Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


Quick Creativity: Pillows

For years I created daily.  Then my life got busy and I didn’t create at all.  I didn’t think I had time.  But part of me withered.

Lately I’ve decided to make time.  Even if it’s just 10 minute snatches, which it usually is.

I’ve started looking for very quick projects, with shortcuts, straight lines, pre-finished details, like hems.   I love upcycling items like cloth napkins and old clothes so I can take advantage of the hems and selvages that are already there.

I wanted to lighten up my living room for spring and summer.  What better place to start than with pillow covers?

I made this one from an old Lands’ End shirt.  Yes, I cut up a perfectly good shirt to make a pillow cover.  It was a maternity shirt, though, which I will hopefully never need again.  The fabric is SO thick and a soft, cozy jersey.  I just laid my existing pillow on top, lined up the bottom with the hemmed edges, traced, and cut around it.  Then sewed up the three raw edges and added buttons.  I really love this one!

I saw a pillow like this on someone else’s blog.  I don’t remember where.  It’s not perfect but I still love it.  I made the ruffle from scraps of the shirt, so it kinda…matches?  Coordinates?  The jersey doesn’t ravel so I didn’t finish the edges (probably wouldn’t have finished the edges anyway).  The white fabric is 2 cloth napkins that I bought inexpensively and will never use.

This one is also not an original idea.  Do you know that the S is just colored on with sharpie?  How tacky and brilliant is that?  There are people who are even selling sharpie pillows!  I made this one out of fabric I already had.  I didn’t hem it.  I just left selvages on the open end.

This one took longer.  I was scrounging for some more fabric from my stash and found this thick, oatmeal flannel that I love.  I don’t know how it will hold up though.  It’s a loose weave and I noticed that the seams are already looking strained.

I only spent a few minutes at a time working on these, and I hardly measured anything.  I just took a risk and hoped for the best.  I kept remembering that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  Afterward I was so satisfied!  There was one that didn’t turn out so well (not pictured) but I’m going to work on it a little and see if it can be salvaged.  If not, oh well, I’m out zero dollars and only a few minutes of time.

How about you?  How do you manage to fit creativity into your days?


Linking to White Wednesday.


Ten on Tuesday 3-29-11


Copying Payton again!


1.  Yesterday got off to a stellar start.  I was up at the crack of dawn and had half my work done by the time the kids got up.  Today, not so much.  But it wasn’t too bad.  I got up at 6:30, which is not terrible considering that 3 of our 5 kids woke up several times during the night.  I’m glad I went to bed on time.  Getting up at a decent time (even better, on time) makes a million per cent difference in how our day goes.


2.  I got Kevin Lehman’s book Have a New Kid by Friday.  The most important thing I got out of it was to tell your kids something just once.  I confess that I have been a nagging mom.  It’s miserable for everyone!  If you don’t have a problem constantly nagging and reminding your kids, then good for you.  I used to think I would never be THAT mom.  I had a lot of experience with children (younger siblings, kids I babysat, siblings of friends from large families) but still, God gave me a kid(s) that blew all my parenting ideas, theories, and yes, “convictions” out of the water.  The best part about not nagging is the extra hours (yes, HOURS) that I have since I’m not spending that time reminding, scolding, and lecturing.  Gosh, that sounds terrible doesn’t it?  No Mother of the Year here.  There is so much I could say about this, but maybe I’ll give it its own post when I feel like I have more experience.  I’ll just add: Old habits die hard.  I open my mouth and then close it a lot.  Sometimes a reminder slips out.  But overall our house is a whole lot more peaceful.


3.  I took a few minutes over the past few days to make new covers for some throw pillows.  I don’t have time to craft or decorate, really.  But I decided to try a couple quicky creations.  I started with pre-made items (cloth napkins are my new favorite crafting medium) so I could take advantage of hems and selvages that were already there.  To me, the most tedious and time consuming parts of sewing are measuring and hemming.  I’m all about straight lines, winging it, raw edges, and pre-hemmed pieces.  Gone are the days where I painstakingly sewed long ties and spent hours turning them right-side-out.  Give me some ribbon!


4.  I ran out of dark chocolate over the weekend.  It was terrible.  I realized just how addicted I am to chocolate.


5.  I prefer silence to music.  I love music, but with all the racket we have in our house, adding music drives me insane.  Surely I’m not the only one?


6.  I think I finally know how to upload photos from my new camera.  Hopefully real pictures will be coming soon.  Not to mention that I can now email photos to grandparents.


7.  I grew up with a 1930’s lifestyle in the 90’s.  It’s a long story.  I’m so far behind technologically that I’ll never catch up.  It’s frustrating that it’s such a big deal to just learn to upload pictures!  Gaaaaah!!!!!


8.  If you are interested in missions, check out the Livesay Haiti blog.  I love that Tara and Troy are so real.  My 10-year-old is their biggest fan.


9.  Speaking of, I made my girl her own Google Reader so she can subscribe to blogs that are fun and encouraging for her.  I keep close tabs on what she is reading, and we use Net Nanny for added protection, but this has been a great way for her to read good blogs.


10.  I loved loved loved this post: Order and Routine: Making Straight Paths for Peace.  The writer has a child with FAS, but I’m thinking this would be encouraging for any parent with a child who tends to throw the family into chaos.  (Isn’t that all of us at one time or another?)  Wisdom.  Check it out.


Learning the One Anothers of Scripture

The kids and I have been going over the “one anothers” of scripture, which tell us how God wants us to treat each other.  We talk about one each day.  Such good stuff.  I wondered if it was sinking in.  Then the other day, Grace (who will soon be 3) told her daddy,  “Daddy, you are the coolest!”  This is so typical of her.  She is always telling people they are the best or her favorite.  She is a pint-sized encourager.  Elizabeth, who’s 10, said, “Grace’s name should be Build-Up-One-Another!”  Yes, she is good at it!  And I was happy that the ideas are taking root in the minds of my other kids.  We have a long way to go still, but at least the concepts are there.  I have been praying a lot for my kids that God will give them tender, open hearts.  It’s so easy for even children to become hard.  My hope is that my children are soft-hearted toward the things of God and toward each other.

Here is the list of One Anothers that we have been using.  Encouraging, yes?


Love one another John 13:34,35

Build up one another Romans 14:19

Be Kind to one another Eph. 4:32

Be at peace with one another Mark 9:50

Admonish one another Romans 15:14

Bear one another’s burdens Galatians 6:2

Comfort one another 1 Thess. 4:18

Forgive each other Eph 4:32

Confess your sins to one another James 5:16

Show hospitality to one another 1 Peter 4:9

Give preference to one another Romans 12:10

Speak to one another in psalms and hymns Eph. 5:19

Encourage one another 1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 3:13

Pray for one another James 5:16

Have fellowship with one another 1 John 1:7

Spur one another on to love & good deeds Heb. 10:24

Do not slander one another James 4:11

Do not grumble against one another James 5:9

Live in harmony with one another 1 Peter 3:8

Lay down your life for one another 1 John 3:16-18

Restore one another Gal. 6:1-3

Bear with one another Col. 3:12-14

Do not lie to one another Col. 3:9

Disciple and teach one another 2 Cor. 2:2

Please one another Rom. 15:2

Accept one another Rom. 15:7

Suffer with one another 1 Cor. 12:26

Rejoice with one another Rom. 12:15

Honor one another Rom. 12:10

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High-Protein Refrigerator Granola Bars

I based this recipe loosely on Darby’s granola bar recipe.  Hers were delicious, but just too sweet for me!   And these are sooooooo fast and easy!

I keep them in the fridge.  Otherwise they get soft and gooey.  Still good, but not as easy to eat with fingers.

They are my kids’ new favorite snack.  I cut them pretty small, but they are thick and really dense, so I allow the kids to have one each at snack time and if they are still hungry they can have fruit or raw veggies.  I know the bars are not as healthy as they could be, but since they are loaded with whole grains and protein, and contain no refined sugar (unless you add chocolate chips, ahem!), I think they could be a lot worse!


1 c. honey

1 c. coconut oil

2 c. almond butter

5 c. oats

2 cups nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, any combination

Mix and heat honey, coconut oil, and almond butter over low heat till oil is melted.  Stir in other ingredients.  Press into 9X13 pan and chill.  Cut into bars.  Makes 32 (I cut 4 across and 8 down).



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