Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Blessed . . .

Dear dear friends,
I do not feel ready to re-enter the 'blog world' as of right now, except to stop in your blogsites (when I can) and see what you've been up to~
I am always blessed to read your news and see your beautiful projects.
Right now my life is upset & complicated -  and of course my heart is still so crushed after loosing my younger daughter in a car accident in October.
I am working on making changes in my life- and  move (900 miles) to be close to my elder daughter; hopefully by this Summers time.

But I could not delay any longer - the blessing of being published; and I wanted to post this.
Early in 2015 I had entered a challenge for Somerset Life magazine ( one of  over 20 magazines published by Stampington Publishers.)  When I did not hear back from them, I chalked it up to a good experience and quite a courageous thing for me to try : )


Then October 1st happened, when my younger daughter was killed in an auto accident and my life was turned upside down, and inside out.
I will not linger there friends, it is waaay too hard.  Please know God is seeing me through this (horrible tragedy) and I know He will keep me in His care.  I am believing by His grace I  have hope for better days.  Many of you have been praying and I THANK YOU most 'profusely'.
Well,
When I returned home in late October (after the services and all the things that needed to be taken care of-  she lived out of state ...)  I found out that Stampington had lately published my Bookmarks in their Somerset Life Autumn 2016 magazine.
I must say that thru all my pain and grief, all my . . . deflation and emptiness, this brought a little
'spark of light'  to my weary and mournful heart.
It was like a little - "Atta girl"  from God (thru Stampington : )


Somerset Life Autumn 2016

A 'chink' of daylight through all the black leaves.  And a bit of reassurance that perhaps someday again, I will feel like I can 'create.'

So here are some of the photo's that I had taken of the book marks; before I mailed them to Stampington. 
PS:  THEY (not me)  did the lay outs and photo's that you see in the magazine (if you can still find one. They were only in stores thru the 31st of Dec.)   I only sent them the actual physical book marks.  Somerset Life did the rest.      But these photo's are mine before mailing~

The top marker shows the simple back side of one.
It's really just a few folds.
 
 
Washi tape, cut-out paper clocks & pretty pink "Maja Design" papers. 
Here is one using a 'fence' punch & a watering can die cut from Memory box. I hand cut a cloud, distressed it and added glitter glass~ The bk-ground paper is Prima.
 
It's pretty easy to do.  I first found this idea @   http://www.craftygoodies.com/ - Connie Mercers blog.
I used a 3" X 3" square of paper.
**See the white one.
-Mark the center (1.5") along the top edge with a small dot.
-Draw a horizontal line thru the center of the square (1.5")
-Fold the 2 top corners in, at the center (dot); lining up the flaps with the horiz. line. (crease folds sharply)
-Then erase the pencil lines & dots.
-Use washi (or reg.) tape (see the brown bookmark) to hold the flaps together. I also used washi on the underside of the seam for strength.
-Round the bottom corners if you want.
-Embellish the front as you like~
 
 
I wanted to personally say THANK YOU  to Stampington Publishers and Somerset Life Magazine for the great privilege  of being highlighted and published.  What an honor for me; and especially at a time in my life where there was NO bright spot ANYWHERE to be found.  To come home and see this - (standing in Barnes & Noble - in disbelief!)  was like a warm fire on a bitter-cold day.

Friends, when you click on the link to their website, I am sure you will be overwhelmed with beauty! as I am, each and every time I visit.  Their magazines are "commercial/advertising free" and are of premium quality - both in content and materials.  I've never seen better magazines.  And so many enticing choices for all of us who love to create; AND read about it : )
Please check them out~  Stampington.Com

Wishing  New Year Blessings  to each of you who happen to visit.
My hope is for a year of rebuilding . . . and lots of courage to face the future.
Hugs to you all,
Karen



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Goodbye dear friends -

A  'Goodbye for Now'  to my friends~

It is with the most painful heart that I say goodbye to blogland.
I have recently lost my younger daughter (Amanda, 33) in an auto accident. 
My heart is crushed, and I cannot create, or really even think about blogging at this time;
but I wanted you to know.
I appreciate your prayers and perhaps one day I can 'reach out' and visit again.
Hugs to all who have been such a support and friend to me this last year.
God bless you,
Karen
Amanda is pictured in my august 23rd post - a layout of her (on the left) and my older daughter Melissa.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 
  she's nearly here . . .
Hello dear friends and welcome to my blog today!
We are deep into September already, and our weather here in Colorado, well, in central CO that is,
has been on the warm side - but fairly typical this time of year.  Warm days and very cool & chilly nights.
Our "Autumn" weather starts much sooner in the mountains!  but, she's nearly here in C. Springs; and
the leaves just this week are beginning to change in my neighborhood. 
So - - here is my "Farewell to Summer"  cards! : ) LOL! 
It's been a long summer, and filled with some real health challenges for me; but I must say that it has been a good summer too~  I was able to see lots of family and enjoyed projects in the yard and around the house~
I am thankful for these extra weeks of warmer weather, to be out in my yard and working in the fresh air.  Soaking up all the sunshine when I could.  Remember, I have a full time job - so I fit it all in when I can ; )

Well, on to the cards!    These "Tag Cards" were made with Prima Marketing papers
http://www.scrapbook.com/store/pri-585440.html  called the Rossibelle Collection.
I added bits of white corrugated board, seed beads, German glass glitter,  Prills (you can google those: )
and other bits of this and that.
The bows are seam binding and white twill tape.
 
 
 I "fussy cut" the bird cage and the trim piece to the left of it.  The butterfly is a punch.
There is some netting over the cage that does not show up on this photo; you can see it on the bottom pics.
This little tag was fun!  And aren't those papers pretty?

Things are somewhat uneventful for me right now! : ) and that is just fine. ~whew~

Have you been creating anything lately!?!
I've seen lots of gorgeous pumpkins popping up right now in blogland!! : ) Love 'em~

Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week and Gods blessings too.

Hugs,   Karen


Saturday, September 10, 2016

A gift of love~

Hello to you and welcome to my blog today!
I have several pictures to share of a small project I just finished.

One of my favorite ways to create something is by layering paper and textiles/fabric, lace...
and I've done just that for a paper gift bag I made this week; to hold my baby sisters birthday present~

This is a kraft paper gift bag with the twisted raffia type handles; about 12" tall.

I covered the front with a rectangle of white cotton (loose weave) bar towel.  I then added a rectangle of white burlap and tucked in a strip of cotton lace along the left side.
The tags and papers tucked behind the image are from Kaisercraft   (Scrapbooking Co.); https://www.kaisercraft.com.au/newsite/index.php  It is their Mademoiselle  paper collection. The black & white butterfly I think is Prima Marketing. http://www.primamarketinginc.com/
The (bit larger) vanilla colored tag holding the image layers is from Graphic 45. http://www.g45papers.com/artist-trading-tags-ivory?keyword=tag

Isn't that girl the cutest little mess!?!  This stamping job was my first attempt at using a brayer (roller) http://www.scrapbook.com/store/pp-dp-bra09870.html  to apply ink to the stamp; [ I  believe the stamp is from Lost Coast Stampers; purchase at a local Scrapbook store]   This stamp came un-mounted!  So I took an old stamp block I had, removed the old stamp, cleaned the block and mounted this one.  : P  I need a little practice with this 'mounting stamps' business I think!! but anyway . . .

I used  a small  stem piece of  dried 'baby's-breath'  with one little 'bud' on it - to create her headband, I ran a teeny bead of Stickles along the stem for the glitter~

There is some white corrugated board, tulle, seam binding, and lots of German glitter glass, Prills (you can search for Prills  on Amazon) and  some pearls & seed beads.

Here's a "Natural Light" perspective, below~

A bit far away ; ) oops!
   The sentiment ("step on out baby girl") is one I am also using for a L/O I'm working on; but I thought it worked so well for this feisty little fairy girl!

Below is just another look at some of the layers~

Much thanks to you!!! for taking time to visit and scroll through this post!
Always feel free to contact me if you ever have a question about what I did - - as I'm not always that great at descriptions here : J
So glad to have you stop in and hope you have a blessed day~
Hugs,  Karen

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

2 "Look Alike"  cards today~

Hi there friends!  Thanks for stopping in : )
Just posting 2 cards I recently made.  One for a birthday, and one, unfortunately, a Sympathy card.

I recently purchase several sheets of this beautiful paper and the neat die-cut pieces;
created by  Kaisercraft   (scrapbook suppliers.)
And though usually we see "sympathy" cards in more 'subtle' tones; I thought my friend (who just recently lost her husband of 42 years : (    would perhaps appreciate this style~~


Below is the Birthday card - actually made this one first~

 
Do you like the faux 'stitch-stamping' along the edges?  It's from a stamp designed by Gabrielle Pollaco for a company called Scrapbook Diaries - an on line store.

well, I guess that's all for today!
I do want to tell those that follow, that I am feeling SO MUCH better these days!
Thank You Lord : )

Have a great rest of the week~
Karen


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Forever  Beautiful


Hello dear friends!  Thanks ever so much for peeking in today~
I created a simple 12"X12" lay out of my 2 incredible daughters~
I could talk of them for weeks, and never finish all the good things I want to say about them.
(love, Christian kindness, concern, generosity, fun! friendship, and a unique genuineness to say the least.)
Their love has been the best! - I well with tears and just can't express how much they mean to me.

I am using the beautiful  'Vintage Artistry' paper collection by 49 and Market Co.; purchased on line @ - - >
https://www.thescrapbookdiaries.com/product-tag/49-and-market/   (The Scrapbook Diaries)
This is Quality paper!; super thick and so beautifully created.
Now, does the photo look a bit - - distressed?  : ) This was taken at "Chuck-E-Cheeze Pizza Palace! : )
It was one of those 'sketch' machines;  But I love it~

I kept this very simple, letting the photo and the paper shine.
The branch is a Memory Box die, and I embellished it with stickles glitter, sequins, and old mis-matched jewelry pieces that I purchased (for creating : ) at a garage sale.
The flower was cut from a 'Tim Holtz' die.  - - > http://timholtz.com/tim-holtz-products/  I also used some of his products listed below (the blending tool and ink.) 

The 'burlap looking'  texture I added was not  stencil and paste,  but I used an embossing folder (dry) and my rolling pin!   (Very Sophisticated!  : )
Please experiment on a scrap piece of paper; but I hope you will give this a try!
  Instead of using the folder on a piece of paper and sending it through a 'Bigshot' or embossing machine,   I put the corners of my project in the folder and used the edge of my rolling pin (the circumference edge near the handle) to rub (hard!) the areas where I wanted texture.
  Then I used a sponge blending tool (or you could use a make up sponge)   and some distress ink to highlight the texture.




I sure appreciate you taking time to stop in and see what I've been doing!
 I mentioned I was working on my craft room in an earlier post, and it has renewed some creativity in me  *smile* albeit simple.

I will be sharing this lay-out @ - - > Wen's blog; "AppleApricot" for her "Simply Neutrals Tueday"
Bi-weekly she hosts a wonderful array of neutral projects and photo's.  So much creativity awaits when you visit her blog!  Please stop in and see!   *(I was not 'recently'  featured, but the other pic won't load properly! *sigh*)





Have a wonderful day!
Blessings to you,
Karen
                     Amanda and Melissa, the greatest gift I've ever been given~  Thank you Lord~

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A little vintage style décor;  and a few little thoughts too <3

Hi friends!  I've been doing some thinking (well, OK, a lot of thinking! : )  and I wanted to just talk about it for a bit . . .
But first I would like to share a small piece I put together last year, but never did post.

This is a small washboard (maybe 10" X 4") that I've added a scrapbook paper design to.
The papers are from Graphic 45 company; and the collection is called "Raining Cats and Dogs."



I first cut out the umbrella girl and the surrounding flowers.  (Isn't she a cutie!)  I inked some of the edges to add vintage flair.    Then I traced the design on a piece of black cardstock, adding a 16th inch 'shadow' edge - and I mounted the design to the black paper.
Then I took that and traced it onto the checkered paper - adding about a 3/8ths inch? shadow edge.
I used some  'pop dots' adhesive pads to stick the girl image to the checkered paper, for dimension. 
I had at one point added a ribbon & bow to the washboard (it was a beautiful coral color) but later didn't like it! so I took it off.     Anyway, It was a fun little project I really enjoyed creating!



And sooo, on to a few thoughts I'd like to send 'out there' to Blogland!   : )   : )
It seems like so long ago, but it was only early June when I was driving through the Colorado mountains and  saw the burned trees (remains of the forest fires here)  and the flooded area's as well.
I blogged about it here on   JUNE 12th  Titled    "MAKE ME NEW AGAIN" - - but right now my blog won't let me insert a link  for you!  *sigh*   but you can find it in my archives.
 
Here are a few photo's I had included: 
I was talking of the desolation I saw that day in the forest fire and flooded areas of our Rocky Mountains - - and comparing myself to that;  feeling like a dead tree : (  in my circumstances as a widow)

 But then I mentioned how I kept seeing those little "peeks" of green,  little 'green signs of hope'
flying by my window as I breezed down the mountain highway!  And my heart changed.  And my thoughts turned.
 And I realized  - God would "Make Me New Again."  : )  as time goes on.  There was much to hope for.  I will be green again~

 

                            And only a few weeks after writing that blog (on 6/12)  I started getting sick. 
HEY, wait a minute!!  I was supposed to be  'being made new again!'  I was supposed to be transforming from a blackened burned dead tree - to a new sapling!  This was my time for change and growth!  For renewal and strength and hope and gratefulness. 
Yet what happened to me over the next 6+ weeks was not seemingly those things -   but rather sickness and stress, weakness, numbness and confusion.
And. Some. Fear.

What was happening? !?  Well, for one thing, I think  - - some, character building? 
Some testing of one's faith?! (hmmm? : )   some more time to consider and reflect and learn . . .
  Perhaps I was . . . breaking the seed shell and starting to push my way up through the ground! 
In other words,  I'm not a "ready made tree!"  or a transplant.  I must be re-Grown~
And so often, one of the ways I learn, change and grow - is through adversity.  Through struggles and difficulties.  Yes dear friend I often learn best that way, because I draw so close to God in those times,  - and He can always seem to get my attention~
Like the story of the little oak tree, and how it is best formed to be a strong and sturdy tree through the winds and rain and heat of the sun.

Well, to sum up my thoughts - -  during these past weeks I feel very much like I've grown : )
Through the adversity, I've grown.      Oh friends I sure hope so~
And as I re-read this post, I don't know if you can relate - or even make sense of what I've said; - but that's OK too : )    <3  I've been in a pretty tough battle, but I think  I'm breaking through the ground!  A sapling who wants to be a strong and lovely tree when I grow up! LOL 
Yes, - I want to change my landscape~

Well,
Thanks so much for listening to this crazy lady talk your ear off!  I appreciate you.
Oh, and I didn't go to any detail, but in my reflections lately,  I've realized I need  to continue on the path of DE-CLUTTERING  my house and life.  So, I have!   And  I've been working on my craft room!  And I like it so much better.  Re-organized and de-junked.  Lets hope I can get in there and create something soon. 

hugs & Blessings to you,
Karen









                                                                                  




Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's been a while!  & I've missed being around~

Hello to you my small circle of blog friends and acquaintances!
It has been over 5 weeks since I posted. 
And I must tell you that these last 5 weeks were not at all what I expected while being away!

I will say that I DID enjoy lots of out of state company;  my daughters and grandkids, and my sisters-in-law from OH - - -
but what was NOT expected was all the SICKNESS  I encountered during this time : (  : P

About 6 weeks ago I became 'ill', and waited 2 weeks before going to the Dr.
My (stomach) sickness increased; and without going into yucky details, found out I have Colitis.
Some other complication occurred during this and I have been very sick,  very weak and just plain NOT GOOD!
I am healing and 'on the mend' as they say : )  and I do hope to be up and blogging and creating again soon!!  We shall see.  <3

Right now, I am of course focusing on getting my diet and medication going to help  moderate my 'Ulcerative Colitis'  and try to bring my life back into balance.  I had complications that put me on some strong meds; (whew - did that zap my energy and clarity!)  but I am phasing out of the medication and hope to be feeling much better soon~

Thanks for taking time to read my update!!
I  MISS  YOU!!!
I've been able to "peek" into some of your blogs and love to see your creations~
Wishing to get creative again soon and join in on some of this great Blogging Fun : )
Love & Prayers`
Karen


Monday, June 20, 2016

See you all again soon!

I will be hosting 3 different groups of family over the next 4 weeks; and probably won't spent too much time blogging~  I have all my grandkids coming, my 2 daughters and some Ohio family too!
Looking forward to it.

So I wanted to say THANK YOU! for all your visits and comments here on my blog.
YOU are a blessing to me! : ) And a ray of sunshine in my life~
THIS IS MY 50th POST!  I can hardly believe it.  YOU are an inspiration to me : )

I hope you are enjoying your summer!?  I sure love the warmth and sunshine.  And all the smiling flowers dotting my yard!


Here's a few simple  "Thank You"  card tags below.  Made for 2 of my sisters who have been helping me with a backyard project : )

Some  papers are from http://www.thescrapbookdiaries.com/shop/vintage-artistry-botanical-press/
(The Scrapbook Diaries)  and the MOP buttons from one of Liz's auctions~ http://lululizinlalaland.blogspot.com/

 The 'Paris Arc of Triumph' was a postcard from a really cool set my sister gave me a few years ago~   She often says "Merci, butter cups!"


I (personally) like to see details and texture, so I included a close up of the bow  - in case you do too : )

The birds, butterflies, hearts and flowers are rub-ons.  *Remember my mini lecture about 'using them up' before they dry out!?! LOL

Buttons are so sweet~

 
 
Again, thank you dear friends!
 
 
 I hope to join in on Wen's next "SIMPLY NEUTRALS TUESDAY" link party!
http://appleapricot.blogspot.fr/ 
Please stop in to see what she has to share in the beautiful world of neutrals~

Take care and hope to return in a few weeks; but I will try to stop in if I can : )
Blessings,  Karen~

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Make  Me  New  Again . . .

Hello to you dear friends and visitors!  So happy you could join me~ 

I took a drive in the Rocky Mountains a few week ago and want to share  photo's, yes, but also a small 'epiphany'  I had  as I surveyed  some of the areas that were damaged by fire and flood over the last few years - here in Colorado~

I very much had my husband on my mind as I drove into the higher elevations : ) and of course it was bittersweet; having just had the 1.5 year anniversary of his death : (
As I sped along I began to notice the fire-scared and flood-scared areas.  It was a sad site to see.
These 'pencil and tooth pick' trees standing in patches and looking so forlorn~

 
 
 

And in a melancholy and vulnerable moment;  I felt like part of the scenery~  I'm sure Not uncommon after 35 years of marriage and loosing your guy, your heartbeat, - to maybe feel a little like a dead tree? Wouldn't you agree?
Here I was on a beautiful morning in the Mountains of Colorado, blue sky, warm sun, cruising with the moon roof open -  with "no place to go and all day to get there" - Good music and a yummy coffee,  and me,  feeling like a dead tree.  Wowzer.   But I will say in my defense : J  that I've been here many many times before and with the grace of God have grieved it through and risen above.
It IS a process and it just takes time.  And lots of it.



But as I journeyed on,  I started noticing something else; something more in the background and not so 'pronounced.'  Signs of HOPE.  Little green signs of hope!

Many of the burned and flooded areas were starting to re-build themselves!  In amongst the desolate trees was signs of new life~  New green shoots and saplings were popping up all around!  and replenishing the landscape.


And that got me thinking.  Thinking about MY landscape.  It's burned and it's scarred right now, no doubt,  & reminded me of a line from a song by Twila Paris:
"...she hated to think about the past, almost as much as she hated to think about the future..."
Yea I know those words are a little extreme - but they came to me anyway.  It's just so hard. 

But friends,  - - - those green trees kept flying by my window whispering hope and life.
And I realized that this is the beginning; albeit the 'beginning of what is left for my life,'  it is still the beginning!and that is reason to be thankful, reason to celebrate (amid my grief) and reason to hope for less ache, and more peace.
 I don't think I'm allowed (legally anyway : ) to write out these lyrics; so here is a link to the words of a song by Sara Groves titled "Less Like Scars"  for you to read and listen if you chose.
http://www.metrolyrics.com/less-like-scars-lyrics-sara-groves.html

While I may only see this:
 Or feel like this:


I know my Creator, my Deliverer and the One who cares for me,  sees this:
and this:




and hopefully, eventually,  this : )

There is a scripture passage in the book of Jeremiah that says:
 
Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected (good) end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

This reminds me that He has hope for me.  Healing and restoration and plans for my life!  And though my dreams for the future are different than they've ever been; I do still have dreams. : )
So I will watch my 'landscape' change in the coming years : ) 

and where will it lead, stretching out to the unknown?
Well, I shall see : ) LOL!
But I know it will be 'good'  for me~
 
And I will continue to "look to the Hills from where comes my help!
My help comes from the Lord."
 
Here is what I see, when I think of Him!
 
Thanks for listening dear kind friends! 
I just needed to talk~
May you have a wonderful new week ahead.
 
Hugs to you,  Karen