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
(The Scrapbook Diaries)  and the MOP buttons from one of Liz's auctions~

 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! 
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.

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: --->  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   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 : )