Tuesday, May 3, 2016

YBC Book Review - "After The Boxes Are Unpacked" by Susan Miller

Have you ever moved?  Or have you ever felt alone and outside the circle?
I just finished Susan Miller's book, "After The Boxes Are Unpacked"
I requested this book because we are working at selling our house and then move back home to NY. (No, not New York City....there is a whole state that is much nicer than that city. lol)
I thought that this book would have more actual packing and moving tips, but it didn't.
It was about letting go of your past lives (and homes and communities) and learning how to fit in with the people in your new communities.  And how to learn to lean on God in the process.

Back in the early 80's, my ex-husband moved us from New York to Texas...and I was miserable.
I was a new Christian, just discovered I was pregnant with our 3rd child, and in an unhappy marriage.
I could have used this book.  It probably would not have saved my marriage, but it might have helped me to enjoy the communities where we lived.

This book is full of encouragement, and scriptures, and comment sense suggestions on how to remember your "old" life without too many tears, and how to start your "new" life in new surroundings and make new friends.  Even though I am moving back to my hometown, I will still be able to use the suggestions in this book, and we look for a new church, a home in a new area of town, and to help my kids find new friends.

After her last move across the country, Susan was led to start a support group in her church for newcomers.  Out of that came this book, and Susan has also started the Just Moved ministry, a non-profit organization to help everyone, weather you need a group, or would like to start one.

I give this book 2 thumbs up.

Be blessed,

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, but this review is 100% my own opinion.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Time For Summer Fashions

What is your favorite season?
 Do you like like the cooler weather and warm colors of fall,
or the cold and bright white of winter?
Or is spring your season, with new growth and pastel colors?
Personally I am a summertime girl. The warm sun, beaches, and bright happy colors.
Right now I am in the middle of our family season clothes switch out. With only so much closet space we need to store our summer/winter wardrobe in totes.
But then it's fun to see your old favorites again (unless they no longer fit, lol).
To help you round out this summers wardrobe, let me help with these amazing items on sale in my Scott's Marketplace shop, The Yankee Burrow Co.
Summer stroll hat
Retro yellow handbag

Let's start at the top with this cheery yellow french style beret.  A cute way to add a pop of color to your basic summer outfit of shorts and tee.  The flower is removable.
And pair it with this small yellow handbag.  Fully lined so you don't have to worry about anything poking through the stitches, and the clear acrylic handles give it a retro look.

Independence Day bracelet
seed bead bracelet
It may be May (almost) but time flies and soon it will be July.  So get red, white, and blue ready with this Independence day bracelet.  It streeeeeetches. 
If you prefer something softer, try this pastel seed bead bracelet, created with memory wire, so it will fit anybody.

silver ruffle scarf
baby sandals
Scarves are a great look, in any season.  Just watch out for the material and weight, so you don't sweat your head off.  This silver ruffle scarf is soft and light and a perfect match for that little black dress and a night on the town. 
And don't forget your future fasionista with these crocheted bright orange baby sandals, accented with shocking pink heart buttons.

You can click on any image or link to visit my shop and see everything else I have created. 
Oh, and right now EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! 50% OFF!
You can't beat that, and I need to make room in my studio for new items.
Just use the coupon code cleanhouse50 at checkout.

Until next time,
Be blessed,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

YBC Book Review - "Little Felted Dogs" by Saori Yamazaki

I love to create.  What about you?  Do you enjoy the sense of fulfillment when an idea in your head becomes something tangible?  Something you can touch, see, hear, and even eat?
Creativity uses parts of your brain that do not get utilized in everyday activity, and learning new techniques expands your mind even more.  That's why it is depressing to see that the arts (and play) are slowing but surely being removed from the public schools.  But they say, "it's never to late to learn".  Or, "teach an old dog new tricks".  
So with that in mind, I got Saori Yamazaki's book, "Little Felted Dogs".
Felting is an old technique that is making a comeback, and when I saw the word easy on the front cover, I figured, what could possibly go wrong?
Hmmmmm, a loaded question for a not so graceful gazelle like me. hahaha
Looking through the book there are pages after pages of really simple instructions (with pictures) for many breeds of dog.  So I set out to learn something new.

