Category Archives: Church

Handmade Treasures


I’ve never won anything at the aforementioned benefit auction, but this year I did! I came home with this beautiful decoupaged pumpkin made by an artist name Alyson who is also in my writing group and this gorgeous handmade necklace made by a busy mom, teacher, and grad student named Linda. I decided that the pumpkin could wear the necklace for the rest of the autumn season, because “Joy” and “Thanksgiving” go hand-in-hand, right? ♥


Aprons for Auction


Two of my ruffle aprons are heading to a silent auction benefiting my favorite youth group’s mission trips next summer. I fancied up some hangers by wrapping them in coordinating fabrics and added rolled-flower brooches to the aprons for a little a-la-mode. Maybe someone will be wearing them to prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year! ♥


More aprons . . .

You’re My Type

The lovely Courtney of Make All Things New recently had a contest for one of her fun graphic design prints, and I won! I love old typewriters, so I did a little play on words and chose “You’re my type” for the text. I’ve already hung a full-size copy in my office and printed smaller versions to make note cards. Thank you, Courtney! TO MY OTHER BLOGGY FRIENDS: Will you please take a minute to visit, like, comment, and even follow Courtney’s blog today? She is one AMAZING lady! She has two six-year-old girls with enormous personalities.  She loves to sew, craft, draw, and paint. She teaches library, gives art lessons, and creates custom quilts, prints, and invitations. She is also painting a mural for her church nursery and sets for a play, mentors teens, and makes movies for a youth service—all on top of keeping her home running. She and her youth pastor husband feel that God may be calling them to Romania full time to work with orphans and the Roma people and are traveling there this summer to get a feel for what the future may hold. Oh, and Courtney has an Etsy shop, too! Please read these posts about the causes her shop supports . . . but you might want to grab a hankie first! Courtney, you put your heart and soul into making the world a better place. I’m so happy to have met you! ♥
You're my type

Music Lover’s Gift Basket


I love making a gift basket for the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church every November, which this year will benefit the Downtown Daycare Center here in Wichita, KS. This time I decided on a music theme.

  • First, I made an embroidered pillow and a music-note-fabric half apron with fabric flower a-la-mode. (Click here for the apron tutorial from Jona of Stop Staring & Start Sewing).
  • Next, I added a framed music saying (which you can get here for FREE from the lovelyn Darilyn of TheHighNotedotNet) and a package of vintage music Christmas tree confetti from Darilyn’s Etsy shop.
  • I finished if off with a blank journal and coffee cup cozy for idea-gathering and a small vintage hymnal.

Click here for gift baskets from the past few years. It’s my secret ambition to go into the gift basket business someday! (Dave, you didn’t see that, right???)  ♥


Dirt Cake


I made this for a church dinner (SO easy!) and didn’t have a single SPECK of it left to bring home! ♥

Dirt Cake

  • 1 large package of Oreos
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 oz. whipped topping

Crush Oreos. Spread half of the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cream the other ingredients and pour into pan. Top with the rest of the Oreo bits. Refrigerate.

Oreo Yummy

Allyson’s First Communion Dress


DancingPatternLast month I told you about my “biggest refashion ever” . . . making a first communion dress from a wedding gown. It’s done! I would never attempt a tutorial, because every gown is different, but here is a summary of the steps that worked for me:

  • I used the bodice from the Butterick 3350 pattern, cutting it from the gown train.
  • I also used the Butterick 3350 sleeve, cutting it from the beaded top front of the gown.
  • I was able to use the gown’s skirt (taken in at the side seams and shortened, of course) and preserve the back of the gown (including the original zipper!) by stitching it right onto the new bodice.
  • I made a sash from the extra buttons going down the gown’s back through the train.
  • Finally, I snipped the beads from the remaining remnants and handstitched them around the front neckline.

My only advice is to (1) spend quite awhile thinking, planning, and sketching before you start, (2) baste everything (and let your special little girl try it on!) before sewing anything permanently, and (3) keep every little bit of fabric and embellishment, because you might use it. Thank you for joining in my excitement over this once-in-a-lifetime project!   P.S.  I couldn’t resist using the “Radiance” effect from PicMonkey on the photo below. ♥


Arts and Crafts Mission Market


Here are the tags for this year’s donations to the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at my church. It’s such a worthy cause . . . all the money goes to a local daycare center for families in need. Click here to see how to make the Christmas wreath pillow and here to see the Americana pillows.   P.S. Below are my gift baskets from markets past, each based on . . . you guessed it . . . a pillow! ♥

PumpkinFest Pillows!


Here are the pillows I’m ready to pack up for the silent auction at the PumpkinFest at my church. All the proceeds will go to the youth groups’ summer mission trips, so I hope lots of pillow lovers come! ♥

Casting My Cares


For the past two Januaries I’ve gone to a women’s retreat at my church. Both times I pondered whether I wanted to “give up” a Saturday, and both times I was SO glad that I did. So, when I was asked to help with this year’s retreat, I enthusiastically agreed. My main function is to do “supporting-role” type things like leading the get-acquainted activity, introducing the journaling prompts, and playing the guitar for the singing. Playing the guitar??? I used to play and sing every day with my first graders, but these are grown-ups . . . and the retreat is tomorrow . . .

Needless to say, I’ve been practicing. ALOT. I no longer have my teen-age angst guitar (“I am a ROCK! I am an I-I-I-I-I-LAND!”), so it’s comforting to have my sweet father-in-law’s instrument to use. Another blessing is that I have beautiful words and melodies floating around in my head, unlike some really annoying songs that sometimes get stuck there. Here’s my favorite, which sums up the whole theme of the retreat, with all the chords penciled in. ♥

Pillow Gift Baskets


Here are the finished gift baskets for the Art and Mission Market this Saturday!

(Click on any photo in the gallery for a larger view.) ♥



Although we’ve only had a few flakes so far, some of you have already experienced your first blizzard of the season. One of the perks of working at home is not having to worry about driving in iffy weather . . . but I’ll admit I’ll miss hearing the early-morning news announcer say those magic words: SNOW DAY! this winter. As much as I loved teaching, this pronouncement always brought on a giddy anticipation . . . fireplace, hot chocolate, good book, nap . . . The front of this pillow was a decorative dish towel, and I simply embroidered the word as a little a-la-mode and chose a matching solid red for the back. The finished 12 x 12 pillow is now part of a gift basket for the upcoming Arts and Crafts Mission Market. Now . . . stay warm, everyone! ♥


Christmas is Coming!


My friend Janet gave me this pretty Christmas print square. I added a little a-la-mode by outlining the pictures and designs in embroidery and sewing on red wooden beads for holly berries, and it’s now sitting in one of the gift baskets awaiting the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at Calvary United Methodist Church on November 19 from 9:00-4:00. All the money goes to the prenatal program at GraceMed! They’ll also have craft booths, baked goods, and a German lunch (homemade bierrocks . . . yum!).  Maybe I’ll try a booth next year? Or maybe I’ll have a brand-new hobby by then! (insert groan from Dave . . .) 🙂

Bedtime Prayers


Talking about pillows made me think of bedtime prayers. When I asked Dave if he prayed beside his bed as a child, I found out that he said the same traditional Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep that I said with my mom, dad, brother, and sister.  I’m happy that the last two lines of today’s version are a little cheerier than they were back in those days  . . . May angels watch me through the night, and wake me with the morning light. ♥

Now that I’m a grown-up (most of the time!), my favorite bedtime prayer is “For Those We Love” from The Book of Common Prayer. While looking for an online version to use as a link, I discovered that this prayer is also used in the Prayer Shawl Ministry, an international movement of knitters and crocheters who meet to create shawls for people undergoing illnesses and other life difficulties. Here is a photo of the Prayer Shawl Ministry ladies working at my church . . . I hope to join them someday!

Pillows and Plans


Needle in a Haystack Fall Festival

I had the best time at Needle in a Haystack on Saturday! Everyone was so friendly and chatty . . . I’ll admit that I bought more from the other vendors than I made! The shop itself is amazing. The lovely owner, Cynthia, bought two of my pillows, Chic Chicks and Pooh. My mother-in-law Vida gave me this remnant, which included a perfectly-centered picture of Pooh, and I added a button from a long-ago sewing project to the flower. The finished pillow is 16 x 16.

Now (surprise, surprise!) I’m hatching yet another plot. The upcoming Arts and Crafts Mission Mart at my church is selling donated gift baskets by silent auction with the proceeds going to various community-assistance projects. So  . . . I’m thinking I could choose a couple of pillows that have the same color or theme . . . add some other small, related gift items . . . arrange them in a basket . . .



The youth group at Calvary United Methodist Church sells pumpkins every year to earn money for their summer mission trips. Since the church is on Rock Road, one of our busiest streets, the display is a familiar sight for many Wichitans. In fact, when I mention my church to friends, they’re likely to say, “Oh . . . you go to the pumpkin church!” As much as I love pumpkins, I’ve only made one pillow in their honor so far. The front was a decorative tea towel, and the back was a curtain in one of my favorite fall colors. The finished pillow is smaller than usual, only 10 x 10.