Friday, 31 October 2014

There's No Place Like Home!

Last week I went to visit my Mum in Gibraltar - it was her 87th birthday!  It was touch and go as to whether I'd be well enough to go and at one point I thought I would have to postpone my visit.  But... I prayed that I would receive strength and lots of people were praying for me too so its not surprising really that I was well enough to go - God does hear and answer prayer :)  Thank you so much to all of you who prayed.  I had a great time with my Mum and also my brother, my nephew and his lovely wife and kids, my great-niece and great-nephew!!!  Teresita, my great-niece, 6 years old, kept wanting to do 'art' with me and of course I was delighted to oblige.

However, it was pretty exhausting and I was really pleased to get home again.  When I picked up my art journal again I did a quick, really fun to do backround and it turned into this page:

I've used this Crafters Workshop Mini Cubist stencil before to make a house shaped card (see it here).  With texture paste it works very well for a house.  The roof, windows and doors are washi tape.

I'm linking up at:

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Recovery is Never a Straight Line

One of the things about cfs (chronic fatigue syndrome) is that you've just got to be patient - I've just got to be patient!  Last week I said I was definitely on the mend and no sooner had I written it that the very next day I had a big dip.  However, that's the way it goes and I didn't let it get me despondent - recovery is never a straight line.

This is the theme for the journaling on the page which actually goes all around the edges but I cut it off in the photo!  I was inspired by Clare Lloyd at the PaperArtsy blog where she did a journal page starting with a backround where she picked up three colours of paint at the same time on a big paintbrush.  Clare painted stripes but I was having so much fun that I did a sort of check using the PaperArtsy Freso Finish chalk acrylic paints which I love, the ones I used are translucent (some of their colours are opaque).  I like the way Clare stamped leaves all around as a border so I thought I'd stamp all around with flowers (a £1 clear stamp).  Then I stencilled Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's stencil Mini Indian Leaves in the middle because the pattern is an up and down one - like recovery :)

You can sort of see the painted check effect here.  I  swooshed a couple of colours on cardstock and stamped and cut out the flower heads and these became the points on my trend chart.  The white lines are white raffia.

As my chart shows, the trend is UP!  Praise God.  It is always Jesus who gets me through these times - Christ Furnishes Strength!  A psalm I've found very helpful recently is this one:

O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee;
    for thou, O God, art my fortress.
 My God in his steadfast love will meet me;
    my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Ps 59: 9-10 

I love calling the Lord my Strength!  That is what He is at these times and always.  

If you are struggling with your health or any other difficulty at this time know that the Lord He is God and your Strength and He will help you overcome in your situation.

Blessings and grace to you.

More Snowflake sparkle

Here is another sparkly snowflake card for the Country View Challenges Sparkle and Shine challenge.  This time I used the largest snowflake from the set I got at the craft sale while on holiday in Scotland which I wrote about here.

I stamped and embossed the large snowflake in tinsel snowflake embossing powder and it gives a really lovely sparkle.  I sponged with distress inks, flicked with water and then sprayed with Pearl Cosmic Shimmer and it really does shimmer beautifully.  I edged with Winter Dawn Mega Flakes and then mounted  on the card which I'd stamped a snowflake border on with the smaller snowflake stamps in the set.  I love the frosty snowy look of the card which you can't quite see in the photo.

I can't stop making snowflake cards so here are two more made in a similar way but this time with no sparkle:

And one with no border:

That's it for now, but more snowflake cards to come:)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Snowflake sparkle

Today I'm sharing a sparkly card made from a gorgous big Hero Arts snowflake backround stamp.  I found this stamp while on holiday with Hubby, Dominic, in Scotland earlier this year.  We'd been for a lovely walk and popped into a coffee shop for a break and a hot drink.  To my glee I found that a local craft group were having their monthly meeting and HAVING A CRAFT SALE!!! :D  Well, Dominic sat down with his coffee in a resigned kind of way while I met the lovely people and chatted and browsed and found this stamp and another snowflake stamp set at 'you can't not buy me' prices.

Snowflakes is a perfect theme to enter into the Country View Crafts Sparkle and Shine Challenge.

