Make It Yourself, Princess

Make It Yourself, Princess

Filigree Findings

I felt the need to aquire some filigree, good news, this is what they grew into! 

The earring wires are handmade, sterling silver. So pretty!


I especially love the new technique used for the bail on this piece. 

Cute dangle earrings, With sterling silver leverback clasps. 


Filigree even finished this butterfly pendant off right.

Cute earrings, with two different filigree pieces. You can buy these here:


These labradorite stones are so cool. They flash blue in certain light. 


I'm Back in Action!

I took a year off, but now I'm back! We had a baby, just about to turn one. That's enough to throw anyone off of their schedule. I know bloggy moms that do this with panache, it just so happens that I am not one of them ;)
Fun Little Projects-
Some projects look SO simple, until you try to get the materials, and the tools and the time together. Suddenly, it is hard to balance all three. I have managed to get a wee little bit of time together and made of few things. I'm hoping to write up the pictures for you guys soon.
Craft Fairs-
October 18th- The pumpkin Spice Bazaar in Brockton, MA will have lots of fun things available for gift shopping. This is a fundraiser to ensure the elderly at Emmanuel House have a budget for activities. This is a worthy cause, and I'm glad to be a part of it.
November 15th- Holy Name Christmas Bazaar in Springfield, MA. This year will mark my third year with this church show, I am expanding my inventory and hoping to make a big splash!
Hope to see you at a show! If you can't make it out, don't worry, the Etsy store is up and running and I am slowly adding a few items at a time! 


Well, I kept pushing for this project to turn out, and it finally did! So, on this super sunny day, I got a few pictures made.  Now, I can share with you the final product, that made me so crazy!

Copper pipe pendant with gold sparkles, red pearl, and azurite beads embedded. 

This copper pipe pendant has blue sparkles and freshwater pearls, with a red Swarovski bicone crystal. 

This pendant has the addition of a Swarovski Fire Opal crystal it matches so beautifully. Pearls are embedded and one Moss Agate. 

Imagine if I threw in the towel? The trick was the resin actually had to be measured with a syringe, the measurements had to be PRECISE! 

I also started making my own earring hooks, so a few more earring options are now available. 

Now, if only I could take a decent picture, I assure you these are super fabulous in person! 

My 10 Year Wedding Anniversary

Today is my 10 year anniversary. Getting a little nostalgic, I realize that marriage is nothing at all like I thought it would be. My new bride jitters, thought that the marriage experience would be like a long slumber party with my best friend. We would eat lots of pizza and watch movies. Just a big old grand time. 
Well, we did eat lots of pizza, until I learned how to make small, basic meals. (Who knew rice would burn bad enough to ruin the pan?) We worked at two separate goals, that often interfered with time together or financially combatted each other. What sounded like merely compromise, was actually true sacrifice for each of us. Individually, we needed to come together and act as a team. Join together under God's guidance, and follow the journey. That's now a family slogan, "I'm so glad you're on my team!" 
Through teamwork, we have organized alot and moved forward on new dreams and goals. Running a business as our sole source of income has been a challenge of faith. But, mostly because my job has changed from the business to focus at home, on our children, it has become a challenge of time-management.
I also learned that boys eat, ALOT! I thought that $179 would feed the two of us for a month. I brought home 3 packs of ground hamburger with grand plans to make several meals, and make it last a long time. Before my next day off to cook it all, it disappeared. I searched and looked, emptying out the freezer completely. I asked Jim where it went- he had made hamburger helper, and eaten ALL of it! 
We have survived through three very different pregnancies together. Some of it wonderful, some of it awful and some of it requiring sheer perseverence. We are expecting a little princess in the Fall.  Lots of prayers and rest, faith and fear, answered prayer and miracles have got us this far, it will surely only continue to take us onward and upward!
These challenges have brought us closer together. Jim, I love you more today than I did 10 years ago, and I'm sure I'll love you even more in another 10!

Wednesday Workbench

A view of the works in progress this week. Brought to you by the

And here is how you can join up as well: . 

My workbench is a mess- 

Off to the left I have a few projects that haven't worked out yet. I can't get the resin to dry, and I just don't have the heart to throw out all that hard work! I'm glad that I only made two pendants in that batch, not dozens. I just can't give up on them yet. 

The filigree project down front is waiting for a decision to be made, what kind of chain, how to attach it and does it need a "little something" in the middle.

The little copper plate on the right has a bad bit of etching on the corner, again I need to decide if I'm scrapping it, or if it will be a "design element" in my next cool piece. 

Looks like a lot of decisions to finalize, and then quite a bit of work to get done! 

Just Keep Trying New Things

"Experience is the name everyone gives to mistakes." - Oscar Wilde

I signed up for a craft fair. This lead me to think, "Oh, I should do some quick and easy projects to get my inventory up." Then I went to Pinterest, where all the beautiful "easy" projects live. 

Aren't they beautiful and sparkly? They never dried! I think it was a bad mixture of the resin. 


I decided to try to make these copper pipe pendants. The tutorial leaves out a few details, like how to make sure the clay is the right depth. Or how to get the paper inserts the right size. I decided to forget it and leave the back off the next one, not too hard, just use tape and the resin will stay in. Yes, the tape trick worked, no the resin NEVER dried. Two weeks later and I hit the top with a butane torch to try and salvage the project... still sticky!


Still double sided, these sweet pendants are heavy, less glittery, and rely on sparkle paper to make them shine. The big filigree pendant on the far left has been successful so far, just a bit of cleaning up to get it show ready. 


I wanted to add little boxes as a gift with purchase sort of thing. So I used an Altoid tin, and I wanted to etch it. I've had fantastic luck with etching 20 gauge copper plate lately, so I just threw it in the same solution. Well, all my hard work washed off, and the silver colored tin got copper plated in the etchant solution. That bummed me out, so I went to the hardware store to clear my head. Now, I'm using scrapbook paper to cover the tins, it's got a lot more character to it! It's not the "steam punk shiny thing" that I had envisioned originally, but I think it's still a nicely styled gift box for higher priced items. 

The box on top was a shiny silver tin, then it went through the etch process and took on the copper from previous projects. The bottom box is the direction I'm moving in now. It's scrapbook papers, and maybe some little doo-dads to finish it up a bit. 

I think the lesson here is, don't start a new product line, one month before a show. That's when you make more of what works! In winter, when everything slows down, that is the time to experiment, with no looming deadline hanging over your head.

"Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein


Five Minute Fridays- Brought to you today by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker.


Imagine 6 months from now. What does it look like for you? Preparing for Christmas? Children and cookies, making presents and decorations? 


We'll have one more for Christmas this year. How will that change things? Make it even more hectic? A brand new stocking to hang by the fire, and "first ornament" on the tree. 


What will a year change? Getting ready for Summer 2014. A 4 year old and a 6 month old. How will my life change? Will I be able to keep up the housework and the little ones? Will my crafting fall off to the side, waiting for me to make a come back? 


Mornings at the park, a buggy with it's new occupant, and busy big boy ready to be independent and running off. Home for lunch, and hopefully a nap. These next few seasons will be full of love and joy. Maybe not much peace, though ;)

and Again

Brought to you today by Lisa Jo Baker- and the fine writers of Five Minute Friday. Today's topic is Again. Find out about the talented Lisa-Jo here


Remember that song, What If I stumble, What if I fall? DC Talk. (if you happen to forget, or are too young check it out-here)  Well, that actually applies to the real world, too.  Procrastination isn't about living in the moment, it's about fear of failure. Crippling, isn't it? What if I really make a big fat mess of things... that is a bunny trail that will not help you get anything done. 


Rather let us focus on the Word.  Lamentations 3:22-23(NIV) 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,   for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning;    great is your faithfulness. When we have that same old sinking feeling, remember that  there is a peace that renews every single morning. You can do anything, but it might just require a little help from above. 

Recycling Candles

Sometimes candles can be extremely expensive. If something goes wrong... perhaps it was burning on an uneven surface, or maybe burning in an uneven house, the wicks get covered in wax and you can't use it any more. So, I kept a candle like this for a few years, every so often, I tried to burn it, dig out the wicks and try again. 

Well, it has been a few years since I could burn the candle. I made a decision, only 5 years for a project in process, and this candle's time was about up! 


So, I decided that I wanted to etch some neat designs on the glass that the new candles would be in. I bought some Armour Etch on Amazon and I found instructions on how to use it on the internet, since there were no instructions on the container (not a great selling point, come to think of it). Paint it over the stencil and leave it on for at least 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Then take off the stencil. 


The top of my candle burned over one wick completely. It was frustrating and taking up valuable space in my bedroom. 


I used a big vegetable knife to cut done the sides of the candle. It was similar to cutting up chocolate. It makes these long shreds. I had parchment paper underneath to catch the shreds and transfer them to a measuring cup. 




The white chocolate, I mean wax shavings in my pan. I only use this pan for candles, and this is my 4th round of candles. Never use this pan for edibles again, because you don't want wax or other chemicals in your food. Just a bad idea!



The wax starts to melt in my "candle only" pan.


Once the wax is completely clear, start to pour over your several candles. Just a few inches at a time, the wax will settle quite a bit as it cools. You also want to avoid surprise holes inside the candle.




Use tape to keep your wick steady. I poured this particular candle four times over two days. The first pour was about an inch and a half. Then I pour to fill most of the candle and as it cools, the wax settles and makes a big hole next to the wick. So, I poured to fill that in, and lastly I poured the wax to evenly make a nice smooth top. I hope that makes sense. 

5 completely new candles, from a dusty thing that was taking up space in my room. Now that's nifty, I mean thrifty!

