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Showing posts from August, 2016

Words For Wednesday

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Summer Vegetable Salad

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If you're ready to use up those last summer vegetables - whether they're from your garden or someone else's - this salad is the perfect choice.

With a mix of several favorite veggies, you can mix and match to your heart's content. If you come up with a great combination, let me know!

Ingredients:
3 ears sweet corn, cooked and cut off the cob
12 grape tomatoes, quartered
1 can sweet peas, drained
1 roasted red pepper, chopped finely
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
1/2 cup Italian dressing

Prepare all of your ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with salad dressing. Refrigerate in an air-tight container.

Follow Peace, Be Holy, See The Lord

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
Times don't change, and there in no new thing under the sun. When the writer of Hebrews penned the words above, he was making an appeal for endurance. There would be trying times in his readers' lives, circumstances that would cause their hands to hang down and their knees to get weak. Some of them would be so tired and useless that they would simply give up and walk away from God's path for them.
Doesn't this sound exactly like today, too? There has been no change in people over the centuries, as believers still give up in the face of trials and turn away from the guidance of the Lord. We still get worn down, frustrated, disillusioned and weary in our well-doing, leading some to just take their toys and go home.
But in Hebrews 12:14, we find words of encouragement for those tough moments. First, follow peace with all men. When your flesh wants to take over, when you want to ve…

Sunday Sketch

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If you've got some great themed papers - especially one with words on it - today's sketch will be a great place to use them.

Practice your paper-tearing skills by layering two torn patterned papers on the top of your card and overlap a large, fun image in that upper left corner.

This will leave the bottom of the background paper peeking out the bottom. This is a great place for a longer sentiment, or you can let the words on the paper itself be your sentiment.
That's what I did for my card today. The youth of our church went back to school this week, so I thought this card would be more than appropriate this weekend.

I started with three patterned papers - no card stock today - each with its own colors and designs. I used the chalkboard as the very back layer, making sure I could read the whole phrase and see the apple in the bottom corner.

Then I tore the paper of the textured red and the large letters to layer on top of that. When you have a background image that you wa…

A Weekend Of Sticking

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When I found this fruit infuser tumbler at the dollar store, I was so excited. I've wanted to try this popular trend for a while, but just couldn't bring myself to pay so much money for a glass. So when there was one for $1, and in purple, I couldn't resist.

I went to take the manufacturer's sticker off the side, though, and it was tough going. It was incredibly sticky, and attempts to remove it in one fell swoop were futile. It ripped into many pieces and left a nasty residue where it had been.

Even washing it and using a variety of cleaners didn't help. One sponge I used did the opposite of help - it scratched the plastic, which you can see on the right side of this picture. I'm still using it because it works great, but there is still sticky on the side of the glass.

I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. Psalm 119:31

Make this a weekend of sticking. Don't get stuck to the side of your glass, but stick so close to God and His Word…

Your Heart And Your Treasure

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A Ready-For-Fall Accordion Album

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The cooler temperatures in the morning and evening are a sure sign that fall is on its way. It's my favorite time of the year, and there's nothing like an autumn-themed project to get you ready for the change of seasons. 

This adorable accordion album is so easy to make and will make a great gift - if you can part with it yourself!

You'll need cardboard, card stock, patterned decorator paper, ribbon or thread and some strong adhesive.

Cut two pieces of cardboard however large you'd like the album to be. Mine are just over 5 inches square.

Cover all four sides with card stock and ink-distress the edges.

Add the tie closure by adhering your ribbon to what will be the back of the album.

Then cover the two outer sides with patterned paper, effectively covering the ribbon and holding it in place.

Cut strips of card stock that can be matted inside the card stock of the inside covers. They'll be as high as the paper you used on the outside covers and as wide as two of th…

Words For Wednesday

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Wild Blackberry Crescents With Cinnamon Honey Butter

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Wild blackberry season on the property is over, but I've tried so many blackberry recipes that I'll still be sharing them during the upcoming weeks.

I'd never made flavored butter before, but this cinnamon honey butter is perfect for dipping, spreading or swimming in, whichever you prefer. Once you've made it and if you have any left, store it in the refrigerator and then heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to make it soft again. (Not enough to melt it, but just enough to soften.)

Blackberry crescents:
1 tube refrigerator crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups blackberries, asked and dried
1/8 cup sugar, plus some to sprinkle

Cinnamon honey butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, room temperature)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or as directed on the crescents package.

2. Gently toss blackberries with sugar.

3. Unroll the dough and break into triangles. Spoon a small amount of sugared berries onto the large end of the trian…

Reading Through Your Hymnal

Can you identify the hymns that the following lyrics come from?

1. For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there.

2. Many arrows pierce my soul from without, within, But my Lord leads me on, thru Him I must win.

3. When I am sad to Him I go, No other one can cheer me so; When I am sad He makes me glad - He's my Friend.

4. Sweet is the tender love Jesus hath shown, Sweeter far than any love that mortals have known.

5. But drops of grief can ne'er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee, 'Tis all that I can do.

6. Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing thro' Jesus the Son.

Do you have all sorts of melodies and harmonies going through your head now? Good. Have fun with that all day!

How many of the six hymns were you able to name? A couple of them, most of them? Were there any that you could sing the melody but you couldn't remember more of the words? Or do you know the choru…

Sunday Sketch

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While this is a very simple layout today, you'll have so much fun creating your card that it won't matter.

All you need this week are a few scraps of various colored card stock and a piece of decorator paper.

Mat two colors for your background, putting the brightest color on top. Use the other colors to mat a phrase that is at least three lines deep.

Then you'll tilt your decorator paper so that it's slightly askew and hanging off the edges of the card itself.

For my card, I chose a back-to-school theme because it's almost that time. (Whether you like it or not.) I used two of the colors from the decorator paper to use as the colors for my background mats.

The background paper is trimmed down to almost a square and turned so it overlaps the edges. If it didn't already have a green border around it, I would have added one myself to separate it from the green in the background.

I printed out my three words since I didn't have exactly what I wanted, and then …

A Weekend Of Redefining Commitment

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When soldiers begin their training in the military, they leave behind everything they've ever learned. Their drill instructors will break them down so they can be built back up as good soldiers, experts in their chosen fields and better people in mind and body.

They'll also find that their priorities change. Selfishness is laid aside, exchanged for determination, responsibility and respect. Their commitment level soars as they focus on their mission, their fellow soldiers and their country.

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good. Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Make this a weekend of redefining your commitment. Just as Moses explained it to the people of Israel, he explains it to us as well. The only thing that God requires is …

Two Versions Of Puppy Hide And Seek

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In these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, our puppies aren't spending as much time outside. This means one thing: bored dogs that are full of energy. My solution is simple, though. We play one of two versions of hide and seek!

For the first version, close the puppies up in another room while you scatter treats around and about. This is how I use up the little broken treats in the bottom of the bucket.

Then you literally release the hounds. They get to use their noses and find all the little treats. I normally hide them all over the living room floor - by the chair legs, under the tv table, between the sofa and their beds. Anywhere they can't really see it, but have to smell it out.

Sadie's been playing this game with me for years, but at 14 her nose isn't what it used to be. When I point out the treats to her, Molly tags along to see what's going on. (Even after two years, she doesn't quite get it.) After a while she figures it out, but Sadie has found most o…

Wild Blackberry Hand Pies

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As I continue to find new and exciting ways to use the 6-7 cups of blackberries I pick every day, this is truly one of my favorites. Some premade dough and a few baking ingredients will give you light, fluffy hand pies in just minutes.

And if you don't have wild blackberries on hand like some of us, any fruit will work beautifully inside this airy dough.

Ingredients:
1 can (8 biscuits) refrigerator biscuits
2 cups blackberries
1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Combine blackberries, flour, sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir until coated.

3. Flatten each slice of biscuit dough until very thin. Place rounded spoonfuls of berry mixture on one side of the dough and fold over. Crimp the edges together with the tines of a fork.

4. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and bake until tops are brown and filling has just begun to ooze out.

5. Remove from baking sheet to a …

Words For Wednesday

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Plastic Spoon Butterfly Craft

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This is the end-of-summer bulletin board I put up at the church this week. I adore the bright colors, and I pray everyone who sees it is blessed by the truth of the Scripture on it.

I decorated my favorite tree with ladybugs and butterflies, each made from a plastic spoon and craft foam plus some gem stones and a little bit of paint.

Click here for the tutorial on making the lady bugs.

As much as I love the lady bugs, I think the butterflies are my favorite of the two. You can do just about anything you want to decorate them, and they're super easy to put together.

I found a butterfly template online that I liked and printed it out on card stock. I sized it so one wing would fit on my small sheets of craft foam.


I traced around each wing and carefully cut just inside the line so it wouldn't show.

The two wings are connected with tape right behind where the spoon will cover the seam.

Then came the fun part - I punched circles to add to the wings and used tiny blue gems for the…

The Times When It's OK To Acknowledge Your Weakness

Little children are taught that they're supposed to be strong. We feed them well so they'll grow up big and strong. We take them outside to play so they'll get that fresh air and strengthen their muscles running around in the sunshine.

Women are taught that they're supposed to be strong. Don't rely on your parents or on a man. Be able to stand on your own two feet. Don't let anyone take advantage of you, and don't let anyone make you into their doormat. Be able to multitask, care for everyone around you and still have a smile on your face.

Men are taught that they're supposed to be strong. Bring home bacon. Provide for your family. Don't show anyone your tears or your fears. Do everything that's asked of you without question, without hesitation and without breaking down.

If we've heard one of these phrases over the years, we've heard a dozen of them. No, they might not be said out loud, but the world expects great and wonderful things fr…

Sunday Sketch

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Today's sketch will allow you to combine two beautiful patterned papers to create a lovely framed picture, complete with your favorite phrase or verse. Changing the colors and image will make this a versatile layout for any them or occasion.

Start with a solid card stock background that coordinates with your patterns. Then you'll cut two pieces of the patterns, one for the top and one for the bottom. Experiment with what patterns look better on the top and which ones are best as anchors on the bottom.

Run another piece of card stock across the card as a center border and let it run over to the edge of the card. This will make a clean edge and will cover up the seam between the two patterns.

A large image in the bottom corner and the sentiment in the upper corner will balance each other out across the card. And by keeping your phrase on the outside, you'll have a blank card inside and plenty of room to add another small image or mat a writing block with some pretty designs…

A Weekend Of Taking A Step Back

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Between our two garages is a small rock garden. It is notorious for growing over with weeds on a regular basis, making it look like this picture on the left. Even after the largest of the weeds are pulled, I could stay there for days trying to get all the little stragglers out.

Fortunately, I have better things to do.

But if you get on your hands and knees, like you're going to pull out the smallest weeds, it seems like they're everywhere and there's no way you can get them all. This narrow focus of a small snapshot is overwhelming, giving the impression that you haven't really accomplished anything.

But when you take a step back and look at the whole rock garden, it suddenly becomes clear that you've done some amazing work. What was once literally covered with brown and green weeds now looks like an actual rock garden. There is still a lot of work to do, cleaning up around the edges, but viewing it from a distance instead of with a magnifying glass helps tremendou…

Cleaning Your Stove Vents The Easy Way

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A burnt-out lightbulb over my stove led me to a startling discovery - the caked-on, greasy vent that was making my kitchen smell nasty when the vent was turned on. Once I knew what the problem was, cleaning it couldn't have been more simple.

If your vents look like mine (you can go look now if you'd like), boil water in the largest pot you can find and add enough baking soda to make it all fizzy.

Soak each vent in the baking soda water for a couple of minutes and the grease will just float off. The difference truly made me sick to my stomach.

Repeat with both ends of each vent, rinse them off with water and let them dry. Not only do they look immensely better, you'll lose that hole-in-the-wall restaurant smell that you probably didn't even notice anymore. Your nose, and the meals you cook on your stovetop now, will thank you.

Craft Show Booth Layouts And How They Change

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 Having two craft shows on back-to-back weekends makes for a challenged mind. One is indoors, one was outside. One was almost a whole day, one is just three hours long. But that's where the differences stop for the most part.

The way I practice my set up is the same for both. I partition off the 10x10-foot space that the tent covers and then set up my tables. I love the two vertical shelves in the back, and they'll hold up the oil drip pan that I display my magnets on.

From there, I cover the tables with tarps to keep the "Stuff From Trees" theme and decorate the two trees with music note and snowflake ornaments. I decided not to take the Christmas card display board, but this is where I would have put it.

I made this table gift-themed with my upcycled gift boxes, tag sets and baskets for greeting cards. There is also plenty of room for some random altered books and albums.

Since I'm all about symmetry, both sides of the booth are mirror images of each other wit…