Thursday, May 21, 2020

Missing Puzzle Pieces

You know those final moments when you're finishing a big puzzle? There's only one piece left to go but- it's MISSING!

Noooo!

Well. I confess, I have had the opposite mindset. I've SO wanted to have the opportunity to replace a puzzle piece for the longest time!

A friend was clearing out their stash of puzzles and we were so blessed to be given some. So, we got to working on the puzzles right away. All of them 1000 pieces, all of them whole. Ok, one puzzle was 1500 pieces. We left that one until last.

You guessed it. the puzzles were whole. Yay! Then, the enormous 1500 piece puzzle was cracked open.

It was probably the hardest puzzle of them all. It took a long time. It was one of those ones that had so much detail in it that you had to keep referencing the picture. Thankfully, this one not only had the cardboard box to look at, but it came with a printed picture, too.

You guys, this puzzle ended up having, not only one but, three missing pieces. YAY!

My puzzle-piece-replacing dream had come true.

I began by pulling the card off the back of a notepad, then gluing it to itself so it was double-thickness. This was about perfect to make it match the height of the puzzle.



Then, I traced the missing shape using the surrounding pieces, and took a long time to carve them out with a craft knife. The pieces fit!



My trusty assistant helping me for the photo.



After the pieces were the right size, I painted them a nice base of white



After that was dry, I put them in their places and drew the picture that was to be painted in.



Then, armed with my craft paints, I got to work.


I didn't take any 'during painting' pics, sorry about that. I was concentrating!



They turned out as well as I hoped. I'm very pleased.



Here's a couple of close-ups. You can tell they're definitely replaced pieces - they're not perfect.



These photos are all taken before I varnished them. I used an acrylic gloss paint-on varnish, which turned all the colors slightly darker - which turned out awesome, because the black I used (knowing the varnish would darken it) was actually a very dark grey.



I love that they're all little wonky, the colors mostly match and, most of all, I love that I can do it. I had so much fun making these! The best part for me was the painting - I enjoyed the whole process, but the painting was definitely the best part.

Of course, I had to sign the back of them.

I hope you're having a great month, friends!

I can see I posted exactly one month ago, so I suppose, maybe I'll continue to do that. Maybe.

Holly
xx

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Our Father who is in heaven

Hello, my friends! I must keep this brief-ish, I have a date with my husband. We recently were given bunch of 1000pc puzzles! Fun!



How are you? Really? With everything that has been going on, I'm here to 'change the subject' for a little bit.



You are important.



I've been crocheting, painting, taking all the cloud-photos, sewing, you know me. Yesterday I bought some fabric online and I can't wait to for it to arrive. Just a few packs of pre-cut 5x5 (stunning) fabrics. Can. Not. Wait.



Oh, actually. I can wait. If I can't, then, I'm not sure what the last month has taught me. Right? Patience. Trust in Him. Peace. Thank you, Lord, for the PEACE you have given me so generously!



I was inspired to paint-out the Lord's Prayer, from Matthew 6:9-13. I felt the NASB had the easiest to understand version. So, here is me beginning to paint it on a sheet of 18x24" watercolor paper.



I was so pleased with it, that I got it printed as a 5x7 postcard and an 18x24" poster. I'm SO excited to share the images with you.



The first few orders of the 18x24" poster will also receive a small needle-minder, as they suddenly came out of the sewing machine, today.



I've been sewing masks! Not to be a hero, I don't need any praise. When a friend has asked me for them, I gladly help. The real mask-making heroes are the ones who make a ton and donate them. YOU guys and gals, are champions!



How many times have you heard of or used Zoom? Yeah. I've been doing that, too. It was overwhelming at first, but now, it's a 'new normal'... and soon, things will change again and we'll be moving on.



My 5x7 postcards and 18x24 posters are available for purchase, please have a look in my online shop, Room to Flourish. There is also the option for you to purchase a postcard for a friend - I'll write a note (of your words) for them and post it for you, direct to them.



Send encouragement! Let someone know you're thinking of them, everyone loves some happy mail, right? And, how sweet to send them the Lord's Prayer, too. The 5x7 size fits perfectly into a ready-made frame.



I miss you! Reply or comment, tell me a story about how you've been blessed this week?



Holly
xx


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Some things have to be just right

For the last year or so, our desktop computer has sat on a pile of books to make it the right height.  I decided the actual desk top was way too busy, too messy, I wanted to read those books occasionally (dressmaker's pattern drafting and flower gardening to name only two of the five books), and just too much 'too.'

After spending way 'too' much time searching the interwebs for the perfect computer stand, and finding the 'perfect' one was, again, asking for 'too' much of my precious moolah, I decided to see what I could find at the trusty local craft store to DIY my own.

