Thursday, October 30, 2014

For the Love of Books

First and foremost, let me just say how proud we are of our Kansas City Royals.  We are thoroughly bummed by their World Series loss but beyond thrilled by their American League Championship win.  What a talented bunch of young men!  They've got lots of years left to play, and we'll be right here to keep cheering them on.  Thanks for a phenomenal postseason, guys!

With that said, here I am bringing you this month's For the Love of Books post with just a couple of days left in the month yet again.  I never mean to do it.  Matter of fact, I usually have a book picked out long before the month even arrives.  There are just too many great books to share!  Time just slips away from me, but I'm here, none-the-less, now.  So, let's just get right to it.  I have been asked over and over again why my family doesn't celebrate Halloween.  Well, this month's book choice, written for children ages nine to twelve, sums it up more eloquently and sensitively than I ever could.  Please know that it is not meant to be a judgment upon anyone else's decisions one way or another but simply an explanation of ours.
Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?, written by Linda Hacon Winwood and illustrated by Al Berg, gives a detailed history behind the origins of Halloween and its evolution from the Irish Celts to what it has become today through a simple/understandable conversation between a mother and her children.  Mom does a great job of encouraging her children to not be afraid to ask their questions and guiding them in answering many of those questions with what they already know to be true.  Then, when her daughter challenges as to whether or not she really believes all the things they discussed, she responds in a way that I think is completely worth quoting.  "Yes, I do, Sarah.  Some people think I'm making a big deal over nothing, but God has placed Daddy and me over you to protect you and to teach you about Jesus.  We are not willing to give Satan the tiniest crack to enter your lives and hurt you.  It's the joy, peace, and good news of Jesus that we want to plant in your hearts and minds.  We cannot allow you to do something we know dishonors Him.  That's why we don't permit Halloween in our home."

Friends, I know there are a lot of controversies and opinions surrounding this book and Halloween in general, but I encourage you to seek the written word to formulate and/or solidify your own decisions; "and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).  Thanks so much for reading!  Have a safe and memorable weekend!  Hugs!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Family Update

Morning, friends!  Just stopping in to share a little of what's kept us running over the last few weeks.  We closed out our first nine weeks of school and celebrated, with another homeschool family, at the Kansas City Zoo.
And while Adina is an old pro at riding the carousel (She's even recognized by the staff.)...
Kaden got his first solo run at it, of course with me holding on tight.  He licked that pole to bits.  Ick!  But he loved it!
Adina had her last ballet class of the season, and all the ladies put on a little show for the parents.  Gosh, she does those positions with such ease.  It almost pains me to have her not continue for now, but she really wants to play basketball, and one of our rules is one sport per kid at a time.  We may change that as they get older, but for now, it keeps me sane.  Sometimes they overlap with the close of one and beginning of another, but I can handle that.
I think it's so fun that her teacher has all the girls sit on the floor at the end of class, close their eyes, and put their hands on their heads for a stamp.  Then, once everyone has received their stamp, they're all allowed to look at the same time.  Miss Kozetta was so great!
Adina and Kaden (Ezekiel was having a hormonal day.  Lord, please help me to more than just survive his teenage years!) helped us turn 80 pounds of apples (Although, we have a heap of apples leftover.) into 50 pints of apple butter last Saturday, and it was the easiest run yet.  We've got it down to a science, y'all, even a compost bin to pitch all the skins that don't get munched on first, and we always have such fun doing it.
I got my first PINCHme box.  Woohoo!  It housed a blueberry Mr. Sketch marker.  We loved the scent and bold, bright color, but I wasn't excited about it not being washable.  It didn't even come off of skin after lots of scrubbing.  I cannot imagine what it would do to clothing.  Ugh!  So, instead of making its way into my kiddos' art supplies, it'll go into my personal marker stash for grading papers, which still makes it lots of fun for everyone.
My little guy keeps bumping his head on everything.  Thus, the reason for all the forehead bruises below.  Poor guy!  I know it's just a part of growing up.  Anyway, we have a four-inch floor drop from our little library into Ezekiel's room, and he wiped out last week.  So, we threw Adina's squashed beanbag down to soften the blows, and it worked like a charm.  Although, it only took that once; and now, he's got the up and down crawl down packed.  The beanbag stays put, though.  It's for my own peace of mind.
He also is loving our ride-on toy, which keeps his mind off those painful teeth. He's got four now!  This one has been through all my kiddos, and it's still going strong.
And he's already a Royals fan, too...
ALL of my kiddos are.  Gosh, they've had such fun cheering on our Kansas City Royals this season, and you can bet they'll be doing so again, for game seven, tonight.  Go, Royals!
So, that's all, for now, folks.  I've got a For the Love of Books post coming your way tomorrow and my Friday Faves post to round out the work week, before starting the month of November out right with a couple of challenge-inspired pages.  Thanks so much for checking in on us, and have a wonderful Wednesday!  Hugs!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Studio Mixed Media Challenge

