Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall Leaf Sugar Cookies

I absolutely love fall. I love the crisp air and the colors and the warm, pretty clothes we get to wear. It's my favorite time of year, and I can't wait to watch the trees change colors in the upcoming weeks.


To celebrate that tree-changing, I made these adorable fall leaf cookies. I've had the leaf cookie cutter since the after-Thanksgiving sales last year, so I've been very patiently waiting to use it.


I started by outlining and filling my completely-cooled cookies. This is the glaze recipe I use:
1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp milk, 1 Tbsp corn syrup, 2 drops lemon juice. This amount allowed me to outline six of these large cookies, so adjust your amounts accordingly.

When you mix the outline, it needs to be fairly thick. When you drizzle it off the spoon, it should keep its shape for several seconds.

Outline all of the cookies and wait a few minutes while it hardens a little.

While you're waiting, mix another, larger batch of glaze, but keep it slightly thinner than the outline. When you pipe it in, it's going to spread and fill in between the lines.


Once the outline and fill are done, allow them to harden completely - overnight is best.

Then mix another batch of thick glaze like your outline to make the veins. Place the cookie on a paper plate and pipe the veins on, and while they're still wet, cover them with sanding sugar. The plate allows you to pour all the excess sugar into a bowl without making too much of a mess.


Once they're dry you'll have beautiful, fun cookies to share.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Word Of God Never Returns Void

 What would you do if you sat down for Bible study today, but you couldn't read your Bible? Not because you couldn't find it or couldn't concentrate on it - you couldn't read it!


 Last week we received the first two parts of the KJV Bible in Mongolian from Danny's parents. They are absolutely beautiful books, and we know how many months and months of work went into translating them.

At least that's what we think - because we can't read them!

Now I understand what the Mongolians must have felt like before these translations were available. I can guess what the covers say, as I know one is the Pentateuch and the other is the New Testament. And I can assume which book is which because I know the order in my own Bible.

Imagine starting from the very beginning.


For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11


As I do my Bible study today, I think about the Christian Mongolians, now holding the same Word of God that I do. They are reading the same words, learning the same love of the Lord and feeling the same power that I am here in southern Iowa. That's a special feeling and a humbling experience.

We are blessed beyond measure to hold the Word in our hands every single day. And the same excitement of people on the other side of the world, those reading it in their own language for the first time, can be just as real in our own hearts. I pray that we will once again find the wonder and joy in learning something new, reading something different and opening our hearts to what God would have us know today.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Sketch

If you're getting ready to start making your Christmas cards, since it's almost October already, this is the perfect sketch to start with. While it will work with any theme and color combination, it lends itself very well to the holiday season.

Beginning with one solid color and one coordinating patterned paper, the layout is incredibly simple.

The highlight of this sketch is the stitching around the patterned piece. You can use any type of thread you like, or you can use a stitched stamp for a quick and easy stitched look.

A ribbon around the entire card is accented with a beautiful holiday sentiment.
For my card, I started with a deep green card stock and matched it up with a worn-look striped Christmas paper. If you use two papers from a matched stack, it will save you even more thinking - which is a very good thing!

Then I stitched the two pieces together with a red metallic thread. It will only take a strand or two to get the look you want.

Before attaching the paper to the card, I wrapped it in white satin ribbon and tied a small bow. Then I taped it to the back and cut of the excess so it wouldn't be so bulky.

This card stock sticker phrase fit the card perfectly, so all I had to do was raise it on 3D adhesive to stand out above the ribbon.

You'll find many more cards like this one in our Etsy shop. Come visit today for more great ideas and a gift or two.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Weekend Of Remembering

And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. Joshua 4:20

A pile of stones in the middle of nowhere sure would be odd. Who wouldn't ask questions about who put them there and why?

And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Joshua 4:21

Joshua knew that the men who brought the stones out of the dry river bed would never forget. But who would tell the next generations, those who weren't there to see the miracle?

Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over. Joshua 4:22-23

Imagine the power of their testimony, being able to say that God had held back the waters just for them, so they could cross over on dry land. Imagine sharing that testimony with young people who hadn't been there, but were longing to learn who God is.

