SEARCH: DIY Heart Erasers

DIY Heart Erasers

by Samantha Blache

IMG_0991As Jehovah’s Witnesses, my son and I, along with millions of others around the world, attend a regional convention for three days of spiritual food. This is one of the biggest highlights of our year, and we always look forward to it. Many of the brothers and sisters there make gifts to hand out and try to base their gifts on the theme of the convention.

This year the theme was, “Love Never Fails.” What better way to show our love than making heart-shaped erasers to pass out?

Of course, you can make these for any reason and in any shape if you can find an appropriate mold. I was a bit skeptical about the idea working at first, but as my sister tried it first, I was able to sample one of hers. Surprisingly they actually work and hold up well. They aren’t heavy, and they don’t break apart as store-bought erasers do. … Continue reading in SEARCH Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue.

SEARCH: Space and Kids

Space and Kids
by Kay Tracy

Many children are fascinated by space science. This can be a bit intimidating for parents but fear not. There are many resources available to you at little or no cost to help you participate with your children in their quest for knowledge!

If you are in the USA, then NASA has resources you can download and access at no cost to you.

If you want to get the latest news on Mars and other planetary missions, then the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena is an excellent site to check out. JPL has a history of sending a disc or data device with the names of people who submit them, for different planetary missions. I have at times included these printable certificates with birthday cards for friends and family. With everything from paper models you can download and build, to online and downloadable space and flight simulators, their education site is top notch!

Rocketry gets made easy with a plastic soda bottle and some paper and PVC!

Continue reading in the Fall 2019 issue.

SEARCH: DIY Solar System

DIY Solar System

by Suzanne Madron

modelRemember those solar system science projects from grade school? This solar system gets an upgrade while also being a fun kid-friendly project.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night influenced the solar system in this project, using swirls of bright colors, but it is just as easily adapted for a more realistic looking solar system as well. 


  • Foam balls of varying sizes for the planets. It is recommended to have a few extra if you plan to make the moon, etc. it is definitely a good plan to have extras in case of painting mishaps. 
  • Wooden or metal skewer rods 
  • Board canvas large and enough to hold your solar system, or several if you plan to stretch the system over multiple canvases for effect 
  • Acrylic paint (a typical set which includes the colors of the rainbow, plus black, brown, and white) 
  • Paint brushes of various sizes

SEARCH: Bring the Zoo to You

Bring the Zoo to

by Lillian Csernica

DIYZooSummer is that wonderful time of year when people get out into the sunshine. A favorite destination is the zoo. There’s nothing like seeing a tiger roar in person or watching a hippopotamus enjoying a swim. Here’s a way to make it possible to visit the zoo every day, and the zoo can be completely different every time.

A large pad of white paper, the type sold for finger painting.
Painter’s tape
Waxed paper
Craft sticks
Pipe cleaners
Colored markers
Play-Doh or its off-brand equivalent
Cookie cutters shaped like animals
Stickers (animals, food, plants and flowers, balloons, etc.)

This list can be expanded to include whatever you and your fellow zoo builders want to use. A trip to the dollar store can provide everything you need for less than ten dollars.

Time: 30 minutes for the basic zoo. You can add as many details as you like!
read more in the Summer 2019 issue.

SEARCH: Thumbprint Charms

Thumbprint Charms

by Heather Roulo

20181115_125911When I began assisting my son’s classroom teacher with art projects, I was looking for a simple project that would make a thoughtful gift any time of year. It is always more fun when the kids have something useful to take home. I found the perfect project in the thumbprint charm because it requires very little skill, few materials, is personal, and makes an outstanding and wearable gift.

The thumbprint charm is an easy project to give to a mother or grandmother as a necklace. It is a simple charm with a one-of-a-kind fingerprint that she can wear around her neck and keep close to her heart. It can also be adapted to make a bracelet. This project is especially good for small children, whose fingers will grow over time, but even older children or loved ones can provide this memento.

The project only requires a few items: Oven-bake clay, such as Sculpey or FIMO, an oven or toaster oven to bake it, a needle or skewer, and cord or ribbon. Choose the color of clay you want for the charm. I used silver, since it is always tasteful and goes with every outfit. I needed something all the kids would approve, but you can … read more in the Spring 2019 issue.

SEARCH: Turn Your War Letters into a Book

Turn Your War Letters into a Book
by Emerian Rich

DIYLettersEmzWhen my husband and I first moved in together, I knew nothing about military life. I didn’t have any close relatives in the service, and being a peace loving gal, I wasn’t into war or the history of it.

I was, however, interested in hand-written history such as journals and letters. When I found stacks of yellowed letters in one of his boxes, I was instantly intrigued. His grandfather had written the letters to my husband’s grandmother during the three years he had been in World War II. I asked if I could read them and was instantly transported into a piece of history I had never experienced before.

Luckily, their relationship had started before the US entered the war, so I got to see the war erupt from their point of view. Unfortunately, he died in France in 1944, never meeting his daughter or my husband, his grandson. Through Henry’s letters, however, we are able to know him. He shared his hopes for the future, worries about the war, and intimate details about army life that only one in the trenches could convey properly.

In this article, I will tell you how to collect, transcribe, and format your letters for publication.…  Continue reading the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Military Research

Military Research

by Kristin Battestella

DIYKristenBatzMany armchair researchers have become interested in ancestry and family trees thanks to the increasingly available access to genealogical resources, and the Freedom of Information Act can be valuable source for obtaining a relative’s military records. Several years ago, we requested my grandfather Anthony L. Battestella’s file– a surprisingly easy process, yielding a boon of research.

Here are a few tips to begin your research through the Freedom of Information Act.

Have as much of your family member’s information as possible.

The mail-in request form from the National Archives includes not only the basics such as name or maiden name, birth date, and address, but also social security number and military information such as branch and time of service. Simply writing ‘World War II’ or ‘Korea’ is too broad a search. Just listing ‘Army’ or ‘Marine’ is also too basic, especially when the branches have changed. Relatives must also realize such generic hear-tell may also be incorrect, and not being specific may lead to …  Continue reading the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Gifts for Deployed Troops

Gifts for Deployed Troops
by Kim Richards

trooplistBack in the early 2000’s, my son was deployed in Iraq. I struggled with what kind of Christmas gift to send him, until a veteran came up to my counter at work. While I worked on his printing, we talked. He suggested a pair of wool socks.

I took his idea to heart, though as a simple gift I worried it wasn’t enough. My son told me later how much he appreciated them because, even though he was in a desert climate, it did get cold at night.

I recently asked deployed and retired veterans what they enjoyed receiving for gifts. Just as with my son’s socks, they all mentioned simple everyday items. Jason says he was always the hard candy man, because he loved to share the hard candy he received. Chocolate melts into goo before it gets there, but the hard candy is nice when you want to keep your mouth moistened. Wes mentioned how unscented hand lotion was valuable in the drying heat. Sam liked getting paperbacks that were easy to stow and share around. He mentioned a one room library his group set up at one point with all the books sent to him and the others.  Continue reading the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Travel Photography

Travel Photography



Photo by Tim Reynolds

Twenty-three years ago, when I first broke into what is known as the ‘paper goods market’ (postcards, calendars, books, etc.), I was living in a resort town and the sales of these products was huge.

I made tens of thousands of dollars selling images to publishers catering to that tourist market, including National Geographic and Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

Making money from travel photos, now, is tough, but there are still online sources to sell your images to, including stock photo agencies, where most sales are made.

Since nearly everyone carries a digital camera in their phone, and those cameras are getting better and better, the potential for the average person to be in the right place at the right time has improved considerably. The biggest problem with phone cameras is that most are single lens cameras, which only zoom digitally and not optically (moving glass lens elements), so you either have to get close to your subject, or you need to be photographing a wide subject, like a landscape. Use digital zoom as little as possible…. continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.


SEARCH: Ghosts Around the World

Ghosts Around the World
by Dianna Kersey


If you believe in ghosts, you’re not alone in this world. Over 39% of Brits and 45% of Americans believe in ghosts.

In researching for my book, Exsanguinate, I learned the world over has an obsession with the paranormal, especially ghosts. While many ghost stories are similar in nature, each culture has a different spin on them.

Many ghost stories are believed to stem from parents’ efforts to teach the rights and wrongs of life to children. Take for instance the tale called The Liver. A family gave money to a son to go to the store to purchase liver for dinner. The boy purchased candy instead and stole a liver from a drunk man. Later that night and for weeks to come, the boy was haunted by a voice constantly saying, “Give me back my liver, you thief!” If that won’t curtail a child’s bad habits, I don’t know what will … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.