Friday, April 21, 2017

A Tip and a Project

Well hello everyone.    I sure hope and pray that each and every one of y'all had a very Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!    As I look out this Friday evening, I realize we are in a wet spell.    You know the saying, "April showers bring May flowers"?    Well, since we had flowers as early as February, what will the showers of April bring us in May?    I guess we will just have to wait and see. I noticed yesterday that we still have many of the little wild violets, purple and white, in our back and side yard.    They are so pretty.   I enjoy taking pictures of them sometimes.    I just enjoy looking at the pictures long after the little flowers have done gone.    The last time I went to church with Mom, one of the guys there was talking to Mom and me about "Johnny Jump Up's".     After finding out what they were, I told him our whole side and back yard is covered in them.     He had said that some of his property had a whole bunch growing wild and he just loved them.    Amidst all the little "Johnny Jump Up's" in the side and back yard is also some wild strawberries.    The strawberries get to be about the size of a small marble and red as red can be.    Mom asked me if I had tried to eat one. At the time she asked, I had not.    Later on I did and it's about like trying to chew on a small marble. hahahaha    I am surprised I didn't get sick.     Years ago, I seen something on tv and they were talking about the plant called the "Mother-In-Law's Tongue".     They was talking about how poisonous it was as a house plant for children and pets to be around.    It is VERY toxic.    I was at  Mom's and we was talking about it and I asked if she had ever heard that.    I can't remember if she said yay or nay, but she always had a big healthy pot of that in the house.    She had had it for as long as I could remember and still had it at that time.     I got up and went to it and said how bad can it be?    I leaned over and just barely sank my teeth into the blade at the very tip top, two or three times, and said "nah, it ain't poisonous".    Boy, what did I know?    NOTHING!!!!!     I spent four of the most miserable days of my life, vomiting and diarrhea!!    I thought I was gonna die, and at one point, I didn't even care, because I would have been outta my misery!!!     Later on I heard the same thing about poinsettias.    I know, you are wondering if I tried it, right?     Well, I did NOT, thank you!    I figured God saved me from my own stupidity once, and I was not gonna see if He would save me from my own stupidity again.   Seriously!!!     Oh well, enough of me telling on myself.    It would have been much more fun for me to tell on one of my brothers, but of all the stupid stuff they done, none of them ever done that.    I bet they would try it though, especially if it was turned into a bet.    hahahaha   We'll see.    hahahaha
Mt tip for this blog post is about eggs.    Hard boiled eggs,as a matter of fact.    I love hard boiled eggs, but I hate to try to peel them once I get them boiled.     The day before Easter, I was in the kitchen and decided to hard boil a few eggs.    I have been sick for a couple of weeks, and still not feeling well, but we just wanted a dressed a egg, so I had to boil them.    I really didn't care much about messing with them, but I did.   I put them in the pan and got the water boiling and boiled them for less than 10 minutes, probably 6 or 7 minutes.    I turned them off and immediately drained the hot water and added ice to the pan, almost filled to the top.    I set the pan aside and forgot about it for about 15 minutes and then poured the ice and water off.   While the eggs was still in the pan, I swirled the eggs around in the pan hard enough to crack the shells real good all over.   I commenced to peeling those eggs and I'm telling ya, those eggs just slid right outta those shells!!!!!     Where have I been all my life not to know that?     I'm probably the last person alive to learn this, but, just in case, I thought I would share it with y'all.    Oh yeah, and one last thing about doing them this way, they are already cold when you get done with them, so you can serve them immediately, because the ice cools them all the way thru.    Yay!!!!    Give it a try sometime, it's a keeper tip for sure!
I wanted to share another fun project that I recently done.    This was an Altered Letter Swap.     The online group I'm in decided to alter an initial for the person who's name we was assigned.     I kinda knew what I wanted my finished project to look like, but, I had to get my letter first.   hahaha      I have watched so many wonderful artists on some of the google communities I'm in do so many great things, so I decided I would channel some of those fantastic artists and see if I could come up with something half way passable.     I've watched +Heather Kraafter  in the Kraafters Kommunity do so many awesome things and I decided I would try something that she had taught us on some of the KraftItLive programs.    So, I dedicate this Altered Art Letter Swap to her.
I used gel medium and applied a couple layers of crumpled tissue paper.   Trying to let it dry in between layers.    Obviously it's not a quick project.
I worked on it in a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree.   Any new project starts and ends in that cookie sheet, if it's small enough to fit in it.     I put an ink pen in the pic to show size of the "g".    I think it was 8" tall.   It came from Wal Mart.    This was the first coat of tissue paper.
This was the second thin coat of tissue paper and after that I dried, I put on a coat of white gesso and let that dry for another day or two.
Next, I put on a couple coats of acrylic paint.     I done a project a couple of years ago where I painted the insides of 5 bottles that I had gotten at the Dollar Tree.    In order for the jars to dry, I had to drain the excess paint from the insides.     I had a plastic jar that was perfect to drain the paint in.    There was purple, copper, sky blue, silver, and gold.    The color on the project is the combination of all those colors.     I really love it.    It has become my go to color for a lot of my projects.    So, I put a couple of layers of paint on and let it dry again for another day or so.
While the paint was still wet I sprinkled on some different colors of fine glitter and then some larger pieces of glitter.     I was really thrilled with the texture I got on this.    This was still in the planning stages, and if you look real closely you can see two or three tiny little acrylic bows.     They didn't stay on there long, because I didn't like it and I can change my mind if I want too.    hahaha
So, I dug around in my tiny quilled flowers and greenery  and found the pieces I wanted to put on this project and commenced to gluing them on.    I have used quite a few of them lately and will have to cut and make some more really soon.    I brushed on some bead gel in a couple of places and then I got out my shell chips that I got from and I put several of them down in clusters and also put some in  and around the flowers.
After everything dried, again, like I said, not a fast project.  hehehe     I used my studio g glitter glue and brushed it all over the flowers, giving them some sparkle and it also adds a stiffness to them that I like.  
This is a close up of some the shell chips.   I used tan, turquoise and a blue/black color.   I just love the shell chips.   And have found out recently that I can also add color to them with some of my Inka Gold Metallic Rubs.   Yay!!!
This is a close up of some of the flowers.   The largest ones about the size of nickles and the smallest ones being about the size of kitchen match heads.
This is before I got the studio g glitter glue brushed on.
This is the finished product.
Flowers after the glitter glue.
 More flower closeups.   I really love the flowers.
Another shot of the flowers.   I know, probably too many.     But I like the looks of them and I hope you do too.  
The finished G drying and cureing for the last time before sending it on to it's new home.   After I got everything done and the way I wanted it to look, I went over the front of it one more time with the Wet and Wild Clear Shine nail polish from the Dollar Tree.    I buy 2 or 3 bottles at a time.   It really gives a very nice finish to the end project.     I really loved doing this project so much!!!!      I have another really neat project to share with y'all real soon, so be on the look out.   You heard it here first! hahahaha
If you ever wonder how much Jesus loves you, remember Resurrection Sunday!!!!    Go to the Gospels in the front of the New Testament and read about His love for us.    I am so thankful for what Christ done for me on the Cross, and I pray that your are too!    Just know that He is gonna return some day soon and claim His own.    Most of y'all, my readers, I will probably never get to meet you in person, but I am happy to know that I will get to see you when we get Home, if your name is in the Lambs Book of Life and I pray that all your names are there!!!
Well, I guess that just about wraps up another blog post for the time being.     I hope you seen something today that inspired you to tap into your creativity.     I learn so much from others and I enjoy passing on a little of what I have learned.    Every one of us has some kind of creative gifts and they should be celebrated.    So, start believing you can and you will.    It's fun and cheaper than therapy!!!   hahaha    Well, it is!    hahaha     Sometimes it's just a matter of finding what really makes you happy.    I hope as the sun sets where ever y'all today, that you can say you have had a blessed day and was happy to be a part of God's glorious creation.    I pray for a peaceful evening and a refreshing night of rest and that tomorrow will be even more blessed and wonderful than today was.   God loves y'all and so do I!    hugs and love, Patty

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Compromise and a Tip and a Fun Easter Egg Hunt

As I sit here this morning, I hear a couple of lawn mowers in the distance.    It's funny how certain sounds can evoke images and memories that had been long forgotten, just waiting to be stirred and remembered once again by such a familiar sound.    You know, a push mower sounds different to the riding mowers and it requires much more effort.    I remember growing up, there was usually two push mowers and also an old timey reel mower, that was only powered with the one pushing it.   There wasn't any of my brothers fighting over who would get to use it.    hahaha     Later on in time, our Dad got a riding lawn mower and that made short work out of a good sized yard.   But this time of year, it seems like the earth is waking up and everything is getting green and the trees are getting leaves and the newness of the green is easy to gaze upon.    I don't know if you have ever noticed it, and may just be me, but it seems as the spring turns to summer, that the green gets darker and darker in color.   Notice it this year for yourself, and see if it's me or if you can see it too.    It always seems as if the birds singing is just a bit more beautiful in the spring too.   Kinda like they are enjoying all the newness around them and they are singing to God in praise for all the beauty that they too get to enjoy.

As we think of spring and all the newness that comes with it, at some point in time our mind goes to Easter.    I think of Good Friday as the day the earth changed.    There was a moment in time on that day when Our Father could not look upon His Son, because He, Jesus had taken upon Himself, the sins of the world.    The land grew dark, because the sun in the heavens could not even cast light on such a dark and gruesome scene.    Our Savior died in the dark for my sins.    Jesus said, "It is finished!"     How in the world could such a day be called Good Friday?     Because He died for my sins!!!!!!     He died for your sins.    But wait, it is not the end of the story!    Why?    Because He burst forth from the borrowed tomb early on Sunday morning.    The cold slab of stone was no place for our Savior to lay His head.    The grave could not keep Him.    The burial clothes had to come off Him.     The stone had to roll away.    I just know in my heart that the sun was more than happy to shine on Resurrection morning!!    I would believe that the birds sang even sweeter than before.    I too would believe that the earth was very happy to have our Risen Lord and Savior, once again, walking upon the earth and trying hard to remember ever footprint that He made.    I pray that as the weekend approaches, that we will remember it for what it is.    It is the weekend that changed all of humanity forever.   It is the weekend that gave us hope!!!    It is the weekend that has assured me of my salvation through my risen Savior and Lord, Messiah.    No matter how dark the world may seem where ever you are, there is joy in knowing the risen Savior.    My prayer is that you know that joy first hand, personally.   Psalm 30:5b Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.   Joy comes from knowing the long night of tears is past and daybreak is fresh and new.    I hope and pray that every day brings joy, peace and hope to you.    And also a steadfast understanding that Christ is alive and well and will be coming back to claim His own one day soon!   Hallelujah!!!!!
I have a fun project to share with y'all today.   I thought it would be fitting to share it at this time.    In one of the online groups I'm in, we had an Easter Egg Hunt.    We were assigned a person to make an egg for.    Everyone made an egg, everyone received an egg.   My egg is a little prehistoric in shape.   hahaha    But I had such a fun time making it and can't wait to share it with y'all.    As usual, I forgot to take a starting picture and shoot thru the steps.    I don't know why I can't remember that here lately.  I'm just happy to remember to take a finished picture of the project.
I took 3 layers of chipboard, aka cereal box hehehe, and laminated that together.   Then I put fuchsia colored glitter cardstock on top of that for my base and just white cardstock on the back to write on.  I then took some copper stained glass tape and wrapped the edge of my egg.   I really like that effect too.
Next, I too a stencil and laid it over my egg and used sand and gold glittered structure paste and made the maze like pattern.   It really stands up and is rough and coarse, I love the texture.   Next I took my plain old hole punch and punched a lot of  small circles and glued those down and then put a flat back colored rhinestone and pearls on to top of each circle.  
Next, I used my spellbinders die and die cut the cross from 3 layers of thinner box/chipboard and got all three layers glued together.   Then I put a thin layer of glue all over the cross and sprinkled purple and blue glitter on top and let that dry and shake off the excess.
Next I dug around in my quilled flowers and found what I wanted to put on my egg.   There is about 20 or so flowers.    The largest being about the size of a nickle and the smallest about the size of the head of a kitchen match.     I cut greenery and put it down first and then I started placing the quilled flowers.  
Once the glue was dry, I took studio g glitter glue and brushed it on to of all the flowers.   It makes them sparkly and makes them sturdy.   Then I put a flat back gems in each that was large enough to hold one.
Last but not least, I put some of my turquoise shell chips on top of my cross.    I really enjoyed this project.    It was definitely something I needed to do to get me out of the slump I was in.    It was fun and the lady that got it was thrilled with it.    She said it reminded her of a Faberge egg and that tickled me to the bone.    I hope you enjoyed looking at my egg.   It was a joy and a pleasure to make.  I have another one all put together, just ready for me to decorate.    I will enter it in the fair when I get it finished.   I can't wait to share a couple more projects with y'all.   I have been having a great time stretching my creative muscle.  
What is Compromise?   These are some definitions that I found quickly just googling the word. Worldly Definition:   1.  an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions or giving up part of their demands.   2.  acceptable standards that are lower than what is desired.   3.  an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger; suspicion.    4.  to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal.   5.  blending qualities of two different things.    

Compromise has been described as trying to live in two worlds simultaneously.   Compromise begins when we lose sight of our first love, Jesus Christ.  

