Sunday, August 30, 2009


The Beth Moore simulcast this weekend was awesome! It is always a delight to listen to her. 516 locations hosted the event in eight countries. As always, Beth was totally inspiring. This year, the focus was Psalm 37, and in particular, verse four: "Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." This verse seemed to pair so well with the devotion I'd found earlier in the week (see "Inspiring Women").

Beth told the funniest story about Texas Sheet Cake. CAAAAKE! I'll never look at Texas Sheet Cake again without thinking of her marvelous analogy to our longings and petitions to the Lord. She's even included her recipe for Texas Sheet cake on her blog. You can find it if you click on the "beth moore" link on the right and then click on blog.

I went solo to the event, drank my Starbucks coffee, and soaked it all in. Sometimes, it's difficult to get out and do stuff when you don't have anyone to accompany you. But I also know that I'll miss a lot of important things if I don't get out and try to make the effort.

As we wrapped up the session, Beth read from verse three: " trust in the Lord and do good." She encouraged us all to get out in the world and do some good. This week, I'm going to start doing some good...I'm going to watch children for moms attending bible study every Tuesday morning. It's a little thing, but it's been a while since I've found a place to serve. Soon, I will be helping in Sam's kindergarten classroom each week as well.

Tomorrow is Monday, the beginning of a new week. Let's all get out there and do good!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Purchases

Good morning! I just had to show you a photo of my big splurge. I bought these cool Converse tennis shoes (plimsolls, for my British readers) at Target yesterday. I just loved the charcoal color and the fun design. All of my boys wear Converse, and I didn't want to be left out.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Hey! How did Mary Rose take a photo? I thought her camera died?" Well, my second big splurge of the day was this:

My dear sweet husband had some Best Buy reward zone points that he let me use to help with the purchase. Well, I can tell you that in the six plus years since we got our last digital camera, they have gotten a lot cheaper and a lot smaller! I've always owned Canon cameras, and I'm hoping and praying that this basic model point-and-shoot variety will serve me well. If you've had this model and had problems with it, will you do me a favor? Don't tell me! ha ha!

Scans just do not do my projects justice. I mean, really, when you look at the photo of this card and compare it with yesterday's scan, there really is no comparison!

I've read that the Canons do really well on the macro setting, and since I do a lot of macro shots, I figured it would be a safe bet.

I plan on spending a wonderful evening with one of my best friends. She makes me laugh and cry and she encourages me like no other on my faith walk. Yes, I'm talking about Beth Moore again. I'm going to the simulcast at a megachurch in the area, and more than likely, I will not know a soul. Sure, I feel like the world's biggest loser for admitting that. But the truth is I spend way too much time at home, and I need to force myself to get out, even if it kills me. Who knows? Maybe I'll meet a kindred spirit there. (Sometimes, this "making new friends" gig feels a lot like dating, and by the way, I hated dating!) Maybe I'll wear my new Converse tennis shoes there and really shock the church ladies. What do you think?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Country Morning

I sat down to make a card yesterday, and remembered that I had not used this new hostess set yet. Country Morning is a sweet stamp set, but sheesh! What is is with Stampin' Up and the teeny tiny print these days? My eyesight is mediocre at best. I'm normally near-sighted, but since turning forty, I've noticed that I'm taking my glasses off to do close-up work like cross-stitch. I think it's time to buy myself a pair of cheater glasses!

For those of you who can't read the print on this card, it says "There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy." Nice sentiment, if you can read it! ha ha

{recipe: Country Morning (SU), Autumn Vine dsp, more mustard/really rust cardstock, versafine sepia ink , prisma markers, prima flowers, aged copper brads}

It looks like a Country Morning here today...there's a light fog hanging over the nature preserve out back, and everything looks misty and watercolored.

I have about five places where I need to go today, and only three hours of kindergarten time to get them all done in! It looks like Sam will be going to the grocery store with me this morning. Oh the joy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inspiring Women

Have you seen it? The newest issue of Where Women Create magazine features Mary Engelbreit. Mary is so inspiring! I miss her Home Companion magazine. Mary's very busy these days...and she has a blog! I've added a link at the right. Mary is planning a big workshop in my former hometown (and her current hometown) of St. Louis in April 2010. You can check out the info on her blog.

I've added another link to one of my favorite inspiring women on the right. Beth Moore is the woman I want to be when I grow up. Seriously, is there a more godly, funny, wise and stylish woman on the planet? I love her!

While reading my morning Beth Moore devotion book the other day (Praying God's Word), this quote from Beth leapt off the page and went straight to my heart. I have a few big empty places in my life right now, and it's left me dissatisfied. I can see now where I haven't invited God to occupy these places for me. I decided to make this little inspirational bit of artwork for my crafting space. It's always nice to aurround ourselves with visual reminders.

{recipe: Carte Postal, Label Classics, kiwi kiss cardstock, kiwi kiss ink, certainly celery ink, riding hood red ink, more mustard ink, soft suede ink for sponging, scallop edge punch}

Did you know that Beth Moore is having a live simulcast this weekend? She'll be broadcasting from Green Bay, Wisconsin on Friday night and Saturday. You can find info on a local church that will be showing this simulcast by clicking on the Beth Moore link. I don't have a soul to go with me, but you know what? I still think I'm going to go! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On Pins and Needles

My latest stitching project is a pin cushion from Homespun Elegance. I worked on this project on the trip to and from Luke's college. I need to pick it up again this week. I have to put the caps on the acorns, the stems on the leaves, and leaves on the vine.

I took Mom to historic Zionsville last Saturday, where we enjoyed a mocha and popped into an adorable yarn shop and my favorite needle art shop, Persnickety Stitchers. I finally purchased a Q snap frame for my smaller needle art projects, and I think next time I'll pick up a larger size. I also found some lovely antique brass button charms from Homespun Elegance, and a new punch needle project for fall.

These days, my craft dollars seem to be spent on needle art more often than stamping and papercrafting. That's a good thing, as I have plenty in my rubber stamp stash to keep me creating. But invariably, when I find a new needle art pattern, I don't have the right floss or linen, and it's back to the shop for more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Ten Town

The secret is out. My town was recently voted one of the top ten best towns for families by Family Circle magazine (August issue). It is true...Noblesville, Indiana is a nice place to raise a family, for a lot of reasons. Good schools, nice neighborhoods, a wonderful historic downtown with an original courthouse and historic homes and shops, a fabulous library, bike and walking trails, lovely parks, all situated along the White River with plenty of farms and fields and gently rolling woodlands. It is a nice place to be.

I made this card today for my Mom, who was visiting us this past week. We love to shop in downtown Noblesville together. We usually grab a coffee at the local cafe and then hit the shops: clothing shops, gift shops, children's bookstore, home furnishings, antique shops, quilt and needleart shop, everything but a local stamp shop (drat!). This townscape looks a lot like one of the streets in downtown Noblesville. I know it will make my mom smile.

{recipe: stamps from Amuse Art Stamps, Versafine onyx ink, prisma markers, old olive cardstock, more mustard ink and paper, real red paper}

Mom came to town so that I could take my oldest son, Luke, to college. Move-in day went well, and I know that Luke was happy to have his mom and dad there to help. He's had a fun weekend, and classes start this morning.

Blessings on your week!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Turning A New Leaf

Can you feel autumn in the air? I can! The sky has the look of fall, with big billowy clouds. Many of the trees are starting to change their colors in our area, too. I've always like this sentiment....the leaves do become the star of the show during this season.

I was inspired to make this card after looking at some new papers that will be featured in SU's Holiday mini catalog. I liked the look, and decided that I could probably get the same effect with some careful stamping and sponging. I used Gina K's Pure Luxury Pure Ivory cardstock as the base. It is substantial enough to stand alone.

{recipe: Country Blessings (SU), Antique Cracking (SU), Frames w/ a Floursih (SU),sentiment from Make An Impression, really rust ink and cardstock, taken w/ teal ink and cardstock, more mustard ink and cardstock, choc. chip and soft suede ink, designer label punch, oval punch, modern label punch, brads}

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homespun Elegance

This is my completed cross-stitch project from Homespun Elegance. I haven't finished the project yet, but I plan on turning this into a pillow. Maybe I'll have a new camera by then and can take a proper photograph.

Lately, whenever I'm browsing through patterns at the needle art shops, I keep saying "Oooh, that one's perfect!" It always seems to be a pattern from Homespun Elegance. I decided to add a link to their website on the right for your viewing pleasure.

Do you think that crafters have a hard time living in the moment? We always seem to be at least a half season ahead of the one we're currently in. Right now, my projects are all taking a harvest/fall theme. Even though I'm crafting autumn, I don't bring out the fall decorations in my home until after Labor Day. I can't wait to pull out all of my leaves and pumpkins and bittersweet. Time to light a nice apple spice candle!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For A Girl

I needed a birthday card for my great niece, Paige. I wanted something cute, but not something over-the-top girly. I think this card fits the bill. I made it long ( 4 in. X 9 in.) to fit into a business envelope. I wanted a long, narrow card because this cloud paper is just so cute and I wanted to show it off. Don't those clouds make you think of the doodles that girls draw into their spiral notebooks?

