Been a while….

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I just realized that I haven’t really posted anything in quite some time! I guess I’ve really been busy! I have created however–a quilt for my niece and new nephew-in-law for their wedding, a quilt and a butterfly mobile for my new granddaughter’s baby shower, a few cards and a few other odds and ends that I can’t remember right now…I attended a graduation celebration for 23 kids at my church (including my youngest child), made gift bottles for them and attended the actual graduation of my “baby”.  I traveled to the west coast for a lovely 3-week visit with my parents and my sister, attended my niece’s wedding, came home and got to be present at the birth of my newest grandchild (a 10 lb 10 oz “little” girl!). Then the summer, a road trip from West Virginia to Washington (helping my sister move west) another 2 weeks at my parents’, back home to a house full of people, the winter, the spring, waiting, waiting, and still waiting for a settlement from the VA, and planning our own westward move. Not a whole lot of time for crafting — though I did get a few scrapbook pages done here and there and a quilt for a friend. I’ve been working on “designing” my own vinyl word signs for the walls of my new house out west. I am actually at my parents’ house for another visit, family reunion and a final vacation before the big move. I look forward to getting more regular with my posts once again after we get settled out here.

Cool Little Boxes

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A couple of weeks ago, during our Wednesday morning Women’s Bible Study, the Speaker mentioned that we should each have a way to keep track of the great miracles that God performs in our lives.  She called it a “Cluster Keeper” (this was based on when Moses allowed spies to go into Canaan to see what the land was like and to bring back some of the fruit of the land. The spies picked a cluster of grapes that were so large that it required two men to carry them back on a stick between them.) I was inspired to come up with an idea to give all the ladies in our study a “Cluster Keeper” of their own. I had originally thought that I would decorate the cover of a little journal from the Dollar store. Then I thought I’d decorate little $1 boxes from Michaels and fill them with index cards. Well….. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for at Michaels so I decided that I could use some of my 3D paper patterns (cut with my Cricut) and I could make the boxes myself.

After a little searching through my options I found this adorable little match-box style box in the shape of a book and I knew this would be perfect! I set about cutting out all the pieces and parts required to make 30 of these  then let the fun begin!! It was a total labor of love! Here’s what I came up with:

The Front of the "Cluster Keeper"

The end of the box (closed)

Opened box

 

Title on the Spine

The Index Cards that were placed inside

Custom Christmas Gift Bags

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Little Chapel in the Snow

This has been quite the Season. Economic considerations being what they are for nearly everyone, we have determined that this Christmas was going to be very, very lean! My husband made a remark about sitting around and “fellowshipping in the Love of Christ”—while it’s a lovely idea in principle and in practice, it is not necessarily practical when you take into consideration the ages of our 12 grandchildren range from 10 months to nearly 17 years old. Of those 12, 10 (yes, TEN) of them are 8 years old and under. And that doesn’t figure in the 8month old great-grandson or the 10 grown* children and the applicable spouse/significant other. When I did the calculation, I discovered that (barring any unforeseen circumstances) our numbers by the end of July will be 32!!!!!! THIRTY TWO!!! Wow!!!! Holy Moly!!! OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! So, getting back on point, even without an economic crunch, that’sa lotta dough to be dishin’ out for gifts! So, I determined that with the creative talents that God has gifted ME with, there had to be a way to use them to gift at least the kids and grandkids….. I came up with a small token of a personalized gift for each family member, added a couple of things regarding the true meaning of the Christmas holy day and then set about baking a truckload of cakes, cookies and candies to give to each family unit.

Now we are up to the actual point of this post—PRESENTATION!!!! Baskets and pre-decorated boxes were either too small or too costly. I considered gift-wrapping ordinary cardboard boxes but didn’t relish the idea of collecting the right boxes. Soooooooo, duhn, duhn da duhhhhn….. I found these nice plain white gift bags at Michaels for $1.99 each

and bought some coordinating colored cellophane wrappings and with a little time, determination, scrapbooking supplies, my Cricut Expression and various cartridges, and a few other odds and ends I was able to put together these 11 gift bags. It was a little bit time-consuming, but just like the rest of the items we’re giving at Christmas this year, it’s a Labor of Love directly from my heart!

