Saturday, December 26, 2015

Well,   it  was  me!!
Hello and welcome to any and all who may visit.  I  hope your Christmas was a blessed one!
I enjoyed being with family and friends here in Colorado Springs~  All was an unhurried, relaxing, fun!,  and truly  peaceful weekend~  I really needed that too : )  Things have been emotionally difficult and I'm grateful for the respite.

 Well, a few weeks back I entered a give-away on Liz's blog
 and I actually Won!  One of 3 great giveaway prizes!  She is a very generous and kind person : ) and shared with me some of her beautiful laces, vintage papers and sequins & buttons!  Liz is an artist and a collector of fabrics, laces, antiques and vintage finds in both France and Great Brittan.  (as far as I know!: ) 
I ask you to visit her blog (see the link just above here) and you will find here unique Etsy shoppe~

Here is my wonderful surprise, received in early December.
 So beautifully wrapped and adorned with this gorgeous embossed and decorated tag (personalized on the back.)  Tied with a gorgeous velvet ribbon!  It was . . . luscious~
Just look at the details on this tag!
I wish you could hold it and see each beautiful facet~ Inks, embossing, texture,  intricate laces and unique 'diamond' stars.  And of course the lovely image of Mary and the Christ child.

 The ephemera papers are vintage and authentic.  One is dated 1896!  I want to frame that one!

 Gorgeousness! The sequins are like nothing I've seen here in the USA.     * I wish I would have thought out my photo's a little better : j  as I would have spread the laces out so you could really see the details.
 I couldn't help but jump in and start working!!  Liz, I was so excited to create something and I plan on more cards; etc. soon~ 
BELOW  is my first "Thank You" card to reciprocate a special Christmas gift from my loving brother and his gracious wife.
All the different papers I've used here were from Liz's gift package.   A wonderful eclectic mix! 

 AT her  ApplesApricot blog: linky party
I  invite you to visit the wonderful display of neutral projects posted there: )

Well, here is my tag card.
I like 'round' bows! People, I'm not sure why! : ) LOL  But I guess I 'blame' blogger friend Beatriz Jennings! As she 'taught' me how to tie one : ) *smile*
Bea, you got me started and I can't help myself! 

I added a small rusty bell, and you can see one of Liz's beautiful MOP (mother of pearl) buttons and those exquisite sequins.  I wish you could all hold a few in your hand!  They are extra special.

Good grief! There's my 'round bow' again! ~~~~
Told ya'  - I can't help myself. 

Dear friends and visitors,  thank you for peeking in today!  I hope you know it means a lot to me.  
 ~And I wish you a wonderful 2016~
God's love and peace to you all.  Karen


Friday, December 18, 2015

. . . A time to mourn, and a time to dance. . . 
 I have been searching for a photo to place here as I share this news, but I cannot find one that justifies how I feel right now.
 I've just this week received some extremely sad and mournful new from my  family in Ohio.  We have now lost my (late) mother-in-law's husband.  suddenly and with out warning.  His name was Richard.   
My heart is mourning and breaking - but also especially for my family there.  In just 2 years, my sisters in law have lost their mother, their only brother, and now 'moms' husband of over 20 years part of this family.  
When my (late husband) Alan was so sick with the cancer last year, Richard came for a week to help us out.  Stayed by Al's side so I could go to my job. He really took care of us both.
He was so kind to keep in touch with me regularly since loosing Alan; and he (Richard) still in grief over his own wifes' death. 
We just spoke about 2 weeks ago and all was well.
And now; he is gone.
I am still waiting to hear particulars, but it sound like something went internally wrong with a  surgery he had just a few weeks ago.

I wanted to tell you all that as much as I would like to post some things I had planned to share - - I am taking a break until after Christmas probably.  This is just a little too much for me right now; while I am still grieving my husband.  You see, I lost my (eldest) sister in 2012, my mother-in-law in '13, my husband in '14 and now my (step) father-in-law before the year is out.  I am holding on to Gods hand and I know He will carry me through; but I need healing time.  Christmas is hard enough right now~

I AM THANKFUL for my Saviors birth!  but do NOT feel like dancing right now.  I am Grateful for all He has blessed me with.
I am thankful for  YOU!  I appreciate all the loving support and friendship I have felt in the blogging community and I want you to know you have made my mourning easier.  I mean that sincerely : )

I want to wish you a Wonderful Holiday Season.  Full of God's blessings for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

See you soon  ~ Karen

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Christmas Blessing~   (a card from Dorthe)

. . . snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow . . .

Such a beautiful card I received from  our dear friend Dorthe!  She has reached out to me and is a blessing much farther than she could know~  I was amazed at her creativity. Just look at all the details; from the scrunched and inked background paper, to the snow and beautifully inked stencil design.  And the deer! Oh my~
 And also she could not have known this was one of my very favorite Christmas/Winter songs.  I've included all the words for you to read.  But if you would take the time to listen to this vintage song, I know it will bless your heart!

words- Christina Rossetti   music- Gustav Holst
In the bleak midwinter, frosty winds may moan
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow
Snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter,  long --- ago
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him,
nor earth sustain
Heaven and earth shall flee away
when He comes to reign
In the bleak midwinter, a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty ---         J e s u s C h r i s t
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man, I would do my part
Yet what I can, I give Him - give my heart
I hope all of you are finding some time for peace and rest during this busy season!
Blessings and thank you SO VERY MUCH for stopping in~   Karen

Friday, December 11, 2015


Hello and  THANK YOU!  for stopping in today~
We have had some warm weather this week and it felt good for my bones! Mmmm. This Friday morning is blue skies and warming up~  But  snow is on it's way soon! Well, I will look for the beauty in it all : )

 What started out to be a  'snippet roll'   for my sister (a Christmas gift)  - [and it is my first time creating one] - turned into this vintage style 'scripture snippet' wall hanger~  (you will have to search  Pinterest to see what a real  "snippet roll" is! : ) But, it looks basically like this below, but easily rolls up and often tied with a pretty bow.    This one!?  Won't roll up! (too much cardboard . . . *sigh*. . .)

My baby sis Jane has several favorite scripture verses and I printed a few out to add to this mixed media (paper and fabric) collage.   But as I got going, I over-did the corrugated board!  etc... and it won't even  roll up.  Oh, that's OK, lets come up with a Plan 'B'!  *smile*
This was the best photo I could get of  'the whole thing' at once.   It is a good 16" long and maybe 5" wide.  I used a base strip of vintage linen, which wraps around a stick of Elm from my back yard!
Distressed gold seam binding for the hanger. 
I will be sharing  LOTS  of photo's! So be prepared if you would like to join me!

Here is the top section:
The lace (@the top) with gems, was purchased locally in a very old and eclectic  fabric shop that specializes in bridal lace.  Isn't it pretty!? I love the muted taupe color~  I cut a few 'snippets' of it to embellish elsewhere on the collage.
Most of the scriptures' are printed on paper from Beatrize Jennings shoppe:  Etsy
and mounted on kraft and white corrugated board.  There are 'snippets'  of laces, and I blanket-stitched a heart made from natural batting. XO
There is a strip of gold seam binding, ruffled, and stitched from top to  bottom onto the background linen.

Here is the center section:
  The scripture sentiment is embellished with a bit of the taupe lace.  I made the flower (looks darker than it is) from some K&Company Ancestry Collection paper; which has been discontinued for several years : (  It is my favorite paper ever!  and was what I first started out with when I  began making cards 6 years ago.
There is a white twill tape bow behind the flower, and the buttons are mother-of-pearl.  Jane will especially like these because they came from our grandmothers jar!  I fussy-cut some lace flowers from a damaged piece of table runner,  and  the chipboard  butterfly was a gift from my friend >  .Melissa.  
The 3 sweet images I used on this were  freebies! from the beautiful and generous >    Kerryanne    at Shabby Art Boutique.  I made a second heart; blanket-stitched with gold embroidery floss,  and added a flower snippet from the taupe lace. 

 Here is the bottom section: 
 Isn't that little girl the sweetest image!?!  It reminded me of Jane when she was just a little peanut! (There she is in the photo below, - - from a mini album I made for her a few years ago: )
 And the scripture above speaks a testimony to Jane's beautiful life~

I have included several photo's and close-ups of the collage below!
Thank you so much!!! For taking time to visit today~  Blessings,  Karen

Have a wonderful week-end!  I imagine it will be a busy one for so many of us: )  ~Karen

Sunday, December 6, 2015

 Always, forever, still . . . my love

Hello to you and thanks ever-so-much for stopping in today!
I am 'diverting' from the Christmas Season at hand - as I haven't any finished projects yet to post!
I hope to soon, but I've learned not to promise lately : J  *sigh*

  Here is a  Teeny Mini Album   I created a few months back.  It is only about 3 or 4 inches tall; and the same wide.  It's in a neutral palette and a  bit grungy which is my tend  (but not really that grungy,  since it includes bows!) LOL   This was made to hold some very special photo's of my dear late husband, Alan.
The tags are all cut from kraft cardstock. It also includes white corrugated board, cheese cloth, burlap, canvas, ribbon, paper lace, pearls, German glitter glass, and Stickles; and I used Gesso and stencils on some of the tags where you see the raised media.

ABOVE:  is a photo from our Wedding Day.  We were so young my dear friends~  Many thought we would not 'last.'  We celebrated 35 years together in March of 2014.  We faced much joy and much adversity; as I'm sure all of us can say~

 Here  is Alan on Christmas day at 15 Yrs old.  That is an  'Ohio State'  cap on his head : )  Go Buckeye's!

 ABOVE with one of his Dogs.  Yes, Alan had very long hair at that time! After all it WAS the 1970's my friends! *sigh*
He was a huge animal lover. 

   BELOW   is a photo of Al and his trusty "Sydney" the 'Cattle Dog'!!!   She was an Australian Red Healer; and in his hip pocket ALL the time. You can see how she would 'wrap' herself around him!  I had mentioned in an earlier post that when Al passed away she became sick and would not eat.  She died one month after him.
My handsome man~

Alan with his mother and 3 sisters.  They were super close and some of the loveliest people in my life.  Genuine beautiful souls.  We lost his mother the year before Alan.  It has been so difficult. 

I need to say that I do NOT have blogging down very well! I had to add my text to the photo as a 'caption' in order to be able to add text at all on this bottom part! I'm confused...
  I can not figure out sometimes, how to post text in between photo's or how to get my 'curser' where I want it so I can add text!  (Help blog police help!)  I can't get rid of excess wasted space between photos and/or paragraphs...and other issues.  I need a class for sure! 

SOO If I can't get to the bottom of this photo, PLEASE know I appreciate your visit!! And thank you for looking in today~  Blessings to you,  Karen

I apologize for the dark photo's, I don't get it!  but here is our wonderful family~  The top photo includes me and Alan with our eldest daughter and her family.  Looks SOO dark here.  The bottom one our younger girl with her family.  We were at Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs. Both our daughters/families live in MT.    We have 7 grand children and God gave us the 2 BEST son-in-laws in the world~ Thank you God! : )

Monday, November 30, 2015


I simply, simply  want to say Thank You! to the new - and now already 'dear-to-me'  friends and acquaintances I've made here in 'the blogging world'  these last few months.
Who could know (unless you try : ) that there is a world, a WORLD!  of people out there with whom you can share so much with!? It may be very familiar to many of you, but for me - - it's like a new & beautiful flower,  growing up unexpectedly and right outside my window!  Maybe even pushing up through the snow~ *smile*
I don't know what all the future holds for me - but my desire is to keep crafting and creating - keep visiting and learning and growing~
It's been a hard year, (loosing my darling man) and I feel overwhelmed sometimes with many difficult challenges and many things being so different for me.  I've met with lots of  'change' - and keeping my creative "mojo" is one of those things I find difficult!    : /   But YOU are an inspiration to me, and YOU are such an encouragement to me!  

So thank you! for being there when I needed you! : )  Wow! And you didn't even know you were doing that!  *smile again*
But, you were.  You are.   So thanks  So much!
I wish you all Gods blessing this week and always~

LINK  LINK  LINK  LINK!!   I am so happy to be linking this  (click--->) to Wen's wonderful host page AppleApricot's blog   For another Simply Neutrals Tuesday!!  Please look in to see some beautiful "Neutral palette"  works and images shared there.  You will enjoy the visit so much~

Weekly linky party

Sunday, November 29, 2015

COVERED  IN  WHITE ... & Christmas cards too~

We are snow-covered and frosty here in Colorado, USA!  Though we are known for our many days of sunshine (we usually have about 70% sunny days here) we have no shortage of snow here either!
And it is 'jump-starting' my Christmas motor : )  So, I thought I'd post some 'past' Christmas cards - - till I get to creating some "Current" Christmas gifts to share~   

  Red & white burlap and a 'pic' of berries from the craft store. Corrugated cardboard and some "Gesso" snow which I glittered with Stickles.   The image from a dear friend~

 Sledding at night!!!!  I remember doing this as a child,  Do you?  Who knew how cold it was when you're having so much fun!  I spent my early growing up years in Michigan, and the snow was our source of  entertainment and wonder for many months~

Maja Designs paper  (from Sweden) and just a few simple embellishments.  Again, corrugated cardboard & Gesso 'snow' ~

 I am an avid Christmas Caroler!  I love to sing the praises of our Saviors' birth~  The Choir card is a bit fuzzy, as I took the photo outside when the weather was bad!  I used Pion Designs' paper (also from Sweden)  and a snowflake die cut from
The  bell punch is Martha Stewart.            The  JOY  card is paper from Pion, and I love to add bows to almost everything I make : ) so, here is a country checkered one added to the top.  I like the large JOY stamp but I could have 'placed' it better I think! : j    It says "Joy to the world, the Lord is come."

 White corrugated board and white burlap are the foundation of this sledding card.  I also added some machine sewing along the edges; and some distressing.

