Monday, December 31, 2007

Thankful Thoughts

I am so thankful for creative outlets and friends that appreciate creativity as well!
I have made many new friends this year, one of whom has a father that had bypass surgery today -- and he is now out and recovering nicely! I am thankful for that. I made this card for Wonka's dad, Freddy, who likes horses and the color blue. Tomorrow is his birthday!

Horses by Inkadinkadoo, sentiment by CTMH
Paper: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla, Close to Cocoa, Cosmo Cricket and Basic Grey DP
Ink: Basic Black, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Sage Shadow, More Mustard, Bliss Blue
Accessories: charm, twine, brad, paper piercer, cutter tool, photo corner punch, stitched ribbon, dimensionals, aqua brush
Techniques: watercoloring, piercing, distressing

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thinking about Resolutions

Our family went to see the new National Treasure movie yesterday. What fun that is! Good action, excitement, a fun storyline and history (somewhat altered) to boot. We loved the first one and this one was equally enjoyable for all. One of the neat things about these two movies is that they inspired me to learn a little more about the history of our country. After the first movie came out, we made a family trip (not because of the movie; it was already planned) to Washington D.C. I had never been there before and it still is one of my favorite trips we have made. It was really interesting to see all the things we had seen in the movie and have seen in the news on TV for years. My favorite place of all to visit was a surprise to me -- The Ford Theater - where Lincoln was shot. The museum in the basement just fascinated me. So many things about that story that I had never taken the time to read about. And that is where the new National Treasure movie began - the Ford Theater, with Lincoln being shot.

Well, what does all this have to do with resolutions? One of the main parts of the story in the movie revolves around the Resolute Desks. There are two twin desks - one in the U.S. and one in England. I had never even heard them called that, although I was aware of the desks - there is hardly anyone my age or older who hasn't seen the picture of John Jr. peeking out of the door under his father's (JFK) feet. So today I did some digging. I thought first about the term resolute and what it means: "firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination"; "stood resolute against the enemy"; "faced with a resolute opposition"; "a resolute and unshakeable faith." That certainly fit what world leaders do when they sit there and make decisions about their country's future. I thought that was where the name probably came from. But I did some more digging.

The desks were actually made in 1879 by order of Queen Victoria from wood that was recovered from the HMS Resolute - a decommissioned British vessel. One desk sits in Buckingham Palace (which I have also been to!) and the other, as a gift from the Queen, in the White House. Read more about them here. There is also a great picture there.

That got me thinking about New Year's Resolutions. We have all made them. We have all broken them. And I decided that was because, at least in my case, I wasn't "firm in purpose or belief"; I didn't "stand resolute against the enemy"; I didn't have "a resolute and unshakeable faith." It was almost as if when I made the resolutions, I knew I would break them. It's so easy just to say "Oh, well, that's how it goes." But there are some things I need to stand firm in and be serious enough about - just as the decisions for our world leaders as they sit at those Resolute Desks.

So, rather than making resolutions, which I tend to break or forget about after a month, I resolve to be resolute in a couple of areas in my life that I have not been --- really. The first one is to become as healthy as I can. Not to lose weight, not to be "skinny" (like that will ever happen - or should -- I was born a pear and will remain a pear -- no cinnamon sticks here!), not for looks or others' approval, but just to be healthy and try to prevent some of the diseases that seem to overtake us in our later years. I read somewhere that for every 15 minutes you walk, you increase your life by 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, I could hear my son play a trumpet piece, or listen to a song he has written. I could fix my daughter's hair one more time, and I could talk to a friend on the phone (or surf the net!). I could read an article my husband has written and talk to him about it. I could play with my dogs or watch the snow fall. That's a lot to miss out on...

As far as card-making goes, I will have to walk a lot, since you know I usually can't make a card in under an hour! haha!! I will need lots of 15 minute increments for my cards! So here is my inspiration in becoming resolute about getting healthy. I had fun making this --

Stamps: Dolly Mama; Image a gift from Joycelyn (Stamps'nCoffee)
Paper: Whisper White, DP by Stamping Station
Ink: Basic Black, Green Galore, Lavender Lace, Lovely Lilac, Gable Green, Almost Amethyst, Barely Banana, Yoyo Yellow, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: dotted ribbon by Pebbles
May you resolve to be resolute about something in 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Can't Believe It!

I can't believe I am saying this. I never thought I would. I was so sure of it.
But I am really starting to like using acrylic stamps. WOW! I am shocked. A year ago, I would have said "No way. Never. Nuh uh. Nope." But thanks to my friend, Stacy, and Michaels $1 clear stamps, I am getting the hang of it and liking it. EEK!
And I have found out that all polymer isn't the same! Some brands stamp so much better than others.
I made this card with a Close to My Heart set called "Snow Friends." This was for a challenge some friends and I have each week. This week we were to use designer paper for our background. I love this little snowman -- and he has a bunch of snow friends!
Stamps: Snow Friends by CTMH
Paper: DP by Reminisce, Bashful Blue, Blue Bayou, Wild Wasabi, Whisper White
Ink: Blue Bayou, Bashful Blue
Accessories: sm. oval punch, word window punch, dimensionals, snowflake brad (The Paper Studio), sponge dauber

We are supposed to get another inch tonight, but I bet we won't!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Birthday Greetings

Yesterday was one of my SCS friends' birthdays. I also have a friend at my church whose birthday was yesterday. In a way, I think it would be hard to separate the celebrations. Maybe I would go to having a half-birthday celebration! Everyone knows it's more fun to celebrate twice as often! :)
A group of us made cards for our friend Deb, and made sure they didn't have anything to do with Christmas. So we chose a color scheme of black and white and here is what I came up with:

I was inspired by the sketch of this gorgeous card.

Today is another friend's birthday! I remember when she was younger (she is the daughter of one of my good friends) she made the comment that she didn't want any of her presents wrapped in Christmas paper! So I tried to make something a little different for her.
I also made this card for last week's Featured Stamper Challenge, and was inspired by the layout of this card.

Happy Birthday to all of you who celebrate birthdays this week!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Friends!

What a wonderful day! My whole family was at my house for Christmas -- the first time in about 23 years! It was a lot of fun with great times, great food, great gifts and lots of fun! I hope you had a great day today too!

We are having nice big fluffy flakes come down right now - perfect for the end of this day. Here is an easy snowflake card I made in various shades of blue.

Stamps: In the Spotlight, So Many Sayings, Happy Winter
Paper: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Cool Carribbean, Glossy White
Ink: same as above (minus White) plus Taken With Teal and Blue Bayou
Accessories: scallop punch, circle punch, word window punch, slit punch, Martha Stewart snowflake punch, Zig Painty

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Peace on Earth

HERE is the sketch for this week. I love the five circles, although you could also use squares or another shape!

Stamps: Peace on Earth
Paper: Whisper White, Bravo Burgundy, River Rock, Bazzill Gray, Basic Grey Figgy Pudding DP
Ink: Black Stazon, Sage Shadow, Bordering Blue, Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Silver Dress-ups (corners), photo corner punch, Zig Painty, circle punch, scallop punch, silver brads, olive organdy ribbon, dimensionals, sponge

1 Corinthians 13 - a Christmas Version
Source unknown

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

At Christmastime, have a happy & big heart!

The Advent Virus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous via email
Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

Merry Advent!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some quick (for me!) Christmas cards....

This is one of my favorite sets of all time! So I made some Christmas cards with it last night. I don't like to mass produce, or even make 2 of the exact same design, so I made about 8 different designs, all similar but slightly different. Here are two of them going out to some SCS friends this week! The card on the right has stickles around the leaves and in the center of the flowers.

