December 04, 2010

Time Marches On

Time what an empty vapor 'tis. Here today and gone tomorrow. Time marches on.  All these come to my mind as of late. Time passes so swiftly, and yet we don't even know it until we look back and see how much has gone by. Ten years ago we were told we would not have a baby, but God is perfect and good and blessed us beyond measure with a beautiful, happy child that is more blessing than we certainly deserve. Looking back, it doesn't seem as though it has been ten years.  I just can't believe that he is now school age and yet it seems not so long ago that he was a tiny baby we held in our arms in a football hold to soothe him. It's amazing to me as well how much has happened in those ten years.  The trials, the tribulations, the joys, blessings and sorrows have been abundant in this time as life is just that way. I'm ready for a new chapter in my life, and waiting to find out what will unfold in that chapter.  Now, though, I will look back and see where we've been and hopefully learn a lesson or two for the next ten years to come.  Hopefully those ten years take more than a day or two to pass by.

Happy birthday to my precious baby who is really not so much a baby anymore.

November 03, 2010

Teaching Thankfulness

Well, once again it's almost Thanksgiving.  How in the world it gets here so quick every year, I really don't know.  I love this time of year because it reminds us to focus on the things that matter in life.  while we shouldn't need to be reminded of this, it is something we all too often forget to do.  Life is just like that.  Run here. Run there.  Get through this day and that and all the tasks that come with it.  It's a tangle of toil and care as the songwriter puts it. So we come up on this season of Thanksgiving and we stop and pause and reflect on all the blessings and joys we have in our lives.  As adults it's much easier to recognize these things, but a child must be taught to look outside themselves and see what's around them and the things that are important in life.  I have been dealing with this lately--trying to teach a child to be thankful and not so gimme. The internet is a powerful tool for research and I've come across some things that came together to this fun little project for us to do.

open beak--yes, that's his tongue :D

side view

Front--he turned out really cute!
This little turkey is made from a vegetable can covered in cardstock.  He was made with paper punches and was really pretty easy to do.  His feathers will be added to the can as we each pause and write something each day we are thankful for or a blessing in our lives on a feather and put them in the can.

October 29, 2010

Halloween Treat bags

Thanks to Gayle, I got some cute little treat bags made this year for class party and the soccer team.  Gayle gave a friend of mine this adorable idea and I made into a bag topper.  Super simple and very quick.  I made 13 of these in two hours!  No stamps are involved and only punches and the Sizzix (how did I ever live without these things! :D )

Cardstock: Crumbcake, Whisper White, Basic Black, Only Orange
Accessories: Scallop circle punch, 1/2 inch circle punch, 1 1/4 inch circle punch, 5 petal flower punch, Sizzix machine and top note Sizzix Die.

More scenes from the country

the cattle--six new calves have been born while we have been here.

dew from fog on a dandelion head

Morning fog

green garden snake climbing a tree--he was about 2ft long.

baby praying mantis

dramatic sunset

October 26, 2010

scenes from the country life

today, I thought I'd share some photos with you.  these were taken this summer and fall while we are staying in the country.  My camera has never had such a workout.

 Mississippi Kite pair nested nearby.

 Wooly Worm covered in dew from morning fog.

 Morning sunlight through the trees and fog.
 Bullfrog waiting for dinner.
Terrapin enjoying his breakfast of a grasshopper.

October 25, 2010

Birthday card

Can you believe it?! I made yet another card.  I'm finally getting some time to relax and release some creative energy.  It's awesome and I've missed it so much!

Here's another card for you.

This was made using the set Cute by the Inch (or something along those lines) and an old sale a bration set.  The cardstock colors and the ink colors are blushing bride and concord crush.  Rhinestones added a little sparkle toe the flowers, and a flower from the pretties kit was added for a focal point. The main image on the front was done on Blushing Bride cardstock and was scored every 1 1/4 inch to leave a frame for the 1 inch stamped image.  Then I folded the score marks and sponged in concord crush inks to make them stand out.

October 24, 2010

New cards. Woo Hoo!

I made a couple of cards recently!  Lookee... (I'm so happy to be back to stamping again)

 This card uses the beautiful French Foliage set. I love this one, but I also love anything that is very natural looking.  I used daffodil delight, cherry cobbler, pear pizazz, and peach parfait inks and card stocks. The brad on the front is a vintage brad. I love those new brads!
This card uses Artistic Etchings and more of those vintage brads. The ribbon is some of SU's new vintage ribbons.  So pretty.  The embossing was done with an embossing folder called vintage wallpaper.  I used cherry cobbler, very vanilla, and black card stocks.  For the Eiffel tower, I stamped in black and then colored over the whole thing with a versamarker and embossed with clear powder.  I used some crumb cake ink to give it the aged look.
well, it appears I can't upload cards now for some reason.  It's probably my current internet connection.  So I'll continue to ramble for you...

 It's hard to believe how dramatically life can change in such a short time.  Last spring was a beginning on a new journey in life. When we put our house on the market, we never dreamed it would sell as fast as it did.  The whirlwind that followed felt at times like being caught up in a tornado--swirled, pushed and pulled in every direction imaginable while trying to maintain our bearings as well. This journey has been one of blind faith and complete trust in God.  Though I fear I fail the test daily, I still feel his pull, push or occasional shove down a path that lead to an unknown destination.  Fortunately for us God knows where this journey is taking us. We've had a lot of questions, doubts, fears as well as some tears and sleepless nights of wonder and worry.  Those things were a lack of faith.  So when we trusted and believed that God has a plan, we found a whole lot of peace and comfort in knowing that an all powerful and mighty God is in control of every situation of life and this one is no exception. The path we are following has taken us away from our home and comfort zone to a temporary dwelling and an unknown future.  We know, however, that the future is not ours to know, but to follow and trust that the situations of life will bring us blessings, and a closeness to God and each other. 

Living a life of limbo makes it a bit difficult when you are a person who likes to plan and predict and work towards an event.  I took a photo recently that really expresses what we are feeling right now.  It was a very foggy morning.  When I went out, I could make out a tree in the near distance, and only the tops of trees just behind it.  Everything else beyond that was in a totally blind cloud of fog.  That so describes the way I'm feeling right now.  The good news is that eventually the sun came out and burned away the fog so the distance was revealed.  Quite a lesson there.

October 19, 2010


This is a beautiful time of year for the artist in me, but I also see so much other beauty in spiritual ways as well. You know, our lives are like the changing leaves and seasons.  So many things come and go in our lives and bring beauty with them.  Some of the beauty remains like the evergreens that look so alive in the winter time.  Some of it is only here for a season and leaves behind memories of the beauty they gave to us while they were here. As an artist, I like to think of God as the artist, and the autumn trees remind me of a painter's pallette.  One day I would love to go to the New England states to see the autumn there.  Just to visit for a time in the fall, and long enough to give my camera a workout.

I'm also reminded of the cycles of life when autumn comes.  Everything only lasts for a season.  As the scripture says, "To everything there is a season...a time to be born and a time to die."  It occurs to me as I type this that the seasons of the year are very much like seasons of life.  Spring is all about new beginnings.  Like newborn babies everything is fresh and new and so full of beauty and color. As spring fades into summer, some of the newness of things wears off and we just try to endure the heat of life and all the things that come with it. For some, it's a drought, for others fires, and still more floods.  As summer comes to a close, we just try to endure the final heat and the storms that come along bringing back some of the moisture lost in the drought of summer.  We probably feel a bit like the grass at the end of summer--a bit browned and crispy and lacking enthusiasm for life.  Then comes autumn.  A time of renewed faith and enthusiasm for the beauty of life.  A time when maturity comes along and we can look back on those storms and droughts and see the beauty that was really there all along and we missed because of the suffering.  Autumn can be a time of revival and seeing things through new eyes. As the leaves begin to fall we realize we are nearing the winter where it's cold and dreary.  yet at the same time it's so very peaceful. Have you ever listened to the snow fall?  Sounds odd, but next time it snows really listen.  It's the most calm and peaceful quiet feeling I have ever know.  I love that time of winter.

Well, I'm babbling now, but those are my thoughts on the seasons.  Each one is remarkable and beautiful for what they are.  Embrace each one and enjoy the life God has given each of us.

October 18, 2010

Life is all about changes

Wow what a summer and fall it has been for us here.  Life is so unpredictable sometimes and takes corners and turns we never expect.  I haven't been stamping much at all all summer and fall because of life changes.  We took a huge step out on faith and sold our house this summer.  What's so odd about that?  We did not have another to move into right away. My ever so wonderful and gracious in-laws have given us some space in their house until we can close on a house. This whole change has been a very difficult and rewarding change in our lives.  Never before in my life have I had to rely totally and completely on faith in God to see us through. This is a first, and for someone who doesn't like change and unpredictability, well, you can imagine how it's been. We are in the process of trying to buy a house, but it's been a very frustrating and trying time to buy this particular house. So we are still unsure of the future at this point, but trusting in God to see us through and show us the way.

I believe every circumstance in life has something to learn from it.  In this one we have found a level of patience and trust in God we never knew we are capable of having.  We have had to work harder at making special times for our family and have been rewarded in doing so. And this city girl has found a newfound love for the country. The country has always been something I love--nature, animals, trees, plants, ponds, all of it.  However, it was not something I thought I could handle living in day after day.  Well, that is certainly something that has changed. I love life here in the country--the ever changing scenery, the unpredictability of what animals and things you will see. Until now, many things I have only read about or seen in zoos.  I have witnessed first hand the birth of a calf, and all I can say is completely amazing.  For those used to country living the sight of an owl or a skunk is probably old-hash, but was really awesome to me.  Until the last couple of months, the only owl I've ever seen was in a zoo, and the only skunk was a dead one on the side of the road.

Yes, I have found a truly amazing and inspiring life here.  My camera has never had so many things to take pictures of (hehe)!

I will certainly try to post more often to my blog even if it's only a blog entry and not a creative endeavor.  Stamping is something I remain passionate about, but space is very limited as well as time these days. I will post what I can when I am able, though. When I am able to do so, you will also be seeing more of my photos and thoughts inspired by them.

Who knows if anyone really reads this blog, but it's just fun and therapeutic to post these things for those who might be inspired by them.  Thanks to all who follow and read along.

May 08, 2010

Extreme Guitar Birthday

Hey!  Remember me?  I know.  It's been a long time, right?  Well, here I am with a card for you.  This one is totally out of my comfort zone, but I had a lot of fun experimenting with some new stuff and ideas.  I'm really loving all the wonderful silhouette stamps we have now from Stampin' Up! This one is called Extreme Guitar.  The background behind him was made with the sanded background and the En Francais background stamps.  Now, here's where the experimenting comes in.  I made my own template for the oval part by cutting out an oval from acetate with the die cut machine.  I kept both the oval and the negative. Using the negative, I sponged the color in the background where the guitar player would go.  (I used a dab of 2-way glue on the back of the acetate to hold it in place while I worked.)  After all the sponging was finished (and without moving the acetate), I inked up the background stamps with Soft Suede and stamped one background on top of the other. Then I stamped in the guitar guy.  After removing the negative acetate, I placed the oval cut-out on top of the oval part of the design making sure to line it up as carefully as possible. I took a night of navy stamp pad and dabbed the ink pad all over the part of the card stock that wasn't covered.  It makes a really cool texture!  You can make it as heavy or as light as you'd like.  then to get it to fill in, around the oval cut-out, I took a sponge and moved what was on the acetate onto the card stock.  Then I removed the acetate and I had this really cool image element without the added weight of cut layers for the image.  I distressed the edges a bit to match up with the image.  Then I took a piece of so saffron card stock and stamped it the background stamps I used on the guitar part.  After the ink dried I ran it through the crimper.  Then it was time to assemble.  The stars are star punches layered and off-set. The twill tape was  ravelled to keep the distressed look going, and all was assemble askew to make it more balanced and keeping the grunge kind of look going.

March 21, 2010

Inspired by Fiber arts

Fiber arts are something I truly love, and if I had the space in my house, I'd own a weaving loom. After taking a class in college I was in love with weaving. It's truly therapeutic. Since I was a child, I've been interested in different forms of fiber arts--sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, sculptural sewing, weaving, tapestry (though I've never done any tapestry). So since I now do paper arts and love doing them, I decided it was time to incorporate some of the fiber arts into the paper arts (which, by the way, is a form of fiber art). This card was made using a penny rug pattern I found on the internet. If you've never heard of them, google it. There are some amazing things done that are penny rugs. the basic concept is to use scraps of fabrics cut into circles or other shapes and made into these miniature rugs--usually no more than 15 inches across. So very little stamping took place on this card. It's made with punches and Sizzix dies.

March 16, 2010

Fun with miscellaneous stuff!

I've been a busy girl lately working on just stuff! Here is some of it. I'm thinking I need to open an Etsy shop or something for this stuff.

The big flower pins are made with the big Sizzix flower die that SU sells. It's a really cool die.

The bracelet is a hodpodge of supplies: felt fusion flowers, filligree brads, pretties kit and epoxy brads on a bracelet blank.

The cute little flower pin is made out of tie dyed felt, and I think I may rework that one a bit. you can use the table setting die to get a more accurate flower, but I don't own it so I was trying to make it work without it.

And last, but not least by far, is this glossy little pin. It's made entirely of paper and beads. Got this idea from another blog, but took it in a slightly different direction.

March 15, 2010

Holy cannolli (or however you spell that!)! has it been that long since my last post. Well, I'm still here. It's been a little crazy around here for the last month. Sick child, sick husband, sick self. Well, I'm still struggling with mine a month later, but I think it's slowly getting better and I'm back in the swing of things full force.

What have I been up to? Well, lots of things.

First of all, I've been working as team leader on a project that is near and dear to my heart. On April 10, 2010, Cards4Cancer through Spirit Jump is going to be delivering cards worldwide to cancer patients in an effort to bring a bit of sunshine to their day. That leads me to our team name--Sending Sunbeams. People have donated lots of cards to this cause, and I have a friend who has been a huge help in keeping me on time and in line with this effort. If it weren't for her we still wouldn't have a team name. This project is a very special cause for me. Recently, a family member I have loved and adored my whole life was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently going through chemo and let me tell you it is horrible for her. Even though things are very difficult between her and I right now, I love her very dearly and even though I can't be there for her, I hope these efforts will at least cheer someone's day who is suffering just as much or more than she. If you know someone who is in the same situation right now, then you know what I am talking about. Her whole world has been turned upside down and inside out by this monster that is hiding inside her body. The medicine feels like it is tearing her apart, but that's how vicious the monster inside her is and it takes a mean offense to kill it off. so, please take the time today to write a note of encouragement to someone that is battling cancer. They can all use it just to know they are not fighting alone or in vain.

Secondly, I've been sewing. Sewing up a storm to be precise. I have nearly finished one Silver Mist fairy costume for my niece and have to start a pirate costume for my nephew. So when I haven't been collecting cards and working on those, I've been tied to the sewing machine.

Now, as a bit of a break from the costumes, I'm going a little nutty making flower pins of all different kinds, and different sizzix accessories out of felt and/or various fabrics. It's been a blast. I've also made a little bit of jewelry with various miscellaneous SU hardwares I've had laying around here for a while.

February 02, 2010

Whimsical wishes

This weekend was a Virtual Stamp Night mini event. There were six total challenges and I completed five. This is one of the five. Very odd color combination, but I really like it once I got it done. The colors used are pacific point, pink pirouette, and gable green. For the main image I used the chalkboard technique on a stamp from a Unity kit of the month. I also used masking to get them layered. That was a bit tricky with this technique, but I managed to figure it out. I really haven't figured out yet how to properly use my new SU border and corner punches to make it go around the rectangle, so anyone with tips or pointers would be welcome to comment. LOL
Winter Weather continued...

These pictures are from the storm we had last week. It snowed, sleeted and rained in buckets.

Somewhere in the middle...

Near the end of the ice...

and then came the snow.

Winter weather...again!

What a winter it has been here this year! We normally only get one good snowfall with ice each winter, and by good snowfall I mean 2 or 3 inches. This year we had a Christmas Eve blizzard with 4 foot drifts of snow and then this last week we had an ice storm with about 1/2 inch or so of ice that was then covered in around 6 inches of snow. It's been amazing, and so much fun. I love the snow and it's one of my favorite things to look forward to every winter. This year it has made me a bit nostalgic, though. Both of my Grandparents have passed over Jordan into their heavenly home of rest and I miss them very much. The winter time seems to make me more nostalgic for them, though. We used to always play in the snow when we were at their house, and then would come in and warm our feet on the floor vents while hot chocolate and popcorn were fixed for us. For some reason that one small thing always sticks in my mind during the winter months, and still remains one of my favorite memories of winter. I hope we always remember that sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impressions. I'll share a few of the snow pictures with you from the last two winter storms. Enjoy!

These are some of the snow drifts from the Christmas Eve blizzard. That's a four-foot fence there.

Random bird. LOL

January 13, 2010

Weekly Photo Assignment

Good golly miss Molly! It's been a while since I've been on here. Sorry about that. Christmas season is always filled with wonderful, busy madness, and it usually takes until about now to come down off of the roller coaster. So, I'm back. Today, though, is a photo. One of my things I plan to do this year is to improve my photography skills (or at least acquire some). So I found this website Digital Photography School and it's all free. There are weekly assignments posted. This week's assignment was to take a picture of your camera. Well, it's hard to take a picture of your own camera and make it very original so I took a picture of my child and his camera. There are a few of me with my camera and of my old camera so I'll share those here too. Comment if you have suggestions for improvement.

This one is my most favorite of the camera shots. He's such a little photographer in training mimicking mommy all the way.

The next one is a cute shot, and I love that his feet are sticking out behind him while he figures out his next picture.

This one is cute, too, just because he was sleepy, but wanted to keep taking pictures so he was resting while he reviewed his pictures.

Here is my first digital camera that really got me hooked on taking pictures. I've had others in the past, but this one took really good photos for me, and it was a well-loved camera for a newbie in the photo world. Alas, I have moved on to a bigger camera, and one day I'll move on up again to a DSLR, but my new Sony is complex enough for me right now.

And, last but not least is me with my new digital camera. I took this one in the bathroom with the tri fold mirrors on the medicine cabinet. It's pretty cool, but not original, I'm afraid.