Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Reformation Day!

Imagine that when you went to church on Sunday, you had to stand, sometimes up to 4-5 hours, while the priest read a sermon in Latin, and you couldn't understand a word of it.

    How could you learn about God and his message of salvation?

     That was what is was like in the 1500's, and during the time of a young monk named Martin Luther.  He saw all these problems with the church and wrote a list of 95 objections, nailing them to the door of his church in Gutenberg, Germany.

 The date was on All Hallows' Eve, October 31st, 1517.

A date that has changed the world.

Martin Luther saw that the people were being deceived.  Since they didn't have the Bible in a language they  could understand, they had to trust what the church told them.  What if the church was wrong?

The people were told that to get to heaven they had to do good things, confess their sins to a priest, take the Lord's Supper, and even then they couldn't be sure.
One popular way to insure that you or a loved one could go to heaven in Luther's day was to buy an indulgence. 

"As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs" - Johann Tetzel, seller of indulgences.

This slip of paper could be bought for a few coins, and you, or whoever you purchased it for would be guaranteed a place in heaven, even if they had already died and were in "purgatory"

But that's not how God's salvation works. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven.

"For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast" Ephesians 2:8-9

Buying a slip of paper, or trying to be good will never win us favor with God.  He sent His only Son to die for us, to pay for our sins.  How is there anyway we could add to that gift?
We must repent, turn from our sins, and have faith in that gift of salvation God has so generously provided for us.  Then, we can know for sure that when we die, we will be in heaven with Him.

Martin Luther also translated the New Testament into German so that ordinary people could read it, not just the studied priests and monks who could read Latin.  .

So, with that little lesson on the reformation, I can go on to tell you about the fun thing we are doing tonight.

The home-school group our family is a part of is having a family game night, and if any one wants, they can wear reformation era costumes (medieval), or dress up like a character from the Bible.

Well, Becca and I never pass up an opportunity to wear costumes, so I got right to work putting some together. 

A while ago, we tried to make a Romeo and Juliet movie with some friends.  We had a lot of fun making costumes, and even filmed a couple scenes, but we had a major problem... We didn't have any boys to act in it!  So, needless to say, it was never finished, but we kept everything from it, which led to the beginning of Becca's costume.

This was the dress for Juliet's mother.

I fitted the dress better, added some embellishments, and voila!

No, sadly that is not our horse.

 For mine, I thought out an idea first, figured out what I needed, then headed to our local thrift store.

There I got a leather jacket, a men's button up shirt, and a big piece of heavy fabric.

I turned the shirt into a peasant blouse by cutting off the collar, pockets, cuffs, and buttons.

I took the sleeves off the leather jacket, changed the neckline, cut it shorter and used the extra piece to make a scalloped edge. (sorry, no pictures)

The fabric I used to make the skirt.

The skirt has pockets!  :)


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Debut of Clever Bunnies Mercantile

by: Bethany

 So, I'm sure you are all excited to hear how our show went on Saturday, right?

It went pretty good! Except for the fact that we didn't sell anything. Well, at least not anything big, just some cookies. 
They weren't normal cookies either, they were "Chocolate Shortbread Bunny Biscuits" (biscuit = English word for cookie).

We nicknamed them muddy bunnies after they were dipped in chocolate.

I did some with icing too. I guess these would be...snowy bunnies?
We were so excited to find this cookie cutter, because it looks almost identical to our Sarah-Jane silhouette on our logo. 

 Besides that fact, it was a nice debut for our business. We received lots of lovely remarks how everything was so cute, and we were able to pass out our business cards to some people that have furniture pieces they would like fixed up. 
Plus, we got a lead for a bigger show in a couple of weeks from another vender (who we bought the most adorable boot socks from).


We knew this wasn't going to be a big show, but since it was right in our town, it was a good place to start.

Here's what our booth looked like!

Setting up Friday night
Our mom found that rug for us on clearance to give our booth a more homey feeling :)

We completely forgot to take any pictures the day of the show, so this isn't exactly what it looked like. We ended up bringing a table cloth for that blue card table on the right side so that we could hide our stuff under it, and we decided that "traffic" flowed better with the checkout table on the other side of the booth so that got rearranged a little too.

You haven't seen this project yet, have you?
This is Becca's, and there was a bit of drama as to if it would be ready in time for the show, but here it is!
(She'll do a full post on it soon)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

With our very first show coming up so soon, 
I've been feeling just a bit of pressure to finish my projects on time.  

Today some of that pressure has been relieved 'cause I finished one, and it might be my favorite yet…

One reason being it's my favorite color.

Another is, it's the first piece that I 've actually altered it's molecular structure- just kidding : )
But I turned it into something different, from a trunk to a table.

I've always loved trunks;
 big wooden cases, holding people's belonging as they set off on an adventure. 
Some are ornate, some simple, most showing signs of their age.
They're just so cool!

But I never can afford the really neat looking, big, old ones, 
so I opt for the cute, newer, cheaper ones : )

When I found this sweet little thing in a shop, I knew it had to come home with me.

I mean it's blue! A blue trunk!

Did I already mention my feelings for the color blue, and trunks?

And if you lift the lid…

It has really cute paper inside!

It was in terrific shape, well… maybe there was a little rust… but I could fix that : )

Once home, and once I had time to turn my attention to the patient little thing,
 I looked up a homemade metal polish recipe, and found one. ( Thanks eHow)
It was really simple! and I had all the ingredients.

Here it is:

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice

1/4 cup of flour, baking soda or cornstarch

Dissolve the salt in the acid of your choice, then add the flour, baking soda or cornstarch.
It should make a nice paste.

It's not thick enough? No problem : ) 
Add more flour, baking soda or cornstarch 'til you like the consistency,
and there you have it! 
Just slap this stuff on some rusty metal you want cleaned, let it dry, and wash it off!

Is that easy or what?

It doesn't look very pretty….

But it worked : )



Now that was taken care of, but the top looked a kind of rough.
Let's cover that up with something… I have a cool picture of a sailboat, and hey, it's blue! 
That works, but Office Max can't print pictures that wide, so it's a little too small… awkward.
Wait, maybe I could cut the picture in three pieces and space them evenly-
Oh no! that piece is closer on one side and the Modge Podge is drying!

*Panic ensues*

Mom saves the day with a paint brush.


Now all it needs is legs, and thanks to our local thrift store, we found four adorable spindles.
Well, maybe they're a bit too tall… *Sawing*

Okay now they're perfect : )



"Look at those cute little legs"  : )
Do you know what movie that's from?

Bon Voyage!

Double Feature

by: Bethany

    Wow, it's hard to think that our craft show is in only one week from today. One week! I think we will be prepared; we've been working very hard to get ready.

   One very exciting thing we've accomplished is making business cards!

 We ordered them online, at a company called Overnight Prints. We tried a few others, but it was hard to find the dimensions we had to use if we wanted to design our own instead of using their generic templates. After long hours of searching, and messing with using some other sites, Overnight Prints turned out to be the simplest. It was having a sale too, so the prices were pretty good. At least for the cards themselves, because of course they always hit you with shipping. What can you do, right?

   Becca designed the cards through a free, online picture editing site called Picmonkey. It's a favorite of ours, and has a lot of cool features (though, some you have to pay for through a premium membership).


They have rounded corners! Aren't they cute? We're pretty happy about them. :)

 Now onto the second feature…project, I mean.


This is a sturdy little reading lamp I came upon (came upon = swiping it off a curb after dark in a strange neighborhood. It wasn't stealing, trust me. The lamp was in a pile of free things that had been left over from a rummage sale. It did feel kind of awkward driving off with it and a few other pieces we found, though). It wasn't the prettiest, but the shape of it was nice so I decided to fix it up a bit.

It was an older lamp, and the cord looked a little hazardous, so I replaced both the cord and the light bulb socket with new ones.

A couple coats of primer, a couple coats of paint, then a fun pattern around the edge, and the lamp's facelift was complete!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bethany's Car

  I bought my very first car this weekend! 

A 1961 Ford Falcon

 Actually, this isn't the car I bought, but it was the first car I fell in love with. It was so cute with it's retro body style and powder blue color, but it was lacking a few crucial features like seat belts, AC, and an automatic transmission (well, I could have learned how to use a stick shift). Needless to say, I couldn't choose a car simply on looks.   :)

This is what I really bought.

It's a 2003 Ford Focus hatchback.

I've been keeping an eye out for an affordable vehicle for a while, but nothing has seemed to fit.
I wanted something that would have space to haul furniture, but I also didn't want something big that would be a gas guzzler. 
This one is a nice compromise because it gets great gas milage, and yet it has more room in the back then a normal car.

It's nothing fancy; no power windows, automatic locks, or keyless entry, but it has more important things like heat, air conditioning, and a nice radio and CD player.  :)

The back seats fold flat…

…like so, making lots of room.

I left the smily face on the windshield from the dealership.
Just a little thing I found at a pawn shop, even before I had a
car window to hang it in.  :)

I've discovered that there are a lot more expenses to owning a car besides the usual gas, getting license plates, and things.  Like, the key was really worn so I needed to get a replacement made.  I went to our local hardware store yesterday, and found since this key has a microchip in it, they could make a copy but it would only open the doors and not start the car. 
Sigh…. Suddenly a $3 key turned into a $60 key.
Then last night when I got off work, I got in my car, started the ignition, and turned on the head lights. I expected some lights to go on so I could see what I was doing, but nope, nothing. I peered down at the shifter and cautiously put the car into what I thought was reverse. Yes! Alright, now into drive…How many notches down is that? Two, into neutral, then into drive.  I was good to go, but still wondering why everything was so dark. Shouldn't I be able to see my speedometer?
When I got home, I told my dad and he figured it was a short somewhere. He's ordered a new piece (another $80) and we will save some money by putting it in ourselves. It will be fun to fix it with Dad, but it is yet another unexpected expense.
Oh well, I guess it's just a part of growing up.

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