The secret of your own heart you can never know;
but you can know Him who knows its secret.
-George MacDonald

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year

On the first day of the year, 1998, my sister stepped into eternity. I have missed my first friend. I have wished we could have raised our children together the way many sisters do-sharing funny stories, giving each other advice, encouraging one another. I have felt an emptiness that cannot be filled with anyone other than a sister. I know one day, this short time that we inhabit on earth will all make sense. Until I know, I trust in the ONE who is all knowing and in control. The God that lovingly laid down His life for myself...and my sister.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18,19

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Birthday of a King

In the little village of Bethlehem
There lay a child one day
And the sky was bright
With a holy light
O'er the place where Jesus lay.

O how the angels sang!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright
With a holy light
'Twas the birthday of a King.

Humble birthplace
But O
How much God gave to us that day!
From the manger bed what a path has led
What a perfect holy way.

O how the angels sang!
How it rang!
And the sky was bright
With a Holy light
'Twas the birthday of a King
- William Harold Neidlinger

My watercolor was inspired by the artwork of Geninne Zlatkis.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Using a Variety of Stamps for Christmas Greetings

Wow! What a snowy weekend we had here in West Virginia. Fortunately I just got my Christmas greetings in the mail before the snow and power outages began. We lost power but not for too long for which I am thankful. Last year and this year instead of sending traditional cards, I sent postcards. Last year, so many people asked how I made them that I decided to blog about it. You can see the tutorial under my February 2, 2008 post. Postcards are so quick and easy to write on once made. Postage is also a little cheaper which helps around this holiday season. In previous posts this December I have talked about using various stamps to create different designs and backgrounds on paper.
A couple of weeks ago, I showed how you can make this snowy design on paper. Kind of fitting for this weekend. Well, what if this paper became the background for your postcard? I took this paper, scanned it into my computer and printed out 4"by 6" copies. The basic size for a postcard.
I wrote about how I made this design a week ago using one stamp and an inchie punch.

What if you took this one stamp again and instead of using green and red ink you used blue and silver? Use your inchie punch, add a navy blue backgound. and create the same kind of design.
Then take that inchie cut design and adhere it to your snowy background. It looks really pretty just like this but I wanted to add one more thing for the message I wanted to say.

I decided to use two different stamps. A compass rose and a celtic cross. I stamped and embossed them using opaque white powder on black cardstock. I wanted a different kind of cross that showed direction. I cut out the stamped designs, then trimmed more, glued, and came up with this:
Using raised glue dots I adhered this cross over the previous snowy image, inchie design and scanned it into the computer. I saved this image and had to do one more thing... It needed words.

Finding just the write thing to say took some time. I finally found an old medieval saying in a quotation's book. Using photo editing software, and playing around a bit, I added the quote onto my scanned image. I then printed out 4" by 6" copies of this design. I sprayed a fine mist of fixative on each card and glittered the cross just to add a bit of sparkle. Lastly I used a glue stick to adhere a basic "postcard" design to the back. Add your greeting, address and stamp and you're ready to mail.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deck The Halls

Decking the halls is one of my favorite things to do this time of year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

With One Stamp

Here in West Virginia a blustery wind has blown in bringing light snow and frigid temperatures. What a good excuse to stay cozy inside and use my imagination. Creating with stamps are so much fun. Look through your stamp collection and select one image. It can be a Christmas stamp or any other you choose. This Christmas design is by Inkadinkado. I bought it this year at Michael's.
Take that stamp and ink it with any color you decide. I used a rich red. You can also ink it again and again in other colors. You judge how many variations you want. I chose two colors for the season. Red and Green.

Next, look at your stamped design. Imagine only being able to see a one inch by one inch square in any part of the stamped picture. (You may want to cut out a one inch by one inch opening in a piece of cardstock and move it around the stamped design to help you choose) Now with an inchie punch cutter or measuring and cutting with scissors, cut from your stamped pattern several one inch squares. As you can see, some of the images I decided on were faces or people or just interesting pictures.

