Deeper Still

A few weeks back I was contacted by a woman at our church to make a few cards for the ministry she directs for a retreat that the ministry will be holding later this month.

I knew I would say yes. Because I know the ministry she serves with is an important one. One that I believe in strongly. One that I think can impact hurting women in a very positive way and bring healing to wounded hearts.

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The ministry I am talking about is called Deeper Still. In their own words, Deeper Still’s mission is to bring healing and lasting freedom to abortion wounded hearts.

You can learn more about their ministry by visiting their website. I believe the ministry of Deeper Still, and others like it, are vital in our society today. I was honored to be asked to participate in this way.

I knew the cards I made would be given to each woman attending the retreat at three different times throughout the retreat. I really wanted the cards to be feminine, pretty, and to be uplifting to the retreat attendees.

Here are the three cards I came up with.

IMG_0211-2I wanted the women to know that they are beautiful. That God cares deeply for them. The butterfly, to me, also signifies renewal and restoration.

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I wanted these cards to be bright and cheery. Something that felt springlike and happy. I chose to use my favorite shade of light blue with a touch of teal and happy yellow. This color combo is one I never tire of. I hope it makes the women smile.

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This next one uses a more neutral color palette, but it still uses spring colors.

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I wanted the women to feel cherished. Because they are. They are deeply cherished by their Father who made them and loves them so much. No matter what the past looks like. No matter how they view themselves. I pray that each woman in attendance at the retreat would leave feeling deeply loved and cherished.

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I chose to use a leaf die to embellish this card. Again, the leaves speak of spring, of new life, new growth, and new possibilities. I also added sequins, because sequins are just little bits of happiness, in my opinion.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a photo of this card a while ago.

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This one was the first design I made. I dreamed it up after I found some really pretty paints at Target, and I really wanted to use them on one of these cards somehow. I brushed the paint onto some heavy card stock, then cut the flowers out of it with my Silhouette Cameo after it had dried. It ended up pretty much like I had envisioned, which made me happy.

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The sentiment technique kind of came about by accident. After I stamped the smaller sentiment the first time, I realized it was crooked. Instead of making a whole new card, I decided to just stamp the sentiment repeatedly. I really like how it turned out and think I like it much better this way than if it would have turned out like I planned the first time.

It looks like this card has two layers on the front, but it doesn’t. It has a layer of patterned paper on the inside of the card, which is showing through to the front on these photos.

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And here are all the cards all together.

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I love to package up my special orders into these fun polka dot bags I have on hand. To me they just look so fun and happy. I really hope my special order packages put a smile on people’s faces, even before they open them up.

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I added a stamped tag to each one to coordinate with the cards inside.

I really enjoyed making these cards for Deeper Still and the women who will be attending the retreat. I hope and pray that these cards can somehow be a source of encouragement and joy to the women who will be receiving them.

If you’d like to know more about Deeper Still, or feel like you would benefit from their ministry, I urge you to contact them. They are understanding, supportive, loving, and non-judgmental. I know some of them have experienced abortions in the past themselves, and have walked the path to healing. They know and understand where women are coming from. I know some of the women involved personally, and know them as loving and caring and Christ-like women who will provide love, support and understanding in a safe and nurturing environment.

Thank you for allowing me to share these very special projects with you today. I hope you have a wonderful week.

 

 

 

Gramercy Road layout

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Do you love the Gramercy Road line from Gossamer Blue like I do? It is such a beautiful collection. The colors and elements are geared more towards the fall season, but I think it can work beautifully with other seasons as well.

I really wanted to use this line for a page, but I didn’t have any fall themed photos to work on. So I decided I would make it work for a summer layout.

The pale pinks, blues and greens in this line work so beautifully for other seasons too. Even though some of the elements are fall themed, there are plenty of others that work for any occasion.

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I especially love the chipboard shapes and the ephemera that comes with this line. There are lots of fun phrases and icons to work with. Here I used a camera, some phrase die cuts, and s couple of the stamps from this collection.

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The Gramercy Road collection does come with a pink rose foil alphabet sticker set. But I chose to use a black sticker alphabet here. Here you can also see more of the chipboard shapes, a leaf die cut, a label sticker, and some of the fabulous enamel dots.

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More chipboard shapes and enamel dots.

I’m making it quick today. I’m off to shop for clothes for my two sons who will be away all week next week for a student convention. Every time I blink they are a few inches taller, it seems. Lord, help me. My wallet can’t take too much of this! Haha! Anyone who thinks parenting is a breeze must not ever have tried keeping teenage boys in clothes that fit! I am thankful, though, that my oldest has grown a pant size since last year. Finding size 27″ waist in the stores is virtually impossible.

Wish me luck!

 

 

Gossamer Blue April reveal- part 2

Have you gotten a chance to check out the latest kits from Gossamer Blue yet?

I have three more cards to share with you today that I made with the April kits.

You are loved card (Bits & Pieces kit):

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The I Am line from Simple Stories was a big part of the kits this month. I really like that line a lot. I combined a lot of the pieces from the I Am line on this card. The patterned papers are from the 6″x6″ pad that comes with the Bits & Pieces kit.

