Are you listening to so many voices all around you that you can’t hear God’s voice?
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:4-5
Technology has changed our lives. Everyone has experienced some of the benefits and blessings of technology, even those who don’t pay much attention to all of the “new-fangled” stuff out here.
Grandmas and Grandpas, although often not even realizing it, benefit from faster communication and information storage and accessibility at the doctor’s office. Grandma might not be on Facebook (or she might be, and you don’t know it!), but her life has been touched by technology.
But we have also experienced the negative side of technology through the explosion of “noise” all around us. It is an amazing thing to be able to click a few links and read a daily devotional or Scripture verse. We have access to Bible studies, Christian communities, and inspirational articles that offer encouragement and guidance. I often wonder, however, if there is just too much of a good thing.
Because my job is to discover and share insightful and encouraging information wherever God leads, I also frequently come across voices that give me pause, and cause me to ask myself, “Can that be possible?” With the easy accessibility to seemingly unlimited information, don’t you sometimes find that there might just be way too many voices?
There are voices calling you to “Look over here! We’ve got just what you’ve been searching for!” or “99 Ways to Fix Your Marriage,” or “Seven Reasons Why Your Church is Failing.”
The other day as I was reading and doing a bit of research I came across a headline that said something like “Stop Putting Your Family First.” I found that intriguing, partly because that has been a topic of interest to me for many years. Raising children in the church for many years, I discovered that Christian trends come and go, kind of like fashion fads where every season we need something new and different.
I knew families who felt called to the mission field, who would travel to the other side of the world to preach the Gospel to the lost souls on another continent.
They would either raise their children on the mission field in the native environment, or send them off to boarding school, or sometimes they would send their children home to the United States to live with relatives while they went to school.
Then there were families who felt God had called them to invest all of their time, energy, and spiritual gifts into raising their own children, including home schooling them to make sure that the children were prepared to share the Good News of the Gospel with those in their neighborhoods.
And then there were the parents who were just trying to get through a day, making sure they had the resources to feed and clothe their children, keep a roof over their heads, pray with them every morning and tuck them in with a prayer and Bible reading at bedtime. There has always been a variety of ways in which families honor God with their lives, their homes, and their families.
But recently, it seems with the advent of technology, the voices keep coming, louder and more frequently, reminding us that we just aren’t doing it quite right. Information is good. Information overload can be harmful, especially if you are the kind of person who is striving to honor God with your life, and all of this “noise” is confusing you.
Here’s some advice from this Vintage Mama – trust God to guide YOU, find wisdom and guidance from His Word and learn as much as you can. But be careful of all of the voices out here calling you to look this way, and run that way, and second-guess yourself every step of your journey.
God is big enough to let you know when you’ve gotten off track, we really don’t need to be scolded and chastised from every direction we look by those who have it all figured out . . . or do they?
Just a thought. But I’m pretty sure that if you seek God for direction in your life, He will honor His Word, and speak directly into your heart.
Nina Newton is the Senior Editor for RUBY magazine, blog, and community website. She is also a free-lance writer and editor. You can connect with her and read more of her creative and inspirational posts on her blog, Vintage Mama’s Cottage.
Such an adorable tiny birdhouse to decorate your Christmas tree or add to any holiday display! Be sure to visit Katherine’s Corner for weekly creative inspiration, giveaways, and her Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.
This Christmas Tree Birdhouse Ornament is a child-friendly DIY for ages 8 and up.
Please be careful especially while using the glue gun.
What You Need
- Empty bathroom tissue cardboard tube or paper towel cardboard tube
- Small piece of burlap about 3 inches square
- Christmas picks, berries and pine, holly berries, sparkles etc.
- Cord, yarn or jute for wrapping
- Hot glue gun
- Craft knife
- Hole punch Glue gun
Let’s Make It!
Cut the cardboard tube in half. Most bath tissue tubes are 4 inches long.
Or cut a 2 inch section of paper towel cardboard tube.
Using a hole punch or a pencil, cut or push a hole about 1/3 up from the bottom.
Start gluing the cord, jute, rope or yarn a little at a time until you have covered the tube.
Please have a grown up do this step to locate the hole inside the covered tube.
Using your craft knife cut the jute away from the hole, add a spot of glue if it starts to fray.
Cut a 1.5 inch circle from card stock
Cut 1.25 x 1.75 inch card stock
Cut burlap 1.25 x 1.75
Glue the card stock in place for the roof and then add some glue and cover with burlap.
I had some pretty burlap with lace scraps; I think it gives the illusion of snow.
Glue a piece of jute to the roof (for hanging).
Now gather all of your little bits of Christmas craftiness and make a pretty ornament topper. Or if you prefer, just leave it with the burlap and don’t add the topper.
This is such a cute way to recycle and to decorate!
Please do not place your ornament near an open flame.
Katherine Corrigan is a regular contributor to RUBY magazine. You can find more of her creative and inspiring posts on her blog at Katherine’s Corner, where you can also participate in the weekly Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.
With every season there is so much to celebrate! Don’t you just love to bring a touch of the changing seasons into your home? We do, too, so we have gathered up a collection of quick and easy autumn crafts and home décor projects just for the readers of RUBY magazine.
You will find a variety of ideas here as well as on the individual websites and blogs we’ve included, so be sure to visit them and tell them that RUBY sent you!
Mason Jars on a Rope from Midwest Living
This time of year we all have a few extra Mason Jars around the house, and there are SO many different ways to use them for both practical as well as decorative projects. This delightful home décor idea will bring a touch of autumn to your home! Check out the complete tutorial at www.midwestliving.com
Leaf-Embellished Painted Pumpkins from The Sweet Escape
Pumpkins are not only abundant this time of year, but they come in all sizes. So whether you are setting up a porch or an autumn mantle display or if you are decorating your entire back yard, pumpkins are the PERFECT autumn accessory!
These leaf-embellished painted pumpkins can be made in any (or every!) color with pressed leaves applied with Mod Podge for an interesting, textured design surface. Find the complete tutorial on The Sweet Escape blog at www.thesweetescape.ca
Framed “FALL” Art
How simple is this project!!! But look at how striking it is with the letters to the word “FALL” framed and standing all in a row! Of course, if you have enough frames you could spell out the word “AUTUMN” or any seasonal greeting to offer a warm welcome to your home. Complete tutorial can be found at www.decoratingfiles.com
Autumn Textured Sweater Pillow Cover from Country Living
Here’s a clever idea for upcycling an old sweater . . . . cut it up and make a pillow cover! Lots of texture in autumn shades, and with a sweater-fabric flower with a button center, you’ve got a simple and inexpensive splash of color for your home. You could make pillows from upcycled sweaters in all sorts of textures and colors with the complete tutorial on the Country Living website at www.countryliving.com
Fall Fabric Rag Wreath from Find It Make It Love It
We’ve seen these “rag wreaths” in so many different colors, and they are so, so easy you just might want to make several. These beautiful wreaths not only bring some seasonal charm to your home, but they are a great way to use up bits and pieces of fabric scraps and strips, as well as ribbons and laces you already have on hand. You can find the complete tutorial at www.finditmakeitloveit.com
Fall Mason Jar Vases from My Anything and Everything
Some white chalk paint, stencils, and a few of those Mason Jars we all have around the house and you’ve got a set of gorgeous autumn vases to dress up your entry or mantle this season. Complete tutorial can be found at www.mayanythingandeverything.com
Find more creative and inspirational articles in the OCTOBER issue of RUBY magazine!
I hope you can join us because it is LOTS of fun!
Join us every week as we party and share at the best link party in blog land!
Here are a few of my favorite posts from last week’s linky party:
Since I am in the midst of creating a few new refashioned “wearable art” garments for the Textile Arts Alliance exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art later this month, this gorgeous tunic top caught my eye. This post was featured on by Andrea on her blog, Living on Cloud Nine.
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte from Budget Girl . . . . and since I really don’t like going out of my house any more than is absolutely necessary, especially to get something as frivolous as a pumpkin spice latte, I just might give this one a try!
I am always looking for creative DIY home decor projects, and this stunning Fall Leaf Book Page Wreath jumped right out at me as I was checking out all of last week’s blog hop participants. I love the white-on-white simplicity, and the vintage touch of using pages from an old book is especially beautiful. But I’m not sure I can bring myself to cut up a book . . . . any book . . . or a vintage book, for sure! But I think I’ll give it a try and see if I can gather up the courage to tackle this project from Thistlewood Farms.
Let’s start hopping!
Katherine – Katherine’s Corner
Nina –Vintage Mama’s Cottage
Debi- Surroundings by Debi
Marilyn – Marilyn’s Treats
Angelina –Peonies and Orange Blossoms
It all starts with a SIMPLE ACT OF KINDNESS
Please read the rules before participating, it will be a much more satisfying hop experience.
