Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

Ok, well not really out of nothing.  I guess it’s more like something made without purchasing anything, but that is far less catchy.  Moving on.


I couple weeks ago I found my new favorite blog.  This blogger, Kelly, is a stay-at-home mom with five children and they don’t have a ton of money or a large home and she seems so practical and down-to-earth.  Just my style.  There was a really interesting post from this past February where she really wanted to do something crafty but there were no funds in her craft budget.  Undeterred, Kelly went on to create something amazing with various odds and end around her home.


The result?  These beautiful jewelry holders.  Isn’t that so creative?


Well anyway, at the end of that post she challenged readers to create something without having to buy any supplies.  I was really inspired and set off to create my own masterpiece.


My first attempt was shameful, at best.  I wanted to make a mini wreath out of a plastic scarf ring (the ones they come on when you buy them) and pieces of an old dishcloth.  I saw a picture and had really high hopes.  But when my husband saw this work-in-progress he proclaimed that it resembled a kitten’s chew toy.  Talk about a killjoy, sheesh.  But into the trash it went.


I guess I had sort of given up on this creative notion until this past weekend.


A lovely evening spent with the girls and female leaders from my church youth group resulted in three empty hot chocolate tins.  I was about to throw them in the recycling bin, but could not bring myself to do it.  I am kind of a sucker for things that contain other things.  And so I decided these tins would be repurposed.


A couple of brainstorms later and these three cans were on their way to a fantastic makeover.


These are the tins.  

I taped off the bottoms to keep the silver edges.

They look like perfect flour and sugar canisters.

I wrapped the canisters in scrap fabric and tied them with brown grosgrain ribbon.

I really love the final product! 

So that is my “something from nothing” experience.  What can you make out of items you already have at home?   Take on the challenge … it could be fun!  
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  • Lauren - love it!!! great use for the tins and you did a beautiful job! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

Just this past Wednesday night in youth group the worship leader, my darling husband, introduced this song.  I have heard this song many times on the radio and I really, really love it.  But on Wednesday I saw it in a new light.   Several loved ones are going through some pretty difficult times right now.  It is very hard to watch; sometimes I wish I could take over their troubles instead.  But alas.  My part in their battle is to use the almighty weapon of prayer to fight off the enemy.   But there’s a catch.   Praying for someone doesn’t automatically mean their problems, issues, and trials go away.  God most certainly hears our prayers for our loved ones, but there is a key concept very perfectly stated in James 1:2-4 that I sometimes forget: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Ah.  So there it is.  Sometimes we can pray for something or someone for days, weeks, months, even years before the prayer is answered.  In that case, it may seem discouraging.  But draw encouragement from that passage in James.  The individual is going through a trial that God wants them to endure in order to conform them to the image of His Son.  And in the end, they will come forth as gold (Job 23:10). So, about that song.  Here are the lyrics to the chorus: Oh My God,  He will not delay,  My refuge and strength always.   I will not fear,  His promise is true,  My God will come through always.  Always.   God has perfect timing.  He is not delaying the positive outcome of my loved ones’ trials.  He has a purpose for their pain, and that purpose is to make them complete, lacking nothing.  He will not delay, His promise is true.  Always.   That song was such an encouragement to me to keep praying and trusting in the Lord’s plan for those I love.  And I can trust in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 that God’s plans are only to give us a bright future and great hope.  

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A couple of weeks ago I was feeling really down about my wardrobe.  The last two-ish years have resulted in the inability to add new pieces to my normal wardrobe because I was either a. pregnant or b. postpartum-ly chubby.  And the current year and my current financial situation has basically brought my personal clothing budget down to zip.  I was just feeling like everything in my closet had been worn a thousand times and was no longer terribly trendy.  Really it was an inappropriate woe-is-me attitude; there were plenty of things to wear, I just wanted something new.  Any outing was precluded with me standing in front of an open closet deliberating over an outfit, and that habit was really starting to annoy me.  


Then one morning I was doing my devotions and wouldn’t you know it, there was a passage that reached out of the Bible and literally smacked me across the face:


Matthew 6:25 – Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?


Yikes.  So that was the end of that.  I decided right then and there to give my wardrobe worries over to the Lord.  After all, there were (and are!) plenty of lovely clothes in my closet.  And whenever the enemy tried to bring me back to those sinful thoughts I was having, I either thought of that verse in Matthew, or Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with the things you have.  Thankfully, the Lord used those verses to really change my heart.   


