Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Know You Live In Texas When...

You can say 110 degrees without fainting.

You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off.

You can make instant sun tea.

You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.

The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.

You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.

You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.

You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of

Hot water comes out of both taps.

It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets.

You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air conditioning.

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

So... What's wrong with THIS PICTURE??? (aside from the tufts
of way too tall grass...)

Or these???

This was yesterday morning at our house.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Hip To Be Square, Valentine.

If you remember, I'm currently leading out in Women's Ministry for my church family. One activity we have is a program called Women In Touch. It's a monthly meeting that's been billed as a "party with a purpose" by church leadership and is meant to be a safe place for women of Faith, (and not necessarily the same "faith") to fellowship together over a themed dinner and time of spiritual uplifting.

Some time ago, I did a survey of the women of my church to see what they wanted to have for activities - including the "action" portion of the Women In Touch nights. Craft classes got a LOT of votes. I guess women are just naturally crafty...

Since this last summer, I've been teaching a Ministry of Card-Making class - teaching simple paper crafting techniques that you can use to make cards to send to those that need some encouragement, love, or just a pat on the back.

This month we did four quick and easy cards for Valentine's Day using squares and patchwork looking designs. (Directions for each card are at the end of this post.)

This first one is taken from the design idea of Kim Kesti on her blog. I just punched it up a little with the buttons and used pen stitching instead of machine stitching. I'm not quite ready to take one sewing machine up for a class of 18...

The papers are discontinued (from Daisy D's). All of the cards are purchased in that big pack of 50 from Hobby Lobby (Michael's has them too) and all of the squares (in all four designs) are 1 1/2 inches.

The inside message says "You've stolen a piece of my ... " (insert heart cut from the front with an X-acto knife and accented with a button tied with string here).

Piece of My Heart

The second card is a super easy and fast design using the 1 1/2 inch squares matted on 1 3/4 Marvy punched out scallop squares. The paper is a pack I bought from Hobby Lobby of My Mind's Eye papers called "Love Nest". They're glittered papers and really fun color combos. I also used them in the Shabby Chic Valentine.Love Bling

Note the slight difference in the bling letters... I ran out of the "love" phrases I'd purchased (Hobby Lobby) to make my demo cards for the class and had to punt with supplies from my stash. The "l" is a "y" that I cut the short leg off from, the "o" is a lower case "d" that I trimmed, the "v" was a "v" and the "e" is an "a" turned upside down and trimmed.

I really like the "Little Birdie" stamps I used. They're from My Sentiments Exactly and there are 14 different phrases you can use. I, of course, picked "I love you".

This third design went pretty quick too. The hardest part is covering the chipboard heart and distressing it with ink and sanding.

Two tips for you:

1. For a square card design, just trim your pre-fab card down. This one is now 5 x 5 rather than 5 x 6 1/2. You can mail them a lot cheaper in the regular sized rectangular envelope. Square envelopes automatically raise the postage.

2. Find a local wholesale floral supply place... I bought this brown grosgrain ribbon (and a whole heap of other colors) for $1.95... for 50 YARDS!!! (The lace wasn't a great bargain... purchased in a pack of 3 laces 1 yard each at H.L.)

Shabby Chic Valentine

The last design is probably the fastest.

The paper is K & Co. purchased in a pad at Michael's last season. The red cardstock in the background is Bazzill.

The red square is 4 inches and all the squares are inked with a purple chalk ink this time. Just slap them down and plunk some funky bling-ie stickers on them. (All Hobby Lobby in the Valentine crafting aisle.)

Freehand write whatever you want in a stretched out script and you're done.

If you want - you can add a little coupon to jazz up your gift a little. Something like... "You get to make me dinner all week" or "I'll let you rub my feet while I watch a chick flick". Be sure it's something meaningful...

The coupon stamp is from Hero Arts. I just threw some heart punches on it to love it up some.

My Funky Valentine

Hope you have a grand Valentine's Day!

Directions disclaimer: I yelled these directions to my 10 year old son as I was putting the cards together. I'm saving time and just copying and pasting them for you here... I did fix the glaring errors I saw like when he typed "stamp I love you in quotations in green ink..."

Piece of My Heart

  1. Lightly ink edges of all squares.

  2. Adhere squares to 4 ½ X 5 white cardstock in three staggered rows with small amount of wet adhesive. (Easiest to put adhesive on cardstock and place squares down.)

  3. On reverse side of “quilt” draw large heart shape, cut out and re-ink edges.

  4. Trace folk heart shape on lower right side of large quilted heart. Carefully cut with a X-acto-knife and set it aside.

