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God The Creator

There is something BIG on my heart…

I know this blog isn’t supposed to be heavy or controversial or political or religious, but I am all of the above. And on top of that, my family is going through some tough trials.

Without giving too much background about the situation, I will state that my nephew (sister-in-laws 2 month old baby) is at Stanford Children’s hospital fighting for his life day in and day out since he was 4 days old. As I type this he is facing another huge mountain and our only hope of rescue is Jesus!

My nephew, Cruz, was born with high ammonia levels (caused by enzyme deficiency). It has thus gone on to compromise many of his organs; lungs, heart, kidneys, brain and liver. The hope is to receive a liver transplant from Stanford where they specialize in this surgery and rare enzyme condition. However the road to transplant has been very shaky. Point blank, Cruz has been under attack and the enemy wanted to end his life on day 4. He has tried to end it again and again, where the doctors have told his mother, “we don’t expect him to make it through the night” several times over. Yet, our God is greater and has continued his hand of protection over Cruz. But that isn’t the point of this post.

The point is; God is the CREATOR! I’m not a new Christian, I have been a Christian since I was a child and a follower of Jesus all through my teen and adult life. So the concept that “God created the world…” is not news to me. But lately I have had a new perspective on what exactly it means to me, that God is, in fact, the creator of all things. Being a naturally creative person myself, creativity has always seemed like a ‘given’. In fact it is strange to me when people are so blown away by my creativity. My first thought is generally “it’s not that hard..?” So, I have never really batted an eye at the thought that God created the world and everything in it, it was just a ‘given’… right?

Yet, this exact concept has recently stopped me in my tracks. When I start a new creative project (whether planning a birthday party or designing an interior space) I emerge myself so immensely. Every single little minute detail is done a specific way for a certain purpose. And then, in my excitement and pride I reveal my design (usually first to my husband, who does not share the creative bone) and his response is a very generic “cool”. I then feel this need to justify my design. Explain to him each little detail that I created, why I created it and why it is so perfect! He understands the process that I explain but still doesn’t grant me the fulfillment of my creation with enough enthusiasm. This is generally the case with most people that you design for. They can appreciate the result, the final product, but do not quite understand the process, the reason, the labor of love that goes into every, single detail! God created the world in 6 days. And on the 7th day he rested. He looked at his creation in awe and marveled at each little detail and how perfect it was! I love knowing that God created people in his image. I completely identify with God creating the world and then looking at what He created and appreciating what only He can fully appreciate. Similarly to my husband the athlete, God is the ultimate athlete! He would win every Gold Metal in all the Olympic games, can play every position in every sport, better than all the best! And for athletic people (which I am not) it is pretty amazing to understand that God created you with those specific talents because they are all a part of Him! Wow!

Having kids helped open my eyes to a new perspective on God the Creator as well. Once a person has aided in creating life, nothing else you create quite compare to it’s magnitude. I look at my children multiple times a day in awe. “I created these little munchkins” I think. But really God created them. He breathed life into their nostrils. He presented them to my husband and I. He created them first in His image and then in the image of us (the parents). So if my daughters turn out to be creative types like myself or athletic types like my husband we can be in awe that they were created to be like us, but we can be in Bigger awe that they were created to be like Him!

Many of you (out there in the bloggersphere) who do not know this God, this Jesus, that I write about might be wondering, ‘then how could God create my nephew Cruz. Why was Cruz created with these missing enzymes?’ Honestly, I DO NOT KNOW! But what I do know is that God does not make mistakes! When he created Cruz, he created him with those missing enzymes for a purpose. Like I said, when you are a creative type you do not do things, “just because” or by accident. So I know for a FACT, that when you are the Creator of the Universe, there is ZERO mistake!

My beautiful sister in law Brittney is also a VERY creative person. She is probably more specific to every little detail than I am. The labor of love she has over her creations and designs is beyond comparison. It is no wonder that God gave Cruz to her. Because her understanding of God’s unique creation in Cruz has carried her through this heart wrenching situation with more grace and understanding than I wish I could have in a lifetime! Her faith in God’s promises is unyielding. She has held tight to the Word of the Lord rather than the word of the doctors. When the doctors projected Cruz’s life would not continue beyond 4 days, she believed that God created him to Live, to prosper, to testify to the grace, love and power of Jesus! And here we are 2 months later, still trudging through the valley of death, clinging to The Good News. News that Jesus died, so that we can have life and life abundantly! I believe in the deepest depths of my soul, that Cruz will live a full and healthy life here on earth! I believe that Jesus is with Cruz and his miraculous works in Cruz’ little body have just begun. I believe in the promises of God’s creation, in Jesus’ salvation, and in the faith of a mother and the community that has gathered around her in steadfast prayer and hope!

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

-Psalms 23

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

-Psalm 91

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty,darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

-Genesis 1

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Designing your HOME when it’s not your home.

Its a new year! One of my resolutions (which I hope not to break too soon) is to blog more often, twice a week to be exact! This might mean you will be hearing more of me!

So, to kick off my first post of the new year, I am going to share my design plans for our next move, into a small town home. The Living space downstairs is quite small, which challenges me to think creatively so that I can a.)maximize space b.)make the space “look” bigger c.)find creative ways to add storage for all of our junk (namely kids toys). The other obstacle with rentals is the subject of painting walls. Luckily we found a place where it is allowed, however even if it weren’t allowed I would probably paint them anyway and then just paint them back upon moving. Of course you would only want to make a decision like that if you were planning on staying in the rental for more than a year or 2.

This floor plan shows you the limited living space we have to work with and my initial floor plan with our existing furniture and some new additions… hope my husband approves!

Floor Plan ViewI drew up this floor plan before getting exact measurements, and it is actually smaller (less wide). Luckily my layout will still work!

As you can see it is an L shape, mostly open floor plan, layout. Along the back wall are windows and sliding glass doors to the patio, which makes the layout even trickier as there is little usable wall space. I love myself a challenge!

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Upon approach into the main living space, you can see a fireplace on the center of the back wall. To keep it a focal point (although it is in a very odd location) I decided to put the dining table there, flanked on either side by some awesome DIY, black and white striped Wing-back chairs (on the top of my project list). This give the cozy, lounging feel of a fireplace while also serving a function – Dining! In order to make the view as grand, trendy, awesome as I could, I decided some bright, teal colored ottomans as the other 2 seats at the table would bring the perfect splash of color to pop off of the black and white general scheme. The upholstered ottomans also bring visual interest down to the floor plane, and again purposefully utilize space since it is so limited.

Hanging above the fireplace will be a large fashion print. I liked the one shown (zgallerie art) because it had the gold tones which I utilized throughout the space. Both sets of windows and doors on the sides of the fire place have floor length white velvet curtains. The velvet although white will add luxury to the space and the white keeps the space feeling fresh, clean and open- all important in small space design! The lighter and brighter, the better!

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Another view of the back wall.

Now, for the main living area, the biggest obstacle is always, ‘where to place the tv’. Personally, I am not a fan of having a giant TV as a focal point in any room. In general I think of it as an eye sore. Yet, it has to be practical and comfortable so the tv has to go… Somewhere!

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Spot it now? Around the corner from your initial view point upon walking in the room, the tv is perfectly placed. Somewhat out of sight but still easily viewed from both the couch and striped wing-back chairs. Mounting the TV on the wall is a good solution in our case, because we have minimal TV accessories, which means minimal wires running down your wall. Placing the TV closer to the counter surface helps hide some of the cords a bit better. The teal antique console table, is a table that my mom gave me and I painted. It is the perfect accent for the room, with a historical flare to boot! Under the console are 2 small storage ottomans. These hold a great double function as they are storage (for kids toys, blankets, etc) as well as extra seating when entertaining.

My sofa is a neutral, grey, squared arm sofa from Zgallerie that goes well with simple changes and updates in any decor. I chose to center it on the side wall, to keep the room open and allow a “hallway” of sorts along the other edge of the room. Flanking the sofa are ikea end tables with hammered gold lamps and beveled trey mirrors on the wall. The lamps and mirrors help reflect light and give the illusion that the space is larger. It took me a while to figure out what to put on the wall above the sofa, and between the 2 mirrors, and I finally landed on an idea (shown in last photo). I have some $1 gold plate charges that I thought would be a nice accent to hang. The metallic ties in nicely with the metallic of the lamps and isn’t too graphic or overwhelming in the space.

As for the wall color, I stuck with a light, neutral tan. I wanted to keep the space feeling as open and big as possible and dark colors accomplish the opposite. Yet, I thought the wall color alone didn’t have quite enough interest. So I loved the idea of painting the wall 3/4 of the way up and leaving the top section white. This is another illusion/trick that makes the ceiling feel taller- great for small spaces!

Every corner of a room can be space well used or space wasted. In a small space, you can’t take any chances of leaving corners under designed. So the corner you see above has some square, corner wall shelves. I thought these were a simple and elegant way to add much needed storage. Spaced appropriately, they can hold square baskets, vases, books, or other nik-naks deemed important!

A neutral area rug on the floor helps define the living space and hallway path. It is topped with an oval, mirrored coffee table. Again the mirror helps to bounce the light around the room and make it feel larger as it reflects the white expanse of ceiling.

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Now looking back the other direction into what is a very small eating area: I already addressed that the dining table has been pulled into the center of the 2 “rooms” to serve dual purposes, but it can also be expanded into the eating area if more guests are present. I fancied up the back wall with wallpaper! I love wallpaper, but I love it sparingly! I love patterns like this bleached barnwood, but too much of it could look a little wacky or over the top! But here, on this small span of wall, it allows the perfect combination of rustic and chic.Plus, the white color of the pattern blends in with the overall decor and isn’t overpowering. On the wall is our tall china hutch, with 2 painted, silver, x-back chairs on either side. The silver chairs are actually my typical dining chairs, and I have 4, but with limited space they can serve other purposes. Pulled up against the wall here, they are out of the way and still a showpiece. And they become functional again when a dinner party of more than 4 is present. Lastly (not pictured) I have 2 beaded, 3-tier chandeliers from my wedding that would be the perfect size to hang above each of the silver chairs.

In the above image you can also see the short wall below the kitchen pass through. At first I thought I would incorporate the teal blue color on this wall for a pop. But then I thought it was starting to look a little too cheeky with all the black, white and teal. So I decided on a metallic gold. It gives the same pop and pizzazz that I wanted with a more regal outcome. I am loving mixing metallics! Who said silver and gold don’t go together? When used sparingly, consistently and purposefully you really can not go wrong!

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This last view show the area that I have deemed “the hallway” Really it is just a wall with entry into the kitchen and a bathroom. But by painting it a different color it helps to differentiate the space! I decided on this dark charcoal/navy color to break away from the otherwise light and airy color scheme. Where there are rules, there are always rules to be broken!

What I mean by that is simply that, although I wouldn’t paint the whole room this color (that would be a huge mistake) it is okay to add this richness to a wall in an area that I purposefully want to make more intimate. On this wall will hang intimate family photo’s, framed in metallic gold. The dark color will draw you in to look closer as well as to pull you farther into the room or into the hallway on the other side.

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This is my design board with the actual pieces of furniture for the space. The majority of the pieces I already have, making this a much smaller endeavor than it could otherwise be. The stripe wing back chairs will be my largest project aside from painting.

A Final Note:

Design plans are just that, a plan. They are meant to guide you through what is generally a long process of getting your space perfectly designed just the way you want it! Just because you have the plans doesn’t mean they will happen over night. And that is OKAY! The biggest mistake I can think of is having NO PLAN! This just causes you to buy things impulsively, waste money, change decor styles along the way, ending up with out of place, mis-matched, un-planned, cluttered, un-designed… (sigh) …stuff.

Have a Plan. Go for it. Don’t rush. Good design takes time.