Friday, January 20, 2017

Blessed and Grateful

Friends are such a blessing, aren't they?

There have been times in my life when I've had many, many friends.

And there have been times in my life when I've had very few.

But to have one good friend who totally gets you...that is priceless.

You know, that person you can text at all hours when a thought pops into your brain, and they will be there...laughing with you, crying with you, holding your hand or booting you in the behind when the occasion calls for it.

I wish I had a nearby friend who I could call and say "Hey, this grey weather is killing me. Let's go out for coffee."

Instead, I have to rely on the telephone to make that connection. But I need to get better at sending cards, too.

I'm currently reading this book, and it is giving me new insight into living a life in gratitude. I figure January is a perfect month to reboot, turn off the negative, and look for the positive.

Looking for blessings and remembering to share them, too!

{Today's Brew: Doodle Buds stamp set (wplus9 design), PTI card stock, Simple Stories paper, COPIC markers, Lawn Fawn sequins and scallop edge die, Distress Sprays}

Blessings on your Friday, cafe friends!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What I Didn't Win, And What I Got Instead

                                                             (photo from HGTV)

Remember this post back in September? I was so sure I was meant to win this Ann Arbor house.

Well, big announcement!

I did not win.


It was probably for the best. While I loved the exterior, the interior was not my style. All that busy floor to ceiling tile! Blech.

There was one thing in that house that did intrigue me. The Ellia essential oil diffusers from HoMedics that were featured in all the rooms.

Guess what my sweet husband bought me for Christmas?

I really love it! The scents are subtle but soothing, and the diffuser adds much need moisture to our dry winter air.

We run this little unit every day. After Christmas, we frequently used the oil "Fight It" to help boost our immunities during the cold and flu season.

The funniest part? My husband loves this diffuser as much as I do. He often gets it started in the morning before I wake up.

We ordered some new oil blends last week (Holiday weekends are the best for online sales, aren't they?). I decided to order all the essential oil blends this time, and will probably order the single essential oils in the future.

These oils are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. We use them for aromatherapy purposes. While I love the glow of candles, I am also aware that many candle makers add unnecessary chemicals. This seems like a much healthier alternative.

I think my husband just might need a diffuser for upstairs in our bedroom, too. Valentine's Day, perhaps?

We didn't win a house, but we did make our house smell a lot better. And that's a win in my book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Card To Combat Blue Monday

Have you ever heard of Blue Monday?

A professor did a study and found that yesterday, the third Monday in January, is the most depressing day of the year. The study cited the fact that Christmas bills start to roll in at this time. Coupled with this is the weather (typically rotten) and the fact that most of us haven't socialized since the holidays, and you get the Monday blues...on steroids!

I will admit, I succumbed to Blue Monday. I woke up with a terrible homesickness for Pittsburgh. Not that the weather was any better in Pittsburgh, but like I always used to say, Pittsburghers made their own sunshine.

I took that Pittsburgh spirit and applied it to a card!

{Today's Brew: Doodle Buds stamp set (wplus9 designs), PTI card stock, Simple Stories paper, MFT frame die, COPIC markers}

Wherever you are and whatever the weather, I hope you can make your own sunshine today.

Blessings, cafe friends!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Where I Belong

When you move as often as we have over the past twelve years, you start to wish that someone would develop an app to make the process easier. Just plug in your parameters and preferences, and voila, you would have an instant list telling you exactly where you belong.

If only it were that easy.

Instead, we throw darts at maps and charts and hope for the best. And then I question myself incessantly.

Do we belong in this neighborhood or that neighborhood?

Does Sam belong in this school or that one?

Do we belong in this church or that church?

Should I join this committee, or should I belong to this group instead?

Should I get a job here, or would I rather work there?

Someone, please, tell me where I belong?

When I was a child, my mother taught me this German prayer.

"Ich bin klein (I am small)
Mein herz ist rein (my heart is clean)
Soll neimand drin wohnen (and I belong)
Als Jesus allein." (to Jesus alone)

Such a sweet, powerful statement of faith.

In Mark 9:41, Jesus spells it out for me. You belong to Christ.

Plain and simple.

And He goes on to say that even small acts of love will have big impact, simply because we belong to Him.

I am small, my heart is clean, and I belong to Jesus alone.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lizzie Kate Winter Cottage Boxer

The irony is not lost on me. I am stitching a cabin while in the full throes of cabin fever.

Funny, isn't it?

It's this darn holiday cold that will not go away. I finally went to the doctor, and I officially have bronchitis. Oh joy! I'm on antibiotics in the hopes that I can kick this nasty cough to the curb.

In the meantime, I am making myself do stuff at home so that I won't go bonkers. Dinner is in the crock pot, cookie dough brownies (for the boys) are in the oven, and healthy coconut chocolate chewies are in the freezer for me.

I'm going to get some card making accomplished today. In the meantime, I am stitching this project.

I have stitched Autumn, Spring, and Summer in this series. I figure it's time to finish Winter. After all, there are many many many (okay, maybe too many manys?) weeks of winter yet to come.

Blessings on your weekend, cafe friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


This card...

...started out as this card:


I just did not like it.

For starters, I picked the wrong purple, going by the color of the ink pad lid (PTI Plum Pudding, you deceive me every time!) and not testing it first.

And I just didn't like the composition and layout.

Lucky for me, do-overs are totally allowed in paper crafting!

So I removed a few things, and cut off a few things, and added a few new things, which brought the card to this:

Same stamped panel, but with a new layout that made me happy.

And let's face it, if we don't like it, we probably will never mail it. Am I right?

{Today's Brew: Folk Art Inchies stamps (Inkadinkadoo), Bird stamp from PTI, sentiment from PTI,  PTI inks, PTI card stock, PTI paper, amuse twinkle rhinestones}

Don't you love do-overs? And just think: God gives us do-overs every morning! A fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to say "This is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

Gladness, cafe friends!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fooling Around With Folk Art

I snuck down to the studio to get some craft time yesterday. I just needed to play and get creative and recharge for a few minutes.

I've been inspired by folk art lately. I just love its simplicity of design and color. I remembered this Folk Art stamp set from Inkadinkadoo, and decided to play with it. I cut a few 1 1/4 inch squares, stamped on each one, and then came up with a pattern for adhering to the card front. It gives a sort of patchwork quilt quality to the card, don't you think?

{Today's Brew: Folk Art stamps (Inkadinkadoo), PTI card stock and ink, SU polka ribbon}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!