Happy Post-Halloween—Colorado License Plate Costume

Colorado License Plate Costume

Colorado License Plate Costume

Nursing a sugar hangover this morning….

Middle child came up with the idea of dressing as a license plate this Halloween……

What happened to the days of easy-store-bought costumes?

Thankfully a recent online purchase afforded me this perfect box….the rest was a bit of spray paint, acryllic paint and printing out letters on the computer at 950%.

I added actual bolts in the corners for effect….

Have a wonderful day after….and hey, it is after all, All Saints Day!

dcb

Today’s High Note–Peacefulness at the Abbey

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This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend time at the Abbey of St. Walburga in Virginia Dale, Colorado.   The Abbey is home to 22 Benedictine Nuns who not only offer their beautiful grounds to those seeking solitude, but also run a full working farm–including over 100 head of grass fed cattle.

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The nuns spend their days in prayer, woodworking, farming, hospitality, jewelry/rosary making and tending to those in need.  They are peaceful.  They are happy.   Truly happy.   It was a blessing to spend time with them….their simplicity and gracious spirituality were contagious.

Needless to say…..

I didn’t want to leave.

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So I offer you this high note for today: the next time the media pushes a frightful image of a Catholic nun with a ruler in her hand, please remember these beautiful images of gentleness….

…and peacefulness at the Abbey.

–dcb

Homemade Dog (Puppy!) Treats…

It is a snow day here in Colorado….  

The novelty of no school lasted for exactly one hour and three minutes.

 We then progressed to the “I’m bored” stage of the day which is such a wrist cutting sound clear que to do something fun an creative with the kiddos.

In anticipation of our new pup (arriving this weekend!) we decided to make homemade doggie biscuits.  I have had this recipe forever (we had pre-marriage dogs up until a few years ago) and it is all natural and super easy for all to make.

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Recipe & Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 cup water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

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Mix all ingredients together well.  Knead for for about one minute.  Roll out dough with rolling pin.  Cut with cookie cutter or make small logs–pinch ends to look like a dog bone.

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Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet or I have found a large pizza stone works even better and holds more treats at a time.   Bake for 35-40 minutes.

These make great gifts, too!  Many a teacher and neighbor have received these over the years from my kids…..

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Will send puppy photos next week!

Stay warm…..dcb

DIY Sheet Music Easter Eggs

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Hello fine people….it is snowing here in Colorado….hard to think about Spring and Easter eggs.

Here is a simple DIY to spruce up your Easter decor and/or tabletop this year.  As you know, upcycling antique music is my thang….but you could use pages from a child’s Easter book, dictionary pages from the letter “E” for Easter, or just about any thin wrap-able paper medium.

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You will need:

*blank craft grade Easter eggs (almost any craft store will have these)

*thin, wrap-able paper of choice

*Modge Podge or decoupage

*ribbon and embellishments

You will begin by ripping or cutting your paper in to strips.   Lightly coat  your egg with decoupage using a paint brush.  Apply your strips of paper covering the entire surface of the egg.   Using your brush, apply a second coat of decoupage over the paper covered egg to give it a nice sheen finish.   For a more complete tutorial on decoupaging paper click here.

Decorate with ribbon and embellish as you wish!  Modge Podge comes in a variety of hues—try this project using Modge Podge “sparkle” for an even brighter effect!

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have a great rest of your weekend!   dcb

The Friday How-to: Prayer Boxes

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So…it’s Friday!

As many of you know, I have three wonderful kiddos….ages 7, 9 and (almost) 11.  My eleven year old daughter is part of an amazing group of 5th grade girls.  What mother doesn’t worry about their young girls growing up?  I am often wrought with anxiety over whether or not my girls will make it through their tweens and teens relatively unscathed.

My anxiousness has become assuaged however, by this group of bright, insightful virtuous young women that surprisingly makes up the entire population of 5th grade girls at my daughter’s school.   This is a rarity today….indeed.

Under the inspiration and guidance of a friend of mine, these girls have started a group.  This group  entitled “Growing with Grace”, is  to ironically, help them to become even stronger and  more empowered as girls.    They talk about a wide range of issues including bullying, self-image/puberty, friendship, leadership and their faith.   Each of them have expressed a desire for a safe place to not only talk about their own stuff, but are using this group as a vehicle to learn how to lift each other up….exercising respect, denouncing exclusion and pronouncing grace-filled acceptance of one another.  

Their activity in the group last night (which I was honored to be a part of) was to create prayer boxes.  I wish this idea was my own, but I received the inspiration from a store bought item and from a craft Katherine at Pillows-a-la-mode did this summer upcycling old Altoid tins.  You can check her creation out here.

The concept was for the girls to have a place to not only write their own prayers down, but to write down the prayer needs of others.  

So…we all decorated the empty Altoid boxes with washi tape and flower/gem embellishments, put small sticky note pads/markers in them and all the girls had a unique way to quickly journal any intentions on their hearts for themselves or someone else.

My daughter is apparently praying for a better math grade…..I have to say I really do love this age!!

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With all the news about those kids who are being touted as the demise of our current society….here is some good news about 24 girls who are thankfully…

growing with grace.

have a blessed weekend…..dcb

The Friday How-2: Make your own Music Wrapped Christmas Candle

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Old man winter has somehow missed passing the white stuff over us here in Colorado, but I am still getting in to the spirit of decorating my digs up for the Christmas season.

The popularity of music wrapped candles has grown over the past couple of years.  These babies are all over Pinterest and of course, lining the pages of recent Pottery Barn catalogs. 

I say, make your own!!!

This is a super easy variation to an earlier tutorial I posted that you can find here.

The only difference for the music wrapped candles are the embellishments used.  For this candle I used a rub-on Santa decal directly on to the sheet music before wrapping the candle with it.  

Then, using a glue gun, I wrapped the bottom with jute twine  and the top with regular ribbon.  

I say, decorate as you wish!  

Just a note:  I have experimented with burning these candles.   No, the paper does not catch on fire….but, wax may drip down the sides of your candle depending on the quality of the pillar.  My recommendation is that you keep these pretties for your table top decor and use plain candles for burning!

Don’t want to make your own?   Check this out on my shop.…I will make one for you!!

have a great weekend!   dcb

today’s note–images to remember

I am a native of  Colorado.

I have lived through the 1993 Summer of violence, 1999 Columbine tragedy, and now the 2012 Aurora movie theatre shooting.

I have also seen most of Colorado ravaged by wildfires this summer and continue to view images of our state on the National news that are sad and often scary.

A I traveled with my family this week in Summit County, Colorado, I was struck by the beauty that we encounter here that most aren’t able to witness.

I hope to replace some of the images from the news that you may have of Colorado in your head.

Perhaps you can just remember these……

from my family to yours….have a safe and happy weekend.  dcb