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11.30.2012

Changes

Sometimes I feel my Heavenly Father pull me away from the moment and show me my blessings in a bigger picture. This morning is one of those needed times. 
Blessings are something that I have absolutely no shortage of. When I need to be nudged outside of the moment, they are always the slice that reminds me to be meek and humble and live in God's time, not my own.
Lately, Spencer and I have been struggling with our five year plan. We are at the point that the next couple of years are going to determine so much for our future and we need to decide where we want that direction to be. I hate to admit it, but sometimes my desires are based on comparisons with others. I can't help but question where I want to be based on other's blessings. I am so glad that I have my Heavenly Father to remind me that this type of 'planning' is the wrong way to help my family. So, when I get caught up in worldly worries it takes His hand to show me happier, simpler moments to be reminded what is really important. 
When I was growing up, all I wanted to do was be an author. I wanted so badly to write a book that would have the same effect on others that books had on me. I would spend hours in my room typing on my grandfather's ancient laptop, coming up with stories about mermaids and what it was like being in fourth grade and what would happen if I could control the weather. Deep stuff, I tell ya! 
The littlest emotion or miracle from nature would inspire confidence that I would do great things in life. 
My childhood home was in the middle of the country, far away from civilization. This lifestyle led us to embrace homeschooling, give up television, internet, videogames, Walmart and many opportunities that city life brings. However, it also provided my siblings and I with a canvas for our imagination to come and go as we pleased and make our own fun in the orchards. 
When I look back at the simple lifestyle that made our family so happy I long to leave these hard, worldly decisions behind and go back to that place. However, I have also learned so much since leaving home and there are things that keep me moving forward. Even our country environment is changing and growing. I know that it's not the same place that I grew up. I recognize that while I learned who I was on my own, I want my future children to have more opportunities than I did in the middle of nowhere. 
I am learning that growing up means more responsibilities to my new life, including these hard decisions. In order to have the best for my future family, I need to carefully consider with my husband what are the best things for us to do and where are the best places for us to go in this quickly changing world. I also know that if my Father in Heaven meant for me to live a quiet life in the country for the rest of my days, that is where I would be. Instead, I have moved on to the next area and I will trust in Him to help us realize where to go after this.
I know this because He placed me in the perfect place to grow up. I wouldn't be who I am today if His hand wasn't leading me in all things.

11.28.2012

Normal Life

 Hey readers, its the week after Thanksgiving and you know what that means - its almost finals! I can't believe we only have 2.5 weeks left until Christmas break. Its the time to buckle down and ride through the rest of the semester at full throttle. I've got lots of projects to post and finish, but for the next few weeks I might be short on time. I hope you understand! I thought I'd post a few pics of what I've been staring at this week.
One perk with art classes is no written finals! I tell ya, when I enter the dreaded testing center, my mind shuts down and all I can think about is how to get out of there as fast as possible. I'd much rather give a presentation in class or spend hours working on collages. Which is what I'm in the middle of right now.
 Since I grew up without television or internet, music is still my biggest motivator when trying to focus and work hard. What's on my playlist today? Pandora's Disney channel ofcourse! Nothing like The Little Mermaid to get me pumped up!
 I am excited to reveal my next guest post, which goes along with this project thats sitting on our coffee table. But I can't give away any secrets yet, so be patient and check back later for more info!
 Ontop of finals, I've been spending my late nights working on applications and portfolios to apply for another internship or two next summer. Wish me luck!
Last but not least, you probably don't want to read me gushing about what a great husband I have. Which I do. The absolute best in the whole world. Just look at these beauties! These are what I've been staring at most lately. Flowers make every week better right?
So for all you other students out there - hope your last weeks of classes and finals fly by! Goodluck!

If you find me slacking as these next weeks fly by, I apologize. However, I just updated Hydrangea's TUTORIAL page and invite you to sift through all of my DIYs since the beginning. Just click on the button on the sidebar. It looks like this:

11.26.2012

Guest Posting

Today I'm so happy to be guesting on one of my all time fav blogs, ruffles and stuff. Disney is the lovely lady behind the site and we just found out we used to live an hour apart! Sometime we'll have to get together for a crafting party in person. 
She featured my site back when it was a wee baby and I had no idea what I was doing. She must've seen something in me because she rarely invites guests. She was one of the main reasons I kept up my motivation. I love the way she makes tutorials simple and shares her love for God along with her sweet, sweet daughter. Click on the photos below to see a few of my favorite DIYs from her.
 The inspiration for this piece came while my husband and I were mountain biking on the side of a lonely mountain. Ideas can spring at the weirdest times! Visit Disney - show her some love and check out the full tutorial for my hanging teacup candles.
Also, I'm in love with Disney's idea to plant herbs in these little guys and hang them by the kitchen window in the summer!! I'm gonna have to borrow that little gem for the future.

11.19.2012

Chevron Pillow

What do you do when you've stolen your mom's sewing machine, you have a weekend free and are itching for some new decor? You follow the inspiration of this little beauty and sew a pillow! Atleast, that was the obvious answer for me. If you've never sewn a pillow before its a great place to start because they are simple and basic. If you are an old pro this tutorial won't be anything new. Just remember, the design is always up to your imagination and needle skills. 
  Luckily I have a container full of fabric scraps and an old pillow lying around, so after choosing a few patterns and tracing hexagons of the same shape, I had a stack of half-chevrons to organize and pin onto the pillow back.
Sewing each square onto the pillow took longer than I though, so it happened on weekends and afternoons after school and early mornings. After the front was done the rest was simply sewing three sides of the back and front together, turning them right side out, stuffing them with pillow fluff and sewing the bottom back up.
When I'm an old lady with too much time and bad knees, I will sit at my sewing machine and create all the pillow that I have in mind. Nevermind. I know I can't wait that long - when we are finally out of apartments and I don't have to throw something away to make room for all of the projects I make, then I will have a couch full of fun pillows.

11.15.2012

Frieda & Nellie Inspired Necklace

I hope you aren't surprised to hear that we all have bad days - even me. Sometimes we are in the wrong mood so our perspective is swayed towards seeing everything as the worst, right? Anyways. My control over these kinds of days is still a work in progress. I've learned the hard way that I can take things too hard and then mope about them for too long. When my husband found my childhood diary and began reading it outloud and quoting it for weeks afterwards, I realized that not only do I need to focus on the good, but I need to document the good as well (instead of complaining about being grounded or highschool drama). When it all comes down to it, this is the season of thanksgiving and one bad day won't ruin the rest!
Now on to the real reason for this post.

If you were following Hydrangea as of five days ago, you would have seen my tutorial on how to make diamond rings. This is the rest of the story about using those in a project. I love the necklace that I ended with and so far have gotten lots of compliments when I wear it!
To start, I found a few chunky beads and modge podged some fabric onto them using glue and water. (I guess that is not modge podge then... but close enough.)
After rolling the glue-y strips of fabric around the beads, I tied both ends and trimmed the excess. Then, all I had to do was thread them onto a necklace. The little tales on both sides of the beads get hidden by the diamond rings - that was their purpose in creation!
Crimp the ends of the string and attach a chain to get a unique necklace. This accessory looks great layered with other chain-and-bead necklaces - and I'm not a big jewelry girl! 
UPDATE: A few hours after writing this post, my bad day turned into a wonderful day! All the things I had been worried about were fixed and I was reminded of even more that I am thankful for. Glad I got to finish this story with a happy ending!

11.11.2012

Stargirl

This weekend I reread one of my favorite books, Stargirl, in order to prepare for this photoshoot assignment. I usually have a rule about not reading books twice, but this tale is one of my exceptions. The beautiful quotes and the story always remind about my childhood ambitions to be an author. It is a goal I have kept close since I was ten years old - and someday I promise to make it happen. Until then, I am so glad there are stories like Stargirl to make my weekend better.

11.09.2012

Inspired by Frieda and Nellie

The first time I saw combinations of sparkle, neon and textile, I fell head over heals. You can count on this group showing up again and again on Hydrangea! The last post I did with this idea in mind was inspired by Doloris Petunia. She is another jewelry designer who understands the majesty of modern meets elegance - you can check out that post here
This time I went with the original crazies who mixed string and jewels: Frieda and Nellie. This inspiration piece will be a 2-part tutorial, so check back on the 15th for the second post!
Rhinestone chains can be found cheaply at any craft store. I grabbed a few at my last trip to Michaels and cut them into 8 rhinestone segments. After choosing your color of embroidery thread, begin wrapping it around the spaces between each diamond.  
Connect the two ends while wrapping and make a knot at the end so that the chain turns into a rhinestone ring. 
I know this is a super simple tutorial - check back to see how I used these little beauties! On another note, today started with thunder and rain, turned into hail, and now it's snowing! I am totally staying inside and working today to drink hot chocolate and watch Rachael Ray. 
Also... Don't forget about the giveaway! You are almost sure to win something with only a few entries and four items! CHECK IT OUT HERE.

11.06.2012

Simply Homemade Guest Post

I had a special 'election day' surprise in my email. I have always loved sneaking craft magazines into my mom's shopping basket, so when I was asked to be the first blogger featured on the Simply Homemade's website I felt like Christmas had come early! I have two stories this morning on their site:
I also want to remind you: if you are in the USA today - don't forget to vote! We did! 
Disclaimer: here in the USA we also have a funny tradition called 'Mustache Movember'. It is the only month out of the year that guys have an excuse to grow hair on their upperlip. It may not be my favorite month, but change can be fun! (Especially the change that will happen when that mustache disappears)

11.05.2012

Autumn Collage


Today I am guest posting on the lovely Jessica's blog. Go check it out! It is one of my favorite, easiest projects this year. Plus, she is so nice and sweet and I want all my viewers to show her some love!

hello hydrangea
Also, I wanted to remind you of the very special giveaway to celebrate a milestone in Hydrangea's history. If you haven't entered yet, you have an incredible chance of winning one of the four projects above. Just by liking and commenting you will most likely get a free treat in your mail - not many have entered yet! 

11.03.2012

Biking. My other passion.

Dear Readers. If you ever find yourself wondering what I do outside of work, school, church and crafts, I want to ease your mind with this post. 
My husband got into road biking when we were first dating. He got me a bike too, but I did not share his excitement  I felt like it was a hard sport and you never went anywhere except straight and fast. When he discovered mountain biking, guess what he did? He got me a bike too. I was skeptical at first, seeing how well his first attempt went, but I decided to stick with it to show my support. 
After many bloody knees, one bee sting, lots of mud and a little bit of complaining, it is safe to say that I am addicted to this sport. I love enjoying God's creations in the middle of Utah's canyons. I love finding my line through a tricky mess of boulders and pushing myself up a hill to get a breathtaking glimpse of the valley below. Most of all, I love spending this time away from school and the city with my husband. 
We go whenever we can. As the season changes and the weather gets colder, we feel the need to spend as much time as we can in the mountains to make up for our future absence during the winter. For the past weeks we have been travelling at least three times a week to pursue our passion. What good is school and cleaning your house and sleeping-in if you can't enjoy getting into a huge meadow, surrounded by trees, where the only sound is your spinning wheels and the wind? I can't emphasize how wonderful it feels to be outside.
 We now have five bikes in our possession... three of which sit in our tiny living room along with our golf clubs. I don't mind! I've gotten to the point where I dream about the challenge and joy of mountain biking.
Sorry, the pictures are the result of our camera phone. You never know when you might need to document an adventure in the middle of nowhere. The photos don't nearly do the landscapes justice. 
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