Crafters of Faith ~ Smile!


 Proverbs 15:13 says "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face
and today's cheery card is a reflection of all the joy
and happiness my blogging friends bring :)

And it's posting day for the Crafters of Faith!  This is always a fun time to post and this month is no exception.  Our lovely hostess, Sharon, gave us such an amazing challenge to work with this time around.
Here is her challenge for us:

 * For this challenge, I would like to see you use both old stash and new stash to create your card/project.

* To add a little fun to the challenge, I'd love to see you try a new technique -- something you've never done before. You can check out google, youtube, or even the SCS forums and galleries for inspiration! 

* Make sure you tell me what's new and what's old and post a link or give a little description of the technique you used.

And here is my card!
For the 'new' part of the challenge, I followed these two challenges on SCS:
1.  TLC414 "Play with Balance" ~ I added the smiling flower to the large card base as balance of large to small ... and
2. TLC363 ~ "Make your own Stripes"  (made with dsp as small panels)

Since the challenges are the new part of the card requirements, the old is the stamps I've used ~ TGF's Summer stamp and sentiment.  I've also had this Crate Paper paper pad and loved the versatile colors it holds - perfect for a mish-mash design :)  

And that's about it from me for today!
Please be sure to stop by the COF girls - on my sidebar - 
and see what beautiful creations they've created this month!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Kelly's CRAFTING theme of 2013 (Jan. Calendar Girls)

Each year, I have a 'word' that inspires me - it becomes my mantra and my challenge to last the whole year through.  I almost always strive to have something spiritually based as that is pretty much the foundation of who I strive to be (even though I often fall short of my 'word!')  

 In addition to having a word of the year, I also have a crafting 'theme' of the year.  I try to make it rhyme {not just to be cute and catchy) but to help me actually remember it! *smile!* 

Last year was "Take it off the SHELF in 2012" which inspired me to use some of the SU! stamp sets that I bought on a binge when I first started card making!  I was so proud that I followed through with my challenge!

So this year?  Hmmmm, '13.  That's a tough one!  
You could rhyme it with the "thirt" part ..... or the "teen" ... what to do!  
Then I remembered that I really loved the process of learning new things last year - whether it was a challenge tossed down or a DT requirement to a simple browse through a gallery and thinking "I would love to try that!"

And an idea was born!  This year's theme is .....

I'll be LEARNing in 2013!

How exciting!  I'm already ear-marking new challenge spots,
techniques to try, ways to stretch my creative mind waaaaay out of it's comfort zone and still play along with my favorite groups, friends and regular hangouts :)

My crafting goals for Learning in 2013 ~ 

1. To post once a month something I've made with something learned; henceworth, called my LINY cards!  (Learning In the New Year) :)
2. To learn to love scrap-booking again!  This was my first crafting love and I promised my girls I'd get those pages done!
3. To learn new techniques with the stamps + papers I own rather than "stay stuck in a rut!"
4. To learn to use each item I've been gifted or won in a blog hop/candy! I'm so excited about that one!
5. To reconnect with all the challenge sites I've learned about  - new and old!

And right out the gate, I am excited that the Calendar Girls' hostess, Jeanette, gave us a challenge this month that sort of allows creative freedom!
We are to find a picture - either on the web or one of our own - and create a card/project inspired by that.  I have so very many pictures that inspire me but truly one of the greatest loves of mine to craft are scriptures. 
I find that even in my walk of faith, I like to include a craft from time to time - be it something creative in my church women's fellowship or maybe a card or faith-book page!  Literally, my intended card bothered me so greatly that I started all over, pretty much at zero hour!  
I typed in christian images and this one was like the 3rd one I saw - and it felt like "the one!"  I intended to make a CAS card with just one layer of dsp - the purple colored background, but I failed big time! I just couldn't do it :)  I quickly added a few more layers and colors to the card and am much happier with it ... I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this case!

So here is my photo inspiration:

followed by my humble card :)
For this card, I used an old set of stamps from Stamps Happen that have NEVER seen ink, shamelessly!  They inked up perfectly and were so wonderful to use!  The petals and flower are actually a half flower.  I over-layed the stamp to create a full flower, added a few stickles and propped it up on 3D dots for a bit of dimension.  What I did different for this LINY card #1 was use my aqua painter and water color crayons to create the flower.

 So this is my LINY card #1 for the year and still in the month of January :)

1.  Green at Heart DSP from Basic Grey (this was a must have when it was first released and I made one card and hoarded saved the rest!)
2.  The Numbers scripture stamp and SNSS butterfly stamp (that one was gifted as a GDT many years ago!)
3. Aqua painter and water color SU crayons - dusted off and put to good use!

Whew, thanks for reading this super long post!  I'm excited to be starting off the new year fresh and ready to conquer many of my 'bucket list' crafting items :)  I made lists.  ALL. the. time.  But this is the year to get them DONE! 

At least that's my silent mommy prayer :)

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!



Riley and Co BLOG HOP! ~ "Always Believe!"

Hi there!
 Welcome to the new stamp release Riley and Company blog hop :)  I have two things showcased for you today  - a card and a bookmark :)  This is an especially fun post as I'm using the new retro coffee girl and coordinating stamp sentiment ~ many of you probably know me well and that I'm RARELY without a cup of coffee (or a book!) :)   I'm also showcasing the Funny Bones sentiment paired with hot air balloon Riley (this lil cutie is one of my very favorites!)  

You should have arrived here from Michele's marvelous blog ~ and from here, you'll hop on over to Laurie's lovely blog!  If you've just arrived, start here :)  

So let's hop!  

First up, a card featuring the Funny Bones stamp "Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen."  That statement literally takes my breath away ~ and plan to have this stamped all over just about everything this year!  I've added the hot air balloon Riley because he makes me smile :)  Next, the papers on both the card and bookmark are a mix of Valentine papers and I chose some slightly off colors due to my love of non-traditional looks.  I gave them a slightly collage-y look (hee hee - is that a word?!) I paper-pieced the hot air balloon and baskets as I love to paper-piece.  
and I love buttons.  and ric-rac. *Bliss!*

And that's my post  for you today :)  I appreciate you stopping by!  Here are few things to see as you continue on your hop tonight:

Special #1:  Buy an unmounted sheet of ALL the 13 new people for only $50.00! (reg. $6.00 each). That's a savings of $28.00!

Special #2:  You can also get a set of 3 FREE Funnybone stamps (our choice) during this release by simply placing an order of $25 or more (before tax) in the first 24 hours of the release! (One per customer please.)

Special #3:  But wait - there's more! As an added bonus, we are giving EVERYONE FREE SHIPPING from Thursday night at 9 pm CST until Sunday night at midnight CST! Just enter FREESHIP in the coupon code section!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Riley Sneak #5 ~ Plain Bat Crazy!

Hiya!  Only one more sleep til the big blog hop and new stamp release!
I hope you have enjoyed the new Riley and Company sneak peeks this week ~ hilarious as they are!  I confess, I've been struggling with a full plate and a tumultuous and trying week .. but crafting with these Funny Bones sentiments have truly made me smile when I didn't think I had one :) 

Here's another sneak peek at a new FB sentiment paired with an existing super fun Riley ~ Batmoose!   For added creativity, I paired it with kraft and burgandy Valentines papers!  How fun is that!  Quite by accident I stumbled across a recollections paper pad and thought how lovely it would be to play around with different textures of papers and designs - I love working with non-traditional colors and themes :)

Be sure to check out the DT blogs and of course, stop on back for the new stamp release blog hop starting on Jan. 24, Thursday!
For one lucky winner at each stop on the hop, you can chose a stamp of your choice from this fun and funky Retro Girls and Guys stamps or from the 36 new Funny Bones stamps being released.  Wow!

And a word from the headmoose - Tanya!

***The stamps will be released on January 24th at 9 pm CST, AND, we have some specials that I know you will love just as much as the new release! ***

Special #1:  Buy an unmountedsheet of ALL the 13 new people for only $50.00! (reg. $6.00 each). That's a savings of $28.00!

Special #2:  You can also get a set of 3 FREE Funnybone stamps (our choice) during this release by simply placing an order of $25 or more (before tax) in the first 24 hours of the release! (One per customer please.)