{recipe: Teeny Tiny Wishes, Short Order alpha, sweet slumber paper, baja breeze card stock, riding hood red c.s., flower punch and brad, scallop edge punch, my way punch, ginhgam ribbon, flowerr button}

Monday, August 17, 2009

Autumn Blessing

Happy Monday, friends! As promised last week, I am now unveiling the debut cross-stitch creation from Mary Rose's Cafe!

applause! applause!

Oh thank you, you're too kind. Really.

This was a fun project, and I'm glad I gave it a shot. Designing my own cross-stitch patterns is not something I'll be doing a lot of in the future, but it was fun giving it a whirl.

As I mentioned earlier, this was a pillow wrap pattern kit from Pine Mountain Designs. I used all the elements contained in the kit, but decided to create my own pattern.

I pulled out some graph paper and made a careful count of the canvas in the kit, then plotted out the square onto graph paper. Once I had the parameters in place, I played around with the placement of letters and images. I found the center of my pattern and just began stitching from there.

I had to alter a few things ( in other words, pull out stitches and start again!), but over all, I think it came out just as I'd imagined.

Thanks for popping in to the cafe today!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Farm Girl Birthday

My niece, Jessica, is having a birthday this week, and I wanted to make her a card. Jess is a true farm girl! She graduated from Whiteford Agricultural School (graduating class of forty, I think!), and she is able to drive by any crop and tell you what that farm is growing this season. Jess and her husband live in a sweet farm house, where they raise their two daughters. Today, in fact, is her daughter, Paige's birthday...happy birthday, Paiges!

As you can tell from the scan, my camera is still on the fritz, as the Germans say. Now, I have to decide whether to buy a new rechargeable battery for a six year old camera, or break down and buy a new camera instead. I'm leaning to the new camera purchase...any recommendations for a reasonably priced digital camera out there?

Today's recipe: {Times and Seasons(SU), Teeny Tiny Wishes(SU), Sweet Slumber Specialty paper, kraft cardstock, baja breeze cardstock, Martha punch, modern label and word window punches, Versafine onyx ink, prismacolor pencils and gamsol, flower button and thread}

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Toledo Botanical Gardens

Last week, Sam and I spent the day with Grandma Brooke at the Toledo Botanical Gardens for their Art Gone Wild family fair. We had a fun time sipping coffees from the Flying Rhino coffee shop and browsing through the lovely gardens. Sam liked the Koi in the pond near the gazebo, but I think his favorite part of the day was spent at the easel and sidewalk, creating one-of-a-kind art.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Camera Woes

Well, my camera is still being uncooperative. I think I'll have my technical support crew (Ed and boys) look at it this weekend and see if they can fix the problem.

I have so many things I want to show off, too! First, I finished stitching my fall pillow project from Homespun Elegance. Maybe I'll make the pillow and complete the project this weekend. It was a lot of fun to stitch, and I finished up while I was at my mom's house.

Last night, I finished another stitching project that I'm very proud of because I desgined the pattern myself. Yep! Little ole' me! I purchased a pillow wrap kit from Pine Mountain Designs that included the floss, needle, button, pillow wrap, and pattern. I liked everything about the kit but the pattern. So I took some careful measurements, got out my charted graph paper, and drew out a new pattern. This was definitely a trial and error project...some things worked easy as pie, other things had to be taken out and reconfigured. But over all, I found the designing process to be very similar to a papercrafting project:

1.) Work within the parameters of size.
2.) Color is key.
3.) Balance the placement of your images.
4.) Decide if sentiment or image will be focus.
5.) Place sentiment and images so that your eye is moving around project in a pleasing manner.
6.) Have fun with's your creation, after all!

Today, I thought I'd show you an amazing creation from another artist. Last week, when I stayed at my mom's, she had made my bed using this beautiful quilt:

This quilt has quite a history in our family. My godparents, Rose and Wes Miller, had a mother named Ollie. Ollie was from the Ross family, who traced their family history to Betsy Ross. Ollie, not unlike her ancestor, was an artist with needle and cloth. She made this amazing quilt and gave it to my mother as a gift.

Yep, I was a little nervous to sleep under it! But my sister, Tina, the quilter, always says that quilts are meant to be used. It was nice to be wrapped in a little piece of family history.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The first day of Kindergarten came and went without a hitch this week(except for the fact that my camera would not work...grrr! Luke took these photos on his cell phone). Sam looked confident and ready as he strode into his classroom with nary a backward glance. Mom? Not as confident as Sam!