The Deep End

Today's post brought to you by Five Minute Friday- and the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker.  She gives you a writing prompt and  we write for five minutes flat. Just to see what will happen. today's topic is Dive. 

There was a day when I wasn't a mother. I couldn't imagine it, I couldn't wrap my brain around it. There was tremendous feelings. Oh I was  busy, working my job and running a jewelry business. I kept myself preoccupied, all the time. And I thought that is what it meant to be busy. 


My first night as a mom, was a doozy. I was replacing 3 nurses a day in their quiet soothing ways with tiny little babies. I didn't know what I was doing, at all. But, I'm a quick learner! Suddenly, I was really busy! I couldn't figure out what time of day to get a shower, so I got one when my husband got home from work. I couldn't figure out how to get my teeth brushed two times a day, so I settled for once a day. After a couple of weeks, I planned for meals, and showered int he morning again. 


That is diving in, no turning back. I don't know what would have prepared my for the transition my life went through very suddenly. He and I, we figured it out, now communicating, and getting ready for the next big challenges. I'm completely immersed in my new life as his mom. The days I filled with hobbies and an office job, seem quite far away. I had no idea that God had something bigger and better for me in His awesome design for my life. But I'm grateful, I'm glad was thrown in the deep end of motherhood, because it is completely worth it!






Five Minute Fridays, with Lisa-Jo, today's topic is Opportunity. 



I set New Year's resolutions. I also set Birthday resolutions, long-term goals as well as weekly goals. I like to be orderly about things. I find that I need to scratch something off my list in a bright red marker, it motivates me.  If I really want to run a race in a few months, that actually means, that I need to run today. Maybe today isn't a full run, or a long run, but the action of getting dressed and preparing my body, that effort is in time... Today. 


I've missed opportunities, I think most of us have. With age comes wisdom, or maybe just reflection. I've learned, that procrastination is expensive. It is way more costly to me in my thirties, than it ever was in my teen years. I think today I will save $5, because I will be glad for it next year. Today I will be healthy, today I will love my family and today I will seek joy. I can only react to what happens today, with the wisdom gleaned from yesterday. Those precious lessons, were costly, and I don't want to pay that price again. Today I will take the opportunity to work on tomorrows goals. 

I leave you with Matthew 6, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own. 

Best Manicures of 2012

Some of these are stamped, some are just a good layered paint job and some are super fun and whimsical. Without further ado...drum roll please... The Best Manicures Of 2012!!


Number 1- the monarch butterfly manicure. It takes a little time, and is customizable to any butterfly color. 

See how it was accomplished here



Number 2- Blue Flower stamped manicure, OPI for the base coat and Ulta Denim blue for the top coat. 



Number 3 This is a neat effect achieved with Bundle monster stamps. 




Number 4 is also a cool stamp design, gold over Roccoco Red.  See how it was done here .




Number 5 a French Manicure. So sparkly.  You can see how it was done here


I mention stamping with bundle monster a lot here. If you are interested, you can get the Bundle Monster plates and starter kit on Amazon, here


These are my top 5 favorite manicures for this year. Hard to believe time passed so quickly. So I'm curious...what was your favorite manicure to try out? Comments Welcome!! 



Winter Inspiration

The rain and sleet and snow fell, and froze on everything. I'm inside safe, drinking another cup of coffee. It sure makes for a beautiful winter scene right outside my window. 


Check it out!


My lilac bush completely encased in ice!




Shrub covered in ice. 




My rose bush, with ice dripping off the leaves.



All the grass in the background was covered in ice as well, It made my husky, Arwen, nervous to walk on, and she's bred to be a sled dog!


I hope you all stay safe in this crazy weather, and can enjoy it from your window with your coffee. 

Make your own Laundry Detergent

I never really thought about cleaning products as something you could make yourself. I just thought everyone went to the store and purchased the one that smelled the prettiest. I couldn't imagine what would go into a laundry soap, or why on earth I would want to make it myself. I was inspired by the lovely Amie White  and how she cares for her 4 boys and makes their laundry soap. Well now, if it works for  her busy brood, it would surely work on my small, one load a day laundry situation. 


 I checked around on Pinterest and found this recipe from Jen, of the How Does She fame. 


I changed a few things, I used a left over BJ's candy bucket to hold it all, and I changed the bar soap to Ivory, since I couldn't find Zote. I also use the Purex Tropical, since I love my clothes to smell awesome. Grating the Ivory is a pain, so I watched a cute show on Netflix and was finished 2 bars in the half hour.




BONUS- the living room smelled spiffy when I vacuumed the flecks up off the floor. Yes, this is a time investment, and yes it has paid off!


It's now been 4 months since we began using my homemade soap, and it's been awesome. I have a front loading washer, and I use 2 tablespoons of powder in with the clothes. The stain fighting is phenomenal! Not to mention the price- it cost me around $23 for a 10 month supply! 


I will definitely be making this again when we run out. I thought about packaging it pretty to give away at Christmas, but that might be weird. What is the message behind fabulous cleaning and smelling laundry soap? 

Snow Globe Manicure

The Snow Globe manicure, You know I'm dreaming of a white Christmas when I'm painting snow inspired manicures. This one is nice if you don't feel like going for the standard green and red manicure that the holidays call for. If you want to stand out and be a little different, this might be right up your alley.


For this festive manicure, I used OPI's Into The Night for the background and China Glaze's Luxe and Lush for the Sparkling top coat. 



The pictures don't do the sparkles any justice. I tried a few times!



What festive manicures are you girls wearing this December?


This post inspired by Five  Minute Friday-  Lisa Jo Baker organizes Mommy writers here: 


Wonder, today I took my son to Sears, not a normal excursion for us. There was a beautiful Christmas tree display, ornaments and amazing lights. I'd normally walk around and grab the ornament hooks I needed and run out the door, avoiding all other shoppers, as fast as I can. Today, I had a two year old with me, and his amazement and wonder at the "twinkle lights." Another mom, 3 year old in tow smiles at me. She says, "There's magic this time of year." She knows, she knows the hard parts of being a mom, are really worth it, because of the Wonder, and the Magic, and the gorgeous Happy of a toddler in the midst of Christmas, makes everything else fade. 


Zachariah and I wore each other out, looking at the displays the rest of the day, We tried to meet Santa, and we watched the Christmas train go around the tracks. But there was true wonder, wandering through the lighted trees. That moment, I will hold onto, this Advent Season. 

Online Craft Fair- Happy Cyber Monday!

Hello Everyone!
Today there is a family friendly craft fair, over at Raising Mighty Arrows! 


Remember there are many coupons available. All vendors are family friendly. I am running a coupon for Joyful Sparkle this week as well! Use BLACKFRIDAY2012 at checkout to receive free shipping on all orders this week!


It's True - I MIGHT Have a Problem

I was preparing for a Craft Show, and in an over-caffeinated state, said to the King, "I need to sell three more notebooks, so I can make 10 more when I get home!" Being a fine gentlemen, he covered his laugh with his hand and replied, "that's not really the point, now, is it?" Later on, he pointed out that I may have a problem... it seems I can't stop making these notebooks. 


So, fair reader, I propose an online sale of sorts! Now at my etsy store, there are a few cute notebooks for sale. Soon there will be many more! If you stick around I will post a Coupon Code good for FREE Shipping, all weekend long! So hurry back! They really are lovely journals, and I actually want to make quite a few more! Help a girl out! 

Store Link:

EDIT- the coupon code for the next week is BLACKFRIDAY2012 This will give the shopper Free Shipping! Hip Hip Horray as the toddler says!



I have seen some adorable bunting on Pinterest, and I decided it would work for just about any kind of party or event. It seems to add flavor to any decorations, and seemed to be quite versatile, so I decided to give it a whirl.

What you'll need:

- Scrapbook paper                                    - Sewing Machine

- Card stock                                                - Sharpie Marker

- Ribbon                                                      - Printer


Here's how I made a bunting sign for my Jewelry show table. 

First I picked my font from

Then I printed it out at size 200.

Then I cut it out using a box cutter.



I used my opening in the paper as a stencil to fill in my damask cardstock. At first I thought, "I need spraypaint!" Then I realized that a Sharpie marker would probably work just as well.


I loaded up the old sewing machine with some thread, and I chained stitched the cardstock on top of some ribbon. This sign came out really cute. 

This bunting says, "JoyfulSparkle" which is my jewelry store name. I made this bunting in 3 afternoon naps, for my show last weekend. 


I liked the way the first bunting came out, I made a second one for Thanksgiving. It only took one afternoon, so I think that the length of the bunting accounts for how long it takes to make. Note the change in font! Remember that when picking your font, you should pick one that looks, well, pretty, but also is relatively easy to read.


So if you're crafty and want to make a sign for your craft show, or you just want to add a little fanfare to your decorating, this project could be right for you.



Five-Minute Friday: it's where you write for 5 minutes flat, no interuptions, and no fear. Today's topic is "Quiet." You can play, too:  


After having the little Prince, I missed the quiet of my previous life. I had nice quiet evenings, full of crafting. Long movies, completely uninterrupted. I'd sleep in on the weekends, sinfully sleep in! 


But, now I'm used to the littlle guy, I'm familiar with all of his noises. The good noises, and the bad ones. Now, quiet scares me. He was so still and quiet yesterday. I called the doctor, at their request, I took him to the ER. So desperately sick, I was afraid to see him like that. The wonderful doctors gave him some medicine, and now he's back to himself. Talking, and Smiling, Laughing and Dancing. The music of my life resumed to normal today.


My heart goes out to the other mothers, with their tiny children in the Pediatric ER. May the soundtrack of your lives play again tomorrow. 

