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Showing posts from 2014

Words for Wednesday

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New Year's Day Handmade Stamped Greeting Card

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Ok, it's time to admit that I didn't get Christmas cards made this year. Yes, the woman who makes card for a living didn't make any for herself. Please forgive me...
Instead, I'm making a few New Year's cards. And I absolutely love this design. Feel free to copy it if you'd like - it's a lot of fun!

I started by printing out a "Happy New Year" on the computer. I didn't have a stamp or any letters that I liked, so I created my own. If you're wondering why it's on white paper when I'm putting it on white card stock, there's a perfectly good explanation.

There are actually two: 1. I needed the extra stability because the card itself wasn't very thick, and 2. I'm going to stamp on it and I need it to be very dramatic. A background color would have detracted from the idea in my head. And 3. I was using up some damaged white card stock. You can see the pucker and tear in the first picture.

Once the phrase is adhered and cut …

Setting Your Family's Priorities For The New Year

For the next few days, everywhere you look you'll find tips on setting your New Year's resolutions.

Exercise more.
Eat better.
Stress less.
Love everyone.
Declutter everything.

For the first couple of weeks (or days ... or hours ... or minutes), things go pretty well. You're riding high on adrenaline and hope.

And then reality sets in.

Your schedule gets too busy to hit the gym today.
Doughnuts were on sale today.
The calendar just got amazingly crazy.
You don't understand any of the people you work/live/fellowship with.
Stuff has taken over every corner of your life and you just can't catch up.

So then what? Do you just give up until next January 1 and call it a year?

Of course not. Silly girl.

The problem is that we tend to make resolutions and set priorities that are out of whack and completely unattainable.

The solution to this failure and disappointment is found in a familiar Scripture that applies perfectly to the end of December.

But seek ye first the kingdom…

Sunday Sketch

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It's fun to play around with sketches that are completely out of your comfort zone. I love layers, but this one was much different than what I'm used to.

Think of this sketch as lefthand-heavy with a secondary image in the bottom righthand corner to balance it out. That's the way I'm thinking about it, just so I can wrap my brain around it. Silly, huh?

And be careful with patterns. Too many busy patterns and it gets a little overwhelming. You'll want nice, clean layers with contrasting patterns and colors, otherwise they'll get all lost and muddled.






That's what I was thinking about with the card I made using this sketch. I started with the tall phrase and then worked my way backwards. I knew what papers I wanted to use, I just had to make sure they weren't so busy that they canceled each other out.

The XO image in the bottom corner is just a piece cut from another sheet of paper. I didn't want anything too bulky or too fancy - it needed to go with…

A Weekend of Serving

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One of my Christmas gifts this week was this beautiful scraper. I can't imagine ever actually using it (with the chance of ruining it), so it will be displayed in a corner where I can always see it.

Why would I want to look at a scraper? As pretty as it is, it's because I want to remember the verse that's on it.

Serve the Lord with gladness is part of the 100th Psalm.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

These are the words I want to remember during the last weekend of the year. It's not about me. It's not about my schedule, my plan or my wishes. It'…

Words for Wednesday

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Christmas Card Display Board

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I haven't had very much time lately to do anything new for Christmas, but then the Christmas cards started rolling in!

We decorated for Christmas while Danny's parents were here, so everything is out all over the house. It's for that very reason that I realized we didn't have anywhere to put our Christmas cards as they came to the house.

So I put together this adorable Christmas card holder with a piece of leftover wood Danny had in the garage and some clothespins. I absolutely adore the size, and I hope it will hold most of the cards we receive.

I went out to the garage and spray painted the board in white and one side of the clothespins in red. The other side I left plain so the adhesive would stick better - and it really did.

Once they were dry, I brought them inside and hot glued the clothespins to the board. It only took a couple of minutes for them to dry completely and be solid.

I have a couple of Christmas stencils that I love, so I used the holly berries and …

All Figured Out

You don't need to have it all figured out to move forward.

Trusting God means moving forward into the unseen, knowing that He has already been there.

For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

God knows. We don't have to.

God has our lives all planned out. We don't have to do the planning ourselves.

God has thoughts of peace for us. We cannot plan our own peace.

God has planned our end, seen our end and knows everything that will happen between now and our end.

We don't have to.

Our finite minds want to know. We want to be prepared. We want to feel secure in knowing what's going to happen tomorrow.

But that's not trust.

Trust means following the Lord even when we don't have it figured out.

Trust means believing that God has our best interests at heart.

Trust means staying as close to Him as possible so we can see His footprints before us.

We don't have to hav…

Sunday Sketch

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A trusty sketch is like a great friend - they're tried and true and they'll be there for you whenever you need them.

This is one of those sketches in my personal book of card design. It's simple enough to be incredibly powerful on its own, but it's also versatile enough to work in a hundred different ways.

Start with a double-matted background, then choose a contrasting side border. The more mats the merrier, I say ... or something like that.

The phrase or focal point is then overlapped onto the border, creating a balanced package. There's also room on the righthand side if you want to add a small accent like another image or embellishment.

For my card, I used the last scraps of some of my favorite black, white and cream paper. Then I triple-matted the background so there was both white and cream showing.

The border is single matted, as is the yardstick sticker phrase. If I had used a quieter pattern for the background, I probably would have used a small flower acc…

A Weekend of Stewardship

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No matter how stressed or busy or frustrated we get in life, we are still blessed beyond measure.

For me, this becomes crystal clear when I get home and go outside. God has blessed us with the most beautiful property and home this side of heaven.

This gets cloudy when I get to too overwhelmed with the stuff of the world. Homemaking and upkeep go by the wayside because they end up sliding down the priority list. Sometimes I even forget to pray a hedge around the property and ask the Lord to continue to protect and bless us.

Do you know the feeling?

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1

If the Lord isn't the center of everything in this home, then it's just a house. If I don't make the cleanliness, mood and security of our home and property paramount in everything I do, then I labor in vain.

Make this a weekend of remembering to be a good steward of all God has given you.…

Words for Wednesday

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A Thanksgiving Tree

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I've started the most amazing little daily project. It looks a bit sparse right now, but by the end of November, it's going to be much fuller.

This is my Thanksgiving tree, and every day I'm adding another leaf. Each leaf has something I'm thankful for written on it, and so far I think I could have written a dozen of them every day.

When you start a gratitude project, it shows you very quickly how much you have to be thankful for. In just the first three days of the month, God has blessed me exceeding abundantly above all I could ask or think.

It's pretty clear how I put this together, so you have no excuses to not complete this project. A jar full of pretty rocks, a tree branch and some paper leaves - that's it!
From there, it's entirely up to you. Add one leaf each day with something you're thankful for on it. Add several leaves. Have each person in the family add one every day. Keep adding them until Thanksgiving Day and see just how much you have…

What About Your Attitude?

One of the biggest struggles I've been having lately is with my attitude. The situations themselves aren't that bad, but the way I react to them can be. This just escalates to the point where I'm stressed, tired and frustrated.

If you're having these same problems, here's what I've been using to shake myself of a bad attitude.

Words for Wednesday

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Peanut Butter Chewies Save The Day

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When you have an 11-month-old Great Dane, you learn very quickly that she has a very short attention span. She may be gigantic like a big dog, but she's still very much a puppy.

So recently I went back to a tried-and-true distraction technique that always works on the girls - the peanut butter chewie. I was honestly surprised at how quickly she took to it and how long it kept her occupied.
A peanut butter chewie is simply the hardest rubber chew toy we have with an opening on one end. I put a handful of tiny treats inside and then slather the outside with peanut butter.

It only took a minute for her to get most of the peanut butter off, and then another minute to accidentally dump a treat out. From there, it was game on as she chewed and knocked it around, leaving a trail of yummy things behind her. Then she was a canine vacuum cleaner, picking them all up.

If you're looking for something to entertain and occupy your puppy for a little while, this is the perfect solution.

Words for Wednesday

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Filled Pancake Muffins

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Ok, this is just an amazing idea. Use your favorite pancake recipe to make some on-the-go, dip-able muffins.

They're filled with whatever you love for breakfast - meats, fruits, cheese - use your imagination. I used turkey sausage in some and blueberries in others. Danny didn't think I made enough of the blueberries,so I'll have to do better next time.

Make the largest batch of pancake mix you can because you'll want to make a lot of these - trust me. I made the 18-27 pancake amount as the box instructed.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/4 of the way full, then top them with your filler. A few pieces will go a long way. Finish it off with another spoonful of batter, to make it about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes - check on them at 15 and go from there.

These reheat really well, so you can take them to work or have them for an afternoon snack. I made so many the first night that we were able to have them two days in a row.

Claiming The Victory

I've been reminded several times recently that there is no such thing as a defeated Christian. Any time God repeats something, we should be paying attention. Repetition means it's incredibly important.

So as Christian women, we are already victorious. But what does that mean?

The dictionary says victorious means having achieved victory.

But what does that mean?

Again to the dictionary: victory means a success or triumph over an enemy in battle. It can also mean gaining a superior position over an opponent.

Using this definition in our Christian walk, it might seem like we have a battle on our hands and the only way we can be victorious is to fight to the end and we'll come out the victor. Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can survive the war that rages around us, and this is useful, profitable verses.

But look at these verses of Scripture -

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our…

Words for Wednesday

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Calvary Baptist Church Ladies Retreat 2014

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We had an amazing weekend at Calvary Baptist Church. It was the weekend for Ladies Retreat 2014.

 Our theme was "I am a princess because my Father is the King of Kings." We used Psalm 45 as our Scripture.

And, of course, everyone received a tiara in their goodie bags. No one can be a princess without a crown. 
Our speaker, Mina Ogelsby, spent Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning showing us how God has given women the gift of influence - how we use it to glorify Him is up to us. We were reminded that we are a unique creation of the Lord, and we need to be the best "us" we can just for Him.
You are a child of the King!

We have some amazing ladies who have talents in design and decoration. The platform looked exactly like what we envision a castle would look - since most of us have never visited an actual castle.

Instead of doing the typical pink princess party, we chose royal blue and gold. We were blessed beyond measure that these are the most popular Chris…

A Family Walk

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One of the great things about a puppy is watching her experience things for the first time. Twice in the past two weeks we've been able to take Molly and the girls out in the woods. Watching her explore is an absolute hoot.

Bailey and Molly will both run if they're off leash, so we put them on 20-foot flexi leashes for these over-the-property walks. Sadie is a pack dog, so she always stays very close.

We have about 33 acres of land to wander over, so we were out for quite some time. Molly was on sensory overload trying to smell and touch and hear everything. The big girls hadn't been out for a while, either, so they were all trying to get in as much fun as they could.

 There are two ponds on the property, and we were told that Molly loves water.

 We were told correctly.

 It was an absolutely beautiful day for a walk - pretty warm but bright and sunny.

We walked all the way to the top of the ridge and then worked our way back down on some of the trails cut through the wo…

Toffee Spice Cake Loaves

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When is a spice cake more than a spice cake? When it's filled with toffee bits and made miniature!

I love autumn, and nothing says autumn to me like spice cake. This version is stepped up with bits of toffee chips both in the mix and sprinkled on top.

The combination is amazing!

Ingredients:
1 box spice cake mix
1 8-ounce package English toffee bits
2 16-ounce cans cream cheese frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 10 miniature loaf pans.

2. Prepare spice cake mix as directed on box. Then add half the package of English toffee bits.

3. Fill mini loaf pans 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (The toffee bits will melt, so make sure you're not hitting those with the toothpick instead of the cake mix.)

4. Allow to cool for about five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

5. When the loaves are completely cool, top with frosting and sprinkle with toffee bits.

Words For Wednesday

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A Tiny Treat Bag

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Here's a creative gift idea. This treat bag can be themed for anything - a birthday, ladies' meeting or baby shower. Choose your papers and colors appropriately.

 Inside is a plastic bag of anything you'd like - candy for a child, treats for a puppy or just about anything your little heart desires. If it fits in a baggie, this project will work perfectly!

 All you'll need is a baggie filled with your treats, a sheet of 12x12 paper, a paper cutter, a paper punch, ribbon and a special phrase or image.

 Cut your 12x12 paper into a strip slightly wider than your baggie. I just eye-balled it, but you can measure it if you absolutely have to.

Make the top of the bag even with the one end of the paper, then crease the paper where the bottom of the bag reaches to make a little stand.

Fold the top over to create a flap. Punch two holes through both the paper and the plastic bag, then thread the ribbon through. Add your image or phrase and you're all set!

How To Pray For Other Believers

Sometimes I think we're so overwhelmed when we look at our prayer list that we just wing it. This person is having surgery and is also concerned about how to pay for it. Someone else has children who have strayed, but they're also making some life decisions of their own. Even if we only have a few people on our prayer list, this can be a daunting task. So we just say a couple of lines like "Please touch all my loved ones today, Lord. Give them what they need in each situation."

This may seem like an easy way to take care of your prayer time, but it's definitely not what God intended. We've probably all done it because we're so short on time that praying for specifics for everyone we know would be too much of a sacrifice.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians, he told them exactly how he was praying for them. It wasn't a glossy little verse that asked God for some vague blessings - it was a heart-felt message of how he spoke directly to the Lord…

Sunday Sketch

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This is one of my favorite layouts because of its simplicity and its potential for a gorgeous finished product.

The background is two contrasting pieces in coordinating colors and patterns to make a nice, hefty frame. Think about the matting on a photo and make yours as wide as you'd like accordingly.

The top border is a completely opposite color to create contrast, and the edge is uneven to make it stand out even more. Too many straight edges gets boring after a while, so this mixes things up a little.

The phrase goes across the bottom, overlapping both the background and the border. This ties the two together and clearly sends your message.

For my card, I used black and blue patterned paper as the two background pieces. Then I tore the border for my ragged edge.

I raided my chipboard collection for the phrase, which is the perfect size for this card, and the butterfly with its trail. My patterns were a little too subtle to be left on their own, so I added the butterfly as a gre…

A Weekend of Singing

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Do you ever wake up in the morning with a song on your heart? It's a melody that sticks with you all day long. You go over the words again and again, tapping your toe in time to the music. It might even bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step.

Then you actually get involved in the day and that song becomes a little quieter and might disappear altogether. By the time you go to bed, you may not even remember which son it was that you were singing when you woke up.

Make this a weekend of singing. Put that song back in your heart and keep it there through the entire weekend.

What song do you want? What are you feeling today? What song is it that you need?

Amazing Grace
Fill My Cup Lord
I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
The Longer I Serve Him
I'm Glad I Know Who Jesus Is
It Is No Secret What God Can Do
Christ Is All I Need
The Wonder of It All
We Are More Than Conquerors
Living By Faith

The choices are practically endless. See what fits best for your heart and soul today…