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Showing posts from November, 2016

Paint Chip Christmas Tree Cards

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Create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind Christmas card this holiday season by using something a little unexpected - paint chips from the hardware store.

If you've ever done a home renovation project, you're quite familiar with these colored cards you'll find in the paint department. If you're like me, you've stood there staring at all the possibilities and wondered exactly how different sea foam green is from green mist.

To make your tree, just cut the card at a diagonal on your paper trimmer.

Then turn it the other way and cut off all the words.

When you use several of them together, you'll get this lovely collection of trees for your forest. Each one will be slightly different, so play around with the combinations and you'll have a woodsy scene in no time.

You can leave the trees bare, like in the first card pictured, or you can decorate them from your stash of embellishments. These are self-stick gems, but you can also use shaped buttons as ornaments or wrap …

Planning An Acts Of Service Advent Calendar

Advent calendars have been around for generations and began with Bible verses behind each door. They have changed in meaning over the years, adding chocolate, candy or small gifts behind each door. These little surprises have kept us excited to get up in the morning and see what might be waiting for us.
In addition to my traditional Advent calendar, this year I've decided to do an Acts of Service Advent calendar as well. It's not anything fancy - just a printed-out December calendar from the computer. It's the ideas on each day, though, that I pray will have more of an impact on the people around me than any piece of chocolate could.
For the entire month of December, I am planning a different act of Christian love on each day until Christmas. It's easy to say this in November, but I'm praying that I will have the determination and perseverance to keep up with it, showing family, friends and strangers alike how important this season is to believers.
So what can you …

The Words of Advent - Hope

The first candle of the Advent wreath symbolizes hope — hope for the Christmas season, hope in God's perfect will for our lives and hope in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hope is such a powerful word in Scripture, one that means a joyful and confident expectation. It combines perfectly with our renewed faith and rejuvenated heart as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Hope is mentioned more than 120 times in Scripture, most often in Job and Psalms. We read many phrases like rest in hope, hope in the Lord, hope in His mercy and in thee do I hope. Well-placed hope was a hallmark of many of the Biblical writers, and they had no qualms about sharing their confidence in God.
In Psalm 71, one of my favorite psalms that spotlights hope, David begs God for deliverance from his enemies. Those who hated him had been lying and gossiping about him, claiming that God had left him alone in his time of need. The solution David sees is for the Lord to step in and take them out, to de…

Sunday Sketch

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Today's sketch will have you cutting corners - figuratively, not literally.

The easiest way to make a corner embellishment is to find one that's fairly round, overlap the edges of the card and trim away. This gives you the ability to turn a flat image into something new and different.

Combine it with three or four pretty patterns, and you have a beautiful card.
For my card, I started with a brown decorator paper that has a little visual texture to it. Then I cut three coordinating patterns into blocks to run across the card.

My corner embellishment is a large flower cut from another piece of decorator paper from the same stack. I cut it out, adhered it to the corner and then trimmed off the parts that went off the card.

The perfect sentiment for my sympathy card is matted on coordinating paper.

For more layout designs, come visit my Etsy shop. You'll find hundreds of handmade Christian cards, prayer and praise journals, wood gifts and paper crafts, as well as something sp…

A Weekend Of Clearing Things Out

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On a 33-acre property that is mostly woods, you'll find deep piles of leaves on the trails. Different trees drop their leaves at different times, so there is a constant layer of brown, dead leaves everywhere.

I'm praising God today that I don't have to rake them all!

Sometimes you can barely see the paths because of the ground cover. I know where they are, mostly because we've walked them so many times, but they're hidden right now by millions of crunchy leaves.

I know the path is under there somewhere, I just can't see it very well.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

When our hearts get cluttered with the junk of the world, it's very difficult to see God's path for our lives. We know it's under there somewhere and we vaguely remember which way it was going, but it's hard to find it for all of the worry, anxiety, fear and pride that come from just living these lives every day.

That's why David …

One Day Until Santa's Workshop!

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Yes, it's that time of year! Santa's elves have been busy preparing Christmas gifts, and on Saturday we'll be putting them on display.

It's been a busy week as I've been making some last-minute goodies to take to the show. You'll find prayer, praise and gratitude journals, explosion boxes in two different sizes, magnets, mini albums and - of course - lost of Christian greeting cards, all with KJV Scripture.
This is my last craft show of the season, so come visit my booth in person. Everyone who makes a purchase on Saturday will receive a coupon code for my Etsy shop along with a surprise gift.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Words For Wednesday

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A Gratitude Journal For Thanksgiving Week

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There's no better way to spend the week of Thanksgiving than giving thanks. I know that sounds a little obvious, but this is a holiday that many of us skip over while focusing on food and football.
Let's make this year's Thanksgiving celebration more about finding words of appreciation instead.

Put together a large gratitude journal, one that's large enough to be used year after year. All you need is a blank journal, some printed-out words, some embellishments and the perfect Scripture.

When you're done, you'll have a treasure to use for many Thanksgivings to come.

You can use this gratitude journal on a daily basis to record all the blessings God has given you. Or pass it around the room on Thanksgiving and have everyone write what they're most thankful for. Add pictures of family and friends so you can capture what life was like in November 2016. Let the kids draw and color in it. Copy your favorite Bible verses about giving thanks.
What would you use yo…

The Truth About Our Spiritual Enemy

We often give too much power and too much authority to the devil in our lives. He is a very real enemy, and we are called in Scripture to be very aware of his presence in the world. However, we cannot attribute anything and everything that happens in our lives to him.

The devil cannot read your mind, he cannot be everywhere at once and he does not have God's permission to do anything to you that he wants. He is very powerful, however, and it is in our best interest to be prepared for spiritual battle against him at any given moment.

So this week, I pray that you will take some time to study the Scriptures and see exactly what they say about the differences between the enemy and our all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God.

The devil is called your adversary for a reason. He uses you for his own purposes.
God wants the most personal, intimate relationship you have to be with Him.

The devil desperately wants you to think things are worse than they are.
God gently reminds you that…

Sunday Sketch

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Congratulations - it's triplets!

No, it's not three babies. But you'll still love lining up three panels across the page and adding some cute embellishments. And I promise it will be the most adorable card you make today.

Create a background from a solid color or a light pattern. It's not terribly important what it is because you'll be covering most of it up with the panels.

Make panels out of the same pattern or coordinating patterns, but keep them simple, too. The three circles are really your focal point. And they don't have to be circles, but they stand out from the square corners of everything else on the card.

Then add a long phrase across the bottom to tie the panels together - otherwise they're floating panels and that's just no fun.

For my card, I started with a light grid pattern for my background and then cut three panels our of a beautiful teal patterned paper.

The three circles each have two punched layers and are accented with tiny silver…

A Weekend Of Focusing On The New

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You can't tell by looking really, but this is the thickest, heartiest, most productive area of blackberry bushes that we have on the property. There are hundreds of bushes in this few square yards, and they give us the most consistent yield of any other area.

But right now, as autumn comes to an end, they're dormant. They've lost all their leftover berries, most of the leaves have turned brown and fallen off, and you wouldn't guess they're blackberry bushes unless you had seen them this summer. They're completely different from what they were just a few weeks ago.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

This passage of Scripture takes on a different meaning when you place it next to these dried-up bushes. They are losing everything that they once were - their leaves, their color, their sustenance - to prepare for the next growing season. The old things like their …

An Autumn Scavenger Hunt

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When the girls arrived for our teen Bible study last weekend, the first thing I did was throw them outside to burn off some energy. If you've been around 10 teenage girls in one place, you understand how important this is.
We started out with a fall scavenger hunt. With 33 acres of woods, there was plenty of room for the two teams to go their separate ways and find everything on their lists. It was fun to stand on the deck and watch them search diligently, trying to be the first ones back with everything they needed. Each team took a dog and headed out.

Some of the items they chose were nothing like what I expected, and that made it so much fun. Teenage girls are some of the most creative people I know.
If you try out this scavenger hunt, please let me know what your group found. It's a great way to spend time together and get to know each other a little better, plus you'll hear shouts and giggles like never before if you take a bunch of girls outside.

Sugar Cookie Ravioli

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Since we've started a monthly Bible study for the teen girls of our church, I've learned a lot about how a young woman's mind works. It's been a while since I was a teenager, so it's been quite the learning experience - or remembering experience, I guess I should say.

One of the constants on our list of things to do at each study is baking. All of the girls love to destroy our kitchen and make tasty things to eat here and share at church. It's really become a time of bonding and fellowship as they talk and get to know each other better while measuring ingredients and watching the oven timer.

At our study in October, one of the girls asked if we could experiment with a baking idea she had. I said we absolutely could, and she shared this great thought about making ravioli with sugar cookies and chocolate chips. We ate every single one of them this weekend at our slumber party, and I just have to share her recipe with you.

Ingredients:
1 package sugar cookie doug…

Words For Wednesday

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Snickers Gift Tag

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I'm in the middle of preparing for my final large craft show of the year, a Santa's Workshop the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I created these fun little candy bar gift packages to take to the show. They're a little time consuming on your first attempt, but they go quickly when you're ready to make more.

My candy bar is 1.5 inches wide and 4.75 inches long, so these are the measurements I will use for this tutorial. You can adjust accordingly for your candy of choice. Start by cutting a 12x12 inch piece of heavy card stock into a 2-inch strip. 

Then fold up an inch from the bottom, and then fold up a second inch and crease them both. This will be the base for your candy wrapper.

Make pencil marks 3 inches up from the second crease on both sides of the card stock.

Cut in 1 inch from that mark and all the way to the top of the card stock. This creates flaps that will be the sides.

Fold the sides up and crease them.

Cut the outside inch of each side on those crease marks …

Confessing, Repenting And Forsaking

While it's not a pretty subject to talk about, sin is the cause of so many of our problems. The enemy is prowling about, tempting us and attempting to divide and destroy us. People with evil in their hearts lash out and try to hurt us as deeply as possible. Our own sin often keeps us from enjoying the depth of blessing our heavenly Father has prepared for us.

What a sad state of affairs - sin forces us to break fellowship with God and drags us down further than we ever thought we'd have to go. Our flesh gets in our way and tears apart any healthy relationships we have. We wander off the path of righteousness and find ourselves in a mess of our own making.

This is where we find the prodigal son in Luke 15:15. He had wasted all of his inheritance on a frivolous lifestyle and found himself wallowing in the pig pen, longing to sample those corn husks the hogs were dining on. It doesn't get much lower than that, so it was here in the muck that he came to his senses.

I will arise…

Sunday Sketch

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Have you started putting your Christmas cards together yet? Start crafting them today with this adorable sketch - you'll be able to use it with a variety of papers and colors, making each card an individual work of art.

Layer two background papers, a solid color and a light pattern. Then mat a piece of decorator paper on a coordinating color and tilt it slightly off center.

You can use two images for the top square and circle, or you can make one another block of pattern.

A small sentiment in the blank space at the top of the card will finish off your design.

For my card, I found three Christmas cookie-themed images and stacked them for a cute layout. The background paper is a very light peppermint candy pattern. Then I cut a gingerbread man image out of a piece of decorator paper and matted it on a light color, layering it slightly askew on the right hand side.

The square cookie is also from a piece of decorator paper, matted on a pink solid card stock. The dove cookie is a card…

A Weekend Of Getting Stuck

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The ground around our ponds is incredibly soft even when there has been no rain. As the water recedes, it leaves behind vast mud puddles that are strong enough to suck your boot off. You may think I'm joking, but mud is a serious subject.

Danny has to be careful driving the tractor near the water because the mud is so strong it can even trap a huge vehicle in its clutches. Then there's nothing you can do but go get the truck, tether it up and get some good traction.

I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Psalm 119:30-32

Make this a weekend of getting stuck - stuck to the Lord the way the psalmist was. His getting stuck was a choice, one that he made over and over again. He decided to be adhered to God's commandments to tightly that it would have taken more than a truck and tow straps to pull him away.

This i…

A Veterans Day Thank You

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Stamped Thanksgiving Wreath Card

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If you're going to send thanksgiving and fall cards this year, now is the time to get them put together. Otherwise it will be spring and you'll still be stamping leaves and looking for green and brown paper. Don't put it off - make a beautiful autumn card!

Start by stamping leaves on a variety of colors and textures of paper. You may not use them all on this card, but you'll have them when you're ready to make more. When the ink is dry, fussy-cut them as detailed as you'd like.

Wrap a length of twine around your hand four or five times and tie off the ends. A few well-placed glue dots will hold it all together.

Create your card's layout and use glue dots to attach the twine wreath to the card.

Use more glue dots to arrange your leaves and easily hold them in place. (Trust me - don't bother with tape or glue. Go straight for the dots.)

This type of card, one with several dimensional elements, is best for tucking in a box, in a padded envelope or hand-de…

Words For Wednesday

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Blessed Is The Nation

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