Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Highway 52 Yard Sale

Junkin' is one of my absolute favorite things to do and a must for the business I am in in order to find furniture and items to repurpose.  As I was looking for yard/estate sales to go to a couple of weekends ago, I ran accross a listing about the Hwy 52 yard sale, the second longest yard sale in Tennessee.  I went to their website and found out it was happening that upcoming weekend! 

Me to Daniel:  "Hey babe, have I told you what an amazing hubby you are lately?"

Daniel:  "What do you want??"

Me:  "Well, there's this really long yard sale this weekend." 

Daniel:  "Where is it?"  (I can already see the excitement on his face haha ...NOT!)

Me:  "North of Gallatin accross Hwy 52"

Daniel:  "You could drop me off to golf somewhere up there on Saturday while you are shopping, but you know it's going to take 4 hours for me to golf..."

Me:  (Laughing and thinking to myself) 4 hours. . .  is that all?  I could junk for days on end!  So I say "I think I can manage for 4 hours, babe!" 

So after a few minutes we decide that he really wants to golf and play with the new clubs he got for his birthday and I really want to go junkin' so I call my junkin' girls and he calls his golf buddies and it all works out perfectly and let me tell you, those 4 hours wouldn't have been enough!  :)

The Hwy 52 Yard Sale Route

Friday morning, my friends Cindy, Jamey, and I set out for the sale and we were in for some great finds!  Our first trip (yes there was more than one)  started in Cindy's hubby's truck and we made it all of about 15 miles before the bed was full!  At this point, we realized we were going to "need" to go home and empty the truck and come back to see what else we could find.  This wasn't just a hop, skip, and jump away either.  It was about an hour and 15 minute trip each way but where else can you find so much great stuff all in one place?  So after paying for a couple of pieces of furniture that wouldn't fit, we drove back to Nashville dropped off a load and Cindy and I came back this time in my truck.  We picked up our paid for pieces and continued down Hwy 52.  By the time it got dark we had another bed full and were seriously debating spending the night somewhere along the route because there was still a lot we hadn't seen!  After some good Mexican food, we decided we needed to go back drop our second load and get some rest.  So we did just that and headed back for a third time early on Saturday morning!  It was another great day of finds and our last stop we hit the blue mason jar gold mine! 

Wish I would have gotten some more pictures, but here is a shot of our first load:

Ashley :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Barn Sale Recap

If you have liked Claudie Belle Designs on facebook, you probably saw me post a lot about The Strawberry Patch Barn Sale I did about a month ago!  Things have been crazy around here and I am just getting around to posting a recap!  The Barn Sale was absolutely wonderful and the best show I have ever been a part of!  I want to send a big thanks out to Christy over at The Strawberry Patch who made it all happen!  The venue was an adorable barn out in the country in Hartsville, TN.  I wanted to share a few pics of my booth from that weekend:

Not only was it a great show, but I got to hang out with two of my favorite junk-lovin' girls!

Also, go ahead and mark your calendars for the Strawberry Patch Fall Barn Sale in September!

This past weekend I went with my friends, Cindy and Jamey to the second longest yard sale in TN, The Highway 52 Sale and let me tell you, it was a Junker's paradise!  I will catch you up on that action very soon! 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Strawberry Patch Barn Sale

If you are friends with me on Facebook or have liked my business page, you have probably already heard me talk about the upcoming Barn Sale that I am participating in! I am very excited about this opportunity and have heard that there are going to be some great vendors there!! If you love color, funky items, and all things vintage, this is the sale for you! There will be a bistro and live music in addition to lots of great shopping! Grab your girls and bring a truck or trailer to load all of your treasures in (haha) but seriously... And head out to Starlite Farm in Hartsville, TN. There will be a sneak peak sale on Thursday evening that costs $10 and Friday and Saturday are free. Here is the flyer with all of the info or you can visit The Strawberry Patch Facebook page!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter from The Chambers'

What a beautiful day it has been to celebrate our risen Lord and Savior!  We sang the song below in church this morning and it is one of my favorites!  The words are so powerful and such a great reminder that in Christ we have nothing to fear for He has conquered death itself! 

Christ Is Risen
Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love

And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but Heaven's will
No scheme of Hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down

In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

Easter cake we took to The Hoppe's who were so sweet to invite us to join their family for lunch today!  So thankful for new friends and homes away from home!

How was your Easter spent this year?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bridesmaid Gifts: Jewelry Rolls & Personalized Button Downs

Laura and Rob (our friends that we went to college with in Texas but didn't get to know better until we all ended up in Nashville) tied the knot right at a month ago!  They had a beautiful wedding and Laura was a gorgeous bride! 

Several months ago, Laura asked me if I would be interested in making her bridesmaid gifts and I was thrilled!  We decided on travel jewelry rolls and made a trip to JoAnn's to pick out the fabric together.  I got to monogram some really cute button down shirts for the wedding party as well and I wanted to share these with you!

The front, tied closed with a ribbon that is attached

The back, where the ribbon wraps around

This inside: ring bar, regular pocket, zipper pocket

Close up of the ring bar that snaps closed to hold rings on

Close up of the embroidered name patch

Whole set: Bride and Wedding Party

Personalized Button Downs

Lovely Bridesmaids sporting their shirts

I was so honored that Laura asked me to participate in her special day by doing what I love to do:  sew and craft!  I was pretty happy with how these turned out and will be adding them to my Etsy shop and will begin taking custom group gift orders for bridesmaid gifts or whatever you may need! 

Ashley :)

Haiti Recap: Part 2

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday our schedule went like this:

Morning: Craft time with the women
                Discipleship training with the men

Lunch at the hotel

Afternoon: Basketball camp at a local school with the children

Dinner at the hotel

March 19, 2012
We arrived at the church on Monday morning and 3 tables had been set up for us on the back patio with tablecloths and there were already about 10 women waiting for craft time!  Once we had everything set up, Jamie shared a devotional and then we started teaching the fabric flowers.  The translators were awesome, we definitely couldn't have done it without them!  I gave a brief demonstration of the flowers and expected that we would just walk around and help them more one on one.  Within 10 minutes most of the 28 ladies that had shown up by then had already made a flower and some were working on their second!  I expected that they would be quick learners, but was amazed at just how quickly they picked it up!  Over the two hours we were with them on the first day, they made dozens of flowers and began coming up with their own different designs which was so cool!  Their creativity was flowing for sure.  At the end of our craft time, we divided up the fabric so that each lady could take some home with their needles and thread to make more. 

Working on their fabric flowers

A flower for her hat!

Our wonderful translators:  Joslin and Mitial

While we were working with the women in the mornings, the men were training the men of the church in discipleship.  They tackled tough issues and hard questions.

After lunch time back at the hotel it was time for our first day of basketball camp!  Matt is a coach and had all sorts of fun drills and games for the kids to play.  One of my favorites was Peel the Banana where 3 people were it and everyone else was running and trying not to get tagged.  If you got tagged, you had to freeze and hold your arms up straight up over your head with your palms together (to look like a banana).  If you weren't it or tagged, you could "peel" the bananas so that they could run again! Each day there was time for one of our team members to share their heart with a devotional for the kids.  There were around 30 kids the first day and each day we had a few more as the word got out!  Everyone had a ball and the kids were great students and listeners!

 Listening to Coach Hoppe

Dribbling Drills

March 20, 2012
At craft time on Tuesday, the ladies pulled out lots of flowers they had made at home the night before.  They had gotten very creative and used things that they had in their homes.  Miel and her sister brought these beautiful flowers that they had made for all of us girls using their own supplies.  They were made with red striped shiny ribbon with serged edges.  They figured out how to make centers by making a ball out of fabric and covering it with more fabric instead of having to use buttons.  They had also sewn in some faux flower filler they had.  What a sweet blessing this was!  As a crafter myself handmade gifts have such meaning to me and this is one that I will treasure forever!  They pinned them on each of us and we took a picture all together. 

The girls with Miel and her sister wearing the flowers they made us!

Some flowers the ladies made at home

On Tuesday we taught them how to make paper beads using posters.  The longer paper made for larger, rounder beads.  They picked up bead-making just as quickly as the flowers and went to town making tons of beads!

I absolutely loved working with each one of these women!  The only regret I had is that I wish I could have communicated more and better with them.  With the language barrier it is hard to have deeper, more meaningful conversations to learn about their familes, lives, relationship with God, etc.  I definitely see the importance of knowing the language of the people group you work with especially if you will be there for a longer period of time. 

In basketball Tuesday, Matt had prepared several fun relay games.  We split the kids into four teams for the relays and they had a blast!  One was dribbling down and doing 10 jumping jacks and dribbling back.  The next was dribbling down, doing a dance move, and dribbling back.  They had some pretty great dance moves!! 

George with some moves!

Relay races!

Jamie with her candy, the kids loved getting candy after camp everyday!

March 21, 2012
Wednesday was our last day and the week absolutely flew by!  At craft time the women brought dozens of beads they had made at home and strung them into either a necklace or a bracelet.  We also made tissue flowers if they had extra time and wanted to learn.  Towards the end of the morning, Madam, Pastor Joseph's wife stood up and told us how appreciative they were and said they had great joy in their hearts.  She kept saying how sad she was that we were leaving tomorrow.  And in case I wasn't already crying enough, three more ladies stood up and said what these new skills meant to them, how they were going to teach others in their communities, and that they would sell their crafts in the market to make money for their families.  I looked over at Taylor and we both had tears streaming down our faces.  It is so amazing to me how you can get so close to people in such a short time and not even speak the same language.  Our bond with these women is in Christ and I am so thankful for my new Haitian sisters! 

The paper beads

Our beautiful Haitian sisters!

Our church is in the beginning stages of a microfinance project with Philadelphia Baptist Church in Haiti where we give them a loan for sewing machines and training and they learn skills, start their own business, and pay back the loan.  After craft time, the ladies in this project changed into the dresses they had made to show us and tell us about their training so far.  It was awesome to see that project in its initial stages and firsthand.

The dresses they made!

At lunch time back at the hotel, Pastor's family came to eat with us!  Pas told us about meeting Madam and the kids told us what they wanted to be when they grew up.  This was such a sweet time just eating with such a wonderful family!  Before they left, we gathered in a circle and Pastor prayed for us in Creole.  It was so hard to say goodbye to Madam because that was the last time we got to see her this trip.  She is such a beauty inside and out and has the sweetest, most gentle spirit I've seen!  What a strong, godly woman!  

At basketball we had over 40 kids on Wednesday.  We played several games with them: Peel the Banana, Partner tag, lay-up drills, etc.  They had an absolute blast!  Jamie shared the gospel through the ABC's with them at the end and they were very attentive.  We then divided them up into families and they were so excited to receive basketballs and t-shirts!  The goodbyes were hard. . . just like the women, we had gotten attached to these kiddos over the past few days.  I adore these people and am so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to know and love on them! 

March 22, 2012
Thursday was a long day of traveling and thinking about everything we had just experienced!  God is at work all around us and it is so awesome to see!  I was challenged through my time in Haiti to remember it is all about Him and not me and to be obedient in the here and now, where He puts me: in Haiti or in Nashville, TN or wherever else He may lead.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Haiti Recap: Part 1

Tomorrow will already mark a week since we have been back from Haiti so it is about time that I fill you in on our trip!  I feel like I've now had time to process most of it and I have written daily accounts and stories in my journal.  I would love to share some of the highlights with you in the next couple of posts.

As I told you in my last post, it was a total God thing that I even got to be a part of this awesome team!  I only knew for two weeks prior that I would be going and was so amazed at how He worked out all the details so perfectly!  No matter how many times He shows up in big ways and small, I am always in awe! 

I have to start by telling you what an amazing group of people I was blessed to go with!  Each person brought something unique to the rest of the team and it was evident that the Lord orchestrated it. 

Wes and Nicole, Taylor, Kari, Jamie and Matt, Brent, Stephen, Me

March 17, 2012
Saturday was a long day of travel, but making it to Haiti and being greeted by Pastor Joseph was well worth it!  He was waiting by the parking lot at the airport with our driver and greeted us with his always smiling self, hugs, and kisses on the cheek!  We made our way through Port-au-Prince and towards Petit Goave on the crazy and busy road that connected them.  The 40 mile drive can take anywhere from 2-5 hours because of the road conditions and traffic but we were on the shorter end of that this time.  Things looked pretty similar to when Daniel and I were there almost 2 years ago.  There were some improvements to the roads and some bulidings, but still several tent cities lining the roads.  It was definitely hard to see these conditions again.  Even though I had seen this very place before it served as a reminder of how a lot of the world lives.  Often struggling with becoming too busy, this was a reminder I needed that as Christians we are called to minister to the poor, the widows and orphans, and everyone who needs the hope of Jesus where God has us now and where He will lead us.  

After getting settled in our hotel rooms and eating dinner it was dark outside and let me tell you, I have never in my life seen as many stars as you could see from our balcony.  The sky was crystal clear and we were able to spot constellations and planets.  What a testimony of how BIG God is! 

March 18, 2012
We started the morning off with a ride in the Tap-Tap.  I absolutely love the tap-tap!  Let me explain it:  a tap-tap is basically a smaller truck like a ranger that has wooden planks in the bed to sit on and railing around the bed of the truck.  Whenever you all pile in and are ready to go someone in the bed taps the roof of the truck so the driver knows when to go!  I don't know why, but I think it is the cutest thing! 
Some of us in the Tap-Tap on the way to church

When we pulled up to the church we couldn't believe our eyes!  Almost 2 years ago the church was nothing but a concrete slab and a few concrete pillars left after the earthquake.  Today it is one of the most beautiful buildings we saw in Petit Goave!  Pastor Joseph and Philadelphia Baptist Church has served as a beacon of Christ's light in their community and it is so awesome to see how the Lord has provided for them to have a beautiful place to worship.

 Nearly 2 years ago after the earthquake


 The same angle that the pic from 2 years ago was!

The beautiful wood pulpit

Worshiping with Haitian brothers and sisters was such an amazing experience.  Even though we didn't know what words they were saying because it was all in Creole, it was evident that they love the Lord and His presence was in that room!  They all had such beautiful voices and are so enthusiastic!  We could definitely use a little more of their excitement in America! :)  It was really cool too because we could recognize some of the song tunes such as the Doxology and sing along in English.  One thing they kept shouting was Hallelujah which was awesome because Hallelujah is the same or very similar in most languages!  What a sweet reminder that no matter our language, we serve the same God.  I also couldn't help but think about heaven and when people from every tongue and tribe are all gathered around singing praise to the Lord!  In a class, Perspectives, that Daniel and I took they talked about how every people group has some way of worshipping God that no other group can offer and it is such a beautiful thing to think about!

Miel and her sisters singing

After church we went to check out the site where we would be having the basketball camp.  It was a great slab with 2 goals behind one of the schools. 

One of the goals in front of a tree full of mangos

After lunch back at the hotel, we had some free time that afternoon so we decided to go out on a boat trip to a beach further around the island.  What a beautiful place Haiti is!  Blue water, white sandy beaches, and mountains!  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!  On the beach we found sand dollars and huge conch shells and we were surprised when we were served lobster, fries, and plantains!

We went back to the evening worship service and they were having a type of open mic where several people came up to sing.  One high school aged boy came up to sing and said his mother wanted so badly for him to be educated, but she never taught him about Jesus.  He said, "now that I know Jesus, I am teaching my mother and sister about him".  The next group was 3 little girls including the pastor's daughter who sang.  They were around 8 years old and the middle girl with the mic said, "We are going to sing for the glory of God".  The translator was sitting right beside us, so he would tell us what they were saying!  I loved being able to hear some of their stories and testimonies!  One of Pastor Joseph's friends who is also a pastor gave the message and it was translated for us!  It was awesome to hear God speaking truth and challenging the congregation through the message. 

I got to Skype with Daniel that night which was wonderful!  I really missed him being with us on the trip but am so blessed with how encouraging and supportive he is of me! 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Haiti recap and thanks for reading!