Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sometimes all you can do is pray:

"God, You can't possibly think I'm this strong!" and you don't really know what the answer will be, but you're so afraid it will be exactly as you expect.

And you know God is there, but you still don't know how to go on.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Shaker Card

I had heard about a new craft tool designed to fuse plastic sheets to form photo sleeves, but I didn't really think it was something I needed. Then I stumbled upon a video showing how to use this tool to create shaker cards and I was intrigued. I'm somewhat addicted to making these, and since I often mail them I found the idea of a less-bulky version very appealing.

But did I really need another tool? After all, I have quite a few that I've used very little...or not at all. Then I remembered I had a never-used tool that seemed similar to this new one in that it gets hot and has a thin tip. Could I maybe use what I already own to achieve the same result?

I also have a huge stash of laminating pouches that are meant to be used with heat, so I decided that would be the safest material to try with this technique. I cut one down to fit my card, then using a metal ruler to keep my lines straight, I ran my heated tool down one side to form a pocket.  Success!

Since this was an autumn-themed card, I used a variety of punches to cut leaf shapes from cardstock, then inserted them, along with some sequins and chunky glitter, into the pouch.

When I was satisfied with the contents of the pocket, I sealed the fourth side with my tool.  I then glued it between the card base and a patterned card front into which I had cut a window, and finished the card with a few wooden embellishments that had been colored with ink and embossing powder.

I thought I was really clever and creative to improvise in this way, and was excited to blog about it...until I realized this technique isn't new at all. Oh, well. I still feel accomplished, if for no reason than having actually made something.

I bought my tool quite a while back on clearance, but I've seen similar multi-purpose tools in craft stores recently. They often come with attachments that can be used for wood burning, stencil cutting, and heat embossing.

Do you have tools you thought you had to have...but never use?  Are you tempted to give them away, or do you like to hang on to them "just in case"?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Truly Golden Years

This weekend, I cried.   But they were tears of joy.  Every single one.

We'll start with the smallest moments of happiness and work up to the biggest.

The "smallest" moment wasn't really small at all.  It's just that it involved my tiny little grandchildren. (Don't be fooled--they might be small in stature, but they occupy a huge place in my heart.)  The joy came not only in that I would get to spend a few hours with them, but also in knowing that they actually wanted to see me.  Well, mostly it was my tiny little granddaughter, a mini version of her mama, who was excited to see her Nana.  But since I've raised four other girls who quite frequently can't stand the sight of me (and often feel the need to express those feelings), you can't imagine the joy I feel in having one who doesn't yet hate me. And since I won't be raising her, there's a real possibility that she might actually love me forever.

I'll take a "small" victory any day.

The reason I was able to see my youngest granddaughter and grandson was because we were all attending my niece's wedding on Saturday.  My niece is such a beautiful, kind person, and I was so happy to see her marry the love of her life.  He seems like a fine young man, and although I don't know him very well, I can clearly see that he makes her happy. And that makes me happy.  And even though this marriage seemed to happen in a whirlwind, I know from my own personal experience that when God sends you the right person, you just know.  I hope she and her husband will have at least as many years together as my husband and I have had, and I pray they will all be very happy ones.  Even though I cried yesterday, they were tears of absolute joy.

And this morning in church I stood beside my younger grand/daughter as she was baptized to show her faith in Jesus and her willingness to follow Him as the Lord of her life.  I (mostly) choked back my tears (13-year-old girls are extremely embarrassed by sobbing grand/mothers), but the joy I felt was overwhelming.  Both grand/daughters have now committed their lives to following Jesus, and I can clearly see exactly why I had to sacrifice my "golden years".

It wasn't really a sacrifice at all.  It was a gift from God. These truly are my golden years.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cricut Cowboy Card

My husband was starting a new job, and at the last minute I decided to make a card to let him know I was praying for him. Since the idea didn't dawn on me until...well, nearly dawn, I decided to use this little cowboy I had previously cut from the Cricut cartridge A Child's Year. 

Just to clarify a couple of things: My husband isn't a cowboy and his new job isn't in the rodeo.  But he did wear a cowboy-style shirt in his favorite elementary school picture, which was enough of a connection for me at 3 a.m.  And the card was supposed to say, "Howdy, cowboy!", but that didn't happen.

Back to the card...

I wanted to play around with some reactive foil and my new toner pen, so I added foil to the cowboy's spurs. I tried writing a sentiment with the toner pen and adding foil, but that was a total failure. (Why do I always think it's a good idea to try new techniques at the last minute???)  Anyway, since I had already glued the cowboy to my card, I had to cut the sentiment away and work with what remained. I grabbed a new blank card, mounted what was left of my cowboy card on silver shimmer cardstock, then added some snakeskin washi tape and silver star sequins.

It's the thought that counts, after all. Even if that thought comes just before sunrise.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Golden Girls - Words of Wisdom

"I don't want to send him back to an unhappy home. But we're grandmothers. It wouldn't be fair to be this old and have to raise children."      
                                                                -  Rose Nylund, The Golden Girls

I won't even try to explain.  You'll either understand or you won't.

The end.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today was my birthday.

There was no elaborate party.  For the most part, it was just another day.  But I'm okay with that.

Over the past year, I've wondered if I would even make it this far.  There were days I wasn't sure I could survive to another birthday, and others when I wasn't sure I wanted to.

But here I am, by the grace of God.

Life hasn't been easy.  I have struggles that most people know nothing about.  But God has carried me through them with lots of love, mercy, and the gift of an amazing husband.

At church this morning we celebrated The Lord's Supper.  Nothing touches my soul more than a tangible reminder of what Jesus did for me.  For you.  For all of us.  To experience this on my birthday was truly a beautiful gift.

Thank you Jesus for another year of life, and most of all, for giving Your life to save a sinner like me. A truly happy birthday, indeed.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How it Should Be

Today was a fun day. It was, for the most part, the kind of day I've been longing for. My husband and I went for a nice long hike, then went out for a simple dinner together. Just the two of us. Of course there was a little teenage drama thrown in (to remind us that our work isn't yet over, I suppose). But it was still a great day spent in the company of my best friend, enjoying the beauty of our Creator.

I really thought about removing my post from last night...the one where I complained about being tired, stressed, and just a little bit sleep-deprived. Today put me in a completely different frame of mind and gave me a glimpse into the peaceful life my husband and I might someday enjoy--if we can only live long enough. And I'm ashamed that I sometimes get caught up in my disappointment over the turn my life took instead of thanking God every day for all He has given me, including His never ending grace and mercy.

But if my blog is anything, it is brutally honest. It wouldn't be an accurate depiction of my life, and me, if I started removing posts because my feelings have changed. Some days my moods seem to shift with the wind, thanks in large part to menopause and teenage grand/daughters, so if I started removing posts after a change of heart I'd soon have a blank page.

My blog is a hodgepodge of my good days, my bad days, my thankfulness for God's forgiveness, and a few craft projects thrown in here and there. And I think that's how it should remain.

After all, life can be a little messy.