Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Sketch

Today's sketch will give you the opportunity to layer panels of beautiful decorator paper. Add in a heartfelt sentiment and anyone would be blessed to receive this card in the mail.

Choose a solid or soft patterned paper for your background, as you'll be stacking several patterns on top of it. You can use two layers if you'd like, too, as long as they're subtle patterns.

Then, like the panels on a door, you'll make four rectangles of coordinating patterned paper. Make them all the same or use two patterns and stagger them for some added depth.

The sentiment is squarely centered inside another, more vibrant pattern. Use single layers or mat each one on a coordinating solid color. Choose one that really pops the pattern and you'll love the way it looks.

For my card, I started with a light, fabric-weave patterned paper. I had already chosen my other patterns, so it made sense to use something incredibly light and subtle.

Then I cut four rectangles, two of each pattern, and matted them all on the same shade of brown. The papers all came from the same collection, so they're pre-coordinated. I like not having to think...

The large leaf-themed pattern is the perfect background for my small verse of Scripture, matted on more coordinating paper. I love the way the verse stands out, white on dark, so it's the real focal point.

For more great layouts, come visit my Etsy shop. In addition to some inspiration, you'll also find a wide selection of cards, journals and other paper crafts. You'll walk away with new ideas, and maybe a gift or two.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Weekend Of Showing Mercy

Webster's defines mercy as showing compassionate treatment when one has the power to inflict harm, a disposition to showing compassion to an offender or adversary.

Jesus Christ spoke often of mercy, especially in teachings about the law of love and showing kindness to your enemies. He was an expert on the subject, as He faced a constant barrage of hate, anger, torture and eventually death.

But His instruction was always the same: be kind, show love and hope for nothing in return.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your father also is merciful. Luke 6:36

Using His own heavenly Father as the example, Christ told His disciples and the great multitude of people they were to show mercy as God had shown them mercy on so many occasions. Even those who had rejected God, rebelled against Him and turned their back on Him would be shown gentleness, kindness and compassion simply because it is part of His nature.

Make this a weekend of showing mercy. Think of how closely we will share His goodness when we are compassionate to someone who doesn't necessarily deserve it because He was compassionate when we didn't deserve it. Even those who have hurt us deeply can be shown mercy because God has been so very good to us.

Friday, May 27, 2016

10 Steps To Detailing Your Car

I'm in the last week of spring cleaning - finally! For the past several weeks, a friend and I have been going room by room through the entire house, deep cleaning anything and everything we could find. You really don't appreciate your home until you've been down on your hands and knees scrubbing, or high on a step stool tearing down cobwebs.

The last two tasks on the list are the one-car garage attached to the house and the windows. Friday will be an exceptionally long day as we have literally dozens on huge windows throughout the house.

To get a jump on the garage cleaning, I detailed my car. After the extremely long winter we had this year, the car was full of salt, dirt and ... yeah, I'm not sure what some of that was.

If you'd like to do a down-to-the-carpet deep clean of your own vehicle, here's a handy check list to get you motivated.

1. Gather your cleaning supplies. (It's always best to use car-specific cleaners, just to be on the safe side.) You'll want cleaning cloths, multi-surface cleaner, window cleaner and a shop vac. The smaller the attachments you have, the better.

2. Pull the car into a large open space and empty it completely. Pull out the floor mats, clear out the glove compartment and unload the trunk. Remove any cup holder liners and window clings, if you can.

3. Spray and clean the openings around the doors, especially if this is its first cleaning since winter or you live on gravel roads. This will probably be the dirtiest part of the job, so do it first.

4. Clean the insides of all the windows.

5. Get all the dust off the dashboard and console. You'll get in the crevices in a little while. Wipe out the glove compartment and any plastic, metal or rubber edges showing. This is probably the longest part of the process, but it makes all the difference. You'll see.

6. Depending on whether you have cloth or leather seats, use the appropriate cleaners to get all the grime off.

7. Grab your shop vac and run it over the entire interior of the car. This includes the seams on the seats, under the front seats and where every floor mat was. Don't forget the back window sill, since that's where the bugs like to collect.

8. Rinse off the floor mats, and scrub them if necessary. Leave them out to dry.

9. If you normally wash your car by hand, now is the time to get the outside done, or you can run it through the car wash. Treat yourself to the Executive Wash this time and watch it shine.

10. Sort through all of the stuff you removed from the car in Step 2. Only return the important paperwork to the glove compartment. Put a trunk organizer or crate in the trunk to keep your shopping bags and groceries from pouring out all over. Rotate in some new CDs and replace the cardboard coasters in your cup holders.

While it may not be a new car, you can definitely take good care of it. Who knows ... it might even run better without all that junk on it and in it!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rocky Road Fudge

In just over an hour with only four ingredients, you'll be enjoying an incredibly large batch of a delectable treat. If you even slightly like rocky road ice cream, you won't want to miss out on rocky road fudge!

1 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (any kind)
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups of mini marshmallows (approximately half the bag)
1 cup peanuts (finely chopped)

1. Line a 13x9 baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly spray with nonstick spray.

2. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Continue until smooth.

3. Remove bowl from microwave and stir in 2/3 of the marshmallows. Save the rest for the topping.

4. Pour the warm mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining marshmallows and the chopped nuts. Press down with your hand to keep the toppings in place.

5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to allow the fudge to set.

6. Cut fudge into squares. Remove carefully from the dish using the foil. Blot the underside with a paper towel if you used too much nonstick spray.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

$4 DIY Burlap And Twine Picture Frame

I wanted to make something special for Danny's parents since they're coming to visit in less than a week, and I thought a decorated picture of the four of us would be perfect. 

With just four items from the dollar store, I was able to put together this lovely gift: a frame, a small roll of burlap, a spool of twine and a bunch of flowers.

I started by taking the frame and wrapping it in the burlap. A line of hot glue keeps the end in place.

 Then I wrapped it all the way around the straight edges, leaving the corners exposed., trimming and gluing as necessary.

On the second time around, I focused on the corners and added a little hot glue to keep them in place. 

This is what it looked like after that step.

 Once around with the twine.

Then I attached the picture to the cardboard stand of the frame with double stick tape. I used a thin line of glue around the very edge of the cardboard and adhered it to the back of the burlap-wrapped frame.

A little more hot glue for the two flowers and it was all done! In a matter of minutes, with just a few dollars spent, I had a beautiful gift that I hope they love as much as I do!