Anything Could Happen

Hey there!

Anything Could HappenI’m getting excited about the blog conference I’m attending in Atlanta next week called Haven.  Last night there was a twitter party for attendees.  I was tweeting away with the best of them, only to realize nobody could read my tweets because my twitter account is “private.”  I used to have my twitter open to the public and received all kinds of SPAM so I decided to privatize it.  It was kind of a let down since the whole idea of having the party was to get to know some of the bloggers before attending the conference.

So I was visiting the Haven Link Up…

Anything Could Happen

hmmmm…

I’m wondering if I’m going to a modeling conference instead of a home bloggers conference.  Holy cow…if you want to see more of the beautiful bloggers click here.  If you are not sure what a link up is…it’s where you link up your blog so conference attendees can get to know each other by visiting their blogs.  Most bloggers inserted a photo of themselves instead of using their blog’s logo like I did.  Honestly, it’s probably a good idea to add a photo so people can put a name with a face.  However, I don’t really have a professional updated {with my new pixie cut} photo to share.  I need to do that.

Anyway, all of these bloggers look beautiful.  There’s nothing to say that they shouldn’t be beautiful.  Everyone is beautiful to God since we are all His children.  I guess it’s just a little intimidating.  I’m not sure what that says about me.  I’ve had friends tell me they used to think I was intimidating before they got to know me.  {I’m pretty sure it’s not because they thought I was model worthy.}  I’m completely and utterly shocked when this information was explained to me.  The LAST thing I would want would be for someone to be intimidated by me.  I love people and strive to be as friendly as possible to everyone I meet.

Anything Could Happen

Blissdom 2012

Here’s what I have learned about myself after attending 2 Blissdom blog conferences.  Even though I am secure in who I am as a person…even though I am content in knowing I’m not the top blogger on the block…even though I’m a people person…I still struggle socializing at conferences.  I am the girl who always wants everyone to feel accepted.  In high school I struggled with being friends with just one group of people.  For me, it was better to be friends with people from all the different “groups” than to ostracize people who weren’t in my group of friends.  This can be a little difficult because then I don’t feel like I belong anywhere.

Anything Could Happen

Me before Blissdom cocktail party

Let’s face it, when a bunch of women get together {sorry I know there are men bloggers too} invariably cliques form.  It’s like a law of nature or something.  This part makes me uncomfortable.  It’s not necessarily the workshops I have a problem with, it’s the “cocktail” parties and formal occasions.  You walk in and everyone is dressed up.  I like to dress up.  It’s fun when most days I wear t shirts and jeans.  After I walk into the party, and since I don’t know many people…well, it’s awkward.  Where do I go?  Who do I stand by?  Who do I talk to?  Then I feel as though people around me are noticing I’m alone.  I begin to think, “they must think I’m a real loser since I don’t have friends to come to the party with.”  The last conference I went to had a scenario like this:  I walked up to a table with 2 younger woman.  I asked if the spot at the table was taken… if I could join them.  They politely said I could join them.  We began to talk small talk and exchanged our business cards with our blogs on them.  I don’t remember exact words these girls said (thankfully), however I do remember how they made me feel.  I felt small…less than.  This is the exact feeling I never want people to have around me.  Nobody, I don’t care how many visitors come to your blog a day, is better than another person.  We all have problems.  We all have talents.  There is a quote that says “comparison is the thief of joy.”  I completely agree.  Once we begin to compare ourselves to another person we become insecure with who we are.  That feels dark and lonely.  Joy is filled with light and unity.

Anything Could Happen

2012

After sharing the preceding story you might wonder why I even want to go to these conferences.  Well, fortunately, those “cocktail” parties are few and far between in the grand scheme of the conference.  The majority of the time you are in workshops learning more about the world of blogging and in this particular conference, home blogging.  The last 2 conferences I attended were for all types of bloggers, open to all.  But do you know who were the most genuine and friendly bloggers I met there were?  Yep, it was the home bloggers.  These are the women who focus primarily on inspiring others with things they do in their home by way of design and DIY.  After Blissdom, and later in the year, I had the amazing opportunity to be invited to participate in a blog hop with many influential home bloggers.  Do you remember what it was called…Roomspiration.  The other participants welcomed me warmly and helped whenever I had questions about anything.  I have never been able to meet any of these sweet ladies in person.  At least not yet, because I will next week at Haven!  A teensy part of me is nervous they won’t remember me.  It’s been a while since Roomspiration and I haven’t posted as often as I did then.

Whether those girls remember me or not, whether I make any new friends or not, I still want to go.  Going to the conference gives me something to look forward to.  I get away for a little bit from my normal routine and I am Shan the blogger.  I’m not so and so’s mom or so and so’s wife, I’m just me.  I enjoy being around other women who share in my passion for blogging.  I’m not going to let my uncomfortableness of certain social settings keep me from attending.  We have to take risks in life to grow and learn.  It’s not always pleasant, but wisdom and experience are the fruits yielded.

A friend once said this about me, “what you see is what you get.”  He is exactly right.  I don’t hide behind my feelings.  Many times I say the things I’m thinking when I probably shouldn’t because it sometimes is taken the wrong way.  I like to be unique and creative in the way I dress.  I absolutely despise gossip, which I know for a fact has kept me from having more friends.  I just try to treat others the way I would like to be treated.  Therefore, if I don’t want to be gossiped about, then I don’t gossip.  I have a big heart and only want the very best for people.  I have sincerely enjoyed writing and posting photos about our family’s home.  I’m grateful for the countless people I have gleaned inspiration from to make our home a haven.

Anything Could Happen

If you are attending Haven next week, I hope to meet you.  Please use my comments section as a sort of guestbook to let me know you stopped by.  I would love to visit your blog as well.  BTW, thank you for visiting my small abode. Anything Could Happen  Only 5 more days…

Home Brings Joy,

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

This summer has been especially busy!  I was talking to the family about my upcoming blog conference {It’s called Haven, see button on sidebar.}  My son said, “you’re going to a blog conference for a blog you don’t write on anymore.”  Hmmmmm…it looks like my boy might be visiting here more than I thought.  This was my answer, “it’s because I put my family first in the summer time.”  For once there was silence from him.

It is difficult to spend time writing and editing photos during the summer while the kids are home.  As a matter of fact, my youngest is currently pouting because I asked her to please wear her headphones while she watches a show on her iPod.  It’s difficult for this ADD mom to have noise in the background while writing.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about.  In fact, I have so many things I would like to write about.  Sometimes that is just as overwhelming as having nothing to write about.

One reason I haven’t had time to write is because I’m running again.  Let me tell you, this is the first summer out of all of my adult years (about 10) I’ve been running I’ve actually RUN.  I usually take the summer off from running.  If you live in the south, then you understand why.  It’s SO STINKING HOT!  Problem is, I get out of shape and gain weight over the summer.  Then it’s that much harder to start running again in the fall.  I promised myself after all the effort I’ve put into losing 10 pounds I needed to bite the bullet and run this summer.  It’s the only way I will keep my weight in check.

My son goes to a training program every morning at 6:30am.  After I drop him off, I go to our local walking/jogging track.  I will admit, I only run the first mile without stopping to walk.  The next 2 miles are a run/walk combination interspersed with water breaks.  It’s still between the 80’s and 90’s early in the morning.  My kids told me recently they thought I had lost weight since the beginning of the summer.  I was surprised they noticed and said so.

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?So in between taking the kids to their various camps, conferences and our vacation…I made a new friend this summer.  She and her family moved here from a major city in the west.  I’ve been trying to keep her from going stir crazy in this small little town of ours.  She’s been going through Target withdrawals.  {been there. done that.}  I remember her calling me and asking me if there was a craft store here.  Oh how I wish!  I shared with her how I buy my crafting supplies.  We have spent a lot of fun time together already.  I realized while putting this little collage together of iPhone photos, we have done a LOT of swimming together. {which is why I’m always in my swim suit in the photos.}  She brings her littles over to swim in our pool.  The first time they came over her 2 boys wouldn’t even get in the pool.  They played around the pool.  The second time they came over they stood on the steps of the pool.  Now, with their swim vests securely fastened, they swim around and do great!  It’s been wonderful to see their progress and the huge grins on their faces.  Fortunately, her sweet baby girl adores the water.  I’m pretty sure she will be swimming in no time!  I enjoy seeing my kids take her little ones under their wing and act as big sisters and brothers to them.  We have enjoyed having friends in our home again.  It’s been such a long time since we’ve had close friends.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you might have seen me whine about not having good friends here.  So if you were one of my readers who has been praying for me, you’re prayers have been answered.  And I thank you so much for doing so.  Friends definitely bring JOY and make life happier.

One of the things I love about K is her infectious positive attitude.  She always has a smile on her face and is very complimentary.  And she does this despite the lack of sleep she receives from having a baby who isn’t sleeping through the night yet.  We share a lot of things in common.  We have fun talking about Instagram, crafts, blogging {she has a private blog}, mom stuff, books and our faith.  K likes to take photos as much as I do! Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?  I also want to tell her husband HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

Summer is coming to a close.  Only 3 more weeks until school begins here.  7 more weeks until I take my oldest to college.  I leave to go to Atlanta for Haven Conference in a week!  Look for an introduction post to the lovely home bloggers who will be attending this conference in the next day or 2.  I can’t wait to get back to blogging on a more regular basis when the kids are back in school.  Next month I will celebrate Family Brings Joy’s 5 year anniversary!  I’m planning on some fun stuff to offer and share with you.

I truly hope your family’s summer has been filled with special times together.  Feel free to share what y’all have been doing on here in the comments section.  I love to hear what families are doing.  Thanks so much for reading Family Brings Joy.  YOU are AWESOME! Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

Oh and sweet C…thank you for motivating me to sit down and write another post.  It is a HUGE compliment for you to tell me you read my blog.  Love you.

Friends bring joy,

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including VideosFirst up, you’ll need a template.  Click here to print your template on card stock.  If you missed yesterday’s post with photos of wreaths, you can see them at the end of this post.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • pool noodle and heavy duty shipping tape to make the wreath form
  • scissors (not shown in photo)
  • felt sheets of however many colors you want (see below for how many)
  • hot glue gun
  • above template

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

I decided to make a tutorial video for this.  There are 3 parts or 3 videos to the tutorial.  Here’s my disclaimer…It was me, my camera and tripod.  Unfortunately, there will be times where you might not see what I’m referring to {mainly in part 2.}  Please don’t hold that against me. Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos  Hopefully you’ll still be able to understand.

If you don’t glue the chevron pieces too close together you will need 4 sheets of felt of 2 colors {total of 8 sheets, 4 of each color} and 3 sheets of felt for 3 colors {total of 9 sheets, 3 of each color.}  If you like the chevron pieces to not be spaced out as much, then you will need to cut more pieces.  The tracing and cutting process is what takes the longest.  I allotted an hour for this class but should have allotted at least an hour and a half or maybe two hours.

 Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

 

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

I apologize profusely for the horrible clicking sound in the background of the video. I found it rather annoying myself.  It is the sound my camera makes when it is auto focusing.  I didn’t realize you would be able to hear that.  I now know to turn off the auto focus before videoing.  So sorry…hope you can overlook that, if not, feel free to mute the volume.  Oh and the chime you hear occasionally was my phone notifying me of a text. Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

Again, here are my chevron wreaths finished hung up in our home:

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

Chevron Wreath Tutorial Including Videos

Tomorrow I’m sharing photos from the class with all the different wreaths everyone made.  They turned out super cute!  Thanks for joining me for this tutorial.  I hope you have fun making one.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I’m off to pick up kids from school.  Have a beautiful day!

Beautify for less,

Chevron Wreath Crazy

Look what I taught for my craft class on Saturday…
Chevron Wreath Crazy

Those are my old pointe ballet shoes, BTW. Chevron Wreath Crazy  I love sharing my passion of dance with my daughter.

Chevron Wreath Crazy

I made this pink and white chevron wreath for my youngest daughter.  We are in the process of redecorating her room.  I surprised her with this little vignette on top of her dresser today.

Chevron Wreath Crazy

Chevron Wreath Crazy

I made this blue and white chevron wreath for my oldest daughter to take with her to college.  It’s done in BYU colors of course. Chevron Wreath Crazy  This will be the base for the special graduation mantel I’ll be putting together soon.  Only 17 more days until my first born graduates from high school!  Been super busy preparing for all our family {from out of state} coming to see her graduate and celebrate with us.  Just ordered a pergola and new outdoor furniture for the backyard patio.  {I’ll have to share pics of the furniture in a future post.}  Last year we extended the concrete outside our pool yet it’s sat there all blank and empty.  It’s easier on my nerves to spend a smaller amount of money at a time.  One of these days we’ll have a fence around the perimeter of our house.  The shade from the pergola and new comfy outdoor furniture should be the perfect setting for a family graduation celebration.

Chevron Wreath Crazy

I know I sound like a broken record…I’m insanely busy…to the point that it’s a miracle my depression hasn’t crept back.  I’m so grateful it hasn’t and pray the overwhelming monster stays away.  The reason I bring this up, yet again, is because I promised I would have a tutorial for this chevron wreath today.  Well, I was lucky to get these photos shot for you.  I hope you don’t mind waiting one more day.  Please…

Please come back tomorrow for the chevron wreath tutorial.

 

Don’t you just love the chevron pattern,

Right Frame of Mind

I’m up early this morning.  Youngest girl is going on a field trip.  She was so excited.  We pulled on her skinny jeans, slid on shoes and tied her scarf.  I should have taken a photo.  After preparing her sack lunch with a peanut butter sandwich, Cheetos, Oreos and G2, she was off.  DH took the kids to school on his way to work. Thank you hubby.

I’m going running this morning.  After scrounging up my layers of running clothes, including sliding on my compression socks and shoes, I decided to watch an inspirational video to get me in the right frame of mind.  This one was perfect.  I felt compelled to share it with you, my lovely readers today.

Doesn’t that put everything in perspective?
I think so.
Have a beautiful Friday my friends.

Sincerely,

Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

Last week I looked at our undecorated entry way and thought to myself, “I need a heart.”

No, I’m not quoting from the Tin Man (Wizard of Oz)…lol Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

I envisioned in my mind a simple big rustic wooden heart to go on my front door for Valentine’s Day.

Normally, when I get something in my head like this, the first thing I do is go searching online for it.  Invariably, every time I spend way too much time looking for ‘it’ and never find it.  So instead, I decided to make one!
Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

4. I painted and added a little of Annie Sloan’s Dark (Brown) wax to give dimension and have a subtle rustic look to it.

Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

To add to the rustic look I took keys and banged them on the painted heart.

I decided to sand the heart again after I got my frustrations out by throwing the keys over & over on the heart.  I wanted a little of the original light wood to show through around the edges.  I ran into a slight hiccup when I decided to sand over the top of the heart as well.  I explained and showed on the following videos {very amateur videos} what happened and how I was to remedy the problem without repainting it all over again:

 


Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

Large Wood Heart for My Front Door

My Son says it’s “tacky.”  What do you think?

I heart Valentine’s Day,