I tried to keep them to 41 cents to mail, so they are pretty simple~

Stamps: Paint Prints, Sanded, Short & Sweet, Small Script
Paper: Mellow Moss, Whisper White, Rose Red, So Saffron, Always Artichoke
Ink: same as above (minus white)
Accessories: oval punches, eyelets, stickles, round tab punch, distressing tool, paper piercer, brads, dimensionals

My son comes home for Christmas break today! At least, that is the plan now. The plan WAS for him to come home yesterday. (He attends college in North Carolina.) He got to the airport and they had cancelled his flight due to mechanical failure. We were all disappointed, to say the least, but thankful the mechanical failure was identified before the plane took off! No other flights yesterday, so they put him on one today. They are having rain and wind issues there, so we are praying that all goes well and he can get home today! We miss him!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The New Stampin' Up! catalog is almost here!

This year Stampin' Up! went to two catalogs: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The Fall/Winter catalog will be retiring at the end of December, although many sets will be still be available. Check out the retiring stamps sets at the Stampin' Up! website. I wanted to show you the gorgeous new cover for the Spring/Summer catalog. It certainly doesn't seem to me like Spring is anywhere close (we have 4 inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits!), but I am excited to see the new stamps and accessories. Contact me if you would like to order anything from the retiring list or to find out how to get a new catalog FREE!

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!

Do you know that song? There are so many wonderful Christmas songs and CDs available! I don't think the one from my title would fit in that category, but it came to mind today as I was writing this. My favorite (today - tomorrow will be a different one!) would have to be Michael Buble's Christmas CD that opens with "Let is Snow." That is such a fun arrangement, rivaled, I think, only by Gloria Estefan's! I hope you can take some time to listen to some wonderful music today!

Today our challenge was to make a white-based card. Here is mine:

I love this set I just got that is made by Rubber Stamp Tapestry. They have some wonderful designs. The stamps are tiny and on small pegs, but it goes fast! I made the wreath in about 5 minutes!
Stamps: Wreath by Rubber Stamp Tapestry; sentiment by Studio G
Paper: Whisper White, Purely Pomegranate, Handsome Hunter
Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Forest Foliage, Glorious Green, Sahara Sand, Encore Gold
Accessories: round tab punch, tag punch, photo corner punch, gold dress-ups (glitter circles), Cuttlebug EF

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My mousie is a star!

We have a winter wonderland! Thankfully just snow and not much ice. Prayers to all those in KS and OK who are without power -- we experienced that last Christmas for over a week -- 4 inches of ice on everything! I don't want that again!

Here is the card I made for this week's Featured Stamper Challenge. I cased this adorable card of Charlene's.

I changed images and colors and the number of layers. The star and tree are all sparkly with glitter (which of course never shows up like you want it to!).

Stamps: House Mouse by Stampabilities, So Many Sayings
Paper: Basic Grey Figgy Pudding DP, Whisper White, Mellow Moss
Ink: Ruby Red, Barely Banana, Mellow Moss, Gable Green
Accessories: photo corner punch, word window punch, sm. oval punch, stitched ribbon, dress ups (gold glitter corner circles), glue dots, aqua brush, green and crystal glitter glue

Stay warm!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Warm Mittens!

Today's SCS Challenge keyword is appropriate for our town this morning -- IC=icy! We have an inch of ice everywhere and I can't even get out of my driveway; it's like a skating rink!

So this morning's Inspiration Challenge was perfect, as our piece was full of warm-looking mittens: CLICK HERE.
Stamps: Happy Winter, Short & Sweet (snowflake), Hero Arts Mitten
Paper: Bashful Blue, Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White, Basic Grey Figgy Pudding DP
Ink: Ruby Red, Bliss Blue, Craft White
Accessories: scallop punch, circle punch, round tab punch, red brad, paper piercer, grosgrain ribbon
The design ended up a little too busy for me, but swirling snow and sleet and ice make for a busy time on the roads!

Now to begin decorating the house! It's December!