What A Pile of Trash Taught Me About Good Friday

The first thing I noticed was the smell of rotting meat.

I’d just flown back from a two day conference, where I’d sat elbow to elbow with CEOs and marketers for million (or billion) dollar companies, learning from a multiple time bestselling author and renowned speaker. 
Before the conference, I obsessed over what I would wear, over how I would introduce myself, over the chip in my nail polish that would surely give me away as an impostor who didn’t belong there. The stunning location and beautiful event materials made me want to shrink inside my navy blazer and disappear. 
But then, the conference got underway. I stumbled through introductions, and to my shock, no one told me to leave. In fact, they actually listened to my ideas and took my suggestions seriously. No one interrupted me, or made me feel like I was too young, or too idealistic, or just didn’t understand the way things worked. They actually listened to what I had to say, and found it valuable. By day two, I felt like I belonged – like I could be confident and speak up, because I’d be taken seriously. I was taken seriously. 
And then the conference ended. And that brings me back to the smell. 
As soon as I walked through the door to my office, I smelled decomposing meat. 
While my colleague and I were gone at the conference, some other team members had been using our workspace, without asking. They’d had some BBQ for dinner, and left their trash on our desks. 
Dirty napkins, empty coffee cups, and of course, the rotting carcass that I’d smelled when I first walked in. 
These just happened to be the same team members that we’d just spent hundreds of hours of our time over the last few weeks in planning for a project for them, and then my colleague spent two solid weeks of travel, and several late nights, early mornings, and squeezing in their phone calls and helping them even while we were at the conference. They’re the same team members who don’t fill out request forms, and demand 24 hour turnarounds without apologies or even a thank you. 
I bet it’s happened to you too, even if you don’t work in an office. A few hours after your birthday celebration, you realize that you’re the one they all expect to wash the sink full of sticky plates and silverware, and clean the cake out of the carpet. After the Mother’s Day service at church, your husband complains about the laundry not being finished, and the kids are whining about what you fixed them for dinner. You come home from coffee with a friend feeling refreshed, only to find the house is in shambles inside and your husband is so happy you’re home … so he can go back to cleaning his car.
The injustice stings. These are the people we’re trying to help, and instead of showing appreciation, they just demand more, or respond with outright disrespect.
I set off to find those co-workers. I was going to show them the photos I’d just taken of the evidence. I was going to demand an answer to why they thought that was an ok way to behave.
They weren’t in their offices. I felt a little thrill as I thought of being avenged, and I swung by my boss’s office. But she wasn’t there either. Still angry, I marched back to my office. 
I cleared off and threw away all the trash. The injustice of it still burned. 
Driving home, my mind drifted to weekend plans, and I remembered suddenly that Good Friday was in two days, followed by Easter Sunday. 
And then slowly, like sunlight rising over the edge of the horizon, it began to dawn on me. 
Two thousand years ago this week, Jesus suffered mockery, abuse, torture, and finally death at the hands of the very people he came to serve. 
But it wasn’t just for those people in Jerusalem that he willingly suffered and died. It was because he knew that I would sin that he died, so that I could be right with God.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6

Friend, sometimes we will be despised. We may actually suffer at the hands of those we’re trying to help.

But thank God, we have a savior who knows what it is to suffer. And he modeled for us servant leadership, and true love. And when he calls us to love the unlovely, he’s already shown us what that looks like.

Because he first loved us, when we were still sinners, trash and all.

DIY: Make Your State Wall Art

Home.

Can I wax contemplative for a minute? Home is both where I’m from and also where I am now. My Midwestern roots feel less like home in some ways, now that I’ve lived in a major city for almost seven years. I’ve found that living in a city changes you – the way you see the world shifts to a wider angle lens as you come into contact with a vast variety of perspectives. At the same time, I’ve felt more homesick for the Midwest over the last couple years than I have in the entire time we’ve lived in Arizona, because once I had Edison, I realized just how important roots are for support. Sometimes I feel like a branch with a heavy burden tied to it, that’s just been stuck in the dirt, struggling to stay upright.

But as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m working on this whole “rooted” thing by reading This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live. One of the practical takeaways so far has been that people who love where they live act like they love it – just think of “Don’t mess with Texas” pride. People who love where they live do things to take care of their place and show a sense of ownership. I’m pretty sure that Texans are the only people to get tattoos of their state on their bodies.

I’m not ready for that level of commitment yet, but I did want to pay tribute to my roots as well as all the amazing experiences and adventures Arizona has brought me in the last seven years – pretty much all of which I’ve documented on this blog, in fact!

At a local mom-made craft and business fair (side note: another habit of people who love where they live is shopping locally) I bought this wooden outline of Iowa for about $6. As soon as I got home, I started kicking myself for not getting a matching one of Arizona. But then, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to figure out how to DIY one – no scroll saw required! And, it only cost a few cents to make!

You will need:

  • A square piece of wood, or a square canvas for your background. I happened to have some leftover square pieces of wood from our kitchen shelf project.
  • White paint for covering your wood or canvas background.
  • Sandpaper. This is optional, if you like the distressed farmhouse look. 
  • Metal picture hanging bracket.
  • Super glue. I used Loctite 411 because it’s what I found in the garage.
  • Balsa wood – I got a piece large enough to make 5 or six states for $5 at Joanns.
  • Craft knife.
  • Watercolor paint in black and brown (you’ll see why!).
Step 1: Paint your square piece of wood or canvas white and let it dry. I also painted the edges of mine copper, because … copper. 

Step 2: Sand your piece of wood if you’d like a distressed farmhouse look. 

Step 3: Use your super glue to attach the metal bracket to the back. I know what you’re thinking, but yes, this Loctite 411 glue will absolutely hold. It’s crazy strong, and this was much easier to me than trying to find little nails to attach the bracket, but you could go that route if you really wanted.

Step 4: Google “*Your state here* outline” and print off one of the options. I found one of Arizona that matched the size of the Iowa one perfectly.

Step 5: Cut out your state, and place it over your piece of balsa wood. Trace around it with a pencil, and cut it out with your craft knife. I cut out two, so that I could match the thickness of the purchased Iowa cutout.

Step 6: Carefully sand the edges if they’re a bit rough. Balsa wood is extremely soft, so proceed with caution. Glue your pieces together if you’re doubling up like I did. I used Elmer’s glue, and put a book on top of the state while it was drying so that it didn’t bow.

Step 7: Now it’s time to break out the watercolors. Make a dark brown mixture, and paint the edges of your state. This gives it a lovely wood-burned effect.

Smudge the edges with your brush to mimic the effect of wood-burning, basically allowing the super dark edges to bleed over a bit. Then, wet the surface of the state with your brush, and go over it with a light brown wash.

It looks a little dark initially, but it will dry lighter. Place a book, or something flat and heavy, on top to prevent bowing while it dries.

Step 8: Glue your states onto your canvas or wood background! I used good old Elmer’s for this again. Once it dries, you’re ready to hang your art!
Now this wall begins with where we’re from, ends with where we are, and has some aspirational locations in the middle. 
I still have plenty of balsa wood left, and used mostly things I already had, so this project probably cost me less than a dollar to make! 
If you were going to make state art, what state would you choose? Let me know in the comments below or on social media!

Five #FridayFinds: For the Home

1. My Letterboard

If you’re on Instagram, you know letterboards like this run from $50 for a small square to $80 or more. I found this one on Amazon for $36! I’m loving coming up with fun phrases for it! 

2. My Bullet Journal

I’m hooked, you guys! After years of never finding that elusive perfect planner with the right amount of writing space, goal tracking, and calenders to keep everything organized, I finally peeked into the bullet journal trend. Then I fell down the rabbit hole and created a whole YouTube playlist of videos on this! Now instead of having three different notebooks, one for work, one for gratitude journaling, one for goal setting and tracking in my PowerSheets, I may be able to combine it all in one place!
As much as I loved many elements of the PowerSheets system, I found myself not using a lot of the pages and forgetting to log my progress on goals, because it just wasn’t portable. With the bullet journal, I can copy down the quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goal trackers, while keeping everything small enough to tote around. 
I also found this notebook on Amazon, and while it wasn’t cheap, it was so me, it was worth it!

3. Hygge

Trend alert – if you haven’t heard of “hygge” yet (not pronounced like “higgy,” but more like “hue-guy” or “hoo gah”… it’s Danish, and really hard to say!) you will soon. It’s a Danish word, and means something like what’s described above, but in home decor, relates to making spaces feel cozy and inviting. Apparently the Danes burn candles year around, like on average having 13 candles going on any given day, or some crazy high number like that. Of course – I have a bad track record of leaving them burning … so battery operated ones are probably the best way for me to go. I’ve also been drinking lots of hot tea, and taking time to read magazines for fun with a soft, fuzzy blanket after Edison goes to bed at night.

And maybe eating an occasional Cadburry Creme Egg. Totally hygge.

4. Paper bags

Yes, I know it sounds weird, and for a long time I was very confused by this trend. This one is popular in Europe, and just beginning to make it’s way over. Why are people decorating with paper bags? And why are they cool? And most importantly, why would I pay $20 for one? 
If I had to guess, I’d say these are the new fabric cubes and bins. Maybe the reason they’re becoming popular is that you can reuse what you already have. I’m still not sure why someone would buy one, but with some paint, I’m planning to DIY some Trader Joe’s bags and use them for storage in my closets. They do have a cool texture, and you can customize them easily. They’re kind of growing on me.

5. Fair Trade Easter Bundle

Looking for something better than crappy candle to stuff an Easter basket? Mercy House has these fair trade Easter bundles that come with a handmade dishtowel, cross bangle, and crocheted chick for $35. This would make a great gift!
What have you found lately that you can’t stop recommending? Let me know in the comments!

5 Friday Finds: Easy Decor Updates, What I’m Reading and Listening To

1. New pillow covers. 

Adding a new pillow cover is one of my favorite easy ways of changing the look of a room. I treated myself to two new covers, both from Amazon, of all places: the Aztec patterned pillow ($3.59) on the blue chair, and the buffalo checked pillow ($6.98)on the couch. I like the way the black and white balances the pink, gold, and navy pillows, and mixes in the farmhouse and modern look. 

2. New bedroom lamps.

Here’s how my mind works – I want to upgrade the lamps in one room, so I end up changing all the lamps in all the bedrooms. Here’s how this happened: after years using the guest room as a place to put all the mismatched stuff that I didn’t want to get rid of, I decided to at least upgrade the lamps.

See the “before:”

To do that, I bought a lampshade that was actually the right size for the big brass lamp that belonged to Brian’s great-grandmother, and I spray painted the tiny lamp and took it to work, along with the one that matched it from Brian’s side of the bed (here’s the blog post on that, with photos of how they turned out).

Then I moved my light blue lamp, a freebie from someone who was moving, to the guest room, where it actually is the perfect color of blue. Here’s the “after:”

That left our master bedroom lamp-less – so after months of searching, I decided on these lamps from Target. I love the white and gold, and of course, the marble. And I like that now our lamps are both matching – for the first time in our married lives. New marriage level: unlocked!



3. Books I’m reading.

On my nightstand right now: This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving Where You Live. I heard of this book on the Happy Hour podcast, and it sounded fascinating. After almost 7 years of living in Arizona, it feels like we’re still scratching the surface of what’s here. I’m about halfway through, and I started a long list of ideas for “loving my town” experiments.
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst. This is the kind of book you have to read slowly, to really take it all in. It’s very convicting, challenging, and encouraging. 
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. This is our current book club pick, and it’s been such a long time since I’d read it, I’d forgotten just how GOOD it is! I’ve cried at least twice, and laughed a few times, and I’m maybe slightly over halfway through, and thoroughly enjoying it.

4. Whole 30.

If you’re not familiar with the Whole 30 Challenge, it’s a challenge to only eat fruit, vegetables, and meat basically for 30 days. Read all about it on their website. This is the second one we’ve done, and sometimes the Whole 30 feels like one of those things that isn’t fun at the time, but then when you back on it, you say, “That was great, let’s do it again!” Kind of like camping. Or a rollercoaster. 
But there are some things about the Whole 30 I’m loving this time around – mainly made possible by Trader Joe’s. Sweet Potato ribbons, butter nut squash noodles, pre-cooked chicken and pork, tons of dried fruit, vegetables, and nutrition bars – it makes getting dinner on the table after getting home from work a hundred times easier. And it all tastes good.
I’m also loving cooking, to an extent. And that is, as long as it’s easy and Edison isn’t clinging to my legs, crying. That’s when it’s definitely NOT fun!


5. “Thy Will” song by Hillary Scott.



If you haven’t heard this song on the radio yet, you might want to grab a tissue. The music and the lyrics are truly beautiful. I’ve listened to it often enough that the song will get stuck in my head, and then it will be a reminder to me throughout my day at work when I start to worry, or try to control situations – not my will, but His. I’ve been clinging to this reminder the last couple weeks, as more restructuring at work was announced, leaving me with lots of unknowns. I hope it speaks to you too!

Those are some things I’m loving – now it’s your turn! Tell me what you’re into at the moment in the comments below.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. Thanks for your support!

Life Lately: Spring Is In The Air

It’s beginning to look a lot like springtime – the weather has fluctuated from the upper 80’s back down to 60’s, and back up again. We’ve had storms and rain, which means puddles!

Edison is practically a little fish – the bath tub is his happy place! He amazes us each week with the new words he tackles and just how much he understands!

My grandparents drove across the country for a visit! We sent them home with several bags of our oranges.

Grandma came to visit! We celebrated Brian’s birthday, cheered on Brian and my sister-in-law when they ran a half-marathon, and Brian and I got to go on TWO child-free dates in one week! Edison and Sirius loved walks to the park every day.
Lent started on March 1st, and with it, we began our second Whole 30 challenge. 
I’m doing a Lent Bible study also, and as part of it, I’m supposed to practice the “Sabbath,” or day of rest, once a week.  This is harder for me than giving up added sugar, grains, dairy, etc. and also giving up sleeping with my phone – all challenges I’ve undertaken. I don’t even know where to start with “resting.” There’s just so much to do! Being “still” feels impossible. 
But when I took that photo of the (clean side of the) kitchen, complete with Edison’s art on the chalkboard, it invokes “still” to me – trusting the Holy Spirit to work in me, as I go about everyday life, and wait for him. 
Coming down with a sinus and ear infection is definitely enforcing the “rest” aspect now –  but I’m hopeful that I don’t have to make myself sick every time before I learn to rest. Maybe this Lent study will help me grow in this area. 
Easter is coming! 🙂 What does your life look like lately?

How to DIY a Rose Gold Anthropologie Hurricane

I first saw these rose gold metal hurricanes in Anthropologie around Mother’s Day last year, and Brian bought me the tiniest one for a Mother’s Day gift. The largest ones cost $52, but they’re currently sold out.
If you, like me, can’t spend $52 on such an item and missed your opportunity to get it, this post is for you. Well, if you’re willing to put in the work to make it. But since you’re reading this post, I’m going to take that as a yes.
You’ll need: 

 This is what I started with: a $20 light fixture from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. I bought this originally for the insides of the light fixture, to DIY my own light fixture for the dining room, but I was able to put the glass to good use!

Step 1: Take out the innards. Brian helped me with this, because I was initially having a hard time figuring out how it came apart. When it’s done, you’ll have this: 
Set aside the light fixture innards for your future project. 
Then, Cover all the exterior glass with painters’ tape, like so. It’s tedious, but very important to get the glass well covered, with a good edge along the metal. It will save you a lot of time on the clean up!
After your glass is taped, Use a scrap of cardboard to block off the inside. You’ll have to cut it just a little larger than the opening, and fit it inside just below the rim. I neglected to do this, which as you’ll see, was not a good idea. I highly recommend learning from my mistake!

Put on a coat of spray paint primer. This will help the paint adhere to the metal. Notice in the photo above, the top of the glass is not covered. I didn’t realize how much spray paint would actually get inside, and guess what – it’s A LOT. So make sure you do cover the opening.

Also a tip I learned from watching DIY videos on YouTube – spray painting inside a cardboard box helps keep the paint contained, and protects what you’re painting from wind and dust.

Follow up with a coat or two of copper spray paint.

Once it’s dry to the touch, start carefully peeling off your painters tape. The sooner you remove the tape, the easier it will be to have a good clean edge. This step is super satisfying!

