Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Sweet Kitchen: Loving My Home Well

Last night, my husband finishing hanging all of our hand painted kitchen cabinets. I squealed in delight at the finished project. We've lived in our home for 6.5 years and for the majority I had brass door knobs and off white paint. The older range (what I like to call my vintage gas oven) had stainless steel which clashed like cymbals with the other hard ware. It wasn't an ugly kitchen by any means, but it wasn't pulled together nicely either. That's often the custom in old homes. When one thing goes, you just replace that item and it's often a hodge podge look. My kitchen also had bright white appliances in an off white cabinet kitchen that had gotten pretty banged up over time. Not to mention that my kids had also used one door in their toddler art masterpieces that I couldn't get off no matter how hard I scrubbed. With no paint to just touch up those areas, we had no choice. It was time to freshen the space by painting those bad boys. 
I chose Valspar oil based satin for the cabinets. Found at Lowes. The hinges and hardware we found on Amazon. We used the foam rollers for cabinets and doors and I cut, while Hart rolled. It didn't take us nearly as long, even though it isn't a project we would like to repeat anytime soon! And my husband certainly doesn't want to have to hang cabinet doors for a living! Ha!

It's funny how some things take you years to get to. For so long I think we had put off painting the cabinets, because we thought it was going to take us forever to get the project done. It was done in a week. We've been praying through selling our home and moving closer to family, and that motivation has gotten a lot of needed projects crossed off our list.
But the funny thing is, it isn't about selling our home, or fixing it up for someone else, or trying to get top dollar, I realized that this home of mine, these cabinets finally painted are a reflection of who I am and the order and beauty I crave in my home. I've realized that even if we don't stay here that long to enjoy it, it was nice to get a project I've been wanting to do done. The satisfaction of that accomplishment means a lot in and of itself.

It's true, that "love gathers here". It's so cliche and cheesy and yet is my heart in my home. It's what I want for my kitchen as I prepare delicious meals for my family and love creating that beauty in the ordinary. 

 It's just nice to walk into a space and say "Ahhh, my work here is done." Somehow I imagine that's how God must have felt at the beginning of time, when he rested on the 7th day after creating such beauty in his creation. While I am no way trying to compare myself to being God, I just appreciate that feeling of making your space relaxing and a joy for you family to enjoy, whatever it is or however it looks. And I think I can see now how your space, your home does take time to create, and not to be frustrated with the slowness of it. It's the slowness that causes us to love our homes well.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finding Contentment & Joy

My church asked me to speak and give my testimony at our women's retreat last month. At first, I was kind of excited and felt like God wanted me to share my story. Then, the more and more I thought about it, the anxiety of it crept in and some nervousness and those feelings of inadequacy raged.

The theme of the women's retreat was CONTENTMENT.

And believe me when I say, that contentment is probably my biggest struggle area in life. Everything leads back to this issue, which is of course, precisely why God would want ME to share about it. You must love how he uses things like this to pull us our of our comfort zone and more into His likeness.

When I said yes I focused on this topic even more and I've realized something.

The ONLY thing stopping me from living a content and thankful life is ME. 

Often times, I convince myself that IF I had XYZ, then I would be happier. IF my house looked Pinterest perfect. IF my child did not have a rare disease or at the very least behaved. IF finances were never a worry. IF. IF. IF.

And the truth is, maybe for a little while, but at the end of the day, if I don't draw my complete joy and find myself in Christ, time and time again, then I will always be lacking.

Before the retreat, I had a personal melt down.

Being a mom. Being a wife. Dealing with broken relationships. Staying in the house taking care of sick babies. Dealing with constant clutter and never getting things done. Dirt. And mess. And sickness. And days melting into days that all blurred of the same mundane stuff. It was enough piled on top of each other to have a giant pity party.

And then it didn't get better. It got worse, because instead of leaving the mess of utter chaos of my household for a little while and getting a break, I ended up at the doctor with the baby. Again.

I was done. Done. Done. Done.

I kept asking God why he would have ME get up there and share about this. Maybe I could just call them and tell them I've changed my mind. My life is too much of a wreck to talk to anyone else about something I don't even do well.

The truth is, at the end of the day, that my JOY is in CHRIST ALONE.

Life is going to pile up. It is going to feel like it's too much to bear. And living life with Christ will never be easy or picture perfect or always great. The whole point of the gospel is that God sent his only Son to live that perfect life for US, because ours is SO messed up. We will fail time and time again, but Jesus will never fail. We will throw big giant pity parties and God will restore that JOY, but not in things or stuff that will always fade, but in the treasure of who he is. We have to deal with this crap, but we don't have to do it alone. We can trust in God and walk through the muck onto dry land with him holding our hand.

