Category Archives: Imagination’s Canvas

Book Review: Radical

Platt’s work is inspirational and a challenge to all Christians.  The times I thought “YES!” while reading were numerous.  The challenge that most stood out to me was anti-materialism and consumerism. The imagery the author used of the mega-church asking for more money and not doing anything in their community, much less the world created a stark contrast of Jesus’ work and the church of today.

I do believe that you can do the work of God in many different ways.  Abandoning everything for a mission around the world isn’t the only way to serve God. I got the feeling from the book that missions around the world were the primary focus of followers of Christ.

No matter your preference for serving, this book is sure to ignite a spark in you to make meaningful change in the world for the glory of God. And when God is glorified, whatever you choose is perfect. Will you accept the challenge?

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I did not have to provide a positive review to get this book, the opinion here is entirely my own.


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Filed under Blogging For Books, I heart books

Let them eat cake

The past couple of years have brought a new hobby into my life. Cake decorating has proven to be fun, nerve-wracking, and a way to show love to people in my life. As I think about the cakes I have made, I traced them back to the one that I thought sparked my interest.

R2D2 in all his glory

But as I thought about the first cake I ever made for my children, it was for the first birthday of my firstborn.

As the years went on, I continued making cakes for my kids including this for my princess at the height of her princess obsession.

The castle was so FUN! And the layers inside alternate white and strawberry cake.

This next cake was one of my first attempts at fondant. aka Playdoh for grownups.

Baby shower cake for my sister-in-law. Another fondant creation.

One of the only cakes I did not make for a birthday of one of my offspring. We were visiting family in Florida for her first birthday, so we went with the bakery cake. As you can see, the result is the same as any other cake.

Go, Breastfeeding! I made this for a La Leche League meeting during world breastfeeding week.

The next three cakes are my most recent creations. All were for blessingways for three dear friends. I don’t know why everyone around me keeps having babies. I guess they like cake.

Tea party themed blessingway gets a Mad Hatter cake.

Fondant free cake for an Easter themed blessingway.

Asian themed blessingway. The Chinese symbol on the top means “joy.”

Yes, I really did cover my overused blue cake platter with cake board foil.

And last, but not least…the one and only wedding cake I have ever done. Wedding theme was Mexican fiesta.

It turned out beautifully, but it was incredibly stressful. Who wants to be the one to screw up the wedding cake? Not me!  I did learn a lot from the experience and in the end the bride loved the cake, so it was worth it!

And, oh, jeez, I just realized I used my cake platter for my FIRST and most recent cakes.  I need to get some creative cake bases.

I have done so many other cakes over the years. Mostly just for people that I love.  I put a lot of pressure on myself if someone is paying me for a cake. My oven is out of commission as we lead into the birthday season for my children. I already borrowed a friend’s oven for my son’s Lego cake which was such a failure. Sadly, no pics of that one. But there are still two more to go this year so plenty of time to get my cake on and make them something fabulous (and get that oven fixed).


Filed under Imagination's Canvas, Mmmm...Cake

Monthly Sewing and more!

February brings new sewing projects and more!  But first, the projects!

Technically, I started this apron a couple months ago.  It was a birthday gift for a friend.  Her apron is made of the same fabric as one I made for her daughter last year.  So now they match.  Cutesy.

Next up is a set of crayon rolls a friend asked me to make for Valentine’s Day.  Her son was none too pleased about the girly Valentine fabric, so I made his different from the rest as a surprise.

It’s very manly with an elastic and race car button closure instead of the velcro.

Not exactly full of crayons, but they were MIA for some reason?

This last sewing project was one I started in December.  I needed to make two of these, and finally finished the second at the start of this month.  This is a chalk mat made of chalk fabric.  There is a little pocket for chalk and it rolls up to take on the go.

And last, but not least, I spent January learning something new!  A dear friend of mine spent one evening a week with me in January teaching me to knit!  My youngest was asking me about it one day and stuttered over the words.  Out came “knittering” and it has stuck ever since.  So a new category was born with this finished project…

A gorgeous, warm, VERY long scarf I made for myself.  I was so happy to have a finished project!

I also made my son a camo scarf.  He requested camouflage for some reason.  I guess he thinks camo is manly.  He loves it! Can’t seem to find the pic I took of it.  Another time, I suppose.

