Thursday, December 13, 2018

Grace at Home No. 324


Welcome, friends! It's the middle of December, and we're all busy, busy, busy. . . so I'm grateful you're here for this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some highlights from last week's party.

First of all, some beautiful Christmas decor: Laura from Decor to Adore shares her lovely Christmas all spruced up for the holidays.


If you like Victorian Christmas decorations, you'll love visiting dear Debbie from Debbie-Dabble.


If you still have gift-wrapping to do, you'll appreciate all the gift-wrapping ideas from Michele at the Scrap Shoppe.


Need some last-minute gifts? Charlene from A Pinch of Joy shares 12 No-Bake Gifts from the Kitchen. These look absolutely delicious!


Planning a brunch for Christmas Day? You'll be glad to get this recipe for Creme BrulĂ©e French Toast Casserole from Marilyn at Marilyn's Treats. Doesn't it look delicious?


Or maybe you'd like to try this Christmas Rum Cake from Mareliz at Kocina de Pinay. Scrumptious!



Michele Morin at Living Our Days shares a poignant but truly inspirational piece about receiving the gift of Advent--the best I've read this year, I think. You won't want to miss this!



Last but not least, Angie from Keeping the Tie that Binds shares five ways keep Christ as the focus of Christmas. 


A big thank you to everyone who joined the last party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be delighted if you'd like to  display it.

Now for this week's party! Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, December 6, 2018

Grace at Home No. 323


Hello, friends! A blessed Advent to you!

I hope you're doing well this first Thursday of December. 2018 has rushed by so quickly, I can scarcely believe that we're just weeks away from Christmas. It's good for me to pause amidst the hustle and bustle of this season to celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some highlights from last week's Grace at Home party.

First, some eye candy from Pam at Everyday Living. Just look at the traditional Christmas beauty in her dining room!


For your own table, Debra from Shoppe No. 5 gives detailed instructions to make these adorable Santa napkin rings. Aren't they cute?


I love baking cookies at Christmastime, and I'm glad to get this recipe for Sesame Pretzel Cookie Bites from Kristin at Dizzy, Busy, and Hungry. They look melt-in-your-mouth delicious!


If you invite people into your home at Christmastime, you're likely to have some messes to clean up. Carpet stains can be tricky—but Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations shows how to remove even the worst carpet stains with a DIY carpet cleaner made of two simple household ingredients.


This time of year can be especially challenging if you have small children. Nicole from Mama of Many Blessings shares lots of ways to help kids understand the true meaning of Christmas.


A big thank you to everyone who joined the last party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be delighted if you'd like to  display it.

Now for this week's party! Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, November 29, 2018

Grace at Home No. 322


Friends, November is nearly over! Can you believe it? I pray that each of you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful that you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace. Here are some features from our last party.

Leanna from Faeries and Fauna created this darling sign for a child's bedroom for Christmastime.


Carol from Comfort Spring Station came up with a wonderful idea: acts of kindness for every day of Advent. She provides free printables and guides for this special way to count the days of Advent.


Janine from Keeping House provides a guide for organization at Christmastime, designed to help you go from Christmas Chaos to Christmas Calm.


Jamie from Anderson + Grant shared a recipe for raspberry-filled gingersnap cookies. Don't these look delicious?

Michele from Living Our Days shared her thoughts on the hard work of hanging on and the brave work of letting go.


As for me, I revisited some of my favorite easy-to-make crafts for Christmas decorating. I'd love to know what you think of these!


A big thank you to everyone who joined the last party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be delighted if you'd like to  display it.

Now for this week's party! Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!






Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Easy-to-make crafts for Christmas decorating


Years ago, I couldn't wait to get my Christmas decorations up. When I was a young mom, we lived in Michigan, where we sometimes had snow before Halloween! It was easy to rush right through Autumn. Now that we live in North Carolina, we don't get to the prettiest of Autumn days until early November. I now find myself clinging to Autumn longer and longer, never wanting to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has now come and gone, so I'm in the mood to start decking the halls. I find myself decorating a little more simply every year, but I still want things to look festive. One of my favorite parts of decorating is using crafts I've made over the years. Of course, not every Christmas craft is worth keeping, but I've made a few that store easily and still look good years later. If you like traditional Christmas decorations, you'll like some of my favorite Christmas crafts from years past. These are so simple to make that there's still plenty of time to make them for this year.

Easy to make crafts fro Christmas decorating

If you were to come to my door, you'd be greeted by this large DIY Joy sign:


I made it from a 2' x 4' piece of plywood and 9 1/2" craft letters. All it took was some spray paint, glue, and a ruler! You can see the complete directions here.

Once again my kitchen window will wear this easy NOEL sign. Pottery Barn offered a similar sign a few years ago, but it was pretty pricey--so I created my own. Obviously it's modeled after the 1960's "LOVE" design--remember that tilted "O"?


Making your own version of the sign is a simple craft.  You'll need some kind of lightweight letters (I used pressboard letters in a shape similar to the Pottery Barn sign), balsa wood strips, and spray paint, and hot glue. The back will look like this:



You can see step-by-step instructions for the sign here.

I love to burn candles at Christmastime, but it can be a challenge to find pretty ones that aren't heavily scented. So these easy-to-make Christmas candles are a favorite craft of mine:


Would you believe that's a just a pretty napkin Mod-Podged onto a plain pillar? These are fun to display and make nice gifts as well. The full directions are here.

This next craft is so easy that it hardly even qualifies as a craft! Did you know you can make your own Christmas pillows from placemats?


Look for two-ply placemats. Just last week I bought a package of four at Home Goods for $9.99! Then simply open up the two layers of fabric with a seam ripper:


Fill with the stuffing of your choice or pop in a pillow insert, stitch or glue the opening back up, and you've got a cute pillow! If you need more explanation, you can see the complete instructions here.

Last year I captured a special memory by making a super-easy Christmas ornament out of one of my mother's favorite Christmas recipes. My mom died in 1999, so I love seeing this bit of her handwriting.


How about you? Do you make your own Christmas decorations? Have you started your Christmas decorating yet? I'd love to see what you're up to!



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A prayer for Thanksgiving


Here's the kind of Thanksgiving dinner many of us dream about:
And here's the kind of dinner we have nightmares about:



For most of us, the truth is somewhere in between.


Pro tip: Carve the turkey in the kitchen, and serve the meat on a platter—much simpler for everyone!

(By the way, if you need simple directions for how to roast a turkey, click here. Results guaranteed!)

For all of us, here's a Thanksgiving prayer written by a dear friend of mine. I hope it'll inspire you as much as it inspires me.
For friends who listen, for opponents who challenge, for companions who love, we thank You, O God. For the gift of laughter, for the warmth of embrace, for the release of tears, we thank You, O God. For dawning and dusk, for the cycle of seasons, for elephants and daisies, and for bodies so wonderfully made, we thank You, O God.

For seedtime and harvest, for nourishing food and pure water, for the luxury of taste and smell, we thank You, O God. For the inspiration for music, for the beauty of the arts, for the fulfillment of human creation, we thank You, O God.

For the miracle of conception and birth, for the ongoing miracles of daily life, for the promise of the life to come, we thank You, O God. For the love and grace we receive, for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, for the constant direction and care You provide us through Your Holy Spirit, we thank You, O God.

In this Thanksgiving season, we take a moment to ponder, to remember, and to number our blessings, knowing that it is through Your divine providence, O God, that we live, and move, and have our being. Amen.
                                                                                                                  - G. Skramstad

A blessed Thanksgiving to you!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Grace at Home No. 321


Hello, everyone! Happy Thursday, and welcome to this edition of the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Autumn arrives very late in North Carolina, but look what beauty we've enjoyed lately:


This week I'm visiting extended family, and I've had very little access to internet service, but I know y'all have been busy, so I'm delighted to host this party.

Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!