Monday, August 18, 2014

Mid Month Reminder - "Possibilities" {Path of Positivity Challenge #17}

Note: for Edith updates, please click here.

Greetings to everyone, and to new followers Lisa, Hippieaud, Lady E and America. Thank you for dropping by. 


This month I am "guest designing" for the Path of Positivity Challenge which lasts from August 4 until August 31, when voting takes place. 

The sponsors and prizes for this challenge are:
  • Two images (or three if you use a TSB image on your creation) from The Stamping Boutique, our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also  be:
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

Today's card share uses the darling TWIGS THE SNOWMAN digital image from Creative Bug Designs:

Possibilities

"Twigs" reminds me that there are seasons in our lives -- each one bringing precious possibilities.


There are seasons of Joy, Family Gatherings, Friendly Get Togethers, Good Times...

But there are also seasons of hard work, self-discipline, poor health, sadness, and even tragedy.

I've learned that the Best of Times and the Worst of Times are equally ripe with Possibilities, depending how we look at the circumstances. I'm going to share one of my Worst of Times with you. This actually happened 20 years ago, and sharing it will be embarrassing, because I don't want anyone to think badly of me. (Do you ever fear that, too?)

My friends had always told me that I'm a very sweet, tenderly kind-hearted person. Probably I was, but the events that led to the New Possibilities, made me realize that something was amiss.

Through a series of "unrelated and unpleasant circumstances", I found myself open to becoming more  aware of the "hidden" blessings we all take for granted. As I reevaluated "myself" and the values of every relationship and situation, what I might or might not do to improve upon them, and so forth, I realized that I could no longer try to be available for everyone all the time. I recognized that I was no longer strong enough (emotionally or physically) to "be there" for everyone else in the way they seemed to want.

The possibility occurred to me that perhaps I was never intended to "be there" for everyone else. We all must travel our own journey, and learn what we can in this dear life. Finding true Happiness and learning to discover Peace is something we must do for ourselves - we simply cannot "give it" to others.

In the journey, I embraced Possibilities that previously I had not considered. My mother died. My health failed. My job became more demanding. Family members and friends did not like the emerging "new me" because I was no longer being the person they thought I should be. 

But my husband responded during the ensuing year of grappling with Possibilities, and our love and respect for one another deepened. Eventually we both changed in good ways, as a result of my embracing the Possibilities. The new Possibilities caused extended family members and friends to avoid me, because I would no longer give what they demanded. I had to quit my job due to failing health. But gradually, without even trying, new friends unexpectedly came into my life. These were friends who liked me for "me", and not for all the things I did for them.

Although I lost my job, my health, my friends, and my extended family, by embracing Gratitude for what remained, New Possibilities flooded my life with a richness beyond what I ever could have hoped for. I am different. I found myself in the process. I learned that sometimes, when certain situations need to change, that it requires we change, too.

It involved a lot of risk-taking, prayer, sacrifice, and over-coming many fears. But now I am true -- all because I was willing to see what the Possibilities were during a catastrophic season.


My card "TWIGS THE SNOWMAN" reminds me of this period in my life. He was built by other hands, and fashioned into an appearance of what others wanted him to be. He found a way to be content in his surroundings, even when he was all alone. He found himself. Like Frosty The Snowman, a song grew in Twig's heart, and even when his snowy self melted away, he found a way to prove that he would rise again, as a new snowman, on another day.


I hope it was ok to share this shrink-wrapped version of my Journey for Possibilities without going into the specifics, and that it will encourage someone else who might be facing problems in some areas of their life.

My wish for all of us:
  • To find gratitude for seemingly small things during our hardships.
  • To be grateful for being our true selves, despite how others might possibly perceive us, or make us feel.
  • To be humble, yet proud, for looking at previously unlooked-for possibilities during the unpleasant events in our lives (or even during Joyous events!).
  • To be patient as others journey similarly, knowing we cannot understand what people may be experiencing as they interact with us.


TWIGS THE SNOWMAN is colored with copic markers.
This is a 6.25" x 6.25" card (approx 16cm)

The largest scallop on top is coated with Sparkle N Sprinkle: Diamond Dust Glitter, Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter, By The Lake Embossing Powder, and some white mica flakes.

The large white circular matt is covered with Diamond Dust Glitter.



The sentiments are computer generated. I covered up a huge ink blob next to the word "of" with that white snowflake - not the best alternative, but that's what was on hand (smile).

The "song" and frame on the card base are coated first with Diamond Dust Glitter and then with Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter to fill in the spaces from the larger glitter. The snowflakes are covered with the same combination.


TWIGS THE SNOWMAN digital image was REALLY fun to use, especially putting the hat and twig arm into the sentiment.

Products Used:

Creative Bug Designs (scroll down to see "Twigs the Snowman"
Computer Generated Sentiment
Copic Markers, Pool Dye Base Ink, VersaMarker
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Stampin' Up! and Bazzill blues
Adhesives: SNS Brushable Glue, Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky, Dimensionals Spellbinders: Grand Stately Circles LF-019, Grand Scallop Circles LF-249
Punches: Martha Stewart Snowflake Trim, Himalayan Snowflake, SU Oval and Scallop Oval
MISC: Ribbon, cardinal button, white mica flakes
Sparkle N Sprinkle: Diamond Dust Glitter, Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter, By The Lake Embossing Powder

Fun Challenges I'm playing in:
  1. Craft-dee BowZ - August "Anything Goes" 8/30 (bow made with CDB tool)
  2. Christmas Cards All Year Long - August - "Sparkles" - (glitter, more glitter, and mica flakes) 8/30
  3. Sparkles Christmas Challenge - #43 "Snowflakes" - embellies are "doubled" snowflake punches and a brad. 8/30
  4. Winter Wonderland Challenge - August - "Anything Goes Christmas" 8/30
  5. Sweet Stampin' Challenge - August - ?Anything Christmas" 8/30
  6. A Gem of a Challenge - #126 Stitching (I used a sewing machine around the top image panel) 8/28
  7. 613 Avenue Creation Challenge - #85 Anything Goes - 8/25
  8. Christmas Card Challenges - #38 Embossing 8/25 (By The Lake Embossing Powder around the outside scallop edge of the top of my card. It is mixed with glitter and mica flakes as well. I hand blended these three items to adhere with the wet EP.
  9. Sentimental Sundays Challenge - #220 Monochromatic Theme - blue tones 8/25
  10. The Squirrel and the Fox Challenge - #75 Anything Goes 8/21
Thank you for dropping by!
always stamping hugs for you,

Monday, August 04, 2014

Possibilities {Path of Positivity Challenge #17}

Note: for Edith updates, please click here.

Greetings to my SWEET followers, and to Sue (Graceful Greyhounds) and Lynn (my newest google followers!) Thank you for dropping by. 
This month I am "guest designing" for the Path of Positivity Challenge which lasts from August 4 until August 31, when voting will take place. 

The POSSIBILITIES theme is Perfect Timing for me! These past 2 months I have made several lifestyle changes and some difficult decisions to allow new possibilities into my life.

The sponsors and prizes for this challenge are:
  • Two images (or three if you use a TSB image on your creation) from The Stamping Boutique, our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also  be:
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.


Today I have two card shares using the same image:


This month's PoP sponsor is The Stamping Boutique. They designed this wonderful "Escape the Tower" image (from their Enchantment Line) to remind us that --
we all need to escape the towers of our existence from time to time
* and *
to renew our appreciation of what is right in our own backyards. 
The past two months I've been doing just that, 
and falling in love all over again with the beauty of my "little existence".


Possibilities

What are they? They all mean something different to each of us, and depending on our outlook, we might view them as cumbersome. I try to view Possibilities (and/or challenges) as something which might make me a better individual.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming - so many opportunities and possibilities - which one is the right one?

At the end of a recent Twilight Zone program a man responded to his accusing and angry son, "I don't have the words, but it doesn't mean I don't have the feelings".

Possibilities - when it comes to relationships, we sometimes take things too personally and become defensive or harbor unhealthy feelings. But the truth is - the Real Possibility is - that the person we are most concerned about is dealing with some harsh issues in their own way. Of course, the same is true for ourselves. We can only do our best, and not allow old and negative feelings, or reinforced past behavior patterns, to dictate what we should or should not do.

The "Possibility" exists that other people are having a bad day, or perhaps they don't know how to properly communicate, or maybe they only know how to lash out, rather than think before they speak. Perhaps my "hurt feelings" are nothing more than the result of another person's not being able to interact and behave in a healthy manner. THESE POSSIBILITIES open new doors, and allow us to make choices on how to go forward.

Like the man from the Twilight Zone quote above... the son felt that his father did not love him, did not approve of him, did not care about him, because the father never spoke his feelings aloud. However, the father was always there for his son, helping to pick up pieces, helping his son make good choices... but the son took the lack of verbally-skilled communications to mean that his father did not care, and did not love him. Hence the father's response:  "I don't have the words, but it doesn't mean I don't have the feelings".

So my wish for all of us is:
  • to embrace the Possibilities in our lives
  • try always to do our best in Recognizing the Possibilities
  • to realize that others may or may not encourage us in our adventure. 
  • to journey in Life, seeing all the Possibilities we can
  • to recognize that we are not "locked in a tower" (as my cards show). Those Towers are largely of our own making.
Do you have any Towers you can Escape in order to better see The Wondrous Possibilities in your Life?

Here my easel card is closed (The fairy loves the light coming from the window of the tower as well as the moon!)

Now the card is open, to view just the sentiment. 
To see my tutorial for how to use parts of an artist's image (digital masking) to create a cohesively themed card, please click here.


The dolphins are a retired Spellbinders die, (popped up) and covered with SNS embossing powder.
The clouds and moon were printed a second time, cut out, and popped up to create the "stop" for the easel. The frolicking dolphins are "flipped" in the bottom panel to create visual interest (notice the moon also faces a different direction). To see how to use the artist's images to create a theme, please visit my tutorial here.
(see? possibilities even reveal themselves in our card art) (giggle) 


A Close Up:


 Fully Opened:


Same image, but colored with more green tones in the ocean and layered on an apricot colored background:


The sand-textured tower is created with Mudd Puddles (it's the first time I used this product and it really is VERY user friendly). The "netting ribbon" was applied by hand stitching through the yellow layer. Shells are adhered with 3D Crystal Lacquer. (I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly this dried in our oh-so-humid environment!)

Size A8 card with identical sentiment:


Products:

  • The Stamping Boutique "Escape the Tower" image (from their Enchantment Line)
  • Computer-generated sentiment
  • Embossing Folder (Cuttlebug 5x7)
  • Spellbinders: Grand Decorative Labels One LF-018, Scalloped Labels One S4-375, Grand Labels One LF-161, Labels One S4-161, Labels Twenty-Five S5-077, Dolphin (retired)
  • Copic Markers
  • Brilliance Inks
  • Adirondack Inks
  • SNS Silver Lighting EP, SNS Mediterranean Star EP
  • Ribbon(fiber?), Shells,
  • Adhesives: Mudd Puddles, 3D Crystal Lacquer, Aileen's Quick Dry, Dimensionals, Stitching

Delightful Challenges I am playing in:

  1. Scribbles Designs Challenges - #19  Sea-Sand-Surf (both cards are sea related) 8/20
  2. Sister Act Card Challenges - #68 Anything Goes 8/6
  3. Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge - #119   Words (use words as part of your card front) 8/7+
  4. Fairy Tale Challenges - #97 Summer-Beach-Sea 8/7? 14?
  5. Creative Corner - #Aug 1 - Something Summer (Beachy theme) 8/7
  6. Craft for the Craic - #7 A Craft Item I Have Never Used Before (Mudd Puddles, the fibrous ribbon which is stitched in place, and 3D Crystal Lacquer) 9/1
  7. A Gem Of A Challenge - #125 Embossing (Yellow card has Mediterranean Star EP, and has yellow dry embossing with two different folders - one on the large panel, and another on the smaller layer behind the image)(Easel card has wet embossed dolphins with Silver Lightning EP). 8/14
  8. Crafting at the Weekend - #4 Anything Goes 8/30
  9. Inkspirational Challenges - #62 Use Markers or Pencils (Copic Markers used in all images on  both cards, and around both sentiments) 8/14
  10. Artistic Inspirations Challenges - #103 Anything Goes 8/10

Thanks for stopping by today!
hugs,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Besties With Edith {Scrapbook Stamp Society}

Hello, Friends! 
And a very special welcome to new google followers: DarnellBonnie, GEM23g, and Petra Swart.



Today's My Besties card is dedicated to Edith, and uses my newest Flower Tutorial.


(Who is Edith? Click here to discover how you can brighten someone's day).
Edith is recovering from recent brain surgery, undergoing physical therapy, and awaiting radiation and chemo treatments.

Today is also my final "official" card as part of Sherri Baldy's Scrapbook Stamp Society's design team.

Today's card share uses Sherry Baldy's darling "Wendy Puppy Love" image, available here.


She is colored with Copic Markers, sitting in a garden of glitter and Prima Flowers (new Flower Tutorial). There is also lace attached all the way around the scalloped oval (smile).


inside:



This month, the theme at Path of Positivity Challenge is all about Dreams.

Lots of "things" flavor our dreams.

Certain life events, education, upbringing, health, positive (and/or unsavory) relationships, and DESIRE are some of the things which affect our dreams.

Having dreams can keep us motivated to constantly seek the Good in Life, even if our Dreams are not fully realized. It can be easy to blame others for our unfulfilled Dreams, or to blame certain life experiences.

But I have learned that Dreams are flexible. They are those creative moments in our lives that cause us to see possibilities. We can make goals to help us on our Journey in meeting our Dreams face-to-face. The important thing is to keep moving and to allow our Direction (and Dreams) to change as challenges and opportunities present themselves.

Instead of viewing stumbling blocks as obstacles, those "blocks" may actually be BUILDING blocks to bring us to a different place, fulfilling an "UNKNOWN DREAM" which has always resided in our hearts.

For me, I would not have discovered the wide world of Beauty found in our Internet Community, had I not become critically ill, and home-bound. I've altered my dreams, and pressed forward, knowing that GENUINE BEAUTY is always beckoning me forward, to the most Beautiful of Dreams. Thanks for being part of my Pursuit.

There is nothing so Dreamy as following the Path, and creatively embellishing it with what is in our hearts.


Such sweetness! 


Thanks for stopping by today. 
Don't forget to take a peek at my newest Flower Tutorial.


Products Used:

Sherry Baldy's Wendy Puppy Love digital Image
Sparkle N Sprinkle Glitters: Crystal Ice, Lator Gator Microfine, Mountain Mint Microfine, Chunky Diamond Dust.
Sparkle N Sprinkle Brushable Glue
Copic Markers
Lace, Buttons
Spellbinders: Detailed Scallops 5x7 S6-004, Grand Rectangles Nestabilities, Grand Scallop Ovals Nestabilities
Martha Stewart: Flourished Lace PAP, Butterfly punch
Cheery Lynn B147 Olive Branches
Papers: Neenah Solar White, Georgia Pacific White, Stampin Up Blue, SU Aqua, DPs from stash.
Old, Old Prima Flowers (from Terry)

Fun Challenges Submitted to:


  1. The Cutie Pie Challenge - #73 Use a Cute Digi (Darling little girl with puppy!) 7/19
  2. Path of Positivity - #16 Dreams - (please see my words toward the bottom of my post) 8/7
  3. My Besties Friendship - #3 Use a My Besties (freebie offered) 8/3
  4. My Besties German Challenges - #5 Anything Goes 8/15





stamping hugs,

Easy Flower Tutorial #2 (Prima, single layer flowers)

Hi, Everyone! As promised, here is the 2nd in a series of how to use those single layer "Prima" flowers we all have in our stash.



To see larger photos, please click on the photos to enlarge.

My first tutorial uses smaller flowers here.

WARNING: the glue DOES get all over your fingers and under your finger nails, but just wash it off afterwards.

These flowers (courtesy of Terry) are about 1.5" (3.75cm).

This is very basic and easy - no inking, glittering, etc to make them look even prettier!
The buttons don't even have threads or twine tied through them.

There are 3 flower types being shown all from one layer flowers.

SIMPLE DOUBLE LAYER FLOWERS
(WITH OR WITHOUT CRUMPLED PETALS)

Items needed:

Larger prima flowers
Buttons
Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Put a drop of glue in the center of the flowers for the buttons. (or sew through holes if you'd like the thread to show).


Place buttons on glue droplets.


Place another flower layer UPSIDE DOWN and add a drop of glue.


Place button layer on top. Allow to dry.
Use as is, or crumple the petals to your taste.


Now you have lots of dimension without any manipulating, and it probably will go through the mail if a sheet of text weight paper is placed on top of your card before putting it in your envelope.


DIMENSIONAL FLOWERS USING THREE PRIMA FLOWERS

Items needed:

Larger prima flowers
Buttons
Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Put a drop of glue in the center of the flowers for the buttons. (or sew through holes if you'd like the thread to show).


Place buttons on glue droplets.


Fold Flower in Half.


Fold in half again. 


Open the 2nd half and round it around a pencil, or just manipulate it with your fingers so that it will fit around half of your button on the original layer.

Apply glue to folded half (sorry for the gloppy drop there, it takes a while for my hands to not shake, while I photograph with one hand and hold with the 2nd hand LOL)


Attach it around half of the button. The glue will dry clear. Because the flower is folded in half, the petals actually face away from each other, creating more dimension.


Open the 2nd petal, leaving it only folded in half. Apply glue to folded edge and apply to other side of button. "Crunch" the two half together until you are happy with the shape.


Here is "The Before", with a single layer, and "The After" with 2 halves glued around the button.




DIMENSIONAL FLOWER BUDS USING ONE FOLDED PRIMA FLOWER

Items needed:

Larger prima flowers
Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Fold a single flower in half, and in half again (making it 1/4 fold).


Insert droplet of glue (which will dry clear).
Hold the bud while the glue sets a little (about 60 seconds).
You can shape the bud at the same time.
If making for scrapbooking and cards, try to keep one side fairly flat for adhering to your project.



Top left: plain prima flowers
Next: several single flower buds.
Front Right: 3 double flower buds. (two flat, front one is crumpled)
Back Right: two triple flower creations for more dimension.


SAMPLE CARD: using all three styles.
The double layers were crimped to look like buds.


hope you enjoyed my easy-peasy tutorial - it was even simpler than the first!
hugs,
de


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