“Whenever I hear the song of a bird

or look at the blue blue sky…I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me.”  Awww yes, my all time favorite Primary song EVER!!!!  I have so very much to thank my Heavenly Father for because I know, that no matter how dark the nights might be, the SON is always on the horizon.  Knowing this has helped me hold on and in when I felt like I had nothing.  I’ve been in one of those dark spots with some recent events (what you had no idea….that means I still got the knack for fooling people when it comes to what’s REALLY going on with me) and a lot has happened this week to yank me right up out of that spot.  First there was a super fun shift at the fair…what’s not uplifting about handing something they want and hearing “that’s fan freaking stastic”.  Those Irish Sundaes are indeed that…MAYUN.  Digressing sorry.

So then Tuesday comes and I got woke up from my nap by a Spantastik friend and told to go check out my good friend Kristal’s blog because she had finally made her DT announcement and…if you’ve been reading my blog, then you know what happens next…she chose ME to join her DT.  I’m still shocked, surprised, and excited all at the same time.  It truly is an honor to know her and now I get to work with her to promote her products (cuz you’ve never seen a project or 25 with her stamps already right) too!  But there’s so much more to it than that…some people do good, some people are good and others still inspire people to do or be good.  Kristal is all of this and more.  I back her stamps and her as an individual for so many reasons…way too many to list here, but I will give you a few of them real quick.

1.  She is very committed to her Stamp Good Do Good campaign.  What’s this you ask…well visit the K Andrew Designs store to check it all out. Basically it’s this…for every stamp set purchased, Kristal donates $2 to charity…one for every set of stamps sold, then a matching one from her own finances.  It’s easy for me to back someone who is so committed to doing THIS much good.  Every time I use one of her stamps, I get a warm fuzzy inside thinking about the good I have helped make happen by supporting Kristal.

2.  Kristal’s also one of the most Godly women I’ve ever known.  I’ve learned so much about trusting in Him from reading her thoughts and statuses and notes and through our conversations on Facebook.  I’ve learned that when I grow up, I want to be as faithful as she is.  She is unashamed of her belief and will speak out boldly on how God is and isn’t working in her life.  She will pray for you, and she will pray with you.  She gives HIM full credit for all that she is and she works diligently to dig deep and give Him more when she gets a/the call.  I love Godly women…this one in particular.

So now it’s Thursday (well technically it’s actually early Friday morning that I’m typing this post), and I get some happy mail from Anna Fearer whose flower making class I’ll be taking soon, and well, despite the darkest of dark days, the Son has ALWAYS been right where I needed it most IF I chose to look.  On our mini-vacation we took Wednesday, I chose to look and found the pictures I used to create this, my first post of what I hope to be millions (ok maybe just thousands…or hundreds…anyway 1st of lotsuh) of Design Team posts:

These are two of the photos I took at a coastal spot I had never seen before.  It was beyond amazing…we will return to this spot over and over.  No…I won’t tell you exactly where this spot is…I want it to be my little secret…then I don’t have to fight for parking or picnic tables next time I go back LOL.

The beauty of these photos is remarkable and really speaks for itself so I decided to keep the page simple.  The lighthouse die cut is present because this is the view from the area near the lighthouse we visited.  The empty spot will be for journaling…lots of journaling bout the impressions I had while there.  I used the following stamp sets from K Andrew Designs:

Here's a close-up of how I stamped.
 
Additional Supplies Needed:
12 x 12 page for layout (DCWV Shimmer Stack)
2 4.25 x 6.25 mats in contrasting color
eCraft
Waterlife SD Card (lighthouse cut at 5, cliff cut at 8)
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Old Paper
Inking tool (I use one from Ranger with foam ink pads instead of felt)
Crop-a-dile
Eyelets
Twine
Adhesive:  Mono Adhesive tape runner
Bling if desired
Spellbinders (I forget which one I used here)
My personal SVG file
 
 

Mount your 4 x 6 photos on your contrasting mats, adhere as desired to page.  Make the cuts with your eCraft (if you don’t have one…I know of a way you can be entered to win one…stay tuned) as I described.  I believe the journal box is 4.5 by 6.75 but I don’t remember exactly.  Using your crop-a-dile, punch two holes and set two eyelets.  Mine is just random brown ones from my stash.  Feed twine through the eyelets and tie it in a knot.   Taking the Spellbinder’s die of your choice, you can cut an accent/background piece like I did.  The white piece that my sentiments are stamped on is actually my very own SVG file so come back the 15th for your chance to win it!

