Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oppression, Red Flags & Dreams!

Hi Blog Friends!

Today, I want to share with you a personal post. This is not from any one person, except myself, or about any one person or persons, just myself.
 I'm sharing with you a little of my life & how I look at the world. I thought this day might come & now seems to be the right time.
 I will let you know that I have been getting some really nasty e-mails/comments on my blog here lately, & that is the inspiration for this post!
 (I haven't posted them, because I want to keep my blog as a place of inspiration for you!)

I am a woman who has been through extreme pain in my life.
 I used to go & share my testimony in WM's Groups so that women who had been through what I had, would know that Christ could heal them & make them whole.
 That they didn't need to live under oppression!
 The things I have been through, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy or enemies! 
I believe that what we have been through in our lives is to be used for the Glory of God!
 If we are willing, Christ will use us for the Father's Glory & draw people to the Cross, where Christ offers us Salvation!
 I have been abused, used & tossed aside by many people that have come into my life & even by those that I should have been able to trust!
 My heart was broken at a very young age & the spirit of oppression hung over me like a heavy fog, resulting in depression.
 I was afraid of just about everything! I couldn't follow my dreams, for fear. I couldn't be the person I wanted to be, because of fear, & I was very unsure of myself!
 But, I did have the knowledge that Christ loved me & I was HIS! I had accepted Christ as a young child & I KNEW He loved me!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Over the years of growing up, Christ showed me that He loved me in many ways, preparing me for things to come....protecting me...guiding me....watching over me... teaching me dreams...Dreams come from God. Dreams give us HOPE!
 I'll share more later about my dreams. 

One of the things that I've learned over the years about oppression is that IT ISN'T FROM GOD!
 And usually, comes from man.
When someone tells you to, "Shut up & sit down," or "Don't talk about it or even think about it," or "Keep it secret!" or tries to control you, or manipulate you, or strike fear in your heart, or someone who makes you doubt yourself,
 this is a RED FLAG!
 You need to RUN! Get away from that person! It is a signal to you that they will use & abuse you! Oppression is wrong to do to another person & it is evil!
 Oppression is a thief to the one being oppressed!
 Not only is your hope stolen, but your joy, & your freedom!
 I wouldn't want to be a person who is doing the oppressing to anyone else!
 Oppressors will answer to God!

God gives us FREEDOM!

We need to treat others as we want to be treated. 
"And as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." Luke 6:31.
 Everything we do, should be done as if we are doing it to the Lord.
Everything we do, should be done as if we are doing it to the Lord. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord & not to men." Colossians 3:23. 
We are to LOVE one another! 
 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you will also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13: 34-35. 
 When we have a disagreement, we are to go to the person we are in disagreement with & try to work out the problem! NOT gather our forces to force them to conform to what we want, to shut them up! "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go & tell him his fault between you & him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen & a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17.
  I have more scriptures that apply to this type of situation, here are a few: 
 Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:26, James 5:16, & Romans 12:17-19.
 And still there are even more!
 But, I am thinking of a specific time in my life when this type of behavior was done to me & my family & I have to say, it was very painful! Sometimes the pain still comes; because of the outcome, we had to walk away from our whole family!
 I had tried to follow scripture to make things right in our relationships,
 sometimes, people don't want to correct their behavior. They don't want to admit that they are the ones doing the wrong.
 If change doesn't occur, then things continue as they had from the beginning & other innocent people get hurt! 
Sometimes, children!
 Everything must be measured by the Word of God
. "Test all things; hold fast to what is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
 Things weren't measuring up! 
The situation got so bad, because of dishonesty, that we had to make a break to keep our family intact, because of threats, since we wouldn't conform to what they wanted.
 (This is only one instance of great pain that I have gone through, & it isn't the last.)
 I share this with you so you will understand that we need to be HONEST!
 If we can't be honest with God about ourselves, we can't be honest with others! 
And fractured relationships will happen!

When I was a young girl,  I carried my sketch book with me everywhere I went, doodling & drawing all the time.
 As I got older, one of my art teachers noticed my work & I think she also saw a young girl who needed a self-esteem boost! She entered me into Art Shows & I won ribbons & prizes. She found me little art jobs in the local business' in our town.
 I was under her tender care for four years.
 I didn't know what to do with my life, as we weren't rich by any means! We were poor. Our father had run off & left us, following his own desires & tossing us aside.
 (Sin is very selfish!)
 I grew up with three siblings, so you can imagine the burden my mother had, to provide for us. Even with my mother working it wasn't enough.
 But, God provided for us! 
God made Himself real to me with every dented can of La Choy Chow- Mein that we ate.
 A nice couple from our church would bring us the dented cans that this company didn't want.
 He was one of their workers.
 Or the presents from others for Christmas that were brought to our home.
 We were tenderly taken care of all those years, by the Saints of God.

I thought about College & so wanted to go to Art School
 really not even sure we could afford it...thinking we couldn't.
 I found out that Art Students were required to do things that I didn't think would be pleasing to my Lord. I put the idea of Art School aside & moved on.
 I ended up going to Bible College instead & I used my art for the Glory of God where ever I could over the years!
 I found my self doing things after college, I'd ached to do when I was younger, but had been too afraid to do, feeling like I was trying to catch up to what others in the youth group I grew up in, had already done.
 I put  aside my fears & began to sing solos! I remember being so scared, I'd have to sit on the front row before being called up to sing, so I wouldn't be out of breathe when I got up on the platform,
 for the anxiety of it all.
 My hands would sweat & I'd of course, have to have the words where I could see them.
 I don't read music & would sing by ear.
 God was with me!
 He gave me courage!
 He was my "voice instructor!"
 One by one, God made my dreams come true! Step by step! I still had a long way to go!

One of my dreams has been for someone to "discover" me in the art world, since I have been blogging.
 Maybe, it's one of your dreams too?
 Remember, my dream was to do art in the beginning.
 I thought over the years doing my art was a little selfish & I have had to struggle with the thought..
.But, that is one of the reasons I love Paper Crafting, because I can reach out & touch others lives with this craft!
 I can't tell you how many times a friend has told me, "Your card came at just the right time!"
 As I said earlier, dreams are from God! 
I love being able to let someone know they are loved & this craft does that so well!

Here I will get a little more specific.
 When I thought Flourishes was closing their doors & the call for the last big blog hop was announced, I jumped right on it!
 I wanted to to bless Jan Marie like she had blessed me, by bringing us the wonderful images she had brought us through the years Flourishes has been here.
 I also knew she was ill & thought a special gift was in line.
 I made her one of my Tea Cups & Saucers, along with a matching card, & boxed it up.
 I didn't mail it though, because I didn't want to influence any judging on the hop
. I just wanted to simply BLESS HER!
 I was a little confused as to how & when we were to post our creations, but I eventually got it linked up.
 Still, I didn't mail the box. 
It just didn't feel like the "time!" 
Then one day, it seemed like it was time & I had my husband take the box over to the post office & mail my gift.
 I soon received an e-mail from Jan Marie, thanking me for my gift & asking me to be on her New Senior Design Team.
 I was in SHOCK! 
I turned to my husband--- our desks are side by side, & told him!
 We don't do anything without the other!
 So, I asked him if he would agree to this proposal! 
He agreed; he knew my dreams! (This is only one of the reasons I call him, "My Gift from God!") Later, when I was able to talk to Jan Marie on the phone, she told me my gift had arrived
 O.K., THAT was an act of God because, I didn't know when Jan Marie's birthday was!

Dreams are special & personal! 
When someone tries to smash or throw water on your dream that has finally caught fire
, they are not acting appropriately!
 They are not in concert with the will  of God.
 It only makes me more determined to follow through with my dreams!
 To walk through the door that God opened, my arms wide open to what ever is to come!
 Whether it be something difficult or not! 
Like I said, I have been through enough in my life, to know, Christ is by my side & HE will help me through whatever may come! 
I am not afraid of the future as many are!
 I have assurance that my Savior is there with me, holding my hand, directing & leading me.
 And telling me I'm HIS regardless of what comes! 

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28.

I have been told, I'm a "survivor." 
I don't think of myself as a "survivor." 
Years ago when my husband & I first married, we had little birds in our apartment for pets.
 The shop keeper we bought them from, was instructing us on their care.
 He said, we didn't want the birds to just "survive," giving them just seed & water.
The bare minimum to live.
 We wanted them to "THRIVE!"
 I have to say, I am a "THRIVER!"
 Because, God has given me

So you see, I am no different from you!
 I have dreams & hopes & aspirations just like you! 
And I know, that I am not the only one who's heart has been broken by the sin of others,
 what I have gone through is nothing new!
 But, we must learn to have compassion for others & not go blindly thrashing about this world, striking out & hurting people, that we really don't know.
 Because, if you really look at them, they are people who God values, like He values you,
 & they too have been through immense pain! 

If you want to talk to me personally 
or have questions about what I've written here---
you can contact me & I will answer your questions
 in a private e-mail, for those that leave me contact information!

Just a little Artsy Inspiration for you:
 "Be strong & courageous, do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.

Some artsy ATC's for our kids this week. 
Made with Faber-Castell Tropical Gelatos, & their blending tool,
  along with their Black Pitt Artist Pen.
 And I also used ODB- Scripture Collection 3, stamped with Stazon Ink.
 Keeping them flat & simple to be tucked into the wallet or purse.

P.S. Don't forget about my Challenge & Giveaway--just scroll down to the next post!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hi Blog Friends!
I thought it was time for us to show Jan Marie we care.

I know Jan Marie is going through a rough time right now & I want to show my support.
Won't you join me & show Jan Marie you care.
Here's my challenge:
#1.) Make Jan Marie a new card  &/or creation
 (not limited to cards alone- do both if you like--but in one post.)
 & send it to her!
It can be a Get Well Card, an Encouragement Card, a Thinking of You Card,
 or it can be a Whatever Is On Your Heart Card.

#2.) Leave me a comment here on my blog
 that you have made Jan Marie a card &/or creation,
 & that you have mailed it,
 with a DIRECT LINK in the comments section,
 to your creation, not to your blog, or I might not be able to find it.
 (Only one entry per person.)

#3.) Use Flourishes Stamps!

(Think out of the box with this! It will help with winning!.)

**Yes, you can send Jan Marie a card without posting & letting me know,
 but you won't be eligible for the prize.**

You will bless Jan Marie & give her encouragement.
(Hey, that's what this craft is all about right?--Encouragement!)

#2.) There will be 2 WINNERS- 
 I have 2 brand new, never used Flourishes sets in my stash,
 that I will award to 2 people.
(These are stamps that I have won, & have duplicates of; 
I knew I was saving those goodies for a special reason!) :)
 AND I will also choose 3 FAVORITES.
Winners & Favorites will not be randomly chosen.
 I will take the time to visit every one's blogs.

#3.) You will have
48 hours once winners are announced, to contact me,
 & let me know your contact information.
 I  will personally try to contact you when I announce the winners.
(I am not requiring you to "follow" my blog, but it might help so you don't miss my post.
You can always unsubscribe later, no problem.)

The Deadline:
April 6th, 2014, (Sunday) 6 p.m. EST

Winners will be announced on:
April 14th, (Monday)

I know this is a long post, but hang in there with me & see what I have for inspiration for you!
I made a card just for this occasion.
I used the lovely 
Flourishes set by Sam Pickard, Always Blooming.
I have to say, I think this set is one of the most beautiful sets Flourishes has to offer, a gorgeous floral, but it also has all those wonderful sentiments that just build the recipient up.
 I have been through enough turmoil in my life, as many of you have, & I can say that when a word of encouragement comes during a tough time, it reminds you that 
 there are special  people that care & God cares!
 ("I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillipians 4:13)

For the latest Challenge over at Flourishes check here:

Here's my card: 
I wanted to get "Artsy" with this. I used an old encyclopedia page for the base of my image.
(Just check out your local library to see if they have old books they're done with &
 they will happily hand them over to you!)

I applied Gesso to the page & stamped my image with Stazon Ink.

I pulled out my tiny paint brushes & my acrylic paints & mixed the colors to get what I wanted & painted the image, & also used my Gold Krylon Pen  for embellishment.

 Here you can see I stamped & painted extra blossoms & popped them up on dimensionals, along with the sentiment on the front, which is also edged with my Krylon Gold Pen.

Here is the inside with another sentiment that comes in the set.
 There is much to be said about this sentiment... but we'll leave that for another day.
I used a strip of the encyclopedia page on the inside too.
 There is Gesso on this part also & I used my Krylon Gold Pen....

You can see the sparkles of all the GOLD here---
from my Gold Kryon Pen, the Gold Gel Pen & my Gold Stickles!
There's nothing like a card that sparkles to brighten your day!

Hope you like & remember to follow all the guidelines for the Challenge!
I look forward to seeing your wonderful creations for Jan Marie.

****Just a quick note to my dear friend to say, "Thank You" Gracie! I love my new look!****

Supplies not mentioned above: 
Flourishes- Victorian Oval Template Die
Plaid Acrylic Paint
MS- Lace
Paper Studio Pearls

***I entered this in The Craft Hoarders Challenge***
"Show some sparkle, glitz or glam!"
Check here:
***And Craft Mojo***
"Spring Flowers"
Check here:

*****This challenge is now closed!*****

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's a WASHI!

Hi Blog Friends!

It's time for:
And here's the Challenge:
For all the details, check here:

I used the sketch from SCS this week:
As you see, our challenge is to use WASHI TAPE----well, I am not one to use Washi Tape! I have some, but it has sat in my stash for awhile now! UNSURE of just HOW to use it! I see others use it & say, "BRAVO!!!" AND when I think of Washi Tape, I think CAS & MODERN!
BOTH, of which are NOT my "style!" LOL 
Take a peek!
 This one is for our son, who was THERE FOR OUR DAUGHTER last week when she was going through her troubles! We're SOOO PROUD OF HIM!
 I HOPE he likes it!

I used Flourishes- So Distressed! I LOOOOVE this set!!! It's JUST FUN!!!
 There's just SOMETHING FREE & ARTSY about the set!


The Sentiment is from Flourishes- Happy Thoughts!
NOTICE: I accentuated the "YOU," with a Glitter Gel Pen & added a Smiley Face!
It just seemed the RIGHT THING to do!
I also used Flourishes- Classic Frames Template Die & sponged yellow in the center & orange on the edges. 
This is the inside, I just added some color, but left room to write an appreciative note to our son!
 So, what do your think?

Jump in & join in on the fun! You have PLENTY OF TIME to submit your card/s...! 
See you there!

Additional Supplies not mentioned above:
Washi Tape- Paper Studio
3 Brads
SU- Ink
SU- Corner Punch

Monday, March 10, 2014


Hi Blog Friends!

Oh my goodness! I didn't know whether I'd make it here or not this past week! 
So many things going on it seems & my "mojo" was KA-PUT! 
I have been emotionally exhausted! 
I was "challenged" in MANY WAYS this past week! 
Our daughter was having friendship issues & calling & crying her heart out to me over the phone! 
NO MOTHER likes to hear her daughter SOBBING over the phone! It has been SOOO HARD to listen & try to give advice, rather than run to her & give those girls a piece of my mind! LOL
 It is a time of growing & maturing, a time of learning WHO is in charge of her life, a time when she is to learn WHERE her strength comes from, 
& WHO is there with her ALL THE TIME, when I can't be!
 It is also a time of learning just how cruel the world can be, a time of testing her inner compass & seeing if her gauges are on track, where figuring out people are concerned! 
GROWING UP IS SO HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I remember going through some of the same things when I was in College, so I had SOME wisdom to offer her. Of course, with her broken heart, it was hard to see that mom understood! 
God is GOOD & gave us the opportunity to see her & our son this weekend.
 Giving them LOTS of HUGS & I LOVE YOUS,  when they came to a church nearby to preform in the Drama Team from the school.
 AND God is GOOD in that she is well on her way this week to SOARING ABOVE IT ALL!!!

I DO have some other challenges to share with you though!
Here's the challenge:

You can find out MORE about this challenge here:

I also decided to go with a  couple of COLOR challenges here:
 Here's the picture of Inspiration:
 AND another Challenge here:
 The sketch is from Mojo Monday here:
(OOOPS! This one is already closed! But, here is the sketch!)
I am NOT one to normally do MANY CHALLENGES AT ONCE! I can't seem to KEEP TRACK of them all! LOL  But, I thought, JUST THIS ONCE!!!! It was a challenging week to go through, so WHY NOT PILE IT ON???? LOL

Now, without any more delay,
 here is my card:
I used Flourishes- Always Blooming!!!! 
WHERE is my Masking?
 I used masking on the white card stock with Rich Cocoa Memento Ink, that isn't colored in.

 My Style? Vintage! With the LIME COLORED Doily Designer Paper up one side--Paper Studio- Kirby Teesdale Stack, & the Doily coming off the side---SU- Hello Doily, embossed with clear embossing powder & then I used a LIME gelato & added a little water; I thought it needed just a BIT more LIME & added Faber-Castell Artist Crayon in LIME! I also used Tim Holtz- Vintage Photo Ink to distress the edges.

I colored these LOVELY flowers with Copics- LIME GREEN- G21 for the leaves. I also added Stickles- Crystal color because it had a Limey Green sparkle! NOTICE: I don't have alot of STUFF all over my card...that is part of one of the challenges. It fits for me, even loving Vintage. I PREFER to have a card I CAN MAIL without a lot of fuss!

I used SU- punches for the corner, the ledger edge & the circles for the sentiment!

Here is the INSIDE! The sentiment on the front of the card & on the inside are from the same set- Always Blooming! 
Can you guess WHO is going to receive THIS card????
Yep! Our daughter!!!
We ALL NEED a little encouragement sometimes!!!

So, what do you think?

My daughter isn't the ONLY  ONE "soaring high" today!!!

Additional Supplies not mentioned above:
Zig Two-way glue
Versa Mark Ink
Smidgen of ribbon

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Tribute To Flourishes!

Hi Blog Friends! 

I'm so happy you've come to visit today!
 You're here at the Flourishes "Street Blog Hop!"
 You will ONLY see Flourishes Images as you hop along! 
This is the final blog hop for Flourishes under Jan Marie, as Jan Marie is selling the company due to her illness. 

 I've enjoyed doing the blog hops & commenting on each blog, & seeing all the INSPIRATION that the Designers created & getting to know each one of them!
 My first sets of Flourishes Stamps were those that I won, & from there I made cards & won more!  

 They're the perfect type to color, not to mention they're GORGEOUS!!!!
I've NEVER seen another company with these types of images!!!

So, for my creation to Honor Flourishes & Jan Marie, I created something SPECIAL for her!
I used one of the stamp sets from February that were released,
Flowers For Jan!
 (I KNOW I'm not the only one who loves this set!)
 Here's my card:
This card measures 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".
  It's bigger than what I normally make, but this IS a SPECIAL OCCASION!

I used Flourishes-Classic Window Die for the main image & traced around it for the gold layer--
 I used a Gold Krylon Pen.
 Then, I traced around the die again on another sheet of card stock as I had just done, but I  used the curved corners to guide me, & I created a larger shape than the gold layer;
  using the shape as a pattern,  I  made the pink layer.
 I saved the pattern with my die so I can do this again with another card----
  my graduated sizes ready to go!

Here you can see the paper piercing.
 The die piercing the white card stock  & embossing it.
 I pierced the pink layer using a Paper Piercer Tool.
 I used  SU- Festive Paper-Piercing Pack as a guide for the piercing on the pink layer. 

I colored the Peony Image with Copic Markers & used a Faber-Castell White Pitt Artist Pen to add white dots to the center of the flower for depth & a little Stickles which you'll see in the next picture.

I chose to use wrapping paper from Michael's--it's the black & white "designer paper" you see! 
I picked that up the last time I was there for only a dollar!
 I thought it might be of some use for this special day!
 My color scheme & the wrapping paper go hand in hand with the colors for Flourishes!
 Have you seen the Flourishes Thirty-One Bags???
Jan is giving away 10 of them with this "Street Blog Hop" for some lucky winners!
Here is the inside of my card:
 I used the sentiment from the same set, Flourishes- Flowers For Jan.
"People will walk in & out of your life but only a few Friends will leave footprints in your heart."

You might say, what's so "special" about a card? 
Well, I have MORE!
I used my Tea Cup Template to create this lovely!
 Whenever, I see Floral Images I swoon that is true!
 I also look to see if they will work with my Tea Cup Template!
 This is the same image as above, Flourishes- Flowers For Jan. 

Here's a close-up of the saucer & the bottom of the Tea Cup.
 Isn't that just the LOVELIEST IMAGE???
I  did a lot of masking so the images would overlap some.

Here I've removed the Hershey's Nuggets- Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate with Toffee & Almonds, so you can see the sentiment inside of the tea cup! 
"Friends make life sweeter," is from Flourishes- Berry Sweet Frame.
The little flowers are from Flourishes- Tiny Flowers & Tags.

Here I made a rosette with ribbon, & used a Copic Marker to color the rosette & used a button to match the black & white on the card.
 The Tiny Tag is made with Flourishes- Tailor-Made Dies & Tiny Flowers & Tags Stamp Set.
 The other side of this tag says, "Just for you," from this same set. 
I should tell you, I bought this die & stamp set JUST FOR when I make my Tea Cups!
 I can stamp LOVELY FLOWERS on these little tags to match most any Tea Cup I make! PERFECT!!!!!!

I made this Tea Cup the same as I have done in the past,
 embossing it with SU- Elegant Lines Embossing Folder
& adding Scotch Glue to the embossing lines & then MS Crystal Clear Glitter.
 And edging everything with my Gold Krylon Pen. 

Here is the Gift Combo together:

Supplies not mentioned above:
Memento Ink
SU- 1 3/8" Punch
SU- 1 1/4" Punch
Crochet Thread- for the Tiny Tag
Score Buddy
SU- Cellophane Bag
ZIG- Millennium Collection Pens
Needle & thread- to sew rosette onto ribbon-cup
Felt-for the back of the rosette
Hot Glue Gun- to glue the felt onto the rosette