Saturday, June 29, 2013

Age is a work of art- Birthday Card Art

Ladies, Brandy has been at it again. She whipped up this stunning beauty a couple weeks back and it has taken me this long to not to forget to upload the photo and get it posted.

Brandy used her Heartfelt Creations Sun Kissed Fleur collection to make this beauty.  The base cardstock card was inked using a couple different blue Distress Inks.  The layered printed papers were distressed on their edges and inked as well.  Brandy stamped the sentiment on the paper and placed it to be enhanced with the curled edges of the top layer of patterned paper.  Ultimately, the color combo came from that top layer of paper, but she so distressed and Glimmer Glammed the top, it is now hard to see the colors.  Each flower was stamped in Versamark ink and embossed with white embossing powder.  After cutting out each flower, the backside of the flowers was colored with some craft markers she had on hand (not her Copic markers).  The flowers were layered and glued together with green glitter in their centers.  The leaf flourish comes with the Sun Kissed Fleur gift box set.

What do you think?  She's done it again, hasn't she?  Now you know who the true genius in this group is.  This doesn't bother me in the least, because she's my bestie and I adore her creations.  I'm hoping she'll keep this creative streak up.  Go, Brandy, go.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Joining up at Bloglovin'

Google Reader is almost dead.  I'm one of the least technical people you hardly know.  I tricked myself into thinking that maybe I didn't need to do anything about the loss of my Google Reader because I don't actually use it anyway (I've never opened a "Google Reader").  However, I'm pretty sure now that I've been using the thing for a very long time.

I'm also terrified of losing my connections to the very few blogs that I follow regularly.  These are some of the sweetest ladies I've every watched online.  So I've joined up at Bloglovin in large part because two of the blogs I follow did the same.  In small part, when I checked out the Bloglovin site I really liked the posts on their front page.  Probably the same deceptively enjoyable posts every time... I'm easily moved and tricked.

You can join me in following your blogs over at Bloglovin or you can now follow me on Bloglovin.  I'm not going to tell you that I had to remove the "correct punctuation" from their name in the four locations I referenced them because the absence of the "g" bothers me.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Very Pretty Birthday Wish

One of my coworkers requested my help on a special occasion birthday card.  Oh boy, was I willing to help?!  I still had not played with my Heartfelt Creations Vintage Floret stamps and dies that I picked up as a part of my classes at the CK convention in April.  April doesn't seem that long ago, but it has been eight weeks.

I started by stamping on some shiny vellum using my Shaded Lilac Distress Ink.  If you haven't created flowers with Heartfelt Creations' dies, they have a great video collection over at their website.  This video provides the instructions for the technique I used to cut these flowers from the vellum.  Just a word of encouragement- this isn't a precise/exact science.  Look closely at those flowers, they weren't cut perfectly, but you never notice in the final finished product.

I decided that the shiny vellum was not quiet enough- this is a milestone birthday that we're celebrating after all.  To amp up the shine, I applied a light layer of Champagne Glimmer Glaze.  This product goes on a lot like a very thin nail polish and dries very rapidly.  I then shaped each petal following the instructions from this video and glued the layers together. The centers were made using my Viva Decor Ivory Pearl Pen

The medallion was cut using Cricut's Sophie cartridge [accent4].  I cut the shadow from a dark textured cardstock.  The swirl was cut from a very old piece of K & Company paper from the stash.  The leaves were cut from Cricut's Picturesque cartridge [Leaves] and edged in Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I also shaped the leaves.  I printed the sentiment out on a piece of cardstock.  After all that prep, the last step was the design.  I used this and then loosely interpreted the final card design.  I used a fair bit of purple in the design, but the pictures don't do it justice. 

The card was made from a chocolate brown cardstock so I needed to finish the inside to allow for additional sentiments.  I stamped one lonely little floret in the corner with the Shaded Lilac Distress Ink, finishing with a layer of Glimmer Glam and a small bit of glitter.  I think the card turned out lovely.  I'm sure having fun with all these flowers.  I'll have to move on to different tools soon enough.  Til then, enjoy!

I entered this card in Simon Says Stamp Challenge Anything Goes.   You have until next Wednesday, July 3rd to join the fun. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Lingering Father's Day Card

I discovered these pictures in my folder and realized that I didn't share them on the blog.  This card was made for my father-in-law for Father's Day.

I used my new Darkroom Door Trees stamp set to make this card. Both the tree and the sentiment come from that set.  I used a Fantastick and some of my Forest Moss Distress Ink to color the leaves.

