Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Stockings

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!
I was rooting around in our church’s Sunday School teachers Resource Room and found two boxes stuffed full of pieces of old felt leftover from some other project, so I decided to make Christmas stockings for my Sunday School kids.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scrap Pincushion

I found this poem and it reminded me of a crocheted pincushion that my husband’s grandmother showed me how to make using scraps of yarn.
 
Pincushion Fancy
By Ellen Martin

It is not new, nor is it fancy;
It’s a gift from Grandma’s day,
A cushion that preserves the pins
That otherwise might stray.

It’s a resting place for needles
That kept us in repair,
And quietly reminds me of
My mother’s loving care.



To Crochet =

You will need four strips of graduating sizes to make this pincushion. A size G hook. I crochet loosely, so if you crochet tightly, use the next size up in a crochet hook.

Step 1) Measure around a thimble with a flexible measuring tape to get the approximate length of the center pincushion strip. I have three thimbles at home and I’m using the largest one – it’s approximately 2 ½” around the widest part in diameter. The strip should be three inches wide to fold in half lengthwise, so I need to crochet 13 chains to make my beginning chain (ch).

Step 2) We’re going to single-crochet (sc) all the way across the beginning chain to make the first row. Stick your hook into the second chain from hook, then grab the yarn and pull through the chain – you should have two loops on your hook, the #13 chain and the one you just pulled through. Yarn over (yo) the hook, then pull a loop through the two loops on the hook and you’ve made your first single crochet (sc). Repeat the steps until you come to the end of the first row. You should have made 12 sc. Yo and make another ch. Turn.

Step 3) Second row. We’re going to crochet all across this row in the back loops of each sc. This will make ridges or ribs in your work. If you look at the top of the row, each stitch (st) are interlocking V’s. The back part of the V is the loop we want to sc in, so sc 12 sts across row. Ch 1, turn.

Step 4) Third row & continuing rows. Sc in back loops – 12 sts in each row until piece length measures approximately 12 rows or about 2 ½ inches. To tie off, pull a 12 inch or so length of yarn through the last loop on the hook, cut through the middle of the loop, remove loose end and pull tail tight. Thread tail though a large-eyed yarn needle, grab first row alongside and whip stitch together to make a long tube. Tie off by wrapping yarn around end of needle once, pull through and weave ends back through yarn material. Fold tube over, edge to edge and you have your center of the pincushion. Insert thimble to see how it fits.

Step 5) Repeat directions (steps 1-4) for next three tubes of pincushion, making each strip 1 ½” longer. Here’s my formula for my pincushion. =

1st strip = 2 ½” x 3” (approximately 12 rows)
2nd strip = 4” x 3” (14-17 rows, depending on thickness of yarn)
3rd strip = 5 ½” x 3” (22-24 rows)
4th strip = 7” x 3” (24-30 rows).
Fold tubes in half and nest all tubes together, from smallest to biggest.

Step 6) Optional finish = Pull out a yarn strand approximately the length of your arm, cut and thread onto the needle. Starting at center of your pincushion, catch all the layers together by weaving the needle through the end stitches of each row on the back loosely, leaving a 5 or 6” tail to knot off at end. Weave the needle to the outside, then back to center in all four cardinal directions. DO NOT pull thread tightly. Return to the center and tie off. Weave short ends in and trim. Insert thimble and pins and it’s ready to go as your handy-dandy sewing helper!

Churchmouse Cookie


Making a list and checking it twice. Okay, I just finished sewing up the felt cookie with the bite out of it for our children’s church mice Christmas drama. It has white felt “icing” and bugle beads for sprinkles sewn on. The rather flat “pillow” is stuffed with plastic grocery bags. They mold a little flatter and stiffer than pillow stuffing will. Some of the children were to hold candy canes and they came from the dollar store. Now to find “nests” of blankets/towels for all the “mice” and wrap the HUGE “gift” with wrapping paper and a large bow (hot water tank box) for the stage.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paper Grocery Sack Gingerbread House


The Dollar Store Craft Lunch Sack gingerbread house reminded me of the gingerbread house that our son made for us in second grade. I had to go dig it out and take a picture of it for you. He was so sweet and now he's working at Micheal's as a stockboy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Light of the World

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . And God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light. God saw that the light was good.” ~ Genesis 1:1,3,4a

As we headed to the cashier at a thrift shop to pay for our items, I overheard a argument between siblings about God creating the day and light. While it may not have been the most appropriate place to have the argument, it was refreshing to hear one about the Bible, knowing these children probably had a good foundation in the Word already by that time. I wondered if they knew that this light primed the world for the Light that came as a baby 2000 years ago to die for my sin.

Later, I picked up a book that caught my eye at the library about two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer who invented the Day-Glo colors which helped to win a war, brighten everyday life, and save people’s lives. They mixed paints with fluorescent chemicals to make colors that glowed in the dark. But they had two problems – the colors only showed up under an ultraviolet lamp and daylight faded their paints. They kept experimenting, eventually mixing their dye with alcohol which made the colors glow intensely in daylight, too, without fading.

Prayer: Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank you for flashing your light in the dark regions of my heart, then washing it clean, and saving my life! Amen!

Today’s Quote:
"St. Nicholas visited many children in Europe on his feast day, December 6th, or the eve before, especially in the Netherlands. He, in centuries past, questioned the children on their knowledge of the Bible. For the correct answers, the children were rewarded with fruit, nuts, and sweets." ~ Barbara Hallman Kissinger.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paper Cutting Technique & Tips for Decoupage & Photographs

I was a co-teacher for a yearbook class to homeschooled teenagers for a couple of years. (JC Penny's Lifetouch) The below was from a technique hand-out I gave the students . . .
 
~~ <> @ <> ~~
 
Materials:
Professional stainless steel cuticle scissors with curved blades
Small, straight-bladed, sharp-pointed scissors (embroidery)

"What's worth doing at all is worth doing well."


If you are right-handed, use your right hand only for holding the scissors and opening the cutting blades of the scissors. (Left-handed persons reverse the process).

Scissors are held with the thumb and third (middle) finger in a relaxed manner with curved blade (cuticle scissors) pointing to the right and away from the edge being cut rather than toward the cut out. This will give you more control over your cutting.

Use your left hand (if you are right-handed & visa versa, opposite hand) to feed the paper into the scissors and to guide your paper so that the scissors are cutting just on the line you want. Feed the paper being cut into the scissors, with scissors opening and closing in a steady rhythm, but remaining essentially in the same position. Keep your paper well back into the scissors and use the tip ends of the blades only to cut into a corner before you turn the paper with your left hand.

Holding scissors at a slight angle to bevel the edge so that the top surface is longer (thumb turned to the right slightly & bottom blade to the left under the paper) eliminates the white line that one finds around a cutting and produces a softer result. Cut with the middle of the blade in small slices in an even rhythm rather than with big cuts.

The purpose of cutting in this way is to give you what is called a "feathered" look.  After cutting out a print (or photograph), turn it over and carefully examine the reverse side. You will see that the edges turn it toward the back of the print. This enables you to glue down your prints more firmly. If the edges turn up toward the side with the design, the job of gluing down is made harder.

Cut as close to the design as possible. You must get the little places in between stems and so forth. Cut from the inside towards the outer edges rather than the reverse. This way while you are cutting out all the little hard to get at places you will have the outer edge of the print to hold onto.

When you cut away interior and small spaces of a design, you cut underneath the paper with the scissors, so, prick the middle of the space on top with the point of your scissors  to provide an opening for your scissors to find on the underside of the piece.
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paper Ephemera List

I found a Mary Engelbreit book on collections at a thrift store and after my article on FREE Address labels, I got to thinking about all the paper ephemera I could use on my cards and in my scrapbooks. So here’s a list of such to remind me of what I could use. This is minus the paper that might have historical significance in the future, such as ledger notebooks, old letters, and the like. (I watch “Antiques Roadshow” and “History Detectives” on my local PBS station!) If I was to going to use old letters, recipes and the like on cards, I would photocopy the original, then insert the historical document in protective acid-free plastic sleeves and keep in a heritage scrapbook.

alphabet stencils or stamped alphabet tags; bookmarks; bookplates; brochures; button cards; bumper stickers; calendar prints; can labels; candy and gum wrappers; catalog illustrations; clothing labels; comic books/newspaper comics; crepe paper; cupcake picks; doodles/scribbles; drugstore medicine warning sheets; file folders; folded origami items; food labels & stickers; game papers; gift labels; gift wrap; gold lining in envies/gift boxes; honeycomb tissue fold-outs; incomplete decks of playing cards; index cards; library card pockets; library cards; magazine fonts; magazine illustrations; magazine pull-outs; milk bottle top circles; monopoly money; National Geographic magazine illustrations; old grocery lists; packaging chipboard; paint chip sample cards; paperback book pages; paper cording; paper fans; paper doilies; paper lace; paper napkins; paper ribbon; paper sacks; paper tablecloths; photocopies; photo corners; poetry; pogs; postage stamps; postmarks; quotes; rolodex cards; register paper rolls; reproductions of vintage ephemera; ribbon spool labels; saint cards; scripture cards; single-size sample packets; security envelope patterns; seed packets; sewing notion labels; sewing pattern envies; sewing pattern tissue; soap box labels; stampies (extra stamped images); sticky notes; store receipts; tags; teabag envelopes; teabag labels; telephone message pads; tickets; tissue paper; tracing paper; used greeting cards; used, dyed dryer sheets; used notebook paper; vintage paper clock/watch faces; and wallpaper/borders

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Two-Way Street

“another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. . .They provoked the Lord to anger because they forsook him. . .” ~ Judges 2:10b, 12c

I got angry several times this week because certain persons in my world talked about me behind my back instead of talking to me about a problem. As I processed my anger, I realized why I was so mad. I was feeling devalued.
Used to, I would fly off in a tantrum and have a pity party for one. But because of the admonition in the word about not sinning in my anger (Eph. 4:26;31-32), I knew I must forgive (Mt. 6:14; Col. 3:13) and continue on. The above scripture came to mind. My Daddy Lord got angry too! Somebody failed to communicate! And He was disregarded by ignorant Israelites bent on worshipping other gods.
Communication is two way. I throw the ball in their court, they throw the ball back into my court. At this point, I can continue the conversation or stop. Last month’s devotion was a gentle reminder of my own failure to communicate with my students. I stopped throwing the ball too soon, in fact, I failed to throw the ball at all.

Prayer: Father forgive me. Give me the grace to forgive both myself and others when we fail to communicate with each other. Thank you, Lord, for loving me and not condemning me for my past failures. In Jesus name, Amen!

Today’s Quote:
"While it is hoped that the members of a parish are important in one another's lives, that kind of relationship doesn't happen automatically. Church members must make an effort to strengthen the ties between them." ~ Sue Banker.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Care Bearing

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Matthew 6:21

Our pastor gently reminded me that my students need to know how much they are cherished by me, their Sunday School teacher when I admitted that I was slacking off sending cards during a recent Sunday School teacher's meeting. I was no longer on the same page with Christ because of my disobedience. I repented at that moment and later spent time reading his love letter to me.

As I thumbed through the books of the Bible, a verse I had memorized some time ago came to my mind, so I turned to the reference in Galations 6:9. After I reread it, the two verses above it leaped out at me. I reap what I sow. I applied God’s wisdom to my situation - if I show I don’t care for my kids and their families, I will have few or no students. Big and little people are attracted to real love like bees to honey, so if I please the Spirit by obeying His nudges, showing by my actions that I care for them like He does, then I will make Sunday School attractive. And perhaps some day, reaping an investment of love, my students will spend eternity with me in heaven if I don’t give up doing good to them.

