12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Crafts, Ministry, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Homemade Valentines are not a thing of the past! These cute Valentines will make any receiver know without a shadow of a doubt they are loved. Being a ranch ministry it is something we love to share…LOVE with animals! PLUS…it’s below zero here in Minnesota…so what’s a girl to do but craft!

Each animal or gnome brings a smile just because of their huge tummies. I love how it makes it look like they are holding their tummies full of goodies! They may take you some time, but soooooo worth it!
Just change the colors to fit anytime of year giving.

Material Needed Gnome:

Aren’t these just the cutest?

Material Needed for Barn Animals

How to:

Once you have cut out your image, put together how you would like. There is so much variety by adding background paper and ribbons to spice up your Valentine so play away. I used the extra pieces for the legs and paws and used double stick take to secure them to the ball.

After your image is glued together, decorate your ball background. I used the Cricut’s shape image circle and made it slightly larger than the ornament ball. If you use a dark circle for your backing you don’t have to decorate.

Hot glue around edge of your ball filled with candy. Place your circle backing on to secure. You may need. to add more glue to make sure it is fully enclosed.

To secure the ball to the front of image I used a piece of velcro so the image can be reused as a tag. (see below)

Or you can just hot glue it directly to your image.

Making the tag to fit easily behind the ball. I do show the recipient how they can use it and regift using the image as a gift tag.

Velcro on back of ball

Sucker for gift ideas…so…use them as gift tags!

Enjoy making the ones you love feel LOVED!

This holiday is so awesome! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

The homemade key chain craz is hitting the craft fairs big time this year and heading into 2022 I think it will remain a great gift idea as well as craft for kids and grandkids! Easy to make with your Cricut machine and some imagination. Making them personal is always a special touch.

I got busy this Christmas making key chains as we found some plexiglass in the barn. PERFECT for making this project and use it up in a wise way. Dan cut them up on his laser machine and I got busy pumping out both for our Trading Post at the ranch and for personal family and friends. I also like using them as tags for the outside of gift.

Here are just a few:

Made with background vinyl: Expressions Vinyl

Expressions Vinyl has all your heat and permanent vinyl needs! Love this company and FREE shipping with $49 or more. When you shop with them you will get your own inspirations for sure!

Many of the designs I got in Design Space. If you have a Cricut, it really is worth $10/mo to have this great feature! So easy to add your own ideas too.

Enjoy! You won’t want to stop! HA!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

DIY porch decorating hanging balls make any porch stand out especially when you add lights! OH… they are fun to do as well!

Every fall Dan and I get busy thinking and creating new ideas for our Trading Post at the ranch and for our annual Harvest Hoedown. We love to go to markets and find what is really selling well and of course we focus on the country/western feel. When I saw these…WELLLLL I about flipped! It was an AWE moment as I know porch decor is hot and what I love best…you can do them yourself and change them for the season. Truly worth it!

18″ Wrought Iron Antique Rust

$65.00

12″ Wrought Iron Ball Antique Rust

$45.00

What’s great is they fold flat

If at any time you don’t want to have them, you can easily store them away as they just fold right down. I love that! One thing about decor is it’s hard to have a place for big items such as these.

8″ Wrought Iron, Forest Green

$25.00 This one is great for indoors a little cutie!

18″ Galvanized Metal

$70.00

they really are fun and will LIGHTEN up your porch for sure! We hope they sell! ALL PROCEEDS go to our ministry, True North Ranch!

Enjoy the joy crafting gives!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Treats

DIY peppermint candy spoons with a twist is easy and will add to any Hot Chocolate or Coffee bar a perfect stir stick with a burst of flavor! I love how these turned out and with all the candy cane flavors now days…well TWIST away!

Our daughter had a day off and it will be awhile before she has another, so I invited her over for our chocolate bomb making day. Last year was our first time trying this fun adventure so we will now make it a yearly tradition! They really do make great gifts and now we have the mug maker to add the bombs with a personal mug to make one great gift!

I had an itch to do a little something extra this time. I found this silicone spoon maker at the craft store and well…it got me thinking…how awesome it would be to make candy cane spoon stir sticks! What really got my juices rolling was when I went down the Walmart isle and saw the tons of different KIND of candy canes to pull this idea together. Whoa! I bet there were 6 different flavors!

I got the traditional flavor but I got a new one, raspberry. What got me was the color. My two favorite color combo, pink and brown and did they every turn out adorable!

They are not only pretty, but amazing flavor!

Twisted Spoon Stir Sticks

Ingredients:

  • Simple…your flavor of candy cane smashed in a zip lock baggy
  • place crushed candy in silicone spoon pan
  • make sure they are firmly in the spoon and scrap as much off the edge and sides into the spoon
  • place in 300 degree oven for 8-12 minutes
  • once well melted, place pan aside to allow to cool completely
  • pop out and place in cello bag with a twist tie

For an added bonus:

I use Wilson melted discs, melt in microwave for 30 seconds, stir until smooth and dipped each spoon into chocolate and white chocolate. As it is still warm you can dip the spoon with the chocolate into some sprinkles or gold dust to add color and more fun.

Yours will be so much better

By making your own and using all the different flavors the stores provide you will create some awesome twisted sitr sticks to add to your Hot Chocolate Bar or gift. If you have kids or grand kids they will especially love to dip the spoons and make them sparkle with sprinkles and who knows what else!

Here is another creative way without the silicone

I like both ideas…

Whichever one you make it will be great! Enjoy! They really are fun AND EASY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Make a gift be special by just adding a bow and tag to give the receiver an extra…WOW! You don’t need any fancy gift wrap. It’s all in the presentation which will make their day!

Using fancy gift wrap is not only expensive, but to me they are pretty gaudy. The images take away the awe. I prefer simple with a country feel.

Have you ever seen old westerns or if your a heartie, When Call the Heart and the general store keeper wraps up the package with brown paper and twine? Well…that’s my kind of package! SO pretty and simple!

Simple and sweet!

If You Own A Cricut…

If you own a Cricut Maker , you have the perfect fast and easy way to decorate your gifts! Adding a personal tag, a card with your own font choices will bring a special touch and of course the bows and twine to tie it all together. The ideas are endless! I absolutely love the Cherry on Top company, free shipping on orders over $49 (easy) and the selection is awesome. You can also buy some Cricut items too from them. The mason jar fronts I got off of Design Space (which to me is a must if your a Cricut owner) and their placed on a easy open box.

The ideas are endless!

For all occasions!

Tags, Tags, Tags

Oh boy! When I discovered the 3D tag idea I went nuts! For one thing they are adorable on gifts but when you can make cards with them and other decor well…this just got me getting into the creative mode! Gnomes are my fav!

Yep Gnome Crazy!

Because we are a ranch…the animal package I chose was farm. 3 D Character Farm Bundle. Great deal! The pick up truck is cute…but would not recommend. Unless your cutting tool is brand new this project didn’t turn out well. But it is cute for sure! Christmas gnomes are flooding this site. Choose away!

I made another gnome for fall packaging which I like to use my left over vinyl for the package to cover up other advertising. As you can tell, I like to package with just what I have around the house and not buy bags and wrapping paper. Keeping it simple and sweet. Scarecrow Gnome fun name tag for the holiday dinner table!

Snow Globe Delight

Using small boxes is such a fun way to give my chocolate bombs as a gift but I wanted to add something extra to the front. SO…I grabbed this idea! Again simple and fun and with vinyl or background paper I can add a little touch here and there to put it all together. This grouping was easy to weed as well.

Snow globe Nativity

Crafting A Gift Is Always Special

Think ahead to someone you know who could use a pick me up and make their day! So many ideas and little time we say around here! Right now is a great craft just bursting with ideas! Here is a bundle you can get in on for just $4. Really a great bundle to have for sure as signs are a big deal!

CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS!

ENJOY crafting and wrapping in a very unique way this special time of year…or ANY occasion…think outside the box when you wrap!

God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

Playing with the New Mug Press and the Dos and Don’ts has been SO much fun! Experimenting with all the Design Space ideas and of course implementing our own has given us amazing results.

Getting Right Materials Ready

Infusible ink is what makes this mug or cup turn out so beautiful. For now, Cricut has the products and even has special infusible ink sized to the mugs they sell. (which you can also get here for less) I did get the joy infusible ink which is I believe the same size as the one they have for the mugs. Nevertheless, it worked. I also bought a few other prints which you can see below. The mug press can fit 11oz and 15 oz mugs, mason jars, and camp mugs.

All must be sublimation products to hold the inks and if you do the mason jars, get heat resistant gloves!

Working with the infusible markers is a first for me. We wish there was a cheaper way of doing this but for now, I haven’t found any other product because once again the infusible ink is what makes this all work so well. I started with a small set of markers for the first tries. (wish I just went for it and got the bigger set) As you can see it came out light. (above) WHY? Because we didn’t put 3 layers of butcher paper or the paper Cricut has packaged with the infusible inks behind the image. We only put one. For the “Live like” mugs, we used a black marker to color in. The one above was just an outline using the black pen ink, you can hardly see the words. Isn’t the agate look cool? For our ranch, this will be popular I think! But, they are clearance right now. Yikes! Oh well, there are MANY other fun designs they provide!

Markers Using Outline PLUS Bonus

By far this will be our biggest HIT! Cricut design space has many online images we can use plus add our own touches like bible verses or cowboy sayings. Make sure to add 3 layers of butcher paper to the back before pressing. You don’t have to do it with the infusible transfer sheets, but for the markers, you HAVE to do it or it will turn out lighter and the ink could get onto your mug press.

ANOTHER BONUS…you can do the outline on your LASER PAPER, NOT COPY paper, ahead and color in later. We tried this as we want to prepare the projects ahead for the kids arriving at sessions and just have them do the coloring and pressing during their session. This was HUGE for us the black ink pen held for a few days!

Laser vs copy

CAN YOU TELL?

DOS AND DON’TS

If you are going to do a lot of coloring, I would recommend investing in the set of markers. The black pen and marker are both a must. The pen does the outlining and the marker does bold printing or coloring. Make sure you cut extra mug designs with butcher paper or laser copy paper to prevent bleeding and get bolder colors. Use laser copy paper, not copy paper to also get the best effects.

Have A Blast!

Enjoy creating and experimenting…crafting is really awesome for our mental health that’s for sure!

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Crafts

No Way…Make Your Own Professional Mugs Using the New Cricut Mug Press

Cricut showed up live on Facebook announcing their new product which is SO awesome! For our ministry, this is just what we were looking into to put our logo on for folks to purchase, and am SO excited that it is safe too SOOOO kids can make their own special gift!

It is available on March 11, 2021. If you purchase through our blog, you get not only a fun gift idea to be creative yourself with BUT you also help our ministry!

If you’re considering a purchase, please log into the blog here and click on the Cricut link…and shop away! Just look at what it can do!

LOVE how it is automatic shut off and cold to the touch!

The safety of this product is amazing! Thank you, Cricut for making crafting so much fun!

March 11th can’t come fast enough!

UPDATE!

Playing with this product is awesome! I will post a separate post but for now…look at what fun we have had! We are trying to make designs fitting for our ministry for the kids to make their own during their session. So the outline look took priority and playing with the markers, laser paper FOR SURE not copy paper, and markers vs. pens…all fun all different not flops yet! Check out the post here.

One side has horse the other words of hope!
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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Big Pick Up Tailgate Stamp Set Adorable and Fun And So Versatile!

Anyone who loves to stamp will adore this set! WHY? Mostly for all the creative ways this truck can be used. For any greeting card to invitations, this set will bring much joy to any stamper. The Big Pick Up Tailgate is from Honey Bee stamps. They have adorable sets that fit our country life!

Another reason I love this set so much is I can use my Cricut Maker to add my greetings using pens, bling it up using vinyl, and even have my Cricut Maker draw and cut flowers in bunches. I tell ya, I had one fun day creating these along with my daughter who LOVES trucks! Having the Design Space makes your crafting so versatile! You have access to so many fonts and many ideas to inspire your art. Really a simple investment.

Daisy Truck

For this card I created a background border with an embossing flower dies on my Big Shot. Powder blue and grays for the card stock, and Pastel Gelatos with a watercolor pen to apply to the truck. I used an old Stamping’ Up set, Daisy, and stamped it on the jean background paper. Wood would be cute too. I just ran out. If you’re a country girl like me, you will love that grouping of paper! A corduroy button for the center and the leaf I got off the Cricut Design Space. I also used the pen to make the words. If you like brights for pens check these out! Their new and add any POP to any card or project!

Flower Bunches

This one was fun as I got to use my Cricut again to make the flowers than my Bright Gelatos for the watercolor. Sticking with the gray and white but adding a pop of yellow helped me tie in the spring look I was going for. The words again are in Design Space. Isn’t this little truck just a cutie?

Hello Blue!

The daughter loves her blue so of course, she tried her hand at using the Tri-Blend markers for her watercolor technique. She was able to do her fading and washout style which turned out pretty cute. The trees are from Stampin’ up too. When using these markers you have to use the Memento pad to prevent bleeding. Easy to clean too.

U R Loved

Another one of Kinzey’s cards. She used glitter vinyl this time for the words and wood grain background paper. Around here we have to have wood grain paper…it’s just our thing! The flowers again we got from Design Space plugging in solid cut-out flowers for cards. Quick and easy using up old scraps of paper. Notice how she did the bumper…she used the bottom of the background paper for a “running board” with running horses. LOVE IT! If you like country western theme scrapbooks and or any crafting for that matter, this site has great stuff!

Stay Humble

Bring on watercolor again using the Gelatos. Found this pen and cut it on Design Space so it was a perfect fit for the red truck. Again adding texture with the woodgrain paper and flower die cut. Pop with the red checkered ribbon.

SUPER fun set I am sure you will not be disappointed having this in your collection!

ENJOY crafting and giving the gift of love,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

COMMENTS:

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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life

Pray Your Heart Out was my Devo today…and it’s never been so true!

As many of my readers know we have battled many trials in the past few years. From mental illness with my hubby’s breakdown, our daughter leaving one job far from home to transitioning back to her home state, and lately our son who just got his second liver transplant. Battles that were not easy but sure grew each of us!

His Word Burns in my Heart like a Fire.

Jeremiah 20:9

Prayer has been the sustainer! My HOPE in these times and yes, many days and nights have been praying my heart out. I often will write my heart to the Lord in my journal as I can look back and see what the Lord has done in my weakest of moments. Makes me cry… really! Our Lord is so gracious!

Praying…What it Looks Like

This is the best part of prayer…there is no WAY it has to look! When you have a relationship with the Savior He just wants to hear from you. He does indeed want a heart that is humble, attentive, and gracious. Even His own disciples wanted to know HOW to pray. Jesus was quick to let them know not to pray so everyone can hear you like the Gentiles, but to go in a quiet place and pray…saying these words…and not exactly but in your own words.

“When you pray don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask. Pray like this:” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Matthew 6: 7-9

Bottom line…Give Jesus Your Heart

Since the Lord already knows your heart and what’s on your mind, why not be real, honest, and pour it all out. I find when I speak my prayer out loud I receive instant peace. Jesus IS my therapist and in the mental health world speaking out loud IS awesome therapy and who better than THE COUNSELOR, Jesus Christ to share your heart?

I talk to the Lord many times throughout my day. I could be crafting, doing chores on the ranch, or simply drinking my morning coffee. Prayer is simply talking with your best friend and being real. SO…PRAY your HEART out, every moment of the day to be refreshed and renewed!

Enjoy your day with JOY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Grillin' One, Healthy Eating, Treats

Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Board by displaying a fun dessert or appetizer tray using foods you like using cheeses, meats, nuts, fruit, chocolate in a simple step by step.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and when I learned about these special Charcuterie trays I had to make one up. Of course the crafty person in me and my Valentine, Dan also made the tray.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

You may have experienced seeing one of these at a gathering especially a wedding or a shower creating a display of cheeses, meats, fruits, and wondered what they are all about. A charcuterie board is an easy way to display finger food on some kind of tray. I have mostly seen the wood looks because of where we live, but plates, marble, granite, or metal are some other ideas. You can give a distressed look by simply painting them even putting a cracked look or conversation piece using chalk paint would be awesome! For this special Valentine’s Day, I wanted to put my own twist into my charcuterie board adding little touches of Valentine’s.

What to Add to a Valentine charcuterie Board

Cheese: Really anything goes but when your thinking of color, try getting the cheese with white casings. Silton with Raspberries, Goat Cheese, or a block of simple cream cheese. (Cut it into a heart shape to add dimension)

Meat: For a sweet tray meat isn’t really a big deal to add but I chose salami and turkey slices. Again making them into hearts is fun. Adding prosciutto all curled up and ham would also be great.

Nuts: I love nuts so almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts…go crazy if you like. I do make sure they are all shelled for easy nibbling!

Dips: Try thinking about what your tray theme is. In this case on Valentine’s Day chocolate would be appropriate. So melting good chocolate like Gheradellie and having the good ol’ hazelnut as a spread. Adding jams, mustards, honey butter are some great options as well. If you want some amazing flavor to chocolate, check this out! So great for frostings too! One we did for this tray was the old marshmallow dip and cream cheese.

Crackers and slices of bread: One of my favorite snacks and make a wonderful compliment to meat and cheeses is adding a variety of crackers. The grocery stores also have those cute little slices of bread like pumpernickel or rye. I used a horse head cookie cutter for my bread.

Fruit: I love adding this to any try just because fruit can be so colorful and clean the palate for the next bite. Think color and theme again when choosing your fruits. For this charcuterie board, it fit to have raspberries, strawberries, and blood oranges.

Sweets: Well go nuts here! Another favorite! Chocolate is very fitting for this charcuterie board. Adding chocolate bars, kisses, round Lindor candy balls…so many choices when in the season of Valentine’s Day. I also loved adding Macaroons and heart-shaped cookies. We used the Raspberry flavoring again for the filling.

Put it All Together

Don’t be intimidated, the charcuterie boards are easy to assemble. Here are three easy steps for you to make a professional-looking board.

TIP: NEW IDEA FOR 2022…A healthy way to serve a crowd…put items in mason jars. Dessert use marshmallow cream or cream cheese as base, veggie dips with veggies, or salsas for chips/crackers. Ideas are endless! Serve on your tray.

Step 1: Perfect Charcuterie Board

Think about your theme and how many you will be servin. Big group you will need a bigger platter or wooden tray. Living in the woods on a ranch we have lots of flat wood surfaces.

White marble, plates, round or rectangle also make beautiful charcuterie boards.

If your making a tray for two, think a bit smaller.

Step Two: Arrange Your Board

There is no wrong way to assemble a board, but for me I like to place all my “height” or large item first. Like bowls, cheeses, dips, pour pitchers.

Next are the meats and crackers. Roll meat, or cut into shapes. Stack crackers up giving height and even try making roses with meats and flat foods. Lay in a fan pattern or around taller dishes.

Lastly, I add the sweets like chocolate, fruits, candies, and nuts.

Step Three: Your Special Touch

This part is so fun as you can add herbs, eatable flowers, mint leaves again keeping with your theme it can be anything to make your special charcuterie board pop. Because we are a ranch, we had to add the horse head shape out of the bread. It added who we are too.

You just want everything on the tray to be eatable. My rose petals buds made the dessert tray smell divine!

The above trays my hubby and I made. We received a bunch of wood cabinets as a donation and decided to use them for this idea. The Cricut Maker helped with all the fonts using Expressions Vinyl in shiny black and gold. the western one seems to be a favorite around here!

Oh, how fun these trays are, and hope you try and make one at your next party for 2 or more!

LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER, ENJOY THE SIMPLE LIFE,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

A Box of Love; DIY Kit anyone can make!

Recently when our son was going through his liver transplant, I wanted to be able to give goodies to folks who were prayer warriors, nursing staff, doctors, and even our hotel check-in staff. I just wanted to show them how much we appreciated all they did during our time with Mitch being sick.

We are often in the cities for Mitch with procedures and appointments and right now I am sitting in the hotel room putting the final touches on the things I have made. All weekend knowing we would be traveling down I got busy making up Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs and cute boxes to put them in. Along with some teas in a tube. There is nothing more fun than giving a gift of love wrapped up in love!

Here’s the first one I made:

2 hearts were so cute

In the next box, I added more with the Cricut Maker. I tell you this machine has added to my crafting tenfold of fun! Not only can I get the cut out in the middle, use the extra hearts for other cards and projects, but also do words, borders, and even make tags. Having the Cricut access is really an inexpensive way to get SO much for your money and the ideas….whoa… The fonts alone are worth it!

So fun and cute!

How to make a box

For the base of the box: to fit 2 heart hot chocolate bombs or 4 1/4 x 5 1/5 cards

Card-stock cut 10″ x 8 1/2″ then score 2″ on all 4 sides. I use my cutter to cut than a scoring tool all in one sweet device! Next cut on score lines on each intersecting score-line. Fold in and using double-stick tape to secure corners well. Regular glue and mono adhesives are not strong enough.

For the lid:

I used a different color for my lids and as you can see also using background paper can add a fun eye-catching box.

6 5/8″ x 8 1/8″ score at 1″ on all four sides. Cut on the score lines up to intersecting lines on each corner. Fold in, tape and seal. I used acetate for the window.

Now the fun part…decorating! If you’re using a Cricut Maker I went into the Design Space and chose my images. Measure the size area of your box top and create your image in the design space to fit the size in the middle of your box. When you go to MAKE IT, fit your image on your standard grip mat to the area where your box will be. I measured using a ruler the size of the image and measured my cardstock box. I used patterned vinyl. To make my tags I used these fun adapters using my gel pens for words. I LOVE this idea so I can use markers, ballpoint pens, and sharpies to create any saying!

Here’s another idea:

Couldn’t help it…made another:

So you can see these can be a ton of fun! Filling them with cards for the person to use or with treats…all in love!

Have fun creating your own ideas! Share them too!

COMMENTS: Love to hear share away…

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Healing, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Sewing

Why in the World?

Why would I go to so much time to make these? Well, first of all when you live on a ranch and have animals that get sick or hurt one doesn’t think so straight when it’s an emergency. By having this concept ready to go, I can grab and go and know I have all I need to help start the healing process.

The same goes for the flu bugs and basic first aid. The instructions help for anyone to be able to know how to use the items in the bag. I love this especially if a staff person has to use it or family. This way I don’t have to be around. Big Plus!

Easy To Prep Bags

If you’re a sewer this will be easy peasy. Just 2 pieces of any material cut to any size. Make with right sides together leaving a 1-2″ seam at the top for string, stitch at the top, and there ya go.

I made the words on the outside using my Cricut Maker, iron-on vinyl, Heat EasyPress. If you don’t want to invest in a full-size heat press this little guy is a great option! Makes for easy craft iron too! You’re now ready to have a visual go-to kit. Each bag has a “recipe” for what is in the bag and instructions on what to do with items or how to use the bag. I again used my Cricut, writing tool using my own pens by implementing these amazing adapters. SO COOL, and used card stock so it’s nice and durable. You could even laminate them for longer use. (I am telling you those adapters are a game changer! It Will save you SO much money!)

Notice the top which I folded and sewed to make opening for ribbon or tie, then sewed right sides together. Simple and fast!

