Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Time's a Changing

It took me a long time to figure out the why.  I had seen a video about knowing the why behind the do before, but it finally clicked.  I needed to know my why, and I need to get rid of the ambiguity.  For years I’ve written nonfiction for educators.  I’ve blogged about life as a Christian and an artist.  I have even dabbled in freelance articles for doll artists.  I think my family would have preferred an athletic kid, so they could just say go outside and play on holiday get-togethers.  Instead they endured poetry, performances, skits, plays, and magic shows I wrote and produced for each occasion.  Bless their souls.  

But why do I write?  That question kept nagging me.  Why do I have this driving force to spill out words?  I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately since I committed to writing a novel.  My gut said, like a lot of folks, I want to leave something behind.  Something that made a difference, something lasting.  I’d respond with, “How could a cozy mystery possibly make a difference in the world?  It doesn’t save souls or solve world hunger.”  Right.  My important legacy I leave is sharing my love for Christ.  But what about the stories?  What’s the why?
It finally makes sense to me.  I want to tell stories where the good guys, or gals, still win.  Where people still help each other.  Where romance is clean and so is the dialog.  Those are the stories I want, need, to tell.  Call me Pollyanna, but I don't think God ever intended for evil to become such a popular read.  

I am so excited about the things happening behind the scenes around Sherry’s Cabin.  We are wrapping up the Christmas Season celebrating the greatest Gift of all time - the birth of our Savior, and the Cabin has been a buzz with Christmas spirit.  There’s also a feeling of anticipation of coming changes.  Believe it or not, I considered closing the doors of this little spot on the internet to make room for something new, but in the end, I just couldn’t do it.  Instead, I’m just making room right here!  You know I am multi-passionate about creating.  More simply said, I’ve got way too many irons in the fire, but that’s just the way I roll.  If you’ve paid attention to the sidebar, you might have clicked and read about my noveling adventure...maybe not.  It’s been its own little room - not anymore.  I’m bringing it right into the house with the rest of the mess!  There’s a little catch, though.  I need a little more room around here, so Sherry’s Cabin is making a move!  It will still be the same cozy corner it’s always been where we can create art, sip hot tea, play in the dirt, and talk about how awesome God is.  The only difference is we’ll have our own space on the web to hang out.  

Sherry’s Cabin is officially moving to its own space on the web where we can celebrate all of the things we’re passionate about!  Don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of notice, and we’ll go over to the new Cabin together to start the New Year!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Blogging a Book #7 - Chapter 2 Blogging

We could go on for the rest of the year with art journal activities, but I want you to take it and run with it.  Now we are going to add to the documenting of our journey.  We are moving on to Chapter Two of Blogging a Book - Blogging.

You do have a story to tell and a journey to share.  Blogging can be a great way to record your journey, and God can use your words to inspire others.  I have found the more I focus on my problems and myself, the deeper I sink into the muck.  However, when I focus on God and how He uses me for His glory when I help someone else, the muck disappears.  Pretty amazing.  I can’t explain how it works, but I am a living testament that it does.

You are familiar with the blog world, or you wouldn’t be here.  You might even have a blog of your own.  You might not think anyone would want to read your story, but you would be surprised.  God can use your words to inspire others in ways you may never realize.  

So how do you start?  There are many platforms where you can set up a free blog.  I use Blogger, but I am not saying it is better than other hosting sites.  It just happens to be free and easy to use.  Hey, I’m a teacher...I like those qualities in a product!

Why blog?  It opens another door for you to experience God’s beauty and share it with others.  The tools for this exercise in creative art are simple.  You will need a camera and a computer.  You’re probably holding both in your pocket.  I blogged for an entire month using only my iPhone as my creative tool.  I searched for camera and photo apps, Googled some tips on photography with an iPhone, and set off to capture God’s beauty each day for 30 days.  I set some rules for myself just to make it a challenge.  I could only photograph and edit on my phone - no expensive lenses or Photoshop editing.  I have to say I was amazed at the shots I took.  Not because of my expertise, but because of the things I noticed through the lens.  I wanted to capture God’s color palette - the beauty we take for granted so often.  I made it my mission to share God’s amazing creations with others and to challenge others to do the same.

Now I am passing on that challenge to you.  Get your camera and be purposeful - not stressed about it - purposeful.  Take time to look around you.  You might even be thinking this is not an art project.  Oh, but yes, it is!

