Anthropologie has these amazing books cut into monogram letters.  
One of my best friends sent me the original Anthropologie picture and asked me if I could make her something like these.   I couldn't really back down from a challenge like that, could I?


So cool and so feeding my love of recycling/upcycling and vintage and power tools - they really tick all my boxes :)  Buuuuttttt, they're almost $30 each.  Seriously?  Can't justify that.  Not when I can pick up these awesome vintage Reader's Digest Condensed books from local thrift stores.  And I not when I have a cute little lime green Bandsaw just begging for some action. 

So, I put out ads using this picture looking for Vintage RD books - the ones from the 60's with these awesome colourful covers.

 Lots of books started showing up at my yummy!!

 And then I went to work.  I may have tackled a tough one to begin with but one of my best friend's last names starts with G and I wanted to make her something.  Her son (who's first name starts with G) is convinced I made it for him.  That's ok too. 

 This set of two I made as a gift for my Brother-in-law & Sister-in-law. 

And I did get around to making the letters for the first friend who got me started down this road.  Her last name is only 4 letters so it was a fun little project and by the time I did hers, I had many books to choose from so I could pick colours that went well together.  

Happy new year!

 I'm in year 13, I guess, of having the school year influence this feeling I have that everything starts fresh in September. New books and clothes, new schedules and plans, new work experiences and school feels to me, at the beginning of every September, like it is New Years Day. 
 There's a slight feeling of loss now too, recognizing what didn't get done during the summer. And a feeling a apprehension as always when starting something brand new. But for the most part,  I'm ready for the adventure. 

One plan I had this summer was to finish ready through The Bible. I started in May with a very lofty goal (see chart at the end of this post - Read through The Bible in 90 days) and I knew I wouldn't finish on schedule so I gave myself an extra month to finish with the goal being to be done when school started again (next week Wednesday). As you can see, that won't be achievable. Just today I'm finished Isaiah and starting in on Jeremiah. I wish I could say it is solely due to the fact that I got sidetracked by all the truths that God kept showing me and the pauses I had to take to absorb what he was saying to me. And in some cases that was (and is) very much the case!! But sadly, there were also many days of procrastination, too much TV watching, busyness, driving here and there for various things, and days full of errands (both good and not good). new goal (a New Year's Resolution of sorts) is to be through the Bible by Christmas. I have no illusions that reading straight through is any better than any other reading plan but it's something I've always wanted to accomplish and I do have to say, reading at this pace has been fascinating because you get to see the bigger picture as the stories unfold. I read with a bright pink highlighter in my hand so I can highlight the parts that speak to me and I can come back to them sometime when I'm studying for a different purpose. 

Here's my plan that I'm "following" or, maybe I should say, the plan that inspired me to get going. Enjoy! Happy New Year! 

Monday Morning Veggies

I love to be organized. Please don't read that as, "I'm always organized," because that would be quite far from the truth. But I do love to organize and I do love it when I AM organized. I function better when my desk is organized. I sleep better when my rooms are clean and organized. And I find that I save a lot of time when I'm organized. 

Here's one of my organizational moments: lunch veggies. 

It's 7:05 am and I'm done making school lunch veggies for the week :)
A salad a day for me, bags of veggies for each day this week for 2 kids, and a giant bowl of salad left at home for my one kid who likes to come home for lunch. I've cut 15 minutes off every other morning this week and stretched our groceries to last for the week instead of being caught unaware late Thursday night and having to run to Superstore. 

Next week could be an entirely different scenario and you'll see me scrambling to make it work....but for now, this week is taken care of. Yay Me! 

Service weekend

Our Lifegroup from church did a service/work weekend. Several families went out to Red Rock Bible Camp and helped with a bit of spring cleaning to get ready for their spring camps that will be starting soon. Together, we scraped paint off of bathroom stalls to prep for repainting, completely cleaned out the Tuck Shop including defrosting the freezer and scrubbing walls with "magic erasers," emptied sheds, cleaned cabins and bathrooms, built floor supports in a couple places that needed it, washed down tables and benches and helped with a lot of kitchen work. It was a super long day of good old- fashioned manual labour. Wonderful!

We ended our workday with a great visit, some nighttime tubing down to the beach,  good coffee and a Bible study with communion. 

Sorry, World.

I found something I've been searching for at my local thrift store yesterday....and it was only 10 cents. Yay me! I felt very accomplished and very lucky. Until I read the bottom of the receipt and saw that my purchase is a gift to the world. Now I feel like a cheapskate. Sorry, world.

In related news, I am still on the hunt for more older-style Reader's Digest Condensed Books (the kinds with the patterned paper covers*** - not the kind that are supposed to look like solid coloured leather). If you have any kicking around....or you have parents or grandparents who need their collections thinned out, give me a shout. I'll help. And I'll contribute to your (or their) world next time. 

(***Books like these)

A New Thing

Happy New Year! It's the first day of 2015.  And how fitting that the verse of the day in my Bible App is this one:

 Isaiah 43:19. 
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

This is a part of one of my favourite chapters....reminding me that God cares for me, loves me, and is always providing for me. He has plans for me that are good. 

The part that I get a kick out of the most is the slightly sarcastic: "do you not perceive it?" How many times has God blessed me and provided for me and I haven't even noticed. I'm in my own little world, focussing on the things yet to be done, and I miss out on all the ways he's already moving in and around me. Lord, open my eyes to what you're doing right now. 

I also love the verb "am making." It is not finished for me yet....he is making a way....currently, and continually....its a journey. I can't expect perfection or a finished work. It's a process that He is doing and I am privileged enough to be a part of. 

And lastly....and maybe the best a little line not included in this verse but tucked several verses further down in the chapter. The second half of verse 21 says, "...that they may proclaim my praise." The reason for all of this is that His name will be praised. Not so that my life can be comfortable. Not so that I can brag about the things I have. But so the whole world will see what a great God I serve. 

My goal then, this year is to:
1. See and notice what God is doing around and in my life. 
2. Jump in and be a part of the process wherever that may take me. 
3. Proclaim the praises of the One who holds my whole world in His hands.