Special #3:  But wait - there's more! As an added bonus, we are giving EVERYONE FREE SHIPPING from Thursday night at 9 pm CST until Sunday night at midnight CST! Just enter FREESHIP in the coupon code section!

See you tomorrow!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!


Riley sneak #4 ~ I should be ashamed ...

Hi!  Another sneak peek at the new 
Riley and Company retro images and funny bones sentiments ~ this one, using one of the gentlemen.  He is paired in a wildly fun card (ahem, originally this was not the image on the front ~ improvising at it's best!) :)

The new Riley and Company bi-weekly challenge is to create a 'card for the guys' so stop on by the challenge blog and play along!

Be sure to check the Riley and company DT blogs (in my sidebar!) for more sneak peeks and of course, the big Riley and Co blog hop this Thursday, Jan. 24th!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!



Riley Sneak #3 ~ Run for Political Office!

Hi everyone!  It's day 3 of the Riley and Company new stamp release sneak peeks!  I've used another retro girl, paired with a new Funny Bones stamp sentiment as well.  This sentiment is one of my favorites of the 36 new stamps being released - hilarious!!  

  • Don’t forget to check out all the Riley and Company Design Team’s blogs for more sneak peeks everyday!
  • Join us for our release Blog Hop this Thursday 24th January 10 PM EST, starting on the Riley and Company Blog.
  • New Release Stamps available in the Riley and Company Store from Thursday 24th January 10 PM EST.  
See you back tomorrow with another fun release!!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Riley Sneak #2 ~ What were you thinking?!

Good morning!  Here's another sneak peek view at the upcoming Riley and Company stamp release ~ sneaks are going on all week!

For today's card, I am using another fantastic retro girl ~ I just adore her! I can imagine her thinking so many things :)  I've paired her with a new Funny Bone release sentiment "What were you thinking!"

Be sure to stop by the DT blogs to see what they are sneak peekin' for you today!  And please join us for our hop on Jan. 24th, Thursday for the final reveal and blog hop!

Thank you for stopping by today ~ 

Big hugs
Bigger Blessings!


Entered into: Cute Card Thursday - Diamonds
By the Cute and Girly Challenge - Girly
Stampin for the weekend- Girly
Simply Create Too - Anything Goes
Paper Crafting Journey - Anything Goes


Riley Sneak #1 ~ Ridiculously Amazing!

Hi all!  Can you believe it's time for another new Riley and Company stamp release?  This month, there will be 36 new Funny Bones sayings that are absolutely hilarious and 13 brand new retro style men and women!  That's right - Riley and Company stamps are heading a new direction this month! 

For today's card, I'm using retro girl #2 and the new funny bones sentiment  "Make today ridiculously amazing" and indeed, I hope you do :)

We will have sneak peeks for you all week with a new stamp release blog hop on Thursday, January 24th!  For more DT inspiration and sneaks at other stamps released, please visit the Riley and Company DT listed in my sidebar.

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!



The Circus came to town!

My son has a bucket list.  And he’s only 8 :)

A little young, I know!  But he’s a product of a mommy that loves to write and journal,  fits ‘scriptures’ into everything, dabbles with poetry and ….  make lists :)  Yup, I’m a list maker.

A few things on his bucket list?

1. "To become a pastor.  Or a doctor."   He says the jury is still out, but either way, he’ll be helping people. Gosh, I love this boy!
2. To go back to Tennessee.  We only visited twice for vacation but it placed a hand on his heart.
3. Go to the circus!

Around the holidays, I noticed ads going up around town for Ringling Bros. and Barnum + Bailey.   I promise I won't go into a soapbox of why I struggle with the circus but take to heart that instead my son's dreams came true this day!
He wasn't able to sleep the night before and was up at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning - ouch!  We had such a blessed and most wonderful time! 
 He did not stop smiling all day ~ from meeting the clowns, visiting the circus animals in the pre-show, having popcorn and snow-cone and cotton candy (I have a belly ache just typing that!) and, of course, the show itself.
His favorite part?  
The 8 motorcyles in the Ball of Steel ... he's such a boy :)

  I just had to make a card for him ~ he LOVES mommy's hand-made cards. For this card, I used Stilts Riley from the Riley goes to the Circus collection. The colors were so bright and matched the dsp, which I carefully chose so I could use the word patterned paper to reflect the best day ever! :)

The circus was completely worth attending :)
  I learned so much on how much animal conservation and how RBBB is an ambassador to endangered animals.  We both pledged to wear our 'awareness bands' that they gave to us to remind everyone to learn more and bring awareness to the most magnificent creatures in trouble.

