Love is in the Air ~ “Little Arrows” Valentine’s Gift Wrap

Valentine’s craft set with alphabet beads

In this Valentine’s Day gift wrapping video, I use this awesome “little arrow” scrapbooking paper. You can’t help but think of Cupid when you see this paper! The eye is drawn to the centre of the gift with the layers of torn paper used in lieu or ribbon. Alphabet beads create the XOXOXOX Valentine’s sentiment. The look is completed with a simple heart tag that came in a dollar store Valentine’s gift wrap set. The design isn’t complex, but it really is the adorable paper that makes it work! Check it out!

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Love is in the Air: Hugs & Kisses Gift Wrap

Black and white polka dot gift wrap is the perfect backdrop for this cute little XOXO tag. This tag was purchased in a dollar store cupcake decorating kit. The card came with slits to slide a straw in, but worked perfectly for threading the red ribbon instead. The XOXO tag is anchored with a plain white scalloped edge circle. So simple!

Check out this quick tutorial to see how it’s done.

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR! Rustic Love Valentine’s Gift Wrap

This is by far my favourite Valentine’s gift wrapping design. I used a simple brown packaging paper with a white dry brushed finish as the basis for this design. The ribbon is a neutral colour, but a touch of elevation is added with DIY white paper ribbon, made from adding machine tape. Two different looks are created in this video, but both are created with wooden heart embellishments. I picked up the white antiqued heart ornament (along with some stars, angels and Christmas trees) on a post Christmas clearance at Hallmark…I think they were a dollar each..score! The second, more intricate heart was bought at the dollar store. I absolutely love how the wooden hearts give this whole design an elegant, yet rustic feel.

Check out the quick tutorial.

Remember to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE for more great gift wrapping ideas. Happy wrapping!

LOVE IS IN THE AIR! Alphabet Bead Sentiments

I bought a small Valentine’s craft set from the dollar store that included a variety of materials. Although I really wasn’t interested in the tacky pink beads and pipe cleaners, the little letter beads caught my eye. For this design, I used the beads to create a Valentine’s sentiment and mounted the beads against an oversized red felt heart (another dollar store purchase).

As you may have noticed, all of my Valentine’s gift wrapping posts include dollar store purchases. I do this for good reason. I’m pretty picky and also well aware of how tacky and cheap some inexpensive items can look. I do believe the old saying “you get what you pay for”, but I also believe that there is no need to over pay for items when it isn’t necessary. There are times when quality really doesn’t make much difference because of the intended use of the item. There are often ways to elevate the look of an item that might otherwise seem tacky as a stand alone, or when combined with elements that don’t augment its value. What I do know to be true is this, many items can be enhanced simply by combining them in the right way and with careful consideration to the other elements.

This design is simple and inexpensive, but it doesn’t scream cheap because some of the other materials in the kit weren’t used. If I would have added some of the other solid coloured beads, the design would have definitely been impacted. Keep it simple and be mindful of sheens and finishes as that can really make a difference in a finished look.

Check out this super simple Valentine’s Day gift wrap idea.

Happy wrapping!

Valentine’s Gift Wrapping Ideas: Gold and Black~Classy Wrap!

This was one of two sets of Valentine’s gift wrap I recently bought at the dollar store. I love the gold and black look, as it deviates from the expected pinks and reds. It’s more of a classy look….hard to believe this paper was found at the dollar store. I do find it has a bit of higher sheen than I like, but I balanced off both papers with elements that have a flatter finish. I really like the simple elegance of both.

The first tutorial incorporates metal ribbon which was also a dollar store purchase made several months back. It is one of my favourite elements because I love designs that have dimension. Any element that has wire or another pliable material makes my list of must haves. I also use another favourite in this look ….salvaged Christmas cracker wired decorations that are used on the ends of the crackers. I always collect these from everyone at Christmas dinner because they are the perfect finishing touch on so many different projects…especially gift wrapping.

For the second gift, I incorporate a simple wooden element. I love the way it connects with the gold polka dots! The gift is finished off with a simple suede string/ribbon that was a dollar store purchase from a few years back. This gift is a true example of “less is more”. Often, simplicity is the key to a great design!

Happy wrapping!

Valentine’s Gift Wrapping Ideas: Stripes & Hearts

Several weeks back, I made a trip to the dollar store to see what I could pick-up for some Valentine’s Day gift wrapping. I was on a mission to look for anything that would work based on colour and theme. Although I didn’t stick exclusively to the gift wrapping section, I was able to find two incredibly cute gift wrapping sets! I bought both along with several other items that I will be highlighting in videos/posts this week.

The funniest part of my big Valentine’s shop is that my husband and I are not big gift givers, we occasionally surprise one another with a gift, but for the most part it’s not our thing. Both of our primary love languages are “Acts of Service” and “Words of Affirmation”. That doesn’t mean I don’t love and appreciate the thoughtfulness of a gift, it’s just that my greatest appreciation is when he finishes a project around the house, preps a meal or says something thoughtful. This is by far the most Valentine’s swag I’ve ever bought. I usually avoid this kind of thing like the plague, but to all you romantics out there who’s primary love language is “Giving/Receiving Gifts” there will be several great gift wrapping ideas this week.

Love this little set. Came with two types of paper and tags!

Both of these videos demonstrate super simple gift wrapping embellishments. Check out these short video tutorials to see how you can create these Valentine’s Day gift wrapping designs.

Happy wrapping!

Modern Day Miracles: My Testimony

Some Back Story:

Although I grew up in a Christian home and always believed in God, it wasn’t until the last few years that my spiritual journey really began. I remember Oprah saying that turning 50 was a real game changer in her life. I think you reach a stage when you don’t have the energy or interest in doing things just to keep up appearances…you just become more authentic, accept who you are ….the good, the bad and the ugly. You simply become more unapologetically yourself. I have always been a super reflective person and spend most of my time inside my own head. However, for me this spiritual awakening was not so much about my age as my circumstances.

My Belief:

First and foremost, my underlying belief is this: God is a GOOD God all the time. He does not bring sickness, misfortune, bad luck or death. We live in a world in which bad things happen as a result of Adam & Eve’s decision in the garden. What I do believe is that when bad things happen and we are forced to walk through the storms in life, God can and will use these situations to draw us closer to him. He never brings on misfortune, but he is faithful to bring beauty from the pile of ashes we find ourselves in.

A Place of FEAR:

Our daughter went through a very tough time in grade 7 and 8. Without going into much detail, the circumstances got pretty bad and she was eventually diagnosed with severe depression and an anxiety disorder. She went from Principal’s Honor Roll for over 90% averages to scraping by with 51% in math and science courses. I share this only because when you see your child spiral, distance herself from you and the world in general, you begin to parent from a totally different place ~ FEAR! Fear of losing her, fear of failure, fear of doing/saying the wrong thing, fear of doing too much, fear of not doing enough, fear of being a bad parent, fear of the future, fear that she’ll never get better, fear of bad friend choices, fear of bad life choices, literally fear of everything. This is where I found myself.

I can’t actually explain the strain this put on me and my family. I read books on mental health and parenting. I listened to pod casts and took courses. I spent endless hours and dollars trying to figure it all out. As a mom, that’s what we do. We fix things. I was on a mission and when I’m on a mission, I really lock on. Some how in my mind, I was her only chance. I had to fight for her because she didn’t have the will or energy to fight for herself. It is the most horrible place to be as a parent.

What could possibly be worse than this? Doing anything and everything you can and literally getting no where. The harder I tried, the worse the situation got. She hated life and me even more. Everything I was doing was out of my deep unwavering love for her, but there came a point when my efforts seemed futile, our relationship was a disaster and the tension in our home was almost unbearable. In all honesty, there were times I felt like I didn’t have an ounce of stamina left, I had given everything I had to help this child I loved so much and my payoff was being hated and resented. I just wanted out. Walk. Away. I was completely at the end of myself.

Now, being a person of strong faith, I did my fair share of praying and begging during this time, but it really wasn’t until I was in a place of utter hopelessness that I truly surrendered the situation to God. I was desperate to find answers. I was just so weary and it was in this place of vulnerability that I was finally ready to hand it over to God. Our pastors had been teaching on what a true spiritual fast was all about. The ins and outs, the hows and whys…I knew in my spirit that I needed to fast for Eden and do nothing else but seek God through my fast and that is exactly what I did. I did a 3 day food fast, but more importantly than giving up the food, I committed my fasting time to seeking God. This was really something quite foreign to me and I honestly didn’t really know what I was doing so I surrendered that to him as well.

My Experience with a Spiritual Fast:

Friday, I went to work as usual. Listen to a teaching (past sermon) from my church’s app (The Source Church). On the way home, I listened to another message and watched the Jets game with my husband. My search was set to begin on the Saturday. That morning I got up and said a short prayer asking God to show me how to help Eden, to open my eyes of understanding and guide me into truth. I then proceeded to read from my little devotional book that I used every day. However, what made this day different was that as I read my 5 minute devotional something in the words jumped out at me like never before. I really felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me. I decided to look up the scripture the devotion was referencing and what followed was the most amazing treasure hunt I’d ever been on. Through the words in the bible, God spoke to my spirit leading me from one place to another. Reminding me of things I’d previously read or watched and as I followed, I began to find answers and revelation. This process lasted throughout the weekend and well into the following week when I was finished my fast and back to work. I would turn on the radio (Sirius XM: The Message) or my Spotify playlist and the words in the song would confirm the overwhelming message that he had given me throughout the process, but each new “clue” strengthened the message and my understanding of what he was trying to tell me.

Let me tell you…I was in for a rude awakening! The message was so loud and clear. One of the first places he took me was to the love chapter 1 Corinthians 13. I knew this chapter well, but when I read it on this day I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Here is how it translated for me in that moment:

Without LOVE you are nothing. All your striving and good intentions are driving your daughter away. What YOU perceive as help, she receives as not measuring up. GOD’S MESSAGE WAS CLEAR. Her status and accomplishments do not and will never impact my love for her. Just like God loves us unconditionally, I knew I would LOVE her no matter what… if she passed or failed, became a doctor or worked at Walmart. It simply didn’t matter. All that mattered was that SHE KNEW she was LOVED and VALUED just as she was.

I had perceived all of my efforts to be acts of love and support, but they were really giving her the message that nothing she did was ever good enough. I didn’t trust her. Every time I “checked-in” or offered suggestions, it cut away at her spirit. OUCH! Needless to say I was brought to my knees, literally crippled by my new revelation and understanding. Everything I did, I did out of love and with the best intentions, but the way it was being received was giving the opposite message to my daughter. I don’t think I have ever wept as much as I did that week. I repented to God, my daughter, my family…I was just so off base. It sickened me to the core just knowing how deceived I’d been. My best intentions totally backfiring. How could I have missed the mark so badly? I remember one of the final messages I received from God during that week came through a random song I was listening to on the way to work. This is what God said to me:

I do not mess up. EVER. I have created her in my likeness and image. Who do you even think you are to try to fix MY MASTERPIECE?

I apologized to my daughter and asked for her forgiveness. Then I LOVED on her like never before. Right where she was at. The answer I so desperately sought through books, courses, videos, etc. was that simple: JUST LOVE HER. For the first time in over 3 years, I finally got it….She does not need to be fixed, she’s already perfect. NOT. BROKEN.

I was so convicted in my spirit. Talk about knocking me down a few pegs. It still brings tears to my eyes even though it was a year ago (last January) when we were still in the midst of this fiery battle with depression and anxiety. Let me tell you it almost tore our house down, but God’s grace is always enough. He was there the whole time, he just needed me to seek Him, His answers and His way. When I totally surrendered the situation to him and sought Him first….it was like the mountain moved. I could sense something change instantly in my daughter that day when I sobbed uncontrollably and apologized for all my mistakes in dealing with the situation.

We began to see positive changes almost instantly and by May she declared that she no longer had depression. By September she was off her medication and today is completely happy and fully healed. The healing and freedom was there the whole time. I truly believe that I was in the way. There was a time not much more than a year ago, that I really couldn’t see through the mess. I wanted to believe she would be well, but everything was hard. I share this today because GOD is in the business of making miracles happen. The trouble is that it is often based on our capacity to believe. We limit him with our own unbelief.

A Time to Give Thanks and Celebrate!

Yesterday, we celebrated Eden’s 18th birthday! She is a beautiful young woman both inside and out. She is compassionate, kind, generous and is going to accomplish great things in life. She was robbed of her adolescence and her life was sidetracked for almost 4 years, but we believe God has brought complete restoration for her. She has an awesome group of friends and is in a great school. She is engaged in all life has to offer and together we rejoice in this miracle. His promises are always Yes and Amen!

Seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you. My mantra….Trust the signature! For what he says is true.

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].

Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)

Bundle of Joy: It’s a Boy!

In this baby boy gift wrapping design, I tap into the vast array of patterned papers available in scrapbooking paper. I will often pick-up discounted 12″ X 12″ paper pads that I use for scrapbooking, card making and of course, wrapping small gifts. (When purchasing scrapbooking paper for wrapping, be sure to consider the weight of the paper, as heavier paper will not work as well.) Pads often come with 2 sheets of each pattern, so you can always join them to get a good sized paper at 12″ X 23″ (with overlap where joined). The larger gift required two sheets of paper, so there is actually a join at the bottom. I never worry much about the joins because if you’ve done a nice job of wrapping, no one will even notice it. In this design, I combine coordinating papers to pull 3 different gifts together in a united stack. I love the blue-green hue of the paper and the hint of yellow that is brought in through embellishments. These simple elements work together to create a lovely gift for that special baby boy!

The focal point and design elements combine paper elements, ribbons that vary in both colour and texture, and standard buttons, but it’s the little extras that really make this gift so adorable. I love the little plastic soother, tag and personalized touch with babies first initial. So cute!

Check out the video to see how it’s done.

I haven’t been to many baby showers lately, but I’m going to one in a few weeks. It is for my Great Nephew (Oh my…that sure makes me sound old!) Anyway, I got the invitation and thought that a few of the ideas were awesome. Perhaps this is actually a normal practise now a days. I’m at the age in which I’m just starting to go to baby showers again. It seems there was quite a gap of years where I really didn’t have anyone in my circle having babies. Anyway, loved both of these ideas…the first is to buy the baby a story book in lieu of a card and sign the inside, so that they can remember who gave it to them every time they read it. Obviously as a kindergarten teacher, I think this idea is fabulous! The second idea is to bring a package of diapers…any size. Love these ideas! So, if you’re in the process of planning a shower, keep these ideas in mind. So fun to have a new baby in the family!!

Modern Day Miracles

I’m not sure how many of my followers consider themselves Christians and truly believe in God’s power to heal, but I have seen and heard way too many testimonies throughout my life to doubt his ability. People will often explain away situations as good luck or a coincidence, but I know first hand that God has had a hand in completely transforming situations in my life.

Perhaps some of you have heard of “the bible that flows with oil”. I don’t want to misquote or misinform anyone, but it’s pretty radical! Check out this video to learn the story behind this modern day miracle:

It’s quite fascinating! Although many will be skeptical and criticize, what I can tell you is that many people are receiving miracles when blessed by the oil produced from this bible. Perhaps the power is in the fact that it is a tangible illustration that God is still in the miracle business. The bible says in Hebrews 11:1

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV)

We live in a world where “seeing is believing”, so to believe something when there is no evidence can often seem irrational. As a believer in the Word of God, your faith is anchored in God’s promises. Even though you may not see any evidence of the promise in your life, you have to “trust the signature”. This has become my mantra in 2020…trust the signature. His promises have absolutely nothing to do with me or my ability to perform well enough….good thing because I would always fall short. I just stand firm and “trust the signature” of the one who made the promise.

Recently the owners of the bible visited our church campus in Florida and everyone was blown away by the miracles and healing that took place. Here is an example of a testimony I found on line, not from our church but involving the oil…gives me goosebumps! Although the bible will not be at our Winnipeg campus, we are super excited because our Pastor Ralph Hoehne is bringing 250 vials of the oil produced by the bible to our Winnipeg campus on Sunday, February 2nd. It’s very exciting! If you or someone you know is interested in attending our 9 am service, please see the video below.

So my point is, in a world where it is so difficult to have faith when their is no evidence, we must grow our faith through our experiences and the testimonies of others. This miraculous bible can be that anchor….you can see it, feel it and even smell the evidence of this miracle. So powerful!

What are you believing for???

Vintage Baby Boy Gift Wrap

I was just preparing the finishing touches on my latest video when I came across one that I had published in the fall, but never set to go public. It just so happens both videos are actual gifts and both are for baby boys. I was planning one baby post, but because I have two videos ready, I will post one now and another next weekend.

In this video, I used vintage scrapbooking paper to wrap the gift. I love the look ….the colours and pattern are certainly not what you would describe as typical baby wrapping. For this gift, I mostly rely on paper elements to create the final look. I use paper punches to create simple shapes that pick-up on the colours of the paper and then layer them to create the focal point for the gift. The tag was actually included right in the scrapbooking paper pad. It’s not uncommon for pads to have a few pages of elements that coordinate with the paper in the pad. It’s really handy, as you can often find coordinated strips of paper that can be used as ribbon, tags, quotes/greetings and/or lettering. If you opt to use scrapbooking paper for wrapping gifts, be sure to purchase paper that is a lighter weight and pliable enough for wrapping. Some pads have a heavier cardstock that won’t work well. Also, never pay full price. Wait for sales/coupons and get them at a discount. Also, always make sure the pads have 2 or more pages with the same pattern, in case you need to join them to enlarge the sheet for bigger gifts. There’s a big difference between a 12″ X 12″ sheet and a 12″ X 23″ sheet (with overlap for join). Having more than one page with the same print is really important when considering gift wrapping.

Check-out this video to see how the paper elements are combined to create a unique looking baby gift!

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