Friday, March 29, 2013

Rembrandt's The Raising of the Cross

Last year during Sunday school, I was fascinated when my teacher read about Rembrandt van Rijn.
I have heard of Rembrandt and seen his artwork my entire life, but I did not know he was a Christian. It was touching to hear how he used his God-giving skills to share his testimony.
I found this blog article by Joel J. Miller mentioning this particular work by Rembrandt:
I think there is much to gain from meditating on Rembrandt’s Raising of the Cross. The painting features a remarkable self-portrait. There in the middle of the scene Rembrandt wears a blue beret and actively helps to hoist the cross upon which Christ is nailed, saying in effect, “My sins are why Jesus is on the cross — I put him here.”

Meditating on the cross compels us to look down at the hammer in our right hand and the nails in our left, to wipe away the beads of sweat from our terrible labors. 

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
-Isaiah 53:5
Thank you, Jesus.
God bless,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

first 2 rows

Mom's afghan is really coming along! Two rows are finished, six more to go & a border will finish it.
I can't believe that this Sunday is Resurrection (a.k.a. Easter) Sunday! It hasn't felt like the week before Easter. The past week has been so chilly outside, & the dogwoods, which are always an indicator of the season,  haven't started to bloom. But I am glad to see that this weekend should have more pleasant temperatures.
Happy Thursday!
God bless,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I crochet

I love to crochet. I love looking at different patterns and designs. I love yarn & it's different colors & textures. The repetitive motion of creating the stitches is soothing to me.
I have always wanted to crochet. My mom & grandmother will crochet a little every couple of years. I would try crochet every year or so, I would look at different books and patterns, then I would get frustrated with it and put my hook and yarn away for a year or two before I would try it again. I didn't have the patience for it. It is funny for my to look back & realize that the time that I feel in love with crochet, & really start to understand it, was during a time when I was the least patient.
I went through a bout of depression and anxiety a couple of years ago. It was a time when my sad thoughts and fears where constant companions & I was looking for something to occupy my mind, but not many things could distract me long enough.
I can't remember how I started thinking about crochet again, but I did. Winter was on it's way so it was a nice time to start a yarn project. I started looking up how-to videos on Youtube, mostly hat tutorials. And for some reason it stuck this time. Unlike my past attempts, crochet was calming, and it was something to look forward to. Learning crochet, as with anything else, is by trial & error. You need to learn the stitches & come up with the technique that works best for you.

I can't tell you that crochet is the reason why I am better, because it isn't. During the depression I really had to seek & draw closer to the Lord. Prayer and scripture were and are vital. I am also very blessed with loved ones who were there for me and helped me along the way. Crochet was not the cure to my aliment, but it was a wonderful supplement for a weary mind. Creating is a wonderful thing for one to do. God design us to be productive, work with our hands & see that work finished.  I was amazed to find something new that I enjoyed during this period of time. It is boost to my confidence to find a pattern and sit down and create a replica with my own hands. Crochet was and is a way to release stress. It is something I hope to be capable of for a long, long time.

I would encourage anyone feeling down to find something you enjoy doing and develop and hone it into a skill; writing, painting, music, gardening, whatever. Just try it. We live in a time where information is right at our fingertips. Tips and tutorials are just clicks away. Utilize them.
But if there is something deeper, I will be willing to pray for you.

Have a wonderful week!
God bless,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

p i n s p i r a t i o n // crochet squares

Since I have finished the granny squares for mom's afghan, I have been looking at the many different & beautiful options of crochet squares on, where else, Pinterest!


I have fallen in love with the many patterns of granny squares out there. There are so many possibilities with these beauties. I will defiantly keep these in mind for future crochet plans.
Check out my other inspirations on Pinterest.
I hope you are having a wonderful week!
God bless,

Monday, March 25, 2013

instagram / 3.18-3.25

There were two procedures in the household the week; my brother had his wisdom teeth removed & Amos the kitten was "snip snipped" this morning.
I began to join mom's squares for her afghan this weekend. Very exciting!
And like most of the country, it has been a cold week to be the beginning of spring. Thankfully we have not had bad weather like in the mid-west.
I hope you have a great week!
God bless,

Friday, March 22, 2013

The final square

This is not the best picture, but I just wanted to quickly document the last square needed for mom's afghan. I started this project in February & have until April 10th to join the squares. I started weaving in the ends last night, getting about 40% of them done!  
I guess I will start joining the squares this weekend. Also on the books for this weekend, we are going out with my parents at somepoint to celebrate thier 26th wedding aniverary. Yea, mom & dad!
Do you have any plans this weekend? I hope you have a wonderful Friday!
God bless,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My hump day

Even though I was off  work, I had a busy Wednesday. After Bible study, workout, breakfast, shower & laundry I headed to my dentist, who's office is 30 minutes away. After receiving a perfect bill of healthy teeth, (yea!) I stopped to grab a bite to eat followed by a trip to A.C. Moore.

I purchased what I hope will be the last skein needed to finish my mom's afghan.
Following the yarn refill, I headed towards town, picked up a couple of others items & headed to a hair appointment.
After having my hair shampooed, cut & styled I arrived at the house to have my mom act as photographer to a mini shoot.
See my clean teeth & fresh new hair!?
I wanted to get different photos of me crocheting for an upcoming post.
I hope you had a nice day! Don't worry, the weekend will be here so enough.
God bless,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Only 3 more squares!

I had a moment this evening when I thought I had finished my 48th square, which is the amount I was hoping would be enough for mom's afghan.
As I laid them all  out on the dinning room table, I found only 45 squares. Big fat bummer. But I was so happy to see that 6x8 squares will work wonderfully for an afghan!
I have gone back and forth on this project. When I went with my mom to pick out the yarn, I loved the colors & had no doubt in my mind that they would look fabulous together. Fast forward to when I had crochet the first 10, or so, squares I started to question my initial enthusiasm. The colors were not wowing my like they did in the skeins. That is when I tried adding the row of gray you see on the bottom squares. Once I saw the gray border I fell in love again!
Each square will have two outer rows of the gray yarn. I will crochet the second row gray using the joining as-you-go method. This will be my first attempt at joining a afghan together this way. We will see how it goes.
I hope you have had great so far! Have any of you crocheted a granny square afghan? If so, what joining method did you use?
God bless!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

p i n s p i r a t i o n / crochet borders

I have been looking at different crochet borders for my mom's afghan.

The last one is the pattern I plan on using for the afghan. It looks simple yet beautiful. The top one would work for my rippled afghan.
Follow me on Pinterest to view all my pins.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
God bless,

Monday, March 18, 2013

instagram // 3.11-3.18

We had some wonderful spring weather this week. I loved it!
For any of you who do not know my dad, he loves to work in the yard. He loves it! And apparently he has had a love for landscaping his entire life. I know he did a lot of lawn care for others when he was in college. And for as long as I can remember if the temperature outside was warm, he would be out working in the yard into the evening hours. During the fall, my dad planted somewhere near a kajillion flower bulbs. We are starting to reap the rewards of his gardening. In the past couple of weeks his flowers are starting to bloom all over the yard. It is fun to see new blossoms everyday.
I made a little bit of progress on mom's afghan this weekend. But not much. I hope to have finished the squares by this weekend.
How was your weekend?
God bless,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mom's afghan

I counted it is less than four weeks until my mom's birthday. I have 20 partial squares to finish to be a total of 50 squares. I am hoping to finish the last 20 in the next couple of days. I might want to add some squares, but I am waiting to see how large it will be when I lay them all out together before I decide if I need to add anymore. Then comes the joining. I know I will be able to finish in time. My only problem will be staying focused.   
I find myself thinking about borders for the finished afghan. There are many beautiful ideas I have seen recently including the one on Sophie Slim's Granny Circle Blanket.
I am exciting to see how it will turn out! Do you have any granny square afghan border ideas?
Have a wonderful day & God bless!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

liebster award

 Last week I was nominated by the lovely Megan, of I have thoughts, for a Liebster Award. I had never heard of this award before, but it sounded exciting.  
Well, it turns out it is exciting (at least it is to me). Liebster is a German word for beloved, sweetheart, etc., basically a German pet name from what I gather. A Liebster award is a wonderful way for the author & readers of different blogs to get to know and interact with other bloggers out in this great blogosphere.

Here are the rules:

1.      Answer the 11 questions ask by the blogger who nominated you
2.      State 11 random facts about yourself
3.      Write another list of 11 questions for your nominees to answer
4.      Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers

Fun, huh!?

Here are the 11 random facts I came up with about myself:
1.I am a follower a Jesus Christ
2. My favorite colors are green & purple
3. I have been singing for different audiences (none of them huge) since I was 5 years old.
4.  I do not like bananas
5. I get excited when I notice the time is 7:21 (my birthday)
6. I often do not realize that I am talking too loud (& yet my hearing is almost perfect)
7. I look just like my dad
8. I like to sign my name “hannaH” because I am dyslexic
9. I will take off running for no reason. I just get an urge to run.
10. I can sing the first line of In the Navy in Japanese
11. I fine a man more attractive if he is left handed
Here are my answers to Megan's questions:                
 1. what is one of your life goals?  One dream I have had for years is to go on a mission trip to an African country and work with orphans. Maybe help with a week of Vacation Bible School. I mainly want to minister & show Christ’s love to children without families of their own.
2. do you consider yourself a hipster? I guess so. I am not sure what the definition of a hipster is. What is the definition of hipster?  All I know is that when I see someone who does characterizes themselves as a hipster I do like their style, the way the dress, etc. It sounds like a cool title. Sure, call me a hipster. 
3. what is the best concert you've ever been to?  I love the Avett Brothers, and saw them at The House of Blues in Myrtle Beach in 2010. They were awesome & I would love to see them again. The only problem is that my brother’s & I don’t drink, and the fact that the concert was at a bar left us being the only people not wasted that night.  That was the only thing I had against that concert, & the only thing holding it back from being the best. Last year my family & I saw the ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (here he is covering Bohemian Rhapsody) at Wingate University. He is incredible. Not only is he an amazingly talented musician, he seemed very down to earth and likeable. I love that it was just Jake & us (the audience).  Jake’s concert is probably my favorite. 
4. if you were to road trip, where would you go? I would love to drive across the United States. It is one item on my bucket list. I want to take a two week vacation and see all that I can of my country and my neighbors who live throughout it.
5. are you an american idol watcher? who's your fave this year? Sorry, not this year.  It has been a couple years since I have watched the show. I think I stopped once Simon left. 
6. what is your favorite season? My guess would be the year Fantasia Barrino won. She is a fellow North Carolinian, so I have to represent. Her performance of “Summertime” was incredible. 
7. what is your dream job? It would be a stay-at-home mommy. Just like my mom. 
8. what would your day look like if it were all up to you? I would have to start with great cup of coffee & quite time/Bible study.  A day filled with abundant sunlight & warm temperatures while I went for a scenic walk.  I love days full of creative productivity & beauty. I would finish it up by having dinner with loved ones, & spending the evening laughing until I am sore with them. God’s beauty, creating, loved ones; my ingredients for a great day!
9. how do you feel about the hunger games? I have only read the first book & enjoyed it a lot. I liked the movie, the book was better (as always).  I have a hard time sitting down and finishing a book on my own. It is the ADD-type personality in me. I have to have some great incentive to finish a book, like “the movie is coming out and we all want to see it”. I am like this with any book.  I finish the first Hunger Games book because the movie was coming out that weekend. I wish I was a person that can focus & finish a book in a reasonable amount naturally, but I rarely do. I will be able to read the other volumes when it is closer to the movie release date. Just watch.
10. do you like to cook? what's your favorite meal? I love pasta dishes, simple pasta dishes are my favorite meals. I am more of a baker. I focus more on desserts.  
11. were you more of a tomboy or princess growing up? I have never been much of a princess type. But I was not a full tomboy.  While growing up my favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz. I would act out the movie, put on my only red shoes (which were a pair of Converse), grab my favorite stuffed animal (which was a white seal) & pretend he was my Toto. I am the girl who has big dreams and loves to sing, like Dorothy. I think she would be somewhere between tomboy & princess. 
For those of you who are counting, I realize I only listed 8 nominees. I don’t read enough blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
Here are the questions for my nominees:
1.      Why did you start blogging?

2.      What color are your eyes

3.      What is the best thing you have ever eaten

4.      What is your dream vacation?

5.      What would you title you autobiography?

6.      Dogs or cats?

7.      What is your idea of a perfect meal?

8.      What was the last thing you can remember that made you laugh?

9.      Which is your favorite season?

10.   Where is your favorite place to have fun?

11.   What skill do you wish you had?
I can't wait to read your answers!
Have a wonderful day!
God bless,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

p i n s p i r a t i o n / jewelry & hair accessories

With warmer weather on its way I know that the heavy yarn work that usually is associated with crochet is not as cosy as it is in the fall and winter months. With this in mind I have been looking up more applicable projects for the spring & summertime.

Source: via Hannah on Pinterest
Source: via Hannah on Pinterest
Source: via Hannah on Pinterest

(Want to see what else inspires me? Follow me on Pinterest).
I feel like the hair accessories (bows & flowers) would come more easily to me than compared to the jewelry. I have never crocheted over anything like wire.  I would like to try a dream catcher or doily style earring sometime. I found this crochet thread earring tutorial on youtube today. It looks like a good beginner crochet jewelery project.
Have you ever crochet little accessories? If so, what kind?
I hope you have a wonderful day!
God bless!

Monday, March 11, 2013

instagram / 3.4 - 3.11

Here we are, the 11th day of March, 2013. As always, time flies.
We had to spring forward this weekend. The lost of an hour didn't bother me that much yesterday when I had to get up and ready for church. I thought I would come out of the time change unscathed. But I really felt it this morning when the alarm went off. My maltipoo, Owen, didn't even flinch.  He stayed right where he was, curled up in his spot on my bed. He didn't move until it was "his" 7:30 am.
But despite the lost of a hour, I love the benefits of Daylight savings time. I am excited to see the extra hour of sunlight in the evenings.
This weekend was also wonderful in the fact that we had temperatures in the mid to upper 60's, and nothing but sunny, clear skies! A strong contrast to the past couple of weekends with wintry mixes. And I love spending time at church with my dear church family studying His word and worshiping His Great Name.
Oh yes, and for any of the bakers out there, I tried a yummy recipe. While searching Pinterest for a new dessert recipes, I discovered the Brown Eyed Baker and her delicious salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars recipe. Now the direction said to let the bars cool to room temperature and than refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the bars set. That didn't happen. The family dug into the warm, gooey caramel & cookie scrumptiousness. I do want to try to let them set next. I know it will be much more convenient cutting it in to bars.
How was your weekend?
Have a wonderful day & God bless!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

afghan & animals

Mom's afghan is coming along & I am getting excited. I am really falling in love with the colors. I am afraid I will need to buy more grey yarn. Don't you hate when you miscalculate? I hope my AC Moore is well stocked.
While I had the camera to photograph the granny squares I took some other snap shots.

Sweet little Owen (a.k.a. Owie, Oh Bo, Bo Bo, or just Bo); this is my buddy & cuddle bear.

Amos (a.k.a. CRAZY CAT!). I can not believe this is the same little, sick baby I found in November. He has made my laugh so many times in the past few months. 

 Sweet Ms. Molly Mae. What more can I say? :)

I am amazed how the furry, four legged creatures find such a special place in my heart.

Are there any sweet animals keeping you company?

I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

God bless,

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

p i n s p r a t i o n / pillow ideas

I want to crochet a couple of throw pillows for my room. Here are a few patterns and motif  that tickled my fancy.

Source: via Hannah on Pinterest

Source: via Hannah on Pinterest

Slowly but surely my bedroom/bathroom is coming along. But with all the remodeling going on at my house I love looking at the possibilities on Pinterest. Feel free to check out my Pinterest board, & see what inspires me. What inspires you?
I hope your week is going well.
God bless!


Monday, March 4, 2013

i n s t a g r a m / 2 . 2 5 - 3 . 4

My intagram income (I am not very sure of what word I should use) was low this week. I am not sure why. Maybe I was a little distracted & uninspired. Oh well.
I felt some irony this week. Saturday, the day after I posted about my excitement over spring being on it's way, it snow in my town.  It did not stick. Snow is just very uncommon around here.
I hope you enjoyed you week & have a blessed day!

Friday, March 1, 2013

.:spring, spring, spring:.

Goodbye February. Hello March!
I am getting so excited for spring! I feel like jumping up and down. I can go outside and hear the birds singing, as if they are ushering in the change of season. This winter has been relatively mild, but I am so ready for a change. Ready for warmer weather, pastel colors, deep green lawns, & spending more time outside without the cold (I really just want to start wearing sun dresses again).
I do love the pansies my dad planted. They bloom during a chilling day, and can perk-up your spirits.

But,while it is still cool outside, I am content to stay inside and crochet.

 The doctor of the small office I work for was out sick today. That being the case, there were no patients schedule which left me with some free time to crochet. I was happy with progress I made on mom's afghan. I am trying to stay in a high gear with this project. If I don't stay focused, my ADD type personality can be distracted, and put it on the back burner.
Let's see if I can finish the afghan before April.
Have a great day!
God bless!