DIY Todd Nest : Hymnal Banner {Come Thou Fount}

After we took down our Christmas decorations, the front entryway seemed so bland. 

Solution: Banner across the glass block wall (can you tell I'm really embracing it these days?)

I wanted to make a banner that would fill the entire wall so it needed to be a phrase with either three words of similar length or three phrases that could be made into one. 

Micah 6:8 stuck out to me. I could have one banner with "act justly", one with "love mercy" and one with "walk humbly with your God". I got super attached to this idea but it wouldn't work out the way I had planned. 

Next idea. Mama E sent us home with a box of old books and hymnals when we came back from our Christmas visit. "Come Thou Fount" had just about the same number of letters, it's one of our favorite hymns and it was the first hymn in sight when I opened up the book. It's a song of redemption and Christ seeking us out while we were but strangers.

It was the obvious choice. 

My original plan was to feed the hymnal pages through the printer but they looked like this (two examples on the left) when they came out. The color didn't hold well and the printer devoured the top of the page (see the wrinkled ink-blotted top). Instead, I decided to print each letter off on cardstock and trace the letters onto the hymn. Time-consuming, yes. But so worth it.

Supplies:

Hymnal Pages (I used 14 pages since I made a flower for one)

Pencil

Black Marker (or whatever color your heart desires)

Hole Punch

Jute

This is the pen and pencil I used...

I printed two letters to one page since the hymnal page is about half of an 8.5" x 11".

Then I went old school and traced the letter silhouette using a sunlit window.

After you have traced your letters, fill them in with a brush pen or marker.

I like to put a decorative paper on the back for more support and to give the banner a finished design. Hole punch the tops and string jute through. If you use only the hymn, be very gentle in stringing the jute!

The banner is a lovely complement to the three palette frames my dad made us!! I still need to put some photos in them but I'm also kind of okay with them being empty for now. 

I used the actual "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" hymn for the first flag and added a paper flower onto it.

What is your favorite hymn?

House Search Update

It's official. We have found a house!!

We signed the contract for it Monday and are having our home inspection TODAY!

I can't believe how quickly everything is going now that we have found a house we love.

The last few weeks have been uber stressful since our apartment lease is up at the beginning of July but we had to notify the apartment complex 60 days before moving out (beginning of May). Time was running out. We were at the point of either finding a house reallll quick or staying in the apartment for another year.

We looked at eight houses in one day. Not gonna lie, that day transpired from complete excitement to a major headache by the end of the home tour. Only one house blew us away though.

It was an older home, vacant, freshly painted in neutral colors, move-in ready, super amazing accents, a huge master bedroom suite and had a FABULOUS garden. Those were merely the small bonuses though. (Yes, an old home was a bonus for us.)

We're waiting to actually close on the house before we show photos or write much about it, as we're still trying to guard against loving it too much (sometimes things don't go as smoothly as hoped). Granted, I have already designed the "We've Moved" postcards with the new address so I guess we're not guarding our hopes too much.

Whoops!

We are so ready to move into the house and transform it into a home. The Pinterest boards have been filled, revamping lists have been created / prioritized and our minds have been racing with tons of ideas.  But it will all have to wait until the final documents have been signed.

With the crazy and stressful month we've had, I haven't had hardly any time to read about my bloggin' buddies lives. Please know that I miss y'all and can't wait to catch up soon!!

Obviously the next few weeks will be crazy still because of the house goings-on as well as another big adventure we'll be embarking on (we'll discuss later), but no worries. A few of my favorite bloggers will be taking over Jitney's Journeys in our absence to keep y'all entertained and challenged.


Do you have any suggestions for new homeowners / people who are buying their first home? What was your biggest joy and challenge in the process?


AND We're Back...

Back from what, you ask?

Life.

I wish I could say we have been so busy exploring the world that we haven't had much time to write, but it's certainly not the case. On the contrary, we spent an amazing few weeks visiting with family scattered throughout the South. The roadtrips were awesome - filled with deep theological conversations and always ending with the sweet sound of laughter. The time we spent with family was precious and will forever be engrained in our hearts.

We then returned home mid-January with a heap of things to catch up on. This, of course, includes redecorating and repurposing some really cool antiques we were given and some other ones we stumbled upon during our family vacations. I'll be blogging about those special things in the very near future.

My mind has been RACING with an overflow of ideas for Jitney's Journeys - both our blog and our Etsy shop. Do you ever feel like your mind is pouring out ideas so rapidly that you can't get it down on paper fast enough?? That's been me for about five weeks now. It's a pretty bittersweet feeling. While I'm super excited about all of the ideas, I realize that I just don't have enough hands to produce them all in the quick timely manner I'd like - and even less resources to hire people to help. Fortunately, I'll have some wonderful creative hands-on-deck for about a month soon so that will be a HUGE help! In the meantime, we're in the midst of creating a solid business plan (thanks to JD's business classes and my public relations training in college) that will hopefully carry us through in the long haul. It's tough to have a long-term mindset when you have so much excitement stirring to get things done in the moment, but that's how the tortoise won. And we must have the mindset of the tortoise if we want to be successful.

Starting February 11, we will have all of our burlap products up and ready for production in the Etsy shop. Until then, we have these super cute pillows up for sale...

This one was created specifically with Valentine's Day in mind but you can set this lovely thing out any day of the year!!






Oh yeah... And I turn 25 tomorrow.

Thus, the biggest reason for me to start back in a steady routine of blogging, but more on that later. 

Have a happy Monday!! 


Newlywed & Business Printables

Have you seen our Etsy shop yet?
 

Normally we have lots of super cute home decor items like this:


...but we're getting ready for an event called Shop with a Purpose supporting For Life Ministries and we're trying to stock up inventory until then.

In the meantime, we still have these lovely printables in our shop for purchase!

We have hourly, daily, weekly and monthly printables like these:








Home and business printables like this:
And our favorite: Newlywed Printables. 

All of our newlywed printables include Mr. & Mrs. as well as "bride" and "groom" highlights.
JD and I found that we have more wants than we have money, so we decided to create a form that prioritizes our wants and needs in long-term and short-term time spans. It really helps to put a lot into perspective. We've bought a lot less too. :)

Print those babies off and place in a family or business binder. 

You can also go by Staples or Office Depot and ask them to bind your printables.

They make awesome wedding gifts! 

Hope you stop by and grab a few here!! 

Life Skills 101 Class and More Etsy Product Releases!!



We shipped off a set of matching placemats and this table runner to one of our new favorite customers, Heather, last week. She requested a cursive font. I sent her a few fonts to choose from and she picked this super cute one!! Everything turned out fantastic and she really seemed to love them!! We love customizing orders to our customers' preferences! If you find something in our store that you love but would like to tweak to fit your style, just let us know and we will be more than happy to work with you to make it happen!!



Monogrammed Coasters

Don't destroy your coffee table with water stains. Use these elegant monogrammed coasters and entertain your guests in style!

Each coaster measures 3.75" x 3.75" and has an aged, rustic character. Each coaster is painted with a monogram of your choice and in the color of your choice (brown, black and red are the most popular). We carefully place felt pads on the backs of each coaster in order to protect your furniture from being scratched or damaged. These coasters are sealed with an exterior / interior protective coating. They can handle the puddles from the most condensating of drinks; and their luster can easily be revived with the swipe of a wet or dry dishcloth. :)

This Home is Our Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Birds finish the nest with their own breast, so it is the bosom that makes the home, and not the bill or the claw." Home is the nest you build for all who enter your house. Our home has been built with endless of joy, love, blessings and friends.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. I have handwritten Henry Ward Beecher's quote around the light blue border. The sides have big, lightly golden polka-dots and an aged glaze.

The opposite side boasts a pretty turquoise and gray paisley background with five cardstock tiles: heart with rhinestones {love}, a brown bird with a crown, counting my many blessings list, friends hiking with a turquoise beaded base, and a road map {joy}.