I have had so much fun finishing the unfinished projects and starting new ones.  I have made gifts for the kids’ friends and have decided that with only three exceptions, I am going to make gifts the rest of the year.  I have some wonderful ideas in mind and cannot wait to make and share them!


Filed under Knittering, Monthly Sewing Project, Sewing

MSP: Twirly Tiered Skirt


Another tiered skirt from this tutorial.  This one is for my sweet niece.  I upcycled a flannel baby blanket for the top layer.  The middle layer is white chenille and the bottom layer is flannel.

This skirt is high in twirl factor.  I hope she loves it!


Filed under Imagination's Canvas, Monthly Sewing Project, Sewing

2011 Reading List

Books.  I love them.  I sometimes get caught up in everyday life and forget to have a book on hand to read.  I think a reading goal for 2011 is a resolution I can actually achieve and have fun while doing it.   I’m sure I will read more than 10 books in a year, but let’s be realistic here.  I have three kids.  That I homeschool.  In addition to my volunteer work and other hobbies.  I also babysit a sweet girl part-time.

So.  Yeah.  10 books should be just fine.  I imagine there may be the Sookie Stackhouse or Twilight book candy of 2011 that will not be on my list.  A girl can dream.

Books I’ve always wanted to read, books I recently heard about.  Fiction, non-fiction.  The only requirement is that they NOT be a children’s book, since this whole exercise is for me, after all.

In no particular order…

1. Radical by David Platt

2.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

3.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

4.  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

5.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

8. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

9. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

10. The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers


What is on your must-read list?


Filed under Goals, I heart books, Imagination's Canvas, Just Me

Book Review: God Gave Us So Much

The book: God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My first book review selection is a children’s book.  As a homeschool mom, it seemed like the right choice as I have three young critics to help me share about the book.  The book is actually three books in one, something I did not know when I selected it.  Included in the treasury is God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven. So my work is cut out for me since I will be reviewing not one, but three books!

The stories are from the perspective a polar bear family and often depict a mom, dad, siblings, and grandparents.  I enjoyed the illustrations for all three books.  They were gentle on the eyes and depicted loving familial relationships.  The words were soothing in tone and and, combined with the soft illustrations, this makes them great bedtime stories.  My four and six year old daughters loved reading them just before bed, but they did lose interest after the first two.  For younger children, treating it like a chapter book and reading one story per day will help keep them interested.  My youngest children really like to feel bigger than they are and treasury books are a great way to do that.

Up first is God Gave Us the World.  This story was not what I thought it would be based on the title.  I imagined it would be based on Genesis based on the title.  Instead it turned out to be a lovely story about all the unique things God created and how we are all created individually.  Children are always full of questions, and the bear cub is no different.  He has a lovely discussion with Mama Bear about all the different kinds of bears there are in the world and the different places they live.  It generated some great conversation with my daughters about people being the same on the inside even if we look different on the outside.

God Gave Us Love was exactly what I expected.  It was a timely read for us as my daughters are not always wanting to love each other, much like little cub and the otters in the story.   One particular part of the story was good for me, too.  Little cub is reminded to

show others love by being patient, gentle, and kind


In all ways, we should try to show love.

Good reminders, no matter how old you are.

God Gave Us Heaven is a very simple explanation of the age old question “What is Heaven?”  Unfortunately, I tried to read the story to the girls after reading the first two and they left me on my own after a couple of pages.  Little Cub has lots of questions, much like my sweet girls, and the first thing I will do when the subject comes up again is read this story again!  Much like the other two stories, the illustrations are gentle to the eyes and seeing the little bear go fishing with his father is so sweet.  Even if bears don’t use fishing poles in the real world!

This treasury is certainly a treasure!

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Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I did not have to provide a positive review to get this book, the opinion here is entirely my own.


Filed under Blogging For Books, Imagination's Canvas

Blogging For Books

Recently, I learned about an opportunity for bloggers called Blogging for Books. You choose a book to review from a list of suggestions based on what you enjoy reading.  They send you the book.  You read it.  No, really.  And when you are done, you review the book on your blog.

Once the review is done, select another book and repeat the process again.  Reading is one of my favorite things to do for myself and my children.  We have a ton of books at home and we visit the library every week.

I received my first book just before Christmas.  It is a children’s book called God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  I can’t wait to share about the book.  If you blog and love books, check out Blogging for Books!

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Filed under Blogging For Books, Imagination's Canvas