Saturday, November 27, 2010

Belated Boy Birthday

My nephew's birthday is tomorrow...and the mailman came earlier than I expected.  I have no good reason to be so late, just been pouting a bit over my "no family" Thanksgiving.  My friend put on a delicious dinner and we hosted a few other people who didn't have family in the area, but it wasn't quite the same.  Today is "get back on track" day. 

This card is entered in Mojo Monday #166.

The camera and film stamps are CTMH, the sentiment from "Rubber Soul" in Poulsbo, WA. 

I chose the mustard color because it just says boy better than my traditional black, red and white.

Off to finish the rest of my to do list which has backed up during my pity party.

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

With Love

 While the rest of the world is focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am in Valentine's Day mode for Operation Write Home. I really liked the sketch over at Mojo Monday and decided to use it today.

My original idea was to do a ruffled ribbon across the bottom, but by the time I gathered it, the circle just formed so...voila...ribbon flower.  And since it's Pretty, Pretty Princess time over at Heart 2 Heart, I think I'll enter this over at their challenge.  All supplies are CTMH except the Nestabilities Eyelet Circle.  The paper has been discontinued for a while, but I love the pink and black combination.

All these Valentines naturally make me think of my honey serving in Afghanistan.  So, Nathan, if you are reading this, know I love you more today than all the days before.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Creative Overload

Today, while Operation Write Home has its Veteran's Weekend Blog Hop, I will be attending a storytelling seminar in Denver with  my sister-in-law who is also a writer (and a good friend).  How much fun can one girl have?

I'm posting several Valentine's Day cards because I got on a roll a couple days ago and I can't decide which of these I like the best.

Now hop on over to Cheryl's blog to see her creations.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful for Friends

There are some friends who, no matter the distance, remain close.  Today I'm sending them a card just to say hello and let them know they are loved.

This card is entered in the following challenges:

Mojo Monday: Sketch 164

OWH Midweek Throwdown: Thinking of You with Ribbon

All supplies are by CTMH except the leaf patterned paper and the purple embossing powder (which are both so old I'm not sure where I got them).  The embossing powder started to turn white in spots the more I heated it.  I think that means it's lousy powder, but the effect was actually pretty cool.

I used the new Nestabilities Eyelet Circles, a new favorite, but ran it through my Cuttlebug.  If you don't know how to do that, I suggest Googling "nestabilities cuttlebug" to find several informative videos on how to make this work.

Today is always a good day to let friends know they are loved.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

15 Weeks

Ephesians 4:16

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Last night a group of Army wives got together for "coffee" although there wasn't a drop of the stuff in sight.  We dressed up, chatted, shared our weeks, offered and received comfort, and then said goodnight after filling both our stomachs and souls.   How I needed both! 

Some weeks here are good; others seem endless.  Last week I found a groove; this week's been the worst I've missed my level-headed, funny husband since he left fifteen weeks ago.  I almost canceled and stayed holed up in my basement.  I doubt I was the only one who forced a smile and showed up to offer and receive the solace of those who understand the challenges of deployment.

These women are each amazing.  What struck me last night was how, as a group, we complement one another and are mutually stronger.  It brought to mind the above verse.  The military life is not for everyone, nor do the majority of people in this world belong to the body of Christ.  I count myself blessed to be part of both.  Magic occurs when individuals merge, knitting their individual parts together for strength.  On our own, we falter and unravel.  United we hold not only our own strand together but those connected with us, too.

Several years ago, when Nathan directed a prison ministry, we attended an "open house" at a correctional facility.  On display were items prisoners had used to create contraband like knives made from sharpened spoons, pens, etc.  Most impressive to me was the rope made from toilet paper.  An industrious inmate wet down small pieces of toilet paper, twined them together to make thin, twisted strands, wrapped five strands into one, created three more just like it and braided them all together.  He created three more braids the same way.  Then, like a hairdresser, he braided the braids into a single rope.  The guards allowed us to pick it up.  I pulled and twisted.  It did not break.  Nathan grabbed one end, I held the other.  We still couldn't break it.  That's the power of togetherness. the comparison of people to wet toilet paper isn't exactly flattering, but it aptly describes how I feel right now.

Through recent posts, I've picked up several new "followers" on this blog.  You need to know I pray over each and every one of you.  This week, my prayer is for you to find a place where your unique gifts, talents, abilities and interests join together with others in an "up close and personal" way.  Internet connections, social networking sites, and blogging comments are no substitute for real people who will irritate you, bless you, and require more of your heart than typed comments from the safety of your laptop.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My First Feature

Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail asking me if I would be willing to provide the inspiration cards for the Midweek Throwdown over at Operation Write Home: Stars and Stamps.  Would I be willing???  I was so flattered I couldn't stop smiling for days.  The only problem was the actual technique...paper piecing.  I didn't really have a clue what that was.  So, like any good blogger, I googled it and discovered it means different things to different people.  The result?  This is going to be a long post with three different types of paper piecing, and I didn't even cover all of them.

Up first is using a pattern to cut shapes.  In this case, I embossed a shape on cardstock.


The cut outs are then pieced together by gluing them to a small circle to create the flower.  I thought this could work either as a Christmas card (although it would have a better poinsettia feel had I turned the petals around so the pointed end was out - like I did to create the leaves) or as a Valentine.

Card two has a quilted feel, where pieces are fit together to create a pattern.  For the sake of color, I paired the dark brown patterend paper with the bright pink cardstock and the soft stipes with the brown.


The last piece was tucked under the first, and I did have to trim about 1/16th of an inch off one end to make it fit.  I did a ton of distressing using Chocolate ink.  Notice the background on this one.  Another paper piecing technique is to create a background by using scraps and fitting them together.  So...there's two for the price of one. 

 The last card pieces together an image using multiple sheets of paper.  "Becky" is stamped on flesh, white, and patterned papers.  I colored and then cut out the bib/jar and bunny slippers from the white and the headband and P.J.'s from the patterned paper.  I trimmed on the very edge or the inside of the line.  Before I placed them over the flesh colored paper, I cut out the hands.  I then stamped "Becky" once more on white and cut it in an oval.  I layered everything, popping the hands and slippers with foam tape for extra dimension.

I used colored pencils to create a shadow.  I'm not sure you can see it very well, but I pulled the edges of the ruffle up just a touch.  It probably won't stay fluffed for very long, but it sure looks cute now.  This card and the second one are more geared toward Valentines, because we have to be thinking many months ahead in order to get our cards to our heroes overseas.

All cardstock and paper are from CTMH, though "Becky" and the paper used on that card have been retired for a long time.  The bow on the quilted card is Jolee's boutique.

There you have it!  Three different cards using four different paper piecing techniques. 

Until next time,