Monday, May 11, 2015

Checking In

Phew! What a crazy month April (and into early May) turned out to be. Let's get to it...

  • April is my favourite month to throw a party! My birthday is as good of a reason as anything else, right? I knew that I wanted to have another My Favourite Things party and when I asked a few people what they thought, the resounding answer was "YES!" It's such a great party and it almost throws itself. You can read about the last party here and here. How it worked is I had everyone bring 4 of their same favourite item/s (under $10) and every one went home with four others' favourite items. My favourite items this year were a carton of Tazo Chai Latte mix, fun socks, a pen, a soap sample, straws, an essential oil sample and a couple of dishcloths (Compliments - microfibre - seriously the best dishcloth EVER). I had so much fun with this! By the way, if you didn't get invited, please don't be upset. I wanted to invite so many more of you, but my place can only hold so many. In my heart, you are all welcome!
My favourite things package

  • Here's a list of what everyone brought.... Soy candles, journals, Starbucks gift card, jellybeans, pens, mugs, hairspray, lip balm, cuticle cutters, jar mugs, drink tumbler, napkins, chocolates (store bought and homemade), soaps, homemade laundry detergent, collapsible bins, zipper storage bags, a pansy plant, various stationary items, mesh laundry bag, socks and candy. I think that's everything. It was so great to hear things about the gals that I didn't know as each person had to answer a random question about something that was a favourite. I also had everyone bring a favourite drink or food to share and once again - the BEST party food!
London Fog cupcakes from my friend, Sugar Momma and her truffles, too!

  • I chose to set up an Italian Soda Bar as my favourite beverage to share. David and I enjoyed testing these and David made the strawberry, orange and butter rum flavour syrups. I'm a big fan of "help yourself" so I doodled instructions and let everyone do just that.
Italian Soda Bar

  • I could've easily spent a month on the plans and preparations for a party, but thankfully I didn't need to because I spent the month sewing and crafting for my first craft sale. Our church hosted a craft sale fundraiser for some missionaries who will be going out with Wycliffe. David and I spent every spare evening and weekend working on growth charts, (David did the bulk of the work on those. I just lettered them) scrap buntings, mini scrap buntings and cake toppers. I had a goal of 12 growth charts and 40 each of the other items. We spent many evenings late into the night making. It was fun and tiring and my poor house got pretty neglected. I met my goals! David's amazing growth charts sold really well. I came home with three and they're now all spoken for, too. I have most of the rest of the products still. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I'm so relieved to have it all finished that I'm okay to just put it aside for now. Sadly, there wasn't a whole lot of customer traffic at the sale, but we recovered our costs and were able to make a small donation to the missionaries. 

Craft Sale Booth

  • Michaels Arts and Crafts are moving into my neighbourhood! It's going to be nice not needing to drive across town to shop!

  • Mothers' Day was a quiet and relaxing day finished off with my favourite family "date". We call it Pajama Van. It's usually a Saturday evening tradition, but I'm glad we saved it for last night it was perfect. (pajama van is where we load the littles up in the van in their pjs, put on a movie for them to watch, grab tea and timbits from Tim Hortons and go for a nice long drive).
  • I got quite spoiled with mail lately! I love my dear pen friends!
Top pictures are my birthday package from dear Annemarie and the bottom two from dear Donna!

  • I was crazy spoiled for my birthday, too.

L-R ink and pens from David's family, essential oils from my family (card signed by my Daddy - a big deal for a partial quadriplegic) flowers from friends and a drawing book from my David.

  • And in case you needed a reminder of how adorable my David is...


Friday, April 10, 2015

Checking In

I have a lot of random things to share, so I'll do it in pictures...

Creative Happenings...
1.Biggest commission project - a sound booth cover 2. a passport holder for a family of nine 3 & 4. Family t-shirts hand painted - freezer paper stencilling 5. family growth chart

Documented Faith weeks 9-14

We attended a family retreat at the end of March it was a great time!
1. Malachi and his friend at the pool 2. David holding Micah during family worship time 3. Hannah has so much fun 4 & 6. Malachi and Abby both riding for the first time 5. Silly group shot

Random family news...

1. We walked the river at the Forks for the first time this cool! 2. I love my new clock 3. chubbbers!!! 4. My daddy celebrated his 65th birthday! 5. an anonymous zipper challenge has me thrilled and excited (already a month behind ;) 6. pink hair! 7. Bunny's first haircut 8. Girl's date at Cinderella 9. New tradition: socks for Easter

Keeping it simple lately with ink in my Bible....

1. John 13:34 2. Colossians 3:13 3. Daniel 3:18 4. Psalm 121:1 5. 1 Peter 2:17 6. Romans 1:6-7
I have had a whole pile of custom sewing jobs and I've agreed to a craft sale fundraiser next month. My sewing machine and I are being friendly and I'm loving it. I love Instagram and in many cases feel like that's been a better space to stay in touch. Is this blog getting to be an outdated thing? I love this little space, but is it too redundant? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Grandma's Oily Blends

You've asked, cajoled and harassed (just kidding, kinda) and now my mom has graciously offered up her Young Living Essential Oil blend recipes.  Her only request is that if you choose to share them, please share the entire document in full. Her research on oils and safety is important to read and understand. 

From my mom...
Before I go any further, let me say that I am not a doctor or health care professional. Statements in this document have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I am not here to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or medical condition. I am simply sharing with you as a Grandma. You should seek professional medical help for any serious disease, condition or injury. I assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of these recipes. I recommend using only Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils and to keep them out of reach of children.

Oils should not be used in the ears or eyes and are not recommended for internal use in children. If accidentally spilled or rubbed in the eyes or ears or injected or in case of a reaction to an essential oil dilute with a carrier oil such as olive oil NEVER water and seek medical attention if necessary. 

I highly recommend testing the single oils or blends on the skin such as the forearm before applying liberally.

You will often find more than one recipe below some just using GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for children essential oils and other blends using other time honoured (and in some cases ancient remedies) that might be used with more caution.

These therapeutic essential oils are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for children

Sweet Orange Mandarin Geranium
Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
Sweet Almond

Essential Oils for Children over 2 years of age:

Ginger (make sure to use only 1/3 of this though, or not as much as you use other oils as it is still quite “heavy” for kids) You can use other kinds of oils once they are 3 years old and above. You may also mix other types of oils with what’s written here as long as you do not use too much of them. Now, it’s time to start making your own therapeutic oils that you can use for the kids.

This is another list that I found of oils that are apparently safe for children

Roman Chamomile
Rose Otto
Ylang Ylang

[Quotes from Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis, 2nd Edition/Scott A. Johnson.

Use peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus very cautiously on or diffused near children under age 5 and avoid wintergreen on or diffused near children under age 12. In the case of sensitive children, it may be necessary to avoid peppermint and eucalyptus up to age 10, though this is very rare. It is quite uncommon— thought to affect less than two percent of children— but peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus may cause adverse reactions in very young children, including central nervous system problems, respiratory distress and toxicity, and this reaction can occur from inhalation only. Although the chance of these few essential oils causing harm is minute, it is important to be extra cautious when it comes to the health of children. Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate, which is very similar to aspirin. Ingesting as little as 2.5 ml can be extremely toxic to children, and fatalities have resulted after the ingestion of as little as 4 ml in young children. Wintergreen should be avoided by children under age 12 to prevent salicylate poisoning and serious adverse events. Do not apply any of these essential oils on or near a child’s face and avoid diffusing them near young children. This includes applying them on your own body in a place where they would be exposed to them. Use mild oils like copaiba, lavender, German chamomile, lemon, and frankincense instead. Avoid oral administration of essential oils with children under the age of three. Oral administration in children under the age of six should be limited to the mildest of essential oils and very small doses. Some essential oils are known to or may cause acute toxicity in children under the age of six if administered orally. Those recommended in this book that may cause acute toxicity include basil, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, melaleuca, thyme, and wintergreen.]

Vapor Rub Cream for Kids (ages 0-5)

1-1/2 cup organic solid coconut oil
4 tsp of beeswax pastilles

5 drops of Lemon
5 drops of Myrtle
5 drops of Lavender
5 drops Peace and Calming
5 drops of Frankincense

Recipe 2 (use with extra caution)
1-1/2 cup organic solid coconut oil
4 tsp of beeswax pastilles

18 drops of Raven, RC or Breathe Again
2 drops of Peppermint
2 drops of Lavender
3 drops Peace and Calming

In a double boiler melt coconut oil and beeswax on medium heat
Cool 5 minutes
Add essential oils stir well and empty into a class jar
Let sit 4 to 5 hours or overnight to become relatively solid
Apply to the child's chest, behind the ears and down the throat, below the nose and to the soles of his/her feet.
For children 6-12 you could increase drops of each oil to 8 or more as tolerated.

On a personal note: I LOVE my mom's Vapor Rub. We've had a crazy coughing season, but we rub this on chest, necks and feet and the coughing calms almost instantly.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Dragon Tamer (all labels designed by my sister)
 Dragon Tamer is another one of my favourites! This does such a great job!

Knight Time

Little Miss Mellow
This is a new oil that mom blended and my sister designed for my Abby. She loves having her own calming "perfume" and we've already put it to good use. Now that Abby has her own roller bottle size, the boys are asking for Prince Calming in a roller bottle. 

Prince Calming
 My littles ask for this by name... all the time.

Sir Bow-Wow's Owie Buster

Princess Thinker-Belle
 Abby is better at remembering to put this on before school. 

Tooth No-Sore

Chest Infection

In a 15 ml bottle

3 drops Myrtle
3 drops Idaho Balsam
3 drops Copaiba
1 drops Frankincense
5 drops Ravintsara

Recipe 2 (use with extra caution)
15 ml bottle

10 drops Raven (or RC or Breathe Again but I used Raven)
2 drops Peppermint
3 drops Thieves

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil).

Tummy Tamer

In a 30 ml roller bottle

1 drop Roman Chamomile
1 drop Lavender
1 drop Geranium

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Recipe 2
In a 15 ml bottle

15 drops Peppermint

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Can be applied clockwise Never counterclockwise) on the abdomen or applied on the soles of the feet AND ankles.

Recipe 3 (for older children 6 and up)
In a 15 ml bottle

23 drops Di-Gize
2 drops Peppermint

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Can be applied clockwise only on the abdomen with or without a warm towel or applied on the soles of the feet AND ankles.

Hot Cross Buns (Diaper Rash)

In a 15 ml bottle

1-2 drops Lavender
1 drop Melaleuca

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Recipe 2
In a 15 ml bottle

1 drop Lavender
1 drop Roman Chamomile
AND/or 1 drop Melaleuca

Top off with carrier oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Recipe 3 (Cream)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup coconut oil (solid)
1/4 cup beeswax pellets

In a double boiler combine the first three ingredients and heat slowly until pellets melt. When partially cooled add essential oils

5 drops Lavender
5 drops Roman Chamomile


4 drops Lavender
3 drops Roman Chamomile
3 drops Melaleuca

Use electric blender or whisk until thick and creamy.

I whipped it until silky smooth and thick. It is very luxurious and has a very mild scent. The beeswax gives it sticking power. Use it very sparingly it spreads like silk and goes a long way. It has a sheen to it, however if used sparingly does not feel greasy after a few minutes.

Perhaps another day I will share my mom's lotion recipes, too. They're awesome! Please remember to share all the research information and disclaimers if you're sharing this information.

Thanks, Mom!

