Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

I hope your Easter was as lovely as mine.
The words, " He is not here. He is risen!" were on repeat in my mind. Those words colored everything about this Easter. Sometimes, I have a hard time applying eternal perspectives to this temporal life. I'm either living here, in the moment, or I'm focused above. Reconciling the two is a challenge. 
But this Easter I saw Jesus everywhere: in the innocence of the little ones. They have pure, sweet hearts & love unconditionally.
In the blooms of the spring flowers. So much hope & promise in them! Where there was just dirt & dinge a few months ago, there is life & color. 

I kept thinking about the empty tomb & wondering at the miracle of it. It brought me to tears more than once. So much love! So much joy! So much hope! 
Because He has risen, we can live without fear of death. It's a mindset & a life-changing thought! So thankful for that unfathomable gift of love! To God be the glory! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY | St. Patrick's Day embellished tee

I meant to post this before St. Patrick's Day was done & over with, but such is life. We are experiencing real life with a vengeance here, with Fee down with a cough/cold/fever last week. Dar & I both have it too, but don't get to take a sick day when your baby's sick. I'm thankful Fee was feeling okay for her birthday party, at least!

Anyway, I made this shirt for Fee so she'd be all festive for her first St. Party's Day. Thank you, mother, again, for my love of all things festive. 
It was pretty simple. I used a onesie I had, & some felt shapes I'd picked up on clearance from Target. The HandMade Modern collection there is pretty cool. It's by the office supplies, fyi. 
I cut out on four-leaf clover shape from green felt because there had to be at least one four-leaf clover, right? ;).
I laid out the clover shapes and moved them around til I was happy with my arrangement.
For fun, I tried the flower shapes. The possibilities for this project are endless! Also, putting shapes into containers has been my new way of keeping Fee busy. It's great.
I cut out a few smaller clover shapes because I thought there needed to be some size variation.
Then, I took my interfacing, & cut it out to fit behind the clovers. I ironed it onto the inside. (Note: I don't know if you'd have to use interfacing, I just thought with the stretchiness of the onesie, it would make it easier to sew the clovers on if there were interfacing. It did seem to help.)
I pinned them in place.

And sewed them on. It is important to backstitch!! They WILL unravel in the wash if you don't. I learned that the hard way.

Fee rocked her shamrock shirt. She does seem to enjoy the clovers & likes to pluck at them--all the more important to backstitch!
I had a lot of fun making this for her. It's so fun to have a little to create for! I'm waiting patiently for the day she gets to join me on kitchen table projects!

Fiona turns one!

I am mother to a one-year-old now. That sentence is a strange one to read! What a year of changes this little sparkle of joy has brought to our lives! She's spunky, & silly, & sweet, & sometimes sassy. I can't get enough of her. She started walking a month ago, & doesn't ever sit still anymore. This girl hustles places! It's always full-steam ahead. 
We celebrated her birthday with Dar's family. All decorations & food & the rest of the fabulousness of her party was planned by Aunt Erinn. I was in charge of the smash cake, & got to sit back & enjoy the rest. 

 It was a lovely day. Absolutely perfect for celebrating. It's been raining here in the good ol' green PNW for weeks, so having a sunny day was a better birthday present than anything! Fee loved her time spent outdoors!
 This scene is one that will be a familiar one, I'm sure. Fee adores her older cousin. These two...I don't even want to imagine the shenanigans they will dream up! It's just the beginning. I'm so thankful Fee has a girl cousin close to her age. One of my best  childhood friends, and still is a best friend, is one of my cousins. Life without her would've been quite dull! I pray Livy & Fee have as easy-going & comfortable relationship as we had.
 For her smash cake, I made a from scratch vanilla cake (only because I didn't have a box mix on hand), with fresh strawberry frosting. I'm not a huge cake fan, but the strawberry frosting is pretty yummy.
Fee loved the frosting, too! She didn't get too messy, but she did do a number on the frosting!

You were so loved on your birthday. The gifts came all week in the mail from your IL family. Your Oregon family spoiled you, too. The more I learn of the heartache & abuse in the world, the more grateful & humbled I am that we have such supportive, loving family. You are getting such a good start on life, and have so much more than most!

Oh, little Fee. It's hard to believe you're one. What a gift you've been! I can't imagine my life without you. There are times I resent the time you take, & how needy you can be, & the challenge you've made it to get any husband/wife time. But we love you so. And you've started making us laugh! You've got a good sense of humor, & the ability to get up & keep going, no matter how often you fall! Watching your personality blossom has been my favorite. I love the newborn smell, the soft sweetness, the pure innocence, but one-year has me pretty smitten.

As much as we love you, we want you to know that the God who made you loves you more & perfectly. It is our greatest wish for you that you would feel that & know Him always. You are His, & we are honored to be the parents that get to guide you to Him! May your 2nd year be as full as the first.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Recipe | Irish coffee blondies

Every year around this time, I pull out an old Martha Stewart Living magazine & open it up to a grease-stained, crumby, creased page. It's easy to find because it's been opened to this page so many times! Irish coffee blondies. They are amazing. Bars don't typically tempt me. But these have coffee, toasty slivered almonds, & a whisky glaze. I have a hard time not shoveling them in. Especially with a hot cuppa! 
Today seemed like a good day to make them: the view from my window almost makes me feel like I'm on the Emerald Isle! That, and we're heading to the coast later today, so roadtrip snack.
Anyway, these bars will not let you down. And St. Patrick's Day is next week. Not like they need any other excuse to be made. I used to make them anytime of year for my Califamily back when I lived in the Golden State. They were a hit there. I made a bribe batch to bring up to Dar's family when we were engaged. 

 Here's the recipe. I got lazy & just took a photo of the recipe. Here's a link to it as well. I follow the recipe pretty much as it is. I do bake them for 29 minutes, & they're still delightfully chewy. If I don't have Irish whiskey around (which I usually don't), I use rum extract instead. Vanilla would work if you don't like the flavor of whiskey. I just think, they're Irish, know. And they're best eaten with coffee!
Anyway, try these! You will love them. 

Also, head on over to my instagram @likepearlsonastring for a fun giveaway! It ends tomorrow night, so go enter now! 

Have a happy weekend! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DIY | photo board

I am a "documenter" by nature. Photography, writing, saving notes & euphemera, I can't help it. I want my children to be able to look back & get a sense of who their young parents were before they were parents, of how we lived when drove old cars & didn't own an extra freezer, of how loved they were from the beginning. So I take photos. Lots of photos. 

But I am absolutely awful at getting prints of them. And I'm even worse at displaying them. Which is a shame. What's the point of taking the photos if they're never brought out & enjoyed? So I've tried different projects to display them easily. Because if it isn't easy, I won't do it! I have really good intentions of switching photos out of frames, but I don't. Here's one project Dar & I just made together that I think will keep me switching up the photos because it is so easy to!
It was such a quick, simple project, and as long as you know how to use a drill & a hammer (or meat tenderizer, cough, cough), you could make this, too. 
It only takes a handful of things: an old barn board, some metal clips, & hanging hardware, a few screws, a drill, a hammer, & some nails to hang the final product. 

I had Dar dig around in the shop for me (he's such a dear) for some old wood. He found this piece from the days when they raised onions & stored them in big wooden boxes. They marked their boxes with their name, & you better believe I snatched this chunk of wood up! Such nostalgia! I love that this photo display has some history behind it. Dar just shakes his head at me sometimes, but humors my galloping after the current rustic chic trend. Like I said, he's a dear. 

I bought the metal clips at Michael's & the picture hangers at Lowe's. The clips were only $2.50 with my 40% off coupon (never leave home without it!) & I can't remember how much the picture hangers were, but they can't be that much.
I had Dar cut my board to three feet, & because he was helping me, I actually measured out where I wanted my clips. (Confession: I don't measure. I eyeball. Every time. Drives him batty.) So, I measured in 4 inches on each side, and then my clips were each 7 inches apart. I placed them 3/4 of an inch down from the top of the board. He had to bend the front part of the clip out in order to drill the screw in, but we were able to just bend them back when we were done, & it worked great.
Then I hammered in two picture hangers on the back. With a meat tenderized because I couldn't find my hammer. (My tenderizer's been a hammer way more often than a tenderizer...) I didn't measure these because Dar wasn't around, but I'm sure you can find a nice measureable placement.
Then pound a couple nails in and voila! Done. Clip in some current photos & sit back & enjoy.

I like to think because it is mind-blowingly easy to switch out photos, I will. We'll see, though:). And Fiona loves loves loves to look at photos. Her first phrase was, "Whozzat?" accompanied by the sweetest little finger pointing. She was a big fan of this project & loves to sit on the table when I'm working there & look at the photos.

It makes my heart happy to think that she's learning the faces of her far away cousins & aunts & uncles!  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

DIY | free coloring page download!

Adult coloring is kind of a craze right now. It's supposed to be relaxing & a soothing retreat for our poor, bombarded brains. I'm all for it! There are some awesome coloring books out there, like this one, and this one. I got into it for the first time when my niece was here last fall. I keep giving Fiona crayons, hoping she'll be into it, but she's still in the, "Mmm, let's taste this," stage. 

 Recently, I shared a post on handlettering morning devotions to help the scriptures stick. Handlettering isn't for everyone, though. But I had an epiphany: Maybe not everyone will handletter, but anyone can color! So I made a coloring page to supplement your devotion time. 

Kind of excited about it! I have dreams of making an entire coloring book, but that's a little far out yet. Maybe someday;). Until then, enjoy this coloring page!
click here to download
Happy Friday & happy coloring!!

**I'm not worried, but please only use for personal use. Feel free to print off as many copies as you'd like though! And I'd love to see the results & hear feedback...should I make more?!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

how to find four-leaf clovers

I have a strange ability to find four-leaf clovers. I posted about it once before, and I'm still finding them. How do I do it? What's my secret? I'm going to let you in on it:). Perhaps it is because I was born on St. Patrick's Day. (When I was little, I was pretty sure this was the reason.) Perhaps it is simply a knack I have, like some people have for guessing the exact time (Dar does), or predicting the weather. 
this is a new print I just designed, inspired by my weird knacks, available in my etsy shop, JKathrynDesign
Or perhaps, it is because--and pay attention! I think this one's the real reason!

Perhaps it is because I look. 

I find four-leaf clovers when I am looking for them. I have never once found one when I wasn't looking. 

It is true. Here aresome I've found over the past few years. I started keeping them, & writing the date & a little blurb about what we were doing when I found them. 
Someday, I have grand intentions of putting them up in a shadow box for an interesting conversation piece & journal of sorts.

Sometimes it feels like there are pieces missing from our lives even harder to find than four-leaf clovers. Peace. Love. Contentment. Total acceptance. God. But He promises, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matt. 7:7-8)

Perhaps...perhaps if we would simply look, we would find those things. Seek and ye shall find. 

So there you have it: my secret to finding four-leaf clovers, & other, far more important matters in life. One simply has to look. And keep looking!
Keep seeking!