jam jar pin cushion [with magnetic bottom!]



I’ve always hated my weird tomato pin cushion…why don’t more people sell/make cuter versions of pin cushions?! And, WHY is there NOT a magnet in every pin cushion so that you can suck up all the pins that didn’t make it back to the cushion when you’re in a sewing frenzy (any one else find pins all over the place after a sewing project?).

So, I’ve had this idea stuck in my head for a while. Sometimes, it takes me a while (or a push like a fun contest) to put my ideas to reality. As a crafter, I often think of ideas that would make my world (in craftland) better/more pretty/more practical. This fits the bill on all counts.  And here’s how to do it!

You’ll need:

  • 4 oz. canning jar
  • Small piece of cute fabric
  • Stuffing (I used some extra needle felting I had from another project)
  • Magnet Sheet



Use the inside of the canning lid to trace a circle on magnetic sheet.


Cut out the circle in the magnetic sheet.


The magnetic sheet had adhesive on one side, but I used a little hot glue to secure it in place. Super glue would work too.




Grab a handful of fluff…


Do you best to squish it in ball on top of the center insert of the canning lid.


Then cover with your fabric.



With the fluff and fabric on top, push the canning insert up into the lid, this is a little tricky.




Trim off the excess fabric from the bottom of the lid. I used a small pair of scissors to cut off most of it.


And then I used an exacto knife to get the rest until it looked like this.



Just screw the lid on the jar, and you have yourself an adorable, practical pin cushion!

And it sucks up all your rogue pins, too!

Considering Daniel


This week, I’m considering the life of Daniel.  Daniel is one of my all time favorite people written about in the Bible.  I’ve been challenged by his example of someone who had influence in powerful circles and yet he held fast to truth and his trust in God.  He was utterly unashamed of his God.

I love my co-workers.  They are so enjoyable and fun to work with.  They are just great, I feel so privileged to live life with these people.

So, I’ve been praying that I could be a Daniel.  I don’t exactly have influence in powerful circles, but I am an employee and I have a heart for my co-workers (peers and bosses) to know and love Jesus.  And I have influence, in one way or another.  I’m praying that God would make me a “trusted advisor” in my job, like Daniel was, and that His name would be glorified in my workplace.

Who are you inspired by this week?

use-me[photo credit]


washington life


We just became members of Mars Hill Church Federal Way. Bryan plays bass, we’re involved in our community group, and I’m going to a Women’s Bible Study. I hope to find a place to serve this fall. Mars Hill is truth-teaching, community-oriented, gospel-focused, growing church, which is exactly what it should be and what our standards are for a church. But it will definitely take a while for it to feel like home. We’re here, we’re committed, we’re investing our time and energy. I trust that God will take of the rest.


I’ve been growing my hair out since I cut all but one inch off a year and half ago and it’s growing quickly. I also started wearing make-up daily which is totally new for me.


We live next to a 7-Eleven (it’s like a gas station without the gas) which makes our “neighborhood” immeasurably more shady. But Bryan can get up to 6 different slurpee flavors (and he got a free one yesterday on 7/11!) and Shaq Soda there so we’re pretty happy about that.

Our neighbors are insanely friendly. One Saturday, we were invited to our downstairs neighbors game night (super nice guy named Nate) and invited to drink until daylight with our next door neighbor, Calvin. Can you guess which neighbor we hung out with?

Oh, and also, three nights ago, neighbor Nate MADE US A CAKE.  Like, it was specifically for us and he waited for us to get home from community group to give it to us.  WHAT?!

And the awesome couple that sold us our table?  They keep bringing us awesome things like plates and glasses and tupperware and canned food.  We feel pretty fortunate to have such a great apartment in such a great neighborhood.


let’s get thrifty


When we found out we were moving across the country, and had three weeks to do it-I sprung into action. It was the best move ever, because I only had to endure three weeks of horrible packing craziness. I knew right away that we would get rid of everything we could and take as little as possible with us to Seattle. We sold/gave away everything we didn’t need and planned on starting fresh in our new home – it was awesome.

We saved the money we had from our sales and set it aside for new stuff. Just in case you’re curious, like I would be, we had about $2,500.00 after selling everything – except that about $1,000.00 was specifically from Bryan’s instrument sales, with which he promptly bought a new banjo and bass amp. So $1,500.00 – not bad, eh? That’s how much we made and the exciting thing to me is that we probably saved twice that by not renting and driving a moving truck to Seattle. I think we made the right choice.

