Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Photos on Mini-Canvas, 9 /52

I've been wanting to try my hand at transferring photos to canvas for awhile now. I just got back from Trinidad and have tons of great photos that are just begging to be displayed.

While wandering the aisles at Michaels today I found a 4-pack of 3" square canvas, stretched onto tiny wood frames and already primed! They were $4.99 but with the 40% coupon it was a total steal. Btw if you don't have the apps for both Michaels and Hobby Lobby, stop everything you're doing and download them. Back to the DIY!

Materials needed:
Foam brush

I printed my photos on a color laserjet, at 4" square. This will give you enough room to wrap your photos around the sides of the canvas. You could also paint the edges if you don't want to wrap them. Remember, if you're going to wrap the edges, be sure you center your images with that in mind.

Cover your canvas with ModPodge and center your photo on top. Wait a few minutes for it to dry, and then wrap and ModPodge your edges. Fold the corners down just like you are wrapping a present. When that dries, ModPodge the top and sides. I did mine with two coats of the matte, but I bet glossy would look great too!

They dry pretty quickly. I absolutely love them, and wish I had bought a few more packages of the canvas!

I will definitely be doing this project again!

I decided to hang mine with a ribbon (just staple the ribbon along the back and make a loop at the top. Easy peasy! :)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Sunday, the homestretch

We got up bright and early and headed to church at Faith Assembly International. Pastor KK Bechu was the preacher - one of eight siblings, seven of which are now preachers, the eighth being the only sister. She was a teacher who eventually had a high position in the ministry of education and was able to get the government to allow a 45-minute time of religious study in the schools.

Pastor KK and his siblings, when they were children, were invited to a Bible study by a group of missionaries from Michigan. They were brought up in the Hindu religion. After this Bible study, all eight children gave their lives over to Jesus. Those missionaries will never know the impact hey had on that family, and how far-reaching the effects are! I would say that thousands have come to know the Lord, in Trinidad and beyond! I can only hope and pray that the seeds we have planted here will have even a small fraction of that!

After church several people went back to Maracas Bay, and all of us sunburned folks went back to camp. We enjoyed an afternoon of rest and were able to venture out into the neighborhood a bit. We saw a Hindu wedding parading up the street, complete with a 'party bus' following the couple up the street to the reception blaring loud music in celebration. The Hindu culture is very strong in Trinidad, homes that practice this religion can be spotted by their many cane-pole flags of different colors staked in their yards. Islam is also common, as well as a voodoo type cult (which I think only a few of us encountered during our outreach times). I believe that God is claiming Trinidad for himself, as we were able to minister to people of all faiths, seeing even strong Hindu believers renounce all of their gods and give their lives over to Jesus. May this continue long after we have left!

Sunday evening we were privileged to lead worship for a church right in our own place, at TTUM. The pastor was another of the siblings I wrote of before. We were also able to worship with their worship team, it was so fun to be able to learn some of their songs!

We hit they hay early as we had to get up at 3:30am to leave for the airport.

I truly have been blessed by this trip, stretched and grown by God. And I hope to be able to return to Trinidad soon, as I have left a part of my heart in that wonderful country.

Saturday, for the young and old

Saturday morning we split up and went to an orphanage and an elderly home. I love kids, but I don't really have a heart for children's ministry, so I chose to go to the elderly home.

When we arrived, we each sat next to one of the residents. My special friend was Elsie, who was 92 years old. She's the mother of 5, and is a grandmother, a great-grandmother, and a great-great-grandmother. She talked lovingly of her family, and there was a sweet kindness in her eyes. I enjoyed listening to her tell me her story. She had met her husband, her one and only love, when she was quite young. He played the piano at church and she was in the choir. She was engaged at 18 and married at 19. She was a teacher for many years.

Her family had a dog when she was young, an Airedale from England, he was quite a character. Bele was his name. I told her about my Roxie and she love looking at the photos of her on my phone. I miss her so much!

After awhile we pulled out the guitar and sang a few worship songs. We then started singing the 'old goldies' (as one of the locals called them). The residents truly came alive hearing hose old hymns, singing and clapping, their eyes alive with each word sung. I can only think that our bus ride a few days previous had prepare us for this, as we would never have remembered all of those hymns that morning! God truly does amazing things to prepare us for the future, we should rejoice in the small things.

After lunch we came back together and went to a neighborhood that was in need of some love. We took the guitars and djembe and did an acoustic jam session at one home. We spread out around the neighborhood and invited everyone to join us. As soon as we started singing and playing, children came from every direction!

We were able to share the love of Jesus with many that afternoon, and several asked Jesus into their hearts. One child in particular really connected with Tim, one of our djembe players (you can check out Tim & Christina's story on our mission trip blog: This kid had a gift for that drum! It was incredible!!

