I’m Adding Handmade Jewelry To My Etsy Shop

So most of you reading this probably had no idea that I have an Etsy shop; I’ve actually never mentioned it on the blog.

About three or four years ago I started an Etsy shop, Simply Rustic Looks, https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplyRusticLooks because I was making too many projects and needed somewhere to go with them. I began selling on Etsy and never got terribly involved with it, but did end up selling quite a bit nevertheless. Some of the items ranged from rustic pallet signs, crocheted scarves and hats—to chalk-painted mason jars, including customized gifts as well. Nathan helped whenever I needed more pallets for the projects, but otherwise he’d rather steer clear of a paint brush of any type!!!

In the last few years I’ve become quite a minimalist and have thinned out a lot of the materials I used to make some of those original Etsy projects I was selling, though some are still listed on the shop’s page…and in 2018 I began little by little purchasing jewelry pieces—charms, bracelets, chains, stamp blanks, leather, etc…which take up a lot less space than the projects I made in the past.

Real leather earrings!!

I also bought a metal stamp set so I could try my hand at metal stamping. It’s a lot harder than it looks!!! Thankfully I’ve come a long way with it.

After researching different metals, I decided to go with combinations of stainless steel and aluminum. These are two metals which are hypoallergenic, making them less likely to cause a skin reaction. They also won’t tarnish, discolor, or rust and aren’t known to leave green markings on skin. Both of these metals polish up nicely with a soft polishing cloth or even a light buffing of steel wool over them.

The aluminum has been great for metal stamping as it’s a softer (more pliable) metal, and the stainless steel has been a great source for the necklace chains.

Lately I’ve been putting pieces together, setting product props and snapping photos—preparing to list them on Etsy.

I’m super excited to let you know when the shop will be filled with jewelry, for now you can check out the pallet signs and other odds and ends we have at Simply Rustic Looks:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplyRusticLooks

Blessings,

Alicia…and Nathan too😉

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Bread Doesn’t Have To Be A Weakness For Me

Since the start of this year (2019) I’ve been  avidly avoiding gluten and dairy products and so far I’ve been successful.7f7f0dce-8785-40e5-811d-c8cd9cee7cd7

I have an auto immune disorder (psoriasis) and I’ve discovered if I keep my distance from the two I can manage a little better. I’ve gone on these kicks before over the past couple of years where I give special attention to my diet and more often than not I’ve failed miserably…and I’m blaming bread!!!

Bread is my weakness! I mean who doesn’t love a loaf of homemade banana bread smothered in melted butter or a warm slice of garlic bread next to a plate of spaghetti (which I also bypass now due to gluten sensitivity)…

I’m a sucker for bread of all types.

Several years ago I was down in Mexico and had eaten days worth of Mexican food (which I love) but I was craving bread after a while. As it turned out our missions team headed out for a morning of shopping and happened to spot a bakery. I made a beeline straight for that store, probably even stopped traffic on the busy streets of Tijuana just to get there. I walked in and the smell about made me black-out. It was like Subway on steroids, it was glorious—dinner rolls, pastries, biscuits—sweet superfluous loaves of bread. I thought we’d stepped through the doors of Heaven.

I was sooooo completely amazed and overwhelmed that I walked out nearly twenty minutes later empty-handed!! I didn’t purchase a thing in that bread store and this was before I even knew gluten was a word! It was like too much of a good thing and I couldn’t make up my mind so I sporadically vacated, while the rest of my crew splurged. There was no reason I couldn’t have gone crazy and purchased one of every kind of bread in that bakery because at the time I wasn’t aware that bread affected my auto immune disorder.

These days though I’ve decided to be more conscious of my diet by totally eliminating certain foods in effort to make a healthier lifestyle. But I think back to that little bakery in Mexico every now and then and wonder how I’d hold up if faced with the temptation of my bread obsession and a store filled with baked goods situated on the other side of the road. Would I cross the busy street, feeding into that desire, burst through the doors, sniff around, and wipe out the shelves or simply and wisely recognize the temptation and keep my distance?

I’ve been using Luke 4 as an inspiration to steer clear of my “flour-y” nemesis. In this particular chapter Jesus faced temptation, interestingly enough it involved Satan, a stone, and none other than a loaf of bread!!!—so it really hits home for me.

Check it out: (Luke 4 summarized) The Holy Spirit had led Jesus into the wilderness where he would face temptation from Satan. Jesus ate nothing, but after 40 days he’d become very hungry and then the bad guy (Satan) shows up and says, “if you are the son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”

I’d have been like, “Yes please!! And while I’m at it I might as well whip up enough homemade strawberry jam to spread over each slice!!”

