Watercolor

Watercolors fascinate me.

I hope to learn how to use them.

I’ve played around with them the past couple of years, but nothing serious.

This fall I found the most beautiful leaf I have ever seen.

It looked like this:

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Simply gorgeous.

The leaf had all the colors of fall in it; look at the red, maroon, yellow, orange, and brown!  Look closer, you can see the traces of green.

Look at the way the red is dappled and softly blends with the rest of the colors in the leaf.

It brings to mind the way watercolors blend into one another.

It literally looks like God painted it with watercolors.

 Ever since this leaf fell into my life on October 27th I’ve been longing to paint it (haha).

Time past and I just hadn’t got around to it but over break I was able to take the time to make my first attempt at it.

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leafsThe pictures don’t do neither leaves (real nor painted) justice.

It was an alright first attempt.

 I plan on painting it a few more times in order to get a better understanding of it’s colors and shape.

I’m thankful that I was able to find some time to finally paint with my watercolors.

I also painted this simple sparrow for a friend:

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I would really like to learn more about watercolors.

Maybe I’ll be able to begin that endeavor over Christmas break.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving day was filled with family and food.

It was really nice to see some of my extended family who I don’t get to see as often.

Best of all I got to spend most of the day with this chick:

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We had a lovely meal that was prepared by a lot of different people.

My personal favorites included the stuffing and the grape salad. 🙂

My sister took this Instagram shot of the meal:

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Here are some other photographs from the day:Image

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I hope you had a great thanksgiving too!

We all have so many things to be thankful for!

Ever So Lovely

I made it home for Thanksgiving break just in time to run into the house

and begin to get Karleigh ready for her fourth Ever So Lovely Pageant.

 The year after I graduated, my high school began a pageant for special needs girls.

Karleigh and the other girls look forward to it all year.

All the attention is on them and they feel like princesses.

The girls wear fancy dresses and are escorted out onto the stage usually by high school boy volunteers.

They also can participate in a talent if they choose to.

Karleigh’s talent was singing and dancing.

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There are no winners, instead each girl receives a crown, sash, flowers, and gift bag.

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It was a great night and all of the girls really enjoyed themselves.

Families who don’t have a special needs child often don’t understand how difficult life can be for these girls and their families.  This pageant is one night out of the whole year where the girls are guaranteed acceptance and feel like everyone else their age.  This pageant is such a blessing to our family and the community!  We are so thankful to the individuals who organize it each year.

If you don’t know anyone with special needs I encourage you to reach out of your comfort zone and take the time to get to know someone!  They will bless you much more than you can ever bless them!

Cards This Week

All of the sudden, I found that I had several good reasons to make cards.

So, despite my carpal tunnel flaring up, I pressed on to make these delightful cards this week.

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I think it is so fun to give personal cards to friends (and sometimes acquaintances or even strangers!).

I know I’ve said this before, but I think thank you cards are so important!

So often people do things and they go unnoticed.

Take the time to write someone a thank you card or even just a little note!

Show someone you notice their extra effort!

Postcards

The other day I sat down and made a whole bunch of handmade postcards!

It was a great way to re-purpose a box!

It ended up taking  10 times as long as I wanted it to, but they turned out nice and I know they’ll be appreciated.

I used a cardboard box I found in the recycling bin, some paint chips I got from Walmart, stamps, and a couple of sheets of scrapbooking paper.

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I’m sending them with your typical postcard stamps, but I’m not sure if that’s gonna fly  with USPS.

We’ll find out!

UPDATE:  The postcards needed an additional 20 cents of postage in order to send!!

Simple Gift

I’ve been wishing I had a heating pad with me at school, so I decided to make one!

I followed the tutorial here: http://fellowfellow.com/diy-heat-pack/

I made myself and a friend a chevron heating pad.

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I was able to get 1/2 yard of chevron canvas at Hobby Lobby for $3 and the bag of rice for $2 at Aldi.

I had enough fabric to make an additional bag, but ran out of rice.

The project was very easy and took about 20 minutes.

These bags would make great Christmas gifts!

Home Again and Homemade Tea (?)

I was able to go home for the weekend to see our dear neighbors’ vow renewal!

They have been married 25 years and the ceremony was just lovely.

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The rustic decorations and the wooded lodge where the ceremony took place were beautiful.

The lodge is located right on the peninsula and the trees were shedding their leaves everywhere.

It was the perfect fall “wedding.”

While I was home I took on my own little made up project.  I thought it would be fun to try to make my own tea leaves with some spearmint that grows in our side yard.

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So basically, I picked the sprigs of spearmint, washed them, took off all the leaves, and then baked them at 350 for a few minutes.

I then laid them between two pieces of wax paper and pressed them for several days.