Prayer: Daddy Lord, I am weary and weak; please refresh me. You said your yoke was easy; please make your burden light too. Keep teaching me Lord about shepherding your lost sheep alongside you. Pull me close into your loving arms and then push me to obey. In Jesus name, Amen!

Today’s Quote:
“We are all pencils in the hand of God writing love letters to the world.” ~ Mother Teresa. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

I received a Just Cards magazine in the mail today! Guess that means I’ve been honored again by getting a card published! *smile* Thank you Editorial Staff at Scott Publications for all your hard work in compiling these mags for us! (I couldn’t wait to look. Mine is on page 88!)
I see I've been joined by many friends there = Lindsay Weinrich, Judy Cantrell, Joan Petty, and Barb Benson.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Veggie Tale ATC’s.

Today I made Veggie Tale ATC’s for my preschool Sunday School kids attendance chart prizes.
Our kids love stickers, but don’t always know the appropriate places to put them (I remember a few sessions with goo-be-gone! *roll eyes*). Here they get two prizes in one – stickers and a trading card! I used two brands of stickers – Veggie Tales by Big Idea and Redi-Stix Word Stickers by Standard Publishing. Then I just dressed them up with a little marker and stamped an appropriate scripture stamp (Stampin’ Up) on the back of each.
As I made these today, I listened to our local Christian radio station and “Family Talk” came on. Ryan Dobson mentioned that his father, Dr. James Dobson was horse back riding recently, fell off and broke nine bones. I’m thinking of sending him a get well card. How about joining me in prayer for his healing and sending him get well wishes?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tissue Box Notebooks

Julie and Trisha, you are going to be so proud of me. *smile* I finally altered something and made these tiny notebooks from paper tissue boxes [1 box yields: 7 (2” x 3.5” x 1”) front & back covers & (1”) punched round tags per box] that my in-laws save for me.
 
I picked out the brightest tissue covers. I also recycled paper that was blank on one side and printed on the other for the notebook sandwich. The only thing I had to purchase was the clasp (book) rings and at 24 cents apiece I believe that’s a pretty inexpensive prize for my Sunday School kids. Now for a “donation” of decorative pencils to go with them and we’re all set!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Door to my Heart


While this card does not have a door stamp on it since I didn’t have one, but I did have a key (Delta/Rubber Stampede) and a lock (Rubber Monger), I thought to make the card appear as though it was a piece of a door. I’ve been wanting to find a woodgrain stamp for various projects and when, sometime ago, I watched a painting video showing a graining tool (ZAR/United Gilsonite Laboratories), I ran to my local True Value Hardware (Home Depot have these too) and bought this rubber stamp tool in the painting section. I broke the package open for this week’s “door” challenge for Stampin’ Sisters in Christ.
It takes a bit of practice to get the grain to look just right and I’m going to have to practice with various other inks and paints. My husband was breathing down my neck today - he’s wanting to go somewhere, so I was in a hurry to make this card. It seems to be missing something. Can you tell me what you would do to improve it if it was your card? I love positive feedback!
Have a happy day!
I just had to tell my Daddy Lord “Thank You” today for coming in!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bargains Galore

I’ve been shopping for new and gently-used but new-to-us Sunday School stuff at charity/thrift shops, Dollar Tree, Mardels, Michaels (where my son works), US Toys and Walmart. I update or rotate posters and toys from time to time to pique the children’s interest. Also I like shopping creatively. I might not purchase much, but often come away with many FREE ideas percolating in my head.
At Dollar Tree, I found a set of four signs on tongue depressor handles for “Quiet” (looks like a stop sign); “Hold Your Hand Up” (large white glove), and “Line Up Quietly” (footprints) that I rolled through my Xyron 900 ) laminator. It will laminate a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. We sit at a table during lesson time. Little ones are impulsive, talkative and wiggle, so we practice sitting still (feet on floor, bottom on seats) and being quiet (zip lips and let’s put on our listening ears) when Mrs. Dolores is talking. I thought these would be fun to hold up when ordinary methods fail to work. One time I made huge cardstock ears to wear around my ears (think Ferengi) and wore them to class. It made a huge statement! LOL!
Found a couple of posters at US Toys for my Sunday School classroom and was delighted when asked if I would like to have them laminated for $1.00 each on top of what I paid for them (which was a little cheaper as I have a teacher’s reward discount card). So the blank poster sheet that I was going to use for our memory verse has been converted to a white board which I can use for more than one verse. I was also looking for a poster of all the New Testament Books of the Bible written in large print that I can read from across the room, but haven’t found one yet. I may have to make my own on blank desk name strips. I’m memorizing the books of the New Testament as well as the children. Most don’t read yet, but are learning to recognize different letters and to write their names. We also do a sword drill from time to time --looking up the books of the Bible that they have already memorized in our classroom New Testaments (or their Bible if they remembered to bring it) by matching the name on a flashcard to the word at the top of the page.
Found an idea that I wanted to use for keeping flashcards together and to make a little scrap paper notebooks (ATC size) for a prize [always looking for cheap ($1.00 or less) prizes]. Punch one hole in the middle top or corner of each card and thread a metal book ring through the end. A good way to recycle the blank sides of junk mail and envelopes.
We were at Mardel’s at the right time as they were selling children’s T-shirts for 59 cents on clearance. We just about cleared out their Veggie Tale selection! I also purchased two new figures to the The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything Ship toy and an extra lesson teacher’s book from a Veggie Tales VBS curriculum packet on sale for $2.50. I feel like I made out like a bandit! I have coloring sheets for
The Pirates that I pulled from the movie DVD or online.
Saw the cutest hand pointers at Mardel’s. Didn’t buy one as I couldn’t decide whether the kids would try to play with them or not. Also saw that DJ Inkers, the Stick Kids, and Mary Engelbreit have posters and bulletin board borders now! But they weren’t Veggie-Tales!

Friday, September 2, 2011

When God Doesn’t Make Sense

“the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” ~ Isaiah 57:1.

Two different friends’ extended families lost nearly everything they owned in one of the tornadoes that ripped through our part of the country recently. It’s gut-wrenching when somebody we love is affected by natural disasters.

Recently we were discussing their plight over dinner and a story was relayed about God’s hand of protection concerning one of them. Everything nearby was swept away except for the walls surrounding the woman, clearly a miracle to us. Then a question was raised, so how do you answer people who ask how God can protect one person and not another when their loved one was killed. Where’s God’s protection in that? I answered, while I don’t know all God’s reasons for protecting one on earth and allowing another to die, there is a verse in the Bible that comforts me when the unexpected happens. If the person had lived, perhaps something far worse was in their future, like terrible suffering of some sort.

I’m an ant; only God can see the big picture and perhaps he protected the loved one who died, only not in the way we desired. We have to trust that God knows best and hold on to our faith!

Prayer: Lord, Thank you for your protection. Be with the families who have lost loved ones. Give them peace like a river & strength to keep going. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Today’s quote:
"A card ministry team can be vital to the communication system within a church, a community, and beyond. Each member of the group is truly a missionary, reaching out to people in all phases of life, sharing God's love." ~ Sue Banker.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Music Card

I made this card some time ago as a sample Christmas card, but I loved it so much that I just couldn’t bear to give it away, so it is stashed in a shoebox of my favorite cards. When Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge came up this week to use music in some form on our cards, I knew this card would be just the thing. Stamps used are Background (Rubber Stampede, #3428R, Angel Chorus Collage), Cynthia Hart cherubs (Rubber Stampede, #321-E, Dream Angels) and the tissue paper wings are molded on an Amaco Butterfly/Angel mold. The tissue paper technique can be found at the Club Posh forum. I cut the edges of the layers with decorative scissors, spritzed the corners with water to relax the paper so that I could curl it to look like a scroll and added a little glitter bling when the paper was dry. It’s also been distressed with ink to look vintage. Kinda reminds me of those old Victorian German Christmas ornaments.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Ants Go Marching


I was messing about with my Cuddlebug and discovered I could emboss paper with a piece of plastic canvas (sandwich A plate, B plate, plastic canvas, paper, Spellbinder’s rubber mat, B plate), so then I designed a card for this week’s Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge using an ant (Rubber Stampede) and watermelon (Posh) for summer birthdays or as an invitation to a barbeque. I cut several pieces of plastic canvas to fit an A2 card and made this one slightly smaller for the inside, so I could showcase the ants marching around the outside of my card, then colored the embossed image with a fingertip sponge. Engage your imagination, pretend it’s a picnic tablecloth. Of course, then I had to add a few flyspecks (Stampin’ Up) to the background as well! *smile* The scallop lace and border around the sentiment (Hero Arts) are by Stampin’ Up. And I pleated my paper with my Score-it Mini!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

S.W.A.K

“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” -1 Peter 5:14

Beth, our pastor’s wife, helped her mother clean out her garage and ran across a box of letters her parents wrote when they were courting long distance. Her father was in the navy and stationed in a state some distance away from where her mother was living at the time. Beth said she learned much about her parents that she didn’t know before from reading their letters. For instance, she found a new-to-her acronym within her parent’s letters – S.W.A.K. “sealed with a kiss.” She also learned her mother has always loved to applaud people through praise notes.

Peter begins his letter with this greeting, “To God’s elect, strangers in the world,” and goes on to remind the receivers of his letter of who they are in Christ. He also writes that they can put their hope in a living Christ and that they must persevere under trials. He writes this way to remind them of who they are, God’s elect and that they are receiving the goal of their faith, the salvation of their souls!!! Peter ends his first letter with an agape S.W.A.K., love and peace from the Christian brotherhood.

Prayer: Dearest Lord, help me today as I write my little notes. Remind me of who it is that I’m writing to. As an extension of your hand, ink in loving, kind and encouraging words to strengthen their hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Quote:
"I didn't choose Christianity; I chose Jesus Christ. I am painting and writing what God shows me. I don't know much about the religions, but I know this: God looks at our love." ~ Akiane Kramarik.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Black & White


Today, I decided to “case” a Stampin’ Sister in Christ’s designer’s card. It’s my own version, with my stamps and punches. I’ve heard several arguments about “casing” other’s designs = is it stealing? Or is it adaptive creativity, taking others' ideas and developing new ways to combine and use them? In light of Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge devotional for this week, what are your thoughts? What say you Chris Olsen?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Moving Cards


I have had a busy two weeks – Family Reunion, Shoebox Party, caught a summer bug (I have asthma, so everything heads south), then a yucky central Missourian tick found my leg a tasty snack (yes, summer bug & tick bite required an antibiotic) and our son will be a groomsman in his best bud’s wedding this afternoon. I’m entering two cards to the Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge that I’ve made previously, sorry, ladies, my head’s not been up to par to design a moving card this week, so I’m entering two I’ve made previously. One, a waterfall card, is located at Splitcoast Stampers – one to remember during these HOT summer days and the other one is a rolling bee card. The background is strips of black electrical tape to make “bee” stripes. Appropo, don’t cha think? *smile* Have a great week, you all! And yes, I’m feeling some better myself! Now if the swelling and itch from the tick bite will go down, I’ll be all set!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shoebox Party_2011



