For the Love of Books

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Morning, y'all!  I promise to be back tomorrow with a couple of paper crafted projects for your viewing pleasure, but until then, I figure it's about time for another For the Love of Books pick, especially seeing as it's the last day of June.  LOL!  I've been a bit busy enjoying the summer sunshine with my kiddos ;).  This one is written and illustrated by the well-known and long-beloved Eric Carle and boldly and beautifully portrays the life cycle of a flower.
The Tiny Seed tells the story of the journey of just such from autumn of one year to autumn of the next.  It blows with the wind along with a number of other flower seeds.  One seed burns up as it sails too close to the sun's hot rays, while another lands on an icy mountaintop where the snow never melts.  Yet a third falls into the ocean and drowns, while a fourth settles in a dessert region where it is too hot and dry to grow.  One by one, each traveler is picked off by the world it lands in or eaten by a small animal.  A few survive the cold, winter months to see the wet days of spring and begin to sprout into plants, but a weed grows much faster and chokes one little plant away.  Another is accidentally crushed by a child out enjoying the fresh air.  A third makes it into a beautiful flower only to be picked by a young boy and given to his friend.  Through it all, the tiny seed somehow thrives to become the biggest and most beautiful flower.  Then, as summer comes to an end, the autumn winds begin to blow once again and carry with them new seeds birthed by the tiny, lone survivor.

Thanks so much for reading!  See you next month, friends!  Hugs!

Friday Faves

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Friday, friends!  This week has just flown by, and I'm finding myself, once again, behind on my visits.  I'm so sorry.  I just don't know where you all find all your crafty time ;), but I look forward to visiting and being inspired very soon.  Until then, I have a short Friday Faves lineup, for you all, this month, beginning with Simple Stories' gorgeous, warm-weather and retro-inspired Summer Vibes 12x12 Collection Kit.  This one simply has something for everyone.
I just love the versatility of Technique Tuesday's Daily Flair stamp set.  Just imagine the possibilities, for cards, scrapbooks, and even calendars and planners, this bitty set possesses.
Every time I get even a small handful of Prima's leaves, they seem to disappear overnight.  I imagine that, too, would be the case if I were to get my little fingers on these Herbage beauties from their Garden Fable Collection.
And I couldn't mention that collection without sharing these scrumptious little Natives, too.  Swoon!
A couple of months back, I was invited to a Noonday Collection Trunk Show.  I couldn't make it but was completely smitten with the impact this business is making on women around the globe.  So, I ordered a gift for my sister-in-law and this stunning Sofiya Wrap Bracelet for myself.  It's even more beautiful in real life, y'all.
And just because you all know how much I love a good bag, I had to include their fabulous Andean Bag here.  Check out all those woven details and luxurious, leather feet and straps.  Love!
That does it for this month, folks.  Thanks so much for peeking in!  Have a truly amazing weekend!  My big kiddo gets home from camp tonight.  Eeek!  Can't wait!  I've missed him so!

Casas por Cristo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Morning, friends!  I promised pics of BJ and Ezekiel's mission trip to Juarez, Mexico last week and have a few to share today.  This was my hubby's fourth trip (Click here and here for posts depicting previous trips.) with an organization known as Casas por Cristo, but it was Ezekiel's first.  Ezekiel was the youngest, by three years, of a group of eighteen individuals.  Here are my boys just before loading in the vans and heading out.
It was their job to build a $5,000, two-room home for a family in need.  The home itself, as well as travel expenses and food, is divided up and paid for by each member of the team.  They began by leveling the ground and pouring a concrete foundation.
They then built and erected the walls which were insulated and wired for electricity, before everything was sealed in between sheetrock...
and black board, which was covered in chicken wire for stucco.  Ezekiel caught onto the stucco super fast.  It was his favorite part of the build...
and took place while the roof was going up.
Love these pics of everyone taking breaks with local snacks.
And here's my kiddo helping to nail the Casas plaque onto one side of the finished roof.  My hubby said that he was so easy to be proud of last week.  When he saw something that needed to be done, he didn't wait to be asked to do it; and when he completed all his tasks, he asked what he could do next.  Poor thing even lost his big toenail climbing a set of stairs after just one day on the job site, but he was up first thing the next morning, with shoes on and everything, ready for another day of work.  I wish I'd had more than one day to soak up all his excitement, before he was off to camp this week.  He was even already talking about "next year", and after all the praise many of the adults on the trip gave him, my hubby, and myself upon their return, I know that he will be more than welcome.
Within three days, this new building...
became home to a beautiful family of five.
I love this photo of the father smiling at his new ceiling fan.  Such sweetness!  And I made and sent those curtains in the background along with my hubby.  Eeek!
I actually made a set for each of the two windows, but with the way the light and wind was coming in the windows, the photos my hubby took just didn't do them justice.  Here's a pic of the fabrics just after I finished both sets.
Mission work holds a big part of my and my hubby's hearts, and I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see my big kiddo developing that love in his own.  What a dream it would be to be debt free and able to commit to doing such work on more of a full-time basis.  One day... Lord willing.  If you'd like to donate to this organization, please click here; and if you'd like to know how you can get involved on a deeper level, please click here.  ...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40).  Thanks so much for reading!  Be blessed!

The Studio Food Challenge

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Morning, y'all!  Just popping in with a new challenge from The Studio.  We're looking for pages about food this go around.  One day, I plan on putting together a food scrapbook of all our favorite dishes; but right now, I have far too many cute pics of my kiddos needing a home.  So, I used inspiration from my final, summer-inspired, June, Noel Mignon Happy Go Lucky Classic Kit to scrap a pic of two of my cuties munching on their favorite Outshine Fruit Bars.  Let's dive right in.  Shall we?
I started this page by Cameo-cutting a number of triangles from the textured, white, cardstock, base page and backing them with lots of bits of color-coordinating, patterned papers.  I then smudged Sky Mr. Huey's over the top portion of the page behind my photo before framing each die-cut triangle with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches and stamping a few more in Jet Black ink.  I also sprinkled in a die-cut few above the negative images just for dimension.  In the bottom center of the page, I created my "hustle LESS and live a GOOD LIFE more." title phrase from Basic Black, Whisper White, Garden Green, and Strawberry Slush Stampin' Up cardstocks, as well as Wplus9 Design's Lake House cardstock, giving a bit of shimmer to the "GOOD LIFE" portion with Dazzling Diamonds.  This cut file is one of Ali Edwards' Give Sunday freebies.
I then topped it with my photo which was matted with Whisper White cardstock; backed with a trio of pretty papers, as well as a bit of torn vellum; and wrapped with a length of white string, tied in a bow.  A couple of photo corner stickers, doily, and hand-cut bloom, which was also dressed up with a bit of glitter, top it; and "FUN IN THE SUN!"...

and "SUCH A GREAT MOMENT" chipboard phrases round off the bottom corners.
A - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - label, as well as "LIFE IS SWEET"...
and "FOR BEST RESULTS:" phrase stickers, completes the bulk of the design.
A little journaling, which reads, There's nothing like our fave Outshine Fruit Bars to help cool things down on a hot summer day, and sprinkling of clear sequins round things out.
Further inspiration for this page came from ScrapMuch's June Colour Challenge...
and Scrap Our Stash's Sketch Challenge #27.
As part of the latter challenge, we were supposed to create a card from our layout scraps.  Here's mine.
While my layout's title phrase was cut from a number of different colored cardstocks, I had also cut it, in its original form, from Whisper White cardstock, to help with placement on my layout.  That piece came in uber handy on my card, as it takes center stage backed by a scrap of that multicolored, brick, patterned paper and flanked with a strip of yellow, stripe, patterned paper, as well as a punched scrap of aqua, drop, patterned paper.  Those edge papers were anchored in place with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches; before I stamped the bottom right corner, in Jet Black ink, with the "birthday wishes" sentiment and adhered the prepped piece, with foam tape, to the Kraft, cardstock, card face.
I was thinking I'd layer a couple of those hand-cut, patterned, paper blooms on my page, but I liked it better with just one.  So, I popped the second, all dressed up with a little glitter, up with foam tape and further embellished it with white, seam binding ribbon and string bows.  A trio of clear sequins completes the look.  I've really got to make cards from my layout scraps more often.  This one came together in no time at all!

Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details, as well as to see how the rest of the team was inspired.  Thanks so much for your visit!  Have a blessed Sunday!  Oh, and for those of you who were wondering, my boys made it home safe and sound.  Yay!  We're all happily back together again (at least for one day... Ezekiel leaves again first thing tomorrow morning for a week of camp.) as this post goes live.  Thank you for your prayers!
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Just Geometrics: Triangles (Wplus9) Paper: textured white (Bazzill); Whisper White, Basic Black, Garden Green, & Strawberry Slush (SU!); Lake House (Wplus9); multicolored sprinkles, aqua drop, multicolored stripe, & two-tone pink plus (Carta Bella); yellow stripe, multicolored brick, pink butterflies, & floral (Jillibean Soup); green chevron, pink cameras, bright pink drops, & multicolored chevron (Amy Tangerine); gray triangles (Dear Lizzy); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Less Hustle cut file (Ali Edwards); Cameo (Silhouette); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); white string & doily (Hobby Lobby); aqua photo corners & Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); chipboard phrases (Carta Bella); yellow label & "LIFE IS SWEET" cardstock sticker (Jillibean Soup); "FOR BEST RESULTS:" sticker (Heidi Swapp); Sky Mr. Huey's (Studio Calico); sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: So Happy for You (SU!) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); Kraft (Wplus9); multicolored brick, floral, & yellow stripe(Jillibean Soup); aqua drop (Carta Bella) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Less Hustle cut file (Ali Edwards); Cameo (Silhouette); white string (Hobby Lobby); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); white seam binding ribbon (Zipper Stop); sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); edger punch (EK Success)

Super Dad

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm so sorry for the silence around here lately.  My big boys (BJ and Ezekiel) have been on a mission trip, to Juarez, Mexico, all week.  They're on their way back now, and we'll be off picking them up before we know it.  Yay!  I know we'd all appreciate your prayers for safe travels for this final, exhausting length of their trip.  And if they bring me back some good pics, I'll be sure to post 'em here sometime next week.  Anyway, it's been a bit of a struggle finding time to get creative with it being just me and the littles.  We also had some special visitors for a couple of days earlier this week.  So, doing so just didn't take priority; but with Father's Day being just hours away, I thought it only fitting to use the latest palette from my newest DT home (well, in just a couple short weeks... Eeek!), just because it's irresistible, to create a card for my Dad.  Enjoy!
I started this card by watercoloring a wide strip of watercolor paper in shades of Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, and Coastal Cabana inks.  I then stamped it, in Jet Black ink, with the word "DAD" and clear embossed all around that image with a repeated "YOU", before trimming its edges with a trio of color-coordinating, pattered papers; adhering it to the White, cardstock, card face; and anchoring it, with silver-threaded, straight stitches, down either of its vertical edges.
I then wrapped a length of black Baker's Twine just to the left of the purple, argyle, patterned, paper strip and tied it, in a bow, near the top edge of the card face.  The bottom left corner was stamped, in Jet Black ink, with "SUPER* AMAZING*SPECTACULAR"...
and a sprinkling of silver sequins and clear gemstones completes the look.
Inspiration for this card came from Colour Me...!'s Creative Challenge No. 76.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  And a big happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!  Hugs!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Super Star (Wplus9) Paper: watercolor (SU!); White (Wplus9); silver leaves (Amy Tangerine); purple argyle (Nikki Sivils); aqua floral (Pink Paislee) Ink: Coastal Cabana, Elegant Eggplant, & Old Olive (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); clear embossing powder (SU!); sequins (Hobby Lobby); clear gemstones (crafts-too); black Baker's Twine (AR Designs)

Stuck?! June 15th Sketch

Monday, June 15, 2015

Welcome to the work week, friends!  We're halfway through June, and that means another sketch, from Stuck?! Sketches, to get your creative juices flowing.  My hubby had a birthday less than a week ago, so I thought it would be fun to honor him with a page boasting pics from last year's celebrations.
I started this page by piecing lots of fun papers and bits, including a gold, stripe, acrylic sheet and gray ampersand, onto a 9-1/2" square piece of scrap paper.  I then anchored them all with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitches, after die-cutting a partial circle from the bottom right corner of the grid.  After adhering my row of photos, which were matted with Whisper White cardstock, and securing the prepped piece to a sheet of textured, ivory cardstock, I used that die-cut bit to highlight a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a vellum, circle die cut, monogram.  A wood veneer arrow button, laced with white thread, highlights said such perfectly.
In moving clockwise around the page, I adhered an "ALL THE ADVENTURE YOU COULD EVER WANT" Project Life card flush with the bottom edge of the grid and embellished it with a "THE BEST OF DAYS" cardstock sticker, as well as a hand-cut, from patterned paper, doily and an "always" rubon, which, once again, wouldn't come off its acrylic sheet.  So, I just brushed a little baby powder on the back to take every last ounce of sticky away, hand-cut it out, and secured it in place with a single staple.  It seems to be working for me, folks ;).  At least, they're not being thrown away.
The bottom left corner houses my journaling, which was written on strips of Whisper White cardstock and reads, You were so giddy happy to pick out a new phone for your b-day, but you also bought yourself a pricey ticket.
Those journaling strips were layered over a "JUNE" calendar card, which, in turn, was topped with a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on vellum, bicycle.  I hand-cut the bicycle out and tied a couple of balloons under the seat with a lengths of white string.
The balloons were stamped, in Crisp Cantaloupe and More Mustard inks, on White, cardstock die cuts, adhered with foam tape, and given a bit of Wink of Stella shine.
Stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a penmanship label and the cardstock, base page respectively, "Enjoy Life" and "LOVE YOU MORE" phrases top the design...
and a stamped, once again in Jet Black ink, "happy BIRTHDAY" title finishes off the word work.  A couple of Orange Crème number stickers were popped up with foam tape, and a sprinkling of gold, star sequins and wood veneer buttons, laced with white strings, as well as a few stamped, in Jet Black ink, stars, complete the look.
Our sponsors for this sketch are...
and here's your June 15th Sketch to get you started.
Further inspiration for this page came from Let's Capture Our Memories' June Color Spot.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details as well as to be inspired by the Design Team.  Looking forward to seeing where this one takes you!  Thanks so much for visiting, and have an extra special work week!  Hugs!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Whole Lotta' Happy, Monogrammed, & Borders & Backgrounds 3 (Wplus9); Enjoy the Ride (Market Street Stamps); "LOVE YOU MORE" (Heidi Swapp) Paper: textured ivory (Bazzill); Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); rust leaves (October Afternoon); black leafy, mint diamond, gold chevron, city map, & ampersand (Crate Paper); gold floral (Echo Park); gold basket weave (Heidi Swapp); mint stripe & gold stripe acrylic (MME); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); Jet Black (StazOn); Pistachio Pudding & More Mustard (SU!); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Whole Lotta' Happy & Clear Cut Stackers: Circles dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Clear Wink of Stella (Zig); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); penmanship label (Scrapbook Trends); "JUNE" calendar, doily, & wood veneer buttons (Jenni Bowlin); gold star sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); Orange & Crème Mini Market letter stickers (October Afternoon); "always" rubon (Amy Tangerine); wood veneer arrow button (Jillibean Soup); white string (Hobby Lobby); "THE BEST OF DAYS" sticker & "ALL THE ADVENTURE..." PL card (MME); staple & stapler (office supply store)