Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Results


Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support of me, but even more for your support of E3 Kids! Thanks to your generosity and God's grace we raised $400.50 that will go to help some of these kids in Mombasa, Kenya.

Above is a shot of some of the orders I sent out over the weekend. I have a few more to get together as well. It was great to be busy with this :).

I will keep the blog updated with plans for the future. I am praying about it and already have some ideas of how things might be done better and how I could streamline some of the parts that take more time. So we'll see.

Also, thanks to all who are praying about my heart. I actually received a call last night from my cardiologist with some great news about the most recent heart monitor test. I'll see him next week to go over results and have another ultrasound, but at this point it looks like maybe I just had some delayed positive results from the ablation procedure. So thanks to all who are praying. God is good all the time, and we're so blessed to be here at all to serve Him and bring Him glory.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why I'm Closing Up Shop

Well there's a long story for this, and a short one. The short reason is that I need to take a step back and focus on other things right now, with the hope that I can continue with Radical Crafts in the near future.

The long reason is actually several reasons:
  • Blogging - as someone who received her minor in Writing, you might think I'd enjoy the blogging process. And there are definitely parts of it I enjoy. However, the networking thing is just not for me. I'm so grateful for the bloggers and friends who have helped me along the way these past few months, but the truth is that it's a ton of work to write a blog that gets enough attention to drive business to your shop. And that's just not my passion. I like writing, but I don't have time to link up with party after party in the hopes that people will visit my blog and then visit my shop. I know that's the process, and I totally respect it. I just don't have time for that game right now. Speaking of which, reason #2 is:
  • Time - Erik and I both feel like I need to take some time off to plan and create and spend some hours praying about what Radical Crafts might be in the future. In the meantime, I need to get a lot more organized and intentional with my days. I'm currently reading Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider and it's amazingly helpful with this process. I highly recommend it. She speaks a lot about the need to be intentional about your family's purpose statement. Come up with one, and make sure everything in your home and all the ways you spend your time serve your family's purpose. So that's a process we're going through right now as well.
  • Health - a lot of this decision has come about as a result of some health issues I'm currently having. Two years ago (when our daughter was 1) I was told I had a heart condition. It's been a long process of determining what that means, and we were told we shouldn't have more children. But the Lord is so gracious and our doctor came back and said he thought it would be okay. So we have our son - an amazing blessing. But after he was born things went downhill a bit for my heart, so I had a catheter ablation in February to try to fix the problem. We thought it had been effective, but a recent report showed I'm still having problems and so I'm currently on a couple of medications. Hopefully these will help, but in the meantime they are causing some fatigue and dizziness. So I'm trying to simplify my schedule a bit in the hopes that I'll have more energy to devote to my family.
 So that's it...in novel form. I am hopeful that God will reveal another ministry to support in a few months and that I can start building up stuff for the shop again. Or maybe He has another plan altogether. What a joy to be able to seek Him in His Word and know that He is sovereign in our lives. 

Hopefully I'll be posting once or twice a week, but for now the shop will be closed starting this coming Sunday (May 1st).

Thank you all for your support, and I ask for your prayers while we wait and see what this ministry might be in the future. 

Closing the shop isn't easy for me. I'm typically the kind of person with a plate piled miles high with commitments. And quitting one is so painful - mostly for my pride. Admitting I can't do it all...not great. But I'm confident this is the right thing for now. So we'll see what happens :)

4 More Days

There are just FOUR days left to order from the shop before it closes for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. 
Be sure to check it out daily - I'm adding new stuff all the time. And be sure to order when you see something you like to make sure someone else doesn't snatch it up first. There are some great items that have been donated by sweet sisters who are giving in order that others across the world might know the ultimate Giver of all good things.

Here's a little look at some of the stuff just added to the Radical Crafts shop.





Monday, April 25, 2011

Dream BIG

I just wanted to do a quick post about an awesome joint-venture going on for a family who is adopting a precious boy named Sergey through an organization called Reece's Rainbow. Many bloggers and shop owners have come together to put on a massive fundraiser for this family and TONIGHT is the last night to give and enter a HUGE giveaway.

Even if you're not in time to participate in the giveaway, I encourage you to check out the organization and the journey this family is on. They love the Lord and believe adopting Sergey is something He wants them to do, so they're following in obedience. God is so good.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shop Sale!

Since this is the last week for Radical Crafts to benefit E3 Kids International in their ministry to orphans in Kenya, I'm having a HUGE sale.  

