Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kites in the Clouds

Here's a fun card I made using my packet of Dotty for You paper. When I spotted this sheet with clouds I knew it was perfect for Little Red Wagon's Challenge #126, Up in the Clouds. Then yesterday I saw two more challenges that went with this paper. The Friday Mashup Challenge #52 to use kites and/or colorful twine. I knew I'd use both! I also decided that three kites would look best, so I'm including this with Crafts 4 eternity's challenge #65 to have 3 of a kind. I used three kites, their tails have three ties each and the clouds had three hearts.

I used the back sides of three papers to cut out the kites. I love the variety of polka dot colors on the backs of papers in that pack. The stamp set I used would have stamped solid ink over the dots, so I used it to make a pattern to trace instead and added the dashed lines with a pen. I cut a second matching cloud out of the remainder of the paper and pop dotted it. You can just barely see that the hearts are traced with a Sakura glitter gel pen. The dotted lines around the clouds are also traced with that pen, but don't really show up in the photo. The inside of the card has the matching sunshine stamped in the corner to go with this sentiment.

5" x 6.5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart "Dotty for You" coming soon
Stamps - CTMH "Splendid Day"
Ink - CTMH Black, Sunny Yellow
Other - CTMH Baker's Twine; Sakura Glitter Gel Pen

Friday, March 30, 2012

Freshly Made Sketch with Butterflies and Basic Grey

Ever since I read on the blog "Send A Smile 4 Kids" about the need for cards for a children's hospital in Iowa, I've started making more for kids. There current challenge is to use things with wings for kids. I saw that they need Mother's Day cards by April 30 for the kids to give to their moms. So this Basic Grey challenge #65 to make Mother's Day cards using Basic Grey was perfect. This sketch from Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #28  is also perfect for so many possibilities. I'm sure I'll use it multiple times. I love making Mother's Day cards even though my mom is home with Jesus now, so I enjoy finding others I can give one to and I remember good things about my own mom while I make it. I hope some of you can send cards in this way, too. May God richly bless you!

4.25" x 5.5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Basic Grey: Indie Bloom; CTMH Blush, Hollyhock, White Daisy cardstock, scrap of black cs?
Stamps - CTMH all retired - Dream Big, A Little of Everything (sentiments), Butterflies and Celebrate Life (two different Monarch butterflies)
Inks - CTMH Black, retired Watermelon, Goldrush dabbed on wings
Other - Sizzix embossing folder, ribbon from Michaels

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fluttering Feel Better Soon

This week at Flutter By Wednesday's Challenge #196 we are to make a get well card using butterflies, fairies or angels. I just opened this paper pack yesterday that the Fed Ex man delivered and discovered it had all of these beautiful butterflies arranged in rainbow-type colors diagonally. I had to use it first! I had seen this color challenge at Purple Onion's Lily Pad and decided to use the rainbow effect for this challenge, too.

The colors on my card are slightly different, but the rainbow idea is the same. I cut out extra butterflies to pop dot across one row and I matted my sentiment in those four colors, also. I put a sparkle in the middle of each of those four butterflies, but they're hard to see.  All of the supplies were Close To My heart. (The paper was an advance pack I was able to get that will be coming out in May called Dotty For You because the back side of each of the 12 patterns is one of the colors in dots like the green here.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fun in the Sun for Flutter By Wednesdays

I still have lots of fruit trees and spring flowers blooming. Birds, bees, and beautiful butterflies can be seen fluttering around the blossoms, enjoying the unseasonably warm 70-80 degree days. I hope they're not shocked next week when the temps drop to the 30's. I also hope the mass of cherry and apple blossoms decorating my yard this week mean lots of fruit this summer.

Here's my last card today, just for Flutter By Wednesday's Challenge #195 - Anything Goes with a butterfly, fairy or angel.

I stamped the butterfly on white paper using Versamark, then dusted it with three colors of chalk, using the tiny cotton balls that come in my chalk sets. After I cut it out, I applied Glitz glitter gel to the lighter design left on the wings and to the body and sun. That added just the right amount of sparkle and dimension to give the card more interest.

