Dec 31, 2013

A Fond Adieu to Crafters of Faith

Our little online group is disbanding, The Crafters of Faith will finish off 2013 with one final challenge.  Issued by our lovely leader, Kelly.  Here's her challenge for us:
Psalm 113:2 (KJV) "Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore." During this celebratory time of year, we rejoice at the miracle of the birth of the son of God! One of my very favorite Christmas songs is Holy Night, heads bowed before the Redeemer.  The literal translation of the first verse is:

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God as man descended unto us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior. 
With that, I ask you to create a card based on the blessing we receive from knowing how much was given for us! May we all be aware of the beautiful blessings we have and bestow to others.
For your December card, create a card of your choice in color and design with the theme: Sprinkle an abundance of Blessings!

Stamp: "Chickadees on Pine", Sentiment: "Tree-Mendous" by Technique Tuesday
Cardstock: SU Cranberry Crisp & Brilliant Blue
Background Stamp: "Snowflake Sky" by Brother Sister Design Studio (2001), embossed with Stardust Embossing Powder by Stampendous
Colored with Prismacolor and Derwent pencils
Embellishments: Stickles for snow & frost on branches, ribbon from local craft store, corner punch by EK Success

Here's a closer look at the image, showing some of the glittery pine branches.

Chickadees are one of my favorite wild birds.  While other breeds are jockeying for position at the feeders, and arguing over who gets to eat & when, these little guys swoop in and out, eating their fill, ignoring all the silly bickering of the others!

I am reminded of Matthew 6:25:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink...
Look at the birds of the air;  they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?"
2013 has been a rough year for me, and for many friends and family members as well.  Through it all, it helped me to remember just how much was NOT going wrong in my life!

Kelly: I count knowing you as a blessing.  Thank you for starting our group and keeping it alive!  Because of you & your efforts I have enlarged my circle of online friends and that is also a blessing to me.

This is a fitting close to our monthly challenges - encouraging us to remember our blessings and how abundantly God loves us.  Peace to all of you in 2014!

Dec 21, 2013

Dueling Darlings and Treasures from Grandma!

Hello my friends!  My original post "poofed" into another realm...I have no idea what became of it, so here's round two:
The Dueling Darlings December kit for the Dazzlers came from our beloved Jeanette.  Here's what I came up with:
Image: Kraftin Kimmie O Holy Night
Papers: Paper Studio Hay and Wood Fences
Embellishments: Hobby Lobby Plywood Star Stickers, Hobby Lobby Gold Glitter Organza

The adorable image is colored with Spectrum Noir markers, cut out and mounted onto the Hay DP, which was die cut with Nestabilities "Labels 18".  This was mounted onto black CS die cut with Nestabilities rectangular scallop.

The front of the card features that wonderful Wood Fences DP topped with black cs covered with the Gold Glitter Organza.  Of course they need the star, so there it is, shining in the night!

Here's a side view, at an angle to show how gorgeous that Organza is.  It really sparkles!

Thank you, Jeanette for sending such a fun image and creative kit this month!  I truly enjoyed working up this card.

Here's the other part of the challenge: "Include in your post a Christmas story of your own. Perhaps a special Christmas decoration you own, a childhood memory, Christmas tradition, etc."

I knew immediately that I would share some of my treasures from Grandma.  She made incredible art from beads: wedding bells for my wedding cake, a mobile for over the crib of clowns and birds, miniature coffee & tea service, and many, many other items that defy description.

I have a box of Christmas ornaments that she made.  They are over 30 years old now and are truly loved by me.  My pictures fail to capture how brightly they sparkle in the sun or with the lights on the tree, but here are a few for you to look at.

A few angels and a southern belle.

Two of my favorite Christmas bells.

A closer look at the red bell with the overlay of clear and gold beading.

An assortment of various other ornaments.  The candy cane is amazing!

Some in blues with clear or mirrored accents.

Some are very dimensional.  These baubles are unique.  The green & clear one almost has a shape of a dreidel.

Holding it up, trying to give a better idea of it's shape.

A sampling of snowflakes and crystal shapes.  These look like glass when in a window or on the tree.

What's Christmas without wreaths?  Here are two.

And two more wreaths.

This star is wide in the center.  Below is a side view.

Perhaps you can imagine how special these are.  My pictures really don't do them justice.  As I said, she made beautiful wedding bells for our wedding cake.  She crocheted teeny tiny clear beads into a beautiful necklace and gave that to me when I was a teenager.

She was a creative genius, making art out of rocks, (some of her collections won awards), soup bones, sunflower seeds, and many other common items.  Her work is now owned by her six daughters and over 20 of us grandchildren!  And now we begin to share them with her great grandchildren.  A very special legacy.

I think this is the longest blog post I've ever done, and if you stuck with me throughout, thank you!

Wishing all of you a very blessed Christmas and a safe and healthy new year!

Nov 30, 2013

"Let the little children come to me" COF Nov. Challenge

It's the last day of the month and the Crafters of Faith group on Split Coast has a challenge hosted by one of us that is due today.  This month was my turn to host and here's my challenge:
Matthew 10:13-16

"People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”  And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them."
I have always loved the image that this brings to mind.  The culture of the day was such that children were valued even less than women were, so once again, Jesus is teaching that he came for the least ones in society.  My biggest pleasure in teaching Sunday School is always experiencing God's love and grace through the accepting eyes of children.
So, with that in mind, look through your treasure trove.  What do you have that shows the innocence of childhood?  The pleasure in simple things?  The wonder of nature?  The pure fun of our world?  What speaks to that child-like spirit that you remember from your childhood?  Try to create something that takes you back to your childish, unquestioning, innocent faith in God.  Create a little bit of heaven on paper!
Many of you know that I am a big D. Morgan fan, her stamps and art work really appeal to me.  So of course it would come down to 1 of 3 different vintage seascapes with a little girl featured on them.  Here's the one that won out:

The image is colored with watercolor pencils, both Derwent and Stampin Up and blended.  I really like this image.  To me, it speaks of carefree youth, where it's enough to just be in the moment and enjoy all that God's creation has to offer us.

Here's a close up of the pretty roses on the side (hopefully without the shadows in the picture):
This is honestly the most flowers I have ever put on a single card!  LOL  It's my feeble attempt at imitating my friend Maggie's style.  I really admire what she does with lovely flowers and embellishments along the edges of her images.  Give me a few years, maybe I can come close to her handiwork!

Thank you for stopping by and also thank you for any comments that you may leave.  They are a special treat that I save for early in the morning with my coffee before starting my day.  Why not give yourself a little treat and visit the blogs of my fellow Crafters of Faith?  Their links are in my side bar.  Go ahead - leave them some love!


Nov 15, 2013

"There's a Nap for That"!

It's the day for another duel for us Dueling Darlings!
This month I was the hostess for the Dazzlers, and Darling Tami was the hostess for the Divas.  I just love teaming up with Tami for hostessing, she's a hoot and we have a blast!

This month the Dazzlers received a kit containing:
Image: Lazy Boy Set by Art Impressions
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
CS: Conqueror Diamond White, 80#
Designer papers by Recollections: Light Blue Argyle, Green Argyle, Football, Black & White Plaid, Black Polka Dots, and black and brown Signature Series Shimmer CS
Washi Tape: various colors of chevron stripes by Recollections
Various assorted brads by Recollections

Here is my card:

Isn't this a funny image?  I also really get a kick out of the sentiment!

We also asked everyone to share a funny holiday story about a guy in their life.

Once when my oldest nephew was around 12 or 13, he challenged my husband to a contest of who could eat the most at Thanksgiving.  At the time, hubby was about 27.  Well, you guessed it.  They both packed in the food, my nephew should have waited just a couple of years and then proposed the challenge because he would have won then.  But, of course most 12-13 boys can't out-eat a man in his 20's.  This picture doesn't even come close to the scene after, LOL.  Both had to lie down for over an hour.  We all just laughed & laughed.

I encourage you to drop by the blogs of the Divas & Dazzlers (links are in my sidebar) and check out their challenges for November.  It's sure to be a treat - and not one that will pack on the pounds either!

Nov 4, 2013

Dueling Darlings October Duel

Hello!! I am terribly late with this post, but it should be no reflection on the challenge kit, only my disorganized life of late!

The theme was:
"Trick or Treats, smell my feet
Give me something sweet to eat!"

Paola's kit contained so many fun and creative elements, it was hard to choose!  I just loved the ghoulies, aren't they a hoot?  And look at those cute little spiders coming to visit the witch kitty!  (never thought I would use cute to describe spiders!)

Here's a side view and if you look closely you can see the wonderful texture on the bat.  Paola die cut them from a thick Mulberry stock that almost feels like felt.
Contents in the kit were:
Stamps (all from SU): "Haunting Halloween" (cat, cauldron + 2sentiments)
                                    "Booglie Eyes" (mummy) & "Best Fiend" (sentiment)
D/P:     Wicked Fun (SU); Halloween Characters & Small Dots (both from Michaels)
                                      Black w/ silver thread (handmade DP from Costco)
Accessories: 'Boot To You' (CB folder); 'Black Bat's (Sizzix Die); 2 Halloween ribbons (Michaels);
                      1 XLrg orange brad by Elements/Am. Crafts ; sm. spiders from Recollections; 
                      pumpkins dimentionals stickers;
                      2 sets of Googlie eyes (Dollar store); 'Bootiful' brads from Sprinkles

We were also asked to share our view on Halloween - do we celebrate it, what is our favorite part, a favorite recipe, costume, etc.

Personally, I enjoy Halloween.  To me, it's all about kids.  No commercialization or pressure of planning the perfect holiday meal, gifts, cards, etc.  Just kids, having fun getting dressed up and showing off their costumes for a little treat.  

When our kids were young, we were always the gathering house after Trick or Treating.  I'd have a fire in the fireplace, some Halloween cartoons on & they'd come here, spread out their loot on the floor to compare and sort it.  Usually soaking wet clothing and shoes would be drying by the fire.  That's how it goes when you live where it can be cold and even snowy on Halloween.  Good times!

Thanks Sweet P for a fun and generous kit!  All of the leftovers have been saved for our final round.  Hugs to you!

Oct 3, 2013

A Hoot of a Mystery!

I'm lucky enough to be a member (a tardy one!) on Split Coast that does a "Mystery Swap" every other month.  One of us chooses an image, stamps off sets for the members and sends it to the current hostess.

When the current hostess swaps out returns from the current round, these "Mystery Images" are included in the returns.  All participants make cards with these Mystery Images and then send them back to her.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  It never ceases to amaze me how differently we all create when we begin with the same image!

Blah, blah, the point:  April was our hostess for Round 18 of the Mystery Image Swap and she chose "A Hoot of a Day" by Unity.  Here's what I came up with:

Isn't that just the cutest owl every?  His little vest was paper pieced from scraps, and the 2 DP panels were from my scraps as well.

Here's a closer look at the little guy.  His hat has been spiffed up with red stickles and a gold Spica pen.  Then it was glued on top of the image.

I have a stash of small googly eyes that fit the image as if made for it!  He's colored with Spectrum Noir markers.

Another strip of some scrap paper was added to the inside, leaving enough room to write a personal message.

I hope that the others like what April's adorable image became in my hands!

April, thank you for such a cute and fun image for September's round!  And a BIG thank you for my little gift in my return!  April loves lighthouses, and made a little framed picture of a D. Morgan lighthouse image and sent it to me!  It's so pretty, her coloring is wonderful.  This weekend I'll take a picture of it and post it here for all of you to admire.

Thank you for stopping by, and for leaving me some comments.  They truly are a delight for me to read.

Sep 29, 2013

Favorite Bible Verse/Anything Goes Challenge

I'm happy to be a member of Crafters of Faith, an online group of card makers on Split Coast Stampers who love paper crafting and share their faith in God.

September's challenge is to pick any favorite verse and make a card using that verse.  I am in need of some sympathy cards so decided to get busy and get some done.  It took longer for me to settle on a verse to use than it did to make the cards!  But I do like how they turned out.

The verse is computer generated.  It took a while, making a jig with regular paper, taping the cut panel onto it and then running it through the printer.  It was a learning experience, hahaha.

The stamp is from DeNami Designs.  The image is stamped in green ink and heat embossed with Diamond EP by A Muse Studios.  I like it in green, to me the color signifies life and rebirth.

Here's a look at the inside panel, using a well known set from Stampin' Up:

The other inside panel was left white so that personal messages could be added before I sent these out.

That's it for me right now.  Actually, if this goes live on time, I will be doing the airport hop from west coast to east coast on the 30th.  My dear uncle's Celebration of Life memorial service is on the 28th and I will be coming home from seeing my family members out there. I urge you to hop over to the blogs of the members of Crafters of Faith and admire their September challenge cards.  Links to their blogs are in my sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you and your family!

Sep 15, 2013

Around the World with the Dueling Darlings

It's the 15th of the month and don't be shocked - I'm not even late with my Dueling Darling post!!  (a minor miracle, haha)  April & Kadie are our hostesses this month and here's their challenge:

"For September we decided that since there are so many cute stamps out right now with different country themes, that we would travel the globe and celebrate culture! Please find enclosed in your kit, a stamp that represents a certain country and papers and embellishments to match this travel theme. Feel free to make this month's challenge your own in any way. Whether it be with a sentiment or embellishment that reflects your own heritage or just by sharing with us in your post what your heritage is and what traditions you have in your family that celebrate those origins.

Looking forward to seeing your creations!
Kadie and April"

...And April added for the Dazzlers:
"To tell the truth friends, I loved the heritage and tradition theme and chose to send generic people that you can customize! I hope you don't mind!  I kept the accessories in black and white theme so they can coordinate with your design!

The stamps are from two sets from CTMH:
Family Ties - Adult
Family Ties - Children
The embellishments are from Michael's."

Well, this really got me thinking...and searching.  It seems that I have no travel-related stamps, or stamps that depict a certain country, or heritage that I can claim as my own...what to do???

Then I thought of what a great group this is, how different we all are, and the friendships we've formed.  Bingo!  I had an idea:
I decided to use the children images sent by April, and tried to color them differently, although the distinction is lost a bit in the photo.

The sentiment is from Inkadoo and always makes me smile.  And it's pretty true also!

As for my personal heritage, it's Slovak, Russian, German and Swedish.  About 1/4 each.  Lots of Pickled Herring, German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut and loads of incredible baked goodies that I don't even know the names of.  Weddings and family reunions were filled with music played on the accordion, (yes there were polkas) laughter, love and amazing food.  

Give yourself a nice break and visit the Divas & Dazzlers (links on the right) and admire their creations and read their own stories of their traditions and heritage.  Thank you for stopping by my little blog today!

Sep 1, 2013

COF August Challenge: Our Parents

Well, you can see that I'm catching up (slowly LOL)  Only 1 day late with this post!

I am fortunate enough to be a member of a group on SCS: Crafters of Faith.  Barb is our wonderful challenge hostess for August and she challenged us to make a card in honor of one or both of our parents.  Anything that brings them to mind...

Well, that's a tall order.  Could it be how my folks always fed hummingbirds, and helped me learn how to spot their nests?  Could it be the many fun memories digging clams, fishing or catching Dungeness crab?  Could it be working on cars in my Dad's auto shop?  The list goes on and on.

Then I spied a new addition to my stash from Whippersnappers.  Presto!  I knew that camping would be the theme of my card!
Isn't this a fun image?  I love the casual look to it, almost as if a child drew it.  It's colored with Derwent and Prismas, blended with gamsol.  The background sky is light grey and Stardust Stickles were used to highlight the starry night.  The flames have a coating of Crystal Effects by SU.

Here's the sentiment that I chose from Little Paper Shop.  (Sorry, but the package does not have a name for the set.)

My parents had me tent camping when I was only 6 months old.  We lived in the Pacific Northwest corner of Washington State and there's plenty of options for camping: ocean beaches, mountains, islands, even a rain forest!  There was a big gang of us that camped together, eventually forming the state's first trailer club.  It was a great way to learn about nature and have loads of fun too.

Thanks for giving us such a great challenge this month, Barb!  Many, many blessings to each of you & thanks for stopping by!

Aug 31, 2013

August Duel (Overdue!)

I lost my crafting brain this month...not sure where it went, but I'm working on getting it back.

My patient friends, the Dueling Darlings have a monthly challenge, due on the 15th.  Well I decided my funk had gone on too long and I needed to get back in gear!

Terry was the hostess for this month's round with the Dazzlers & she sent us an adorable House Mouse image to work with, and loaded her kit with great papers, ribbon and fun candi dots.  Here's what I came up with:

Terry's generous kit included this adorable apple paper.  I cut one out and put it on the tag, which was made with some other paper she sent.  Remember penmanship paper?  Yep!  That's what she sent!  Too clever.

Here's a look at the inside:

A strip of her school bus paper and more of the fun penmanship paper on the inside.  I've left it blank for a personal message for a friend.

Here's the back panel.  Just couldn't resist adding another school bus, they're so cute!
Thank you Terry for sending the perfect kit to inspire me to break out of my slump!  Now that I finally have my card posted I can go find more inspiration on the blogs of the Darlings.  Links are in my sidebar-go and check them out!

Aug 10, 2013

Unity's "Enjoy, Explore, Believe" is Image for Round 9 of Unidentified Image Swap

Here we are, the 10th of August and we who participate in the Unidentified Image Swap get to reveal this round's image and what we created with it!

This round is hosted by April and she gave us something a little different to work with: Unity's "Enjoy, Explore, Believe".  I really must thank you April, because this made me stretch and, if I may admit it, I'm a little pleased with the result!!

The idea was to make a bookmark with the sentiment, and include it on the front of the card with a pocket.  

I took a Very Vanilla SU envelope, sealed it and cut off one of the narrow ends.

Then it was stamped with a collage stamp by Hero Arts called "Musical Collage".  SU's Crushed Curry, Creamy Caramel, Tempting Turquoise and Cameo Coral inks were sponged onto the image.  Then the envelope was spritzed with Stardust Finishing Spray by A Muse Studios.  

When fully dried the envelope was then crimped and trimmed with brown crochet ribbon and flowers from my stash.

Here's a closer view of the envelope attached to the front of the card.

This is the sentiment as the bookmark.  SU's Tempting Turquoise and Chocolate Chip CS create the base layers, with a portion of the collage stamp watermarked on the TT layer.

The sentiment by Unity is sponged and edged, then the entire bookmark was also spritzed to give it the soft shimmer from the finishing spray.  When dried, an eyelet and satin ribbon was added.

Here's a view of the card front with the bookmark removed.

The upper edge of the card front is stamped with a French script stamp (not SU) that I've had in my stash for years, not sure of the origin, though!

A great big "THANK YOU" to April for providing us with such a unique and different image this round!

Hopefully everyone who receives one of my creations won't be disappointed.  As for me...I can hardly wait to see what beauties my return will hold!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and thank you for leaving comments.  They sure do brighten up my day!

Blessings to all of you.

Aug 4, 2013

"Each New Wave..." by D. Morgan

Over at the Crafters of Faith group, we host a monthly card challenge.  Our July challenge comes from Kelly:
"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." ~ John 7:38
Hi Faith sisters!  This month’s Crafter’s of Faith challenge theme is inspired this verse and your theme is: Water!  
 It’s summer and many of us are enjoying the splendors of the outdoors – boating, swimming, walking along the lakes and rivers.   Summer rains, as heavy and burdening as they can sometimes be, bring us new growth all around ~ trees, green grass and gorgeous flowers blooming.   Even spiritually, many people accept Jesus into their hearts and become baptized in water and have beach baptisms.  Water is a beautiful, healing, essential!  This month, I want you to use WATER as your theme on your cards:  Be as creative as you like -  think boats, oceans, the beach, tilted watering cans, bird baths, falling rain, etc!   Let water be the focus of your card and extra brownie points for using the color BLUE!!   Blessings! 
As many of you know, I am a fan of stamps with the art work by D. Morgan and am lucky enough to have quite a collection.  Lots of them involve lighthouses and ocean scenes, so I knew right away that I would use a D. Morgan stamp for this challenge.  In the end, what may be my favorite won out:

It's stamped with Marvy Matchables ink in Dark Brown onto Wausau's Stardust CS.  The Stardust has little flecks of color in it and a slightly rustic texture, both of which I really like for scenic/nature cards.  The card is colored with Prisma and Derwent pencils, blended with Gamsol.

Here are two closer views of the sentiment:

The inside includes another blank panel of the Stardust card stock, and a panel of vellum that contains pieces of pressed grasses.  The sentiment is an old SU, stamped in Old Olive ink.
The card's front panel is matted onto a rust colored vellum that compliments the color of the row boat.

The only part of this great challenge that I forgot about was including blue!  It would have been easy to change the color scheme to blues, but I just didn't remember that part in time.  Sorry Kelly!!

Songs that accompanied me while making this card included Heart's "Dreamboat Annie" and a good many Jimmy Buffet tunes, sprinkled in with some Bobby Darin.  All in all, a happy escape from the daily grind.

Wishing you all a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by!

Jul 28, 2013

A Summer Afternoon's Exploration

Bijou, Blog Editor here.  About time that I had a post.  My Female is not very good at sharing.

Here's my pet bird, Lou, being unusually quiet and taking a nap in the afternoon (she's an energetic one, constantly curious, drives me nuts).  Budgies just don't have the same decorum that parrots possess.  Guess she finally wore herself out!

So I decided it was time to roam. one around...what's that I spy on The Female's recliner?

It's this thing she calls "A Purse".  Some sort of device she carries around so that treasures found while out scavenging can be brought back to the nest.  

She's quite protective of "The Purse" so I am certain that there are good things inside.  Now's my chance!

First, just a taste to see if it's fun to bite.

Yep!  It gives that satisfying little punch when my beak pierces the leather.  This "Zipper" looks like a fun chew toy also.

All right, time to take a look at what she's stashed in here...wonder if there is anything good to eat?  Maybe some sweet potatoes or berries.  Maybe spinach?

HEY!!!!   Is that one of those shiny things that they use to write on paper?   Oh, I love those things, always good to wrestle with...

Drats.  It seems to be stuck in here.  Maybe I can just pull on it hard enough.  Nope, dang thing weighs more than I do.

Maybe I'll just rest here a while.  That pesky Lou won't find me when she wakes up.  A guy can finally have some peace!

Wishing everyone a good weekend.  Me? I'm hoping that The Female won't notice me and I'll get to go on an outting with her.  Looks like she could use some help bringing back useful items to our nest!