Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Creativity Comes in Many Forms

Several years ago, I became overwhelmed with Christmas preparations.  I caught myself getting upset with my kids for no reason other than my own frustration.  But I didn't want to let them down by not keeping up with all our family traditions.  With rare brilliance, I decided to ask them which traditions were important to THEM.  The next year, I did the same thing.  And that became a new tradition...asking what is it we need to do to make Christmas a real Christmas.

This year, my son hosted at his new house.  He only wanted two things:  my apple pie which my daughter would carve something special into the top crust, and decorated cookies.  We also wanted to include my husband in some, significant way.  Here's the result:



Now, you must understand...part of the Christmas cookie decorating tradition is that the "boys" tend to make something entirely different than the actual cookie.  Thus, the ornament has become a hot air balloon, Santa carrying his pack has become both a yellow submarine and the "Operation Petticoat" submarine, and the bell has become "Mario Mushroom." 

Then, while blog hopping the other day, I ran across this poem tailored for stamping/paper crafting enthusiasts:

Stamping in a Winter Wonderland

Brayers roll. . . . are you listening.

On the card. . . . ink is glistening.

A Beautiful sight. . . we’re happy tonight.

Stamping in a Winter wonderland.

In the kitchen we can stamp a snowman.

Then add color to his carrot nose.

You’ll say: Are you Finished?

I’ll say: No Ma’am, I need to add some glitter to make snow.

When we stamp . . . ain’t it thrilling.

Even when . . . . the powders spilling.

We’ll create and we’ll play. . . .the art stamper way,

Stamping in a Winter wonderland.

-- Pauline Slovak

I hope your Christmas was merry and bright, and that your New Year is full of creativity.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today I am celebrating my 26th Anniversary.  It began with my husband singing "Love Me Tender" over Skype.  He's learning guitar, so it went something like this:  "Love me tender (look down for chord change), love me true (look down for chord change)..."  Loved it!

Last night, I ran through all the things I remember about my wedding from the fiascoes to the sublime.  The most prominent memory was my father walking me down the aisle to transfer the care of my person to the man waiting at the end of that walk.  The only thought running through my head was, "This is the best decision I've ever made."  In 26 years, there has never been even a split-second of question.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.  The best is yet to come!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hugs 'n Kisses

I fly out tomorrow to be with my kiddos over Christmas.  I return two days before the deadline to get Valentine's Day cards to Operation Write Home, which is not enough time to mail from here to there.  I finished up a few more tonight to get mailed out tomorrow morning.

I actually used the OWH Sunday Sketch Challenge #47, and the OWH Stamping 101 - Vellum on this one card. 

The "swirly" heart is stamped on vellum and only attached at the bottom under the ribbon to allow it to curl up and away from the rest of the card.  Yeah...like that's going to last once it's tucked in an envelope.

I adjusted the original sketch by moving the square over to expose the patterned paper and stitching down the left side.
As you can see, I'm still having fun with my sewing machine. 

All paper and stamp images are from CTMH; the circle die cut is from Nestabilities.

Well, off to do some packing and get ready for my trip.  Luckily my two workbooks for the novel I'm working on arrived in the mail today.  I'll have plenty to do on the airplane rides...

Until next time,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Makin' a List

How is it "To Do" lists grow with each item checked off?  I finished four things this weekend and six more popped up.  At least I completed the card sets I'm making for my secret sister and my mom...neither of whom visit this blog, so I'm safe to share.

The Mojo Monday Sketch 168 was absolutely perfect for this project.  I don't think I'll be winning any prizes, but I finished 20 cards while watching the Army/Navy game yesterday.

This also can be entered in "Forgotten Friday" over at Can you say Addicted to Stamps? where the idea is to use stamps which have not seen ink for at least six months.  The cherries might have been used within the past few months, but the sayings haven't...some of them have never seen ink!  All images and paper are from CTMH...and that paper is at least 10 years old, back when CTMH was DOTS (Dozens of Terrific Stamps).

