I have been a busy bee painting nativities. It was just a little art experiment, but they’ve been pretty popular. It was getting a little tricky working on one at a time and then posting it, so I decided to just work all week and then post them all at once. So that’s happening tonight at 8pm Central time. My Etsy shop, which is pretty nekkid right now, will get refilled. I’m doing these a bit differently, though. I’ve left the space next to Mary and Jesus empty so you can add something special to you. I can’t fit the whole gospel on there, but a verse or two will work. Here’s a few ideas to help you choose (and a sneak peek of some of tonight’s pieces!).
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
O Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14
O Holy Night, The stars are brightly shining
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty Bright
So if you want to buy one tonight, you just tell me what verse you want on there and they will ship out this weekend. I have been SO blessed by making these. It has really changed my focus of this Christmas season and I hope they will do the same for you.
Sorry I’m so late on the follow-up to the prickly pear syrup. So, here’s one of my favorite things to do with it. Prickly pear margaritas! Salt your rim, put your ice and tequila in. Pour in about 1/4 cup syrup (more or less, depending on how sweet – and pink – you like it), and top off with fresh squeezed lime. It’s yummy. If you’re not a boozer, I highly recommend it with lemonade. It’s so good and the colors are just gorgeous together!
we’re trying something new here, and i’m really excited about the potential! it’s a creative project and will hopefully be far-reaching and a blessing for all involved – including you!
every two weeks i’m going to be sending snail mail to someone. most of the time it’ll be someone i don’t know. a mom, a friend, a sister, someone who needs a little pick-me-up. you’ll email me to nominate her (b.cupitt(at)yahoo(dot)com). if all goes as planned she’ll receive an outpouring of snail mail from around the country and world. there are no rules at all. you can send her a letter, something from your kitchen, a gift card, a photo, anything! my personal goal is to use this as a creative outlet for myself as well. to create something beautiful to brighten someone’s day.
today i’m just letting you know about it, so if you want you can start gathering some supplies. or not! maybe you don’t need supplies! maybe you’re just a letter and a stamp kind of gal. that’s great too. sending something is better than nothing. but since i’m making an effort to grow artistically in this, i’m going to be getting fun with it. i’m thinking some vintage stamps! here’s a great article about where to find them.
These are from Etsy. Just make sure that if you’re using them for actual postage, that they aren’t already used. Search unused vintage stamps.
And I always love the box mailers from Paper Source.
and maybe some fun washi tape
And since I’m trying to branch out with some of my granny skills, I think I might try some simple hoop art or a handmade pillowcase. I’ll show you next week when I’m done.
So here’s how it works… If you want to send secret snail mail, just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you a document that will include her story, address, prayer requests, and likes. i don’t want to do it publically, as i never want to embarrass anyone online. just bless. but the more the merrier. if you blog your involvement in the project (and i super duper hope you do), just please don’t include her name, address, or details of her story publically. just pass along the document that i send you. i can’t wait to see how this comes together. so email me to find out who we’re blessing. and if you need a theme to direct you… this secret snail mail’s theme is wildflowers! it’ll be going on from now until october 9th, when i tell you the new theme and person. ready, set, go!
So this is our big project of the week. We have about a TON of prickly pear cactus on the farm. My mother-in-law came this weekend and wanted to pick some for jelly. So we head out and get to business and collect a ton. Making jelly is not really my thing, but I found some other cool uses for it, so we thought we’d see what we could come up with. It’s turned out the be a beautiful little discovery and I want to share with you because maybe you have a bunch of these babies are too. And maybe you’re overlooking some of their awesomeness. By far, this is the most gorgeous juice I’ve ever laid eyes on and I can’t wait to bottle a ton of it. So, let me give you the ins and outs of how to deal with prickly pears… and why you might be so inclined to do it.
First, head out into your field or find a good road lined with them. You’ll want to be as covered as possible (jeans, gloves, boots, etc.) so as not to get a million pricks. Bring some tongs and just clamp and give them a little twist. Fill up your bucket.
Now that you have your stash, you need to get all those pokies off. Burning them is super fun. Just run them over a flame. We did it on the oven. They turn all shiny and the color deepens to the most glorious eggplant color you’ve ever seen. Also, they just won’t burn. I don’t know why, but they don’t.
Now they are smooth enough to handle. Cut them into quarters.
Look at how pretty they are inside!
So, quarter them and chuck them in a pot. If you’re doing a small batch (a couple of 8 oz. cans), you’re going to want about 8 fruits.
Now cover the fruit with water and steep (almost boiling, but not quite), for about 15 minutes.
Next, strain out your fruit with a cheese cloth. If you don’t have any cheese cloth, feel free to use a somewhat ugly scarf (thanks anyway, babe, it’s a great strainer! Really fancy!).
Now add your sugar. Add until it won’t dissolve anymore. It’s alot of sugar. Almost as much as the juice. Sorry about that, it’s the yummy part! Also, squeeze in the juice of two lemons. Now you’ve got the syrup. We’re not done with this yet, but we’re off to a good start. From here, you can put it in lemonade, tea, or margaritas. It’s the most amazing hot pink you’ve ever seen naturally occurring. It’s loaded with sugar, but it’s also loaded with antioxidants and fiber, so feel better about that. Let’s chat tomorrow about what to do with your prized pink nectar. Here Abby’s drinking it 1/3 ratio of syrup and the rest water, with a squeeze of lemon. It’s crazy good.
ok, so sorry to break it to you, but you lost the giveaway last week. yeah, no one entered so you lost. sorry. my dear friend deanna pointed out that nobody cares about needlepoint, so maybe that’s why… well, i won’t give up! the family of the week is rocking on give1save1 and you should totally give them a dollar. and then you should post about it on your blog. oh, the plan would so work. They are an amazing family and their videos are hilarious. And they’re over halfway to the goal and I love it when the bar goes all the way. So here’s the link.
i totally didn’t make these. wish i did. this chick did.
And in other news, my crafting kick has hit a snag (get it?!). crocheting is crazy hard. or maybe you’re just born knowing how to do it. there’s like this secret club or something and they speak in codes (called ‘patterns’) and make tutorials that don’t explain anything at all! i need to make granny squares but I can’t!!! any of you have any good starting places? good tutorials. like, pretend i went and bought yarn and a hook thingy and now i want to make a granny square exist. i managed to figure out how to make a knot and a chain stitch. and then it turns into insanity that makes me want to cuss. like i want to cuss right now just thinking about it, but i won’t. but anyway, crochet emergency. how’s your week going? still in the honeymoon phase of summer?
i have a question for you and i really want to know the answer, so don’t leave me hanging. you guys are all so creative! so let your mind go there and tell me this…
what would you do if you knew you would succeed? my brain is in the job department because my heart wants to be on a farm. i want goats and chickens and flowers and quiet. but there’s this tiny little hangup… my husband’s job is in scenic houston. it’s a really good job that allows us to have both houses, but i want to be in the far away one. we could do a commute and go back and forth, but i happen to like my husband quite alot and i want to see him every day, not just some days. so there’s just that money problem. dang money. it’s so annoying and necessary, right? so let’s pretend i could be the bread winner and my ideas would totally work, be fulfilling, and provide for the family so we’re free to pet cows and make goat cheese in our free time.
imaginary job #1… small, funky wedding planner
so we’ve got all this space and scenary and i’m not entirely sure what to do with it. but i love fun, funky brides and i love awesome photography and i love party planning and homemade decor. so i’m thinking maybe i’ll make really awesome small weddings for those funky austin brides.
outdoor stuff like this
and some cute outdoor tables and settings like this
yep, that’s one job i’d like to do if i knew i could. you’re not a trendy austin bride are you? hmm…
imaginary job #2… glam photographer
once upon a time i used to be a boudoir photographer. i made alot of money and i was amazing at my job. i love working with women, i really do. and i can make them love how they look and that’s no small job. it’s been a problem in the family though, because i can’t really have a bunch of half naked ladies in my house and on my computer with a husband and three kids. but this is actually going to happen because i do miss it and we’re just going to make a way. but i’ll be perfectly honest with you and tell you the truth. i am awesome at boudoir, but my true love is in glamour photography. clothes on, styled, props, outdoors. this is some of my work in that realm, but i want to do way more and way more fun stuff too. bows and arrows and giant flower wreaths and lavendar fields. that’s what i’d do for sure if i knew i could make it.
imaginary job #3… goat cheese lady. self explanatory, yes? making goat cheese, hanging with goats. who doesn’t love a goat?
so what would your imaginary job be? if you could combine all the things you love and it would work? what would you do?
sorry i dropped off the planet. i’m thinking that what’s going on in my life is maybe somewhat interesting to me, but maybe not to you. but i’m just going to throw it out there. ready?
1. i’m on a diet. i know. i’m always on a diet, right? but i always quit too soon. i have one million reasons to quit a diet. do you want to hear them? we’re about to get personal.
- no one cares how i look
- real beauty is on the inside
- baking is my hobby
- it’s not working anyway
- obsessing over a diet is not healthy either
BUT i also have a handful of reasons to stick one out. and here they are:
- i’d like to climb mount kilimanjaro in the somewhat near future and i need to get in shape. that would definitely be the most physical thing i’ve ever done and those things don’t usually appeal to me, but this one does and i can’t do it unless i’m physically fit
- i don’t usually finish the things i start. i’m not sure if this is a flaw or a quirk yet, but while i decide, i figure maybe i’ll just finish something and see how it goes. it’s 42 days long. i’m 6 days in.
- sugar makes me feel bad and carbs make me feel bloated, so i’m just going to do this little experiment and see how i do without those things. it’s going pretty well this time.
this diet is a little different from those i’ve done in the past. i just made a few rules (one sugar a week, 2 drinks a week, no straight up carby foods). i’ve made mini goals by the week. one week in i get new make-up, three weeks gets me a haircut, and the full six weeks, a new outfit. that’s kind of fun. also, i’ve bizarrely taken to photographing my ugly food. see?
canned tuna does not photograph well. what’s up with this? i don’t know.
so that’s that. in other news…
abby’s developed a serious attitude problem
will is sick with the pukes
and brandon is becoming slightly obsessed with the renovation of our new farmhouse, which we close on THIS THURSDAY (insert squeel)!
i have also become slightly obsessed with clay tiles. first i wanted to buy them, but turns out my taste (once again) just happens to lean to the obscenely expensive. well it’s just clay and paint, right? somebody’s making these things, so we decided perhaps we would make tiles ourselves. and so begins a new adventure in making tile. we’re buying a kiln this week. here’s some of my favorites (tiles, not kilns).
and this one is amazing.
and i’m missing my photography business of all things. looking for something fresh and feeling artsy.
so that’s what’s up these days. diets, and tiles, and vomit. how was your weekend?