Thursday, February 19, 2009

She senses the worth of her work...

It's been a while since I visited this series - but just finished this latest project continuing on in Proverbs 31!
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." ~ Proverbs 31: 17-18

When I read this passage, the words that jumped out at me were, "her work." What is her work? How is she doing it? Why is she doing it? When is she doing it?

Her work is everything encompassing the home: caring for those who live in her home, caring for her home, for their clothing, for preparation of their food, it is everything mentioned in this passage that we have already talked about and that is still to come.

She is doing her work with vigor - working at it with her whole heart, with energy and not with a begrudging attitude. I love how The Message captures this passage:
"First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day." ~ Proverbs 31:17-18

She is eager and ready to do the work that lays before her. The work that God has called her to. And, I think this is why she is doing it so willingly - God has called her to do it. He has laid the path before her and she follows that path with a joy and eagerness that please Him.

It would be easy to wonder when she is doing all of these many things. How does she have time to care for all of those responsibilities? It seems that the answer is in both her attitude about her work and her priority of her work.

She does not save her work until all the fun things are completed and then squeeze in a bit of cleaning or caring for her home or family. She is up with an attitude of eagerness to get started. She knows how to set limits on her time and to put her home and family first, thereby putting God and His calling on her life first.

I thought it would be fun to create a project where hopefully we could remember these thoughts while we are cleaning or working in our homes. To make something pretty and hopefully make cleaning a little more fun, improving our attitude about it and reminding us of why we are doing it and Who we are striving to please.

We're going to create a pretty spray bottle and rag for cleaning! Please join me, and as always - I'd love to see pictures if you make this!

* Spray bottle with label removed or a new one with no label
* Fabric
* Hot glue
* Scissors
* Fine tip marker
* Ribbon
* Wash rag
* Small fabric scraps
* Needle and thread
* Embroidery floss

Let's start with the spray bottle. Begin by cutting a piece of scrap paper that will fit the height and width of the spray bottle. Just the part you want to cover.

Once you have your paper template, lay out your fabric and cut about 1/2 inch bigger than the template all the way around.

Next, cut a small band of fabric. You'll want this piece to go all the way around your bottle, but it won't be nearly as wide - just as an accent. I cut mine with pinking shears and then flipped it over to create a contrast.

I wrote right on the skinny piece of fabric using a fine tip Sharpie - center as much as possible.

Make sure your hot glue gun is ready and fold about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the main piece of fabric to the underneath side. You can press this if you want, but I just worked in small sections.

When you have a small section folded under - you'll want to run a line of glue around the bottom edge of the space you are covering on your bottle. And, attach fabric to the glue. Repeat all the way around for the top and bottom edge leaving the seam unfinished for now.

To finish off the back seam, fold remaining piece over to create a clean edge and hot glue in place:

Now, with your contrasting band of fabric - glue one edge just over the seam edge centered where you want it on your bottle.

Fold over the remaining edge for a clean finish:

and glue in place:

Tie a length of ribbon around the bottle and put a dab of hot glue under the knot to secure it in place:

With a second length of ribbon create one loop on each side:

Then, create a second loop on each side and use ends of ribbon on bottle to secure into a bow:

Moving on to the next part of the project, you'll need a washrag or whatever you like to clean with. I found these washcloth "mitts" at Target on the clearance rack.

To begin, get out your fabric scraps and trace a mason jar lid on the back side. Repeat three times. If you're already familiar with how to make yo-yo's, just go ahead and make them however you like.

Cut circles out and thread a needle with coordinating thread.

Folding over a tiny edge, stitch all the way around the edge of the circle:

Here's how it will look when you've finished the stitching:

Next, place one finger in the middle of your fabric and pull the strings to gather the stitching together:

Once it is all gathered, stitch a few of the gathers together at a time to secure it in place:

Bring your threaded needle down through the center:

And stitch in place to your cloth, I did three across:

Next, I threaded my needle with a length of floss using all strands and created the stems to my "flowers":

And, using the same method as stitching the stems, stitched on the words "willing hands" above my yo-yo flowers:

PS: Dawn mentioned the term willing hands in a recent comment and it has stuck in my mind ever since! That was the inspiration for using that in this project!

All finished! I hope you'll enjoy using these cleaning items, not only to make cleaning more fun, but to remember our inspiration behind why we do what we do and Who we do it for!


Katy said...

I love it! You did a great job with them both Monica! :)

Anonymous said...


Love your thoughts on this subject and your craft is adorable!!! You are a blessing to others.

TamaraP.~ North Carolina

Bonnie said...

How Cute- I know what I'm doing this afternoon!

Anonymous said...

*her attitude and her (work) priorities* Wonderful good thoughts and such an adorable project!! Thanks Monica :-)tammyp

april @ faraboverubies said...

Great post! This is #17 on my "Economics of Making Stuff":

Mom2Drew said...

I think anytime you can include step-by-step's soooo helpful! I LOVE Those little flowers and now, thanks to your instructions, think I can actually get some made.

PS...I made some felt food the other day for the boys and it was so gratifiying to actually MAKE them toys.

Wendi said...

You are so creative! The cleaning cloth is adorable!

LynnMarie said...

What a great gift for my cousin this will be. She is under a lot of stress right now and is feeling very overwhelmed. Thank you for the answer as to how I can let her know that I understand. I'll do this weekend.

Unknown said...

I just read Proverbs 31 this morning, Monica! I have been having a case of the 'blahs' and been trying to turn my eyes back onto the Lord and order my days according to Him!
Thank you for your neat words and what an adorable craft idea! :-)

Ruth said...

Monica~I love it. What a wonderful idea. Thank you for the encouragement this morning. Using these things while we clean our homes will certainly keep our hearts set on what our true task is.

Karen said...

I love the idea of making mundane things beautiful. I may have to try this.

Thanks for the encouragement!

angie said...

I have always wondered how to make yo-yos. Thank you! I may add some to a hand towel or two for our bathrooms.

I assume that you put a homemade claner in the spray bottle. I will look back in your posts to see what the ingredients are.

I am amazed at how much my attitude about being the keeper of the house effects my kids' attitudes about doing chores.

Linda said...

I love the way that turned out! I'm definately going to copy your spray bottle idea.. as for the rag.. I'm afraid I won't be able to clean with such a beautiful thing in fear of getting it dirty.. *lol*

Greetings from the netherlands!

Amy said...

Great job, Monica, those are so cute!

Anonymous said...

So cute!

If you decide to sell these, please let us know!! I'd love to have two - one for me and one for my special helper :-) And, maybe if you sell them, you could include a little "recipe" card for some sort of organic all purpose spray cleaner that's cheap and easy to make for us to put in the bottle!

BlueCastle said...

That's beautiful! Love this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement and for the cute tutorial!

Heather said...

I love them! It's such a great idea to make a visible reminder to keep a good attitude as we go throughout the day.

Elizabeth said...

That is too cute! I love it. Your crafts always make my day.

Julie Willis said...

This so cute! I get alot of my good ideas from you. Thanks again.These might make great mother's day gifts

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I love that the crafts that you give instructions for are both cute and God-honoring (ie. they incorporate Bible verses or spiritual ideas such as hospitality).

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful example of a godly wife, mother, and crafter.

Anonymous said...


If you are able to do more of these soon, it would be great! This is exactly what I need right now. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Monica,
Such a beautifully creative way to add inspiration to our daily lives in such a tangible way. To touch and share in the active part of our lives the word of God. I just love it! My hubby's G'ma passed away a few years ago.... she taught me how to make a chain in crochet and then even showed me how to make these little quilter circles but I had forgotten how to do it....I am so happy that you always sharing the details. Now I can have a chance to retry with your help and picture instruction.I am grateful for you. This makes me so happy. I will make these pretties to inspire some whistling in our house, while we work.
Smiles, Angelia in TX

Pamela said...

Oh I love it! I am out of town right now but when I get back I can't wait to make this!

Sue said...

I started reading your blog recently and what a blessing! I appreciate your Biblically focused words of encouragement, often convicting!, and I LOVE this craft idea! What a great way to make our cleaning a more beautiful and fun task. I want to make this right now and flit around my home with my pretty new rag and cleaner! :o) Thank you for this wonderful idea!

Sue @ More Than Rubies

Bran said...

SO cute! I'm going to have to make a cute towel!!!