I too will leave the gleanings from what the Lord gives me daily for, of course the poor, (could be poor as in need of encouragement), and for strangers. Think about that; the first time someone visits a blog, they could be counted a stranger, I guess. I would hope they would glean so much at my blog that they wouldn't be a stranger any more! My mom has a sign in her kitchen that says "He who enters is a stranger only once". I love that, and hope it's true of my blog!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

G and J's Handmades

Look what I got in the mail!  From my sweet sister!   My sister and her husband have opened up a small craft business.  They are doing wonderful at it.  It all started last summer when we wanted to get our mom a barn quilt for Christmas.  You see them on a lot of barns around this area.  My mom loves them!  We really thought it would be a great gift for her , but when we saw the price, we didn't think  we could swing that.  ($400 -500).

My sister's husband is a carpenter and after looking at the barn quilts, they decided they would try their hand at making one.  My husband and I helped them purchase the material (basically a large piece of plywood and some paint!).  My sister snagged a good deal on a projector that was being thrown away at her work, chose a quilt pattern, projected it onto the plywood and she and her husband painted it on.   It turned out great!  My mom loved it!  It looks beautiful on her barn.
So, after putting a few pictures on face book, they started having requests for them from different friends and relatives.  I guess it got my sister's wheels turning and she began to try making and selling other crafts.  She started making all kinds of different wreaths, ( beautiful ones!), and the response has been tremendous!    "Hello" " why didn't I think of that!   I'm happy for them!   As a matter of fact, I want to help them out, so I want to spread the word about G and J's Crafts.

You can see some more of their beautiful handmade crafts here:   Give them a visit!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chalking it Up to "Spring is in the Air"!

This week, today, March 1, 2012,  I'm saying "goodbye" to these fellas:

I'm saying "Hello" to this:

I said "hello"  (a few days early, I know), to Spring on my "new" chalkboard!

This little project had been going on in my head for some time now.  I just love all the chalk boards I've been seeing, and thought one would fit really well in my kitchen.  Since my motto of using what you have seems to be coming more and more to fruition these days, I started thinking of a way I could make a chalk board out of something I already had.

This is what I came up with:
A picture frame that I got at Goodwill several years ago.  I had actually painted the back of the picture white and had some black and white pictues cut out of an old book on it.  You can see a picture of that here.
I had long since taken it down, (I'm known for that), and it was just stashed in the garage.

This was actually the "lovely"  picture that was in the frame when I first got it. 

Sorry, this is only a small portion of the picture.  Trust me, you are not missing much my not seeing the entire picture.  I mainly took this to show the name of the artist.  If someone recognizes this as a famous artist whose art is very valuable, please just don't tell me, because this "lovely" picture is now painted over with chalkboard paint!

Now it looks like the pictures below, and I don't know about you, but I like it much better!  I still have some tweaking that I want to do; like putting a shelf under it.  I'm excited about the endless possibilities that come with having a chalkboard.  You know, like changing it up every day season!

Everyone seems to always be so ready to embrace the Spring season.  I know I am. When I was younger, Fall was my favorite season, but as I get older I like Spring.  I love the warm weather it brings, the sunshine and all the signs of new life.  Of course, I'm reminded of the new life which we can have in Christ.  I'm reminded of His death, burial and resurrection.  I'm also thankful for this.  I hope you are thankful for this as well.  If not, and you would like to know more, you can read about that in detail here.

So here's a before and after picture of my DIY chalkboard:


Linking up to this DIY party.