I'm still mourning our return from the beach (would have stayed there forever if I could.) Here's one of my favorite shots from the week. It was taken with my little point and shoot (as were many photos of the trip), so the quality is not so great, but the light was so beautiful, and this photo makes me happy just to look at it. Hope you enjoy it too.

I'm sorry...

I've been away for a few days. I've been here...

That's the view from our balcony during our vacation last week on the gulf coast of Alabama (Orange Beach/Gulf Shores.) Not too hard to take at all! It was absolutely wonderful. My question is, with places as beautiful as this, why do I live so far away from them??? Anyway, I haven't worked on any projects (other than relaxing!), so I thought I would show you a picture of another project that I did several years ago--a collage card. I chalked a background and stamped on it, then tore it and inked the edges. The pressed flower is a real one, and the photo (copy of the photo actually) is a really old one of my grandmother (who passed away in 1985 at the age of 92. She attended the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and I wish I had asked her more about that when I had the chance.) I have a bunch of stamps, little charms, doilies, etc. in drawers for this type of project, so I am going to make some more of these collage cards. In my earlier stamping days, I would always make my own backgrounds (instead of relying on printed papers. Lately I've been getting back to that old school stamping style and enjoying it. Plus, I have all of these products sitting idle in my "studio" basement that are begging to be used.) This card actually won a contest (sponsored by Buffalo Stampede, a stamp company that I think no longer exists.) They had some gorgeous unmounted stamps. (Yes, back then I had time for things like entering contests.)

Finally, here's a fun photo from vacation that cracks me up---my two comedians. Hope it makes you smile. (And are you all remembering my challenge to stop and smell the flowers? That's kind of what I was doing last week (although instead of flowers, it was sea air!)

Wishing you...

Here's a card that can have just about any greeting inside. Today, the inside of this card would read, "Wishing you a day inside with air conditioning." It's 99 degrees here today. (And, I am INSIDE.) You can put just about any greeting inside though. It's a simple card--I just dry embossed the background with an embossing folder and chalked over the design (I used a Q-tip!) I punched a scalloped oval, stamped the Wishing you... on it, and attached it with a foam dot so it sits up a bit. (I inked the little scallops a little first.) Added a few little blingy gems and adhered it all to a pink card. Really simple, but nice I think. (This isn't the best photo, but you can still click it to see the detail if you like.)

Now, here's a shot of my little niece, taken at her "dance party" birthday last Saturday. Isn't she precious? (I officially have the most adorable nieces of all time--several of them.) She even had her own outdoor dance floor, with balloons galore. Her name for the day was "DJ Cozy." Thanks for the great day Cozy!

A Challenge--Make a photo card

Well, a couple of challenges actually. See this sweet, adorable cat? (I'm just a tiny bit biased--she's mine.) She's taking time to smell the flowers. LET'S ALL DO THAT MORE OFTEN. Now, another challenge to myself this week is to create a card using this photo. I have been wanting to incorporate photos into my papercrafts for some time, apart from the obvious scrapbook layouts and mini books. Maybe stamp a border around the edges of the photo. (I hear Stazon ink works for this.) Or stamp the greeting directly onto it. Or maybe just layer it with some pretty papers. For this particular card, I will find some cardstock in my stash that coordinates with the colors in the photo (just as I would do for a scrapbook layout) and try to get inspired. My challenge to you is to find (or take) a photo that you love and create a card with it. Then send it to someone to bless you both!

Accordian book (vintage??)

Yes, I'm posting again! Life has been....eventful. Both good and bad events here. Son's high school graduation and college planning--good (and hectic!) Daughter's illness--bad. House hunting--? Not sure about that one. Whether we will ever find the right house is still unknown, so while it's been fun, it's been difficult too!

Anyway, I thought I would post a project I did almost exactly 10 years ago for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. (Click on the picture to see it better.) I decided to make this little accordian book for them after giving up on the idea of making a grand scrapbook highlighting the events of their married life. My sisters and I could not get that together in time, so as a second choice I made this little book with pictures of their kids and grandkids. (I'm the little sad one in the picture. Check out those bangs!) I had no idea how thrilled and touched my mom would be by this little book. She cried when she received it and showed it to everyone. Giving a special little handmade gift like this is a blessing both to the ones who receive it and especially to the one who gives it! My parents have both passed now, but the memories of good times with them are very special.


Wishing you joy as you finish up any last minute details (as I am!), prepare for your special dinner, head off for worship, visit with family and friends, or whatever you have planned for this special time! May you experience the joy and peace that is there for the taking. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all enjoying the season and staying peaceful and calm throughout all of the hustle and bustle! I spent yesterday evening making some gifts and cards, but don't have photos of them to post YET. I'm going to get some photos of them today to show you. Here, though, are some photos to make you smile. My niece and nephew--I had so much fun photographing them under their tree last Saturday. (Note the candy bribes in their hands!) Aren't they sweet? Enjoy the "little things" this Christmas season! I am! And I'm soaking up the biggest gift of all--God's amazing love for me and all of us. Wow, do I LOVE Christmas!

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