Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 163 . . . time

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ, where all of our challenges are based on scripture! This week's hostess is the lovely Sandie, who has selected this verse from Ecclesiastes 3: parts of 1-8. Her challenge is to focus on time; use clocks, watches, calendars, sundials, OR black and white only to represent night and day. Our sponsor this week is Inspired Stamps and you can find the rest of the creations by the design team and more information about our sponsor on our home page right here!  I know I am eager to read Sandie's thoughts on her chosen verse, we get to see the devotionals at the same time as everyone else and it is fabulous to read how the Holy Spirit works through the different ladies on the team.

I searched and searched and don't own a single image that shows a time piece of any kind. I sure was glad Sandie included the bit about using black and white on a card instead. I have had this image from Northwoods Rubber stamps for a while, I love loons and they favor northern lakes. They are gorgeous black and white birds and seemed a great fit for a black and white card. I was strongly tempted to add a sentiment but I didn't have any small ones that mentioned time either, so I will leave this as a blank, all-occasion type of card.

The filigree stamp on the side is from a retired set by Our Daily Bread Designs. I used a linen impression plate from Papertrey Ink to lend texture to the white cardstock, a bit of black and white gingham ribbon and a white button so the card wouldn't look quite so formal. I think gingham looks friendly. I added white dots around the black layer behind the image to mimic the white dots on the loons' feather pattern and my card was done.

I like the book of Ecclesiastes, it is a book that really causes me to pause and think. Solomon writes about conditions common to any person in any culture anywhere in the world. Our own family has experienced quite its share of 'time periods' this year, and while we all most anticipate and treasure the joyful times, they are that much more precious because of the times that are not so joyful.

I know the time I am looking forward to the most is the day I go to meet Jesus and time will stretch into eternity; an eternity in heaven. But it is not my time for that yet, and I need to make the most of the time I've been given on this earth. We hope you find the time to reflect on this passage and enter our challenge for this week. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 162 . . . peace and calm

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ, where all of our challenges are based on scripture. You can find the rest of the gorgeous creations this week by our talented design team on our home page here.  Our sponsoring company this week is Daydream Designs, headed up by Diane, a woman who loves the Lord. 

I am this week's hostess and my selected verse is from John John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  For my challenge, please make a card that to you represents peace or calm; with an image, color scheme, CAS layout or verse, something that speaks peace to you, but peace symbols themselves are excluded. The card has to speak peace through your own style.

One randomly selected winner form this week will win a $20 gift certificate to Daydream Designs. I chose to use a lot of white in my creation because I find a lot of peace in the CAS style and imagery. I used blues as a complement to the white because blue is a soothing color for me as well, soft ribbon and an image and verse that evoke for me the greatest peace I find in this life, which is through Jesus Christ. My thoughts on that verse are as follows: 

Jesus doesn’t lie to us. He tells us that we will have trouble in this world. Life is full of troubles and fear-provoking situations. You lose a job, a house burns down, the doctor tells you its cancer, or a judge rules against you…and the list goes on and on.

I chose this verse for my challenge several weeks ago, little realizing that after my husband had a sudden heart attack in July that I would need to lean on that verse again this past week. We took another unexpected ambulance ride to the emergency room for another serious, potentially life-threatening situation that started off looking like an ordinary case of the flu.

And as I held my husband’s hand to comfort him, he asked if he had frightened me, yet again, with the possibility of his imminent departure from this world.

My answer was … no, not this time. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in a place of 100% peace and calm, there was some anxiety, mixed in with worry, fear, apprehension, numbness and concern…the whole mixture for a cocktail of panic was present. But I have the choice to allow them to overwhelm me, or to take another hand in mine, the hand of the One who never lets us go. In Jesus, or as the verse says, “in me you may have peace.” And it is true. When I focused on Him, I had peace.

But fear doesn’t just strike during the crisis period; it likes to creep in afterwards as well, like cold air seeping around the edges of a windowpane. My husband needs a nitroglycerin tablet and my own heart starts to pound with worry. Or I look at the pile of medical bills, totaling a sum that would require a lottery win to pay in full, and my emotions dive yet again. One issue piles up on another issue and suddenly fear is back, full-blown and threatening to overwhelm me like a tidal wave. What do we do?

That verse and many others give us the answer. Our peace only comes through Jesus Christ. When those fears start to return I do one of three or four things; I reach for my bible, I drop to my knees, or I reach out to a Christian sister to ask for prayer. I know number four doesn’t work, pacing the floor and wringing my hands. When I reach step four I have to go back to steps one through three.

The source of our comfort or security is not a clean bill of health; we all will fall sick one day. It isn’t a full bank account or an excellent insurance policy. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  And when our heart is focused on Jesus the rest of the world fades away and we can experience true comfort.

Life is a journey of learning and continually relearning that lesson until one day we will be in His arms for real and our troubles will be in the past. But in this life, where troubles do still exist, lean on the only One who can give you true peace.

Thank you for looking. Have a blessed week.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 161...or trees

Good afternoon stampers! I had a very busy week and missed the challenge this past Sunday at Stampin' Sisters in Christ, but was determined to come up with a card for Miesje's challenge; such a sweet subject about putting our trust in God.

Her chosen verse is Psalm 52:10 "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever." Miesje's devotion is on the home page for Stampin' Sisters in Christ.  This also fits one of the Hope You Can Cling To challenges on Splitcoaststampers, challenge HYCCT1203 to use a sentiment with five words on your card. It is hard to see on the top of the card because of the lighting, but I used a sentiment that says, "Peace within makes beauty without," with two words stamps in the leaves of the tree towards the top.

No thoughts beyond Miesje's wise and true words in her devotional. I was inspired by the gorgeous Fall colors in the trees around here, they are beautiful and every bit as bright, and more, than the ink I used in my card. Thanks for looking.

Stamps: Papertrey Ink
Ink: dark chocolate, kaleidacolor Desert Heat
Paper: kraft, dark chocolate, pear, vintage cream
Other: button, prima leaves, twine, gold pen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hope and Remembrance for Daydream Designs

Daydream Designs Declaration of Hope Day October 9th
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill~

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 

Psalm 25:5

From Diane:
Few things in life teach more powerful lessons than adversity. When one encounters devastating challenges, it becomes easier to separate the superficial and the trivial from what matters most. We can suffer many losses, yet through faith, family and friends we discover the will to carry on. What we cannot live without is hope. Hope is the essential ingredient to emotional and spiritual survival, even when the body is wracked by destructive disease. Disease is a cruel enemy, but one conquest it rarely claims is hope.

Members of the Daydream Designs Dream Team, join together this month as one voice on this day to extend hope and encouragement to those touched by cancer and other life-altering diseases or disorders. Everyone on the team has either personally battled the ravages cancer or their loved ones or friends have been touched by it. Some have witnessed the devastation of Alzheimer’s or the struggles associated with Autism. Whatever the struggle, we have discovered the importance of hope.

We invite you to join us on this journey of hope, and as you visit each blog, we know you will be inspired by the creative talents of our team, by personal stories and powerful testimonies about the God who is with His children through every circumstance. We’ve each designed projects using images and/or sentiments from the new Hope Endures series. There is an outline set available to create your own colored set and currently four primary colored lines:
Pink: Breast Cancer, Purple: All Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Yellow: Children’s Cancer, Bone Cancer, Soldier Support, Puzzle:for Autism. Please see Diane's blog where she has posted one image from each colorized set above. They are FREE TODAY ONLY!

Visit our blogs, for your own inspiration, but we’d love to hear from you too. We invite you to share your own testimony of faith, or take the opportunity to honor loved ones who lost the battle with cancer. Share whatever is on your heart. You can tell your story on anyone’s blog, but we hope you’ll let each designer know you visited. Maybe you’d just rather list the names of those you want to honor andremember, whatever the form the cancer /disease took. Here are the dream team members who are participating.


My very short story...right now I'm busy running back and forth to the hospital for a family member battling a different issue. But I put this card together with the three strips of designer paper to remember the three people in my life that cancer has taken; my dad, my grandmother and my sister-in-law. Thanks for looking. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

SSIC challenge 160 . . . box

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ, where all of our challenges are based on scripture. For this week our hostess is the talented Michelle, who has selected this verse from Ephesians 3:17-19 "that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge."

Her challenge is to make a box or use an image that contains a box. Our sponsor this week is Digi Garden and I am loving their cute images. (hint: if you are a facebook fan, they give away one free image every Friday!)

I have to give complete kudos to Heidi at Running with Scissors for her great, detailed instructions for making this tea dispenser box, isn't it a cute design? A little hard to mail maybe, but I think it would make a great gift. And though we are still in October, it isn't too early to be thinking about easy, handmade gifts for family, friends or teachers. This came together surprisingly quickly. 

I was undecided as to which image might suit the box best and in the end went with the little chef. For the top of the box decoration I used some PTI flower dies and was happy to dig out just the right colors of felt to match some of the colors in the paper, Soho Garden by American Crafts. 

I used my trusty prismacolor pencils to color in the image and added a little tea stamp on each side that comes from a set by Papertrey Ink. 

I am looking forward to reading Michelle's thoughts on her chosen verse and look forward to seeing all of your box creations in our gallery this week! Hope you can play along and thank you for looking. 

Stamps: Digi Garden, Papertrey Ink
Ink: black
Paper: 12x12 brown sheet, Soho Garden DSP, vintage cream by PTI
Other: felt, button, dies, prismacolor pencils, gamsol, silver gel pen

Monday, October 1, 2012

HYCCT first challenge . . . beeeee yourself

At Splitcoaststampers this is the third year to host a challenge lasting all month long, called Hope You Can Cling To for cancer awareness. They partner with a major cancer center that receives the cards for the benefit of the cancer patients and their families; this year it is the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The first challenge involves making a card that shows what makes you, you. Who am I? The eternal question we are all trying to answer! LOL! I have lots of parts that make me who I am, but in card making I like cute images, get my brain working best when its involved with a sketch challenge and am happiest when all of the elements I wanted are working together, satisfying the logical side of my mind for why something is in a card.

For this card I followed the Mojo Monday sketch 261, the technique challenge this week on SCS for a latticework background because I love learning new techniques, and used the image Lydia sent us for our Christmas Card challenge club from Stampin' Up's Wonderful Winterland, because for me, it was love at first sight with this little cutie. A coffee mug, a little girl, a heart, a BUNNY, oh my, who could ask for more?

I love my Fiskars corner punch/embosser and the heart embosser seemed like just the right fit for the cardstock corners to match the little heart in the image.

I had a lot of fun with this challenge and time permitting, hope to get to a few more this month.

Thanks for looking! Hope you can check out the challenges at SCS for HYCCT and donate your creations to the cancer center in Houston.

Stamps: Wonderful Winterland by Stampin' Up
Paper: PTI vintage cream, pure poppy, Gina K gold paper
Ink: memento black
Other: prismacolor pencils, gawgeous! glitter paper from Lydia, paper piercing tool, PTI green ribbon, PTI heart dies, Fiskars corner punch/embosser