Saturday, March 31, 2012

Carve a Cross Craft

If your kids are off school for Good Friday this week, then here's an idea for a fun, yet meaningful activity.  Also great for a Sunday School lesson.
 I did this for both of my kids classes when they were in 5th grade.

 (Wonder if those teenagers will want to do it again this year?....maybe.)

If your kids are younger, then you may need to help with the shape, then let them go to town carving with toothpicks, craft sticks, metal stamps, etc.
 All you need is some plain IVORY soap
carving tool (I used a cheap knife from Wal Mart, plastic may work too)
Paper plate
 Begin by lightly scoring your shape.  If you press too hard....this is what happens!
After you've outlined your shape, begin slowly carving off bits and pieces of the soap. 
Go slow...and have a few extra soap bars, just in case!
 The paper plate holds all the carvings nicely.  The soap is fairly soft, so you can rub it, scrape it,...just have fun designing your own special cross.

Mine is pretty plain jane, but you arteests can have so much fun with this. 
I read this book to the kids, because I think I illustrates so well that there is nothing
 WE can do to earn salvation.  You can find it here on Amazon.

The story is based on Zechariah 3:1-5 and illustrates beautifully how Christ puts His righteousness on us, so that we may stand CLEAN before God.
"...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags."  Isaiah 64:6

"For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God,... not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Eph. 2:8-9

Happy Easter Week!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"He Is Risen" Banner

I am so EXCITED to share with you my latest project!  I finished it up last night and I'm just so pleased with how it turned out.  
I have seen many "spring" banners and have seen a few "He Is Risen" banners.  Considering some of my technical limits...and size restraits...I printed out the letters onto burlap.  You can find that tutorial here.  I wanted to sew them onto script of some sort.  
I have this Young People's Hymnal, and the pages were the perfect size, so I decided to sacrifice 11 of it's pages.  I's cool...1900!
So I chose carefully, and found hymns that I knew and saved the ones I remember singing at Easter for the plain pages that act as spaces.
Using black thread, I sewed the burlap to the pages.  Then I attached the pages to cardstock.  I used my handy dandy glue gun to attach the jute...just one dot on the back of the cardstock.  

The pages were already perfectly aged!  I love the way it turned out!!
Here are a few more pics...


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"If I Had a Green Thumb" Flower Baskets

If I had a green thumb, these are some of the flowers I would have growing in my flower garden.  I love bulbs, like Hyacinth, Tulips, and Daffodils.  For some reason, I'm always too have to plan ahead for those type flowers!

I live in South Texas, so some of these flowers just don't survive our summer climate, or our soil. One example...hydrangeas.  Not sure Forsythia's grow here either.  And Dogwood...nope!  Never seen one here!

I wanted a "French Flower Basket" look for my spring door decor.  Since I don't have a garden, I'll pretend I went to the fresh flower market (called Michael's) and grabbed these beauties up.  

Then, just haphazardly arranged them in these wicker baskets, with look...a little moss growing on them!  I know you're surprised, coming from me.  
(I'll moss anything!)

Linking up at the Spring Fling Southern Hospitality
Melrose Family
30 Hand Made Days
Design Dazzle

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old Window Art

Have you seen all the cute ideas using Old Windows?  We all have an old window laying around in the garage, right?  Well, if your garage is like mine, you might have a few to pick from!  I found this one on an antiquing trip.  I liked that it had 12 window panes, and it was cheap!  

It already had some crackled areas.  But, I distressed it a bit more by sanding it in places, and added some antiquing gel to make it look older.  The only problem was that it had one glass pane missing, but I figured I'd work around it.

I edited and printed some architectural photos from my recent trip to England and France.  Printed them in black and white.  Attaching them to the glass was a bit tricky.

I'm not sure how other people do it....I searched google and didn't get a whole lot of help.  The only solution I found was to float the pics behind the glass, then put a thin piece of plexiglass that's the same size as the glass, behind the photo.

Next to secure the plexiglass?  The site I used suggested using these triangle metal things (I forget what they're called) to insert...but the wood was too hard and it didn't work.  

So, plan B.... I had some clear caulk in the garage, so I ran a bead along the upper and lower edges to hold it in place.  
The window has been hanging in the hallway right outside our guest bedroom.  The missing glass pane section has just been empty until today!  

I made a black and white copy of a Europe map on white cardstock, making sure to include England and France.  Then using 4 decorative tacks, I placed it right in the empty spot.  

Gotta love Pinterest...saw this pic, and it inspired me to complete my Old Window Art.
You can find this idea here.  If I'd seen this first, I might've done that the idea of printing architecture on Dictionary paper.  I'll file it away, and who knows where it might show up!
Here's how it looks finished!  Yeah!!!
Linking up:
Funky Junk Interiors         Common Ground
Redoux Interiors  The Shabby Nest
Positively Splendidvif187

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Gate...the stud...and the vellum

One of my lovely followers saw my Moss Cross post and asked me about my gate and how I did the vellum.  I am so glad she did, because it's quite easy and a great story!

Do you want the "how to" first or the story?  Hmmmm....I gotta tell ya the story first!

Maybe 10 years ago, I found these two pieces of iron at a salvage yard.  It was when "gates" of all sorts were in high demand.  I loved that these pieces weren't perfect...they both had some chunks missing...but what was left was beautiful!

So at some point before I purchased them, I figured out that they actually fit together.  When I lined them up, they FIT!  WOW....I could actually hang them together like one piece of fencing or gate.  I think I paid around $35 for both pieces.  I was thrilled!!  I had seen "gates" go for $200 and up.

Got them home, and because they are iron...they had to be hung on studs because they weigh a ton!  This all occurred while at our previous house, so we're talking sheetrock.

My sweet hubby was in charge of finding the studs.
 (I have a stud finder....and he's quite the STUD! lol... sorry, couldn't resist) 
He also had to figure out how to hang these pieces together, and might I add...
centered above the entryway table.

Just a sec....
had to go find the "studman" and give him a little kiss!!
OK...where was I?  Oh yes, so I had envisioned hanging a sign on the 
"gate" with the verse on it.

Needless to say, because of where the studs landed...the pieces had to be hung this space was created between them.  I remember being a little frustrated, and my mind was racing as I tried to sleep that night.  Then it came to me...stencil the verse on the wall in the space between.  Ahh Haaa!!   It worked!

The iron gate hung there in our entryway, with the verse stenciled in dark brown.  I loved the fact that as people came into our home, they were greeted with God's Word...

 When we built our current home,
we wanted to bring the outside in, and decided to enhance the entryway wall with the same stone that was on the outside of the house.  I just love all the colors in this stone mixture....Palomino, I think it's called.

That presented a problem...because I couldn't stencil on the stone.
For 6 years, I've been trying to figure out how to get that verse back on my wall.
Do you feel my pain???

I envisioned aged paper, real papyrus or vellum...I had tons of vellum, so I printed it on several pages, and tore out the words.  Then I tried every glue dot, adhesive strip, tape runner that the scrapbooking sections offered, but it just wouldn't stick.  The stone is a bit crumbly, so I'd find it all on the floor.

I sorta gave up for awhile and didn't really think about it.  Then, you know how you see something, and you file that idea away in your head.  Then weeks later, you remember something about it that you can apply to what you're working on.

As I finished my moss cross, and played around with that vignette...I was thinking how great it would be if I could figure out a way to get that verse on my gate.

Then I remembered seeing Nan's mod podge lampshade, where she had attached charms on the edge with embroidery thread.  You can find her cute idea here at You Can Make That!

I pictured the verse on torn vellum, attached with embroidery thread to the pieces of iron on either side.  I drew out my stitch plan...made a word document using Papyrus font...played with the size a bit to emphasize the important words...put a sheet of vellum in the printer tray and hit print.  

My printer is inkjet, so when it finished printing, I just laid it out to dry.
Then I began tearing the edges.  All you do, is use your left thumb as a guide and tear with your right hand, slowly so that it comes off in one piece if possible. 

I used 2 embroidery threads and knotted the end.  With my needle, I came up from underneath on the vellum, then wrapped around iron, then went back through first hole and brought that one down and attached 1/2 inch below first hole.
I just tied and knotted each corner thread to the iron piece. 
 (I think I even left the extra

As long as you duplicate it on all 4 corners, it'll look great!  It didn't work just like I had drawn it out, so I just made it work.

I love the way it is suspended there in between the iron pieces.  
I think I was more tickled with how the vellum verse came out than I was the Moss Cross!  This was my 2nd moss cross.  The first one finally fell apart, so I was making it again, but since this house has double front doors, I decided to prop it up against the stone wall and gate.

So, once again, people get to see God's Word as they enter my house!