After I determined how many squares I wanted and then cut accordingly, I measured and trimmed a coordinating piece of cardstock just about a half an inch larger.

Using a glue runner I carefully adhered each square onto the cardstock.
You can use this creation as it is for a tag, bookmark, or whatever...
or you can put a pretty Christmas paper behind your cut images and create a festive card. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea, stay warm and have fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Wait

Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making Festive Paper Using a Few Stamps

While browsing at Michael's a few weeks ago, I came across these lovely snowflake stamps. Especially at this time of year, I cannot resist beautiful snowflakes so I bought them. Feeling the need to try them out immediately, I decided to make a collage on navy cardstock out of the various snowflakes.
First I used a watermark inkpad and white embossing powder to randomly stamp and emboss two snowflake designs. This gave a raised very white crisp image.

Next, I used a silver ink pad to randomly stamp more snowflake images.

Finally, I used a light blue inkpad to randomly stamp even more designs -sometimes overlapping the embossed snowflakes. Just keep stamping until you like what you are creating. The nice thing about clear stamps is you can see where you are putting your image in relation to the other images already stamped.

Now the fun part: deciding where and how to cut your paper to get the best looking overall design.

Voila! Now you can make copies by scanning the cut into your computer. Print out any size you desire. You can print out 8 by 10 copies and use as scrapbook paper in photo albums. You can print large and then cut out smaller designs. I printed out 3 by 5 copies to use as little thankyou cards. I am also using this design to put in the background for my Christmas cards this year. Use any kind of stamp and have fun creating!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was born on November 29, 1898. He died just shy of his 65th birthday on November 22, 1963. He began his adult life as an atheist and then, as only God can do, he became a believer in Christ. To me, Lewis was a master of description that allowed the reader not only to visualize what he was trying to portray but also to FEEL the emotions of the depiction. I have learned so much about God and myself through Lewis' writings. Lewis was also an avid letter writer to his friends and fans. Through these writings you see a man whose kindness and compassion clearly protray the grace of God in his life. I close this post with one of my favorite quotes from The Last Battle that describes his and our hope of Heaven: ""There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as he spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."

illustration is watercolor and collage by myself

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Unexpected House Guest

The other night my son was in his room cozily reading in his bed. Very suddenly, B. noticed a mouse was squeezing his way under my son's bedroom door. The mouse ran and then stopped, looked up at my son locking eyes, then scurried under a chest of drawers. My son got out of bed pounded on our door, waking us, and announced we had a "visitor". My husband got up to investigate but the "house guest" did not make himself known that evening again. We know he/she is still here.(we heard chewing last night) We have set traps...but we still wait.

It has occurred to me how many unwelcome events in our lives happen just this way. We are coasting along. Reading a good book or sleeping when suddenly out of nowhere, a "unwelcome visitor" appears. We seek to solve the problem but there are situations that cannot be solved immediately or at all. We question - why did this happen? Did we leave the garage door open? We ask - what is going to happen? Will this "visitor" get into our goods and make a mess? The only thing we can really control is the present and how we respond. Things are easier if that is what we make our focus--the present - And GOD. So we wait... and pray. (And don't underestimate the praying at all times) During this time, if we allow God, we can learn a good deal about our weakness and His strength, grace, and mercy. We must look to Him and what we need to do TODAY. Hopefully this "guest's" days are numbered as we allow the "sudden visitor" to teach us.

Give Thanks

"We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is "good," because it is good, if "bad" because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country."-C.S. Lewis

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thy Mercy, My God

Without thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.---Taken from Thy Mercy, My God words by John Stocker

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nothing Wrong With a Little Fresh Paint

If there is an empty space, somehow I want to paint it. As you can tell from previous blogs, I love to paint. A wonderful artist blog that I visit gave me the idea to paint rocks with white acrylic ink.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How To Make A Gift Card More Personal

You've bought a gift for a wedding shower and you want the tag to say a little more than "to" and "from". Grab a mailing tag or make one of your own. Its fun to make one of your own by tracing a garment tag or even just a rectangle onto an old cereal box. Cut out the shape and then trace that shape twice onto pretty scrapbook paper. Glue the paper onto the front and back of the tag using a glue stick. Before you start to decorate your tag, take some vellum or other paper. Even a clear shopping bag will do. (Ann Taylor Loft has nice clear bags) Using your gift tag as your guide, cut out enough to wrap around the tag and glue in the back. Then fold the bottom opening inward and glue. (I use a very thin line of YES or a glue runner) This will make a "slip in" envelope. Decorate the top of your envelope with a pretty paper trim you cut out or one already made. Paste your "to" and "from" emblem on the front.
Now the fun part--the tag itself.

Find a picture of the lovely couple or print one out. I used my couple's facebook profile picture and printed one onto photo paper just the size I wanted. Before I glued the pic, I added some lace on the bottom. Using a decorative trim cutter (this one is from Martha Stewart) I cut out some ivory paper and stamped it. (This stamp says" And they lived happily ever after." ) Then I glued the paper on the front of the tag. Next I glued the couple's picture. Finally I sewed ribbon onto the top along with a button.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Need Direction?

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We saw a family of 8 deer in a store parking lot near us the other evening. They didn't hang around for long though when I pulled out the camera.
My watercolor was inspired by the artwork of Geninne Zlatkis.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Singing the Praises of Autumn

It was still early and dark when I turned on the light to my kitchen. I could hear a little wren chirping with much vigor. As I looked out on my back porch I could see him singing as if the rising of the sun or the coming of Autumn depended on his song. I decided to watercolor the little guy. (Geninne's art of is my inspiration.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flirty Fall

Fall has been teasing us here with cooler weather in the evening. The beautiful season is right around the corner. I worked on a little watercolor and collage to put in my journal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journal Pages

Lately I've been listening to a musician named Derek Webb. I love the words in his songs so I decided to make journal pages of one particular song that especially spoke to me. Like a man comes to an altar, I came into this town. With the world upon my shoulders. And promises passed down. And I went into the water. My father, he was pleased. I built it and I'll tear it down, so you will be set free. I found thieves and salesmen living in my father's house. I know how they got there and I know how to get 'em out. I'm turning this place over from floor to balcony. And then just like these doves and sheep oh you will be set free. I've always been a lover from before I drew a breath. Some things I loved easy and some I loved to death. Because love's no politician it listens carefully. So of those who come, I can't lose one so you will be set free. But go and take my picture go on and make me up. I'll still be your defender and you'll be my missing son. I'll send out an army just to bring you back to me ...

cause regardless of your brother's lies, you will be set free. I am my beloved's and my beloveds's mine. So you bring all your history and I'll bring the bread and wine. And we'll have us a party where all the drinks are on me. Then surely as the rising sun you will be set free. -Derek Webb
What a Savior that pursues us like a Lover.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It All Began...

while I was browsing at Michael's. I saw this stencil on sale. I bought it, took it home, and then wondered where I should put the design. Several months went by.
It occured to me that the design might look good on a ceiling. Hmmm. I had never stenciled a ceiling before.
What about the ceiling in the entrance hall? I liked it.
What about the dining room?

I now have a whole new respect for Michael Angelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy 21st Birthday!

What a lovely dinner we had with you and your charming young man.

May God continue to bless you dear daughter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday West Virginia!

Tomorrow is our state's birthday. There are all kinds of celebrations. One of the best is FESTIVALL in Charleston. From today until the 28th, the city really becomes a work of art. There are all kinds of concerts and gatherings. There are actors and dancers in the streets. Artisans come from all over to sell and display their wares next weekend. There are so many talented people who have roots in Appalachia and they are beautiful refined craftsmen and women.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


A card made for my son's 17th birhtday.

for 17 years you have tread!
Happy Birthday!

(Definition of shred-the act of playing fast complicated passages on an electric guitar-something my son loves to do)