Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here is my BLING card.....this card was made with the emboss resist technique. The main image panel started with whisper white cardstock. I stamped using the marker directly on the back of the stamp. Then I colored in some detail and then colored over the whole thing with a versamarker. I embossed with clear powder and a heat tool. After that I colored on the trees a little with the versamarker again and used some white embossing powder to add snow to the trees. Next I smeared baja breeze ink over top of the entire image for the sky. Lastly, I stamped the snowflakes and then smeared white craft ink on the ground for snowfall. This card only took a total of 17 hours to make. (not really) I also added glitter and bling. The bling shows up much better in real life. I only took 42 pictures and this was the best I could do. It's been a rough night. ;) Of course to top off my frustration I went with this tear your hair out border.....over all, this card was a blast to make!! :) Anyway, if you want to make one of these, just make ONE for someone you really love. Definetley do not make it for a swap card. Happy New Year everyone!! I know for me, watching my husband head off to work everyday in his scrubs, and come home every night.....its enough to make my new year very happy!! God is good all the time, all the time GOD IS GOOD!! Until next time........Karen

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY!!!

Well it's blog challenge week again! This time, our challenge, should we decide to accept it, was to create a card using Very Vanilla, More Mustard, and Bravo Burgandy, and to include dry embossing in our design. To say what I think of these colors....well, I LOVE Very Vanilla, and More Mustard has it's place, but me and Bravo Burgandy, we don't get along very well. So this truly was a challenge, and I am pretty pleased with the outcome. Just a simple little Christmas card but I like it! I embossed the bulbs with the Bravo Burgandy craft stampin' spot and clear powder. I used the Square Lattice and Wallpaper folders with my Big Shot. I used the Tiny Tags set and punch for my sentiment. Hope you like my simple card! NOW TO CATCH YOU UP TO SPEED WITH KEITH'S JOB SITUATION, I want to say thank you to everyone who wrote or commented to encourage us in our time of leaning on the everlasting arms! One day while at work I got into a conversation with one of my favorite patients and somehow one thing led to another and I was telling him that Keith was out of work, as it related to things he was telling me. The next thing I knew he was telling me he could get him a job where he works at Good Samaritan Hospital as a Materials Distribution Technician, (sounds GOOD, right??) Seriously??? Long story short, he really meant it!! Keith starts his new job December 20th!! It's in the same ballpark with the kind of logistics stuff he did in New York for 23 years at Africa Inland Mission, so I ask you, HOW COOL IS THAT??? All in all he will have been out of work less then 2 months. He will now live a normal life, come home at night like normal people do, work a normal amount of hours, go to the doctor when he needs to, mow the lawn and shovel the snow in the evening, join a Bible Study if he wants to, keep me company when the grand children and children leave in January, watch tv if he wants to, sleep in his own bed everynight....we are praising God and giving HIM the glory for taking us out of a very painful situation and moving us into what looks like it will be his dream job. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!!! Thanks to all of you who prayed with us! Until next time.........keep on leanin' on those everlasting arms!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Okay, I S-T-R-E-S-S over simple cards... and I mean STRESS!!!!! I think it is way harder to come up with a WOW simple card then one that takes an hour and a half to make.....so am I thrilled with this card? Nope....but it's okay. The hardest part was getting a decent picture of it, for some unknown reason. I think it's the huge honkin' bow's position which is like so big it's like an umbrella big enough for a family of four to picnic under in a hurricane and nothing gets wet......but anyway, it was very hard to get a good picture of. I took at least 42. I'm done with this one. So done. But it's true, if you pick a card like this, you won't hate stamping after you make 100 of them! But some of my usual cards, you will hate stamping, and you will hate life after making 100 of them!! So choose something simple, but make sure if you choose THIS one, you make a wee bit smaller bow so you can get it into an envelope....and kids won't like play with your Christmas card and hurt a sibling with it or something......me and my ridiculous bows......Have fun making your 100's!!! Until next time.......

Monday, November 22, 2010

THE EVERLASTING ARMS....

So I have been thinking a lot lately about what is important in life. We moved here to Ohio from a mission where we worked for 23 years. Keith and I both had 4 weeks vacation every year, 20 sick days, 2 personal days, and hours that were sweet. When I came here as I have shared many times, I started working for a dentist and now I am Office Manager, and I get 2 weeks vacation, no sick time, but my hours are still pretty sweet, albeit many. Keith however, took up truck driving 3 years ago. We went from having desks side by side for 23 years to not seeing eachother for weeks at a time. The last job he had promised he would be home almost every night, but alas, many promises are broken. It reached a point where he was leaving us on Monday morning every week at about 4 AM and we would not see him again many times till half way thru the next Saturday. It just got to be more then we could handle. I watched his personality almost change. In 37 years of marriage I can only think of one time when he was that depressed and it was as a result of meds he was taking for pneumonia. One night my daughter Jen and I got talking after he went to bed on a Sunday night. We came to the conclusion that no money was worth his mental and physical health so we went upstairs, woke him up and told him we wanted him to give his 2 week notice, and that God would take care of us. At his job he was "encouraged" to drive more hours then were legal, and he was driving trucks that were not fit to be on the road. It felt pretty clear to us, that by having him quit, we would be honoring God because of those conditions. So Keith is now out of work, looking for a job, and in my heart of hearts, I feel peaceful and sure that God has a special job for him somewhere. One where he will be able to come home at night and live a normal life. Sometimes I feel myself getting a bit panicky, knowing that the savings will run out pretty quick and that I do not really make enough for us to make it. But I am so sure in my heart that we did the right thing that I usually quickly bounce back to realizing that God is in HIS heaven, watching out for us and loving us more then we can imagine. I am amazed at the level of peace I feel. I have spent so much of my life worrying about stuff that hasnt' happened. I am really trying to give this thing, which is bigger then me, over to God and just rest in HIM. He promises to meet our needs, and unlike Keith's old bosses, HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES. And meanwhile, Keith's personality has returned. He is enjoying life again....I get my clothes ironed in the morning, my car warmed up on cold mornings, a home cooked meal every night, errands run during the day....things cleaned and spruced up around the house.....and I am thinking I wish we COULD make it on my incomes....SU and the dental office!! I could get used to this real fast!! Sometimes you just gotta step out there and take a risk, trusting God to see you thru. Sometimes you gotta take that step of faith and believe that HE who does not slumber nor sleep will not let your foot slip. I love and serve a God who promises to meet my needs, according to his riches in Christ Jesus. You can find me leaning,,,,on the everlasting arms....because I truly believe and know in my heart that underneath and all around, are the everlasting arms!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, we truly have so much to be thankful for!! God bless you, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marmalade Glazed Turkey?? SERIOUSLY???

So the SUO DT challenge for this week was Thanksgiving tablesettings,,,,,almost made my lips freeze when I read it...until I decided I could make up a fake menu and decorate it with stamps...Okay, so who really makes Marmalade Glazed Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing? I have all I can do to get that sucker in the oven early enough to be cooked by the time everyone is half starved without glazing it with marmalade first!! And who on earth really starts the meal off with Butternut Squash and Apple Soup??? Martha Stewart? Paula Dean? Maybe Rachel Ray? But common folks like me??? I think I'm doing something because we actually use cloth napkins!! And it's like real turkey, not like a Smart One or a Lean Cuisine!! Pumpkin Cheesecake, RIGHT.....like back in NY when I lived near a COSTCO! But now? Help mom, can YOU make the pies???? Jennifer, can YOU MAKE THE PIES??? I do set the table real purdy, but china??? I don't own any...this pitcher below comes from my most fancy dish set and the one my table will be set with for Thanksgiving. And we will be in our cozy dining room with a reduced number of our family there....since it's the in laws turn for Thanksgiving this year.....BUT that means we are all together for Christmas this year, and for that, I could not be more thankful. I am thankful for a cozy house with pretty pottery dishes and cloth napkins, and we will even take the good glassware out. I am thankful for 4 children with lovable spouses and 7 grand daughters who are the light of my life. I am thankful for a husband who remains my best friend after all these years. I am thankful that my mom lives close enough to celebrate with us now. And you know what? If we have plain old mashed potatoes instead of smashed ones with roasted garlic, and plain old turkey instead of one all rubbed up with jelly.....it just does not matter. I may never be Susy Homemaker, but the food will be yummy, (my family usually tries to keep me OUT of the kitchen) and the company will be lovely......and I will give thanks to HIM, the one from whom all blessings flow. But every once in a while it's fun to dream and imagine I was the type who actually had the house all decorated for Thanksgiving and not the one who has sorry looking pumpkins still out on the front porch from Halloween.....but hey, this is who I am, and the truth is, though I sometimes dream of having a perfectly kept and decorated house, I'd rather be stamping!! Even phony menus are more fun then no stamping at all! So this year, don't sweat it if your table would not make Martha Stewart proud. Just relax, be with the ones you love, and be happy being you! That's what I intend to do!! God Bless you all!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Give me ONE MORE NIGHT......"

So why do turkeys look so happy, anyway? It's Thanksgiving eve and this guy looks happy to me....little does he know what awaits him.... so sad.....but anyway, isn't he cute? I kind of drew a big fat blank when the challenge was "punch art" - I have never been one to come up with all that cute stuff made out of punches....and if anything my comfort zone would take me to a wreath of some kind.....but I sent my small flower punch to NY for the next Backwards Workshop with my NY/NJ customers.....hmmm.......things that make ya go hmmmmm..........I already used the owl punch on this challenge blog so didn't want to do a repeat....and my sweet daughter in law Jenna happened to hear me lamenting over wanting a cool idea for punch art and she said she had been playing with the Scallop Circle punch with my grand daughter Layla, and she came up with a pretty cute turkey, all on her own. I adjusted it just a little, to make it my own, but here it is, a pretty cute little guy. This fence was also her idea....it's made from the Pinking Hearts Border punch.....and then the pumpkins from smallest Oval punch - I've just seen them around. I also used the Scallop Border punch for the grass, and a simple circle punch for the moon. The entire turkey is made from the Scallop Circle punch...so cool!! Most of the wings are made from pieces of it - you cut the scallop circle in half and then cut the scallops out individually and layer them. Isn't he cute? Jenna to the rescue!! Thanks Jenna!! But the poor turkey, his name is William. Don't you feel really sorry for him? Ignorance is bliss. If he knew what his future held he would not look so happy. He would be saying in a loud voice, "Give me ONE MORE NIGHT!!" Anyway, when we see him again he'll be keeping company with stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. So sad......... Such is life............. Until next time...........

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A LITTLE WHITE LIE.....

Oh my WORD,,,,I have NEVER been so FRUSTRATED posting a blog post in my LIFE!!!!! I had this all done, and my friend Ilina sent me an email telling me step by step how to make it post when I am on a business trip the day it's supposed to post......(it involved changing settings, etc.) and I did all that and then went ahead and posted it by accident so had to delete and start over!! arghhhh........ ANYWAY........back to the subject at hand.....would YOU believe I cut out all those cute little quilt squares by hand, 3/4" x 3/4"??? I didn't think so.....so I'm not gonna lie to ya, I did not realize that SU had discontinued that punch until one of my friends pointed it out to me....and my card was all loaded on the Yahoo site and ready to go for Tuesday.....so if YOU want to make this same exact card, you may just have to hand cut them all!! (LOL, harhar) If not, you can always use the smallest square punch we have now and have your quilt squares a bit larger. Here's how. Take some graph paper, I use SU's big graph pad and glue the squares down completely and securely on all edges. The graph paper will give your quilt more body and also help you to keep the design straight which tends to be the hardest part! Then use the Big Shot and cut the quilt out using the Top Note Die. Then put the entire piece through the Big Shot again using your favorite embossing folder. I love to use Petals a Plenty for a worn quilt look, but any embossing folder will give it a quilted look. That's pretty much it!! I used SU's new Deck the Walls designer paper and their brand new SEAM BINDING to make my bow. LOVE that stuff!!!! NEED MORE!!!!! I also used the Bells and Boughs Stamp set for the words and a Tags embosslit for the tag. Add their great new pearl bling and there you have it, a Christmas Quilt!! Hope you like it!! Now if this thing actually posts on the morning it is supposed to, you can thank my sweet young and beautiful friend Ilina....and if it doesn't, well, it just means I didn't follow the directions correctly, and if that happens, what else is new?? Happy Stamping everyone! See you next time!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

OH THE PRESSURE OF IT ALL.......

All I can really do is STAMP. When it comes to taking good pictures, I have taught myself and improved a LOT. Good old Picasa III. BUT, when it comes to downloading or uploading or whatever the process is, I am one lame dame. Please take note - the new catalog has finally appeared on my blog. It only took me 3 months!! How pathetic is that??? I ask you!!?? I still remember the first time I blogged without my niece looking over my shoulder, it was like a trip through the land of very large rodents for me......here I am blogging all by myself. HOWEVER, the whole schedule this to go up at some time tomorrow- it ain't happenin'. I will save it as a draft and get up at that magical hour of 5:00 am and make sure the darn thing goes up when and where it's supposed to this time!! Anyway.....this card is a vintage creation, so lots of tearing and sponging and dirtying things up....I used the stamp set "Peaceful Season" from the new mini....mostly because it's the only one I HAVE so far since my order is due Thursday, (another wonderful example of impeccable timing on my part....)and I used the Big Shot, wallpaper ef, oval dies, 1/2" circle for the scallops, the music wheel, markers, the stamp set Tiny Tags and the Tiny Tag punch, Vintage Brads, white gel pen, Black Stazon ink - a versarmarker and clear powder and heat tool so I could emboss the holly and then roll stamp on over it and sponge on over it....black satin ribbon, eyelet border punch, rhinestone bling, sponges and crumb cake ink for aging.....and I think that about does it!! Do you know how to do the emboss resist technique? You stamp and color just the way you want your main image, (the holly in this case) I drew some on top with a black marker for definition, and then I colored over the holly with a versamarker and then sprinkled clear powder on, embossed, and there you have it - emboss resist because now you can let an elephant stand on top of it or let you dog chew on it...(okay, well maybe not the dog thing) but that embossing is a mask and you can stamp on top now!! Have fun with this technique - I sure do!! And Happy Tuesday everyone, and when you see things like current catalogs on my blog, and new posts, and even posts that appear when they are supposed to, don't take them for granted!!! This little pea brain is working overtime to make all this happen just for you!! Until next time, share some technology with someone over 50 - they will LOVE you for it!! Blessings on ya!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MOTHER, I'D RATHER DO IT MYSELF!!!

I have made a really important decision. Mother, I'd rather do it myself....is going to be my new motto. I am so darn blog challenged that yes, it's OCTOBER and I FINALLY got the new catalog uploaded to my blog...and with some wonderful step by step instructions from one of my sweet downline, Ilina Crouse, (who also happens to be an awesome stamper...)I was successful in getting it onto my blog ALL BY MYSELF.....and THEN, while I was AT IT, I also FINALLY successfully downloaded the emblem or badge or whatever you call it from the design team I am on with other SU demonstrators.....AND an old award I had laying around that I didn't know how to download, or upload, or what-ever.....it's now all on the side of my blog and Mother, I did it all by myself!!!! My smart alec son-in-law said, "Tell us again, did you do it all by yourself???" The younger generation just does not understand how jazzed we over 50's can get when we actually pull something of this magnitude off by ourselves!! Anyway, I thought I would clarify what this whole design team thing is about. We were not chosen by Stampin'Up! to be on a design team for them. We were chosen by Cindy Coutts, who is a demonstrator herself, and she started a blog for SU challenges only, (which you can NOW REACH by pressing the icon to your left which I downloaded, uploaded, pasted, whatever in there all by myself, did I mention that already??) You can play in these challenges along with us, and we just design some cards for your enjoyment and then present the challenge, and you come back to your blog for card details,,,which are not my forte, but I try. I blab, I don't instruct. :) Every other Tuesday we will bring a challenge and samples your way. Watch for a post this Tuesday!! Okay, so I've been thinking lately what a person of rituals I am. Darn Darn, Darn, I just wiped out a card....oh well, 3 cards today, not 4. Unless of course I manage to wipe out another one before I get thru this. Anyway- back to rituals....do you ever play that dumb game where you say if the shredder at work stops before I shred everything, something terrible is going to happen? Like you'll
break your mother's back or something? Sorta like you can't step on the cracks in the sidewalk? Well I was thinking how sometimes when I am enduring my morning torture routine on the eliptical machine, (I've lost 10 pounds and several inches in the last 5 weeks) I will pretend that I am running from something that is going to land on me and crush me, like a giant tree, or some such thing.....and it will make me keep on going when I just wanna be off that thing and done. But then, when I really want to get my best mileage or time or whatever, if I just pretend that I am running from that same thing that is about to fall on top of me, but I am holding one of my grand daughters in my arms.....I get a spurt of energy that takes me thru to the end and I forget my pain. Isn't that kind of a cool principle? Love is such a powerful emotion.....know what I mean? I would throw myself in front of a train for any one of these precious girls. And since the middle of August we have had five of our seven right around us, like within 3 miles of our house, 5 grand daughters, 6 years old and under!! Friday night I babysat all 5 by myself!! It sorta happened by accident. I told Mike and Jenna I would babysit Layla and Brooklyn cuz it was Jenna's BD and they were going out. Okay, two, no problem. Then Davis and Jen said can we borrow your pickup and run to Ikea for some stuff and possibly leave the girls, we'll be right back and I said, sure,,,,they'll be back before I get Layla and Brooklyn, NOT, so now I have Tovah, Lami, Layla and Brooklyn all at one time. The three older girls had what I think was their first fight while I was trying to feed Brooklyn, and all of the sudden there is a knock at the door and it's Bekah and Jon, with Olivia in arms....and I say how nice, did you come for a visit? (seeing HELP on the horizon here) and they say, "No, Jen said we could drop off Olivia and she would watch her because we're meeting some people from church..." Ahh.....so you think I can handle FIVE, eh???? Guess what?? I could! I did!! Bekah and Jon kept saying we can't do this to you and I was like, Go, I can handle it - it's fine, it won't be long, etc etc etc, then after they left I was like, "what was i thinking???" It was okay!! I was only a little bit rattled by the time Jen and Davis arrived back home, with multitudes of apologies when they saw Olivia and realized I was alone with 5!! It was okay, these days are numbered...
I won't be privileged enough to have all five around me after mid January for a very long time. Jen, Davis, Tovah and Elami will head for some islands off of Africa for 3 years.....and I will think back to the night I had all 5 by myself and I will wish, wish, wish with all my heart and all my might that I could have them all back again......I know I will! So bring it on!! Precious days for precious memories. Precious girls,,,,,and yes, I think I could run 100 miles an hour to miss that tree for one of these precious girls. So if you notice that all of my cards are girlie cards.....it's hard not to think girls around my house!! Girls rock!! Grand daughters make the world go round!! Anyway - I will keep plugging away on my eliptical and I have promised myself that when I reach my goal this time I am NOT going to let myself put that 20 back on AGAIN.....I am going to try to change my lifestyle, keep exercising, eating right, etc.....and make THAT a ritual!! Thanks for listening to my blab.....keep on stampin.....keep on telling those ones around you how much you love them, and thanking God for every opportunity to be around them - even if it means babysitting for 5 - 6 and under by yourself!! Mother, I'd rather do it myself!! Until next time......

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO ACCEPT.....


WEEK TWO OF OUR DESIGN TEAM FOR SU!!! CAN I JUST SAY I AM SO TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED THAT THIS DUMB THING WAS SUPPOSED TO POST AT 5:OO AM, THE POSTING SCHEDULE SAID, STILLS SAYS IT WOULD, WILL, DID....AND IT DIDN'T??? I AM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO COULD GIVE ME SOME HELP WITH MY BLOG...LIKE HAS ANYONE HAPPENED TO NOTICE I STILL HAVE LAST YEARS CATALOG UP??? AM I A LOSER OR WHAT?? I HAVE SPENT LONG AMOUNTS OF TIME TRYING TO CHANGE IT....TO NO AVAIL. JUST LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO MIGHT WANT SOME STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO ANYTHING YOU SEE ON THIS BLOG.....WATERCOLOR? BLACK MAGIC? WHATEVER!! IN EXCHANGE FOR SOME HELP, PLEASE - HELP- UGH!! WHY DOES MY POST SAY WILL POST AT 5:00 AM, 9/21/10, AND THEN DOES NOT?????IS IT ME OR IS IT THEM??? ANYWAY, IT WAS A BIG SHOT CHALLENGE THIS TIME, AND I USED MY NEW OWL PUNCH, AND MY BIG SHOT DIE OF LITTLE LEAVES, MY TEXTURE PLATE OF WOOD GRAIN AND MY LATTICE EMBOSSING FOLDER FOR EVEN MORE TEXTURE!! SO FUN!! I LOVE THESE LITTLE OWLS.....AND THEY JUST MAKE ME THINK OF WHOOOOOO LOVES YA BABY? WHICH I SEEM TO SAY A LOT THESE DAYS AS I PRACTICALLY SMOTHER 5 LITTLE GIRLS WITH KISSES......WHO LOVES YA BABY???? (BY THE WAY THIS BLOG POST WENT UP, NOBODY LOVES LITTLE OLD ME, SO EXCUSE ME NOW WHILE I GO EAT SOME WORMS!!!!) NOW WATCH THE OTHER ONE POST SINCE I TOTALLY REDID THIS THING!! HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE!! Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, EVERY TWO WEEKS AT LEAST, YA HEAR???

Monday, September 6, 2010

DESIGN TEAM BOUND...

It's TRUE!! I am on a DESIGN TEAM!! I have said no when approached up until now to honor my contract with SU, but here is an SU DESIGN TEAM....started by my friend Cindy Coutts from SCS......and she asked me to be on it!!! TALK ABOUT MAKING MY DAY!!! And to all of my friends who don't say HELLO when they greet me anymore, but rather, "UPDATE YOUR BLOG" you'll be happy to know that it will be updated at least every other week now!!Our first assignment was a fall card. I made this card using the Autumn Harvest stamp set. I stamped it on watercolor paper and colored it using markers and blenders. I used to use stamp pads and blenders but I have found that by using markers and blenders I don't over wet the cardstock and I am much happier with the intensity of color. On a typical card like this I would use more then one shade of the same color to blend and get that variation of intensity. Experiment!! It's so fun!! Who needs copics!!?? You can achieve the same results with SU markers!! I used my favorite lattice folder and the paper piercing kit for details. I used Baja Breeze, Cajun Craze, Whisper White and Basic Black along with the imperative watercolor cardstock. I cut out the images after smearing some color where I didn't want it, and then decided I liked the cut out effect. Hope you like it too!! Of course I topped it off with the wide striped gg ribbon, which I cannot stay away from!! So this is the beginning, I promise to post in between with the usual ramblings about life. But I will actually be telling you how I make some of my cards now.....since that is the whole point of being on this team!! I am really looking forward to it. To all of you who sent me such beautiful comments on my last post, a huge and heartfelt thank you!! Right now, my son and his wife moved out and moved one street over with 2 grand daughters and my daughter and son in law who were in the Congo moved in with their two daughters and will be with us for the next 5 glorious months...and that has kept me very busy!!!! What a huge blessing to have FIVE of our SEVEN grand daughters within 7 minutes of our house, because Olivia Lou, the youngest one, lives about 7 minutes away!! And maybe the other two will come for Christmas from Minnesota......one can dream!! So, in closing, I will say again, "Did I tell you I get to be on a DESIGN TEAM????" Happy Stamping everyone!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

He Will Wipe all TEARS away......

For me, the last few months have been rough. For me? Well, for me and my friends. I can start out by saying that all my test results turned out normal. I'm normal.....such a relief!! I just have to go back one more time to have the polyp removed and then as long as it's clear, I am home free. Ahhhh...I can say now, God is so good. But what about when things don't go so good? Remember when I first moved to Ohio and would blog about not having any friends? Well I prayed and asked God for friends, and He blessed me with several in Ohio. One of the first friends HE blessed me with when I moved here was my friend Susie. Susie was a joy to know...she was one of those people that remembered more details about what was going on in your life then you remembered yourself and would ask you each time she saw you how things were, naming things in particular that you had talked about the last time you saw eachother. When I first moved here, I saw quite a bit of Susie but she and her sweet husband Scott got involved in some ministry at our church that kept them pretty busy and our lives kind of went in different directions. Every once in a while we still got together, and I just loved Susie so much. Well Susie had some clinical depression going on behind the scenes that she hid very well, and about two months ago, she could not face the pain anymore and she took her own life. HEARTBREAKER. Dear Susie, if you only knew what an encouragement you were to other people....if you only knew. She left behind the love of her life, who has only just begun to process the pain. Susie is so missed, and so loved, by so many. So God, why did that have to happen? Why didn't you heal sweet Susie??? Then
another friend I was blessed with was Mary Ann. Mary Ann was another one of those people who always, and I mean ALWAYS put others above herself.
She was one of the most selfless people I have ever known. We shared the worry factor and would pray for eachother to be strong in that area. I loved Mary Ann, so much. I looked up to her so much. I treasured every moment I had with her. A year ago Mary Ann was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. She lived about a year and finally went to be with her Lord and Saviour a few weeks ago. Again, why Lord, why? She was so loved, so needed, such a laborer for HIS kingdom. So hard to understand. Why didn't you heal her Lord?? I am being blatantly honest here, I have spent many hours wrestling with that very question. Mary Ann left a loving husband, loving children and grandchildren and extended family and friends like me who loved her deeply. I cannot pretend to understand. Then another one of my friends will go un named. But circumstances of life sort of sabotaged our friendship. What was just a budding friendship could not withstand the storms of life, and so I find myself without that friendship as well- through no fault of my own. Life is so hard sometimes. I have also wrestled with this one, but you can't force things to heal or force people to feel better about the way things turn out sometimes. You have to trust God, and let go. Last weekend I got word that the husband of one of my very dear friends from New York/New Jersey died of a massive heart attack, way too soon. My dear friend is widowed at a young age, and her husband was her best friend. Why Lord? So it's been a few months of hard WHYS for me....and of course I come back to knowing I need to trust in a God who sees the right side of the tapestry HE is weaving, when I can only see the back side with all the knots and loose ends. None of this takes God by surprise. And I do take comfort in picturing Susie and Mary Ann and Roger all in the everlasting arms, out of pain and into peace. There's an old song that says something to the affect of "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin thru" - and that truth has been driven home to me in new ways in the last few months. We really need to hold on loosely to the things of this earth, and instead we need to be laying up for ourselves treasure in heaven, where our reward is real. It's been an exercise in faith for me to count it all joy....so hard to do. I remember when I first moved here Mary Ann was the first friend I brought with me to see my house before we bought it. She asked the realtor questions I never thought of. A while after that, we had dinner together and then we went over and sort of broke and entered into my daughter and son in laws house when it was still under construction. We were like little kids, climbing up into their house where we knew we didn't belong and checking it out. Then - both of us being directionally challenged we tried for over 1/2 an hour to find the house I live in now which we were buying - which is only 7 minutes and 2 turns or so away from Jon and Bekah's house, but it got so late we had to give up our mission because we had driven everywhere and all around, but never found it which seems so comical to me now. I remember thinking that Mary Ann would be my forever friend in Ohio....I just felt like we were instant kindred spirits. I have cried so many tears - feeling like that got snuffed out way, way, way too soon. One day, God will wipe away every tear. Isn't that a comforting thought? I will see Mary Ann again one day, and Susie and Roger too. What a day of rejoicing that will be!! We cannot hope to understand everything that happens this side of heaven, but one day we will understand. One day we will stand before HIM face to face and we can ask questions like the best 3 year old on earth. All the whys will make sense. The Bible promises, HE will wipe away every tear. That is a promise I hold on tight to. I hope you have enjoyed these cards, which were ones I made as tributes to these people I loved , and still love. Remember, when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see JESUS, we'll sing and shout the victory!! Hang your hat on that one, HE WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR!!!!
Until next time,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BIOPSIES, ULTRASOUNDS AND SHINGLES....OH MY!!

Okay, all ye faint of heart......exit now. Because I am about to pour my heart out to my diary once again. If you aren't of the female gender, you may want to exit too. If you choose not to, you'll see why. First of all, I had some "issues" of the kind you don't want to see in a lady after she has gone thru the "change of life" which basically means your youth is slipping away. So I did what every sensible lady does, and walked, no actually ran to the gynecologist. You know, for the last five years I have had inner arguments with the voice in my head, too busy, too dreadful, too expensive, too dreadful, etc. But when you get "symptoms" somehow you make time, real fast. So off I went. And my new doctor who I like very much said, " Hmmmmm.....don't I recognize you from somewhere?" Not exactly what you want to hear from your gynecologist. Wanted to be kind of incognito but turns out he had seen me in the building, since our dental office occupies nearby. Next he says he does not like what he sees in my chart. Best thing - an ultrasound, the kind where they "go in". ugh. So that was the first humilation. You go into this little room and this sweet young lady kind of dresses what looks like a nightclub in what looks like a condom, and then smiles sweetly and says, "Do you want to insert this or should I?" Uh........give me that thing. YIKES....the tortures that await the lady with the dreaded symptoms are many and unimaginable. Are you kidding me??? Then the doctor comes in and says we have a "finding". Okay, define "finding". What on earth did you FIND up there???? Oh, we can't tell you that, you will need to go and have an endometrial biopsy and talk to your doctor.
Oh my, that sounds like FUN. Can you please tell me anything about what you found?? Cuz it felt like you were digging for gold, was it gold??? No, you need to talk to your doctor. The lady in the room who had actually dug for the gold told me when the insensitive doctor left that it looked like just a polyp, but the only way to know for sure is to do the dreaded biopsy. OKAY, but before that go for a mammography, cuz heaven knows you are not supposed to wait 7 years since the last one. Oh and aren't those just a walk in the park too? Isn't that fun too??? Putting that part of your human anatomy on a cold shelf and then squishing it till all you can think of are words you could get arrested for saying????? And then she says to me, our doctor likes us to get a bit of your belly up there on that table too......oh gee, no sweat,,,,,let me just put it up there for you......are you kidding me??????? Then you wait days for the results of your tests.......and go on dreading the biopsy all that time. Go on line and google endometrial biopsy before getting one, but only if you really loathe yourself. Wanna be scared to death?? Well just try that, go ahead.
Okay, so the day comes and you go for the dreaded test. First I ask the nurse, "Does this hurt as much as everyone says?" - "Oh, no, it's a little crampy, but it's not really pain. I have never had one, but it's not really pain" Oh gee, thanks, so convincing. Then she proceeds to take out some tools that look like they could snake the entire plumbing system in my house and lay them on the table. Then they take your blood pressure and say, "150 over 80, wow, are you nervous or something?" "Who, ME, NERVOUS? WHY, WHY WOULD I BE NERVOUS? JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO GO AFTER MY TONSILS THRU THE OPPOSITE END??? JUST BECAUSE THAT STRAW AND CLEAVERS THERE DON'T LOOK THAT USER FRIENDLY?? NAH....I'M
NOT NERVOUS....MAYBE WE CAN DO THIS TWICE IT LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN...." And then it happens.....the doc comes in, and you lay there thinking, "Okay, so this does kind of hurt.....I sorta call this pain....yah, this feels alot like pain.....and the sweet doctor looks up over the drape and says, "How you doin' Karen?" and I say, "Uh, no, the question is HOW ARE YOU DOIN??? How much longer you gonna be UP there????" "Almost done, almost done....."and then it's over and you remember that you can actually breathe if you just draw breath in and let it out. "Okay, as soon as we get the results back we will be removing the polyp if that is in fact what it is....as soon as we know there is no cancer in the lining.....and Karen you did so well with this biopsy that we can do that "procedure" right here in my office, because now I see you can handle it" Oh JOY.....I can't wait.....I love those stirrups, I love this place.....it's always nice to have something to look forward to......."AND thru all of this frolic and fun, I have had the SHINGLES......and they are lots' o fun too....and I am feeling like a car that is beginning to fall apart. Anyway, about another anxious week and then I will know what I already know in my heart of hearts and that is that that darn polyp is nothing and I went thru all of this for naught.......but it keeps you humble to go thru stuff like this every once in a while. I hope it's another 7 years
at least for me!! So these cards along the way, I forget that some people actually explain their artwork on their blogs but if you have any questions, ask away - I'll be happy to share....this one on the left is from the Patty Bennett tutorial - reinker roses....so fun!! I have had SO MUCH FUN THIS WEEK...FUN.....FUN....FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I just thought I had to share some of this great experience I have had in the last few weeks....biopsies, ultrasounds and shingles....OH MY! Until next time.....Ain't life GRAND????

Saturday, May 1, 2010

SPREAD A LITTLE SUNSHINE......

Hello my stamping friends! This morning when I opened my email, I received an email that made me do the happy dance.....Denise Kasanda passed me THE SUNSHINE AWARD!! First I did the happy dance, and then I slinked down in my chair because......that means I have to pass it on!! Which I would LOVE to do if I knew the first thing about HOW to DO that!!!!! To my left let me first say a word or two about this card and then I will continue lamenting about my lame computer skills.....but first - this card is Black Magic which was also known as the old chalkboard technique - if you go way way down onto the 2nd page of my blog entries,,,I have a tutorial on Black Magic with a White Twist - basically I stamp solid more or less images in white craft ink on any color cardstock and I used SU's watercolor pencils to color and shade them. I used to use the old pure colored pencils but when they were discontinued last year I decided to try the watercolor pencils and much to my delight they work even better since you can get them a whole lot sharper (with SU's pencil sharpener)so.......use two colors and lay down the lighter color first and then shade on top with the darker color. Sometimes to achieve dimension I use the light color very lightly, then shade it with that same color bearing down a bit harder and then I put the darker color on top and shade again. After that is completed, I just highlight with a white gel pen. VOILA!! The white gel pen makes the whole thing POP!! This card above is made with SU's new set Watercolor Trio.......it's one of the BEST sets for Black Magic EVAH!!!! If you read my blog, and need an SU demonstrator - please use the link on the side to go directly to my SU website and place an order!! :) Better yet, if you want to recruit......you co do that too!!! I have been so grateful for orders I have received from people who say they were inspired by my blog or SCS gallery....thank you all soooooo much!! Okay- now, on to my SUNSHINE AWARD.....I have finally figured out how to GET those awards ONTO my BLAB/BLOG, but how to pass them on is still a mystery to me!! I know WHO I want to pass it on to - because recently I became a member of a brand new little group of friends and we call ourselves THE PAPER DOLLS.... it was started because we all wanted to make sure that SOMEONE ANYONE was actually READING our BLOGS....or in my case, BLAB/BLOG. I think from here on out I will refer to mine as a BLABLOG. Yah, that's kinda catchy.....cuz I do more blabbing then anything else. So here is my shiney new award.....
How cool is this??? Denise told me I inspire others with my BLABLOG. And I think I have it more so I can pour my heart out then I do so I can share my stamping! I have never regretted the name I gave it - A Stamper's Diary, pressing on......because truly I use it as a diary, often reading back and thinking hey, do I really want to put that out there?? But I do. So here are 12 ladies who have inspired me with their blogs, my PAPER DOLL friends, my cyber friends....or SOME of them....because I have made so many friends on SCS...but here are my PAPER DOLL friends - who I am passing the SUNSHINE AWARD to cuz each of them have added some brand new SUNSHINE to my life!!

1.) Betty
2.) Julia
3.) Vicki
4.) Anne
5.) Joanne
6.) Mary
7.) Edna
8.) Franci
9.) Bonnie
10.) Peggy
11.) Wanda
12.) Cathleen
SUNSHINE AWARDS TO ALL OF YOU FUN LADIES!! NOW IF I CAN JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO LINK YOUR NAMES TO YOUR BLOGS....HMMMMMMM...
Well that's it for this time.....I am now going to try to get some help to actually make those names LINKS to my Paper Doll friends blogs.....but for now, trust me, this is an accomplishment in itself......Happy Weekend to all, and until next time Happy Stamping!!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

HOME SWEET OHIO HOME

Okay, so lately, I've been thinking alot about how much I appreciate my home. Tonite the inspiration challenge was to be inspired by your home state, either where you grew up or where you live now, and this was easy for me, I had to say, I am inspired by where I live now. Keith and I moved to Ohio almost 4 years ago. We lived in New York just north of Manhatten for 23 years and we were stateside missionaries for the Africa Inland Mission. It was a wonderful place to raise our family, and a wonderful place to call home. We made friendships there that are so deep, I fear we will never get to that same level with anyone here in Ohio. But when we left, it was time to leave. We were ready to buy a home and settle down, and to pray other members of our family would migrate to Ohio with us and the Biggs family. So we went house hunting one day in May 4 years ago....and I fell head over heals in love
with the very first house we looked at. The real estate agent was having a hard time getting the lock box open, and I always say, This house had me on the porch. The lovely porch swing, pretty flowers all around the front and sides of the yard, and Melissa sent us to tour the back yard while she figured out the lock box. One look at the large deck, shaded back yard, fence for Luca, and shut up! A hot tub.....I was G-O-N-E!!! My husband on the other hand was not so easily persuaded. He said, "Honey the house is 100 years old!! Think about it!!" and I said, "Look at it this way, some of the junk they throw together these days would never MAKE it 100 years!!" (good answer, huh?) To make a long story short, about 35 houses and one month later, we put an offer on my
dream house....and the good Lord BLESSED us with the house of my DREAMS!! Is it huge? No....but it's almost twice the size of the apartment we raised 4 kids in.....but is it the perfect size for us? YES!! And does it have an awesome stamp room? YES!! What else matters??? All I know is that for 23 years, not owning our own home was one of the sacrifices we felt God was asking us to make and for that time, it was good and right and perfect. We just never thought God would say that the time was now for us to own a home. So some folks probably take their homes for granted, but Keith and I do not. We love this big white house with the sweet front porch and lazy porch swing.....and flowers all around. The former owners loved flowers and obviously knew a lot more about how to plant so they bloom all spring and summer then we do. The flowers start in April and bloom till September!
So for me, it was easy to pick which home to take my inspiration from. We have a detached garage with an alley behind it. Everyday on my way to work, I take the long way around the house and block so I can drive by the front of my house and just breathe a silent prayer every morning that says Thank you LORD for giving me the desire of my heart.....Thank you for blessing me with this beautiful white house, that I love with all my heart. So many times when I walk thru my door at night, I just feel like this house reaches out and hugs me and says WELCOME HOME. I hope you have enjoyed these illustrations along the way.....emboss resist, black magic and the first one is watercolored using pads and brush. This final card is the card
I made for the inspiration challenge tonite. Right now all along the rock garden in my front yard there are beautiful flowers, some that I don't even know the name of....but they sing to me all day long. The ones out right now are beautiful hues of pinks and purples. I think someone could offer me a mansion, and I would say no, I will keep the house God gave me....the white house with the lazy front porch swing and the flowers all around it. Since the time we moved in, others of our kids have moved this way...... God is good, and He really does delight in giving us what we want, deep down in our hearts. I will always take the long way around, and gaze at my pretty house and breathe my prayer of gratitude.....this much I know!! Until next time, remember to count your blessings!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blackberries and Blog Awards.....

Okay, so why did I think that just because I now can efficiently download blog awards...that I would know what to bloomin DO with a BLACKBERRY??? The unadulterated success, the heady feel of meeting the challenge of actually downloading my FIRST, and now.... check it out....SECOND blog award.... Yes, there are TWO now.....my head got bigger then it should have.....and I went phone shopping around that same time. NOT a GOOD COMBINATION!! My kids, specifically Bethany and Michael and their spouses, Brian and Jenna had been telling us we needed to get blackberries so we could all instant msg eachother. Okay- more on this later while I quick tell you how I made the above card....which was made with SU's new set called ELEMENTS OF STYLE which they gave us at Leadership when we thought we had opened all of our presents...YIPPEE I love this set and all THREE cards in this post were made with it.....Anyway,,,I stamped the image in black stazon ink on white cardstock and then I used markers to layer and blend color. Then after it was all colored the way I wanted it, I covered all of the coloring with a versamarker. Then I put clear powder on top and clear embossed. Next I took stampin' sponges and smeared the bashful blue on top - VOILA!! That's all she wrote. Okay - back to the story at hand. When I went to Leadership my friend Tinabeana took my phone charger home.....I texted her from the airport as my phone was taking it's last breath...."Did you by any chance take my charger home with you???" To which she replied, "I don't think so honey...." Famous last
words.....She did. So when I got home I thought about the fact that my phone was old, and it was cool when I got it new, but lately I had not felt so cool with it. So what would make me cool??? Listen to my kids and spring for a blackberry.... YES- that would make me COOL again. So Keith and I were off to the Verizon store....shopping for blackberries which is a lot like giving a child a computer and actually they would probably have a lot better idea what to do with it then Keith and I did!! I have to say, I was a pretty fast texter on my old phone. NOW, it takes me 20 minutes to find out where to even send a text and 20 more to pull up the right person!! This card to the left, made with the same great new stamp set only done in black and white....and cut out and raised up...with a red ribbon to punch it UP!! Okay,,,so after acting like we knew what we were talking about sort of, we purchased Storm 2 blackberries. Buy one get one free. Now is the time. Only after 2 weeks now, I am only texting at about 5 words per hour. I have to study it for four hours everytime I want to send a text to someonew new.....I know how to TALK on the phone but i have no idea how to use the speaker phone,,,which kept turning itself on and off tonite as I was talking to a friend. ugh. so frustrating!!! Okay, so the first or second night or both that we had them......yes.....oh my.....we were going to instant msg our kids.... 6 way....we could all talk to eachother....wow.....The other night my daughter Bethany texted me to say, " R u watching American Idol?" and I sweetly replied, "This is how lobng it took me to figureouwhy my ozkochewas buzzong" Oh yes, makes sense to me......My son says "Goodnight, Love you" and I reply, "Goodboggy, love you too." These are actual conversations we had on our blackberries.....It is so doggone frustrating......and I just YEARN to have my old trusty uncool phone back.
I'm thinkin like maybe I could carry the blackberry around so everyone THINKS I am cool....but when I want to make an actual phone call, or send an actual text, I could use my own phone if Tina ever sends my charger back......that would be cool - or at least the appearance of cool....hmmmmm........gotta think on that one. Cool is not all it's cracked up to be. Do you like this 3rd card to my left?? Do you think I love this new stamp set which will be available in May?? Well.....I am thinking that I really am cool.....after all, I downloaded not one but TWO blog awards and got them in the right place.....so hey.....that's cool enough maybe, eh??? Thank God for the blackberry 30 day money back guarantee.....I am hanging in to see if I need to take Verizon up on that one or not.....maybe blog awards are as cool as it's gonna get for me for a while....oh well, until then, It's time for me to go to bed....Until next time.....Goodboggy everyone!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

TIME TO TOOT MY OWN HORN.........

When I was little, I always remember my mom saying, "Hey, don't toot your own horn, nobody likes a braggart..." - not sure what necessitated her saying that, but I learned from a young age not to brag so FORGIVE ME BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO BOAST, BRAG, TOOT MY OWN HORN AND SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS ABOUT SOMETHING I AM JUST SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR THAT I CANNOT HELP MYSELF....(sorry mom) TODAY......TODAY,,,,YES, JUST THIS MORNING AS IN LIK 1/2 HOUR AGO.....I WAS NOMINATED FOR A BLOG AWARD. LEST YOU THINK THAT IS WHAT I AM BRAGGING ABOUT IT IS NOT. In actuality, I know that is nothing to really brag about as these awards are commonly shared among bloggers.....no....what I am BRAGGING ABOUT IS THAT I MANAGED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME TO GET THAT ADORABLE LITTLE AWARD FROM HER BLOG TO MINE!! I EXCECUTED THIS PROCEDURE AFTER MUCH STUDYING AND CAREFUL PLANNING AND A WHOLE LOTTA LUCK!! YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD ME WHEN THAT LITTLE AWARD SHOWED UP ON MY BLOG RIGHT WHERE MY
PICTURE USUALLY IS!! Had I not figured out how to move it down I would have LEFT IT THERE!!!! I actually moved the award to the right place on my blog!!! MY HUSBAND THOUGHT WE WON THE LOTTERY I YELLED SO LOUD WITH JOY!! He even came over to give me a hug because he could see something had brought me great JOY!! Anyway- for all you computer geeks out there, I can stamp, but I CANNOT do these simplest of computer things without great frustration and usually without success!! I probably will never be able to do it again, but hey, I did it once!!! Please don't be jealous of me all the rest of you computer losers like me.....just rejoice with me!! Okay, about that card we just went by.....I posted it on SCS yesterday and alot of people said Wow, another black magic card, and it is NOT black magic. That is emboss resist. The way you do that is you stamp the flowers on your white card stock circle. Color them however you want to color them. Now paint them with a versamarker and clear emboss. Now they are masked and you can stamp on top of them, or you can smear ink over them, (gable green in this case) and draw some white gel pen accents on top. Michelle Z did this with me a couple of years ago and I use it constantly now - it's almost as addicting as Black Magic!! So try it and have fun and let me know if you have any questions!! I promise to do a tutorial on it one of these days.....I promise.
Now here is a card that I created as a take on the featured stamper of the week over on SCS - mine is different but I used her beautiful layout... you can see this if you click on the side of my blog and hop on over to SCS and see my gallery and her card is linked to mine there. I love to watercolor and sometimes I am happy with my results and sometimes not so much. This time I was happy!! Anyway - back to the subject at hand about me not being able to download stuff and what do you think my next problem is?? The thing that goes along with getting one of those awards is passing it ON!!! And you have to link it to other peoples blogs, and my lips are freezing just THINKING about it........I think I need a little more experience like maybe 10 years or so....forgive me but the buck stops here, the award ends here...I can say I would give this award to everyone I have my blog linked to IF I KNEW HOW......I'm also supposed to tell ten
things about myself that you didn't know so here goes, at least I can do THAT much....(oh and it was a Laura Van Vleet I believe who was so kind to nominate me for this award......1.) I am blog challenged. No, you don't understand, I mean I AM REALLY BLOG CHALLENGED!!!. 2) I have 7 grand daughters and no grandsons and that's okay, I am BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE 3.) I love my golden retriever and my husband and kids and not necessarily in that order 4.) I work as an office manager for a very nice dentist and love it 5.) I play the guitar once in a while when I'm not stamping 6.) I love Jesus and HE loves me and 7.)Did I tell you that I not only won a major award but I MANAGED TO DOWNLOAD IT TO MY BLOG???? DID I TELL YOU THAT??? CAN YOU PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS????? OH HAPPY DAY.......Until next time, keep on stamping!!