Crafts · Fall

Fall Banner Tutorial


While my girls and I were on our trip a couple weeks ago, I suggested we make a simple craft together.  Neither of them having the love for crafting that I do, so I wasn’t sure how they would respond.  I sent them a picture of a fall banner and they loved it!  I assured them it would require very little skill.  They were happy and I was too!  We were going to get to craft!!!

Continue reading “Fall Banner Tutorial”

baking · children · Crafts · Family life · home · memories · Motherhood · summertime · Uncategorized

Summer Fun Series (Day Two)

Here we go – another list of fun things for children to enjoy during summer months:

front porch2a

This clever treasure box, which is organized around the principle that anything goes, has ample room for plastic bags of beach sand, seed packets, subway tokens, maps, sea glass, photos, finger paintings, invitations or even a tiny book of best friends’ autographs.


Start with a sturdy cardboard box (one with a lid), which your child can label with his name and the date. As he amasses odds and ends, he can tuck them inside or, if he prefers, glue some onto the outside of the box. To give the box a durable finish, brush on a coat of white glue thinned with water or cover with Con-Tact paper.

Make Homemade balls:

9 (11-inch) balloons (for 3 balls)
2 1/4 cups of dried lentils
Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Stretch the first balloon by inflating it halfway, holding it closed for about 30 seconds, and deflating it. 2. Place a funnel in the balloon’s neck and gradually pour in 3/4 cup of lentils, pushing them in as you go. The balloon should be firm but squeezable. 3. Snip off the balloon’s thick rubber lip. Cut the neck off a second balloon and gently stretch the opening. 4. Ease the second balloon over the filled balloon, tucking in the neck as you go. 5. Cut the neck off the third balloon, stretch the opening, and ease it over the other two. Repeat this process to make a set of three balls, or however many you’d like.
How about making some cute cupcakes on the day your grass gets cut? What a yummy reward!  Or make these for a great Father’s Day treat! This idea was on Family Fun web site.

lawn mower cupcake
Chocolate-frosted cupcakes
Coconut, flaked
Green food coloring
Hershey’s Nuggets
Black licorice laces
1. For each cupcake, mix a handful of flaked coconut with a few drops of green food coloring. Press a chocolate-frosted cupcake into the coconut to cover. 2. The mower is made with a dark chocolate Hershey’s Nuggets body, brown M&M’s wheels, and a red M&M’s engine, held in place with dabs of frosting. 3. Shape the handle from a piece of black licorice lace, then insert the ends into the cupcake.

Make a simple version of homemade ice cream –

What you’ll need:
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
Ice cubes

How to make it:
Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don’t increase the proportions more that that — a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.

Don’t forget some of the good ol‘ standby summer fun things, such as:

  • Hopscotch on the driveway
  • Hula hoops
  • Sprinkler or water hose jump rope
  • Cardboard boxes – find a refrigerator box and let the kids make a playhouse or puppet stage
  • Make Popsicles
  • Play hide and seek just as it’s getting dark. Use flashlights to tag!
  • Don’t forget the library. There are so many fun things to do there!

Enjoy…summer’s going to be gone before we know it and we’ll be pulling out the sweaters!

Denise Signature 200 px

Crafting · Crafts · home · Home decor · refreshment at home

Chalkboard Pantry Door

Pantry Chalkboard.jpg

Maybe I love chalkboards so much because I taught school, I don’t know, but I do love them in every shape and fashion!  I have them in several places in my home, but I recently saw a place for a chalkboard that made my jaw drop…it was painted on the pantry door!  “How cute is that?” I thought. I decided then and there that I’d use my leftover chalkboard paint to create that in my kitchen.

But when I got to thinking about putting paint on that vinyl door, it made me wonder what I’d do when the chalkboard love had waned in my heart?  What would I do about that paint?  Another creative thought jumped in and I remembered seeing chalkboard vinyl that could easily be added or removed from a door!!!  This was my answer!

After much searching, I found just what I needed at Hobby Lobby (where else? I should have started there!).  So let me show you the simple process:

The before and after shots:

The vinyl has a grid on the back, making it super easy to cut a straight line, thank the Lord!  Try as I might, my lines wiggle all over the place without those patterns to guide me!  So I measured the width and the length and cut it accordingly.

pantry chalkboard vinyl

Then I took the vinyl with the backing still on it, and starting from the top, I placed the sticky part down,then slowly pulled the backing away, smoothing as I went.  This product went on super well.  It was easy to pull it off and straighten it, or push out any air bubbles,

pantry chalkboard process

Here’s the finished project without any writing on it – all ready for my chalk!!  Woohoo!  It took me 15 minutes to do this!  It doesn’t get any easier.   It’s sticking really well and hasn’t pulled away, but when I am tired of it, it pulls right off. I tested it to be sure!

pantry chalboard plain

I wrote our Easter Menu on the board for the weekend, but…

Pantry Chalkboard a

it already has a new look on it!  I anticipate changing it out weekly!  Why?  Because I love chalkboards!!

pantry chalboard drawing.jpg

But wait, here’s another fun use for the vinyl!  Have you ever used the last of your cinnamon and forgotten to add that to your grocery list? Then the next time you go to make cookies you remember you’re out of  it?  Me too!  So I also added a small piece of the vinyl inside my spice cupboard so I could remember the ones I needed to purchase and also which ones were stored away in the pantry.


Not only was this project fast, it was also very inexpensive!  I used my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and purchased this for less than $5.  I didn’t even use the whole roll, which means two things:

  1. It cost me around $3 to do this fun project!
  2. I have more chalkboard vinyl to add to other places in my house!!!  Hurries off to find a place to use that leftover vinyl…

Do you have chalkboards in your house?  How do you use them?

Refresh your home with a cute chalkboard!

Denise Signature 150 px


children · Crafts · Dinner · Family life · memories · Winter

Family Friday – Wintertime Fun at Home

As promised last week, I’m dedicating Friday’s to Family matters.  Did you see the Winter Date Night I posted last Friday?  You can see that here   if you missed it.

What better memories can you create than fun in the home?  It’s wintertime, and a great time to stir up, craft up and cozy up some good fun at home!

EASY Snowman Pancakes - the perfect idea for the kids on Christmas morning and one they can help make too!
How adorable is this winter treat from Lil’ Luna?

The weather’s been cold for many days almost everywhere in the country, and if your children are used to going outside they probably haven’t – unless there’s snow to play in. The winter months can create restlessness in children and parents alike. Before there’s a meltdown in attitudes with your young ones create some fun activities they can participate in inside.

 Food and cold weather just go together, don’t they? How long has it been since you’ve popped popcorn on the stove instead of popping a bag of the microwaveable corn? Here’s a simple video to remind you how easy (and inexpensive) it is to pop it the old fashioned way! Your children will love watching the kernels pop and then you’ll have a yummy treat to enjoy together!


A fun activity on a snowy day is a snowman craft. This one is adorable!
 Image result for melted snowman craft
Making an army of these little pom-pom snowmen would stir up some creativity and fun in an otherwise drab day!
Make snowman cupcakes. Go here to see a video on how to create a tasty treat. Use your imagination – if you don’t have the ingredients they call for to decorate the cupcake look
in your cupboardand get creative!
Go to pinterest and search for Mitten game and you’ll find a variety of fun games for their age and level.
Snowman pancakes     like the ones pictured above would make a great winter supper! Let your children help mix the pancakes, set the table, even create a snowy centerpiece! Put the pom-pom snowmen in the middle of the table!

Whatever your weather is like where you live, I trust you’ll have some fun times at your house with your children. Winter memories are fun ones because everything’s cozy and homey when you take the time to do things together as a family.

Stay warm!

What fun does your family have on winter days?

Denise Signature 150 px



Tassel Fun

Do you ever feel like doing a simple craft that doesn’t take much time?  I have the answer for you!  Yesterday I worked with my little Bible Clubbers at my house.  We worked on some makeup work they needed to do for Pioneer Club and I got the pleasure of helping one of them a fun craft that isn’t just for kids!  As a matter of fact, I had purchased one of these at Hobby Lobby that wasn’t nearly as cute as the one we crafted together!  Let me show you what we made:


All it took was:

  • Strips of fabric 3/4″ wide and 9″ long
  • Ribbon pieces 9″ long

Tear the fabric into pieces.  Lay about 14 or so pieces of coordinating fabric and ribbon in a pile. (Mix up the patterns) Tie it in the middle with ribbon.  Fold them in half and tie about an inch down with another piece of ribbon.  Incorporate that ribbon into the tassel.  Fluff.  You’re done!  How pretty is this?



These would make cute gifts.  You can hang them on a drawer pull, a door knob, a lamp, a purse, a curtain tie back, a package, a bookmark, etc.  Once you get started you’ll think of all kinds of things you could add to them to embellish them and you’ll find yourself making more than one!

Where would you put one of these?  I hope you’ll make one, or two or twenty!

Refresh your crafting desire,

Denise Signature 150 px


cakes · Crafts · Sabbatical

Sabbatical Post #5 – Something Special Every Day


Before we left on our sabbatical my husband and I joined a couple in prayer.  The Wife prayed,

“Lord, would you just give them something special every day?”