 Since it was a sparkle and shine challenge I went to town with all things sparkly and shiny.  I stamped and embossed the snowflakes, then sponged with distress inks and sprayed with pearl Cosmic Shimmer.  The card is edged with Winter Dawn mega flake as is the bauble which I die cut from a magazine freebie.  I added gems in the snowflake centres.  I printed Peace and Joy and mounted on silver ribbon.  The embossing powder is snowflake sparkle which I love - can you see the multi coloured sparkle?

I love taking a stamp and seeing how many different cards I can make with it, so stand by for more snowflake cards.

Its very therapeutic playing with inks and stamps while trying to recover from this current bout of c.f.s. (chronic fatigue syndrome).  Recovery is never a straight line and some days are better than others, but no matter what I know that C.F.S. - Christ Furnishes Strength and He is here every step of the way on the healing process.  Jesus is the Light of the World and shines his love and His light into every situation.  Where He is there is no darkness.  As I made this card using all things shiny, I thought, yes, Jesus brings sparkle and shine here to me right now, no matter how I'm feeling physically.

Thank you Country View Crafts for a great challenge.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Pleasant words ... thank you!

On Monday I posted (see it here) about being in the middle of a bout of c.f.s. (chronic fatigue syndrome) and how I try and cope by claiming the truth that C.F.S. Christ Furnishes Strength!

I had some really lovely encouraging comments.  I just want to say THANK YOU to my lovely friends :D  Your words really blessed me and helped me as did your prayers.  I can feel when people are praying for me because, well, prayer works!  Yes, I am feeling a lot better, not totally yet but getting there. 

I was well enough today to sit at my arty table and do a journal page - which was just so great :D
My page was inspired by Ellen Vargo's ledger journal page at the PaperArtsy blog.  I loved her coneflowers and lovely blue backround.  Ellen used the PaperArtsy EEV09 stamps for the petals.  I didn't have these so I cut the petals out of paper which I'd painted and stamped.  I used Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic paints for the backround and petals.

I love this proverb and it is so apt for the blessing of your comments - thank you again!

Monday, 13 October 2014

C.F.S. not c.f.s.

Some of you may know that I am prone to bouts of chronic fatigue syndrome or c.f.s. as it is known and I am in one at the moment.  These can be challenging times when I don't have the energy to do much but instead feel really unwell and as if I am pushing a great big boulder up a very steep hill to do the simplest of things.

What do I do to cope?   I pick up my special journal where I have a list of all the healing and strength scriptures - there are quite a few - and I read them and pray them and take hold of them.  I don't know why Jesus doesn't instantly heal me.  I don't have the answer to that.  All I know is that He gives me the strength to endure.  At really bad times I may get very down and give in to self-pity but that road leads to an even worse place.  Then I make myself get that journal again and turn to God.  He hasn't instantly healed me but He has given me comfort and strength to endure and I do feel better.  I also feel closer to Him.  In fact there is often a preciousness in these times as I feel His Presence and I know that I will soon (however long that may be) be out of this particular bout and one day it will be my very last bout of c.f.s.

I realised that c.f.s. may stand for chronic fatigue syndrome.


Here is my journal page, a very simple one because when I am not well it is too much for me to be at my arty table for long and I do it mostly in my comfy armchair with my feet up:

The writing is some of the healing and health scriptures which I find so helpful.

If you too are struggling with your health in any way know that C.F.S. - Christ furnishes strength.
I pray that as you read these scriptures your pain will be eased, you will find strength, you will know rest and that you will healed in Jesus' mighty name.

I'm linking up at:
Sunday Sentiments
Creative Every Day
Create with Joy Inspire Me Monday
Art Journal Every Day

Monday, 6 October 2014

Creative Blog Hop

Last week Felicia invited me to take part in a creative blog hop where we answer the 4 questions below on our creativity and invite another 2 or 3 bloggers to take part the following week.  It’s a good opportunity to get to know different blogs and how people come up with their wonderful creations.  Anyway, I said yes and then the following day Tracy also asked me - LOL.  They are both wonderfully creative and also encouraging people who take the time to say really uplifting things to others of us about our own creations.  Hop on over to their blogs and have a look – you will be inspired!