  5. Adhere large heart to front of card, accent with black pen “stitching”.

  6. Thread three buttons with twine.

  7. Ink edges of small folk heart.

  8. Write “You’ve Stolen a Piece of My” on inside right of card near the bottom. (Leave space to glue chipboard heart in place of the word “heart”.

  9. Adhere folk heart to complete sentence. Adhere one button to folk heart inside of card.

10. Adhere other two buttons to front of card.

Love Bling

  1. Ink edges of all squares.

  2. Adhere strait squares to scallop squares.

  3. Toward bottom of card stamp image of bird in brown ink.

  4. Stamp second image with “I Love You” in green ink. Align carefully.

  5. Adhere squares above stamped image.

  6. Adhere crystal letters to spell L-O-V-E.

Shabby Chic Valentine

  1. Trace chipboard heart on back of 3x3 polka dot square.

  2. Cut out and adhere to front of chipboard with wet adhesive.

  3. Ink edges of all small squares.

  4. Adhere six squares to front of card – 3 across and 2 down.

  5. Adhere lace below squares add strip of ribbon to top edge of lace. Use remaining ribbon to make a bow and glue to lower right of ribbon strip.

  6. Ink edges of chipboard heart and then distress with file.

  7. Adhere chipboard heart on top left of “quilt”.

  8. Stick pearl to center of paper flower. Adhere paper flower to chipboard heart with a glue dot.

My Funky Valentine

  1. Stamp coupon on white square with black ink. Color with markers, punch hole in top and thread ribbon through set aside.

  2. Using purple, ink edges of four small squares and large red square. Adhere small squares to large red square spacing evenly.

  3. Adhere large red square to front of card and place bling hearts on small squares.

  4. Write “love” on bottom right corner of card with a colored marker.

These copied and pasted a little weird... sorry.

Friday, February 5, 2010

By the Numbers

SILVER SPRING, Md. —While the need for humanitarian aid remains critical in Haiti, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is extending increased assistance to hundreds of thousands of affected people through the distribution of basic necessities, including food, water, hygiene items, and medical assistance, says the agency.

Here’s ADRA’s response by the numbers:

4,200,000: Water treatment tablets currently being distributed by ADRA to provide additional access to clean water for affected persons. It takes 20 minutes for one water treatment tablet to purify one liter (33 ounces) of water.

1,300,000: Meals that ADRA has distributed to survivors to date.

1,000,000: Worth of aid in U.S. dollars that ADRA committed to the Haiti earthquake response within hours of the disaster.

200,000: Number of Haitians benefiting from ADRA’s largest water purification system, which was installed on January 28. The new system can provide approximately 17 gallons (or 64 liters) of water per minute, and is currently being managed by a team of ADRA volunteers and local leaders.

153,000: Number of people that ADRA expects to feed during a massive two-week food distribution currently underway in Port-au-Prince, which is being coordinated by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Each day, ADRA will provide 55 pounds (25 kilograms) of rice rations to 1,700 families, or approximately 10,200 people, which will be enough to feed them for two weeks.

100,000: Number of pounds (45 tons) of rice, beans, oil and salt that were distributed on January 25 to thousands of displaced survivors currently living on the campus of the Haitian Adventist University in southwest Port-au-Prince.

71,000: Value in U.S. dollars of a shipment of medical supplies sent by Orlando-based Florida Hospital on January 21. The donation included 23 palettes of IV solution, IV lines, antibiotics, analgesics, masks, and other emergency supplies, which were given to the Adventist Hospital of Haiti.

55,000: Number of people who have gained access to clean water through 12 additional water points installed by ADRA and partner GlobalMedic across the Carrefour region.

15,000: Value in U.S dollars of medical supplies given for response from Heart to Heart International.

1,000: Number of pounds (454 kilograms) of medical supplies donated by partner International Aid.

40: Pallets of tarps, heavy plastic sheeting, water, hygiene items, generators, infant care supplies, and medical supplies sent through ADRA to Haiti by Harvest Time International, a Florida-based organization.

11: Number of ADRA network offices providing personnel for the ongoing emergency response.

If you would like to support ADRA’s relief efforts, give to the Haiti Earthquake Response Fund at, or by phone at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372).

To donate through a mobile phone, text the word "ADRA" to 85944, reply "YES" and donate a one-time $10 gift to ADRA's Haiti response.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information about ADRA, visit

Author: Nadia McGill

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