Monday, August 30, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...Do You Know How Loved You Are?

Sorry for my absence in blogging. My dear hubby and I just went away on a 1-year anniversary vacation so I spent some time guest blogging and getting ready for the launch of small group, our trip, and doing some writing. Below are 2 Tutorials I hope you enjoy!

My dear friends, Randy and Emily, were married in the Spring of 2007, and I had the privilege of being the person who prayed for them {officially as I know others were praying, too} at their wedding. I just love it when God pens a great love story and theirs was/is one that was/is sweet to witness from their meet and greet to their nuptials through today. Emily is expecting their first baby this December. Noah is an answer to many prayers and I cannot wait to personally meet this sweet one. In the meantime, a celebration is in order so two friends and I are co-hosting a shower for Emily and Baby Noah. No particular theme in mind (no, we aren't going with the ark theme ~ lest it taunt him down the road:). I do know the comforter is from Pottery Barn Kids and has blue and white gingham and that got me thinking...

I have 6 cylinder vases left from my wedding so with those in mind, my brain started spinning. I still have to go get blue gingham scrapbook paper, which I will cut into (4) 3 inch sections to wrap around the vases and I took cute nametags and altered them with Baby Noah's name on one and monogram on the remaining 6. These will stick to the gingham wraps. I have a taller cylinder vase that I will use for his name as that one will probably be the center. I'm assuming we'll have a 6 or 8 foot table to display food to place these on {decorate first, plan later:)} Unfortunately, the full finished product won't be viewed until the shower since I don't have the gingham paper just yet. The idea came from a wrap I made for a couple of wine bottles that hold taper candles using leftover scraps and the monogram I designed from our wedding. Below is the process on these cylinder vase wraps. I'm putting sea glass in the bottom and some lovely greenery ~ fern leaves and other leaves will go inside each cylinder.

This is the project that got me thinking about cylinder vase wraps. The white specks at the bottom of the wine bottle are pieces of the candle that is placed in the bottle opening.

I took some scrapbooking letters from Rusty Pickle that I had and painted them light blue with acrylic paint since they are black. This font fit on the nametag stickers I purchased unopened at Goodwill for $1.

I then used Mod Podge after the paint dried and laid out 6 monograms and the letters for Noah's name on one tag. I coated with one coat of Mod Podge, hence the rough edges. The edges will be clean when I peel the stickers off to place on the blue gingham cylinder vase wraps.

They will be sooo cute! How's that for a humble opinion?

From there, I began sorting through all my scrapbook supplies and papers. I found a cute design and some circle coasters I had purchased last year at Michael's $1 spot with the idea to alter them. For this next project, I needed 14 of the 20 coasters. Why 14? I counted out the letters in "Baby Boy". Yes, I can add. ;) I want these "lollipops" to be double-sided. Mod Podge? Check. Scrapbook Paper (12 x 12 ~ 2 sheets of same design)? Check. 14 Coasters? Check. I had a package of Bamboo Skewers so those will be the "sticks". You can make this same type thing for a wedding shower, baby shower, graduation, birthday, etc. You can place them in individual vases with flowers or cover a styrofoam block with a coordinating paper and place as decor on the gift table. Be creative ~ there is no wrong or right. Even though I envision an event with decor in mind beforehand, I have been known to change as I decorate along the way. Blessed are the flexible...

By the way, these coasters are the very thin paper ones and not the thicker ones I've seen in the craft stores.

For the cute paper, I chose (2) sheets of a 12x12 size, make sure it is a thicker paper that will stand up to glue or mod podge. Use whatever you have on hand, if you can.

I scored this pack of Bamboo Skewers at Kroger for $1 over the 4th of July holiday as I had an idea for them but ran out of time and steam.

I painted chipboard letters with the blue acrylic paint I purchased and it matched the paper (sigh of relief!). While you don't see two sets of the word "Baby", I did make two.

Pictured below are the first set of coasters Mod Podged onto the back side of the paper.

Here are 2 coasters that I cut out with my cuttle bug detail scissors. Once you Mod Podge the coasters to the back side of the paper, I flip it over where I'm looking at the pretty side (aka: face up or right side up). I used a bakery rolling pin that you'd roll out dough with that I use to keep papers glued down nice and tight. Hence, edges are glued down and no air bubbles. Once dry, I cut out each circle perfectly with my cuttle bug scissors. I then used an emery board and sanded down the rough edges. Next came a coat of Mod Podge over each coaster face, the appropriate letter on each one, another coat of Mod Podge and dry time. I dried these overnight.

