The Lost Art of Handsewing/ Embroidery

It feels as though many of the old art forms are starting to become more and more popular as the world becomes more and more gloomy. People are searching for cheap and beautiful methods to pass time and still be productive.
One of these amazing crafts is hand-sewing and embroidery. I posted a snowflake tutorial a while back, so let’s look at some more year-round embroidery ideas.

My favorite technique is called Needle painting. The purpose is to use a variety of stitches to make the image you are portraying seem as real as possible. I still have a long way to go, but I will share my journey as I improve, as well as some helpful hints on techniques.
To start off, here are some of my favorite designs from over the last couple years.

beginning stages of a sunflower. 
This was a fun sampler I found online.
There are so many fantastic resources for patterns and techniques.
If you check out the hand-sewing section of the resources page blog, 
you will see some of my favorite links to instructional and inspirational sites.
I hope this has peaked your interest in hand sewing and embellishment!

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Holy Week and Good Friday

SO….This might be slightly late, but I finally finished it before the end of Holy week *GRIN*

In most Judea-Christian the week of Passover is recognized as a special week. It is a week of celebration and gratitude to the Most High for “passing over” the homes of the faithful and sparing the sons of those who followed Jehovah during the time of Moses. Such was a symbol to the Children of Israel that God would send His first-born Son to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world.

Exodus 12:
     “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, this month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house…your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assemble of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it…for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations…”

This passage in Exodus explains the event of the Passover and the establishment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

It was during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that Christ Jesus came to Jerusalem.

We read in Luke 19:
“And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And if came to pass, when he was  come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them. Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen’ Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: Peace in heaven. and glory in the highest.”

It was this event that marked the fulfillment of the Prophecy: The Son of God rode through the Gates of Jerusalem. This is the event that we celebrate on Palm Sunday, one week before the celebration of His resurrection.

The same week that God’s Mercy in the passover is celebrated, so do we celebrate His redemption for His people.

Today we remember the Passion and Crucifixion of our Savior. He established the blessing of the Sacrament(Communion), was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, and sold for a price less than that of a slave.

Matthew 26:
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests. And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”

He prayed and bled in the Garden, taking our sins as His own. He was sold at taken to Caiaphas, the priest, then brought before Pilate, and crucified in the place of Barabbas. He was then set on the cross between the murderer and the thief. He was mocked, scorned, and bathed in vinegar.

Luke 23:
“And when they were come to the place that was called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the male factors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying He saved others; let him save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, if thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

But even in His last moments, Christ forgave the murderer who was contrite and broken. He granted him peace and eternal life.

 Luke 23:
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, if thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

And then, as He said, it was done.

Luke 23:
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying Certainly this was a righteous man.”

It is today that we commemorate His death. We give praise and thanks to our Savior for His sacrifice and His Atonement for our sins.

However, it is not in his death that we celebrate. It is in His Life.
Through Him we have forgiveness, mercy, charity, and the opportunity to be pure.
However, only through Him breaking the bonds of death, and rising again the third day, can we truly have cause for celebration. In mortality He died, in Exaltation He rose again and fulfilled His promise for us to all have eternal life and Salvation in Heaven.

May you remember Him in your thoughts- not just this weekend, but everyday. Remember His miracles, He blessings, His sacrifice, and His Life. We have a living God. And through Him all things just and righteous are made possible. Only through Him can all men be made free.

God Bless you.

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A Long Overdue post on Christmas and the New Year

Christmas was such a blessing. It provided a break from the rest of life’s worries. Christmas is a holiday filled with love, family and much concern for the well being of others. The Lord’s hand is ever present when we keep Him in our hearts.

2012. A year full of many anniversaries of remarkable events from days gone by- The 100th anniversaries of the sinking of the Titanic, the creation of the Girl Scouts of America, the establishment of the Boy Scout Eagle Award, the first LDS Young Women’s camp and many more world altering happenings. It is amazing to think that so much has occured in a mere 100years. The lives of people today are so drastically different compared to those from a hundred years ago. 2012, like every year, was filled with ups, downs and everthing in between-but amongst the turmoil and frustration, we saw some of the greatest blessings the world has ever known. The page of such a hallmark year has turned to one fresh and ready for a new story. May you daub your pen with good ink and your story of this new year be filled with many blessed memories.