This Lovely Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Home is the nest you build for all who enter your home. When building our nest, we've found that our home is intricately woven with faith, hope and love. Without these elements, our home would simply not survive.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. Scrabble tiles spell "Nest" against a deep golden background. The sides have big, white polka-dots and an aged glaze. The top of the box has a tiny white and gray bird perched along the surface.

The opposite side claims a beautiful gold and maroon background with five cardstock tiles: cross {faith}, a brown bird with a crown, belt of hope, small nest with glittered light blue eggs, and a heart with rhinestones {love}.


Life to the Fullest Subway Art ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Subway Chatter Box


Believing, dreaming, joy, growth, bliss, love... these are all crucial elements to living "life to the fullest"!

This wooden Subway Art box measures 10" x 10" x 1.5" and may be hung up on a wall or stand alone due to its 1.5" width. Be constantly reminded by the words on this piece to Believe, Love, Live, Dream, Joy, Bliss, and Grow. The background is layered with distressed ivories, golds and browns. Three antique, rusted stars line the bottom of the piece and one medium-sized star makes a statement beside "Dream". In the top lefthand corner, three rusted mini stars line the corner with wire nailed into the wood.




PS:




Cooking, baking, sewing, table etiquette... you name it. I have the privilege of teaching 13 amazing young ladies "life skills" this semester for one of the local homeschool co-ops. You can join in on the fun by following our class blog: http://ladylifeskills101.blogspot.com/. I'll be teaching step-by-step instructions on every project we'll be doing in class this year. :)




Etsy Product Release!! "Home Is the Nest You Build" Series


We are super excited to announce a few of our new products that arrived in our Etsy shop yesterday!!

These products were created by the one and only Mama E. We have entitled this series: 
Home Is the Nest You Build


"Our Flourishing Home"
We pondered over this piece for quite sometime. Then, all of the sudden, it just came together. A flourishing home is difficult to build, but wonderfully satisfying to attain. 



"Our Wild Nest"
Home is the nest you build for your family... And it just so happens that our nest is a WILD one!! Isn't family more enjoyable that way? If your home is filled with an overwhelming amount of laughter and joy, this may just be the perfect piece for you to place in your home. Take pride in that Wild Nest of yours!


...And my personal favorite... 


"Our Sweet Nest"
Since we've had a place to call our own as a married couple, we have always called our home, "Our Sweet Nest" in the same way I call JD, "My Sweet Husband". The word "sweet" just fits our lifestyle to a tee. I'll be honest, this is a tough piece for me to let go of. If you're an avid reader of our blog, you know that birds and nests have a lot of symbolism in our marriage. But, I am willing to let this piece go as long as someone will cherish it as much as we do. :)


Hope to see you in our Etsy shop!!
More products to come throughout the next few weeks! 



New Etsy Arrivals Coming Soon to Jitney's Journeys!!

You've asked for it and we are about to rock your face off with some new amazing stuff in our Etsy shop


Prepare yourself.

And your wallet. ;)


Mark your calendars for August 20. We will have an awesome Release Party going on right here at Jitney's Journeys where we will introduce all of our new handmade products. 

In the past two weeks, we've added a new member to our team... Mama E [my mom]. Talent truly flares from her fingertips like a freshly-lit sparkler. It baffles us. We're thankful for her inspiration and the joy she takes in sharing her creativity with our shop. 


Are you dying for a sneak peek yet?! Ok. Ok. Here's a few snapshots to tickle your fancy...



People always come to our little home and ask, "Where did we get that awesome LOVE banner from?" We made it. And now you can have one too! It's on super heavy duty cardstock... as in, I had to put on safety glasses just to use the scroll saw to cut out these letters. In fact, I don't think I would even classify the backing as cardstock. It's that intense. :)

These other pieces were created by Mama E. We (especially, I, Whitney) are infatuated with birds and nests. They have such a sweet spirit about them, but at the same time, scream freedom. That's my style.


Glass-etched, monogrammed Mason jars


And this. Oh. Isn't it just lovely? I have officially created burlap napkin rings. It was a far cry from an easy task, but we're really hoping people will fall in love with them as much as we have. 

Who wants some fantastic Chevron napkins? This girl does. I think we'll put some of those up in our shop too. 


