Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Anniversary Invitations

I recently completed invitations for a friend's 40th Anniversary and vow renewal celebration. I was inspired to make this invite after I saw Becca Feeken's Gent's and Ladies shoe from Spellbinders. The card panel was made using a design I found in Cricut Design Space. It required me purchasing 11x17 paper from Envelopes.com (based on the color combination from my friend's party and the size of the card, which was 6x5).

I cut the background panel and embossed it using my Cuttlebug and the Darice 5x7 Damask embossing folder. I cut the men's shoe from black cardstock and used scraps from the background panel (Paper Source's Stardream Quartz cardstock. This is one of my favorite stores to shop for quality invitation paper and coverstock) for the top layer of the shoe and using a needle inserted black ribbon as laces. For the woman's shoe, I used the Stardream Quartz paper as the bottom and top layer, cut the insole and bow from the red cardstock used for the card base and embellished it with a pearl. I finished the card by adding a strip of silver rhinestone bling. The inside of the card was preprinted and cut to fit inside the panel.

Clothespins have many uses!

Adding ribbon to the top panel of the men's shoe

Grateful I had a needle with an eye big enough to string the ribbon!

I love an assembly line!

Here's the final card

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Color Your Day Lesson 2

Though the live lessons are over for Altenew's Color Your Day classes, I have access to the videos and will continue learning new techniques when I have free time to create. In my last post I made a card that was inspired by color. Lesson #2 was about coloring using a color wheel. Of course I went to one of my favorite color combinations: yellow and orange.

I used Altenew's Peony Bouquet stamp set (the middle layer) and alternated inking with two colors (Altenews' Warm Sunshine, Buttercream and Caramel Toffee combinations). For the green leafs, the colors I used were Evergreen, Frayed Leaf and Forest Glades. I adhered the stamped background to a bright orange card base, die cut the words "just because" three times, once on ink-blended cardstock which I used as the top layer. I adhered the layers to the panel and embellished with gold and orange sequins.

Here is my final product:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Color Your Day Lessons from Altenew

I reccently signed up with Altenew Academy for their Color Your Day classes which ran from July 16th throught July 21st. I was working on some invitations for an anniversary party (more on that in my next post) and was unable to take the lessons on the days they were scheduled.

Today was my first time attempting to view the class (I have access to it on the Academy's site). Lesson 1 is all about being inspired by color. The instructor provided us with her inspiration for the cards she made and urged us to open a magazine, scroll through Pinterest or anywhere we could find inspiration for creating our card.

My inspiration came from her color combination, brown and turqoise blue. I changed it up a little as I noticed there was a hint of orange in the photo she provided, so the colors I used were brown and orange.

I started out by stamping the Altenew Peony Bouquet stamp to my brown cardstock using Versamark and embossing with Stampin' Up's clear embossing powder. After heat setting the image, I grabbed the bottle of bleach from the kitchen, added some to the bottle cap and using a paint brush, painted inside the lines of the stamped images. Once dry, the backround of the flowers were light enough for me to color with my Copic Markers (Chrome Orange #YR04 and Buttercup Yellow #Y21). I added some Glossy Accents to the flowers for a little dimension.

I finished the card by die cutting the words "With Sympathy" three (3) times to make the words pop on the cardstock, then added some orange glitter for some sparkle. I further embellished the card with yellow adhesive gems.

Here is my finished card:

Friday, June 17, 2016

A New Chapter

April 30th saw the ending of a chapter in my life. For the past seven years I had a part-time job as Administrative Assistant at one of our local United Methodist churches, but due to lack of funding, I was laid off. May 1st brought about many changes, one of which was becoming accostumed to working at home. Though I had a part-time job, I also have my own business as a Virtual Assistant. I may not be bursting at the seams with clients, but I do have a few partnerships that I have developed over the years and clients who reach out to me for project work or administrative duties. I have also just taken on another endeavor: taking my administrative skills to the next level by becoming a Super VA (a super Virtual Assistant). I'm currently learning new technical skills that will allow me to offer more to my current clients and the new clients I hope to engage in the future.

But truth be told, the one blessing I cherish the most in this transition is having time to spend in prayer, and being creative. The former is very important to me for my creative juices flow from my time of prayer and reflection. It is my hope that I will be blogging and sharing more as I become comfortable with my new status, but more than that, I am looking forward to sharing what the Lord is placing on my heart to share with you. My prayer has been for the Lord to use me to do His will and I'm looking forward to His word flowing through me to you.

As I usually do, here are a few photos of some of my cards and art work I've made since my last posting.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Light Always Follows Darkness

As I was reading my devotional from the 2016 Upper Room Disciplines today, I was reminded of the true message of the scripture found in Psalm 30:5, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning". This made me realize that no matter how dark or painful the situation I (or you) may be facing, the dawn always follows the darkness of night.

The author of today's devotional states it so well, "Just as the sun slices through the darkness and offers the hope of the new day, the scripture announces God’s new thing. Circumstances will change; situations will grow better. The road from the darkness of pain to the brightness of joy may be longer than we desire. The important matter at hand is that we see the road and take the journey." It is hard for us to see the road ahead when we are in the midst of darkness. We seem to think that the darkness of our pain will continue to envelop us and we will never see the light of day, never see an end to our sorrow. My question to you is this, did you look back at a time in your life when it seemed that you would never recover from heartbreak, the death of a loved one, or maybe even a painful divorce? Did you look back and see where you are today as opposed to where you were in that moment? Have you noticed any change?

I'm not making light of the pain in any one's life. I just want to shed light on the fact that though it may seem never ending, there is always an end. You made it! You called out to God (even if you did it unconsciously) and he delivered you, he brought you through.

We do not have the power to heal our soul's wounds; we don't have the strength to lift ourselves out of the pit we sometimes dig for ourselves, but God does. He knows what you are going through, he knows what you are facing. All he wants is for you to call on him, to trust him to walk you through the journey you are facing and bring you into the light of dawn.

Yes, weeping may endure for a night, but, the joy that follows it is radiant and is a testament to your trust in God to see you through the pain into the light of a new radiant day. The devotional ends with these words, "As hard as it may be, we must carry our faith as a cherished seedling. We water it with our tears, fertilize it with our pain, and let the love of God shine on us as as we make the journey toward the dance of joy."

The cards below are a few in a stack that I made about a month ago. I did not realize until I was showing some of my cards, how the majority of them had the same theme - butterflies. How fitting for today's post, don't you think? The butterfly becomes a thing of beauty only after its metamorphosis from a caterpillar and shedding its chrysalis. The chrysalis is the dark, resting place of the caterpillar, but it sheds that darkness to become a beautiful, colorful, flying insect.  We can (and will) become as beautiful as this when we learn to leave our darkness in the hands of our Master and allow him to guide us into the light and beauty of the life he's always known we would live.