About a week after I decided to give this particular worry over to the Lord, I received a facebook message from a friend saying she had some hand-me-downs to pass on.  Even before she gave me the bag, I just knew there would be something in there for me.  I felt like it was the Lord’s little gift to me after teaching me something about contentment.  


So just for you curious types out there, I was able to add one cream-colored lightweight sweater, one beautifully embellished lavendar tank top, one bold cobalt blue tank top, and one bright pink flowery sundress to my wardrobe.  And quite honestly, every time I see those items, I think of my much-needed lesson in contentment, and the Lord’s goodness to meet even the wants of one of His beloved children.  


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  • Darla - you always look lovely my dear!! So glad you got some new items to spice up your look:-)ReplyCancel

  • pj7 - I love it when the Lord shows conspicuously up just for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, very encouraging!
    You seem very "crafty", why not use some old articles of clothing to make something new with the fabric? I bet you could find some How-to's on you tube. You could look at sites like Etsy or store catalogs on line like Anthropology for inspiration.ReplyCancel

There is a tiny shelf in my living room.  It was designed to belong in a bathroom, I purchased it originally as a small pantry shelf to fit inside my teeny weeny utility room, and now it is being used to add a little prettiness and organization to my home.  When I sit in the rocking chair in Micah’s room, I have a perfect view of this little shelf and I can honestly say it makes me happy.  Here is a picture of it so you can see for yourself:

Isn’t it quaint?  I love the monochromaticness … monochromaticity … monochromatic color scheme with the small pops of green.  And I really love the knick-knacks on it too.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what to put on a shelf, but I like what’s going on here.  I thought I’d share, in case you are looking for some shelf ideas.  From top to bottom:



The tissue box is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and while I don’t remember the price, I did use one of those 20% off coupons, so kudos to me.  Oh wait!  Actually I think it was like $7.  Whew!  That one came from the archives.  Moving on …


The plant is from my mom.  She has such a green thumb and when we first moved into our home, she was always giving me small house plants to decorate with.  Four years later, this is the only one that has survived.  Me, a green thumb?  Not so much.  And the planter is from Michael’s.  Not sure the price for real this time.  



I think this is my favorite shelf.  The little fake plant (much easier to keep alive for non-green thumbs like me!) is from Michael’s.  I bought it on sale for $2.50.  In hindsight, I think I should have bought a couple more.  


The votive holder is one of several I bought at Pier 1.  I think they were on clearance for under $1.  And it’s worth mentioning that I have been meaning to put a candle in there. 


That small vase is my newest addition.  I ran into a CHKD thrift store recently to drop off a bag of donations and soon found myself perusing the china shelves and found this little beauty for 78 cents, thank you very much.  And I love it!  

I wasn’t sure where I purchased this lantern from, but the bottom still has the TJMaxx sticker on it so … haha.  And by the way, it was $6.99.


This lovely display was my first step toward a monochromatic home.  I absolutely adore the clean and serene feel of brownish-tan tones.  The decorative balls are from TJMaxx, all of them for $5.  The vase was from Wal-Mart and I am pretty sure it was only $3.  And the tile is leftover from when we tiled our bathroom.  And by we I mean my husband.  


I forgot to take a picture of the tall cabinet door, so for this little paragraph, please refer to the first picture.  I store my current reading and project material inside that cabinet.  I am contemplating decorating it with a little DIY wreath that I found on this blog, but need to shop for the materials.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  And if I make any more changes to my sweet little shelf, I’ll let you know too!  

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  • KayeMargaret - I am glad I am not the only one who is brought joy by furniture. I frequently sit in my room or living-room looking around and loving my furniture and how it looks.

    That is an adorable shelf by the way, and the way that you have it decorated looks like it is straight out of a magazine!ReplyCancel

A couple of weekends ago we were at a friend’s home celebrating a birthday and a promotion with a lovely evening of laughter and feasting.  Josh and I were playing outside with Micah on the trampoline when our dear friend, Chani, offered to take some family photos for us.  It was pretty impromptu, but they turned out absolutely stunningly.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Love, love LOVE every single one.  Thanks again, Chani! 

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