It actually worked!

Did you know that the expensive “crackle medium” you buy in cans is really just plain old white (elmer’s) glue? Any white glue will work just like the really expensive stuff in cans.

We all love the “shabby chic” look of old crackled paint. When we’re lucky, it happens naturally. But most times we have to help it along.

Crackling is great for covering up flaws. If you’re considering sanding off old layers of paint, crackle instead – it’s much faster & gives the item a lot of character.

How it’s done:


Method 1: Color underneath

1) Primer your item if it wasn’t previously painted (I used steel wool to rough up the varnish)

rubbed with steel wool

2) Paint it with the color you want to show in the cracks (use a color with a lot of contrast to your top color if you want your effect to be dramatic.)

2 coats of red

3) Paint the glue on. You can dilute it a little to make it easier to work with. Use a brush, not a roller. Cheap brushes work better – they leave more lines & therefore more detail in the cracks. PUT IT ON THICK! Thin coats don’t crack well

Experiment – the more glue you put on, the bigger the cracks.

I like to use a funky, random pattern so the cracks aren’t all in nice neat brush lines.

And I like to vary the thickness of the glue from one part to the next so the cracks look natural. (What they don’t tell you is that the thinner parts will dry faster so you end up guessing when it’s really time to paint the top coat!)

TIP: Thin coats work best on vertical surfaces. This is true for both the glue and the topcoat. If you paint them on too thick, it will all run down & be a gloppy mess. (TRUE…but still cool).  You can turn your item on it’s back, crackle the front, turn it on the side, crackle the side, etc. I did this on an armoire. It’s time consuming, but works great.

about an hour to dry
thinner coat of glue would have been better
It still turned out cool

4) After the glue is set up, but still tacky,(more than 1 hour, but not more than 2 or 3 – depends on your thickness & weather) paint on the main color. Don’t let the glue dry too much – it won’t crack if it’s too dry. (The glue will streak in the top coat – you’ll see white cracks before you see the paint underneath…don’t panic like I did. It’s supposed to spread with the top coat!)

slightly worried about painting on top of glue

As the top color(and glue) dries, the underneath color will be revealed in the cracks.

It worked!
Definitely worth it!

The Bachelorette

As this blog is very much dedicated to walking the road to Beautiful, it’s just fitting to have a running commentary on what the world views as “beautiful”, “true love”, and “reality”.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put it past 2 people to fall in love on a tv show any more than eharmony or dating for 4 years.  But watching the world’s view of reality makes me A. laugh and B. scream for a reality check.  So let the reality begin:

1. Guys will do anything to impress. so ridiculous.  so competitive.

2. They’re showing a guy working out, he just found out who the bachelorette is, and he says “I’m gonna win her heart.  She’s gonna fall in love with me”,  as he does push ups.  I don’t think it matters who the girl is, he’s got his game ON.

3. “I’m definitely not afraid of all the other guys….I mean…I’ve killed a bear…”  best. line. ever.

4. Do these guys have laser hair removal? I’ve never seen so many hairless chests….

5. “I know it’s going to be hard, but you have to go through the fire to get to the happy ever after.” Yeah, this looks like pretty tough fire to go through…I’ll bet those new clothes and hot guys fighting over you make it a little easier….

6. How exhausting to have to laugh at all 25 guys’ jokes.  All night.

7. This girl gave up her job, moved out of apt, “got my priorities straight” – “if I find a husband, it’s all worth it”.  I’m afraid she might be disappointed, even if she finds a husband here….there’s one huge priority missing….

8. She mentions giving up her fears and insecurities for this….all the woman out there just gazed longingly at the beautiful woman and 25 datable men on the tv screen and thought “I wish I could get rid of MY fears and insecurities….”  YOU CAN! But Jesus is the way.  No datable man or beautiful hairstyle will fix that common thread we all share in this fallen world.

9. It’s like the battle of the worst pick-up lines EVER. Who will win?

10. Is it a good thing to have said of you, “she’s like the girl next door”?

11. A.W.K.W.A.R.D.

12. Oooooh that guy just spoke Spanish.  Nice one.  Better than any other pick up line.

13. I’ve counted at least 6 pink shirts and 4 pink ties.  Manly men wear pink.  And they want her to know they’re Manly apparently.

14. 3 guys now have climbed on top of the limo.  Men and women truly are different.

15. I like how they all keep saying they’re happy she’s so career-oriented….wait…yup…pretty sure she “gave up that priority”…oops.

16.  How do men stand to be on this show? It’s just not in their nature to have to sit back and watch a girl they’re trying to “date” flirt with another man….

17. Rose Ceremonies have so much tension!

18. Aw. That guy thought she was the one.  And now feels like a failure. I want him to know there’s more out there than a one-time chance encounter!!!

19. Frank or Roberto.  That’s as close as I get to calling it.

20. I’ve never been happier letting God direct my life.

To Immunize or Not Immunize….

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)


There’s not much more to be said after scripture like that….but no matter where you are at in life, it’s good to read.  Strangely enough, in all of that goodness of scripture, what stands out to me this week is “let your gentleness be evident to all”.  I’m an incredibly opinionated person, but my fear of confrontation keeps me from speaking such opinions unless absolutely necessary.  If you’re blessed enough to be one of my family members then you’ve heard Ranting Charity before.  Well, in keeping with the spirit of doing new things, I’m offering my first “opinionated post”….

So, how to do this and continue to “Let my gentleness be evident to all”?  People who speak their opinions in judgment and without gentleness are like nails on a chalkboard to me (NOTE: Charity’s 1st opinion of this post).  So, I’ll add this disclaimer that if you have the facts to show me, there’s a good chance I’ll change my opinion.  But for all my research and work with Special Needs children, here is my first official, debate-starting, opinion.  Let the wars begin.


To immunize or not immunize:  That is the question.

I say immunize.  Now, I have to agree that our country has a habit of giving unnecessary things more than any other country – from the chicken pox shot to double mocha de-caf lattes to huge portions of food to dvd players in minivans.  Hey, I drink lattes…  But the chicken pox shot? It’s not even fatal…it’s really all about preventing 30 kids from staying home from school with the chicken pox, where-in the school loses attendance money.


Yet even with that, I say immunize.  No, Autism is  not caused by immunizations.  Yes, probably almost all children with Autism were immunized as babies…and they probably all drank milk too…and you know what, they probably all watched The Little Einsteins and wore diapers and ate canned baby food…why hasn’t anyone blamed Autism on any of those things? Oh that’s right…because we don’t know what causes Autism…is it possible that these sweet children I work with day in and day out were “predisposed” to it? That it could be a dormant gene? That it could be from any number of other causes stemming from a fallen and broken world? That same broken world that produces the cancer gene and the extra Downs Syndrome chromosome and the Cystic Fybrosis disorder…have we blamed any of that on immunizations? No.  Let’s face it, Autism scares us because we don’t understand it.  Like AIDS, we have no cure and no answers.  Thankfully, Autism isn’t fatal.  In fact, I work with wonderful, beautiful children that learn along with their families to live happy and fulfilling lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not brushing it off…believe me, I work with these children and their families – I see the toll it takes and the hardships they face.  But praise Jesus, they’re children are alive.

Do you know what is fatal? Polio.  Smallpox.  I’ve seen children in other countries firsthand that are dying at a terribly young age from these diseases and others like them.  Do you know what could have prevented their early deaths? That one simple shot that they are denied, because their country either doesn’t provide them or their parents cannot afford medical care.  And you know what else? There are Autistic children in this same said country…interesting considering they were denied immunizations…


I believe the Lord provided modern medicine  to be used, albeit with wisdom as with anything else.  Children who haven’t been immunized may not catch some of the awful diseases, fatal or not…do you know why that is? Because all the other children they’re playing with are immunized…  I see mom’s not immunizing their children for fear of the shot, and then not taking their children out of the home for fear of the diseases they might catch because they haven’t been immunized!  And then there’s mom’s who have immunized their children but still fear for their children’s health despite the prevention!


Here, I defer to the middle portion of the above scripture.  God did not give us a spirit of fear.  It all boils down to this.  At some point, we all have to trust that God will take care of our children.  The Lord has a plan for their life and He knows the number of their days.  When He seeks to bring them home to His side, who can stop Him? If He seeks to heal them of a fatal disease, who can stop Him?  In the meantime, I’m going to immunize my children, because I feel it’s a blessed provision after seeing sweet children in countries deprived of such blessings.  I’m not going to immunize them out of fear or NOT immunize them out of fear.  And then present my requests to God with thanksgiving on behalf of the children He has given me and the medical opportunities this country has for them, trusting Him to fulfill His Will for their life….and letting the peace of God rest in my heart and mind.

And that’s that.