Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Twainism

Today DH sat on a campus bench by a very stoic elderly man who imparted this bit of wisdom:

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

In one week, we'll be exercising one of the most important rights we have as American citizens--the right to vote.

PLEASE review and reflect on the important issues, and then get out and vote. God bless America!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Got Raisins?

I'm challenged to find a CTMH paper that will "fit" with this foto of Ella eating her raisins while watching her Winnie the Pooh DVD. It might mean using Sweet Pea again ... one of my favorites! Watch for a layout to come!

While Gramma Jane was babysitting & her parents were on a date night, I dressed her in the sweet pink knitted sweater and cap that Great Aunt Sandy knitted for her and got this photo.

Love those eyes and eyelashes!

Ella says, "Eat 'em up!"

Life Delights Layouts

In September, we visited DH's brother and wife in Frankenmuth, Michigan. SIL Sandy was finishing the pink knitted sweater and cap for Ella then. She's quite the knitter and does custom knitting orders for quite a few people. Ella is blessed to have her works of knitted wearable art!

While traveling in Michigan, we visited DH's dear cousins in the Frankenmuth and the Mt. Clemens area and got these photos with them. A Christian family is SUCH a blessing! We look forward to a 2009 summer reunion in beautiful Michigan.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easy Layouts from the Craft Table

My nifty-with-a-needle-and-hook-sister, Kathy, crocheted this adorable pumpkin patch hat for Ella! She's been wearing it on these nippy fall mornings and evenings, and I just had to incorporate her cuteness onto this Fall page.

CTMH Magic Moments paper & Stickease & Pop Dots--It just can't get any "Faster. Simpler. Easier."

While working on this simple layout, I smiled and thought, I need to get myself to the spa one of these days!

CTMH Sweet Pea papers & Big Pinks flowers

Sophie has been a TOUCH therapy dog for four years, bringing smiles to those she visits and allows to pet her. She'll be 11 years old on her next birthday. What a blessing she has been to our family! She's one of God's very best creations. I'm glad to have her as my furry companion.

CTMH Blue Ribbon papers & Stickease, white sassy strands, circle window charm

Got Chocolate? 12 Days to Get It!

Until October 31st you can become a new Close To My Heart consultant and get the consultant's kit for $99 and a big BONUS--more than $100 in chocolate-inspired products FREE, making the kit more valuable than ever before.

You'll get everything from a popular My Acrylix® stamp set to colorful papers, ribbon, accents, the My Creations™ Artboard and much more of the delicious "Choose Chocolate"!

If you like to scrapbook and/or make your own cards and paper-crafts, this is a great opportunity to become part of a business that is like a family. We consultants share ideas & artwork, and help one another, with the goal of teaching others new techniques and fun ways to create things from these awesome products. Check out the "Consultant's Kit and Chocolate Bonus" on my CTMH web site. 12 days left and counting ...

CTMH "Art and Soul" Video Tutorials

Close To My Heart is producing online paper crafting video tutorials called "Art and Soul"--these air on my website every other Tuesday. Each is 7-15 minutes long, and there's going to be a new episode every two weeks that you can watch at your leisure. So much to learn, so little time! Check these out!

CTMH has created the "Art and Soul" clips to teach tips and techniques and showcase the amazing products. Each episode features at least one project that is completed from beginning to end. In addition, you can download printable instructions and recipes for the projects and, if you choose to buy the items featured, you will receive a discount at about 20%! Simple, fast, easy--the CTMH philosophy is at work here, and it's FUN, FUN, FUN!

The first episode features CTMH's new memory keeper box and the beautiful "Notebook" paper packet. What a treasured gift this box will make for someone special!

Watch the first episode now! And then discover the additional videos too for even more fun tutorials online!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Enchanted Fall Card

CTMH Enchanted papers with Garden Green, Terra Cotta, and Sunflower inks are combined with a photo of our giant guacamole hosta blooms for this card intended for a special aunt and uncle.

It was fun to make time in the scrapping room between planting mums and raking leaves!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little Things

We take so much for granted, especially when life is rolling along fairly smoothly.

I thank God for little things ... falling leaves, rain drops, blueberries, a nickel lower gas price, phones and email ... and for little people too ... our 16 month old granddaughter Ella, and for 8 month old Benjamin, our friends' dear grandbaby who recently had a few bone marrow matches, thank God!

Last evening Ella stayed with us while her parents played and sang at the Old Court House for a private reception.

She's fascinated with magnets, so I got out the Advent-Christmas magnets from CTA, and before her bedtime, she was saying "star," "Joseph," "Mary," and "Baby Jesus." She kissed each piece goodnight, put them on the frig, and then we read "Goodnight Moon" and "Pajama Party." We topped off the night by rocking and singing "God Is So Good" right into zzz-land.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please Pray for Jason!

Tomorrow, October 15, my second cousin Jason will undergo surgery to remove as much of a brain tumor as possible. Please pray for Jason's strength and comfort, for a miracle of healing, and for his entire family to stay strong and hopeful, trusting in our faithful Lord's promises:

"The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace." Psalm 29:11

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD is near to all who call on Him ... He hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love Him ... Psalm 145:18-20

Ask and it will be given to you; see and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

I am the LORD, who heals you. Exodus 15:26

Thank you for praying in the strong name of Jesus, our Friend and Savior!

A Song for Jason

"I have called you by name, you are Mine," says the Lord.
"I have called you by name, do not be afraid;
I have called you by name. Be not afraid.
I am your God, I am with you."

"When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you.
Your troubles will not overwhelm you;
When you pass through the fire you will not be burned.
The trials will not hurt you.

Do not lose hope or courage; I will be with you.
My presence will be your strength each day.
When temptations overwhelm, you will not give in.
The trials will not hurt you.

I have called you by name, you are Mine!
I am your God, I am with you."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Look to the Lord

Last evening I watched the sun set through my camera lens. Knowing that this week will be full of monumental challenges for family members, and feeling the prayers about those well up in me, I searched for favorite verses of strength, promise, comfort, and hope. These reminders I want to share with you:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you! 1 Peter 5:7

God says: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness ... Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:13

The Lord is gracious and compassionate ... The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call on Him ... The Lord watches over all who love Him ... Psalm 145:8,13,18,20

Look to the Lord!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oktoberfest Evening

We spent the evening at Grant's Farm where Fall Festival and Halloween activities are going on each weekend this month.

Here are Christopher, Emily, & Ella on the tram ride that took us to the animal areas where kids could pet the mini-goats and see a lot of non-scary Halloween light sculptures and characters dressed up.

O'Pa and Ella did the "chicken" and polka dances together in the courtyard where the band played. Bailey, Kaitlyn, & Ella's families all had fun together.

Little Mermaid and Gramma watched the playful goats in their pen. Then Christopher, Emily, & Ella got into the pen for some play time.

Little black goat liked having his ears rubbed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Zoo-tiful Day!

The penguins enjoy a morning nap...we didn't get to see them swim.

Ella watches the BIG fish!

Gramma & Ella pet the goats in the Children's Zoo.

O'Pa hoots at the great horned owl in its cage!

Gramma, O'Pa, & Ella in front of the waterfall.

Ella watches the otters swim!

It was a treat to visit the zoo this morning with Emily & Ella and their "MomsLikeMe" friends.

Do You Know This Couple?

Here we are--Bonnie and Clyde of a sort--at our friends' daughter's and her husband's wedding reception at a winery a couple weeks ago. The theme was Puttin' on the Ritz! Everyone had a foto taken to be added to a scrapbook of hand written best wishes pages. Neat idea! Thanks for the fun afternoon, wedding couple and wedding planners!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Celebrating God's Goodness

I thank and praise the Lord for my sister Kathy (in pink), and celebrate His goodness and blessings to her!

Happy birthday, dear Kathy!

Since her five children became independent, Kathy has been a traveling nurse for a few years, using her skills and showing her great compassion for the tiny newborns and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the country. Just recently she decided to purchase her own home so she can have a real home base to relax between contracts. I'm so happy for her, and proud of everything she has accomplished and done to help others.

Remember: Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. And you'll always be a little bit younger than I am!

I'm looking forward to the next time we get together ... we'll light the candles on your birthday cake and have a fire extinguisher handy.

Every day I will praise You ... One generation will commend Your works to another ... They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. Psalm 145:2,5,7

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Playing with Paper Scraps

When I get a block of time to play with paper scraps, glue, stamps, inks, and embellies, I couldn't be happier.

Here are a few cards I made using CTMH papers and products: Enchanted, Boom Di Ada, and Life Delights.

Through a Child's Eyes

This afternoon Emily and Ella came to visit, and we spent time outside in the beautiful fall sunshine.

When Emily was a toddler, she called the chrysanthemums "mummas"--we still laugh about that! Ella enjoyed smelling and touching all the mums, and seems to like the bright yellow the best. Then Emily and Ella twirled around in the fresh breeze, and watched the leaves and maple seeds fall to the ground.

Ella is almost 16 months old. She's a whiz kid, soaking up new words and activities like a thirsty little sponge. Today she sang entire verses of some of her favorite Jesus songs--yes, I'm braggin'! I'm so amazed at her language development and her fine and gross motor skills. What a blessing it is that her parents read to her and sing and pray with her each day.

What a peaceful and fun time it is when we see the world through Ella's eyes. Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Stronghold

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him. Nahum 1:7

Bailouts ... hurricanes ... tornadoes ... earthquakes ... illnesses ... tragedies ... accidents ... losses ... we live in a sin-filled world.

Just as the Lord reminded the Old Testament Nahum, He also reminds us that He is good and constant, everloving and everlasting, with us for life through our rollercoaster rides, our highs and lows.

We can put our concerns and worries into the God-bag each night before we say our prayers and go to sleep. God is in control. He only asks that we come to Him in prayer as a child would come to his or her father, asking for needs, thanking for all things, and keeping the lines of communication open with our heavenly Father, who loves and cares for us more than we'll ever know.

You can find more Good News of Jesus and even more reassurance and comfort in Scripture. One of my favorite devotion sites is provided by The Lutheran Hour Ministries at

Click on October 1 to read more about our God, our Stronghold.

When enemies threatened David, he sang, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior ..." 2 Samuel 22:3

The good news is that when our heavenly Father kept His promise to send a Savior, and His Son Jesus died on the cross for all our sins, He gave the ultimate bailout for every believer. Because of Him, we have forgiveness and hope for the future!

I pray that you feel strong in the Lord's hold on you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Can't Go a Day without Glue!

Today I made time for cutting & gluing--it's the early childhood teacher in me!

Here's a birthday card made using CTMH Enchanted papers, Fall leaves, flowers & a button, and a special friendship card made criss-cross style from Boom Di Ada paper scraps I had saved along with the CTMH ribbon & Big Pink flower.

If you throw away scraps, can you see me shaking my finger and saying, "No, no, no!"? I save my scraps in large zippered baggies by paper style/color & hang them on my corner carousel. Do you have a good tip for saving scraps? It seems if I see stuff, I'm much more likely to use it!

Run fast or you'll get glued to something!

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards