Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Handmade Gift Exchange summer 2014

I love Craftaholics gift exchanges! It's fun to have a "secret pal" to send something handmade to. It's also fun to get to know that person through posts and answers to questions you ask about them, like: what is your favorite color, what is your favorite season, do you have a specific style you like, what is your favorite holiday, etc. I learned enough about Cassie Fuller to know that she collects Christmas stuff year 'round, and that she has little kids with a new baby on the way. So I sent her a pillow that said "JOY" on it, a Christmas star made from clothespins, a white totebag with a pink polka-dot interior, and a lamb hand puppet, all of which I made specifically for her and her little brood. She sent me a Christmas sign on a 10"x12" tile, a set of Americana blocks that says God Bless America, and a set of calendar blocks that has a huge array of occasions with it. Here, let me show you:

I'm positively thrilled with my gifts and hope she is likewise with mine (she says she is). Unfortunately, I neglected to photograph my gifts to her before I mailed them. Hopefully, she will photograph them and I can get them from her. Meanwhile, if you're interested in getting in on the next exchange, just go to The next one will be in the fall (I think). Maybe you and I will be partners!

Have you participated in handmade gift exchanges? Did you have fun? What did you make/receive?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update on personal goals

Lest I forget them, I go back and periodically read my goals again. And I'm shocked at how much time has already past since I first posted them. So here's a brief update:

1-6 month goals
• Develop statements of purpose, value, and missionDONE
• Find a group that is doing important work and contribute to it CONTINUING
• Join or start a small group for discussion.
• Get training in Prophetic Ministry. DONE
• Begin blogging about my journeyCONTINUING

1 year goals
• Seek teaching and/or curriculum development assignment
• Begin Russian language study CONTINUING
• Get involved in Prophetic Ministry CONTINUING

3-5 year goals
• Speak Russian fluently
• Advocate for Russian speaking victims of trafficking
• Publish a book about Human Trafficking (from blog posts)

I have two upcoming events in my anti-human-trafficking ministry, both in July. One is a craft day with some girls saved from slavery and one is a full day of teaching kids about who God is and how He has planned for their lives, if only they will follow Him. What a marvelous adventure, finding out what God's plan and purpose for one's life is!

Last week I volunteered at a "My Gateway" event, where we are beta-testing an application being developed in our church for use by other churches around the world. If your church is using the "Table" app, you already have an earlier version of it.

The week before I volunteered at an Access Life event where I helped handicapped people of all ages make sun visors at the expo. Lots of fun, but when I got home from being in the sun all day I slept for four hours straight! Boy the hot weather here in Texas really wears me out!

I packaged up a sheep toy I sold from my Etsy store and my gifts for my Craftaholics Handmade Gift Exchange partner and got them ready to mail tomorrow.

One more thing happened today. I received test swatches from Spoonflower on three of my designs, and ordered a yard of another of my designs. Here's what they look like:

This is the one I ordered a yard of. My next piggy will be wearing a dress made of this material.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A story of three little pigs

This is a story of three little pigs. All girls. And dressed up to meet you. The first little pig is Daisy. She was my foray into making pig dolls with paper mache heads. And a bear's body. (All my pigs have paper mache heads and bear's bodies.) So who's judging? They like their shape.

Daisy taught me a lot, like pigs have double chins and fat cheeks. And smiles. Really. They do.

The second pig was Petunia.

Petunia taught me a lot, too. Like if you make the sleeves too tight on her dress, her arms will stick up.

The third little pig was Rose.

Rose's contribution to the story is that there is a better way to attach heads than with tying them on with string. Hot glue. Much better. She also taught me to varnish the hands and feet before sewing the clothing on. Or she reminded me after her clothing was already sewn on. But hey, what's an experience for if not to learn?

These little pigs aren't afraid of any big, bad wolf. I'm not going to make one of those, although I did once make a sheep in wolf's clothing!

Here are some pictures of Rose in the making:

Sorry for the poor light and the blurry pictures. It's raining today (so no natural light) and I'm using my iphone because my real camera is on the blink. Yeah. That's the story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

3 Things That Rock

It's a Friday afternoon, and although it's only 4:15, I've been home for half an hour. That's super-cool, because my work day lasts from 7:00am to 7:00pm, five days a week. Then I try to work in crafting and blogging (and—shudder_ housekeeping). I wish I could say I was a crack housekeeper, but that would be lying. We're lucky if I get the downstairs presentable everyday. At least my kitchen stays relatively clean. I say relatively because I don't think Martha would approve. But then, I don't really care if she does. Or not.

