Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ring the Bells

Another Christmas carol about bells kept playing in my mind today. I discovered there were at least different songs of that name. The one I was thinking of was Ring the Bells by Harry Bollback. His life was highlighted in this biographical info shared HERE:

I love the song, Ring the Bells.  It was written by Harry Bollback who has been serving the Lord for 50+years.  He was an aspiring concert pianist who was saved in his teenage years and gave up his career to serve the Lord.  His passion was the youth of our world.  He served 5 years in the jungles of Brazil, fouteen years as Founder and Director of Word of Life camps and the Bible Institute in Brazil, co-Director of Word of Life Fellowship in the US and now, along with the late Jack Wyrtzen, as Founder of Word of Life.  As Bro. Bollback gave of his life to the Lord, the Lord gave him an opportunity to use his music.  He has written many songs and musicals of patriotism and Christianity.

I was inspired by the sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch this week. I thought the angled image would be perfect for some bells.

The lighting for photos is terrible on cloudy days and at night, so the color of my card is off. I used a gold embossed cranberry set of bells from a retired 2016 stamp of the month. The paper strips are from the current CTMH Silver and Gold paper pack, with a topper of gold dots from last year's All About the Gold Fundamentals here.

Inside the card I printed the words of the song:

Ring the Bells, ring the bells.
Let the whole world know
Christ was born in Bethlehem many years ago.

Born to die that man might live,
Came to earth new life to give,
Born of Mary, born so low many years ago.

God the Father gave His Son,
Gave His own Beloved One
To this wicked, sinful earth
To bring man kind His love new birth

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
Let the whole world know
Christ the Savior lives today
As He did so long ago!

Thank you for visiting! I know that many of you will be sharing this message of Christ's birth when you send Christmas cards. May God bless you and the receivers as you share your creations!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #364 - anything goes (optional glitter)
Scrap and Craft #10 - anything Christmas
Sisterhood of Crafters - All About Christmas

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Yesterday I read the story behind the making of this Christmas carol written by famous poet,Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The words and tune stayed in my mind all day and I was so overwhelmed by it's timeless message I decided to make a card highlighting the message of this song. Just like today, it was written when his world seemed overwhelmed with violence and hatred.

In 1861 his wife had died when her dress caught on fire. The Civil War broke out and two years later his 17 year old son ran away to join the Union army. He contracted typhoid fever and went home for two months to heal. When he went back he was shot in the shoulder and was nearly paralyzed because it was near his spine. Longfellow took him home December 8th to nurse him.

Longfellow wrote this carol while sitting by his bed . I included the entire verse below that I printed inside my card. I had never realized it talked about canons in the South or how the continent was rent, torn. The verse that keeps playing in my mind says,

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said:
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Thank God the message of hope is found in his last stanza:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

I cut out the bell and holly image from one I had saved previously and printed from Clearly Vintage. I printed two more bells and cut those out, covered them with CTMH Gold Shimmer brush for added dimension and shine.  I used the new challenge to use an old challenge from Christmas Card Throwdown's February 2012, Red, Green, and Gold and the sketch from Try Stamping on Tuesday #352:

Inside I stamped the bell from CTMH retired Yuletide Joy using Sweet Leaf ink and the Christmas sentiment from retired Holly Jolly Christmas. The background holly paper is from Graphic 45 Winter Wonderland, the red glittery paper is unknown from my stash, and the gold glitter paper, punched with a scallop, is CTMH. The Colonial White diecut is from Our Daily Bread Design's die, Lavish Layers and is embossed with a Cuttlebug dotted embossing folder. I wanted to keep it flat enough to mail so I embellished it with a thin  red satin ribbon and CTMH gold sequins.

Thank you for visiting! I hope you'll share my prayer for peace on earth, goodwill toward all men!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:
Christmas Card Throwdown December Challenge - pick a previous challenge from 2012-13
Christmas Cards All Year Round December Challenge - anything Christmas
Craft-Dee BowZ December challenge - anything with handmade bow
Creative Craft Cottage Digi Creations #87 - Happy Christmas
Eclectic Ellapu December Challenge - Christmas
Ike's World #103 - anything goes / optional Victorian Christmas
Let's Craft and Create #132 - Anything Christmas
Paper Creator's Crafts #64 - Christmas and New Years
The Twelve Months of Christmas #36 - anything Christmas (optional-Christmas cupcakes)
Try Stamping on Tuesday #352 - sketch (and celebration twist)

Here's a copy of the entire lyrics written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said:
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Magic of Christmas is in His Presence

It's time for quick, last minute Christmas cards. I've used the stamp from this card several times. It's certainly one of my favorite Christmas sentiments (from Verve) because the message is about having the presence of Christ in our lives. We celebrate Christmas, named after Him, because He came to earth to be born as a baby, ministered to those hurting in life, and died to take the punishment for the sins of all mankind so that those who believe can live forever with Him. 

What a gift!  I used the colors from today's Color My Heart Color Dare to use Reds, Greens, Neutral (Kraft), and Gold.

The papers are from CTMH Beary Christmas. I attached an old chipboard gift from Pear & Partridge and decided to use up some Cranberry brads.

May your Christmas be blessed with His Presence, His peace, love, and joy!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Color My Heart Challenge #272 - Traditional Color Challenge
Crimbo Crackers#147 - gift boxes (the chipboard one on my card)
Jingle Belles - Holiday wrap-up
Merry Christmas Challenge #47 - anything Christmas
The Sisterhood of Crafters - All About Christmas
Sunny Day Crafting #65 - X is for Xmas
Winter Wonderland Challenge - anything Christmas goes

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dreaming of a White Christmas

It may be December but we're having a lot of 55 degree days in northwestern Missouri. Mexico, Texas, Georgia, and even  Florida have seen snow in the last week, but we've had lovely weather. Last night the weatherman on TV talked about the probability of snow for a couple of days through Christmas Day. Tonight one of them amended that to say we wouldn't have a white Christmas. So I'll have to send a white Christmas to some of my friends using a set of cards I embossed like this one. It may be the only white Christmas they get!  I had a little inspiration from the lovely ladies at Everybody-Art-Challenge.

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:
City Crafter #392 - Christmas Tree
Craftaholics R Us Challenge #49 - emboss
Everybody Art Challenge #414 - White
The Holly and the Ivy Christmas Challenge #21 - anything Christmas goes
The Sisterhood of Crafters - All About Christmas

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December SOTM Blog Hop - A Little Bit of Pun

Welcome to our blog hop featuring the Close to My Heart December Stamp of the Month, A Little Bit of Pun! If you've come from Haley Dyer's blog, you're on the right path. To see the entire list of participants you can visit Melinda Everitt's post here.

The stamp set this month has 10 simple images that go with this set of fun puns! Knowing the group of ladies for whom I'd be making these cards, I chose to add a touch of elegance to the whimsy by using shades of pink and gray with a little something shiny. I used papers from the Basics Fundamental paper pack, Mink and Bashful Cardstocks, and Bashful, Silver, and Gold Glitter papers. Here are the five cards I'll be sharing with them:

Here's a better view of the Bashful and Silver Glitter papers, silver embossed gems, and the ones painted with Bashful ink and highlighted with the Clear Shimmer Brush:

The lightbulbs were stamped with Pixie ink. I colored in the center heart shaped coils with a waterbrush and Pixie ink.

The Artbooking alphabet Cricut cut was welded with a heart big enough to stamp the next one:

The last one was the music treble clef sign from the new YOU ARE HERE Cricut cartridge. It was separate from the words "Band Camp," so I slanted it a little and welded it to a rectangle background.

You may feel free to use my cut file for the last two cards if you have the two cartridges and use Cricut Design Space.

I also used the following Thin Cuts die sets:  Basic Hearts, Scallop Border, Basic Ovals, and Ribbon Border.

This fun stamp set is available only in December and is a special price of $5.00 with a $50 order or can be purchased for $17.95.  You can order this or any of the other supplies from your Close To My Heart consultant or on my website using the links above.

Thank you for visiting! Now you're ready to move on to Miss Carrie's Creations.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Cards - Surrounded with Music

I've been considering how to share the many ideas that flooded my mind when I saw the challenge at the Path of Positivity: Surround Yourself with Music. I especially identify with the idea of "surrounding myself" when it comes to music. I've worked on several Christmas cards to express Christmas joy using a music theme because singing carols was always a big part of my life.

As a child we would have a children's choir to sing in church Christmas programs. In Girl Scouts, we sang carols and served cookies to elderly folks in nursing homes. As a teen I sang in school choirs and learned I could sing alto to the familiar carols and popular Christmas songs. My mom would have my friend who lived next door, a soprano, come over so the two of us could serenade her acappella with Christmas songs. Our amazing music teacher taught us so many songs with a Christian message back then. My friend became a music teacher and greatly influenced my music choices. While living there I fell in love with classical music and keep that on in my car to relax me and in my craft room  to inspire my artwork.

In college, a professor convinced me I was a soprano and taught me how to stretch my vocal chords, which helped me in the years I taught in Christian schools. I was the teacher who led the children's singing in Christian programs in two of the schools.
When I was a teacher in public school, we would put classical cd's in our computers to play soft classical Mozart to help the kids calm themselves and focus. It really worked! It does the same for me, now, too!

It's probably no surprise, then, that I keep a separate box of just music related papers and embellishments to use on crafts.  Here are two cards I made celebrating music and Christmas! This first one uses CTMH Beary Christmas paper and an old carol from the back of a Graphic 45 paper I had cut up. Since it was called "The Holly and the Ivy," I embossed the top with a holly embossing folder.

The second one uses papers from long-retired Mistletoe papers and a more recently retired PML card of carolers, all from CTMH.

I hope you, too, find that music uplifts your spirit when you need it and find wonderful ways to enjoy Christmas carols this season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm sharing this post with the following challenges:
Aud Sentiments #194 - Christmas + A Sentiment (2nd card)
Heart 2 Heart Challenge - Anything goes with a CTMH product
International Art & Soul Challenge #22 - Buttons and Bows (first card)
Moving Along with the Times #59 -  Christmas Animals (2nd card)
Path of Positivity Challenge #53 - Surround yourself with music (optional)

A Craft Fair or Christmas Present Idea

I usually spend my crafting time making cards or scrapbooking, but this is the season for giving! For me, it's the season for making! I love using scrapbook supplies for gifts when I can get a good idea. This project post is the result of the post I saw today at the challenge at C.R.A.F.T.

Here's an easy gift I made one for a relative that likes seasonal decorations and candles.

I added a fragrant candle inside a mason jar, layers of burlap and antique and lacy ribbons, stacked Petaloo flowers and some Christmasy pine cones with berries attached to doubled thick jute.  It was easy and fun to make! I don't think she'll look at my blog post before Christmas so I hope it will still be a surprise!

I'm sharing this project with the following challenges:

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #444 - Christmas Present
Crafty Creations #355 - anything goes
The Merry Christmas Challenge #45 - anything goes + Christmas

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Presence

Did you take advantage of Thanksgiving or Black Friday sales? I've finished shopping for a few of my kids and grandkids.  With the emphasis on gift-buying, it's easy to focus more on the presents than in the "PRESENCE" of the one who gave His name and life to Christmas. That's why I chose to white emboss the Verve sentiment: The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in HIS presence.

This Christmas card is a quick and easy one I made using scraps of Basic Grey paper and a lovely PML card from the retired CTMH Pear and Partridge collection.  I popped up the main panel, sentiment and a couple of squares wrapped in twine to represent gifts to give it a little more dimension.

Thank you for visiting! May you enjoy the PRESENCE of Christ as you make preparations to celebrate His Christmas birth!

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Challenge Up Your Life #80 - Trees
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #361 - anything Christmas
Crazy 4 Challenges  #413 - Christmas card
Daring Cardmakers - Trim the Tree
Winter Wonderland - traditional Christmas colors - red and green

Monday, November 20, 2017


I've been really thankful today! Since I'm allergic to eggs I can't take the flu shot and several days after meeting lots of people at a craft fair I got the flu, then my auto-immune thing started and left me with lots of muscle spasms. It's been four years since my leg muscles were so contracted that it felt difficult to walk. That time it had lasted for about a year, so I've been praying and resting a lot, taking the extra magnesium and other nutrients my doc at KUMC wants me to take.  Today I can tell I'm getting better, so you can imagine how thankful I am that it's only been a week instead of a year!

Here are two versions of a Thankfulness card I made using the Cricut. I used brighter fall colors for the first.   I chose a leaf cut that had some vein details cut into the center. I inked the edges of the cut out leaf and backed the negative leaf space with some old Pomegranate paper from my stash.

My second one with more subdued colors and I think I like it even more.

Inside, I printed a lovely Thanksgiving Prayer I found all over internet. I saved the inside pages as jpgs if you'd like to use them. On the left inside I printed:

On the right inside I printed:

Thank you for visiting! I hope you'll have many reasons to be thankful and to share your thankfulness with others!

I'm sharing these cards with the following challenges:
Crafty Calendar November Challenge - Autumn Colors
Dragonfly Journeys #105 - Glamorous gold
Dream Valley #168 - Add texture
International Art and Soul #21 - Autumn Colours
Use Your Stuff #289 - Thankful

Ingredients:  CTMH cardstock, retired Enchantment Fundamental (Pomegranate), Falling for You designer paper, Gold Glitter paper; CTMH Goldrush and Pomegranate inks;  Cricut leaf cut from A Child's Year, CTMH "Leaves" embossing folder, CTMH "Thankful for You" thin cut; retired CTMH buttons, fibers and ribbon from my stash

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Craft Fair and Christmas Cards

I ignored blogging for an entire month while I made more crafts for the largest craft fair in our area. My friend that usually helps with our booth had surgery, so two other stamping friends came to the rescue on short notice. They brought 350 cards, individually packaged with the inside sentiment rewritten/stamped and in view on the back of the package and manned the booth with me! I knew they were overachievers, but they certainly exceeded my expectations. I was afraid they'd go home with too many cards, but yesterday customers also exceeded purchases of previous years buying LOTS of cards! It really helps having card racks full of unique handmade cards!

I learned years ago that I needed a wide variety of papercrafts to appeal to a wide variety of customers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos of some of the items that sold out quickly. Later this week I'll take and post photos of a few that had some individual items left.

Here are black and gold Christmas cards that I shared there, thanks to a workshop shared by Jaime Llewellyn. I changed a couple of sentiments and embossed all of them in gold.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Striped Christmas

This time of year I do more crafting and less blogging as I get ready for craft fair days in our community. Last year we sold so much the first day we weren't sure if we had enough to sell the second day and two of us had to go home and make a lot more Christmas cards. So I may write less, but I'll still try to photograph and post some to share ideas. I also try to use up some of my older papers from CTMH and the scrapbook store where I used to teach classes.

I keep looking for different ideas for using Christmas paper, so one scrap of striped paper inspired these cards when I saw the challenge at Southern Girls Challenge this week. I varied the ink color, embellishments and twines. (If you've been with CTMH more than 10 years you'll recognize the piece of Cocoa Café that I used.) If you'd like to try this one, you may use my Cricut Design Space cut file.

I'm also sharing this card project with the following challenges:
A Snowflake's Promise Challenge #44 -  anything Christmas
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' September Challenge - anything Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra October - anything
The Holly and the Ivy Challenge #16 - anything Christmas
The Merry Christmas Challenge #37 - anything Christmas
The Twelve Months of Christmas Challenge #34 - anything Christmas

Autumn/Fall Thankfulness Portfolio

This month I'm a guest designer at the Let's Craft and Create October Challenge #130. The theme is anything goes with the option of Witchy/Halloween or Autumn/Fall. I always need a lot of autumn projects for our craft fair in November, so here is one of my thankfulness portfolios or gratitude journal. I like to add scriptures and quotes about gratitude and lots of blank pages for the recipient to write what they're thankful for as well as room for a few photos.

The cover is made from a 6" x 6" kraft card base that CTMH used to sell. I like the scalloped flap that overlaps on the right side and that it's made from extra heavy kraft cardstock, making it more durable.

I used a variety of fall-colored papers, mostly from Authentique. Inside I made three "booklets" embellished with scripture and quote stamps that encourage thankfulness for blessings. 

The first pocket inside is simply a burlap ribbon attached with two brads that go through to the front. I attached the front of the ribbon after inserting the brads so that I could cover them on front so they wouldn't show. I had never tried that but I liked it enough to try it again.

This started as a fall card from Basic Grey paper that was square that I never used since square is not popular with our postal system. I added quite a few pages inside, stapling in the inside center like a book.

The pocket on the right side is made from a 4" x 6" card that I trimmed a little, including an angle following the thankful box, and adhered on the right and bottom only.

This tag booklet is 5.25" x 3. (It really has 4 sides but I didn't unfold all of it.Oops!)

This one is 5.5" x 4" with one of the small cards decorating the front and the rest left blank for photos.

The back has a simple quote stamped and the spine has a strip of bronze shimmer trim. The leaves were cut and embossed with Spellbinders Leaves 8.

Thank you for visiting! May your heart be filled with gratitude for blessings received and those to come.

I'm also sharing this project with the following challenges:

Mod Squad Challenge - Color Me Fall
The Crafty Addicts Challenge #41 - Anything Goes/Autumn Colors

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hope Shines Through

I wrote to an old friend today that so much has happened in the world since I wrote her last month. There have been hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions as well as terrorist acts all over the world. I have a friend who beat lung cancer, then had to go back for more surgery when it produced a brain tumor. Friends from church have been in and out of the hospital. The one constant through it all has been the knowledge that God loves us and wants us to turn to him during trials. That gives us a ray of hope that can shine through all natural or man-made disasters.  I wanted to make a couple of cards for breast cancer awareness that uses one of my new stamp sets, Inspired Words. I used this sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge this week.

I used two shades of pink (with a little Glacier for contrast), Bashful and Smoothie. Both of the papers, the smoothie ribbon  and the flowers are retired.

The sentiment was stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with Silver embossing powder. The shiny sentiment inspired me to mat the sentiment, ribbon, and the Artistry Cricut cut ribbon with Bashful Glitter Paper.

The first one I made with a different Cricut cut ribbon and flower. I decided to use it so you could see the ribbon type from the Flower Market cartridge.

Inside each card I put this verse of encouragement about Hope from Romans 15:13a:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

I'm sharing this card with the following challenges:

Atlantic Hearts Challenge # 232 - sketch
CCCDigi Creations Challenge #82 - Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Heartful Stamping Challenge - anything goes with stamping

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October SOTM Blog Hop - Christmas Tunes

It's October already?! It's time for our CTMH October Stamp of the Month Blog Hop featuring our new stamp set, "Christmas Tunes." You may have just come from Gina Brandstetter's blog.  To see the entire list of all 27 participants go to Melinda Everitt's blog list.

I love the Christmas song, O Holy Night, so I chose to make three cards using the wreath entwined with its lyrics. The first symbolically has black paper with white dots (like nighttime stars) from the new Silver and Gold paper pack. All three cards have one of the gold foiled zip strips from one of the papers in that pack.

The next twow have a background embossed with the Buffalo Plaid embossing folder.

Thanks for stopping by! Now you're ready to see what Emily Sararas has created.

If you don't have a consultant and would like this stamp set, you can purchase it here for $5.00 with a $50 purchase or buy it at full price for $17.95.

I'm sharing these cards with the following challenges:

Allsorts Challenge #435 - Sentiment in Focus
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' - anything Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #353 - anything Christmas option: Black, white and one other color
Jingle Belles - Embossing

5.5" x 4.25" Card Recipe Ingredients:
Papers - Silver and Gold paper pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Kraft Cardstock
Stamps - Christmas Tunes October Stamp of the Month
Inks - Memento Tuxedo Black, Cranberry,
Markers - Shin Han Touch Twin Markers: Leaf Green, Carmine
Embellishments - White and Bronze Twine, Bronze Sequins, Enchantment Ribbon Pack
Tools - 5" x 7" Buffalo Plaid Embossing Folder, Cricut Explore (circle cut 3")