Sunday, February 22, 2009

Penny Lane "Free Bird" by MME

"Free Bird" arrived at the LSS on my last day working there and I was thrilled to snag it, and all the new collections by My Mind's Eye! The "Free Bird" collection took me on an immediate flashback to highschool dances in the late '70s - seems every dance closed with "Freebird" by Lynard Skynard. Anyone else share this HS memory?

I immediately set out to create a layout using the Free Bird collection - starting on Monday, and not finishing until Saturday. With my new job I found only a bit of time to scrap this past week, but I plan to remedy that somehow. Inspired by the die-cut sentiment “every day deserves celebration” I immediately had thoughts of the annual birding day Jesse and I take each October to celebrate our anniversary.

For the look on the Magistical Memories “Happy Tree” I painted a base coat of gecko green, and while the paint was wet added drops of alcohol ink, which fanned out into circles -the wet paint prevented them from spreading out too much.

To make the "brad" I punched a bird shape from the PP, glued it to a chipboard circle and edged with brown marker and topped with dimensional glaze. The circle pattern on the tree ties in with the PP design to the right.

For the Magistical Memories “Bird” by Toni Rivera, part of the NEW release, I applied a base coat of acrylic to it and put a top coat of Duncan iridescent paint over the top - the shimmer does not show so well in the photo. I have been on a kick lately of using our parrot's molted feathers on my LOs vs. putting them in the trash. Just so happens these layered green feathers match the green in the paper perfectly. (LOL)

So, back to the song lyrics...anyone swaying to the music in their head yet? I actually had to look up the lyrics - it's been too long! This phrase, I thought, was interesting:
"... cause Im as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I cant change."

Well, how ill-worded is that? Because I KNOW from personal experience that a person CAN CHANGE with the Lord's help. I've not always trodden the straight and narrow path, but thankfully, because of God's grace and forgiveness, I have been set FREE as a bird to live a new life in Christ. Life is all about the choices we make. We can make all the excuses in the world and claim that we cannot change who we are, but we can with God's help, and sometimes that is the ONLY way we can be changed. If there is something about yourself, an activity or habit that you are not proud of, ask God to set you free from the darkness and He will be by your side. There is no greater feeling than to feel "free as a bird" when your old life/sin dies and you become new again in the Spirit! God bless!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Day on the New Job!

I haven't had a chance to email everyone so thought I would post a job update here first. My first day on the new job went well, although somewhat uninteresting. The gal at St Louis HQ had written down that I start on Weds. so I was not yet entered in the system to have access. I did lots of drawer cleaning (as in sort small and large paperclips) LOL, dusted nuks and crannies on my paper trays - that kind of stuff. While doing all this I rather realized where Kyle gets that OCD from...(LOL)

Once I have access tomorrow I can begin my on-line training. Keith (the Financial Advisor I work with) sent me home at 3. We chatted earlier in the morning and it turns out I did not have to cancel the every other Friday morning bible study group I led at the coffeehouse. I met with some gals from 8:30-9:30 - and he said I could have just come in later on those Fridays. Go figure... not paid of course, but the fact that he was that flexible. I already rescheduled the group to a Thursday evening, but will still meet our daycare person/one of my very good friends, probably once a month as Friday is the only day she doesn't watch kids and was available.

I suspect I am going to love my job and it is going to be one of the best things that has happened to me - good pay, excellent benefits, understanding and flexible boss, kids can come hang out and visit me... totally loved being able to "run" home to snag a book to read when it was obvious the day was going to be slow. I think this is my payback for being very tolerant and enduring the less desireable aspects of my last two jobs. (LOL)

No art to share today - just wanted to post before going to bed. The greatest adjustment may be the less than an hour on the home PC each day. Wow!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Digi Share Time

Woo hoo! Managed to whip out two digi layouts this evening to complete my February CT assignments for Kjoi Studios. I used Lori Imel's – Be in Prayer Collection from Kjoi Studio, as well as a few extra digi elements from Kjoi and Faithsisters designers.

It feels good to have this off my to do list, as I am about ready to BURST forth into a new career on Tuesday as an Edward Jones Branch Office Administrator. I am excited to begin yet another new career, excited to meet new people, and EXCITED to be home with my family on weeknights and weekends!

Here is another layout featuring a scene from a favorite park Jesse and I like to visit on our anniversary day out in October. Each year we take a day off to celebrate our anniversary while the kids are in school. If it is nice we go hiking and enjoy the fall views. Brigham Park is almost always a stop. From a bench, just beyond these trees, we typically can watch bluebirds flitting around on a farm field fence below. It is also a great place to lay on the ground and try to catch that leaf falling in mid air on the camera...have not yet been successful, but someday! (LOL)

Have you created a layout of your favorite place to go, either alone or with a friend or family member? I would love to see it - please share a link in the comment section below.

Tomorrow is President's Day. I am off as the office is closed on this holiday. I am thrilled not to have to go into Madison to shop for pants for our growing boy. My good friend Brenda dropped off a large bag of pants this evening containing size 14 slim, or adjustable, pants and jeans! What a help!! A trip to the chiropractor in early morning to ensure my back is up to my new job (sitting at a desk can really take a toll if I am not conscience of posture) - a couple of spasms this past week has me wanting to nip things in the bud as I don't feel I can take time off for appointments once at a new job.

I hope to get a lot accomplished on Monday, and need to gather up my papers and such to report to work Tuesday. I also have a lot of cardstock scraps to file and ensure my workspace is cleared off. I need to try to do a better job of cleaning as I go so that my space is ready for creating when I have a moment of time.

Lincoln is still my favorite president of all time. The more I learn about the man the more I wish he were president right now. (LOL) Happy President's Day - and remember to find joy in the journey!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Enough....Unconventional...Eye Candy

What do those three words have in common? Nothing, other than they are used somewhere in this blog post. (LOL)

Today's shared creation was inspired by a song called "Enough", which I hope you will listen to while reading this blog. (Please click on the Chris Tomlin track #2 in the right sidebar.) It is a powerful song to remind us that through our trials and tribulations, through times of despair and feelings of hopelessness, God is ENOUGH, and He will provide for our needs.

I created this layout for the Journaling Contest at ACOT. So, of course I have to share the journaling with you:
On January 16th my position at the store was eliminated due to declining sales. The owner had no other option, but to eliminate management from the payroll; I actually felt worse for her than myself. I had a sense of peace, and thought, “if this is happening God must have a reason - He is in control.”
The second week into my job search Jesse and I sat down to make out a grocery list. We discussed foods that could make a meal to last days. We dug deep into the pantry and cupboards to see what we had that could stretch the grocery dollar - we had to give serious thought on how to make ends meet should we have to make it on one income. The next day we sang "Enough" during worship, and the words spoke to my heart. Yes, our food might become rationed, we might end up eating PBJs, but no matter - God is more than ENOUGH and He satisfies every need. “Enough” is about TRUST, and the lyrics were a reminder to trust the Provider through all trials. As I sang, much of it through tears, I felt so blessed to feel and know God's presence in my life. He is and will be more than...

The layout itself is a hybrid. I used Photoshop to add grunge overlays to the photo and mat. The overlay, designed by Kara Jones at Kjoi Studios, had a yellow overlay placed on top, and the design itself was flipped to create a torn/distressed frame around the photo. I also used the original black grunge overlay to add texture to the photo mat and carry over onto the photo. The stressed image is a reflection of the stressed time that this layout represents.

I had actually been considering doing this layout in grays and black to reflect the feelings of the journaling, and adding a bright splash of color to represent the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ. When Cath Evaldson issued a challenge this past week "dreaming in gray and yellow", it was all I needed to drop everything and get this layout created, which has been on my mind for several weeks.

There is symbolism throughout this layout.

The bird which reminds me of the passage in Matthew 6 where God tells us not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. He feeds the birds of the air, and are we not more important than they? I even added a feather, courtesy of our lovebird, as a reminder of the passage where God knows the number of hairs on our head, and He keeps His eye on the sparrow.

There is a family of four created with Magistical Memories Potty People, representing four mouths to feed.

I rummaged through our cupboards, much like we did a few weeks ago, seeking box labels sporting yellow, and a bread bag tag in yellow to date the layout. Ohter unconventional items include a grocery receipt and expired coupon.

And just in case you don't have ENOUGH stuff...check out Melissa's blog. She is sharing great eye candy made with new DCWV and has a great giveaway. Be sure to check in by Feb. 19th for a chance to win!

In these hard economic times I know we are all thinking twice about using our stash. This layout sports some pretty old papers. Note the KI Memories from several years ago, Scenic Route that is so old I don't even know when Scenic Route paper ever looked like that (the sun design paper), and some scraps of the newer Basic Grey release from last year. If times are tough and you cannot afford new scrap supplies...look through your stash. You will be amazed how you can make the old look fresh and new again by mixing and cutting it up!

Enjoy the journey...and remember that God is enough for every thirst, every need, He satisfies...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yellow, Gray and what...?

I think I am almost out of yellow and gray in my stash. (LOL) Cath Evaldson posted a FB challenge to use yellow and gray for a project, so I pulled out everything I could find in that scheme - not a whole lot in my stash.

However, the first LO I created is primarily yellow and gray with a few accents of red. I created it for the ACOT Journaling Contest, but once done I really liked it - it uses unconventional project and is really about the times we are living in. So rather than share it on line I decided to send it to Memory Makers Skylimit open submission - and of course they only accept unseen work. Of course I am:

But if one doesn't dream life would be dull, right? Seriously, if MM likes it they have to respond in 48 hrs as I am for sure posting it to ACOT, and I already submitted it to some other magazines as well. Fat chance anyone will bite on it, which means I can share with all of you soon.

As soon as I finished Cath's challenge a similar color scheme challenge was posted at Scrap4Life - using yellow, gray and pink. Whoa...I still had product out and dug a little deeper into my Basic Grey stash. How ancient is some of the papers in "Dream Big" eh? I stayed up WAY too late - 1 a.m. to get this challenge done. The hardest part of my new job will be changing my late night scrapping habit. I love to scrap in the quiet of the night, and never feel tired as long as the mojo is flowing. BUT I will need to be sharp at my new job so I can learn, thus I think I will be going through creative withdrawal. I don't dare start a project at 9 pm as time just flies away unnoticed when I am creating.

I also made to cute cards with the yellow and gray combo - will save them for tomorrow so you less to read today, and I have something to post tomorrow. Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life is full of IFs

Another not so new layout, but a favorite still and worth sharing this time of year. Inspired by the MetLife commercials while watching Charlie Brown specials - lIFe is full of IFs - what if this and what if that...

Life is full of choices. What if I had done this or taken up that job offer...where would I be today... These are questions one might ask oneself, and the journaling in this layout reflects upon the "what IFs" in my life. I do believe everything happens for a reason, and as I look back I can see how God has orchestrated my life and brought me to where I am today.

What are the IFs in your life? I spend little time wondering what and where I would be now IF I had taken a job offer upon graduating from college that would have been filled with travel and excitement. It is in my past and a mute point...all I know is what really matters is where I am at, the people I love, and knowing God.

I will say I have no regrets in working 6 short months at the Scrapbook Superstore. I have met wonderful people... and although our paths may be parting I am sure we will be brought back together again by our love for papercrafting...I have no doubt I will see you in and amongst the paper aisles! (LOL)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sweet Talks

Wow -feel like the weekend was too short! I have two more nights later this coming week to work at the LSS. Here are some key things I learned working in retail these past 6 months.
- DO be kind to the person behind the counter, they are doing their best.
- If a cashier doesn't make eye contact or chat, maybe they have a really bad cold or are not feeling well, but had no choice but to show up for work - give them the benefit of doubt
- DO NOT cruise into the store minutes before closing and stay past closing - retail workers have families, too - and many have little ones who are trying to stay awake until mommy or daddy comes home
- If you try on clothes, don't leave a changing stall full of unhung clothing - how would you like to be the person who has to clean up after one person after another?
- If you shop with your small child, put them in a shopping cart in order to keep tabs on them, and prevent them from pulling items off the shelf - children can injure themselves easily
- If you have been given the wrong change and know it - be honest (remember God sees everything)
- If you really like your store and want it to remain in business, do not shoplift. Likely products most often shoplifted will no longer be carried in the store, and if it becomes too bad the store may just have to close. NEVER think "I am the only person doing it" - shoplifting is really a common thing - which is shocking (did I mention God sees everything?)

I have also learned that:
- people who love to papercraft are a delight to work with and a delight to serve as they enter the store.
- nothing is better than inspiring the mojo of others and helping them come up with a project plan
- Talking about scrapbooking...what could be better?

Today's layout is not new (featuring Around the Block papers) - but as we near Valentine's I am reflecting on things I love most. For me, chatting with my daughter is high on my list. This layout is about enjoying the conversations I have with my daughter, in this case as her chaperone from pre-school. Transporting kids to and from activities is a great time to talk, and connect as a parent. I treasure these conversations, and hope to have many more "sweet talks" with my daughter. Enjoy your journey - even if it is in large part spent on the road as a chaperone. Talk to those sharing the ride, and if you are alone, "turn up the music" and learn how to live.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How are you all today? I just have to say that I saw the Piggy Tales tote bag at the LSS - the store owner got one at CHA - and it is in the same color combo as the Itsy Bitsy Spider line - I LOVE that green! So, I just wanted you to know.... in case you are interested in participating in the Piggy Tales "Bag A Friend" promotion.

Oh, and I will have to say again how VERY detailed the instructions are for the March kit. I used to make a living doing that kind of thing... so I would like to think a complete novice can follow my March kit instructions and recreate the projects with little effort. Above is a sneak peek - a frugal project using a peanut butter jar!