Whimsical Trees

Angels

Merry Christmas To All

Tree and Nutcracker

Snowflakes

Ornament Trio

12 Days of Christmas (Front)

12 Days of Christmas (Back)

Believe

Fireplace and tree

Polar Bear

Little Chapel in the Snow

Retro Work

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I haven’t really worked on anything worth posting for a while (except for scrapbooking my own wedding pictures which I think that I just finished… Of course I didn’t scrap them all but I’ve done a whole lot of them!!)

Anyway, I thought it would be a nice thing to offer y’all a Blast From The Past!!! I created 7 of these little autograph albums for the children that we had with us during our 2009 Disney World trip. The papers are probably American Crafts for the solid cardstock and the pattern papers are mostly Disney. I used a variety of Cricut (Disney) Cartridges including: Mickey and Friends, Happily Ever After, Dreams Come True and Winnie the Pooh and Friends. This project took many, many, many days to complete (as I stated above I made 7 of them) but they were so worth the effort when I saw how excited the kids (as well as many of the characters) were to use them.

These are some of my favorite Cricut cuts and projects!!!

ENJOY!

Possibly My Most Precious Wedding Quilt EVER!

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WOW!!! It’s been quite a while since my last post. It’s been a really busy time in my life. My second-born son was just married a week ago Saturday (on the 15th). Lots of time and creativity went into this event from all sides. It was a lovely, wonderful day! And yes, I did make them one of my special Wedding Quilts. It was amazing to me that I bought the materials on Tuesday afternoon and had the finished quilt folded in a box waiting to be wrapped on Thursday evening. And it just went together so easily. I guess this was meant to be. I was so busy with making the quilt, trying to get the food cooked for the rehearsal dinner and all the little last minute items taken care of that were my responsibility that I forgot to take pictures of it for my blog so here is the only picture that I have access to at the moment…(The sweet thing about this picture is that it was taken while my son and his lovely young bride were on their honeymoon. They took the quilt with them!! To me, that is just precious!!) And since this quilt was for such a special occassion, I thought I’d share a couple of the photos from the wedding itself…

I LOVE that they took this quilt on their honeymoon!

 

The Groom's Son (One of my many precious grandbabies!)

The Altar

The Guest Area and the aisle lined with bamboo poles with streamers tied to them.

 

The Reception Area

 

Guest Table

Head Table Left

 

Head Table Right

Bride's Bouquet

CAKE

Here Comes The Bride

The Ladies

The Guys

Mr. and Mrs.

 

New Wedding Quilt

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This is the latest of my “signature” Wedding Quilts. I made this one for the daughter of one of my dearest friends. She was married last month to a brand new Marine in a wedding that had to take place 10 days earlier than originally scheduled because the groom had to report to his next training station before the wedding (just a little bit of a scheduling error) so they ended up having to throw together their wedding in 24 HOURS!! But though I wasn’t able to make the wedding because of the last minute nature of it the pictures that I’ve seen so far show that it was still a very sweet and romantic wedding. It was the first lesson in what I am absolutely sure will be followed by many more in Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!! One of many Marine Corps mottos…. Anyway, now that she has finally received this gift, I can post it!

The Card

Paper Wedding Cake

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Every time I finish a new project that I’m particularly happy with I feel like jumping up and down and saying “Look What I Can Do!! Look What I Can Do!!” Especially when the project turns out as adorable as this one!! I made this precious paper wedding cake to use as a decoration for my son’s and future daughter-in-law’s upcoming Rehearsal Dinner. The wedding is Oct 15 and it’s an Autumn in Paris theme with the golds, reds, oranges, and browns of autumn. I just love this cake and everything about it is made from paper except the toothpicks that hold up the monogram, the glitter (obviously) on the monogram, and the few little half-marbles in the centers of some of the flowers. It was really very easy to make (though it WAS a little time-consuming) using the CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. (I “scrap-lifted” the idea from a fellow consultant, Lisa Stenz’s, blog video) Using the cut for the Pillow Box in various sizes, and 2 of the 3-D flowers in graduating sizes (5″ down to 2″) and one of the borders in varying heights and the C was also cut out from the same cartridge.  I am so tickled with this and my new (almost) daughter liked it too!

