Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Sketch

This sketch is a great way to use up some of your scraps and embellishments. You know the ones - we all have a pile and drawer full of bits and pieces that are leftover some some wonderful project. Pull them out and get started on using them up.

The three panels run down the vertical card from top to bottom. Choose three different patterns or make them all the same for two completely different looks.

The embellishments need to be small to fit into the empty spaces on the card, so choose carefully. Coordinate their colors and shapes to match the patterned panels.
For my card, I chose a fall theme because we released our new fall line yesterday. The background is matted twice - two solid colors and one pattern, all in-distressed.

The three panels are also matted and ink-distressed, each from the same paper, just different parts.

The embellishments are three flea buttons that I have had for the better part of a decade. I tied knots of twine through them to give them a little more dimension.

This card, along with many other paper crafts and wood gifts, is available in our Etsy shop. Come visit today for more great layouts and a gift idea or two.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Weekend Of Anticipation

This is the look of a dog who's waiting for something.

Someone, actually. This is what Molly does every time Danny goes outside. Without her. By himself. To do anything.

She puts huge nose prints on the window and whines like a puppy. She watches his every move and shakes with anticipation when she sees him coming back to the house.

Then she lavishes him with attention and love and kisses. And that's a lot for a 160-pound Great Dane.

Do you wait for the Lord like this or do you wait like you're in the doctor's office waiting room?

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:24-25

Make this a weekend of anticipation. Wait on the Lord like it's Christmas morning - with all of the excitement and joy and hope you have inside you. He is planning something amazing for your day today, and all you have to do is wait on Him to bless you.

So stand at the window of your heart, press your nose against the glass and be ready to give God your attention and love while you're in His presence.

He's waiting for you, too.

Friday, July 31, 2015

My Book Stack This Week - Or What Happens When You Go To Two Used Book Sales In Two Months

I love book sales. I love to read the titles of every single book. I love to look for certain authors. I love to be surprised by books on subjects I love that I didn't know existed. I love that you never know what you'll find. I love that one man's donated book is another man's treasured book.

I love books.

So having two used book sales in two months in two towns has been a wonderful time for me. I found several books by my favorite fiction writer, as well as trunk-loads of study books and just-for-fun books. I don't think any of them are very new, and that makes them all the more fun!

Did I mention that I love books?

I've already read through many of them, and they have found a permanent home on one of the many bookshelves in our house. The rest are piled up on my end table, just begging to be read.

Here's just a sampling of what's on the stack right now.

1. Making Scrapbooks: Complete Guide to Preserving Your Treasured Memories. Published in 1998, this was one of the oldest books I found, but when you're looking for new ideas for your own work, anything can trigger your creativity. In addition to lots of early layouts, there are also sections on gathering family history, photography tips and how to restore photos that have been damaged. I'm really interested in the chapter on binding techniques so I can do some book making of my own.

2. Reader's Digest book Jesus and His Times. The 336 pages of this book are packed with photos, drawings and historical information about the time period Jesus lived in. I really enjoy learning the background to a story - it makes the truths of the Bible a little more vivid during my daily study. The photography of the region is amazing, and the maps are well worth the dollar I paid for it.

3. Every Woman In The Bible. I am fascinated by the lives of the women in the Bible, particularly those of the New Testament. This book details the lives of the Biblical women - those named and those not named - and their impact on the world around them. This one will have to be read little by little, as there is so much information packed into it.

4. I was thrilled to find Elizabeth George's Cultivating A Life Of Character - Judges and Ruth. She is my favorite study book author, and this is one I didn't have. It is part of her Woman After God's Own Heart Bible study series, and I'll be starting a new notebook for it, like I have with all her others. (I still have a hard time writing in any book other than my Bible.)

5. The Words Lincoln Lived By: 52 Timeless Principles To Light Your Path. Ever since I was a little girl, Abraham Lincoln has always been my favorite president. We took a trip to Springfield when I was growing up, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Again, there's nothing like experiencing history to make you appreciate it. The author chose 52 of Lincoln's thoughts on things like compromise, freedom, courage and determination, then explained why they were so important in Lincoln's life. It's arranged, he explains, to be used during your quiet time once a week for a year, and I love that idea.

6. Sears, Roebuck and Co. Fall 1900 Catalog reprint. This one is completely for fun! In 1970, they reprinted a miniature version of the catalog from 1900, and it's absolutely fascinating. The print is very small, but my curiosity makes me read every word. From spices and soap to clothes and tools, it lists prices, colors and sizes in its detailed descriptions. You could even buy your tombstone for $9.98. I'm reading it page by page until my eyes go crossed.

7. Girl Meets Change: Truth To Carry You Through Life's Transitions. This is the only book on my stack right now that's brand new. Kristen Strong is an amazing blogger (chasingblueskies.net) whom I have been following for ages. I've been able to relate to her stories about life as a military wife and Christian woman, and now she has a book about the truths that carry you through life's transitions. It's so full of Scriptural truths and honest emotion that it's terribly difficult to put down. If you'd like to pre-order this amazing book, look here.

Enough writing. More reading.
I love books.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

I especially enjoy recipes that use up pantry ingredients. You know, those staples that you almost always have one hand. There's nothing more frustrating than finding a great recipe and having to run to the store because it calls for something out of the ordinary.

That's why I love these special oatmeal muffins. You probably have everything you need to make them right this minute in your pantry - go check!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk (I used almond)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups apples, diced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.

3. Add the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

4. Fold in the diced apples.

5. Fill muffin tin 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chalk + Stencil = Beautiful!

 While digging through a drawer in the craft room, I came across a large container of chalks. I never found the other things I was looking for, but the colors showing through the lid sure got me thinking. I had to sit down and play for a while to get some of my chalky ideas on paper.


Most paper crafters have chalk in their collections but hardly ever use them. If you pair them with stencils, you can have a variety of patterns and shapes at your disposal.


A variety of colors can help you create your own background, coordinating specifically with the paper and embellishments you have on hand. Here is created a primary colored background paper for a birthday card. To make the chalk smudge-proof, just spray it lightly with hair spray.


You can use the same technique with a smaller stencil for a border. Here is chose the smallest circle I could find.



And it became the fall border I wanted for this encouragement card. I stamped the leaves in black so the color from the chalks would show through.


For something completely different, use your template to cut out a shape, then chalk around the edges.


When you move the shape away, you'll have a clean negative space to stamp or write in.

The fall card shown here, along with many other paper crafts and wood gifts, can be found in our Etsy shop. Come visit today - you'll find lots of great ideas and maybe even a gift or two.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Sketch

Pick your favorite patterned paper and get ready for some fun with this week's sketch! With a small sentiment area and just a couple of embellishments, you can really showcase a beautiful set of papers.

Double mat the background using a solid color and your perfectly coordinated pattern. Triple mat with a coordinating solid if you like - the more layers, the merrier, I always say.

The area with your small sentiment starts with a matted strip in a coordinating solid color and a more muted pattern. Then add two embellishments on the corner and you're all set!
For my card, I started with a jeweled, textured card stock and matted one of my favorite fall patterned papers on top of it. Both of them are ink-distressed.

Then I matted a second pattern onto a lighter colored card stock so it would stand out against the busy background pattern. This is the secret to mixing patterns - contrasting colors and making sure they don't overshadow each other.

The phrase is hand-stamped and accented with two gold gems. The paper flowers are attached to the strip with jeweled brads.

This card, along with many other paper crafts and wood gifts, is available in our Etsy shop. Come visit today for more great ideas and a gift idea or two.