 Here's a mostly neutral one that is one of my favorite cards~  I found a few white bells in Etsy! and used them sparingly~  I stamped all around the base of the card with Bo Bunny Christmas stamps.

 Frosty layers of Pion & Maja papers and that cute image of the girl with umbrella and basket of Christmas greens  is Pion Designs. I added some zig-zag sewing

 If you are interested in a tutorial for the Christmas Tag card on the right, please stop in @ (click>)  my friend Beatiz Jennings blog, where you'll find the video for Christmas tags.

Thank you so much for stopping in today!  Enjoy your week ahead and I hope it will include some crafting too.  Many many thanks to you for taking time to peek in~  Blessings to you all,  Karen

Saturday, November 21, 2015

For sweet baby Jane ~

Here's a card for my baby sister, Janie.  Though 7 years my junior, she has  so many times been my rock and refuge.  We share a very close friendship along with our 'sisterhood.'  Even for the many years she lived so far away, we were close in heart and on the phone a lot! : )  I've never had a dearer friend than her. 
I am so glad she has lived close; for the last 2 years.  She is a faithful support, and is always pointing me to the Lord. Jane, thank you so much for 'watching out for me', especially this last year when things have been so hard on my heart.  You are a true friend~

I snitched this display idea (vintage ruler) from a friend and creative mentor; Connie Mercer at:  
I have followed Connie for a few years now (though I didn't have a blog for most of that time)  and she continually amazes me with fresh ideas, techniques and beautiful paper and crafting designs!  And though our styles are very different, her work is a source of encouragement and inspiration.

This is a paper bag card.  Just take a paper bag and fold it in half : )  Then decorate inside and out.  I covered the front with a piece of white frayed cotton fabric ( from a very thin towel) and topped that with Prima (brand) paper (Romance Novel collection)  At the time, I am quite determined not to spend any  money on crafting supplies!  At least as far as possible : )   So most of what I'm using comes from my 'stash'.
The paper flowers and ribbon rosette's are also Prima.  I like to make my own paper flowers, but was lately gifted with some pre-made; and I'm not going to argue with that! I will gladly use them up~

I wanted to mention something here about the bird rub-on.  Yes, they are still being used today! LOL!
I have to say though, rub-ons can dry out after a few years and will not 'rub-off' from the sheet, onto your paper.  ULTRA frustrating.  But I've found something that works and wanted to share it with you.
You can coat the paper (where you want the rub-on to go) with a VERY light and thin 'shmear' of glue. ( I used ZIG 2 way glue.)  Let it set for a minute and then add the rub-on like you would normally do.  works great!

Time to say goodbye for now~
Thank you ever so much!! I appreciate your peeking in today!  wishing you a wonderful day of THANKSGIVING! No matter where you are.  Peace be with you,  Karen

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

With Thoughts Of You~
 To all those in France, who are facing the worst  'storm' (of this sort) ever in their history, we are in prayer for you.  For your healing and strength, for Gods intervention and mercy, and for the grace you need to conquer this senseless tragedy.  Please remember that, though evil comes against, if you trust in the Lord, GOODNESS shall prevail.  [We humans have a way of rallying around each other (near and far) working together to restore and rebuild. I believe that is God-instilled.]  Let's keep lifting them in prayer and do what we can to help make a difference~

I am sitting at my lap top,  looking out the window.  We are in the midst of a winter storm here in Colorado; I can't even leave for work - It is snowing so hard. Visibility is poor.  The wind is bringing down the few lingering Maple leaves and some weak branches from my front tree~  I'm grateful to be tucked up in my home - and not out in that storm!  I heard it will all stop in a few hours - and warm to 40deg's later today,  and perhaps even see a bit of the sun!?  But from what I see right now, that doesn't sound very believable : J  Living butted up against the Rocky Mountains brings a lot of 'guess-work' into predicting the weather!  We shall see~

Thank you so very much! for stopping in to see my contribution for:     (click >)  Aple Apricot's Neutral linky party!     Plese take a few minutes to click over and see what Wen has to share with all us Neutral Lovers!

Weekly linky party
I made this sweet mitten last year as a birthday gift for my baby sis~  It's about 6" long and was made from a wonderful  PDF Tutorial from Nancy Maxwell James' Etsy Shoppe! > >   Sugarlump Studio's
It was lots of  fun to make! and fairly simple and straightforward too~ Thanks for great instructions Nancy : )
It actually opens at the top (I tucked a small gift inside) and is made of Natural batting.  Covered w/different laces; etc. and vintage buttons from Grandma's jar.  The image is paper and machine zig-zag stitched.  I added some seed beads & such at the bottom.  There's a twill tape loop at the top for hanging. 

I am thankful to all of you in blogland : } who have visited and encouraged me whilst 'getting going' again and blogging.  I appreciate your visits!!
Have a wonderful week~  Karen