Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Faith Inspired - Flip Chart: God's Promises for Me

Hey blog, I've missed you!  I have been doing tons of crafting, just not posting ;)

  1. working on a wedding scrapbook for my sweet niece (follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see sneeks - I'll do a reveal of full layouts here on the blog after I've presented it to her in July).
  2. Projects for my daughter's preschool graduation (more on that in a couple weeks).
  3. Playing with my new Cricut Explore (Happy Mother's Day and Wedding Anniversary!)
  4. Dreaming up this cute faith-inspired project.  
I found these fun stand up frames at M.'s and have been wanting to make some sort of flip book.  In the back of one of the books I'm reading, Renee Swope's A Confident Heart, is a list of confidence-boosting promises that we can rely on.  I retyped and printed out some of these onto scrapbook paper and then created cards for the flip frame.   The papers I used are from a paper pad collection called DIY Shop by Crate Paper.  Each card is hole punched and hung onto the frame with binder clips.
I love having God's Word out where I can see and be reminded of how He cares for me and loves me. These are just a sampling of the pages I created.  Whatever insecurity I'm feeling, I can flip my pages to hear just what God says back to me and be directed to the scripture source of His promises.

Be Blessed!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day is ... Complicated.

Mother’s Day is … Complicated.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Mother’s Day and all the mamas out there deserve to be honored and made to feel extra special.  I feel so incredibly blessed that 5 years ago a young woman, not ready to be a mom herself, chose life for her unborn baby.  I am so humbled and honored that this young woman chose me to be a mom to that little life growing inside her and that God arranged that I was present for my daughter’s birth, was the first to hold and kiss and feed her and become her forever mom.  There are no words to express how grateful I am for this experience and for all the opportunities I have had to be a blessing to the kids God has placed in my life.  I rejoice today that I am a mama, that a had a great mom, and also for the older women in my life who are like moms to me. 

Me...with my mom and grandma

But for me, and many other women, Mother’s Day is, well, ... it's complicated.

My heart overflows on Mother’s Day with a torrent of emotions.  I do feel gratefulness and joy, but I know firsthand the pain of this day.  I can’t send flowers, make a sweet card, hug, or talk to my own mom on the phone.  I’d love to ring her up and chat about my daughter’s antics or each other's latest craft projects, but I can’t.  She's in heaven now.  She never even met my daughter, which saddens me even more.  I think they would have had a lot of fun together.  So, this weekend, I’m praying for you, all you who miss your moms.  I’m going to plant some flowers for my mom this weekend, to honor her memory.  I’m going to look through my scrapbooks and remember what a crazy lady she was.  I’m going to snuggle in the afghan she made for me and pretend it’s a hug from her.  I’ll call my siblings and we’ll remember her together.  I hope you can do something to remember your own mom, too, and cherish your memories.  I pray that you know beyond a doubt that you’ll be able to see her again. Even though we may not have always seen eye to eye on everything, I am confident that my mom loved Jesus and knew Him as her Savior – and I do, too.  That’s the hope I cling to that our relationship, delayed for now, will continue in perfect love in eternity.

Oh, how Mother's Day is complicated.

On Mother’s Day my heart also breaks for those moms-in-waiting who are still in the waiting room.  I know firsthand the heartache that is so acute every day for those women longing to fulfill a calling to be a mama.  This pain often lingers for years, but on Mother’s Day it’s even more painful.  If you choose to go out, you have to endure the “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings, smile at the sight of moms with their kids, admire the handmade cards that you fear you’ll never receive.  You must try to be polite and happy for what seems like “all” the other women, all the while battling the lump in your throat, the ache in your belly, the jealousy, the feelings of injustice inside your own weeping heart.  I want you to know that you are not alone today.  You are being prayed for.  Yes, the hurt you are feeling is real and especially raw today, but God will provide a balm.  Turn to Him for comfort and don’t be afraid to pour out your anguished heart to Him.  It’s in good hands.  If you choose to “hide out” today, it’s okay (yes, I’ve done that).  Just, please, don’t stay there for long.  I pray that God sends lots of people your way today to love on you, to let you know that you are worthy and special.  God’s timing is perfect and if it His will for you to be a mama, you will be.

Me...with my blessing
Yes, Mother’s Day is wonderful.  If your joy is overflowing, Rejoice! Thank God! Enjoy your blessings today!  But for many it’s also bittersweet and complicated.  Will you also take a moment to join me in prayer?  

Father, we thank and praise you that you are our strength, our joy, our Creator Elohim and the Lord who Heals, Yahweh Rapha.  We ask that you wrap your arms around all moms this weekend.  Speak strength and joy into the hearts of those struggling in their own motherhood or with their relationships with their moms.  Lord we ask for comfort and peace for all those whose hearts are grieving for their moms, whether they've been parted by death or by broken relationships.  Be their Yahweh Rapha and heal their hearts with your love.  This weekend Lord we ask special mercies on those women who long to moms but are still waiting on your perfect timing.  Shower your love on them, reassure them of your promises and good plans for their lives and grant them grace to live wholeheartedly for You each day as they wait.  Help us all to recognize and be sensitive to those hurting on Mother's Day and lead us to minister as needed.  Thank you, Father, for all the ways you care for us daily.  In Jesus' Name.  Amen

Whimsical Wednesdays at Rachel Wojo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teresa Collins and We R Memory Keepers - Albums Made Easy Layouts

Two of my favorite companies recently came together to bring us some very exciting new products.  Teresa Collins Designs and We R Memory Keepers partnered to create several beautiful Albums Made Easy card collections.  I've been incorporating pocket pages into my regular 12x12 albums for awhile now.  As more of a simple scrapper, I appreciate how easy and fast it makes pages come together, but I love the beauty of these card collections and how, if I'm in the mood, I can easily dress them up in any number of ways and still maintain that linear feel that I like.  Each pocket can house a photo, a card, journaling, or any combination of elements, the only limit is our imagination.  Today I'm sharing a few of my most recently completed pages using the TC designed cards for the Albums Made Easy system.
This is one of my favorites. The photos aren't my best - they are from my iphone, but they are precious to us.  These are some of the last photos taken of my daughter and her Umpy Lumpy.  I really wanted these sweet photos to be the emphasis of the page and also have enough room to journal our thoughts and memories.  The "Hello Life" collection perfectly sets the background and quietly complements the photos.  I also brought in some We R sheer metallic gold heart paper and basic brown/gold cardstock in the mini hearts (die cut with my Cricut and TC Sophisticated cartridge) - one on each photo and a few others scattered around.
This clear 3x4 card is one of my favorites, too.  I chose to use it alone, but the white lettering looks awesome against a darker background or photo.
I utilized two 3x4 boxes for the journaling, uniting them with the sheer heart paper.  I trimmed opposite ends of two identical 3x4 cards to elongate them across the sections and give me more space for journaling.  The stamps used in this layout are from Teresa Collins as well (Stationary Noted set).

This next layout is a fun and silly one, but it also relays an important message for my daughter - "Never apologize for being who you are."   These silly photos and the large quote card and clear "Don't Be Afraid to Sparkle" cards are perfect for this layout.  I love, love, love working with products that are not only beautiful, but inspire me to create layouts that are meaningful and help to drive my journaling.
I used elements from the new "Quoted" and "Hello Life" AME collections as well as pulled in papers, stickers, and enamel dots from TC's "Hello My Name Is" paper collection. 
I couldn't be more delighted with how my daughter's eyes are perfectly peeking through this clear 4x6 card! Of course I had to add a little sparkle on top of the card - how can you spell sparkle without actual sparkle???

The rich colors in the "Quoted" AME collection really lent themselves well to this next layout featuring fall photos of our new puppy, Zoe.  I cut apart and layered some of the elements from the cards (cute camera!) to create the top row title which I carried across into the next photo pocket.  Here I layered some TC tiny alpha stickers directly on top of my photo and added a heart fussy cut from another of the cards.
In the middle row, I found some coordinating We R cardstock and created a die cut title using the TC Sophisticated fancy framed font.  Using Cricut Craft Room, I stretched and resized the letters a bit so that they would use up the entire 3x4 pocket.  I love how they look paired with the acetate cards behind them.
On the bottom row, I added a card for journaling, an appropriate quote card, and some more fun pattern to a photo, tying it together with a bit of washi across the bottom.

This last layout is another favorite.  The cards in the "Snapshots" collection are just perfect with these beach photos from last summer.  I'm a big fan of kraft and love the mint green against it.  The clear 4x6 card with the subtle white circles was perfect for my title card.  I cut out letters from an actual photo (font is TC Sophisticated) as well as added real sand to the bottom.  For this layout I used lots of stickers from the coordinating "Snapshots" page kit and lots of sequins.

I was able to use a lot of photos in this layout and paired them with several cards.  I really felt like each pocket was a little work of art :) and it makes me happy to relive our fun time at the beach.

Because this layout has several different techniques and elements, I made a video to look at it a little closer and maybe you'll be inspired to try a few new things, too!

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post. I hope you find some time to create a layout or two and record your important, everyday love stories!  Blessings, Karen

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mother's Day Tulips - the Paper Variety

Wanted to share the pretty Mother's Day tulip cards I made.  I used the Mother's Day tulip card cuts available in Cricut Craft Room.  I used some pretty patterned papers and coordinating inks.  I inked the pink tulip petals with a darker pink and then white ink before layering them together.  I think the window frame / 3-paneled card base is unique and there is plenty of room on the inside for any sweet and mushy notes for mom :)  Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week

Having been a classroom teacher myself, I know how much teachers appreciate Teacher Appreciation Week.  It's just nice to be noticed for the hard work you've put in all year long.  Whether the recognition is from the administrative staff, the parents, or the kids you teach, any little something - even just a simple card - brings a smile to a teacher's face and warms the heart enough to get through the last long stretch of the school year.  I helped make these cute signs for my daughter's preschool teachers' doors.  What can I say?  I love owls!  I designed and printed off the background from my computer and added a cute and colorful owl cut with my Cricut (Hoot n' Holler cartridge) on an Action Wobble, so it moves.  It made me smile just to make them wiggle with their cute googly eyes - I hope the teachers get a warm-fuzzy, too!

I had picked up a few of these mini owl notebooks quite a while ago in a clearance bin and thought I'd just put a little tag on them for a quick gift and thank-you.  The stamps are from Technique Tuesday and Lillian Vance.  I cut the circle and scallop with my Cricut and tied it up with some twine.  Every teacher needs a notebook, right? A quick and inexpensive gift.  Hannah wrote a thank you on the first page.
I might get a few other things together this week.  What are you doing this week to thank a teacher?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

National Scrapbook Day Layouts

Well, another National Scrapbook Day has come and gone and I, sadly, was unable to attend a crop (sniff, sniff).  I did, however, manage to squeeze in 3 layouts in honor of the day.  The rest of the day was spent yard sale-ing with my daughter, making a flower pot with my daughter at the Home Depot build-it workshop, grocery shopping, playing Little Pet Shop (with my daughter and her yard sale finds).  All in all, it was a good day.  Some day, my daughter and I might go to a crop together, but right now she's only 5, so Little Pet Shop pets is more her pace and style.  I'll take it.  She won't be little forever.

Here a my 3 layouts that I completed on Saturday.  I was happy to get them done as they got me closer to the end of May 2013, and I'm still within a year for my daughter's scrapbook.

Thanks for checking in!