Thursday, January 30, 2014

Every Second of Every Day...

I love mornings. Most days I like to be up with the sun, or before it. Don't hate - that's just the way God made me.  I like to think He knew that I would often need to be reminded of his authority over my days, His faithfulness, and His everlasting love.  Hunting season works out pretty well in our family.  I prefer to go out in the morning and my husband would rather sleep in and go in the evenings. I love to be out in my stand when the sun comes up.  I took this photo this past fall.  The sun was behind me.  All I had to do was turn my head and I was treated to this lovely sight.  It reminded me then and continues to remind me to turn my head and focus on Jesus and his faithful love to me - every second of every day He cares for me, what's going on in my life, and wants to be a part of it.  I'm never alone.  Blessed be the Lord!

I printed my photo and created a little 8x8 layout.  Now I'll have a visual reminder to turn and remember God's love for me - and for you, too!

Linked to Word Art Wednesday 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day Thank You!

We got a few inches of snow last week, and here in Virginia that means school closings...for a week.  Having grown up in Wisconsin, it's a little laughable, but I shouldn't complain.  In fact, I have much to be thankful for.  One thing I was especially thankful for this week was my neighbors! As I was shoveling my driveway, I looked up and saw 5 bundled up figures, all with snow shovels, approaching our driveway.  The mom commented that they have no school and the kids did not need to sit around watching or playing video games all day.  They could help shovel a driveway!  The kids were great about it and within minutes the rest of my driveway was shoveled clear.  I know they did it without expecting anything in return, but I put together a gift bag with some hot chocolate mix and mini marshmallows as a small thank you.
I used a medium-sized plain kraft gift bag and dressed it up with a fun "Snow Day" phrase from my Cricut (Winter Woodland ), a few of my daughter's foam snowflake stickers, and a simple tag (also from Winter Woodland).  We walked over yesterday after church to deliver the thank you and spent a little time chatting and getting to know our neighbors better.  Yes, we have much to be thankful for!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Exam Week Devotion and Teen Bulletin Board Craft

This week I want to give a shout out to all my High School Sunday School students at Living Hope Lutheran Church in Stafford, VA!  You guys always amaze me with your insightful comments, questions, and obvious love and desire to be closer to Christ.  I love serving as your Sunday School teacher!

It's exam week for many of my students and students all over the country.  The class asked me to put together a few verses for them and send them out as way of encouragement this week.  I wrote the attached devotion which you can download as a pdf file:  Exam Week Devotion

I hope it blesses you - share the link to this blog post with your friends and family if you like it!

After writing the devotion, I also created this bulletin board.  I like to have bible verses in front of my and this is a great way to display verses.  I can easily change them out as my needs change and what my daily devotion/bible study reveals for me.

For the project, I started with a 12x12 sheet of cork board as the base.  The papers and embellishments are all from Simple Stories.  I pulled from various collections, including Daily Grind and 24/7.  I also included a smaller 6x6 sheet of self-adhesive cork over the front so it's usable for sticking up bible verses and other encouraging words.  For this project I printed some verses directly onto small pieces of scrapbook paper.

I love when I can use my craft to create projects that enhance and grow my faith! Thanks for stopping by!

I linked this post over at Word Art Wednesday.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wrapping Up December Daily

I wasn't sure if it would happen, but...
I'm pleased to announce that I completed my 2013 December Daily!  Whoo Hoo! Yay, Me!  That makes 4 years in a row. Phew.  I actually finished it before the New Year, but it took me until now to put a post together.  December Dailies do require extra effort during an already busy season, but I just love the idea of having this special record of December year after year.  I take a loose approach to my December album - not all my photos are taken on the exact day for each page.  I normally end up printing off a week's worth of photos.  If there is a specific event for a day, I'll typically do those days first and then fill in with the miscellaneous photos (decorations, weather, my work table, etc.).

Here's a look at all 4 of my December Dailies next to each other before they got packed away with the rest of Christmas.  Yes, I do pack them away because I love to look at them with new eyes every year when we get out all the Christmas boxes.  It's a fun new tradition to look through them when we take a break in decking out the tree and sipping on hot cocoa.

