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April 2017

Lifestyle Seasonal Tutorial Uncategorized

DIY Gift Card Frame Tutorial

April 13, 2017
DIY Gift Card Frame

This week I’ll be sharing my tutorial for a DIY Gift Card Frame. Hold on tight, ya’ll, because I’ve decided to make DIY surprise gifts my thing, and you are along for the ride. It’s great, because I get to be a little craft and creative, but I’m not just filling my home with my DIY projects. (Now I’m just filling other people’s homes with my DIY projects.) Plus it makes me look like what a Jane Austen character would call “accomplished.”

Recently, I had the change to stretch my crafty muscles and create a DIY Gift Card Frame for a member of my church. The recipient is going away to school and our goal was to stock her up with gift cards. There are lots of cute ways to package a gift card, but not a ton of ways to package a lot of gift cards. My earlier joking aside, I don’t want to give a young woman who is going to be sharing an apartment something that’s going to clutter up her space. That’s why I loved this DIY Gift Card Frame. It can easily be reused to hold pictures, movie or concert tickets(unless you’re The Hubs, and you need a whole scrapbook.) or little notes. It’s functional now in the gift giving process, and functional later. Win win!

Did I mention that this DIY Gift Card Frame ridiculously easy to make? Seriously, I made this is one evening while my husband cooked dinner. It took, like, zero time. Here’s how it’s made:

DIY Gift Card Frame


-Large picture frame

-O hooks

-Jute or twine

-Small clothespins

-Embellishments (optional)

DIY Gift Card Frame Step 1

Step 1: Remove glass and back from frame, push flat metal backing tabs with a butter knife if needed.

DIY Gift Card Frame Step 2DIY Gift Card Frame Step 2


Step 2: Screw 3 pairs of O hooks into the inner sides of the frame at even intervals. I just eyeballed this, but feel free to measure if you are picky. Also, I had a hard time keeping a hold of these little hooks, so I used a pair of tweezers to help until they grabbed into the wood.

DIY Gift Card Frame Step 3

Step 3: Beginning on one side, tie a length of string around the O hook. Stretch the string across and tie on the opposite ring. It’s okay if there is a little bit of slack in the string, because you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to get it perfectly tight, just make sure it doesn’t look saggy. Repeat on the next pairs of hooks. Trim string. Dab a little bit of superglue on the knots if you are worried about them coming loose.

DIY Gift Card Frame Step 3

Step 4: Add clothespins and embellish. Now, you can stop at this point and just leave the frame as is. If you would prefer, however, you can add a little embellishment. I found these flowers on clearance at Michael’s and honestly, how could I not? The wooden letter was something I dyed to match the flowers (look for a tutorial on this soon!), and isn’t it the cutest?? Personalize however you like at this point, and by that, I mean used your cutest clearance finds. I used a hot glue gun to attach my embellishment, but a super glue would work as well.

Set it up, add your clothespins and gift cards and admire how dang cute this is.

DIY Gift Card Frame

There you have it! I told you it was easy. It’s cute, versatile and quick to put together. So literally everything you’d want in a DIY craft. Think this is something you’d end up making? Let me know if you do and how you choose to use it!

Cost breakdown:

-Clearance Frame -$6.00

-Hooks – $1.99

-String – $1.99

-Embellishments – Approx. $3

Clothespins: $3

Total – $16.48 – Less than $20!

Lifestyle Mini Monday Seasonal Travel

Yarnsley Lane’s Guide to the Dallas Arboretum

April 11, 2017
Guide to the Dallas Arboretum

Hello all! Hope you had a great weekend. My weekend was really busy in ways that totally did not involve losing my wallet at the Dallas Arboretum. Hopefully you’re a little quicker than me and kept a hold of your possessions this weekend.

If you haven’t figured out by my amazing context clues, I visited that Dallas Arboretum with my parents (and the Hubs!) We had a lot of fun there. So much fun, in fact, that I lost track of my wallet and did not notice until several hours after we left the Dallas Arboretum. Lest you stress,  my wallet was found, by the Arboretum staff who (like champs!) reunited me with my amazingly intact wallet today at during my lunch break. If figured after all that, I’ve pretty much had a crash course in what to do(and not do!) the Dallas Arboretum. In case you’re ever in the area and would like to visit (and you totally should!) here are my tips:

Guide to the Dallas Arboretum

1. DO: find a member to get you in cheap

We went to the Dallas Arboretum with my parents, who have a membership there. This is important because 1. they get free parking (normally $15) and they got us in for free (also normally $15). Score! They also knew the best routes to take around the park and helped us not to get lost. There are a lot of paths through the Dallas Arboretum, and it’s easy to get turned in circles if you’re not familiar with it. If you can, find a friend or family member who has a membership at the Dallas Arboretum and make a day of it. Oh, and don’t forget to:

Guide to the Dallas Arboretum

Fish Are Friends, Not Food

2. DO: Enjoy some of the local food around the Dallas Arboretum

If you arrive at the Dallas Arboretum early in the day, I suggest making a stop at Hypnotic Donuts on your way in. It’s specialty is donuts, of course, and chicken biscuits. There is usually a line out the door, so you know it’s good stuff. Their “Peace’ statio” is my favorite. It’s a cake donut with brown butter frosting topped with pistachios. I hear they have a blueberry fritter, but I’ve never gotten there early enough to get one. If you’re looking for more lunch and dinner type fare, The Smoky Rose is just across the street from the Dallas Arboretum. It specialized is upscale BBQ. On our visit, we ended with lunch at The Lot just down the road. The Lot has a great outdoor area and a Cuban sandwich that my (half) Cuban hubby thought was pretty darn good.

Guide to the Dallas Arboretum

4. DO: Come prepared

It should go without saying at an Arboretum, but most of the Dallas Arboretum is outside. You can take a pretty awesome tour of the DeGolyer House to get out of the heat, but for the most part, you’re out in the sun and the wind. It takes 2-3 hours to go through the whole Arboretum, so bring water and drink it. You will get sunburned if you are a pale library dweller like me. So don’t forget your sunscreen just because it isn’t technically summer yet. Also, it’s Texas, so the weather with go through about 3 different phases while you’re there (windy, hot, and semi-pleasant). Dress accordingly. Go in layers, so you can adjust on the go. I wore a jacket and a scarf, but was down to my tank top my the end of my time at the Dallas Arboretum, which brings my to my next point:

5. DON’T lose your wallet at the Dallas Arboretum

I wore my little wallet on a strap when I went into the Dallas Arboretum. At some point during my journey, I took it off (who knows when? Not me.) I’m assuming that it came off when I took my jacket off but it’s anyone’s guess. Even looking through the pictures you can see wallet, wallet, no wallet. It’s sad. I didn’t realize until a full 3 hours later that it was missing, because I’m aware like that. We called the Dallas Arboretum and they were super helpful and transferred us to the volunteer coordinator who promised to look for it. We then proceeded to lock and cancel all my card and make plans to file a missing property report and apply for a new license. Luck was on my side, however, because Monday morning the Dallas Arboretum called me again. “What does your wallet look like?” she asked. I described it. She asked if my last name was Penrose (It used to be!). I said “Yeah, there should be a license with the end cut off with my maiden name on it.” “We have it!” She said.

Praise the Lord!

So I rushed down their during my lunch hour, and sure enough! It was there with everything in it, including a significant amount of cash. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to go to the DPS! So you know, the next time you visit the Dallas Arboretum, make sure to keep a hold of your wallet. If not, make sure to thank their awesome staff!

Lifestyle Tutorial Uncategorized

Condolence Care Package: How to Make One and What to Include

April 6, 2017
Condolence Care Package: How to make one and what to include

As I mentioned in my previous posts, we recently lost a good friend. While it is comforting to know that she is finally free of her sick body, I couldn’t help but feel a little helpless about the whole situation. I always worry about mistepping in situations like these. I don’t want to say the wrong thing or offend someone at an emotional time. At the same time, I wanted to show that I cared. Making a meal for those left behind is customary, but there were some dietary restrictions in play that I needed to respect. As a compromise, I created a condolence care package.

There were a few ideas for condolence care packages on Pinterest, but not a ton. They can be called so many different things. Bereavement care packages, loss of loved one care packages and empathy care packages all pull up ideas. I pulled together a few different ideas while creating my care package, so I thought I’d share them here. In my opinion, the more ideas, the better.

I was drawn to the idea of the condolence care package because it was personal without being too pushy. After the loss of a loved one, there are a lot of demands on the surviving family member’s time. Between planning the funeral and memorial service and hosting out of town family members, I knew that my presence could be a burden. With a condolence care package, I could drop the gift, pay my respects and leave, allowing the family to focus on the people who mattered most.

I’ve detailed how I created my package below, but feel free to put your own interpretation on things. A personal touch is always better in these situations.

Condolence Care Package: How to make one and what to include

The Vessel:

You’re going to need a way to transport your condolence care package. Small baskets and crates work well. If you are a DIYer, a crocheted basket might be a nice touch. I found some small cardboard trays in the party section of Hobby Lobby for $1.99 that fit the bill on a budget.

Condolence Care Package: How to make one and what to include

Items to include in your condolence care package:

-Picture Frame

This can be an empty frame, or filled with a picture of the lost loved one or a reassuring verse or quote. I’m always taking pictures, so that’s what I used. I think that a nicely lettered sign or pretty painting or picture would be appropriate as well. Take the time to feel out your relationship with the grieving party and determine what the best fit would be in your situation.


This is not the time to whip our your most exciting scents here. The simpler, the better. Look for a plain pillar candle with a subtle scent like vanilla. This candle from Amazon is a good example. The idea is to have something to light in remembrance of the deceased, so go subtle on this one.

-Tissues or Handkerchief

You can’t really go wrong here. These are always useful and appropriate. I buy our tissues in bulk from Amazon (Kleenex 2-Ply Facial Tissues; Flat Box, 100 Sheets/Box, 10 Boxes/Pack), so I just grabbed a little box from our normal stock. A small box of tissues or little to go pack would work well in a care package. Don’t go for the massive sized tissue box unless you’re doing a BIG care package. Alternatively, you could use handkerchiefs. but I couldn’t find any without “mother of the bride” and rhinestones glued on them.


You grieving friend or family member probably has someone bringing them meals, but not much in the way of snacks. They may be hosting family members from out of town or well-wishers who stop by. Help them by stocking them up with some simple snacks. I used a small package of gluten free cookies for my box (the recipient has celiac) and some nice chocolates. Coffee or tea would be good additions too if you know their preferences.

-Small vase of flowers

This one may or may not work depending on your basket. I ended up bringing flowers separately. Don’t give something that would spill easily. White is the most appropriate flower color for funerals. I’ve heard that yellow is not an appropriate color in some cultures. However, I’ve also been to a memorial service that used exclusively yellow flowers, so who knows. Trader Joe’s is great for small, affordable bouquets.

-Card or handwritten note

You don’t have to say much. Just that you’re praying for or thinking of this person. Trader Joe’s has a lovely selection of cards that I usually resort to. Emily McDowell makes some great empathy cards as well.

These are the main components that I used to make up my condolence care package.  You can arrange them to fit your vessel with some packaging as needed. As for delivering it, you can drop it off yourself, leave it on their porch or bring in to the memorial service. If your care package has to be mailed, be mindful of packing things that might melt, like the candles (look for a jarred candle over a stand alone pillar) or chocolate. Have you ever a condolence care package for someone after a loss? What did you decide to include?