Wednesday, December 3, 2014

JOY.'s what's on my mind...and in my heart and home right now.  I don't know if it's possible for me to be more thankful!  
I'm not talking about a giddy excitement or loud laughter or a nice "cushion" in the bank.  In fact, our home is often full of grumbling, fighting between siblings (remember we have four - ranging in age from 13 - 20) and our bank account balance is low enough to make some people seriously scared - especially this time of year.  I can look into any room in my house and see things that need to be picked up, organized, and cleaned.  My "to-do" list is never-ending (like many of yours, I'm sure!) The Christmas busy-ness surrounds me.  However, I'm experiencing a life full of contentment and a grateful heart - a life full of hope.  
I have personally struggled with depression for years.  I also take medication to help with it.   Life can still be awful.  I know what it's like to be overwhelmed, to not know what to do, to feel alone.  My husband and I have watched two of our daughters struggle with depression and anxiety over the past several years.  We've cried, fought, prayed, researched, asked others for help, prayed, and done just about every other thing we could do to help protect them and teach them how to believe in themselves and seek help when they need it.  Oh...did I mention that we've prayed? :)  For so long we've been praying for our children.  Praying that they will know how much God loves them, praying that they will love Him in return, and praying that they will live full, healthy, productive lives.
Lately, we've begun to see glimpses of these prayers being answered.  The result?  JOY - a heart that is grateful beyond words and filled with more hope than ever before, along with a deeper faith in God and His incredible love for us.  Having experienced both incredible blessings and very trying times, I can tell you without a doubt that there is hope.  There is peace.  There is JOY!  In the past when I've experienced "mountain top" times in my life they were always fairly short-lived.  I kind of faced them with a doubting attitude (knowing they wouldn't last).  This time, I'm savoring the moments.  I'm relishing each smile on my children's faces, every moment of happiness, every smile.  I know life can change in an instant.  For now, I just want to hold on and be thankful.
For those of you who may be struggling right now, please know that I care - deeply!  If you want to talk with someone, go out for coffee, or just have someone pray with you, please let me know.  I'm here...and wishing for you this same (and even greater!) JOY.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For a new neighbor...

Do people still give "welcome to the neighborhood" gifts, food, anything?  I made this card for a family who recently moved in (just two houses down the street), and will probably make a fresh batch of cookies to go with it...or maybe some pumpkin scones...mmMmmMMmm...yummy!
Now if I can manage to deliver them before my family devours every last crumb, I'll consider it a success!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Breast cancer awareness

Such an ugly disease...cancer.  I have several friends/family members who have faced cancer of various kinds and they all suck.  This card is for October being breast cancer awareness month.  May researchers find a cure soon!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

World Card Making Day 2014

Wow. LONG time no blogging! Life is busy with four kids and for 2 1/2 of the past three years I was working full time (which meant not much crafting.) I'm back at it now (at least occasionally), and yesterday I made time to just play. SO much fun.
A "joy-fold" card - love these!

Burlap on a card - fun! (just wish it smelled like coffee)

My "brick wall" card...

A birthday card (with dimensional butterfly)

My personal favorite...lots of layers, dimension, fussy-cutting, and BLING!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Playing with "Vintage Vogue"...

This is the main set I've been playing with recently. If you looked at my craft area right now, you'd see all sorts of these flowers stamped and cut out just waiting to be placed on different projects. :-) Here's a few more of the cards I created with this set...

My personal favorite is the "Thank You" card...which is your favorite? Why?

Because I Care cards...

One of the stamp sets I pulled out to play with recently was "Because I Care" (a hostess set from SU). I made three cards with it...all with the same layout, but slightly different color schemes. I stamped the main image with StazOn ink, then colored with my favorite aqua-painter and ink pads. I played with one of my new toys (a Martha Stewart border punch) on this project, as well. Which one is your favorite? I posted a close-up of mine...

Ramblings on a really rough month...

April was a really rough month at our house. Our oldest daughter has been struggling with depression for some time now, and in April spent eight days in a psychiatric hospital, followed by three more as a "partial patient" in an attempt to diagnose, treat, and teach her how to better manage the emotions she's dealing with. On top of that, we had three birthdays to celebrate (and Easter, too)! How do you celebrate when your life is in the midst of a storm? Carefully. I'm definitely not an expert at this, but I'm learning to recognize the truly important, and focus on one day at a time (sometimes one minute or hour at a time).
We all deal with life's ups and downs differently. I eat...and craft...and cry (in no particular order). Crafting is one of the few "positive outlets" that I have, so I refuse to let that go completely. A few of the cards I've made recently were for family, so I thought I'd share them here.

The turquoise card uses Stampin' Up!'s "Natural Beauty" set, and I simply watercolored the bird image a bit. The flower strip was made using an EK punch.

The birthday card was made for Brenna's birthday (I still have a hard time believing that she's actually 17!). I used the Vintage Vogue set from Stampin' Up!, along with a Nestabilities die, and some vanilla seam binding. This is one of my personal favorites. :-)