Monday, December 17, 2012

Make It Monday!!! -No Sew Burlap Tree Skirt

So the other night after my kids went to bed I got ambitious...I started cleaning up my craft corner (which had gotten wildly out of control while preparing for craft4life)....THEN my giant roll of Burlap started calling my name. I had pinned several burlap tree skirts over the last year and had wanted to make one for our second tree BUT our internet was down so I couldn't look up any tutorials. I figured it couldn't be that hard AND the road runner guy wasn't coming until Monday so I was going to wing it! (He came today and apparently a squirrel had chewed through the wires and they were full of water.) So....anyway....Internet is back and here I am sharing my Burlap adventure.


I cut out a circle the size i wanted my tree skirt.
I cut into the middle of it (you can see the cut in the top middle of the pic.)
I then cut a circle in the middle for the stump of the tree.
You will notice I didn't bother ironing because I knew it would be covered! (an i detest ironing)

I drew a free hand circle with a sharpie about 5-6 inches in from the outside edge to act as a guide to where I was going to start gluing the burlap on!

I then cut strips of burlap about 8-10 inches wide. I hot glued about 2 inches onto my sharpie line and then folded it over on itself just a 1/2 inch to create a pleat. Then i glued down a little more and created my next pleat! I continued all the way around the tree skirt.

After the first circle I did my next layer (overlapping it over the first layer so the glued edge was covered)

This is it with 2 layers...I was about to start layer 3! (I ended up doing 4 layers BUT my last layer strips were only 4-5 inches wide and you can see that in the picture below)

Now I used my scissors to create a hole for the Twine to go through to tie it in place under the tree! I made 3 holes down the slit...You can see the ties in the next picture...

I cut 1 foot of twine, put it through the holes and Ba Bam....I love it! 

It took about an hour while I watched a Christmas Hallmark movie and it was worth every minute!!!

Here it is under the tree!

Ta da!

Now this week I have big plans to make Fabric Lined Burlap stockings!!! We will see what time allows and if i like them i may share!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

craft4life part 2

Well....Saturday has come and gone! It was so much fun. We had 45 women and fabric was flying...We did 10 crafts (well we ran out of time and took some home)....If you didn't get a chance to read a few posts down about about craft4life and operation baby rescue scroll down and read more about it. We raised about $2400 (still waiting on a final number as we have a little more coming in)....Way to go ladies. That is 2 babies rescued and given a chance at life!
My friend MaryAnn Shared about our event on her blog... She is our MOPS Community Connector and attended craft4life! Check it out here

Here are a few items we made with their inspiration sites...
                                                                 Christmas Card...

Birthday Calendar...Designed by me...

Paperclip earrings... inspiration from here.

Wreath was a craft at the CRAFT 4 LOVE event I went to a month back at Temple Baptist. BUT the Rosettes for wreath were from here.

Family Rules board. This was designed by me...

T-shirt scarf inspiration was from here. Flower for scarf from here. (We made these flowers at the LOVE 146 event at Temple Baptist and I loved them!!! Women made scarfs with all different twists (braids, cut and tie, etc...) I should have taken pics of them!


Major thanks to Bagels and bakes for donating Bagels and Cream Cheese for Breakfast. Also to The Villa who donated our delicious lunch! Our raffle bags had items from Alabu (all natural lip balm). They have been friends with lyles family since he was young. His mom suggested I contact her when i was about to make an attempt at homemade soap...Their website is
They also contained Maddies Mark bracelets. You can check out Maddies Mark and their amazing foundation at AND if you have nothing going on Saturday, January 19th from 9-3 you can join us at Sonrise to make elephants for Maddies Mark. We are going to try to help them get ahead. Over 1000 elephants have already been sold!!! We need people who can sew, stuff, trace, cut, iron....Basically we need EVERYONE!!! If you have questions about this let me know!
A sweet family friend Marie Tollison donated a tray of homemade scrumptious chocolates from her sons chocolate shop park ave. confections for dessert.

Major thanks to Sonrise for letting us craft 4 life!!!

Then came our raffle/silent auction/giveaway items AND I must say..I was blown away. I put the word out there and things started flowing in. Here are a few pics....not all by far...I'm going to try to not miss any but fogive me if I do...
Painting- Jon Campbell of Rotterdam
Sterling Silver neacklace with Sacandaga Stone- Amber Liegeot
Lots of Jewelry- Amber Liegoet
Several Signs- Jessica Jewett etsy site:
Totes- Heather Torn etsy site coming in January...
2 Umbrellas- Maddies Mark
Quilted Bibs- Elizabeth Chambers
Lots of crochet hats with flowers- Elizabeth French
Simply Zofia- Headbands, flowers, Hand painted Painted signs & blocks, ornaments etsy:
Leather Wrap Bracelets- Becky Coburn Etsy:
Bath Apron- Natalie Cutting- (Her Etsy site is for personalized cards and invites)
Pillowcase Dress & Onesie dress- Nicki Pittman
A variety of stockings & sewn goods- Gladys
Prinatables, Burnt Edge flower pins, buntings- Me
Hand made Cards- Marie Tollison
Scarf- sally Hart
Hats, Mittens, purse- Johanna Vansteeg
Scarf- Nicola MacNeil
Partylite item, snowmen items- Veronica Liegeot
Scentsy Bundle- Roxanne Irvin
Waxing service- Jennie Lea
Massage- Lorinda Kimball (Complete Renewal by Lorinda)
A variety of items- Lyndsay Synowski
Maddies Elephants- Benefitting Maddies Mark

Here are a few pics....I have to get the others from my phone...

We also had ornaments and t-shirts for sale: There are still some available. 
They are $3 for ornaments (made by myself, My mom & Heather Torn) and $10 for t-shirts

I am just so grateful to everyone who made this day a success. So much love went into giving the gift of life...from women who prepped, donated supplies, manned a post, set up, cleaned up AND especially to each women who attended. Thank you again and let me know if you have any questions about Operation Baby Rescue!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Fun

Sorry it has been a few weeks. With prep for craft4life I haven't had the time to post. It was awesome AND I will do a post on craft4life tomorrow or Wednesday.

In the mean time I wanted to share some of the new traditions happening in our household. Usually leading up to Christmas we are totally focused on our kids....What we would like to give to them and trying to help shift their focus and ours to others. We, to be honest, don't usually spend a ton of time thinking about what to get each other....we usually discuss one thing we want and buy it together prior to Christmas  This year we had made plans to go to Weekend to Remember, a marriage conference family life puts on across the country. It was phenomenal and if you've never been you definitely should. I may share more about that conference in the coming weeks. You can check it out here. Anyway for the Saturday night date night they recommend couples plan it in advance (dinner reservations, bring gifts for each other, etc) So....I started thinking about what I could give him and remembered something i pinned last year on Pinterest. It was a Christmas Spouse countdown. It looked like this.
You can go to a tutorial by the dating divas here. (p.s. The dating divas are awesome and have amazing ideas of things you can do/make for your hunny... ) I can't say enough... how important dating your husband is. If you have spent much time with Lyle or I you know that we are passionate about seeing marriages not just last... but thrive! Anyway....I did mine a little different. I used free digital scrap booking stuff from here. They have tons of free downloads. You can't use them for things you are going to sell or make money off of BUT you can use them for personal use! I digitally scrapped the inside and outside. Printed and folded the cards and then wrote handwritten notes in each card. There are 24 days leading up to Christmas so I did 2/3  (16 cards) are things I love about him, qualities I admire, etc. The remaining 8 are half (4)acts of service (a massage, doing something for him that I hate ironing his and half (4) are date nights focused around things he loves to do..some are at home and some are going out..Last night for instance was a Daddy concert. He brought home his guitar and he played while we all sang and listened. The kiddos loved it! I can't write these all out now as he will read this (love you babe) and I don't want him to know before he opens the card. I glittered some clothes pins and clipped the cards onto a ribbon. NOW each morning he opens a card and reads it....if it is a date or act of service he can look forward to it for the rest of the day! It was an inexpensive gift that I really love and would recommend for any wife (or thoughtful your wife would think you were to do something like this)...It is a great way to show the one you love during this season that they are an important part of your life and thank them for who they are! It is something I will definitely do again next year!

