Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafters of Faith November Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Crafters of Faith November Blog hop! I am your hostess, Mary Rose! Today's Brew is a special holiday blend, warm and spicy, with a hint of cinnamon!

I challenged the COF ladies to make a card inspired by a favorite Christmas carol. Here's the challenge!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

 Make a card based on one of your favorite Christmas songs or carols. (The Bible verse I chose is often associated with Handel's Messiah, another favorite!) Make sure your card has a little twinkle to represent the light of the world. Bonus points to anyone who includes kraft and gingham in their design (just because I LOVE kraft and gingham!)

And here's the card I designed for this challenge!

Hark the herald angels sing! Glory to the newborn king! I just LOVE this angel from The Saltbox Studio! Look closely...the city of Bethlehem sits at the hem of her heavenly gown, and she's hanging the bright star in the sky over the place where the Savior was born!

It wasn't difficult for me to incorporate a little kraft, a little gingham, and a little sparkle into this design!

By the way, have you ever seen the lesser known Peanuts Christmas movie called "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown"? Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally, plays an angel in the pagent. She has one word to remember for the play. "Hark!" But when her turn comes to say her line, she blurts out "Hockey Stick!" My Sam thinks that's so funny, and now he says "hockey stick!" whenever we hear the word "hark!"

I'm using Stickles on every project lately! I hope I don't run out before Christmas!

I added a little pizzazz inside the card as well!

If you are lucky enough to own this issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornaments, then you also have a pattern for this sweet angel to stitch for a friend!

See? Lower right hand corner? That's my sweet sister in Christ, Beth, and her amazing design work!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! Now, take your coffee to go and hop on over to the blogs listed on the right (Crafters of Faith) to see what these lovely ladies have come up with for this challenge!

{Today's Brew: stamps from The Saltbox Studio, card stock from Papertrey Ink, papers from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday, holly die from PTI, prisma markers, Stickles, DMC floss}

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homespun Holiday Squared

A square within a square within a square. This layout inspired me to get a little collage-y. Buttons and snowflakes, washi and twine, with a healthy dose of polka paper to tie it all together.

{Today's Brew: PTI Kraft card stock, sentiment from Love Lives Here Holiday (PTI), papers and stickers from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday, button twine (PTI), snowflake die from My Favorite Things}


Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Make sure you stop back tomorrow! I'll be your cafe hostess, serving up a holiday cup of blog hop with my fellow Crafters of Faith ladies!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Charlie Brown Tree

Wednesday? Really? Where has the week gone? I must have lost a few days somewhere between the loads of laundry.

Tonight our mid-week service at church is the annual Hanging of the Greens, where we decorate the sanctuary in anticipation of the Advent season which begins this Sunday. I'm slowly, very slowly, hanging the greens here at home, too.

We're missing one vital element in our house...a Christmas tree. Our twelve-plus year old artificial pre-lit tree had finally died a slow death. We're thinking of getting a real tree this year. Of course, it'll have to be something a little quirky like Charlie Brown's tree.

I decided to have a little fun with this card. Sure, I could have stamped that tree nice and straight, but isn't it more fun when it's leaning a bit to the right?

{Today's Brew: Stamps and card stock from Papertrey Ink, inks from Stampin' Up}

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Papertrey November Blog Hop Challenge

It's blog hop day at Papertrey Ink! Today's inspiration: cover art. I'll admit, I do often judge a book by its cover. And the covers below are pretty amazing!

For some reason, my eye was instantly drawn to the cover in the lower left hand corner. There was something about the color and style of the art that harkened back to my childhood. It just says "happy holiday claymation shows", don't you think? Rudolph, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Comin' To Town. Ah, memories!

Here's my interpretation:

{Today's Brew: PTI card stock, PTI Beautiful Blessings Holiday stamp set (sentiment), PTI Love Lives Here Holiday (trees and die),  PTI Rustic Snowflakes stamp set, PTI WW die (merry), SU inks (melon mambo, wild wasabi, tempting turquoise, daffodil delight, tangerine tango), Stickles}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Decking the Door

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go!

As the boys and I returned from the movies last night (Wreck It Ralph!), we drove through our small town down town to look at all of the Christmas lights. Our neighborhood is getting into the spirit, too, with twinkling lights and giant inflatables in many front yards.

Our house? Well, I still have pumpkins and gourds and fall leaves everywhere. I better get into the holiday spirit soon...before my neighbors take out a petition! :)

The first thing to be changed will be the wreath on our front door. Today's card reflects this job on my "to do" list perfectly!

{Today's Brew: Deck The Door stamps from The Saltbox Studio, PTI Background Basics Woodgrain stamps, papers from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday, card stock from PTI, lace edge punch from SU, prisma markers}

Time to pick up a festive peppermint mocha latte and venture out to the stores. Happy Saturday, friends!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Leftovers Day!

 Happy Leftovers Day! Turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazinni, turkey noodle soup.  And did I mention pumpkin pie?

Before I slipped into the full-on turkey coma yesterday, I decided to get my blog into the holiday spirit. It's, burning my retinas bright. But it's joyful, too, and that's what the holiday season should be about, don't you think?

Speaking of leftovers...I combined some leftover scraps of paper to make this super twinkly card. I used two of my favorite kinds of glitter...glitter paper and Stickles. Why do I like these so much? They're the no-mess alternative to glitter. Easy peasy, bottle squeezy!

{Today's Brew: PTI card stock, Love Lives Here Holidays (PTI) stamp set, Simple Stories Handmade Holiday, PTI dies, glitter card stock, scallop die (MFT), markers, always artichoke ink (SU) }

Blessings on your Black Friday...or as we call it in our house, tuition funding day! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you peace and plenty, friends!

{Today's Brew: PTI cardstock, Peace and Plenty (Waltzingmouse Stamps), versafine onyx ink, watercolor wonder crayons, nailhead brads}

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 106:1

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oh Button Tree!

I am a lover of buttons. Seriously! And if I'm giving a card to someone in person, then LOAD on the buttons and the three dimensional goodies! But these days, I seem to do a lot more mailing of cards than delivering of cards. For this reason, I am really embracing the "faux" button. They are so much cheaper and easier to mail. And if you have button dies, you've got an endless supply of customized buttons at the ready!

This little button tree reminds me of an ornament my mom and I made one year. I think we may have been selling them at our church bazaar. It involved a clothespin for the trunk, pieces of fake greenery for the tree branches, buttons for the ornaments, a star on top, and LOTS of hot glue. LOL.

{Today's Recipe: PTI ivory card stock base, Simple Stories Handmade Holiday papers, lace, button twine, button sticker}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creating Fishtail Banners

Banners, banners everywhere! Have you noticed how "hot" banners and pennants are? They've been the "big thing" in paper crafting and home decorating for well over a year now. Here's a super easy card I made last week featuring banners in fun, festive holiday patterns.

{Today's Brew: card stock and stamp sentiment from PTI, papers from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday, baker's twine, always artichoke ink (SU), square punch}

There are a lot of companies that sell dies for making your own banners and pennants, and some of them are seriously cute! But if you just want a simple fish tail banner, you can use a square punch to achieve the same effect.

The key here is to make sure that the point in the corner of the punch is in the center of the strip of paper. This is best achieved by turning the stamp upside down and positioning carefully.

Voila! A fast and easy fish tail banner!

I cannot take credit for this trick. I first saw this technique on SU! Demonstrator Mary Fish's blog, Stampin Pretty. I remember when I first saw it, I wanted to smack my forehead and say "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Just another fun trick to add to your repertoire. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

CASE Study

Good Monday! This week at CASE study blog, Angeline Yong has provided some clean and simple inspiration with this lovely card:

I decided to use this layout for a simple Christmas card.

{Today's Brew: PTI card stock, PTI Blessings:Holiday stamp set, PTI Believe stamp set, PTI dove die cut, versafine onyx ink, prisma markers, Distress Stain in Picket Fence}

I'm in full Christmas crafting mode here, so be sure to stop back to the cafe for more holiday inspiration!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two for Thanksgiving

Here are two quick and easy cards that I put together for Thanksgiving, although I suppose they'd make perfect thank you cards as well. I made the card base with PTI Ivory card stock, cut to a card size of 3 1/2 by 7 inches (will fit in a business envelope). I sprayed some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in a copper over the card base. Then I used a piece of 6 x 6 pattern paper from Simple Stories Harvest Lane, cut it in half, and attached it at the fold. A diecut sentiment (PTI), some stitched grosgrain (amuse), and there you have it!

