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Like Jesus Does

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Determined to improve my last Pinterest inspired project, I decided to think of an original statement to paint hoping for a more passionate effort this time around. Influenced by the Bible verse John 13:34, I wanted to remind myself, and others, the importance of striving to love one another the way Jesus does. I faced a few trials and tribulations during the time it took to complete this craft, usually sending me into a depressive or angered state, but every time I was reminded to forgive others, disregard the way they treated me, and continue to love them like Jesus would.

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This time around I penciled my design on the canvas first. Creating a guide made letter spacing and placement so much easier! By shopping at my local craft store, using a coupon and choosing sale items, I was able to spend $20 on supplies needed for my next two projects. I added a “morning blue” to the color scheme and a border that would be embellished. Looking back on things I preferred the design before adding the glitter, suggesting that sometimes maybe less is more. I used Elmer’s glue again, but came to the conclusion that a glue pen is best when embellishing.

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I thought a lot about what I would write in this post. Although the main focus is crafting, I felt a strong urge to share the personal growth gained by genuinely investing time, passion and love into my hobbies. I have surely been blessed with a healthy, positive way to work past the mental, behavioral, and emotional issues I have battled for years This project will always hold a special place in my heart and with it now on public display I pray it serves as a reminder for all Christians to practice what we preach.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 (KJV)

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“Why So Serious?!”

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IMAG0017After an “epic fail” on my first Pinterest Project, I became discouraged by my new crafting hobby. I often set high standards for myself, promptly becoming a pessimist when things don’t turn out exactly how I planned. As I prepared to revise my canvas design, I was dispirited to be lacking basic and necessary supplies, yet again. I quickly fell into a negative mind set, until the infamous quote “Why so serious?!” started echoing in my head. I was able to calm my anxious mind with the simple truth: “I am a beginner and everything will not be perfect.”

IMAG0001_crop_cropI decided to practice some lettering, then take a much needed mental break. During the following week I was notified that my Pinterest Project received over 100 repins! This definitely served as the motivation I needed to stay focused. Finding inspiration in several free beginner’s pamphlets for aspiring artists, I now strive to become a well equipped, knowledgeable crafter. I also wanted to encourage others to keep a positive attitude when things like procrastination, anxiety and insecurity set in.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton

Turning Criticisms into Compromises

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While browsing my Facebook, an article about why men usually criticize their stay-at-home wives caught my eye. Originally posted on The Huffington Post, a popular, liberal based, blog site, Dr. SamanthaScreenshot_2015-08-04-22-32-17_1 Roman attempts to explain the common demands of parenting small children, and how it can negatively affect a marriage. She chose to focus on a subset of (SAHM) stay-at-home mothers, since a typical relationship dynamic is more likely to slip into this crisis. Men with a Type A personality, ambitious, organized, over-achieving “workaholics”, are often attracted to Type B women, their laid back, creative counterpart. But once the housework, children’s behavior, or their wife’s physical appearance does not meet certain standards, some Type A husbands become critical, leaving a Type B SAHM feeling hurt or angry.This may seem like a small issue but it can easily spiral out of control resulting in infidelity and divorce. The author, a clinical psychologist and dating coach, provided readers with reasons why so many couples face this problem, but failed to offer any practical (or free) advise to overcome it.

Once a stay-at-home mother to three children, all under the age of three at the time, I can relate to this exact struggle. I decided to share a few things I learned from experience, and a few trips to the marriage counselor. Also, while doing some research, I stumbled on a website that offers support with understanding different personality types. In my opinion, this kind of information will avail most relationships.

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  1. Recognize and understand your own personality type, as well as your spouse’s and children’s. Pay attention to everyone’s behavior patterns and how they interact or conflict with another.
  2. Accept that “personalities” are developed during childhood, and indirectly affected by one’s cultural. They are not permanent and can be adjusted to fit any lifestyle transformation.
  3. Communication is key! Most SAHM don’t understand why their husbands seem so upset or unhappy. Talking, and genuinely listening, to each other’s problems will make a dramatic difference.
  4. Compromising saves marriages. If a critical husband has valid concerns, both parties should  try to agree on a compromise that leaves everyone happy.
  5.  “Me” and “Us” time should never be neglected. Raising children is non-stop hard work. The stress from everyday life can easily overpower the newlywed love you once enjoyed.

My advise? Take the good with the bad, and do all things in love. If your husband complains about dinner never being ready, let your children enjoy some safe, independent play an hour before he is due home, allowing you time to cook. A basic compromise would be for him to clean the kitchen or help the children with their nightly bedtime routine and allow you a well deserved break. Let’s not forget about date night! Once a month, or even once a week, hire a sitter so you both can  enjoy some time together. Remember, love bears all things; keep reminding yourselves, each other and your children that your family is rooted in love.

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My First Pinterest Project

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“Get a hobby, create a skill, perfect your art, and secure your future.” – Shea Sollars

Often encouraged by my boyfriend to find a new hobby, I decided to dedicate one day a week to crafting a project I saw on Pinterest, and blogging about the experience. I first created my Pinterest account while employed with Michael’s Arts & Crafts for the creative inspiration required by my position. Falling back into crafting was easy once I started working for a local craft store as I quickly noticed my most valuable customers were fellow Pinterest enthusiasts. I began going through my boards searching for simple yet inexpensive tasks I could complete in a short amount of time. I wanted to find a way to incorporate an old hobby I once enjoyed, so I decided to start a blog as a way to display my projects and communicate with other crafters. While on my first three day vacation from work, I was finally able to put all my plans into action. Screenshot_2015-08-01-14-48-52_1I had settled on a painted monogrammed 8 x 10 canvas idea while vowing to take as many pictures possible. I learned a lot of beneficial lessons with this craft, saw how productive adapting a hobby can be, but most importantly it provided some stress free and relaxing “me time”.

I did all my shopping at a locally, and managed to spend around $10 on everything (including the canvas). I liked the original color scheme, so I chose to use acrylic paint along with an extra fine gold glitter. A few basic crafting supplies to keep handy include: a wash paint brush (to coat the canvas), liner paint brushes (for the lettering design), a ruler (or a stencil) and a well sharpen pencil with an eraser. I used a spare paint brush to line some letters in an all purpose craft glue, but later thought if a crafting glue pen or possibly a hot glue gun would have worked much better. I double coated the canvas with a Vivid Pink by Anita’s Acrylic, and once it dried started on the wording. I realize now that I should have printed the letters on the canvas first ensuring they were dark enough to see once all the coats were added. Also, if you paint the canvas first you can’t erase any mistakes, and your pencils marks may be hard to see. A ruler is necessary whether you freehand or use a stencil for the monogramming. Drawing straight lines would help with letter arrangement and spacing before committing to placement.

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I was most excited to use the glitter even though by that time it was evident I wasn’t fully prepared for the task. The Elmer’s school glue worked great once everything had dried, but while applying it to the letters in was difficult to make thinner lines. Looking back on it a glue pen or marker, commonly used in paper-crafting, would have made following the shape and size of the design much easier. I was quite pleased to finally complete my first “Pinterest Project”, and glad it could be an awesome learning experience as well as motivation to publish my first public blog in over four years. Again, I plan to promote my blog through personal social media accounts such as, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram in hopes of connecting with or establishing a zealous community of fellow crafters. I pray my blog will encourage others to not only “pin” the things they like in life, but also put forth the effort to actually achieve them. The best advise I was ever given to help cope with the constant struggles of life originated as a statement my boyfriend posted on Facebook. “Get a hobby, create a skill, perfect your art and secure your future.” This concept has generated such positive changes in my life I want others to discover the wisdom, comfort and joy it brings.

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