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart "Jingle" (striped), Veranda (creme brulee pattern), Splendor (sky), Tulip, Creme Brulee, White Daisy cardstock
Stamps - CTMH "Hot Diggity," "Over the Rainbow"
Ink - Versamark, CTMH Creme Brulee and Black
Other - CTMH Glitz Glitter Gel, Creme Brulee Ribbon collection; chalk, ribbon rose

I Chair-ish You

CASE Study Challenge #83 and The Play Date Cafe Color Challenge 124 inspired this card.  Here are the colors I used:

Here is Laura Bassen's card that I CASED:

My card has a strip on the left, three colors of objects, and a sentiment written in different colors like hers. I also pop dotted the white portion, but the angle of my photo doesn't reveal that.  I used a stamp from a Close To My Heart Workshop on the Go "Stella."

Distressed Thank You Card

After being denied food and water for almost nine hours until 5 pm today during medical tests, my head is still not too clear. However, my creative writing professor in college said we were more creative when we can't think as clearly. The logical editor side of our brain isn't in control. So I'm letting that right side of my brain do it's thing. I was picking up some scraps when I looked in my hand and saw the beginning of this card. The sizes and shapes seemed to fit this weeks sketch at The Deconstructed Sketch.

I combined the deconstructed sketch #44, the Perfect Sentiments Challenge to make a distressed thank you card, and Bingo from Simon Says Stamp to make this card. Here's the sketch:

I combined the graphic look of the font and bold colors with some shabby chic elements. The Bingo elements that I selected were diagonal: flowers, lace, and twine. The Basic Grey papers already had a distressed look like the sponging I did on the title block. I distressed all of the patterned papers with scissors scraped on the edge.

Sweet Sketch Wednesday with Some Bunny Who Loves You

Today I have to have 4.5 hours of medical tests and can't drink any water or have caffeine, so in my brain fog this morning I made a quick card to take my mind off of it. I used Sweet Sketch Wednesday's sketch #146 and CR84FN's Color Challenge #50 (for the 2nd time).

Monday, March 26, 2012

The greatest of these is love

I remember that I memorized 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 when I was the magical age of 13. Back then we always memorized scripture in the King James Version. I still prefer the poetic sound of so many of those I learned in that version. The last verse in a modernized version is the Word Art Wednesday selection for this week. I really love going to their site because they truly arrange favorite verses and quotes in a tasteful, artistic design for anyone to use. Because the verse was long horizontally I chose to use the sketch from Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge 155. I drew that sketch in my sketch notebook last Friday and designed from it up in my craft room. Then I came downstairs to the computer to write this blog and save their sketch here and voila! It was the same color as the card I designed upstairs. Such serendipity!

I feel so blessed because I grew up in a loving home with a large, loving extended family. As I grew older and came to see the homes so many others came from, I felt so very lucky and knew I wanted to share that love with others. I was told in college that it would be difficult to get a teaching job in the suburbs, that the only openings could be in the inner city. So I entered a program to learn how to teach in the inner city. I spent a weekend in Wayne Minor Housing Addition where I saw families who slept on the floor, children who tied ropes around rats and played with them until they decided to hang them on trees with nails. The hallways were so dangerous that the security guards talked to each other by walky talky as they walked from one end of a hallway to the other to be sure they were OK. That weekend I was lucky enough to stay with a Christian family. We openly shared our faith with each other and I left with a deep fondness for them at the end of the weekend.

I also became aware that there was no easy remedy for the crime, hardship and poverty that seemed to hold my students back educationally. This world is desparately in need of Christ's love and my prayer is that He will love others through me wherever He places me from day to day. Christ said if we love Him we are to feed His sheep. I hope He'll give you someone to "feed" with His Word and His love as you go through your day. And may God bless you as you do.

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart "Stella" (turquoise and red dp); Martha Stewart (pink with hearts); (I don't remember the source of the scrap with the grid and hearts); Black cardstock
Other - CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy (red shape), Just Blooms, Red/Pink Sparkles; red heart buttons, turquoise baker's twine

MOJO Monday 234 Pretty as a Posey

For the MOJO Monday Sketch Challenge #234 this week I chose a color palette from The Ribbon Reel Challenge #24, Pretty as a Posy, using pink, yellow, aqua, neutrals, ribbon and flowers. Here are the sketch and color inspiration.

Because it's the last sketch of the month, MOJO Monday has a round or square challenge. I chose to make the square card.  I used the same sheet of Sunkiss Yellow cardstock for the mats and the yellow flower, but because I stamped it with pink, it looks darker. I used a layering technique for both flowers, stamping the pink rose four times and cutting the next inner layer of petals each time. The Yellow flower comes in three sizes and when I cut each one out, I also cut along the petal lines toward the center to separate them for more dimension. I inked just the tips and edges of each flower with Blush ink on a sponge. This simple design gave me enough room to showcase using these larger flower stamps this way.

5.5" Square Birthday Card Recipe:
Paper - My Mind's Eye Lost and Found "Market Street;" Close To My Heart Sunkiss Yellow and White Daisy Textured cardstock
Stamps - Verve "Hope Blooms" (yellow flower and sentiment), "All A Flutter" Plain Jane (butterfly); CTMH "Card Word Puzzle (pink rose)
Ink - CTMH Twilight, Blush
Other - CTMH "Bouquet Assortment" (center of yellow flower). Bitty Pearl Opaques, yellow gingham ribbon, aqua blue copics

Circles and Squares Birthday Card

Challenges and patterned papers help me to develop my creativity. A couple of my friends think they're not creative. I know how that feels, but I decided to become more creative last year and challenges give me that little push to step outside what I used to do and try different things. Three challenges gave me the inspiration and ideas I used to make this card.

This morning I saw Kaboodle Doodles Challenge #112 to use Circles and Squares. I had picked out this Basic Grey paper to use with the color Challenge #112 at Cards & Things and realized it was perfect for Kaboodle Doodles' challenge.

Then I realized it also had grid lines and circles and squares arranged in rows (grids) which goes with the Fabulous Friday Challenge at Frosted Designs. I decided that the design would look great if the circles and squares were popped up for extra dimension. I punched 1" circles out of the circle designs, stamped a red flower over the pink flower that was on the paper and pop dotted them over the matching circles, trying to match grid lines. I cut out the squares with scissors and pop dotted them in place. I had envisioned green ribbon so I left a space on the backs of the squares when I added the pop dots. However, red organdymade it "pop" and green didn't. Adding the ribbon and sentiment was my final step at this point:

I started to photograph the card and realized it needed just a little more pop and added the two colors of sparkles as a finishing touch. I seem to do that a lot. I think I'm finished with a card so I take a photo, then I think of one more thing. Most of the time I don't heed that thought, but today I'm glad I did.  I hope this thought process helps one of my friends who wishes she had more creativity. Happy crafting!

5" x 6.5" Birthday Card Recipe:
Paper - Basic Grey "Sugared;" Close To My Heart Autum Terracotta, Colonial White cardstock
Stamps - CTMH "Aspiration" (flower), "Card Word Puzzle" (sentiment)
Ink - CTMH Holiday Red, Olive
Other - CTMH Holiday Red organdy ribbon,  Red/Pink Sparkles; My Mind's Eye sparkles; 1" and 1 1/4" circle punches, pop dots

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Here Come the Boys with DIY

Here Come the Boys Challenge #23 is to us a DIY (Do It Yourself) image or embellishment. When I used to teach stamping classes at a local scrapbook store, I'd gotten lots of Technique Tuesday stamps that I haven't used the past two years. I was glad to pull them out and find this tool set. My hubby is such a great Do-It-Yourselfer. He saved his mom money on repairing her car this weekend from a recent fender bender. Now that the weather is warmer he'll soon be working away in the new garage he built himself last summer (with the help of our son-in-law and a friend). I think a lot of people have dads like that so I made this card for Operation Write Home for their Muscle Card Challenge to make either Father's Day or general Dad cards that soldiers can get to send home to their dads.

I used the OWH Sketch #114, slightly modified. I moved the diamond over to the left to center it between the bolts which were on the strip I added to their sketch. I was trying to keep the card relatively flat for more stability in the mail. However, I did add three square Durables from Close To My Heart that are adhesive backed.

This card will be the first that I'll send to Kris in Olathe where my son lives. If you'd like to help, they have details on their blog at this symbol:

A Friend Who Touches Your Heart

With the arrival of Spring, our yard has become a whole rainbow of colors, so this card is representative of some of these. When I was younger I planted lots of bulbs, especially daffodils, and many flowering trees and shrubs. The many blossoms have attracted a wide variety of butterflies already. I wanted this card to be bright and cheerful with its Spring palette.

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge #132 today used Romans 8:31b-32 "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”  Miesje has a lovely, brief devotion you would enjoy reading. God is here for us in every situation and gave us the greatest gift of all, His Son, Jesus. Part of the challenge was to think about what is the greatest gift we can give to others.   I think showing appreciation for the little things in a relationship is important. I made this card for a friend to let her know how she touches my heart as a good friend. Another part of the challenge was to make a project that uses everything.

My card has several layers, the white is embossed, there are buttons, metal, felt roses, butterfly, sparkles, velvet ribbon, a doily, punched boder, a pennant, and lots of colors. The way I clustered everything around the sentiment, I'm trying to still keep the message the focus.

I chose a sentiment that I love to be the main focus of my card, which was the challenge this week from CCEE Stampers. I used a piece of special red velvet ribbon to go with the red doily, so I'm also entering this card in the Spring theme challenge at Really Reasonable Ribbon.

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe"
Paper - CTMH patterned paper (retired gingham), Blush, White Daisy, Crystal Blue Cardstock
Stamp - CTMH "Friendship" "A Huge Thanks"
Ink - CTMH Black
Other - CTMH Just Blooms butterfly, Foundry Pin clips, Red/Pink Sparkles, Winter buttons, glitter buttons; 3/8" red velvet ribbon, K & Co felt roses, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Wilton doily

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pemberley Scrapbook Layouts

Last weekend we made four layouts using the blue and bamboo papers of the Close To My Heart Pemberley paper pack and the cardstock stickers. Just before I was ready to put photos on my fourth layout, my computer crashed and needed my husband's attention. He worked on it while I scrapbooked with friends. I'll post the fourth layout later.

Somehow all of the Indian Corn Blue and Outdoor Denim features of my papers look washed out in these photos. My indoor lighting leaves a lot to be desired!

These first two layouts were embellished using the Stickease that go with the paper pack. I pop dotted some of the stickers for more dimension.

This last layout (and the one I'll post later) used the stamp set that comes with the Pemberley Workshops on the Go. If you're one of the people putting this together at home, we cut our titles for the stamped layouts using the Cricut Art Philosophy alphabet at 1.5." I changed the banner size on the right from .75" to 1.25." Then I stamped the zinnia flower pattern on each banner piece using Outdoor Denim Ink. I stamped the five petal flowers with the zinnia stamp even though they have different shapes. Then I inked the edges with Desert Sand, curled up the edges of the petals and pop dotted the two layers. On top I stuck one of the adhesive Bouquet Assortment flowers for the center. That was such a good idea from the workshop on the go. I hadn't thought of combining a large flower with one shape and a small rose of another shape, but they did look good together.

CTMH "Pemberley" paper pack, 6 sheets Colonial White cardstock, Pemberley stamp set;
CTMH Inks - Outdoor Denim, Honey, Desert Sand; Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pink, Orange, and Yellow Birthday Wishes

CR84FN had such a fun color combination the last two weeks. I saw one of my scraps from Basic Grey's "June Bug" and that inspired my card.

The Pals Paper Arts Sketch #131 provided the rest of my inspiration for this card.

This sketch allowed the fun flowers on the patterned paper to show, so that helped me in selecting an image to use, an old stamp set that I purchased years ago and never used on a card. I had only used it on one scrapbook layout.  The orange strip from June Bug was embossed in the Swiss Dots folder, then lightly sanded to make the dots look white like the ones on the yellow background. I stamped the large flowers on the same Basic Grey papers. Then I stamped the center portions on white and used the Swiss Dots embossing folder to add more interest and dimension. When I attached the flowers I wanted them to be placed slightly off of the white embossed mat.

 I really want to find ways to use up supplies I purchased a long time ago. This is the emphasis at Shopping Our Stash Weekly. Their challenge this week is to use buttons and/or bows. I selected buttons from a bag I've had for several years (waiting to match the right colors) and tied bows behind or in front of each one using white jute. I attached them to the flowers with that great red sticky tape that will hold anything. This added lots of extra dimension to the pop dotted flowers, so I'll definitely be handing this card to a friend rather than mailing it.

5" x 6.5" Birthday Card recipe:
Paper - Basic Grey "June Bug" collection; CTMH White Daisy and Hollyhock cardstock
Stamps - CTMH Floral Charms, Just a Number
Ink - CTMH Hollyhock, Blush, Sunny Yellow
Other - CTMH Winter Craft Buttons, White Jute, Sanding Kit; Cuttlebug embossing folders Swiss Dots and Bloom Dots

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Intense Love Quote for Word Art Wednesday

Here is another quote from Mother Teresa that the ladies at Word Art Wednesday provided last week. When I read it I immediately thought of motherhood of an infant and the way we lovingly give and give without expecting a return. Those wonderful maternal hormones make it much easier than when our children become teenagers who are trying their wings, anxious to fly from the nest and our protection and direction. At the stage of life I'm in, I find it important to patiently give assistance and support to aging parents, which gives me a certain satisfaction.

I also made this card with weddings and anniversaries in mind, knowing that love can have its ups and downs for adults, but that love should be giving with out expecting the same measure in return. When love keeps accounts of who gave what and how much, problems take over.  I used red, pink and white so I can use this card for one of these occassions.

May God bless you and yours with this kind of love!!

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe:
Paper - CTMH White Daisy, Tulip Cardstock, "Sweetheart" paper pack
Ink - CTMH Tulip
Other - Spellbinders nestabilities label, CTMH White Daisy Organdy and grosgrain ribbon, white waxy flax; Recollections flowers; Cuttlebug Kassie's Brocade embossing folder; red heart button 

Easter Wishes for Sweet Sketch Wednesday #145

The ladies at Sweet Sketch Wednesday have a day for daisies as their sponsor for this sketch #145. I have several of their delightful digital images, so I chose their lambs playing image for this Easter card.

Here's the sketch from Sweet Sketch Wednesday that I used:

I used the sentiment and Color Story#23 suggested by Perfect Sentiments Challenge

Using this image on an Easter card evoked many different thoughts while I was making it. Baby animals usually signify new life and springtime. When I give Easter cards to friends and relatives, I usually have a Christian message, so in this card I'm writing a message about Jesus being the perfect "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." John 1:29

When I was a girl I memorized Isaiah 53:6: "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." There are so many references to us being like sheep and Christ being a Lamb or Shepherd. He was human like us, the Lamb, but sinless, so He could take our place in His death, so we wouldn't have to pay for our own sins. Also, I used to quote Psalm 23 to my mom when she was sick in the hospital, which starts with "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. . ." We both loved the reference to Him leading, protecting, and providing for us.

There's one more thought that I connect with those verses and this lovely image. The lambs are all bunched up together, touching, playing. It reminds me of my friends and the close bonds we share. I want them all to know that I love them dearly and so does the Lord.

5" x 6.5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart "Sweetheart," "Topstitch"
Digital Stamp -
Sentiment stamp - CTMH "Springtime"
Ink - CTMH Twilight
Other - CTMH  Pearl Opaques, retired flowers, Sweet Leaf and Cotton Candy markers; Copic Blue00; Spellbinder's Nestabilities Scalloped Circle; satin ribbon

ABC Christmas Challenge - E for Evergreen

This challenge at ABC Christmas Challenge was to use traditional Christmas greenery to make our card. I used two stamp sets that highlight Christmas trees. When I was young the song called Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was popular, so I chose that as the sentiment for this fun card. I used paper piecing by stamping in two colors. The row of trees was embossed and embellished with sparkles.

5" x 6.5" Christmas Card recipe:
Paper - Close To My Heart Mistleto paper pack
Stamps - CTMH Christmas Melodies, Holiday Trinkets (trres)
Ink - Versamark clear ink; CTMH Cranberry, New England Ivy
Other - CTMH Olive embossing powder, Olive organdy ribbon, Clear Sparkles, Red/Pink Sparkles; Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge (cranberry scalloped circle); Martha Stewart pine punch; Spellbinder's Nestabilities Label 10; 1 3/4" and 2" circle punches, red heart buttons

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Word Art Wednesday - Be Faithful in Small Things

I had never seen this quote from Mother Teresa before now, but it's rich with meaning. It was designed into Word Art free for you to use at Word Art Wednesday for Challenge #18. I looked for a sketch appropriate for the paper I wanted to use and it's orientation and chose a new sketch challenge I just found - Retro Sketches. This is sketch #2.

This quote make me think, "What are the small things that give us strength?" When I was a teacher, it was letting my first graders know that even their little concerns, like their "ouchies" from the night before, were important to me. When I was a reading teacher, it was giving the 2nd grade boy a snack before I sent him back to his class because he was the only one whose mom didn't send one and his class ate last in the school. He couldn't work well with a growling stomach and anger or embarrassment at being left out. It's asking the nurse at my new doctor's office what her name is and remembering to thank her by name. Names are so important to people we meet. It's getting excited when my grandson brings me a flower he picked that's a tiny weed. The list can go on and on. Mother Teresa is so well known for helping the poor, the sick so tirelessly and selflessly, but this gem of truth can have far-reaching influence.

May God bless you as you are faithful in small things.

6" x 5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Glitz "Laced with Grace," Close To My Heart Crystal Blue and Black cardstock
Ink - CTMH Cranberry, Ranger Walnut Stain
Other - Recollections roses, CTMH Just Blooms Paper shapes -butterflies, Cuttlebug script embossing folder,  Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Ten

MOJO Monday 232 Sketch for Our Daily Bread Designs 4th Anniversary

This week Our Daily Bread Designs is celebrating its 4th Anniversary. There are extra opportunities to be in drawings for gift certificates to their store. Each day there is something special, so be sure to check it out.  I'm using the MOJO Monday 232 Sketch for this week. Every time I see it I say a prayer for Julee Tilman who is having twin boys this month. Two of our daughters had twins, so I know she'll need prayers and an extra set of hands (or more)! Here's the sketch:

For the 4th Anniversary of Our Daily Bread Designs, the Shining the Light Challenge #100, they wanted us to use Aqua or Topaz colors and one of their scripture or sentiments. One of my aqua papers had a touch of black on the edge so I used just a few black highlights.

I really love what that verse says for a birthday. I have so many friends that have shown wisdom throughout their lives. This will be a wonderful blessing to give them, the promise of God's blessing.

I tried to lightly stamp the tea cup of flowers from the Birthday Blessings set before stamping the scripture. Then I put the diecut  back into the die so I could lightly sponge ink over it, leaving the edges white where the die masked it. The textured cardstock on top is actually shiny, but lighting at night in my house doesn't usually bring out the shine. The flower and ribbon came from the bridal section at Michaels. The flower is bigger than I usually put on cards, but it makes it really special. This card will be hand delivered. I'm linking it to the CCEE Stampers Challenge1210 to add flowers.

May God bless you with wisdom and many years with loving friends!

6.5" x 5" Card Recipe:
Paper - Bazzill aqua shiny cardstock; Glitz "Laced with Grace" patterned paper (on bottom); Close To My Heart Crystal Blue, Colonial White, Black cardstock, Topstitch patterned paper
Stamps - Our Daily Bread Designs "Birthday Blessings"
Ink - CTMH Crystal Blue; Memento Tuxedo Black
Other - CTMH black jute; Spellbinders Nestabilities Label Nine, Lacey Circle; Michaels aqua wired ribbon and white flower

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hymn Challenge #3 How Great Thou Art

Here is the next page in my album I call Hymn and Faith Journaling. It's a 9" x 9" album so that it's small enough for my kids to hold and read some day but large enough to include the hymn, verses of Scripture, and journaling thoughts.

I used the Hymn Challenge #3.  If you haven't seen Patter's challenge, you would be blessed by reading it. She shares so many verses of scripture that go with each verse of this hymn as well as the history of  how it was written.

It was so ironic. While I was uploading the photo of this layout and cropping it, the music I was listening to suddenly began playing this hymn. When I was a young girl I remember it being sung by George Beverly Shay during Billy Graham crusades that we'd watch on TV, so when I see this hymn my mind still hears him singing this inspiring hymn.

I chose a small photo I had of Yellowstone Falls from Yellowstone National Park to go with this layout. I could have chosen so many more. My husband takes me on awesome vacations to National Parks, usually in the mountains in the West. I always stand in awe of the scenery, soaking it into my soul and memory. And always, I'm praising God in utter amazement at the vast creativity and beauty of His creation. God, the master of all artists, created such variety.

There are so many scriptures I could have included on my layout. Here's a photo I took of my husband who loves sunsets. It was two summers ago at Jackson Lake, Wyoming, coming back from a day at Yellowstone N.P.  Psalm 19 talks about how the heavens declare the glory of God that all nations, all tongues hear the voice of this glory.  "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19: 1-3

When I stand looking at a sunset or the mountains, I'm awed by a Creator who designed the principles of erosion that produce mountains and canyons or the laws of plants responding to length of a day in order to produce fall colors.

Photo taken on trip to Moab, October 24th at 8:24 a.m. at Dead Horse Point

A picture I took in Southwest Colorado on September 29th, 2009, at 8 p.m. of Mt. Sneffels.

When my grandkids come to our farm, I take them around the big yard and point out things of nature, things God created, and try to give them that same sense of awe. He tells my bulbs buried deep in the soil when it's time to sprout up with their beauty.

My bulbs in February and March

May you delight in the glories of God's creation and stand in awe of His marvelous power.

Hymn Challenge #2 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Here is the next page in my album I call Hymn and Faith Journaling. It's a 9" x 9" album so that it's small enough for my kids to hold and read some day but large enough to include the hymn, verses of Scripture, and journaling thoughts. 

I used the Hymn Challenge #2. If you haven't seen Patter's challenge, you would be blessed by reading it.

When my kids were young, this was a hymn we often sung in church on Sunday nights. It has always been one of my favorites because it reminds me of a truth I learned in my 20's - to practice the presence of Christ, realizing He's right here in my presence. When my kids grew up and would call me about problems they were going through, one of the verses I often quoted to them was one that always helped me take my mind off of the unchangeable circumstances I might be in was Philippians 4:8 that I included on this layout.  " Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." I'm glad I memorized this verse when I was a child. It has helped me over and over to turn my eyes upon Jesus, to turn my thoughts on the right things.

On Saturday a young woman was sharing a nightmarish experience that was overwhelming her thoughts. This was one of the verses that I shared with her again. She remembered I'd shared it with her before. She was sitting in her car outside a scrapbook crop one of our friends was hosting. She was almost too overwhelmed to go in. I reminded her that her scrapbooking and art were one of the beautiful, lovely things this verse was talking about. She said she'd go in for a few minutes, but I heard later that she'd stayed and visited with others for a long time. These friendships that we make are also among the lovely things in life in my book. When life gets ugly and hard to take, Christ and the beauty he wants to give to our lives is the remedy.  I also told her to read scripture each day to let His words wash away the unpleasantness.

One of the most enriching things I learned my first year of teaching in a Christian school was to read 5 Psalms and 1 chapter of Provers each day. There are 150 Psalms, so that would make them last for 30 days and you would repeat them again the next 30 days. There are 31 chapters in Proberbs, so that's also the right amount for a month. I was told that the Psalms would build your relationship with God and the Proverbs would build your relationship with your fellow man. I did this for many decades and can attest to the fact that it brought me close to the Lord in difficult circumstances and gave me a heart for God, hopefully like that of the writer, King David.  This is just one way to Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.   May God bless you.