House For Six

Creating New Traditions (and a Black Friday Sale!)

Deme CrinionComment

We moved into our current home just over one year ago.  I can't believe it's been that long and in the same breath feel like we just got here.  While we're new to this home, we're no strangers to living miles away from our family.  That can feel especially hard during the holidays (I feel like I battle an annual homesickness every December) but it's also given us the opportunity to create new traditions for our family.  

Since we know that many of our friends here spend the actual holiday with their families, we've tried to create some more "untraditional" traditions that fall just around the actual day.  

This will be our second year hosting our Day After Thanksgiving Leftover Potluck.  Basically neighbors and friends come bringing any leftovers they wish to share (or get rid of) and we have a second round of food, games, and good company without all the fuss.  We usually have an extra ham bone from the day before, so James makes a big batch of collared greens and black eyed peas with it.  It's a fun way to use up that bone and make sure we have enough food if the leftovers are sparse. 

thanksgiving traditions

It's sort of like a low-key friendsgiving and we really love being able to extend that spirit of gratitude onto our friends that are like family to us. 

thanksgiving traditions

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you're enjoying a relaxing day after!   Do you have any unconventional or favorite traditions around this holiday? In a couple weeks, I'll be getting ready for what's quite possibly become my most favorite new holiday tradition - our Holiday Mom's Night In!  SO fun (and easy!) and I can't wait to share the details on that one here soon! 

If you're shopping the Black Friday sales from the comfort of your couch, hop on over and check out our shop!  Everything is 15% off now through Monday!  We'll have another coupon code for extra savings on top of that for Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  

In gearing up for the sale we restocked our regular inventory and opened up 10 spots for custom orders.  Those can be used to purchase a rosary that's already sold out or to create one all your own.

And we added a few festive garlands to the shop!  Here's a peak...

This two-tone red and gold number might be my favorite.  Classic but festive with the addition of those gold wood beads.

There's one in wintery shades of green and silver too...

I couldn't resist creating this colorful number.  It's festive for Christmas and beyond with those jewel-toned hues.

I seem to have a difficult time finding Advent decor that doesn't seem totally out of place with my Christmas decor.  Adding the gold spacer beads to this purple and pink garland gave these shades of Advent a merry vibe. 

Happy shopping and THANK YOU for all the love and support you have shown our family over the years!!  This is such a treasured space for me and you all mean so much to us!

Introducing, Lily Joy Designs...and a Giveaway!

Deme Crinion1 Comment

Last week a long time "someday" dream turned reality....and it's with all the excitement (and nervous stomach) I have that I introduce our new little shop baby, Lily Joy Designs!

Opening a shop has been in the back of my mind for awhile now. Like years.  I've made quite a few art prints and organization printables over time and whenever I saw a shop pop up offering those things, I would think "Hey, I could do that!".  So, that was always the plan - open a little shop with inspirational art and organization prints for the home. 

But I wasn't an expert in the programs used to make them (so it took me forever to create the products) and the art ideas didn't always come readily.  They usually seemed sparked by other ideas instead of my own, except the ones born out of necessity, like our printable moving binder or the prints I designed when I couldn't find what I was looking for elsewhere (that never quite turned out the way I envisioned them in my head).

If I were to open a shop, I wanted it to be 100% me....my ideas, my concept, my design.  And the timing up to this point never seemed right.  Every time I made a push to open the shop, some sort of road block or other sign popped up that say No.  Not now.  Not that way.

I started to get frustrated with myself.  Deme, just make the commitment and do it already!  The timing will never be perfect!  

Today, I'm so grateful that I didn't push forward with an idea that wasn't supposed to be.  Waiting sucks, but when it comes to waiting on God's timing and vision, it's always worth it.  The shop we launched this week is totally different than the shop I thought I would open. 

We're making a physical product, which I was totally against.  I wanted to create something once and then have it available for digital download.  No dealing with keeping an inventory, supplies, continuous production, and (heaven forbid) the POST OFFICE. 

white beads

But I have to confess, this has become one of my favorite parts of this business.  I personally love getting something in the mail and opening it up to fun, thoughtful packaging.  I love being able to add personal touches like a handwritten note, and help someone with sending a meaningful gift, packaged with as much love as went into to making the gift itself. Etsy really does make the mailing easy and I laugh now that the very thing I avoided like the plague has turned into a great joy.

Here's how it came to be...

I remember wanting to find a special gift for my godson last year, but struggled to find something that felt modern and unique, while still carrying the all the tradition of our catholic faith.  What I really wanted was something his mom could hang near his crib, that would grow with him throughout the years.  

I thought of the faith-inspired pieces of art in my own home and quickly came to my very favorite one:  a large wall rosary made of dark wood beads and a lovely depiction of the Blessed Mother with Child in the center made of ivory.  It was beautiful in it's simplicity and striking in it's size.   And I had never seen anything else like it.  

I loved the idea for my godson, but dark wood felt too grown up for him.  What could I use that would be kid-friendly and give a youthful, whimsical vibe?  Felt Balls!  There were so many colorful options and when I thought of how I wanted to assemble the piece, I realized we could have a lot of fun using smaller beads to hide the string and create a more substantial piece.  We made the rosary, and then my daughter asked if she could make one for our friend's Confirmation.  Then another friend asked if we could make one for a gift, and another....at which point, I realized we might have created something that people really liked.

Those first rosaries weren't quite the product that we offer today.  We've spent a lot of time since then researching quality materials, learning better techniques, and finessing the details that make a product superior in quality and design. We've also created a whole additional line of products using natural birch wood beads that we hope strike that magical combination of beauty + meaning when it comes to home decor. And that last part is what hits the heart of my passions:  encouraging one another as we make our homes a beautiful, inspiring, and peaceful haven for our families....even amidst the laundry bombs. 

When I became Catholic 10 years ago, I had a difficult time finding religious art that I related to.  Most people that grew up in catholic homes with traditional art probably found comfort in those things, but they were foreign to me at first, and therefore made me feel a little uncomfortable.  That's not the effect we're looking for when it comes to art in our homes, especially art meant to spark our faith.  As I've grown in my catholic faith, the more historic sacred art speaks much more deeply to me now, because it holds more meaning.  But I still enjoy finding modern catholic art pieces that can be incorporated into our home's particular style without sacrificing any of the beautiful tradition.

My hope is that we can offer modern, unique, faith-inspired decor that will be treasured pieces in your home for years to come. 

So, what's ahead?

In prepping to launch the shop I thought I would pick a few colors schemes and make multiples of those items, but instead I decided to have fun creating a bunch of different color and material combinations for this first launch.  You can see them all here.  I'm also reserving 8 spots per month for custom orders.  So, if a color/style you like has sold out for the month, I can make that for you or you can pick any color/bead combo you like. I will restock the more popular colors with multiples monthly along with seasonal/holiday collections. 

The felt ball and wood bead wall rosaries are the signature item in the shop and what started the whole thing....but later this week we're rolling out 2 other designs:  smaller decade versions of our beads and a more general prayer beads for our non-catholic friends.  

prayer beads

So, that's what we've been up to!  We would love for you to stop by Lily Joy Designs and take a look around!  We've set up a separate account on Instagram @lilyjoydesigns for the shop, so that shop stuff doesn't take over House For Six.  We'll only be sharing occasional shop updates here, but do hope the two will compliment one another. To celebrate the launch we're running a giveaway on the shop's Instagram account for one custom wall rosary (ends at midnight!!) and everyone can enjoy free shipping through the rest of the week with code LJDFREESHIP.   Enjoy!

 

Dusting Off The Blog and Some Big News!

Deme Crinion8 Comments

Hey, look!  This thing still works!  

I came in with my virtual Swiffer ready to dust this place off after a "short hiatus" and realized it's been 5 MONTHS since my last post.  How did that happen?!?! I think that should win some sort of Slacker Blogger award, or at least an honorable mention.

Even though it's been quiet around here for a loooong time, a lot has happened in our neck of the woods! Not so much in the way of house projects (we're just starting to gear back up with those!) but more...well, life. 

pool walks

I had such great plans for the blog and around the house this summer, but quickly realized that I would be sacrificing precious time with these growing kiddos if I attempted to squeeze it all in.  Funny how this happens e-v-e-r-y summer.  I'm finally noting the memo and going into future summers knowing that it will probably be a time to push pause on blogging and projects.

summer forts

With my little hiatus, I had plenty of time to think about the direction of the blog. Because, of course. It's what I do.  I analyze, and over-analyze, and analyze some more.  But the truth is I've felt stuck in a blogging rut for awhile now.  I've always teetered the line between a DIY blog and a faith/family/mom blog. I've looked around at what other DIY blogs have done, and I've looked a faith-based mom blogs and lifestyle blogs that cover a bit of everything. 

I've always worried that if I shifted my focus, I would lose my readership who found me because of the house projects we like to tackle.  But fear never got anyone very far, did it? People change and the things they are called to change. It's natural for blogs to evolve along with that.  The way some blogs have evolved as they've grown didn't feel authentic for us, so I finally stopped looking around for some sort of universal formula and just asked God what He had in mind.

He answered with a totally new endeavor that has only been a faint "someday" hope in the back of my mind.  The mission of this new project, helped me edit the focus of the blog so one can support the other.  The blog's focus is not a huge departure from where we've been, but more of a shift in weight.  Permission to write more about family, beauty, faith, simple living, momming...things I love talking about with all of you!  I feel so excited and relieved.  As a DIY blog, the pressure to complete projects at a pace that made my family want to kill me, was a huge stress.   

For those that like our home project posts - they aren't going anywhere! We just aren't able to churn them out at the rapid rate.  So, they'll be more of a subcategory than the main star...and hopefully we can dive more into the thought behind creating home and not just the how-to's and pretty room shots.

So! The quick recap of the past few months.....I spent the summer with my kids, have a clear vision for how to go forward with the blog, and finally stepped out in a dream I've had tucked away for a long time.  I cannot WAIT to share it with you!  It's all happening on the blog next week, but in the meantime you can catch some sneak peaks over on Instagram.  

Dining room chalkboard wall

How about you?  How was your summer?  Have you transitioned into the fall/school routine?  Is your weather still as confused about what season it is as Ohio seems to be??

The Year Of Stewardship: Don't Ignore The Discomfort

Deme Crinion1 Comment

I'm just going to be straight with you here. When you feel the Holy Spirit prompting you to look at what kind of steward you’ve been of your life, and you agree to whatever means He may employ to reveal what is lacking and renew what’s been neglected , well....just strap on your seat belt and get a firm grip on the “O Crap” handle.

Stewardship: Don't Ignore The Discomfort

At the start of the year, when everyone was thinking about resolutions, all these different areas of my life came to the forefront. And the word that kept accompanying them over and over again was “stewardship”. What was I doing with what I had been given? 

My time, my health, my relationships, my home, my marriage, my talents, my faith, my finances…..all gifts.  Was I treating them as such?  Was I nurturing, maximizing, tending, investing?  Or was I wasting, neglecting, abusing, coveting, indifferent?

Ouch.

When God begins to move, He allows a shift.  A sudden level of discomfort with something that needs attention. Until we turn to it with eyes open willing to confront it, that feeling will not go away.   Suddenly there were several areas of my life that seemed to be making me shift uncomfortably in my seat, and I knew this would not be a quick fix by any stretch of the imagination. 

But no worries!  I had it all planned out!  We would look at one topic each month and I would share what I was learning in a monthly series here on the blog............phfhaaaa!!!!!!!

Seriously. When will it sink in that God does not work in the neat organized lanes I create for Him?

I wrote a few intro posts (How I landed on "Stewardship"  and the lies we believe).  And then came Lent.  It seemed only natural for my Lenten commitments to fall in line with those themes, and thanks to a friend's encouragement and accountability, it was my most radical Lent to date.  Not at all neat and tidy, and really only the beginning.

I’ve struggled with how to continue this series on the blog because the work of renewal is messy, painful, and very personal.  While I’m all for sharing the good, bad, and the ugly so we can all grow, I also need to be respectful of the other people this process involves. I'm still figuring that piece out, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I just want to encourage any of you that may be avoiding that holy discomfort. I did for a long time.  Sometimes it feels safer to keep buying into the lies that rob our joy and purpose, than to allow God to peel back those layers of false protection.  While we know He offers us something far better, the life we have settled for is familiar; and familiar is comforting, even if we know it's a twisted version of what is good.  

Fear and complacency just might be Satan's most effective weapons in the battleground of our mind.  He would like nothing more than for us to avoid confronting those areas that God wants to redeem.  So he will convince us it's best not to ruffle the waters, and that compared to everyone around us, we're doing just fine. But God is not a God of just fine.  He calls us to abundant life, and man is He ever faithful to pour out His grace at our first motion back toward Him.  It may not be easy, and it probably won't be quick, but He will be there to help us every step of the way, and promises to see that process through to completion if we continue to trust in Him.  If you're there, Friends, my prayers are there with you.