Recognizing Idols in Your Life

recognizing the idols in your life.jpg

This morning as I was reading in the book of Jonah something jumped off the page at me.

Verse 2:8 says; “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy.”

I immediately stopped reading and thought to myself, “Do I regard any worthless idols?” Mercy, defined as compassion, or as God’s loving kindness and graciousness, is not something I want to forsake so I had to seriously consider this.  

Many think of idols as carved images but that is only part of the definition. The other part of the definition according to Websters is “a person or thing which is greatly loved, admired, or revered”. 

What floored me today as I read this verse is not so much what it says, but what it doesn’t say.

It doesn’t say ;

“Those who regard worthless idols BEFORE God…”  

It doesn’t say,

“Those who regard worthless idols INSTEAD of God….”

It simply says

“Those who regard worthless idols..”

Basically this means, those who regard them AT ALL.

And the more I thought about it I had to admit, yes, I do regard worthless idols. And I’m pretty sure we all do.

So, just what are the idols in our lives? I looked up some definitions for idols and found these;

“blind devotion to something”

“making a good thing an ultimate thing”

In a practical sense then, anything or anyone which takes place of God in our hearts, or takes our passion from God, is an idol.

We can make idols out of relationships when we think we need one to complete us. We can make idols out of things (material items, education, etc. etc.) when we believe having them would make us happy. We can make idols out of ourselves when we try to handle situations in our own strength. We can make idols out of bad habits when we lean on them in times of difficulty. We can make idols out of our families when we make them of more importance than God.

However, not all these things in and of themselves are bad. We were created as relational people. Healthy relationships and family are good for us. How then do we determine if something is an idol?

In Ezekiel 14:4 in addition to warning about idols, God adds “…what causes him to stumble into iniquity.” Looking at it in this sense, our family, our relationships, our desires, our stuff can all become idols if any of them cause us to sin. If there is anything in your life which is causing you to sin, it may very likely be an idol and it may be time for some soul searching and surrendering. What are the things you have blind devotion for?

God’s mercy is abundant. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on any of it. He has been a loving and merciful God to me every single day, even when I have failed Him, just like He did for Jonah, just like He’ll do for you.

Jonah failed God. Jonah pursued his own agenda and yet God still saved him. The amazing thing about this statement from Jonah “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy” is that it was spoken in prayer from inside the belly of a fish. Jonah could speak these words with confidence because Jonah knew exactly what it was like to forsake God’s mercy; he had done it. Jonah knew he had regarded the idol of following his own agenda instead of the Lord’s.

 Just like in your life, just like in Jonah’s, there are always going to be things which tempt me into idolatry. I will always be tempted to fix or handle things in my own strength. Seeking out and surrendering those things to the Lord requires daily diligence. It also requires daily time in the Word and daily time with the Him. God is a God of abundant mercy and compassion, don’t forsake that. Then we can say like Jonah “I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving.” Jonah 2:9.


I'm Ready to Talk

(This is a duplicate post also posted at

I’m ready to talk.

After 6 months of silence...I'm ready to talk.

August 18th, 2017 will forever be the day my life changed. It is the day my entire world crashed at my feet. As I stood at the side of a cruise ship ready to board I received news which would change my life...forever.  I never got on that ship. I paid for a cruise which I was not able to take.

Psalm 46.jpg

For a number of reasons, including the privacy and protection of my family, I can not discuss the details of what has happened in my life (and to be a bit transparent, there are times that the silence just about suffocates me) but I will say that in Psalm 46 where is says:

“…even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though it’s waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountain shake with it’s swelling”,

this fairly accurately describes my life this past 6 months. The most common phrase from people who know the situation is "I have no words for you". 

My life is forever changed. But my God is not.

Just before that above passage, Psalm 46 also reads

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear”. 

This too describes my past 6 months.

He has been faithful. He will continue to be faithful. And He will continue to be a place of refuge and a source of strength, both in this storm as well as through any other storms my life may bring.

One day at a time, with the Lord at my side and cheering me on, I take that day’s steps. They are steps on a journey unknown. Steps into a life placed entirely at the foot of the cross. Honestly, I can’t think of a place I’d rather be.

Due to circumstances in my life, I have been completely absent from my two websites ( and for the last 6 months. I have known in time I would return to writing, but I also knew it had to be in the Lord’s timing, and when I felt ready…

…today, with God at the helm, I'm ready. Today I take my first step in that direction.

I want to apologize to anyone who has emailed me through either website and received no response. There has been good reason. 

In addition to plans for me and my children (mostly young adults), I also have plans for both Faithful Bloggers and for Because Liada. There are many exciting things in the works which will be unfolding slowly over the next number of months. I am working in the Lord’s timing but also in the timing I can personally handle. I have healing to do, my children and I have healing to do and I have had tremendous responsibility placed suddenly and solely in my lap with my primary business. All of the work ahead will be of the Lord, not of me and not in my it should be. 