That prayer came to my mind last week, and what a joy to realize that it has surely been answered!  Some days there has been something really special more than once in the day!  But for sure, there has been at least one really special moment each day of the twenty-something days we’ve had thus far!

Let me show you a few of those recent special things…


Click on the pictures to get a closer look.  From top left to right:

We had dinner last weekend at a neat place out in the country – it’s an old general store turned into a restaurant.  The menu item we love most is called a Barbecue Sundae.  It’s a mason jar layered with baked beans, cole slaw and scrumptious barbecue, and topped with a wedge of tomato that makes it look like the cherry on top!  This was my view from my table – the American flag flying just outside the squeaky screen door!

On Friday morning, my husband said, “I’m going yard saling; come go with me and then we’ll stop for a bagel for breakfast!”  We used to love to go hunt through yard sales, but we hadn’t been to one in years, so this was a fun event!  At one house we both found several Christian books by favorite authors, and I also secured a couple of kids Sunday school song CD’s for 50 cents each that I’ll be using in my Bible Club each week.  It was worth our time to get all those items – and for less than one CD would have cost in the store! Even better than the deals was the fun we had doing something spontaneous! We ended with bagels at Wheeler’s Bagels and enjoyed them out on their patio.

I’ve enjoyed having the time to do a couple of crafty things!  I made this Tennessee sign for our patio.  My daughter, Alli, saw something like this and asked me to make her one.  A man at church gave her several pieces of old wood, so after I made hers, I made one for us, too!  I love the way it turned out, and it only took me about 30 minutes, and that includes making my own TN stencil!  You can’t see it too well, but there’s an orange heart marking out East Tennessee!

One afternoon my husband made a small pot of coffee.  He brought me a cup in this pretty Fiesta cup and saucer.  How sweet to swing on the back porch and sip the coffee.  Also, how blessed I am to have a husband who is so thoughtful to search and find the perfect mug for a small cup of afternoon joe!

Alli’s birthday was Sunday, so after we each attended church, she and her husband joined us at our house for a little celebration!

Another crafty thing I got to do is sew slipcovers for my swing’s pillows.  The sun had faded the once red pillows, so this remnant fabric I found at Hobby Lobby gave them a nice, updated look at a small price!

Baking is another love of mine, as you know if you’ve followed my blog for any time.  I got to make these Chocolate Orange Cakes with Ganache for Alli’s birthday. ( I’ve shared the recipe here.)  It was a perfect birthday cake since they’re individual cakes.  The recipe makes 6, so there wasn’t tons of leftover cake.  These are SOOOO good!

My husband attended a conference one night this week, so while he was away, I took the opportunity to do some study out on the back porch.  The quiet and the view were the perfect backdrop to allow the Lord to direct my thoughts as I studied His Word!

On Wednesday I got to another project – I repainted my book cabinet.  I had painted it about 20 years ago, and because stenciling was popular then, I added the stencil.  I thought it was time for an update, so I used the same paint color that I used on my dining room table several years ago.  I also changed out the hardware, once I brought it back inside.  Maybe I’ll do a post about that in September!


I may add a touch of another color on the back of each shelf.  Still thinking about that!

It’s been fun to look for the “special” in each day.  You know, we should do that every day because our God is good and does good. Psalm 119:68

 What special things did you see in your week?

We’re on the countdown of our last week of sabbatical, then I’ll be back to blogging every weekday!

Have a wonderful weekend worshiping (and looking for what special things God will do in your life!).

Stay refreshed,

Denise Signature 150 px


How To Make Paper Medallions

Paper medallions

As promised on Wednesday, when I showed you my newly decorated wall of paper medallions,  here’s a tutorial on how to make them.  This is my method, which no doubt will may differ from other’s techniques!

  1. Accordion fold your paper.  This was a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper.   Once it’s folded, accordion style, fold it in half.

wpid-wp-1442514274675.jpeg      For the large medallions, you will need to pieces of paper.

2.  Nestle them together.
wpid-wp-1442514265641.jpeg3.  Secure them in the middle, either with a staple, a piece of clear tape or hot glue.
wpid-wp-1442514254144.jpeg4.  Open out the fan folds and secure the pieces together, making a circle.

It should look like this…


Punch a hole in the back of the medallion, in order to hang it.


The hole should be unseen, in the back of the pinwheel.

Gently hammer a straight pin into the wall.  Slip the medallion onto the straight pin to hang!

pin for hanging pinwheel

I made another smaller medallion to go in the center.  I love the contrast.  it also helps to hide where you secured it in the midle.

Now, stand back and admire your handiwork!


Isn’t that simple?  It’s also tons of fun!  Hope you’ll craft up some for your house or party!

Stay refreshed,