Deep Fried in Ugly with an Extra Large Helping of Straight Up Tacky

Yeah, unfortunately the title basically describes the recipe box I created. So, the other night after I mod podged (is "podged" a word?) a new vase I decided to do a home-made recipe box. I got the inspiration from being in Jo-Ann's. I found a little un-finished wooden craft box and some super cute paper in my sorority colors (Red, Buff/Yellow & Green!) that had food items on them! The red was strawberries, the "buff" was popcorn and the green was apples! Now before we go any further you do have to give me creative credit for the idea itself. As you will see from the pictures later there will be no credit given for the actual finished product...but let's move on. I have a lot of craft paint and I have this one color called "sapphire blue". Doesn't that just sound beautiful? I agree! So, I decided to paint my little box the dark sapphire blue. I cut out the paper in different shapes according to it's natural shape. After the paint dried I mod podged the paper pieces over it and wow! The thing just could not be any uglier! First of all, the paint went on weird and was like different shades on the wood which I totally do not understand. Then the paint did not go into the cracks and so there are random spots of exposed wood. The paper pieces do not go together and just look plain awful! I had even purchased card stock paper to make little recipe cards on the red, yellow and green sheets. I have definitely earned myself a big Fat "F" on this project BUT I will not give up. I will continue to craft and mod podge, perfecting my skills one household item at a time. For now I need YOUR help! Please give me any suggestions you might have as how to salvage my poor recipe box!!! Look if you dare:


Refried Wine Bottle

Hello March! March is one of my favorite months because it means spring, Easter is right around the corner and MY BIRTHDAY! Can't wait for it all, but today I want to talk about a craft I did last night. I have been reading blogs of all kinds because they are just so darn interesting and in the words of my dear friend, Mary Margaret, inspirational! I found one blog in particular that I like reading, J Caroline's Creative Blog, and through reading I have discovered the wonder that is Mod Podge (which I can't help but pronounce "Modge Podge"). AW says it's just glue but alas it is so much more than simply an adhesive, it is a portal to infinite crafts! I went to Jo-Ann's craft store and WOW you can really spend your life savings in there fast! They had a ton of stuff on sale plus, in the scrapbook section, they have these dollar bins filled with stickers, ribbon, rub-ons, die-cuts, cardboard letters, etc...Just being in there I kept getting all of these wonderful ideas that my poor bank account just can't support. Anyways, I went into the store with plans to "modge podge" some cute paper onto a canvas craft that I have been working on but when I got there the ideas just started flowing and I wanted to mod podge everything I could think of. Luckily, the first thing I thought to mod podge wasn't a major piece just an empty wine bottle that I have been using as a vase for the flowers my husband gets me. I like the dark green color and the shape of the bottle. I decided to find some cool paper and anything else that I thought might look good to accessorize this new piece. I found two different papers, one was thin and it was a light blue pattern and the other was a thick orange-y/peach-y colored floral, asian pattern for $.59 each. I then found these cute 3D stickers that were 40% off so they were only $1.79 each (I bought two packs). 
 I got home cooked supper for my hubby (chicken pot pie, YUM!) and got to crafting. I peeled off the label and then measured the blue paper to the bottle and cut accordingly to fit. I then cut out the floral paper in the shape of the patterns. I covered the bottle with mod podge and applied the blue paper, then I put mod podge all over the blue paper and then put the floral paper over top and put mod podge over it. After it had all dried I added the stickers and voila! -- A new vase! I also added a strip of the blue paper to the top rim of the bottle to add some balance. This was fun, relaxing, easy, cheap and you can pretty much mod podge anything you want from furniture to old wine bottles! A quick tip: I prefer to use sponge brushes with mod podge because it is so thick and with a sponge brush it goes on evenly and you don't have to worry about brush bristles coming off into it and being stuck on your piece. Let me know if you mod podge anything because I am always looking for ideas & of course I will supply you with pictures of the final product!

The cost for a new vase was (add $8 to the total if you don't already have mod podge and sponge brushes):
$1.18- paper (2 pieces)
$3.58- stickers (2 packs)


Book Review: The Valley of Vision -- Edited by Arthur Bennett

This book is different from all of the other books that I have reviewed. If you love music, poetry, prayers or anything lyrically beautiful then chances are you will enjoy this book. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions and a wonderful tool for personal prayer, reflection and quiet time. 
 I was part of a women's Bible study last year and the leader used the book weekly to jump start our corporate prayer time. I loved what she read so I ordered myself a copy off of amazon.com and I have truly benefitted from it. I, personally, journal when I pray and sometimes feel I can not adequately express myself or sometimes I am just at a true loss for words. After I journal my own words I look in the "Contents" to find a related prayer to help me continue my time of prayer and worship with the Lord. I have not read all of them or even half of them (there are a lot!) but I have yet to come across one that did not affect me. They are truly meaningful and beautiful. I absolutely love, love, love hymns and if you love hymns then I think you will definitely enjoy incorporating these prayers into your own quiet times.
  The "Contents" is broken up into 10 different categories:
1.Father, Son, and Holy Spirit               6.Approach to God
2.Redemption and Reconciliation           7.Gifts of Grace
3.Penitence and Deprecation                 8.Service and Ministry
4.Needs and Devotions                         9.Valediction
5.Holy Aspirations                                10.A Week's Shared Prayers

These categories make it easier to find a relevant prayer for what you are currently dealing with. Most days I have to force myself to only focus on one because I could literally spend hours going through several that would be relevant. One thing I do have to be careful of is not taking these prayers as the inerrant word of God because these are simply prayers written by simple, sinful men. They are not Divinely inspired words and should in no way be treated as such. It definitely shows me the power of elegant speech, which can be a little scary. If you do use this book, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember this is simply a guide and nothing more. In the preface, Bennett will explain the true purpose of the book and explain what its purpose is not. He also lists who the texts are taken from, such as: John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd and Charles Haddon Spurgeon to name a few. Basically, Bennett has taken chunks of text from these men and expounded upon them and arranged them in their poetic structure for the purpose of this book. The result is simply beautiful. I HIGHLY encourage you to use this book not only in your daily quiet times but also as a tool for corporate prayer but always remembering that, "The soul learns to pray by praying" (Bennett).
 I will include some of my favorite excerpts that I have read along the way just to give you a taste...
"The Awakened Sinner"
...I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts, that the knowledge of thyself as the end of my being has been strangely overlooked, that I have never seriously considered my heart need...

...Show me how to know when a thing is evil which I think is right and good, how to know when what is lawful comes from an evil principle, such as desire for reputation or wealth by usury. Give me grace to recall my needs, my lack of knowing the will in Scripture...And let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain, never touching the eternal spring, never drawing down water from above.

"The Family"
...O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction of my kindred. Let those that are united to me in tender ties be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory...Let not those of my family who are amiable, moral, attractive, fall short of heaven at last...