Easy Wire State Necklaces

I have been a bit behind on posting lately because I have been getting 40 crafts ready for the next two 614 Craft Exchanges this weekend! With craft exchanges on the mind I thought it the perfect time to share a tutorial on, what I shared at the last exchange, wire Ohio necklaces.


(Top Right)

I have since seen this bad boys around from $30-$50 each. But when you make them yourself they are under $2.00!! Score! And they take less than 30 mins.     Girl you got this!

Here are the step by step instructions. The photos will be an extra help to the directions in this tutorial. Hope you enjoy!


You will need:

6 inches of 20 gage wire (kids craft area of Walmart)

Small Round Nose Pliers (Walmart)

Wire Cutters (Walmart)


Masking Tape

Matching Chain with Clasp (I took mine off an old necklace)

First do a simple google image search for an “Ohio silhouette.” Then zoom in and out on the image until it is the desired size for your pendent on the computer screen. (Mine is about an inch and a half.)  Using your computer screen as a light box,  place a piece of paper over the screen and lightly trace the Ohio shape onto your paper.

For a computer light box walk through click: here.

Next  roughly cut around the Ohio. With masking tape, tape the Ohio paper to your work table. If you are having a hard time seeing your image trace over it directly on the tape with a ballpoint pen. (In the photo the image is taped to a block but it all works the same:)


Next take your wire and make a “large” circle around your image. This is an easy way to measure an easy amount of wire to work with. Using wire cutters, cut off the execs wire where the ends come together.


After that, leaving a one inch “tail” at the end of your wire, make a small circle with the round nose pliers. This will be where your chain runs through so make it large enough for the clap to fit through the hole.


Now, with the pliers squeezing the wire in one hand, use the other hand to grab the tail end of the wire and twist the wire twice around the other longer wire end.


After that, lay your wire circle down on your taped image so that the wire circle is about a centimeter above the top center of the Ohio. With pliers make a bend in the wire where it meets the Ohio image.


Now tape down you wire circle securely onto your work surface. Using pliers carefully bend the remaining wire like your tracing the Ohio, taping wire down every inch or so.


Bend. Trace. Tape.


When you come all the way around your image, leave a bit of extra wire so it touches the end of your circle. Cut away excess.

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Now untape the wire Ohio and using  pliers and your fingers twist the extra wire around the straight wire under circle connecting the two pieces together. Keep twisting until you reach the bottom of the circle. Clip off all extra wire.

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With wire cutters, clip off all extra wire ends. With your pliers grab hold of your circle and twist to the left so the circle is on its side. This makes the charm wear flat.

IMG_5104Now just thread your chain through the circle and ta dah! Your ready to wear your awesome new necklace.

IMG_6008Happy wearing!

Hugs and Stiches,


Banana Peach Snickerdoodle Healthy Milkshake – Dairy Free- Paleo- Vegan

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There are two things Im really into right now, smoothies and saving money.  I have been making smoothies for lunch a lot lately as well as turning them into popsicles for the girls. We have been going through bananas like a bunch of monkeys. Originally I felt like I was tossing too many uneaten bananas, so before they got too ripe I would pop them in the freezer. But now I can’t keep enough in the freezer! So when I was at Aldi, my grocery store, the other day I noticed they had their ripe bananas half price. Only 22 cents a pound! Im a total dork and this made me very excited so I bought 4 bunches to take home and freeze.

There are a few things to know about freezing bananas.

Timing is everything. You want to freeze your bananas when they are just ripe.   When your banana gets cheetah spots (brown dots) its the perfect time to freeze.

You must peel them. An obvious action I would think but both my mother and my husband popped the whole bunch of banana in the freezer with the peeling. If you freeze them with the peeling on you can’t un-peel them later. Theres a life lesson for ya:)

Keep them airtight. I pack about a dozen unsliced bananas into one gallon sized ziplock and squeeze out the air before zipping.

Nows your ready to go! You can use your cheap frozen bananas for a ton of things like baby food, breads, Yo’nana ice cream, chocolate covered bananas and of course smoothies/milkshakes!

Which brings us to the banana peach snickerdoodle heathy milkshake! I think this recipe is technically a smoothie but it taste so naturally sweet and creamy your mouth will be totally be fooled theres no ice cream. Really.

I adapted this recipe from The Sweet Tooth Life. The super amazing crocheted jar cozy in the photos (I use it daily) are one of the free goodies I received from the 614 Crafty Exchange back in May. Its from the super talented Toni of TL Yarn Crafts. She is awesome and her Instagram page is to die for!


Banana Peach Snickerdoodle Healthy Milkshake

-Dairy Free- Paleo- Vegan-


2  1/2 frozen bananas

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 slices of frozen peaches

2 teaspoons cinnamon


Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

* If milkshake is too thin, blend in  a few ice cubes.

**** This milkshake also makes awesome popsicles. Just pour in popsicle mold and freeze. The kids will love them.



Hugs and Stiches,


Making the most out of your iPhone camera.

Hill 2014 BW-7A few years ago my sister sent me an email about a life story photo contest. This amazing photographer was looking for some interesting people who lead unusual lives and wanted to photograph them in their “habitat.” My family being carnies (Yes really! We had a funnel cake stand) and transitioning into inner city missionaries I thought we might have a chance at this. And my kids are pretty darn cute too, so I entered. Randomly enough we ended up winning!

Not only did we gain the most beautiful photos and a very sweet blog feature, but we ended up making a dear friend in the process! Amanda Mae is one of the all around most kindhearted and gentle people I have ever met. Not to mention completely talented! During our shoot with Amanda Mae, she had such a personable demeanor that brought out the best in our family. She didn’t push the girls too far and encouraged them to play, have fun and be themselves while she captured it. The candid photos are some of my favorite!

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Amanda Mae also has the best everyday photos on social media, her blog and website. I am so impressed how she can turn the everyday bike ride or sleeping child into a frame worthing masterpiece all with her iPhone.  Because I want to know how she does it myself:) I asked Amanda Mae to guest blog today teaching us how we can make the most out of your iPhone camera! Enjoy!

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Happy Scrappy Name Tag Tutorial


Hello there!

Last week I promised some tutorials from our last 614 Crafty Exchange. So, I thought I would start with the adorable and practically free little name tags I made for all the exchangers.


These little tags are so simple and easy to make with supplies you most likely have sitting around the house. Score! My buddy Carrie is THE bag lady of Petal Handmade Bags. She uses the most AMAZING designer fabrics and she gives me her scraps. Just got to love her! I keep those scraps and others in an open tub by my sewing machine. I find myself constantly digging through from bits and pieces for all sorts of little projects! Hence the name tags!

These cheap little guys pack a big punch of wow factor. I often find when hosting an event or party the things that take it over the top are all in the details. They are the things that your guest will remember. Making a little something special for each guest does just that, makes them feel special. Picking fabrics that match the personal style of your guest says I pay attention. I don’t know about you all, but as a stay at home mom of three girls I am constantly covered in stickers, used as a napkin and tissue and as a human jungle gym. I don’t always feel like anyone in the grown up world is paying attention to me or remembers who I am under the yoga pants and dirty hair. So when someone takes the time to do and make something just for me, An individual. A human being. however small, it makes me feel seen. It makes me feel valued as my own independent person and it just plain makes me feel more like myself. I know Im not alone in this. It is amazing what a sweet little gesture can really do.

These little scrappy tags can be used in a number of fun ways.  Use them for book club, bible studies, baby showers, place setting table cards, tie them to mason jars for drink tags, add around a pot as a label for herbs, as a label outside of storage baskets and they make adorable gift tags. Cute. Cute. Cute! They are also an easy way to take your party from good to great. To make things look cohesive with out being “themey.”

Here is an extra little bonus idea for your next get together. Set your table, even if its just paper plates. Place your guests name tag in the middle of the plate. Using the same fabric used on name tag, tie a strip of fabric around a mason jar or wine glass as a drink marker. To tie the place setting together also tie same fabric around their silver wear. Give each guest a different fabric. Now they will always know which cup is theirs. Doing favors? Wrap them or bag them in brown paper and tie them up with coordinating fabric. Add a sweet little fabric tie to a vase of fresh flowers. The possibilities are endless. AND elegantly cheap:)

I don’t have any parties at my house coming up be here is a little mock up I did for a friend and I:)






Now get makin’!


Happy Scrappy Name Tag Tutorial



-Glue gun

-Glue Sticks

– Brown Paper Strip cut 1 1/2 inch by 1 foot ( i used an old shopping bag)

-Scrap Fabric ( Mine are 1 inch by 6 inch strips and 1/2 inch by 6 inch strips but you can do whatever looks good to you)

– 2 inch long Ribbon (Use whatever width you have on had)

-White Card Stock

– Marker or Pen


-Safety Pin

– Using your pencil, trace a small circle on card stock. I used a paint bottle as my templet to trace around. Its about a inch and a half wide. You could also make circles on your computer and add names inside.

-Cut out circle. Using your marker write name on paper circle. ( I like to try my best at coping fun fonts I see on Pinterest) Set aside.

-Cut out two 1×1 inch squares from card stack. Set one aside.

– Fold brown paper strip in a small accordion fold. After folded, hot glue ends of strips careful not to show glue. Now you have a folded paper circle. Take one  white paper square and cover in a circle of hot glue. Avoid getting  too close to the edges. Push top edges of brown folded paper circle down so all edges to touch in the center. This will make a flat circle. Place folded circle on hot glue and hold in place for 15 seconds until dry.

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– Flip circle over and glue fabric scraps on white paper. I glued mine in a “V” shape but you can arrange fabric however you like. Leave around 1-2 inches of fabric hanging from paper and cut off excess at an angle.


Did you notice the blue fabric is left over from the sheet I used to cover the glass of my china cabinet?  

-Take ribbon and fold in half.  Also glue on back of paper. *This is where you put your safety pin through to attach to your shirt. Make sure you place it so your fabric hangs where you want it. I chose to have my fabric hang straight down the center. Glue unused white card stock square over other white square that is now covered in glue,fabric and ribbon. This make a clean backing.

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-Flip tag over and glue on the paper circle with name written on it. Let dry for one minuet before wearing!



Hugs and Stiches,


Wood Bead Necklace Tutorial


So Im still on a high from the last two weeks of 614 Crafty exchanges.

Sooooooooooooo fun!

I have been so busy getting my house, crafts, name tags, photos, blog posts and logistics in line, that I have completely forgotten to post my tutorial for the wood bead necklace I made for the Professional 614 Crafty Exchange!

And can I just say I have had so many people tell me they are wearing theirs all the time. And how it matches everything. I wear mine a few times a week!

Here are a few pics of the gals wearing them during the exchange. Arn’t they the cutest. The necklaces are pretty great too:)

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I would also like to mention I had a little help with this project from our 3 year old! She helped me paint beads and then made her own original painting of her interpretation of dog poop. Yes thats right, I said dog poop. You just never know what your going to get with this kid 🙂


This project is pretty quick, budget friendly and easy to do, even if you don’t have the same help I had:)

So here it goes! Happy making.


You need:

3 (half inch wood) beads ( I got mine at Michaels with a coupon)

3 and a 1/2 feet of Swede Cord (Also Michaels)

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brush

Painters Tape


Thumb Tac



1.) Prepare your workspace. Using a page torn from an old magazine as your measurer, rip off 2 pieces of painters tape about an inch longer than the paper. Lay tape over paper sticky side up with tape extending about a half inch from the paper on both sides. Bend extended tape over paper so that the tape sticks to bottom of paper. This will leave you with a line of tape sticky side up tape on top of your paper. This is your new drying area.


Back of paper


Top of paper

2.) Set drying area aside. With a ruler find the hight of half your bead. Mine is 1/4 inch. On a scrap piece of paper, make a strip of paper that is 2 inches long and 1/4 inch high. This will be your templet. Wrap templet around bead and with a pencil lightly trace a line above the paper onto the wood bead.

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3.) Over one half of your bead and just under the penciled line, cover with painters tape. (I like to make sure I can still see the pencil mark so i can paint over it later) Next, stick a thumb tac inside the whole of the bead that is covered by tape.


4.) Using paintbrush, paint exposed wood. Now, with the help of the tip of your paint brush place painted bead paint side up on the tape covering the drying area you made earlier. Now your beads can dry without the worry of rolling.

*I made servile necklaces at one time but if you are only making one necklace you only need to paint one bead.


5.) While paint is drying, cut a piece of  Swede into a 3 foot string.  Putting the two ends together, tie a knot connecting the string. Now you have a large circle. Next measure and cut a 8 inch peace of swede. Take this small string and fold it around the long tied string. Position the small string on opposite end of note. This will be where your charm hangs.

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6.) Bring loose ends of small string together and feed wood beads through, Starting with 2 plain beads and last with painted bead. (If you are having trouble getting the beads over the swede push a screw through the bead to knock out any thing stuck inside) Tie a knot by looping one end of string around the other leaving a hole (shown how in photo bellow). Feed end (Where my fingers are holding in photo) through hole and pull tight. Now you have a pretty and flat knot! Cut off ends at an angle leaving one end longer than the other. That is it!

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Enjoy yourself wearing your new necklace or giving it as a gift!

If you make one at home show me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook! Using #prettpoorliving and #614CraftyExchange

I would love to see how it turns out!




Hugs and Stiches,


Enthusiast 614 Crafty Exchange- Spring 2015

Hey friends!

Sunday was our (Not Your Mamas Craft Market) Enthusiast Craft Exchange! And boy can I get use to taking home all this handmade goodness!!!


Maybe you have already got a few sneak peaks on our Instagram, twitter and Facebook pages. (Don’t forget to follow us while your there)

We are so very blessed to have such amazing suporters who came out to support NYMCM and other like minded crafty people.

The day started at the wonderful and amazingly beautiful Sew To Speak ( a NYMCM sponsor) in Clintonville, Columbus!  As exchangers started to pile in it didn’t take them long at all to start admiring all the AMAZING fabric! And do they have AMAZING fabric. And trims. And project samples from future classes.  Ummm Ummm Good.


Any who, after some great shopping the crafters grabbed their sassy little name tags (tutorial later this week)  and some yummy snacks. Then made their way to their seat in the sharing circle. Ok I didn’t really call it the sharing circle in front of anyone but with no one here to give me a “weirdo” look Im going to call it that:)



Things quickly got moving as all the crafters took turns standing up and sharing a little ditty about themselves, what they do, and if they had one about their businesses. And can I just say the talent did not stay home! What a great group of gals. The group was a mix of hobby crafters, professional crafters and artists. Items exchanged was an eclectic arrange of jewelry, other accessories, and home goods.

Here is where I will just shut up and “show you the money!”



Yoga Strap: Petal Handmade Bags – Bead Embroidered Necklace: Whistling In Tongues – Leather Sunglasses Case : Ally Eads – Swede and Glass Bead Bracelets : Sara Miller


Wood Slice Chalkboard: Amanda Lotyzc – Wood Burned Bracelet: Branching Creations – Ohio Wire Necklace : The Heirloom Tomato (ME! – tutorial coming:) – Wire and Bead Earrings: Gibson Girls Glass – Business Card Holder: Lil Munchkin Butt


Cork Wineglass Charms: Laura Wallace – Bird Dishtowel: Lisa Siferd


German 8 Point Paper Star: Kayla Braatz – Red Fire Acrylic Painting: Maryann Ailes – Hand Painted, Dyed and Stitched Patch: Brittni Stump – Quilted Sewing Machine Wall Hanging: Patchwork & RicRac


See!!! See!!! Amazing! I have already gotten a ton of use out of my take homes!!!!


We would love to see you at our next #614CraftyExchange! We are in the works of finalizing the details of our next exchange. We will first announce the day and time we will launch the sign up sheet so everyone has time to get their ducks in a row and everyone has an equal change to sign up!


Look for that announcemnt here at prettypoorliving.com (hit the follow button!), Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and be the first to sign up!

Hugs and Stiches,

Chelsey Hill

China Cabinet Re-Fresh

Hello Darlings!

Did a quick little project the other day and I thought I would share! My wonderful mother-in-law knew how much Austin and I love mid century modern, so when she was moving out of her house she offered us her china cabinet! I believe it was a pass along from her parents house. Fun!


For the longest time before we moved to Cbus I had it in my craft room holding all my fabric. I loved seeing all the beautiful fabric through the glass doors. I arranged them by color groups which made the cabinet itself look like a great piece of art. I would find myself staring often just admiring the fabrics. I  do realize to some people this sounds strange and slightly creepy. BUT to others out there who are what my hubster (hipster/husband) would call “the same different as me,”  they completely understand the pure bliss of these moments. “Its not wrong, its just different.”

Any-who,  I almost painted the bad boy a beautiful coral pink. Pretty awesome for my craft room, but Im glad I didn’t. When we moved, we didn’t know if we would be able to fit it in our new and much smaller house. But alas we found the perfect spot in our dinning room. The cabinet is now home to kids crafts, board games, and puzzles up top and table clothes and weird serving dishes and such that only come out at diner parties. I had this beautiful idea in my head that this cabinet would be an orderly collection of easily on hand entertainment for my girls. Then the reality of my messy chaotic life kicked in. Games are shoved in while random little game pieces out of their box lay in piles mixed with broken crayons and beads. Beads everywhere. Always. So to say the least, neat just was never going to happen. So instead of driving myself bonkers everyday I thoughtfully surrendered to the mess and looked for other options.


I had bought a twin sheet set a target a while back for $18. It came with 2 pillowcase, and a fitted and a flat sheet. I had used the flat sheet for curtains in the living room (post later) which connects to the dinning room. So to bring the rooms together I decided to cut into the fitted sheet for the cabinet doors. I ironed, measured and cut out pieces for each window. Then I attached the fabric to the inside of the cabinet doors with duct tape. This looked good and the tape held tight… for one use. After the girls got to using it and putting their games and crafts in and out the fabric got bumped and would roll off at random time exposing the mess inside. It happened to fall ALWAYS in the middle of having someone over for diner. So I said forget it and moved onto a new and WORKING solution, starch.


Its cheap, is easy to use, you can get many useless out of it and you can find it at the grocery store. I bought mine at Kroger forever ago for another project. So getting this project done start to finish was under a half an hour. It wasn’t even that messy and my toddler thought it was fun. Win Win Win.

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Heres the how-

You will need:



– Fabric (I used a sheet)

-Heavy Starch Spray

– Scissors

– A Wet Towel

> First measure the glass area you want to cover. Using your yardstick and pencil draw out glass dimensions on the back side of your fabric. Cut out shape. Set aside.


*My dimensions were rectangles, but if your area isn’t the same shape on all sides sides remember to draw out your measurements backwards on the backside of your fabric. This makes the right side of the fabric lay correctly.

> On the highest part of your window, spray a 1 foot area of glass heavily with starch. Quickly line up fabric over sprayed glass and press flat. Rub hands over fabric to remove any creases. Make your way down your window in small sections spraying and laying fabric. If the starch dries of the fabric peels off simply spray again.


>With wet towel quickly wipe off any starch off wood work. * I did lay newspaper down under the area I was working on but found it was completely unnecessary.


Thats it. Simple and easy.

This concept also works great on house or door windows with lace or a shear fabric.

While I was at it I thought above the cabinet could use a little attention as well. Mostly dusting but some decorating as well. I have found that I like all the same colors in all my rooms. Ive given up on trying to be themey (not a word) and just being me. I buy what I love and when I need a design change I can easily shop the rooms of my house for other options. My colors tend to be robins egg blue, mustard, avocado green, rusty orange, navy, black, white and cherry red. I do lots of vintage maps,  globes, cameras, chalkboards, suitcases and vintage glass wear. I love metal vintage pieces. I use lots of locker baskets, carts, and canisters. All my rooms in someway accommodate these items which makes it really easy to mix and match,  decorate for the seasons and to shop at thrift stores. It also makes my home feel like its ours with every step you take.


Bunny trailed a little there, BUT I shopped my rooms and did a little rearranging and ended up with a cute little display.

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Hope you enjoyed this tiny look into my home and I can’t wait to share more and more. Don’t forget to follow me to keep up:)

Hugs and Stiches,


1st Professional 614 Crafty Exchange


Its was here. It is gone. It was AMAZING!

Last night Not Your Mama’s Craft Market had its first ever 614 Crafty Exchange. This exchange was for the pros; crafters with established businesses. Most of these ladies I already had the pleasure of knowing but there were a few that were new.  And boy, were we happy to include them into our group of wild women. ( I hope they left feeling the same:)


So here is the run down of the night! First before the day even got started I loved hearing all the buzz from those attending and all the jealousy from those who couldn’t make it. I also got a kick out of the honesty on social media of different ladies sharing how they were scrambling to to get their crafts together last sec. and the panic of those who started making the night before.  There were a lot of us:)

Anyway, the event was held at my home in the south side of Columbus. Its a tiny little place 1200 square feet but thankfully we all like each other and bathe regularly.  Everyone was asked to bring a snack to share and soon the kitchen was full of good smells and lots of calories. Since it was my house and I had the stove I contributed dairy free hot apple crisp. (Always good always easy.) Everyone filled their plate and took a seat (after being summined many times -bunch of Chatty Kathys) and the fun began!


Individually everyone stood before the group, said a little ditty about themselves, what they make and anything else that might interest the group like shows they put on, groups they lead or projects their working on. Great, great, great networking not to mention very educational:) THEN they revealed their craft to the group.  I can not even explain to you how thrilling this was. Every time someone revealed their craft the room did the a mixture of pretty adorable things out of pure in awe of the awesomeness.


There was the assortment of: the “Pearl Cluchers,” 8310660

the “I don’t know who to handle theses emotions,” tumblr_inline_nf9lqvmfmR1sm28jk

and the “I can’t believe this-ers” or the “Nopes. Nope-ity Nope Nope Nopes.” This is a good kind of nope. This reaction may also be followed by a “Shut the front door,” or a “Girrrrrl.”


The crafts were so amazing, one right after another. I think with us all being experienced crafters we could really appreciate the quality, expense, and time it took to make each item. (Something in the craft business world that is sadly way to often overlooked.)  The phrase, “It’s like Christmas” was used, to say the least, often. Lots of smiling, lots of “this is awesome!” One person even said they felt like they were shop lifting because it was too good to be true. To me, I can only really describe the feeling as being on Oprah’s favorite things episode (less cars). I continually held myself back from yelling “And you get a necklace! And YOU get a necklace. And YOU And You And You!”


Can I just take a second to mention this was a free/cheap event. Everyone only payed for their supplies and a snack. We each walked away with a bundle of sweet sweet goodness worth at least $100. I even got a few great gifts for others out of the deal. Im pretty sure I made money out of the deal:)

Okay at least saved. At this point I would say pictures are worth a thousand words. I will put a few on here but you can also head on over to the Not Your Mama’s Craft Market Facebook page to see the whole album. I have divided the crafts in categories so you can get a better look.



Crochet Masion Jar Cozy: TL Yarn Crafts – Ice Cream Cozy: Sew Joyful – Coasters; Paper Crafts By Vicki – Reusable Lunch Bag: Petal Handmade Handbags ( NYMCM Co-Host)



Large Ohio print, Ohio watercolor card, and Ohio sticker: Glitteracy – Floral original painting: Megan Hogan Art and Design



Bow tie: Mitzy Bitzy’s Workshop – Wood bead necklace: The Heirloom Tomato (Me!)  – Anchor necklace: Simply Spain Designs – Copper Earrings: Gibson Girl’s Glass – Copper Bracelet: Hand and Hart Designs – Crochet Earrings: Sol Heritage – Key Fob: Studio Chop Stix



Body Salve and small peppermint soap: Mom N Pop Natural Shoppe – Tea tree soap – Simply Natural



Paper purse with cards: Stamp With Anita – Beaded Bookmark: Sweettooth Studio

You see what I mean! Amazing! Most of my excitement was completely selfish. Well.. b/c I was so happy I got to keep all this great stuff but I’m also happy for the connection of our group.

One thing I wasn’t expecting was the response to community for the ladies. I wasn’t expecting so many to get up and say how they were really excited to have a good group to network with and to just be friends with like minded people. They talked about how great it is that we can get together and learn about each other personally. Many of us know each other or of each other but rarely can we take the time during a busy show to sit-down and talk with one another. I feel like creatives have a special bond that only they can understand. I personally love that I can talk fabric designs with someone like Carrie Schafer of Petal Bags and she will get just as geeked out about a new line of fabric as I do. Like crazy geeked out. Or how we can all exchange craft show tips. Or customer war stories. I love that we can encourage each other and support each others businesses.


We are a strange bunch but we belong to each other. I love these weirdos!

Hugs and Stiches,


Dairy Free- Hot Apple Crisp


Hey all!

I made this the other night for the craft exchange and I thought I would share the recipe with you! Sorry for the lack of photos!

I have made this dairy free crisp in huge batches many times for parties and such. You really can’t go wrong.

Funny story, not really. We were having an open house at our home this winter for all our donors. I made this recipe x 6 the night before along with a TON of other food. That night our littlest work up with the flu and the middle shortly followed the barfing train. This is something that would definitely happen to us. We had to call everyone and tell them not to come. BUT we did feed all our neighbors like champs that week. And they all really enjoyed the crisp:)

***This uses a lot of coconut oil if you are just buying the smaller jars. Aldi ( My shopping BFF) has coconut oil in the small jars are a great price BUT we use a ton for everything (body, hair, food) so we buy giant jars at Sams Club and ounce to ounce Sams beats Aldi.


Dairy Free Hot Apple Crisp

Crumb Topping:

1/2 Cup Flour

1/2 Cup Old Fashion Oats

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Dash of Salt

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, cubed


3-4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thin

3 Tablespoons Melted Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Dash of Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

-In medium bowl combine all crumb topping ingredients with hands until it resembles crumbs. With the heart of my fingers I like to break apart large chunks of coconut oil.

Refrigerate while making filling.

– In a small bowl combine melted coconut oil and flour until blended. Stir in lemon juice, almond milk and vanilla. Add brown sugar and salt, stir well. Pour mixture over apples. Toss to coat. (Coconut oil may start to solidify. No worries.) Pour apple mixture into a 8×8 pan and spread evenly.

-Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly on top.

-Bake for 30-35 or until golden brown.

Wait 10 minutes and serve.

***Great with coconut milk ice cream!


Hugs and Stiches,


Bible Journaling by Sonja Davis

Reflection Gives Insight 1507375_10152023840016227_5818715022454350534_o

– By Sonja Davis

a daughter, wife and mother drawn to heart of the Lord

Bible journaling is part of my journey…actually it was my dad who taught me to journal. He shared his entries with me as a child and teenager and then into college and marriage. His modeling showed me the importance of reflection, handwriting, and Bible focused time.

It takes time.

It’s worth it.


I began truly illustrating verses when roughly 18 months ago we (my husband and I) began praying abouta BIG change. Moving. When God opened the door to leave our comfort zone in Marysville, Ohio, where we had resided for 15 years and raised a little family we knew we had to walk through it. That door was a move to Mocksville, NC. It has not been easy. In fact it’s been one of the toughest doors I have ever walked through in my life.

Wonderful friends began sending me scripture passages to encourage me and help me process and move forward even through the tears. I began to take those verses and using lettering and fonts, banners and doodles, and I made illustrations out of them all. That process of art, creativity, and scripture was my therapy. It allowed me to move, be encouraged and feel the presence of the Lord step by step.


The time it took to illustrate and letter those scriptures calmed my heart and spirit. And now I continue writing and journaling and illustrating…it’s become a habit I love and cannot wait to make time for.

My Bible time process includes reading scripture, copying scripture, making observations of that scripture and applying it to my life. Then I illustrate while I meditate and pray through my current state of growth and stretching. It takes a different amount of time each day, sometimes longer, and if I get interrupted by a sweet child of mine, I continue my process later in the day or the next.


Practical tips of journaling decoratively:


I use mechanical pencils because I cannot stand a dull pencil. I have an eraser and small ruler on hand. In my college days I spent hours writing different alphabets (back before children) and trying new lettering and doodles…there are tons of ideas on Pinterest too, I have a journal board where I pin ideas. I tend to draw and erase and lightly and go over the markings I want more darkly when I like what I have.I like banners, wreaths, and other doodles. I also love making the lettering in a circle if I can.

To center a word, my grandfather taught me a little trick years ago. Count the letters in a word and write the middle letter in the center and work out from that letter, if the number of letters is even then you can have the space between those two letters as your center. So if the word has 7 letters then you write the 4th letter in the center of where you want the word. If there are 8 letters then you write the fourth and fifth letters in the center. The only time that is really hard is if your letters overlap each other. I lightly draw lines for my words to rest on using my ruler, especially if they are longer words.

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I know that many people feel critical of their own handwriting and say things like “I could never do that!”But truly it is not about others seeing your journaling it’s about your journey with the Lord. Throw off that negativity, chose a favorite verse and jump in! Most of my illustrated scriptures are in a 4×4 inch space. This makes the drawing small enough to do in a matter of minutes.

You can do it! It’s so neat to page through and look at all the scriptures you have studied and learned and the interesting drawings you made for each of them….and what a legacy to leave your children. They will someday have the opportunity to page through them too.


Most important is your interaction with the word of the Lord.

Copy it.

Read it.

Write it.

Reflect on it.

And if you have the courage doodle, draw, illustrate and decorate while you gain insight from the Lord.


I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; Do not let me be put to shame. I run in the paths of your commands, For you have set my heart free.  – Psalm 119:30-32 ESV