14 December 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all

Here are my latest Christmas items in my Etsy shop, www.garlandandgrace.etsy.com.  It's not to late to order.  Visit my shop to shop for other fun stuff for little girls.  Garland and Grace always has FREE shipping.

Joy Christmas Ornament

Merry Christmas Y'all Wall Decor

Ho Ho Ho Wall Decor
Joy Christmas Ornament

10 November 2010

Ten Creative Gift Ideas For Children

Erma Bombeck once said, "There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."  I remember the anticipation I had as a child on Christmas Eve like it was yesterday.  It was a wonderful feeling to be a child on Christmas morning.  But, I have to disagree with Erma Bombeck.  I think that one of the saddest things in this world would be to awake Christmas morning without a child.  I have to say that Christmas has been a lot more meaningful to me since I have had children.  Not only because I get to share in their excitement and anticipation, but I get to pass along something way more significant.  The celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Because of Jesus' birth, we are able to celebrate our life with fullness the rest of the year.  Without his birth, we are nothing.  So his birth is everything to us.  What a wonderful, indescribable gift.  Speaking of gifts, this week I am featuring fabulous Christmas gift ideas for children.  All of the products come from Etsy shops.  Happy shopping!     id, 





"Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness is the unshaken need for an unshakable God."  I think this quote from Maya Angelou doesn't just pertain to a lonely child.  We are all lonely children until we meet the unshakable God.  Gifts are fun and exciting, but at the end of the day our hearts ache for more.  We all long for our souls to be filled.  This season be reminded that the unshakable, Almighty God is the ONLY one that can satisfy your deepest needs and desires forever.  All you have to do is ask Him.  Blessings to you.

Living Graciously,

06 November 2010

Ten Eco Friendly Gift Ideas

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and I am already getting anxious for Christmas.  I don’t have to go far to be reminded that Christmas is right around the corner.  The shopping centers already have their Christmas decorations hanging, holiday decorations for sale, and gifts displayed in such a way that makes me feel pressured to buy something.  To get away from the pressures of everyday life, I had the privilege this week of going on a mini getaway with my sister.  We went to Ft. Myers, partly for a girl’s getaway and partly to deliver some items I am selling at a new shop, Green-n-Groovy.  The uniqueness of this shop gave me an idea for this week’s theme, “eco friendly gifts.”  There are many specialty gift stores in the Ft.Myers area, but this one is different.  Lisa Boucher, owner of Green-n-Groovy, wanted to a specialty gift store for the discriminating, eco-conscious, and savvy consumer.  She says, “One does not have to sacrifice great style and exquisite taste to go green.”  While all of her items aren’t green, she does select her products from artisans or companies that use highly sustainable and earth-friendly materials.  About half of her products come from Etsy.com artisans.  Since the pressure is on to find great gifts this season, I was inspired by Green-n-Groovy to focus on ten artisans that sell up-cycled or re-purposed products on http://www.etsy.com/.  If you would like to visit Green-n-Groovy online click here http://www.green-n-groovy.com/.  To get ideas for Christmas gifts for yourself or someone special, keep reading.

For the Jewelry Lover

Vintage Enamel Flower Statement Necklace
A Collection of Vintage Jewelry

Romantic Red Rhinestone Steam Punk Ring
A Re-purposed Watch Face

For the Clothes Lover 

Hand Made Manipulated Ruffled White Boho Blouse
Made Using 100% Cotton Bedsheets & Recycled Cotton Fabrics
She She Hoodie
Made With  Re-purposed Fabric

For the Coffee Lover

Gourmet Coffee Sack Ottoman
Upcycled Burlap Sacks Once Used to Transport Green Coffee Beans

Eco Friendly Orange Coffee Cuff
Made From Recycled Dryer Sheets

For Children

Upcycled Hippie T-Shirt Skirt
Made With Gently Used T-Shirts
Vintage Baby Booties
Made Using Vintage Table Linens
For Him

Tan Ultra Suede Blazer With Leather Hood
Upcycled With a Leather Hood and Cuffs
Sweater Scarf
Made With Recycled  Sweaters