Not asking for 'too' much, my list of must-haves looked like this:
  • two shelves
  • pretty
  • space for my monitor
  • wide/deep enough for files to fit it the shelves
  • not $60
I went to Hobby Lobby looking for unfinished wood shelves/pieces which might get stuck together with dowels, or something-a-rather, with the intention of making a two-shelf, functional thing-a-ma-jig.

Here's what I found:



This wooden canvas, had two picture hooks on the back. It was approx. 35 x 12 inches and clearly 'too' long. But I had a plan.... I cut it in two! My youngest kiddo helped me remove the hangy hooks.



The next job was to use these fancy dowels I found. Shaker pegs.



I used a cordless drill to place the holes for the legs. A couple drops of this amazing glue was more than enough - it's probably the strongest part of this whole doo-dackie-whatsit.

Did you notice, the washi-tape on the drill bit? That's there as a marker for me, so I don't drill deeper than that. Clever tip, right there!


The pic above is the back of the stand. Note, you can see the long shaker pegs are the legs and the spacers between the shelves, the shorter pegs, are stoppers so the file (that slides in from the front) won't slip all the way through.

So, here's what I started with...


And here's what I ended up with:


This cost me exactly $15.55 from Hobby Lobby, and about 25 minutes of my time. I think that's a bargain if ever I saw one. Not 'too' much, it's 'just right.'

I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that the gap underneath was the perfect height for my keyboard to slide into and out of the way when I want to write at the desk.

What do you think?

Holly
xx

PS:  I am working behind the scenes on a special project. Something to get you thinking about scripture in a new way, or at least more often... I'm SO excited! Sign up to follow Room to Flourish by email, follow my Room to Flourish Instagram account or follow Room to Flourish on Facebook to stay connected.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2020 Scripture Calendar and a Story

This year is beginning to wind down, we're almost in 2020. That sounds so strange! I remember in 1995 (or something like that, I was around about 10 years old) writing a story in school about 'What we think life will be like in the year 2000.' The year 2000 was only 20 years ago! Twenty. Good grief!

Yet, here we are.  Almost 2020 and I have a cute little calendar to show you - if you haven't already heard about it.



Last year, I was almost ready to get started on putting the 2019 calendar together when, all of a sudden, we were planning to move house, move state, from Arizona to Tennessee.  I had to quit with the calendar and focus on moving.  I was stressed.  Real stressed.

Jesus carried me through, I was in and out of despair.  I struggled to sing.  Me, struggling to sing, that is a big deal! But, God.  Through that dark valley, I learned to trust. I'm still a work in progress, but I'm pressing closer to the goal, to win the prize. Hallelujah for his kindness.



Story time!

When we moved to Arizona from New Zealand, I was expecting to be instantly plugged into an awesome church. I expected that we'd find a church family right away, there would be room for us at the table. I expected to find a church just like the amazing one we left in New Zealand.

So, we moved to Arizona. We didn't have a car. We didn't have the ability to buy a car right away and we had been listening to some guy called Dave Ramsey. He's only a lot famous in this neck of the woods. Anyway, we decided to save up and buy a car. This is where it gets tricky... Roy had a truck through is work, but that was only for work use. Our apartment was so close to the supermarket that I could put Levi in the stroller and walk over there. We would do the grocery shopping, and on the way back from work, Roy would meet us at the supermarket, we'd put the groceries in the back of the truck and he'd drive home while our kiddo and I would walk back.

It was a good-enough plan, until the Arizona weather began to heat up. But, we were finally able to buy a good little car around April of 2015, and OH my goodness. Life changer!

Having a car, meant we were finally able to get to a church. I was so excited about meeting our new friends and finding our place.

But, back to when we first arrived on Thanksgiving 2014 (yes, we survived about 5 months without a car) I was so set on finding a friend or two that I became a member of an online meet-up website, it sounds dodgy. The group was for Mom's of the local area who had a child in the year 'X'. I went to only one of those meet-ups (had to be within walking distance) and found a friend instantly - still my friend today! Praise the Lord. I believe the story goes like this; we both went there to find a new friend, and we found each other, so we didn't go to the scheduled meet-ups again, but we hung out a lot after that. Perfect! She had suggested we try out her church, so eventually we did (see: not having a car), and that church became our 'home' for the time we were in Arizona.

Aww, sweet little story. Heart-eyes.

In my search for friends, I also had found a Facebook group of like-minded knitters and crocheters who lived in the same area. I only ever went to one scheduled meet-up, we had a car by this stage. It was madness! Fun madness! The ladies filled up a huge area in a local cafe/bakery, maybe 20 or so of us. I was the only crocheter, I felt a little awkward, it was fun.

Imagine a 'fresh' New Zealander in the US, who thinks no one will understand her accent so she puts on a little bit of an accent to not stand out, but stands out immensely and feels like a fraud for putting on an accent. Confession: I did that way too many times.

