Friday, December 21, 2012

Just this simple truth-

"Our calling is to make the afflictions of Christ real for people by the afflictions we experience in bringing them the message of salvation. Since Christ is no longer on the earth, He wants His body, the church, to reveal His suffering in its suffering. Since we are His body, our sufferings are His sufferings."
- John Piper

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookies in a jar

Need a last minute teacher or coworker gift? These are great fast easy YUMMY gifts. Chocolate chip cookies in a jar- this is a tried and true recipe my family loves!
I used quart sized jars, put the ingredients in, cut out a paper round to put over the lid, screwed the rings on, tied the instructions to the jar and done.
Here's the recipe:


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar


COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calendar doodles

I was standing here in my kitchen studying my calendar to plan out my next couple days and I was planning a blog post about my favorite pens when I thought, I wonder if everyone's calendars look like mine? I hope my calendar isn't the only jumbled mess of doodles. One way to know how much time I've spent on the phone is take a gander at my calendar. If its filled with doodles you can bet I've spent more time on the phone that I wanted to. (I hate talking on the phone! But sometimes my jobs demand it) So, this month, I've been on the phone a lot as you can see..... Untitled

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Trying to relax on a sinking ship...keep steady...

I've been very busy lately but there are times when I just need to do something to relax.  I enjoy handwriting and practicing calligraphy.  I journal all the time and I practive in my journals and notes taking. Below are a few of the pages from my most recent journal.

Untitled Untitled Untitled That last one is something my dad and I used to say. Somedays it definitely feels like I'm rearranging furniture on a sinking ship- I struggle with keeping focus on the eternal and not getting hung up on rearranging furniture.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Since my father died 32 days ago, (read story here) I have experienced deeper sorrow than I've ever known before. And greater joy than I knew possible.
My God has been so very merciful to allow me to see that my father's suffering was not in vain. God asked my family to walk this incredibly painful path for a reason. TO GLORIFY GOD. and because He asked me to, I would do this...I would walk this path simply because I trust my God and I know He is good. If I never had any answer to WHY, if I never saw here on this earth, why my father had to die, i would still do it... because He asked me to.
But, He has been so merciful to show me some things along the way. Here are a few of the things I am being taught, and refined with.

God is good. And i cant even begin to define that word in terms of God's definition. I just trust that truth. His good is right. And it is different than any good I know or can define.

God asks us to suffer for His glory. This is not something He did not ask even His own Son to do. And if there is ANYTHING i desire to do, it is glorify God in this race because I want my father's suffering to glorify God. I know with all my heart, I have this ASSURANCE, that my father is in Heaven with my God and my father now knows completely his Savior. My father, could he tell me anything right now, I am sure, would be this: "finish well, baby. Finish this race. IT IS WORTH IT."
I told my dad before his surgery Id run this race with him, that Id put on my running shoes and trust my God in this race. I thought my dad would be here and Id be running with him as his support. It turns out, I'm running with my mom and my sisters. And we will run this. And we will honor God. And we will support each other. And we will throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and we will run with perseverance the race marked out for us. And we will fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. We run this race, so that the great cloud of witnesses can see and KNOW THE LORD.

God is merciful to show us glimpses of why. God has allowed us to see the impact of my father's life on other's lives. God has been so incredibly merciful to show us when someone asks about God, desires to know more, or when someone's life has been changed by what they saw in my father. The testimonies that have come from this have been humbling. How incredible our God is to use my father's life to bring souls into heaven!! How incredible my God is to use my father's life to change someone else's, to bring someone closer to God! How MERCIFUL of Him to allow me to find out about those stories! Every time I hear someone say, "my life was changed because of what your father went through" I cry in joy. I am overwhelmed with God's mercy when I hear those sweet words.

God has given me a sweet family, filled with men who love and honor the Lord. what a treasure.


God gave me a mother and two sisters I'd give my life for, who are my best friends, who love and honor the Lord, who in the midst of unimaginable pain, can lift their hands and worship Him.

My God is teaching me to trust Him completely, that I am a work in progress, and refining can be painful. I am sad when I miss my dad. and I am sad as my will conforms to His because it is painful. growth is painful but His will is right and just and all that I desire.

My sister spoke at the memorial. She honored dad and God in her words.
She spoke these words:

Sandy became a Christian in college. His life dramatically changed and was from that point forward marked by a desire to share the love God had given him with others.  Many of you have seen or experienced demonstrations of his faith and love in your own life. If you were to have ever asked him why, he would have confidently answered Jesus. Only this kind of relationship with Jesus can give us eternal security in heaven.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, if you are not certain of where your eternity will be spent, you can be.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. John 3:16-18

We simply are required to believe Jesus died and shed his blood to cover our sins. You can begin this relationship today. You only need to pray and admit that you are sinful and need a savior.  Thank him for sending Jesus to pay for your sin and guilt. Receive him as your Savior and Lord. Turn from your old sinful ways and serve Christ, trusting that He alone has the power to transform your life

If you would like to talk to someone or have any questions, you may speak to any of Sandy's immediate family. His deepest desire as well as ours is to one day again be reunited with each one of you as we stand before the Throne of God singing "Worthy is The Lamb".

My husband led worship. He sang these incredible songs:

In Christ Alone
10,000 reasons
It is well with my soul
Behold our God -
I will rise
Christ is risen

I am blessed beyond words.

From Erwin Lutzer:
What is Christ’s attitude toward our homecoming? Repeatedly in the New Testament, Christ is spoken of as sitting “at the right hand of God.” But there is one reference to His leaving His seat and standing; He is welcoming His servants home. As Stephen was being stoned, we read that “being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

Thus the seated Son of God stood to welcome one of His own into the heavenly realm. A believer’s death may be unnoticed on earth, but it is front-page news in heaven. The Son of God takes note. He will be there to welcome us!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

free christmas tags

I just love shipping tags and I enjoy handwriting special notes to attach to christmas gifts. I made these today and scanned them in so you could print them on card stock and cut them out. add a little special ribbon and you are good to go!

{click on the download button below each set of tags and print away!}
Christmas Tags Christmas Tags2

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

happy christmas

I am a student of handwriting, lettering, and caligraphy. Love it. Its an obsession and has been since i was in elementary school. Lately, Ive just been sitting and working on lettering. Its comforting.

I also LOVE the saying Happy Christmas. It feels so nastagic, british and old.

So, here's to the coming season....

To all,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My dads Story

Untitled I shared a part of my dad's story. It is long and hard to get through but I felt it was important to share. To the world, it looks like a medical mistake. To God, it was my dad's story of his life here on Earth. It is what God asked my dad to walk to glorify His name and grow each one of us. To share the gospel and "sweep souls into heaven". You can read the first part here. More will follow....his memorial, the people and storys that are every day, even now, developing. I cannot wait to see how God uses my dad's life.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Father

My daddy went to be with his Savior last week. I will be posting the story here over the next couple weeks. This picture was taken at his memorial on Nov. 3rd. It is me with my sisters and my mom. What happened to my dad is a long, hard story. But i believe it needs to be shared. I will be posting it as I get it written up. Thank you to all of you who have helped, served, prayed, and praised with us. The countless meals, coffees, hugs, and tears are priceless to us. My God is good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our weight loss journey

Let me start by saying Ive really struggled with this post. Ive had tons of questions and people wanting to know more about what Tim and I have been doing regarding our weight loss but its always so hard for me because I get incredibly uncomfortable in the spot light. (i'll leave that to Tim!)
But I told myself when I reached the 40 lb loss mark Id post about our process.
So, (deep breath), here it is:

Most of you know in February, I thought Tim was going to have a baby. I found him pacing the floor, sweating, panting, and saying things I wont repeat. So, from my experience, that = baby coming soon.
After I told him that either he is about to have a baby or needs to get to the ER, he went.
Aaron (our ever present help) came to the rescue and took Tim to the ER while I found help to watch the kids. When the kids were all shuttled to helpful friends, I went to be with Tim in the hospital.
The Dr told me he would be there for 4-5 days, that he had pancreatitis. I wont say what I said but it wasn't pretty.
After a couple visits to the hospital and loads of tests we came to the conclusion he needed to get his triglycerides under control. He could possibly do that by controlling his weight or get his gall bladder out. We weren't sure if the weight control would work but we wanted to try.
Tim researched and found out about the Warrior Diet. He convinced me we should give it a try. So we did. We were on the warrior diet from February through June. In that time I lost 35 lbs and Tim lost 65 lbs. Since then, we've managed our calories and Tim added exercise. He now has a total loss of 76 lbs and Ive lost 40lbs.
Here are a couple before and after pictures: (cringe)

left: size 14 & 174lbs. right: size 6 & 134 lbs

on the left: size 14 & 180 lbs On Right: size 6 & 134 lbs

And here is Tim:

left: 253 lbs. size 42 pants right: 180 lbs size 34 pants

Tim has recently been doing an exercise program called tapout to strengthen and get in better shape.
I jog when I can.