Clean off any paint on the glass with a scraper. This step took the longest for me, because I had to scrape down the entire inside of the thing, due to not blocking off the opening. 
The paint came off with the tape in a couple places, so that’s what you need the additional bottle of metallic paint for – just touch up areas that need it. 
Add candles, moss, stones, lights, succulents, flowers, or whatever suits you, and place it somewhere it can be admired by all. 
I’d guess this cost me $12 in paint, if I wasn’t using paint I already had, and $10 for the light fixture, since I’m using half of it for another project.
The tiny hurricane is the one I bought from Anthro, and I think the two of them together look like they were always meant to be!

4 Friday Finds

1. My Root Collective Boots. You guys, permit me to gush for a bit. I’ve wanted these boots forever, but like most fair trade goods, the price kept me from pulling the trigger. After Christmas, I finally treated myself to them, and I don’t know what took me so long! They go with everything. Now that I’ve broken them in, they’re super comfortable. They were true to size, and I get compliments on them almost every time I wear them … which is basically every day.

And the best part – as I mentioned already, since they’re fair trade, they directly employ artisans, providing an escape from gangs and a dignified way of providing for families.


Every dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. These boots are made for change makin’! And good news for you – when I bought my pair, I was given a special link that would allow my friends to get 10% off of their own purchase. Check them out, you won’t regret it!

 2. DIY Minimalist Videos on YouTube. I think this qualifies as an addiction. The last month was fairly stressful at work, and since I didn’t have time to do much creating myself to relieve the stress, I found that watching others create helped, plus it gave me lots of fresh ideas! I’m particularly enjoying the “minimalist” “Tumblr inspired” DIY videos. To show you what I mean, I made a playlist! Yes, there’s 45 videos in the playlist. Inspiration for days!

One of my favorites that I can’t wait to try:

3. Used Book Sales. I mentioned this on Instagram, but a few weeks ago I went to the VNSA Book Sale for the first time. All of the used books were donated and sold for charity – all half a million.

Yes, you read that right – half a million books, two days, in a warehouse in the middle of Phoenix. People started lining up and camping out the day before. My friend who told me about the sale got up at 4:30 am on a Saturday! I went with two friends at about noon, and still had to wait in line about half an hour to get it, but wow – was it worth it. I literally felt giddy – so many books, so little time, so cheap!

In the back of my mind, I wondered if there was any way I could find my favorite books from childhood – the Childcraft series, and the Junior Classics series. Both sets were old when I was reading them as kid, and when I’d looked for them online in the past, the Childcraft sets went for $100. So when I found BOTH, and the Junior Classics were $1 each, and the complete Childcraft set was $15 total – I about started hyperventilating.

Two boxes of books for $41 is about the best day ever!

4. Mom Made Market Finds. But my day actually got even better, because that same day, I went to the Mom Made Market in downtown Phoenix (shout out to AMP for driving!). We made it in the last few minutes of the market, and we made it worth our while. I brought home three prints, two tees, a romper, and a wooden cut out of of the state of Iowa.

Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the shop I bought the cacti print from. The “Low Maintenance” gray tee is from LaLa Threads, the pineapple tee and romper are from A Quiver Full (the company Edison brand reps for!) the wooden Iowa cut out is from The Treasure Hunts, and I can’t wait to make something with it.

Have you found anything lately you can’t stop recommending? Let us know in the comments!

3 Easy Upcycles You Can Make This Weekend

When you work full time and have a one and a half year old, crafting time happens in pockets at night and on weekends. Which means that projects I can start on a Saturday morning and actually complete by evening are super satisfying. Times that by three, and you’ll feel like you rule the craft world!

1. Marble Fridge Magnets

Up-cycle your old fridge magnets! For this super simple project, you’ll need:

  • A sheet of hexagon marble tiles. After looking at Home Depot, I bought these from Amazon. They were the perfect size, and the price couldn’t be beat!
  • A hot glue gun.
  • Magnets. I used my cheap old fridge magnets from Target. 

I hot-glued the old magnets to the back of the marble tiles. The one thing you’ll need to test is the strength of the magnets. I’d tried to upcycle some of those old flimsy old fridge magnets that have advertisements for restaurants, etc. on them, but they weren’t strong enough. 
Here’s the fridge before/during the magnet testing phase: 

 And after!