That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever. Joshua 4:24

Because when all is said and done, everything that happens in life is for your good and for the glory and honor of God. Being able to share the stories about the blessings of the Lord is a great and powerful gift that you alone can share. Having the twelve stones was just the conversation starter for the people of Joshua's day. What's yours?

Make this a weekend of remembering. Others passing by your pile of stones will have no idea what they mean - but won't you be thrilled to tell them all that God has done for you? What a wonderful way to show them the hand of the Lord on your life.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cleaning Those Hard-To-Reach Places

Whether you're doing your fall cleaning, getting a house ready to sell or just tired of looking at dirt and grime, you can always find one more thing to clean. Some of those hard-to-reach places, however, seem next to impossible to get clean, let alone keep clean. 


This is the track for our sliding glass door, which has a screen on the outside. For this very reason, the track is always full of dust, dirt, mud and some other things I don't really want to know what they are. And because of all the little cracks and crevices, it's terribly difficult to get clean.


But here's the secret. Start by vacuuming out all the loose dirt. Then shake down a thin layer of baking soda into the tracks.


Pour a small amount of vinegar onto the baking soda and smile for a moment while it fizzes.


Almost immediately you'll be able to take a cloth and wipe it out. Some of the nooks and crannies needed a little more scrubbing and a toothpick, but that doesn't require too much elbow grease. The extra effort is worth it to see that it really was white under there!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

If you're looking for a new spin on an old recipe or just want to try something completely different, look no further.

If you look carefully in your grocery store's produce section, you'll probably find spaghetti squash. They don't look like much from the outside, but inside they're packed with lots of yummy goodness.

The meat of this squash shreds when you cut into it, giving it the shape and consistency of pasta. But instead of cooking up your own pasta, you have the added health benefits of fresh produce. Add your favorite pasta sauce to the middle and you've got a winning combination.

Ingredients:
2 small spaghetti squash (or one large one if desired)
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1 can cranberry sauce
1 jar pasta sauce
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Cut the squash in half and lightly coat the inside with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast the squash skin side up for 30 minutes. It will become warm and tender. Remove and turn the oven to broil.

4. In a large skillet, brown the meat and add the cranberry sauce and pasta sauce. Simmer until the squash is done.

5. Using a fork, shred the inside of the squash to fluff up the "pasta." Fill with the meat sauce mixture and top with shredded cheese.

6. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

One small half is enough for one person.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Little 1898 Wisdom

It's not a normal thing for me to sit around ready an encyclopedia. I'm not even sure I've looked at one since college, thanks to the Internet. I remember it being a staple of research growing up, but not just for fun evening reading.

At least that's what I thought until I got my hands on a two-volume set of the Student's Cyclopaedia, a ready reference library for school and home published in 1898. Its title page states that it embraces history, biography, geography, discovery, invention, arts, sciences and literature. Each volume has about 180 pages, and this was the place that a late-19th century student would turn to when they needed a paragraph or two of information on this wide range of subjects.

As I began to flip through the first pages of the first book, I was struck by both the language and the topics. One page might have an American president, a biography of a great musician, a description of how a bicycle works and the history of a state. beautiful hand-drawn illustrations are everywhere, and you can quickly learn something about a man, a gemstone and a town across the country in a matter of minutes.

And right there in the mix of the first page were two A-names from the Bible. Aaron, brother of Moses, and Abel, brother of Cain, were right there between Abbotsford, Abd-el-Kader and Pierre Abelard. Page after page I found the same thing - cities, people and descriptions of famous events in the Bible were mixed in with more secular topics.

There seemed to be no reason not to include these entries together. The publisher didn't seem to have any reason not to combine Christianity, science, literature and history all in one place.

I wonder how this reference book would be received by a publisher today.

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgements: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:97-104

Maybe the editors of the 1890s had it right - according to Scripture, the word of God should be everywhere and in everything. It was to be our meditation day and night, our guide all our days, a light to our paths and the way to understanding. Yes, we need to learn about history and people and discoveries, but how much more important is it to learn God's word?

In 1898, it was all combined to make one body of knowledge. The editors wrote in the preface that they felt it was a full and complete list, written in language for ages 12 and up. They felt that Aaron and Abel deserved a place between the geography lesson and life stories.

And so they belong in our lives today - the truth of the Bible in the midst of our daily lessons.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Sketch

For today's sketch, we'll be combining patterns and colors and embellishments - oh my!

While the sentiment is front and center on this card, it's the choice of patterns that will make the design stand out. Keep them all in the same color family so one doesn't stand out over the rest.

Start with a solid colored background, and then choose three patterns that coordinate. The smaller the better for this sketch because you won't see much of the back two pieces.

You'll also need three small images or embellishments to accent the layers. Again, you don't want anything too big because they will monopolize the card.

A matted sentiment on the top layer will complete your creative and fun card.

For my card, I started with a dark green card stock. Then I chose three holiday papers from the same collection so they were already coordinated. (The less thinking I have to do, the better.) Each one is cut slightly smaller than the previous one, and I rounded the upper corner.

The hand-stamped phrase is double matted on coordinating card stock.

Finally, I added three card stock stickers with different holiday images as my accents. This is a great opportunity to mix and match sizes, shapes and colors.

This card, along with many other paper crafts and wood gifts, can be found in our Etsy shop. Come visit us to get more creative ideas and maybe a gift or two.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Weekend Of Creativity

This is the weekend we've been waiting for for the past 51 weekends! It's Walk On Art Street, and we're so excited to be part of this wonderful outdoor arts and crafts show.

It's been a year of great creativity at our house, as we pray you'll see from the pieces we've made. Combining my paper crafts with Danny's woodworking, we like to say we use the entire tree.

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. Proverbs 31:18

She taketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Proverbs 31:24

In the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, there are many verses that describe her creative spirit. She weaves and sews, and she makes things for both her family and to sell in the marketplace. She willingly works with her hands to be a blessing to those under her roof and her entire community.

Make this a weekend of creativity. Pull out a project you've tucked away and work on it. Or head to the nearest craft department and find something new. Get those creative juices flowing and make something fun!

And if you're in the Ottumwa area today, please stop by the 200 block of Main Street and visit our booth. You'll find us in booth #21, right in front of the Capri Theater. Buy local - buy handmade and we'll both be blessed.


Friday, September 18, 2015

10 To-Do's For Today

Today is going to be an amazing day!
Want to see my to-do list?

1. Start the day with a positive attitude. (Psalm 59:16)

2. Choose joy. (Psalm 32:11)

3. Walk in God's peace. (Psalm 34:14)

4. Be thankful. (Psalm 136:1)

5. Set aside quiet time to be with God. (Proverbs 8:17)

6. Find the good in people. (Philippians 2:3)

7. Be courageous. (Joshua 1:5-6)

8. Expect God to do great and wonderful things. (Psalm 130:5)

9. Trust in God's promises. (Proverbs 3:5)

10. Make my words and thoughts acceptable to the Lord. (Psalm 19:14)

What's your plan for the day?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Last-Minute Craft Show Preparations

 It's hard to believe that we only have two days left before Walk On Art Street. It seems like just yesterday that we had 364 days to prepare - my, how the time flies when you're having fun!


This week we were finally ready to set up our booth in the basement. I'm a very visual person, so I wasn't even sure if we had enough made to fill the tables. I measured out our booth space using masking tape to mark each foot. You'll notice that some are missing - Molly thought it was a fun came and decided to help me pick them up.


I've played around with a lot of different projects over the past months, so there are lot of new pieces for show visitors to browse through. We'll have many different kinds of magnets, seven different themes of greeting cards, decorated journals, explosion boxes and lots of other smaller pieces. Get your Christmas shopping all done in one place!


There is really no end to what I could still make this week, but I have to stop somewhere or I'll drive myself crazy. So really the only thing I have left to do is price tags and some additional signage.