This year's album was the easiest ever with the Simple Stories Snap album.  I love how it turned out.  Here are a few of my favorite pages.

See you again next year, December Daily!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Design Team Wednesday - Echo Park Head Over Heels

I know it's still January, but I'm ready to move out of winter and on to something warmer!  "Head Over Heels" by Echo Park hits the spot for me.  This traditional color palette with a spattering of turquoise will heat up any of your "love-ly" layouts and projects.  I have two layouts to share with you today.

This first layout highlights a sweet photo of my favorite girl.  The blue papers complement her blue eyes perfectly and I love the way the arrows point towards her and the direction she's looking.  The small strips, "I just love you." were cut from a 12x12 sheet and I used pop dots to give dimension to the page.  The cluster of sentiments are from both the coordinating stickers to this collection and the sheet of 3x4 journaling/accent cards.  I also made a few heart strings to hang for decoration - just machine sewed some of those little strips and a 3-layered heart made from patterned papers. They were quick and will add a cute accent for Valentine's day decor.

My second layout also utilizes a great print - mini bicycles built for 2! So cute! I emphasized the number "2" for this layout in the papers, stickers, and mix of 3x4 cards.  I used a couple more of the little "I just love you." strips and a few stitch stickers from SRM.  Overall, I love this layout even though the photo of my husband and me is fuzzy and a bit out of focus - it's definitely a tribute to the two of us.

You can see Echo Park's entire collection, "Head Over Heels" on their site, but you really should go see it in person along with the other great Valentine's Day papers available in Scrapdoodles now.  Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year, New My Creative Life Blog 2014

Happy New Year! I'm part of My Creative Classroom's New Year Blog hop at their  brand new My Creative Life 2014 Blog.  It's a companion blog to a free class at My Creative Classroom hosted by Jeri Parks at MCC.  I've been an instructor at MCC for a couple of years now and love being part of such a creative community.  I'm also so excited to be part of My Creative Life 2014.  I hope you will be inspired by all the wonderful projects that are sure to be featured and shared.
My number one craft love is scrapbooking, but pretty much anything involving paper is a win for me!  I love incorporating photos into my projects and have a special passion for incorporating my faith into my scrapbooks and creative projects.  You can take a look at all my classes offered at MCC here.  Right now I'm working on a new class for later this spring which focuses on journaling ideas especially for scrapbookers.
As we are focusing on die cuts this week, I wanted to share a project I recently completed using my Cricut.  This year I made calendars for my daughter's grandparents.  While I did not actually finish them in time for Christmas, everyone received their calendar in time for the New Year!
For my project, I made 3 calendars and I wanted all of them to be pretty much the same so I could finish them "assembly line" style.  This made the process much quicker.  I used a word processing program to create the calendar grid, adding days of the week, major holidays, and numbering all the days for each month.  I printed 3 sets of each month onto plain white cardstock and trimmed the pages to create an 8.5 x 8.5 inch page.  I had also gone through photos and selected about 15 from throughout the year that I thought would be appropriate for each month (with a few extra in case I changed my mind).  I printed 3 of each and got to work.
For this project I used mainly two Cricut cartridges - Designer's Calendar and CTMH-Artbooking.  With all the cartridges and images available, I find it more "freeing" to choose just a few cartridges to focus on for a specific project.  This limits my choices, but it also makes me examine cartridges more in depth and I often find images I didn't know I had.  For a calendar project, DC is a must with the months and days of the week welded and ready to cut in two different font styles and with the shadow feature.  As you can see if the photos below, I kept the pages simple.  Each has the month die cut in coordinating colors and just one or two embellishments along with the photo.  Some of these elements are die cut, some are from various paper collections.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my project.  I love using my Cricut for gifts and home decor as well as scrapbooking and cardmaking.  It's such a versatile and fun machine.  If you have any questions about my project, let me know! Leave a comment here, or "like" my crafty page on Facebook, KarenScraps, or catch me at My Creative Classroom.