May 31, 2013

Easy Peasy Personalized Coffee Mugs

So I have avoided Pinterest for some time - I know my personality...I know how I can find many ways to waste spend time!  But a few months back I succumb to Pinterest and it's allure and have since, been pinning away like a mad woman! 

Now, I keep this on the down low - I don't intend for others to 'follow' me or what have you - it's basically just the easiest way for me to organize all my random ideas and inspiration.

But I did make a promise to myself that I would not waste spend hours on it and that I would actually try to accomplish some of the tasks that I pinned.  I have done well to keep my time spent on it quite minimal and to date I have completed a few of my pins! Mostly ones relating to the kids but hey- at least it's not a complete waste and so far a lot of them are pretty cool! 

Take, for example, today's craft!

With all that is pictured below, I created two very personalized coffee mugs!  I did a bit more research on it though before sitting down and making these mugs.  For these were to be a gift.  We sweet sister-in-law is getting married in a few weeks.  I am so very happy for her and her fiancĂ©!  She and I spent many a good times together...especially over coffee.  So I thought these would make a very fitting gift indeed! 

The research I found said you could use BIC permanent mean the ones my hubby just happen to get me for Christmas??? Score!!!


So grabbing those, the two mugs, a few Q-tips, some Kleenex and rubbing alcohol - I got myself a fresh cup of java, put on the tunes and set to work.

The site I followed (here) said to make sure the mugs were very clean - as in wiped down with the rubbing alcohol and then do not touch them!!

So I gave them a good wipe and tried hard not to get my hands all over them...which really wasn't too bad.  Also, the alcohol worked to erase any mistakes...hence the need for the Q-tips.  Those dipped in the alcohol worked wonders to clean up little....or big...mistakes!

Here is my first design:

In case you can't read it - it says

Cute eh?  I found it pretty witty!


And so you can better appreciate my second design here is a picture of the happy couple.

Awwww! Arent' they cute!!

Anyways, for my second design I took inspiration from 1 Corinthians 13 - And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Hahaha, it took a bit to get it just right - let's just say those Q-tips were well used! ;)

So I think these both turned out pretty good.  At least I was happy with them.  Now the directions I followed went like this.

Place mugs in a cold oven.
Turn on to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Bake for 35 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave to cool - IN THE OVEN - to prevent cracking.

She suggested using less expensive mugs - they seem to work best.

Into the oven went my usable works of art - hoping that they would not fade too much....

And fade they did!


But all was not lost...

As you can see the purple stayed pretty well, as did some of the other colours - mainly the blue I used to write the scripture for my second design faded the worse.  So I went over it, using purple to highlight...err darken it and back into the oven they went.  Same directions as before.

The results were pretty good.  I did a scrub test once they had cooled and nothing came off.  I don't know how these would fair in a I do not have one...other then my hubby *wink wink* to test them in.

The colours stayed, but certainly faded - more of a soft, dreamy feel then the vibrant, fresh look they started as.  I took a couple before cooked in the oven photos and after cooked the second time (the final product) for you to see the difference. 

BEFORE                                                                                                                        AFTER                      

BEFORE                                                                                                                        AFTER        

So I would have to say, this project is a pretty decent success!  I think the results are good and it's easy to make - great idea for a kids party or maybe a wedding shower activity - everyone could decorate a mug for the new couple - or something like that.

So cross another activity off of my pin list!  It feels good to justify the wasted, spent....okay, fine let's just be real, wasted time on Pinterest.  I have a few other projects I have done and will share and some I hope to do and will probably share them as well.  It nice to see creativity in action, don't you think?  Plus then you really learn if all those crazy Pinterest ideas are actually doable or not!  This was totally doable, easy, mess free and fun!   

And best of all, the bride-to-be was very happy with them - so I was very happy then too!

Have a great and blessed weekend!

 Oh and I leave you with this little visual (that yes, I found on Pinterest) of how it all began.....


...umm...yup...that was pretty much it! lol!!!



May 29, 2013

1000 Words - Neighbourhood Walk




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May 24, 2013

Be Still

The phone rings in the night...
Be still.
The kids disobey for the tenth time this hour...
Be still.
The job offer does not come in...
Be still.

Your husband is late...
Be still.
The car breaks down...
Be still.

You just don't think you can do this any more...
Be still and know that I am God.
How many times has this happened to you?  How many times today will this to happen?  Where a problem arises, big or small, and your stress, anxiety, temper, is raised or your peace of mind is lost.  1 Peter 5:7 says, ...casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.  But do you?  Do you take God at His word? 
Do I?
We take so many people at their word.  We know that the doctors will do all they can.  God can do more. We know that the banker will handle the financial issues we intrust to them. God is greater then money.  We know the people around us that we can trust.  God is in whom we should trust.  We know our strengths and limits.  God knows the number of hairs on our head.
But often when we read the various and numerous promises of God, we nod and move on.  As if they have become the norm or the everyday.  The, "Yes, yes, I know - but...." and it's that but that gets you....gets me.
Be still and know that I am God.
Not too long ago I had the chance to settle this thought in my soul - to see this verse and then let it take hold, take root in me.
I was sitting drinking my morning cup of coffee when the phone rang, my husband answered it.  It was our realtor.  I could tell by his tone that this wasn't just a friendly call.  There was a concern, an issue with our old house.  The one we had sold...months prior!  Something in regards to the drive way.
Instantly my heart raced.  My anxiety soared.  What!?! How could this be?  We settled everything!  God, why?  Why now?
Then my eyes fell on my mug...
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and offered up a prayer.
I'm sorry Lord.  I'm so sorry.  You have this. YOU are God.  YOUR will be done.  Thank you for this reminder.  Please resolve this issue and if not, then lead us through it.  You alone are in control and I praise You. Thank you Lord. Thank you!
Instantly my anxiety left, my racing heart slowed and peace returned.  I took a long drink from my cup.  I sighed.  Why do I let my anxiety take hold of me and so quickly too?  Why is that my first response?  When I know I should turn to Him, trust in Him.  Why can't I just be still?
The phone call ended, my husband had talked with our realtor and they had worked it all out.  She would call if there were any other concerns or if the problem wasn't fully resolved.
I was still. 

We never received another call on the matter.
Over the last year and a half I have learned much about trusting God.  Sometimes voluntarily, sometimes by being forced into very uncomfortable situations.  But through it all my God was there.  That day, when our realtor called and my eyes fell on that mug, has stayed with me.  I smile every time I pull this mug out from the cupboard.  It's like a little nod from God, saying...well saying just what it does,
Be still and know that I am God. 
And I am...and I do.


May 22, 2013

1000 Words - Oh, boy.







Homemaker Design


May 17, 2013

DIY Lamp Shade

A month or so ago I purchased this great lamp!  I loved the look of it and I REALLY loved the pull cord dangly thing.  Seriously, I don't think I could express how much I love the pull cord bit without sounding like a complete nut - but it basically sold me on the lamp, even though I HATED the shade!

Yes, hated!

I'm sorry if you own this lamp with it's shade still intact - it really just wasn't for me - I'd love it in your home, promise!

So, I had, HAD to change it.  And for free because well...I'd already paid $30 for this lamp and wasn't about to go and drop anymore money on it.  So I snipped off the existing cover - the ruffled frilly bit - leaving the base of the shade, intact.  It was pretty easy, the ribbons at the top and bottom just peeled off after that and then I was left with a blank canvas.

I had scoured the net for some inspiration and loved all the lampshades that were covered in pages from books.  So hubby and I went to work....but we didn't use just any book, nooo, we used a small Gideon bible for our pages.  ;)   With a concordance by our side and a sharp knife in hand, we took out any pages with reference to "light" to use on our lampshade.


Next I mixed two parts white school glue and one part water....or something close to that equation.  I'm sure you could use Mod Podge, ....but I don't have that so I used what I had.  Anyways, I just laid the pages on and slopped some of the paste all over them.  But I will say, I did find it easier to put paste on the shade first and then again on the paper.  I wasn't too careful about the whole thing and basically I was going for the layered, collage effect - you know, organized chaos!

When it came to the edges I just cut smaller sheets (because I thought it would be easier to work with - but I see no reason why you'd have to!)  and left them hanging over the edge.  When everything was dry I trimmed them up all neat(ish) with scissors.

