Friday, November 30, 2018

Coffee Lover's Hop!

Hello, Sweet Friends!  It's the Coffee Lover's Fall/Winter Hop and of course, I wanted to play along!

Mine is a simple one layer card that uses masking and a bunch of goodies from Sweet N Sassy Stamps.

I started by stamping the layered cups from Special Blend and then masked them off to add a few more layers of texturing stamps from:  Texture Tiles 1, Texture Tiles 3 and Women of Praise (hearts).

I created a few embellished hearts using Bottom of My Heart and stapled them on to the base for just a little more texture.  The cute little xoxo sentiment is also from Bottom of My Heart.  Now is the time to get this set!  It's on super sale and will only be around for a little while longer. I adore it and use so often! 

Using distress inks, I shaded the kraft card stock for an overall shabby look, and boom!  All finished.

Enjoy!  Jane

I got crafty with: 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Warm Hearts and Cocoa Joy

Happy Monday!  I'm both recovering and preparing--recovering from my last treatment and preparing for my next.  It's an interesting place to be.  I'm both full of hope and forward facing while being frustrated at times with how limited I've become.  It's times like these that I need to spend time focusing on all that I can be grateful for as well as others.  I am thankful for a great group of others--my Sweet 'N Sassy Sisters and the leadership that is Christ focused and encourages us all.  This month, we've been celebrating 11 years in business--such a great accomplishment for my friend (and owner) Korin.  I'm so blessed to be a part of her team!

Both of my cards feature Cocoa the Mouse found in this wonderful Sweet N Sassy throwback set, Cocoa's Cups.  The top card is a shaker card which are always so much fun to make.  I imagine they are pretty fun to receive too!  

The second card saw my little sewing machine get into action!  Love the little added detail of the stitching.  I also used some elements from Christmas Botanicals and Winter Birds to finish things off.  There's still some month left so be sure to get in on the birthday celebration fun over at Sweet N Sassy Stamps!  

Be well--Jane

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Oh Happy Day!

I could use some "oh happy day!"  While my body takes the slow road on recovery and the weather is over cast and grey--I need a little sunshine--how about you?

I created these two sunny cards using an older set from Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps, appropriately called Happy Happy!  Just looking at the whimsical images makes me happy happy!

This card makes me think "kiddie art"--a look I achieved by water coloring distress inks.  Looks like crayon coloring!  I also added a few vellum clouds after stamping and embossing the images with white ink.  I have lots of "sunshines" in my life--I love that saying. I also adore the art of children and frame and hang it whenever and where ever I can.  My office is full of it!!

Don't forget that Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps is still celebrating and running some awesome deals!  SAVE 25% AND pick your own Stamp of the Month!!  See the website for details!

Keep the faith and find your sunshine today!  Jane

Thursday, November 15, 2018

After A Little While.....

Hello, Sweet Friends!  It's that time again....chemo eve.  Would you join in praying for me today?  I'm scheduled for treatment number five (out of six!) tomorrow.  Because of where I am in my treatment and the cumulative effects of the chemo, my doctor already was coming up with plan B if my levels were not ready for a treatment on the 15th.  He prepared me for the possibility of delaying treatment another week.  I'll do what my body needs, obviously, but I sure am praying for readiness as I am mentally ready to tackle this beast yet again and move closer to the finish line.

I've been studying and contemplating surrender recently.  I've been the diligent Sunday morning Christian for years.  I love praise and worship time.  Music speaks into my soul where mere words seem to not be enough.  I've felt the presence of the Holy Spirit; raised my hands in complete worship.  I always mean the words "I surrender all."   And, yet, I've lived in the gap for a long time.

There's been a gap for me, if I'm honest.  Between Sunday morning worship and the rest of my week.  Little by little, like a petulant child, I take it back..."I do it my way!"  By the end of the week, there I am exhausted, disappointed and completely hanging on to everything as if I have any answers.

So, what does surrender really mean or look like?  The best example I've found is located in Matthew 26:39:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I  will, but as you will."

Jesus, our Lord.  He knew what was in front of him.  Can you feel it?  He went on a little farther until he fell face down to the ground in his despair.  Take this cup from me, he says.  BUT, your will not mine.  And, he meant that exactly.

We are called to surrender our will for His. To trust Him completely--completely in this big scary world full of struggle and strife--a world full of too many bills and not enough funds, disease, loss and pain, heart ache and heart break.  But, God.  He covers us--1 Peter 5: 6-10

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

That's a lot of promise right there!  He makes good on it every time.  He doesn't promise a struggle free life; He promises eternal life. He promises to never let you walk alone.  He is in front of you and behind you.  Surrender means to seek His will and to trust Him no matter what.

Trust Him.
Praise Him.

I'm praying for you and remain grateful for your prayers that strengthen me in this current struggle.  But, after a little while, the God of all grace.....He will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me.  He'll do the same for you!!

In Him, Jane

My bible journaling in 1 Peter 5 features a beautiful stamp set (or three) from Sweet 'N Sassy StampsThankful Blooms, Words of Life: Collection 1 (retired), and Seek Him.

