Sunday, July 31, 2011

~ Say it isn't SEW ~

Well, I did it!

You may remember my post here about possibly entering the sewing world… like I need another thing to focus on these days.

A friend offered and I accepted.

I took a SEWING CLASS!!!


I see visions!

Visions of roman shades!

Pillow case dresses!

DIY toss pillows!!!!!

Somebody STOP ME!!!!

I’m in DIY creative OVERLOAD here.

I love fabric!!!

I would be in serious trouble if I didn’t have the overly analytical chip in my brain that prevents me from purchasing impulsively every time I see a fabric I adore.

Ok, I’m calm now.

Meet Heather, a dear friend and the one responsible for this 100 foot cliff I'm jumping off.


Oh, and a shout out for the fashionable sewing tote.

I would expect nothing less from Heather to be carrying something so adorable.

Ok, so this thing... this sewing thing is going to be a casual thing that I WILL NOT let consume me or my wallet.

I’m making that promise to myself and my family RIGHT HERE ON MY BLOG.

Yes, my name is Anna and I’m a DIY-aholic and I have to manage it.

Making something out of nothing makes me really happy and this will open up a whole new world.

Our teacher Ms. Gail was delightful.


And then there is the sweetest Rechelle (another dear friend) and Kelly, my other classmates.

Rechelle
Kelly

Kelly probably wished she would have landed someone other than the three stooges for her Sewing 101 class.

I must say that I’m a little intimidated.

The DIY stuff I do isn’t rocket science, anyone can do it.

This sewing thing, it scares me.

So, baby steps.

For now, I just need to figure out how that machine works and leave the roman shades to the professionals.

So, a little about my class.


This was my friend for the day, Husqvarna.

I get the "notion" Husqvarna comes with a lot of baggage.


Measurements, Stitches, Bobbins....OH MY!!!

Wait a minute!!!!

No one told me there was MATH!!!!

Here's my practice sheet and then we were off to the races... literally... we had a gas pedals.


Oh, I almost forgot!!!

There is the thread (also known as candy) and my adorable lil' pin cushion.


Ok, so at this point I'm boring you.

So, off to the GOOD STUFF!!!


Seriously, look how straight that is for my first row of stitches... with no P-O-K-I-E-S!!!!

Ms. Gail said that usually the first time you get pokies (lil' bumps in your seam).

It really sounds like I'm boasting.  

For those that don't know me, it's my way of "poking" fun at myself... just so you know, I'm not really self centered.  :-)

Ms. Gail introduced us to RUFFLES!!!!!


Really, RUFFLES!!!!

One of the latest trends and most adored embellishment of this day and I'm learning it in my very first sewing class!

It's a GOOD DAY!!!  I LOVE ME SOME RUFFLES!!!

No, not baby pageant ruffles.

The new age ruffles.  Anyway....

Then there is the flower which you are also seeing a lot of these days.


And the handy dandy world's smallest oven mitt.


Yes, that lil' piece of complicated thread, fabric and angles... I MADE IT!!!

I hear you gasping... I can't believe it either.  :-)


Ms. Gail giving us ironing tips because no seam is complete without ironing.

I have to say, the younger less mature me thought that sewers were old folks that had nothing better to do than sew, but I stand corrected.

It's fun!!!

Or maybe I'm just old with nothing better to do.  :-)


Thank you Heather for inviting me on this journey with you!

Thank you Ms. Gail for putting up with our crazy crew in your class. 

I hope you enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed yours.

Thank you Rechelle for just being there and being pretty.

Thank you Kelly for enduring our silliness.  I hope you'll take another class.

Now, that's SEWING 101... Ms. Gail style!

Blessings,
Anna

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{Mommy Moments} - A Guest Post from Sharenda



I would like to introduce you to Sharenda, a dear friend of mine that has a heart for all things vintage including the "old school" ways of raising her girls.

While a professor at a prominent university in a huge city, Sharenda keeps with a small town approach to mothering. 

Keeping with "Little House on the Prairie" traditions and a faith based approach to motherhood, Sharenda is a perfect fit for this series.


~ Not So Perfect ~
by guest Sharenda

Sharenda, Claire (5) & Caroline (3)

I am so humbled to be asked to write the first mommy post!  I am blessed to have so many wonderfully, talented friends and I have to admit that I’m a little intimidated by this post.  Often, friends have encouraged me to create a blog but the fear of what others think has held me back.

My mother is a exceptional housekeeper.  Everything always looks perfect, she is always ready for company, and she can throw a party like no one else I know.  She has a way of whipping together amazing dishes for large groups of people while making it look so easy.  Growing up, our house was spotless too.  She was like a clean fairy because I would wake up, and everything was clean.  Of course, my mother reassures me that she DID clean around me but most of the time I was at school or asleep when she worked her magic.  We lived overseas so there were no prepackaged dinners to throw in the microwave for dinner.  Everything was from scratch.  She cooked a full breakfast practically every morning (no cereal for me), and when I came home from school I had a delicious dinner waiting for me.  I carried my lunch to school and I was the envy of all of my friends with pitiful tuna sandwiches while I had homemade soup, fresh bread, and a scrumptious dessert.

