Saturday, February 25, 2012

Unfathomable Blessing

IMG_1216Because I am a “word person” (I talk a lot, always seem to have something to say, etc.), I rarely find myself without words. But, in the case of expressing a particular incredible blessing that is mine (and my husband’s as well), words are not adequate.


Our son was gifted by his Creator with a truly amazing musical talent.


His son, now 16, is at least equally as gifted.


What makes this an unfathomable blessing for us, the parents/grandparents, is that both these men have a strong desire to use their talents for Christ. Our son is also our pastor; our grandson has already answered God’s call to become a pastor. Of course, not all pastors have musical talents to bring to their ministries. But in the case of Mark and Conner, God is using their music for His glory, as they are willing to serve.


Last night, the two of them performed in an informal “concert” at our church, the debut of their little “band,” Russell Ashley (Conner’s middle name and Mark’s middle name—which also happens to be the full name of my husband!). Conner’s ear for harmony is just amazing. He only started learning guitar less than a year ago and is quite phenomenal, frankly.

The music they shared was all original music written by Mark, with some special guitar arrangements added by Conner.



For one of the songs, they were joined by the two beautiful women in their family, Kristy and Tory. 

IMG_1226      IMG_1258



Incredible... Amazing…


Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Tag (for 12 Tags of 2012)

TH 12 Tags of 2012 Feb w border

This is my take on the Tim Holtz February tag. I started with a white tag, as I was a bit weary of the manila. (I cut the white tag on my Cricut, in Cricut Craft Room, using the Celebrations cartridge….I cut about 12 of them while I was at it!) I then applied Festive Berries (still my favorite for holidays) to the top side of the Valentine texture fades embossing folder and ran the tag through the Vagabond. I inked the edges of the tag with Walnut Stain.

Then I dyed some white lace and white seam binding with Barn Door Distress Ink, for the bottom border and the tie at the top.

I already had some extra foil tape cut, so I applied that on top of the lace border. I cut the grunge board Cupid from Love Struck, and the two grunge board hearts from the Mini Hearts set. I inked the Cupid with Barn Door and then coated him with a couple of coats of Xmas Red Stickles. The smaller heart I painted with Snow Cap Dabber and then applied Picket Fence Stickles. It wasn’t as sparkly as I wanted, so I added a coat of Stardust Stickles.

Little Heart

The box of chocolates from my husband (shown behind the tag) came wrapped in pretty red cellophane. I saved some of it and cut several layers of it with one pass, on the Vagabond (mini hearts die). I stacked them (glued with Glossy Accents) and placed them atop a grunge board heart that had been “ruffled” with the symphony tissue tape.

The little “I Love You” sentiment was computer generated (Typewriter font) and inked with Festive Berries.

The embellishments on the tie at the top are from my stash.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

One of my favorite holidays, it’s another chance for my husband and me to express our love to each other. He has been my Only Valentine since 1960 (I was in 7th grade!).

IMG_1125 P ISO800 fl on framed in pxlrexp

His card for me this year is very special. The chocolates are okay, too!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cameras, Photos and Editing-Oh My!

I have noticed this about myself: almost any time I have “set myself up” with a challenge to learn something new that is kind of a big deal (to me), I realize that somehow, and unintentionally, I have actually gotten myself into at least TWO new challenges. They may or may not be related. Example: I get a new laptop, with all the setup and adjustment that is required there, and AT THE SAME TIME, I take on a new, challenging and robust genealogy software program. Or, I get a new smart phone and a new camera within days of each other.  I feel sure that knowledgeable professionals could have a field day explaining what there is about me that makes me do this. They would probably be correct.

