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.

28 September 2010

That's What She Said

My husband, Curtis McGown, is a licenced mental health counselor.  He recently had the privilege of being a guest speaker for a men's conference at our church.  His topic was, "helping men better understand women."  The title of his lecture, "That's What She Said."  Let me just say right now, the women in the church were depending on my husband to deliver GOLD to their husbands.  Once they found out what his topic was going to be, their expectations were high.  I can't tell you how many times over the past few weeks the women would stop me in the hall at church.  They wanted to make sure my husband was diligently preparing his talk.  The women were concerned with the content he would be delivering and wanted to make sure he had his facts straight.  Where is he getting his information they wanted to know.  Has he sat down with me to go over what he's going to talk about, they wondered.  One lady commented to me, "You must be the happiest woman in our church."  To which I replied, "I'd like to think so."  This being a men's conference, the women had to depend on the men to fill them in on what they learned at the conference.  From the feedback that he has gotten this past week and the comments made to me after the conference, I am pretty sure he blew their expectations out of the water.  The men were really impacted by what he had to say.  I am so proud of him.  It is great to see him becoming more of who God has created him to be.  Our church provided the link to his talk so the men could hear it again and the women didn't have to wonder if their men told them everything.  If you would like to listen to it clic here http://www.stpchurch.org/conferences.html and then click on Curtis McGown.  I have to admit, I haven't listened to it yet.  I am afraid I will be too critical of him.  I do want to know what all the fuss is about.  So maybe curiosity will trump my critique.  Comment and let me know if you listened to it.  Tell me what you think.

26 September 2010

From Concept to Reality

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, states that, "The cure for our self absorption is an encounter with God.  The real God is infinitely glorious, weighty, and beautiful.  When God moves from concept to reality, he changes our beliefs and priorities by displaying his beauty, man's sinfulness, and purifying man by grace.  Once changed, we can live new lives for him."

Holy Name of Jesus
St. Bernardine of Siena was an "Apostle of Italy."  He frequently preached on the Holy name of Jesus.  His preaching attracted sometimes as many as 30,000 people.  It was said of him that by his sermons he "cleansed all Italy from sins of every kind in which sin abounded."  The Sienese were so moved and changed by his preaching that they would put the symbol in the picture above their city gates, businesses and homes.  The preaching of Jesus' name brought peace to an area that was plagued with hostility.  God must have moved from "concept to reality," and Italy was changed because of it.  In God's Word, Philippians 2:9-11 tells us that, "God exalted him *(Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  People are radically changed by Jesus.  What would your city look like if it were radically changed by Jesus?

*Word in parenthesis mine.

23 September 2010

Are Names Important?

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child.  My husband and I were trying to choose a name for our son.  We went to the local bookstore, sat on the floor, and surrounded ourselves with baby name books.  I had no idea how hard this task would be.  As a little girl, I already had my children's names picked out.  I didn't realize that my future husband wouldn't share the same fondness for the names I had chosen.  “How about this name?”  We would ask each other.  The names we mentioned were never good enough for our firstborn.  I felt like we were branding our child, and it was our responsibility to make sure his branding was well received.  We promised not to tell our family or friends the name we chose.  We didn't want feedback on why the name we chose wasn't good enough.  In my husband's family, everyone has a family name.  And I do mean everyone.  This tradition has been going on as far back as his ancestors can be traced.  This never crossed my husband's mind.  Yes, we became the first in his family to break that tradition.  We still are the only family that has broken that tradition.  In fact, his father's first question after finding out the name of our son was, “You didn't want to give him a family name?”  To which my husband replied, “I gave him my last name.”  Names are important.  Have you ever met someone and after getting to know them thinking their name really doesn't fit with who they are?  We come to conclusions when we hear someone's name.  Names can sound strong, dignified, wimpy, fat, bubbly, calm, kind, stable, easygoing, stubborn, reliable, shy, foreign, religious, the list could go on.  Think of the names, William, Bertha, John, Alice, Chester, Elizabeth, Jackson, and Apple.  Did you have a mental association with any of these names?  If we like our name, we love to display it with pride.  Today, I am sharing with you some of the Etsy.com shops that customize and personalize their products.

Rumpelstreet Boutique provides custom personalized decorative signs 
and vinyl art.  Click here to see this wonderful shop http://www.rumpelstreetboutique.etsy.com/.

Family Description Sign
Available In Different Colors

Vintage Style Initial Sign

Miss Pretty Pretty loves to sew.  Her love for sewing and a creative imagination gives children the 
benefit of being able to play in one of her wonderful table playhouses.  
These can be customized and personalized.  Click here to stimulate your imagination http://www.missprettypretty.etsy.com/.

Neighborhood Bakery-Front

Neighborhood Bakery-Back

Pet Shop-Front
Pet Shop-Back

Tanner's Touch specializes in special occasion, hand painted, ceramic plates.  Click here to check out
the wonderful hand painted items this shop has to offer http://www.tannerstouch.etsy.com/.

Personalized Birthday Plate
 Her hand painted plates are customized just for you!

This of course is my shop.  These two items were customized
for friends of mine.  Garland and Grace specializes in hand painted, personalized
hair bow holders, room plaques, collegiate theme bow holders, and holiday decor. 
I would love your visit to my shop http://www.garlandandgrace.etsy.com/.

Personalized Sign-Teacher

Hand Painted Custom Bow Holder

I love the name of this shop, Dr. Felt Good.  Isn't that a great name?  The owner of Dr. Felt Good is very creative.  The things she can do with felt...birthday crowns for boys and girls, personalized party treat bags, Trick or Treat bags, personalized sport pennant, wine bags (for the adults of course), gift envelopes, Christmas items, and more.  I enjoyed visiting this shop.  It is fun, happy and colorful.  Click here to felt good http://www.drfeltgood.etsy.com/.

Personalized Treat Bags
Customize With Any Theme

Java Jane Designs specializes in alphabet photography and custom keepsakes.
To see more from Java Jane click here http://www.javajanedesigns.etsy.com/.

Even though names are important to our sense of self, thankfully they aren't the only things people can remember us for.  The legacy we leave, isn't about us or our name we leave behind.  It's about being a blessing to others.  It's not about our accomplishments, it's about others.  In the end if your life didn't matter, and no one remembers your name, maybe it's because you didn't invest your life in others.  We are more than our name.  Let's act like it.  Blessed be your name.

Living Graciously,

21 September 2010

Garland and Grace Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Shannon Wheatley!  She won a monogrammed pumpkin from Garland and Grace.  A special thank you to Miss Monogram for hosting this giveaway.

Be sure to check out my special Wednesday blog.  I have the privilege of sharing with you the talent I find on Etsy.com.  Have a beautiful day!

Living Graciously,

19 September 2010

A House Divided...I Can't Stand It!

I live in a house divided, and I can't stand it.  My children are Gator fans, I am a Vols fan, and my husband is an SEC fan.  My best friend...also a Gator fan.  I have to listen to my children cheer for the Gators.  They taunt me with their Gator chomp, even when it's not football season.  My friend taunts me with her texts.  Tennessee, you let me down.  Please don't let it happen again.

17 September 2010

Let's Get Personal

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

Today I would love to share with you Garland and Grace's hand painted hair bow holders and room decor.  Bow holders can be made into room decor and room decor can be made into bow holders.  Get one custom made for you today.  They make a great gift.  Click here to visit Garland and Grace http://www.etsy.com/shop/garlandandgrace.  Next Wednesday, I will feature six of the best Etsy.com shops that personalize their products.  Don't miss it!
Bella Personalized Bow Holder
Custom Hair Bow Holder
Margaret Hair Bow Holder
Olivia Room Decor

Madison Room Decor

I hope y'all have a blessed weekend.  Be encouraged by the verse below.  Bask in God's goodness, and give him glory!

Numbers 6:22-27

"Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, "Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace."'
So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I 
shall bless them."

Living Graciously,