{ just rise up }

I’ve been reading an inspirational book by Sarah Francis Martin titled “Just Rise Up”.

Sarah encourages us to do a lot of things in her book.  Good things.  And I’m inspired on so many levels by this young lady’s boldness to put herself out there and write about her faith and commitment to living her life for God.  And so there’s much you could take away from her writing.  Sarah has encouraged me to…

{1} Rise up.  Literally.  I’m an early bird anyway, but sneaking out from under the covers even earlier carries its rewards.  The still-quiet house, the calm before the day, the feeling like I’m stirring around while the rest of the world sleeps.  I love that feeling.

farm-april-2014-i{2} Journal intentionally.  My one little word for 2015 is ‘write’ so it’s something I’m focusing on anyway.  But Sarah prompts us to write responses specifically to questions and thoughts she shares in each chapter of her book.  Putting thoughts, prayers, questions, etc., down on paper is always a good idea.  The written word remains.

IMG_1322_2{3}  Get serious about reading and meditating on God’s Word.  I love to do this anyway.  But it falls away sometimes only because I let it.  Because I nonsensically think I don’t have time or can’t allow myself that luxury today.  Bad idea.

IMG_1309_2{4}  Live a life of praise to God, no matter what.  I am convinced there is not any situation we find ourselves in where we can’t find something to offer up praise over.  And this can circle back to the journaling.  Write out your praises!  It solidifies them and makes them feel more real and true.  Give it a try.

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DIVIDER-BRANCH-MUSTARD copyThank you, Sarah, for this little gem of a book.  I am encouraged to rise up!

January 28, 2015 - 3:22 pm

Sarah Martin - Rebecca, friend. You inspire me. Thank you for these kind words. Your art blows me away. I heart you!!!

January 28, 2015 - 11:57 pm

Mary Lydia - thank you for your post… very reflective….. hit home for me.

January 29, 2015 - 12:04 am

Jeanette in Illinois - Rebecca,
I have my copy ordered and can’t wait to read it!!! Thanks for sharing this with us. I think it will be a wonderful accompaniment to the Documented Faith project and Bible Journaling too!!
Hugs & Blessings.
So looking forward to meeting you in person in VT!!!
Jeanette

February 11, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Cherie Wilson - oh very sweet to know! I have my copy……….. and now your encouragement to stop the busyness of the business and read this little gem by sweet Sarah! xoxo

May 11, 2015 - 3:02 pm

Amy Hanna - Rebecca, thanks so much for this reminder it is just what I needed this morning! xo

May 27, 2015 - 11:24 am

Lizzy - Enjoyed reading this post. Was looking for ideas on free motion stitching and seem to have tumbled onto your new Web page!

June 6, 2015 - 6:26 pm

Shannon McCary - Sounds great. I love how you took the book, Just Rise Up, and show meaningful ways to apply it in daily life.

{ 2015: the year of write }

IMG_1261Like many of you, I choose a word of focus each year.  Last year was art, the year before that was time, 2012 was give, etc.  For 2015, my word is ‘write’.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it.  It’s my word.

This concept of choosing a word each year, at least among those in the artsy-craftsy world, was begun by Ali Edwards.  It’s a great concept.  Maybe a more realistic and gentler approach to the new years resolutions that sometimes feel more like a have-to than a get-to?  That’s how it works for me anyway.

I used to write.  I used to love to write.  Why I let it fall away from my daily routine?  I don’t even know.  Life, I suppose.  Gathering the eggs, washing the linens, sweeping the front porch, checking the email, chasing down the dust bunnies…

But I want to get back to it.  Because…

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I want to inspire others.  Sometimes that happens when I write?  Maybe?

I want to remember all these moments that are happening and then left in the wake of life.  I am not young anymore.  Big, big events are happening, all the time, around here.

I want to hear the scratch of pencil on paper.

I want those who come behind me to know what I prayed for (I write out my prayers sometimes).

