Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ruffle Flower from a Work Shirt

Ryan came home a couple of months ago with a huge tear in the arm of  one of his work shirts.  It was going against the grain of the fabric, and there was no mending it without him looking obviously "mended" at work.  I plucked the shirt out of the trash and put it in my cloth pile for crafting.

I finally had time to try a ruffle flower from the shirt, and I love it!  The more masculine fabric of a work shirt is softened by large, ruffles and summery colors.  I left the fabric unhemmed, so it is frayed and fabulously shabby.  A simple white button (not off the work shirt, but it easily could have been), centers the flower.

Enjoy the pictures and the tutorial.

The torn work shirt

I hand stitched loose stitches along one long edge and pulled the thread to "ruffle the strip of fabric".  I then wound it into a circle (some of the strip overlapped a little).

Then I puckered the middle in and stitched all the ruffles together to close the center

I cut out 2 tan felt circles and one cardboard circle to place in the middle of the felt with hot glue.

I then hot glued a pin to the back of the felt

The felt was then glued to the back of the ruffle flower

I added a white button to the middle with hot glue

From working 9-5 to a beautiful, feminine flower pin!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Women in the Word Wednesday: Spiritual Brothers and Sisters

This is from the archives of November 2007.

But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. I Thessalonians 2:17-20

Before I was a Christian, I was attending UCLA and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. We would sing a song every year at rush to the tune of the famous song, "We are family. I got all my sisters and me!" With a big smile and heartfelt hugs, we would belt out the song to the girls in rush, and then, when the girls who were shopping for a sorority were gone, we would wipe the smiles from our faces and separate into our own little, comfortable group of friends. We weren't quite the family we were hypocritically portraying to the outside world.

Pastor Bobby Blakey did a sermon at church this weekend on 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20. He entitled it "Church is a Family: Seeing Each Other as Brothers and Sisters in Christ." He made the point that Christians are all born again into the same family: the family of God. We are, therefore, brothers and sisters. The Greek word, brother, or bretheren, is adelphos. This is derived from delphus, or womb. As Christians, we are spiritually born again from the same "womb"/Father. Because of this, we should be passionate in loving, caring for and helping one another, just as we might help our own brother and sister from growing up in our biological family.

He layed out some practical ideas that challenged us all to show care and concern for our bretheren. Some examples were being at church on time, getting together consistently and often, and making sure to know what is going on in other people's lives. Face to face contact is ideal, but, when that is impossible or delayed, he said we sometimes need to call, e-mail or even read one another's websites/blogs! I knew I would someday get endorsed for spending time blogging!

Seriously, however, we need to find ways to love one another and invest in the lives of the brothers or sisters we encounter. Along with the great ideas that Pastor Bobby illustrated to the church, I thought of some others. Why don't we all park in the least desirable spots in the lot, thus allowing some frazzled bretheren, driving in at the last minute, to have a close spot? As our church is getting more crowded, why don't we take seats in the sanctuary that aren't the best or the preferred spots, thus freeing up spaces for others that are ideal? Instead of putting our Bible next to us on the chair, we should keep it on our lap, allowing another person to possibly sit immediately next to us during the service. Perhaps we might even strike up a conversation with him or her. We can, of course, be passionate about others and show them love in many tangible, practical ways. Volunteer in childcare so a couple can hear the Word of God without interruption and worry. Remember a person's birthday by taking him or her to lunch or sending them an e-card. Bring someone a meal and include a list of helpful scripture. Burn a C.D. full of songs that speak to a trial that a person is facing. Pray for the person who is needing comfort, and mention the prayer and ask for an update on the trial when you talk to them. Visit the new mom or sick person in the hospital, and bring an appropriate treat with you--an In n Out burger or a Ruby's milkshake, flowers, scripture upon which they can meditate, comfy socks, a scented candle, etc. Be creative! Babysit for that mom on bedrest or the couple who can't do date nights because they are low on funds. There are a million ways you can purposefully serve and love the body of Christ, just as you would love and be there for a biological sibling.

Pastor Bobby went on to mention that Satan kept Paul from revisiting the Thessalonians. In fact, Satan hates the unity of the church and the love we show for one another. We are being foolish if we don't think he is working against us in our efforts. The sermon mentioned time, money and distance/effort as the three big roadblocks that keep us from being close to our church family. If time is an issue, write out a schedule of your day--hour by hour. Look at how much time is actually "me" time--napping, reading for pleasure, watching T.V., being on the computer, shopping, etc. Make a goal to take one of those selfish roadblocks in your schedule away. DVR that television show so you can go to Bible study, cut your nap short by half an hour so you can make a phone call, or tell yourself you cannot turn on the computer until you have written that encouragement card to your brother or sister in Christ.

If money is a roadblock, look at your budget. Perhaps sacrificing eating out one time a month or not getting that pedicure or new pair of jeans would allow you to buy groceries for that family who is out of work. Maybe such sacrifice will help you afford ingredients to make a nice dinner for that couple who is new in your small group study and you want to invite into your home. If distance is a problem, think about how you can turn your negative attitude into a positive one. Use the driving time to make a thanks list to God, call that member of your old Bible study to see how she or he is doing, or to pray to or worship our Heavenly Father as you drive the commute.

Many of us, myself included, have our plates full. We are trying to balance quiet times and the ministries to our spouse, family, and church body. To ask us to take our involvement and effort with bretheren to a higher level is overwhelming and, at first, paralyzing. However, our ministries do not have to be isolated and separate. Intertwine your commitments and service, as they are not always exclusive. Combine part of your heart training of your child by working in their classroom, their high school or junior high group, or their AWANA program. This allows you time as a parent, time to minister to the church body, and time to get to know bretheren. Be a part of the Thrive marriage ministry on Thursday nights. This is a great way to minister to your spouse and marriage, while getting to know bretheren at church in a real and wonderful way. Take a member of the church body through the Partners program, which gives you an opportunity to further your study of scripture, serve the church, and disciple a brother or sister at Compass Bible Church. During your long commute to church, use the time to minister to your family and spend one on one time with them. If you bring someone a meal, have your children help make the dish or create a card for the person. You are teaching them to serve and love others, while also ministering to and loving a brother or sister in the church body. Be a ministry leader in a home group or church Bible study, allowing yourself time to get to know others and train yourself in the doctrine of scripture. There are so many creative ways to combine your time and efforts, as God wants us to be fruitful in all areas. Pray and see where the Holy Spirit leads you. Remember it isn't easy, and we have to make it a priority and a goal. Satan wants us to give up, but we must resist his tactics and barriers. James 4:7 urges, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
What a wonderful message Pastor Bobby gave to the church body this Sunday! He truthfully explained God's word and gave us all much to contemplate and apply. What strikes me most, is he that he and his family are walking the walk he preaches, which speaks even more powerfully to the congregation. May we all love our church family like Christ loves us--with passion, sincerity, sacrifice and forgiveness. As Pastor Bobby reminded us, may we delight in these relationships to the end. May you, my brothers and sisters, truly be my glory and joy as I run the race God prepares for me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Camp Compass Craft Week

During the week of July 18th, I was overseeing the crafts for our 5th and 6th graders at our church VBS called Camp Compass. 

I had 2 crafts to prep and teach for about 90 students.  God sent me an amazing group of volunteers, and I enjoyed EVERY moment of serving!

On Monday, the electricity went out about 20 minutes before our kids arrived (about 5 minutes after I took these pictures).  We are in a wherehouse room with no windows, so we pulled all 10 round tables into the dim light of the doorway and got a few emergency lanterns. 

If you can believe it, 90 kids plaster casted their feet in close quarters, with almost no light!  We were even using iphone flashlight apps to help us see all the materials.

God is good!  My volunteers didn't even flinch in the "hiccup" and just moved forward with joy! 

We also made a velcro ball catch game that had to be restrung as the glue we bought didn't dry.  Again, my volunteers just smiled and jumped into action! 

Enjoy the pics!  It was a beach themed week--we live about 15 minutes from the real deal, but the beach is always a fun theme!  I had to dig back into my "teacher decorating the room" talents!

God was glorified!

A sandcast plaster foot example

We needed a screen near the door to block our work area and streamline the kids into the room.  We tied rattan beach mats together and made a very cheap and really workable "screen"!

Each door leads to a little workroom/office where we stored supplies for the week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friday Favorites: 7-22-11

I am wrapping up a week of craft volunteering at Camp Compass (our VBS), and we leave tomorrow for 10 days in Ohio.  I have posts prewritten for the time we are gone, but I won't have a Friday Favorites next week since I won't have my laptop and I want the favorites to be fresh and updated.  Friday next week will just be a normal recipe or crafting post, and I'll resume Friday Favorites on August 5th.  Thanks for checking back!

Enjoy the inspiration for this week!

The Gunny Sack gave a great tutorial for making your own brown bag envelopes.  If you have an Etsy shop or a special gift to deliver in the mail, this adds a special touch.

The White Orchid Studio made beautiful clothes pins with mod podge and paper.  Add a magnet for clips on the refrigerator or a magnetic board.  These would have been fun on my whiteboard back in my teaching days!

There were a couple of blogs which featured a room redo, and this one from Addicted 2 Decorating blew me away!  I love the mix of colors, the use of old and new, and I am LOVING these walls.  You have to see the before pictures--late 70's early 80's into 2011.  Amazing!

Sweet C's Studio created a new craft area on a very small budget.  I love the use of baskets and organization.  There is a place for everything!

Involving Color posted on the house progress they have made over 2 years.  A-MAZ-ING!  This house has had a complete transformation.  I love her paint colors and furniture.  Her dining room has inspired me for our bedroom down the road.

Happy Go Lucky made some really cute magnets.  They involve just a few materials from the craft store.  I love the fabric button magnets especially.  You KNOW you'd get great comments if these were on your fridge!

