Color Me Radiant Orchid

Flower Power Pin and LifeStone JewelryI was on my way to church Sunday morning and had my son, Avery, take a quick pic.

See those earrings? They are designed by the lovely and talented Edie Moore of Life Stone Jewelry. I asked Edie if she would design a pair of earrings for me in the Pantone Color of the year - radiant orchid.

Edie obliged with freshwater pearls!

photography by Edie

photography by Edie – Aren’t these lovely?!

Visit Edie’s Etsy shop. You’ll find lovely designs at a very affordable price point. Tell her I sent you!

On my lapel you’ll see my Flower Power Pin by BellaMella Crochets. That’s me!

I thought this multicolored yarn was perfect to incorporate a little bit of radiant orchid into my closet.

I apply a felt backing to all my Flower Power Pins. You can attach these to a lapel, a belt or a tote bag. I really enjoy hand made crafts and jewelry. Do you?

If you’d like your own handmade Flower Power Pin by BellaMella Crochets, you can order one for $15 which includes shipping. (I use Paypal.)

Have you seen the Pinterest Pantone Color of the Year board? Check it out here.

I think it will be fun and lighthearted to enjoy all the little (or big) ways you can incorporate radiant orchid or any shade of purply/pink into your life this year.

How about some of these?

For Your Nails

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Feet or Any of These!

For Your Home

For Your Stuff or This One or  This One! (only $10!)

Do you like to wear handcrafted items? How do you feel about “radiant orchid”?

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Weekend Wrap Up

“What I Did Over the Weekend”

Doesn’t that title remind you of 6th grade Language Arts when your first writing assignment was, “What I Did Over the Summer”?

Did I ever tell you I  used to teach 6th grade Language Arts? I also taught 8th grade Language Arts. I really loved those middle school students! They’re in that transition phase where the boys are more concerned with being funny than cool. The girls? Well, they’re about two years ahead of the boys emotionally (physically, too) and already checking out the high school boys. I loved them all.

I’m currently tutoring a few hours each week and I’m really enjoying it. Working one on one with a student is my favorite thing.

So, what did I do over the weekend?

  • picked out paint for the spare bedroom, my bedroom and bathroom

I went lighter. I chose a neutral – Behr’s “Swiss Coffee.” I like it. It feels very clean, fresh and makes the rooms look larger. It’s a neutral white without a discernible undertone of yellow, pink or gray. Here’s an article on the best off-white paint from Apartment Therapy.

  • painted my first rooster – a commissioned piece

Rooster Psalm 90:14

  • painted another version of the “Southern Cuisine” canvas (also a commissioned piece)

Southern Cuisine canvasand

  • crocheted “spa cloths”

white spa clothsA friend gave me some white cotton yarn and I thought it would be pretty to crochet “spa cloths” for my bathroom. The one on the bottom is in single crochet and the other in double crochet. I would recommend using the double crochet stitch as it goes much quicker but is still a tight enough weave for a bath cloth. Here’s a simple pattern for the single crochet cloth.

See that little sample of shower gel? It’s Jo Malone. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared with you my FAVORITE FRAGRANCES IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. A few years ago I mentioned to my husband that I would like to try a Jo Malone fragrance. And what did I open on Christmas day but a bottle of “Lime Basil and Mandarin” cologne and “Grapefruit” body creme? Another year he surprised me with “Pomegranate Noir” cologne and body creme. Last year my surprise gift was “English Pear and Freesia” body creme. This past Christmas I was surprised with a “Pomegranate” candle. I keep it in my bathroom. Even without burning it, I can smell its fragrance – intoxicating and romantic.

My favorite scents are citrus and herbal but I have to say the “English Pear and Freesia” is heavenly! The “Pomegranate Noir” is lovely, too, though a heavier and more sophisticated scent. It’s perfect for the colder seasons or date night! But just for “every day,” give me orange blossom or lime basil! It’s definitely a splurge to purchase a Jo Malone scent but it’s worth it because the  scents are pure and very long lasting. When you make a purchase at the store or online you also get a few samples to enjoy.

I did some other things over the weekend as well as the above. I cooked meals, worked out, went to church, watched Downton Abbey (love the dialogue and the costumes and the interiors) and kept Sabbath.

What did you do?

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The Bottom Line

More Creative Ideas

My son asked for a mug cozy embellished with an octopus. He didn’t actually use the word “embellish” however! I told him I didn’t think I could do that but he had confidence in me and in searching online for something else I lucked up on an octopus pattern. I made it late one night and surprised him with it. Here’s the link to the octopus pattern.

mug cozy with octopus

I can’t wait to make more of these flowers! It was a bit challenging but worth it. Once I got the hang of the “petals” I was fine. This is a free pattern download. You can find it here. Unless you already know how to make the petals, you will need to actually download the pattern.

Crochet flower pin - neutral/brownAnother one! I played fast and loose with the second one. You can see I made the stitches bigger. This one took half the time as the first one but that was mostly because I had the pattern figured out.

Purple flower on bag I had made a couple of hearts of different sizes and later when reading my Bible I realized I could make a heart book mark. I knew it had mostly likely been done before so I googled it to see the best way to make a “ribbon.” This was fun and fairly quick, again – once I could visualize how the stitches were going to form a heart shape. Remember crocheting is very new to me and the learning process is just that – a process! Why is it that “process” always equals time and discomfort!

hearts book marker I made another one to give a friend with a thank you card for a very kind deed she did for  me.

pink mint heart bookmarker

Now for an idea that doesn’t involve a crochet hook.

I like to use dishware in unexpected ways – ways not originally intended for their purpose. For example, I use a relish tray in the bathroom to hold ponytail holders, bobby pins, tweezers, etc. Next to my stove a tall ceramic vase holds my cooking utensils.

Last month when I was clearing out some boxes with old dishes I came across a china teapot. It must have belonged to my mother although I don’t remember her ever using it. There were no other pieces that went with it and I thought I might list it for sale. However, I also thought I might find an unconventional use for  it. I did!

A few days ago I was checking out the succulents at Home Depot and purchased a couple. One of them fit perfectly in the teapot. But what to do with the teapot lid?

An idea struck.

Every morning I drink coffee from my Keurig but this means as my coffee goes from hot to warm, there is no simply pouring some from the carafe into the cup as a warm up.

Enter the teapot lid.

Voila! It fits perfectly over my coffee cups. Plus it’s pretty.

teapot with plant and lid for coffee cupI’ve been reading through the book of Romans and was inspired to a paint a new canvas. The day I was painting it my friend Peggy posted this on facebook:

“It’s easy to rejoice and celebrate when we see a profound miracle or a tremendous answer to our prayers. But let’s never forget that God is always governing His plan and graciously allowing all things to work together for our good. We continue to believe, give thanks and rejoice always in our loving Lord because He is and forever will be worthy.”

~ Peggy Morris

 

To which I replied, “We live Romans 8:28.” It is true. It is our BOTTOM LINE so to speak.

Our family has had to conclude that even in the loss of our Andrew and in the grief that never truly goes away, God’s promise that ALL things work together for our good is true. In some mysterious, yet to be fully understood way, God works ALL things for our good. That includes for Andrew’s good, too. That does not mean we don’t long for him and shed tears on nearly a daily basis. I cried today because I miss him so much. Today I saw a boy in the distance. He was riding his bike and wearing a hooded sweatshirt. There was something about his  hair color and his expression that held my gaze as he approached the intersection where I was stopped at a traffic light. He must have been riding his bike home from school. I watched as he stopped and got off his bike to wait for the crossing guard. My solace came in thinking how Andrew can ride and skate all over Heaven with no fear of traffic. With no fear of anything.

All Things Romans 8 28 pm“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28.

 

Day 23 of 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers and Warren Myers includes this praise based on Romans 8:28:

“I worship before You, my King and my God. I’m grateful that You command victories for  Your people…and that ‘all things are Your servants.’ You’re a God who acts on behalf of the one who puts his hope in You. Thank You that You are at work to answer my prayers in Your good way and time.”

 

And on Day 24, it reads:

“Thank You, my loving and sovereign God, that my failures and mistakes are part of the ‘all things’ You work together for good…as well as my tensions and stresses, my hostile and anxious feelings, my regrets, my trips into shame and self-blame – and the specific things that trigger them. I praise You that ‘all things,’ including these, can contribute to my spiritual growth and my experience of You.”

Amen.

{If you are interested in purchasing the “Romans 8:28″ canvas, click here for ordering info.}

 

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The Creative Gene

I suffered a creativity slump for awhile there.

SUFFERED.

How’s that for dramatic?

Last week I was talking to my younger brother and elaborating on why I NEED to be creative.

His response?

“We must have the same gene.”

My younger brother crafts beautiful objects from wood. He made my kitchen cabinets. He made my daughter a gorgeous wooden guitar stand. He understands my NEED to be creative. Yep, same gene.

My older brother is a GIFTED musician. He plays the saxophone and has traveled with a band for years. His blood type contains musical notes. He’s happy, happy, happy when he’s blowing his horn.

Yep, same gene.

I explained to my brother that when I don’t have the time to create or when I am overly stressed and have zero creative inspiration, I feel “off.” I do not thrive. I am not happy, happy, happy. In short, I SUFFER.

The good news is my schedule has lightened up and so has my level of negative stress.

Thus, my creative gene kicked back in and I’ve been creating all over the place! Here are a few of my latest creative endeavors.

I made these for a friend. It's a surprise for her!  Dish Cloth & Mug Cozy

I made these for a friend. It’s a surprise for her!
Dish Cloth & Mug Cozy

 

This canvas is called "Southern Cuisine" and is my BellaMella Canvas. A friend commissioned this piece with specific dishes she enjoys.

This canvas is called “Southern Cuisine” and is my BellaMella Canvas. A friend commissioned this piece with specific dishes she enjoys.

This is my first try at a Mason jar cozy. My glass blender carafe met with an unfortunate accident. I use a Mason jar in its place. Blend and go! But it's cold...so it needed a sweater. Voila!
This is my first try at a Mason jar cozy. My glass blender carafe met with an unfortunate accident. I use a Mason jar in its place. Blend and go! But it’s cold…so it needed a sweater. Voila!

This picture shows the bottom of the cozy. You start with a ring.
This picture shows the bottom of the cozy. You start with a ring.

I have a few more “creative gene” ideas to show you. One involves a china teapot that I almost listed for sale. That is, until that “gene” kicked in again. I’ll be back with those later so check back!

In the meantime, below is the link to the pattern for the Mason Jar Cozy.
I’m a beginner when it comes to crochet and was a bit confused by “Round 3″ until I realized it would read better this way:

Rounds 3-11: DC in each stitch.

Let me know if you give the Mason Jar Cozy a whirl!

Mason Jar Cozy from Sew Chatty

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Let’s Have a Cup of Coffee and a Chat!

Elaine is hosting a give away of my 11 x 14 canvas, “Peace, Be Still.” You can enter here. October 25th at noon is the cut off for entry.

Peace Be Still framedCome sit with me a while and let’s have a cup of morning coffee together and just catch up, shall we?

So, how have you been? Anything new in your life? I’d enjoy hearing all about it.

Is it  just me or does it seem that yesterday was August? September was a blur and October is nearly over. How did that happen?

As you may have noticed from my past few posts, I’ve been moving in a new direction. My mornings seem hardly to have begun when it’s bedtime again! I really don’t like bedtime. Weird, huh. I feel like I have too much to do to sleep. Earlier this week I heard a neurologist say when we sleep our brain’s lymphatic system “scrubs our brains” or something to that effect. Anyway, we need good sleep to stay healthy; I already knew that but it did motivate me to discipline myself better to get in the bed. I don’t have a problem getting up. In fact, I rarely oversleep or even “sleep in.” I feel like I’m wasting daylight!

With my responsibilities as Women’s Ministry Coordinator at my church and working my BellaMella Canvas biz, it’s a good day when I’ve planned early enough to prepare dinner! LIfe’s just gotten very full lately. Fortunately I have a couple of go-to dinner ideas that  make great left overs: roasted chicken and roast beef.

I like to get the Purdue brand chicken that is already seasoned and in a cooking bag. Sometimes I put it in the slow cooker (in the bag) on high for 6 hours. It’s delicious.  I strain the chicken stock and use that to make my brown rice. Add a vegetable and you’re golden! If I don’t start early enough to use the slow cooker, I just  put the chicken on a roasting pan in the oven and follow the directions for timing and temp. Leftovers make chicken enchiladas, chicken salad and/or bbq chicken pizza.

My other standby is a roast in the crockpot. I’ve posted my recipe for chipotle roast on my blog in the past. I don’t always use chipotles but if  I have them in the pantry I do. One thing I always do is season and sear the roast (all sides) before putting it in the slow cooker. It’s an extra step but I think it makes a difference. Leftovers make great sandwiches or beef stroganoff or beef enchiladas.

Well, if you were actually having coffee with me, I’d probably ask you what your favorite coffee is. Do you have a Keurig? If so, what brand and flavor do you prefer? I like Paul Newman’s “Newman’s Own Organics Special Blend Extra Bold.” I add half and half to mine – no sugar or sweetener.  Do you choose a seasonal coffee? It’s still so hot here that the pumpkin flavors don’t sound quite right yet. Give me another week or so on that. 

Fill me in on at least one new thing or tell me what kind of coffee you’re drinking these days!

BellaMella Canvas

I ship out of state every week so if you see something you like, let me know. I use Paypal.

"Psalm 92:4" 8 x10 {$25 including s&h}

“Psalm 92:4″
8 x10
{$25 including s&h}

He Set Me Free outside

“He Set Me Free”
11 x 14
{35 including s&h}

"I Can" 11 x 14 {$34 including s&h}

“I Can”
11 x 14
{$34 including s&h}

“Songbirdies”

"Songbirdies" Made from hymn pages with a twine loop for hanging  {Sold in sets of 5 for $5 including postage}

“Songbirdies”
Made from hymn pages with a twine loop for hanging
{Sold in sets of 5 for $5 including postage}

 

"Songbirdies" can be added to your everyday decor of a touch of whimsy!

“Songbirdies” can be added to your everyday decor for a touch of whimsy!

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Courage Up!

 

He Set Me Free 8 x 10

 

Stop circling the same old mountain. Believe you are who God says you are. Be who God made you to be. Cast off that worn out coat of “can’t” and COURAGE up!

 

I’ve added a new page – BellaMella Canvas. You can check it out by clicking on “BellaMella Canvas” in the header. Currently I am offering a give-away as a “thank you” to those who have already purchased a BellaMella Canvas.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment on the BellaMella Canvas page.

2. Share the link to the BellaMella Canvas page on your facebook wall.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be offering a give-away of an 8 x 10 canvas available to anyone whether you’ve made a purchase or not. The only person ineligible for that give-away is the winner of next week’s canvas.

 

 

 

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BellaMella Canvas

What fun to design and paint! I’m filling orders, working on commissioned pieces and finding inspiration for new ideas most days of the week. My canvases are faith based – “faithspiration.” I enjoy drawing upon the old hymns I sang growing up in church – songs like, “Love Lifted Me,” “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus,” and more.
My journey through grief, grace and God’s amazing LOVE plays a large role in what goes on a canvas.

Canvas sizes: 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 12 x 24 and 16 x 20

Email me for more information on pricing and an idea you would like to see on a canvas.
My email: mdorsey@tampabay.rr.com  You can also friend me on facebook and keep up with new canvas designs there. Find me on facebook  here.

He Set Me Free - blog

Tis So Tweet - large

God With Us dove close upRejoice on red canvasYou Make Me Glad

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“BellaMella Canvas” – An Answer to My Prayer

Several weeks ago I began to pray and ask God for inspiration and a way to help out financially while still staying home. I need the flexibility of being able to help my dad while also having my schedule open for speaking opportunities. (I will be teaching the Bible sessions at a local women’s retreat this month and will be speaking at a women’s conference next spring.)

About two weeks ago I bought a canvas. I wanted to try out a new paint color I was going to use on a piece of furniture. Painting the canvas made me happy! So I painted another one…and another one. After posting a picture of one on facebook I began to get inquiries about purchasing my canvases. What a surprise! What a blessing! What a GOD!!!

With each blank canvas I pray and ask for inspiration and ideas on how to proceed. I pray before I begin and I pray as I work. Sometimes I will hear clear direction on certain aspects of what to do next. It’s kind of amazing! I feel like the Holy Spirit is partnering with me in the process. (Click on pics to enlarge.)

One of the ideas I was inspired to do is a series called the “HE” series.

“HE Leads Me”

I used actual hymn book pages from an old songbook I had to make the birds. The song is “He Leadeth Me!”

He leads me canvas

“HE Speaks to Me”

This is the first one I did in the “HE” series.

He Speaks to Me canvas floor pm

“HE Loves Me”

I like the way the heart turned out.

 

 

He Loves Me canvas

“Love Lifted Me”

As soon as I posted this pic (within 5 minutes) I sold it. This one looks better in real life. The light’s reflection is bouncing off a little weirdly. The idea for the figure came from Divine inspiration.

 

 

 

Love lifted me

“Light My Way”

This is the canvas that almost wasn’t. I worked several hours on this one because I just could not get satisfied with how it was looking. I was close to painting over the entire canvas. Finally, one change made the difference. I posted the picture not expecting interest in it but quickly I got a message that  this particular canvas was an answer to someone’s prayer. She shared with me that she had just prayed that God would “light a fire” under her and then my canvas showed up in her feed. The interesting thing about this one is I did not intend to paint the figure in the center. It just began to take shape and when I saw that happening, I was thrilled!

light my way canvas

This is a new venture for me and I do not know how long it will run but as long as God continues to inspire me I’ll keep to it. Each time I unwrap another blank canvas, I feel a bit of fear but I remind myself that I prayed for inspiration and a way to add to our family’s income. I must believe that God is leading me in this and that He will go before me and with me. I have to hush my fears and my insecurity. I have to quiet the voice that nags at me, “You don’t know what you’re doing. This is not any good.” I must instead take courage and be brave!

Don’t be afraid
to try something new.
to make mistakes.
to hush your inner critic.
to let go of looking “silly”.
Be BRAVE!

For there’s no adventure to be had nor fun to be found in being afraid. 

If you have been in my blog circle of friends since I first began blogging in 2008, you will recognize the name I have given my canvas art, “BellaMella Canvas”! Surely God has, in a sense, redeemed that name for me.

Is there something you’d like to try but fear holds you back? Hold God’s hand and give it a go! You’ll never know where He can take you if you don’t take a step of faith with Him.

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