Make Your Own Earring Cards

I have a little jewelry show coming up this weekend. So I've been busy, really busy. I wanted to share a quick little tutorial, and a way to customize my display table. One way to do that is making my own earring cards. 


Beautiful Earrings on there customized cards.

I bought cardstock at Micheals. To make things go faster I bought the 4.5" x 6.5" size. 

I have a whole bunch of stamps, I sort of collect them, especially on sale. I use them a lot, in jewelry, in organizing, making gift cards, lots of little projects. 



These are the stamps I picked for the earring cards. 


This cool hole punch makes it all possible. It lines up nicely on it's own. It lets two pairs of earrings hang on a card. I haven't used it for that yet. Just one pair at time. 


Here's the pretties, hanging nicely. I've made these cards fold across the top, or on their side. Depending on the weight of the earrings, changes how well the card will support the jewelry. 



Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo:

Am I doing it right? How can I even tell? 


My son Zachariah, is my whole world. I stay home with him. It makes him my only priority, no work interuptions, and no other real diversions. We had a hard time of it, getting him into the world. Now that the struggle is behind me, and our lives have returned to some new form of normal, I'm no longer concerned for his life, and have now moved on to be afraid that I'm not doing it right. Raising him to be a man some day. 


I want him to feel safe and secure, learn and be bright. I want to give him the roots he needs to know where he came from. I want him to have the resources to achieve anything he is meant to do with his life. 


I'm in the midst of peanut butter crackers and hiding veggies in his grilled cheese. Wading through the laundry caused by potty training. There's no manual for this. There's no longer a nurse around every corner to tell me what to do next, now it's the two of us... and this week a potty. We will come through it fine, I'm sure. Eventually everyone uses the bathroom. But what about the next challenge, and the one after that? What if I screw up? Without roots, he might lose his stability. Without small trials, those roots won't be forced to stretch out further and grow even deeper. 


I love him, and today that is enough. He bravely goes to play with other children. His eyes on me, will I leave? Maybe I will, but only for an hour. 

Amethyst Earrings



The amethysts have arrived! I'm so excited, I made these earrings right out of the box! They are so shiny and sparkly in real life. 

My jewelry show is over and these little beauties are now available in my online store! Go check it out: 

The Garment


We get comfortable in our daily drudgery, the routine of our emotions keeping us from being as free as we are meant to be. Like wearing a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. This is fine when we are trying to get over a cold, maybe a day or two. What is your "bathrobe" made of? Depression, Doubt, Anxiety, Self-conscience, Abuse, Despair, Broken-hearted, Mourning,  you fill in your personal obstacles here.


We can wear those bathrobes to tatters, but the Lord wants to dress His children a different way.


Isaiah 61:3,  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified 


The Lord's gifts for His children are Beauty for their ashes, Joy for Mourning, and Praise for the spirit of heaviness.

These gifts all begin with the Garment of Salvation. I think of the Garment of Salvation as a beautifully tailored suit. It's is lovingly made to be very comfortable for the wearer. Every stitch is made with Love. 


Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth ; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.


God will prepare us for what is coming. The wiles of the devil, is what the Bible says in Ephesians. 


 Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph6:14 Stand therefore,having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace16 Above all, taking the shield of faith,wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication


When we repent of our sins, we make a choice. We use the gift of free-will to accept the garments of Salvation that God offers us. He will help us have the faith neccessary to overcome anything holding us back.

In the morning, as part of your routine, keep a verse ready to be read. I reccomend a verse that is applicable to your situation. I have a few suggestions, just to get you started! 

Are you properly dressed today?


-it all starts with the Garments of Salvation. John 3:16


-Have you checked in with God today? Lamentations 3:22-24


-Wearing Anxiety Pants? Change them to Confident Trousers. Phil. 4:6,13


-Depression Duds? Change them to Joyful Jeans. Ps 28:7; Neh. 8:10; Ps 90:14


-Self-Conscience Coat? Robe of Righteousness Phil 4:13


-Feeling Weak? Eph 6:14 Wear your Truth, Righteousness, Gospel of peace,

shield of Faith.


-Brassiere feeling droopy? Wear your Breastplate of Righteousness Eph 6:14


-Feeling Lonely? Prov. 27:17 fellowship; Ps. 34:18 the Lord is there with you; Ecc. 4:7-12;




Five Minute Fridy from the Gypsy Mama- She is a great encourager of Moms!


It's where you meet up to write for Five Minutes on one topic, Today's topic is Look. 


A Look or a Glance, just takes a second. To see, the facets of a problem, the hurt caused by careless conversation, and the response, seems to take time. There is a quick time reaction, or is it better to take the time to make a thoughtful response? 


A Look is a quick sizing up, and a fast jump to conclusion. React to a safer location, and away from danger. These instincts are important, they save lives. Can the speed also put limits on Speaking the Truth in Love (Eph 4:15)? 


Is looking really seeing? We have a fast-paced society, and a quick attention span. Once in a while, it takes more than a passing glance to encourage, love and support each other as women. 




Psalm 19:1-6: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.




Check out that sky! I loved seeing the clouds change as they moved down the mountains and across the valley.  Mt. Sugarloaf, MA 


Where will you find inspiration to renew the well of creativity?

Spongy Manicure

This spongy technique is easy to pull off, and is a great base for a lot of cute manicures. Today I'm working on a butterfly wing, mostly because I like butterflies. Yeah, I think that's the only reason actually!  


1) Choose your materials first, running around with wet nails usually makes something messy! In case you're wondering, Left to Right: OPI Peach-A-Boo, China Glaze VI, OPI Take The Stage, OPI DS Jewel. On the right: Seche Vite Top Coat, Orly Nailtrtion, NYC 134 French Tip White. 


2) Base Coat, I used Nailtrition

3) Pick out 3 shades in the same color family. Paint the middle shade on the whole nail.


4) Dip the sponges in Water, you'll use less paint!            

5)Paint your makeup sponge with the three colors,

in order from darkest to lightest


6) Dab the sponge across the nail, darkest color at the top.


7) Use Q-tips dipped in nail polish remover to clean up the cuticles.


8) Striping brushes have a long bristle, it helps make straight lines, even when you're free-handing. This particular brand is So Easy, Stripe Rite.



9) Free-hand the small half circle at the bottom. Pull stripes from the bottom towards the tips. Stripe across the tip with the black polish. 


10) Using the top of a pin, or a toothpick dip in white polish, and then lightly tap on the black portion of the manicure. 



11) Finish off with your favorite top coat! And you're done! 

There you have it! Butterfly wings on your fingernails! And remember, no butterflies were harmed in the making of this manicure! 






Fabric Covered Notebook

When you put together a gorgeous notebook, it's possible you may not want to use it, since it will get used up, and then you can't carry it with you again. Well, we can now avoid that problem! A re-useable cover, just refill with another composition notebook. 


How cute is that? Let's get started!


1) I made a template, by tracing the outside of a composition notebook, and I added 1/2 inch around for the seam allowance.



2) I trimmed off a 6 inch piece of the template. 



3) Cut one piece of the skinny template, and 2 pieces of fabric from the thick template. 



4) Pin right sides together and sew the 3 pieces together. 



5) I sewed a seam on the two outside pieces of fabric.


6) Pin the ribbon bookmark in place, and sew.



7) Iron a seam on top and bottom across all 3 fabrics.

8) Place the notebook in the middle, fold the fabric over the edges, and pin.


9)*Mine shows the right-side of the fabric, learn from my mistake :) You actually will save time if you pin the wrong side of the fabric, instead.



10) Fold the notebook all the way back and carefully slip the notebook off, and sew. I ironed the seams flat, but you might not have to. It's possible that the cover will be flush with out ironing the seams. 

11)   Sew across all 3 pieces of fabric. on the top and the bottom of your fabric cover.

12) Flip the cloth cover inside out. 

13) Slip your composition notebook into your spiffy new notebook cover!



Ta-Da!! How cute is that? 

*Just a note- the first time I made a notebook cover, it took me 3 1/2 hours to make. But, the good news, the second one only took me about 1 1/2 hours from cutting fabric, all the way to sliding in the composition notebook. 







Welcome- today's topic from
welcome is a hospitality word. Welcome to my home and welcome to my table.
I love the idea of welcoming to my home, but I hold back. I'm afraid of the judgement. My home isn't large or beautiful. Frequently, it's not organized and clean. Work in progress. But, it is mine own. 
I bid you welcome to my table. The fair is good healthy rice and beans. But, it is mine to share. I offer it freely, in my awkward inhospitable manners. 
Many missing people, lost opportunities with friends. Because I didn't offer a "welcome." Instead I offered a "not today,"or "Let me clean and make it all shiny." There is a lack of truth in the shiny. My truth is sticky fingerprints and half finished projects lieing about, waiting for me to come along and finsh and clear up.  

A Better Way (Scrapbook Notebook)

After about a dozen notebook covers made of the scrapbook paper, I figured out a better way to tuck in the corners. 

Glue on the scrapbook paper. Fold over the edges to make nice guide lines.


Cut a diagonal corner of the paper into the corner of the cardboard notebook. 




Now, cut the guide lines that you folded earlier. You should have cute little triangles floating to the floor. 



Once you fold over the edges now, you will see nice sharp corners develop. 

A much more reliable method to set the covers on the notebook. 

So pretty!

Composition Notebook Gets Royal Treatment

A good notebook keeps the castle running smoothly. The to-do list goes in there, the meal plan, the play dates and the small projects. How boring if your notebook looks like all the rest on the shelf, not to mention confusing when you grab the wrong one! 

Here's the stuff to get started, you can get more items as it goes:


1) You need:

a composition book



at least 3 pieces of scrapbook paper

washi tape

glue gun

glue stick

Picking out your scrapbook papers is the hardest part of the whole project, Promise !

2) Using Elmer's Glue All glue stick, I use one of the exterior papers and glue stick it down to the front cover, with at least 2 inches hanging over the edge.


Cut the corners off.

There's a better way to finish these corners,

3) Bend the edges of the paper over the edge and lay flat on the inside. Crease the paper and glue it down with a glue stick. 


Next cover the back the book the same way. Using ribbon, you can cut it into a bookmark. 

4) Glue the right side down, so it will fold over, pretty side up!


5) Use the pretty paper for the inside lining, it will cover the glue marks for your ribbon bookmark. I think it also looks classy, like old vintage books (all princesses should have dreamy first editions!)


6) I like to use Washi Tape to cover the bindings. It's a neat accessory, and I think the tape makes the notebook feel more finished. 

7) Inside the front cover I printed off a cute vintage tag that says "This Book Belongs To."


Every note book is unique. The more time you have, the more elaborate these notebooks can get. The above notebook takes around half an hour, after I have picked out the scrapbook paper.  I hope that you have as much fun as I have had making these fabulous notebooks. 


It's possible I got carried away!





Lovely Stamped Manicure

I love a nice manicure, they last for days. I think it's time well spent, if I take 30 minutes on my eye make-up and it only last 4 hours or so, a manicure is a much better investment of time. 



This type of manicure takes about an hour the first time you do it. With practice you can get it down to around 45 minutes. 

I chose a dark color, Orly's Roccoco for the base. It's a beautiful purple and red metallic with a gold sparkle. Very dramatic! I added a stamp on top of a gold metallic in a nice full nail swirl. I love the way it looks on an accent nail, but I always seem to get carried away, and just do the whole manicure. 

I started with the Nailtrition for growth as a base coat. It helps protect the nail from staining, (this color stains a lot!), as well as make it easier to remove the polish later. 



I then did 2 coats of Rococco, and one coat of Seche Vite. I needed a quick dry with this manicure. 



Then I prepared my Bundle Monster plate. I used Gold Rush by Ulta, I've tested this color for stamping, and it works great. You need to have Q-tips available in a little cap of Nail Polish Remover. Between every stamp I clean the plate. 

To Stamp:

Prepare your surface with paper towels, I use them to wipe the card in between every Stamp. 

I set it in the little tray that the kit comes with, this keeps it steady, 



Swish the polish on top

Scrape with an old credit card, or AAA membership card that has expired.



Use the damper to roll across the paint image

Roll the damper across the nail. 

*This whole process takes less than a minute. The nail polish will start to dry, and get stuck in the image, get stuck on the damper, or it will be incomplete or unrecognized. 



After I finish all 10 nails, then I Do 1 coat of Seche Vite. It makes the image stand out, protects the manicure and makes it last longer, and makes a Super Shiny Royal finish to the manicure. 



A nice little manicure, and it should last a while. It may look complicated, but now you know it's not!  You don't have to use metallic polish to finish, but it does look nice and royal! 

Meatloaf fit for Company

There was a time when the king claimed he would never eat meatloaf, so I never made it. It's a nice meat and potatoes meal. I broke down and made it one day, and it turns out he really loves it! (He just didn't know it, yet!)


Yummy, bubbling dinner! The Italian styled dish is for company, and the regular casserole is for the freezer. I love to cook ahead, it helps in the monthly meal plan, if I'm making a mess for one dinner, might as well make one mess for three meals.


I make it a varierty of ways, here's how I made it tonight.


2TB Olive Oil

8 oz chopped fresh mushrooms

1 TB Minced Garlic

1/2 a Green Bell Pepper (finely chopped)

1 C Chicken Stock

1TB Worcestershire Sauce

In a bowl:

1 large Vidalia Onion (finely chopped)

2 eggs beaten

1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs

1.3 lbs Ground Turkey

3 lbs Ground Beef

2 heads previously steamed broccoli


Ground turkey, ground beef, steamed broccoli, Italian breadcrumbs, 2 eggs all in a big bowl. The ratios aren't too important. I get in there with my hands, if it feels a little too wet, just add more breadcrumbs. 


Ingredients in the bowl


Time to get dirty- the only way to get the job done right, is to do it yourself! Take charge, Princess, you can do this!


Chopped fresh mushrooms, sweet onion, garlic, bell pepper, Olive oil,  in a skillet. 

Adding in the finely chopped bell pepper. 


Add in at least a cup of chicken stock and a TB of Worcestershire sauce, bring up to a boil, and let it cook off the liquid. The mushrooms absorb the flavor very nicely. 

Let the Skillet cool off, and then add them together, gently make into loaves, if you are too hard on it, it will toughen up. Pat it away from the edges of the pans.



In approximately 2 pound loaves, cover in a nice tomato sauce.

I used a chunky Italian sauce, backyard plum tomatoes, and a can of steamed tomatoes, with garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and a little bit of sugar to cut the acid. 



Pop into a 350 degrees oven for an hour. Out comes a marvelous meatloaf, dinner for now and later. 

A few other variations include, Parmesan cheese, bacon or turkey bacon, carrots, sausage or cauliflower, whatever you have on hand.  I like to hide veggies in my meatloaf, it helps the little prince to get his greens. You don't have to be as devious :) 

Elegant Fruit Stand

I've seen a few three tiered stands on Pinterest, like this one: . I think they are useful, and full of personality.  I started shopping around to see what I could find, just keeping an eye out for something that would make this sweet new centerpiece for the table

It's so sweet, now that it's put together. Let's see how I did it.


My original storage solution for the fruit. It's a sturdy green bowl, it does the job, but it's not quite fit for a Queen, is it?


I found these resin plates and pasta bowl at Target on Clearance for 2.67, $.88, and $2.07. I found the glass candle sticks at the Dollar store. 


I sent the dishes through the dishwasher, since I will put fruit in my bowl, I wanted it to start out clean. I set up the plates in order, making sure I had enough room in between them. 



I used E-6000 glue (affliate link) to connect the pieces together. 


I let it set over night before adding any weight to the stand.


"Here it is the next morning, loaded up with fruit. So, Cheerful! 



Let it set, then enjoy! 

Freehand French Manicure


An Easy Manicure You Can Do Yourself

Manicures can be expensive. I remember a time when I would spend $25 every other week to keep a beautiful set of nails. I do enjoy a professional manicure, every now and then, as a nice way to reward myself. But, with practice, I have been able to paint my own nails, complete with special effects, for a while now. 


1. Get the old polish off, I use dollar store nail polish remover and cotton pads, make sure that it has glycerin, it helps with moisterizing. If I used a sparkle nail polish, it will take longer! Just let them soak a bit. 


2. Wash your hands, soap and water, if there's a bit of remover left behind, it will make bubbles in your paint. 


3. Use a nice Base coat, This prevent staining and makes it easier to remove the polish later on. I use a Orly Nailtrition on my broken short nail, helps it catch up with it's friends. I used Barielle Professional Advanced as a Base coat on the other nails.

Nailtrition on the pinky finger, and Barielle Pro on the rest. 


4. Moisturize the cuticles, lotions work, as well as cuticle oils. 


5. Choose your colors, What will you be wearing this week? Any special events? Or are you just cheering yourself up, with a lovely mani pedi? I like a dark color for the first color and a lighter color for the tips. I have made a few reverse French Manicures, but find I prefer the lighter on top. This time I used Orly's Mysterious Curse for the first color, and China Glaze's Liquid Crystal for the tips. 


Left hand is two coats of Orly's Mysterious Curse, and the right hand is one coat. 


6. Let the base color dry. If you are in a hurry, use your top coat Seche Vite to get the drying started faster, usually a 5 minute drying time.  


7. Using the top color, use the width of the brush and follow the shape of the nail. Sometimes, I will go half way and come back from the other direction. If there are any bare spots, paint from the "smile" line towards the tip, like finishing a regular manicure. I use a paper towel to protect my surface. 


Painting the Liquid Crystal half across the tip, and came back from the other side to meet in the middle. 


Fill in the gaps by painting the end, add more polish to the brush. Pull from the smile line to the tip. 


8. Clean up your edges with a Q-tip dipped in a little nail polish remover. 


9. Top coat of Seche Vite. It is a more expensive top coat, but it will increase the time of your manicure by a few days. With out it, I get 2 days to a manicure, and with the Seche Vite, my manicure will last 5-7 days. best price I found is 


There you have it! A great manicure that you did yourself. Now, have a nice cup of cocoa to tip the manicurist ;-)




Organizing the Cabinets in the Castle

I loved the beautiful cabinets and pantries on Pinterest. So I thought I would give it a chance. It took a little bit of shopping around. 
I was fortunate to find 3L jars at Christmas Tree Shops. I really wanted to organize the cabinets, make everything more streamlined and matching. I've read on other blogs that you can also find similar glass jars at Dollar Stores, I checked my local stores, but I didn't find them.  

3L Jar

You can also find these jars at , or here , and here . 

I edited some labels that I found here: .    and I printed off labels that I found here, already made up: , and here . 

I washed this jar in the dishwasher. I slipped the lid off and washed it by hand. I pinched the two metal parts together and slipped it back on. 




Using Mod Podge, I covered the back of my label on a scrap piece of paper, make sure to get all of the corners. 


Quickly set the label on your jar, before the Modge Podge starts to get dry.  Next, I used a paper funnel from some computer paper to make it easier to fill this jar with Whole Wheat Flour.



One Cabinet down, four to go!

This gives me joy everyday as I work in the kitchen. These cute jars help the kitchen feel even more homemade. 


Happy Organizing!




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