I don't have pictures of these next steps and my sincerest apologies for that (camera batteries died). I lined up the letters fronts and backs as for "BABY BOY" I should have 2 sets of each. I took out my e6000 glue and ran a ring around the back side of one corresponding coaster for each letter, ran a bead on the tip of the bamboo skewer and placed the coasters back-to-back with the skewer inside. I clipped each double-sided letter with skewer inside with clothes pins until dry. Once dry, I took out the blue acrylic paint and carefully painted around the edge of each coaster now "lollipop" as the raw cardboard and paper edges showed. You could also glue a cute coordinating corded ribbon around each. I wanted to keep it simple. Below are pics of the finished products. I just showed the word "baby" in the photos. I won't lie, this one took time, but I think they will enjoy them at the shower. I had fun making them.

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Keep it simple, keep it crafty, keep it lovely, and keep it fun!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

For All My Single Friends {Part 2}...

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." ~ Psalm 34:18

Walking in wisdom is what helps us avoid the enemy's snares, the counterfeits that slip into our lives and hold us captive because of our desires. The rearview mirror is always crystal clear. When we look back, we see all the little red flags: Friends and family said things we did not want to hear, but should have taken note of. We chose to ignore their admonition, but now have to admit that what they warned us about was true. Some will quietly hang their heads in shame and admit they knew they had no business with the likes of this man or woman. You had hoped by your good example they would change. However, he or she did not ~ "it's hard for a zebra to change its stripes", my mom used to tell me. Upon their exit from your life, this person wreaked havoc on your heart, your spirit, and your emotions.

Unfortunately, you will hurt again if the process of healing is not allowed to do its work. Take the necessary time to learn the lesson so that you do not have to repeat it again. Lessons get harder and harder every time. When I found myself going through a divorce in 2002, I finally realized the biggest mistake I could make {& almost did make} was to sweep my tears under a rug and move on stumbling blindly over my disappointments and heartache only to find myself staring them in the face at a later date down the road. For every lesson you and I refuse to learn, every heartache we refuse to process, the backlash is worse than the original occurance. Healing takes work and it usually hurts in the beginning and feels extremely uncomfortable. It will only hurt for as long as we fight the medicine. Take responsibility for your heart and get it right this time. Get ready to exhale everything that will impede your progress and inhale life. Pain can be a powerful teacher. It exposes the secrets that harbor defeat. It is a wonderful indicator that we are human and that we possess an incredible capacity for joy. Our level of joy is as great or as deep as our ability to register pain.

I have no idea where my mother found the following prayer, but I at least have a name to give proper credit. It was written by a lady named Carolyn Van Winkle. It is a prayer of release. It is imperative that when we go through a break up of any type that we have a clean break and cut ties with that person for a period of time; otherwise, our emotions stay clouded and we are more influenced by those than the wisdom the Holy Spirit provides. My advice is do not call them, take calls from them, Facebook message them, text them, answer FB messages or texts. Walk away or let them walk away. Forget about them for a moment and allow God to heal your heart.

By Carolyn Van Winkle
"Because Jesus Christ is my Lord, I free ____________ from my anxiety, fears, and control. I trust the Holy Spirit to draw you and show you the way that is right for you - the way of peace, joy, and love that includes all the fruit of the Spirit. I place you on God's throne of Grace. I have given you to God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are a very special person. As much as I love you, I cannot live your life for you or entangle mine with yours. Your life is completely in His hands and I trust Him with it. I give you my blessing and unbind you and let you go, In Jesus' name."

Let the healing begin!

GIVEAWAY Winner!!!

And the winner is...Peggy Lawrence! :) I know, it was by default. Lesson learned not to post a giveaway to gain followers, but I really wanted to do this giveaway and I'm so glad it's to a former classmate.

Peggy, I'll send you a message on FB to get some info for the candle creation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In honor of my new blog, I'm having a GIVEAWAY! I custom print candles and sell them on my website ( For this giveaway, I will custom print a 6" Pillar Candle (your choice of white or ivory) with text or photo (you will have to e-mail it to me once you are notified that you are the winner). This is a $35.00 value. To view: Go to my site: ~ At the Menu on the LEFT, go to PRODUCTS under Home Page ~ scroll halfway down the page to view the candles. At the bottom of the page will be a couple of sample candles I have printed.

This is a different type of Giveaway. While I have readers of my blog, it is so new there are no "official FOLLOWERS". This giveaway is to generate "official FOLLOWERS". Giveaway Ends: Midnight EST Friday, August 20, 2010. Winner will be chosen by Winner will be contacted & posted on this blog Saturday, August 21, 2010.

You Have 4 Ways To Win:
1. Become an "Official Follower" and post a comment stating you are.
2. If you have a blog, post this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment stating you did so.
3. Post this giveaway on your FACEBOOK profile and leave a comment with the link so I can see it.
4. If you enlist your friends or followers of your blog to FOLLOW my blog, have them leave a comment with your name and link to your blog stating they were referred by you (more chances for you to win).
NOTE: If you just leave 1 comment including the above, that counts as only 1 way to win.

Thanks & Best Wishes!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Introducing... Another Blythe Doll Named

Here she is ~ Felicity Tate, another Blythe doll my sister had customized. These dolls are insanely collectible and have an underground type following. My sister designs and sells clothing for these cutie pies. When I saw her and all that cute curly hair, I immediately thought of Keri Russell in the show "Felicity", shared that with my sister and a name was coined. :) You can see my other blog about Wenslyn Emery, Extra! Extra! Blog All About It: What's In A Name? the first doll I named. I enjoy all the stuff my sister shares that some of the customizers do to these dolls ~ I have seen Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" and some dolls customized as Bella and Alice from "Twilight". It's fun to see the customizations, but the fashionista in me loves the clothes...

For My Single Friends...

This topic has been heavy on my heart for the last week or so if I am being honest. So many single friends are repeating lessons they should have already passed the test on. Having been there myself, I commiserate with them. Ahhh, the sweetness of actually getting the lesson AND passing that test!

You and I are destined to repeat lessons not learned if we fail to pass the test. The sad thing about that is the lesson is harder each and every time and so is the test, but when you realize you've been doing the same thing over and over and over again (can you say PATTERN?), then the Holy Spirit has this uncanny way of showing us what we need to do, and when the test rolls around again, we recognize it and we pass it. YAH!!! You did it!!! So you think you know all there is to know about that guy or girl and therefore you believe they are "the one"? Are you kidding me??? Just because you know all there is to know about someone does not make them "the one". Could it be this person you refuse to let go of and leave in God's very capable hands is a COUNTERFEIT? Yes, that's right, the Enemy's version of God's best for you. Sure, this is a great guy or gal, but great is not God's BEST. Friend, I urge you, if there is someone or something you've been holding onto, let him or her go. Release that great guy or girl to God and cease all communication with them. It's called a clean break and it is a very necessary thing. Sure, pray for them, but pray God's will for them (praying scriptures for them is best so you know your motive won't ease it's way in there), and nothing more. If they return, you will still have to seek God's advice as to whether it's a test from Him or it's a blessing from Him. I cannot explain how you know the difference other than you just know "in your knower". My dear mom used to tell me, "be careful what you pray for since you just might get it". It was a warning. College sweetheart and I broke up for a year and I was on my knees in prayer for that boy, well, said boy came around again and I just "knew" it was God's blessing. :) Back then, you could not have convinced me otherwise; in hindsight, it was never God's blessing. Sure, God allowed it to happen, but He had been my co-pilot vs me allowing Him to be my Pilot and walking away. That rearview mirror is always crystal clear. The choices I made as that young adult college student haunted me well into my 30s. Don't let the same thing happen to you. Don't let the choices you make today haunt you later in life.

How do you know that person is not the one? When you don't follow God's directives (and I mean every single one of them, even when you think they are archaic), then all I know is God won't bless mess. Sure, He graces us extravagantly, but don't you want His absolute best in this area of your life?

I'm thankful He got a hold of me with His loving Shepherd's hook and showed me the way so I would walk in it. This stubborn child of His finally surrendered everything to His choosing and I'm so glad I did. He blessed me with my husband, Gray, and other than Christ Himself, that has been the best gift.

Here's to His best!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More DIY Things Around The House...

Here ya go...more projects I did the past few weeks around the house and one not-so-good project I need help on (hint...hint). :)

Here's a Before & After on some items found on clearance at Hobby Lobby ~ they are cast iron so I had to be sure they won't fall down when the door is opened and closed. I found the keys for $1.70 {yes, you read that right!} each, and the "Bless Our Home" trivet for $2.00. I used cobra hooks with anchors to hang the trivet. I decided to hang all above the entryway door in our foyer.

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I changed out the curtains I originally had hanging in our Sunroom today. I found 4 of these Pottery Barn linen beauties at Goodwill for $18! Sorry, had to buy. They have tie tabs but we did not like the look so I used our curtain clips. I then added a candlescape I purchased a couple of years ago at a consignment shop. We like the look.

And here is the candlescape...

This next idea came from Blogdom. Many clever ladies have used an industrial looking pipe with elbows and fittings and they look fabulous. I decided to use a curtain rod I had on hand, strong anchor screws and voila! Well, we actually need double-rod holder because the cornice on our mini blinds sticks out a little far. So, while it works and we can open & close our blinds as is, we'd love it to stick out just a bit more. The pots and pans are supposed to be the "cafe curtain" at the window. Looks much better when all our pots and pans are up there. Basically, it frees up storage space in our cabinets {always a plus}. Working on taking down the wallpaper border and putting stacked stone up that wall with the window and as a backsplash.

This next photo is a basket I had on hand (yes, bought it while thrifting a few years back). It has a large compartment for something like magazines or plates for a picnic and three smaller compartments behind that. It houses our garden flags perfectly and sits nicely on a shelf...

Just a little something I had to hang in the Laundry Room to keep me focused. I don't care for laundry (does anyone really like to do laundry?) I don't mind the process of the washing, drying, hanging to dry, but putting it away is another story so I just do it to get it done, but this plaque reminds us of what we need to do...

Looks even better now that it is hung on a vintage wooden hanger.

This next photo is again for the Laundry. It's a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze metal scroll with hangers piece and I hung it up and then rubbed on letters that say, "Wash Room". Normally, I would put in the entryway for our keys, but we already have something for that purpose. I needed something for our dog's hankies and my baseball hats.

More Laundry Room Items. Please excuse the mess while I attempt to install shelving. Nothing thrilling - wire shelves and a utility hook. I needed space so I added 2 wire shelves under our existing shelves {wait until you see the next photo :)}. I also found a utility hanger for pennies (well, $5) to hold our brooms, mops, etc. Our Laundry Room is nothing like what is on all the fancy blogs, but it is a room and not a closet, and for that, I am thankful. I'm working with what we have or purchasing what is within budget.

Help me...I'm sliding...sliding away. Does not matter that I measured and leveled off this shelf. Not sure what happened, but it's completely lop-sided. I may be able to do many DIY projects...even gel staining cabinets over paint for that beautiful old world look (show me a piece of ugly wooden furniture and I'll paint it and make it beautiful:), but hanging wire shelves is NOT my forte` and I will completely own up to that one. Wanna re-hang it for me??? (HINT! HINT!:)

From one slide into another (the picture shows a slide in baseball:)...a display on top of a bookshelf in our Sunroom. This was my husband's "baseball room", which I actually like, but the bookshelf is an addition to store my books. The photo on the right was taken on his parents' wedding day, their wedding invitation is in another frame below that, a bowl of decorative balls (my fave is the globe ball), a plaque from a small group member to me about 3 years ago after a retreat ("Grateful Hearts Gather Here"), which I repainted a nice metallic bronze, a large shell that held our wedding rings, and a nice ornament/charm about having faith as small as a mustard seed from my mother-in-law...

This next photo is a tablescape of sorts in that I repurposed wine bottles cutting taper candles to fit, using scrapbook paper scraps from some of our wedding favors and the graphic design stickers I made for our wedding last year. Please ignore the large picture behind that. We leaned it on the wall to safely store until I hang it...

And finally, pictures we have purchased during the last year to go on our media wall with our tv...all are black & white with sepia tones. On the left, a scene in Italy, the center is Notre Dame in Paris, the two on the right are miscellaneous architecture photos. We had a nice size scene showing Parliament and Big Ben in London overlooking the River Thames, but the two staircase pictures work better. Sorry for the flash on Notre Dame...could not get a better picture...

That's it for the DIY for a bit. Thank you for joining me on the tour...