Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 41 . . . hearts

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ! Our hostess this week is the lovely Linda! Her verse for the week is Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Her challenge is to use a heart on your card or project, it can be on your DP, an image or an embelllishment.

Oour fabulous sponsor this week is Digitual Delights by Louby Lou, which is donating five digi images to the winner.

What a great verse Linda has selected, you can read her thoughts on the home page and see the samples from the rest of the design team. And we hope you find time to participate this week.
To the logical mind, this verse makes so much sense. Without faith it is impossible to please him . . . well yes! If you don't have faith, you don't believe, if you don't believe in something you aren't even beginning to try to please Him. How can you uplease God if you don't believe he exists?

And the Lord rewards those who diligently seek him. Diligence is going to look different for every individual. It will be based on your intellect, your spirit, your heart, your health. What does diligence look like to you?

Some questions to ask yourself, how do you define faith? Has your faith grown? How has faith impacted your life? That entire chapter of Hebrews is a wonderful passage of exhortation to remind the believer of the giants of the bible who demonstrated and are remembered for their faith, reminders that we can live by faith as they did.

Have a great week walking by faith!

Stamps: Stampin' Up Like it a Latte, PTI heart prints background
Ink: vintage cream, white craft
Paper: kraft, black, SU DP, PTI polka dot DP
Other: prismacolor pencils, copper brads, sticky strip, glitter, Fiskars border punch, scalloped nestabilities

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tilda with her broom

Had this image lying around from a previous unfinished project and went looking for a sketch for her. Found one for this past week on the Just Magnolia blog. I missed the link posting time, but a good Tilda is never late for a party! :) I had fun coloring her and matching up the paper. Thanks for looking! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Papertrey May Blog Hop Challenge

Time for the Papertrey May blog hop! Here is this month's theme:
This month's blog hop is all about fabulous felt! We know you love this addition to our product line-up and we would love to see what you are doing with it! From borders to focal points, paper crafts to sewing projects. Hair accessories to home decor accents. Cards to scrapbook layouts. We want to see it all!

And I was boring, I did cards. :) But I am looking forward to seeing all the creativity out there that I know happens every blog hop, what fun! I'm going to try to be less wordy than usual and just go straight to the cards.

For both cards I tried the black magic technique featured Monday on Splitcoast Stampers. I stamped the images with white craft ink on black and then dried them with my heat gun and colored in with prismacolor pencils. Just a side note, I tried coloring with my Kohinoor pencils first and wasn't as happy with the results, a difference in the lead makeup I guess. For the background on the sympathy card I stamped Turning a New Leaf in white also, using the same technique and four different shades of green pencil. What do you think? The felt is the ricrac strip covered with hematite (?) glitter from Martha Stewart.

Same technique for the birthday card, black magic and I cut out the butterfly with the PTI die and then sewed a couple butterly-esque lines on it with DMC floss (3825). I want it to have feelers, but don't know how to add them. Any ideas? Oh, one final tip, use a white gel pen with the black magic technique for a little extra pop. Thanks for looking, happy hopping!!!

Stamps: Papertrey Ink Anniversary Set (this year's), Turning a New Leaf
Ink: White craft, black
Cardstock: black, vanilla, Kiwi Kiss, Spring Rain, Marigold Morning, random DPs, PTI polka dot DP, PTI white
Other: prisma pencils, edge punches, mta stack die, ribbon, swiss dot folder, nesties labels nine

Monday, May 24, 2010

Explosion box for MFP challenge blog

Good morning!
If you're looking for my weekly Sunday post for Stampin' Sisters in Christ, please check the post below. I was the hostess this week and I had a verse and devotional thoughts to share.

This is my first time trying an explosion box. They obviously cannot be mailed, but boy, what a fun and interesting little format! I can see all sorts of uses for it, including one I'll be posting in a few days that came to mind for a set Mark's Finest Papers will be introducing in June! I was told a little sneak peek now and then is okay.

The Saturday challenge on the MFP blog, to use an animal in your creation, meshed with the explosion box right away. The Midwest is such a funny area, we go from snow and rain and gray skies to suddenly green everywhere! All the trees are green, we're cutting the lawn and it is hot, hot, hot outside today! So I could just picture the bird from the MFP set in the midst of a field of green. I also wanted my bird to be standing up, so all I did was cut a disk of vanilla cardstock, decorate it a bit with the ferns from that same set, and glue the twig under the bird to a thin strip of cardstock, which bends to be glued to the cardstock on the base of the explosion box. Same for the fern. Does that make sense?

The inside flap of the explosion box makes a great place to put a sentiment that matches the one on the cover. So overall it say, Rejoice! Every day brings new life! Just reminds me of the promise in the bible that with the Lord, his mercies are new every morning! I think that is such a great sentiment to pair up with the bird. I'm thankful for new chances and fresh starts! The eggs on the cover too, sort of lead into the box as they 'hatch' into the bird inside. Anyway, I had loads of fun creating this, it came together just the way I wanted. Thanks for looking!
Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers
Ink: Black craft, brown stazon
Paper: vanilla, retired SU DP, green in two shades from my scrap pile, a blue also from the scrap pile
Other: cuttlebug vintage corner die, blue pearls from MFP, SU WWC, aquapainter, martha stewart border punch and scissors to cut around the teeny tiny leaves on the fern

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 40 . . .Distressed

Happy Sunday stampers! Its time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. I am the hostess for today. My chosen verse for this week is from Isaiah 64:6 KJV "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Please click on the link for the main blog see the lovely samples from the rest of the design team there. When I first did this post, I didn't repeat my devotional here on my blog, but now that seems silly, so you'll find it under the challenge. I have to tell you this wasn't an easy devotional to write. It is much easier to hide behind layer upon layer of Christian shellac and pretend all is perfect in my world. But in being authentic and admitting life is not perfect after you're saved, I hope, will help others who might be facing similar struggles.

My challenge is to use distressing, or sponge the edges of your project, any chosen technique to give your project either a vintage or distressed look.

Our sponsor is Unity stamp company, which is donating a wonderful stamp set. You'll find a photo of it on our home page as well as the link to add your own projects. Hope you find time to play this week.

My youngest daughter and I recently read a fairy tale about people who could walk in the air. The kingdom's ruler always made sure she walked at least five feet above the heads of everyone else to remind them of her superior position.

In the past I would always describe myself as a 'nice' person. But in relationship to the holy Lord, God the Father, we are not good and cannot lay claim to that title. Isaiah 64:6 KJV "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
If we cruise along believing we are 'nice' people we fall into the trap of forgetting that "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) I might sometimes do nice things, but am not inherently 'nice' or righteous any more than any other person.

God, in his wisdom and his love for me has brought me a situation in the past few years that has brought out the worst side of my nature. Dark, wicked thoughts have boiled up inside, I have repressed frightening impulses and come face-to-face with the realization that I am as capable of evil as anyone, that sin is never conquered while on this side of heaven. God in His wisdom knew that He would have to give me a thorn I couldn't ignore, one I can only conquer through His grace.

Why? What kind of love is it that would force us to dive into the muck and mire that lurks deep within our souls?

This is a unique love, unlike any you will find on this earth. You don't understand your need for a savior until you are face to face with the wickedness and hopelessness of your own situation. "But I'm already saved!" you declare. As am I. But problems still surface after you are saved and for good reason.

First of all if we're convinced we're complete when we're saved, then what message do we have to share with a fallen world, hovering five feet above the crowd, like that haughty ruler? What empathy could we bring to conversations with a fellow sinner while we remain enthroned in a palace of righteousness in our own minds?

Secondly, if we're 'nice' and therefore complete, what reason to go to our knees acknowledging our continued need for God daily in our lives? It would be all too easy to simply operate on auto-pilot and run from one committee or task to another in our quest for righteousness yet neglect the relationship that is our spring of life. God wants us to draw closer to him, to rely solely upon Him for our daily bread, like the manna in the wilderness that fed the Israelites.

Thirdly this realization of our desperate soul situation helps provide the assurance of salvation that some of us, who are works-oriented, desperately need. Once we've poured ourselves out striving and come to the end of our rope—only to realize that rope falls far short of heaven—maybe then, once and for all, it will sink in that Jesus paid it all for us on the cross. He alone has the power to wash us 'white as snow' and atone for our sin.

My card has brighter shades of color because the distressing techniques are not limited to browns or soft pastels, although I do love those shades. The bit of black I have included because it takes the dark times in life as well as the color. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge 39 . . . Music or Joyful Praise

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. Our hostess this week is Grace, who selected the verse from Psalm 95:1-3a "O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our slavation, let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God . . . " Her challenge is to make a card or project that depicts music or joyful praise.

The sponsor for this week is Hambo Stamps which is donating a $15 gift certificate to their store. Their images are fun and whimsical; I have a few, but none that depicted music for this week's challenge.

You can read Grace's thoughts on our main blog here or visit her personal blog which you will find listed on my side bar, along with the other design team members. Keeping in mind Linda's thoughts from last week about true worship, I still do enjoy the 'worship' or song portion of our services at church. I do enjoy singing out loud to the Lord!

We hope you find the time to participate this week, the design team looks forward to seeing your beautiful creations.
Thanks for looking.

Stamps: random BG stamp, Stampin' Up set, Waltzingmouse labels five stamp set
Ink: white craft, black
Paper: PTI ocean tides, soft stone, white, DP
Other: white EP, ribbon

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Exciting Announcement!

Do you recognize this person?

Do you recognize this pet?

I have been accepted as a junior design team member for Mark's Finest Papers, wahooo!!! I'm so excited to get the chance to know Faith (the photo at the top of my post), the owner of Mark's Finest Papers, the rest of the design team, and Speedy the Cat so much better! My cat decided to rebel against this newfound friendship and knocked over a vase this morning on the dining room table ruining two cards in progress. A little bit of angst there I think, but she doesn't need to worry. Faith won't be letting go of Speedy any time soon!

If you're at all familiar with Faith you know her line of stamps is as beautiful as her smile is sunny. She is a very active member of the SCS community and if you have a card in a gallery there, more than likely you have a nice comment from Faith.

She decided to start up her own company, and there have been lots of great releases so far and exciting things to come! (the sunflower has been a favorite of mine so far!) You can find some gorgeous samples from the design team on the Mark's Finest Papers blog here.

And the stamp sets and great paper choices, ribbons, charms and other stamping tools at the storefront here.

Hope to see you at the next new product introduction blog hop in June or for the weekly challenge on the design blog on Saturdays! Today's challenge is to use the spotlight technique! And once I dry off my tabletop and cardstock, I am looking forward to playing along. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It Takes Two Just Magnolia challenge

The weather here continues to be rainy, gray and cloudy, so the light stinks for getting a decent photo. This was a fun challenge though, you had to incorporate two magnolia stamps in your creation. I decided the flip-flop card layout or technique would make a great way to use two magnolias or Tildas. The two photos are not two separate cards, but opposite sides of the same card. That's what makes it a flip flop.

I spent a lot of time looking through my stash of stamps because I wanted one that said, "Friends for all seasons." That was the idea behind my card, one Tilda is in bright summer and the other is in winter. The bird on the winter side is made of chipboard covered with white craft paint and overlaid with a translucent blue glitter. That fits the Shabby Tea Room challenge this week to use chipboard in your creation. The bird on the other side, summer, is made of blue felt for a brighter look suitable to that season.

Thanks for looking. This card took me entirely too long to make! :)

Stamps: Magnolia Tildas, PTI anniversary set sentiments
Paper: lots
Ink: black and white craft
Other: chipboard, felt, markers, prismacolor pencils and gamsol, SU WWC, glitter, snowflake buttons, silver brads, lace, ribbon, blah, blah, blah

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flip Flop sunshine . . . technique challenge

I haven't done a technique challenge on SCS for a while, this card looked interesting. I've seen flip flop cards before but never tried one. The cuts are tricky, for me, because they are interior cuts . . . I'm interior-cut-challenged.

I am enjoying this big, bold sunflower from Mark's Finest Paper and this time I was brave and tried out my copics again. I don't think it came out too bad! I also am entering this into the Mark's Finest Paper blog challenge, to use corner punches. Pretty easy to incorporate into a card!

The first photo shows the front, the photo below shows the back. Don't you love that little flourish? I can see using it so many ways.

I know there are folks out there who keep careful track of their copics and show a dandy photo of all the numbers they used . . . I don't. I grab whatever and scribble a little spot on scrap paper to see if I like the shade and then color away. Then toss it back in the holder. So I used a variety of oranges, yellows and light browns. Thanks for looking!

Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers
Paper: Random scraps from my paper pile
Ink: Marigold morning, black, tangerine
Other: copics, corner ticket punch, summer sunrise ribbon, sponge

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge 38 . . . Blue, Brown and White

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. This week's hostess is the lovely and talented Linda, who from 'down under' selected this verse: John 4:23 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." Please click on the home page for Stampin' Sisters in Christ to read her thoughts on this passage, you will be blessed.

Her challenge to you this week is to use the colors blue, brown and white in your card.

Our sponsor this week is Simon Says Stamp which is offering up a great set, Deer with Forest Family, to one lucky winner of this week's challenge. Hope you can find the time to play along.

A dear friend sent me this Flourishes set for my birthday, with its various flower stamps, and I chose to use the morning glory for this challenge as the flower most naturally blue. The sentiment was a tough one, but I found the perfect one from the set I used last weekend from Mark's Finest Papers. The ribbon is covering it up somewhat, the full sentiment says; I will be here for you. Please depend on me.