Back to the knitters group. One day, on the groups' Facebook page, a member suggested a small meet-up with anyone who wanted to hang out at a local playground with her and her kids, while crocheting. I was SO there.

So, I turned up, bun in the oven by this stage - which means it would have been in the winter (see NZ summer kind of weather) of 2015/16, with my big kid in tow, who was 4 years old at the time. It was just her and I, her two kids, my big kid. We talked. We crocheted. We became awesome friends.

Also at this stage, we had been in Arizona/the States for just over a year and we hadn't felt like we found any close friends, nor were we involved in anything in the church. It was a huge church and we just weren't finding people. It's true. So many people, but no one to talk to.

We were regularly going to a small group, but it wasn't really a good fit for us. The leaders were awesome, and the members were, too. But, we were the only ones having a baby (different life stages), our kid(s) were the only boys. If you know my oldest kiddo, he's not one for sitting still (ever) and wanting to play school when it's not school.

It took a long, long time to find close church friends. It was a lot harder than I expected. I felt like we were being humbled. In a good way, but it still hurt. It was so hard to find 'our' group, to find real friends, the kind who are interested in more than just the 'Sunday church and Small Group' windows. The kind who were willing to let you into their lives, and also who wanted to be in your lives.

Even when we were trying to get involved in church, it felt like we were still not getting deeper than small-talk. It was a really hard time for both Roy and I. We wondered what we were doing here, why was this so hard, all the questions - but we would always bring it back to all. the. things. that fell into place to get us there.

There are many stories for another day, but there were too many things that happened, God's sweet gifts, divine appointments, things that happened perfectly for the next thing to fall into place that we KNEW without a doubt that we were supposed to be here. Still, our hearts were hurting. We lost a bit of spring in our step. Finding out that the 'instant church family and friends' didn't exist was discouraging.

I began praying for vision for my husband, for dreams for the both of us, for the Lord to put things in our hearts to give us hope and excite us. And you know what? He did.

In New Zealand, Roy had been playing in the band at church since long before we met. He was worship leader, guitarist, leader, and had been for so long, that it was so weird for him to not be involved in anything like that. So, when the call for worship team auditions came up, he was so excited! The audition came and went. He never heard back about if he was in or not. That was hard. So hard. God was molding his heart in the process.

Eventually, Roy decided to email the guy who auditioned him. There was a mistake somewhere. But, all in God's plan, Roy ended up playing guitar and worship leading for an amazing ministry called CR, Celebrate Recovery. This. This filled his cup. Hallelujah. The Holy Spirit was alive and well in the church, and he found it in CR. The most welcoming place, the most authentic place on a Friday night. People, acknowledging their vices, helping, encouraging one another, in Jesus' name. Hallelujah.

Oh goodness, I've rambled on a long ways. I'll sign off here and continue next time.

In the mean time, if you'd love a 2020 calendar, you can find my shop here at roomtoflourish.bigcartel.com  to see a small collection of Holly Bruce custom work I've done click here.

To be continued...

Love you muchly!
Holly

Monday, November 25, 2019

Naming Room to Flourish

I'm so glad to share my journey with you!  I created this space called Room to Flourish.  Let me tell you where it all began...

Way back in high school, one of the art projects we had to do was designing a brand name. I wanted a name for my brand that was found or inspired by something in the Holy Bible, and I came across the name Rehoboth. I loved it, and even though I ran with it then, I knew it was a strange sounding word.  It also takes a bit of practice to pronounce correctly. It needed some refining.

In Genesis chapter 22, Isaac was looking for a place to live.  The plan was to find a good place, dig a well for water, then settle. They did this twice, and when they had dug the wells, the people there quarreled over the land. So, Isaac moved on and dug a third well. No one quarreled over that place, so they named it Rehoboth. Rehoboth means broad places or open spaces. He said, "Now, the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land." Genesis 26:22 NIV.

Which brings us here to Room to Flourish, the translation for Rehoboth, and the promise of God. The Lord has given us room to flourish.

My heart for this blog is to encourage you in your journey to knowing God. I'm still walking this path and learning here, too, so let's do this together.

I'm going to share often about what God's showing me, the 'little gifts' he's giving me (more on that another time), and showing things I've been making lately.  If you follow Room to Flourish on Instagram, you'll know I tend to make a lot of different kinds of things - art, lettering, crochet, sewing, etc.

I do have an online shop, Room to Flourish, where I currently have a 2020 calendar available. Please check it out!


I have also set up a gallery where you can have a look at a sample of my commissioned art and design work.  See the Room to Flourish Gallery here.

Don't forget to subscribe and comment at the end of this post.  Thank you so much for following along and encouraging me as you do!

Holly
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Missing Puzzle Pieces

You know those final moments when you're finishing a big puzzle? There's only one piece left to go but- it's MISSING! Noooo! Wel...