Sunday, November 27, 2011

SSIC~117 Christmas Cardinal

Good Sunday morning!! I hope you had a special time over this past Thanksgiving holiday if you were celebrating!! In my family, Thanksgiving is a matter of survival!! I really don't know how the pilgrims managed, as I have a challenge just getting a turkey on the table and the fixin's for my big crew...I can't imagine dealing with frigid temperatures or making friends with the natives!! I guess I don't have the fortitude the pilgrims did, that's for certain~!
So the day after Thanksgiving, full of gratitude as I was for my family and the blessings they are to me...I happily sat at my stamp desk and created this card!! Not a care in the world...just like the birds in this week's verse!!
You can read all of today's challenge and this week's devotional on the Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog.
Our challenge hostess is the amazingly talented Linda from Lovely Linda's Craft Central.  Linda chose this scripture:
Matthew 6:25-34
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"

The challenge this week is to create a project that has a bird on it, as designer paper, image, or charm.
The Prize: A Sweet and Sassy gift card!! Go look on the Sweet and Sassy website!! They have so many wonderful products!!
My card uses Flourishes stamps and a sentiment also from Flourishes. The paper is Basic Grey's Jovial. The paper reminded me of warm flannel...which seemed an appropriate backdrop to this wintry scene!! I also added SU's striped grosgrain ribbon, a big 'ol button, and a "fancy tags" nesties for my sentiment. The cardinal was colored in with copics, and a little bit of snow added on the branches with liquid applique.
Thanks so much for stopping in...please visit all the talented design team to see what they've created this week. Sure hope you can join in the challenge!! Blessings on your week!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SSIC ~116 Little Festive Robins singin' Praise!!

So happy to see you on this beautiful Sunday morning! We have a brand new challenge for you this week on Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog! Each week, a design team member chooses a challenge based on a verse of scripture that the Lord brings to our minds. This week, our challenge hostess is Rebekkah from Diamond in the Rough. I would encourage you to visit the Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog to view her verse and accompanying devotional! I am sure it will be encouraging...and powerful!
The sponsor this week: Pizzazz Aplenty: Surprise Grab Bag valued at 15.00
The challenge: Make a card of praise, using music, stamp, design paper, or the word, "Praise."

My card was made using a stamp I just ordered from Lili of the Valley, "Little Festive Robins." Once I stamped and colored these tiny birdies, I noticed how well the SU! Christmas designer paper pack went with the holly and ribbons...so I used that and the red blinged up polka dot paper that is also in the pack. I colored with copics (boy am I out of practice with those)...and added liquid applique to the roof and base of the feeder, sprinkling some glitter on before drying with my heat gun...and dots of stickles in diamonds here and there to make it sparkle!!
I love this little card...the birds seem to be so happy and busy, and I can only imagine their "tweets of praise"... and I think the Father has a soft spot for them too, as he mentions them so many times in the Bible
I hope you take the opportunity to play along this week...can't wait to see what you create! Until then, blessings on your day!
My card is also being entered in Lili of the Valley's weekly challenge to make a card for someone special! I'll be sending this to a special friend this year! I just love the sweetness of these images!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SSIC~Thanks in All Circumstances

Good Sunday morning!! Today I have the opportunity to share my devotional on the Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge blog! I am so thankful for this place where anyone can come and read and be encouraged in scripture and share in their favorite stamping past time!! We are blessed as women and friends to be able to do this together.
This week's sponsor is Simon Says Stamps "We are Family Dolls." Such a cute set, I hope you will be able to participate.
My challenge this week is to make a card that either depicts an image of something you are grateful for, a scripture that evokes your gratitude, or make a thank you card for someone you would like to show gratitude for this special time of year!
Just as an aside, my card layout was based on a card that I loved on Karen Barber's blog. I am not good with geometry, so had a time of it trying to figure out how to fit those triangles back into squares...having a visual of one already finished really helped! The sentiment on my card fits this week's challenge verse so well, don't you think?
My chosen verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

The day my mom made the decision to go to the nursing home to live is one I will always remember. This was was not a first choice nor a planned destination, but rather a last resort in the realm of diminished options. The entire year before had been a series of admittances and discharges from nursing homes as she waited patiently yet resolutely for my Dad to recover from surgery and resume his care giving role. On this particular visit to their home, I sat in a chair across from my mom, a bag of clothing between us and held up each piece as Mom sat in her wheelchair and surveyed each blouse, pair of trousers, or jacket and said either “yes” or “no.” These were not throw-away items, but each was a piece of my Grand mom’s wardrobe, all hand sewn and due to its polyester nature, wasn’t worn out. No frayed edges, missing stitches…each floral pattern as vibrant in color as the day the fabric was purchased so many years ago…the clothing remained but the body had worn out just a few weeks before. Mom was making decisions as to what would go to Goodwill and what would stay. She had the final say in the last small legacy of items handed down to her by her own Mother.

To say my heart was heavy would not even begin to encompass my emotions that day…I wanted so for her to stay in the house that she loved, with her doggies and my Dad and the familiarity of home. The words began to flow as we sat there together…not one to be overly sentimental and very much a pragmatist…my Mom began to utter words of thanks. It began like this “I am so… very thankful for…” and then she would complete the sentence. I don’t even remember what she was saying thanks for…I just remember how the words were like a balm to my troubled soul. At a time when the average person might want to cry or dig in their heels, complain, or at the very least become grumpy with those around her…my mom chose gratitude rather than discontent.

I can’t help but think the Father smiles on us …when we are faced with the difficulties in life whether it be the loss of a familiar home, a disappointment in a relationship that seems stuck in neutral, suffering a long term illness, or feeling lackluster in joy…we give thanks. How can we do this? Let’s look at Romans 8:28 “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” If we believe God, and take him at his word, then this verse is saying that God is at work for good for those of us who love him. He is sovereign…which means he rules over all things. The God who rules over all things is at work for our own good. That is an amazing promise!!

I have noticed this…when I am feeling a little down, a little distraught, a little unappreciated…I can easily become disgruntled…which breeds discontent…which breeds a critical spirit which breeds a lack of the Holy Spirit operating in my life, cycling into less joy, less of his presence…less of him and the abundant life he promises. But let’s turn that around…if instead, I choose first to accept the disappointments as first of all being filtered through God’s fingers of love and believe that nothing can touch me that He has not already given permission to do so…then I am choosing to believe God which sows contentment which leads to joy which leads to an overflowing of the Holy Spirit in my life which leads to more joy …Just a thought.

Mark Buchanan in his book “Spiritual Rhythm” writes this:

“Thankfulness is more than an act. It’s an orientation. It’s a re framing of reality-not in some whistling-in-the-dark way but in a fixing-our-eyes-on-what is-unseen way. Radical thankfulness makes sense only if behind our touch-and-see reality another reality is hard at work. If there’s one thing the Bible makes clear, cover to cover, it’s that what we see isn’t all there is. It’s not even half of all there is. It’s at best shadow and echo and rumor of what’s really going on. So radical thankfulness is a way of hailing things unseen…a declaration that the unseen God is very much on the job, not surprised or dismayed by a single thing, and able to work it all to good.”

In a world of sometimes diminishing options, we all have the opportunity of a choice… the legacy we wish to leave to those around us. I want to choose gratitude. How about you?

1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade-kept in heaven for you…”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dancing under the Stars

Do you ever receive a wedding invitation from a friend you haven't seen in over a year? And not an invite to the actual wedding, but the reception? It's a little awkward showing up at a reception I think Miss Manners would be scolding me right about now...this card is late, and so therefore the only challenge I met was getting it done, and if I actually get it mailed off to the happy couple, then I will have accomplished my goal.
This silhouette reminds me of the scene in my favorite movie, The Sound of Music. The couple are dancing in the gazebo with the moonlight casting a soft glow through the windows. I actually was able to visit that gazebo with the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria ...twice!! It was so much fun to learn the inside "scoop"...did you know Liesel fell off one of the gazebo benches while prancing around with Rolf and twisted her ankle? Well, my husband doesn't remember that...so don't quote me...I could have the scene mixed up! I love that scene...and this paper seemed to mimic the gazebo to me...just use your imagination! This was an easy card to make, and I really liked the outcome!
Thanks so much for stopping by...I always enjoy reading your comments! Have a blessed day!