Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and Blessings from Me to You!!!

I wanted to just wish you all , my blogging friends a most Happy and Blessed New Year!

As we look back at 2013, we all probably have different highlights and low times and lots of hopes and dreams for the year ahead! 2013 has for the USA in my opinion been one of the worst for moral degeneration, financial irresponsibility,  and anything BUT peace!    

2013 started off with a jolt at our own home, when on Jan 3 my husband was rushed to the hospital with both lungs full of blood clots.  Five days in ICU, then a regular room,  and we eventually came home!  It wasn't how we were expecting to start off the new year... but it's what we were to face last January.

We have so much to be thankful for!!!  This was a major event and even our own Dr. when he took over the case remarked how lucky he was to pull through this!  We just smiled, because we knew it wasn't luck at all.  It was God's grace and mercy, and answered prayer!  HE chose to pull him through and to give us more time together, for which we are eternally grateful! 

Nov. 2013 Alan's  "self shot" at Gatlinburg, TN

The year has been full with blessings of family, friends, spiritual growth, and deepening love for each other and for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It's also set our hearts and minds more on the things that really matter in this life!  If nothing else... we learned that this life is indeed short!  We need to be about the Father's business... being salt and light to this dark world!   Our prayer is that our lives will matter!  That we will touch other people's lives with  love and the lasting message of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

 His message is so simple. Jesus said  "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father but by me" (Jn 14:6).  He was the only one who could pay the price for our sin, so The Creator of all things left His throne in glory, came to earth as a little baby, born in the most lowly of circumstances, lived a human life, yet without sin!  Only that perfect life could take the weight of sin upon Himself.  He died in the most humiliating and painful way possible, hated and rejected, beaten and spat upon.  He could have come down off that cross and just said... sorry Father... I just can't do this!  But He didn't!  He said "not my will but yours be done".  He went to the grave to settle a big problem that all humanity has!  It's a SIN problem!  The Bible says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"(Rom 3:23).  It also says "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord"(Rom 6:23).  So only this perfect sacrifice could pay the price for our sin!  However, He did not stay in that grave!  He rose three days later, victorious over death, and He will come again for those who know Him!  We do not need to fear death!  Physical death for the Christian is just the beginning of eternal life with our Savior!!!  Paul said "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"!(2 Cor 5:8)  All we need to do to have this gift of eternal life that Jesus bought for us is to place our faith and trust in HIM... we could never do enough good works to pay our way in to heaven!  It's only Jesus who could do that,with His perfect shed blood on Calvary,  and He did!  However, not everyone will receive that gift!  Some will refuse to believe and receive Him as their own Savior!  My heart aches for them!  Our future is secure, our present is joyous and full of meaning... why wouldn't anyone want that for themselves?

Right now, our family is once again facing the loss of a loved one, and yet we are comforted with the knowledge that this is not the end... it's the beginning!  The beginning of an eternity in heaven where there will be no more sickness, no more pain, no more evil!  Even as I write this, my dear Mother in Law is in the final stages of leaving this world, where Alzheimers has ravaged her mind and now it is even shutting down her body. We look at her life with grateful hearts for the life she lived and the many good gifts she is leaving behind.... gifts of love, high standards, and  a Godly example of a wife and mother who took her jobs seriously and did her absolute best to do it as unto the Lord.  We also are so thankful that we know that having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior, she is ready to go to meet Him face to face, and we will see her again one day! 

So, it's with sadness that we say goodbye here on this earth... but it's with gladness that we celebrate her life, and know that this is not "goodbye".... it's "see you soon!"  

If you have read through my ramblings this far... thank you!  I felt the need to write this for whatever reason!  I don't know what 2014 holds for any of us... but I do know WHO holds MY future, and I hope YOU know Him too!!!

I thought I would share my prayer for you via this link to a beautiful song of blessings... one of the best gifts we can give to one another!  Happy and Blessed New Year!!!

Happy New Year!  I hope you'll be back tomorrow morning to see the Jan. release from Our Daily Bread designs!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bottles of Lavender (a sneak peek)!

Hello my friends!  I do hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas!  I know that sometimes this season is very difficult for many, and I am thinking especially this year of several friends and loved ones who spent this holiday without a loved one, and I want you to know that I have been praying for you all!  May God be your All Sufficient One and may the greatness of His Gift give you joy in spite of sorrow, hope in spite of pain!

I enjoyed much treasured time with my family, for which I am always thankful!  However, before we left town, I did play a little with some fabulous new stamps to be released by Our Daily Bread designs on Jan. 1. I have a friend and neighbor who has a birthday just around the corner and I wanted to give a hand made gift along with some other things I'll tuck in.  These bottles give you a peek at two sets coming your way soon... Lavender (used on both bottles), and Joy in a Jar (the frame on the larger bottle).  Both were stamped with Memento, colored with Copics and Colored Pencils, and cut with the ODBD Custom Antique Labels and Border dies.  I aged the labels just a bit with Antique Linen Distress Ink.    I used burlap and lace to wrap around the bottles, and I tied a simple bow around the neck of each bottle with lavender seam binding.  On the larger bottle I added a charm and beads, and on the smaller, I added a heart from Websters Pages.
What's inside you might ask?  Well, the smaller bottle has lavender scented Epson Salt!  I had found a recipe on Pinterest on making my own, and intended to make my own, but then I went to CVS to buy plain Epsom Salt and lookie what I found!  Already done!  Let me just say... this stuff is wonderful!!! 

 If you just want to make your own, or you can't find this product near where you live, you can find a recipe for Lavender Bath Salts HERE.    You can find SEVERAL recipes for making Lavender Water for multiple purposes HERE.  

EDITED TO ADD:  The bottles were from Hobby Lobby.

I hope this has made you just  a little curious about what is being released Jan 1 and that you'll be back to see the full release then!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  My next gift recipient will be chosen very soon... so please be sure if you stop by frequently, to leave me comments so I know you're here!!!  This is not advertised... I just decide to select one person from my regular commenters to bless with a little bundle of love from me to you! I will contact the winner via email (if you have your email listed on your blog or your public profile) or a blog comment if you have a blog.   If a winner does not have a blog or email address listed in their profile, or if their profile is not public, I will announce the winner's name here on my blog and you can contact me! God has blessed me with so much... and I want to pass a little along to you!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Taking a Look Back at the Dec. Release

Hello friends!  Today we are taking a look back at the Dec. release at Our Daily Bread designs!  If you would like to see all the awesome creations from the DT in one place, please stop by the ODBD Blog for fun and inspiration!

I have used Ornate Borders and Flowers Stamp Set and the  matching Ornate Borders and Flowers Dies, as well as Ornate Borders Sentiments.  

I stamped the flower from the Ornate Borders and Flowers set three times, cutting with the custom die, and I scored each and folded in half, adhereing back to back to create a 3 dimensional flower, which I mounted on the beautiful frame stamp from the same set.  The ink is Razzberry VersaFine ink.  I also stamped and die cut the two panels used for my sentiment from the same set of stamps and dies.  The corners are cut with the Ornate Flowers and Borders Die set, and the rectangular panel in white is a Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles.  I embossed the pink background with a Cuttlebug folder and sponged more of the same ink on it. The ribbon and pearls are from Michael's.

 I really have enjoyed this month's release!  I find the sentiments to be just what is needed for so many occasions, and I know these will be go to sets for me!  Here are the sets I used:


 Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please take a moment to visit my DT sisters for more inspiration!

Blessings,and a Merry CHRISTmas to all!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Gift Card Holder just in time for Christmas!

Hello friends!  I hope you are all doing well!  