I leave you today with:

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. ~ Genesis 1:25

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Entered into:  SOS 85: Suits me to a T - Teal, TopHat


I can read in Pickle Color! :)

 Hi there!  If you've ever visited my blog before, you'll probably already know that I am a voracious reader!  Books are one of my greatest loves :)
And I just think this world was made so much brighter thanks to Dr. Suess ~
 I think every day should be a little Suess-ical! 

So imagine my glee when LJ's (our hostess this month!) Dueling Darling kit arrived in my mailbox with the wonderful theme: 

January is "Book Blitz Month".....use a stamp with books and/or reading as a theme.  We would also like to then add in your post who your favorite author is, or your favorite book and why. 

:::: Squeal! ::::
I just love this kit so much! Thank you, LJ!  The Dueling Darlings are back again!  The Divas received this wonderful image & papers and I tried to use as much of the dsp that you sent, along with a small card which reminded me of the library cards of the past :)  *Raise your hand if you remember the library card catalog file drawers!* I chose the stamped image in rich cocoa to keep the colors uniform and added the leftover smaller pieces to the inside, keeping it blank.  I adore this image + old fashioned look to it :)

card front!

card inside - left blank for future use!

Answering who my favorite author is a little bit tricky for me ;) 
 That's like asking which of my 4 is my favorite child, LOL!! (I jest!) 
Being an English Lit minor in under-grad college, I adore authors like
Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen ... 
I secretly grew up wanting to marry Mr. Darcy :) *swoon*

A few from my list of favorite authors:  
I love books that make me cry (Nicholas Sparks, Kristin Hannah),
 books that I can't put down: (Suzanne Collins, John Green, John Hart) 
books that make a statement:  (Jodi Picoult, Mitch Albom, Lauren Oliver)
books with a foreign theme: (Lisa See, Adriana Trigiana) 
I could go on and on!

But instead, how about you see what my team Divas created using this identical image and paper!  You can find them in my sidebar as well as the girls of team Dazzlers!  You won't be disappointed!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Card Deets:  Stamps: ABC Primer Collection // Graphic 45. Image  stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink on PTI White. All DP & smaller tag piece :This & That Charming Collection // Echo Park.  Accessories: 

 brown Gingham Ribbon (American Crafts).  Brads - Basic Grey, Buttons (PTI and Amuse)


Be Inspired :)

Hi friends!

"Orange" you glad it's the weekend?  I am! *smile!* 
 I'm so inspired this new year and really love hanging out in my craftin' Cabana ~ just being in there brings me such joy and peace :)

One of the fun challenges I spied was this one The Alley Way Stamps 
and couldn't wait to create a card. The picture is splendid ~ isn't it cute!

I printed the steamin' hot coffee digi from the freebie of the month 
and pulled from the colors of the photo inspiration #19.
After coloring my image and layering it onto my card, I had a inkling (hee hee!  No pun intended!) to paper-piece it instead and I'm so glad I did!
Somehow it makes the card a little more charming :)
I added the matching sentiment to the inside of the card.
I love the vivid, contrasting colors of the picture and absolutely adore non-traditional type cards ... wouldn't this make a FUN Valentine's card!

And here's my card:

And the inside :)

 And that's it from me today!  Lots still to finish before Monday
gets here :)  Hope today is a crafty one for you!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Card entered into:  TAWS Challenge #19


2013 - Word of the Year :}

Hello, dear friends!

Today's post is one that speaks from the heart :)  As I watched my 8 year old son riding his bike at the park, shouting "YAHOOOOOO!" every time he passed me, I smiled at the realization that this is truly what life is all about. 

 The simple moments. 

When we stop long enough to cherish the small things and 
 when a hug and a smile and an "I love you" are simply enough :) 

At the beginning of each new year, I chose a 'word' to guide me through rather than make any resolutions.  My word of 2012 was "Grace" which was the mantra I used to simply give me the courage to face the new year ahead. I tried hard to incorporate that in all the things that I did last year ... fellow-shipping with friends, bible studies and adventuring into areas that made me really uncomfortable but did them anyway (God is my sun and shield!)

