Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Relocating Home

Welcome to Mary Rose's Cafe! If you are a regular, then please, grab your favorite mug and I'll brew you a nice pumpkin spice latte. New to the cafe? Let me introduce myself! I am your barrista, Mary Rose, and this is my blog cafe, where I serve up piping hot mugs of creativity. The daily brew could be  a crafty concoction, a faith-filled cappucino, or a latte reflection on home and hearth.

October is 31 Days month at the Nester blog, where we are challenged to expound on one topic for one month. That means thirty-one days exploring one theme. Thirty-one posts.

My regular cafe friends will not be surprised by my chosen theme for this month.

31 Days of Relocating Home

My family embarked on our third corporate relocation just a few months ago. I documented the ups and downs on my blog, This End Up. Recently, I decided to combine This End Up blog posts by moving them over to the cafe. Maintaining two blogs was starting to feel a little schizophrenic.

So what does this mean for October? It means that I will post on this theme every day. Yes, I'll still be paper crafting and cooking and house-fluffing and renovating, because that is what I do. But I will also be including my thoughts on home relocation: the challenges, the learning experiences, the good and the bad, the curses and the blessings.

I hope you will join me on this one month journey! Pick out your favorite mug, take a look around the cafe, and make yourself comfortable. There. Now you're a regular, too!

Crafters of Faith Sept.Blog Hop!

On the last day of every month, the ladies at my blog group take turns hosting a challenge. It's a chance for all of us at Crafters of Faith to grow a little in our creativity. This month, Kelly gave us a pretty easy challenge!

Anything Goes!

I like that challenge!

This weekend, I was inspired by the changes that autumn brings. We took a meandering drive to see Fallingwater, the home that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the Kaufman family. The mountain views were amazing, as the trees are just starting to change into their fancy fall colors.

I decided to make my own fancy leaves. I started with watercolor paper, distress stains, and Mister Huey mist.

When it was dry, I used the paper to diecut some leaves.
I paired it with this verse from Ecclesiastes to reflect the changing season. This verse has had a new meaning for me this month. Not only does it reflect the shift from summer to fall, but it speaks to me of the seasons in our lives that come and go. I feel as if I am entering a new season, with a new purpose. The shift has been subtle, but I can feel the change that this new time in life is bringing. It is precious and golden and filled with promise.

Thank you, God, for this changing season!

{Today's Brew: Stamp from Papertrey Ink, kraft card stock from PTI, card stock and ink from SU, papers/dies/sequins/twine from Lawn Fawn}

Don't forget to visit the other Crafters of Faith bloggers listed on the right. We love your comments!

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Week in September

Time for mums! Fall flowers for the window boxes.

A trip to the orchard for this...

...the first Golden Delicious of the season!
Cartoon class to inspire creativity.

A special delivery to inspire my own creativity.

Piano lessons to instill a love of music.

New bible study, and a new chance to meet new people and dig into the Word.

Catching playoff fever...go Bucs!

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PTI Sept. Blog Hop #1: Wreaths (and a tutorial!)

Hello, cafe friends! It's blog hop day at Papertrey Ink! This month's challenge? Make a card featuring a wreath. Yes! After Monday's post of my front door, you know I'm all about the wreath right now!

For my first card, I decided to make a wreath using a non-traditional wreath stamp. I chose Little Bitty Bird stamp set for this card.

For starters, I traced a circle onto card stock with a marker.

Next, I used the branch from the stamp set, bending it slightly on the block. That's one of many reasons that photopolymer stamps are so awesome. Bendability!

Using a repeating pattern, I stamped my way around the circle.

And here's the completed project:

I like this one! It's a little primitive, I think.

{Today's Brew: Little Bitty Bird (PTI), PTI card stock, Distress inks, stains, and markers, stitched grosgrain ribbon}

There are two more wreath cards, so check below for additional posts today!

PTI Sept. Blog Hop: Wreath # 2

When your brain is tired from being clever and trying to turn things into wreaths, why not just use a wreath stamp and call it a day?

I stamped this wreath directly onto the doily. I didn't expect it to work, but it did! I'm pleasantly surprised by this one!

{Today's Brew: Wreath For All Seasons (PTI), kraft card stock (PTI), papers from We R Memory Keepers, doily, SU inks, gingham ribbon, copper nailhead brads}

PTI September Blog Hop: Wreath # 3

Here's today's third wreath of the day! Clean and Simple, soft and sweet!

I used the garland from Stitched Sentiments, inked it up with some Baked Brown Sugar ink, then touched the inked leaves with a distress marker lightly to give it some color variation.

{Today's Brew: Stitched Sentiments and Autumn Hills (Papertrey Ink), PTI cream card stock, SU card stock, SU inks, prisma markers}

Thanks for visiting the blog today!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Autumn!

Welcome, Fall!

I couldn't wait to put the autumn wreaths on the newly painted front doors!

Such a bold color combination!

We're working on another home improvement project this weekend. I'm so excited to show you the results! We should be finished in just a day or two, so stop back!

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Leaf

I'm feeling a little wordy today, so bear with me. I promise if you stick with this post, there will be a card at the end! :)

This is the story of one leaf. This leaf.

I know it doesn't look like much, but I've held on to this little leaf for one year.

This leaf came to me last September when I was walking the trail behind my house, and this little leaf changed me in profound ways. Pretty amazing for a shriveled and dried thing, I know. But when it came to me, it was golden and lovely and full of promise.

I had been walking the trails a lot then, talking to God and pouring out my troubles in prayer.

One September day as I walked the trail, the Holy Spirit brought a word to me, and it was not a pretty word.

"Bitter," the Holy Spirit said.

Ouch. A word of conviction is never comfortable. Yes, I had become discontented and bitter. My life was not what I wanted it to be. Four long years of illness. Four long years of dead end jobs. Four long years where friends were few and far between.

And that's when I began to plead my case.

"But look, God, look at how I've struggled."


"But, but, but..."

Bitter. Bitter. Bitter.

And then the Holy Spirit whispered the Word to me:

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Hebrews 12:15)

Yes. I realized right there and then that I had let the bitter root grow in my life, and because of it, I had been missing out on grace.

God had been trying to teach me a little something about redemption last year ("Redeemed" became my life word for 2012). One thing I had yet to learn was that if I trusted God to redeem me, then I had to trust that He could redeem whatever life situation I was facing. He wanted to give me grace in exchange for bitterness.

It sounded like a good exchange to me.

I so wanted to be done with it. I confessed my sin of bitterness right there and then. I was not willing to let one more day go by when I had missed out on grace.


I can't begin to tell you the feeling that came over me right there on that trail. The burden of bitterness was lifted, and I wept tears of joy and thankfulness.

And just then, as if in slow motion, this leaf floated down from a tree above me. It was as if I was being offered the chance to reach out and grab that grace. And I did grab mid air.

I took this leaf home with me and kept it on my window sill. Every time I happened to glance at it, I remembered that moment of grace.

I found the leaf in my basket of tea things this month, and marveled at where God has taken me in just one year. No more illness. No more discontent. In a new city, in a new old home that I love, with so many new friends and new opportunities.

And here's the part where the card comes in....

A little card with one little golden leaf. One word of gratitude.


{Today's Brew: Papers from We R Memory Keepers, die cuts and stamp from PTI, twine from Lawn Fawn, Distress Markers}

Grace and peace to you, my cafe friends!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Girl's Day Out

My sweet Stampin' Up demonstrator, Cindy, invited me to a girl's day out this week. The plan? Visit the local stamp shop, Stamp Fanci, for their Make and Take day, and then out to lunch for food and fellowship.

I love that plan!

Our first Make and Take card was this cute Halloween creation. The purple, orange and yellow stripes were made using a strip of washi tape. Simply press the strip onto the ink pad, and then press it onto the card stock. Clever!

The little ghost was cut from a length of ghost ribbon. How cute!

The next card featured some really pretty diecuts. Stamp Fanci carries a big selection of Memory Box dies, Poppystamps dies, Hero Arts Sizzix Dies, and more.

I love the embossed cloud background! The balloons were curled slightly , which really gives a great effect!

Of course, I couldn't leave the store without buying one or two (or five) things. As I was paying for my purchases, I looked at their register, and guess what I found?

I found the card that I mailed to the shop last month. Awww! That was so nice to see! I told them "Hey, that's my card!"

The ladies said "We love that card! It's so friendly!"

A friendly card for a friendly store!

And if you are looking for a friendly SU demo, you've got to visit my friend, Cindy, and her blog!

Than you, Cindy and Sandy, for including me on your super fun girl's day out!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Neighbors

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

I LOVE my new neighborhood!

Tree-lined streets, lushly landscaped yards, and beautiful old homes, each unique from the house next to it.

But the biggest reason I love my new neighborhood? The people. Really, really friendly and welcoming people.

Yesterday, I was invited out to lunch with a group of neighborhood ladies that call themselves the Brittany Bunch. They meet once a month in a new location. Do you remember a time when ladies had lunch dates? I thought this art was lost with my mother's generation. I'm so glad to see that it's alive and well here in Pittsburgh!

I know. I sound like that commercial for disposable paper plates! Chinet,you are brilliant!

Next weekend, one of our neighbor  families is hosting a block party to welcome all of us newcomers. How wonderful is that? We feel truly blessed here!

Last weekend, I made some cookies for a neighbor that picked up our mail for us when we were out of town.

I made a little gift tag from some new Lawn Fawn stamps, dies, and paper. Inside, I included our telephone numbers, with instructions to call if we can ever return the favor.

Neighborliness. Hospitality. Community. Fellowship. All of the things I longed for I have found in this new city.

So thankful!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Birthday Boy

Yesterday was the birthday girl's special day. Today is the birthday boy's big ten...ten years old!

My son, Sam, is now a double digit midget!

I surprised him with breakfast in bed before school this morning.

He told me that I was officially "best mom ever". :) I love that boy!

I made this card for Sam, who loves owls and all things autumn.

Here's a little tip for figuring out if a sentiment will fit inside a speech bubble or banner. Put the speech bubble on one side of a clear block, and place the sentiment on the other side. It's easy to see if it will fit this way!

I decided to add a little fun to the inside of the card, too!

Sam will LOVE this card! Maybe not as much as the presents, but he will appreciate it all the same!

{Today's brew: all stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn, Lawn Fawn Into The Woods papers/leaf sequins/flair, Lawn Fawn gold baker's twine, gold cord, PTI white card stock, SU Bermuda Bay card stock, prisma markers}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Birthday Girl

Today my girl turned thirteen. Thirteen years old! I decided to make her a special crown in honor of this momentous occasion!

I had a good time using these stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn!

It's been an exciting day for my girl! She went on a car ride to the beauty shop to get her nails done. Tonight, she will open her presents. She LOVES opening presents!

I know you're all dying to see my girl in her birthday crown, aren't you?

Here she is!

Aww, isn't she adorable?

Did I forget to mention that my girl is a labrador retriever?  Don't judge! When you are the mother of sons, this is the sort of thing you do to get your girl fix. You make crowns for dogs. You're judging, aren't you? :)

It has been such a gift to be Maggie's adopted mother for the past thirteen years.

Love you, old girl!

By the way, yesterday was Kelly Marie's birthday at Lawn Fawn! Happy Birthday! Have you checked out the newest releases at the Lawn Fawn website? I love 'em all! (I think I ordered them all, too! LOL! You'll be seeing a LOT of Lawn Fawn here at the cafe in the days and weeks ahead!)

Hope your day is tail-waggin' wonderful!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pruning Sale Continues! More Added!

So, I found ANOTHER box of old Stampin Up sets that I'd completely forgotten about...they did not even make it out for my last garage sale in April! Oops! I've updated my list here. Please, make me an offer! Purchase several items and I will kick in free shipping! I accept Paypal as payment.

I have to make way for new autumn and holiday items. I've been a little spendy lately, and I'm hoping to offset the cost of my new crafty purchases. Out with the old, in with the new!

Stampin' Up:
Both Way Blossoms $5
Curvy Verses $8 (Pending)
Heartfelt Thanks $5
Hearts and Posies $3
It's A Date $3
Living Large $5
Little Pieces $3
Mixed Blooms $5
Monogram J $5
Monogram L $5
Monogram S $5
Paint Prints $3
Paris in the Spring $5
Polka Dot Punches $3
Spring Garden $5
Watercolor Garden $5
Vases in Vogue $15
2006 Hostess Set (see photo) $5

SU Stampin Around wheel guide $2
Layer Ease (missing 1/8 inch) $1

Gina K Designs:
Botanicals $10 (Pending)
Eclectic Summer Sayings $8
Fruitful Harvest $10
Many Wishes $8
Nana's needlework $10
Nana's needlework Sentiments $10
Thanks A Million $8
Vintage Borders $10

Mark's Finest Papers:
Autumn Fun $5
Stinky Situation $5
Thankful Mums and Pumpkins $5

My Mind's Eye stamps:
Be happy $3
Be Amazing $3
Dolled Up "Favorite" $3
Fiddlesticks "Story" $3
Howdy Doody "Baby" $3
Dilly Dally "Adventures" $3

Amuse Stamps:
Large Polka lowercase alpha $3 (Pending)
Large Flower lowercase alpha $3 (Pending)
Large polka uppercase polka alpha $3 (Pending)
small polka lowercase alpha $2 (Pending)
small flower lowercase alpha $2 (Pending)

Webster's Pages LOT:

Nearly complete, includes petite paper combo packs, journalling card sets, fabric ribbon, fabric fancies, designer trim for these collections: Seaside, Garden Gala, Lullaby Lane, Life's Portrait. Purchased for over $80, now asking $40.

My Mind's Eye partial paper packs, $2 each: (All Pending)
Dilly Dally
Be Happy
Dolled Up
Howdy Doody

Sunday, September 8, 2013

He Cares

The day we moved into our new home here in Pittsburgh, a truck from the real estate company came by to take the For Sale sign out of our yard...and put it in the yard next door. Yep. We had no sooner moved in when our next door neighbors were moving out.

It seemed like a good time to start putting in my prayer request to God.

"God, could you please send some really wonderful new neighbors? And if it's not too much trouble, could you send a family with a boy about Sam's age?"

We would take walks in our neighborhood in the evening, and every time I passed the house next door I offered up this prayer.

Guess what?

We have wonderful new neighbors who have two sons. The oldest is named Colin, and as you may have guessed, he's Sam's age! Not only does he go to Sam's school, but he also likes all of the silly things that Sam likes...Minecraft, LEGOs, goofing off outside. Boy stuff.

Sam and Colin have become fast friends, playing together after school, and running back and forth between houses on the weekends. What a blessing!

Thank you, God, for caring about our little family!

The neighbors officially moved in last weekend, so this weekend I made chocolate chip cookie bars and cinnamon sugar cookies, along with this little welcome card.

I used my new stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn for a fun card that says "Welcome to the neighborhood!"

It's been a wonderful reminder to me that my Father cares about the big things and the little things in my life. I need to remember to come to Him more often, more deliberately, more consistently. He really does fill my every need.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Not-So 10 Minute Craft Dash

Have you ever made a card in ten minutes or less? It's not as easy as it sounds! I decided to try the 10 Minute Craft Dash challenge this week using some new goodies from Lawn Fawn. I gathered my supplies, checked my timer, and set off...

...and 28 minutes later, I was finished!

Surely there has to be some kind of award for that? We can call it the "Yertle the Turtle" award.

Still, I learned a lot along the way. For starters, one diecut is fine, but five? No way! And don't even try to stamp flowers with points onto a diecut and get them to line up perfectly. Not gonna happen! Coloring? Keep it to a minimum. Hand markered faux stitching? Are you crazy?  Gluing on sequins? Okay, now you've really lost it.

This card didn't win any awards for speed, but it does win for cuteness.

{Today's Brew: Stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn, Paper and sequins from Lawn Fawn, PTI card stock, corner rounder punch, prisma markers}

Hope your day is pumpkin spice latte good!