Tim Holtz & Inks

The weather in SC has been more like weather in February.  I decided to "act as if" it were February meaning that I gave myself "permission" to hunker down & craft when going outside wasn't an option
So yesterday I reached for a piece of Tim Holtz grunge paper which I've had for ages & two brand-new bottles of Dylusions Inks that I had no idea even how to use. 
Thanks to a couple YouTube videos I was well on my way to loving all the possibilities with Dylusions.  Below is a little mixed media using those two products along with a few of my go-to products:  Viva pearl pen, my White signo pen (that I can't live without), white craft ink, and what I refer  Claudine Hellmuth paint (Studio paint through Ranger). 
I'm thinking any combination of the above or all of these may be the perfect ingredients for some of the goodies I'm taking to CIRCLE MANIA.

Happy Craftin' .....

Happy Mail

Artists, crafters alike are by nature thoughtful and creative!  What other group of individuals would have come up with Happy Mail. As artists and crafters we seem to intuitively know how to show others how special they are to us.  To receive an envelope, often colorful and/or blinged out, containing a card and some little (or big) something that the sender KNEW you would love is exhilerating.
In January, suffering from a case of the post-holiday blues, I felt as if my creative mojo had left me just as my Christmas tree finally left the living room.  Then came the mail -- HAPPY MAIL from my friend Barbara a/k/a SusieCraftHappy.  The thoughtfulness of this Random-Act-of-Kindess was the catalyst for a complete healing of my post-holiday blues.  And because like minds think alike I am crazy about the goodies she sent.  Barbara even remembered my little one by sending a Valentine baggie with Hershey Kisses.  Doesn't get much better than that.  And check out the Action Wobble on the bag topper and the detail in the card! 
Now my challenge is to color this stamp with my copics in such a way that I'm at least a little comfortable posting a finished project. 
You can check out my friend Susie right here!
Thanks for stopping by & happy craftin' ....

Fun With Claudine Hellmuth

Anticipation and excitement are always abuzz right before HSN has one of their 24-hour Crafting Extravaganzas.  The hype surrounding last month's crafting event was huge because it came right on the heels of Winter CHA. 
All the usual players appeared on HSN with the new must-haves for all us crafting junkies, including Anna Griffin, Martha Stewart, and my absolute favorite ... Claudine Hellmuth
I managed to come out the otherside of the 24-hour event with only TWO purchases, the Anna Griffin Limited Edition Cuttlebug -- and no, I DID NOT already have one, but yes, I did take full advantage of easy-pay.  The other gem added to the cart was the Claudine Hellmuth Home Sweet Home Crafting Kit.  You can view it here
Using a 4x6 shadowbox here are a few of my favorite boxes so far. 

  The excellent quality of paper and embellishments made it even easier to add my own flair to the pieces.  Of course I used that golden cuttlebug, but I also got to use CTMH's Liquid Glass, stickles, and the white Signo pen.  Because I'm having such creative freedom with this I'm probably not close to finishing, but had to share this gem in the making.
Thanks for stopping by and ....
Happy Craftin'

Quietly Waiting

We're all gifted seasons in life where God in His great love provides the opportunity to learn a lesson so valuable we just know it was meant to deepen our relationship with Him.  These life lessons are tangible proof that God is actively working to mold us into faithful servants.  I happen to be a very very slow learner who sometimes will do things my way with clear knowledge that I am not following the lesson plan -- the lesson plan that asks me to keep the greater good in the forefront, the plan that will ask me to sit back and trust.  And the biggest obstacle of all -- stay away from the trap that I have the answers.  By refraining from the ways of this world, I can make room for God to fulfill his promise stated in Jeremiah 29:11-13:  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

As is my habit when looking for that deep-seated peace I went straight to the prayers my dear friend wrote to the Blessed Mother.  Following is the one that settled into my heart. 
“Blessed Mother, you lead us to your Son. We are stubborn, and turn inward to worry instead of to you in prayer. Please do not give up on us!”
- With all the tools we are given, including scripture, church services, prayer warriors, the examples of saints, etc….I am so ashamed sometimes, like today, when I find myself worrying and almost panicky about things that I don’t even have control over. God and every divine being He has created are always there. We are never alone. When we think we are by ourselves, He is still there, quietly waiting for us to speak our truth and listen for comfort and peace. What a merciful Lord to wait patiently, and only judge us on our conscience and discernment.


