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, 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





Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A gift for my niece, and an entry into Simply Neutrals Tuesday!  : )
 Hi there!  and welcome to my blog!
I am sharing today a large "library" bag that I made for a niece of mine.
 (I call them "library bags" because they are strong and large sized.  The first one I made was for my daughter & grandkids to use to carry books back and forth. )
* [I posted about some of the other bags I've made in the past; and I hope I can make this link: --->http://roosterheaddesigns.blogspot.com/2015/09/some-of-my-canvas-bags-creations-over.html#comment-form  take you there! : ]
  I am still so 'green'; such a rookie at understanding the in's and outs of blogging~  But my very 'Blog
Knowledgeable'  friend Wen, @ Apple Apricot (blog) is helping me to "learn the ropes!"
She is the hostess for the By-weekly party  "Simply Neutrals Tuesday" Weekly linky party http://appleapricot.blogspot.com/   where you will always find inspiration and encouragement in the creative field of neutrals~   I will be sharing my bag/shoulder tote  over there today!

I heard of a savvy way of creating with canvas (on a blog I read somewhere ; )  using canvas (painters) drop cloths for your projects!  I purchased this one at Home Depot in the paint department.
They are much less expensive than purchasing canvas by the yard (like I used to do) at the fabric store,  and they come with hemmed edges; which make finishing a breeze.
One drop cloth will give you several bags. 

Here's the one I made last week:
  It is about 16"X18"
The straps are 'ripped' and then triple zig-zag stitched along the long edges to prevent fraying.
I forgot to take a picture, but there are 2 pockets (1-Lg. & 1-Sm.)  inside the tote bag as well.
Most of the laces and trim are new; purchased from Prima Marketing or Maya Road.
I did make the  'pleated strip' under the Prima rosette's,  and  the flower is a piece of doily and a hand made flower center. 

Different lighting below, but neither photo is very true!!  It is a cool shade of greyish tan, IRL ; )


That is about all I have today.  Thank you for stopping in!  I am so thankful for this blessed warm weather
 and I am busy these days with backyard projects~
I will be having several weeks of out-of-town family coming to stay; in June and July! Hurray : ) !!
Wishing you many blessings yourself, for a great summer ahead~
Hugs,   Karen


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cards, cards, cards!

Hello to all who visit~  Thank you for taking time to stop in!
We are truly in the midst of Spring weather in Colorado.  Rain, (whew! : )  Hail : (
and cloudy and cool; with some warmer temps dotting the state as well.

I just wanted to share some cards I made this week-end; and may I say - 'just in the nick of time!'
 I found I needed 2 birthday cards and a graduation card . . . NOW!     (that's what I get for procrastinating : /
 So I got to work and was able to create some quick cards, and  thought I would post them today.

This is a tag card I made for my mothers birthday package~
 
The birds, flowers and cage were "fussy cut" from Bo Bunny papers (which are so pretty!)  and the film strip is also a BB product~
The vintage look white papers on the tag and base are from 49 & Market.  I just recently found these papers and I love love them!
 There's also some seam binding and silk ribbon.
 I used 'pop dots' sticky adhesive squares to make the bird cut-out stand out.













And here is a graduation card I kind of  quickly put together! but I like how it turned out.  I have a harder time with "guy" cards ; J  and I'm so glad I had  the Top Hat embellishment from my dear friend Marylou; as it was a big help in giving me a jump off point! She created that using black embossing powder on kraft cardstock~


 And below is a birthday card that needs to be mailed!  The white papers (tags) are from the above named 49 & Market (thru Scrapbook Diaries.)  The vintage looking paper on the main body is some very old K & Company papers. Long ago discontinued; but still remain my favorites~  I stamped all over this card! Getting a bit carried away but was still happy with the end results.  A bit of cheese cloth and soft silky ribbon for a double bow~
I am NOT a fast crafter,  but managed to get 3 cards done in (almost:) one day!       So waaahooo : ) 

The white trim edging is punched, the teeny flowers hand made, and the birds are a rub-on.  [Yes! rub ons are still around! LOL  But if they get old, are often unusable - - so get going with those rub-ons friend: ]


Thank you for stopping in!
I hope you know it means so much to me~
Wishing you God's blessings throughout the week : )
Karen




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grama Kate~

Hello to you dear friends!
Much thanks for stopping in to visit : )

We are experiencing true Spring weather here in Colorado Springs and I must say it is warming more than the air!  it is warming my heart as well.  <3

I don't have a lot to share today, but I like to post and just "keep in touch" with you, so here is a
quick post about Grama Kate.
My late husbands grandmother on his mom's side; Grandma Kate was a kindergarten teacher until she retired - 26 years I believe~
She grew up with a military  father (Navy) & mother (in the Cleveland, OH area) and both her parents were descendants of Czechoslovakian immigrants.