I haven’t decided if I am going to try to make tea bags to put them in or just try to use them in my tea infuser.  Either way I will have to crush the leaves and then place them in one of the two.  I surely hope it works! 🙂

Have a fantastic evening!

Homecoming and coming home

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before it was Grove City College’s Homecoming, where alumni both young and old, traveled from near and far, back “home.”  What an interesting thought for some of us.  To think that someday, once we leave this place, we will see it as our home…  To be honest, I already see it this way.  What is a home per-say?  It’s a place where we live right??  Well then, for now, Grove City College is my home.  It’s where I live.

Living for me right now consists of so many things that can all probably be summed up in the verb growing.  For Kait Tromans to live is to grow and growing I am.  Sometimes this growing feels a lot more like being stretched, how far can I go before I can stretch no more??  But when I step back and look at the bigger picture, I see that this stretching is part of the growing process.  And although there are times I don’t see it or acknowledge it, this college is helping me live, helping me grow, and for this I am grateful.

There is a bitter sweetness that comes with the thought that one day this will no longer be my home.  Eventually, I will graduate and move on to a different stage in life, then claiming a different home.  I will miss this home and the season of growth it brought with it, but I know my new home will be the place God wants me to be.  And this new home, just like the previous home, will only be lived in for a season, because as we all know our homes here are so very temporary.

This past homecoming I did not come home, simply because I was already here.  The weekend was filled with lots of silliness and fun.  I was blessed by a visit from my family and we were able to travel over to Franklin for the apple festival that was going on there which was lovely.  I also attended the dance on campus which was surely interesting, to say the least!  Below are some pictures from Homecoming weekend.

Karleigh and I at the parade in the morning!

Karleigh and I at the parade in the morning!

She's clearly loving it!

She’s clearly loving it!

We met up with some of our cousins at the Applefest, which was a great surprise!

We met up with some of our cousins at the Applefest, which was a great surprise!

My niece and I at the festival.

My niece and I at the festival (she’s still working on growing out her hair).

The twins and I being silly at the dance!

It’s a twin sandwich!

Heidi, Allie, and I being silly at the photo booth!

Heidi, Allie, and I being silly at the photo booth!

Finally, as fall break approaches this week, I look forward to returning to another one of my homes, the one where my family resides.  I can’t wait to see them all, but my heart is really longing to hold this sweet little pig… 😉

Kamryn Grace in her Halloween costume.

Kamryn Grace in her Halloween costume.

Typical

So, I made your typical crayon art the other day for my dear friend’s birthday.  It’s so odd how certain things become popular.  A couple of years ago if you were to say the term “crayon art” people would have thought you were referring to your coloring pages as art, but now it’s a fairly popular thing to make.  I think this has a lot to do with Pinterest.  That was the first place I had ever saw crayon art.  If you don’t know what it is, basically you melt crayons on a canvas (usually via a blowdryer) to make “art.”  Here are my attempts at putting my own spin on crayon art.

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Gathering the materials needed (I ended up using some paint brushes as well).

 

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I hot glued the pieces of crayons to the canvas then used a blow dryer to melt and spread the wax.

 

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Then I peeled off the crayon remnants from the canvas.

 

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I then hot glued paint brushes I had in my room to the top part of the canvas.

 

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Here is the final product!

Handmade Cards Warm the Heart :)

In this age of digital communication, a good handmade card with a heart-felt message is the perfect anecdote to our media driven blues.  I am a strong advocate of handmade cards.  I think that they are appropriate for all occasions, from birthdays to weddings to “congratulations on loosing your first tooth” to baby showers to “happy first day of student teaching” to just saying hello.  Because interactions today are often mediated through the internet via Facebook, Twitter, and email, people genuinely appreciate a handwritten note.  Think of how much more meaningful it is when someone knows your birthday and gives you a handmade card versus logging on to Facebook seeing a notification that it’s your birthday and then writing on your wall.  It really does make people feel special when they realize you took time out of your day to sit down and write to them.

Unfortunately, handmade greeting cards aren’t too popular these days.  I remember this past summer the eight year old girl I watched received a hand-me-down bike in mint condition from someone in her neighborhood a month or so before I began working with her.  The first thing I asked her was if she wrote the person a thank you note, to which she replied that she didn’t.  I tried to convince her we should sit down and make one; I told her it’s never too late to send a thank you card!  But, she insisted that it indeed was too late and that she would not write them a card.  It really bummed me out!  Thank you cards are probably one of the most important cards to send!

Anyways, as time passes and communication styles seem to be changing I encourage you to make a handmade card and send it to someone you care about.  You know that warm feeling you get when you receive mail?  Give that feeling to someone else, make their day.

Below are some handmade cards I have recently made, enjoy!

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