Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Late night pizza and a jail visit!

The weekend was a little crazy!

Saturday night we decided we needed pizza. My remaining teen at home, Susie, was g-chatting (online computer talk) with her sister Karen, who is at nearby Houghton college, our friend Ben, not on campus but also in Houghton, and her dad, who was having a few quiet minutes at work, where he was working the weekend. I told Susie to invite Ben and Karen over for pizza. I wasn't really serious; it's a 40 minute drive, and Karen, because of her migraine issues, does little driving, and almost none at work. But, to our surprise, they decided to come! (Ben may have had a few regrets as Karen's driving is well, um, creative... but I didn't ask!) I think it was well after 10 by the time they arrived, but we managed to save some pizza for them! :-) I love spontaneity, especially when it involves my children coming home!

After church Sunday, my husband and I and another woman from our church, Rose, went to the local jail to conduct a simple service. There are up to four units, or "pods" as they are called, that we go into. ("We" being whichever area church is scheduled. Generally, we just do two services every three months. Rose and I took the women's pod - I think only once have the women not wanted a service, and Bruce did the two men's pods. Normally, I go in with Bruce, and Rose and her husband Tom, or another couple from our church, do the other pod or pods. This was my first time leading, and I have to say I loved it! The first time I ever spoke to a group of women in a church setting was in the country of Cuba, and I was so terrorized by the word "preach," that I think I was rather ineffective. I've spoken two other times in Cuba, once with no warning (told by the Pastor after being picked up at the airport that I was preaching that night - !!), and once in Spanish. I had written that particular word in English, and had it translated into Spanish so that I could feel a closer "connection" with the women. Anyway, this was my first time since then, and while I was nervous right up to the moment we started, as soon as we started, the peace of Christ was there, and I really, really enjoyed it. My friend Rose was a blessing to work with ... she's really sensitive, and I hope I'll go in with her again.

Women in prison are like women anywhere, same mix of personalities, depth, and understanding. Same need to know God loves them, etc. A couple of the women I have met there clearly have leadership skills, and know the Word. One positive thing about being in prison: there's not much to distract one from reading his/her Bible!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Butterfly "simplified"

This hardly seems worth posting, but I just couldn't figure out what else to do with this card! I literally played with it over a full day; I'd play around with a few ideas, leave it for awhile, come back. Painting the butterfly took some time, it deserved a better card, lol! But finally, I realized that simple is fine! The important thing is that the poor abandoned butterfly finally gets to spread her wings, after a long captivity in a scrap drawer. (Um, right!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Punch fun

I found a butterfly identical to the one on this card ... I obviously made it at the same time, but had not done anything else with it. I decided to cut it out, but I'm just not satisfied with the card I'm working on yet ... I want text, but there's really no room. Hmmm... I could have a wordless card ... I think I'll set it aside for tomorrow! :-)

For the pink square, I stamped and embossed the corners with portions of the butterfly stamp. I allowed the embossing powder time to cool. The I simply punched the corners, and bent them over, and layered them on a square of equal size. The butterfly was colored with Twinkling H20s.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Polished stone butterflies

I am setting a goal for myself that for every card I make from "scratch", I will make two cards from the two plastic drawers I have of "card parts". I often make multiple backgrounds, or stamp something only to find it doesn't work with the card I'm making, or need to recreate in another color, etc.

I used the cuttlebug for the butterflies with a scrap of cardstock I'd done with alcohol inks: it was just the right size for two of them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ordination card

Life is starting to get back to normal this week, more or less, so I should be posting more regularly again.

I am considering seeing if the local Christian college might be interested in selling my cards. Ordination cards would probably be good to have. I did not plan to use vellum on this card, but the background texts made it too busy, so the vellum softened it up. I've used this technique on other cards, it's a great way to keep from having to redesign a card!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Anchors Away!

My son, Stephen, left for Navy boot camp this week. I asked family and friends to consider a scripture that might be meaningful for Stephen. Then with a post it note or sheet of paper sized to fit within the Bible, I asked them to write the reference only, and then why the scripture is special to them, or why they thought it might be meaningful for Stephen, etc. I placed each note (in a fully zippered small Bible we bought him),where the scripture was located, using repositional glue on the papers that were not post-it notes. I'm hoping it will be really meaningful for Stephen, that at the right time, God will lead him to just the right notes of encouragement with just the right scripture!

Stephen not only entered with our blessing, we planted the idea to begin with. But I had no idea how difficult it would be. Sending children off to college was hard, and sad, and seemed rather heavy duty at the time. But I knew they'd be home for short breaks during the semester, and a month at Christmas, and long summers, give or take the occasional visit to another friend's home, mission trip, etc. Their permanent address stays the same, I'd still make their dentist appointments,the bedroom is more or less intact with all the stuff that didn't make it to the dorm, etc. But the military is really leaving home, and there's no guarantee of any holiday spent with family, and only four weeks off a year.

I'm genuinely excited for the good things this will bring into Stephen's life, and grateful to be doing this in the internet age: I can't really be in contact with him (though I did get the "15 second phone call" that recruits make when they arrive) other than by snail mail until after boot camp, but the Navy has videos so that I can get a glimpse of what Stephen is doing (without having to know about the stuff I don't want to know about until after he's through, lol!)

For those who are interested, here they are:
Boot camp part 1
Boot camp part 2
Boot camp recruits (For this one, click on the link for "faces of bootcamp")

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Second workshop bookmark

I really loved how this bookmark turned out. As you can see, it's a very simple design, but it looks really elegant (the picture doesn't do it justice). The ladies really liked it as well, and it was a "goof proof" design. The background was made with a small square stamp that had lines going straight across; it was stamped in one direction down the card, then turned around to make a criss-cross effect.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

workshop glossy bookmark

These bookmarks are rather sloppy, I'm not sure if I was just in a hurry, or my mind was on other things, but I fully intended to redo them before the workshop I did last night. However, I forgot all about that until I was packing everything up. ;-/ I made three examples because I've discovered that beginners always worry about copying the sample exactly, so if I can show a few items with variety right at the beginning, they feel more free to experiment.

I used the the white crayon technique: I stamped the images with Stazon on glossy pre-made bookmarks, then highlighted areas with a white crayon. I then coated the bookmarks using a roller on a kaleidacolor pad.

There were 11 ladies in a very small room with just two tables pushed together for them to work at. Being very ADD, it's generally overwhelming for me to work with that many, especially in a tight space with little room. But they were a fabulous group with a great sense of humor, and patience as I tried to work with all of them at once(The one other workshop I did there - in a much larger room with several tables - was a couple of years ago, and none of them do any cardmaking, so are all beginners).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Workshop card

I will be doing a workshop this coming week, something I haven't done in about a year. It's for a church women's group, and they want a very short and simple workshop, and to pay as little as possible. I had done one a couple of years ago with them, so it's nice they want me back, and amusing that it's to be short and simple. The organizer said even just two cards would be fine. I opted instead for two simple cards, two bookmarks. The simple version of the card I posted yesterday will be one card, this one will be the second.

The heart on this is attached with a foam dot for dimension. The torn edge text will be simpler than cutting.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Simple card remake

I made this card as a set, but on one of them, I stamped the thank you image crookedly, ruining the card. I set it aside, and then this week cut out the images and made this card.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Salt challenge:Sacrifice

I had a very different idea of what I wanted to do for this Salt/faith challenge. I had a stamp with a scripture referring to Jesus' sacrifice, but I couldn't get the song these lyrics are from out of my head, so I finally decided to go with it. I originally wanted to use a transparency, and layer it over a cross image, but the ink would not dry. I tried embossing it, but the powder made a mess, sticking all over the transparency. Then I tried some vellum, and embossed it as it came out of the printer. So far so good. Then I realized that the person who had posted the lyrics I had copied and pasted had misspelled a word, so I couldn't use the vellum after all! Ugh! That's what I get for not proofreading!

Despite all that, I'm happy with what I finally came up with. There's a lot of symbolism in the card that I hope is obvious without being over the top.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Salt Challenge

The Salt/faith challenge blog is one of my favorite challenges. Every two weeks a new challenge is put up, always on a Christian theme. Actually, it's one of the only "themed challenges" I know about. I'd like to encourage others to come and play along. I love the focus it gives me on particular atributes of the the Lord, and the talent of the hostesses is amazing! This time, the challenge is Sacrifice. I haven't made my submission yet, but hopefully I'll get it in before it's changed this week!