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Hello pretty card (Bits & Pieces kit and Main Kit):

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This Hello stamp is from Elle’s Studio from the Cienna Line. I love it! I wanted to showcase this fun stamp on one of my cards, so I chose to stamp it in several colors of ink for a fun gradient look.

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Brave card (Main Kit and Life Pages themed add-on): 

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This is a mixture of various elements from Crate Paper, Simple Stories, and Elle’s Studio lines. I love how they all worked together so well.

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See anything you like? Have you ordered your kits yet?

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Gossamer Blue April reveal- part 1

Hey guys!! Happy April Fool’s Day!

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? Or maybe you’re on high alert for the pranksters in your life who like to pull one over on you?

I’m not clever enough to come up with any good tricks. And I’ll most likely be staying home most of the day, so hopefully I won’t need to worry too much about any April Fool’s jokes being played on me.

But today’s the day to reveal some projects I’ve been making with the April kits from Gossamer Blue.

I loved this month’s kits. I really think they might have been my favorite so far. I made six cards and I’ll be sharing three of them here today with you.

Wonderful, amazing strong card (Main Kit only):

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I loved the little flower stamp that came with the Main Kit stamp set. I used it here, stamped over top of some watercolored strokes. I love the colors in these kits. So very me.

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The chipboard shapes in the main kit are some of my favorite. So many great shapes to use, like this heart. I think I just may use up the entire package of these!

 

Love You card (Main Kit only):

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Lovely layers of pretty papers on this card. Plus there’s that little flower stamp again.

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The ephemera package from the Main Kit is just lovely. So many beautiful pieces in there that it’s hard to decide which ones to use. There’s beautiful vellum pieces, tags, flowers, etc. Oftentimes I’ll use just a few pieces from an ephemera package, but in this one I loved each and every piece.

A Happy Little Note For you card (Life Pages kit only):

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The alphabet stickers that come in this month’s Life Pages kit are awesome. I love the size and color. They are perfect. I stamped a confetti effect using the dot stamp from the kit stamp set.

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I don’t know, I can’t really decide, but this card might be my favorite this month. But I haven’t decided yet.

What are your favorites from this month’s kits? Which kits do you plan to get?

I’ll be back tomorrow with part 2 of my kit cards reveal. See you then!

 

 

April Gossamer Blue sneak peeks

Hey there! Can you believe it’a almost April? Yeah, me either.

I have to tell you that I had the most fun creating projects with my April Gossamer blue kits. The kits are very suitable for spring, but they have enough color to use for lots of different occasions. I love the April kits a lot. A whole lot!

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I made six cards, but I seriously could have kept on going for a long time. I had other projects I needed to work on, but I’ll definitely be revisiting these kits again soon. I’m not putting them away for a while yet!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

One Little Word update

Now that we’re nearing the end of March and we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to give an update on my One Little Word, or word of the year, progress.

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If you’ve chosen a word for this year, are you still keeping it at the forefront of your mind? Or has it kind of slipped away in all the business of life? Maybe it was just a fun thing to do at the beginning of the year, because everybody was doing it. I know those things we plan and promise at the beginning of a new year have a tendency to slide to the background of our minds where they remain as a distant thought.

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I really didn’t want that to happen to me with my One Little Word project. After all, it seems like a silly waste of time and energy to come up with a word to define our year and serve as a guide or inspiration point if we’re never going to so much as give it a second thought once February rolls around. It’s pointless to do it just because everyone else is.

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But, as I said in my previous blog post, we’ve gone through a very busy and stressful season in our lives, and I felt like I was not able to focus on my word for the year (I chose the word Cultivate, for those of you who may not know). With my schedule stretching me to my limit, barely finding time to do everything i needed to, much less to do the things I wanted to. It was challenging enough to find the time to cultivate my relationship with the Lord. Almost impossible to cultivate any creative areas in my life. I felt like I was just hanging on.

IMG_0042But, the cool thing about creating an album like this for myself is that it gives me a place to record my thoughts about the cultivating process. And as I began to sit down and really think about the last few months I realized there indeed was some cultivating going on that I hadn’t really been aware of.

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In my Bible study I was learning about cultivating an ear that can hear the words of the Lord. Along with that comes cultivating an obedient heart. Because it’s not enough to have a listening ear. One must have an obedient heart to be willing to follow what the Lord tells us to do.

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Our Bible study is a study of the life of King David and how he had a heart after God’s own. It was good to dig deeper and take a closer look at the heart of David. By studying the Word of God and digging deeper into a man who loved the Lord so passionately I am also learning to cultivate a listening ear and an obedient heart.

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Not only was the Bible study a great way to grow in my walk with the Lord, but it has helped me to learn to know some other women better. Hearing their hearts and listening to them, learning from them, has developed a closer relationship with other women, some of which I hadn’t really known before. Cultivating relationships like that is definitely on my list of things to cultivate this year.

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So, looking back over the first few months of the year, when i thought to much cultivating has been going on, I realized I indeed was cultivating areas in my life. Specifically the following:

Cultivating faith: Through the Bible study and more in depth study of His Word, in praying over specific needs in our lives and watching God move and provide in those areas, in spending time in worship (even if it’s just during my time in the car), in choosing to allow God to work in my heart and make it more like His.

Cultivating friendships: I’ve had many opportunities to connect with beautiful, special friends over the last few months. Some fun days of spending time with girlfriends. But also, having a schedule that was full made it possible to interact with others more and get to know some wonderful women better than I did before. I feel blessed to have gotten the the chance to know them better. If my schedule would have been routine, I would have spent lots more time at home alone. That full schedule was a blessing in disguise when I look at how I was able to connect with others because of it.

Cultivating hospitality: In spite of my busy schedule, I was able to cultivate hospitality a time or two. I hope to be able to do that more as the weather turns warmer, but I was glad to look back and feel like it hadn’t been entirely neglected.

Cultivating trust: There were some opportunities in the past few months where we just had to learn to trust. That everything would work out. And if it didn’t, that God knew what He was doing. That He is good, no matter what.

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There are a few other ways I’ve found myself cultivating the other areas I’ve wanted to focus on, some in small ways. But I was encouraged to feel like all had not been lost. In looking back I felt I was able to see specific ways that the Lord has been working on me when i wasn’t really aware. Isn’t that often how it is?

I had to think that perhaps the cultivating process goes through seasons too, just like everything else in life. And sometimes we can’t control what season we are in. I’d like it to always be the season for cultivating my creativity, but maybe sometimes we need to put some things aside so that other areas can receive the attention they need.

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Maybe we won’t know what cultivating has been going on until sometime later. In the middle of a really tough time it may feel like there is no cultivating, just ugly weeds spring up all around us. It may look like our lives are being destroyed. But even in those season there is an opportunity for cultivation. Faith, hope, courage, trust, dependence on the Lord, humility, patience. The tough times are prime times for cultivating those kinds of things in our lives. It’s important to remain focused on God and allow Him to work in us, no matter what the season.

Thanks for joining me today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what God has been doing in your life. Or your progress on your One Little Word and how it has impacted you so far this year. Or anything else you’d like to share or any questions you may have about this post. I love reading your comments and hearing from my readers!

 

Watercolor stripes background


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Hello, friends! I’m glad to be here with you on a Monday again, for a change. I realize my blogging has been sporadic lately. I’m past apologizing for that. While I’d love to spend more time crafting and blogging, I am kept very busy with my family these days.

My kids are at very active stages of their lives. One is about to turn 16 in just a few weeks! I am kept hustling, trying to manage schedules, playing chauffeur, cooking enough food to keep their tummies full (which is a monumental task these days, considering teenage boys are almost always hungry). There are more things on our schedule, more laundry to do, more dishes to wash, more food to cook and more groceries to buy. There are bigger problems to address these days than there were when they were little. These are young people trying to figure their way around this big world. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

But it’s a season. Just a season. And I have to constantly remind myself of that. The day will come when I will have more time to devote to the things I want to do. But for now, I often have a teenage boy in my kitchen late at night when all I want to do is go to bed. But he’s looking for food and someone to listen to the thing he finds interesting at the moment. And I would be unwise to shut him out.

So anyway….life is full, and busy, and good. We just came through an extremely hectic season that stretched from before Christmas to now. Our schedules were.so.full. Our weekends left little time to relax. I felt stretched in so many ways, barely able to breathe. But it has lifted a little, some things have come to an end for the time being,  and I feel like maybe now I can focus on all the winter projects that are still left undone and catch up on some of my craft projects. Deep breaths!

OK, about the card. I made this card for Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking magazine’s special issue of Card Creations Volume 13. However, it never got to be in print because the magazine closed down before that issue went to press. Amanda Coleman and I collaborated on a submission project where we designed cards together. I based this card off of a card she made. We originally planned to post our cards on the same day, but that hasn’t worked out. I found this card stuck inside a drawer, all forgotten, and figured I should just pull it out and share it with you.

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I know this card is more fitting for the fall season, which is about when the issue would have been out on the shelves, I think. But the idea is a fun one, and it’s easy enough to change it to suit your needs. Amanda’s card featured a background made from grey and white striped patterned paper. I chose to mimic that by creating watercolored stripes instead. All you need is a wide brush to use for the stripes, and keep the stripes as equally distanced apart as you can. The beauty of watercoloring them is that if it’s not perfect it doesn’t matter.

I absolutely loved how the watercolor stripes turned out, and I hope to use this idea on a future project. The background gives the card enough interest so that i felt I could keep the embellishments at a minimum.

I hope you like the watercolored stripes background idea. It’s a great way to create a custom background for your projects. You could change the color of the paint, the width or direction of the stripes, or even create a plaid background by pairing multiple stripes in different colors, widths and directions. The possibilities are endless.

Have fun!