Creating a New Peacock Wreath

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Creating a new peacock wreath for my Etsy shop! Will share the finished wreath when I’m done! Using ribbon & materials from my Etsy shop!

Simple Joy Crafts

SSJ Director Training

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Beginning & building your own Sisters of Simple Joy chapter is very easy & simple. The joy & fellowship shared within your group is only surpassed by the spiritual strength each member gains from her Sisters. You may think you don’t have what it takes to be a chapter director. Of course you are! God is calling you & He knows you have what it takes to succeed!

To help you begin, we have created director training. The link below allows you to download your training material, including audio lessons presented by Jean Ann Duckworth.

This is an exciting time for you & the women you are going to impact with this personal & powerful ministry. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We want to make this journey smooth & enjoyable for you & your Sisters!

Hugs & Blessings!

Jean Ann

SSJ Director Training

A Prayer to Begin Your Week

Everlasting God,

in whom we live and move and have our being;

You have made us for yourself,

so that our hearts are restless

until they rest in you.

Give us purity of heart and strength of purpose,

that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,

no weakness keep us from doing it;

that in your light we may see light clearly,

and in your service find perfect freedom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen

Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

I guess all this finally came to a head for me following the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday. I have gotten angry before and resolved to take action before. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

Fun 4th of July Crafts for Kids

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Your kids want to be a part of party planning and decorating. These ideas from BH&G give you and your kids ideas for decorations and more this 4th of July.
Independence Day Crafts

14 Ways to Improve Your Deck

About Church Boutiques & Jewelry Vendors

 

A few years ago, I began organizing boutiques for my church. I found this was a great way to raise money for our women’s ministry but that’s a discussion for another day. I actually learned many things as I worked on the boutiques. One of the surprising things I learned was how many women sell jewelry! When I would put out the word that I was looking for vendors, I would be overwhelmed by the number of jewelry vendors that contacted me. There were enough that I could have held a jewelry only boutique if I had wanted. Some vendors represented national companies while others designed, made & sold their own creations.

Now, you might be wondering why I am going on & on about jewelry vendors & boutiques. Well, I am preparing to share an idea with you soon. I have been thinking about this idea for a few weeks, considering the best way to explain the concept. As I pondered this dilemma, the jewelry vendors came to mind. You see, I began to wonder why someone would go to all the trouble beginning & building their own jewelry business when there were so many established companies out there. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else had already done it for you? Not only invented the wheel but marketed it & built a market for it! Now, I’m not saying the independent jewelry vendors were WRONG. I just wanted to understand what motivated them to go to all the trouble of running their own business with no support from a national company. After some thought, I came up with 5 primary reasons (at least I decided there were the 5 I wanted to share!):

  1.  Creative Control: When working for a national company, you have to take what they design & choose to put in their catalog. If you have a great idea for a new piece of jewelry, you have to hope the company eventually shares your vision. A woman that has her own jewelry business is able to design, create & sell the pieces she likes. If the trend is for gold & dainty but she likes silver & big, she doesn’t have to shrug & hope big & silver trend the next season. She can try out a new idea & if it doesn’t work, oh well! She can shape the trend in her area, listen to HER clients, design custom pieces. And if pieces are doing well, she doesn’t have to worry that the company is going to discontinue them. She can continue making popular pieces as long as the demand exists. She has total creative control within her budget & market. After all, even if she does run her own business, she must listen to her bank account & client
  2. Cost Control: The independent jewelry designer is able to shop for the best materials at the lowest price so she is able to offer her clients fabulous pieces at the most affordable prices possible. Rather than being force to sell her jewelry line at prices set by someone else, she is able to set the prices that enable her to make money, produce more product & meet the needs of her clients. Most clients understand they are getting unique, handmade jewelry & are willing to spend more for each piece than they would for catalog pieces made by the thousands. Now, I like & purchase jewelry from national companies but I understand the desire for original pieces of jewelry. The independent jewelry designer is able to provide her clients with great pieces at a cost that works for both of them. In addition, if she makes pieces that aren’t selling, she is able to mark them down for quick sale when she feels the need, not when headquarters tells her it’s time.
  3. Business Control: When a woman begins her own jewelry business, she is able to decide how she wants to market her business to potential clients. Does she want to work boutiques like the ones at my church? Should she reserve booths at local flea markets? What about creating an online store so she can sell her jewelry to women across the country, even around the world? Would her friends be interested in having her over to share her jewelry with other women at an in-home party? And if business grows enough, could she possibly dream about having a pop-up shop during the Holidays? Could she even produce enough designs to print her own catalog? The answer to all these questions is YES-YES-YES!!! Of course she can do any & all of these things. The great thing about operating her own jewelry business is she can market her products where it works best for her. There is no national company, no sale director telling her how she MUST run her business. Now, I know most companies are more flexible than they once were but there is still an expectation that women will use the technique the company believes to be the best. And that technique may indeed be the best way to share their products with others. However, that doesn’t mean that technique is the most effective for each representative. A woman running her own jewelry business is able to combine the events & techniques that work best for her!
  4.  Network Control: I have a friend that works with a well-know cosmetics company. I have seen the photos & videos she shares when her sales team on various levels gets together. These are women that ENJOY being with one another! I have seen family reunions that were more low key than these gatherings. I think it’s great the women really enjoy spending time with one another. However, I wonder what happens in companies when the representatives don’t get along quite as well. I’m sure they have ways of dealing with these situations but a woman may choose to avoid them all together. Instead, she operate her own jewelry business so she is able to choose her own team.  Or she can choose to go it alone. She can decide where & when she wants to network with others. And if she decides to join a networking group, she knows for a fact there won’t be another representative from her company! She can design her own marketing materials & distributed them as she sees fit. She knows the success of the networking & marketing plan for her jewelry business depends on HER!
  5. Leadership Control: A woman that starts her own jewelry business is captain of her own ship. Of course, she is also the entire crew for the most part too! She may not have the privilege of attending training programs offered by a national company but that doesn’t mean she has to miss out. She is able to design her own training program. She can spend time discovering areas where she needs to strengthen her abilities. She may also build her own team, training them the way she wants.

As you can see, it can be a bit frightening for a woman to set out on her own as she begins & builds her own jewelry business.  However, there are many positive reasons for her to take that step of faith. So, what does this have to do with me? Oh, that’s a topic for another day, another post!

Porch & Patio Ideas

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These outdoor ideas from Country Living make me want to get busy on my porch. Time to spruce things up out there for the warm weather ahead.
Porch & Patio

Fun Summer Crafts

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These projects from Country Living are simple & fun. Take time over the week-end to enjoy making 1, 2 or more!
Summer Crafts

New Patriotic Primitive Wreath in My Etsy Shop

Patriotic Primitive Wreath

This wreath began with a wire wreath form. It has a burlap base with a selection of red checked ribbon, navy checked ribbon & flag print ribbon. The metal star hangs from an ivory burlap ribbon & features a small metal “Welcome” sign. One-of-a-kind! Perfect door decoration for your home this summer!

Check It Out