Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Handmade Wedding Card For A Beautiful Wedding

Today I have a post to share that celebrates the goodness of life amidst all the sadness with the world's response to Covid.  I had a very busy, but blessed weekend celebrating two life moments in two dear friends lives:  one was a wedding and the other was a baby shower.  I've known both of these dear friends for many years.  We have watched together our kids grow up, and now we celebrate the marital unions of our children and the birth of our first grand babies.  There is something special about friendships that stand the test of time and that celebrate life's milestones together.  This week I will cover my dear friend's Julia's daughter's wedding and next week I will cover the baby shower of my other dear friend Sandy's daughter-in-law.

First, I want to show the card I made for the bride and groom:  Savannah and Trevor.  I kept the card on the simpler side because I think that is more to Savannah's taste, plus I was really pressed for time this week.  

I used a retired Stampin' Up set called "Wedding Wishes".  I simply stamped the main image and sentiment directly on a card base and colored it in slightly with Copic Markers.  I then adhered the card base to a light grey mat to make it pop.  

Now I'd like to show you a few snap shots of the wedding venue.  The wedding was held in a renovated factory that took milk from its original form and made it into other products such as condensed or powdered milk.  They named the 1903 building "The Condensery" in honor of its history.

They did such an excellent job of keeping the beauty of the original craftsmanship of the factory and yet adding the modern conveniences like elevators.

There are three rooms on the upper levels of The Condensery.  One was a large banquet hall and overflow room, and the other room is used as a dance hall/bar.  On the lower level of the building is a restaurant.

I just loved these big wooden doors!

This is the large banquet hall with the wedding party table on the right.

The bride kept the decor simple, yet elegant and a bit rustic at the same time:  the perfect blend for the atmosphere of the establishment if you were to ask me.  Each table had a burlap runner with a blue Mason canning jar sitting on top of a round wood slice.  The floral arrangements included pink Gerbera Daisies mixed with Baby's Breath.   Small gold votives and some Lindsor Truffles completed the display.

My favorite decor of the wedding was the dessert table...but I am partial to cake so why wouldn't it be?  I just loved the rustic decor of this table!  

Savannah used old wooden crates and old metal tins to create different levels of height on the table.  Pretty pink and white cupcakes were placed in delicate, lacy pink liners once again contrasting the beauty of the old with the new.  A few of the same floral arrangements used on the tables was brought in to tie everything together.

I just loved this cute sign too!  I am one that really enjoys the art and taste of a beautiful wedding cake at a wedding, but if you're not going to have a cake, as many couples today choose not to do, this was a great alternative as it was very well done.

The bridal bouquets were a romantic mix of pink roses and pink Gerbera Daisies mixed with white roses and babies breath.  They were so lovely.  The wedding was originally scheduled for May but was delayed due to Covid lockdowns, that is why the bride went with spring colors.

Many weddings have personal touches woven throughout to commemorate lost loved ones who could not be with them in person but are there in spirit.  One of the most touching aspects of this wedding was to see beautiful butterflies in the brides and the matron of the brides hair to remember the brides beautiful nephew and the matron of honor's lovely infant son.

The bridesmaids wore exquisite, full length,  blush pink halter dresses.

The bride looked absolutely stunning in her gown by Ines Di Santo.  

And finally, I want to show you my dear friend Julia, the Mother-of-the-Bride.  Julia is such a naturally beautiful woman any day of the week, but she looked exceptionally gorgeous in her dress by Tadashi Shoji purchased from Nordstrom.  It has an off-white lining with a sequined taupe sheer overlay.  My dress you will hear more about in my next "Ageless Style" post.  I had originally purchased a blush pink floral halter dress for Savannah's wedding, but when the wedding was moved to September, and the temperatures dipped to low fifties/sixties, I thought I'd better find something else to wear.  I found this gorgeous fall dress at JCPenney.

Of course my husband/photographer never noticed the wind blew my flutter sleeve up before snapping these photos 😄 But I do love this dress.  It is a very soft knit and is so comfortable to wear and the colors are very suitable for fall.  I loved it so much I wore it again the very next day to the baby shower!