It’s been fun to replace our stuff with new with our little savings, so I thought I’d share some of our sweet thrifty finds in a little mini-series.


I mean seriously, look at this sweet briefcase. We found this on one of our first thrifting adventures – at a huge Goodwill by Bryan’s parents house.  It was just sittin’ there, all nonchalantly next to the super beat -up duffle bags and was all, “Hey, I’m only $5.99.”  And we were all, “OMG, get your burgundy self into my proverbial shopping cart NOW.”  [Side note: I’ve never used a shopping cart at Goodwill, it’s more of a grab and go store, and when my arms are full, I probably don’t need any more crap]

Okay, so this couch has a slight cat pee odor, but that makes it more charming, right? What if I told you it was only $50?! Yeah, that’s what I thought, you love this couch and so do I.  We found an awesome website that showed us all of the garage sales going on in our area, and this lady had furniture listed at rock bottom prices.  It sounded too good to be true, but we went first thing in the morning just in case.  When we saw how good the condition was and felt how ridiculously comfortable it was, we quickly pulled out our cash and asked the lady to hold it for us while we went to get a truck.  (We smartly joined a community group with two trucks and two very generous owners)

I don’t think I can accurately describe how excited Bryan was about this couch.  Despite the fact that we picked it up from sweet older lady in a trailer park, he’s convinced that it’s true former life was to provide comfort to a Widowed WWII Veteran hunter and his hunting dog.  This (fictional) man would come home from a long day of hunting and join his tired dog on the couch and smoke his pipe while he reflected on his hard past.  I will point out that this back story provides no explanation of the cat pee.

Where Bryan comes up with this stuff, I’ll never know.

Have you found any good thrifty finds lately?

finding yourself is trendy, i know.


In the past five years of my life, I’ve found myself a little bit. Or at least discovered that it is a thing to “find yourself.” For much of my life, I was content being whoever everyone else wanted me to be. That is, until I was hurt badly and felt lost without the people I was trying so hard to please. In my loss and by God’s grace, I ran to Jesus. And for the 100th time in my life, Jesus reminded me that He wants all of me, not just the parts I’ve tried to offer up to Him, not just the parts I think are clean and good enough for Him. He wants all of me, even the ugly parts, even the parts I haven’t discovered yet.

So for the past 5-6 years, I’ve been finding myself. Finding myself in Jesus, first and foremost. I’m learning how to love and pour into people while relying on the Holy Spirit to do so. These years have easily been the most rewarding years of my life so far – life is so much better when we give all of ourselves to Him! (I totally get that I’m not the first person to discover this, but it’s an exciting discovery none the less!)

This may sound random, but one of the ways I’ve found myself (or rather, God has shown me myself) has been in my love to create. I am a creative being made by a perfect Creator. I love to write and make things and conjure up new ideas. I love these things, and I’m beginning to feel validated in these things.

I have this unspoken ambition to become a pro-blogger slash craft-maker. Whoops, now it’s not really unspoken, is it? Well, there, it’s out there.

I dream of being a mom someday, but also working for myself, from my home and contributing to our family’s income. I would be perfectly happy with just the first part of that dream, but more and more I can see the whole thing in my mind.

I never thought this would be a dream of mine (the second part). But somehow, this is where I am, timidly reaching for this little, unimportant dream. It’s not so much about the dream though, it’s about who God created me to be. I’m a unique person, with unique gifts and struggles and my life has greatly benefitted from challenges that I don’t think I can accomplish on my own.

What has God shown you about yourself lately?


[photo credit]

today was saturday


This morning, Bryan and I went on a walk to the Federal Way Public Library. We literally live 15 minutes away and that’s walking distance, people. Major points for our apartment complex-yet again.


I checked out five books, two on decorating, two on crafts (one completely satirical and the other super serious), and one on humor. Bryan checked out one book calles Preachin’ The Blues: The Life and Times of Son House.   I love how fully ourselves we’re becoming.

This post isn’t really even suppose to be about our trip to the Library, but let me just say one thing.  I had a total epiphany while in the non-fiction section of the library: I felt powerful.  I felt like I had all knowledge about any subject at my fingertips, in these beautiful books.  The internet is great and all, but nobody writes a book’s worth of information on the internet (unless your blog becomes a book, I’ll give you that).  I’m not doing my epiphany justice, but it was magical, I tell you, and it made me want to raise all of our children in our one-bedroom-with-a-loft apartment so we can be walking distance from the Library.  Because obviously that’s our only option if we want to be close to the Library.

Okay, also, one other quick thing about the King County Library system-it’s amazing, and I mean A-MAZ-ING.  They do this thing where they pretend that every single library in the entire county is one library.  So if there is a book you want and the only one available is in Redmond, and you live an hour and half away from Redmond, you can get that book in your local library within three business days.  The King County Library system pretty much dominates.

ANYWAY, the REAL story is this: on our way from the Library, we pass by a small asian man windex-ing his car windows in the parking lot of our apartment complex.  He yells to us at a fast enough pace that I can’t really understand him, but I heard him say “vacuum” and something to the effect that they have stuff to get rid of because they are moving in a few weeks.  I asked him how much he was selling the vacuum for and he said he would give me a fair price at $30.  Sold.  We followed him into his house and found this gem:


It’s okay, you can be jealous.  We offered $100 for the table and chairs and they seemed so happy to be rid of it.  His name was Roger and his adorable wife’s name was Lui.  I’m kind of sad they are moving back to Las Vegas.  Lui called me “sweetheart” between 7 and 10 times during our total interactions.

Pretty much, today has been great.  And that’s all.

washington life


I know all you Iowa people are all waiting for me to fully divulge about our lives here in Washington, especially because I don’t get to talk to all of you regularly and you all care about our lives sooooo much. [that last part was sarcastic, but also I realize that a lot of you DO care about our lives sooooo much because you’re amazing and we’re incredibly blessed to know you. so my sarcasm is more self-deprecating than it is a reflection of the lovely, caring people reading this blog]

So, anyway, here are a few things about our lives out west.

Disclaimer: Honestly, I’m happy to give you some real life tidbits about our lives, but for the full, unabridged version, you should pull out your VCR’s and watch Feivel Goes West. We’ve basically had the same experience.

I love, love, love my job, you guys. Love it. To toot my own horn, I’m great at it. Everyone loves me and thinks I’m doing to a great job and the transition from the adorable lady who had my job for seventeen years to me has been pretty seamless. I love that I work in the same industry as Bryan so I actually know what he’s talking about. It’s the perfect balance in that it never gets too crazy busy and stressful, but I’m always learning new things and being challenged. I have a huge heart for my co-workers and I’m feeling blessed to have people in my life with whom I can so practically share Jesus with.

Bryan loves his job, too! It is literally exactly what we were looking for in a job to start Bryan out. It pays a small base salary while he begins to build his business and help folks manage their portfolio. AND he works for the same company I do, so he has the advantage of his wife helping him with all his paperwork. Win-win-win!

One of my favorite things in the whole world is trees. So let’s just say that I’m thrilled to be surrounded by them all the time.

There are crazy, crazy town names around here, but we’ve started to master the pronunciation of Washington citys and towns. Some examples are: Enumclaw, Sequim, Tukwila, Puyallup. Crazy, I tell you.




It’s the age I’ve always felt I should be


I’m 25 now.  
My grey hairs are noticeable.
I have an unreasonable amount of facial hair due to my Scandinavian heritage.
I’m re-committing to blog more.  

I am not sure how all of those admissions relate to each other, but they definitely relate to being 25.  25!

I’ve always thought I should be 25.  Ever since I was about 14, I thought to myself, “My life would make more sense if I was 25.”  and ever since I was 16, strangers began to mistake me for someone around the age of 25.  (I’ll blame that one on my Scandinavian heritage as well, being 5′ 11″ at 16 makes a girl look quite older)

So I’ve finally arrived at this age, the great 25!  Let me tell you now, my life is not what I expected it to be, but it is a sure thing that God has showered me with His immeasurable goodness.  

I have lots and lots of thoughts that I want to share, lots of things I want to accomplish and share with you, and lots of memories I want to recount here.  

So, back to my re-commitment.  
I commit to avoid coloring my hair until it’s absolutely necessary.  
I commit to allow a tiny Vietnamese woman wax my obnoxious chin hair off once per month.  
Finally, I commit to blogging regularly: my thoughts, my crafts, my memories, my life lessons and more.


Cheers to 25!