Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Scrapping with Project Life…… #grow4christ

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Back in January my husband took me shopping for our anniversary, after looking to get back into scrapping but not really having time for the way I used to do it – which was time consuming I wanted something different.  So when visiting Ben and Me I found her using this product called Project Life – which seemed really cool, but there was no way I could buy it unless it was a gift.  It worked out.  Hubby took me to one of our local craft stores and let me pick out some items and then I went home and printed off all our important 2013 pictures (there was a lot!!!)

Our title page – showing some photos from our vacation and I incorporated some of the scrap-booking stickers that have been sitting in my craft cabinet for years.


If you don’t know about Project Life it’s a great way to scrap and keep your memories but without all the mess and time of traditional scrap-booking, there are also other products on the market similar to Project Life and I’ll mention those in a moment.  The first thing I did was pick out my album, I grabbed the Jade (they didn’t have the Sea Foam) – these are huge D-ring binders that you slip your pages in and I chose the variety pack, which I can’t find on Amazon right now.  The pocket pages are really neat and a great way to organize all those memories that otherwise will be lost to time.   After that I had to pick my theme pack – these are the little cards that you put in the pocket pages along with your pictures to decorate and add a little bling to your lay outs.  I chose the heritage core kit, which really spoke to my old soul and old fashioned tendencies and they are really beautiful cards – some are decorated, some are blank and/or lined for journaling or doodling or whatever you’d like to do with them.


The page for the mother/daughter and son American Heritage Girls pottery painting. My plate broke so I’m glad I have the picture of it.


With everything that had gone on since buying this I haven’t had a chance to sit down and work on it until the other day – and I had a blast, I’m up to our vacation in April of last year so I’m moving right along.  I realized that some of my photos really needed trimming and so I ran out and bought the We R card punch which helped to cut those too large pics to the right 3X4 size.  I bought the rounded one but I’d also like to get the square one as well, as not all the cards are rounded and it looks weird to see the back side when you do a layout on the other side!  I’m learning.


One of the pages I let my oldest do – it was from her friend’s birthday party when they did some pottery.


I must say one thing I’ve learned is you must be careful when turning the pages – if tugged to hard the holes do rip, thankfully I was able to stop my children from fighting over it so it didn’t rip completely because that would have messed up my whole organization of the pages.  As you’ll notice some of the cards are not Project Life – I found some pocket page journaling cards at another local craft store by me & my BIG ideas and grabbed them.  I did not pay attention that these cards are square versus the rounded shape of the Project Life and while not a horrible disaster if you don’t use the same on the back side they will show through.  Does that make sense?  It’s hard to explain.  So anyway, I used other cards as well and they were not as thick as the Project Life but I loved they were inexpensive and added a bit of flair to the heritage Project Life set.


Some journal notes that my oldest did and included in her birthday layout.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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Petit Collage: 25 easy craft and decor projects for a playful home by Loren Siminovich #grow4christ #bookreview

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About the Book:

From the beloved design brand for nurseries, playrooms, and every space in between, Petit Collage shows you how to make 25 of their bestselling paper and wooden accessories for your home. Customize toy chests, create cheerful name plaques, build bunny clocks, and more, with artist and owner Lorena Siminovich. Breaking down each project with simple, illustrated step-by-step instructions, Siminovich presents easy tips on how to personalize the Petit Collage signature style with your child’s favorite colors and patterns. All you need are rubber stamps, paper, scissors, and the provided project templates to create a contemporary space filled with bright and distinctive décor.

Whether you’re looking for unique paper toys or vibrant namesake prints, Petit Collage’s whimsical craft projects will inspire your children to put their little touch and big imagination into your family home.


You can visit Random House or Amazon to purchase your own copy!




About the Author:  Lorena Siminovich, a designer, artist, and author who has written and illustrated more than twenty children’s books, is the founder of Petit Collage, a line of modern wall décor and accessories with a vintage sensibility. Her work is now sold in more than 1,000 stores and boutiques worldwide. Siminovich lives with her husband and their daughter in a recently renovated, art-filled home on a hill in San Francisco.


My Opinion:


I initially found this at my local library and when it came up to review, I knew I wanted my own copy – so I returned the library’s copy and waited eagerly for my own copy to arrive and I am so excited when it finally made it to my front door!  This is a beautiful hard cover book that contains 25 easy to make projects for the children in your life – whether they are your children, nieces or nephews or grandchildren or maybe even a friend’s child.  I’ve already marked up my copy as to what I’d like to make for some Christmas gifts for the children in my life using this book – and best of all almost all the projects with the exception of a few you probably already have the supplies on hand!  Lorena takes you through an introduction like where one can find their inspiration, how to use this book (she’s denoted what projects are for the beginner, intermediate and advanced crafter), and then the tools of the trade such as papers, tapes/adhesives, and more.  I think my favorite idea is the book ledges, which I’d love to have my hubby make me some and then I’ll decorate to fit my taste, but the ‘once upon a time’ theme is cute if they’ll be going into a child’s room.


