Friday, February 29, 2008

SmARTworks Tea Party

Smartworks' design team does a challenge every couple of weeks, that I haven't managed to do, but I love the company, and love challenges, so I was hoping to this time around. Usually I find the next one when looking at Trish's blog. When I saw the challenge for this week, using teal, lime green, and brown, I had to laugh. I just happened to have made a quickie card this week that not only had those colors, but a SmARTworks stamp as well! The ink on the text looks blue in the photo, but it actually is teal.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A merry heart!

Proverbs 17:22 says in the KJV that "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." In the NIV, it says "A cheerful heart is good medicine." At any rate, this stamp is one of the first ones I ever thought to create. :-)

I have to admit that I needed more than a merry heart, though, as I struggled with a nasty bout of the flu the last couple of days. I'm pretty much over it now, but still a bit weak. Our family seems to be taking turns with it ...

The heart is from Biblical Impressions, and the swirls from Rhonna Farrar. Text is from Encouraging Impressions.

Monday, February 25, 2008

SALT challenge: Lent

Wow, this was a creative idea from Lythan at SALT! And I headed several different directions before I settled with this one. I did not actually make a card from it; if I keep it, it will be for my own personal reminder that I need to daily surrender my life to the Lord.

I looked up scriptures on sacrifice for this challenge, that was my original idea. But the song "I surrender all" just kept coming to my mind.

Genuine, Godly sacrifice, as Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for us, is a wonderful thing. But I think our culture has "flattened" the meaning of the word a bit. When we know we've sacrificed for something, we can perhaps feel a little self righteous. And remember Saul? He disobeyed God, and thought offering great sacrifices would cover it. But God desired obedience more than sacrifice from Him. From us.

Surrender, to me, has a sense of humility about it; I'm not trying to impress God by sacrificing something (though certainly I have had times in my life, including specifically during the Lenten season, where I have felt led to). But in surrendering, I am saying, "Not what I want, but what You want, Lord."

In sacrifice, I am in control, in surrender, He is.

That's my thoughts for right now, anyway. Subject to change upon further thought or revelation! :-)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Psalm 103

I don't exactly make New Year's resolutions, though I always think about what I want to do differently in my spiritual life or practical day-to-day living, and pray for grace to make those changes! On the practical end of things, I decided to really try and use up unused backgrounds and other stamped scraps items I have. This card uses a blue background made with alcohol inks. I'm realizing that my greatest challenge with a card is finishing it. I don't mean having the discipline to finish, though when it comes to gluing everything together, that certainly is a factor with me, but finding that "thing" that will finish the card. Sometimes it's a corner punch, usually it's an embellishment of some sort. With this card, I designed and assembled it fairly quickly, but then did not know how to finish it. I attached the ribbon a little too close to center, and for some reason, tht seemed to make it more of a challenge to find the finishing touch. The blue looks a bit like sky, so I finally went with this butterfly image.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Silver: just for weddings?

As I was trying to decide which silver to use on the background of another card, I just happened to lay these silvers together. Wow! The photo does not quite do it justice, but they look wonderful together! Then I looked in my vellum drawer for a piece of silver embossed vellum, and found the leaf. I started looking for the right text to add, when it occurred to me that the silvers make the card seem more appropriate for a wedding card. Is that the first thing that would pop into your mind when looking at this card? I realize that there are no "rules" about what colors for what occasion, but just as a green and red card has me thinking Christmas, I'm wondering if silver will make people wonder why it doesn't have a wedding theme? Opinions welcomed! I haven't attached anything yet.

Edit: Thanks to all of you who commented here and on Gingerwood. Diane gave me the idea that I went with. I used Psalm 1:1, and abridged it for the card. Although the silver embossed leaf from Eureka was just what I grabbed from my vellum drawer, I really loved how it looked on the silver cardstock, so was delighted to get the great idea! Excuse the flash on the card; any pic I took with the flash off to the side made the text unreadable (as did no flash, etc). The text is printed on silver vellum, which has a really lovely, but subtle sparkle, so that also made photgraphing difficult! Maybe Monday I'll rephotograph in the daylight...

RAK from Trish!

I sat down at the computer, and my mind went blank. Why am I here? I headed over to Jacki's blog and saw she had posted a RAK from Trish. Oh, that's it! I meant to post a card Trish made for me! So, here it is! I rarely get personal mail. Because card making is a business for me, I don't sign up for RAK lists, so a handmade card is a treat!

I had something really fun happen last night: I "met" a new stamper online! Dana had just decided to see who else had "Random Harvest" as a favorite movie in their blog list, and came up with my blog. It turns out that not only do we both love cardmaking, but we even live in the same area. Not exactly neighbors, but her job involves travel, and she occasionally ends up in my town. How neat! Lots of inspiration at her site!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just a note

I absolutely love this paper from Provocraft, Garden. I go through phases of using no patterned paper whatsoever, then I suddenly want to use it in every card...

