Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Rock to Shelter Me - and You Too

I spent a very busy day in the ER today.  I'm sitting in the recliner - exhausted!  It is often impossible to leave my work "at work".  As I see so much hurt out there, I often experience a huge range of emotions - everything from compassion to anger to frustration.  That's part of the job that I love and it makes up part of who I am.  I felt those things today as is usual for me.

However, getting home I continued to see the deep hurts that abound.  As much of the West that I love continues to burn, so many more are hurting.  I heard that Camp Grace is gone along with the home of a dear pastor and his wife.  The Flying W Wranglers are meeting in Colorado tomorrow to encourage the victims of the Colorado fires while they have lost so much themselves.

I read of grandparents who recently found that their 18 month old grandchild has stage 3 cancer.  These grandparents have lost a son as well as a grandson and still remain faithful to serve the God they love.

I have spent time texting a dear one who is afraid and hurting - reminding him to turn to His God.  I have also heard from a friend who is fearful for the life of a missing family member while also dealing with other difficult issues.

The prayer list continues to grow - and not with little things.  Deep heartaches and pain are everywhere.  The ache in my heart for these loved ones also grows and can become overwhelming, until I remember this:

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from my enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings"
Psalm 61:2-4 (NKJV)

How about you?  Do you know the Rock?  He wants you to trust Him to be your Savior first of all.  He then stands with arms spread wide to shelter you.  Won't you trust Him today?

Red, White, & Blue Flower Vases

I trust you are having a great day.  This little vase was inspired by Amy at Love To Crop.  Her beautiful sunshine yellow vase can be found by clicking here.  Thanks for the inspiration Amy.  I knew I had to make these for the 4th of July.  I love decorating for the seasons.  I think next year that I will get them out around Memorial Day and leave them through July.  I chose artificial daisies so the water doesn't get spilled from the naughty cat getting on the table (just ask me how I learned this lesson).

I found these round place mats at Walmart.  I only use tablecloths or place mats for very special occasions, but I almost always have a table runner.  I decided to use the place mats for a runner.  I like the effect.

You will find complete directions on the video.  Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to check back soon for more projects and ideas.

I am linking this project to the following challenges:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Updates, New Feature, and More

Good Morning Friends!  I hope you are all having a great day.  Please remember to keep praying for the firefighters fighting all those fires in the West.  There are so many fires and many people are hurting from the loss of their homes.  I heard from my family last night that a town near them had evacuations.  My dad, 2 brothers, and sister-in-law were helping move 4-H livestock.  PLEASE KEEP PRAYING!  The West needs rain!  Fires are also raging in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.

I know this has been a post heavy day, so if this is the first post you're seeing, please scroll down because I have two others today.  The post before this one is asking for your help in identifying a stamp set that I have had for years.  I don't know who made them and I'm hoping that one of you will.  Click here to go directly to that post. 

The post prior to that is the first post of a new feature I have added to the blog.  You can quickly link to that one by clicking here.  I am really hoping for feedback from you for this feature.  I have created a page tab at the top of the blog where these posts will all be listed as well.

I have been very busy with projects lately.  As I type, there are 2 videos uploading to YouTube and 2 that have already uploaded.  You won't be able to see them until I post them here though.  They will begin posting tomorrow.  I will also have a new meal posted next week.  The meal is cooked and the photos are taken.  My schedule recently changed from swing shift to day shift and I'm loving it!  I have more time and energy to craft and blog.  Now I'm off to clean up my porch and get some work done.  I trust you have a great day and that you remember that:

"This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it!"
Psalm 118:24

I Need Help Identifying These Stamps!

I have a quick video today showing a set of stamps that I need help identifying.  Can you help?  Have you seen these before?

I would love to hear if you recognize them.  Thanks in advance!

How Do I.... Take Care of my Cricut Mats?

Good morning friends.  Today I am starting a brand new feature on my blog.  It's called "How do I?..."  This is a place where I will show you how I do something and ask for your feed back.  It is a place where I hope we can learn from each other.  If you have a question you would like featured please feel free to contact me through my profile on the homepage.  Please remember that any tips posted here are just ideas.  You try them at your own risk, so please use common sense when trying other people's ideas.  Now to today's question:

How Do I Take Care of my Cricut Mats?

I find Cricut mats challenging.  We all know that as paper builds up on them, they lose their stickiness and cuts are messed up.  We also know that they can be pricy.   So how do we prolong their life?

I saw a few tips on YouTube a long time ago when I first began having this problem.  I have tried several things and still don't have the answers.  I usually clean my mats every few uses with baby wipes.  That helps a bit, but the problem is that the wipes leave behind little fibers that you may not be able to see.  It seems to be a helpful quick fix, but it is not permanent.  When they have really been scrubbed down, I then go over the mat with a Zig 2-way pen and let it dry overnight.  This makes the mat sticky again.  However, I recently did this and ended up with nice sticky mats that still had a build-up on them.  Apparently, I had not cleaned them well enough and my wipes had left fibers.

After cleaning one of my mats with baby wipes last night, this is what it still looked like:

It's not a great photo, but the next one tells the story.  I decided to grab my Stazon Stamp Cleaner (because that's the only kind I have) and I sprayed it.  I grabbed my Pampered Chef clay scraper (yes I use these things to scrape more than my stoneware pizza pans) and went to work.  This is what came off the mat:

Ewww (and remember that was after I had already scrubbed it with baby wipes)...

Voila and the finished mat:

Unfortunately, the pictures don't show a huge difference.  I can tell you that my mats are much stickier this morning though and I didn't add glue.  We will see if it needs it in the future, but for now, I'm leaving them as is.

So how do you take care of your mats?  Do you have a tip on prolonging their life?  We would love to hear how you do!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Colorado Home

Colorado is the land of my birth.  You can take the girl out of Colorado, but Colorado is still in the girl.  It is the land I will always consider home, though I haven't lived there in a very long time.  When I was 14, I had crossed eyes.  The local eye doctor really wasn't able to treat them, though he had tried.  I was blessed enough to be taken to one in Colorado Springs.  It took several trips back and forth from my little home town to complete treatment.  At that time, I stated that if I ever had to live in a big city, I would like it to be Colorado Springs.  Over the next few years, I would make a few trips there and would enjoy the scenery surrounding the area.

As my love and I prepared for marriage, he decided to move to Colorado Springs to seek a job.  We were married January 1, 1991 and spent the first 3 months of our marriage living there.  I loved it.  It was a great place to live.

Now much of this area is burning along with many other areas in the land of my birth.  It breaks my heart to see.  However, what breaks my heart even more than the beautiful land that is burning are the men and women who are hurting.  I have prayed many times today for the firefighters, for the people, and for rain.  I know that there are also fires raging in Wyoming and Utah.  Please remember these places in your prayers.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole/ Green Beans

Hello everyone.  I haven't made it into the craft space long enough to craft lately but I have done some cooking.  I found a new channel on YouTube called the Chuck Wagon Cowboy.  He has some interesting recipes and I printed a few to try.  Now I don't endorse everything on his channel, but tonight's dinner was delicious.

Now I will admit, it may not look like much in this picture, but it was delicious!  It can't be low calorie, but will make a good occasional treat.  You can find the recipe on YouTube by clicking here.  The recipe is in the comment section.  I think the jalapeno really adds to it.

When we were in South Carolina on vacation, we had some delicious green beans.  They were fresh and cooked in a pressure cooker.  They were finished off with a tiny bit of bacon grease.  Well I didn't have fresh beans and I don't have a pressure cooker, but I did have bacon grease.  Now before you panic, listen to how I made these tonight. I took one can of cut green beans and drained most of the water from the can.  I cooked it in the microwave for 2 minutes and then I added a VERY small amount of the bacon grease - probably around 1/4 teaspoon.  I then added a little salt and pepper and cooked it for 2 more minutes.  It was so good!

I actually made 2 of these casseroles and put the second one in the freezer.  Why fix just one meal when you can make 2 with just a little more effort?  My daughter left this morning for church camp where she will be on staff for all of July except for the 1 week she will be a camper.  I need to have things in the freezer to go to.  I just hope it is as good from frozen as it was fresh.

Thanks for stopping by and have a good day.  I hope to have some fun projects soon.  I have alot of projects with some great ideas!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hoot-errific Bird-Day Card

I have a fun card today for you that I made for the final card exchange club of the season.  It has been so fun to see the cards come in each month over the last 2 cycles of the club.  I'm looking forward to starting again in the fall.  Its also been nice to receive a great variety of cards each month.  Thank you Crystal for arranging this.  Now on to this month's card:

Isn't this card fun?  I used Create-a-Critter to cut this little owl at 3".  I used papers from Scrapbook Warehouse, DCWV, Coordinations (Tim Holtz Distress), and WeR Memory Keepers to make him.  The solid papers are also from the Tim Holtz Distress paper pad from Coordinations and the base from PaperTrey Inc.

The little printed trim piece on the inside of the card and the number strip on the outside of the card were cut from the 6X6 "Fine and Dandy" paper pad fro My Mind's Eye.  I combined stamps from "Owly Hoo " and "Splashtastic Summer" from K. Andrew Designs and used Peeled Paint Distress Ink to stamp the Bird-day message.

