Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review :: A Dream So Big by Steve Peifer

A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger by Steve Peifer

A Dream So Big automatically piqued my interest because my husband lived 5 of his pre-teen years in Africa and African missions are interesting (and somewhat familiar) to me. Although my husband lived in a different country in Africa (because Africa is a continent, not a country), there were many things that were familiar to me from my husband's family's experience, which I believe did slightly enhance my enjoyment in reading the book.

With that being said, I believe that anyone would enjoy and be inspired by the Peifer's story in A Dream So Big. The book is laid out mostly chronologically (so it is easy to follow along in the story) and is almost diary-like - with small snippets of information, not a completely continuous flow of the story.

The story does come from a sad beginning but follows a truly inspiring path - one that makes me want to give more and do more. It shows the amazing ways that God can use our lives - in the things that may seem unimportant to us but can come to a place where they make an impact later. As Steve Peifer says in the book:
"...there are no little things, [but] if we give ourselves to what we've been called to do, it's always big." (p. 236)

This is a wonderful book and I absolutely recommend that you read it.

I also recommend that you consider giving financial support to the Peifers & Kenya Kids Can (through Africa Inland Mission) to help further their school lunch program and computer center program, or just support their family directly as they live and work in Kenya.

FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review :: These Are The Days Of Elijah by R. T. Kendall

I was intrigued to read These Are The Days Of Elijah by R. T. Kendall - the idea of God using "ordinary people to do extraordinary things" (and the beautiful cover) caught my eye.

I'm just going to get it out there now - that's where the excitement ended for me.

Once I started reading the book, I realized that this is basically just a collection of expository sermons on the passages in 1 and 2 Kings that have to do with Elijah. Although that in itself is not a bad thing, it was just not what I was expecting/hoping for.

I found it pretty dry with very little new insight into the life of Elijah. When there was new information, it seemed to always be stated like it was a fact and with no back story for how the author came to that conclusion. I found that interesting in light of the fact that the author states in the book: "When I preach or write I need to know it is God's Word I am teaching - not my silly point of view - and that the purity of His Word is at stake." (p. 99) The last few chapters were the most interesting to me - but I almost didn't make it to them.

Overall I felt like the book didn't live up to what I was expecting, but if you are looking for a review of the life of Elijah this may be just what you are looking for.

FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through Chosen Books. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Distress Stain/Shaving Cream Tutorial {Marbled Cardstock}

I've got a fun technique to share - I haven't seen this particular combo anywhere yet, folks!

To begin, you will need:
  • Tim Holtz Distress Stains
  • Barbasol Shaving Cream (or another white foam shaving cream)
  • Wax Paper
  • A paintbrush (or something you can 'stir' with)
  • Heavy white cardstock (You can find my favorite here
Start by placing a sheet of wax paper on your work surface and squeezing out some of the Distress Stains - you just want a little puddle of color. For this tutorial I worked with the following Distress Stains: Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, Spun Sugar, and Victorian Velvet.
{Tip: If you are working with more than one color of Distress Stain, leave a little space between the puddles.}

Now you can shake up your can of shaving cream and squirt a bit on!
I like to add another sheet of wax paper on top to help flatten it out a bit, but I bet if you like to get really messy you could just use your hands. {The bonus about using a second sheet of wax paper is that you will end up having two portions to work with. Just peel them apart and set one aside for a second round.}
Use the end of a paintbrush (or whatever other handy stirring device you may have close by) and swirl the shaving cream and Distress Stains. You will start to see the color swirling into the shaving cream - it already looks beautiful!
Take your cardstock (I've cut mine down to a standard 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" - perfect to fill the front of a card) and press it into the shaving cream mixture. {I prefer to press it down to make sure the entire front is covered.}
Lift your cardstock panel out of the shaving cream and scrape it off or wipe it away with a paper towel. You will be left with a beautifully marbled piece of cardstock. (You can even try smashing two cardstock panels together here to get two marbled pieces in one shot.)
{For the pictures above I have placed my cardstock panel only into the side of my work surface containing the Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey Distress Stains.}

You should be able to use your shaving cream mixture a few times - I was able to get about 4-6 panels when I was doing mine. Sometimes I would scrape the mixture back into a pile to work with - it created a more subtle marbling, but provided great all-over color.
When you are done with the first round, go back and do it all over again with the wax paper you used to help flatten it all out previously - have fun with it!

Be sure to stay tuned - I've got a few projects I created using this technique that I will be sharing.

Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#); 

Ink: Ranger (Distress Stains - Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, Spun Sugar, Victorian Velvet);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer);

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

WINNER {Lupus Awareness Month Giveaway}

Thanks to all who entered my recent giveaway...and a very special thanks to each of you who are followers of this blog.


marg0006: please send me an e-mail with your US mailing address so I can get your prize package out to you.
{You can find my e-mail address in my blog header or on my Blogger profile.}

{Winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their information.}

If you didn't win - stay tuned! Looks like it is almost time for a 600 follower giveaway!