Have you ever had a deadline to make a card and just was not in the groove to come up with an idea? That happened to me this week. I was invited to a shoebox party plus I wanted to join the Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge. I don’t know how you girls do it when you make one card for a handful of different challenges.
Well, I guess what works for me is to be frugal and recycle items leftover from other things, like this bulletin board border. I purchased it sometime ago from Dollar Tree, used it on a poster for Sunday School that never got put up and since I just can’t bear to throw good paper out, hence this card. At Bargain Factory liquidation store, back in the flea market section, I found two old Stampin’ Up sets of stamps – Petite Patterns (background set) and Borders Mini for $3.00 each. I came home and discovered one of my Cuddlebug dies worked perfectly with the Borders stamps and I also had several Hero Arts sentiments that were just the right size to fit inside of the borders. Woo hoo! I love it when it all comes together like that!
Oh, and by the way, I ended up making three more cards for the party Thursday. The picture below shows all the cards that we made and the four in front are the ones I made for it. SaintsRule! Thank you for the inspiration for the cherry card. I didn’t have any dotted paper like your lovely card, so came up with my own version of dots. Most of the gals do not own a Cuddlebug, so the swiss dot embossing folder worked wonderfully for that! The blue striped card was inspired by a bathroom towel design and the die-cut posies are Cuttlekids (the first diecut machine I bought—on clearance at Walmart) I used white acrylic paint with a dauber tip on a rubber stamp to make the stripes.
(Tip: to remove dried on acrylic paint from a rubber stamp, soak rubber part on a wet soapy paper towel for several minutes, then scrub with a toothbrush. Peeled right off!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Building Blocks

“Train a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6
“You, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house. . .”
1 Peter 2:5


Ever watch a mason build a brick or stone wall? He starts with a strong foundation, usually of concrete, which is poured into a molded form inside of the ground. He lets it cure or get hard and then slaps on the mortar, the glue that holds the bricks together. After that, he places the bricks into place one at a time, building them up until they become a wall of a house.

I’m a mom, teach a preschool Sunday School class and believe this age is the prime time to build those disciplines (habits) children will need all their lives, such as kindness, taking turns, patience, looking out for brother, knowing how to read and write, Bible verse memorization, etc. As a teacher, it’s my job to help model those values, too, and to tell the children when they’ve done well. I make ATC’s (artist trading cards) as rewards for attendance and send cards periodically to let the children know they are thought of and loved. I’m helping the parents build a strong foundation under their children for their future, for eternity.

Prayer: Lord, remind me that it’s too important to let those building blocks slide. Remind me that children need to know they are cared for and loved. Help me be a good model, kind, but firm when needed. In Jesus name, Amen!

Today’s Quote:
“People long to belong. To be remembered strengthens one's sense of identity and purpose. . .To be seen, known, appreciated between sessions, send postcards, call, e-mail participants. Soon they may begin to be significantly attentive to one another as well." ~ Norma Cook Everist.

Thank You


Isn’t it amazing how God provides? I was going to design a thank you card for my kind niece as she sent me this lovely floral French Mini Border stamp (Delta/Rubber Stampede, #3293F) out of the blue and Stampin’ Sisters In Christ’s challenge this week was to design a red, white, & blue thank you card. The only other stamp I used was the sentiment = “Blessings hemmed with thankfulness will not unravel. I’m so thankful for you.” By Stampendous (#L226).
Did you know that you can run a brass embossing plate through your Cuddlebug just like you do a Spellbinders diecut? I had this small rose plate which I stenciled the color on the rose, embossed it, masked it, stippled color around it, and added stitch lines to frame it. Below the border stamp, the bottom is also embossed with a narrow Cuddlebug embossing folder, then I pierced it, ran another stitch line across it and trimmed the extra paper from below to make it look like lace.
Recently I found a complete Mini Bowdabra bowmaker craft tool at a thrift store and had to try it out. The bow’s not perfect, but looks tons better than my version would have looked. I hope my niece likes her card. I do!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemade Dye Spray

Purchase 2 ounce makeup bottles from Walmart  for as many colors as you think you will need. Next, fill them with water. Then add 30 drops of re-inker, shake it to mix and spray many backgrounds for your stash. Have fun playing and experiment with various color combinations.
 
In addition, make a  spray paint “booth” out of a cardboard box (abt. 15 x 15 inches) by cutting off the flaps and lining the very back (bottom of box) with wax paper so there isn't any accidental spray leakage from there to your work surface.
 
I recently saw a bottle of similar solution at a scrapbook store for $13.00. 
 
Postscript: You can also use a few drops of acrylic paint to water, however, be sure to rinse the nozzle with water after using it as the paint may clog it up.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Craft Bits Swap


I used to belong to a once-a-month atc craft club and initiated an atc craft bits exchange with all the members for something fun to do. You can get rid of the stuff you don't want or have way too much of and get some "new" supplies. I took sandwich sized zip bags stuffed full of crafts bits I had saved to show them what I was willing to swap and gave them a slip of paper with the rules posted. We set the date for the following month in which to trade. I made enough bags for everyone to have one plus one or two extras. Some of my bags even had small rubber stamps.

ATC Goodie Bag Exchange Rules
1. Must use a sandwich size bag to fill with goodies that can be used on an ATC (artist trading card).
2. Goodies must be things that you have at home (however, if you purchase something today and have it at home when you fill the bags, then that will count! *wink*)
3. Goodies may be new or slightly used, but nothing wet or stinky.
4. Bring your goodie bags to our next ATC meeting to exchange.
5. Our friendly scrapbook shopkeeper is exempt from this exchange unless she wants to participate.

Ribbon Iron & Ironing Board


Since I save all the used ribbons that come my way and have purchased bundled, spooless odd lots at a local children’s museum teacher’s resource room, one year I asked Santa for a ribbon iron and my son purchased this Tulip Mini Fashion Iron for me. It’s so light and easy to whip out from the little zippered pink makeup bag (also purchased from thrift store) to iron those ribbons flat. I found the cute little ironing board for $2.50 at a our local salvage store. It’s for ironing collar and cuff seams when sewing clothing, but it makes a dandy counter ironing surface instead of having to drag out my big ironing board to set up. If your husband is handy in the workshop, he might be able to saw you a little ironing board from a picket fence board (16” long) which you could cover the top with old cut up potholders to give it a little padding, topping with fabric and stapling it on. The legs on mine are like the big ironing board legs that let it fold up flat, but your hubbin could attach dowel rod legs that screw on to the bottom. I would also slip on rubber chair tips on the ends of the legs so they don’t mar your counter surface & would give it a little gripping power as well.

Faux Hotpot


Since I’m frugal, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money for a Melting Hotpot that I might only use once, so I made my own version. I found this Dazey Beverage Warmer, still in the box like new, and the metal pitcher at the thrift store. My mother gave me a box of paraffin wax that had been in her canning pantry for several years to try first, but I had thought of purchasing old/used off-white or light yellow taper candles from the thrift store or melting down old yellow or tan crayons to get the look of expensive beeswax. I expect a candle warmer would work as well. It took a few minutes for one bar of the canning wax to melt down and when I was done playing, I removed the pitcher from the warmer to let the wax harden right in the pitcher. I didn’t see the need to remove it, so it will be there the next time I want to play again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More ATC Ideas

Yesterday, at church we had a missionary couple who works for the Jesus Film Harvest Partners come speak about what they do-coordinating mission teams who take the Jesus film to unreached people groups around the world and follow up discipling of those who made decisions for Christ. During Sunday School time, Ms. Diane showed our children some of the evangelism tools that they use out in the field. Objects like evangelism soccer balls, evangecubes, proclaimers, scripture “coins,” and prayer cards -cool stuff. The evangelism soccer ball reminded me of the Wordless book that my Sunday School teacher Grandmother “read” to me as a child. Which in turn got the creative wheels turning in my head.
I’m always looking for new ideas for ATC rewards for my Sunday School children. I’ve learned to make ATC’s in small numbers and rotate them from time to time as the children like to look for new ones to collect. As Sunday School teachers, we’re to help teach the little ones that they can too tell others about Jesus, that it’s just not a preachers, teachers and missionaries’ job. That led me to think about creating a evangelistic trading card that would help them tell the story like the wordless book. On the front, stripes of color and on the back, the “story”.


A dark color like black, navy, brown = One of these dark colors represents the sin in our life. (John 3:19)
Red = Red represents the blood that Jesus shed for us (Matthew 26:28)
White = If we confess our sins, we will be washed white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)
Green = When we believe, we are given new life in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Gold = And some day we’ll walk the streets of gold in Heaven. (Revelation 21:21, 27)
I also thought of another ATC to make. The missionaries handed out prayer cards with an new believer on them with words underneath that said “Pray for Me.” They were about the size of a credit card and I thought why couldn’t I make ATC sized prayer cards of each of the children in our class for each other.
I thought I might take head shots of each of my SS kids and put them on a large address sticky label, then stick them to a cardstock ATC. Or I also have Stampin’ Up’s Charming Children stamps that I could use to represent each child and write their names below along with “Pray for Me.”
What do you think?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father’s Day Album

I was watching “The Katie Brown Workshop” on TV the other day and saw this cute little album and thought it would be good to make, not only for Stampin’ Sisters in Christ challenge, but for my hubbin’s Father Day gift. He likes to collect small flat items like patches, button pins, lapel tack pins, etc. He really likes the vintage look (think Tim Holtz), so I jazzed it up to look antique.
I glued two paper back book pages to tagboard, distressed it a bit, then stamped it with Stampin’UP’s “Papa’s Pockets,” an old stamp set that my hubbin really likes. Last week, I made that card with the new Xyron Spellbinders shield die and carried the theme over this week with the tissue box again. To decorate it differently than last week, I looked at a Heraldic Designs Electronic Clip Art Book from Dover Publications that my hubbin picked up somewhere and made the Spellbinder flourishes from aluminum foil tape and ran the covers through my Xyron 900 machine. The inside pages are dyed CD window envies. I didn’t have the picture hangers like Katie Brown used on her albums, which seemed like a lot of work to me anyway, so I just punched holes through the covers and envies and threaded two clasp rings through.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New & Old


At Stampin’ Sisters in Christ this week, we were to use something new on our cards. I have previously determined to use up some of my older supplies so I would have room for newer ones. So on this card, I married the two together. The text paper stamped with the Stampabilities rose (old) is paper from old paper back book. The rose is colored in with the older set of Stampin’ Up markers. And the tag board behind it is a old tissue box that my in-laws save for me. The filigree behind the shield is an old set of Spellbinders dies that I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby last year. I save all my odd bits in CD envies in a shoebox. The newest thing on this card is the cardstock base and the shield by Xyron Spellbinders that we bought last week at Joann’s before we knew about this challenge. My husband and I are into researching history, esp. family history and he’s been looking for dies that looked like heraldry shields and this just fit the ticket, especially when we were able to get it with a discount coupon!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let Your Fingers Do the Talkin'

"Comfort, comfort my people." ~ Isaiah 40:1

When I miscarried my much-wanted first baby, the thing that helped me the most was a card from my sister that said my baby was in heaven. Somehow, I could picture my baby being carried in the arms of Jesus which comforted me.

Then when my father passed away suddenly, the letters we received from people writing about some incident that they remembered about him (he was such a prankster), helped us know that he wasn't forgotten and we could laugh through our tears.

The compassionate cards, letters, and photos we received are the things we remember best; tangible items, many of which we have kept, knowing somebody cared about our hurt. My dad received flowers at his funeral, but I don't remember now who sent them and they have faded away.

My mother has compiled many photo scrapbooks and she said, although it was hard to document their life together, at the same time it was healing too. She was able to remember, let go and say goodbye through the process.

Prayer: Show me one person today that you care about in need of an encouraging word, some comfort, some cheer. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Today's Quote:
Let us dare to read, think, speak and write. ~ John Adams, 1765

Bright Future


This was the easiest challenge I’ve had so far for Stampin’ Sisters in Christ. I knew what themes I had to design for – a baby card and a graduation card and the rest fell into place when SSIC provided the sketch for me to design to.
One of my girlfriends had her first baby granddaughter and I had to share her joy by sending a card. The baby cap came from a string of baby clothes garland that I purchased from the Dollar Tree a while back and the sentiment came from a Deja Views Paper pack I bought from the Bargain Factory, a salvage store. The doily came from a package that another stamping friend purchased on clearance and shared some with me.
The graduation card is for another girlfriend’s daughter who just graduated from homeschool highschool. I just had to make a pink graduation card unlike her big brother’s black & teal one I made for him. The grad cap is by Stampabilities (F1014), the diploma scroll is also by Stampabilities (C1017), the sentiment Hampton Art. The punch is Martha Stewart and the sentiment was cut out with a Spellbinders Die in my Cuddlebug.
You know, I don’t buy popdots anymore. I buy the foam tape at the hardware store that comes in a roll and cut it into the pieces I need. I also buy double face tape at Walmart and put it into a tape dispenser. The ribbon is usually bought on clearance or at the thrift store or garage sales. I even take donations from people who are cleaning out their closets or drawers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life is Fragile. Handle with Prayer


This card doesn’t look finished. What do you think needs to be removed or added?
I was really excited to see Splitcoast Stampers tutorial on making Paper buttons and just had to try making one. I have a Sizzix die Button #5 that makes four different sizes of buttons at one time, so yesterday I had a grand time filling up pill bottles with scrap paper buttons. I used the middle round size button to make the one on this card. I used Rangers Glossy Accents to make the clear coating on my buttons.
Stamps: Spoon (Posh), teacup (Auntie Amy), sentiment (A.J. Stamps),

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Savior


Stampin’ Sisters in Christ’s challenge this week was taken from the scripture found in Ecclesiastes 3:11a “God makes all things beautiful in its time.”
I have never felt that I was wrapped in a very attractive package. Even as a little girl, I was chunkier than most and felt ugly and unloved. But several years ago, I had an epiphany at a one of our church ladies’ retreats – God don’t make no junk! I went home and asked to meet God’s love – “If you are really out there God, then love me. Show me your love. Fill my heart with your love. I want to feel your pure love. I’ve got to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your love for me is real.”
Now I’ve heard that children often think the heavenly Father is just like their earthly father. Well, my earthly father failed at daddy-love. He had problems relating to his four kids. I don’t remember mercy or grace being part of his vocabulary either.
The day I prayed that prayer, it was answered. My great big daddy Lord grabbed my heart, snuggled me down in his lap, hugged me so tight and has never let go. He loves me unconditionally. Oh, jump for joy, my heavenly daddy has grace and mercy in abundance, too! He’s the lover of my soul. Nothing is more precious than my beautiful Savior. Right now I’ve got warm fuzzies wrapped around my heart and I celebrate life in His today. You come too!
Stamps: Background music (Posh), Scripture (Stampin’ Up), Daisies for U Girl (Stamp Affair), Pointing Hand (Stampcraft), Rose (Posh), Cherish Life word stamps (Nostalgiques).

Saturday, April 30, 2011

When’s the Last Time You Got Published?

Never or it’s been awhile? Now’s the time for you to send in a card or other craft to your favorite crafting magazines. The magazines are always looking for new items and if you don’t send your nifty little creations, you may never get published. I never thought my cards or ideas were good enough to get published, yet they have been almost been continously published since 2007. If I hadn’t been brave and sent in that first idea/card, it wouldn’t have happened. I still get a thrill every time I see my stuff in print! Not to brag or anything, for instance, the June 2011 issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts magazine has a new Reader to Reader column and they have printed two of my questions in it. I have a Letter to the Editor and an Inklings idea also published in there. And I’m among friends who have also been published – Joan Petty from England, Verna Angerhofer, and Lindsay Weinrich (another Frugal Crafter).
Check out your favorite magazines' submission requirements (keywords: Submission requirements/Editorial Calendar) and send in your best. If you have any questions about what I do, just ask away in the comment section below and I can share some tips with you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Choke-Cherries

"get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger . . forgiving each other. . ." Ephesians 4:31a, 32b

Yesterday, in my late teen's, I took art classes at the local Junior College and made some artsy collages with found materials I had at hand (assemblage). My favorite one had as a foundation, a wooden fruit crate. I wove a yarn blanket across the inside back and hung trinkets here and there. And I had also gotten crafty with a pair of my grandfather's blue farmer overhalls. He died the year before, so when my grandmother gave away his clothing, I requested a pair he wore almost constantly. To make them more feminine, I embroidered flowers across the top and down the sides of the bib. I felt connected and close to my grandpa when I wore them.

One weekend, after a sleep-over at a girlfriend's, I came home to a sterile bedroom. My mother had entered my private sanctum, less than perfectly clean, and hauled all kinds of trash out of there, as she put it. AACK! My favorite collage was gone and my overhalls were too! Man, I hurt! I guess she didn't know how much those cherished treasures meant to me

Since my mother didn't see beauty the same way I did, I have felt since then, nothing I created was worthy. I've nursed hurt instead, allowing a grudge to choke creativity out.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for showing me the sin I was hiding in my heart. Pluck the anger & blame game out; shine joy on me instead. Confirm my value to you. Grow my creativity forward. In Jesus name, Amen!

Today's Quote:
"The harsh critic within (self-doubt and judgement) are all-too-familiar thieves that keeps creativity stuck in our souls." ~ Annie Lockhart.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Baskets & Cards


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I made fifteen of these Easter baskets for the kids in my Sunday School class out of the small nut cans. They are like the banks I made earlier. The only thing I did differently was to add two punched holes on the sides of the can and thread in tinsel pipecleaners for the handles. I found tiny goodies to put inside. On most of the medallions, I hot-glued a stamped duck (Stampin' Up) to the front. The duck's bow was colored to match the scrapbook paper.
With odds and ends of scrapbook paper that I had left over, I made these cards from a pinwheel technique I found on my friend's Annette's blog. Can you find the matching striped paper?

Give Us Our Daily Bread



I made this card for Stampin’ Sisters in Christ’s latest challenge. I’ve had this “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” stamp (Rubber Stampede) for quite some time and I can count on my one hand how many times I’ve used it. Today seemed like the opportune time to employ it as we celebrate that Jesus is ALIVE!
I was thinking about how Jesus trained his disciples before he sent them out to tell the world the good news by showing his disciples how to pray. The above phrase is in his prayer that we call the Lord’s Prayer. I was also thinking of his last supper as I stamped this card when he broke the bread to share with them also. I thank God for his provision of Grace and our daily bread, especially in these days of rising grocery prices.
The tone on tone background was stamped using a checkerboard stamp (Rubber Stampede) and a Stampamajig. And the lace stamp is Stampin’ Up’s Elegant Embroidery stamp.
The bow is made of Faux Baker’s Twine from Lindsay Weinrich

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nifty News!

I am so proud of my son! He has a new part-time job at Michaels. He worked yesterday for the first time for four hours and they started training him on the register, but mostly he will be stocking shelves. Woo Hoo! He looks so smart in his new uniform - black polo shirt and khaki pants.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Easter!


While it’s nice to support a challenge blog and win a stamp set or some agape love and a blinkie, Grace, I’m actually here for the discipline. When Patti G. stopped by at my blog and said howdy, she was an answer to my prayer, because of her involvement with SSA. Frankly, while I was recooping from my back injury, I wasn’t motivated to do much designing! One day in my prayer time, I was crying out to the Lord for a Christian artists group to join. I wanted to keep designing, learning new skills and techniques that reflect the love I have for the Lord. I’ve collected some inspirational stamps over the years, but have never really put them to use. You at Stampin’ Sisters in Christ are challenging me every week. Thank you.
This week’s challenge was to use different hues of purple and something wooden. While I didn’t have wood paper, I did have a self adhesive faux cork liner paper in a roll by Kittrich (Magic Cover, O4F-18FA01-01) which looked like wood to make my cross in the background. The believe stamp is by Inkadinkado and the banner stamp is by Stamparril.
Hope all my Sisters in Christ have a Blessed Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Medallion Cannister Banks


Like Hector the Collector in Shel Silverstein’s poem, I, too, collect odd bits. Take, for example, I collect empty nut canisters and decided to make two banks as the special additional prize for a full trading card sleeve (see ATC award article) for my kids in Sunday School as soon as I found out how to make these pleated medallions on You-tube. I’m always looking for inexpensive prizes for them and I think they will like these banks.
To begin = each 23 oz canister took almost a whole sheet of 12” x 12” scrapbook paper. I cut it into these pieces = cover (6” tall x 12” long); you’ll have to insert a piece between the two ends of this piece on back of canister since it isn’t quite long enough (6” tall x 2 ½” long); and 2 (1 ½”) strips for the medallion. The ribbon is also cut out at this time and a 1” circle punched out of a piece of cardstock scrap for the back of the medallion. Warm up your glue gun.
I used double face tape to attach the 2 ½” piece to the back of the canister first and then the larger rectangle around the canister, smoothing it down as I went. Then the ribbon around the top, fishtailing the end so it won’t ravel out. I taped the two ends of the longest strips together and scored it at ¼” along the width with my mini-scor-it and accordion folded-it, taped the mountain & valley ends together and pressed down one side to make the medallion. Then I hot-glued it, bunching it in the center with my fingers, to the punched circle along with the fish-tailed ribbon streamers, added a button or pog to the center and hot-glued all to the canister. To finish, I added punched flowers to the girlie ribbon at the top and glitter dots to both. Oh, and before I forget, to make the money slot in the canister lid, I punched two holes with my long arm Crop-a-dile about 1 ½” apart and cut a slit between them, snapped on the lids and wha-la, Banks! Easy peasy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Christian Acronym ATC’s

You know what's cool? It's inspiring my pastor! I made atc's (artist trading cards) as attendance rewards for my preschool/kindergarten Sunday School kids. If they had 5 out of 10 star stickers each week on their chart,

then they would get to choose an atc to put in their trading card sleeves. When that's full, they would get a special prize along with their trading cards! And then they would start over with a new sleeve.

The first Sunday of the month our children remain in the sanctuary for the whole service instead of going to Jr. Church during the latter half. Our pastor has a children's moment lesson during the service in which he invites the children to come to the front and he coordinates a coloring sheet for quiet bags to go along with his regular sermon. He saw one of the trading cards his son brought home and he used that idea to make the coloring sheet. It also inspired his sermon and a song he taught the children! F.R.O.G.! Fully Rely On God! Which in turn, inspired me to make more atc's using acronyms. God is so good!

Here's two I made, the one Pastor was inspired by and another. Frog, praying hands, and PUSH sentiment are Stampcraft brand stamps. =



F.R.O.G = Fully Rely On God!



P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens




Here are other acronyms I think are great also and may they inspire you!

A.P.E. = Always Pray Everyday
A.P.P.L.E. = Adorning Papa’s Pupil Loving Eye (Ps. 17:8)
A.W.A.R.D. = Appreciated Winning Attainment. Rewarded Decoration.
B.I.B.L.E. = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
B.U.G. O.F.F. = Begone Uncertainty > GRACE! Oppose fear > FAITH!
C.R.O.S.S. = Christ Rose On Salvation Sunday
E.G.G. = Extra Good God
D.O.G. = Depend on God
D.U.C.K. = Down Under Christ's Kindness
F.I.S.H. = Faithful in Serving Him
G.E.M. = God Encourage Me
G.I.R.A.F.F.E. = God Inspires Reverence Affection Forgiveness For Ever
G.R.A.C.E. = God Redeems Adored Christian Enthusiasts
G.U.M. = God Use Me
J.O.Y. = Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last
K.I.N.G. = Kindly Inspired Noble Grace
L.O.V.E. = Love Others Very Eagerly
R.O.C.K. = Resting on Christ's Knees
S.A.L.T. = Seasoned Applied Love Treasure (Col. 4:6)
S.O.A.P. = Scrub Off, Apply Purity (Is. 1:18)
T.E.A. = Thankful Every Afternoon
T.E.D. = Treasure Each Day
T.I.G.E.R. = Trust in God, Everything's Right
W.W.J.D. = What Would Jesus Do?

An Extra Idea 4 You: Veggie Tale ATC's