* Please visit at least two links ahead of yours
* Follow Your Hostesses
* Link to your post not your blog main page. –
By sharing with us you are agreeing that the photos are yours or that you have permission to use them, and that we may use your photos to feature your post on social media, Pinterest or as a feature on our blogs.
Have fun we look forward to all you will share. All of the hostesses are now selecting their favorites to share in features on their blogs each week. Share your best work!
A car manufacturer is going to start installing an alert system in their vehicles to let the driver know if the driver left their child in the backseat. Sounds like a good idea- after all, parents who leave a child unattended in their vehicle has caused the death of many children.
So when people buy their vehicles from this dealer, they don’t have to worry about forgetting their child in the backseat. This is a triumph…right?
Looking deeper, I see a band-aid over a serious heart issue.
Are we so busy with our lives that our brains no longer register others anymore?
Are we so focused on getting the shopping done or getting to work that we forget we have a little one in the car?
Please understand that I’m not pointing fingers at anyone- I’ve forgotten to pick up my kids because I was too busy and lost track, so I’m not even close to being a perfect parent- but the heart issue isn’t whether we love our kids or not. The heart issue is this; are we too distracted by busyness to notice our kids?
-Using the TV/video games as a babysitter regularly so we can get things done
-Texting/talking on your phone all the time when at home- even during family meals
-Being too busy to spend time playing/talking with your kids
-Not being there when they need you because you over-scheduled yourself
-Shutting the family out so you can have some ‘me’ time, when there’s more ‘me’ than ‘them’ time.
-Over scheduling so much that we are more focused on what we’re doing instead of who is with us.
And when something bad happens, we feel the too-heavy weight of guilt on our spirits and the regret that we weren’t there for them…again.
I’ve done every single one of the things I listed above. I’ve felt the guilt. I’m not telling you all of this because I’m better than anyone (which I’m definitely not) but to alert you in case you haven’t done it (yet), or let you know you’re not the only one if you have.
I want to rip off that band-aid and help a heart-issue healing.
The world is full of distractions, busyness, and selfishness. There’s nothing wrong with a little time to yourself to relax or get things done, but when the family suffers because we’re just not there with them (mentally or physically), this is a serious heart issue that needs to be fixed.
God made Adam,and then made his partner, Eve. God meant for them to have children and fill the earth. God invented the family. Satan and the world are doing their best to tear families apart.
Subtlety is the best way to do this.
Look around your life in God’s eyes and see all the little things that distract you from Him. You might be surprised- I know I was!
But how do you fix it? It’s hard to give up things that we’re used to, and sometimes we just can’t because it’s become a necessity, like computers or cell phones. We can live without them (at least us older folks can…maybe), but these gadgets make life run more smoothly for the most part.
So here are some suggestions to help rip off that band-aid:
-Have a tech-free night. No computers, TV, or cell phones. Spend time playing card or board games or talking with each other.
-Plan tech-free family mini-vacations. Go on a road trip. Go camping. Go to the beach. Anything that will put you in a different environment and focus on the beauty of God’s creations, go do it. The only tech exception will be to take pictures- but include the family in them!
-Family meals should be tech-free and eaten at a kitchen or dining room table- not in front of the TV.
-Plan family walks around the neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors! If you have to walk the dog anyway, why not walk as a family?
-Spend family time with the pets. Take turns throwing a Frisbee or ball for Fido, or break out the fishing pole toy or laser light for Fluffy.
-Ease up the schedule. Do you need to go to meetings every night or take the kids to soccer, baseball, karate, and dance class every week? Pick one or two nights for activities and the rest of the week is free to relax and spend time together. Kids get stressed from over scheduling too!
-Make meals together. Instead of a parent in the kitchen while everyone waits, have everyone help- not only will this be more fun, but it also teaches the kids how to cook! (Just make sure to give them age appropriate tasks.)
-Chores can be boring, but put on a mix of your favorite tunes (kids included) and do them together- chores get done a lot faster! The more hands, the quicker the work- and then you can spend more time together having fun!
-Have a prayer and bible time so your kids can learn and ask questions about God. And if you don’t know the answers, write them down to look up later or talk to your pastor about them. Write down scriptures to back up the answers, then address their question the next time. Let the kids pray freely with no coaching- you might be surprised what or who they pray for!
The family unit as a whole has been degrading in the past few decades. Technology isn’t the only reason, but if we allow ourselves to be too busy or distracted, we lose sight of God’s purpose concerning family.
It’s a heart issue that can’t be fixed by band-aids.
Time with our babies is a fleeting thing, and we don’t realize just how important our role is as parents until our kids are grown. Spending time with them is crucial in helping stop the disintegration of the family as a whole.
Rip off that band-aid.
Slow the schedule.
Spend time with your children, and feel God smile as He pours His blessings upon you.
Author and Asst. Editor for Ruby for Women Magazine, Beth Brubaker
My episode #5 podcast for January/February, “The Gatekeeper’s Key,” explores the dilemma we all face when challenged with the charge to “go” forward into a year filled with a balance of opportunity and the unknown. But, do not go forward without petitioning the Gatekeeper of your year to open wide the opportunities that lay ahead. Unknown as they may be, the Gatekeeper has the key . . .
One day, Weaver ventures into the marketplace where words and tapestries are traded. There, in the midst of so many tales, stands the Gatekeeper. The Master Story-Weaver himself! Other eager weavers reach out to him in a flood of their tales. Some limp about, tripping over their words for all the loose threads and yarns, falling flat on the ground before him. Others push and shove, assertively staking a claim by his side, petitioning for a key that they might know the opportunities on the other side of the gate.
But, the treasuries therein are not to be toyed with sloppily, and the gate’s portal not to be opened to mere aggressors. The Gatekeeper knows the worth of each tapestry laid before him and allows only those who would prove themselves worthy of the key to have access. By invitation . . .
The Gatekeeper’s Key
Click the PLAY BUTTON above to hear the my podcast dramatization of The Gatekeeper’s Key, an original, whimsical tale to inspire and challenge YOU to GO into this new year seeking gatekeeper’s with keys . . . to opportunities.
Kathryn Ross is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team and a regular contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine. You can find her at The Writer’s Reverie and Pageant Wagon Publishing to read more of her inspirational posts and listen to her monthly storytelling podcasts.
Here are some fun DIY Christmas ornaments ideas collected by Vintage Mama from all around the blogosphere for the Ruby for Women community. We hope you have a joyous Christmas season and we would love to see what you create for your family during the holidays!
For many years, when my older children were small, we would always give each child their own ornament at Christmas. Every year, each ornament would have the child’s name and year written on it. Then, when the children grew up and had their own families, they had a collection of Christmas ornaments that not only made their Christmas trees beautiful, but they also had years of memories to share with their own children.
In the past few years, however, it has become so expensive to buy those beautiful ornaments for each of the children (and grandchildren!) so I thought it would be fun to find a collection of DIY Christmas ornaments to share with you so that you, too, can give a memorable gift of a handmade Christmas ornament to someone special
All of these Christmas ornament crafts can be made at home, and you can personalize them with names and dates for each of your loved ones to keep for many Christmases to come.
Repurpose vintage cookie cutters into shadowbox ornaments with a coat of ivory paint, some vintage sheet music or book pages. Add a bit of bling with costume jewelry pieces, beads, or metal embellishments.
Find more fun and creative DIY Christmas ornament tutorials from Better Homes and Gardens.
Simply adorable, super simple, inexpensive and absolutely beautiful, especially using a vintage print fabric for the ruffles on these Styrofoam ball ornaments.
Dress up your home in vintage holiday style with these DIY Ruffled Ball Ornaments with complete instructions at Simply Notable.
Delicate stars make perfect tree or window adornments — and you don’t even need a pattern! To make, cut simple shapes from felted wool and embellish with embroidery floss, pearl beads, and crystal accents. To add visual variety to your display, change the size of star and type of accents.
Cute as a button, these Vintage Inspired Bell Jar Ornaments are made from inexpensive plastic wine glasses filled with tiny ornaments and other holiday ephemera. Complete tutorial can be found on My So-Called Crafty Life.
For a bit of sparkle and shine, and ornaments that even the kids can help create, these DIY Bedazzled Paper Ornaments are the perfect project. Patterned holiday scrapbook paper on card stock cut outs make beautiful ornaments that you can then embellish with pom-poms, ribbons, gems, buttons, and lace.
Detailed with glittery scroll wings and rhinestone eyes, these chipboard birds make beautiful ornaments on any Christmas tree. Simply decorate chipboard with patterned paper and painted designs, add store-bought embellishments, and hang for all holiday guests to adore.
Cute as a button, these Vintage Inspired Bell Jar Ornaments are made from inexpensive plastic wine glasses filled with tiny ornaments and other holiday ephemera. Complete tutorial can be found on My So-Called Crafty Life.
Here’s another version of the bell jar ornaments – these designs feature vintage jewelry and other trinkets, baubles, and beads all showcased in a clear dome. Create a holiday still life inside the dome by cutting a chipboard circle the size of the dome’s base. Arrange items onto the chipboard base, glue in place, and then add sparkly tinsel or garland. Glue the dome to the chipboard base to create your own Sparkling Snow Bell Ornaments.
At this busy time of year, I hope you will take time to celebrate the joy of the holiday season with friends and family, and that you will always remember the true reason for the Christmas season. Please join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine at Katherine’s Corner and her team of bloggers. Hope to see you soon!
Welcome to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. We invite you to link up and share your favorite post or a post about your favorite things.
We can’t wait to see what you share!
Katherine– Katherine’s Corner || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Nina–Vintage Mama’s Cottage || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Debi– Surroundings by Debi || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Jas– All That’s Jas || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Erika– What Erika Wears || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Betty– My Cozy Corner || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Rina– I Thee Cook || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Rosemary– An Italian in My Kitchen || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine and her hostesses’ permission to share your posts and pictures via social media, on Pinterest and as features on their blogs
One day you’re just speeding along, doing what you need to do every day, when suddenly you realize something.
You lost yourself.
I don’t mean ‘lost yourself’ like being deeply involved in a book. I mean when you’re so darned busy, you forget you’re a human being.
I have utterly, completely lost myself these past few months.
For the first time since our marriage, I had to work outside of my home. I worked at a fabric store eons ago, more for getting out of the house than a financial need so that doesn’t count. This time I have to work- it’s a totally different dynamic.
It’s more of a culture shock, really. I no longer have the time to do the things that keep me sane. The things I like to do define me. And for the past few months, I’ve not had a chance to delve into the things that make me my creative, oddball self.
I miss me!
Some of you can understand how I feel. Some of you might think I’m whining. After all, I had eighteen years to do something with the talents God gave me…right? So what did I do with all that ‘slopping over’ talent? Not much, really.
I made my fair share of money. I’ve made handmade gifts for folks. I’ve even donated my work. My kids have quilts to keep them warm at night, my husband has a quilt that we share when watching movies, and my friends have their kids face painted by me at their parties, with their lady friends wearing my origami jewelry…
Hey, wait a minute. That’s more than ‘not much’- isn’t it? Maybe my talents weren’t wasted after all?
Maybe that’s what I’m missing!
I like creating things. Oh sure, I like selling my work too, but I really love making crafts that others enjoy. I love writing, brainstorming, and creating new crafts, new characters, and new story ideas.
And that’s what’s going wrong. I haven’t been able to create anything for almost three months!
Where did I go? I went to work. I get up, I work, I come home, I work, I cook, I go to meetings, I come home and sleep. The weekends are a little different, but not by much.
Creative minds need outlets. I haven’t given mine any outlets lately, so it’s shutting down and sulking somewhere in my mind- probably by the ‘where did I put my keys’ section.
I really need to get those creative juices going again!
It won’t be easy. But it needs to be done. All work and no play makes Jacqueline a really tired, grumpy old sot. And nobody wants to be that when they grow up!
I still haven’t decided what I’ll be doing when I grow up- but whatever it’ll be, it’ll be creative!
Beth Brubaker is the Assistant Editor for the Ruby for Women magazine and a member of the Ruby Blogger Team. You can connect with her and read more of her humorous and inspirational posts on her blog, Footprints in the Mud.
Visit The Writer’s Reverie and meet Miss Kathy. Discover Pageant Wagon Publishing, Fable springs Parables, and Clementine Jones!
You are invited to join the Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner and her bloggy friends! Come on and join the fun . . . . just link up your favorite blog post and then visit some of the other bloggers at the party where you can make new friends and find some great new blogs to read. I hope you will join us every week for the Favorite Things Blog Hop.
(Scroll to the bottom of this post to link up!)
What we’re working on at Vintage Mama’s Cottage . . . . .
The past couple of weeks have been really busy with all of the sewing going on around here for the Summer Launch Party for Gossamer Threads Shop. There’s still quite a bit to do . . . . still some sewing, fittings, photographs, and then the PARTY!
As soon as we have the photographs, we’ll be getting everything up on the Gossamer Threads Shop website and then it will be time to get going on the autumn collection. We’re getting lots of new ideas for our plus size garments, so be sure to email us if you have suggestions of what you would like to see for upcoming seasons.
In the midst of all this sewing and business-building activity, I attended a women’s business summit yesterday here in Our Town, sponsored by my favorite business coach, Christie Browning of ReVision for Women. There were several great speakers who shared inspiring and encouraging workshops. I made connections with other business women from our area, and learned a lot about marketing, organization, goal setting, planning, and even nutrition.
While several of the ladies were talking before the meeting started, the conversation turned to tote bags. So I listened, and took a few mental notes about what they were looking for. Now, it’s not as if I need a few more projects to do in the next two weeks, but I got to thinking about making coordinating tote bags for our seasonal collections from Gossamer Threads Shop.
So I did a bit of research, looking for the kinds of tote bags that the ladies were describing, and here’s what I found – if I can find a bit of time to fit in a few designs for tote bags before the Summer Launch Party, I think I’ll try to create two or three that might go nicely with the summer clothing line we’re working on.
I found these tote bags with complete tutorials on the Better Homes and Gardens website. If you would like to try your hand at making your own tote bag this summer, just click on the photos above and you will be taken to the individual tutorials. Can’t wait to get started tomorrow morning! In the meantime, I hope you will join us for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner.
JOIN US THIS WEEK FOR THE
THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS BLOG HOP
• PLEASE DO NOT link and run, please visit and comment on at least two of the links ahead of you. This simple act of kindness will result in a much more satisfying blog hop experience
• Please link to your post and not to your blog home page.Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing).
• Please remember to post no more than 3 links.
• No adult content blogs.
• No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed)
Optional- Link back on your post and/or Grab the hop button .
Please leave comments when you visit, let them know you are visiting from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . I invite you to add your giveaways to Katherine’s Giveaways Page too!
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine and her hostesses permission to share your posts and pictures via social media, Pinterest and as a Make It Monday feature on Katherine’s Corner.
Please Follow Your hostesses
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
My garden never ceases to amaze me. There was some definite and intentional planning that went into what was planted. In each season a different plant or flower seems to take centre stage. In Summer there is a blanket of pink roses, winter it is the white camellias that add freshness to a quiet garden.
It is certainly something that I can’t claim any credit for it as it was done before we moved here. Certainly since living here I have done nothing in the garden other than reap the benefits of someone else’s hard work and planning!
Being intentional about life is rather like tending a garden. It takes work, effort and planning! To enjoy the daffodils in spring you need to plant the bulbs in the fall. To be a teacher or lawyer tomorrow you need to study today. Decisions we make today determine our tomorrows. They determine our destiny.
It means sometimes making choices based on a future hope instead of a present desire. The culmination of many small little decisions and choices will impact our future.
Being intentional in life goes further than our decisions too. It means being careful about our thoughts and words. It says in Proverbs that death and life in the power of the tongue. It means that what we speak about ourselves and our circumstances have an impact on our lives.
Patricia King once wrote “the original purpose of words was not communication but creation.” We walk out in life what we declare. Make decrees of the Word and create your world!
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” (Alice Walker)
Philippa Smyth is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team. You can read more of her inspirational posts on her blog, Blue Skies and Lollipops.
We’ve been working all week long on updating our websites and social media sites, and Pinterest is one that we have had fun with. You are invited to come on over and follow our boards where we will be posting inspirational quotes, book reviews, crafts, recipes, poetry, and new books from Ruby’s Reading Corner.
If you would like to join the Ruby for Women Pinterest boards where you can pin your own inspirational articles, stories, blog posts, or other family-friendly links, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to include you!
Here’s the link to Ruby’s Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/ruby4women/
We’ll be looking for you over at Pinterest soon!
received a coating of extra fine glitter.
I added some flocking glitter on Gary’s collar.
Red ric-rac was added.
and some vintage ornaments.
May the Luck of the Irish keep you pinch-proof this St. Patrick’s Day!
We found this easy hair clip idea on Celebrations.com
We just love these St. Patrick’s Day Printables from The 36th Avenue.
Find them on their site: The 36th Avenue.com
The “Super Ridiculously Simple” Shamrock banner is from Lollyjane.com. Give it a try…there’s still time before the luck of the Irish runs out!
We found this fun and adorable Easter Bunny Door Wreath over at “Love it So Much”.
Being an artist is not an easy thing. It kind of makes you different when you are really committed to it. It can be under-appreciated, misunderstood and mistaken as a misguided childhood dream. So knowing all that, why would I still want to be an artist?