I do not know why things have happened in my life as they have. I do not know why myself and my children have had to endure the overwhelming heartbreak and unimaginable devastation we have endured. But I do know this, I serve a faithful God and to His promises I will cling. It is from His promises I daily find my hope and my strength. It is through His promises I am each day able to take the next step to climb the enormous, overwhelming mountain ahead of me. I would appreciate your prayers as my family and I step forward in faith. We look forward with hope and anticipation. Please keep your eyes out for exciting new things with and

In closing, here are some of His promises which have carried me on this journey. These precious promises from His word are for you too.

He promises:

  • To renew my strength, and to make me soar: (No matter how weak I feel currently, He will strengthen me and although I may not be able to see it at the moment, He is going to make me soar!)

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31"
  • To strengthen me when I am weak

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29
  • To walk with me through storms.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” Deuteronomy 31:8
  • To fight my battles. (At times the battle can seem scary and so overwhelming that I want to run and hide. But not only do I not have to hide, I don’t even have to fight it, He is going to fight the battle for me).  

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."  Exodus 14:14
  • He has a future in store for me. (Despite what my current situation looks like He has a plan and future in mind for me and they are to prosper me and not for my harm)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11
  • That He will bless me.  (Even in the midst of these storms I have tried to be a blessing to others. The returned blessings of Him sending people into my life and other situations I have experienced have been truly a cup running over.)

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38
  • That I am not alone and He will be with me on this journey (At times the loneliness of this journey has just about taken my breath away, but He has promised, I am NOT alone)

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9
  • That He hears me when I cry out to Him…and He delivers me from trouble.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."  Psalm 34:17
  • That He will keep me in perfect peace if I keep Him my focus. 

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
  • That He will make even this (the most difficult of paths) straight. But that I should trust not my own understanding (In the midst of the storm, when things are at their most scary and I can’t see a solution, that is the most important time to NOT trust my own understanding).

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."Proverbs 3:5-6

3 Steps to Feel More Beautiful

 “Cheeeep”, “Cheeep”

This morning, at the sound of birds chirping, I opened my groggy eyes.

Only these sounds were not coming from outside my window, they were coming from a small cardboard box in my office. I have awoken to this sound each morning for the past few days and will continue to for the near future because I have three orphaned birds living in my house. Every morning they're hungry, very hungry. I wake up quite literally "with the birds". 

“What kind of birds are they?” 

The question everyone asks.



Simple as that, just “Oh.”

Not “oh how sweet”, not “oh they are beautiful birds”, just simply “Oh”.

Yes, I am raising starlings. The plain black, boring looking, “nuisance birds” who simply love to take up residence in any corner of a house where they can find a tiny hole. Often causing damage. I know, I know, I’m raising starlings.

But this morning as they looked up at me and opened wide their tiny beaks to me, I thought,

“You really are cute.”

Cute. As I thought this, I wondered, why do we consider these black birds lesser than the golden yellow birds. Or why do we consider the eagle, who rips into dead animals to eat, more majestic than the vulture, or the seagull who do the same thing?

Then I thought…we do that with people too.

Why are some people considered more beautiful than others when each and every person is created in the image of God?

These lines of thinking hurt people, sometimes deeply. And that is so sad. 

These tiny starlings probably don’t have any idea they are thought of as lesser than the eagle. They probably have no idea people just say “oh” at the mention of their name. The starlings will just go about their lives doing what God created them to do…being the best starlings they can be.

We could learn a lesson from the starling.

Have you ever felt like an ugly starling?

3 Steps to feel more beautiful

Here are a few points to help change your thinking, a few simple steps to feel more beautiful. 

1)      Know and trust that you were created in the image of God and you are beautiful and perfect just as you are. You are beautiful!

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

I know that there are times when this may not seem like enough...but it is, really it is. 

2)      Know that God calls you His “workmanship” and you were created for a distinct purpose.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

God has a plan and a purpose for your life. He has good works for you to do.

3)      Find that purpose and live it. These starlings are one day going to leave my home and fly away and live their lives doing what starlings do, possibly even living in a hole in someone’s house (and I'm truly sorry if it's yours). They are going to live their purpose. They won’t give one thought to the fact that some people consider them to be among the “lesser” of the birds.

Live your life like the starlings.

So, get out there this very day and begin to discover your passion and purpose, whatever that is.

God has exciting things for you to do if you will just step out in faith and find what it is.

What is God calling you to this day? I'd love to hear, please leave a comment sharing what it is.


  • Our art journaling course helps you discover your passion. If you would like to be notified of updates and upcoming course schedules fill out the form below.
  • If you would like to see some photos and information about our art course see these posts. The first one contains a video.

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Crossing Your Jordan - What To Do When You Feel Hopeless

Do you ever feel like there must be more to life? Do you ever feel like God has a bigger plan? I know I have felt that way. This morning as I was reading in Deuteronomy 31: 7-8 I found this:

 "Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.  And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. he will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."