 I realize the actual photo of Grama is a poor copy, and so sorry 'bout that! I believe this was her Collage Graduation picture, though I am not sure.
She was born in The Philadelphia area but they moved to Cleveland when she was very young.
She was married to Poppy, the grandpa I have blogged about a few times~


I want to take a minute to share a blog link - ->  http://appleapricot.blogspot.com/ where Wendy
hosts a by-weekly "Simply Neutrals Tuesday Party!
I will be sharing Grama's photo there; and if you have the time, I hope you will stop in and see
the array of Neutral things to see!  Something for every one - so please join us!
Weekly linky party
***********************************************************************************
Here is the link to an earlier blog post which included this photo of Poppy and Grama Kate below- ->  Generations Wedding Album 9-14-15

**********************************************************************************
If she looks just a bit 'tough' in the graduation photo, - - she was! : ) LOL  She had a great sense of humor and Grama Kate loved to laugh! but - she had a tough exterior.  Sometimes it's just necessary . . .
Please know she had a very kind and compassionate heart as well, and worked for many years within her church and community; providing blessings to others.

This lay out is about 8"X5" and quite simple.  I used black textured Bazzill cardstock for the base. 
I had bought some 'French' look pencils from the $ bin @ Michaels and the paper package is what I used on the left side of the l/o.
  For the postal stamp (a gift from my dear friend Marylou) and the stamp below that (clocks, text and Bflies:) I used while embossing powder.  I did this on a separate piece of black cardstock, then fussy cut it out, and added it to the lay out.
I also added some pieces/strips  of Washi tape (butterflies, French words and clocks) here & there.

No other embellishments; so there is no real  "dimension" to the page.  Simple was my goal, but I realize this is Great for mailing! but  'not so much'  for displaying! : ' ) - so perhaps I will find some flowers or a nice resin piece to add.

I'm sad to say we lost Grama early; just 80 years old I believe, maybe 82? (in 2002)  But she was truly the 'matriarch' and full of character and fun, love, and lots of 'salt' too : )  ILU Grama Kate.

I'm hoping my friends that you had a blessed week-end?  I really did.  It was a busy Friday cleaning out the shed and getting things ready for the Summer ahead.  And Saturday was so pretty I took a drive in the Rocky Mountains! 
I hope to post my photo's soon.
Wishing you God's very best for this week ahead~
Karen

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Matchbook Style Needle Cards~

Hello and welcome!  I thank you  for stopping in today : )

I was visiting at ---> Shabby Art Boutique, where Kerryanne  was sharing a style of  'needle keeper'  I had not seen before -  Matchbook style!
I felt inspired and had to try!!
(yea for inspiration;  It doesn't always flow for me; I was so happy to receive it! Thank you God! : )  And Thank you Kerryanne for encouraging us to try.  She is an amazing blogger and creator.
This needle book WAS soo easy and fun!
Here's the small pile I made : )   (5)
 
These are simple and fast to make!
No sewing required ; )
I 'tweaked'  Kerryanne's instructions just a bit - you can visit her blog to see what she did,
 but I'll tell you my steps:
*Cut the paper (matchbook) sleeve 3" wide  X  8.25" tall.
(perhaps practice on some plain paper)
*The bottom fold is about 5/8",  crease & fold up.  (I did decorative punch on some edges.)
*Take the top flap and fit it into the bottom fold, and crease - like a matchbook.
(you can do 2 creases there- about 1/16th" apart so it will lay better-
again, practice on plain paper first)
*I tucked a piece of felt (cut with pinking shears - slightly smaller than the inside) into the bottom flap and stapled. DON'T staple too high up! or the top flap won't 'fit' in~
[Kerryanne suggested covering the staple with something decorative]
*I added needles, buttons,  pins and a paper spool covered in thread.
Whaalaa~
They are simple, with only a bit of embellishment at best - but if you use beautiful paper . . . : )
I had just the right color of seam binding to accent the pretty butterfly paper (by Kaisercraft; their Rustic Harmony collection)
I also used some Prima paper; their Butterfly Garden collection~
 
 



 
Prima paper on this one below!   "Sew Sweet!"
 
 
 I thought I'd also share a photo of one of the wonderful French treasures I purchased through Liz's http://lululizinlalaland.blogspot.com/2015/12/auction-no-30-vintage-french-enamel.html
Auction last year~
A gorgeous French Lunch Pail!!  (lid not showing)
 
This pail use to grace Liz's craft room; and now it graces mine : )  Thanks ever-so-much Liz!  I treasure it.
 
Well I better say Good-Bye for today.  I need to get back to work~  I am hoping to visit you very soon : )
Wishing each of you  God's very best!  Love and hugs to YOU~
Karen