Down to business, here are my answers:
1. What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I  am mainly having fun in my art journal.  Soon I’ll start making my Christmas cards which are going to be snowflake themed this year because I got a real bargain of a snowflake stamp while on holiday in Scotland.  I often make minibooks of encouraging scriptures as gifts as well, so will start on those soon too.  


I also help run a monthly craft group called Scrap and Yap.  We have a different theme every month so I'll make various cards on the theme for the month.  

 I love hearts!

 Heart-shaped petal flowers are a favorite:

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

I’m not really sure.  I just know I love to get messy with paint and stencils and stamps.  I was originally a cardmaker and loved fiddling with little bits of paper and stamping and gluing.  However, a year ago I discovered art journaling and am absolutely loving it.  I have never considered myself an artist and before art journaling had not worked with paint before!  Now I love all things painty but haven’t a clue what I’m doing most of the time, I just know I love it and its fun.  I love using bright colours, but also love picking one or maybe two colours and going with those for a whole page.   My faith is reflected in my work so my journal pages often have journaling about God and things of the spirit.

3. Why do you create?

Because its fun!!!  There’s also something creative in me that just wants to be expressed.  It wasn’t always like that.  I was hopeless at art at school, couldn’t wait to give it up and wasn't creative at all.  Then about 10 years ago I was very seriously ill and had to have an operation.  I came across a cardmaking magazine while I was recovering and thought I would like to give it a go.  Very soon I was completely hooked on all things papercrafty.  Having not been creative at all I now found I had this wonderful creativity in me.  I think God blessed me with this creative gift just when I needed it.  I didn’t have it before my illness.  Now I love to create :)

4. How does your creative process work?

Randomly!  When playing in my art journal I very often start with something that’s on my heart.  I’m a Christian so its usually linked to my faith.  I quite often pick a colour or several and start splodging, stencilling, stamping.  I like my page to reflect the mood of the journaling or the title.  Sometimes I’ll write loads of journaling, sometimes a simple title or quote says it all.  Often it all goes ‘wrong’, meaning I don’t like what I’ve done.  Sometimes I manage to rescue it, other times I’ve covered the whole lot over with white and started again which gives a really interesting effect.  I also use my journal to pray so its very much an expression of what is going on in my life.  However, other times I just like to try different things.

Now I’d like to introduce three lovely bloggers I have come to know:

Debbie loves making cards, scrapbooking and wonderful canvasses.   She has recently started art journaling and is on the design team for Scrapping Everyday Miracles.

Ophelia always makes me smile with her cheery posts and lovely creations.  She is an awesome artist and teaches too.

Shelly loves making cards and scrapbooking.  Her blog is called Inky Hugz which has got to be the best name ever for a creative blog!

Hop on over to their blogs, their creative blog posts will be next Monday.

Linking up at:
Create with Joy Inspire Me Monday
Creative Every Day

Friday, 3 October 2014

Make room for the new

I love watching the countryside change colour at this time of the year, seeing the lovely tones of red and copper and gold on the trees.  Of course, after that the trees look pretty dead as do all my beautiful roses and other herbaceous plants in my garden.  I have to wait for spring to see them all burst into life again with new growth, new flowers and a beauty which is new and wonderful every year.

This got me thinking how we also need to let the old things pass away or die in us to make room for new things to grow and blossom.  This could simply be an old routine or pastime which has to be given up to make time for something better.  It also applies to bad habits and bad traits in us which we want to get rid of - these need to go so we can grow into the people we want to be. As a Christian I believe that Jesus promises us new life when we surrender our own  lives to Him.   As I let my old things or bad side in me die, I allow room for my Lord and Saviour Jesus and all the good that He promises to grow in me.  Thank goodness for that!  Now I can  have more love, more patience, more peace, more joy, more good :)

Here is my journal page, inspired by autumn and all the thoughts above:

I did the leaves with texture paste first, then sponged Fresco Finish chalk acrylic paints all over the page. I stamped the script, then stamped the circles with acrylic which gives a lovely texture. 
The bigger circles were punched, spread with texture paste and then acrylic.  The little orange dots are a pebeo volume paint.

The tags had just one different leaf added with texture paste:

I journaled on the backs of the tags and stuck down with repositional glue dots so I can read what's on them at any time:

Sometimes its painful allowing old things to go, but its definitely worth it once the new has had time to be established.  

I'm linking up at: