When God gives us something, there is always enough to share.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I entered numbers 1-18 in Random Number Generator and the number chosen is........


Congratulations, Amy! I have e-mail you. 

To the rest of you....there is still time to enter Mistyrose's a.maz.ing giveaway to win this:

Find out all of the details HERE.

This is the first day of Spring Break for us--YAY!! I am really looking forward to a week of catching up and crafting. I will (hopefully) be posting soon with pictures of my very first hand-crocheted sweater!! Well, if it turns out, that is, LOL!


Friday, March 18, 2011

International Friends Blog Hop!!

Welcome to the International Friends Blog Hop (March 18-20)! You should have arrived here from Claudia.  If you stumbled across my post and would like to start at the beginning, get all of the details of the hop from Sweet Magnolia Rose HERE.

The theme for this hop is to make a project that shows a favorite Family Tradition--something that we want our children to carry on, and I chose HAND CRAFTING.

Hand crafting is something that my grandparents and  parents passed down to me, and it is a skill that I hope my own children will continue. My grandfather was a sign painter and artist, and my grandmother loved needlepoint. Both of my parents enjoy woodworking, and my mother is an artist. My own love of crafting began as a small child and has continued throughout my entire life. I love all types of crafting, but my favorites are card making, crocheting and clay (I guess I like alliteration, too, lol!).

Now that I am married and have children of my own, I am passing the love of crafting to my children. Nearly every holiday and gift occasion includes some type of handmade item. My children enjoy digital design and making gift boxes (oldest), card making (middle and youngest), and crocheting (all three), to name just a few.

Since Easter is coming soon, I decided for this hop to highlight some of the Easter crafts we have done in the past and are doing for this Easter.

Last Easter, I made these adorable little chick boxes to fill with Easter candy (chocolate, of course!). I found the idea online.  You can read more about it HERE.

I also made this Easter card:

For this Easter, I am busy making crocheted Easter hats for a friends' granddaughters. Here are some pictures of one of my hats:

And what is a blog hop with candy??

Since I chose Hand Crafting for my tradition, I am offering this assortment of goodies:

In order to enter my candy, please follow me (if you don't already) and leave a comment. I will choose a winner and post the winner on my blog on March 21, after the hop ends. If I have an e-mail, I will contact the winner directly. This is open to anyone worldwide.

Mistyrose is also offering candy for anyone taking part in the hop and challenge. One lucky winner is going to win a gently used Cuttlebug and this:
For a chance to win the main candy, you must follow the rules posted on Mistyrose's blog HERE.

Now hop on to Mallika HERE, where you will see her beautiful project. Don't forget to collect the countries that each blog in the hop originates from. 

My country is USA. 

In case you get 'lost' along the way, here is a complete lineup for the hop:

http://diamondgrove.blogspot.com/ --YOU ARE HERE--
 Happy hopping!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Handmade Ribbon Rose Card

I recently found a tutorial HERE on how to make ribbon roses. I just LOVE making these!

Here is a card that I made using one of the roses:

 Here is a closeup of the rose:

I added a tiny blue pearl to the center to match the blue in the dp. The cream ribbon is actually seam binding that I picked up at the local thrift store, and that is what I used to make the rose.

There are endless possibilities for these roses. They are so quick and easy--and fun! I think they would be so cute on headbands, hair clips, gift boxes, and so much more.

I sent this card with several others in a package for my SIL. It was her birthday recently.

I hope you have a wonderful day! And don't forget to check out about the International Friends Blog Hop I am so blessed to be a part of. Just click HERE for information.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Jar Full of Thanks

Last night we had a great time over at some friend's house, and I wanted to make a card to show our appreciation. I decided to combine it with a couple of challenges, so here is what I came up with:

 The blue dp is from DCWV Sweet Stack, and the pink dp is from the My Mind's Eye Happily Ever After collection. The white is from Walmart, and the grey is SU! Basic Grey. I cut the scallop oval with my Silhouette SD.

This stamp set is from Clear Dollar Stamps. It is called Everyday Jar-gone, and it is so cute. I find it a more difficult set to use, but I am actually really pleased with how this card turned out. I think I will be using that set more often...lol.

If you look closely, you can see the pink polka dots on the flowers. I stamped in grey ink on pink polka dotted paper and then lightly added some pink colored pencil. The 'sign' is on a SU! Basic Grey cardstock 'post'. I used SU! dimensionals on some of the flowers and on the 'sign'. The pink pearls and ribbon are from my stash.

I am entering this into two challenges:

Clearly Inspired Challenge #23:

And, Die Cuttin Divas--This sketch:

Hope it's okay that I turned it sideways...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Time4Learning Review

Yesterday we finished up our one-month free trial of Time4Learning, an on-line Math and Language Arts curriculum.

Time4Learning is an on-line curriculum for Math and Language Arts for grades Pre-K-8, and includes Social Studies and Science in grades 1-6. Art is also available after the first month. Time4Learning can be used as a complete curriculum, a supplement to the curriculum you are already using, or as a summer school program.

When I began looking at Time4Learning, I admit that my response was skeptical at best. Because this curriculum uses video game-like teaching, I was uncertain if my children would learn anything. I knew they would love it (who wouldn't love playing video games for school?), but I, of course, wanted to be sure they would actually learn!

