Monday, January 31, 2011

Lattes without you {Sweet Stop & Crazy4Cocoa}

A *favorite* Cocoa image? Did they really ask us to choose a favorite? :) WOW! Now that's a tall order - No, it's a VENTI!! ;)

The Crazy4Cocoa Challenge of the week is to USE YOUR FAVORITE COCOA IMAGE.

I don't have a large collection of Cocoa (YET!) but of those that I do have, my favorite (at this time) is probably Cocoa's Latte. I am very partial to coffee, so this sweet mouse peeking from behind his fresh steamy to-go-cup of java is just "my cup of tea" (Oh, wait, that's another Cocoa image!)

Cocoa's latte "cuff" is SO easy to piece with your dp of choice to flow with any design :) I LOVE IT!

For this card, I used some bits of scraps of My Mind's Eye *Confetti* dp and coordinating ribbon. I covered an oval chipboard piece salvaged from the punched out center of a fancy frame, and cut out the sentiment.

The layout is for the Sweet Stop Sketch Challenge for this week {SSS93}.

CONFIDENCE {Sweet Stop & 2011 Patter Cross Scripture Challenge}

Patter Cross posted the new word for the 2011 ABC Scripture Challenge yesterday, and I thought I'd use the Sweet Stop sketch from Saturday to do it! :)

The word Patter posted is Confidence.

I knew immediately that I wanted to use Jeremiah 17 for my scripture!

I love the imagery in this verse. One who trusts in the Lord, it tells us, will be like a tree planted by the water, sending out its roots for nourishment. This tree has no fear or worries of drought or heat because all of its needs are provided by this stream. Its leaves are always green and fruitful, not dry, brittle or frail. This tree never fails to bear fruit.

I want to be this tree! My confidence must be in the Giver and Sustainer of life!!

I love this wonderful die cut and DP from My Mind's Eye. I'm lovin the blues and browns! I have used a handful of these dies on cards in the past, also in connection with this verse. Such a good blessing and reminder of why we trust in the Lord. It's His work, not our own.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. :)

GROW {Patter Cross 2010 Scripture Challenge & Sketchy Thursdays}

"CHECK" - another page completed for the 2010 Scripture Challenge! :) I'm so excited!

I was able to again use my new Cricut cartridge "A Child's Year" and cut these adorable images of working in the garden and this nice tag with the bird on a branch. The daisies border punch and shovel charm were perfect additions! And what about the adorable green button for the flower center! It's been in my button jar forever, coming from who-knows-where, :) and was just the perfect shade of green!!

I am also submitting this page for this week's challenge on Sketchy Thursdays, as I used their layout sketch, just flipping sides. This is my second time using this sketch this week. I really like the feel of it!!

I'm also linking this as my second entry to the Stampin Sisters in Christ challenge blog {blue and green}. I had all the supplies laid on my craft table that I planned to use on this LO and had settled with green, cream and black. Then after seeing this challenge on Sunday, I decided to add in slashes of this refreshing periwinkle blue, and I am SO glad I did! It softened the feel of it and was just what it needed. :)

The scripture I chose to use is ...

{1 Corinthians 3:7-9}

It's such a great reminder to me, especially in parenting, that we are responsible to plant and water seeds of truth and faith, BUT it is ONLY GOD who makes it grow! We are all a planting of the Lord, His field. He alone deserves the credit for any growth!!

I made a last minute decision to spritz the whole page with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist ... I LOVE that stuff, but BOY, is it tricky! My experiences with it have been "hit or miss". Sometimes it works beautifully, then other times ... not so much. I'm certain that it's operator error! This time it landed nicely on the whole project ... until it somehow puddled, or some other strange phenomenon occured on my scripture tag! :( Phooey! I could always re-cut and attach a new one. OR maybe I can just decide to imagine that the sweet little watering girl dripped some refreshing drops on it. :)

YEP, that's it ... we'll leave it as is.

Anchor {Patter Cross ABC Scripture Challenge 2011}

Though I submitted my "B - Bible" page first for Patter Cross's 2011 Scripture Challenge, my "A - Anchor" page was not too far behind! (thankfully! :)

This page was fun to create! The symbolism was a given - Anchor! :) And of the handful of Cricut cartridges I have, I did not have a single *anchor*! :( So, I borrowed the idea from another submission to Patter's challenge and put together 2 "t"s. Then I inked them up with copper embossing ink and embossed it to give a metallic look. Then I made a little chain with jump rings, and added a cross charm -as the Cross of Christ is our anchor in this life - our only and GLORIOUS hope to be reconciled to God our Father.

I used a Rope border punch, tore the tops of the blue cardstock to create a wave effect, and used this adorable blue ribbon with sailboats that I purchased from Michael's a few years ago. :) And of course, a little jute here and there to give it a few rustic bits that I felt it called for.

I knew right away I wanted to make this fun little quilled sailboat that I had seen in a magazine a while back. Though quilling is a little tedious, it is not too difficult and adds such a sweet custom touch to projects! :) Love it! For the mast, I cut a toothpick to size and rolled it in the copper ink.

The scripture I chose to use is {Romans 5:1-2}

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

(copied from Bible Gateway)

The anchor that holds my ship firm through the storms of this life is the unfailing HOPE that Christ has gained my access for me! On days when my sin is *larger than life* and I feel beaten down and wholly unworthy of any notice, much less acceptance, of a good and righteous God, the anchor that holds is the TRUTH that I am not granted access to the throne of my worthy King because of anything (A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!) I have done or NOT done, but by grace alone, through faith alone that Christ has justified me! I bare HIS righteousness ALONE! When God looks at me - a pitiful, rescued, adopted child - He does not see my countless failures, numerous shortcomings and epic mistakes. He sees the gift I bare of the righteous goodness of His one and only Son! Jesus makes me acceptable before a Holy God!! Praise Him! THAT is my anchor!

Will this not make us blatant about our actions, flagrantly going about sinning as we please, knowing that He will still extend to us repentance? Not at all! If we are indeed granted the humility to see and own our sinful state, we see ALL THE MORE the goodness and mercy of our loving God! It brings us to heights of gratitude and overflows LOVE from the depths of our heart, laced with amazement and thanksgiving!

It brings to mind this amazing quote of John Newton, English hymn writer and former captain of a slaves ship (as stated in this biography clip).

On December 21st, 1807, he fell asleep in Jesus, in his eighty-third year. William Jay, of Bath, saw him not long before his death; the bright mind had become clouded and the speech affected, but the visitor carried away one precious utterance; let us never forget John Newton's dying words. He said to Mr. Jay: "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things — that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour."

PRAISE GOD! His anchor HELD firm to the end!

May this, too, be said of me.

Prayin 4 *EWE* {Stampin Sisters in Christ}

I've seen the name of this blog for a while now, so I finally mozzied on over to check it out! I LOVE IT!!

Stampin Sisters in Christ is a blog for "Paper Crafts Inspired by Scripture" with challenges posted every Sunday. This might have to be one of my new favorites!

This weekend their challenge was to create with the colors blue and green, as inspired by Psalm 23 ~ a scripture that has brought encouragement to my heart countless times.

Years ago, we walked through a particularly difficult season, a valley of "death" of sorts. As Lisa H. shared in her post, death in this verse can certainly refer to the many "deaths" that we can experience in our lives. In our case, at this time, it was many things; the *death* of a business, the *passing* of some things that we had hoped for, discouragment, difficulty, hardship, and in many moments, dispair. And in walking through the loss of these things there was the necessity to *die to self* - the realization that we could do *nothing on our own*! (which is not a bad thing!) We were empty and dry, void of even hope at times. BUT GOD!!!!....

One particular morning, the Lord encouraged my heart with this chapter.

{Psalm 23}

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the [valley of the shadow of death] darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
(copied from Bible Gateway, emphasis mine)

This beautiful verse that had been so very familiar all my life delivered a comfort that I had not realized before. On this morning when I felt so very empty, hopeless, weak and frail, GOD reminded me that HE is the one who does all the work. HE leads me, HE guides me, HE provides for me, HE brings me to the green fields and streams of water; and what does He ask me to do? ... lie down and be refreshed, comforted and provided for. OH WHAT AN AMAZING SHEPHERD WE HAVE!! So loving, kind and good ... SO GOOD!

♥ I really have an emotional attachment to this verse (can you tell? :) Just pondering it again brings the hope and faith that HE will carry us through whatever trial, big or small, that we may face this day. We just have to lie down and trust Him.

Well, finally, here is my card ...

I used this precious digi stamp from Sweet & Sassy Stamps. He (or she, as it were, with drawn-on eyelashes :) is so very sweet and fun to work with.

I pray that as you read of how God has comforted me (and STILL comforts me) with this precious verse, that you too, will be filled with hope, trust and JOY in what God is willing and able to do to comfort you! HE DOES IT ALL!

To HIM be ALL glory forever and ever!!! ♥

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Sew" Many Ideas! {Crazy4Cocoa}

:) This is a second entry for the Crazy4Cocoa *buttons* challenge!
*Though it's not a card this time*

Last week, I made this card for one of my best friends who has an extreme love for sewing! She is an amazing wife and mother! She has raised 3 wonderful children, homeschooling them all through their school years, encouraging one through to her culinary degree, seeing 2 of them married to wonderful spouses, and is now readying herself to possibly send "the baby" away to college! - I have great and love and admiration for them, can you tell? :) At this point in her life, she finds more time to do what she loves and doors are flying open for her all over the place. She has completed training in sewing machine repair and is also pursuing design! I'm so proud of her and HAPPY for her!!

Soooo, or should I say "SEW" ... I thought I'd make her a little coordinating notebook to make notes of her many ideas! I found these little mini composition books at a dollar store, 3 for $1.00!

I traced the cover and back onto cardstock, trimmed and attached the pieces to the notebook, avoiding the binding so as not to restrict the opening and closing of the book. I pierced small holes in the notebook for the buttons to be sewn on as usual, leaving a long end of the thread to use as a binding string around the notebook to close and wrap around the button. I embellished the cover as desired,*with Cocoa, of course* and was so excited to top it off with this adorable purse charm!

"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands." Proverbs 31:13

I love you, TB!!! ♥

Birthday Time Cocoa {Crazy4Cocoa}

This week's Crazy4Cocoa Challenge is to use buttons. This is the latest addition to my Cocoa collection, (making it a whoppin' 3!) and I was eager to create with him! I've had the striped ribbon for a while, and though primaries are not my fav to work with, this card called for it. *It actually went home with my sister tonight who needed a card for a little neighbor friend!* :)

I thought I'd try a little something with the top of his hat, so I punched a small hole and inserted a few cut pieces of thin red satin ribbon. It turned out pretty cute :)

Best Friends! *Always & Forever* {Sketchy Thursday}

I LOVE this week's Sketchy Thursday sketch!! It is so fun! :)

I quickly had a vision for what pictures & paper I wanted to use, and it was so enjoyable to watch it come together!

I've had the one photo since 1989! My sweet husband and I were only dating at the time and were head-over-heals for each other!! :) We were all dressed up for a Christmas banquet for our church. When I ran across these BoBunny papers and die cuts at Scrap That last summer, I grabbed them with this very photo in mind! They were perfect with the purple and pink tones, (flowing well with the burgundy color in his tie) the flowers and "love". Then it sat in my bin ... UNTIL NOW! So I'm very excited to have this wonderful memory displayed! :)

Nearly 20 years later, we are even MORE in love than when we began! God has been so very good to us! It only gets better! He truly is my Best Friend and my most favoritest person!! And next month we will celebrate 21 years! ♥ Good stuff!

And I was SO excited to use my new Cricut cartridge *A Child's First Year*. The sweet little couple made me think of how YOUNG we were when we began! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SERVE {2010 Scripture Challenge}

Playing catch up with this wonderful challenge from 2010! :) Yes, but I LOVE being able to create these pages that I have pondered for so long!!

Since I am catching up and am no longer current with the challenge, I decided to create pages from last year as I am inspired with the scripture or idea of the layout. Anytime folks would say in my scrapbooking classes, "I have so much to do - I don't know where to begin," I would always encourage them to begin where they are inspired. The method doesn't HAVE to be chronological order, if you want to ensure completion of pages. We can so easily (or at least I CAN!) get stumped for vision or inspiration at times. Soooo, I'm taking my own advise and completing these pages as they "come to me". :)
I have printed a spreadsheet with a listing of Patter's 2010 Challenge words, the dates, and a section where I can make notes of the scripture I think I may use and any ideas for the layout. I look at it often to remind myself of what needs to be done. I also wrote the words and dates on the back of the pages of my 2010 Challenge notebook, in the order that Patter put them out. So eventhough I am not creating them in Patter's order, my book will be in that order. :)

For Christmas I made a memo board for my wonderful mother-in-law using this ADORABLE Graphic 45 paper!

*The Domestic Goddess Collection*

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the colors and patterns of this collection!! And I had the perfect piece left over with a beautiful domestic goddess "serving" by folding laundry!

This has certainly been one main area of service/ministry for the past 21 years with my dear family!

As this scripture in 1 Peter states, we are to "use 'whatever gift' we have received to serve others and faithfully administer God's grace in its 'various forms'... with the strength God provides". No matter the seeming importance of our service to others - from a position of notable influence OR from the mundane, unnoticed labors of the day - God may be praised! Our small acts of obedience, love and kindness make a difference! We must not weary in doing good. :)

I had some tiny clothespins that were PERFECT to hang my 'towel' with my key scripture from the 'clothesline'. I added a couple of antique buttons to one corner.

And to another corner, I had to add one of my favorite things ... a paper flower ... with a pearl center!! :)

May YOU be blessed in your serving!

Snow Fun in Feb 94! {Sketchy Thursdays}

Here's the sketch for last week on the cool Sketchy Thursdays blog...

And here's my page .... :)

This was "snow" much fun!! I have (obviously!) had these pictures for quite a while, and my goal as of late is to USE the photos I already have neatly organized in a box (and those not-so-organized), as well as the pretty papers and supplies that I already have! I have so much that I MUST have LOTS of good stuff to create!!! :)

My youngest at the time, Kelsey, was only a year and a half, and was NOT very happy with the snow, as evidenced by her hilarious expression here!

Their sweet daddy and their great Uncle Paul were oh, too happy to chase them around (and if I remember correctly, tease them a little, too)!

What a fun day in the snow with all the cousins!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sweet Stop Sketch {Special Delivery}

Here's the Sweet Stop sketch for this week.

And here's my card ...

I love this sweet birdie!

This week Sweet & Sassy Stamps sent out an email announcing that one of their designers is venturing out from their company to start a digi stamp company of her own. By doing so, she and her husbad are hoping to make provisions to adopt their 2nd baby boy from Ethiopia. Sweet & Sassy Stamps is discounting all of her designs and giving 100% of the proceeds to their cause. You can read more about it here. It's wonderful to see this company in support of her and her family in such a sweet way!
I was delighted to find that I already have one of her designs, and I hope to purchase more!
You can see all of her designs here on her blog.
So, I guess this card is in honor of Leah and her baby boy, who I pray will be "specially delivered" to her family soon!

Happy Saturday!

PageMaps Sketch - {Buddies}

I'm playing along with the Page Maps sketch for this month, for the first time in a long time!
Here's their cool sketch!

And here's what I came up with ...

This was lots of fun to work with, because it was one of those that I had the idea of for a while and had even gathered bits - the OP tag from a pair of shorts that I bought Josh, and a tag from Brittany's jeans *which states "short" ... ADORABLE!* I even knew the color scheme and papers that I wanted to use. :)

I love my babies!!! <3

Thanks, Page Maps for another great sketch challenge!!

Patter Cross *ABC Scripture Challenge 2011*

If you are looking for a blog to find encouraging truth, spurring you on in your walk and relationship with the Lord AND some B-E-A-Utiful creations, Triple the Scraps is the place to go!!! :) I LOVE her blog! For several years she has 'hosted' a Scripture challenge. Every other Sunday, Patter posts a new challenge to be searched and journaled or simply scrapped about. She will give a word or idea, while also sharing her own thoughts and what God has spoken to her heart concerning it. Though I only found her about a year ago and was not totally able to keep up with her 'pace' along the way, I still plan to finish what I began. :) I would also like to join her challenge for 2011 where she will be doing an ABC Scripture Challenge.
The "B" word is "Bible" (of course :) and I had thoughts flood in on this one. I knew exactly what scripture and even the symbolism I wanted to have on the page.

For the 2010 Challenge I am using a spiral scrapbook that I rescued from sitting upon a shelf in my closet. :) It stands up SO nicely and has plenty of pages to hold the entire year. For 2011, I thought I'd try something different. I will be doing smaller 6x6 pages with 2 wholes punched in the top and will join them with binder rings like the desk calendar I made last year. It too will stand very nicely on its own after more pages are added. (That means I'll HAVE to complete them so it will stand where I want it. :)

Patter, THANK YOU for sharing your time and talents with us ... You truly ARE a blessing!! <3

"SEW" Crazy4Cocoa

Here is my second creation for the Pink & Red color challenge on the Crazy4Cocoa blog.
While I still had another printed copy of SewHappyCocoa on my work table and everything pink and red still out, I figured I might as well keep going.

I LOVE how this one turned out!!!! :) Again spring boarding from a
sweetSweet Stop Sketch from (probably) last spring ...

For years, I've had these sweet little Jolee's embellishments of tiny embroidery thread and cloth. I used a real needle from my stash, some old buttons, and put a few stitches on opposite corners where it suggests gems on the sketch. I inked everything with a bit of brownish ink since I had printed on white card stock and the papers and buttons had more of an off-white tone.

OH, It was so fun to see this one come together! :)

Friday, January 21, 2011


I was inspired tonight with the new Crazy4Cocoa challenge for this week AND I had time to work on it! :) What a happy combination! Actually, I was so inspired that I made 2 cards! YIPPEE!

The challenge this week is to use Pink & Red.

"I love you 'sew' much!"

I made this sweet card with a dear friend in mind. It's obviously for Valentine's Day, which is her favorite holiday! Also, her passion is sewing, and that's why I think she will love this card "SEW" much! I used a few heart brads from last Valentine's Day, made a tiny layered paper heart, and inked everything up with just a hint of red.


I also wanted to add that I used an "old" Sweet Stop Sketch for the layout.

It was one from last spring, I believe...

I just really like sketches! They are a fun "spring board" for creativity, and to me, it is a fun challenge to make things fit into a "model". It's not stuffy, but a fun "test" of sorts, to see what you can come up with.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Where have you been?, there and everywhere! :)
It has been way too long since I posted ... and certainly WAY too long since I've been able to create!

I have an absolutely wonderful husband who kindly purchases fun supplies for me and encourages my creative fun! He mentioned recently that I like to get things, but don't do much with them. :( I wish I had all the time in the world to "play", but since I don't I'm going to make the most of the 'buckets of time' that I do have (I'll have to tell my 'buckets of time' story one day.)

Here are 2 cards that I did using the Sweet Stop sketch challenge from last Tuesday.

The first one, I made with bits I've had in my scrap stash. The challenge is to include dry embossing. This is a dry embossed project I made last summer when preparing for a class at SCRAP THAT. It sat patiently in a small stack of such pieces until it was needed. I love, LOVE red and yellow together, and these paper flowers are just too fun!

This second one is for the Crazy 4 Cocoa Challenge Blog, and of course, features the adorable, infamous "Cocoa Mouse"! :) This challenge was to something from the kitchen! Since I only have 2 Cocoa images so far, I used my coffee cup guy. However, there is an ADORABLE Cocoa with a chef's hat ... that's next on my list. I used the Sweet Stop sketch above as a springboard, only changing a couple of small features.