here is both of us:

Here is the breakdown:
Tim- 253 lbs 6'2" tall size 42 pants
Tara-174lbs 5'5" tall size 14
Tim- 180 lbs 6'2" tall size 34 pants
Tara- 140 lbs 5'5" tall size 8
Tim- 177lbs. 6'2" tall size 32pants
Tara-134lbs 5'5" tall size 6

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My resting place

Sometimes when Im working I put my headphones in and listen to worship songs. Sometimes when I am listening, a line or lyric from a song just strikes me and I cant help but write it out.
Last night, it was this line:

Encouraging isnt it?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Color Palettes from Marburger

I'm getting geared up and ready to head to Marburger Antique Show at the end of this month and Ive been working hard looking through photos and getting everything in order. I just love making color palettes for art and designing. The photos that come out of Marburger are stunning. So, every now and then I cant resist creating a palette out of them.

And just one more, the red poppy... be still my heart...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Password Log

Occasionally I have odd thoughts that pop into my head and float around just to bug me. Recently, the thought, "oh crap. what if I die?" then, no, not, "what'll my kids do? or How will Tim make it?" or anything reasonable. It is, "oh crap. If I die, how in the hell fire will tim ever log on to any of my accounts? access the bank? our photos? oh good lord! facebook! how!!? will he ever figure my intricate and insane method of passwording all those sites?"
Never fear. I figured out what to leave him. just in case...
and I was thoughtful enough to put a verse on it. for when he's sobbing his eyes out and trying to access flickr.
Ive added a couple different versions for you to choose from. Feel free to download and print. Just click here. If you can I'd love a link credit.
And why chocolate chip cookies? Because I think about cookies all the time.
or blank because you doodle better than I do!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

there's a choice.

Things I cannot do:

1. turn a map in my head. I have to literally place it on the ground and step onto it to figure direction. Which, makes for a difficult mapquest session.

2. make a batch of unburned toast. I burn it. every. time. I can be staring at it with an oven mitt on. And.... burned.

3. kick a ball straight. nope. never. I'm that girl who would do better to pick it up and walk it over to you.

4. remember movies. I can actually sit through the same movie twice and be surprised at the ending. i am a very cheap date. just rent a movie. any movie. it'll be the first time through for me. :)

5. sit still for any length of time. I have tried. I have been forced. I just cannot. I have to wiggle my leg, or shift in my seat, or mess with someone next to me or make paper animals.... anything. just not sit perfectly still. So, after lots of jabs from my husband in church, Ive learned that if I take notes it helps.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

This last Sunday Brian (our pastor) did an incredible job presenting James 1. I don't know what exactly it is (other than the Holy Spirit) but the way he delivers a message is on point. Never contrived, judgemental, haughty, or prideful.

wanna see? check it out.

and here are the notes I made while desperately trying to sit still.

so this week, I'm choosing joy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oh for the love of banjo..

Most you know my husband sings for a living. I feel so blessed to get to sit in and listen/sing with his band during their practice/jam sessions. Sometimes they are so good I have to share. Sorry for the cell phone pic. I have to sneak pictures and recordings. :)
That's Tim on guitar and Aaron on banjo.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My many hats

Most of you know I wear many job hats. Some days I'm accountant for a small business. Some days I'm small business owner, other days I'm painter. On my favorite days I work for Marburger Antique Show. Its quickly approaching time to pack up and head down for my retreat from civilization and enter the wild wild world of managing dealers at Marburger. When I am working there in Round Top Texas, one of my favorite things is getting to make people happy. I LOVE it when someone wins something or finds a valuable lost item, or has an extremely successful show. So, being that I get to work on the "off" time as the social media manager, I got to do one of my favorite things this week. A GIVEAWAY! We are giving away two free tickets to Marburger Antique Show. All you have to do to enter is click here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

