Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Project Love Feature & Giveaway

Happy Wednesday, friends! Have I got a treat for you today! :) Meet Hillary.

hi, i’m hillary. i have been alive now for 23 years and am married to the love of my life. i’m SUPER excited about this, and generally excited by anything else that falls into the "cute" or "cozy" categories. I'm a baker, blogger, dancer, choreographer, photographer, designer, and most importantly a wife! I love any and everything vintage & i'm probably the most nostalgic person I know.
Project Love is a faith based clothing company that my husband and I started a year ago! It is an innovative design company, born in efforts to spread the everlasting love of God through fashion. Project Love is committed to promoting positivity and helping the inner light in each of us shine through to others. We can change the ways of the world and spread love and light simply by wearing our brand. So, wear your heart on your sleeve, and project your love with Project Love.

Hillary is giving one lucky reader 2 ITEMS from the ENDLESS SUMMER COLLECTION!!! (must be in stock in the size chosen)

Mandatory to Enter:
Please be a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect (one entry)

Extra Entries (comment for each):
(1) Visit the Project Love shop and tell me your favorite item (one entry)
(2) Follow Hillary's blog via Google Friend Connect (one entry)
(3) Follow Hillary (@Project_Love) AND myself (@NSPottery) on twitter (one entry)
(4) facebook, tweet, OR blog about the giveaway (one entry)
      Feel free to use this:
     I just entered to win 2 summer items from @Project_Love on @NSPottery's blog! 
 Winner will be announced Tuesday, September 6.

love.
Natalie

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Art-A-Palooza

Hi friends! Here are some photos from Art-A-Palooza on Saturday...













My former pottery teacher turned competition Bob Yost... no not really, we have pretty different styles of pottery :) He continues to encourage me even though I am no longer one of his students.


The weather was gorgeous, and I'm thankful for everyone who came out to support me and the rest of the local handmade community.

love.
Natalie

P.S. Project Love giveaway happening tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Thoughts on Life & Baptism

Hi friends! Hope you all had a great weekend! Tomorrow I will be sharing pictures and a recap of my art show on Saturday, so be sure to stop back. :)

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Yesterday, I witnessed 11 young people take the next step in their faith by getting baptized. I had to think about my own baptism about twelve years ago. It was around the time that I really started a relationship with God. Getting baptized doesn't mean you have it all together or that your relationship with God is perfect, as one of the girls getting baptized talked about, but it's a step of faith, showing that you are committed to following Him wherever He leads and making Him King over your life.

I never would have guessed everything He would do over the next twelve years of my life, everything that He would teach me, every way that He would stretch me, the way He would show me that without Him I am nothing and can do nothing. Sometimes I wonder how people who don't know Christ survive in this crazy world- how they have the hope to go on! I guess, sadly, many don't.

I wouldn't change any of my life experiences. Some, while incredibly dark at the time, have shaped me into who I am and have given me a love for my Savior that I don't think I would have if life was always a bed of roses.

He is all I need.


love,
Natalie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer, Don't Leave Me

Hello, friends! It is almost Friday, which means one day until Art-A-Palooza! I'm crazy busy but, of course, found some time to blog. :)

I can't believe kids are back in school already! Where has summer gone? It seems like just yesterday, it was the beginning of July.

I LOVE fall- decorating with pumpkins and gourds, wearing cozy sweaters and boots, watching trees change from green to shades of red, yellow, and orange. 


Source: mcgowandesign.tumblr.com via Natalie on Pinterest

Source: city-data.com via Natalie on Pinterest

But honestly, I'm not ready for it just yet.
I'll miss summer too much- running outside with bare feet, feeling the warmth of the sun on my shoulders, enjoying the abundance of fresh local produce, snipping fresh herbs from the garden.


Source: luvinthemommyhood.com via Natalie on Pinterest


Source: sunset.com via Natalie on Pinterest

These are the things that I wish could last forever. I'm trying to soak in every last bit of summer that I can.


love,
Natalie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Art-A-Palooza This Saturday

Happy Wednesday, friends!
I'm busy gearing up for Art-A-Palooza on Saturday. I'm so excited! :)


Here are some photos from last year.




All the tents are set up around the pond. It is gorgeous.

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I found this photo on Art-A-Palooza's facebook page the other day. Can you spot me? I'm looking at Erika Original's amazing display for probably only like the hundredth time. hehe :) I was mildly obsessed. (Lucky for me, my brother and sister-in-law got me one of her necklaces for Christmas.) :)

Source
If you're in the Northeast Ohio area, I'd love to meet you! Stop on by Boettler Park in Green.


love,
Natalie

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Being Radical

Happy Monday, friends! It's a brand new week, and I am ready!

If you read this post from two weeks ago, you know that I've been a little unsettled as to what I am doing with my life in the midst of so much suffering taking place around the world. I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying about what God wants me to do, and I felt a lot of confirmation yesterday with what I feel God is telling me.

Our sermon was on the rich young man in Mark 10. If you're not familiar with that account, it's about a man who comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and give to the poor, then come and follow him. The man becomes very sad and walks away because he was very wealthy, and didn't want to give up everything he had in order to follow Jesus.

I wonder how often the things of this world keep us from the abundant life that God wants us to have. Are we holding on to what we have so tightly that we miss out on greater blessings that He has in store for us?

I currently live at home with my parents. I don't have a family to take care of. I don't have a lot of big expenses.

I'm not sure if I should share exactly what I'm thinking. I'm still trying to decide.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  -Matthew 6:2-4

This I do know: Christ doesn't call us to safe, comfortable living. He calls us to be radical.


It's not about what you give, it's about what you keep.



love,
Natalie

P.S. As you've probably noticed, I discontinued the Sunday Reflections link-party. I spend a LOT of time thinking about my posts and felt too pressured to have them up at a certain time. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Business, a Better Way?


I read a lot of articles via etsy and business blogs about running a small business. And you know what I hear over and over?

"You need to have a business plan."

"You need to set goals."

Guess what?

I don't.

I don't know what today holds, let alone the next 5 years!

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. -James 4:13-14

If I felt God telling me to give up this business today, I hope I would obey willingly, not kicking and screaming. I don't know what plans He has for my future, but I sure want to let Him have His way because I know it is a million times better than anything I can accomplish on my own.

I need His wisdom and guidance EVERY DAY because, honestly, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING, but He knows what HE is doing, so I must rely on that.

I feel like if I get too wrapped up in myself, setting goals and dreaming of the future, I lose site of what HE wants for my life. I take one day at a time and see where He leads me.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -James 1:5


              
linking up with Casey

love,
Natalie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Compassion's Cry

Hi friends!

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I'm over at Compassion's Cry today with some facts about Somalia and a challenge for you. Won't you join me?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Post: Andrea of the Hollie Rogue

Hi friends! Today I am honored to have Andrea guest posting for me! Just because we may be Christians, doesn't mean that we won't face trials and difficult times in this life. But we can have peace, knowing that God is in control and that He will take care of us, no matter what.
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Hi, I’m Andi and I’m honored to be here as a guest of Natalie’s (isn’t she just the sweetest?)! I’m a mama to two little ones, wife, and elementary teacher (though I stay at home right now). I’m new to the blogging world as of February of this year and my start to writing has a lot to do with a MAJOR life crisis----

You see we took my, then, 2 month old son—Rogan, in for his regular well check and we came out with the scary diagnosis of CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS………

We were expecting the standard, “he looks great!” Totally not prepared for that one.

In simple terms, craniosynostosis is when the soft spot of a baby’s head fuses together way too early (as in before they are even born) and it causes a skewed head shape because the skull can’t grow correctly as the brain grows. 

Like I said, I didn’t even know such a condition existed, let alone that OUR baby had a weird head shape. I thought he was beautiful! 

Of course, we HAD to go home and google the condition and find all kinds of scary pictures, prognoses, and outcomes.  We were frazzled……to say the least.

Our lives were quickly turned upside down with neurosurgeons, xrays, and surgery dates scheduled---but also wrapped in prayers from literally all over the world (social media can have its downsides, but in this case, it was such a blessing).  

Through the entire process…..I kept thinking,
I should be more worried….
more scared….
more emotional.   
But the truth is, I didn’t cry one tear………………….


I’m actually not sure why exactly..maybe I’m just a “hard butt” or maybe I knew deep down that my God is greater than this situation and that HE would be working it all to HIS glory.  I’m pretty sure I was in too much of a post partum anxiety-induced fog to be intentionally thinking it, but I had that deep calm that only HE can provide and it definitely surpassed my own understanding.  HE held me close when I watched my four month old baby be wheeled off to have his skull drilled into, when he came out with bandages and a swollen face, and when we took him home just 2.5 days after the surgery!  It was an amazing recovery and I know that the Lord was watching and caring for us all during the whole situation.  I’m forever grateful for HIS constant Love and Presence in our lives.  

How’s Rogan doing now?  He’s an active and happy 8 month old---thanks be to God!



What I truly learned through our ordeal is that in this life there will be trials and unexpected hardships, but when we know the Lord as our Savior, we can rest in HIS peace in all circumstances and get through whatever this broken world throws at us.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV).

Blessings, friends






Thank you, Andrea!

Aren't her kids the cutest?! Now hop on over to her blog and say "hello!" Rumor has it that there is a pretty fancy-shmancy giveaway going on RIGHT NOW in celebration of her reaching 100 followers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Family + Nature = Fun

Happy Monday, friends!

Here are some photos from my Sunday. :)




Ok, I cheated... because I didn't take my camera on the boat the first time, I failed to get pictures of people tubing, so those three pictures were from last year.

The rest ARE from yesterday... promise!


We got reeeeeally wet (Can't you tell?!- That's what happens when you tube in the rain) :)





"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."  -Revelation 4:11



love,
Natalie