The scattered leaves/grass is a small bit of Flower Soft that was left over from a card class.  It seemed to tie in the color of the patterned paper to the stamped image.  I'm wishing I'd added a little of the red in the leaves.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

The inside was finished with one of my older stamp sets and some of the coordinating patterned paper.  Simple and effective for a father-in-law.  We live about 2 1/2 hours away, so this card was sent off with our love and a small gift card for movies on us. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Encouraging Baby Shower Card

One of the lovely ladies at the Bible study that I facilitate is expecting her second child.  Second child baby showers are iffy- especially when expecting the same gender as your first.  I couldn't just leave it alone with the group gift and put together this pretty little confection.  The papers are from the Prima Madeline paper pack. 

The flower was stamped with silver Brilliance ink (you can't tell in this picture) onto a shiny vellum and cut using the Heartfelt Creations Vintage Floret die.  I inked the flower with a Brilliance teardrop pink ink.  After shaping and layering the flowers, I placed a store bought pearl and inked the pearl with the pink Brilliance ink as well.  The leaves come from the Heartfelt Creations Aster die set.  This was also inked with a green Brilliance teardrop ink, shaped and portions cut for use.  The fibers and ribbons come from the stash- too old to identify.  Everything is edged in Vintage Photo Distress Ink- a go-to standard for me.

The inside needed a little dressing up so I made this Bible verse in Word and printed on a piece of the patterned paper from the pack.  There's a light script behind the verse that adds a little depth in person that the photo doesn't actually capture.  It's just the right sentiment to encourage an expectant mom.

Hope your day is encouraging too!

I've linked this creation up at the Cute Card Thursday In the Summertime challenge.   With all that bright flowery goodness, it reminds me of summertime.  Come join the fun.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baby Shower Favor

I was recently asked to participate in a very small baby shower for a young lady who comes to the Bible study that I lead.  It was Natalieanne's second child, so we weren't looking to do anything spectacular.  We all chipped in for a double stroller (her first child is less than 2 years old) and her friend in the group brought some shower snacks.  We knew we wanted to do our study that night, so there was no plans for games or anything else.  I just thought that the party was begging for something more for Natalieanne, so I came up with the following baby shower devotional to read to Natalieanne and a small favor to bestow on the guests.  I picked up pieces of the entire thing from websites which I have tried to faithfully represent with the links, so please click through to find the original posts and the inspiring information they contain.

As you add another life to your family there will be beautiful moments and hard moments both, but my encouragement to you, when you are in the trenches of daily life with two children, is that God is working in your life – in each circumstance, each diaper, each smiling child and each child that is driving you crazy. God is using it all to transform you into the image of His Son.

So, what part of this transformation is your responsibility? This is the good news indeed, because your job is simply to trust and obey. You’ve started very well on the obey part- learning who God is, what He is like and how you should act toward Him. Coming to this Bible study is evidence that you are on the path to obeying His commands. Keep it up! I found his short excerpt from the devotional “Blessed is the Mother who Clings” by Mary E. Hamrick, which illustrates how as you follow the Lord and are refined by him your children come along and learn from you. The except came from a blog post you can read and find here.  She says,

  • “Blessed is the child whose mom’s delight is in the law of the Lord”, for the child will learn to enjoy reading and studying God’s Word.
  • “Blessed is the child whose mom puts her trust in the Lord”, for the child will learn that the Lord is trustworthy and faithful.
  • "Blessed is the child whose mom’s sins are forgiven”, for he will learn about God’s grace and mercy.
  • "Blessed is the child whose mom’s steps are ordered by the Lord”, for the child will learn to yield their life and direction to the Lord’s guidance.
  • "Blessed is the child whose mom perseveres”, for the child will learn to press on through tough situations and lessons, never giving up.
But, how about that trust part? Having young children can seem so very serious. You’ve a responsibility and a God-given earnestness to take that responsibility seriously. The heart of this kind of trust comes when we realize that our children belong to God and we need to learn how to act like that is true. I found this short list of reasons why our children belong to God and then another list of how we can start acting like it.   You can read the original post of this information here.  I've edited her version slightly.

Reasons why our children belong to God:  

1.  He created them.

             Psalm 139:14,
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are
                                     your works; my soul knows it very well. 

You and your husband did not create your child. No human can create something that is eternal. God allows us to have a small part in his creation. Don’t take advantage of this privilege by taking ownership of something that doesn’t belong to you. 

2. He purchased their salvation.

               Hebrews 9:12
He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood 
                                      of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal

Not only is He their Creator, but He is also their Savior, and hopefully their Lord. From our point of view, it’s not normal that the creator should have to purchase his own creation, but God did this for us and for our children. But that is just how much God loves us- He didn’t leave us in our sin but saved us, paying the biggest price.  

3.  He sustains them.

                 Colossians 1:17
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

He gives them every beat of their heart and every breath they take. We mothers do not keep our children alive. God does.

It’s not about GIVING our children to God. It’s about RECOGNIZING that they already belong to Him, and to start acting like it. This is a higher motivation for training and disciplining them. We might be careless at times with our own possessions (new clothes get old over time), but if we love God, we won’t want to be careless with His possessions.

So, how do we begin to act like our children belong to God? 

  • Develop their character. You are training them to be a “soldier of Jesus Christ.” When they are very little, you do this by teaching them to obey. The way they obey you now is how they will obey God later.
  • Stop worrying about them. Trust God for their safety and their future and their health.
Your children truly will grow up and be blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) to have you as their mother because you are blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) to have God as your Redeemer.

Let me finish with this. The Bible tells us the following:

           Hebrews 10:24-25a  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 
                                            not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging 
                                            one another.
We’ve already committed to one of these commands. By coming to study each week we are not neglecting to meet together and I know that I’ve been extremely encouraged by each of you here. I thought we might commit to “stir up one another” when it specifically comes to Natalieanne with a common tradition I found on the internet. Sometimes called a mother blessing or a blessingway, we can commit to bless the new life within Natalieanne in prayer. I’ve made these favors for each of you to take home. If Christine [a friend of the pregnant woman, Nataileanne] would be willing to notify us when Natalieanne’s labor has begun, we can each commit to the following when we find out:

Light the candle which symbolizes the eternal presence of the Holy Spirit and say a prayer for Natalieanne, her child-to-be Hypatia, father Lenny, and sister Zyah. Pray that God would make Natalieanne strong in faith and utterly dependent upon Him in all things. 


These favors were created with a whole lot of love and a very little bit of time.  I think they were lovely and to the point though.  A small tealight candle (Partylite's Strawberry Rhubarb to be exact, which I highly recommend because they smell lovely!) is wrapped in a 12 x 6 inch rectangle of white tulle (I folded the piece in half to double up on the look).  The tulle is closed with a small piece of pink baker's twine.  The tag was created using my Accent Essentials (I think) Cricut cart to cut out a shadow version of the scalloped circle.  The image of the lovely little girl reminded me of Natalieanne's curly hair when I viewed it over at the Graphics Fairy.  I placed the image in a Word file, placed Word Art around (for the Natalie & Hypatia words) and printed multiples on white printer paper which I then glued onto the scalloped circle.  Using the baker's twine, I tied the tag to the favor.  Viola!  

Natalieanne is due next week.  How wonderful?!  We can't wait to see Hypatia and to watch her grow with her mommy into the joy of the Lord!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Heartfelt Creations- Sympathy Card

Working my way through to caught up.  This is the second of three cards from the Heartfelt Creations card class that Brandy and I missed at the CK convention earlier this year. I will admit that of the three cards in the class kit, this was the one I was least impressed with the finished design.  There's a couple of things that my matchy, matchy mind struggle with- the fat and flat look of the swirly oval window in comparison to the very intricate stamped background, the white oval inset to the window is too small and you can see the mismatch peaking through, and finally the too-simple color palette that just doesn't create much interest. 

Surprising for me- I usually am just stunned by the design efforts of Heartfelt Creations.  Still, trying to make some lemonade with my lemons I thought that this would make a very smart, non-flashy sympathy card.  I, thankfully, am not currently in need of a sympathy card.  However, I think I salvaged something gift worthy from this card. 

Since we weren't in class, we missed out stamping a very intricate swirl onto the white oval.  I found this substitute in my Fiskars set and stamped using a purple teardrop Brilliance ink.  I added glitter to the pre-cut swirly window, the stamped swirl and the butterflies (which were pre-stamped/cut and provided in the kit).  The vellum butterflies are simply fabulous.  I stamped the sentiment in silver Brilliance ink.  Its a little too light, but again, I think it works with the mono-chromatic design.  The picture doesn't really capture the finished look. 

Ack- they can't all be stunning, right?!  This will go in the card stash and I hope to have it for some time without needing to offer my sympathies. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heartfelt Creations- Decorative Blossoms

Still catching up from April's CK Scrapbook convention.  Brandy and I signed up for a Heartfelt Creations card class that was after lunch.  Then we promptly made plans to have lunch with one of Brandy's coworkers.  What a lovely lunch we had onsite at the hotel restaurant!  We moseyed out to our class with a contented satisfaction.

We'd had a great weekend of classes, bff time and crafting.  The first warning bells rang as we walked by the classroom, door flung wide and spied the Heartfelt Creations teacher lecturing at the top of the class.  We chit chatted for another minute or so.  Then came the almost simultaneous- what classes are left??? questions from both Brandy and myself.  Then a- isn't that the card class? followed by the frantic rush to pull out class tickets and realize we'd missed our class!!  The folks at Heartfelt Creations were gracious enough to hand us the card kit as we settled in for our last class.  The great thing about Heartfelt Creations' classes is that they provide just about everything you could need.  I had to use my own ink and my own glue, but otherwise this kit has all the supplies needed. 