I love the little touch of elegance they add!

2. Paper Straw Diamond Mobile

This is one of those crafts I’d pinned ages ago, bought the supplies, made an attempt, and failed. The straws cluttered up my craft supplies drawer for months. Then one day, after watching some DIY videos on YouTube completely unrelated, I had a flash of inspiration and realized I could do this in an easier way – hot glue.

Here’s my original inspiration, from Sugar and Cloth:

This is what I started with – a tangled mess of straws tied together.

Here’s what you need:

  • Paper straws. I bought these at Target in the dollar section.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Scissors, and string for hanging.

As described in the original tutorial linked above, for various sizes of diamonds, you’ll need different sized pieces. I ended up adding to the pieces you see here, so there were a total of:

  • five 6 1/4″ straws
  • five 5 1/2″ straws
  • ten 3 1/2″ straws

Here’s the premise: instead of stringing the straws together, we’re going to hot glue them. Hot glue dries so fast, and is malleable for a minute, it seemed plausible that this would work.

Start by gluing together a triangle with two long pieces and one medium piece.

Then we’re going to start to assemble the pentagon shape of medium pieces, with the long pieces forming triangles along the sides and connecting at the top.

Yay! The top section is done!

To add the rest of the diamond shape, it’s easiest to lay it on it’s side, and glue the pieces one by one. 
Clean up the glue by just breaking off any excess. 
Add some string for hanging, or use it as a decorative item!


3. Upcycled Lamps

Before:
Note the tiny lamp on the right in the first photo:  it, and the taller version, were a super cheap Walmart buys when Brian and I first got married and moved into our very first apartment. They’re nothing special, so I considered donating them and getting something with a little more flair. And then I had a light-bulb moment, and realized that they were perfect candidates for a spray paint upgrade! 
Now, spray painted lamps can go one of two ways – tacky, or awesome. There’s not much in between. So I did my research when it came to gold spray paint, and I decided to try two different types to see what the effects were. 
This paint was SO easy to use, I loved it! I had much more control over the paint, and my hand didn’t get tired and cramped. It was easy to get a super even and smooth finish, and I liked the final color of the gold, not too yellow or two orangey. 
This paint has your typical spray nozzle, and typical pitfalls – you have to be careful to control the amount of paint, not let it drip, etc. The hammered finish helps disguise any drips, and looks really cool.
As it turned out, I needed some lamps in my office at work, so I didn’t have to rely on horrible florescent lights. Here’s how the Universal Gold turned out: 

Here’s the Hammered Gold lamp: 

Between the two, I’d probably use the Universal Gold again before I’d use the Hammered Gold again. But for just the right project, the hammered gold could be the perfect effect. 
I also tried spray painting the lampshade on the small lamp – but if you’re going to attempt that, be sure to vacuum them off really well first. 
As far as actual steps for painting the lamps: tape off the cords, placing them in a plastic bag like I did, and taping off the top where the light bulb will go. Follow the drying instructions on your spray paint, but seriously, without priming, these turned out fantastic and were done in a day. 
And that’s it! Three easy DIY projects you can start, and probably complete, in a day. While you’re waiting for your first coat of spray paint to dry, you can be hot-gluing your magnets or straws!
Now you have no excuse – get crafting!

DIY: Moss Covered Letter Art

Sometimes, projects end up in a very different place from where you anticipated starting out. This was one such project. I had a specific plan for putting some bouquets of fake flowers to good use, and this project I’d pinned ages ago was too perfect. But in the end, I didn’t end up using any of the flowers, but some other craft supplies I already had, and still loving the finished product. That’s the creative process for you!

So if some of the photos below are a little confusing, it’s because the supplies for this project evolved over the course of completing it. Here’s what you actually need to complete the moss covered letter:

Supplies: 

  • Floral moss. I bought a bag of reindeer moss from Amazon. This is great stuff for terrariums too!
  • Hot glue gun.
  • A piece of cardboard. Mine is from the back of a print I purchased and framed, but any piece or thickness of cardboard could work.
  • Photo frame. I bought this one at Goodwill for a couple dollars, and painted it to give it new life.
  • Old book pages. I bought some old books at Goodwill also, and I’ve used them for many craft projects over the years.
  • A printer.