Here are details about the "Bag-A-Friend" promo direct from the Piggy Tales blog:

As usual, you had some great suggestions for our promo, so we are going with it!! We have tweaked our promo just a bit as we SpRead the loVe in FebRuary! Piggy Tales is excited to announce that we will have our first ever "Bag-a-Friend" event for our PTA (Piggy Tales Academy) kit club members! We have gotten such amazing feedback from our members about how much they love our kits, designed by well published guest designers each month, and the generous amounts of products/projects- all for $24.99 a month! We love hearing that you think that this is the best kit club eVer SOOOO we thought it would be fun to spread that love around! Invite your friends to become a PTA member from now until Valentine's Day and we will send you one of Piggy Tales fabulous new canvas 15 x15 crop bags with your March kit!! ..And that is not all- we are gonna spread a little more love too! Your bag will be stuffed with product making your total gift worth $30.00!! WOW!


ANY new member between now and February 14th (or until we run out of bags) will get one of our fabulous Piggy Tales Bags. If you are a new member and you bag a friend before the deadline, you will get your bag AND it will be *stuffed with product too!! Your friend will get a bag only, until they "Bag a Friend" (once they do, then they will get product stuffed in their bag!)

You will get a bag *stuffed with product and your friend will get a bag too!! Once they "Bag a Friend", then they will earn the product that will be stuffed in it!!

Don't forget to remind your friends of all the other AWESOME benefits of joining the PTA! Each month you will receive at least $40 worth of Piggy Tales products (you only pay$24.99+ S/H) . Each kit will include all materials needed to complete the monthly projects including detailed colored copies and instructions.

$50 in FREE Piggy Tales products after 3 months of membership
10% discount on all Piggy Tales purchases online
Exclusive promotional discounts
Exclusive Sneak Peeks on all new Piggy Tales products

***When your friend(s) sign(s) up, they MUST write in the comment box on the registration form "My friend (YOUR FULL NAME) bagged me for the PTA!" They must do this for you to receive your stuffed bag at the time they register- and there is no limit on how many bags you can earn! :) This promotion is only good on new memberships from today until February 14, 2009 ...or until we run out of bags, so hurry!! THE PROMO STARTS....... NOW!!!!!!!!!

To view the exclusive Piggy Tales 15x15 tote back click here.

To find out more about the PTA click here.

Here is another peek at one of the projects in the March kit - and did I mention there will be on-line bonus projects, and maybe even a card PDF file to download?

I really had fun working with the March Piggy Tales kit. The new releases are so much fun - you won't want to miss out, so sign up today for the PTA!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kiss Kiss! Valentine

Not for the kids, but your significant other! This is a great card to announce a pre-arranged date for your sweetheart on Valentine’s, or any occasion. Featured for this project is Making Memories Noteworthy Valentine Collection. I used the Patterned Papers, Journal Cards, and adorable tickets; and the CUTEST lovebirds chipboard shape from Magistical Memories.

When I saw the paper design on kraft stock I knew it would make a perfect card for the man in my life. Not too "valentiney" - yet romantic. The journaling card pack is so versatile - and have much more uses than just journal cards. In this design I stitched it on the cardstock backing, and it actually became the front of my card.

In a small Ranger mister I mixed a few drops of Fire Brick distress ink with a smidgen of Perfect Pearls, filled the mister to the top with water, shook well, and misted the chipboard shape. I then took a nub and smeared a little more red ink on the wings and breast areas of the bird to make these areas pop a bit more. The wings are propped up with a glue dot. To ensure your heart shape is symmetrical in design be sure to flip your punch over and position it as you wish before punching.

I created a little itinerary on the inside with plans for our date night. One of my favorite free fonts is Social Animal, and I thought its distressed look went well with the Making Memories tickets. Can you see how this card goes beyond Valentine's Day for any date night invitation?

Another Valentine made using the Making Memories Noteworthy collection is this one:

Again, using the journaling sheet as the front of the card. I matted the kraft patterned paper onto red cardstock for durability. A ticket and chipboard heart by Doodlebug decorates the front of the card.

Open it up and a Quickutz tag pocket is adhered under the journaling sheet with a tag invitation for date night. These cards are so easy to make with the Noteworthy collection. I hope you make some time for romance in your journey - too often we take our husbands for granted - they need love, too!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kid's Valentines w/ Piggy Tales

Today I created for a couple of challenges, including a non-traditional Valentine card challenge at ACOT. I just happened to have scraps of paper left from Piggy Tales "Ants Go Marching In" March kit collection, and whipped out two cards.