My pastor said that "When we compromise, we lower our standards!!!!"    Oh my gosh, that almost knocked me out of my seat!    When is compromise ever a GOOD thing?     Oh, lots of people will say that you must compromise in order to get along in this world. that really true?      

Jesus did not compromise one single time during His life and ministry!!!    Some say He could not have even if He had wanted to.    I say that He could have compromised just as easily as you or I can, if He so desired.    Scripture tells us that Jesus was fully human, capable of every feeling, emotion, and behavior known to us, but He "chose" not to disobey His Father.    Jesus was very much capable of sin, but He NEVER sinned, He NEVER compromised, He NEVER lowered His Fathers standards.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:30 that "he that is not with me is against me."
Jesus said in Luke 16:13 that "no man can serve two masters."
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that "bad company corrupts good morals."
Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "what fellowship has light with darkness?"
Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11 to "flee from temptation."
Paul even said in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to "avoid all appearance of evil."
Jesus even taught us that it is impossible to preach the gospel without causing offense.
It was compromise in the church of the day that killed Jesus.   Religious leaders was so jealous of Him and the power He had and the way people followed Him.   

Do you see any compromise or the lowering of standards in the above scriptures?    There can be no compromise between our convictions and the wickedness of the world in which we live.    Lets face it, we are bombarded with the worldly influence of compromise on a daily basis.   Our values and principles are always on the chopping block.    The enemy makes compromise sound like a good thing, all the while he knows our integrity, values and testimony are in the balance.    It is the enemys grand scheme for all of us to compromise our way of life as believers, compromise our convictions, compromise our morals,  and compromise our witness and testimony.    That is his plan.  

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord!   2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!   3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.   4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.

How easy is it to compromise?    Oh, one little drink never hurt anyone, said the alcoholic.    Oh, one little pill can't do any harm, said the drug addict.    Oh, surely one little look won't hurt anything, said the husband or wife, just before signing divorce papers.    Oh, how much can it hurt for me take a few dollars, they won't even miss it from the bank, said the embezzler.    Oh, they won't even know I took the car, said the teen before skidding into a tree and losing his life.    Yeah, those are a bit drastic and harsh, but every one of those situations have happened and most of us reading this can name a few people for each situation, even the teen.    Compromise never ends well.    Don't let anyone tell you different.    There are so many many many ways that we can compromise ourselves.    The enemy has bombarded us for so long with images from the media and television that we have compromised on so many levels.    The very things that the Bible describes as an abomination to the LORD, are the very things that society praises and lifts high.   Why is that?    Just because some believe that there is no one to answer to in this life or the next doesn't make it so.    

When we compromise we lower our standards.   Truth.     Compromise hurts all parties involved.   Truth.    Compromise is going against the standards of God.   Truth.

Should we ever let go of truth just to have unity?    Should we ever compromise for the sake of unity? Oh yes, I know, if we don't compromise we get called "intolerant".    Go ahead and call me intolerant, Lord knows I've been called worse before and I will be called worse than that again.   hahaha     There are some things that I will never be in unity with the majority of people and I do not regret that one little bit.  

I read a story several years ago about a parent meeting taking place at a school.    The topic of discussion of was going to be sex, sexually transmitted diseases and distributing birth control to school age children without parental consent.   One of the Mom's was livid about the situation.    She happened to be a Christian and was rearing her children with Biblical principles and she wanted to deal with the topic by at least addressing "abstinence".   The person in charge shut her down at every turn and word and so did the other parents.    They had a 10 minute break during this meeting and was encouraged to mingle around the cookies and coffee and shake hands with every one and get to know the other parents.   The Mom did not mingle and did not shake hands and did not get to know anyone, and why would she want to anyway?    When the break was over, the leader said, "I will show you how easily it is for sexually transmitted diseases to spread".    She pointed at one person and said, "Let's pretend you have a STD and all it took to get it was to shake hands", and asked who all had shaken hands with that person, hands went up.   Then she asked who had shaken hands with this person and more hands went up.    After the third person, every hand went up and the instructor said, "See, this is how important this is.    Everyone in here shook hands with someone, therefore everyone has gotten a STD."    The Mom stood up and said, "Not every one in here got the STD!   I didn't!    Because I abstained from the behavior that put me at risk for getting the STD!"    She went on to say, "Abstinence works every time!!!"

That mother was not willing to lower her standards or compromise on the truth.    What would I, or maybe you, have done in her situation?    She set her life's  foundation firmly on the standards that God set in His Word and she was not willing to compromise her standards and was working hard at teaching those standards to her children, only to be undermined by the school system.   I have high regards for her, for taking a moral stand and sticking with it.

Who set the standards that you have built your life on?    The world has little to do with godliness, so as a believer in Christ and His Word we must never let go of the truth to lower our standards by compromise.   When the world sees a Christian fall prey to compromise, it weakens the testimony of not just that one person, but it weakens the testimony of all Christians.   God has called us to make a difference right where we are, right in the very situation we are presently in.  

Around here, there used to be signs in front of the schools that read "Character Counts".     The question I have is this, does character count?    What do we do when no one is watching?    We can all put on a show when we know that we must.    But what about those down times when we can be who we really are?    Would your best friend recognize your behavior if you was somewhere that no one knew you and there would be no way for word to get back to your friend about your behavior?  

Why does compromise sound like a good word?    You know what, in a healthy marriage there is compromise.    A great husband knows when to say "yes dear".   My husband says "yes dear" sometimes to make me happy, but he would never compromise our relationship with God or our relationship with each other.    And a wonderful wife knows when to say, "this is a serious matter, and I trust your judgement".    There have been several times in our marriage that I have said, this is a serious matter and I trust your judgement.    I do not want to make decisions that I know are his to make as my husband and the head of our household.    There are a few situations where compromise can bring about unity without lowering the standards that God has set for our lives.   We just need to make sure that we are not going against the truth of God.    

In church, we can compromise on the color of the carpet or what side to set piano or organ on or what color to paint the walls or how much to pay for a new stove, things like that.    These are things that in no way should bring harm to the church body.    But we must never compromise on the fundamentals, the basics of what Scripture teaches us.   Scripture teaches  that there are some absolute truths.     Scripture teaches that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.   Scripture teaches there are sinful behaviors that will not be permissible in heaven.    Scripture teaches that there are behaviors that are detestable to God.    Scripture teaches that God can not look upon sin.    Scripture teaches that Jesus is Savior.     Scripture teaches God is Holy.    Scripture teaches God is just.    Scripture teaches that Christ went to the cross for yours and my sins.    Scripture teaches Christ was born of a virgin.   Scripture teaches that Christ rose from the dead.    Scripture teaches that Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand side of His Father.   Scripture teaches that Christ is coming again.   Scripture teaches that we must be ready.    Scripture teaches that there is a literal heaven and a literal hell.     This is just a few of the fundamental basics that Scripture teaches.   What you and I believe matters.   It will determine how you and I live our lives.    It will determine what you and I will not compromise on and also what you and I  are willing to compromise on.     It will also determine our eternity.    What you and I believe matters!!!

This is some of the things that God showed me thru looking deeper into this word.    It was definitely a study that I needed.    I just hope and pray that I can hold fast to the Word of God and not compromise the standard that God has set for my life.    Today is a new day to raise the standards for my life.    How about joining me in raising those standards for your own life.
Ok, so this is my tip of the post that is the last of 3 recipes that I will share for the moment.    This is one for the keeper file for sure.    As always, for me, a recipe is a starting place for some down home country goodness.   So, get ready to put the old feed bag on and enjoy this one.

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

-26 oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
-3 tbsp cooking oil
-2 cups chopped ham, optional   (try bacon....oh my garsh, soooo good)
-2 cans cream of potato soup (any cream of.....soup will work)
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan  (try mixing asiago, parmesan, and oregano romano cheeses....yum I always add more cheese than the recipe calls for.  yay!)
-16 oz sour cream
-8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hash browns in skillet with oil and transfer to crockpot sprayed with non stick spray.
Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Try sauteing a mix of diced onions and colorful bell peppers.    This adds such a wonderful taste to it. I also love to put a few pats real butter on top of it, this is really delicious.  It helps to crisp up the edges.   This recipe, with my tweaks to it, is over the top GOOD!!!!   I like to call it my "Cracker Barrel on steroids recipe".    hahahaha    It is so good, in fact that I put on my best southern drawl and contact my inner Paula Deen diva when I say "b-u-t-ter".    hahahaha
Well, I hope and pray that you seen or read something here today that will make a difference in your life.    I hope as the week wears on that you think of the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf and just thank God for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday!!!   God is good all the time and all the time God is good.    Sure hope you enjoyed seeing my egg, because I sure enjoyed sharing it with y'all.   I hope that you will give the recipe a try, you won't be disappointed for sure.   In all things, give thanks.  I'm thankful that you chose to stop by here and spend a few minutes with me.   Have a blessed Easter weekend and keep Christ first and foremost in it.    Always remember that God loves you and so do I.     hugs and love, Patty