Simple Ribbon Storage Solution - Organising My Home

I have been trying to get a good storage solution for keeping ribbons and strings etc. for the last few years.   You would think it was easy to find a simple solution for ribbon storage but rolls of ribbon are likely to move in different positions and then the ribbon becomes loose and that annoys me.

I had been searching Pinterest and Ebay and Amazon for all the different boxes and rails that are out there to buy and to make.

Here are a few of the ideas I had found and some I actually tried.

Plastic Storage box

This is the type of plastic container that my spools of ribbon had originally been in

but they always moved about and un-wrapped in this.

The Bekvam Spice racks from Ikea 

These were recommended by various bloggers.
Screen Shot 

I could not really consider this even though they are very cheap because I did not have wall space in my study (at an easily accessible height).

Thin Dowel Rods

Many people have made up something themselves using thin dowel rods to slot the rolls of ribbon along so I considered that because maybe it would have been possible to connect to something already in the study.

I didn't really have anywhere I could use for the dowel idea.


This led on to thinking if it was possible to come up with an idea to attach something from one side of my wicker & metal shelving unit underneath the shelves.

However  in the end I decided this was not a viable solution either.

Pringles Cans / Postage tubes

Some people are very creative and made ribbon containers from tubes.

And I did happen to have a few of these in the house so this was considered ....

until I decided that it was too much effort to cut it down along the length of it and then paper it or paint it or somehow to decorate it.

Plus the biggest downside to this was that some ribbon spools are quite large and I didn't have a tube wide enough and the spools I had were different diameters, so some might move around inside.

Drawers with Ribbon Cards

This also seemed to be a very popular idea but I just could not understand why.

Perhaps I was just too lazy to 
  • take my ribbons off the round spools they were on,
  • cut pieces of cardboard to a certain size
  • then wind the ribbons round the square or rectangular pieces of card
  • and place them upright in a drawer
Plus I didn't have a free drawer to do that.

(Probably could have used a box but as I said - too lazy!)

Several years ago I had seen these black and white boxes which were designed specifically for storing ribbon.

I love black & white and I love boxes and I decided I could buy a few of these and they would stack on top of each other and not take up too much space in the Craft Armoire

Well that is true enough they were easy to stack together not taking up too much room but after a few times lifting the boxes out and in to use the ribbon I had discovered there was a slight problem with them and it became an annoying problem

The wider, firmer ribbons were okay.


The narrow ribbons and the wide flimsy ribbons would not stay in place.

They partly unwrap and slide back out of the slit along the long side of the box so that each time the box has to be opened and some of the ribbons slotted through again.

This is a bigger problem in another box with more of the narrower ribbons and also in the box in which I tried to keep some coloured string & cord.

So that was why I was looking for some other way to store my ribbon, however I was reluctant to have to pay very much after having already paid for these boxes.

But none of the ideas I saw were going to work for me.

Then just last week I had an idea ....

Even though many pictures I had seen showed that crafters were putting pins in their ribbons to stop the unwrapping when their spools were on shelves or on rods, I also did not want to be pinning and unpinning ribbon all the time

But ...

I could stick the ribbon instead!

Yes one of my favourite crafting things is double sided tape.


First I took the ribbon out of the box

Then out with the double sided tape and cut a piece the same length as the slit along the box and stick it on just below the slit

and peel off the tape

return the ribbons and press each one down against the tape.

The ribbons are held there nicely against the box and will not roll back into the box again or unwrap themselves.

Now each time I want some ribbon I can
  • pull the ribbon away from the tape, 
  • measure a length,
  • cut the ribbon and
  • press it down against the tape again.

Here is another box with the tape applied and you can see it holds the string as well.

Now I don't need to take up any more space than I already had with the boxes.

Simple Solution Found 


and it was basically at no extra cost and only a little bit of time involved.

FUNWORK  not  HOUSEWORK for this task definitely as this was such an easy solution.


That's not our house! - A Dose of Encouragement

Yes I know, wouldn't you think that your husband would drive you home to your own house after a long day out?

He would know your own house wouldn't he?

Well there was one day ......

Yes while we were still living in Belgium we would quite often need to use the GPS system in our car because we would be in unfamiliar locations throughout the country.

Even though we lived in a village not too far outside Brussels we were never driving in Brussels often enough to feel confident about finding our way all around it.  I could easily drive in to the Gare du Midi and pick someone up from the Eurostar and drive them back to our house okay but mostly we got the tram and metro in and out from Brussels.

So on the times that we did drive into Brussels we would mostly use the GPS to get us out of Brussels again especially because it could handle the one way street system better than we could.

So on this one day .......

We had driven (using the GPS) over to somewhere further east of Tervuren and were definitely on unfamiliar roads so coming home we decided we were tired and should just follow the directions of the GPS again instead of having to keep carefully looking at signposts when it was starting to get dark.

Fred set the GPS for home and off we went.

Somehow the journey seemed longer to get home than it had on the way out but we reckoned it was just because we were tired and looking forward to getting home and a relaxing cuppa.

Then suddenly I thought I recognised the road we were on but it was not a road near our home, it was near Kraainem which is closer to Brussels than Tervuren is.

So I thought I must have been mistaken.

Then again a little later I thought another part looked like another area but to get there would have meant we had gone north past Tervuren and I couldn't figure out how that would have happened.
No way would anyone or any GPS be silly enough to take us home to Tervuren a roundabout way to end up coming in to Tervuren from the west instead of the east.

It just didn't make sense.

And then the GPS told us we had arrived!

But I did recognize the house.

It was my friend Anne's house,  not our house.

Yes we had landed at Anne's House which was between our house and Brussels.

Screen shot of google maps

Well Fred couldn't understand how we ended up at Anne's house and not at home.

So I ask "didn't you set home on the GPS?"

He says "yeah, of course"

But I say "well if you did set home it wouldn't have gone to Anne's"

He says "well I hit for the latest place that had been used from the saved list"

So a minute later I said "a couple of weeks ago I had to use it to take Anne home from somewhere else and so Anne's house would be the last thing used from the saved list"

He says "I just assumed that home would have been the last place we used"

Thank goodness that last place used had only been 15 mins from our home; it would have been worse if we had ended up somewhere much further away.

That GPS was very useful to us when it was delivering the right information 
and taking us in the right direction so we put our trust in it, 
but when we were not careful enough to check what we were doing with it each time 
then the wrong information caused us to go 
in the wrong direction 
and end up in the wrong place.

Maybe I am just a very cautious person but I do be concerned about all the people in the limelight, on the internet, on facebook etc. that proclaim to be teachers, preachers, coaches, and leaders in the Christian community and yet what proof do we have that they are worthy of our trust and our following.

Just because someone says or writes something that sounds or looks ok can we trust it or them?

We need to be vigilant.  
If we start to listen or read more of their "wisdom" it may end up 
to be simply that, 
the wisdom of themselves 
and not the wisdom of God.

We need to be like the Bereans

We can follow blindly and end up on a route that sometimes looks familiar but ends up in a place 
that God does not intend us to be, 
a place that does not centre round His True Word, 
a place that is not in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

But we don't need to fear that we will end up in the wrong destination if we take heed to how the Bereans behaved because then we will

Be careful 
not to jump in to trusting anyone without asking God for wisdom to know just who is worthy of our trust because we need to be sure that person is really a true disciple of God.

Be sensitive 
to a nudge from the Holy Spirit, or from a word or phrase that is used or from the fact that the Bible is not mentioned or correctly quoted and just take the time to consider "whether those things were so".

Be quick to check 
regularly in the Bible as we see or hear from others because we should want to know by comparison to God's Word "whether those things were so".

Be slow to pass on
to others what someone is writing or speaking about, even as to recommending books because we are to be true disciples and not be guilty of leading others astray too.

The Bible is the true guideline for us.

The Bible leads us to Jesus and God, it does not lead us astray; 
so it is the true guideline for us.


The Mystery of the Blue Train - Book Review

I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.


The Mystery of The Blue Train.


A Poirot Mystery.

Shelfari Description

Le Train Bleu is an elegant, leisurely means of travel, and one certainly free of intrigue.

Poirot boards Le Train Bleu, bound for the French Riviera. So does Katherine Grey, who is having her first winter out of England, after having inherited a huge sum in a most romantic manner.

While on board she meets Ruth Kettering, an American heiress bailing out from a marriage to meet her lover. The next morning, though, Ruth is found dead in her compartment, a victim of strangulation and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. The theft of her priceless rubies, and rumors of a strange man loitering near her compartment, send Poirot on a quest to find her murderer.

My Thoughts

This is the 9th book by Agatha Christie and the 6th for her sleuth Hercule Poirot.

I must say there is a large Red Herring here in this story for avid murder mystery readers but I do not believe in plot spoilers so you will have to read the book for yourself to see what it is.

This story involves characters you think you will not like but you then may be surprised that you do like them. There are also characters that we think we will like but may not.

I did of course miss "my friend" Hastings as the confidant of Poirot in this one but Poirot did have someone to help in a different way.

I enjoyed the book, having my attention drawn to different possibilities and always the constant "but why" in my mind regarding part of the form of the murder.

The train as a venue for this murder does open up certain possibilities more unique to this story which may not be obvious at the start of our sleuth's investigation. Still remembering that Miss Christie may have Poirot as the revealer of the solution at the end of these novels but she herself does indeed slip in all the clues throughout.

 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 20

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 20 

I first looked at this Psalm in some depth in 2001 for a devotional time at a CEF committee meeting and then I was drawn back to it in 2004 for a devotional at a Ladies prayer meeting and yet again this week it was this Psalm I felt I wanted to go to.

Looking at this in the order of the verses:

V. 1-3
May God answer you, protect you, send you help, support you, remember your offerings, have favour on your sacrifices.

V. 4-5
May God grant your heart's desire, fulfill your plans and your petitions.

V. 6
The Psalmist knows that God will help, answer, bring salvation.

V. 7-8
Because of all this
We trust in God
We rise and stand and are not fallen down

V. 9
The Psalmist cries out to God in confidence.

This Psalm is like David proclaiming a Blessing on us and we should accept it like that.

What more could we look for  (v4)

The answer to all of our prayers  (v5)

There is something else that stands out in verses 1 & 7

The name of the Lord is so important.
The name of the Lord defends us and we must remember the name of the Lord
That is where our trust must be.

We can trust in the Name of the Lord

We can trust in the Name of the Lord.

What else does this Psalm teach us to do?

We should be like David and speak blessings on each other.
To Bless someone means to wish them every happiness by invoking divine favour upon them.

We should also Bless God.

What does it mean to Bless God?

It means we are to extol Him as Holy.

To me the focus of this Psalm is acknowledging 

the greatness of God's blessing 
to us and through us
the trust we can have in His Name.

Nothing is greater than the Blessing of God


Family Photo Shoot - Xtra Special Day

Sometimes our Xtra Special Days are a long time in coming!

What I mean is they are thought of

          and partly planned

                    but then may take weeks,

                              months or sometimes years

                                        to actually take place.

Take our FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT for example.

This one was thought of by me many years before this, definitely prior to 2004 when we moved from Northern Ireland to Belgium.

It was then decreed by our kids in 2007 as the gift they were going to give us for our 30th wedding anniversary that August while we were still living in Belgium.

It actually took place in February 2013 after we had returned to live in Northern Ireland.

I guess this shows that we are not a family ruled by the mother anyway!

We were always (well practically always) flexible in when we did things before we went to live in Belgium but then while we were in Belgium Daniel was living in Northern Ireland, later Linda was mostly at university in Norwich and then Jonathan was pastoring in Leeds so it became harder to arrange times for specific things that were to be all-family events and there were certain things that we really wanted to still share together as a family.

The problem is I always say we should do something and then think "Oh when will we ever get it organised" instead of just going ahead and putting them all on the spot and saying "Right we need a date".

Let me go back in time and explain that this was not our first Family Photo Shoot.

Approximately a year after each of our children were born we had a family photo taken, so we have the early years where the family grew in number from 3 of us to 5 of us.

Then another one took place in 1992 just a few weeks before we left Northern Ireland to go live in Delaware in the US for 3 years.

This was also done by a professional photographer although it took place in our home.
There was one of the extended family involving my parents, my sister's family and then this one of our family which meant we had one with the kids in their pre-teen years.

My father died a few months after we returned home to Northern Ireland in 1995 so it definitely was a good time to have taken those pictures and the fact that all the grandchildren had already been born was just another blessing.

Several times in the following years I would say we should have another family picture taken because the kids were older but all through their teen years they were not so keen on the idea.

Finally the spurt of energy was on for this Photo Shoot to be done in Feb 2013 as our daughter Linda was heading off to South Korea at the end of the month and for that moment at least there were 4 out of the 5 of us living in the same country and within 40 min drive of each other.

Okay, so a plane journey was still involved for Jonathan but when we were trying to do this a couple of years ago in Belgium it could have meant 3 plane journeys from 3 different places to get us all together.  And of course Jonathan wanted to come visit and see Linda before she set off anyway.

Then the question was "What to wear?"

  • Do we take an change of outfit so that we have a formal and casual one?
  • Will we clash if we don't talk this over first?
  • Is there anything we should avoid wearing?

         Well we really did talk it over but .....

1.  Linda and I still ended up in colours which looked very similar in the pics yet no-one thought they were that close in reality, and we were living in the same house at the time.

2.  The boys ended up in almost matching casual shirts (my dressing them to match when they were very young could not possibly have had any influence on this as they have always told me how they didn't like it).

3.  The more formal outfits presented us very much as a black, white, grey type of family!!

The photographer was very nice and easy to talk to.
Some of us have no problem in front of a camera but the rest of us just do not relax too well in that kind of situation  -  eyes close at the wrong times, we speak or giggle at the wrong times, etc.

Well when it actually happened I really enjoyed the Photo Shoot - as much as a person who hates getting her picture taken can possible enjoy it.  But of course what I really enjoyed was the family being together, laughing and joking and knowing that we were actually doing what we had always planned for.

Anyway one hour later and we are all done and hoping that we can manage to have a few decent pics to choose from out of the dozens he took.

We did some more formal wear pics like the one above and then some casual wear and you can see our almost matching shirts and colours.

Unfortunately Linda was off to Korea before we had a chance to go back and view the pictures but that was ok as we were all able to view them online and make our lists of our favourites.

Now that was the next problem such a long drawn out procedure as it turned out that we had very different opinions as to what we each liked or didn't like.

In the end (months later) I just had to make the final decision on what to get and Fred & I were pleased with that even if the kids had a few comments.  I never claimed we were the perfect family just a loving family.

Of course when I think of that day I know that it wasn't just the photo taking time that I enjoyed but also the coffee time afterwards when we found a little coffee shop in Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland.    It was nice to sit and chat about the different poses and how we thought it all went and relax together before heading back to our house in Banbridge.
Not only did we get good coffee but we also discovered they make great cheesecake as well.

I'm thankful that we were able to have this opportunity to have another family photo together because with Linda in South Korea & Jonathan in Leeds
we have only been together again twice. 

If you are trying to think of a nice way to celebrate a specific time in the life of your family why not go for a Photo Shoot.

And don't forget the coffee time together afterwards.


Give Me an Eighth Day in the Week!!! - A Dose of Encouragement

Well I've been more busy reading books and other bloggers than thinking about or writing my own blog so I had to get caught up and ahead of myself because the whole family will be here together soon for a week and I won't have time to write posts then.

There are just so many distractions and daily chores (just added that in to try to make you believe that I do some housework) that a day can soon be filled up.

I enjoy going on twitter each morning and evening to catch up with what some interesting people are saying but this usually involves reading blog posts and website write ups so I get carried away and amazed at how much time I spend on this especially when I do scroll quickly through the tweets of all these twitterers ( is that a real word?) probably it should be tweeters but I'm not too worried about being completely up to date with all the jargon.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Then there are all the lures by the freebies offered and retweeted by everyone.  
I am amazed that anyone makes any money by selling ebooks or apps as they all seem to be offered free on a regular basis, but I'm not complaining and my iPad and my kindle will prove that as they are filling up very nicely with apps and ebooks that I'm not sure I ever will get round to using and reading.  Oh no I need more time to do everything!

Of course there is this great thing where I just "favourite" a tweet so that when I have more time I can come back and read the web article in full, but when do I have more time?

There is a growing store of these starred tweets which are patiently sitting waiting for me to think of them and free up some time to come and take proper notice of them.  "Give me an eighth day in the week Lord because I need to read my favourites" is my cry.  

Then there are those notifications that pop up to let me know that there is some activity on facebook and so I delve in to see who has put up something good, what my daughter is doing in South Korea via photos, and of course get into a discussion thread in one of the blogging groups.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

There are loads of interesting things here too so I'm saving posts to read in detail later and then there goes that cry again because I don't know when I'll ever find enough time to do all the catching up I want to.

And we can't forget about Pinterest because there are all those lovely pictures to click and pin and create boards for and to hope that lots of people will follow our boards and repin our pins and there again is the cry for that eighth day because someday I do want to go back and find that particular pin I pinned and make the item because that was my original intention.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

My husband Fred's cry is give me an eighth day in the week so that I can get up-to-date with my personal emails & my travel expenses (at least the latter would be profitable monetarily but the former would be profitable in keeping up with his life).

But I know that ours is not the only household where people are saying I don't have enough time for everything.

I often look back and say how did I manage to get three children out to school each day, go out and teach at another school, look after the house and regularly be involved in Kids Work through the church.  Plus still have time to read and enjoy activities with Fred & the kids.

Was I crying out for an eighth day in the week then too?     YES!

How do we all do the things we do?   
Why do we feel like we never get caught up?

What gets the shove?
What gets put on the todo list today and constantly gets flipped on to tomorrow's list and then the next day?

It should be: 

The things that are NOT the most important for the quality of our time spent here on earth.

The things that we will not regret having shoved to one side.

The things that will not be in our minds as "If only I had used my time for that" later in our lives.

The things that we often misguidedly think need to be done to make our homes the greatest homes possible.

It should not be: 

The things that ARE the most important for the quality of our time sent here on earth.

The things that God has asked us to do for Him.

The things that go hand in hand with us raising a good God fearing family.

The things that help others.

The things that show God's Love to others.

The things that bring others to know Salvation.

The things that draw us closer to God.

These should be our priorities because they are God's priorities

So if God ever did give me an eighth day in the week I think I would manage to do all that He wants me to do and then I would probably want a ninth day to do all the rest.

But I have to make the effort to manage the time He has given me as a good steward and believe that He knows just the right amount of time that I need because He is the perfect one and I am only human.

God has given you the right time you need too.



Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 3

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 3 

This is one of those Psalms which start out Down and end up Up, if you know what I mean.

This Psalm seems to fall into 4 parts:

V. 1-2
So much Opposition
So many not believing in God.

V. 3-4
God is there to protect
God is there to be our glory
God is there to lift up our heads
God is there to answer us in our cry of need

V. 5-6
God gives us rest
God keeps us in the midst of opposition

V. 7-8
God is able to defeat the enemy
God is the real deliverer

3 times in this Psalm we have the word Selah.

Selah is not just there to be dismissed,
it is there to make us

stop and ponder 

because it is advising us to pause and think carefully about what has been said.

Most notably it is there at the end after verse 8.

God's Blessing is upon His people!

Starts with a Tone of Despondency
Because of the people who do not believe in God and are against David.

Goes on to the knowledge David has of Who God is
God is the giver of hope, confidence, lifting from depression; the protector and carer for our needs and the one who is due all glory but also can restore David's glory as King.

Then the recognition of the peace & rest available in God
David does not need to fear because he knows to leave it to God who is caring for him through it all.

Ending in the Jubilant Proclamation of what our God can do!
A Call for deliverance because David knows God is the real deliverer and He provides the Blessing.

God's Blessing is upon His People!

So let's be confident and remember to keep going through everything because God is with us, listening and answering our prayers.  He is protecting us, giving us peace, and He is able to take care of everything.

Then we will rejoice in His Deliverance and Blessing.    SELAH