I assembled the lamp and let it sit in my living room for a week or so.  But after much deliberation and a few cups of coffee, my BFF and I agreed, it was too 'white' for my semi rustic space.  And so, to create that, aged, antique effect, I got out the tea!

Taking a bag of my favourite tea, Earl Grey...mmmm...., and just a 1/4 cup of hot water or so, I let the tea steep for a while.  I didn't keep track, it doesn't really matter, just make sure it's strong, to get lots of colour.


And again, I just slapped it all on. Then let it dry - I could have gone a bit darker but I was happy with how it all came out.  I think you could get the same effect with watered down brown acrylic paint - or any colour really - try a purple or red to spice it up.  And if you do - I would LOVE to see that!!!!

But anyways, this is how my shade looked all 'aged' and what not...I will say, it's a bit darker in person...

Once that was all dry, hubby and I took a look at the finished shade and decided it wasn't quite finished.  It needed some sort of trim.  But again, I did not want to spend any money - so we searched around and came up with this perfect piece of satin ribbon.  A dark brown, coordinating nicely with our furniture.  Hubby had the great idea to do this fancy fold with it and voila!

I'm in love with it, with our "reading lamp"!


I think it looks great and I'm very happy with how it turned out, especially for free! (the shade part anyways) It also has a neat effect with the overlapping paper when it is on at night.  Sorta ties in nicely with my wallpaper wall!  Such a simple project and other then the lamp it's self it cost us nothing but the materials we already had on hand.  Though we had a few reservations at first about cutting up a Bible we figured it was for a good purpose - now there is lots of Light in our living room!


For it is You who light my lamp;    
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Psalm 18:28


May 15, 2013

1000 Words - Rainy what?





Homemaker Design


May 13, 2013

Being Momma

Wow...5 years of being a momma - five...count em!  I'm amazed - in so many ways!  I'm amazed because around eight years ago I went to the doctor.  He said to me, "I just don't know.  You do not have a regular cycle, we can't even tell if you ovulate.  So honestly, you might never have children."

I was not prepared for this news.  I was only 22 at that time and to tell you the truth I hadn't given much thought to having children.  Not much thought in the way of it being a challenge or something that wouldn't happen just when we wanted it to.  No, I figured, we were married and when the timing was right, we'd have a baby. 

I felt terrible.  My husband and I had talked about wanting a family and now the future seemed so uncertain.  Would we?  Could we?  Was adoption an option?  Could we even afford that?

The months passed and with each one I waited for the sign....or hopefully lack there of, of my cycle.  But as the doctor had said, and as I had known for a long time - I did not have a regular cycle.  So months could pass with no period and it would mean nothing at all.

But that did not stop me from wanting....hoping.  And all I can say is, we lost count of the number of pregnancy tests we went though.

Then one night, I cried out to God.  I begged Him to take away the waiting.  I just I needed to know.  I trusted Him.  I could rest in Him.  If only He'd let me know if I was to wait on Him and His timing or to move on in this area of our lives.

My husband and I had sat down together for our bible study time.  We each prayed, separately and quietly before beginning.  I prayed to God.  Asking Him to tell me, to show me if I was to wait on Him or to know that having children was not in our future.

I did not breath a word of this to my dear husband.  Once we finished with our prayers, my sweet hubby opened up God's word and we read from Psalm 17. 

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
    Let your eyes behold the right!

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
    you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
    I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
    I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
    my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11 They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12 He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14 from men by your hand, O Lord,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
You fill their womb with treasure;
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.
15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
And it was there, in verse 14, that the Lord answered me.  I could have cried but I held this answer in my heart and I smiled.  He had heard my prayer and He had answered my cry.
It was some time before I became pregnant but during this time, I trusted in the Lord's word.  No, not always...there were still a few more pregnancy test and a few more times where I questioned that passage, but the Lord was faithful and when I least expected it, I was expecting!
And since that time I have now celebrated five Mother's days.  Five years of being a momma, with my first born turning six this summer!

The love of a mother for her child is something of a marvel to me.
How that first moment when my eye's lay hold of that precious life, I am head over heels in love.  How my heart hurts and aces with all the love that it cannot contain.  How I believe in love at first sight because I am a mother!
I watch them grow and change and become their own little persons under my care.  God entrusts to me, these little people to raise and train in the ways He wants for them. 
He has handpicked them for me and me for them. 
I marvel at all of this.
No, I am not the perfect mother.  Yes, there are days when I do take this blessing, of being momma, for granted....many days in fact.....but then there are days....many, many days...where I couldn't imagine anything else.
I could not imagine my life without my littles!
I know too soon these days will be gone.  My littles will be grown and will hopefully have littles of their own.  I know this and I want to relish these days....I hold to this fact when I have those other days. Knowing that I am blessed and that the Lord has given us more then we could have ever hoped for. 
I am still amazed at the fact that I am a momma and that I have three beautiful little blessings.  I want to enjoy them and this gift from our God.  I know that these children are just that, a gift.  And with each passing day, I savor their need for me, their desire to be with me and their sweet, simple love for me.
I savor...being momma.

May 10, 2013

Cloud Nine

Ah, so we escaped - got away for the day to celebrate nine years of marriage.  My mother-in-law watched the kiddos and with nary a plan we headed to a near by city.  We had some good tunes, an open sunroof and gorgeous weather! 

The day was wonderful!  Simple, sweet, just the two of us enjoying each other's company.  We took in some shops and a tasty lunch and it really just felt that God was smiling down on us.  Our day was filled with sweet small blessings.

Like how, after taking forever to find a nice place to eat we ended up at one of those chain restaurants.  I ordered the steak and hubby got the ribs - just about the only two gluten free choices on the menu....starting to not like this gluten free thing so much...but we'll talk about that another day.  Anyways our meals came and his was super tasty!! Mine looked great except the steak was just a bit to...fresh, for my liking.  I politely asked our server to just have it cooked a tad longer.  She took it away...and when they returned, with a whole new plate for me a few minutes later, it was perfect!  But not only was it very good it was....FREE!!!  Yup, our server told us that when they get something wrong, you don't pay for it!  How great is that!?!?  So our total anniversary meal cost us $30.10!



Then we went to a home store and I found these!


I have been looking for these since we moved here.  They are screens to keep bugs and things off of your food when you are outside.  Aren't they darling?  Okay - so here's the great story about these.  When hubby spotted them, I was overjoyed but then slightly disappointed that they were $19.99 each.  A bit more then I wanted to spend for one because, well of course I wanted both! ;)  The store had another set but they were not as pretty and they were also $19.99.  So my sweet hubby says to me, "Well, you know; your meal was free. We can get both."  Isn't he a keeper! ;) lol!!  So we snatched them up, meandered around the store and finding nothing else to pique our interest we headed to the cash.  I chat it up with the cashier and she's telling me all about how she wanted to get these for her daughter's wedding...yadda, yadda, yadda, (it's a slight problem, me talking to cashiers and such...) anyways as she's ringing these in, my eye falls on the price tag again....I glare at it....hubby sees my concerned look and asks, "What's wrong?"  I point to the price tags...and I kid you not - this is what they said....

KID. YOU. NOT!  I cannot explain it.  Hubby cannot explain it.  But, yup we paid $9.99 each for our two picnic screens. Think what you will about it all, but we're just smiling!

The rest of the day was filled with simple little blessings.  Easy traveling, friendly people, not to hot weather, stumbling upon sale after sale, store closings, rain holding off until we had to leave and even hitting up 'Frappuccino happy hour' at Starbucks for the ride home!  And the fact that we got to return home to the house that my husband put the sold sign on exactly one year ago - well that was pretty special too!


We wrapped up the day, once the kids were in bed, by sitting out on the front porch, listening to the rain on the metal roof and firing a few shots from my hubby's birthday gift. ;)  How country is that? Hahaha! 

It was a lovely day, a nice pause in our busy lives to soak in the years.  I found us to both be a bit more quiet then usual.   So much has happened and we know much more lays before us - I think we were both just very reflective.  It was a sweet day and I felt blessed to spend it with such a sweet man!


Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house,
    he would be utterly despised.
Song of Solomon 8:7


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