This amazing town

last monday I went outside to gather the chickens eggs. It was about 12.15. I leaned over to look inside the coop and heard a sound. I heard a series of thumps. I got still. I listened. I heard, Thwump. Thwump. Thwump. pause. Thwump. Thwump. pause. Thwump. I straightened up and looked around. I waited. I pushed my sweaty hair out of my eyes and concentrated. After a few minutes, I picked up the last egg and went inside. I said to my husband. "i think i just heard gun shots." He looked up at me and squinted. I said, "this is what I heard." and i made the sounds. He frowned. He knows I was serious. He knows I know a gun shot. Ive spent my fair time at a shooting range. I stood there. We were both quiet. I picked up the little girl at my legs begging for my attention and I said, "well. Im taking Cora to the dr." I walked out the door and paused one last time. I couldnt shake the dread creeping in my veins. I got into the car and headed to the dr. I called my sister and had the radio on and as I was speaking to her i heard the radio sound the alarm. I waited and listened. I told my sister to be quiet. We waited together for the sound to stop and an announcement came on. "active shooter in college station. residents be alert." I said, "i knew it." and hung up. I called tim and told him. and we braced ourselves. Later we learned that Constable Bachmann, Chris Norcliff, the shooter, and three others had been shot. Constable Bachmann died serving this town. Chris Norcliff who was an innocent bystander, was killed. the shooter was killed by brave police officers protecting us. Here is how this town honored officer bachmann.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the texas bluebonnets

these little blue flowers turn people (me included) into crazy lunatics. They stop on a dime when they see a field of them, they park on highways, trespass, grab grandma, any baby in sight, and risk their lives just to take pictures in these little flowers. They turn us all into wanna be photographers. But, i cant blame them. so i join them.

Springtime in Texas is truly unbelieveable.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

my WHOLE life

Ive wanted to make a this sign for a while and finally got it done. Im happy with the results and am tempted to keep it and hang it over our bed, but I have bills to pay. So off to the sale it goes...

Monday, March 5, 2012

new tape!

I just finished a new tape Im adding to my etsy shop. Its a cute little row of houses with welcome to the neighborhood. What fun to add this ribbon to a basket of goodies for a new neighbor!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

be NICE!

I painted this recently. I painted it to sell but hung it in my sun room to store it until my next event and well, its growing on me there. It might be hard to part with. I think it says it all.

Friday, February 24, 2012

pieces of joy

my mom has the greatest name. Joy. She asked me if she could use one of my drawings for her blog. Really? of course you can, woman who birthed me, sacrificed everything for me, put me through teen years and college. yes, yes you can. here it is. :)

she has a great blog here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

cora and her brothers

this is for my very missed long distance family:
and yes, i shouldve wiped her face before taking a picture but i had no picture taking plans, just walked by her with my camera in hand and the voice of my mother-in-law came screaming at me, "TAKE A PICTURE FOR ME"! So, i just snapped off a few and thought nana and pawpaw, nina and SuperD, and cousins in africa would like to see baby cora.
This my friends, is THRIVING. :)
she loves her brothers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sunday, January 29, 2012


I’ve been very busy lately and here is what I’ve been working on:

These cotton ribbons have been alot of fun to make, each holding little bits of my artwork and writing. Right now I have two ready to sell.
This one is really sweet for gifts or projects:
And this one, which would be great for valentines day or any occasion, like tied in a ponytail!

They are white, 1 inch wide, 100% cotton and cost $5.00/yard. Please email me, Tara, ( if you’d like to purchase either design and how many yards you'd like. I’ll send you an invoice via paypal or you can pay me personally if you are local. Just let me know!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pound cake

My memaw was wonderful. She was mostly Indian. Which made her mostly strange. :) and all wonderful.
She made the very best pound cake. And that is not exaggerated. She might have added peyote. Just sayin.
I made this with her recipe to hang on my wall. I didn't realize how much it would remind me of her. Everyday.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


my faith. smaller than a mustard seed. much smaller. more like a poppy seed. I created these pages for myself....

but before I scribbled the week's activities all over them I thought Id share the blank weekly planner with you.
you can download it, print it, then doodle all over it, fill in the agenda for the week, or paint it. or copic it. (yes, I used copic as a verb). Sometimes its nice to get a running start and just color.
click here to print the blank weekly planner.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Ive been working on art journaling. Here are a few of the pages Ive been working on:

Friday, January 6, 2012


I don't know what it is about shipping tags that just speaks to my heart but they do. Here is my collection. I use them for EVERYTHING.