I'm going in and out tonight as I work, watching the progress of the lunar eclipse. I just now went to get the camera, and could not find it. I suspect my 16 year old is leaning out her window taking pictures. I don't know this, but I'd prefer not to find out about it until after the fact ...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Lord is my strength and song

This scripture from Exodus 15:2 is a good verse for me today. It's been a bit discouraging, so I am making a point on meditating on this verse!

I made the background to this some months ago. I stamped the music images, then swirled alcohol inks over it. I was not expecting the black of the stamped images to smear. I nearly threw it out, but decided maybe later I'd play with it, and if nothing else, it would remind me to apply the alcohol inks first next time! Actually, I have since done the same thing intentionally, only to have it not smear ... the type of glossy cardstock used definitely makes a difference.

Anyway, I'm so glad I kept it! The corner brad was an accident ... I had plans for that corner, but accidently glued down the panels before I did what I had wanted to. Ooops! It took me awhile to come up with the music note brad, and I'm not really happy with it, because it's seems a bit redundant with the black embossed note. So, I may actually chisel that off and replace with a treble clef. I also gave an unintentionally strong wack with the hammer, and so cannot adjust the angle of the brad, which I would like to do. :-/

The card and the scripture background are a very dark black, not grey as they appear. The flash kind of hit the top, so the background and opalite ink under the text look a bit funny, sorry about that!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Key chain photo albums

I had tried selling these blank at a craft fair a couple of years ago, for people to purchase to decorate. I had one album decorated just as a sample ... and it was the only one that sold! So, I decorated a bunch for the next year's craft fair: no takers. I stuck them away, and forgot about them until Christmas time this year, then put them in my friend's store to see if there was interest. To my surprise, several of them sold. It has gotten me to wondering about making some with my bind-it-all. I'd love to hear from anyone who has done this. The pages in these have little sheet protectors over them; not sure if that is necessary...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My son Stephen is a high school senior, and taking a couple of classes at nearby Houghton college. He got this from his English prof, and I thought other bloggers might appreciate it!

A blogger's version of I Corinthians 13

If I blog with words that impress greatly and have the most beautiful blog template, but have not love, I am only a bunch of meaningless pixels scattered across the screen. If I have large numbers of readers coming to my blog, and hundreds of comments on every post, but have not love, I am no better than the blogger who has no readers at all. If I can exegete Scripture impressively and convince others of my theological perspective but have not love, I gain nothing.

A loving blogger is patient and kind. Love does not envy other’s site statistics, it does not boast in its own viewpoints, it is not proud of what it writes. Love is not rude to those who comment, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered by disagreements, it keeps no record of wrongs. A loving blogger does not delight in speaking or reading evil but rejoices with speaking the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are blog hosts, their servers will fail; where there is heavy blog traffic, it will be reduced to nothing; where there is impressive writing, it will all be deleted from the file system. For we know in part and we write blog posts in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a beginning blogger, I wrote about trivial subjects, I jumped to conclusions about other viewpoints, I paid no attention to how I talked to others. When I became a mature blogger, I put beginners’ ways behind me.

Now we see but a basic representation of our words as on an old monochrome monitor; then we shall understand all of this theological truth in its fullest. Now I only understand a little bit about which I write; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: site statistics, creative writing and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Really retro

Today I did the "B is for brads" challenge at my friend Jacki's blog. Since the spirit of this challenge is using stuff we've neglected or forgotten, I chose brads that, well, I'm not sure why they were purchased! I just about never use them. To go along with the bold color, I chose some really bold paper. This card is absolutely NOT ME, lol!! But for selling at the gift shoppe, I know it's important to have lots of variety. :-) Unfortunately, in the midst of gluing everything, I somehow got a large smudge of something on the flowered panel. It was too late to remove the paper, so I ended up re-positioning a couple of the items to cover it, so I'm not really happy with the layout.

Text stamp is from SmARTworks.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ABC challenge

My friend Jacki is challenging us to use what we have, searching through our stuff for seldom or never used items, etc. Her first challenge was "A is for Alphabet," and this is my take.

I knew when I got this expired stamp set, "Hebrew Latino," I would want to do something with "I AM," the name God gives himself in the book of Exodus. It is a Name that declares that God is in control, that He is sovereign, and we can have complete confidence in Him!

Background is done with alcohol inks. The two panels are thick, and so putting the one panel into the other was a nuisance. Next time I will clip off the corner flaps. The scripture is from Biblical Impressions

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Salt Challenge: Grace

This week's SALT challenge is coming to an end, and once again, I'm getting it done at the last minute!

I knew I wanted to use my "Celebrate His Grace" stamp, but I could not find it anywhere! So, I got some serious cleaning done in my craft room ... a very good thing!

The card is actually blue, slate blue, but definitely blue, and the dark background and text are dark blue. But both my scanner and my camera decided it was a black and white picture! Weird! I finally got some color with the camera last night, but the vellum looked cream colored, when it is actually white. This morning I had a little more success...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Forgotten Valentine!

While making valentines to be sold at the Daily Grind, I forgot to make one for my husband!

My scanner really does not like embellishments, but the family shutterbug has wandered with the camera, so the phto is not the best.

It was strange to work on a two dimensional, stamped object after all those mailboxes, lol!

Hearts and sentiment from Eureka.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Last of the mailboxes

These are my last boxes, at least, that I'll post. Still have one more to make for my youngest daughter, still at home. I also have a couple more to photograph, but I'll probably just put them in my galleries on my website on Monday.

I wanted to share a lovely idea for mailboxes, from Crystal, a very creative thinking mom! She made them for her daughters to be used to write letters to a sister offended! What a lovely idea! I suspect, if she keeps it up, they will themselves begin to leave notes for each other, just for the fun of it! Can you imagine, ten years down the road, the memories they'll have? I bet they'll keep those mailboxes. :-)

Friday, February 8, 2008

More mailboxes

The pink mailbox is for my mother. Her mother came from Czechoslovakia as a young woman (after running away from home at age 13 to work in the city, she then emmigrated to the US on her own). Anyway, the stamps on the mailbox are Czechoslovakian, so it was the perfect paper to use! I also used a postage stamp punch for the flagpole. The ribbon on the flowers was curled with a heat gun. The angle makes it look a bit odd!

The red mailbox was made because I was determined to use red - the shade is so bright, that few of my papers look well with it. I finally decided the white roses looked okay, but it's not my favorite!

Tomorrow will probably be my last mailbox post, hurrah! It's been so much fun making them, but it's probably tiresome seeing them showing up on so many blog entries! But tomorrow is the last possible day to make them in time for Valentine's day...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wallpaper mailbox!

I've had so much fun with my papers, I really didn't consider using wallpaper. But in trying to make a non-frilly, non-pink, non hearts/flowers design for my dd Karen, I was coming up blank. I had made one in the post below, figuring she could pass it on to a friend. (I actually had thought of doing something humorous: I had some green lizard paper, which she'd get a great kick out of, but then, if she didn't want to keep it, who would want green lizards?). But then I looked through my wallpaper, and found this textured red. Karen loves South America, particularly Cuba, so a palm tree seemed like the perfect image! So, this is definitely not really a Valentine themed mailbox, but it's right!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More mailboxes!

I came back from Target with a bunch of maiboxes! It was so much fun ... I spent probably an hour at Jo-Ann's, mostly browsing, but I did pick up a few things.

One thing I did NOT get was ribbon! I realized when making the other mailboxes that I was running low on ribbon. As I am also selling card kits now at the City News & Daily Grind (cards, envies, panels, papers & fibers), I really needed an affordable source for ribbon. I remembered vaguely seeing a site a long time ago when I was not using a lot of ribbon, and managed to find it again. Really Reasonable Ribbon is an absolutely fabulous place for ribbon! The prices are marvelous, and the customer service is excellent. I was also extremely impressed to receive an e-mail after placing my order that actually my shipping was going to be less! I already thought it was reasonable!!! She also upgraded me to priority mail. I placed the order Thursday, it arrived Monday! Wow.

It was also perfect timing, I had just begun these mailboxes,
and would not have had the ribbon I needed without it.

The top mailbox is for one of my daughter Karen's roommates who is almost completely blind. I decided I wanted paper that had very distinct (light/dark) pattern, and embellishments that were a good size.

Trying to make one for Karen was a real challenge, and I'm still not happy. It's the middle one, and I was trying to make it devoid of pink, purple, flowers, or hearts, none of which she appreciates. Well, three out of four was as close as I came! Actually, she's not really a knick-knack person, so I did plan to give her (and her other roomies for that matter) the freedom to pass it on to someone else (though I'm sure she'll eat the white chocolates inside first, lol!)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

White mailboxes

Here are the last of the mailboxes I've made, though I'm headed toward Buffalo for more. :-)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Red mailboxes

Until this spring, I did not have a lot of print paper. Too expensive, and I really like focusing on stamping with my cards. But a local scrapbook store went out of business, and she had a great sale on paper. All but two of the ten boxes I made are from those papers!

Jackie mentioned making some mailboxes for her children, and that inspired me to try to find some more for my daughters who are at college, and perhaps even make them for their roommates. So much of my creating is for sale, it will be lovely to make something for love! :-)

Unfortunately, the nearest Targets are all about an hour and half to two hours away. Normally, I would forget it ... spending all that time and gas money for one dollar items!!! But, I can't let the idea go! I'm not really great about care packages, and this just seems so perfect. My husband says it's a great opportunity for a date with him! So, I used the store locater, and would you believe, out of 8 stores that I called, only one had enough? Most either only had one or two colors; two had none left! The store I am going to had 40 - obviously it must not be an area where a lot of crafting happens!

It will be interesting to see if next year they Target carries them again, and at what price!
By the way, if you have been trying to find these and been unsuccesful, California paper goods carries mailboxes. They are more expensive, $3.76, but appear to be a higher quality, and have a little handle to open it with, like a real mailbox.