This year?  I am refocused, recommitted, re-energized and ready to live a year of Simplicity. 

Simplicity?  According to Websters, that has a meaning of being simple, plain, freedom from hardships.

And yes, that's true! 

 But more-so ... beyond that ... I want to slow down more and share this world God intended us to be with them on a more deliberate level.  I've always been a stop and smell the flowers kind of gal.
And the sandcastle builder, the nature walker, the cloud watcher, the rock skipper, the one who watches two butterflies dance in flight and think "Thank you GOD for that beautiful moment!"

But there is so much I know I'm missing.  This is the year I plan to recapture it back again :)  Simplicity.

My dear husband jokes: "Simple?  Like we're going to make our own homemade toothpaste and grow turnip greens?"

A couple years back, I bought and devoured Ann Voskamp's "One thousand Gifts" book.  I was so inspired, I started a list of my own WITH photographs to memoralize in my smash/scrap books.  
 And I got to Feburary! 
 For real. 
 I just looked at my Grace-i-tude List 2012 (that would be the year of Grace and gratitude list combo!)  and seriously ... I got up to #161.  And a goofy ending to a very short list that was ... here, I'll share:

161.  My “This isn’t a souvenir, it’s a proof of survival!” t-shirt from zip-lining.  

Alrighty, then.

God, I hear you.  I know there is a lot that I am missing.
But I am thankful for much. My children know and worship an awesome God.
They put him first in all things - thoughts, prayers, actions towards others.
And for me?  I can learn to let go of any and all things that do not bring me closer to him!  Simplicity.

So the next time we are on those bikes?
We'll take time to get off and skip a few of those rocks.
Because the rocks aren't there to block our path. 
 They are there for us to pick them up and skip the across the water of life. 

May you be so richly blessed this year.
May God speak to your heart and guide you!

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

*I'd like to leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from my journaling :)

*Voluntary simplicity is not a grim cutting back, it's discovering and filling the genuine human need to do work that you love. --Cecile Andrews 

*When you realize you have enough, then you are truly rich. --Tao Teh Ching

 *Live simply that others may simply live. --Gandhi 

My verse of the Year: 2013
 Pray about everything; tell God your needs...
If you do this, you will experience God’s peace,
which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.
Philippians 4:6, 7 

Great big special thanks to Melanie at Only a Breath for taking the time to make the blog buttons as a wonderful reminder for all of us to remember the reason for the journey!  I'm humbled to receive this and am grateful to your generosity and creativity!  
Linking this post to:
Only a Breath: Link up to Word of the Year
My one Word:  Community Link up
and the FaithBarista:  


Colorful, Sparkly Riley!

Hi blogging friends! 

 It's Riley and Company challenge time and this week, we want to see it sparkle! :}  The theme for the week is brought to us by DT member, Michele and she challenges us to "Make it Sparkle!"   Before I get to my card, I thought I show you Buddy, our sweetie pie Jack Russell 'helping' put up the tree last month :}

For my Riley card today,  I used Sweetheart Riley and added glitter to the rose and Valentine's card.  Wouldn't this be a sweet card to give - or receive!  Riley is a charmer!  I was excited to stumble upon yet another challenge blog and loved the bright, vivid colors of their challenge and used that as my base for creativity.  And it also matches Buddy's lights, don't you think?  LOL!

 I carried the glitz to the inside of the card by adding on a glitter die-cut and some matching buttons - all from my stash :}

For more DT inspiration, please visit their blogs on my right hand side-bar.
If you upload your card to a gallery, please use the keyword Riley0113 - we'd love to see your sparkly creations!  You can link up your cards HERE at the Challenge blog :)

Big hugs,
Bigger Blessings!

Deets:  SU! Tempting Turquoise, Crushed Curry, PTI White ~ dsp from MME and Cosmo Criket;
colored with prismacolor markers; Martha Stewart glitter; Border punch SU!, twinery twine, Fancy Pants buttons; eksuccess flowers;  misc felt border ribbon.