Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blessing for the Busy

I keep this prayer in my notebook (that I reference daily). It was copied and sent to me by my sweet daughter Sharida in the late 1990’s. She and I have a lot more in common than either one of us likes to admit! (Or, maybe we’re both secretly a bit “proud” to be like each other!)

It’s just good.

Blessing for the Busy

Lord, I’ll not complete everything I need to do today.

Time will run out; the sun will set; the day will be done;

and I will not have finished the task.

Help me not to set myself up for failure

by thinking I can get it all done,

then feeling defeated when I don’t.

Acceptance comes hard for me.

Help me accept my limitations

and the limitations of this day.

Since I’ll not get everything done today, guide me, oh Lord,

to accomplish the essential instead of simply the habitual.

Help me to see those who must be seen.

Lead me to do those things that must be done

instead of those that could be done.

Make me more sensitive to broken hearts

than to my planned schedule.

On the other hand, may my sensitivity to time

free me from the time-grabbers and the time-wasters.

Above all, Lord, be my partner this day.

You can see ahead and I can’t.

Help me to remember

that nothing can happen to me today

that you and I can’t handle together.

Thank you, Lord,


Monday, July 30, 2012

Heart of Gold Tag

heart of gold 1 w border

When I saw Anita Houston’s tutorial on making faux leather, a technique she learned at Ranger U, from Tim Holtz, I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. So, Saturday I made a couple of faux leather tags, including this one using Ink Refresher and Perfect Pearls Gold and Perfect Pearls Copper on a Kraft #8 tag. Anita’s is a great tutorial on a technique that results in a product that belies its ease!

Then on Sunday, when I saw Hels Sheridan’s challenge, Fields of Gold, I knew immediately how I wanted to finish out the gold and copper tag.

I brainstormed sentiments on the topic of “gold,” and this one popped into my mind. This sentiment is a perfect description of a few very special people in my life!

This heart stamp has been in my collection for some years, and I was pleased to be able to use some fine gold embossing powder that hadn’t even been opened. I had the ribbons and braid in my stash, as well as the tiny gold charms and some copper glitter card stock (American Crafts) that worked great with the Hearts Movers and Shapers die (cut on my Vagabond).

I will also be entering it in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge, What Do You Say?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge-Technique #15-Enameled Metal

favorite book tag 5 w border

My project for this week’s challenge at Studio L3 uses the technique described on page 56 of Tim Holtz’s Compendium of Curiosities, Volume 2. The background of the tag was created using that technique.

The sentiment stamp and the little girl reading stamp are from Artistic Outpost (My Favorite Book). The little girl was colored with Distress Reinkers and a water brush. The metal flower is from Tim Holtz. The charms at the top of the tag are Industrial Chic charms sent to me by a special friend. The purple tie was stained with Distress Stain.

I have always loved to read. I am working on a mini album of our primary school years (my husband and myself), so the vintage “school” images fit with my frame of mind right now.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art Journal Page–“Breathe”–and Taking a Breather

breathe art journal page w border

I have been so stressed of late. I needed a reminder to just step back and “breathe.” So, I made an art journal page to reflect that thought. I used my “practice” journal for this one, not at all sure how it would turn out in the end. I covered the pages with gesso and then covered both pages entirely with book text (using Studio Matte medium). I then used Claudine Hellmuth paints to give the impression of grass and sky. I stamped the wildflowers with Archival ink (Tim Holtz stamp) onto tissue paper and then adhered the tissue paper (with Studio Matte medium) on top of the green paint. I used lots of stamps, including alphabet stamps, and more patterned paper for the sun. I’m still not pleased with my art journal attempts, but it’s a process for me, and I have always said, and still maintain, that I love the process as well as the product. So, I’m learning, mainly about what I do and do not like in art journal techniques. I do like paint. I do like stamps, I’m not so great at any drawing attempts.

Yesterday I took a “breather” and enjoyed a fantabulous day with one of my favorite people in the entire world—my daughter-in-law. Following a wonderful lunch at a great tea room, we attempted a little bit of shopping (way too hot) before ending the day with a long conversation at a coffee house. Yes, nice day.

lunch with Kristy

While we were attempting to “shop,” she said a funny. We were walking on the sidewalk, trying to find a cool shop to duck into. I said, “No one should be out on a day like this.” Looking around, she said, “They aren’t.” True. We were the loners on either side of the street. But, oh well, it was fun, and we just felt like we were braver than anyone else!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Art Journal-the Experiment Continues

bless the lord journal page w border

It’s not that I’m indecisive about this: I do know that I want to continue with Art Journaling, and for my purposes, the Inspiration Journal theme is working for me. But I am not satisfied with my style or techniques and know I would really benefit from more practice, and likely from some training in this area. But, for now, the experiment continues, because I know I want to improve, and the teacher in me says, “You learn best by doing.”

Still determined to get some value from my spray inks, I sprayed two colors (Dylusions Crushed Grape and Bubblegum Pink) on the gesso-ed pages, allowing it to soak in some and then rolling up the excess with a paper towel roll. I used various background stamps, first with white ink (didn’t show up) and then black. When I was creating my tag for the CC2 challenge (see post below), I cut a few extra butterflies from patterned cardstock scraps and decided to use the butterfly imagery to go with the thought. I then covered the butterfly cut-outs with Liquid Pearls. I used some book text to add dimension and also portions of tags left-over from previous projects. I added some washi tape here and there.

And I DO love the verses!

Psalm 103:1-5 (KJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge-#14-Guilded Kraft Glassine

butterflies 5 w border

This is the project I am entering in Linda Ledbetter’s Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge, based on techniques in the book by the same name, by Tim Holtz. This week’s challenge is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique. This wonderful technique is explained on page 39 of the book.

I was ready for a change in color choices for myself—I tend to get in a rut, so I forced myself to go a different direction. Adhered to a black shipping tag is a Kraft Resist Paper from Tim Holtz, covered with Dusty Concord Distress Stain, and inked around the edges with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink. I used these Alcohol Ink colors: Raspberry, Purple Twilight, Wild Plum. The flower is Tattered Florals cut from crinoline and stained with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and Dusty Concord Distress Stain. The ribbon is from Tim’s Trimmings, stained with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink.

The butterflies are cut from Kraft Glassine with the die from Tim Holtz. Then I also cut the butterflies from grunge board and adhered the guilded butterflies onto the grunge board. For the antennae, I used wire I have had for many years.

Here is a close up of the butterflies.

closeup butterflies w border

This is one of my favorite techniques, and now I have a tag that is a different color than any I have made recently!

I am also submitting this tag to this fortnight challenge at The Stamp Man Challenge Blog.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Smash Journal Pages

Recently some have asked to see more of my Smash Journal pages, so will just post a few here. This is something I do totally at random and when taking a break from my “real” craft and scrapbook projects.

almost fullawesomecamera decisioncoffeecupcakesfallnot old vintageprojectssplendiferousspringfield iltreasures

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge-#13

bloom where planted a with border

This week’s challenge at Studio L3 involves one of my favorite techniques, Spritz and Flick, found on page 42 of Tim Holtz’s book Compendium of Curiosities Volume II.

It’s always interesting to me that the background of a tag is barely visible by the time I finish adding the elements that come to mind as I create the project.

I used various colors of Distress Ink on the tag, then inked the edges of the tag with Vintage Photo and Peacock Feathers. The stamp is from Artistic Outpost (Bloom and Grow), stamped with Archival Ink on watercolor paper. I color washed the background with Antique Linen Distress Stain, using Tim’s large water brush. The rest of the watercolor on the tag was done with InkTense water color pencils and a water brush. The tickets were stamped from Crafty Secrets Clear Art Stamps and then watercolored with Distress Reinkers. I like to use some Glossy Accents on my colored tickets.

The flowers were cut with the Tattered Floral die (Tim Holtz) from crinoline (idea from Tammy Tutterow) and then sprayed with Dylusions Squeezed Orange spray ink, topped with Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls mist. I used one of the floral pieces for leaves, sprayed with Dylusions Cut Grass.

The ribbon for the tag is seam binding colored with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink. The sentiment stamp is part of the Bloom and Grow set from Artistic Outpost.

This week’s challenge is sponsored by Simon Says Stamp.

I have also decided to enter this tag in the challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show and  the current challenge at Sunday Stamper.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

12 Tags of 2012 July Tag and Minibook Page-FREEDOM

july tag c with border corrected

I have been [im]patiently awaiting the arrival of a Lady Liberty stamp, so that I could make the July tag. Yes, there would have been alternative ways to portray this theme, but I loved the way the fireworks looked behind the Lady, on Tim Holtz’s tag. It was really fun to splatter the alcohol inks on the glossy cardstock and then use the canned air to make a blast from the colors!

I also wanted to use this theme (freedom) for the Split Coast Stamper’s challenge for Bible Verse of the Month. So, once the tag was done, I was ready to use it on my minibook page. I am doing a 12-page minibook, with each page depicting a Scripture Verse for a month.

july scripture tag corrected b with border

I am using Tim Holtz’s 6x6 grungeboard book. Some years ago I stocked up on some Marine Corps paper and stickers (my husband was a Marine). That paper worked well for the background. I love the Movers and Shapers Old Glory die.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

”So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

Friday, July 13, 2012

Art Journal Page-Good Things

It’s not that my creative mojo was completely on leave. I have been doing large numbers of scrapbook layouts (well, large, when you think of how many I have completed in a couple of weeks). On top of that, I have been sick with bronchitis for 3 1/2 weeks (still not well). Even though I have been “productive” with the scrapbook layouts, I wasn’t sure I could muster enough “creativity” to put together an art journal page, so I needed to at least try, to see if I could do it!

Journal God gives us good things w border

The idea of this page was inspired by a coffee mug that has this verse and cupcakes (so fitting for me) all over it.

After gesso-ing the two pages (with masking tape down the seam of the moleskin sketch journal), I painted the page randomly (with Claudine Hellmuth acrylic paints—my favorite).

Some time ago, I purchased a couple of Dylusions stamps, and they seemed to fit the whimsical nature of this page theme (stamped with Black Archival Ink). I used three of Tim Holtz’s background stamps (with Black Archival Ink and Snow Cap Adirondack Ink) and my white Painter’s Pen. I also happened to have some Hero Arts cupcake stamps. I LOVE my Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen Big Brush markers (used for coloring in the stamped images).

So, I feel inspired by having created a journal entry, AND by the verse that is a great reminder for me today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Silent Gratitude

I see a lot of “quotes.” Most of the time I don’t pass them along or repeat them, if it’s a quote by a person. (I do share a lot of Scripture references.) But every now and then, I see a quote that “strikes me” as profound. Yesterday I came across this one:

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Gertrude Stein

The more I thought about it, the more profound it became, and it just fits into my life philosophy. In fact, I believe I have blogged before about the importance of expressing thanks. I won’t launch into one of my tirades about how the easier communication becomes (i.e., technology), the less true communication actually happens. You’re welcome. And, I won’t re-preach my sermon about the lost art of saying, “thank you.”

But, really. If you are grateful in your own little private heart, that’s a good thing. But, is it “useful,” even to yourself? On the other hand, if you EXPRESS your gratitude, then it blesses the person on the receiving end, and it blesses YOU.

For example, if someone does something for you (maybe a Random Act of Kindness), you can spend a lot of time thinking about how nice that was. Not much benefit comes from that thought. But, if you take the time to thank the person (a quick email works), then the other person feels good, and you feel great.

Or, on a deeper level, that would be personal to each individual, maybe there are many times when you feel gratitude toward someone, but somehow you never take the time or effort to express it.

Sometimes I fear we think it’s enough that we are grateful in our hearts. It isn’t.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What I Do and Who I Am: A Life Observation

While I am an introspective-type person, I don’t always “blog” my self-centered, selfish-type feelings. Or perhaps I should say that if I do, I’m not aware of it (ignorance is bliss). But, of late, I have had cause to pause and think, moreso than usual, about what I do and who I am.

There is a difference, you know, in what you do and who you are. I think it helps with self-realization to recognize that difference. As an example that is not so personal, if you identify your SELF with your job, and you lose your job, you’re left in a bad place. But if you know how to distinguish what you DO (your job) from who you ARE (not your job at all), then the loss of the job does not affect your life at the core. It affects what you do, but it does not affect who you are.

Back to the self-confessed introspection:

“What I do” has changed over and over and many times through the years. “What I do” has included (obviously not limited to):

  • Being a student
  • Being a secretary
  • Being a teacher of elementary students, high school students, college students
  • Taking piano lessons
  • Giving piano lessons
  • Teaching Sunday School
  • Being church pianist
  • Working for IBM
  • Doing my hobbies
  • Doing the laundry
  • Cleaning the house
  • Cooking

“Who I am” goes to the core of my being. “Who I am” includes (obviously not limited to) being:

  • A Christ-follower
  • A Conservative in philosophy
  • A Daughter
  • A Wife
  • A Mother
  • A Grandmother
  • A Sister
  • A Leader
  • Honest and Ethical
  • A Friend
  • A Mentor
  • *Teacher
  • *Homemaker
  • *Accompanist for Church

*Sometimes there is an intersection. Sometimes “what I do” happens for so many years and reaches the level of importance in my being, that it becomes an integral part of “who I am.” For example, teaching. I have been a teacher for so many years, that “teaching” is on the list of “what I do” AND “teacher” is on the list of “who I am.” Another example of an intersection: cooking, cleaning, doing laundry—those are things I do, but they are also part of who I am (homemaker).

Such is the case with my music. I have played the piano since I was 10. I started “playing for church” when I was eleven. I am now 65. So, for 54 years I have “played for church.” Somewhere along the line, or maybe starting when I was eleven, playing for church became part of who I am.

I could write a story about each of the areas of “who I am” (and I could add pages to that list). Right now, what is on my mind is the “playing for church” part of who I am. The time has come in my ministry of serving to pass the baton, in that area, to the next person. It is difficult because it means giving up, at least for now, maybe forever, a part of myself. But it’s the right thing to do, and it is the right time to do it. What makes it easier is that the person to whom I am handing the baton, is my grandson. So, in a way, I can see that “playing for church” is still “part of me.”

For the season of my life when I had the opportunity to use my music in God’s work, I am thankful.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.    Ecclesiastes 3:1

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Scrapbooking Fun


Granddaughter Tory and I had a fun day yesterday. Our main project for the day was to get a huge start on scrapbooking her photos and memorabilia from last summer’s mission trip to Nicaragua. She is about to leave for another trip, so we hope to get 2011 all “scrapbooked” before the 2012 trip. We actually got a lot accomplished, but we worked like little troopers!


We thank Grandad for serving our lunch and our afternoon ice cream sundae snack!

Here’s her opening page:

Tory 2011 Nica Album p 1

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Relaxing Celebration

Happy Birthday America Cake

Happy Birthday America Cake

Enjoyed a nice, cool, relaxing 4th of July with some family at our house. Food was good, company even better, and it was a great day.

Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Celebration of Freedom Day!

I love celebrating the 4th of July! I’m not into fireworks so much, but I love the All-American-ness of the holiday. We usually have some sort of all-American lunch and just play games or relax all day. This year we are having Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches, my own homemade slaw, my own potato salad, fresh homemade lemonade, I’m making one of those American flag cakes, and—of course—ICE CREAM (my favorite).

It has been a whirlwind around here lately, and the last couple of weeks have been a blur. Right smack dab at the beginning of our Vacation Bible School, that I direct, I got hit with a bad case of bronchitis. I’m just now beginning to feel like myself.

Yesterday was a “lucky” day for me—I was chosen as a random winner on Tim Holtz’s 12 Tags of 2012 (June tag), AND my Inspiration Challenge project was chosen for an award on the Frilly and Funkie Blog! 

Happy Independence Day!