Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raising up Arrows... and DIY's.

I think it's so amazing how challenging times squeeze creativity out of my veins.  With recent challenges in motherhood I've been hearing talk about raising up arrows at every turn and it's caused my thinking to twist in a new, purposeful direction. It comes from the verse in Psalm 127:4 that says, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. I've heard church sermons about it, radio programs touching on it, friends commenting on it.  It felt like the idea of raising arrows has been chasing me around. 

I love the way Family Life today shares perspective on the subject here.  This quote, taken from that article, especially hits me in the season I'm in with a teen and tween. "The point of the arrow reminds us of the last essential quality we want to craft in a child: Every person needs a reason to live, a driving passion or calling that provides meaning and impact. This is a person's mission. We need to ask ourselves, "Have I more passion for the values of this world's system than for the things of God? What are my goals in life—are they ones I want my child to copy?" Every child should be helped to understand that life is a dynamic relationship with God that overflows in love to other people—a love that the Holy Spirit uses to reconcile the lost to God. Everything else, as good or innocuous as it may be, is only a prop to facilitating this mission" 

Kind of gives a nice refocus to MY mission as their mama, raising them up to point outward, into this world.  Oh Lord, let me be worthy of this task!  So I made some artwork out of it and some of the cutest arrows to hang on my wall as a reminder.  I had to share the DIY in case you wanted to do likewise.  I made two because I've been given two children.
 I gathered a few bits of fall to make a mini gallery, and the collage pin board that was previously here is on the wall opposite.  Makes for a fun conversation piece as people are coming and going.  That photo of an 18 month old JJ (as he was called back then) was the moment that I realized I wanted to learn photography for real.  That was the photo, the moment, the magic happened for me.  I'd always had a desire to learn photography but that moment was the one where I went, "YEP I'm doing this!"
 To make your own arrow, you will need the following:
A wooden dowel, a piece of thin wood like balsa wood, 1/8" thick. A pheasant feather, x-acto knife, hot glue, paint colors of your choosing (mine above), and optional- gold leaf paint.

Step 1- paint your wood dowels any way you choose.  I freehanded mine but you could tape things off to make them all perfect-y. I'm not so into that.  I let mine dry overnight. I also left lots of the natural wood showing.
 Step 2- cut a chunk off the bottom of a pheasant feather.  The bottom has the thickest shaft down the center and that's really helpful when you're slicing it in half.  I cut mine about 6 inches long. Slice very carefully, and you should end up with part of the shaft on each feather piece, that way none of the feathery bits will fall off.  You can trim the ends to a point like I did.
 Step 3- hot glue a thin line at the ends and place feather half into it.  Do the same with the opposite side and see photo below.
 This is how it should look once glued.
Step 4- Now I didn't take any photos of this part because I was too busy...but it's pretty basic. The balsa wood piece I used was thin enough to cut a triangle shape out with my scissors.  Then I hot glued it right to the end of the dowel. 
 Step 5- This was my favorite part. I used liquid gold leaf to add finishing touches like stripes and covered the point with it as well.  It kind of gave the hot glued end a finished appearance. 
 Once dry, I used 2" L-hooks" to hang each arrow up on the wall. 
 Before I hung my little mini gallery I laid everything out on the floor and arranged it how I wanted, then snapped a photo of it so I wouldn't forget how it needed to look. 

 I hand-lettered this verse (because I love that sweetly imperfect look) to go along with it, and have made it available in my shop for you, here.  Also, the wheat wreath... LOVE how it turned out.  I used the inside ring of an embroidery hoop that I had and then hot glued the ends of wheat stalks right onto it!  So easy but I did burn myself a few times.  So be careful if you make one!

 This makes my heart happy. 

 (Shh... don't tell anyone that there are still bits of hot glue on this wreath when the light hits it. Ha!)
 Also.  After many months of passing this huge school house light longingly in the garage, in it's box... it now has a home above my island!  EEE!!!  All thanks to my sister in law's friend who is an electrician, who gave us a great "friend deal."  (It's the same color as the one above the sink but the light is making it look more orange and golden- just so you know.  Not that you cared.  I just tend to over share.) This thing is 16"... so perfect for this spot.  (We got our lights at Destination Lighting.)
 And finally... shameless shop plug- Christmas prints are heading out the door and I wanted to show them in case you "needed' one for yourself or a loved one.  Clockwise from left- Come all Ye Faithful,  Vintage Ornament Giclee (also available as a wrapped canvas), and baby deer watercolor.
 Clockwise from left- Quotable Christmas print, Merry Everything (and baby deer again) (Click individual links, or here to shop!)

Okay friends I hope you enjoyed your stop here!  Let's go out and take this parenting gig on with purpose! 
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  1. Super cute fall grouping! What a great idea for arrows! Thanks for sharing...

  2. How do you rearrange things for the seasons without putting holes in the walls? Also do u take the foot stand off picture frames to get them yo hang flat? Inquiring minds want to know! Looks amazing!

    1. Great question! I use the tiniest dab of spackle- I mean only on the hole and wipe it off every place else then I use a tiny paint brush and cover it up. It keeps my hubby happy. :)
      S (and no I don't usually take off the foot stand... I have in the past but seems like maybe they make them better or it just doesn't bother me anymore... I don't know!)

  3. LoVe it all!!!! You've got such a gift Sasha, thank you for sharing it with the rest of us - such an inspiration <3

  4. it all looks great! I love the arrows, I may need to make them-
    I do have a question about the shoe container or organizer? do you love it, I need an idea to contain our shoes! really it is our boots. was wondering if it would hold boots!

    1. Yes I do love it!! I can fit small boots like a pair of Uggs in it but my feet aren't big- my hubby has huge feet and he can get one pair in and a pair of flip flops beside them. But for size 13 that's pretty good I'd say! :)

  5. That wall is amazing! I think I need to copy all your ideas... but where? :) Thanks for sharing your heart, too.

  6. Martha Stewart watch out!!! These are just plain cool. And your pics are gorgeous as always.

  7. I LOVE this entire display - so creative and meaningful with the verse and photos included.