Searching For Sunshine In The Rain....A Few Favorites

Somehow the days turned to weeks and then months.  I backed away from my writing home because my mind and heart knew it couldn't be a priority in the moment, and before I knew it four months had passed.  So much has been going on personally the last few months that I mentally just couldn't put pen to figurative paper.

And so I stopped writing.

Maybe I should have kept going for my own sanity.  But for now at least the fog has started to clear and I'm ready to get back at it in my corner of the internet. 

And what better way than to share a few of my favorite things that have brought sparks of laughter and joy through some overly cloudy months?

*As always I'll include links to make it easy to find my favorites - some may be affiliate links that support the blog, at no extra cost to you*

TopShop Clear Panel Mom Jeans 

These reviews (which Nordstrom has since taken off their website) are side-splitting. I guess the designer must have been tired of showing off the same old skin on the runway, so why not be an exhibitionist of knees?  This is seriously a must read - just set your drink down first!  I thought for sure these were a joke, but nope! You can find them on Nordstrom's website....so clearly someone is buying them!  Except think they are probably model fashionistas.  That aren't moms.  And what a bargain at only $95 - a steal!

Poldark

Somehow I missed the first season of Poldark when it hit the US scene on PBS a few years ago.  It has been on my list of shows to watch one day, since I've never met a BBC production I didn't like.  But I could never find it streaming -  such a first world crisis.  So my solution?  Buy both of the seasons as a Valentine's gift for my better half (as built in at-home TV watching date nights)......which may have been just a tad for myself (I'm selfish..what can I say)?  But in all seriousness, it's a much more manly than the Bronte or Austen adaptations I usually lean towards.

AND WE GOT HOOKED.  We watched both seasons in two weeks - I haven't stayed up so late since I was in college, but it was just so addicting.  I've made it my personal mission to recommend this to everyone because it is the best TV I may have ever seen....as in it has bypassed my true movie love, the 1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice......and that's saying something!  I've been stalking for when PBS will air season 3, but alas we keep waiting for more Ross & Demelza.  My Dad even bought the first book in the series of novels that was the basis for the show, so you know I'll be borrowing that ASAP!

*Head's up - Aidan Turner is in the running to be the next James Bond against Tom Huddleston.  Fingers crossed Huddleston gets it or the Poldark legacy may end after Season 3!!

SheReadsTruth Bible

SheReadsTruth (SRT) had been hinting on Instragram over the last few months about having developed a Bible. I preordered it last week & it came today from Amazon....I've not been so excited to check the mail in years.  It is so beautiful!  The illustrations are so well done, but more importantly they chose a quality translation (the new CSB) which is meant to be a readable text that is translated from the original languages (not a translation of a translation).  You can check out their website for a few videos to show you more about the inside of the Bible & the translation itself. Or you can see a bunch of close ups I took on my Instagram feed today (@thehomemadefig).

How beautiful is the embossing on the gold embossing?!?

How beautiful is the embossing on the gold embossing?!?

I ordered the SRT Poppy Linen Bible, but there are multiple other cover options (apparently the leather they chose feels like the best of leather handbags!).  Plus there is the option to get an indexed version (the finger indentions that help you find each book of the Bible).  

Sure I love my Ryrie Study Bible handed down from my mom, but I'm excited to start using this one too in my Bible Study as a different translation for comparison.

I promise a more beautiful Bible has never been made.  The beauty only accentuates the perfection that is God's word. 

I promise a more beautiful Bible has never been made.  The beauty only accentuates the perfection that is God's word. 

Cascara Latte's

Most of the new drinks these days at Starbucks are just too sweet for my black coffee taste.  But the "mascara latte" as we call it around these parts has become my go to on our Sunday morning pre-church coffee stops.  Except I need an extra espresso shot - mandatory to mellow the sugar for my tastebuds.  I know this has gotten mixed reviews overall but I'm hoping it sticks around.

Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb

I've been in a podcast listening routine lately but was getting tired of princess music during all my car rides with my little one.  I'd heard good things about Ellie's new album, and those reviews were spot on.  Such a great album - my favorite track by far is 'Find You Here'.

I'm not gonna lie - I first heard of Ellie a few years ago when she performed with her husband (Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors) when he opened up for NeedToBreathe in Charlottesville.  And I thought she was straight up crazy.  Thinking back it was probably just her being super passionate about her music & that she was just ALL. IN.  {I'm talking running around and slinging her hair around more than at a Rolling Stones concert}.  So it took me a while to build up enough nerve to take a listen & get past my preconceived ideas of her music, but I'm so glad I did!  

LIVE PD

Looking back, I'm not sure at what point I started watching COPS with my dad.  Probably too young.  But I loved doing things with my Dad and I've been known to be a bit headstrong.  While vacationing with my parents recently, he turned on LivePD, and I should probably be ashamed to say I'm hooked.  Basically it's COPS, but aired live every Friday & Saturday night on A&E.

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Last week viewers noticed someone throwing drugs out of the driver's window, so the officer was able to go back to the exact spot, find the drugs, & charge the guy.  THANKS TO TWITTER.  Boom.  Take that social media. Proof you really can be used for good. 

Guys.  Tell me all the things.  What are you reading? Watching? Eating? Listening to? Bring on what's bringing sunshine on your tough days - I need all the sunshine I can get!

The Homemade Fig - Best of Etsy 2015

Well the last day & post of this years #write31days challenge & Best of Etsy 2015 series is finally here!  I'm a bit sad & overjoyed all at once - let's just say it was a long workday, the baby girl has croup, and no one is sleeping.  So yes, I'll be beyond happy not to have to write all weekend!  I have loved virtually shopping with you, but I'm boiling over with other things I want to share & write about that didn't fit this series - so bring on November!  Something about getting back into a regular writing routine & attending Allume again has me inspired......& that's an all around good thing!

Today I'm sharing a little side project I've been dreaming about and working on bit by bit behind the scenes for a while.  Yep, The Homemade Fig now has an Etsy shop.   If I can't promote myself on my own blog, then what kind of writer would I be? So be sure you check it out by clicking here.

I love to create.  I love to cross-stitch.  But I've come to realize more and more how much all forms of embroidery are slowly becoming dying arts.  I grew up watching my grandma embroider & my mom taught me to cross-stitch.  So many people of our generation weren't exposed like me  which means the chances of two generations from now knowing how to do these things are slim to none.  And slim left town (thanks Dad for the joke....but you're probably not reading this...Mom you should tell him he's famous now). 

I have a passion to provide an easy & beautiful pattern in kit form to allow kiddos (or really any beginner) to learn how to cross-stitch.  No samplers.  No colonial era patterns.  No kitsch.  Just cute, fun, attractive patterns.  P.S. Moms...cross-stitching is a built-in math lesson....counting for days!

In the meantime while I am perfecting my patterns & my dream kits (let's be honest the packaging is half of what attracts us to products, am I right??), I've posted on my Etsy store some of the most recent patterns I've created - and why wouldn't the first one be of a fig?

Next up in the shop is in honor of my little sister's love of Disney's tsum tsum toys (aka this generations Beanie Babies).  We have begun quite the collection with baby girl & I love this tribute to the Fab 5 (well, 6 since poor Daisy usually gets the shaft).

I literally finished up a wall hanging tonight of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.  I decided to go with a chalkboardish style on this one.  I'll be honest, I don't love stitching on black Aida cloth - it makes even my young eyes strain.  The saving grace for that is my portable Ott light!  The best part is that this could be stitched in any color combination you could imagine.  

I made this beauty for my favorite internet age 'pen-pal' - it's her blog header.  A perfectly unique gift for any blogger or writer!  I'll be adding custom listing for blog graphics shortly.

I'd love to know if there's something you would like to see - I'm testing out patterns for custom house portraits, and have a few other secret things up my sleeves!

All of the patterns are instant downloads so you can get started right away, because I know what's it's like to have the creative bug hit - you've gotta start when the feelings right!  

I am so thankful beyond any words for each of you that found the blog during this series - thanks for joining! Stick around for tutorials and DIYs coming down the pipeline before the holidays.  And for my old faithful friends....I love you for continually coming back & reading!  

In case you missed any of the shops in the series, you can go to the series m ain page here and find links to every post.  If that wasn't enough, you can check out the featured shops from the 2014 Etsy series here.

Happy Halloween friends - eat a Reese's cup for me!

Satsuma Street - 31 Days of Etsy

So far in this series I've featured a few sewing and handicraft shops, but I can't resist sharing one more.  You need a bit of background.  As a kid, I remember my mom cross-stitching patterns of the various buildings in Colonial Williamsburg.  The Governor's Palace.  The Capitol building.  They hung at the end of the hall as a reminder of places we'd been and memories we'd made as a family.

Well the grown up version of me ended up doing the same thing.  Except for now they all sit in a box in my craft closet.  But here's a peek of some completed patterns.

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Literally everywhere we go I refuse to leave until I have searched the gift shop racks for a cross-stitch pattern of some part of the building or site.  You may be surprised how often I find them.  Like always.  We visit lots of historical sites and its pretty much a guarantee they will have at least one kit to choose from.  Me and the 80 year old tourists keep them in business.

But our trip to Europe last year left me without a pattern for either London or Paris.  Trust me I looked.  Liberty of London let me down.  But enter last Christmas and my sister's amazing find.... Satsuma Street.

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

She has patterns perfect for the world traveler (or wanna-be traveler).  Barcelona.  NYC.  Tokyo.  And more.  I adore how her patterns (that you can instantly download & print) remind me of "Small World".  And that they include all the key sights in each city.  

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

Photo used with permission from Satsuma Street

What better place to hang these patterns than the nursery wall collage right?  The bright colors perfectly matched the coral....it was meant to be! 

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Seriously folks, what a deal.  Six dollars each or ten dollars for two of her city prints.   These make me happy.  And are so not "old-lady" looking like deer and wolf patterns from the craft stores.  Oh you know exactly which ones I'm talking about.  But oh these are perfect for an old soul like me.  Head over to Satsuma Street and look at all the cities she has available - which is your favorite?