Thursday, August 26, 2010

Star of Wonder

Well, it's not like me to get two cards made in a week, but here I am! Totally Gorjuss and City Crafter both have "star" challenges, and Crafts 4 Eternity's challenge is "holiday" using their sketch. Paper Cutz has an anything goes challenge, and Opus Gluei wants something un-ordinary (blue is NOT the color usually associated with Christmas). Finally, Made By Momo has a birthday challenge, and of all the people I love and who have impacted me the most, the birthday that we celebrate on December 25 is the most precious to me. (I've since removed it from this challenge). This card didn't scan so well, but there is a glittery gold star on the paper just under the image, and the dark blue paper under that has tiny crystal stars (all individually applied by hand -- whew!) I know it's still August, but this year I intend to get my Christmas cards made AND mailed on time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Today's post header is taken from an old "Negro spiritual" that we folk music enthusiasts of the '60s used to sing, and too suddenly it has become my reality. My husband died at 31 in 1977; the following year my dad died. The year after that my mom was seriously ill and close to death. I have thanked God through all these years that He allowed her to remain a loving, vital part of my somewhat shattered family. In April, she finally went "home", leaving me a true motherless child. And that has been a kind of scary place to be. Sometimes it feels as if I'm walking in the dark, never knowing whether my next step will land on solid ground or send me tumbling to somewhere I can't get back from. Ah, but though my husband and parents are gone, my Father still holds me close. And when I saw the Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge (based on the verse in Psalms that says, "When I am afraid, I will trust in You") I thought I should enter. So here is one little verse that speaks the truth of my life.

The blue background is actually heavy corrugated cardboard (like packaging cartons) and REALLY difficult to cut! The papers are just scraps from my stash. The butterfly's flight trail is a piece of gold key chain -- yep, the kind you actually put keys on when you don't have a real keyring! After I finished this card, I realized that I have created a "box" of my own:  a couple of squares, a background, and some words, with a winged creature thrown in. Yikes! Got to break out of my own box. But for today, I also entered this in:
The Shabby Tea Room     a little bit of metal
Craft Your Days Away     with wings
Crafty Creations                butterflies
Sentimental Sundays        words that inspire (at least I hope so!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Expressions Of The Heart

So many of the creations I see on the blogs I try to follow, are works of art in every way. The layouts, sentiments, and colors fit together perfectly. Not so for me. A simple "Hello" (the recipient is so glad to finally hear from me she'll ignore the boring card) "Happy Birthday" (ditto) or "Get Well" (too sick to be critical) have been my standard fare, with a few Christmas cards thrown in when I remembered in time to actually get them made and sent. So, for the next step in my quest to get out of the box, I chose a card that I've always stayed away from: a sympathy card. Cuttlebug actually has a sympathy card challenge, so I embossed the background. The Shabby Tea Room has a Delicate Cottage Rose challenge, which led to the Speedy the Cat challenge (anything, flowers). OK, forget Speedy the Cat. I tried 6 times and couldn't get entered. For the layout, I used the Oh! Alice sketch. Finally, since everything I used was something I already had on hand (including the coffee filters for the rose) I decided to enter this card in the Opus Gluei challenge to make something only from your stash. I sincerely hope that the person who receives this card will know how much he/she is cared for.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

(Almost) Farewell to Summer

Every year about this time, summer begins preparing to relinquish her reign and give way to autumn. This is the one season change that always makes me a little sad. It means having to wear more layers of clothing, keeping a more regimented schedule, and spending less time with the kids. But it also means seeing my favorite creature: the delicate dragonfly with his sturdy body and gossamer wings. I experimented this week with a stamp I love, the large dragonfly, and stamped him on acetate. I get really excited when I can use someone else's cast-offs, and that's where the acetate came from. (The company I worked for a few years ago was going "high-tech" which meant putting presentations on PowerPoint and getting rid of transparencies. I got a brand new box of 100 sheets!) I knew I wanted color to show through his wings; I searched for an entire afternoon but wasn't happy with anything in my stash. Then yesterday as I was "playing" with my delightful friend Elena ( we thought of using stamp pads directly on paper to create colors I liked, then cut them into "twinchies". While I was doing this, Elena searched until she found a challenge for this card. After I mounted it all on a Cuttlebug embossed background, I entered my card in the:
Cuttlebug Cuttin' Up! challenge
Raise The Bar Challenge ABC: (A)nimal -- is a dragonfly an animal? (B)lue twinchie, (C)uttlebug
Totally Gorjuss  Aqua (bottom right twinchie)
Paper Pretties Challenge  Summer

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gabe Turns 4!

Here he is: the man of the hour. He can finally hold up four fingers! Just look at that face; is it any wonder that the world looks brighter when Gabe says "Wheee!" ?  This picture was taken on an absolutely perfect day spent at the zoo. I'm not sure who had more fun, Gabriel or his mom and me. God has certainly compensated me for growing older.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's a Blue Monday

It's a blue card for a "blue" Monday  --  storming here this morning. The thunder and lightning are putting on quite a show! And I'm blue because I made this card for the Shabby Tea Room Challenge using soft blue, cream, white, brown, and/or a house. I figured this card nailed it. But alas! The deadline was Sunday night, and I didn't get it entered. Well, I hope the person I'm sending it to appreciates it. It was fun to experiment with embellishments, which I'm trying to become more comfortable with. Hope you have a sunny day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ya Gotta Love Green

Believe it or not, green is not my most favorite color. But I saw two challenges that looked interesting, and these papers fit both of them, so green it is! I made this to say hello to a very old (oops, make that a long-time) friend. I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I found two additional challenges to enter, so here are all four of them:
Crafts 4 Eternity Recipe Challenge #44 Birds & Pearls
Simon Says Stamp Goin' Dotty Challenge
Die Cut Dreams Challenge Gingham
EBTKS Challenge Buttons