Follow us on Instagram for more sneak peeks over the next two weeks.
@jitneysjourneys

Friday Favesies

We're linking up again this week with Ruthy over at Discovery Street for:






We are behind on sending out our Jitney Year 2 CD... even though we planned way in advance to get them out by May 29, my optical drive on my computer crashed. We debated on getting the drive replaced or just giving in and replacing my ole' faithful Mac. Unfortunately, the drive won. :) Apple replaced it and we were back on our way. We designed, printed and put together our CD covers (photos coming soon); and now we're just waiting on our super cool "recycled newspaper" envelopes we ordered from The Container Store. My inspiration for the cover of the envelopes are these beautiful calligraphy creations:


This season, we wrapped our brown couch in a white canvas sofa cover. Thanks to Organize Your Stuff Now, we will now be wrapping the four giant brown pillows in super sweet chevron fabric. I was planning on sewing pillowcases for the couch pillows but this approach may be a bit easier. I wonder if they come untied easily though?






However, my ---hands down--- most absolute favesie of this week is....


Yes. This guy. You see, we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day for each other simply because one day, eventually, we'll be the mom and dad to some pretty cool kids (whether by birth, adoption or both). I enjoy celebrating the fact that JD Todd is going to be an incredible dad to our kids and vice versa. So I woke up early Sunday morning, cooked him breakfast, set it on our wicker breakfast tray and carried it into the bedroom.

Whit: "So what do you want to do today? It's your day. We're celebrating you."
JD: "Honestly? I want to eat this delicious breakfast and then spend the day rearranging your office so you can hang up the crates we bought on our way back from our anniversary, plus you can really focus on organizing stuff for the Etsy shop."

Seriously? And that's why he wins the Friday Favesies post. :) We spent the entire day taking stuff off the walls, laying it all out and then nailing it all up again. Here are a few shots of the new and improved office in our apartment... We're leaving out a couple of things to post later so be on the lookout!


This wall took quite a few hours to put up, but it was worth it!! 



I finally crafted this pushpin Mason jar. What do you think?


This is the printing and shipping wall -- everything I need to grab when putting together one of our Jitney's Journeys packages. Perfection. :) 

We found the three wooden lock boxes at an antique store on the side of the road coming back from Chattanooga. The guy who sold us the boxes (for $10 as a set) said he was pretty sure the boxes were a piece of junk. However, we are super drawn into the TV show Storage Wars right now, so we thought we may have a unique find here! Even if we don't, they make awesome storage and organization boxes. :)


This "Pop Shop" crate was propped up at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga, just calling our names. JD picked it out. The crate holds my yarn upright and is the perfect size for large Mason jars. 


I have been searching for months to find an old Coca Cola crate that I could store my thread and bobbins in. Cha-ching!! We found this beauty at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga on our anniversary trip.


Old coat hangers from an antique market that I now use as my packing dispensers.


My fabric station -- these lovely old suitcases are PACKED with fabulous fabric!


Whoop whoop!! Today is our 2 Year Anniversary!!!

And we'll be celebrating it by sharing...

Disclaimer: You may be thinking, "Two years is

NOTHING

! Give me 50 years of experience, then I'll listen." Well, we hear you. Thus, this is not only 22 things JD and I have figured out throughout the past two years; rather, most of it consists of what wiser, more experienced couples have shared with us.

1. Put God first.

And when you do, glorious and unfathomable things will come to fruition. You will have a desperate desire to serve one another, (for the wife) to submit to the husband, and (for the husband) to love his wife and give himself up for her (Ephesians 5:22-33). Women often despise this verse, claiming that it is degrading to women and their independence. Timothy Keller confronts this view and states, "Immediately, however, [Paul] tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and 'gave himself up for her' (25), which is, if anything, a stronger appeal to abandon self-interest than was given to the woman" (The Meaning of Marriage, 53). Once again, our self-centeredness is challenged. When we allow God to overflow our hearts, self-sacrifice becomes just a bit easier. 

2. Reflect Jesus. 

"According to the Bible, God devised marriage to reflect his saving love for us in Christ, to refine our character, to create stable human community for the birth and nurture of children, and to accomplish all this by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union. (The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, 16)" All things we do in life or in marriage should reflect Him.

3. Lay grace as your foundation.

Since pre-marital classes, we've heard that many things should be the foundation of our marriage. We've come to the conclusion that grace takes the cake. Trust is crucial, but when one of us breaks the other's trust, what would cover it? Grace, and grace alone. Grace says that when I give 0%, my husband will still give 100%. And when he gives 0%, I must give 100%. It is by the grace of God that we have been redeemed, and it is the grace that we have received which will sustain our marriage.

4. Respect each other.

Nothing breaks our hearts more than to hear a husband and wife knowingly put down one another. Sarcasm is simply not respectful. With each joke, there is always a tinge of honesty. Those hints of honesty can quickly damage a marriage.

5. Communicate clearly but don’t

expect

your spouse to understand.

I graduated with a degree in Public Relations and I have quickly learned that I am one of the worst communicators on the planet. Especially in marriage. JD can say the most blunt and thorough sentence, and I still won't completely grasp at what he's getting at. Granted, it goes both ways. That's just the contrast in gender and humanity. Learn to work with it and be gracious towards one another in the process. :)

6. You can never say “I love you” enough.

Some may think it's cheesy but saying / hearing "I love you" pierces our hearts in such a beautiful way every time. Be creative. JD has written "I love you sooo much" on our chalkboards and constantly leaves sweet little notes for me. The first and last words we say / hear every day are "I love you". It can really change your attitude and perspective.

7. Serve one another.

An easy way to do this is to pack lunch for each other. It will help your budget a

nd it's fun. Write Post-It notes and place them in each other's lunchbox for an afternoon pick-me-up. Surprise your spouse with breakfast in bed. Husbands, open the doors for your wives. Be consistently spontaneous. It is a simple commitment that can transform a marriage.

8. Hold hands in public.

Most of us love seeing a couple that's been married for 50 years holding hands in the park... so why not start that sweet habit now? 

9. Make Date Night Mandatory.

Strive to pursue each other even after the wedding ring hits the finger. JD and I have date night once a week (normally at Outback Steakhouse because we can't get enough of their Aussie Fries). It is an intentional time where we sit down and share what's going on in our lives together. The week is full and busy. Take time to relax and enjoy being married. On a strict budget? Visit the ladies at 

The Dating Divas

for creative, budget-friendly date night ideas!

10. Wait a couple of years to have kids.

*

This may not be applicable to everyone... Babies are precious and we highly anticipate the day that we start a little Filipino family of our own. However, this has been advice from both couples who had babies five years after the wedding day, and couples who had babies nine months after the honeymoon. Marriage is tough enough to figure out without adding another element to the game plan. More importantly, marriage and the newlywed life is just fun. Enjoy it. Savor it. This is your one time to be selfish with one another. Take advantage of that. 

11. Keep technology out of the bedroom.

We were advised not to have a TV in our bedroom. Thus, you will not find a TV in our bedroom. However, we've learned the hard way that computers, iPads and iPhones can be an even worse distraction. Simply put, keep technology out of the bedroom. 

12. Go to bed at the same time together.

It's an intentional act that will carry your marriage a long way.  

13. Argue peacefully, understand, forgive and laugh.

Don't raise your voice at each other. When you get into a heated argument, walk to separate rooms and develop a peaceful argument. Speak the truth in love to each other. Keep your disagreements between the Mr. and Mrs. Discuss your problems with the pastor if needed, but nobody else really needs to get involved. When the extended family gets involved, problems become escalated and very seldom do problems get better. In addition, your families will take sides and will most likely develop a bitterness toward your spouse because of the dispute.

14. Speak kindly.

W

ords sting and can leave scars that may not heal for quite a while. Kind words add a gentle spirit (and infinite brownie points) to the marriage.

15. Always greet your spouse at the door with a thousand kisses!

Do this and when your spouse comes home from work, it will start the evening off in quite a delightful and lighthearted way. It will also encourage your spouse to leave work at work. 

16. Be active together and experience new things as one. 

Go hiking. Join a gym and exercise together - or even better, run or bike together in the great outdoors. Go bowling. Take dance lessons. Cook together. Compromise on what you like to do. JD cuts fabric out for my store while I sew, and I play video games with him because that's one of his favorite things to do (I beat my first video game because of him - that's right - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). 

Read the same books and start your own Mr. & Mrs. book club. Travel together (even if it's to a campground a few miles down the road). Learn photography or a new sport together (we're fans of racquetball). Serve at the downtown rescue mission together.

17. Take pride in your newlywed-ness.

We are one of those couples that would shout our love from the rooftops given the opportunity. We love each other, and we love marriage... and we take joy in making that known to everyone around us. In the process, we have received lots of awesome free stuff (pastries from Starbucks, dessert, concierge seating and free candy at the movie theater, you name it!). Even if we didn't receive any of these sweet gifts, we would still take major pride in being married - but it does add a few wonderful layers of icing to the cake. ;)

18. Plan your budget, stick to the budget and don’t forget to SAVE and GIVE.

Mint.com

is a great resource for a budgeting tools - especially if you like color and graphs!! Dave Ramsey's tools for budgeting is also a beneficial resource to help you both decide how to allocate your monthly budget. We use

this

19. Distance yourself from temptation.

Be aware. Never be alone in a room with someone of the opposite sex. You may think you're strong enough, but be smart and don't test it. My parents always had this rule and Billy Graham did too. So many pastors have fallen over the past couple of years because of adultery - don't buy in to thinking you're above the temptation. This goes along with anything intimate / private. Facebook messaging has become an issue in our society. We've known two people who began communicating with their ex-boyfriends via facebook message. They divorced their husbands and married the guys they were messaging with. Bottom line: don't be naive and run quickly from temptation.

20. Encourage each other.

In every aspect of life.

21. Surround yourselves with a community of like-minded married couples,

of all ages

.

Soak in wisdom from older couples, fellowship with couples your age, and mentor younger married couples. 

22. Never stop being Newlyweds.

Because being newlyweds is fun and filled with adventure. Plus, there is nothing sweeter than to hear a couple at their 50th anniversary say that they are still newlyweds. 

BONUS:

The last thing JD heard before walking down the aisle on our wedding day was from our friend Dr. Archie Hooper: "Treat her like a princess every day." The words are so 

simple but they run deep. It is a terribly tough task but somehow JD 

adheres to it in a perfect way. We recommend this piece of advice for all husbands. 

We would love to hear from you and your love! What advice have you been given prior to or within marriage? What advice do you share with couples embarking on that adventure?

He Gets Me.


Date: Thursday, April 19
Time: approx. 7 p.m.
Place: Publix Grocery Store

As we're strolling through the produce aisle, JD looks over and says, "Whit, I know you love having fresh flowers sitting out when we have house guests. Pick out a few bouquets. Theresa and Brandon will love it."

And there it was. My heart melted. Affirmation that, yes, my husband gets me. For the most part, he understands me and he is intentional about satisfying my wants when the opportunity knocks. We both realize that we will always have more to learn about one another and that we will never fully know one another.

But that's the journey of marriage.

The sweet journey can be heart-wrenching, in both a great and a terrible way. It's a journey of patience, understanding and surprises. We're constantly learning to love and to be intentional with one another.

Intentionality says, "Hey. I get you when nobody else does. I brought you these bouquets of assorted flowers - but not roses because I know you think they are too cliche."

Intentionality says, "I'll put these dishes up for her while she's not looking. It's my way of serving her and loving her even if she doesn't notice." (I always notice though... haha)

There are so many ways to simply love each other - date nights, chasing each other around the kitchen, leaving notes for each other in special places.


What are ways that you and your love act intentionally towards one another? 
How do you leave a mark of unpredictability in your relationship?


**We are super excited about Brandon and Theresa coming to visit this weekend!!! This will be their first time to see our home. Theresa is JD's sister and one of my best friends. Brandon is her husband, one of JD's college roommates and one of his best friends as well. Great families... that is a blessing. ;)