Monday, December 11, 2017

December Hand Lettering and Illustration Challenge

Check out the CREATE tab above or click HERE for more creative inspirations!
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Creating!

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Dancing in a Winter Wonderland!

-  A  Blogmas  Weekend  .  Mississippi  Snowfall  .  Performing  Up  A  Storm  .  - 

 The Ballet Magnificat Christmas performing season is just beginning to rev up. We've had two run-out performances this week so far. We've had one performance of "Light Has Come" in North Augusta, SC at Grace United Methodist Church on Tuesday as well as one in Gulfport, Mississippi on Thursday at Northwood Church, when then after the show driving on our way back home to Jackson, MS we had a surprise snowfall! The sight of the snow had me acting all giddy like a little child full of excitement the whole drive home. The next morning we awoke to several inches of snow still sticking to the ground and everywhere! So much snow falling in December in Jackson, MS is such a rarity. It was such a beautiful sight to see. 

This weekend Ballet Magnificat Alpha will be presenting four dances in a Christmas production being put on by a local church here in town called Crossgates. If you're local you should come out to support us! After working with the Crossgates church this evening during dress rehearsal, I can assure you that it's going to be a fabulous production featuring talented singers, an adult and children's choir, live music (which I LOVE dancing to!), as well as Joe Castillo a sand story artist. More information about the Crossgates Christmas shows can be found at the very end of this blog post so check it out! With only 10 days left before Christmas break the dance season will finish out for me this year with a small performance this coming Sunday for my own church and then lastly, but not least, the annual shows that we present at Thalia Mara Hall. I hope you are coming! 😁

This  past  week  in  snapshots :

It's the most wonderful (and busy) time of the year! schedules, schedules everywhere!

A  Day  in  Gulfport  :

  • We start our day Thursday morning meeting at the vans at 7:15am. The total travel time for our trip from Jackson to Gulfport ends up being 3 hours.

We arrive at the church at 11:30am and immediately start unloading our trailers and setting up

Margot and a volunteer assembling lighting poles

These are just a few of the stage lights that get hung on the poles

Rachel and Grace work together on setting up the lights

My setup job is always setting up the merchandise table in the lobby with Hannah, but this time with Christmas Decorations! I love my set up job and my set up buddy!

We pause our setting up for a casual lunch break at 12:45pm

Pictured here is one out of our two costume boxes that gets sent to the green room

Pretty Christmas headpieces

After setting up we get our hair and makeup ready. There's Taylor!

We begin going over our steps/ reviewing/ marking on stage at 3:00pm

practicing the presentation of our stage-sized cross fabric for an opener piece called "Immanuel"

The show in North Augusta went well. Pictured here is a photo snapped during our piece called "Immanuel" 

On our way home after the show, we drove through the night. Since I am a night owl, during the night shifts I love sitting shotgun to help the driver stay awake. I snap this precious selfie to capture the excitement of Margot and I as we discover snow beginning to fall some point past midnight.

Driving through snow looks so cool!

We arrived back to home base at 1:49am. What a day.

The next day I wake up to this outside my window!

A winter wonderland!

A  Few  Performance  Pics  From  North  Augusta   :

If you've never seen Ballet Magnificat perform, you need to! It's an experience like no other. Keep your eye on our booking calendar for when we come to a city near you!

Dress Rehearsal at Crossgates  :

Warming up back stage

A snapshot during rehearsal


If you can't make it, live online streaming will also be available at
as well as on Crossgates' Facebook.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today!
If you enjoyed this post please comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy!
Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Recycling Old Candle Jars | DIY Candy Jars

-  Blogmas  Day six .   Do- it- yourself .  Recycle .  - 

Do you ever wonder what to do with those leftover candle jars hanging around your house just collecting dust? Today I'm going to share with you what I do with mine. This is an easy DIY project and a great way to recycle both the candle jars and the leftover wax in them. This is actually like two DIY's in one!

Any sized jar will do!

What  You'll  need :

  • A candle jar with a low wax level

  • A semi-flexible little container  

  • Dish-cleaning supplies, dish soap (Dawn works best!), a rag, perhaps some steel wool, etc.

  • Some kind of sweet treat to fill your jar with in the end

  • Decorative ribbon is optional

  • Easy as 1,2,3!

    The  Steps :

    1. The wax in your candle jar needs to be melted. You can either light your candle for a couple of hours until the wax is completely liquefied, or you can simply boil your candle jar in a pot of water and get the same results faster. If your jar has a label on it, I found that boiling your jar also helps with the removal of that, depending on the stickiness of your label. I used a Burt's Bees candle for this tutorial and the label came right off with the hot water! Otherwise, I suggest getting some help from Goo Gone or some other chemical agent, and some steel wool, to remove your label. Click the following link to an awesome recipe for making homemade Goo Gone. I've tried this recipe and it works! Homemade Goo Gone Recipe

    2. Once the wax is melted, either blow the candle out or if you went the route of boiling your jar, then remove it from the pot of water. Either way, the jar will be hot so BE CAREFUL. You may want to use an oven mitt, or a cloth when handling the jar. Next, immediately pour your hot liquefied wax into your little semi-flexible container. Set it aside and let it cool for several hours.

    3. Now that you are left with an oily waxy jar, remove the wicks that are left, most likely held in place by a weak glue, and go wash and dry your jar out until it is oily and waxy no more!

    4. Congratulations! Now you have a beautiful jar to repurpose and regift. Fill your jar with some kind of sweet-treat or little-happy and give that baby away!

    _____ tick-tock-tick-tock _____

    5. After a few hours, revisit your wax in your semi-flexible little container. It should appear cooled down and solidified. Next, you want to remove the wax from the container. Do this carefully. Being that your container is semi-flexible, give it a little squeeze until air is able to slip between the sides of your block of wax and the container. Then just jostle it a bit until the block slides loose out the container.

    6. Congratulations now you have a block of wax for yourself! What do you do with the block of wax, you ask? Well, you can reuse your blocks of wax to make new homemade candles, but I'll save that for another blog post. You can also simply use your fragrant blocks of wax as potpourri. Stick them on a shelf in your linen closet to make your towels smell good or if the wax is not too oily, I also like to stick them in a few of my dresser drawers with my clothing to make them smell good.


    melting the wax the old-school slow way by flame

    boiling your candle jar in a pot of water is another option

    transfer the wax into your little semi-flexible container and remove wicks from your jar

    Let cool.

    All cooled down!

    Using a heart-shaped container I got from the dollar store, some of my wax molds came out in the shape of a heart! How cute!
    My glass jar is all cleaned and ready to be used for anything!

    The finished products are ready to be given away!

    Glass jars are really trending these days thanks to the Mason Jar phenomenon.
    I hope You find this DIY useful. let me know what you thought 
    about it in the comments below!
    What other kinds of DIY's are you interested in me posting about?
    Thanks for stopping by! And until next time, Happy Crafting!

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    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Happy Birthday Boss!


    “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

    ~ Luke 8:39

    Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

    In Honor of my Boss' birthday last Monday, the 1st of December, I've decided to feature his testimony on my blog this week! Keith Thibodeaux is a wonderful man of God, married to an equally wonderful wife. I couldn't ask God for better bosses than them! Enjoy the video clip below of Keith Thibodeaux himself sharing the story of his journey to faith presented by, and be blessed! 

    Happy Tuesday!

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    Monday, December 4, 2017

    The Oqpied Optimist's Top 10 Recommended Gifts of the Season

    -  A  Crafty  Blogmas  Weekend .   Tis  the  Season  for  Gift-giving .  You're  Gonna  Love  These .  - 

    Hello friends! I hope you had a good weekend. I spent most of my weekend hanging around the house, updating my Shop, and crafting up a storm in preparation for the gift-giving and holiday season. In today's post, I'm going to share with you my top ten recommended gift's to be giving for this season being sold by small-ish online businesses such as my own. Slightly biased of my own creations, with good reason πŸ˜‰, the first five items featured on this list can be found for sale in my shop, whereas after that the rest of the items come from other highly trusted, recommended online businesses. Enjoy this post and get shopping!


    One . The Occupied Optimist's Grab Bag

    The Occupied Optimist's Grab Bag

    This Occupied Optimist wants to share the best of my creative inspirations, tools, and crafting supplies with you. This is the perfect gift for all crafting, scrapbooking, and stationery enthusiasts! Some things you may find in your grab bag are/could be: trending writing instruments, embellishments, stickers, and watercolor templates. A handful of assorted handmade cards designed by me are guaranteed to be found in your grab bag every time. Just a few things to get you inspired! Nearly a 50 dollar value. A one-time grab bag is 35 $+ shipping, or you may choose the option of a monthly subscription of 25$ per month+shipping. You can be sure each grab bag is stuffed with only the most fun and unique assorted surprises to up your journaling and/or stationary and letter-writing game!

    Two . Handmade Letter Ornaments

    Handmade Letter Ornaments

    South Africa Inspired, a lightweight durable wire is shaped into the letter of your choosing and is decorated with colorful glistening seed beads. Order an initial or even a sentimental word for yourself or a friend. Starting at $15 per piece.

    Three. State Ornament

    Handmade State Ornament

    Home is where the heart is. Here is a charming patriotic burlap Christmas ornament in the shape of the State of your choosing. Perfect for yourself or as a gift for someone you love.

    Four. Ballet Bullet Skirt/ SAB Skirt

    Bullet/ SAB Skirt

    These skirts are all the rage these days. For the ballerinas in your life, this is the perfect gift. Cheaper than most competing brands this simple yet flattering ballet skirt is being sold at only $25 and is made to order, the color of your choice!

    Five. Ballerina Bunny

    Knit Ballerina Bunny

    Whether she is a ballerina herself, or just a lover of ballet, who can resist the adorable face of this cute cuddle buddy! Her details feature a little 'tie-on' tulle tutu, a fluffy soft tail, rosy cheeks, eyelashes, and a beautifully beaded crown. She fits in the palm of your hand. Small parts may be hazardous to small children. She is stuffed with a synthetic non-allergenic filling.
    Make some 'Bunny' happy with this little ballerina! She is made to order, alternate preferred colors may be requested.

    Six. Yarn Bowls

    50% Off Yarn Bowls
    Darn Good Yarn

    Make the crafter in your life a very happy camper by giving the gift of a yarn bowl which assists in keeping yarn all straight, untangled, and organized. "Ornate, geometric carvings make these wooden yarn bowls perfect for those who want to add a touch of elegance while they are completing their projects. Each and every one of these yarn bowls are handmade by talented artisans based in India and Nepal."

    Seven. Cozy Socks

    Who doesn't love a pair, OR TWO, of warm cozy socks in the winter time?

    Eight. Swell Bottle

    S'well Water Bottle in Bikini Pink - $35.00
    from: Hattan Home

    I have a couple of swell bottles myself and I absolutely love them! I haven't met a person who hasn't!

    Nine. The Gift Of Tea

    Teabloom Flowering Teas and Blooming Tea Gift Sets

    Tea Gifts for under $25 -

    For the tea lovers in your life, and you know I'm one of them, I recommend you check out this company providing only the best, highest quality of all things tea.

    Ten. Party Poppers

    Gifts, Confetti, Art Prints, and More!


    A great stocking stuffer, make sure you get all your friends set up for the holiday festivities with these push-pop confetti poppers provided by Thimblepress, a local business based out of Jackson, MS. We small businesses really appreciate your support! And if the aforementioned businesses are considered small, then I must be considered REALLY SMALL! But thank you none the less! And Happy Holidays! 😊

    Which one of these gifts would you like to receive most?
    Tell me about it in a comment down below!
    I love you my dear readers! Happy Giving!

    NOTE: Featured products in this post are sponsored BUT are presented in an honest light based on my genuine choice, preference, and opinions.
    PS: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking links may lead me to receive a small commission. 
    Thanks for your Support!

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