First, decide on the letter. I chose a “C” for our last name, which seemed fitting for the entry way. I tried drawing a “C” directly onto the cardboard, but I could not for the life of me get it to look good. So, take the time to type the letter into a Word document or Google Doc, and increase the font size to fill a standard 8×10 frame.

Print your letter, and cut it out. Trace it onto your cardboard, and cut it out.

Here’s where I resorted to Plan B. Plan A was to cover the letter with moss, mostly to fill any gaps between the flowers, which would go on top of the moss. But, my flowers were too large, or my letter too thin, for the flowers to fit. So, I kept it simple and just used the moss by itself.

With some little helping hands out of the way, I carefully hot-glued the moss to the frame, using generous amounts of moss to completely cover the cardboard. 

  

Now that your letter is ready, let’s start on the frame. I’d originally painted this frame what I’d thought would turn out a nice coral pink. Instead, I’d describe it as dusty 80’s rose. Not ideal. It was much improved with my favorite metallic finish gold paint

After I removed the existing artwork, I taped some old book pages to cover the back of the picture frame. You could use scrapbook paper, sheet music, or pieces of cool wallpaper, whatever fits with your entry way vibe.

Once the frame was reassembled, I used hot glue to attache the moss letter to the glass, on the front of the frame. Then it’s ready for hanging!
Of course, after I hung this up, I stopped to read the book page. I’d used some pages from one of the James Herriot books, which if you’re not familiar, are the adventures of Yorkshire country vet. The books are full of heartwarming stories, and they bring back many great memories of watching the TV series with my family on Sunday nights, drinking tea. They also sometimes very bluntly describe medical conditions and procedures, as the pages I just happened to select did. 
So yes, the words “ovarian,” “uterine,” and “pus-filled mass” are on display in our entryway.
 The creative process is messy, after all. 

How to Make Baby Joggers From a Tee Shirt

It finally got too cold for shorts here in Phoenix, so joggers were a natural progression. I love that they’re stretchy and allow for plenty of running, crawling, and climbing.
Edison’s hoodie in the photos above, if you’re curious, is from A Quiver Full. Use the code “JESUS” for 20% off!
This project has been sitting on my Pinterest board for ages, and I finally did it! If my photos and directions below don’t make sense, check out the original tutorial I followed here. These really do take half an hour, or less! I made two pairs during one nap-time.

You will need: 

  • An adult tee shirt. I used an old shirt from Loft. 
  • 1/2 wide elastic for the waistband.
  • Paper for your pattern. 
  • A sewing machine and thread, scissors, etc.

Step 1: Make your pattern. On a large piece of paper, mark the waistband of the pants, and then the crotch, and then the ends of the legs on your paper, and fill in the sides. Add an inch to the top, because this will be folded over to make your waistband. Add a half inch around the edge, for your seam. Your patter should look a little more square than the pair of pants you’re tracing.

Step Two: Cut out your pieces.  Place your tee shirt on a flat surface, making sure the hem lines up. Then pin your pattern to the tee, lining up the legs with the bottom of the shirt (I didn’t get the left leg lined up perfectly, but ideally, they should both line up). Then cut through both layers of the tee.

Step Three: Turn the pieces so the right sides are together. Then, sew a quarter inch seam around the pant legs.

Step 4: Fold over your waistband, and sew down the edge, leaving a gap of a couple inches for putting in the elastic.

Step Five: Going off of the existing pair of pants you used for your pattern, measure your elastic and cut it to that size. Push a safety pin through one end, and then feed it through the hole you left in the waistband, and pull all the way through. 

Once you have the elastic all the way through, you’ll need to sew the ends of the elastic together. fold them over each other, and sew a few lines up and down to tack them together. Above, I’ve done it on a second pair of pants. Getting the elastic under the sewing machine is probably the most tricky part of this whole thing.


Step Six: Once the elastic is back inside, sew the gap closed, and turn right side out. 
Tada! Happy Christmas crafting! And enjoy some more photos of Edison modeling 🙂
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