If you are not a sewer, here is a wonderful idea where you can still decorate the outside and label your bag.

It’s so fun to have different fabric for each kit
What a fun idea for gift giving too!
I used some leftover quilt scraps to make these bags
Cricut Design Space has templates for recipe cards. I deleted what I needed to fit the kit idea.

Enjoy getting organized for when illness or accidents happen around your homestead! It feels so good to know I can tell my family to grab a remedy bag and follow the instructions to help whatever they are dealing with. If you want herbal blends ready to prep for your horses, here is a link. And here.

For essential oils, here.

God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Birthday Card with Cricut Maker Using Writing Tools

For the first time, I used the writing pen in my Cricut Maker. Being nervous about using this new tool I youtube a great video which helped a ton! Also…I practiced on scrap paper that I could potentially use in other cards. My hubby told me these are really expensive through Cricut so I wanted to be conservative plus they wear down quickly. But while looking for the video on “how to” use the pen, I came across these amazing pen adapters! Take any pen and boom…save money and pen away! Loved this idea!

Side note…anytime you purchase from links it helps us help others in our ministry…www.truenorthranch.org…thank you!

How to Use Pens

I love going onto Defont.com and creating some of my favorite fonts and saving them into my Design Space…ideas are endless!

How to use other pens:

Using the pen adapters it’s awesome!

Some tips:

When I make my cards I love to combine my rubber stamps and what is really cool if I don’t have the stamp especially in sayings I can pop in a pen of my choice and make it all work beautifully. Check out Stamp Market’s cardstock really awesome! The Vinyl I use is from Expressions vinyl and I love the Oracle 651 and Easyweeds the best. Their heat transfers are also amazing. Go crazy they are an inexpensive and wonderful product and customer service. Below is how I store my vinyl.

Yes I make a lot of cards for our ranch ministry, so I turned half of the card rack into vinyl storage.
LOVE LOVE the pen adapters! GAME changer!

I enjoyed making these TAGS as well for gift boxes. Just another dooo dad to add in your gift making ideas.

Well, I hope you find this post helpful not only to save you money on using the pen adapter but for using the concept of expanding all your written ideas. Card making is just one way I use pens, but I know I will find other projects and get creative with them. ENJOY!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Treats

Ranchstyle Hot Chocolate Bombs that Are Always a Hit with Little one and YES Even Big Kids

Well, these are for sure all the rage right now! WOW! An idea comes out and boom…it’s a hit! Especially in this day and age with so many at home and looking for new crafty ideas for gift-giving. I LOVE IT! And so excited to start my own ideas into this great delicious treat!

I came up finding this when I was in the cities with our son who just got a liver transplant. He had to stay “in town” to make sure he was ok so we had an apartment we were renting. It was awesome as it had a big kitchen so of course opened the door for me to try some new recipes. Stuck inside…make the best of it.

I went onto Youtube and searched for the best options on how to make these cuties. I saw many that simply were not good or well made and some I tried and it for sure was a flop! One was using the plastic ornament balls that split apart. NOT! Don’t use those! They simply make a mess and don’t work well.

The one problem I found was there were no molds to be sold ANYWHERE! Being in the city allowed me to search in many craft stores but none of them had the molds. They told me everyone is into it so they sold out quickly. Hence, why I tried the ornament round as I was desperate! Make sure you use a silicone brush too.

Add whipping cream for extra pop!

I also love the idea of making these for the winter months thinking of some different molds. Heart, Horses, of course, Christmas Tree, Snowflakes, and because we have a cop in the family yes, donuts are a must! Awesome for your neighborhood precinct as gifts too!

TIPS:

Use a silicone brush, go to TOP of the silicone cup. Once filled flip upside down onto a metal rack with parchment paper under it to help them be nice and round.
Peel away slowly, handle gently. We also did the chocolate twice to make it extra strong.

Decorating is the funniest part! Use squeeze bottles to get the effect of strips. Immediately add the sprinkles to secure them.

Here is my favorite video on how to…I think you will find it easy to understand and is not so drawn out.

https://youtu.be/xGHGVrnuRqA

You can use dark chocolate bars like in this video but I found the chocolate wafers. You can purchase in all kinds of colors and even flavors with other products, BUT they contain dyes that are not good for you like a red dye. If you want to color your white wafer using Beet powder, or Tumeric is much healthier. It doesn’t take much to make the color. Also, these fun marshmallows are pretty awesome and fit perfectly in the bombs.

Well, we got started on our own version for the Christmas season and they indeed were a hit with the receivers! Hope you enjoy making them, being creative inside and out of each one and of course the final wrap for whomever and whatever the occasion. These are a BOMB for sure!

ENJOY and happy dunking!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give often,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Treats

A Creative Herbal Tea Gift In A Tube Makes for A Great Gift Giving Idea With A Healthy Boost Too!

It’s been a crazy fall and I wanted to make some fun thank you gifts just knowing our life could get upside down soon with our son waiting for a liver transplant. One thing I love to do is give a gift to staff or really anyone who has given us extra love.

Getting Creative

Cleaning my whimsy room, I noticed these tubes. I was emptying a to-go-craft bag and wanting to fill it with things to do while at the hospital. HUM…what could I make? I thought to fill them with candy and bow them with a tag. The old hot chocolate idea with cocoa and marshmallows and peppermint candies is always a great go-to. But I wanted to do something different and even more on the healthier side since we are talking about health care workers during such a difficult time. So…I came up with an herbal tea blend. I thought they turned out kinda cool! Plus, giving them out would be easy! The only thing is that when it actually came time for me to give them out the hospitals shut down visitors. I did go to security and asked them to deliver them, just not ideal, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I just love how they turned out!

How I put them together

I made up three different blends. Fall, Christmas, and simple citrus. The one I loved the most was the lavender one.

Just put the herbs of your choosing in front of you and arrange how you want them to look. The lavender looked great on the bottom with the rose petals on top, then spearmint, lemon peel, and a tinge of orange peel. Just layer as you would like. Christmas tea has my favorite blends of cinnamon chips, ginger, orange, Euchenicia, and very little Hibiscus Flower (great for color too or you could use elderberry or both).

Fall is the easiest, Red rooibos tea, ginger roots, elderberry, clove bits, and cinnamon bits. (Cinnamon sticks work great too but I cut them up into bits for the blends)

All the herbs are organic and wonderful quality! Sometimes they are out of stock but just have them notify you when they arrive.

A new friend moved into our area, so packaged him up some pumpkin bread and tea for a housewarming gift.

Enjoy gifting this year using your favorite things. Blended teas always make a wonderful gift for folks who enjoy the herbal teas. One must have a taste for it though, so choose carefully! You may just have to go back to the hot cocoa idea.

These hot chocolate bombs are a big hit too! I love how creative you can get with these just by switching out the color of chocolate.

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and give generously!

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life

Supporting Blue Is Without Question Around Our Home!

Having a daughter as an officer without hesitation we support our folks in blue.

Dan and I served in the mounted patrol a few years ago and enjoyed serving the county in any way we could. So it’s no surprise I wanted to make something festive for these summer celebrations, especially since our girl is home for good!

Oh, these were the days!

I started making shirts for our ministry team and for helpers which helped me practice. I tell ya the company Expressions Vinyl is awesome! I love their videos and special help they give when something doesn’t work. I appreciate that not only for myself but for ones like you who try them I know I am sending you to a great company!

To make this shirt however was a bit more tricky because it was a layered process and adding the BLUE strip made it even more tricky. But, it worked! Using the Cricut Maker and having the Cricut Design space to put the design together to form this wonderful expression, were the necessary tools to pull this off. I also have a heat press which I have found to be much better than the iron due to the heat intensity. If you are going to get into crafting such products, you must have the right tools!

I did the white layer first, stars second, and the red pulling the one red one-off, ironed on than did the blue by itself. MOM was last.

Material used:

  • Use the Easyweed brand NOT stretch if you have the Cricut press or iron

Red, white , and royal blue, and Black or dark navy blue for words.

Enjoy! It’s fun and make wonderful gifts too!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and support the ones who protect and serve,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

DIY Gnomes That Stand Up Are So Life-like You Won’t Stop At One

Learning on my own

Did you ever see something and you just wanted to know right away the directions on how to make it? Well, that was me when I saw the stand-up gnome idea. I love them! I think it’s because they look more alive! HA! So I explored all the ins and outs and came up with this simple way to make them. I hope it helps you if you want to try your hand at making one.

I also found A Cherry On Top company to get many of the crafting needs. There wonderful for SO many ideas in your crafting world. Check them out!

Steps one by one

STEP ONE: Getting your material

Styrofoam cones ( I tried many different ones and came back to this simple one)

Material (base your theme) Cut 9″x 9″

Bamboo sticks legs

pipe cleaners for arms

Accessories for your character (like the bucket, or flower)

Beard

pom poms (top of hat and nose)

Shoes ( baby socks already made or plastic eggs and cardboard to make your own)

Pool Noodle cut 2″ thick

Glue gun

Shoes were very detailed using ribbon for the laces and outer trim

STEP TWO: Assemble

Have your cone flat on a surface. Place your nose in the center and shape your beard around your nose. I use sewing pins to hold it all in place before I glue it to make sure it looks right.

This cone is a harder styrofoam I would not recommend use the one I have listed soooo much easier!

Next, add your legs. If your using pins, you can shift the beard and nose if need be at any point.

STEP THREE:

Making your hat. I used a simple gnome template and traced it onto my material. I made 2 so I could have two-sided look. Placing them right sides together sew along edges of course leaving the bottom open to place over the cone. I also use the material for the edge of the hat just for fun. I sewed that first before sewing altogether.

STEP 4: Making the legs

You can use toilet paper tubes or a pool noodle. I found the pool noodles easier to work with. Cut the noodle to the size you want.

Simply take the extra material and wrap it around the noodle. Again I pinned first.

STEP 5:

Add your shoes or socks over the pool noodles. The sticks I poke through the plastic shoe. Noodle goes around the inside of the shoe.

If you buy the socks individually they come with these plastic shoes.
plastic shoes really make it easy and fast…but skinny looking

STEP SIX: Arms are next. use one of the baby socks and cut it in half. Sew up the sides. This will make a natural elbow and little mitten hand. Put over a pipe cleaner that you cut in half. Stick into the cone under the beard.

Cut pipe cleaner in half and one baby sock

STEP SEVEN: Assemble your gnome! Once you like how everything looks, start hot gluing each part to secure.

Different Shoe Looks

Each way to do the shoes comes out a little different
Here is the video on how to do this one. Fatter look to the feet.
Gnome Feet Video

Oh, I hope these turn out for you! I love them and love to use different themes. I will be making more on rainy days so I will share them here!

HAVE FUN!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Sewing

Spending lots of time inside now a days offers more time for me to experiment with some new projects. I have always loved the gnomes and how adorable they plus how they make great gifts to cheer anyone up! But I wanted to make them a little more character like and came upon this idea…Stand UP gnomes. Not only do they stand, have adorable feet, but I can make some fun characters out of each one. I began with my first two and I think they turned out pretty cute.

What do you think?

Praying Momma

I just love her! Praying Momma was my first try. Holding her bible and always praying!

Berry Picker Guy

This one was a little more challenging using old jeans. I also used my Cricut for the words on his bucket as well as the strawberry image. Guess what the bucket is? I also added a back pack. Just so dang cute!

I love doing these little guys!

Gotta have a picnic blanket just in case!

If you want to know how to make these, I am doing a step by step blog soon. I have plans for many more fun characters!

They are for sale too, all proceed help our ranch ministry! $30 each.

Enjoy your days of crafting! Mine will be slowing down now that ministry is kicking into season. But I will be right back at it as soon as the temps turn cooler!

Hope you enjoyed these little cuties!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards

Crafting in Quarantine really helps the mind and soul! I enjoy thinking of others facing so much isolation and am always thankful I have a hobby.

Like most people in the world being cooped up means finding things to do. We have no problem around our ranch as there is A LOT to do always. But with this new way of life it has caused more time than usual, so my daughter and I got to play with a set that was given to us as a gift.

I LOVE IT!!! SO CUTE!!!

My favorite thing to play with when using images like this set is to watercolor. The Gelatos were my pick for most of the cards as I love the shine and brightness. You will need a watercolor painter too and my choice is this one because of the control of how much water goes onto your project. Also, the variety of sizes is awesome for detailed images you may have. I did do one card with the watercolor pencils. I really like the shine with the Gelatos but it was fun to experiment.

Card done by Honey Bee stamps
All made with Cricut Maker…

Another great card maker is THE Maker!

I have lived years in card making and have never invested in the Cricut…but in 2019 my hubby bought me one. I tell ya…my world turned upside down with all the fun things you can do and do with precise accuracy! My Cricut Maker, which I recommend is the best of all the machines, and having the Cricut access is worth its weight in gold. The fonts they give you and how you can use pens for your own sayings save SO much in stamps! Really…why did it take me so long? Geez!

The never-ending background paper especially from this online store, Scrapbook.com really offers some great variety.

The set is from HoneyBeestamps.com. They have some wonderful watercolor sets.

Enjoy creating and sending some love to others!

Giving a pick me up gift for a dear friend living alone.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

Making masks are a big deal right now and ones who don’t have anything to do, it is a perfect way to fill your days PLUS give to ones in need. Not only hospitals need these, but I think nursing homes and assistant living places could surely use a creative mask.

I loved making these but had even more fun creating messages for not only the one wearing the mask but for ones who see the face in the mask.

Simple and sweet messages that are inspiring and give you some ease of mind. I hope you find them helpful.

There are many ways to make masks so I won’t give details on how to make them but the messages I used my Cricut and iron-on vinyl. Expressions Vinyl is a wonderful, personal company with awesome prices, variety, and even videos to spark your creative juices. Try them, you’ll love them too!

Remember all clicks on this blog and purchase helps us help others through True North Ranch Ministries!

Using sports material was fun! The big elastic was for an older gentleman.

Enjoy making someone else smile and protecting yourself and others when your under the whether!

God’s blessings,

Lee

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