One Misty, Moisty, Morning

Look what we found in the backyard early in the morning!

Mr. Mallard and his wife –she’s hiding behind him. the perfect Easter week visitors.

They padded around in the squishy grass chomping on whatever they could find for about 2 hours. The picture is really tiny but I didn’t dare get closer.  The pair were really beautiful to watch, especially to think that they’re wild creatures that just flew in from somewhere else…maybe some faraway land, like…Lithuania. sigh…

Ok, maybe they came from down the street at Utah Lake, but it’s fun to think about.

I love that they choose our yard for a rest stop.

Come back soon guys. You’re welcome to eat our bugs anytime!

And I don’t say that to just anyone!


I just received a book in the mail from Amazon, entitled, “Out of the Depths” by John Newton. Anybody know who he is? Nevermind, I’ll tell you. He is the gentleman that wrote the song, “Amazing Grace” clear back in 1772. Now I realize that biographies of wretched old slave traders are not really many people’s cup of tea. This one is pretty dang good though. In fact, it sounds like something written a few years back not a couple of generations ago. Anyway, for what it’s worth I love it.

I was intrigued with John Newton after seeing the movie, “Amazing Grace,” a true story about William Wilberforce’s life’s work to abolish slavery in the 1800’s. All this is leading up to a wonderful video clip that a friend sent me that I’d hoped to put on the blog—but apparently so many people have downloaded it that they’ve changed the availability of the clip. So, I’ll give you the link and ask—no beg you to watch it.  It is just too incredible not to share.

Warning–if you’re a mush head like me…get out the Kleenix and brace yourself.

You won’t be sorry.


Amazing Grace by Il Divo

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.”


PS–Week 2 food storage tip is:


5 boxes of Mac and Cheese, 4 cans tomato soup

Scrabble Tile Pendant

 The perfect project for all the ladies on your Valentine list, these pendants can be made to fit any personality.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Wooden Scrabble Tiles (you can get these on ebay, or just get the game and cannabalize it…or if you live around me, I already did that, and I’m sure I have a few I can spare)
Super Glue
Diamond Glaze
ModPodge or Tacky Glue

Jewelry Bails (the little metal loop that you thread a necklace chain through)
Emery board or sandpaper

Scrapbook Paper
Scissors or Craft Knife (exacto blade)
Paintbrush or sponge brush

Here goes…

Step 1: Glue the bail (little metal loop) to the back of your tile. You have 2 options here, you can either glue it to the letter side, so that when the pendant is worn, there is a letter on the back and a pretty scrapbook paper design on the front. The advantage to doing it this way is that when you glue your paper on later, you don’t have to worry about it indenting in the shape of the letter engraved on the tile. They do that sometimes, depending on the thickness of the paper. Your other option is to glue the bail to the blank side, so that the pendant has a blank back, which looks cleaner. Also, you can make a pendant just out of the tile, without covering it with scrapbook paper for an initial pendant, in which case you would want to glue the bail to the blank side, as the scrabble letter should be facing out.

I use super glue to glue my bails on most of the time, but tacky glue also works, as does gorilla glue. I use the tip of the craft knife to hold the bail in place so I don’t get glue on my fingers.

If you’re using glue that takes a while to dry, try propping the bail up with something, so you can leave it to dry. Don’t try to hold it dry, it will not set solidly. Let the glue dry for several hours before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: While the glue is drying, cut out a piece of scrapbook paper just a little bit bigger than the scrabble tile. Alternately, I have seen people use photos of their children or pets, or hand paint the tile itself. Or even using scrapbook paper and glitter glue, or little rhinestones.  Use the ModPodge or Tacky Glue and a paintbrush or foam brush to apply a thin coat of adhesive to the front of the tile, then glue your paper on.

Make sure to press all the bubbles out, if you get any. You can use a kitchen spatula, or bone folder, if you have one. Also, now is the time to use any glitter, rhinestones, etc, if you’re so inclined. Wait for the glue to dry. If you don’t wait long enough, when you move on to the next part it will tear your paper…so be patient. 🙂

Step 3: Using your craft knife, trim the excess paper from around the tile.

Step 4: Using the emery board, file the edges or the paper so that it doesn’t extend past the edge of the tile. You can also use the sandpaper to distress the surface a bit, if you like that look.

Step 5: Use something to help your tiles lay flat horizontally. I used a bamboo skewer. I have also used a ruler, and a post-it note pad. Anything works.

Using the Diamond Glaze (speaking of which, I had a really hard time finding this. I finally tracked it down at my local Archivers store. I know you can get it online also, and at one point, I thought Stampin’ Up carried something similar, as well. It’s basically a dimensional resin-type stuff. Hopefully it’s easier for you to track down, if not, I’ll offer some alternatives in just a sec.) first squeeze a little bit out on to a piece of scratch paper, and keep the pressure on the bottle as you go to put it on the tile. Why? Because Diamond Glaze is notorious for starting out with a bubble, and equally notorious for being impossible to remove bubbles from. So it’s easier to get the bubble out on some scratch paper first. I’ve found it’s easiest to go around the edges first, and then fill in the middle. The idea is to cover the decorated top of the tile. I usually do several thin coats, rather than one thick one. It tends to pucker and distort with one thick layer, as the top dries before the inside does.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) find Diamond Glaze, just break out the trusty ModPodge again, and coat your tile a few times, to seal the paper.

If you do get a bubble, get that exacto blade and try scooting the bubble off the edge. You will not be able to pop it, it doesn’t work that way. Just try scooting it off the edge of the tile.

Last step: Let it dry! It takes longer than you think. In fact, you should probably let it sit overnight. The last thing you want is your pretty little fingerprint in the middle of all your hard work.  Additionally, these are not waterproof. Wearing them in the pool/shower/bath/waterfight is generally not recommended.

So there you have it! A cute, trendy, gift for your Valentines!


Come On Out…

I dare you . . .

If someone told me there were fairies just outside my bedroom window, I would believe them. It helps, I suppose, that I believe in them in the first place. I don’t really have space in my head for the creepy things–you know, ogres and trolls and all that. But I am ok with pretty stuff. . .  sprites, mermaids, fairies. . . I’m thinking real hard about unicorns too. I actually hope the whimsical creatures are here with us–just hiding and laughing at how easy it is to hide from us. The idea of something magical flitting around, just barely outside my window gives me goose bumps. . . the good kind. Because if they are there–really there, then we just don’t know so much, do we?

And today. . . I really like that.