Today I want to share a gift card holder I designed for a couple challenges this week.  The challenge over at the ODBD Shining the Light Challenge is to create a different fold, or something 3-D.  While the front of this card might not look like it's a different fold, but when you see the inside, you can see that it is!  The SCS TLC this week was to create a  gift card holder, and I needed a couple, so this was my perfect opportunity!

The card itself is created by die cutting two strips of 4 1/4" wide vanilla card stock  with a Spellbinders A2 Scalloped Border die, then measuring from the top of the scallop to 5 1/4" in length, and cutting the opposite edge with your paper cutter, being sure to keep it  square.  Score each piece 3" from the squared off edge, and fold. 

I used score tape to adhere the outside edges of the scalloped folded pieces together, creating a pocket for my gift card.  Now all you have to do is embellish however you wish!  I used the December release Ornate Background stamp from ODBD, and ColorBox Harbor Pigment ink and stamped several pieces of background to adhere to the inside and outside of the gift card holder.  For the front of the card, I stamped the little sentiment "A Gift For You" from the Ornate Border Sentiments set, and the frame from Ornate Borders and Flowers set, and I die cut that frame from the Ornate Borders and Flowers Die set.  I adhered that to the center of a shimmery vanilla ornament I had die cut with the ODBD Fancy Ornaments die set.  This panel was designed by Michelle Laycock to perfectly fit in the center of the ornament and it does so beautifully!

I decided since this is a tiny card, not to over-embellish it, so I added a little piece of Washi tape and a silver hanger for my ornament, cut from the same Fancy Ornaments die set, and added a blue snowflake crystal stick on at the top.  It's simple, but still a personal and pretty presentation for a gift card.  I hope you might give it a try!

Are you feeling the "bustle" of the season yet?  I certainly have been getting busy with lots of things going on... but it's such a wonderful time of year!  I am determined to take more special time each day this season to thank my Lord for His indescribable gift, and to not let the busy preparations, the special programs, parties, gift buying, wrapping, baking, making and sending cards etc.  deter me from that!  I hope you'll join me in that commitment!  It's ALL about Jesus!  Emmanuel.... God with us!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Valentine for someone special!

Hello friends!  I hope you are all well!!!

Today I wanted to show you a sweet way of using this month's release from Our Daily Bread designs to make a Valentine for that special one you love!  Valentines Day is not that far away and often creeps up on me after the busy Christmas season!  So.... when Splitcoast Stampers had a red and white color  Clean and Simple challenge, I decided to try a valentine.

I used Ornate Borders and Flowers, Ornate Frame Sentiments, and Ornate Borders and Flowers Dies to create this card.  It is 5.25" square on a real red base.  The white layer is embossed with a Nellie Snellen folder, and then I stamped the beautiful floral frame from the Ornate Borders and Flowers set, matted it with a Spellbinders Decorative Labels 22, and added a SB classic scalloped heart layer to mat my I love you sentiment on.  Both the frame and the sentiment panel were cut with the ODBD Custom Ornate Borders and Flowers Die, as was the little flower I added to the bow.  I stamped that with VersaMark, sprinkled clear embossing powder and glitter on it, heat embossed it, sponged on real red ink, and then wiped off the ink that was resisted by the embossed areas.  I then heated it again from the bottom to just reheat that embossing and make it pop.  By doing it from the bottom you are much less likely to over heat it.  The ribbon itself is May Arts Wrinkled Ribbon, ad I added a few pearls to embellish.

I am off to meet my daughter and grandkids for the day, so I will keep this short.... I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thanks so much for looking! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Get Well Soon!!!

Hello friends!  I hope you are all doing well!

Today I want to share something different for me. I know I usually do Our Daily Bread designs cards, but I have had this set for a while and just have not had time to use it.   This is a card I made for a Splitcoast Stampers color challenge a couple weeks ago, but have not had time to share here.  I used a new to me SU! set I have always wanted because I love the sentiments in the set.  Its called Thoughts and Prayers.  I am trying to keep a rack stocked at my church where people can take a card if they want, and if the wish, they can leave a donation in a locked box which totally goes to a missions fund... but they don't have to leave anything to take a card.  Certain categories of cards are hard to keep in stock... and this is one.... get well!  I bought this set because the images don't need to be colored.  I simply used my SU! markers to color the stamp before I stamped it, and that was all I did.  So between the easy images and fantastic sentiments, I think this set will be used a lot here.

I used white for my base, added a layer of My Mind's Eye Be Happy, then a mat of Crisp Cantelope, and the sentiment panel is matted in Old Olive.  The dies are SB Butterfly Corners and the embossing folder is an Anna Griffin folder by Cuttlebug.  The little butterfly is Prima. 

So... I'm in the process of going through my craft room and pulling out some things that I either have too much of or just don't need any more.  Soon I'll be writing to one of my faithful followers to get your address and send you a little love.  This IS the season of giving after all!  :)  Thank you all for the love and support you give me here... it really means a lot to me and I love hearing from you!

Today's thought:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Col. 3:23

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome to the ODBD December Release!

Our Daily Bread Designs stamps: Ornate Borders and Flowers, Ornate Background, Ornate Border Sentiments, designed by Grace Nywening

Hello friends!  Welcome to the December Our Daily Bread designs release!  If you have not seen the full release, be sure to stop by the ODBD blog to see it and lots of inspiration from the talented design team!    Be sure to leave a comment on each designer's blog so you don't miss a chance to win a prize! 

Three winners will be randomly chosen from one of the designers blog comments to receive a $25 Gift Certificate to the ODBD Store, to be used toward the purchase of ODBD Stamps.  You have until December 2, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. EST to make your comments!  The Winners will be posted on the ODBD Blog on December 3rd, so be sure to check back there to see if you won!

Now... on to my cards.  My first card (above) was created on a base of Rich Razzleberry card stock.  I used the corner stamp four times to create my largest flower, by setting them points in.  I layered that on a SB Medallion 2  and layered that on a layer of the Ornate Borders and Flowers set frame which was stamped with Rich Razzleberry and die cut with the Custom Ornate Borders and Flower die.  On the top of my dimensional flower is the small flower from this same set.  My background is stamped using the Ornate Background, and the sentiment is from the Ornate Border Sentiments set and die cut with the custom Ornate Borders and Flowers die.  The white layer is embossed with a Sizzix folder, and the die cut border beneath the white layer is from the ODBD Custom Cathedral Window and Border Die set.   The only embellishments are white pearls.

Our Daily Bread designs stamps: Ornate Borders and Flowers, No Words, Serve the Lord, ODBD Custom Ornate Borders and Flower die, ODBD Crocheted Border die

My second card is much more shabby chic.  I used the frame from the Ornate Borders and Flower set, stamped with Memento London Fog ink and die cut with the Custom Ornate Borders and Flower die.  I stamped the sentiment from the No Words set, which is dear to my heart since I submitted those sentiments to Kelley as an idea for a set.  I find the need for these sentiments frequently, so I hope others will like them as well!   I created this different fold by cutting my front in half, and adding a Fancy Corner Die cut.  I also used the Crocheted Border stamp from the Serve The Lord set and the custom crocheted border die to cut it, stamping it on some of the MME design paper.  My papers are Baked Brown Sugar and the designer paper is My Mind's Eye.

Inside, I stamped two of the corner images from the Ornate Borders and Flower set.  I finished off with some wrinkled seam binding and tiny flowers, and a couple of the leaves images from the Fancy Foliage Dies

Here are the new sets and dies I used today:

Please be sure to visit my design team sisters and leave a comment so you don't miss a chance to win!

Dawn * Grace * Cathy * Lisa * Sabrina * Julie * Chris * Audrey * Angie * Silke * Tosh *

Thanks so much for stopping by!