Front

Front Right

Back Left

Back

Back Right

Front Left

Overhead

Monogram

More Cool Stuff Made With Art Philosphy Cartridge

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After having spent quite a few days not being able to play at my scrap desk, I finally had some time yesterday to play with my Art Philosophy Cartridge. (Available exclusively through Close To My Heart). I’ve been dying to try out the 3-D cuts to see what they were and that’s what I was able to do yesterday. I set the Cricut height at 5″ and let it default to the correct width. At 5″ some of the items ended being very tiny when folded up. But they are so cute!!

ABC Baby Scrapbook

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Twelve days to come up with an idea for a baby shower for a sweet young couple at the church…. Hmmmm….. What to do… I did a little online research for inspirational assistance and thought I might like to make one of my baby quilts in either Thomas the Train or Dr. Seuss. But, could I pull it together in only twelve days?  I didn’t really think so.

So, I kept looking and decided to look up a few Alphabet/ABC Baby scrapbooks. I found a list that I liked and then decided to use four of the layouts in the CTMH Magic How-To Program book.  I was unable to use CTMH papers because I didn’t have the time to order and then wait for delivery. (Remember that I only had 12 days to put this together!) So off to the store to try to find coordinating colors. The silly thing about it all is that I over-estimated the amount of papers I was going to need so I ended up with enough paper to do two whole books worth of layouts.  Darn!! what terrible luck, huh?

Well, here’s the book I ended up with–it’s 26 double page layouts with an additional 12 single pages to use to track baby’s monthly growth for his first 12 months.  Hope you like it… (I just noticed that I didn’t seem to get a picture of the spread for the letter “I”…. It did make it into the book however! Thank goodness!)

 

My Own “Wounded Warrior Project”

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     I totally love and support what the Wounded Warrior Project does for our service men and women who are coming home from the war with serious injuries.  I often wish that I could do even more to support their work.

So when the young son of some friends of our family was wounded in Afghanistan by an IED (I think), I felt an immediate need to do SOMETHING!! I have been given the gift of hospitality and giving and God has also blessed me with a bit of creativity.  I have found that there is something so utterly rewarding in giving to others–and I totally throw my heart and soul into the things I create. I spend the time thinking about the recipient and praying for the circumstance that he or she is in. I think it blesses ME almost as much as the person that will receive a card or letter or a gift.

So back to our young Marine. God took him to just short of giving the ULTIMATE sacrifice but left him with just one arm with which to caress and hug his precious little daughter. The circumstances that he finds himself in right now could potentially lead anyone into the depths of despair and depression, but he has been so amazingly strong and upbeat! His faith is strong. However, I wanted to give him something that would remind him that there is always HOPE, even in the darkest of moments…

And this is what I came up with.  I have made a couple of these over the last year or two and I have named them Hope Quilts. This one was delivered to our Marine yesterday while he was home from rehab on a weekend visit.   The patterns of the fabric change according to the recipient, but the constant thing is that it contains Bible verses relating to hope and healing. My hope is that the person who receives one of these quilts will feel wrapped in the arms of a loving and comforting Savior.

Hope Quilt (Patriotic)

Hope Quilt (close-up)

Close-Up of one of the verse panels

Another one of the verses

Below is another version that I made a little while back for one of the young girls at our church who was having some health problems.  I didn’t know what her favorite color was so I just chose the same pattern in all the colors that the fabric store had. I thought that it was rather cheerful this way!!

Hope Quilt (Hunter)

Close-up Hope Quilt (Hunter)

I love doing these quilts! Not for the praise or gratitude that I receive; but knowing that it might have a chance to make the recipient happy for a moment during a time of potential hopelessness or despair.  And because it can serve as a reminder that God is where hope is found!