For me it has saved my soul. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Art has become an outlet and an escape from consuming thoughts. It has allowed me to function and be a part of something again. The past few years my family has walked through some very difficult times, experiencing loss and grief more times than is normal in a given year. My heart was consumed with grief. Art allowed me to safely explore my emotions. It kept me from getting lost in those deep dark feelings.
It stopped my anxious constant pacing and allowed me to still my brain and my heart. It did not judge me and created real pictures of the hurt and pain I had inside. It released me from it. But what was even more amazing was when my pictures began to be positive and filled with light. When they changed from depicting me as an injured soul to a free spirit. It is amazing to see my art change as it changed me.
So why be an artist? Well because it is just in me to do so. I can’t change that nor would I want to. Now I have begun to encourage others in their walk. I love seeing their art display real human emotion that starts out showing the hurt and pain in their life…and seeing the change to real artistic expression of their spirit. I also love seeing them go from not sharing their pieces to showing them with pride. Going from ‘I need your acceptance of my work’ to ‘here is my art, love it or leave it…cause I love it!’ It is a huge moment when you no longer need approval of others!
Art is who I am, and not for all the money in the world would I be willing to change that. I believe in my heart that God brought art into my life to heal the hurts, and set me on the path of helping others explore art in their life. It’s an amazing gift, and I honor and treasure it.
So why did you become an artist? I would love to hear your story too!
New on the Ruby Crafts DIY Page…Last minute Valentine’s Day Decoration ideas from
We just adore this Valentine’s Day Birdfeeder by
Visit our Crafts DIY page for more information.
Have a beautiful, blessed Valentine’s Day!
courtesy of Entrepreneur and shared by Christie Browning.
An integral part of your business success is reaching customers through inventive and comprehensive social-media marketing campaigns.
Here are some tips to help build up your following and your brand.
1. Make your tweets stand out.
If you don’t want your posts to get lost in the Twitter stream, make sure to include an image, related link or even an emoji to separate your missives from the torrent of other tweets.
2. Express yourself with longer posts.
If you feel limited by Twitter’s 140 character count, feel free to expand on a point with posts on platforms like Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.
3. Strengthen your Facebook network.
If you find that you aren’t getting the response you are after from your company’s Facebook page, create some groups to spark more connections and conversations around your product and brand. Your customers can also choose to get updates from you this way.
4. Inspire action.
Include call to action buttons (i.e. “like this page” and “learn more”) in your posts to gain more traction, clicks and conversions.
5. Stay top of mind.
Market and post consistently across multiple platforms. Tailor your posts for each community and be sure to include links to your other social accounts in the bio and about sections so customers know where else to find you.
6. Make connections.
You’re not just selling a product or a service, but a larger network. If you know of people in your orbit who would benefit from meeting, whether they are an investor, advisor, client or customer, make the introduction – you and the brand be well remembered.
7. Share your feedback.
When you get positive feedback from a customer, don’t be afraid to highlight it. Retweet customer praise, thank individual customers on your Facebook page and consider a crowd sourced, user-generated campaign.
8. Veer off the beaten track.
If a marketing idea appeals to you but you’re not sure if it’ll work, do the research but give it a try anyway. People will appreciate something a little unusual, and it could go viral.
We are so pleased to have Christie Browning as a member of the Ruby Blogger Team. Her purpose in business is to propel women to their full potential. By offering products and programs that combine professional coaching with personal development, she helps women change their worlds – their families – their jobs – and their influence.
Sometimes life gets a little too hectic, and you have to choose to stop for a moment. The decision to take a breather is difficult when life’s responsibilities surround you vying for attention. Last Friday, I made the decision to take a little breather. I turned the car right instead of left at the traffic light and headed for my favorite thrift store.
This spontaneous drop-by validated my dust obsession and confirmed the value of a needed break. I brought home a fifteen piece mismatched set of blue willow china. Some vintage; some new. The older pieces have that crackling in the porcelain glaze. While I no longer use those pieces in the kitchen, I find other ways of using them around the house. Each piece cost about 60 cents. The platter is my favorite. The pieces come from England and Japan.
I also discovered a German souvenir tablecloth set with six napkins in the linen section. I don’t think the set was ever used. The fabric feels as if it still has the manufacturer’s sizing in it. I thought the blue and brown colors would be a great addition to my blue dining room, especially in this autumn season.
Each napkin features a different German castle.
Give yourself permission to take a break if you need one. No telling what treasures you may discover.
Amy Harper shares her experiences, vintage crafting ideas and tutorials on her blog:
Here at Ruby for Women, we are honored that our special friend Katherine, from Katherine’s Corner, so generously shares her craft projects and seasonal recipes with us. Here is her latest holiday craft that you can do for your home this Christmas season.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I look forward to reading your posts and seeing all you have to share at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop next week. I am sure some of you brave souls went out and did some shopping today, it is officially the start of the “Countdown to Christmas”. How did you do? Did you find some great deals? I prefer to avoid the black Friday crowds. But, I respect all of you who do venture out for the bargains. Today I am happy to share my first bit of holiday craftiness, my Holiday Poinsettia Craft. You only need basic needle and thread sewing skills for this one ( wink).
What You Need
1 2x 12 Framed canvas
15 x 15 Piece of Holiday Fabric
Template (click HERE)
12 Pieces felt 9 x 12 inch size (one more if you cover the back)
Needle and thread to match your felt
Brooch, pendant, button or other adornment for the center
For the rest of this craft tutorial, click HERE.
Day in and day out I work with awesome business owners who want more from their efforts. They are looking to hit goals, gain momentum and sustain success. It’s what I love doing most — coaching women to success.
As I begin working with a client, we spend some time discussing what areas they need to master. It seems that no matter what the business, these five areas are always necessary in order to reach the highest potential.
You must always be learning. Submit to the fact that you must be constantly gaining more knowledge in your area of business, as a business owner, in a relating skill or interest. You can do this in a number of ways.
Attending workshops, conferences and classes is a great way to learn and network with others. Reading books that teach you a skill or quality is good, too. You can also gain valuable instruction by utilizing a coach.
Like I said, I work with awesome clients and I coach them on how to build their business, reach goals and attain success. And I want to do that for you. I’ve been in your shoes. As a business owner, I’ve cried in the shower. I’ve felt stressed, alone, lost and a host of other emotions. I’ve had more than 12 years of trial and error experience, and now that I’ve found something that works, I want to share it with you so that you too can know what it’s like to have that dream business.
It is important that you recognize incremental improvement not monumental improvement. Keep on keeping on and don’t give up. Practice discipline. Plan your work and work your plan. Commit to the finish line and push until you get there.
Trust the systems that you put in place. Trust the mentors you have that offer good advice and helpful support. Completely buy into what you do and why you do it. Push aside the doubt and “what ifs.” Get out of your own way and understand that growth has its highs and its lows. Be prepared to take falls, but be as equally prepared to get back up.
Are you just going through the motions? You can only wander for so long. You need a mental picture, a vision, to keep you intentional with your actions and your plans. Get focused on what you want and then get intentional about getting there.
Expand your comfort zone
Don’t play it safe. You will need to continue to grow, stretch and improve in order to get to the pinnacle. No one gets to stay put and see success. Accept the growth and the change. Set goals beyond your reach and get help to get there.
Christie is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team. See more from Christie on her blog:
Amy Harper shows us how to make these beautiful vintage tags. Click the link near the bottom of the tutorial to find printable tags to begin with, then embellish with your beautiful vintage items.
Thank you Janet, from Today’s Fabulous Finds for sharing this 5 Step project!
Find this and more of our favorite Fall crafts on our Craft/DIY page.
More of Becky’s creative and tasty recipes can be found on her blog:
Find the recipe here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bltq59nVfqJkdhugezQAVwHy9d3-v8XF5WNf4bjxMLY/edit
Amy Harper is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team, and she has been sharing her tutorials with our readers for quite some time. This tutorial for turning vintage linens into these adorable sachets was first published in the May, 2012 issue of Ruby for Women.
With the holidays coming up, we thought it would be a good time to share this inspirational tutorial with our readers again. Just in time to make a few for gift-giving!
Vintage Linen Sachet Tutorial
1. Cut one 4″ by 4″ square of a vintage linen remnant.
Cut one 4″ by 4″ square of cotton fabric.
Cut two 4″ by 4″ squares of Pellon Fusible Featherweight Interfacing 911 FF.
2. Iron one fusible interfacing square to the back of your vintage linen remnant.
This will keep any loose threads from the cutting held secure in the back.
Iron the other fusible interfacing square to your cotton fabric square.
This makes your cotton fabric weight match the weight of the vintage remnant.
3. With right sides facing, sew a 1/4″ seam around 3 edges of your square. If you have a side on the embroidered square that has no loose embroidery, leave that side as the fourth unfinished side. This side will later be hand-sewn, and it will be easier if there is no embroidery.
4. Trim the sides and the corners close to the seams.
Let me know what you think!