Monday, January 30, 2012

Things I Forgot to Say

Hubby and I spent the weekend "suffering for Jesus" at the Denver Marriott.  Yes...sometimes life is tough!


We did a marriage retreat and, as is our custom, he took the guys for an hour and I took the ladies for an hour.  While we did cover a lot of good stuff, I've been kicking myself for the things I forgot to say...which is not letting me sleep well. So, whether you like it or not, YOU get to hear them:

1) Respecting your husband means you don't play "one up" with your friends when they start talking about what idiots men are.  Respecting him in public is every bit as important as respecting him in private.

2) If you have trouble with #1, imagine these same women are using this language to talk about your son.  Treat your husband the way you want a woman to treat that precious boy you love so much.

3) Should your marriage end in divorce, be very, very, very careful about the language you use when describing your ex-husband.  Your sons are are your daughters.  If all men are pigs, your son will learn to either hate himself or you.  Neither is good.  If all men are rotten, your daughter will interpret everything her husband does in the most negative way possible, dooming her to repeat the cycle of divorce.

4) Speaking of cycles, we have created a vicious one with all the "free sex" society advocates.  Despite what movies tell us, you cannot join your body to someone else without also joining your soul.  This is true for both men and women.  Every time you break up with someone you've had sex with, your soul rips and scabs over.  It doesn't take too many of these before you are callous about something God intended to be amazing.  So...women become blase about sex,  and men (whose self-image is tied up in their ability to please a woman sexually the same way a woman's is tied up in being able to please a man visually) learn to either please themselves through porn and/or masturbation or to use women up like paper towels. Creating more calloused women and more frustrated men.  Nice, huh.  Please...please, teach your children to wait.  Please!

5)  The greatest compliment you can pay your husband is to be happy.  A sour expression makes him (and everyone else) wonder what is wrong.  Knowing men like to fix things, your constant frown grates on him like a never-ending list of chores does on you.  Light up when he comes home. At a party, cross the room just to be with him and show everyone how glad you are to be his.  Force it until it becomes a habit.  SMILE!

There are probably a few more, but these are the ones keeping me awake.  I would love to hear any tidbits of wisdom you think should be passed along at the next retreat.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GlitterFree Bling

Today's challenge over at Operation Write Home is glitter free bling.  I thought it was the perfect time to use the new stamps I received free from Our Daily Bread Designs which I won for this card back in December.

This stamp set is called "Faith" and comes with both the sentiment and butterfly image.  To make the butterfly I intended to highlight stand out even more, I colored it with a white gel pen before flooding the entire area with Liquid Glass.  Then, because I wanted to make it sparkle even more, I waited until the Liquid Glass dried, painted it with Create a Shade paint, then covered the whole thing with another layer of Liquid Glass.  (Liquid Glass and Create a Shade paint are products of CTMH.)
The butterfly image at the top of the card was stamped with Versamark, the one on the tab (as well as the sentiment) was stamped with Momento Tuxedo Black then colored with Copics in shades of grey and a light green for the leaves.  I also sponged the edges of the chocolate mat paper with black to make sure the black ink on the image had an answering black on the rest of the card.

Since my gift certificate was for more than the cost of this stamp set, I also got a single Dahlia stamp which I will share with you another time.

Thanks to Our Daily Bread Designs and OWH for their generosity.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Hate Me Because... craft room is beautiful.  At least I think it rocks.

OWH did a blog post about organizing your space.  Let me tell you, organization got a whole lot easier with the addition of this cabinet to my craft area.

Several years ago, my in-laws were getting to the point where they needed to be living with us.  My mother-in-law had more stamps and supplies than I did, which I did NOT think possible.  We had this cabinet custom built to make her happier about giving up some independence.


 This shot was taken from the opposite angle to show you my art tables.  Below is a close up on the table holding my stamp pads, CTMH markers, and watercolor pencils...along with my trusty laptop where I haunt blogs for ideas.  This is my "secret weapon" of crafting.  I use Microsoft OneNote to copy ideas and paste them into categories like "Baby" or "Masculine".

 These "map drawers" were measured to be just deep enough for wood mounted stamps. Awesome!
On the other side of the cabinets, the same map drawers hold my acrylic stamps and supplies. These used to be full of wood mounted stamps as well, but I sold a bunch of them to clear out space.

 Below is one of the tall cabinets which holds my  12x12 paper. I have two of these tall cabinets and most of the shelves hold a large plastic bin like the one below the paper (left side).  The bins have scrapbooking supplies, ribbon, envelopes, etc.
The best part about this cabinet is that it breaks down into smaller sections.  The Army movers weren't too sure about it, but it really does come apart and go back together fairly easily.  Next move, though, I will be sure to label the doors.  They are a little wonky right now.

And this is looking into the TV area so I can watch a movie from my desk.  The basket holds stuff I reach for the most, i.e. my Copics, glue stick, and colored pencils.

Yeah...I'm spoiled!

Until next time,

Monday, January 16, 2012

More Sympathy

Using the Mojo Monday Sketch #224 and the H2H Color Challenge, I made my second sympathy card for the week.  This was is for my mother's maid of honor (nearly 54 years ago) whose husband passed away earlier this month.

I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do this sketch without using any ribbon.  Not sure why that was important to me, but it sounded good at the time.  I actually like how it turned out, so all is well.

Everything on this card is CTMH.  Paper is Wonderland, stamps are from Rock the Block, the flowers and circles were cut out using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, and even the flower center was made using CTMH supplies.  Well, except for the Copic marker used to color the circle charm.

Here's what happened.  I punched out a bit of the Wonderland paper.  It wasn't quite dark enough so I smeared a little Twilight ink on it.  That made it too dark, so I watered it down to get a softer effect.  Then I put the circle charm over wet paper.  It didn't stick (hmmm...imagine that).  So I peeled it off and had sticky residue.  Using my sander, I got the rest of the wet paper off, but that made my circle charm too cloudy to effectively mount another piece of paper under it.  What to do, what to do?  I know...pull out a Copic (BG72), color the cloudy circle charm, dab it with Liquid Glass, and cover it all with glitter.  Voila!

I now vote for no more sympathy cards.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What the Heart Once Owned

It has been a sad week for my parents.  Two of their closest friends passed away.  And though sympathy cards are always hard, they are probably the most appreciated.

The stamps, Baker's Twine, and embossing folder are from Stampin' Up!  The sentiment is old, but it is my absolute favorite one for sympathy cards. 

The flower is stamped in Momento Rich Cocoa and colored with Copics.  I recently sold a bunch of stamps at my local stamp store and was able to purchase almost 30 markers.  I used the following markers: YR0000, YR12, YR18, YR21, G21, W00, W1, and 0 (colorless).

The safety pin is from CTMH, as is the background mat paper (Cocoa).  The little buttons were purchased at a garage sale.

I am not sure if I am going to make several of these or a few different styles.

Until next time,

John 3:16

Focus on the Family had done it again.  This great commercial ran last night during the Broncos vs. Patriots game.  My guess is Tim Tebow had a little something to do with it!

Happy Sunday!

Until next time,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quick Update

It's been a long time since I updated you all on my "blogging" goals. Well, I must say I am more encouraged right now than I have been in a while.

Bible Study - I have signed on to co-lead a study at my PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) here at Fort Carson.  I've also spent some time on my own doing a word study on "faith" which is my theme for 2012.  A couple weeks ago, God gave me a beautiful picture with birds flying outside my window which is somehow related to my faith venture.  It has intrigued me so much, I think on it often which draws me into His presence throughout my days.

Physical Fitness - Some very good news here.  I have a neighbor who, like me, is carrying a lot of weight over a body which still remembers the good, old days when we were young, athletic, and could eat anything we wanted and not gain because we were working so hard.  She has a bunch of exercise equipment in her home and a background in gymnastics and weight lifting.  I call her my personal torturer...uh, trainer.  Since I already confessed how much I hate going to a gym, you know what a blessing it is to be in a private setting with someone who knows how to push me, encourage me, and not let me slack off because she knows where I live! I just finished two weeks with her.  My arms may never be the same!

Writing - I am over half-way through with my current novel.  This past week, I wrote a scene I particularly love.  I took it to my critiquing group and they all felt "in the moment" with my poor hero. What an encouragement!  I also figured out a way to help fix my first few pages.  There are no shortcuts to learning this craft, so these little bits of progress are cause for celebration.

Creative Cards - Somewhere through haunting blogs of truly talented people and the Splitcoast Stampers website, I have picked up a few tricks and feel like my cards have improved quite a bit.  What fun to share them with you all.  I will be hosting a CTMH party in my home soon.  Hopefully that gives me enough hostess credit to purchase a boatload of new stuff to continue to share.  I also have a friend to gave me a bunch of Stampin' Up! supplies, and I recently won a $25 gift certificate to Our Daily Bread Designs, so I'll be branching out some.  FUN!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.  Writing is a solitary profession, so your kind comments mean a great deal.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Birthday Wishes

My friend's birthday is coming up.  A good excuse to put the Mojo Monday sketch and OWH Floral Fantasy challenges to work.

All paper and supplies except the "ABC" background stamp (Stampin' Up!) are CTMH.  The Happy Birthday stamp is old, the round label is from one of the sets that comes with the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  The flowers were punched with four different sizes of flowers and then, on the largest one, I cut off the edges with a pair of scalloped edge scissors.  The heart was also punched out of the same Juniper colored background paper as the flower then sponged with Cranberry.
I'm having a little trouble with my blogger today.  Not sure what the problem is, but it took a long time before I could get these pictures loaded.  Hope it gets better soon.

Until next time,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Something Old, Something New

Hubby and I are off to friends for dinner tonight.  I wanted to take a small hostess gift and decided on a set of note cards.  While all supplies except the Baker's Twine (from Stampin' Up!) are CTMH, this card a mix of old/discontinued and new.

Everything stamped in Olive as well as the Honey colored base of the flowers is from the Unscripted (new) stamp set. The Terracotta overstamped flower and Thank You are from Treasures (old), and the notepad lines stamped in Cocoa is from the Typeset Workshop on the Go kit (new but set to discontinue at the end of this month).  The paper is old B&T in Terracotta.

I used an old Mojo Monday sketch (#212) for my layout.

I love how this turned out.  I hope my hostess likes it, too!

Until next time,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My "Word" for the Year

Have Faith. 

This year I am doing something I have heard others do in the past.  I am choosing a word to be my theme for 2012.  I realize "Have Faith" is two words, but it's what fell into place in my heart as I was praying.  I even have plans to make myself something to decorate my writing office to remind me of it throughout the year.

Last week, when our kids were here, we watched a video series called "Laugh You Way to a Better Marriage."  If you have not seen this, you are missing profound truth coated in comedy.  It also has a personality test you can take.  We did this as a family and found out some interesting things about ourselves and each other.

My number one motivation is COMPETENCE. I like to already be good at things before I show them to the rest of the world.  It's the main reason I never want to go to a gym.  Who wants all those people seeing what a complete dork I am?  Really!  It's what scares me the most about writing.  What if I manage to get something published only to read it later and realize it's one of those books other people read and think, "How did something this bad get published?"

So why does "Have Faith" resonate with me so much right now?  Because faith is more than a nice motivational thought, it is the essence of life.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.  Having faith means persevering through the awkward I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing phase until I reach a level of competence.  It means pursuing the goal with the kind of passion I would if I knew beyond doubting success was within reach with one more push, one more step, one more...just one more.

As I am writing this, some of the most interesting and beautiful birds I have ever seen are flying around outside my window.  When I get up to capture them on my camera, they fly away.  When I sit back down and start typing again, they come back.  So far, I've seen four different varieties which I don't recall ever seeing before. It's as though God is telling me that, although I cannot capture concrete evidence of these beautiful birds, they are real and must be enjoyed in the moment. 

To be honest, I'm not sure how that ties into having faith, but God has something for me there.  I know it with the same assurance I know my Redeemer lives.  As I struggle to find God's meaning, it will be a special message straight from Him to me when it is revealed.

May your 2012 be full of similar messages which come straight from God's heart to yours.

Until next time,