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, for I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:10

God provides us with His strength even on our weekest days.

No matter where we are right now, God is IT! He is our beauty and our everything and even though I will have to repeat this to myself every single breath I take, I find my contentment, because of Christ. Let's gaze upon Him. And Him alone.Particularly as we go into this Easter weekend!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Master Bath DIY

So, one thing I would like to challenge myself to do is start blogging a little more. I miss the writing and the sharing aspect of it, the creative outlet for myself. Not necessarily most of the other things that come along with the blog world though!  But I do miss writing here to an extent and not just sharing pretty things, but my heart!

I've been loving breathing new life into our home lately where and when I can! I just feel like loving my home is a way that I can show the beauty of God in my every day! We are on a tight budget, but a can of paint and a new accessory can add a lot to changing up a boring space! Our master bathroom is a double sink 2 piece bath! It's strange that there is no shower or tub in the master, but this is the type of thing a new home buyer overlooks when purchasing their first home! I sewed some simple curtains from a navy and white striped full sheet! Super inexpensive and easy when hung with clips.
Here is the BEFORE! I have NO idea why I painted this bathroom yellow when we moved in, with that vintage-y pale yellow tile! It was just WAY too yellow!!! I think I just didn't have a clear vision for how to work with that pale yellow tile, so I just did YELLOW EVERYWHERE! Bad idea!
And some progress (above). Then, after some white paint!
The curtain really marries the whole thing! We have navy blue counters in here, so it all works now versus screaming! Weird blue counters! Yellow walls everywhere!
The easy thing about just hanging up a full sheet cut right down the middle (and hemmed), is you get a nice puddle! I really like how it makes it feel so elegant.

We plan to upgrade the sink faucets to a bronze to match the light fixtures and the knobs on the cabinets soon. I think maybe adding some molding to the mirror would be cool, too, eventually!
Overall, for trying to work with what I have and being content with it, I love how this little space now works and makes me happy! 
The towels and the fun mirror above the toilet are from Home Goods. I think I spent a total of like $40 for the mirror and towels. I already had the white paint and the random striped sheet, now curtains!
Anyways! Just wanted to share how going white in here totally changed the space! Hmm... what else can I paint white!?!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Girl's Sew Classy Sewing Club - Children's Sewing Classes in Columbia, SC

The 1st Girl's Sew Classy Sewing Club was FANTASTIC! I absolutely adored teaching these young girl's how to sew! We made heart shaped pockets which they sewed onto t-shirts AND heart felt banners for Valentine's Day! They had SO much fun!
If you are looking for children's sewing classes in Columbia, SC, please email me at Vanessa (at) DesignsBySessa (dot) com. I currently have 1 space left in the St. Andrews Sewing class which is 1x month on the 4th Monday of the month and I am currently filling a Downtown class which is just beginning to fill and I have several openings there. The Downtown class will be 1x month on the 2nd Tuesday from February to May. Both classes run for 1.5hrs and cost $25/class + your own supplies.

As this year goes along, I will offer some more adult Sew Classy sewing classes as well, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Angry Bird Star Wars Jam Jams!

This Christmas I really wanted to make Cai some pajamas he would love! Angry Bird Star Wars flannel. Perfect! I don't think I have actually sewn clothing for anyone since earlier this year! So, this ended up being a super fun project for me!
After I was done, he said, "But, Mommy, what about Judah?!" So back to my sewing machine I went figuring out how to draft him up some matching PJs with the small bits of leftover fabric and no pattern! Cai was ecstatic when he got some, too! 
 I ended up not having enough to do another whole button down pj top, so I went with a raglan style. I didn't have a pattern, so I just roughly drew one up. If this was anything other than pajamjams, I would totally scratch it, but for pjs. It's just fine!
 The licensed fabric is from Jo-Anns and the grey knit is actually from Wal-mart! It's actually a super soft, almost velour type feeling knit. I can't wait to make myself something in it!
 The shoulders are funny for a raglan, because I had to gather a bit, which made them slightly feminine, in my opinion, but whatevs. It's a baby and he is adorbs!
 I used Simplicity pattern 6746 for Cai's pajamas in a size 5. I love the green buttons to match the DEATH STAR!!! Duh nuh nuh nun nuuun nuhhh....
 They are such sweet boys! I am glad they match this Christmas! It felt so good to sew!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! XOXO!