Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Do you ever have those times when a sermon or a story just stays with you? It keeps coming back to you over and over? It touches such a place deep in your soul that it seeps in and changes you? Well, this happened last Sunday morning. Our Associate Pastor, Ron Dingus, brought to mind 2 examples of people who responded with Thanksgiving.
The first example was Bible commentator Matthew Henry. Many years ago as he was walking home one night he was robbed of all his money. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded this prayer in his diary:

“Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” (Matthew Henry)

This is a great example of “giving thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I can’t help but wonder how I would respond in that situation. It is not in our nature to give thanks in difficult times - especially when we are hurt by others. I don’t even think it is humanly possible. It has to be one of those, “OK, God, I can’t do this so you take over” kind of dependencies on Him. I bet you have a difficult person or difficult situation that you are dealing with right now, don‘t you? (If you don’t, just give it some time.) We can be encouraged by Matthew Henry’s example and strive to look at it through the eyes of Thanksgiving and offer up a prayer of thanks for all the good that is surrounding it. It may not change the situation, but it certain can change us.
The second example is a woman we all know, but I have never heard her used as an example in a Thanksgiving sermon. Her story can be found in Matthew 26:6-13. She is known as the woman of ill-repute, an immoral woman, a sinner. Jesus had touched her life. She would never be the same. She was so driven with gratitude that nothing could hold her back from displaying it - she did not worry about how much it cost her, what others thought of her or what others said about her. Her focus was Jesus. It was all about Him. She displayed her love for Him with such bold and reckless abandonment. I want to be like that! My Lord has done so much for me. I want to come to the place where I am willing to demonstrate my love, devotion and gratitude to Him with no thought of what it costs me or what others think

Cece Winens captures the beauty of this woman’s deep devotion and compelling love in her song, “Alabaster Box”

The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There's no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

I can't forget the way life used to be
I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound
And I spent my days
Poured my life without measure
Into a little treasure box
I'd thought I'd found
Until the day when Jesus came to me
And healed my soul
With the wonder of His touch
So now I'm giving back to Him
All the praise He's worthy of
I've been forgiven
And that's why
I love Him so much

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair (my hair)
You weren't there the night Jesus found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped his loving arms around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
Oh, you don't know the cost of my praise
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

Thanks for letting me share my heart with you. Praying your Thanksgiving is filled with genuine praise, devotion and a reckless love for our Lord!


Monday, November 1, 2010

6x6 Desk Calendar

Each page measures 6 x6
Stamp sets used: Everlasting Life, Make It Count, and Moments In Time
Papers: Cherry-O, Olivia, Magnifique, and Moon Doggie

Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christmas Card Workshop

Here are the pictures of the cards we are going to make at our October workshop.
Going clockwise...
1. The wreath is gold embossed on a dark green background. I love the simple elegance of this card.
2. Our cardinal is from a beautiful stamp set call "Harmony". This is a fast and easy card to make using a stencil technique with a sponge dauber. So simple. So beautiful.
3. On the easle card (link in previous blog on how to make these) I used the quote and baby Jesus from the "Christmas Story" stamp set.
The blending pen  makes coloring in the Baby Jesus much easier and smoother.
4. On the last card, I used one of the Wishes patterens, called "Just Right" as the design. This stamp set, "A Timber", only costs $7.95. Couple that with a pack of the Mistletoe Christmas papers, and you have inexpensive tools for making your Christmas cards.

Merry Christmas - a bit early!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Easle Card Workshop

You might be wondering what happened to me - haven't posted since JUNE! Well, I've been busy making lemonade out of some of those lemons that life throws you sometimes. So bear with me while I attempt to update my blog and show you a sweet little project or two now that I have my creative juices flowing again...

Both of these projects use CTMH's new paperline, Magnifique and the beautiful stamp sets, "Circle of Love" and "Everlasting Life" . You can view all of them in our online catalog by clicking HERE.
These would be nice to use as a sympathy card (I regretfully have a few of those to send off), or as encouragement cards.
This easle card is a miniature version of the 6x6 standard size. My friend, Anita, did a great job of trimming it down to this adorable size (you can get 4 from one 12x12 sheet of cardstock) . The base is made from a 4x8 piece of white cardstock, scored at 2" and 4". The front of the card is a 4" x 4" square. The card can lie flat for mailing, and then the recipient can popped it up by tucking it behind the raised section in the front. I used foam tape to raise my peacock feather image up a bit off the surface. I have also seen brads or buttons used. The brown on the easle card is chalked. You can't see it in the photo very well, but I also clear embossed the feather image by the verse.

For a tutorial on how to make this card, click HERE

Here is a bookmark to tuck into that inspirational book you know your friend would love to receive as a gift.

Both of these projects will be featured at my September workshop.
I'm looking forward to seeing some of you there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Masculine Card Workshop

For the month of June, we will be honoring the men in our lives with 4 handmade cards and one gift.
These can be used for Father's Day, graduation, birthday or just because you love him!

Melissa Burch posted this idea on her blog,
and I changed it up a bit to suit a Pastor.
The tie/shirt part of the card slides out of the "jacket".
This would also be a nice one to make for a boss.

This one features one of our CTMH's new Acrylic Cards.
Working on a clear medium offeres so many possibilities.
This one is made as a Father's Day card,
but you can easily change it up a bit to make it for
your husband, son, brother, or grandfather.