When you feel hopeless

The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness for a very long time and the Lord had told them he was giving them the Promised Land. God had something exciting in store for the Israelites and that something could only be found across the Jordan River. I'm sure you can relate.

Have there been times in your life when you knew God had something more in store for your life? Have you ever felt hopeless and like that elusive something was waiting just across your very own Jordan River? So close, and yet so out of reach.

And so we wait. We wait for the Promised Land to come to us. We remain stuck. At a standstill, on one side of our Jordan. Human nature is like that, motionless, given to fear. What is your Jordan? Is it a fear of what others will think? Is it lack of something; talents, money, time? What is causing you to remain on one side of your Jordan? 

There are two things to notice in the above passage. The first is the part where it says "Be strong and of good courage".  Wow, certainly appropriate words for when we are stuck immobile. It's always wise to get on our knees and pray to the Lord for strength and courage which can only come from Him in order to fight those feelings of hopelessness.

But here is the other part, the part the Lord brought to my attention this morning. It says "and you shall cause them to inherit it".  What?  God had already promised them the Land, that was God's part. But it clearly says Joshua had to do something in order for them to receive it. "...And you shall cause them to inherit it", not God causing it, Joshua causing it. Joshua, a human full of doubt, fear, failings and regrets just like you and me, was going to be used by the Lord to "cause" them to inherit the Promised Land.  God wanted to do something through Joshua but it was going to take action. That was to be his part.  

Just like with Joshua, this little phrase from Deuteronomy sits at the crossroads of our lives. What is your part?  What is your action? Maybe the Lord is wanting to use you to bring something about through you.

Have you been prompted or felt led in a new direction and yet fear holds you back? Maybe you are held stuck, being defined by your past. If God wants to do something through you, don't sit waiting, thinking, "I wish the Promised Land would come to me."

The first step to getting unstuck is just that, take the first step. When you're feeling hopeless, put your foot in the water of your Jordan River and cross over. Step out in faith this day. God has mighty things to do through you as you "cause" them to happen. Ask Him to show you what your action is to be, then do it. That is your part.

What is the action God is prompting you to take?  What is holding you back? 

Swedish Tomte

I am in the process of moving some things over to this blog from a very old blog of mine. These are photos of some of my past work. Their hair and beards are all made of Llama fleece. 

Fishing Tomte, approx. 5" tall. (SOLD) 

Fishing Tomte, approx. 5" tall. (SOLD) 

Tomte with bundle of wood (SOLD)

Tomte with bundle of wood (SOLD)

Swedish girl cooking on fire (SOLD)

Swedish girl cooking on fire (SOLD)

Swedish tomte girl with basket of traditional Swedish breads (Cardamon braid and Limpa)  (SOLD)

Swedish tomte girl with basket of traditional Swedish breads (Cardamon braid and Limpa)  (SOLD)

Swedish girl with mixing bowl (SOLD)

Swedish girl with mixing bowl (SOLD)

Candle Dipping Swedish Girl (SOLD

Candle Dipping Swedish Girl (SOLD

Tomte with ax (SOLD)

Tomte with ax (SOLD)

Here is a photo of two I recently did for a special order. They were ordered by a male nurse to add to his collection.  (SOLD)

Here is a photo of two I recently did for a special order. They were ordered by a male nurse to add to his collection.  (SOLD)

Swedish Girl with Broom, approx. 5" tall (SOLD)

Swedish Girl with Broom, approx. 5" tall (SOLD)

The Year of Commitment - Yearly Planning Workshop

It's that time again, a year is coming to a close and a new one is about to begin. With the new year comes thoughts of resolutions and fresh starts, thoughts of new possibilities and goals. One practice my I started many years ago and commit to every year is the practice of yearly planning and goal setting. This year in addition to our own yearly planning we will be hosting a workshop where participants will write a yearly plan and learn the benefits of committing the year to the Lord. This event will be held on Saturday January 7th. The event is free of charge and includes lunch and the yearly planning workbook materials. Consider joining us. Email me for more information or to register. Hope to see you there. 

Workshop is closed, email us to find out about upcoming workshops and classes. 

More Photos from the Current Ongoing Journaling Class

We're in the final stretch of the current journaling class and what a delight it has been getting to know these lovely ladies. We've laughed, we've created, we've eaten delicious goodies, made new friends and grown in the Lord. 

It has been wonderful to see the creativity poured out on the journal pages as these ladies think through the things which the Lord put in each of them to make them awesome and unique individuals. 

Every one of us has a unique story to tell. We all have things in our pasts, whether hurts, trials or victories which have added to the person we are. We all have unique gifts and talents which blossom when we are being the authentic person we were meant to be. In this class participants are able to think through all these things and more and get them onto a journal page in a creative fashion.

If you have interest in attending a class, learning more about upcoming classes, or having Shelley come to teach any of the classes to your ladies group, please contact us at 

Here are some more photos from the current class.

Delicious and beautiful fall cookies

And He saved them out of their distresses

Psalm 107:19-21

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Life can be hard....really hard. We've all been there. We've all had times when the entire world seemed to be crashing down around us. Maybe you're in the midst of one of those times right now. One thing I know for sure, life on this side of Heaven is never going to be pain free. But another thing I know for sure is...God heals. He really does. When we cry out to the Lord, He listens. He's there. He holds us, lifts us up, and loves us as no other can. I have been seeing evidence of this as I teach the Because Liada Art Journaling Adventure Class.

The Because Liada Journaling Adventure is a mixed media art journaling class. During this class participants create a personalized art journal as they work through the lessons. As I lead the current group of lovely ladies through the class, it has been wonderful to see how the Lord has worked in their lives to bring about healing. This group of ladies come from various backgrounds and just like most of us, they are backgrounds full of pain and regrets. During the class there have been times of both laughter and tears, and yes, both have been healing. We've talked about forgiveness of others and ourselves. We've explored our pasts and in an upcoming lesson we'll talk about our futures. But best of all, these ladies are learning to see how very much God loves them. They are learning they can live life with passion and purpose knowing God has a plan for their lives and that they too can live out their own daring adventure. 

If you are interested in having Shelley come teach this class or any of the other classes at your church or to a group of your friends, please send an email to



Make Your Own Carpet Stair Treads

DIY carpet stair treads 2

A few years ago we purchased a fixer upper (and that's putting it nicely). It actually was completely not habitable. Although most of it is finished, there are still a couple projects I've been wanting to get around to. One of them was to put a runner carpet down the front stairs. I priced the runner carpets and at minimum it was going to run us a few hundred dollars. If we wanted anything other than the basic run of the mill variety it was going to cost even more money. 

Not being willing to spend that much, I put my thinking cap on. My daughter and I took a trip to our local salvage store, Mardens. They have upholstery fabric for unbelievable prices. I figured there has got to be a way to use that to make my own DIY stair carpet treads. So in taking a walk around the store, I found these:

DIY Carpet Stair Treads

These little rugs were selling for $1.00 each. I measured them and they were the perfect length, but they were too wide. Each little rug cut in half the long way however would give me two perfect sized pieces to make my own Carpet Tread Rugs.  I then headed to the fabric department to see if they had a fabric I would like. I found this lovely fabric for $4.99 per yard. I needed three yards. I think I actually could have done with two and a half but felt safer going with three.

We then had to figure out a way to adhere the upholstery fabric to the rubber backed carpet pieces. In looking around the store my daughter and I found two things, glue and tape...crazy strong tape. I don't know what the tape is used for but the stickiness of it makes duct tape seem like a wimp. Sorry duct tape, I still love you and was going to use you if I had not come across your bigger, stronger, super hero cousin. I know someone will ask but I have no idea what this tape is.  Mardens is a salvage store, this role had no packaging and looked just like this when we bought it. But it was huge and the price was right at $3.49. 

Make Your Own Carpet Stair Treads

We purchased two bottles of this glue which said it worked on fabric at $5.99 per bottle, it was not enough glue. We ended up running to the hardware store which of course did not carry it, so we purchased a bottle of Weldbond which also said it worked on fabric. It also was $5.99 per bottle. 

DIY Stair Carpet Tread Pads

First we cut all the carpet pieces we had in half. We then cut fabric pieces for each piece of rubber backed carpet. You'll need to cut your fabric just a bit larger than your carpet piece on each side. I didn't measure but I'd say it was about an inch or so on each side. If you decide to use this technique to make your own, you may need to center the fabric, it will depend on the overall print you choose. If possible, I would suggest choosing a fabric where centering the design will not matter. It will just be easier all around and will probably save you money as you won't have to figure on getting the repeat in the pattern right when you measure for fabric. I chose to center my fabric left to right but not front to back.

We spread glue all over the top (the carpeted side) of the carpet pieces

We spread out the glue.

We then flipped the carpet over so the glue side was down on the backside of the fabric. Then we cut a piece of tape the length of the long side of the carpet square. Unrolling the tape proved to be the most challenging aspect of this entire project. The tape was so sticky it took tons of strength just to unroll it. 

We then gently lifted up the fabric and placed it down on the tape so the tape was just about but not quite up to the edge of the carpet piece. After we pressed on the fabric a bit to make sure it was sticking to the tape (like there was any doubt of that!), we folded it over the back side of the carpet square and pressed down to stick it. (I hope that makes sense...see the picture)

We did the same on each side. Oh, I almost forgot, we did run a bead of glue down the edge of each side right before folding the fabric and tape over the back. 

Stairway Makeover

That's basically it. For each step repeat the same process. To attach these to the stair treads we used Scotch indoor carpet tape. We ran it down each short end, in the center and along the front edge. 

This is what the set looks like on the stairs.

Stairway Makeover 2
Make Your own Carpet Stair Treads 3

There are still a few details to take care of in the front hall but it's come a long way from what it looked like the day we bought it which was this

  1. So here are my suggestions if you should decide to make your own carpet stair treads. 
  2. Make sure the fabric you choose to use is a sturdy, heavy duty fabric such as an upholstery fabric. It also should be think enough that the glue won't ooze through because that would make a hard stiff top on your DIY carpet stair treads, and that would feel awful if you were barefoot. 
  3. Use a sticky tape like duct tape
  4. Use plenty of glue. 

Over all this project took my daughter and I two and a half hours. Here is a break down of what we spent. 

  • Fabric $14.97
  • Glue $17.97
  • Carpet pieces $7.00
  • Tape $3.49
  • Carpet Tape $3.50
  • Total:  $46.93    I think we may have been able to do this for a bit less if we had shopped around for a larger bottle or different glue. But overall I'm happy to not have spent a few hundred. Another thing which I considered using and you may want to try is, to use burlap to cover the carpet pieces and then use some geometric shape and acrylic paints to put maybe stars or stripes or some other design on the pieces.

Let me know if you try this project. I'd love to see pictures.




I have had soooo many questions asked about these carpeted stairtreads so I thought I would add an update. Just over a year after I made these, we sold the house. So, unfortunately I can't tell you much beyond 1 years wear. However, I can tell you how they held up through that year with a family of 6 and 3 large dogs. They held up AMAZINGLY well! I did not think to take a photograph of them before we moved. However, I do have the realtor photo. Unfortunately it isn't the clearest photo for zooming in. But I can tell you they looked good enough that I didn't feel a need to do anything with them except vacuum in order to show and sell the house, I think they made the front hall look very pretty. The realtor photo is below. To answer some of the specific questions I have been asked:

  1. No I did not use scotchguard. I used an upholstery grade fabric to make them and it may or may not have had it already...I don't know. 
  2. No, the fabric did not pull up when I vacuumed, they just stayed put. Others who make these may have a different experience than I did however as I can think of a couple things which may or may not change the outcome (type of fabric used, how well it is glued down, type of glue used, type of rug being covered).
  3. No my vacuum did not pull up the threads. Again, I can imagine some people having a different experience based on the chosen fabric. If you decide to make these, make sure your fabric is not made up of many "threads" being sewn down onto another piece of fabric. Many chenile type fabrics are made this way, they appear durable but they are not. 
  4. They stayed in place perfectly!  That carpet tape stuff is pretty great stuff. In the year we used them, I didn't have to redo the tape on any of them. 
  5. Yes, I would make them again and may possibly do so in my new home. 
Make your own carpeted stair treads

DIY Valentine Cards

diy valentine cards

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. I'm sure you've seen the aisles at the stores filling up with all the pretty red and pink Valentine's Day decor and goodies for the kiddos to give to their friends. Let me start by saying, I know those little valentines which are sold in all the stores are very inexpensive. Some of you may be thinking you can't be bothered making something when you can get those for about a buck. However, if you are looking for something a bit more creative this year, and with a touch of recycling thrown in, this may be just what you are looking for.

diy valentines

I use old greeting cards regularly for various creative purposes and always end up with a stack leftover, you know the ones with the big cute critter or creature on the front. They are adorable but limited as far as creative purposes go. 

If you do not have little children at home, you may not have many of these cards coming into your house. But if word gets out that you are seeking old greeting cards for creating, you will get plenty passed on to you. You'll want to make sure no one wrote inside the front of the card because that's where your kiddos are going to sign their names. 

In addition to cards like these you will also need,

  • this printed PDF of hearts (also available on our freebies page)
  • colored paper if you want to make your own hearts
  • glue
  • lollipops
  • scissor (including a pair with a fine tip if you want to cut little areas out) 
  • a hand held hole punch if you have one. 

The first step is to cut out the part of the image which you want to use. Like this:


Then using an exacto knife or very sharp scissors like fingernail scissors, cut out the part of the image you want to put the heart under. Like this:

Then glue in place any hearts or other pieces you want to add. You could include little bows, glitter, gems, etc. 

diy valentines day

Carefully cut little slits in the image with your sharp scissors, then slide the lollipop in. If your hand held hole punch will reach to the location where you want the lollipop holes then you can use it for making them. You may have to put a piece of tape over the lollipop stick on the back to keep it from sliding out.

That's it, sign the back and have the kids hand them out. Easy, repurposed, DIY valentine cards for the kiddos. 




homemade valentine cards

I didn't like how this guys foot was cut off at the edge of the card so I just put the heart over it. 

Weave a Scarf for Your Valentine

Valentines day will be here before you know it so it's not to early to begin thinking about what you want to give to your valentine. If you're looking for a great, handmade project, I have just the thing. This is easy, really. I am a weaver and have a large floor loom but this project does not require any such special equipment. Even your children, if they have some "sticktoitiveness" to finish a project can do this. 

Here's one of the scarves I made using this technique.

Weave a scarf

I want to apologize right up front for the quality of the photos in this tutorial. I tend to do many project in the evening while we are watching a movie or something. I'm like that, can't sit still and just watch a movie, have to be doing something. But it's always difficult to get good photos at that hour of the day. 

The first thing you are going to need for this project is yarn. For this project, I used three different yarns. Two of which I had in my stash which were rather fine in diameter (you can see in some of the photos) but the third one, was something I found in a markdown bin. It really was meant to be used in a different manner than I used it (in order to see the pretty lacyness), but I tried it out for this technique and I really like how it turned out. 

I can't really tell you how much yarn you need because it will depend on many factors such as how tightly you weave, the bulkiness of your yarn, the length and width of your scarf, the length of your fringe, etc. I used approximately 1  1/2 skeins of the colorful yarn and approximately equal length of the other two. 

handmade valentine gift

The second thing you are going to need is a board, yup, any old board. Well, truthfully, it should not be too "rough cut" because the yarn snagging on the "roughness" will drive you crazy, but other than that, any old board will do. I chose a board which measures 6 1/2' x 8". It's just a pine board I found in the barn which was left over from a house project. You do have to make sure the board is long enough to make the length scarf you desire. Make sure to include the fringe length when determining your length. It is best to measure a scarf you currently own to determine your desired length.

Once you have selected your board, hammer a row of nails on each end of the board. You don't have to be too fussy about spacing. I nailed 7 nails on each end of my 8" wide board. I placed one approximately in the center, one on each edge and then spaced two somewhat evenly in each space. For nails I just used whatever I had in the barn, rust and all.

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Next you are going to warp your "loom" (your board). The warp threads are the threads which will run the length of your board, the ones you will weave on. You have to choose one of your yarns for the warp. Whichever yarn you choose for the warp will also be the fringe, so think about what would like nice for fringe at the ends of your scarf.  If you want more than one of your yarns for fringe, I will address that in a moment. 

Take one of your yarns and tie it onto one of the nails at an edge. Then run the yarn down the length of the board to the nail at the other end. Run the yarn around the nail and back to the other end. Do this back and forth until the width of the board is covered with warp threads. Back and forth, and back and forth, when you are done it should look like this:

warp for a scarf

I mentioned before how you can use more than one of your yarns for your fringe, here's how you can do that. I decided that the warp I had on my board was going to make for boring fringe and wanted to add more warp threads. You can either use one yarn as I have shown, or you can completely warp right over this yarn with a second yarn, or you can do what I did. I took another yarn and warped just a few threads by tying the yarn on one nail and running it to the other end and tying it off. I did that on every other nail rather than run it back and forth over the whole board. You can tie a different yarn on each nail and change it for every nail or run the same yarn back and forth, whatever strikes your fancy. Boy, this is a hard thing to explain so feel free to ask any questions.

If you decide to warp with more than one yarn, when it comes time to weave, you will just treat the doubled up warp threads as one thread. 

Like a knucklehead I forgot to take a picture when I had the board entirely warped with the other yarns but you can make them out in the next photo. 

Next you need to find something to use for a shuttle. I used a bobbin from one of my shuttles but If I did not have this I would just use a piece of cardboard, that would work just as well. You need something which you can wrap the yarn around, it will hold the yarn as you pass it, over, under, over and under the warp threads. I chose to do my weaving will all three of the yarns which I was using treating them as though they were one yarn. The other way to do this is to weave with one yarn, then switch and weave with the next yarn which would create a scarf which has a section of color at one end, then a section of a different color further down the scarf. You really have to think out your project in advance. I wanted my scarf to look consistent the entire length so chose to weave with the same yarns for the entire length. I hope this all makes sense.

When you fill your "shuttle" with yarn, you want to put on enough so you don't have to keep filling the "shuttle" as you weave. or have to change yarn constantly while you are weaving, however, don't fill it so much that weaving over and under the warp threads is going to prove to be difficult from it being too bulky.

Now start weaving. Decide how long you want your fringe and start your weaving approximately that distance from the nails. When you get to the end of the row, go around the edge yarns and go back across in the opposite over, under pattern. When you switch directions at the end of a row make sure not to pull in your edge to tightly. Your edge is called you "selvage" and if you pull it too tightly the selvages will pull in for the entire scarf length, you don't want that. 

You will have to decide how tightly you are going to weave. What I mean is, how tightly you are going to weave one row up against the last row you wove, Whatever you choose you need to be consistent the entire length of the scarf. I chose to weave fairly loosely. Here's a few things to keep in mind:

  • Looser weave makes the inches add up faster.
  • Looser weave may require some hand stitching when you are done weaving in order to "hold" or "tack" your woven rows somewhat in place so they don't "slide" around to much on the warp threads. This will be especially important if you weave with anything "ribbon" like or silky textured which wouldn't "hold" to the other yarns well.
  • Tighter weaving will use more yarn and will take longer but will "stay where you weave it" better.

After you have woven quite a bit, you are going to run out of yarn on your shuttle. How you handle this will depend on how tightly you are weaving. If you are weaving your rows tight together, simply weave your yarn right to the end of the yarn which is on your shuttle, then start the next yarn right where the last one left off only overlap the ends of the yarns by a few inches and then keep on weaving. If you are weaving loosely, you will have a bit more work to do at the end but I usually weave loosely when I'm using my board loom. Here's what you do if you are weaving loose rows: weave all the yarn on your shuttle except when you get close to the end you want to leave a couple inches loose, then just take the end and lay it down over the finished part of the scarf (like in the photo below). Then start the next yarn where you left off on the last yarn and leaving a few inches, leave that end lying down with the other end. You will deal with all these ends when you are done with all the weaving. 

The second photo did not come out very well and I apologize but I think you can get the basic idea.

I had to fill my "shuttle" 3 times to weave the length of the scarf. 

When you are done weaving, it is time to deal with any ends you may have hanging loose. This is going to be difficult to explain so bear with me. This is easiest to do with the scarf still on the board. Take one of the ends which you left hanging loose and cut it so you only have about 2" to deal with. Without messing up your rows of weaving too much, with your fingers gently weave the end into your weaving by tucking it in. Then take the end of the other yarn and weave it in also by weaving in a continuous pattern as the first end as though they are one yarn. You want the ends to overlap each other by about 2" or so. Then take a needle and  some thread in a color which won't show on the yarn and stitch a few tacking stitches. You want to make sure your stitches go through both yarns. Do this for each of the ends you have to deal with. If you don't do these tacking stitches and you wove loosely the ends are likely to unweave themselves over time. 

 After you deal with any ends, you have to decide if you think the weaving is going to "slide" up and down on the warp threads while it is being worn, and if that is something you want to prevent or not. I felt this scarf may do that. To prevent the sliding I stitched a few taking stitches in various places up and down the length of the scarf. Again, this is easiest to do while the scarf is still attached to the board. If you think it would be nice, you could stitch on a few buttons, or other embellishments when you do these tacking stitches.

Once you are done with any tacking stitches, you are ready to remove the scarf from your "loom". Simply cut the warp threads as close to the nails as you can. 

Once you have the scarf off the loom you have to do something with the fringe so your weaving does not come undone at the ends. There are many ways to finish the end of your scarf, I will tell you the easiest. First, you can either machine or hand stitch right across the last row of weaving. This will hold everything in place so your weaving will not come undone and will leave your fringe looking pretty much just like it did when you cut it off the loom. The other thing you can do is take a couple of the fringe threads and tie a knot right up next to the scarf, Then do this with all the fringe across each end of the scarf.  This also will hold the weaving in place. If you choose to do this make sure when you tie your knots that you take threads from each side of the weaving when you tie them or the weaving will still come undone. If you look at the end of the weaving you'll see what I mean by "each side".  I finished this scarf with the knot tying technique, you can see it in the photo below.

weave a scarf 1.jpg

I've made a number of scarves using this board loom, here's a picture of another one I did. I sewed some vintage buttons on this one when it was done. 

This is my daughter and I giving the scarf the "is this soft enough to have by my face and around my neck test". Yup, it passed the test. 

weave a scarf 2

Enjoy your weaving adventures!

DIY Party Favors

I wear many hats and admit that some days, it's a few hats too many. Our family owns a few business and one of the hats I wear is Marketing Director for a homecare agency our family owns (Abundant Blessings Homecare). So you will probably from time to time see things around this blog with tags on them which read "Abundant Blessings Homecare" because my creative juices overflow from one area of my life to another and sometimes the lines get blurred. As long as the overflowing and blurring create pretty colors, I'm good.

I had to come up with a few things for Christmas activities we are involved in and here's one of them:

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This is a favor made using coin envelopes. Each one has four Andes Mints in it. Two Ghirardelli Chocolate squares also fit perfectly inside. 

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I also made up some of these for other purposes....see I told you things overflow from one area to another. 

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These would make great stocking stuffers, or DIY party favors for any party or event. They also make great DIY Marketing or Guerrilla Marketing ideas. In addition, they might be a perfect item to hand out at a trade show or other type of event. Just be forwarned... as with anything, if you have to make hundreds of them, you are probably going to get very sick of doing them, trust me, I know. I am so grateful for office help!

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Here's a photo of them with a ruler so you can see the size

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We Have a Winner

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The Giveaway for the Paperwhite Bulb Kit has ended. Congratulation to Rebekah. When I received an email back from Rebekah this morning after sending her notice of her name being drawn, there was a link at the bottom to her blog, so of course I hopped on over to check it out. Sweet indeed!  I encourage you all to stop over and check out her blog and congratulate her on winning this giveaway. Here's the link "Honey and Cheese". I'm not sure where she got the name for her blog but seeing how honey and cheese are both delicious, I'm good with that. 

I want to thank you all who took the time to enter and to those who "liked" our new facebook page. I'm planning to do more giveaways in the future so if you want to stay informed, follow along for updates. 

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Make Your Own Paperwhite Bulb Kit - Win One Too!

There is a give-away at the end of this post to win one of these lovely Paperwhite bulb Kits. There is also a link to a PDF of the tags for these gifts.  Enjoy.

Twice a month a bunch of us ladies (both older and younger) get together. We share from Scripture and have bit of devotional time and then we get down to some serious creating! Last nights projects turned out BEAUTIFUL!!!

With Christmas fast approaching I planned the project to be something which could double as a gift. We made Paperwhite Bulb Kits. 

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To make these here's what you will need:

  • Plain terra cotta pots (I paid about $1 each for mine at Home Depot)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Misc. papers to cut up if you want to use any of the images such as magazines, wrapping paper, etc.(greeting cards may be too thick). 
  • Glue (regular old Elmers or school glue)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Potting Soil and bags to put it in
  • Bag of Paperwhite (Narcissus) Bulbs and smaller bags to put them in. The regular price on these was $14.98 for 15 bulbs but they were on 50% off clearance at Home Depot, it's late in the season for bulbs so you might be able to find them discounted at your local store as well).
  • Lacquer or other sealer (I used a spray, quick drying lacquer)
  • Cellophane to wrap it all up or a gift bag to put it in and, ribbon

First, paint the pots with a coat of acrylic paint. You can either paint the entire pot one color or paint the top rim a second color or even paint stripes, whatever you wish. 

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Then when the coat of paint is dry (it dries very quickly) put on a second coat if it is needed. If it isn't needed, you can just start decorating. You can add decoration with other colors of acrylics painting with reckless abandon, or if you are more of a reluctant creative, you can use pictures cut from magazines. Either way they turn out lovely. In the above photo, the flowers on the front pot are from magazines and the black and white scroll type design on the pink pot is from wrapping paper, see how easy this is? Cut your pictures out, trimming very closely. Then on a paper plate put some glue and add water to it to water it down. Using a paint brush, put the watered down glue on the back of the image and put it in place on the pot. Then brush the watered down glue all over the image (decoupage like). Don't worry, it will dry clear. You can also use Mod Podge for this but if you don't have any on hand, don't go spending money you don't have to, the glue works just fine.  For the polka-dots we used pencil erasers or q-tips, either works.

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For the words, we used rubber stamps dipped in acrylics or we just painted the words on with a paint brush.

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After you have your pot looking like you want it to, put on a coat of some sort of sealer. If you only used acrylics on your pot, you may not need to do this step, but if you used any paper embellishments, definitely put on a coat of sealer. This is what we used:


While the sealer is drying you can bag up your potting soil. We used 1 Gallon Zip Lock Bags. Scoop in enough to just about fill the pot and seal the bag. 


Then put your bulbs in a bag and print the tags. I made a PDF for you to print the tags which we used. The first two pages are the header tags for the bags of bulbs. There are two versions because I had small zip lock type bags on hand and they measure 4" wide by 7" tall (header card for these is on page 1 of PDF). Because most of you probably don't have those bags on hand, I made a header card which fits on a quart size zipper bag (pg.2 of PDF). The other two pages of the PDF are the planting instructions for you to include in the pot and the tag for you to tie on the outside of the gift. Print everything on cardstock if you have it.  Paperwhite Bulb Kit PDF here.


After the pot is completely dry you can put everything together. Put the potting soil bag in the pot, set the bag of bulbs on top of that,  and put the card with the instructions in the pot. If you have cellophane on hand cut a long strip about twice as wide as the pot and long enough to tie together above it. Tie on a bow and the tag and then tape the edges. That's it, you have a lovely handmade gift.

If you have never grown paperwhites, you should give it a try this winter. It is just lovely to have beautiful blooms filling up the house in the dead of winter, they take 4-6 weeks to bloom so get them started now, come January you'll be so glad you did.


Now for the give-away...I made this lovely one so one of you lucky folks can enjoy your very own paperwhites come January.

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The pot is a lovely bright red painted with glittery snowflakes. It comes complete with potting soil, bulbs, and instructions. It's all wrapped up in cellophane with a bow ready for you to enjoy yourself or give as a gift. 

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There are two ways to enter the giveaway, first, you can leave a comment below stating if you plan to grow these yourself or give the kit as a gift if you win. The second way to enter is to "like" the new Because Liada facebook page at  All commenters and facebook "likes" will be entered into a hat and one winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2013.  I will pay shipping for the Paperwhite Kit to anywhere within the continental United States. I will ship it elsewhere but the winner will have to pay shipping (via paypal) for locations outside the continental United States. Winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2013.

UPDATE:  We drew a winner late last night and the winner has been notified. Once, they respond, we will announce the winner. Comments are being left on for this post in case anyone wants to comment on the tutorial, however, no additional comments will be entered in a drawing for the set. Thank you to all who entered. 

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This giveaway was listed at the following locations:

Giveaway Directory

Check out what else you can win.