Life has been full of happy, busy days. Making art as gifts for others…  Getting rides from my cute taxi driver while my Focus was in the shop.  Taking a personal days and spending time with this poor baby (we found out she has a strange and severe deformity causing her breathing troubles and other, less appetizing issues).   Visiting Long Hollow Gardens, now a wedding venue, I’ve found!   And convincing sweet Mr. S to let me get just one or two more planters.       I got to buy my first All-Clad fry pan from Williams Sonoma (with the help of a generous gift card from mom and dad).    I’ve enjoyed some dates with this ragamuffin who is loving not having to be clean shaven while on leave between homecoming and returning to Metro.  I enjoyed the chance to meet some lovely online friends.   And it’s nearly our 3-year anniversary! One more week of school, then fall break! 

I hoped to take a trip together, but it looks like we’ll be replacing our trusty Jeep rather soon instead. Thankful for the Lord’s provision through every need. 

Introducing Fall

     Mums and ornamental kale.  Can’t wait to replace the greenery with the first tinges of fall color.I took away some of the summer’s shades of blue and relegating the Fern collection to one spot to make room for pumpkins, gourds, and fall foliage soon.   A little wheat in our room.  A clean home and my favorite company.  Couldn’t find the perfect fall pillow, but I did find the perfect fall tablecloth! I just wrapped up this project a few minutes ago. 


I’ve been too busy welcoming this man to post a thing. But, the “strong” half of “Sweet Strong Stewarts” is home. 


 Maybe someday, I’ll be able to put my heart into a blog. For now, I’ll just say that God has done too big a thing in this soul of mine to write it neatly. 

Because God has taught me to rejoice through trial, rejoicing through blessing and sunshine has become that much sweeter.

For now, I’ll just thank Jesus. It is forever my testimony that God is faithful. 

  And in another area of faithfulness, we voted to confirm our new senior pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church this evening! Dr. Robby Gallaty was welcomed with tears, praise, and applause this evening as an overwhelming majority of our members (99%) voted for him. Tonight was this beautiful lesson. His heart for sharing the Word just as it is is so evident and reminds me of our dear Brother David. 
Tonight, I am placing another “stone of remebrance” in my heart. God has been faithful again and again. Here he goes again, lavishing blessings upon my life, our family, and our church. 

Design Obsession: Pam Pierce Design

Sometimes, you just find something so beautiful, you HAVE to know more. That was the case with the simple, classic design of the Christmas decor I found on Pinterest one day. This led me to the designer, Pamela Pierce.

I’ve been intently studying her portfolio and trying to glean what lessons I can. While each photo screams “MONEY” to even the most casual observer (any one of these homes are clearly worth many millions), I can’t help but be inspired.

My source for the entire post is the Pierce Design & Associates website found here, Do yourself a favor and view the entire gallery starting with the first photo.

What struck me most is her simplicity in accessorizing; whether the interior is romantic and feminine with ruffled slipcovers and billowing curtains or whether it is masculine and rustic, the accessories are few and far between. Where someone else might use several trinkets, she uses one large piece.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.29.56 PM

Lovely patina and texture galore. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.36.04 PMThe rumpled linen upholstery, chippy antique table, and simple floral arrangement are sweet.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.33.50 PMSee the skirted chair? Her upholstery is often skirted like this. You’ll have to visit the gallery to see the romantic, dramatic rooms that feature more like this.

The contrast of the somewhat industrial island with the warm stone and wood, the exchange of traditional upper cabinets for perfect windows, and the clean-lined open shelving all win my heart.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.33.00 PMThis traditional dining room feels unfussy and organic in every way. Notice the lack of a chandelier in favor of candle and natural light.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.31.50 PMThis arguably more streamlined and modern residence looks warm and cozy . The brass reason lamp behind the richly-hued armchair (plum? chocolate?), natural wood, chunky planter, and textured linens beg you to sit down and rest. I find that the unfussy bed’s fluffy loft ensure that it doesn’t appear lacking in anything. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.29.35 PM

Though the palette and choices are traditional, the layout of the room and scale of the items are anything but ordinary. I admire that risk and vision. I also adore what I’ll call her “soft” symmetry. For instance, though she does have two cream pieces of upholstery with wooden side tables on opposing side of the fireplace, there’s nothing identical about the arrangements. Instead, she marries them with color and texture.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.30.25 PMThere are too many lovely elements to name in this picture. But the three that caught my eye immediately were the black muntins and stiles, the reclaimed wood head jambs, and the fresh greenery as a focal point. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.32.17 PMAnd finally, this loveliness. The soft stripes, lamp shades, lack of an area rug, the simple pendant, tone-on-tone walls and trim, and the oxidation on the antique mirror.

Here’s the link for you one more time. Enjoy!

Printable for Teachers: Butterfly Life Cycle Craft

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.17.09 AMHello, Friends! Just dropping in to share these quick, hand-drawn printable freebie for your classroom.

I quickly drew this for a little “craftivity” for my kindergarteners as we study life cycles. Please feel free to print and share for your class. Then, let me know how it goes.

This is the top layer. My example may have been colored in orange (you teachers know how it is when you’re frantically trying to help lots of little hands. The students made elaborate designs and were sure to make color choices  IMG_4811Next comes the back:IMG_4813And, last, these little illustrations of each stage. IMG_4814

I know! It’s not a fancy, computer-made printable, but it sure does the trick and gets the kids involved! My students even begged to finish their butterflies rather than going to centers!

We held it together with a clothespin. Students painted them black today, and they’ll twist some pipe cleaner antennas on the top tomorrow.

IMG_4818There’s a surprise under the wings! IMG_4820