Of course that is only one project out of 25 there are also a mobile, baby plaque (the idea could be good for an older child too but updating the babyish image), custom baby blocks, rolling toy cart, family mail box and much more – all to get your house into a playful mode and encourage learning, fun and play through being creative.  Most of the projects in this book could also be completed by an older child with some supervision – I wouldn’t let a child cut wood – but an older child could definitely make the dry erase dinner planner (something else I think I’ll be making for Christmas presents).  As I said most of the projects need items that I have on hand so there isn’t a huge expense, and the other items could be picked up at yard sales or thrift stores.  This is going to be my go-to book for the times when a friend welcomes a new baby and I want to do some easy crafting, or as I said even for the older child, I’m thinking the name plaque with a big blue box on it……


If you’re not sure where to buy a needed supply Lorena has included a list of resources to make it easy to find the supplies you don’t have on hand, she also gives some basic techniques for things like cutting, working with decoupage and using wood and metal – great for the beginner crafter.  Also include are the templates needed for the projects and while most are the size you’ll need, Lorena has also noted when they will need to be blown up bigger – this is one thing I haven’t figured out how to do on the copier at the store or on my home printer.  So if you like to craft – all you’ll need is this book, some simple supplies and your imagination and then get started!  If you’re not a crafter, no worries, Lorena walks you through step by step through each project and with full color illustrations you’ll be crafting quickly and you’ll see how much fun creating fun and playful things for the child in your life can be.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Crew Review: Rosie’s Dolls Clothes Patterns #grow4christ #hsreviews

I have two daughters which means we have several 18 inch dolls, compliments of Grandma, and when I had the chance to review Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns I knew I had to grab this chance because not only do we own dolls I also have a dream to teach my daughter’s to sew.   Since I wasn’t taught to sew nor have I really taken to sewing, I can do it, but it’s not one of my better pursuits – I knew Rosie’s would be a great way to introduce my daughters to the many aspects of sewing such as setting up a sewing room, how to cut, chose fabric and actually sewing several different outfits for their dolls.  Learn How to Make Doll Clothes Video Course is a great way to teach girls how to make their own doll clothes so that naked dolls are a thing of the past.

As the name implies Rosie or Rosanne who is a mom came up with Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns as she realized the need for affordable doll clothing for her daughter’s dolls – as most of us know, doll clothing can be quite expensive and when fabric can be purchased for $1 a yard on sale that makes making your own very affordable.  The video course comes with over 130 instructional videos that take the viewer step by step through all the steps of learning to sew and also how to put together a garment. It’s your own home ec/sewing instructor for only $47.46 and with that also comes with 8 free patterns and 12 months of access (there is an option to buy a DVD so you’ll have it forever). You’ll be able to make a dress, shorts, underwear, and pumpkin costume and more with this awesome program – and there is nothing to download!

I have been able to have my daughter’s watch the videos on their own while learning the hows and whys of sewing – such as why good light is a valuable tool to have versus a dark room. There are also videos to teach how to use a serger but I don’t have one of those so I didn’t have my girls watch them – although it might be a good idea to have them go back in case we ever do get one. You can pick and chose which videos pertain to your situation – such as if you do have a serger you’ll want to watch those videos. Since a year’s access is allowed there is no rush or schedule to follow in watching the videos and working through each one. The patterns are in PDF format so just download them and print them off – there are guides to make sure the patterns are printed correctly and in the size you need – I printed ours on heavy card stock so that they would last awhile, especially with the pins to hold it to the fabric.

I printed off the patterns my daughter’s wanted – the pumpkin and the underwear – and let them cut out the patterns and then place them on the fabric and cut the pieces out. Now, that being said – I had all intentions of having them sew the pieces together and having them put on a fashion show with their finished pieces, BUT my machine decided this was the time to start acting up and I haven’t been able to get it to sew correctly. However, even though I haven’t been able to have them sew the garments yet – following the step by step videos is a huge plus for me – as usually I turn to online videos to figure out how to do things and since it’s all there, the directions, patterns and videos there is no need to search the net to find what you are looking for, and the videos are high quality, easy to view and easy to hear. I cannot wait to get my machine working and put together some cute and easy to sew outfits for my daughter’s dolls and have them making them along with me.