I made an *ahem* quick stop at Hobby Lobby for supplies, and was going to take pictures of my progress making my first felted dog.
Wellllll, let me clue you in, those felting needles ARE SHARP!  And the finger covers, while they are thick and strong, and NOT needle proof.  Plus they made it hard to manipulate the wool.
After much grumbling and blood letting, I decided to not share any pictures of what was definitely NOT a dog that I had created. hahaha
But, I will never, never, never give up.  I will continue to try and learn this technique (without all the crying and blood) and when I have mastered it (meaning I can create something besides a lopsided ball) I will come back and share it with you.

Now for my review of this book...I like it.  I give it a bloody thumbs up.  And I am keeping it in my book case in the studio.  Saori created this book to be as easy as possible.  The directions are clear, and the pictures are wonderful.  All the dog breeds look real, and I do highly recommend this book for artists looking to expand their crafts.

Here's a little bit about the author, Saori Yamazaki.  She is the author of several felting books written in Japanese and English, and she lives in Japan with her 3 dogs.  This will be my next book of hers that I want, because I love baby stuff, and there are no legs to try and attach. :~D

Now it's your turn, click on a link, and check out this book for yourself.
Expand your mind.
Challenge your creativity.
Learn something new today.
(then share your new talent in the comment section for the rest of us to enjoy)

Be blessed,

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  But the opinions are totally mine."

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Handmade Monday

When you shop, do you look at the tags? Do you care where (or how) the item was made? Do you look for quality or just the price?  Are you a "keep it and care for it" kind of person, or do you just let it fall apart and then "trash it and buy more"?
I have to admit, I'm a little bit of both.  I do look at the labels when I am shopping, and I am trying my best to support the "made in the USA" label, and you can find great deals with products made here.  When I am shopping for myself, I don't mind spending over $100 for a dress, or close to that for a pair of shoes, because I am definitely a "keep it and care for it" personality type.  But if I'm shopping for my teen daughter, who is definitely a "trash it and buy more" type, I refuse to pay a lot for an outfit that I know will end up on the floor of her closet. lol.  Her homeschool prom is coming up and our go-to store for her is Ross.  Her prom gown only cost $30.   Perfect.

Now to get to my main subject...handmade.
If you want quality....go handmade.  For some reason, (probably advertising), people think that when something is handmade it is not made as well as something made with a machine.  Helloooooo.  Have you checked the stitching and seams of the imported clothes hanging in Walmart?  Or the cheap jewelry you find hanging on endcaps?  Or (my pet peeve) the $5.00 jewelry you'll find at craft shows?  They ARE NOT handmade, they are cheap imports that will fall apart.  So, to combat the false images of "nice jewelry, cheap", let me show you some totally awesome and unique pieces of art that you wear, and keep forever, and then pass on as a family heirloom.

Harlequin Bracelet

I am amazed by the intricacies of chainmaille.  And I just happen to know a wonderful chainmaille artist, Alix.  Alix shares her creations at The Alchemists Vessel.
She created a bracelet for me, my choice of color...I still have it, and I love it!
Check her out.

teal macrame bracelet

Remember the macrame craze of the 80's?
The friendship bracelet craze of the 90's?
Take that and add beads, and you have some totally unique creations from KnotJustMacrame.
I follow Sherri on facebook, and if you follow her too, you'll get to see her during the creation process.  Plus, she's just fun.
silver and citrine earrings

And lastly, how about some wire wrapping?  Just look at the work put into these silver and citrine earrings by AOA jewelry.

Now it's your turn.  Your turn to decide if you're going to go for cheap, or quality?

I'll take quality any day.

Be blessed,

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