Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm back!

My first cruise was WONDERFUL!  I haven't really looked at all of my pictures...but here are a few instagram pictures from my phone.

Leaving Galvaston, Tx

 Beautiful blue water in Cozumel!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cozumel Bound!

Boarding a ship with 40 other Girls Ministries Leaders  from South Texas today! 

Blessed to be a part of this experience! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do you know me?

I was pretty sure I had this down in Kindergarten. At least I thought I did.

Making connections.

Don't get me wrong, I know how to make friends. How to be a friend. How to be friendly. The one thing I'm not sure of though is how to let people get to know me.

I have a few close friends who know me inside and out. They know my good. They know my bad. They know my failures. They know my triumphs. These are they ones I spend the most time with. The ones I know who genuinely care about me.

But what about the others? It's not that I value them less, because I don't. It's just that I haven't let them in completely.

Around them, I'm quiet. A watcher. A listener. A people reader.

When did I become so guarded?

Some of my "friends" have only ever met the "me" I allow them to meet. The careful me. The me who watches what she says. The me who doesn't laugh too loudly. The me who only lets you into her "surface" self because shes afraid you won't like who she really is deep down.

Things need to change. Things WILL change.

I've decided that I am making my resolution lists early this year, and I will be making them public. This is the first of many personal posts that I will be sharing with you all.

Thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

::::Power in words::::

It was my turn to serve in children's church this past Sunday.  We have recently begun using a new curriculum based out of Australia.  The curriculum is fun, dynamic, and spot on in its content for our church kids.  I and many of my helpers loved this new curriculum immediately.  The children however, were reluctant.

We have been using this curriculum for 2 months now, and the kids have adjusted to the new curriculum and are enjoying it.

We had a young man, who hadn't been attending regularly, show up.  He is a great kid.  He is kind and very respectful, but since he had been absent for most of the 2 months, he had not embraced this new change.

As I hit the stop button on the DVD player to talk about the memory verse we had just watched, I heard him say "That lady is so annoying!"

For two months these children had learned the new worship songs, the new video dialogs, the new way of learning about the Gospel, and  they were starting to really enjoy it and grasp its message.  Then this one negative comment had  quickly began to foster  negativity within the group.  Murmurings began and I was quick to bring it to a halt.

I went home thinking about it. Thinking of all the times I had spoken negative words to people.  Thinking of all the times I had spoken negative words about people.  Thinking of all the times I had allowed the negative seeds that were dropped by others to develop  in my soul.

I hate to think of the damage that I may have caused to a joyful new Christian with my discouraging words.   Or how I could possibly have knocked someone down who was grasping to find God's grace. 

"Words kill, words give life;
   they're either poison or fruit—you choose."
             Proverbs  18:21 The Message

Lord help me to be mindful of my attitude.  Help me be a positive person who spreads only your joy and love.  Help me to not be affected by the negative attitude that others may try to spread within me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

:::Animal Charity Auction:::

These Notions is participating in  an auction to benefit We Care Feline Rescue in McMinnville, OR.  It was opened on October 16th and will run through Oct 29th.

I was a week late to get my item up on the FB auction page, but I hope my item still raises a nice little contribution to the rescue. 

I have a hand stamped necklace up for grabs in the auction.  You can customize it with any name or word you would like. (up to 6 letters)

Wouldn't this make a great Christmas gift for someone special?

If you can, please take a moment to go check out the auction.

Friday, October 21, 2011

...Thursday I don't care about you....


I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to really write down thoughts or ideas.  So for now, they dance in my head waiting for the day they are born into blog posts.  :)

Wishing you all a HAPPY FRIDAY!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not so "Wordless Wednesday."

 A little blog to let you know what I've been up to.

First, I'm working on my second tutorial!! :) I'm hoping to get it all done within the next few weeks.   (yes I know I take forever...but I'm trying my best!)

If you read my previous post you know that my niece is an HONOR STAR!  One of the highlights for a girl being crowned as an Honor Star, is that she wears a beautiful white (or in this case...off white) dress.  Lack of funds forced me to be resourceful. I had to do something I had never done before....I had to "Thrift" a fancy dress for her.

I purchased an Ivory dress at a local thrift store for $12.00. I Really didn't do much to the dress.  I washed it, then I added a rhinestone trim to the waist. A friend of mine taught me how to "Whip" and "slide" stitch to attach the rhinestone trim to the dress.



I was so happy with the results and my niece looked beautiful!

Do any of you thrift anything?  What is your most favorite "thrifty" creation?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beautiful Things

My sister and a friend spent countless hours working on this amazing video.

It's several pictures that were "light painted," then edited into a video set to the song "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.

I love it and hope you will too.

Be blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Star

This weekend my niece was recognized for her achievement of becoming an "Honor Star" in the San Antonio section Girls Ministries Clubs.

Girls Ministries is the organizational arm in the Assemblies of God geared for boys and girls ages 18 months to 5 yrs and girls ages Kindergarten thru 12th grade.

Girls who are crowned as Honor Stars have completed the requirements for earning  27 unit badges,   9 of which  contain requirements to earn Honor Steps, and have read the entire New Testament.

The final requirement to become an Honor Star is completion of the comprehensive Honor Star Review—a fill-in-the-blank test over the 27 memory verses of the units completed.

It is a memorable event for the girls.  They wear beautiful white dresses and receive a crown, sash, charm bracelet, and a Bible reading pin.  

This is a great achievement for any girl and I am so proud of my niece for accomplishing this. 

Congratulations beautiful girl. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shine On

I am a lifetime crafter.  From the moment I learned to paste glitter on pine cones, I was hooked.

If I see something I like, you can bet that I am going to try and recreate it myself.

It never fails though, I create something, then I find something wrong with it.  I never feel it's valuable enough for me to share with others.   So, I hide it away to gather dust. It never gets to sparkle and shine like it was intended to.

It's terrible really.  My self doubt.

What is even more terrible is how I allowed self doubt to affect my life.  Never feeling adequate enough.   Always lacking the confidence needed to complete what I know I am more than capable of.  Giving up on who God created me to be, to just "be."

I had learned to live so deep in my own self doubt, that I tucked myself  neatly into a box.  To sit.  To collect dust.

When I  created "These Notions,"  I was looking for a venue to showcase my crafts.  I never imagined that  it would help me to step out of my box.

The Lord always brings me to the same verse.

"...That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
                   Romans 8:28 The Message

Here I am God.  Help me shine for you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

About me from A to Z

Because it's Monday night, I'm tired and I haven't posted since Friday.... Here ya go! :)

A. Age: 37
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you hate: Can I just lump them all together as one big chore and say I hate them all?
D. Dogs: Nope
E. Essential start to your day: Toothpaste
F. Favorite color: Aqua
G. Gold or Silver: silver
H. Height: 5’4"
I. Instruments you play: Flute.  Does my voice count?
J. Job title: I guess right now you could say crafter and caregiver.
K. Kids: None....but I have an ADORABLE niece!  :)
I love her so much!

L. Live: Texas
M. Mother’s name: Esther
N. Nicknames: none
O. Overnight hospital stays: yep...too many to list
P. Pet peeves: Condescending people
Q. Quote from a movie:  "Summon your eagle powers!" Nacho Libre
R. Right or left handed: Right handedS. Siblings: 1 brother and 1 sister
T. Time you wake up: 6:15am
U. Underwear: yes
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel sprouts
W. What makes you run late:  Usually my lack of preparedness.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: too many to list.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I like my meatloaf
Z. Zoo animal: Ostrich I think they are cute.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Friday!

While I try to figure out my own blog schedule, (any suggestions?)  today I will just give an update as to what I've been up to.  

1- Trying to figure out the code for a "Grab button"  AARRGGG!
2- Babysitting an ADORABLE 7 month old.
3- Coming up with my next crafty tutorial.
4- Brainstorming for a guest post in the month of October. *EEEK!*
5. Trying to catch up on some crochet orders.  

I've neglected the cleaning...maybe I'll do that this weekend. ;)

I hope you all have a FABULOUS WEEKEND! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crochet Necklush tutorial. Yarnlush

It was around 2009 when I discovered and fell in love with necklush.

Ahhhh Necklush. Is it a Necklace? Scarf? Cowl?

Yes! It's three in one!

I've always wanted one. So I crocheted one. It was so simple to make! You only need to know one type of crochet stitch. The simplest stitch to learn!

The Chain Stitch! So here we go...my first tutorial!

How to chain stitch!
(and a simple explanation on how to construct a "necklush.")
From this point on I will call this creation Yarnlush.

Lets get started.

You will need: A crochet Hook, yarn, and a yarn needle.

I used 'I LOVE THIS YARN' in Sungold with a size I hook for the tutorial pictures.
(please note that this how *I* know how to make and explain both a slipknot and chain stitch.)

Step 1 Slipknot. Form a circle with yarn. In this picture the "tail" (end of the yarn) is the top layer of the "X" formed by the yarn. I usually have about 4 to 5 inches of tail to work with.

Step 2 Now insert your hook into the circle and bring the tail of the yarn up trough and out of the circle to create a new loop.

Step 3 Grab the tail and working yarn together tightly in your left hand. With your right hand, pull the crochet hook upward. This will cinch the circle into a knot. Continue to hold the crochet hook with your right hand. With your left hand find the tail end of the yarn and pull only that piece downward away from the crochet hook. As you do this, the knot will slide up and cinch the loop onto the hook.

Step 4 Find a comfortable way to hold the working yarn (yarn connected to the skein of yarn) in your left hand.
(excuse the sloppy shot...I realized I had forgotten to take this shot and quickly took one.)

Step 5 From this point on, the tail end of the yarn will stay with the right hand, and the yarn coming from the skein is worked form the left hand.
Now manipulate the hook with the right hand and grab the working yarn from underneath.

Step 6 Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook.

Congratulations! You've just created your first crochet Stitch! :)

Keep repeating steps 5 and 6 to create a long chain!

Now here is the hard part. Chain stitch till you get the length you need.

Decide how long you want to make your yarnlush. Then decide how many times you want it to loop around. I kind of just kept wrapping the yarn around myself till I found a good length, then I kept adding loops until I was satisfied with the thickness.

When you have a long enough chain to make your yarnlush, snip the yarn from the skein. To close the end of the chain, pull up on the loop around the hook until the end of the yarn comes through. This closes off the end.

Form your yarnlush into the length you want and loop it around as many times as you need. Gather the loose yarn ends together and knot them together around all of the loops, to help keep the loop chains together in a large loop.

Chain stitch a second strip, and wrap that around the yarnlush at the point where the ends are tied together to create a more finished look.

Use your yarn needle to weave in and secure the loose yarn pieces into the back of the yarnlush, and that's it! You have finished your handmade Yarnlush!

This is the one I made for me.

I decided to keep my yarnlush fairly thin. I really don't need to add anymore bulk than necessary. ;)

Now GO! Create! Use your imagination! Use strands of different colors mixed together. Use a variegated yarn! Mix thin and chunky yarns together! The options are limitless!

If you enjoyed this tutorial and make your own yarnlush please let me know!! Also, if you make a yarnlush I would love to see a picture!

***************Quick Edit to add information*****************

A friend of mine had a few questions:

How long did you make your strands?  I'm not sure. :/  my Yarnlush (in circle form) measures 44 1/2 inches in length.

How many strands did you use? For mine I made 6 strands.  It felt too bulky *for me* with more than that.

Lastly how much yarn does it take per necklush? 1 ball or 2? It doesn't take too much yarn.  I'm pretty sure you could get 3 or 4 good sized ones completed with a brand new skein.

Monday, September 26, 2011


The past few years have been hard.
I have not had a job.

Financially, I make just enough to pay the $37 monthly insurance on my 10 year old car, get a little gas, pay a miniscule portion of the utility bills,  and enjoy a *very* occasional outing with family and friends.
I'm not going to lie though, I wish I had more.

I miss my $165 haircuts from Toni & Guy.
I miss my MAC makeup.
I miss my acrylic nails.
I miss having new clothes.
I miss going to the movies.
I miss filling up the gas tank.
I miss filling up the basket at the grocery store.

I miss........ (you get the idea)
I am grateful though.

Grateful for family and friends.  Grateful for His provision.

Grateful that I have "just enough."


Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Fall

As I walked outside my house this morning I felt it.


The air was crisp, everything was bathed in golden hues, and I was one happy girl.

I wanted to pull out a sweater...but then I thought, 'Dina, don't get crazy.'

Instead, I lowered the windows of the car and thoroughly embraced the beginning of this season.

Take time and enjoy what God created just for you.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My first Post

I've tried this once before.

Writing a blog.

I wanted to blog about me.  I wanted to blog about my crafts.  I wanted to blog about God.

Mostly though, I wanted to blog so that I could prove that I was more than what I saw in the mirror.

I wanted my blog to prove that I wasn't as big of a failure as I felt.   

I think I wrote about 5 blog posts in the span of 2 and 1/2 years.

During the time between my first blog attempt, and this new one, things have changed.  Not in the physical. I'm still pretty much where I was before.  I'm still single.   I'm still overweight.  I'm still thirtysomething. (although I am much closer to forty than I was before)  Truth be told, some might say that things for me aren't 'better'.

So what was this big change?

I've come to realize that I have more value than I ever gave myself credit for, and that I am not a failure. I know now, that what I saw as failure, God saw as good.

              "...That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
                   Romans 8:28 The Message

Everything in my life is not perfect....but it is God's to make good.  And I know who I am in Him.

Thanks for starting this journey with me.  I hope you enjoy the ride!