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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chocolate! (A Book Tag)

Uggggghhhh.

I have... five posts in my blog drafts folder waiting to be completed. They're all about 1/4 of the way finished, and I have to take pictures to finish all of them. Which is just not happening.

Sooooo instead, I'm doing a blog tag, which I was nominated for by Aspen over at Texas Rebel Girl, and Sarah from Sarah'Sword! Thanks, girls, for the nominations! Because I really did not feel like finishing those other posts right now... though I do need to... eventually. ;)


Well, shall we get started then? *smile*

Dark Chocolate (a book that covers a dark topic):

Uhh... I really don't read many of that sort of thing... but I'll go with... oh! I know. The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. It's all about the end times, as described in the book of Revelation. Very intense, and tough subject, but really great. I'm only just finishing up the 2nd book, but I'm really excited to read the rest.

White Chocolate (a light and humorous read)

This one is definitely The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (duh). Yes, yes, it does get sad nearing the end, but it's such a fun, super easy, and definitely humorous read. ;)

Milk Chocolate (a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read)

Ooh oh oh! The Giver by Lois Lowry. I've heard some great things about the movie based on it that just released, so I want to read the book first so I can see le movie. ;)

Caramel-filled Chocolate (a book that makes you feel all gooey inside)

Ehehe. There are many many many... ;D First that comes to mind would be The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson. Lotsa lovely goo-ey-ness. ;)

Wafer-less Kit-Kat (a book that surprised you):

First of all, I've never heard of a wafer-less Kit-Kat, so..? Or maybe that's because it would be surprising to eat a Kit-Kat only to find out it doesn't have wafers? Idk. Anyway... xD 

One that surprised me was DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul. From the cover and first few chapters, I was totally not expecting the awesome book it turned out to be -- seriously, one of the best I've read in a while. Really fun fantasy story, and very Tolkien-esque. ;)

Snickers (a book you're going nuts about)

Anomaly by Krista McGee!! Set in a dystopian world with genetically modified humans who don't have emotions, this book was incredible. It sounds cliche, but it totally isn't. I'm dying to read the next two books in the trilogy.

Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows (a book you turn to for comfort)

The Bible!!! No, I'm serious, man. There is no other book in the world that can give such complete peace as God's Word. ^_^

A Box of Chocolates (a series you feel has something for everyone)

This is super easy -- The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (including it's prequel, The Hobbit). I've heard sooo many people say how they read at least The Hobbit in school, and it was their absolute favorite book ever -- then they got older and decided to read LOTR, only to love that even more. 

Honestly, you can't get much better than Middle-earth. ;) 

That was so much fun -- thanks again for the nominations, girls!! :) 

And here are my nominees!









And, of course, any one else who would like to do the tag! Even if you want to do it in the comment section here, go for it! Because I literally hate to leave people out... it makes me sad. ;) 

Welp, hope you enjoyed this fun little post, and hopefully I'll get those 5 drafts finished sometime soon... ;) 

~Beth

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Maturation is a Process

Let's just say...

I've seen myself mature the most over the past 2 years than during any other period in my life.

And yes, I'm glad of this... but of course, in some ways I'm not... though I'll leave the nostalgic, I-don't-want-to-grow-up post for another time. ;)

Anyway.

This maturation has not only been physical, mental, social... but also spiritual.

Up until I was halfway through my 14th year of life, I hadn't ever really felt a real connection with God. I wanted to, I really did -- but I just... wasn't. Church was boring, just a time to see my friends, as was youth group, my devotions were a total of 5 minutes, in which I read a chapter of the Bible, sometimes writing down the reference, and occasionally writing down something I thought was interesting about it.

Let me tell you... I have too many pages in my bible notebook full of one-line entries.

Now, moving ahead in my timeline, I began to grow.

Somewhere along the line, something began to change. I don't think I could stick my finger on any big turning point, or radical transformation, but instead, it was gradual. So gradual that I didn't know the difference until it was upon me.

Like a bud finally beginning to bloom, opening it's petals towards the Son, I was finally beginning the meaningful life of a Christian that I had always yearned for.

You know how God's always saying that if we seek Him, we'll find Him? (Jer. 29:13, Matt. 7:7)

IT'S TRUE.

I was seeking. God had already found me, but my eyes weren't fully opened yet. Then, through His Holy Spirit working in me, through the process of maturation, I began to see...

My relationship with Jesus began to mean something more than just going to church, reading the Bible, having Christian friends... it meant interacting with Christ on a daily basis, through prayer, reading His word, and searching for His will in everything (or at least trying to...!)

I began to see new meaning in the songs I loved to sing in church (mascara smears after worship, anyone?). God began to teach and speak to me directly - from His word, in my personal quiet times, and also from other things that I would read, see, or that would simply pop into my head (that is the absolute best!), and I began praying more (which is an area I still struggle in).

I also began to lean on Him for strength in school work, projects (yes, cosplay!) health issues, my safety, the list goes on and on, encompassing every aspect of my life.

So... why did I write this?

I think because I wanted to let anyone who hasn't felt they've "clicked" with God yet, that that's okay. Maturation is a process, and it won't happen all at once. All we can do is continue to seek God with our whole being, and ask Him to reveal Himself to us.

Guys... He has promised that those who seek WILL find. Claim that promise, because it is yours to claim.

He will lead -- all you must do is follow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Music Spotlight: "Wonders"

Time for a music spotlight, featuring... The Piano Guys' new album, Wonders!



The Piano Guys are just awesome.  In case you haven't heard of them before, the perfect description comes from their Facebook page:

"What do you get when you mix up a marketing genius that does video, a studio engineer that writes music, a pianist that had a successful solo career, and a cellist that does pretty much everything? The Piano Guys: a miraculous meeting of “guys” with the same intrinsic purpose – to make a positive impact in the lives of people all over the world through music videos."


I found them over on YouTube about 2 years ago, from their (gorgeous) Lord of the Rings arrangement.  After that, I was in love! ;)



About the music on their latest album... it's even better than their past two albums!  There's two songs featuring vocals, while the rest are instrumental -- making it perfect study music.

So, there's my brief rundown of The Piano Guys and Wonders!  Let meh know in le comments what your favorite song(s) are off the album, and if you had heard of these musicians before! :)


Here's my favorites...

3 - Ants Marching / Ode to Joy
4 - Fathers' Eyes
7 - Batman Evolution
8 - Don't You Worry Child (feat. Shweta Subram)
11 - Because of You

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ugly Knit Shirt Refashion

Firstly -- you must forgive me for going all M.I.A. on ya'll for 10 days. It wasn't intentional, I promise! ;)

In that time, I've been up to quite a lot. And the refashion in this post is one of them!


I haven't done one of these in much too long, and I've had this shirt hanging around for a while - a very out-of-fashion, ribbed knit, long sleeved shirt. A hand-me-down from one of my older sisters. ;)

Here's where we begin:


Yes, it is wearable as it is, but it could be much much better. The big thing was those sleeves... so awkward. The fit wasn't the greatest either.

I first picked out what I did like about it: the color, and the cute lace lining the collar. Other than that... meh. So, time to get to work!


I decided to make the sleeves 3/4 length:


Sewing!


Sleeve hem completed:


Then I took it in about a 1/2 inch along each side, including the armhole (which were a tad large) and the upper part of the sleeve.




Aaaaand finished! :D


P.S. Apologies for this post being kinda quick. Lotsa business going on, and not enough time to blog. :p I've got several cosplay posts in the draft folder (as usual, right xD) - but for now, here's a little tease... :D

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

[Battle] Tauriel Cosplay - The Dress

Here arrives the promised post:

The dress for my battle Tauriel costume!

But first, some progress pics from the making of it.

The bodice, which really shows the importance of fitting pattern-made clothes before you sew them together. I lengthened the pattern piece so it would fall a bit below my waist, instead of right at it:


The collar, which I altered quite a bit from the original pattern piece:


Bodice + collar sewn together:


The skirt, which took an extremely long time (see how I didn't say "forever"? ;)) due to the huge hem and getting the correct length. And yes, it is split down the front and back.


The sleeves, which took a bit of time to fit as well. As you can [barely] see, they're split at the wrist:


And finally -- the finished product! It was so worth all the work, and I totally reccomend this pattern (McCall's 6818). Fairly simple to follow, and with a lovely outcome (okay with altering ;D).

(you can't tell very well, but the skirt really is split down the front and back, I promise;)
And one picture of me wearing it. :)

(excuse the no makeup ;))
P.S. 76 days in the countdown to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies!