Quick Tip – Transferring Letters Part II/Defeating the Wind

One of my blogging promises has been to post on projects or plans that don’t work as planned. Yesterday, after hanging my newly crafted plaque, I looked out the window to see an empty hook. The plaque was lying topsy-turvy on the front lawn, the wire I used to hang it broken and frayed. Hmmmm….my plaque was behaving more like a windmill than a sign of peace. What was the solution?

I tried taping first…electrical tape, duct tape. My next idea was a shepherd’s hook positioned directly beneath the plaque. None of my solutions worked. Finally, the answer dawned on me. I needed to keep the plaque steady by stabilizing more than just the center of the hanger, which by the way I replaced with a sturdy leather lace.

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Success!!! After moving the plaque closer to the house to block some of the wind, I found two hooks worked to keep the plaque from wildly swinging, and my “PEACE ON EARTH” stayed firmly in place through a very windy night. The moral of my tale: Sometimes two hooks work better than one.

Quick Tip – Transferring Letters

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Creating this simple ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ plaque was easy and inexpensive. A scrap piece of wood would work just as well as a purchased plaque. I used FolkArt artist pigments for the best possible coverage. Because I wanted the wood to look rustic I only gave it one coat of Napthol Crimson.

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The Napthol Crimson alone was a little brighter than I expected; I used Liquitex Transparent Burnt Umber Ink to antique the plaque. It worked perfectly. Quick Tip: Use a disposable brush to apply the ink, wipe off quickly to remove the majority of the color.

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I chose a font and printed out letters in the size I desired for the plaque. I was lucky, you can see I almost ran out of ink. To transfer these letters to the plaque I colored over the back with a piece of children’s sidewalk chalk.

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Taped onto the front of the plaque with painter’s tape, I was able to trace around the edges of these letters with a ballpoint pen and transfer the chalk to the plaque. The outline is easy to see, yet any residue left behind after painting can wiped away when the paint is dry.

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I used a gold acrylic paint to fill in the letters. A swipe of black paint along the right sides gave the letters a bit of shadowy dimension.

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PEACE ON EARTH TO ALL MY BLOGGING FRIENDS! A BLESSED DECEMBER TO YOU.

Quote – December 1st

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I’m excited about December and Christmas this year. I’ve decorated, most presents are purchased or ordered, and I have a few good ideas for dinners and get-togethers with family and friends.

The weather hasn’t exactly been smiling with me in anticipation. Our skies have been dreary, but the rain that’s been coming down was needed; I am thankful for it. Dusk begins early in December; the darkness can creep into your attitude if you let it. Birds, like this perky robin, bring me a lot of cheer throughout the winter. Robins were once a sign of spring in our area, but now, like the flocks of geese, many seem to overwinter here. I’m grateful for them, and the sweet, “Cheep, cheep, cheerio,” of their song.

 

Project & Pinterest – Headache Salve and Tin

I kid you not…I have pinned thousands of items on Pinterest. If I live for another 300 years I still would never have enough time to do all the projects I’ve pinned.

Last night, through Pinterest, I came upon a recipe for headache salve from the blog Confessions of an Overworked Mom. Her recipe and instructions are easy and the salve turns out great. Combine coconut oil and a few drops of essential oils in a glass bowl and gently heat over a bowl of hot water. The gentle smell of the salve is comforting.  Massaged into your temples when you have a headache, or an overload of stress, would bring some natural, non-chemical relief. Check out Overworked Mom’s post for step-by-step instructions.

I combined making the headache salve with a project. I upcycled an old Altoid tin I had on hand into a pretty container for the salve.

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Before you make the salve, prepare your container. Wipe out an Altoid tin with a soft cloth or napkin. You will also need a thin piece of cardboard and a picture or design of some kind. I used a page from an old Mary Engelbreit calendar.

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Trace the shape of the tin top onto a piece of thin cardboard. I used a piece of an old tissue box.

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Cut out the cardboard, about an 1/8 of an inch smaller than the traced line. I wanted the pretty color of the Altoid tin to frame the finished picture.

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Trace cardboard shape onto the back of the picture or design you have chosen to use. Make sure you have half an inch of extra paper for wrapping around the edge of the cardboard.

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Clip the edges of this excess paper to the line you traced. I used Mod-Podge to glue the picture to the cardboard, wrapping the excess paper around the sides and gluing them to the back of the cardboard.

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I used non-toxic glue to attach the picture to the top of the tin, and applied a thin coat of Mod-Podge to the picture to waterproof it. Let tin dry completely before adding salve.

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I filled the tin with the liquefied headache salve. In the coolness of the house it quickly hardened. In the summertime you will need to store the tin in the refrigerator. Coconut oil liquefies in the heat of the summer.

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I’m pleased I finally got around to making use of one of my Pinterest pins. Give the salve a try. You don’t need to make a fancy container, any tin or jar will do.

The salve would make a nice Christmas present for someone who appreciates handmade gifts. One caution…if the coconut oil becomes warm it WILL liquefy again. Keep in a cool spot. A little dab is all you need to massage into your temples.

* Look up upcycling altoid tins on Pinterest if you want to be amazed and inspired. You will quickly realize why I’ve pinned projects by the thousands. Oh the fun you can have with what others consider a piece of trash.

Phavorites – Fixer Upper

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Season Four of ‘Fixer Upper’ premieres tonight on HGTV at 9:00. I’m looking forward to another season of watching Chip and Joanna Gaines transform shabby houses and yards into unique and beautiful homes and landscapes.

If you have a chance take a look at their new magazine and book, just out this month on newsstands and in bookstores. The book can also be found on their website Magnolia Market.

Quote – Rest Time – C.H. Spurgeon

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Yesterday was a “glitchy” day. Anyone who uses technology, whether it is a computer, cell phone, tablet, etc., has had a day when you suddenly hit a technological brick wall. I walked away, eventually resetting my computer. Thankfully, I don’t think I lost any of my files.

In the midst of the computer aggravation, and the setting to right of the house and kitchen after the holiday feasts; I found myself at a loss for a Sabbath Day post. I gazed out the back window at the dreary weather and spied this little Junco perched in the wind-swept branches of a backyard pine, at rest, regardless of the strong winds wildly swaying the boughs. His stance was the perfect object lesson for my moment of turmoil. I’ve made up my mind, that today, and hopefully in the next few weeks too, I’m going to be as serene as that small bird no matter what blows my way.

A perfect reminder for finding rest is in this wise quote of C.H. Spurgeon, a well-known preacher in the 1800’s. Here is his quote again, a little easier to make out than craning one’s neck to read the words around the photograph.

“Rest time is not waste time.
It is economy to gather fresh strength…
It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.
In the long run,
we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Plant – Thanksgiving Cactus

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I’ve been to the store yet again this week, gathering, gathering, gathering what I need in anticipation of the dinners I’ll be preparing tonight, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after. I’m excited at the prospect of having those I love at our dinner table.

I’ve brought my Thanksgiving cactus upstairs from its usual home in a bright basement window well. The plant will be the centerpiece for my dining-room table. Throughout the summer months the cactus thrives on the screened-in porch. I water this plant once every three weeks. Too much water will doom the succulent leaves to a soggy death. Better to underwater than overwater succulent plants. The cactus is rewarding me for my near-neglect with many buds. I will enjoy its blossom time over the next few weeks of the holiday season.

Phriends – Copycat

It is the week of Thanksgiving. A good time to dwell on the aspects of life that fill your heart with gratitude. Always, first in my thoughts of gratitude is the indwelling of God’s Spirit within me, and the gift of salvation he has given me. Another gift I am grateful for is my family and home. I also want to express gratitude to the people who visit my blog and add another aspect of goodness to my life. One of these is my friend Susie, writer of the blog Susieshy45.

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I started the day having a good conversation with Susie through the blog comment section, and then visited her blog, and found inspiration for today’s post by being a bit of a copycat. Susie wrote today of nurturing a stray cat, and it reminded me of a sweet little stray I met in Jamaica. The adorable little kitten lived in a grated window well near our room. It fills my heart with thanksgiving to know that all around the world there are people like Susie, who have good hearts, and who, through blogging, I have met and consider my friend.

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I am filled with gratitude for all of you who visit my blog. Thank you!

Planting – Motivated on Monday/Sprouts & Microgreens

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Winter arrived Saturday night here in southern New Jersey. We had watched the forecasts, knew she was barreling toward us, and sure enough we heard the knock of her wind right before we went to bed. Sunday morning dawned cold and blustery. Our mailbox was a casualty, knocked off our porch, we found it on the neighbor’s front lawn.

Gardeners, like me, are probably mourning the end of the season. The good news is the first of the seed catalogs has already arrived at my house. At this time of year, I also appreciate my sprout and micro-green seeds. The nutrient-packed food they produce is not only good for my body, but an excellent remedy for the grief the gardener in me feels when outdoor planting and harvesting comes to an end.

If you have leftover vegetable seeds from the garden, many of them can be grown as microgreens.

Perspective – Here’s to Percolation

Percolation (from Latin percōlāre, “to filter” or “trickle through”)

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When we camp in a campground without electric hook-ups, we often use a percolator for making coffee. According to Wikipedia, coffee percolators went out of fashion in the 1970’s in favor of automatic drip coffee makers. Percolated coffee is often strong, and drinking a few mouthfuls might put ‘hair on your chest.’

I use the process of percolation in my creative thinking and projects. Often I’ll have a vague idea, nothing concrete will come of it, but it percolates away in my subconscious, gaining strength for the right moment to emerge as a fully formed idea or insight.

I also use percolation in my Bible reading and devotions. There are times I don’t immediately understand how a verse or chapter applies to my life. I am confident though, that as I read, the truth of God’s Word will take root within me.  There have been countless times in my life that the Holy Spirit has brought to the forefront of my thoughts a verse or chapter I have read in the past that will perfectly illuminate a current situation or problem. When you percolate the goodness of God’s Word through your heart, mind  and spirit, you will find many instances when his Good News will bless your life with exactly the guidance, promise and love you need to better live for Him.

Phavorites – Throwback Thursday/Aspenglow by John Denver

“Aspenglow was written about Aspen, which is a resort town in Colorado. They have a celebration every year called Winterskol where many skiers come down the mountain holding torches, thus the Aspen glow.” ~ Songfacts.com

I bought this first as a vinyl album, oh let’s see, probably many decades ago. Smile! I recently saw it in CD form in a Christmas Music Display. I’ve played it several times since then. A gorgeous song filled with beautiful words and sound effects.

Photograph – Ailanthus Webworm Moth

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I spotted an Ailanthus Webworm today when I looked out my window at the morning sky. I love finding examples, such as this moth’s beautiful coloring, of God’s artistry in the world around me. The moth is out of his element, since he is a tropical moth. How has he survived the frosty temperatures? Perhaps the cold was my ally in getting a good photograph of him. I gently raised the screen with the moth still on it, hung my hand and camera out the second story window, and snapped a photo.

The tiny ailanthus webworm is thought to be native to South Florida and the American tropics (south to Costa Rica),which were the habitat of its original larval host plants: the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) and Simarouba amara.

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This moth gets its name from the Ailanthus tree.

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Perspective – Cast Your Bread

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“One of the very wise sayings in the Book of Ecclesiastes is:

“Cast thy bread upon the waters, for you shall find it after many days…”

Which means: Always be ready to do a good turn even if you don’t expect a reward for it. For, some day, you will surely find your reward waiting for you. ~ Chabad.org

The photograph of the feasting fish was taken in Jamaica. The ocean was so clear you could see sand and rocks on the  bottom through several feet of water. I was prepared with a bit of bread from lunch and cast it out upon the water. My reward was an amazing view of an array of tropical fish feeding off of the bread.

“Yeshua(Jesus) said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!” ~ Matthew 4:19

I hope I am ready and willing to cast the “Bread of Life” upon the waters every day in any way I can. Let it be so Lord!

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Tiny minnows found the bread first.

Phascination & Peculiarities – Supermoon

 

img_3982Over the past few days, I’ve been watching the moon’s position in the sky through late daylight and early evening hours. I’ve enjoyed the nightly broadening of the moon’s surface into a brilliant Supermoon. The trees in my backyard often obscure my early evening view of the moon, so I begin scanning the sky as soon as the sun begins to wane. The photo of the moon was taken Sunday evening, November 13th, near 7:00 Eastern Standard Time.

This is the closest Full Moon since 1948. There won’t be another one this close, or closer, until 2034.