Just popping in with my take on The Studio's newest challenge.  Folks, Anna is calling for us to get messy this go around.  So, I pulled in lots of goodies for my take from mists and inks to acrylic paint and a bit of Color Shine.  I was thoroughly inspired by all the wonderful goodies I received in this month's Jenni Bowlin Papercrafting Kit, including a heap of stuff from October Afternoon's new Apple Cider collection.  Yum!  So, let's just get started.
I started this page by smudging Patina Glimmer Mist onto my textured, vanilla, cardstock, base page.  I then inked it, through an arrow stencil, with Faded Jeans Distress Ink; stamped it, in Cajun Craze and Pumpkin Pie inks, with the circle elements; and splattered it with both Titanium White acrylic paint and Tinsel Color Shine.  That sets the foundation.  I then stretched a strip of navy, corrugated cardstock, which had been torn across its bottom edge, down the vertical center of my page and topped it with clusters of layered, color-coordinating, patterned papers, anchored with gray-threaded, straight and zig-zag, machine stitches.  My photos were matted with Whisper White cardstock and secured, with foam tape, over those yummy papers.  The top photos were strung together with white string, tied in a bow.
I also tucked a tiny vintage, prescription label behind the left photo and labeled its top left corner with a yellow, 11.15.13, arrow sticker.
The back photo on the bottom was just a photo of my kiddos buried in the leaves.  You wouldn't have even known anyone was there, except for their giggles.  I thought that I'd use it on my layout and had it printed, but it just didn't tell the story I wanted to tell.  I did love the way it layered in nicely behind the photo of my kiddos poking their hands through the leaves, though.
A straight edge was used to cut the "life documented" phrase bits from the tag, before they were secured above the photos, while the rest of the tag was layered below.
A "hello" transparency was stapled in the photos' bottom right corner.  I just painted the backside of it with a little more of that Titanium White acrylic paint to really make it stand out.
Another vintage, prescription label, amidst a kraft envelope and jar sticker, was secured to the right side of the lower photo grouping with a simple staple.
Don't you just adore that big jar?!  Me & My Big Ideas got it right with that design, and Jenni Bowlin even more so by adding it to her October Papercrafting Kit.  Love!  A couple of Pillow Puff phrase bits round things off beautifully.  I also scattered a number of Pillow Puff acorns and hand-cut, from patterned paper, leaves throughout the page.
Finally, I cut the "Rake Pile Jump!" title from patterned paper; secured it, with foam tape, between the photo clusters; and dressed it up with both a "hello there..." phrase sticker and stamped, in More Mustard ink, on White cardstock and hand-cut owl.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the girls have whipped up just for your viewing pleasure, as well as to get all of your challenge details.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Nuts About Nature (Market Street Stamps); owl (Jenni Bowlin) Paper: textured vanilla(Core'dinations); Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); navy corrugated (Bazzill); gray chevron, rust leafy, leaves, & multicolored floral (October Afternoon) Ink: Cajun Craze, Pumpkin Pie, & More Mustard (SU!); Faded Jeans (Ranger); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gray thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); vintage prescription labels & arrow stencil (Jenni Bowlin); yellow tab & "hello there..." sticker (Chic Tags); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); acorn & phrase bit Pillow Puffs & "Rake Pile Jump!" tag (October Afternoon); "life documented" tag (Elle's Studio); paper clip (office supply store); white string (Hobby Lobby); kraft envelope (Paper Studio); jar sticker (Me & My Big Ideas); "hello" transparency (Studio Calico); Tinsel Color Shine (Heidi Swapp); Patina Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels); Titanium White acrylic paint (FolkArt)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cheering for Our KC Royals

Hey, friends!  We've had a super busy morning of making and canning our homemade apple butter, which is without a doubt going to carry well into the evening hours, but I just had to take a minute to share a little creation inspired by our crown-bound Royals.  Go, Royals!
I started this card by stamping a strip of White cardstock, in Bashful Blue ink, with the "Believe!" sentiment background; adhering it along the inside edge of the White, cardstock, card base; rounding the corners; and anchoring it with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.
I then trimmed the bottom of a piece of soft blue, stripe, patterned paper with a piece of woodgrain, patterned paper and the space between them with a strip of black, stripe, patterned paper, before anchoring the resulting piece, to the trimmed card face, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  The tag was hand cut from vellum, and although it is hidden by the ribbon, I used the small circle from Wplus9 Design's Lacey Layers die to cut a circle from White cardstock and punched its center with a standard hole punch, before lacing it with a length of white chord and dressing it up with a bit of both Blueberry, seam binding ribbon and a bright blue, stripe ribbon, both tied in bows and studded with a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock and hand-cut baseball.
The crown was Cameo-cut from Brilliant Blue and gold cardstocks and adhered in the bottom center of the tag.  The Whisper White, cardstock "KC", too, was cut using my Cameo, adhered in the center of the pennant, and glittered.  Securing the tag, with foam tape, to the patterned-paper panel of the card face completes the look.
I'll have a Family Update post ready for you all early next week.  These people keep me running, y'all!  I'll also be back bright and early tomorrow morning to share my take on The Studio's newest challenge.  Until then, I've got plenty of cheering to do for our Kansas City Royals, and you can bet I'll be doing just that ;).  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!  Hugs!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Toy Box (SU!); Believe! (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White (Wplus9); Whisper White & Brilliant Blue (SU!); gold (Bazzill); vellum & woodgrain (Paper Studio); soft blue stripe (American Crafts); black stripe (Amy Tangerine) Ink: Bashful Blue (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Blueberry seam binding ribbon (Paper Sweeties); blue stripe ribbon (The Ribbon Reel); white chord (Hobby Lobby); Lacey Layers die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); Cameo (Silhouette); Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers); hole punch (office supply store)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Paper Sweeties October Release Rewind

Note:  This is my fourth post in the last 24 hours.  Deep breath.  I'd be thrilled if you'd scroll down and check out all the fun!

Well, you made it!  It's the final day of Paper Sweeties' October Release, and all the goodies you've seen here and on the Design Team's blogs (which, by the way, you must be sure to visit), over the last four days, are available for the pickin' even as this post goes live.  But before you're off to doing that pickin', if you haven't done so already, how about one last, release-inspired creation?
I started this card by trimming the bottom of a piece of white, embossed, patterned paper with a strip of red, stripe, patterned paper and anchoring them both, to the White, cardstock, card face, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then wrapped a length of white, seam binding ribbon around the card face; tied it, in a bow, near the left edge of the card face; and embellished it with a chenille candy cane from the Paper Sweeties Shoppe, wrapped with a length of Baker's Twine, tied in a bow and, in turn, embellished with die-cut, felt, holly leaves, studded with a red Sparklet.
I then stamped a "25" journaling card, in Jet Black ink, with the "Believe" sentiment...
framed it with a bit of Cupid's Bow cardstock; trimmed it with chipboard, photo corners; further dressed it up with white-embossed, on vellum die cuts, snowflakes; and adhered it, to the card face, with foam tape.
Jake was then decked out in his Santa suite, which was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock; colored with pencils; hand-cut out; and given a little shimmer and shine, before being adhered, with foam tape, near center of the card face to complete the look.
Further inspiration for this card came from Festive Friday's Challenge #42.
Thanks ever so much for all of your visits and lovely comments and to Debbie and her amazing crew for having me this month!  I've had so much fun and can't wait to ink all these goodies up again in the near future!  If you're not a regular follower of my blog, have a safe and blessed holiday season.  And for the rest of you wonderful people, thanks so much for all you do to make this a place I continue to desire to be.  Love you all!

Amber Kroening
Annette Allen
Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Jinny Newlin (You're here!)
Larissa Heskett  (off this month)
Lysa Rohrer
Nancy Penir

And I couldn't help but add a HUGE congratulations to our Kansas City Royals!  We're speechless.  Excitement is all over the city, and we've been completely swept up in it.  Let's go, Royals!
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Snow Friends, Jake, Santa Claus, & Joy (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White & Cupid's Bow (Wplus9); white embossed (sei); red stripe (Echo Park); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Snow Friends die & chenille candy cane (Paper Sweeties); Big Shot (Sizzix); white embossing powder (Ranger); red Sparklet (Kaiser Craft); felt (Scrapbook Page); Dazzling Details (SU!); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); chipboard photo corners (Crate Paper); white seam binding ribbon (Zipper Stop); journaling card (Elle's Studio); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies)

Color Me Scrappy Challenge #72

Note:  This is my third post in the last eight hours.  Crazy!  I know, but I'd really love to have you scroll down to check out both my Stuck?! October 15th Sketch and Paper Sweeties October Release Party posts, too.  I promise to tone it down a notch next week ;).

Now, let's get to the reason for this particular post.  I've got a page whipped up for Color Me Scrappy's newest palette, to share, with you all, this morning; and while I didn't realize it until I was pulling papers and after I had already chosen a couple of photos that coordinated with the palette beautifully, it would work so well on your Christmas pages, friends.  Check it out!
I started this page by piecing lots and lots and lots of layers of paper pieces/strips and journaling bits, some of which were anchored with burgundy-threaded, straight, machine stitches, into the vertical center of my ivory, textured, cardstock, base page.  I then matted my photos with Whisper White cardstock; placed them in their present positions; and tucked a tag, which I used to house my journaling and laced with burgundy Baker's Twine, tied in a bow, under the top one.  The journaling reads, Daddy-daughter date night @ the KC Zoo... You learned about the metamorphosis of butterflies & frogs through stories, crafts, songs, & a yummy snack.  When Daddy asked you what your favorite part was on the way home, you said, "Being with you, Daddy."  Awww!
That same photo was topped with a hand-cut, from patterned paper, cloud, which I popped up with foam tape and embellished with a glittered, burgundy, heart sticker.
The bottom photo was dressed up with an "i like you!", finger sticker, pointing to my daughter in the row of children listening to the story...
and grounded with a couple of phrase stickers, as well as a "DEDICATED TO:" May 2, 2014, label.
My "goodnight ZOO" title, which was created with green, ABC stickers and woodgrain, chipboard Alphabeans, was backed with a fuzzy polar bear and grounded with an "oh what fun!" phrase bit.
A bunch of wood veneer and burgundy buttons, laced with white string, as well as a handful of snowflake sequins, scattered throughout, complete the look.
Here's your Challenge #72 palette to get you started.  We're asking you to add some "wood" on your projects this week.  I've used wood veneer buttons, patterned paper strips, chipboard Alphabeans, and even a phrase sticker and journaling card.
As always, you have until the 28th of each month to link up your takes and are playing for the opportunity to guest design with our talented team.  Please be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the team has created for your viewing pleasure, and have a great day!  Blessings!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: ivory textured (Bazzill); newspaper, vintage advertisement, & floral (Jenni Bowlin); burgundy interlocking (Close to My Heart); woodgrain (October Afternoon); leafy (Fancy Pants); feather (Studio Calico); olive text (7 Gypsies) Ink: Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: burgundy thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); veneer buttons, finger journaling card, Baker's Twine, tag, & snowflake sequins (Jenni Bowlin); burgundy buttons (JoAnn Fabrics); white string (Hobby Lobby); cloud (Bella Blvd.); heart, "oh what fun!" & "THINGS WE DO" cardstock stickers, & notebook paper journaling card (Simple Stories); green ABC stickers (Lilybee Design); woodgrain chipboard Alphabeans (Jillibean Soup); polar bear sticker (Doodlebug Design); "i like you!" finger (Basic Grey); "oh happy day" sticker (hazel & ruby); Storybook Washi (Paper Bakery); "DEDICATED TO:" label (7 Gypsies)