“Courage, dearheart”

“Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage means that we face our fears. We are able to say “I have fallen, but I will get up.” {Maya Angelou}

Dont be disheartened, friend. Whatever battle you are facing, whatever dragon you have to slay, I promise you that it has been conquered before. There is nothing new under the sun. The storms will fade, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west as it always has. It will be alright. And all the best stories contain some drama and suspense before the climax and conclusion. Think of all the things the world would be missing if there was never any storms. Like rainbows and green grass.

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Dont be afraid to live couragously. Dont be afraid to live a life worth telling about.

It’s going to be worth it. I am cheering for you.

“Courage, dearheart.” {Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia}

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

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Scrap Bracelets {DIY Wednesday}

One of my current happy smiles is stacked bracelets. I love them. And the more the merrier. I have made several different colors of these and they are so fun and easy, they make great gifts, and are super cute to boot! If you’re feeling “blingy” you can embellish with charms or buttons or even bows. Endless possibilities!

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You will need:

:scrap fabric, approximately 44″ wide:

::note: I did pre-wash the fabric, but didn’t iron out the wrinkles because I’m lazy and only going to cut it all up. Also you will want to select a fabric that you like for the colors, not the pattern, because when you’re done you’re not going to see the pattern::

:crochet hook, size M:

:cutting mat, ruler, and fabric cutter/ or a pair of scissors, but the mat and ruler will save time:

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Cut a two inch strip of the fabric {this is all you will need for a bracelet, which makes this a perfect project for leftover material from other sewing ventures} and make a slip knot at one end, leaving about a three inch tail.

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Using the hook, crochet a simple chain.

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::note: this will make a tight chain, make sure that you keep your stitches from twisting, and if you want the brightest colors, make sure that the right side of your fabric is showing::

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Continue to desired length, or until about three inches of the fabric remains. Pull the tail through to finish.

::note: now is a good time to slip on a charm if desired:

Knot securely.

You can trim the ties and frays if you like, but I prefer to leave them. I think they add character. 😀

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Then you borrow your little sisters hand for a demonstration. 😉

There you have it! Fast, cheap, and so much fun. I hope they make you smile like they do me.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Posted in DIY

Reflections on the Titanic {100 years}

A group of musicians, knowing that their heartbeats were numbered, playing on and on into the ever increasing darkness striving to rally their fellow crew and passengers. 

A man that had devoted his life to saving souls using his last words to encourage and exhort those drowning with him. 

A young boy franticly tapping out an S.O.S. clinging to the hope that it will make the difference. 

Crew that insisted that women and children must be saved, and shot those that could only think of themselves. 

Women that said good-bye to their husbands, knowing that they would be raising their children alone. 

Courage. 

Sacrifice. 

Heroism. 

So many that paid the ultimate price. As I reflect on the stories and lives that were lived and lost on the RMS Titanic , the question that I am left with is would I? 

Would I willingly give my life to ensure the safety of others? 

Would I stay by my post? No matter what the cost? 

When the time counts, when I’m needed most, am I going to run? Or will I stay the course?  

Being a hero is not comfortable or convenient. It’s bloody, and messy, and painful, and usually ends up costing a whole lot more than you bargain for. 

II Samuel 24:24 says “Neither will I offer up unto the Lord… that which doth cost me nothing.” 

I hope I always stay the course. I hope I have enough character and integrity to do what I know what is right, no matter the cost, rather than what is comfortable or convenient. And may I always give of myself for the sake and comfort of another. 

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

10 Favorite {current} Inspirations

Inspiration can be found in moments. In smiles. In light. In color. In the little things. Here are some things that currently inspire me. What’s inspiring you these days? I’d love to hear about it.
1. Green grass. It’s so wonderful to see something besides brown again.
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2. The Piano Guys. Really loving listening to this fantastic arrangements on my afternoon runs. These guys are amazing. And I suddenly want to play the cello.
3. Sunshine.

4. Iced Coffee. It’s amazing. And at least makes me feel like I’m being super productive. Or it’s just been too hot outside not to be sipping icy things… either way.

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5. Handwritten Letters. My dear Abby is away at school and we’re writing back and forth. My heart smiles when I get one of her notes in the mail.
6. Tiny flowers
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7. Fresh paint. Mom and I are re-doing the former schoolroom to be my bedroom, and it’s looking so clean with the new coat of color.
8. My vintage cameras. I love them. I wish they could tell me stories of the people they’ve known and the pictures they’ve taken. { P.S.-these are only two of my collection}
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9. Lake Days with Buddie.
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10. Bare feet. Okay, maybe a bit silly, but I cant stand shoes, my toes like wiggle room! And I love the time of year when I can (and still look sane) walk around outside barefoot.
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Happy weekend! Stay beautiful!
~Alaina

Wedding Book {DIY Wednesday}

Welcome to my first post of DIY Wednesday!

[Just for the record, I love DIY anything and everything so this is a big part of my life and why it’s going to be part of my blog. Also for the record, I loved it before Pinterest made being crafty and DIY-ish ‘cool’]

Anyway, DIY Wednesday will be where I share recipes, ideas, projects [my own, or from others]… basically anything I like, that I think you might also appreciate or be interested in. I cant remember a time in my life where I didnt see something I liked in a store, and picked it apart in my brain to figure out how I could make it better or more personal. It fascinates me. I love the challenge. I love creating with my hands something I pictured in my head. I love seeing it come together and the final result being something unique and personal.

Now some of you might think this is odd. Why in the world would you make something you could buy? Think of all the time you’ll save! [To be honest, I see your point… half-way into most projects I think I’m totally bonkers, but I usually push past that point.]

Whichever of these groups you come from, I do hope these posts will at least be amusing, if not informative. And if you’re planning your wedding [or some other special event,] I do hope they will be helpful.

Today’s project isnt my own idea, but I love it, and I want to share it with you.

http://ruffledblog.com/diy-wedding-book-vintage-hardcover-guestbook/

I have made several of these as gifts and they are fantastic. Not just for a wedding album or a guest book, but for journals, sketchbooks, just about anything.

If you are having trouble finding a vintage book for the cover, try your local library’s sale shelf or a thrift store. You can find a good hardcover book for around $1.00 or so and they are usually in great shape. If you do this idea, stenciling on the front/back of the book might also be an idea. I like to glue ribbon to the outside of the binding to cover the book title.

Get creative, friend. And I’d love to hear about your endeavors. =)

Stay beautiful… live inspired!

~Alaina

Posted in DIY

Rachel Nelson {Senior 2012}

Enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon shooting this lovely-lady’s college senior portraits. We had beautiful weather and an amazing location, and our mutual friend Rachel Starks and I split up the shooting. Everyone should have a job that is as much fun as mine, not even kidding.

Rachel’s major is Elementary Education, and I know she is going to make a fantastic teacher. Well done Rachel, cheering you on as you influence the world through the lives of your students. =)

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Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Announcing Inspired Life: Photos by Alaina Studio Launch

Hello friend! I am so excited to announce the launch of my photography studio “Inspired Life”
Check out my brand new gorgeous website
Now, some of you might be wondering why I chose the name ‘Inspired Life’ for my photography studio. Well, simply enough, it’s because I believe that life, every single wild and crazy, individual life is inspired.
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One definition I found of the word Inspired is “of such surpassing brilliance or excellence as to suggest divine inspiration.”Psalms 139 says “I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

One definition of Life I found says “story, journal, or memorial.”You are writing your Life. It’s a story that you are journaling every day. A memorial that you are leaving to every single person you meet.

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God has created your life to be a something of such surpassing brilliance and excellence that it writes a story for all those that know you. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, shouldn’t your story include pictures?
That is the mission behind Inspired Life. To keep, chronicle, and preserve YOUR inspired story for generations. Moments and memories can be forgotten, images can help you remember. Your journal is worth being told, and your life is inspired.
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“The key to happiness is to live imperfectly with great delight.”
Stay beautiful,
~Alaina