Today was just "one of those days" where I knew deep down to stop and pray.  Not surprisingly, in prayer the Holy Spirit prompted me to post this particular prayer penned by my sister-in-Christ. 

“Help us pray more, Blessed Mother of Jesus. Help us pray for our needs, for families, for our nation and for all humanity. Especially aid us in prayers for our personal intentions and the intentions of those we love.”

Years ago, while on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, the town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, site of apparitions of Our Lady since 1981, I began to understand the importance of prayer on a deeper level. Many of the messages given by the Blessed Mother stress the need for prayers by individuals and in community. The rosary, based on scriptures that describe the mysteries of Jesus and Mary, is really the instrument that the Blessed Mother used to guide me on a spiritual path and into the Catholic faith. It is still one of my favorite prayers. This wonderful prayer is so simple, yet so rich. The rhythm of the words begins to come from deep down in the heart. It can be such a private time to have very personal prayer, or you can feel the strength of the words as you pray in unison with others. Pray, pray, pray the rosary! From my deepest heart, I am grateful that Our Lady teaches us so many ways to be closer to Jesus!

Heavenly Assistance -- Available for the Asking

Pray for me, Our Lady. I am a sinner and need to be encouraged. Please pray for me to step back from the world, be open to God and His will, and have courage to act accordingly.”

           Some days, life runs at me so hard, that I forget there is immediate help if I would only look up and step into the mantle of protection of Our Lady. God allows her to lead us. Why is it that sometimes I just simply forget to follow? It is silly and ridiculous to think or act as if I can maneuver through this life without God’s grace. If only I could just be a tiny fraction like the Blessed Mother. She listened to the message of an angel, and forever lived according to God’s will. She has reached out to us, taught us of love and sacrifice, and we are granted the privilege of her care and motherly protection. I do ask for encouragement and perseverance to walk with her to complete faithfulness in Jesus, our Lord.


To Our Lady of Good Help

I have a very dear friend who is an accomplished writer.  From the first time she put pen to paper, it was obvious that God had given her a huge gift -- a gift she has learned to use to serve God and her community.  Her most recent writings are prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary taken straight from her prayer journal,  private in nature, and were meant to be shared only with the Blessed Mother.  However, God had a different plan.  After writing a series of prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady directed my friend to make these prayers available to others.  My friend and I are also sisters-in-Christ so I was honored to open my email and receive these heartfelt prayers.  I was completely blown away by their deep beauty and simplicity.  After prayerful consideration my friend has given me the honor of posting these prayers on my blog.  It is my intention to post three prayers a week.  I hope you will check in often so that you can be as blessed as I have been through these prayers. 

All of the prayers are the same in format.  The italicized writing is the prayer to the Blessed Mother followed by the specific intention of my friend. 

The first of these is to Our Lady of Good Help.  If you are interested in more information about Our Lady of Good Help, you can find it here.

“Our Lady of Good Help, thank you for taking our petitions to our Lord. I see the changes working in our lives. Please continue to pray on our behalf…especially for the children; they need His help and guidance.”
Opportunities are opening up; loved ones are reaching out to the goodness and light around them, brought by intense prayer. Burdens seem to be just a little lighter, and there is hope that dreams may come true. It is a more beautiful world because of the Blessed Mother, the mother of Jesus and the mother of each one of us. She is God’s greatest gift to us, by far. I love you far, far beyond these pitiful words, Our Lady of Good Help.