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Showing posts from September, 2015

Words For Wednesday

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Fall Leaf Sugar Cookies

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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 …

The Word Of God Never Returns Void

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 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 sh…

Sunday Sketch

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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 …

A Weekend Of Remembering

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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. I…

Cleaning Those Hard-To-Reach Places

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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 gr…

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bake

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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…

Words For Wednesday

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A Little 1898 Wisdom

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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…

Sunday Sketch

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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 corn…

A Weekend Of Creativity

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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 cr…

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?

Last-Minute Craft Show Preparations

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 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&…

Words For Wednesday

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Stuffed Crescent Rolls Two Ways

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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'…

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 k…

Sunday Sketch

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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 …

A Weekend Of Delight

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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 o…

Building A Great Gift

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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 m…

Fun Football Food

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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 edg…

Words For Wednesday

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Mini Clothespin Signs

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  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 …

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 pray…

Sunday Sketch

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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 gr…

A Weekend Of Looking

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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.

Eve…