Everything in the shop is 30% OFF
Just be sure to enter the code E3KIDS to have 30% taken off your whole order.


I would love to have an empty shop in one week, but I need all of you to help me with that. Please pass the shop link along to your friends - there are some great things that have been donated that would make super Mother's Day gifts! Remember, ALL profits go to E3 Kids!


I'm also hoping to add a few more things this week - key fobs, hair clips, and some great jewelry that was just given to me today by a friend from church.

Next Sunday (May 1st) I'll be closing the shop indefinitely. I'm hoping to open it back up in a month or two, but right now my husband and I are just praying about what I need to do with it. More on that this week, but just know that if you've had your eye on something in the shop, don't wait! This could be your last chance to get it!


Thanks to all of you...hope you have a great week!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Waiting


 I was just in the kitchen glazing my ham for tomorrow (my first time making ham...seems pretty simple, but it wouldn't be the first "simple" thing I've managed to ruin. And there's no seam ripper for ham) and I was thinking about the disciples and friends and family members who were so crushed the day after Jesus died. I cannot imagine the anguish. To think that this Man you've spent 3 years of your life following had just died - and none of His promises had come to fruition (at least not the ones they cared about).

And here I am. Baking a ham and getting my home ready to welcome several friends for a lunch in celebration of the Resurrection. 
I know what the disciples didn't know. 
That the next day would change EVERYTHING
Forever
A few years ago my pastor preached a sermon in which he asked this question:

Is the only explanation for your life the Resurrection?

He went on to say, "We shouldn't be straining to explain and defend the resurrection; the world should be trying to explain us without the resurrection. Our lives shouldn't make sense without it."

Just something to think about as I glaze my ham, so blessed to know what came on the third day. And striving to live life in light of it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

There's Still Time...

If you order by Tuesday, you will still be able to put a Radical Crafts item in your child's Easter basket!
There are fun crayons, blankets and onesies in the shop!

 


 

And of course don't forget that between now and Easter Sunday, you will receive a FREE Card Wallet for each item you purchase from the shop!

As always, all profits from the Radical Crafts shop benefit a ministry. Through the end of April that ministry is E3 Kids International.

Easter Week

 I thought I would share a little resource we're using for family devotions this week to teach our daughter more about Easter and our Savior. This was put together by my dad for his church:

Ray - A Drop of Golden Sunphoto © 2008 Aranya Sen | more info (via: Wylio)

Eight Days with Jesus: Palm Sunday to Easter

The crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, are central to our existence as the church. Jesus came to suffer and die for our sins. He arose from the grave as Lord over life and death. This outline is intended to be an encouragement for you, and your family, to contemplate day by day the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, including His death and rising from the grave. Only one event and one Scripture passage are mentioned each day. There are passages regarding the same events in other gospel accounts, and there are other events on some days that also are recorded in the four gospels.

Day one: Sunday -- Jesus enters Jerusalem
Read Matthew 21:1-11: Jesus rides into Jerusalem in the fulfillment of prophecy and to the praises of the multitudes.

Day two: Monday – Jesus cleanses the temple
Read Mark 11:15-18: Jesus demonstrates zeal for His Father’s house. Jesus’ anger was a manifestation of His perfect righteousness.

Day three: Tuesday – Jesus teaches
Read Matthew 22:34-40: On a day filled with teaching, Jesus concisely states the two great commandments on which the “whole law and the prophets” depend.

Day four: Wednesday – Jesus forecasts His death
Read Matthew 26:1-5: Jesus predicts His crucifixion in only a few days, even as the Jewish leaders plot to kill Him. (This event may have occurred on Tuesday evening.)

Day five: Thursday – Jesus inaugurates the Lord’s Supper
Read Luke 22:17-20: Jesus shares the bread and the cup, as well as their meaning, with His disciples, instituting a memorial we observe to this day. Later, he entered the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and to be betrayed.

Day six: Friday – Jesus dies on the cross
Read Luke 23:33-49: Jesus – mocked, beaten, tried and sentenced – suffers and dies as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Day seven: Saturday – Jesus awaits the resurrection
Read Matthew 27:62-66: The body of Jesus is in the tomb on the Jewish Sabbath even as the Pharisees work to keep it from being taken away.

Day eight: Sunday – Jesus rises from the dead
Read John 20:1-20: He is risen! He is risen indeed!