The above examples given were within the last couple of years. NOW, I find that within the last 2-3 months, I have

1) taken on some challenging (for me—the non-artistic one) new crafting techniques (discussed and posted here on my blog);

2) bought my first digital SLR camera (Canon Rebel T3i)—having no real knowledge of photography (what? me? for whom pictures are one of the most important things?—I’ve never really learned how to take good pictures?---that would be true);

3) suddenly realized I absolutely MUST learn some real and advanced photo editing skills, as I am once again “delving into” many old photos, in advance of a long-threatened heritage album project. I am the keeper of a lot of family photos (some over 100 years old), and I have only recently come to really understand that they can be refreshed, revived and restored.

So now, anytime I take a break from scrapbooking and sit down to assess where I am with all my projects, I find myself with a photography book and the user guide for PhotoShop Elements 10, in my iPad Kindle, awaiting my perusal. Then there are the lists of online tutorials I have compiled for study, and email user groups available for specific questions (and encouragement).

Oh, and then there is that part of my personality that doesn’t like to give up, so even when it seems daunting (like being where I want to be with my photo editing skills—seems like a long way off from where I am right now), I will keep at it.

At the risk of sounding like I really do need professional counseling (oops—too late, you say?), I will refrain from listing all the projects I have going right now.

Makes me tired just thinkin’ about it. Now where is that coffee? Oh, have I told you about the saga of replacing my wonderful Capresso coffee maker? That will be for another day. Suffice it to say, problem solved. Coffee anyone?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine Theme Scrapbook Layout

USE L Page Canon2 strt and crpd in pse auto levels copy

Left Page of 12x12 two-page layout

USE Right Page iPhone PSE

Right Page of 12x12 two-page layout

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. Even though I was never very creative with my Valentine boxes at school, I always enjoyed seeing what the “other girls” created (there was always one, in every class, who could do incredible things with a shoe box…I was so envious). The Valentines I received in elementary school looked very much like the ones on the Tim Holtz background paper used on the Right Page here.

I used some pieces of Tim's Valentine stash to embellish the left page, adhering the pieces to grungeboard for dimension. On the right, the tag is one I made and posted a few days ago, with the plan to use it on a scrapbook page. The doilies (from my kitchen, for holiday serving) were inked with Festive Berries (edges with Walnut Stain). Festive Berries is also the main ink used on the tag, because it happens to match our frosting color.  I scanned my “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” music, and printed it as a 4x6 photo on cream cardstock, then inked the edges with Gathered Twigs.

The hearts on the two pages were cut using two dies: Love Struck and Heart Set (both mini movers and shapers). Some were cut from grungeboard and painted (gold and black paint dabbers) or inked. Some were cut from card stock.

The music notes hearts (Mini Hearts Set) were cut from grungeboard that was first collaged with Tim’s tissue tape. After cutting, I coated them with Glue ‘n’ Seal and then partially inked (Vintage Photo).

Tissue tape hearts selected

Spending a day with my mother, baking cupcakes with my granddaughter, crafting with all my fun supplies, and making a scrapbook layout—a combination of some pretty special things from my life!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl=Super Snacks+Super Fun

We are not that big into football (*GASP*). Well, let me just say that if the Broncos had made it to the Super Bowl, we would have been pretty excited about the GAME. But usually, we are not that thrilled with watching football games. But the Super Bowl has become a cultural phenomenon, and as such, requires at least some form of participation on our part!

For us, it’s most often an excuse to get together with family and enjoy some special snacks and good fellowship—and we DO watch the game AND the commercials (at least the ones that don’t signal a fast-forward because they start right off with inappropriate content).

This year our son and his family invited us to join them. He made some outrageous hot wings, definitely the winner of the Top Snack of the Night competition.




And now, let the baseball season begin!

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Smash Journal Altered Cover

First Smash Journal

My first Smash Journal is almost full. Well, it IS full--more than, actually. But a few of the pages are not filled in, so I may still add some to it. I posted earlier how I had embellished the cover. I since pulled off a couple of the paper die-cut images and replaced with some of my new-found Tim Holtz-style goodies (grungy and vintage).  I like how it feels “me-ier” now.