31 Days of Heart and Home: Rejoice and be Glad

Psalm 118:21 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I’m felling exhausted, but thankful today for the gift of friends and family. And I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow, with cooler temperatures and even possible rain on the horizon!

I had a fun afternoon with my little 5 year old buddy friend with ballet and the merry-go-round at our little secret park. Then she buckled our little Irish dancing friend in for the trip home. So cute!!

AND…I’m so excited about the possibility of new projects on the horizon, and can’t wait to finish up others and begin new things!!!

Oliver +S Blog

What are you grateful for today?

31 Days of Heart and Home: Trust and a Modest Monday Swimsuit Tutorial

I spent a busy past 5 days with visiting relatives, and now our prayers are for other relatives facing hurricane Sandy tonight. First there were Tsunami warnings possibly for Alaska, Canada and Oregon…all places friends or family are living, and now this. So we’re trying to trust God and His plan with all of our loved ones.
Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

Amen and amen!!!! That’s all we can do, trust Him with their safety, because only He sees the end game!

Now to the Modest Monday part of my post. I have been planning this post for weeks, always wishing for more time to do it justice, but I’m just going to do it today. This summer I decided to make a more modest swimsuit for myself. It has bothered me for years that they are usually like wearing your underwear in public, and I never felt that Christ would approve of that. Also I am tired of wearing a top underneath to combat the ridiculous cleavage! No matter what, everything is awkward and immodest. So I decided to make a change, just as I have a few other times with my bathing suits.
The problem? I couldn’t find fabric I loved. So I started looking around and rummaging through my existing stash. Then one night in bed, it hit me…I could make over a suit I already have and love! A few years ago, I found a suit at Mervyn’s I just couldn’t pass up. The label called the pattern Chocolate Tea Party…HELLO…it was calling my name so clearly! And I still love that fabric over ANY I have seen for swimsuits, sooooooo, I plunged in.

**Here’s what I started with: A 2 piece tankini, a swim skirt (a couple of sizes bigger than I normally wear), and old knee length workout shorts.

**I had a hard time with some of the photos because the brown throws everything off sometimes, but you get the idea. The darker photos actually show more of the true shades of the suit and skirt, and the only way I could show that was by not using the flash.

I separated the bikini top part from the blouse part, and the skirt from the bottoms.

Then I cut an upside down  triangle out of the “blouse” piece and sewed it to the bikini top for modesty.

Next I pinned the skirt to the bikini top and sewed them for an empire waist look.

Then I cut little cap sleeves from the blouse flowered bottoms and blouse pieces. Things are always trickier when you use “scraps” to “piece” together an item, but it can be done, you just need lots of patience!

I would still love to find some long brown shorts to match better, but they’re hard to find, so for now I’m using some old black ones I already had.

When I tried it out for the first time a while back on a  weekend getaway with my sweetie, it was sooooo comfy!! And I felt so pretty and modest and worry free!!!!! SOLD!!! I surprised myself, instead of feeling self-conscious, odd and confined (metaphorically), I felt FREE!! I am so happy with this choice, and I know God is glad that I made it.

And after summer, I picked this little set up on clearance at Target, because I may need to ease in to the change around some friends, in order to help them not feel awkward or uncomfortable about it. I’ll need to either wear a shirt with it though, or make a modesty panel for it. Again, this is a 2 piece suit.

Have you ever made a decision you thought might be hard, but it ended up being easier in the end?


**Here’s a bit of an update!**

Skip To My Lou

31 Days of Heart and Home: Another Sneak Peak


On this busy day I’m giving you another sneak peek at what I’m working on!







Can you guess what any of these things are?










Or what these leftovers from another project’s materials will become?








Take a guess, and find out if you’re right once I reveal the finished product!


I’m off to spend the rest of the day with my lovely cousin-in-law and her parents. My gracious Heavenly Father knows we need this time together to reconnect, and He is graciously providing it for us!!


Have a wonderful day!

31 Days of Heart and Home: Family and Craft Boutiques

I spent most of my time today with relatives who arrived last night. My cousin-in-law and I are helping each other brainstorm some different ideas for each other, and it’s really fun! And she’s trying to talk me into making the trek home with her to keep her company on the long drive. She knows how tempting a trip home to Oregon is for me. Isn’t she clever?

I find it so hard to protect “working” time, when of course I can make my own schedule. But what often happens is, that means I don’t have a good “set” schedule, and other things can so easily eat away at my time. Alas, that is why this blog post is coming so late at night, because this is my chance to snag time for it. I really need to figure out a more efficient plan for my days and my life!

You know what is extra nice about having your very close friend visit and eat up your time? Our time is never wasted. And one of the reasons I say that is because she inspires me, encourages me, supports me and makes me a better shop owner of handmade creations. The other reason though is because she’s just so much fun to be with! I’m also refreshed after time spent with her! Do you have a friend in your life who does that for you? And she’s even my relative now too, these past 13 years!

So, besides brainstorming, we did a little bit of fun shopping, mostly window, but we did each find something. I’m not sure how I will incorporate it yet, but I found a beautiful rice paper lantern in my shop colors…for $6! I want to do something cute with it for my booth at craft boutiques and faires, something that will also add height. I absolutely LOVE it!!!

What inspires you, in your business or in life?




**I’m also connecting this post to Saturday Upsides with Recipes Happen!

31 days of Heart and Home: A House vs. A Home

Lovely Cottage



I’ve  just arrived home with some plastic shoe boxes so we can continue organizing the clutter, because let’s face it, we’re keeping some of it. And if we’re keeping things, they need to have a home, so that WE can have a home! Because there is a difference between having a house and a having a home, as we all know. A HOUSE is a roof over our heads, a place to store our stuff and sleep out of the elements. But a HOME is oh so much more! And I would like to have more! A home is a respite, a sanctuary, comfort,refreshment, security, inspiration and LIFE! I want a HOME, and HOMES are not ruled by clutter and STUFF. Homes my have some clutter, but they are not ruled by it!

So tomorrow I plan to fill those boxes, before I’m allowed to run off and have fun with the relatives arriving in about an hour tonight!

This is a way I help my car feel homey!

And this would be a cute home away from home!

What makes your house feel like a home?

31 Days of Heart and Home: Recipe Exchange – Chicken Stir Fry

I love being a homemaker and I love a good Recipe Exchange! And I love having my kitchen back, as I have emptied the boxes that were still in our kitchen,  into the new entertainment center. It’s a lot easier to cook when you can walk around in your small kitchen. : >

The yummy veggies: We LOVED this mix of veggies!! Snap peas, Brussels sprouts and carrots.

So here’s today’s recipe:

Chicken Stir Fry

4 Chicken tenderloins (I also like to do beef sometimes)

1 cup uncooked brown rice

3 cups uncooked veggies of choice (I use whatever I have on hand)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon-1 Tablespoon soy sauce, to taste


salt and pepper

**Cook rice according to directions. Cook chicken until done, no pink inside, ( I cook my chicken in a Circulon skillet on the stove top for about 15 minutes). Pour the oil and soy sauce into a large, flat pan and throw in veggies and stir everything together. You want the veggies to have surface space in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, stir, add in the parsley, salt and pepper, then lower the heat, cover and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir the veggies and cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. Then layer onto your plate, rice, veggies and chicken.Yummy! If you do it right, everything will be ready at the same time. :> Serves 2

Pop on over to Little House on the Prairie Living for more recipes!

What’s for dinner at your house?

31 Days of Heart and Home: Modest Mondays and Praise

Over the weekend we went to a free local music and dance showcase. It’s great because you get to see a bunch of mini performances of several different things. My favorites? One of the ballet companies, and the flute and drum ensemble! No big surprise there…I dance, and use to play the flute. : >

And it’s Modest Mondays today, so this is the outfit I wore, with my good, sturdy Sanita Mary Jane shoes for the walk up the hill, because forgot that the parking was probably free this time. And it was! Ah well, next time…

So I wore this pretty blue and brown handkerchief dress with one of my Cami Secrets, as it is too low cut of course. I bought this dress at Ross last spring, and I just LOVE it!! ( Please pardon the quality of these photos, I was having some difficulties with lighting ).

Ironically, I wore the same necklace from last week! But it is sort of Autumn, so I typically wear a lot of brown this time of year. Not to mention that brown is one of my colors as a redhead. : > Once again it is an old Lisa Leonard style, and the earrings are a few years newer from her line.

It’s such a joy to wear a dress that is both pretty and super comfy!!

Of course, my theme for the month is Heart and Home, so he’s the heart part:

Psalm 9:1 “I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”


Psalm 33:1 “Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”

It can be so difficult to praise and thank God at times, but it’s what He calls us to do. Sometimes it goes back to placing our trust in Him, firmly knowing He loves me, created me and my situations and most of all…He is WORTHY of my PRAISE!! Often, our thankfulness and praise actually change our feelings, making us more thankful. God can give us joy, even in the midst of our trials, but it’s important to praise Him even if we don’t feel like it. As a Christian, Christ has given me so much to be thankful for…eternal life, forgiveness, comfort, joy, the list goes on. It really shouldn’t be hard for me to praise Him, even in times of struggles. But sometimes it just is. I will continue to work on this until I see my Savior face to face!

Is it ever hard for you to praise or thank God?

Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {10-23}

31 Days of Heart and Home: Getting To Know Me

I was reading the Recipes Happen blog and really liked this idea. It’s always fun getting to know people better, so here’s your chance to get to know me in a different way!

What’s your nickname?

I’ve had these over the years: Tiffie, Pinkie, Sunny, Gidget, Tiffers, Tiff and Tif

Where do you live?

I’m and Oregon transplant, living in California

What’s your favorite thing to do?

Dates with my sweetie or crafts: sewing, crocheting/knitting, scrapbooking.

How tall are you?


What color are your eyes?


Are you single or taken?


How many siblings do you have?


What kind of pets do you have?


What’s your favorite animal?


Did you do well in school?


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

10 years ago I would have said with children and back on the mission field. 10 years from now? I’d still like at least one child, but otherwise, serving Christ and helping people see their need for Him, here or afar.

Are your parents married/separated/divorced?

Married -divorced-remarried each other: starting 43 years ago. But my 66 year old dad recently died.

Do you like chocolate?


Are you easily amused?

No, but I am rarely bored, and have always been that way. That’s how we were raised in the “olden” days, to entertain ourselves.

What’s your favorite song?

Lately it would be “I Believe Your my Healer.” It’s hard to pick one song. I love Point of Grace, JJ Heller and Crystal Lewis.

Do you like to paint your nails?

When’s your birthday?

December 27th

Were you a difficult child?

I was adopted, so I tried to be the perfect kid so I wouldn’t be given away again…but I do have some fire in me now.

What’s your best childhood memory?

Camping with all of the relatives for 10 days EVERY summer in adjoining campsites at Cape Lookout State Park in Oregon!! It was the ONLY time no one fought! :>

What/Who makes you happy?

Christ, my sweetie, children, time with friends and crafting.

Do you cry a lot?

Sometimes, but I get choked up more often by a film or ad that pulls the heartstrings.

Explain yourself in one word.


Where is your dream vacation?

Ireland or Amish country

Do you wear glasses/contacts?

Reading glasses

Are you bilingual?

I speak a bit of French and Pennsylvania Dutch (a type of German) and even less Irish. 

Last Question : Do you have patience?

Not much!

Of course, I’m still working on the clutter and such around the house.This shelf acts as extra storage for clothes, because a girl needs more than 2 1/2 drawers for her clothes! So I went through some of my clothes and gave away a bag full, then straightened up the bins. I’ll be going through the rest and getting rid of even more clothes, I’m sure! And there’s still my closet, of course!

Have a great weekend!

31 Days of Heart and Home: God is Enough




Welcome back to 31 Days of Heart and Home, a 31 day linkup with The Nester. Here’s a recap if you’re new. Each blogger picks a topic to blog about for 31 days, and I’m blogging about Heart and Home, meaning reading God’s word everyday and working on the clutter in our home.










So here’s the update on our “new” entertainment center: It’s basically all set up and running…yay! I loved the fact that we had a separate TV room in our old house in Oregon, without all of the electronics and cords cluttering up the living room. Here, we have everything in one room, so I love that this center has a door to hide the TV, at least. It feels like everything is contained and better organized in general, so yay!












I love this Word from God that reminds me of a couple of times I really needed to lean on God.

John 14:18  “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”


We all need comfort at times, and God the ultimate comforter, in EVERY situation! With my father’s recent death, as well as some other circumstances, it always makes a difference knowing my heavenly Father will always be with me, He never leaves me.


This quote is EXACTLY what I experienced when I moved to Ireland by myself and knew absolutely no one there! The first months were very difficult and oftentimes lonely, but I truly learned the importance of completely relying on God for ALL of my needs. I also had VERY little money to live on while I was there, so I really had to trust Him. And He definitely came through and provided all I needed!



“When we have nothing left but God, we will find that He is enough.” Wanda Brunstetter




I sold these barrettes this week and the person who bought them is going to wear them to a wedding in Ireland! It’s always fun to hear how people will use the product!








Have a lovely day!

31 Days of Heart and Home: Organizing the Business

I spent some time  today organizing some business stuff  by designating a small bin for shipping supplies and sorting out and reorganizing my accordion file case. I found this beautiful work of art several years ago at Ross or Marshall’s and first kept card making supplies for toting in it, I think. Then when I started my Etsy business almost 2 years ago, I decided it would be a stylish way to carry things I need when I host a booth at Craft Boutiques. It even holds my money wallet for those events! I just love how pretty it is and it’s versatile 5 pockets that give me options for organizing. I also keep a pretty file folder in there holding important items, such as venue phone numbers, new orders, etc.  That way I can just pull it out when needed…so handy! I may just put a file folder in each slot, as it makes everything so easy. : >

When I package up an order, which I need to do tomorrow, because someone just ordered a Miniature Bicycle Vase today, here are the supplies I use. I’ve been keeping them thrown together, but not as nicely organized as this. I feel so “put together” having this bin for almost everything! The envelopes, boxes, tissue paper and packing tape don’t fit, so they’ll be staying in their same spot for now. I wrap orders in white tissue paper, close it with a pretty sticker and tie it with this pretty yarn. I include a business card, packing slip I print just before mailing and a Truly Skrumptious return address label. Baker’s twine is very popular right now, but I fell in LOVE with the Sugar and Cream yarn that I use for just about all of my crocheting and knitting, and I love using the green and pink versions for packaging.

This was definitely the most fun organizing project of the day!

Source: etsy.com via Tiffanie on Pinterest