When I moved out on my own at 20, I was in for a rude awakening.  I could do laundry and keep a clean house, but I had no idea how to cook anything because I had never been given that responsibility.  My training was so limited that I called home constantly for advice in cooking even the simplest thing. Thankfully, by the time I got married I had written enough recipes down and had cooked enough to know how to survive in the kitchen.

Now as a mom of two little girls, I completely understand why my mother didn’t encourage me to help her in the kitchen or with other household chores.  I’m busy.  I have a system.  I need to just get this done.  But my 5 year old comes in the kitchen and asks, “What are you doing Mama?  Can I help?”  God’s gentle voice reminds me that I’m raising future homemakers and according to Titus 2, I should be teaching my precious girls how to be good wives, and mothers.  It’s my job to not only teach them about God, but I have to train them for their future home, whether they are called to be married or single.  So I slow down.  I breathe.  Little hands crack eggs.  Chubby toddler hands kneed dough.  Is it perfect? For me, it is.


Here are some chores that children can do to help mommy:

Besides clean up their toys, my girls have age appropriate chores that they do.

Claire (age 5):  
Set the table
Rinse dishes and put in dishwasher
Empty dishwasher
Feed dog
Help sort laundry
Load washer and dryer
Help vacuum

Caroline (age 3): 
Put silverware and napkins on the table
Swiffer
Clean baseboards with a wet rag


A huge thanks to Sharenda for sharing a little bit from her kitchen in this wonderful reminder to not get too busy to include your children.

You can use simple tasks that will teach them how to one day keep their homes.


Sharenda is now a contributor to Anna & Co. - Mommy Moments






If you would like to contribute to the Mommy Moments series, please send me an email at annabledsoe@comcast.net or notify me via the Anna & Co. Facebook page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Blessings,
Anna



Friday, July 29, 2011

~ STRESSED but BLESSED ~


Have you ever fit into this category?

You know, those days or even weeks when your deadline was yesterday, the baby is crying, the dog is barking, the stove is boiling over, the phone is ringing….

You get my point.

Well, I’ve had a few of those lately.

I feel like I’m chasing my tail. (btw – I wish my “tail” was a little bit smaller). *wink*

Sometimes I want to wave the white flag.

You know, when you are dripping of the “poor pitiful me” syndrome.

I may have left a puddle here and there lately.

Then something deep down screams at you to GET OVER IT!

Toughen up…

Because there is absolutely no way you can justify your dismay because you are EXTREMLY BLESSED!

There are so many people worse off and your feelings are petty in comparison to the overall objective in this life.

So, thank you to my God who gives never ending grace and mercy for a girl like me that stumbles into self pity.

He quickly reminds me how beautiful my children are and that I should be thankful that they can run around the house screaming without difficulty because they are healthy and without disabilities.

So what that my husband’s clothes are in the floor… they are in OUR floor because he comes home every night and he's there WITH ME and OUR CHILDREN.

So, in the grand scheme of things, all those things that get us “caught up” in this chaotic life don’t amount to anything.

It’s just noise.

My name is Anna and I’m STRESSED but BLESSED!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

~ My Little Girl ~

You beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams, but always know the road that will lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl


After a long day's work a few weeks ago, I needed a breather.

My husband and Ethan were both occupied.

It was me and my K and she was wanting to go outside.

So, I slipped on an unusual outfit (a white dress) for outside play knowing that my Canon and I were going to have a date.

Yes, my kind of breather.

Goofing off with the Canon and my "baby" girl.


I see her every single day, but there is something about a photo that makes you realize how fast your "babies" are growing.


She is one more girly-girl!  She LOVES flowers.

She was fascinated with these because they were PINK.

Have I mentioned she loves pink?


She is the sweetest thing!!!

Well, let's not kid ourselves... some days she wears the devil's cape.

About an ounce of SASSY was place in her mold.


I convinced her to leave the beautiful pink bush by letting her take a lil' souvenir.


What do you do when there is a white fence and you have a matching dress?

Climb it!!!


She has a little ruffles and rust approach going on, but that's ok.

She was sweet...

 

and goofy...


but a fun walk around the neighborhood with souvenirs.


I hope you enjoyed our walk as much as we did!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

~ Every Child is an Artist ~

I wanted to share something that is dear to my heart.

I think all of you know that I have a passion for documenting and preserving memories as it relates to my family and our comings and goings.

Well, I have an equal love for their artwork.

~ Kenzie Grace - Rainbow ~

I only had a few years under my belt of being a mommy when I came to the conclusion that there was no possible way that I would be able to keep every single piece of artwork they finish.

Any mother/parent knows what I’m talking about.

So, this realization forced me to come up with another option to preserve their precious labor.

~ Ethan - Spider ~

When Ethan was about 3 or so, I started taking photos of his art or scanning when possible.

I do the same with Kenzie’s creativity.

The art is temporarily displayed in our home for all to see.

I recommend displaying as it gives the children a sense of accomplishment and that you truly value their efforts.

Then as new art would come in, we would take the old down and replace.

I would then photograph/scan the old and file.

I’m so glad I did this!!!

~ Kenzie Grace - Butterfly ~

I have endless images of their artwork throughout the years and I ADORE IT!!!

I’m putting together a collection of images now from my saved folder to produce this masterpiece.


Isn’t it GREAT?!!!

70 pieces of their artwork will hang proudly in our hall with a thick black or white museum style frame for us to enjoy every single day.

I anticipate that I will end up with two of these beauties as E & K will continue to produce art for years to come.

I can’t wait to get it on my wall.  I will be certain to share the final product with you once it's complete.

Another option if you don’t want to go quite this grand is to add the collection to a digital photo book which is available in millions of places on the web.

I plan to do the photo book version for my children to have in their future home and share in their family library.

I hope you found this useful as another option to preserve those precious memories.

Blessings,
Anna

Monday, July 25, 2011

The CENTER of THE MARK

Inspired by Pastor Ron Becton and the Holy Bible chapter of Luke.


I will warn you that this is LONG, but it was worth risking criticism if just one reads and it grips them like it did me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{Mommy Moments} - Anna & Co. Guest Series


Hello, dear reader.

I would like to introduce a new “guest” series {Mommy Moments} that Anna & Co. will be hosting for however long it makes sense.

I’ve had so many people respond/comment to my writings and say “I feel the same way” or “I know exactly what you mean”.

So, this guest series was inspired by knowing there are others with the same desires and faith based approach to the daily life of a woman and mother.

I have aligned a host of fantastic women that have something to say about motherhood in which we all will most likely be able to relate or find inspiration in their writings.

I anticipate that you will find this series funny, spiritual, inspirational and real.

I hope we can all walk away knowing there are other mothers that struggle with the same questions, desires and day to day events of the biggest most exhausting job there is… being a mother.

Stay tuned for this fun and informative series by Anna & Co.

As mentioned, I’ve cherry picked a line up of guest bloggers to kick off this series.

However, if you haven’t heard from me yet, I would LOVE to hear from you if you would like to contribute to this series.

Please contact me via this post, email or facebook if you would like to consider being a guest blogger.

This should be fun!!!

Blessings, from Anna & Co.




This series was shared with:
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

~ Pink-ilicious Oreo Cake Pop Tutorial & DIY Shredded Paper Grass ~

Ok, after many request, I decided to put together an Oreo Cake Pop tutorial.

Let me go ahead and tell you that this isn't one of those fancy tutorials.

It's simple, with horrible photos.

I took the recipe photos at night (no natural light) with my iPhone instead of breaking out the Canon, so they are a bit lacking.

Oh well, you'll get the point.


~ Pink-ilicious Oreo Cake Pops ~ 


Thursday, July 7, 2011

~ June 2011 - A Month in Photos ~

I feel like I say this EVERY month, but WOW!!!!...this month went by fast.

Half the year is over.  That's just CRAZY!!!

Here's just a few highlights of our month.






1. My "little" boy has turned into a handsome 11 year old.  Happy Birthday Ethan!!!

2. I tried it and failed miserably.  This one wasn't for me.

3. After ball fun with some buddies.

4. We Are United musical at First Church.

5. Ethan's birthday dinner with friends at The Old Spaghetti Factory.

6. Ethan's birthday spanking from his baseball team.  Cute!

7. Father's Day love.

8. Father's Day morning.

9. Making a point to get out from behind that camera.

10. The kiddos gift to their Dad.

11. Kenzie was excited about Zoe's new hair cut.

12. K just being naturally pretty.

13. Goofin' off with K.

14. Italian Ice makes a rainy baseball day much better.

15. End of baseball season.  Whew!!!

16. Started our Summer home repair "TO DO" list.  Stay tuned....


Now, we must get started on SUMMER READING!!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

~ Repurposing.... ~

Look at this little $1.99 beauty!!!!



I found it for my next project while shopping this past weekend.

Hang with me for a bit for more about my breakfast nook project.

I've been dabbling in a new (sort of), but yet familiar world lately.

Can you guess what it is?

Photo via Southern Hospitality

I've always had a love for repurposing old "icky" stuff.

I think you'll also agree that I'm a DIY addict.

...and I think I've shared my secret romance with spray paint and sand paper.


Photo via Dreamy Whites

Well, I'm taking it to a new level.

Yes, I admit it.

I've been junk treasure shopping.

Or the new word is VINTAGE, right?

Flea Markets, Goodwills, Salvation Army... you name it.

You wouldn't believe what some people toss without a second thought.

No, I'm not talking about buying mattresses...that's just gross.

But there's pottery, picture frames, doors, windows, finials and more.

Are you dreaming yet?

Don't get me wrong...

I adore Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

But there is something I LOVE about finding something old and giving it a new purpose.

I think you get my point.

So, here are a couple of inspiration photos for my next "VINTAGE" project.

Photo via Unknown

Photo via Decorology

I tagged these photos a while ago and have had this project in my head for some time.

I found my first piece this past weekend.

Isn't it lovely?!!!


The finished display will hang in the breakfast nook of my home... hopefully soon.

Stay tuned for more as this project progresses.

Here's to repurposing funky junk.

Blessings,
Anna
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