Thursday, April 27, 2017

FREE Coloring Page Love at Home

I have another FREE coloring page for you today!

It comes from one of my favorite hymns:
There is beauty all around
When there's love at home;
There is joy in ev'ry sound
When there's love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on ev'ry side.
Time doth softly, sweetly glide
When there's love at home.

   If I'm being honest, peace has been a little illusive in our home lately. I have been stressed and struggling to let go of my own plans and projects and desires and give myself over to my actual life.  This is a constant struggle for me, and one I am working on.  Letting go is tough.

   Lately I have found myself quicker to anger than I ever thought possible. I never thought of myself as a person with a fierce temper, but lately I've been devastated at my frequent angry reactions to my children. And today I came across this perfect article that I'm convinced was written just for me.  The author and I have a lot in common (we're both homeschooling introverted Mamas with an INFJ personality type) and I had to pick my jaw off the floor when she described what lead her to becoming an angry mom. It described me exactly. I was incredibly inspired to read her story and to understand that I am not alone.

   As I strive for a little more love in my interactions, more peace in my life and more "joy in every sound", I hope this little coloring page will inspire you.  I've added mine to my scripture journal and plan to spend a little time reflecting on the message and how I can more fully find my happy-Mama groove again.

Just click ADD TO CART below to snag it for free.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My 100 Day Project-- 100 Days of Embroidery

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but wanted to share some more details here. My 100 Day project has started! I am such a huge believer in the power of habit and working toward a goal daily. That's what I love about my daily sketchbook practice and daily scripture study. I spend a few minutes each day in my sketchbook,  or scripture journal, and over time it adds up to a body of work.  I love to see my progression and the development of my style over the years.  

Shorter projects, like a 100 day project, are so worthwhile for making a dent into something you've always wanted to do/make/explore. 100 days seems long while you're in it, but it really goes pretty quickly. And it's amazing what you can accomplish with dedication in that amount of time.  Is there something you've been meaning to get to? A creative project that you keep thinking about and wanting to make time for, but you've just never gotten around to it? Might I suggest your own 100 Day project?  The time is going to pass anyway. 

I have had to make some changes from my original plan for this project. I'm an ambitious and optimistic person and set my goal way too high for the time and ability I have in this season of life. My original intent was to complete 100 embroidery Hoops in 100 days. And I've come to realize that for me that's just not possible unless I want to drop everything else I'm doing, and that's not really a possibility. So I've changed my goal to just work on embroidery everyday for one hundred days. 

This is MUCH more doable and will allow me to make progress on all the pattern ideas I have swirling around in my head. I'm nearly done with my waves pattern-- it's taken quite a while but I'm really happy with how it looks. It will be available as a pattern invention in my shop soon. Jason designed and 3D printed some sweet mini hoops (1.5 inches) for me and I love how cute and tiny they are. I'm excited to see where this project takes me and look forward to showing you some more updates along the way.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Be Kind But Be Fierce"--Free Winston Churchill Coloring Page

"Be kind but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change, for this is your time." Winston Churchill

I absolutely love this quote from Wintson Churchill. This coloring page began as a doodle in my sketchbook and when I shared a picture of this sketchbook spread on Instagram  I was a little surprised at how much people loved it. Because I think it carries such a powerful message, I wanted to share a copy with you.  Just click ADD TO CART below to grab the free download.

The hand illustrated image includes lots of intricate detail and the finished product will make a beautiful addition to your wall.  Print on any kind of paper you'd like and fill in with paint, watercolor, pastels, crayons, colored pencils or whatever strikes your fancy.

 I've also included a second page with the quote at 1/4 size.  A perfect for handouts for youth groups!

I'd love to see your finished products! Tag me @alivelyhope on Instagram so I can see what you've been up to.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately

The One in a Million Boy

Loved this book.  It's one where I have a hard time knowing how much to tell you, any description I give just doesn't do it justice.  It's a sweet, well-told story of an unexpected friendship and parenting a child who is "different".  It's about relationships and not taking others for granted.  Definitely one of my top favorites of this year.

Peter and the Starcatchers

We have a tradition of giving tickets to a play as Christmas gifts to both my parents and my husband's parents.  We make it a big group activity with Jason and me, our big kids and both sets of grandparents attending all together.  (It's so fun!) The play for last Christmas was Peter and the Starcatcher and we decided to read the book as a family before we attended the play in March.  As you can expect from Dave Barry, it was hilarious and delightful.  We all really enjoyed this take on how Peter Pan came to be Peter Pan.   (The play was pretty different from the book, but it was highly enjoyable as well)

The Handmaid's Tale

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was terrifying.  It paints a very realistic-seeming picture of a world completely changed, in just one generation. On the other hand, it was a fascinating look at human nature and self-preservation.  While I was in the middle of the story, I set it aside for a while and came back to it after a few weeks.  I'm glad I did, and I especially liked the last chapter.  It was the perfect way to wrap up this novel.

Hillbilly Elegy

This memoir was absolutely engrossing.  I finished it in less than two days and have found myself thinking about it often since then.  It gave me deep insights into our extended family and their behavior, which has seemed so foreign and bizarre to me in the past.  So, so interesting.

Stranger in the Woods

The subtitle of this book is The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit.  When I saw this as a choice for Book of the Month Club, I didn't even read the descriptions of the other books.  I knew this was right up my alley.  I took it on a camping trip to Southern California and it was perfect to read at the beach.  My 12 year old daughter ran out of reading material halfway through the trip (horrors!) and stole this from me each time I set it down.  She really enjoyed it as well.  

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

I'm not sure how many times I've read this book, but it never disappoints.  We listened to it on our drive home from California, and my kids loved it as well.  Even our very busy 3 year old listened intently.  A beautiful story, well told.

The Kite Fighters

I read this aloud for part of our study of the middle ages.  This book is about two brothers in middle ages Korea and their love of kite fighting and an unexpected friendship with their King.  My kids begged for just one more chapter on multiple occasions.  The mark of a good read aloud!

The Crossroads of Should and Must

I read this for a little inspiration since I'm participating in The 100 Day Project again this year. (I'm going to stitch 100 embroidery hoops over the next 100 Days or so).  It's a bright, beautifully illustrated and inspiring book.  Especially inspiring if you're on the path of figuring out your creative life and the projects you want to pursue.  I can see myself re-reading this every so often.

Howl's Moving Castle

This is a fun middle-grade magical novel.  I picked it up without knowing anything about it, and it was a fun read. Or rather, listen; I listened to the audiobook.  Nothing life-changing, but entertaining and funny. Sometimes we all need books like that, right?

What have you been reading lately?
Head to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more quick book reviews.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Five Things for Friday: 100 Day project, New Scripture Journal, Easter Printables

1)  I've joined in with #the100dayproject on Instagram again this year.  This time around, I'm focusing on embroidery and my goal is to complete 100 embroidery hoops in 100 days.  (I intentionally started a little late since we were on vacation during the first couple of days of the project, but I plan to catch up soon.) You can follow along on Instagram and if any of the hoops strike your fancy send me a message, many of them are for sale.

2) I've recently started a new scripture journal. I'm using this sketchbook that my Mama gave me for my birthday. It's enormous and I'm delighted with it.  It's big enough that I can paste in a full 8.5X11 sheet of paper without needed to cut it down at all.  (It's the one with the doorknob in it below.)  I'll be sharing more of this soon, but for now just know that I love it.

 3) Just in case you haven't seen my Easter themed free printables you can find them here:

Easter Study Journal with intricate coloring pages.
Free He is Risen coloring page
Free Jesus Christ Printable Quiet Book

4) We have a sitter! Miss Edith is sitting fairly well on her own.  She's still a bit tippy and unsure of herself, but before long she'll be a full-fledged upright little person.  I also just discovered a tiny little tooth poking through her gums this morning.  We call it her "toofer", for obvious reasons. 

5) Thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time to fill out my very quick blog survey.  I'd love to hear from you, if you haven't yet.  It's super quick and will help me to know what types of posts you'd most like to see here.

Happy Weekend!
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