Monday, October 31, 2011

how to not die while white water rafting on The Nile

Tune in tomorrow to The Newlin Weds for a recap of the hubbs + my white water rafting adventure, on which we went along with some of my Eastern + Azizi Life will be epic...and very don't want to miss it!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the best day

They say there are two important days in a your life: 
the day you were born, 
and the day you find out why...

{Carl Townsend}

Monday, October 24, 2011

best friends

I have the best friends. Not only have we had a steady stream of packages waiting for us at the post office...they are filled with proof that my friends know me oh so well!
My friend, Tiffany, sent me some Dr. Pepper jelly beans and lip gloss...knowing that I am suffering from Dr. Pepper withdraws...and she even included a kitty cat card :) And I didn't even know it was coming.

Thanks, have always been such a thoughtful and loving friend! See you in a couple of months!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, October 21, 2011

monkey + gummy

If you read The Newlin know that I have a thing for gummy bears... does monkey bear.

Who is monkey bear, you ask? Read here.

Also...monkey bear would like to see Lovely Followers be at 40 by the end of the day...and who are we to disappoint monkey bear?

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, October 20, 2011

batik: igice cya kane*

Step 4: {Boiling the wax off of our fabric}

Miss Step 3? Click here!

April was not with us...and, sadly, I didn't get to finish my fabric on my own...but is the last part of the batik process, nevertheless...
 Francois pours boiling water into a bucket with our fabric...
 We made sure the fabric was fully saturated and then moved it immediately over to cold water...
which, with a little help,...
made the wax come off of the fabric.
 Rinse and repeat.
 Then hang to dry!
 Or not dry...due to rain storms...
Here is April's wonderful tree and vine design...or octopus design...:)
Once dried, Christi ironed her fabric (removing any extra wax and making it nice and crisp)
And viola! Beautiful, personalized batik!

There really is one more step...the one where we take our fabric to a seamstress to get it made into something...but you will just have to wait a little longer for that...I am thinking a table cloth and dress out of mine...awesome, I know.

Although our fabrics are awesome, I think we would all say that the best part of the batik process was spending so much time together. I am very grateful for Christi + April...and the fact that I have some pretty awesome girlfriends while I am in Rwanda. Thanks knew what I needed even before I did :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

*Batik: Part 4

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

batik part tres

Step 3. {Dyeing Our Fabric}

(miss Step 2? click here!)

 Francois adding the perfect amount of red, yellow and blue powder to create the perfect shade of "burnt orange" for yours truly.
 Representing Eastern in my hot rubber gloves.
April representing Aussieland in hers :)
 Working the dye into my cloth...and it's weird...but the color always began as purple...
 April's fabric will be green...I promise
Christie will actually have purple no surprise there :)
 My finished product wet and crumpled in a tub...waiting to be hung to dry
Christi posing next to her pride and joy...can you see the detail this lady achieved...she is going to let me have a little bit to accent my burnt orange :)

Now that we've got our fabric's time to remove the wax to reveal white designs...check back for Step 4!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

batik part deux

Step 2. {Wax Stamping}

Next (and a week later), we stamped our design on our fabric with hot, hot wax.
Watch your feet, Christi!
Christi starts with her border design
April stamps out her trees (or upside down octopi...I kid, I kid)
 Waxed and ready for her vine detail
I started stamping my design closer together...
 and then changed it up for the second half of the cloth (not pictured here)

Stay tuned for Step 3...dyeing our fabric!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, October 17, 2011

batik: the beginning

Christi, April + I set out to create our own fabric over the course of a month. With careful attention to detail + talents we never knew we had, we excelled and decided to start our own batik company. No, not really...I would say Christi excelled, and April + I pretty much met our own expectations for our abilities. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all and I thought I should share the joy of batik with my lovelies! So here we a FOUR PART series :):

batik- is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are found in (particularly) Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore. (and Rwanda! could you forget Rwanda!)

