Shine's Thyme

Daily ramblings of a ridiculously happy housewife and mother. Come in and see how sweet life can be!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Wee Bit Late

I know Christmas has passed, and I am very grateful for the blessings it gave us, but I thought I'd share a photo or two, just because. :)

Wishing you all the most happy...New Year!!!
Blessings sweet friends

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cleaning up

Hello sweet friends!! I know that most of you have made your own laundry detergent and other homemade cleaners of all sorts, but, for those of you that have not, I thought I'd share my laundry detergent recipe. I used to make this only occasionally, thinking I was too busy to take the time to make it, but lately, I make it all the time. My budget for cleaners, groceries and the like seems to have gone down, while prices just keep climbing. Tide is sooooooo expensive, while natural cleaners are even worse! This detergent takes about 15 minutes to make and turns out 2 gallons of detergent! It works out to cost about 1 cent per load!!!!! I can take 15 minutes every couple of months to save that much money! Hope you enjoy!
Here's what you'll need. will need other things...a long arm spoon, and essential oil if you want it to smell like lavender or lemon or whatever. But this is basically it!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

15 drops essential oil
1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type soap
1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda :) )
1/2 cup Borax

You will also need a small bucket or large pot that will hold 2 gallons of water. (That's what I used the enamel pot for)
Grate the soap into a 4 qt. saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap flakes melt. Add the washing soda and Borax and stir until powders dissolve. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket or pot. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let sit for about 24 hrs. and it will gel.
If you want your detergent scented, add the essential oil when you add the gallon plus 6 cups of water.
Use 1/2 cup per load.

Here's mine. Sorry I didn't get any pictures during the process, but it really is as simple as heating and stirring together. Thinking I will probably post more recipes for other cleaners and soaps shortly. I love to be productive!!!
Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What I Love

I truly do love so very many things. First and foremost, God. I can't make it through a single moment without him. Next, my family. Oh my goodness. If I had nothing else at all, God and family would be enough. For my personal "gravy", all my handcrafts make me a happy girl. Something about creating things truly put me on a different happy level.

Look at these gorgeous handwoven dishtowels, paired with my hand knit waffle dish cloths. Makes me smile  girls.

And this lovely handspun yarn.......amazing I tell you!! So cool to be able to turn fluff into yarn :)

I feel very blessed to be able to do these simple crafts. They help to complete me somehow. Am I the only one, or do other people that love lost crafts get funny looks too? Most people think I'm off my rocker! Can't explain it though. My life is so busy I hardly have a moment to call my own. However......when I do have those can bet, I'll be doing something I love. Have a blessed evening sweet friends.

Friday, September 20, 2013


This is my favorite time of the year. I don't know why.....I love spring, I love winter....I even love summer (my least favorite)....but Autumn is my MOST favorite!! That being's very important for me to be careful.....and here's why.
Remember, I last did a post on Pumpkin Doughnuts.....and now here's this. Oh my. Girls, I LOVE to cook.
I especially LOVE to bake. I love the awesome smells that come from the oven when my concoctions are coming to life. I love that the kitchen doesn't get too hot to work in.... and I LOVE how something yummy makes everyone SOOOO happy!
But me? Well....I could look at it as an exercise. I am exercising my mind to learn better restraint! WILLPOWER is getting a good workout too!

Oh...I didn't mention, but they are actually kinda healthy!! Made with fresh ground whole wheat :)

Cinamon Rolls

2 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
enough whole wheat flour to make a soft dough. I think I use about 5-6 cups total
3 & 1/2 tsp saff yeast (or your favorite fast rising yeast)

In a heavy duty mixer, combine water, oil and honey. I use "Real" salt, so I put it in with liquids. Add about 3 cups flour, then the yeast. Mix together, then add enough flour to make a soft dough. Mix for about 8 minutes. Let rise till double (about 30 min.). Turn dough out onto a work surface and roll into a large rectangle. (about 10x20ish) Spread with 1/2 cup + 2 Tblsp melted butter mixed with  1 lb. brown sugar and 1-2 tsp. cinamon. Roll up jelly roll style. cut into about 2 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet with sides. (I spray my pan with Pam).
Bake at 375 for 15-20 min.
Take out of oven and plate while warm. Top with icing:
2 cups powdered sugar+1/4 milk or Orange Juice
Just spread this on with no attention to moderation :)

Blessings  sweet friends~~Shine

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Hello friends! HAD to share this most yummy recipe that I captured from my dear friend Geanine. They are SOOOOOO delish!

                                            This is Geanine's picture.....and here is mine.

Not quite as pretty, but still sooo yummy. One quick note to the recipe. Have EVERYTHING ready before you start. Next, be comfortable with your frying situation. I seldom ever fry anything, so I think that was my biggest problem. If you ask the fam however, they will say there is no problem at all!

Pumpkin Donuts
3 1/2 cups flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 cup sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
canola oil (for frying)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients except the oil (it's for frying). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix all together until the dough is well combined. My dough was pretty sticky. Turn out onto a well floured surface and roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick (this may seem pretty thin but they puff up a lot when frying). Cut with a donut cutter or I just used a canning jar lid and a medicine cup (you know the ones that come on the top of child rems Motrin?) for the middle.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet or heavy pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot (I drop a piece of dough in and it started bubbling like crazy when it was hot enough). Gently slide the donuts in tot he oil, frying the first side until the edges are lightly browned. Carefully flip the donuts over and allow to cook until lightly browned on this side a too. Remove and place on a plate covered with paper towels to. While the donuts are still hot dip them in the buttermilk glaze (recipe below). Place on a cooling rack place over a cookie sheet to air dry until ready to serve.

Buttermilk Glaze*

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 t vanilla

Whisk together until smooth. Dip hot donuts in the glaze and then allow to air dry on a cooling rack.

*I made one and a half times this recipe for all my donuts. I also added 1/2 t maple flavoring to half this recipe for a little variety! Super Yummy!

Love, Shine

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm a Big Girl Now

Here is my beloved Cricket loom.
I love her dearly, however, she is a very wee little loom. I turned out many a lovely scarf on this loom, but my eyeballs got bigger and before you knew it, I was longing for a bigger...."real" loom. I will always keep this wee loom, but let me show you what the big girls use.
This, my friends, is my "new to me" Norwood 4-harness floor loom. To serious weavers, this is still a small loom, but to me, this is serious business.
Isn't she just lovely with her awesome warp on? That's intense let me tell you. Until you study looms and their workings, you can't imagine the intricacy they entail. This warp was 432 epi...that's 432 little threads that go through all those reed eyes and at a time. It was so worth it.
Can't wait to see the finished project!!
Amazing...all the things out there to be learned. I want to learn it all!!!
Thankful for what I can learn.
Blessings friends

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
I'm hooking up with one of my favorite bloggers Soulmama .


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Out of my comfort zone

Since Monday of this week, I have been stretching and growing myself...I suppose. I am a home girl. I like sameness, and quietness. We live in a small town by most standards, (pop. about 15,000 ). But just being in the city limits is too much for me. I live on a quiet cul-de-sac, but I hear the city noises, and the main drag is only a few blocks away, making it just...noisy. I long for country pleasures...mainly sheep :). and chickens , lots of elbow room and blessed quietness. I never realized how important that was to me until we moved to the city. Any way....if you've seen my blog, you'll remember I did a "brag post" about our 3rd son  here . As I type this post, I am sitting in a hotel in New York, waiting to go see my son in the first concert presented by the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. You can read about the concert and the orchestra here. So, all of that to say....we have been in New York for three days! Woweeee, talk about an eye opener! It has been a great experience, but let me tell ya, I DO look forward to being home my small little town...where I know so many and feel so very comfortable. Yesterday, we rode the metro into the city and OMGoodness!
To say we were overwhelmed is a huge understatement!
One thing I have been really surprised about however, are the people! Most all of them have been super nice! We were expecting rude, obnoxious people...but truly have not experienced much of that at all! If anything, the ones that aren't super nice are just indifferent. They don't look at you or say anything at all, which is fine! I don't mind giving people their space at all! Our chief concierge here at our hotel has been soooo sweet! She truly saved us as we were about to embark on the metro. She talked us through the whole ordeal and even gave a big hug as she waved good-bye to us! Emily...we owe you...BIG!!!!!
We are trying to experience as much as we can while we're here, but I won't cry when we leave :)
Tomorrow, we leave for D.C. for a concert at The Kennedy Center on Sat. after that, the orchestra embarks on a journey to St. Petersburg, Moscow, then London! We can't do the International thing, this has been a huge stretch for us country bumkins, so we'll say our good byes after the concert and let our son spread his wings. I am so very proud of him.
Tonight we'll take pictures....maybe even get a shot of Joshua Bell!!!
Right now, Anna is keeping us time for home-sickness....just plowing ahead....trying to get my game face on for a little more shopping:)
Have a great evening friends

Friday, June 14, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
I'm hooking up with one of my favorite bloggers Soulmama .

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sheepie Thoughts

It seems of late, I find myself thinking about sheep A LOT!!!! I wonder if perhaps I may be just a wee bit obsessed. In my defense, I will say that perhaps it's because I know there is no hope of having any REAL sheep right now. Look for yourself, but....please don't judge me. :)
 I really didn't think I had a problem until I started taking inventory around my house.
 Many of these cuties I collected BEFORE I had a problem:)

 The above sheep is named Maaaaa. She scares Sophie :)
 Just finished this awesome felted wool piece. One of my favorited Bible verses AND sheep!!
 Girls, I took down a family photo to hang this in my living room.

I think even Sophie looks like a little sheep :)

Maybe I should take my own advice. :)
Blessings sweet friends

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm Late!!!

I'm always late these days!! Any's my favorite Mother's Day picture. My favorite Mother's day gift? My children.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This Moment


{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
I'm hooking up with one of my favorite bloggers....Soulemama.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Longest Winter

Finally, Spring has arrived here is East Tennessee.

Finally. This has been the longest, darkest winter I can remember. It wasn't the coldest, snowiest, icy-est......just LONG......and DARK. In my memory, I don't recall ever knowing so many people with illnesses, problems, tragedies. It takes alot to keep the old spirits up and going!! I've always thought of myself as a very optimistic person. I choose to look at the good in a situation, or to look FOR the good....where ever I am. I've never been  one to cry woe is me or why me?. Just take what is given me and try to make the best of it. When everyone around you is negative....hmmmmm.....welll.......most of the time I get on my knees (They're pretty sore right now!!!) and put on some praise music. It always helps and God is always good to stand me back up and get me back on the right track. He is good sisters....ALL the time.
One great thing that happened this winter...actually TWO great things that happened this winter.....I completed the "Margaret Dashwood" shawl.......

the Tasha Tudor shawl!!!

SOOOOO exciting! These are by far the largest knitting projects I have ever taken on. I started them both at the end of last summer, then finished them both around the end of Feb.
The M. Dashwood is light and airy......perfect for cool spring evenings.
The T. Tudor is unbelievably soft and cozy. So warm and just the right wrap for nippy spring mornings.
Long projects, but absolutely worth the time and effort.
Right now, I just have socks and dishcloths on the needles.
I also have a quilt started, and a beautiful wool and embroidery piece on the side.
I have a fleece soaking in a suint bath and the phrase "sheep to shawl" is heavy on my mind:)
It's so nice and beautiful outside now though....I do want to do something in the dirt:)
Fairy land also needs attention.
What are you girls working on these days?????

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Still Normal?

