Saturday, January 30, 2010

Creative Help for Haiti

I am always amazed at the generosity of the artists and other sellers on Etsy.com. There always seems to be an abundance of sellers who are willing to step up and help out no matter what the cause. The Haiti disaster is no exception. Shopping for a worthy cause is always more fun than just plain old shopping. You can purchase something you really want and know that you are helping someone in the process...how painless is that!

There are so many Etsy sellers trying to help in some way by donating all or a part of their proceeds to a Haiti Relief charity of their choice. It would be impossible for me to list them all here.

However, I did want to mention a few shops that are personally known to me. These shops are donating to reputable organizations and I am confident that you can depend on these shops to donate exactly the way they say they will.

I recently posted about Beki of The Rusted Chain and how she has raised well over $2,000 for Compassion International by donating $10. of every Blessed necklace she sells.

Another Etsian and fellow member of the CAST team, Sue Runyon Designs is giving $10.00 of the $12.00 purchase price of a beautiful pair of earrings to The Christianville Mission in Haiti.

Today I found this great Etsy shop that has been set up called Hearts for Haiti. It features items from hundreds of different Etsy shops and 100% of the proceeds (less Etsy and Paypal fees) go directly to an account that is set up for DoctorsWithoutBorders. Additionally, the Etsy sellers who donated the items in this shop are providing free shipping on these items.

To find others shops that are helping with Haiti relief, simply go to Etsy.com and choose the appropriate category for what you might want to buy (Handmade, Vintage, Supplies) and then type in Haiti plus any other descriptive keywords of your choice (like art, paintings, knit caps, etc) to bring up a huge selection of items to choose from.

These Etsy sellers are trying to make a difference...hope you will go help them out!


Matthew 25:37-40

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'





Friday, January 29, 2010

Fingerprint Friday

Has a week really gone by since my last Fingerprint Friday post? For those who don't know, Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain and is based on the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, that contains the line..."when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God." To participate, go to Beki's blog and follow the instructions.

A recurring theme of my Fingerprint Friday posts is sunsets. We have some mighty beautiful sunsets here on our farm in NW Georgia. I've said before that only God is creative enough to take the dust and pollution in the atmosphere and turn it into something so beautiful that it can literally take your breath away.

Last night, I was once again in the kitchen when the sun began to set and once again, I was amazed at what I saw outside my window. Once again I grabbed my camera and headed out to shoot the sunset.

But something strange happened. When I shot the photo, it didn't come remotely close to the brilliance of the sunset I was seeing. I checked my settings and tried again...it was an okay sunset but absolutely nothing like what I was seeing...



Yet, I am telling you, this sunset was every bit as impressive as the one from last week and I just could not capture it. I went in the house and looked out my window and it was incredible. The sky was filled with various shades of purple and pink and yellow. I stood there for a second and then grabbed my camera again and went outside. Pretty much the same results...



So in I go, truly disappointed and I look out that window again and it is still so glorious and then God spoke to my heart and I realized that this sunset was not meant to be photographed by me.
Maybe someone else would be doing that with brilliant results.

But on this day, on this farm, looking out this kitchen window,
this sunset was meant to make me stop and consider how wonderful His creation truly is.
To be amazed that He could simply speak all of this into being.
To be still and know that He is God.
To bathe in the beauty of His fingerprint.

So, that's what I did and for me, it was the best sunset that I have ever seen.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blessed!

I have to share this story because it is amazing.

Beki at The Rusted Chain (previously PamperingBeki,) offered to donate $10.00 of each sale of her BLESSED necklace to Compassion International. As of today, she has donated a huge amount for those in Haiti!

What a wonderful thing to do.
Of course, she had no idea that the response would be so huge.
So, those who bought the necklace can truly feel blessed for having donated to a wonderful cause and in the meantime, Beki is hammering out one Blessed necklace at a time...that's a lot of hammering, a lot of shipping and a lot of time for a wife and mom with 3 kids and a business to run.

Read her original post here.
Read her Fingerprint Friday update here.
Read her latest update here.
Buy the Blessed necklace here.

Beki, said the offer was good until she didn't know when....
a lesser person would have said, that's enough...
but not Beki...
not yet...
it is already more than any of us expected and when she says that's enough...
we can be sure it's enough.

Beki, thanks for being His hands and feet as you hammer, package and ship.
With every tap of the hammer, I can just hear Him saying...
good and faithful servant,
good and faithful servant,
good and faithful servant....

Go help her be His hands and feet...buy your Blessed necklace today.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Look

It seemed like time to change things up a bit.
Change is good.
So I have a new look on my blog.
I think it looks crisp and fresh.
Hope you like it.
I think I do...I have to live with things for awhile to be sure.
So it might change again.
In a day or two. Maybe a tweak here or there.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Let me know what you think.
Feedback is good.
Be honest.
It won't hurt my feelings.
I Promise.
In the meantime, here's another photo I thought you might enjoy.
It's my sweet Ellie girl.
She's saying, "Mom, let's play soccer...please"
I toss the ball and she bounces it off her nose back to me.
How can you turn down that look?
I can't. Gotta go play soccer with the baby.
Remember to let me know about the new look.
Thanks!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Does Your Family Trust You?

....enough to eat this bread?




Those who know me, know I love to make quick breads....breads without yeast that are sort of like "not too sweet" cake in a loaf pan...like banana nut bread for example. The only problem is that I am not satisfied in using tried and true recipes, I am alway tweaking and testing new ingredients. I have been looking for a base recipe for cherry bread but the only one I've found is made with maraschino cherries and they aren't my favorites.

So, I decided to make up my own this morning...cherry, pineapple, pecan bread. The only problem is that it turned out a sort of greenish purple color and fell in the middle. It looks poison, like one of the alien dishes served in Cafe World on Facebook...

I'm pretty sure I know why it fell...my ratio of wheat to white flour was off and I know how to fix that but what to do about the color? I think I mixed it too much after I added the cherries...and maybe I should use redder cherries...I used canned dark, sweet bing cherries. If I use redder cherries and then add the pineapple maybe I'll get sort of an orangey color instead of greenish purple... so back to the drawing board.

I must tell you that my husband truly trusts me because he didn't hesitate a second...he dove right in and loved it! He did agree that this was a bread for family...friends might not be that trusting. He also reminded me that this was not a failure, just the first step toward a successful cherry, pineapple bread...I love the way he thinks!

When I get it right, I'll be happy to share the recipe. I'm pretty sure you don't want this one!

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Fingerprint Friday"

Today is Fingerprint Friday and it's also my mom's birthday. Mom went to be with the Lord on November 11, 2006. She would have been 91 today. I still miss her but I know she is happy where she is. She was a wonderful mother. She loved her family and she loved the Lord. She knew the meaning of unconditional love, she practiced it daily. She was a beautiful fingerprint of God. Happy Birthday, Mom, you will always live in my heart.

To participate in Fingerprint Friday, visit The Rusted Chain for instructions.



And The Winner Is...

I am happy to announce that the winner of my 500+ Giveaway is
T.C. of Totally Crosses!

I will get that photo in the mail to you right away TC!

I really appreciate everyone who participated and helped make my celebration complete!
Thanks so much!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Appeal to Heaven

A friend and member of the small group that we belong to at church has a blog, Appeal to Heaven. I just discovered it today. His voice is one for God and liberty. He is concerned for our country as so many of us are. He is concerned that we are being stripped of our freedoms, one by one. He is concerned that too many of us are apathetic about our government and refuse to get involved. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, a business man. He is well read, he is a student of history, he is articulate and passionate about taking back our country. I urge you to visit his blog and hear his voice and then get involved in making a difference in our government before our right to do that is taken away.

Don't forget...today is the last day for my 500+ Give-a-Way! To enter go here.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Reminder that I will be giving away one of the photos from my shop in celebration of passing the 500 hearts milestone at my Etsy shop. For details, go here.