So…I stamped my SVG cut on two edges with God Bless The USA from the Freedom Isn’t Free set, and then I stamped the other two edges with Simply fabulous from the Fashionable Friends Set.  Next I stamped two of my favorite sentiments from Positive Thoughts.  The one I stamped first was being a person of value is more important than being a person of success.  This really hit home for me with the experience I had at the lighthouse.  I was mad because I spent almost 30 years of my life without ever having seen the majestic beauty that IS this area all because my mother never go the meaning of value over success.  I’m so grateful my children are being taught to be people of value…and, if they happen to find success along the way (which I’m sure they will), more power to them.  Next I stamped live the life you want…this is a favorite of mine right now.  Finally I used Shine on!  from the Splashtastic Summer set then added some bling.  Once I get my journaling done, this page will be perfect.

Thanks for stopping in and checking me out today, I hope you enjoyed my first official DT project.  Be sure to go over to Kristal’s blog and let her know how I did…I’m sure she’d like that.  Don’t forget to visit the store too so you can get YOUR K Andrew Designs stamps.  I’d love to know which one is your favorite!

In case you missed it the 1st time….

Lemme ask you a question!  What’s equal parts nervous and excited?  No it’s not a man when he’s about to pop the question, or a woman having her first baby.  Give up?  Ok I’ll tell you…it’s me!  I’m so excited to be a part of the Robert’s Arts and Crafts DT; however, with that excitement also comes nervousness since this is my very first DT ever.  Plus, I’m following Bodacious Brie’s incredible butterfly masterpiece.  At any rate, I definitely feel quite honored to have been chosen for this position.

We will be having an official blog hop to introduce ourselves soon, but let me tell you a bit about me before I get to my project for the day, and I won’t even copy it from my blog this time OK?!?!?  Alright, let’s see…I’m a full-time student, full-time best babysitter ever (just ask my nephews…they love me), full-time single mom, and wanna-be full-time crafter.  Purple is my all time favorite color ever, me and butterflies go together like peanut butter and jelly, Simon and Garfunkel, ketchup and fries…well you get the idea.  I actually use both sides of my brain because I am whimsilytical (yeah I totally just made that word up).  I am artsy, I enjoy the theater, and I love to write and am quite good at it.  Totally right-brained huh?  But then, I’m also great at math, extremely analytical, and an excellent communicator.  Totally left brain stuff!

My crafting took a back seat for many years, but about five years ago, I discovered creative talent I didn’t know I had and that caused me to push the envelope even further on what I could do with that talent.  Today I did this:


Yes yes…I know….it’s totally a summer page when it should be back-to-school right?  The thing is…for us it’s still summer and we have a lot left of it still!  I just can’t put my head around back to school yet; I refuse.

Roberts makes a page like this awfully easy to create, especially with things like free shipping on $50 orders or 20% off your total purchase.  And I promise it isn’t as difficult to create as it might look.  You will need some supplies of course, and some time…this certainly isn’t the fastest layout I’ve ever created that’s for sure.

Supplies Needed: 
12 x 12 sheet of paper for your page
DCWV Citrus Stack
Border Punch of your choice (I used a Martha Stewart one here)
eCraft
Fundamentals 2 SD Card
Waterlife SD Card
Fundamentals 1 SD Card
Twine
Stamps (All stamps used were from K Andrews Designs)
Ink (Tim Holtz Distress ink in several colors, Memento Tuxedo Black)
Adhesive (foam squares, ATG, mono adhesive tape runner)  
 
Paper Trimmer

I don’t know about you but I LOVE one-stop shopping.  Roberts is JUST that and carries everything you need to create my layout.  So, now that you’ve got your supplies…here’s the process you might want to follow.

First you’re going to choose your papers.  Except for the white paper in my layout and the green stem on the flower, every piece of paper used came from the Citrus Stack.  This color scheme is a challenge for me, but I’m really pleased with the result.  The entire design was inspired by one of the pieces of equipment in the photos.  Look closely can you find it?

So first I took out my eCraft and cut Image 9 under the long stemmed floral category on Fundamentals 2.  I cut this shape initially at 9 in green and then white.  Then I cut it at 9.5 and then again at 10 to get the dimension shown below.

You will want to cut the head off the flower on all but your green piece so you can layer them.  Once I had my flower cut, assembled, and stamped I adhered it to the page.  One layer of the flower (the 10 inch one) is stuck down flat to the page, the rest are adhered with foam squares.  Next, I cut one sheet of a patterned paper at 5 by 12 inches to serve as a background mat for the photos.  Then, using a Martha Stewart edge punch, I punched the top and bottom edge of the paper.  This was laid more or less at the bottom of my page and after I liked where it was I added the pictures.

Switching to the Waterlife cartridge, I cut the sun (Image 1 in the first category) at 4, without my pen in the trolley.  By doing this, it didn’t draw the center piece and was just a sun shape.  I cut the center layer from the same category and at about 2 inches then did some of the same layering effect as with the huge flower.  The difference being I made both sun cuts the same size.  Finally I reverted back to the oldie but goodie Fundamentals 1 cartridge and had it cut my “pennants” for me with no problems.  These were cut at 2 and 2.5 I think.  I’m sorry I don’t remember.  I inked up all the edges and assembled them to look like a banner on the page, adhering them with foam squares for dimension.  At the last-minute I decided to add some twine and I think it was just what this page needed to wrap it all up!

Good luck to all of you celebrating or getting ready for back-to-school.  I promise to think of you when I’m chilaxin’ on the beach this weekend.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Another Sneak Peek

Happy Hump Day Ladies and Gents!  My first DT project is up over at the Roberts blog!  Here’s another sneak peek of the project:

To see the entire project, including directions on how I made it, please visit http://blog.robertscrafts.com.

Royal Purple Freedom Blog Hop

Did you know that Domestic Violence touches the lives of one in 3 women in their lifetime?  I have, at the moment, 97 women subscribed to this blog…98 including me.  This means that more than 30 of my subscribers will be touched by Domestic Violence in their lifetimes.  I was one of them, many of my hop participants were too.  Domestic Violence kills more women annually than breast cancer, but there are no DV walks for a cure and you typically only hear about the women who this condition steals…you seldom hear about those who got out and are making it and let me just tell you this…getting out is hell.  I know because I did it.  I used to walk in fear and now I go by faith!

My children and I celebrate our independence every year.  Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of our divorce and our 4th year violence free.  Following the inspiration I received to celebrate BIG this year, I decided to host this hop.  Featured along the way are purple themed cards…it’s my favorite color and the color for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Each card will be donated to the Bradley Angle House in hopes of inspiring women who have finally found the courage to leave.  When I left…there was precious little to hope in.  With this hop, we will give hope to women where perhaps little now exists.  With your help and support, together we can raise $1k for the Bradley Angle House and hand 24 NEW families a chance at recovery.  Everyone deserves to be safe and happy don’t you think?

My personal goal is to create 24 cards in honor of the 24 families we WILL help when we meet the goal.  Here are just a few of my projects so far:

For these cards I used Spellbinders, beaded ribbon, regular ribbon, a ribbon sticker I got a LSS, and Verve and Kristal Andrew stamp sets.  I also used my all time favorite stamping ink (versafine), and some flowers and bling.  Inside I will hand write a special message to a woman in hopes it will give her something to hope in and she will be able to stay encouraged along her journey.

The two cards above feature more Spellbinders, eCraft’s Waterlife SD image (the anchor), Our Daily Bread Designs stamps, Verve stamps, Stampin’ Up edge punch and twine.  I even tried my hand at stitching…that hand needs more practice.

Finally there’s this one that has a bow tied on my hideously ugly bow board, Spellbinders, Our Daily Bread Designs stamps, and Tim Holtz stain or wash or whatever it’s called.  I have 16 more to go I think.

