Thursday, August 11, 2011

"She who finds a friend, finds a good thing"

Tomorrow Gabe turns FIVE! He's my inspiration for this blog because he loves to help Gracka make cards, which he always declares "pretty" despite what the opinions are of others.  He's had some storms in his short life that I would have done anything in my power to protect him from. The past 8 months have been especially difficult for him, as will be the next 3 months. Because he is so precious to me, I have called on, and trusted, my very special friends to stand beside me in prayer for Gabriel, in much the same way that Aaron and Hur stood with Moses ( And they have indeed been faithful. I love to make unique cards for my one-of-a-kind friends, and here is my latest result:

 Can you tell what the vintage-looking paper is? It's actually not paper at all, but the fabric from a used tea bag! I LOVE the way tea bags look when they have dried; each has a unique pattern, and different colors depending on the blends of the teas. And it always seemed such a shame to throw away those tea bags after just a few minutes' use. (I might not be able to convince anyone, but I'm really NOT a "hoarder"). The bird is a Tim Holz stamp, the flower is a piece of satin ribbon, and because I'm not at home where my sewing machine is, the stitching is "faux". I've entered this into these challenges:

Creative Belli Blog Challenge                  #123 Non-paper Materials
PaperPlay Challenges                             Create your own DP
Delightful Challenges                             Things With Wings
Southern Girls Challenge                        Black & White with pop of one color
Created By Hand                                   Rainbows/Multicolors/Wings (hope the bird qualifies)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feed the Dog

One of the things my pastor emphasizes frequently is that faith (hope) and fear are like two dogs, each fighting to be the "alpha dog", the master in our lives. Whichever dog is being fed, is the one who's winning the fight. I struggle with this constantly, often sounding like Eeyore: "Oh, well, this is just the way it's going to be for the rest of my life." And the "fear dog" begins to win. But I know from experience that if I feed my "faith dog", he and I will begin to win the fight. I like the Tim Holz sentiment on this card because it reminds me that the battle for my mind and my will and my emotions is constant, but never over!

The circle shapes were cut with the Martha Stewart circle cutter and the scallops were all cut with scissors. The embellies just happened to coordinate with the colors and were from a re-packaged package from The Scrapbook Outlet, my favorite (super-discount!) craft store, so no company name, and the papers were some I've had for a while. Incidentally, the four-loop bow just "happened" while I was playing around. If anyone has the actual directions, I would love to have them!

I've entered the following challenges:

Mojo Monday                          their sketch
Die Cut Dreams                        recipe (3 shapes, 2 colors, 1 ribbon/bow)
Kaboodle Doodles Challenge    use those scissors (and/or Xacto knife)
Scrap-Creations                        recipe (at least 2 papers and at least 2 embellies)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

The stamp on this card is from Zum Gali Gali Rubber Stamps and I'm particularly excited because I had just a tiny bit of input on its creation! Over three years ago I began an email correspondence with Arlene Bandes at the company, asking if they offered a stamp with the phrase "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". She answered that they did not have such a stamp but that it was a good idea and they would get to work on it. After many emails back and forth, I got the word that the stamp was designed, then in production, and finally what I had been waiting for: the stamp was on its way to me! The result is on this card, and is my new most favorite stamp for many applications. I hope you like it also, and visit Zum Gali Gali often. And I especially hope you'll join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

I have entered this in the following:

Paper Pretties                     their sketch
Allsorts Challenge               free and easy (anything goes)
Created by Hand                 metallics (three silver embellies)
Papertake Weekly               anything goes
Ladybug Crafts Ink             summer birthdays (it's my son's 44th birthday -- Happy Birthday, Matt!)

And last but not least, be sure to take a look at the Getting Ready for CHA Sale at Claudia & Company. I love sales!

Paris Tag

I don't know why, but a pretty or unique bookmark, to me, is the height of luxury! That's why I typically take every opportunity to make them, although  I usually end up giving them away, including them with books or as little "extras" with cards I send. And so, because I'm trying hard to get back into a creative mode, I made this one, which I really hope to keep myself.

The Paris postmark and french script are both Tim Holz stamps; the crocheted flower is just one I've had and wanted to use for some time; and the distressed edges are thanks to Ranger's Vintage Photo Distress Ink . This has been entered into the following challenges:

Crafty Creations             Paris theme, anything but a card
For Fun Challenges         Sit a Bit and Crochet
ABC Challenge              Y is for Yesterday (vintage)
Papertake Weekly          anything goes 
Allsorts Challenge           anything goes

Be sure to visit Claudia & Company to grab some great sale items at the Getting Ready for CHA Sale

Monday, July 4, 2011

Finally . . . Summer !

It has been an especially long, gray, cold winter, and long, gray, damp spring, particularly because I was ill for most of it. But it's finally warm and sunny, and I have actually ventured into the card-making realm again. It feels clumsy, and like it's the first card I ever made, but here is my entry into a few challenges.

I'm entering it into the following:
Pixie Cottage                         their sketch
Paper Pretties                        red, orange, yellow, neutral
Creative Inspirations               summer
Crafty Creations                    sparkle (it's there, I promise -- Stickles on the cheeks & orange background)
Moving Along With Times      here comes the summer sun
Case Study                            inspiration
Play Date Cafe                      red/orange/yellow/juniper
Inkspirations                          poppy, baja breeze, peach, white

And if anyone who might look at this blog can tell me how to line up the "entries information" so that it looks as if someone who is at least slightly competent did it, I would be SOOO grateful!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gabe says "Jesus is living in my heart!"

I've been away from my card creativity for several months, due to illness. It's only been recently that I've had the energy to begin creating again, mainly because of a granddaughter's graduation. That card will show up on a later post. But for today, I want to express the utter joy a "gracka" feels because little Gabriel, age 4 and the inspiration for this blog, just asked Jesus to come and live in his heart!

Now, I do realize that Gabe doesn't have a complete understanding of the theology behind his simple prayer of "Jesus, please forgive me and come and live in my heart." But I also know that it was Jesus Who said, "Allow the little children to come to me." Our responsibility, then, is to raise Gabe in an atmosphere that supports this early decision, and to teach him how to allow it to shape his life.

What a privilege this is for me, to watch and be part of the cycle that began with my own "Jesus in my heart" moment at age 8, to my children's decisions, and to the decisions of my "children's children." The fulfillment of God's promise!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue

It's an incredibly beautiful November day today in west Michigan. Sunshine, temps in the mid-60's, still some color left on the trees. God is so creative, and every time I make my feeble little attempt at being creative too, I feel my kinship with Him all over again. Consider the colors of His world: flowers, rainbows, even trees and grass are varied shades of green (or in my backyard, brown where George Bailey plays). But I love the color blue. It always makes me smile, and it seems so peaceful and unassuming. There's lots of agreement on the pleasanter characteristics of blue: blue chip stocks, true blue (THANK YOU, VETERANS!), bluebirds of happiness, and nothin' but blue skies. Of course, there are those who would disagree: the baby blues, singin' the blues, the blue flu, and a blue Christmas without you.

Once again I've taken a little step outside my personal "box". No flowers this time, no pearls, no embossing. Just circles, all in blue, just because I like it. and, believe it or not I saw several challenges to enter this card!

If The Shoe Fits                                  the color blue
Totally Stampalicious                          blue
Crafty Creations                                buttons  (lower right-hand corner)
Gingersnap Creations                         sewing notions (2 buttons in corner)
Moving Along With The Times           nice & bright (wash away Autumn Blues!)
Daring Cardmakers                            colors of topaz (blue)
Raise the Bar                                    curves
If the Shoe Fits                                  blue

How cool is that??!!! See? It really is a wonderful day!