Danny made our pallet shelves for last year's show, and I absolutely love them. Most of his pieces are still out in the wood shop, and we probably won't pack them up until Friday night (which is going to be here before we know it). Again, there is a lot of variety here, too, and I'm excited to see what shoppers are interested in because it seems to vary from year to year.


Our tag-team project this year was this set of shelves. Danny torched the edges of three boards and covered them in a clear coat. The rustic-looking tree branches are held in by pegs to make them sturdy. I adore how they turned out, and it's so much fun to work together on things.

If you're in the Ottumwa area on Saturday, we'd love to have you come visit! Walk On Art Street will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, in the 200 block of Main Street. There will also be food vendors and live music, along with several other activities. Come join the fun - buy local - buy handmade!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stuffed Crescent Rolls Two Ways

One recipe usually makes one type of food - this is pretty much common sense. But if you change out a couple of ingredients, this recipe will turn a savory treat into a sweet one.

You'll start with two cans of crescent roll dough and end up with a great appetizer and a decadent dessert.

How much fun is that?

Meatball crescents
Ingredients:
1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 jar marinara sauce
1 bag frozen Italian meatballs
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Pour sauce and meatballs into a medium pan and simmer until warm, about 10 minutes.

3. Unroll dough and separate at the perforations. For large crescents, use entire triangle. For smaller crescents, cut each triangle in half.

4. Place small mound of cheese on each triangle and top with a meatball and a small amount of sauce. Roll up and place on baking sheet.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the dough has turned golden brown.

S'mores crescents
Ingredients:
1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
chocolate and caramel sauces for drizzle

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Unroll dough and separate at the perforations. For large crescents, use entire triangle. For smaller crescents, cut each triangle in half.

3. Place small mounds of marshmallows and chips on each triangle. Roll up and place on baking sheet.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the dough has turned golden brown.

5. Serve drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce.

You can also play around with different ingredients. Try sliced mozzarella cheese in the meatball crescents and marshmallow fluff in the S'mores crescents.

Monday, September 14, 2015

What's Your Stumbling Block?

A man is walking down a one-lane road when he comes upon a large rock. The rock is so large that it's filling the entire path. Frustrated, the man turns around and goes home.

A second man is walking down the same one-lane road and comes upon the rock. Frustrated, he sits down right where he is. And there he stays.

A third man is walking down the one-lane road and comes upon the rock. He decides to go around the rock, but this leads him off course and he never reaches his destination.

A fourth man is walking down the one-lane road and comes upon the rock. He examines the rock carefully and prays for strength and courage. With God's help, the man removes the rock from the road and continues on his way.

When you meet an obstacle in your walk with God, which one of these four people are you?

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? Galatians 5:7

Paul asks the believers in Galatia why they have strayed from the truth of the Gospel. He probably already knew the answer, but he wanted them to ask themselves the same question. In much the same way, God would have us look at our own hearts and see what large rocks are in the way of the one-lane path of our lives.

We run well for the first leg of our journey, but when we meet that first rock, we have to decide what course of action we'll take.

Will we give up and turn around?
Will we stop right where we are and go no further?
Will we veer off the path and try a different way?
Or will we pray for God's guidance and direction to learn what the hindrance is and how we can remove it?

In the book of Nehemiah, their "path" was the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. But even this basic task had a large rock in it - several people who hated the people and hated the idea of the city being rebuilt.

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth. And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nehemiah 4:7-8

These enemies of the Jews were purposely hindering the building of the wall. Their sole intent was was to be a stumbling block in the path of the people at Jerusalem. They mocked the builders, tried to discourage them and treated pain and death to those who worked.

Talk about a huge rock in your path.

As they stood there facing the rock in their one-lane road, Nehemiah and the Jews had a choice to make. Three of them meant quitting their work, a work the Lord had commanded them to do. Instead, they chose the fourth and best option.

Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. Nehemiah 4:9

The people of Jerusalem realized that the only way to remove the rock in their way was to ask God for help. He showed them what the rock was (the enemy), how to move it (through prayer and arming themselves to fight) and the blessings that would be theirs if they stayed on the path (a rebuilt and established city dedicated to the Lord).

We will each face a rock, maybe several rocks, in our path today. We have the same choices the Jews did as they faced their own rock - turn around, quit, take a different path or ask God for the guidance and wisdom to remove the rock and continue on our path with Him.

Only one of these paths leads us to the center of the perfect will of God. I pray we'll make that wise choice today and watch as our great and loving Father helps us remove those hindrances from our lives.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Sketch

You don't have to fill up the entire front of a card to make it beautiful. I think we sometimes think "more is better," so we find as many patterns and colors and embellishments as possible and splash them all over our paper crafts.

Sometimes, though, simple and clean can be absolutely perfect.

For this sketch, you'll combine just four elements - a solid background, a patterned paper, an embellishment and a sentiment.

Where you go from there is up to you!
For my card, I started with a white card stock card and matted a solid green card stock on top of it.

My textured gum drop paper runs the entire length of the left hand side of the card.

The large embellishment in the bottom corner are two 3D candy canes.

And the sentiment is a card stock sticker on red card stock, embellished with three tiny white gems.

It's a very simple card, but one that grabs your attention because it's not busy.

There are hundreds of cards like this one in our Etsy shop. We're on vacation this week to get ready for our local outdoor craft show, but come visit next week for lots of great paper crafts and wood gifts.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Weekend Of Delight

There are many things I delight in - ice cream, puppies, a good pun and the sound of my husband's laugh.

And I absolutely love thunderstorms. I'm the one who runs outside to get a better look. I delight in the wind and the lightning and the roll of the thunder.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2

The righteous man in the first Psalm is described as not walking in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the way of sinners or sitting in the seat of the scornful. There is nothing good or right or pure in any of these places and people. His delight is in a much better place.

The law, God's Word, is where our heart finds its delight - in the truth, wisdom, power and encouragement that only the Lord Himself can give us. While earthly things give us joy and delight for a little while, thinking on the personal message God gives us day and night will last for all eternity.

Make this a weekend of delight. Find a verse or two of Scripture and delight in them. Meditate on them, study them, memorize them and think about them all weekend. Then praise the Lord for putting pure joy in your heart for those two special days.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Building A Great Gift

I love to give gifts. They don't have to be extravagant, just little tokens of my love and appreciation. I know when I receive something special, it makes me feel even more wonderful just knowing they were thinking about me.

So when I'm putting a gift together, I have a little formula that makes me get creative. I don't want to just throw some stuff in a bag and call that good - where's the fun in that?

The next time you're putting together a gift bag or basket, try finding something in each of these categories. My examples are shown here and listed in parenthesis next to it.

1. Something to snack on (granola bars)
2. Something to use once (bath gel)
3. Something to share with others (note paper)
4. Something to use over and over (bookmark)
5. Something practical (pencil)
6. Something useful to hold it all together (oversized mug)

This list may help you think of an amazing gift that you wouldn't normally give, and it's a wonderful way to make your present meaningful to the recipient.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fun Football Food


Saturday was the first Alabama football game of the season (Roll Tide!) and I wanted to make some special snacks for the evening. What I didn't realize is that if it's not perfect, it's still tons of fun.


I covered the strawberries in dipping chocolate and let them harden in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then I used a can of frosting, the kind with interchangeable tips, to draw the laces. It was very difficult to control, and I was getting frustrated with it. I finally asked Danny to come do them, and it was the most fun we've had in ages.


Instead of concentrating and making perfect football laces like I wanted, he started making other pictures. He made an Alabama A, smiley faces and weird swirls of frosting. Looks aren't everything - they tasted great!


To make the brownies, I printed out a clip art football and traced it onto a piece of cardboard.


I started with a 13x9-sized pan of dark chocolate brownies. Then I used a sharp knife to cut around the edges and used a spatula to gently pull them free. We used the same frosting to make laces on these, too. And yes, the extra brownie bits from around the footballs were great on ice cream!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mini Clothespin Signs

  In recent weeks, two different friends have given me clothespins. I hadn't asked for them, because who asks for clothespins? Well, crafty people do, but in these cases I didn't. 


They're miniature clothespins, just 1.75 inches long, so they're perfect for hanging things on greetings cards. (More on that another day.)


With my new tiny clothespins, I made some adorable little signs. Because the pins are so small, the verses and images are, too. I'm excited to take them to Walk On Art Street next weekend and see if other people love them as much as I do.


The fun part was digging through all of my supplies to find die cuts, stickers and verses that were the right size and shape. The die cuts could be used as-is, and I put the stickers on white card stock. This made them sturdier and made the colors stand out more.


I experimented with several different adhesives to see which ones would work better. Glue dots worked perfectly, as did wood/paper craft glue. (I use the 3M Scotch quick-dry adhesive.) From there is was so much fun to put them together. There's such a variety of flowers, butterflies, phrases and Bible verses and so many bright, cheery colors.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Women The World Needs More Of

The world has enough women doing as they please.
It needs more virtuous women. (Proverbs 31:10)

The world has enough women living after the lusts of the flesh.
It needs more godly women. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

The world has enough women wandering from one idle pursuit to the next.
It needs women who place God above all else. (Mark 12:30)

The world has enough women full of themselves.
It needs more women who are full of faith. (Matthew 9:22)

The world has enough troubled marriages.
It needs more women willing to partner with their husbands. (Acts 18)

The world has enough women with wandering eyes.
It needs more women who focus on their husbands alone. (1 Corinthians 7:2)

The world has enough women seeking to please themselves and one another.
It needs more women seeking to please God. (Galatians 1:10)

The world has enough prideful, selfish women.
It needs more women not afraid to be submissive. (Ephesians 5:21-22)

The world has enough women fighting for worthless causes.
It needs more prayer warriors. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

The world has enough women living their lives in the public eye.
It needs more discreet, chaste women. (Titus 2:3-5)

The world has enough women actively bringing one another down.
It needs more uplifting spirits. (Hebrews 3:13)

The world has enough destructive forces.
It needs women following after peace and holiness. (Hebrews 12:14)

The world has enough loud, abrasive women.
It needs more meek and quiet spirits. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

The world has enough women serving themselves.
It needs more women serving God. (Proverbs 31:29)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Sketch

Just because a sketch is simple doesn't mean there aren't a dozen ways to change it up. Get your thinking cap on for this one and see how many different card designs you can come up with.

The background is just two layers - a solid color and a great pattern.

A large circle image is your main focal point, made out of decorator paper or other embellishments, then matted on a coordinating color.

Your sentiment steps up front and center underneath your image.

Yes, I know. Your imagination is running wild already, isn't it?
for my card, I started with a bright green decorator paper and matted a fun striped decorator paper on top. Make sure your pattern's too wild or it will drown everything else out.

For my circle, I used a marbled blue decorator paper and filled it with butterfly and flower stickers. Then I cut out a mat of dark pink to match the stripe behind it.

My Bible verse is matted on two more coordinating solid colors.

To dress it up a little, there is a bright green gem in each corner.

To see more great cards like this, come visit our Etsy shop. You'll find more ideas and lots of paper crafts and wood gifts.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Weekend Of Looking

You never know what you'll see each day if you keep your eyes open. It might be a beautiful sunset, a child playing or, on pretty days like this, an upside-down squirrel.

Just a little something to make you smile.

And when we see something special, we want everyone around us to know about it. We'll post a photo on social media, send it in an email or call someone to let them know they need to look out the window. It's human nature to want to share special moments with those we love.

How much more, then, should we want to have people look to the Lord?

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Matthew 11:2-3

John's ministry began before Jesus', and he had many followers because of the message of the Messiah. Now in jail, John continues to point people to Jesus Christ. He sends two of his own disciples to see the Lord and learn more about Him.

Even at one of the lowest points of his life, John sent people looking for Christ.

Make this a weekend of looking. Looking for Jesus yourself and growing greater in knowledge of Him. Sending others to look for Him as the only one who can set them free from bondage. And looking to Him as the author and finisher of our faith.

Never stop looking.