patterns of change

With the new year approaching, I've been thinking of change.  Not just another list of resolutions quickly made and even more rapidly abandoned, but real change~~~ that lasts.  I know it has to come from within myself and yet not of myself.  I've tried and failed more times than I can count.  So this year I am praying that the Spirit of the Lord will begin a serious edit of ME.  That the old ways, some of which are working poorly would be replaced with what HE would have me be.  I might look different on the outside, but more than anything, I want to be new on the inside.

Seeing the Color Challenge on SCS today, I was not jumping for joy...those colors are certainly not what I reach for.  However as I sat looking through my image book, I came upon this awesome Tim Holtz set from Stampers Anonymous.  It was easy then as I knew the Basic Grey paper group, Stella Ruby would fit perfectly with my pattern idea.  So I have collaged my card to celebrate the changes I hope to work toward this year.  If you would like more details of exactly how I created this card, please click over to my SCS gallery.

On a related note, I've been waiting to blog about my most fabulous Christmas present!  And I have Amy  at Tsuruta Designs to thank for tagging me  on a get to know you questionnaire (which had more than 50 questions!)  But one of them really got me going, what was your favorite childhood toy?  Well, mine was a Betsy McCall Fashion Designer set, which allowed you to create fashions for Betsy with tissue patterns and a light box.  Santa brought one to me Christmas 1962.  I have never forgotten it!  Well, one thing lead to another, and a look on E-Bay and Kovels for what the possible value of the set, and I  snagged the set off the 'bay for $7.99!!!  It was originally sold for $5.95.  It arrived a few days before Christmas and I had told my DH that this was all I wanted and on Christmas morning all watched as I relived a long forgotten memory.  I plan to save it for when I become a grandmother of daughters and we can play together!     

There is a pattern in all things...what are you seeing and feeling?


two happy's and a NEW year

It's almost here, the NEW Year!  I  am always happy to turn the page on an old year and ring in the new.  And this year 2009...how did we get here already?  Time just seems to flying by...even my sons notice how fast the days are going.  

I created a New Years cheer card for a dear friend, who has been out of the country for most of this month.  We're the kind of friends, we'll celebrate in February if that's were life takes us.  No pressure, no guilt...don't we get enough of that from other people in our life?  I know she'll just love it.  Many times she's told me her heart beats faster when she opens her mailbox and there is an envelope from me.  Now isn't that why we do what we do?  To raise someones' spirits, bring a smile to their face and treasures for a mantel!  

There are several challenges going on SCS today.  Monday's learn a new technique was actually a new fold which our hostess, Lynn created a tutorial.  Check it out when you can.  Then there has been the Holiday Challenge Extravangaza, today was to alter an embellishment .  Here's my card for both of those challenges.

Have a delightfully short week!  And early Happy New Year wishes!


the courage to imagine

I am sorry to be long in posting here...it's been wildly chaotic lately...in the best sort of ways, but I am always glad when my life is back to a routine...I am much happier in that regard.  How about you?  Are you a fly by the seat of your pants or are boundaries more comfortable?  I am thankful I have people in my life that will hold me accountable and challenge me to grow in areas where I am weak.  It's that first step thinking...just get moving so I am excited for 2009 to begin...I've still got areas to improve upon,  I never want to stop learning.

I've felt the creative muse dancing on my studio counter top lately and I've let her play.  Don't you love it when you have the seed of an idea and all of a sudden, that idea has flowered into a piece of art and you stand there thinking, 'Wow, where did that come from?'   My dear husband says he like to just sit and watch me in the creative process as an idea takes flight.  So here's whats been flying at my house recently.   These all have been posted to my gallery  on SCS for various challenges.  


the doll's choir

Tonight, I'm asking the Lord to forgive me for taking for granted the greatest blessing any of us could have, our health.  This was brought home to me today with a request of cards to dear Hannah, a young girl who is dying of a very rare cancer. I held my sons a bit closer, thankful for the every wonderful and annoying thing about them! And for their wisdom, Andy saying, 'Mom, she's going back home' in his mind, HEAVEN. If you would like to read about Hannah and her request. please check this out. I think those baby dolls are singing the way, though there is always hope for a miracle...I don't think she'll be lonely.

I am also thankful for feeling fully the emotions of righteous anger, sadness, and hope...dear Lord be a healing balm no matter what.


where the naughty girls went

I love Saturday's Inspiration Challenge on SCS.  It really helps me think outside the box and I get to see textile, fashion, furniture, and magazine designers I might never be exposed to.  Thanks so much, Stef for bringing such interesting 'sparks' each week. I had to fire one last round in the Schirmcat naughty or nice list. For the details on my box in a bag, please look here. The resources forum is a fabulous place to find just about anything related to paper crafting. I really like how the tote turned out and will definitely be making others.

So where did the naughty girls go, SHOPPING, of course.  Have a wonderful weekend...throw some snowballs or cuddle up with a peppermint mocha and someBODY warm!!!


family Christmas cards

Let's see, it's a week till Christmas eve and I have one card in the mail!  That's right on my pace.  
Terrible to admit, perhaps, but I've come to realize I can't do it all, but I'll try to do it RIGHT!  I am glad I have 'people' who love me just the same...my heart will always be in it!

It is Wednesday again and the Sketch Challenge on SCS.  My card will make #2 postal, for a beloved brother and favorite uncle.  He'll appreciate all the fluff and stuff.  I had to use liquid applique on this fun collaged Santa from Tim Holtz.  If you would like to read the full details, you'll find them here.

So how about you, want give up any hints for being more organized and put together.  I'm convinced that arty types are only disorganized and chaos reigns...please share if this is not the case with you...I'd really love to change my stripes


Western Union

It very interesting to think about how just a couple generations ago important news was received by telegram.  My card today for the
 Color Challenge had me wondering how it felt to get your information this way. I used a collaged image from Oxford Impressions 'Winter Snow' set that contains the telegram as well as the wonderful vintage Christmas tree.  I set the tree inside Stampinks Unlimited fabulous shuttered window.  Merry Christmas is stamped onto the telegram .

I'm glad for today's technology that keeps us just a touch of the keyboard away from new news...but my Mom won't have any of it though my sibs and I have pleaded for her to get connected.  She still wants her news the old fashioned way.  And I do respect that, but you'll find me busy texting encouraging notes to my sons or a voice mail to my husband...sweet nothings...I will use what we have to the benefit of my family.  And I hope I'll always be willing to learn what's new...so I can keep up!  

So this card goes out today to my parents. Some things are just better the old way! How about you?


two roads

The Saturday Inspiration Challenge on SCS has to be my favorite. I love venturing into the world around me and seeing the patterns...everything in nature is connected!  Art is certainly no different. Robert Frost's famous quote was to be the center of my design today.  The red mushroom pendant was my inspiration.   And it's interesting for me to think of how I have progressed in my paper craft journey in just over a year.  In the beginning I would go right at it, the ideas flowed freely and I would stamp in a hurry...now I visualize the end product, more times than not and SEE the steps I'm to take to get there.

Today's card is a perfect example.  I decided on my sentiment and the label first off and stamped on white card stock. But as I paused, the idea of having a grove of trees on the edge of my label  popped in my head (I realize this is not scientific!!!).  After watching Tim Holtz demo his 12 days of Christmas and how he works with the distress ink, I purchased the craft mat.  Oh my, what have I been missing with the mat...it was so easy to stencil color onto the stamp.  You 'NEED' one if you don't already own it. When I placed the label onto the wood grain background of the Basic Grey granola paper, I decided I liked the way the split in the grove looked against the dark of the wood grain. I suppose it mirrors the choice of paths.  

 This card is for a dear friend who remembers holidays in Czechoslovakia as a young girl going mushroom picking with her father and relatives who lived in the tiny villages and hamlets along dirt roads.  She ended up going to university in England and a career offer in the United States...all along taking a path that would bring her into my life.  It is fun to see where our choices take us...if we realize these roads have bends, twists, curves,  hills, summits, valleys, and many straight aways.  And I think our choice is to keep journeying  and trust.

I'd love to hear your take on the road less traveled....


but Santa

I was up for a limited challenge today on SCS.  To go green, recycle. I have a little box where I keep my rejects.  It is fun to go through it every now and then to see what's in there, kind of like 'PICK me, pick me'!  So for the Christmas collage I created today, there are 7 elements I found waiting to be combined into something fresh and new.  From the photo art, a visit with Santa, to the angel looking over the scene (naughty OR nice), I managed to bring all these ideas together.  I added the bit of pom-pom to the left edge, it reminded me of the chenille's of my childhood.  Did you know chenille is an 18th century French word meaning 'hairy caterpillar'?  

I have a couple of pictures of me and my siblings sitting on Santa's lap...I've wanted to create something with them for the longest time...today just might be the day...I'll let you know.    


Spiritual journey


I loved the concept of Julia's Ways to Use it Challenge today on SCS. It was to create something with half an image.  I decided this wonderful background sentiment from Stampotique was just what I needed.  It repeats 'WE ARE not human beings on a spiritual journey, but SPIRITUAL beings on a human journey."  My paper doll, from Limited Edition, was left with an ethereal half.   Perhaps the spiritual side is the beautiful brocade paper (from Basic Grey) and the human side is Cosmo Crickets chicken little cloud paper.  Either way, I am on a spiritual journey living my life out for Jesus.   I wish is when others see me, they'll see HIM.

Thanks for visiting with me!  


mid pleasures and palaces

Today's Sketch Challenge looked like a stoplight to me!  I had to turn it on it's side and create a 'hurry' home card.  If you would like the specific details of this card, please stop into my gallery over on SCS.

I wanted the feeling of blankets, buckets of popcorn and cuties (tangerines), and movies on my card...I think the warm colors convey that.   We're preparing for the return of our DS for Christmas break.  Our family circle will be closed again.  We all feel the excitement in the air.
It's the very wee hours, I am listening to favorite praise music and texting messages to DS.  I am blessed that both my boys communicate with me this way.  In the beginning, I didn't cotton to this new technology.  But when I least expect it a little tidbit pops up on my screen and it's like a cyber hug!  

And for my sons, if you happen to read this...Mom's started using two fingers.....Hurry home...we're waiting the tree for you!  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on being anxious for the arrival of loved ones...it is in this moment I feel so alive, so hopeful, the anticipation...that is to me  the true essence of Christmas.


a caged Merry

I loved the colors for todays' challenge on SCS.  Red Riding Hool, Baja Breeze and Taken with Teal.  This was one of those, I knew immediately what I would do!   I love the old fashioned bird cages from B Line Designs.  And I knew they needed to be the stars of my card. Please pop over to my gallery, if you would like more details on the design of this card. Thanks very much.

I admire my friend, Amy Tsuruta's clean, crisp style  and tried to model this with the card today.  I actually think it is more difficult to pull off when each piece carries such weight.  I'm kinda groovin and just might be on to a new thing!  Thanks Amy for your beautiful art that inspires me on a daily basis.


saving Santa

There's been a new volley in the war between naughty and nice over at SCS today. About 23 of us were somehow relegated to the naughty list of Santa and we've spent the last few weeks trying to change that situation.  Today, I offer an alternative...I know I've been practicing my nice skills on DH, just in case Santa doesn't stop at MY house this year. 

I remember being married just a few years and noticing my in laws didn't exchange gifts at Christmas time.  I thought how sad, and then my dear FIL told me, "If there's something we want, we just go get it."  Now with DH and I being so specialized in our hobbies, we've just about done the same! Gift cards are loving wrapped in huge boxes and placed under the tree...one size does fit all!  Which reminds me, I need to head over to Bass PRO.com.  Anyone else arrived at this place in their gift giving?


click your heels

I especially miss being in my parents home at Christmas time.  And my Mom always calls after she has had her 'Christmas cry'.  This is when she decorates the house with all the treasures from decades ago, plays Christmas music, and remembers days gone by.  Now my home is the NO PLACE like...and I'm filling it with sights, and sounds, and smells of the most wonderful time of the year.  I want my boys to have those memories just like me!

Before I was a paper artist, I loved to do counted cross stitch.  I have somewhere around 150 perforated paper Victorian Christmas ornaments that decorated 3 alpine silk trees.  I remember the year I began...I had enough to put on a wreath.  Each year more and more where added, a mantle one year and then one tree...the collection kept growing.  I get them out each year and and the memories flood back when I touch each one...it is a wonderful reminder of our journey as a family.

My card for the Inspiration Challenge today celebrates this theme, 
there is no place like home

Please feel welcome to share any holiday traditions that warm your heart!  Thanks




Todays limited supplies challenge on SCS was quite limited.  I loved it!  I tend to use more bits in my work so Fridays are good for me!  And I seriously need to take that over into my home!  But that's a topic for another day (insert Scarlet O'Hara thinking here)!  I decided to make a tag  using the limitations of the challenge.  Only snowflakes, monochromatic, one word sentiment, and bling.  

I chose my sentiment after walking through my image book.  All the usual words came to mind, but were discarded.  I kept coming back to the thought of what snow means to me and silence kept resonating in my mind.  Now I know that might 'sound' strange...the sounds of silence, didn't Simon and Garfinkle do a song by that title?!!!  But I crave the sound of silence, especially living in a house of boys.  All day long, it's their music, tv's, video games...now, please don't get me wrong, I can groove to most of their music...but after so long, my heart craves that still quiet where I can 'hear' myself think!  That is why the sound of snow falling is music to these ears!  That is why I burn the midnight oil...to be surrounded by a clock ticking or the soft breathing of my loved ones, and yes, even the snores of our big, fluffy cat, Jessie.

How about you?  What sounds are golden to you?  I would love to hear what you think!  It will be silent, but I will celebrate those words!


yes, it stinks

I love my card for todays challenges on both SCS and PCP.  For the Ways to Use it, envelopes and the 12day7 black and white and a pop of color, I was able to create a get well card with a twist!  It does stink to be sick, especially when you are 13!  So to my dear sweet son, I hope last night was the worst and you are on the mend.  I want you back in the game, on the field, in the dojo, on the Christmas tree lot, singing at church, rolling 'round the rink, improving with the rest of 'em,  and even turning pages in a school book!  I want you WELL!

love, MOM


Christmas Joy

well, another Wednesday has rolled around and it's my most challenging challenge!  Roxie's sketch always has me scratching my head and trying to play by the rules.  I'm beginning to think I need to surf around and do more of the wonderful sketches out there...maybe not!

I decided to let my My Mind's Eye papers do the work here...something charming about the snowpeople!  I also made use of the lovely brown polka dot borders of the papers (a great use of otherwise scrap).  I  cuttled the panels with the snowflake embossing folder.  The sentiment sits atop a small rectangle that has had a dusting of Martha's very cool COARSE glitter.  I hate the mess glitter makes, but in thinking about it this morning, I've decided glitter is one of those things that should make us happy...so I'm going to be sparkling all over my bit of the earth today...who knows who might catch that happiness by passing by me!

As a side note, I've got a real sickie on my hands!  DS is being tested for mono and has been so sick this week and just droopy for the last several weeks.  If I could ask for your prayers for him, we would be blessed.  


tis the season

'tis the season, are you ready?  I'm not.  And I don't quite know how I feel about that!  I mean, with all the hats I wear, it would take a 50 gallon cowboy hat to make me feel I had it together. But I've got one beautiful mantel decorated in this card for today's on color challenge SCS.  I knew I wanted to use this scene I've been working on for the past few days...I love the process of coloring and carving the pieces of paper...something about it is so very relaxing.  But in the end, it doesn't get my house cleaned or the gifts wrapped or the decorating done!!!   I think I need to make a list and check it more than twice!

If you'd like to read the details of my card, pop over to my gallery on SCS for the specifics. And I'm wishing you much success at the getting it all done thing!

I want to thank my friends for the recent awards.  I haven't checked into what is required, but I will.  It is an education to even carry them over to 'my place'!