Another tradition we have added to our home this year is Elf on the shelf. For starters...Our kids don't believe in Santa. They know that Santa is a fiction character that brings joy to people during the Christmas season BUT that Christmas is about Jesus birth. We talk about how it's Jesus birthday but He doesn't want gifts from us...He just wants us to love Him....We talk about how it is a season to show others his love too and a way of doing that is giving each other gifts. We talk about how Santa is a fiction story of gift giving and that kids think the gifts come from Santa BUT it is really just a fun way for parents to bring Christmas joy to their kids. All that to say....that hasn't stopped our kids from asking Santa for things for Christmas and they still run around the house as soon as they wake up to see where our crazy elf is even though we've told them he's pretend. For those friends who are now're kids are going to ruin Santa for my kids...we have also told them they are in on the Santa secret BUT they can't tell other kids. It is their own parents job to let their kids in on the secret some day not Austin and Livs. Austin giggles and looks at us when he hears another kid saying something about Santa.
Ok so.....A few years back my Friend Mandi Cheslock and her husband were on this crazy adventure where they traveled the country for his job and lived in the trailer they they pulled around with them. They got to experience some really cool things and around Christmas that year she broke out the elf on the shelf. He was crazy and silly and it looked so fun. A few months back i ordered ours online so we were all ready for December. We read our kids the book AND talked about what was real and what wasn't THEN...IT STARTED.... Let me introduce you to BUSTER!!!!

Improving our family Photos...

Racing with the toys...Buster Won!

Bath time....

What are you doing Buster....

He didn't think our decorations were acceptable...

Buster was doing Austins Quiet time..

Buster was trying to get up to visit the Angel Austin made...
I think that Lyle and I have had more fun each night when the kids go to bed coming up with something new than they have when they find him. We have had a blast...So whether you believe in Santa or don't let me say that an elf is just a super fun thing for your kids but even more for you...I love it!
So...those are just some fun family things...BUT what about others....We have several projects that our family is a part of this Christmas to show Gods love to those around us and I will write about that later this week. Maybe you can get involved too....Come back to find out more.
I am also going to share about one of our favorite Christmas Day Traditions to share with our kiddos about the true meaning of Christmas!
What are your super fun family traditions? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Operation Baby Rescue

In September Lyle and I had the opportunity to go with a team to a small town outside Zacapa, Guatemala. It was about a 3 hour drive East of Guatemala City towards Honduras. We were there to build a church in a community called El Oregenal where our church is doing a total village transformation. (Water well, Church, School, Houses) This village had homes built with sticks and mud and bathrooms which were a cement circle over a hole in the ground.

It was humbling and life changing to see human beings living in these conditions in the mountains. 

While there we had the opportunity to be a part of Operation Baby Rescue. They are rescuing code red babies from the mountains of Guatemala who would die without medical attention. Some of these families are more than 6 hours from a town and there is no way they could ever make that trek...especially when they have no money for the care when they get there. Many of these families even believe their children were meant to die there in their homes and are resistant to the help. They provide them with medical care and follow up with long term provision physically as well as spiritual care for them and their families. Several evenings when we got back from our village we had the opportunity to help feed these babies their dinner. One night they had just brought in new babies that day (they rescue about 1000 a year). They pointed me in the direction of a room I walked in and  the tears started rolling as i looked about at these babies. One had encephalitis and her head was close to the size of her body,one had a cleft pallet, one was 4 and was tiny and soooo sooooo skinny, one was several months old and weighed just a couple lbs. 

It was at the moment when i held that 2 lb baby in my arms and tried to feed her that I knew I had to do something. Holding these ailing babies in the baby rescue center impacted me in a way where I couldn't just have pity on them...i was moved with compassion...I had to do something to help....

While we were there one baby was rescued BUT it was too late....A sweet little one was gone from this earth and present with our heavenly father...

Here is a link to a video of a 12 hour baby rescue....We actually got to meet this little Blanca Olivia & her mother while we were there just 8 months after her rescue....She was happy and healthy...It was A-MAZ-ING!

Each baby rescue is $1200. Over the next 12 months I am going to do a variety of things as well as getting other families on board to try to do 10 baby rescues. My husband and I will be doing projects with our children to raise money for the first of our baby rescues and then I'm trying to raise money for 4 rescues through a craft event I'm doing December 8th called CRAFT4LIFE. As part of that I will be having several bundles for a raffle AND my hope is to have those bundles made up of homemade craft items. (they could also be items from ladies who do direct sales.....) I am reaching out to all the crafters in my life to see if they might be willing to donate an item (or several) for this event. Anyone who donates will get their Etsy site (if they have one) on a sheet which will be in every ones favor bag as well as being mentioned the day of the event. You are also more than welcome to send 100 business cards if you have them for the favor bags (we are looking at 75 women BUT would love to have 100 and want to have enough for everyone) We would love for people to see your item at the event and choose you for their online Christmas or future shopping!!!

If you are a crafter and would like to be a part of this event I would be honored!!! You can send your item (or items) to Becky Hartwell 3009 Westside ave, Rotterdam , NY 12306 and I would love it if you included a little note about who you are, where your from and the love that went into your item.

Also if you aren't a crafter BUT want to donate you can go to our church website and click the register for craft4life at the bottom and donate any amount you would like. If you would like more info about doing a baby rescue as a family or a church shoot me an email and I would love to share more about it with you! My email is . 

One other way I am raising money for these baby rescues is through Thirty-One. I recently signed up as a consultant. As a Thirty One Consultant you make a 25% commission. Until I've finished these 10 baby Rescues 20% is going to baby rescues and 5% will go into building my business (catalogs, order forms, etc). If you are interested in hosting an online party and earning free stuff while helping this great cause you can email me OR order on my . 

Thank you for taking the time to read about what God has laid on my heart. He has called me to be an advocate for these babies and I would love for you to join me in these efforts!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This is me...

I have been thinking for some time about blogging...not for one specific thing BUT for a variety of reasons. This will be a place for me to share my heart on the things happening in my life. Some things lite and fun, some things heavy on my heart. 

Let me first share about who I am. I am a 28 year old woman who loves God. I am striving in my daily life to live in a way that honors Him and brings Him glory. 

(Pictures taken by Erin Moore at Mercy Street Studio in South Berwick, ME

Second, I am a wife to an incredible husband Lyle. He is a worship & family pastor at Sonrise Bible Church in Rotterdam, NY. He loves music, basketball, golf...really any sport....He is passionate about whatever God puts in his path.

God has blessed us with an amazing church family who loves God and is striving to show His love with our community and our world. Third, I am a mother of awesomely (is that a word) cool 5 1/2 year old Austin Charles 
and a sweet & sassy 4 year old Olivia Madison. 

2 1/2 years ago my husband and I moved back to NY for his job and we bought our first home...a "fixer upper" and have been on a long journey of remodeling it ourselves. I'll show you some pics of our before and afters one of these days.

I'm no author and I have horrible grammar & spelling. I will work on these things but I'm not going to allow them to stop me. I have been thinking about blogging for over a year as a way to share how God is working in me as well as a way to share some of the super fun things our family does and the crafty endevours I take on. There was nothing in particular stopping me from starting this journey BUT there is something in my life that has forced me to start now. 
My next post will share that story...