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eBay, Shutter Counts, and God's Providence in Our Lives

What I have learned about cameras and so much more!  The shutter count on a camera is like the miles on a car.Depending on the camera, the average life of a shutter can vary from anything as low as 20,000 shutter actuations right up to 350,000.Having a shutter replaced on a camera can run anywhere from $300 to $600 dollars with most of the cost in labor.
On average, my camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T5, has a shutter life expectancy of 25,000 actuations.The amazing thing to me is that on a good day I could take over 2,000 pictures.So, that little camera, miraculously far exceeded its life expectancy by approximately 400,000 miles and for that I am so very grateful.Shutter count is critical when deciding to buy a used camera, no matter what kind of camera you use.
The camera I have been using for the past three years is a Canon EOS Rebel T5.The current cost for replacement is $449 which was not even remotely possible within our current budget.So, what was I to do?
Several weeks before the ca…
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Inspired by a Childhood Memory - Pine Cone Christmas Trees!

Vintage jewelry, ribbon, beads, glitter, ceramic tile, vintage cotton trim, and a pine cone. VoilĂ !  

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing a pine cone that some clever person had turned into a one-of-a-kind, rather magical, Christmas tree.  They had used all types of vintage costume jewelry as ornaments.  I  have always wanted to make one.

This year was the year.  But, instead of one, I ended up making ten!  There really is no limit to the variety of themes and colors one can come up with.  Go through your craft supplies, jewelry boxes and junk drawers and pull out anything and everything that you might be able to use.  Find yourself a Pine Cone and start creating.  You might find it somewhat addicting and not be able to stop at just one!  Kind of like eating potato chips.




Here are ten of mine to get you inspired. 












Sometimes the best gifts come in little packages!

While preparing for a Harvest Fair, I came across those little metal magnetic tins that some people use to put spices in and place on their refrigerator as an alternative to a spice rack.  You know the kind I mean, right?  Well, I thought to myself, "What can I make using those cute little tins.

Naturally, I wanted to feature Otis Munkenheimer, so I first thought of just placing one of my photos inside for a decorative little refrigerator magnet.  Well, as is usually the case with me, a simple project evolved into a time consuming and tedious undertaking.  After cutting out different photos into the right sized circle and than placing the photo inside the lid of the tin with a dimensional glaze, I decided once they were dry, to line the inside of the lid with a faux suede fabric.  Once that was complete, I lined the bottom of the tins with a thin layer of cork.  Okay, we are now two days into this refrigerator magnet project.  Clearly, one does not need refrigerator magnets that…

The Story of the Butterfly

The Story of the Butterfly
Many of you know that I spend many hours photographing the wild life that visit the Woods Secret Garden.There are always plenty of birds, squirrels, and even a couple of chipmunks.Rarely do I see a butterfly. I would, on occasion, see a couple of butterflies; however, we do not have many flowers for them to enjoy and with so many birds, they don’t hang around long enough for me to capture them with the camera.
Fast forward to yesterday.Lindsay and I have been meeting regularly for approximately a year for coffee and fellowship around the Word of God.I have never brought my camera to our meetings, accept once when Lindsay agreed to model one of my handmade, cross shoulder bags.
Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to meet with Lindsay, I decided to bring my camera and I wasn’t even sure why.Even my husband found it odd and said, “You are bringing your camera?”I answered, “Yes, I just might have a photo opportunity today”.
When I arrived, Lindsay was not…

I'm Back at it! Transforming Used and Discarded Bratz and Moxie Dolls

Many of you might remember when I transformed over 250 "Bratz" dolls a few years ago during the Tree Change Doll frenzy.  Since retiring and moving to North Carolina a year ago, I had given that up in order to get settled in.   Recently, I opened a box in my art room to find several dolls that really needed rescuing, so I decided to see what I could do.

I have made the decision to only remake these dolls as specialty dolls, all which will have hand braided (some also hand beaded) single braids.  These take over 12 hours to braid.  I thought I would share the first three.  I have no idea how many I might make.  It will all depend on whether there is an interest in these first three dolls.  I have already listed them for sale in my etsy shop.  I hope you enjoy viewing the photos.  Please contact me if you have any questions. 














You can find them here:  CLICK HERE

Painted Patio Wall Transformation - Our New "Secret Garden"

Michael and I have discovered a Secret Garden every where we have lived since getting married in 2010.  Whether it was the creek that ran behind our first apartment in Sacramento or the tiny little space of our 520 square foot, 1962 single-wide, mobile home in Rancho Cordova, California, we were always able to discover and create a unique sanctuary to call home.  Even though, in years past, we did what we could to make our surroundings uniquely wonderful, we never had the room to go really crazy until now.

Since moving to our new home in North Carolina in May, we have not only discovered a world of exotic creatures and plants outdoors, but we have also started taking full advantage of the additional space we now have available to add our own touch of whimsy to the new "Wood's Secret Garden".

Our first major project was the Patio which joins the in-law quarters (where mom lives) to the kitchen entrance into the main house.  We have received so many questions about "…

It all started in December of 2016 - How this California Girl ended up in North Carolina

Sometimes God makes his presence and power known in our lives in ways that are undeniable!  This is one of those times.  The story begins in North Carolina before Michael and I were married.

Placed near Michael's computer in North Carolina was a copy of a short poem that had been written by Bob La Tour, one of the Pastors from Beacon Baptist church--the church that Michael attended before he and I ever met.  When I flew to North Carolina in May 2010 to marry Michael, one of the wedding gifts we received was from Pastor La Tour.  It was a beautifully framed copy of that very poem.  We cherished that gift and hung it in our apartment upon arriving in California after our road-trip honeymoon from North Carolina.

Over the past six years, Michael has provided individuals in the facilities where he ministers with copies of the "Impact"--Pastor La Tour's weekly one-page devotionals.  Although they have never met Pastor La Tour in person, many of them feel as though they know …