(Resources used are A Harmony of the Gospels by A.T. Robertson; The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim, and Thompson Chain-Reference Bible.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Promotion

 We just have a couple more weeks to benefit E3 Kids International with the proceeds from the Radical Crafts shop, so I'm offering a little promotion from now through Easter Sunday.

For each item ordered from the Radical Crafts shop, I will include a FREE Card Wallet.


These make GREAT gifts, and you can always stick a little gift card in to seal the deal. I've been using one for over 3 years to carry my driver's license, debit card, and cash around. It fits in my jeans pocket, or I can throw it in whatever purse or diaper bag I'm carrying. 

You don't have to let me know that you want one - it's automatically included in your order. There are a couple of styles pictured, but I have lots more and will choose one at random.


And remember - you get one for EACH item you order...so the more purchases, the more Card Wallets.


And, as always, all profits from the sale of items in the Radical Crafts shop go to E3 Kids International in their efforts to provide a Christian education for orphans in Kenya.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giveaway Winner


 Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! It was great to read what you all love about Spring, and I got a great April Fools idea from Kimberly, who played a little joke on her husband:


 So clever! I'm thinking there are a lot of possibilities with that same theme. Thanks for sharing!

Okay, so the giveaway winner...


...was comment #20 - 


Congrats Michelle! Thanks so much. Let me know which color blanket you'd like (pink or blue) and send me your address and I'll get your gift set in the mail (radicalcrafts(at)gmail(dot)com).

Thanks again to all who entered.

Stay tuned this week because I'll be announcing a special promotion for the Rad Crafts shop!

And as always remember that ALL profits from the shop benefit a Radical Crafts mission (currently E3 Kids International).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Worship Note

Welcome Spring! // Bienvenida Primavera!photo © 2009 Jesus Solana | more info (via: Wylio)

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

We will join together this Sunday as part of our worship to ask God to do things we cannot do, to do things we have no hope of being done apart from His mighty and gracious intervention.

He can do even more than "we ask or think." 

To this One who has all authority and uses it graciously, we should give all glory.
May it be so as we pray, sing, read, confess, submit and serve.
 
(Written by my Dad, a pastor in VA)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wall Art & Picnik Tutorial

First off, today (Friday) is the last day to enter the GIVEAWAY, so make sure you're entered.

I have seen so many great child silhouette projects lately and decided to try my hand at one.

 The silhouettes themselves were super simple. I just took a profile photo of each kid, enlarged it on the computer, printed it out, traced it onto black scrapbook paper and cut it out. So easy.

But I felt like it was still missing something, so I did a little word art...the cheater's way.

 (Unfortunately the reflection of a window makes it hard to get a good picture...but you get the idea. Also, don't blow your candles out too hard...does anyone have a tip for getting a wax stain off a wall?)
We have Photoshop Elements, but it isn't currently working. So I learned how to cheat your way to some cute word art on Picnik.com (a free site with lots of fun photo-editing features, although you can upgrade and pay for more options).

Picnik Word Art Tutorial:

First, you need to have a picture for your background. I just found a white background via Google, but you could use fabric, scrapbook paper, etc.

Upload the background to Picnik.



Click on "Edit" and then "Crop"

Choose your photo size from the drop down options. I used 5x7.

Then click on "Create" and choose the "Text" option.


 This is where it gets fun. Picnik actually has a great selection of free fonts to use. Choose a font, then enter your text into the box at the top left.


Since I was using several colors, I actually went through the text process 4 times. Each time you type your text, then choose a color from the text toolbox that appears. You can then change the size and several other features.

My art is very simple, but there are practically limitless options for creativity. You don't have to be a Photoshop pro - you just need a little imagination and some time to play around. It's incredible user-friendly and super fun to play with!

Have a great weekend!

Linking up at:
Weekend Bloggy Reading 




Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Preschooler Playtime (or How to Stay Sane w/ a 3-yr-old & a Newborn)

Before our second child ("Mookie") was born I decided to stock up on some quiet projects for "Hootie" to be able to do w/o me while I was nursing (or "thinking" on the couch...very quietly...with my eyes closed).

So I found these two projects on a couple of awesome blogs and went to work. They are super-easy and we've had a lot of fun with them. 


These cute alphabet letters are from Happy Together. Check out the tutorial HERE.



 I also made these number beanbags. We've used them a lot for our "school time." There are SO many activities you can do with bean bags (most of which are fairly non-violent).
 
These are from "a pretty cool life." Tutorial HERE.


 
Then I made a couple of quick drawstring bags to keep them in.


 

These would make great birthday presents, or even something fun for an older sibling when their little brother or sister is born. A quiet activity is invaluable during those early weeks.
Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY by this Friday pm!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ministry Update - One Month Left

We have just one more month for the funds raised in the shop to benefit E3 Kids International. As you see on the sidebar, we've raised a bit, but I know we could definitely raise quite a lot more for this amazing ministry.


For those who might be new to the blog, E3 Kids is a ministry that currently supports Royal Kids School in Mombasa, Kenya. This school gives a Christian education to students who otherwise might not get an education at all. The funds we raise will go toward their dormitory fund. They are in the process of building new dorms for the kids who live at the school, some of whom are orphans. 

As a reminder, ALL profits from the Radical Crafts shop go directly to this effort.

I just listed some "Good Egg Onesies" in the shop - just in time for Easter:


There are also some fun shaped crayons (perfect for an Easter basket) and don't forget the great bags donated by Better Life Bags!

Please help me support E3 Kids and pass the shop along to some friends!

Thanks - you guys are great!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Eat Your Veggies & Spring Giveaway

 I wanted to do something fun with Hootie on April Fool's Day, but couldn't think of what would be enjoyable, not too confusing (and not too much work). I had thought of decorating the house like it was Christmas the night before, so when she woke up she would be totally confused. But then I considered the fact that I might spend the rest of the day explaining that it wasn't really Christmas and decided that wasn't the best plan. So I ran across these cupcakes in the book "Hello Cupcake" by Karen Tack and thought they were just the thing.



 (Don't worry - the chicken is real)
 No problem getting this girl to eat her veggies!

 I look happy - but this was pretty gross. I used honey for the "gravy" on the "mashed potatoes." Kind of sick.

This expression captures our true feelings...there is nothing appetizing about a slice of Starburst "butter." But it was a fun one-time thing.

Now that it's NOT April Fool's, I can post the giveaway and not worry about people thinking it's not legit. It's totally legit :)

We have one month left of Radical Crafts benefitting E3 Kids, so in honor of that I'm giving away a little baby/mommy gift set:


Giveaway includes:


Here are 4 ways to enter (for up to 4 entries):

1. Leave me a comment telling me one of your favorite things about spring or a favorite April Fool's prank.
2. Become a public follower of Radical Crafts (see sidebar) or subscribe via RSS
3. "Like" Radical Crafts on Facebook (see sidebar)
4. Blog, Tweet, or post on Facebook about Radical Crafts & our mission to support various ministries with all the profits from the Etsy shop

Just leave a separate comment letting me know each way you're entering.

Giveaway is now closed - thanks for entering!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Egg Onesies

So a while back I bought a few pastel-colored onesies at Target and they have just been sitting in my craft stash while I waited for inspiration. So this week I thought I'd make something Easter-themed and try to sell them in the shop.

Hence, the "Good Egg Onesie" was born.


Unfortunately after I'd made them I asked my husband if he knew what a "good egg" was and I got a cute, sarcastic response, cluing me in that, indeed, he did not know. Apparently this term dates to the 1920's, so it would seem I'm 27 going on 90. But, just in case others are younger than my aged self, here's the definition: 

good egg - a person who is pleasant, agreeable, or trustworthy.

So there you have it. And what baby doesn't fit this description (at least some of the time)?

I don't exactly have a tutorial for this, because it's not really a hard one to figure out.

But here's what I did:

Trace words (in reverse) and egg shape onto Wonder Under or Heat & Bond.

Iron said bonding material to felt.

Cut out letters (pain - unless you have one of those fancy cutters...I'm assuming they would make this much easier) and egg.

Iron to onesie (follow directions on bonding material).

If you so desire, you can now hand-stitch (or machine-stitch...if you're crazy good with top-stitching tiny letters, which I am not) around your egg & letters.

And you're done!

I had originally planned to add some decorations to the eggs to make them more Easter-themed, but in the end I didn't because I think they could probably work even after Easter. But if you wanted to make them "Eastery," it would be super easy to add decorations using more felt or embroidery floss.

If you don't want to make your own, I'll be listing a few in the shop over the weekend.
(Remember - all profits go to e3kids as they help educate orphans in Kenya)

AND, be sure to come back Monday for a chance to WIN one in a little baby gift set I'm putting together!

Weekend Bloggy Reading