Here's a tip: when adhering a finely detailed die cut, such as this one, it's best to use very thin applications of a glue, like Mono Multi. Don't glob it on, just adhere little dots in key places. Lay it very carefully on the card stock...there are no do overs here. It stays where it lays!

 Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SMASH Day Saturday

 Good Saturday Morning, friends! It's SMASH day, the day I show you what bible lesson has gotten "smashed" in my SMASH book.

I thought this lovely sky and bird background deserved something special. I decided that this set from WPlus9 design was just right...the clotheslines would look as if they were strung up, letting the hearts float on the breeze.

This week's lesson was about laying aside bitterness. It had a HUGE impact on me that month. Here's why.

I had decided to revisit a book I had been working on for some time. It's a non-fiction self-help sort of book that chronicled some of the challenges my family has faced at a certain period in our lives not so long ago. I printed off those chapters and sat down for a good read.

What I read came as a shocking revelation. I did not recognize the woman who had written those words just over five or six years ago. That woman was hopeful, joyful, faithful. That woman had not experienced profound grief and loss, had not experienced poor health and disease, had not experienced depression and dislocation. She was me, just a happier and healthier version of me.

And right then, the Holy Spirit brought the words of Hebrews 12: 15 to my heart: "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."

God had lovingly pointed out to me that I had let the bitter root grow up and had consequently missed out on grace.

Right then and there, I surrendered all to the Lord. I surrendered my bitterness, my past, my disappointments, and my discontent. I so wanted to be done with it. And right there, in that moment of surrender, it was done. I felt a huge burden lifted from me. Freedom. Grace. Redeemed.

I have a new heart and a new attitude now. I feel profound thankfulness. This week, I feel so thankful for all of the cards and letters and phone calls from family and friends. I personally thanked every doctor and nurse and food services person who showed me kindness during my recent surgery. I'm so thankful for my husband and my little son, Sam, who have cared for me and catered to me and kissed me on the forehead more times than I can count.

I'm not missing out on one minute of grace, folks. I hope and pray that you're not missing out on grace, too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Week in Review

 Taught Sam how to play chess...

...with help from this wonderful learning set, a gift from Aunt Jenny many years ago.

 Received this amazing care package in the mail, a gift from my sister, Tina. Just look at that lovely hand knit head warmer! She's so talented!

Two cards from Mom arrived on the same day! Don't you love how she embossed and colored those birds? Mom is an excellent card maker!

 An honest assessment of our weekend. Thank you, Sam!

A pile of new magazines...a big splurge.

 More wonderful cards in the mail.

 When a little girl comes to your door selling her homemade cards... better buy one!

Reminds me of another little girl who tried to sell her handmade cards a LONG time ago.

Trying to decide on my next needle art project.

Feeling especially thankful to the Lord for health and healing, family and friends, and the warm glow of this season.

Blessings on your weekend, friends!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stitch It!

Another way to inject a little color into your home decor? Stitch it! I finished this Lizzie Kate pattern last weekend, and lo and behold, I spotted my new favorite color combos! A little blue, a touch of orange. Perfect!

I LOVE my coffee! And did you hear the news? If you go to Starbucks Nov.15-18 from 2-5pm, and order a holiday coffee, you'll get another coffee for free! Time to share some coffee love with a friend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Longaberger Blue

I thought I'd show a photo of my kitchen today. Isn't it lovely? The creamy cabinetry accented with vibrant blue and yellow. Ah, kitchen bliss!

Sadly, this is not my current kitchen. This is my dream kitchen. Mind you, my current kitchen is very pretty, with a fully functional layout that makes food prep a joy. It's just not blue and yellow. But for years now, I've accumulated a few pieces for my future kitchen. It's good to have a dream, and to plan for that dream in small steps.

I've been purchasing Longaberger pottery for many years. I'm especially fond of their blue pottery. It whispers promises of my future kitchen to me.

The blue pitcher, a gift from my sister, Tina from the days when she was a Longaberger consultant.
It looks so pretty against the fall colors of my table runner. It looks even prettier filled with flowers from my mother. Thanks, Mom!

A basket filled with autumn leaves.

A little vibrant blue mixed in with my Spode turkey plates.

I like a dose of cheerful blue in my home. 

I also like blue in card making! Here's a simple one layer Christmas card featuring shades of blue.

{today's brew: card stock from PTI, Peace Be Still stamp set and die (PTI), Shape of Things background stamp (SU), soft sky/baja breeze/marina mist inks from SU, Stickles}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!