Thank you Mary Beth, for teaching me the 7 "I Am's" from the book of John many years ago...those verses have always stuck with me and this one...John 10:9 is certainly a favorite of mine!
And Thank You Kelly, for asking about the gate and vellum verse! can find my Moss Cross DIY featured here in the First Spring Edition of Inspired by Family Magazine.  Such an honor to be included with this group of folks who love the Lord...may God be glorified!!
Linking here:
Restore Interiors

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sheet Music Placemats DIY

 If you look at my pinboards on Pinterest, you'll see that I love script, sheet music, book pages, letters, etc. and anything made with those elements.  When I began thinking about my Easter tablescape, I remembered seeing sheet music used as placemats, but I wanted to seal mine so I could re-use them.
 So, here's what you need:
      On Ebay, I found a collection of old sheet music that included a book of classical composers and the size was around 17 1/2" X 12".  You want the pages to be in fairly good shape, just not so fragile that the paper flakes or is falling apart.  
       Wax Paper
       Mod Podge- I used the Matte kind
       Sponge brush
Carefully tear out the Title page with the following page and keep those together. If they don't stay connected, just overlay them about 1/4" with some mod podge. Lay them flat on the wax paper.  Since the pages are fragile, I painted the Mod Podge on beginning in the center and working out to the edges.  If you get a tear, don't worry...slather more mod podge on it and let it dry. 

 When top layer is dry, carefully peel away from wax paper.  Some corners, or edges may be a little stuck, so just peel with care.
Flip to back side and mod podge that side until dry.  When fully dry, peel off wax paper and cut off any podge scraggly pieces that may have dried on the edges.
  *I also recommend spraying both sides with a clear matte sealer to prevent sticking! Mod Podge makes one, or any other one you have.  I store mine with a piece of wax paper between also, because they are a bit fragile.
 Now you have a waterproof and lasting set of sheet music placemats!

(The link for the picture on Pinterest is Luna and Chloe Weddings.  The pic wasn't pinned correctly, so I found the original source, just couldn't locate the pic through a search on the blog, but want to give them due credit.)

Linking up:
No Minimalist Here
Oopsey Daisy
The 36th Avenue
The Charm of Home

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Preparing Our Hearts for Easter...

Easter will be here exactly one month from today! And I want to be ready...
not just with a nicely planned brunch, and a well set table,
 but I want my heart to be ready to grasp ALL that God did for me in sending His Son and ALL that Jesus did for me leading up to the cross and on the cross.

I want to be ready...
to celebrate the best news ever..."He is risen!"

I've always seen the cute Easter egg know the ones with branches and pretty decorated eggs hanging with pastel ribbons.
I know that eggs represent "new life", but other than that, I really never understood the purpose, except to have a pretty centerpiece on the Easter table.

I have to share a link with you, written by author Ann Voskamp of
 One Thousand Gifts....
Here I found the most lovely of Easter trees.  She calls it a Jesus Easter Tree.
You can download a devotional as well as the corresponding old master paintings to print out and hang on your very own tree.

The Link to Make your own Jesus Easter Tree can be found here:

As I was putting the tree together...I looked at those branches and it dawned on me...
these are from a tree!  My savior died on a tree...for me! Wow! 
I hadn't put that together before.

Then I glued ribbons on the eggs and hung them on the branches.  What a difference
the pastel eggs made on those scraggly dark branches.  New life...
Jesus has given us all new life
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, 
the new is here."  2 Corinthians 5:17

I hung all the pictures on the tree.  What a beautiful story they tell.
I'm looking forward to starting a new Easter tradition that will
hopefully, remind me and my family of the journey Jesus made here on earth for us...

May my heart be ready...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moss Cross DIY - Spring Entryway Decor

I think I've got Spring Fever!  It was such a beautiful weekend here in South Texas, it just got me energized to get to some spring projects going that I had floating around in my head.

I LOVE moss!!!  I think it adds such an organic element that doesn't require a green it's perfect for me!

Styrofoam- 1 rectangle, 3 squares
3 bags of sheet moss
glue gun

Use your glue gun to adhere the styro pieces together to form your cross, like I layed out here in the pic.  Then begin laying the sheet moss on top and sides until no white styro is showing through.  Glue the sheet moss on with your glue gun, and watch those fingers!
When the cross is covered, you can lean it against a wall in a display, or attach a ribbon and hang it on your front door for Easter.

 I have a section of broken wrought iron fencing...hung apart on studs due to their weight...with scripture on vellum secured between.

I adore bunnies and nests for spring decor.  I set these cement distressed bunnies near the books and the nest under a glass dome.  Hurry Spring!!!

Linking up here:
French Country Cottage
Positively Splendid
Funky Junk Interiors
Sunday Showcase
Tatertots and Jello
Cowgirl Up
Uncommon Designs
The Melrose Family-Whimsy Wednesday
School House Scraps
Michelle Paige Springtime Party
Dear Lillie Easter Party

The Lettered Cottage