This last photo is not only to show my footwear but these gorgeous wooden floors!  My husband couldn't stop commenting on how much he loved the floors of this old building.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how life continues on in spite of Covid and all the other nonsense going on in the world right now.  It was a wonderful weekend to get away from it all, and enjoy ourselves and celebrate the things that are really important in life:  family, friends, and God!

Have a Great Day!

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Monday, September 7, 2020

Ageless Style Link Up "Dressing For Your Body Type"

The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month a group of over forty fashion bloggers pick a monthly theme and show different ways of styling it. 

Happy Labor Day!  How fun that this month's Ageless Style Link Up falls on a holiday.  As you read this post, I'm off enjoying time with my grand babies, so I had to pre-schedule this post.  If you don't see the link up at the bottom of the post, it's because I was unable to load the code before I left, but no worries, just click on one of the other ladie's blogs and you will be able to link up there.

This month's theme was picked by Jeannie.  She said she had a reader's request for how to dress for your body type.  I must admit I wasn't thrilled with this challenge, because as over-40 women I would rather focus on everything that is RIGHT about our bodies, rather than what is wrong with them.  However, I do agree that body type, not age, should guide how we dress.  

So before we begin discussing what's wrong with my body type, I want to share a few positive things about my body.  

  • 1.  I'm HEALTHY!  Yes, can I get an Amen!  First and foremost having a strong, healthy body is something to be grateful for.  I have been chronically ill in my lifetime, so I know from experience that if "you have your health, you have everything".  Nothing influences your life more than bad health.  It's hard to get out, it's hard to work, it's hard to just have a normal day free without pain.  At 57 years of age, I surprise all my doctors when I say I am taking no prescribed medications.  They always tell me how rare that is.
  • 2.  I'm somewhat NATURALLY THIN.  I emphasize the word "somewhat".  I can't eat whatever I want without gaining weight.  My weight constantly fluctuates between the same 20-30 pounds.  I have to really work at being my lowest weight, the weight where I feel I look my best.  Yet, even if I ate all I wanted to and never exercised, I still have never been considered clinically overweight in my life.  So I'm thankful I haven't had a lot of the really painful struggles over my weight a lot of people have to endure.  I know it's so hard to constantly watch everything you eat, to deny, deny, deny, exercise for hours, and then get on the scale only to have gained two pounds.  It's very frustrating.
  • 3.  I have LONG, LEAN LEGS.  
  • 4.  I have GREAT SKIN
  • 5.  Because my nail bed is long, no matter how short my fingernails are cut, when I paint my nails it always looks like I have nice, LONG NAILS.
So now that I've described the positive things about my body to keep things in their proper perspective,  I can now focus on how to accentuate those positive aspects and play down the more negative ones.  The first thing I had to do was determine my body shape.  Although I see myself having aspects of several different body types, I think I mostly have the  Apple Shaped Body:  Bigger on top, smaller on the bottom.   My legs and forearms are very thin.  All my weight wants to congregate in the bust, chest, neck, and stomach.  

Here's an example of an apple shape body type.  I feel the pictures closely represent me, although my shoulders, forearms, and thighs are thinner than pictures.  The mid-section is quite accurate to my body type.

                                                                                       Photo Credit

There are so many different body shapes for women, all are beautiful and all come with their own unique assets and challenges.  I'm not going to go into addressing all of them because you can google them for yourselves, or you can check out the other Ageless Style Bloggers because we all have very different body types.  I will therefore spend the rest of this post explaining how I dress for my Apple Shape body.

Because my legs are my thinnest part of my body I try to emphasize them when I choose what to wear.  Even though I'm well over 50 now, I still wear shorts and short skirts and dresses.   In the colder months, I find skinny jeans and leggings to be the most flattering on me.

For my top half, I try to focus on tops that are more loose and billowy, although, I'm not afraid to tuck tops in if it's a loose tuck or tie a loose knot.  I think a lot of women with my body type try so hard to hide their stomach by always wearing large, loose tops, and then they actually make themselves look bigger.  The top I have on in this post is very loose, but I chose to tuck it in to show my waist.  To avoid seeing too much tummy bulge, I pull the fabric out a bit a bit around the waistline so it's loose and not a hard tuck.

I also feel high-waisted pants, skirts, and shorts are more flattering on apple shapes than low waist.  I am so grateful hip huggers are out of style and high waist is back in.  If you don't like high waist pants, at least try a mid rise.  You can tuck the tummy in nice and tight.

In the close up picture below if you look closely you can see a little bit of tummy bulge in my zipper area.  But it's actually very well concealed by the top tucked loosely in.  

Other aspects of the top that flatter my figure are the off-the-shoulder style and the elastic sleeve.  The off-the-shoulder style shows the thinnest part of my upper body, my shoulders,  and covers up my heaviest part:  the upper arm and bust.  The sleeves emphasize the smallest part of arms, the forearms, while covering up the larger upper arms.

Now it should be mentioned when I googled "How To Dress An Apple Shape Body" it says I shouldn't wear skinny jeans and leggings because they would just make my legs look thinner.  It also says I shouldn't wear off-the-shoulder tops because it would make my shoulders look even wider.  🤣 Obviously, I am not paying any attention to those rules.  I think styling rules make nice guidelines, but ultimately you have to wear what you feel confident in.  I also believe most body shapes are very generic and we don't all nicely fit into one specific body shape, but can be more a mixture of many.  I've often wondered if my body shape was more of an Inverted Triangle or a Rectangle.  I've also been told by other bloggers that they thought my body shape was Curvy.  Maybe I'm all four body types?  Who knows.  What I do really know takes us back to where this post all began....that we should focus on what is RIGHT about our bodies instead of what is WRONG with them.  

 Now be sure to check out the other Ageless Style Bloggers to see how they dress for their body type.  Maybe you will find someone who's body type is very similar to your own.

Amy ~ Amy's Creative Pursuits BlogFacebookInstagramGoogle+Pinterest
Bettye ~ Fashion Schlub BlogFacebookInstagramYouTube
Daenel ~ Living outside the stacks BlogInstagramPinterestTwitter
Debbie ~ Fashion Fairy Dust BloglovinBlogInstagramPinterestFacebookTwitter
Jennie ~ A Pocketful of Polka Dots BlogInstagramFacebookPinterestTwitterBloglovin
Jodie ~ Jodie's Touch of Style BlogFacebookInstagramPinterestBloglovinTwitter
Julia ~ When the Girls Rule BlogFacebookPinterestInstagram
Kellyann ~ This Blonde's Shopping Bag BlogInstagramBloglovinTwitter
Shelly ~ The Queen in Between BlogInstagramBloglovinPinterestFacebook
Shugunna ~ Nzuri N* Simplicity BlogPinterestInstagram

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

July Bible Journaling Pages

Last month I started reading the book of Psalms.  It's a very long book, so one month later, I am still reading the book of Psalms.  But I'm loving every minute of it and soaking it all in!  Being in the book of Psalms at this time in history has been extraordinary eye opening for me and comforting.  I can so relate to so many of the experiences of the psalmists.  

One theme I am constantly seeing in the book of Psalms is how David looked to God as a refuge, and as a place of safety from his enemies.  As I've watched our society break down the past few months, I too have had to learn to trust God to keep me and my family safe.  I live in the country so I don't have too much to worry about until I travel, but both of my children live in suburbs of large cities so I worry about their safety a lot.  God has been teaching me to trust in Him to protect me and my family from all the civil unrest I continually keep seeing on the news.

This is a pre-printed page that I colored in using Prismacolor Pencils for the large areas and gel pens for the smaller spots.

Here  is a page I created myself.  I colored the background with craft paint then used stamps for all the images.  I wrote the verse with my own handwriting.  I have tried so hard to duplicate the beautiful calligraphies I see in most Bible Journaling pages on the Internet, but I am just not very good at it.  My daughter even purchased a book for me, but unfortunately it didn't help me.  I finally determined not to worry about it and just write in my Bible with my very own handwriting, because that's what makes it me!  Everyone's handwriting is unique, so whey should copy some fancy calligraphy when I can use my own?

I used a yellow pencil to color in the letters of this pre-printed image then I colored everything else with gel pens.

One of my favorite verses, and favorite songs to sing!   This is all done with gel pens.

I decided to make this pre-printed image as joyful as the word "joy" itself by coloring it with bright, happy colors.

Since Covid19 has affected mine and everyone else's life so much this year, I wanted to do one page in my Bible to document it.  Now, I've never really had any fear of getting the disease (Frankly, I'm one of "those people" who questions if this really is a dangerous disease or if were all being played.  But that's a topic for another day!). If I had any fear at all, it is for my husband who tends to be very susceptible to respiratory illnesses and also I fear all the repercussions the lockdowns have done to our economy and our civil liberties,  but when I read Psalm 91 it hit me like a ton of bricks:  it sounded like exactly the times we are living in.  So I claimed Psalm 91 for my home and family and committed the first verse to memory "Those who live in the shelter of the most high will find rest in the shadow of the almighty".  The important parts to pay notice in this chapter are the words "IF" which is used twice, and "Those Who LIVE in the shelter".  If we live a life in communion with God, we can have security of mind at all times.  We can live without the fear that torments our sleep,  because God is our shelter, our refuge, our protector.

Many of the psalms have the similar theme of God as a fortress, a shelter, a protector.  When I did this page, I once again thought of all the 2020 riots and rioters.  As I write this post, I am thinking of the most recent rioting done in my own home state last night in Kenosha. Every day seems to bring a new tragedy.   The world just seems out-of-control right now.   I highlighted verses 6 and 7 and wrote "2020 rioters" right next to it, because it so perfectly describes everything I'm witnessing in today's culture.  It's all just so sad.  

I created the page by coloring the background with gelatos then using stamps for the butterfly and castle images.   The words were created with a mix of washi tape, stamps, and my own hand writing.

This page, which once again deals with fear and putting our trust in God, was created by first painting the background yellow with craft paint.  I then stamped the butterfly images and used a collection of stickers and my own hand writing for the verses.   Finally, I wrote a few notes of my thoughts as I reflected on these verses.  The most important thing I have gleaned from this passage is from the verse "What can mere mortals do to me?"  Matthew 10:28 says " Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."  If I trust in God, why should I be afraid of man for my eternal soul is secure?

As a lover of birds, I love how many times the Bible speaks of birds, and specifically how often the wings of birds are used as imagery as an example of how God shelters his children.  For this page I painted the background then used bird stamps for the top and bottom.  The verse is a mix of stamps and my own handwriting.  I added a bit of washi tape at the top to theme the page.

One of the things that has saddened me deeply the past six months, or even the past decade, has been seeing believers fall prey to many movements and beliefs in popular culture.  I think that happens when believers are not reading their Bible or spending more time on social media than they are in the word of God.  Their mind and thinking become influenced by the world instead of shaped by Biblical principles.  Christians can go to protests and rallies with the best intentions, but did you know God is a God of Peace?  The Bible says He wants us to "Search for Peace and Work to maintain it".  So when one screams "No Justice No Peace" it's actually antithetical to the word of God.  Does that mean we are not to fight against injustice?  Of course not.  But gathering in large angry mobs in the street is not the answer.  What does it accomplish?  More often than not it results in innocent people being hurt.  There are many non violent, peaceful options.  We are called to live a "peaceful and quiet life trusting in God to defend us".  

We will never see true justice on this earth until Jesus comes back.  Only then will the suffering stop and the wicked will be punished.  Did you know that all of creation will celebrate the Lord's Return?  

Using craft paint I "tried" to create a natural background simulating the sky, mountains, and river".  Then I hand wrote the verse, stamped a globe on the page, and added some hand-written thoughts.

This cute page was created with paint, stamps, and stickers.  I first painted the background using blue for the sky and green for the ground.  The verse is a mix of my own hand-writing with stickers and stamps.  I added some washi tape for emphasis on the key theme of the verse.  The sheep are stamps that I cut on a separate piece of card stock and then glued to my page.

Here are a couple of pre-printed pages I simply colored in with pencils and gel pens.

I love this cheerful, colorful, happy page.

And the last page I have to show I created because when I read the verses I was reminded of the Third Day song based on these verses.  So I created a sky with craft paint, then wrote the lyrics to the song on top.  I used some stickers to highlight certain words, and I stretched out letters to emphasize the words "reaches" and "stretches".  Musical note stamps were then added to further connect the psalm to the song.


If you never heard of the the Third Day song "Your Love, Oh Lord" I found it for you on YouTube.

As I close this page, I pray that you will spend less time this week on social media, less time watching the news, and more time in prayer and the Word of God.  Let God's word fill you, not the words of the world.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!