For the first several lessons my skepticism remained, but over time I began to be amazed at how much my children were learning. This curriculum is much stronger than it appears to be at first glance.

Some of the real strengths I found are: 

Strong review--each unit is taught, quizzed, reviewed, then quizzed again. My oldest (7th grade) especially appreciated this in the Math.

The writing requirements are fun--My youngest (2nd grade) used to hate writing. Because he is able to create the background for his writing assignments (by choosing the people, room, props, etc. on the screen), and because he types his assignment rather than writing it, he really enjoys the writing assignments. He even asks to do school every day!! (small miracle)

The grammar is strong and understandable--My middle child (4th grade) struggles with grammar and has often become frustrated with any grammar-related assignments. With Time4Learning, she actually enjoys it. WOW. And, even more important, she gets it.

The reading comprehension exercises are timed--While this may not seem important, as a homeschool mom I love it! My youngest is still at the point where he does not enjoy reading (it is still work for him), but he is very competitive. Because the reading assignments (some of them) are timed, he has to beat the clock. After each assignment he is shown his wpm (words per minute) and is asked to read the assignment again, this time more fluently. I love that the emphasis is on reading fluently. My son does his reading assignments with little or no complaints now, mainly because he is always trying to better his "score".

Grading is immediate and automatic--My children and I both love the immediate and automatic grading!! This takes a lot of the burden off of mom, which allows me to work better in other areas.

Just a note: I noticed with the quizzes/tests, etc. that there is no pause capability. In other words, if my child needs to stop half-way through a quiz and exits, the grade is automatically entered and the unanswered questions are marked wrong. This grade is then recorded and averaged in, and I could not find a way to correct this.

What my children say about Time4Learning: 

Oldest: It is easier to remember, great review in Math, "It's a lot more fun!"

Middle: "I like how in the Math, when I mess up, they let me go through it again until I learn it. I like the Language Arts how they have the videos and explain things to me through the videos, because they are fun and they explain stuff. It's not just boring old school."

Youngest: "I like Math, because there's a guy that explains it all and after Math there's a quiz. I like Science, because they have stuff like telescopes. I like Language Arts Extensions, because it is fun. I get to read about spiders. I like Social Studies because I learn about America and other countries. I LOVE the Playground!"

What Mom says: I love that my children love school! I do believe that they are learning and retaining what they learn. YAY! I also love that they are finished quickly.

There were, however, a few things that I do not love. I really dislike that this is a secular curriculum and not bible-based. While this is not a huge problem in the Math, I found several references to evolution in the Language Arts reading assignments, and especially in the Science. Because we are supplementing with other subjects and not using the Science for my older children (I sit with my youngest while he does his school, usually), I feel this is not a large enough issue to keep me from using Time4Learning. Also, I am told that the Parent Forum speaks specifically to this issue and warns of lessons that have evolutionistic content.
(I realize that this is not a problem for everyone, but since this review is about how Time4Learning worked for us I felt I should mention it.)

While I am still uncertain about the how of their learning (cartoon-led lessons are still very unconventional in my thinking!), I am now more certain of the what they are learning. I do feel that this is a solid program, and that the benefit of the automatic grading and no prep for me outways the few issues I have with Time4Learning's curriculum.

Will I used Time4Learning again? YES. We are going to finish out this school year using Time4Learning in varying degrees:

*My oldest (7th grade) will use it for Math, Art, and Language Arts. We will supplement with Reading, Writing assignments, History, Science and Bible.

*My middle (4th grade) will use Time4Learning for Math, Art, and Language Arts. We will supplement with Reading, History, Science and Bible.

*My youngest (2nd grade) will use Time4Learning for Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Art.
We will supplement with Read-alouds, Handwriting, and he will join us for some of History, Science and Bible.

I expect the next few months will be a good indication for us whether or not to use Time4Learning for next school year. I will post more about that in a few months!

I hope you have found this to be a helpful review. Feel free to contact me (using the Contact Me button at the top of this screen) if you have any questions.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Corduroy Button Card...And An Update on Heidi

It is not often that I design a card around a button, but when my sweet friend 'M' gave me some SU! Corduroy buttons, I just had to make a card!!

Okay, okay...so I didn't make A card! I made TWO cards!

I LOVE these button brads! I'm a crazy for buttons anyway, but these are just soooo pretty.

The paper is from DCWV the Crafty Stack (love this paper!). I used a flower die (can't remember the name) with my Big Shot for the flowers. The first card uses a Martha Stewart border punch. The ribbon on Card 2 is Martha Stewart, and is stamped with a SU! sentiment. The sentiment on Card 1 is a SU! rub-on.

These cards were made for two special someones...My dear friend that just lost her brother, and my SIL, Heidi.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have prayed for Heidi! (See here, if you want to know why we're praying!) I can't tell you how much it means to know that so many people are praying for her.

Well, we have some great news!! Heidi has come through her chemo with flying colors (and no hair--bummer), and she should be coming home from the hospital tomorrow. YAY!! After her first round of chemo, the doctors did a bone marrow biopsy and (drum roll, please!) all the cancer cells are gone. PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Heidi will go through another bone marrow biopsy this week or next, and that one is critical. We are praying that the test will show that the cancer is still gone.

For now, we are praising the Lord for the good report. God is so good...no matter what the results are.

Thanks again! And have a super crafty day.


My Cards

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