I need a keeping place for these random, out-of-nowhere thoughts that pop in and out of my brain for a usually-short stay.  Sometimes they’re really good thoughts.  But of no use when they disappear never to return.

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So, here’s to the written word!

Here’s to 2015!

January 5, 2015 - 7:27 pm

Julie - That’s great! I’ve been learning as I’ve started journaling what God is teaching me that it helps tremendously to focus when you write things out. It enforces it even more than if typed out. It does require more thought and discipline, but so worth it. I love your thought about leaving a record for those who come behind you. The great missionaries and preachers of the past wrote and recorded and it is still being used to greatly bless countless lovers of Jesus hundreds of years after….Perhaps on a smaller scale God will build up others after we are with Him.

January 6, 2015 - 1:01 am

Lorrie - I’m always inspired by your posts, Rebecca, and I hope that your year of Write means more of them. I find that writing clarifies my thinking in a way no other activity can. Wishing you joy on your writing journey.

PS. I read every post but don’t always comment because I’m asked to fill in the name/email every time I do.

January 6, 2015 - 8:56 am

rachel - How i’ve missed your posts- your words inspire endlessly! Happy 2015 to you and your beautiful family.

January 6, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Kristen K. - Rebecca – you have such a beautiful heart, and I’m so excited for you for what God will bring in the coming year. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding – how fun, and what a blessing! May God bless your heart with your writing, and all of the big stuff going on this year…as you are a blessing to your followers with all of the creative ways you share your gifts. Thank you, and Happy New Year! :-)

January 6, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Chrystel - I love this, Rebecca. I, too, journal my prayers. I noticed a consistent petition this past year for God to reveal his plan for me as I go into retirement. So, I chose “Purpose” as my 2015 Word of the Year, Surly he has a purpose for giving me the passion to craft and providing many opportunities for me to learn.

January 6, 2015 - 8:28 pm

Lana Manis - I wanted to choose a word this year and see how it went, but I can’t settle on a word that seems to speak to me… or maybe it’s FOCUS? I seem to have trouble focusing on several aspects of my life the last few years… now you’ve inspired me! I’ll wait and see what transpires. :)

{ vermont in the spring : stitching workshops }

Oh just the thought of that on this cold wintry day, right?

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I will be teaching workshops May 28-31, 2015 on all sorts of stitching at Meleen and Charlotte’s Vermont Getaway this Spring.  I hope you can join us!  Very limited space, but what a beautiful time we will have together…

vermont stitch mosaic

I will hold your hand all the way through if you like.  So even if you’ve never stitched by hand before, please don’t let that discourage you.  If you’re a stitching pro, please come too!  You’ll find much inspiration and all the beautiful threads you can wish for.  I will be available for you as much or as little as you need me:)

New England in the Spring, a gathering of friends laughing, chatting, stitching and sharing.  I’m saving a spot for you!  Stop by Charlotte’s blog for more information.

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2015 - 5:11 am

Kelly - Sounds so lovely, Rebecca. How I would love to learn to stitch from your kind soul! Maybe I could finally learn! Come to Wisconsin someday, pretty please?

Blessings…

January 3, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Melanie Legrand - Please consider taping this class and offering an online class. I would so love to attend, but it is too far away. I have been waiting and watching for your next class. It’s looks so adorable and lovely!!!

January 4, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Sheila Rumney - Oh, how I wish I could be there! I just love stitching with you… One of my biggest highlights ever was to have taken your classes at Silver Bella. Wishing you a wonderful New Year.

January 4, 2015 - 10:40 pm

Andrea - Oh, a girl can dream! I’d ove to join you and the others in Vermont. It sounds fun.
I think you all are so talented.

January 4, 2015 - 10:42 pm

Andrea - …love

{ christmas inspiration board }

 CHRISTMAS-INSPIRE-BOARD-1I switched out the elements on an autumn inspiration board I made years ago…now it’s all about Christmas!

Here are some closer-ups…

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I love all the little details of the holidays.  Well any details of the creative kind, that’s what I love.

And I think I’m going to love having this board on display for the next few weeks.  I still like to look at it and study all the little pieces.  And I especially love to ponder the bits of old Christmas hymns that I chose for the messages on the board.

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Let heaven and nature sing!

December 8, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Lorrie - Lovely bits and pieces of Christmas. The old Christmas carols are wonderful.

December 8, 2014 - 4:27 pm

JeanFB - I adore this! I love saving bits and bobs, especially from Christmas. You have inspired me to do this! Enjoy your holidays. :)

December 8, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Kelly - Rebecca,
You continue to inspire me after all these years!

Blessings,
Kelly

December 8, 2014 - 5:18 pm

Dagmar Leuenberger-Swift - You are always such an inspiration! It is a beautiful collection of your creavity! You continue to inspire all of us ! Xox
Dagmar

December 8, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Georgia - Love it. Never a disappointment.

December 8, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Georgia - In the top left corner..who makes that stamp?

December 9, 2014 - 5:32 pm

Dottie Eberhart - I love this piece! So much to see and such wonderful messages!

December 10, 2014 - 1:15 am

Karen - Oh my, Rebecca! I absolutely love this. I might need to make one too! Of course, I love all your little details. I wish I could touch it all!! Thanks for the inspiration, as usual.

Karen

December 10, 2014 - 5:42 am

Sheila Rumney - Oh my! Love this and all the details!

December 13, 2014 - 2:59 pm

annar - That is such a beautiful inspiration board! I’m a button collector so that is what caught my eye first but when I looked closer at all the details, I was amazed and inspired to make my own tags this year. Thank you.

December 14, 2014 - 2:06 am

Dawn - Always lovely! Your work is perfect.

January 2, 2015 - 11:13 pm

Dawn - Adore this!!!

January 11, 2015 - 1:43 am

Georgia - Rebecca, do you use the “ribbon” from zipper stop? If so is it lipstick red? I favor the tropic wine color, but your choice is really nice. Great for Valentines, too.

March 19, 2015 - 8:07 pm

Jeanne - Hello! Your blog has always been inspiring to me. I thought I would share with you my project inspired by you. I made spring tags and a board for displaying them on.

Jeanne

http://jeanneselep.blogspot.com/2015/03/spring-paper-tag-project.html

{ diy christmas gift tags }

Here’s a quick tutorial for some lovely but easy Christmas gift tags…

 CHRISTMAS-TAGS-1The supplies and tools you’ll need:  A heat tool like this (not in photo), some white shipping tags (mine are about 4″), a paintbrush, a wreath rubber stamp like this one  or this one, some red fluid acrylic paint, an embossing stamp pad, some embossing powder like this or this and some lovely green velvet ribbon.

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Begin by stamping the tag with embossing ink, sprinkle with embossing powder, tap off excess and heat with heat tool until melted, like this…

CHRISTMAS-TAGS-3The use the handle end of your paintbrush dipped into the paint to make ‘berries’ on the embossed wreath, like so…

CHRISTMAS-TAGS-2After paint has dried, tie with velvet ribbons and you’re all done!

CHRISTMAS-TAGS-1

Handcrafted holidays are the best holidays.

Next post…a Christmas inspiration board.

December 5, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Dawn - Lovely.
Nice stamp!

December 8, 2014 - 3:57 am

Georgia - Love the tags. Can’t wait to see the inspiration board.

December 8, 2014 - 2:33 pm

Ilana Polakiewicz - Beautiful tags. You have such a good taste!

December 8, 2014 - 4:19 pm

Lorrie - So very pretty.

December 28, 2014 - 10:50 pm

Laura - Do you actually hold the heat tool to the side like that?

January 2, 2015 - 6:51 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Hi Laura,
No, not necessarily. Just make sure you keep the heat tool moving slowly over the embossing powder until you see it melt. I usually hold the tool about 3″ away. Hope this helps!