PS If you'd rather not mix your own, Young Living has KidScents Blends available. We are blessed to have both and in my opinion, my sisters labels are way better. I haven't had them long enough to compare the effects. I've been so happy with my mom's that I still tend to go that route first.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Checking In

Ugh! Cold and flu season. It seems like it's just keeps going around and around, but the good news is that we have been hooked up with Young Living Essential Oils and even though these sicknesses are awful, I feel like the quality of living with the oils is a definite improvement. This won't be a sales pitch don't worry... just sayin'.
      Let's get to it.

  • Cold days mean I don't want to go anywhere, so lots of creative time. My Documented Faith has been a lot of journaling, so I haven't shared but here's an overview look from the last two weeks. 

  • Malachi got invited to his first birthday party, so I made this cape and mask duo (it's become my go-to gift for boys).
Malachi models it for me

  • My girlfriend got an NIV Notetaker's Bible for her birthday and so I had the privilege of making a cover for her. 

  • We are not the only "oil-ers" in our circle of friends and family and so, I've been working out a to-go oil carrying case. I've made five and I think I finally have the pattern figured out. My mom and my sister got a couple of my prototypes and in my distracted-ness I only put one row of pockets in it instead of two. In order to remedy the situation, I whipped up little divider pockets that could be slipped in the pouch. I think it'll do in a pinch. I will be sewing up a few more complete pouches this week.

  • In other custom jobs, I have a huge project that I will be picking up my fabric order for this week. This will be (in size, my largest project yet). I'm a bit nervous and will pray my way through it. Measure twice, cut once!!!!
  • I'm still having a lot of fun with happy snail mail. I have three regular pen pals, plus I sent a birthday package to my sister and I've just chosen someone on the Documented Faith Happy Mail list to send a little package to. I like working on mail scattered throughout my creative times. If I am working on mixed media items, then I make several similar ones so that I can use them in my journal, my Bible and/or in my letters. 
My sister's bday pkg

  • Have you heard of "Pocket Letters"? Well, I stumbled across them on Pinterest and my pen pals will be receiving at least one as you know it... I "had" to try!

  • I post almost daily on Instagram, so when my blog activity is low, you can still keep in touch with me there. User name: mrsgingras
a lovely package I received last week

  • Bible Journaling is going well. I love it more everyday. I post pretty much every single page on Instagram, but here's a little peek. Our church has been going through the Forty Days of Faith and I'm really enjoying it! A lot of my pages have been inspired from the daily readings. 

  • Abby has even joined me in Bible Journaling. On the Illustrated Faith website, April shared how impactful this was with her daughter and I knew I needed to invite Abby to do some journaling in my Bible. You should have seen her face when I said she could journal in my Bible. It was priceless!


Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2015

"She is Clothed in Strength and Dignity"

Today's Bible Journaling page needs to source some folks, so here's a quick share. Be sure to visit the links and show your support.

I was inspired by Jann Gray Saulsberry. She did a gorgeous page (with a tutorial) in Isaiah with a mixed media lady that I loved! Jann is even hosting a giveaway for the awesome stamp and die set that she used to make it. Not having any funky tools like that I remembered a pin that I saved for later to try. Gabrielle Pollacco generously shares the template for this little lady on her blog along with a tutorial how to do a mixed media art piece with it. The template prints on an 8x11 page and so in order to use it in my Bible, I shrunk it down (I used my Print Shop program, so I don't have a percentage for you). Tiny cutting was involved, but so worth it, as you can see.

I didn't have the colour of papers that I had envisioned for her, so I found the musical score paper on the Far Far Hill blog and the pretty prints on Amy J Delightful's blog. I didn't want to play around with the text too much and so, like Gabrielle's piece, I used the words in her skirt. I used a pigment pen (Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.1) for the details and pink watercolour pencil (Art 101) for the background. I'm pretty happy with it!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Checking In

It was a fun and creative week here last week.

I got to celebrate two friends' 30th birthdays. That was a whole lot of fun by itself, but it also meant that I got to make presents. I whipped up a pencil case for one friend who wants a new Bible (a journaling one for taking notes) I included a few Bible friendly pens to get her started. I made my other friend a little zipper clutch in which I put some raspberry pineapple tea-sers (little single serve baggies of loose tea) with a cute tea ball. Both friends received a set of "insta-magnets" - they turned out really cute. 

On Pinterest I saw fabric bracelets something like this and was inspired to give it a try. I will be making more of these for sure.

Then rainbow bracelets inspired by these. I couldn't stop at just one. I also made a few tiny beaded bracelets - tricky to finish, but I love the results. My crafting "A.D.D" kicked in in full force this week. There just wasn't enough time to delve into any more types of crafts or I might have.

Friends of ours are in their fundraising stage before going out onto the mission field. Lisa painted this great signs and hung them around the room. They're painted on old aviation charts. They were so beautiful, I had to take pictures and share. I think Lisa should paint more and make prints or postcards or something. I'd buy a set!

I had an interesting time in my Journaling Bible. I accidentally tore a page (top middle) I had finished during advent and had to do a repair job, then I did a page that I wasn't really happy with (top right). It's not that's it's all bad, just not how as nice as my original sketch and vision. I was thrilled with my Hebrews 11 page (bottom). This was a lot of fun and it helped me gain some of the lost confidence. In the end I just had to remind myself that my art does not take away or add to the Word of God. It's merely a tool to help me "hide His Word in my heart". If you are interested in following my Bible Journaling experience, I post regularly on Instagram (user name: mrsgingras).

This is a close-up from my DF journal. This was more like what I was going for in my Bible (again, the top right picture above). It's a bit more whimsical, but I'm glad I was able to capture it even a little in my journal.

(The art card on the right hand side with the scripture verse and heart are Stephanie Ackerman's used with permission)
Here's my week five spread. I doodled a lot. I struggled a bit with my anger toward my children and my daily prayer was from James - quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. We started the Forty Days of Faith at church and I love the quote that our pastor shared from Smith Wigglesworth: 
"Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials."
It's going to be a great 40 days!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Documented Faith Week Four

On Sunday evenings (most Sundays, anyway) I prepare the week ahead with paint and or minor embellishments. As I learned last week, watercolours aren't my best option, but I love acrylics - they work great, are bold and give good coverage. By the end of the week I've added several tip-ins and layers to accommodate everything I want to include. The "Everything Grows with Love" print was in my last letter from my pen pal. It's so fun and cheerful, I knew as soon as I saw it, that I would want to use it.

Opening up the first tip-in reveals the back side with a verse that I'd journaled and studied in my Bible  and another little tip-in with more verses. It was a week filled with intentional fighting and I needed the encouragement of the Word to continue to fight.

Zephaniah 3:17

This is where Illustrated Faith and Documented Faith worked together again this week. I was so humbled by the Lord's words to me when I went to Him for reassurance of His love for me. He exalts over me?! Wow!

Deuteronomy 31:6-8

I wanted to quit fighting this week, several times, in fact. I went to the Word and found this command to not be dismayed (to lose enthusiasm or resolution). It game me the much needed push to keep going.

At the top of the page is our verse of the week from Stephanie Ackerman. Psalm 86:11, simply written in. The little tip-in opens to show my little birdies. I painted these before Christmas and like many of my paintings I'm using them here. 

a close up

A little private journaling is easily contained in a fold out. I like this method and will probably use it a lot. 

It was a busy week. My Abigail's 6th birthday was on Wednesday and I was her parent helper in kindergarten and we brought rainbow cupcakes to share with her classmates. They were a big hit. Our church led us through a week of prayer and fasting and so there were many opportunities to go to the church and/or prayer furnace. It was much needed and worth fighting for (though, if I'm honest, it didn't feel worth it at the time on one of the evenings). I had a very emotional week and I'm glad to move on to a new week.