My best friend is going through a very tough time right now. Her oldest daughter, the same age as my oldest, might have a very rare form of cancer. I've known this girl since she was in preschool with my daughter. They discovered a large tumor in a bad place and it has to come out. This has all happened very quickly in a matter of just a few weeks and no one knows what lies ahead.

I feel so helpless because we differ in our faith walk. What provides me with great comfort when my world is shaken does not comfort here, or at least to the same degree. So I listen and try to be as good a friend as I can be when I don't have any answers to the question 'why?' This card is for her to let her know she has my ears and my help in whatever form I can give it at any time. This friend walked with me through my divorce almost seventeen years ago, every step of the way and she means so much to me. Thanks for looking.

Stamps Flourishes, Mark's Finest Papers
Ink: Black Stazon, silver
Paper: watercolor, blue, green, brown, patterned paper from my stash
Other: silver EP, nestability, pearls, ribbon, impression plate, twinkling H20s in wild blueberry and Tahitian blue, frosted lace sticles, WWC, Martha Stewart edge punch

Monday, May 3, 2010

Red Raspberries, white and blue

I found a new blog challenge, Mark's Finest Papers, which issued its first challenge on Saturday to use red, white and blue. I always have fun playing with those colors! You don't have to use MFP stamps to play but I have this new set from them with raspberries, or blackberries rather, although in our area raspberries grow wild and we like to pick them (when the mosquitos aren't so bad!). And raspberries are supposed to be red, so here you go!

I paired it up with a sentiment from PTI for a quick thank you card. I still need more practice coloring in leaves, I used about five shades of green but the shade I really wanted for the leaves I realized I don't own. :) The berries I used about three different shades of red and again, made them variegated because you don't get consistent red all over when you pick them in a park or forest preserve. Thanks for looking and make sure you take a glance at the blog team members cards, they're very pretty!

Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers, Papertrey Ink (sentiment)
INk: variety of reinkers, black and poppy red
Paper: white, poppy red, blue gingham
Other: random red ribbon, white grosgrain

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge 37 . . . Knit Together

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. This week's hostess is the lovely and talented Chris who selected the verse from Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I know that full well."

We've all seen the film clips and videos in science class or on television of various life cycles and life's development. I've always been fascinated by the time lapse photography that shows a flower growing from seed to blossom, speeding up a process that can take weeks into an instant on film. The petals unfolding, the leaves uncurling and all the color bursting forth! How much more amazing a human being? Talk about being fearfully and wonderfully made . . . and here is the best part . . . our creator is intimately aware of us while we are being 'knitted' together. God knows us before we are even born, He already loves us. In fact, He is the one in charge of knitting us together. A great thought to keep in mind this week is the depth of God's love for you, the fact that He has known you your whole life long, every deed, word and thought . . . and He loves you still.

Your challenge this week is to create a card or project that is knit together, using stitches, faux or real.

I just received this stamp set from Mark's Finest Papers this week and was so anxious to use this big, bold flower. There is a challenge this week for the softer side of Teapot Tuesday that called for daisies and ladybugs, like the pattern on the sample teapot . . . okay, okay, I know this is not really a daisy but I've got the ladybug in there! And if you blew up a photograph of a daisy it would get really big . . . like my flower. I had this pile of different shades of yellow paper on top of my scrap heap and knew right away I wanted to paper piece that flower. I used five different shades of yellow patterned paper scraps and one of orange, and then faux stitched around the inside of each petal as though the flower were part of a quilt. I stamped the flower on kraft first, using vintage photo and after piecing the flower decided to highlight the center of the flower by using some stickles for a bit of the flower center.

Our sponsor this week at Stampin' Sisters in Christ is The Greeting Farm donating a single stamp of your choice to one lucky winner from our entrants this week. I sure hope you find time to play along. Check out the samples from the other members of our design team and read what Chris has to say about her chosen verse here! Not to mention, we've started something new at Stampin' Sisters . . . each month we are going to select one special guest designer for that month to play along with the design team and you don't want to miss this month's special guest designer, her work is gorgeous! Thanks for looking!

Stamps: Mark's Finest Papers (Blackberries, Sunflower and Bees), Stampin Up (ladybug wheel), Verve (sentiment), PTI (polka dots)
Ink: Vintage Photo (ranger)
Paper: kraft, white, orange, variety of DPs
Other: cinnamon stickles, clear embossing powder, white gel pen, blue satin ribbon, PTI buttons, crystal effects (on ladybug)