Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All About Faith & A June Giveaway!

I will have to say that without a doubt Faith is the strongest force in my life.
My belief that my Heavenly Father knows my wants, but pays more attention to my needs and fills my
life with purpose, is the greatest gift that I have ever received.
I don't think I fully understood this until I became a parent myself. 
It was then that I could "take a walk in His shoes" and truly understand parental reasoning.
When I began raising my daughter my first inclination was to give her everything,
or I wished I could give her everything, 
to plan, map out and chart the course for her life and take care of all problems that would arise. 
the parental heart in me knew that giving her everything would not build the character of a strong, independent woman,
charting the course for her life would not build in her the courage to take a leap of faith on her own,
taking care of problems along the way would not build the confidence she would need in times
when mama wasn't there.
I would not say yes to all her whims and wants, and from time to time I stood back and
let her take the reins in the decisions of everyday life knowing there would be a lesson
she would learn.  It's not easy being a parent because your heart wants to always say yes,
but with the parental wisdom given by God, I would say no...knowing all along it was best for her.

After understanding these things I realized that my all-knowing Heavenly Father  knew what was best for me and sometimes when I didn't think He was there, didn't think He was listening, He was on the sidelines, cheering me on....sometimes allowing me to stumble as I learned..... as I learned to lean on Him to guide my footsteps, because He knows best.
That's when I started relying on my Faith in Him to guide my way.
My prayers always begin with "God you know my heart, and you know my needs...."
And they end with
"Thank you for all my blessings and all I ask is that You provide me with what I need."
He has sustained me through many trials along the way, has provided for me when I felt there was
no end in sight.  He has blessed me with "gifts" that some people call talents, I prefer to call
them gifts from heaven because they have allowed me to earn extra money
when I needed it most..... and when my ideas run dry...He gives me a brainstorm.  He always provides.
I give Him all the credit for He knows my needs, and will help me along the way, as long as
my Faith is strong, and I trust in His love for me.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."   Hebrews 11:1

When I first saw the faith plaque I immediately wanted it for my porch.  But then I said no, I'll buy it for my mother as part of her Mother's Day gift.  Then after I got home I started thinking about it and decided I wanted to give one to my friend Sara who so often shares her faith stories with me. 
When I bought Sara's there were 2 left so, of course I decided to grab one for myself,
no sense in giving them all as gifts! 
Then I felt guilty....I wanted one of my sweet blogger friends to have one too so I went back to get
the last one but it was gone.  I was sad, but asked Sara to be on the look out for one on her
side of town.  No where were they to be found.
Well, yesterday I quickly ran to the store to grab a few things and thought well, maybe I'll check just
to see if they got some more.  I went up and down the aisles 3 times and was about to leave when
all of a sudden I saw it....all by itself on the clearance shelf!!!  I had to look twice to make
sure it said Faith!  I was so excited I immediately said, "Thank you Lord!"
So now I can share it with one of you!

This is my giveaway.... the pretty Faith table ornament you see pictured above.  I call it a table ornament
because I really don't know what you call the "words" that you use in decorating! 
Anyway here is how to enter:

1.  Become a Follower of my blog and post a comment.  You can share about your faith if you like, if not, that is fine! (1 entry)
2.  If you are already a Follower, post this giveaway on your sidebar or blog about it and leave a comment telling me (1 entry)
3.  Recommend my blog to your friends and have them mention you in their comment (1 entry)

Three ways to enter!  The last day for entries is Wednesday, June 8. 
I will notify the winner and post it on Thursday, June 9.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!     

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tonight Is The Bachelorette and I've Found Heaven on a Stick!

Although I'm not a reality show junkie I do enjoy watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  These two shows are the only shows I never miss, and of course we can't leave out The Bachelor Pad, which is my all time favorite.  I think I like The Bachelor Pad best because it's the most realistic reality show of the three.  What you see is what you get, nothing planned or staged, but I'm sure there's quite a bit of editing!

Who will our Bachelorette, Ashley Hebert, choose?  We'll have to see!  My husband laughs at me and says, "Whoever would go on national t.v. and get dumped in front of millions of people, cry and make a fool of themselves, deserves whatever they get."  Well, that may be true but....it's entertainment!  I may not believe in all that is said or done, and I certainly don't believe you can fall in love in 8 weeks on a few short dates and be ready to get married...but I do believe it can be the start to a long and meaningful relationship...look at Ryan and Trista (Are ya'll getting tired of seeing them interviewed on every season?....I guess ABC is just so excited that it "worked" they keep showing them off!) Charlie and Sara (I think they're still together), and of course Ali and Roberto.  Word has it from a very reliable source (personal friend with niece who lives in Charlotte) that Emily and Brad are still together in their long distance romance.  Emily still lives in Charlotte (and Brad in Texas) and has been seen in church with Brad and little Rickie and.....sources tell me her house has been up for sale.  Same source tells me little Rickie had a dance recital on Saturday, in Charlotte, and they were all together!  So, we will see.  It's nice to know they are going to church together...to me that is a very good start!  Can't wait for tonight!

Now...about that heaven on a stick!!!  I am not a big ice cream fan.  I enjoy it occasionally, and only certain kinds...like Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey or Pistaccio, Pistaccio or even Cherry Garcia.  I also am not one of those who, once I find a great flavor, will eat it every single night (like my husband!)  I will savor the flavor only once a week......while I'm watching The Bachelor!  That is my weekly indulgence, splurge, treat, whatever you want to call it!  Last season my flavor was Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey....I would eat half the container one week and save the other half for the next week.  This season...I'm so excited because I have found a new love!  Magnum Ice Cream Bars!  OMG ya'll, these are soooo delicious I just can't wait for tonight!  I have only tried one flavor and that is the Double Caramel.  Now let me tell you what this treat is all about...the vanilla ice cream is so smooth and creamy and it's covered with a thin layer of chocolate...which is covered by a nice layer of caramel which is covered by a thick layer of chocolate....Belgium chocolate to be exact!  Not the waxy, stick to your teeth chocolate that you usually find on ice cream bars...this stuff is good!  There are 6 different flavors.  I've bought all mine at Food Lion or Publix but they carry them at Walmart and Target too as well as other grocery stores and here is a link to a $1.00 off coupon from Target...I just printed mine.  Now hurry because the coupon expires May 31 and you know you're gonna want one while you watch The Bachelor tonight!!!  Now ya'll run on out to your local grocer or Target and grab a box...you'll be so glad you did!  Now don't forget...9:00... I'll be on my couch...with Magnum ice cream bar in hand!  Toodles!              

Monday, May 9, 2011

Creating Cardstock From Your Favorite Prints!

In this tutorial you're not exactly going to make your own cardstock...I'm going to show you how to use your favorite patterned wallpaper, wrapping paper, or scrapbooking paper to create your own customized cardstock for crafting in any color you need!!

I use Microsoft Publisher to do this but you can use any desktop publishing program that will allow you to change the color of the graphic.

Choose the paper you would like to "recolor" and print as cardstock and cut it into a sheet measuring 8.5" x 11".  I happen to love toile and polka dots so that is what I will be using.  I lucked out on the beautiful navy toile wrapping paper when I was shopping at Marshall's several years ago!  I just seem to find everything I need there!

Scan your 8.5" x 11" piece of paper and save it as a graphic file on your computer.

Using MS Publisher create a new blank document (Full Page) then Insert -> Picture -> From File
Navigate to where you have the graphic saved, click on the file, then click Insert

Your graphic is now in the document.
Right click on the picture and choose Format Picture

Click on the Recolor button
Click on the More Colors line

Click on the color you would like to change it to.

Click OK on the next 3 screens.  And, there you have it!

Print this out on white card stock and this is what you get!  I did the same process with the polkadot wrapping paper I had.  I just changed the color to orange. 

It works best when what you originally scan is a dark color such as navy or black.  Now you can use this cardstock to make some pretty bag collars for all those gift bags you need to decorate!  This is exactly what I did on the aqua gift bag in my previous post!  Try it out!  It's easy and fun.  If you have any questions, you know you can always email me!! 
                                                                                                     ~ Becky

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Decorating Gift Bags for Mother's Day!

Ya'll know I've said it before, I love wrapping presents and making gifts looks special!  Gift bags have just about replaced wrapping presents in a box these days so I've decided if I can't decorate a box, I'll decorate a bag!  I want my presents to say, "Open me first!".  Here are the instructions on how I dress up gift bags with "Bag Collars"!  I usually buy several different colors and sizes of  bags to have on hand in my wrapping closet.  That way I can personalize the collar for the recipient of the gift instead of just giving a plain old bag!  I will go ahead and admit this....after taking pictures while  I was making a collar I realized I ended up with tons of pictures and a list of 23 steps to create these easy little bag collars.  It sounds daunting with all the pictures and steps but it is so easy and I'm sure can easily be shown in 5 steps but I tend to give instructions in more detail than I actually need to.  You are basically cutting a piece of cardstock long enough for a graphic and a fold at the top to tuck over the top edge of the bag...but...here is how I can make something so simple....so long!

Pick a bag and print a graphic in the middle of a piece of cardstock.  If you don't have a graphic, you can use a rubber stamp, cut out an old card you have received, use solid paper or to make it really special, glue a photo of the person who is to receive the gift!

Place the sheet with your graphic over the bag and trim the sides so the collar is narrower than the bag.  I'm going to add a border so I trimmed 3/4 off each side.

Center your graphic sheet over the bag to determine placement of the graphic itself.  Mark with a pencil on each side.

Measure 1/2" above this mark and draw a line.  Cut along this line.

Using a bone folder and straight edge place your straight edge along your first pencil marks and run the bone folder along the straight edge to form a crease.  This helps so much when folding paper but if you don't have a bone folder you can use the back edge of a butter knife.

Fold on crease

Place and center the folded edge along top of bag and on the fold, make a pencil mark at the handles.

Cut notches 1/2" wide up to the fold.  Your collar will be placed so it folds over the top edge of bag.

Decide how long you want your collar to extend down and mark the center with a dot.

Now, decide the angle of your collar and mark this point on left side of collar.

On the left side measure from the fold down to this mark.  You will need this measurement for the right side.

Now, using the measurement from the last step, measure this length on the right side of the collar from the fold down and mark.

Draw a line from the center mark of collar to each side mark.  This will form your point.  Cut along these lines.

Your collar will be placed in the center with fold over the top.

Now, using your border paper, mark width of bag.

Using double-sided tape, run tape along all edges of back of collar and center the collar on your border paper.

Since my collar will have a 3/4" border, measure 3/4" from collar on all edges and draw a line using a straight edge.

Cut along lines and cut out notches at top.  Fold along upper crease line.

Position collar over the top of the bag and tape the flap down on the side of the bag.  Place a small piece of double-sided tape at the bottom point of the collar to hold it in place.

The left gift bag has a graphic I found online.  I used a rubber stamp on the pineapple bag.

On this bag I scanned some beautiful toile wrapping paper I had but it was in navy and white.  I needed sea foam!  Once I inserted the scanned graphic into my document I changed the color of the graphic to the color I needed and printed.  I will be sharing this step by step "how-to" in a future post!

You can use just about anything to make a collar, I've used newsprint, old sheet music, Sunday comics, wrapping paper, doilies, and scrapbooking paper.  Your ideas are a big as your imagination!  I hope you enjoy this project and have fun decorating your Mother's Day packages as well as all those graduation gifts you will be buying this month and wedding gifts next month!  Until later...