But, oh, my studio! What a mess! I simply have to get a handle on it. I have projects in all stages of completeness all over the place and piles of supplies everywhere I look. Organization is not my strong suit. But I'm determined to get it all under control this summer, revamping the whole mess and posting as I go. I'm embarrassed to post pictures of it in its disarray right now, but once I get things a little put away, I promise to do that. You can come along for the ride!

I think my first project for the studio revamp will be to refurbish my desk. It's where my computer is and where I do small projects while I watch my latest tv-addiction  on my computer. We don't have tv service, so I have to watch online.

(An aside. My fingernails have gotten so long I can hardly type. I think I'll give myself a manicure and shorten them this weekend. Not tomorrow, though. Jeff and I are volunteering at our church at an event tomorrow. Leaving me even less time to get stuff done.)

But the title of this post was three things that rock. So here they are:

1) I've nearly finished pig number three. The head just needs to have polyurethane painted on and I can get to making the body. The body takes me about an hour to sew, stuff, and attach the head. Then comes the process of "aging" it with tea, coffee, and/or paint. Finally the clothing takes about another hour. With drying time, she should be finished by Monday or Tuesday (depending on how much housework I'm willing to skip this weekend).


2) I finished making a Christmas pillow for my craft-exchange partner (along with a tote bag and a sheep puppet for her kids) and have only one more thing to make for her before I ship it all out on Monday or Tuesday. I'll include a tutorial for the pillow at a later date. The word and stripes are felted on, not sewn or glued. It's simple, lasting, and makes a more pleasing finish, in my opinion.

3)Also finished is my youngest grandson's blanket, which I made with a pretty gray and yellow chevron patterned flannel on one side, and some brownish-gray minky on the other side. He loves it, being still just one year old and into "blankies."

So that makes three projects done and done. Well, except the pig. And the last little thing for the exchange box. But those should be finished in the next three or four days. And that rocks!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How Can God Be Good In A World With Slavery?

God is good. Always and forever. And His will for mankind is good, too. So how can He be all-knowing, all good and all-powerful and still allow slavery? Why doesn't He step in and set the captives free?

To answer that question, we have to go back in time. A long, long way back. To real people in a real garden at the very beginning of time. To Adam and Eve, and the saddest story ever told. (Even sadder than the Easter story!)

See, God, who was perfect in His triune state (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) decided to make man in His image. So He made man.  And then He said it was "not good" that man should be alone, so He made woman. Together, they were "very good."

Of all the gifts God gave to Adam and Eve, the greatest (other than life itself) was free will. He knew that for love to be love, man had to have a choice. He couldn't "program" love into man, because that wouldn't be love, which must be given in freedom.

Then God told Adam not to eat of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There were an abundance of other just as tasty trees, and of them man could eat freely. But the serpent deceived Eve by twisting what God said oh, so subtly. Just enough to make Eve question the Lord's goodness. Then she chose to eat from the tree, and she gave some to Adam and he ate, too.

This is the saddest part of the story, because of what Adam and Eve gave up for a taste of forbidden fruit. The first and most important thing was spiritual life. Where before, in their unfallen state, Adam and Eve had fellowship with God, now they could no longer enter His presence. And not they alone, but all of humanity who was to come after them, too. Adam and Eve were no longer capable of passing on a perfect spirit to their children, but only a dead one. And with the loss of spiritual life came loss of intimacy with God.

Now God's heart breaks over the slaves of today. It did not have to be that way, but sin entered into the world through one man, and all have sinned because of him. God's will is for all to be free (look at the number of times I've used the word free in this post).

But along with the saddest story is the greatest one, too. And that is the Easter story. Jesus, unable to atone for our sin without becoming a man born under the curse of sin, became a man. He freely (there's that word again!) gave up His god-nature to become man-nature. Then He lived a sinless life so that He was found worthy of becoming a sacrifice for us. (Without the shedding of  blood, there is no remission of sin.) If you want to know how that all turned out for Jesus, watch Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.

The point is, man's freewill is the cause of slavery, not God. God remains good, always good, and man remains sinful. But hope is the evidence of things not seen. Continue to help and to hope! When He returns, He will wipe away every tear. Meanwhile, please pray for those who are enslaved and for those who are doing the enslaving. Both need Jesus.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Change in direction and an action plan.

I'm not very good at keeping a blog when there isn't a specific point to it, so I'm changing the direction of this one from just everyday happenings to my ministry blog. It will have posts on anti-human trafficking and on prophecy, as those are my two ministries. Today I'll share my action plan for them, and then I'll keep updated with how things are progressing.

First, though, I'll share what my ID coach, Michael, told me. He said that he rarely sees anyone with as concise a vision and plan for achieving that vision. That was good to hear (and a little bit flattering to my ego). I guess I am pretty focused. And that's a good thing, because it's easier to see where I need to go and how I'm doing on the road.

So here's my action plan:

Suzi Wollman  

Personal Value Statement*
“To glorify God in all I say and do through developing the character traits of compassion, faith, honesty, integrity, kindness, love and truth as befits a follower of Jesus Christ. It is the standard by which I measure success.”

Personal Purpose Statement*
“To utilize the strengths (strategy, belief, learning, intellection, and ideation) and gifts (teaching, faith, and prophecy) which God has so graciously given me to achieve His goals and purpose for my life.”

Personal Mission Statement*
“To provide freedom from slavery for trafficked children through illumination of the problem and belief in God’s provision, and to help victims reach a place of forgiveness.”


Action Plan

Overarching goal: “To Glorify God by putting the spotlight on Him and leveraging everything I can in my life to lift Him up so others can see Him. To maximize all that I have been given to show and tell others about Him. To use my money, skills, talents and passions, and all that I am, for Christ.”

1-6 month goals
Develop statements of purpose, value, and mission. DONE
Find a group that is doing important work and contribute to it. BEGUN
• Join or start a small group for discussion.
Get training in Prophetic Ministry. BEGUN
Begin blogging about my journey. BEGUN

1 year goals
• Seek teaching and/or curriculum development assignment
• Begin Russian language study
• Get involved in Prophetic Ministry

3-5 year goals
• Speak Russian fluently
• Advocate for Russian speaking victims of trafficking
• Publish a book about Human Trafficking (from blog posts)


[*Value: something intrinsically desirable. / purpose: the reason why something is done or used. / mission: a specific task with which a person or group is charged.]

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writing prompt: Magic in the Details

The night breeze ruffles the small hairs on the back of my neck, wet from sweat despite the cool air. A shiver runs down my spine. I hear the snapping of a twig and think someone is sneaking up on me. Turning quickly, terrified of what I might see, I strain to see through the thick blanket of darkness that smothers me. No one there. An owl who-whoots somewhere above me. The tall pine trees have left a carpet of pine needles that smell pungent when my boots crush them underfoot. In the pale moonlight, I can see what seems to be a human shape, facing me, standing stock-still. My heart skips a beat and drops of fear-smelling sweat run into my eyes. I squeeze my eyes shut and open them again, hoping against hope that whoever—or whatever—is standing there watching me will be gone. Is it? No. It doesn't move. My heart beats loudly in my ears as I hold my breath.

Then the moon breaks through the clouds and its light shows me... a statue.

I am alone in the garden of good and evil.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


i'm no good at resolutions. like so many others, i make them only to break them in a week or so. or when the enthusiasm of an idea disappears in the reality of actually putting that idea into action. so these are un-resolutions. things i want to do with my life this year (way too many things). they fall into several categories: health and wellbeing; creative juices; finances; homemaking; relationships; spiritual, self-improvement.

here's what my ideal would be:
spiritual - read a chapter in my bible every day. do a daily devotional. pray more.
health - lose weight. eat more veggies and less sugar. exercise at least 5 days a week. get more sleep.
creative - write every day. keep an art journal. develop my own line of prim patterns. make a scrapbook (not a digital one!)
finances - get (and keep) my business books in order.
homemaking - make and maintain a cleaning schedule. redo craft studio.
relationships - call loved ones every week. have fun with my hubby. develop some girl friends.
self-improvement (physical) - let hair grow out. get a new wardrobe (a few pieces at a time as I lose weight. maintain my nails.

obviously i can't implement those all at once! so tomorrow, i add a chapter a day to my bible reading and devotionals, and spending more time in prayer. keep a prayer list in a notebook with room to write down when and how God answers.

start keeping a food journal so that i can see what i'm eating (i'm using "lose it"). also include an exercise log. go to bed by 10:00.

writing in the blog everyday, if only a line or two.

set up new bookkeeping system online.

follow my cleaning schedule.

call jenny and each of my children as well as mom and dad every week.

do my nails.