Saturday evening we had a much needed time of encouragement and testimony. We also praised Jesus for awhile and some of the locals came up an joined us. At one point, 3 young men came up the stairs to join us, one carrying a guitar. Not one minute later, and I am not exaggerating, Michael broke a string on his guitar. The man handed his guitar to Michael and we continued with worship! Jeremy later said that we had brought lots of extra strings but hadn't yet needed any. Amazing that God works in the little things like that, isn't it?

To bed early, we had another early Sunday service to attend. 7am!

Wednesday, outreach the 3rd

On Wednesday afternoon we went back to our host church to hit the streets again. April and I went with brother Danny, I had gone with him on Monday. We had a pretty short street to cover, and many of the families were already believers.

We came to the last house and there we're many children playing in the yard. We spoke with the two women who were sitting by the home and shared with them our purpose in Trinidad and asked if they needed prayer. The older woman said that we could pray a general prayer over the home if we wanted. As we were about to pray, she mentioned that she'd been working in the yard the day before and had a headache because of it. April and I placed our hands on her head and prayed for her headache to be gone in the name of Jesus. After we said amen April asked if she had felt anything. She told us that she had felt a tingling in her head. We were excited and told her that was the Holy Spirit she had felt!

April began to talk to the other lady, who had a red mark from the top of her forehead into her hair (which we later found out was a Hindi mark to signify that she was married). I turned to talk to the older lady once again and she had picked up one of her granddaughters and wanted me to pray for her. The child had club feet and had recently had surgery to fix it, but when the casts came off nothing had changed. I was honored and placed my hands on the little girl's feet and began to pray over her. She watched me with her beautiful brown eyes as I prayed for healing and that she would one day run and dance for the Lord. I did not witness a healing of her feet, but I am certain that had the woman not felt the Holy Spirit move in our first prayer, she would have not asked me to pray for her granddaughter.

As I watched her go off to play, she could walk quite well despite her feet being turned in, I prayed that God would heal that little girl, but if he does not, I believe that He has a special purpose for her in his kingdom. Jehovah Rafa, you are our healer!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ahhhh, de beach!!

One week after arriving in Trinidad, we finally got to see the ocean!! We drove all the way up the island, from Gasparillo (deep south) to Maracas Bay (northern coast). It took a few hours, and we went up some seriously steep and windy (wine-dee, not windy as in much wind, lol) roads. In a bus, mind you. About 5km from the beach there was an amazing lookout point where we got to pull over and take photographs. It was soooo beautiful.

We pulled into Maracas Bay and were immediately overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the place. Sandy beaches, ocean for miles, palm trees, and mountains!! All in one place!

We had lunch at one of the many stands, and I believe all of us (or at least a large # of us) got the Bake & Shark. Yep, you read that right, shark! Its the other, other, other white meat! And delicious too, by the way.

We had lots of fun swimming in the ocean and trying to ride the waves. I caught my fair share and was also totally demolished by a few as well. All kinds of fun. I also bought a few souvenirs from some local Trinis selling jewelry and handmade leather bags that were in the shape of coconuts.

We stopped at the mall by way of Port-of-Spain (which also has some majestic views of its own) so we could do a little shopping and eat dinner. Because we'd spent all day at the beach, many of us were quite sunburned, myself included. Apparently being so close to the equator pretty much renders even 70 SPF useless to a fair-skinned gal like me. I'm a lobster! One of the locals asked if all Americans were pink like us! Haha!!

We had a wonderful time relaxing and seeing God's beautiful creation. And I've decided that it is necessary for my soul that I visit the ocean at least once a year.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Worship & Intercession

We're not just here to go door-to-door, while half of our team is out on the streets, the other half is worshiping and interceding for them in prayer. This was our job on Tuesday evening. We spent four hours in prayer and song to the Lord, and it was glorious! When the outreach team arrived back at the hotel, we had a time of testimony. Several of the encounters that our outreach team had - we had prayed for specifically. Often using the exact words and phrases!! I was completely amazed, but God is faithful, so it shouldn't surprise me! He gave us those words and phrases to pray for, because He knew that our brothers and sisters would need encouragement and God's covering over them as they shared the Gospel in Trinidad.

Oh one more thing, I totally want a djembe. That's going on my Christmas list!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Outreach, the 1st and 2nd

On Sunday we woke up bright and early and headed back to the church we helped on Saturday. Our specific team was asked to lead worship for their first service, which started at 6:45. In the morning. Whaaaaa? We made the 40-minute trek to the church and they were already praying and singing when we got there. The energy was amazing, the Spirit was really moving. I am so grateful to have experienced it firsthand!

After church, we picked up another team and got back to the hotel and were able to rest for awhile. After lunch we trained with Every Home for Christ (EHC) and then headed to our assigned churches to do door-to-door evangelism. We had one local on our team, Davica. Initially she had us do all the talking, but by the end she was really taking the role (which is the idea!).

One family we encountered was really a special one for me. I felt led to one woman in particular, and when we asked if she needed prayer for anything, she told us that her husband had died 9 days ago. She invited us to come in and sit, bringing out chairs for each of us. Most of the homes here are built either on stilts or above a carport/garage area, so the locals can often be found hanging out downstairs, outside. After we sat down, my hands started to feel warm and I really felt the Holy Spirit telling me to lay hands on her and pray for comfort. I was a bit hesitant, because you can't just put your hands on a total stranger and pray for them! Or can you? I politely asked if it would be OK, and she was quite wary at first. She even left for a few minutes and I was afraid I'd scared her away. She returned, however, with another family member and then we prayed. I was able to pray peace and comfort and love into Homa's (coincidence? no way!) life and I truly believe that God will do amazing things in her home. Which, by the way, had Hindu gods outside and one of the men had a Muslim tattoo. Go God go!!

We had several other encounters with the Trinidad people that night, and I can feel God moving in this place!

We had supper at the pastor's home, and we're finally able to have the famous 'doubles' we'd been hearing about since we got here. They were delicious! We also had potato pies and Busta sodas to drink. Authentically Trinidad!

Today, Monday the 25th, we spent the morning in worship and prayer. We also shared testimonies of what God did the night before, and I was absolutely amazed at the things God is doing here. This afternoon we drove to our team's church and got to go out door-to-door again with the locals. We were able to pray for several people and their families. On the bus ride home we sang old hymns and it was wonderful. That's how I imagine Heaven will be!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm here!!

We made it to Trinidad last night around 11:30 local time. It was a long day of traveling, starting with a 3 hour drive to DFW at 6:30am. Because we got in so late we didn't get a chance to really see the island.

Today, however, we've seen a lot! We drove to a church about 40 miles away and helped them pass out the Every Home for Christ information. We'll be going back tonight for some training.

For more info and photos, check out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Button Collector, 8/52

Look at me! Two weeks in a ROW! :)

This week's DIY is all me. No pinterest, no blogs, just me! While shopping at HobLob one day I found this lovely gem (please forgive my tired, no-makeup face). The biggest button EVER!

My Mom has collected buttons for many years, mostly the kind that you pin on your shirt, but more recently she has begun collecting these types of buttons. She's found jars of them at antique stores, garage sales, estate sales. Plastic, metal, large, small - but she'd never seen a button quite this large. I decided that she must have this giant button, and I wanted to make her a 'Button collector' sign to hang in her home. I wandered around HobLob, trying to find the perfect thing to hang below the button, and I found this little guy, stuffed onto a random shelf. Perfect!

I was not fan of the beaded wire (so I removed that) or the plain ceramic front. I had leftover scrap fabric from  some IKEA curtains that I bought and hemmed when I first bought my house. They're almost a burlap without the scratchy surface.

After removing the beaded wire with some tiny needlenose pliers, I cut the fabric to size and started pulling the fabric tight and hot gluing it in place. The front is a little on the wonky side if you look super close (I got a little carried away with the amount of hot glue I used - just a thin line or squiggle will do juuuuuust fine). I let it dry for a bit and then came in with a pencil and lightly drew out the word. 

I first tried hot glue, but it was too thick and dried too quickly. Next I tried Aleen's fabric fusion glue, but I guess Aleen doesn't think yarn is a 'fabric' because it didn't stick. At all. Third time's a charm, YAY, because the cheap brand fabric glue worked perfectly. And it goes down white, but dries clear. I did one letter at a time so I didn't smear the glue.

There were two small holes in the top of the plaque (where the beaded wire was earlier), so I threaded a yarn needle with the orange yarn and pocked it through one of the holes, then wound the yarn in through the holes in the button, and back to the other hole in the plaque. Tie it off on both ends, and VOILA! I'm going to leave the hanging choice to her (you could glue a photo hanger on the back, or use those 3M Command Photo Hanging Strips to the back. I haven't used them yet, but I love their Command hooks (I'll show you my jewelry organization area in next week's project!).

I sent Mom a photo, because I just couldn't wait for her to see it. She loved it!

Total cost of sign:
Giant button - $8 with a 40% off coupon
Ceramic sign - $3.99
Glue/fabric/yarn - already had

Success! Make something this week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

DIY Chalkboard Paint, 7/52

I know. I'm 3 weeks behind! Ack! I promise I'll catch up.

