Friday, July 20, 2012

One of a Kind Coasters

You've probably seen this idea on the internet 20 times.  So have I.  I purchased the 4x4 ceramic tiles at the home improvement store months ago, but just this week did I take the time to make them into coasters.  Now I'm SOLD on this idea!  Sooooo cute and easy!!

I used 4 kinds of paper/pictures to make them.  Here's how it went:  You'll need ceramic tiles, Mod Podge, a small foam brush, felt, and some spray-on polyurethane.  

I took this candid photo of my inlaws holding hands at a recent family wedding.  I looked up during prayer, and there this beautiful scene was right in front of me.  Risking the thought that it wasn't super appropriate to take a photo during prayer (grin) I am so glad I took it.  I printed this on my home printer on copy paper and it worked beautifully.

LOVE this one too.  A hymn from a vintage hymn book over which I printed a neat tree that I think I found at  So precious and looks great on our piano.

This one came from a vintage book of maps I found at a garage sale for 25 cents.  My husband and I dream of a European trip sometime in the next 5 years.  This is a sweet visual reminder of that.  The colors of a map come out so beautifully in this project.

And this one is a page from a vintage children's school book.  I love the turquoise and black...two colors I use pops of throughout my home.  I think this coaster will be a favorite during the winter.  Cozy.

Here are the instructions:
1.  paint a medium coat of Mod Podge over the top of the tile
2.  lay the picture you have chosen and precut to size over the Mod Podged surface and gentlly smooth it down.
3.  Mod Podge over the top of the picture.  Let dry for 15 minutes.
4.  Apply a second coat of Mod Podge over the picture.  It will dry clear and hard.
5.  When dry, take outside and set on newspaper.  Apply several thin coats of spray polyurethane.
6.  Let dry 2 hours and spray again.  I did this about 3-4 times throughout the day.  This will help protect the finish from a sweating glass.
7.  Cut a piece of felt and glue onto the back to protect your table tops from scratching.
8.  Enjoy!  Give as gifts!  Make more!

This was such a fun project.  Very useful too.  I'm planning to make some as Christmas gifts using pictures that will be meaningful to the recipients.  I think my grown kids all need one of their grandparents holding hands after 45+ years of marriage.  Perhaps a neat set of their other grandparents married 53 years and of us married for 28 years. A testimony to the blessings of working through marriage through the rough patches for the joy of growing old together and sharing a life history of so many years.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review...My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

Bethany House Books offers a WONDERFUL program called Blogging For Books.  If you have a blog, and are willing to read and review new books put out by Bethany House, then you can sign up. They allow you about 5 choices every month or so, of new books to read and review.  I love Christian fiction, so that is mostly what I choose.  And in exchange for receiving a new book from them, I review it here on my blog, and also at  The book I most recently received and read is called My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade.  I believe she is a relatively new author.  But you'd never know it.  This was the MOST engaging story I've read in a long time.

The story line involves a red headed, 31 year old social worker named Kate, her sweet and spunky grandmother, an old family home that they are rennovating, and a darkly handsome and yet emotionally wounded ex-professional NHL player named Matt who has left the NHL after the death of his lovely young wife, and now keeps to himself while rennovating old homes.  Isn't that a recipe for a story that pulls at all of your heart strings?

Becky Wade used so many delicious and different choices of words that were just exactly what might really be said in the different scenarios in the story.  The plot had the right mix of moving along while keeping you desperately wanting to read ahead to find out what's next.  There are several side stories going on in the book as well, centering around Gram's senior citizen friends, which become a big part of Kate and Matt's life as well.  The multi-generational story line keeps it realistic and fun.

My only complaint is that Becky Wade used a few slang words that I personally find offensive...they were 'bad' words when I was growing up.  So even though many of my peers and the younger set use them freely today, I haven't really seen them in Christian fiction before.  This will make the book inappropriate for someone like my Mom to read.

Aside from that...this book is one I could BARELY put down at 11pm so I could get to sleep.  And I confess...I did peek ahead many times so that I could get alittle satisfaction before calling it a night and having to wait til the next evening to read more.  Haha!  :)  Click on the photo above to be taken to Amazon for a closer look at this book.

Thanks for visiting!!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Bethany House Book Reviews

Dear Blog Friends,

I have been terribly neglectful of my blog for several months.  I have excuses.  My Etsy shop keeps me busy almost every day.  A GOOD problem to have.  :)  My toothbrush pouches for traveling are very popular, so I am busy sewing and shipping most days.  The other excuse is even more wonderful!  My 2 adorable Grand Darlings!  Carson is 5.5 months old and Eloise is 4 months old.  I've gotten to take several trips this summer already, to spend time with these two precious little ones.  Bliss.  :)

But I want to let you know about something else that brings me joy, relaxation, encouragement, and mental vacations.  Bethany House Christian fiction books are a wonderful way to unwind at the end of the day and get my mind to relax so that I fall right to sleep when the lights go out!  They are quality, inspiring, interesting, and are something I look forward to every single night.  I'd like to share with you several that I have read this spring and summer.

An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser captured my attention before I even opened the cover. Such beautiful artwork on the cover!  And the mystery of the title and the scene on the cover drew me in.  The main character, Lucy, a young Italian dressmaker living with her extended family in New York City, is sweet and smart.  Her family depends on her to help make a living and to help lead them in wise decisions, as her father has died.  Lucy's friendship with one of the young socialites for which she sews clothes, leads her to a wonderful summer away from hot New York City, to the seaside delights of Rhode Island.  While there, she chances to meet a wonderful, wealthy young man and they fall in love.  BUT...who is this young man, and does she really have the freedom to accept his love and devotion?  Time will tell!  I will definitely read this book again in the future.  It was captivating.  I enjoyed the scenery so nicely painted with words.  I like to sew, so I enjoyed the descriptions of the dress designing and hat making.  And Lucy is a character that is easy to love.  Click the photo above to be taken to Amazon for more information.

In Too Deep by Mary Connealy was a fun book.  Ethan Kincaid is a rugged, strong, man of honor.  He has trouble expressing his true feelings and tends to try to smile problems away.  He feels very responsible for his brothers and for a certain young widow who needs protection.  Therefore, he proposes to Audra, and is suddenly a husband and the father of two little girls.  Audra is independent and strong, but is facing fears of her own.  Can love grow and flourish in such a situation?  And with dangerous crooks in search of a treasure they believe that Audra possesses?  What about the perilous cave on their land which both intrigues the Kincaid family and also strikes dread in their hearts?  Is it a friend or a foe?  You'll fall in love with Ethan, Audra, the Kincaid brothers, the baby girls, and the  determined Julia in this story from long ago.  I enjoyed reading about the workings of an 1800s ranch. Click the photo above to find more info on Mary's book.
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