Love & Sugar Kisses made an EASY birthday wreath.  This wreath is so easy that you could EASILY make a new wreath in coordinating colors for different parties.  You could keep the monogram letters and switch them out with the new bows.  So cute!

A Step in the Journey made a DARLING map of the USA to chronicle their trips and get aways.  My son is obsessed with maps and loves to point out where Ohio is (we are going there tomorrow).  We've been to many states with the boys already, so this would be a fun decoration in the playroom or their bedrooms. 

The Seven Year Cottage made darling sand crab desserts.  These are easy, and she gives a clear tutorial!  It's time for a beach party!
Sand Crabs, Candy Crabs, Crab Brownies, Crab Cupcakes, Two-bite Brownies, Beach Party

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Women in the Word Wednesday: Holiness, 7-20-11

This is from my archives/my old blog:  10-05-07

Preparing for an upcoming women's Bible study, I was studying the passage of I Peter 1:13-21. The theme of the passage is holiness. It says,
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not confrom to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. but just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.' Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious bloodof Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who
raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in

Holiness. It is a word that seems anything but us. That is because, unfortunately, it is often the case. However, as this passage explains, we should strive to identify with and master the practice of holiness. We have God's example and Spirit to help us. Are we actively seeking such holiness in our lives?

First, we are told, in verse 13, to prepare our minds for action and to control ourselves. This is not an exercise in passivity. We must prepare ourselves by knowing God's will, rules and characteristics. Think of all the tests or sports for which you might have prepared yourself over the years. Hopefully, you did not spend 5 minutes reviewing notes or running laps and think, "I hope I can pray tonight that God will help me in this area and I will succeed tremendously tomorrow." More than likely, you spent hours studying, days training, or even years preparing yourself for an ultimate goal. Not that God can't do it alone, but He asks that we seek Him and run the race in perserverance. Are we putting that kind of effort into attaining holiness?

This sounds hard. It is. It is work, but our hope in our salvation and grace before God's throne should give us joy, motivation and endurance in the midst of the training.  Plus, when we are obediently pursuing righteousness, God is there providing the correct heart, motivation and strength.  The fact our sin is nailed to the cross, paid in full by Christ, and we are a new creation in Him should give us the realization that He will not abandon us in the pursuit of holiness. 

God tells us we can't expect to be holy if we conform to the world. (verse 14) This is such a convicting statement for all of us. We might pride ourselves on not partying, swearing, stretching our credit cards, or cheating on our taxes, but how much of a stranger are you in society? Do you know what characters are on that television show you shouldn't be watching? Do you read gossip magazines or watch media shows on television that might qualify as gossip? What line do you draw when going to or renting a movie? The line should be pure holiness.

You might say, "I can't ever see a movie then! Hollywood doesn't make movies that are holy!" Well, there might be a very, very select few, but, perhaps this means we shouldn't be joining in this practice if we can't be holy in doing it. Believe me, this is a scary thought for me. I love to be a chair potato and watch movies to relax. However, holiness is not about comfort. It is all about sacrificing the pleasures of this world and wanting to please the Father we adore and love.

The verses tell us to fear God. (verse 17) We need to realize that holiness is a command, not a polite, passive request. We also need to recognize God's qualities. Think of the strongest, most mighty thing you can imagine--a gigantic mountain in the Sierras, the roaring ocean, a thunder and lightning storm, a howling hurricane, a screaming tornado, a hissing, spitting volcano of lava and ash, an angry earthquake, a scorching sun, the chasms of the Grand Canyon, or a vast, unexplorable universe. These are God's creation. Think of who He must be in order to speak and create such wonders. We don't fear God enough because we don't take the time to understand His capabilities, His characteristics and qualities. This affects our obedience and urgency when we error in our understanding of who God really is.

What will you do to pursue holiness today? You recognize, if you are a Christian, that Christ painfully poured out His life and rose again, in order that you and I might be reconciled to our mighty Creator. (verses 18-19) Our humble thankfulness and love should spur immediate action. Make a plan with specific details. Cut out that television show, throw away the magazine with gossip that enslaves you, change the conversation when a friend starts disparaging another friend, tell a friend to hold you accountable to not practicing a particular bad habit, and PRAY FOR GOD'S HELP in revealing sin and giving you motivation and strength to change the error into holy behavior.

Be holy because He is holy. He is our precious, all-powerful, loving, righteous, merciful, gracious, perfect, all-knowing, all-present, eternal, unchanging, and HOLY God. Be holy because He asks you to be. That is motivation enough.  In the light of the cross and what He paid for us, the motivation is MORE than enough.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

I'm teaching crafts this week at church (post to follow soon), and I thought I'd make my volunteers some lemon cupcakes for a treat.  We are doing a beach theme, so I put them on a flip flop plate, of course!

I used a box mix and I added lemon zest and lemon sour candies for presentation.  They were a perfect summer treat!

I started with plain lemon cake cupcakes

I put vanilla frosting on top

I added lemon sour candies and lemon zest to decorate the tops

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