Sunday, August 28, 2011

This is the Day the Lord Has Made!

I can't believe it is already time for another Stampin' Sisters in Christ card challenge! Some days fly, and this week has been one of those weeks!
This week's challenge is brought to us by Miesje. You can find her verse along with accompanying devotional and the Design Team's challenge cards on the Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog.  I am always excited to visit and read the devotional and this week is no exception!

This week's verse:
1 Corinthians 10:17 "Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf."

The Challenge: Recipe challenge: Create a card choosing at least 3 of the following:
ribbon, button, swirl, hat pin, brad, charm, popped up image.

The Prize: Sweet and Sassy Gift Certificate!!

Today's card uses the verse from Psalm 118:24, one of my favorite verses! After checking, I think I have these elements on my card: ribbon, swirl (found in the labels die cut and the doily,) hat pins, and popped up image. The timepiece on the far corner is a cut out image that I took from a piece of the Webster's Pages designer paper and then adhered it to another paper from the same pack. Because the verse has to do with honoring this day, I wanted to use an element of time. Just don't look too may seem like my clock is turned on it's side, but I really wanted those florals facing that direction! I also used a new-to-me product, Allene's Paper glaze on my fancy labels. I wanted the image to pop, and this left a glassy glaze on the surface. I think I like it.

I hope you are inspired this week and would love to see your card or creation when you play along with this week's challenge!!
My card is also made with the Our Daily Bread Designs Challenge to use a doily.
This card was also meets this week's Flourishes challenge to make a card using a sentiment as the focal point.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Flourishes Lenten Rose
Ink:  Memento Rich Cocoa, Antique Linen distress ink
Papers, Prima DP, SU! Cocoa, PTI Kraft, SU! Blush
Accessories:  Crochet Lace, 1/4" satin ribbon, Making Memories Vintage Findings Gem Pins, Fancy Tags Two Nestabilities, Martha Stewart doilies, brown pearls, Allene's Paper Glaze

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stampin Sisters in Christ ~2 Timothy 1:7

Good Sunday morning to you!! This week's Stampin Sisters in Christ challenge was challenging for sure. But as with any good challenge, the outcome can be so gratifying! Today's challenge was given by MariLynn from Mississippi McGyver. 
You can view today's devotional and challenge in detail by visiting the Stampin Sisters in Christ blog. I'm sure you will be blessed!

The Scripture:  2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind."
The challenge:
Try something that you have been AFRAID to try before. Examples: A color combination, a different style than you would normally use (layers instead of CAS or CAS if you normally lay on the layers...) You get the idea!!

The Prize:  A 15.00 gift voucher from the generous Paper Fashions Etc.!!

I really had to rack the recesses of my tired brain to figure out what to do for this challenge. I thought and I thought and I thought...and I could not think of what I was afraid to do. Most things I have wanted to do (stamping related,) I have attempted before. The reason I don't do it is either because it isn't my style, or I've discovered I don't do it well. And I have learned that over spending hours and hours on a card or project and wondered why I tortured myself?  I call that a learning curve...and happily I have moved on to a style that reflects me and doesn't leave me frustrated. Except every once in awhile I see something one of you does and have to give it a try! It's always good to challenge yourself a bit! 

When it comes to living life, I know I am not nearly as brave as I would like to be. In the past two years I have found my knees weak and thoughts rambling and my fingers trembling.  The word that can evoke so much fear has touched all three of my family members...husband, oldest and youngest daughter. Each have required numerous surgeries to rid of tumors. I am afraid of cancer. I am afraid of surgery.  While in this waiting mode of wondering if the cancer recurs in another suspect looking mole on one of my daughter's bodies...I find myself avoiding the sun and being fearful of the damaging rays. I still go outside, but I am not one to go uncovered...I have shade and a hat. 
Those relationships that I have consistently relied on for strength have been slowly taken away.  My mom recently made the decision to be permanently placed in a nursing home in the town where she and my Dad live and I grew up in. I am fearful for her physic  well being as every day she loses weight and she is so frail to begin with. I am worried for her emotional well-being as she is such a lovely woman and yet she spends most of her time alone.  But more than that, I am afraid at times of not being the daughter to her and my Dad and the support that I need to be when they live in a town that is many miles across several mountain passes. How do you flip family responsibilities and become the mother to the mother when you miss your mother? And how do you let go of being the daughter that could go to her mom when she was scared?  I wrestle with this often and the role I now play.  And am I able to meet the responsibilities of handling all the financial and health decisions when the time comes?
These are just a few of the ways the Lord has steered my life and those I love recently. And at times I feel I have lost my equilibrium.I have had the feeling of being suspended in the unknown rather than walking a steady path the Lord has set out for me. When feeling this way, the one thing that has helped is confessing my fears to the Lord...not that he doesn't already know them!!  Reeling in those thoughts that tend to take me captive and down a side street of doom. Lately I am coming to the realization that whatever the Lord is is truly for my good. I am growing closer to Him. I am putting away the distractions and spending much more time in seeking him out. We have a lot of conversations on my bed at night.  When I find myself unsteady, I think on his attributes and how he is unchanging...He is a rock. He is my rock.
We all need encouragement in this life...and I have found so much through God's continued grace and the ways he continues to reveal his care, his goodness, and provision over me and those I love...oftentimes through friends like you!!

2 Samuel 22

"As for God, his way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
(23) It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (24) He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to stand on the heights. (37) You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn."
 One thing I am a little intimidated by is alterable items.  They usually require more time than a card...but the results can be gratifying! This gift tin has been sitting in my closet for a long time. I went to work with paper, dies, stamps perfect for food gifts, spritzing roses, adding ribbon, etc...
I filled it with pretty gold foil wrapped candy. And for now it will sit in my stamp room or kitchen...until I find the perfect occasion for gift giving. You can click on the picture for a closer view. I love these stamps from Waltzingmouse work for the canister lids also!
Paper: Daisy D's designer, PTI rustic
Ink:  Versafine Sepia, Always Artichoke
Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Victorian Fripperie and Labels Four
Accessories: Spellbinder dies, prima roses, shimmer mist, satin ribbon

Thanks for visiting today! I hope this project encourages you to try something you've been afraid to attempt before. I just thought of something else I am afraid to!! Oh my goodness, I would need a class for that one!! But I need to learn, because that seems to be a trend here to stay!!
Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reeling in Colorado's Beauty!!

I rarely make male cards...but this Thomas Kinkade image combined with Flourishes "What a Catch" set had me swooning. My guy is a fly fisherman, and the combined images made a pretty handsome card, don't you think?
I copper embossed the background and colored a decorative brad with a copper copic marker to antique it...adding the cool "fly" in versamark to give the background some interest. A couple of weeks ago I actually went with my husband while he picked out to fish with. They were so tiny, all in these little bins, and really detailed...pretty cool art in and of itself.  I added a simple handmade flag banner. The main focal image is so detailed, it doesn't need any color added. I kinda like that!

This card was a complete CASE because I love love love it. The blog, "Joyful Creations with Kim" caught my eye awhile back...Kim also lives in Colorado and she captured the beauty of a Colorado pine forest in her card here. She also gives a great tutorial for this one layer beauty. I can't say that I completely honored her card with mine, but I tried. Combined with the twine and a button, I am happy with this card's outcome. I made several using a masking technique and 3 colors for the sponging in background, Baja Breeze for the sky, Old Olive for the base, and So Saffron in the center going upwards to mimic sunlight filtering through the trees.
One thing that really helped me line the masking up is using a large lined post it note pad (I needed two pieces for each side and one for the top) combined with a grid paper underneath to match the lines. I used SU!'s large ruled sheets for this. I made that purchase a long time ago, and they are so handy to have!

Thanks so much for stopping in today!! I will be back on Sunday to share a project I am working on for Stampin' Sisters in Christ!
Hope you're having a wonderful end of summer!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sing to the Lord!

It's a new week at Stampin' Sisters in Christ!! Today's devotional is from the most talented Teresa Kline of Paperie Blooms. I am so looking forward to reading Teresa's thoughts this morning and hope you will join us in today's devotional and stamping challenge! 

Teresa's chosen verse is:

Colossians 3:16
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

This is such a beautiful and encouraging scripture, don't you think? I think music speaks to all of us...whatever our tastes or genre might be! But there is something very unique and wonderful and transforming when we all combine our voices heavenward in praise to the Lord!

The challenge:
Use music in some form, sheet music, musical notes, instruments, or singing.

The Prize:  Simon Says Stamp gift certificate!!

I love this stamp from reminds me of my Mom singing our wake-up song when I was a little girl....The Red Red Robin! Do you know it? Anyway, this bird brings me a smile and combined with the sentiment from the same set, "Sing a New Song," is perfect for Teresa's challenge today!

Stamps: Flourishes Singin' Along, Country Charm Labels
Paper:  Papertrey Ink white, Bazill blue
Ink: Memento Black, Versafine Sepia
Accessories: Nestabilities, pearls (colored blue with copic,) copic markers, Martha Stewart punch, prima roses, pink plaid ribbon, white crochet ribbon, twine

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Mercies

This week the Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge is from the (lovely) Linda Lucas! Her scripture verse is :

Lamentations 3:22-23 
"The faithful love of the LORD never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. "

When you visit the Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog, you will be able to read this week's wonderful devotional by Linda. I did this morning, and it was so uplifting!

This verse was the inspiration behind my card.  When meditating on God's mercies being new every morning, God impressed something "new"to me this past few weeks. I have felt very hard-pressed on all sides by trials for over a year now. And the thing is, new trials keep coming into my life!!  Sometimes we have seasons like that where so many concerns for family's health, fragmented relationships,  those we love being far from the Lord...all these can bring a sense of  despair and hopelessness.  The feelings can come at night when you are alone and in the dark and most vulnerable, or in the day time when you are surrounded by people that seemingly have no cares or concerns weighing them down. While these feelings are not healthy, they are very human. They don't feel very spiritual...but I can attest that God is there in the midst of the trials and the dark times. I had been trying to deal with the difficult situations by either distraction, avoidance, or worry.   Finally, out of desperation, I changed my direction... and  I asked the Lord to bring something "new" into my life. My heart basically cried out from a feeling of such a low spirit, that I needed to see God's hand at work performing something new...and something I could perceive and say, "This is from God. God is working in my circumstances!"  A new way to resolve an old issue, a new attitude for me,  a new way to see my present difficult circumstances, a new light shed that might ease a difficult situation.  I prayed this prayer over many nights..and God answered in a "new" way. Charles Spurgeon's commentary on this verse stated that sometimes God's mercy was a new mercy, something we had never experienced before. And sometimes his mercy was presented in a new way, by a new my case it was both!! I had a neighbor who I had not seen in almost five years come to my door one day shortly after these prayers... with a cheery bouquet of bright summery flowers. She said she had hosted an outdoor dinner and they were left over and she thought she'd share them with me. This woman had been pastoring a church for the past few years and was gone from home during the days. She had recently left her pastoral position, and for some reason had come knocking on my door. Later that week we enjoyed a special time of fellowship over lunch and catching up on each other's lives and it ended in a sweet time of prayer in the car in front of our homes.  She was a "new" mercy, and God's perfect timing! While the trials remain, it is so true that burdens are lessened when shared, and this friend certainly did that.
When I made this card, I pictured the freedom, the innocence,  the sweetness a new day brings when the Lord is part of it. We have fresh mercies available to us each morning.  A new day unfurls like a gift, wrapped in ribbon, and if we have eyes to see, the hope it brings with it may be as close as a neighbor with a bouquet of flowers! 

The challenge this week is to look deep into your stamp supply cupboards and find something you bought because you had to have it...but have not used it!

The prize:  Clear Dollar Stamps is offering a generous 15.00 gift certificate this week!!

My "digging deep" produced these prima flowers...I stacked two on this card!! I bought these in every color and have only used a few as usually they are the wrong size or the wrong color. These shaped petal cards are a new purchase I recently bought on a trip to Victoria, B.C...and this challenge helped me to use one up!!

I hope you will visit the SSIC blog and read Linda's devotional and be challenged this week to see a  fresh mercy the Lord has blessed you with!!

Paper: "The Papery Petal Cards", Papertrey Ink Vanilla, PTI white, SU! Pink Pirouette, Designer Paper
Stamps: Flourishes "Kid's at Play"
Accessories: Labels Nestabilities, Prima Flowers (layered), Pearls, Pearl Flourishes,  PTI twine, EK Success punch, SU! Scalloped Punch,  Iridescent Ribbon, Glimmer Mist, Charm