DIY Chalkboard Paint

No need to pay $25 a quart for chalkboard paint, make your own in ANY color! After seeing several posts in the blogosphere about this, I knew I wanted to try it myself. I cannot believe how easy this project is. Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • Dry Non-Sanded Grout - I bought mine from Home Depot for $5ish ( I can't remember exactly), but it's a small tub. You'll only use a teaspoon or two for each project, so this could last you for AGES.
  • Acrylic paint of your choice (I only used one bottle)
  • Foam brush
  • Surface to paint on - I got a wooden plaque from Michael's for $3.99
  • Total - $10 or so (with the initial purchase of the grout)
Mix 1 1/2tsp with your acrylic paint. I used almost a full bottle (the smaller ones). Be sure you're in a well-ventilated area, the powdered grout is 'dusty.' If you're doing this project with the kiddos, I'd suggest using those little paper masks for the mixing part.

Next, paint! The paint will be a little bit grainy, and that's perfect. It will even out when you paint. I painted 3 coats on my wooden plaque. Let it dry completely (an hour or so). After it is dry, you'll need to prime your chalkboard for it's first use by running a piece of chalk over the entire painted surface. And VOILA! You're ready to go!

Seriously, that's it. Run by your local hardware store on the way home from work. There are SO many projects you could do with this chalkboard paint!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork, 6/52

Ok, so I know it's not technically a craft, BUT. I've never made pulled pork before, and this recipe is just SO incredibly yummy that I have to share it with you. And I was out of town over the weekend and didn't have a chance to get crafty.

Here's what you need:

2lb pork loin
Can of Root Beer

18 oz bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's - it is one of my faves)

That's it. Seriously. No salt or pepper or anything else.

Put the pork loin in your slow cooker, add the can of root beer. It acts as a tenderizer for the meat, and after you add the BBQ you can't taste it at all. You could also use Coke or Dr. Pepper if you don't like Root Beer.

Cook on low for 6 hours (or until the pork is done). Remove the pork from your cooker and dump out the root beer. Shred your pork loin with a couple of forks, and put the meat back in your cooker with the bottle of BBQ. Let it cook on low (or warm) for another 20 or 30 minutes. That's it.

Make it tonight.

Recipe found via pinterest here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A review AND a giveaway

The wonderful lady behind Eco-Crazy Mom contacted me on Etsy a few months ago, she loved my hats and was interested in buying one for her youngest kiddo. She was planning to do a big giveaway for Valentine's Day, so we decided to collaborate!

You can find her review here:

photo by Eco-Crazy Mom

And the link to the giveaway here:

But hurry, the giveaway ends TONIGHT!! She's giving away LOTS of good stuff, so check her out!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Mod-Podge Letter, 5/52

Until this project, I had never used Mod-Podge. GASP!!! I know! How can you call yourself a true crafter if you've never used Mod-Podge before?! I guess now I'm a true crafter. Hooray!

There's a wall in my living room that, for over a year, has sported a giant OU flag. BOOMER!! But - it is time to actually decorate that space. And don't worry, the OU flag will be used somewhere else, probably outside somewhere. Anyhow. I decided several months ago that I wanted to showcase some of my concert photography on that wall. I looooove live music, it's one of my favorite things to do. Ask anyone I know. I go to a LOT of shows. A lot.

I knew I didn't want to just make it a gallery wall, I wanted to spice it up a bit. I set out to find letters to spell out MUSIC. And I wanted each letter to be different. I now have all but one, still looking for a cool S.

For the U, I decided to get a cardboard letter and mod-podge it. I found some cool scrapbook paper that had music notes, bought some Mod-Podge and got to work.

I spread a good layer of MP over the letter, and cut the paper to fit. Work one small section at a time so the MP doesn't dry.

I added a layer of MP to the whole thing after all the parts and pieces were down. I didn't want it to be even and perfect, so I layered and pasted to cover all the spots.

I can't wait to show you the finished product. I just have to find a cool S!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Holiday Wreath, 4/52

This project involves yarn, but no crocheting skills are required. Hooray!

I've had a styro wreath since, oh, probably Thanksgiving. I was planning to do a felt rosette wreath (they're all over the blogosphere). I bought the white felt, the pins, etc. And then Yarnaholics kept me busy every spare moment of the day and I never got around to it before Christmas.

Instead of spending hours cutting felt circles, I decided to just wrap my wreath in white yarn (Red Heart, of course). I wanted white yarn so it could be used for several different holidays. This actually took much longer than I thought it would. You have to pass the whole skein of yarn through the hole in the wreath every. single. time. Luckily this weekend was HBO free preview weekend on DirecTV so I had plenty of movies to watch.


Start wrapping your yarn, tucking the tail end under the wrapped part. Wrap, wrap, and wrap some more. Wrap tightly, and push the yarn together as you go, so it's even and covers the wreath completely (for all of you OCD crafters like me).

Hot glue your end down and you're ready to start decorating. I bought this strand of glittery hearts at Micheal's. (shhhh, don't tell Hobby Lobby) I used straight pins to anchor the strand down so it doesn't slip. A little kick of red glittery ribbon and voila! Valentine's wreath!

I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I'm still planning to do a felt wreath at some point. I should probably start on those circles...