What is "Your" crafting style?


I recently post a question in a planner group asking for ideas people have tried for organizing their stickers. The main debate is to keep them in sticker books like the ones M.AM.B.I sells or to break them apart and sort them by "theme". Its quite funny how it divides the community of planners. I was scrolling through some of the reply's this morning and one question that was posted made me stop and think.

The question was from Marsha Ward, " I love that you have all of those, but can't you see what's in them from the pictures of the pages on the back of the sticker books?

Such a simple question right? But is it?? When I read that question it made me think.... What is My crafting style?? 

Now crafting style varies across the board and really by craft. My style of doing things is not the same for my knitting as it is for my crochet or my cross stitch and my planner life. Each craft I enjoy differently and do differently and I am sure that goes for anyone. However, I think to truly enjoy our crafts we need to stop and think about the question "What is your crafting style for ________?" and use that answer to determined how we store our supplies, pick our supplies and learn to let go of the supplies we do not use anymore.

That whole letting go is actually my phrase of the year. "Letting Go" of things that are holding me down from enjoying this amazing life. Letting go of the extra stuff that keeps me from enjoying the crafts that I love... so what does that look like?

For me I am looking at each craft I love from a different angle. Lets start with planning since that's where the question came from that inspired this post. I am a planner girl, in high school the best part about school was the school supplies. Buying new notebooks, binders, pencils and planners. Now if we want to go way back I will say the highlight of my elementary years was enjoying the original trapper keepers. The smell of those things was amazing and the sound of the Velcro drove the teachers crazy! I wish I had kept mine in pristine condition. I love looking back at photos of them from the 80's and seeing the same ones I had...  But here is the thing, that description is not the reality of a craft. While I love the abundance of buying supplies, once acquired they have to have a place to go... and they have to be easily accessible to be used.

BAM and that my friends is where so many of us fall in the cracks of despair.

This pit of despair is what leave us with sticker books that are unused, pen packs that are not thrown away once used and carts that are a hot mess... (I am looking at mine out of the corner of my eye and I write this.) Now do not get me wrong I am not saying I do not love my craft and things I have to do it with but as I progress in the years and in the craft other crafts sparkle and shine and require my attention. I want to be able to still do all my crafts but I need to stream line the process so I can enjoy everything I want to in a day. Luckily for me I only do a few crafts and some are more of a seasonal thing. Not seasonal as in the weather but seasonal as in my life.

I am a craft gardener so to speak. I may be all into knitting for a while but that field may dry up and I may go crocheting for a bit. As I do that I may start a cross stitch project and it may require more attention so the crochet gets a bit "weedy" so to speak and I come back to it and have to get it all done before it gets smothered out etc... Planning is about the same... its not my main craft. In fact I do not consider it a craft or hobby that I do. I enjoy the trill of new supplies but I have learned my planning style is more of necessity and function over fun and beauty. That last statement is my planning style and how I have to set up my area for it to be a useful and functional one for me. It governs how I need to organize my supplies and how I need to store it so that it gets used. It also lets me know what I need to stop buying and what I can allow myself to buy on occasion. That my friends is HUGE and really can help you in your crafting worlds.

So I am going to talk about how that has helped me understand what to do with all the stuff that goes with my crafts over a series of blog post. I am hoping this not only brings my back to this blog that I love but also brings some peace to your crafts and how you organize and use them. Maybe you will get some inspiration regarding ways to organize and ways to see the things you can let go......


Family Favorite


As the fall weather approaches {Hopefully sooner than later} many people think of Crock-Pot cooking. I however, cook in my Crock-Pots weekly. To me the ease of throwing some food in there and having the magical little elves that live with in do all the cooking and then having it ready by dinner makes me want to use them like crazy! I wanted to share one of my families favorite meals to cook in the pots so maybe your family can enjoy them too.

Crock Pot Ribs

~Country Style Ribs
~Dry spices (I love the McCormick Grill Mates and the Webber ones)
~Brown sugar
~Salt and pepper to taste
~a onion
~some Beef Stock~BBQ sauce (we use Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ
Here are a few I grab, I do not have rhyme or reason to be honest during this part. I just put a bunch of the dry rub in a bowl with salt and pepper and then mix it.
Prep:
Spray your slow cooker with Pam or use a slow cooker bag for easy clean up!
Slice your Onion
Mix your spices and brown sugar

Put it in
Lay down the onions along the bottom of the cooker and then pour in some of the broth. I actually open broth and then freeze it in cubes so I just put in about 3 cubes in each pot. Take out your ribs and rub them down with the dry seasoning mixture and then lay them on the onions. Put the lid on and set it to low/slow/6-8 hour.

Finishing up
About 30 minutes before it is time to eat carefully drain the broth from the Crock-Pot. apply some of the BBQ sauce on the ribs and then allow it to cook for 30 more minutes. Then serve....

Now Here is a Tip!
If you forgot to thaw out the Ribs and they have been in the freezer that is OK!! Just do all the above putting the salt and pepper and spices on the frozen ribs placing them in the onions and stock but turn the Crock-Pot on high for about 3 hours and then sprinkling them with a bit more spices and turning it to low for the rest of the cooking process.

For the record I did not post this all day because I was planning on taking a photo of the finished Ribs to add to the post.... yea completely forgot... lol





100 Days Challenge


Sales Motivational Quote: "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." — Tony Robbins.

Hello again I am back and I am starting a 100 day challenge to day and I am encouraging you to join and challenge yourself to change your habits for 100 days for good. You do not have to do the same as me but I hope you can find something that maybe you could change for a better, happier and healthier you.

So what is my challenge?
Well I need to get into the habit of a few things that I have fallen out of habit of doing. It happens you know, life comes in and changes routines and then before we know it things that are good for us get replaced with easier and faster ways of life. So I am taking the step to improve. Every great move starts with a plan and that is what I am doing today. Its not just me either, my children asked what I was doing and after I explained they want to join in. Upon hearing that I thought I would open it to all of you. Sometimes we just need someone to lead the way and open a door for us to step through and take on change.

Sales Motivational Quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe.
First of all I need to remember to be grateful for all that I have. Seems simple enough right... but is it? Is it truly easier every day to stop and think what we are grateful for or does it just get over looked?? Do we wish we had more?? Or something else?? I am not going to lie, I am guilty of that. I am grateful for the things I have don't get me wrong but I never really stop and really focus on that gratitude. I think if we are honest we would find we all are. Our society has taught us that ugly lie. That is ok to want and want and you know what that want never allows us to be satisfied. We keep wanting and wanting, its an endless circle. So I want to change that aspect of my day. I have picked up a 100 Days of Grace and Gratitude Devotional Journal which is honestly what sparked this whole process. I got my at my local Christian Books & Supplies store that just opened. I am sure they can get copies in for you in if you are local just click here to be taken to their Facebook page. If you are not or want to order online I will link it on Amazon right HERE. You can just use a notebook as well honestly but I liked this one because of the devotional/Bible verse aspect and the fact it had a place to write a little each day. I plan to keep this by my bed and every night before bed I will read it, write and reflect on my day.

The next area is Health both spiritual and physical. On the spiritual aspect I want to be more committed to my morning T.A.G time. I have done a pretty good job of it but there are days I do not an I  want to change that. So I am adding that to my list which I will talk more about in a moment.
Denis Waitley Quote: “The truth is, you don’t break a bad habit; you replace it with a good one.”

As for my physical health I want to really focus on what foods I eat. I have an inactive thyroid which stinks but I also need to work on better habits and steer from carbs. I have been on medicine for so long for it and it gets changed every 6 months or so and I am awful at remembering to take it daily. So that is on my 100 day challenge. Eating healthy is also part of that. So I am challenging myself for 100 days to scan, weigh and track every bit of food I put in my mouth! I am using the Lose it App which can be found by clicking here:  I have used the lose it app before and each time saw significant weight loss, granted that was pre-thyroid issues but I am hoping I become more cautious of carbs and that helps.

Knit and craft more. Idle hands ... ya you know the rest. It is 2019 guys. WOW I still can not believe will be 2020. It seems strange just typing that but it is and it is an age of electronics. I am guilty of being swept into them as well. These last few months of heat and humidity I have really been playing a lot of video games. Don't get me wrong that will not change as I play with my husband and kids and its just something we all can bond over but I have also during that time picked up my phone more and not my knitting and crochet which I know has not only positive effects on my mental heath but brings me joy. So why have I allowed that to get brushed to the way side?? I am someone who the thoughts of Fall bring so much joy and it does put me in that crafting mood so I am adding that to my list to knit or crochet on something DAILY for 100 days!

So that is that is my personal 100 day challenge. My kids are already thinking about what they want theirs to be and I hope you have some ideas for yours. If you are joining me then leave a comment, send me a message or comment on the post in which I will will be linking this blog post to. I hope you have a great week and here's to the start of positive changes!

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Bible review and a little knitting too!


August..

August the first marks the day when my inner child wants to run out and buy everything and anything with a pumpkin on it. However, let me remind you this momma is in the great state of Alabama where August has scorching temps and humidity that makes you feel you are in a sauna that follows you everywhere. I can not say that the weather brings me to those happy fall thoughts that I love nor does it really make me want to pick up my needles or hooks. However I have managed to make a pair of knitted knockers to donate to the local breast cancer support group and have started my second pair. The are quite easy to make but the heat has me mostly finding other things to do.

This years curriculum we chose is Christian based. We are using Abeka and I  which is giving us a more one on one homeschool experience but at the same time allowing me to be able to get things done as they watch the video portion of their classes. I wanted to work with my boys more and sit by them as they learned and be have more of that one on one with them. Since they are having Bible time I also wanted to use that time to practice what I preach so to speak. I typically have my T.A.G (time with God) before they get up but I wanted for them to see me reading and doing a Bible study daily as well. So what I have been doing is getting up and have some alone time before they rise, then pausing to do some morning prep (consuming coffee, catching up on my email etc) then once they sit down at the dinning room table I do as well and finish up that days Bible study and help them in the process.

So since I have an abundant amount of Bibles I thought I would do a post about journaling/note-taking Bibles as they seem to be my favorite. I do love study Bibles and between the Hubs and I could do a post on those kind as well if someone wanted.
I have four Bibles that fit into the journaling and note taking-category (shown above). They are called this because of the one to two inch margins on the side that allow for notes, doodles or whatever else your heart desires. They come in a variety of translations, covers, and types. Some are geared for coloring in with pre-drawn artwork and passages that are pulled out from that page for you to color in etc. Some have a mixture of pre-drawn and blank margins and some have margins with lines and some are without lines...
So whats my Favorite?? Hands down my Crossway Single Column large print ESV leather bond with flap. I had had it for about 2 weeks now and was sent it to review but I can tell you I am over the moon in love with this Bible. Its just a stunning and well made Bible. The font is a glorious 9.5 so I can see it well in church and in low light and the morning light which is when I do my T.A.G. I love the lines in the margins that make it easy for me to write all the notes... and I write where there is not lines as well. Despite its size it is pretty light weight making it easy to travel and with its flap and leather tie, I do not have to worry about the pages becoming damaged in my bag. The only drawl back I have had with it is that it only has one bookmark ribbon and that is not even a big deal. I like to mark the page that we talk about in Bible study group and in service so I can go back and reread at home the following week and dig deeper. I have just used another bookmark.
  

Bibles:
So now I told you my clear winner lets do some comparisons of why it is. I have the following :
Crossway Single Column leather bond and flapped
She Reads Truth CSB dark brown leather bond and indexed
Thomas Nelson Journal the Word NKJV hardback
Tyndale Inspire Hardback large print
Weights:
Crossway: 3.14 lbs
She Reads Truth: 3.20 lbs
Thomas Nelson: 3.19
Inspire: 3.78 lbs
Over all size and look:
In the photos through out this post you can see the inspire Bible (blue) is the beast in this bunch. The Crossway with the flap is the second largest but weights the least of all of them, then She Reads Truth is next with the hardback black Journal the Word coming in as the smallest in size. The two bottom Bibles, the black Journal the Word and the Inspire Bible are both hard covers. I have to admit I am not a hard cover fan. I know I have seen people paint them but they are the only hardback Bibles I own and I own a lot of Bibles! I will say the the Inspire has a very nice printed detail on the pages that is nice to look at even when the Bible is closed. Both hardbacks offer an elastic thing that keeps the Bibles closed. I much prefer the leather strap closure of the Crossway, it just gives it a more polished looke. The CSB is a dark leather and plain but does have the gold edge pages. I have had my She Reads Truth for a few years now and she does not show scratches hardly at all and she is well loved and has been written in many many times. The Crossway and She Reads are both covered in leather. However, the Crossway to me is a more natural leather. It is very pretty and gives off this rustic, chic, sheek, farmhouse, warm and fuzzies to your soul feel. Mine did come with a scratch on it but that does not bother me at all. In fact I hope this Bible gets tones of scratches in its leather. To me that shows a well loved Bible. It also is a reminder for me that perfection is not realistic. That as humans we are imperfect and we need Gods salvation to be pure. I want to see those scratches and let them remind me I need to be in the Word daily because like those scratches in the leather I have imperfections in my life... that need Gods grace daily. That however is just something I see when I see this Bible. I know there are those out there that shutter at the thought of scratches but I hope those do not stop you from considering this Bible.


The Pages:
The pages of all four Bibles are very different. I would say by feel alone the Inspire has the thickest pages but its main purpose is a color in Bible so that would make sense. The Crossway, Journal the Word and Inspire all have antique white pages while the She Reads are white. I know the She reads can come indexed like the one I own but that typically adds onto the MSRP.  I have not seen may journaling Bibles that have that available. You can also see that the Crossway and the Inspire both have the larger print as these are both large print Bibles. It actually seems to me the smallest print is the She Reads Truth. However it has never bothered me.

            
To personalize and to help me find chapters in my Crossway I used washi tape to mark each chapter of the Bible. I am also using that washi to color code the different groups of chapters. For instance I am using predominantly blue washi for the Laws, yellows for poetry, white with gold accents for Gospels etc. I think it just looks beautiful and gives me a visual cue as to what I am studying. I will say its not easy to get the tape on perfectly but again I am OK with that as imperfections are what make it beautiful. There are many tips out there on the internet as to how to do this if you are interested, I will also suggest just using the real washi which is a very very thing paper. I still have about 6 more chapters to do but I have enjoyed the process.

The information on the pages:
Journaling Bibles typically do not have extra info on the pages like a study Bible. The She Reads Truth is the only one with "extra" info. There is a big verse pulled out and each book has some information that gives a brief overview of the book. The Journal the Word and the Inspire both have foot notes only except the Inspire has the art work to color. So is this a big deal?? To me its not... I own study Bibles and use them when I study which I will go over my process at the end of this post. When I take my Bible to church I never am reading the extra info as I want my focus on whomever is teaching. When I carried my She Reads I never even looked at the "extra" info during church or during study time. I also think that is contributing to the extra pages and weight of the She Reads Bible. I love the clean pages of the Crossway Single column. I feel it allows for more note-taking space and does not distract me from really reading and comprehending what is written. 


Brief look at things to use in your Bible:
There are so many ways to journal, drawl, doodle, paint, accent and personalize your Bible. This post is not really about that but I do want to point out a few things I see. The Inspire Bible is a great entry to really being creative in the Bible if that is the journey you want to take. With the pre-drawn pages to color and the ones that are blank it will help those who maybe are not sure what to put down on the pages. For me though I saw it as a hindrance. I often did not have that passage that was pre-printed speak to me and maybe wanted a different one there. I do love that Bible though to color in when I need a pick me up. The She Reads Truth with its line free pages allows for your creative juices to flow. I feel the absence of lines allow for art and for notes but it makes it hard to write straight. The size of the She Reads Truth also does not give as much space. When I started my current study I was in the She Reads Truth. I then copied the notes from it to my new Crossway and add some new and there is still room to add more down the road. For me the Crossway will stickily will be my note-taking Bible as I feel that is more what I want to do in my study time. When I come to a passage that I want to illustrate I will grab my She Reads. Its not that I do not think the Crosssway would be good for that because it would actually be prefect but I like having my Bibles to function differently for me and my needs.

My Process:
There are so many Methods out there for Bible Study. There is not one that is better than the other. The best one is whatever one is going to get you to actually open your Bible. For me this is what my table looks like in the mornings. I have my Crossway Bible open to the book I am going to study as well as my study guide out. I have a Study Bible out and my notebook. I have a mixture of Bible safe pens, markers and my gel highlighters. I Read what passage or passages I am supposed to be studying from my Bible study book, I think read in my Bible highlighting with my gel highlighters as I go. I then make notes etc. I then read the notes from my study Bible and use online resources like https://biblehub.com/. When all this is happening I am also making notes in my notebook. That's my process, its nothing fancy or precise but it works for me. Oh and lets not forget the coffee or hot tea.. ;) 
 
So that is the reasons why this Crossway Single Column ESV is "THE" Bible for me and my needs. It is everything I wanted in a Bible after seeing what is out there and how I plan on using it. I think it again is just a stunning Bible and would make a wonderful gift for anyone despite their age or gender.

If you are reading this and have never tried a journaling Bible or note-taking then I encourage to do so. You can create your own process and method of chose from one of the most common ones. If you have no idea where to find information on those please feel free to drop a comment or to message me. I really appreciate Crossway  for allowing me to do this review and for working with me on getting my hands on this stunning Bible. I am obsessed over it to be quite honest and I love everything about it. I can not wait to fill her up with words of love, hope and blessings that will be passed down to my children.

Where to find the things in my post:
I have included bellow my affiliate links to the Bibles in this review on Amazon. This links will let Amazon know I am sharing their products and I will make a a very small amount of money if you choose to purchase from these links. Nothing is charged extra to you but it does allow me to do reviews such as these in the future.

Gel highlighters and Bible Study from Daily Grace
Rae Dun Mugs 

   

My notebook:

Summers End

Can it really be the first of August? Where oh where did the summer go? We are starting back to school in a few days and I am just thinking how fast this past year and our first homeschool year was. My boys are growing and learning and I have been in a bit of a rut in crafting. I guess that is how seasons of life go though you know. You transition from one thing to the next depending on what your soul and mind need. I have been working hard on really simplifying things lately and I think I have gotten to a place of balance or as much as it as possible.

So to get this blog caught up on things I thought I needed to post. For some reason I am more of a blogger and fiber arts person in the fall and winter and more visual Instagramer in the hotter summer months. I think it has to do with the fact that I live in Alabama where it feels like stepping outside makes your skin melt off. Because of this intense heat I have not done much in the way of knitting or crochet but I have been doing a lot of other things... like getting ready for homeschool.

I have been finding myself being pulled more to my morning alone time. The time where I get up, have my coffee and do some Bible study and quite knitting. For me it really helps me ease into the day and center myself so to speak.

There has been a lot going on in the crafting world. There has been a shift to making it more diverse and emotions for many are running high. I am not going into much detail but for me its all boils down to love for my fellow human. I strive daily to be the best Christian I can be. Its not an easy chore and not meant to be. We are called to love one another even if the other doesn't show us the same love and kindness. Its funny thought because we all struggle with emotions and how to deal with them. We all want our voices heard and some are better at conveying those emotions more than others. For me I try to remain centered and calm and try to avoid confrontation. One of the ways and I have spoke about it before on this blog is morning quiet time. I think everyone needs this... and it can vary to each individual. I know not all are Christians and so yours may not reflect mine but a simple cup of coffee and stillness can go a long for your day. Which is what lead me to our new curriculum, Abeka. Abeka starts the morning off with Bible time for the boys. I am hoping to see them get the same benefits from it as I do. Our official start date is the 7th however we may break into it Monday. It is a lot more structured then what we used last year so I waning to see how that is going to affect them.

We took June and July off but still did some table time throughout the week which involved some reading, writing and randoms. One of the things we really worked on this summer was understanding emotions. Our oldest is 11 and he gets hit with waves of emotions. I am not sure it is puberty knocking at the door but he will be fine and the next minute have a wave of emotion rush over him. It has happened 3-4 times since February. One night he was crying and just wanted to be besides me and looking at photos of him growing up. We used a few books in our reading time to discuss feelings and emotions and Gabe joined in because really we all have a hard time from time to time understanding and processing the emotions we go through. I tried to find them all but some were library borrows, some we donated and some I have no idea where they went... I looked... but who knows...

One of the books that we used was sent for us to review by B&H Publishing and called "What am I Feeling" by Josh and Christi Straub. This is a book that is really geared to younger children, I would say 2- 1st possible 2nd grade. The red head is only 8 but still enjoyed this book. The story follows the day of a little boy named Sam. I am guessing Sam is in preschool or Kindergarten as they are having show-n-tell that day. Same deals with an emotion as well as some friends. Its a cute short book but does give visual representation to the emotions that the kids deal with. I think in a world of electronics and on the go its easy to get caught up in it all and forget how to handle and deal with our emotions. Its something we are just expected to figure out on our own but for kids that can be hard. I know my own children went to school and experienced other kids who had no idea how to channel their emotions. Maybe if as parents we start with conversation starters like this book at younger ages we can help our children feel empathy, more love and compassion to towards each other.






Afraid of All the Things


On occasion I do book review for B&H publishing. In the past I have done book reviews on my other blog but in an effort to simplify my life I am doing everything on this blog. I am actually going to be transferring some of my other book review post from my other blog to this one to have everything in one location.

This review is about a book called Afraid of All the Things by Scarlet Hiltibidal. This book was sent to me to review and for me to give my honest feedback.

Going into this book all I saw was the cover and a tiny description. I really love the cover it is this light mustardish - brownish hardback with cute graphics of things people may be scared of and has a nice texture to it. The book itself is written as if the Scarlet was setting there in front of you telling you her life incidents that occurred to her and how they made her feel. She adds scripture throughout to support help combat some of those fears.

I think for me I wasn't expecting that. I am not sure what I was expecting to find in the pages but maybe more of a reference of fears and then scripture to back combat them. I am not someone who is fearful, nor have I never have been and it is hard to get into the mindset of someone who is.  However, my mom is who I would consider a worrier and so is one of my sons. I see it in their daily anxiety and its hard because you want them to snap out of it and for them to see the world as you do but it is not that way for them. I really thought this book was more of a if they are feeling this then turn to this in the Bible but it was not that at all. It was more of a sit down conversation of someone telling you a life filled of fears with an occasional scripture to turn to. Scarlet talks about how she started to turn her focus onto God opposed to the things that were causing her fear and anxiety. I do not think it was a bad book in any way but it was not what I was expecting. I can not say I took away anything big from this book except maybe for more insight for how those I love worry see the world and for that though I am grateful.

So who do I think will enjoy this book?
I think the reader who is looking for some insight of someone with anxiety, someone looking to understand their fears more and someone who needs to understand that they are not the only ones with those fears would also enjoy this book.

You can find this book as well as read other reviews by clicking the link bellow.

Stitches United 2019

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#StitchesUnited is coming to Atlanta again!

Lets talk about the excitement I am experiencing for a moment. First of all my first fiber event was Stitches 2014 when it was called Stitches South and when it was in Atlanta. I talked about it some in this blog post/video. I loaded up my van with some local knitters and crocheters and off we went. It was a huge show and very overwhelming. I bought some yarn some pictured here, some I have used and some I have destashed. I was a new knitter at the time and a new crocheter. The experience was the most magical and educational experience ever. I got to meet Mr Rob and Mrs T from Buffalo Wool, I got to meet Marly Bird for the first time after talking to her several times over her podcast.

The 2nd one I went to was in 2016 and in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland and Resort. It was a smaller show but still great. On this adventure I got to ride as my dear sweet friend Debra drove. I remember we had to park like forever away. It was a great time although like I said it was a smaller event. I did meet the dyer of Gerschubie who was super nice and travels in a RV. You should really follow her Instagram. I also meet the husband and wife team of Twisted Owl Fiber Arts. They are super nice and I really hope to see both of those dyers at Stitches United.

I wrote about that adventure a little here:




Now lets talk Stitches United!
Stitches United will be held in Ga again but this time at Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center in ATL but a different location than the 2014 show. The floor looks huge and now there is something called the playground area. Apparently there will be live demos etc there. Needless to say my room has been reserved and I am ready for all the vendors to start posting their booth numbers so I can plan out my adventure...

All the Stitches United can be found here: http://www.knittinguniverse.com/United2019
Stitches United Ravelry Group: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/stitches-united

Have you been to a knitting or crochet event?? Have you been to a Stitches and are you going to United??