Almost three years ago, I did a post about our third son. I can't believe it's been that long, but it has. And I am happy to report, that he is just as normal now as he was then.
Last summer, we heard about a new program sponsored by Carnegie Hall. The National Youth Orchestra.
This will be the inaugural year. The first ever. There of course was an audition process, BUT....if selected, the students would study free of charge for 2 weeks in New York. Perform a concert in New York, one in DC, and then travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg, London. WOWEEEE!!!! All of this totally paid for....IF audition and make the team. I asked Ben if he would be would be crazy because kids from all over the USA would be auditioning. His response was a definite YES!!!! I WANT to do that!!!!!!!
We started the process, knowing his chances were slim. Essays, biographies, excerpts, solo piece, all with very specific requirements. Very stressful for mama, but he took it all in stride. He could see the reward, and the challenge was right up his alley. The final papers, recordings, etc. were due Nov. 1. Everything was turned in on time and then came the wait. NYO was to send out audition results on Feb. 1. That was a LONG wait. Again, we didn't expect that he would make the roster, but boy was it exciting to think about!
On Feb. 1, we checked e-mails, mail excited...but by news. Oh well...maybe they just meant the first part of Feb. At 11:00 Ben came to me and said, I got an e-mail from NYO. It read. "Dear Benjamin".....(my heart sank, trying to think of how to be encouraging over disappointing words).."Very many congratulations! On behalf of all of us at Carnegie Hall and its Weill Music Institute, I am absolutely delighted to invite you to be a member of The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America this summer."! I almost fainted. I remember screaming this strange scream that totally freaked Ben out:) Any way....he made it!!! June 30, we send him on a plane (He's never been on a plane before) to New York.....he'll be gone 4 weeks. We hope to see him in DC at The Kennedy Center on July 13, perhaps in New York on July 11...but we can't make it to all his other concerts. What an experience!!!! So very proud of this young man. He is the only violinist from the state of Tennessee!! You can go here and see a map of all the states that have on the little balloons in the map and it will show pictures of the kids and the instruments they play. Still praying God will direct his every step. Many doors are beginning to open and it's important to go through the right ones. Yesterday, Ben performed at a fundraiser for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Lucas Richman.

He played Meditation from Thais...and Wieniawski's Polonaise No.1, in Dmajor. Amazing..... his first standing ovation! I said previously.....normal or not...we think Ben is pretty awesome:)
Blessings friends.....
Thanks for listening to my bragging:)))))
Much love~~Shine

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Winner Is........!!!!!!!

Happy Easter friends!

We also like to say "Happy Resurrection Day"!!!

Because He lives...I can face tomorrow!

Now for the winner of my pink candy-striped handspun yarn.......The winner is Twyla from Two Crazy Crafters. Thanks so much for all your sweet comments. You are all a much loved inspiration.
blessings for a beautiful afternoon!!
Love, Shine

Monday, March 25, 2013

Finally.....A GIVEAWAY!!! Homespun yarn!!

Hi friends! is the case for me many a time, I had a hard time deciding what yarn to use for my give away, BUT!! I have decided!!
                                   I'll be giving away two skeins of my beloved pink candy-stripe.

                                                 Both of the skeins are the exact same yarn.

                                  Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 yards total.                                          

         The first skein, the fluffy one, I spun first...when I was first learning to spin. The second one, which is spun tighter, I spun a few months later. Now when I look at them, I don't know what to do! I'm sure an experienced knitter would laugh and know exactly what to do with them, but I'm not that great of a knitter, so...I would love to see this go to someone who could work a little magic with it!!. It is 100% Merino wool spun worsted, more or less;) . I will do the drawing on Sun., March 31. Just leave a quick comment!!
Blessings sweet friends~~Shine

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sweetie Pie

Last week was rough. Life is far too busy for my taste these days on any given week, but last week was different. My normal craziness, PLUS... quiltfest. I work at our local quilt shop on Saturday mornings. Just 8:30-1:00. No big deal, and it's really just to support my habits:) Very laid back and lots of fun. During quiltfest however, not so much. It's a full week of crazy quilters. Don't get me wrong..we LOVE them. They come in droves for classes, exhibits and to SPEND MONEY!!!! It's a true blessing for our little shop. Lots of local shops have closed due to the economy, but our little shop has managed to hold on, and quiltfest is a big boost for the year. saying all that, the days I worked  in the shop, I almost fell apart. My hats off to all you ladies that work full time outside of the homes. I barely have time to think most days!!!! Sometimes I wonder why I am so blooming busy???!!! Well, I could write a book on why I'm so busy, but let's just's all good and I shant complain. One day that I worked the quiltfest, when I came home ready to drop, my sweet hubby had these waiting for me. What a beautiful surprise! Maybe working ain't so bad after all:) Blessings~~Shine

Friday, March 15, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
I'm hooking up with one of my favorite bloggers....Soulemama.

Blessings for a lovely evening