My six year old daughter said to me yesterday, "Mom are we poor?"  I said, "No honey, poor is when you don't have what you really need and rich is when you have more than you need."  She said, "Then we are rich."  I told her that I don't think we would fit into that category either.  She responded, "Then we are just right."  Ah, yes we are.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  I am grateful that we want for nothing.  This season, think about purchasing up-cycled or re-purposed gifts.  It's a gift that benefits everyone.  Mother Teresa once said, "I only feel angry when I see waste.  When I see people throwing away things we could use."  If we only get people things they truly need, that would be a step in the right direction.  Let us not be wasteful this Christmas season.  We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  One of the ways we can glorify Him is by taking care of the creation that He has given us.

Living Graciously,

14 October 2010

Top Ten Costumes for Adults and Children

I don't celebrate Halloween, but I love costumes.  I admit, I do get a kick out of a good costume party.  There is excitement in planning and putting together the perfect costume.  I enjoy watching my children use their imagination with their different costume changes.  Costumes give us a delightful break from being ourselves.  Since this is the season to be incognito, I have chosen ten costumes I found on Etsy.com.  Any of these are sure to amuse.

Sherlock Holmes

Custom Renaissance Gown

Custom Princess Costumes

Roman Inspired Helmet

The Queen of Hearts - Alice in Wonderland

Mad Hatter Costume

Lord of the Rings Return of King Aronon
Movie Costume Replica
Real Pirates Wear Pink

Frog Prince

Marie Antoinette

Putting amusement aside.  The reality is, we use costumes for our entertainment and masks for our everyday lives.  John Piper states, "There are two reasons why we put on masks: one is that we have not come to be satisfied in the mercy of God and so we fear what man will think of us. Our inner life is not sustained by the precious all-satisfying mercy of God and so we have to prop ourselves up with the approval of others and that means wearing a mask that they will approve."  Really?  That sounds exhausting.  Let's seek the all-satisfying mercy of God so we can be fully alive in who we are.  Can you imagine the feeling of being replenished?  That's what God does for us.  He revives our soul.  Johann von Gothe said it best, "If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise."  Save the mask for your costume.

Living Graciously,

07 October 2010

Family Rules


My parents are visiting for two weeks.  Yep, two weeks.  They have big plans ahead.  Their time began with a trip to Disney World with my daughter.  In between they plan on playing the role of proud grandparents at my son's football games.  And they'll finish off their time celebrating my son's eleventh birthday.  They have already been here a week and will be here for another few days.  My kids are sleep deprived, full of wonderful food, and their emotional tank is overflowing.  Too bad my parents don't live closer.  Ogden Nash couldn't have said it better, "When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window."  That certainly is the case in our humble abode.  They have already been here one week and my children are starting to question my authority over them.  My son thinks that because my parents are here, his duties around the house are no longer his responsibility.  My daughter gets brave and becomes miss sassy pants.  They think they should be served breakfast in bed, on a silver platter.  I plan on relaxing a bit while they are here and going on dates with my husband.  I will continue with my Etsy.com  posts next week.  This week, I'm enjoying the benefits of having my parents here.  Have a wonderful, fall weekend and enjoy your family.

Family Rules sign can be found by visiting www.signsofvintage.etsy.com

Living Graciously,

29 September 2010

What Do Ralph Lauren and Etsy Have In Common?

I make no claims of being a cowgirl.  I don’t even like horses.  That might go back to the time when I was about six. My dad and I were on a horse, the saddle was loose, and before we knew it we were underneath the horse.  My grandfather stood there and laughed, while my dad yelled for him to come and help us.  Thankfully nothing bad came of that event.  I don’t think I have been on a horse since then.  I told y’all a couple of weeks ago when I was doing my jewelry themes, that I love cowgirl jewelry.  Ralph Lauren’s spring 2011 collection, that he revealed at the September 17th runway show, was cowgirl glamour.  He was true to his classic style with a very feminine, cowgirl glamour look.  This week I will show you his spring 2011 collection along with Etsy.com shops that sell cowgirl jewelry.  What do Ralph Lauren and Etsy have in common?  They both have shops that are selling cowgirl glamour.  Make no mistake; you don’t have to be a cowgirl to enjoy the chic look.  Although I will say, you won’t ever see me in a 10 gallon hat, wrangler jeans and fringe on my denim shirt.  I don’t own any of that, nor do I want to.  I, however, wouldn’t mind owning any of the things pictured below, as long as it doesn’t have a horse on it.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Collection

Sanna Designs shop owner creates unique one of a kind jewelry to unique designer belt buckles.  Her designs are ornate and chic.  She is always adding new designs to her shop.  To see more of her beautiful, shiny, feminine designs click here http://www.sannadesigns.etsy.com/.  

Oval Cowhide Print Crystal Cross
Embellished Belt Buckle
Turquoise Sun Crystal Wave
Belt Buckle

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Collection

Caya's Cowgirl Creations describes itself as fun, funky, and fabulous chunky jewelry with a cowgirl flair.  I call it EYE CANDY.  I love shops that have so many wonderful and unique items it's hard to choose just one.  This is one of those shops.  To get lost in a shop of beautiful, detailed, unique jewelry click here http://www.zippos55mom.etsy.com/.

Cowgirl Rodeo Queen Chunky Necklace
French Vanilla
Cowgirl Rodeo Queen Necklace
Cherished Moments

Ralph Lauren Spring 2011 Collection

Pete's Blue Scooter Bug describes the shop's products as funky-chunky-gypsy-cowgirl-junktastic bling, fashioned on a Wyoming cattle ranch.  Click here to shop http://www.petesbluescooterbug.etsy.com/.

Funky-Chunky-Jeweled With Vintage Jewelry
Belt Buckle
Belt Buckle
Ralph Lauren's Spring 2011 Collection

 One Spirit Artworks describes it's elaborate creations as wearable art and altered couture.  They have purses, belts, and fabulous jewelry.  To visit the shop of embellished accessories click here http://www.onespiritartz.etsy.com/.
Hair On Hide Bracelet
Charmed Cross Necklace

Ralph Lauren's Spring 2011 Collection
Cocky Cowgirl is for women that don't want what everyone else has.  If you're not afraid to be different and want to kick it up a notch with your cowgirl jewelry click here http://www.cockycowgirlinc.etsy.com/ you won't be disappointed. 

Waikiki Cowgirl Necklace

Khloe Earrings
Ralph Lauren's Spring 2011 Collection

Out West Jewelry Designs states that it sells handmade western style jewelry for the rodeo cowgirl who wants to get noticed.  I am definately not a cowgirl, I don't know anything about rodeo's (except that they have clowns, and I have a strong aversion to clowns), but I love jewelry that will set me apart from the rest.  If you would like to see more click here http://www.outwestjewelry.etsy.com/.

Christian Cowgirl Maple Turquoise
Cross Necklace
Christian Cowgirl Pink Turquoise Necklace
Well there you have it.  The Ralph Lauren collection and the Etsy shop's collection.  You don't have to be a famous designer to create well made, sophisticated designs.  While any of these designs might make us feel special and set us apart from the rest, it doesn't make us special.  Let's face it; as women we all want to feel special, but at the fall of man that specialness was lost.  The reality is that it's going to take more than a piece of jewelry or a fabulous outfit to make us feel truly special.  It's not God that thinks differently of us, we believe the lies that we aren't special enough.   Why do you think as women we are so competitive with each other?  We want to one up one another on specialness.  In God's world there is pleanty of specialness to go around.  God's children are all equally special.  He is always faithful and trustworthy, and we can believe what he says.  In the Bible, Psalm 139:13-16 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  A God that created you and knew you before your mom was pregnant with you, thinks you are special.  Besides, this life is NOT about us.  The reason we were created was to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  I think the only thing we need to surpass each other on is worship of Him.  In the Bible, Psalm 86:9 says, "All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name."  When we worship him, we bring glory to His name.  The Psalmist writes, "I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever."  Psalm 86:12  Let's strive to glorify God with our whole heart.