Saturday, May 31, 2008

a Memorial Day poem...

Yesterday, May 30th, is the traditional Memorial Day (even though in we celebrate it always on the last Monday of May). Today I was reading another blog and came across a poem written last year on Memorial Day to our troops, and I thought it fitting to share it with you. Our soldiers and their families sacrifice so much to allow us our freedom, and to fight for the freedom of others throughout the world...say a prayer for them today, and keep them in your thoughts as you enjoy those 'everyday' freedoms.

Blessings to you & yours, and God bless our troops and their families!


For Our Troops © 2007 Brooke O'Neill Emery

FOR OUR TROOPS (both past and present, but particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan at present)

Though I don't know your name
And I have never seen your face
I shed tears for you.

Though my memories don't contain a time
We shared together
I miss you.

Though we are not related
You are in my thoughts.

When I'm eating, or taking a shower, or doing housework,
I think of you, knowing how much you wish you could be at home,
Your stomach full, doing mundane chores such as cleaning your house,
Clean from a fresh shower.

Though you are at terrible risk, and perhaps may not survive,
You are NEVER ALONE, and will always be alive
If only in our spirits, hopes and memories, our dreams for your future.

There are MILLIONS of people praying for you tonight
And throughout the day.

Praying for your safely and return as a whole person
In mind, body and spirit.

We are crying because we know. We know you are scared, and lonely.
And that you'd give anything to see your family, to hug you mother, father.
Your child, sister, brother, aunt, uncle.

To be showered with love and comfort,
Instead of sand and shrapnel.

We long for you too, with an ache so desperate as to make us insane.
To touch your face, see your smile; share your laughter and your tears.

We love you so much soldiers, you cannot know.
You cannot fathom the swelling of pride in our chest as we think of you.
Of your courage and your sacrifice, the hope that you can come home soon.

And those that have returned, we have not forgotten you; you are in our prayers,
That you may recover from your experience and be healed.

No matter what anyone says, no matter the reason you are there,
You are a UNITED STATES SOLDIER, and you make us PROUD!!
Every day for that beautiful flag, for our great fortune to be Americans.

There are no politics, no scandals, no mistakes, NOTHING, which can diminish the sentiment we have for you.
And even as democracy permits free speech, as it should, which some may use to make judgments or cast aspersions,
Remember always, we know you'd rather be on the couch debating it with us than spending your days trying just to stay alive.

Let no "freedom of speech' EVER make you doubt the American people's faith in and love for you.
We are PROUD!

I've never met you, but I want you to know that I love you.
I'm praying for you.
I honor you.

I'm waiting for your return.

Friday, May 30, 2008

a quote to remember....

"I think I'm going to call this necklace a fundraiser because it's sooooooo fun!" -Daniel, while making his jungle-animal bead necklace kit from Michael's

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Introducing The Creative Juices (kinda long, but lots of pics!)

...So, several months back (maybe a year? maybe more? ladies? any idea?) a few of us decided that our once-a-month stamping fix at our Stampin' Up! demonstrator's workshop just wasn't enough to keep us going. We decided we needed something to keep us stamping in the in-between times, to keep the spark of creativity coming. So we started getting together to stamp. And then...we organized ;o)

We decided we needed a name, and since this was to keep ourselves doing something creative during the rest of the month, we named ourselves the Creative Juices. And, we each picked out a juiced-up name to go with our night out. I'm Kiwi :o) We also have my DMIL, Chris (aka Razzleberry), Melinda (aka Passionfruit), Dolores (aka Jamba), and Kathryn (aka Spicy V8). Kathryn's daughter, Kristina (who's my age) sometimes joins us and she's V8 Fusion ;o)

Now that we're all introduced, I'll share the premise since we organized: we design a card (almost always Melinda and I, since we're the most addicted, and then usually either Chris or Kathryn will bring one, too...Dolores just comes for the fun!), and then bring all the stuff for everyone else to make one...the stamps, cardstock (precut), inkpads, embellies, whatever. Then we gather around, sit and make cards, chat, and munch on popcorn and Dolores's homebaked goodies.

The cards to the left are from the last two CJ meetings (I could only remember one of the ones that I had brought). The first is mine, and was CASEd from Kristina Werner. Almost exactly, same layout, similar owl, just different papers. The second two are Melinda's (Passionfruit), and the last two are Chris's (RazzleBerry).

The full supplies for my card will be listed at the end as usual. For the others, I don't really know (sorry!) I do know Melinda used the Always set by SU! for the pink bird card (and the raffia is from Target's gift wrap section). Chris's butterfly card used the Martha Stewart butterfly punch, and some cool adhesive rub-ons also by MS Crafts. Chris's other card used the "Enjoy" stamp set by SU! and a cool glittery/holographic sort of embossing powder. Really neat in person.

Sorry for the long post! Thanks for sticking it out! {hugs}

~Michelle (aka Kiwi) :o)

Supplies for Owl card:
Stamp: Owl (Sassafrass Lass)
Paper: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla (Stampin' Up!), polka dot DP (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Pumpkin Pie
(Stampin' Up!)
Other: Pumpkin Pie striped grosgrain ribbon, dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baby love ...and a Sketch!!

Ok, I have to say I'm kind of excited about this. I was about to post this card and thought, "Hey, it'd be pretty easy to do a sketch of this in Gimp..." and 15 minutes later here it is!! I feel like a *real* blogger ;o)

So, the card is really pretty simple. The technique on it that I love (thank you acrylic stamps!) is the shadow stamping of the "love" stamp in two colors. I stamped in the pink first, cleaned and re-inked in cocoa, and then stamped just to the right and above of the first image, which was really easy because of the clear acrylic need to deal with a stamp-a-majig, though I do dearly love that tool now that I finally bought it! I used Tim Holtz's blending tool to sponge more Close to Cocoa around the edges, and popped the sentiment panel up on dimensionals.

Thanks for visiting, and if you make something with the sketch, post a link in the comments...I'd love to check it out!! And yes, I am reading any and all comments :o)


Stamps: "Love" (Heidi Swapp), "Swirls" (Rhonna Farrer by Autumn Leaves)
Paper: Close to Cocoa, polka dot DP (My Mind's Eye), watercolor paper
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Pretty in Pink
Other: Martha Stewart ribbon, Antique Copper brads (SU! Hodgepodge Hardware), Tim Holtz blending tool (Ranger Industries), dimensionals (SU!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

butterflies and Martha Stewart bird a la carte

Catchy title, eh? The bird in the middle is a Martha Stewart punch, and the little frame around him is made from a stamp from the Carte Postale set by Stampin' Up! Hence, "Martha Stewart bird a la carte"...okay, not really that funny...

This is a card I made for my friend Jill for Valentine's Day (actually, I made 10 of these, and 10 of the butterfly design) for her to send off some love :o)

They were both pretty easy to production-line, once I had decided on the designs. The bird card is made mostly with punches, which really made it pretty fast. The only stamping is the medallion from the Carte Postale set, which I cut out, and then used a circle punch to punch the center out of it.

The butterfly design took a bit longer (sorry, the photo is blurry, but these are the only ones I have!). The butterfly, which is from Botanicals, a long-retired SU! set, was stamped on watercolor paper, over-stamped with a French Script background in Creamy Caramel, sponged with more CC for an 'antique' look, and then colored in with blender pens. From there, the cards went pretty fast thanks to more punches :o)

For a full list of supplies, see below. Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies for Carte Postale Bird:
Stamps: Carte Postale (SU!)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Ruby Red, Very Vanilla (SU!)
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Other: Twill (unknown), Punches (Marvy square and scalloped, Martha Stewart Crafts bird, EK Success circle)

Supplies for Someone Special Butterfly:
Stamps: Botanicals, French Script BG (SU! retired)
Paper: Ruby Red, Perfect Plum (SU!), embossed DP (K & Company), watercolor paper
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Perfect Plum, Ruby Red, Bashful Blue (SU!)
Other: ribbon (Martha Stewart Crafts)

the best is yet to be...

Alright, so down to what one of the main purposes of this blog is supposed to be about...keeping me on-track and motivated to keep up with my card-making, and to keep trying new things.

This, however, is not new. *Sorry!* It's a card I made for my DH for our anniversary last year. See below for the details/recipe.

On Thursday I do begin a new adventure, though: SCRAPBOOKING. I already have all the stuff for scrapbooking since I've been stamping so long, so it's really not a big leap...don't know why I've been such a chicken. Technically, I've kind of dabbled in it, making mini-albums for my mom and my DMIL and myself, but never the *real thing* with a big album and full-size pictures and format. I signed up for this class with Big Picture Scrapbooking, and it starts on Thursday, and I'm excited! Stay tuned...I'll post my class creations as I make them :o)

Supplies used:
Stamps: Priceless, Love Matters (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Sage Shadow, Cranberry Crisp, Very Vanilla (
Stampin' Up!), Basic Grey DP
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Crisp (Stampin' Up!)
Other: Pewter Snaps (We R Memory Keepers), Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

a day to remember

...those who have served and are serving our country, and to give them our thanks, not that we can ever give them thanks enough. Included in that list are my brother (currently in Turkey...LOVE YOU BRANDON!), my father (who was on a Naval sub in the 1970s), and my grandfather (who served in the 'forgotten war', a.k.a. the Korean war), among other relatives whose history I, sadly, do not know better. Definitely something I need to look into, and hopefully record so that my boys will have it written down to remember in the future, and to know what their family has done for this great country.

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day, wherever you are...if you're in the U.S., that you get to enjoy the day with family and/or friends, and that you take just a minute or two to think about, pray for, and thank our troops. For our troops here and overseas...THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A good beginning...

My current focus verse, and a good focus for the rest of this blog:

"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." -Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

*ETA note: not to confuse anyone, but I've omitted the "Finally, brothers" from the beginning of this verse, since this is the beginning of my just didn't seem to fit, and I didn't like other translations of this verse that began "Therefore" as much as the NIV