Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Dreaming

Summer Dreaming

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends & delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”  
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams 

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
-John Keats

“Summer's lease hath all too short a date.”
-William Shakespeare

“It was June, & the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
-Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy & Tib

Dream on, sweet summertime!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hand Carved Popsicle Stamp + Tote

I started carving my own stamps out of erasers this year {see here & here}.  I don't think I have the "correct" tool of the trade to create these - I use an X-acto knife, which is living on the edge of the dangerous life {If you use one please be so careful!}.  I've seen quite a few folks use something called a linoleum cutter by Speedball - these fancy peeps often use an artist's carving block, too... but I use what I have, typically a slightly worn Pink Pearl eraser & le boxcutter. =)

Here's What You Need:
-eraser {large enough for your design}
-cutting tool {I use my X-acto knife}
-stamp ink
-cutting board {optional, but a good idea}

Here's What You Do:
Trace a popsicle design onto your eraser {I used the sides of my eraser as the sides of my popsicle, so I really just had to round the corners at the top & add a stick shape to the bottom}.  Using your cutting tool, carefully trace around your pencil lines, then begin to cut away the pieces around your image {this usually involves cutting & then picking out the pieces you cut with your fingers}.  After you have this done to your satisfaction, ink your newly created stamp, & see how it turned out!       

This plain pink Dollar Tree tote needed a little something, so I used my popsicle stamp & paint {instead of ink} to add a bold pattern.  I found I had to go back & repaint in my shapes because the paint didn't go on very strong the first time.  It didn't turn out exactly how I envisioned it, but I like it anyhow. =)  

Happy Stamping,

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nautical-Inspired Gift Tags {Free Printable}

There's something essentially summery about anchors, ship wheels, compasses, & all things nautical!  PicMonkey {a dandy online photo editing site that I use to make most of my printables} recently added a set of nautical stickers to overlay onto photos, etc.  I created a collage of plain color swatches & then added stickers & font to create these gift tags for ya, matey!

Click on the tag set, then right click & save to your computer {or copy & paste}.  Open in a word document, resize if necessary {I personally found these needed to be shrinked down a bit}, print, & enjoy!

CONDITIONS OF USE: My printables are free for personal use only.  Feel free to share them on Pinterest provided you credit & link back to {Bess' Bag}.  If you want to blog about these printables, or share a project you created using them, it would be fabulous, just be sure to credit & link back to {Bess' Bag} (feel free to use 1 or 2 photos, but please don't share the actual printable on your site - just add a link to it).  Thanks & enjoy!

More nautical inspiration...

Nautical Lovelies

Happy Gifting,

P.S.: Here's an extra tip I just happened to discover...  A ring holder can make a great twine keeper {as seen in the top photo}!

P.P.S.: I can't stop making gift tags!  I wonder if there are support groups... =)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet Treat Tags {Free Printable}


It's summertime!  The sun is hot & the treats are cool!  Have gifts to give this summer... birthday, thank you, bridal/baby showers, just cause?  Here's some free gift tags just for you!  

Click on the tag set(s) you like.  Right click & save to your computer {or copy & paste}.  Open in a word document, resize if necessary {I personally found these needed to be shrinked down a bit}, print, & enjoy!

© -Bess- for Bess' Bag
CONDITIONS OF USE: My printables are free for personal use only.  Feel free to share them on Pinterest provided you credit & link back to {Bess' Bag}.  If you want to blog about these printables, or share a project you created using them, it would be fabulous, just be sure to credit & link back to {Bess' Bag} (feel free to use 1 or 2 photos, but please don't share the actual printable on your site - just add a link to it).  Thanks & enjoy!

Happy Gifting,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Faux-Leather Hair Clips DIY {Inspired by "A Beautiful Mess"}

The other day, the uber-talented Elsie of "A Beautiful Mess" blog created a set of adorable leather hair clips {click here to see}.  I was especially taken with the dachshund one {see below}!  Then, I remembered my thrifted pleather-y, leather-like purse squares from back in this post & this post.  I still had extras! And with them... I created these!  {I couldn't resist adding the cute striped hair bow {above} I made from extra ribbon from my hat project!}

I free handed a dachshund shape to create my own template {using Elsie's hair clip as a reference}, & then cut mine out of my faux-leather stuff.  I actually cut out several {& messed up several}, before deciding that the very first one I cut out was best!  I used star & arrow images from the computer to create templates for my other two hair clips.  Alligator clips hot glued to the back of each design creates instant barrettes.

Here's my own beautiful mess from creating these!

Elsie & her sis, Emma, are two of the craftiest gals ever & I'm so glad they share their talents on "A Beautiful Mess"!

What kind of hair clip(s) would you make & who inspires you to craft?

Handmade Love,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Que Sera, Sera {Free Printables!}

I'm picky about what I watch.  I want it to be clean viewing {i.e.: a Philippians 4:8 kind of mindset}... which isn't easy to find these days.  Mostly I watch the retro shows.  I sorta get on a kick for a certain series...  One month I'll be in love with watching That Girl, then I'll have a real fetish for Punky Brewster.  Now I've been watching the Doris Day Show {& loving it}!  Doris is famous for the song "Que Sera, Sera" - it happens to be the theme of her TV series.  Translated it means "Whatever will be, will be."  I thought it would make a dandy print to frame & hang, so I created 2 versions just for you!

Click on the image(s) you like.  Right click & save to your computer {or copy & paste}.  Open in a word document, resize if necessary, print, & enjoy!

Que Sera, Sera!

P.S.: Boy!  I sound like a true old fashioned girl writing this post.  I guess that's cause I am!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Interchangeable Fedora Embellishments DIY

It started with these fedoras from the Dollar Tree...  Pretty cute on their own, but sometimes a girl just wants a little frill.  Ya know? =)

Then, again, sometimes a girl wants to keep it simple.  So, I decided to make my embellishments temporary, & thus interchangeable, by using Velcro!

What You'll Need:
hat{s}, frills {i.e.: ribbon, silk flowers, feathers, bows, fabric, buttons, etc.}, hot glue, Velcro 

What to Do:
Create an adornment that goes around the band of your hat.  I found using my hat like a dress form works well.  Once you've got it like you want it {& made doubly sure it will fit around your hat}, add Velcro to it using hot glue {or you could sew it if you like}.

This simple style was created using one long & one short piece of ribbon.  I love that you can wear each of these embellishments on either hats!  Cause really a girl loves to change her mind {& look}. =)

I used a beaded ring & wide ribbon for this one.  I just slid the ring onto the ribbon {this way I can still wear it as a ring when I want, too}!  Easy!

Lastly, I had a magenta ribbon from some packaging that wasn't long enough to fit around my hat.  So, I improvised & added some turquoise-y feathers & brown ribbon.  This one doesn't even need Velcro - it just ties in place!

Love & Frills {for this 1st day of summer},

Monday, June 17, 2013

Esther & The Beautiful Wait

Queen Esther

It took a year of prescribed beauty treatments before Esther was chosen as queen. One whole year of Avon & wait. I wonder why God chose to do it this way. What was the purpose of the 12 months? Was it to prepare Esther? Prepare King Xerxes’ heart? Make Esther more pretty? Let certain events fall in line in order to create “such a time as this”?

As I find myself currently in a great wait that is stretching well beyond the yearly mark, I like to think God has some fabulous, royal {because He is King} purpose for His daughter. Some days I look in the mirror at reddened eyes from tears the night before, & feel less like I’m on the beauty trail & more like I’m lost out in the desert. It’s then that I remind myself this is a time of beautification of my spirit. You only need to have tried Nair once to know to beautify isn’t a painless process {Isn’t that an understatement?!}!

God is making me into what I need to be… there is something I’m preparing for. Under His care I am a princess-in-training. No, this won’t be a live-in-a-spa-for-a-year kinda deal, & that probably wasn’t how it was for Esther, either, but my spirit will be refreshed & refined {& more beautiful} at the end of it.

“And who knows but that you have come to royal 
position for such a time as this?”
-Esther 4:14b NIV

Dear Father,
Please help me through this season of wait. I know You are teaching me things to beautify my spirit, but the lessons aren’t often easy. Please pour out Your mercy & grace to Your daughter, as well as Your unfathomable love & peace, as I pour out my praise to you even during “such a time as this.” For I know Your plans are perfect, as well as your timing. Thank You for being a trustworthy loving God; I rest in that through this time & always.
In Jesus’ Name,
Your Daughter

Love & Beautiful Waiting,

P.S.: There's so much more to Esther's story.  If you haven't checked it out {or it's been a while}, I encourage you to find a Bible & look up her book {sandwiched between Nehemiah & Job in the Old Testament}.

P.P.S.: I'm planning to periodically showcase godly women {etc.} from the Bible in a devotion format here on Bess' Bag.  Hope you enjoyed the first one!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Revealing Jesus" Book Review

Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional
by Darlene Zschech

Darlene Zschech may be most well known for her singing voice, but she is also the author of a 365 day devotional titled, Revealing Jesus.  The book is organized into characteristics of Jesus (one for each month of the year), such as faithful, friend of sinners, savior…  Each section’s daily devotions revolve around that month’s characteristic.  Each daily devotion is one page long consisting of a title, coordinating Bible verse, devotion, & short prayer.  You can easily see Darlene Zschech’s passion for Jesus in her words, which are simple, true, lovely, reflective, & sometimes reveal her musical heart (she references Psalms, old hymns, etc. on occasion).  A small few of the devotions are authored by others, taken from classic devotions penned by some of the great writers of the faith.  Revealing Jesus is a yearlong devotional designed to take you into the heart of who Jesus is.  It is not intimidating or condemning, but hopeful and challenging. 

The book itself is a beautiful hard cover with embossed cover, dark teal type, & the occasional monochromatic-esque photograph/illustration featuring handwritten lyrics that reveal and revere our Savior & King, Jesus.  There is also a worship CD {as well as a CD/DVD combo} available from Darlene Zschech of the same name as the devotional, however sold separately.         

Bookish Love,

*I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Father's Day

A Father's Love

Father’s Day is this Sunday & today… well, today, would be my dad’s birthday. This year will mark half of my life spent without him. I don’t think I realized before his death the true power of loving another human being. Even though I only knew this man for the first half of my life, he made such a difference in me that it cannot be measured. I didn’t know, as a little girl with tears falling down my face, that when my age doubled I would still weep bitter tears for the one I missed so deeply. It sometimes scares me to think that I will have known my father for such a short span of my life. Last night I prayed that I would not forget those precious years with my beloved daddy who chased after God’s heart & sought to live for Him & taught me so much of the love of our heavenly Father. I don’t want those years to erase. I don’t want to lose the lessons I learned – the present world has left me jaded to so many things, that I don’t want to forget the joy & love that’s possible, that I experienced with my dad, here on earth. I thank God he gave me those years of love, for some don’t even experience that. I know my father is in heaven & that one day I will be with him there, too, & there’s peace in that, but the missing part is hard to find a steady peace for.

If your dad is still with you this Father’s Day, I pray that you don’t let the day slip by without telling him you love him, holding his hand, & spending precious time.  I just felt led to share that.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thrifting Files {Before & After Box}

I found this plain ordinary storage box at my local Goodwill store.

 Sometimes I wonder how they come up with their prices...  More often than not I usually think they're rather high {as far as thrift shops go}, but occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised.  The box, which is made by Rubbermaid & still had its original tags, was only $1.99!  Score!   

Remember when I shared my chevron striped plastic craft storage boxes?  Well, I decided I wanted this to fit in with those in my craft closet {of sorts}, which still has its messy shelves {along with the neat ones}.  I took some chevron wrapping paper I had from Target & cut out one zigzag stripe.  I then traced it onto some wall sticker material & cut it out.  Taking the two pieces I created when I made the cut, I fashioned my own stencil, added some black paint, &... Ta da!  A chevron striped craft storage box on the cheap!   

What projects are you working on?

Thrifty Love,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Wishes - 2013

I believe in keeping wishes close.  Here are my summer wishes ready to be checked off in my scrapbook {above} & on popsicle sticks, as a daily reminder, on my kitchen counter {below}.

What are your wishes/goals this summer?

May your wishes come true!

P.S.: I'm linking up with The Circle!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Song Love {June}

"Beautiful Love" by Shine Bright Baby

"Every Good Thing" by The Afters

"All I Can Do (Thank You)" by MikesChair

What songs are you currently loving?

Musical Love,

P.S.: So sorry I missed last month's Song Love post!!!