The video has all the sizes listed as well as a more thorough explanation of the supplies used.  Thanks for watching and have a great day!

I am entering this in the following challenges:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coffee Time at Getting Cricky & Ramblings

Hello everyone.  This is a different kind of post for me.  I haven't spent much crafty time lately.  I know I posted a few projects earlier in the month but they were actually projects that I completed by June 2nd and just spread them out.  Want to know why?  I was on vacation!  Woo Hoo.  My husband's nephew married a beautiful young lady so we flew to South Carolina to share their special day.  We decided that we were going to take a few extra days with just the 4 of us so we drove over to North Myrtle Beach and had a great little vacation.  Despite the fact that we were near the beach, we only spent a couple of hours actually at the beach.  We had a great time!

Here was my attempt at body boarding.  It was so fun (minus the mouth and nose full of water).

My son had researched the area prior to vacation and decided he wanted to take a ride on the Sky Wheel - a 200 foot Ferris wheel.  This is my husband and I inside our little gondola.  It was so beautiful.  We spent time playing miniature golf, sleeping, shopping, sleeping, reading a book as a family, sleeping, and enjoying the local cuisine.  We also went to the Ripley's 5-D theater where it felt like you were on a roller coaster and you felt water and snow spraying you.  I don't do roller coasters!  I would have been in trouble if I hadn't been able to remind myself that we weren't really flying through the air and falling off cliffs.  Did I mention we also spent time sleeping?  I think I'm almost caught up lol.  The wedding was beautiful!  We are so happy to welcome Katie to the family.  We also spent time at the Bob Jones bookstore and Majesty Music while in Greenville.

We have now been home since last Tuesday night.  I have worked a couple of shifts already and am scheduled to work 6 of the next 8 days.  Hopefully I will have some time to craft after that!

Kristal at Getting Cricky is challenging people to use re-usable coffee cups.  You can see her challenge by clicking here.  Here is my picture with my favorite to go mug.  I use it mostly on Sunday.  We have coffee time between Sunday School and AM Worship.  I like to take my own in this mug instead of grabbing it then.

I didn't put a picture of my most frequently used re-usable mug though.  That's because it is at work waiting for me to fill it tomorrow.  I bet you know the kind of mug I'm talking about.  It is one of those big mugs that you get when you have to stay in the hospital and they keep it filled with water.  I use it almost every shift.  When I'm good I fill it with water and my favorite purple Mio.  When I'm not so good (which is more often), I walk down to the cafeteria and fill it with icy and delicious Diet Coke.  It's perfect for those 12 hour + shifts!

I hope you all are staying well hydrated this Summer.  Have a great day.  I hope to be back with a project soon, but it may be several days.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Military Appreciation Envelope

A couple of days ago, I showed you a military appreciation card.  In that post, I mentioned to be on the lookout for the matching envelope.  Here it is.

This was super easy to do.  I could really add detail since I hand these cards out personally and don't mail them.

Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Fired Brick and Faded Jeans
Yellow Cardstock from my stash
K. Andrew Designs - :Freedom Isn't Free stamp set
Cricut - Stand and Salute

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Military Appreciation Card

Freedom is so often taken for granted.  We often fail to take a moment to show those who are working to protect our freedom our appreciation.  These cards were designed to do just that.

I try to tuck a little Starbucks Gift Card into these and carry them in my purse.  That way when I come across a member of the military I can give them a little thank you.  Its not very big, but it is one way that my family can show our appreciation to those who are serving our country.  Now I'm not saying this as a pat on the back.  I just want to remind you that EVERYONE - even someone who doesn't make cards can do something to thank members of our military.  I often take the cards I make to work to show my friends.  I took a couple of these and when I opened them up later, one of my co-workers had tucked a $5 bill inside.  It was her way of thanking our military as well.  I pray that the Lord will have me give these to the person who needs it most when I am handing them out.

The details on how I made this card are on the video.  I used red and yellow cardstock from my stash for the card base and Cricut cuts.  All of the patterned papers were taken from the Americana Matstack from K & Company.  The images were cut from the Stand and Salute Cartridge and the sentiments were stamped with Fired Brick Distress in using the "Freedom isn't Free" stamp set from K. Andrew Designs.  Distressing was done with Fired Brick and Faded Jeans Distress inks.

Thanks for watching and check back soon for the envelope that I altered for these cards.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Animal Card Series - Some Bunny Loves You

This is the final card in the series.  I really hope you have enjoyed the series.  Did you have a favorite?  Which one?  I'm not sure which card was my favorite.  I had fun making the whole series.  I hope that the person that receives the full 8 card series as well as the 3 who received the 4 card series (the first 4 published and the box) enjoy them.

I believe that I used Vintage Cream cardstock from PaperTrey Ink for the base and the sentiment box.  The brown on the bunny is from a piece of cardstock that was from a pack that I picked up at a Scrapbooking Expo because I didn't have a scrap large enough.  I used scraps from my scrap stack for everything else.  The sentiment was stamped in Gathered Twigs Distress ink using the "All About Animals" set from K. Andrew Designs.  I rounded the corners of the sentiment box with my Corner Chomper from We-R-Memory Keepers.  A tiny bow is made from twine from The Twinery.

I used more scrap pieces to add fun detail to the inside of the card.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and for watching the video.  Check back soon for some more projects.  I have 2 that will be posting in the next few days.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Animal Card Series - Have A Mice Day

I used the LeCreme Matstack from DCWV for the patterned paper and most of the other papers were from my stash.  I did pull out a piece of grey textured paper from the Paper Company for the mouse because I couldn't find a scrap big enough.  I believe that the red base came from the Soda Pop pack from Recollections but can't be 100% sure.

Of Mice and Lil' Men by K. Andrew Designs had the perfect sentiment for this cute card.  Scripture Sayings provided the sentiment on the inside.  The little mouse was cut from the Create-A-Critter Cricut cartridge at 3.5".

Thanks for stopping by today and watching the video.

Animal Card Series - You Quack Me Up

I don't have a lot of time to post this, so you will have to get the information from the video.  The sentiment comes from "All About Animals" from K. Andrew Designs.  The cute little duck is from the Animal Kingdom Cricut Cartridge.

 Want to know what I used for his "feathers"?  Be sure to check out the video.

Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beach Party

I know, I still haven't finished the Animal Series, but I will get to it.  I really wanted to show you this fun project first.  This is a project that I have been planning to do for a couple of weeks now.  I wanted to post it now to list in a couple of challenges:

I think these little books would make a perfect Beach Party decoration, though that isn't what I plan to do with them.  You could give them away as party favors for your guests or you could even use them for a guest book, autograph book, photo book, or combination of the 3.  Sound like fun?  They are so simple to make and so versatile.  Add stamps from K. Andrew Designs and you have a great little book.  I used Splashtastic Summer, but I see that Kristal is releasing 2 other summer stamp sets that would also be perfect for this. I'm looking forward to getting these someday!

So how did I do it?  First I needed to purchase some books.  I chose 2 different types of notebooks at my local Walmart.  This first one a simple spiral bound book with a pocket in the front.  It is just large enough that I should be able to put a 4X6 photo in it.  The second book is a little 3X5" book that cost only $1.

I used Echo Park's "Paradise Beach" 6X6 paper pad.  I thought is was perfect for my project.  I printed the sentiments on Vintage Cream cardstock from PaperTrey Ink and my computer.  I used Deckled Mega Rectangles Large from Spellbinders to cut them out.  I don't remember which font that I used.  Honeydew and Caribbean twine from the Twinery add interest to the book.  I inked around the edges with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.

The pockets on the pocket pages were also decorated with various papers from the pack.  This provides an extra couple of places to tuck memorabilia.

On the inside, I stamped "Here comes the Sun" and "Lazy Days" using Frayed Burlap and Antique Linen Distress Inks.  They are light and stamped randomly so that I can add plenty of good stuff in the book.  I will probably add more stamps as I fell the book.  I just wanted to start and then add appropriate stamps.

This is another example of a quick and easy project with so many potential uses.  I made 4 of these little books in just a couple of hours.   I can't wait to fill my little book with summer delights!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hats Off to You

If you are looking for the next installment of the Animal Card Series, it will be back soon.  I wanted to post this one today.  The Animal cards will be back in a day or two.  There are 3 more in the set to go!

I must admit that of all the graduation cards I have ever made that these are my favorite.  I got the idea from a Mojo Monday sketch several weeks ago, but didn't end up following the sketch after all.  The video explains more.  It also includes the the measurements for the card.

Stamps - "Scripture Sayings" and "Fashionable Friends" from K. Andrew Designs
Everyday Paper Dolls Cricut cartridge
Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment Punch
Paper - Black from my stash, Red from Recollections, "Graduation" from Hot Off the Press, White from the scrap stash
Ink - Black Excelsior, Fired Brick Distress Ink

I hope you enjoy the video.  Have a great day!

I am linking this project to the following challenge