The cool features in this card include the rather unique corner die detail.  The background mat was cut by placing the corner die strategically such that the lacy embellishment was left in the patterned paper.  The lighter patterned paper (with a corner flower print) was then slipped under the lacy die cut and glued in place.  It's a very simple technique with an elegant result.  The flowers were pre-stamped and pre-cut for the class and I think are the Tattered Blossoms stamps and dies.  A very similar design can be found at the Heartfelt Creations website here which includes a product list and simple instructions.  I created this close up of the flower to highlight a new technique.  Small pieces of irregularly shaped acryllic, Glass Shards Glitter, was sprinkled over Crystal Accents to create an almost crystalline look to the flowers.  The result is very eye catching in person.  I had to up the contrast and lowlights in this picture to even get them to stand out.  As usual, their stuff really delivers.  I've left this card without a sentiment so that I might put it to whatever use I ultimately identify.

Heartfelt Creations Tattered Blossoms Stamps and Dies
Decorative Blossom Corner Die
Bella Rose Die
Timeless Amour Paper

Sunday, June 9, 2013

C'est Joli

This is another of the cards made on vacation.  This keeping up with the blog thing... I'm not doing a very good job and somehow lost track of this one.  Either way, I didn't bring any ribbon on the trip so I improvised with a strip of paper.  The paper is from the Glitz Vintage Blue paper stack.  The wood pieces are from a Studio Calico Hexagons set and were stamped with a Recollections stamp set using my Faded Jeans Distress Ink.  The same swirl was used around the edge of the canary yellow cardstock base.  The sentiment is from the Glitz French Kiss stamp set.   

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

20 Years of Wedded Bliss

Today is a momentous occasion in the Miller household.  Dan and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary today.  Yes, 20 long years ago I started the day at my mom's house. I'd given up on my apartment lease 3 weeks earlier and didn't want to pay for part of a month and move during the end of college and last minute wedding planning rush.  I wasn't particularly nervous, just anxious for things to go swell. 

Twenty years have a way of going by extremely fast.  In my head, I'm not nearly old enough to have been married for 20 years (I would add that I'm much thinner, younger looking and can run considerably faster in my head as well!).  When first married I got into a verbal tif with a coworker who asserted the fact that married life doesn't have to change you.  Her position was that having lived with her boyfriend for many years, she felt it wouldn't change anything to be married.  I'd give a ton of bricks to find out what she thinks all these years later...

I can say one thing that hasn't changed- my love for my dear husband.  The sentiment on this card says it all- he is the one on this Earth that my soul loves and has loved now for more than 20 years.  Even if there are days where I'd like to back up and take a running start at him (which is doomed to failure because I am only faster in my head!)...

Happy Anniversary, husband!  I love you!

The card was made with my Heartfelt Creations Posy stamp and die set.  The squares of white cardstock and each flower were colored using a Fantastik and my Peacock Feathers and Worn Lipstick Distress Inks.  The sentiment is the same used for the bridal shower card last month that I printed out using Word.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Homemade Wedding Celebration Card

I've mentioned a couple of times on the blog about my cousin's kid getting married.  This card was created for her and her handsome groom.  I knew that I wanted to go monochromatic with the card and struggled a bit to come up with the design. 
I also knew that I wanted to go with my Heartfelt Creations Delicate Asters for the flower embellishment.  I first stamped the flowers using my metallic silver Brilliance ink.  Then I used the window method to die cut my flowers using my Sidekick.  A great picture tutorial is located here.  Then, I simply glued the layers of flowers together (two small asters and one medium aster) with my Crystal Accents.  Once finished, I added some glitter to the centers and along the petals (delicate work considering how slender these petals are). 

The frame is cut from my Cricut Picturesque cart using white cardstock.  I was looking for a way to bring it up off the card a bit and the metallic silver Brilliance ink added just the right aged look that enhanced the frame design.  The smaller picture captures a little of the real life look, though none of my pictures here are particularly good.  The sentiment was stamped using my Tilted Banner Sayings and the Brilliance ink.  These sentiments have really come in handy since I picked them up during the Patterned Play card class earlier this year.  A little bit of vintage seam binding ribbon and this card is done.

Inside I wished the happy couple a good life.  I'm waxing nostalgic myself as I have a milestone wedding anniversary coming soon.  Couple this with my parents 40th wedding anniversary and I am feeling very positive about the state of marriage.  I suppose, tis the season!