Drawing will be held on January 21st and announced on January 22nd.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fingerprint Friday

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God
So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?
To participate in Fingerprint Friday find your own photograph that demonstrates where you see God's fingerprint then go to The Rusted Chain Fingerprint Friday Post and read the instructions. Be sure to visit all of the blogs that are participating and I'm sure they will return the favor.

I was thinking of skipping Fingerprint Friday this week because of the Haiti disaster.
I was feeding my dogs last evening when I saw the most incredible sunset outside of my kitchen window.
I grabbed my camera and didn't even grab my coat because I knew that in a fleeting moment this masterpiece would be gone and I had to hurry to capture it.
I didn't even feel the cold. I just kept shooting that sky. Wondering at the beauty of God's creation.






90 miles from our country, people are horribly hurting, many trapped and dying. No food, no water, no shelter and in too many cases, no family left. Mothers insane in their grief because they cannot face the reality of losing all of their children in one fleeting moment. They can only moan and cry in their agony.

Fleeting moments.
In a fleeting moment a sunset takes your breath away.
In a fleeting moment an earthquake destroys your world and changes your life forever.
In a fleeting moment God reminds us that all we may have is this one fleeting moment.
He reminds us that there are some things we will not understand while in this strange land.
He reminds us to appreciate all that we have.
He reminds us of what He has taught us to do....
Love, pray and help...
as if we have only one fleeting moment.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

500+ Hearts Giveaway!

This is a milestone that I feel like celebrating. I now have over 500 Etsy.com users that have selected me as a favorite shop! I know there are shops out there with many more hearts but I'm happy about my 500. So in appreciation, I decided to have a giveaway...my first!

The prize is this photo of a beautiful red gerbera daisy. This is a professionally printed 8x10 photograph.

The drawing will be held at midnight on January 21, 2010 and announced on January 22, 2010(my Mom's birthday...she was always my biggest fan.)

To enter simply comment and leave the link to your Etsy shop or your blog. If you don't have an Etsy account or blog, leave a comment and email me your email address.

Additional entries available - please enter each in a separate comment:
One additional entry, if you go to my Etsy shop, Ellielee, and choose your favorite item and then comment here about why it's your favorite.
One additional entry, if you sign up to follow my blog.
One additional entry, if you blog about my giveaway.

Here's a big Thank You to all who have chosen my shop as a favorite!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Belated Happy New Year

I wanted to let any followers that I might still have, know that I am alive and almost well. Yes, I've been sick since December 27! Thanks to a visit to the doctor yesterday...at dear husband's insistence, I am on my way to being back among the living.

We had a lovely and quiet Christmas with friends and family. Toys and gifts for angel trees and other charities. Lots of goodies to eat and memories to share. We were thankful for family who were with us and missed those who were not.

The new year came in quietly but happily at our house. A new year. A fresh, new start. That's why people make resolutions. Forget what we didn't get done in the old year and resolve to get a whole new list of things done in the new.

I personally don't make new year's resolutions because I don't like to feel like a failure when I don't keep them! I do, however, like to set a few high level goals for myself. For example, I would like to spend much more time in my art studio being creative this year. Additionally, two new crafts are on my agenda for the year...paper making and soap making. These are two crafts I have wanted to do for years and with an empty barn with electricity and water available, I have a perfect place to work on them. It will have to warm up a bit first. In the meantime, I am learning everything I can about these crafts and gathering supplies and equipment. Springtime seems like the perfect time to get started on the actual making of these products.

One other item on the agenda is to open my new Etsy shop, Graceful Moments. This shop will carry my Christian and inspirational cards and photographs. I hope to have it up and running in a few months.

So that's what's going on in my little corner of the world. Let me know what's going on in yours.

I will leave you with a few photos from my yard here in the South where it is supposed to be warm! The new year brought frigid temperatures with it, dropping into the teens at night and not reaching much more than mid to high 20's during the day...for Southerners that's cold!