Step 1: {Creating Your Design + Stamp(s)}
Like I said, Christi excelled...she even brought graph paper...and a ruler
Yay! I didn't cut my finger tips off while cutting our my stencil!
April traces her design onto foam in order to cut it into the stamp below.
Or...a powder applicator
Francois, April + myself...wonderful teacher + wonderful company
and then...more razor blade action...leaving behind only what I would like to remain white on my cloth
More of Christi excelling...

Stay tuned for Step 2: Wax Stamping!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the fireflies in the wilderness

Today has been an emotional day, already...and it just began...

In my morning quiet time, I read Psalm 68...and verses 4-10 resonated with my soul:

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the LORD;
exult before him!

 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness, 

the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
you restored your inheritance as it languished;
your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

I was reminded of the times when God has brought me out of what I was sure to be life-ending despair. When I thought there was no way for any sort of goodness or light to prosper, He stood to prove me wrong. Because, after all, nothing is impossible for God...God is bigger than any of our troubles...He can make the worst situations bring glory to Him...

I am forever thankful for the ways God has taught me this...they have never been pleasant experiences...but they provided moments of beauty and clarity that shone the face of God like I have never seen before.

When my aunt passed away three and a half years ago, in the midst of the pain and uncertainty, a phrase was given to me to calm my soul...

God is good. God is gracious. God is loving.

These are truths. And if we believe in God, we must believe that in all that comes upon us in life will have His stamp, marking His truth - no matter the situation.

To further prove His point, this morning I saw a link to a story on facebook. This is the story of my best friend's aunt + cousin. I have had the honor to know Jeanne + Jacob as my bff's family...and watching this family thrive in a situation that could have easily destroyed their lives and faith, is nothing short of a treasure. Take a couple of minutes to watch this...
This morning as I sat in my quiet time, reading this Psalm and feeling incredibly grateful for God's faithfulness to us...several people came to my heart that I felt I really needed to share this with...if you are one of them, I praise God for you and how I have been able to see Him work in your life through the good times and the bad. Keep pressing on...the glory will be His. Don't forget to look for the fireflies in the wilderness.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

eat your heart out, Vera Bradley

I went with Christi and a new friend, Alexandria, to a women's sewing cooperative in Kigali last weekend. Amahoro (meaning peace) is simply a place where women come to pedal away on their sewing machines, share life and make beautiful bags, laptop cases, wallets, aprons, quilts, children's toys, among other things.
Here I am showing off my new bag with its creator, Rose Mary...I love it. Inside is a different African fabric in coordinating colors. I wanted a bag much like this from Vera Bradley...but this "little" weekend bag is much more of a treasure when bought from Amahoro.

Amahoro is a child of a bigger organization in Kenya, that you can check out here. At this time, there is no place you can order Amahoro creations other than their workshop.

I will probably regret advertising this...but it was about $30 USD to purchase this I would be willing to take orders if there are those of you who are absolutely in love with the idea of having one of your own...I would up the price to $40 to cover my comment with your email if you are interested, and we'll talk :) There are also many other bag sizes, designs, and keep that in mind.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, October 10, 2011

thanks pinterest!

for another great idea! Sheila and I used glass Coke bottles to display our bracelets in our office shop.

How cute is that?

While I am proud of my Pinterest application, I am even more proud of the leadership Sheila offered while we organized the shop. I love my coworkers...they may be the best thing about Rwanda.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, October 6, 2011

love in action

Love is messy...I think mainly because we are imperfect people trying to love other imperfect people, imperfectly (did you get that?)

By the power of God is the only way we can have protection and grace through which we can love others how they truly need to be loved - with the love of Christ.

What do you think?

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

everyone loves...

...a hat made just for them. Here my point is beautifully modeled by Allie Brooke. 

Your Auntie Em loves you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We define beauty in so many different ways. I like to define beauty as my mother taught me to - "pretty is as pretty does." That would be with giggles, sharing, listening with an open mind and lots and lots of smiles.

This is exactly what the women of Abarikumwe Association are like. Azizi Life is blessed to be working so closely with them. I am blessed to be able to do most of my research for the last couple of papers in my Master's program with them.

They are beautiful.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth