Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bible Journaling

I am sure so many of you out there have already discovered the bible journaling craze.  It has been going on now for a couple of years now, with dedicated bibles and supplies.  Through my journey, I have discovered that many people have been writing in their Bibles for years.  People mark their favorite passages and those things that have more meaning to them.  

So what is this newest bible journaling craze all about?   Bible journaling can be a new and exciting way to engage with Scripture. It can also transform the way you spend time in the Word and learning about it and its meaning.  It all begins within the margins of the Bible which there are now specific bibles made to do that with lined margin areas and predone artwork to color and enhance.  However that does not stop you from using a bible that does not have all of those extras added in.  With Bible journaling, you will find a creative and fresh approach to the age-old discipline of Bible reading and study. With pen in hand, you can visually capture Scripture, meditate on God's Word and memorize the text. Some people choose to journal as an expression of private devotion, others journal as an act of worship, and there are even some who consider it a creative outlet that can be shared. No matter what your purpose for Bible journaling, the beauty of the movement is this: it doesn’t require a skilled artist. All that matters is that you’re willing to experience God and His Word in a creative way.

I wish I could draw like my children can, however the crafter in me knows there are other creative ways and tools to accomplish the same thing an artist can do.   I purchased a creative Bible, for just that reason.  There was already a ton of predone art throughout my new Bible and lots of places to jot down notes and thoughts.  I have also rediscovered rub-ons which I had not used in some time on my scrapbook pages.  They work great because they are both colorful and flat.  I have also discovered that the micron pens work great with no page bleed through.  I prefer .03 or .01 the best.  I have also tried out using my stamps, although I did not like the results of the black ink I used because there was too much bleed through for my liking.  I recently purchased a gray ink pad and I will try that out and I hope to get better results with my stamping and coloring.  Let me share a little bit of my work with you!

This is just coloring something that was already predone in my Bible:



This is some coloring with some writing and stamping thrown in:



This is using rub-ons, stickers, and a tad of writing:


Although this has become another creative outlet for me, this has also been a learning experience as well.  I have never been an overly religious person and I am not becoming one now.  It is more a curiosity to me, to learn things I probably should have learned long ago in Sunday School.  I was baptized after all, however I think that was done more because it was the "right thing to do" and not done because it is what you do when you practice a religion. I am enjoying this very much and I am sure not trying to be perfect and I am also sure my lack of knowledge of God and the Bible show.  However all of that is fine with me and I hope if I don't get through my bible that my children and/or their children will and enjoy what I started.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer & My Mother's Death & The Bible


Whew!  It has been a long time since I have posted to my blog!  I think stage IV breast cancer REALLY got in the way.   Then my mother suddenly passed away on May 30th, and that started an additional layer of problems and issues.  My life has always been a bit of a struggle and a challenge.  Upon my mother's death, I learned so much about who I am, why I am, and why I am who I am.  I have gone from being so frustrated being raised by an abusive mother, to feeling sorry for her and who she was and who she became.  I feel blessed that I am a certain type of personality that is so forgiving and so understanding, that I never truly became my mother's daughter.  I can't imagine how she lived her whole life with so much hate, loathing, manipulating, and lies.  Maybe I am who I am because she was who she was.  I really don't know.  I think one of the saddest days I had going through her home, was her bible.  It was a graveyard for a relationship that she had from the age of 14-16 years old.  When she was 16, he was 18 and died tragically in a drunk driving accident in 1958.  My mother use to tell me and others, that her life would be so different if that young man had lived and married her.  My mother's whole life was based on a teenage crush and first love.  Because she lived her whole life believing that, I knew she meant she never would have had me or my brother, she never would have married my father, she may have regretted marrying my step father, and she regretted being with her alcoholic boyfriend for so many years.  Just follow the money train and that is where my mom was.  She did everything for the almighty dollar. I never understood that because that way of life is so distasteful to me.  The saddest part was, reading all these letters from my mother's teenage crush to her.  He would write parts of his letters to her in Russian and she would write parts of her letters to him in French.  I suppose if it all did not end so tragically, it would be cute that they were trying to "hide" parts of their young teenage love.  It quickly became apparent to me that if he already wasn't, he was on his way to being a full blown alcoholic.  Half of those letters talked about drinking, hangovers, and plans to go drinking.  So yes, my mom's life would have been different if Tommy had lived.  She would have married an alcoholic, my brother and I would have never been born, and she would have become an abused woman instead of an abuser.  I am sure she would have had babies, thinking that would have made her marriage and life better.  They would have gone on to become abused children and probably alcoholics themselves, or not, who knows.  I know they would have walked similar paths that my brother and I walked, they just would have been different people than us.  The same reasons would have existed though, maybe just flip flopped a bit. 

So back to my mom's bible, it really made me sad to see it and I kept it.  I kept it because I have stage IV metastatic breast cancer and to know my children will some day have to go through my things, it reminded me of what I want my children to remember about me.  The last thing I want them to find is a sad bible.  My mom always "wanted" us to be religious, however she never took the time out of her busy schedule to make that happen.  We where the family that showed up on Easter and Christmas only.  I think they call them "chreasters".  I am sure my mom didn't know that because she always thought she did the right thing.  I want my children (and grand children) to be sad when I pass away, however I want them to live in the joy of my life and my laughter.  I want them to know how much I love them, and how I loved life and living.  I did a lot of things "wrong" in my life, however I have zero regrets about who I am and how I live. And lastly, I want them to find my "happy" bible.

I bought I creative journaling bible last month to explore God.  I think the crafter in me loved the idea.  The Christian in me, loves it too because I am learning so much about Him.  The human being I am, is understanding so much about God and the way He works.  Getting to know my bible has given me a greater peace regarding my diagnosis.  I am striving to live every day the best way I can and I am at peace that one day the cancer will possibly end my life.  Until that happens, cancer does not control me nor does it own me.  Every day, I do at least one thing that makes me laugh and/or brings me joy.  Some days are harder because the side effects do get to me, however I wake up every morning and smile, just because I woke up.  

I made my own tabs for my bible because I am a crafter.  It was a lot of work because I used the WRMK tab punch to punch out my book titles and because I bought a creative bible, the WRMK tab stickers cover some of the art inside my bible.  So I spent a ton of time coloring the spots where the stickers and tabs covered.  And although it was a lot of work, it was also a lot of fun too.  It gave me the opportunity to learn where all 66 books in the bible are.  Here is a photo of my tabs and coloring:


I am the happiest and feel the most peaceful, I ever had in my whole life right now.  I think a lot of things have happened to collide and make that happen.  I am not sure which of these things made all of that happen, or if it was a little of it all.  For me, it does not matter.  All I know is that I am happy and I am going to spend as much time with my family and friends as I possibly can and I will love every stinking minute of it!

Friday, December 30, 2016

This Is My True Face Of Cancer................................





Commercials show us what we should think cancer looks like.  We see facilities, treatment centers, sick children, people with no hair, people talking about drug therapies.  I have had cancer twice now and those faces aren’t my face.  I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mother in law, a coworker, a neighbor.  You see me in the grocery store, the bank, the department store, the pet store.  You drive the streets and highways near and around me.  You may have sat next to me in an airplane and started a conversation with me or totally ignored me.  You may have stopped for me while I was in a crosswalk, or I for you.  I am a person.  I have all my hair.  When you see me, I look fine on the outside.  It is my insides that have rebelled against me and are trying to cut my life short.  I was told I was cured the first time when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and I believed I was cured.  I beat breast cancer and I did not look back.  I was proud, I was strong, I moved forward with my life.  

Then one day everything changed in a blink of an eye, although if you are waiting on test results during the holidays like I was, it was forever and then not forever.  I went from walking three miles 2-3 times per week this summer, to not even being able to walk up my own stairs at home without being out of breath.  I called 911 because something was not right in my body, however I was not sure what.  I was dizzy, out of breath, nauseous, coughing, and gagging.  I felt silly calling 911 because I really had a rough couple of weeks beforehand and I really thought I was having some type of mini melt down.  I had broken my foot, put our beloved pooch Neil to sleep, and rushed Oliver the cat, to the vets.  However my body was speaking to me and the voices only got louder.  

I thought they would send me to a psycologist and then send me home because I was being just foolish.  In a blink of an eye everything changed though.  They ended up finding nodules in my lungs and my left lung was full of fluid (1.2 liters to be exact).  All of the sudden now I was being admitted to the hospital and not because I was crazy, something was very terribly wrong.  The ER lung doctor came in while I was waiting for my room and apologetically informed me I had lung cancer.  What?!?  Wait!  I had no biopsies what in the world was she talking about?!?  Even questioning her, she was insistent that I had lung cancer.  Oh boy, now I am in a total tail spin.  In a blink of an eye, it all happened so fast.

I’m in my room now which will be my residence for the following three days.  The next morning the doctor on duty paid me a visit.  I asked her at once about my lung cancer.  She told me they didn’t know if I had cancer or not.  I told her the ER doctor was insistent that I did have lung cancer.  As she squirmed in the chair in front of my bed, she insisted they were unsure of what was going on with me and that I needed the fluid drained from my lung and biopsied to determine what was going on.  Whew!  I didn’t have lung cancer after all!  I just had an idiot doctor that scared the crap out of me for no good reason at all.  

Next in comes one of the oncologists from my former oncologist’s practice.  He informed me that he let my oncologist know I was in the hospital and he wanted to do a breast exam on me.  What?!?  This should have been my first clue that all the sane doctors upstairs suspected my breast cancer had returned and the downstairs doctors thought I was crazy with lung cancer.  However in this instant, I felt like a breast exam was fine because I was fine and I had no lumps or bumps, those days were well behind me and everything checked out just fine.  I never gave it a second thought.  He did reassure me that should it turn out that I had cancer, they had me covered and had a treatment plan all ready for me if need be.  That was very reassuring, however more and more I was thinking I was going to be okay.  Then the lung doctor came in to see me.  He could hear the fluid in my lungs and he told me I would feel so much better once they got it out.  That sounded great to me.  I was ready.  However all of this started on a Friday and unless they had a lung emergency over the weekend, I would have to wait until Monday to have this procedure.  I am not one to wish ill (especially that someone else can’t breathe) so I could move things along, so I just sat in my hospital room waiting and thinking I probably didn’t have cancer after all.  I will pray just the same, that I don’t.  

I waited nine days for those results.  I was tired and anxious, however I was ready to get on with it all.  In the end it turns out I do have breast cancer again.  It has metastasized to my lungs.  And after one of those fun PET/CT scans, it was revealed I also have breast cancer on my bones too.  Yes, in a blink of an eye things do change.  I thought… I have had breast cancer before, and I beat it!  I can do it again!  I will do it again!  Then I go in for my meeting with the oncologist to discuss my treatment.  And in a blink of an eye I went from rah, rah go team!  To hearing my doctor say, my cancer is not curable.  Huh?!?  How can that be?  I guess instead of telling you that you have terminal cancer, they now tell you that you are not curable.  There is a lot of research being done each and every day for all types of cancer, so there is hope that one day I can be cured.  I just need to get through treatments and hope they can stabilize my cancer and also stay alive long enough to be able to benefit from a cure.  

I am going fight……………….. after all I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mother in law, a coworker, a neighbor and these people are all depending on me to fight like hell.  However most of all, I am depending on me to fight and fight hard.  I will get my affairs in order, but cancer don’t mistake that for giving up.  I am a fighter and I am a survivor and cancer can’t take that away from me.  Holy cow, in a blink of an eye everything changed and now I am fighting for my life.  I won the first battle with cancer, however apparently cancer has decided to wage a full blown out war on me.  Bring it, because I am not going down without a fight!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving Welcome Table

I always look forward to Fall and the holiday season because it is a prime crafting time for me.  I love making cards to send out to family and friends.  I also love to come up with other crafty things as they pop into my head.  So although my scrapbooking kind of goes by the way side, it's all good because I am still crafting!  The biggest challenge I find for holiday crafting is getting it done because it really is a busy time of the year.  What I do is start early and what is early?  I am already making Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards in July!  Those are now pretty much done so I am working on my decor projects.  

Every Thanksgiving I set up a card table as the kids table.  What I love to do is set it up as a decor piece until our actual meal so that my guests get a little "eye candy" while they are coming in and out of the kitchen area.  Everyone also knows this is where I put some type of kids craft project as well.  Everyone is excited to see what the kids are going to do because it is usually something enjoyable and frankly I have some adults that like to get in on the fun too so I usually make extra for my "big kids".  I like to do a "dry run" of what it will look like so that if I need to make any adjustments or add/subtract something from my design I will know before the big day and I can easily get it done now instead of later.   Here is what the table looks like all set up:


I just love how my "WELCOME" sign turned out!  Deflecto's 3" X 4" Mini Frames were so perfect for this.  They also have a 1.5" X 2" Mini Frame as well if you are looking for something smaller.  They both come in a package of ten.  I cut the 3" X 4" rectangles and the word "WELCOME" on my Cricut Explore.  I grabbed some of my leaf punches and used some Fall colored paper and punched a bunch of leaves out to jazz up my lettering.  I then glued everything together and inserted my message in my Deflecto 3" X 4" Mini Frames.  Here is a close up:

                                        

I have a kid's activity every year.  We round the children up approx 30 minutes before dinner while myself and my helpers are letting the turkey rest, whipping potatoes, making gravy, baking rolls, heating veggies, etc....and getting everything on the table and pouring the wine and water.  So while this is all going on, we can get the kids seated and they are in place when we are ready to say grace and serve dinner.  An activity or project is the perfect way to get them all settled in and for the picky eaters, they can remain seated and continue their activity.  Here is a close up of this year's activity:

                            

I made Thanksgiving Coloring Card Favors.  Although Elmo is the star of this project, the bigger star is Deflecto's Angled Sign Holder.  They come in a set of ten. Deflecto's Angled Sign Holder allows me to display my coloring card favors proudly, they become part of the decor, and they each wish everyone a "Happy Thanksgiving".  Here is a closer look:


Now everything will go in a box and put away until the day before Thanksgiving.  As you can see I already have a table cloth, center piece, candles, bowl for fruit, sign, and activity already to go.  Now on to Christmas!

If you’re interested in purchasing the items used in this project and more, then tune in on November 14th to Create and Craft for their first ever feature of Deflecto’s new Event Kit. The perfect kit for your next party, get yours before they’re gone! Click HERE find where to watch!

 The Create and Craft Event Kit:



I hope you enjoyed my project!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Coffee & Tea With Deflecto

If you are like me, you have very little counter space so any new appliance or gadget that gets prime real estate on your counter is an item that you use or need all of the time.  I have one of those pod coffee makers and love it, however I have no room on my counter for any of the racks that are currently on the market.  The carousel type rack takes up too much of a footprint and the ones that you can set the coffee brewer on top of, don't work for us because our cupboards are too low.  So when I first discovered Deflecto's Stackable Caddy Organizer, not only did I want to purchase them for my crafting items, I had a new idea!  I now store all those coffee pods in a Stackable Caddy Organizer!  And because you get a large, medium, and small container in each caddy I expanded my idea and put my pods in the large container, tea bags in the medium container, and sugar packets in the small container.  The best part is the entire caddy and contents go in a cabinet and don't take up any counter space.  When hubby and I are up and drinking our morning coffee or tea, we pull the caddy out, open all the lids, and set it on our stove.  When we are done, we close the lids and put it away no fuss, no muss.  I would have actually labeled all of my containers using vinyl and my cricut, however I sometimes use this same container to entertain my fellow crafting friends, and I sometimes swap out the items in the individual containers for something like chocolates and tea cookies.  Maybe I just need to buy another Stackable Caddy Organizer so that my inner crafter can cut some vinyl on my cricut and label everything to include a crafting tea and coffee day!  This weekend I had some crafty friends over that featured my coffee/tea bar and I took a few pics, so let's look at my system.  It is officially fall now so I had a bit of a Halloween theme going on: 



Below are all the containers open for easy access for my guests.  You can see the coffee pods on the left side in the large container, the tea bags in the medium container on the right side, and the smallest container holds sugar packets.  If you try and replicate this, your first question will be, how in the world were you able to make the lids stay open like that?!? 


Easy peasy and here is my secret, I add twist ties on each end to hold the lids up:


Here is what everything looks like when you remove all of the containers from the caddy:



And here are the containers removed from the caddy with the lids opened:


My gal pals can pick what they like and go over the pod coffee maker and brew coffee, hot chocolate, hot water for tea, ice tea, etc......  and come back to the table and add some sugar and cream if they like.  This works so well because usually they are all in different phases of brewing and making their beverages.  I sometimes put out all the same cups, however mostly I put out a variety of cup choices so they are busy debating over who gets which cup.  It really is a lot of fun and it assures my pod brewer does not have my gal pals waiting for their favorite beverages. And isn't this a fun idea for the upcoming holiday season?!?

Defelcto's Stackable Caddy Organizer has solved a storage issue in my home besides being one of my favorite go to crafting organizers.  I love that I can open the containers with one hand, whether I am crafting or making my favorite coffee or tea.  I love that the units can all stack and lock together and, I love that all the containers are clear so I can see what is inside.  Clear storage has become important to me because if you can see it, you will use it!  Also Defelcto sells a mounting bar, so all of those containers can hang on the wall if you like, how fun is that?!?  Also each container can be purchased separately, so if you are in love with a particular size you can buy as many as you like and let them stand alone or mount them on the wall with the mounting bar.

Remember with Defelcto and the Stackable Caddy OrganizerCreate. Store. Create More. ™ 

I hope you enjoyed hanging out with me and my gal pals for our coffee and tea crafting party!   Please leave me a comment and if you have any questions regarding this post please ask! 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deflecto Design Team 2016-2017

Last year I was on a great Design Team, Scrapmuch?, and it was a ton of fun!  At the end of my commitment, I was asked to stay.  However real life interrupted.  The holidays were coming, my daughter was going to give birth, and I was off to Minnesota for 2.5 weeks during the holidays to spend time with my daughter and her family.  I had menus to plan and holiday cards to craft in bulk.  I had gifts to buy and pack and gifts to order and ship.  I then returned home to a record breaking snow in Maryland of over 30".  Anyway, as Spring started breaking I was thought it might be time to try and get on a new design team.  While going through this search, I was also searching for a new job.  It sure is a ton of work to apply for these two things at the same time, run a home, work a full time job, and craft my heart out!  I did it though and in the end, when it rain it pours!  I got a new full time job and got accepted to a new design team within a week of each other.  Whew!  My life is in high gear again!  I am so looking forward to doing more blogging again and sharing all of my fun creations with people.  

I am now one of the newest members of the Deflecto Design Team for 2016-2017!!  Here is our promo photo:





Don't we look fabulous?!?  I think we will make a great team and I am so looking forward to working with these ladies and Deflecto.  If you would like to check us out on the Deflecto Blog, click HERE and please bookmark us to see all of our latest creations to inspire you.  You won't use it if you can't see it and I believe Deflecto is all about transparency!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Montana Traveler

I have been making this crazy fold out page thing with my Creative Memories Album because I had so many photos when my youngest grand daughter turned one.  The kids (the adult ones) did this whole photo shoot thing amid gorgeous scenery to include mountains and babbling brooks.  Needless to say, I had a ton of photos because I printed them all!  Which is actually an okay thing because to achieve my folding 12X12 pages I had to complete 10 layouts to assemble it and make it work.  (If you want to see what I am talking about and use Creative Memories albums, leave me a comment below and I will post about this really cool technique!)  So here is one of the five sets double sided layouts I did:





Don't these look fun?  My cardstock and scrapbook accent paper is by Recollections.  The cute border punching on both pages was using a Fiskars Border Punch.  (I am a Fiskateer and have the scissors to prove it, are you?!?)  My chipboard embellishments are by  3 Birds, the little butterflies are Little B, and the florals are K&Company (I think!).  My big butterfly was cut using a Cottage Cutz die and then I added some rhinestones from my stash.  The journaling spot was from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags (love them!) and I matted all my photos using Perfect Layers.  I cut my arrow from my Cricut Explore and I cut my banner embellishment from my WRMK Banner Punch Board.  And last, but surly not least, the glitter stripe on the second page was created putting down a line of 1/4" Scor Tape and removing the liner and sprinkling some gorgeous purple glitter on it and burnishing it down with my finger so I have some beautiful sparkle.  I sure so love everything that blings!  

I hope you enjoyed my layouts!  Please feel free to leave me a comment below. 


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Turning 1

My little grand daughter technically just turned three last week, however I just completed her first birthday scrapbook pages.  She is growing up so fast!  She had a great time at her party yesterday complete with a bouncy castle and birthday cake and blowing out candles.  I wish I did not live so far away so I could have been there.  Here are the two pages I did for a double page layout: 






The paper was American Crafts and Recollections.  I matted my photos using Perfect Layers and added ribbon from my stash.  The title is American Craft Thickers, the butterflies are cut from Cottage Cutz dies and Anna Griffin glitter paper, and the journaling spot is from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags.  All the other embellishments were put through my Minc machine.  

I hope you enjoyed my layout!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Deflecto Caddy Organizers

This past Saturday, I had a workshop with a lot of my crafty friends.  We had such a blast!  We had a wonderful lunch and we actually each had a glass of bubbly to say goodbye to a couple of ladies that have been coming for quite some time.  We also had giveaways!  Every time you completed a project, you got a ticket in a drawing for some fun crafty stuff.  Needless to say, we all crafted our little hearts out.  I also do a segment of "show and tell".  I show off new techniques and/or products when we meet.  Since we had to cancel last month, I actually had three products to show off and one technique to share.  One of the products I shared was my absolute favorite of the bunch and everyone loved it so much, I thought I would share.  

I have recently discovered Deflecto, and funny thing I am finding that they are not new, however maybe new to our industry.  Just this past Sunday, I opened a package of recently purchased magnetic vent covers to use to house my over sized Anna Griffin dies, and who were they made by?!?...................yep, Deflecto!  Here is the product everyone went nuts over, their Caddy Organizers.  Here are some pics:

This is two of them connected together:



Here are the medium and small one and as you can see, I still have room for more stuff:


Here is the large one with rulers, scissors, pens, etc... :


And lastly, this is both of my Caddys side by side and unhooked from each other:


So let me tell you just a bit more about these, now that you have seen the photos (and please refer back to them as needed!  You can literally hook and stack these Caddys to the ceiling because you can unhook them at any place or point to grab the Caddy you need.  The three containers actually "hook" into the base unit, and get this!..............you can buy rails for them to mount on your walls and hang them up in your craft room.  See those square "divets" on the top of the cases?  That makes for easy stacking because you can also buy all three containers separately so if you like one particular size, Deflecto has you covered.  These would be great for all kinds of crafters from paper crafters to needle point.  Recently, I am all about clear storage and I have been making my craft room a bit more user friendly, because if you can see it you will use it!  In the last photo, do you spy those bins behind my Caddy Organizers?  Yep, another great product by Deflecto and for another post.

If you have any questions regarding this product, please post a comment!  Also, if you would like me to go into more detail, yep...................post a comment!  I can sure take some more photos and share some more features about this product that was all the rage this Saturday!  

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Happy New Year 2013!

So I thought this was such a cute photo of my daughter and my grand daughter, it should be the last photo I scrap in 2013.  (I am now scrapping away in 2014, but as usual I am always very behind!)  


Aren't they just the cutest?!?  All the papers and embellishments (with a couple of noted exceptions) are from Hot Off The Press.  The glitter paper and Thickers are from American Crafts and the journaling spot is from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags (Holiday Edition).  

Please leave me a comment below!  The next time I post, I am going to tell you about some cool products I found by Deflecto.  I am really loving their items for crafters!


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