Military Branch Ornaments

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Today is D-Day.  The day that thousands of Allied forces lost their lives storming the beaches at Normandy on the first day of the invasion into France during World War II.

I had hoped to have this set of ornaments done by Memorial Day so I could have shared them then, but this works, too.

Never forget the sacrifices of the brave men and women in our Armed Forces that keep vigil day and night to preserve our freedom and help win freedom for others.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Star Wars Garland with Death Star Ornament

In retrospect, I probably should have had this ready to post a few weeks ago on May the Fourth.

Well, in complete honesty, it should have been up a few months ago, but hey, what are ya gonna do?  Life happens, amiright?  Let’s just pretend that I completely intended to post it on the weekend that Solo came out.

Speaking of which, Disney and Lucasfilm really dropped the ball on that one.  They could totally have released Solo on May 4th, since that was a Friday.  Release a Star Wars movie on Star Wars Day?  I’m tellin’ ya, missed opportunity!

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Anyway, back to the point…

Over the Christmas holiday I put up a pretty garland in my hobbit hole (windowless basement family room) with lots of sparkly red decorations.  I had bought the greenery a few years ago but never actually put it up until last Christmas, and after the holidays were over, I didn’t really want to take it down.  It took a long time to get it all fluffed up and looking pretty!

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So I brainstormed what I could put up instead.  Knowing me, and the room it was hanging in, of course it had to be something geeky.

I picked up a bunch of Star Wars ornaments on clearance after Christmas, thinking I could incorporate them into the garland somehow.  A couple of them were also gifted to me.

I also picked up this very large, sparkly, round plastic ornament.

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Bet you can guess where this is headed.  😉

Not wanting all the texture from the glitter on my ball, I experimented a bit and figured out that felt scraps soaked in 100% acetone took the glitter off fairly easily.

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After much time, elbow grease, and fumes, the ornament was nice and smooth.  I also used acetone to take the gold off the hanger so it would match the rest of the ball when it was done.

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A couple base coats of gray paint later and it’s starting to resemble something out of Star Wars.

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The ball is literally as big as my  head!

After the base coat was dry, I added the equator trench in paint.  Now remember, this is all done freehand so it’s definitely not going to be perfect!  I pulled up a couple images of the original Death Star on my computer and sketched out in pencil all the sections to paint darker.  And then, of course, I painted them!

 

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I know it’s not 3D with a divot for the laser dish, but I still like it.  When I got the paint job this far, it was still pretty cold out, so I hung it up without a final sealant coat.  Now that it’s nice out, I need to give it a spray coat of sealer so the paint doesn’t scratch off it.  Nothing is touching it when it’s hanging up with the garland, so I figured it was safe until it warmed up.

I needed something else to decorate the garland with besides just the Death Star and the ornaments I picked up, so I cut out some rebel and empire symbols from sparkly cardstock.  I wasn’t sure how the Cricut would cut glitter cardstock, so I just printed out patterns and traced them on the back of the cardstock, then cut them out by hand.  All the little pieces from the middle of the empire symbols were cut with an exacto knife.  That took a while.  But I love the sparkle that the symbols add to the garland.

And last, but not least, I also got myself the Star Wars Lego Advent calendar in December.  I pulled out the ships from the different builds to put on the garland.

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Everything is attached to the garland with floral wire, except the Death Star, which is hanging on the hook in the ceiling that is holding the swag.  One half is Empire, the other half is Rebellion.  I thought about mixing them, but decided I liked the divided look better.

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And now one of my favorite fandoms hangs above my television so I get to admire it whenever I’m binging another series on Netflix.

Love

And here I am again, back with more thoughts and no crafts.  Hey, when I talked about the changes that were coming to my blog this year, I mentioned that I would be possibly doing some posts like this.

So there.  😉

Now, before I start, let me just clarify by stating that I absolutely adore Lindsey Stirling’s music.  She is one incredibly talented violinist, I own all her albums, and I would pay a pretty penny to get to see her live in concert.  #bucketlist  This post is not to hate on Lindsey, or her music, or anything like that, so please don’t take it as such.

That being said, I’ve personally got an issue with one of the songs from her latest album, “Brave Enough.”  Actually, two songs, but not liking “Mirage” is simply a style preference.  🙂

No, the song that’s really giving me issues is “Love’s Just a Feeling.”  When I first heard it, I liked it.  And I still like the instrument part of the song.  It’s got a good beat and again, Lindsey’s violin-playing is top notch.  But the more I focused on the words of the song, the more I have come the conclusion that I just can’t listen to that one anymore.

The chorus goes:

‘Cause love’s just a feeling
Some kind of emotion
When you need the healing
When you’re all broken
Don’t overthink it
But for the moment live slowly
‘Cause love’s just a feeling
And right now I’m open, I’m open

I’m sorry, but love is not “just a feeling.”  Love is a choice, and something that you really do have to think about, or perhaps even “overthink” about.  Do you think any marriage, or any relationship at all for that matter, would last if love was just a feeling?  Every single relationship goes through times where the emotion just isn’t there.  Emotions and feelings change with the wind.  Ask any eleven-year-old with a crush.

If love was just a feeling, no one would ever commit to one person for their whole life (and yes, that does still happen).  No one would ever join the military and risk their lives for “love of country” or even love for their family.  How much love does a parent feel after the 8th time being woken up in the middle of the same night by a crying baby?

Love isn’t just a feeling.

Real love is so, so much more.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Easter, commemorating the day that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified for our sins.  Do you really think that Jesus would have come to suffer and die on our behalf if love was “just a feeling”?  Would anyone in their right mind willingly be beaten, scourged, mocked, despised, and ultimately nailed to a cross to die if love wasn’t anything more than an emotion?  Of course not!    But because love isn’t just a feeling, Jesus did come and go through all that to provide a way for us to be saved from our sins and to get to live with Him in heaven forever.

Because He loves us.

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Love is a choice, a commitment, a decision that says no matter what the other party in the relationship does, you will stay true and faithful and committed to that person.  Feelings change, emotions run the gamut, but true love will never end.

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Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

So yeah, I won’t be listening to that song from “Brave Enough” anymore.  Thank goodness there are so many other great tracks on the album, like “The Arena” and “Hold My Heart.”  😀

I hope you have a very blessed Easter, celebrating the Risen Savior who loves you!

And I promise, my next post will be a craft.  🙂

Card #121: Baby Shower Card

Hey, I actually have a card for you this week!  How about that?

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already since the Alpha Center’s Meet the Babies event, where the clients from the past year who attended the Tuesday night class that I volunteer at can come back after they’ve had their babies and just hang out and eat food and have fun fellowshipping with other families.  It’s always a fun night, and I get to make the invitations every year.

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The great thing about this card is that the only supplies I needed to get for it were adhesive squares (which I needed to get anyway).  Everything else I already had on hand!  I’ve been going through my papercrafting stash to clean out and declutter for our garage sale, and as I was going through one of my cabinets, I found this OLD pack of blank white cards and envelopes.  There were 28 left in the pack, and that’s exactly how many cards I needed to make!  I was so excited to use them up!  The yellow stripes, cut-out white ducks, and background paper were all leftovers from other Meet the Babies invitations I’ve made in the past.  So the only “new” cardstock I used was the green layer, the blue that I printed “You’re Invited” on, and the inside white that I printed the event details on (“new” meaning not scraps).

It feels so good to use things up.  🙂

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet today.  It’s Saturday and I’ve got a long list of stuff to accomplish this weekend.  Not to mention, I’m getting hungry.    😉