Monday, December 16, 2013

Stocking Stuffers (handmade, of course!)

IMG_2791 I am so glad you stopped by! I am busy stuffing stockings this week. I love stuffing stockings! I love trying to come up with little bitty fabulous surprises. I remember loving my stocking when I was little! My mom made my stocking and always put fun little things in it. I think it's the idea of small treats. Bottom line, I love a stocking. I think I love it even more as a mama. I adore watching my children reach in their stocking and pulling out each little surprise one by one. I fill the stocking with a lot of old familiar favorites like an I tunes card or a starbucks card. But it thrills me to find the unexpected and fill it to the rim. I can't tell you anymore things because it's not Christmas yet, but take my word for it, it's filled with lots of cool things. I have to tell you, one year I was running out of time and I enlisted my husband's help. I asked him to do the boy's stockings and I woud do the girls. I will never do that again! Sweet thing, he is the most amazing man ever, but stuffing stockings is not his gift. He thought I was crazy to "redo" the boys stockings, but Christmas morning, when he saw the boys loving all the little surprises, he admitted there is an art to filling a stocking, and I did good. Anyway, you get the idea. I love a stocking. This year I made fabulous rings for the girls stockings. However, it was so easy and so fun, I had to show them and let them make them with me. We had a ball with these. I thought you might like a fun idea to make with your girls this year. This is what we did!


I found these little wood rounds at my local craft store. The wood rounds are everywhere. People are using them for everything. Mine came in a package of ten or so and they were ready to go. Ok, can you cut up a branch from your yard for free? I guess you could. I've not done that yet, but I don't see why not. If you do that, let me know how it turns out!


I then took blue painters tape and taped off the sides of each round. This is really important, because when you pour the glaze it will not stick to the sides of the round. If it gets on the side it can be sanded off. The tape also keeps you from getting paint on the sides. The main thing is that the tape kind of makes a stand for each round and once you pour the glaze it runs down the tape rather than causing the round to stick directly to the surface you're working on.


This is the fun part! Paint! Paint! Paint! I used acrylic paint. Ok, there are lots of fun things you could do at this point. If you wanted to put text on it , this would be the time to do that. KK painted a tiny heart in the center of hers. In other words, be creative. Paint anything you like. You could even put a small photo on it if you wanted too. Go for it.


I'm kind of simple, I just painted all one color. I love it! I will say, I did swirl a little white on the edges so it wasn't completely one flat color.

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I bought an acrylic glaze and mixed it up (in a well ventilated area) according to the directions. I found this at my local craft store. I mixed with a popsicle stick and poured slowly onto each round. Once I poured on to the round, I gently spread it with the stick. Now, you could use a polyurethane or spray glaze to seal the round, but I thought a thick acrylic coat would be more professional. But I'm all about using what you have.


This is the hard part. Once it's poured  you have to wait for it to dry....overnight! But let me say, It's worth the wait! These are awesome! One really great tip, the stand you make out of tape needs to be pretty even, otherwise the acrylic will run off the ring completely. It's really disappointing to come back to get your ring the next day only to find it has no plastic coating on top. So get the stand right! It makes a difference.


I found ring pieces at my local craft store. They come like 10 to a package. They run about $3. I really like the wider band. Then attach the round to the flat part of the ring base with hot glue. I recommend using E6000, its a really strong glue.


Do you love this ring or what? I Love love love it! It was fun and easy and anyone can do it! The best part? It is the best stocking stuffer ever! Definitely make one and shoot me a pic. I'd love to see what you create! Have fun! And Merry Christmas! love love love Ruthie












Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Have News!


[caption id="attachment_2121" align="alignleft" width="300"]Oh Come Let Us Adore Him Mixed Media Oh Come Let Us Adore Him
Mixed Media[/caption]

I am so glad you stopped by! Be honest...when you saw the title of my blog you could hardly wait to open it and see what the "big news" was. I know! When my children come home from school or my husband gets home from work, we always talk about their day while we are piddling in the kitchen or fixing dinner or whatever. However, if they come through the door and say, "I have news!" we stop what we are doing and give them our undivided attention with great anticipation. I would even add to that, if they're coming through the back door excited about "news," it's usually great news. Rarely is anyone excited to announce a poor test grade or a speeding ticket. I love when my family comes home with news, because it usually brings big smiles and great conversation, two of my favorite things.

[caption id="attachment_2122" align="alignleft" width="224"]I made an envelope by cutting brown card stock and stiching it up the sides. I stamped my blog on the front, and made tags with paint cards. I made an envelope by cutting brown card stock and stiching it up the sides. I stamped my blog on the front, and made tags with paint cards.[/caption]

I created this piece of art this Christmas thinking about the greatest news ever spoken. You have probably heard it a million times. This time listen with your heart.  "And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night.   And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for today I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people'  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.' " Luke 2:8-11

If you were sitting with me at my kitchen table right now, I would love to talk about that very night. I would love to imagine what it must have

[caption id="attachment_2123" align="alignleft" width="224"]I tied it all up with brown packaging paper, jute, and bakers twine. Finally ready to ship. I tied it all up with brown packaging paper, jute, and bakers twine. Finally ready to ship.[/caption]

been like to be in that exact field and to be completely surrounded by God's glory, and to be the one chosen to hear the "great news." What a night!  I've got news! Today is not a lot different than that night. I'm obviously not  shepherd, but I am surrounded by God's glory everyday. His news is for all people. It is for anyone who believes that He is the Son of God who was born that day in Bethlehem in order to save us from our sins. He is the Savior. He is your Savior. Open your heart to hear His voice.                        Love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Lord is my Shepherd

IMG_2658   I am so glad you stopped by. Today I am delivering these sheep to a new client. I am excited to meet her and humbled that she would purchase my art for her own. As I created  these sheep so  close to Christmas, I truly contemplated with what text I would finish the piece. I chose "Oh Holy Night." It perfectly describes the very first Christmas, the night Christ was born. The most amazing gift this world will ever know.

I chose to string lights across the top as a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world. I love that! No matter the time of day or the situation at hand, He lights our way and leads us home.


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.


He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For Thou are with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou hast anointed my head with oil. My cup overflows.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23

It was a Holy Night. He is the greatest gift. Merry Christmas. love love love Ruthie


Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Peek Inside Our House at Thanksgiving

DSC_0028  I am so glad you stopped by! Happy Thanksgiving!!! This is a pretty fabulous day in the United States! The news reports that it is the most traveled holiday. I love that! My earliest memories of thanksgiving were of my grandparents, Beba and Deeg, driving from Selma to have lunch with us. While mama was cooking, the men watched football and I would take Beba to my room and play records and have concerts for her. Then we would sit around the table, which seemed like for hours, and eat turkey and dressing and listen to grown ups talk forever. Then we would move to the den (to a much more comfortable chair) and then men would fall asleep and the girls would talk and talk and talk some more. As a child, I don't know think it was my favorite holiday.

Today Thanksgiving looks a little different. We still eat turkey and dressing, but times have definitely changed. and with five children there is never a dull moment. Conversation is never ending and there is always activity. Someone is always jogging or hunting or creating. The kitchen is the most popular room in the house whether we are eating, cooking or telling stories. It really is so much fun having everyone home. Every year life changes a little and holidays look a little different, but no matter what life brings, my heart overflows.

I love that we have a holiday that reminds people to stop and be thankful. I love social media the month of November, because everyone is constantly posting something they're thankful for. I love that! I feel like because it's Thanksgiving, people are more comfortable saying out loud that they are thankful. Do you know what I mean? I think we should be thankful out loud everyday! It's early in the morning here and I've sent a couple of texts to friends telling them I'm thankful for them and that I love them.  I need to do that everyday! Not just thanksgiving! Imagine giving and receiving love and thankfulness out loud everyday! Oh my goodness! What an different world this would be! Everybody wants to be loved. It's how we are made. So love out loud today, tomorrow and the next day and the next heart is beating faster just thinking about it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you today! Where ever you are today and what ever you are doing today, be thankful.  I am thankful for you! love love love Ruthie

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Registering for China

[caption id="attachment_2098" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photoshoot Photoshoot[/caption]

I am so glad you stopped by! It's beginning to feel like a wedding is almost here! I went with MaryCam to register for china. Oh my goodness! China is not what it use to be when I got married twenty five years ago! It's so beautiful! Honestly, there should be a "mother of the bride" registry. I am ready to sell all my china and start over with a new pattern! Anyway, we had the best time picking out plates and glasses and mixing and matching patterns. When I was getting married there were two kinds of china, fine and every day. Now , everything is just fabulous and fine. Seriously, it was all breathtaking, and it's official, I'm saving my money and starting over, soon!

I was jogging yesterday thinking about MaryCam and her china. I loved watching her carefully pick up each plate and gently brushing her hand around the edge as if she were a million miles away and imagining  her place setting on her table. She hand picked each piece of her place setting. She started with a beautiful dinner plate from one pattern and then chose a salad plate from another pattern. She found the perfect size bowl and wonderful coffee mug from a completely different pattern. She finished with goblets and glasses and other fun things. She stepped back to admire the dreamy setting that she had so meticulously created. Each piece was amazing on it's own, but together they were stunning.

In Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 it says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I read back through the first chapter yesterday morning and watched with fresh eyes as God created each and every little detail of the universe. The earth was formless and void, and He just spoke and there was light. "Then God said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.'"(Genesis 1:3)  If you've read the incredible account of creation in Genesis then you know how awesome God is. If you have not read it or haven't read it in a while, please read it! It's so amazing to follow each day with God as He created literally everything. The sun, the moon, the stars all perfectly placed so we could see to enjoy His creation night and day. God created every living thing, on land, in the sea, and in the air. He spoke everything into existence. And on the sixth day, God made man. "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being."(Genesis 2:7)  "And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good."(Genesis 1:31)

God, the Creator of the universe, and Giver of life, made you. He made you in His own image.There is no one else like you. He made you perfectly and beautifully. It says in Psalm 139 verse 74 that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Just like MaryCam designed her place setting, God designed you and He saw that it was good! You are His creation. So live today differently. Live knowing that the King of Kings made you. He knows everything about you! He knows your innermost thoughts. He knows your joys, your hurts, your fears. He knows you inside and out and loves you with an everlasting love. You are beautiful! Live like it!

Love love love Ruthie

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Hay" Y'all!

IMG_2580  I'm so glad you stopped by! Eddie came home last night to me standing in the driveway with my arms loaded down with yet another project. May I just say that my man is so fine! Most men would have turned the truck around and headed back to the office. My sweet husband pulls up, rolls the window down, tries to keep from laughing, and asks what I need.

Our community puts out hay bales at the entrance of it's neighborhoods to be decorated for the fall. We love riding around and seeing all the creatively adorned hay bales. Our neighborhood has never participated, and last minute, I thought it would be a great idea. I didn't want to over commit my neighbors since I decided so last minute , so I a came up with a very simple design that could be completed quickly and easily.

IMG_2581  From past experience, I have found that I rarely do quickly or easily. However, I do love a project. Eddie cut out my shapes, I painted, and  the twins  spray painted the hay. I found an old scarecrow in the attic, bought some fabulous green ribbon, and by 5:30 last night it was ready to be assembled.

I went over my design plan with Eddie that quite honestly, looked perfect in my head. He loaded his truck with a ladder and every tool known to man that he could possibly need and headed to the top of the street. After about an hour of working on the hay bale, Eddie informed me that though he loved my idea, it was not going to work and I needed a plan "B." Who IMG_2583has a plan "B?"

I say that jokingly, but seriously we are planners. We have lists, we have schedules, and we have millions of ideas. We run ourselves ragged desperately trying to "check off " as many items on the list as possible leaving us mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day. Imagine waking up every morning without a list and without an agenda. (You actually feel lighter just thinking about that possibility, don't you?) Start your day in a quiet place and ask the Lord to fill your day. Ask Him to be the author and illustrator or your every moment. Ask Him to consume your mind with His word and flood your heart with His presence.  Psalm 73," Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and besides Thee I desire NOTHING on earth."  To desire nothing on earth, and to seek Him first. That means God is Lord of your day, not a list! I LOVE that!! Seek Him first and I promise a life filled with adventure!

IMG_2585Plan "B" worked, and by 8:30  we had a happy fall hay bale! Drive by and let me know what you think!  Thanks for stopping by! Love love love Ruthie IMG_2592






Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bridesmaids Weekend

[caption id="attachment_2081" align="alignleft" width="300"]Beautiful Girls. My sweet KK missed the picture and we missed Stevie and Nat. Beautiful Girls. My sweet KK missed the picture and we missed Stevie and Nat.[/caption]

Im so glad you stopped by! I could hardly wait to tell you about the bridesmaids weekend. It's kind of the thing now to do a weekend away for the bride and her bridesmaids. I was really excited about this weekend because I am so in love with MaryCam's bridesmaids and I couldn't think of anything more fun than treating them to a fun and fabulous weekend. I think typically the girls get together and plan this weekend, but I really wanted this to be my gift to them. I wanted them to come to the lake and be on vacation. I wanted them to disconnect from the real world and enjoy each other's company and laugh and sleep and eat and catch up. The weekend was my joy. The girls arrived at the lake house on friday afternoon. They pulled up to the house to find my favorite of all my decorations. The painted pallet.

IMG_2410 IMG_2411 IMG_2435









I cannot take credit for this idea, I found it on pinterest. I loved it. I found an old pallet and sanded it down just a bit. I got some old poster paint and painted a heart on the boards. It took no time. With white acrylic paint I put the bible verse right on the heart. For me, it set the tone for the rest of the weekend. I've actually saved it to use again!


Okay, now the fun begins! I got to make them all a little treat bag. I love surprises. I painted the front of each bag with a white "flowey" dress and outlined it with "here comes the bride."


I used some heart pine left over from flooring my house and cut it to about 5x12. I sanded and stained each board and then painted an angel on each one in a soft blue green color. I signed it and put a bible verse on the back. This was really like giving each girl a piece of my heart.


I hope you can see this pic. Each bag had an angel, a glass that I put the word "bridesmaid" on and filled with kisses, a photo of themselves with MaryCam and of course glow in the dark bracelets. Not pictured are fabulous cookies that Towns made with MaryCam's monogram. They were delicious and gorgeous.


So when the girls arrived this was waiting for them as they entered the house. I thought it turned out great! I considered putting it on their bed, but all together they made such a fun and festive statement. So I put ball jars by their beds with white roses instead. I think it was a good choice.


Is this the cutest thing or what? I had this wood in my studio and I made a stencil and painted the letters L, V, and E. Then I found some old white buttons and glued them on in the shape of a heart. I really loved it. KK said she wants to put it in her room. After I painted, I did lightly sand it to give that aged look.


Okay, I loved this too. ( I am laughing so hard at myself, I love everything) Anyway, this took a little bit more time, but I think it was worth it. I had 5x5 blocks in my studio that I covered in paper. Then I painted and stamped and aged each piece. Then I used my cricut to make vinyl letters to stick on each block. Lastly, I put an eyelet in the top so I could put white wire ribbon on each one. I loved it.


This was a fun little spot. I covered a table in burlap and had a little "station" for crafts and notes. First, how cute is the "S" frame? I found a three dollar frame and sprayed it with metallic spray paint and framed an 8x10 piece of glitter paper. MaryCam is all about some glitter. Then I glued a wooden S for "Shaw" (her soon to be new last name)  right in the middle. Love! I put a flower pot filled with glue, scissors, pens and markers on the table just in case anyone felt the need to be really creative. I also put pink paper on the table and asked each bridesmaid to leave MaryCam a love note in the brown bag. So fun.IMG_2416I made this piece of mixed media for MaryCam to keep in her memory book. I asked each girl to put her thumb print in the center of a flower and then sign a leaf or stem. I really don't know why I did that, but I liked it. It turned out really cool.

I had the most fun decorating the rest of the house with banners and balloons and white roses everywhere. My sweet husband drove me to the lake and helped me decorate the night before the party. It was so much fun. The decorations were a blast, but filling the refrigerator with tons of food was a ball. One of my best friends, Connie, wanted to celebrate MaryCam so she helped me with all the food. Oh my goodness, and was there fun food. We had real food, and snack food, and chips, and dips, and of course there was chocolate.  MaryCam's sweet future mother in law sent breakfast for both mornings. I think it was perfect.

I went up late sunday afternoon after everyone had gone and spent a couple of hours with Towns sitting on the dock hearing about every minute. It made my heart so happy to hear her say what a sweet time it had been. I am tearful now as I think about each girl driving to spend the weekend to celebrate my MaryCam. Each girl has been such a blessing in MaryCam's life and mine! I have sweet memories of each girl and their beautiful smiles. They are amazing young women who I am thankful to know and love as my own. Friends are precious treasures and God has been gracious to bless MaryCam's life with girls that love the Lord and love her. As a mama I could not wish for sweeter friends in her life. To MaryCam's bridesmaids, precious girlfriends, thank you for a perfect weekend. I love you with all my heart.                                love love love a thankful mama, Ruthie




















Monday, October 7, 2013

May I introduce you to Horns

[caption id="attachment_2065" align="alignleft" width="237"]Horns 16x20 Canvas Board Horns
16x20 Canvas Board[/caption]

I am so glad you stopped by. Let me introduce you to Horns.  Horns is really not my favorite name for this sweet mama, but my children give me such a hard time for all my names for the girls that I am a little gun shy. She is the only cow we have with really big horns so we call her Horns. Pretty original. She had a baby last week. So sweet. Mamas and babies in the pasture are one of my favorite things.

Life in the pasture is awesome! There is an amazing sense of family and community among the girls and their babies. It actually reminds me of my old neighborhood when I was little. I had friends in every house on my street. It didn't matter what age anyone was or what school they attended, we were all friends, and everybody's mama was my mama. We were close and we took care of each other. It is the same way in the pasture. All the babies run and play together while the mamas eat and visit and keep a close eye on each one. When we pull into the pasture the mamas run for the truck to say a quick "Hello" then dash off to be first in line to eat dinner. The babies bob and weave in between the truck and their  mamas to get a look at us before they sprint back to the field. When the girls are through eating, they call their babies to come home and eat. It's amazing. Each baby comes immediately and goes directly to their own mama. I think that is fascinating. When they are through with dinner, they mosey out to pasture for bedtime stories.

I was in the art store today taking in the sights and smells of paint and dreaming of what I was going to create next, when I was interrupted by a young mama calling out to her daughter. It was pretty obvious that the mama was not happy that her daughter would not come when she called. The little girl thought it was hilarious and showed no fear as she stood her ground in the crayon isle. After an exchange of heated conversation, a very angry mama about took me down as she appeared out of nowhere running down my isle looking for her daughter. I actually held my breath anticipating the meeting between the two. Believe it or not the end of hide and seek wasn't nearly as explosive as I thought it would be. Sadly, the mama chose distraction rather than discipline, and her daughter learned disobedience is more profitable than obedience.

When mama cows call their babies, they obey the first time. I love that! There's no arguing, no discussion, no distraction, just obedience. First time obedience provides protection and peace. Why are parents so afraid of teaching obedience? Why does our culture laugh at discipline and disrespect authority?  Disciplining our children and teaching first time obedience makes for happier children. It makes every day a lot more fun and makes life much easier down the road for everyone. You only have to look as far as the pasture to see obedience produces happy children. Be brave. Don't be afraid to teach first time obedience. You can do it! Let me know how it goes!         love love love Ruthie

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fun Project for Fall Y'all

IMG_2524I am so glad you stopped by! In Alabama, you would never know it's fall except for friday night high school football, saturday college football, and pumpkins on everybody's front porch! The weather is still warm and the grass is still green, but pumpkins, hay bales, and mums announce fall in full bloom and color. I love it!  To welcome fall, I thought it would be fun to make a fabulous piece of art and show you each step so you could make it along with me! So grab a little imagination and creativity and follow along step by step.

IMG_2496I started with a piece of MDF from Home Depot. I cut it into a 12x12 square. ( If you can't cut your own wood, Home Depot will cut it for you for free ) I sanded my edges just a little and then gathered my supplies. I got mod podge, scissors, foam brush and decorative paper. I covered the board with paper using mod podge.


In this picture you can see that I covered the 12x12 board in paper and even added a border. I chose to use book pages and decorative paper for my border. I put it down with mod lodge.


Next I cut three pumpkins out of decorative paper. I chose orange and pink paper. No reason really, I just like those colors and thought if any of the color came through once I was through painting I would love to see those colors. My pumpkins graduated in size.I cut stems out of paper as well.


Glue them all down with a little mod podge. Number one rule, don't grow attached to your paper! You probably wont be able to see any of the paper at the end. I LOVE to layer. This is just your first layer.


This is kind of fun. Once I glued down my pumpkins, I decided it would be fun to add black birds. Found a little black and white polka dot and cut out easy shapes for birds. This is fun and easy, don't stress over birds. It's just a semi circle with a triangle tail and triangle beak. You can do it. If you want too. It's your piece and you can add anything you like. I thought a cat would be great or candy what ever you like!


Okay, this is part of my palate. I wanted you to see that I used different shades of orange to paint my pumpkins. Usually when I paint anything, I love to have about three values of that color to add shadows and highlights. I used a palate knife to mix paint and to paint with. I used heavy body acrylics for this project.


I painted these pumpkins a dark orange and then used my knife to add highlights of lighter oranges. Notice you can still see the background paper. Not for long. I mixed up a light green color using sap green, cad yellow, and white and painted it lightly. Have fun with this part. Be creative. Paint your pumpkins any color. I actually thought that neutral colors would have been really nice with a vintage feel. I painted my stems with a raw umber. I also washed my border with raw umber as well.


I cut some leaves out of green patterned paper and then painted them with sap green, cad yellow, and white.


Here you can see the leaves and the background are all painted.


Next I glued leaves, birds, and beaks. I don't know if you can see this, but I put a little fold in the leaf in order to give it a little 3D action. I I did the same thing for the birds wings. I out lined the birds with a little white paint and added a few cult vines with green and white paint. Paint to your hearts content! This is the fun part. You know me, the more layers the better!!!!!


Did I say the last part was the fun part? Who am I kidding? It's all so fun! This is really fun! Get out your stamps and ink and stamp away baby! I do love this part! I stamp all kinds of stuff. One of my fave stamps is a flower and I love to paint the flower. It just adds color and something else to see. I love that! Happy stamping!


Insert any type you like. I out lined and doodled all over this piece with a permanent black pen. Just have fun. Doodle, out line, type, just decorate to your hearts content. There is no wrong move! Go for it!


What do you think? I absolutely love it! The only hard part is figuring out where i'm going to hang it!!!! I drilled a couple of holes in the top corners and put a piece of wire so I could hang it easily! Yea! So fun! So quick and so easy! I absolutely loved creating with you! I hope you had fun in my studio today! Please send me your pics so I can see your creation! I loved hanging out! Thank you for stopping by! love love love Ruthie