Syska Toolbar

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

spooky and creative Halloween craft projects

Candy corn candles
Anchor pillar candles in Mason jars among a bed of candy corn or black and orange jelly beans for a simple and festive Halloween decoration for the tabletop or porch.

Spiderweb doormat
Lure visitors with a spiderweb doormat. Step 1: Purchase an indoor/outdoor needle-punch carpet ($3.70 for one square yard; Caldwell Carpet, 800-772-7090). To turn it into a circle: Mark the rug's center point with a Prismacolor white-colored pencil (88 cents; Measure and mark the distance from that point to a spot about half an inch from the rug's edge. Cut a piece of string to that length. Tie one end of the string to the pencil and secure the other end of the string to the rug's center point with a tack. Pull the string taut and draw a large circle onto the rug; remove the string. Cut out the circle, just inside the white pencil mark, with sharp scissors. Step 2: Using a yardstick, evenly space and draw eight intersecting lines that cross the rug from edge to edge. Between those lines, draw arches around the mat, using our photo as a guide. Step 3: Lastly, coat the rug with a clear finishing spray (Krylon Make It Last Clear Sealer, $3.99; to protect your web from trick-or-treating feet.

Felted pumpkins

Cultivate your own pumpkin patch indoors with Decadent Fibers' needle felting kit. Needle felting is an easy-to-learn craft that's akin to sculpting with wool. The kit includes two needles, illustrated instructions, and custom-dyed wool roving for two medium or eight small pumpkins. ($24;

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Just Ask!

"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" James 4:3

Could it be that the "God give-me-this, do-that, wave-your-magic-wand-here, get-me-out-of-this-mess" kind of praying is not what God desires for our prayer life? Do you ever get to a frustrated state and simply ask, "Lord, teach me how I'm supposed to pray."

We need to understand that prayer is not just asking for things, although that certainly is part of it. Far more importantly, prayer is talking with God ~ getting close to and spending time with the One you love ~  seeking Him first ~ getting to know Him better ~ being with Him and waiting in His presence.

Prayer is acknowledging Him as the source of power upon whom we can depend. It's taking the time to say, "Speak to my heart, Lord, and tell me what I need to hear". It's partnering with Him and aligning our spirits with His to see that His perfect will is done. It's establishing ourselves and our lives as being connected to God.

We can't receive God's best for our lives, and we can't push back the things that were never God's will for us, except through prayer. We can't leave our lives to chance , we need to pray about everything all the time, not just when things go wrong.

We have to pray over anything that concerns us, no matter how big ... "For with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37, NKJV) ... or how small ... "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30, NKJV).

The Bible tells us the basic qualification for prayer: "he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6b NKJV). The more we pray, the more we will find to pray about, and the more we'll be led to pray for others.

We can't allow discouragement over unanswered prayers cause us to doubt that God hears us. If we have received Jesus and are praying in His name, then God hears us and something is happening whether we see it manifested in this lifetime or not. In fact, every time we pray, we're advancing God's purposes for our lives. Without prayer, the full purpose God has for us can't happen.

Dear Lord, Help me today to draw closer to You, in my words, my thoughts and my deeds. Help me share more of my life with You, and through that, help me discover Your perfect will. In His holy Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Halloween Picks from Pottery Barn for decorating, dining, and of course Trick or Treating!

Click the Title Links to shop.

Black Cat & Pumpkin Paper Mache Treat Vessels
For a special party favor, fill these little buckets with small candies and surprises. They’re crafted with an artsy, homemade charm.
Cat/Pumpkin (each): 9" diameter, 9" high
Crafted of paper-mache.
Features handles for easy carrying.
Spot clean.

Black Pumpkin with Boo Large Luminary
Our jack-o-lantern greets guests with spooky good cheer.
Large Black Pumpkin with Boo: 19.5" diameter, 19" high
Crafted of paper-mache.
Spot clean.
Sold individually.

Halloween Treat Basket & Liner

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Who says Orange is the New Black.....Sophisticated Black and White Halloween Decor and Party Ideas without Orange!

From mantels to tablescapes, from party favors to treats, there is a black and white Halloween idea for you. Who says we have to be traditional and use orange and black, black and white is just asfestive and equally gets the point across ~ ITS HALLOWEEN! Here are a few ideas to try for your next Halloween gathering, party or just decorating.

Party Table ~ Decorate your party table using all black and white, from the decor to the goodies!

Tablescapes and Mantels ~ Use feather boas, buntings and swag to drape. Spray paint anything you can get your hands on in silver glitter, black or white. Then arrange elements until your satisfied.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cute and Fun Halloween Pumpkin Ideas

Button Up
Dig out all those buttons (here all the same color) and hot glue into your saying or you could even use a monogram if you don't have enough buttons. Then tie a bow in some awesome glittery Halloween-ish wire ribbon.

Stack 3 pumpkins and secure using a dowel rod or hot glue. Put 2 brooms into the pumpkin on either side for the arms (you can use a drill bit to make the holes), wrap some grapevine or bittersweet garland around the neck and top him off with a straw hat, either adorned or plain. To make him taller you can perch him on a bucket or urn depending on your taste.

Witch Pumpkin
You can make a witches hat our of card stock or simply buy one and adore as desired using spiders, ribbon, feathers, etc. Hot glue it to the pumpkin and either let it be or use fabric paint to create a saying or monogram.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Harvest Party Ideas That Everyone Will Envy ~ From Games, Decor, Beverages and Food

Pumpkin Lantern
Triangle eyes and a toothy grin are so last season. Carve pumpkins with Gothic-looking windows to get your party glowing. The simple lanterns are a stylish way to light up each party station. Keep an extra stash of candles on hand to ensure they stay bright well into the night.

Apple Cider
There's one thing every fall party needs: apple cider. Spice up your go-to recipe with fruit slices, cardamom pods, and cloves -- the three make an irresistable combination!

Smoky Cheese Balls
Shh! Sometimes it's OK to play with your food. These adorable apple-shape cheese balls one-up any other cheese tray and are so simple to make. Just roll your choice of cheese into a ball -- the lumpier the better. After coating the cheese in smoky paprika, press your thumb into the top to create a spot for the stem.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unique, Cozy and Fun Fall Craft Ideas for Kids and Adults for Home and Parties, Take Your Pick!

Yarn Wreath with Owls ~ This couldn't-be-easier fall wreath works with any of your favorite motifs: owls, leaves, pumpkins, and more. Simply wrap a foam wreath with yarn, alternating colors as desired and securing with hot glue. Use a bit of yarn to secure a brooch or tin embellishment, such as these owls. Finish by hot-gluing pom-poms around the wreath and adding a hanging loop.

Cable-Knit-Covered Bin ~ A recycled felted cable-knit sweater makes this storage container worth cuddling up to. Slip a felted sweater over a hatbox, shipping box or basket, and adhere it to the inside and bottom using hot glue. Add handles found at many hobby stores (leather handles shown here) to finish off a cozy container for yarn, books, games, or other necessities.

No-Sew Burlap Blooms Pillow ~ Dress a pillow in cozy fall textures without sewing a stitch in this fun fall crafts project. Layer and secure purchased burlap-and-canvas flowers of different sizes using fabric adhesive. Top each flower center with a button, and adhere the flowers to the pillow, arranging as desired.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let Peace Be Your Umpire

“And let the peace from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts to which as one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (giving praise to God always).” Colossians 3:15

An umpire calls the players safe or out. As believers in Jesus, we have an internal umpire, calling the plays and giving us direction. Before we ever make a decision, we should stop and see if we have peace inside. If there’s unrest or an uneasy feeling inside, then don’t move forward ~ let peace be the umpire over our decisions.

Think of it like you ever feel an inner “alarm” going off when you know you shouldn’t be doing something? As soon as we feel that uneasiness, we need to stop and evaluate what’s going on. Too often, we override that feeling thinking we’ll sort it out later, but then we have to deal with things that God could have saved us from. The time to respond is the time when we sense the alarm, not having peace.

We may be in the middle of a conversation and the alarm goes off and we know we’re supposed to walk away. Maybe we get a strange nudge when we are getting ready to purchase for something. It could even be that we ’re about to make plans and we feel that uneasiness, that alarm, that lack of peace. Don't ignore those feelings, it’s not random. That is actually God talking to us.

If we don’t have peace before we make a decision and the alarm is going off, we’re not going to have peace after we make the decision.  If we don’t have peace about buying something or plans we are making, we’re not going to have peace when the payments come each month or the close the plan gets.

If we will learn to listen, God can keep us from trouble ~ He can keep us from danger. Don’t ignore it and make life more difficult, instead, obey ~ follow His leading and don’t override the alarms. If we will do this we can partake of the blessing, favor and protection that God has prepared for us.

Remember, God gave us peace for our protection. No matter what circumstances look like, always trust His inner peace. Let peace in your heart be your umpire and settle any questions you have in your mind, listen to those alarms!

Father, thank You for Your peace that passes understanding. Thank You for leading and guiding me by peace. Help me to tune in to Your voice better so I can walk in the peace and protection You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All Fall.Harvest Long: Decorating Ideas for Fall Using Pumpkins, Corn, Gourds, Leaves & Grasses

Gourd and Pumpkin Lights
Jack-o-lanterns add a spark to your autumn-inspired decor, but this time, the faces and fancy carvings aren't necessary. Simply cut a hole in the top of a pumpkin, scoop out the insides, and place a candle inside the cavity to create a warm fall light. Try different sizes of pumpkins and surround them with gourds and other pumpkins to complete the arrangement.

Corn Garland
This garland of Indian corn can be used indoors or out. Cut rope 2 feet longer than the area in which you intend to hang the garland. Then twist screw-eye hooks (with openings about the same size as the rope diameter) into the tops of mini ears of corn, one per ear. Bend corn husks into loops and hot-glue the pointed ends together. Thread the husks and ears onto the rope and hang.

Seasonal Sign
Use your crafting skills to make a garland based on natural finds. Sketch letters onto heavy paper and outline with waterproof glue. Attach seedpods, twigs, and acorn caps to the letters. Punch holes in the tops of the papers and string onto a piece of twine to create a small garland to hang on your front door.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Ideas for Gourds and Pumpkins for Your Fall Decorating

Get ready for fall with these fresh Fall ideas for decorating with gourds and pumpkins. Use them to add autumn elegance to your home both inside and out. I love the vases!

Crafty Gourd Critters
Fashion a family of friendly critters to nestle on a fence post or railing. Use small pumpkins and gourds for bodies and attach sunflower seeds, feathers, and nuts with hot glue to make facial features.

Gourd Candleholders
Craft a set of candleholders from gourds by simply cutting off the tops and hollowing out the centers. For an easy autumn display, arrange them in a metal tray filled with green hedge apples.

Hanging Gourd Vase
Hook a swan gourd over a balcony rail to create a hanging vase. Cut a 1- to 2-inch hole near the neck of the gourd, remove a bit of the pith, and insert mums, black-eyed Susans, and a length of Virginia creeper.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Got an Hour? Check Out These 1-Hour DIY Home Decorating Projects

The seasons are changing and if you're like me, so does your mood and decor. These crafty, affordable and fun DIY projects can be done in about an why not spruce up your home, time ca't be the excuse this time ;) Now seriously you may have to allow additional time on some of these projects for dry time, BUT again, all require less than an hour of hands-on work. What's not to love about that?

Cut out letters from a favorite phrase or quote from paper or magazines and glue them to a foam-core board. (This piece was decoupaged with tissue paper before the letters were added.) Frame the art, and display proudly.

Don't let an old book with damaged pages go to waste. If it has a beautiful cover, you can turn it into a pretty frame. Using a crafts knife, carefully cut a rectangle out from the front cover. To create the mat, cut a few of the inside pages into a rectangle a bit smaller than the cover rectangle. Glue the pages to the cover and tape a photo in place. Great for shower gifts and the up coming holidays, simply find a "coordinating" theme book!

Who doesn't have old trays lying around, especially the plastic ones you get from a meat, veggie or fruit tray? Rescue those those or the cast-off crystal platters grandma gave you and turn them into one-of-a-kind artwork. Paint the smooth sides of the platters with two to three coats of acrylic paint (you can spray paint as well); let dry between coats. Mix and match colors, sizes, and patterns and hang the platters together in a grouping.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Barbecue Beef Biscuit Cups {or Beef Cupcakes if you will} ~ YUMMY!

UGH! With school back in and time being more valuable than ever, who doesn't love a quick, easy, limited ingredient, wholesome dinner? I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for quick and easy dinners that were both loved by all and affordable. The final product from this recipe was a hit and I didn't stress over dinner!

As always I somehow tweak every recipe I use because 1) I don't everything on hand and 2) my kiddos may not eat some of the things in it. This one was no different!

What I used was: (and I did provide the link to the original recipe above on the word recipe)
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1/3 cup KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce
Few dashes of onion powder
Few dashes of parsley
1 can (7.5 oz.) refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

My picky, picky kids (and hubby) LOVED this "beef cupcake" and I will definitely be making them again!