Showing posts from July, 2020

Yarn Necklaces For Teens To Create

These adorable yarn necklaces are the perfect craft for a group of girls! We’re going to make them for our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, so I made a sample for them. These pink and blue necklaces are going to be amazing gifts!

All you need are some metal washers, yarn and a sharp pair of scissors. The washers I used are 3/8 inch.

To start things off, cut a piece of yarn about 5 inches long. You’ll cut this one in a minute and use it to measure all the others.

Loop the yarn around the washer and stick the ends through.

And pull it tight.

Then cut the yarn to a length you like. Mine was just a couple of inches.

Unwrap that piece of yarn and use it to cut 20-25 more lengths of yarn for each washer.

Loop each length of yarn and pull it tight around the washer.

Continue around the entire washer. 

Wrap up your project (see what I did there?) by cutting one long length of yarn to turn it into a necklace. Then you can trim everything up evenly and it’s ready to go!

Mango-Orange Popsicles

When it’s unbearably hot outside, the only thing that will cool you off is a popsicle! Don’t buy those cheap ones from store when you can make them yourself and create your own custom flavors.
For my mango-orange popsicles, I combined a small bag of frozen mango chunks, a container of orange juice concentrate and 1/8 cup agave nectar in the blender and buzzed it all together.
Some other combinations of fruits and juices: * strawberry and pineapple * blueberry and lemon * strawberry and lemonade * pineapple, orange and banana * strawberry and mango * strawberry and kiwi * watermelon and raspberry
These sweet little popsicle molds have been sitting in my cupboard since last August, when they were in the “end of summer” sale. I poured the fruit mixture into them, stuck in the handle and left them in the freezer overnight.
Now, there are a few different philosophies about how to safely and wholly remove a popsicle from its mold. The best one I’ve found is to run them under warm water for a minute an…

Words For Wednesday - Happy Birthday to Me!


Tiny Notebooks For Christmas Shoe Boxes

You probably have one of those projects where you had all the supplies you need, but you never have the inspiration to do it cheerfully and completely, right? When I cut down an 8.5x11-inch piece of white card stock to make a card, three small cards and a bookmark, I normally set the pieces off to the side and they pile up dramatically. Before the piles tumble and injure someone, I took 1250 of them and made notebooks for our Christmas Shoebox program.

These card stock pages measure 2.25x4.5 inches. I normally fold them in half and make them into tiny gift cards. But left like this, they’re the perfect size for notebooks.

Then I punch holes for the book ring. ‘Nuf said.

And since you can’t have a plain white notebook, I dip into my card stock stash and cut covers slightly larger than the paper pages. 

Truly, is there anything prettier than a stack of colored paper? This makes me so happy.

But the best part is always the embellishments. For these notebooks, I paired punched circles with sti…

When To Rest And When To Push On

Water has the tendency to stop us in our tracks, for good or for bad. We linger near a bubbling brook or an echoing waterfall, but we hit the brakes when it’s raining outside. It’s the same water - just in different forms - and we have very different reactions to them.
I am the first to admit that I stop everything when it starts to rain. I’m not worried about a storm or concerned about flooding, though. I just want to sit and listen to the rhythm of the falling rain on the roof. I want to see the ripples the rain drops make in the pond. I want to smell that beautiful smell of a fresh rainfall on the grass.
There are times, though, when I can’t just sit and watch or stop and listen. There are things that need to be done, people to help and places to go. Does that mean I would get any less enjoyment out of the rain? Of course not. But there is a time and place for everything.
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceit…

My “Happy Birthday To Me” Planner Layout

On Wednesday I will turn 43 years old! In celebration of this amazing milestone, this is the planner layout I’ll get to see all week. And yes, I’m trying to stretch the celebration out for as long as I can. (Wink, wink)

The embellishments for this spread come from a variety of places - 3D glittered stickers from my collection, washi tape that I received for Christmas last year, balloons upcycled from old greeting cards and letter stickers that I’ve had for about forever. All together, they look incredibly festive.

I wish I could tell you what this week will bring, like I normally do, but this time it’s a bit of a mystery. And not just because of birthday secrets, either. I’m working from home again because of the pandemic, and that always leaves things up in the air. Summertime is a difficult time to get all the youth together for anything, so our lans for youth group may change this week. I’m leaving my entire schedule up to God, though, instead of worrying about what’s going to happen…

Out On The Water

No words today, just pictures of our property from a new perspective. Praising God for the gift of a small boat from a very kind church family.

Words For Wednesday


Arranging Food That Is Pleasing To The Eye

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe plating a meal in a beautiful way is important, and those who couldn’t care less about appearance and just want to eat the food. Two ends of the spectrum, yes.
So let’s say you’re in the first category, the one who thinks pretty plating makes the meal appealing to the eye ... and might even make it taste better! Here are a few simple ways to turn an ordinary meal into one that is visually inviting.
* As pictured above, you can remove takeout from its packaging and arrange it on a plate, making it feel like you’re right there in the restaurant.
* Color can make all the difference, so use reds, greens and yellows to make your plate pop.
* Light-colored food look best on dark plates, and dark-colored food stand out on light plates.
* Fresh fruits and vegetables brighten up any plate, so get creative with a little garnishing.
* Instead of piling up appetizers in a bowl, arrange them on a tray or in a dish and drizzle your dipping sau…

God’s Ridiculous Grace

On the way home from church last night, following a wonderful report from one of the missionary couples we support, I heard a song on the radio I’ve heard dozens of times before. My brain and my heart were both full of joy already after hearing the work the Lord is doing in Bolivia, but I caught this one phrase: God’s ridiculous grace.
Ridiculous grace floated through my mind over and over again. We went to the pond in the evening hours, and ridiculous grace went with me. The entire time we were fishing, I was thinking about the ridiculous grace of God.
By definition, something that is ridiculous deserves to be mocked and dismissed as absurd. And grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve simply because He delights in us.
Put the two together and God’s grace has always been ridiculous, absurd and out-of-the-ordinary in the world. 
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfo…

My “Sunshine And Summertime” Planner Layout

There is a very specific reason this week’s planner layout is about sunshine and summertime - the weather forecast says it’s going to rain every day this week. Now, I absolutely love rain and storms, but I’m not a big fan when I have to dodge rain drops going in and out all day. So if nothing else, my planner will be bright and happy!

Washi tape was my friend for this spread, as I used it for top and bottom borders, alternating them between the two pages. Then I pulled out every single summer-themed sticker book I could find. I used the brightest colors and happiest images possible because there’s no way I’m going to let the dreariness of rainy weather get me down!

We’re doing a summer series in youth group called “But What Does That MEAN?” digging deep into the definitions of those faith words and phrases we throw around all the time. We can’t expect our teenagers to grow in their relationship with God when we’re not explaining how and why we do the things we do. It’s something amazing…

The Friendly Book Memory Game

After finishing a custom order of cars for a dear friend last week, I wanted a fun project that was designed simply to make me smile. I have a basket in the craft room with any duplicate Little Golden Books I might have in my collection, and that’s where I found not one but TWO extra copies of Margaret Wise Brown’s The Friendly Book. And what do I do when I have TWO copies of a book? I make Memory games!

The supply list is incredibly short: two Little Golden Books, cardboard, decorator paper, scissors and adhesive. I like double stick tape for this project because I can make sure it gets all the way tot he corner, which is especially important when it’s going to be handled a lot.

I start by cutting 24 3-inch squares. I found an amazing paper cutter at Goodwill a few weeks ago, which made this much simpler and much straighter than my old cutter was. A paper crafter with a wonky cutter is most miserable...

Then I cover the backs of all 24 cards with the same patterned paper. The busier the…