January 19, 2013

Foreign money frame

In a sense, this is probably one of the most expensive crafts I've ever done. It is MADE of money! har har har.

Cole and I have both spent a lot of time abroad, he serving as a missionary, and I as an exchange student. Along the way we collected a ton of different kinds of money, especially coins. I think it's pretty cool! I love seeing the differences and most countries use their money as a medium for showing off their culture and history. The problem is, I had my foreign money in a jar, and Cole had his (don't know why...) in an old cleaned out frosting container. In a box. In the closet. Not exactly convenient for viewing!

I have been trying over the past few years to get out of the habit of keeping things just to keep them. Sure, it's fine to have souvenirs and memorabilia but what's the point if you never see it and it just takes up storage space? I like having things that I can use or display. So, I pulled out our foreign money and an old frame and put this together. It's a quick project, and for me, this is step one in figuring out how to display

Honestly, it's so simple that I really don't feel that it needs a tutorial. I've seen similar projects on pinterest (originally seen here). I didn't want something quite as big, as I plan on using this for a bigger gallery wall display. I also didn't want mine to have a background so I used a floating frame. I like just seeing the wall behind the coins, plus, this way if you want to you can pull it down and flip it over to see the other sides. Bonus! (You can kind of see the glue, so I wouldn't say you can hang it in either direction, but you can still see what the coins look like).

All I did was find my favorite coins, arrange them on one of the pieces of glass so that they fit how I wanted them to, then I very carefully applied a drop of Gorilla Glue to each coin to hold it in place. Because of the thickness of the coins, you'll probably have to improvise on how you secure the back of the frame.

I have anxiety about hanging things in our new house. What if I don't like it and I have holes in the wall that I can't fix, because we don't have paint? And I can't match the paint and we have to repaint the whole room and then we might as well repaint the whole house?! I'm trying to get over it....

Anyway, that's why there aren't any pictures of this one hanging up yet. That's still in the planning stage.

January 17, 2013

How will you serve?

Today I'm grateful for volunteering and service! I'm grateful that I am well, and that I have the ability to give back to my community.

from http://www.serve.gov/mlkday.asp

I learned about National Day of Service three years ago when I was serving as an Americorps VISTA member. The office where I worked was not on holiday, but as Americorps members, we were not to come in to work that day. Instead of using the holiday as a day to lay on the couch, however, we were challenged to make MLK day "a day on, not a day off". We were challenged to find volunteer projects and serve our community as a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. As a VISTA, you are essentially a full-time volunteer...so I have to admit that I wasn't all that into it. Another VISTA volunteer and I got up early that morning to help out at an MLK day breakfast and speaking event. We helped set tables and arrange food, but for most of our time there we were able to sit back and listen as community members were honored and Dr. King's message was echoed. It was a beautiful event, and by the end I was so glad that I had been able to take time off from my regular work to be present in this celebration. I probably didn't make much of a contribution to the event that day, but the event had a big impact on me as a volunteer.

I have to admit that since that year, I haven't given much thought to the National Day of Service. I guess for the last two years it hasn't really been on my radar. I imagine that part of the reason for this is that my office isn't off for MLK day. Usually, the Day of Service is on a Monday, "a day on, not a day off" for those who do get that day off from work. This year, the official day is Saturday the 19th, and for some reason, I have been getting a lot of reminders. I have been getting Americorps alumni emails about the day and have felt the push to see what's going on in my area.

I love the idea of a day of community service as a memorial to Dr. King. What better way to honor his memory and move closer to his vision of community? Go here to listen to or read some of Dr. King's words. Get inspired.

So I've decided to get involved. I don't have a whole day to dedicate, in fact I don't have much time at all this Saturday. But I know that I (and you!) can do something! So this Saturday, I'll be headed to the Red Cross to donate blood.

Do you want to find a way to serve this weekend? Click here for more information about the National Day of Service. The search function on that web page didn't work for me...so in case it doesn't work for you either, try here to find out what is happening in your community.  Serve.gov is a great resource any time of the year to find ways to volunteer in your community! Get out. Do good. Feel good.

January 8, 2013

Christmas safety

Well, shoot! I had plans to post about some of the things that have been keeping me busy recently. But I'm having technical difficulties with my computer...it won't recognize my camera! So in the meantime, I'll just share a little something from the pictures I've already transferred (because what's a blog without some pictures?)

My mom has always been creative and thoughtful in her gift-giving. She's a good listener and observer and always seems to find things that you need or like that you never thought to ask for.

This year, after reading this post, my mom surprised Cole and I with these!

Indoor and outdoor safety goggles! A perfect gift, as I have quite a few project plans for the upcoming year (aren't you excited?).

I've been checking out some plans on Ana White's website and I think I'm ready to jump in.

There is the small matter of school starting again, but that can't stop me!