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In the silence of the heart

1 Jul

Sunday Sky

If we really want to pray,

we must first learn to listen,

for in the silence of the

heart God speaks.

~Mother Teresa

I’ll be back to stamping on Monday. See you then!

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Happy Birthday, Little Girl!

22 Oct

My little girl is not so little anymore. She turned 21 this week. On October 18, my youngest child, my only daughter, my little girl turned 21! I don’t know where the years went…but my little girl is all grown up!

She’s a junior at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Her aspiration is to become a country recording artist! Being an artistic type, she’s got a unique style, which includes cowboy boots…with everything! So, what would be more perfect for her birthday card than cowboy boots?

What do you think of the special card I made for her?

Want to know how I made it? How about if we start with those killer boots? Believe it or not, I started with the new stocking punch, found in the Holiday Mini Catalog! I punched two “stockings” from Island Indigo card stock. To convert the stocking to a boot, I used the wide oval punch to remove the top part of the foot of the stocking. That’s it. Simple, huh? To round the top of the boot, I created a template by punching a card stock scrap with the 3/4″ circle punch. I then laid the circle over the top of the stocking top, traced the top of the circle, and used my snips to cut along the line. Okay, now you’ve got the boot shape. Now for some finishing touches.

  • Leather texture added to “boots” with a retired Texturz plate.
  • Stamped with VersaMark, using flourish from Elements of Style stamp set. Added Silver Embossing Powder and set with heat gun.
  • Stamped with VersaMark, using flowers from Borderlines stamp set. Added Melon Mambo Embossing Powder and set with heat gun.
  • Used a scrap strip of Island Indigo card stock to create the boot straps. Just folded a piece over and attached it with a little snail to backside of boot.
  • The heel was created with the jewelry tag punch. I punched it from Soft Suede and added texture by swiping Soft Suede ink across the card stock with a sponge.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I added some bling!! Self-adhesive rhinestones dot the center of each flower down the side of each boot.

Did you notice the lace peeking out of the top of the boots? My daughter had crocheted legwarmers on her wish list. So, here’s my inspiration. I just used a couple of snips of Victoria Crochet Trim and tucked them in the boot tops!Pay close attention and you’ll notice that she’s wearing black leggings under her multi-layered skirt. Speaking of skirts…how about that skirt? It’s Stampin’ Up!’s beautiful Spice Cake fabric — available in the Holiday Mini Catalog! With the Big Shot, and the Scallop Circle Die, I cut two pieces of fabric. Each skirt layer is one quarter of a circle. I just laid one on top of the other and “snailed” them down. The petticoat peeking out from the bottom of the skirt was created with a strip of Whisper White card stock and the Eyelet Border Punch. I just accordian-folded it.

The belt is a strip of Soft Suede card stock. I just folded the ends under the edges of the skirt. Of course, a country star’s gotta shine! When the spotlight hits that belt buckle, boy-oh-boy, will it ever sparkle! The Bojo Blossom Punch, the 1/2″ Circle Punch and the Silver Glimmer Paper made an awesome buckle, fit for a superstar, don’t you think?

Here are some other supplies used to create this card:

  • Card stock: Island Indigo, Pool Party, Soft Suede, Whisper White, Basic Black
  • Designer Series Papers: Spice Cake, Silver Glimmer Paper
  • Inks: VersaMark, Soft Suede, Pool Party, Island Indigo
  • Accessories: On Board Merry Medley

Oh, I almost forgot. You might like to see the inside of the card, too.

I finished off the card with a Scallop Envelope, created with the Big Shot, Island Indigo card stock, and the Scallop Envelope Die, which I “blinged” up with glimmer paper, and attached to the inside left of the card. I tucked a check inside, with a little note attached that said “Boots to-die-for.” Talk about one excited girl! New boots. It just don’t get no better ‘an that!!!

The Birthday Girl

Blow away cystic fibrosis!

18 May

Email Image

How about joining me for a walk this weekend? I’ll be joining my family and others in Leesburg, VA for the Great Strides walk for a cure for CYSTIC FIBROSIS  this Sunday, May 22 at 10 am. You can register online and meet me there! If you can’t make it, how about making an online donation to help “blow away” CF? The goal of the walk is to fund the research to find a cure for CF!! Every dollar counts! If everyone who sees this post donates just $1.00, we will make a difference! Of course, if you’d like to donate more, so much the better! We walk for a day when CF stands for Cure Found.

This is a cause near and dear to my heart. You see, my 17-year old niece has this devastating disease. Although Shelby is a beautiful, active, talented, gifted young woman, and a phenomenal photographer, she has a very ugly hereditary disease. We NEED to find a cure! Won’t you help?

Shelby, a self-portrait

There’s going to be a nice little silent auction at the walk on Sunday, including an item from me. If you can join us, bring a billfold or checkbook…just in case you find something special.

Until we meet again…HAPPY STAMPIN’!

Lost in the woods

9 May

The Cheyenne, Appomattox, VA

I’ve been lost in the woods! Well, not literally but certainly figuratively! I was only 45 minutes away from home but I might as well have been a world away. For the past five days, my husband, parents, youngest brother and I stayed at a cabin — The Cheyenne — set on 25 scenic acres bordering the Appomattox River in Appomattox County, VA.  No telephone. No internet. Very little TV…uses a window antenna…we did watch American Idol and Medium but that’s about all the TV-watching we did for five days!

I took lots of reading material and lots of stuff to stamp and a bag filled with work but I didn’t do any of it. I visited with my family. I listened to the turkeys gobbling in the surrounding forest. I watched the bluebirds prepare the worms they then fed to their babies. I was mesmerized by a blue heron gliding in for a landing on the river.  In the mornings I awakened to the call of the bob-white. At night, I fell asleep to the song of the whip-poor-will.  In between, the air was filled with a beautiful symphony of bird songs (and no lawn mowers!)! So, I revelled in the beauty of my surroundings.

When I was tired, I napped. When I was restless, I took a walk. When I was hungry, I ate. The simple life.  Uncomplicated. Beautiful!

Now I’m back home. Back to work.

My stamp room has been re-painted. I’m working on putting it back together this week for a BIG REVEAL this Friday night! Mark your calendar for Friday, May 13 at 7 pm! Join me for K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stamping) from 7-9! I’ve got some very nice cards planned for you! I know you’re going to like them! Don’t forget to RSVP to let me know you’re coming!

Hope to see you soon!

Until we meet again…HAPPY STAMPIN’!

He is Risen! Alleluia!

25 Apr

Happy Easter, everyone!

What a blessed Easter my family and have enjoyed so far! My daughter, a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, had off  Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and no classes on Wednesday. So, she arrived home for a long weekend early Wednesday evening with Kailey, a friend and sorority sister from Seattle, WA. Boy, oh boy, was it ever good to have them here!

We were able to shop and talk and eat and shop and talk and eat and shop and talk and eat…

Daron was here to join with her Dad and all the other choir members to lift their beautiful voices to the glory of God at every service!

We were able to celebrate the Triduum together! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Saturday, after the Easter Vigil: Daron, Oakley, Kathy

Kailey and Daron

Sadly, Daron and Kailey returned to Nashville yesterday for two more weeks of classes and exams! But, not before an Easter dinner of Caprese Salad, roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, scalloped pineapple, mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls. Oh yes! We can’t forget the culmination: Oakley’s scrumptious homemade lemon pie! Yum!

Now, after an unplanned — but seemingly much needed — hiatus from blogging and stamping, I’m baaa-ack! Resurrecting my blog! Back to blogging every day! Watch for some beautiful cards and other craft projects that will be coming your way! Soon! Of course, bits and pieces of my life will make their way here, too! I hope you’ll stop by often, or even subscribe to get my posts in your inbox! I’d love it if you’d leave comments to let me know what you think!

Until we meet again…HAPPY STAMPIN’!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

19 Mar

Today is my Daddy’s 77th birthday! Happy Birthday, Daddy! I am blessed to be able to spend the day with him. It’s been a wonderful day!

When Mom asked Dad what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he replied, “Hamburgers and hot dogs!” — his favorite. So, we pulled out the Weber and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs! It was warm enough to enjoy our barbecue dinner outside on the screened porch. Those burgers and dogs, along with sides of baked beans, potato salad, five bean salad, and deviled eggs made for a delicious feast! And one happy man! Well, three really. My youngest brother and my husband were equally thrilled with the meal set before them!

Daddy, just before he dug in!

When we sat down to dinner, at 6:50 (note clock in photo); it was warm enough that we were comfortable in short sleeves. When cake-and-ice-cream-time rolled around, it was dark and the temps had dipped! So, Daddy had donned his sweatshirt, hood and all!

All seven candles -- one breath!

Mom and I thought 77 candles might be a little much, so we settled for seven! And Daddy blew them all out at once! WooHoo! Go, Dad!

Here’s wishing my Dad a blessed year ahead and many more birthdays shared! I love you, Daddy!

Until we meet again, HAPPY STAMPIN’!

Take a break and recharge…progress report.

14 Mar

A week ago I told you not to look for a blog post from me on Sundays. I hope you remembered!

As you may recall, I said I was going to take a break and recharge on Sundays during Lent. My goal was to abide by the ten core principles of the Sabbath manifesto. I said I was “going to keep the computer, TV, and cell phone off on Sundays. I’m going to do my shopping on the other six days of the week. I’m going to prepare a home-cooked meal, with love, for my family. I’m going to light candles, drink wine, and play a board game with my family. I’m going for a long walk with my dogs. I’m going to set aside a special time for prayer and journaling at the end of the day.”

Here’s my progress report:

1. Avoid technology:

Since I was traveling home from North Carolina, I used a car…I think that qualifies as technology.

Since I was driving in unfamiliar territory, I used my GPS…I think that also qualifies as technology.

While in the car, my daughter and I listened to the car radio and CDs…yep, technology.

Since we were traveling, cell phones were on…yep, technology.

At home, in the evening, I used my computer to read my materials for my Master Gardener class…more technology.

Are you getting the drift? It’s really hard not to use technology! It’s such an integral part of our lives. But, I made a conscious effort NOT to get on the internet, not to check email, not to blog, not to Facebook. Progress. I made a conscious decision NOT to watch TV…well, mostly. I managed NOT to watch any college basketball, including the draws. Very hard. I made a decision to compromise when it came time for Amazing Race, a show that my husband and I enjoy watching together. We watched it and nothing else. Progress.

2. Connect with loved ones:

Traveling with my daughter for 2-1/2 hours we had the opportunity to talk…to connect. When we got home we sat down to lunch with my husband and enjoyed a special time together before she headed back to Nashville, her spring break concluded. As I said above, my husband and I sat together to watch a favorite show — a compromise — and then sat together, reading and talking. Yep, we connected.

3. Nurture your health:

My major effort with this principle is to refrain from eating sweets throughout Lent. This is most challenging for me. I have a sweet tooth. So far, so good.

4. Get outside:

I was true to my promise: I took my two dogs for an hour long walk. Then I came back home and piddled in the yard a little bit…not working, just sort of walking around the yard and enjoying the beauty of the day. Then, I settled into a comfy chair on the back porch with a book and a glass of wine, and stayed there until dark, mesmerized by the diligent efforts of a Carolina chickadee, as it prepared a new house (a gift from my dad) for a new family.

5. Avoid commerce:

Almost successful. On the way home from North Carolina, Daron and I stopped at McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin and a cup of java. No shopping done though.

6. Light candles: Check

7. Drink wine: Check

8. Eat bread: Check

9. Find silence: Check

10. Give back: While it may be a small thing, I prepared home-cooked food for my daughter to take back to school with her…a simple sign of the love I have for her!

I fell into bed, sound asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, early…way before my usual after-midnight bedtime. Exhausted from a very busy weekend and traveling, I didn’t journal at the end of the day as I’d planned. But, I did say a prayer of thanksgiving as I fell into bed!

It would be easy to beat myself up for being less than successful in my attempts to abide by the ten core principles. Instead, I’m at peace. I made progress. I consciously made changes in how I spent my Sunday. God knows I tried, and that’s all that really matters.