A New Way to Follow Sew What’s Cookin’!

The last couple of months have been very busy. However, a pinterest account has been started and built up which is full of fun ideas for the Holidays and for all seasons. You will find craft ideas, stocking stuffers, DIY projects, Sewing tips, and recipes.
Follow us on Pinterest!!!

http://pinterest.com/sewwhatscookin/

If you follow the boards, your boards will be followed back!

Just because money is tight, that doesn’t mean that gifts have to stop.
Items can be repurposed, re-created, and can be the most meaningful gifts of the season.

Do not let hard times make you feel inadequate. It isn’t about the stuff. It’s about the Spirit.
It’s isn’t about the gimmes it’s about celebrating the Savior by loving others.

May your Soul be given peace and joy as December brings many new adventures!

Luke 2:10

Finding Time

As the new school year is taking off, we need to remember that time is something that were are given to use wisely.  We have 24 hours in a day. That means that have 1440 min to do something incredible. Everyday we are given this gift. However. Trying to manage that time can seem down near impossible.
So to help with that, here are 5 tips to help use time efficiently:

1. Get enough rest
    You can not function unless you are well rested and able to concentrate. Devote enough time in your day to getting good rest. The amount of sleep each person needs is case specific. Learn how much you need and make it a goal to get the perfect amount.
Remeber: too much sleep can leave you lethargic and even more tired.

2. Eat right and stay healthy
    Try your best to eat the right kinds of foods. It doesn’t need to be a designer, organic brand to be healthy. Believe it or not, but simple foods, such as oatmeal or beans and rice, are chalked full of vitamins and minerals that the body needs. It doesn’t need to be fancy to be good for the body. If these foods are too expensive to buy at the grocer in individually wrapped packages, try buying an off brand in bulk. Save your pennies to get food that will last not just on the shelf but in your stomach. Buy foods that fill you up and keep you full. Try to make sure that the time you spend on food is time well spent.

3.  Always be trying to learn something
     If you aren’t in school or are inbetween classes or teaching homeschooling lessons, see what else you can learn. It doesn’t need to be school related. Maybe you need to find a more efficient way of doing something. Figure it out! Let those around you help. When you involve others, you will find that life can become very entertaining very quickly. Find something that interests you and learn about it. If you don’t know how to do something, learn about it. Become and expert on the topic. Continuous learning helps the brain to focus. Take a break from the typical reading, writing, and arithmetic, and discover something worth while. Pick up a hobby. Learn random facts. With the magic of the internet, there are so many opportunities to learn. All we need to do is utilize the information.

4.  Don’t waste time with endless hours of television
     There is nothing wrong with taking a break from your day and watching a little TV. Sometimes your body needs to stop and just breath for a spell. But don’t let television and computer games rule your day. If you are especially motivated, learn how to multi-task. Work on a project while watching your favorite show; learn to knit, crochet, sew, paint, make cards, jewelery, cook even! Many times when you are able to distract your mind for a period of time, when you return to a task, you are better able to focus.

5.  Make time for the Lord
    He gives you 86,400 seconds in a day. Give him a couple back. Let Him know that you remember Him. Give Him praise. When you are focused on Him, He will make the rest of your load seem more managable. It won’t always change or ease up, but you will feel better about being able to handle it. If you let Him help, you will find more time for accomplishing what needs to be accomplished. You will be focused and ready to complete the tasks that He gives you.
With that, you must also serve Him. How you ask? Help others. It doesn’t need to be anything big. It can be telling someone something kind. If you can make one person feel loved, good. But don’t stop at one. It feels like a lonely world. Change that. “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” Don’t squander that. Make feel their worth. Don’t give them the option of not feeling like someone can be kind;even when others arent. Let His Light so shine through your actions.

As the journey from 2012 into 2013 progresses, may you feel His strength upon you. May you find that the challenges we face in life are meant to make us-not break us. May your time be well spent and full of many positive memories and learning experiences.

God Bless you through the journey.

In Congress, July 4th, 1776

Hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Life gets crazy and the next thing you know, June is gone…Anyways, posts should start to pick back up again:)
So. In honor of yesterday being the 4th of July,
The links below will provide some background on the true nature of that day in 1776.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/
Declaration of Independence and some various histories…very interesting!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States)
Yes, a wikipedia link…there is a description of observance traditions if you scroll down…

And there is also a very sweet description of a Fourth of July celebration in the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, Little Town on the Prairie.

The Lord works in His time, and His ways are not our ways…May His Love and blessing be with you and may you see His Hand in all things, even those that are not the most desirous of events.
He has a purpose for His work, and is ultimately for our betterment:)

"The Land of the Free…Because of the Brave"

Memorial Day.

It is the national holiday set aside for those who have fallen in defense of the United States of America.  Today is marked in remembrance of every person who has given their life for ours.  They loved us so much that they were willing to die for us.  They knew that the price for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness was no small fee.  They understood that the second they put on their uniform, they became an open target for all enemies who stand against the noble cause of Independence.  The stood for our freedom, and they died for our liberty.  We must not forget those that have paid the price for our lives.

How do we repay them?  How is it that you acknowledge their sacrifice?  Is it once a year?  Do you visit the grave site of a fallen soldier and leave flowers? (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that! Every soldier must be remembered!) But is that the extent of your regard?  Do you walk a cemetery in solemn remembrance, then leave and forget why you had even visited? Is that the depth of your appreciation?  

These men and women did not die for flowers.  They died so that you wouldn’t need to.  They died so that you are free to live your life without worry-without care- without the knowledge of every horror that comes with standing for a cause that is bigger than yourself.  They gave their lives so that we could go about our business, everyday, and have no concern for our safety.  And how do we repay them? How do we repay Him?  We spend our time idly.  We laugh at those who need our compassion.  We mock the people that we call our “friends”.  We use and abuse the people around us.  The people that have received the self same sacrifice. 

Is not this the cause that they were fighting against?  The very evil that we are at war with? Are these the actions for which soldiers, young and old, gave up their families, their joys, their pains, their lives, for?  Is this how we repay them? By taking their sacrifice and dragging it through the mud?

Is this how we repay our Savior? We set aside a couple of days every year in remembrance of those who died for us.  We celebrate Easter, Memorial Day, etc. and glorify that single day.  Yet, we forget what it means to sacrifice. We forget them every other day of the year. Unless we have been directly affected by the death of a loved one, do we remember those that sacrificed their lives for us?  Do we always remember our Lord? Do we live to honor those who died that we may have the freedom to live? Do we improve the world around us? Let this Memorial day change you if you do not already strive to honor these sacrifices. 

Act with the hope that maybe, just maybe, you can give a little back to a troubled world. With the hope that their lives were not given in vain. Honor those who died for you. Acknowledge their gift.  Respect their resting place.  Remember them. 

Do not forget that they died for you.  Do not forget that He died for all of us- every person “great” and “small”.  He gave His life in the battle for your soul. And He took up His life again in the sweet victory of a far greater battle.

Do Not Forget.

Something from Nothing

Have you ever had a garden?  Have you ever worked so hard for that garden to become something wonderful, and it doesn’t? Have you ever tried every method that you could think of, or find, and the plants just won’t produce?  Have you ever given up on your little garden, and come back the next year to start a fresh, and seen the plants that you had given up on growing, viable, producing?  Have you ever felt that pure excitement when you see the little green buds on your sticky blueberry plants?  The flowers on the chives you abandoned?  The sprigs on your “dead” rosemary?  The blossoms on the cherry tree that you thought had died in the harsh winter frost? 

Is that not how the Lord feels?  Is He not excited when one of His children finally accept his care and start to become something wonderful?  He sees them face adversity, trials, storms, freezes, extreme heat, and watches as they are about to break.  Then, all of a sudden, a choice is made.  The choice to continue onward.  The choice to thrive in a world that graciously provides every cause for defeat. How great is the joy of those that watch those that they care about overcome the tribulations of life. 

Are you one of those that are an aid gardener, or are you one of the beautiful plants that produces after hope has been lost?  It does not matter under which category it is that you fall.  It does not matter if you are wandering, if you are in pain, if you feel as though you will never amount to anything.  He loves you.  You are wonderfully and perfectly made.  The Lord will welcome you with all of His wonders.  He will bless you for coming to Him.  He will succor your broken heart.  However, He can only do that if you first turn to Him-give Him your heart to mend.  It is only through the act of fully turning your life over to Him, that all of the hurt, the fears and the insecurities can be healed.  Do Not give up hope.  He is ever present to lift you up.

Be cautious however.  He will not let you abuse His grace and mercy.  It doesn’t work like that.  You cannot be fairweather.  The Lord will not tolerate a hypocrite.  If your intent is pure, it will be honored.  If you are not sincere- If you do not show Him that you are true- Take heed.  The Lord will succor His people.  But they must come to Him in earnest.  They must be trying to change.  That change will not happen overnight, but the efforts must be strong in desire and action. If you have experienced this change of heart, you will understand.  If you have been truly reborn, you will understand the depth of this process.  If you have not, do not be discouraged.  Father wants you to come to Him.  If there is an inkling of desire- just as with the small sprouts and buds in the “dead” garden- the Gardener will take that life, that desire, and will magnify it.  He will make weak things strong.  He will give life to the lifeless. He is the Well.  He is Life.  Without whom, we are nothing.  He is the breath we breathe, the inexplicable joy that comes when one lives in righteousness. 

So many might be thinking, “Um I don’t have that problem.  I have faith, I try my best to be what the Father wants me to be.  I try to do more good than bad, what about me? I haven’t wandered.”  There are so many good and righteous people in the world.  They feel alone because they feel as though their efforts are futile.  If others can wander, and be accepted back into the fold, then why do they continue in their actions?  If people can have friends, fit in, sin, and still come back, why is it that I am alone?  Why is it that I’m told to be strong if it’s okay for everyone else to be rescued.  Where is my rescue?  To those of you that feel this way, please do not let go of the rod.  Do not fall away.  He is proud of you because you never let go.  You never falter.  You are the ones that are the beacons bringing His children home.  Then you may ask, “Why would God let me take the abuse that goes with being a beacon?   Why must I be in pain for those who are lost to find joy, love, friendship, peace?   Why would he use me like that?”  Have any of those thoughts passed through your mind?  If they have, don’t give up.  He loves you differently.  If you can endure your trials, you will be blessed.  Those that stay strong through adversity, His “shafts in the whirlwind”, will receive the endless blessings of the highest degree.  If you can manage to continue in your strength, even when you are alone, even when you are scorned, mocked, ridiculed, bullied, hurt, scared, even when you bury your pain so deep down that it becomes a part of you-when it hurts so bad that you forget that it exists- when you have needed to plaster that smile on your face for so many days that you are past the point of feeling that pain that you have hidden, do not stop.  DO NOT forsake the Lord.  The pain that you feel, or don’t, He will take away.  You are one of His chosen.  You are His child.  His hero.  You are one of the great ones.  You are the valiant, the elect, the only one that can completely and eternally fulfill your role.  The Lord loves you.  He will sustain you, and He will heal you. 

Whether you may be one of those that need to redirect your course, or you are one that needs to continue in righteousness, turn to the Lord.  Give Him your heart.  Become washed in His blood.  Find what it means for you to be reborn. He is the bread of life, the living water.  He the GREAT I AM.  Turn over your emotions to Him.  He will take away the hurt, and magnify the joy.  Let Him.

May you let the Lord bless your day. When He does, let His blessings do good for those around you. 

Praise Him in all that you do.

What have you learned?

Knowledge is something that you can’t give to people.  You can talk to them and try to teach them, but if they don’t want to listen, you can’t force it upon them.  What you have learned is specific to you.  There is not one person who has learned exactly what you have learned in the exact way that you have learned it.  Your special combination of experiences is unique.  Yes, the world says that you are another digit in the system, but each person has their own story to tell; their own knowledge to share.  For that’s the purpose of knowledge.  It is to mold each person by their thoughts, actions, and works.  The knowledge that God gives us is a special blessing.  We choose to live each day because of what we have learned.  Both our good choices and our bad ones are a product of our learning. 
What we know and treasure here, during this probationary period, will stay with us when we are with Him above.  Our personalities, our thoughts, our habits-none of them will change.  It is our job to take what we have learned through our experiences and apply them to our lives.  We can choose to be destructive, or we can choose to build up His work.  It is a choice that we must make based off of the knowledge that we have.

What will you choose?