Monday, April 30, 2012

DIY Swag Tutorial

"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:1-5

What a beautiful passage of scripture!  Oh the beauty of our God and all that He has created.  I enjoy the beauty of flowers, the fresh as well as the artificial ones.  I like to display them through out my home.  I display them in vases, on my mantel, on my walls in pictures or swags.  Flowers add beauty every where both indoors and out.  They are a constant reminder of the beauty of our God who created them.  Flowers can be very expensive, but I have found that making flower arrangements myself helps defer the cost.

Pre-made floral swags cost anywhere from $20.00 to over $100.00.
Making them yourself can save a lot of money. Here is how to make a swag of your own, for a fraction of the cost.

You will need the following items:
     dried eucalyptus
     baby's breath
     assortment of flowers 
     ribbon (you could us raffia if you prefer)
     hot glue gun and glue sticks
     wire cutter
      measuring tape
20- to 24-gauge floral wire

Lay out your eucalyptus on the table and divide it in half.

Cut a piece of wire (approximately 18 inches long) for each half, and wrap it around each half securing the eucalyptus stems securely.

Next take the two halves and have the tips facing in opposite directions, overlap them approximately three inches.

 Cut another piece of wire approximately 24" long and wrap it around the two bunches. Overlap until you have it secured together, by twisting the ends of the wire together several times.

In order to form a hanger for your swag, you would cut a piece of heavier wire (I used a coat hanger) 6 " long. 
Bend it into a U-shape. Insert the little U ends into the back of the eucalyptus, bending the tips upward to make it more secure and then use your glue gun to add glue to your hanger tips to secure it further. 

Choose the flowers you desire to use in your swag.  The flowers below are what I chose.  I also added some babies breath. 

Cut the flowers to approximately 16 inches in length. Add the flowers as pictured below, and hot glue them into place or attach them with wire.

Add babies breath and then add a ribbon bow or raffia.
Make a bow as follows here and add it to the middle of your swag.

You have completed your DIY Floral Swag. You can display its beauty in any room in your home, proudly, because you made it yourself at a fraction of the cost. 


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Strawberry,Kiwi, Angel Food Cake

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey in my mouth.  Psalm119:103
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

The writer of Psalm 119 thought very highly of the Word of God and it was really sweet to him. He gives praise to God and speaks of how much He loves God's Word and the direction it gives to his every day life. 

 In Psalm 42:2 the writer says,"My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:..... 

Today we hunger and thirst for many things, but not usually for God. 
Oh to hunger and thirst for God the way these men did, how much richer our lives would be .  

We are not always sure what we want.  Many times after eating a delicious meal we still feel like we want something else.  We are not fully satisfied.  My husband usually says, "What is for dessert?"  He thinks the final thing of every meal is some type of dessert. 

So I try to keep some kind of "dessert" in the house at all times.

This week I made him this Strawberry, Kiwi, Angel Food Cake smothered in Cool Whip.  He really liked it. I thought you might enjoy it as well.  It is easy to make and it is low in calories  and fat content.  No guilt in eating this one.    From start to finish it should take no longer that 10-20 minutes to put it together, if you need a good dessert in a short time. 

 Here's what you will need:

2- 8oz containers of Cool Whip (thawed)
1 Angel Food Cake (this one is purchased but you could make your own ahead of time.)
2- packages of fresh strawberries
6-8 Kiwis
1 pkg of strawberry glaze
A serving dish

Cut the Angel Food Cake into three sections as seen below. (I freeze mine so it is easier to handle while cutting.)

Next put strawberries in a strainer and wash them, to get any sand or anything else off of them.

Decap the strawberries

Put glaze into a bowl and slice the strawberries into another bowl. 
 (Keep 3 whole strawberries for the top of your cake.)

Mix, all but one cup, of the sliced strawberries and the glaze together and set aside.
 (Set the 1cup aside to decorate with later)

Next peel and slice thinly your Kiwi, setting aside 1 cup to decorate the outside of cake.
(to see an easy way to peel a kiwi click here)

Next:  Place bottom layer of cake on a serving dish and coat with strawberry mixture and kiwi slices, do this on bottom and middle layers as seen below.

Put top layer on the cake and press down gently. 

Put the remainder of your strawberry and glaze in the hole at the center of the cake. 

Put the two containers of Cool Whip in a bowl, mix until smooth and then frost your cake with it.

Use any left over Cool Whip to fill the rest of the hole in the center of the cake. Then smooth the cake and begin to decorate the cake with the cup of strawberries you have set aside and the remainder of the kiwi slices as shown.

Now your cake is ready to serve

When you cut  a piece of cake the center strawberry mixture and cool whip will be exposed.  Use a small amount on each piece to dote your cake with. 
(Once your cake has been cut, refrigerate the remainder until ready to serve again.)

 Hope you try it and share it with others.  Enjoy!


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