I watercolored using my Tombow pens.  I know Copics are all the rage now, but I love my Tombows.  And most of them are about 7 years old and still working amazingly well.

Well...lots more to be done.  I'm a little afraid to finish any other "to do" items, though.  I wonder how many new things will magically appear on that list as I go?

Until next time,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great Rivalry!

Do you know why I love the Army/Navy game?  Because it reminds me what a great rivalry is all about.

Two years ago, my husband and I traveled to Philadelphia for the game to see our son.  See him...he's right there!  What a thrill to be in the stadium and watch 4000 Army cadets from West Point and 4000 more Navy cadets from Annapolis march onto the field of play.  To have AirForce 1 "buzz" the stadium.  Watch President Bush walk through a line of cadets.  So cool...actually freezing.

The game itself was secondary to everything else going on...or maybe that's only because Army got trounced that year.  They never even scored.  And yet, despite how lopsided the games have been in past years, it is still considered the greatest rivalry in all of sports.

Christians have some pretty great rivalries, too.  At least we could if we followed the tradition of Army/Navy.  Instead, we have stooped to simply wrestling around in the mud for no purpose other than knocking each other down and getting everyone dirty. 

Here's how we can stop just making a mess and start doing something people want to see:
  1. Recognize we are all playing the same game.  We may come from different angles, focus on one part of the playbook rather than another, but it's still football.  (One preacher said, "If you aren't willing to hang on a cross over a particular point of doctrine, it's not worth arguing about it.")
  2. Let the competition inspire us.  Army and Navy play multiple games throughout the season; none of them inspire the same effort as this one game.  Players work extra hard.  We should let theological iron sharpen iron...pushing us to dig deeper and discover why we believe what we do from our "playbook."
  3. When the competition is over, it's over.  After every game, cadets from these two academies join together.  It signifies how, after they graduate, they will stand side by side to take on any and all who come against them or our nation.  Wow!  What would happen if Christians everywhere kept their fight inside the stadium and adhered to the rules of fair play then stood united in the real battle?
  4. Do your part only.  Quarterbacks do not pass to themselves.  Running backs don't sack.  Offensive linemen don't "go deep."  They only do what they are best at doing, what they've been trained to do, what their physical capabilities can handle.  Off the field, Army doesn't try to navigate ships and Navy doesn't occupy territory.  Individually, we need to do our part within our churches; and our churches should do what they are best at doing.  Some are strong at overseas missions; others at home missions.  Some minister to children; others to the homeless.  Imagine how much ground gets covered if we all do our part.
Now...having said all that, I end with a benediction stolen from my son's Facebook and written to his very good friend, an Annapolis graduate:  "May your runningbacks fumble every carry, your receivers drop every pass, and your kicker shank every kick. Love ya brother, but tomorrow I hope you are ground into tiny bits."


Monday, December 6, 2010


No...I have not drowned.  I might freeze to death in a house where, despite the temperature being set for 72 degrees, I wake up to 53.  Brrr!  However, I found a knit cap and wear that to bed.  Lots of heavy covers keep the rest of me warm.  It's that bloomin' tiled shower -- on an outside wall -- gets me every time!  Someone is coming today to look at it.  Hope it works soon!


I am diligently working on a new novel which absorbs so much time I barely get to other important activities like...oh...paying bills, making card sets for presents, and fixing dinner.  I have about twenty things on my "to do" list and I can't seem to get out of 1776.  Quite lovely and terribly frustrating at the same time.  I need two of me! 

I crossed one item off my list, though, thanks to the wonders of Facebook.  Every year since my husband and I have been married, I've written a Christmas letter.  Well, maybe not every year, but probably 20 years out of 26.  I decided to break with that tradition starting now.  Everyone on my list is a FB friend and knows all of our news.  Gotta love FB!  Except, now what do I do with the Christmas paper I purchased last year for the letter?  Hmmm.

Furnace man is here and not even General George Washington can call me back to the Revolution.

Until next time,