Your assignment is simple.  Get a blog up and running.  This can take as little as 10 minutes, and there are plenty of tutorials out there.  Don’t worry about all of the gadgets and gizmos for now unless you just want to play with them.  I think  there’s power in the written word and power in journaling through your battle, but blogging may not be your thing.  So… share it on your social media of choice.  

Now here’s your first task, as well as your task for the next 30 days.  Go out and snap a picture of God’s amazing beauty.  While I had fun challenging myself to use only my phone, you can use any camera and editing tools you like.  What do you photograph?  Sunrises, sunsets, birds, insects, flowers, trees, clouds, grass, storms, animals, people, rivers… get the picture?  Ha, sorry for the bad pun.  

Think about your angle of the shot.  Zoom in and fill your lens.  Try some super closeups of things you’ve always considered ordinary.

Ok, so you’re saying, “I’m sick, and you want me to crawl around in the dirt?”  Yes, I do.  Whether you are going through treatments for cancer or recovering from something else, you don’t need to sit and dwell on it.  Get up, even if only for a few moments.  Go to the window if you must, but take a picture.

Now here’s where the fun begins!  Use the picture just as it is, or use an editing app to change it up.  Always save the original photo and make as many different versions as suits you.

Once you have some photos you like, it’s time to post.  One of the reasons I challenged myself to use only my iPhone is because, with the Blogger app, it is so easy to post directly to my blog while I’m standing in a field or driving down the road.  Well, not while driving.  You’ll need to pull over to the side of the road!  I’ve done that more than once to catch the sunrise on my way to work.  

Share some thoughts or some scripture with your photo, or let the picture speak for itself.  Again I’m going to share a secret about dealing with your sickness, whether it be physical or emotional.  The more purpose you have in something, the more time you spend making connections with God, and the less time you spend thinking about how bad your situation is, the quicker you will begin to heal.
God’s word tells us to be doers of the word.  Not hearers only.  If you spend some time looking for scriptures that relate to your photo, God will show you one you need to hear.  I find God brings just the right words to the surface every time - words I need to hear.  

You will find other things to discuss on your blog, but the photo challenge will get you connected with God’s handiwork.  It helps to know He takes such great care with even the smallest of creations.  Imagine what He does for you.

Before you know it, you will be in the habit of posting on a regular basis, and you are likely to be sharing things that touch others’ hearts.  Now get busy!  You have a story to tell!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blogging a Book #6 - Chapter 1 Art Project #3...Too Many Miserable Christians

Do you realize how many miserable Christians there are in the world?  No wonder lost people don't have any interest in knowing Jesus.  He didn't die for us to sit around with a somber face trying just to hang on until He calls us home.  He came that we might have life - full and overflowing.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

Not full of stuff, mind you.  Full of joy, love, peace, and well-being.  You might be wondering how this relates to our journal page today.  God gave us a creative spirit to enjoy.  

For years I tried to work an angle on how I was supposed to use the creative gift God has given me to make an income, to work for Him, to make a difference in the world - all without success.  One day I asked God why He'd given me a gift of creativity if I couldn't use it for some life-changing thing.  His answer was simple and direct.  "I gave it to you for you to enjoy."  For those of you that are wondering, I didn't hear His voice while standing in the shower, but He spoke clearly to my heart.  God loves us enough that He gave His only Son to die in our place.  Wow.  That, alone, should be enough to make our hearts sing!  Why would you think He wants you walking around miserable then?

Today's art journal page is just about enjoying the creative process.  Every journal entry does not need to be a deep, emotion-ridden piece of work.  Find something light-hearted and fun to create.  I like to paint cute girls that make my heart feel warm and fuzzy.  I create them and add scripture to them to remind myself of the heart-warming promises God has written to me.

Dig into your Bible and find scriptures about joy, love, peace, hope... Look at the words Jesus spoke about the reasons He came.  Find those promises.  I'm not going to do it for you.  This is your journey.  Now create something fun - just for you.  Paint something that makes you smile, whether that is a cute character, flowers, landscape...the image doesn't matter.  Just let go of the stresses of the world and enjoy the creative trip.

Here's my creative journey for the day.

Now are you ready for the true secret to life - full and overflowing?  Use that little piece of fun art to make someone else smile.  You don't have to rip it our of your journal.  Scan it and share it with someone.  Leave it on a table in a restaurant.  Think of yourself as a secret agent for God!  Check out what Jesus had to say -
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:10-12

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blogging a Book #5 - Chapter 1 Art Project #2

I hope you found several promises in scripture that ring in your heart.  There are endless ways to art journal, but I want to help you in your journey to cope and to heal.  I want this to be your book of thanksgiving, a record of the blessings in your life - of gratitude with attitude!  When you really start to look for God's blessings, you find they are sprinkled throughout your day.  I find it much more powerful to journal the positives in my life rather than the problems.  I know there are people who will disagree with me, but I can only share what has helped me.  It's OK to say, "God, I'm struggling here!" but don't leave it at that.  Finish off with something like, "...but I know You are answering my prayers, and I am so thankful!"

Find things you've taken for granted - sunrises and sunsets, sounds in nature, and those little things you wrote off as a happy coincidence (which I don't believe in, by the way).  If you are child in God's family, it is no coincidence!  God's word says He shows favor to his children.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

                                       Psalm 5:12

What about that line that opened at the checkout just as you got there?  Or the person that saw you drop something and returned it?  And don't forget those little jolts to your memory that remind you where you left your keys, your purse, your phone...  Get the picture?

Spend some time Googling art journaling and soak up the ideas that inspire you.  If you haven't decided on a journal, yet, you might want to try making some individual pages with watercolor paper.  I use it for my acylics pages, too.  It can take quite a bit of abuse!  If you are creating your own journal, it can be as simple as a binder with your pages or as fancy as a book you've bound yourself.  

Find one thing, no matter how small, that you are thankful for and make it the focus of your next journal page.  Find a scripture that relates to your art.  Why?  Two reasons, it gets you into God's word for a purpose, and it helps you to make those words your own.

Next, sketch out a drawing that represents your one thing.  It should shout joy and thankfulness, or whisper peacefulness.  Don't fuss over the drawing.  Get it on the paper and start adding paint!

When I first started this writing journey, I made a few videos to go along with the book. Much of this post is echoed in this video.  The page is done in acrylics, but watercolors, markers, or colored pencils would work just as well.  

(Organizational update for those who like to know what's coming...my plans to post three times a week were too lofty.  Life has other plans.  I have the text, but I need time to create the art, so posts will likely appear once a week.)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blogging a Book #4 - Chapter 1 Art Project #1

Start your journey with God's promises.  If you are working in a large journal, you may want to add color to the page and add several of God's promises to the single page.  I chose to work on 3.5 x 5 inch paper, and I will add them to a larger journal page - either by making a pocket or attaching them to the page.

Choose a favorite color or two from the watercolor crayons or paints and add them with a wet brush to the paper.  Don't worry about color wheels, perfect paint, or anything else.  Just add some color you love!

Cover the entire paper.

Let your paper dry and add one of God's promises.  You can certainly paint the scripture onto the card, but I like the speed of a permanent marker!  Add squiggles, hearts, flowers, Prayertangles, etc.  I have written about my Prayertangles in an earlier blog.  Zentangles have become very popular, but they are all about finding your inner being and focusing on yourself.  I can tell you from experience, any time I focus on myself, I am going to wreck!  Instead, focus on prayer, on God's grace and mercy, and on His blessings.

What promises are you going to stand on through this journey?  Dig into your Bible, Google them if you need to, and share them with us in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blogging a Book #3 - Chapter 1

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

That is much easier said than done, but it is possible when you keep your eyes focused on God.  I can't answer tough theological questions about why things happen the way they do, but I know God's Word is true.  He has shown me that again and again.  If you were to line me up with the apostles, I would have been huddled there with Thomas.  God has never given up on me, though, and He has guided me step after step in revealing the truths in scripture.  Battles come.  That's a fact.  He tells us trials will come, but hang on to your britches because He has overcome the world.  Whether it's cancer, loss of a loved one, depression, crippling disease, or any other mountain in your path, there is another side.  

Don't sit and stare at the battle worrying when it will overtake you.  Meet it head-on!  You could sit and wallow in self-pity and paint your sorrows, or you can follow the Lord's advice.  Make no mistake, I have wallowed more times than I'd like to admit.  The night I came home with a cancer diagnosis, I broke down and cried when Gayland asked me what the doctor said.  I laid on the couch sobbing, and something in my soul said, "Ok, that's enough."  And it was.  I can't properly put into words the rest of the journey, but God had been preparing me without me even knowing.

When You said, “Seek My face,”

My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  Psalm 27:8

I suggest you start your journey with an art journal.  There are thousands to choose from, or you can make your own.  
Things to consider:
  • the medium you choose - watercolors, pencils, acrylics, markers, mixed media, etc.
  • budget
  • amount of flexibility you want
  • to travel or not to travel...that is the question...(ok, I know I'm a nerd!)
I create art on a budget (my YouTube tagline: On a shoestring, a wing, and a prayer!), so I look for supplies that are inexpensive but still make me happy when I create with them.  You may want to start with a ready-made journal.  I like to paint with both watercolors and acrylics, and I use 140 lb. watercolor paper for both.  I have gotten accustomed to using the cold press paper, which has a rougher texture than hot press, because it was the only paper our local Hobby Lobby carried for a long time.  Hot press watercolor paper has a smoother finish, so it is a style choice you'll have to make.

I have journaled in one form or another all my life.  I've used everything from yellow legal pads to sketch books.  It's less about the journal, and more about getting thoughts, prayers, and promises onto something concrete.  When I really started art journaling, I figured out I needed to make my own book to control the pages of my story.  It removed the need to "get it right", so I wouldn't mess up the book.  I work on loose pages and bind them when I feel like it.

For the first pages, let's start simple.

You need:
watercolor paper/journal
watercolor crayons (or paints)
water brush or watercolor brushes
white and flesh-tone acrylic paints (optional, but I like to have them)
black permanent marker (optional)

Buying Tip:  Be sure to use the 40% coupon on the Hobby Lobby app!

Now gather up a few supplies, and meet me back here on Saturday for our first art project!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalms 46:1 

(Organizational update for those who like to know what's coming...my plans to post three times a week were too lofty.  Life has other plans.  I have the text, but I need time to create the art, so posts will likely appear once a week.  I'm am working out a way to keep posts from being ridiculously long.  I will be breaking chapters into sub-sections.  I am also considering adding video.  Who says it can't be a multi-media book?  Sign up on the side-bar to receive the post feed, so you know when a new piece of our journey is posted!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blogging a Book #2 ~ Introduction Healing Through God's Word and Art

Cancer.  It's a word no one wants to hear; yet, it's a word over 1.5 million people hear each year.  It is a word I heard eleven years ago.

If you are like me, you could not imagine anyone in her right mind being thankful for having cancer - thankful for surviving, yes - but for being diagnosed with cancer, no.  Well, I've never claimed to be in my right mind, but I can say, without a doubt, I am thankful I had cancer.
You see, it was a turning point in my life.  A point where God reconnected with me.  A cross-roads, if you will, where I chose the path to life  because God loved me enough to keep at it and to intervene in my life again and again.

God has blessed me so incredibly in the past eleven years that I could never put it into words for you.  I can share Him with you, though.  Whatever your battle is that you are facing, I want you to know God is bigger.

Maybe you're asking why art then?  Why pair God's word and art?  What's the connection?  God put creativity deep within my soul and spirit.  It's always been there, and I have always had a need to get it out.  I hear so many people say, "I wish I were creative..." or, "I just don't have any talent for that."  Hogwash! (I just like to say that!)  Look at children.  God creates them with a burning desire to build, to draw, to sing, and to dance.  As adults, we bury that for fear of what others think.  As a teacher, I’ve seen it hundreds of times.  Kindergartners beam with excitement to show you their art - to parade their creative genius.  My fifth graders, on the other hand, had already learned the lingo of doubt.

...I can't...I wish I knew how to do that...I'm not good at this...Don't look at it...
This list goes on. Why would we hide a gift from God and suffocate that desire to create? I have thoughts on it, but that will have to wait because I am here to help you let your creative spirit out of the dungeon!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Let that sink in for a minute. The Great Creator. Wow. And He formed us in His image. Take some time to look around at all that God created for us. His handiwork isn't just about function. If you aren't in the habit of admiring God's canvas on a daily basis, stop reading and take a trip outside. As an artist, I can only dream of having God's color palette on my worktable!

Creativity is God’s gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift to God. 
-Bob Moawad, Author of Whatever It Takes

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blogging a Book ~ Let the Adventure Begin! #1

Several years ago I starting writing chapters for a book on healing through God's word and art.  Art can be so therapeutic, but nothing takes the place of the true Healer.  I'm a member of the online art world, and I see and hear the hurting in so many artists through their art and their words.  I can only think they are missing a true relationship with Christ.  Because of Him, I can see the light in the darkness.  I can know it will all work out without a doubt.

The chapters are sitting in a drawer doing nobody any good, so I've decided to blog the book.  Whether it ever makes it to print or not is irrelevant.  What's important is helping others along the way.  Not that I have any special ability or words of wisdom, but I have been down the road, and I know the Healer.

So grab your Bible, some paints, a cup of tea, and some cookies for the adventure, and let the healing begin!  


Friday, March 17, 2017

Blooming is in God's Plan

My previous post on God's amazing attention to detail set my little art wheels in motion!  

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Serve an Amazing God

Wow.  Do you ever stop and wonder about all the little things in your life?  Things like God knew I would love a dog over diamonds any day,

that I would love dirt more than lace,

and how the smell of algerita blooms in the spring would trump rose petals and perfumes.

 That loving on a mule would be better therapy than any doctor could prescribe.

 Rather than that old saying, " Bloom where you're planted", God made sure to plant me where I'd bloom.  Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

Nope.  You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd.  Those are some profound words God spoke to my heart recently.  Really!  For those of you who have a close, personal relationship with God, you get it.  For those of you that don't, yet, God does have a sense of humor, and He is in the every day goings on of your life if you let Him.

So...I try not to sweat the small stuff most of the time, but every once in awhile I let my guard down and the devil tries to stir me up.  Several weeks ago, I was having one of those mornings.  I don't even remember all of the little things that piled up, but the final straw fell on the pile while I was driving down a road full of chug holes, bumps, and dips trying to get a drink of coffee from my coffee cup.  Really??  Yep, coffee ran down my chin, sloshed up my nose, and dripped down my shirt, and I was nuts enough to get mad...  Again, really??  Instantly the song "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" popped into my head.  I had to laugh out loud.  Ok, God, I get it, and thanks!  I went on to work laughing and singing!

It's a handy phrase to remind yourself when you can't force things to go your way.  You can borrow it if you want to!  If you've never heard the song, take a listen HERE.

By the way, God is amazing!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Year is Coming ~ Help me Energize Sherry's Cabin!

I've noticed something really sad on Facebook lately - there are gobs of people who were miserable in 2016.  I've read post after post about kicking 2016 out the door, wishes for a better 2017, and how badly 2016 stunk.  It makes me think those folks are looking in the wrong place for happiness.  I am so thankful for 2016 and the countless blessings God showered onto our lives.  I am also looking forward to the New Year!

With graduate school complete, I am beginning a new creative journey in 2017, and I need your help!  I would love to build this blog into a place you like to visit, where you're willing to share ideas, and a gathering spot where we can inspire each other.  What can I offer that you want to see?
     Some ideas I have percolating around here...

  • Monday Madness - Anything goes!  Tales from the barn, thoughts on life, sharing God's Word...
  • Tuesday Tutorials - Art on a budget, sculpting tips, guest posts, etc.
  • Friday Forward Challenge (Ok, I'm having trouble with catchy titles!) - An art challenge designed to create something to bless someone else - Pay God's blessings Forward
  • Sunday Share - A peek into my year-long art journey
What are your thoughts?  If you've visited Sherry's Cabin in the past, what interested you?  I want to breathe new life into the Cabin, and I need your input!  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Friday, December 16, 2016

Such a Peaceful Feeling

Peace doesn't come from my circumstances.  It comes from knowing Christ died for me, so that I might live...knowing I have a Savior that is King of Kings and Lord of Lords...knowing I have been grafted into the Vine for eternity...but today brings a calmness I haven't felt in a long time.  I turned in my final assignments for graduate school this week, I got all of the baking and making done for the awesome Christmastime fun at work, where I am so blessed to have become a member of the Region 15 family, and I am off for Christmas.  Ahhh.  Plans?  To thank God for every moment, to enjoy my family, and to rest.

A wonderful woman I had an opportunity to meet through the ESC lost her husband this morning.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so don't let the world's version of Christmas stress get ahold of you.  Enjoy the small things and give thanks for the time you have with your loved ones.  Be a blessing.  Oh, and don't worry if the Christmas rolls burn, the family's disfuntionalness flares up, or the house doesn't get clean.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let the Christmas Fun Begin!

Let our season of sharing begin!  Remember the rules...

#1  Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

#2  If You're Stressed Out, You're Not Doing #1

First, let me share a Photoshop tree I made following a tutorial.  YouTube is awesome!  Use it however you'd like - cards, gift tags, Fabebook - it's yours.  If you need the PS file to change the colors, leave a comment and I will send it to you!


We're going to get an early start on the Christmas fun!  Here's your challenge for Black Friday.  No, I'm not a Black Friday shopper, but I will be out to spread some Christmas cheer along with you.  You will need:

  • a Christmas mug - check your cabinets, or hit the Dollar Store
  • hot cocoa (I don't care if it's 80 degrees!)
  • marshmallows
  • warm socks - forgo the Dollar Store decorations you were going to buy when you got the mug, and get some socks
  • a crazy Christmas scarf - you might have to venture to Wal-Mart for this one
  • two sandwiches and some chips or crackers - your choice
  • a little gift bag
  • some spare change
Ok, the mission.  This will take some tactical planning.  Bag up the sandwiches, chips, and socks in the gift bag.  Get the mug, cocoa, marshmallows, and scarf ready for action.

Mission Part 1:  Find someone on the streets in need.  Give them the bag with food and socks.  Be sure to tell them that God wanted to remind them He loves them!

Mission Part 2:  This will take more scouting.  Find a Salvation Army bell-ringer.  Try Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby.  Now find a convenience store nearby.  Ask for hot water from the coffee machines.  Most have some sort of hot water.  If not, ask to use their microwave.  You may have to do a little talking, but they will let you make your hot cocoa (be sure to offer to pay for the water!)  Now head back to the bell-ringer.  Add the marshmallows just before you get out of the car.  Walk up, hand them the hot cocoa, wrap the Christmas scarf around their neck, drop some money in their kettle, thank them for doing God's work, and walk away!

Now, on with your Black Friday shopping...I'll be headed home!

 Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mission accomplished?  Leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Keep Your Focus and Have Some Fun as We Begin the Christmas Season!

#1  Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

#2  If You're Stressed Out, You're Not Doing #1

It's less than four weeks now that I will be done with graduate school.  It's been a year and a half since I've been able to spend much time doing the things I enjoy, like blogging.  I am so excited to be able to breathe life back into Sherry's Cabin.  That has had me thinking about what I can bring to the table.  What could I contribute here that will make a difference?  I'm not a master of anything of which I can share techniques you've never seen before.  I don't take photos of beautiful food scenes...unless you want so see what's cooking in the cast iron tonight.  In fact, there's nothing fancy about me (and I'm very glad of that), but surely I can bring something to the table.
So why not just live creatively?  Creating by God's grace, and sharing it with you.  I can't give you the greatest tutorials, the best writing, or the most brilliant photos, but I can share tips on walking with God...learning something every day...enjoying what you've got...sharing your creativity...and living and creating by God's grace.

Back to my question at hand - What can I bring to the table this Thanksgiving week?  How about some practical tips for getting your house ready for the Christmas decorations? Or, some fun ways to spread Christmas cheer?  Remember this is not Better Homes and Gardens.  This is real, living in the dirt, cobwebs-in-the-corner-coming-down, kind of living.  If your sheets are ironed and your home is dust-free, you probably want to skip on over to Country Living, but if the caliche road to your house helps you flock the tree and you've got to dust your ornaments before they can go back on the tree, you might be in the right place!

Today's Tip for a Fresh Decorating Start

  • Pine-sol the walls!  I know...who has time for that??  That's what I thought until I tried it.  It's quick, and it will make your house smell clean! 
From the Pine-sol website:

Add 1/4 cup of Pine-sol to a gallon of water.
Dip in a sponge and wring out until just slightly damp.
Wipe the walls! (Be sure to test in an inconspicuous place.)
The website suggests wiping with a dry cloth to prevent streaks, but mine air-dries so quickly, I haven't needed this step.
*Be sure to do the fireplace and mantle, too, while your dragging the step-ladder around the house!

What's your tip for a fresh decorating start this Christmas season?

Leave us a comment to share in the fun!