I think I'm in a funk this week. I went to the Kindergarten parents meeting with my husband on Tuesday night, and I had a small panic attack. PTOs, fundraisers, homework, aaack! I was nearly done with that stage of my life. One son done with public school, another son done in two years, and now here I am, starting all over again. I'm trying to be excited for Sam's sake...field trips, volunteer opportunities, what fun! But a little part of me is looking at this K-12 stretch and wondering if I still have the energy for it.

If I'm being truly honest with myself, my funk probably has more to do with another big milestone in our family... son number one going away to college next week. My life is in such a state of flux right now, and here I am, plopped into a town where I don't have a single friend to commisserate with over a cup of coffee. sigh.

Yesterday, Tara (one of the wise and godly women from St. John's in Missouri) gave me a wonderful piece of scripture to mull over.

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

This motherhood journey is definitely my good work, and I'm praying that God gives me the strength to continue working in the days ahead.

Wow. I really miss those wise and godly women from my Missouri church home!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bits and Pieces

My craft space is always in a state of flux. It is cluttered, piled, about to be sorted, and soon to be used. I always find bits and pieces of things that I was going to use for some creation, but decided against and saved for something else. This card was made from the flotsam and jetsam that washed ashore on my desk. You'll probably see a lot of elements similar to the card on the blog entry "Using What I've Got", only tweaked and put in different places or used in a different way.

{recipe: Baroque stamp, Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp, Itty Bitty Backgrounds stamp, Label Classics stamp set, confetti cream cardstock, kraft cardstock, kiwi kiss cardstock, Bella Rose papers, wide taffeta ribbon, felt flower, rhinestone brad, large and small oval punches, kiwi kiss/riding hood red/black ink}

We're back from Michigan now, and preparing for tomorrow's first day of school. It seems as if the true summer weather (80 and 90 degree temps) arrived at the same time as the school bus! It's a good thing the schools are air conditioned.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Graduate

We had another graduate in our family this past spring. My niece, Katie, also graduated from high school. She recently had her graduation party, and I'm a little late in sending her card. I decided to make a personalized card. This is a photo of Katie and my son, Luke, when they were toddlers. But you have to see the inside of the card:

Yes, that's Luke, leaning in to give her a big hug and kiss! He's quite the ladies' man, that son of mine! He thought it was a little weird to send a photo of "kissing cousins", but I thought it was too sweet. The sentiment says "Graduation hugs and wishes".

{recipe: SU! products: All Year Cheer, Priceless stamp set, scallop oval punch, oval punch, melon mambo cardstock/ink and ribbon, black cardstock, rich razzleberry ink}

We're heading to Michigan to hand deliver some cards this week...graduation cards, thank you cards, and lots of birthday cards! I will be travelling alone with the dog and the five year old, so wish me luck and say a prayer that I get there with my nerves intact!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

God Winks

I don't believe in coincidences any more. You know, those times when things just fall in to place. A person's name pops into your head, and then you get a phone call from them. You need something, and then a friend gives it to you out of the blue. I have come to realize that they aren't coincidences at all. The author Squire Rushnell calls them "God Winks" (he's written a series of books about them). These are the times when God shows his hesed, or loving kindness, to his people, in a very real and non-random way.

Last month, I decided that my husband really needed a fire pit. He loves to burn stuff (it's a guy thing), and I figured it would be a nice way for our family to have campfires in the backyard. I began to price fire pits online.....YIKES! They were expensive! Finally, I began to check out used fire pits. I found one advertised in a neighborhood garage sale for $40. I made my son, John, go with me to check it out. Well, the fire pit was well used, and looked a little worse for the wear. I decided to pass it up. Just as we were circling the neighborhood to leave, John looked out his window at another garage sale and said "Mom, that looks like a new fire pit in that box right there!" We pulled over to check it out, and sure enough, it was a brand new Coleman fire pit, never opened, in the original box, for $20! The lady of the house said that her husband won it in a golf outing, and they already owned one. We snatched it up and put it in the car.

As we drove away from the curb, I said out loud "Thank you, God!" Then I explained to John how important it is to acknowledge those times when it is so obvious that God has intervened for our good with praise. A real teachable moment. I find more and more opportunities to say "Thank you, God!" now. Just the other night, I applauded God for his beautiful sunset in a Home Depot parking lot. Thankfully, my husband understands these quirky moments.

We finally used the fire pit last night, and as you can tell from the photo, the whole family was excited, even the dog! Maggie ran around the yard with a big smile on her face. Several times, she came over to kiss me, and it was as if she were saying "Normally, I'm sound asleep on the couch at this time of the night! You crazy people always surprise me!"

We roasted marshmallows, looked at the stars, and listened to the song of the locusts, frogs, and crickets. It was a good night. Another good opportunity to say "Thank you, God!"

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. " Ps. 145:13