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Archives for October 2013

Prayer & Praise Monday – October 14, 2013

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Hello dear Prayer Warriors!

This post is several weeks overdue…and even at that I’m just barely getting it out on Monday (at least on the west coast it’s still Monday!) It has been a crazy few weeks and life won’t be slowing down for awhile!

Before I get on to these important prayer requests may I ask for your prayers for us? I would greatly appreciate your prayers both for my family personally and for Throne of Grace during the next few months of the busy Christmas shopping season. We have spent the last few months building up our inventory and would love for you to pray with us, in faith, that God would use us mightily to spread His Word and help us get our resources into the hands of those who would be blessed by them! Our first boutique is this coming Saturday, October 19th, as part of a secular Fall festival. A great opportunity for sharing the love of Christ! Please also pray that I would be led daily by the Lord as He uses me to lead Throne of Grace and that, especially in this busy season, I would keep my priorities in proper perspective!

Now, let’s lift up these sweet brothers and sisters in Christ who desperately need our prayers…

• Our friend Bonnie Jean (you may remember her as the angel who distributed our blessing bags among Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey) would love prayer for her family. Please pray for Bonnie Jean as she parents her two young adult sons (19 and 21) and seeks to be a godly influence in their lives. They both have faced many challenges in their lives and need to be relying on the Lord as their Rescuer. Please pray for the Lord to bring special Christian friends into the lives of Bonnie Jean and her sons that they can connect with and meet with on a regular basis. Hurricane Sandy forced many of their closest friends to relocate far away. Bonnie Jean is also still struggling with health issues related to Hurricane Sandy from contaminated water she ingested. Let’s pray that the Lord would rid her completely of these health issues and bring complete healing! Finally, Bonnie Jean would like prayer for her marriage and for her husband, who is not a believer. Pray that God would give her His eyes to see her husband and use her to be a blessing and sweet aroma of Christ in his life.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
(2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NIV)

• Remember our little friend, Ian?

Ian Update

Ian is now a third of the way through his Halo recovery time. If you missed his story, you can catch up HERE and HERE. He recently had a check-up with his neurosurgeon and received good news that the bones in his neck appear to be fusing well. This is a BIG praise! However, despite the improvements in his physical condition, and despite Ian’s joyful spirit, he is struggling quite a bit. Just days after this photo was taken, he had to return to the hospital with severe pain at the site of the pins in his head. The doctors could not find any obvious source of the pain but prescribed antibiotics just in case there was an undetectable infection. It is hard for a 4-year-old to clearly verbalize pain or be able to describe the source, so Ian’s mom, Lesily, is not sure if Ian is truly experiencing new pain or if he is just fearful or remembering the pain at the time of the accident. Lesily is also beginning to wonder if Ian may be experiencing some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please pray for wisdom for Lesily and doctors to continue to care for Ian in the best way possible. It’s hard to look ahead and imagine life for 4 more months in this contraption! Pray that the Lord would lavish His grace upon Ian and his family to not only endure, but triumph through this challenge! Pray God would put a hedge of protection around Ian’s young spirit to be able to handle the very grown-up emotions such a traumatic event brings into a life.

• Many of you know, or know of, my sister Emmy. She is the creative genius behind Much Ado About You, Confessions of a Paper Freak, the Choose Joy Event, and now, her new blog, It’s Just Emmy. Emmy and her family are in the midst of adopting a baby! The newest addition will join big brother, Beau (10, biological child) and Penelope (2 1/2, adoptive child). Emmy and her husband have a HUGE heart for adoption and have heard God’s call to give another baby a home. You can read the story behind the latest Blakely adoption HERE. Emmy and her family would love prayer as they enter the final stages of the waiting…waiting for a match! Over the last couple weeks they have had about 4 or 5 potential matches. Several of those have not panned out but they are still waiting to hear from two possible birthmoms to find out if they have been chosen. Please pray for God’s clear leading in these decisions –  for Emmy and her husband to know which is God’s choice for their family and to be united in each decision along the way. Pray that He would time the baby’s arrival perfectly and prepare each member of the family to receive and bond with the baby. Pray that the Lord will provide all the necessary funds to bring this baby home! And don’t forget to pray for that special birthmom who will be forever linked to their family. Pray that God will give her grace and wisdom through this difficult time in her life and use this adoption to draw her closer to Christ. I’ll be sharing more about ways to support the Blakely’s adoption in the coming weeks…

Have a BLESSED week!molly

P.S. Don’t forget there are just 3 days left to enter the BIG Throne of Grace $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway!! Have you entered? Have you told your friends?? Click on the link below to enter…

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Apron Tutorial – Part 1

Now that October is here, it’s boutique season again!  This year, we thought it would be fun to upgrade our boutique “uniforms” a bit with a little half apron!  We figured it would be dual purpose – it would look cute and also provide an extra place for us to keep our phones, pens, etc, within easy reach!

Since I was making the aprons this month, I thought it would be fun to do a tutorial for them in case anyone else would like to make something similar.  So, here’s a (hopefully!) simple tutorial for how to make a ruffled half apron. 🙂

In keeping with our “Throne of Grace style”, we decided the body of the apron would be black and then the rest of the pieces would be black with pink polka dots, but of course, you can choose any fabric you like!

1_Fabric

I made 4 aprons, so we got 2 ½ yards of each to make sure we’d have plenty, but if you want to make only one apron, you’ll just need 1/2 yard of each fabric (assuming you’re using 2).

The first step is to wash and iron the fabric.

2_ironblackfabric

3_ironblackandpinkfabric

Next, cut out all your pieces.  I highly recommend using the following tools – a large ruler-lined cutting mat, a cork-backed, metal ruler, and a rotary cutter:

4_MatandTools

These tools make cutting straight lines super easy and quick!

Cut out the following pieces (the sizes take into account ¼ inch seam allowances):

Main piece (the body of the apron): 28” x 14”

5_BlackBodyPieceCut

Ruffle: 42” x 3”

Waist Band/Tie: 76” x 3”

6_RuffleandWaistBandPiecesCut

(For the Waist Bands, I was able to cut out 76” long pieces since we had bought enough fabric for 4+ aprons. However, if you’re only making one apron, just cut out strips that are as long as possible and sew them together with a ¼ inch seam until you have a finished strip that’s 76” long by 3” long.)

If you’d like to add a pocket, also cut the following pieces:

Main Pocket pieces (cut 2): 11 1/2” x 6 1/2”

Pocket cuff pieces (cut 2): 11 1/2” x 4 1/2”

7_CutPocketPieces

(By cutting 2 of each piece, you’ll make a pocket with a front and back section for extra storage!)

To keep the edges of your main piece from fraying, sew a narrow (just under ¼ inch wide) overcast stitch around both of the short ends (if your machine doesn’t have an overcast stitch, you could also sew a small zigzag stitch close to the edge of the fabric).

8_OvercastStitchOnBodySides

Then, iron the short edges down to make a ¼ inch hem before top stitching them down:

9_IronDownBodySides

10_SewDownBodySides

Next, make the ruffle.  Just like with the main body piece, to keep the ends from fraying, sew a narrow (just under ¼ inch wide) overcast stitch around both short ends and one of the long ends:

11_OvercastStitchOnRuffle

Then, iron the short edges of the ruffle down to make a 1/4 inch hem before topstitching them down:

12_IronEdgeOfRuffleDown

13_SewEdgeOfRuffleDown

After that, iron down one of the long edges of the ruffle to make a 1/4 inch hem and topstitch it down:

Next, to gather up the ruffle, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length it has (aka a basting stitch).

14_RuffleSewingMachineBasteSetting

As you can see, “6” is the longest stitch length my machine has, but yours may be a bit longer or shorter.

Then, with this long stitch, sew a seam a little less than ¼ of an inch from the edge of the long, unfinished edge of the ruffle piece.  Also, make sure to knot the start of the seam, but don’t knot the other end of it!

(After basting, immediately set your machine back to a regular stitch length so you won’t forget to do that later!)

To begin gathering, start by holding the bobbin thread in one hand, and the fabric piece in the other:

15_RuffleHoldBobbinThread

Then, gently pull on the bobbin thread, and the fabric will begin to gather.

Keep a hold of the bobbin thread and gently work the fabric gathers toward the other end of the fabric:

16_RuffleGatherIntoRuffle

Continue pulling on the bobbin thread and gently evening out the gathers along the length of the fabric till the ruffle is 27” wide (or the same size as the finished main body piece).

To secure the ruffle, trim the bobbin thread so it’s only a couple inches long, and then tie it to the top thread to make a knot:

17_RuffleTieOffStringsWhenGathered

Here’s what the finished ruffle will look like:

18_RuffleFinished

The next step is to sew the ruffle to the body piece.

First, pin the ruffle to the bottom of the main body piece so that the right sides of the fabric are together and so that the unfinished edge of the ruffle lines up with the unfinished, bottom edge of the main body piece.  Then, I pin them together to secure them, making sure that the edges line up correctly:

19_PinRuffleToBody

Then, I sew them together with a ¼ inch seam, making sure that the seam always falls to the left of the basting stitch on the ruffle:

20_SewOnRuffleWithQuarterInSeam

It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but if you look carefully, you can see that the needle is staying to the left of the basting stitch on the ruffle.

Here’s what the finished seam should look like:

20A_RuffleFinishedSeam

Once they’re sewn together, you want to make sure that the unfinished edges of the ruffle and main body piece won’t fray, so sew an overcast stitch over their edges just as you did with the other pieces:

21_OvercastStitchOverRuffleFinishedSeam

Then, iron the seam and the ruffle flat:

22_IronFinishedRuffleSeamFlat

Next, it’s time to make the waistband!

The first step is to iron down both short edges to make a ¼ inch hem:

23_WaistBandIronShortSides

Then, do the same thing to both of the long edges:

24_WaistBandIronLongSides

Then, fold the waistband in half widthwise and iron it down:

25_WaistBandIronInHalf

Then, I open up the edges and iron the corners down so they meet in the middle, so that when the waist band is folded up again, the corners will have a nice, diagonal, finished edge:

26_WaistBandIronCornersDown

(After ironing the corners, fold the waistband back up again along the existing crease.)

Then, find the center of the waistband piece, and iron it to make a crease.  If it’s hard to see the crease, you can also put a pin through it:

27_WaistBandFindCenter

Next, find the center of the top of the main body piece and iron it to make a crease:

28_BodyFindCenter

Then, open up the waistband and lay the body piece onto it so that the center markings line up with each other…

29_MatchCenters

…and so that the top of the body lines up with the center crease of the waistband all the way across:

30_LineUpBodyInWaistBand

Then, fold the waistband down over the top piece (to form sort of a sandwich over it) and pin them together:

31_PinWaistBand

Start by sewing the waistband to the body by topstitching an 1/8” seam along the edge of the waistband:

32_TopStitchWaistBandToBody

Then, continue topstitching the 1/8” hem along the waistband to secure the entire waistband piece together:

33_TopStitchRestOfWaistBand

When you get close to the corner, check to make sure it’s lining up correctly.  If it’s not, stop and knot the seam about 2 inches from the end:

34_StopAtCornerIfNeeded

Then, re-iron it so the edges line up, and continue the 1/8” topstitching around the edge:

35_FinishCorner

Next repeat the process on the other side of the waistband, till the entire piece is finished.

If you don’t need a pocket, you’re now finished!

However, if you’d like to add a pocket to yours like we did, come back next week to learn how!

Love,tami

Throne of Grace Fall Giveaway!

**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**

Fall is here and that means that Christmas is just around the corner. We know you’ve got a long list of gifts to buy. We know it’s overwhelming. We know you want your gifts to have meaning and purpose…perhaps even eternal significance! Guess what? We are here to help!

We’ve been stocking up…

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So YOU can stock up!

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Announcing…

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It’s our BIGGEST giveaway yet!!

To enter, simply click on the link below and follow the simple instructions to enter once, twice, or up to SEVEN times! The more entries you get, the better your chances to WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, the fine print:

* Giveaway ends at midnight (PST) on Thursday, October 17th, 2013.

* Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter and announced on Friday, October 18th, 2013.

* $100 Throne of Grace Gift Certificate may be used online or in person. If you missed our boutique line-up announcement yesterday, you can find the dates and locations where Throne of Grace will be appearing this fall, HERE.

So how would you like to use your $100 Throne of Grace Gift Certificate if you are the chosen winner? Let us know by leaving a comment below…Have fun and GOOD LUCK!

Blessings,

The Throne of Grace Team