This card features the chalk-popping technique.
You might recognize it because I posted it earlier to use at another workshop.

This Pop-Up Gift Card Holder is a cinch to make.
I like how it adds that personal touch to any gift card.
Jane Matsumoto has a great tutorial on her blog on how to make it.
Kristine Fowler also has a really classy version of one on her blog.

Gift Card Holder opened

April Nourse posted the idea of a homemade Car Air Freshner.
I loved the idea and had to try it out.
I am still working out a few of the kinks,
but I hope to be ready for us to make them at our workshop.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at June's Workshop!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scrapbook Event - Coming up!

If you want to have a refeshing time AWAY from housework and those darling children of yours so you can SCRAPBOOK to your heart's delight WITH YOUR FRIENDS- then you need to attend the
On Saturday, June 12, 2010
at Hollywood Baptist Church in beautiful Hollywood, Georgia
from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm (if you can not attend for the entire time, come for the time you can).
Cost: $10.00
My friend, Amy, has done a great job hosting this brain-child of hers for the past 3 years. She gives away a TON of papercrafting goodies (it is well worth your $10), and she makes us do these crazy scrapbook contests and games (in which we spend a lot of time laughing at each other). The amazing thing is we even get some scrapbooking done. The best part is you might even make a few new friends while you are there.
She has asked me to conduct a few workshops for her event, so I will be doing one on
We will make this 12x12 layout which highlights 7 Chipboard Embellishing Techniques.
I will demostrate the 7 techniques and then you will get to apply what you have learned to your own set of letters (pick your own word for your layout). I will provide all the tools, inks and supplies for you to use.
You will need to bring your own scissors, adhesive and papercutter.
Workshop Supply Fee: $15.00

Each workshop guest will receive their own
1. Complete set of capital chipboard letters
2. 4 sheets of cardstock
3. A sheet of patterned paper from the Cherry-O set from Close To My Heart
4. Cordinating ribbon

In my other workshop, we will make 
5 VINTAGE CARDS using the CHALK POPPING TECHNIQUE. I love this look, and you are going to love how easy it is to make these cards. You are also going to love the affordable price of this workshop - only a $5 supply fee.

Supply Fee: $5.00

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fast, Simple, Easy Scrapbook Pages

For our May Workshop, we will be doing a 2 page layout that really does keep to Close To My Heart's motto of being FAST, SIMPLE AND EASY.
The LEFT side will be taken from a LEVEL 1 KIT (your choice from those pictured below). These preprinted layouts make it so easy to create beautiful scrapbook pages in a flash. We will be using the alphabet stamps to make your own personalized titles. I like to use an enlarged photo on my left page - one that really captures the essence of our event. You can use any size or number of photos you like.
For the RIGHT side of our 2 page layout, we will use CTMH's photo storage pages. They hold SIX 4"x6" photos on the front and 6 more on back. This is a great way to get a lot of  photos into your scrapbooks with very little effort. We will also add a FLIP FLAP to the pocket page, which adds another 2 photos and a fun interactive element to your page. You can also make one or two pockets into journaling or title blocks.

FINALLY, our trip to Ghostown from 2 years ago is saved onto my scrapbook pages!
Here my "assistent", Joel, holds open one of the FLIP FLAPS, so you can see how they work.

If you live in Northeast Georgia and want to attend one of my workshops, just go to my website to get more information.
If you don't live close enough to attend, but want to order any of our Close To My Heart Products, just visit

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Flowers & Filigrees Cards

Here are a few cards that we will be making at my March Workshops. They all use the March Stamp of Month called "A Little Everything". This set of 26 stamps does have a little of everything! It is perfect for all-occasion cardmaking and scrapbook journalling spots.
These cards also feature the Just Blooms Paper Flowers. There are so many ways to embellish and alter these wonderful little flowers - they can be dyed with re-inkers, stamped, chalked, and sponged.

Made with the Sweet Home papers.
The flower is sponged with Indian Corn Blue ink using a sponge dauber,
and topped off with a threaded button.

Made with the Top Stitch papers.
The flower is dyed with blush re-inker and stamped with
 the "Playful Fourishes" stamp set in Blush ink,
and topped off with a Filigree Charm.

Made with the That's Amore papers.
The flower is dyed with blush re-inker and chalked a bit on the edges,
then topped off with a Filigree Charm.

Made with the Veranda Creative Basics papers.
The flower is left untouched,
and topped off a a Bigger Brad and a crocheted flower dyed with a creme brulee re-inker.

If you live in my area and want to attend this workshop,
just check out my calendar and contact me to pre-register.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine Treats/Party Favors

Homemade Valentines and Party Favors speak your heart better than
any store bought sentiment. Mine have a Valentine theme,
but each one of these could be adapted to suit any holiday or
occasion where you would need party favors.
Here are a few I have put together for
an upcoming workshop next week.
Going from left to right starting in the back, we have the
Little Owl Peek-a-Boo Treat Holder, A Bagalope (a bag made from
an envelope), the So Glad We're Friends Tea Bag Holder,
The Pull-Up Chocolate Bar Slider, A Lollipop Cover,  
and a Nugget Tent.
Here is a shot of the ones that open up to reveal a treat inside...