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's About Relationship....And, Cookies

Hello, Sweet Friends!  My post today is mostly about cookies and art, kids and home.  I had a nice weekend of celebrating my oldest's birthday and watching football.  I'm not a super hard core football fan, but I am a fan of my kid.  He's a huge sports fan. He once said he wanted me to be excited about the things he's excited about (aka the Pittsburgh Steelers and other various teams).  That's what we do, right?  For the ones we love, we watch their stuff or read their books or listen to their music.  I also have a wide repertoire of rap music I listen to--some I like, others I tolerate and most I abhor, but I listen to it when I'm with him because he genuinely wants to share it with me.  It comes down to relationship and that is something I can totally get on board with.  If I'm honest, it makes me a better person and I like how he has pushed me outside of my comfort zone at times.  He's one of the most interesting people I know and I love spending time with him.  We've had great conversations in the most unlikely of situations.  I will always grab the time when it's there.  Without.  Fail.

For me, it's about family and home so naturally, this time of year is my favorite since it's also about home and family.  We'll be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year.  I'm excited.  We were blessed with a ridiculously large home about five years ago and nothing makes me happier than having the ones I love all gathered together here. 

But, my crafting thoughts are already on Christmas!  I'm loving this new set from Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps, Christmas Cookies.  I started by stamping and embossing cookie images on watercolor paper for both cards.  I colored in the images using distress inks and added some glittery glue to each one.  On the top card, I didnt want to cover up any of the background so I added a sentiment using Christmas Wishes on a piece of velum.  The second card features a sentiment from Home For the Holidays.

Don't forget there's a birthday celebration going on right now at Sweet 'N Sassy Stamps.  You can save on all of the November releases as part of the current promotion.  Be sure to learn more and stayed tuned for fun and savings all month long!!

Enjoy!  Jane

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hear My Heart

It's been dark, Friends.  I'm not going to lie.  This chemo thing is getting a little bit tougher every time.  The cumulative effects of the meds are taking a toll on this girl's body.  But, it's also doing it's job.  And, the good news is.....the good news always is, Jesus.  He's alive and working hard on my behalf. He's working out my healing.  He's working out things on your behalf too! Whatever your battle is, He's fighting it.  Let go.  Be still.

So easy, right?  Wrong.  As my body becomes weaker, it seems like Satan just wants to play.  I'm weary of not feeling well.  Comparing myself to that other gal who seems to be enduring her chemo so much better.  Crabby, hungry, unable to eat.  Worried.  Tired.  So many lies and taunts from the one who Loses.  Every.  Time!!  Consistent with my nature, I put up a brave face and wear myself down.  I let it catch up.  I give in to the taunts. But only for a moment.

God rescues me even from this.  He knows me so well,  He knows you the same--Psalm 139:1-18
Lord, you have examined me
    and know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know my thoughts before I think them.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
    You know everything I do.
Lord, even before I say a word,
    you already know it.

You are all around me—in front and in back—
    and have put your hand on me.
Your knowledge is amazing to me;
    it is more than I can understand.

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
    Where can I run from you?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
    If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
If I rise with the sun in the east
    and settle in the west beyond the sea,
even there you would guide me.
    With your right hand you would hold me.

I could say, “The darkness will hide me.
    Let the light around me turn into night.”
But even the darkness is not dark to you.
    The night is as light as the day;
    darkness and light are the same to you.

You made my whole being;
    you formed me in my mother’s body.
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
    What you have done is wonderful.
    I know this very well.
You saw my bones being formed
    as I took shape in my mother’s body.
When I was put together there,
you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
    were written in your book
    before I was one day old.

God, your thoughts are precious to me.
    They are so many!
If I could count them,
    they would be more than all the grains of sand.
When I wake up,
    I am still with you.

Even before I think it.  He is in front of me and behind me.  How amazing is that??  So, prepared by knowing the thoughts I think, my God has once again placed angels around me and shown me the consistent love He has for me as others have ministered to my soul and continue to buffer me for this battle.  I see the Light.  The light is the kind lady at Target, the sweet friends who have brought meals, the prayers that surround me, the beauty of flowers, the kind words contained in the cards I receive.  It seems when I am at my end, someone, something, in His perfect timing reminds me of the truths I know and will trust in.  The end will come and chemo will be over. I can do this!  You can face your battle too. Remember, He works all for good.  Even in the darkest hour, He is weaving the pieces for good. We just have a hard time recognizing the good when we are walking through the hardest parts.  Sometimes, we just need the shift from worries of this world to the bigger heavenly picture for it all to make sense.  Trust me when I say, I'm getting the point.  I hope you are too.

When things get the toughest, I art and/or pray.  And, sometimes both.  Today, I'm sharing bullet journal art I created to pour out all of my prayer requests---sometimes I just get so sick of me and it helps to do something tangible to focus on others.  I'd love to focus on you so, please feel free to share your prayer requests!

To decorate my layout, I've used images from Sweet N Sassy Stamps:  Women of Worship, Grunge Elements 2 and Chunky Alphabet and my favorite, Distress Inks from Ranger.  I couldn't craft without them! We are celebrating 11 years of God's grace over at Sweet N Sassy Stamps--be sure to be part of the fun!

I pray your day will be blessed and that you will feel the loving arms of your Lord all around you---front and back!

In Him, Jane 

I got crafty with: