Ways to display quotes, photos, etc: magnet boards

Previously, I posted a collection of memo boards or dry-erase boards for displaying favorite quotes, to-do lists, etc. Today, I’m sharing some magnetic solutions. This allows you to also post photos, sketches, cards, or — for those of us (myself included) with sloppy handwriting — a lovely quote that someone else has printed.



The scrap-paper-in-a-frame concept revisited, but with fabric backed by sheet metal, enabling it to hold magnets. These are from Etsy seller Shugabee Lane.


metal and wood memo board

Here’s one made with metal and stained wood, that would be at home in a rustic or industrial/loft setting. Sold by The Cottage Collective.


cookie sheet magnet board

Want a super simple DIY? Spray paint a cookie sheet and call it good! (This one is from Mrs. Happy Homemaker.)


upcycled platter magnet board

Want more fancyness? Add a few brushstrokes in a contrasting color. Or a layer of scrapbook, wrapping, or wall paper. Image from sparklecandace on Flickr.

Anything that’s already magnetic can be an instant memo board. Here’s a tip: when you’re shopping for something to use for this project, carry a magnet with you to test any pieces you’re considering.


Ways to display your favorite quotes (or your to-do list)

If you’re a quote collector like me, you probably have one or more favorite quotes that you’d like to display. But your favorite quote this month might be replaced by a new one in a few weeks. Here’s a collection of simple ways to display any words you want, whether a quote, a Bible verse, a menu or a to-do list. Some of them will also work for a changing display of family photos.


DIY dry erase board

Here’s an easy-peasy DIY dry-erase board (with the how-to) from Makes and Takes., using pretty patterned paper in an inexpensive frame with its glass.


DIY dry-erase board

Same concept, using plain paper and a thrifted frame painted a fun color, from Nothing But Bonfires.



Take a cookie sheet or serving platter, add spray-paint and/or a few brush strokes in a fun color, and glue one or more clips or clothespins on it. Image from sparklecandace on Flickr.


window as whiteboard

At Cut Out and Keep, a teacher explains that she just tapes white paper to the back of the window in her classroom door to turn it into a whiteboard. You could do the same with a freestanding vintage door or window, and just paint the back of the glass.

Then, of course, there’s the ubiquitous chalkboard, which you can make…


… on a clipboard (from No Time for Flashcards)



…on a thrifted or dollar store serving platter (can’t find the original post). Or of course, you could do it in a vintage/thrifted/upcycled frame, as well.

In a couple days, I’ll post a collected of magnetic boards. Come back soon!

Praying like a child

a child praying

Paul E. Miller, in his book  A Praying Life:

As you develop your relationship with your heavenly Father, you’ll change. You’ll discover nests of cynicism, pride, and self-will in your heart. You will be unmasked. None of us likes being exposed. We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A needy heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer.

So when it starts to get uncomfortable, don’t pull back from God. He is just starting to work. Be patient.

On more than one occasion, Jesus tells his disciples to  become like little children…. Jesus wants us to be without pretense when we come to him in prayer. Instead, we often try to be something we aren’t. We begin by concentrating on God, but almost immediately our minds wander off… The problems of the day push out our well-intentioned resolve to be spiritual…. We know that prayer isn’t supposed to be like this, so we give up in despair….

What’s the problem? We’re trying to be spiritual, to get it right. We know we don’t need to clean up our act in order to become a Christian, but when it comes to praying, we forget that. We, like adults, try to fix ourselves up. In contrast, Jesus wants us to come to him like little children, just as we are.

The difficulty in coming just as we are is that we are messy. And prayer makes it worse. When we slow down to pray, we are immediately confronted with how unspiritual we are, with how difficult it is to concentrate on God…. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.

He tells about the first time his physically and mentally challenged daughter took her first steps at the age of three, and how the whole family celebrated.

We screamed; we yelled; we jumped up and down….

This isn’t just a random observation about how parents respond to little children. This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God. God also cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers. Jesus did not say, ‘Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.’ No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew 1128). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.

McRay Magleby on Creativity

Wave of Peace, detail

Artist, designer and illustration professor, McRay Magleby, via AdWords:

Creativity is the act of bringing into existence that which is unknown, uncommon, or unexpected….

To be creative, you need to be comfortable feeling lost and in deep trouble. You need to enjoy absurd, contradictory, outrageous possibilities. You need to be a lover of exploring uncharted territory, and, most of all, you need enough self-confidence to fail.

Image is a detail of Magleby’s most famous poster, Wave of Peace, considered one of the world’s most memorable posters. It is intentionally derivative of Hokusai’s famous image, because it was designed in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.


An interior decorator’s advice on living simply

a personal tablescape

Cara Hines, interior decorator, via Apartment Therapy:

Best Advice:

1) Choose your things wisely based on criteria and qualities that align with you. For me, I do not bring anything into my space without first carefully evaluating whether or not it is truly functional, meaningful, or inspirational to me. If not, I let it go….

2) Don’t choose furniture, art, or other material things based on what you think others will think of them.

3) Your things are not worth what you pay for them, they’re worth the value they bring to your life.