The first, for Abby, has the crypted message on the front "Buggy Over You" -did you get that? Well, I am sure our kindergartner will need help, but I know she will be quite amazed by it once I help her decipher. (LOL) Of course she is our "little bug", one of our nicknames for her, so the card is a great fit.

Kyle's card uses one of the adorable bee rub-ons I had left, and a small chipboard frame to make it stand out on the front of the card. I know the sentiment "bee my Valentine" is overused - but who could resist with these cute bees? The card is quite simple, and I criss-crossed two rows of stitching around the outside for a touch of whimsical fun.

The clock is ticking away - Abby and I still need to sit down and make Valentine's for the 24 kids in her class. I will literally be pulling out all the Valetine leftovers in my stash - papers from previous DT gigs, and all the red and pinks that I have had for too long. This is my plan for Sunday - unless I uncover a batch of leftover store bought Valentine's in my cleaning frenzy, and I just might! Next year at this time I fully plan to have a Cuttlebug - and oh how much fun Abby and I will have making Valentine's for her classmates. This year, however, I am thinking fast and easy! (LOL)

Just a note about the Piggy Tales March kit - there is a lot of buggy paper in the kit - and one could really make LOTS of similar cards. I know there are some March kits left -snag yours now!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?


I started downloading the “Can You Hear Me Now?” weekly prayer prompts from our church web-site this week. We are in week three of the series, and I wonder why I didn’t check it out sooner. Life, I suppose... Prayer is a part of every day in our home, and in my personal time with God – but it is interesting to have direction or themed subjects for prayer time.

Today’s word is “DO” and the reading of Psalm 37. The verses that jumped out at me are 3 and 4, “Trust in the Lord and DO good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The latter part of this verse actually came to mind upon my job loss – despite the loss I continued to delight myself in the Lord and trust in Him as my provider. My prayer was big – asking God to provide a new job that would in turn, provide for my family. As I reflect on how quickly I was hired by a new company in a rocky economy, can there be any doubt in your mind that all of this was divinely orchestrated? I have this vision of God putting everything into place. The timing of my job loss with the new posting of the Edward Jones position, the job being offered before I had a chance to interview elsewhere… um, yeah…this is a God thing. He is DOING on my behalf and I praise Him for that!
Now that He has fulfilled His “end of the bargain” it is my turn to DO. I want to shout it out to everyone that God provided me this new job! He is so POWERFUL and AWESOME! Can you hear me now? (LOL)

Have you questioned why God has placed you in a certain situation and you ask “why?” I have lost count of how many times that has happened to me, ESPECIALLY in the past two years. But one thing I was certain of, I had a job to DO. I am not talking about the day to day tasks of an employee’s job, but the task of going about the Great Commission. We are all called to plant seeds for the Kingdom, no matter where we go, no matter how temporary we may be in one place. I am positive that if more Christians depicted love on the outside, versus judgement and haughtiness, that the harvest would be that much greater to reap on the day of Jesus’ return. What are you DOING for the kingdom? Are you planting seeds, or are your words and actions met with disdain and falling upon hardened ground? Life situations and experiences cause hardened hearts, and only love can soften them so that a person may receive Jesus. As the song playing in the background speaks, “Let Jesus live through you and me!”

Today’s digital layout is a late one for Ivorys Designs – I apologize for being late! In the month of January I only managed one layout from her wonderful Loopy Lime collection. I guess I have been spending a lot of time these past few weeks with the job search…it couldn’t be helped. I love the color and I love the elements in her collection. One of the greatest digi tricks I learned from a Kjoi Studios tutorial recently was how to merge patterned paper onto a shape in the layer below. This is what I did with the film strip by Majula Designs – I “grouped” the filmstrip with Ivorys Designs wonderful patterned paper so that it has a circle design to pick up the roundness of a dandelions.

“Planting Seeds” meets both the February ad challenge at ACOT, and the element challenge by mITSYBELLE at Kjoi Studios – although you may think I am stretching it a bit. For the element challenge my flowers come from the photos (rules didn’t say they could not), the journaling is matted in essence with a vignette border, and the triangle shapes are actually stitched patterns in the ribbon hangers. Is that pushing it a bit, or simply thinking outside the box? (LOL)

The journaling in the layout provides an answer to a question I have asked many times, “why am I here Lord?” As I soon begin a new career, I am sure the answer will be revealed in time. God’s time, that is. I will close with verse 7 from Psalm 37, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him, DO not fret...” Many of you may be waiting for an answer. Let your prayers be heartfelt, honest and offered up with humility…and always Trust, no matter the circumstances. I plan to continue scattering seeds wherever I am planted, and hope you will, too!