But Jesus (fully man, fully God) knows his hunger needs to run deeper than physical food and he responds by quoting scripture, ‘No! The scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’

The very scripture that Jesus referred to comes from Deuteronomy 8:3b ‘People do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.’

Jesus knew his satisfaction wasn’t in filling his tummy, but in fulfilling his soul by means of spiritual food through a committed and right-relationship with His Father’s will.

In each scenario as Satan continually tempted Jesus throughout Luke chapter 4 verses 1-13, Jesus struck Satan down by quoting scripture…

Oh how incredibly powerful is the word of God.

Finally in Luke 4:13 we read that the devil had finished tempting Jesus and left Him until the next opportunity came.

Until the next opportunity came…

For some it’ll be the temptation of a shopping spree when the money isn’t in the bank, others will struggle with lustful desires, some it’ll be alcohol tendency when the AA meetings fail to fill the void…and for myself the aroma of freshly baked bread.

Those temptations are always going to come and sometimes they’re a challenge to recognize but we must not be fooled by their existence. Temptations will for sure present themselves, not only in obvious ways but through deceit as well. We must ask ourselves is this the Holy Spirit leading me to do this or is this Satan’s way of throwing me off?

Know the difference: Satan will lead us astray from a godly perspective and goals, the Holy Spirit on the other hand will cause us to bring glory to God as we represent Him in our dealings by objecting to the defeat of temptation.

If we’re wise and self-controlled we’ll consider and model Jesus’ responses to Satan’s temptations in Luke 4. We’ll study scripture, fill up on the Holy word, and satisfy our longings with the Bread of Life (John 6) and reject Satan’s forceful attempts at throwing us off.

John 6:32-35  Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

What are some of your temptation-struggles or weaknesses?

How do you deal with temptation?

Cramming Everything In (Perspective on Priorities)

Just wanted to reblog a fellow blogger’s recent post (Ann from Seeking Divine Perspective) I always love her words of wisdom🙂
Hope y’all are having a good start to the new year! Blessings and enjoy this post!…

Seeking Divine Perpsective

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

The teacher stood in front of the class holding a large beaker. He  placed several  large rocks inside, and asked the class if they thought he could fit any more in, or was the beaker full? The students replied that it was full.

But then the instructor took out some smaller stones and placed them around the larger ones, and sure enough, they fit.  “Now is it full?” he asked. The students hesitated to answer.

The teacher pulled out a small bag of gravel and slowly poured it over the beaker, giving the container an occasional shake, until the gravel reached the top.

Now is it full?” he asked. The students said nothing.

Next he got out a little bag of sand and began spooning it over the beaker. As…

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That’s Just What I Needed, Thank you!

I was trying to figure out what woke me from a deep sleep this morning at 4:15. And then I heard the loud cry of our rooster crowing on the front patio, which happens to be located next to my bedroom window.

Yesterday afternoon our rooster (Blackie) flew the coop, literally. He must’ve had enough of the hens out there and decided to relocate, hence the reason he’s now been perched out front of our house for the past day.

After about a dozen crows this morning before 5 A.M. I finally turned to my husband, “that’s it, I’m gonna go outside and talk to him!!”…surely my husband questioned my awkward statement but nevertheless I stepped out front (barefoot and nearly frozen immediately). I stooped down to eye level with the rooster and calmly stroked his back and spoke softly to him. He nestled down closer to the table he was sitting on and relaxed as if to say, “that’s just what I needed, thank you!”

I tiredly went back inside and crawled into bed and got a few more hours of sleep—beautiful, quiet uninterrupted sleep. It wasn’t until after 7, the sun was beginning to light the sky, the rooster let out a few more crows. This time his noise was gladly welcomed, with the 7 o’clock hour seeming a bit more fitting.649C1F7D-178A-4F25-9DFA-0EFC19F7F366

Not only have Blackie’s crow-times been off lately, he’d also flown into our living room window several times yesterday. And today as we’ve had wind gusts of 35 miles per hour he still insist on sitting out front in the blistering openness of frigid cold.

Although he has a warm home, plenty of food, and many lady friends to keep him company something out in the chicken coop just isn’t quite right for him.

I think of the many times I can relate to the odd mannerism of my rooster’s—the times that I’ve been confused, unsettled, and distressed much like this new adopted behavior of his. Continue reading “That’s Just What I Needed, Thank you!”

All I want for Christmas is…

All I want for Christmas is…a “prepared” Mary-like heart and attitude…

I’ve been substitute teaching quite a bit lately.

No worries, my homeschooled kiddos have a couple of amazing substitute teachers on the days I work so they’re well taken care of, academically speaking…Because I’m sure some people are reading this and like, “Gasp! What about your poor homeschooled kids when you sub?”…no worries I can assure (anyone who’s worried about it) they need a break from me, they’re fine! Don’t lose sleep over it. They’re doing great with their schoolwork with or without me at their side.

…Okay that whole paragraph above might very well be my holler of defense in regard to someone who recently hounded me about homeschooling and subbing because they’re anti-homeschooling…people are funny, even if you go to church with ‘em.

I feel better after stating that.

Moving on🙂…Every time I show up at the school it’s always the same procedure: arrive 20 minutes early, sign in at the office, head to my classroom for the day.

There’s always an organized folder with sub-notes sitting on the teacher’s desk, waiting for me to read through so I have an idea and schedule for how the day should run. And on every occasion there’s always papers tucked somewhere in the sub-folder which cover the proper procedures for handling emergency circumstances.

Can I just be honest for a moment?

I never, ever thoroughly read that part of the notes, just a little browse and that’s good enough for me. That’s part of my practical mindset. I get at least a general idea of where the emergency placards are located in the classroom, which the teacher would collect along with the students before hurriedly scuffling out of the room or school in the event of a crisis situation.

In fact, recently when I subbed, I quickly went over the emergency notes and glanced up and remember thinking, ‘K placards are near the door, good deal, it’s not like anything will happen anyway but if so I’d gather my students, emergency placards, and locate the nearest seasoned teacher in the hallway and follow her lead!’

I’ve discovered though that this limited-thinking is not okay, AT ALL, because last week there actually was an emergency situation at the school where I sub so often, where I had just subbed a few days prior. Continue reading “All I want for Christmas is…”

Grandma’s Biscuits and…Her Dementia

711FD028-E6E7-4694-B142-F42BC4353A80It’s 3 A.M. as I write…can’t sleep…

Again.

This time I’m blaming my dog. My husband might have been sleep-talking as he rambled off something about the dog and an ear infection; either way his slumbered words sound like the voice of reason to me so I’ll have to get Eli into the vet because this whining and ear scratching is obnoxious—for not only the dog but me as well. Apparently it’s not affecting Nate’s sleep, after offering his ‘unprofessional vet diagnosis’ he’s back to quiet snores before even finishing mumbling.

Anyway after my last post I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write again…ever. There’s times when I share deep parts of my life on this blog and it causes me to feel so vulnerable. It feels like rather than pushing the “publish” button, I’ve just pushed “panic” instead and I begin to get swallowed by Satan’s lies ‘you’re crazy for putting that out there, what’s wrong with you? and blah, blah, blah’…because he’s just that irritating.

But then I have to remember why I originally chose to start this blog—it was never to showcase the best parts of my life through haughty sounding words, it wasn’t to reach a certain number of followers, nor was it to gain attention. It’s always been about noting the things and areas of my life in which God has spoken to my heart, sharing highs and lows and the lessons learned along the way, creating a legacy to pass down to my kiddos. All I want is for them to see how tough life can be BUT what prevails is loving Jesus like crazy regardless.

Perhaps the best part of this blog is being able to write my thoughts out and seeing how God has and is working in my life and then when someone comments on a post even three or four months later to let me know my words spoke to their heart…goodness, there’s just nothing like it. Glory to God alone, I’m then able to grasp that this whole blog is truly For His Purpose. Amen!!?

Not today Satan, not today! Even if it is 3 in the morning, I choose to use this time optimistically.

So on to Grandma’s biscuits and her dementia… Continue reading “Grandma’s Biscuits and…Her Dementia”

Autumn Blessings

It’s 3 A.M. as I write…or type this…so I’m sorry ahead of time for any misspelled words or confusing lingo. I shouldn’t proofread before hitting publish just as a way to make it extraordinarily entertaining to go back and read later.

I can’t sleep very well lately and I think it’s because we’ve been going to bed at 9 lately instead of 10…either way I have two Yorkies cuddled up way too close on each side of me, an inconsistent snoring husband on his half of the bed, and I believe a charming little Warren boy curled up at the foot of my bed…plus I can hear our rooster crowing from the chicken coop. I’m not sure what that’s all about but he must be exceptionally confused and hopefully isn’t causing our neighbors any sleep deprivation.

Throw all those odds in against me and it’s no wonder I lie awake….(lie or lay…anyone else have trouble knowing which of those two are correct?)

Anyways on with the purpose of this post—which was inevitably going to come about…regardless of 3 A.M. sleepless nights.

Autumn. I just love that word. You don’t hear it very often. People lean more to using the word fall, myself included, and I’m not sure why, but I’m hoping it’s not another sign of laziness. Continue reading “Autumn Blessings”