Monday, June 16, 2014

Letting Go

Fear, anger, worries… these are all things we cling to.  We fear that which is unknown; we get angry when we feel we are wronged, or slighted, or misunderstood; we worry about everything… how we look in the eyes of others, how we live, what we eat or wear, we even worry about what others may say about us.  All of these come from some place in us that refuses to let go: let go of the fear that we don’t know or can’t see; of the anger we feel against those we feel have wronged us; of worrying about how we will make it or how we will survive.

A card I made for a friend diagnosed with cancer of the lungs.
I recently re-read one of my favorite books, “When I lay my Isaac Down” by Carol Kent.  Carol and her husband had to surrender their only son to the prison system after he committed the unthinkable crime: murder of another human being.  With that one act, their son, Jason Paul, or J.P. for short, had turned the family’s whole world upside down.  Throughout that whole ordeal, the Kents had to learn to surrender all – their hope for their son’s future, their living as it had been up until then to the Lord. They had to trust God to bring them out of the wilderness of anger, pain, fear, and worry, to a place where they could hope for the future and the future of their only son, who is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Today’s devotion in the Upper Room Disciplines 2014, deals with letting go of our Ishmaels (read Genesis 21:8-21); having the courage to release our grasp on that which we hold dear and to cling tightly to God and trust him with our future.   How can we do this, we wonder? I suggest that we start by building a relationship with God; one that will allow us to trust that when we stumble and fall, he’ll be there to catch or pick us up.  I’m not saying this will be easy, but once we invite God into our private space and begin giving him our fears, worries, pain, and anger, we will find the courage to surrender all of these to him and he will show us the way out of our wilderness.

I recently heard a song that spoke to my spirit, “I Will Follow” by Jon Guerra.  The lyrics to this song moved me to tears and it validated my trust in this God who loves me despite my faults and my failures. Despite my problems, my fears, and insecurities, I will follow him; I won’t turn back, I’ll keep moving forward.

I leave you with the video and lyrics to the song:

I Will Follow
Worship Leader: Jon Guerra
(Jon Guerra, Jacob Sooter)

When the sea is calm and all is right
When I feel Your favor flood my life
Even in the good, I'll follow You
Even in the good, I'll follow You

When the boat is tossed upon the waves
When I wonder if You'll keep me safe
Even in the storms, I'll follow You
Even in the storms, I'll follow You

I believe everything that You say You are
I believe that I have seen Your unchanging heart
In the good things and in the hardest part
I believe and I will follow You
I believe and I will follow You

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I'll follow You
Even in the want, I'll follow You

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere I don't wanna go
Even in my death, I'll follow You
Even in my death, I'll follow You

When I come to end this race I've run
And I receive the prize that Christ has won
I will be with You in Paradise
I will be with You in Paradise

Monday, June 9, 2014

Be Ready in Season or out of Season

2 Timothy 4:2 states, "preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season;" Well, I am literally living that scripture.  The past few weeks have seen its share of sickness, hospitalization, and sudden deaths in my circle. There have been joyous occasions like birthdays and graduations.

I say all that to say this: It pays to be ready.  Last night I stayed up and put together 5 cards. One was this sympathy card. I used the Anna Griffin embossing folder to emboss the card with my Cuttlebug, then adhered gray ribbon (Stampin' Up Basic Gray) and embellished with dot pearls.  This was a quick and easy card.  

The next card was a Get Well card for a friend. She actually is getting two cards as she just celebrated a birthday. For the Get Well card, I attempted to do the spotlight technique using the background paper. I didn't have all of the circle punches I needed to cut several sizes, so I contented myself with just the two I cut out. I used Copic Markers to make the flowers pop and finished off by adding crystals to embellish the card. This other card was made by using a Robert Jackson's digital stamp and Copic Markers to color in the hair and skin. I used Gimp to add pattern to the dress and finished embellishing with a Doily I had in my stash.

The next card is for a young lady who lost her mother last November.  It is really a card of encouragement for her as she faces life without her mother.  I made the background using watercolor paper and following the Die Cut Stencils technique HERE.


And the last card is a thank you card for a gentleman. I don't know about you card makers out there, but I find myself lost when it comes to designing cards for men. Oftentimes, I have to get inspired by other works. This card, however, I had to visualize and do on my own. I used a scallop punch to cut one end of the light blue cardstock, then embossed a scrap of the blue cardstock and used a 1" hole punch to punch out the circles to attach to the light blue paper. I then cut some arrows from MTC using my Silhouette machine, and finished by attaching a Thank You sentiment.

 Making these cards relate to the scripture above. I need to be ready because I never know when I'm going to have to send cards to those who are in need, hurting or celebrating. It's best if I'm ready and just reach for a card, address it and mail it off.  What do you think?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Framed Art

One of my passions is card making. I love to make handcrafted cards. I also love working with graphics. As I was wondering how I could really combine these into one artistic form, I was inspired to use scripture in creating framed art I could give as gifts. I've blogged about this in the past (see post dated September 13, 2013).

Here is one of those inspirations:

How do these come together? I pick the digital stamp I want to work with from my collection. This digital stamp is from Robert Jackson. Once I've selected the stamp, I research the scripture I want to use.

Now this is where I get my inspiration. Most of the scriptures I use tend to fit the digital stamp I choose (see below). I sometimes print these on watercolor paper (if I'm using different mediums to color). In the case of the photo above, I printed the scripture on regular card stock (I created the file in MS Word) because all I did was use Copic Markers to color in the stamped image. I printed another copy and cut-out the blouse, then attached it to the Cheetah print cardstock from my stash (I did it this way as opposed to printing on the cardstock because of the glitter in the paper) then paper pierced that section and pasted it on the digi stamp.

To finish off embellishing the piece, I used Stickles glitter to add dimension and pop the necklace and earrings. I finished the piece by adding rhinestone ribbon, then attaching it to a mat for framing.

Here is another sample:

and others:

I have a few more surprises in store for you, so sit tight until my next post.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Party Planning

I know you have seen my work in terms of creating cards and invitations. One of my other passions is baking and just putting together a good party. I recently blogged about some invitations for a tropical wedding.  Well, last month I was asked to make the invitations for the bridal shower, a party banner and some favors.

I made the invitations solely from my computer.  Microsoft Word is the medium I use for my invitations, though I use Gimp for my graphics.  The theme for this invitation was the same as the wedding - tropical. Because I knew the color scheme, I was able to work very quickly on creating the background for the invites. This is what it looked like (minus the smudges):

I used Gimp to create the background and purchased my stock images from 

The party banner borrowed the same title from the invitation: "From Miss to Mrs."  Using the bride's favorite colors, yellow and orange, I used my Silhouette machine to create the following banner:

I got the template for the banner template from and opened it in MTC, resized it, added the letters and cut it using my Silhouette.  The card stock I used for the banner background was leftover paper from the bride's invitations I made a few months back.  I cut out the letters and added pop-up glue dots to give dimension to the letters (see below).

Finally, the favors I made were Oreo cookies dipped in Almond Bark (milk and white chocolate). I followed this recipe in order to put them together. Here's the final product:

If you haven't done so yet, I recommend you visit or join Pinterest. I find a lot of creative ideas for baking, card making and anything else I find myself inclined to want to try. 

This is all for today. Be on the lookout for another posting from me soon. I've been in a creative mode and have lots I want to share.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Julie Nutting Stamps

I ran into Julie Nutting stamps while browsing a few card making blogs and fell instantly in love with them. I immediately purchased a whole collection on Amazon. I love the infinite possibilities of being able to create beautiful cards with these stamps.

My first creation was a farewell card for the organist of my choir who was leaving.  Knowing her love of fashion, I immediately made a card she could identify with and which spoke to who she was.  Here it is:

This stamp is called Megan. I stamped and colored her using Copic markers then paper pierced the skirt and top with card stock from my stash.  I then used Stickles to embellish the hem of the top and her boots. I layered the cut-out on a fancy frame and placed it over a colored burlap to match the colors in the skirt. The background paper is from the Animal Prints digital paper by Digi Diva.

The second card I made was for a 50th birthday party. This card started out with me creating a checkerboard flooring technique (tutorial is found here). Once I made the floor, I thought a Julie Nutting stamp would go just right with it. I Gessoed the card stock paper and used watercolor and reinkers to create the background. I then attached the flooring I made to the card stock.  I stamped the Doll with Swing Dress rubber stamp, cut-out the doll, colored with Copics.
I then paper pierced the skirt, again using Animal Prints by Digi Diva and embellished the skirt and blouse hem, and shoes (as well as added earrings and a bracelet) with Stickles. I cut out a dance hall ball, used Stickles to give it some dimension, and added some gold thread to give the appearance of a Disco ball hanging from a dance floor.  I finished the card by adding a Happy Birthday tag.

My third creation is a framed art using Julie Nutting's Lorena rubber stamp. For this I used watercolor paper to make the background. I used a mixture of pinks with a tinge of orange watercolor and swirled it on the background. Once dry, I stamped the rubber stamped image to the background and colored it with Copics. I placed the card stock in my printer and printed the scripture to the right of the stamped image (Genesis 1:31). I then used a double-sided card stock by Beyond the Page. I stamped the image again on the card stock and paper pierced the top and hem of the skirt with the black and white polka dot pattern (on one side), and the skirt with the pink Damask pattern (on the other). I attached these to the stamped image using glue stick, then embellished with rhinestones in pink and black. Once done, I glued these to an Cheetah print card stock from my stash, then attached that to the pink Damask paper used on the skirt. I then framed and embellished the finished art piece.

Here is a larger view of the art work and below that, the finished product.