Your next stop along the hop is the amazingly talented and charming Raven Baca at Love 4 Stamps.  The women featured in this hop have so graciously blessed my life and will bless the lives of others with their generous contributions to this hop. Though only one A2 card was required, many of the participants made a dozen or more.  Thank you ladies, I appreciate each of you!   And to Kristal and Amy who rounded out the lineup at the last possible minute…HUGE applause, hugs and love!!!!   Kristal, I appreciate the influence you are in my life and the example you set to everyone around you.  Your charitable donations with your new stamp sets are amazing.  And now…to think you’ll include a DV related charity too…WOW!  Now onto the line-up:

 

What fun would a hop be without some blog candy to reward you for your time and effort in viewing each stop right?  Because this cause is so dear to me, I have arranged an incredible array of prizes.  First though, lemme share some more information with you.   About 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes occur every year while many more assaults and rapes go unreported entirely. Over 3 million children witness violence in their home each year and those that do suffer physically and emotionally (my kids are among this statistic).  These statistics are sad and overwhelming, but help IS out there for those that choose to break the silence, but they need help.  Places like the Bradley Angle House are often invaluable.

Sponsors for this hop have been very generous and we have several Grand Prizes!  To be eligible to win, you must create a purple themed card like the ones featured in this hop and include a hand-written note of encouragement on the inside.  Your purple themed card(s) with a hope filled message inside could make all the difference, not to mention give YOU a chance to win the grand prize for this hop.  Cards must be postmarked by June 30th for inclusion in basket drawings and can be mailed to the following address:

Royal Purple Hop
c/o Vicki Smith
P.O. Box 1496
Millbrook, NY 12545

What are these grand prizes you ask...brace yourselves because you will not believe your eyes!

The Big Deal Basket:  Prizes in this basket are far too plentiful to list individually.  We have items donated by Robert’s Crafts (including 4 Cricut Cartridges), My Creative Time, Kristal Andrew, Erin Lee Creative, Pink By Design, Verve, KaDoodle Bug Designs, Photocentric, Peachy Keen Stamps. Treasure Box Designs,  Our Daily Bread Designs, Kallio Kalleidoscapes, September Ninth and many more items donated by our hop participants.  I estimate the value of this basket to be well over $250.  One lucky winner will be shipped this basket full of goodies (entire contents not shown):

Because Life After Domestic Violence is Peachy Keen Prize:    This prize package includes 1 each of the following stamps:  PK-M16, PK-M20 PK 291, PK-287, PK-288,  PK-289.  You can visit the Peach Keen Store  to check out all the images, but included in this prize package are the following new releases:

Pampered Princess:  This prize package includes a vanilla scented candle, some Secret Garden shower gel from Victoria Secret, and a Michael Buble CD.  Often times when leaving a Domestic Violence situation women forget to take care of themselves…I suspect this is a condition women have in general and the winner of this prize package will have good reason to pamper herself like the princess she is!

Verv-a-licious:  Verve stamps are my all time favorite clear polymer stamp ever.  The winner of this prize will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend at http://shopverve.com.

Please Note:  Only people who send a card to the above address will be entered into the drawing for these prizes.  Again, purple as the primary color with a hand written note inside.   Want more chances to win the grand prize?  Additional entries will be given for each $1 donation you include with your card.  Would you prefer 1 entry, 10 entries, or is 100 entries more of what you had in mind?  It’s all up to you!  

Smaller  prizes include: The Bling Thing (an assortment of bling), I’m Turning Pail (a clear pail of Colorbok scrappy stuff, including chipboard albums), Just A Little Peach (more Peachy Keen Stamps),  Grab Your Cutters (a craft grab bag from Cutter’s Creek), and perhaps even more as Sponsor items are still trickling in.  To be eligible to win any of these smaller items, simply leave a comment on this post telling me if DV has made an impact on your family and who’s card you were most inspired by.

Remember, one in three women will be affected by DV in their lifetime…think of your 10 closest friends…which three of you will suffer this tragic experience?  While it was me, I pray it is never any more of you.  I hope you will help me give 24 deserving women and their families a chance at recovery.  Everyone deserves to be safe!  Even if you choose not to make a purple themed card, you can still send a donation to the address above.  Thank you in advance for your support!