I cannot say enough how much I enjoy Rosie’s Doll Clothes Patterns it’s a fantastic way to learn how to sew – and it’s beneficial to both mom’s and daughter’s and even sons if they want to learn how to sew as well and make something for their sisters. My 9 and 11 year old were able to use the site easily, younger girls may need more help and supervision if using scissors and a sewing machine. If you’ve never sewn or not sure how to teach someone to sew, this is a perfect solution to being able to learn or have someone teach your child how to sew, which is a very useful handicraft to know how to do.  The recommended ages for this is 8 years old and up. You don’t have to take my word for it though (and most of the others have a sewing machine that allowed them to craft the outfits as well) please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read other reviews from other homeschool parents to read what they thought.


(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Another Christmas gift **No Peeking, especiallyif you are a grandparent!** #Pinterest inspired

My name is Sarah and I’m a pinning addict.


If you don’t know what I’m talking about – Pinterest, the neatest way to bookmark all the stuff you want to do but will never actually have time to do.  Feel free to follow me – you’ll see the Pinterest logo on my right side bar.


I’ve found ideas for gifts, Valentines, Christmas, Apologia science – all kinds of stuff but I love looking for things to do with the children to give as gifts – and we did that for Christmas.


The children wanted to make something for their grandparents and we choose the hand print Christmas tree (we ended up with four canvasses so I also got one!)


My husband painted the star and tree trunk, we both helped the children position their hands and I wrote the year.  I love it!  I’m hoping the three sets of grandparents will too.




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Christmas for free, or almost free **No Family read this!!!**

This post isn’t going to contain any pictures **GASP** but it’s just because I don’t have any.  I meant to take pictures of the children’s gifts before I wrapped but my oldest reads my blog and then, well I forgot.  So how did we do Christmas for free or almost free this year?

We were fortunate enough this year to have a health insurance company that if you took surveys for them that you’d get your choice of gift certificates – our choice was Amazon and Kmart.  I also take part in campaigns and blog tours where sometimes I’ll get compensated with gift certificates or maybe it’s a product I can gift – I have no problem with gifting a review item.

I also enter a TON of contests.  I mean a ton.  I have no idea of the percentage that I win compared to what I enter but I win enough that I personally feel it’s worth it.  I’ve managed to score some DVD’s and other items that the children will get on Christmas day.  I even managed to win two copies of something of which I kept one and am gifting the other.

With our Amazon cards we were able to even get our 7 year old the new Kindle along with two other gifts as well as the other two three gifts each.  Total I think we’ve spent less than $30 or $40 on all three children!  I don’t say this to brag but to get the word out that it is possible to give some nice gifts without spending a lot of cash.

I also do homemade gifts – I made Bethanne a cover for her Kindle this cost me only $1.00 as I had already had scraps of fabric, the thread and all I need was the button!  I’m making, or hoping to make, two dresses and two hats for Bethanne’s American Girl dolls and hopefully two of each for Hannah’s dolls, again made from fabric scraps I already had.  Christian and boys in general are harder to make things for – and if anyone has ideas I’d appreciate them, he is 5.

My husband is making signs for the grandparents, and we are making gifts for my brother and SIL, my BIL and his wife, since we already had almost all the supplies laying around.  Even the cover I made for my SIL cost almost nothing.  The children will be making a present for Grandma Cindy and Grandma Vicki and all it cost is some canvas and acrylic paint all told for both, less than $5.00!

I enjoy entering the contests and whatever I win after Christmas will either be for birthdays or for next year.  I’m glad that we’ve been able to frugally do Christmas this year and the items we have gotten have been things that will last a long time rather than just toys and cheap junk.  Oh and another resource for free gifts is Paperbackswap (if you’re not a member, let me know and I’ll give you my referral so we can both earn credits) – you post books you’re done with and once a recipient requests you mail it out (you pay for shipping) and once they mark it as received you get a book credit.  That book credit will let you get another book for free.  The other person has to mail their book to you so it evens out in the end but if you’re like me and sending a lot it does add up but it also works out because my children are getting several like new books in their particular ‘fields’ (Bethanne – Ancient Egypt, Hannah- arts/crafts, fiction and Christian – books on dinosaurs and the human body).

So this is how we did Christmas for free, or almost free.  Now please, if you disagree with Christians celebrating Christmas please be nice.  If you don’t agree with health insurance or taking surveys through them again please be nice.  I’m thankful that the Lord gave us this opportunity to have a nice Christmas and yes the Lord gets all the credit!



Christmas Present – if you are my 7 year old daughter quit reading NOW!

We decided to break down and buy her the new Kindle, well we didn’t buy it, but she is getting it for Christmas.  I should write another post on how we’ve managed to buy Christmas presents for our children for almost nothing.  I will say I’m thankful to surveys that has allowed us to ‘buy’ items that if we were paying for it ourselves rather than earned gift cards  the children wouldn’t get them.

Well after convincing my husband that a Kindle would be a great gift and that she can use it now as well as when she’s an adult, he couldn’t argue that.  I presented the facts and he agreed it would be a good gift.  If he had said no I’d have to be okay with that but I’m glad he agreed.

So I made her a cover for her Kindle (I just have to be sure to give her the Kindle first before the cover).  Using the same pattern I used here for my sister in law.  I’m thinking I may have been off on my seam allowance because it’s still big but I’ll fix that once she opens it and the Kindle so I can fit it real good.

She loves penguins.  I think she’ll like this what do you think?

Oh and at the chance of a shameless plug – if you’d like a cover for your Nook, Kindle or iPad I can do that.  Nook and Kindles are $15.00 plus shipping and the iPad is $20.00 plus shipping

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Christmas Present – if you are my SIL please don’t continue reading

I like to try to make homemade gifts for people and this year the first one I made was a cover for my SIL’s Nook cover (my hubby’s sister).  I’ve been making my Kindle covers and a cover for my friend last year and a cover for a favorite librarian using the pattern from Birdiful Stitches which is easy peasy to do.

Well my SIL isn’t a frilly, girly girl so we had to come up with fabric that she’d like and my children unanimously voted for skull and cross bones.  Now my children know that this isn’t fabric I’d normally choose but for my SIL it works.  So I made her a Nook cover – and inside she’ll find a $10 gift code to Barnes and Noble.  I’m happy to say this cost almost nothing to make as I found the fabric and buttons on sale, and the gift code I got from doing surveys.

To me, there is nothing better than giving a homemade gift that is useful and cost almost nothing to make!

I added an iron on label with my initials but once the Nook goes in it’ll be hidden.  I’m going to make a trip to an electronics store to check the fit but I think it’ll be good.

Oh and at the chance of a shameless plug – if you’d like a cover for your Nook, Kindle or iPad I can do that.  Nook and Kindles are $15.00 plus shipping and the iPad is $20.00 plus shipping 😀

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Organizing…..Part 1 (crafts)

I’ve discovered Pinterest and it’s fast becoming dangerous to the point that it actually got me in the drive to do more scrapbooking and card making but I couldn’t get to my craft cabinet.

I spent Sunday cleaning and purging and now I will be able to get to my craft stuff as well as my overwhelming surplus of fabric for sewing.  This is what it now looks like (sorry for the dark pictures):

That picture is of my stamps and my fabric, batting, etc.

This picture is my craft cabinet, drawers with my cutting and embossing folders for my Cuttlebug.  There are some things on the floor of the closet I need to still put away but believe me this is way better than it was.

This is the closet in our hallway that we had to put my craft stuff in since we gave the one bedroom to our son and the girls have the other bedroom (yes we only have 2 bedrooms).  I had to have a place to hide all the scissors and dangerous stuff and this was the only place out of sight that worked.

I’ve been asked how do I organize our school in a tiny space (all 624 sq. ft. of it!)  and that will be in the next post. It’s nothing earth shattering but I’ll share.

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A couple months ago I felt the Lord was telling me to give back to a wonderful librarian that goes above and beyond the call of duty for home schoolers as well as for anyone who needs her librarian expertise so I started thinking of what we, as a community of home educators could do, I knew this librarian would appreciate a Kindle so I set a plan in motion to collect enough moneys to purchase a Kindle, a Amazon gift card and make her a Kindle cover.  I had right around 16 families that gave in one way or another and I bought the Kindle and gift card and sewed up a cover.

I’m not going to mention the librarian’s name for privacy sake. On August 8th, she was very surprised.  We are currently waiting to hear the outcome of the library’s ruling – but we are praying that God will see it through to His glory and honor.  Since I’m not posting her name I’m not going to post her picture either however she has blessed us and we wanted a way to bless her back.

Here are pictures of the Kindle cover:  I picked bold, vibrant colors as she has a wonderfully contagious, bubbly personality.  I also altered the pocket so it can more easily hold ear buds or a gift card for that need it now book 😀

My son, as he did his best to be on his best behavior and keep himself occupied:

Many thanks to all the ladies who contributed, also thanks goes out to a store that allowed us use of their space even though they were closed for the day and most of all to the God who blessed all area home educators (and the public) with a special librarian!

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All three of my children love to draw and as we were mailing out some birthday cards the other day I managed to snap some pictures that Bethanne and Christian enclosed.

This is one to my now 10 year old brother that Christian drew:

This is the one Christian drew to his  Great Grandma:

and Bethanne’s to her Great Grandma:

Bethanne is a comedian and as such she incorporates that into her drawings here are some other miscellaneous pictures:


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